Last summer Calgarypuck.com introduced a Likelihood Rating to each prospect to bring greater clarity to the overall prospect analysis.
For starters, the index provides a road map to how the team will look in the not too distant future by outlining which players are the most likely to take up spots with the big club due to evolution or injury.
The main reason for the inclusion of likelihood however is to help balance out the two sometimes opposing forces of upside and stability.
A player with great potential but huge stumbling blocks to prevent them from realizing their NHL dream may have very little value. Similarly, a player with a very limited potential and but a very workmanlike path for his NHL career will likely make it the show, but do very little when they get there.
For that reason it's nice to look at a balancing act between the indices to come up with a combined overall prospect rating.
For the sake of simplicity equal weighting was applied to both potential and likelihood since both seem to be extremely important to the finished product of each player.
Bringing likelihood together with potential did very little to the very top of the Calgarypuck.com prospect analysis for the summer of 2003.
Dion Phaneuf holds strong in top spot with a 4.43 rating made up of coincidental marks of 4.43 in potential and 4.43 in the chances of Dion making the jump to the NHL and having an impact.
Chuck Kobasew, the player selected for the second spot in the potential index, actually steps up a little bit by adding a 4.52 likelihood rating to a 4.20 potential grade for a combined rating of 4.36. Kobasew's "likelihood" will likely be verified this summer as he and Blair Betts are the co-leaders for the "most likely to graduate" from the prospect list this summer.
Then things get a little more interesting.
The third rated prospect in terms of upside, Russian goalie Andrei Medvedev, tumbles well down the combined list to 6th with his obvious future battle with weight control finding it's way into the analysis. Medvedev had a potential rating of 3.98 and a likelihood of only 2.96 for a combined rating of 3.47.
Michigan left winger Eric Nystrom is the first major benefactor of the combining process moving from his 7th spot in the potential list to the 3rd spot on the combined list by bringing together an upside score of 3.48 and a likelihood score of 4.19 for a combined grade of 3.84.
Calgary's projected fourth line center this season, Blair Betts, has a similar story moving up from his 10th place spot in potential to 4th spot on the strength of a 4.27 rating in likelihood.
The top five is rounded out by Tim Ramholt who held his potential position of 3.60 with a very similar likelihood rating of 3.57. The 3.57 rating is somewhat high for a Swiss prospect, but his comments after his draft selection and his potential movement to Canada for junior hockey has greatly effected his chances of making his way towards Calgary.
Another player that moved a great deal because of the likelihood included goaltender Brent Krahn and his shaky knees (4th in potential, but 9th in the combined analysis).