Jim Benning wants to work with current scouting staff, make them better

Jim Benning won me over with one sentence: “I don’t even really know what the Boston model is.”

Admittedly, I was already on board with the hiring, considering his extensive experience, but it was still gratifying to hear him deal a deathblow to the myth of the Boston model in his introductory Q&A and press conference. Instead, Benning focussed on a fairly simple message: “This is a team we can turn around.”

Benning stayed away from announcing sweeping changes and didn’t identify any concerns within the organization, but constantly reiterated that he wanted improvements in every area: more depth capable of impacting the game, a more uptempo style from the coach, and a reinvigorated core that he still believes can win.

That steady-minded line of thinking even extended to one of the greatest weaknesses of the Canucks organizations and Benning’s greatest strength: scouting. Despite the Canucks’ woeful draft record, Benning supported the scouts in the Canucks organization and expressed his intention of working with them to make them better.

Benning intends to be very hands-on with the amateur scouting staff, to the point that at times during the press conference, he made it sound like he sees himself as a glorified Director of Amateur Scouting. It’s a position in the Canucks organization that hasn’t been filled since Ron Delorme was demoted.

“We’re going to give these guys direction,” said Benning in both the Q&A with Joey Kenward and the press confrence. “I’m going to communicate to these guys what we want, what we think a Vancouver Canuck player should be, and I’m going to work with them. I’m going to get out and see the games. I’m going to be a part of that group. I’m going to try to make that group better.”

It’s possible, of course, that Benning could still make changes, but the large-scale overhaul of the scouting staff that some fans might be looking for likely isn’t coming. “I know some of the guys on that staff and they’re excellent people and they’ve worked hard for this organization for a long, long time,” Benning continued and, as a former scout, it’s understandable that he would be hesitant to clean ship. It also may not be necessary, as it at least appears that the Canucks drafting has improved over the last few years.

But just how bad has the Canucks’ drafting been? Let’s look at the last 13 years and see.

Canucks Army published a post this week that purported to prove that the Canucks’ drafting during Ron Delorme’s tenure as Director of Amateur Scouting hasn’t just been bad, but disastrous, costing the team the likes of Claude Giroux, Justin Williams, Jason Pominville, and Clarke MacArthur. I initially found it compelling, but others pointed out just how flawed their methodology was and how it was skewed towards selecting more talented players.

Instead of showing how someone dumb-as-nails could out-draft Delorme, it actually leveraged the scouting of every other team in the league to create a pool of players with potential, then skimmed the cream off the top. It’s likely that using that same methodology, every team in the league would get out-drafted.

I’m going to go about it a different way, using nothing but the draft rankings provided by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau to make selections each year. In fact, I’ll limit it to just their rankings of North American skaters, because drafting goaltenders is voodoo and the imaginary summer intern running these drafts is an avid Don Cherry fan.

So, what would have happened if the Canucks had used nothing but Central Scouting over the last 13 years? It isn’t pretty. By that, I mean it doesn’t reflect well on Ron Delorme at all.

2000

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 23 Nathan Smith 26 0 0 0 Brad Boyes 5 684 189 254 443
3 71 Thatcher Bell 0 0 0 0 Brett Nowak 22 0 0 0 0
3 93 Tim Branham 0 0 0 0 Lou Dickenson 32 0 0 0 0
5 144 Pavel Duma 0 0 0 0 Matthew Lombardi 44 536 101 161 262
7 208 Brandon Reid 13 2 4 6 John Eichelberger 46 0 0 0 0
8 241 Nathan Barrett 0 0 0 0 Eric Johansson 53 0 0 0 0
9 272 Tim Smith 0 0 0 0 Andrew Downing 57 0 0 0 0
39 2 4 6 1220 290 415 705

 

2000 was a particularly rough draft for the Canucks, but it could have gone a lot better if they had completely ignored their in-house scouts and just used Central Scouting. Brad Boyes was ranked 5th overall among North American skaters, 8 spots ahead of Smith, and he turned out to be quite a bit better.

