Cheriton researchers develop new passing models with NHL tracking data, win best research paper award at LINHAC 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022

photo of David Radke and Professor Tim Brecht

PhD candidate David Radke, Professor Tim Brecht, and their colleague (and David’s brother) Daniel Radke have received the best research paper award at LINHAC 2022, the Linköping Hockey Analytics Conference held in Sweden.

In their paper, “Identifying completed pass types and improving passing lane models,” the research team developed a mathematical model that uses puck-and-player tracking data to classify different types of completed passes and to determine the availability of potential pass receivers using data from 198 National Hockey League games. 

This new NHL puck-and-player tracking system, an analysis of the kinds of passes that can be extracted from it, and the model built to determine the size of passing lanes for completed direct and indirect passes have the promise to revolutionize hockey analytics, with implications for scouting, coaching, player development and fan engagement.

L to R: PhD candidate David Radke and his co-supervisor, Professor Tim Brecht. Daniel Radke was unavailable for the photo.

David is a PhD candidate at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, conducting research on artificial intelligence and multiagent systems with a focus on the impacts of teams, groups, and heterogeneous population structures on game theoretic models, agent preferences, and learning processes. He is also the assistant captain and defenceman on the University of Waterloo’s varsity men’s hockey team.

Tim Brecht is a Professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science who conducts research to understand and improve the performance of computer systems and networks. He has held positions as a visiting researcher at Netflix, a visiting scientist at IBM’s Center for Advanced Studies, a research scientist with Hewlett Packard Labs, and a visiting professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

To learn more about the research featured in this article, please see David Radke, Tim Brecht, Daniel Radke. Identifying Completed Pass Types and Improving Passing Lane Models. Linköping Hockey Analytics Conference (LINHAC 2022), June 6–8, 2022, Linköping, Sweden.
Please also see the paper synposis at and David’s conference presentation video below.