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How does Ron Delorme keep his job through all the regimes


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That was beautiful. I wonder if a bunch of randoms on CDC could've done better than the Canucks scouting staff in those years. I wonder how this would stack up against other teams, because the Canucks have traditionally had one of the worst draft records around in the past fifteen years.

This is a highly interesting blog. That being said, may I point out 2 statistical unfairness things:

1) Sham is only picking forwards and then comparing the goals, assists and points. The Canucks had to pick D and G as well because you can't build a team out of all F. Especially the goalies... how can you compare points like that?

2) Some players who didn't score points, totally not the Canuck's fault. Bourdon is the obvious standout here.

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Baertschi is a headcase that already wants to sign a long term deal before showing his worth on the big stage.

If he want's term with no body of work behind him, he might play for years without making much.

Who is the boy's agent? He's getting bad advice.

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Benning has said that he is looking for players with:

  • good hockey sense (IQ)
  • character
  • hard to play against
  • fast, physical, skill

This sounds like the guy's he's drafting to me. It sounds like the scouting staff are getting it.

Who isn't?

Quite right. But this is what Benning said himself when describing what specific traits he wants his scouting staff to look for.

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so true..this guy has actually been horrendous,,how he has survived is beyond me..the last 2 drafts have probably gone to Benning so why not get rid of him.

Shaky, I actually think Delorme has done a decent job. It really comes down to the gm at the draft table on who to draft, followed by player development. Prior to the recent success down in Utica, the Canucks' farm system was a total disaster with the Chicago Wolves. Before that, prospects were turning into solid NHLers because of the affiliation with the Manitoba Moose. The constant trading away of second and third round picks during the Burke/Nonis/Gillis regimes hasn't helped matters either.

The one head scout that frustrated me over the years was Mike Penney. If Pat Quinn made one mistake when he took over the organization in '87, he didn't address scouting at the time. The only good first round drafts pick in the 80s prior to Linden were Lanz, Butcher and Neely. And the only solid picks made by Quinn other than Linden were Bure(with some luck involved), Nedved, Ohlund and to a lesser degree, Dixon Ward and Matt Cooke. Penney simply didn't have that killer eye for elite talent.

I would give "The Chief" the benefit of the doubt, now that Benning is here. It also helped that Laurence Gilman oversaw the shuffling of the scouting department a few years ago.

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This is a highly interesting blog. That being said, may I point out 2 statistical unfairness things:

1) Sham is only picking forwards and then comparing the goals, assists and points. The Canucks had to pick D and G as well because you can't build a team out of all F. Especially the goalies... how can you compare points like that?

2) Some players who didn't score points, totally not the Canuck's fault. Bourdon is the obvious standout here.

um, you and that blog are wrong Luc Bourdon played in the NHL.

from hockey db...


2007-08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 27 2 0 2 20 7

while the blog makes some really good points about drafting forwards, I think if they had come up with a system for drafting D it woul've been more valid.

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were talking going way back to 1998. Penny was our head for a long time. Then the Canucks hired Brian Burke, MIke Penny left and followed Pattt Quinn to Toronto. Mike Penny was replaced by Delorme since then, and made questionable picks ever since Penny left for example Bryan Allen with the 4th pick.

So there weren't any (some, a couple, more than a few) drafts which were stinkers under Penny? Yes, there were a few that were pretty good, but looking back there are also a lot of question marks and entire draft years with little to no gain for the team.



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Here's a fun little exercise and read from last year that illustrates the point of just how bad the Ron Delorme era was. Sorry for the length but I can't figure out how to get the tables to show up in the spoiler box.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hurl.

Spoiler: it's even worse than you think.


Canucks Army blogger Sham Sharron vs Ron Delorme:

Sham will not pick and choose his draft selections. He has no access to game tape, he has seen no games, and he has no fancy stats or analytics to aid his decision. He will select all players by the following rules:

  1. All players selected will be from the Canadian Hockey League.
  2. Goalies are voodoo, they will not be selected at any time.
  3. Defensemen are voodoo, they will not be selected at any time.
  4. The Canucks' selection will be the player still on the draft board that scored the most points in their 17 year old CHL season that was for-realsies taken between Vancouver's selection and Vancouver's subsequent selection.
  5. No other information other than the total number of points a player had in his 17-year old season (his first year of draft eligibility) is considered. This information was freely available at the time each draft was held.
  6. Ties are broken on the basis of points per game.

Starting with the 2000 NHL entry draft, here's how Ron Delorme and his crew got their asses handed to them by Fake Intern Sham Sharron:




Sham and Ron agree on Brandon Reid in the 7th round, but Sham finds top-6 winger and Corsi God Justin Williams at 23rd overall. Vancouver finds 26 pointless games of Nathan Smith.




