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Drafting D men high, the case against Jones

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Old
06-20-2013, 12:35 PM
  #1
ottawah
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Drafting D men high, the case against Jones

I'm not sure why there is so much backlash over the thought of not picking Jones 1st overall. Historically, picking D men high is usually a high risk venture. Generally the best forwards from a draft are in the top 5, and the d men not. Case study, 15 years from 1994 to 2009

1994 - Jovanoski/Tverdovsky picked 1/2. Neither turned out as good as expected, but Jovo did have a pretty good career all said. Probably the best D man in that class. Tverdovski, not so much. All said, neither of these two were franchise cornerstones, although Jovo was a major cog with the Canucks and Coyotes.

1995 - Berard/Redden/Berg. Berard was likely on his way to being a franchise player until his injury. Redden was a useful player for years, Berg useful.

1996 - Phillips, Zyuzin, Jackman. Phillips has definitely been a major cog, The other 2 really were busts

1997 - Brewer. Useful at best.

1998 - Stuart, Allen, Vishnevsky. Major cog, useful, bust.

1999 None

2000 - Klesla - Useful.

2001 - None

2002 - Bouwmeester, Pitkanen, Whitney. Major Cog, useful, useful. Thought about Whitney as major cog, but that was really only about 2 years with Crosby/Malkin where he really excelled.

2003 - None

2004 - Barker. Hmmm. Bust. Only one decent year.

2005 - Jack Johnson. Stuck between cog and useful. Will go with Cog.

2006 - Erik johnson. Useful.

2007 - Hickey/Alzner. Bust/Useful

2008 - Big 4, 2 cornerstones, 1 major cog, 1 useful.

2009 - Hedman. Useful


Totals are :

Cornerstone 3
Major cog 7
Useful 11
Bust 5


So draft a D man in the top 5 you get :

Cornerstone, top D man, perennial all star, Norris candidate : 12%
Top pairing/second PP D man, a few all star considerations : 27%
Useful player, second/third pairing : 42%
Bust, never really did much, 3rd pairing D man : 19%



The case to draft D men high is just not there. Its not often they are the best D men in the draft, and 50% of the time are nothing more than a below average player.


Forwards over same time period?

Franchise 21
Major 10
Useful 12
Bust 6


Cornerstone, 1st line, perennial all star, team leader candidate : 43%
1st line, some second line, a few all star considerations : 21%
Useful player, second/third line: 24%
Bust, never really did much, 3rd pairing D man : 12%


You have over 3 times the chance of getting a franchise type player with forwards, of almost twice the chance of getting a player of major cog or better.



So people may say Colorado needs D men, but with a potential franchise player on the board at forward, with such a greater likelihood, who is about a year younger than Jones and showed him up at the Memorial Cup? Easy decision for me.

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06-20-2013, 12:41 PM
  #2
hototogisu
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It's a case I've made before too. It would have to be a very thin forward corps for me to consider taking a D at 1st overall. The risk is just too great.

Also consider where elite forwards are acquired versus where elite defensemen are acquired from the Hart and Norris finalists this year:

Quote:
Hart (forwards only):
1. Alex Ovechkin - 1st overall
2. Sidney Crosby - 1st overall
3. John Tavares - 1st overall
4. Jonathan Toews - 3rd overall
6. Patrick Kane - 1st overall

Norris:
1. P.K. Subban - 43rd overall
2. Ryan Suter - 7th overall
3. Kris Letang - 62nd overall
4. Francois Beauchemin - 75th overall
5. Zdeno Chara - 56th overall
Until I start seeing some assurances that the defenseman I spend my high pick on is truly going to be the best defensemen in the league at some point...I'm hedging my bets and taking the forward, if he's even remotely ranked on a similar level as the D. Maybe Jones can buck the trend, but it's not a gamble I'll take at this point.

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06-20-2013, 12:44 PM
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SpezDispenser
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Interesting statistical breakdown.

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06-20-2013, 12:45 PM
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Alchemy
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Agree. Defenseman like goalies are just hard to project.

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06-20-2013, 12:45 PM
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Macch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
It's a case I've made before too. It would have to be a very thin forward corps for me to consider taking a D at 1st overall. The risk is just too great.

