July 21 2016 02:00PM
Every year we hear some derivative of "skilled, but is he too small to play professionally?" or "has the tools, but can he make it work in the NHL at his size?"
These types of statements portray that short players almost never make the NHL and the ones that do must be very special. However, what's actually happening tells a different story from this common misconception.
July 11 2016 02:00PM
The later round picks (round three on) in the NHL draft have provided very few true NHLers. From 1980 to 2015, 6,127 selections were taken after the second round. Of those, 815 of the 6,127 have gone on to play in the NHL in a meaningful way (150 games or more) thus far. That's a success rate of roughly 13%.
As a result, late round picks are not treated as a high commodity by teams. Late round picks are mostly used as filler in larger trades or used to acquire energy players or "room guys." Or GMs take complete gambles on extreme low-probability players with those picks.
The belief seems to be that finding an NHLer or even an elite NHLer late is a stroke of luck. You pick a player with little upside and a few years down the road, he's turned a switch and turned into something. How can you predict that?
However, if you look closely at the elite talent, namely forwards, selected late... there's a few things that stand out which suggest it's possible to improve on the extremely low probability (1.6%) of finding great talent later in the NHL draft.
June 22 2016 08:00AM
Photo Credit: Michael Caples/MiHockey
Today we profile 19-year-old Rem Pitlick of the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, a high-scoring over-ager that is expected to be drafted very late in the 2016 draft. His father, Lance Pitlick, had a moderate career in the NHL as a defenseman through the 1990's and early 2000's.
June 16 2016 08:00AM
Matthew Phillips, the ultimate darkhorse, stands 5'6'' and weighs 140 pounds. He is the smallest draft-eligible player of the WHL and likely the entire draft class. His numbers aren't elite like DeBrincat which means, given his size, he will go somewhere between rounds three and seven, if he goes at all.
June 14 2016 08:00AM
ed: We couldn't get an actual picture of Morrison, so here's a picture of an eagle because he played in the USHL and America, or something (though he's Canadian). Also apparently eagles are CONSTANTLY at sporting events? This is a really fun gallery.
Cameron Morrison is a big bodied scoring center from the USHL that projects to go in the second or third round (ranked 46th amongst North American players by Central Scouting) that could be a good fit for one of the Flames' three second rounders.