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Drafting D men high, the case against Jones

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Old
06-20-2013, 12:59 PM
  #26
ottawah
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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.
I just took 15 years. You can take a few more if you like, the numbers will not change significantly. At 15 years it was 75 players, seemed like enough.

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06-20-2013, 01:20 PM
  #27
florida pwnthers
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
I just took 15 years. You can take a few more if you like, the numbers will not change significantly. At 15 years it was 75 players, seemed like enough.
i think d-men needs to develop more but a top~3-ish OA is hard to leave in juniors etc. problem is that they can't play in the ahl after they got drafted unless they played in euro or ushl(?)

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06-20-2013, 01:21 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Josh Deitell View Post
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."
To carry your analogy further, if at a certain point I was spending an extraordinary amount of money and not getting the best steaks, I would stop doing that and focus on spending my extraordinary amount of money on the certainty of getting the best burgers.

Especially when, if I look hard enough, I can find the best steaks somewhere else for a lot less money.

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06-20-2013, 01:24 PM
  #29
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I think this is a legitimate concern for anyone looking to draft Jones.

When players are drafted in the top 3 or 5 I think there is pressure for them to make the jump immediately to the NHL. Its easier for forwards coming out of the draft to make the jump to the NHL then defenseman. And I think rushing players, especially defensemen has a detrimental effect on their development.

Jones will be "rushed" to the NHL. I think its unlikely he goes back to juniors in 2013. Whoever drafts him will likely have him in their lineup. We'll just have to see how quickly he learns and adjusts to the NHL.

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06-20-2013, 01:37 PM
  #30
florida pwnthers
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Originally Posted by weaponomega View Post
I think this is a legitimate concern for anyone looking to draft Jones.

When players are drafted in the top 3 or 5 I think there is pressure for them to make the jump immediately to the NHL. Its easier for forwards coming out of the draft to make the jump to the NHL then defenseman. And I think rushing players, especially defensemen has a detrimental effect on their development.

Jones will be "rushed" to the NHL. I think its unlikely he goes back to juniors in 2013. Whoever drafts him will likely have him in their lineup. We'll just have to see how quickly he learns and adjusts to the NHL.
however, i do believe jones is ready. murray would have made the step this year close to flawless, after all he did prove himself in worlds last year.

jones is great and im very happy if florida picks him, but GMDT will probably let him play in the NHL the first 9 games, and if he doesn't feel he's ready he'll be in juniors. Huberdeau was great in the preseason but didn't play because he was too skinny

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06-20-2013, 01:46 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaponomega View Post
I think this is a legitimate concern for anyone looking to draft Jones.

When players are drafted in the top 3 or 5 I think there is pressure for them to make the jump immediately to the NHL. Its easier for forwards coming out of the draft to make the jump to the NHL then defenseman. And I think rushing players, especially defensemen has a detrimental effect on their development.

Jones will be "rushed" to the NHL. I think its unlikely he goes back to juniors in 2013. Whoever drafts him will likely have him in their lineup. We'll just have to see how quickly he learns and adjusts to the NHL.
Jones will not be "rushed" to to the NHL. The expectation is he can hold down a reagular shift and not look at out of place as is.

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06-20-2013, 02:00 PM
  #32
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If I understand HFboards correct:

1) A team should NEVER pick a goaltender as the #1 overall
2) A team should almost never pick a Defenseman #1 overall

Is picking a forward #1 overall ok?

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06-20-2013, 02:05 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
Jones will not be "rushed" to to the NHL. The expectation is he can hold down a reagular shift and not look at out of place as is.
LOL at how many players this has been said about and then a few years later everyone talks about how they were rushed. Not many defensemen are ready for the NHL right after their draft year.

Jones only played 1 season in the WHL with a very good team that destroyed their competition until the Memorial Cup. That was the first year he has played a 80 game season.

There's a better chance for some defenseman drafted later to develop with the pressure off and time in juniors and the AHL, which are development league. Trying to develop players in the NHL has never worked very well. Look at the Columbus Blue Jackets first round picks as examples.

