HOW IMPORTANT ARE DRAFT PICKS?

Jason Gregor
February 25 2011 02:28AM

Every year during the month leading up to the NHL trade deadline there are heated debates in chat rooms, on blogs, at coffee rooms, around water coolers and here on the Nation about what is a fair or good return in a trade. It is much easier to debate when actual players are moved, but when people start tossing around draft picks the air becomes much more grey.

What is the true value of a draft pick? Is a 2nd rounder fair return on a eight-year veteran 3rd pairing D-man? Many of us seem to think it is, but is it really?

I don't have the answer to either question, so I decided to take a look at a decade of drafting and see if the numbers can shed any light on how we should value a draft pick. Without even doing any research it seems obvious that a 1st rounder has the most value, and then a 2nd, but will the value drop accurately from a 3rd, to a 4th and so on?

I'm not sure there is a perfect outline in determining how valuable a pick becomes for each individual team, but we need some guide lines so I came up with the following.  

BUST (Fewer than 100 games)
SHORT LIVED (Out of league and less than 300 Games played)
DECENT PLAYER
DOMINANT PLAYER (considered an elite player by fans/media outside their city)
 
I'm sure the biggest argument will come from who is listed as a dominant player. I didn't put many players in the dominant category, even if they were first liners, Dion Phaneuf, on their own team for many years. I wanted to go as recent as possible with my ten-year window, but it is too early to tell how picks in 2006-2010 will develop, so I used the drafts from 1996-2005.
 
**If you want to add a player or two from the decent to the dominant player, I'm sure you can, but it won't affect the amount of actual NHL players each draft year provided.***
 
Of course this isn't a perfect system, because you will have guys who played 800 games and didn't produce many points, and might have averaged only 13 minutes a night, lumped in with guys who played 1000 games and scored a fair amount of points. I'm sure we could try to come up with a formula to rank the importance of certain players by using salary, ice-time, points, special teams play and quality of competition, but unless you are a magician I doubt you'll find a formula that we'll all agree with.
 
This is just a guideline, and after seeing the results it seems clear that draft picks, outside of the first round, are over-valued in my opinion. The great news is even after reading this we will all still debate that if Kris Versteeg is worth a first and a third rounder, then Curtis Glencross must be worth something similar.
  
1996  
 
1st ROUND (25 picks)
11... Busts
2...   Short Lived
12... Decent players
 
2nd ROUND (26 picks)
17... Busts
1...   Short Lived 
8...   Decent players
 
3rd ROUND (28 picks)
20...Busts
1...  Short lived
6...  Decent players
1... Dominant player (Chara)
 
4th ROUND (28 picks) 
22...Busts
2...  Short Lived
4.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (133 picks)
 
115..Busts
5...    Short Lived
12...  Decent players
1...    Dominant player (Tomas Kaberle, 8th rounder)
 
In 1996 there was 240 picks and two of them became dominant players (1.0%), 42 are decent players (17.5%), 11 were short lived (4.5%), and 185 were busts (77.0%).
 
The first round produced no dominant first liner, while 48% turned into decent players, 8% had short lived careers and 44% were busts.
 
In the 2nd round the chance of success dropped significantly,  30.7% became decent players, 0.33% had a short lived stint and 65.3% turned out to be busts. 
 
In every round the chance of a decent or dominant player continued to drop: 25% in the 3rd round, 14.2% in the 4th and only an average of 9.8% in the final five rounds.
 
Out of the 241 picks only 44 of them (18.2%) turned into regular NHL players.
 
 
1997  
 
1st ROUND (26 picks)
11...  Busts
2...   Short Lived
10... Decent players 
3…  Dominant players (Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo and Marian Hossa)
 
2nd ROUND (27 picks)
22... Busts
2...   Short Lived 
3...   Decent players
 
3rd ROUND (27 picks) 
22...Busts
2...  Short lived
3...  Decent players
 
4th ROUND (26 picks) 
22...Busts
2...  Short Lived
2.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (140 picks)
 
121..Busts
3...    Short Lived
16...  Decent players

 
In 1997 there was 246 picks, three of them became dominant players (1.3%), 34 became decent players (13.8%), 11 were short lived (4.5%), and 198 were busts (80.4%).
 
The first round produced three dominant first liners (10%), while 38.4% turned into decent players, 7.7% had short lived careers and 42.3% were busts.
 
