2012 NHL Draft – Young d-man being overlooked

2012 is an excellent year for defenseman prospects. You’ve got Ryan Murray, Matthew Dumba, Morgan Reilly, Cody Ceci, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Finn, Derrick Pouliot, Slater Koekkoek – no matter who’s rankings you’re looking at, you can probably find defensemen occupying almost half of the first round.

One guy who isn’t getting the attention he deserves, in my opinion, is Jacob Trouba. Yes, he’s universally ranked in the top-15 and usually in the top-10, but on most media rankings I’m looking at, you can find more than a couple of the above names ranked ahead of Trouba. I think that’s crazy.

There is almost literally nothing not to like about Trouba. He’s got good size – not huge, but at 6’1 – 6’2 and almost 200 pounds, he’s plenty big enough. He was Team USA’s best defenseman in the World Juniors this year – ahead of already drafted previous first round picks like Jarred Tinordi and Derek Forbort. Granted, Team USA was a disaster – but Trouba was very, very good in a tournament where the stars are usually 19 year olds – and he was more impressive than Murray was in the same tournament. He’s a fantastic skater and has good offensive capabilities, including a powerful point shot. He likes to hit – but he’s very smart about it and is rarely caught out of position defensively. He doesn’t panic with the puck on his stick and he makes very good breakout passes. This is one of the most complete, talented defenseman prospects to come around in a while.

This is no exaggeration. If it sounds like I’m saying Trouba has almost no weaknesses in his game, it’s probably because I am. His overall offensive game does need work, but the potential is obviously there. As it is, he’s probably a pretty safe pick – it’s hard to imagine he won’t be at worst a #5/6 defenseman somewhere – if he bulked up a bit, he could probably be that next year, although he would probably benefit from an extra year or two of development somewhere. But if his offensive game comes around and his development goes as expected, he is one of the few guys who could be a true #1 defenseman.

He’s drawn comparisons to Jack Johnson, which in my opinion are off-base – he’s going to be much better defensively than JJ, and his offensive game isn’t quite what Johnson’s is (though it could definitely get there). I think they’re a completely different type of player. Jack Johnson is known as an offensive defenseman.. Trouba is definitely a shut-down type guy first, although he can do it all. A better comparison I’ve seen is Jake Gardiner.. they have very similar playing styles and skillsets, though I think Trouba has a little more upside – which is saying a lot, because Gardiner is a very good young player.

With Dumba, you have an offense-first defenseman – though he’s a heck of a player and is not bad defensively at all. With Reilly, you have question marks about his injuries and also defensive ability to some extent, although there may not be a more offensively talented blueliner in the draft. No prospect is a sure thing, but every defenseman prospect in this draft has some question marks with the exception of Murray and Trouba. I don’t see how he can’t be the #2 defenseman in the draft – and I’d carefully consider putting him above Murray, too. He’s a top-3 prospect in my opinion, and I think a lot of people are overlooking this kid. The Jets are picking at #9, and I’m desperately hoping there are eight other NHL teams who overlook him too (and, of course, that the Jets do not). He’s going to make some NHL team very happy.

Comment here: http://forums.hockeysim.ca/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5602

UHS Build 4724 released

BUILD: 4724
Release Date: April 29 2012
Next Planned Release Date: Spring 2012

[BUILD NOTES]

This build was focused primarily on ease of life and UI enhancements. Being a GM in a league I found there were quite a few things I found myself wanting / needing and found myself constantly switching back and forth between UHS and my league’s site (yes… 3 founds… I’m aware of that grammar nazis). Besides that there were a few developments I wanted to knock off the list while I was in there as they had been lingering or I really needed them in to help with simming the 2012 playoffs.

Forwards
We are introducing the new “Forward” position. We all know there are a few guys out there that can play any of the C-LW-RW spots so this position will represent that. It is not intended to create leagues full of Forwards or eliminate the C-LW-RW positions as I believe those are vital to overall team strategies but is more intended as a bonus.

