The Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft Series: 2012

silver round coin on brown surface

Refresher on the Hockey Prospecting re-draft approach…

Methodology & Technique

  • A first round re-draft
  • 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 2012 NHL Draft – Top 30

The 2012 Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft – Top 30


The 2012 draft was one of the worst drafts in NHL history and Hockey Prospecting struck out big time. Typically there are four to six stars that emerge from a draft and in a really good draft there could be eight to 10. In 2012, there was two – Morgan Rielly and Filip Forsberg. The draft had very few really high-caliber Hockey Prospecting, and a number of them didn’t have/aren’t having notable careers (Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Grigorenko). Nail Yakupov, especially, looked like a certain star (with a probability over 70%) and ended up a replacement-level NHLer. That almost never happens with a player that has a profile like Yakupov but in 2012 it did.

The model picked up on Dumba, Forsberg and Hertl earlier than where they were actually drafted. Those are some of the only positives from the draft. As well, he’s not included here as I don’t exclude overagers from the 1st round (as I assume they will be available later and there’s not need to use a 1st on them) but Nikita Gusev, drafted in the 7th round as a 2+ overager, would have been at the top of my list directly after I made my first selection at this draft. At the time he was drafted, he had a star probability of 67% and looked similar to Theoren Fleury and Brad Richards.

In terms of misses, Trouba, Wilson, Skjei and Pearson would have dropped out of the 1st round and I would have missed them. I missed them mostly because of their older and average profiles in the model. Players that look like this only make the NHL about 30% to 40% of the time.

Actual Results
2012Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 302103
Top 512115
Top 1015219
Top 20287118
Top 302128224
Hockey Prospecting Results
2012Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 301203
Top 502204
Top 1014218
Top 20255212
Top 30285215

If we break down the results in aggregate, Hockey Prospecting does not fair very well at the 2012 draft. Hockey Prospecting finds the only two stars of the draft by pick 11 (same as the actual draft). Although, Hockey Prospecting finds Forsberg first and then Rielly. The actual draft found Rielly first and then Forsberg. The actual draft finds 12 average producers (40 to 60 point F; 25 to 40 point D) and the Hockey Prospecting re-draft only finds 8. Only 15 of the Hockey Prospecting draft top 30 make the NHL where as 24 of the actual drafted top 30 make the NHL. This could be partially related to opportunity… teams can be wrong about late picks but they can’t be wrong about too many 1st rounders, those have to hit. 1st rounders, as a result, are afforded much more opportunity to make the NHL. But it’s difficult to tell… Hockey Prospecting will take the L here, regardless. All in all, the Hockey Prospecting model didn’t have a lot of success at unearthing talent earlier in the 2012 draft. The way the draft actually went was much more successful than the Hockey Prospecting re-draft.

Up next… the 2013 draft.

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