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09-20-2010, 01:29 PM
  #1
Peter Puck
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Habs 1st round drafting since 2000

Many people have said that the Habs have done a bad job in the first round of the draft over the past 10 years. I decided to analyze the record to see if this is true. I have gone back to 2000 since this is a nice round number and also since the Habs didn't have a first round pick in 1999 (since they traded it for Trevor Linden). Finally, everyone agrees the Habs picks in the 1990's were horrible.

Of course, some people point to players the Habs skipped over and who blossomed into stars. There is little point in using this as a yardstick to measure the Habs drafting. From this point of view, every team in the league is doing a terrible job by not taking Zetterberg( 7th round 210th), Demitra (9th round 227th), Lundqvist (7th round 205th), Khabibulin (9th round 204th), etc in the first round. So if you want to use this method, the analysis is easy - all teams are incompetent.

I want to see how the Habs first round choices measure up versus other teams without holding anyone to the impossible standard that hindsight provides. I also want to take into account both the quality of each year's draft and the position in the first round that the Habs
picked.

To do this I have examined all the Habs first round picks since 2000. For each pick I consider 5 players: the Habs choice, the two players picked immediately before and the two players picked immediately after.

Here are all the Habs first round picks and the surrounding picks since 2000.

2010
20 PIT Beau Bennett RW USA 6' 1" 173 BCHL Penticton
21 DET Riley Sheahan C CAN 6' 2" 202 CCHA U. of Notre Dame
22 MTL Jarred Tinordi D USA 6' 6" 205 USHL USA U-18
23 BUF Mark Pysyk D CAN 6' 1" 174 WHL Edmonton
24 CHI Kevin Hayes RW USA 6' 2" 201 HIGH-MA

2009
16 MIN Nick Leddy D USA 5' 11" 179 HIGH-MN Eden Prarie
17 STL David Rundblad D SWE 6' 2" 189 SWEDEN Skelleftea
18 MTL Louis Leblanc C CAN 6' 0" 178 USHL Omaha
19 NYR Chris Kreider C USA 6' 2" 217 HIGH-MA Andover
20 NJD Jacob Josefson C SWE 6' 0" 187 SWEDEN Djurgarden

2008 - no pick (Traded for Alex Tanguay)

2007 - Extra pick is 12th overall (along with Josh Gorges) from San Jose for Craig Rivet.
10 FLA Keaton Ellerby D CAN 6' 4" 186 WHL Kamloops
11 CAR Brandon Sutter F USA 6' 3" 183 WHL Red Deer
12 MTL Ryan McDonagh D USA 6' 1" 222 HIGH-MN Cretin-Derham
13 STL Lars Eller F DNK 6' 2" 198 SWE-JR. Frolunda Jr.
14 COL Kevin Shattenkirk D USA 5' 11" 193 USDP USA U-18

20 PIT Angelo Esposito C CAN 6' 1" 180 QMJHL Quebec
21 EDM Riley Nash C CAN 6' 1" 191 BCHL Salmon Arm
22 MTL Max Pacioretty L USA 6' 2" 196 USHL Sioux City
23 NSH Jonathon Blum D USA 6' 1" 178 WHL Vancouver
24 CGY Mikael Backlund C SWE 6' 0" 194 SWEDEN-2


2006
18 COL Chris Stewart R CAN 6' 2" 228 OHL Kingston
19 ANA Mark Mitera D USA 6' 3" 202 CCHA U. of Michigan
20 MTL David Fischer D USA 6' 3" 185 USHSW Apple Valley
21 NYR Bobby Sanguinetti D USA 6' 3" 190 OHL Owen Sound
22 PHI Claude Giroux R CAN 5' 11" 172 QMJHL Gatineau

2005
3 CAR Jack Johnson D USA 6' 0" 218 USA US Nat'l U-18
4 MIN Benoit Pouliot L CAN 6' 3" 199 OHL Sudbury
5 MTL Carey Price G CAN 6' 3" 219 WHL Tri-City
6 CBJ Gilbert Brule C CAN 5' 10" 180 WHL Vancouver
7 CHI Jack Skille R USA 6' 1" 215 USA US Nat'l U-18

