|A Look at Past NHL Drafts Part II||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Wednesday, 18 June 2008 04:17|
Many people believe that there are three correct ways of building a great NHL team, the first is through trading to acquire players that will fit a team’s need. The second is through free agency and signing the missing link during the off season, and the third is through the NHL entry draft. Last week we looked at draft position and how it affected a player’s career NHL production, and with the 2008 NHL entry draft just around the corner we’ll look back at the past to see which teams have been particularly strong in the past at drafting in the first round of the NHL entry drafts and juxtapose them to teams that have been extremely weak. You’ll certainly be surprised to see which team is traditionally the first-round draft loser.
No real major surprises here. Washington and Edmonton have been hording draft picks since 1993, but haven’t had too much to show for it since most of their draft picks never panned out anyways. Detroit had only 8 first-round picks since 1993, and because of their continued success, they have always ended up with a last 5 pick in their drafts. Kind of hard to find serious talent that late in a draft, but their phenomenal late round drafting certainly has bailed them out numerous times. Columbus, Carolina and Minnesota have a top 10 average draft position since their inception into the NHL.
San Jose has gotten the most mileage out of their picks and St. Louis has gotten the least. It’s interesting to see the difference between the earlier expansion teams compared to the more recent ones. San Jose, Ottawa, Anaheim, Tampa Bay and even Florida seems to have displayed an eye for picking talent out of the NHL entry drafts while the more recent expansion teams of Nashville, Atlanta, Minnesota and Columbus have not. Washington and Edmonton are on the opposite end of this table, with their numerous draft picks watering down their talent pool, their players only last on average two full NHL seasons. A St. Louis draftee usually ends up with a 13 month stint in the NHL, probably not the news that Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn or Nikita Filatov want to hear.
Nothing shocking here, it’s very similar to the table prior which would make logical sense, the more games played is often equal to the more overall number of points scored. Ottawa and San Jose has received nearly twice the amount of production from their draft picks than the average NHL team has, which might help explain the recent success that those clubs have enjoyed in the past two seasons. Edmonton’s stats are a bit skewed because of the success of Jason Arnott and Ryan Smyth, most of their other first round picks have been major NHL busts. The Islanders are a surprising bunch too, they tend to be above average in all of the draft categories, but their bonehead trade decisions of dealing young talent for aging veterans have set them back a few years. LA’s numbers are a bit skewed as well, if you take away Olli Jokinen’s 461 points that would rank LA in the bottom three in the league. Boston without Joe Thornton’s production would be very middle of the pack as well.
This table produced some interesting results, Atlanta tops the list of the most productive first round selections. The down side is that only Ilya Kovalchuk plays for them, all of those productive first rounders have been playing for other teams. Pittsburgh, Washington, Phoenix, Columbus and Chicago will probably see a marked improvement if we were to compare next year’s stats to this year. Tampa Bay has received great production from their draft picks in which their first round draft picks have averaged nearly double of the NHL average at just over 200 points for their NHL careers. This should bode well for Steve Stamkos during the upcoming draft. TB’s last first overall selection was Vinny Lecavalier and looked how well he’s turned out. The Blues are the worst in receiving only a paltry career average of 34 points per pick. Detroit and Rangers round out the bottom three in the NHL.
Tip to the scouting team of the Blues: visit www.dobberhockey.com and purchase the 2008 Prospects Report for $12.95 and don’t blow another pick!
Well that does it for our NHL entry draft coverage. Now we’ll have to wait for June 20 to see how each team made out of the draft. Do you have any comments as to why the Blues have been so horrible at drafting first round talent? Or why San Jose and Anaheim is so good at theirs? Comment on them here.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:21|