The Middle of the First Round


I typed my fingers to the bone for you people just so I could do some basic stat crunching. What I did was take every draft pick between 10 and 20 from the 2000 draft to the 2006 draft and enter their name, career games played and career points.

Then I figured out how many games played per season and points per season (a season being a season they player could have played in, not necessarily one they did play in) each class got which confirmed that the 2003 draft was stacked.

What can we do with this information? We can use it to analyze a Kessel trade. Here's a link to the whole spreadsheet but follow me through the jump and let's make some observations.

First off, for each draft  class here's their points per eligible season and games played per eligible season:

GP/Yr PTS/Yr
2000 20.7 7.8
2001 34.2 14.8
2002 29.7 12.2
2003 47.3 27.1
2004 19.1 10.7
2005 14.5 6.8
2006 10.5 5.7

 

Not terribly inspiring numbers. For every player on that list like Anze Kopitar there's a player who never played in the NHL. Nineteen players drafted between 10th and 20th from 2000 to 2006 have zero NHL points (goaltender excluded).

So let's compare Phil Kessel, 222GP 126 Pts to his draft class (2006). To start, Kessel annihilates their GP/Yr (74 for Kessel, 10.5 for his draft class) and PTS/Yr (42 for Kessel, 5.7 for his draft class).  He also torches the 2003 draft class on average.

In fact, if you take the two most productive draft years there, 2002 and 2003, and assume you could combine one average player from each of those rounds into one super player and then compared him to Kessel, it'd look like this:

GP/Yr PTS/Yr
KESSEL 74 42
SUPERMAN 77 39.3

 

Of course lots of things could happen to your first rounder. He could literally die before developing into elite talent like Luc Bourdon or Alexei Cherepanov. (Cherepanov isn't on the spreadsheet because the 07 draft class hasn't played many games yet, their numbers were very ugly). He could go play in the KHL if he felt he wasn't getting enough ice time like at least ten of the players on the sheet, or he could just plain old stink.

There's a lot to digest here and a lot of what-if scenarios to run through. I've been looking at the list and seeing if there were two players, each drafted a year apart, that I wouldn't trade for Kessel. Remember though, for every Semin-Getzlaf pair you'll pull out, or Frolov-Hemsky, there's a ton of Artem Kryukov-Igor Knyazev pairs. The draft is never a sure thing.

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