By Bob Trask – In early August, I published some optimistic predictions for the production of various Canadiens players in the upcoming season. Today, Scott Cullen published a far more comprehensive list of projections that covered over 400 players across the entire NHL. You can review his entire list here.
It is interesting to compare the projections to see where we were close and where we diverged. My list of 22 players did not include Mike Hoffman, who I believe could be traded before the season starts. Cullen’s list of 15 Canadiens’ players did include Hoffman. My list was prepared before the Sean Monahan acquisition, leaving only 13 players to compare.
While my projections were limited to goals scored, Cullen also estimated the number of games played by each player. If I were to update my list, my expectations for games played by various players would vary from the first list simply because of Monahan’s presence on the team. That would, in turn, affect my projections for production. Still, it makes for interesting comparisons.
In the following comparisons, my projections will be on the first line of the table and Cullen’s will be on the second line of the table. An average of the two will be on the third line.
Many of the projections were very close, the main exception being Jonathan Drouin. Part of that may be attributed to my expectation that Drouin could thrive under head coach Martin St Louis and part of it may be attributed to my expectation that Mike Hoffman could be traded with Drouin picking up some of Hoffman’s ice time.
The cut-off to make the top 400 projected scorers on Scott Cullen’s list was 24 points. Canadiens’ players who did not reach that threshold included forwards Joel Armia, Michael Pezzetta and Jesse Ylönen. Defensemen failing to reach the cut-off of 24 points included Joel Edmundson, David Savard, Justin Barron, Jordan Harris and Corey Schueneman. You can see my projections for those players in my article “Room for Optimism on Offense”.
It will be an interesting exercise for me to review how close I came with some of my projections and how far I missed by on others. In any case, I have set my own benchmarks for performance expectations. Have you set yours?
PS – For those who still hang onto every point that Jesperi Kotkaniemi puts up, Cullen projects that he will put 31 points on 12 goals and 19 assists – slightly lower than his projected output for Kirby Dach. *wink*