Larry Goodenough wrote:I had this conversation this weekend with some friends.
With the salary cap now in effect - I would argue teams should lean heavily towards forwards when drafting.
If the adage that defencemen take longer to mature is true, then why would you chose a d-man?
Generally, you could say forwards can meet their potential between 21-24 yrs old while d-men meet their potential, on average, between 24 - 27 yrs old. Again, I said generally.
Now, if free agency can begin for some players at age 25, it makes sense that you can get more productive years out of a forward than a defenceman, before you risk losing him.
Therefore, I would argue teams would be best served building a team by drafting forwards and signing defenceman as free agents.
Now, if you look at Buffalo and Carolina, Edm and Anaheim, the top 4 teams in last year's playoffs. They all had young forwards that were mostly assembled thru the draft with more seasoned d-men that had been aquired in trade or free agency.
So, did Nonis make the right move dafting Bourdon over Kopitar? Compared to Bourdon - Kopitar appears like he will make a more significant impact on his team this season and next. Yes, Bourdon may have a better long term future, but what good is long term future if he chooses to leave as a free agent in 7 years.
Kopitar will make a significant contribution to the Kings for the next 7 years before they risk losing him, while Bourdon appears like he might make significant contributions for maybe 4 of the next 7 years before Nonis might lose him.
We'll see how the next number of drats go to see if this is a theory that holds weight.