Thursday, June 25, 2009

Draft Numbers

There is a lot of great draft coverage emanating from numerous blogs that provide all kinds of angles regarding the upcoming draft in Montreal. The draft is the life blood of many teams, providing future talent that hopefully will contribute on the NHL level. As we look to tomorrow's draft, I thought it would be informative to look back at past drafts and study how well the Predators have done with their selections. Nicolas Chabot of the Hockey News has compiled some historical statistics about the success of NHL teams, and the numbers are interesting. He looked at first round picks and the percentage of picks that played 200 and 500 games. For the Predators, 45% of their first round selections played at least 200 games; 18% played 500 games. For all other rounds, 6% of their selections have played at least 200 games; 1% have played 500 games. Compare that to Detroit, the reigning Central Division champs and perennial playoff contender. 66% of their first round selections played in 200 games; 47% in 500 games. Where it gets interesting is when you compare all other rounds. 15% of these selections played 200 games; and 8% played at least 500 games. While there is great attention paid to a team's first round selection, real value can be found in the later rounds. When looking at the productivity of first round selections, Nashville ranks in the middle of the pack (17th). However, the Preds are near the bottom of the league with productivity from second round and later selections. This serves to point out the vagaries of the draft, but more importantly, the value of scouting and developing young players. A team like Nashville will obviously continue to need quality selections in the draft, and they will need to develop those players and have them ready to contribute when called upon. These numbers point out that this team has to get better at this to be a contender.

All eyes will focus on the 11th selection tomorrow. We should really focus on what happens with the remaining 12 selections that we have in this draft.

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