You need good scouting and proper development in order to get value from your draft picks, as well as a solid plan (looking at you, Oilers), but a high percentage of the elite players come from the top half of the first round. Last year's top 8 scorers were first round picks, 3 first overall, a 2nd, a 5th, then 19th, 22nd, and 28th. Looking at the top 30 scorers, only 6 were taken outside of the first round, and 18 of the 30 were top 10 picks. Looking at defensemen by TOI/gm, 12 of the top 30 were first rounders, and 7 were taken in the second. Given that 18 year old defensemen are harder to project, that makes sense, but it still shows that you're far more likely to get a #1 defenseman in the first round than you are in any other round.
I remember when z and d would never turn into Stevie and feds...
They didn't. Yzerman and Fedorov were better players.
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