– The Forward position will be represented with a F.
– Anytime a player is created that could be a C-LW-RW there is a 10% chance they will instead become a F.
– Forwards can occupy any C-LW-RW position in the game roster or custom lines with no position penalties.
– Commissioners have the option to change a player’s position to F when they edit a player.
– I intentionally did not add a toggle for this position as I believe it should be an added strategic piece for all leagues.

GM Personnel
– A Player’s Height and Weight will now be shown.
– The Personnel section is now sorted as C – LW – RW – F – D – G instead of by Position. This will allow us to group the forwards at the top instead of having them interspersed throughout the page.

GM Trade Centre
There were a bunch of things added / changed here. Previously only having two views (Incoming and All Trades) made things a bit heavy for trying to sort through all the trades a GM could potentially make. Speaking from first-hand use these changes should dramatically improve a GM’s experience in sorting through and dealing with trades.

– The Make Trade option is now available above all Trade Centre lists / reports.
– GMs now have a Recent Incoming and Recent Outgoing link. These will show all trades from the last 30 days.
– GMs now have a Recently Resolved link. This will show all trades that have been resolved within the last 7 days going forward. Trades resolved prior to this build being released will not be picked up.
– GMs now have a All Unresolved link. This will show all trades that are either Not Viewed or Viewed.
– GMs now have a Latest Trades link. This will show all Unresolved trades as well as trades that were actioned within the last 7 days. Again, trades actioned prior to this build being released will not be picked up.
– The Latest Trades section is now the default location a GM is taken to when clicking on the Trade Centre menu item or Trade Alert link.
– A link has been added for Trade Alerts.

Scouting Changes
Several Scouting Report changes have been made in addition to the Available Prospects section in the Entry Draft area.

– Scouting Reports older than 2 seasons will no longer be deleted.
– All scouting reports are now available for a given player by looking at the Player Profile and clicking on the Scouting tab.
– COMs will not be able to view scouting reports when viewing a player profile if their league is set to hide skills.
– Coach skills will now be shown on the Coach’s profile if their league is set to show skills.
– The Entry Draft page for GMs will now have links to the player profile for any given player.
– The Available Prospects section has been split up into Skaters and Goalies.
– The Available Prospects section will now show the height, weight, skill class, and previous season’s statistics for any given player.
– The Player Search text field now has focus once the page loads so you can start typing right away instead of having to click into the text box.

Alert Changes:
– The Salary Cap and Roster / Lines warnings that appear in the GM’s alert section will no longer be shown when the league is in the Off-Season.
– Roster / Line warnings no longer appear in the COM’s alert section if the league is in the Off-Season.

COM Team Management:
– COMs will no longer see GR/CL errors for defunct teams.
– COMs can now view a team’s finances and ledger. Clicking on a team name will bring up the Team Options submenu in the table of contents. The Finance and Ledger links are there.
– Junior teams that cannot fill a game roster will now automatically create their own players (by cron job) and correct the game roster without requiring the COM to manually do so.

COM Create Player UI: The Skaters option is now renamed Any Skater.

Simultaneous Updates: We’ve added a setting to indicate whether a game is currently being simmed in an effort to prevent games from being simmed by two people (or jobs) at the same time. This would usually result in a single game being simmed twice or even three times.

Standings Change: The previous season’s regular season standings will be shown if your league is in the Off-Season.

Award Names: COMs can now edit award names. They also have an option to have the name change be applied recursively instead of going forward.

Bug Fixes

– Fixed a bug that prevented the automated set up of new leagues. Released on April 20 2012.
– When GMs change their password this will also update their user information in the league’s Members table. Released on April 20 2012.
– Fixed an issue where a comma would sometimes appear in a trade line for the Activity Report.
– Fixed an issue where the Show All Players section in GM Scouting for leagues with skills shown will now appear properly.
– Fixed an issue where changing to a previous season’s Scouting Report list will no longer take you to the Player Search page.
– Debugging information is no longer shown when a player refuses a contract offer to hold out for free agency.
– Fixed an issue with the css styles for Show All Coaches in the GM Scouting area for leagues with skills shown.

