How to draft well

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by TheDebaser, Oct 21, 2013.

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  1. TheDebaser

    TheDebaser Registered User

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    If looking at old drafts tells you anything, it's that nhl teams clearly have no clue how to spot an nhler. A quarter of players drafted in the first never really make the nhl and every year a couple of exceptionally talented players fall to the later part of the draft.

    What are the top three characteristics of players who bust? (I.e. how can you tell the young talented nhl players from the players who can only excel in junior?)

    What are the top three characteristics of players who rise above their draft position? (What are scouts overlooking in players like Subban, Giroux, Eberle, Karlsson, Webber, Lucic, Bergeron etc? Why was their talent not obvious?)
     
  2. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Now do we believe?

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    I think you are going waaaaay overboard here.

    Predicting how well 17 and 18yos will do over the next decade or two is really, really hard.

    Just look at how many recruits for college football never live up to the hype and get weeded out before they are eligible for the NFL Draft three years later. And then how many of those guys bust out?

    The same goes for MLB and NBA draftees.

    It's really, really hard to predict how 17 and 18yo kids will develop. That's why it's such a crapshoot.
     
  3. TheDebaser

    TheDebaser Registered User

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    Yup, it's hard, but some teams are better than others at it. Look at Chicago or Boston or LA or Ottawa or Detroit. It's not "a total crapshoot" like a roll of the dice or something, it's just very hard to do it well, but some teams manage to do it right over and over. What are they doing that is making their drafting successful?
     
  4. Brodeur

    Brodeur Registered User

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    Projecting an 18 year old is an inexact science. I think that is true for hockey and for life in general.

    The main reason why certain players slip in hindsight is that they simply aren't put in a position to excel as a 17/18 year old. Shea Weber was a bit of a string bean going into the draft (6'3 190). Is it too much of a projection/assumption that he'll put on 40 pounds of muscle when he gets into his prime.

    Also, Weber was on a stacked blueline during his draft year. Duncan Keith showed up midseason after leaving Michigan State and scored 46 points in 39 games. Josh Gorges put up 59 points in 54 games. Thomas Slovak was a recent 2nd rounder who had 71 points in 65 games. In 2002-03, Weber probably wasn't getting prime ice time as a 17 year old.

    I think it's a bit misguided to say that NHL teams have no clue how to spot a future player. It's more that the odds are slanted more against scouts since they're forced to draft guys at an early age when most still have plenty of physical and mental maturity ahead of them.
     
  5. weaponomega

    weaponomega Registered User

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    I think those players are overlooked because there is one or two holes in their game at the time. For the teams it is a matter of determining if they should pick a player with less weaknesses or a player that is more of a project.

    For example, Lucic was a second round pick (even then a reach) because he wasn't a good skater, and there were questions about his offensive upside - two major holes in his game.

    Bergeron I believe was passed over because of the depth of that draft class and his skating wasn't top notch.
     
  6. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    Problem is people develop at different stages some are late in development and surprise.

    Characteristics you want would be heart and will. Hockey IQ and Vision. Toughness for most is very hard no matter what to play in NHL. Every year is guys who jump quicker is guys who fall to late rounds who come on etc.. Is a crap shoot but is really guys who develop slower or later and others who will pay all prices and work harder than others.


    (What are scouts overlooking in players like Subban, Giroux, Eberle, Karlsson, Webber, Lucic, Bergeron etc? Why was their talent not obvious?)

    Again late development, these guys are not size issues mainly just came on strong would guarantee they work hard in off season also to make game better year in and out etc..

    Marty St Louis undrafted,,,, Ondrej Palat 7th rounder 2 years ago. Tyler Johnson undrafted. Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr going the college route etc..



    I would also say the development of US hockey, and the other leagues etc.. is getting overall better. Is a lot more inter league type of play lot more world events etc..

    Hockey is growing so your a stud till 18 your drafted high you need to bring it cause those 22 year olds want you future job too.

    So that is the thing with this. Also a guy like Marty St. Louis or Alfredsson or Selanne? You think they aint working their butts off in offseason to keep their jobs?

    They get it that is a kid who comes out or 10 every year who wants their spots.

    Some of the younger guys dont get it.

    I watch all of the preseason in Tampa,,,,, prospect camps development camps etc..

    One thing I noticed was maturity. Will not name names. But some guys came focused on making the team. No distractions on twitter or otherwise. Some guys were impressive in that at any age others? Chased girls etc..

    Is night and day when you see that mental fortitude or vision from an 18 year old it kinda knocks you off your socks your like yep this kid might have it.

