FanPost

The Discerning Eye: Teams and their draft records


A controversial opinion I hold is that the Detroit Red Wings are not a very good team for either drafting or developing players. Usually I bring this up when someone states the direct opposite, usually mentioning Datsyuk and Zetterberg. The argument is usually that those two were picked in the later rounds and developed into veritable superstars. While that is definitely true, a good question is why Detroit picked them so late if Detroit's drafting staff was so sure about their talent. Additionally, these two players were picked in 1998 and 1999 respectively. That's almost 15 years ago (and yes, we're all old). Who has Detroit really developed in the last 10 years or so?

I thought it could be a nice exercise to actually look at an objective measure to see what teams are good at drafting and picking talented players.

The data

For this I have taken the data off of Hockey DB and compiled it. The data includes all games through December 28th, 2013 played by players drafted in the 2000 NHL Entry draft and forward. I've chosen the 2000 Draft as a starting point as this was the first year that every current NHL team had a draft pick. The entire data I used is available as a Google Doc spreadsheet here.

Division Draftpicks NHLPlayers Games Goals Assists Points PIMS NHLPlayer/Draftpick Games/NHLPlayer Games/Draftpick Points/Game Points/NHLPlayer Points/Draftpick
League 3373 1199 205956 30916 50693 81609 133290 0.355469908093685 171.773144286906 61.0601838126297 0.3962448289926 68.0642201834862 24.1947820930922
League Average 112.433333333333 39.9666666666667 6865.2 1030.53333333333 1689.76666666667 2720.3 4443
Boston Bruins Atlantic 101 44 6969 1066 1766 2832 4572 0.435643564356436 158.386363636364 69 0.406371071889798 64.3636363636364 28.039603960396
Buffalo Sabres Atlantic 115 39 9126 1496 2444 3940 6060 0.339130434782609 234 79.3565217391304 0.431733508656586 101.025641025641 34.2608695652174
Detroit Red Wings Atlantic 108 29 5744 844 1374 2218 2807 0.268518518518519 198.068965517241 53.1851851851852 0.386142061281337 76.4827586206896 20.537037037037
Florida Panthers Atlantic 120 38 6475 879 1485 2364 4178 0.316666666666667 170.394736842105 53.9583333333333 0.365096525096525 62.2105263157895 19.7
Montreal Canadiens Atlantic 107 40 8319 1182 1934 3116 5363 0.373831775700935 207.975 77.7476635514019 0.374564250510879 77.9 29.1214953271028
Ottawa Senators Atlantic 113 42 8197 1069 1924 2993 4929 0.371681415929204 195.166666666667 72.5398230088496 0.365133585458094 71.2619047619048 26.4867256637168
Tampa Bay Lightning Atlantic 121 36 3538 440 648 1088 2741 0.297520661157025 98.2777777777778 29.2396694214876 0.30751837196156 30.2222222222222 8.99173553719008
Toronto Maple Leafs Atlantic 105 41 7149 1022 1751 2773 2944 0.39047619047619 174.365853658537 68.0857142857143 0.387886417680794 67.6341463414634 26.4095238095238
Chicago Blackhawks Central 144 47 8150 1242 2315 3557 5379 0.326388888888889 173.404255319149 56.5972222222222 0.436441717791411 75.6808510638298 24.7013888888889
Colorado Avalanche Central 114 44 7104 1111 1887 2998 3656 0.385964912280702 161.454545454545 62.3157894736842 0.422015765765766 68.1363636363636 26.2982456140351
Dallas Stars Central 112 37 6685 927 1528 2455 4992 0.330357142857143 180.675675675676 59.6875 0.367240089753179 66.3513513513514 21.9196428571429
Minnesota Wild Central 104 46 7781 1121 1850 2971 4957 0.442307692307692 169.152173913043 74.8173076923077 0.381827528595296 64.5869565217391 28.5673076923077
Nashville Predators Central 123 45 7710 1059 1828 2887 5454 0.365853658536585 171.333333333333 62.6829268292683 0.374448767833982 64.1555555555556 23.4715447154472
St. Louis Blues Central 115 43 5930 926 1534 2460 3767 0.373913043478261 137.906976744186 51.5652173913044 0.414839797639123 57.2093023255814 21.3913043478261
Winnipeg Jets Central 119 36 6558 1281 1681 2962 4767 0.302521008403361 182.166666666667 55.109243697479 0.45166209210125 82.2777777777778 24.890756302521
Carolina Hurricanes Metropolitan 95 30 4956 753 1125 1878 2595 0.31578947368421 165.2 52.1684210526316 0.378934624697337 62.6 19.7684210526316
Columbus Blue Jackets Metropolitan 125 48 8316 1095 1625 2720 7049 0.384 173.25 66.528 0.327080327080327 56.6666666666667 21.76
New Jersey Devils Metropolitan 109 41 5299 639 1087 1726 4083 0.376146788990826 129.243902439024 48.6146788990826 0.32572183430836 42.0975609756098 15.8348623853211
New York Islanders Metropolitan 116 43 6227 843 1391 2234 3339 0.370689655172414 144.813953488372 53.6810344827586 0.358760237674643 51.953488372093 19.2586206896552
New York Rangers Metropolitan 109 44 7426 909 1611 2520 4271 0.403669724770642 168.772727272727 68.1284403669725 0.339348235927821 57.2727272727273 23.1192660550459
Philadelphia Flyers Metropolitan 105 39 7125 1319 2134 3453 5123 0.371428571428571 182.692307692308 67.8571428571429 0.484631578947368 88.5384615384615 32.8857142857143
Pittsburgh Penguins Metropolitan 110 43 8130 1435 2478 3913 6594 0.390909090909091 189.06976744186 73.9090909090909 0.48130381303813 91 35.5727272727273
Washington Capitals Metropolitan 115 37 7568 1274 2106 3380 4105 0.321739130434783 204.540540540541 65.8086956521739 0.44661733615222 91.3513513513514 29.3913043478261
Anaheim Ducks Pacific 105 41 6907 1118 1752 2870 4590 0.39047619047619 168.463414634146 65.7809523809524 0.415520486463009 70 27.3333333333333
Calgary Flames Pacific 111 37 6202 816 1315 2131 4992 0.333333333333333 167.621621621622 55.8738738738739 0.343598839084166 57.5945945945946 19.1981981981982
Edmonton Oilers Pacific 126 47 7399 1074 1826 2900 5167 0.373015873015873 157.425531914894 58.7222222222222 0.391944857413164 61.7021276595745 23.015873015873
Los Angeles Kings Pacific 122 44 8617 1386 2213 3599 4737 0.360655737704918 195.840909090909 70.6311475409836 0.417662759661135 81.7954545454546 29.5
Phoenix Coyotes Pacific 107 31 4996 686 1127 1813 3275 0.289719626168224 161.161290322581 46.6915887850467 0.3628903122498 58.4838709677419 16.9439252336449
San Jose Sharks Pacific 102 40 7244 1158 1884 3042 3839 0.392156862745098 181.1 71.0196078431372 0.419933738266151 76.05 29.8235294117647
Vancouver Canucks Pacific 95 27 4109 746 1070 1816 2965 0.28421052631579 152.185185185185 43.2526315789474 0.441956680457532 67.2592592592592 19.1157894736842

