• Where do bottom six forwards come from?

    by  • June 26, 2012 • Uncategorized • 22 Comments

    One of the things that I find vaguely irritating about draft coverage (and, I suspect, the strategies employed by NHL teams in building teams) is the idea that good third and fourth line forwards are a separate species from good first and second line forwards, as opposed to simply being inferior hockey players. If you watched the draft, or followed it on Twitter, you will have noticed that, once the second round started, we started seeing players being projected to be good bottom six forwards down the road.

    As sometimes occurs, this led me to ask a question. Where do bottom six forwards come from? I gathered last year’s data on a team-by-team basis, including all players who played at least twenty games for a team. (Note: this led to some guys getting counted twice, like Blair Jones, who played 22 games for Tampa Bay and 21 games for Calgary, although there weren’t many guys who fell into this group.)

    I then proceeded to sort the players by TOI/G and then rank them. So, for Edmonton, the top six forwards were Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Jordan Eberle. This gave me a groups of 180 top six forwards and 274 bottom six forwards.

    As you’d expect, top six and bottom six forwards tend to come from different places in the draft.

    More than half of the supply of top six forwards comes from the top thirty picks in the draft. It’s interesting (to me anyway) that the biggest source of bottom six forwards is…the top thirty picks in the draft. These are, presumably, guys who weren’t projected as being bottom six players when they were drafted but had career paths that led them there. I didn’t find this particularly surprising to be honest – there’s a baseball truism about the best way to draft a relief pitcher being to draft a failed starter and I assume something similar applies in hockey.

    Take Ethan Moreau as an example. He basically spent his career as a bottom six winger after being drafted 14th overall in 1994. The qualities that made him a great junior player and a great prospect didn’t translate to the being a top six forward at the NHL level. So he fails out of that job pool and starts competing for a bottom six position. Even though his qualities and skill set weren’t good enough to make him a top six forward, he still brought some tremendous attributes to the table in terms of smarts for the game (penalties notwithstanding), strength and skating – the things that made him an elite player in junior. If you’re some guy who had a nice little second/third line run in your draft year and had people talking about you as a future NHL bottom six player at the draft – well, there’s the competition. The guy you couldn’t play in front of in junior.

    (Note for Oilers fans: bottom sixers on the 2005-06 Finals team and their draft position: Moreau (14), Sergei Samsonov (8), Radek Dvorak (10), Rem Murray (135), Raffi Torres (5), Brad Winchester (35), Todd Harvey (9), Toby Petersen (244) and Georges Laraque (31). More than half were former first round draft picks and that was a hockey team with some serious depth. )

    It’s also worth mentioning how quickly the supply of top six forwards dries up relative to the supply of bottom six forwards. The supply of bottom six forwards is surprisingly consistent though – teams still turn them up with some frequency late in the draft. I found the percentage of them who are undrafted to be pretty interesting too – there were more bottom six forwards who were undrafted last year than there were bottom six forwards picked between 31 and 60. When you factor in that picks 211+ basically represent rounds of the draft that no longer exist…well, bottom six forwards in last year’s NHL were almost twice as likely to be undrafted or come from draft rounds that no longer exist than they were to come from picks 31-60. Something to remember when hyping your team’s reach in the second round for a guy who they project as a solid bottom sixer.

    If you look at the bottom sixers on the 2005-06 Oilers, you should notice something: seven of them weren’t drafted by the Oilers. Moreau came as part of a trade with Daniel Cleary, Chad Kilger and Christian Laflamme for Jonas Elofsson, Dean McAmmond, and Boris Mironov when the Oilers concluded that they couldn’t pay Mironov what he wanted. Samsonov was a deadline pickup for Marty Reasoner and a draft pick. Dvorak was acquired as part of a trade for Anson Carter. Torres came as part of the exchange for Janne Niinimaa. Murray, Harvey and Petersen were all free agents. (With thanks to MJ at OilFans for the excellent resource.) Was this unusual? I think that the data supports the argument that it isn’t particularly, which kind of further undermines the idea of drafting to produce your own bottom sixers.

