Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Which picks pay off

Seth Rorabaugh from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a beautiful draft chart on Friday that looked at the top 805 NHLers from the end of the season and where they were picked in the draft.

From all the mountains of weekend copy, it was by far the most interesting thing I read on the entry draft. At the very least, it gives you an idea of the value of the different rounds in the annual pick 'ems event.

Using his results, here's my own portrait of which picks pay off in the draft based on current league content:

Round 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th Undraft
31.7% 15.9% 9.6% 6.8% 4.7% 5.2% 6.5% 3.7% 3.5% 0.7% 0.4% 11.3%
One-third of the NHL comes from the first round, which isn't quite as high as you'd suspect, while there are far more undrafted players than those picked in the crap shoot rounds.

(Keep in mind that the draft went down to seven rounds in 2005.)

That's probably the last draft-related post for a while. Expect a heavy dose of free agency material to come.



At 6:10 a.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Interesting that the seventh round is more productive than the fifth or sixth. Why? Is it that this is where organizations tend to take a flier on talented European prospects who aren't expected to actually come over?

At 7:03 a.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger Seth Rorabaugh said...

You're just being nice for the love I gave your post about about the Lightning's developing circus.

I'm still amused the Lightning and Red Wings, the worst and the best, have the fewest amount of first-rounders on their rosters.

At 8:36 a.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger JP said...

As the number of draft rounds has shrunk from 11 to now seven, you'd expect the number of undrafteds making it to the NHL to be increasing. Considering that 8.3% of the players that ended the season on NHL rosters were drafted in rounds that no longer exist and 11.3% were undrafted, how long before there are more undrafted players in the NHL than guys taken in the second round? What, if anything, does this say about the quality of NHL scouting?

At 8:45 a.m., June 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, if anything, does this say about the quality of NHL scouting?

It might say even more about the inability to project a 17 or 18 year old kid into a grown man in his 20's.

At 9:01 a.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger JP said...

That's pretty much my point - that even with relatively top notch scouts, it's still, on average, a crap shoot.

At 10:54 a.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger Ned Braden said...


Great stuff,

I think it would be interesting to flip it and look at what is the percentage of players that make from each round by round by games played.

For Example:
First round
65% played in the NHL
15% played more the 500 games
10% played 400-500 games etc

At 12:54 p.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm still amused the Lightning and Red Wings, the worst and the best, have the fewest amount of first-rounders on their rosters.

Well, not only have the Red Wings traded away a bunch of first round draft picks, but they lost one who had made it to the NHL to a heart attack, and another who hadn't made it to a car crash. Throw in Kronwall's knee problems, and being drafted by Detroit in the first round is, not the kiss of death, but certainly the kiss of serious injury.

At 2:00 p.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Grigorenko was a very late 2nd round pick, J. Michael Neal, not a first.

In the 7th round, you used to see a lot of teams start taking overage European players that were much further developed than the kids taken in earlier rounds. For example, a lot of goalies like Huet, Gerber, Cechmanek, etc. got taken around that time in the draft. These were 24-28 year olds getting selected. Even position players like Mark Streit are often found in these later rounds.

That's changed now... if a player is older than 20, I don't believe he can be drafted under the new CBA.... they are UFA's. This might not apply for NCAA kids. This is why Brunnstrom didn't get drafted last year even though teams had already been kicking the tires with him last summer.

By this logic, the number of undrafted players should increase in time.

At 4:02 p.m., June 24, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

I'll add another point:

I'm slightly curious about what the chart would look like if you put today's draft format and used that as the template for every year prior. For example, for Montreal, I think Brisebois was taken 30th overall in 1989. Today, he'd be a first rounder, but on that list, he's a 2nd rounder. That list should skew even more to favour the 1st round then the last one.

At 12:11 a.m., June 25, 2008, Blogger The Falconer said...

One thing to keep in mind is that the number of rounds in the NHL Draft have shrunk while the number of NHL jobs grew greatly as the league went from 21 to 30 teams.

So yes, on average it seems quite logical to expect the ranks of the undrafted will rise.

Also, there used to be a supplemental draft for collegians years ago today many of them are UFA after leaving college.

With nine new expansion teams in the last two decades that has created 180 new job slots.

Of course the size of the 1st round increases as more teams are added but there is lag effect. The Predators, Thrashers, Wild and Blue Jackets are extensively utilize players drafted by other teams.


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