Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Drafters of the Decade

In honour of the new decade we're going to take a look back at the best drafters of the decade past.  Why drafts?  Because this is perhaps the biggest key to success in the NHL, and I think the findings will prove that.

Today we'll have a look at Anaheim who despite the name didn't begin the decade mighty.

2001 draft saw the Ducks select Stanislav Chistov 5th overall, directly ahead of future NHL stalwarts Mikko Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Pascal Leclaire and Tuomo Ruutu (in order).  Only nine players drafted in the first round in 2001 have played less than 200 NHL games to date, but it could've been worse, Tampa took Alex Svitov 3rd.  In that same draft the Ducks plucked a future NHL tender in Martin Gerber way back in round 8, so that buoys their rankig. They haven't had as many high picks as other teams but they did well to take Jofrey Lupul 7th overall in 2002 and have been the benefactor of overlooked stars like Ryan Getzlaf (19th) and Cory Perry (28th) in the 2003 draft, and most recently defenseman Cam Fowler, once projected a top three pick all the way back at 12th in 2010.  They've found their share of diamonds in the rough, taking Shane O'brien 250th overall in 2003, and current roster players Matt Belesky 112th and Brandon McMillan 85th. The Ducks definitely earn kudos for not often missing on an early picks but 2007 first rounder Logan MacMillan toils in the AHL and he was selected ahead of PK Subban and David Perron, ditto for 2006 first rounder Mark Mitera who was selected ahead of Claude Grioux and Semyon Varlamov. The Ducks have had

With 13 first rounders in 10 years and four great first round picks in the past two seasons the Ducks are definitely targeting the draft as a means to sucess.  They had only 11 picks between two drafts of 2005 and 2006 but have had 33 in the four drafts since, and 9 of their current roster players are drafted and developed by the Ducks.

Final Grade: B+

We'll tackle the rest of the league alphabetically throughout the month.

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