Also consider where elite forwards are acquired versus where elite defensemen are acquired from the Hart and Norris finalists this year:



Until I start seeing some assurances that the defenseman I spend my high pick on is truly going to be the best defensemen in the league at some point...I'm hedging my bets and taking the forward, if he's even remotely ranked on a similar level as the D. Maybe Jones can buck the trend, but it's not a gamble I'll take at this point.

I know doubt believe this as well, but is there anyone far less lazy than me would look up the last 5-10 years so we can compare heart (maybe even rocket richard) trophies vs the Norris?

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06-20-2013, 12:47 PM
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hockeyjack89
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Baaically you should draft defensemen everywhere except round 1? Lol

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06-20-2013, 12:59 PM
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Jacko95
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Hedman = Usefull?

That guy that is 4th overall within Defensemen is ES points ? Just because he is not allowed to play PP doesn't mean he is an disappointment.
He was seen as a possible Norris candidate halfway through the season. And trust me he will be at least an allstar within 2 years. That's all I could ask for in a top3 pick.

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06-20-2013, 01:01 PM
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Claypool
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This is hardly a case study. There are plenty of forwards drafted high that bust, too. The reason it looks like defensemen bust more is because they're not often taken that high. Just like goaltenders.

Regardless, defensemen in the NHL are more coveted. Even if Jones only develops into a #2 it's still a better bet than than another forward who could turn into a third-line center.

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06-20-2013, 01:03 PM
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Who cares, in the end Seth Jones controls his own future.

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06-20-2013, 01:03 PM
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If you make a list of just first picks, the list goes even worse. Only good pick maybe potvin.

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06-20-2013, 01:06 PM
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stayinalive
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the problem with your work is that players like Bogosian, Alzner and Hedman will be considered way better then just useful in a few years. Dman take a little longer to develop.

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06-20-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claypool View Post
This is hardly a case study. There are plenty of forwards drafted high that bust, too. The reason it looks like defensemen bust more is because they're not often taken that high.

Regardless, defensemen in the NHL are more coveted. Even if Jones only develops into a #2 it's still a better bet than than another forward who could turn into a third-line center.
You're contradicting yourself. If defensemen in the NHL are more coveted, shouldn't more teams be using high picks to acquire them?

The only reason they wouldn't, is because there's a much greater risk attached to drafting defensemen high versus drafting forwards high. These results would seem to bear that out, no?

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06-20-2013, 01:07 PM
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Josh Deitell
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I get what you're saying and see the conclusion the stats point to, but the reality is there is no precedent for Seth Jones because Seth Jones is the only Seth Jones there has ever been. These numbers don't apply to Jones because Jones is a person.

The other thing people forget to adjust for in these breakdowns is that NHL teams ice 6 defensemen and 12 forwards. Of course more forwards make it, there are twice as many spots to fill.

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06-20-2013, 01:08 PM
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People not only underestinmate how hard it is to get a legitimate top 4 pairing defender people tend to look only at the scoresheet when players are determined to be a bust or not. This is also not yet factoring in that D typically take 2-3 years longer than forwards to make an impact. Having someone turn out to be a legit top 4 pairing shutdown or minute munching D is not a lost cause even if they were drafted top 10. An organiztion took a shot at the next all star number 1 D and they got a top 4 D instead. Fans look at top 10 picks as a bust if they are not Karlson or Subban but I think internal to the organization although there is disappointment in the turn out the organization is still happy to have someone to give those minutes to even if they are not an allstar. Headman is a good example its still not time to judge that pick. Give it a few more years.

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06-20-2013, 01:16 PM
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Rzombo4 prez
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It tells you nothing, however, of how you go about acquiring a franchise defensemen, which is what Colorado really needs to do. The Norris trophy stats suggest that the best approach is to randomly throw darts at defensemen after the first round. The problem is, the overall success rates of all second and post-second round picks are pretty low to begin with.

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06-20-2013, 01:19 PM
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Freeptop
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Personally, I'm just amused that the window analyzed was 1994-2009, which conveniently avoids the 1993 draft that had the #1-2 picks be Daigle and Pronger.

