Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pats Add Euro and Scout

The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce Graham Tuer has joined the organization as a Scout and Liaison to Hockey Regina.
Graham Tuer’s name is synonymous with hockey in the Queen City having been involved with the sport for over fifty years.  The Regina native has coached and/or managed hockey teams at every level of minor and junior hockey in Saskatchewan.  Tuer served as the Regina Pats’ Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel in the early ‘90s and was recognized by the club as one of the organization’s ‘builders’ in 2008.  In addition to his work with the Pats, Tuer managed the Regina Pat Canadians, winning an Air Canada Cup national Midget-AAA championship in 1988.  In 2007, Hockey Regina recognized Tuer by naming a tournament, the Graham Tuer Bantam AA Tournament, in his honour.
The Regina Sports Hall of Fame inductee (2012) has been on the board of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey league since 1983 and was an important contributor to creating the Saskatchewan Development Model.  Throughout his career in hockey, Tuer scouted for numerous WHL Teams and NHL Central Scouting.  He was awarded the WHL Distinguished Service Award in 2010.
This spring, Tuer was awarded the Hockey Canada Order of Merit (West), recognized as an individual who has served amateur hockey faithfully.
“I’m happy to be back and pleased with the organization and how it’s taking shape,” commented Graham Tuer.  “In my discussions with the coaching staff, I was very impressed with their vision and the empathy they show toward their players and their development.  It was difficult for me to leave a great organization like Kelowna, but it is wonderful to be a part of the Regina Pats again.  I’m told it looks natural for me to be a Regina Pat.”


The Regina Pats Hockey Club has selected Russian defenceman Nikolai Knyzhov (’98) 41st overall in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.
Knyzhov is already playing in North America, spending the last two years playing in Phoenix, AZ.  The 6’1”, 170 lbs defender posted four points (1G, 3A) in 24 games with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes (U16) in 2014-15.
“This is a rarity for the import draft in that our scouts had an opportunity to see Nikolai multiple times throughout the season,” said Regina Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock.  “We know he wants to come play junior hockey in Canada so it made the pick much easier.  We look forward to seeing him in Regina for training camp in August.”

Mike Reilly to miss significant time for Eskimos

Medical tests have confirmed Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly sustained a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), a partially torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) and a medial meniscal tear in his left knee. Estimated recovery time is approximately 10-12 weeks.

Reilly sustained the injury during the fourth quarter of last Saturday's season-opener against the Toronto Argonauts in Ft. McMurray.

Lorne Molleken is new HC of Vancouver Giants

The Vancouver Giants announced on Tuesday that Lorne Molleken has been named the sixth Head Coach in the club’s history.
“After last season, we felt it was very important to add a coach with WHL experience,” said Giants Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Bonner. “We know we will have a young group which will create both highs and lows, and Lorne’s experiences will help guide them. He’s a career coach who has worked at the NHL, AHL and WHL levels, and the intangibles that he will bring should help our group take some needed steps forward.”
Molleken comes to the Giants with over 20 years of coaching experience. The Regina, Saskatchewan native most recently spent nine years behind the bench with the Saskatoon Blades from 2004-2013 while also serving as the club’s General Manager until 2014. Molleken also coached the Blades from 1991-1995, leading the team to the Western Hockey League Finals in 1992 and 1994. He was named the WHL’s Coach of the Year in 1994 and is one of only four men to amass over 600 career wins in the WHL.
“I want to thank Ron and Scott for the opportunity to coach the Vancouver Giants,” said Molleken. “I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the bench. It’s something that I’ve really missed, especially being away from the game last year. The opportunity to coach a franchise that is steeped in history and tradition is an honour.”
The 59-year-old has also coached extensively at the professional level. He served as the Head Coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of the 1998/99 and 1999/00 seasons with a NHL head coaching record of 18-21-8. Molleken has also worked as an Assistant Coach in the NHL with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins and was a Head Coach in the AHL with both the Cape Breton Oilers and Hamilton Bulldogs.
In his playing days, Molleken tended goal in the WHL over parts of four seasons with the Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos and the Winnipeg Clubs. He went on to play eight seasons of professional hockey in the IHL, AHL, CHL and NAHL, spending most of his time with the IHL’s Toledo Goaldiggers from 1981-1985.

