PA Parenteau vs. Matt Moulson

steve laidlaw




PA Parenteau vs. Matt Moulson – Draft position is one of the greatest deceivers in fantasy sports. It is a nice guideline (particularly in and around draft time) but the farther away you get from the NHL draft the less that draft position means. That is because the draft provides only a snap shot in time of the perceived value of all the drafted players. You think it matters any more that Datsyuk was a sixth round pick? That Zetterberg was a seventh? It most certainly does not.


There is no denying the fact that putting your faith in a player drafted in the high rounds is a smart decision early in that players' career. The higher a player is drafted the more likely he is to play in the NHL. There is also a strong correlation between draft position and games played. That is because the players who appear the most ready to make an impact are selected earlier but also because when teams invest a high pick they are much more likely to provide that player opportunities to succeed. That is the wrong attitude though. Every pick is essentially the same investment. You only get so many picks. Sure higher picks offer more possibility but every pick offers the chance of an NHL player and quite possibly a superstar.


Where this gets even more prevalent is when a player makes it to the NHL. Once a player proves himself capable of playing professional hockey all bets are off.  Once you make it the only thing that matters is production – goals and assists, wins and losses.


The trend of undrafted rookies making huge impacts after getting signed out of college is just the latest example of how draft position or lack thereof will deceive you.


In this week's Cage Match we take a trip to Long Island to see how the moribund Islanders franchise has plugged some serious holes by throwing caution to the wind and valuing players not by draft position but by production. I don't know, maybe it is just the years of constant failure that have driven them to this radical means of thinking but you have to commend them for this strategy because they have unearthed some gems with their radical thinking.


I know what you are thinking:

The Islanders? Radicals? Really?

Damn straight. This is a team that signed a guy with no groin ligaments to a lifetime contract. This is a team that has paid someone for the past five years not to play for their team and will continue to pay him for three more. This is a team that has traded away more future All-Stars than I care to count. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. The Islanders may be pushing the chicken population