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06-20-2013, 01:23 PM
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hototogisu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeptop View Post
Personally, I'm just amused that the window analyzed was 1994-2009, which conveniently avoids the 1993 draft that had the #1-2 picks be Daigle and Pronger.
You can expand it to include Pronger and Niedermayer and any other defenseman who was picked high and did turn into a stud. The argument is not that defensemen drafted with high picks can't turn into stars. It's that there is a considerable risk of them not doing so, especially in comparison to highly drafted forwards.

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06-20-2013, 01:28 PM
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Erik Estrada
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And that's why the job of Flo, TB and possibly other GMs, has gotten that much harder... They didn't need to factor in the more complex projections of a top D in their decision. Probably lots of annoyance from those teams now.

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06-20-2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
Who cares, in the end Seth Jones controls his own future.
????

With the 1st selection in the 2013 NHL entry draft, Seth Jones selects........the Detroit Red Wings.

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06-20-2013, 01:43 PM
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Josh Deitell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
You can expand it to include Pronger and Niedermayer and any other defenseman who was picked high and did turn into a stud. The argument is not that defensemen drafted with high picks can't turn into stars. It's that there is a considerable risk of them not doing so, especially in comparison to highly drafted forwards.
To me this kind of analysis is like saying, "I've been to a lot of restaurants that had good burgers, but not as many that have had good steaks. Therefore, this next restaurant I go to will have good burgers and won't have good steaks. Good steaks are harder to find, and generally more expensive, but no matter."

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06-20-2013, 01:44 PM
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rumrokh
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Now show the top drafted forwards from the same drafts.

94: Bonk, Bonsignore, O'Neill
95: Kilger, Langkow, Steve Kelly
96: Dumont, Volchkov, Devereaux
97: Thornton, Marleau, Jokinen
98: Lecavalier, Legwand, Rico Fata
99: Stefan, the Sedins, Brendl
00: Heatley, Gaborik, Torres
01: Kovalchuk, Spezza, Svitov
02: Nash, Upshall, Lupul
03: Staal, Horton, Zherdev
04: Ovechkin, Malkin, Ladd
05: Crosby, Ryan, Pouliot
06: Staal, Toews, Backstrom
07: Kane, JVR, Turris
08: Stamkos, Filatov, Wilson

It's pretty clear that drafting has improved, so you really cannot use those years from the 90's to show anything, but you still get some really regrettable forward picks in most of those, and more in basically every top 10.

This also includes some revisionist history. Tverdovsky was very good, as was Brewer before injuries derailed him (he was also picked 5th in his draft year, one ahead of all-star forward Daniel Tkaczuk); and Zyuzin and Vishnevsky were not busts. You must be really young or have a foggy memory.

Defensemen picked in the top 10ish have a pretty high hit rate. In the second half of the first round, they are very hit and miss and only marginally better than second rounders. Of course, none of that actually suggests anything about Jones.

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06-20-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetiman View Post
????

With the 1st selection in the 2013 NHL entry draft, Seth Jones selects........the Detroit Red Wings.
In terms of development, not the team he gets drafted to.

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06-20-2013, 01:50 PM
  #23
7even
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the problem with your work is that players like Bogosian, Alzner and Hedman will be considered way better then just useful in a few years. Dman take a little longer to develop.
Well I assume that's why he used a 15 year sample, though the case for better scouting can be made pretty easily.

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06-20-2013, 01:56 PM
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ottawah
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Baaically you should draft defensemen everywhere except round 1? Lol
No, but the point is its harder to get a franchise type player in the top few picks with D men as opposed to forwards.

It is my honest belief that if you have a very high draft pick, you need a game changer if at all possible, not just a player available on the FA and trade market. The odds of getting that with a high draft pick for forwards is significantly higher than that with D men. The best D men are almost always taken out of the top 5, and the bets forwards are almost always taken in the top 5. Yes there are exceptions for sure, but the trend is obvious.

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06-20-2013, 01:57 PM
  #25
ottawah
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Originally Posted by Jacko95 View Post
Hedman = Usefull?

That guy that is 4th overall within Defensemen is ES points ? Just because he is not allowed to play PP doesn't mean he is an disappointment.
He was seen as a possible Norris candidate halfway through the season. And trust me he will be at least an allstar within 2 years. That's all I could ask for in a top3 pick.
He may very well be, and I was a bit hesitant to use that year because some of the players may not be fully developed, especially D men, but I wanted 15 years, and for sure the forwards have been long developed.

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