When looking at draft prospects, it's rare that a scouting report will ever have a projection that describes a player's exact future. Usually a report will consist of something along the lines of:
"Likely projects as an average top-six winger. If the skating takes a jump, he could be a below-average first liner, but if the physical game does not translate to the pros well, he could end up a journeyman."
However, when it comes down to ranking prospects and choosing prospect A over prospect B, if they both have very different projections how can you compare them? Well, the first step is to find out what the value is of those different projections. To find the value of players at different production points, I took GVT and Goals Versus Salary data from 2009-10 for all players under the age of 28. I chose under 28 as all players become UFA's after their age-27 season and get paid market price which makes them lose most of their value unless their production point is scarce. I also filtered out all players who came into the league young and got their big contract after playing seven years or in the rare case of an elite player simply skipping his second contract. The GVS data for forwards and defenders were different enough that I felt it was warranted to do two different graphs which was likely caused by the fact young defenders tend to produce less than forwards in their early 20's. The games played limit is 30.
Here is for forwards:
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