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How To Get A Top 6 Center

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Old
03-16-2017, 09:56 PM
  #1
yianik
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How To Get A Top 6 Center

So I thought a way of getting an idea on how you go about getting a top 6 center is to see where the teams in fact get them from.

I went to a site that gives teams depth charts and pretty much followed those charts in looking at each teams top 2 centers. My eye ball test led me to think it was pretty accurate , with the only adjustments were my adding in the injured Stamkos and Brock Nelson of the Isles to their teams top 2 centers. I was tempted to play a bit because the top 2 centers in Arizona are pretty weak and most teams would not have them as top 2. But it is arguable about Danault as well. Bozak of the Leasfs certainly has top 6 numbers, but he is 3C on the Leafs. So I decided not to tamper.

What I found was of the 60 top centers, 3 had been acquired as Free Agents. Only one of those 3, Johnson of the Bolts, had never been drafted. The other 2, Staal with Minnie and Stastny of the Blues have been acquired fairly recently, 2016 and 2014 respectively, but clearly very few centers are acquired as free agents.

Thought it interesting there was only one undrafted center of the 60 ( Bozak was also undrafted by the way ) , which tells me NHL clubs may do a great job turning up and so drafting all potential centers. Possibly though, they aren't looking hard enough at undrafted guys and maybe they should take a closer look at other top leagues and somewhat older players.

Of the 60 players , 13 were acquired by trade. This is players, not trades I am counting so when Zibanejad was traded for Brossard, that counts 2. So just over 20% of top 6 centers were acquired by trade. Four were acquired in 2016, 2 in 2015 and 2014, 0 in 2013, 3 in 2012, 1 in 2011 and 1 pre-2011 ( Thornton). So centers are being traded more recently.

So 59 players were drafted. I was not looking at figuring out the odds of drafting a center, but where they have been found. I broke the categories into picks1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60 and then every round after ( once I saw the numbers ).


1-5..........21
6-10.........9
11-15.......6
16-30.......8
31-45.......5
46-60.......5
61 plus.....5

I was shocked at the lack of centers dug up after the 60th pick. In fact, the latest pick was Zetterberg at 210th OA. The other 4 after 60 picks ( I don't say 2nd round because of compensatory picks, which Krejci was one and is considered 2nd round though the 63rd pick ) were at 63, 64, 82 and 87.

Bottom line is after the 2nd round there has been a snow balls chance in hell of picking a top 6 center, and 0 chance after the 3rd round, historically.

I broke it down some more. since draft of 2012 there were 6 drafted with picks 1-5, 2 in 6-10, 2 in 11 -15 and 0 after that except 1 46-60. Clearly this is younger guys we are looking at.

Looking between from draft class 2007-2011, there were 6 in picks 1-5, 5 between 6-10,0 in 11-15, 4 in picks 16-30, 2 in 31-45, 1 in 46-60, and 2 after 60.

My take on drafting centers is you aren't drafting one after round 2, so better keep those top picks. Obviously picks 1-5 are big for getting a center ( half from this category between 2007 to now were 1st overall ), but you have to be awful to draft there, and the cost to buy in is enormous. If you can trade up to 6-10 though, not a bad place to increase your odds. BPA ? Dunno, want a center, you might have to pick centers as a set strategy in top 2 rounds to make sure you turn them up every now and then.

Edit: Error there as I did not have Frans Nielsen as a UFA signing in 2016 for Detroit. So that makes for 4 of the 60 as Free Agent signings. He is one of the two 3rd rounders playing top 6.


Last edited by yianik: 03-17-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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Old
03-16-2017, 10:07 PM
  #2
Chili
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I had actually started the same exercise this week before snow got in the way.

So kudos.

Was impressed that the Bruins got their top two in the second round.

The analysis definitely points to where they are found...i.e early in the draft.

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:09 PM
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13 of the 60 were acquired by trade. Bingo! Make it happen MB this offseason- this has to be the way for us. We won't be drafting 1-10 so let's make a deal.

We cannot live with Danault, Pleks next year. I know some think Hudon may be that number two center, but that is not likely considering he is not even dominating at the AHL level.

Btw, great research, dude.

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:18 PM
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Craig71
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I trust Marc Bergevin before posters here, he has a plan, year 5 blah, who cares? He will get us 7 top 6 centers and then what will people say? Emelin maybe because DD is traded.

