How Well Have the Colorado Avalanche 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 Colorado Avalanche picks between 2000 and 2012.

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) 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 28 2256 1215
LW 10 1495 758
RW 13 1746 692
D 34 2886 1068
G 13 315 10
Unspecified 9 0 0
Total 107 8698 3743
  • 27 of 107 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (25%)
  • 22 of 107 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (21%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 8698 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 8383 games and accumulated 3733 points (0.45 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 40 points and 81 games played
  • Best draft year: 2009 – Duchene (3rd), O’Reilly (33rd), Barrie (64th)
  • Worst draft year: 2008 -Traded first round pick to Columbus to bring back Adam Foote. Seven picks in the draft played a total of 133 NHL games and accumulated 29 points.

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 531 340
LW 2 732 460
RW 2 464 264
D 2 339 198
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 9 2066 1262
  • 5 of 9 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (56%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 2066 games and accumulated 1262 points (0.61 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 140 points and 230 games played
  • Notable picks: Duchene (3rd, 2009), Shattenkirk (14th, 2007), Landeskog (2nd, 2011), C. Stewart (18th, 2006), Wolski (21st, 2004)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 8 1096 761
LW 2 321 105
RW 1 67 9
D 7 486 130
G 4 312 10
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 22 2282 1015
  • 5 of 22 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (23%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 2282 games and accumulated 1005 points (0.51 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 56 points and 104 games played
  • Notable picks: Stastny (44th, 2005), O’Reilly (33rd, 2009), Boychuk (61st, 2002), Galiardi (55th, 2007), Budaj (63rd, 2001)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 2 0 0
LW 2 89 19
RW 2 113 38
D 3 543 137
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 10 745 194
  • 3 of 10 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (30%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 745 games and accumulated 194 points (0.26 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 19 points and 75 games played
  • Notable picks: Kurt Sauer (88th, 2000), Barrie (64th, 2009)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 15 629 114
LW 4 353 174
RW 8 1102 381
D 22 1518 603
G 9 3 0
Unspecified 8 0 0
Total 66 3605 1272
  • 9 of 66 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (14%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 3605 games and accumulated 1272 points (0.35 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 22 points and 55 games played
  • Notable picks: Gilbert (129th, 2002), Liles (159th, 2000), Richardson (163rd, 2003), McCormick (144th, 2001), Svatos (227th, 2001), Yip (239th, 2004), D. Jones (288th, 2003)

FUN FACT

  • Colorado only picked centers in the 2012 draft

WHAT WE LEARNED

Since the 1st overall is very different from 30th overall I used this TSN article, which estimates a player’s probability of playing 100+ NHL games based off their round selection, to 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 2 96%
6 – 10 0 74%
11 – 15 3 54%
16 – 20 2 62%
21 – 30 2 58%

Similar to Chicago, Colorado’s first round picks have been evenly distributed between all rounds resulting in an expected success rate of 63 to 69 percent; Colorado fell just short with 56% of their picks playing 100+ NHL games. 2000 first round pick Vaclav Nedorost played 99 NHL games in the NHL, however, I decided to exclude him from the ‘successful player group’ because he is no longer playing in the NHL and only accumulated 20 points over three seasons in the league. Though he was drafted in 2013 MacKinnon has already surpassed the 100 game mark which would improve Colorado’s success rate to 60 percent, however, because the cutoff year is 2012 I’ve excluded him from this analysis.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 63 – 69% 56%
2 26 – 32% 23%
3 21 – 26% 30%
4+ 10 – 15% 14%

Colorado’s first round drafting is best described as go big or go home. The five players who did pass the 100 game threshold include Duchene, Shattenkirk, Landeskog, C. Stewart, and Wolski who all have played at least 250 games and accumulated 190+ points. On the other side of the spectrum, the four players who didn’t make the cut played a combined 114 NHL games and accumulated 22 points (Nedorost accounting for 99 games and 20 points). Although they only had a 56 percent success rate their first round picks had the highest points per game (0.61) of all teams studied so far. Note: Colorado only had 9 picks between 2000 and 2012 (the lowest of any team studied) which limits how accurately we can analyze the teams first round drafting ability.

Colorado’s second round is much of the same story as the first. Players who made the 100 game cutoff all played a minimum of 300 games (except Budaj with 296). On the other hand the 17 players who missed the cut played a combined 233 games and accumulated only 50 points. Calvin Pickard deserves special mention as he’s only played 16 games which were all last season. He will likely get more starts this coming season.

With only 10 picks in the third round (second lowest of all teams) it’s difficult to confidently say that their 30% success rate is indicative of their overall drafting ability. With that being said they do deserve some credit as even the best drafting teams have struggled with third round drafting (Carolina [17%], Anaheim [13%], Chicago [7%]). Kurt Sauer is their third round pick in terms of games played (357) but Barrie has only played a couple seasons and already has more points (104) than all of Colorado’s other third round picks combined (90).

Colorado’s drafting in the fourth rounds and higher are tied with Buffalo’s for the best in the league (14% success rate). Unlike most teams who have struggled for the most part but every once in a while find gems like Byfuglien, Gaudreau, or Yandle, the Avalance have consistently found depth players who have contributed to the bottom six. Their average games played by by a 4th round picks or higher is 55 which is the second best of all teams next only to Buffalo (58) who has also drafted exceptionally well in the fourth plus rounds.

Looking at the ‘Expected Success Rate – Actual Success Rate’ table above you can see that Colorado has drafted just below average in the first two rounds but has consistently drafted NHL caliber players in the 3rd rounds and higher. We saw that the first two rounds are where the Avalanche finds their superstar players while in the deeper rounds they find bottom six players and depth defensemen. While that seems like an obvious statement it has actually been fairly unseen thus far in my analysis. Many of the other teams studied have drafted a number of average players in the earlier rounds while finding the odd superstar in the late rounds.

Overall Colorado’s drafting is the most normal of all teams we’ve seen so far and they will likely fall somewhere in the middle of the pack when I compare all of the teams in my final analysis.

My original post made on Reddit with full comments can be found here

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