Which draft picks scored the most points in the NHL this season? Not counting undrafted players, 41% of all NHL games played were drafted in the top 30 (ie: the 1st round in a 30 team league). The 1st round might only represent 10%-15% of all draft picks, but they played 41% of the games this season, illustrating how valuable they are compared to later rounds. Is correlation or causation? Are 1st round picks just that much better as players, or do teams invest more resources in developing them? The answer is probably a little bit of both.
There is an area graph included below to illustrate the big picture.
Now here is the same graph except with PTS on the Y axis instead of GP, showing an even larger disparity between the 1st round and the rest of the draft.
Here is a similar chart, except for career NHL GP for every player drafted from 1990 to 2005. To make things clearer, they are sorted in groups of ten, starting with the top 10 picks.