Bits: How important is even-strength scoring?

Here's some food for thought with the draft inching ever nearer: Just how important is even-strength production to determining a forward's value and inherent abilities? Rob Schremp Hockey was one of the extreme cases of powerplay specialism in the OHL -- one that intrigued Oilers fans a few years ago -- but then 17 of his 22 points with the Islanders this season were at even strength. It's also a topic on Oilers fans' minds because top-rated Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' WHL production is a little powerplay-heavy.

But should that matter? One believer at Copper & Blue went back over several seasons to take a look and found...maybe it's not as important as you might think. Intuitively I'm sure we'd all acknowledge the value of powerplay ability because goals are so precious in this game. But when pinning hopes on what a player adds to a team, I know I'm more comfortable when he's proven he can play in all situations.

And you? Are you situational or are you volume, volume, volume?

Islanders Links

LHH-centric: Our community-driven Mock NHL Draft went into hyperspeed yesterday with several nicely presented picks. Check the right margin for the latest FanPosts with each pick, or see the entire updated list here. Pauly C is on the clock with Washington's pick at 26.

LHH-centric II: At his blog Mikb is turning his futurist hockey sim into a chronicle, and part II goes into just how few NHL draft picks actually make it, how fewer ever have meaningful NHL careers.

Hockey Links

Up next: A discussion of the third jersey issue, followed by another report card.

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