Who Many Quality NHL Players Are There In Each Draft Year?

To really judge which how well players and teams performed relative to their draft position, just looking at who made it to NHL to play a single game really isn’t the best metric, since the bar needs to be higher in order for a player to have a real impact for their organization.  So what is the better, next level cut to provide a good measurement of a quality draft pick who made an impact in the NHL.  After looking at the players selected from 2005-2016 the bar for players I recognized and having reasonable careers and stuck around for a few years seemed to be about 160 games.  Two years of games, even if it was over several years looked about right.  Then when I researched that the NHL players are eligible for a pension when they played 160 games, I felt confident that this second cut seems quite reasonable to confirm that the scouting organizations for teams did a good job at picking a ‘winner’ – or better said, a quality player.

Here is a summary of the quality players (as defined as having played at least 160 games in the NHL) by year from 2005 to 2016. As you can see,  each draft typically has 20%-25% of the players drafted end up as quality players, with a typical deviation of about 6%.