Draft Facts

The new fad seems to be to get really pumped about the draft and all the great prospects that come along with it. Here’s a little bit of reality for you. Most of these players will become nothing, some of them will be come NHL regulars, and a couple will become stars.

Here’s a history lesson for you, and notice that history repeats itself, again and again, here:Everyone wants to draft this guy and that guy. Well I agree, getting two top ten picks for your team is great because there is a better chance that at least one of those guys will become something. But you’ll probably trade away better players and assets to land that guy, and you’ll probably lose the trade in the long run.

Here’s an example I’ll use because a lot of people are bringing it up. Let’s say the Leafs deal Kaberle to land another top 10 pick. So they get Dallas’s pick or even as high as Los Angelas at 5. This doesn’t guarantee much. Evander Kane or Brayden Schenn, or Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, etc. What are the chances these guys make the NHL or make a significant impact there? Let’s look at previous drafts.

I’ll start with the 1997 draft because its players we’re all firmiliar with now, who are relevant and should all be 28-29 years old.

1. Joe Thornton
2. Patrick Marleau
3. Oli Jokinen
4. Roberto Luongo
5. Eric Brewer
6. Daniel Tkaczuk (played 19 career games)
7. Paul Mara
8. Sergei Samsonov
9. Nick Boynton
10. Brad Ferrence
11. Jason Ward
12. Marian Hossa
13. Dan Cleary
14. Michel Reisen (12 career games)
15. Matt Zultek (0 career games)
16. Ty Jones (14 career games)
….. this round continues with more players who never made it or made it as long as “Ty Jones”. The only other 2 first round picks in 1997 who actually put together an NHL career were Scott Hannan and Brendan Morrow at the end of the round.

So if you use 1997 as a model, all you crazy fans dying for the Leafs to grab another pick so they can draft Kassian or Glennie, you’re basically hoping to trade Kubina for the next Ward, or Samsonov, or Boynton (potentially).

Of course this is just one year, lets take a look at the 1998 NHL entry draft for more comparisons:

1.Vincent Lecavalier
2. David Legwand (woohoo…)
3. Brad Stuart
4. Bryan Allen
5. Vitaly Vishnevsky
6. Rico Fata
7. Manny Malholtra
8. Mark Bell
9. Mike Rupp
10. Nik Antropov (wow best pick since Stuart)
11. Jeff Heerema (32 games)
12. Alex Tanguay
13. Michael Henrich (0 games)
14. Patrick DesRochers (11 games)
15. Mathie Chouinard (1 game)
16. Eric Chouinard (90 career games)
…. a few good guys go later in the first round including Simon Gagne, Mike Van Ryn, and Scotty Gomez. But a pretty underwhealming draft to say the least. Are you all hoping to trade Kaberle for the next Mike Rupp, or is it Fata or Malholtra you’re after?

Moving onto the 1999 NHL draft
1. Patrick Stefan (poor Atlanta)
2. Daniel Sedin
3. Henrik Sedin
4. Pavel Brendl (nice!)
5. Tim Connolly
6. Brian Finley (4 games)
7. Chris Beech
8. Taylor Pyatt
9. Jamie Lundmark (hey he’s back up in the majors now!)
10. Branislav Mezei
11. Oleg Sapryken
12. Denis Shvidki
13. Jani Rita
14. Jeff Jillson
15. Scott Kellman
16. David Tanabe
…… these future hall of fames continue for a while. Couple of notables include Barrett Jackman and Marty Havlatt at 26 overall. That’s about it for that round. Terrible round. So are we hoping to move Tlusty and our 7th pick to move up and snag the next Tim Connolly (one of the prizes of the draft)?

Let’s move on…. here’s the 2000 draft:

1. Rick Dipietro
2. Dany Heatley
3. Marian Gaborik
this draft looks pretty legit so far….
4. Rusty Klesla
5. Raffi Torres
6. Scotty Hartnell
7. Lars Jonsson (go Lars!)
8. Nikita Alexeev
9.Brent Krahn

Then at picks 10 and 11 Chicago had every fans dream. 2 high draft picks with which to build the team around, they selected:

10.Mikhail Yakubov (53 nhl games)
11. Pavel Vorobiev (57 games)

Their franchise is now set. This round contnued with more players who never really made much of an impact in the big show, but a couple guys did make it as NHL’ers and they are Ron Hainsey, Orpik, Frolov, Volchenkov, Hale, Boyes, Ott, Sutherby, Justin Williams, and Nik Kronwall. Overall this draft did produce a few more NHL regulars the the drafts in the previous couple of years, but the best players outside of the top 3 picks were all late first rounders.