[LEAGUE TABLE CHANGES]

[CoachMoves]
– Change MoveDate DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL

[Ledger]
– Change Date DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL

[PlayerMoves]
– Change MoveDate DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL

[PlayerTrades]
– Change Date DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL

[Transactions]
– CHANGE Date DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL
– ADD Season INT NOT NULL DEFAULT 0 AFTER Date
– ADD GMDate DATETIME NULL DEFAULT NULL

Comment Here: http://forums.hockeysim.ca/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5599

UHS Build 4548 released

BUILD: 4548
Release Date: April 15 2012
Next Planned Release Date: Spring 2012

[BUILD NOTES]

This is more of a functional / behind-the-scenes build…  we needed to make a few changes in the back-end to more or less keep myself sane.

New Support System
What we’re looking at now is the introduction of the osTicket system.  The form that previously appeared on the home page will now only appear if you are logged into UHS.  Your username and league information will automatically be attached to the form when you submit your issue.  If you are not logged in you can send an email to us at uhs AT hockeysim.ca and a ticket will automatically be created for you.  You can continue to use our Technical Issues forum to submit your issues.  When a ticket is created you will receive a notification email with your ticket number.  You can use this to log into our ticket system site at http://support.hockeysim.ca and enter both your email address and ticket number to view or update your ticket.

Ticket Responders
Your ticket will get a response from one of our volunteers, either Nick or Trevor.  Another BIG thank you to them for helping me out.  In cases where they can’t answer a question they will re-assign the issue to me to have a look at.

SubDomains
SubDomains are no longer offered as part of the free UHS service.  In order to get a subdomain for your league you will now need to subscribe to either the FTP service or the Premium Package.  Leagues that currently have a subdomain can rest assured that you will continue to have this for free…  you are being grand-fathered in.

Waivers
Any players still going through waivers at the end of a season (meaning when the season changes from Play-Off to Off-Season) will automatically be removed.  This is being done to close a bit of a gap in sneaking players down to the minors without having them go through waivers again.

Playoff Series Start Date
COMs will now see a Series Start Date field beside their “Create Games” button.  This is being done more as a quick-fix to address an issue where game dates would be WAY off for playoff games.

Bug Fixes
– Fixed an issue where the player getting penalized for stopping a breakaway would be allowed to take a shot on goal immediately afterwards.  Released as hotfix on March 6 2012.
– Fixed an issue where a different player could be penalized when a penalty is called from a breakaway.  Released as hotfix on March 6 2012.
– Fixed an issue where weird penalties could be called from breakaways… (like Delay of Game).  Released as hotfix on March 6 2012.
– Fixed an issue where all penalties would be negated if a power-play goal was scored.  Released as hotfix on March 6 2012.
– Fixed an issue where incomplete lines would not get detected as an error.
– Fixed an issue where the play by play entry was missing when a player receives a game misconduct after a check.
– Fixed an issue where PlayOff game dates would not appear in the proper order.

[LEAGUE TABLE CHANGES]

none

Comment here: http://forums.hockeysim.ca/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5574

2012 Stanley Cup UHS Sims

Stanley Cup Predictions

For the past two years we’ve put UHS to the test…  how accurate can it be…?  can it predict the outcomes of playoff games?  The last two seasons it was marginally successful…  I believe it scored around the 60% mark.  Definitely not something you’d want to start relying on to play Pro-Line.

Well…  we’re at it again…  These predictions were made using the line-ups found on DailyFaceoff.com…  a great site for finding out who the starting goaltenders are, who is injured and what the potential line ups are going to be.

After each game day, I’ll post up the pre-game roster sim results along with the post-game sim results… I’d like to use the actual game rosters to see how UHS compares.  I may not get to it after each game but they’ll eventually be done.

For these simulations please note:
– Chemistry is OFF.
– Out of Position Negative modifiers is OFF.
– Sometimes teams put a forward as a defenseman on a powerplay unit… in these cases we’ve had to place the next D-man in that spot as UHS does not allow forwards in defenseman spots.
– The games are based on the lines and starting goaltenders found on DailyFaceoff.com…  we won’t know if they are 100% accurate until the game has been played… but they’re going to be fairly accurate.
– NHL player’s height and weight fields are not accurate… this could plays a bigger part in determining check results and can affect the outcomes of games.

