Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Value of the Draft Pt. 2

By Dan Moser

Before we get started here lets do a quick recap. In Part One the actual topic and aims of the project were outlined. The aim is to prove a relationship between on-ice performance and draft pedigree in the NHL. This is done by analyzing the top 20 scorers in each year following the lockout. 2010 was also examined and initial discoveries were made.

Was that recap not good enough? Then click here to check out Part One. I'd recommend clicking it no matter what, it will open in a new window and will make my stats look awesome. This will also take you there.

Part Two is a little heavier on the chart side, you have been warned. HERE. WE. GO!
Let's get ready to rumble!!!
2009 Leading Scorers

Again the analysis will begin with the top 20 goal scorers from the 2009 NHL season. In Table 3, of the 17 first round draftees, 14 were selected in the first half of the first round with 11 of the players drafted in the top 5. Of the top goal scorers that are liste din Table 3, 55% were selected using the first five draft picks. The 85% rate of first rounder to non-first rounder players is consistent with the analysis of 2010.

Similar to 2010, there are three non-first rounders present in the top 20 although all were drafted players. Of the three, Loui Eriksson and Michael Cammallari, were selected in the second round, while Johan Franzen was the lone third rounder. Despite the lack of undrafted players, the average pick used to select a top 20 goal scoring forward was higher in 2009 at 14.5, which would be the midway point in the first round. In total points however there is a slight spike in non-first round picks.

Of the top 20 point scoring forwards listed in Table 4, five were not first round selections. Cammalleri is present again but this time he is joined by second rounder Patrik Elias, fourth rounder Marc Savard, sixth rounder Pavel Datsyuk, and undrafted forward Martin St. Louis. Being drafted so late and having such a large impact, Datsyuk is an anomaly in the NHL. The same can be said for St. Louis who has made his second appearance so far.

The average draft choice for total points is much lower at 24.89 but still in the first round albeit at the bottom. Although this is the average, it is important to note that all 15 first round picks were selected before pick number 25; the average is skewed by the lower picks of Datsyuk and Savard. A higher percentage of first rounders were selected in the top 5 as well at 60%.

Although the percentage of players drafted in the first round drops by 10% to 75% it is still such a large majority of players that it can be said that 2009 is consistant with 2010 in that a significant portion of the top players were drafted in the first round.

That's probably enough for today, lets drag this baby out! Stay tuned for Part Three tomorrow!

Click here for Part One.

Click here for Part Three.

Click here for Part Four.

Click here for Part Five.

Click here for Part Six.


  1. Any comment as to the draft eligible years of the top 20 point scorers. For example the undrafted and late drafted players like St. Louis and Datsyuk occurred many years ago under different scouting systems. Would we expect a Martin St. Louis scenario to occur now? can we take a look at Top 20 point scorers in 2000 and see if the ratio of top 10 1st rounders to late drafted players was similar/

  2. The reason for not looking into earlier years is because of the lock out and how it changed the game. Years prior to the lockout are not really comparable to post lockout in my opinion.

    I would argue that advancements in scouting (and much more money, a topic I will briefly touch on in a later segment) make it much more unlikely that a elite level player will emerge from either undrafted status or from a later round.

    In a similar vain I would argue that the same advancements mean there will be far fewer draft busts occurring in the post lockout NHL.