After a long, arduous offseason that has gone on for what seems like...days, the NHL Entry Draft is finally here. On Wednesday, I looked at how the Avalanche drafts have fared on a round-by-round basis as well as how they rate against the league. Today, I'm looking at how each team has drafted recently.
First, a couple of notes on methodology. I'm looking at all 13 drafts from 1995 to 2007 based on information from hockey-reference.com. I chose 1995 because that's when the Avalanche moved to Denver. It unfairly penalizes a few teams that weren't around back then, but that's just tough Bettmans. After putting all the numbers together, I realized that I probably shouldn't include the last couple of drafts because it's too soon to evaluate them (only 4 players drafted last summer have played in the NHL), but after messing around with the numbers I found that the impact of dropping the last 2 drafts would have been minor. Also, it would have been more work, and I'm lazy.
Basically, I'm looking at how many drafted players played at least 1 game in the NHL - not exactly a perfect measure of success, but it's still something that just 34% of players drafted since '95 have managed to do. This is really just measuring how well teams are drafting - are the guys they take capable of making it to the NHL - and not how well a team develops players (since, many players will end up getting traded before getting to the bigs).
I knew the Avalanche had a good draft history, but it's even better than I thought.
|TEAM||DRAFTED||NHL||%||TOP 10||NHL GP||/AVG TENURE|
The Avs have drafted 50 players who have made it to the NHL. While other teams have a bit better drafting rate (Boston, surprisingly, had the highest sucess rate), no team has seen more of their draft picks since '95 make it to the league. At the other end of the scale (and ignorning the expansion teams), Toronto, Carolina, Vancouver and Detroit have done the worst. Before you start scoffing at the Wings, though, remember that in order to keep up their dyn...er, continued sucess they've traded away all but 4 of their 1st round picks. And, as we've learned, 1st rounders are money.
And, after dissing Mike "Worst GM Ever" Milbury Wednesday, the Islanders actually end up rather high on the list. Keep in mind, though, that the Isles have had ELEVEN top 10 picks in those 13 years. A monkey could have been running those drafts (and it might have worked out better, as a monkey probably wouldn't have traded 9 of those 11 players away).
Another measure of draft success I've been using is how many NHL games your draft picks will manage to see. Avalanche draftees have played a total of 9,072 NHL games and counting, again tops in the league. On average, if a player drafted by Colorado makes it to the NHL, he'll have a career of 181 games - one of the highest averages in the league. Compare that to, say, Chicago who, thanks to having a perennially crappy roster, gets a lot of its picks to the NHL, but they don't stick around (104 game average).
And the most amazing thing about the Avs' success? They've had ZERO Top-10 picks. None. They've shown they can find good players without being parked in the lottery lounge. To be frank, I didn't expect the team to come out so high on the list. And it makes you wonder what we could have done with a couple of lottery picks in the mix.