Photo: Addison Huber, 2010
The Caps drafted Stan Galiev in the third round of the 2010 draft. After failing to establish himself as even an AHL regular prior to last season, Galiev finally showed promise in 2014-15, posting 45 points in 67 games for the Hershey Bears and one goal in two games for the Caps. The skillset on display last season has given some high hopes for Galiev’s future in the NHL.
Josh W. (whom you should follow on Twitter) of Canucks Army recently wrote a useful post in which he establishes baselines for AHL prospects achieving NHL success. The rub is this: Despite Galiev’s strong showing in the AHL in 2014-15 and his high-end skill set, chances are he will not grow into an NHL regular.
The chart below is from Josh’s article (which you should definitely read). In the chart, a player’s age is determined by how old he is on September 15 of the season in question. In order to qualify as an AHL player in a given season, a player must appear in at least 30 AHL games. For a player to be considered a “success”, he has to go on to appear in at least 200 NHL games. The sample is from 2000-2010.
Galiev just completed his age-22 season. Of the 565 22-year-old forwards who played 30 or more games in an AHL season between 2000-2010, just 18.58 percent went on to play in 200 or more NHL games. If Galiev plays in 30 or more AHL games in 2015-16, his chances of success drop to 12.45 percent. The fact is– the majority of players who go on to play in 200-plus NHL games don’t spend as much time in the AHL at 22 as Galiev did.
Below, you can see, by age, the AHL points per game of the prospects as well as how many games they went on to play.
In his age-22 AHL season, Galiev averaged 0.67 points per game. As you can see, there is a big cluster of players around this production level who never go on to achieve Josh’s definition of NHL success. Josh suggests that 1 point per game is the benchmark for a 22-year-old in the AHL who hopes to go on to play in 200 or more NHL games.
But, as Josh stated in his article, this is a look at probabilities, not destinies. No one says that Galiev can’t or won’t go on to play in a lot of NHL games. He’s a talented player whose development took a big step forward last season. And, given the fact that he has to pass through waivers to be sent to the AHL, he’ll be given every chance to make the Caps this season. But, if Galiev goes on to have a successful NHL career, he would be an exception to the rule.
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