In the 2nd round the chance of success was minimal, only 11.1% became decent players, 7.4% had a short lived stint and 81.5% turned out to be busts. 
 
The 3rd round had the exact same success rate as the 2nd, but after that the chances of drafting an NHL player dropped to 7.7% in the 4th, but then rose to 11.4% in the combined final five rounds.
 
Out of the 246 picks only 37 of them (15.0%) turned into regular NHL players.
 
   
1998  
 
1st ROUND (27 picks)
5...   Busts
3...   Short Lived
18... Decent players
1…  Dominant player (Vincent Lecavalier)

 
2nd ROUND (31 picks)
22... Busts
3...   Short Lived 
6...   Decent players
 
 
3rd ROUND (28 picks) 
16...Busts
5...  Short lived
6...  Decent players
1... Dominant player (Brad Richards)
 
4th ROUND (28 picks) 
20...Busts
4...  Short Lived
4.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (144 picks)
123..Busts
5...    Short Lived
15...  Decent players
1...    Dominant player (Pavel Datsyuk, 6th rounder)
 
In 1998 there was 258 picks and three of them became dominant players (1.1%), 49 are now decent players (19.1%), 20 were short lived (7.8%), and 185 were busts (72%).
 
The first round produced one dominant first liner, while 46.2% turned into decent players, 11.5% had short lived careers and 42.3% were busts.
 
In the 2nd round the chance of success dropped again, 30.7% became decent players, 0.33% had a short lived stint and 65.3% turned out to be busts. 
 
In every round the chance of a decent or dominant player continued to drop: 25% in the 3rd round, 14.2% in the 4th and only 9.8% in the final five rounds.
 
Out of the 258 picks only 52 of them (20.1%) turned into regular NHL players.
 
 
 
1999  
 
1st ROUND (28 picks)
12... Busts
6...   Short Lived
8...  Decent players
2… Dominant players ( Daniel and Henrik Sedin)
 
2nd ROUND (38 picks)
28... Busts
6...   Short Lived 
4...   Decent players
 
 
3rd ROUND (30 picks) 
21...Busts
2...  Short lived
7...  Decent players

 
4th ROUND (30 picks) 
27...Busts
2...  Short Lived
1.... Decent player
 
5th to 9th ROUND (146 picks)
 
130..Busts
6...   Short Lived
8...   Decent players
2...   Dominant players (Ryan Miller, 5th round, Henrik Zetterberg, 7th round)
 
In 1999, 272 players were drafted, four of them became dominant players (1.5%), 28 became decent players (10.2%), 22 had short lived careers (8.1%), and 218 were busts (80.2%).
 
The first round saw 7.1% turn into dominant first liners, while 28.6% turned into decent players, 21.4% had short lived careers and 42.9% were busts.
 
The 2nd round in 1999 produced very few NHL players. Only 10.5% (four of 38) became decent players, 15.8% had a short lived career, while 73.7% turned out to be busts. 
 
The following rounds weren’t much better. Drafting a decent or dominant player was low: 23.3% in the 3rd round, 3.3% in the 4th and only 7.7% in the final five rounds.
 
Out of the 272 picks only 32 of them (11.8%) turned into regular NHL players.
 

2000

1st ROUND (30 picks)
10... Busts
4...   Short Lived
14... Decent players
2...   Dominant players (Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik)
 
2nd ROUND (34 picks)
23... Busts
10... Decent players
1...   Dominant players (Ilya Bryzgalov. He was waived by Anaheim later on.) 
 
3rd ROUND (31 picks)
25...Busts
3...  Short Lived
3...  Decent players
 
4th ROUND (34 picks)
31...Busts
1… Short Lived
2.... Decent players 
 
5th to 9th ROUND (162 picks)  
148...Busts
6…   Short Lived
7...   Decent players
1...   Dominant player (Henrik Lundqvist, 7th rounder)
 
In 2000 there was 291 picks and four of them became first liners (1.4%), 36 turned into decent players (12.4%), 14 were short lived (4.8%), and 237 were busts (81.4%).
 
In the first round you had a 6.7% chance of getting a first liner, while 46.7% turned into decent players, 13.3% had short lived careers and 33.3% were busts.
 
The 2nd round produced one first liner, 2.9%, ten decent players, 29.4%, while the other 23 players, 67.7%, turned into busts.
 
