Thursday, July 10, 2008

Caution: Trading 2nd year players is a risky move

I'm newer to some of the modern stats on sites like but a firm believer in them and that the best way to predict the future is to base it on the past. With that in mind, I am having a hard time predicting how the Oilers with do next season because of the number of (highly skilled) players entering their 2nd NHL season. Without 2 years experience, I don’t think last years numbers are a good indication of next years.

Players entering year 2 of the NHL: Gilbert, Grebeshkov (ok 2.5), Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson (ok 2.5), Brodziak

Lets look at some players (not named Crosby, Malkin or Ovechkin) and how they have done in their 2nd season.

I excluded Getzlaf and Perry's rookie seasons which were half AHL/half NHL. Their numbers are still a good comparison for a guy like Nilsson who is entering year 2.5. Plus it proves my point better ;) I could elaborate on this with more stats later as points alone doesn’t tell the picture. I acknowledge there are counter points to this theory like Svatos, Jordan Staal ect but for the most part, in general I think players improve significantly in year 2. DONT TRADE 2ND YEAR PLAYERS! THE RISK IT TOO HIGH! If I hear much more about trading the players above, I'm gonna snap.

2 random comments:

1) Its worth mentioning that even though Smid is young, he is entering his 3rd year this year and if no progress is made he should likely be traded as he will hopefully be getting past on the depth chart.

2) Tom Gilbert is a guy I'm especially interested in because of the game he plays. If you watch him, he is a lot like a Nick Lidstrom. Comparing the two players obviously is ridiculous but the similarity in the type of game they play worth noting. Gilbert relies heavily on his smarts and stick work rather than his speed and size. One of his best strengths is his ability to anticipate the play. For this reason, I am optimistically hoping that another years experience will result in big improvements again this season. The fact that he is an older player to be in his 2nd year NHL is a good counter point but nothing replaces experience at the pace of an NHL game.