[Or: Using daoust's draft database to work out what we might actually get regardless of who we pick on Friday. I sense the above title is snappier. And more fitting.]
So. Everywhere you look, peeps around here are going batshit crazy because there's a draft coming up and it's a deep draft because there's quality everywhere and and Burke might be trading up but he might be trading down or even sideways just to fuck with Ottawa and making the guys go 'the toronto maple leafs have traded pick #25 to...THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LOL SYKE XFD' AND OMG PEOPLE MIGHT DROP YOU DON'T KNOW COUTURIER 4 LEAF 2012 ANDANDAND-Stop.
No more. Down with this sort of thing, if you will. This sort of unbridled enthusiasm is weird and unsettling to me, being both British and a fan of no fewer than four sports teams who somehow manage to disappoint at every turn, so I'm choosing to stand back and piss on the parade a bit, with an assist from daoust for making it possible. His Draft Database has collated a metric shitton of information on the drafts from 1994 to the present for exactly this sort of analysis. I can narrow the field down from over four thousand entries to just, say, defensemen drafted in the third round, or all of Minnesota's draft picks who didn't suck out loud, or - OR - all players drafted 25th, 30th and 39th since 1994.
Let me tell you, it is not an impressive bunch. Here we go with the details.
#25: From Sharifijanov to Nemisz, a study of difficult names
We're already off to a great start with #25 - 15 years has seen 15 players go in that spot and I would say there were three who weren't demonstratably a bit shit. #1 with a bullet on that list has to be Mr. Cam Ward; 2002 has turned out to be a fairly weak draft class, boasting just five all-stars period and Kari Lehtonen as the second overall pick. The fact it also produced Tim "I'm Who The Fuck Tim Brent Is" Brent and his balls of titanium is a positive note in the ledger, but it still sucks pretty hard. Burn on the teams drafting guys like Ben Eager (undisputed MVP of the Maple Leafs' 9-3 victory last year) and Eric Nystrom with him on the board.
#2? Brenden Morrow, a player I know is good but whose existence I keep forgetting about. Originally, I didn't even realise he was on the list despite noting it three times. 491 points and just shy of 750 games is not bad going at all, his 0.66 PPG is the highest of the #25 picks and 7th among players drafted in 1997; his point/year average 37.8 is also seventh. The only reason Morrow isn't higher on my list is because while I'm still hopped up on Reimer, most teams in a vacuum would want Ward over Morrow, who's a solid contributor but not what you tend to hope for with a first-round pick.
#3 goes to Patrik Berglund, from 2006, more accurately known as PHIL KESSEL'S DRAFT DAY GOALSTRAVAGANZA. He's far from the unicorn enthusiastic HFBoards people want to paint him as, but 9th in goals scored and 11th in points (one point off 10th and two off 9th, as well) is not exactly shabby for an end-of-the-round pick. Just behind him in points? Nikolai Kulemin, who's ahead of Kyle Okposo, Derick Brassard, James Sheppard and other people whose defining trait was that they were drafted in the first round, not the second. OH YEEEEEEEEEEAH.
#4 on that list...um, it's sort of a toss-up between Jiri Fischer and Andrew Cogliano. Past them, you've got Anthony Stewart (Florida, 51 points in 185 games), Steve Ott (181 in almost 500), Rob Schremp (scarily, third in terms of points/game) or Marc Denis (for whom goaltending stats were not recorded. This may have been deliberate). It's already not exactly inspiring - even if you're really generous and count Fischer, Ott and Cogliano as good picks, #25 is batting .400. Good for Ted Williams, not so much for Burkie, and it's not going to get any nicer from here. Of note, Greg Nemisz was picked here. The same Greg Nemisz whose name only now comes up when people are discussing how Calgary have no prospects of worth any more. What about that big defenseman they had a couple of years ago, did he ret-no, no, wait, I remember. He got traded for spare parts who were themselves dumped in short order. Yeah.
#30: Has McBain's first name ever been revealed?
The highest point/game average from this group of prospects? 0.31. That's about 25 points a year. And that was put up by a defenseman. Only one goaltender has played enough for his stats to be included - Jean-Marc Pelletier, drafted by Philadelphia in 1997, the proud owner of a .857 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 3.90. The future thusly bodes well for Thomas McCollum.
The great thing here is that there aren't even any particularly well-known names to give you - David Steckel is the best-known of the lot and that's mostly because he murdered Sidney Crosby. The aforementioned defenseman, Deron Quint, was drafted in 1994 by Winnipeg and disappeared with 143 points in 463 games...as I say, that's good to make him the top scorer of this motley crue. Jim Slater is, sadly, the best forward on offer here and the only other player to reach a hundred points - doing it exactly in 371 games. 2004 was a particularly big kick in the balls for Tampa Bay - Andy Rogers hasn't played a game in the NHL while the guy drafted one spot before him, also a defenseman, is the top scorer in terms of points/game among #29 picks. Thank you, Mike Green.
Tampa Bay also drafted Mike McBain in 1995, hence the titular question. I like to think Jared's image is correct and literally moments after his name was called, somebody nearby was gunned down.
#39: An American, an Austrian and a Czech were all disappointing...
I think John Erskine is American, at least. I know Andreas Nodl is Austrian and Karel Pilar is Czech, and those three are the top scorers in this little group. Two defensemen and a plugger. Doesn't that make you feel better about our chances of scoring a superstar, hm? Also, more than half of them played less than five games in the big leagues. Suddenly, I'm starting to understand some of the logic behind 'draft schmaft'.