A word of caution

At this moment I should make note of some limitations of this analysis. While compiling this list was easy enough, it only shows the teams that picked the players, but not how many games of their career each player actually played for those respective teams. Another limitation is that hockey is not just goals and assists, and contributions from defensemen and especially goaltenders are hard to gauge in this manner. Even the number of games played can be significantly reduced for goalies even if they are always healthy, since even fantastic goalies in career years will at most start around 70 games for their team. On the other hand, backup goalies do not show up enough despite their value in my opinion being regularly under-appreciated.

The results

The average number of Draft picks a team has received is between 112 and 113 draft picks. Chicago had by far the most with a whopping 144 picks, beating Edmonton's 126 by 18 picks. Chicago also manages to get a lot of players they draft into the NHL. 47 players is the second highest total of players who have played at least one NHL game, a number they share with Edmonton. Surprisingly Columbus beats this with 48 using 125 picks to do so (3rd highest).

On the other end of the spectrum we have Vancouver (27 players) and Carolina (30 players), which is hardly surprising considering they are the two teams with the fewest draft picks since 2000, 95 picks each. There already seems to be a correlation between the number of draft picks a team has and the number of NHL players that result from it (this correlation seems less strong though once the numbers are being divided by each other).

However, sandwiched in between them is a Detroit, a team one would hardly expect to find here. The Winged Wheelmen only managed to get 29 NHL players from their 108 draft picks (which is in the middle of the pack among all NHL teams). If one looks at the number of NHL players per draft pick (i.e. how likely is it that one of the players picked by a team actually gets into the NHL) the Wings place last at less than 27%. For comparison, the Bruins (43.5%) and Wild (44.2%) are on top.

What is good for the Red Wings is however that the players that make it to the NHL, stay in the NHL. They have the fourth highest average of games played by a player they drafted that made it to the NHL, with 198. This is almost a full 100 games more than the last ranked team, Tampa Bay Lightning, who are also the only team to get less than 100 games from each player they pick. The Buffalo Sabres are a surprising first place here, as players they picked stayed an average 234 games in the NHL.

Considering this number, it is less surprising that the Buffalo Sabres also get the most number of points per player that manages to get into the NHL, at 101. They are the only team above 100 even beating out the Capitals and Penguins (91 each) who can boast players like Ovechkin, Semin, Crosby or Malkin. Their rank falls a bit when looking at it on a per game basis, but is still good.

When adjusting the statistics to a per game basis (i.e. the number of points per game scored by players drafted by a team) the Flyers make a somewhat surprising appearance on top, narrowly beating out the Penguins. The Capitals are fourth, but above them to my astonishment rank the Winnipeg Jets née Atlanta Thrashers, but then one might remember that Ilya Kovalchuk and Danny Heatley were drafted by that organization. Detroit ranks in the middle of the pack here.

The team that seems to be doing worst at here is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who rank near the bottom of the NHL players per draft pick and are dead last in points per game played by their draft picks and games those draft picks even get to play in the NHL on average.

The Buffalo Sabres on the other hand have a very strong showing in this analysis. This also seems mostly through longevity of their drafted players.

Interpretation

While the Detroit Red Wings do not suck outright in developing NHL talent, it is still very surprising that so few players they have picked since 2000 actually managed to get into the NHL. The picks they have made and resulted in a points percentage ranking only around the middle of the NHL. The Red Wings management also has an approach to trading that can only be described as "ultra-conservative". Additionally it seems that they a hard time getting big ticket free agents sign there (e.g. Suter) and are reduced to picking up veterans on their last legs like Modano or Alfredsson. Zetterberg and Datsyuk aren't getting younger either.

Even Steve Yzerman doesn't seem to be doing too hot either in Tampa. Though the 10 years also taken into consideration in this analysis prior to his involvement are definitely a large part of the Lightning's miserable showing in this set of data, one should note that only 4 players of the 28 drafted by Yzerman have managed to make it to the NHL so far, and they have combined for 55 points in 159 games. Considering that Yzerman was groomed to be Detroit's next GM, this seems worrisome.

Taking all these factors into consideration one may very well wonder how long the Red Wings can keep up with the rest of the league.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker