Erty: Drunken Bum or Genius? Revisiting Draft o-13
It’s been a month since the draft and cut-down day has passed, which means it’s a good time for a first analysis of the ’13 draft. Granted, it’s hard to say which GM had the best draft. Will Mackinnon be a better pro than Drouin, Barkov, Jones, Nikushkin, Domi, or Clendenning? Will Luongo, St. Louis, Datsyuk, or Kunitz be enough to put a GM over the top? Will Killorn make us all regret not listening to Dobber? But what is easy to analyze after cut-down day is which GMs were just there for the moonshine.
Generally we keep our 1st and 2nd round picks on the roster through cut-down day as no one wants to admit to that huge of a mistake. We try to quietly let them go years later, but still can’t avoid the embarrassment from Fulty who will inevitably bring up that EZ cut Larsson NJ (4th overall in ’11) or Connolly TB (6th overall in ’10…..actually, Zwiersy, what up with that?), or that Cordy dropped Paajarvi ST (9th overall in ’09, released ’13, re-drafted, then cut again….d’oh!)
Ususally, it’s around the 5th round that the recent draft cuts start. This year’s batch included Matthias, Rakell, and Gudbranson, all 5th rounders, the latter belonging to Erty. Which brings us to the point of this essay; a brief study of the 2013 draft and subsequent cut-down reveals that Erty might either be viewed as a terrible drafter who should stay away from the Okanagan Springs Pale Ale, or that he’s been such a great drafter and judge of talent in previous years that this draft was just some fine tuning to an already solid team.
Consider the evidence: on cut-down day, Erty dropped 6 of the 9 picks he made in ’13 (Briere 3rd rd, Gudbranson 5th, Connauton 6th, Palmieri 7th, Booth 8th, and Ashton 9th.) He kept his 4th rounder, Kuchorov TB, but only because he enjoys hearing Orv pronounce it. So you could say this was a pathetic draft when you release 67% of your picks a month after their selection.
As for the Genius argument, Erty’s team is now so solid, that the additions of Luongo (1st rd) and Chara (2nd rd) maybe all he needs to put him over the top. He was in the money last year and looks to be moving up the ladder again. And maybe, just maybe, this recent draft will pay dividends come April when he takes the trophy and reveals that the ’13 draft was just a giant middle-finger salute to the rest of the GMs.