This year the odds of drafting an NHL player dropped even quicker than usual. In the 3rd round only 9.6% became players, the fourth round had 6.5%, while the final five rounds averaged only 4.9%.
 
Out of the 291 picks only 40 of them (13.7%) turned into regular NHL players. 
 

2001

1st ROUND (30 picks)
6... Busts
4... Short lived
18..Decent players
2... Dominant players (Ilya Kovalchuk and  Jason Spezza) 
 
2nd ROUND (33 picks)
23... Busts
1...   Short lived
9...   Decent players 
 
3rd ROUND (34 picks)
28...Busts
2...  Short lived
4...  Decent players 
 
4th ROUND (34 picks)
29...Busts
1.... Short lived
4.... Decent players 
 
5th to 9th ROUND (158 picks)
133...Busts
10... Short lived
15... Decent players
 
2001 had 289 picks and two of them became first liners (0.7%), 50 turned into decent players (17.3%), 18 were short lived (6.2%), and 219 were busts (75.8%).
 
In the first round you had a 6.7% chance of getting a first liner, while 60% turned into decent players, 13.3% had short lived careers and 20% were busts.
 
The 2nd round produced a 31.4% chance of getting a decent player, while 3.0% were short lived and 65.7% turned into busts.
 
The odds of getting a decent player didn’t drop as much as usual in the subsequent rounds. In the 3rd round it was 11.7%, same as the fourth round, while the final five rounds had a higher than average 9.4%.
 
Out of the 289 picks only 52 of them (18.0%) turned into regular NHL players.
 

2002

1st ROUND (30 picks)
7... Busts
1... Short lived
21..Decent players
1... Dominant player (Rick Nash) 
 
2nd ROUND (33 picks)
24... Busts
8...   Decent players
1...  Dominant player (Duncan Keith) 
 
3rd ROUND (33 picks)
26...Busts
2...  Short Lived
5...  Decent players 
 
4th ROUND (35 picks)
31...Busts
1.... Short lived
3.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (160 picks)
148...Busts
5...    Short lived
7...    Decent players
 
2002 saw 291 players drafted with two of them becoming first liners (0.7%), 44 turned into decent players (15.1%), nine were short lived (3.0%),and 236 ended up being busts (81.2%).
 
In the first round you had a 3.3% chance of getting a first liner, while 70.1% turned into decent players, 3.3% had short lived careers and 23.3% were busts. 
 
In the 2nd round the chances of success dropped significantly from the first round. An almost equal 3.1% became dominant players, but now only 24.2% became decent players and 72.7% turned out to be busts. 
 
Once again the odds of drafting a quality NHLer dropped to 15.1% in the 3rd round, 8.6% in the fourth round and only a 4.3% chance in the final five rounds combined.
 
Out of the 291 picks only 46 of them (15.8%) turned into regular NHL players.
 
 

2003

1st ROUND (30 picks)
2... Busts
2... Short lived
18..Decent players
8... Dominant players (Eric Stall, Ryan Suter, Jeff Carter, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards.) 
 
2nd ROUND (38 picks)
24... Busts
4… Short Lived
9...   Decent players
1...  Dominant player (Shea Weber) 
 
3rd ROUND (33 picks)
26...Busts
4...  Short Lived
3...  Decent players
 
4th ROUND (35 picks)
32...Busts
1.... Short lived
2.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (156 picks)
135...Busts
8...    Short lived
13...  Decent players
 
***Loui Eriksson, Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron are very close to being in the dominant category, which could make this draft look even better in a few years.***
 
2003 has widely been considered one of the greatest drafts ever, and that was mostly from an exceptional first round. There are lots of top-end players in this draft class.There was 292 players drafted with nine of them becoming dominant players (3.0%), 45 turned into decent players (15.5%), 19 were short lived (6.5%),and 219 ended up being busts (75%).
 
In the first round you had a 26.6% chance of getting a first liner, while 60% turned into decent players, 6.7% had short lived careers and 6.7% were busts. 
 
In the 2nd round the success rate drop significantly. Only 2.4% became dominant players, while 23.7% became decent players, 10.5% had short lived careers and 63.4% turned out to be busts. 
 
Similar to 2001, the later rounds produced more decent players than most years. The 3rd round produced 9.1% while it dipped to 5.7% in the fourth round, but it rose to an average of 8.3% in the final five rounds combined.
 
