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What Sells a Draft Preview?

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Old
06-02-2004, 10:28 PM
  #1
Guy Flaming
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What Sells a Draft Preview?

Just out of curiousity... what things in a draft preview convince you to buy it, whether it's online or at a newstand?

What types of things are missing from your version of the perfect draft preview?

Is it all rankings and brief scouting reports? Would you like to see more info on later round players, maybe guys who don't get all the attention of the top 100? How about info on what exactly a scout looks for when he's watching players? What kinds of things make a prospect good or bad, (is it all size-scoring-and skating?).

What else?

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06-02-2004, 11:15 PM
  #2
Lowetide
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I like the HN format, top 60 profiled, top 100 listed, complete CSB listed, plus an overview of each team.

What would make me buy something aside from HN Draft Preview? Well, I'd love to see an article following a specific team during the process of putting their list together (Baseball America did this years ago with St. Louis, it was brilliant), with the scouts expressing their views and coming to a decision.

I also like specific statements, like "slow first step, but he has good foot speed" instead of "needs to work on his skating". I also like to know what he projects to be, a two way fwd or skill guy, that kind of thing.

I hate when themes run through the profiles, like the HN draft issue a few years back where everyone was an idiot, or this year when Finns apparently are ready to take over the world with their work ethic. A lot of that is just laziness (should be picked up by the guy editing the writer) but hockey writing lags painfully behind baseball, and that's one of the reasons.

I really like stuff straight from the organization, and would suggest there's a terrific market for a July REVIEW in which the scouts and scouting directors are de-breifed about how it all went.

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Old
06-03-2004, 12:03 AM
  #3
Behind Enemy Lines
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Hi Guy. I have to say THN has been my model for a Draft Preview. They are the forerunner in this area and have continued to refine their presentation over the years. The result is a solid publication which is affordable, accessible, and a great read. I'm curious about test driving Red Line Report but must say I don't like the fact (I hear it is) it is berift of photographs and features. Presentation is another strength of THN. As are the features which humanize these kids and their stories of seeking this lifetime goal.

I would however like to see a Draft Preview Roundtable feature which might include coaches, scouts, management, and possibly even professional journalists to hash out their impressions of quality of draft years, top-prospects, team needs, and prognostications of who goes where and why.

Here are some other criteria which I value...

Reputation - known quantity, established source, and respected within industry and fans base.

Credibility - qualified, expert sources. Aka professionals who are paid for their evalation of hockey prospects versus fan opinions.

Analysis and Opinion - diverse and numerous opinions about a player including strengths, weaknesses, projection.

Darkhorses - Which players project as potential big surprises and why. We're all quite familar with the top prospects, but additional listings of player who could surprise shows thoroughness and some risktaking (in commenting).

The biggest gap I find in the whole NHL Draft Publication market is a quality
post-draft publication. This is an area which I feel has really, really slipped for The Hockey News. Where once they had a much more substantial review of NHL drafts and team selections, it is now only a cursory look.

Imo a Post-Draft Review which meets my requirements listed above would be worth its weight in gold. By way of example, I look at the NHL Football News post-draft issues and enjoy their comprehensive analysis of team drafting and decisions. They are not afraid to take a stand in evaluating team's success or failure. For me, the Hockey News fails big time in this regard and suffers because of it.


Last edited by Behind Enemy Lines: 06-03-2004 at 12:11 AM.
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Old
06-03-2004, 06:24 AM
  #4
Meanashell11
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I think it is easier in football to analyze whether a team improved, or did a good job as a lot of those players are immediately on the team. In hockey we are talking 2-3 yrs down the road if we are lucky unless its the top 5 picks. I would prefer to see some analysis on how well the teams develope their picks with a review going back 3 yrs for each team and following these players through the system.

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06-03-2004, 03:48 PM
  #5
hockeyaddict101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanashell11
I think it is easier in football to analyze whether a team improved, or did a good job as a lot of those players are immediately on the team. In hockey we are talking 2-3 yrs down the road if we are lucky unless its the top 5 picks. I would prefer to see some analysis on how well the teams develope their picks with a review going back 3 yrs for each team and following these players through the system.
Agreed. I think it would be good to do a draft evaluator every year that charts teams draft selections based on a five year period.

You could evaluate each player in Games playes, trades made on draft day and the success and failure. You could grade the teams draft success for that year based on games played, points, plus/minus and many other stats. It would be rather ambitious and you would have to obviously use difference criteria for goaltenders but I think if it was done right you would have a big seller.

