Last fall, in attempt to guess what to expect from Mikael Backlund we looked at players who were drafted in roughly the same position as he was in the years prior to his selection in 2007.10-11 Backlund guess. Studying centres drafted between positions 20 and 26 in the 5 years immediately prior to Micki's draft in 2007 gave us a sample size of 11. The average output of those players in their 21 year old season was 10 goals and 16 assists. Backlund just about nailed that average dead on with 10 and 15.
Close enough - so lets follow up for this year.
Here are the raw numbers from Claude Giroux last year, all the way back to Alex Steen 5 years ago:
Of note - only 9 of the 11 played in the NHL in their 21 year old season, however all 11did some NHL time in the 22 year old campaign. Production is up on average by 5 goals and 9 assists - producing an average of over 40 points. While the contribuiton of the two lagging players - Pouliot and Boyle bring the average down, so does the declining performance of Cogliano and Steen from 21 to 22. The massive jumps of Giroux and Richards in to elite territory obviously bring the average of the group up. Take out the bottom 2 and the top 2 in the numbers and you change little - around 16 goals and 28 assists.
At this point I think we would expect Backlund to perform to at least the middle of this group, though closer to 20 goals and 30 assists would be great.
This is pretty instructive - if you can draft and develop even to the average, you should do pretty well - that's a solid contribution.