How Well Have the Ottawa Senators Drafted Since 2000?

Ottawa_Senators.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 Ottawa Senators 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 18 3465 1859
LW 18 906 385
RW 13 1261 483
D 41 4232 1156
G 8 656 11
Unspecified 8 0 0
Total 106 10520 3894
  • 33 of 106 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (31%)
  • 27 of 106 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (25%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 10520 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 9864 games and accumulated 3883 points (0.39 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 40 points and 99 games played
  • Best draft year: 2001 – Jason Spezza (2nd), Tim Gleason (23rd), Ray Emery (99th), Christoph Schubert (127th), Brooks Laich (193rd), Brandon Bochenski (223rd)
  • Worst draft year: 2002 – Jakub Klepis (16th), Alexei Kaigorodov (47th). Combined 72 NHL games played and 15 points between 8 draftees.
  • Second worst draft year: 2007 – Jim O’Brien (29th), Ruslan Bashkirov (60th)

Best Picks Since 2000

  • Forward: Jason Spezza
  • Defenseman: Erik Karlsson
  • Goaltender: Brian Elliott
  • Most Games by a Draftee: Antoine Vermette (834)
  • Most Points by a Draftee: Jason Spezza (749)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 4 1097 875
LW 2 558 282
RW 2 492 173
D 7 3016 924
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 15 5163 2254
  • 11 of 15 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (73%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 5163 games and accumulated 2254 points (0.44 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 150 points and 344 games played
  • Notable picks: Jason Spezza (2nd, 2001), Erik Karlsson (15th, 2008), Nick Foligno (28th, 2006), Andrej Meszaros (23rd, 2004), Patrick Eaves (29th, 2003), Tim Gleason (23rd, 2001), Anton Volchenkov (21st, 2000), Mika Zibanejad (6th, 2011), Jared Cowen (9th, 2009), Brian Lee (9th, 2005), Cody Ceci (15th, 2012)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 2 840 434
LW 2 2 1
RW 1 181 81
D 2 159 57
G 2 87 1
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 10 1269 574
  • 3 of 10 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (30%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 1269 games and accumulated 573 points (0.48 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 72 points and 127 games played
  • Antoine Vermette (55th, 2000), Jakob Silfverberg (39th, 2009), Patrick Wiercioch (42nd, 2008), Robin Lehner (46th, 2009)
  • Disclaimer: With 86 games played Robin Lehner was excluded from the ‘successful picks’ for now. I typically include players as exceptions if they have 90-95+ games played or played a significant number of games in their previous season (Lehner played 25 in 2014)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 562 145
LW 5 91 15
RW 0 0 0
D 4 165 29
G 2 1 0
Unspecified 1 0 0
Total 15 819 189
  • 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 819 games and accumulated 189 points (0.23 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 15 points and 55 games played
  • Notable picks: Zack Smith (79th, 2008), Peter Regin (87th, 2004), Eric Gryba (78th, 2006)
  • No players drafted in the third round have 100+ career points

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 9 966 405
LW 9 255 87
RW 10 588 229
D 28 892 146
G 4 568 10
Unspecified 6 0 0
Total 66 3269 877
  • 10 of 66 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (15%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 3269 games and accumulated 867 points (0.32 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 14 points and 50 games played
  • Notable picks: Brooks Laich (193rd, 2001), Mark Stone (178th, 2010), Erik Condra (211st, 2006), Colin Greening (204th, 2005), Brian Elliott (291st, 2003), Greg Zanon (156th, 2000), Ray Emery (99th, 2001), Mike Hoffman (130th, 2009), Cody Bass (95th, 2005), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (96th, 2011), Christoph Schubert (127th, 2001), Brandon Bochenski (223rd, 2001)

FUN FACT

  • In 2000 the Senators drafted Dustin Byfuglien’s older cousin, Derrick. He never played 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 1 96%
6 – 10 3 74%
11 – 15 2 54%
16 – 20 1 62%
21 – 30 8 58%

From 2000 and 2012 the Senators have only had one pick in the top five (Jason Spezza) with the majority of their picks falling between 20th and 30th overall. The Senators success rate of 73 percent easily surpassed their expected success of 60 to 66 percent.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 60 – 66% 73%
2 26 – 32% 30%
3 21 – 26% 20%
4+ 10 – 15% 15%

With 11 of their 15 first round picks seeing extended time in the NHL the Senators have fared very well early in the draft. Their first round success rate ranks 8th best in the league while their average points per player and average games played rank 6th and 3rd respectively. Senators first round picks have played 5163 games, the most of any team studied. The Senators have also selected the most defensemen of any team in the first round (7).

The Senators success rate of 30 percent in the second round met expectations and ranks 11th highest in the league. Their average points per draftee ranks 6th while their average games played ranks 9th. As a whole their second round drafting is above average but isn’t as impressive as their first round.

In the third round the Senators fell below expectations with a success rate of 20 percent. None of their draftees have more than 100 career points with Zach Smith coming closest at 78 points in 319 games played. As a whole their third round drafting ranks 12th in average points and 11th in average games played. The Senators third round drafting is their weakest area but compared to the league average they still rank in the middle of the pack.

In the depth rounds the Senators have drafted very well with 10 players skating in 100 games or more. Their success rate of 15 percent is the fourth highest of all teams studied. Brian Elliott was selected with the second last pick in the 2003 draft (291st overall) while 2015 Calder nominee Mark Stone was selected late in the 6th round (178th overall). As a whole their average points per draftee and average games played rank 9th and 6th respectively. Ottawa’s average points per draftee is lower because of how many defensemen they’ve selected late in the draft. Of their 66 depth picks 28 have been defensemen (42%) which is the third most of all teams.

Looking at their drafting as a whole the Senators have stacked up very well against the current league average:

Category League Avg. Ottawa Difference
Draftees 106 106 +0
100+ GP 23 27 +4
100+ GP (%) 22% 25% +3%
Total GP 8939 10520 +1581
Skater PTS 3426 3883 +457
Skater PPG 0.40 0.39 -0.01
AVG PTS 36 40 +4
AVG GP 84 99 +15

Throughout this post we’re seen that the Senators favour drafting defensemen. As a whole they’ve selected 41 blueliners with their 106 picks (38.7%) which is the second most in the league (Chicago selected 2 more but had 30 more picks). Because defensemen aren’t expected to produce offense at the same rate as forwards it’s easy to understand why their PPG numbers are lower. It’s very clear that the Senators are an above average drafting team and should easily fit somewhere in the top 10 of my final rankings.

TL;DR – The Senators have a first round success rate of 73 percent which is much higher than expectated considering the majority of their first round picks have been 20th to 30th overall. Their second round drafting ranks just above average while the third round is where they’ve selected worst (although they still rank near the league average). The Senators have drafted very well in the depth rounds with 15 percent of their picks playing at least 100 games (fourth highest success rate in the league). The Sens should rank as one of the top 10 drafting teams over the last 15 years.

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