Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Value of the Draft Pt. 6 The Finale

Welcome to Part Six. The graphs are done, this is all about analysis ladies and gents. That's right, this is the good stuff, you read this part, you can act like you read the whole thing. You can ramble off stats from this project to your buddies in the bar during hockey highlights, but if I find you did without giving me the proper credit there will be hell to pay. You have been warned!

Enjoy Part Six: The Finale!

Click here for Part One.

Click here for Part Two.

Click here for Part Three.

Click here for Part Four.

Click here for Part Five.


The analysis of top scoring forwards in the post-lockout NHL had proven that higher drafted forwards have a statistically better chance of performing at an elite level, especially if selected in the first 5 picks of the NHL Entry Draft. The prominence of high draft choices in the presented Tables proves the value of first round picks. Although drafting in the first round may not guarantee a team an elite scoring forward, it is the cheapest and for some teams the most viable option for obtaining one.

First round picks hold an immense amount of value. This is especially true in the case of first overall picks who have led the league in goal scoring or point scoring in each year following the lockout. It is not wise for teams in any situation to trade their first round picks unless of course they receive a player in return who is already an elite level talent. It is likely however that a returning player will not be as economically friendly as a young drafted player due to the contraints put on entry level NHL salaries. The introduction of the salary cap has made finding inexpensive talent a top priority for all NHL teams and the cheapest way to do so is through the draft. The analysis shows that teams are becoming aware of this as well. Since the lockout ended the average draft pick used to produce a top 20 scoring forward had gone from 41.85 for 10.58.

There is another lockout related theory behind the difference in average pick. Teams are capped in the amount they can spend on individual players and their teams as a whole, but the same cannot be said for staff. If correct this would mean that since the lockout, teams have been allocating extra money to scouting and development staff meaning that drafting a low performance player in the first round in less likely, and young players become ready sooner to make the just to the NHL level of play.


The analysis in this project raises new questions and opportunities for  further research. Examining defencemen in a similar way is the next logical step. There are half as many defencemen on a team as forwards so it makes sense to research draft pedigree of the top 10 scoring defencemen for each year.

If a proper quantifiable statistic can be proved, analyzing other positions in a similar matter could also provide interesting results. Positions can include: stay at home defencemen, power forwards, shutdown players, and goaltenders.

Age and salary are other elements which can be expanded upon further. It would be interesting to see who provides the most scoring for the smallest amount of money over a number of years and how that relates to their draft status. NHL teams are now interested in bringing in more young talent because they are the most cost effective but this could negatively affect players' careers. In their twilight years players who are drafted early and play right away may be pushed out of the league for monetary reasons. Also playing elite level hockey at such a young age may effect how long a player can stay in the prime of his career.

Another interesting draft related statistical correlation may exist between Stanley Cup Championship teams and he average draft selection ised to create them. Examining the losing team and comparing them to the winning team could as well point to statistical indicators of why each team fared a certain way. A list of the leading playoff scorers for each of the last five championship teams and where they were drafted would impact the meaningfulness of the draft. A study analyzing Stanley Cup Championship teams would examine similar statistics from a team perspective gauging organizational success rather that just individual.

Well that does it, I hope you enjoyed reading my research. If you plan on using some, part or any of my project for your own work I would appreciate it if you let me know first either via email or twitter. I'm pretty easy going but you gotta give credit where it is due. If you enjoyed reading this and would like to see more again let me know via email or twitter. If you are a member of a media outlet (looks like someone thinks quite highly of themselves) etc and want to talk to me about this work email or twitter.

Redundancy rules, peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment