Text Mining and Improving NHL Draft Analytics

Combining performance data (“stats”) and scouting information is the Holy Grail of sports analytics. In this paper, we develop a methodology to combine scouting report information with performance metrics to improve the evaluation of players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft. In this new approach, text-mined data from scouting reports was used to develop variables for out-of-sample prediction. We demonstrate that by adding these variables to performance metrics, we can substantially improve the prediction of future performance. Below is a paper that we (Timo Seppa,  […]

Anti-Tank: A single elimination tournament for NHL Draft order

Anti-Tank: A single elimination tournament for NHL Draft order

  So there has been a bunch of discussion lately about tanking in the NHL. Seems pretty clear that this has happened before and is happening again this year.  Puck Daddy doesn’t mind it.  Grantland’s Sean McIndoe calls it a ‘disastrous situation’ and has some suggestions including one (Option 11) for a postseason tournament.  The idea of a postseason tournament is nice in theory but I wanted to sit down and see if it was possible to build a tournament which gave worse teams better odds of  […]

Value of NHL Team Scouting relative to Central Scouting

 With the 22nd pick in the 2008 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected Jordan Eberle, center. With the 25th pick the Calgary Flames selected Greg Nemisz, center. Since they were drafted Eberle has played 195 NHL games, while Nemisz has played in 15 NHL games. Going into the draft the NHL’s Central Scouting Service (CSS) had ranked Eberle as the 33rd best North American skater while Nemisz was ranked 22nd best in that same category.  This choice by Edmonton seems to  […]