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Calculating the Value of the Dustin Penner Picks

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A post the other day over at Copper Blue Dreams got me thinking again about the Dustin Penner RFA signing. What was the value of the three draft picks given up to sign him? The blogosphere has always been divided over the Penner signing, and I personally have been extremely ambivalent (although I’m very critical of the Vanek signing). In order to help clarify the exact value of these picks in my mind, I’ve gone through the 2001-2004 NHL Entry Drafts (note: 2001 was K-Lowe’s first year with his people in charge, and anything more recent than 2004 is still to recent to adequately determine players drafted) to calculate what kind of players the Oilers might have gotten with these picks. To keep things simple, I’ve also kept the value of the pick at 12th overall, rather than raising it to reflect the drop in performance that not having Penner for 82 games would have made. I have also adjusted for compensatory picks, which is why the 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks aren’t always exactly 30 picks apart (I just kept using the position of the team that picked 12th overall)

2001 NHL Entry Draft: 12th overall – Dan Hamhuis, 42nd overall - Thomas Slovak, 75th overall – Denis Platonov

2002 NHL Entry Draft: 12th overall – Steve Eminger, 42nd overall – Marius Holtet, 77th overall - Patrick Wellar

2003 NHL Entry Draft: 12th overall – Hugh Jessiman, 43rd overall – Josh Hennessy, 75th overall – Kenny Roche

2004 NHL Entry Draft: 12th overall – A.J. Thelen, 42nd overall – Roman Voloshenko, 78th overall – Peter Olvecky

Let’s try it again, using the methodology that Copper Blue Dreams does, docking points for Penner’s 4 game winning goals (averaging it out to the 8th overall pick). Here’s what we get:

2001 NHL Entry Draft: 8th overall – Pascal Leclaire, 38th – Tim Jackman, 72nd – Brandon Nolan

2002 NHL Entry Draft: 8th overall – Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 38th – Josh Harding, 72nd – Mike Erickson

2003 NHL Entry Draft: 8th overall – Braydon Coburn, 38th – Kamil Kreps, 77th – Tyler Redenbach

2004 NHL Entry Draft: 8th overall – Alexandre Picard, 38th – Justin Peters, 73rd – Zdenek Bahensky

Okay, I think I’m sold now. Obviously, there are better, more indepth ways to do this breakdown, but from this data I’m fairly satisfied that signing Penner was a good decision hockey-wise.