    I’ve put together two charts here. The first sorts the 2011-12 bottom sixers by age and then by whether they were draftees or not. With the second, I’ve tried to group the data more sensibly, as the results produce a pretty clear way of doing it.

    This is pretty obvious, I think. Players aged 19-22 filling bottom six roles are far more likely to be your own draftees than anything else. Players aged 23-25 are about a 50/50 split. From age 26 forward though, a bottom sixer is massively more likely to have come from somewhere other than your own draft.

    We can drill into this a bit further. It’s no secret that NHL teams use the third and fourth lines as a way station for players on the way to bigger and better things. I’ve put together a table showing where in the draft (or not) players playing on the third and fourth lines were acquired, based on the three groups identified above.

    For the really young bottom six players, they disproportionately came from first round draft picks. I’d suggest that what we’re likely seeing is the effect of the bottom six spots in the lineup being used as a way to ease young guys into the league – the list this year includes James van Riemsdyk, Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Sam Gagner, Mikael Backlund, Magnus Pajaarvi and Nazem Kadri, who are probably all guys their respective teams see (and hope to see) playing in the top six as they mature. You can see that, by the time players turned 23, about the same share of them were playing bottom six roles as with the older group of players. These are bottom six players now, in the sense that they’re filling bottom six roles, but these aren’t what teams are thinking about when they’re talking about developing bottom six players.

    Players picked between 31-60 also make up a disproportionate share 19-25 year old players, before falling substantially as a share of the older group. It’s the older group that’s most interesting to me. At that stage of a player’s career, they’re beyond getting bottom six minutes as a stepping stone to bigger things. It seems that when you get into players between the ages of 26 and 40, there doesn’t seem to be that much of an ability to pick them out of the 121-150 range versus the 31-60 range. Now admittedly, when you’re talking about what 18 year olds will do when they’re 26, you’re really stretching and it’s undoubtedly difficult but it doesn’t really seem like, as a group, NHL scouts are particularly good at this. By far the biggest group of players playing bottom six forward roles in the NHL between ages of 26 and 40 are players who were undrafted or drafted at spots that no longer exist in the NHL draft.

    One final point: there doesn’t really seem to be a huge difference in quality amongst bottom sixers in the 26-40 range based on where you were drafted. The groups I identified by draft position all played between 11.33 and 12.93 minutes a night.

    What does this all mean? Well, it seems to me that going into a draft with the mindset that you’re going to stock your bottom six forwards is silly. The bottom six appears to serve both as a place for younger players to cut their teeth and a place where older players play on merit. Amongst older players, the NHL as a whole seems to have a limited ability to identify guys who will be bottom six players by the time they’re 26 or so. Those guys are rarely playing with the team that drafted them at that point if, in fact, they were drafted, which a healthy proportion of them weren’t. In the draft, you’re most likely to find a long term bottom six forward in the first round. After that, you’re about as likely to find one in the fifth round as you are in the second.

    What got me thinking about this was the Oilers’ pick of Mitch Moroz. I’m not a follower of prospects by any means but I noticed that those who are seemed to have their feathers ruffled by the pick a little bit. To pick one example, Jonathan Willis wrote:

    This is a Milan Lucic-style flyer. Moroz is not a Cam Abney-style pick, where fourth-line upside is the only possibility – he scored 16 goals and 25 points in 66 games for the Oil Kings and has a 6’2″, 208lb frame.

    Bob Stauffer’s reaction to the pick was “there are going to be a lot of scouts here that think this is a reach,” and I think that’s a fair assessment, but clearly this is a player the Oilers coveted that they did not expect would still be around when their third-round pick came along.

