The Isles Secret Weapon – Being Ahead Of The Curve In Using Player Tracking Technology

The Isles Secret Weapon – Being Ahead Of The Curve In Using Player Tracking Technology

You might have missed a subtle tidbit on this year’s NHL Draft broadcast that the Isles organization likely didn’t want outed publicly.


TSN mentioned that the Isles are working with PowerScout Hockey. This is not surprising since the team has been using analytics since 2006 within the organization. They always seem to be looking for a leg up on the rest of the NHL using technology. Anyone who doesn’t understand they are deeply committed to analytics from their drafts all they way to their game nights are missing a very clear writing on the wall.


PowerScout Hockey provides products and services to NHL teams using cutting-edge optical tracking technology. They are a company who is trying to give NHL teams an advantage in how hockey is viewed and analyzed. The Columbus Blue Jackets have also been using them on a limited basis in the last few years.

PowerScout uses real-time analytics, large-scale data mining, and understanding the statistical science of winning hockey… if we use their own site description.


Basically, the Isles are using them for optical tracking where they can analyze the relative location of all the players and puck in real-time. With it they can see player speed and acceleration profiles, heat maps, and analyze defensive and offensive positioning. Per the website, they can analyze games, practices, development/training camps and combines.


Some samples of what they provide:

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In an article on there are some interesting things that PowerScout is using philosophically, besides in features:

“In our research, we’ve found that penalty killing is almost four times more important than power play. That was a massive finding. You’re not going to lose a game if you have a bad power play, but you will if you have a bad penalty kill.”
– Marc Appleby, Founder of PowerScout Hockey

On why they ignore plus/minus:

“We’re trying to look at player skills. When looking at an individual player’s statistics, plus-minus is a team statistic that’s applied to a player. We know that the trouble with plus-minus is that he could be just coming onto the ice or just going of the ice or not involved in the (goal-scoring) play. Players on really bad teams have low plus-minus because they lose a lot, not because they’re a bad player. It’s not an individual skill.”
– Marc Appleby, Founder of PowerScout Hockey

Give the article a read.





PowerScout Hockey Co-founder Terry Appleby on Overlooked Skills NHL Players Need to Help Team Win




BONUS: Their cute little “Moneyball” ad from 2011:


About B.D. Gallof

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