Ohio State students learn hockey analytics at conference

February 10, 2020
CBJ Hockey Analytics

The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Hockey Analytics Conference Feb. 8, and the Sport and Society Initiative was well-represented at the event.

SSI funded two students to attend, second-year Savannah Deuer and Abby Evans, a third-year, while data analytics student Nayan Patel presented on "A Data-Driven Model For Predicting NCAA DI Hockey Game Outcomes".

Dr. Nicole Kraft and Prof. Ryan Ruddy attended.

The conference began with Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen making the opening remarks, and then the conference was off and running into the presentations.

Nayan Patel

Patel's presentation was accepted after an open call for hockey analytics research. He is the co-vice president of the Sports Analytics Association at Ohio State and operates his own hockey analytics website: https://www.hockeyuanalytics.com/

While some presentations were more geared to data-driven audiences, many were easy to follow and provided some insights into specific hockey topics.

“My favorite presentation was provided by Alison Lukan, when she talked about the anatomy behind a power kill,” Deuer said. “It was so interesting to learn about different trends on a power kill from team to team and how that part of hockey is changing.”

Evans adding she found the panel of NHL general managers to be her favorite part of the day,

“I think the league is trending in an interesting direction and I’m excited to see where it goes,” she said.

Deuer and Evans have interests in the sports world, whether that’s in analytics or in more of a specific area, and expressed gratitude to SSI for the opportunity.

“I’m really thankful, because it allowed me to experience something I wouldn’t have been able to without SSI, and it provided me with such a unique experience in sports,” Deuer said.

“To be able to sit in the same room as NHL executives and general managers as a junior in college is really something remarkable and an amazing experience.” Evans added.