Defensive value over two decades
This week we're looking at the top 10 value defensemen -- a week after looking at value forwards -- relative to their draft slots. But before we get to the list, here are two interesting points:
1. Defensemen are much harder to project than forwards. Outside the top 10 picks, there is a much smaller correlation between draft slot and performance.
For you math geeks: The correlation coefficient for forwards, relative to draft slot, is minus-0.391. For defensemen, it's minus-0.292. If that number was minus-1.0, the higher selections would always be the better players.
2. Of the top value defensemen, only one is from North America. The rest are European players. As expected, it seems diamonds in the rough are more likely found overseas than at home.
As for this list, keep in mind it takes into account only points per game, so it favors offensive-minded defensemen.
If you're interested in history, pucks, and the NHL -- and draft processes in general -- this is a great article. Plus, Insider essentially controls draft content on ESPN.Com (think Kiper, McShay, Ford, Law, Churchill, this piece). So, if you like drafts, you need to be an Insider.