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  • #31
    Hmmm. This kid Yannik Valenti is an interesting case. A right winger, he really struggled in the WHL last year with 9 points in 52 games, age 18. This year at 19 he is lighting up the German second league with 21 points in 19 games. Standard deviation for top pro to second tier leagues I would estimate the mean difference is around 2x, with a set of around 1.75 to 2.25. Doesn't make sense for the WHL to be that much better than DEL2. I mean, did he really develop that much? If so, then you gotta hand it to the WHL as a developmental league. I suppose in part he was a smallish player who must have stuggled with the North American game.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
      Hmmm. This kid Yannik Valenti is an interesting case. A right winger, he really struggled in the WHL last year with 9 points in 52 games, age 18. This year at 19 he is lighting up the German second league with 21 points in 19 games. Standard deviation for top pro to second tier leagues I would estimate the mean difference is around 2x, with a set of around 1.75 to 2.25. Doesn't make sense for the WHL to be that much better than DEL2. I mean, did he really develop that much? If so, then you gotta hand it to the WHL as a developmental league. I suppose in part he was a smallish player who must have stuggled with the North American game.
      Could be that language, maturity, or social issues made it difficult for him. It could also be a question of the right offseason regimen, or significant physical maturity this past summer.

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      • #33
        Looks like AJHL, Sweden's fourth tier and the ACAC (Canadier tier II college) are around the same quality. I'd probably put it ACAC, Sweden4, AJHL. The AJHL is still the second best Canadian junior-A league in my opinion, behind BCHL.

        Looking back at some old exhibition games, it seems that good CIS teams can beat bad NCAA teams, which leads me to believe CIS is somewhere on par with NCAA DIII, perhaps a bit better on average. Finnish Mestis is of similar quality to DIII.

        I believe both would be somewhere in the ballpark of the CHL leagues - better on average, but lack the high end skill guys CHL has.

        Also since I found that 2112 site I've been thinking about how remuneration can be used to estimate league quality.

        And then it occurred to me that it could also be useful to compare what NCAA players are valued at, compared to what pro players are paid. NCAA players do not receive a salary of course, but they receive scholarships.

        I looked into it, and most players do not receive a full ride. A set scholarship amount (like a cap) is given to the team and divided amongst the players, as decided by the coach. Some get full rides, some get none (only 18 total scholarships can be given) and everything in between. The average is about 12 000. So that average is lower than any half serious European league, but a full ride at American universities is 30-40 thousand a year. That would be on the lower end of the payscale for Czech, Slovak, and Norway's top leagues, EBEL and Allsvenskan, and the higher end of DEL2 and Denmark's top league.
        Last edited by matchesmalone; 11-24-2019, 07:40 PM.

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        • #34
          I started digging into junior-A leagues. The first thing I wondered was why the Western provinces have junior-A leagues better than Ontario when Ontario is so vastly more populous. I mean I already knew the answer, but I didn't know the details. And yeah, while each Western province has one junior-A league, Ontario has the OJHL, GOJHL (Greater Ontario) NOJHL (Northern Ontario) and the CCHL, (Central Canadian) and then one called the SIJHL, but that one didn't seem worth digging much into at this point.

          It also turned out that I was mistaken. Besides BCHL, two of Ontario's junior-A leagues are better than any of the Western provinces. Something is going on in AJHL the past couple years though, they've had some serious players coming through there - Makar, Carter Savoie, Michael Benning and now Corson Ceulemans.

          I'm not sure what's the deal with Quebec. Also massively populous compared to the mid-Western provinces, they must also have a couple different leagues, but none of them are particularly good.

          Ok so in part I used basically the same methodology I always use, but here the emphasis was on what leagues produce DI university players. Almost all of the top BCHL players go on to be good NCAA players, and you have to go a long way down the scoring list (maybe 40 or 50) before you start to find players who didn't make a DI program.

          With OJHL you don't have to go quite as far - 20 or so. NAHL isn't quite as good, maybe top ten or so make DI.

          Looks like CCHL gets a small handful into DI every year, and after that it is slim pickings, just a couple players here and there, with the most from AJHL, followed by, in no particular order, QJAAAHL, NOJHL, GOJHL, MJHL.

          At some point I'll get deeper into that last batch and look at how many players each get into DIII and CIS. But for now I just wanted to post a fairly detailed junior and college hockey list - with the reminder that it is a very rough version:

          NCAA - USports - MHL - OHL/WHL - QMJHL - USHL - SuperElit - Jr.A SM Liiga - NCAA DIII - ACAC - BCHL - OJHL - NAHL - CCHL - AJHL - SJHL - QJAAAHL - MJHL - GOJHL - NOJHL.
          Last edited by matchesmalone; 11-26-2019, 10:33 PM.

