Discussion

The Boston Bruins' drafting strategy

Updated: June 8, 2011, 12:02 PM ET
By Alvin Chang

One year ago, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup -- and they had 10 homegrown players on their roster, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.

It was supposedly proof that building a team around a few high first-round picks is a winning formula since they provide better financial value until they hit unrestricted free agency in the salary cap era. The Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins have all found success following this blueprint.

But in the past year, a lot has happened: The Blackhawks traded a handful of players to get under the cap, barely snuck into the playoffs this season and were ousted in the first round. Meanwhile, a team with a polar opposite approach made the Stanley Cup Finals: the Boston Bruins.

Bruins vs. Blackhawks

There are two major differences between Boston and Chicago. First off, the Blackhawks have been among the worst at converting their draft picks into NHL players. Only 35 percent of their picks made it to the NHL; only 19 percent played 82 NHL games.

Meanwhile, the Bruins have been among the best in this category. They have drafted 180 players since 1990 and an astounding 79 of them made it to the NHL, with 45 of them playing at least 82 NHL games:

But the other major difference is what they did with those draft picks. Chicago built its championship team around them. Ten players were homegrown, which is incredible considering that they aren't great at drafting future NHLers. But what about Boston -- a team that converts 50 percent of picks into NHL players? How many homegrown players are on their roster?

Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. That's it.

Quality vs. Quantity

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NHL HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM