Does scouting matter at the draft?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by c9orf, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. c9orf

    c9orf Registered User

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    I've often wondered whether anyone consistently does better than central scouting when it comes to selecting quality players at the Entry draft. Observers tend to be selective in their perceptions of such things; a good "steal" is remembered but a few sub-optimal picks can be quickly forgotten.

    I'm not actually asking for opinions but objective data on this point. Has anyone done an analysis of what players would have been chosen (by several teams, ideally) if the most highly rated player according to C.S. had been taken with every pick? Over several draft years? The fact that the list is broken down into NA/Euro skater/goaltender would complicate such a study, but a formula could be chosen to deal with it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Kirk- NEHJ

    Kirk- NEHJ Registered User

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    Have at it.
     
  3. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Some teams draft based on need while some teams draft the best player available which helps to throw the rankings out of whack in comparison with who is actually drafted.

    Another thing is interviews which reveal character which probably aren't given as big a consideration in the independent rankings.
     
  4. kingpin_19

    kingpin_19 Registered User

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    Also, each team has a group of scouts that evaluates players based on how they may fit into the teams chemistry. IMO, Central Scouting is just the most talented, and best producing players rated from the top to bottom. As was said above, teams may draft according to need, while others draft the best player available.
     
  5. Changeiscoming

    Changeiscoming Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    some teams just suck at drafting

    however

    teams like Detroit and New Jersey are examples of what scouting can do.....

    go to www.hockeydb.com and look at the late round picks of those two teams

    some team could not hit the ocean if they jumped out of boat going across the atlantic when it comes to drafting.

    Look at Vancouver and their drafting of Libor Polisak or Jason Herter--nuck scouts did not see either one play--but drafted them based upon what other people had said and written
     
  6. West

    West Registered User

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    Done a little research on this and read some articles that were roughly about it.

    1) Yes some teams draft noticably better than Central Scouting and NHL teams.
    2) It's crazy hard to track because you'd need to assign each player a certain value before you could do any statisical testing but teams like Ottawa, Nashville, Philedelphia are probably the best for my money.
    3) Central scouting usually gets it's best scouts hired away by NHL teams to my understanding.
    4) Outside the top 10 picks any team that selects a player who has a real career (say 600 games) did a real good job with the pick.
    5) Realistically only 1 top 2 line player and 1 bottom 2 line player will have a real career per team per draft year on average. So anyone who say's they got 4 or 5 players in a draft did amazingly or is talking @#^@#$#.
     
  7. Blackjack

    Blackjack Registered User

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    Well, they should feel that way after the draft. Otherwise, why did they draft the guy?

    If you look at drafts from seven or eight years ago, your average pans out, but there's no reason for a team to take any player they don't think has a chance to contribute.
     
  8. Hunter Gathers

    Hunter Gathers White guilt milquetoast piece of human garbage. Sponsor

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    Original poster might be Charles Wang in disguise.
     
  9. CaptainShark

    CaptainShark Registered User

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    :biglaugh: :clap:
     
  10. West

    West Registered User

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    a) It's a bit of a numbers game.

    b) there's a big difference between having a chance and having a succuessful career.

    c) It's a bit of my pet peeve on these boards about hearing how someone is a sure-fire... or we have 8 great players in the system or ect. If pro's could actually say stuff like that the draft would only need to be 3 rounds. I tend to skip past anyones posts who says stuff like that pretty quickly.

    d) If you spend your career scouting these guy's IMO you've earned the right to talk a little %$^&# after the draft. But the first poster was asking what actually happens.
     
  11. X-SHARKIE

    X-SHARKIE Registered User

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    Sharks chief scout Tim Burke says they don't use other rankings like Central Scouting, Redline, ISS ect... and there draft record has kept the Sharks afloat for years and we owe that staff for many of our best players...Marleau,Cheechoo,Nabokov,Bernier,Michalek..ect.

    So yes, a scouting staff is very important.
     
  12. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    Personally, I think the ultimate difference in results between picking-by-stats/CSB/ISS/RL/etc and picking by your own carefully scouted list probably wouldn't amount to much. Either way, you could come out ahead of the curve, or you could flop. Throwing darts at round-by-round draft lists would give similar results. It's just that close. (But this is totally off-the-cuff, I haven't analysed draft results for like a decade now, and I don't have the resources to correlate NHL results widely against CSB or other rankings).

    But what you do get by doing it yourself is the players you most want. Whether they ultimately turn out to be have been the right picks, well who knows. Obviously the hope and the goal is that they will. But I just think it's important for any organisation to have its own policies, its own identity, and apply its own process for selecting/hiring its future employees. You have to do the legwork yourself, there isn't any real justification for not doing so, it would be unacceptably defeatist to not at least try to put your own expertise to work in trying to come out ahead.

    And too, there is value in the general player-awareness that comes from scouting, even if you don't ultimately succeed with the few players you select yourself. At some point you have to make trades for players. Plus you might get the chance to sign some others or invite others to your training camp, etc.

    I don't think Charles Wang could get away with running an NHL team with no scouting department. But I do know some FHL GMs who have had annoyingly terrific success with a dart-board-and-CSB-list approach. :banghead:
     
  13. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    The player interviews are an important component in identifying character and intelligence which I am sure the scouting services don't do. Skill isn't everything.
     