Preliminary Round

Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
UHS: Vancouver will take this series in 7 games.  Initially LA had a 3 – 0 series lead but the Canucks bounced back to eliminate the Kings.
James: Vancouver is thanking their stars they’re not going against Chicago, however, I think this series is going to come down to goaltending…  Luongo vs. Quick…  I’ll say Vancouver takes this series in 7, but not because of Luongo…  It’s a good thing they didn’t trade Schneider at the deadline.

St. Louis vs. San Jose
UHS: San Jose knocks of St.Louis in 5 games.  All the games were fairly close, so the RNG (random number generator) gods could certainly have favoured the Sharks in this case…  and it could certainly have gone the other way.
James: I know they’re the number 3 team in the league… but… it’s ST.LOUIS we’re talking about here.  My Sharks could certainly pull off an upset, however, I think overall, the Blues are going to take this in 6.

Phoenix vs. Chicago
UHS: Phoenix takes out Chicago in 5.  The simulator says that Phoenix will basically dominate the Blackhawks… only one win was decided by a single goal… the rest were 3 or 4 goal differences.
James: I have to disagree with UHS.  Chicago just has too much talent to get knocked off by Phoenix.  The ONLY thing they really have going for them is Mike Smith.  But I think Chicago’s snipers are going to make short work of him.  Chicago in 5.

Nashville vs. Detroit
UHS: Nashville beats Detroit in 7 games.  The home team won the first four games…  then the away teams won games 5 and 6.  Nashville takes game 7 in overtime.
James: I can agree with this.  Detroit is fading… and while they are introducing young players again…  they’re not the dominant force they used to be.  I will say Nasville in 6 games.

New York Rangers vs. Ottawa
UHS: Ottawa upsets the Rangers in 6 games.  The games were all relatively close… with the exception of game 3.. Ottawa won that one 8 – 1.. I imagine Lundqvist went down or something.
James: I really dislike both teams…  but I honestly can’t see Ottawa beating New York… even in 7…  I’ll go with New York in 5.

Boston vs. Washington
UHS: Boston beats Washington in 5 games.  More or less a complete dominance over the Capitals.  Boston even gets a 5 – 0 shut-out in game 3.
James: There are two questions here…  1. Will Tim Thomas put up the same performance as he did last year?  2. Will Ovechkin snap out of his ego-driven BS and actually lead the team?  I think the answers are 1. Yes and 2. No.  Boston in 6.

Florida vs. New Jersey
UHS: New Jersey takes this in 7 games.  This series was back and forth the whole way.  I was surprised that Florida put up that much of a fight.
James: Even though they are the number 3 seed it’s merely through a quirk of the NHL Playoff structure… hopefully the NHL will go to a top-16 format and let the teams have at it.  Anyway… back to this series.  I think New Jersey will take this one in 5.

Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
UHS: Apparently the simulator doesn’t Philadelphia…  good… neither do I.  Pittsburgh sweeps the Flyers out of the playoffs.
James: This is going to be a battle.  Crosby is either going to shine or he’s going to get his head taken off.  If I have to make a pick… I’m going to give the edge to Pittsburgh…  Penguins in 7.

Quarter Finals

These are based on the outcomes that UHS predicted and continue to use the same rosters that they have now.

San Jose sweeps Vancouver out.  All the games were close except for a 4 – 0 victory in game 3.  While I would LOVE for this to happen, I don’t think the Sharks would be able to beat Vancouver…  unless they didn’t pull Luongo out fast enough if he started to crash.

Phoenix beats Nashville in 6.  Most of the games were relatively close… 2 goals but Nashville always won by at least 3 goals.  In the real world I think Nashville goes on… Mike Smith may be hot but it depends if that streak can carry on… Rinne is the real deal.