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06-20-2013, 02:10 PM
  #34
Erik Estrada
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Both Florida and TBay know what's involved in drafting that franchise D in the Top-3 (see Gudbranson and Hedman)... I'll be curious to see which way those teams go if Jones is available at their pick.

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06-20-2013, 02:17 PM
  #35
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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.
That may be true, but it's also a reason to not take defensemen with top picks. You draft a forward 1st overall, he's likely to be an impact player while still on his relatively cheap ELC, and probably 5 or 6 of his 7 RFA years will be highly productive seasons. Meanwhile, you draft a defenseman, and all of his ELC is likely burned up on "development", then maybe you get 4 seasons of high level play before you need to start worrying about losing him to UFA.

The one thing that makes this slightly more palatable in today's NHL is that the ELC cap hit for top picks is already roughly 3M$ with bonuses included, and top-tier RFA deals aren't all that much cheaper than UFA deals these days, but if the player meets expectations, you're still generally getting excess value during ELC/RFA years, and history shows you get more of that out of elite forwards who develop quicker.

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06-20-2013, 02:20 PM
  #36
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I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference between being picked 1st or 3rd when it comes to how Jones is viewed. Just because Colorado has another preference, it probably reflects as much on them as it does on Jones.

Teams have been drafting defenders top three the last ten years and most of them have turned out fine. I think people are reading way too much into the 1st overall thing.

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06-20-2013, 02:27 PM
  #37
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It's harder to make accurate predictions on young D prospects than forwards, because defensive intangibles are not as apparent, virtually unapparent on stats sheets, and tend to develop (or not) with age and experience.

Whereas offensive skill is something that starts developing younger, and is much easier to compare with numbers.

That said, a big, all-around, #1 D type of player is one of or the most valuable type of player around.

With two elite forward prospects in MacK and Drouin right there in the top three, I can't blame any team for taking them first. More of a sure thing to have top-end impact in the future.

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06-20-2013, 02:29 PM
  #38
florida pwnthers
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Originally Posted by Erik Estrada View Post
Both Florida and TBay know what's involved in drafting that franchise D in the Top-3 (see Gudbranson and Hedman)... I'll be curious to see which way those teams go if Jones is available at their pick.
please, gudbransons style is very hard to dominate with when he's young. he played with an injured this whole season. watch him in the playoffs against devils last year, that's a rookie d-man that's really good.

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06-20-2013, 02:31 PM
  #39
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Yeah I'm not sure if the comparison to Gudbranson is a very good one. There top of the class that year wasn't as high, plus Guds was never totted as an elite offensive defensemen or anything.

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06-20-2013, 02:46 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by JacketsFanWest View Post
LOL at how many players this has been said about and then a few years later everyone talks about how they were rushed. Not many defensemen are ready for the NHL right after their draft year.

Jones only played 1 season in the WHL with a very good team that destroyed their competition until the Memorial Cup. That was the first year he has played a 80 game season.

There's a better chance for some defenseman drafted later to develop with the pressure off and time in juniors and the AHL, which are development league. Trying to develop players in the NHL has never worked very well. Look at the Columbus Blue Jackets first round picks as examples.
Yeah, LOL....until it happens.

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06-20-2013, 02:50 PM
  #41
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EJ, Pitkanen and Hedman are all major cogs

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06-20-2013, 03:44 PM
  #42
Josh Deitell
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Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
To carry your analogy further, if at a certain point I was spending an extraordinary amount of money and not getting the best steaks, I would stop doing that and focus on spending my extraordinary amount of money on the certainty of getting the best burgers.

Especially when, if I look hard enough, I can find the best steaks somewhere else for a lot less money.
Maybe so, but if it were easy to get top pairing defensemen, everyone would have a proper blueline.

There's a reason it's more difficult, and expensive, to add a top four defenseman via trade or free agency than a top six forward. Look at this year's free agent crop, for example:

Forwards - Iginla, Briere, Ribeiro, Weiss, Filppula, Elias, Alfredsson, Jagr, Roy, Horton, Clowe, Ryder, Morrow, etc.
Defensemen - Hainsey, Zidlicky, Whitney, Hamrlik, Scuderi, Leopold, Lydman, White, Poti, Murray, Ference, Corvo, Rozsival, etc.

