What the numbers tell us.
The main purpose of my player tracking system is to compare players. Without comparables the numbers are hollow. The comparisons are most useful when the players included have played similar levels against similar competition. Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu are perfect examples of this situation. Tinordi and Beaulieu are two of the highest touted prospects in the Montreal Canadiens system. Both players were drafted in the first round, and both players will begin their first year of professional hockey in the fall.
Despite being drafted 1 year later than Tinordi, Beaulieu's 1992 birth date will allow him to turn pro the same year as Tinordi. Both players played this last season in the CHL, both players played in the Memorial Cup, and both players were members of their country's entry into the World Junior Hockey Championship. Even if we look back at the Canadiens 2010-11 training camp, we find both Beaulieu and Tinordi with over 100 preseason events.
The numbers used in this comparison come from each of these levels of hockey. The event totals within each of these levels are nearly identical.
Beaulieu is slightly more active in the play. As such, he can impact a game more than Tinordi. Beaulieu averages 3.77 even-strength events per-minute played, while Tinordi averages 3.72. Graph available here.
Offensive-zone (at even-strength)
Breaking those events down even further, we see that Beaulieu is more active in the offensive-zone than Tinordi. Twenty-two percent of Beaulieu's total events occur in the offensive-zone, while only 19% of Tinordi's events occur in the offensive-zone. Graph available here.
That said, Tinordi is slightly more successful in the offensive-zone. He has an offensive-zone rating of 0.21 compared to Beaulieu's o-zone rating of 0.20. In terms of ratio; Tinordi makes 1.86 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play in the offensive-zone, while Beaulieu makes 1.71 successful plays in the offensive-zone for every 1 unsuccessful play. Tinordi wins more offensive-zone puck-battles, and holds more pucks in at the blue line. Beaulieu on the other hand, has a higher offensive-zone passing success-rate. Graph available here.
The statistic that best illustrates each players offensive-zone identity is their success-rates and totals when attempting to beat players 1-on-1 (deke) in the offensive-zone. Tinordi has a 100% success-rate for offensive-zone dekes, but only attempted 1 deke through more than 10 games. Beaulieu however, has a 56% success-rate. He attempted an incredible 16 o-zone dekes in the games scouted, and was successful with 9.
Defensive-zone (at even-strength)
Beaulieu is also more active in the defensive-zone. Sixty-four percent of his total events take place in the defensive-zone, while 62% of Tinordi's events occur in the d-zone. Graph available here.
Beaulieu is more successful in the defensive-zone, but not necessarily defensively (we'll get to that later). He has a defensive-zone rating of 0.92 compared to Tinordi's d-zone rating of 0.81. Beaulieu makes 2.39 successful plays in the defensive-zone for every 1 unsuccessful play, while Tinordi makes 2.10 successful plays in the d-zone for every 1 unsuccessful play. Graph available here.
Beaulieu actually wins a higher percentage of d-zone puck-battles than Tinordi, and has a substantially higher defensive-zone passing-percentage. Beaulieu completes 75% of his d-zone passes, while Tinordi is successful with 69% of his passes. Beaulieu also has the ability to skate the puck out of the defensive-zone, as he is successful with 80% of his attempts to beat opposing players 1-on-1 (deke) in the defensive-zone. Tinordi has a success-rate of 60% when attempting to beat players 1on1 in the defensive-zone.
Maintaining Possession vs. Acquiring Possession (at even-strength)
We can also calculate each player's success-rate during events where they already have possession of the puck, as well as during events when they are attempting to remove or acquire puck-possession from the opposition. The results fit each player's identity quite well, as Beaulieu is more successful when in possession of the puck, while Tinordi has more success when attempting to remove or acquire puck-possession from the opposition.
Tinordi successfully maintains puck-possession for his team with 68.8% of his the plays he makes with the puck on his stick. He is successful with 68% of his offensive-zone passes, 69% of his defensive-zone passes, and 77% of his neutral-zone passes. He also gets 36% of his attempted shots through to the net. Graph available here.
Beaulieu is successful with 72% of the plays he makes when already in possession of the puck. He is successful with 74% of his offensive-zone passes, 75% of his defensive-zone passes, and an impressive 85% of his neutral-zone passes. That said, he only gets 33% of his shot-attempts through to the net. Graph available here.
In terms of removing puck-possession from the opposition, Tinordi is successful with 72% of his attempts to remove or acquire puck-possession from the opposition, while Beaulieu has a success-rate of 71%. Graph available here. Beaulieu wins more puck-battles than Tinordi, but Tinordi does a much better job blocking shots, recovering loose-pucks, and intercepting opposition passes.
As expected, Beaulieu recovers more loose-pucks per minute-played in the offensive-zone, while Tinordi recovers more loose-pucks per-minute played in the defensive-zone.
The numbers simply reinforce most people's view of the two prospects. Beaulieu is a great puckmoving defenseman with solid offensive-instincts, who needs to work on his defensive-game. Tinordi remains a solid defensive-player with limited mobility (particularly when in possession of the puck), who needs to work on his puck-moving skills; specifically his defensive-zone passing success-rate, which is well below-average.