Dodging the Draft, Part 2

Earlier this afternoon I looked at the history of  Avalanche drafts. While that was plenty to entertain a simple guy like our fearless leader Joe, apparently there are some Avalanche fans who are a tad more sophisticated. No, really. 

By popular demand, I'm going to take those numbers and compare them to the rest of the league. Again, I'm just looking at the 13 entry drafts since the franchise moved to Denver (in honor of Dan Hinote, of course). All numbers came from hockey-reference.com and, since I added everything up, I'm sure there's some mistakes in there somewhere. But, as always, the broad strokes are discernible.

Overall, about 33% of NHL players drafted in the last 13 years have played at least one game in the NHL. The Avs have been better than average, with 39% finding their way to an NHL roster somewhere. I've got that broken down by round below - NHL numbers on the left, Colorado's numbers on the right.

  1. 74% NHL, 77% COL
  2. 50% NHL, 43% COL
  3. 37% NHL, 62% COL
  4. 24% NHL, 20% COL
  5. 21% NHL, 31% COL
  6. 21% NHL, 27% COL
  7. 19% NHL, 43% COL
  8. 24% NHL, 22% COL
  9. 21% NHL, 11% COL

It's interesting that after the first 3 rounds, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference - a guy taken in the 4th round is just slightly more likely to see NHL action than a guy taken in the 7th. The Avs, though, seem to be above the league curve in the later rounds and appear to own the 3rd round.

While the league is littered with 1st round busts, that's still where the bulk of the league talent comes from. Of the 175,000 or so NHL games played by someone drafted in the last 13 drafts, almost 71,000 games - 40% - were by players taken in the 1st round. I have to admit, that number is larger than I thought it would be. On average, a player taken in the first round will play 188 games in the NHL, or about 3 times longer than any other round. Again, breaking this down by round:

  1. 188 NHL, 229 COL
  2. 57 NHL, 21 COL
  3. 51 NHL, 154 COL
  4. 33 NHL, 35 COL
  5. 21 NHL, 52 COL
  6. 28 NHL, 43 COL
  7. 27 NHL, 116 COL
  8. 28 NHL, 14 COL
  9. 21 NHL, 3 COL

Again, not much difference around the league between 4th and 7th (or even 9th) round picks. I guess once the top 100 or so players are gone, it really is just a crapshoot. And, again, the Avalanche have made a killing in the 3rd and 7th round, which makes up a bit for having so many 2nd round flops.

So there you have it, Bob. The Avalanche, in general, are a bit better than the league in terms of finding talent capable of getting to (and staying in) the NHL (but is it really that tough to beat a curve that includes dunderheads like Mike Milbury?). If we had a 3rd round pick this year - or last year - he'd definitely be a guy to watch (somewhere, 2006's 3rd rounder Michael Carmen is either rubbing his hands in anticipation or, more likely, completely ignoring this crap). And that scrub we grab in the 7th round (*me waves at Johan Alcen*) just might surprise you.

Later this week, I'm going to look at how the other teams in the NHL stack up in the draft. Keep an eye out for it - it will probably have a catchy title like..."Part 3".

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