When you're talking about forwards anyway, I'd much rather have upside with risk in team's pipeline than safe bets like Pietila. You can generally find a Jay Pandolfo or Ryan Carter level talent when the need arises, so long as the GM is sharp enough to know that you need those types of players to succeed. Matt D'Agastini, another eminently average NHLer, can be a useful player for a competitive team.
Not saying you ignore the safe bets entirely, but they don't really advance the ball so much.
This is silly for a number of reasons.
A: There is no such thing as a safe draft pick. You are drafting 18 year old players to play in a league where the average age is 27.
B: The Devils couldn't find a Jay Pandolfo talent easily in 2008 - they paid him $2.5 million a year, which is nearly 5 times the minimum salary at the time. And somehow he was still in the NHL nearly 5 years later. Matt D'Agostini is currently making the NHL minimum. It is not 'easy' to find these players - the Devils have struggled for years to find adequate players for their bottom 2 lines, and have either overpaid free agent age players or dealt draft picks to get them. If Carter and Bernier replicate last season, how much do you think they cost on the open market? I think 1.5M per is a decent estimate.
C: Blake Pietila was not taken as a safe draft pick - he was drafted in the 5th round. Even if safe draft picks exist, which they don't, they certainly don't exist in the 5th round.
While I agree with you in principle, Pietila is not an example of what you're talking about. At all.
Edited by Triumph, 02 August 2013 - 12:19 PM.