As we approach the 2012 draft day I thought it would be nice to reflect on past drafts. There is a common sentiment in all sports that you can’t "call" a draft until 5 years after the fact. According to this concept, we can now put the 2007 draft in the books. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with this in hockey given the 18 year old draft age, but what the hell. Let’s give it a try. On topic for Oiler fans, this is the Sam Gagner draft. It's also the year that the Oilers had 3 first round picks.
I’m going to shamelessly steal ideas from this great post done by The Falconer on the now defunct blog Bird Watchers Anonymous. I strongly suggest you read his post before you continue with this one to see what I am building on.
The first thing we need to do is establish a common measuring stick for all players. The best out there that I know of is Tom Awads GVT. It is admittedly a flawed stat, but that is a topic for another time. ( I would like to thank Tom for making this information available to the public.)
First lets take a look at this draft from a high level simply in terms of games played.
Some bullet points about things that immediately catch my eye.
- There were 211 players drafted in 2007. Only 82 (39%) have ever played a game in the NHL.
- Of these 82, only 25 are defenceman.
- 12 first rounders and 24 second rounders have yet to play half a season (41 games) in the show.
- 20 goalies selected. Only 2 have appeared in an NHL game. Allen York who was pressed into desperation service in Columbus last year and Timo Pielmeier who played 2 periods of NHL hockey and got lit up for 5 goals. Not a great draft year for goalies.
- The one game Milan Kytnar played in the NHL will look great when he shows off his HockeyDB to his grandchildren.
With a little excel magic I simply gave each player taken in the 2007 draft a career GVT number. The player with the highest GVT is the player who has been the most valuable since his draft day. This is why you see Sam Gagner, who started in the league at 18, having a larger number than PK Subban, who spent two years in junior and a year in the AHL before joining getting a full time roster spot.
First let’s take a look at how the players shake out by career GVT.
- As expected, the first overall pick Patrick Kane is killing this. He is clearly been the best player in this draft up to this point, as he should be.
- Jamie Benn. What a great pick by the Stars! Pretty rare you see a 5th rounder at the top of the list in a redraft
- This is not news to anyone, but defenceman take longer to develop. Only 2 of the top 10 in career GVT are defenceman. Shattenkirk at 7 and Subban at 10.
- Gagner shows really well here at 5. This is largely due to him playing in the NHL right away. I don't know that even the most ardent Sammy fans would make the argument that he is a more valuable player than some of the defencemen lower than him on this list. However, he shouldn't be punished for being able to compete against the best in the world at 18 either.
Lets take a look at this by team and see how they perform
|St. Louis Total||44.7|
|San Jose Total||39.40|
|Los Angeles Total||35.7|
|New Jersey Total||12.6|
|NY Rangers Total||9.6|
|Tampa Bay Total||1.7|
|NY Islanders Total||0|
- Chicago out ahead on this due to the Kane pick
- Montreal just killed this draft in my opinion. This is a stellar job by the scouting department. Trading McDonagh for Gomez and a guy named Busto, not so much.
Round Num. Team Player Pos GP Total GVT 1 12 Montreal Ryan McDonagh D 122 18.70 1 22 Montreal Max Pacioretty L 202 14.40 2 43 Montreal P.K. Subban D 160 18.80 3 73 Montreal Yannick Weber D 109 4.40
- Edmonton had 3 picks in the first round. Hard to fault them on the Gagner pick, but Nash and Plante are looking pretty bad. I think it was Lowetide who said that this draft most likely cost Kevin Predergast his job.
- LA's draft board is interesting. They blew the lottery pick with Hickey, but the rest of their draft looks really nice.
Round Num. Team Player GP Total GVT 1 4 Los Angeles Thomas Hickey N/A 2 61 Los Angeles Wayne Simmonds 322 25.60 4 95 Los Angeles Alec Martinez 115 7.80 4 109 Los Angeles Dwight King 33 1.40 2 52 Los Angeles Oscar Moller 87 0.9
- Only 13 teams came away from this draft with a player who has a career GVT of 10 or higher.
This exercise really got me thinking about how hit and miss draft picks are. There is some debate going around right now about trading Gagner for a top 10 pick. The risk that you have to factor in when considering the value of a draft pick is really underrated in my opinion. Was 2007 a particularly bad year? I don't know, but I will do some more excel work and get back to you.