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1st Round selections more important than ever

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It's no revelation that guessing right in the 1st Round is important to a team's success, but data suggests it's probably more so than ever before. According to this graph, provided by @nhltoseattle, 1st Round picks are not only playing a greater percentage of games for NHL teams, but also scoring a greater percentage of goals. Of course, this could be self-fulfilling prophecy, as the NHL marketing gives more coverage and camera time to prospects teams have little choice financially but to play. But the evidence may also suggest scouting is becoming more sophisticated -- especially internationally -- and more teams are succeeding with their early picks.

Mid-to-late round selections will always before an essential element of any successful team, but this trend is certainly something to consider on the eve of the 2015 draft.

Good luck, Joe.

1st Round Graph