How Well Have the Vancouver Canucks 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 Vancouver Canucks 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
C 23 1175 607
LW 8 1253 627
RW 14 1227 400
D 24 1387 534
G 10 213 8
Unspecified 9 0 0
Total 88 5255 2176
  • 13 of 88 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (15%)
  • 11 of 88 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (13%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 5255 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 5042 games and accumulated 2168 points (0.43 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 28 points and 60 games played
  • Best draft year: 2004 – Cory Schneider (26th), Alexander Edler (91st), Mike Brown (159th), Jannik Hansen (287th)
  • Worst draft year: 2007 – Patrick White (25th), Taylor Ellington (33rd). No player from the 2007 draft played an NHL game.

Best Picks Since 2000

  • Forward: Ryan Keseler
  • Defenseman: Alexander Edler
  • Goaltender: Cory Schneider
  • Most Games by a Draftee: R.J. Umberger (740)
  • Most Points by a Draftee: Ryan Kesler (440)

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
C 6 1132 597
LW 1 740 381
RW 2 341 161
D 1 36 2
G 1 212 8
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 11 2461 1149
  • 5 of 11 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (45%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 2461 games and accumulated 1141 points (0.51 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 114 points and 224 games played
  • Notable picks: R.J. Umberger (16th, 2001), Ryan Kesler (23rd, 2003), Michael Grabner (14th, 2006), Cody Hodgson (10th, 2008), Cory Schneider (26th, 2004)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
C 1 0 0
LW 1 513 246
RW 2 0 0
D 4 0 0
G 0 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 8 521 246
  • 1 of 8 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (13%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 521 games and accumulated 246 points (0.47 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 31 points and 65 games played
  • Notable picks: Mason Raymond (51st, 2005)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
C 2 18 2
LW 0 0 0
RW 1 0 0
D 5 679 288
G 2 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 10 697 290
  • 2 of 10 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (20%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 697 games and accumulated 290 points (0.42 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 36 points and 70 games played
  • Notable picks: Alexander Edler (91st, 2004), Kevin Connauton (83rd, 2009)
  • Included Kevin Connauton (98 GP) as an exception to the 100+ GP threshold

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
C 14 25 8
LW 6 0 0
RW 9 886 239
D 14 664 244
G 7 1 0
Unspecified 9 0 0
Total 59 1576 491
  • 3 of 59 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (5%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 1576 games and accumulated 491 points (0.31 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 9 points and 27 games played
  • Notable picks: Kevin Bieksa (151st, 2001), Mike Brown (159th, 2004), Jannik Hansen (287th, 2004)

FUN FACT

  • Vancouver drafted Sergei Federov’s younger brother, Fedor, in the 3rd round (66th overall) of the 2001 draft. He did not match his brothers success playing only 18 NHL games before moving back to Russia.

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 2 74%
11 – 15 1 54%
16 – 20 1 62%
21 – 30 7 58%

The Canucks are one of seven teams who didn’t have a pick in the top five between 2000 and 2012. Vancouver is also one of only four teams to have seven or more picks between 21st and 30th overall. The result of these late round picks is very low success expectations of 58 to 64 percent. Let’s take a look at how they’ve done by round.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 58 – 64% 45%
2 26 – 32% 13%
3 21 – 26% 20%
4+ 10 – 15% 5%

Despite these low expectations Vancouver missed the mark by a pretty significant margin. Their first round success rate of 45 percent is the fourth lowest of all teams after Tampa Bay, Calgary and Dallas. Their average first round draftee has 114 points and 224 games played which rank 23rd and 24th respectively. Vancouver’s average points and games played are a little inflated because of how many forward’s they’ve drafted. In the first round the average team drafted forwards with 57 percent of picks and defensemen with 29 percent of picks; 82 percent of the Canucks first round picks were forwards and only 9 percent were defensemen. As a result the Canucks offensive stats are a little higher than they would have been if they had selected a proportionate number of defensemen.

Between 2000 and 2012 Vancouver only had 8 second round picks, the second lowest of all teams. Of those 8 picks only one has played in more than 10 NHL games (Mason Raymond), also the lowest of all teams. Fortunately for the Canucks, Raymond has played over 500 games and accumulated nearly 250 points which raises the overall numbers of their entire second round class. The average Vancouver second round picks has 31 points and 65 games played which rank 18th and 23rd overall.

My original analysis for the Canucks third round was almost identical to what I said about their second. Only one player had played more than 100 career games and he significantly raised the groups overall numbers with his 568 games played and 259 career points. Fortunately, when I looked closer at Vancouver’s selections in the round I found Kevin Connauton who only has 98 career games and thus was automatically omitted from the group of successful draftees. After including Connauton as a successful draftee the Canucks success rate jumped to a more respectable 20 percent which is actually better than their second round drafting and just below the league average. Vancouver’s average third round draftee has 36 points and 70 games played which rank 8th and 11th overall. Even more so than the second round the Canucks numbers were inflated by one player, Alex Edler, who accounts for 82 percent of the groups games played and 90 percent of their points.

I want to say things get better in the depth rounds, but they don’t. In the fourth round or later the Canucks have drafted 3 successful players with 59 picks. Their success rate of 5 percent is tied with Florida, Carolina, and Arizona for worst in the league while their average games played and points rank 20th and 23rd overall. Vancouver’s worst drafting has actually been in the fourth round where they have a total of 6 games played by 10 draftees. The positives? Kevin Bieksa was an great pick at 151st overall and Jannik Hansen really outperformed expectations considering he was selected with 5th last pick (287th) in the 2004 draft.

Looking at their overall stats it shouldn’t surprise anyone how Vancouver stacks up against the league average:

Category League Avg. Vancouver Difference
Draftees 105 88 -17
100+ GP 22 11 -11
100+ GP (%) 21% 13% -8%
Total GP 8679 5255 -3424
Skater PTS 3427 2168 -1259
Skater PPG 0.41 0.43 +0.02
AVG PTS 37 28 -9
AVG GP 83 60 -23

The first thing you should notice is that the Canucks only had 88 picks between 2000 and 2012, the fewest in the league. Because there is such a significant difference in the number of draft picks the ‘total games played’ and ‘total points’ aren’t good indicators of how the Canucks stack up against the league average. Instead, let’s focus on their average stats where Canucks draftees have 9 less points (ranks 25th) and 23 less games played (ranks 29th) than the league average.

Perhaps the biggest area of concern is the Canucks success rate, which is 8 percent lower than the league average and the lowest in the league. Only 11 of their draft picks have played at least 100 NHL games which is less than one player per draft. In comparison, the average team in the league drafts 1.5 players each year who go on to play 100+ games.

The most important takeaway is this: Between 2000 and 2012 Vancouver holds the record for both fewest draft picks and lowest success rate making them one of the worst drafting teams of the 21st century.

 

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