If there is one article that you HAVE to read of the Hockey Advocate, THIS IS IT!!!! Whether you have already decided to follow the WHL/OHL/CHL or NCAA path, just got drafted in the Bantam Draft OR you are still a few years away from making a final decision, this analysis will have information that affects your career!
I have divided this discussion into 2 separate articles: Part 3: Star WHL Player’s & Part 4: Regular WHL’ers
Part 3: Star WHL Player’s
This secondary statistical analysis examines Games Played in the WHL by players in their first full season of eligibility.
WHL 2007-08 1991’s WHL 2008-09 1992’s
We examined the 1991 (2007-08) & 1992 (2008-09) age groups and divide these groups into what I define as a ‘Star-Player’ and a ‘Regular’ Player. Quite simply, a Star-Player is one that has been identified early as such by the WHL during their Bantam Draft. I have expanded this definition to include ALL players drafted in the 1st-4th Rounds of their draft year. Everyone else, whether undrafted or selected in a later round is considered ‘Regular’. Now, I do NOT make any judgement qualifications on either group, but it becomes clear from the stats that the WHL has self-selected these players and gives a disproportionate amount of playing time and resources to their ‘Star Players.’
Data Separated by Category Total Players GP AVG GP Per Player Total 1st & 2nd RD Players
Total 07-09 Players 201 (91 & 92) 6348 31.58 38/90
2007-08 Star Players 42 (1991) 2171 51.7 19/42
2007-08 Regular Players 50 (1991) 650 13
Total Players GP AVG GP Per Player Total 1st & 2nd RD Players
2008-09 Star Players 48 (1992) 2594 54.04 19/48
2008-09 Regular Players 61 (1992) 933 15.3
I have put together seven discussion points from the data:
1) During the first year of complete WHL eligibility for players (1991 ‘07-08 /1992 ‘08-09) an AVERAGE of 100.5 Players play an Average of 31.58 games each.
On the surface, this seems like a reasonable amount of games played by a rookie. At this point, you might be asking yourself, “Didn’t the Hockey Advocate go to ALL the trouble of differentiating between Star and Regular players?” Why would he do that? Maybe it’s because an average number doesn’t tell us the whole story. In fact, what we cannot infer from this statistic is more telling then the average itself!?! We need to examine what percentage of these players are Star Players…
2) Star Players (1-4th Rounder’s) made up 90 of the 201 players in this study. While representing just under HALF of the total players who lace up for the WHL each rookie season – most importantly – they represent a disproportionate amount of the total games played. Overall, these players averaged 52.94 games played per season.
This blows our average games played statistic of 31.58 per first year player out of the water!!! The implication is that if 50% of the total Players play such a disproportionate amount of games, the remainder (Regular Players) must play very few games. This seems to be the logical conclusion, but we shall have to wait to see how big of an impact this potential conclusion has in Part 4. (Sorry…)
3) Of the 90 total Star Players, 38 were either 1st or 2nd round bantam draft picks. That is a Whopping 42.2%. This also means that over 45% of 1st or 2nd round draft picks will play a significant amount of games during their first season in the WHL. It also means that 45-50% of 3rd-4th rounder’s will get significant ice-time as well. However, it is still important to note that even if you are a 1st round bantam draft pick or other type of Star Player, your odds of playing a regular shift are still a 50/50 proposition at best. This doesn’t mean, do NOT try, it means you SHOULD train and dedicate yourself harder to improving and developing! While you are in a privileged situation, you are in affect, only a coin-flip away from failure. It is up to you to make the right decisions at the right time to give yourself as big of an edge as possible to succeed!
4) Lastly, a further look at the primary data shows us that you need to be a STAR player to BOTH play a lot of games AND put up elite level points. (link to main stats page) If you look at the names of the players who had high end points and games played, they were almost ALL 1st-3rd Rounder’s.
For example: Schenn (1991 – 1st RD) – 66 GP/71 PTS; Glennie(1991 – 2nd RD) – 61GP/58 PTS; Kane (1991 – 1st RD) 65 GP/41 PTS; Connelly (1992 – 1st RD) 65GP/60 PTS; Sundher (1992 – 1st RD) 67 GP/37 PTS
So to wrap up Part 3 of this discussion, our examination has demonstrated that during their first full rookie season in the WHL, Star Players:
I) Play a disproportionate amount of the total games played, an Eye-popping 52.94 games played per season average.
II) 1st-4th RD WHL Bantam Draft Picks have a 50/50 chance of being an Impact Player.
III) To put up Elite Level Points AND Play a lot of Games, a player needs to be a STAR Player ONLY.
So what about everyone else? Well, you will have to read our fourth and final concluding article to find out!