July 12 2013 11:56AM
Some discussion on Twitter early Friday afternoon after Ilya Kovalchuk's Hall of Fame candidacy in the wake of his surprise retirement from the National Hockey League. It's worth noting that Kovalchuk's career is not quite over yet: he's still 30 years old and has a few real good productive years left in Russia and probably a couple of Olympic games left in him as a real key contributor. Without the NHL playoffs to restrict him, I can see him being a very key figure in Russia's World Championship bids each year as the European leagues are intelligent enough to end their seasons beach weather hits and players are freed up to go to the Worlds each year.
I'm a proponent "for" Kovalchuk. I think that his international resume, including two World Championship golds, and what's to come, will more than make up for his lack of playoff success at the NHL stage. Really, he's played just 32 playoff games, because he spent most of his North American career toiling away in Atlanta.
July 10 2013 09:57AM
When one thinks of the 90s and NHL drafting it usually draws up images of a draft wasteland, devoid of the flash and skill we enjoyed in the 80s and centered on the occasions like the one above. There were two catastrophic draft years in the 90s, both of them near the tail end. The decade of NHL drafting from 1990 to 1999 was something of a paradox where the overall numbers of NHL players actually stabilized remarkably, but simultaneously delivered few elite-level talents to the league.
July 03 2013 09:21AM
What constitutes a deep draft? Are there any patterns in the strength of draft years? Do some teams dominate the draft to a greater extent than others? Are there any historical trends that can be found by looking at the overall draft history? What teams find success at the draft and are there any patterns that can be gleaned from history?
In order to try and find some answers I collected data on the NHL Entry Draft from the first NHL Entry Draft in 1979 to 2008.
June 27 2013 11:55AM
Zykov to Washington? Yeah, that's about right.
Image: Antoine Letarte, CC BY 3.0
June 27 2013 10:35AM
Photo by Buchanan-Hermit via Wikimedia Commons
Third round draft picks have ~7% chance of turning into impact players, so for the General Managers with picks in this round, it's akin to shooting house-weighted dice. Seems like a perfect setting for Glen Sather, who makes his first appearance in the 2013 Draft in the third round. Only 23 of the 30 teams have picks in this round.
The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzie, Future Considerations, ISS, The Hockey News, Craig Button, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report. Their rankings are weight by their accuracy in ranking previous drafts: Bob McKenzie's rankings carry the most weight as he's the most accurate prognosticator in the group.