Out of the 292 picks only 54 of them (18.5%) turned into regular NHL players.
 

2004

1st ROUND (30 picks)
8... Busts
6... Short lived
14..Decent players
2... Dominant players (Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin) 
 
2nd ROUND (35 picks)
26... Busts
2… Short Lived
7...   Decent players

3rd ROUND (33 picks)
25...Busts
3...  Short Lived
5...  Decent players 
 
4th ROUND (31 picks)
24...Busts
2.... Short lived
5.... Decent players
 
5th to 9th ROUND (162 picks)
143...Busts
9...    Short lived
10...  Decent players
 
***Keep in mind I did some projections with this draft year. Guys like Dave Bolland, Kris Versteeg, Mikhail Grabovski and Alex Goligoski were only around 200 games, but I put them in the decent category, because barring an injury they all look like guys who will play well beyond 300 games.***
 
2004 saw the second Russian player go first overall and Alex Ovechkin has lived up to the hype of being the first overall pick. His draft year had 291 players taken, but it produced only two dominant players (0.7%), 41 turned into decent players (14.1%), 22 were short lived (7.6%),and 226 ended up being busts (77.6%).
 
In the first round you had a 6.7% chance of getting a first liner, while 46.7% turned into decent players, 20% had short lived careers and 26.6% were busts. 
 
Once again the 2nd round produced a smaller return with only 20% becoming decent players, while 5.7% had short lived careers and 74.3% turned out to be busts. 
 
Once again the chance of getting a decent player dropped, but not drastically, in the later rounds. The 3rd round produced 15.1% while it rose a bit to 16.1% in the fourth round, and then dropped to an average of 6.2% in the final five rounds combined.
 
Out of the 291 picks only 43 of them (14.7%) turned into regular NHL players.
 

2005

1st ROUND (30 picks)
10... Busts
1... Short lived
15..Decent players
4... Dominant players (Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar). 
 
2nd ROUND (31 picks)
20... Busts
4…  Short Lived
6...   Decent players
1...   Dominant player (Paul Stastny)
 
3rd ROUND (30 picks)
23...Busts
2...  Short Lived
5...  Decent players 
 
4th ROUND (34 picks)
28...Busts
3.... Short lived
3.... Decent players
 
5th to 7th ROUND (105 picks)
94...Busts
3...  Short lived
8...  Decent players
 
***Again I did some projections on players who look to pass 300 games and become decent players.***
 
2005 was the first year the draft dropped to seven rounds, but the numbers didn’t change that much. There were 230 players drafted with five of them becoming dominant players (2.2%), 37 turned into decent players (16.1%), 13 were short lived (5.6%),and 175 ended up being busts (76.1%).
 
In the first round you had a 13.3% chance of getting a first liner, 50% turned into decent players, 3.4% had short lived careers and 33.3% were busts. 
 
In the 2nd round the success rate drop significantly, where only 22.5% became decent players, 12.9% had short lived careers and 64.5% turned out to be busts. 
 
The 3rd round produced a 9.1% rate on a decent player, while it dipped to 5.7% in the fourth round, but it rose to an average of 8.3% in the final five rounds combined.
 
Out of the 230 picks only 42 of them (18.2%) turned into regular NHL players.
 

WRAP UP

During this ten year span there was 2703 picks, -- I don't say players because Jarret Stoll, Matt Lombardi and Lance Ward were drafted twice, and I'm sure there is more, but I didn't catch all of them. I only counted Stoll and Lombardi once in the final tally of decent players. Ward was a short-lived player -- so I'm going to say there was 2700 for argument sake.

***Feel free to let me know which other players were drafted twice, and I can re-adjust the stats, although, unless there are many, the percentages won't change that much, if any.***

In total, there was 2700 players drafted and only 439 of them (16.2%) turned into NHL players.

Thirty six of them are dominant players, which equates to only 1.3% of the drafted players.
403 of them became decent NHLers, which amounts to 14.9% of the draft picks.

Here is a breakdown of the each round during this ten-year span.

FIRST ROUND (286 picks)

25 became dominant players.   (8.8%)
148 turned into decent players. (51.7%)
113 were short lived or busts    (39.5%)

Of the 25 dominant players, 17 of them came in the top ten picks of a round.