Vancouver did well in 2001, finding two impact pros in Kevin Bieksa and R.J. Umberger. However, Sham managed to find future 3-time 30-goal scorer Jason Pominville to compliment the Sedins and Kyle Wellwood and P-A Parenteau to supplement Vancouver's depth. As we'll see though, Wellwood is eventually forced out of Vancouver's system by some even better talent at C. I'm Gladskikh the Canucks avoided that awkward situation.




'02 was a disaster for Vancouver, as they failed to find a single NHLer with their 11 selections. Sham whiffs on the majority of his picks too, but unearths Matt Stajan in the late 2nd round and Max Talbot in the 7th.

As an aside, this was my absolute favourite thing I discovered while doing this project: the guy Vancouver actually drafted in the 7th round, 214th overall, was a guy by the name of Marc-Andre Roy. You'll notice that he played 58 games in his draft year, had no goals, and just one assist. So why did Brian Burke's Vancouver Canucks waste a pick on that coke machine? I bet it had something to do with this:


Yes, those are SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY THREE minutes in penalties in just 68 games. According to Hockeyfights.com, Roy had 41 fighting majors that year, which account for a total of 205 of those penalty minutes. I don't know how one accrues 448 extra PIMs without fighting, but I assume it involves criminal activity, human sacrifice, and satanic worship at centre ice.

Thing is, Roy wasn't the only super-ultra-mega goon roaming the QMJHL back then. I came across quite a few guys with massive PIM totals running through this study. I don't know much about Q hockey in the early 2000's, but I have to assume it was a total gong show.




The 2003 draft is legendary for the sheer number of quality picks that the first and second rounds produced. However, it wasn't a really deep draft as the number of late round successes were kind of limited. Sham misses Ryan Kesler here, but picks up future ex-Flyers captain Mike Richards, as well as Clarke MacArthur. Under Sham's drafting, Brad Richardson also starts his Vancouver Canuck tenure a decade sooner than he would in real life.




The 2004 draft is probably the crown jewel of the Delorme Era. Vancouver's gamble on a goalie in the first round paid off, and Delorme and Co. also discovered future NHL regulars Alex Edler, Jannik Hansen, and Mike Brown. Sham takes Brandon Dubinsky over Cory Schneider and Liam Reddox (who somehow managed to sneak in 100 career NHL games...?) instead of Edler, but almost had Kris Versteeg in the 4th round instead of Peter Pohl. Versteeg has 49 points to Pohl's 50, but did so in fewer games. If Sham was allowed to use points per game, he does not pass up Versteeg. But alas, Sham is not allowed to think, so we're left to wonder what could have been. A MacArthur-Dubinsky-Versteeg 3rd line in 2011? That would have been something.




I never like bringing up 2005 because of the circumstances surrounding the Luc Bourdon selection. Looking back though, I was pretty stoked about him, but disappointed that Vancouver passed on the great big goofy looking guy with the funny name from the country that no one had ever heard of. I have an Anze Kopitar Kings jersey, and I get filled with regret looking at it knowing that Vancouver was this close to drafting the guy I'd decided was going to be one of my favourite players.

Granted, Sham whiffs on Kopitar too and takes Marek Freaking Zagrapan 10th overall. What the hell, Sham. You were awful in 2005. Next year, take a GOOD OL' CANADIAN BOY in the first round instead.




Claude Giroux.

Ron Delorme and Co. cost Vancouver Claude Giroux.

I mean, this would make foregoing the 2004 haul worth it on its own.

The obvious, unthinking choice in 2006 was Claude Giroux at 14th overall. And they still screwed it up.




2007 was the trainwreck year. Not a single player drafted by the Canucks even made the American Hockey League, let alone coming close to sniffing the NHL. Unfortunately, Sham is unable to make anything from this mess either. Just to prove he's not infallible, Sham also passes on dynamic Lewiston MAINEiacs sniper David Perron, but in favour of Brett MacLean instead of Patrick White. Eugh.

At least MacLean had played 18 more NHL games than Vancouver's entire actual 2007 draft class.




In his first draft under Sham Sharron's guidance, Mike Gillis saves himself a lot of grief and selects Tyler Ennis 10th overall. He'll fit right in on the second line with Claude Giroux and Jason Pominville. Or maybe he'll take Justin Williams' spot on line 1 with the Sedins. Or maybe he'll fill a checking role in place of one of the MacArthur-Richards-Burrows line. Or maybe he can just tear up the AHL with Mathieu Perreault since we already have Matt Stajan, Brandon Dubinsky and Max Talbot on line 4... *sobs uncontrollably*




Neither Sham nor Delorme have a banner year. Sham misses Ryan O'Reilly by one point, but Taylor Beck, Linden Vey, and Phil Varone all go on to form a very strong core of a good AHL team. By the time 2013-2014 rolls around, all are nearing NHL readiness scoring nearly a point-per-game in the AHL, but are being held back because of Vancouver's absurd depth at forward.