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06-21-2013, 09:16 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Josh Deitell View Post
Maybe so, but if it were easy to get top pairing defensemen, everyone would have a proper blueline.

There's a reason it's more difficult, and expensive, to add a top four defenseman via trade or free agency than a top six forward. Look at this year's free agent crop, for example:

Forwards - Iginla, Briere, Ribeiro, Weiss, Filppula, Elias, Alfredsson, Jagr, Roy, Horton, Clowe, Ryder, Morrow, etc.
Defensemen - Hainsey, Zidlicky, Whitney, Hamrlik, Scuderi, Leopold, Lydman, White, Poti, Murray, Ference, Corvo, Rozsival, etc.
It's difficult to acquire an established franchise blueliner, yes. But is it hard to acquire a defenseman that might become a franchise blueliner? Not so much. Just as elite defensemen are being acquired with later picks, they're also being acquired through trades and free agency. Look at the 5 Norris finalists I named, to use a tiny sample size - 3 of the 5 finalists have changed teams at least once, compared to 0 of the 5 forwards. This suggests two things to me:

1) If a forward is considered elite at age 17-18, he will likely continue to play at a predictably elite level in the NHL for at least several seasons despite his youth.

2) A defenseman, even if considered elite at age 17-18, will undergo a much more erratic and unpredictable development before he reaches his potential (if he does), and he will likely hit it at a much later age compared to the forward, by which time he might have changed teams multiple times already due to free agency, teams restructuring, GMs running out of patience, etc.

In effect, there's a much greater gamble that the elite defenseman you take is being developed for another team's benefit - how many Norris trophies does Ottawa have to show for Chara's development, for example? For all the time they spent with Suter, Nashville doesn't get credit for his nomination this year. And so on.

The first overall pick is, in name, the closest thing to a sure thing at the draft...but it's still a gamble, even a small one. Until elite defensemen start developing on a curve that is as (generally) easy to predict as that of an elite forward's, it's not a gamble I would take, personally. Unless, as I said, the separation between the defenseman and the forward is so great as to be a virtual no-brainer. I certainly don't see Jones as being a no-brainer over MacKinnon, even disregarding historical trends and looked at player vs. player.

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06-21-2013, 09:58 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
It's difficult to acquire an established franchise blueliner, yes. But is it hard to acquire a defenseman that might become a franchise blueliner? Not so much. Just as elite defensemen are being acquired with later picks, they're also being acquired through trades and free agency. Look at the 5 Norris finalists I named, to use a tiny sample size - 3 of the 5 finalists have changed teams at least once, compared to 0 of the 5 forwards. This suggests two things to me:

1) If a forward is considered elite at age 17-18, he will likely continue to play at a predictably elite level in the NHL for at least several seasons despite his youth.

2) A defenseman, even if considered elite at age 17-18, will undergo a much more erratic and unpredictable development before he reaches his potential (if he does), and he will likely hit it at a much later age compared to the forward, by which time he might have changed teams multiple times already due to free agency, teams restructuring, GMs running out of patience, etc.

In effect, there's a much greater gamble that the elite defenseman you take is being developed for another team's benefit - how many Norris trophies does Ottawa have to show for Chara's development, for example? For all the time they spent with Suter, Nashville doesn't get credit for his nomination this year. And so on.

The first overall pick is, in name, the closest thing to a sure thing at the draft...but it's still a gamble, even a small one. Until elite defensemen start developing on a curve that is as (generally) easy to predict as that of an elite forward's, it's not a gamble I would take, personally. Unless, as I said, the separation between the defenseman and the forward is so great as to be a virtual no-brainer. I certainly don't see Jones as being a no-brainer over MacKinnon, even disregarding historical trends and looked at player vs. player.
That is an awful sample size and group. Elite defensemen are not routinely traded and are a rarity in most UFA groups. Good defensemen are difficult to come by. It is intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.