(Vancouver Giants hockey club) 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Top 10 NHL UFA's

When the National Hockey League free-agent doors swing open July 1, buyers won’t see stocked shelves with high-end items.
There will be some intriguing names, however, who could fill gaps on NHL rosters.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli will scrutinizing the free agents, especially in the defenceman category, even after adding Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart to the team in trades at the draft.
Here’s a look at 10 free agents on the market:
1. Mike Green, Washington Capitals
He made $6.08 million last year and was Washington’s No. 5 defenceman. The Caps would bring him back for about half that price, but Green, 29, is moving on. The Detroit Red Wings will make the biggest push because he could play with Niklas Kronwall and they sorely need a power play guy.
2. Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings
He’s 33, but he has three Stanley Cup rings. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014, but the Kings can’t squeeze him into their salary cap. The Pittsburgh Penguins seem the most logical destination. They need a winger for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and general manager Jim Rutherford worked with Williams in Carolina.
3. Joel Ward, Washington Capitals
The 34-year-old winger had a terrific playoffs for the Caps with nine points in 14 games and is a bull in the corner He wants a three-year contract and the Caps are only offering two. They have to sign younger forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. A team like Montreal, with small forwards, would be ideal for Ward.
4. Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks
The defenceman is a steady influence in Anaheim as No. 4 guy but the Ducks only want him if he’ll take a one-year deal. They have Clayton Stoner who could take his spot and they may want to give young Josh Manson a spot in their top six. Beauchemin would look good in Edmonton as a mentor for Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz and Darnell Nurse.
5. Antoine Vermette, Chicago Blackhawks
After a lukewarm start with the Hawks after his trade from Arizona, the 32-year-old had three playoff game-winners in a third-line role. He’s a No. 2 centre almost anywhere else and an excellent faceoff guy. Somebody will give him $5 million or more.
6. Cody Franson, Nashville Predators
Youngest of the free agent defencemen, Franson often leaves you wanting more. He’s a second-pairing D, not a first, but he has a big shot and he’s a rightie — something everybody’s looking for. Would the Oilers go five years for him at $5 million? Maybe, because of his age and power play possibility.
7. Karri Ramo, Calgary Flames
Makes highlight reel saves, but scouts feel he may not be as technically sound or consistent as other goalies. On the other hand, he’s a battler and had strong games for the Flames down the stretch last season. The San Jose Sharks are still looking for goalie, and the Philadelphia Flyers need a backup for Steve Mason.
8. Matt Beleskey, Anaheim Ducks
The 27-year-old left-winger is coming off 22 goals. Is that the tip of the iceberg for the versatile forward or a one-off? Bryan Bickell got four years at $16 million after a big playoff for Chicago and they regretted it.
9. Michael Frolik, Winnipeg Jets
He had 41 points for the Jets (19 goals) and his speed, along with his ability to move up and down the lineup, is a hot commodity. But, is he worth $4 million a year as a role player? That might be a stretch, although he’s only 27.
10. Jarret Stoll, Los Angeles Kings
Even before his drug arrest after the season, Stoll, 33, was in tough to return to the Kings because of salary cap problems. He’s dynamite on faceoffs and he’s right-handed, something every team’s looking for. He is a solid third line NHL centre.

(Edmonton Journal)

Something To "Mitch" About


Are you pushing this right now? There are fans of several fanbases who might be after the first weekend of CFL play and unfortunately, the Riders are one of them.

After working hard to rehab the elbow injury which ended his 2014 season, Darian Durant's 2015 season didn't even last two quarters as he went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

When I saw the replay of the play, I knew what it was right away and I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn't and now the Riders will cash in on their insurance policy as Kevin Glenn will be the guy for the rest of the season (fingers crossed). If past history is any indication, the Riders should be fine, but the team won't  have the same look to it-----again!

As for Darian, like many of you, I feel absolutely terrible for him. Say what you will about the Riders QB, but the guy worked his you know what off to get back on the field, prove he was 100 percent and remind people this team was 8-2 when he went down and perhaps lead them to another Grey Cup,...a Grey Cup which would immortalize him in this province as the only guy to quarterback  two Rider teams to a championship. His season didn't even get started, and now there are whispers amongst some that he came off the football field for the last time because of his age and that kind of injury----an injury that Kory Sheets has yet to fully recover from. Add to that Darian is just a good guy. He never ever shys away from anyone, he does a lot and in truth, he answers a lot of questions he never should be asked.  Lets hope he is ready to go in 2016 and lets hope he looks as good as he did in the first half as he threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Knowing Darian, I say the latter. I hope I'm right on that one and so do many in the Rider Nation.

