Grading Teams on Their Draft Picks (A-B)

Reading scouting reports, I realized it could take a long time for me to write about every draft pick chosen. In fact, it is hard to find every scouting report of every player drafted. I only examined the most significant players of the draft, the players judged to be most successful in the future.

Scouting reports came from three sources, so I had a good view about the players. It will be done in alphabetical order team by team. Anaheim Mighty Ducks

Grade: B

Judging by scouting reports, the Ducks drafted players with talent and avoided drafting players by their needed positions. Joffrey Lupul (7th) is a pure talented offensive forward. He has the size to make the NHL and his best skill is his shot. The only negative part of drafting Lupul was his inconsistency. He could become their future franchise player. Tim Brent (37th) was a great pick for the Ducks. He has the potential to be a future second line center. Overall he is good around the ice and he has good work ethic. His problem is just the same as Lupul, he too is inconsistent. Brian Lee (71st) was a decent pick for the 3rd round, though not the best pick to choose. Lee is said to become a 5th defenseman at best.

Overall, the Ducks picked talented players with good skills, but their players are inconsistent.

Atlanta Thrashers

Grade: B-

Atlanta’s draft is pretty interesting. Two first round picks, then two fourth round picks, then a fifth, sixth, and seventh pick, and then three eighth round picks. Kari Lehtonen (2nd) was a great draft pick for the Thrashers. His goalie skills are amazing and he has the potential to even put up the same career numbers as Patrick Roy’s. There is only one problem with Lehtonen. The Thrashers could face a moment of impatience with the Finnish goaltender. Scandinavian goalies have a history of taking a long time adapting to the NHL. Lehtonen will either surprise the NHL by making the team in the next two seasons, or he will take a few seasons to make the NHL. Jim Slater (30th) was a decent pick but not the best choice for the first round. Although he is talented, it could take Slater a while to make the NHL. He might be a bust and could turn out to be a 3rd line checker the most. The Thrashers also went with size from their drafted players. Lane Manson (124th) is listed at 6’8 and 225 lbs.

Overall the Thrashers’ best pick was Kari Lehtonen, out of 10 draft picks.

Boston Bruins

Grade: B-

The Bruins did not make such a big hit in the draft. They drafted a need in the goaltending department. Drafting Hannu Toivonen (29th) was a decent move, though he was ranked 3rd for European goalies, the Bruins didn’t draft the better rated goaltender, Jeff Desleauriers. Toivonen has good skills but his days of being an NHL goaltender could be four or five years away. He could be the future goalie for the Bruins, and definitely an NHL starter. The only question is whether or not he is able to make the NHL. The Bruins could have picked Jeff Desleauriers who could adapt to the NHL quicker than Toivonen, and Toivonen wasn’t the best player available. Vladislav Esveev (56th) was a very good pick for the Bruins. He has the potential to develop into a solid power forward. Though injury might affect his future career, Esveev is said to be the type of player to annoy the GM of his team. It is not definite if he could become a headache for the Bruins, but it is definite that he will become a strong power forward. Jan Kubista (130th) is a coin toss. He will become either good or not that good. He has a lot of areas to work on, like his skating and defensive areas, but he can put up numbers.

Overall the Bruins made some decent choices though they could have been better. Look for Esveev to be the most popular player of the Bruins draft picks.

Buffalo Sabres

Grade: A-

Sabres fans might not be in a good mood now, since their team was about to go bankrupt and could lose players. But, believe it or not the Sabres were one of the best teams to have the best picks. Keith Ballard (11th) was an excellent pick. He is the type of player who you’d want on your team. Ballard is a defenseman who stands 5’11 and weighs around the 195-200 lbs range. He is small for a defenseman, but he has strength and best of all, he is a nasty player. I can imagine him as a Kasparaitis type of nasty player, though not such a big hitter. Ballard shows class in his skating and he is a perfect power play quarterback. Great pick by the Sabres. Another great pick for the Sabres is Dan Paille (20th). Paille was the safe and smart pick for the Sabres. They didn’t take any chances of picking a risky player, they drafted a player who is aggressive yet can put up a show in every game. On the ice he will be very affective, but people foresee him as a “once, or a couple of times, in a while 30 goal scorer”. There is only one attribute that Paille lacks, and that is work ethic. John Adams (82nd) was a very good pick as well. He is a pure physical defenseman who punishes and plays solid. Scouting reports say he will make the NHL without a doubt (and is a perfect fit for the Sabres), but it could take him a few years. Maxim Sheviev (178th) was another great pick, especially in the 6th round, for the Sabres. He is noted as a defensive forward but if he can elevate his skills he could also become a decent scorer. He will be the perfect defensive forward the Sabres will need three of four seasons from now.

Overall the Sabres had an excellent draft. Ballard was such a great pick, and the players mentioned should all make the NHL without a problem. The Sabres had a very complete draft.