    There was significant talent still on the board – after Columbus drafted Oscar Dansk, the Oilers could have had their choice of players like Matt Finn, Dalton Thrower, Sebastian Collberg or Pontus Aberg. Instead, they chose to address team need.

    I don’t necessarily think that this is an ideal pick, but if the Oilers are looking for a big power forward realistically this is the sort of selection they need to make. Big guys with some skill often go higher than expected, and Moroz is one that the Oilers would have seen repeatedly given that he played for the Oil Kings this year. The likelihood is that Moroz tops out as a bottom-six forward at the professional level, but there’s at least a chance he explodes.

    Now if they’re swinging for the Lucic fences, maybe it’s sensible, I don’t know. If they see him as having a legitimate shot at being a top six forward, if they’re trying to draft a top six forward, that’s defensible. If they’re trying to develop size and meanness for the bottom six, well, it seems like a waste of time. Sign Raffi Torres or some other’s team failed first round draft pick and move on.

    While I’m not really a close observer of the draft, the more I look at it, the more I think you’ve got to approach it with a tremendous sense of humility. Don’t believe that your own judgment trumps the historical odds unless you can come up with an awfully compelling reason to do so. While I’m happy, as an Oilers fan, that they did this with the first overall selection (and if you’re going to do it just once, that’s the pick to do it with), if they were trying to pick bottom six forwards afterwards, I kind of think they were playing a fool’s game.


    22 Responses to Where do bottom six forwards come from?

    1. Darrell
      June 26, 2012 at

      Great article.

      I would add that I don’t think it makes sense to try and draft 3rd/4th liners. Your data shows that 144/185 3rd/4th liners over the age of 26 are not playing for the team that drafted them, which strongly implies that if I need a 3rd liner, I can go find him very easily. So what I am better off doing is drafting players who I think COULD be 1st liners, because replacing 1st liners is very, very hard. Even if many of these players are likely to bust, I am still way better off than drafting a guy who I want to put on my 3rd line, a player who is easy to replace.

      As a result of the clear strategic advantage of drafting players who you think could be 1st liners over trying to draft the best 3rd liner available, it isn’t clear that NHL can’t predict who is likely to make it solely on the bottom 2 lines. If given the task of drafting for the bottom 2 lines, they would do a better job at it then they currently are.

    2. Triumph
      June 26, 2012 at

      This is some really excellent research. I don’t have a problem with your overall article, per se, but I do think it misses some truths about the NHL draft.

      1: Not every team is drafting for absolute upside. You’ll hear talk during every draft about supposedly ‘safe’ picks – now while such a thing doesn’t exist, as plenty of safe picks have never made the NHL, the thinking with a ‘safe’ pick is that the player in question is likely to become an NHLer, even if not necessarily a good one. There’s a difference between the Ethan Moreau types and Pavel Brendl types – Brendl types who don’t dominate offensively tend to wash out of the NHL real quick if they’re not pulling their weight defensively, because NHL coaches and GMs would typically rather have a bottom-6 player that prevents goals than scores them. See also: The Oilers’ thinking on Omark. I agree that first round talent, even if it doesn’t hit its peak, can stick around in the NHL longer – part of that is also that GMs still consider that first round thing relevant years after its importance has ceased. (See also: Oilers thinking on Cam Barker).

      2: There’ve been some really terrible 1st round picks over the years who have managed NHL careers despite the GMs selecting them foolishly. Mike Rupp and Ben Eager come to mind. Still, that’s a minor point, and I think your primary point still stands. I don’t mind picks like Moroz lower down in the draft as it really is just throwing darts at a wall at that point, but in the 2nd round is a pretty inexcusable misuse of a quality selection.

      The critical error here by Edmonton is trying to find another Lucic – NHL teams seem to go through phases where they try to find the next X, not realizing that X was a total fluke to begin with. The real key is to look for the type of guy that no one is excited about. The Red Wings excel at this – you seem to never hear about anyone looking for the next Jiri Hudler, but that’s a guy who was thought to be a 1st round pick who fell to the late 2nd and became a pretty good NHL player out of a draft that didn’t have many.

