Skip to content
Optimal scenario for CH: the value of the 5th choice is out of the ordinary this year

For a Fistful of Dollars, And for a Few Dollars More … these are the titles of the first two works in Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy”, which culminates in the classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly , about which I already spoke to you last year, reconfirming my position in favour of a certain Slafkovsky

In thanking my bosses for their confidence, let’s just say that after my last analysis written earlier this week “for a handful of dollars”, we’d be on to part two ” for a few more dollars”!

In this second article, then, I’m going to focus more on the value of the Tricolore’s5th-round pick, the famous ” pick value “, a concept and measurement tool inspired by the NFL, which has been used in the NHL for about ten years and is based on the GSVA over 7 years.

To make a long story short, in the end, this model determines the number of wins that each of the draft ranks yields on average over player X’s first seven seasons in the NHL.

To better appreciate the value of each selection rank according to this model, I refer you to this excellent article published on The Athletic in 2020.

Here is the complete chart of the average value of all draft picks as revealed by Dom Luszczyszyn in this always relevant analysis.

(Credit: The Athletic, screenshot)
We see, for example, that the top pick averages 17.7 total wins for his club in his first seven seasons, or just over two wins per year.

But in the case of generational players like McDavid (and perhaps Bedard), we can certainly exceed the 30-win mark over a 7-year period, as can be seen here when McDavid had not yet enjoyed his 123- and 153-point seasons at the time of analysis…

For the purposes of this exercise, if we are to believe the many observers who believe that Bedard and Mishkov would be the two best prospects since McDavid, I would have no trouble giving a conservative pick value of 20 wins to Mishkov for all of his first seven NHL seasons, as if he were a slightly above-average first choice.

And if you think that Mishkov will arrive in the NHL at 21, as a virtually finished product, 20 wins for all his first 7 NHL seasons is really VERY conservative.

Mathematically speaking, this individual is worth a lot of money!
(Credit: Screenshot )

That’s a far, far, far cry from the 8.2 wins normally found in5th place!

That’s also why, despite the famous red flags he’s been dragging around with him, the idea of Mishkov no longer being available for the CH pick seems less and less silly to me.

Exceptional players always end up winning you games, sooner or later.


I imagine the Ducks, Jackets and Sharks got the news too.

In fact, all the players in the Big 5 this year seem to me to be players whose pick value will be above the averages established at their draft rank.

And so, even if we place, say, Will Smith at No. 5, the American is probably worth more than 8.2 wins. Perhaps we’re talking about a second overall pick in a more “normal” draft, with an average value of 12.3 wins.

Without making it an absolute truth, to make an enlightened decision, the Habs will have to take into account this precious tool measuring the average value of each pick, the famous pick value, while not losing sight of the fact that this year’s top-5 is, precisely, stronger than average.

A look back at potential offers from the Flyers, Caps and Red Wings

So, if Mishkov is still available and the Habs are reluctant to draft him and would be willing to drop for Reinbacher, Dvorsky, Leonard and so on, the teams at the other end of the line are going to have to put up more or less the value of the 5th-place pick, that famous 20 wins if it’s Mishkov or 12.3 if it’s Smith, for example.

So, theoretically, the Flyers could have to offer their 7th (7.1), 22nd (3.7) and Tyson Foerster, who would easily be a top-10 pick (6.0) if the 2020 draft were to be redone, or Owen Tippett, a former 10th overall who broke through last year at age 24. A fine total of 16.8 wins! But let’s not forget Cutter Gauthier (5th in 2022), who could also become the best player in his draft, ahead of Slafkovsky and the others…

On the Caps’ side, it would seem a little difficult to offer such value to the Canadiens: the 8th pick (6.7), a very theoretical top-10 pick next year (6.0) and, say, Hendrix Lapierre, who still isn’t worth much more than his 22nd-place selection in 2020 (3.7). This brings us to 16.4, not far from the Flyers scenario, but a lot more volatile, let’s say. They’d have to add last year’s first-round pick, Ivan Miroshnichenko (20th, 4.0 wins), to beat a potential Flyers offer…

On the Wings’ side, with picks #9 (6.3) and #17 (4.5), considering that after the top-8, player value seems to drop considerably this year, you’d really have to add center Marco Kasper (8th last year) and/or goaltender Sebastian Cossa (15th in 2021). In short retrospect, Kasper would certainly deserve to be considered a top-5 pick (8.2), while Cossa would still retain his value of 4.9 wins combined with his draft rank. The Wings would therefore have what it takes to give pause to the Canadiens, who like to get their hands on prospects with a certain amount of mileage in them. He did just that with Alex Newhook this afternoon.

Marco Kasper, a serious young man who’s worth his weight in gold to the Wings…
(Credit: Screenshot)
Other trade-down scenarios : Blues and Feet

The Blues (#10, #25, #29) and the Preds (15th and 24th) would of course also be interested in moving up into the top-5.

