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09-20-2012, 10:10 AM
  #85
Mike8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
Not sure why this post has received so much flack. Kristo may buck the odds. As has been pointed out, Gionta, Cole and others have done it before. But make no mistake: as a 23-year-old arriving in his first pro camp next year, the odds will be long.

Add to that, the "dumb f--k factor" of which evidence is steadily mounting (unlike Gionta or Cole!) and the fact that Kristo is still not under contract and will be a UFA at the end of the season, and "wasted" may not be much of an overstatement.
I don't see why the 'odds would be long.' What are the odds, exactly?

Let's take a look. Let's comb through all NCAA picks. Let's note the year that they turned pro. I'd like to set the criteria for this: look only at players drafted in the top 2 rounds (as such, they had considerable expectations placed on them). However, I'm going to asterisk any players who were unsuccessful at the NCAA level. Those players are incomparable to Kristo.

Essentially, Kristo compares to any solid to good NCAA prospect. We want to see just how: a) rare Kristo's situation is; b) how insurmountable this obstacle is -- the obstacle being Kristo turning pro at 23 years old.

I'd *like* to find the good prospects picked later in the draft that fit the criteria, but that's a lot of players to look through, hence the top-2 round criteria. Also, obvious ommissions are players who signed as UFAs (Madden, Thomas, Rafalski) as those are outliers and, frankly, late bloomers--something which Kristo obviously is not, given his high profile in his draft year and relative success in the NCAA.

* Note: I will also omit players who only played 1 season in the NCAA. Just not comparable to Kristo.
* Note II: also omitted are players drafted top-5.

1st rounders
Jake Gardiner (21) - 3 yrs
Colin Wilson (20) - 3 yrs
Joe Colborne (20) - 3 yrs
Dalton Leveille (22 -- presumably)) -- bust in NCAA - 4 yrs
Ryan McDonagh (21) - 3 yrs
Kevin Shattenkirk (21) - 3 yrs
Ian Cole (21) - 3 yrs
Riley Nash (21) - 3 yrs
Patrick White (never) - 4 yrs - bust in NCAA
Brendan Smith (21) - 3 yrs
Nick Petrecki (20) - 2 yrs
2006
Mark Mitera (22) - 4 yrs -- bust
David Fischer (22) - 4 yrs -- busted in NCAA
Chris Summers (22) - 4 yrs -- breaking into NHL
2005
Jack Skille (20) - 2 yrs - bust
Brian Lee (20) - 2 yrs - bust-ish
Sasha Pokulok (20) - 2 yrs - bust
TJ Oshie (22) - 3 yrs
Joe Finley (22) - 4 yrs - bust in NCAA
Matt Niskanen (21) - 2 yrs
2004
Drew Stafford (21) - 3 yrs
Travis Zajac (21) - 2 yrs
Kris Chucko - (21) - 2 yrs - bust
2003
Mark Stuart (21) - 3 yrs
Brian Boyle (23) - 4 yrs
Jeff Tambellini (21) - 3 yrs
Patrick Eaves (21) - 3 yrs
2002
Eric Nystrom (22) - 4 yrs - bust (disappointment in NCAA)
Keith Ballard (22) - 3 yrs
Chris Higgins (20) - 2 yrs
Mike Morris (24) - 4 yrs - bust in NCAA
Jim Slater (23) - 4 yrs - made NHL right out of NCAA
2001
Mike Komisarek (20) - 2 yrs
David Steckel (22) - 4 yrs
2000
Ron Hainsey (20) - 2 yrs
Brooks Orpik (21) - 3 yrs
Krys Kolanos (20) - 2 yrs - bust
David Hale (22) - 3 yrs - bust
Jeff Taffe (21) - 3 yrs - bust


2nd rounders
Corey Trivino (22 -- presumably) -- bust in NCAA - 4 yrs
Cody Goloubef (22) - 3 yrs
Aaron Ness (21) - 3 yrs
Patrick Wiercioch (20) - 2 yrs
Zac Dalpe (21) - 2 yrs
Justin Schultz (22) - 3 yrs
Derek Stepan (20) - 2 yrs
Brandon Burlon (21) - 3 yrs
Jimmy Hayes (22) - 3 yrs
Tommy Cross (23) - 4 yrs
Billy Sweatt (22) - 4 yrs
Colby Cohen (21) - 3 yrs
Theo Ruth (21) - 3 yrs
Nico Sacchetti (never?) - 4 yrs - bust in NCAA
Will Weber (24) - 4 yrs
Mike Hoeffel (22) - 4 yrs
2006
Carl Sneep (23) - 4 yrs
Andreas Nodl (22) - 2 yrs (immediate to NHL)
Mike Ratchuk (20) - 2 yrs - bust
Jeff Petry (23) - 3 yrs - good NHL talent; limited transition time to NHL
Blake Geoffrion (22) - 4 yrs
Simon Danis-Pepin (21) - 3 yrs - bust
Jamie McBain (21) - 3 yrs - AHL for 1 yr
2005
Ryan Stoa (22) - 4 yrs
Taylor Chorney (21) - 3 yrs
Justin Abdelkader (21) - 3 yrs
Paul Stastny (21) - 3 yrs
Tom Fritsche (21) - 4 yrs - bust in NCAA
Mason Raymond (22) - 2 yrs
Dan Bertram (21) - 4 yrs
2004
Darin Olver - 4 yrs - bust
Grant Lewis (22) - 4 yrs - bust
Raymond Sawada (22) - 4 yrs
David Booth (22) - 4 yrs -- 25 gp in AHL before NHL fulltime
Alex Goligoski (22) - 3 yrs
2003
Matt Smaby (22) - 3 yrs
Matt Carle (21) - 3 yrs
David Backes (22) - 3 yrs
2002
Rob Globke (22) - 4 yrs - bust
Matt Greene (22) - 3 yrs - 26 AHL gp then NHL full-time
2001
Tim Jackman (21) - 2 yrs
Mike Cammalleri (20) - 3 yrs
2000
Brad Winchester (22) - 4 yrs
Paul Martin (22) - 3 yrs


