NHL Entry Draft Part 2: Expectations

In Part One of my posts on the NHL Entry Draft, I laid out the format and the leagues from where the players that are drafted originate. For Part Two, I am going to provide color on the expectations of these players once they are drafted.

When will they make the NHL?

Unlike the NFL where most of the players that get drafted play the following year for their respective teams, players drafted in the NHL could wait years before making their NHL debut. Only a handful of players drafted will play more than 20 games with their respective clubs the upcoming season.

Total games played in the NHL

How many games these drafted players eventually play in the NHL varies drastically based on what round they are drafted. As you might expect, 1st rounders end up playing the most games in their careers; averaging over 400 games played.

Note that these numbers are a little understated since some of these players’ NHL careers are not complete, thus they will be moving the average games played up a bit.

You get an interesting perspective on the expected careers when plotting the average games played with most players playing their most games in year 6 and 7 after their draft year.  

The outliers

Of course, not everyone is average. Several players like buck to the trend by far exceeding the average.
(Note the chart is a little misleading due to some players having an opportunity to play more games due to some players being drafted earlier season than others.)
Hopefully this provides a little color on the expectations of the players NHL Entry Draft coming up tonight and tomorrow.

John Barr