Here’s 2001:

1.Ilya Kovalchuk
2.Jason Spezza
3.Alexander Svitov
4.Stephen Weiss
5.Stanislav Chistov
6. Mikko Koivu
7. Mike Komisarek
8. Pascal Leclaire
9. Tuomo Ruutu
10.Dan Blackburn (could have been good, but career ending injury)
11. Fredrick Sjostrom
12. Dan Hamhuis
13. Ales Hemsky
14. Chuck Kobasew
15. Igor Knayzev
16. RJ Umberger
17.Carlo Colaiacovo
18.Jens Karlsson
19.Shaone Morrison
20.Marcel Goc

This round continues, its actually pretty decent. Novotny, Gleason, Krajicek, Perezhogin, Bacashiua, and Woywitka would follow in that order. So some NHL regulars come out of this draft, some busts. Which would prove against my negative point because in a stong draft year there could be a number of future NHL players. How many of these guys are real building blocks though? After those top 2 picks, there is a whole lot of average in there.

2002 draft is interesting because these guys are all 25ish, so there is still time for late bloomers and a lot of guys are still considered to have “potential” which is why I’ll just do this one and one more draft.

1. Rick Nash
2. Kari Lehtinen
3. Jay Bouwmeester
4. Joni Pitkanen
5. Ryan Whitney
6. Scottie Upshall
7. Joffrey Lupul
8. Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Next, after having already selected Jay-Bo, the Panther’s were living the dream with another top 10 pick. As you all know, this is the best way to build a franchise. The future in Florida is bright because they used the 9th overall pick to do this:

9. Peter Taticek (3 career games… so far!)
10. Eric Nystrom
11. Keith Ballard
12. Steve Eminger
13. Alex Semin
14. Chris Higgins
15. Jesse Ninnimaki
16. Jakub Klepis
17. Boyd Gordon
….. not much else here. Grebeshkov, Bergenheim, Dan Paille, Ben Eager, Alex Steen, and then the steal of the round Cam Ward. But as far as the Paille and Eager etc. are concerned, they have made a bit of a splash but are nothing to get excited over. The top 10 includes some decent players but most of them are nothing to drool over, exactly like in previous years.

Last one I’ll do is 2003, because then we’ll be dealing with guys are still 23 and could still be something more then they are. So here’s how it went down in ’03:

1.MA Fleury
2. Eric Staal
3. Nate Horton
4. Nik Zherdev
5. Tomas Vanek
6. Milan Michalek
7. Ryan Suter
8. Brayden Coburn
9. Dion Phaneuf
10. Andrei Kostitsyn

Best looking top 10 I’ve seen all day. But if Horton doesn’t turn into a star which he hasn’t yet, and Zherdev doesn’t, and Michalek doesn’t (good support guy don’t get me wrong) and neither does Suter… etc. These guys are all pretty good but not star players and not really building blocks.

Carter goes at 11 which is a great pick, Dustin Brown a few picks later, and late in the first round Getzlaf and Parise are drafted, way later than Michalek and Kostitsyn were picked.

So my point here is to not get too obsessed with the whole “drafting is the way to go” thing. Yes, you need to draft well and draft smart. I find it interesting looking through the old draft archives that New Jersey and Detroit are the most consistant at drafting players who go on to become contibuters at an NHL level. If you think that landing another top 10 pick is the best thing the Leafs can do, then you are probably wrong. There is an excellent chance that that top 10 pick will become nothing, or will becom
e Vitaly Vishnevsky or someone of that calibre, and you’ll have given up good assets to get the pick.

Best thing to do is hold onto what you’ve got and draft well and smart. Stock piling lots of draft picks is a smart thing to do because its like buying more lottery tickets. Most of these players become nothing but the more tickets you have the better chance you have of holding a winner. It’s amazing how many players drafted in later rounds turn out much better than first rounders. And to grab 3rd and 4th round picks you don’t have to trade the sun and moon to other teams. Jamal Mayers and Mike Van Ryn calibre guys could be moved for more draft picks.

