How Well Have the Calgary Flames Drafted Since 2000?

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For those of you who haven’t seen my earlier post(s) I am going through each of the 30 teams and breaking down how they have drafted over the past 15 years. The other teams can be found here:

To make this post I went through all of the Calgary Flames picks since the 2000 draft.

Many of these players were drafted but traded to other teams where they played most of their careers. Despite playing most of their careers on other teams I still used their full NHL stats for two reasons:

1) The team drafted players they believed to have potential; whether or not they fulfilled their potential on that team or not doesn’t necessarily matter. The important thing is that the team recognized a players true potential and the players that were selected lived up to it.

2) I was lazy.

You could argue that they wouldn’t turn out to be the same players if they stayed on the team, and you’re probably right, but I decided to do it this way so that I could specifically focus on the teams drafting ability and not the player development.

TOTAL PICK DISTRIBUTION

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 25 2156 966
LW 21 2103 512
RW 21 1304 431
D 34 2040 745
G 12 160 5
Unspecified 9 1 0
Total 122 7764 2659
  • 23 of 122 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (19%)
  • 17 of 122 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (14%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 7764 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 7604 games and accumulated 2654 points (0.35 PPG)
  • Best draft year: 2011 – Baertschi (13th), Granlund (45th), Gaudreau (104th)
  • Worst draft year: 2006 – Leland Irving (26th). Irving played 13 NHL games (.902 SV%, 3.25 GAA) then moved to play in Europe starting in 2013.

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 5 470 226
LW 4 622 147
RW 3 616 214
D 2 843 414
G 2 14 1
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 16 2565 1002
  • 5 of 16 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (31%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 2565 games and accumulated 1001 points (0.39 PPG)
  • Notable picks: Phaneuf (9th), Kobasew (14th), Nystrom (10th), Backlund (24th), Monahan (6th)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 4 847 400
LW 0 0 0
RW 1 0 0
D 6 421 164
G 2 0 0
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 14 1268 564
  • 2 of 14 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (14%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 1268 games and accumulated 564 points (0.44 PPG)
  • Notable picks: Jarret Stoll (46th, 2000), Kurtis Foster (40th, 2000)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 6 779 330
LW 4 650 161
RW 0 0 0
D 5 3 1
G 1 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 16 1432 492
  • 4 of 16 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (25%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 1432 games and accumulated 492 points (0.34 PPG)
  • Notable picks: Lombardi (90th, 2002), Prust (70th, 2004), Boyd (98th, 2004), Bouma (78th, 2008)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 10 60 10
LW 13 831 204
RW 17 688 217
D 21 773 166
G 7 146 4
Unspecified 8 1 0
Total 76 2499 601
  • 6 of 76 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (8%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 2499 games and accumulated 597 points (0.25 PPG)
  • Notable picks: T.J. Brodie (114th, 2008), Aulie (116th, 2007), Gaudreau (104th, 2011), Moen (155th, 2000), Pardy (173rd, 2004), Moss (220, 2001)

WHAT WE LEARNED

/u/Ichibani made a great suggestion in my Boston post that I should further analyze where in the first round players are drafted since the 1st overall is very different from 30th overall. Based off this TSN article, which estimates a player’s probability of playing 100+ NHL games based off their round selection, I determined how well a team drafted in the first round relative to their pick placement. In other words, I determined if a team drafted well or poorly in the first round by comparing their success rate to the historical league average.

1st Round Pick Position # of Picks Probability of Success
1 – 5 1 96%
6 – 10 4 74%
11 – 15 2 54%
16 – 20 0 62%
21 – 30 9 58%

The majority of Calgary’s first round picks have either been in the 6-10 range or the 21-30 range resulting in an expected success rate of 61 to 67 percent; Calgary fell well short of this average with only 31 percent of first round picks playing 100+ NHL games.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 61 – 67% 31%
2 26 – 32% 14%
3 21 – 26% 25%
4+ 10 – 15% 8%

Despite drafting a comparable number of players to Buffalo (122 draftees to Buffalo’s 124), Calgary draftees have played 4000 less NHL games. The Boston Bruins, who drafted the least number of players of teams studied so far (16 less than Calgary), played 826 more NHL games than Calgary draftees. The only team that has drafted at a comparable rate to Calgary (of teams studied so far) is Phoenix/Arizona who we learned were one of the worst drafting teams in the league over the last 15 years.

The second round has only yielded 2 NHL players to play more than 100 games (14% of second round draftees), which is significantly lower than the expected success rate of 26 – 32 percent. To make things worse their only two successful picks were both selected in 2000 (Stoll, Foster) which is as far back as this study goes.

The third round is the only bright spot for the Flames where their success rate fell within the expected parameter of 21 – 26 percent. While they haven’t drafted any exceptional players in this round they have picked a number of solid bottom 6 players (Prust, Lombardi) who have stood the test of time in the NHL.

The fourth rounds and higher have been much of the same story for the Flames. 92 percent of their picks did not last in the NHL but every couple years they find a player like Moss or Moen. Brodie and Gaudreau are two picks from the late rounds who have really broken out this past season and should top their list of late draftees in a few seasons.

The positive for Calgary is that they’re a team on the rise and that’s largely due to their strong drafting as of late. While it’s not reflected in this study, many of their recent draft picks are beginning to pan out and their core consists of young players who have developed well within the organization (Gaudreau, Brodie, Monahan, Bennett). While they will likely be categorized as one of the weaker drafting teams in my final team comparison I get the feeling if I did this study again in 5 years they would be closer to the middle of the pack.

Conclusion: Historically their drafting has been terrible but they’ve been doing much better as of late.

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