With this weekend’s upcoming draft in mind, I have been and will continue to look at each team in the NHL, and see how they have performed at the NHL draft over the past 15 years. 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 Montreal Canadiens, and their track record since the year 2000.
FIRST ROUND SUCCESS:
The Habs have selected 16 players in the first round of the draft, with 11 of them making some impact in the NHL, for a success rate of 69%.
SECOND ROUND SUCCESS:
In the second round, 3 of the 11 players they selected have gone on to play a significant amount of time, resulting in a 27% success rate.
The Canadiens had 14 Montreal-drafted players play games with them this past season.
SUCCESSES – The Canadiens have been pretty successful in the first round of the draft, with Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk, and Andrei Kostitsyn among the better names. They have also had a few really good blueliners, but for the most part they have made their impact after leaving the Habs – Ryan McDonagh, Ron Hainsey and Mike Komisarek to name but a few. P.K. Subban fell into their laps in the second round in 2007.
FAILURES -David Fischer, 20th overall in 2006 is the only first round draft pick in recent Habs history who never made an impact in the NHL.
OVERALL SCORE: 84.1%*
NHL RANK: 8th
* 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.