Why did the Toronto Maple Leafs NOT Draft in 1965?

For my introductory post to this new blog on analytics done on publicly available sports data, I want to introduce you to an ongoing project I have of the NHL draft. Information here includes the 2017 draft, but player performance stats only until the end of the 2017 season. That should be good until the end of the 2017-18 season because there isn't a lot of value looking at player career stats game by game throughout a season for players still active.

I will discuss my NHL draft analysis dashboards one by one, but you can explore what's already been built for future posts by clicking on the tabs in the visual below, left by default on the simple participation record in the draft by NHL teams. I will add filters to this to help isolate teams by divisions, still active, and other measures, in the future. However, for now, just have a look to see which teams have participated how much since the draft began in 1963.

Given all Original Six teams were around long before 1963 when the entry draft started, it is interesting to note that the Toronto Maple Leafs only drafted in 54 of the 55 years. I never knew this but data analytics showed it to me. In looking up the answer, according to this Wikipedia article on the 1965 NHL entry draft, Toronto had deemed the quality of players so poor they opted not to draft. Interesting, an AHL team, the Pittsburgh Hornets, opted to draft as it seemed AHL teams were allowed to draft. I'm not a historian, nor an NHL fanatic. I'm a data analyst and the data led me to all this. If you know more and would care to share, please do so in the Comments section. Thank you.

Next post, I will examine the size and structure of the NHL draft over the years. Look at Tab B in the dashboard above if you want a peek ahead!


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