Silver Nuggets: What is Kaspars Daugavins offensive potential?

Kaspars Daugavins was called up to the Ottawa Senators for the 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. It was only his second career NHL game but he has played 189 AHL games. He had 54 points in 73 games last season (0.74 points per game), which was a better point per game total than Bobby Butler had in the AHL last season. But the question is, if Daugavins gets a real shot in the NHL this season, how good can be offensively?

Gabe Desjardins measured something called NHL Equivalence back in 2005. Basically it calculated the difficulty factor of each league by taking a player's NHL point per game total and dividing it by their point per game total in another league in the prior season. As an example, if Mika Zibanejad scores 1 point per game in the Elitserien this season, and scored 0.5 points per game in the NHL next season, then Zibanejad's contribution to the Elitserien index is 0.5. The problem with this index is it was last updated in 2005 and included all players, including defencemen.

Scott Reynolds over at Copper and Blue improved on this by updating it in July 2010 for seasons between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010, considering only forwards and breaking it down by age. Age is important because it differentiates players that are still improving and players that are career minor leaguers, such as Corey Locke.

Daugavins was 22 at the start of last season and now he is 23, which has 20 data points to use for the analysis. The median NHL Equivalence factor is 0.425, with the highest at 0.93 and the lowest being 0.17. For Daugavins, the median NHL Equivalence results in a point per game total of 0.3145, with a maximum of 0.6882 and a minimum of 0.1258 points per game. Assuming Daugavins plays all of the remaining Senators game for a total of 74 games, the median results in 23 points, with a maximum of 51 points and a minimum of 9 points. As an aside, using an NCAA Equivalence for 21-year olds, this would project Stéphane Da Costa (1.36 points per game last year) at 52 points with a maximum of 78 points and a minimum of 25 points over 82 NHL games this season. The sample size for the NCAA is a lot smaller though.

It is extremely unlikely Daugavins plays any where near 74 games. However, a 23 point rookie season plus being a useful penalty killer, might make for a good season for Daugavins if he sticks.

Before the links, just wanted to mention again if you want tickets to see the Senators and Panthers on 22 December, check this post and email me.

Tonight's game

  • Game preview. (Ottawa SunSenators Extra)
  • The professionals all pick the Panthers tonight while all the bloggers are going with the Senators. Peter is saying a 6-3 Senators win! (Senators Extra)
  • Lines for tonight are: 1) Greening-Spezza-Michalek, 2) Foligno-Da Costa-Alfredsson, 3) Daugavins-Smith-Neil, 4) Condra-Konopka-Winchester. (James Gordon)
General Sens News
  • Mika Zibanejad's decision was largely (I hope) based on improvements needed in his play, but Wayne Scanlan feels saving Eugene Melnyk a million dollars this season and delaying free agency by a year also played into it. In the end, everyone at the clubs feels, or at least says, it was the right decision. As Daniel Alfredsson says, he wasn't even playing in the top division in Sweden at age 18. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Here are some quotes from Bryan Murray and Paul MacLean regarding the decision. MacLean admits he wanted to keep Zibanejad but agrees it was the right decision. (Senators Extra)
  • Mika Zibanejad talks to the media after learning of being sent back to Sweden. My God, is this guy soft spoken or what? Can barely hear him sometimes! He seems to be taking the news with a positive attitude though. (Ottawa Senators)
  • On the other hand, Zibanejad refuses to go home. He was at practice this morning. Must have been talking to the great King Robin of Gothenburg. (Ian Mendes)
  • Bruce Garrioch finds Zibanejad to be classy for talking to the media. Then Garrioch takes another shot at Brian Elliott for not talking to him. (Bruce Garrioch)
  • Ian Mendes is more gracious to Elliott though. Elliott has now won 4 in a row. (Ian Mendes)
  • Daniel Alfredsson will return tonight. He feels good but isn't sure if this will become a lingering problem. (Ottawa Sun)
  • Some bad news on the injury front, Peter Regin will be out between 6-8 weeks. He opted not to go for a surgery, but instead will undergo rehab. (Ian Mendes)
  • David Rundblad and I have one thing in common: apparently we both like to blog. We don't have the same tastes in Halloween costumes though. Rundblad, along with Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad dressed up as members of Kiss. Oh my. (David Rundblad)
  • Here is the translation of the above. I want to know which player dressed up as Osama! (The 6th Sens)
  • Don't shy away from picking guys from the high flying Ottawa Senators in your fantasy leagues! (CBC)
  • Dmitry Kulikov will play against his childhood hero tonight, Sergei Gonchar. According to Kulikov's teammate Brian Campbell, Kulikov reminds him a lot of Gonchar. (Sun Sentinel)
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