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How many players actually make it to the NHL from each draft round

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07-03-2009, 09:12 AM
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How many players actually make it to the NHL from each draft round

After the last draft I got curious about the probability of a random drafted player actually making it to the NHL from each round. I was also interested in how big a percentage have significant NHL careers so I counted the number of players who played at least 50 NHL games and at least 200 NHL games in addition to the percentage who played just a single NHL game.

I omitted the drafts after the year 2000 since there may be late bloomers who simply haven't yet had time to accumulate 200 games. The years before 1982 had less than 240 picks made so I omitted them also to get a nice full 8 rounds worth of results. Of course the number of draft picks for each round has changed over the years as the league has expanded and compensatory picks have been awarded so I "normalized" all drafts by splitting them in to the current rounds of 30 picks, (1-30 = Round 1, 31-60 = Round 2, 61-90 = Round 3 etc).

I figured I'd post the results since someone else may also find them interesting.

So here are the percentages of drafted players from 1982-2000 who made it to the NHL from each round using the current 30 picks per round. All stats and draft results are from http://www.hockeydb.com

                   at least 1 game    at least 50 games    at least 200 games
picks 1-30	  91.6 %                76.1 %	            62.1 %
picks 31-60	  66.7 %	     44.2 %	            28.6 %
picks 61-90	  53.7 %	     35.6 %	            23.3 %
picks 91-120	  38.6 %	     23.2 %	            14.6 %
picks 121-150	  29.6 %	     18.1 %	            11.8 %
picks 151-180	  28.4 %	     16.7 %	            11.8 %
picks 181-210	  22.5 %	     12.1 %	              6.8 %
picks 211-240	  23.0 %	     11.8 %	              7.4 %
The results are also attached as a graph to give a better general trend of the different rounds.
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07-03-2009, 09:31 AM
gare joyce
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It's important to remember but impossible to factor in the role that $$$ play in this. There will be players in the 3rd no better/no worse than lesser lights in the first round but by reasons of bucks committed those firsts (and to a lesser extent, some 2nds) will be wedged into the line-up and given every chance to succeed. Judgments on thirds, fourths, etc will be made more quickly.

I did a casual work-up a while back and the difference between the top 10 and the next ten or 20 is pretty significant.

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07-03-2009, 09:44 AM
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Scott Cullen of TSN did something similar last year but broke it down more (1-5, 6-10, etc.).


He used 1995-2004 though, and it fluctuates in a weird way. (e.g. #21-25 is 18% more likely to play at least 100 games than #11-15). I think 2004 might be too recent for some of the lower tier prospects/players.

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07-03-2009, 09:53 AM
gare joyce
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What really throws you of is the Dudaceks: Euros players who couldn't, wouldn't or just didn't come over. How many 1st rounders never come over for more than a minor-league season and go home for comfortable, predictable money? Who doesn't give drafting teams a return, not necessarily for lack of talent but just on logistics, paperwork, whatever? I'm sure there are some NA kids who just lose interest in hockey but they'd be a fraction of those dice rolls in Russia or the rest of Europe?

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