Then there’s the late-round gem, Matthew Lombardi, who wasn’t actually selected until the 7th round, despite being ranked 44th among North American skaters by Central Scouting. That’s a pretty hefty head start for Central Scouting.

2001

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 16 R.J. Umberger 673 169 197 366 R.J. Umberger 5 673 169 197 366
3 66 Fedor Fedorov 18 0 2 2 Aaron Johnson 17 291 17 45 62
4 114 Evgeny Gladkikh 0 0 0 0 Colt King 30 0 0 0 0
5 151 Kevin Bieksa 537 52 175 227 Carter Trevisani 31 0 0 0 0
7 212 Jason King 59 12 11 23 Tomas Mojzis 46 17 1 2 3
8 245 Konstantin Mikhailov 0 0 0 0 Richie Regehr 57 20 1 3 4
1287 233 385 618 1001 188 247 435

 

We see the value in scouting in the 2001 draft, as the Canucks selected the unranked Kevin Bieksa in the 5th round. Still, at the top of the draft we have the useful depth defenceman Aaron Johnson rather than Fedor Fedorov. That said, without Fedorov, who would Bieksa one-punch in a parking lot to establish his bona fides as a tough son-of-a-gun?

We also would have missed out on of the greatest line nicknames of all time when the Sedins briefly played with Jason King. They were the Mattress Line: two twins and a King.

2002

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
2 49 Kirill Koltsov 0 0 0 0 Matt Stajan 18 715 123 221 344
2 55 Denis Grot 0 0 0 0 Gregory Campbell 21 651 62 102 164
3 68 Brett Skinner 11 0 0 0 Brett Skinner 22 11 0 0 0
3 83 Lukas Mensator 0 0 0 0 Aaron Rome 24 226 6 22 28
4 114 John Laliberte 0 0 0 0 Brad Schell 29 0 0 0 0
5 151 Rob McVicar 0 0 0 0 Matt Foy 34 56 6 7 13
6 214 Marc-Andre Roy 0 0 0 0 Andy Thompson 36 0 0 0 0
6 223 Ilya Krikunov 0 0 0 0 Dwight Helminen 41 27 2 1 3
8 247 Matt Violin 0 0 0 0 Paul Brown 53 0 0 0 0
9 277 Thomas Nussli 0 0 0 0 Pierre Morvan 58 0 0 0 0
9 278 Matt Gens 0 0 0 0 Tyler Metcalfe 67 0 0 0 0
11 0 0 0 1686 199 353 552

 

The Canucks’ awful 2002 draft looks even worse when you compare it to what any schlub with a printout of Central Scouting’s rankings could do. Instead of 11 pointless games from Brett Skinner, the Canucks could have had Matt Stajan, Gregory Campbell, and Aaron Rome a few years sooner.

For you conspiracy theorists out there, imagine if Campbell had been on the Canucks rather than the Bruins during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final…

2003

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 23 Ryan Kesler 655 182 211 393 Dan Fritsche 10 256 34 42 76
2 60 Marc-Andre Bernier 0 0 0 0 Maxim Lapierre 23 534 63 65 128
4 111 Brandon Nolan 6 0 1 1 Alexandre Bolduc 46 62 2 3 5
4 128 Ty Morris 0 0 0 0 Ryan Oulahen 48 0 0 0 0
5 160 Nicklas Danielsson 0 0 0 0 Louis-Philippe Martin 50 0 0 0 0
6 190 Chad Brownlee 0 0 0 0 Jeremy Williams 67 32 9 2 11
7 222 Francois-Pierre Guenette 0 0 0 0 Jean-Michel Bolduc 84 0 0 0 0
8 252 Sergei Topol 0 0 0 0 Evan Shaw 86 0 0 0 0
8 254 Nathan McIver 36 0 1 1 John Vigilante 98 0 0 0 0
9 285 Matther Hansen 0 0 0 0 Travis Morin 111 7 0 1 1
697 182 213 395 891 108 113 221

 

This is the first major stumble for Central Scouting. The 2003 draft was full of can’t-miss prospects and is arguably the greatest NHL draft of all time. Dan Fritsche, however, turned out to not be one of those can’t-miss prospects, despite being ranked 10th among North American skaters by Central Scouting.

