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Scouting Well

July 26, 2014

I want to find out who truly has the top scouting staff(s) in the NHL. Unfortunately, I have way too much time on my hands right now and so I am going to undertake a personal interest project relating to the NHL draft.

One does not have to be a great draft team when you pick in the top five consistently – or even #1 three years in a row (That’s for you, my Edmonton Oilers friends!). Everyone generally agrees on the top five in a draft year and one or two will be busts and the other three will have decent NHL careers. Once in a while a top five draft pick will live up to their hype – aka Vincent Lecavalier, Sidney Crosby, etc.

The scouting staff that I will judge to best will have a combination of three factors. First, there will be the number of players in each draft year who actually played in the NHL. In the past few years the draft has only seven rounds (as opposed to previous years when there were as many as 12) and so if a scouting staff has four draftees who end up playing at least one game in the NHL, that is pretty solid. Five would be strong and to have 6 or 7 from one year’s draft all make it to the NHL would be a pretty impressive draft.

Secondly, the scouting staff will be judged on quantity of NHL play. Out of 70 draft choices (10 years X 7 selections per year), if 20 of those players played more than 150 NHL games – essentially two full seasons – that would be a strong scouting staff. On the other hand, if less than five draftees in ten years played more than 150 games, you really did a lousy job as a scouting staff.

The final score they will be assessed on will be the “diamond in the rough” scale. In other words, how many draftees became strong, NHL players? They may not be Hall-of-Famers, but they might be all-stars, trophy winners, players (or goalies) who’s name would be easily recognized by your average hockey fan. Pavel Datsyuk, a 6th round pick (#171) by Detroit in the 1998 draft would fit the “diamond in the rough” category. Anyone selected in round 1 in any draft year will be ineligible for this category.

Watch for the results coming soon!




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