How Well Have the Dallas Stars 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 Dallas Stars 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 15 1572 709
LW 21 2033 1070
RW 16 1695 755
D 28 2522 638
G 10 690 19
Unspecified 13 0 0
Total 103 8512 3191
  • 25 of 103 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (24%)
  • 20 of 103 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (19%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 8512 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 7822 games and accumulated 3172 points (0.41 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 34 points and 83 games played
  • Best draft year: 2005 – Matt Niskanen (28th), James Neal (33rd), Richard Clune (71st), Tom Wandell (146th)
  • Worst draft year: 2006 – Ivan Vishnevskiy (27th). Five other picks in the draft and only Richard Bachman (120th) played more than 10 games in the NHL.

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 775 279
LW 0 0 0
RW 0 0 0
D 5 962 244
G 2 39 1
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 10 1776 524
  • 3 of 10 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (30%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 1776 games and accumulated 523 points (0.30 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 65 points and 178 games played
  • Notable picks: Steve Ott (25th, 2000), Matt Niskanen (28th, 2005), Mark Fistric (28th, 2004)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 2 0 0
LW 2 480 599
RW 7 1297 599
D 5 1317 313
G 3 223 7
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 20 3317 1271
  • 7 of 20 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (35%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 3317 games and accumulated 1264 points (0.41 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 74 points and 166 games played
  • Notable picks: Trevor Daley (43rd, 2002), Loui Eriksson (33rd, 2003), Nicklas Grossmann (56th, 2004), James Neal (33rd, 2005), Dan Ellis (60th, 2000), Alex Chaisson (38th, 2009), B. J. Crombeen (54th, 2003)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 4 135 26
LW 3 120 18
RW 2 203 100
D 3 0 0
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 3 0 0
Total 15 458 144
  • 3 of 15 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (20%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 458 games and accumulated 144 points (0.31 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 10 points and 31 games played
  • Notable picks: Reilly Smith (69th, 2009), Joel Lundqvist (68th, 2000), Richard Clune (71st, 2005)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 6 662 404
LW 16 1433 700
RW 7 195 56
D 15 243 81
G 5 428 11
Unspecified 9 0 0
Total 58 2961 1252
  • 8 of 58 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (14%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 2961 games and accumulated 1241 points (0.49 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 23 points and 51 games played
  • Notable picks: Jamie Benn (129th, 2007), Mike Smith (161st, 2001), Tom Wandell (146th, 2005), Philip Larsen (149th, 2008), John Klingberg (131st, 2010), Jussi Jokinen (192nd, 2001), Luke Gazdic (172nd, 2007), Antti Miettinen (224th, 2000)
  • Colton Sceviour (112th, 2007) has played 99 games with the majority of his games played occuring last season. I included him as an exception to the 100 GP group

FUN FACT

  • Jarome Iginla was drafted by Dallas in 1995 but was traded to Calgary in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk before ever playing a game in the NHL.

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 0 96%
6 – 10 1 74%
11 – 15 3 54%
16 – 20 0 62%
21 – 30 6 58%

40 percent of Dallas’ first round picks since 2000 have been in late in the round resulting in the lowest expected success rate of all teams studied so far (55% – 61%). Even factoring in these low expectations their actual success rate of 30 percent is the lowest of any team studied so far. The only other team with a comparable success rate are the Calgary Flames (33%) with every other team having a success rate of 50 percent or higher.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 55 – 61% 30%
2 26 – 32% 35%
3 21 – 26% 20%
4+ 10 – 15% 14%

While there’s a lot to talk about with Dallas I want to discuss the first round a little further because the underlying numbers are shocking. As a whole Dallas draftees who have played in the NHL have an average PPG of 0.41, however, first round draftees have an average PPG of only 0.30. In fact, the first round draftees have the lowest PPG of any round for Dallas (2nd Round = 0.41; 3rd Round = 0.31; 4th+ Rounds = 0.49). Compared to other teams studied so far Dallas’ first round drafting is the worst in every category. To illustrate this I’ve made a chart that compares their first round points to the average of all teams studied:

Category Dallas League Average Difference
Draftees 10 13 -3
100+ GP 3 7.4 -4.4
100+ GP (%) 30 56 -26
Total GP 1776 3293 -1517
Skater PTS 523 1610 -1087
Skater PPG 0.30 0.49 -0.19
AVG PTS 65 133 -68
AVG GMS 178 254 -76

One defense for Dallas is that they’ve drafted 5 defensemen and 2 goaltenders with their 10 first round picks. While this partially excuses the poor point production it does not defend their success percentage or abysmal total games played stats relative to the league average.

You would expect a team that drafts poorly in the first round to draft poorly overall but this is not the case with Dallas. In fact, their second round drafting has a higher success rate than their first round and is good for third best in the league. In terms of total games played, Dallas second round draftees have played 632 games more than the next closest team (Buffalo).

With a success rate just below the expected range of 21 – 26 percent it’s reasonable to conclude that the Star’s third round drafting is a little disappointing but nothing to be concerned about. Upon closer look, however, we find that outside of Reilly Smith their next best pick is Joel Lundqvist (yes it’s Henrik’s twin brother) who only had 26 points in 134 games.

The fourth rounds and higher have yielded a number of star caliber players for Dallas. Jamie Benn headlines the group after being selected in the fifth round with Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, Antti Miettinen and more recently John Klingberg making up a fairly impressive list of late round picks. Dallas’ late round drafting drafting seems to mirror Chicago’s ‘go big or go home’ style, however, with only 58 picks in late rounds (compared to Chicago’s 83) they haven’t found quite as many star players. With the best average PPG in the league for late round picks (0.49) Dallas should be very happy with their depth drafting.

Overall Dallas’ drafting is quite the roller coaster. Their first round is the worst in the league followed by their second round drafting which rivals the leagues best. The third round was a little concerning but their success in deep round more than made up for it. As a whole Dallas will likely land just below the bottom half of teams in my final rankings.

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