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Drafting D-Men - A statistical analysis


TGokou

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Just be forewarned I am gonna get geeky with numbers here. If you don't feel like getting into the numbers just skip to the last two paragraphs for a summary.

 

After hearing a lot of talk about how 1st line D-men can be drafted in the 2nd round/3rd round I wanted to find out how statistically possible it is to do so. In the process I decided to do a deep dive into numbers from 2007-2013 (I didn't include statistics from 2014 onwards as I don't feel a lot of late-bloomers would have enough time to make an impact). Please note that my numbers can be highly subjective but I'll try to explain who I included and why. I feel that any D-man who can play a large number of games in the league and put up mediocre numbers is a highly valued commodity and thus were included in this analysis. Conversely I feel that 3rd line forwards can be drafted or signed in free agency and so if they did not put up a certain number of points they did not deserve to be included in my analysis. So without further ado here are the numbers (taken from eliteprospects)

 

From 2007-2013 there were 76 D-men chosen in 1st round, 71 in second, and 55 in 3rd.

Of those 1st round: 56%  2nd round: 21% 3rd round: 20% have gone on to have significant careers 

Of the total numbers, in 1st round: 16% 2nd round 4% 3rd round 4% are what we would call either superstar D-men or at the very least 1st pairing offensive D-men.

 

From 2007-2013 in 1st/2nd/3rd round there were 145/143/141 forwards drafted in each round respectively

Of those 1st round: 48% 2nd round: 12% 3rd round: 8% are what we would call 2nd-line or higher forwards.

 

At this point anyone can form their own opinion of what these numbers might mean but I will try to give you my view point.

Generally speaking it is way more advantageous to draft D-man in 2nd AND 3rd rounds as there is a higher percentage chance (20%) that you will draft a very good servicable D-man for your organization. You also never know because you might get lucky (4% chance) and draft yourself a number 1 D-man.

 

In regards to the 1st round, here is where it gets a little dicey. While the difference between drafting a D-man vs forward doesn't seem so different (56% vs 48%) It was obviously notable that most of the top 1st line forward talent was drafted in the top 10 picks. I tracked what percentage of D-men drafted in the top half of the 1st round went on to become 1st pairing D-men and that number was at about 33% with no extra correlation even if you drafted in the top 4. While my bias is towards drafting a D-man in the 1st round this year, the smart thing to do in my opinion is to draft a forward or find a way to trade down to get 2 1st rounders in the top 15. On the other hand, only having a 4% chance of drafting a 1st pairing D-man in 2nd or 3rd round is ultimately a matter of luck and you may have to go 10 drafts before you ever draft one, assuming you only draft D-men in 2nd and 3rd round. Therefore, sometimes you do have to ultimately take a chance and draft a D-man high to have a decent chance of scoring yourself a #1 D...but ultimately it is a game of numbers.

 

*EDIT: I added some additional stats in a post further down the page*

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1st 2 picks is critical again.  I am preferring a dman, for the structural integrity of our teams future, having an offensive dman that can push the play up for the Boesers, Linda, Pettersson is important, we need an Ehrhoff like offensive dman the very least.  If we somehow in too good of position to take Zadina or Svech then I think the Canucks should target a dman with our 2nd round pick.  

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Good job, even with Google it took some effort.  What I think the Canucks should consider is trading say their third consecutive fifth to a mid round pick and add another pick.  Use this and draft the BPA left on defense, use the extra pick (2nd?) and their 2 on D too.  If we're lucky one of these guys would be our future number one, draft plus one maybe in the league like Sergechev and MaCovy.  

 

Risne and repeat until it bites, use the later rounds for tough gritty guys with some talent added to the forward group.  

 

 

 

7 hours ago, bloodycanuckleheads said:
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i'ld want to scout all the top choices, several times, talk to others that have scouted them too. talk to their coaches and learn about their attitudes and team play and then form the best decision i could. with luck, the final decision won't hang entirely on my perceptions. 

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nice work @TGokou

 

for me what this does is also show how important getting quality un-drafted D like Chatfield is or finding college free agent players like Tanev can dramatically increase your odds of finding a top 6 let alone a 1D. I don't think Chatfield is going to be a top 4 but maybe our next Biega which would be great imo.

 

as for trading down to get 2 picks.... I don't know how we'd do that exactly but I don't think we want to trade out of the top 6 this year if we are lucky enough to get one of those spots. We might tho be able to make a roster player deal in the summer just before the draft to get into the top 15 with a second pick depending on who lands there and what they need. We may also be able to get a top 20 pick depending on how this TDL day goes. 

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6 minutes ago, 189lb enforcers? said:

You did a public service for the forum, bud.

You should post like that more often.

 

Yup, this is a great post.  I think @ForsbergTheGreat Posted something similar last year.  It’s why the league has a draft: the higher a team picks, the more likely they are to get an impact player.  The more years (and picks too) over a defined period a team drafts high in rounds 1,2, and 3 the more likely they are to become a top tier team.  

We currently are collecting some really good young guys, but we need more.  Our tank (whether on purpose or not) needs two more drafts of high picks in rounds 1,2 and 3 to fill out our future core group.  Then JB would have young players as assets to trade for missing pieces - much like the Kings did to get Carter, and Nonis did to get Luongo.  Without those extra young players, who are good, we only make a new hole in our lineup trading to fill a different hole.  

