Impact of the minors
04/29/2009 9:22 AM - Chris Etheridge
I walked into the MetroCentre yesterday morning with assistant coach Ted Dent. At some point the conversation turned to Pat Foley’s comments during the Blackhawks’ game on Saturday about the job that former Chicago Blackhawk and current Quad City coach Ryan McGill is doing developing prospects for the Flames. The Rockford IceHogs also got a nice mention, as did Chicago assistant coach and former Rockford IceHogs bench boss Mike Haviland, who was himself “developed” through the Chicago Blackhawks system.
Out of curiosity, I ran some numbers yesterday to see how many players came up through the system and what kind of impact they have on their teams.
I started off by defining any player who was drafted by the team they are now playing for, signed a minor league deal before making his NHL debut with an affiliate, or was drafted by another team but traded before making his NHL debut as a “system” player.
Here’s what I mean:
Kris Versteeg was drafted by the Boston Bruins but traded to the Chicago organization before making his NHL debut. He’s a Chicago "system" player.
Warren Peters was not drafted by any team but was “discovered” in the ECHL by the Flames organization and made his NHL debut with Calgary this year. He’s a Calgary system player.
So with that explainer, here’s what I came up with (using the 2009 Stanley Cup playoff roster and not including injured players or those who have not played yet in the postseason):
That’s only six teams, but it kind of gave me an idea of what kind of impact the minor league system can have. This little study does not take into account the impact of developing a player and then trading him or the cost of developing a player compared to signing a free agent, but it does show how having a robust minor league system can help make a strong NHL team.
One more note of interest: The seven Calgary position players that came up through the system (not counting the two who came straight from juniors and one goalie) combined for 91 points in 2008-09. The nine Chicago skaters that met those same criteria combined for 243 points in 2008-09.
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