Analysis: Draft Groupthink

Mason Black




Groupthink is a phenomenon where a group of individuals make irrational choices in the decision-making process, because they conform to overall group results. Spend enough time on Twitter and it will not take you long to spot this mentality, both inside and outside of the hockey world, if you are looking for it. 


With the postponement of all hockey leagues around the world you may have noticed an exponential increase in the influx of mock drafts and draft rankings that start to look the same over time. For me, at least, these rankings have helped to keep my sanity, but it is quite interesting to see the same players quickly climbing/falling different draft boards despite the fact that no game has been played in well over a month. This can create a mindset that amateur draft prognosticators are correct in their analysis because so many different people are in agreement with one another, which I would attribute to unintentional Groupthink.


Even if you are not an NFL fan, you more than likely have recently come across some sort of ranking that evaluates how each team did at the recent NFL draft. Heck, I saw multiple organizational draft rankings after each individual round, and I follow explicitly hockey-related content on social media (Twitter). This is where things can become dangerous if you begin to join the Groupthink phenomenon, which can be detrimental to your fantasy team. 


On one side, you have journalists and bloggers who have watched many games and countless hours of YouTube videos on many of the top prospects to come up with their evaluation. I do not want to take anything away from the commitment and importance of the vast majority of these opinions because I appreciate the amount of time that comes with this type of analysis. Plus, most of the time they offer this evaluation free of charge. On the other hand, multi-billion-dollar businesses invest massive amounts of capital and resources into identifying the long-term potential of its choices at the draft table, which are understandably hidden from public examination. I would pay heavily for a reality show to give behind the scenes coverage of the development of an NHL team’s draft list. 


Only time will tell how each draft pick develops within an organization, but I for one lean towards using the knowledge of the top minds in the field that are working directly within those professional organizations. The only problem with that