Prospect Rambling: Decade of Drafting (USHL)

Pat Quinn


USHL Logo - photo courtesy:



Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings where I continue my “Decade of Drafting” series this time looking at the most drafted league from the NHL draft that I looked at: the USHL. A reminder that I only looked in North America and not at the CHL, the leagues I looked at (again) were: USHL, BCHL, AJHL, USNDTP, EJHL, CJHL, OJHL, MJHL, WCHA, USMAAA, MWEHL, NAHL, CCHA, Big Ten, H-East, ECAC, NCHC, H-East, High-MA, High-MN, High-CT, High-NJ, High-WI, High-QC, High-ON, High-NH, High-MI, High-NY, and the USPHL.


Just an additional reminder: I went from 2008 to 2018, as I cannot really predict what the 2019 draftees will turn out to be. Also, players from 2016-2018 I compared common rates of past draftees and combined that with draft round success rates, for later draft picks that have not established themselves yet. For 2008-2012, I made the cutoff 200 games played (and they still have to be playing) and lowered the number to 100 with the same conditions for 2013-2015. Additionally, I count current teams’ top prospects as successes as well.


Here was last week’s piece on the AJHL and BCHL:


Do not forget the #GoodTweet of the week (which is to buy the guide!) 






From 2008 to 2018 there were approximately 2324 total players drafted, and out of those players 252 were drafted out of the USHL, good for 10.84% of the total drafted players. 25 players were drafted in 2019 from the USHL, making the highest amount since 2016. Out of the 252 players drafted out of the USHL 38.89% of them have turned in to NHL players, 98 players in total. I had thought my projection rates for 2016-2018 inflated the average, but from 2008-2015 the average success rate was 35.77% so thankfully it did not inflate the average that much.


The total players drafted per year from the USHL between 2008-2018 are shown here:




Since 2010 there have been 20 or more players drafted out of the USHL every year, which is an impressive percentage of roughly around 10. 2014 and 2015 saw 30 and 31 players respectively drafted from the USHL, that leagues peak seasons. This is what the chart looks like if you add 2019:




Now if you look at the USHL success rate, it sure is neat




It trends upwards. A portion of the higher upwards trend can likely be attributed to my higher percentages of making it (or top prospects) for 2016 to 2018. Taking out the 2016-2018 rates and the trend is still projecting upwards, really showing how well that league can produce NHL talent.



With the USHL the rounds where players are drafted bring a couple interesting notes. Players drafted by round out of the USHL between 2008 and 2018




A majority of players get drafted out of rounds three to five. The next level is rounds two and seven which shows that there are players NHL teams wanted to grab in round one that fell to round two, or players were overhyped and went in round two. Round seven is just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. What is most surprising is that the rounds have a consistent number of players drafted over the decade, with at least 30 players drafted per round. Adding in the additional 25 from 2019 that chart changes to:




Now on to the success rate of players drafted by round



I really like this chart. It does trend downwards as expected, but does not have a major drop off after round one and rounds five and six have a higher success rate than round four. The jump from rounds five and six are greater than 5% of round four, so in theory if you are in a deep draft, and I am talking “taking players from round six” deep, you are better skipping found four USHL players are going in to rounds five and six.


Round one has a success rate over the decade of 76.67%, so three out of every four players make it to the NHL. In round two that number is a surprising 57.14% (I would have initially guessed under 40%), so around three out of every five players drafted in round two make it. Somehow round three has a success rate of 39.02%, meaning almost two out of every five players drafted in round three make it. With all of this data it really seems like if you take a player in your fantasy draft from the USHL they have a high probability of making it. If I was in a deep keeper, that counted more multi-category stats and routinely just needed bodies to fill out the roster I would have zero problem taking a USHL draftee.


I combined both charts from above but really did not feel they helped what I wrote above, but because I love charts, I have included them. The total draftees and the success rates per round are a nice-looking chart that makes sense




The total drafted by year and success rate really looked ugly, but once I added the 2019 numbers to it (and made the success rate 90%) that chart looked a lot nicer, just remember the last part of the charts success rate is wrong.






That is all for this week, next week I will have another grouping of leagues to look at.


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Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Wyatt Kalynuk 5.5 3.0
Josh Jacobs 2.0 2.0
Keean Washkurak 2.5 2.0
Mathias Laferriere 6.5 6.0
Nikita Alexandrov 6.0 5.5
Hunter Skinner 4.0 4.0
Noah Beck 4.0 4.5
Jake Furlong 4.5 6.0
Henry Thrun 7.0 8.0
Luca Cagnoni 8.5 7.5