In this post I will be using information from various blogs and websites, and I will mention them at the bottom of the post accordingly.
This will be the final installment of my Requisite Kessel post Trilogy. I will finish what I left off in Part 1, mainly, why the trade that brought Kessel to Leaf Land, has slowly grown on me, to the point where I no longer feel dizzy when i hear the name Taylor Hall, or the words "2010 draft".
In part one, we took a look at the 18th overall draft picks from 1998 to 2008 (18th is my prediction for where the leafs would draft this year) and I came to the conclusion that there is no combination of any two of those ten players(even if you added a second round pick) who I would accept if I was Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. It is also interesting and important to note that Jiri Tlusty and Carlo Colaiacovo were drafted 11th and 17th overall respectively, and I think it is pretty safe to say if Burke had made an offer of: Tlusty, Colaiacovo and a first round pick, Chiarelli would have laughed at him.
What this goes to show is that drafting is by no means an exact science and when you can get a remarkably skilled 21 year old, 36 goal scorer like Kessel, for 3 risky draft picks you should jump on it. It is more likely that Boston will get non-impact players with those 3 picks then that they will get another Kessel caliber player. In fact, here is a list of Bostons recent first and second round picks draft picks:
2009 - Jordan Caron RW (25th)
2008 - Joe Colborne C (16th)
2008 - Maxim Sauve C (47th)
2007 - Zach Hamill C (8th)
2007 - Tommy Cross D (35th)
2006 - Phil Kessel C (5th)
2006 - Yuri Alexandrov D (37th)
2006 - Milan Lucic LW (50th)
2005 - Matt Lashoff D (22nd)
2005 - Petr Kalus RW (39th)
2004 - David Krejci C (63rd)
2004 - Martins Karsums RW (64th)
2003 - Mark Stuart D (21st)
2003 - Patrice Bergeron C (45th)
2003 - Masi Marjamaki LW (66th)
There is clearly some pretty decent players there, but if I were a betting man, I would take Kessel. I would then double my bet when I find out that since the 2000-2001 season there has only been 6 players other then Phil (The Thrill) Kessel to produce more then 0.5 Goals per Game before their 22nd Birthdays. These players are as follows : Ovechkin, Malkin, Staal, Kovalchuk, Thornton, and Nash. Combined, these players have: 3 Hart Trophy's 3 Rocket Richard Trophy's, 3 Art Ross Trophy's, and 2 Stanley Cup's. Thats some pretty elite company, I would trade the same two First round picks for anyone of those guys when they were 21 in a heart beat.
Last year, Kessel averaged 16:33 Minutes per game (ATOI). During those 70 games, he had to play 19:18 Minutes for every point her produced (PROD)
Below, I have a chart of some high caliber players, where we compare their ATOI (Average Time on Ice) and their PROD (Number of minutes played for each point produced) to Kessel's.
This is a very informative piece of information. what it shows us is that Kessel is producing at or above the rate of some of the top players in the NHL.
For instance: Last year, Rick Nash was 4 years older then Kessel, yet, Kessel required 90 seconds less to produce each point then Nash did, but Nash still go 19 points more then Kessel.
It appears one of the biggest things holding back Kessel is his Average TOI one Ice per game. at 16:33 it was the least of anyone on the chart, and as much as 5 full minutes per game less then Kovalchuk.
I could go on for hours making interesting comparisons but lets move onto something different. I found the average of all 9 players ATOI (not including Kessel) which was approx
19 minutes 46 seconds. I then calculated how many points Kessel would have had if he had played still played 70 games, and still produced one point every 19:18, but had played 19:42 per game, instead of 16:33, and I found that he would have scored 72 points instead of 60. not bad for a 21year old playing 70 games.
You may also be interested to know that the average PROD for those 9 players (again not including Kessel) is 19:40, and their average age is 25.4 so Kessel was producing 20 seconds quicker for each point then these Elite players, while being about 4 years younger (on average of course). The main thing holding back his Point Total was the amount of ice time he was getting each game, as well as the number of games he played (70). With Kessel being the undisputed number 1 forward on the leafs this year, you can bet his ATOI is going to be heading up near the 19-20 min/game mark, and his points likely reaching 70-75 if he were to play a full season (which he wont because hes hurt).
Well that's all for today folks, I didn't get to put all my reasoning for why I like this trade, but maybe another day, instead I will leave you with a video from our friends at pucku.ca.
Maybe someone should phone the Toronto Sun and tell them you have a scoop for them:
also, I stole some of the info in the beginning of the post where i talk about previous Boston drafts and the 7 people who scored at a .5 Goal Per Game pace from the good people at HockeyAnalysis.com go give em a visit.