A look at the teams with the top picks and the potential players who could be selected, updates on the Coyotes and Devils, and more.

Halifax Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon projected to be the first overall pick in today's NHL Draft.

Halifax Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon projected to be the first overall pick in today’s NHL Draft.

DENVER POST: Nathan MacKinnon, projected to go first overall in this year’s NHL Draft, has long been expected to become an NHL star.

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers expect to land a game-changing star with the second overall pick.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning also expect to land a potential young NHL star with the third overall pick.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile knows he’s going to get a good player with the fourth overall pick.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Russian winger Valeri Nichushkin,  Swedish center Elias Lindholm or Canadian defenseman Darnell Nurse could be on the radar for Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford with the fifth overall pick. The Hurricanes, like all NHL teams, have invested thousands of dollars in scouting and evaluating the top prospects in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon, Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin and Alexander Barkov are projected to be selected with the top four picks. Where they go in the order remains to be seen but it could be in the order I’ve listed.  As for the Hurricanes, there’s talk they could trade their pick, perhaps for a top-four defenseman.

NEWSDAY: For the first time since 1968, the NY Rangers don’t have any picks in the first and second rounds. Those picks were dealt away in trades, most notable their acquisitions of Rick Nash and Ryane Clowe. The Rangers could try to trade up into the higher rounds.

TORONTO STAR: Peter Tingling, a business professor at Simon Fraser University, claims after years of analyzing NHL draft the idea some teams make better draft decisions than others is a myth. He concludes it ultimately comes down to guesswork.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe he’s right, though it seems some teams over the years have been better guessers than others.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited reports from TSN’s Darren Dreger the Phoenix Coyotes are close to re-signing goaltender Mike Smith to a six-year deal worth $5.7 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the uncertainty over the future of the Coyotes, re-signing Smith would be a significant move. Hopefully, we’ll find out more later day or in the coming days.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is reportedly in talks an investment group led by attorney Andrew Barroway which could result in his selling the club to the Barroway group.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Vanderbeek sells the Devils to the Barroway group, the club won’t be relocated.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Dan Bickley suggests even if the Phoenix Coyotes aren’t moved, their fans won’t have any closure. An out-clause in the proposed arena lease agreement with prospective buyers Renaissance Sports and Entertainment means a five-year period of uncertainty would hang over the franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I feel sorry for the Coyotes fans who’ve stuck with this team throughout all of this. Still, it’s reaching the point where even I believe it’s now for the best if the franchise was relocated. By the sound of the proposed lease agreement, if it is approved by Glendale City Council, it’ll only delay the inevitable by a few years.
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One Response to NHL Draft Day Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2013.

  1. Greg says:

    The Toronto Star article about the randomness of draft success is correct. I’ve been crunching numbers from the 1987-2000 entry drafts, not likely to the same degree as Prof. Tingling. Here are results by draft position as % of picks to play 400 GP in the NHL for skaters and 200 GP for goalies:
    Position: picks 1-5 / 6-15 / 16-30 / 31-60 / 61-90 / 91-120 / 121-150 / 151-180 / 181 +

    LW: 90%* / 55% / 30% / 17% / 14% / 8% / 10% / 12% / 6%
    RW: 80%* / 50% / 44% / 15% / 26% / 13% / 13% / 12% / 7%
    C: 92% / 53% / 42% / 25% / 21% / 13% / 10% / 5% / 2%
    D**: 92% / 55% / 33% / 19% / 18% / 7% / 4% / 11% / 5%
    G: 100%* / 22%* / 47% / 30% / 10% / 12% / 13% / 13% / 7%

    % of all drafted skaters with 400+ GP = 15%
    % of all drafted goalies with 200+ GP = 15%

    * means that 10 or less draft picks were chosen for that position between 1987-2000 and are more likely to be influenced by luck. For example two goalies were taken within the first five picks in that time frame: DiPietro and Luongo. That isn’t enough data to identify a trend league-wide.
    ** just to point out that about twice as many D are picked vs. any one F position, except for draft picks 1-15 where the numbers are closer to being equal.

    My conclusions for the 1987-2000 entry drafts so far are:

    1) better players are drafted early (duh!) and the first five draft picks are gravy. It’s probably better to draft and trade like Quebec/Colorado did with Lindros, Sundin, and Nolan than trade the pick.

    2) By the second half of the first round the chance of a skater having an above average career length is less than 50% (the average skater career length for these drafts being 340 GP).

    3) Goalie careers are very difficult to predict, but if a G prospect is legitimately in the 16-60 pick range and you need a goalie, then it isn’t a bad pick. The percentage of goalies drafted in the 1-15 range playing 200+ games is roughly the same as the 16-60 range: about 40%. A skater taken with picks 1-15 is 40% likely to play more than 800 games. Skaters are safer picks than goalies in the first half of the first round.

    4) Defensemen are just as good of a first round pick as forwards, slightly worse picks in subsequent rounds than centers, but about even with wingers. The disadvantage is D often have a longer development time than forwards. A team is more likely to know what they’re getting with a forward prospect than a defenseman for the same draft position, i.e. forwards, and centers in particular, are slightly safer draft choices for the most valuable picks at the beginning of the draft, but only slightly (faster development = earlier impact in the NHL or earlier use as trade bait).

    5) The relative value of draft positions are: 1-5 is awesome, 6-15 is really good, 16-30 is good, 31-60 is ok, 61-90 is ok too, mostly, 91-120 is acceptable, 121-180 is something, and 181+ is better than nothing. Really, don’t get your hopes up for an eventual all-star pick after 120. If it happens, awesome, but don’t count on it.

    Good luck to your team at the draft.

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