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          • #35
            Good work man, interesting as always to see your methodology.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
              NCAA - USports - MHL - OHL/WHL - QMJHL - USHL - SuperElit - Jr.A SM Liiga - NCAA DIII - ACAC - BCHL - OJHL - NAHL - CCHL - AJHL - SJHL - QJAAAHL - MJHL - GOJHL - NOJHL.
              Are these meant to be in (rough) order?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Josh View Post

                Are these meant to be in (rough) order?
                Yes, that is my current estimation. I still want to add in more Europe, but it's so tough to find direct comparisons. Gonna be tricky to guess where the Slovak U20 league ranks amongst the North American junior-A leagues.

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                • #38
                  Ok I was just watching the Canucks earlier, and I saw a player make just a brilliant play. And I'm kinda in scouting mode right now, so my first thought was like "holy shit, that was a high-level NHL-callibre play." I had to look up the player's number. Josh Leivo. Then I'm like "oh, wait. This is the best league in the world. Every single player in this league is fucking bonkers good at hockey."

                  This happens sometimes when I'm in scouting mode. You see a lot of sloppy and mediocre play, and occasionally something extraordinary so you take note of the player. In the NHL you see the extraordinary all the time. Kinda reminds me how spoiled we are watching the NHL. Also makes me appreciate it even more when guys like Crosby, Kane, Karlsson just take other NHL players for a ride.

                  Anyways, I was looking deeper into the structure of Swedish hockey leagues, and it is going to end up being supremely useful when I start comparing pro and junior leagues. Every junior team is a feeder for the teams above it, all representing the same city - pro team, u20, u18, u16... So if a really good player plays for a really bad junior team that is in the 3rd division, besides loaning to another organization, all they can do if the player is too good for the league is send them up an age group within the organization - meaning they'll still be 3rd division, but playing against older players.

                  Some extreme examples to give an idea what I mean: there are four players who have played HockeyTvåan (Sweden's 4th tier mens league) as u15s this year. There was a U14 player who played games in the third division of the U20s. A U15 player played a game in J20 Elit (second division U20s), as did a bunch of U16s.
                  Last edited by matchesmalone; 12-01-2019, 02:03 AM.

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                  • #39
                    I did a bit more digging into junior-A leagues. First thing to note, apparently GOJHL is actually junior-B. I'm not sure how exactly these things are decided, but it is pretty clearly a better league than NOJHL, which is designated junior-A. Apparently the GOJHL has unsuccessfully applied for junior-A status on multiple occasions.

                    I don't believe I've come across a single player who got directly into NCAA DI from NOJHL, and maybe a couple who got directly into DIII or USports, although a few more move on from NOJHL to another league like NAHL or OJHL and then get into USports or DIII from there.

                    I don't know what I thought I was seeing in my initial perusing of these leagues, but AJHL and CCHL actually get more like maybe 20-40 players into DI a year, but it can vary pretty drastically from year to year. Right now I'm thinking AJHL might be slightly better. OJHL is in the same category, but probably a little better. And I'm now thinking the NAHL is better than all of them - it gets at least 40 players into DI each year.

                    GOJHL gets almost nobody into DI, but they do get a handful of players every year into USports.

                    SJHL gets a few more players into DI than I realized in my initial cursory check. Looks like at least ten a year. And there are players well beyond the top 50 scorers getting into USports and DIII programs.

                    MJHL is very similar in quality to SJHL, but a little weaker. They get at least five, maybe ten players into DI every year, and you can still find players getting into DIII or USports past the top 50 scorers.

                    QJAAAHL is of similar quality to GOJHL, almost nobody gets into DI, but they get a handful into DIII and USports every year.

                    A couple of notes:
                    - A lot of top young players (U18) in the weaker leagues like QJAAAHL or NOJHL can go on to play major junior.
                    - This one is embarrassing. I said earlier that ACAC was Canada's second tier college hockey league. That is false. Canada doesn't have a unified second tier. There are a number of small leagues for smaller colleges. ACAC is the Alberta College Athletics Conference, but it does appear to be the second best college league in Canada after USPorts. A lot of top players from the three midwestern provinces go there. The BCIHL looks pretty good too, and gets a lot of mid level BCHL players.

                    OK, so to recap this new information, and update my earlier list, and separating into my own categories: (BCHL - NAHL) - (OJHL - AJHL - CCHL) - (SJHL - MJHL) - (GOJHL - QJAAAHL - NOJHL).

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                    • #40
                      Haha, good on you for calling yourself out!

                      Thanks for sharing these insights :)

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