Since the lockout forced the NHL to finally enforce its rules (and therefore allow speedy, talented and young players to shine), the draft has become the cheapest and often quickest way an NHL team can rise from infamy to become a contender. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few draft related tidbits.
Like it or not, they’re meeting expectations
Number one draft picks have seemingly become a fool-proof commodity lately, but that simply hasn’t always been the case. Instead of complaining about all the attention heaped on Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin, we should be counting our lucky stars that they’re producing at elite levels.
Just looking at past No. 1 draft picks tells the story. Here are the picks from ’92 to ’96: Roman Hamrlik, Alexandre Daigle, Ed Jovanovski, Bryan Berard and Chris Phillips. Now let’s compare that list to the last six drafts: Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Erik Johnson, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares. If it weren’t for one dastardly golf cart, that comparison would be even more astounding. You can’t blame Oilers fans for smiling about this trend. (Brian Burke? Not so much.)
More drafting tidbits after the jump.
The Worst Drafting Teams
ESPN’s Alvin Chang broke down the NHL’s worst drafting teams (subscription needed), using a formula that took into account a) how many players a team drafted who actually made it to the league and b) how well those players played once they made the league. His bottom five teams go as follows.
5. Carolina – Chang points out that the team’s biggest failing is in drafting defensemen with their most prominent blueliner (Jack Johnson) already in Los Angeles.
4. Columbus– The Blue Jackets were dinged by not having as many draft opportunities, but it’s clear the team hasn’t produced much aside from Rick Nash, Steve Mason or Derick Brassard.
3. Phoenix – They haven’t been able to have much draft success aside beyond Shane Doan and the center position.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning – Most of their Stanley Cup roster came from outside the draft.
1. Calgary – Despite having some high picks in the ’90s, the Flames have had little success in the draft. They only managed to draft 3 players who average at least 40 points per season: Dion Phaneuf, Matthew Lombardi and Jarret Stoll. Naturally, all three of them are on different teams now.
Tyler Seguin vs. Taylor Hall Update
Taylor Hall is getting the best of Tyler Seguin in their much-ballyhooed series. The Vancouver Sun shares that Hall’s Windsor Spitfires lead the Plymouth Whalers 2-0 and the numbers are pretty staggering for Hall.
Hall has three goals and four points in the two head-to-head games while Seguin has been snake-bitten with zero points and a minus-5 rating. Now, there might be a considerable disadvantage based on the strength of each player’s teams, but no doubt NHL scouts must be aware of the disparity between the two young players’ performances.