NHL Draft Simulator Part 2

With the draft behind us and free agency frenzy upon us, it's time to take a look back and see how well (or not well) the draft simulator performed.

Blues Draft

To begin, we'll put the simulator and the actual picks from the draft side by side.

Simulator Picks

  • 1. Oilers pick Connor McDavid
  • 2. Sabres pick Dylan Strome
  • 3. Coyotes pick Mitchell Marner
  • 4. Maple Leafs pick Jack Eichel
  • 5. Hurricanes pick Timo Meier
  • 6. Devils pick Evgeny Svechnikov
  • 7. Flyers pick Ivan Provorov
  • 8. Blue Jackets pick Lawson Crouse
  • 9. Sharks pick Noah Hanifin
  • 10. Avalanche pick Jacob Larsson
  • 11. Panthers pick Mathew Barzal
  • 12. Stars pick Nicholas Merkley
  • 13. Kings pick Kyle Connor
  • 14. Bruins pick Jansen Harkins
  • 15. Flames pick Pavel Zacha
  • 16. Oilers pick Jakub Zboril
  • 17. Jets pick Filip Ahl
  • 18. Senators pick Gabriel Carlsson
  • 19. Red Wings pick Travis Konecny
  • 20. Wild pick Joel Eriksson Ek
  • 21. Senators pick Zachary Werenski
  • 22. Capitals pick Denis Gurianov
  • 23. Canucks pick Paul Bittner
  • 24. Maple Leafs pick Veeti Vainio
  • 25. Jets pick Robin Kovacs
  • 26. Canadiens pick Anthony Beauvillier
  • 27. Ducks pick Mikko Rantanen
  • 28. Lightning pick Filip Chlapik
  • 29. Flyers pick Thomas Chabot
  • 30. Coyotes pick Ryan Pilon
  • Round 2

  • 31. Sabres pick Jesper Lindgren
  • 32. Coyotes pick Noah Juulsen
  • 33. Oilers pick Jeremy Roy
  • 34. Blue Jackets pick Oliver Kylington
  • 35. Hurricanes pick Jake DeBrusk
  • 36. Devils pick David Kase
  • 37. Bruins pick Daniel Sprong
  • 38. Blue Jackets pick Mitchell Vande Sompel
  • 39. Sharks pick Alexander Dergachyov
  • 40. Avalanche pick Dennis Yan
  • 41. Devils pick Michael Spacek
  • 42. Senators pick Vince Dunn
  • 43. Kings pick Brock Boeser
  • 44. Lightning pick Mackenzie Blackwood
  • 45. Flames pick Julius Nattinen
  • 46. Penguins pick Thomas Novak
  • 47. Jets pick Jens Looke
  • 48. Senators pick Sebastian Aho
  • 49. Stars pick Jonas Siegenthaler
  • 50. Canadiens pick Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
  • 51. Sabres pick Erik Cernak
  • 52. Flames pick Colin White
  • 53. Flames pick Kevin Stenlund
  • 54. Blackhawks pick Roope Hintz
  • 55. Predators pick Sebastian Aho
  • 56. Blues pick John (Jack) Roslovic
  • 57. Oilers pick Brandon Carlo
  • 58. Blue Jackets pick Nicolas Meloche
  • 59. Rangers pick Mikhail Vorobyov
  • 60. Coyotes pick Yegor Rykov
  • 61. Flyers pick Artem Volkov

