Is there a good comparative analysis of draft success out there? Specifically, something that would allow one to compare team-by-team success during certain periods, but also to compare same team success across different periods?
The reason I bring this up is that I would argue, just from my subjective POV, that the Devils drafting history of the past 15 years is much worse than just with physical def. Compared to the '90s it is almost as if we have a completely different GM with a completely difficerent scout support system. To me this indicates that something has changed and not for the better. OTOH, I'd like to really see just how much better or worse we are rather than going on my subjective assessment.
For the first part, I'd assume there must be something out there. Otherwise, it would take someone going draft by draft listing players that played a certain number of NHL games, therefore deeming them successful picks.
My theory on the drafting change is just that other teams caught up to Lou and Conte's drafting techniques. They were supposedly ahead of the curve in the 90's, plus they'd find guys like Rafalski undrafted. Then, it just seemed like they wouldn't get those hidden gems anymore.