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:21 PM
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Belial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yianik View Post

Of the 60 players , 13 were acquired by trade. This is players, not trades I am counting so when Zibanejad was traded for Brossard, that counts 2. So just over 20% of top 6 centers were acquired by trade. Four were acquired in 2016, 2 in 2015 and 2014, 0 in 2013, 3 in 2012, 1 in 2011 and 1 pre-2011 ( Thornton). So centers are being traded more recently.
Nice research!

It was pretty obvious that good centers are pretty much all drafted with high draft picks and are rarely on the market.

Can you list the 13 centers that were acquired by trade?

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:30 PM
  #6
yianik
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Originally Posted by Belial View Post
Nice research!

It was pretty obvious that good centers are pretty much all drafted with high draft picks and are rarely on the market.

Can you list the 13 centers that were acquired by trade?
I agree, no surprise that top centers are drafted high, but I still thought they could be picked up in later rounds, but apparently no.

The centers are
-Kesler ( 2014 )
- ROR ( 2015 )
-J. Staal ( 2012 )
-Ansimov ( 2015 )
-Dubinsky ( 2012 )
-Spezza ( 2014)
-Carter (2012)
-Danault(2016), like I said, I did not tamper
-Johansen (2016)
-Zibanejad(2016)
-Brossard( 2016)
-Turris( 2011)
-Thornton (2005)

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:32 PM
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Apoplectic Habs Fan
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Good research. All the more puzzling of having Galchenyuk on wing for so long

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:52 PM
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Belial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yianik View Post
I agree, no surprise that top centers are drafted high, but I still thought they could be picked up in later rounds, but apparently no.

The centers are
-Kesler ( 2014 )
- ROR ( 2015 )
-J. Staal ( 2012 )
-Ansimov ( 2015 )
-Dubinsky ( 2012 )
-Spezza ( 2014)
-Carter (2012)
-Danault(2016), like I said, I did not tamper
-Johansen (2016)
-Zibanejad(2016)
-Brossard( 2016)
-Turris( 2011)
-Thornton (2005)
To be honest not an impressive list at all...

Brassard, Staal, Turris, Zibanejad, Danault, Dubinsky, Anisimov are not amazing players or something...

So yeah, good luck Bergy...

A ROR, Kesler, Carter, Johansen, Thornton would definitely be nice...

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Old
03-16-2017, 11:08 PM
  #9
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Great research. To me this just proves that the best way to go by getting a top six centre is by tanking and drafting one. Literally half of the top six centres you listed were top ten picks.

Now here is where the problem comes for us Habs fans. We are stuck in no mans land. With a healthy Price their is no way that the team is a bottom ten team.

So let's move on to signing free agents. Well their are very few who actually hit free agency. So I will eliminate this possibility just because of the bidding war that would ensue for one.

Ok so we have to trade for one. Of your list of the thirteen their are a bunch of borderline second line centres. Danault, Anisimov and Dubinsky I would consider third liners. So trading for a legit top six centre does not happen that often. Montreal also lacks the trade chips to get big deals done. Other than last year they have been a playoff team. I mean that is good but the Habs lack blue chip prospects to use as bait. Not including Sergachev. Drafting in the #20's does not tend to get great prospects usually.

So to me their are two ways to get that top six centre. First is just to swing for the fences at the draft. Just pick the players with the best potential. If they have size issues or a bad defensively or have attitude issues then so be it. Players fall in every draft for those reasons. Plus the Habs keep on plugging in depth players for later picks anyways. Fourth line players do not have to be drafted and developed when you can just trade a later round pick for them.

The second option would be to offer sheet players. Yes this is very taboo. But with having their first round picks in this and next years drafts and two seconds in this years and three seconds in next years they could afford to do so. Other than signing Galchenyuk this summer and Sergachev a few years from now the Habs lack potential RFAs who could get an offer sheet.

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Old
03-17-2017, 12:22 AM
  #10
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Interesting research. Maybe the right option is to try to load up on second-rounders, given the relatively cheap price of acquiring them.
yianik, do you have the list of the 15 centres who were drafted in the second round?

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Old
03-17-2017, 12:44 AM
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Belial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherMan View Post
Interesting research. Maybe the right option is to try to load up on second-rounders, given the relatively cheap price of acquiring them.
yianik, do you have the list of the 15 centres who were drafted in the second round?
How exactly do you plan to load up on second rounders?

Since 2003 :

Bergeron
Backes
Dubinsky
Soderberg? more of a third line center
Krejci
Stastny
Anisimov
Stepan
ROR
Jenner
Rask

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Old
03-17-2017, 01:09 AM
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TeacherMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belial View Post
How exactly do you plan to load up on second rounders?

