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The value of draft picks.

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04-04-2013, 11:07 AM
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Appleyard
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The value of draft picks.

With a few people getting mad at losing a 3rd rounder in the Mason deal, it got me wondering the chance a 3rd rounder actually turned into a serviceable NHL player. Therefore I decided to look into it.

I looked through each draft from 1990-2004, working out the percentages of the 1st to 4th rounds producing players who play 200 games, 400 games, 700 games and All Star players (players who made an allstar team either mid season or end of season awards.) 4059 players overall went into the analysis.

I chose these as cut off as 200-399 seems right for a useful 4th liner or 3rd pair D who has a 3-7 year career. 400-699 is a player who generally made a decent impact on the league, playing 5-10 years and in some cases being well known, usually 2nd-3rd liners and 2nd pair or stay home D men. 700+ are generally some of the best at what they do in the NHL, 10+ years and well regarded round the league. All-star speaks for itself.

I also looked at the later rounds, though only as a whole, as after about pick 120 it is just pot luck seemingly.

I went further in depth on the top 120 picks, dividing them into brackets of 5 to see whether an early 3rd, for example, is worth much more than a late 3rd, or is it even equal to a late 2nd.

Here are the more general results:

1st round:

200 GP: 64%, 400 GP: 53.6%, 700 GP: 38%, All-Star: 22.9%

2nd round:

200 GP: 28%, 400 GP: 19%, 700 GP: 12%, All-Star: 5.33%

3rd round:

200 GP: 22%, 400 GP: 15.8%, 700 GP: 7.33%, All-Star: 4.22%

4th round:

200 GP: 13.8%, 400 GP: 8.2%, 700 GP: 4.2%, All-Star: 2.7%

5th round onwards:

200 GP: 10.4%, 400 GP: 6.8%, 700 GP: 3.5%, All-Star: 1.9%

From this it seems that 1st are literally worth their weight in gold, about a 250% more chance of finding a useful player than a 2nd, and 400% more likely to find a great player.

2nds and 3rds seem closer in value, with 2 3rd round picks definitely worth more than a 2nd.

4th round is further from a 3rd than a 3rd is a 2nd, two 4ths equal a tiny bit more than a 3rd.

5th onwards are actually not worth much less than a 4th, a 5th and a 7th is almost certainly more valuable statistically than a 4th. Also, a 5th, 6th and 7th are worth more than a 3rd, and only slightly less than a 2nd, as there is less chance of a top end player, but those three picks have more chance of a useful NHLer than one 2nd!

Now for a more in depth breakdown of picks in brackets of 5.

1st round

1-5: 200 GP: 93.33%, 400 GP: 89.33%, 700 GP: 76%, All-Star: 48%
6-10: 200 GP: 70.7%, 400 GP: 57.33%, 700 GP: 38.7%, All-Star: 24%
11-15: 200 GP: 57.3%, 400 GP: 50.7%, 700 GP: 38.7%, All-Star: 24%
16-20: 200 GP: 57.3%, 400 GP: 45.3%, 700 GP: 25.3%, All-Star: 14.7%
21-25: 200 GP: 60%, 400 GP: 44%, 700 GP: 29.3%, All-Star: 16%
26-30: 200 GP: 45.3%, 400 GP: 34.7%, 700 GP: 20%, All-Star: 10.7%

2nd round

31-35: 200 GP: 28%, 400 GP: 17.3%, 700 GP: 10.7%, All-Star: 6.7%
36-40: 200 GP: 33.3%, 400 GP: 24%, 700 GP: 13.3%, All-Star: 6.7%
41-45: 200 GP: 28%, 400 GP: 22.7%, 700 GP: 12%, All-Star: 4%
46-50: 200 GP: 28%, 400 GP: 22.7%, 700 GP: 16%, All-Star: 5.3%
51-55: 200 GP: 24%, 400 GP: 14.7%, 700 GP: 9.3%, All-Star: 6.7%
56-60: 200 GP: 24%, 400 GP: 13.3%, 700 GP: 10.7%, All-Star: 2.7%

3rd round

61-65: 200 GP: 25.3%, 400 GP: 18.7%, 700 GP: 10.7%, All-Star: 6.7%
66-70: 200 GP: 20%, 400 GP: 17.3%, 700 GP: 4%, All-Star: 1.3%
71-75: 200 GP: 26.7%, 400 GP: 20%, 700 GP: 9.3%, All-Star: 4%
76-80: 200 GP: 17.3%, 400 GP: 12%, 700 GP: 4%, All-Star: 4%
81-85: 200 GP: 20%, 400 GP: 10.7%, 700 GP: 6.7%, All-Star: 4%
86-90: 200 GP: 22.6%, 400 GP: 16%, 700 GP: 9.3%, All-Sta: 5.3%

