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Draft Success: General Manager Bob Murray

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How much success has GMBM had in the draft?

2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Earlier this season Andy Welinksi played his first NHL game, meaning the 2011 NHL Entry level Draft for the Anaheim Ducks has resulted in every player playing in at least one NHL game.

This got me thinking about the draft successes from Bob Murray, the current General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks. Murray officially became the General Manager on 11/12/2008, but he was brought in with Brian Burke from Vancouver in June of 2005 to be the Executive Vice President, primarily being involved in player development.

What I want to outline with this article is the success rate that Bob Murray has had of producing players that have played in the NHL compared to other teams. Of the 87 players that have been drafted by Anaheim since the 2005, 40 of them have played at least 1 NHL Game. Let’s see how that compares to other teams. In this example, I will be including every active and non-active NHL teams in the same timespan of 2005-2017.

Drafted Players to play in at least 1 NHL Game/ Total Drafted Players

Anaheim Ducks - 45.97% (40/87)

Boston Bruins - 48.80 (41/84)

Buffalo Sabres - 34.95% (36/103)

Calgary Flames - 38.37% (33/86)

Carolina Hurricanes - 38.14%% (37/97)

Chicago Blackhawks - 29.56% (34/115)

Colorado Avalanche - 39.56% (36/91)

Columbus Blue Jackets - 44.33% (43/97)

Dallas Stars - 40.23% (35/87)

Detroit Red Wings - 35.05% (34/97)

Edmonton Oilers - 39.58% (38/96)

Florida Panthers - 41.23% (40/97)

Los Angeles Kings - 43.29% (42/97)

Minnesota Wild - 33.73% (28/83)

Montreal Canadiens - 33.33% (29/87)

Nashville Predators - 39.79% (39/98)

New Jersey Devils - 38.04% (35/92)

New York Islanders - 42.42% (42/99)

New York Rangers - 32.14% (27/84)

Ottawa Senators - 48.23% (41/85)

Philadelphia Flyers - 36.17% (34/94)

Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes - 37.23% (35/94)

Pittsburgh Penguins - 43.59% (34/78)

San Jose Sharks - 33.33% (30/90)

St Louis Blues - 37.37% (37/99)

Tampa Bay Lightning - 34.69% (34/98)

Toronto Maple Leafs - 41.49% (39/94)

Vancouver Canucks - 30.48% (25/82)

Washington Capitals - 34.83% (31/89)

Winnipeg Jets – 36.08% (35/97)

Highlights

League Average - 38.435%

Highest % - Boston Bruins

Most Players - Columbus Blue Jackets

Most Draft Picks - Chicago Blackhawks

When comparing Bob Murray to every other GM in the league the ability for him to turn a draft pick into a player with at least one game of NHL experience isn’t terrible. Anaheim ranks in the top 3 teams in the NHL. Now, this could just be completely bogus. When you really think about it, just because that player played one game doesn’t mean that he was good. So, in my next comparison, I will show the percentage of drafted players that got at least 82 games of experience. I will be making some exceptions to the rule here, namely of players that are 10 games away from 82 that are still playing in the NHL and have no foreseeable future of being sent down.

82 Games Played

Anaheim Ducks - 28.73% (25/87)

Boston Bruins - 15.47% (13/84)

Buffalo Sabres - 21.35% (22/103)

Calgary Flames - 13.95% (12/86)

Carolina Hurricanes - 23.07% (21/91)

Chicago Blackhawks - 18.26% (21/115)

Colorado Avalanche - 17.58% (16/91)

Columbus Blue Jackets - 25.77% (25/97)

Dallas Stars - 24.14% (21/87)

Detroit Red Wings - 23.71% (23/97)

Edmonton Oilers - 21.87% (21/96)

Florida Panthers - 21.65% (21/97)

Los Angeles Kings - 24.74% (24/97)

Minnesota Wild - 16.87% (14/83)

Montreal Canadiens - 18.39% (16/87)

Nashville Predators - 23.46% (23/98)

New Jersey Devils - 17.39% (16/92)

New York Islanders - 16.16% (18/99)

New York Rangers - 19.04% (16/84)

Ottawa Senators - 28.23% (24/85)

Philadelphia Flyers - 15.95% (15/94)

Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes - 19.15% (18/94)

Pittsburgh Penguins - 24.35% (19/78)

San Jose Sharks - 21.11% (19/90)

St. Louis Blues - 19.19% (19/99)

Tampa Bay Lightning - 18.36% (18/98)

Toronto Maple Leafs - 21.27% (20/94)

Vancouver Canucks - 12.19% (10/82)

Washington Capitals - 19.10% (17/89)

Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers - 18.55% (18/97)

Highlights -

League Average - 20.30%

Highest % - Anaheim Ducks - 28.73%

Lowest % - Vancouver Canucks - 12.19%

Most Players - 25, Tie Anaheim Ducks/Columbus Blue Jackets

Least Players - 10 Vancouver Canucks

From the research I have compiled, statistically showing the Anaheim Ducks General Manager Bob Murray has been a total knockout when drafting NHL caliber players. He has the trusted mind to scout NHL talent, and if I know that he is drafting a player, more than likely that player will be playing in the NHL when his time is right.

For all you Bob Murray haters, let’s take a step back and review how well he has actually performed. How many times have the Anaheim Ducks drafted in the top 5 since 2005? I’ll do the thinking for you: it was one time. His name was Bobby Ryan. How many times have they drafted in the top 10 since 2005? Three times. Those players are Hampus Lindholm, Nick Ritchie, and obviously Bobby Ryan. The top 15 you ask? That would be 6 times. Let’s add Peter Holland and Cam Fowler to that list.

How does a General Manager who has only drafted 6 players in the top 15, which is where the meat of the talent is, continue to build a succesful franchise that consistently makes the playoffs despite routinely only being able to pick in the latter half of the first round? Obviously there’s other factors, but it’s called solid talent acquisition and scouting the right players, and it’s one of the most significant parts of fielding a competitive team in the salary cap era. Look at the current lineup today of players that were drafted outside of the top 15 from the 2005 draft class to now:

Rickard Rakell - 1st Round 30th overall 2011

Ondrej Kase - 7th Round 205th overall 2014

Chris Wagner - 5th Round 122nd overall 2010

Brandon Montour - 2nd Round 55th overall 2014

Josh Manson - 6th Round 160th overall 2011

John Gibson - 2nd Round 39th overall 2011

Players no longer playing for the Ducks:

Matt Beleskey- 4th Round 112th overall 2006

Jake Gardiner - 1st Round 17th overall 2008

Justin Schultz - 2nd Round 43rd overall 2008

Kyle Palmieri - 1st Round 26th overall 2009

Sami Vatanen - 4th Round 106th overall 2009

Devante Smith-Pelly - 2nd Round 42nd overall 2010

William Karlsson - 3rd Round 53th overall 2011

Frederik Andersen - 3rd Round 87th overall 2012

Shea Theodore - 1st Round 26th overall 2013

For a General Manager who has had 6 players drafted in the top 15 in the last 12 years and is able to draft the caliber players above deserves nothing less than a standing ovation. I will be waiting for videos of fans filming themselves thanking Bob Murray. You can send them to my Twitter account @Kylekiekenapp Thank you for reading!