How Well Have the Los Angeles Kings 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 LA Kings 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 20 3316 1646
LW 23 1425 594
RW 16 2113 1001
D 32 3173 1173
G 15 883 17
Unspecified 9 38 8
Total 115 10948 4439
  • 33 of 115 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (29%)
  • 28 of 115 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (24%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 10947 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 10064 games and accumulated 4422 points (0.44 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 44 points and 95 games played
  • Best draft year: 2005 – Anze Kopitar (11th), Jonathan Quick (72nd)
  • Worst draft year: 2004 – Lauri Tukonen (11th). Total of 85 NHL games played between 9 draftees.
  • Most Games Played by a Draftee: Lubomir Visnovsky (883 GP).
  • Most Points by a Draftee: Anze Kopitar (610)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 5 2204 1020
LW 3 646 420
RW 3 1049 505
D 5 984 401
G 1 175 4
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 17 5058 2350
  • 12 of 17 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (71%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 5058 games and accumulated 2346 points (0.48 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 147 points and 298 games played
  • Notable picks: Dustin Brown (13th, 2003), Anze Kopitar (11th, 2005), Alexander Frolov (20th, 2000), Drew Doughty (2nd, 2008), Brayden Schenn (5th, 2009), Jonathan Bernier (11th, 2006), Tanner Pearson (30th, 2012), Brian Boyle (26th, 2003), Dave Stekcel (30th, 2001), Trevor Lewis (17th, 2006), Jeff Tambellini (27th, 2003)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 1 737 544
LW 3 356 63
RW 5 878 433
D 4 770 168
G 1 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 14 2741 1208
  • 7 of 14 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (50%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 2741 games and accumulated 1208 points (0.44 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 93 points and 196 games played
  • Notable picks: Mike Cammalleri (49th, 2001), Wayne Simmonds (61st, 2007), Andreas Lilja (54th, 2000), Kyle Clifford (35th, 2009), Vyacheslav Voynov (32nd, 2008), Tyler Toffoli (47th, 2010)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 10 4
LW 5 128 20
RW 2 0 0
D 2 36 1
G 3 428 10
Unspecified 1 34 7
Total 16 636 42
  • 2 of 16 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (13%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 635 games and accumulated 32 points (0.15 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 2 points and 40 games played
  • Notable picks: Jonathan Quick (72nd, 2005), Nicolas Deslauriers (84th, 2009)
  • Nicolas Deslauriers was included as an exception to the 100+ GP as he has 99 games played and skated in all 82 games last season.

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 11 365 78
LW 12 295 91
RW 6 186 63
D 21 1383 603
G 10 280 3
Unspecified 8 4 1
Total 68 2513 839
  • 7 of 68 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (10%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 2513 games and accumulated 836 points (0.37 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 14 points and 37 games played
  • Notable picks: Lubomir Visnovsky (118th, 2000), Alec Martinez (95th, 2007), Dwight King (109th, 2007), Aaron Rome (104th, 2002), Andrei Loktionov (123rd, 2008), Cristobal Huet (214th, 2001), Jordan Nolan (186th, 2009)

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 3 96%
6 – 10 0 74%
11 – 15 6 54%
16 – 20 4 62%
21 – 30 4 58%

The Kings have had mixed success over the years with a few picks in the top five and the majority being in the latter half of the first round. As a result they have an expected success range of 61 to 67 percent. With 12 of 17 picks playing 100+ games in the NHL they exceeded expectations with a success rate of 71 percent.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 61 – 67% 71%
2 26 – 32% 50%
3 21 – 26% 13%
4+ 10 – 15% 10%

The Kings more than exceeded the success markers in the first and second rounds. Their first round success rate of 71 percent is sixth of all teams studied and they surpassed expectations by roughly 6 percent which is the fourth largest difference between expected and actual success. The Kings first round draftees have the most NHL games played of all teams studied so far but their average points per game of 0.48 ranks 7th of 14 teams.

In the second round they beat the upper expectation by 18 percent which is second best in the league next to Detroit’s 56% success. Second round draftees average games played of 196 and average points per player of 93 both rank third of all teams, however their points per game of 0.44 once again rank lower at 6th of 14 teams.

The Kings drafting in the third round is quite the opposite of what we’ve seen in the first two rounds. Jonathan Quick helped lift their NHL games played stat to acceptable levels, however, outside of Quick the Kings have drafted extraordinarily poorly in the third round. Their success rate of 13 percent ranks fourth worst of all teams studied. Third round draftees accumulated only 32 points total (average of 2 points per draftee) which is second worst of all teams.

In the deep rounds the Kings drafted the types of players that you’d expect to find at this point. Most of the players they selected have gone on to play a bottom six role or bottom pairing defensive role (King, Rome, Nolan, Martinez). Los Angeles just met the drafting success expectations with 10 percent of draftees playing 100+ NHL games. The success of Visnovsky has helped pull up the Kings depth round numbers and as a result their underlying metrics are on par with the league average. The one area where the Kings excelled is points per game where they topped the league average by 0.07 PPG which can once again be attributed to Visnovsky and his 0.56 career PPG.

One point worth noting is the extraordinary success the Kings have had between 2007 and 2009. In that time span the Kings drafted 11 NHL regulars with 29 picks (a success rate of 38 percent). The picks they drafted include Simmonds, King, Martinez, Hickey, Doughty, Voynov, Loktionov, B. Schenn, Clifford, Nolan, and Deslauriers. Most of these picks either contributed directly or were traded away to acquire necessary pieces to win their two most recent Stanley Cups.

Looking at their drafting as a whole Los Angeles has fared well against the current league average:

Category Los Angeles League Avg. Difference
Draftees 115 107 +8
100+ GP 28 23 +5
100+ GP (%) 24% 21% +3%
Total GP 10948 8811 +2137
Skater PTS 4422 3453 +969
Skater PPG 0.44 0.41 +0.03
AVG PTS 44 36 +8
AVG GP 95 82 +13

As a whole the Kings have the fourth highest success rate of all teams studied. The Kings have a lot of players who surpassed the 100+ games played mark and as a result have the second most games played of all teams. With regards to point production they have a select few players who contribute the bulk of their points (7 players account for 70 percent of total points) and rank 3rd of all teams.

Overall, while they haven’t consistently found NHL caliber players in the third rounds or higher, the success of Quick and Visnovsky paired with their excellent drafting in the first two rounds should have the Kings somewhere in the top 10 of my final rankings.

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

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