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The Athletic lauds the Calgary Flames as the NHL’s second-best drafting team

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
Friends, we’ve written here about the Calgary Flames and their improved drafting and development in recent years. But it’s tough to really argue for their merits as a drafting and development team without an idea of how they stack up relative to the rest of the league.
Well, over at the Athletic, Dom Luszcyszyn and Harman Dayal have released their rankings of the best-drafting teams in the NHL. The Flames came in second.
Their analysis looked at the draft classes from 2007 to 2018, and they used a model that balanced the quality and quantity of the selections each team made with the value their selections added to their organization:
A club with tons of lottery picks and extra top-two-round selections should be judged differently than a contender that drafts late. Because of that, we’ll be using a model to determine each team’s “expected wins added” based on the picks they had each year and the historical worth of those selections. For example, the Edmonton Oilers had by far the most top 10 and No. 1 picks, so they had the highest expected wins added. We’ll compare that with the actual “wins added” based on the drafted players’ NHL performance. A team that drafts well and exceeds the expected value of its draft capital will have a positive “value above expected” rating and vice versa.
For those who are trying to remember who the Flames drafted during that period, here’s a quick rundown featuring the Flames picks that played NHL games from each draft class (and their games-played, as of Thursday). We’ve included the “Wins Added” from The Athletic’s model for reference.
DraftWins AddedNHLers
20072Mikael Backund (927; 1st round)
Keith Aulie (167; 4th round)
John Negrin (3; 3rd round)
20088TJ Brodie (847; 4th round)
Lance Bouma (357; 3rd round)
Greg Nemisz (15; 1st round)
2009-1Tim Erixon (93; 1st round)
Joni Ortio (37; 6th round)
20103Micheal Ferland (335; 5th round)
Max Reinhart (23; 3rd round)
Patrick Holland (5; 7th round)
John Ramage (2; 4th round)
Bill Arnold (1; 4th round)
201122Johnny Gaudreau (702; 4th round)
Markus Granlund (335; 2nd round)
Sven Baertschi (292; 1st round)
Laurent Brossoit (121; 6th round)
Tyler Wotherspoon (30; 2nd round)
20120Brett Kulak (434; 4th round)
Mark Jankowski (322; 1st round)
Jon Gillies (35; 3rd round)
Patrick Sieloff (2; 2nd round)
201312Sean Monahan (700; 1st round)
John Gilmour (37; 7th round)
Emile Poirier (8; 1st round)
Morgan Klimchuk (1; 1st round)
20143Sam Bennett (553; 1st round)
201518Rasmus Andersson (392; 2nd round)
Andrew Mangiapane (360; 6th round)
Oliver Kylington (168; 2nd round)
201648Matthew Tkachuk (529; 1st round)
Dillon Dube (300; 2nd round)
Adam Fox (295; 3rd round)
Matthew Phillips (17; 6th round)
20177Juuso Valimaki (175; 1st round)
Adam Ruzicka (89; 4th round)
20180Martin Pospisil (9; 4th round)
The standouts for the Flames were the 2011, 2015 and 2016 classes, each of which produced multiple regular NHL players. While Adam Fox never played games for the Flames, the Athletic noted that if you remove him from the calculations they’re still the 12th-best team in the NHL at drafting players that played over 200 games.
Do you agree with The Athletic’s assessment? Which Flames draft class is your favourite from this time period? Let us know in the comments!
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