Re: Draft Success
posted at 8/27/2013 12:15 PM EDT
The poster nailed it, when he said the model shouldn't be "too complicated". The bad though...is if it's "not" complicated...it means squat. In fact it's worse than squat, as it usually points in the wrong direction, and makes it difficult to get back on track. Most people would prefer to have something to hang their hat on, as opposed to thinking.
Lets consider the question again...... "which teams historically do the best job in the draft". Assuming minutes played, years played, goals, assists, team needs, players available, where the teams picked and a dozen other considerations are important, but water down results...would the following work?
What about a simple list of everyones pick, by year, by round, accompanied by the 15 players(pick a number) who were picked directly after. Isn't "what's available", all that matters?
Was Edmonton wicked smart in drafting Messier? No, they were as stupid as everyone else in that they passed over him twice, so I think that's a common type example that needs to be thrown out. Was Pittsburgh smart in drafting Lemieux? No, because they had an opportunity no one else had. Another example that needs special consideration. How about the Bruins with Jumbo Joe? My opinion is it's pretty hard to argue that one(plenty would argue), but Samasonov at #8 is a great example that proves how unworkable it is to expect "data" to provide clarity. Way too many variables to consider.
Looking at that year, the only players the B's can be accused screwing up on during round 1, were Hossa, Dan Cleary and Brendon Morrow. My debatable opinion is that there is plenty of evidence to suggest the Bruins didn't make a poor decision picking Samsonov over Cleary and Morrow(#12 was as good or better than advertised for at least his first 5 years in the league. Cleary never got regular NHL employment til 00-01. Morrow took a couple of seasons of seasoning to get to the NHL too, and by the time the 04 lockout occured, Samsonov had already racked up 7 years of high end service. It's a reasonable argument that Morrow has had a more complete career, but for 7 years following the draft, Samsonov gets the edge, and I don't think it's fair to expect the scouts to be accountable after that much time has passed. I realize not everyone will agree with that, but it isn't totally unreasonable.
That leaves Hossa. In hindsight, clearly the best choice. So...is it fair to expect perfection? To what degree did the B's "screw up"? How "much smarter" was Ottawa? How much dumber was Calgary for picking Daniel Tkachuk? Those are things that must be considered. First, about 2/3rds of those first rounders were a bust. Is that indicative of most years? Assuming the first 5 picks that year were reasonable(which is debatable), Calgary, Tampa, Washington, Vancouver and Montreal also had a crack at Hossa and passed. They also passed on Cleary and Morrow, and their picks were way worse than Samsonov. Therefore, those teams all screwed up much worse than the B's.
Attempting to plug in enough information to get anything back of substance is basically impossible. The above illustrates that clearly. The process needs to be done in steps, and even then, there's still a huge element of debate and interpretation.
I'm thinking statistically...things couldn't be broken down any more than by pick, by round, by year, with one criteria.(games played, points, years in the league, whatever someone chose to plug in), and that process would only fuel the debate, not settle it. I think the first option above, although more work, would yield a truer end result.
This topic and "research" has some comparison to research and medicine. Plugging in the details creates more questions, long before it gives any hint of answers.