The draft is a crap shoot, scouts can only do so much, and players mature differently. Let’s not get too carried away and hype up these prospects too much. Just a little perspective for all of you, hope you enjoyed. Sorry for doing it from a Leafs perspective if you’re not in the GTA, but if you’re a hockey fan you’re used to it by now. 😉

37 Responses to Draft Facts

  1. muckies says:

    This is all true, nothing is for sure, but the only way to build a solid team is through the draft, no team has built a team through trades and free-agency.  But of course a team like Ottawa who was known for it's great drafting of players like Hossa, Havlat, Meszaros and Volchenkov in the late rounds built it's team on strong drafts.  Than Muckler came in and the Sens had 3-4 years of  bad to very average drafting and now they have holes all over their line-up and no up and coming scorers, no cheap talent in the lineup and we see the consequences, no playoffs and they haven't won a playoff game in 2 seasons.
    Last season the Sens had a great draft and they are back on track in only 1 year, so really it is the only way to go if you want a strong team, unless of course you are the NYI, Phoenix or Edmonton, no amount of drafting will bring you success.

  2. Hatyfranco says:

    I have to agree drafting is what helps to build a strong team, but if you look at Ottawa, did they pick up draft picks by trading away valuable assets in hopes of picking a future star? They held onto what they could and are adding to it by drafting.

     Let's you would trade Kaberle and the 7th overall pick and move up to 3rd and pick a Svensson-Paajarvi, Duchene or Schenn. To win on this deal, you need for one of those three guys to be more valuable than Kaberle + someone like Evander Kane, or Jared Cowan. Highly unlikely in my opinion. 
    If Kaberle had a huge contract, it could be an opportunity to dump salary, but at $4.25M, I wouldn't be in a rush to trade him and then complain for the next 10 years that we need a puck moving defenseman.
    It's very important to draft well, but not at the cost of proven roster players unless Crosby, Ovechkin, or Malkin decide to turn back the clock and jump back into the draft.
  3. nordiques100 says:

    Times are different in the post lockout era. There's a cap, theirs earlier free agency, there are lots of restrictions that limit trade. Teams now need the draft and post lockout, the top 10 picks have become vital. Also the rule changes have had an impact. Teams look for diffent qualites rather than big lugs who simply add size. Speed, skill, smarts, its ok to be small as if you can play, you stand a great chance to succeed under the newer rules.


    Crosby is a cornerstone, but so are Ryan, Price and Setogutchi to their respeoctive teams. Bourdon would have been but he unfortunately was taken away far too early in life


    Huge for all teams. All 10 picks look poised to being very good to great players for their respective teams. Players such as Kessel, Toews and Backstrom are already front line, the likes of Staal and Johnson seem poised to follow, while Okposo and Brassard look to be big offensive players for years to come.


    Still early but Kane has already turned into a star. Voracek, Gagner, Turris are semi regulars while it appears Van Riemsdyk and Alzner along with Hickey appear ready to take on their 1st legit shot at NHL work.


    8 of the top 10 picks have already playedi n the NHL. not sure how they will turn out as like 2007, its early. But Stamkos appears to be a big offensive star in the making, while Filatov looks poised to being a big game breaker, Pavel Bure type. Hodgson and Wilson had great season and look ready to make the jump. Boedker and Bailey showed flashes as teens. But the big story were those top 4 Dmen taken. doughty, Schenn and Bogosian look like stars and top end blueliners in the making who should be around the next 10-15 years.

    So while back in the day around a decade ago, it didnt look great, taking the post lockout drafts into consideration only, it really looks as though picking in the top 10 is the key.

    while yes, it may turn out that some other picks outside the top 10 may turn out "gooder" that others (Eberle, Karlsson in 2008, Perron and Backlund in 2007, Little, Berglund, Giroux in 2006, Kopitar, Staal in 2005) really it appears you stand the best cahnce of getting a top end talent with a 10 ten pick.
    And this draft appears to be deep. There is lots to be had in the top 8-10 this year. The consensus is that its a good draft and chances are a good player can be had. If the leafs ended up with a 2nd top 10, there stands a better chance it will work out for them than not.

  4. muckies says:

    you love the word "gooder"

  5. nordiques100 says:

    its the most ridiculous made up word i have ever heard. thanks to dandope.

  6. Kramer says:

    Women hockey players should be included in the draft.

  7. mojo19 says:

    You're right that some of these guys in recent drafts have become really good players right away, but to get a full scope of the draft we do have to wait at least a few more years.

    Also, there was a time when Pavel Brendl was still considered great, was he not traded from Philly to Carolina for Sami Kapanen? Stephen Weiss got off to a bit of a slow start but there were years of people suggesting he was on the verge of breaking out. These are two of many examples.