Drafted later, but notable
Alex Killorn (23) - 4 yrs -- good prospect in TB system; had very strong NCAA career
Steven Kampfer (22) - 4 yrs -- okay young player, solid production in NCAA
Matt Frattin (23) - 4 yrs -- solid first year of pro
Cade Fairchild (22) - 4 yrs -- strong first year pro
Brad Malone (22) - 4 yrs -- decent first pro year
Nick Bonino (22) - 3 yrs -- solid depth NHLer
Justin Braun (23) - 4 yrs -- adjustment made quickly to NHL
2006
Brain Strait (21) - 3 yrs
Benn Ferriero (22) - 4 yrs
Erik Condra (23) - 4 yrs
2005
Chris Butler (22) - 3 yrs
Nathan Gerbe (21) - 3 yrs
Mark Fayne (23) - 4 yrs -- only 19 AHL GP before full-time NHL
Colin Greening (24) - 4 yrs -- 59 gp AHL then NHL full-time
2004
Mike Lundin (23) - 4 yrs -- straight to NHL out of NCAA
Ryan Jones (24) - 4 yrs -- close straight to NHL
Jake Dowell (22) - 4 yrs
Matt Hunwick (22) - 4 yrs
Brandon Yip (24) - 4 yrs
2003
Ryan O'Byrne (23) - 3 yrs
Lee Stempniak (22) - 4 yrs (immediately turned NHLer)
Matt Moulson (23) - 4 yrs
David Jones (23) - 3 yrs
2002
Patrick Dwyer (22) - 4 yrs
Tom Gilbert (23) - 4 yrs
Adam Burish (23) - 4 yrs
2001
Patrick Sharp (21) - 2 yrs
Kevin Bieksa (23) - 4 yrs
Andrew Alberts (24) - 4 yrs (8 AHL gp then NHL full)
David Moss (24) - 4 yrs
2000
Dominic Moore (23) - 4 yrs
Greg Zanon (23) - 4 yrs
JM Liles (23) - 4 yrs


Note on results: after looking at years 2007 and 2008, I can see that only Stepan, McDonagh, Shattenkirk, Colin Wilson and Jake Gardiner have made the NHL already from the NCAA in those drafts.


*** what's notable about these players who spent longer (3-4 yrs) in their NCAA programmes is that they, by and large, even if they were late draft picks, needed very little AHL time before moving up to the NHL. Justin Braun, a 7th rounder in 2007, is a good example of this: 37 AHL games before becoming a regular in the NHL more or less.

On the other hand, as implied earlier in the note on draft years 2007 and 2008, most NCAA players who turn pro after 2 NCAA seasons or so require 1-2 full years in the AHL--even if they're highly touted first rounders.

As such, while they turn pro earlier, they don't seem to end up in the NHL much earlier (if at all) than darkhorses who stick in the NCAA for 3-4 years. An example of this happening is David Backes turning pro at 22, but making the NHL at 23 after seasoning in the AHL. Alternatively, David Booth spent all 4 yrs in NCAA, then became an NHLer quickly after turning pro.

....

My conclusions altogether from the above: there is no real correlation between time spent in the NCAA and likelihood of making the NHL. The only correlation I can see is that:
  • players who are in the NCAA for 3-4 years because they've performed poorly in the NCAA and need more seasoning to get an NHL contract are, of course, not as likely to experience success at the NHL level
  • players drafted in the top two rounds (especially the first) are likely to become pro earlier for two reasons: 1) because they're more polished prospects, which is why they were drafted earlier; 2) there's more pressure from NHL clubs to move them up quicker than the prospect themselves may like, which is what happened in Montreal with Higgins, Komisarek and Hainsey
  • the amount of time players spend in the NCAA is not correlated to their success in the NHL, all other things being equal. By way of example, players A and B experience the same level of success in the NCAA. Player A turns pro after 2 years; Player B after 4. Player A will likely spend an extra couple of seasons in the AHL to hone their skills, while player B will go directly to the NHL after their 4 years are up in the NCAA. The path is different, but the end point is the same.
  • The most important component in evaluating a prospect in the NCAA is not whether they're able to turn pro quickly, as that's wholly irrelevant to the success they may achieve in the NHL, but rather to see if they're able to sustain their level of success in the NCAA and go from being a very productive player to a higher-end player by the end of their 4 years in the NCAA. If, for example, they start as a mediocre player and become a very good player, then their chances of success are minimal. If, however, they start as being highly touted, and they do well from the get-go (as Kristo did), and sustain that success, then they're no less likely to succeed in the NHL than if they had gone the AHL route after 2 years.

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