In my first look at the origins of NHL draft picks, I noted the drop in selections made from Eastern Europe:
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.
In 2013, it didn’t get any better. Leagues in those six countries produces eight draft choices (all from Russian leagues), for 4.3% of the draft.
There were some new developments, however:
- The QMJHL’s 31 selections accounted for 14.7% of the draft, marking the largest Q draft in the 11 year period tracked. I noted it a number of times in the notes of my Consensus 100 articles and it came to fruition on draft day. Unlike previous drafts, the Q did not rely on imported players to buffer their numbers, in fact, only three imports were taken out of the Q.
- The Q’s rise coincides with a drop from the OHL. The 37 players taken from the OHL represent 17.5% of the draft – the league’s lowest portion since 2007. The CHL totaled 47.9% of the draft – incrementally higher than the organization’s average of the previous 10 seasons.
- I mentioned above – outside of the Russian league’s selections – the rest of Eastern Europe was shut out. This marks the 3rd consecutive year that Latvia was shut out and the 2nd consecutive year that Slovakia was blanked. Not only were those countries shut out, but Germany was shut out for the 3rd consecutive year as well. It’s got to be somewhat embarrassing for the Czech Republic to be included in the blanked list – the leagues there produced 6% of the draft 10 years ago.