    This year is supposed to be deep, but there have been other 'deep' draft years, and the fact is, most players drafted high don't become stars at all.

    Getting another high pick would be a good thing, granted. But some of the suggestions by you fine posters here on HTR are ridiculous, in terms of what would be fair to give up for a shot at an 18 year old who may or may not (chances are not) become something.

  8. mojo19 says:

    I think they technically are included.

  9. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Does anyone else see that the 10th pick is the pick of death??? Their are no good players that came at 10

  10. mojo19 says:

    Brad Ferrence
    Nik Antropov
    Andrei Kostitsyn

    These are all pretty good picks. Dan Blackburn was highly touted but we'll never know because of an injury to his shoulder.

    I don't think 10 is the pick of death.

  11. muckies says:

    See Jiri Tlusty – Those photos were totally fake. I've seen her up close, definetly manly but all woman

  12. cam7777 says:

    couldn't have said it better myself.

    I just don't understand how some people are working out their value system in these trades.  Last year it cost a 2nd round pick to move up 2 spots.  This year, it would apparently cost an elite defensemen, a starting goaltender, two young players, and a 7th overall pick!

    Exactly right on the Kaberle trade analysis.  Trading him, and that pick, means that the resulting player would have to be better than him, and the other pick combined (so that's Kaberle and Cowen/Schenn/MSP)!  It's just not likely.  Even Tavares isn't worth that.

    A lot people think that Tampa's "asking price" for the 2nd overall pick should be a wake up call to what these picks are worth.  Well, let's consider the source for a moment.  Brian Lawton might be the stupidest GM in the league, running the worst franchise in the league.  He's also made so many mistakes in one year, that it's actually shocking (letting Jokinen go, moving Carle for less value, and then moving what he got for Carle for even less value, letting the Lecavalier rumors spin out of control, signing Vrbata to a 9 million dollar contract, not addressing any of the teams real needs, and the list goes on).  Of course he's looking to take someone on a trade like this.  Can you imagine what his team would look like if we gave him Kaberle, Schenn, and the 7th overalll pick? 

    No undrafted player is worth two top-four defensemen and an additional top 10 pick. 

    Burke even talked about this at the deadline.  He was offered what would have been a sure fire shot at Tavares in exchange for Luke Schenn.  His answer then was "…so you expect me to trade a proven roster player; a player already capable of playing 25 minutes a game in the NHL (and well I might add), for a player who has yet to play single minute outside of Junior hockey?"

    Somehow this segment with Burke gets forgotten in everyone's discussions.  But it's exactly what you're saying here, and it just makes sense. 

  13. cam7777 says:

    Thank you mojo, someone gets this stuff.

    I know the counter-argument is that the top 10 is becoming increasingly more reliable, and the value of these players is becoming greater because of the cap.  I would argue both those points however.

    First, as you said mojo, nothing is set in stone about these guys that have already seen ice time.  There's no guarantees that they continue to pan out.  It's only been one year, and to assume that half of them are for sure career NHL'ers is absurd. 

    Also, the top 5 picks make a lot of money.  They don't just make the 875k rookie maximum.  They get ridiculous bonuses, that range from 2.5 – 3 million dollars.  Also, the effect of playing these guys so early will, and already is, going to come back and haunt some of these teams.  What is Chicago going to do after next season, when they have to resign both Toews and Kane, and the cap collapses?  That doesn't even take into account the host of lesser players that need to be resigned : Keith, Hjalmarsson, Ladd.  And this summer, Havlat, Versteeg, Barker, Brouwer, Bolland, Pahlsson.  Wow, they are going to be screwed.  No way that every single one of these guys is going to be retained.  They'll lose half of them, or be forced to give up one of their superstars.

    You cannot seriously expect to keep enough talent in your pool to just continually run with entry-level contracts, and then replace them with more draft picks when they become eligible for a raise.  It's just not realistic. 

    Pittsburgh is already running into this, where everyone they send out of town is being replaced by somebody less skilled.  When Staal is forced out of steel town sooner or later, it will be for lesser talent.  (They got lucky with the Whitney trade, they definitely won that one.  Whitney was a top 2 in the eastern conference, but played as a 5-6 man for the Ducks, and wasn't even a factor in that role)

    The point is, running with all these "valuable" top end picks, is pricey in a different way.  I hate to say it, because I despise the Red Wings, but they are the model to aim at.  You can have some young guys, but you also need older talent signed to reasonable cap hits (Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen, Stuart)

    Also, it's pretty clear that outside of a small, very elite group (the blackhawks – toews and kane, the caps – ovechkin,semin, green and backstrom, and the pens – crosby and malkin) that running with youth doesn't work out so well.  If you want to win, you either need to be in that elite group, stacked with generational talent (very difficult to come by), or seek veterans and proven regulars to stand toe to toe with them.

