How Well Have the Florida Panthers 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 Florida Panthers 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 2049 800
LW 18 1612 550
RW 16 1590 772
D 39 2572 677
G 10 51 0
Unspecified 10 0 0
Total 112 7874 2799
  • 23 of 112 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (21%)
  • 18 of 112 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (16%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 7874 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 7823 games and accumulated 2799 points (0.36 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 27 points and 70 games played
  • Best draft year: 2002 – Jay Bouwmeester (3rd), Greg Campbell (67th)
  • Worst draft year: 2005 – Kenndal McArdle (20th). Eight players drafted and McArdle was the only one to play in the NHL (3 points in 42 games)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 894 505
LW 4 637 256
RW 3 1400 727
D 6 2089 611
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 16 5020 2099
  • 12 of 16 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (75%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 5020 games and accumulated 2099 points (0.42 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 131 points and 314 games played
  • Notable picks: Bouwmeester (3rd, 2002), Weiss (4th, 2001), Horton (3rd, 2003), Frolik (10th, 2006), Kulikov (14th, 2009), Olesz (7th, 2004), Gudbranson (3rd, 2010), Hubredeau (3rd, 2011)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 4 317 84
LW 2 522 233
RW 3 118 22
D 4 93 8
G 3 50 0
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 17 1100 347
  • 2 of 17 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (12%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 1100 games and accumulated 347 points (0.33 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 25 points and 65 games played
  • Notable picks: Booth (53rd, 2004), Kreps (38th, 2003), Markstrom (31st, 2008)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 791 206
LW 0 0 0
RW 6 55 20
D 4 50 2
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 3 0 0
Total 16 896 228
  • 1 of 16 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (6%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 896 games and accumulated 228 points (0.25 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 14 points and 56 games played
  • Notable picks: Campbell (67th, 2002)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 9 47 5
LW 12 453 61
RW 4 17 3
D 25 340 56
G 7 1 0
Unspecified 6 0 0
Total 63 858 125
  • 3 of 63 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (5%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 858 games and accumulated 125 points (0.15 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 2 points and 14 games played
  • Notable picks: Bartkowski (190th, 2008), Tanner Glass (265th, 2003), Majesky (267th, 2001)

FUN FACT

  • Jay Bouwmeester has played more NHL games than all 63 of Florida’s picks in the 4th – 9th rounds.

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 4 74%
11 – 15 1 54%
16 – 20 2 62%
21 – 30 4 58%

Nine of the Panthers 16 first round picks have been in the top 10 resulting in an expected success range of 71 to 77 percent. With 12 of Florida’s 16 picks playing more than 100 NHL games their draftees met and almost exceeded the fairly high expectations.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 71 – 77% 75%
2 26 – 32% 12%
3 21 – 26% 6%
4+ 10 – 15% 5%

From the above you can see that there is a dramatic drop off in success after the first round. After drafting 12 NHL players in the first round they have only managed to draft 6 NHL caliber players in the next 6+ rounds.

Panthers draftees who have lasted in the NHL haven’t gone on to produce offensively. Second round draftees have produced a PPG of 0.33 (0.05 below league average); third round picks have a PPG of 0.25 (0.05 below league average); and fourth round picks or higher have a PPG of 0.15 (0.15 below league average). Even Florida’s successful first round picks have only produced a PPG of 0.42 which is 0.06 below the league average. Overall Florida draftees have accumulated the second lowest total points (2799) of all teams studied, which is only marginally higher than Calgary (2556) despite having 9 more draft picks.

Florida’s drafting as a whole has not been pretty, however, there are a few bright spots that deserve attention. In the first round the Panthers have produced a number of talented players even when picking outside of the top 10. Kulikov and Bjugstad are all picks outside the top 10 that have already proved themselves in the NHL and will likely improve as the Panthers become more competitive. A second positive is Florida’s improved drafting as of late. Huberdeau, Kulikov, Gudbranson, and Bjugstad were all drafted between 2009 and 2011 after a stretch in the mid-2000’s where they struggled to find any NHL caliber players.

Looking at their drafting as a whole Florida hasn’t fared well compared to the current league average:

Category Florida League Avg. Difference
Draftees 112 107 +5
100+ GP 18 22 -4
100+ GP (%) 16% 21% -5%
Total GP 7874 8646 -772
Skater PTS 2799 3379 -580
Skater PPG 0.36 0.41 -0.05
AVG PTS 27 35 -8
AVG GP 70 81 -11

Even with five more picks than the league average Florida draftees could not meet the average in any of the noted categories. The low percentage of players having 100+ games played combined with the low points per game implies that most draftees did not succeed and those who did were not known to contribute offensively. Only four players who skated more than 100 games have a PPG higher than 0.50 (Weiss, Horton, Huberdeau, Bjugstad) but none have a PPG higher than 0.70.

Conclusion: Outside of the first round the Panthers have had the worst drafting success in the league. Florida’s drafting as of late indicates that they will be more competitive in the coming years, however, their final ranking in my study will be somewhere in the bottom five of the league.

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

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