Teams these days are built mainly through three areas; Trades, free agency and the draft with some waiver claims here and there. The common thought is to build through the draft and then plug the holes with trades and free agency. Is that how most teams are operating right now? The Dallas Stars are a team that comes to mind when you think of a team adding a ton of talent through solid trades. Some other teams take a more “homegrown” approach to how they build their team and attempt to contend for the Stanley Cup. Let’s take a look at the Central Division and how each team has been built to get to this point.
Goaltenders are included in the lists but are not factored in to the statistical analysis.
Acquired via trade – Cody Eakin, Mattias Janmark, Travis Moen, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski, Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi.
Acquired via free agency – Patrick Eaves, Vernon Fiddler, Ales Hemsky, Antoine Roussel, Jordie Benn, Johnny Oduya
Acquired via draft (round and year in parenthesis) – Jamie Benn (5th in 2007 ), Valeri Nichushkin (1st in 2013), Colton Sceviour (4th in 2007), Jyrki Jokipakka (7th in 2011), John Klingberg (5th in 2010), Patrik Nemeth (2nd in 2010), Jamie Oleksiak (1st in 2011)
- Players acquired via trade account for just over 57% of the goals scored by the current roster this season. Their 119 combined points were good for just over 48% of the total amassed by the above roster.
- Players acquired via trade that have played at least 100 minutes this season average a 53.92 Corsi-for-% at even strength and carry an average cap hit of $3.8M.
- Free agent acquisitions have scored just over 12% of the goals and about 17.5% of points so far this season. They average a 51.02 Corsi-for-% and their average cap hit is $2.14M.
- The players that were drafted by the Dallas Stars have scored just under 31% of goals and 34.5% of points so far. They have averaged 52.14 Corsi-for-% and their average cap hit is only $1.96M.
A good portion of the scoring in Dallas has been brought in with trades while most of the defensemen on the roster were either drafted or found in free agency. Much of the bottom-six forwards and bottom-pairing defensemen have come from the draft and free agency.
St. Louis Blues
Acquired via trade – Troy Brouwer, Steve Ott, Magnus Paajarvi, Alexander Steen, Robert Bortuzzo, Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, Kevin Shattenkirk
Acquired via free agency – Kyle Brodziak, Scott Gomez, Paul Stastny, Scottie Upshall, Brian Elliott
Acquired via draft – David Backes (2nd in 2003), Patrik Berglund (1st in 2006), Robby Fabbri (1st in 2014), Dmitrij Jaskin (2nd in 2011), Jori Lehtera (3rd in 2008), Ryan Reaves (5th in 2005), Jaden Schwartz (1st in 2010), Vladimir Tarasenko (1st in 2010), Petteri Lindbohm (6th in 2012), Colton Parayko (3rd in 2012), Alex Pietrangelo (1st in 2008), Jake Allen (2nd in 2008)
- Players that were traded for account for just under 32% of goals scored and just over 35% of points scored by the players above.
- The players that were acquired via the trade average a 53.16 Corsi-for-% and carry an average cap hit of about $3.3M.
- Players found through free agency contributed just over 13.5% of goals and 13.5% of points this season. Their average Corsi-for-% is 53.88 with an average cap hit of $2.29M.
- Blues that were drafted originally in St. Louis have produced about 54.5% of the goals scored and just over 51% of points scored by the players above this season.
- Drafted Blues have had an average Corsi-for-% of 53.56 and carry an average cap hit of $2.87M.
Talk about homegrown. Basically just swap the Stars traded for/drafted categories and you have the Blues. Going completely off this analysis, it appears the Blues are incredible at early-round drafting. Most of their top players came from the first or second round of their respective drafts. Once again for the most part, the Blues free-agents are mainly bottom-six forwards.
