The fun day has come for us to see where our top prospects are going and who may be our new favorite rookie!
As great as our rookie class from 2016 was, we have to greet these new rookies warmly and give them support as well. I will always miss the rookies from the past season but I can still watch them as they grow into superstars in the NHL.
With all that being said, I wanted to evaluate the top prospects by going through the projected lists and seeing how they rank against each other by using their junior stats to find their z-scores.
This does not mean that one is actually better than the other, since they play in different junior leagues, because numbers should not be our only basis on their talent. Enjoy the lists and good luck to your team on this exciting day!
Agree with your team's probable selection? Look below to see how the top 31 rank in goals!
Here are the numbers for goals for our top 31 prospects from nhl.com*:
Mean number of goals- 25.2
Standard Deviation- 11.48
Nolan Patrick's z-score- -0.45
Nico Hischier's z-score- 1.11
Casey Mittelstadt's z-score- -0.36
Gabriel Vilardi's z-score- 0.33
Michael Rasmussen's z-score- 0.59
Cody Glass's z-score- 0.59
Owen Tippett's z-score- 1.64
Eeli Tolvanen's z-score- 0.42
Cale Makar's z-score- -0.1
Nick Suzuki's z-score- 1.72
Juuso Valimaki's z-score- -0.54
Callan Foote's z-score- -1.67
Ryan Poehling's z-score- -1.59
Jason Robertson's z-score- 1.46
Isaac Ratcliffe's z-score- 0.24
Shane Bowers's z-score- -0.28
Kailer Yamamoto's z-score- 1.46
Conor Timmins's z-score- -1.59
Henri Jokiharju's z-score- -1.41
Nicolas Hague's z-score- -0.63
Jaret Anderson's z-score- 1.20
Robert Thomas's z-score- -0.80
Kole Lind's z-score- 0.42
Grant Mismash's z-score- 0.07
Nick Henry's z-score- 0.85
Aleksi Heponiemi's z-score- 0.24
Pierre-Olivier Joseph's z-score- -1.67
Nikita Popugaev's z-score- 0.33
Alex Formenton's z-score- -0.80
Maxime Comtois's z-score- -0.28
Morgan Frost's z-score- -0.45
Highest z-score is Nick Suzuki with 45 goals this season!
*Keep in mind that some players were injured for some time this season or they played in a different league that may have tougher competition. They also could be a defenceman which would give them a smaller ot negative z-score.
Z-score measures how far away someone is from the mean, thus separating them from the crowd and helping them stand out.
The day of reckoning has arrived and your favorite players may be at risk tonight to be taken away to Sin City. If the whole thing still boggles you, that's okay because this has not happened in 17 years.
Here's a quick rundown of what to expect for tonight:
Vegas will select 30 players from each team.
They must select 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.
At least 20 players have to be under contract for this upcoming season.
They must select players with the salary cap in mind.
They cannot buy out contracts if they are new.
Who's already on the Vegas Golden Knights?
Reid Duke (his name is confusing, but that's the one!)
Vadim Shipachyov (surprisingly not as confusing as the first guy)
Head Coach: Gerard Gallant (former Florida Panthers head coach)
Make sure to check out my predictions for the awards for tonight in my previous post!
The last night where we can officially celebrate everything that happened in the 2016-17 season is nearly here and so are my predictions for the biggest awards to be handed out that night.
Some of these may have more clear winners than others, especially categories that were discussed here more frequently than others, while others are tougher to decipher. Thankfully, we do not have to make the decisions ourselves (yet!).
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)
My Pick: Mike Babcock, Toronto
Why: Babcock gets my pick because in his second year with the team, he took them to the playoffs. Tortorella did that too but here's the difference: Babcock's team was the Maple Leafs. The Leafs are a running joke in the NHL (I don't think they are a joke, but others do) and the Blue Jackets need more decades to even get to their level of ridicule.
