New-Look HP! Unfiltered Articles Stats Glossary Contact Us
Hockey Prospectus home

New Look Hockey Prospectus is available with new Premium Content!
Limited time offer: $9.99 for an entire year!

<< Previous Article
Numbers On Ice (08/25)
<< Previous Column
Behind The Net (08/19)
Next Column >>
Behind The Net (09/17)
Next Article >>
Driving To The Net (08/31)

August 26, 2009
Behind The Net
Junior Hockey Quality of Competition

by Gabriel Desjardins

Printer-
friendly

In an odd twist of fate, John Tavares and Rob Schremp each played exactly 247 games in the OHL. Schremp started playing junior much older than Tavares did, but he was nonetheless a big scorer, notching 384 points overall, including 145 points in 57 games in his final season, leading the OHL in both goals and assists.

The Edmonton Oilers drafted him 25th overall in 2004. Since then, he has played precisely seven games at the NHL level and, barring a sudden uptick in skills, looks to be an AHL lifer. Schremp had some off-ice issues before starting his pro career, but if we knew nothing about him, was there any reason to suspect on draft day that he might not be good enough for an NHL career?

We know very little about player usage in junior hockey Ė how much ice time star players get, how much of itís on the power play and how much time is spent against the other teamís top lines. We can hazard a guess using Jonathan Willisí simplified Quality of Competition metric. All you need to know to calculate it is point totals for every player at 5-on-5, as well as who was on the ice for both teams when each goal was scored. (It is reported here as a league-wide percentile as opposed to a raw number.) Applying this method to Schrempís junior career, we see an interesting pattern:

Rob Schremp, Born: 7/1/1986

5v5 Stats  Age	  GP    G    A1	   A2	+/-	GF	GA	QoC	PCT 5v5
2002-03	   16.50  65	13   16	   3	 -5	38	43	71.6	43.2
2003-04	   17.50  63	12    5	   8	+21	34	13	40.8	33.3
2004-05	   18.50  60	13   15	   6 	+30	45	15	39.5	37.8
2005-06	   19.50  56	14   14	   4	+26	46	20	62.1	22.1

In Schrempís first junior season, he actually faced a reasonably high level of competition Ė though nowhere near the top on his team Ė and posted a poor +/-. He also didnít get 100% of his teamís power-play time, and ended up with (just!) 74 points in 65 games. However, that was it for Schrempís defensive responsibilities Ė in his next three seasons, his coach sheltered him from opposing scorers and gave him as much PP time as anybody in the league. His +/- improved dramatically and he lit up the scoreboard in 5-on-4 situations.

Perhaps this usage does not seem unreasonable Ė if you have an offensively-skilled player on your roster, why not use him in a role where he can generate offense for you? Letís look at how John Tavares was used:

John Tavares, Born: 9/20/1990

5v5 Stats   Age	   GP	 G	A1	A2   +/-  GF	GA	QoC	PCT 5v5
2005-06	    15.28  62	 25	 6	5    +4	  43	39	94.5	46.8
2006-07	    16.28  64	 29	15	7   +17	  58	41	99.7	38.1
2007-08	    17.28  56	 18	19	8   +18	  54	36	94.4	38.1
2008-09	    18.28  56	 27	12	3    +6	  52	46	99.5	40.4

It can be difficult to compare Quality of Competition across teams and seasons, but thereís no doubt that in every single one of his junior seasons, Tavares played against the other teamís top lines, generally drawing the toughest assignments on his team. Despite being more than a year younger than Schremp at every step, he put up almost 50% more points in 5-on-5 play than Schremp did.

Presumably Schrempís OHL usage was obvious at the time and the Oilers gambled that his offensive skills Ė on the PP at the very least Ė would translate to the NHL. Itís hard to know how qualitative scouting matches up with quantitative analysis, but the numbers seem to be in Tavaresí favor and not in Schrempís.

Gabriel Desjardins is an author of Puck Prospectus and runs the statistical hockey site behindthenet.ca. You can contact him at info at behindthenet.ca.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Numbers On Ice (08/25)
<< Previous Column
Behind The Net (08/19)
Next Column >>
Behind The Net (09/17)
Next Article >>
Driving To The Net (08/31)

RECENTLY AT HOCKEY PROSPECTUS
Annoucements: Where Are The New Articles?
Zamboni Tracks: Who's That Guy? Special Edmo...
Hall Of Fame: My 2014 HHOF Inductees
On The Horizon: Four Nations And Junior "A" ...
A Closer Look: MacArthur-Turris-Ryan Keeping...


MORE BY GABRIEL DESJARDINS
2009-09-17 - Behind The Net: Shot Quality Ė Defensemen vs...
2009-09-12 - 2009-10 VUKOTA Projections: Los Angeles King...
2009-09-03 - 2009-10 VUKOTA Projections: Phoenix Coyotes,...
2009-08-26 - Behind The Net: Junior Hockey Quality of Com...
2009-08-19 - Behind The Net: Shot Quality and the Minneso...
2009-08-13 - Behind The Net: Rebounds
2009-08-07 - Behind The Net: The Dangers of Defensive Zon...
More...

MORE BEHIND THE NET
2009-10-07 - Behind The Net: A Basic Goaltending Model
2009-09-25 - Behind The Net: The Value of a Wide-Open Sho...
2009-09-17 - Behind The Net: Shot Quality Ė Defensemen vs...
2009-08-26 - Behind The Net: Junior Hockey Quality of Com...
2009-08-19 - Behind The Net: Shot Quality and the Minneso...
More...