Diamonds in the Rough: Finding Elite Talent Late

Byron Bader
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. 

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Handicapping training camp... two months out

Ryan Pike
July 11 2016 11:00AM

The Calgary Flames have finished development camp and likely have a few remaining minor tweaks to their organization's reserve list before the beginning of training camp in September, but most likely the biggest moves have been completed and we have a general idea of how things look.

Who's going to be on the 2016-17 Flames roster? Who has a shot? What jobs are available? Let's find out!

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A history of Flames numbers: #1, Brian Elliott

Ari Yanover
July 11 2016 08:00AM

Hey guys. It's the off-season. So... what's going on?


You know what I love? Jersey numbers. They aren't crucial to the game or anything, but it is interesting to see what number a player ends up with throughout his career. Different numbers have different meanings to different teams; for example, is anyone in Calgary ever going to wear #12 again? 

For the most part, numbers come and numbers go. Sometimes there's a really quick turnover - one player exits, another comes in and takes his number right away - and sometimes teams go years between seeing a particular number on their jersey.

Over the course of this off-season, the Flames have brought in players that fit both criteria. So just for kicks - because why not? - let's go over the players projected to be on this year's roster, and the history of their jersey numbers in Calgary.

We kick things off with #1, Brian Elliott.

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Are the Flames bad At drafting in the second round?

July 10 2016 08:00AM


(Dillon Dube interviewed by Ryan Leslie, courtesy of

Back in June I had mentioned that the second round of the draft seemed to be a place where the Flames’ scouts went to die. There seemed to be something within the Flames organization that led them to make poor decisions when there are often still a few bargains to be had at the draft table. This isn’t to say that the organization hasn’t found ways to make up ground elsewhere – the fourth round is something of a local legend based on recent history.

However, I wanted to take a look at the Flames’ history of drafting in round two to see if my memory in this regard was accurate, or the result of some more recent misses.

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Tyler Parsons has developed patience in net

Ryan Pike
July 09 2016 02:00PM

For the second time in three drafts, the Calgary Flames selected a goaltender in the second round of the 2016 National Hockey League Draft. However, rather than grabbing a raw goaltender based on their perceived potential (as they did in 2014 with Mason McDonald), the Flames selected one of the most accomplished young netminders in major-junior hockey in Tyler Parsons.

The draft capped off a whirlwind season for the Michigan-born netminder, following an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup crown.

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