2012-13 Historical Projections

posted Jun 20, 2012, 5:39 PM by Robert Vollman   [ updated Jun 20, 2012, 8:34 PM ]
The system of searching NHL’s history to find statistically similar players for a variety of purposes, most notably future scoring projections, began in 2009.  In the grand tradition of naming such systems after rugged former NHLers, it is informally known as the Snepsts system, but is unaffiliated with Harold Snepsts (who nonetheless finds it amusing that the system is named after someone whose scoring was so modest).
Throughout the 2011-12 season the system was further refined with the assistance of several people, most notably Neil Greenberg, and among other improvements, it most notably includes only players from the post-expansion era (1967), and looks at shots, power play scoring and GVT in addition to the goals and assists it did previously.  It is therefore informally known as Snepsts67.
The method is reasonably simple: it searches post-expansion NHL history for players of a similar position and age whose era-adjusted statistics most closely match the target player, both for the current season, preceding season and previous career totals, in a 4:2:1 ratio.
The ten most similar players are used to set low-water, high-water and average scoring expectations for today’s players, and also to initiate interesting conversations about a player’s role and who he should be used.  Attached is a simple spreadsheet with this data for every NHL player who played at least a single game in each of the preceding two seasons.
NOTE: Viewing this file in your browser will limit you to just the first 1000 rows, so please download the file to access all the data.
Robert Vollman,
Jun 20, 2012, 5:39 PM