Both Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff took over organizations with traditionally bad drafting. So you would assume they need to draft better in order to keep their jobs -- but that's not necessarily the case. Just look at their Southeast division rivals.
Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford and Washington Capitals GM George McPhee have had their jobs since the mid-90s, which indicates they'd had some success. But they've both been fairly mediocre when it comes to the draft. Sure, they've stumbled upon some great value picks -- Nicklas Backstrom for McPhee, Erik Cole for Rutherford. But when you look at their work as a whole, McPhee has been exactly average and Rutherford has been well below-average.
So GMs don't have to draft well to keep their jobs. It just makes it a lot easier.
Now, before we get to the rankings, let's review the ground rules:
1. We're not simply judging the GMs based on the quality of players they have drafted -- a guy with four top-five picks will always fare better than someone who consistently drafts late in the first round. So, instead, we're looking at how well they've drafted relative to their draft position.
2. We know some GMs let their scouts make the final calls on draft day, but they are still responsible for the picks.
3. We're looking at drafts from 1990 to 2008. Recent drafts are discounted because the jury is out on the large majority of those picks.
4. Metrics are based on Tom Awad's GVT, which is an advanced stat that encompasses all aspects of the game.
And we're off.
To read the full NHL draft blog, plus get access to all of ESPN Insider's daily NHL content, sign up today and become an Insider.