This week The Nation Network is focusing on the seven Canadian franchises’ all-time roster of drafted players. While unrestricted free agency gets more focus each summer, the draft is much more important to an organization’s long-term success.
The NHL Entry Draft is the scouts’ championship. It is very difficult projecting how good teenage hockey players will be in the future, but that’s the job description of NHL amateur scouts. This series is all about the scouts and who they picked. Because often, once a player is selected, the scouts have very little say in his future development.
1. The player had to be drafted by the organization. Mats Sundin wasn’t drafted by Toronto, so he won’t be on the Maple Leafs team.
2. Players need to be slotted in the position they played the most. Mark Messier, for instance, did play left wing early in his career, but he is a centre.
3. We are picking the best possible lineup, similar to the Olympic rosters. Players who had the best career, even if the majority wasn’t with the organization who drafted them.
4. For organizations like the Flames, who were …
Author: Jason Gregor / The Leafs Nation