It seems every summer is now the “Summer of Analytics” in the NHL, as this year we’ve seen some relatively high-profile sites go dark and their creators scooped up to fill in-house roles with various clubs. Most notably to this point, Kevin Kan of DataRink was brought aboard by Eric Tulsky and the Carolina Hurricanes, then two extremely good stats resources – Puckalytics and HockeyAnalysis – were taken down as their owner David Johnson was picked up by the Calgary Flames.
Toronto was obviously in the market to bolster their team as well, posting a job opportunity earlier this offseason for someone with programming experience to join their analytics department (a.k.a Research and Development). It’s unclear if they’ve filled that specific role, but they’ve at least added to their overall group in some capacity with the hire of Jack Han, a former member of McGill University’s coaching staff – in charge of analytics and video for their women’s team. We know that Han will not be filling the video coach job left open by Justin Bourne’s departure to The Athletic, however, as evidently that position has been filled by Will Sibley in June.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 7, 2017
If you’re looking for more information on Han, Bob McKenzie published a nice profile of him at TSN last season, and you can read that here. And while some of his published material is likely to go dark in the coming days as the Leafs envelop their cone of silence, Han still has some work on the team available out there.
— Jack Han (@ml_han) October 29, 2016
Personally I’m not familiar enough with Han’s work, especially on the numbers side, to be able to say much about this hire one way or the other. But since the Leafs’ analytics renaissance took hold a couple years ago, they’ve continually pushed things in the right direction and clearly want keep adding voices at the table in that regard. So in that vein, at the very least this appears to be yet another forward-thinking move for the club, further providing a nice balance in the management group.