New York Rangers Stats: Snepsts Projections

I have no idea what a Snepsts is. Stop Coaching. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It's late June, so of course it's never too early to start looking at projections for next year's team. The first crack at that comes from stats aficionado Rob Vollman, in coordination with Neil Greenberg, of, well, a lot of places. Their system, named after obscure grinder Harold Snepsts, looks at many common stats, such as goals, assists, and SOG, combined with the more advanced Goals Versus Threshold (GVT, explained here, here, and here) of all historical players since 1967. From there, I'll let Rob explain:

The method is reasonably simple: it searches post-expansion NHL history for players of a similar position and age whose era-adjusted statistics most closely match the target player, both for the current season, preceding season and previous career totals, in a 4:2:1 ratio.
The ten most similar players are used to set low-water, high-water and average scoring expectations for today's players, and also to initiate interesting conversations about a player's role and who he should be used.

For those interested in he data, you can find his spreadsheet here. For those who care solely about the Rangers, follow along after the jump.

Before I look at the projections for 2012-13, I wanted to see how their system did for 2011-12. The data for that is here, but here's the chart of the Rangers roster:

Name Proj G Proj A Proj P Actual G Actual A Actual P Delta Pts % Error
Artem Anisimov 0.19 0.26 0.45 0.20 0.25 0.46 -0.004 -0.94%
Sean Avery 0.05 0.20 0.25 0.20 0.00 0.20 0.051 25.65%
Ryan Callahan 0.29 0.36 0.65 0.38 0.33 0.71 -0.065 -9.12%
Michael Del Zotto 0.05 0.32 0.36 0.13 0.40 0.53 -0.168 -31.49%
Brandon Dubinsky 0.27 0.37 0.64 0.13 0.31 0.44 0.198 44.87%
Steve Eminger 0.02 0.07 0.08 0.05 0.07 0.12 -0.036 -30.62%
Ruslan Fedotenko 0.14 0.17 0.32 0.12 0.15 0.27 0.044 16.22%
Marian Gaborik 0.35 0.44 0.80 0.50 0.43 0.93 -0.131 -14.13%
Dan Girardi 0.08 0.28 0.36 0.06 0.29 0.35 0.006 1.65%
John Mitchell 0.14 0.13 0.26 0.08 0.17 0.25 0.010 3.79%
Brandon Prust 0.08 0.17 0.25 0.06 0.15 0.21 0.045 21.60%
Brad Richards 0.33 0.61 0.94 0.30 0.50 0.80 0.140 17.37%
Mike Rupp 0.26 0.23 0.49 0.07 0.02 0.08 0.406 487.28%
Marc Staal 0.09 0.25 0.34 0.04 0.07 0.11 0.232 213.63%
Anton Stralman 0.06 0.22 0.27 0.04 0.30 0.34 -0.066 -19.53%
Jeff Woywitka 0.05 0.07 0.12 0.04 0.19 0.22 -0.098 -44.11%
Total 2.44 4.15 6.60 2.41 3.63 6.03 0.564 9.34%
Total w/o Rupp
2.19 3.92 6.11 2.34 3.61 5.95 0.158 2.65%

Players with no projections not listed. Stats listed on a per game basis.

Overall, the system did pretty well, with a percent error of about nine and a half percent. That's well within the normal range for projections, as most do overestimate production. However, there is a notable outlier which is driving that error. Mike Rupp is projected as a 40 point player, which anyone can tell you wouldn't happen if you gave him three seasons. For whatever reason, he only had one comparable for their list, which wasn't much of one at all. Without that data point, Snepsts comes in at an excellent 2.65% overage for the eligible Rangers. One could even make a case that Staal's numbers are outliers as well, but injuries are a fact of life, and can't be discounted.

