Finding Gems: Overrated or not?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by MoreGore, Aug 21, 2011.

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  1. MoreGore

    MoreGore Registered User

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    Personally, I have kind of thought that find late round gems was more a matter of blind luck, than actual astute drafting.

    First, I start out with what I mean by a Gem. A gem to me is a player that became an impact player from a later round. Think of guys like Benn, Alfresson, Datsyuk.

    Now, why do I think they are "luck" vs good drafting? Simply becasue you can look at who that team drafted ahead of their Gem.

    Lets take a look at some Senator Gems

    Sami Salo, 239 overall in 1996. Drafted ahead of him were: Ciernick, Goldmann and Hardy.

    Alfredsson, 133rd in 1994. Drafted ahead of him were: Gaffney and Masotta.

    So, in both cases. Ottawa drated several complete busts before they got their Gem. So even they passed on these guys several time before getting them.

    My point here is that late round drafting is as much about luck as it is about great scouting.

    Even blind squirrels can find nuts.
     
  2. i2edAlien

    i2edAlien Registered User

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    Cool story bro.

    In all seriousness, you're right, a lot of luck does play into it but it's obvious that good scouting plays a huge part in it. For teams like Detroit to have found so many gems, it's hard to think that it was purely based on luck. You also have to consider a team's development system for those picks to become gems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  3. CanadianHockey

    CanadianHockey Smith - Alfie

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    As i2edAlien mentioned, development plays a key role in these late round gem picks as well.
     
  4. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    What if, and this is just a hypothetical, Hakan Andersson (Wings famed scout) knew of Datsyuk, knew no one had seem him...why not wait until the end of the draft? Use your picks on other players that you know will be gone before you get the shot, you know Datsyuk will always be there.

    The story of Alexander Edler's drafting seems to at least partway confirm that gems are more than just blind luck.

    Anecdotally, I seem to recall that a new Dallas scout liked Alfredsson but they didn't give him - as an individual - a chance to make the pick because he was new essentially and they passed on him. Ottawa grabbed him.

    So, sometimes, it's the case of availability and exposure. I believe Datsyuk and Edler were both in tier-3 in their respective countries when they were found. I'm sure towards the ends of some drafts the delegation decides: "alright, [scout #4] you're high on this guy and this guy, so we'll let you handle the 5th round pick" and "[scout #8] you've been following the BCHL and AJHL, so if there's someone you really think we shouldn't miss out on, it's your call in round 7"

    Not attempting to be disagreeable, just posing a scenario or two.
     
  5. BritSabre

    BritSabre Registered User

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    I think scouting and development should be considered as two steps. Your scout spots talent and the development team nurtures the talent. A lot is luck though, but the organisation picks when and where the prospect plays.

    When to move the players out of juniors it college into the minors or play out their league eligibility. In the case of Detroit who draft a lot of Europeans, it is when to bring the prospect over.
     
  6. Marshal Rochambeau

    Marshal Rochambeau Send it

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    It is also about a teams drafting philosophy. New Jersey always picks the guys that they want a round or two ahead of any other team wanted the same player(see Blake Coleman, Adrian Foster). Pavel Bure was also involved in a similar situation in Vancouver.

    But it mostly depends on the player. If he has the mindset that he wants to improve and he has shown that he can then he will become a great player.
     
  7. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User Sponsor

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    When Bure was drafte, the NHL had rules about the number of games a player has to play to be drafted beyond the 3rd round. It was believed Bure didn' play the required amount but Vancouver had information stating otherwise. At the time Bure was picked it was still considered a huge risk picking Russians(ie it was assumed they never would come over)
     
  8. LoveHateLeafs

    LoveHateLeafs Registered User

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    I've read this in a number of stories about Datsyuk getting drafted, but I've never quite understood it. Datsyuk played 24 games in the highest Russian league in the season before the Wings took him. I can see why he may not have been noticed by many. Looking at his stats, he probably wasn't getting much ice time, but how could nobody see him though?
     
  9. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Well, perhaps no one is an overstatement. But you have to weigh in more than just the games themselves. Just thinking quickly and outloud, so it won't be perfect but...

    A) Your club has to have a pro-Russian policy and actively scout them. That eliminates a handful of clubs right off the bat.

    A2) You would likely need a Russian scout, someone familiar with that type of game and the tiered development system of Russia

    B) As you mention, you have to account for ice time, he played, what? Half of a season? Maybe third or fourth line minutes. It's not as simple as the Maple Leafs guys going to watch an OHL game. You might only get a shot or two at seeing these players because the resources necessary to get to Russia and around Russia.

    C) If you're just "looking around" for talent and don't have a specific name (i.e. I'm here to see Nail Yakupov or I'm here to see Malcolm Subban, etc.) - is (Y)ekaterinburg, Russia in the top 50 places you'd start your search?

    D) Location. It's easy for us to say, "how'd they not see him, he played in the top league" - if you're pursuing that player you're going to need a good look at him, more than a couple of 9 minutes/game looks. (Y)ekaterinburg is probably around 1,000 miles east of Moscow - maybe not exactly where you want to be if you're not a Russian-based scout.

    So, while your points are well taken (and mine are not argumentive, just discussion points), there's more than just where he played - it's the resources that go into locating that talent that could prevent some teams from even attempting to find him - much less identifying him specifically as a talent worth drafting.
     