This season, excitement and hope came back to Toronto and it was not for baseball and basketball this time. Now one man could not have made that all possible but he had a big hand in helping his players perform to their potential and beyond.
His team went from winning only 29 games to only losing 27 games. It definitely helped to get the highest draft pick but it also helped that the talent was not wasted due to his great direction.
Also, other great prospects were able to become young stars for this team with his guidance and the climate that he created with his veteran players.
My Pick: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
Why: I picked Bobrovsky over Holtby due to the fact that he's also nominated for the Hart Trophy. Being considered as one of the best players in the entire league, regardless of position, is a good indicator on why he's special.
Bobrovsky barely edged out Holtby for better numbers in Goals Against Average (2.06) and Save Percentage (0.931). He also had a great December where he went 12-0 and had a GAA of 1.75 with a SV % of 0.939. That run shocked the hockey world and made them realize that Columbus had changed for the better. It also once again reminded us how great their goalie really is.
My Pick: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
Why: Here's what Karlsson has over the other two: time on ice. His presence is definitely felt with his team because he's there almost the entire time. Karlsson's time on ice per game played is at 26:50, two minutes and one second more than Burns and two minutes and twenty seconds more than Hedman.
While he has the least amount of points between the two, 71 compared to 76 from Burns and 72 from Hedman, he beats them in other categories like penalty minutes and shifts per game.
Karlsson is such a disciplined player that he has only 28 penalty minutes while the other two have 40 and 47. With all that wasted time in the box, the team could be put in a bad situation that could lose the game for them and that is why that is important.
Also, he averages 31.5 shifts per game and those shifts are all important in doing what is best for his team and that is simply being out there on the ice. His +10 and 54 assists can definitely back that up as well.
Ted Lindsay Award
My Pick: Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Why: It's his second year in the league and his first full season and he already gets 100 points. He is just getting started too since he's only 20 years old and his team around him is only getting better.
Being the youngest captain in history (100 years worth, too!) for a franchise like the Oilers is a huge deal and McDavid took that role and made it a great choice by the Oilers by taking them from having a last place finish last season to a second place finish and spot in the second round of the playoffs. A big reason why they would be last in their division for the past season was most likely because they lost McDavid for 37 games.
Hart Memorial Trophy
My Pick: Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Why: If you win the Ted Lindsay, what stops you from winning the Hart? McDavid deserves both awards after having 70 assists in one season. With those assists, his team would not have scored 70 goals and where would they be without those? Maybe back to last place like they were last year when they had limited time with McDavid.
His 30 goals are also a decent amount, especially since McDavid is more a team-oriented player who focuses on making those around him even better while doing great himself. He is needed on this team not only for his scoring abilities but for his abilities to connect with teammates and be the best player on the ice.
My Pick: Auston Matthews, Toronto
Why: From the moment that he made his debut with FOUR goals, Toronto knew that he was the one. The one to bring hope to a franchise searching for a star to guide them out of the dark. His debut led to even better things, like winning the Centennial Classic on an OT winner or breaking the record for rookie goals and points in Toronto's 100 year history or becoming the best U.S. born rookie goalscorer in history or helping his team reach the playoffs after finishing with the worst record in the NHL last season.
It could go on and on what Matthews has done for his team in one season but here's the deal: Matthews had some quiet moments in the season where he could not register a point but when he came back from those, he came back in a big way and always worked to reclaim his spot as the rookie leader in goals. His competition is tough for this one but somehow he looks like an obvious winner. Scoring 40 goals in your first season is no joke and he is going to be a star for team that needs him.
It's a lot of pressure to be the One to save Toronto but he dealt with the pressure just fine.
My Pick: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim
Why: Kesler is a player you would love on your team and hate against you (just ask Edmonton, Los Angeles, Nashville, etc...). His 146 hits blew his competition out of the water (or off the ice), as did his 75 blocks. He also beat them out with more time on ice for each game and that is great news for Anaheim.