Acquired via trade – Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Pominville, Devan Dubnyk
Acquired via free agency – Ryan Carter, Justin Fontaine, Zach Parise, Chris Porter, Thomas Vanek, Nater Prosser (waivers), Mike Reilly, Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter, Niklas Backstrom
Acquired via draft – Mikael Granlund (1st in 2010), Tyler Graovac (7th in 2011), Erik Haula (7th in 2009), Mikko Koivu (1st in 2001), Jason Zucker (2nd in 2010), Jonas Brodin (1st in 2011), Matt Dumba (1st in 2012), Marco Scandella (2nd in 2008), Darcy Kuemper (6th in 2009)
- Players acquired via the trade have made up for under 22% of the goals scored and just over 19% of the points scored by the above roster.
- Players acquired via the trade have an average Corsi-for-% of 49.92 and an average cap hit of roughly $3.82M
- Free agents who signed in Minnesota account for just under 45% of the goals scored this season. They also have contributed just under 42% of the points in large part due to the play of Vanek, Parise, Suter and Spurgeon.
- Free agent signings have had an average Corsi-for-% of just 47.76 and carry an average cap hit of $3.11M
- Draftees of the Wild have contributed roughly 33.33% of goals and their 74 points make up for just under 39% scored by the above roster. Their average cap hit is $2.96M and their average Corsi-for-% at even strength this season is 49.83.
The Wild have been an attractive free-agent landing spot lately with so many players deciding to “come home” to Minnesota. Vanek, Parise, Suter, and Spurgeon have been outstanding so far this season in terms of their overall production. The Wild have also done well in the early rounds of the draft with finds such as Granlund, Koivu, Zucker, Brodin, Dumba, and Scandella.
Acquired via trade – Mike Fisher, Filip Forsberg, Paul Gaustad, Calle Jarnkrok, James Neal
Acquired via free agency – Cody Hodgson, Eric Nystrom, Mike Ribeiro, Barret Jackman, Carter Hutton
Acquired via draft – Victor Arvidsson (4th in 2014), Gabriel Bourque (5th in 2009), Miikka Salomaki (2nd in 2011), Craig Smith (4th in 2009), Colton Sissons (2nd in 2012), Austin Watson (1st in 2010), Colin Wilson (1st in 2008), Mattias Ekholm (4th in 2009), Ryan Ellis (1st in 2009), Seth Jones (1st in 2013), Roman Josi (2nd in 2008), Shea Weber (2nd in 2003), Pekka Rinne (8th in 2004)
- Players acquired through trades account for just under 36% of the goals scored and just over 29% of the points scored for the above players this season. They average an even-strength Corsi-for-% of 53.43 and carry an average cap hit of $2.86M.
- Free agent finds for the Predators account for just under 13% of goals scored and 15% of points scored this season. Their average cap hit is $2.26M and their average Corsi-for-% is 55.85.
- Players drafted and developed by Nashville make up for over 51% of goals scored this season. Their 100 total points is good for about 55.5% of points scored by the above roster.
- Players drafted by the Predators have an average Corsi-for-% of 53.7 and have an average cap hit of $2.33M.
The Nashville Predators know how to draft and keep their players for cheap. They have a few entry-level deals on the roster which will be due for big raises (Forsberg, Jones) but overall they have fantastic cap management. They don’t have a lot of free agents on their roster and they don’t command a ton of money either. Two of their top scorers (Forsberg and Neal) were acquired through trades.
Acquired via trade – Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Andrew Desjardins, Ryan Garbutt, Brandon Mashinter, Trevor Daley, David Rundblad
Acquired via free agency – Marian Hossa, Artemi Panarin, Dennis Rasmussen, Michal Rozsival, Trevor Van Riemsdyk, Scott Darling
Acquired via draft – Bryan Bickell (2nd in 2004), Patrick Kane (1st in 2007), Marcus Kruger (5th in 2009), Andrew Shaw (5th in 2011), Teuvo Teravainen (1st in 2012), Jonathan Toews (1st in 2006), Niklas Hjalmarsson (4th in 2005), Duncan Keith (2nd in 2002), Brent Seabrook (1st in 2003), Corey Crawford (2nd in 2003)
- Players who were acquired by trade account for just under 19.5% of goals scored and just under 16% of points scored by the above roster this season.