  10. Anchor Town*

    Anchor Town* Guest

    Datsyuk was spotted by Detroit scouts (might have actually been Hakan himself) in Moscow while they were scouting Dmitri Kalinin who ended up getting drafted in the first round
     
  11. Frankie Spankie

    Frankie Spankie Registered User

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    This but let's not forget about late bloomers. How many times have draftees from mid rounds had great seasons and scouts say if they were in the same draft a year later, they would have gone much higher.

    I know Vladimir Sobotka hasn't done much in his career but I remember after the World Junior Championship he played in the following year, scouts say he would have gone in the first round the following year if he was in that draft opposed to being drafted in the 4th round like he was.

    But that could still be linked back to scouting. Maybe the scouts saw something in the prospect that was truly raw and there was a chance that he could put it all together. I'd say it's an equal combination of scouting, development, and luck when it comes to those late rounds in the draft.
     
  12. Rob Scuderi

    Rob Scuderi Registered User

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    "Andersson was in Moscow to scout Dmitri Kalinin, but the one who caught his eye was Datsyuk, "this little guy on the other team." Andersson made another trip to see Datsyuk and would have gone a third time; however his flight was cancelled because of a storm.[3] A scout from the St. Louis Blues was on the plane as well, and as a result of that storm Andersson believes he is the only NHL scout to have seen Datsyuk play prior to the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, when the Red Wings drafted him 171st overall"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Datsyuk
     
  13. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Right, which makes sense. No one was there to see Datsyuk, he was stumbled upon by a keen eye for talent and never pursued by anyone. Generally speaking, catching a player one time is usually not enough to prompt a team to use a "rare" (only 7...) draft pick on him.

    There are a lot of circumstances that go into finding a player like Datsyuk, sometimes you do get lucky. Sometimes you're unable to find him. Sometimes you are prevented from doing so.
     
  14. cheerupmurray

    cheerupmurray Registered User

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    Finding gems is not just a matter of luck. When it comes to NHL-scouts scouting Sweden some teams find gem after gem (or at least prospects with real potential) in late rounds, some teams just drafts busts or take player too high. I can't believe that is a matter of luck, it's a sign of a scout doing his job well/poorly.

    Take Nashville as an example they very rarely take a swede in the first couple of rounds (Hellberg in the 2nd 2011 is a exception) In 2005 they found Patric Hörnqvist in the 7th round, 2006 Victor Sjödin bust in the 7th, 2007 Andreas Thuresson in the 5th round (has played 25 NHL-games so not a complete bust), 2008 the very promising goalie Anders Lindbäck in the 7th round, 2009 the very promising Mattias Ekholm (rookie of year in SEL 2011) in the 4th round, 2010 the promising Patric Cehlin (topscorer for Sweden in wjc) in the 5th round.

    I would be extremely surprised if Ekholm and Cehlin didn't see NHL-action at some point. Ekholm actually have a chance to make the team even this year. So out of 6 swedes drafted in round 4-7, 4 look like current/future NHL-players, 1 at least got some games, 1 was a bust, at least Hörnqvist, Lindbäck and Ekholm look like they could be very valuable players, with Cehlin it's too soon to tell.

    That's not a normal outcome for 6 picks in round 4-7, that's a sign of good scouting.
     
  15. LoveHateLeafs

    LoveHateLeafs Registered User

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    These are all good points. I've often wondered about the effect that a player's location in a vast country like Russia has on their likelihood of being drafted.
     
  16. sg58

    sg58 Registered User

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    Well, it's not about luck. The team drafts guys that they believe in, that are players that they can see make the NHL roster. Not all are going to do that, obviously. The reason for drafting a guy you really believe in later on is simple with the Datsyuk example.

    If you know you can draft Datsyuk with the last pick, why not wait and better your chances with the pick beforehand instead of picking him in the first round because he's first round talent? That's just a waste of picks.
     
  17. QuarterChicken

    QuarterChicken Registered User

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    what's the alex edler draft story?
     
  18. Dosing

    Dosing Registered User

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  19. NHLFreak

    NHLFreak Registered User

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    All I say is the Anderson's, the Conte's etc dont get enough credit.

    I wonder why some of these top scouts or directors dont get GM jobs. It must be loyalty to their teams.
     
  20. sg58

    sg58 Registered User

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    Scouting and being a GM is far from the same thing, though.
     
  21. NHLFreak

    NHLFreak Registered User

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    Dont disagree. But generally more money and recognition
     
  22. sg58

    sg58 Registered User

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    Yes, but my point was that the same exact guy that is a great scout might not be a good choice as a GM.
     
  23. sully6one

    sully6one Unregistered User

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    A lot of these gems had a special talent that the NHL teams thought they could possibly develop the rest of their game. You don't look for overall skill always.
     
  24. ricky0034

    ricky0034 Registered User

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    this kind of thing happened with Lidstrom actually(as in there's actual proof that it did I mean)

    meh could be worse

    the Wings did end up getting Franzen with that pick at least
     
  25. Rookie Chargers

    Rookie Chargers Registered User

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    The 1st to 4-5th rounds are the tough ones. The later rounds teams a looking for a home run a 3-2 pitch.

    Look at the pasted up 18 year olds that are given invitations by NHL teams, case and point Montreal's Philippe Lefebvre.

    They didn't draft him but then invited and signed him. They took a chance there because someone else could have used a 7th to draft him.

    The Wings couldn't have done the same with Datsyuk though because of the Euro thing but you should get my point. Which might have taken a while to come out.

    Edit: Quite possibly Lefebvre does better then their 5th, 6th and 7th rounders if they had any.
     

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