On the day Stu MacGregor took over as Scouting Director (story here), I looked at Kevin Prendergast’s top five selections in the seven years he was head man. I then compared those names to Barry Fraser’s final seven seasons, and here’s what I got.
BARRY FRASER’S FINAL YEARS (1994-2000)
- Ryan Smyth (1994)
- Shawn Horcoff (1998)
- Tom Poti (1996)
- Mike Comrie (1999)
- Fernando Pisani (1996)
That’s a really nice list. The GP total for the five is 3,996 games. Now, the disadvantage of looking back over different eras is that we’re quickly going to reach a point where careers are too short (in KP and MBS’ case) to compare. However, I think it’s fair to suggest that Fraser grabbed one top quality NHL player (Smyth) and four solid regulars in the group of five. Fair?
KEVIN PRENDERGAST’S SEVEN YEARS (2001-2007)
- Ales Hemsky (2001)
- Jarrett Stoll (2002)
- Sam Gagner (2007)
- Andrew Cogliano (2005)
- Kyle Brodziak (2003)
I changed things a little here (Brodziak is added) and the GP (as predicted) has run up a less impressive total (2,906) but in fewer seasons. I’d say we can credit KP with one top quality player (Hemsky) and four solid regulars. Fair? I like Horcoff more as a player than Stoll, but they seem similar as value, and I’d argue Gagner-Comrie and Pisani-Brodziak are comparable, leaving Cogliano and Poti to discuss.
Who did better? Smyth was a high pick, and of course Bonsignore was a wasted selection but we’re not discussing that right now. KP will get a push when Jeff Petry arrives at 500 games too, so the story isn’t over. Thoughts?
STU MACGREGOR (2008-2014)
- Jordan Eberle (2008)
- Magnus Paajarvi (2009)
- Martin Marincin (2010)
- Anton Lander (2009)
- Oscar Klefbom (2011)
A couple of items here: I have not included the #1 overalls in the group, as you’ve suggested to me several times a scouting group should receive no extra credit for choosing a number one overall correctly. This hobbles the MBS group in that there are only thee first round selections in this look (KP had seven, including a #6 overall; Fraser had eight, including a #4 overall and three #6 overall selections), but it’s a difficult conversation to have if we include the number one overall picks. I should also add that men like Nurse haven’t played in the NHL and MacGregor has one more year to go before his seven-season window closes.
So, how are things tracking? Does Eberle have a chance to equal Hemsky? If Marincin and Klefbom work out, does that equal (say) Horcoff and Pisani? It’s interesting to look at these things, although it’ll be the rest of this decade before the 2014 draft begins to reveal its true value.