In part one of our draft success analysis we looked at lost games played over the course of ten years when you compare a player each team drafted to the two players selected right after them.
I called it the “Hossa Rule” as it always frustrated me that Daniel Tkaczuk was compared to Marian Hossa who was taken 7 selections later. Hindsite has to be reeled in when looking at the past or nothing will be learned for drafting going forward.
The concept was games played was an asset, a determination of an asset, and teams with more assets should be more successful. The results suggest I was wrong, and losing the games played battle is insignificant compared to the right games played. Teams at the top of the list in games played success have been doormats for the past half dozen years, the time frame where 2004 drafting and on should have an impact. Meanwhile teams that have been awful in this measurement have gone on to Stanley Cup success, or at least playoff spots and series wins.
Why is this? Bad teams tend to draft higher, and have easier rosters to crack so players rack of games played on weak teams when potentially better players (or at least equal) are left to percolate in the AHL for longer periods of time. The Detroit Red Wings are a classic example of a team that lets their prospects develop before throwing them to the fire, but in doing so they are missing out on 100s of games played over this time frame.
What we established in part one was that in terms of games played quantity trumps draft acumen as every single NHL team has given up games played when two players after their pick are in competition with their pick over ten years and roughly 70 selections each. However, when measured against on ice success perhaps its a lot more complicated than that.
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