You can say a lot of things about Brian Burke. However, one thing that every member of Leafs nation, and any other nation, can agree upon is that Brian Burke has given the Leafs the most well-stocked cupboard of prospects than they've had in a long, long time.
This cannot be better exemplified than by the Toronto Marlies (the Leafs' AHL affiliate team) ripping it up in the AHL this year and having a 7-1 record in the playoffs and advancing to the Western Conference Finals to face the Oklahoma City Barons. The Marlies are stocked full of young players that Burke has added like Ryan Hamilton, Nazem Kadri, Ben Scrivens, Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin, Carter Ashton, Joe Colborne and Jussi Rynnas.
This article is going to be taking a look at the Leafs' top 10 prospects (according to HockeysFuture.com), and using a combination of advanced stats (NHLe) and basic scouting, we'll see how far along each player is and what his future with the Leafs organization could be.
Top 10 Leafs Prospects, according to Hockeysfuture.com (skaters)
1. Nazem Kadri
2. Joe Colborne
3. Jesse Blacker
4. Matt Frattin
5. Carter Ashton
6. Gregg McKegg
7. Tyler Biggs
8. Stuart Percy
9. Brad Ross
10. Korbinian Holzer
11. Jerry D'Amigo
If you don't know what NHLe (NHLequivalency) is, take a look at these links below.
Essentially, it is a formula using the difficulties of "farm or feeder leagues" in comparison with the NHL and comparing a players Points Per Game (PPG) average to a statistical average for players making the jumps between leagues. Not a perfect formula by any means, but it has proven to be incredibly accurate on a broad scale so far.
[(Points divided by Games Played) X 82] x League Equivalency = NHLe
The X82 is for translating the player's PPG to an NHL schedule of 82 games, and his NHLe numbers will be based off the assumption that he will play 82 games. For example:
In his last season with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL, he scored 106 points in 55 games
[(106 / 55) x 82] x 0.28 (The QMJHL's equivalency) = 44.25 points
In Giroux's first full season with the Flyers, he played 82 games and scored 47 points.
In his last season with the Guelph Storm of the OHL, he scored 76 points in 58 games
[(76 / 58) X 82] X 0.30 (The OHL's equivalency) = 32.23 NHLe
In Brown's first full season with the Kings, he played 79 games and scored 28 points.
So while not an exact measurement, the NHLe is a great way to get an basic idea of the point totals a prospect is going to put up at the next level. It doesn't work out every time, but the number of times it does makes the NHLe formula an effective tool to gauge prospects.
If you want to use the NHLe formula yourself, the other "farm league" equivalencies are below:
Note: I did not create the NHLe formula, and as such, will give credit it where credit is due to a Mr. Gabriel Desjardins. He did all the research and comparison data that gave us the league NHLe's, and we are all better off for it. As an interesting side note, NHLe seems to be mostly employed by talent judges/scouts/writers/fans in the Western Conference and hasn't really found its way over here yet.