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More evaluation of the NHL draft

After my last two posts, which looked only at NHL players in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons, I instead wanted to look at all players in the draft.

I collected information from NHL.com and hockeydb from the 2005, 2006, AND 2007 NHL drafts.

First, let's take a look at forwards.

The mean height for forwards drafted was 72.76 inches. The Standard deviation was 1.87. As a result, I sorted players into three groups. 71 inches and below, 72 inches to 74 inches, and 75 inches and above.

Group # of players % that played in NHL Avg. round Average pick # Avg GP Avg G Avg Assists Average points
71 inches or less 106 43.40% 4.349056604 120.2735849 65.98113208 13.75471698 21.12264151 34.87735849
72-74 inches 205 45.85% 3.775609756 101.6780488 72.65853659 14.80487805 19.32195122 34.12682927
75 inches and above 62 46.77% 4.14516129 111.8387097 73.5483871 15.38709677 19.96774194 35.4

All these stats take into account both players who made the NHL and those who didn't. EDIT: These are career numbers.

Now these stats are not the greatest. They include all time on ice (not just even strength), and don't take into account contextual information such as zone start%, QOC, QOT, team strength, power play time, etc. So take these stats for what they are worth. The only thing we can be 100% sure of is the draft stats. Group 1 was picked on average at pick # 120, while group 2 was picked on average 20 picks earlier. Group 3 slides nicely in the middle at about pick # 112.

The probability that a player would play in the NHL increases slightly as you went from group #1 to group #1 to group #3.

In terms of goals, assists, and points, all three groups are pretty similar. Group 1 does play slightly less games on average.

The mean height for defensemen drafted was about 74 inches, with a SD of roughly 1.84 inches. I set up three groups: 72 inches and below, 73-75 inches, and 76 inches and above.

Doing the same thing for defensemen, however, gives us slightly different results.

Group # of players % that played Avg. round Average pick # Avg GP Avg G Avg Assists Average points
72 inches or below 43 48.84% 3.813953488 100.6744186 60.30232558 4.790697674 16.18604651 20.97674419
73 -75 inches 135 40.00% 4.288888889 119.6222222 41.27407407 2.096296296 8.17037037 10.26666667
76 inches and above 34 47.06% 3.323529412 87.41176471 49.11764706 2.705882353 9.970588235 12.67647059

This time, our middle group is actually picked later than the first group. In fact, our first group on average is being picked 20 spots earlier than those in the middle group. I did not expect to see that at all. The last group, made up of defensemen who are 76 inches or above, are picked roughly 13 spots ahead of group 1 and over 30 spots earlier than group 2.

Group 2 is unique in that only 40% of those players every played a game in the NHL.

Again, we have the same issues with our stats not being the greatest. However, our first group has a decent advantage in games played, goals, assists, and points. Now we should be wary of small sample sizes, as we only have 43 players in group 1 and 35 in group 3, but we will have to live with those since that's how these 3 drafts turned out.

With defensemen especially, points can be a poor representation of performance. While I would have loved to connect this data with BTH info, it would have just been too time consuming for me to do at the moment.

Like my last two posts, there is nothing concrete about this research. It is only an introductory look into the draft and how size plays a role.

Let me know if there is anything you want me to take a look at. I've already spent a decent amount of time on this stuff, so If you have ideas for me to look at that pertain to the draft let me know. I can probably do them as long as they won't take a insane amount of time.

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

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