As for Corey Chamblin, I can't imagine what is going through his head right now. Yes, he knows he has Kevin Glenn in his back pocket which he didn't have last year, but he also knows his team has taken a huge hit in Game 1 of the season. He tried his best to stay composed after Saturday's game, but you could tell he did not want to be answering questions because he had many questions himself.

There was some chatter as to why the team would wait until about 15 or 20  minutes after Chamblin's address to the media before announcing he was done for the season. It was simple. At the time Chamblin spoke to us, he didn't know and was hoping for the best. Once he got back into the room and talked to the medical staff, he found out it was the worst case scenario. End of story!

Other thoughts

--What the hell was Brendan Taman doing wearing a sweater on the sidelines? It was 30 above at kickoff and it had to be warmer than that on the field. Is he trying to cut weight? 

--It is only one game, but you had to like what you saw from Anthony Allen and Jerome Messam as the running game was outstanding.

--Don't crucify Chris Milo yet. One week is one week and making a change would be the wrong move as you can't make rash decisions. The same can be said with members of the defence who had a bad game. However, I think it is safe to say Milo and some on that defence have been put on notice and need to be much better next week against Toronto. 

--Xavier Fulton had an outstanding game

--The new illegal contact rule is going to drive head coaches, defensive co-ordinators and defensive backs up the wall because like the pass interference rule, there is no consistency from play to play and that was a trend across the league. 

--If Shea Emry is out for an extended amount of time, that injury could be catastrophic to the defence. 

--Rookie Telvion Clark had ten tackles. Really? I know he made some plays and like others on the defence missed some, but I didn't think he had 10 tackles.

--Ryan Smith made it very tough for Corey Chamblin to take him off the roster after his performance against the Bombers. There will be lots of changes due to injury, but I am assuming Weston Dressler will be back for the Argos game meaning what do you do with Smith.

Other thoughts from Week 1

--It was nice to see Ottawa get a win in Week 1, but would the REDBLACKS have won had Jonathan Crompton or Dan Lefevour stayed in the game?

--The Stampeders may have beaten the Ti-Cats, but with the exception of the last drive Bo Levi Mitchell was outplayed by Zach Collaros. The biggest play in that game was the Keon Raymond touchdown which was a 10 point if not a 14 point swing. Calgary is still Calgary though and they find a way to win.

--I was surprised that I didn't see more two point converts attempted in the opening week. There were a few, but I thought there would be more---especially after the first 32 yd PAT of the season was missed.

--It is one game, but Trevor Harris looks like he can play the game and if that is the case, the Argos may not have to worry about their QB situation until Ricky Ray returns. With that first win in the books in what is essentially a 5 game road trip for the team to open the season, that victory is huge as many say if they can grind out two wins until Ray gets back, they will be fine.

--One more thought on the Durant injury. I would much rather be the Riders with Kevin Glenn than the Eskimos with Matt Nichols. Nothing against Nichols, but he isn't as battle-tested as KG.

Enough of football, lets move on to some other matters. To the fashion police, do you like this look???

The Oilers have apparently had plans to break out these orange unis for the past couple of years and would have done so had they played in another outdoor game (note the Heritage Classic patch). They have decided with this being the last year at Rexall Place to break them out as they salute the heritage of their WHA team which was known as the Alberta Oilers to start things out. Did you know that? I'm not big on these, but I was told by two people in Edmonton this weekend they aren't as bad in person as they are on TV. I'll have to be sold on that.  Let's just say my Connor McDavid jersey will not be an orange one and its on the way. 

There is no doubt the Buffalo Sabres were the big winners in this draft while the Boston Bruins and maybe the Vancouver Canucks were the big losers. Buffalo has really strengthened their squad by adding Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly and Robin Lehner. Boston didn't get what they were looking for when they traded away Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic as they were looking to package picks 14, 15, 16 to someone for something big, but it never materialized. There were thoughts they would dangle part or all of those picks to Phoenix for 3 and take Noah Nanifin, but after saying all week the pick was in play, Phoenix GM Don Maloney said they weren't going to allow Dylan Strome to get away from them. 

Tell me the Calgary Flames aren't seeing what's happening north of them. Do you think Dougie Hamilton and Connor McDavid will get to know one another very well in the next few years. As hard as it is for this Oilers fan to swallow, that Calgary blueline is very good now as you add Hamilton to Mark Giordano and T-J Brodie. 

Congrats to the five members of the Regina Pats for getting their pro hockey career started by getting drafted. Getting drafted is the first step and its now up to Austin Wagner, Jesse Gabrielle. Colby Williams. Connor Hobbs and Sergei Zborovskiy to take another successful step once their junior careers are over as they try to live out that dream of being an NHL'er.

The Hockey Hall of Fame announces its 2015 inductees later today. Nick Lidstrom is a shoo-in, but many want to know if Eric Lindros should get the call. I say no! Debates as to which players are and are not hall of famers happens in every sport, but I am one who thinks Lindros didn't do enough because of an injury shortened career to get into hockey's ultimate shrine. 

Canada's dream of winning the Womens World Cup came to an end in Vancouver Saturday because of three bad minutes. Two early goals by England were too much for John Herdman's ladies as they bowed out of the event. The country should be proud of the young women who represented our country as they hopefully have taken the game to the next level regardless of whether its mens or womens. The game is growing and Canada is a power thanks to players like Christine Sinclair, Kadeisha Buchanan and Kaylyn Kyle. They should be saluted for their achievements because they got many people talking soccer in this country and that is tough to do even though more and more are getting involved in the sport in this fine nation of ours.

Congratulations to the Regina Riot for being the Saskatoon Valkyries and advancing to the WWCFL championship game against Edmonton. Finish it off strong ladies!

Have a great week and stay cool! It sucks for the farmers not having any rain, and hopefully some will come before its' too late, but there have been no mosquitoes and I'm OK with that.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Changes to Home Run Derby at MLB All-Star Game

The 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will introduce a new streamlined format this July featuring brackets and timed rounds, Major League Baseball announced today. The 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders will be held on Monday, July 13th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and broadcast live by ESPN and beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

The eight-player contest will be conducted as a single-elimination tournament in which the loser of each bracket is immediately eliminated. Brackets in the first round will be seeded based on 2015 home run totals through July 7th, with ties broken by awarding the higher seed to the batter with more home runs hit since June 15th. If a tie remains, a coin flip will determine the higher seed. In each matchup, the higher seed will hit second.

During each of the three rounds, each batter will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, and any swings that do not result in a home run will not be counted. Timers will count down from five minutes beginning with the release of the first pitch, and any home run hit after the timer reaches one minute remaining will stop the timer immediately when the ball lands in home run territory. The timer will not start again until the batter hits a ball that does not land in home run territory, or swings and misses at a pitch.

Batters may be awarded bonus time during their turn based on the length of their home runs hit. If a batter hits two home runs during a turn that each equal or exceed 420 feet, one minute of bonus time will be added. If one home run during a turn equals or exceeds 475 feet, 30 seconds of bonus time will be added. It is possible for a batter to earn a total bonus of one minute and 30 seconds. All distances will be measured using MLB Advanced Media's Statcast™ system.

The batter with the most home runs hit in each matchup will advance to the next round (or win the Derby, if in the third round). Ties in any round will be broken by a 90-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added. If the batters remain tied after the 90-second swing-off, they will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner. Once the second batter in any matchup hits one more home run than the first batter, the second batter will be declared the winner of the matchup and will not attempt to hit any additional home runs. In addition, each batter will be entitled to one "time out" per round.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Darian Durant's Season Is Over

Thoughts on the 30-26 loss to the Bombers in "Something To Mitch About" Monday, but all you need to know has come from this press release by the Riders.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have confirmed quarterback Darian Durant has suffered a ruptured achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the 2015 CFL season. 

Big Day for Regina Pats at NHL Draft

It was a big day for the Regina Pats as five players heard their name get called.

D- Sergey Zborovskiy (79th)  New York Rangers
F- Austin Wagner (99th)  Los Angeles Kings
F- Jesse Gabrielle (105th) Boston Bruins
D-Connor Hobbs (143rd)  Washington Capitals
D-Colby Williams ( 173rd) Washington Capitals

It is the first time since 1989 the Pats have had five players selected at the NHL draft. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The McDavid Era Officially Begins

Connor McDavid's favourite hockey player is Sidney Crosby. His favourite non-skating athlete is LeBron James.
He's now in their club, forever to be known as a No. 1 pick.
McDavid's journey toward widely expected NHL superstardom officially began Friday night when the Edmonton Oilers grabbed him with the top overall selection in the draft. No player has entered the league with such hype since Crosby a decade ago, and his level of celebrity within the game already may rival what James was dealing with when he joined the NBA in 2003.
``It was even better than I expected,'' McDavid said. ``It's so exciting to hear your name called. It was unbelievable.''
Crosby and James proved the buzz surrounding them was worthwhile, both having won the biggest team and individual honours in their sport. And McDavid now gets his chance to fulfil the highest of expectations. The Oilers haven't reached the playoffs since 2006, a far cry from when Wayne Gretzky dominated the NHL and Edmonton won five titles in a seven-year span from 1984 through 1990.
No pressure, Connor.
``The Edmonton Oilers have such a historic history,'' McDavid said.
And now he's their future.
``We're lucky to have him,'' Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said.
Buffalo took Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel of Boston University with the No. 2 pick, another no-surprise move. Eichel had 26 goals and 45 assists in 40 games this past season, winning college hockey's top individual award.
``I think Buffalo is heading in the right direction, as a team and as a city,'' Eichel said. ``There's a lot of positives and I want to be a piece of the puzzle. Buffalo wants success and they want success soon and it's going to happen.''
Fans from all around the league _ at least their jersey choices suggested so _ were in South Florida for the festivities. Many endured long lines to pose with the Stanley Cup (some with Phil Pritchard, the keeper of the Cup). A group of Edmonton men wore matching McDavid No. 97 jerseys. A few from Buffalo wore ``I like Eich'' T-shirts, a nod to the 34th U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
The intrigue essentially started at No. 3, when Arizona grabbed centre Dylan Strome _ McDavid's teammate with the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters, and someone who finished this past season with nine more points than McDavid, albeit in 21 more games. Toronto took Mitch Marner at No. 4, making it four straight centres to lead off.
Defenceman Noah Hanifin went No. 5 to Carolina, so with Eichel that meant two U.S. players were top-five picks for the first time since 2007. Center Pavel Zacha went sixth to New Jersey, defenceman Ivan Provorov seventh to Philadelphia and Columbus grabbed defenceman Jack Werenski with the eighth pick.
For Werenski, who doesn't even turn 18 until next month, it's an odd pairing: He's a Michigan Wolverine who's going to the home of Ohio State.
A pair of right wings rounded out the top 10, Timo Meier to San Jose and Mikko Rantanen to Colorado. That meant left wing Lawson Crouse, who some thought would be a top-five pick, fell to Florida at No. 11 _ and got a huge ovation from the Panthers' crowd.
``It all turned out very well for me,'' Crouse said.
Dallas went with another right wing, taking Russian prospect Denis Gurianov at No. 12. That put Boston on the clock with back-to-back-to-back picks, a first for the modern first-round NHL draft era.
Boston had the No. 14 pick in the first round to start the day _ then got the No. 13 and No. 15 selections in a pair of trades on Friday. The Bruins traded left wing Milan Lucic to Los Angeles for defenceman Colin Miller, goalie Martin Jones and the 13th pick, then got No. 15, No. 45 and No. 52 from Calgary in exchange for defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
The Bruins went with defenceman Jakub Zboril, left wing Jake DeBrusk and right wing Zachary Senyshyn.
``All three of them can really skate,'' Bruins GM Don Sweeney said.
But regardless of what the Bruins or anyone else did, the lights shined brightest on McDavid.
Last year's No. 1 pick, Florida defenceman Aaron Ekblad, was at Friday's draft _ held on the very floor where the Panthers play their home games. A year ago on draft night, Ekblad was a nervous wreck. This time around, fresh off returning from Las Vegas where he was presented the Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie this past season, Ekblad coolly munched on chicken fingers in an arena suite.
He knows McDavid well, and believes the Gretzky, Crosby, whoever comparisons won't affect the new No. 1 pick.
``I'm lucky. I'm not nearly as good as him. I don't draw those comparisons,'' Ekblad said. ``It's going to be tough to live up to but Connor has a set of expectations for himself and I'm thinking he's probably the only one who's going to worry about that. He's not worried about anyone else's expectations.''

