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What is a Draft Pick worth?




With the trade deadline coming around, and draft picks likely to be exchanging hands, what exactly is a pick worth in numbers? These are for 1997-2007 I have used the same charts I used for the other analysis.

(Redrafts have been counted because I didn't want to remove them, agree or not, I still think this is a useful guide)

I have done this round by round, then I have broken down the first round into 5's.

80 More is players that are about 80 games in the NHL, 160 More is over 160 games in the NHL and finally 400 More is over 400 games in the NHL.

WESTERN CONFERENCE - 1997 - 2007

Picks GP GP/Pick PTS PPG 80 More 160 More % Over 80 % Over 160 400 More % Over 400
1st 159 47551 299.06 23047 0.48 108 96 67.92% 60.38% 49 30.82%
2nd 187 23963 128.14 7911 0.33 72 52 38.50% 27.81% 25 13.37%
3rd 165 12081 73.22 3349 0.28 37 30 22.42% 18.18% 9 5.45%
4th 169 8417 49.80 2794 0.33 24 18 14.20% 10.65% 6 3.55%
5th 188 8860 47.13 2971 0.34 31 16 16.49% 8.51% 7 3.72%
6th 159 6718 42.25 2661 0.40 18 13 11.32% 8.18% 5 3.14%
7th 166 8239 49.63 3984 0.48 20 16 12.05% 9.64% 9 5.42%
8th 113 4380 38.76 1029 0.23 14 13 12.39% 11.50% 4 3.54%
9th 118 4352 36.88 1209 0.28 14 10 11.86% 8.47% 1 0.85%
Top 5 22 12329 560.41 4517 0.37 21 21 95.45% 95.45% 13 59.09%
5 to 10 30 9777 325.90 2893 0.30 24 24 80.00% 80.00% 10 33.33%
10 to 15 30 7442 248.07 2434 0.33 17 13 56.67% 43.33% 9 30.00%
15 to 20 29 7715 266.03 1914 0.25 19 14 65.52% 48.28% 9 31.03%
20 to 25 24 6888 287.00 1687 0.24 17 15 70.83% 62.50% 6 25.00%
25 to 30 27 3996 148.00 965 0.24 11 10 40.74% 37.04% 3 11.11%

The reality is 1st & 2nd Round picks are significantly more likely to become seasoned NHLers than 3rd and on. Also note there are some players that can still move on this list, for instance Thomas Hickey is the only top 5 not to crack 80 yet, and he has a reasonable chance to do so in 2014. Keep in mind for 2007 picks we are currently in Draft +6, so if they haven't made it yet they are truly long term projects.

So giving up a 3rd or 4th Round pick for anything is definitely worth it, and never a bad move. Viva Mike Brown!

(By never a bad move, I am not talking about other consequences such as the 50 man limit, simply what a 4th is worth.)

As a comparison this is from 1987-1997, the same chart for the entire league. Keep in mind there are more jobs now and less draft picks. The same analysis tells us over a longer period of time (most of these players have played out their NHL careers).

More or less you need 3 - 3rd Round Picks to get a guy that lasts 1 season or more, and 7 - 3rd Round Picks to get an actual player. What the two charts show us is a 3rd Round pick hits the NHL sooner, but has relatively the same success rates.

ENTIRE NHL - 1987 to 1997 (Many of these picks were made in Pre-Expansion, so nearly every 3rd would be picked in the 2nd Round in modern NHL. But would have benefited by coming into their prime when the league was expanding.)

Picks GP GP/Pick Pts PPG 80 % of 80 160 % of 160 400 % of 400 1000 % of 1000
1st 260 141657 544.83 70706 0.50 192 73.85% 171 65.77% 143 55.00% 58 22.31%
2nd 261 64935 248.79 23883 0.37 119 45.59% 95 36.40% 70 26.82% 12 4.60%
3rd 263 43081 163.81 15514 0.36 90 34.22% 69 26.24% 41 15.59% 7 2.66%
4th 262 40347 154.00 17979 0.45 75 28.63% 60 22.90% 42 16.03% 8 3.05%
5th 263 24540 93.31 8259 0.34 50 19.01% 42 15.97% 25 9.51% 3 1.14%
6th 262 28584 109.10 10847 0.38 59 22.52% 50 19.08% 29 11.07% 4 1.53%
7th 264 19734 74.75 6817 0.35 39 14.77% 35 13.26% 20 7.58% 3 1.14%
8th 261 17665 67.68 7025 0.40 29 11.11% 26 9.96% 21 8.05% 3 1.15%
9th 263 16510 62.78 4912 0.30 37 14.07% 28 10.65% 15 5.70% 2 0.76%
10th 182 11055 60.74 4519 0.41 22 12.09% 16 8.79% 12 6.59% 3 1.65%
11th 180 5863 32.57 1742 0.30 16 8.89% 14 7.78% 5 2.78% 0 0.00%
12th 106 2377 22.42 894 0.38 5 4.72% 3 2.83% 2 1.89% 0 0.00%
Top 5 55 48701 885.47 17531 0.36 52 94.55% 51 92.73% 49 89.09% 24 43.64%
5 to 10 55 33459 608.35 9860 0.29 46 83.64% 41 74.55% 34 61.82% 13 23.64%
10 to 15 55 27546 500.84 7865 0.29 38 69.09% 34 61.82% 29 52.73% 11 20.00%
15 to 20 55 19650 357.27 4806 0.24 36 65.45% 28 50.91% 18 32.73% 7 12.73%
20 to 25 55 19910 362.00 5321 0.27 32 58.18% 28 50.91% 21 38.18% 5 9.09%
25 to 30 55 14768 268.51 2972 0.20 30 54.55% 24 43.64% 15 27.27% 3 5.45%
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