On the individual level, there is a lot more volatility. While Snepsts did well with Dan Girardi, Artem Anisimov, and John Mitchell, it missed big on Brad Richards, Michael Del Zotto, and Brandon Dubinsky (but who didn't there). So there's certainly room for improvement, which I'm sure is why Rob and company improved their formula for this season. Here's what we have to look forward to:

Name Proj G Proj A Proj P Low Goals High Goals Low Pts High Pts
Artem Anisimov 22.2 24.4 46.5 19.5 24.9 40.9 52.1
Brian Boyle 14.4 17.3 31.7 12.7 16.1 27.9 35.5
Ryan Callahan 24.9 28.9 53.8 21.9 27.9 47.3 60.3
Brandon Dubinsky 15.0 21.0 36.0 13.2 16.8 31.7 40.3
Ruslan Fedotenko 7.9 12.0 19.9 7.0 8.8 17.5 22.3
Marian Gaborik 31.7 38.4 70.0 27.9 35.5 61.6 78.4
John Mitchell 8.6 10.1 18.7 7.6 9.6 16.5 20.9
Brandon Prust 8.5 10.5 19.0 7.5 9.5 16.7 21.3
Brad Richards 21.3 37.0 58.3 18.7 23.9 51.3 65.3
Mike Rupp 4.2 7.7 11.9 3.7 4.7 10.5 13.3
Derek Stepan 21.9 29.4 51.3 19.3 24.5 45.1 57.5
Michael Del Zotto 10.2 27.5 37.8 9.0 11.4 33.3 42.3
Dan Girardi 5.4 22.8 28.2 4.8 6.0 24.8 31.6
Ryan McDonagh 6.6 22.3 28.9 5.8 7.4 25.4 32.4
Marc Staal 3.4 10.9 14.3 3.0 3.9 12.6 16.1
Anton Stralman 4.5 19.9 24.4 4.0 5.1 21.5 27.3
Total 210.8 340.1 550.7 185.5 236.1 484.6 616.8

Stats here based on 82 games played

I included Ruslan Fedotenko and John Mitchell in the projections, because for now they're still around. You can probably take their ~16 goals and ~39 points out as the Rangers move forward. We're also missing Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin from this list, so you can project what you want to add to this list. I think 30 goals and 75 points is a safe assumption from that duo, for a net addition of about 14 goals and 36 points to what is listed.

The low and high columns don't come from Snepsts67, those are my calculations. Given the data above, I built in a +/- 12% margin of error to their projections. I got that number by taking their percent error, and adding an addition margin of 25%, which is the standard deviation of the errors. I think that gives a fair range of where each player should end up. To get a proper number, I could compare their results league wide, but that's more labor intensive, and I don't think it would change that much anyway.

The Rangers scored 222 goals last year, and this says we should be right in that range again. If everyone tops out, we could be looking at 250 goals (again, swapping Kreider/Hagelin for Mitchell/Fedotenko), but that's optimistic at best. Right off the bat, we know that Marian Gaborik is unlikely to play 82 games, as is Ryan Callahan. Hence, the clear picture here is that the need for a scorer is still prevalent, even with some small jumps in production from Anisimov, Dubinsky, and Boyle. There are five fairly popular names these days when it comes to adding that scorer, so let's see what Snepsts67 has to say about them:

Name Proj G Proj A Proj P Low Goals High Goals Low Pts High Pts
Patrick Kane 27.9 42.6 70.5 24.6 31.3 62.0 79.0
Bobby Ryan 30.6 34.8 65.4 27.0 34.3 57.6 73.3
Rick Nash 27.9 31.0 58.9 24.6 31.3 51.8 66.0
Alexander Semin 21.5 33.5 55.0 18.9 24.1 48.4 61.6
Zach Parise 25.7 28.0 53.7 22.6 28.8 47.3 60.2

If he's actually available (and lord knows if he is), Patrick Kane is the best option on the list. At worst, he'd be the 2nd highest scorer on the team, but everything points to him being tops. At the bottom, and somewhat surprising, Snepsts67 does not like Parise. If this ends up being accurate, somebody could be very unhappy with the contract he'll inevitably sign. As for the rest, it's how most fans view their value. Bobby Ryan trumps Nash and Semin in both goals and points, and will be highly coveted if he is truly on the market. Although not included on the list because nobody wants him back he's not a goal scorer, P.A. Parenteau actually tops the UFA list in projected points, narrowly edging out Semin with a line of 17-39-56. He's not a talked about option, but if Sather would bring him back, he's likely also the cheapest option.

So what do you think? Which Rangers are too high? Which Rangers are too low? Finally, does this change your mind about any of the possible acquisitions? Let us know in the comments.

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