Grades for every team's performance at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft
So concludes the strangest draft season in recent memory, one that will produce more surprises than usual due to the strange circumstances in which the prospects evolved. Many of them didn't get to play their full season and the reliance on video scouting probably warped some evaluations.
Still, the thousands of hours we invested in watching these prospects gave us a large enough picture of the draft class and an ability to review each team's work over the weekend. We will do so according to the qualities we value and how we slotted these prospects accordingly, and that will often run counter to many of the league's organizations.
In the end, however, the goal is to find NHL players. And so we will evaluate the selections based on the upside of players and their chance of making the NHL.
One important thing to note: We will mostly judge these selections based on the value of the pick and not the value added to a farm system.
This means that a team with only five picks in the later rounds might receive a higher grade in this exercise than another one that made multiple first-round selections. We aim to grade each team's "scouting ability," especially when looking at the early parts of the draft where the information gap is smaller due to the accumulated viewings and data.
We will only truly know the results of the draft five years from now, but as many elements can affect the development of these prospects, this kind of outside perspective and immediate review, one that is not influenced by outside factors, has merit. We are constantly questioning our rankings based on NHL feedback both at the draft and throughout the season.
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