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05-06-2006, 11:19 AM
Bill McNeal
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by plafleur10
To me, the Draft has two phases:

1) The top 10-20 picks of the 1st round, depending on the depth of talent in any given year;

2) The rest of the draft.
Fair enough, I somewhat agree though it's rare to find a draft where the 20th pick, let alone the 10th, is anywhere near the top 5 but I get your gist.

While both phases are far from certain, your odds of landing the 3-4 superstars that will eventually lead your team to glory (the Eric Staals of this world,in other words) are much higher in the first phase than in the rest of the draft, and it is in that phase that mistakes will kill you.
Here's where I disagree. The Eric Staals of the world are usually always found in the top 5 picks, something the Habs have had few of (and they selected Price when they did, a pick that I don't agree with but I'll let time be the judge).

Usually 5-15, you can get a good guy, but you can also get a total bust. Take 1991 for example. The top 15 picks were:

1. Eric Lindros
2. Pat Falloon
3. Scott Niedermayer
4. Scott Lachance
5. Aaron Ward
6. Peter Forsberg
7. Alek Stojanov
8. Richard Matvichuk
9. Patrick Poulin
10. Martin Lapointe
11. Brian Rolston
12. Tyler Wright
13. Phillipe Boucher
14. Pat Peake
15. Alexei Kovalev

In the first 15 picks, you have 4 guys who can be considered game-breakers or franchise players. After the 6th pick, just 1 (ignoring Markus Naslund taken 16th). Habs have always been picking in this range yet have ended up with some decent players like Higgins and Komisarek. Maybe Kyle Chipchura is the next Brian Rolston?

Even in a strong draft, 1993 for example, after the 5th pick you're pretty much lucky to get a good 2nd line player. The Habs aren't going to get any Sidney Crosbys or Eric Staals as long as they continue to fight for playoff spots. I'd say it's just as likely to find a serviceable NHLer in all your picks after the first round combined as it is to find when selecting around 15th. (I could be wrong there, I'm sure somebody on these boards has the exact numbers )

I FULLY agree that you can get luck and find a Luc Robitaille or Andrei Markov in the 8th Round, and taht the Habs and probably every team probably in the league has a few late-round sweet strories to tell.But to say bad mistakes in the 1st Round should be forgiven because sometimes you find gems in the 8th round is comparing apples to oranges.
The vast majority of first rounders aren't gems. Getting any form of NHL player seems to be a decent day's work.

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