Something similar to what Guy did in the article about the Oilers draft of 99 but on a more grand scale.

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06-03-2004, 04:34 PM
  #6
Hemsky4PM
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THN is good.

One thing I'd like to see in a preview is the actual picks that my team has, at least in the first 4 rounds. I know we lost our 2nd in the Nedved deal...but what else do we have. I realise this is difficult (if not impossible) because compensatory picks come into play, but just a little blurb about what picks the teams have would be a little interesting.

For instance, it would be entertaining to see the Bruins, Wings, and Leafs with little or nothing in the early rounds.

Another interesting addition would be the all time steals and some information from the clubs that drafted them. For instance, Marek Svatos was a steal for the Avs in the last round in 2001 I believe. How did they know? Was it a fluke? Watching Svatos in the WHL in 2002 and 2003 it was hard to grasp how he could fall all the way to the last round.

Also...why the emphasis on size all the time? Some of the greatest picks ever have been undersized players. Comrie, Hudler, Grigorenko, Briere (a late 1st rounder), Fleury (166th in 1987, even though he had terrific numbers with MJ that year), never get respect.

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Old
06-03-2004, 09:05 PM
  #7
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Guy:

THN does a nice job with what it does, but IMO it doesn't go far enough.

While I respect that fact that the NHL is the predominant topic of discussion (in some rare cases the ONLY topic of discussion), I'd like to see more in-depth coverage on the leagues where these players are drafted out of, whether it's the NCAA, CHL or Europe. Yes, they cover the major events in these leagues such as the WJC, Frozen Four and Memorial Cup and yes, they cover the so-called "top prospects", but the draft is soooooo much more than that.

I mentioned (I believe it was on the Prospects Board) that THN makes almost no mention whatsoever about the developmental leagues (i.e. USHL and BCHL), regardless of the amount of talent and talent level coming out of those leagues coming into eligibility for the NHL Draft of that particular given year....not as long as I've been a subscriber anyway. Many who follow the draft want to know about these kids, and not just who won the scoring title either. There is elevated interest in these kids when they're drafted. While some will end up in the NCAA (for example), some will continue to play in these developmental leagues for a year or so before moving to the next level. It would be nice to get even a periodic update on these kids, namely those who have already been drafted.

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Old
06-03-2004, 09:13 PM
  #8
Seachd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky4PM
THN is good.

One thing I'd like to see in a preview is the actual picks that my team has, at least in the first 4 rounds. I know we lost our 2nd in the Nedved deal...but what else do we have. I realise this is difficult (if not impossible) because compensatory picks come into play, but just a little blurb about what picks the teams have would be a little interesting.
Check here:

http://www.freewebs.com/eggmanandwalrus/draft_picks.txt

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Old
06-04-2004, 12:26 AM
  #9
Behind Enemy Lines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanashell11
I think it is easier in football to analyze whether a team improved, or did a good job as a lot of those players are immediately on the team. In hockey we are talking 2-3 yrs down the road if we are lucky unless its the top 5 picks. I would prefer to see some analysis on how well the teams develope their picks with a review going back 3 yrs for each team and following these players through the system.
It likely is indeed easier to analyze NFL picks as the players are generally older when drafted. My point however is for hockey analysis to be more risque, have some people actually express opinion about the perceived merits or gaffes of teams. It would be much, much more interesting. Go out on a ledge abit with one's impressions and two or three years later, guage the opinions when we all know the result. Hockey is soooooooooooooo safe.

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Old
06-04-2004, 12:40 AM
  #10
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behind Enemy Lines
It likely is indeed easier to analyze NFL picks as the players are generally older when drafted. My point however is for hockey analysis to be more risque, have some people actually express opinion about the perceived merits or gaffes of teams. It would be much, much more interesting. Go out on a ledge abit with one's impressions and two or three years later, guage the opinions when we all know the result. Hockey is soooooooooooooo safe.

Now this is a very important point you make. I was listening to Johnny Miller on Rome today, and he was talking about what he tries to do when doing color on a golf broadcast. One of the first things he said was "I try to say something that's surprising, something no one else would say."

It LEPT out at me, because it's so true. What we love about good commentators and writers is that they are indeed willing make statements that are informative AND go against the prevailing wisdom while still being defendable.

It's nice to have a list of who they think will go 1-100, but it would also be nice to have a list of guys who will likely be overlooked.

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