I am slowly growing my database of NHL Draft data (if someone reading this has their own database of prospect stats and wouldn't mind sharing, please contact me). I decided to look at goalies selections in the NHL draft, mostly because I haven't seen much done on the subject.
Below is a chart I created of goalies drafted between 1997 and 2006 (I chose this time frame in hopes to keep the sample relatively modern while still giving them ample time to crack an NHL roster).
I define success as the goalie having played at least 100 NHL games as of the end of the 2014 season. The tier's section sorts the goalies by what round they were drafted:
- Top - Rounds 1-3
- Middle - Rounds 4-6 (pre-lockout) Rounds 4-5 (post-lockout)
- Bottom - Rounds 7-9 (pre-lockout) Rounds 6-7 (post-lockout)
I highlighted the most striking observation in that chart. (Sorry if the formatting is confusing).
No goalie who played their draft eligible season in the CHL (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) between 1997 and 2006 and was drafted in the later rounds of the draft has ever managed to play 100 NHL games.
The 2 Non-CHL goalies were Brian Elliott (Ajax-OPJHL) and Scott Clemmensen (Des Moines).
The other 7 were all Europeans: Henrik Lundqvist, Pasi Nurminen, Cristobal Huet, Martin Gerber, Fredrik Norrena, Jaroslav Halak, Pekka Rinne.
Why is this the case? I really don't know. Maybe all of the CHL prospects are so highly scouted and scrutinized it's harder to steal a future contributor in the later rounds. If I am running a draft table however, I am definitely leaning towards taking a European goalie with those late round picks.
If you have any theories let me know, I will be looking into more NHL draft material in the upcoming weeks.