Mid-Round Picks Worth More than Meets the Eye

With the NHL Draft finally getting underway tomorrow evening, the value of draft picks is usually a topic of discussion around this time of year. Every media outlet, whether it be Sportsnet or TSN, has taken a stab at trying to determine the true value of a given draft pick. The measuring stick most used to figure out if a draft pick was successful is NHL games played. While I also implement the games played factor, I’ve opted to go in a bit of a different direction. Instead of trying to quantify the value of a given pick (or range of picks) I focused on the value of a pick in regards to the trade market.

I took the basic stats (games played, goals, assists, points) of every player who dressed in at least one NHL game this season. I also included if and where in the draft every player was selected, and how he was acquired by his current club, with the help of HockeyDB, Hockey Reference, and various team websites.

This is only one season of data so the results of the data do not reflect any decades long recipe for success or anything, but it does paint a pretty nice picture of where the league is today and where it may be headed. Continue reading

2ITB Special: 2015 NHL Mock Draft

Guest Post by Matt Kopnak

Ed Note: The NHL Draft is fast approaching and we all know Jack Eichel will be officially named a Buffalo Sabre on June 26. The rest of the first round has a fair share of intrigue surrounding it and Matt Kopnak (follow him @mattkopnak) took some time to hammer out a mock draft for 2ITB. He has a few interesting picks sprinkled in and this will serve as a great precursor to the Mock Draft Instigator Podcast that will be coming in the very near future.

Enjoy Matt’s mock draft and stay tuned for the upcoming Instigator Mock Draft Podcast Spectacular. Continue reading

Looking back at the Draft: 2009

If 2007 and 2008 offered the richest discussion regarding this practice, I’d say that 2009 (and 2010) offer the most ambiguity. It certainly speaks more to the 2010 draft than 2009, but there are a number of players still working through their respective team’s development ladder from these two drafts. That makes things difficult as the value of those players hasn’t really been established yet.

So bear that in mind as there are a few names that may seem out of place given their current impact on the league. Also feel free to share thoughts on picks that you don’t see as accurate. These posts are meant to spur discussion, not serve as a gospel. The 2009 draft will serve as the final one I examine as the 2010 draft is still fresh enough to have a great many picks still in limbo. Continue reading

Looking back at the Draft: 2008

As I stated in my write-up of the 2007 Draft, this area of the decade sits in a good spot for this practice. A lot of the names in this draft are really starting to come out of their shells in terms of development and it opens the door for some interesting conversations on who should go where.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

He was the first pick for a reason and I don’t see any reason why Tampa would change their minds.

2. Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty

My has this pick worked out for the Kings. Doughty could easily be considered the most valuable player in this draft. While he didn’t overtake Stamkos in my book, there’s no one close to unseating him at two.

3. Atlanta/Winnipeg: Alex Pietrangelo (STL, 4) – Original Pick: Zach Bogosian

Piertangelo has turned into a phenomenal two-way defender who eats minutes in massive chunks. He can face down with a team’s top threats while still contributing on the offensive end.

4. St. Louis Blues: Erik Karlsson (OTT, 15) – Original Pick: Alex Pietrangelo

Karlsson isn’t the player that Pietrangelo is. He is, however, a dynamic offensive threat. While the Blues aren’t starved for scoring, he would be a terrific addition to their roster.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (from NYI): Jordan Eberle (EDM, 22) – Original Pick: Luke Schenn

The Leafs have managed to build out a solid first line (center not withstanding) but still could use stability in the middle of their lineup. Eberle would serve as a dangerous piece in Toronto’s middle six. Continue reading

Looking back at the Draft: 2007

This is part four in a series of posts looking back at the NHL Draft between 2004 and 2009


This might be my favorite draft of the six that I worked through. There seemed to be a few more big moves than the others I looked through. There seemed to be a number of seriously talented players lurking in the middle of this draft which made slotting them in properly a challenge in many cases.

The quality likely relates to the draft class all being in their mid-20s and at or near their peak in terms of talent. The talent pool of picks beyond the first round was also a bit deeper than other drafts which made the exercise more interesting.

Continue reading