View Full Version : How you could tell Martin St. Louis was going to be a star
Assistant Coach Ivancic
This is going to be a little bit of a backward look at how, by looking at his stats, you could have seen that Martin St. Louis was going to be a great player.
As a 16 year old in AAA, he absolutely dominated his league by getting around 2.5 points per game. The next year, as a 17 year old, he continued his brilliant play with a stunning 87 points in 31 games. It is important to note that he had high goal totals each year. This is important as even if a player is really a playmaker. As a note, Adam Oates who is regarded as a quintessential setup man, was recording around a goal a game in his early pre-pro days.
In his NCAA days, he was still a dominant offensive player. From his 18th to 21st birthdays he recorded a great points to game ratio and improved his goal totals in each of his first three years. All of this high point totals, high goal scoring, and progression showed that he was a special offensive player and it was only a matter of time before he blossomed at the NHL level.
St. Louis made all of his milestones and didn't have any real setbacks. This was pretty clear evidence of his heart, determination, and talent. All he needed was a solid chance and some adjustment to the NHL, which he wasn't really given before he arrived in Tampa Bay.
Using my scouting system, found here http://www.fantasyhockeycoach.com/entry.php?151-Scouting-and-Drafting-Star-Hockey-Players, you don't even need to see their AHL play most of the time.
Hope you enjoyed reading this :)
I would just say that it's his heart, determination and A LOT of a need to prove everyone that ever said he couldn't wrong. It's most certainly not just stat based with him.
I'd say in his case that it hardly is, actually.
Assistant Coach Ivancic
The stats represent lots of things about a player's intangibles (desire, drive, heart, confidence, etc.). Lots of players can do well in short bursts but it takes real character and determination to get better every year, against bigger and better players, and to do it every year. To me, that is what I'm seeing when I look at a player's stats. How do they do when they get to a higher level? How do they perform in the playoffs? In tournaments? Players that thrive and score no matter what situation and no matter what age or size, show me how much determination and character that they have. The NHL is the toughest league in the world and if a player can't overcome adversity and keep performing at a high level in junior or in college they won't be effective in the NHL.
I don't know that I really agree. I've seen plenty of players with all the desire, drive, and ambition in the world not able to make it translate at the NHL level after tearing it up everywhere else. There is almost ALWAYS an intangible that can't be measured by good stats that leads to the good stats.
I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else, but it does to me.
Assistant Coach Ivancic
Hey Mishey, I understand and respect what you are saying. For me, I have been watching hockey since 1987 and have found that drive, determination, heart, and confidence to be more important than pure skill. Mike Keane barely had 80 points in one season in junior, yet became the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. While Pavel Brendl blew people away and couldn't stick in the NHL.
I have looked at hundreds of players, from the past 40 years, and started to see patterns between those that were successful and the players that underachieved. Anyway, I know that my little 'theory' might seem strange, but I am convinced that it works, and has helped me in my keeper league go from last place to third place in three years.
But I don't think that everyone will agree with me :)
Take it easy,
and have found that drive, determination, heart, and confidence to be more important than pure skill.
The funny thing is that what you said is that this is almost EXACTLY what I've been saying. That those things are more important than just skill. The only thing I have been trying to say is that you don't have to waste your time looking at stats in this case. Look at the player.
I place in my leagues pretty much every year, aside from the year that my computer broke and I couldn't get on and manage them regularly. I'm glad that your theory works for you, but I think it's more about mixing the right players than it is studying their stats from junior leagues on down.
They can be and ARE patterns, yes. But I don't think that it's so black and white for MSL.
Still trying to wrap my head around the 1987 comment. I don't understand where it has any bearing on the conversation, unless it's meant to put me in my place because of how long you've watched compared to me. But you don't know how long I've watched or the amount of time I spend immersed in hockey, so... I just don't get it. :dunno:
Assistant Coach Ivancic
I'm sorry if you felt that I was trying to put you down, because I'm really not.
I mentioned 1987 because that is when I began to become interested in why only some prospects become good NHLers, while others (who have great stats in the minors) fail ... To say that I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. That's all.
My whole system is to try and find those players who have heart, determination and drive, because those are the intangibles that everyone has trouble with. How can you measure it? Sure, you can read people on message boards say that Player X has heart or a great work ethic, but unless I can see that player consistently myself, it may not be true. You can't get that by watching Youtube highlights of a players best goals. For me, that best way is to see how a player progresses through various challenges during their pre-NHL career. Because their effort and results tell a story. At least, I believe that they do.
I really don't expect people to like my system or even agree. It is something that I believe in and felt like sharing with others. I never said that it was perfect, but I think that it is better than guessing.
Hey guys, I tend to agree with both of you as you are both making similar and valid points. Stats trends can tell you if a player is still improving or if he has peaked. Seeing how they perform in playoffs and tournaments as well is a massive indicator. Olli Maatta moved way up my charts after leading the power house London Knights in scoring this year as a OHL rookie!
As for "heart" I think there is absolutely an intangible quality that some guys have, and some dont.
Pavel Brendel is a great example of has not, while Martin St. Louis and Doug Gilmour are great examples of guys who have it.
The real trick is knowing if the player has "it" or not. You never really can tell but if you have watched them as Frank stated in their pre NHL career you may have some clues to go on.
I also firmly believe that a players off season behavior is important as well. Players who party too hard, or show up to camp out of shape are risky picks despite how much talent they have.
Some keys I look for are the four "s"
players who have elite levels of two are NHLers. If a player has three they can be a star. If they have all four they can be a super star, but also need the right attitude.
Anyway, i just wanted to jump in on this interesting conversation and weigh in with my two cents
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