With the 2015 draft in the books there has been many people choosing the winners and losers in the draft. I have chosen not to go in that direction as it is best to wait at least 5 years before evaluating a draft. Instead, I have chosen to look at the accuracy of the top 100 rankings from a handful of various draft guides. To do this, each draft guide will be evaluated at 6 intervals which are top 10, 1st round (top 30), second round (top 61), top 75, third round (top 91) and top 100. To evaluate, I have taken each draft guide and calculated the % of players that were ranked in the same interval to where they were actually drafted. For example, for the second round interval it would be the percentage of players in the top 61 rankings of a draft guide that were selected in the first two rounds. By doing this, it gives insight into which draft guides best fall in line with what the NHL teams and scouts actually do on draft day. It also allows me to evaluate my own draft guide and see how I have done in comparison. For the comparisons I have chosen my own Blue Bullet Draft Guide in addition to McKeens, Bob McKenzie, Craig Button, Corey Pronman, The Hockey News, Future Considerations and Hockey Prospect Black Book. Out of these draft guides, which had the best day at the draft?
– ISS does not include goalies in their top 100 list so they have not been included.
– CSS does not combine their lists and are not included.
– I did not purchase Redline Report this year as I am still waiting for the day Kyle Woodlief joins the 21st century and allows the purchase of a pdf copy.
With only 10 picks there is little to separate most of the lists. The majority of the lists finished with an 80% success rate with only McKeen’s exceeding that amount and only Craig Button and Corey Pronman failing to reach that target.
Once again, McKeens is at the top of the list with only Hockey Prospect being able to match their success in the first round. I on the other hand did not have a successful first round with only Corey Pronman doing worse than I did. What happened were teams passed over on smaller skilled players that I had rated in my top 30 (Roy, Bracco, Vande Sompel and Dunn) demonstrating size is a more important factor to teams than I perceive it to be in my own rankings. For the players in the 31-36 range on my list, five of them were first round choices (Juulsen, Boeser, Debrusk, Samsonov, Roslovic) so I was not far off from having a great first day.
While some draft guides are great at selecting first round choices, it is a more difficult task in getting the accuracy of the second and third rounds correct, as there is a wider variance in opinions on the players as well as less separation in talent. On top of the list is Bob McKenzie who proves once again why he is the gold standard for draft guides. Sitting in third place and ahead of major draft publications is my Blue Bullet Draft Guide. I had wondered earlier this year whether doing a more stats based analysis would help or hinder my rankings. While my first round selections did not hit the mark, my second round more than made up for it. Meanwhile, after the second round, McKeen’s and Button see the biggest drop in percentage of correct picks and Corey Pronman continues to bring up the rear.
Bob McKenzie only has a top 75 rankings, which is the reason for this interval. At this point, Hockey Prospect takes the lead as having the most accurate top 75 list and is the only scouting guide to beat Bob McKenzie. That is nothing to sneeze at and is the only paid publication to cross the 80% threshold. Again, my publication sits in third place demonstrating that you do not need to be a scout to put together a good scouting list. Now if I only could be paid for this hobby. Craig Button had a good first round of selections, as he was sitting in third place, but has tumbled down to seventh place after the top 75.
After three rounds, Hockey Prospect remains in the top spot as having the most accurate draft guide. Since Bob is no longer there to get in my way, the Blue Bullet guide now moves to second place which is not too shabby if I say so myself. McKeen’s is the biggest riser from the second to third round going from seventh place to third place. What occurred were players they had ranked as second round picks went in the third while their third round picks went in the second.
In the end, I was not able to keep second spot as McKeens and FC edged me out slightly and Hockey Prospect was able to keep there top spot. Overall, it was a good showing from my rankings as after the first round of my rankings, I ranged between 2nd to 4th spot and was consistently ahead of THN, Corey Pronman and Craig Button.
In the end, my Blue Bullet guide holds up with McKeens and Future Considerations as being the middle of the pack with The Hockey News closely falling behind. While not at the top of the list as I hope to be at one point, I am happy with having a list as accurate as two long running publications like McKeens and FC. Sitting at the back of the pack is Corey Pronman and Craig Button, highlighting that going against the grain may leave you with a more inaccurate draft day guide. However, in 5 years when we look back at this draft we may find going against the grain was the smarter move. However, if you are looking for the draft guide that will give you the best predictions on draft day, Bob McKenzie and Hockey Prospect’s Black Book are the winners this year.