Getting Maxim Lapierre 8 years sooner doesn’t make up for missing out on Ryan Kesler.

2004

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 26 Cory Schneider 143 Goalie Dave Bolland 8 355 78 102 180
3 91 Alexander Edler 494 58 170 228 Wes O’Neill 23 5 0 0 0
4 125 Andrew Sarauer 0 0 0 0 Peter Tsimikalis 34 0 0 0 0
5 159 Mike Brown 337 17 14 31 Craig Voakes 38 0 0 0 0
6 189 Julien Ellis 0 0 0 0 Brian Ihnacak 44 0 0 0 0
8 254 David Schulz 0 0 0 0 Blair Yaworski 47 0 0 0 0
9 287 Jannik Hansen 389 61 90 151 David Schulz 93 0 0 0 0
1363 136 274 410 360 78 102 180

 

2004 is the crown jewel of the Delorme-era drafts, with a franchise goaltender late in the first round, a top-two defenceman in the third round, and a fantastic third-line winger in the ninth round. Central Scouting simply can’t compete, managing just Dave Bolland. Ugh.

2005

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 10 Luc Bourdon 36 2 0 2 Luc Bourdon 6 36 2 0 2
2 51 Mason Raymond 456 99 124 223 Dan Collins 24 0 0 0 0
4 114 Alexandre Vincent 0 0 0 0 Viacheslav Trukhno 27 0 0 0 0
5 138 Matt Butcher 0 0 0 0 Nick Drazenovic 29 12 0 0 0
6 185 Kris Fredheim 3 0 0 0 Paul Kurceba 37 0 0 0 0
7 205 Mario Bliznak 6 1 0 1 Christian Hanson 66 42 3 6 9
501 102 124 226 90 5 6 11

 

Central Scouting concurred with the Canucks’ decision to draft Luc Bourdon, so his tragic passing does not affect these results. It’s tough to imagine what could have been.

The Canucks do well again in 2005, getting Mason Raymond, who was ranked 123rd among North American skaters, late in the second round. Central Scouting does rather poorly this time around.

2006

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 14 Michael Grabner 283 87 55 142 Chris Stewart 8 382 115 113 228
3 82 Daniel Rahimi 0 0 0 0 Ben Shutron 16 0 0 0 0
6 163 Sergei Shirokov 8 1 0 1 Graham Potuer 43 0 0 0 0
6 167 Juraj Simek 0 0 0 0 Benjamin Breault 57 0 0 0 0
7 197 Evan Fuller 0 0 0 0 Victor Bartley 64 74 1 12 13
291 88 55 143 456 116 125 241

 

And Central Scouting is back on top. While Canucks Army suggested that Claude Giroux was the no-brainer pick at 14th overall, he was ranked 38th among North American skaters, with Grabner 15th. Instead of either of those two, the Canucks get Chris Stewart, a tough, skilled power forward. The streaky Grabner just doesn’t quite measure up.

2007

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 25 Patrick White 0 0 0 0 David Perron 10 418 112 143 255
2 33 Taylor Ellington 0 0 0 0 Tommy Cross 12 0 0 0 0
5 145 Charles-Antoine Messier 0 0 0 0 David Skokan 40 0 0 0 0
5 146 Ilya Kablukov 0 0 0 0 Kevin Marshal 47 0 0 0 0
6 176 Taylor Matson 0 0 0 0 Matt Fillier 49 0 0 0 0
7 206 Dan Gendur 0 0 0 0 Eric Doyle 69 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 418 112 143 255

 

2007 was brutal. There’s no getting around it. As Canucks Army pointed out, not a single one of the Canucks’ picks even made the AHL.

Going by Central Scouting, however, would have had the Canucks selecting David Perron at 25th overall. Instead, he went 26th overall to the St. Louis Blues and I’m sad now.

