How Well Have the Detroit Red Wings 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 Detroit Red Wings 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 22 2410 1116
LW 15 1300 566
RW 18 1601 724
D 32 2229 695
G 9 387 6
Unspecified 4 34 8
Total 100 7961 3115
  • 24 of 100 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (24%)
  • 20 of 100 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (20%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 7960 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 7573 games and accumulated 3109 points (0.41 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 34 points and 80 games played
  • Best draft year: 2002 – Hudler (58th), Fleischmann (63rd), Filppula (95th), Ericsson (291st)
  • Worst draft year: 2001 – Traded first round pick as part of a package to acquire Chris Chelios. None of Detroit’s 7 draft picks that year ever played a full season in the NHL.

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 1 123 60
LW 0 0 0
RW 0 0 0
D 3 1117 448
G 1 3 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 5 1243 508
  • 4 of 5 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (80%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 1243 games and accumulated 508 points (0.41 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 127 points and 249 games played
  • Notable picks: Kronwall (29th, 2000), Kindl (19th, 2005), B. Smith (27th, 2007), Sheahan (21st, 2010)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 4 1105 530
LW 6 1300 566
RW 3 678 207
D 2 26 3
G 1 338 6
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 16 3447 1312
  • 9 of 16 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (56%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 3446 games and accumulated 1306 points (0.42 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 87 points and 215 games played
  • Notable picks: Hudler (58th, 2002), Howard (64th, 2003), Tatar (60th, 2009), Fleischmann (63rd, 2002), Kopecky (38th, 2000), Matthias (47th, 2006), Abdelkader (42nd, 2005), Emmerton (41st, 2006), Jurco (35th, 2011)
  • Jurco was included as an exception in the 100+ GP group despite falling just outside of this cutoff (99 GP)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 5 816 390
LW 0 0 0
RW 2 654 389
D 2 0 0
G 2 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 11 1470 779
  • 3 of 11 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (27%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 1470 games and accumulated 779 points (0.53 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 87 points and 134 games played
  • Notable picks: Filppula (95th, 2002), Franzen (97th, 2004), Andersson (88th, 2007)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 12 366 136
LW 9 0 0
RW 13 269 128
D 25 1086 244
G 5 46 0
Unspecified 4 34 8
Total 68 1801 516
  • 5 of 68 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (7%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 1801 games and accumulated 516 points (0.29 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 8 points and 26 games played
  • Notable picks: Quincey (132nd, 2003), Nyquist (121st, 2008), Helm (132nd, 2005), Mrazek (141st, 2010), J. Ericsson (291st, 2002), Meech (229th, 2002)

FUN FACT

  • Detroit hasn’t had a first round pick in the top 10 since 1991

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 0 74%
11 – 15 0 54%
16 – 20 1 62%
21 – 30 4 58%

If you haven’t noticed by now Detroit has only had 5 first round picks over the 13 year period under study (the next closest is Colorado with 9 picks). Before going any further I should disclose that because Detroit’s sample size is extremely small for the first round we have to take any findings with a grain of salt.

All of Detroit’s first round picks have been late in the round resulting in an expected success range of 56 to 62 percent. Four of their five picks surpassed the 100 games played threshold and are still playing in the NHL. The only pick to not make the cut is 2008 selection Tom McCollum who has been developing in the AHL and improving each season. Goaltenders take longer to develop and with Mrazek locking down the back up position his future in the NHL is still unknown.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 56 – 62% 80%
2 26 – 32% 56%
3 21 – 26% 27%
4+ 10 – 15% 7%

Despite having a small sample size Detroit deserves credit for their first round drafting success. Each of Detroit’s first round picks have been key contributors on the Red Wings roster and be on the roster next season.

In my previous post I discussed how Dallas was arguably the best second round drafting team, that is no longer the case. Nine of Detroit’s 16 picks have succeeded in the NHL which is far better than any other team studied so far. Even with four fewer picks Red Wings draftees have played more games and more points than Dallas draftees. Detroit has actually drafted NHL players more consistently in the second round (56%) than team like Boston (54%), Calgary (30%), Chicago (50%), and Dallas (30%) have drafted in the first round.

While their third round is not as impressive as their second they still drafted better than the expected rate. Their success rate is fifth best of all teams studied but their draftees have accumulated way more points than any other teams in the round. The second closest team to Detroit’s third round draftee production is Buffalo’s with 540 total points compared to Detroit’s 779. Their average third round draftee has played 87 games and accumulated 134 points which demolishes the league average of 25 points and 67 games played.

So now we arrive at the depth rounds where Detroit has built a reputation for being the best at finding hidden gems. If you’re a Detroit fan who prides himself on his teams late round drafting you may want to sit down. Since the year 2000 the Red Wings late round drafting has been the third worst of all teams studied, ahead of only Arizona (5%) and Carolina (5%). Of their 68 picks in these rounds only five players (six if you include Mrazek with 40 GP) have played extended periods of time in the NHL. The average Detroit draftee has played 26 games and accumulated 8 points which is second worst in the league of all teams. Furthermore Detroit hasn’t drafted an NHL caliber played beyond the fifth round since 2002. While they do have a number of depth round prospects in the pipeline, Detroit’s reputation for being a strong depth drafting team just hasn’t held true for the past 15 years.

Overall Detroit has been one of the leagues most consistent teams at drafting NHL caliber players in the first three rounds. Despite this success, poor drafting in the late rounds has changed Detroit’s ranking from one of the best in the league to a team just that will likely position just above average in my final standings.

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

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