Attention: Scouts Wanted

Here at Hockey Graphs, we can be a little bit intimidating to some scouts, with our differences in approach.

Although our new additions will increase the amount of video analysis we have on this site, this is mostly an analytics site. Even though most, if not all of us, believe both stats and scouting can and should be combined to make decisions, we primarily focus on one aspect: the stats.

For players playing in juniors and in Europe, there is almost no data available besides simple box score stats like points and shots. Although we can form solid models on the little information we have available, we still need to blend in scouting. Scouts can evaluate a player’s skating, stick handling, shooting, positioning, among other things that are inputs into future production and strong advanced stats. The information obtained by scouts is vital to the drafting and signing process in order to fill in those blanks.

The goal for any person who applies math or science to sports management is to decrease human error. Scouts, like everyone, have many biases which need to be accounted for, and it is close to impossible to adjust for them. Even when people are made aware of their bias, they cannot overcome it. So it is alright to be a scout that tends to notice tall players first, we just need to find a way to adjust for that in order to get the fairest assessment.

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Friday Quick Graphs: Navigating the Trade Deadline’s Hype

This year’s trade deadline was uneventful. March 1st was filled with a bunch of small trades that we probably made a bigger deal out of than we should have. However, just a little over two weeks have gone by and people are already looking for a winner. As a follower of analytics, it would be unfair of me to decide less than ten games in who won the deadline. Mainstream media gets a ton of clicks for those posts though, so let’s evaluate them.

A post from Sportsnet found that the last trade of the deadline held the most value. The Bruins traded a 6th round pick to the Jets for Drew Stafford. Stafford has had the worst season of his career. His -3.38 rel CF% is by far the worst of his career, his all situations 1.74 points per 60 is below career average, and he has suffered from the second lowest shooting percentage of his career. The question is: where is the value in Drew Stafford?

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