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10-06-2006, 02:22 PM
Genghis Keon
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Originally Posted by Dr_Hook View Post
Were any of those goalies top5 picks ? That's my point. A good proportion of dominant goalies in the NHL today were acquired by their team via trade, free agency and/or were lower picks. A good goalie can be found; there are lots of late bloomers at that position. A top end positionnal talent has to be drafted, and quite high, most of the times !
Detroit has seemed to have found fairly decent talent in later rounds of the draft, as has Ottawa and New Jersey. Under the new CBA, Chicago was able to trade for their franchise player (Marty Havlat--a late first round pick btw) and the Bruins picked up their anchor on defense (Chara--a third round pick btw). The landscape has changed. Teams with plenty of talent are going to be ripe for their picking when their players' contracts come up, with, it looks like, the exception of New Jersey (who were able to keep Gomez, a late first round pick; Elias, a second round pick; Gionta, a third round pick).

With smart drafting, you can find a great player anywhere in the draft, and a 5th overall pick is no guarantee, as you can see from the 30 5th overall picks before Price:

-Blake Wheeler
-Thomas Vanek
-Ryan Whitney
-Stan Chisov
-Raffi Torres
-Tim Connolly
-Vitaly Vishnevsky
-Eric Brewer
-Richard Jackman
-Daymond Langkow
-Jeff O'Neill
-Rob Neidermayer
-Darius Kasparaitis
-Aaron Ward
-Jaromir Jagr (there was still the European bias at the time--othewise he wouldn't have been available)
-Bill Guerin
-Daniel Dore
-Chris Joseph
-Shawn Anderson
-Dana Murzyn
-Petr Svoboda
-Tom Barasso
-Scott Stevens
-Joe Cirella
-Darren Veitch
-Rick Vaive
-Mike Gillis
-Mike Crombeen
-Bjorn Johansson
-Rick Lapointe

There are some studs on the list, and some very good players, but there are also enough run of the mill players and busts to show that the fifth overall pick won't necessarily get you a star player. It's still up to the scouts and management to do their homework and make the best choice they can with the information they have. I'm sure every team in the 1990 draft, save maybe Pittsburgh (who picked Jagr), would love to go back and pick Brodeur if they could. If our scouts think Price has the ability to be a great goalie and has a better chance of being a successful NHL player than the other players available in the draft, I wouldn't want them to skip Price just because he's a goalie and then pick up a Mike Lenarduzzi in the second or third round just because goalies are hard to rate and Lanarduzzi might become just as or more effective than Brodeur as they develop.

Even if Price isn't the best goalie in the draft, it doesn't necessarily mean that his selection was poor asset management. Odds are that whoever we picked will not be the best player in their position chosen in the draft. Look at the 30 previous #5 picks--how many of them proved to be the best player taken in the draft (excluding of course the #1-4 picks)? You'd obviosuly assume Jagr and Stevens, but Brodeur was taken in Jagr's draft and Gilmour taken in Stevens' draft (in the seventh round no less), so even then it's not entirely cut and dry, and Jagr and Stevens are both first ballot hall of fame players. So, again, in my opinion scouts have to choose the player who they think has the most potential and the best chance of reaching that potential, and if Price was that prospect, they did right by picking him, even if he is a goalie. Hindsight might prove that he wasn't the best pick, but odds are that no matter who we chose won't be the best pick, even if we hit the jackpot and our pick proves to be a hall of fame caliber player.

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