2008

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 10 Cody Hodgson 211 55 66 121 Kyle Beach 4 0 0 0 0
2 41 Yann Sauve 8 0 0 0 Colby Robak 8 35 0 3 3
5 131 Prabh Rai 0 0 0 0 Philippe Cornet 31 2 0 1 1
6 161 Mats Froshaug 0 0 0 0 Kruise Reddick 39 0 0 0 0
7 191 Morgan Clark 0 0 0 0 Mathieu Tousignant 55 0 0 0 0
219 55 66 121 37 0 4 4

 

So, here’s a good reason to avoid using Central Scouting rankings as a serious method of drafting. I would have been just a little bit upset if the Canucks had actually picked Kyle Beach ahead of Cody Hodgson. I’m surprised that Beach was ranked 4th, to be honest. In any case, chalk this one up as a win for Delorme, except for the fact that Delorme and his scouts wanted Beach and had to be vetoed by Mike Gillis.

2009

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 22 Jordan Schroeder 56 6 9 15 Jordan Schroeder 5 56 6 9 15
2 53 Anton Rodin 0 0 0 0 Stefan Elliott 17 58 6 12 18
3 83 Kevin Connauton 36 1 7 8 Cody Eakin 29 159 27 40 67
4 113 Jeremy Price 0 0 0 0 Seth Helgeson 41 0 0 0 0
5 143 Peter Andersson 0 0 0 0 Gabriel Lemieux 46 0 0 0 0
6 173 Joe Cannata 0 0 0 0 Danny Mattson 53 0 0 0 0
7 187 Steven Anthony 0 0 0 0 Brennan Yadlowski 70 0 0 0 0
92 7 16 23 273 39 61 100

 

In 2009, Central Scouting would still have selected the 5th-ranked Jordan Schroeder, but would have gone with Stefan Elliott over Anton Rodin in the second round and Cody Eakin over Kevin Connauton in the third round. Eakin is a very useful depth scorer for the Dallas Stars, while Connauton is a less useful depth defenceman for those same Stars.

2010

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
4 115 Patrick McNally 0 0 0 0 Patrick McNally 40 0 0 0 0
5 145 Adam Polasek 0 0 0 0 Brandon Davidson 48 0 0 0 0
6 172 Alex Friesen 0 0 0 0 Mike Pereira 63 0 0 0 0
6 175 Jonathan Iilahti 0 0 0 0 Jacob Fallon 68 0 0 0 0
7 205 Sawyer Hannay 0 0 0 0 Brendan Woods 83 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2011

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 29 Nicklas Jensen 19 3 3 6 Ty Rattie 17 0 0 0 0
3 71 David Honzik 0 0 0 0 Seth Ambroz 31 0 0 0 0
3 90 Alexandre Grenier 0 0 0 0 Myles Bell 39 0 0 0 0
4 101 Joseph Labate 0 0 0 0 Scott Oke 44 0 0 0 0
4 120 Ludwig Blomstrand 0 0 0 0 Ryan Tesink 47 0 0 0 0
5 150 Frank Corrado 18 1 0 1 Reece Scarlett 57 0 0 0 0
6 180 Pathrik Westerholm 0 0 0 0 Maximilien Le Sieur 62 0 0 0 0
7 210 Henrik Tommernes 0 0 0 0 Luke Lockhart 68 0 0 0 0
37 4 3 7 0 0 0 0

2012

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 26 Brendan Gaunce 0 0 0 0 Brendan Gaunce 13 0 0 0 0
2 57 Alexandre Mallet 0 0 0 0 Scott Kosmachuk 24 0 0 0 0
5 147 Ben Hutton 0 0 0 0 Tomas Hyka 45 0 0 0 0
6 177 Wesley Myron 0 0 0 0 Dane Fox 46 0 0 0 0
7 207 Matthew Beattie 0 0 0 0 Max Iafrate 70 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2013

