Who Was The Best NHL GM Of All Time?

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Let’s Start with total NHL points accumulated via the draft. To carry out this evaluation, I summed the accumulated NHL points of drafted players (excluding goalies) by GM. Naturally you’d think the longest tenured GM would collect the maximum NHL points (drafting the most players thereby raises the probability of accumulating NHL points).

After Garth, we have Bryan Murray in 2nd with 8 decades and 2010 points. After Bryan, it gets interesting with Greg Sherman coming in third with just 6 years as GM and 1563 points. This is interesting because he is ahead of many prominent General Managers: Dan Maloney – 8 years – 1549 pts / Dean Lombardi – 9 years – 1530 pts / David Poile – 10 years – 1515 pts / Bob Murray – 9 years – 1314 pts.

Why did Greg Sherman do so well? Well, finishing last or near it helps. He had the #1, #2, and # 3 picks in 2009, 2011, and 2013 respectively. Due to the number of high draft picks, I’m not inclined to name him the finest in this category.

My pick actually goes to #2 – Bryan Murray. Why? Outstanding mid-round picking will do it. One prime example – he picked Erik Karlsson at #15 in 2008. Karlsson was clearly the best player after Stamkos went # 1 and Doughty at #2. Sorry Leaf fans but you could have had Erik Karlsson rather than Luke Schenn.

From an overall performance perspective. Bryan averaged 251 NHL points per draft year. Well ahead of anybody else. Amazing.

In this respect, Joe Nieuwendyk is so much in front it is silly. Joe has a 56% success rate. Granted, his first-round picks have been busts… but he’s done remarkably well in later rounds.

Picking Wayne Simmonds at 61 was genius. Darcy Regier is next at 32.6percent – choosing Brian Campbell with the 156th pick was pretty wonderful.

In fourth place, we have Bryan Murray at 31%. Given that Bryan accumulated significant NHL points over his career (as noted in the first part of the article), perhaps it’s not surprising that he is also high on the list when it comes to success rate. Interesting enough, he is the sole GM to crack the top 4 in both lists.

To summarize the first part of this series – Who is the best drafting GM within the past ten years? I pick Bryan Murray. He found lots of good talent and found it without the luxury of high picks. Unfortunately, he passed away last year and the NHL could have lost the best drafting GM of all time. Stay tuned to find out if he can stand the test of time.


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