A Shocker for Blue Jacket Fans

by professor ggrib

Without stringing you along, the quote below will come as a shock for Jacket fans who have LONG felt the opposite——

THE quote….. from NBC writer

“The Devils have been one of the least successful teams in recent years when it comes to drafting NHL talent while Columbus has been one of the best, as illustrated by this chart from TSN.ca’s Travis Yost.”

Columbus —one of the best drafting teams—-??????

The reason for this statement and the proof thereof is presented below!


Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting

A team that’s done well at drafting will be in the top right. A team that hasn’t will be in the bottom left.

To be considered a “successful” draft pick, Yost determined that the player would have to play 100 games in the NHL. He adds that sorting by other metrics, like points or time on ice, yields “similar results.”

Yost was focusing on the New Jersey Devils’ lack of success in the draft; hence, the bold.

Now, obviously, a team like Columbus (which the chart shows has done well at drafting) is going to have an advantage in the first three rounds over a team like Vancouver (which hasn’t), since the Blue Jackets had much higher picks than the Canucks enjoyed from 2000-2012.

In fact, the Jackets had 11 top-10 picks over those 13 years, including Rick Nash going first overall, along with notable busts Gilbert Brule, Nikita Filatov, and Alexandre Picard. The Canucks, meanwhile, never drafted higher than 10th.

Of course, that doesn’t excuse Vancouver’s inability to find players in the later rounds. The last “successful” players the Canucks took after the third round were Mike Brown, who was a fifth-round pick back in 2004, and Jannik Hansen, who went in the ninth round that same year.

In contrast, the New York Rangers have been extremely successful in those later rounds, having identified the likes of Henrik Lundqvist, Marek Zidlicky, Ryan Callahan, and Carl Hagelin as worthwhile gambles.

Whew, quite a bit of information. So, let me make a few observations. The chart is based on NHL games played by draftees. It cuts off in 2012, which is reasonable as a draftee has to have time to mature/age and then play NHL games. So the current management team  and recent draftees are NOT being rated!!! The chart does not count which team the NHL games are played for, CBJ or others. The chart has proper disclaimers for draft position/opportunity. [note the Oilers, Their #1 pick history [somewhat more recent] but still pretty middle of the pack]

  • The horizontal axis is for the first 3 picks. The vertical axis if for later picks.
  • Doing well in both pick categories puts you high right and that’s where the CBJ are.

So where does all the Columbus fan draft lamenting come from? Obviously some from the notable, remembered, and mostly highly touted failures as mentioned by the writer. Much I suspect comes from the fact that many of the drafted NHL players went to other teams. Kinda an “out of sight, not remembered” thing. And to be honest, many of the players acquired in trading the CBJ drafted prospects/players didn’t work out. [And no I am not going to mention Jeff Carter]

Bottom line is the scouting department should get an “A” for past performance and [here’s where fans can vent] management can get LOW marks for their trades and handling of the draftees.

We Want the Cup

We Want the Cup




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