Over the next couple of weeks I will look at each team in the NHL, and see how they have performed at the NHL draft. There are basically 3 really important areas to determine the level of success at one of the most inexact sciences in the game – selecting 17 and 18 year old kids and projecting what they will be like over the next 10 or 15 years.
Those three areas are: 1) Success in the first round; 2) Success in the second round and 3) The number of drafted players playing on a team’s roster. I limit it to the first 2 rounds because that is where a majority of the impact players come from, and also where mistakes in judgement are magnified. Players that come after the second round for the most part are fortunate picks and if they work out it is a bonus. Henrik Zetterberg, for example, was a 7th round pick, and although you could claim Detroit was skilled in unearthing a prospect at that point in the draft, if they had known he was going to be as good as he turned out to be, they wouldn’t have waited that long. There is as much good luck as good management for a player like that, and that is factored in in the 3rd area of success.
Now we turn our attention to the Florida Panthers, and their track record since the year 2000.
FIRST ROUND SUCCESS:
The Panthers have selected 16 players in the first round, with 12 of them making some impact in the NHL, for a success rate of 75%.
SECOND ROUND SUCCESS:
In the second round, 3 of the 16 players they selected have gone on to play a significant amount of time, resulting in a 19% success rate.
The Panther had 11 13 Florida-drafted players play games with them this past season.
SUCCESSES – The Panthers drafted early often so they really couldn’t miss on many occasions. Their best success came early in the 2000’s where they selected Stephen Weiss, Jay Bouwmeester and Nathan Horton in consecutive seasons from 2001-2003. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson are recent first rounders that the Panthers hope will steer them out of the perennial basement.
FAILURES – Kenndal McArdle (20th overall in 2005) is really the only Panthers first rounder that didn’t at least make some lasting impact. The Panthers’ inability to cash in in the second round really has them in the position to draft so early in the first round year by year.
OVERALL SCORE: 82.0%*
NHL RANK: 13th
* Score is determined by a formula that encompasses all three aspects listed above and graded on a curve with the highest ranking team awarded a perfect score and 100% rating and the remainder of the clubs given a percentage of that score.