Despite no draft picks until the 4th round, Sham finds Brendan Gallagher and this is just getting silly. Vancouver has 4 first lines and probably multiple Stanley Cups at this point and Sham is hailed as the greatest hockey mind to ever live. We erect a statue in his honour for finally drafting MOAR GIANTZZZ.




We're getting into "too early to call who's better" territory now. Basically everyone in these two drafts is still a prospect. That being said, I'd take Sham's top-3 picks over Vancouver's because Prince, Catenacci, and Pageau probably have a better shot of one of them developing into an above-average NHL player than Jensen, Honzik, and Grenier do. But hey, you never know. Also, Sham allows Vancouver to benefit from Ondrej Palat's extremely fluky development which is just gravy at this point.




This is Ron Delorme's final year as the director of amateur scouting for the Vancouver Canucks, and it's too soon to tell if he's defeated Sham in his last hurrah. I tend to think not, because I prefer Bozon, Gordon, and Smith to Mallet, Hutton, and Myron, but Ben Hutton looks like he could swing that in Delorme's favour.

With his stellar draft record, Sham is retained as the Canucks' head of amateur scouting and is allowed the 2013 NHL entry draft as well.




I prefer Mantha to Horvat despite the age concerns, and I like Bjorkstrand far more than Cassels, but I'm torn on Petan/Shinkaruk. Greg Chase could prove to be a good pick in round 6, so I give the early nod to Sham's most recent draft over the Canucks' actual one, but that's open for plenty of debate, especially if Bo Horvat does defy the odds and become a Bergeron-type two-way force at the NHL level. As each and every one of you knows, I'm skeptical though.


So who did better, Vancouver's actual scouting staff or our friend Sham who restricted himself to just one year of goal data in just the CHL and watched exactly none of the games? Well, here are all the guys who have played one or more full seasons worth of games drafted by each group:


If Vancouver never kept a single amateur scout on staff, never paid any attention to junior hockey anywhere in the world, never watched a single game, never did any in-depth research, never prepared for the draft for more than three hours each year, and simply took the next highest scoring CHL forward with every selection they had, they would have drafted over 4000 more games of future NHL experience, nearly 1000 more goals, and over 1500 more assists than they did under the Ron Delorme regime. Vancouver's scouting since 2000 has not just been useless, it's been a cataclysmic failure on all fronts, and probably the single largest reason why the Canucks have not been able to accrue enough assets to build a perennial Stanley Cup contender.

This study was hardly in-depth. The methods for selecting players were extremely straightforward and comically simplistic. No shred of information that wasn't already available at the time was used. There were still massive whiffs under this system. Good players were still passed up and first-round busts were still selected. Yet it outperformed the actual Canucks draft record to a degree that shouldn't be possible, both in terms of player quality and player quantity.

The knowledge and opinions of a scout are only worthwhile if they can outperform any idiot with access to the internet. Vancouver has proven definitively that their scouts have been entirely worthless since Ron Delorme took over the gig in 2000, since they haven't been able to outperform what an idiot with the internet would have done. You, reader, could have done the job better than the professionals. It's now up to the professionals to figure out how to get their competitive edge back.

Let's hope it starts this year.

Cool! Now do one for the Mike Penny years. It will perhaps better illustrate your point. :)



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I've said it before so I'll say it again now: somebody should look at what the Canucks would have picked if they had merely picked the next best available player according to central scouting and then compare that to what the Canucks did actually pick. Goalies, defensemen included. Then do the same for Detroit.

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The Canucks draft record over the past 15 years since Ron Delorme was named Chief Amateur Scout has been spotty to say the least.

Yet, through all the regime changes at GM somehow Delorme and most of the other scouts have kept their jobs throughout. I really don't get why. You see Peter Chiarelli go into Edmonton and the first thing he does is fire most of the scouts.

It seems like the Canucks are afraid to make true fundamental changes to their organization. Yes they will change their president, head coach and GM but all the people behind the scenes remain the same.

The last time the Canucks made big changes to their scouting staff Brian Burke was still GM.

You have a problem with the guys we drafted?

