The 2020 NHL draft is coming up and goaltender Yaroslav Askarov is receiving a lot of hype, the most since Montreal Canadien goalie Carey Price. Should we draft Askarov in the top 5? I think we shouldn’t, especially in a draft as deep as this.
In fact, I wouldn’t even pick him with the New York Islanders pick. The most obvious answers are that the Ottawa Senators already have plenty of competent goaltenders in the system, and they don’t need another. If they did, they could potentially trade for Matt Murray. Another answer could be that drafting a goalie in the first round is risky, even riskier than drafting a forward or defenceman. But there’s more to that then just these reasons.
Henrik Lundqvist, one of the best and most consistent goalies in the generation was drafted in the seventh round! Goalies are unpredictable. Let’s look at a goalie who is said to be one of the best goalies in the league, Marc-Andre-Fleury. He’s good. Or is he? Not according to the stats.
Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t that elite player that people tout him to be. I’m not going to continue talking about how Fleury isn’t that good and is overrated, but if you still think he’s one of the best goalies in the league, read the article below (the one from Jfresh) and then try to explain that he still is one of the best goalies in the league.
More from SenShot
- Crunch. Crush. Grind. Mash. The Tyler Kleven Story
- Belleville Senators: What To Expect In 2023-24
- Daniel Alfredsson and Marian Hossa Hit The Ice One Final Time
- Ottawa Senators: Something’s Got to Give
- Hot Pierre Summer 2.0? Let’s Talk About The Ottawa Senators Offseason So Far!
And if you think it’s only Fleury who is mediocre, have a look at this to see other examples:
The links show that there is no correlation between draft position and games played. So, there are no Goals Saved Above Expected in the above graph, but as shown earlier, they vary over time. The goaltender with the most games played out of anyone is most likely Henrik Lundqvist who as you will remember was drafted in the seventh round.
Looking at the data, it shows that goaltenders that were drafted in the first round seemed to have played a lot of games compared to the rest of the draft picks. This is because coaches push them, and they tend to have one or two elite seasons, but then they don’t do as well. However, people think that they are still elite, even after a couple of mediocre years, pointing signs to the reason why goalies drafted in the first round may have been worth it.
Therefore, they seemed to play more games but in reality, there is no real correlation between draft position and games played. Mentioned earlier, Askarov has the most hype as a prospect leading up to the draft, as Price and this is what Price looks like:
Price had 2 excellent seasons and a few decent but the rest, mediocre at best. You can see the problem here.
At the end of the first round, the success rate for goalies was only 33%, with goalies drafted in the second round having more success, with 37%. Even goalies drafted in the third round had around the same success rate as goalies drafted late in the first round.
This is just crazy, showing that goalies that were drafted in the first round may not pan out to be that face of the franchise that people hope for when they draft a goalie in the first round. Of the 11 goalies that played this season only 3 had a positive goals-saved record above expected. This furthermore strengthens the point that goalie performance is very hard to project, and drafting a goalie in the first round may not even strengthen the chances of getting a star.
Sorry for all the advanced stats, but it does back-up my reasons as to why the Senators should not draft Askarov. Goalies that are drafted are unpredictable, as seen with one of the best goalies in this generation who was drafted in the seventh round. Contrast that with the so-called top goaltenders in the league who just have one or two elite seasons.
These stats back-up the fact that goalies are inconsistent and have a lucky year or so. You never know when a goalie can be good, take Gibson for the last example, excellent for two years but this year, mediocre at best.