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11 hours ago, PunjabiCanucks said:

Low Key we can get the #1 pick and a late 1st or potentially 2 :/ 

 

Take those late 2 - 1st round picks and package for a higher or early / mid pick, or use both of them to package with wingers we have to get more D men

If they can trade down then why not up?

 

Most teams have their top six already signed so they need plenty of cannon fodder, low paid prospects. Even as unlikely as it could be why not trade up? Canucks could have had Columbus's pick but they didn't want to make the trade because I would require picks and make them look...not good in their eyes. Looking back it might have been prudent to have worked that deal more.

 

Just a thought.

 

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**Update**

 

I decided I got a little bit more curious about the chances of drafting a #1 star D man. While I won't go into too many details here as it was only based on anecdotal evidence I noticed a really high correlation when drafting a LATE birthday D-man and getting your star D-man. I had to go a little further back in my analysis to get this information

 

Duncan Keith 2nd round July Bday

Shea Weber 2nd round August Bday

Dustin Byfuglien 8th round March Bday

Alex Edler 3rd round April Bday(While I doubt anyone would say he's a star defenseman he was pretty good for a while, and I threw him in here because he's Canucks property)

PK Subban 2nd round May Bday

Roman Josi 2nd round June Bday

Shayne Gostisbehere 3rd round April Bday

Erik Karlsson 1st round May Bday

Oliver-Ekman Larsson 1st round July Bday

 

So basically all the super-star D-men drafted in the 2nd round and later are ALL late birthdays. There is also a lot of players I cut off this list that I would consider really good players who were also late birthdays. Therefore in my original post where the chance of drafting a super-star D (or even a #1 D for that matter) of only being 4% can be greatly increased by ONLY drafting late birthday D-men in the second round onwards. In fact I would argue anecdotally there is a greater than 50% correlation of drafting really good D by selecting late birthday D-men...therefore increasing your odds from 4% to about 10%.

 

Most of these D-men I put here are 2nd round or later but assuming this applies to 1st round talent as well I would argue that Adam Boqvist definitely has #1 star potential based solely on his late b-day. Also based on Evan Bouchard's early birthday I would pass.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, 189lb enforcers? said:

I think it’s criminal that Edmonton is in lotto contention this year.

 

There should be a recapture penalty or forfeiture. 

 

They could get one of these top D too. Brutal, and kind of scary. 

The Nucks will be diddled until the next CBA.

 

Pretty sure there will be a new system of drafting that will insure bottom teams get the players and still prevent tanking.

Maybe the league will allow "transfer" payments, then some teams could sell their draft picks. They can already in the form of taking on bad contracts and retaining salary. And the Canucks should go that route, find out who a team may want, lets say Guddy is acceptable, so the Nucks sign him to a 4 year 4.5 mil contract and pay him a 16 mil signing bonus, the team getting him gets the cap hit for the floor but pays him peanuts each year for his salary.

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6 minutes ago, TGokou said:

**Update**

 

I decided I got a little bit more curious about the chances of drafting a #1 star D man. While I won't go into too many details here as it was only based on anecdotal evidence I noticed a really high correlation when drafting a LATE birthday D-man and getting your star D-man. I had to go a little further back in my analysis to get this information

 

Duncan Keith 2nd round July Bday

Shea Weber 2nd round August Bday

Dustin Byfuglien 8th round March Bday

Alex Edler 3rd round April Bday(While I doubt anyone would say he's a star defenseman he was pretty good for a while, and I threw him in here because he's Canucks property)

PK Subban 2nd round May Bday

Roman Josi 2nd round June Bday

Shayne Gostisbehere 3rd round April Bday

Erik Karlsson 1st round May Bday

Oliver-Ekman Larsson 1st round July Bday

 

So basically all the super-star D-men drafted in the 2nd round and later are ALL late birthdays. There is also a lot of players I cut off this list that I would consider really good players who were also late birthdays. Therefore in my original post where the chance of drafting a super-star D (or even a #1 D for that matter) of only being 4% can be greatly increased by ONLY drafting late birthday D-men in the second round onwards. In fact I would argue anecdotally there is a greater than 50% correlation of drafting really good D by selecting late birthday D-men...therefore increasing your odds from 4% to about 10%.

 

Most of these D-men I put here are 2nd round or later but assuming this applies to 1st round talent as well I would argue that Adam Boqvist definitely has #1 star potential based solely on his late b-day. Also based on Evan Bouchard's early birthday I would pass.

 

 

 

The Norris trophy winners and runners up are interesting as well, some even in later rounds.

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So 33% of d men in the first round or was it the top 15 become 1st pairing guys?  Based on average do we know how many per year would eventually fit that mold?  I'm trying to get an idea the 2016 draft where we took juolevi based on averages.

 

juolevi and sergcahev both look like they could have 1st pairing roles in a few years.  Was it 33% of the top 15 or all 30 during that era?

 

#5 Olli Juolevi (TPS Finland)

#9 Mickael Sergachev (NHL TBL)

#13 Jake Bean (CHL)

#14 Charlie McAvoy (NHL BOS) (1st pairing)

 

Are all top 15 D. Followed by

 

#16 Jakob Chychrun (NHL ARZ)

#17 Dante Fabbro

#18 Logan Stanley

 

#20 Dennis Cholowski

#28 Lucas Johansen

 

Please fill in the rest of u can.  Just on phone lol.

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