  14. MrMastodonFarm*

    MrMastodonFarm* Registered User

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    No, scouting isn't important. Teams should draft players by what someone else thinks about them. :sarcasm:
     
  15. Matty

    Matty Registered User

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    Exactly. I also think the way teams 'develop' players plays a much bigger role than people think. It's not just about drafting the 'right' guy.
     
  16. The Nemesis

    The Nemesis Semper Tyrannus

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    In the higher rounds I don't think there would be a huge difference in scouting versus drafting by outside rankings, but the place where things come up big are in the late rounds.

    I mean, look back at the 2000 draft. Henrik Lundqvist was drafted 205th, and was ranked as the 5th best European goalie. Ranked ahead of him on that list were Peter Hamrlik (#2, undrafted?), Zdenek Smid (#3, drafted 168th), and Matias Schoder (#4, undrafted). Did any of those 3 amount to anything? Schoeder reentered the draft and was the #5 goalie in 2001 as well, and the most noteworthy goalie to this point in that crop of European goalies was the #3 guy, Dmitri Patzold.

    Yes, there are always late round picks that pan out better than expected, but the point I'm making is that there are always guys ranked low on CSS or ISS or Redline or wherever's rankings that get snapped up late and become big steals. Those are the times where having a good scouting staff pays off.
     
  17. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    And on top of that, skill and interviews-at-18 aren't everything either. How much of a factor is a player's post-draft development environment in how he turns out? It could be that Team A ends up with the best draft results not because they had the best scouts and drafted the best 18-year old players, but instead because they had the best development program.

    Hypothetically speaking, CSB could have the absolute best list of most talented 18-year old hockey players, accumulated by the best staff of hockey scouts in the business. But Team A could come along, poke around, kick a few tires, decide to pick a few mysterious players not rated highly by CSB because they feel they fit best with the team's program, spend a few years waving their magical development wand, and presto, those players end up being better than the ones that the almighty CSB scouts ranked higher. Does that mean the CSB list was "wrong"?

    Anyway, the bottom line is that it's a complex problem, and any team is going to want to take it's own responsibility for tackling it, at every level. I think the rankings service lists are essentially just for us fans and armchair GMs, and for media consumption. A real business with millions of real dollars at stake should have the incentive to take a much more detailed and sophisticated approach, both to scouting and to draft trending and analyses, than most of us and most services can afford to. (Whether some teams actually do or not... well... not so sure... ;) ).
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  18. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    "Try to be more concise." - Blind Gardien's english teacher.

    Now I know why. While I compose a multi-paragraph snoozefest that nobody can be bothered to read, Matty jumps the queue and makes the same point. Speed, clarity, and the glory that goes with it. :bow: :handclap:
     
  19. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    I'm not entirely sure how this serves as a meaningful example, though? If the Rangers actually knew that Lundqvist was that much better than his ranking, then why would they have waited until 205th? Wouldn't that have been just about where CSB's low-ranking would have placed him anyway? Were they just playing it incredibly cool, sitting patiently, sweat trickling under the collars though, waiting for Lundqvist to fall into their laps at #205? Or did they just take a goalie who was widely considered to be a longshot with one of their longshot picks and luck out?
    :dunno:

    Not that there aren't examples of teams picking guys waaay higher than they are ranked, or who aren't even ranked who turn out to be brilliant picks. Obviously that happens frequently. It happens with high-ranked players too, though. I wonder if teams which go "off the board" in the 1st round with their Morris/Lewis/Wheeler/Downie etc picks aren't pulling just as much of a scouting coup though as teams which get diamonds in the late rounds? In which part of the draft is it more likely that scouting prowess and not just blind luck truly had the dominant role? :dunno:
     
  20. The Nemesis

    The Nemesis Semper Tyrannus

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    The point is that they took a goalie late when two higher ranked goalies were still available, and they did well for it. If they had paid absolute attention to the rankings, they would've concluded that Hamrlik or Schoder were better than Lundqvist, and that it was in their best interest to take one of them over Lundqvist at that point.
     
  21. c9orf

    c9orf Registered User

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    It sounds like the existing analysis is quite limited. Your response (and the others in this thread) doesn't include "check out thread XXXX, fool!", which is simultaneously disappointing and encouraging.

    I'm aware of the purported benefits of scouting and team interviews. The objective question is: does any of that really matter?

    And yes, I'll spend some time looking into this. Apologies in advance to readers with certain pancreatic disorders...

    I hate to ask anyone to explain a joke, but... please explain the joke!
     
  22. Hunter Gathers

    Hunter Gathers White guilt milquetoast piece of human garbage. Sponsor

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    Before Neil Smith was ousted from Long Island, Wang apparantly wanted to abolish the scouting staff.

    Probably one of the funniest/most ******ed things I've ever heard of.
     
  23. Hedberg

    Hedberg MLD Glue Guy

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    But then who would he send to scout sumo wrestlers?
     
  24. Of course scouting matters at the draft. It matters a lot.

    /debate
     
  25. MojoJojo

    MojoJojo Registered User

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    While the idea that scouting doesnt matter is :dunce:

    I personally think that it is as or even more important how a franchise develops its talent pool.
     

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