Joel Broda: Possible Addition to the Flames' Prospect Stable?

joelbroda

CAREER STATISTICS
Yr Team LG GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG Shots PtsPG
2009-10 Calgary WHL 66 39 34 73 -1 65 23 1 - - 1.11
2008-09 Calgary WHL 28 17 22 39 20 19 5 0 - - 1.39
Moose Jaw WHL 39 36 12 48 7 45 8 4 - - 1.23
Total MJ/Cgy WHL 67 53 34 87 27 64 13 4 - - 1.30
2007-08 Moose Jaw WHL 70 28 22 50 -2 72 13 2 - - 0.71
Tri-City WHL 3 2 1 3 1 2 1 0 - - 1.00
Total TC/MJ WHL 73 30 23 53 -1 74 14 2 - - 0.73
2006-07 Tri-City WHL 71 16 28 44 7 62 8 0 3 - 0.62
2005-06 Tri-City WHL 51 3 1 4 -14 10 2 0 - - 0.08
2004-05 Tri-City WHL 2 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 - - 0.00
Total WHL 330 141 120 261 16 275 60 7 - - 0.79

Local boy, Calgary Hitmen Alum, and former Washington Capitals draft pick Joel Broda (6'1", 200lbs.) became a free agent recently, with the option to re-enter the draft, after the June 1st deadline for signing 2008 draft picks passed him by without a contract offer from the Caps. Broda led the WHL with 23 powerplay goals this past season and scored at a 1.11 PPG pace, scoring 39 goals and 73 points in 66 games, and led the Hitmen with 13 goals in 23 playoff games this spring.

Some may be a little wary of the fact that Broda's best seasons in the WHL came in his final two years of junior eligibility. He scored 53 goals and 87 points in 67 games (1.30 PPG) for Calgary/Moose Jaw as a nineteen-year-old, and accumulated 39 goals and 73 points in his final season as a twenty-year-old. Broda's PPG pace, however, has been steadily improving since his second full season in the WHL, aside from a slight dip in 2007-08 and in his final season after scoring at a 1.30 clip in 2008-09. 

Using Kent's work in his prospect profiles series as a template, I took a look at Broda's stats in his last year of junior: 

Hitmen total offence: 241 goals 

Broda total points:73

PPG: 1.11

ES Points: 30

PP Points: 42

SH Points: 1

% of total offence: 30.3% 

% at ES: 41.1% 

Approx. AHL output: 38 pts.

NHLE: 27 pts.  

Broda led the WHL with 23 powerplay goals this past season, scoring 0.64 PPP/per game for a total of 42 points with the man advantage; as a result, only 41.1% of Broda's 73 points in 2009-10 were scored at even strength. The Hitmen finished first in the WHL and had eight twenty-plus goal scorers on their roster this past season including Brandon Kozun,  Michael Stone, Tyler Fiddler, and Ian Schultz, and the fact that Broda contributed to 30.3% of his team's total offence indicates that he didn't ride the coattails of stronger teammates, although his results were probably still skewed by the strength of his team to some degree.

Lastly, I used league equivalencies to determine Broda's approximate output at the AHL and NHL levels in similar circumstances (top six minutes, top powerplay minutes). Gabe Desjardins found that a player's offensive output translates from junior to the AHL at a rate of a 0.43, meaning that Broda would score about 0.48 PPG in the minors, good for 38 points over the course of an 80-game season. Gabe also found that the transition from junior to the AHL is actually tougher for older players like Broda, because they've already reached their peak level of ability, whereas younger players typically continue to improve. A junior player's offence will translate to the NHL at a rate of about 0.30, so Broda would be expected to score 0.33 PPG (27 points) at the NHL level next season while playing under similar circumstances, which he likely wouldn't be as a rookie. 

For a team like Abbotsford that only scored 146 goals at even strength, had the 22nd ranked powerplay this past season, and appears primed to lose several players to free agency  this summer, it couldn't hurt for the Flames to take a chance on a guy like Broda to see what he can accomplish at the next level. Broda would be a low-risk, inexpensive signing, and although his junior results don't exactly jump off the page, he would undoubtably be a welcome addition to the Flames' prospect stable as PPG scorer and a powerplay specialist. 

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