    Stacking yourself up with picks doesn't mean you'll eventually develop into the Penguins.  No matter how hard you try, Crosby isn't going to enter the draft again, and neither is Malkin, Ovechkin, etc…  Just ask the Panthers how that's working out for them.  Or the Coyotes.  Or the Thrashers.  Or the….etc…

  14. Kramer says:

    Or how about this idea: A women's hockey league comprised of only virgins.

    Guaranteed sell outs every game. A winner idea. I'm gonna write a letter to Bettman and see what he thinks.

  15. Kyleton says:

    As your list got went on I noticed one thing, more and more of the top 10 are coming into the NHL and are mainstays in the league.  Scouting is much better now, and every player that is picked in the top ten now can make the league. It all depends on how they are brought along its the same reason why some players drafted in the later rounds also end up being in the league. They are able to develop somewhere else.  Like many of Detroit's players that have been drafted late and are now NHL players or stars.  They were able to develop in Europe in the elite leagues and then Detroit brought them over and continued their development.

    Trading a guy like Kaberle for another high pick is ideal to leaf fans because we don't need him as much right now with their current competitive level and in this part of the rebuilding process. So while you are trading a very skilled player for this new pick you have the chance to both pick who fits into your team skill, body type and attitude wise and you can develop them.

    Drafting has become a science and yes there are failed experiments but with all the different scouts out there both team and central scoutings its alot harder to find a complete flop.

  16. nordiques100 says:

    definitely, the post lockout drafts need time to sink in before we determine what happens. but its the post lockout drafts which we need to look at as the environment was completely different pre2005.

    the lockout changed everything. sure, big contracts are still offered up, teams are still spending lots, there are haves and have nots. but how teams drafted, what draft picks mean and the quick debuts these players are making has really changed. whatever happend before the lockout, we kind of have to throw it out as its a completely new world really in the NHL. perhaps when the CBA expires, we can then take a look back. but we've definitely seen a great spike in players picked in the top 10 making immediate impacts and i doubt that is going to alter much in the future.

    and i personally believe the leafs wont get a 2nd top 10. and kabby trade will have to bring a young under 25 NHLer. perhaps we may end up with another 1st, but i just cant see those teams trading those picks for whatever the leafs have to offer.

  17. cam7777 says:

    but, many of those teams have actually told the media that they will be exploring trading those picks; the kings going so far as to say their pick is for sale. 

    i understand what you're saying about the value of cheap young talent, but some of those teams aren't in a position where they want to develop for 2-3 years.  the stars for instance, nearly went to the cup 12 months ago, and i'm sure that they don't intend to start stock piling picks now, while their payroll is high and their team is a piece or two away.

    likewise, the kings are tired of stockpiling picks.  they just want some veteran presence.  even the coyotes realize that all their young talent has gotten them no where, and they need to trade for proven talent.  it just doesn't work to run a team of youth, unless you have elite youth, which very do (crosby, malkin, kane, toews, the caps, etc…).

    the senators too, could go either way with that pick.  they could keep the pick, and wait a few years for OEL to develop into a star, or they could trade that pick for help right now, while Alfie's still awesome. 

    I really do hear what you're saying about those picks, but literally half of the top 10 has actually said their pick is either for sale, or options are being explored.  The Lightning will move theirs if someone is stupid enough to pay, the Kings will move theirs, the Yotes could consider moving down in exchange for a veteran on the back end, and the Stars and the Sens are looking to get back into the mix. 

  18. muckies says:

    well, I'll take this one on, even though it probably isn't worth it.

    1. If you don't get good players at the draft, where will you get them?

    2. Detroit gets good cap hits because they sign guys to 7-10 year contracts, so when Datsuk is 38, he won't be worth 6.5 million, or if he gets seriously injured next season (or next game) they still have to pay him for the rest of his contract, risky.

    3. Do you really think Chicago is worried about paying amazing players what they deserve after their horris history where they weren't even getting 10 000 per game?

