I’ll get the backstory out of the best way as shortly as potential: Following my commencement from college in 2010, I wrote about hockey because the business transitioned from print to on-line. I wrote for any web site that might pay me, specializing in the analytical aspect of the sport. At a sure level, I made up my mind that writing about hockey analytics within the early 2010s wasn’t a viable profession path and stop in the summertime of 2014 to start a brand new profession as a private coach.
Six weeks later, I acquired a textual content message with a job supply. For the subsequent eight years, I labored within the Hockey Research & Development division of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
When that division was fashioned in 2014, the panorama of hockey analysis was a lot completely different than it’s at the moment. At the time, it was most likely simpler to seize low-hanging fruit: Big gamers have been overvalued, small gamers have been undervalued, and groups signed gamers to contracts coming off career-high seasons in taking pictures proportion. Teams wasted roster spots on fighters, and so they wasted draft picks on tall gamers who may dunk a basketball however supply little on the ice.
Being capable of contribute to a workforce as the game bought progressively smarter was a rewarding expertise, if not a little bit annoying when the identical workforce (not saying who) saved drafting the identical gamers that our division needed to draft.
By 2022, the calls for of the job modified. The low-hanging fruit is arguably gone, and groups now want people who find themselves lots smarter than me to make sense of the thousands and thousands of information factors that groups have entry to. The fundamentals of hockey evaluation are so ingrained inside the Maple Leafs’ entrance workplace that they don’t want anyone on the desk telling them why it doesn’t make sense to increase a participant coming off a 21-goal season the place he shot 14.3 p.c, after beforehand solely taking pictures 7.3 p.c in his profession.