After the NHL draft next weekend, hockey analysts will be quick to judge who were the winners and losers in the annual selection meeting.
The keys to succeeding at the draft are finding the best value for the selection position. The best general managers are able to maximize those picks.
But when it comes to judging drafts accurately, you need to take time and let the players develop so their true ability comes out and can be proven. It takes years to do that and a draft class's rating will change after year hree, four, five and later on. In the NFL, draft experts likes to wait three years before judging the strength of a draft class. In the NHL, five years may be even more appropriate.
You have to give players who are as young as 17 at the time of the draft at least that long to develop and show off their talent.
The top of the draft in the NHL is usually a dependable place to get started. The Chicago Blackhawks used the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft to select Patrick Kane. The Philadelphia Flyers followed by selecting James van Riemsdyk with the No. 2 pick.
The 2007 draft is the only time in NHL history that American-born players were selected withe first two picks in the draft.
Here's our look at the Top 5 players from the 2007 draft.