Ottawa upsets Boston in 6. There were a couple of big blow out games here, however, the remainder of the series was close.  This could be the act of the RNG gods at play here, but in the real world there is no way Anderson beats out Thomas.

New Jersey sweeps Pittsburgh.  I’d say this could possibly happen…  after a tough series with Philadelphia the Pens may not have enough stuff to go up against the Devils who likely had an easy ride against the Panthers.

Semi Finals

San Jose beats Phoenix in 6 games.  I think it’s unlikely this series would happen, however, the numbers say that Phoenix is the better team.  I again think it’s only because of hot goaltending.  While it can get you far (look at the Ducks) it’s likely due to fizzle out (look at Jon Casey – Minnesota v. Pittsburgh).  I would give this series to San Jose…  just cause they’re my buds.

New Jersey sweeps Ottawa.  Possibly.  What’s more likely to happen is that New Jersey could take these clowns out in 5 or 6 games.  Anderson will win them one or two but that’ll be it.

Stanley Cup Finals

New Jersey beats San Jose in 5 games.  Apparently the Cinderella post-season is over for San Jose.  New Jersey continues to get easy opponents and cruises to another Stanley Cup victory.  This series will at least save Doug Wilson’s job as GM.  In reality…  well…  I love my Sharks…  but I think New Jersey would ultimately win out in 7.

This is what I think is REALLY going to happen:
Round 1
Vancouver beats Los Angeles.
St. Louis beats San Jose.
Chicago beats Phoenix.
Nashville beats Detroit.
New York Rangers beat Ottawa.
Boston beats Washington.
New Jersey beats Florida.
Philadelphia beats Pittsburgh.

Round 2
Chicago beats Vancouver.
Nashville beats St.Louis.
New York Rangers beat New Jersey.
Philadelphia beats Boston.

Round 3
Nashville beats Chicago.
New York Rangers beat Philadelphia.

Stanley Cup
New York Rangers beat Nashville.

Comment here: http://forums.hockeysim.ca/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5564

UHS – What’s New? April 2012

I thought I’d take the time to let you all know what’s been going on around here and what our plans are for the future.

Server Move: I am still looking for a VPS provider that will offer what we’re currently getting now.. minus the downtime of course.

NHL Player Updates: I had to take UHS down for a few hours yesterday to perform an update of all NHL Players….  It look a “bit” longer than usual due to two factors: 1) I have to manually perform the conversions from the updated NHL09 db.  2) I added in AHL players and assigned them to their NHL teams and had to go through to remove duplicates.

I’ve added a new development item to allow UHS to maintain the players ourselves as (I just found out) most of those NHL players were baselined at 6’2 and 205lbs…  which also means I’ll be going through each on to update the height/weight to whatever it currently is.  Back to the new development…  if we go ahead and do this it will mean a TON more maintenance as we’d need to be on top of any player moves or changes… be it pro or farm… and sometimes I can slack a bit and let those pile up…

UHS Support: We’re going to be making a few changes here.  For one we will be using a new ticket system where your questions can be recorded and tracked.  You will be able to log in and see any responses as well as respond to our experts (more on this later).  It also means that we’ll be forwarding any messages sent to the uhs@hockeysim.ca address to this new support system.  It’s definitely necessary as emails sent there will get sent to my phone but I may not be able to respond immediately… and when that happens I’ll forget about them.  Not good.

UHS Experts: Both Nick and Trevor have graciously volunteered to help out with the Support ticket responses so you’ll start seeing responses from them.  A BIG thank you to them for stepping up to help me (and all of you) out.

As always… if you need to get a hold of you or find out what’s going on with UHS you can nab me on twitter @HockeySimCA or just fire up a post on the forums in UHS General.  I tend to use twitter more for outbound communication vs. actually monitoring mentions or replies, however, I am basically on the forums 24/7 and have it set up to email me whenever anyone makes a post in UHS General or UHS Technical Issues… so I’ll know relatively quickly when you make your post.

Have a good one!

James Young
UHS Owner/Operator

Comment here: http://forums.hockeysim.ca/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5563