How Well Have the Columbus Blue Jackets 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 Columbus Blue Jackets 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 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 19 2041 796
LW 16 1612 905
RW 22 2636 987
D 39 3387 802
G 11 545 14
Unspecified 10 0 0
Total 117 10222 3504
  • 38 of 117 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (32%)
  • 31 of 117 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (26%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 10222 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 9676 games and accumulated 3490 points (0.36 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 33 points and 87 games played
  • Best draft year: 2006 – Brassard (6th), S. Mason (69th), Sestito (85th), Dorsett (189th)
  • Worst draft year: 2004 – Picard (8th). Drafted 12 players and the only played to skate in 100+ games was Clitsome who was selected in the 9th round (271st overall)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 1053 547
LW 3 982 713
RW 2 952 633
D 3 967 223
G 1 173 4
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 12 4127 2120
  • 9 of 12 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (75%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 4127 games and accumulated 2116 points (0.54 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 192 points and 344 games played
  • Notable picks: Nash (1st, 2002), Klesla (4th, 2000), Voracek (7th, 2007), Johansen (4th, 2010), Brassard (6th, 2006), Zherdev (4th, 2003), Leclaire (8th, 2001), Brule (6th, 2005)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 5 509 165
LW 1 0 0
RW 4 487 77
D 4 336 53
G 1 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 15 1332 295
  • 5 of 15 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (33%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 1332 games and accumulated 295 points (0.22 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 21 points and 89 games played
  • Notable picks: Jackman (38th, 2001), McQuaid (55th, 2005), Fritsche (46th, 2003), J. Lindstrom (41st, 2002), Jenner (37th, 2011)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 2 0 0
LW 1 137 18
RW 0 0 0
D 5 965 232
G 3 355 10
Unspecified 3 0 0
Total 14 1457 260
  • 5 of 14 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (36%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 1457 games and accumulated 250 points (0.23 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 23 points and 104 games played
  • Notable picks: Kris Russell (67th, 2005), Steve Mason (69th, 2006), Aaron Johnson (85th, 2001), Sestito (85th, 2006)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 9 479 84
LW 11 493 174
RW 16 1197 277
D 27 1119 294
G 6 18 0
Unspecified 7 0 0
Total 76 3306 829
  • 12 of 76 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL 16%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 3306 games and accumulated 829 points (0.25 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 12 points and 44 games played
  • Notable picks: Jared Boll (101st, 2005), David Savard (94th, 2009), Matt Calvert (127th, 2008), Marc Methot (168th, 2003), Cam Atkinson (157th, 2008), Derek Dorsett (189th, 2006), Grant Clitsome (271st, 2004)

FUN FACT

  • 52 of Columbus’ draft picks played at least one NHL game; the average player has 164 PIM
  • Only four Columbus draftees since 2000 have over 200 career points (six have a PPG over 0.50)

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 5 96%
6 – 10 6 74%
11 – 15 0 54%
16 – 20 0 62%
21 – 30 1 58%

11 of Columbus’ last 12 first round picks have been in the top 10 resulting in a high expected success rate of 79 – 85 percent. Despite having the highest percentage of successful first round draftees (tied with Anaheim) they fell short of these expectations with an actual success rate of 75 percent.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 79 – 85% 75%
2 26 – 32% 33%
3 21 – 26% 36%
4+ 10 – 15% 16%

Looking at the above chart the underlying numbers for Columbus are very positive. While they fell just short of expectations for first round picks they drafted better than expected in all other rounds and were very successful in the third round. The biggest concern with Columbus’ drafting is the offensive production of their draftees. Of the teams studied so far the Blue Jackets have the second highest number of picks (117) and the third highest NHL games played (10222) but are fourth last in points (3490). With so many draft picks and the highest overall success rate for draftees (26%, tied with Buffalo and Anaheim) it’s surprising how incredibly low their overall draftee point totals are.

The answer may lie in the way that Columbus has drafted. In the first round Columbus tends to draft the most skilled forwards but in each of the later rounds the majority of their successful draftees are physical, hard-nosed players. Jackman and McQuaid account for 57 percent of all games played by second round draftees but only have a combined 0.15 PPG. Derek Dorsett (410 GP, 1030 PIM), Jared Boll (488 GP, 1134 PIM), Aaron Johnson (291 GP, 227 PIM), David Savard (187 GP, 115 PIM), Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (163 GP, 296 PIM), and Tom Sestito (137 GP, 432 PIM) all highlight Columbus’ successful picks from the third rounds or higher but none of them have been known to contribute offensively. In fact, outside of the first round only 2 of the Blue Jacket’s 102 draftees have produced more than 100 career points.

Overall the Blue Jackets look like they should be ranked as one of the drafting teams in the league but poor offensive production from their draftees will likely have them ranked just above the middle of the pack in my final analysis.

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

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