- Players traded for average a 52.76 Corsi-for-% and carry an average cap hit of $1.55M
- Players acquired through free agency make up for over 22% of goals and points scored this season. They average a Corsi-for-% of 53.8 and a cap hit of $1.64M
- Draftees of the Blackhawks have been fantastic, making up over 58% of goals scored and over 61% of points scored this season.
- Those draftees have an average Corsi-for-% of 51.3 but they don’t come cheap at an average cap hit of $4.98M.
The Blackhawks really show the different styles of how teams are building their core. The Stars, Blues, Predators, and Wild have all gotten great value out of players they drafted and those players have signed some discounted deals. The Blackhawks on the other hand seem to reward loyalty by giving the players they drafted incredibly lucrative deals.
Acquired via trade – Andrew Ladd, Drew Stafford, Chris Thorburn, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Mark Stuart
Acquired via free agency – Anthony Peluso, Mathieu Perreault, Grant Clitsome (waivers), Adam Pardy, Michael Hutchinson
Acquired via draft – Alexander Burmistrov (1st in 2010), Andrew Copp (4th in 2013), Nikolaj Ehlers (1st in 2014), Bryan Little (1st in 2006), Adam Lowry (3rd in 2011), Mark Scheifele (1st in 2011), Ben Chiarot (4th in 2009), Toby Enstrom (8th in 2003), Jacob Trouba (1st in 2012), Connor Hellebuyck (5th in 2012), Ondrej Pavelec (2nd in 2005)
- The Jets have traded for some good players and they have responded, contributing over 53% of goals and 45% of points this season.
- Those same players have an average Corsi-for-% of 50.88 and an average cap hit of $4.13M
- Players acquired through free agency have only contributed 5% of goals and just over 11% of points this year. Their average Corsi-for-% is 51.81 and they carry an average cap hit of $1.56M.
- Players drafted by Winnipeg (or Atlanta) provide over 41% of goal scoring and 43.5% of point scoring by the above players this season.
- Those draftees have an average Corsi-for-% of 50.09 and an average cap hit of $1.92M
The Jets look for depth in free agency and acquire goal scoring mainly through trades and the draft. Their best draftees this season have been Little, Scheifele and the impressive rookie Ehlers. Wheeler, acquired in a trade with Boston, has been the Jets best player this season.
Acquired via trade – Mikhail Grigorenko, Carl Soderberg, Brandon Gormley, Erik Johnson, Brad Stuart, Reto Berra, Semyon Varlamov
Acquired via free agency – Blake Comeau, Jarome Iginla, Andreas Martinsen, Cody McLeod, John Mitchell, Jack Skille, Chris Wagner (waivers), Francois Beauchemin, Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, Zach RedmondAcquired via draft – Matt Duchene (1st in 2009), Gabriel Landeskog (1st in 2011), Nathan MacKinnon (1st in 2013), Alex Tanguay (1st in 1998, ended up coming back to Colorado through trade), Tyson Barrie (3rd in 2009)
- Trades haven’t done much for Colorado, accounting for just over 11.5% of goals and 17% of points scored by the above roster this season.
- Players traded for have an average Corsi-for-% of 44.71 and carry an average cap hit of $2.73M
- Colorado has signed a lot of free agents and they account for about 41.5% of goals scored and 37% of points scored this season. They are the worst possession players on the team with an average Corsi-for-% of 42.96 and an average cap hit of $1.87M.
- The Avalanche aren’t made up of a ton of their own draft picks but the ones that are up in Colorado are fantastic. Those five players account for just under 47% of goals scored this season and their 94 combined points make up almost 46% of the team’s total.
- Those draft picks have an average Corsi-for-% of 45.94 and carry an average cap hit of $3.72M.
We all know Colorado is an awful possession team but it was rather surprising to see a lot of them coming from free agency. The Avalanche currently sit at the bottom of the Central Division and if it wasn’t for a few first-round picks they would be in even more trouble this season.
Any questions, comments, or suggestions? Feel free to comment below. Thank you for reading.
Jordan has been covering the Stars for The Hockey Writers since February 2015. He is originally from Iowa City, Iowa. You can follow Jordan on twitter @jordan_dix