December 16, 2007

Buy low - Sell high

I haven't said much (if anything) about Lupul, I was curious whether he would rebound or disappear. Also, I didn't know much about Lupul so it was best I kept my mouth shut. I didn't even realize that Lupul was in fact draft 7th overall.

I decided to create a short list of players who were drafted 7th and had a bad season in their early 20's.

1990: Sydor 24 - 58 GP: 12 Points
1993: Arnot 24 - 70 GP: 33 Points
1995: Doan 22 - 79 GP: 22 Points
1996: Rasmussen 23 - 67 GP: 14 Points
1997: Mara 23 - 75 GP: 24 Points
1998: Malhotra 22 - 59 GP: 10 Points
1999: Beech - 14 GP: 4 Points in 2 years
2001: Komisarek 23 - 71 GP: 6 Points
2002: Lupul 81 GP: 28 Points (-29)

Often, if you look at past players, teams will trade these players during or right after their bad seasons. However, teams are quickly disappointed as their high draft pick succeeds in their new environment. What's interesting is that Edmonton didn't like Lupul because of his bad plus minus, so the team picked up Souray (ranked second last in plus minus) and Pitkanen (ranked fourth last in plus minus).

The point I'm trying to make is that all players have bad seasons (often early in their careers) and teams view this as a good predictor of future performance, when draft position is probably a better prediction of future performance than one season. Anaheim was smart to see a player who had done better than expected one year and got a great deal for him (sell high). However Edmonton, after one bad season, dumped this 1st round draft pick (plus their captain) for Philadelphia's trash.

In conclusion, don't give up on a player after one bad season. Also, don't get too excited by one great year either.

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