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07-10-2008, 11:36 AM
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Here's something else to consider. It's been mentioned that Detroit's average draft position was lower than Montreal's, but just how big of a difference was there?

Avg. DET Draft Position: 156.1 (5th pick in the 6th round)
Avg. MTL Draft Position: 130.6 (9th pick in the 5th round)

So on average Montreal's players have been selected almost one round earlier than Detroit's. During the 1998-2007 time frame you listed, the lowest draft pick Detroit had was 19th overall. Montreal has had 9 players picked lower than that during that timespan, including 3 picks in the top 10. Detroit has drafted only 3 players in the first 30 picks (1st round) compared to 12 for Montreal. I think there is no debate that the average quality of player Montreal has had access to when drafting is far superior than the quality of player Detroit has access to.

Originally Posted by goliath5151 View Post
BUT what they do certainly have is a great development method. But you can also point out that their early round drafting hasnt been very good, and that they certainly dont grow a lot of players to the NHL level, only a few very good ones.
I challenge you to find a team with a better draft record in the early rounds than Detroit. Players in the top 3 rounds are generally considered to be good bets to make the NHL and the rest are all longshots or projects. Here's Detroit's track record on picks in the top 90 (Rounds 1-3) during the time frame you mentioned (good picks in RED):

1998 Draft
1/30: D Jiri Fischer (retired early with a heart condition)
2/55: LW Ryan Barnes (2 NHL games)
2/56: LW Tomek Valtonen
3/84: G Jake McCracken

1999 Draft
No picks in the top 90. First pick wasn't until the 4th round, 120th overall

2000 Draft
1/29: D Niklas Kronwall (top pair defenseman)
2/38: RW Tomas Kopecky (solid bottom 6 forward who can't stay healthy)

2001 Draft
2/62: RW Igor Grigorenko (called the best player not in the NHL prior to a near-fatal car accident that almost cost him his leg and required multiple surgical procedures to repair. It's a minor miracle that he's even able to play at all still)

2002 Draft
2/58: C Jiri Hudler (top 6 forward trapped on the 4th line in Detroit)
2/63: RW Tomas Fleischmann (traded to Washington where he's a regular)
3/95: C Valtteri Filppula (2nd line center)

2003 Draft
2/64: G Jimmy Howard (will compete for a backup job in Detroit but likely won't be on the team until next season, too early to call him a good/bad pick)

2004 Draft
3/97: C Johan Franzen (top 6 forward good for 20 goals minimum and may be poised for a breakout season)

2005 Draft
1/19: D Jakub Kindl (too early to evaluate)
2/42: LW Justin Abdelkader (played 2 games in Detroit last season; too early to evaluate)
3/80: C Christofer Lofberg (not offered a contract; family issues derailed his development)

2006 Draft
2/42: C Cory Emmerton (bout of mono cost him a WJC roster spot; too early to evaluate)
2/47: C Shawn Matthias (appears to be an impact player; too early to evaluate)
2/62: LW Dick Axelsson (already signed a contract; too early to evaulate)
3/92: G Daniel Larsson (won the SEL version of the Vezina last season; too early to evaulate)

2007 Draft
1/27: D Brendan Smith (injury-plagued freshman season at Wisconsin; too early to evaluate)
3/88: C Joakim Andersson (too early to evaluate)

So discounting players from 2005 and onward since it's too soon to evaluate them as good picks or busts, the Wings have taken 12 players in the first 90 picks (rounds 1-3) from 1998-2004 and of them the only "busts" were Ryan Barnes (1997), Tomek Valtonen (1997), Jake McCracken (1997), Igor Grigorenko (2001), and Jimmy Howard (2003). Now I'd contend that you can't call Jimmy Howard a "bust" yet mainly because of Detroit's notoriously long development period for players so take him out of the equation. I'd also say it's unfair to label Grigorenko a "bust" since he viewed not only by the Wings but by the hockey world in general as a top line impact NHL player before nearly getting killed and losing his leg in the car accident. If you re-evaulate it based on that, the only "bust" picks Detroit has made in that time frame were in 1997. That means from 1997-2004 (discounting Howard and Grigorenko) the Wings have had a 70% success rate on drafting quality NHL players in the first 90 picks (rounds 1-3). Show me another team with a better track record than that, because there isn't one.

Last edited by FissionFire: 07-10-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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