Sunday 4 August 2013

Trevor Timmins is the best talent evaluator in the NHL, according to the data

Anyone attacking Trevor Timmins' acumen as an evaluator of talent and his drafting record is off base.  The facts, the stats, don't support their arguments.

Ed Wiles of the Vancouver Province set up a statistical scoring model to evaluate NHL teams according to their success at the draft table, and here is what he found:

Sorry, can’t explain this but the numbers don’t lie. The Habs have the highest rating in the study. In 2003, they took six players who made the NHL. In 2005, they selected four more NHLers. In 2007, four more including Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban. The high-end talent hasn’t been there but the Habs have consistently found players.
Average: .338. Slugging; .613. Grade; A-minus.

The original Province article is no longer available, but it is reposted in its entirety here if you want to read more and see the methodology.

Habs Eyes on the Prize Managing Editor Andrew Berkshire was inspired by this and made up his own more intricate model, which he felt might yield a clearer picture, and again, here is what he found:


Slugging Points Batting % Best pick of the decade
63.75 0.438 [9th] P.K. Subban [6 points]
Surprisingly the Habs came out on top again. The Habs accumulated a ton of points for drafting top pairing defensemen like Subban, Ryan McDonagh and Mark Streit. They also didn't waste their one top 5 pick when they grabbed an elite goaltender in Carey Price. The biggest problem the Canadiens seem to have isn't drafting or development (which are the popular refrains among the ignorant), but undervaluing their own players and losing them for inadequate return. The list of players who were valued at 3 or more points that the Canadiens have traded or lost to free agency is quite long; Chris Higgins, Jaroslav Halak, Andrei Kostitsyn, Streit, Mikhail Grabovski, Sergei Kostitsyn, and McDonagh. Some of those players brought in a nice return (Lars Eller for example), but it's a lot of depth to lose in a short time since all those players were parted with in the last 4 years.

So please, all you alarmists, chew on this and see if it enlightens you a little bit.  Understand that nobody bats a thousand.

If you still want to bash Trevor Timmins, here is my challenge:  tell us right now who is this year's Andrei Kostitsyn, and who is this year's Ryan Kesler.  Don't give us generalities, or a group of players who maybe...  just come right out and tell us the name of the 2013 NHL Draft's version of David Fischer and Claude Giroux.  Be clear and tell us in no uncertain terms the name of the Hugh Jessiman of 2013, and the P.K. Subban as well.  Extra points if you can tell us who is this year's Andrei Markov or Henrik Zetterberg.  We'll put it in the vault and come back in five years and discuss it, see how smart you are without the benefit of hindsight.  But it shouldn't be a problem right, since it's so obvious?


  1. So how many Stanley Cups have the Canadiens won since Mr. Timmins became chief scout? None. We have had nothing but mediocrity. And he is supposed to be the best in the NHL?! I don't know where people think he's that great.

  2. Karla, your comment confounds me. Posing a question that is answered at length in the article it is appended to.