    So you get high hopes. I will say there are a few guys in tampa who will make it as part of core. Who got sent back to minors and ahl right now who have what it takes to be future stars and even superstars in this game.

    There were other guys with tons of talent who dont get it yet. There are guys in Tampa right now playing for them that dont get it yet:)

    Everyone matures at different stages not everyone has the make up mentally and hockey IQ and work ethic to make it.

    This is the simple truth. Is easy to weed them out and see that type of thing. Does not take long at all:)

    Now if they have a good camp etc.. they still have to go back down and work harder than before and that is the biggest issue some dont get that either. They stop progressing and in todays NHL if you stop progressing? You are really losing value quickly.
     
  7. Sticks and Pucks

    Sticks and Pucks Registered User

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    I don't know how to find a steal but I know there are certain players who you should not draft. These are the ones who were hot prospects at around 15-16 but did not develop at the pace of their other peers (or allowed their peers to catch up to them). These are usually warning signs for that particular prospect. In fact, I cannot think of too many players in this type of position who panned out. The guys I'm talking about include the likes of John McFarland, Phil McRae, Angelo Esposito, Nick Petrecki, Jim O'Brien, Matt Corrente, Dan Bertram, Rob Schremp, Steve Bernier, etc. The list goes on and on. Likewise, I cannot find many examples of a player in this situation who eventually panned out.
     
  8. gudzilla

    gudzilla Registered User

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    im not sure how to categorize drafting well.

    a team that gets NHL players consistently in the second and third round but doesn't find any gems? that's a good drafting team in my book.

    finding gems are very hard to do today, mostly it's because of they're either russian or have some issues with skating. the red wings had a very developed scouting system in europe and thats why they got players like datsyuk etc. red wings scout is said to be the only non-russian scout to see him prior to being drafted and thats why he got drafted so late

    i feel that skating is a very overrated (and underrated) aspect. JT91 managed to get picked #1 even when his skating was kind of bad.


    i think that a big reason for bust is people who have leeched of others in the juniors or just stickhandled through everything and never got past that mentality. the most important part, to me, is maturity and acceptance of people knowing better than you no matter where you go.

    consistency issues along with an underdeveloped skating for big players is a common theme. their skating is bad becuase the growth spurt and increased weight. if you look at barkov this draft, his skating is GREAT technically, great strides and such, but he isn't very fast. he is HUGE right now and will eventually get his leg muscles on par with the rest of his body.

    size can be played around, look at one of the most talented players in the '11 draft, Grimaldi, who went #33OA because of his size (and his beliefs). If he was normally sized with the same attributes, he was a sure-fire for top5 i guess.
     
  9. Beerfish

    Beerfish Registered User

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    Can't say for sure other than I believe in drafting talent the 1st three rounds regardless if you have lots of talent in those positions already or not. Don't get cute trying to project that once in 15 year Lucic type of player.

    One thing I do believe is that very very soon after a player is drafted there are good indications if the guy is going to have a chance or not at making the show. A guy has to show some part of his game that is very very good very soon.
     
  10. Hale The Villain

    Hale The Villain Registered User

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    In general if you draft big, toolsy players with some level of talent and a willingness to work hard, you should do pretty well. Far too much focus nowadays on production and statistics, instead of focus on project-ability and potential.

    The NHL is increasingly moving towards speedy forwards with size and good shots. These players tend to put up less points than small, talented forwards at the lower levels (CHL, to a lesser degree the AHL) but translate very well to the NHL, where games can be won through the efforts of hard-working, speedy forwards with limited skill.

    It gets more complicated when it comes to defensemen, as hockey sense is more important for defenseman than for forwards, but I think again, the NHL is moving towards big, fast and toolsy players.
     
  11. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    I am seriously in disagreement with all your statements.

    How is Kreider working out? For tampa the guy we have most problem with is Panik. Our other guys same age smaller size but HIGH HOCKEY IQ and VISION who are willing to work harder are much more valuable to us right now.



    I honestly think these bigger guys are the ones who seem to bust the most. They just have limited work ethics, are generally slow and they seem a lot less impactful on the ice overall
     
  12. Hale The Villain

    Hale The Villain Registered User

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    Kreider is a rare case where he has all the tools in the world, but little real talent or hockey sense. Still I think he can carve himself out a long career when he gets more comfortable in the NHL because of the raw tools he possesses.

    As a Sens fan, some good examples I can give are Colin Greening and Mika Zibanejad. Both are big, fast forwards with great shots. Neither put up big point totals in lesser leagues, but as soon as they put on an NHL sweater, put up respectable point totals. Neither have overwhelming talent (in Zibanejad's case, he certainly isn't lacking in it) but put up points because of their tools. In addition, their size and speed allows them to be strong defensive players, and make up for games where they don't contribute offensively. It's also important to note that these big, tough forwards are very valuable come playoff time.