Canucks Selection Central Scouting’s Selection
Rd. Pick Name GP G A P Name Rank GP G A P
1 9 Bo Horvat 0 0 0 0 Hunter Shinkaruk 6 0 0 0 0
1 24 Hunter Shinkaruk 0 0 0 0 Valentin Zykov 7 0 0 0 0
3 85 Cole Cassels 0 0 0 0 Oliver Bjorkstrand 36 0 0 0 0
4 115 Jordan Subban 0 0 0 0 Eric Roy 41 0 0 0 0
5 145 Anton Cederholm 0 0 0 0 Sean Malone 62 0 0 0 0
6 175 Mike Williamson 0 0 0 0 Tyler Lewington 66 0 0 0 0
7 205 Miles Liberati 0 0 0 0 Alexandre Coulombe 68 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

I bundled these all together as it’s far too soon to make any judgements about whether these players have a future in the NHL. It’s interesting to see Dane Fox show up in 2012 and the prolific Oliver Bjorkstrand ahead of Cole Cassels in 2013, but the Canucks selected some very good players in these years.

Here’s the troubling part. Ron Delorme and his scouting staff should easily out-draft someone who is using just the North American skater rankings produced by Central Scouting. Not only do they have the ability to draft from an entire other continent, as well as goaltenders, they can see the players in person and have an idea whether they’ll fit into the Canucks’ organization.

Instead, the simple method of picking the top-ranked North American skater results in far more NHL games played.

GP G A P
Canucks 4537 809 1140 1949
NA Central Scouting 6432 1135 1569 2704

 

That shouldn’t happen. The Buffalo Sabres, in the seven years Jim Benning was the Director of Amateur Scouting, drafted players that have combined for 9878 NHL games played, 1554 goals, 2485 assists, and 4039 points. That includes Ryan Miller, who doesn’t contribute (much) to that point total.

With Benning, the Sabres drafted Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Ales Kotalik (6th round), Dennis Wideman (8th round), Keith Ballard, Thomas Vanek, Clarke MacArthur, and Drew Stafford, along with many other useful depth players.

Since 2006, the summer Benning was hired as assistant GM of the Boston Bruins, they’ve drafted players who have combined for 678 NHL games and 327 points. That’s buoyed by Tyler Seguin at second overall in 2010, but includes Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron. Really, it’s not that impressive a total. But compare that to the Canucks, who in that time have drafted players who have played 348 games and scored 151 points.

Along with those players already in the NHL, the Bruins have great prospects like Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Craig Cunningham, and Ryan Spooner in the AHL.

That’s what the Canucks are hoping Benning can bring with him from Boston. It’s not a model, but the type of player evaluation needed to continue improving their drafting and prospect pool.

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23 comments

  1. the real bob
    May 23, 2014

    Delorme wasn’t the worst…..but he wasn’t very good either…. (seriously could you imagine if we drafted Kyle Beach? Yikes)

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  2. Roshirai
    May 23, 2014

    I was really hoping someone would do this work for me after it was mentioned in the Canucks Army comments as being a fairer comparison for scouting futility, and you kids did not disappoint.

    Of course, by “did not disappoint”, I mean that I am not any more disappointed than I already was in Ron Delorme and the Canucks’ scouting. You guys haven’t disappointed me any further. I am at a steady level of disappointment with the franchise.

    Good article, though! ;)

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  3. Alan
    May 23, 2014

    What the biggest question is is how has Ron has lasted so long being so inept at his job?

    The results speak for themselves (thanks for doing the research Daniel).

    I am cautiously optimistic that Benning will turn this team around. It can’t get any worse than last year.

    I have a theory why Ron still has a job and its because of how durable the Sedins have been. Since 2008, the Sedins have been pillars of first line strength and consistency for us. The team goes as the Sedins go and it’s been like that since the WCE transition. Combine the Sedins durability with the Luongo fleecing, the surprise emergence of ball hockey player extraordinaire Alex Burrows and strong coaching, Delorme’s poor draft decisions were masked. Last year is when the house of cards finally toppled.