Since 2003 :

Bergeron
Backes
Dubinsky
Soderberg? more of a third line center
Krejci
Stastny
Anisimov
Stepan
ROR
Jenner
Rask
Thanks for the list. Second-rounders are not that expensive. We obtained two for Lars Eller and gave up two for Shaw. These types of players are pretty replaceable on the free-agent market.

Your list and the two trades I mentioned might suggest that second-rounders are actually being undervalued.

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03-17-2017, 01:19 AM
  #13
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Have a good scouting team and don't miss out on players like Kuznetsov (for Tinordi) and Giroux (for Fischer).

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03-17-2017, 03:19 AM
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WhiskeySeven
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You can't draft for one, trade for one, or even sign one.

Everybody knows have to rub the lamp and wait for the Top6Centre tree to grow and pick one off when they're ripe.

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Old
03-17-2017, 03:28 AM
  #15
Kimota
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Our curse: No Having a Top Center for decades.

The Flyers' curse: Not having a Top Goalie for generations.

Next summer, we do a swap.

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03-17-2017, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoplectic Habs Fan View Post
Good research. All the more puzzling of having Galchenyuk on wing for so long
Dats second guessing.............

Seriously though, you have to draft, and develop at this position, and we have not done this.............

Don't think it's a secret you need to be good down the middle. Draft them, or stockpile picks and prospects, and then trade for one.............to allow the team to go five years without addressing it outside of saying trades are hard, seems out to lunch.

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03-17-2017, 06:39 AM
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Well Shipachev is available and won't cost assets. They need to get him this summer.

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03-17-2017, 07:30 AM
  #18
HabsGorgeous
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Very well done! It just proves that it's extremely hard to acquire top 2 centers without drafting them or acquiring them with subtraction in a trade. Duchene's name popped out of nowhere this season. Who else is going to be available in the next year?

MB has work to do in the off season. It's not going to be easy and lets hope Shipachev wants to play in Montreal. That's addition without subtraction and ideal!

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03-17-2017, 07:36 AM
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DDs not undersized
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belial View Post
How exactly do you plan to load up on second rounders?

Since 2003 :

Bergeron
Backes
Dubinsky
Soderberg? more of a third line center
Krejci
Stastny
Anisimov
Stepan
ROR
Jenner
Rask
I don't think Dubinsky and Jenner are Columbus top 2 centers. Good research otherwise.

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Old
03-17-2017, 07:56 AM
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yianik
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Originally Posted by DDs not undersized View Post
I don't think Dubinsky and Jenner are Columbus top 2 centers. Good research otherwise.
The centers for Columbus were Dubinsky and Wennberg. Dubinsky's ice time is higher than Gagner's ( by 4 minutes a game ),even though Gagner has more points. Again, I just used the site's top 2.

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Old
03-17-2017, 08:00 AM
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Rick74
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Luck plays a big part as to how to get one.

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Old
03-17-2017, 08:06 AM
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HabsGorgeous
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Luck plays a big part as to how to get one.
Agreed!

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Old
03-17-2017, 08:25 AM
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yianik
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Originally Posted by Rick74 View Post
Luck plays a big part as to how to get one.
Largely yes, but some no. Draftees are all statistical chances of being an NHLer and lesser odds of being top 6. Simply put, for a good team to land a top 6 center it needs to stack the odds as much in it's favour to land such a guy.

From the research I did it looks pretty impossible to draft a top 6 center outside of the 2nd round. So if you want such a player in the pipeline you need to use those firsts and 2nds routinely on centers to increase the chances of drafting one. And then have luck. The fewer top picks you use on centers, the more luck you need.

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03-17-2017, 08:42 AM
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Luck? Could have just drafted a highly-skilled Franco-Ontarian dominating the Q rather than a beanpole defenceman playing well for a Minnesotan High School in 2006.

I mean FFS Giroux had 103 points that year, 22 more than 2nd place on his team (a 19 year old Krejci). Just an idiotic blunder.

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03-17-2017, 08:47 AM
  #25
HabsGorgeous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
Luck? Could have just drafted a highly-skilled Franco-Ontarian dominating the Q rather than a beanpole defenceman playing well for a Minnesotan High School in 2006.

I mean FFS Giroux had 103 points that year, 22 more than 2nd place on his team (a 19 year old Krejci). Just an idiotic blunder.
Would you say the Flyers got lucky with acquiring a guy like Giroux at the 22nd pick? Classic hindsight evaluation. There are lots of guys drafted in later 1st round, 2nd and 3rd where they ended being superstars.

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