    3. RiversQ
      June 26, 2012 at

      Marty Reasoner was another bottom six guy for the 2005-2006 Oilers, although he didn’t make the playoff roster. Look what kind of player he was in junior and where he was drafted. He was a good bottom sixer for sure.

      Also, some of it is just style over substance. I think some NHL teams are looking for big physical players that play in a way that matches some antiquated notion of how a bottom sixer player should play, instead of just picking the best one available.

    4. oilswell
      June 26, 2012 at

      Great stuff Tyler. Particularly like the last graph. The data is definitely needed even though I think its evidently obvious that bottom players are really failed top players.

      I’ve always read “safe pick” as simply that: higher likelihood of actually playing, without saying where. Yakupov is a safe pick, but also a pick with top line upside. If all you can say about a player is “safe pick” that’s when you’re admitting you’re drafting a bottom-of-the-roster player.

      I think one of the facts that cloud the issue is that most hockey insiders seem to think of bottom-six players as players that generally are larger and crash and bang. From my cursory study a while back, it seems the bottom players do generally raise the average weight and height of teams. This makes sense if you believe skill falls off quickly so that the size of the pool of players to choose from grows larger as skill decreases: why ice a smaller non-hitter with bottom six talent when there are enough bigger hitters with bottom six talent? Even a little skewing of size/physicality in the bottom end can make it seem to some observers that teams are purposefully drafting for the position. In the case of Laraque and Stortini, of course, they really are. In other cases, perhaps notably Laleggia, they’re clearly hoping for enough talent to play fairly far up: Laleggia won’t play in the bottom pairing because if he’s no better than a Sutton he’s not going to displace a Sutton because there’s always a Sutton.

      I like the question of safe versus skill in the lower rounds. A while back I argued that rational teams maximize expected value from their picks. I argued expected value is in a sense a multiplicative combination of upside and likelihood to reach the upside. Is it better to spend a bunch of picks on Lilliputian talents like Laleggia (who plays in Europe at best if he fails as an NHL prospect) or guys like Bigos with some size that might still fill some role as a bottom-roster or callup if he fails as an good NHL prospect. Say Laleggia is a 1:50 shot at value 10 (say) and Bigos a 1:20 shot at value 4, then they’re about the same expected value. If that’s the math, there’s little to criticize about skipping some talent for some certainty. (N.B. my model was more complicated than this, assuming a probability density function over player values, which one would need to integrate to find expected values, but lets assume we’re taking the highest probability). The caveat, as illustrated in your last graph, is that bottom players are easy to acquire and their value should be severely docked appropriately.

      • Tyler Dellow
        June 26, 2012 at

        This makes sense if you believe skill falls off quickly so that the size of the pool of players to choose from grows larger as skill decreases: why ice a smaller non-hitter with bottom six talent when there are enough bigger hitters with bottom six talent?

        Yeah…I’m not convinced by this. I mean, I accept the general idea but my sense is that teams are icing less talented players than they could. Does a team of Linus Omarks whip a team of Ben Eagers at 5v5? My sense is it does.

        The caveat, as illustrated in your last graph, is that bottom players are easy to acquire and their value should be severely docked appropriately.

        This, for me, is the thing. When you consider the value of a top six forward or of a top four defencemen, both of which can be found in the second round…I’m just doing it in my head but I can’t see how it’s sensible to play safe there.

        • oilswell
          June 27, 2012 at

          Well with the Omark thing you’re not really arguing against my point IMO: I would put Omark’s talent well over Eager’s so I’d agree with you. Which leads the to the question: exactly how many small players with Ben Eager’s skills are in the NHL?


    5. Matt Watt
      June 26, 2012 at

      Again Tyler, great stuff.