    4. Show me a team that hasn't build a champion in the draft, so how else are you going to build a winner?

  19. cam7777 says:

    hmm, well, my point wasn't that players don't come from the draft.  of course good players come out of the draft. but to think that undrafted players are worth more than proven talent, is just being foolish.

    detroit doesn't horde their first round picks, pretending their gold, rush them to the NHL, and then parade them around as stars.  rather, they go after specific players they want, breed them in their system until the age of 25, and then slowly work them in at the rates that they choose, and roles they assign.  they don't pick players that will dictate terms to them, and be making 9 million dollars by the age of 21.

    you and i most often disagree about kaberle, and that is relevent here.  everybody seems to think the leafs NEED to just dump kaberle for a pick immediately; or worse use him and the 7th just to move up a couple spots.  that's just pure idiocy.  no ONE player drafted in that top 10, unless they become crosby/malkin/ovechkin-esque, is worth a defensemen capable of putting up 50-60 points every year (like it or not, their is only 10-15 players of this calibre in the game today) and an additional top 10 pick.  the chances of that happening are so slim.  it's not every year that generational talent shows up.

    the point is, good players come from all over the draft, and we need to rein in our opinions on how amazingly, unbelievably valuable these top 10 picks are.  everyone on here acts as if every one of those players is guaranteed to be wayne gretzky. 

    does that make sense?

  20. cam7777 says:

    and yes, i do think chicago will care, when two years from now they're struggling to make the playoffs again because they rushed everyone in, everyone saw success, and everyone demanded money….

    toews and kane aren't crosby and malkin, and if half their team leaves, like pittsburgh's is in the process of, they won't be able to single handedly carry the load.  they need good support players, and that team could easily price themselves out of a lot of that talent.

  21. Bure96 says:

    Cody Hodgson might be the best player in the world to not crack an NHL lineup yet and he went 10th last year.

    Although, history shows few quality players have been picked in that spot.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    fine then, if they want to trade the picks, whatever. the point it, the Leafs are not the only suitors and really, there is much better out there that other teams have to offer. kaberle is ok, but we're going to have to dip into schenn to grab one of those picks in the top 5 no doubt. what the leafs have remaining is simply weak. far too weak. and schenn is off limits.

    LA may trade it, but they wont get hosed.

    we hear this every year. the picks are available, but at the end of the day, its status quo….or these teams stay in the top 10, but move down like the isles did last season.

  23. muckies says:

    Well I guess the difference between you and me is I understand (and probably so does everybody else on this site) that pro sports is about winning. 
    1. No team is forced to take a top 10 pick, they CAN trade that pick away, like NYI did last year, and stock late round players much to the ire of their fans, passing on Luke Scheen a 25 minute a night player (as you argued earlier) for a bunch of 2nd and 3rd round picks. Doesn't look like it is working out.

    2. So you claim Chicago rushed their players, as if Toewes or Kane should have been kept in the AHL so keep their salaries down. The team is in the Conference finals man…why do you have a problem with that.

    3. Your idea that players get paid to quickly at 21 is even more reason to have a ton of top picks, because that is where you get your cheap talent, talent that comes in and produces for you like a $5 million player, like in Chicago where they have 11 million paid to 2 goalies, 7 million in Campell and 6 million in Havlat.  It is pricisley the 2 top 3 picks they have in Kane and Toewes thta are getting them where they are, not the high priced free-agents they brought in.

    4. If top picks aren't worth the trouble, why is your GM Brian Burke always trying to move into the top 3 (Sedins, Pronger, Tavares)???

    5. Your the only person in the world who argues against a top 10 pick.

  24. cam7777 says:

    okay, i understand that you're just trying to pick apart everything i say purely for the sake of being a jackass, but i'll go again, just for the hell of it.

    your first point, about winning, is exactly what i'm saying.  outside of a select group of very elite young talent, running with all youth isn't working out so well.  you need to have veteran players, and proven talent if you want to go anywhere.  that's exactly why kaberle is worth more than just a 1st round pick, as you suggest.  if someone wants to win, they will want a guy like him on their squad.

    that move for the NYI is working out huge.  if they had drafted schenn,  and he had played for them just as he did for the leafs, management might have had more confidence in the team.  oh look, great young squad, schenn, okposo, tambellini, blah blah, you know the list.  maybe in that situation the team takes a run at a decent free agent, makes a couple trades throughout the year, and they aren't in a position to finish dead last anymore.  well then, they wouldn't be landing john tavares in the draft.  you see, the islanders essentially traded schenn for tavares already.  except now they get tavares, and a host of picks to play with.  it's way too early to see how that's working out for them.  it's the same principle i suggest with the colorado avalanche.  they aren't going to get tavares or hedman, and their team is no where near ready for another franchise center.  they are brutal all over the ice, and have absolutely zero prospect depth.  hensick, one of their most highly regarded prospects, put up something like 17 points in a full season this year.  and he's not even young enough to write it off.  it's flat out disappointing.  this would be a good time to trade that 3rd overall for a handfull of nhl ready talent, and also pretty much guarantee yourself a shot at hall next year. 