2004
16 NYI Petteri Nokelainen F FIN 6' 1" 194 FIN Saipa
17 STL Marek Schwarz G CZE 6' 0" 180 CZE Sparta
18 MTL Kyle Chipchura C CAN 6' 2" 206 WHL Prince Albert
19 NYR Lauri Korpikoski F FIN 6' 1" 196 FIN JR. TPS JR.
20 NJD Travis Zajac C CAN 6' 3" 200 BCHL Salmon Arm


2003
8 ATL Braydon Coburn D CAN 6' 5" 220 WHL Portland
9 CGY Dion Phaneuf D CAN 6' 3" 214 WHL Red Deer
10 MTL Andrei Kostitsyn F BLR 6' 0" 214 RUS HC CSKA
11 PHI Jeff Carter C CAN 6' 3" 200 OHL Sault-Ste-Marie
12 NYR Hugh Jessiman R USA 6' 6" 221 ECAC Dartmouth College


2002
12 WSH Steve Eminger D CAN 6' 2" 210 OHL Kitchener
13 WSH Alexander Semin L RUS 6' 2" 208 RUS D.1 Chelyabinsk
14 MTL Christopher Higgins C USA 6' 0" 205 ECAC Yale University
15 EDM Jesse Niinimaki C FIN 6' 2" 183 FIN Ilves
16 OTT Jakub Klepis C CZE 6' 1" 198 WHL Portland

2001
5 ANA Stanislav Chistov F RUS 5' 10" 193 RUS Omsk
6 MIN Mikko Koivu C FIN 6' 2" 200 FIN TPS
7 MTL Mike Komisarek D USA 6' 4" 243 CCHA U. of Michigan
8 CBJ Pascal Leclaire G CAN 6' 2" 202 QMJHL Halifax
9 CHI Tuomo Ruutu F FIN 6' 0" 205 FIN Jokerit

2000 - Extra pick number 16 was acquired from San Jose along with a 5th rounder in 1999 and a 2nd rounder in 2001 for Vincent Damphousse.
11 CHI Pavel Vorobiev R KAZ 6' 0" 194 Yaroslavl 2
12 ANA Alexei Smirnov L RUS 6' 3" 215 Tver
13 MTL Ron Hainsey D USA 6' 3" 210 U. Mass-Lowell
14 COL Vaclav Nedorost C CZE 6' 1" 190 Budejovice
15 BUF Artem Kriukov C RUS 6' 4" 193 Yaroslavl 2


14 COL Vaclav Nedorost C CZE 6' 1" 190 Budejovice
15 BUF Artem Kriukov C RUS 6' 4" 193 Yaroslavl 2
16 MTL Marcel Hossa C SVK 6' 3" 220 Portland
17 EDM Alexei Mikhnov L UKR 6' 5" 200 Yaroslavl 2
18 PIT Brooks Orpik D USA 6' 2" 219 Boston College

Now you can look over the above choices and decide for yourself whether the Habs did better or worse than average over the past 10 years.

Let's look at how these players developed. Below I give the NHL stats for each of these players. I give a) Number of NHL games played (including playoffs), b) Number of NHL goals scored, c) Number of NHL assists and d) NHL plus/minus. For goaltenders I give a) NHL gmes played (including playoffs), b) Wins, c) Losses, d) Goals against average, and e) Save percentage. In the first column, I have ranked the players in each group from best (1) to worse (5). Here are statistics and my rankings.



2000
3. Vorobiev 57 10 15 -1
4. Smirnov 56 3 3 -1
1. Hainsey 406 31 119 -33
2. Nedorost 99 10 10 -2
5. Kriukov 0
It's clear Hainsey is the class of this group.

3. Nedorost 99 10 10 -2
5. Kriukov 0
2. Hossa 251 33 32 -2
4. Mokhnov 2 0 0 0
1. Orpik 511 8 80 -16
Hossa is solidly in 2nd here.

2001
5. Chistov 217 23 44 -16
1. Koivu 373 84 177 +9
2. Komisarek 424 13 52 +6
4. Leclaire (G) 162 58-71 2.89 .904
3. Ruutu 394 92 119 -37
Koivu is clearly the best here and I think Komisarek is a solid 2nd.