      I think issue many had with the Oilers pick was that some still felt there was tremendous talent on the table still (Matt Finn was a name being tossed around). Read Derek Zona’s report card on the draft and it will tell you how he felt about the pick. To many like him, that pick was an abject failure. The value was not there in the pick

      I on the other hand am a bit mixed. If you are going to draft anyone, draft someone with upside. Depending on who you ask, the Oilers likely got an NHL player from their selections made in rounds 2 to 4. Is this not reasonable returns? I have no idea so that I would ask. Also, if they are to draft players, should they not be drafting players with upside, rather than those who can fill a roster spot?

      Here is another question. Many people talk about sliders, and how they are more likely to become NHLers. My question is what proof do we have of this. Lowetide has an entry (could not find it) about how the Hemsky was picked above his ranking, and the player in Hemsky’s ranking slid to later in the 1st round. Player who slid did not become an NHLer. So is it more likely that a guy who slides (like Forsberg) is more likely to become an NHLer, or are the concerns real? It makes senses that the slider has greater odds to become a player, I just have no assurance as to what way the player goes. Do you know of any good information related to this issue?

      • dawgbone
        June 28, 2012 at

        Getting an NHL player in the draft is only part of the equation.

        For instance, if I draft a Ben Eager with the first pick in the 2nd round is that good value? He’s played almost 400 NHL games, so by a lot of metrics, that makes him a good pick.

        On the other hand, the Oilers acquired him for nothing but money, and his previous team acquired him for a 5th round pick. So do you spend a 2nd round pick on the guy and develop him and probably trade him away for a 5th round pick down the road, or do you just use your later to pick to acquire a guy like that when you need him?

        If I was running an NHL team, I’d consider drafting with my 1st round pick and trading most of my other picks every year for my needs (both NHL and organizational).

    6. Andrew
      June 26, 2012 at

      As many have noted, this is excellent research.

      I think perhaps the problem is with the analysts on TSN etc. and not with the teams making the picks (as the analysts need something to say about these players). Once you get past the second round there isn’t much left but “role players”. Perhaps the thought process by the team is to make a “safe pick” as noted above by Oilswell.

      Now, of course, many guys taken in later rounds never play in the NHL, or make very few appearances. But by drafting a player with a specific attribute (like size, or whatever) who doesn’t necessarily have the upside of MAYBE being a top 6 guy if everything falls into place, GMs are drafting a player who they think might be able to fill a hole on their team or could be a good reserve call-up.

      The research above is very clear that these type of players most likely won’t be playing for the team that drafted them within 8 years of their draft, but maybe the team that drafted them can package that player as part of a trade to a team looking for a player with “size” (I’m looking at you, Toronto).

      If it works out that way it seems “safer” than trying to hit a home-run by drafting the player with the biggest upside in every round of the draft.

      • oilswell
        June 27, 2012 at

        I would not agree that after the first few rounds there are only role players. While the probabilities drop significantly in late rounds, it seems pretty predictable that there will be late-round gems that could play top 6 or maybe top 9 roles. I don’t have the data at hand but most historical draft studies I’ve seen support this supposition.

        The problem seems always to be that the NHL scouts are unable to reliably evaluate those players (else they’d be picked earlier).

    7. Eetu Huisman
      June 27, 2012 at

      I wonder whether you could make your argument even stronger by looking at just the good bottom six forwards (the ones who play tough minutes or have positive corsis etc.) instead of all of them. My gut feeling is that an even larger percentage of them are “failed top six forwards”.

    8. Robert
      June 27, 2012 at

      Very interesting article. I’d like to see this same analysis except with “top 8″ forwards instead of 6. I don’t think teams use the top 6 bottom 6 philosophy so much. You need the 7th, 8th forwards to be good enough that they can step in on the top lines when injuries happen.

