Each draft year is unique and has a mind of it own. Some draft years are top heavy with talent and other years have no superstars. Meanwhile the depth of talent can range quite differently from year to year. That is why when doing comparables, it is not a good idea to just compare a top 5 pick from one year to the next and expect that same value of player. It just does not work that way. To demonstrate, let us compare CHL players that were taken as top 5 picks in the NHL draft between 1998-2014 and apply the NHLP formula. (All height and weight are from the WHL/OHL/QMJHL websites)
- There have been 17 1st overall picks between 1998-2014 with 10 of them being forwards from one of the top Canadian junior leagues.
- The Oilers have 3 of the 10 players but they rank 5th, 8th and 9th on the list, demonstrating not all draft years are equal
- Nugent Hopkins is a tale of two seasons, as after the first 39 games he projected to be a 63 point player. In the last 39 games, which includes playoffs, he projected to be a 77 point player, which would put him 6th on the list between Hall and Tavares.
- Yakupov was the best forward available in a very weak draft year. In some years he is not a top 5 pick.
- McDavid will soon join the list and join Crosby as the only player to project to be a 100+ player.
- How close 1st and 2nd in a draft can be huge. In 2005 there was a 42 point deop between Crosby and Ryan.
- In most years, Spezza is a 1st overall pick but was edged out by Kovalchuk that year.
- Legwand did not come close to living up to those numbers. While a solid pro for many years, he did not become the superstar some scout predicted him to become.
- Jordan Staal’s draft position benefited due to his brother Eric. Taking him over Toews seems silly when you look at where Jordan Staal projects.
- In terms of talent, Drouin has 1st class potential and similar upside to Pat Kane. He just was in a top heavy draft class.
- Galchenyuk only played 8 games and would likely have projected in the 60-70 range in a full season. Whether he would have projected better than Yakupov we will never know.
- Huberdeau had a better overall year than Hopkins. Hopkins play in the 2nd half vaulted him over Landeskog and Huberdeau.
- Brendl was a big bust, as well as a demonstration that no matter how good your hands are, it does not matter if you do not have the foot speed
- The difference in point projections between Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl from 2014 is not much. Reinhart and Bennett have slightly higher point potential but Draisaitl has the size advantage.
- Evander Kane went through a late growth spurt and the WHL never corrected his height and weight.
- Pouliot and Johansen were both late bloomer in terms of there development and were both players the scouts said were better than there numbers. They were correct with Johansen.
|MICHAEL DAL COLLE||6.02||171||2014||29.31||41.13||70.44|
- Ignoring Galchenyuk, only 5 of the 36 players projected to be less than a 60 point player. (J. Staal, Johansen, Ladd, Pouliot and Niederreiter)
- In some draft years, even at the 5th pick, there is still talented players who projected better than some 1st overall picks. Strome, Connolly and Dal Colle have a higher NHLP than either Yakupov or Nash.