The Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft Series: 2011

New Year'S Eve, 2011, Turn Of The Year

Welcome to the Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft Series! Every year, the various outlets put out their re-draft lists where they look back drafts 5, 10, 15 years in the past. They look at what each player amounted into and create a new list of where the players should have gone. These hindsight analyses are great and generate a lot of intrigue. But is there a way to take the hindsight part out.

We thought we would take our own spin at the ‘re-draft’ and look at it a much different way. Using the Hockey Prospecting model, we’re going to look back on the 2011 to 2016 drafts and rank the top 30 players. But not looking at it in terms of what the players have become but looking at what they looked like at the time of the draft. What would the model have picked up on at the draft.

Methodology & Technique

  • Players are chosen by their probabilities in the model but also based on their age and where they stand in the model. The Hockey Prospecting model is assessing where they are at the draft but also where they could go, based on previously history, in the future.
  • The top pick in each draft was left as is as they were always consensus and each have made the NHL directly after being drafted. The model takes over after the 1st overall pick.
  • Overagers: Overagers are not included in the top 30. There are times that the model sees overagers as more valuable. However, overagers have less runway left to improve in the model. As well, as a general rule of thumb, I wouldn’t take an overager in the 1st round (unless they were a really elite talent or the draft was exceptionally weak). I would be targeting them from the second round on.
  • The players are sorted by:
  • Grouping – 5 distinct groups within the model ranging from very high probability players to very low
  • Aggregate Probability – The summation of the player’s NHLer probability and Star probability
  • Round and Number – If players have equal probabilities, the model will pick out the one that was drafted first, assuming they were ranked higher and were seen as the better player

The Actual 2011 NHL Draft – Top 30

The 2011 Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft – Top 30


The model hits big on a few players. The big ones that jumps out were Kucherov and Gaudreau. Kucherov actually had the highest star probability of anybody in the 2011 draft at 73%. His profile, based on his pre-draft year and draft year results and his age, is very rare. He jumps up 56 spots and would have been taken 2nd overall. Gaudreau, who has turned into a point-per-game star, jumps up 90 spots into the top 10. The model picks up on him because of a combination of him being really young at the draft and having consistent, above-average, production in his pre-draft year and draft year. Ryan Murphy and and Matt Puempel, who both missed, each jump up 10 to 15 spots. Along with Gaudreau, Khoklachev, Clendening, Ma. Granlund, Trocheck and a few others jump up into the first round.

In terms of misses, Landeskog falls all the way to 12th and he turned into a really good player. The model likes him a bit less than 2nd overall because he’s older and, while he has good production in his draft year, he doesn’t have much production in his pre-draft year. Notable NHLers Mark Scheifele, JT Miller and Jonas Brodin fall completely out of the first round with this method as well.

Actual Results
2011Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 330013
Top 531105
Top 10631010
Top 20665117
Top 30695320
Hockey Prospecting Results
2011Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 321013
Top 531014
Top 1052118
Top 20752214
Top 30774318

If we break down the results in aggregate, some really interesting things come out. The actual draft nets more NHLers than the Hockey Prospecting draft (20 vs. 18). However, the Hockey Prospecting model finds more stars – seven stars in the top 30 for Hockey Prospecting vs. six for the actual draft.

In total, there was 8 stars to come out of the draft. Not only is Hockey Prospecting finding the stars at different points from the actual draft, the first seven stars that Hockey Prospecting finds differ from the first seven stars that the actual draft found. Nugent-Hopkins, Kucherov, Huberdeau, Hamilton, Gaudreau, Landeskog and Zibanejad were all found by pick 20 in HP draft. The Hockey Prospecting model doesn’t find the 8th star until around pick 45 (Scheifele). In comparison, it takes the actual draft only nine picks to find six stars. But they don’t find the other two stars (Kucherov and Gaudreau) for another ~50 and ~90 picks, respectively.

Up next… the 2012 draft.

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