    9. Lobanovskyi
      June 27, 2012 at

      Reading the comments, it occurs to me that it’s a shame that people who care about NHL hockey but are not paid to successfully discover talent have adopted the language of scouts and GMs in their ex-ante draft assessment of picks. Isn’t it obvious what a “safe” pick is? It’s a pick that’s safe for the picker, not the organization for whom he’s picking, i.e. a pick that the GM can later justify as being in line with what most hockey people look for when evaluating prospects: big guys who can skate. Draft a guy who fits the mould, and no-one bats an eye when he doesn’t pan out; draft an outlier, and you could be looking for a new job when your bet fails.
      Don’t you, who read blogs like this one and fancy yourselves deeper hockey thinkers, more engaged with the root causes of success than the likes of Damien Cox, owe it to yourselves to come up with better terms for the 18-year-olds reviewed for public consumption by insiders who would never lower themselves to question conventional wisdom than the TSN-isms expelled into the hockey ether by superficial talking heads?
      C’mon Oilogosphere – you’re better than that.
      Nice research Tyler. How about tackling the idea that high picks who prove not to be exceptional hockey players stick around in the NHL because they are high picks, rather than for undefined attributes that make them better than their peers?

    10. Lee
      June 27, 2012 at

      Interesting read Tyler. I’ve been giving this same topic a lot of thought over the last couple days as well so the timing of the piece was definitely fortuitous.

      I think the data points out a number of interesting trends: not the least of which is that top 6 slots can serve as a weigh station for developing your prospects as well as a last chance outpost for journeymen role players.

      However, I think it may be folly to look at league wide trends as evidence for how something should be done for all, and thus conclude that drafting role players is a fool’s game. Presumably championship teams would do a better job of populating their bottom 6 to ensure players in these slots make a true impact in those roles. Whereas the mediocre and truly lousy teams likely struggle to adequately fill these roles with legitimate difference makers and thus end up cycling through other’s teams castoffs to address their procurement woes in this area. Obviously the depth of an organization would also be a critical factor in this equation with the better teams able to stock their 3rd line with legitimate top 6 prospects of the future while the weaker sisters will be more dependant on lower draft choices, FAs or waiver pickups.

      With this in mind, I would suggest some of the integral value a top notch scouting department provides is the ability to assess the depth/quality of the entire draft to thus counsel their GMs when the legitimate Top 6 talent can be expected to be tapped out. If a team enters say the 3rd round with no legitimate Top 6 forward prospects left on their draft board and still wishes to draft forwards, this would presumably be the time they would focus on either project picks who they hope will morph into Top 6 talent if the development gods smile on them OR players with weaker boxcars who project favorably as strong two way players, pkers, shutdown checkers or tough guys (i.e. role players).

      For shits n giggles, here is the Bottom 6 for the past 3 Cup winners and the draft spot for each.

      Dwight King – 109th overall
      Jarret Stoll – 36th overall
      Trevor Lewis – 17th overall
      Simon Gagne – 22nd overall
      Colin Fraser – 69th overall
      Jordan Nolan – 186th overall

      Rich Peverley – undrafted
      Chris Kelly – 94th overall
      Michael Ryder – 216th overall
      Shawn Thornton – 145th overall
      Greg Campbell – 67th overall
      Daniel Paille – 20th overall

      Andrew Ladd – 4th overall
      Dave Bolland – 32th overall
      Kris Versteeg – 134th overall
      Ben Eager – 22th overall
      John Madden – undrafted
      Adam Burish – 282nd overall

      As you can see, it definitely runs the gamut from Top 6 prospects who’ve slid (Gagne, Ladd, Paille) to project picks where the team is hoping to hit a home run with later development (Versteeg, Stoll, Bolland, Ryder) to clear role players with limited skillsets (Nolan, Burish, Thorton).

      I think the controversy over the Moroz picks comes from speculation over a few factors.

      1) In what many are terming a weaker draft, did the Oil come to the conclusion that the legitimate Top 6 options were already off the board and thus switch gears rather than nabbing a ‘slider’ they deemed to have an insufficient skillset for legitimate Top 6 duty?