But would they have what it takes to tempt the Canadian?

The case of the Blues

By their GM Doug Armstrong’s own admission, the Blues are in a kind of ” retrenchment ” or ” reset on the fly ” mode, as popularized by a former Montreal boss. So they’re not about to put everything up for auction.

So forget Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas in Montreal!

But as good as they are, in the medium term, the Blues especially need a more dominant player than Kyrou and Thomas to take them to the next level. There are also several bad contracts to get rid of, not least Schenn, Binnington, Krug, Faulk and Parayko.

So, as much as Armstrong would like to follow the Kings’ model of quickly resetting their game with the acquisition of players like Danault, Fiala, and then the blossoming of Kempe, it may take St. Louis a little longer to become a powerhouse again.

I’m not sure the HuGo duo would be too keen on the idea of moving up from5th to 10th, but if the Blues offer their three first-round picks (a combined value of 12.4 wins) to draft5th, I think we’d still deign to answer the phone.

But to really tempt the Tricolore, the Blues would also have to make a few big prospects available, starting with Jimmy Snuggerud, 23rd overall pick in 2022, 6’2, 187 lbs, dominant in his first season at age 18 with the University of Minnesota and now easily in the top-8 (6.7 wins) of the last draft.

Snuggerud has developed in a way rarely seen this year as a freshman at the University of Minnesota.
(Credit: Wikipedia)
We can also certainly talk about Zachary Bolduc, selected 17th overall in 2021, 20 years old, 110 points last season with the Quebec Remparts and scorer of 105 goals in his last 126 regular-season games. Bolduc is certainly still worth his 4.5 wins).

Finally, the burly, rugged Jake Neighbours, 21, 26th in 2020, a little less talented than the other two, but already establishing himself in the NHL, could also be an interesting addition (3.3 wins).

Let’s say, for the 10th pick, the 25th and Snuggerud versus the5th, a value of 16.1 wins, we’d start talking. But we’d probably have to give a bit more to beat the other offers.

On the Preds’ side

If Barry Trotz isn’t bluffing too hard, it would be very surprising if he could convince Hughes to let him have the 5th pick with its cumulative value of 8.4 wins for his 15th and 24th picks. But if he offers his super prospect in goal, the spectacular, Yaroslav Askarov (11th in 2020), Andrei Vasilevskiy’s rightful runner-up, and certainly a Top-8 in retrospect (6.7 wins), the two-headed HuGo entity should start to get a bit restless!

Askarov celebrating an overtime win, bench pressing his net!
(Credit: Screenshot)

Mathematically speaking, we wouldn’t need much to compete with the other potential offers. But perhaps the Preds’ young star goaltender would be the most valuable piece of equipment the Tricolore could be offered this week.

But, let’s just say, it would put the CH back on a trajectory and style we’ve known well since 2005 with Carey Price.

Would you still be thrilled to build around a goalie after the last two Stanley Cups were won by the likes of Darcy Kuemper and Adin Hill? Not to mention the repeated titles won by Crawford and Murray over the last 15 years?

Not sure…

But then again, maybe the Lightning wouldn’t have won twice without the great Vasilevskiy.


Theoretically, it would cost a lot for interested teams to convince the CH to give up their 5th-round pick, especially if they were in love with a Michkov who would still be available.

If we take for granted that Mishkov is almost a generational player, we’ll have to put our money where our mouth is. In other words, HuGo has the big end of the proverbial stick.

HuGo, sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat…
(Credit: Screenshot)
That said, perhaps everyone, as is usually the case, will stick to their guns.

Keeping Michkov, Smith, or anyone from the Big 5 who would still be available at No. 5, would be a pick with very good, if not excellent, value. And let’s not forget that Reinbacher, perhaps a little because of his position, could also be 5th on the Habs’ list, whether we like it or not…

But we have to admit that this year’s top-5, to which we must add fatceur Michkov, is quite out of the ordinary.

The conservative trend of the last 15 years may well be broken, especially when you consider the impressive strength of the top-8, or even the top-10, of the 2023 crop.

So, with advanced statistics to back it up, we’ve detailed a few realistic trade-down scenarios that could make sense for the HuGo duo if we come to a negative conclusion about the young Russian or a rather conditional love for, say, Will Smith.

For the other teams, however, the key to all these scenarios for obtaining the 5th pick lies in the addition of top-tier prospects with a certain amount of experience, whose value(pick value) is equal to or greater than that of the highest pick of 2023, which we’ll also have to let go.

So, if the CH doesn’t draft at No. 5, will we see Foester, Tippett, Lapierre, Miroshnichenko, Snuggerud, Bolduc, Kasper, Cossa or Askarov pass to the Habs tomorrow night?

Or will we see something completely different, as was already the case today with the arrival of 22-year-old Alex Newhook, 16th overall in 2019 (4.7 wins) in return for picks #31 and #37 and Gianni Faibrother (5.8 wins)?

Stay tuned!

More Content