DontToewsMeBro wrote: mikey287 wrote:
DontToewsMeBro wrote:Has anybody ever provided any evidence or study that taking the "best player available" is always the best long-term drafting strategy for a hockey franchise? A lot of posters scoff at the idea of drafting based on current or future needs in the system, but can't seem to formulate a rigorous argument for why "BPA" is the dominant strategy aside from, "well every team does it that way so it must be right."
A lot of sports teams seem to operate on a basis of "it's always been done this way," without knowing the reasons behind their stance. That doesn't make it correct. Forecasting future needs and drafting based on those needs may actually yield the highest returns per draft pick, but teams don't operate this way because that involves higher risk and actual math. My point is, don't discount other drafting strategies just because the consensus strategy is different.
How would you create a study when you don't have access to all (any?) of the pertinent information? Teams don't look at the same information fans do...these ISS and CSS and whatever else, that's what fans talk about...scouts on NHL teams don't sit around in a room and go, "yeah, well, we got #4 and #29 and #44 with our first three picks, so there!" ...they have their own list, with much more detail...they don't use that thing really. It's an ok "watchlist" in September or whenever but it's nothing of great note.
Professional scouts can only watch so many players, and with today's technology the average person has access to much more information about worldwide talent than scouts did twenty years ago. It wouldn't be feasible to have such a "study", but by the same argument how do you know what scouts use to differentiate between draft prospects? I would have to imagine that they have some sort of ranking mechanism. They have to know who they are going with in some rough order. I'm not saying that the ranks are set in stone, as in this guy is No. 3, this guy is No. 4 (and so on), but the rankings among teams are definitely there. To clarify I was never advocating using any of these rankings to draft players, only arguing that drafting BPA may not always be a dominant strategy.
As another poster already pointed out, there exists diminishing returns to continuing to draft at the same position no matter what your prospect pool looks like. We might hear that having a logjam at the defensemen position is a "good problem to have" but in actuality it is not. There is some optimal number of defensive prospects a team should have so that they get enough minor league playing time to develop and where your leftover resources (draft picks, time, etc.) are better spent on another position. Now what that optimal number is I'm not sure, I was merely offering a proof of existence.
Different teams, different philosophies, different systems. Some teams go: A prospects, B prospects, C...etc. Some say, "Franchise", "Impact", "quality NHLer", "NHLer+", "NHLer", "role player", "depth", "AHL", ..."no draft"...some say, "elite", "very good", "good", "fair", etc. Sorted out as such. Decisions are made how to utilize draft picks while making sound organizational decisions. BPA strategy is most effective in the first round, when the difference in perceived talent/upside level can be higher. As you slide down, round by round, the talent evens out, the risk factor becomes higher, the organization needs can be back-filled on a few chances with good upside, instead of big one chance with some upside (Marcantuoni and Zlobin vs. Teravainen; Pens get better back for their buck with MM and AZ than TT in their opinion).
If you see Matia Marcantuoni and go..."well, he's got about the same basic upside as Teravainen more or less, he's a project too, he's got a [insert negative here] that Teravainen doesn't have but he [insert positive here] better than Teravainen and we can get him in the fourth round instead of using 8th overall on him and we don't see that big of a difference..." See, here's the thing, Marcantuoni, in the year leading up to his draft year was considered a potential top-10 pick and once had one of those shiny numbers placed next to his name (in fact, ISS from October rated MM ahead of Galchenyuk) too, but he fell on some hard times, a bit of injury troubles, a bit snake-bitten, whatever and he tumbled. But no one seems to know that. They ignore junior hockey almost all year (maybe they watch the WJCs when a college bowl game isn't on), grab the final ranks at the end of the year, look at the list of 1-200 or 1-30 or whatever and then hold it up next to the draft and go, "OMG, I can't believe [player I've never seen or heard of] went at [# => 3 from ranking place] when he should have gone around [# =< 3 spots from ranking]!"
As for the last paragraph, it's been discussed to death here, I'll just say this in a blissfully simple way: the thing about quality skaters is...they're always in demand.