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Draft for Need VS. Draft the Best Available


Guest ruxpin
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I'm not sure there's a hard and fast answer to this question, but should the Flyers be drafting whomever is the best overall player available at their draft position or should they be drafting the best available at the position of most need (assuming situations where they are not the same player)?

It seems to me that, unless they trade the pick away, they try to pick what they rightly or wrongly think is the best available (at least in the first and second round). I suppose this is a decent approach because who knows what the needs are down the road.

But it also seems to me that the Flyers chronically need defense and goaltending, so I'm wondering about simply drafting the best available D and G positions.

What say you all?

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Yeah, this year it will likely be one and the same (although there could be 9 in the first ten and the Flyers would still fall in love with the hulking center that could potentially be the next Mike Richards only better). But philosophically, would you typically lean to one strategy over the other?

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They need defencemen. There are a number of potentially effective defencemen in the draft.

Therefore follow the Flyer Filosofy: draft a centre, convert him to wing and trade him for one of those defencemen when he doesn't develop quickly.. Don't forget to throw in a second, too.

:ph34r:

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This is a tough question... I've watched the Steelers for years draft "the best available player"... and do pretty well for themselves. But I think hockey is a little different in that three stellar forwards won't be able to make up for two crappy defensemen all the time. Hockey has certain situations where you just have to be able to put three or four guys on the ice that can make a difference, and defense is critical. I'm thinking you have to go with what your team lacks... yet another center won't help! :ph34r:

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Always take BPA in the first round. You can reach after that. You can trade. If the players are comparable, chose for need. But you don't ever pass on a #1 centre for a #3 defenceman just because you need one.

Well, there is an obvious case study in last year's draft.

Was Laughton such an obviously better choice than Maata, especially given the team's need and the depth at centre? Is Laughton a #1 centre - more importantly will he ever get a chance to be a #1 centre on a team that currently has Giroux, BSchenn and Couturier in the mix?

Quite frankly, I can see the validity of an argument that defensemen don't really "develop" until they are in their mid-20s (as is traditional hockey wisdom). You can get some with flashes (and a few obvious exceptions) but it is an axiom that holds true for the most part.

That said, I woulda taken Maata.

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Always take BPA in the first round. You can reach after that. You can trade. If the players are comparable, chose for need. But you don't ever pass on a #1 centre for a #3 defenceman just because you need one.

Maybe if you're talking about a franchise type player, like a Crosby or a Lindros. But given the Flyers situation at center, if the BPA is another center who projects to be a first or second line center, but not a franchise player, then I look to trade down and get more assets, and take the player that fills a need.

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Maybe if you're talking about a franchise type player, like a Crosby or a Lindros. But given the Flyers situation at center, if the BPA is another center who projects to be a first or second line center, but not a franchise player, then I look to trade down and get more assets, and take the player that fills a need.

That's different than picking a lesser player due to need though. It would depend on the draft as well. If a draft is 5 players deep, then theres a dramatic drop in talent, you don't ever trade down out of the top 5 no matter what your need is. Unless the other team is filling that need immediately with top flight talent.

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Quite frankly, I can see the validity of an argument that defensemen don't really "develop" until they are in their mid-20s

Dougie Hamilton says "Hello."

just breaking yer balls...obviously he's an exception to the "rule."

But I wonder - knowing everything we do today - do we still take Couturier over Hamilton?

That 2011 draft seems to me another case-study of Rux's question. At the time we needed D-men (we always need D-men). But we take Couturier over Hamilton anyway. I guess in this case it was win-win, for the Flyers and for Boston - either guy was going to bring something special to their club. Boston had to wait a year while our guy outperformed almost every other rookie last year.

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@canoli "But I wonder - knowing everything we do today - do we still take Couturier over Hamilton?"

Having seen Boston play 4 times this year, no...I don't take Couts over Hamilton today. As much as I like Couts, Hamilton looks like a young beast out there, and will only get better, nice set of wheels for a big man.

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Yep, Hamilton looks like a veteran out there tonight (Bruins/Isles on Versus). Again. I've seen the Bruins about the same, 4 or 5 times. Every game he looks plenty ready for the NHL. 1 year after the draft. THAT is pretty impressive. I still think we goofed taking Sean over him and I was shocked that night - I remember we were all talking here (or was it philly.com?) and most of us were surprised too.

I love Couturier, I think we've barely seen the tip of the potential with him. And even though he's supposedly struggling this year you can just smell how good he's going to be. But you have to factor in what the Flyers need - what we always seem to need - and when you do it's a no-brainer, you take Hamilton and don't look back.

[edit: re: Couturier - I guess he is having a harder time this year, finding space, holding onto the puck, making plays in general. But I figure it's only natural considering how teams are keying on him this year - plus the pressure on a 2nd-year player who had a terrific rookie season. I'm sure he'll adjust just fine and start tearing up the league soon enough.]

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Cooter was a first overall before mono, easy decision.

Best player available. No need to add extra risk into the already chaotic NHL draft.

I'm assuming either the Flyers scouts saw a definite positive in Laughton, or something lacking in Maata. The scouting department is pretty good at forward, so I'm fine with taking their word for it. Not like Maata came in as a can't miss prospect.

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Cooter was a first overall before mono, easy decision.

Best player available. No need to add extra risk into the already chaotic NHL draft.

I'm assuming either the Flyers scouts saw a definite positive in Laughton, or something lacking in Maata. The scouting department is pretty good at forward, so I'm fine with taking their word for it. Not like Maata came in as a can't miss prospect.

Your club is good at finding and developing forwards, but seems at a loss with defensemen.

Thank you all for Maata. :)

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@canoli "But I wonder - knowing everything we do today - do we still take Couturier over Hamilton?"

Having seen Boston play 4 times this year, no...I don't take Couts over Hamilton today. As much as I like Couts, Hamilton looks like a young beast out there, and will only get better, nice set of wheels for a big man.

I would have taken Hamilton. Some places had him ranked higher than Coots. BPA also depends highly on your internal ranking and the strength of your scouts.

We know our scouts are good for forwards, especially centers. I know we'd have a different squad today, but knowing our history, I would have drafted both Hamilton and Maata. I'd rather build from the net/defense out than the other way around.

EDIT: Out of curiosity, I looked at Giroux's HF ranking, which is 8.5A. That can't be his original ranking... I think they update them over time as players develop. Does anyone know his original score?

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@brelic

I really wanted hamilton but was OK with taking Couturier. In all honesty I hoped Hamilton would fall to us but didn't expect it. I never dreamed Couturier would be there. But taking Laughton over Maata, I don't get it. Two years in a row THE defenceman I wanted falls to us and we take a pass BOTH times????

I'm not knocking Laughton one bit, as he looks like he'll be an NHL player. And he's scoring some nice goals in junior, just youtube him.

Girouxs size didn't even have him ranked in the first round...I highly doubt he was a 8.5 A.

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