(Dillon Dube interviewed by Ryan Leslie, courtesy of Flames.com)
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.
To do so I went back to the Flames’ draft history courtesy
of HockeyDB.com and grabbed screenshots of all the second round picks
going back to 2000. For the purposes of this exercise we’re going to examine
this from two slightly different perspectives. As a general rule I try not to
evaluate too closely the prospects taken before five years has passed on a
draft year. In this article, however, I am including the prospects taken up to
and including this most recent draft only because for those last few years we
can compare the names chosen with consensus draft rankings available at the
time to see if the Flames were going “off the board” or sticking close to the
I’m also going to look at the assets that were acquired by
trading second round picks during the years ranging from 2004 to 2007,
2009, 2010, and 2013.
So here is the list of players the Flames have selected in
the second round since 2000.
The columns on the right indicate games played, goals,
assists, points and penalty minutes.
(All trade information courtesy of hockeydb.com)
Lowetide regularly reviews the Oilers’ drafting by round and
has recently posted an article here on the Oilers in the second round. He includes
mention of the recent work by Scott Cullen in breaking down the chances of
drafting a player in each round who will reach the 100 games played threshold. It
is worth the read.
For my part, I hold to a slightly higher threshold to
declare a draft pick a success, at least within the first two rounds, and prefer
to use 200 games played. There are extenuating circumstances such as injury,
development on the part of either the player or organization, and preferring to
play abroad rather than in the NHL; however, for the most part I feel this is a
reasonably high bar by which to measure draft proficiency.
That being said, based on Cullen’s work, a prospect taken in
the second round has at least a 33.8% chance of reaching 100 games.
The Flames, since 2000, have drafted three players who have
reached that milestone in Jarret Stoll, Kurtis Foster and Markus Granlund. If
we restrict ourselves only to those prospects drafted five years ago or more,
that would make three of 10, or just a shade below Cullen’s mark.
So, altogether, the Flames’ drafting record in this round is
perhaps a hair below average.
For every year when there is a Hunter Smith/Mason McDonald
selection we may see an Oliver Kylington/Rasmus Andersson pick that at least has
a higher chance to offset draft failures.
But what of that big gap of second round picks
during Darryl Sutter’s time as GM (from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2009 and 2010)? Surely they might have found one or two more
players there that could have bumped that average up, right?
I looked at every trade the Flames made involving a second
round pick, either coming or going, during the same time period (2000 to
present) and came up with the following.
(Trade information courtesy of prosportstransactions.com)
The Flames acquired by way of second round draft
picks, either in whole or in part: Miikka Kiprusoff, Craig Conroy, Alex
Tanguay, Brandon Prust, Michael Cammalleri, Rene Bourque, Jordan Leopold and
Anton Stralman, to name a few.
Granted, there are a few notable names that were eventually
taken with those relinquished draft selections such as Matt Carle, Marc-Edouard
Vlasic, David Booth, Jake Gardiner, Brian Dumoulin and Brandon Saad. However
there is no way to argue that the Flames would necessarily have those same
players today had they retained those picks.
So while the Flames often do have something of a history of
using the second round as either an excuse to go walkabout at the draft
or to trade the picks for already established NHL players, the oft-cited statement that the
Flames are inherently poor at drafting in this round does not appear to be
In fact, based on history, the most effective use the Flames
have shown with those picks is in trading them for immediate roster assets.
Although I suspect that is neither a popular nor
a particularly wise opinion to have.