There seems to be enough interest in this topic to merit continuation, however I was starting to clutter up the management thread with stuff that is not directly related to current management and I have nowhere else to put this, so I am starting a new thread. I have spent the last several months working on a system for drafting players based on nothing more than publicly-available information, namely games played and points in the player's draft year, along with the league played in and biographical data (birthday and height/weight as listed on NHL.com at time-of-draft.) The purpose of this exercise was to establish a "baseline" that one could use to properly evaluate a team's draft performance. How well are they doing at drafting? Well, compare their picks to the picks that this simple system would have made, and you have your answer. If a team cannot consistently do better than "the potato," then some difficult questions should be asked of the scouting staff. I have put a lot more information on the methodology and the intention on my blog, so I will just link to the introduction there rather than repeating everything here. I have made several follow-up posts there which talk about a few other topics. Honestly, the system performs better than I would have expected, and it is something into which I have now invested substantial time. I have made several tweaks and added considerable more data to it since my original post, including draft data going back to 2009. Because this is the Canucks forum, here are the picks the Canucks would have made since 2009, taking the best player available using the actual picks the Canucks had, and applying the latest version of my formula. Note that the system does not know where the player was actually drafted or even in some cases if the player was even drafted at all, so it makes some substantial reaches. Note also that these might differ in some way from what is on the blog, but not substantially so. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions about any particular player. 2009: Brandon Pirri, Anton Rodin, Mike Hoffman, Benjamin Cassavant, Curtis McKenzie, Brandon Kozun, Michael Cichy 2010: Jesper Fast, Brendan Gallagher, Artemi Panarin, Alexei Marchenko, Brendan Ranford 2011: Shane Prince, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Andrew Fritsch, Ondrej Palat, Joel Lowry, Josh Manson, Ryan Dzingel, Henrik Tommernes 2012: Esa Lindell, Jujhar Khaira, Alexander Kerfoot, Matej Beran, Emil Lundberg 2013: Alexander Wennberg, Artturi Lehknonen, Sven Andreighetto, Eric Locke, Andreas Johnsson, Juuso Ikonen, Brendan Harms 2014: William Nylander, David Pastrnak, Brayden Point, Viktor Arvidsson, Spencer Watson, Axel Holmstrom, August Gunnarsson 2015: Anthony Beauvillier, Anthony Richard, Andrew Mangiapane, Nikita Korostelev, Jonathan Davidsson, Tim McGauley, Kay Schweri 2016: Matthew Tkachuk, Vitaly Abramov, David Bernhardt, Maxime Fortier, Brayden Burke, Tim Wahlgren 2017: Elias Pettersson, Jason Robertson, Jonah Gadjovich, Igor Shvyrov, Matthew Strome, Artem Minulin, Austen Keating, Ivan Chekhovich The same formula is used for each and every draft and not altered or tweaked in any way for any particular draft year. The 2017 draft has also not been used for any assessment of it and I have tried, in each year, to include as many undrafted players as I could find to truly represent the pool of players available, but it is difficult to find this information and some may be missing. Remember, scouts are paid for their predictions, and just as you would want to know how a money manager is doing by comparing his predictions to a standard model for picking stocks, so too should you compare your scouting to a standard model for picking players, and probably look to invest your money elsewhere if it compares poorly. How the Canucks have performed compared to this simple baseline is 100% up to your evaluation of these players. I have also spent a lot of time on this topic but won't get into the actual team evaluations here because this post is already too long. I have team evaluations and rankings on my blog if you want to read them there. As with any system, some drafts are looking better than others for this system. The 2009 and 2015 drafts are not good in general when applying this model to all 30 teams, while the 2010, 2011 and 2014 drafts are looking quite strong. The 2016 and 2017 are too early to call one way or the other. Finally, I will close this post by posting the top-20 for both 2017 and 2018. I was originally going to do every draft since 2009 but this post is already so long and nobody is going to read it all. I have the 2018 draft also posted on my blog along with further commentary, however I will answer any questions here and take any requests for further information. First, 2017: 1. Elias Pettersson 2. Lias Andersson 3. Nico Hischier 4. Nick Suzuki 5. Nolan Patrick 6. Cody Glass 7. Jason Robertson 8. Conor Timmins 9. Gabriel Vilardi 10. Kole Lind 11. Jonah Gadjovich 12. Martin Necas 13. Nicolas Hague 14. Igor Shvyryov 15. Owen Tippett 16. Kailer Yamamoto 17. Cal Foote 18. Aleksi Heponiemi 19. Matthew Strome 20. Antoine Morand 21. Michael Rasmussen The Canucks actually managed to get 3 of the top ten from this system, although it preferred Jason Robertson to Kole Lind. I am not a big fan of lists, and surely parts of this is always going to be laughable, but the important thing to me is the overall performance of applying this methodology to every pick and comparing it to the overall performance of teams. There are going to be some massive misses in both cases so the long-run evaluation is more important than the rankings. On the one hand, the model had Sven Baertschi ahead of Nikita Kucherov in 2011, but on the other hand, so did the scouts, and at least the model had Kucherov in the top-20 (Baertschi was ranked 14th, drafted 13th; Kucherov was ranked 15th, drafted 58th.) I think that keeping perspective on this is important. I think very clearly the biggest place where this methodology will differ from scouts is with players with perceived skating issues. Guys like Matthew Strome and Jonah Gadjovich were available to be selected much later because of their skating. This is not something that I can account for in the data (yet!) This seems like a very clear space where scouting can add value and should be able to out-perform this baseline. If it were "me" making the picks I would want to definitely consider skating ability and factor that into the rankings. OK, finally we get to 2018. Brace yourself! 1. Rasmus Dahlin 2. Evan Bouchard 3. Andrei Svechnikov 4. Noah Dobson 5. Filip Zadina 6. Jesperi Kotkaniemi 7. Isac Lundeström 8. Martin Kaut 9. Jacob Olofsson 10. Filip Hållander 11. Joe Veleno 12. Alexander Alexeyev 13. Akil Thomas 14. Oliver Wahlstrom 15. Ryan McLeod 16. David Gustafsson 17. Jonatan Berggren 18. Linus Karlsson 19. Carl Wassenius 20. Nathan Dunkley Without repeating what I wrote on the blog, it is a big draft for European players as guys like Lundestrom, Kaut, Olofsson and Hallander are highly-ranked but could be grabbed with later picks. Most of these guys are separated by the slimmest of margins and could be moved around anywhere. The biggest gap is after Dahlin, as the scouts seem to have as well. I will be honest, I have worked very hard on this and probably put 200-300 hours into it at this point, far exceeding my original intentions of making the laziest system possible. I am excited to see how it does for 2018 but also aware that any one draft can boom or bomb, and the 2018 draft having a lot of defenders makes it even more difficult, so it wouldn't surprise me if it performs more like the 2015 draft than the 2014 one. In any case, this should set for us a relevant baseline against which we can compare the Canuck picks. When the draft occurs, I will post our picks in here in "real time" as I will pick for the Canucks the best player available based on the system. I will also post "my" pick by taking into account some expectations for where a player will go which the system does not account for. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I am happy to answer them, although I will note just one more time that more information is on the blog so if you want some more details I would encourage you to at least read the introduction post there. Thank you for your time. EDIT: I had made a translation error when copying into this post and missed Conor Timmins in the 2017 rankings, who should have beetn between Robertson and Vilardi. I have updated the post but now show the top 21 so that I am not removing anything.