On a personal basis, I have been discussing the issue of draft success by the CBJ with my buddy Bill for years. One common denominator is that a 'successful NHL player' was defined as a player who played at least 400 games. This is a useful definition. On the other hand, Gilbert Brule is well on his way to being a successful draft pick, having played over 300 games. Say what??!!
However, it behooves us all to look at, and understand Jeff Little's Player Participation Index (PPI), which is basically the proportion of games played in the NHL by a player to the number of games the player could have possibly played. This is all outlined in Jeff's article on The Hockey Writer's Overtime section. This is a really good article that presents another way to evaluate the effectiveness of a draft pick that is not so time dependent as having a 400 game career.
Jeff followed the previous article with this one which is a little more challenging, but ultimately starts to look at CBJ success in relation to the rest of the league. Personally, I need to read this one again to fully grasp what he is saying, but nonetheless this is top shelf stuff.
Next on your summer reading list is a series of articles from the Edmonton Journal's The Cult of Hockey. The first is a two part series, 'You can't draft goalies and neither can anybody else'. Part I is here, and Part II is here. This is followed by another very good piece on drafting defensemen, which is here.
OK, everyone get through these by the end of the weekend, and then we'll talk.