1982 NHL Draft Evaluation
The top teams in terms of drafting players who went on to have valuable NHL careers were the Sabres, Whalers, Rangers, Capitals and Devils. Buffalo finishes at the top because they had two high picks and they made great selections with both landing Phil Housely (#6 overall) and Dave Andreychuk (#16 overall). Throw in journeyman Paul Cyr and it is quite a haul. The Whalers rank second for their selections of Ray Ferraro, Ulf Samuelsson and Kevin Dineen. Samulesson would get a Championship with the Penguins and Ferraro would have a very late career year with the Thrashers during their terrible early years (I still have my Ferraro autographed picture--thanks Ray!)
The teams that participated in the 1982 NHL Draft are ranked in the table below based upon the total career NHL value those draft picks amassed up through the end of the 2006-07 regular season (or the end of their career). The "value" column displays the total adjusted GVT regular season value of all players drafted by that team in that draft. Draftees who went on to play 400 or more games (fewer for goalies) are listed to the right so you can see for yourself the notable picks for each team. The division of those players into "impact" and "role" players is determined by looking at their value to games played ratio. Rather than just using my own opinion I decided to divide the adjusted GVT by game played and use that as a guideline.
|Team||Value||Impact Player||Role Players|
|HAR||1611||R.Ferraro K.Dineen U.Samuelsson||R.Gilhen|
|NYR||1368||T.Sandstrom T.Granato K.Miller|
|TOR||843||G.Leeman||G.Nylund K.Wregget P.Ihnacak|
|QUE||726||D.Shaw M.Hough P.Gillis|
|PIT||477||Rich Sutter T.Loney|
Of course, not every team has the same opportunities in a given draft year because of where they pick in the draft order. In order to take this into account I have calculated a draft opportunity cost average. Think of it as something like a batting average. If you took the best available player at your spot in the draft order your team receives a perfect score of 1.000 for that pick. If you drafted a total bust a score of zero. If you landed a NHL player--but not the best available player--your team score is determined by how close in value your guy was to the most valuable player left on the draft board (for more on this read this post).
Hartford finishes on top of the draft efficiency ranking because they found solid contributors in multiple rounds. In addition so Ferraro, Dineen and Samuelsson they picked up Randy Gilhen and Paul Lawless (awesome hockey name BTW, if only he and Paul Laus had played on the same team!). Likewise the Rangers score well as they scooped up a collection of contributors in Kelly Miller, Tony Granato, Tomas Sandstrom, Corey Millen and Chris Kontos.
The Capitals finish high due to a perfect score for taking Scott Stevens and adding in Dean Evason, but mostly because of Stevens--too bad they lost this franchise building block. Can you imagine how much differently the Capitals might have fared playing against the Penguins if they had kept Stevens on their blueline? The Sabres made two perfect selections early and found Paul Cyr but they had a total of 14 picks in this draft year and they getting almost nothing out of those other 11 picks which lowers their opportunity cost average. Finally we have the Flyers with a decent draft in which they took Ron Hextall, Ron Suter and Dave Brown.
|Team||Value||Impact Player||Role Player|
This was a tough draft for certain GMs and scouts. There was some decent talent there in hindsight but on draft day there many big mistakes. Just take a look at the first round and count the number of misses. By the way in case you missed it the North Stars GM Lou Nanne was not exactly stellar on draft day. I'm not finished with all of his drafts yet, but so far he has yet to even finish in the top half of the league in a single year. Eventually I'll post something about each GM's individual success rate, it should be interesting since some of these guys are still around today.