Best to be a 1st?

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LW David Perron is one of the anchor forwards for the Blues, and he is a former 1st-round draft pick

I recently had an interchange on Twitter about draft pick value. My discussion counterpart pointed out that after the top 15 picks, the likelihood of being an NHL regular decreases considerably.

I had taken the position that Doug Armstrong should not trade any 1st round picks in a package for Taylor Hall. First rounders are almost locks to stick in the NHL, and therefore are considerably more valuable than picks from subsequent rounds.

The breakdown of players by draft position is fascinating to me. This article is a little dated (it’s from 2014), but it’s still relevant. According to this, picks 1-30 from draft class 2006 had greater than a 66% chance of playing 2 full seasons at least. And then look at this graph. According to this, during the 2017-18 season, 39% of NHL players were drafted in the first round. 

These numbers are amazing. There are 7 rounds in the NHL draft, so when the likelihood of drafting an NHL contributor is astronomically higher than the later rounds? That indicates just how valuable teams should and do treasure those picks.

The Blues have 8 players on the current roster that were drafted in the first round. That’s over 30%. So my point is that when a team’s closest thing to a guaranteed future player comes from the first round, that team shouldn’t trade the pick unless it’s considered well worth it. Would Taylor Hall have been worth it for the Blues? That’s hard to say, but for potentially less than a full season of his services? Not in my opinion.

The Blues have previous few forward prospects, now that they traded Bokk, and Kyrou and Thomas are on the roster. The team is within it’s championship window (with one in the bag, praise be), but they need to keep an eye on the future.






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