    timing is everything in the NHL, especially in a salary cap world.  imagine if crosby had been drafted in 2003, instead of MA Fleury?  and then imagine they brought malkin over asap.  well they never would have landed staal, and their payroll would have spun out of control long before they ever put together a really competitive team. 

    i don't so much think that chicago rushed kane and toews.  chicago's situation is unique, as it sort of happened by accident.  who could have predicted that versteeg would have been a candidate for rookie of the year?  who would have guessed that havlat would have become the ideal leader for that young group?  who would have guessed that khabbibullin would regain his form and look freakin' amazing right up to the middle of may?  so many things just went right for this squad all at once.

    of course they are happy now, but you must see that it forces some very hard decisions moving forward.  what if they don't win the Cup?  and then what if Versteeg is lost to an offer sheet, Khabbibullin and Havlat walk?  you can't tell me that team won't be significantly damaged by the quick losses they're suffering.

    of course top 10 picks are great to have, and i would be thrilled if Burke landed us the 3rd overall and 5th overall picks.  But Toronto is ready for those kind of players.  we have nothing but role players and 2nd/3rd line talent.  even still, my point is, these picks aren't worth half a team, or established stars and other 1st round picks.

    many of them, like duchene and kane, only came into their own in the last 6 months!  every year you see guys like jimmy hayes, and this year, taylor doherty plummett out of favor.  you just can't think that these picks are guaranteed superstars.

    i know this is sort of all over the place talking about money, and the value of players, and blah blah, but really, the only thing i think you and i really disagree on is how much those picks are worth.  please stop trying to read an argument into every word i say.

  25. mojo19 says:

    I think a way more likely scenario would be something really similar to last year where the Leafs flip their 7th overall for 4th or 5th overall and we throw in a 2nd rounder and maybe a 5th or something. That's about it. And i'd be fine with it, hope we draft a stud.

  26. cam7777 says:

    i really think that the 3rd overall pick could be nabbed from the avalanche using our prospects and 7th overall pick.  I also think we have exactly what the Kings are looking for.  They want a proven, top-tier defensemen to lead their young group  Who has a better option?  I can't think of anyone.

    They could make a pitch for Mattias Ohlund, but he will cost more than Kaberle, and isn't even as effective as Kabs.  I suppose if the rumors were true about Phaneuf, then that would be a great option, but I'm pretty sure that's rubbish.  The Oilers?  Well, they just finished taking Visnovsky off their hands last summer, so unless they want Souray (again, more expensive, and less effective). 

    Don't be so down on Kaberle nords.  Can you honestly think of a single team in the league that wouldn't love to have this guy?  There's no reason for Burke to just throw this guy away.  He's not going anywhere unless it's for a player we really want/need, or if it significantly speeds up the rebuild process.

    To the Avs:
    Tlusty, Hayes, 7th overall pick
    To the Leafs:
    3rd overall pick

    To the Kings:
    Kaberle, Ponikarovsky
    To the Leafs:
    Handzus, Brown, 5th overall pick

    (FYI, Poni outscored brown by 8 points, costs a million less, and was +21 better than him on the +/- last year.  he's a fair replacement, especially since taking handzus off their hands makes them poised to land hossa, gaborik, etc…)

  27. mojo19 says:

    Just stop replying to muckies and he might just disapear.

    And you're right about guys like Jimmy Hayes, cam7777, think about it. Just because a guy has a lesser year at 18 than he did at age 17 doesn't mean he won't bounce back. Also, some guys really start to fill out, or continue to grow in height when they're 19, 20, 21 and the development they can get at an AHL level from good coaches can play a huge factor too.

    Where players are drafted isn't the be all and end all of what players will become, it really only matters for those rare, ridiculously skilled players. After the first overall pick, there are usually a couple of safe picks right near the top and then its all over the place. That's the fact, its been proven in every draft since the beginning of time.