Actual Picks

  • 1. Oilers pick Connor McDavid
  • 2. Sabres pick Jack Eichel
  • 3. Coyotes pick Dylan Strome
  • 4. Maple Leafs pick Mitchell Marner
  • 5. Hurricanes pick Noah Hanifin
  • 6. Devils pick Pavel Zacha
  • 7. Flyers pick Ivan Provorov
  • 8. Blue Jackets pick Zachary Werenski
  • 9. Sharks pick Timo Meier
  • 10. Avalanche pick Mikko Rantanen
  • 11. Panthers pick Lawson Crouse
  • 12. Stars pick Denis Gurianov
  • 13. Bruins pick Jakub Zboril
  • 14. Bruins pick Jake Debrusk
  • 15. Bruins pick Zachary Senyshyn
  • 16. Islanders pick Mathew Barzal
  • 17. Jets pick Kyle Connor
  • 18. Senators pick Thomas Chabot
  • 19. Red Wings pick Evgeny Svechnikov
  • 20. Wild pick Joel Eriksson Ek
  • 21. Senators pick Colin White
  • 22. Capitals pick Ilya Samsonov
  • 23. Canucks pick Brock Boeser
  • 24. Flyers pick Travis Konecny
  • 25. Jets pick John (Jack) Roslovic
  • 26. Canadiens pick Noah Juulsen
  • 27. Ducks pick Jacob Larsson
  • 28. Islanders pick Anthony Beauveiller
  • 29. Blue Jackets pick Gabriel Carlsson
  • 30. Coyotes pick Nicholas Merkley
  • Round 2

  • 31. Sharks pick Jeremy Roy
  • 32. Coyotes pick Christian Fischer
  • 33. Lightning pick Mitchell Stephens
  • 34. Maple Leafs pick Travis Dermott
  • 35. Hurricanes pick Sebastian Aho
  • 36. Senators pick Gabriel Gagne
  • 37. Bruins pick Brandon Carlo
  • 38. Blue Jackets pick Paul Bittner
  • 39. Avalanche pick AJ Greer
  • 40. Avalanche pick Nicolas Meloche
  • 41. Rangers pick Ryan Gropp
  • 42. Devils pick Mackenzie Blackwood
  • 43. Kings pick Erik Cernak
  • 44. Lightning pick Matthew Spencer
  • 45. Bruins pick Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson
  • 46. Penguins pick Daniel Sprong
  • 47. Jets pick Jansen Harkins
  • 48. Senators pick Filip Chlapik
  • 49. Stars pick Roope Hintz
  • 50. Wild pick Jordan Greenway
  • 51. Sabres pick Brendan Guhle
  • 52. Bruins pick Jeremy Lauzon
  • 52. Flames pick Rasmus Andersson
  • 54. Blackhawks pick Graham Knott
  • 55. Predators pick Yakov Trenin
  • 56. Blues pick Vince Dunn
  • 57. Capitals pick Jonas Siegenthaler
  • 58. Blue Jackets pick Kevin Stenlund
  • 59. Ducks pick Julius Nattinen
  • 60. Flames pick Oliver Kylington
  • 61. Maple Leafs pick Jeremy Bracco

Review

Clearly there were some misses there. In fact, the simulator only managed to get 3 out of 61 picks dead on. Those picks were #1, #7 and #20. It looks pretty grim for the simulator, right? Well, yes, at first glance it does. However, there were many picks that were actually pretty close. 7 out of the top 10 were correctly identified as top 10 picks, even if the order was slightly off. Strome and Marner were only 1 pick off from the actual position they were taken in and Crouse, whom I had going in the number 8 slot, went 11th overall; not a wide margin of error there.

The most egregious error in the top 10 would have to be Jacob Larsson who wouldn't be picked until the Ducks scooped him up at #27. Also, as mentioned in the previous article, the simulator did not take trades into account. Boston had 3 picks in a row; and frankly, they reached with 2 of those picks taking Jake Debrusk and Zachary Senyshyn. Debrusk wasn't projected to go until round 2 and Senyshyn didn't make the cut at all using the simulator's criteria.

The deeper we get into the draft, the more the simulator picks start to vary from the actual selections made by the NHL teams. In the first round, 6 of the 30 players selected by the simulator were not selected on the first night of the draft. Of those 6, 2 were taken in the 2nd round of the draft.

Compare that to round 2 where 17 of the 31 players were not selected. Of those 17 players, 5 were taken higher than expected and made it into the 1st round. The other guys? They weren't picked in either round.

Overall, this was a pretty fun project and while I would've liked to see more dead on picks, I am encouraged by how closely the simulator matched the real thing on many of the picks. On average, picks in the first round were off by 8. That's not very good, but I'm confident that can be improved upon. I plan on doing it again in 2016 and will start preparing a little more in advance next time around.

Thanks for reading!

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