# What you should expect out of an average draft

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Hiishawk, Jun 5, 2006.

1. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere
There are 30 teams in the NHL. With, basically, 20 players per team that equals 600 players. If the average career is about 10 years that means that about 60 players from an average draft can expect to become full-time NHL players.

A further breakdown looks like this: there are 180 1st line FWS, top pairing dfmen, or 1st string goalies in the NHL. If an average career for the better players as a top-line player is 10 years (at a 1st line level), that means we can logically expect the top 18 prospects of an average draft to become top line players.

Therefore:
- pick #1-18 = a top line FW or top pairing DF
- #19-30 = 2nd line FW or 2nd pairing dfman.
- #31-45= 3rd line FW, 5th dfman or back-up goalie
- #46-60 = 4th line FW, 6th dfman, back-up goalie

A fringe player may spend some time as a 3rd/4th liner but not for too long and may end up being a 13th fw, 7th df or regular call-up. The average for this might be about 6 years. If every team has about 6 of these players, that's 180 in the league. That becomes about 25 of this type of player per draft (based on 6 year turnover). So:
- pick #60-90 = fringe player
- #90-120 = cup of coffee

The math above is very general but more or less on target I think. This should cause those who say things like "I rate player X #12. I think he'll be a good 3rd liner" or "I have player Y at #85. I predict 20-25 goals from him in the show" to think twice about what they are saying (and ranking).

Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
2. ### shveikRegistered User

Joined:
Jul 6, 2002
Messages:
2,852
0
Trophy Points:
0
Occupation:
Inspired dilettante
Obviously the teams do not know what's going to happen, so the probability also factors in. People usually do not say "I have player Y at #85. I predict 20-25 goals from him in the show", they say "he has some chance to put up 20-25 goals". And then the teams would even pick up what they see as can't miss 3rd line player over a player with higher "ceiling", but less chance to reach it.

3. ### Bank ShotRegistered User

Joined:
Jan 18, 2006
Messages:
6,696
199
Trophy Points:
111
But that doesn't factor in the probability of the prospect being able to make the NHL.

It makes sense to me to see a guy that is basically a lock to make the NHL, but potentially not in a scoring role to be ranked way ahead of a prospect that has amazing hands, but other issues that may prevent him from making the NHL.

4. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere
Perhaps instead of saying "1st liner" etc. I should have said "one of the top 6 forwards" etc. because third lines have a stigma of being defensive lines and a player on that third line might well be more valuable than a more offensively-inclined guy on the 2nd line.

But I think readers get the point anyway- you should expect a pick in the top 18 to eventually become one of your six best, 18-33 to be in your club's best (or most important) 10-12 players etc.

5. ### Jack SplatRegistered User

Joined:
Apr 8, 2006
Messages:
1,410
0
Trophy Points:
0
Occupation:
Working for the Man
Location:
Hershey, PA
Interesting, but what do the facts show? Is that what's happening, judging by recent and historical drafts? I don't have the patience to sift through the numbers.

I remember reading a breakdown that first rounders were a pretty safe bet to make it to the NHL, second rounders were highly risky, third rounders were surprisingly safe bets, then each round tailed off significantly.

6. ### RandRegistered User

Joined:
Oct 17, 2002
Messages:
9,426
0
Trophy Points:
129
Occupation:
IT Journalist
If we're trying to gauge what teams should expect from a draft pick a better indication would probably be to look at the norm from past drafts from the general area of the given pick in question.

7. ### SuperUnknownRegistered User

Joined:
Mar 14, 2002
Messages:
4,891
0
Trophy Points:
0
Things that you do not take into account that are meaningfull:

1. Not all draft are equals.
2. When draft time comes, you don't know yet how a player will develop. Later round players are most likely misses (I don't have the stats, but I'd say less than 10% make the NHL) but you can still get a top 6 forward there.
3. Top six players tend to have longer careers than 10 years in average.

8. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere
1. That's why I am talking in AVERAGES.
2. Of course there are surprises- it is a crap shoot after all. But if you think a guy will be a top 6 forward you wouldn't rank him in the later rounds pre-draft, would you?
3. Questionable. 10 years AS A top 6 forward is the meaning. Players who plays a few early years on the lower lines and end their careers with four similar years are fairly common. With injuries factored in, I think it is close. 12 may be more accurate though.