His line was most likely the best and most effective line for the Ducks, with teammates Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano rebounding after last year. Silfverberg had a career-high 23 goals while Cogliano scored 7 more goals than the season before. Kesler contributed to their success by having 36 assists, the second most in his career.
Whenever Kesler was on the ice, he was feared because of his offensive power but also his ability to play defensively so well and intimidate others on the ice. His powerful presence in both aspects is what this award was made for.
Feel like there are too many awards that are named after people and you lost track of what they are actually for? I understand your problem, because there are 17 different awards, and am here to help! We will break down each award and who is nominated for what. Then, I will predict who the winners will be in a following post.
Hart Memorial Trophy
This is basically for the MVP of hockey.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
This one honours those who are great players ability-wise while balancing a small amount of penalty minutes and great sportsmanship.
This is for the best goaltender in the league.
Calder Memorial Trophy
The award for the best rookie player.
Art Ross Trophy
The player with the most points at the end of the regular season is awarded this trophy.
Winner: Connor McDavid
James Norris Memorial Trophy
The best all-around defenceman wins this award.
Conn Smythe Trophy
The best player in the playoffs wins this award.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Bill Masterston Memorial Trophy
Given to a player who perseveres through challenges thrown in their way and remains dedicated to hockey.
Ted Lindsay Award
Pretty much the MVP again but given by the National Hockey League's Players Association (NHLPA).
Jack Adams Award
The best coach that year will win this award.
Mike Babcock, Toronto
Todd McLellan, Edmonton
John Tortorella, Columbus
Frank J. Selke Trophy
Given to the best defensive forward.
William M. Jennings Trophy
Awarded to the goaltender(s) that allowed the fewest goals scored against them in the regular season.
Winner: Braden Holtby
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Given to the player that not only has good sportsmanship on the ice but also makes charitable contributions to the community.
NHL Foundation Player Award
Awarded to one who uses his dedication to hockey to make their community better.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
Given to the top goal scorer after the regular season.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Mark Messier Leadership Award
An award for a player that has the best leadership qualities on and off the ice.
NHL General Manager of the Year
Celebrates the best general manger for that season.
Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton
Pierre Dorion, Ottawa
David Poile, Nashville
Just because the season is over does not mean that the offseason will be quiet. This year will especially be busy with the expansion draft and reveal of the new jerseys for every team. Here's what you need to put down for your calendars:
June 17 (TOMORROW)- Lists of protected players will be sent out by 2 pm PT.
Sunday, June 18- Protected lists are released.
Wednesday, June 21- NHL Awards at 8 pm ET (NBCSN, Sportsnet)
Wednesday, June 21- Expansion Draft during Awards Show.
Thursday, June 22- Trade Resumes by 8 am ET.
Friday, June 23- First Round of NHL Draft at 6 pm ET (NBCSN, Sportsnet).
Saturday, June 24- Rounds 2-7 of NHL Draft at 9 am ET.
Final Score of the Season:
Thoughts: It's always sad to say goodbye to hockey because it's a sport that I really anticipate and get so excited for during the offseason. I feel that sometimes I forget to cherish it enough when it finally does come around but then I get so focused during the season that I forget about other sports. I am sad that hockey had to end yesterday but at least it ended in a good way (sorry, Nashville fans).
It ended in a good way for both teams in how Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both created a great era for their franchise and won their third with the team. We rarely see back-to-back wins in the modern era and only the best can do that. Also, Crosby was not the main star of the team because he had a great offense alongside him that stepped up at the right times. I cannot emphasize enough at how great it was to see rookie Jake Guentzel dominate in the playoffs. He went from being only a name that true Penguins fans would know to a household name that Jimmy Fallon even talked about (he did mispronounce the name, but he thought of him!). Guentzel did not break the record for rookie points in the playoffs but he tied it and will always be there for that. The team approach to the Cup from Pittsburgh was amazing to watch and it made them winning it all that much better.
