Friday, 11 April 2008

Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Grading System

Edmonton Oilers (v. 2007)
Atlanta Thrashers (v. 2008)

[This post has been slightly edited to allow referencing from multiple HRDR's]

Historical Review of Draft Results

Player Grading System

Please reserve comment for a future post wherein I will request commentary on the review as a whole.

Conventional wisdom has it that getting one capable player out of each draft makes that draft a success. Conventional wisdom is full of bunk. A team full of draft picks from draft years that yielded a single 'solid' player like Buchberger, Maltby, etc. is still a team full of Buchbergers, Maltby's et al, and as much as I respect the capabilities of those players - that isn't a team that will ever come within an ice-rink of the Stanley Cup.

A team NEEDS to have star-calibre players in order to compete at the higher levels. Anything less, is by definition, less. That means that any grading system used has to have 'star' players form the basis of its success from both a draft-year to draft-year perspective and from an overall historical perspective. The grading system (and scoring system) also has to reflect the value of a Hall of Fame calibre player (think Hasek when in Buffalo).

Given all of that, now is a good time to explain the scoring system. At its most basic the scoring system has two basic rules - 1) a negative score represents a 'failed' score (individually or otherwise), and 2) that a drafting a single 'star' player should make a draft year a success. From there it was, almost, easy.

Overall the scoring system is pretty fair. A single drafted 'star' player is worth the same as ten wasted picks and, in a year with 9 possible picks, would result in a passing grade. Too many wasted picks will result in failed grades and since this is consistent with the goal of a draft to begin with - getting players to the 'show' - the system has merit, and it works. A team could cheat (just bring everyone up for a game) but we will trust them not to be stupid ( ... ).

That brings us to the actual PGS. The Player Grading System works on the basis of several assumptions:

1. The player's entire NHL career, past and future, is what counts. Play in other leagues is irrelevant.
2. Every player is capable of being rated categorically and that a score can be applied to each of those categories.
3. Grades can and will change. Many careers are surprisingly long or depressingly short - expect change.
4. By definition, players from beyond the last four (4) draft years are considered players - with few exceptions.
5. By definition, players from the last four (4) years of drafts are considered prospects - with few exceptions.
6. Such grades and scores that are applied are completely a product of my own research and opinion.

As you can imagine this leaves a lot of wiggle room. I can only hope that after you have read the entirety of the contents of this page that you might consider my opinion(s) to be fair in nature and worth some consideration. I don't really care if you agree with every point I make, what is important is that you understand the points I make.

Note: you will spot some inconsistencies. I made some judgement calls. i.e. regardless of their international play none of Rita, Salmelainen and Mikhnov will play again in the NHL / rather than rank both Omark and Bjurling as 'unranked' or as 'borderline' prospects I split the difference and Bjurling won the toss, etc. Remember - things change. Who knows how long Winchester can keep earning an NHL paycheque? No matter, I will adjust the grade accordingly next review.


Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Introduction

Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Introduction


Have a great evening everyone.

1 comment:

PunjabiOil said...

While I agree star players are what teams need to be successful, I wonder how this grading system would penalize a team from, say, an Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, or Kyle Brodziak? Of course they aren't going to win cups by themselves, but neither are the Kovelchuk's or Hossa's of the league.

Detroit and Colorado have been successful teams largely due to their drafting. Of course teams that are build via trades shouldn't be dismissed at all (Iginla, Langkow, Tanguay, Kipprusoff).

It's a combination of things:

a) Drafting which yields contributing NHL players
b) Strong trades
c) Smart bargain UFA and your own RFA signings
d) Asset management

However, it's a fair assertion that those teams that find star players in the draft are gaining a competitive advantage.