      2) Do they see Moroz as a potential Top 6 option and thus a wishful homerun pick or is he seen as a potentially dominant Bottom 6er already?

      Maybe the real answer is Moroz is both. Perhaps he projects currently as a dominant Bottom 6er with the potential upside to elevate to the Top 6 if he continues to develop properly. He’s thus a safe pick (if he doesn’t develop further) with the strong possibility for higher upside (if he does put it all together).

      Given what’s needed to win the Cup, I would think a dominant 3rd line center (e.g. Stoll) outweighs the value of a borderline Top 6 skill forward (e.g. Huselius) and the key for the scouts is thus knowing when the time has come to shift gears on the shopping list to focus on dominant role players as opposed to borderline scorers.

      • dawgbone
        June 29, 2012 at

        I just don’t get how a player can project to be a dominant bottom 6 NHLer, yet is barely that in the CHL.

        The 2 players on that list of guys who are even remotely comparable to Moroz are Shawn Thornton and Ben Eager. Neither of whom played a single game for the organization who drafted them.

        And Stoll wasn’t drafted to be a 3rd line C (nor was he particularily dominant this year). The talk all along was how he’d be a #2C at worst (and then his concussion problems derailed him for a bit).

        But even Stoll had some impressive junior numbers. He wasn’t picked when he was a 3rd line CHLer, he was picked when he was a #1/2.

    11. Lee
      June 29, 2012 at

      I would daresay Stoll could still play 2C for a few teams in this league, but a critical factor in the Kings’ success this year was their ability to run Kopitar and Richards as 1C and 2C respectively, thus pushing Stoll down the depth chart. Yes, at 36th overall, he could certainly be viewed as someone who was drafted with Top 6 expecations as opposed to project pick expectations.

      In terms of players off that list that are remotely comparable, I suspect the Oilers are hopeful that Moroz has some similarities to Trevor Lewis as a late bloomer with strong potential for offensive upside.

      2004–05 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 52 10 12 22 70 — — — — —
      2005–06 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 56 35 40 75 69 11 3 13 16 16
      2006–07 Owen Sound Attack OHL 62 29 44 73 51 4 1 2 3 0

      Kings drafted Lewis after his 2nd season in the USHL.

      • dawgbone
        June 29, 2012 at

        How is Trevor Lewis at all comparable to Moroz?

        Moroz scored 75 points in 56 USHL games and put up 69 PIMs. For reference, Kyle Okposo put up 58 points in 50 games in the USHL the year he was drafted.

        • DD
          June 30, 2012 at

          Lewis was drafted as an overager. His 1st year of draft eligibility was 04-05, where his numbers are in the same range as Moroz’s draft year. I assume he was saying the Oiler were hoping for that same developement by age.

    12. Lee
      June 29, 2012 at

      “I suspect the Oilers are hopeful that…etc.”

    13. Bill
      August 17, 2013 at

      Excellent article.

      2nd round – Tyler Bertuzzi. He’s going to be a great bottom six guy for the Wings down the road. lol

    14. Johnny
      September 10, 2013 at


      Looking at your first chart, if 24% of bottom-six players came from the first round, that means that 76% of bottom-six players came from the later rounds. In fact, almost two-thirds of bottom six players are selected in the third round or later (or are undrafted).

      I tend to agree with Lee that, while teams look to the first two rounds as better top-six bets, they look for players who can contribute at some level (bottom-six) one day. If you’re drafting players in the later rounds anyway, why not look for some redeeming qualities that can be useful to the team?

    15. johnny
      September 10, 2013 at

      Sorry, I forgot to include your quote . . .

      - “the biggest source of bottom six forwards is…the top thirty picks in the draft. ”

      This is actually incorrect. The single round that is the biggest source of bottom-six forwards is the first round, but the they only represent 24% of the bottom-six forwards.

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