Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Did Lowe Overpay For Roloson?

Personally I don't think so. A first round draft pick and a conditional 3rd rounder if Roloson signs with Edmonton in the summer as I understand it. But maybe that's because I'm not that big of a fan of prospects, so I'm not emotionally attached to Oiler draft picks the way that some fans are.

Anyhow, some time ago I wrote a script that scraped the draft and career stats for players over a 10 year period from the mid eighties to mid nineties (please don't sue me Mr Slate!). Then I deleted everybody except the forwards. Then I arbitrarily chose Todd Marchant as the minimum level of offensive competence for a player to be deemed "TOP SIX FORWARD" ... which is very nearly .5 points per game over their career.

No fine brushstrokes here. No consideration for scoring rate in different years, or whether the player was a defensive gem, or whether it was a strong draft year or a poor one. Just simple stuff.

The results are represented here:


The horizontal axis shows the overall draft position, the vertical axis show the % chance of the draftee being as good OFFENSIVELY as Todd Marchant, i.e. a fringe top-sixer or better.

By way of example, if you were picking a forward in the 30th overall position ... you would have had about a 14% chance of having the kid turn into this level of player over his career. Not impressive, is it? And since everyone seems to agree that this is a pretty weak draft year, the Oilers first round pick (let's guess it ends up at around 20th overall) is probably worth even less this year, maybe at 30th overall.

So the Oilers get a reliable goalie for the rest of this season. A veteran guy who doesn't let many pucks go through him, and at a time they really needed him. And they got him for a lottery ticket, and a pretty crappy lottery ticket at that.

I know, I know, people love lottery tickets. But sentimentality and dreams of the 'big win' aside ... there's a lot to like about this deal methinks.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My biggest surprise is that Minnesota would deal within the division and against a team it may need to leapfrog with head-to-head games coming up. I guess I Roloson had just dropped off the map for me even as a possibility, so this is probably contributing to my surprise.

I'm not so worried about the 1st rounder either, but each one you lose you decrease the expected return on the draft. Probably the next year is a pretty flat draft with the crapshoot coming early. Losing a 18th spot you'd maybe drop at most 1/4th of your expected returns?

It's a cost for sure, but is it too much? Considering the decent pressure coming from the pack, I'd say it's worth it to get into the playoffs this year. Hard to sell Edmonton as a UFA destination next season otherwise, especially if you're still sitting on all of your draft picks and prospects.

3/09/2006 12:03 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya, all good points. I'm a bit surprised by Risebrough's decision as well. I mean it's a sound decision, as this doesn't really have a huge impact on Minnesota's overall chances of making the playoffs if you parlay the odds through. They were poor to start with obviously. But it does break with conventional wisdom, that's for sure. Riser is a pretty clever businessman I think.

On the "drop at most 1/4 of expected returns" thing ... that sounds about right to me. Some people, including a very smart guy nicknamed oilswell who posts online, have performed the necessary due diligence to give an intelligent answer to that question, I cannot. Magee and Dawson published a fairly famous paper on the subject as well, McMaster University Dept of Economics I think.

3/09/2006 12:59 am  
Anonymous RiversQ said...

Whew, I'm glad my post at OF trying to approximate this graph based on memory was close. Heaven forbid someone posting something retarded over there. ;)

That is a McMaster Econ paper BTW.
http://ideas.repec.org/p/mcm/deptwp/2000-04.html

3/09/2006 4:04 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

I was an Expos fan first and foremost so I've long since leaned to detach myself from prospects and/or draft picks. All the experts say this is supposed to be a weak draft and from what we've seen a guy like Rolo should be enough to get us out of the first round.

From that point on it's all gravvy..

3/09/2006 7:40 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I was an Expos fan first and foremost so I've long since leaned to detach myself from prospects and/or draft picks. All the experts say this is supposed to be a weak draft and from what we've seen a guy like Rolo should be enough to get us out of the first round.

Yup. I think the first job for the Oilers is to get into the 5th spot, setting themselves up for a matchup with Nashville in the first round.

Obviously just making the playoffs at all is job one ... but I don't think it is unreasonable to expect 5th place in the West either.

3/10/2006 11:11 am  

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