Monday, June 22, 2009

Worst draft ever.

Currently, in the Hockey News NHL draft preview there is an article about the worst draft ever. They have come to the conclusion that the 1999 draft was in fact the worst ever NHL draft. I wanted to see if this was indeed true. To compare one draft to another, I simply picked the best players from each draft year in the form of an all-star team. I picked the top six forwards selected (regardless of forward position), the top four defensemen and the top two goalies. I then figured the average career points for each of the players and average career wins and losses for the goalies.

Firstly, here are the top players from the 1999 entry draft.

Henrik Zetterberg
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin
Martin Havlat
Mike Comrie
Niklas Hagman
Average 378 points

Frantisek Kaberle
Niclas Havelid
Nick Boynton
Jordan Leopold
Average 150 points

Ryan Miller
Alex Auld
110-80 W/L

Ok, this was a fairly week draft for defenders, but the top four forwards are consistent all-stars, and of course Zetterberg is one of the top players in the game. As well, you could do alot worse than Ryan Miller and Alex Auld in net.

The 1996 draft comes through with a slightly higher points average among the forwards, and has far higher quality defensemen but it comes up short in the goaltender department with Mathieu Garon and Robert Esche.

Danny Briere
JP Dumont
Marco Sturm
Danius Zubrus
Mark Parrish
Matt Cullen
Average 433 points

Zdeno Chara
Tomas Kaberle
Pavel Kubina
Sami Salo
Average 327 points

Mathieu Garon
Robert Esche
86-74 W/L

There definitely is no Zetterberg in the 1996 draft but Chara and the other three d-men easily beat the 1999 class. I would have to say this draft is at least as poor as 1999 if not slightly worse.

The 1993 draft class boasts a Hart trophy winner in Chris Pronger as well as Paul Kariya and Saku Koivu. The average points of the top six forwards is a healthy 732 points and the defense averages 443 points. The goalies are the weak link this year with Manny Legace and Jocelyn Thibault.

Paul Kariya
Saku Koivu
Jason Arnott
Pavol Demitra
Vaclav Prospal
Todd Bertuzzi
Average 732 points

Chris Pronger
Bryan McCabe
Kimmo Timonen
Janne Niinimaa
Average 443 points

Manny Legace
Jocelyn Thibault
208-165 W/L

The 1993 draft would have to be considered superior to both the 1996 and 1999 drafts but not by much. The only other draft that would be in consideration for worst ever is 1978. There are no hall of famers in this group, yet the top six forwards average 745 points. Where this class is really lacking is on the defense and in net. Slava Fetisov can certainly be considered a top defenseman and Behn Wilson and Risto Siltanen had brief flashes of excellence, but when Brad Marsh is needed to round out the top four, you're in trouble.

Bobby Smith
Ken Linseman
Stan Smyl
Anton Stastny
Paul MacLean
Ryan Walter
Average 745 points

Behn Wilson
Slava Fetisov
Risto Siltanen
Brad Marsh
Average 285 points

Bob Froese
Steve Weeks
120-96 W/L

Froese and Weeks had a few good seasons but were never among the top tier in the game. Overall, the claim that the 1999 draft was the worst ever could very well be true, but it by no means is a runaway in the discussion.

1 comment:

Geoff_9 said...

I remember hearing the 1975 draft might have been the worst ever. The most ironic thing about it ... the last player in the draft with any NHL experience was Dave Taylor in the 15th round (210th overall). The next player with NHL experience was in the 12th round. Taylor was the ONLY player to break 1000 points from that draft year.

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