what exactly does the kit provide?

The Hockey Keeper Kit provides a player ranking system that is fully customizable to the specifics of your leagues.  Unlike most fantasy websites that mostly rank players based on scoring statistics, my kit allows you to insert the stat modifiers that your league uses for all of the common player and goalie stats to create a real-time ranking of players at all positions.

In addition to the player ranking list, I've added two new features that make my kit valuable beyond the draft.  Following your draft, you can input which players each team in your league drafted in order to compare the full projections of each team.  Additionally, I've created a trade tool to give you a full analysis of even the most complex trade.

What is the purpose of this kit?

Well, there are a few purposes.  Firstly, it is to help provide more of a stats-based guide of who to draft based on mathematical projection (NOT PREDICTIONS!!!).  Sites like Yahoo or ESPN tend to rank players based on strict scoring stats rather than secondary stats like hits, blocks, faceoffs, etc..  While they generally do a pretty good job of ranking the top few players, the way you really do some damage is by stealing those players in the later rounds who can provide a nice, consistent stream of points whether they are "pure scorers" or "all-arounders".

The second important part of this guide is its aim to try to evenly rate players of all positions.  If you've played for any considerable time (and if your drafts are deep enough), you'll quickly learn that there are considerable drop-offs in most positions after a certain point (outside of maybe centres).  I won't get into the math regarding how everything is calculated, but this guide basically finds the best and worst players in each stat category for each position and ranks all the rest of the players in between.

Lastly, it aims to identify risk/reward factors.  We've all dealt with those injury-prone players always tending to get injured at the most inopportune times, so this guide wants to identify these players.  While some players are worth the trouble, there may be others worth avoiding.

More than anything, remember that this is a "guide".  Do your research.  Read up on these players.  Read up on their teams.  Which linemates are your targeted selections projected to be playing with?  If they got traded in the off-season, try to determine if their situation might get better or worse on that new team.  Just know who you are picking beyond my rankings.


supplementary features

Firstly, the Team Ranker will basically show you how your team fairs against the others in the league.  Following your draft, you will want to specify what players went to which teams.  Note that you will only want to specify active players as those in IR slots, etc., will unfairly improve a teams rankings.  If there are 8 teams in your league, you will want to use the numbers 1 through 8 to denote each team.  If there are 16 teams in your league, you will want to use the numbers 1 through 16 to denote each team.  If you use a number that does not fall within this range, the Team Rankings sheet will not use these players and it will not work as intended.  You can then specify the team names under the "Team Name" column on the Team Ranking tab to help you identify the teams.

After you have completed the tedious task of relating each player to a team, you can see what the Total Projected Fantasy Points for each team will be, the Projected Rank of all the teams, and the Distributed Rank of all the teams by scrolling to the far right of the table.  The Projected Fantasy Points and Rank should be straightforward enough, however, the "Rank Distribution" is the real meat of the table.  While it basically does the same as "Rank", this value will show the distribution of the teams and specifically how much of a perceived gap there is between each.  Don't be concerned if your team does not hit the top rank as this can have just as much to do with drafting position, drafting styles, player age, etc..

Lastly, the "Trade Analyser" tab is fairly straightforward once you've played with it a bit.  Really, you don't want to touch anything other than filling in the players to be traded to each team in the top boxes under the "Team A Players (Full Name Required)" and "Team B Players (Full Name Required)" columns.  Remember, you are listing these as the players each team is getting, not as the players there are trading away.  The rest of the tables will auto-fill once you've done this.  Make sure you spell the names correctly as they need to exactly match those in my Stat Sheet (for instance, don't put 'Alexander' for Alex Ovechkin).  While the tables below the manual input tables will break done each player's contribution in the trade, the table immediately to the right of the manual input table should summarize the overall trade.

The main point of the Trade Analyser is firstly for its use on multi-player trades as well as to help you assess how secondary scoring stats come into play.  From my experience, Yahoo's version of this tool does not include secondary stats like hits and blocks so you may be able to snag some of these all-arounders using this tool.


strengths and limitations of the kit

I'm not about to pretend that my guide is perfect.  I'm not a fortune teller.  All of my projections are strictly based on math.  I do my best to review the data to make sure the math makes sense and I recommend doing the same yourself (critiques are welcome).  Flag players that don't make sense and avoid drafting them.  Do your reading.  There are lots of free draft guides out there that give quick write-ups on most players (you can find links to these in my resource section) that you should use in conjunction with my kit.  Again, these other guides are more typically "one size fits all" in nature and what they don't provide are the full gauntlet of fantasy stats for players as they mainly predict offensive numbers.


If you have any statistical experience, you should know that you need a good sample size of data to calculate projections.  This rule obviously will impact my projections for those young studs out there.  My guide avoids the hype machines and usually just predicts a marginal improvement in games played and stats for those young players.  Additionally, I do not make predictions for rookies.  I cannot predict ahead of time what players will make their respective teams out of training camp and I also can't extrapolate NHL production from minor (or junior) league numbers.  Typically, only the most hyped rookies ever get drafted in fantasy anyway and they often don't pay immediate dividends so most can often be had as waiver claims.  What I have highlighted in my kit are the sophomore players for the purpose of using them as comparables for potential prospects for you to make your own reasonable predictions of future performance.  The strength of my kit is in its ability to identify those all-around performers that will fill out 95% of your team while you use the odd draft pick or waiver pick-up on sleepers and rookies.  While every year there will be your Mackinnon's, McDavid's, and Matthews' that go high in the draft (whether warranted or not), there will also be the Forsberg's, Gostibehere's and Panarin's that come pretty much out of nowhere who find themselves playing top-line minutes.  With my kit, you will have the solid performers already in place to allow you to take early risks on these players when they first start showing signs of production on the waiver wire.


My kit also tends to favour the "sure thing" over expecting continued production following blow-out seasons.  I'm a huge believer in the contract year all-star (which is why I highlight players going into contract years).  For those who don't understand the reference, it is a widely held belief that players who are going into the year in which their contracts expire will typically outperform their average production.  This mostly stems from players wanting to maximize the dollars and term for their next contract.  Take advantage of these players in their contract year and, contrastingly, expect declines in the year following their new contract signing.  The same goes for players who have break-out seasons well above their typical production.  Do you expect Patrick Kane to repeat what he did this year for next year or for him to even improve on what he just accomplished?  I prefer to expect a fall back to the mean and that is exactly what my kit projects.  Let someone else take the risk or sell high if you have the benefit of drafting them.


Lastly, most kits have a hard time predicting drop-offs for those players who have had solid production for most of their careers.  Where my guide might undervalue scorers after break-out season, it might also overvalue older skaters based on their typical production.  Beware of older players like the Chara's and Hossa's of the world.  While they may have been all-stars in their days, age eventually catches up to them.  Actually, this sentiment is two-fold.  Obviously, players age and their production goes down as the rigors of the game catches up to them, however, age literally catches up to them in the fact that young prospects eventually overthrow them.  Typically, the drop-offs aren't pronounced and sudden, however, if all of a sudden a prospect replaces your elder statesman on the depth chart (and the reason isn't just injury-related) you may want to look into other options.


Regardless, of the flaws of my kit, the proof is in the pudding.  I'm a good 'ole fashioned Canadian boy who likes to provide a good helping of honesty regarding what you might plan on investing in.  Proceed to my "Proof of Concept" page to see the true results of my kit.