  28. mojo19 says:

    We'll see. These recent drafts aren't reliable enough for you to make that claim. What if Ryan Whitney doesn't turn into a star? He posted lots of points a couple years ago but has since been traded. He wasn't outstanding in last years playoffs in fact Orpik suprassed him with the Pens. He came to Anaheim to step into the top 4, but really after Neids and Pronger, it was Beauchemin and Wisneiwski who were leaned on the most, Whitney at 5.

    I'm just using Whitney as one example because I think he's a player that most people believe will become a big stud d-man. But let's just say he doesn't. He just stays as a reliable #4 kind of guy and 4 or 5 years from now people say "he was drafted really high actually…".

    You can't judge the recent drafts yet because these guys are still considered to have potential etc.

  29. muckies says:

    1. the draft is a lottery, so they may not have gotten the #1 spot, and the NYI had a ton of injuries, maybe they finish 8th overall if Diepietro, Guerin, Weight and their entire isnt injured, so that argument doesnt work.

    2. The Isles do well and advance the system by keeping Schenn, and you think that is a abd thing. You have a strategy to suck for a ling period of time, to get a top pick WHICH you argue before may or may not pan out, does that make sense at all?

    3. If Chicago was an accident, was Washington an accident the year beofee with their top picks in Ovie, Semin and Green leading them to the playoffs, or Pitt 2 years ago with Staal, Crosby, Malkin?

    4. Salary spun out of control is your #1 concern, if Pitt can't afford Stall they can trade him for another #1 draft and some prospects, it's a WIN / WIN no matter what you do.  Since when was it a problem to have to many star players in the NHL?

  30. muckies says:

    Whitney was n asset they fliiped for another great asset.  That is the point you and Cam77 are missing, a top pick has huge value even after you draft him and he he isnt amazing can be flipped for more assets see  – Yashin, Jack Johnson, Daigle, Whitney. 

  31. cam7777 says:

    jesus, what planet are you from?

    you just proved my point in your first bullet.  so lets say their whole roster wasn't injured, they drafted schenn, and finished 8th.  well, guerin and weight are about to retire, and dipietro doesn't stay healthy for two games at a time.  so after their 8th place finish, they end up with a quick exit and a mid round pick (ie. Tlusty-esque) that won't be NHL ready for 3 years.  ask the thrashers how that's working out for them.

    actually, im just going to take mojo's advice.  good-bye muckies.

  32. cam7777 says:

    unless it's kaberle, then you have an asset without value.

    whitney is worth one of the better players in the minors, and a top line winger, but kaberle is worth nothing, despite the fact that kaberle is better in almost every facet…..

    also, it's getting harder and harder to flip assets for quality, if you haven't noticed.  the pens got pretty lucky in that trade, as whitney was living off the reputation he'd already built. 

    once players have signed their second contract, moving them becomes increasingly difficult.  the more expensive that contract, the harder it is to move them.  you more than most should see this. you believe jason spezza is a franchise center. practically invaluable.  but most teams wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole simply because of that contract.

    so no, assets are not always flippable regardless of performance.

  33. muckies says:

    Hossa signed for 6.5 million and they traded him for Heatley.
    Pronger signed for 6.5 million and they traded him in 2 weeks.
    Fedorov signed for 6.5 million and Anaheim traded him.
    Whitney signed for 4.5 million and they traded him.

    Not hard to trade talent in this league and it never will be

  34. bbruins37 says:

    the 99 nhl draft has got to be the worst draft yearin thehistory of SPORTS

  35. bbruins37 says:

    thenlook at 03. weall know the amazing nhl draft but that was also the LBJ-wade-anthony-bosh – west-joshhoward-mo williamsyear in the NBA andpolomalu, palmer, andre johnson,larryjohnson,asomugha, boldin year in the nfl…and thats just the first2 rounds

  36. cam7777 says:

    not one of those is relevent to the current market.  those all happened quite a while a go, with pronger being the most recent. it was also chris pronger, one of the top 5 defensemen of the last quarter century.  Hossa was a deal for a guy that was going to be making the same, or more, so that's irrelevent.  And as I said, Whitney was a lucky move by the Pens.  They really know what they're doing in Pittsburgh.  Those salaries are mostly off though.  Whitney only makes 4, and Hossa's was gradually increasing to 6.5, but yea, big contracts used to get moved.  Now they don't…

  37. muckies says:

    Brad Richards at 7.8 million
    Bryan McCabe at 6 million
    Lube Visnovski at 6 million
    Olli Jokienen at 6 million
    Pitkaneen at 4 million

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