SECOND ROUND (326 picks)

4 became dominant players.  (1.2%)
70 turned into decent players. (21.5%)
252 were short lived or busts. (77.3%)

THIRD ROUND (307 picks)

2 became dominant players.   (0.6%)
47 turned into decent NHLers. (15.2)
259 were short lived or busts.  (84.2)

FOURTH ROUND (315 picks)

27 became decent players.      (8.6%)
288 were short lived or busts.  (91.4%)

FIFTH ROUND (325 picks)

1 became a dominant player.   (0.03%)
22
turned into decent players.  (6.8%)
302
were short lived or busts.  (92.9%)

SIXTH ROUND (295 picks)

1 became a dominant player.   (0.03%)
26
turned into decent players.  (8.8%)
268 
were short lived or busts.  (90.9%) 

SEVENTH ROUND (308 picks)

became a dominant player.   (0.06%)
28
turned into decent players.  (9.1%)
268 
were short lived or busts.  (90.3%) 

EIGHTH ROUND (267 picks)

1 became a dominant player.   (0.04%)
19 
turned into decent players.  (7.1%)
247 
were short lived or busts.  (92.5%) 

NINTH ROUND (271 picks)

16 turned into decent players.  (5.9%)
255 
were short lived or busts.  (94.1%)  

CONCLUSION

It seems pretty clear that after the first round (60.5%) your chances of finding a decent NHL player become increasing lower. A second round pick will give you a 23.7% chance, you'll have a 15.8% in the 3rd round, only 8.6% in the fourth, 7.1% in the fifth, a little boost up to 9.1% in the sixth and 9.7% in the 7th round.

None of these numbers are shocking, but when people suggest that getting a 2nd rounder for "fill in the blank" is a good trade, keep in mind that you essentially have a one in four chance of turning that pick into a player. I understand that when a team is trading away an UFA that getting something is better than nothing, but unless that something actually pans out, the draft pick, in many cases, turns out to be a whole lot of nothing.

***For those who suggest I should have used players drafted in the first 30 picks in 1996-1999 to ensure it was an even 30 players for each first round, I get your point. However, the 2nd to 7th rounds in many years have a different amount based on compensatory picks so you can't use a set 30 picks for each round.***

CANADIAN TEAMS

If you are curious how the Canadian teams matched up v. one another during this ten year span here is a quick look at them.

Ottawa had elven first rounder out of their 92 picks, and three were in the top-ten. Their best pick is between Marian Hossa, 12th overall in 1997 or Jason Spezza, 2nd overall in 2001. They have done very well with their first round picks: Hossa, Spezza, Chris Phillips (1st), Martin Havlat (26th), Anton Volchenkov (21st), Tim Gleason (23rd), Patrick Eaves (29th) and Andrej Meszaros (23rd). They've produced 18 decent players and two dominant players out of their 92 picks for a solid 21.7% success rate.

Vancouver had 88 picks, ten in the first round with three in the top ten, and produced three dominant players along with eight decent ones. Their best picks were the Sedin twins 2nd and 3rd in 1999, but Ryan Kesler, 23rd overall, in 2003 was a quality pick as well. Their overall success rate is 12.5%, but with three dominant players they would grade out fairly well.

Montreal had 20 of their 94 picks turn into decent players. Andrei Markov, 6th round 1998, would most likely be their best pick. They've had three top-ten picks, Carey Price (5th, 2005), Andrei Kostitsyn (10th, 2003) and Mike Komisarek (7th, 2001) and eleven overall. They never hit a grand slam with any of their picks, but they sit with a respectful 21.2% success rate of turning picks into players.

Calgary called out 98 names, ten of them in the first round and three in the top ten. Their highest pick was 6th, twice, and they blew it both times on Rico Fata and Daniel Tkaczuk in 1998 and 1997 respectively. Their best pick was Dion Phaneuf, 9th overall, in 2003. They've seen 13 of their picks (13.2% success) become decent NHLers, but none have been very productive offensively. Derek Morris has the most points of any of their picks during this span with 382 in 927 games.

