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Old 04-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
atb
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Default The Value of Draft Picks

So with all this talk rebuilding/retooling through the draft, versus free agency/trades, I was interested to see the correlation between current playoff teams and their draft history. This wasn't done to prove anything, but rather an exercise of curiosity.

Using draft data, I applied the following values to picks:

1st overall: 10 points
2nd: 7 points
3rd: 5 points
4-10: 3 points
11-14: 2 points
15-24: 1 point
>25: 0.5 point

The idea being that the lower the pick, the lower the chance of drafting an impact player. Now whether 1st first overall pick is the equivalent to twenty picks below 25 is debatable, the truth is it would be significantly less likely to draft the Taveres, Kane, Hall equivalent with a lower pick.

I applied these values to 2001-2008, with the idea that it would take 3 years (2008-2011) for players to make a significant impact at the pro level. This gives the following data:



Just a note that Dallas should not be highlighted in these images, too lazy to fix.

As expected, Calgary has been below average in obtaining valuable picks without consistent playoff success. Also as expected Detroit is at the bottom as a result of their continual playoff success and ability to draft impact players in late rounds. What I found surprising was how well Dallas has done in building a good young team without top end draft picks. This is a result of making the most of their lower picks such as Jamie Benn at 129th overall, Loui Eriksson at 33, and James Neal at 33.

Also surprising is how well Boston, and to an extent Vancouver, have done in building a Stanley Cup winner/contender without recent high draft picks.

Here is the past 10 years up to the most recent draft:



And here is the last 5 years. This is a little concerning as out of the bottom 8, Calgary is one of 3 teams that hasn't made the playoffs. The other two being Dallas, which looks like a team on the rise, and Montreal, which has the 3rd overall pick 2012:



If anyone is intrested in messing around with the data trying their own thing let me know and I'll pass on the spreadsheet.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Well, that's kind of a depressing analysis, if we're to put stock in the weighting.

It's hard to do a scientific sort of analysis in this way, ad-hoc. I wonder how the numbers would shake out with the following weighting?:

1st overall: 10 points
2nd: 8 points
3rd: 7 points
4,5: 6 points
6,7: 5 points
8-10: 4 points
11-14: 3 points
15-19: 2 points
20-25: 1 point
>25: 0.5 points

I understand the diminishing points for picks further down, obviously, and why you may have distributed the values the way you have, but my hunch is that there should be a little more spread. I think this way of looking at it is food for thought, though.

Last edited by Salamander; 04-13-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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I think the arbitrary 'weighting' system will end up skewing your data and make it look like something it's not. Maybe points over these times vs average draft position given that time may lead to a better correlation.

I'd actually be interested in running that data analysis/plotting it but with this week being my exam week I don't have the time to get the data myself.

Last edited by Mith; 04-13-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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Draft schmaft.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mith View Post
I think the arbitrary 'weighting' system will end up skewing your data and make it look like something it's not. Maybe points over these times vs average draft position given that time may lead to a better correlation.
Except that assessing it in that way ignores defencemen and goalies. But, true, it isn't an easy assessment to make.

I have to say, I like this sort of analysis, nonetheless - if we are to agree on a way to spread the points, it will help illustrate how team assets are being managed by any given team, factoring out draft position.

Last edited by Salamander; 04-13-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Salamander View Post
Except that assessing it in that way ignores defencemen and goalies. But, true, it isn't an easy assessment to make.
Points as in TEAM points, not scoring. (ie: testing the hypothesis that draft position in the last (1, 2, 5, 10) years affects points/standings in said time period)
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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OP: Pretty cool. Thank you.

I think the increased emphasis the Flames have put on scouting, etc will start paying dividends. Not to get into all the other issues that go along with the Flames, but I hope a trend towards building through the draft and supplementing with FAs and trades becomes prominent, rather than vice versa.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:17 PM   #9
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Thank you for clarifying that the table is referring to the Mtl. Canadiens. Canadiens would be too confusing.

I assume the Raptors are included for contrast purposes between the NBA and the NHL?
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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3 year view: 2 of top 6 drafting teams have not made the playoffs
5 year view: 3 of top 6 drafting teams have not made the playoffs
10 year view: 3 of top 6 drafting teams have not made the playoffs
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnedTheCorner View Post
Thank you for clarifying that the table is referring to the Mtl. Canadiens. Canadiens would be too confusing.

I assume the Raptors are included for contrast purposes between the NBA and the NHL?
The data I used named the team Mtl. Candiens, so kept it for ease of formula use. But thanks for being a sarcastic dick.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamander View Post
Well, that's kind of a depressing analysis, if we're to put stock in the weighting.

It's hard to do a scientific sort of analysis in this way, ad-hoc. I wonder how the numbers would shake out with the following weighting?:

1st overall: 10 points
2nd: 8 points
3rd: 7 points
4,5: 6 points
6,7: 5 points
8-10: 4 points
11-14: 3 points
15-19: 2 points
20-25: 1 point
>25: 0.5 points

I understand the diminishing points for picks further down, obviously, and why you may have distributed the values the way you have, but my hunch is that there should be a little more spread. I think this way of looking at it is food for thought, though.
Here's 2001-2008 using your suggested point values

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Old 04-13-2012, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mith View Post
I think the arbitrary 'weighting' system will end up skewing your data and make it look like something it's not. Maybe points over these times vs average draft position given that time may lead to a better correlation.

I'd actually be interested in running that data analysis/plotting it but with this week being my exam week I don't have the time to get the data myself.
Yeah that might be a better way to show team success vs drafting. Maybe the average point total of the following 3-5 years after the draft.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:45 PM   #14
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It's something to look at but not sure how accurate the conclusions would be.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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Just curious - is this analysis based on original draft position - or draft position after trades...?

The reason I ask, is that if it is based on draft position after trades, then the acquired picks/players shouls be considered...

Calgary has often traded down, but their original draft positions were better:

1996 13th, 1997 6th, 1998 6th, 1999 9th, 2000 9th, 2001 11th, 2002 9th, 2003 9th, 2004 19th, 2005 26th, 2006 26th, 2007 18th, 2008 17th, 2009 20th, 2010 13th, 2011 13th.

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Old 04-13-2012, 07:46 PM   #16
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Just out of curiosity I ran the data that atb suggested, assuming normal distribution of points, and statistically speaking there is no indication that draft position alters playoff probability given that specific data set.

I haven't looked at the data in the original post, but there's that result at least

Edit: as a side note, the data actually does look fairly normally distributed, so the linear model I used is likely a good model

Last edited by Mith; 04-13-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
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^ Trade all 5th Round picks for 6th rounders!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #18
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^ Trade all 5th Round picks for 6th rounders!
And all 8th rounders for 7th rounders
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:09 AM   #19
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Phenomenal post atb. Great work.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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I've wondered how common it is to have extra draft picks, especially having more than one extra, and how that affects a teams fortunes in drafting / future success, when you don't take draft position into account. (And in reverse, how bad is it to be missing draft picks in general?)
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