Finally, we come to the bottom of the barrel: Rounds 3-7. How did Garth do here? Most fans who follow the team close have a good hunch about the answer here but what does the data show?
A couple of methodological points first. I initially did not know how I would handle the later rounds: does it make sense to review each round separately or should I chunk some or all of them together? Well, the data sort of dictated the answer:
|Round 3||Round 4||Round 5|
|Round 6||Round 7|
No appreciable difference in the success rates of draft picks among the later rounds. A pick has an approximately 10% chance of becoming an NHLer whether he's picked 80th or 180th. Interestingly, there does seem to be a somewhat significant difference in the rate at which 3rd and 4th rounders achieve All-star or Key Player status as compared to rounds 5-7. One might speculate that this is the effect of elite talents that sometimes slip past the top rounds due to a variety of considerations but won't slip past the 3rd or 4th rounds (e.g., Kabanov). But it's just as likely that this is a statistical blip. In either case, the data convinced me to deal with all 5 rounds together.
Another point to keep in mind: in the more recent draft years, judging between Bust and NHLer became somewhat more challenging because some draftees who haven't played a lot of NHL hockey yet are still developing and therefore fall into neither category. Rather than create an additional category, I tried to assess a player's trajectory -- Is he a mere annual call up to plug holes caused by injuries? Is his NHL playing time increasing from year to year? This is a tough call to make without closely observing the players.
On to the picks:
27 players in all. Based on the percentages above, 3 NHLers, including one Key Player, is what we should expect. And while it's still too early to tell, this crop of players seems poised to shatter these averages.
The NHLers: To date, two players are unquestionable everyday NHLers: Matt Martin and Jared Spurgeon. Spurgeon is a top 4 defenseman for Minnesota.
The Almost NHLers: Three more players, Casey Cizikis, David Ullstrom and Kevin Poulin, ably filled everyday roles in the Isles lineup during the last two years and while none of them are necessarily a lock for next season, especially after Snow signs Parise and Semin, the risk they won't become NHL regulars seems fairly low. I would put Nilsson and Donovan in that category, with a slightly higher risk profile. Altogether, that's 5 additional players who seem fairly likely to become NHLers (or perhaps more).
The Natural Born Kirill (Kabanov, that is): The continued development of Kirill Kabanov has been closely chronicled here and I think as a "high risk" third rounder, his development to date has more than met expectations. Let's leave it at that for now.
The Others: The rest of the group includes the 2011 draft class, who are still learning their ABCs, players with NHL potential but are flight risks (Petrov, Lee) and a bunch of others who either left the system or seem unlikely to get the call.
In total, the group includes 2 players who are NHLers and 5 or appear likely to become NHLers. If 3 of the 5 develop into NHL players, that's an 18.5% success rate, without even considering Kabanov or the 5 players picked in the later rounds of the 2011. Garth's success in the later rounds is hard to deny.
Update: Link to the spreadsheet.