NHL Draft Success: Calgary Flames Specific

June 25th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

So we’ve established the Flames have been relatively unsuccessful at drafting in the last ten years, at least how it stands today.

There isn’t a whole lot that will change from 2004 to 2006, but the team may gain in the rankings against pick value from 2007 to 2013 as drafted players potentially play more games than their counterparts.

From 2004 to 2010 certainly the team had a somewhat mixed philosophy as they traded down to add picks, but also traded away 2nd round picks most seasons. As a result they had a very low pick value most seasons, and the scouting staff wasn’t able to save them with savant like picks.

In the past few seasons things have changed however.
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NHL Draft Success: Value in a Pick / Draft Year

June 24th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Measuring the draft by games played was an interesting start (part one), trying to find sense in it by comparing those games played lost to number of picks, average of picks, and number of top 60 picks (part two) was an attempt to find order in chaos.

But what if you compare data based on the value of each draft pick, essentially the deepest dive you can do in order to analyze draft performance of games played versus draft selections over a ten year span.

I’ve seen attempts to value draft picks before so I’m not inventing the wheel, in fact I really wish I had beat them to it. For this exercise I recreated a similar analysis using games played so I could value each pick in order to get a more comprehensive look at what teams have going for them before you look at the summary table of games played lost over a ten year period.
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NHL Draft Success: Weighting the Results

June 23rd, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

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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Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 2 (Overtime)

May 10th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The right team won.

That sucks, and it won’t do much for a hopeful city in Alberta hoping to get their team back on the ice one more time for game six and keep a magical ride going, but its true. The team with nine lives spent their final life tonight in losing a 3-2 overtime game in Anaheim. It was fitting that they gutted a game into overtime, a game that they had no business being in, giving themselves that one shot chance to continue a miracle that has exceeded even the largest optimist’s perception of what a great season could be.

It hurts now, but the long term effects that will come from an unexpected successful season from a team that was supposed to be left for dead and in the battle for McDavid will be far reaching. Riding young players through pressure games and into the post season develops talent. Next season may not have as many bounces, but the organization took a huge step forward this season, and the rewards will come for the next decade.

Give Hartley and co a lot of credit, they brought pride and passion back to the logo, and back to the city.
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Game Takes: Ducks 4 Flames 2

May 8th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Luck balances out over the course of a season, or so the saying goes.

Rarely however does it even out as quickly as we’ve seen in this series. The Flames had about a half dozen bounces go their way from the last six minutes of the third period to the overtime winner in game three, but tonight saw the scales balance as a giveaway, a goal post and a double minor all conspired to give the Ducks a 4-2 win and a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series.

Flames are down to their final win with this magical season. Do they have another surprise left?
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