In this post, I will be projecting the NHL stat lines for several prospects of the Pittsburgh Penguins currently playing in the NCAA and Canadian Junior Hockey leagues.

To do this, I will be using NHL Equivalency method created by hockey/mathematical genius Gabriel Desjardins on his fantastic website Behind the Net.

Here are the numbers I used for each league to compile these numbers:

He studied the NHL and scoring trends for a 20 year period and developed a system to project how a player will do during their first NHL season based on their statistics in juniors/college.

It is far from perfect though. It does not take into account team strength, lack of PP time for rookies, etc. but it is serviceable and what the heck we’ll see where it goes.

(Desjardins metrics also predicted Crosby would not score 50 again last season – he was sort of right but only because of injury – read about it here)

Here is part two:

(Part 1 can be viewed here )

1. F Paul Thompson

Thompson put up huge numbers in the NCAA last season and his NHL projection is quite high. If he were given the chance to contribute in the top 6 this season, those numbers are within reach for the dynamic and skilled forward.

His AHL projections would be interesting but Desjardins’ formula doesn’t provide an NCAA to AHL projection. But alas I would expect him to be close to point per game in the AHL with plenty of power play time.

2. D Joe Morrow

I was unhappy with the Morrow selection at the time but the numbers he put up last season along with his future offensive potential have changed my mind.

As Morrow’s projections show, if he can stay healthy he will likely be able to contribute offensively in the NHL – perhaps even as a PPQB. His AHL projections are pretty realistic. If he was eligible to play in the AHL this season I would bet on him outscoring that projection.

3. F Ken Agostino

Agostino had an excellent freshman season at Yale, especially considering he entered the NCAA ranks as an unheralded 5th round pick from New Jersey.

His projection would be a solid season from a 19 year old NHL rookie but Agostino should breakout next season after leading the 2011 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in scoring and impressing everyone along the way.

4. F Ben Hanowski

Hanowski’s numbers are low because of his somewhat disappointing college statistics so far. Scouts have said since his high school days that he is a long term project and a scout for San Jose believes he can become a legitimate NHL goal scorer by age 25.

Hanowski will need to show something as a junior to make sure he remains a part of the Penguins future.

5. D Nick D’Agostino

D’Agostino has been nothing but solid since joining Cornell’s hockey team. He finished 2nd among defenseman on his team as a freshman and 1st as a sophomore. He is never going to light up the scoresheet but he is solid in all three zones.

Conclusion

The projection system is far from an exact science and the Penguins themselves are a difficult team to project prospects for due to their tendency to bring prospects along very slowly and really earn their ice time.

Thompson is probably the only player with a chance to see some NHL time this coming season. The rest will return to college or juniors to continue their development. Regardless, it is interesting to look at who had good seasons and what can be expected of some of the Penguins younger players.

Here is a recap chart showing all of the players’ projections in one place:

Part 3 will examine some of the Penguin prospects playing in the AHL: Joe Vitale, Keven Veilleux, Nick Petersen, Brian Gibbons, and Robert Bortuzzo.