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 Ottawa, and their track record since the year 2000.
FIRST ROUND SUCCESS:
The Sens 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, 4 of the 10 players they selected have gone on to play a significant amount of time, resulting in a 40% success rate.
The Senators had 18 Ottawa-drafted players play games with them this past season.
SUCCESSES – A budget team, the Senators count on their first round picks panning out. The two names that stand out are Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza, but Anton Volchenkov, Tim Gleason, Patrick Eaves, Andrej Meszaros and Nick Foligno have all carved out solid careers. Jared Cowen, Mika Zibanejad and Cody Ceci have started their NHL careers, and the jury is still out just how far they can rise.
FAILURES – You have to point at Brian Lee, Jakub Klepis and it looks like Jim O’Brien as picks that went awry. Possibly the worst failure for the Senators came not once, but twice. They drafted Mathieu Chouinard in the first round of the 1998 draft, and when he re-entered the draft two years later after not being able to come to terms on a deal, they picked him again in the second round. He played 1 NHL game.
STEALS - The Senators also rely on good scouting (and good luck). Colin Greening and Erik Condra were 7th round picks in consecutive years, while the Senators also picked up Brian Elliott very late as well as Brooks Laich.
OVERALL SCORE: 96.3%*
NHL RANK: 4th
* 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.