    It IS quite surprising how tolerant the Canuck organization has been of how bad our talent scouting department has been in the last decade.

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  4. LuonGold
    May 24, 2014

    “We also would have missed out on of the greatest line nicknames of all time when the Sedins briefly played with Jason King. They were the Mattress Line: two twins and a King.”

    Haha what about Colt King ;)

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  5. Pavo
    May 24, 2014

    Aah! An analysis using honest to goodness, objective methodology. Sham the Potato should be taking notes.

    As for the Canucks’ drafting – things can only get better :) !

    (One hopes … prays …)

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  6. BBoone
    May 24, 2014

    Wow. I had forgotten just how horrible it has been . I am sure the “scouting” department is chock a block full of good human beings but that should not guarantee them a pass on evaluating their performance . Perhaps Benning can find some good human beings who can actually scout. The one good thing about bad scouting is that you automatically win every trade for an actual NHL player if all you gave up was draft picks and prospects ( yours , not real prospects ) Great article by PITB

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  7. Billy Pilgrim
    May 24, 2014

    It’s not all on Delorme. Player development has to be a factor. Lack of opportunity and a lesser developmental focus at the AHL level due to the Winnipeg/Chicago arrangement has to factor in. Similarly, little opportunity at the NHL level for younger players during the last decade.

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  8. Frank
    May 24, 2014

    Good article but a depressing read. Now, we can better appreciate how important it was for Linden to bring on someone like Benning to improve the drafting process. The last draft may turn out to be decent but we’re gonna need 4 or 5 strong draft years to build a truly competitive team.

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    • BBoone
      May 24, 2014

      Very good point about player development , AHL franchise shifting etc
      In retrospect their was a lack of patience at the top

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  9. akidd
    May 24, 2014

    it seems like there’s often one guy who’s ranked high but gets passed over( beach, shinkaruk…) i wonder how it would look taking the second highest-ranked player available in the first round. or all players, not just north american skaters. even just not taking a goalie could skew things for the house, like a double-zero.

    and it looks like, with benning, a step back from advanced stats. i’m curious to see how that works out.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      May 25, 2014

      What Benning said is that advanced stats aren’t particularly useful for amateur scouting and he’s right. We just don’t have the data available for junior hockey to produce anything particularly conclusive. He seemed far more open to them being useful at the NHL level.

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      • akidd
        May 26, 2014

        when a guy says, “there’s no stat for heart of courage.” you basically get the idea that he might not be as big a stat fan as mike “moneyball” gillis. and for sure, he’s way more open to nhl stats than stats from junior and other leagues. i think he used the word “useless” to describe the latter. so better than useless is kinda what he said….i think. then he went on to discuss the importance of the arm-wrestle segment of the combine…bigger biceps, i believe, he said were the key to hockey success. bigger AND faster, more up-tempo biceps…and a good grip. that and fenwick close properly adjusted to q of c.

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      • JeremyOK
        May 26, 2014

        Curious to hear more from Benning/Linden about the use of advanced stats. I would think that amateur stats will improve in quantity and quality, perhaps making them more useful in the next few years. So far they haven’t said much about their use in pro scouting and in the assessment of their own players. Their comments have sounded a bit old-school to me in terms of focusing on size and physicality over possession.

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  10. biznow
    May 25, 2014

    I agree with the commenter who said player development is also a factor. Admittedly I don’t know a lot about the new Utica staff, but if their work with Jensen is any indication, then I have a bit more confidence in them going forward.

    One thing I would like to see from the scouting staff, is more consideration into why certain players slip in the draft. Take 2009 for instance, the Canucks drafted Schroeder, and were as happy as pigs in poo poo thinking they had just made the steal of the draft. They sold it to us too. I don’t want to beat up on Schroeder too much, because to me it looks like he works really hard, and its not his fault expectations were so lofty, but as we know he hasn’t quite panned out as planned. I know the Canucks and Central Scouting had him ranked high, but there must have been a reason why 21 teams passed on him even though Central Scouting had him at #5. It’s the Canucks scouting staff’s lack of this kind of insight that worries me the most. They need to stop thinking they’ve stole one, and start drafting players that suit their needs.

