Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Ten Years Isn't a Very Long Time; We Draft as Well as Quebec!

My buddy Bill was playing around with numbers before the 2010-11 season started, mainly for fantasy hockey purposes, and he looked at all forwards who had scored 25 or more goals during the 2007-08, 2008-09, or 2009-10 seasons.  In other words, the player had to score 25 goals or more in one of those three seasons.  This exercise brought out some very interesting facts.

In the data set he looked at:
  • The Winnipeg Jets drafted more 25 goal scorers than the CBJ.
  • The Quebec Nordiques drafted as many as the CBJ.
  • If you want a 25 goal scorer, your best odds for that are to draft in the top 5.
  • 47 of the 108 players who scored 25 goals in one of those three years were drafted before the CBJ existed.

I guess the first subject to elaborate on is the Quebec and Winnipeg items. 

On this list, the CBJ had 2 players, Rick Nash and Nickolai Zherdev.

Winnipeg had 3 players, Teemu Selane, Shane Doan, and Keith Tkachuk.

Quebec had Chris Drury and Milan Hejduk.

Obviously all of those players were drafted before the CBJ existed.  But it does give you some insight on how long it may take for players to develop and reach their prime.  I think the fact that 47 out of the 108 players on the list being drafted before the CBJ existed speaks to the relative youth of our franchise.  We may feel impatient about the pace of development of Jake Voracek, but the odds that he puts together a season that would put him on a similar list before he is 32 years old are better than even.  The CBJ will have celebrated the 20th anniversary before that.  Think about it.

Now to look at draft position if you want to look at 25 goals scorers.

Of the 108 players on the list, 67 were drafted in the first round.  The break down of draft position of those 67  in the first round is as follows:

Picks 1-5:  29
Picks 6-10: 10
Picks 11-15: 11
Picks 16-20: 8
Picks 21-30: 9

In other words, if you want to draft a 25 goal scorer, its a good idea to draft them in the first 5 picks.  The odds that you will successfully pick someone who will put up 25 for you drop significantly in the next 5 picks.  When looking at CBJ drafting position, we draft in that 6-10 range a disturbing percentage of the time.  Our success ratio is about the same.

Whoa.  Chimmer just potted a goal!  But I digress.

Of the 108 players on the list, after the 67 of the first round are deducted, the remainder of the draft looks like this:

Round - number of players
2 - 16
3 - 6
4 - 4
5 - 2
6 - 4
7 - 6
8 - 1
9 - 1
10 - 1

So there is a sharp fall off after the first round, and after that, its a bit of a crap shoot.

So what are our conclusions here?  First of all, if building through the draft is how you build a franchise, 10 years is still really young.  If 47 of the 108 players who scored 25 or more goals at least once in the three seasons before the recently completed season were drafted before the CBJ existed, then our draft picks have not had the time to really develop.  Two of our earlier picks made the list.  And, not surprisingly, our two top 5 picks that are forwards made the list.  None of our other picks made the list. 

It is not to say that none of our picks in the 6-10 range won't make a future version of this list.  But we should not be surprised if it takes them some time.  The point of this is we should have realistic expectations of our youthful players.  The odds of a player providing an immediate benefit are closely tied to their draft position. 

The lesson is that we should temper cough Johannsen cough our impatience with our young players. 


1 comment:

  1. Yes, how about that goal by Chimmer last night for the Caps! Looks like we came out at the short end of the Chimera-Clark/Jurcina trade. Jurcina was gone within a month and Clark is an also-ran unlikely to return next season. In the meantime, Chimmer is scoring goals in the playoffs for the Capitals. I bet they are laughing all the way to the bank on that ill-fated trade for the Jackets.


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