4th round

91-95: 200 GP: 20%, 400 GP: 12%, 700 GP: 5.3%, All-Star: 4%
96-100: 200 GP: 16%, 400 GP: 10.6%, 700 GP: 5.3%, All-Star: 2.7%
101-105: 200 GP: 12%, 400 GP: 6.7%, 700 GP: 4%, All-Star: 0%
106-110: 200 GP: 13.3%, 400 GP: 6.7%, 700 GP: 4%, All-Star: 1.3%
111-115: 200 GP: 9.3%, 400 GP: 5.3%, 700 GP: 2.7%, All-Star: 2.7%
116-120: 200 GP: 12%, 400 GP: 8%, 700 GP: 4%, All-Star: 5.3%

Pretty interesting IMO, it shows how well NHL team are spotting and assessing talent, at least in the top 120, as there are very few outliers through the rounds, and a definite trend with the lower in the draft, the less likely picks are going to play in the NHL.

You can almost break it up into brackets where the quality of players drop off (on average)

Top 5: Twice as good as 6-15.
6-15: Pretty equal through these ten, 15 and 6 pretty similar picks.
16-25: As above with 6-15, these are similar quality.
26-30: Better than any second rounder but a cut below other firsts.
30-50: Similar throughout, true 2nd rounders.
51-65: Worse than the '2nd' rounders, but the 1st five of the 3rd are equal to last 10 of 2nd.
66-100: Little statistical difference, these picks, pretty much all the 3rd and the start of 4th, are interchangeable.
101-120: All similar to the 5th round onwards... suggesting after pick 100 it does become a crapshoot, though 100-120 have more chance of hitting gold than after, even if bit part and useful players are similar.

Hope you enjoyed reading!

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04-04-2013, 11:17 AM
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Great post, thanks!

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04-04-2013, 11:19 AM
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That took some time and effort. Nice job.

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04-04-2013, 11:39 AM
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Nice. Thanks for breaking it out into the groups. You can see just how much a Top 5 pick is actually worth. I was really surprised at the drop off from the end of the 1st to the beginning of the 2nd. I thought they would be pretty similar like 6-15, or 16-25 but they aren't.

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04-04-2013, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protest View Post
Nice. Thanks for breaking it out into the groups. You can see just how much a Top 5 pick is actually worth. I was really surprised at the drop off from the end of the 1st to the beginning of the 2nd. I thought they would be pretty similar like 6-15, or 16-25 but they aren't.
I would bet that has alot to do with giving first rounders more of a shot to make it as opposed to a second...

It starts from really young where the guys who are a bit ahead of development or bigger or whatnot are given more opportunities to get better, and late bloomers or smaller guys are much less likely to be given a serious chance.

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04-04-2013, 12:00 PM
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nice post

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04-04-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xifentoozlerix View Post
I would bet that has alot to do with giving first rounders more of a shot to make it as opposed to a second...

It starts from really young where the guys who are a bit ahead of development or bigger or whatnot are given more opportunities to get better, and late bloomers or smaller guys are much less likely to be given a serious chance.
I do think that is true for the 200 game mark, possibly even 400, but not too much for 700, no-one sticks for 700 games unless they are a serious player, and even late 1st have double the chance of sticking as early 2nds do, and are twice as likely to be an 'all star'. Also 2nds who were not given a chance but then tear up in the AHL come in, albeit later, and if they are good, stick for the long run.

I do think you have a valid point though, I think the 400 and 700 are better indicators of quality, but 200 still is a decent number and generally have had a part to play over a few years.

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04-04-2013, 12:39 PM
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Yeah, those 200GP guys have their uses as well. Rinaldo may very well be one of those, for instance.

Edit: Also, how ****ing long did this take!!!??

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04-04-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Yeah, those 200GP guys have their uses as well. Rinaldo may very well be one of those, for instance.

Edit: Also, how ****ing long did this take!!!??
Not as long as you would think... finished an essay on Prisons yesterday at about 6, had dinner and then it took maybe 10-15mins per draft using HockeyDB and Wiki (wiki only for who had allstar selections), so 15 drafts, maybe 3 hours on raw data, then just used blanket formulas on excel, which took about 15mins... then 15-20 to post. So less than 4 hours, 2 and a half yesterday and an hour or so today, but tbh have nothing else to do atm, home visiting parents, spent all my money a the start of the week roadying for a friends band, as went out heavily after the show!