(Associated Press)

Riders Depth Chart for Winnipeg game

What Expectations Should Hockey World Have on Connor McDavid

Everyone who follows hockey knows of Connor McDavid as The Next One. The presumptive first overall will be heading to Edmonton after the 2015 NHL Draft. He will represent yet another great hope for the franchise representing the City of Champions as it creeps back to what it was in its glory days.

What doesn’t remain clear to many, though, is how quickly his impact will be felt on the franchise and the league, or what exactly that impact is likely to be. Fortunately we have some prior history to work with when it comes to predicting what’s next for Next Ones.

Sidney Crosby joined the Penguins at 18 and posted 102 points in 81 games. By his second year was leading the NHL in scoring with 120 points as a 19-year-old, earning his first Art Ross Trophy, being named a First Team NHL All-Star, winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as most outstanding player.

In his third season, he led the playoffs in scoring but was denied a Stanley Cup at 20 by the Red Wings juggernaut. He had to wait until Year 4 for his first—and so far only—Stanley Cup win. Since then he’s won a Maurice Richard Trophy for leading the NHL in goals, two more Pearsons, another Hart and another Art Ross. He’s also been a First Team NHL All-Star on two more occasions, and he’s probably the most recognizable face on the planet when it comes to hockey.

Crosby is the measuring stick by which we will inevitably assess McDavid. Similarly to how we compared and contrasted Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, John Tavares, Tyler Seguin and any other top talent to make his way through the CHL ranks.

That being said, it helps when trying to predict outcomes to use all of the measurements available for the sake of comparison.

When examining how performance translates from prior leagues to the NHL, the current prevailing method revolves around league equivalencies. Basically, assessing the what proportion of prior output follows skaters when they move up to the NHL. Using the average performance of skaters who have made the jump in the past, a league equivalency rate is arrived at and applied to all skaters.
The problem with this method is it treats all skaters as equal by applying the same equivalency rate for their given league to their production. While it does a good job of assessing the relative strength of different leagues, it doesn’t do a particularly good job of assessing what to expect from a given player based on his talent level or expected usage in the NHL.

Since Crosby was selected in 2005, 25 other forwards have been taken near the top of the draft and made the leap from the CHL to the NHL the next season. By exploring the results of this more select cohort we get a better sense of how elite players will perform when making the jump at an early age.
We can also factor in the fact that different players will be given different opportunities. Crosby averaged 19-plus minutes per game at 18, while Mikhail Grigorenko played around 10 minutes per game for Buffalo his rookie season.

Using draft year production rates (both regular season and playoffs) and their time on ice as NHL rookies, we can use multivariate regression to derive a model that projects expected scoring rates for CHL forwards who are likely to end up in the NHL next season.
The table of relevant input data is provided below along with their actual time-on-ice per game in the NHL, their projected rookie season NHL points per game, and their actual NHL points per game.

While the model obviously isn’t an exact match, the correlation between the predicted production and actual production is quite high, showing a 50 percent improvement in accuracy over the values predicted using the more simplistic NHL to CHL equivalency model.

If we assume McDavid is likely to get every opportunity to perform once he gets to the NHL, we can expect to see him playing as many as 18 minutes nightly. At that number, the model projects him to produce 0.94 points per game (ppg), or 77 points in a full 82-game season.

If he were to approach or exceed that mark, he would be the most productive CHLer to enter the NHL since Sidney Crosby—which is essentially what most scouts and analysts are predicting, his model just further supports that outlook.

We can use the same model for Mitch Marner of London and McDavid’s Erie teammate Dylan Strome. Making some educated guesses about where their ice time might fall if they played a regular shift in the NHL next season, Marner projects as a 0.67 ppg player and Strome as a 0.55.
Those numbers would translate to production of 55 and 45 points in 82 games.

Nothing to scoff at from an 18 year old. Alex Galchenyuk and Jeff Skinner both produced around 0.55 ppg in their rookie seasons, while Matt Duchene and John Tavares both ended up around the 0.67 mark.

The top-end offensive talent in this draft is at the extreme high end and goes deeper than McDavid and Jack Eichel. But no matter how we slice and dice the numbers, all signs point to McDavid being the generational talent of this year’s cohort, comparable to some of the best skaters the NHL has ever seen.