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05-28-2013, 05:13 PM
  #23
Richter Scale
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Beyond the discussion that is already taking place about BPA/draft strategy/how this impacts UFA-signings, there are a few things that I think are being missed:

First, just looking at the first round gives an incomplete picture of the drafting strategy. Here is the full list of the positions of players from 2003 to 2012 who NYR has drafted (with #s in parentheses representing # of players in each category drafted in the first 3 rounds):

Year D C RW LW G
2003 4 (1) 2 (1) 1 (1) 1 1
2004 1 4 (4) 3 (1) 4 (2) 1 (1)
2005 4 (3) 3 (1) 1 (1) 0 0
2006 1 (1) 3 (1) 1 2 (1) 0
2007 0 2 1 (1) 1 1 (1)
2008 3 (2) 3 (2) 1 0 0
2009 2 4 (3) 0 0 1
2010 1 (1) 1 2 (1) 1 0
2011 2 3 (2) 1 0 0
2012 2 (1) 1 (1) 1 0 0
Total 20 (9) 25 (14) 12 (5) 10 (3) 4 (2)

When you look at the whole picture, it doesn't look nearly as bad as your original table. Of 75 draft picks that they have had since 2003, one third of them have been on centers. Barely over one quarter of them have been on d-men. And even though I agree with you that the ability to draft good centermen is something that has been holding NYR back for decades -- I think that when you look at draft picks, you also have to take into account the team's needs and the roster slots that each position takes up when trying to determine if too much of an emphasis is being placed on one position or not. Centermen only take up 4 slots on the roster compared to the 6 slots dmen take up; so that pushes the already uneven #s even further in favor of centermen. Looking at all of that context, I'm not sure it is as skewed as you may be implying.

Granted, you have a better shot at picking a player who sticks - and who will develop into a superstar - in the first round, but that doesn't mean the rest of the rounds don't matter. Tell that to Datsyuk and Zetterberg... or looking to NYR - Hank.



The second piece of context that is lost with the way you frame this debate is that of looking at what the team's needs have been throughout those drafting years. So, even if we accept your premise and only look at the first round, I'm not sure you can say that the drafting strategy was a poor one for the first 5 or so years that you list (ignoring the wisdom of individual picks, like say, Jessiman).

What was NYR's two biggest weaknesses from '98 until about 2008? Defense and goaltending. And so I don't think it is a surprise that you see them drafting a decent amount at both positions in those years. This team doesn't look nearly as good without Staal, MDZ (despite all the crap he gets), and - last year at least - Sauer.

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In my mind, however, you have a reasonable beef when looking at the last 3 years: 2 of Sather's 3 first round picks were d-men despite having developed a relatively good d-line, having decent d-prospects in the wings, and knowing that the team needed help on offense - especially down the middle.

If those picks were BPA picks, I'm not a fan. If they were based on perceived needs, then fine: As much as I wasn't a fan of the McIlrath pick at the time (and I still probably am not - though my opinion on that has changed somewhat) - you can clearly see the rationale behind why that pick was made. This team has lacked snarl on the back end and a crease-clearing defender for a very long time.

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In the end, I'm not sure it is as much a failure of draft strategy but a failure in individual picks to draft/develop/scout/recognize as many quality center prospects as they have d prospects.


Last edited by Richter Scale: 05-28-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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