15 Responses to Grading Teams on Their Draft Picks (A-B)

  1. MantaRay says:

    No offense, because I know this is alot of hard work, but this is all guess work and you can pretty much give every one A’s & B’s since we won’t know the outcome for at minimum three years.

  2. titans says:

    Yea a little early indeed.

  3. mikster says:

    Ok, then the sites who also had these sorts of aritcles by experts also had a bad idea?

    Listen, plain and simple the purpose of this article. It is all a huge IF. I know that. I know what you’re saying because i thought about it also but all i am grading is the type of players the teams drafted judging by their scouting reports.

    Two things this article gives you:

    One, it gives you general information fro scouting reports of prospects. Two, it tells you if the team could have done a better job.

    See, you’re talking about the outcome of these players. That’s not what i am aiming for. I am just aiming for what kind of players the teams drafted.

    Ballard was a great pick for the Sabres. The scouting reports on him were excellent. The scouting reports on Esveev were so so, not so impressive. Therefore, the Sabres did very well at drafting Ballard since scouting reports were great, and the Bruins didn’t do such a great job; drafting Esveev wasn’t the best pick for the Bruins. That is what i am trying to let people know. Now, ok, Esveev might turn out to be a star but that is the outcome of the player…that is a different type of article.

    Now, do you understand (Manta,titans)

  4. MantaRay says:

    Yes, these sort of articles are a waste of time and a bad idea.

    Its not a question of understanding, its essentially a waste of topic. These so called scouting reports also had Alexander Daigle and Vincent Lecavilar top ranked, so they mean nothing.

    This is all subjective and nothing to be gained out if it.

    You have little understanding about how teams operate from a managerial point of view. What may be seem like a mistake now (eg Esveev sor the Bruins) was probably done to solve problems four years down the road, which is why your guesswork now is not really important right now.

    Which is too bad because you probably did a lot of work on it.

  5. MantaRay says:

    This article is fruitless.

    Jonathon’s post a few weeks ago was far more interesting and debatable since people could make value judgements based on facts instead of “ifs” and hypotheticals.

  6. Ghost_of_the_Forums says:

    interesting reading

    the article appeared to be researched well and showed a good sense of all round hockey knowledge

    plus he stated it was his opinion as is most post

    it would be pretty boring on here if all that was stated was excerpts from TSN, etc

    why would we come here?

    lighten up guys

    Great job mikster

  7. mikster says:

    Which one are you talking about?

  8. mikster says:

    Well, that’s what you think…good for you.

    You’re still missing the point of the article. It shows the scouting report views of players. It’s just some general info. This is not guess work, it is information…researched. This is information that General Managers read as well as other scouts and reporters and so on.

    Esveev, it told what kind of player he was, that is a fact…not guessing. I understand your point, but you’re still not understanding the point of this article.

  9. Jonathane says:

    Whoever wrote this article, good luck. In the days leading up to the draft, I remembered hearing some of the Red Wings staff talking about four years for draft picks to pan out.

    Well I got this burr in my saddle and decided to try something different. Give the picks four years and then post grades. I figured a couple of people would be posting about this last years draft, so I figured I would try a different angle.

    Well I got scouting pretty current scouting reports on most teams and researched the best I could on others. The result was that I had a pile of paper work that would make most government agencies jealous.

    Then there was people traded and such, it was a mess.

    Well even using four years as a time table their were actually very few everyday players. Most were jsut starting to get a pick and some had already washed out. And that was after 4 years.

    There were some surprises. Pavel Datsyuk for Detroit, but he only showed up this season and surprised everyone, including I think the Red Wings. The biggest surprise I think, was a defensemen from Nashville, I just forgot his name, that was drafted in the 9th round.

    So what happened in the end? Well it really wasn’t sexy talking about people drafted 4 years ago. People would rather talk about potential, and that’s fine, however this is what I learned.

    You really cannot tell how players are going to turn out. I was surprised by how many players where rated really high four years ago in a deep draft that really will not make it. I really think that the NHL should move its draft age up to 21, very-very few players are ready to make the jump at 18. IF it were 21 it would give teams a better indication of how a player was going to develope.

    Now I don’t want to knock your article, because I know how much work it takes. But even with the most astute reporting it may be years, if at all before someone can acurately grade the draft. Still it will be interesting to see what others think of whos coming up through the system.

  10. PanMan says:

    Maybe somebody should rate the 1998 Draft (or ’97, ’96, ’99 etc.). It would be more accurate and would be interesting to see who was the winner of that draft.

  11. titans says:


  12. mikster says:

    Thank you. I appreciate your respect.

  13. mikster says:

    It only took half our, maybe a bit more since i was on the phone.

    I see your poitn and thank you for syaing it a well mannered way. This is the kind of comment (which could also oppose my article) i look for, with respect.

  14. mikster says:

    Good idea, though i haven’t got the time to do that tyoe of research now.

  15. PanMan says:

    Maybe it would be a good idea for an August article. Hope to see it!

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