Gretzky? Seriously?



There is a gentle debate underway over at Lowetide’s site.

It’s not the endless Taylor vs. Tyler debate, which I’ve touched on earlier.

No, now it’s Tyler vs. Ryan.

Considering Lowetide purports to conduct traffic on what he calls a “mathy blog”, some of the reactions to a question from poster Ryan are absolute knee slappers.

Ryan simply asked:

But…Who do you take right now today… RNH or Seguin?

LT’s response:

I guess I’m old fashioned. Nuge is 21, three years after the draft. In two years, we can discuss these things, but Seguins 2013-14 clouds our view and we haven’t seen Nuge’s 2013-14 (which is this coming season).

I just refuse to bury Nuge for no reason. There aren’t any, folks.

Yes, yes there are reasons .

Now, don’t get me wrong, Hopkins is a nice young player with the potential to become a decent 2 way centre but he is NOT in Seguin’s area code….at all.

Tyler Seguin is just 22 years old born in January 1992.

Hopkins is 21, born in April, 1993.

While there is certainly some legitimacy to cutting Hopkins a break due to their difference in age, the math tells a completely different story.

I think we can all agree that the best way to assess a player is 5V5 performance. While production on the PP is not unimportant, PP opportunities and success are far more ephemeral and variable and even strength production is a far better measure of a player.

So, let’s have a look.

Here are Hopkins’ P/60 5V5 numbers since he broke into the league:

2013/14 1.56

2012/13 1.29

2011/12 1.98

(interesting that his best season was his first)

Now here are Seguin’s numbers:

2013/14 2.84

2012/13 2.27

2011/12 2.69

2011/12 1.44 (Seguin played mostly 3rd line minutes)

Seguin was not in a feature role until his first season in Dallas while Hopkins has been granted that role right from day one and was also gifted the best line mates available…mainly Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

When Seguin got the same opportunity in Dallas…he exploded even though one of his frequent line mates was an 18 year old Russian.

Seguin does get to play with the best LW in hockey (sorry Taylor Jamie Benn is a much more complete hockey player) but  Seguin is driving the bus on that line (Corsi ON 7.72  Corsi Rel 8.3).

Tyler Dellow proclaimed that Hopkins is a “PP Witch” and there is some truth to that but what about Seguin?

P/60 5V4

Seguin 5.03

Hopkins 4.85

Oops, Seguin is a “PP Sorcerer.”

The gist of LT’s comment is that Hopkins should be given this upcoming season to catch up to Seguin.

Now, there always a chance that could happen, but I certainly wouldn’t be putting any money it.

Seguin is an even strength beast and is trending strongly higher while Hopkins is very mediocre for a 1st line centre at even strength.

I’ll leave you with one other sobering thought.

2013/14 5V5 P/60

Hopkins 1.56

Seguin 2.84

*Jason Spezza 2.51

Ryan Garbutt 2.02

Rich Peverley 1.97

Cody Eakin 1.47

I expect, if Cody Eakin was given Hall and Eberle as line mates, he would outscore Hopkins at evens. And he is one hell of defensive player too.

Of course he’s 23 🙂






2 thoughts on “Gretzky? Seriously?

  1. I agree with the gist of your post; I’m one of the folks over at the site you mention who was surprised to hear some people rate Nugent-Hopkins as equal to, if not better than, Seguin. Seguin is the far superior player. However, I do agree with their premise that we should give Nugent-Hopkins this year to show what he is made of. He has been riddled by that shoulder injury and recovery from it, especially last year. Let’s see if he can establish himself as a 70-80pt player this year, which likely won’t be as good as Seguin’s year, but there is no shame in that. I think it’s pretty clear that Hall and Seguin were a cut above anyone drafted from their year through to, but not including the Nathan MacKinnon year.


  2. Oh, I have no problem with giving Hopkins time to establish himself. I fact, I think he will take a step forward this season.
    The issue for the Oilers is that even an improved Hopkins is likely going to be in the lower tier of #1Cs in the WC.

    When the big boys like Anaheim, LAK, San Jose, Dallas have two or three centres better than Hopkins, you can’t expect to win much.

    Liked by 1 person

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