Vancouver Hockey Analytics Conference 2018


When: March 2-4, 2018

Where: Vancouver, Canada
Saturday: Asia Pacific Hall, Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
Rogers Arena

Recent Updates

Updated: Feb 22nd, 2018


The Vancouver Hockey Analytics Conference (#VanHAC) is in its third year and is the largest hockey analytics gathering on the West Coast. The conference gives the hockey analytics community a means to show new ways to think about the sport we all love. VanHAC is organized by the community for the community. Our main goal is to strengthen the hockey analytics community by providing more opportunities to share knowledge and ideas, encouraging support and education for speaking at conferences, and increasing the visibility of developers, organizations, and companies within the community.

We try to keep registration costs as low as possible to make VanHAC accessible to the widest group possible.

Note: all attendees are required to uphold community standards to keep VanHAC a place where everyone is welcome.  See our Code of Conduct below.


Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 am (PST) on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018.  Tickets will cost $50 for the entire weekend.  This cost goes directly towards the cost of running the event.  Should there be any left over funds we will donate all proceeds to a local charity.

Tickets can be purchased on our EventBrite Page. We have increased the number of tickets this year to 125, as they sold out quick last year do not hesitate to grab yours.

We do not want the cost of a ticket to be a financial barrier to attend.  We do have a limited number of tickets for those who need the financial support.  If this is you please email us at

For Team and Media members: if tickets are sold out, please contact us and we will do our best to help you!

If you wish to sign up for our mailing list, we will keep you updated with major announcements.  Sign up here at MailChimp to be added!


We are proud to bring back conference T-Shirts for VanHAC 2018:


During the registration process you can choose to purchase one of these lovely shirts for only $25!  You can purchase as many as you like, but you can only purchase them before the conference.  The cutoff date for shirts is February 16th.

Lightning Talks

Borrowing another concept from the Python Community, this year we are going to try “Lightning Talks”.  Lightning Talks are very quick, 5 minutes talks with a hard cut off.  They are open to anyone who is interested in signing up and in your time slot you can talk about whatever topic you wish.

Lightning Talks are perfect for people who want to try speaking for their first time or don’t quite have enough material for a full talk.

Check out this video to see some Lightning Talks in action.

If this interests you – sign up now!

Speakers, Schedule, Slides & Videos

Announcing our Keynote Speaker: KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative presents Michael Schuckers!

Below is the current version of the schedule. Note: Schedule is subject to change.

Friday, March 2nd

5:30 pm – 11 pm – Social Event, Canucks Hockey Game vs Nashville

Location: The Sports Bar – “Players Lounge”

The Sportsbar entrance is located at 99 West Georgia, on the 3rd level of Rogers Arena and can be accessed from outside, without a game ticket, just off the Georgia Viaduct.

Door opens at 5:30, we will have pre-game and intermission activities.

Arriving by Skytrain: The closest station to Rogers Arena is Stadium-Chinatown Station on the Expo Line. Take the Beatty Street exit and walk towards the Georgia Viaduct to reach The Sportsbar main entrance.

Once inside The Sports Bar we have a reservation in the “Players Lounge”

Saturday, March 3rd

Location: Asia Pacific Hall, Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver BC. [ Google Maps Link ]

Start End
8:00 8:50 Registration / Coffee / Reception
8:50 9:00 Opening Remarks
9:00 9:45 Michael Schuckers (Key Note) – Observations, Thoughts and Mistakes from 10 Years of Analyzing `Found Hockey Data [Slides][Video]
9:45 10:00 Break
10:00 11:10 Presentation Session 1

– Alex Novet – Findings from Transitional Play Tracking [Slides][Video]
– Namita Nandakumar – Hot Hands in Hockey [Slides][Code][Video]
– Matt Bradley – Estimating Players Trade Value [Slides][Video]

11:10 11:20 Break
11:20 12:00
Media Panel / Q&A with Kurtenbloggers Mike Halford and Jason Brough. Hosted by Ryan Biech [Video]
12:00 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 14:10 Presentation Session 2

– Daniel Wagner – Why Narratives Still Matter [Slides][Video]
– Chris Watkins – The Dirty Birds Fly North [Slides][Video]
– Ashley Gronzo – Every Data Tells a Story [Slides][Video]

14:10 14:20 Break
14:20 15:05
Micah Blake McCurdy – Individual Skater Impact on Team Shot Locations [Slides][Video]
15:05 15:15 Break
15:15 16:30 SQL Tutorial with Megan McCorquodale (see: install instructions below) [Video]
16:30 18:00 Data Viz Tutorial with William Lang (see: install instructions below) [Video]

7 pm – After-hours social at Central City on Beatty [ Google Map Link ]

Sunday, March 4th

Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC [ Google Maps Link ]

Enter at Gate 1 via the Dunsmir Viaduct.

Start End
8:00 9:00 Coffee
9:00 10:10

Presentation Session 3

– Garret Hohl – Tracking the Trackers [Slides][Video]
– Rushil Ram – An Introduction to the Tape to Tape Tracking System [Slides][Video]
– Cat Silverman – Behind The Save [Slides][Video]

10:10 10:20 Break
10:20 11:05 Soccer and Analytics with Steven Caldwell Hosted by Meghan Chayka [Video]
11:05 11:20 Break
11:20 12:30

Presentation Session 4

– Yejia Liu – Model Trees for Identifying Exceptional Players in the NHL Draft [Slides][Video]
– Miles Hoaken – USports Analytics and Using Analytics to Inform a Coaching Staff [Slides][Video]
– Petbugs – Bias, Analytics, and Decision-making [Slides][Video]

12:30 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 14:40

Presentation Session 5

– Guiliang Liu/Oliver Schulte – What is the value of an action in ice hockey? Deep Learning for The National Hockey League [Slides][Video]
– Jeremy Sylvain – A Model Based Approach to Predicting NHL Man Games Lost [Slides][Video]
– SFU Sports Stats – Modelling Power Play Efficiency [Slides][Video]

14:40 14:50 Break
14:50 15:50 Lightning Talks:

15:50 16:00 Closing Remarks [Video]
16:30 17:30 Ice-Hockey Shinny Game on Rogers Arena Ice! Helmets, Sticks and Skates are required. A waiver will be required to be signed. [Video]

6 pm (or when finished) – Sunday Evening Social at La Casita, Gastown [ Google Maps Link ]

Tutorial Install Instructions

To full take part in the tutorials, it is best to prepare by installing the following software below on your machine.  By doing this you will be able to follow along at the conference.

Data Viz Tutorial

SQL Tutorial

Github Backup:

Hotels & Room Sharing

The Canucks have offered attendees their Sports & Entertainment Rate for the conference at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. There are a limited number of rooms available for $195/night. Information on how to book a room at this rate will be provided to those who have purchased a ticket to the conference.

We know hotels downtown Vancouver are not cheap.  We’ve created this wiki to help people, who are looking to share a hotel room, link up.


Vancouver has an international airport about 45 minutes to downtown. If you are coming from the US make sure you have a valid passport. There are plenty of hotel and AirBNB options downtown. Public transit is excellent regardless of where you are staying but note Vancouver does not have any RideShare companies (ex: Uber). Most places downtown will be easy to walk from and parking is limited and/or expensive.


This event would not happen without the help of:


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All questions and comments can be emailed to us at or on Twitter.

Code of Conduct

VanHAC is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Behave professionally. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for VanHAC.

Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly event for all.