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06-21-2013, 10:50 AM
  #45
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That is an awful sample size and group. Elite defensemen are not routinely traded and are a rarity in most UFA groups. Good defensemen are difficult to come by. It is intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.
Speaking of intellectually dishonest...you're arguing against a point I have not made. I agree that elite defensemen are not routinely traded - once they become elite defensemen. However, they are shuttled around occasionally early in their careers owing, in large part, to the difficult nature of correctly evaluating and predicting the careers of defensemen when they're young.

If we can agree that it's difficult to predict the career trajectories of defensemen early in their NHL careers because they develop later, by extension, wouldn't that make it even harder to predict the careers of defensemen who haven't set foot in the NHL yet?

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06-21-2013, 11:05 AM
  #46
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Really nice work, man. I did something similar with Top 10 picks the other day to show a friend that the expected value of trading into the Top 10 wasn't as high as you might think. Didn't think to spilt it out by F and D.

Like you, I had some people argue 'Player X should be in this category, not...' The thing is, as you point out, the overal ratio between 'good and up' and ' useful to bust' is pretty well defined.

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06-21-2013, 11:19 AM
  #47
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EJ, Pitkanen and Hedman are all major cogs
That is a pretty good list you got there, you should probably add Adam Larsson to it as well.

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06-21-2013, 12:04 PM
  #48
ottawah
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Originally Posted by Rzombo4 prez View Post
That is an awful sample size and group. Elite defensemen are not routinely traded and are a rarity in most UFA groups. Good defensemen are difficult to come by. It is intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.
Lets look at the voting this year for the Norris. 25 players had votes. 10 of them have been drafted and developed, 15 have been acquired by free agency or trade.

Eye balling it for the past 20 years, 13 D men have won the Norris, 7 of them have won it on a team other than the team who has drafted them.

So the idea that great d men do not move is incorrect. Some may have not moved when they are great, absolutely, but they do move.


Only half of those winners were even first rounders. For the hart its much different. Over the same time period you are looking at 13 forwards, and their draft positions are significantly better. 8 were number 1 overall. Only two were not first rounders, and Federov is an outlyer due to the russian status when he was drafted.


So to me it still stands. Drafting very high, especially number 1 overall, you do much better going at forwards. Taking the last 20 drafts, which group is better :

Hamrlik, Jovanovski, Berard, Phillips, Erik Johnson

Or

Daigle, Thorton, LeCavalier, Stefan, Kovalchuk, Nash, Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Taveras, Hall, RNH, Yakapov.


Yes, forwards can be busts too, but the forward list looks like a list of HOF shoe ins, while the D man list looks like of list of HOF visitors.


Its simple. Want that spectacular MVP candiate that can turn your team around at number 1? Historically speaking, drafting a forward is a much better option.

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06-21-2013, 01:25 PM
  #49
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I couldnt agree more with this thread. However it depends on what position you are drafting said player for. Wingers are generally acquirable assets via trade, where centers and top pairing defense man are usually drafted. IMO highly ranked centers are more likely to hash out a good career at wing if center falls through, where the defense man simply falls down the depth chart.

My personal draft order would be:

Mackinnon
Barkov
Jones
Drouin
Monahan

However this is biased because the leafs do not have a #1c. Also depends on team needs. Dont think your about to take Mackinnon or Barkov when Sidney Crosby and Malkin are your top 2 centers.

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06-22-2013, 07:53 AM
  #50
ottawah
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Originally Posted by HockeyGuruPitka View Post
I couldnt agree more with this thread. However it depends on what position you are drafting said player for. Wingers are generally acquirable assets via trade, where centers and top pairing defense man are usually drafted. IMO highly ranked centers are more likely to hash out a good career at wing if center falls through, where the defense man simply falls down the depth chart.

My personal draft order would be:

Mackinnon
Barkov
Jones
Drouin
Monahan

However this is biased because the leafs do not have a #1c. Also depends on team needs. Dont think your about to take Mackinnon or Barkov when Sidney Crosby and Malkin are your top 2 centers.
You have my first four top picks in order too. Monahan I am unsure about, but seeing him so much for the last three years I think I am keying in on his weaknesses. Then again no one jumps out at me as being the guy to draft there anyways.

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