While normal hockey databases are incredibly popular, they are quite limited. They are serviceable, displaying the statistics most hockey fans deem essential to evaluating a certain player. But what all hockey fans understand is that traditional hockey databases have their innate shortcomings. Those shortcomings are inevitable given how these traditional databases are structured.
As useful as they are, they only display raw statistics. Goals, assists, points, et cetera, are all given, but those numbers can only tell part of a player's story, and as a result, there are glaring inefficiencies in a casual hockey fan's analysis of certain players.
Take the case of New York Islanders forward Joshua Ho-Sang as an example of this. This is the information a traditional hockey database would provide:
What does this tell us? It gives us the impression that Ho-Sang is a relatively weak offensive player, as he has 24 points in 53 career games, good for a career points-per-game mark of ~.452 points per game, making it a 37 point pace over a full 82 game season. 37 points for a winger, in a vacuum, isn't impressive production, and would suggest that Ho-Sang is a poor offensive talent. Despite these numbers, Ho-Sang's case is simply far more complicated than this table could ever depict.
As we mention in our scouting report, Ho-Sang is an incredibly electric offensive talent, with high end skating, speed, and raw offensive upside. He is, though, as a result, an incredibly flawed player. His play away from the puck leaves much to be desired, and despite the fact that he's always making something happen when he's on the ice, he's prone to getting exposed by opposing teams that prey on his offensive aggressiveness and risk-taking style to create counterattacking rushes and quality chances. He's got so much talent, but so much baggage, and so much to work on.
All of this information is essential to having a detailed understanding of who Ho-Sang is as a player, but none of this information is available on traditional hockey databases. In fact, by providing only the basic hockey statistics hockey fans have relied on for generations, they perpetuate the inefficiencies in player evaluation that fans have been exposed to for generations.
HockeyAtlas is an attempt to change this. HockeyAtlas is centered on the principle that hockey is more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. Hockey is such a fast and dynamic sport that no number can truly be able to fully encapsulate what happens on the ice at any given moment. That's just the reality we hockey fans live in. So, HockeyAtlas is the way of compensating for that reality's shortcomings. By providing fans with accurate, up to date scouting reports of the full organization of every NHL team, so that no fan is misled by raw numbers and so that every fan can get access the full portrait of their favorite players. It's an ambitious project, but one with the potential to truly improve every hockey fan's awareness of the complexity present in the world's greatest game. To any new visitor, we're glad you're joining us, and we hope you learn something.