Detroit is famed for building through the draft.
Yet since Holland took over for the Wings in 1997 they have drafted 6 times in the 1st Round.
Jiri Fischer 1998, Niklas Kronwall 2000, Jakub Kindl 2005, Brendan Smith 2007, Thomas McCollum 2008, Riley Sheahan 2010 - Interestingly they are all still with the Red Wings organization. Either in Grand Rapids or Detroit or in the head office for Fischer.
So what did they do with the other picks.
1997 - For Brendan Shanhan & Brian Glynn (Nikos Tselios)
2001 - For Chris Chelios (Adam Munro)
2002 - For Dominic Hasek (Jim Slater)
Note: The pick wasn't the only thing to pass hands in many of these deals.
In the years from 1997 to 2007 - I didn't do 2007 to 2012 as they are heavily tilted to the Oilers with the 1st overall picks, and the Oilers youth movement.
Detroit draft 90 players who played 6354 Games averaging 70.6 games per draft pick, 17 of which played more than 100 games. The Oilers draft 106 players who played 8196 Games averaging 77.3 games per draft pick 22 of which played more than 100 games. For those keeping score that is in the Oilers favour.
The Wings players have done 1164 Goals & 1966 Assists.
The Oilers players have done 1176 Goals & 1983 Assists.
So Wings have had more productive players, however, most of those points have come from Datsyuk (6th Round 1998) & Zetterburg (7th Round 1999) – 1342 Points (42%), by contrast Oilers top 2 are Shawn Horcoff (4th Round 1998) & Ales Hemsky (1st Round 2001) – 866 Points (27%)
Take out these two outliers for both teams, and Oilers average 22 Points per pick that made it, and Red Wings 20 Points per pick that made it.
The Oilers and the Wings draft records are remarkable similar with the Oilers taking the slight percentage edge in # of games and aside from 2 homeruns in the late 90’s points per game.
So in conclusion, the Detroit style is trade picks for players that will help you now having 16 less picks in the same time period. I think this is a good strategy, if you knew that 20% of picks are going to be players (100 games plus) then trading a 20% shot at a player for an actual player makes loads of sense.
The alternative strategy could be to stock up picks so you have a better chance in the lottery that is the draft.
Better at the Draft: Oilers
Better at getting value from their Draft Picks: Red Wings