2002
2. Eminger 351 16 70 -44
1. Semin 355 156 168 +35
3. Higgins 371 98 81 -25
5. Niinimaki 0
4. Klepis 66 4 10 -13
No question Semin wins this group. I think Eminger is better than Higgins.

2003
3. Coburn 340 25 83 +19
2. Phaneuf 429 82 168 +5
4. Kostitsyn 280 76 82 +6
1. Carter 422 157 139n +13
5. Jessiman 0
An argument that Koisitsyn is better than Coburn can be made but I'll put Andrei 4th.


2004
4. Nokelainen 210 17 19 -9
5. Schwarz (G) 6 0-2 4.32 .808
3. Chipchura 123 10 16 -19
2. Korpikoski 144 13 16 -23
1. Zajak 354 79 138 +50
Zajak is the class of this group. Korpikoski, Chipchura and Nokelainen are all pretty close to one another.

2005
1. Johnson 206 17 7 -62
4. Pouliot 123 24 20 +3
3. Price (G) 153 65-59 2.78 .910
2. Brule 222 31 41 -38
5. Skille 30 5 3 -5
I think Price should probably be ahead of Brule and even Johnson but to be conservative I've ranked Price third.


2006
2. Stewart 136 42 44 -15
5. Mitera 0
4. Fischer 0
3. Sanguinetti 5 0 0 0
1. Giroux 155 37 63 +8
Fisher was a bust but Montreal will get a compensatory pick for him (#50 in 2011) and this is due in part to the fact that he was chosen from the US colleges and so they had 4 years to reach the conclusion not to sign him this past August. For this reason I rank him above Mitera.

2007
3. Ellerby 22 0 0 -1
1. Sutter 122 22 24 -2
4. McDonagh 0
2. Eller 7 2 0 2
5. Shattenkirk 0
Its pretty hard to decide how to rank Ellerby, McDonagh and Shattenkirk.

5. Esposito 0
3. Nash 0
1. Pacioretty 86 6 19 -8
4. Blum 0
2. Backlund 24 1 9 +5
Some may say Backlund is better than Pacioretty but I think Max is ahead so far.

Of course, you may disagree with my rankings but I think they are reasonable and any changes in the order would be small. If I made any errors, I'm sure people will let me know and I can adjust the rankings. Since I am analyzing the Habs decisions, I was mainly concerned about where the Habs pick ranks within the group of 5 and less concerned with the order among the other 4 players. I did not rank the 2009-2010 picks since I think it is too early to say who is best and who is worst.

The Habs picked the best of the 5 twice and the second best twice. They picked both the third best and fourth best player three times. I don't feel they picked the worst player in any of the 10 groups. These means they averaged the 2.8 th best out of the 5 when all ten first round choices are considered. This means that the Canadiens have been better than average (which would be 3) in making their first round picks since 2000.

Peter Puck


Last edited by Peter Puck: 09-20-2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old
09-20-2010, 01:39 PM
  #2
nyhabsfan
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Really...Again!

You could have spared yourself a lot of time by simply searching the Habs board on this thread...there are WAY too many of them already!

Yes we made some mistake...
No we aren't the worst....
Yes Hindsight is 20/20

Can we please move forward now?

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09-20-2010, 02:41 PM
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Peter Puck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyhabsfan View Post
You could have spared yourself a lot of time by simply searching the Habs board on this thread...there are WAY too many of them already!

Yes we made some mistake...
No we aren't the worst....
Yes Hindsight is 20/20

Can we please move forward now?
No what we have is lots of threads with people arguing about our draft picks with very little intelligent discussion. Mostly people saying we could have had Carter or Giroux and other people saying that it's easy to say that in hindsight. I wanted to look at what we did and how it compares to other team's draft record.

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09-20-2010, 02:48 PM
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ChoseLa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyhabsfan View Post
You could have spared yourself a lot of time by simply searching the Habs board on this thread...there are WAY too many of them already!

Yes we made some mistake...
No we aren't the worst....
Yes Hindsight is 20/20

Can we please move forward now?
The thread will end up an in an hellish huit clos, but his take is interesting.

