Re: Funny Canucks Draft Analysis
posted at 5/21/2014 6:38 PM EDT
Yeah, and of course I would agree in pointing out that the preferences for taking forwards, or N. Americans, or whatever, only makes sense if everyone else is not doing the same thing. If everyone takes forwards, than naturally higher value defensemen are dropping and becoming better picks.
IF other teams are taking d-men and goalies in the first round, I would typically prefer to take my chances on the forwards, because the Nathan MacKinnon/Seth Jones scenario seems very predictable from a development standpoint. Jones could be a better player in 10 years (for whatever team he ends up on), but while he remains a development project and a largely unknown quantity, MacKinnon is already a beast.
In regards to the Bruins, I haven't been very critical of Chirarelli on his drafting for a few reasons. One is that I don't think his record is all that bad. Another is the big role the scouts have in this. But most importantly I think that so much of this is a crapshoot, and that's why I liked the article. Set aside the robot drafter, which of course isn't actually smarter, but does represent the huge role of randomness in all of this.
There are a ton of reasons that a draft pick might not work out, many of them having little or nothing to do with the GM. After drafting an 18 year old kid, they are often shaped by factors like health, injuries, opportunity, their junior/college coach, physical development, training practices, minor league coaches, roster openings in the NHL, roles needed on the team etc. etc. The GM controls just a fraction of this, and has a lot of other priorities to balance besides having their 3rd round pick 'make it'. Spooner would have played a full NHL season on a lot of teams, maybe Subban is in the NHL already in Calgary/Edmonton, and a 4th liner in Calgary might be on the 2nd line in Providence here.
I bet the difference in draft preparation and strategy for a GM that has three guys make it in Calgary or a GM who has three guys miss in Chicago isn't really any different. I think the difference between the robot drafter and the Vancouver staff is probably the same as it is between Vancouver and other teams -- one of circumstance, randomness, and guessing.
I would credit and/or criticize a GM much, much more based on how they deal with guys once they are in the system, than how they make guesses at which 17-year old player is going to be useful on their roster in 5 years. And of course, if that GM is doing a great job building his roster through trades and signings, he is less likely to have his own draft picks make the roster and play NHL games.