Tuesday, July 04, 2006



Anyone care to take a stab at what the cash value is, USD$, of a third-round draft choice? A couple of you may know where I'm going with this; I'll follow up later in the week.


$11M/3, if Roloson's contract is anything to go by.

"If there doesn't exist a goalie who could make a big impact at a reasonable price, then I want Lowe to take his chances with Markkanen or Conklin in the playoffs. That is a better move than making a bad trade. Who knows? Markkanen might get hot. Conklin might get hot."

Random quote fishing from March!

The formula would be: (expected cost of purchasing an identical player to the expected value from the pick on the free market over the seven years in which you control his rights)-(salary paid to the player drafted), I think. Then you've gotta account for the future value of money and all that crap. I don't know the answer myself, but those are the terms I'd think in.

That sounds right (going from first principles). Presumably the next step, then, is to determine what kind of player the average 3rd round pick turns out to be from ages 18 to ~27. I might know someone with the answer to this.

It's not high, I know that much. The chances a third rounder turns into a star are very low, about one in 50. The chances a third rounder even plays a game in the NHL are slightly better than 50/50.

Although, upon another 2 minutes reflection, maybe there should be a Hope Factor built in there. Every team in the league would prefer an actual 3rd-round pick to an "average 3rd-rounder", because everyone thinks they can beat the average (which, on occasion, they all do).

If there is another way of approaching this problem, like an idea of how picks are selected when they're thrown into trade offers (i.e. what round), I'd be interested to hear that. In other words, the value of the pick is probably not the same as the value of the expected-by-Central-Scouting player.

Also, I suppose I could have mentioned that my Wild-Ass Guess at this number is $200k. That might be a bit high, but I'm pretty sure it's in the six-figures.

It would be nice if we knew what the hell you were talking about.


Apparently my simple solution regarding what we got when we gave up that conditional third to Minny for signing Roli wasn't a straightforward enough answer.

Interesting idea. Obviously if any GMs out there are truly interested in running their hockey operations as a business, then converting all assets to a common currency (in this case converting pick position to USD) is the first step.

Your guess, as well as Lowetide's, that's about the same range as the number I pulled out of my ass as well.

MC's comments make sense, might have to add in development costs as well. Minor league salaries, rookie camps, health and benefit coverage as minor pros ... it adds up to a pretty significant number methinks.

I'd also suspect that the value of a draft pick position varies team to team. Given the option of "buying" a 100th overall draft pick position at an auction ... it probably makes more sense for DET, TOR, PHI, NYR to be the highest bidders.

Another thing is that there will be a bunch of 20 year olds playing in the league next year who really aren't helping you win. Meaning Dan Lacouture could step into their exact role and probably do better. Of course that doesn't happen, because the 20 year old will get a lot better, and Lacouture won't. Still, the point is obvious, no? And I have no idea how to quantify that.

A couple of years ago I wrote a ditty that stripped all of the draft picks for a decade, '85 to '95 I think, pulled it off of hockeydb.com and into CSV format. If that would help you let me know and I'll dig it up.

...might have to add in development costs as well. Minor league salaries, rookie camps, health and benefit coverage as minor pros ... it adds up to a pretty significant number methinks.

Vic, I agree that these are actual expenditures for a team, but they shouldn't factor into a value calculation because they're a given...the cost doesn't vary based on your decision...you have n minor league roster spots, and the benefits will cost $Y. Doesn't matter who fills them.

vic, I've got all the draftees up to 2003 from the same source. I keep meaning to go back and update 'em all for last season (I grabbed their rough NHL stats like GP/pts etc) but never have. I kept the raw html and wrote some scripts to jam them into a DB, so I could rip it back out again into whatever format.

I disagree that the 20 year old will always get better though: some will, and some won't. That's why you see guys like Dan Tessier still failing to Make The Cut.

Yeah, I take your point Avi, but those costs have to be allocated somewhere. And a lot of teams (the Oilers for one) choose not to field their own AHL affiliate, partly for these reasons.

Young players who have been drafted are followed by pro scouts and developmental coaches as well. There are costs there. Eliminating just one propspect probably has a negligible effect, eliminating them all has a profound effect. What to do?

Personally I would make each prospect a cost centre and keep tabs, this vague blanket "development cost" shit would worry the hell out of me if it were my cash (and obviously it isn't).

The fairest way lies somewhere in the middle probably.

Just for the sake of curiousity, I'm waiting for some controversial bastard to take over an NHL team and turf his entire amateur scouting and player development staff. Then auction off his draft picks, one by one, to the other 29 GMs, for USD on June 15th every year. Why the hell not? the world needs more mavericks. :)

The NHL cartel would never let that happen. But they should.


You're probably right, though my point is that damn few 20 year olds deserve to be on NHL rosters on merit. They wouldn't be there if they were 28, but the thinking is that it's best for their development to have them start playing at the NHL level then.

Just checked Tessier on hockeydb and it looks like he was still playing junior as a 20 year old. On to the ECHL from there.

And man did that "Making The Cut" show ever suck. Or maybe I was just expecting too much, I dunno.

Great that you've got all that draft data. Oilswell did some cool, and very evolved stuff with that a couple of years ago. I don't know much about prospects, but I love reading that sort of thing. And I don't know where matt is going with this "USD for a 3rd round draft pick" thing, but it sounds like somewhere good.

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