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Mike Penney was far worse than Delorme. He got to pick really low picks, many more than Delorme ever had, and oh what ever happened to Alexander Daigle? All of them got that wrong. You got to be damn lucky picking 18 year old kids. The scouts can only pass on what they see in a kid, it's up to the GM and his staff to make the right decision as far as I'm concerned. Having no farm team for two years (the Wolves) really didn't help Gillis at all, but some of his kids are doing pretty good in the league.

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Just some fun facts:

Polasek - 21st pick, nobody of substance until the Canucks picked Peca in the 2nd round (yes, I see Pavel's brother). Not a bad save in that instance.

They drafted Herter, but they also got Bure. And for those who have reasons why the team/scouting staff don't deserve credit for this pick, could you explain why Detroit picking Datsyuk in the later rounds was a genius move on their part?



Been arguing that point for years. Detroit got lucky, plain and simple. They let Datsyuk drop so far down the list (as did every other GM/Scout) because they saw no value in using a higher pick to get him. If you knew he was gonna be a stud, one of the best in the game ever, would you risk letting him slip? You'd grab him with your first, endure the laughter and come out looking brilliant. Instead they all f-ed up, every GM and scout...Detroit could have lost Datsyuk, how stupid would they look then?

Bure on the other hand was scouting genius. The Canucks dug deeper than anyone else...got info that nobody else had (except for Slats in EDM)...and used that knowledge to utilize higher picks than they would normally have had if they would have picked Pavel 1st (no doubt in today's game Bure is 1st O/A or at least a top 3 in any draft year).

QUOTE: * The Canucks made a shrewd move in drafting Pavel Bure, an 18-year-old from Central Red Army, in the sixth round. Many teams thought Bure, rated by The Hockey News as the "best player eligible for the 1989 entry draft," could only be drafted in the first three rounds. When the Canucks announced their selection, there was a flurry of protests. However, NHL executive vice-president Brian O'Neill ruled that the Canucks made a legal selection. (Duhatschek, Eric. Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 18 June 1989)

And on the other hand you have Bobby Holik available at 8th...and we took Jason Herter soooo...

But then again, Detroit also let Lidstrom slip to 3rd round and Fedorov to the 4th (again, as did every other GM). Screw it, the draft is a crapshoot...

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benning now oversees the draft picks ...delorme is just one scout and doesn't have the last say anymore...what has been wrong with our draft picks, the last 2 years...?

Nothing Joe. These fellows doing all the complaining just feel they would do a better job than Delorme that all. These are the whiners I talked about in another thread. They still haven't got it that you have to pick in sequence in the draft. They do not have a clue about scouting yet they just talk a lot and hope they can convince someone they are knowledgeable. Their talk is cheap.

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The rationale is stupid. Of course you're going to find more forwards if you restrict yourself to:

CHL only.

No goalies or D-men.

By sheer numbers you'll find more forwards.

Reviewing the picks he drafted a lot of busts as well.

I've said for years Delorme needs to be replaced. By someone who actually knows how to scout talent.

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That study never gets old. It's so simplistic yet it shows how often times scouts can be swayed by their subjective opinion. I would love to see a similar study ran with NHL Equivalences allowing for picks outside the CHL.

Anyone who doesn't think analytics is the way of the future in NHL drafts is either completely ignorant or illogical. When we start getting good shot data, draft won't be nearly such a crap-shoot. If we can get reliable shot data I don't think their would even need to be a 6th or 7th round (there barely is a need for them today). Some teams over the past 4 or so years have already taken a very heavy analytical approach to draft (Winnipeg, LA, and now the Leafs to name a few). Now of course, I would never advocate for a purely number based drafting approach (although this study does make a compelling argument) but every model should have a significant filter through quantitative means to arrive upon a pool of top candidates. At that point a subjective, observational data provided by scouts could help rank the remain pool by whatever characteristics a given team is looking for in prospects. No doubt scouting is moving away from little arenas and more towards spreadsheets and game tape breakdowns. Too bad Benning is anti-progressive and has stated that he thinks analytics isn't useful in scouting and drafting (and for that matter at the NHL level based on his actions and explanations over the past year).

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And I hate to be "that guy" who craps on MJDDawgs chart, but even changing 1 pick into a better one changes the whole dynamic of the chart (we do better therefore draft lower and someone else may take the next year's pick that we would have etc etc)...the curse of time travel dynamics.

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You would also have to factor in the fact that these players all were under different development situations. For example, if we drafted Pominville, you cannot say for sure that he would have turned out the same under our organization. We could have buried him in the minors, or maybe he wouldnt fit our roster that well, who knows. These are all variables that we do not know. Just look at how the leafs handled Kadri, when he first came up he was lights out, now he has no confidence. Its all dependent on the situation as well.

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