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09-20-2010, 03:55 PM
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MrNasty
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I think this a very logical way of looking at things. Thanks PP

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09-20-2010, 04:10 PM
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Bullsmith
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Thanks for doing the work to post that, I appreciated it. Obviously we wish we'd picked Carter or Giroux, but overall that's quite informative about our first rounders in terms of exactly who else was being taken at the time.

So far Mr. Timmons has been at worst mediocre in the first round (better than that in the French sense of the word) and at best above-average. I think he's really shone in two key areas: 1) Producing a steady stream of NHL-calibre players. There are a lot of his draft picks playing around the league. 2) Finding impact players outside the first round. Subban and Halak are two names that spring to mind.

The Habs have spend two decades now being middling-to-bad but not quite awful, so they have a total of one top five pick to show for it. Nor have they ever stockpiled picks to any great degree. In that context the drafting is overall very good.

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09-20-2010, 05:43 PM
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I think the only way to truly gauge 1st round drafting since 2000 would be to compile a list of all 30 team's First Round Choices and see how many have panned out, then average out each team's success and rank them. If anyone wants to do THAT, I'd be interested. I suppose you'd have to factor in draft position as well which would be really hard......I suppose you can average the team's first choice's draft position by adding them up and dividing by 10, and somehow work that into the ranking when listing which teams have had more success.


I actually want someone to do that now!! It's something I would've done a year ago myself, for sure....but now I do 12 to 13 hour days and there's no way I'm spending my spare time on stuff like that anymore lol

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09-20-2010, 06:12 PM
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It's 2003 and 2006 that's a tremendous shame (2003 especially).

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09-20-2010, 06:47 PM
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Anybody remember if the Habs really pursued to trade up and draft Mikko Koivu?

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09-20-2010, 07:14 PM
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2001

23 Ottawa - Tim Gleason D
24 Florida - Lukas Krajicek D
25 Montreal - Alexander Perezhogin
26 Dallas Jason - Bacashihua G
27 Philadelphia - Jeff Woywitka D

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09-20-2010, 08:28 PM
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Whitesnake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Puck View Post
Here are all the Habs first round picks and the surrounding picks since 2000.
Good try. I don't see how that's totally relevant though. We can't blame Timmins for somebody picked ahead of our rank. Neither should we stop at 2 after to determine how great a pick was. I mean Habs 2003 pick ends up 4th thanks to Jessiman...you would have gone 1 more he would have lost 1 rank because of Brown or another one with Seabrook....etc.

One way to look at it would be to use a 5-year timeframe, understand that you win some, lose some, see who picked after you in general and see if you would trade their 1st rounders for yours. 'Cause that's what we're talking about right? 1st rounders. No need for other to come and talk about Halak, Lats, Streit, Grabs, ,cause the topic is NOT about the rest of the draft but only the 1st round.

Example: Anaheim. Though Ryan was picked #2, we had a #5 pick in Price. But it's comparable if you see that they picked way after us in 2003 etc....So would you take Getzlaf-Perry-Smid-Ryan-Mitera-McMillan or Kostitsyn, Chipchura, Price, Fischer, McDonagh and Pacioretty. See, nobody denies that there are failure everywhere. McMillan is truly one Fischer style. And while I still believe in him, Mitera might fit the profile. And Smid never fulfilled his potential.....they still were able to build an incredible core of Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan in 5 years, a core you were able to keep for a long time thanks for getting them in the draft.

So yes, Anaheim sucked maybe in 3 of those 5 years....it still doesn't matter because of who they get when they didn't suck.

Jersey: How about Parise-Zajac-Bergfors-Corrente-Hoeffel? And you can continue this exercice with some other teams, tough to do it with the ones that struggleld more since they always ended up with better picks. Tough to do it with Detroit and maybe some others 'cause some didn't have all their 1st rounders.

But the idea is the possible to acquire, from time to time, and understanding that you can always win, some game changing players. Players that will have the greatest trait you are looking in a prospect.....great and cheap. That's what the salary cap is all about. You win if you can pick great and cheap. Yes, you win big if you ended up losing big at one point....Pens, Hawks.....But there's still ways to be competitive without having to lose 5 years in a row.