    On the other hand, we have had players like Stephane Da Costa, Bobby Butler, Nikita Filatov, etc... put up big point totals in lesser leagues, but fail to get on the board at the NHL level. Why? Because their talent doesn't translate well to the NHL level. They have great hands and their skill level is high, but because they lack in size and toughness, they weren't effective in very many areas of the ice and in many situations they were overwhelmed by bigger, faster players offensively and defensively.

    There are some small players like Cory Conacher and JG Pageau, for example, that can make up for their lack of size with incredible work ethic and willingness to take hits, play tough hockey and contribute in all three zones. These players are few and far between, as the majority of small, skill players bust for the reasons I listed above; whereas big, fast players can be molded into valuable bottom 6 forwards even if they lack talent or hockey sense.

    To answer your question: yes, I am primarily referring to players that make the bottom two lines, as most draft picks (usually outside of the top two rounds) realistically don't have top 6 upside. I am in favour of drafting for skill in the top two rounds, provided the player also has the potential to become an all-around player that is valuable even when in a scoring slump. If you can consistently churn out valuable bottom 6 forwards using late-round picks, you'll have the depth that is necessary for a successful bottom 6, and the fortune of having an over-abundance of valuable bottom 6ers that can be packaged to acquire more talented and valuable players.

    To summarize: it obviously depends a lot on a player and how willing he is willing to work, but in general drafting big, fast, projectable players that have the potential to contribute in all three zones, is favourable to drafting smaller, skill players that are often only effective when putting points on the board.
     
  13. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    Only make two points zibby is terrible example he is 6th overall pick yes has been some busts here and there in top ten but mostly those guys become useful.

    I wouldnt give up on da costa. With right partners he could be hudler.

    I would always try to draft as follows. Forwards.

    Elite potential playmakers. Super goal scorers. Guys with solid two way play. Power fowards. Solid guys who are a mixture of most good things not great at anything but good at scoring and passing skating etc.. might develop to the lower lines. Gritty grinding types who will get physical.

    Defense I would just mix each year with guys scoring upside adding some late round hopeful physical shut downs.


    Anyone over 5'11 180 to me could make it in nhl as forward if has right skill set. Always take skill over need. Till have an elite core group.

    Biggest thing to me is hockey IQ and vision. Then willingness to pay the price to make it. If you dont have it upstairs you just are not going to cut it.
     
  14. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Hockey sense will always win out. Problem is, you have to have it to know if someone else does.
     
  15. DennisReynolds

    DennisReynolds the implication

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    I always thought it was more of a player development that teams like Chicago and Boston do well rather than just evaluating prospects and pure scouting.
     
  16. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    You could say that with Detroit and/or tampa now. But since guys have played 1-2 years in AHL and dominated etc.. now playing in NHL and playing well or awesomely you have to have the pure raw material or clay to work with and than develop them into something.

    I think has everything with scouting and some guys can be taught and some cannot lol.

    That is your hockey IQ or your basic IQ or whatever. Yet is also guys who want to chase girls go drinking partying etc.. instead of focusing on what they should be doing to make it.

    Why is crap shoot and no matter how good you are scouting etc.. you still have land mines.
     
  17. scoutman1

    scoutman1 Twitter - scoutman33

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    there are many factors in a guy not turning out and most of it might not be the scouts fault or the GM saying draft him...teams will miss use a prospect a lot of times, either bringing him up to early or sending him down just when he starts playing bad, other examples too but all lead to low confidence in a player...there are other factors like rushing a kid too fast into the NHL rather than send him back.........but in some other cases like Steve Bernier (who did not want to put the time and effort into eating right and working out hard) who have the talent but not the desire to put the work in BUT the skill and size is there.....there are other players like Esposito who a lot of people knew with his primiter game and none willingness to get his nose dirty that it was only a matter of time his weakness becomes exposed and the team drafted him on talent alone.....Detroit took advantage of a lot of time where scouting in Europe was not what it is like today....Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyk, Niklas Lidstrom were all playing in sweden, czech and russia where each team has like 10 different teams all with good prospects and in the 90s and early 2000s scouting was not what it is like today over there but that euro scout really took advantage of the talent...but cases like James Sheppard who was taken 1st round and never turned out well he had the skill, he had the strength but his whole game was based off of strength and puck protection his skating was not up to par so Minnesota kept him in the NHL where now his strength is average because he is so young and his skating is bellow par (well did not take an amazing mind to know what was going to happen there)....

    most teams who have their prospects turn out it comes down to some luck, good training, good opportunities, teams using right judgement if he is ready or not and not rushing him and the willingness on the players behalf to train at the level he should.

