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04-16-2013, 08:09 PM
A soupçon of nutmeg
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Le Creuset
Country: France
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Originally Posted by Fozz View Post
I don't understand why any team would draft according to their current needs. It just doesn't make any sense, since the players drafted this year won't have an impact for 4 or 5 years on average. Can you seriously predict what the team's needs will be at that time? Won't management fill those current needs through other means?

You draft the BPA available in all cases.
Sure, but I've always seen BPA as an elastic concept. In the abstract, is a classic Russian attack winger better than a traditional Western Canadian "boeuf" defenceman? They're hardly comparable styles. I guess that you can rate each one on the basis of how good they project to be at their respective position. For example, the winger has good speed, great shot, but lousy vision, all relative to what a successful NHL attack winger needs to be. Just like, the defenceman has big fists, good positioning, but crappy lateral movement. So the winger (let's say) gets a ranking of 7 and the defenceman gets a ranking of 6.

But where does that get you, especially if you factor in likelihood to reach projected upside? If the defenceman has a lower projected ceiling but a greater chance of reaching it, which is the BPA? I would suggest that the question likely leads to a debate about which type of player is more valuable to have in the organization.

It would be great to hear from scouts or others who know. It just seems to me that BPA -- at the draft table -- is a complex evaluation that has to privilege certain factors over others, some of which have nothing to do with a side-by-side evaluation of each player according to some objective and generic matrix.

I would also think that having multiple picks in the top 60 factors into the risk tolerance. As in, a team might be more inclined to take a flyer on a boom-bust player than they would be if it had one pick in the top 90. Or, being armed with intelligence that another team in particular really likes a player who won't be around the next time the team picks, just as having the smug comfort that no other team has a particular player on their radar.

To be clear, I really mean to put this notion of BPA as an open question rather than a challenge to you. I see it every year in these draft threads, and frankly I just don't get how all the potential nuances actually work at the draft table or even before when making a master list leading up to the draft.

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