Rich NHL clubs don’t necessarily draft better, according to a study published by Simon Fraser University.
SFU business professor Peter Tingling, co-author of Feast or Famine: Does Wealth Help or Hinder Innovation in Sport” used the NHL draft to test the theory that wealthier NHL clubs are able to be more innovative. The conclusions of Tingling and co-researcher Kamal Masri aren’t going to make NHL scouts happy. They conclude being able to spend a lot of money on scouting doesn’t make a team more successful at the draft.
“We looked at how much money the teams are worth, the quality of their decisions and we could basically find basically no relationship whatsoever,” Tingling said.
Dividing the 30 NHL clubs into five categories ranging from “filthy rich” to “fiscally challenged”, Tingling analyzed the draft decisions of teams from 1997 to 2004 and measured how many of those players actually made it into the NHL.
“Beyond Round 3, it’s all guessing which is absolutely ridiculous when you think about it,” he said. “There’s this perception if you are taken in Round 3, it’s better than being in Round 4. We can actually tell you there’s no difference. The league and teams are spending $100 million and they can’t figure out who the better players are? It’s ridiculous.”