    The science behind it is there is no science you go out and try to take a good kid who works hard off the ice and who has great skills, some teams know what they are drafting sometimes too, some will try for that pick that will be a big boom or bust because it could pay off and they could have a strong core of young guys already.

    Like this years draft Anthony Mantha taken, great size, great skating, great shooting, does not like physical play, does not try every shift, needs to get better puck protection, well Detroit took him knowing his faults, in order for him to be an NHL player he is going to have to get stronger, play harder and learn to play a litter tougher..>Detroit knows he is a guy who will not be rushed into the system and if they have him turn out he will be a gem, to me he is a big boom or bust guy, there is as much of a chance he does not turn out as there is that he will and they know that but i think they will work with him and try to untap that talent but if they fail he will be a guy who will be a bust.

    but if you want a for sure equation....get a guy who has 2 of the following, great hockey sense, heart, hard worker.....put skill 4th but if you are picking in the 1st round you want to take skill and hope there is a guy with 2 of those attributes....cause if a player has skill and works hard on and off the ice chances are you have a guy who will make it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  18. idiroft

    idiroft Registered User

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    Aren't these two the same?
     
  19. Vatican Roulette

    Vatican Roulette Baile de Los Locos

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    From what I've seen over the years, teams that draft well tend to draft skill. They figure they can teach other areas of the game, as long as the player is skilled.

    Then, it depends on that player whether they want to work hard enough to become better at areas they lack.(or if they really can)
     
  20. Oil For The Boys

    Oil For The Boys Registered User

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    Teams draft players that fit the teams systems and coaching style. Players bust because of poor development and trying to change their style of play.

    You don't draft players in hopes they one day play in the NHL, you draft players that will help you win a Stanley Cup.

    A lot of teams make that mistake. You'll always find the bottom teams take the flashy players hoping to put fans in the stands but that usually never works.
     
  21. detredWINgs

    detredWINgs Registered User

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    In deflecting the credit he receives for drafting the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg, Hakan Andersson is always quick to remind folks that if Datsyuk and Zetterberg were going to be as great as they turned out to be, he wouldn't have waited til the 6th and 7th rounds to draft them.

    The same goes for the Subbans, Lucics, etc. If Montreal knew how good PK Subban would be, why did they draft McDonagh ahead of him? If Lucic was so great, why did they risk the chance to get him by drafting the bust that is Yuri Alexandrov?
     
  22. McCanovin

    McCanovin 1% is the new 11.5%

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    Trade your 1st round picks for 2nd round picks.
     
  23. Sticks and Pucks

    Sticks and Pucks Registered User

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    You have to look at where these guys were expected to go. For example, Lucic was ranked to go maybe 3rd or 4th round that year. If that's the case, then you can wait until 50th overall to draft him because he will most likely still be there. Same with Subban. I think he was ranked as a late 2nd, early 3rd rounder that year. If that's the case, then why take him at 12th overall or 22nd overall in the first round? You can wait until 42nd overall because he will most likely still be on the board.
     
  24. feffan

    feffan Registered User

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    Combine these posts and you have the answer to why some teams tend to find "steals" and are generally good at drafting. It takes good scouting for starters. It takes good management to have a steady line of thinking about the clubs direction. It takes patience and people who are good at developing the players. And most of all, it takes a bit of gambling and luck.

    Vancouver snatching Edler a couple of picks before Detroit is the perfect example. Detroit thougt they could wait until the later rounds and and made no trade or so to get a higher pick, as they believed to have the only/highest interest. Vancouver knew of Detroits interest and made a trade for a Stars (?) pick. Edler was a couple of picks from becoming i Red Wing, and instedt Franzén was picked by Detroit - presumably one round before he would have.

    The Zetterbergs, Datsyuks, Subbans, Lucics could and probably where very high on there (and others...) teams list. But as said it also takes a little bit of gambling, first securing the peaces that are highly sought after and playing your cards at the right time.
    Los Angeles picking Hickey that high is a example of playing your wild card too soon. Even if they thougt he was the fourth best prospect, trade down and pick him. Even if there was a rumour the Bruins (at 8) also had Hickey in there top 5.
     
  25. scoutman1

    scoutman1 Twitter - scoutman33

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    no they are not the same thing....hard worker speaks for itself but a player with heart on top of that is a player who will lead your team, do what he has to, a born leader Mark Messier had heart and hard work.....
     

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