    Also, I always enjoyed saying Tomas Mojzis, so thanks for reminding me of him.

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    • JeremyOK
      May 26, 2014

      Not that fantasy hockey has anything to do with the real-life game, but you see this in fantasy drafts too, where the pre-rankings always have some oddities and some players ranked too high. So then if you let the system autopick your team against real people, you end up with a team of guys who all slid down from their higher rankings — those teams look more like the Central Scouting team here, with some decent players, but lots of “disappointments” because expectations tended to be higher based on where they were picked.

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  11. John
    May 25, 2014

    When talking about the Canucks’ drafting history, I like directing people to this article:
    http://thepensblog.com/2014-archives/shero-draft-piece.html

    It outlines the Penguins’ futility at the draft under Ray Shero (2nd round onward). Skip down to the pretty graphs at the bottom and you’ll see just how bad Vancouver has been over the past 8 years.

    - last in # of forwards drafted who have played > 35 games
    - last in #games played by drafted forwards
    - last in points scored by drafted forwards

    May have something to do with the farm, as was alluded to above, but fact is. There’s not much help coming.

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  12. Lemming
    May 25, 2014

    Just came from reading the comments in a Canucks Army post. My god, these comments are a breath of fresh air. I still like the work they do at Canucks Army, but the comments here are way, way better.

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  13. C-nuck
    May 26, 2014

    I know we’ve seen two of these now, but perhaps the even better comparison to test the Canucks’ scouting department would be to compare their picks in each year with the next 5 players selected? That would show how they performed relative to their peers – and not to benchmarks (such as scoring and central scouting rankings) which no teams actually use as the basis for drafting?

    Might be a long exercise… but seeing as how a lot of print during the summer has been and will be dedicated to the Canucks’ dismal scouting record, it could be interesting…

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  14. Unknown Comic
    May 26, 2014

    Perspective is needed when comparing man games. It’s not a stretch to suggest crappier teams will plug their draft picks into their lineups more often. Crappier teams simply don’t have the depth and talent for middling picks to compete against for roster spots.

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  15. Comment
    May 26, 2014

    Any chance this same scheme was used on Benning’s draft history to see how he compares to a potato?

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  16. J21
    May 26, 2014

    “For you conspiracy theorists out there, imagine if Campbell had been on the Canucks rather than the Bruins during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final…”

    How is it conspiratorial to suggest that NHL officials might, without any particular prompt or organized scheme, try to please their boss (whether consciously or not) in an effort to keep their jobs and/or advance in them? Particularly when said boss has been shown to give them massive flak for penalizing his son? It’s human nature, not a conspiracy.

    Unless by some weird coincidence, NHL referees are the most impartial, ethical people on earth (as opposed to the more realistic notion that a bunch of hockey guys are closer to regular Joe Fans than Supreme Court justices), this sort of stuff makes a difference, without any actual conspiracy. So do home fans. So do the cachet and profitability of franchises. Everyone wants to make their boss more likely to promote them.

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    • Lemming
      May 27, 2014

      Game theory!!
      I tend to agree though. I can’t figure out another reason why Aaron Rome had the longest suspension in SCF history.

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  17. JagdFlanker
    May 27, 2014

    great article!

    are the CSB picks above based on the pieces that the canucks wanted to pick up during those drafts, or are they just the best ranked CSB player available overall? for example in 2004 the canucks picked G Schneider first, meaning they wanted to draft a G in the 2004 draft. in the 2004 CSB picks, was any of those a G? if not, i think the picks need to be re-done with the canucks picking the best CSB ranked players in the positions they were drafting for in each draft (but not necessarily strictly in the same order – in the first 3 rounds the canucks drafted a G, D, and a Winger, so in the first round it should be the best G or D available, the 2nd round the best G/D (whichever was not picked) or winger, etc

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