During this span the Leafs didn't seem to believe in holding onto first round picks. Out of their 92 picks, only six came in the first round, 10th, 17th, 21st and 24th three times. They did okay with Nik Antropov (10th, 1998), Brad Boyes (24th, 2000) and Alex Steen (24th, 2002), but they have since traded all three of them away along with their other first rounders, Carlo Colaiacovo and Tukka Rask. Their other first rounder, Luca Cereda (24th, 1999), never played a game in the NHL. So essentially the Leafs don't have one first rounder from this ten-year span still in the organization. Out of their 12 picks (13.0% success rate) who became regulars in the NHL, Kaberle was clearly their best selection.

Edmonton has produced 12 decent players out of 105 picks. They had twelve first round picks, the highest being sixth where they took Boyd Devereaux. Their best pick was Ales Hemsky, 13th overall, in 2001 and they had an 11.4% success rate in this time frame. Ask any Oiler fan and they will tell you their drafting was a big reason why, outside of the surprise Cup run in 2006, they were a bubble playoff team during this decade.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Kent Wilson
February 25 2011, 06:47AM
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Really good work Jason. I did something similar a few years ago concentrating over a 10 year span and I got pretty similar results.

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#2 icedawg_42
February 25 2011, 07:46AM
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Flames fans currently put a premium on draft picks but it hasn't always been so. Maybe this is because they are overcompensating for watching Darryl Sutter's apparently cavalier attitude towards packaging them up in deals for middling players. Also its easy to look at picks like the Crosby's, Getzlaf's, Kopitar's etc and get stars in our eyes. The truth is it is really very hard to get a good read on a junior player. I remember watching Getzlaf with the Hitmen and thinking he was a man among boys, but, considering the Hitmen, where are Brad Moran and Pavel Brendl today? Equally dominant juniors but never turned into productive NHL regulars.

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#3 backburner
February 25 2011, 09:44AM
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exactly... so lets package 'em up and get Brad Richards and win the Cup already!

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#4 Kent Wilson
February 25 2011, 09:54AM
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The paradox of draft picks as assets in the NHL is that, in isolation, they're worth next to nothing (aside from, say, a top-10 pick).

The effect of endlessly dealing draft picks can be a cumulative one over time, however, because you increase your chances of getting "a hit" the more picks you gather and consequently decrease your chances of picking anyone the more you deal away.

Feaster has called it "deficit spending" during his time here and it's one of the few things I agree with him on.

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#5 Scott
February 25 2011, 10:02AM
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A solid strategy in the use of draft picks would then be that you can trade away a few every once in a while, but out of every 10 picks, 2 should end up on your roster for 300+ games?

So that really boils down to an average of 1 player a year.

Realistically, trading away your 2nd to 5th rounders are probably low risk, with the 6 and 7th rounders allowing for teams to gamble on future potential.

Really interesting review! Outside of the 2003 draft, flames haven't done statistically terrible, like we have all percieved. But they missed a gold mine in that draft year, which should have bumped up their stats.

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#6 Arik
February 25 2011, 11:09AM
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I feel like there is a missing step between "decent player" and "Dominant player" Those would be your Stephen Weiss/David Booth players (as opposed to the Chuck Kobasews of the league)

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#7 Greg
February 25 2011, 12:04PM
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Really good break-down, I like the simplicity of dominant-decent-bust categorization.

Jason, do you have the stats on decents and busts with in the top 10? Based on 17 (of 100) top 10 picks being dominant as opposed to only 8 of the other 186, it looks like the value of a top 10 pick is significantly higher than the difference of even a late 1st compared to 2nd or 3rd.

thanks!

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#9 SmellOfVictory
February 25 2011, 02:35PM
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Arik wrote:

I feel like there is a missing step between "decent player" and "Dominant player" Those would be your Stephen Weiss/David Booth players (as opposed to the Chuck Kobasews of the league)

Agreed, but it would be rather complicated to set up that other category, I imagine. For the purposes of assessing draft picks, this provides pretty good insight - 2nd and 3rd round picks seem to be overvalued a reasonable amount by GMs and fans alike, whereas the lower round picks are undervalued. I think any further analysis required would be solely within the 1st round, although I recall someone (Kent if I recall) doing a breakdown of top 10 vs 10th-20th vs 20th-30th in terms of probability of becoming a decent/good/great NHLer.

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#10 44stampede
February 25 2011, 11:09PM
Trash it!
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Really interesting read. I remember another similar analysis showing the values. That's why I cringe when I see someone wanting to trade a decent player at a good value contract for a second. Most think that the second rounder is bound to produce a good player.

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