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04-04-2013, 01:26 PM
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Very good job, thanks for this post.

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04-04-2013, 01:28 PM
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This would be a good thread to cross post in the Numbers forum, by the way.

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04-04-2013, 01:40 PM
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Wow, awesome analysis there. I never realized how large the drop off from 1st to 2nd round is. Even with the brackets, the later first round picks seem to be significantly more important than the earlier second round picks. Also crazy to think that about half of the top 5 picks make an all-star appearance at some point. Definitely shows the value of first round picks in the draft.

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04-04-2013, 02:11 PM
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I wonder if people can now see why some want a top 5 pick a lot more than a 1st round exit in the playoffs.

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04-04-2013, 02:28 PM
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That's really interesting and I need to favorite this post to reference it next time someone flips out about losing a 3rd round pick because the guy is worth "no more than a 4th". Seems like everything after the 1st round is a crap shoot. The 51st pick and 90th next are pretty much the same damn thing.

The one question I have is that unless I'm missing something, some of the numbers may not be accurate. For example, you mention the amount of players that played 700+ games being top NHL players/veterans. The 2003 draft was ridiculously stacked but none of them have reached 700 games played yet. The same thing for the 2004 draft and I'm sure most of the 2002 draft. A lot of those guys are team captains, first line player, or stars but still don't fit the 700 game criteria. Did you factor in the fact that some of the guys in the more recent drafts literally havent been in the league long enough to play 700 games? Also goalies can play an entire successful HOF career without ever starting 700 games. Maybe you mentioned these things but I just missed it.

Awesome post though.

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04-04-2013, 02:34 PM
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You really expanded my theory far more than I expected you to. That must've been an impressive amount of work, but I'm glad that you took the time. Hopefully now more people would better understand the value of draft picks around here. I'd honestly just be happy if people stopped condemning Holmgren over late 2nd round picks.

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04-04-2013, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for the effort!

I am one of the individuals who disapproved of moving the draft pick. It wasn't because I thought it was too steep of a price to pay for Mason; it was because the Flyers essentially gave the pick away for free. Note: the pick is only given away for 'free' if Mason doesn re-sign... and it is very rare that a player doesn't take their option into the qualifying offer period if they are offered a lower contract beforehand (though it looks like Mason will pick the rare path).

For other reasons, entirely, I disapprove of acquiring Mason at all. I hope he proves me wrong, but he appears to be too mentally fragile to succeed as a starter in the NHL.

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04-04-2013, 02:55 PM
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Let me echo the "excellent work" comments, and the recommendation to cross post this to the numbers forum. It should also be required reading for EVERYONE who visits this site and laments dealing 3rd round or later picks for players in the NHL.

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04-04-2013, 03:08 PM
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Of those people who complain about the trading of draft picks, does this change your opinion or strengthen it (or neither)? Personally, as someone who has no problem trading picks for the right player, I think that this is a good analysis of the value of picks. Sure, those second round and third round picks have a shot being a durable NHLer, but I think trading them in deals for guys like Versteeg or even Kubina (without the benefit of hindsight) are risks I'd be willing to take.

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04-04-2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
Of those people who complain about the trading of draft picks, does this change your opinion or strengthen it (or neither)? Personally, as someone who has no problem trading picks for the right player, I think that this is a good analysis of the value of picks. Sure, those second round and third round picks have a shot being a durable NHLer, but I think trading them in deals for guys like Versteeg or even Kubina (without the benefit of hindsight) are risks I'd be willing to take.
I'd say it confirms what I'm saying. You need to keep your picks more often than not to build a strong base of depth players. Cheap depth is where it's at, especially if you've got a good scouting staff. Those 100-200 game players have important roles on a roster in the cap era. I'd especially hold on to 1st rounders; I assumed from about 20-25 (depending on draft depth) the drop in the second round wouldn't be big at all, but it really is.

As someone else mentioned, that seems odd...and might be due to some sort of value bias; like GMs really want their first rounders to work out so they give them extra games, whereas that motivation maybe isn't there for the second round guys.

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04-04-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneHands View Post
That's really interesting and I need to favorite this post to reference it next time someone flips out about losing a 3rd round pick because the guy is worth "no more than a 4th". Seems like everything after the 1st round is a crap shoot. The 51st pick and 90th next are pretty much the same damn thing.

