Pick swaps in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

In anticipation of the 2020 draft happening before the resumption of the NHL season, I wrote about ‘The Art of the Swap‘. That is the process of assigning a number value to draft picks, and trading down in order to increase the perceived value.
It surprised me to see that was already 6 months ago, and at the time it would have been even more surprising to know the draft wouldn’t occur until October. Nonetheless, I made a few predictions in that article that I was eager to see play out.
First off was the frequency of swaps. In the 6 previous drafts, there was an average of 7 swaps per draft. In 2020 there was a total of 11, including 5 swaps in the first 2 rounds. This falls just short of the 2019 high of 12, but still continues the upwards trend.
I also made the point that more swaps means more precedence, so as time goes on we should expect the surplus value to trend towards 0. That appears to be the case:

I really like this chart, but it can be hard to read. Each bar represents one draft day swap, and the height is the value of the trade down picks minus the value of …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

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