So, the Flames have a new GM for the draft. Brad Treliving, who spent the last seven seasons as the Phoenix Coyotes' assistant general manager, worked extensively with the team's prospects, managing the AHL team as well as the team's scouts.
While not solely responsible for the draft itself, Treliving played a large role in player development. Since it's crucial to build your team from the draft, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at how the Coyotes have fared in the draft from 2007-2013 - the years Treliving was there - would it?
[Note: okay, so as Carl Putnam from Five for Howling pointed out, Treliving wasn't hired until after the 2007 draft. The results from 2008-2013 are what to really look at, although you can still look at 2007 as a pre-Treliving comparison.]
The Coyotes drafted 48 players over that time period: 12 centres, nine left wingers, five right wingers, 15 defencemen (of course, Phoenix), and seven goalies.
Of those 48 players, 19 are still within the Coyotes organization; while six have found homes with other NHL clubs, eight are playing in European leagues, six are in college, eight are still playing in junior (although two spent some time in the AHL this season), and one retired (Brett MacLean, due to a heart condition).
Levels of success
As Mike Futa, co-director of amateur scouting for the LA Kings, said in The Art of Scouting (and thanks to Russian Machine Never Breaks for finding the quote):
"It’s the only job where you can be right 15 percent of the time and be ruled a Hall of Famer for success, You are going to be wrong 85 or 80 percent of the time, and if you hit on 2.5 home runs every Draft, you are par with some of the best scouts ever."
So let's say the goal is to get one NHLer per draft, and anything more than that is gravy.
Ten of the players Phoenix drafted during Treliving's tenure have played at least one NHL game, although not necessarily with Phoenix:
- Kyle Turris (316: PHX, OTT) (2007 - Treliving not yet there)
- Brett MacLean (18: PHX, WPG) (2007 - Treliving not yet there)
- Mikkel Boedker (338: PHX)
- Jared Staal (2: CAR)
- Michael Stone (123: PHX)
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson (258: PHX)
- Chris Brown (17: PHX, WSH)
- Jordan Szwarz (26: PHX)
- Brandon Gormley (5: PHX)
- Mark Visentin (1: PHX)
- Connor Murphy (30: PHX)
- Lucas Lessio (3: PHX)
Staying with the team
It's one thing to draft well, but it doesn't necessarily mean a lot if your picks don't stay on your team. The Coyotes in particular have had a rough go of this, as was seen when Kyle Turris demanded a trade.
As said earlier, 19 of the 48 players drafted from 2007-2013 are still with the Coyotes (this doesn't take into account players in college, who cannot sign, and European players who may be under similar restrictions). Here's the year-by-year breakdown:
- 2007: 0/7
- 2008: 4/8 (2 NHLers*)
- 2009: 4/6 (1 NHLer)
- 2010: 4/5 (2 NHLers)
- 2011: 3/8 (1 NHLer)
- 2012: 4/8 (0 NHLers)
- 2013: 1/6 (0 NHLers)
What does this mean?
We don't know how much say Treliving had in the draft, but at least, during his years as an AGM in Phoenix, where he likely had some input, the Coyotes drafted a little better than what should be expected.
Boedker and Ekman-Larsson are the biggest success stories for the Coyotes' drafting, while players like Murphy and Max Domi remain to be seen. You're far more likely to get an impact player in the higher rounds, but Phoenix has still been able to find contributors later in the draft, even if those contributions have yet to truly make an impact.
But: these players are all still very young, and some may end up making a great impact in the near future.
The draft is difficult to predict, and it takes years to analyze what was a good draft. The 2007 draft didn't end up paying any direct dividends for the Coyotes, but they were able to get two established NHLers with eight picks in 2008 for a success rate of 25%. 2009 yielded their greatest success with Ekman-Larsson, and with Szwarz, whose NHL career is just beginning, that's two out of six successful picks: 33%.
Treliving will be responsible for the Flames this draft. Based on Phoenix's draft record while he was there, at the very least, he should be competent enough to get at least one NHLer per draft, with the possibility of additional players.
A lot of this is going to be wait and see, but with Treliving at the helm, the Flames should be able to continue building through the draft: something they're going to need to do to become competitive.