The one question I have is that unless I'm missing something, some of the numbers may not be accurate. For example, you mention the amount of players that played 700+ games being top NHL players/veterans. The 2003 draft was ridiculously stacked but none of them have reached 700 games played yet. The same thing for the 2004 draft and I'm sure most of the 2002 draft. A lot of those guys are team captains, first line player, or stars but still don't fit the 700 game criteria. Did you factor in the fact that some of the guys in the more recent drafts literally havent been in the league long enough to play 700 games? Also goalies can play an entire successful HOF career without ever starting 700 games. Maybe you mentioned these things but I just missed it.

Awesome post though.
Ah, you touched on something I completely forgot to mention, from 2002 to 2004 I effectively 'predicted' if the players will make 700 or 400, by looking at if they are still in the NHL now, how many games they have averaged the last 3 years, how many games to those milestones, and if without injury they would reach 700 or 400. There were not too many (surprisingly, at one point I thought about leaving it at 2001 as I thought it would be too hard) who were tricky, though there were maybe 5 I was unsure of...

The year to year figures with my predicted games were quite similar in terms of players making those milestones as with earlier years, with no outlying years (ofc 2003 was high, but that is one crazy draft) so I decided to include those last three, the years 2002-2004 added on changed no percentage of any by more that 5% (of the percentages themselves, so say 60% of picks 16-20 played 200 from 1990-2001 the figure did not go lower than 57 or higher than 63% with the predicted stats.) That was why I stopped at 2004, as it was not too bad to predict, anything later seemed to impinge on the data.

For example: Richards, Carter, Getzlaf seem locks for 700 without injury.

As for goaltenders, I thought about doing a separate one for them, but then thought the 1-5 etc would be compromised, as they are picked with everyone else, and the aim was mainly to see how good a player you have a chance of getting, including goalies, and also pretty much every one of serious merit hits 400.

I may look into the goalies separately at some point, to see if they are more unpredictable.

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04-04-2013, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
Of those people who complain about the trading of draft picks, does this change your opinion or strengthen it (or neither)? Personally, as someone who has no problem trading picks for the right player, I think that this is a good analysis of the value of picks. Sure, those second round and third round picks have a shot being a durable NHLer, but I think trading them in deals for guys like Versteeg or even Kubina (without the benefit of hindsight) are risks I'd be willing to take.
I'm fine with trading draft picks, just not 1st round picks unless its for someone really worth it. However, you can't constantly trade away picks every year for players who are not going to be on your team. Trading a 2nd for Grossmann is fine because he's actually a part of the team. You can't trade away picks for rentals every year. You need people to fill holes on your roster, and the cheapest and easiest way to do that is with young guys you drafted.

I like Holmgren's approach to trying to sign guys out of college who he feels are more NHL ready, and moving picks for established players. But like I said earlier you can't constantly ship out picks for rentals.

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04-04-2013, 04:11 PM
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This is a side note, but does anybody think Homer inadvertently shot himself in the foot with the Read signing? I'm not saying it's bad, but since he hit such a home run with it I've felt there's been a lot more emphasis on finding the next cheap Read since then...so now his strategy is less viable because of the increased competition from other GMs saying "hey, good idea." It means it's now going to be harder to fill the roster with good college players in lieu of drafting.

Now more on topic, I'd love to see a goaltender analysis. My hunch is that it's going to be more random, but it will be intriguing to see if there is a pattern.

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04-04-2013, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
This is a side note, but does anybody think Homer inadvertently shot himself in the foot with the Read signing? I'm not saying it's bad, but since he hit such a home run with it I've felt there's been a lot more emphasis on finding the next cheap Read since then...so now his strategy is less viable because of the increased competition from other GMs saying "hey, good idea." It means it's now going to be harder to fill the roster with good college players in lieu of drafting.

Now more on topic, I'd love to see a goaltender analysis. My hunch is that it's going to be more random, but it will be intriguing to see if there is a pattern.
That's a good point. I don't really ever remember there being a run on college guys (outside of like a Hobie Baker winner here or there) before Read. Come to think of it I don't even remember (could be wrong) there being too much chatter about Read even after he was signed outside of die-hard NCAA people.

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04-04-2013, 06:31 PM
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This is sick. I shouted out to you OP and this thread on twitter.

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04-04-2013, 09:22 PM
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draft picks

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Originally Posted by Akanon View Post
Great post, thanks!
It's a crap shot! Nurse who i would take but 2 yrs away! where our picks in each round

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