The QMJHL Rebounds: Origins of NHL Draft Picks

Derek Zona
July 24 2013 12:57PM

In my first look at the origins of NHL draft picks, I noted the drop in selections made from Eastern Europe:

In 2003 and 2004, leagues in Belarus, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia accounted for 19% of all picks.  In 2011 and 2012 those same leagues accounted for just 5% and 4% of all picks.  In fact, since 2007, those leagues haven't combined for more than 5% of all selections.

In 2013, it didn't get any better. Leagues in those six countries produces eight draft choices (all from Russian leagues), for 4.3% of the draft.

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Belarus 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
CHS 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Czech 14 10 9 2 2 2 0 3 3 0 45
Denmark 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3
Finland 10 8 13 4 6 8 7 10 9 10 85
Germany 1 1 2 4 1 1 3 0 0 0 13
Junior A 12 12 10 15 17 14 10 7 14 11 122
Junior B 6 6 3 6 3 4 2 0 2 6 38
Latvia 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
NCAA 20 13 18 7 9 7 9 11 10 6 110
Norway 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
OHL 37 43 29 35 46 45 42 46 48 37 408
Poland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
QMJHL 20 23 25 25 27 23 22 22 19 31 237
Russia 19 11 15 7 9 6 4 6 6 8 91
Slovakia 8 4 2 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 20
Sweden 14 15 18 16 19 23 21 25 22 26 199
Swiss 3 0 3 1 1 0 1 1 1 2 13
USHL 12 22 22 34 18 26 20 26 24 26 230
USHS 12 17 19 16 15 19 23 17 19 15 172
WHL 36 43 24 37 37 31 43 33 32 33 349

There were some new developments, however:

  • The QMJHL's 31 selections accounted for 14.7% of the draft, marking the largest Q draft in the 11 year period tracked.  I noted it a number of times in the notes of my Consensus 100 articles and it came to fruition on draft day.  Unlike previous drafts, the Q did not rely on imported players to buffer their numbers, in fact, only three imports were taken out of the Q.
  • The Q's rise coincides with a drop from the OHL.  The 37 players taken from the OHL represent 17.5% of the draft - the league's lowest portion since 2007.  The CHL totaled 47.9% of the draft - incrementally higher than the organization's average of the previous 10 seasons.
  • I mentioned above - outside of the Russian league's selections - the rest of Eastern Europe was shut out.  This marks the 3rd consecutive year that Latvia was shut out and the 2nd consecutive year that Slovakia was blanked.  Not only were those countries shut out, but Germany was shut out for the 3rd consecutive year as well.  It's got to be somewhat embarrassing for the Czech Republic to be included in the blanked list - the leagues there produced 6% of the draft 10 years ago.

 

 

 

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#1 MC Hockey
July 24 2013, 11:10PM
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No Latvians taken? Somewhere Augusts Vilis Abakuks is turning over in his grave!

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#2 JDM
July 25 2013, 02:24PM
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@MC Hockey

He didn't say no Latvians taken, he said no players drafted out of Latvian leagues. Not that there were any Latvians drafted; I have no idea.

Derek, could you perhaps speculate as to the why and how of this trend? Particularly in light of how striking the downfall of the Czech leagues has been it would be interesting to read about even speculation as to the cause.

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#3 JDM
July 25 2013, 02:28PM
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... My guess is that the SEL has become the clear "best league not named NHL or KHL", and if you want to prove to teams in the top leagues that you can play, your best bet is to play there. Which would become a self-fulfilling prophecy when all of the good young players migrate there - as a good young European player, why play in the German league when the record clearly shows that the NHL doesn't draft players from that league.

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