The Winnipeg Jets swapped early first round picks with the Philadelphia Flyers and some early round picks. The Jets gave the Flyers the #22 and #36 for the #18 and #79.
Let’s take a look at how the Jets did in terms of expected value with this trade, ignoring whomever the Jets select.
A few years back, Eric Tulsky, now of the Carolina Hurricanes, looked at all the NHL’s past trades to create a value system, where every pick was rated relative to the value of a 1st overall selection (100). Obviously there are some unrealistic scenarios that could be derived from this (like what 5 second rounds would be worth), but it gives you a general idea for realistic scenarios.
Overall, the value of picks in the trade market work out like this:
From this chart, we can estimate the average historical market value when combining the 22nd and 36th picks. On average, the 22nd and 36th overall pick combines to about 32.7 points, given that a 1st overall pick is 100 points.
The 18th and the 79th combine for about 27.6 points.
This means the Jets lost about 4.6 points worth of value in the trade relative to historical trades. While 4.6 points may not seem huge, the 79th pick is historically only worth about 3.0 points. In other words, teams trading what the Jets did tend to gain a whole another third round pick in terms of value.
Let’s say that the Jets were confident that Stanley was worth more than where they drafted him, at 18th overall. How high would they have to view him to be worth the lost value? Well, if we subtract the 3.0 points of the 79th pick from the the combined 32.7 points of the 22nd and 36th, we’d get between the approximate value of a 14th and 15th overall selection.
Of course, it shouldn’t work this way. The Jets shouldn’t be trying just to match value, but surpass it. One would hope that the Jets view Stanley even above 14 overall (in terms of trade market efficiency… maybe not in scouting).
Obviously the Jets view Stanley very highly. They believed that they needed to use the combined value of a late first and early second to move up four spots to assure they get Stanley and not someone else, plus gain a late third round pick.