NHL Draft: First Round Picks Don't Always Work Out, Scott Glennie To Hit Free Agency
The draft is a time of great optimism. It's important to remember that draft picks "fail" more often than they succeed.
Dallas Stars former first round pick Scott Glennie is soon going to be just former Dallas Star. The Stars announced that they are not going to tender Glennie a contract before the deadline making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. His story is a common one, and on the day of the first round of the NHL draft a good one to remember. First round picks, no matter how highly rated, don't always work out.
Hockey's Future explains why Glennie was an attractive option in the 2008 draft:
Glennie was viewed as a speedy forward and natural goal-scorer when the Stars took him with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft.
The Final North American skater rankings for the 2009 draft are filled with hits and misses, but you can see clear evidence of why the Stars wanted Glennie with their pick.
When you ask around to gauge opinion of why Glennie didn't work out a few common views are repeated. The most common reason cited is injuries. He was injured in virtually every training camp in which he participated. Whether you talk to scouts, agents, or reporters this is the most commonly referenced idea. Derek covered it here a few months back:
First of all, injuries have taken a major toll. Over the past few years he's faced separate hand, shoulder, and concussion issues that have all forced the Winnipeg native to miss time. He dressed for only 37 regular season contests in 2012-2013, and then just 50 in 2013-2014.
Another reason mentioned was that it took him too long to learn to be a professional. A lot more goes into being a professional than just stepping on the ice to play a game. Training is a big part of it. Preparing appropriately for games. Eating healthy. There are many little things that you aren't necessarily going to understand at 18 that go in to the final equation. Injuries are sometimes bad luck, but appropriate training can minimize the occurrence of injuries.
How many 20 year olds are ready for that responsibility though? I think of the person I was when I was 20 now that I'm a few months from crossing into my 30's. I'm not sure I would even want to spend time with that person. Age has a funny way of maturing people. Some aspects of Glennie's game have matured, but the time it took him to get his footing as a professional cost him prime developmental time.
According to his agent, Darryl Wolski, the biggest change with Glennie since he was drafted is his willingness to play defense. Playing with Brayden Schenn for the Brandon Wheat Kings Glennie wasn't asked to do that very often. Reports about the quality of his defensive game vary, but the improvement is there enough that there has been interest expressed in Glennie from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden. He's going to be able to continue his career if he decides to do so.
The Stars are moving on from Glennie, and that's probably best for both. The Stars are looking to get younger across the board. Wolski told me that he thinks a change of scenery would do his client some good after the bad luck that has plagued his career to this point.
These picks aren't all going to work out. The first round of the NHL Draft takes place tonight, but the first round doesn't have to make or break a franchise:
"These are 18-year-old kids, and while we all want to think we know how they're going to turn out, we don't," said the Stars general manager as he prepares for Friday's first round of the 2015 NHL draft. "So you have to make every pick count, and you have to over-prepare so that you're ready to take advantage of every situation."
Most of the kids drafted tonight won't work out for the teams who select them with a first round pick. Injuries, bad timing, immaturity, and simply not being good enough are possible outcomes for every single player including Connor McDavid.
Glennie is just one of many examples of how fickle the draft can be. He could carve out a nice career for himself in Europe, but for reasons both in and out of his control his Dallas Stars career is over right as the Stars are poised to add another player who holds the promise Glennie once did.