Gus Katsaros

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CHL Draft Prospects

Monday, December 12, 2011


In light of the IIHF World Junior Championships ready to roll right around the corner on Boxing Day, I looked at the division of prospects developing their skills in the Canadian Hockey League from the two previous NHL Entry drafts.

 

Most players participating in the WJC have usually been drafted and competing against a group of peers, while there are some draft-eligible players that make their way on to their respective country’s rosters.

 

The CHL comprises all the junior leagues across Canada (with some U.S. cities, like Erie, Saginaw, Portland and Seattle to name a few) that includes the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior League (QMJHL).

 

In the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, 107 players were chosen from the Canadian Hockey League – representing 51% of the 210 drafted players.

 

The Taylor-Tyler debate raged on until Taylor was chosen first overall. All 30 NHL teams chose at least a player from the CHL, with the Buffalo Sabres with an NHL high, eight picks.

 

In 2011, the CHL produced 101 picks representing approximately 48% of the 211 total selections. There were 21 selections in the first round – tying a record from 1998, highlighted by now Oilers sensation, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

 

The Washington Capitals were the only NHL club that did not select a player from the Canadian Junior ranks in 2010.

 

Being drafted is only the beginning, and often misleading as some refer to a player drafted late as a ‘shrewd’ pick. Not necessarily so.

 

 NHL players aren’t drafted, they are developed.

 

Very few make their way to full-time NHL duty right away and there is a general learning curve to ply their trade further to compete at a different level.

 

In all, 12 players from the previous two drafts have graduated to regular NHL duty, with another 17 seasoning in the American Hockey League.

 

In the current economic climate, internal development is more important than ever. The amount of investment capital earmarked for player salaries requires proper development of players to ensure the best return for club assets, their draft picks.

 

Some players develop well, or late, or with a little more care. Vancouver’s Alex Burrows, who was undrafted, is a great example of a player that played in the ECHL yet developed into an effective forward.

 

To a lesser extent, a great example is a player like Joey Crabb in Toronto, who has worked his way onto an NHL club after toiling in the American Hockey League. He was drafted in the 7th round in 2002 (226th overall).

 

So, out of the 208 picks selected in 2010-2011, where are they?

 

170 are still playing in the CHL, broken down as per the chart below, with the majority in the WHL.

 

Buffalo and Phoenix lead the NHL with 9 prospects developing in the Major Junior ranks with nine.

 

Not surprising, the Capitals have a league-low two players, tied with the New Jersey Devils.

 

McKeen's will be publishing its Draft Guide and newsletters beginning right after the World Junior Championships. For those interested, the link is here.

 

***********************

2010-2011 Draft Team BY League By Position
TEAM Total OHL QMJHL WHL C LW RW D G
Anaheim Ducks 3 2 - 1 2 - 1 - -
Boston Bruins 5 5 - - 2 1 1 1 -
Buffalo Sabres 9 3 2 4 3 1 1 3 1
Calgary Flames 7 - - 7 1 2 1 2 1
Carolina Hurricanes 6 2 - 4 - - 1 4 1
Chicago Blackhawks 5 1 1 3 2 1 - - 2
Colorado Avalanche 8 1 3 4 1 - 1 5 1
Columbus Blue Jackets 6 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 1
Dallas Stars 4 1 1 2 - - 2 2 -
Detroit Red Wings 8 3 2 3 1 1 2 3 1
Edmonton Oilers 6 - 1 5 - 1 1 3 1
Florida Panthers 8 3 3 2 2 3 1 2 -
Los Angeles Kings 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 - 1
Minnesota Wild 4 - 1 3 2 1 1 - -
Montreal Canadiens 5 - 3 2 - 1 1 3 -
Nashville Predators 3 2 1 - 2 1 - - -
New Jersey Devils 2 1 - 1 - - - 1 1
New York Islanders 6 2 1 3 1 2 1 2 -
New York Rangers 6 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 -
Ottawa Senators 8 3 2 3 - 4 3 1 -
Philadelphia Flyers 6 1 1 4 2 2 1 1 -
Phoenix Coyotes 9 4 2 3 - 3 2 2 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 5 3 - 2 1 - - 4 -
San Jose Sharks 4 2 1 1 - 1 - 3 -
St Louis Blues 7 1 3 3 1 1 3 1 1
Tampa Bay Lightning 4 3 1 - 1 - - 3 -
Toronto Maple Leafs 8 4 - 4 2 3 1 1 1
Vancouver Canucks 6 2 3 1 1 - 2 2 1
Washington Capitals 2 - 2 - - - 1 1 -
Atlanta Thrashers 2 1 - 1 1 - - 1 -
Winnipeg Jets 4 1 - 3 1 1 1 1 -


Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog MapleLeafsHotStove.com ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey
Email :Gus Katsaros



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