For myself and anyone else with a bona fide NHL prospect obsession, today is a bit like Christmas eve. Starting tomorrow, NextGen Hockey will begin publishing our Prospect Profiles, continuing that tradition that we started at CanucksArmy a few years ago. Between tomorrow and the week of the NHL Entry Draft, this space will be home to a steady flow of ridiculously in-depth prospect analysis, including traditional scouting reports, video analysis and statistics and charts galore.
For those of you that are familiar with the Profiles, you know what to expect, although there will be a few changes this time around. For those of you that are new to them, this article will be a primer on what to expect from our Profiles and how to navigate them.
In years past, these profiles have been presented as a countdown, starting at the highest number (100 the last two years, 60 the year before that) and working our way towards the first overall prospect.
We’re not doing that this year, and I’ll lay out a few reasons why.
First and foremost, while the lists that we’ve concocted to this point in the season are going to remain fairly stable, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s going to be a least a little movement between now and the draft, especially with the later round prospects. Previously we’ve had to make sure that our final lists are done in mid-April or early May. Upon further consideration, we have concluded that we were shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that before we undertook the most intensive scouting project of the season.
Sure, to this point we’ve had eyes on all the prospects and we’ve been perusing the numbers throughout the entire season. But there’s no denying the fact that an intensive deep dive into individual players leads to revelations and new discoveries about prospects, and we often found ourselves wanting to bump players up or down a few spots long after the final list was locked in.
Another reason that we’re switching this up this year is that while the countdown has some benefits, like the slow build towards something spectacular, we’re not sure that weeks of prospects that are of interest only to die-hard draft fans is the way to go. Instead, we’re going to have a mix, where at any point during the week there might be some household names coming up, mixed in with some prospects that you’re just hearing about for the first time.
Lastly, we don’t want to restrict ourselves to a specific number of profiles. Ideally, we’d like to hit around 100 players, as we’ve done the last couple of seasons. But we don’t want to corner ourselves if we want to add or subtract from that total.
Of course, once we get closer to the draft itself, we will be releasing a final list, with input from all of the site’s writers. At that point, we’ll like add the final number to each of the published profiles for easy reference, and provides links to each individual profile within the final published list.
Once again, if you’re familiar with the profiles from previous years, you’ll know what to expect here. There won’t be any big changes (why fix what isn’t broken?), but there will be some minor changes to how the articles are organized.
The basic structure of a profile is expected to be as follows:
- Introduction: a self-explanatory section leading into the profile;
- Biographical information: covering the basics on the prospect’s age, size, nationality, accolades, etc.;
- Statistical Overview: a quick rundown of a variety of statistics for the prospect, including basic counting stats, goal-relative on-ice data, cohort data and adjusted scoring;
- Our scouting report: the meat of the profile, including strengths and weaknesses, and video highlights;
- Analysis: a deep statistical breakdown using proprietary charts, tables and graphs;
- Additional charts: I generate a lot of charts for each prospect, and I don’t want to deprive you fine people of them – any charts not including in the scouting report body will go here; and
- Sources: references to any sources of raw data or video providers.
For an example of how our profiles looked last year, check out this one on Rasmus Dahlin from Ryan Biech. A table at the bottom of that article contains links to the other 99 that we did last year.
Each year we strive to improve the quality and depth of our reports. Our overarching goal is to blend traditional scouting and research with video analysis, and add in our proprietary draft metrics to provide a final product that is unlike anything currently available to the public.
As an essential piece of reference, this article will remain unlocked. As the profiles begin rolling out, they will be locked for subscribers, and therefore subscription options will become available when the profiles begin.
We hope you enjoy the coming content, and welcome any feedback that you may have. We also hope that this will be the first of many years that NextGen Hockey will provide this service, so we will always be looking for ways to improve and provide ever increasing value.
Editor’s Note (May 22, 2019): This article has been changed to reflect a slightly different Profile outline than what was originally described, specifically the splitting of the scouting report and analysis sections, and the addition of sources.
Dad, husband, hockey fan. Founder/analyst/editor/admin of NextGenHockey.ca. Contributor at CanucksArmy and the Nation Network. Blending video analysis and statistical modeling. pGPS, SEAL, etc. The Minnesota Twins are finally good again!