9. ### shveikRegistered User

Joined:
Jul 6, 2002
Messages:
2,852
0
Trophy Points:
0
Occupation:
Inspired dilettante
I do not think any scout is bold enough to say that a player will be a top liner. I am guessing they look at where the player's at and try to "project". I guess what I am saying, there are probably 50-60 kids that have a chance to become a top line forward or a top pairing dman, but say only 15 of them will actually achieve that. And then there are a few of them who nobody thought much of when they where 18 will overachieve. So it's not a stretch to rank somebody, who you think might play on top line in the NHL, in the second round. If you think the chance is not so high.

10. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere
Of course, the better the chance of them becoming top players (in a scout's opinion) the higher you rank them- projections included. That goes without saying.

The numbers are guidelines folks- I don't expect players to slot into them precisely (i.e., Vasyunov is the 49th pick- I guess that means 4th liner). Some, like Vasyunov, are more boom or bust guys. What I am saying though is- on the average- when you draft in these positions, this is realistically what one should expect.

11. ### DaveGGlobal Moderator

Joined:
Apr 7, 2003
Messages:
39,837
5,514
Trophy Points:
232
Gender:
Male
Occupation:
Brewer/Medical Software
Location:
Winston-Salem NC
Awards:
as usual, a good read Steblick. Obviously not every draft will have that much top end potential, and some may have more (03). That's what makes things so interesting around here in seeing so many prospects that were late 2nd, 3rd and even 4th and 5th round picks hyped so much. Then again, that's the great thing about a draft. Who, in 98, would have projected that Erik Cole would become a 1st line tallent while Rico Fata would strugle to hang on to a roster spot in the NHL?

12. ### SuperUnknownRegistered User

Joined:
Mar 14, 2002
Messages:
4,891
0
Trophy Points:
0
1. Well that's a problem... You can't know how many guys will come out as top 6 (top 4F or 2D) in a draft. Using the "average" to draft would be a huge mistake imo, you need to have an edge.
2. If you want to ask me how I draft players (well how I would...), I simply go on who I think has the better chance to make the NHL and somehow have an impact (and I believe 3rd liners have an impact). The more prospects that make the NHL, the more trading chips you have and the better chance some develop as elite players. That's my philosophy though, others might differ. I'll use Corey Locke as a good example of why I think a "top 6 philosophy" is misleading imo. Why wasn't Corey Locke drafted in the 1st round? Simply because most scouts thought he'd have a really hard time playing in the NHL. However, if he is to play in the NHL, it's going to be as a close to top 4 on his team. You draft talented players that could be big in the NHL but are huge question marks as to if they'll ever take a sniff at the NHL later in the draft. When those guys succeed, they become top 6 players and you've got a steal. They rarely succeed though, which is the whole point about drafting them late. Other times, you might spot a prospect that's not scouted that much, and you draft him later. Sometimes, you think a player might be a late bloomer and you take a flyer on him, but you know that if he does develop, he's going to be a big time player for you. That's why they're thinking about pushing back the draft age.
3. While 10 years as a top 6 might be good, the point is if it's 12 years, it seriously changes the data. With 12 years as a base, it becomes top 15 in average and then the variation from year to year makes it even wilder.
4. With your figures, each team in average gets 2 NHL players out of its 7 picks. The problem is that if you go for wilder picks, you could well end up with 0 NHL players while the safer team gets 4 NHL players. In the long run, the team that gets more NHL players should get more top 6 players, even if in general they play safer.
5. Other than the top 5 picks, you can't expect the players to make the NHL. You sure wish they will, but it's hard to tell. You can't make the NHL with talent alone. You need commitment, hard work and focus to reach that level. As in all sports, it's not always the most talented that is the best, it's often the most commited.

13. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere
OK. But I wasn't proposing this as a team's "draft strategy" or anything like that but merely what one could expect (on average) to come out of a draft- an overall outcome.

Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
14. ### HiishawkRegistered User

Joined:
Feb 28, 2002
Messages:
1,225
0
Trophy Points:
0
Location:
Out there somewhere