A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about drafting between 2003 and 2013 where I looked at which teams were the most successful when it comes to drafting. The analysis looked at two factors – graduating draftees to NHLers (50+ games played) or graduating draftees to regular NHLers (200+ games). The follow-up looks at how each team did by round. Hit the jump for a breakdown of how successful each team was at finding NHLers (50 games+) by round.
Obviously, the 1st round is the most prolific area at finding players that will at least get a sniff in the NHL. Over 65% of first round picks go on to play at least 50 games in the show. The numbers drop off a cliff after that as only 29% of 2nd rounders play 50 games; 18% of 3rd rounders; 14.5% of 4th rounders; 9% of 5th rounders and so on and so forth.
Interestingly, teams that have been no good over the past decade (i.e., made the playoffs two or less times from 2003 to 2013) tend to have more of their first round picks make up their total “successes”. Could this be a hint that these teams are rushing their most highly regarded prospects? Perhaps. Alternatively, teams that have been very good over the past decade (i.e., made the playoffs eight or more times from 2003 to 2013) have a more spread out proportion of successes. They have more players from later rounds (3-7) coming in and getting a real taste in the NHL, many of those turning into regular NHLers and not just a flash in the pan.
San Jose, and not Detroit, appears to be the current god at finding late talent. Over the past decade, the Sharks have been able to find 7 players in rounds 6 and 7 that have gone on to play in the NHL. The successful players they’ve pulled from the 6-7 rounds over the past decade include: Tommy Wingels, Joe Pavelski, Justin Braun, Frazer McLaren, Nick Bonino and Jason Demers. Not bad. All of those players have hit 200 games or will soon. Frazer McLaren looks like the only player that’s donezo and he’s property of the lowly Leafs now anyways.
The league average, over the past decade, for finding talent in the last two rounds was 2.1. The Sharks have been 3.5 times better at finding late talent than the average NHL team. And they’ve made the playoffs every year since … 2003. They’re not making the playoffs because of their late-round guys (maybe Pavelski) but it certainly doesn’t hurt finding pretty legit NHLers in essentially the nothing rounds of the NHL draft.
Those are only a couple of the things that jumped out from the data. Have a look through the data and see what jumps out to you.