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09-20-2010, 08:46 PM
  #12
Peter Puck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLHabsFan View Post
2001

23 Ottawa - Tim Gleason D
24 Florida - Lukas Krajicek D
25 Montreal - Alexander Perezhogin
26 Dallas Jason - Bacashihua G
27 Philadelphia - Jeff Woywitka D

Thanks NHLHabsFan. I missed this pick. Here is the data

1. Gleason 411 13 76 -3
2. Krajicek 364 11 66 -32
3. Perezhogin 134 16 20 18
5. Bacashihua (G) 38 7-17 3.17 .897
4. Woywitka 192 6 32 -5

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09-20-2010, 09:07 PM
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Peter Puck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Good try. I don't see how that's totally relevant though. We can't blame Timmins for somebody picked ahead of our rank. Neither should we stop at 2 after to determine how great a pick was. I mean Habs 2003 pick ends up 4th thanks to Jessiman...you would have gone 1 more he would have lost 1 rank because of Brown or another one with Seabrook....etc.
My goal is to compare the Habs first round drafting with other teams since many people have claimed we are much worse than the average.
Thus I have compared what we did with what a cross-section of the league did when faced with very similar decisions.

I don't "blame" Timmons that we didn't get Semin but the fact that Washington thought he was worth picking is relevant to a comparison of their drafting versus ours. Similarly you can't just dismiss NYR decision to take Jessiman any more than you can dismiss Timmons picking Fisher. Both were bad decisions (in hindsight) and both reflect on the relative merits of the two teams choices.

Also pointing out Brown and Seabrook isn't really helpful unless you are willing to consider 2 more picks for each of our 11. For instance adding two more picks after Komisarek would have made that pick look even better since the next two were Dan Blackburn and Frederick Sjostrom.

In addition, the more we stretch the envelope around each pick the less the envelope represents the decision the Habs had. That said, going to groups of 7 or 9 might be useful. It is more work though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake
One way to look at it would be to use a 5-year timeframe, understand that you win some, lose some, see who picked after you in general and see if you would trade their 1st rounders for yours. 'Cause that's what we're talking about right? 1st rounders. No need for other to come and talk about Halak, Lats, Streit, Grabs, ,cause the topic is NOT about the rest of the draft but only the 1st round.

Example: Anaheim. Though Ryan was picked #2, we had a #5 pick in Price. But it's comparable if you see that they picked way after us in 2003 etc....So would you take Getzlaf-Perry-Smid-Ryan-Mitera-McMillan or Kostitsyn, Chipchura, Price, Fischer, McDonagh and Pacioretty. See, nobody denies that there are failure everywhere. McMillan is truly one Fischer style. And while I still believe in him, Mitera might fit the profile. And Smid never fulfilled his potential.....they still were able to build an incredible core of Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan in 5 years, a core you were able to keep for a long time thanks for getting them in the draft.

So yes, Anaheim sucked maybe in 3 of those 5 years....it still doesn't matter because of who they get when they didn't suck.

Jersey: How about Parise-Zajac-Bergfors-Corrente-Hoeffel? And you can continue this exercice with some other teams, tough to do it with the ones that struggleld more since they always ended up with better picks. Tough to do it with Detroit and maybe some others 'cause some didn't have all their 1st rounders.

But the idea is the possible to acquire, from time to time, and understanding that you can always win, some game changing players. Players that will have the greatest trait you are looking in a prospect.....great and cheap. That's what the salary cap is all about. You win if you can pick great and cheap. Yes, you win big if you ended up losing big at one point....Pens, Hawks.....But there's still ways to be competitive without having to lose 5 years in a row.
Your comments here are relevant but picking out a just few teams and comparing their success with ours doesn't really answer the question of how we are doing as compared to the rest of the league. Yes it does show that Anaheim had more success than us in a short window. Dows that mean we are doing a bad job? As you say, when you use this method you immediately run into problems trying to deal with the differing number and positions of each teams first round picks. You also have to consider the change in the depth of the draft each year.

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09-20-2010, 09:24 PM
  #14
Pierre Dagenais
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you choose Brule over Price?

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09-20-2010, 09:30 PM
  #15
Peter Puck
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Originally Posted by Pierre Dagenais View Post
you choose Brule over Price?
Yeah. I really would put Price as number 1 in his group but I was trying to keep my homerism out. I guess I overdid it with Brule ahead of Price.

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