The Journey: Three Under-the-Radar Prospects with High PNHLe

Benjamin Gehrels

2021-11-27

Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing Fantasy predictions and analysis along the way. I’ll be taking over this column from Hadi Kalakeche who has set a high bar for me here! Follow him on Twitter at @hadik_scouting for a steady stream of high-level prospect analysis and all-around greatness.

This week, three players are highlighted who are high on Rank King‘s PNHLe chart but flying under the radar. All three are likely still available in 10-12-team keeper leagues, depending on farm size. Even if someone else owns them already, you might still have time to sneak in a trade offer before the hype hits.

What's PNHLe? It's a way to project a player’s peak point potential in the NHL—alliteration slightly intended. So if a player has a PNHLe of 60, they might become a 60-point scorer in the NHL in their prime. This stat has limitations but can be incredibly useful when comparing apples and oranges—players from different leagues. If Player A scores 100 points in the USHL, how does that compare to Player B scoring 30 points in the KHL at the same age? How many points might each player eventually score in the NHL? PNHLe takes away some of that guesswork.

You might also see people use NHLe, which mostly generates a lower number than PNHLe. The only difference is that the ‘P’ adds a projection element, whereas NHLe translates a prospect’s current production straight across into NHL terms. So scoring 60 points in 60 WHL games played (GP) is like scoring 25 points in 82 NHL GP (25 NHLe), but scoring at that rate as an 18-year old in the WHL means that player might eventually score 60 points in the NHL (60 PNHLe). Read more here about how NHLe is calculated. The short answer is that it's based on historical precedents: how well players from given junior leagues performed over their careers once they reached the NHL.