Photo by Bri Weldon, via Wikimedia Commons
Lockout talk dominates every level of the hockey world, so we’re doing our best to avoid it at all costs. My focus this week is on the NHL draft, specifically the last 10 years. I’ll poke and prod the data in search of interesting conclusions and trends. After the break, I’ll lay out the raw data.
- The most obvious takeaway from the data is the slump from Eastern European leagues. In 2003 and 2004, leagues in Belarus, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia accounted for 19% of all picks. In 2011 and 2012 those same leagues accounted for just 5% and 4% of all picks. In fact, since 2007, those leagues haven’t combined for more than 5% of all selections.
- Much of that post-2007 slack has been taken up by the CHL. Prior to 2007, the CHL averaged 42% of all selections per year, but since then, the three leagues have averaged 49% per year, and the OHL has been responsible for the majority of that increase.
- At first glance, the NCAA seems to have taken a major hit, falling from 9% to 5%, but the NCAA’s feeder system, the USHL, has more than doubled it’s hold on the draft, from 5% to 11%.
- The biggest percentage gainer, however, has been U.S. high school hockey. NHL teams have tripled their selections from U.S. high school picks – bringing U.S. schools nearly on par with the QMJHL.