Now, Nashville did a great job with everything that happened to them. They lost their best forward and a good amount of their goals but their amazing defensemen stepped it up and became even better at both areas. Pekka Rinne is still an elite goaltender and just had some rough games, but hey, he's elite not perfect. Not only did they play even better than they were predicted to but their fans became one of the most loudest in the NHL. The support that the entire city had for them was unreal and it is hard to match. The passion and love for their team proved how powerful hockey can be received in a 'non-hockey' market like the South. The road was not easy for them to stay in Nashville over the years, but it sure paid off this season.
Relive Pittsburgh's amazing victory through photos!
Winning the Cup is a full team effort and these rookies are proving that they are very much apart of the hard work and skill that goes into winning it all. These are not the guys that have lower minutes and hardly make an impact when they do get out there. These are the names you need to know for the future when they lead their team further ahead.
On Monday, Gaudreau helped the Predators tie up the series with his game-winning goal in Game 4. Gaudreau now has 2 game-winning goals and has only played 7 games so far. His face-off percentage now is 43.6%.
Even Jimmy Fallon could not resist talking about a rookie! His superlative may not be the best but hey, Guentzel now has hit it big time by his mention on national television. The only problem is that he said his name wrong (it's NOT Gun-tzul, it's Gen-tzul!) which is a *rookie mistake*.
It's been the most fun doing these reports and I cannot thank you all for this wonderful season and class of rookies. I am not sure if next year will come close to what went on this year but I hope it will be as fun and exciting to watch. Thank you again and best of luck to these rookies tonight! I want another record broken for a rookie!
It's been two weeks into the Cup Final and today could be our last day of the season; there's just one catch, Nashville has to lose at home which has only happened ONCE in the playoffs (10 total home games). Let's see if Pittsburgh is the team to break their dominance.
Pittsburgh could end it today if they continue their offensive dominance that fooled Nashville's amazing defense last time around. It's not easy to win in Nashville, but from what we've seen from the Penguins' last trip to there, they did not have the best time so this would be the perfect revenge to those who threw a towel at Evgeni Malkin or those who served catfish to Jake Guentzel. I'm sure they are sick of the goalie chants and the smell of raw catfish on the ice, so they are motivated to win.
Those things work in Nashville's favor and they love it. They love intimidation, jokes, and throwing off their enemy. It's worked in the past three series but can it work again? Pekka Rinne will be back in this game because he had a rough game and now he's ready to bounce back.
If Pittsburgh wins tonight, it will be a great Stanley Cup champion because the atmosphere in Nashville's arena has been unreal. They can't let anyone get to them.
No game scheduled for today but the series kicks up again TOMORROW in Smashville! So be there or be square (dancing)!
Just kidding because they don't square dance in Nashville nor can most of the country actually make it to the game.
Since we still have a day to think about the next game, let's go over some of the celebrities who are currently supporting the Predators (there's a lot so we need a list!):
*There's definitely more but this list definitely shows a good amount of country music singers. If you like country, then maybe you like the Preds too! Or maybe you prefer the Pens, which is fine also!
The fans for Pittsburgh include people like Justin Bieber, Ben Roethlisberger, and Michael Keaton. Who needs a bunch of celebrity fans when you have Sidney Crosby though? He's a celebrity himself!
Thoughts: There's really not much to say for this one because Nashville was gone around the first period of this game.
Defense did not look sharp like usual and allowed holes to where forwards had to defend attackers. When that happened, Pittsburgh's top forwards easily scored. It was a big comeback for Pittsburgh after being held to two goals in Games 3 and 4.
Pittsburgh was also able to be on better behavior than Nashville and that allowed opportunities to at least have the advantage, since power play goals are not their stongest suit still.
Great job once again to Jake Guentzel on now tying the record for most points by a rookie in the postseason. Guentzel ties a 36 year-old record from Dino Ciccarelli at 21 points.
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!