Last June, I created the Blue Bullet Draft Pick Value Chart in which I combined my research on the NHL Entry Draft with that of Michael Schuckers work from 2011. Schuckers fantastic work is based on games played and provides a value for selections 1 through 210. While it is a great start for a draft pick value chart, it does not capture the whole picture because using only games played as a measurement ignores the quality of those games played. Ask any hockey fan and he will know that a game played by Connor McDavid should not be valued the same as a game played by Lauri Korpikoski. That is why my research on the value of first year draft eligible forwards, based on career average points per game, and my research on first year draft eligible defensemen, based on career average time on ice, is important to add into the mix. Previously my research was only for picks 1-90 but since this time I have been able to expand my research, which allows me to update the Blue Bullet Draft Pick Value Chart to include picks 1-217.
UPDATING THE CAREER AVERAGE PPG CHART FOR FORWARDS
Based on my research, forwards selected in the top 90 can be divided into nine different groups (based on all first year draft eligible forwards drafted between 1998 and 2010):
Therefore, with nine groups composing the top 90, I was expecting there to be a few more groups once I expanded it to include all seven rounds of the NHL Entry Draft. I was mistaken as the draft flattens out after pick 99. When it comes to career average PPG, one can expect the same results for a pick taken 100th overall as one taken 210th overall.
Therefore, for all seven rounds of the NHL Entry Draft, first year draft eligible forwards can be divided into the following 10 groups:
UPDATING THE CONVERTED CAREER ATOI CHART FOR DEFENSEMEN
For defensemen, I did not use PPG, as it is not as strong a measurement for the value of a defenseman as is time on ice. In my research, I examined career ATOI and found that the defensemen selected in the top 90 can be divided into 7 separate groups (based on all first year draft eligible defenseman drafted between 1998 and 2010).
Taking this research, I than created a conversion chart to convert ATOI for defenseman into a PPG measurement. To create the conversion chart, I calculated the average PPG and standard deviation of all forwards to play at least 100 NHL games and the average ATOI and standard deviation of all defensemen to play at least 100 NHL games. Here is a sample of the results of the conversion chart:
I than applied the conversion chart to every defenseman and calculated the average PPG for the seven groups of defensemen. The results are:
Just like with the PPG with forwards, the career ATOI for defensemen flattens out from pick 99th overall to 188th overall.
Therefore, for all seven rounds of the NHL Entry Draft, first year draft eligible defensemen can be divided into the following 9 groups:
The converted career average PPG for the nine groups are:
Updating Games Played for Forwards vs Defensemen
Two other items factored in is the fact that defensemen play less games in their career than forwards and that more forwards are selected than defensemen. In Schuckers’s study, his results for average games played by position are:
Therefore, I calculated that if a team selects an average forward in each of Rounds 1 through 3, the combined games played is 947. For defenseman, the combined games played is only 765. That means that on average, a defenseman selected in the first three rounds will play 19% less games than if a forward is selected in the same spot. Therefore, when calculating the expected draft value of a defenseman, I reduced Schuckers’s draft value pick chart by the same factor. Doing the same calculation, but for all seven rounds, the factor drops from 19.2% to 18.5%.
To combine the two charts into one chart, I need to do a weighted average of the two charts, as more forwards are selected in the draft than defensemen. For the first two selections in the draft, forwards dominate those selections as there are seven forwards selected for every one defenseman. After the top two selections, the amount of defensemen selected increases and if we look at selections 3-210, 1.67 forwards are selected for every one defenseman. (While Schuckers’ work stops at the 210th pick, I have extrapolated for picks 211-217.)
BLUE BULLET DRAFT PICK VALUE CHART
After all that is done, one is left with the expanded Blue Bullet Draft Pick Value Chart.
- A scatter chart of the Blue Bullet Draft Pick Value Chart shows that the value of a draft pick is not a steady decline, like a playground slide, but is much more rapid, like falling off a cliff.
- After the 99th pick, the draft really starts to flatten out. Picks 100-217 have a combined value of 59.5, which is almost worth the 3rd overall selection (61.5). It goes to show how valuable a high end selection is worth, as quality trumps quantity.
- Overall, forwards tend to outperform defensemen on the value chart. Predominantly this is due to the fact that forwards tend to play more games in the NHL, as they take less time to develop than defensemen.
2017 Potential Trades
On the day of the draft, there is always potential for movement of draft picks as teams try to move up and down in the draft order to secure the players that they want. A fun thing to do with the Blue Bullet Draft Pick Value Chart is to attempt to find fair trades for the NHL entry draft. Here are some examples of those:
And if your looking to move up to the top 2 selections, be prepared to move a roster player or acquire more draft assets. Even if the Dallas Stars trade all of their picks to Philadelphia they would still be short in terms of value. If they had a pick in the 91-93 range than it would be considered an even trade.