Knowing the expected draft value of a selection is a useful tool to use when evaluating the NHL Entry Draft. While one of the most popular tools is to use it for analyzing the trade value of a draft pick, there are other ways that expected draft value could provide useful insights. One insight that needs further investigation is whether, with all else being equal, is it best to select a forward from the CHL, a European league or from the rest of North America (USA and Canadian Jr A combined)?
Method of Analysis
Previously, I have done research into the the expected draft value of forwards selected in the top 90 overall.
Through my research, I grouped the top 90 into nine separate groups. I than determined the likelihood of a forward reaching 100 NHL games played for each group. I also determined the average PPG of each group for the forwards that have played at least 100 NHL games. These are the results:
The breakdown for the expected draft value of forwards selected in the top 90 overall between forwards from the CHL, Europe and the rest of North America are:
- With the top four overall selections, Europeans have the best track record. The only player in the group that was a bust is Alexander Svitov. If it were not for him, the average PPG of a 3rd overall European selection would be 0.83. This should be good news to fans of the Leafs, Jets and Blue Jackets.
- Forwards from the USA and Canadian Junior A hockey do not fare as well when it comes to the top two overall selections. Part of this reason is because I only use first year draft eligible players for comparison, which rules out players such as Dany Heatley from the equation, leaving only Stefan and Van Riemsdyk as the only comparables.
- This is the breakdown for the top four overall selections:
- For the rest of the first round, your best bet is to head to North America but it is not the CHL that gives the best return. Instead, it is the rest of the North American leagues where you will find the best results. It appears the scouts may be underestimating the talents of the players coming out of the good ol’ US of A.
- Between 5th and 15th overall, American forwards have had a very good success rate as all seven players have played at least 100 NHL games while having an average PPG of 0.59. In comparison, 76% of CHL and European forwards drafted in the same range have played at least 100 NHL games while averaging 0.49 PPG.
- While Europeans give the best return for the top four selections, they do not fare as well with selections 5 to 33.To see it better, this is the breakdown:
- After the first round, your better bet is sticking with forwards from the CHL. While you may hit a bigger home run with a forward from Europe or the USA, hence the higher average PPG, it does not make up for the fact that a higher percentage of forwards from the CHL turn into useful NHL forwards.
- This is the breakdown for selections 34th to 90th overall: