June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces a trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the eighth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

NHL Draft Pick Value Chart


The entry draft is one of my favorite events on the NHL calendar each year.  On draft day no matter how your favorite team ended the previous season, everyone has hope.  The hope lies in the crop of 18 year old prospects that could possibly turn into the league’s next superstar.

It fascinates me how difficult it is to correctly predict which 18 year old players have the best chance at making it in the NHL.  I have made a couple of attempts trying to determine the value of a specific draft pick with the goal of developing an NHL draft pick value chart, similar to what is used in the NFL.  My first attempt can be found HERE.  Although I think the approach I took is solid, I only analyzed five years of draft data to come up with the results and in my opinion this was not a large enough sample size to draw conclusions on individual draft pick values.

Continuing based on that first analysis; I developed a First Round Draft Value Chart.  The first round chart is much more comprehensive and gives a better idea of value for each pick.  Where I think it lacks is in distinguishing between a player like Marty Reasoner who has played nearly 800 games in the NHL versus someone like Marcel Hossa who only played two full seasons in the league, but still managed to play over 200 NHL games.

Expanding on the approach I used in those two attempts I have developed what  I think is a very comprehensive look at the value of NHL draft picks.  Based on 20 full NHL drafts from 1986-2005, I evaluated each player, over 4,000 draft picks, and assigned a rating based on the following criteria:

 

Rating Criteria

100

Star, Top 3F, Top 2D, Elite Starting Goalie

75

Good Player, Top 6F, Top 4D, Starting Goalie Multiple Years

50

Good Role Player, 500+ Games in NHL for F and D, Goalie > 300 starts

25

Role Player, 200-499 Games in NHL for F and D, Goalie 100-299 starts

10

Depth Player, 51-199 Games in NHL for F and D, Goalie 50 – 100 starts

5

Minor Leaguer, 1-50 NHL games, Goalie < 50 starts

0

Busts, Zero NHL games

 

The table below gives a breakdown of pick ratings by round.  As expected, the first round has the highest number of “star” players and the highest average rating.  This should not come as a surprise, but you will also notice that the value of draft picks drop steeply after the first round.

 

Category

Round

100

75

50

25

10

5

0

Average

1

67

114

69

87

73

64

42

42.5

2

10

52

49

56

84

131

179

18.3

3

7

27

29

49

73

107

244

12.4

4

8

22

22

41

51

80

320

10.1

5

6

13

16

27

46

78

368

7.0

6

4

16

19

39

33

62

351

7.9

7

3

9

15

33

27

70

377

5.9

 

Using the pick data I performed a regression and the results are provided in the “NHL Draft Pick Value Chart” that is displayed below:

 

ROUND 1 ROUND 2 ROUND 3 ROUND 4 ROUND 5 ROUND 6 ROUND 7
Pick Value Pick Value Pick Value Pick Value Pick Value Pick Value Pick Value

1

70.2

31

25.8

61

17.1

91

11.9

121

8.2

151

5.3

181

3.0

2

61.3

32

25.4

62

16.8

92

11.7

122

8.1

152

5.3

182

2.9

3

56.0

33

25.0

63

16.6

93

11.6

123

8.0

153

5.2

183

2.9

4

52.3

34

24.6

64

16.4

94

11.5

124

7.9

154

5.1

184

2.8

5

49.4

35

24.2

65

16.2

95

11.3

125

7.8

155

5.0

185

2.7

6

47.0

36

23.9

66

16.0

96

11.2

126

7.7

156

4.9

186

2.6

7

45.1

37

23.5

67

15.8

97

11.1

127

7.6

157

4.8

187

2.6

8

43.3

38

23.2

68

15.7

98

10.9

128

7.5

158

4.8

188

2.5

9

41.8

39

22.8

69

15.5

99

10.8

129

7.4

159

4.7

189

2.4

10

40.4

40

22.5

70

15.3

100

10.7

130

7.3

160

4.6

190

2.4

11

39.2

41

22.2

71

15.1

101

10.5

131

7.2

161

4.5

191

2.3

12

38.1

42

21.9

72

14.9

102

10.4

132

7.1

162

4.4

192

2.2

13

37.0

43

21.6

73

14.7

103

10.3

133

7.0

163

4.4

193

2.2

14

36.1

44

21.3

74

14.6

104

10.2

134

6.9

164

4.3

194

2.1

15

35.2

45

21.0

75

14.4

105

10.0

135

6.8

165

4.2

195

2.0

16

34.4

46

20.7

76

14.2

106

9.9

136

6.7

166

4.1

196

2.0

17

33.6

47

20.4

77

14.0

107

9.8

137

6.6

167

4.0

197

1.9

18

32.8

48

20.2

78

13.9

108

9.7

138

6.5

168

4.0

198

1.8

19

32.1

49

19.9

79

13.7

109

9.6

139

6.4

169

3.9

199

1.8

20

31.5

50

19.6

80

13.6

110

9.4

140

6.3

170

3.8

200

1.7

21

30.8

51

19.4

81

13.4

111

9.3

141

6.2

171

3.7

201

1.6

22

30.2

52

19.1

82

13.2

112

9.2

142

6.1

172

3.7

202

1.6

23

29.7

53

18.9

83

13.1

113

9.1

143

6.0

173

3.6

203

1.5

24

29.1

54

18.6

84

12.9

114

9.0

144

6.0

174

3.5

204

1.4

25

28.6

55

18.4

85

12.8

115

8.9

145

5.9

175

3.4

205

1.4

26

28.1

56

18.2

86

12.6

116

8.7

146

5.8

176

3.4

206

1.3

27

27.6

57

17.9

87

12.5

117

8.6

147

5.7

177

3.3

207

1.3

28

27.1

58

17.7

88

12.3

118

8.5

148

5.6

178

3.2

208

1.2

29

26.7

59

17.5

89

12.2

119

8.4

149

5.5

179

3.1

209

1.1

30

26.2

60

17.3

90

12.0

120

8.3

150

5.4

180

3.1

210

1.1

 

Although I think this is a very good tool for assessing draft day trades, it should be used cautiously when evaluating draft value.  Clearly there are years where there are players at the top of the draft that are franchise changing like a Sidney Crosby, while other years the players available at the top of the draft aren’t nearly as good like in 1996, which featured Chris Phillips as the top pick and no real superstars.  This is especially important with the top few picks in the draft, but as you move out of the top ten in the first round, the change in value from pick to pick starts to get smaller and smaller and this is where I think the chart brings value.  For example, in last years draft the Buffalo Sabres traded the 21st and 41st picks to Calgary to move up to the 14th spot so they could select Zemgus Gigensons.  According to the draft chart, the Flames did well in this deal getting a total value of 52.7 between the two picks, where as the 14th pick holds a value of only 36.4. This type of trade happens all of the time on draft day.  To move up a few spots in any round, it often costs a team their pick in that round plus their pick in the next round.  This is almost always over paying.

It’s fairly obvious how much value there is in moving down in the draft once you get out of the top few selections.  There is almost no difference in value moving down a few picks, but by doing so you are adding another selection, which increases the probability that you can find an NHL caliber player.  Considering that on average only 1.5 picks per draft per team ever play more than 200 NHL games in their career, getting additional picks can only help.

 

Follow Tony on Twitter: @TheDailyBites

 

Tags: Draft Value Chart NHL Draft