Of the 4018 Players drafted between 1998 and 2003, 1190 were drafted from Europe (29.6%). Of those players:
718 Never played in the NHL (60.3%)
71 Played between 1-10 games (6.0%)
94 Played between 11-50 games (7.9%)
69 Played between 51-100 games (5.8%)
61 Played between 101-200 games (5.1%)
36 Played between 201-300 games (3.0%)
32 Played between 301-400 games (2.7%)
21 Played between 401-500 games (1.8%)
88 Played 500+ games (7.4%)
Of all draftees, 81.2% played less than 100 games but for Europeans that percentage is a little less (80.0%), albeit slightly higher than CHL draftees (78.8%).
Looking at players who have played over 500 games, 6.1% of all draftees examined fell into this group but this percentage was significantly higher for European players (7.4%).
It also should be noted that a significant number of European draftees never came over to North America to play, either due to their wishes or the their team's lack of desire to get them across the pond. Under the old CBA there were significant advantages to drafting a European player as his rights would be protected by the team that drafted him until Age 31. Thus we saw a lot of teams in the later rounds drafting a player and keeping on eye on him without ever making a true effort to sign said player if they did not develop the way the team was hoping.
If we only look at the 1590 players who were drafted AND played at least one game in the NHL, the results get very interesting:
Of the 789 CHL Players:
- 52.1% played under 100 games
- 28.5% played between 101-400 games
- 19.4% played over 400 games
Of the 472 European Players:
- 49.6% played under 100 games
- 27.3% played between 101-400 games
- 23.1% played over 500 games
These figures show that looking at all players drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League and Europe over a 15-year period, the European players are 19% more likely to have a successful NHL career (if success is defined simply as 400+ GP) than the CHL-drafted players.
To be continued...