How Well Have the Minnesota Wild Drafted Since 2000?

Minnesota_Wild.svg
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 Minnesota Wild 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 2056 1092
LW 20 2275 625
RW 20 2358 1316
D 23 2496 542
G 10 351 2
Unspecified 5 100 38
Total 97 9636 3615
  • 31 of 97 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (32%)
  • 25 of 97 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (26%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 9625 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 9283 games and accumulated 3613 points (0.39 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 42 points and 99 games played
  • Best draft year: 2000 – Marian Gaborik (3rd), Nick Schultz (33rd), Lubomir Sekeras (232nd)
  • Worst draft year: 2008 – Tyler Cuma (23rd). No ‘bad’ drafts for the Wild but had four picks in 2008 and Scandella was the only one to play in the NHL.

All Time Best Picks

  • Forward: Marian Gaborik
  • Defenseman: Brent Burns
  • Goaltender: Josh Harding
  • Most Games Played by a Draftee: Nick Schultz (960)
  • Most Points by a Draftee: Marian Gaborik (751)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 5 1826 1035
LW 2 583 212
RW 2 1594 1099
D 5 603 195
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 14 4606 2541
  • 10 of 14 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (71%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 4606 games and accumulated 2541 points (0.55 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 182 points and 329 games played
  • Notable picks: Marian Gaborik (3rd, 2000), Brent Burns (20th, 2003), Mikko Koivu (6th, 2001), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8th, 2002), Benoit Pouliot (4th, 2005), James Sheppard (9th, 2006), Nick Leddy (16th, 2009), Jonas Brodin (10th, 2011), Mikael Granlund (9th, 2010), Colton Gillies (16th, 2007), Mathew Dumba (7th, 2012)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 0 0 0
LW 5 410 166
RW 3 157 38
D 2 1189 216
G 1 151 2
Unspecified 2 100 38
Total 13 2007 460
  • 5 of 13 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (38%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 2005 games and accumulated 458 points (0.25 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 38 points and 154 games played
  • Notable picks: Nick Schultz (33rd, 2000), Patrick O’Sullivan (56th, 2003), Marco Scandella (55th, 2008), Josh Harding (38th, 2002), Jason Zucker (59th, 2010)
  • Included Jason Zucker as an exception to the 100+ GP benchmark because he has played 98 games and played 51 last season

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 1 32 7
LW 1 506 106
RW 3 497 145
D 3 296 39
G 3 37 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 11 1368 297
  • 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 1368 games and accumulated 297 points (0.22 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 37 points and 124 games played
  • Notable picks: Stephane Veilleux (93rd, 2001), Cal Clutterbuck (72nd, 2006), Clayton Stoner (79th, 2004), Matt Hackett (77th, 2009)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 13 198 50
LW 12 776 141
RW 12 110 34
D 13 408 92
G 6 163 0
Unspecified 3 0 0
Total 59 1655 317
  • 7 of 59 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (12%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 1655 games and accumulated 317 points (0.21 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 6 points and 28 games played
  • Notable picks: Darcy Kuemper (161st, 2009), Derek Boogaard (202nd, 2001), Erik Haula (182nd, 2009), Anton Khudobin (206th, 2004), Ryan Jones (111th, 2004), Justin Falk (110th, 2007), Lubomir Sekeras (232nd, 2000), Patrick Bordeleau (114th, 2004)
  • Included Anton Khudobin as an exception to the 100+ GP benchmark because he has played 91 games and had 34 starts last season

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 2 96%
6 – 10 6 74%
11 – 15 1 54%
16 – 20 3 62%
21 – 30 2 58%

Being a 2000 expansion draft team the Minnesota Wild struggled through their first few years and had a number of early round picks. More than half of the Wild’s first round picks have been in the top 10 and as a result their expected success range is between 68 and 74 percent. Minnesota’s actual success was right in the middle of this range with 71 percent of draftees playing 100+ NHL games.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 68 – 74% 71%
2 26 – 32% 38%
3 21 – 26% 27%
4+ 10 – 15% 12%

The Wild are one of the few teams studied that have met or surpassed expectations in every round. In the first round the average draftee has 182 points and 329 games played which ranks 6th and 3rd respectively. Their first round draftee points per game of 0.55 is tied with Chicago for 5th of all teams studied. A.J. Thelen (12th, 2004), Tyler Cuma (23rd, 2008), and Zach Phillips (28th, 2011) are the only first round picks that have not developed into NHL regulars.

In the second round the Wild exceeded expectations by their largest margin. A success rate of 38 percent ranks them 5th of all teams (tied with Buffalo), however the point production of their draftees in this round is pretty lackluster. Their average draftee has 38 points, 154 games played, and a 0.25 PPG which rank 10th, 5th, and 12th respectively. The low points per game for second round draftees can largely be attributed to defenseman Nick Schultz who has 960 games played but a PPG of only 0.17.

Minnesota’s third round success of 27 percent ties them with Detroit for fifth highest. Similar to the first and second rounds there is a noticeable discrepancy between high games played and low points per game. Their average points of 37, average games played of 124, and average points per game of 0.22 rank 4th, 2nd, and 10th respectively. The lack of point production can be traced back to the type of players that the Wild have drafted in the third round. Cal Clutterbuck, Clayton Stoner, and Stephane Veilleux highlight their best picks and while all have been effective in their respective roles none have been known as goalscorers or playmakers.

The Wild continue to meet expectations in the fourth rounds or higher. Their success rate of 12 percent ranks 6th of all teams studied (tied with Boston) while their average points, average games played, and player points per game rank 13th, 12th, and 13th of all team studied. Their above average success rate combined with their low points and games played metrics imply that Minnesota has drafted a number of players who met the 100 games played mark but have not achieved much beyond that. Eric Haula (118 GP, 29 PTS), Derek Boogaard (277 GP, 16 PTS, [rest in peace]), Justin Falk (147 GP, 19 PTS), and Patrick Bordeleau (129 GP, 16 PTS) are four of Minnesota’s seven successful picks but none have a PPG above 0.25.

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

Category League Avg. Minnesota Difference
Draftees 106 97 -9
100+ GP 23 25 +2
100+ GP (%) 21% 26% +5%
Total GP 8866 9636 +770
Skater PTS 3464 3613 +149
Skater PPG 0.41 0.39 -0.02
AVG PTS 36 42 +6
AVG GP 83 99 +16

Despite having nine less picks than the league average the Wild managed to surpass the league in all but one category: points per game. As we noted in each round, a high number of Minnesota draftees have made the cut and played an extended period of time in the NHL but haven’t gone on to produce offensively. Minnesota’s top four point producers are responsible for 54 percent of the Wild’s total points; Marian Gaborik alone accounts for more than 20 percent of the teams total points.

Overall, the Wild have been one of the most consistent teams in the league at drafting NHL caliber players. Their overall success rate of 26 percent ties them for first of all teams but their lack of offensive production compared to similar teams will likely have them placed between the top 5 and top 10 in my final rankings.

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

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