#1 Prospects --> Top Scorers?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by trentmccleary, Dec 27, 2004.

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  1. trentmccleary

    trentmccleary Registered User

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    It seems like every other 1st overall pick is going to lead the league in scoring for a decade. How realistic is that?

    Since 1963, 41 players have been drafted 1st overall. How many have led the league in scoring? .......only 2 :teach: (Lafleur and Lemieux). 4 if you count Lindros' tie with Jagr and you assume that Gretzky was a surefire #1.
    Maybe that's unfair. Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr combined to win 21 consecutive Art Ross Trophies.

    So how about Top Ten in scoring finishes?
    Yr- Player... Best finish (# of times in top ten)
    84- M.Lemieux… 1st (10)
    71- G.Lafleur … 1st (6)
    70- G.Perreault … 3rd (5)
    81- D.Hawerchuk… 3rd (4)
    91- E.Lindros… 2nd (3)
    88- M.Modano… 8th (3)
    89- M.Sundin… 4th (2)
    73- D.Potvin (D) … 5th (2)
    87- P.Turgeon… 5th (2)
    97- J.Thornton… 3rd (1)
    01- Kovalchuk… 3rd (1)
    90- O.Nolan… 6th (1)
    78- B.Smith … 8th (1)

    Even then, it's not that great. 13 guys? Most of whom made it only once or twice.
    14 of 41 picks have been D-men or goalies and Ovechkin hasn't played yet. So I don't expect them to make this list. Subtract Denis Potvin from the excluded list and we have a working number of 27.

    That makes the chances of:
    a #1 making the top ten in his career... approx. 50%
    more than twice... approx. 25%
    winning the Art Ross... approx. 8% (or 1 in every 12)

    How many Art Ross's do you think Crosby and Ovechkin will win now?
     
  2. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Not very realistic, I agree.

    However, I think teams have improved their scouting a little. Guys do not fly off the radar as much anymore and intangibles are taken a little more into consideration. Development has been refined a bit as well.

    The data you provide is interesting, that's for sure. But it's not all bad. It means approximately 50% of the forwards since then have gone in the top 10 in the scoring.

    Mathematically, you can't ask for much more.

    A couple of the recent draftees will probably get in the top 10 scoring at least once in their career. Lecavalier, I would think. Rick Nash is another. Your data doesn't show that in his second season only, he led the league in goals along with Iginla and Kovalchuk (another 1st overall).

    Columbus will improve and I will be very disappointed if Nash doesn't get in the top 10 one day.

    In the last 10 years, scouting has improved and the 1st overall picks have not disappointed too much. There have been six forwards drafted:

    1994, 1995 and 1996 were defensemen.
    1997 Thornton Has not disappointed me so far.
    1998 Lecavalier Best talent I have seen since Lindros, very questionable head. If he figures out how to play this game as he seems to be doing lately, he'll get in the top 10 and be better than Modano.
    1999 Patrick Stefan Was never expected to do much
    2001 Ilya Kovalchuk Here we are getting into very recent data. It would probably be too early in many cases but Kovalchuk was a phenom and has certainly not disappointed. 3rd overall in scoring and a goalscoring machine as expected
    2002 Rick Nash Already has a Rocket Richard. Will get in the top 10 sooner or later
    2004 Alexander Ovechkin Will most probably get to the top 10 in scoring.


    It still doesn't mean every 1st overall pick will win a Art Ross, though.

    The thing also is, the league has changed quite a bit in the 40+ years of your analysis. While I think scouting is better, we've also added a significant number of teams. With 30 teams now, we've added almost 50% more teams in the last 15 years.

    This plays a lot right now because unless you trade up to get a reported phenom (say, Spezza with the Sens) your team is still going to suck big time and that young player will probably not be supported well the first few years.

    You compare that with a league where only five teams do not make the playoffs. That's a lot less teams tanking it. Add the faraminous contracts today and many teams that do not make the playoffs often go into garage sale mode.

    None of this proves or disproves your theory. But that (and a lot of other factors) should probably be taken into account when a study spreads over so many years.
     
  3. Stiffler's Mom

    Stiffler's Mom Registered User

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    Much of a players Art Ross success is determined by the quality of the other offensive players on his team. In my opinion it comes down to how good the top 5 or so players are offensively. The better the offensive depth, the better the Art Ross candidates chances of winning the scoring title. A #1 pick has to get onto what will become a Stanley Cup contender type team to win the scoring title. The #1 pick has to also get onto a team that has an excellent powerplay. This could net the player at least 1 pt per game and anything at even strength would add to the chances of an Art Ross Trophy.

    If you end up on a team with a poor power play,then your chances of winning an Art Ross Trophy drop even more.
     
  4. mazmin

    mazmin Go! Jets! Go!

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    :lol: Atlanta sure expected a lot more!
     
  5. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Well, I think everybody was hoping he'd do more but really, the top end of that draft was never considered amazing and I don't consider the pick a total failure under the circumstances. Stefan was drafted first overall because there wasn't much top end talent that jumped at you that year and because he was considered a safe player close to NHL-ready.

    Getting a 2nd liner in that piss-poor draft is not that bad. I think it was a decent pick and am not sure Atlanta expected that much.

    Don't let the first overall selection deceie you. It doesn't mean Atlanta expected miracles.
     
  6. trentmccleary

    trentmccleary Registered User

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    My numbers won't stand up over time that's for sure.
    - 8 of the 13 who've made the top ten already are still in the NHL (I figure maybe half of those will do it again).
    - Lecavalier and Nash might make the list at some point. Although it's still early, I just don't see them joining the upper echelon of that list.

    The two comments above indicate how the numbers might increase in the next few years...
    - however, I agree that they will increase. But that may be likely because my exclusion list has grown substantially in recent years.
    I honestly can't believe that two morons picked goalies 1st overall. They take forever to develop and develop at different rates, if at all. To me, it's like picking a huge lump of coal out of a pile of smaller diamonds and telling everybody you have a huge diamond.
    Also, the defense top-heavy drafts in 94, 95 and 96 ... resulted in top picked forwards Radek Bonk, Chad Kilger and JP Dumont being excluded.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004
  7. MS

    MS 1%er

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    My recollection of that draft at the time is the exact opposite. The top 4 guys (Stefan, Sedins, Brendl) received a ton of hype as sure-fire front line forwards. Stefan was scoring a point per game against men in the IHL. Sedins were SEL MVPs at age 18, and Brendl tore a strip out of the WHL the likes of which no draft-eligible player has done in recent memory. Individually, none were hyped as much as Kovalchuk and Lecavalier (although the Sedins were close), but that top group had higher expectations than Heatley/Gaborik/Dipietro in 2000, and was comparable to Nash/Bouwmeester/Lehtonen/Pitkanen in 2002. The general consensus was that there were four potential franchise offensive players available, something I don't think you could say about any other draft in the last decade (even 2003). Stefan might not have gone #1 in some other years, but would have been a top 3 overall selection in any year. 1999 wasn't like 1996 in terms of quality at the top end, at least at the time. That draft has been a total flop, but it wasn't considered a poor group at all on draft day.

    For reference's sake, here's the write-up on Stefan from the 1999 RLR draft preview:


    Pretty much everyone at the time was lavishing similar praise on him (that issue of RLR also contains a quote from Brian Burke that Stefan will play 20 minutes/game in the NHL as a rookie). To say that Atlanta didn't think he'd be much more than a #2 center is to me pretty inaccurate.
     
  8. Russian_fanatic

    Russian_fanatic Registered User

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    Stefan still has potential to be a 60-70 point Radek Bonk.
     
  9. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    I tried to find old articles but couldn't.

    My memory is different from yours. In any event, I know I expected a Bonk-like player and Bonk was often named when talking of Stefan. I can't think of a recent less hyped year at the top except maybe 1996. You are right, I think the Sedins were more highly regarded as far as upside.

    But the magic "#1" tag will always create a little more expectations.

    Quite frankly, players such as Legwand, Spezza, Bouwmeester, Gaborik, Pitkanen and several players not drafted #1 all carried greater expectations, IMO.

    I'm sorry I couldn't find articles though. Would have liked to refresh my memory.
     
  10. trentmccleary

    trentmccleary Registered User

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    I don't remember anything about projections either. Just that everybody was worried about a few concussions.
     
  11. wilka91*

    wilka91* Registered User

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    great :joker:
     
  12. It Kills Me

    It Kills Me Registered User

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    werent those two expected to go 1st overall?
     
  13. trentmccleary

    trentmccleary Registered User

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    Yep, so was Bonk for awhile.
     
  14. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Yes. Bouwmeester all the way. Spezza very early was supposed to be 1st but during the draft year Kovalchuk got the praises and 6 months before the draft, it wasn't even a question and everybody knew Ilya was going first except Spezza's fanclub.
     
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