Player Potential & Development

There is a number of player potential tiers where each of them represents an estimated overall skill level a player is projected to reach. The table below lists the potential tiers for the respective positions and their estimated overall.

Forwards Defenders Goalkeepers Estimated Overall
Franchise Franchise Franchise 90+
Elite Elite Elite 88+
Top 6 Top 4 Starter 86+
Top 9 Top 6 Fringe Starter 83+
Bottom 6 7th D Backup 80+
Minor Top 6 Minor Top 4 Minor Starter 76+
Minor Bottom 6 Minor Top 6 Minor Backup 72+
Minor Depth Minor 7th D Minor Backup 68+

Additionally there’s a hidden factor in play that affects how long it takes for a player to start developing his skill according to the projected potential. This is meant to imitate the aspect of a real life development, where for some players it takes a bit longer to achieve certain level of skill, even if they are known to have the potential.

Development Factors

Of course, there is never a guarantee a player will reach his listed potential. Sometimes a player is simply not destined to be the star he’s thought to become and sometimes other factors get in the way. Puck Drop does not make use of a potential probability where a fixed factor determines how likely a player is to reach the projected potential. Instead, player’s growth is driven by several factors taken into consideration during the simulation. Potential of developing players (age 24 and younger) is updated twice a year to reflect any development made throughout the season. Thus it is up to you as a GM to evaluate young players and determine how likely they are to reach their initially projected potential.

The main factors affecting player’s development are:

  • The league he's playing in
  • The time on ice the player gets
  • The development ability of the head coach
  • Major injury

When a player is too good for the minors, he will not grow as much as he could. When a player does not get enough ice time, even if it’s in the big league, player’s potential could eventually be wasted. Coach’s ability also plays a significant role in players’ development and it’s definitely worth it to pay up for a decent coach. Last but not least, a major injury can severely impact the growth by taking a precious ice time away from the player, especially when an injury is sustained early in the career.

Potential of Draft Prospects

It is important to know that the current potential shown on a player’s profile is not necessarily his peak (unless fully developed), especially when it comes to prospects drafted in the late rounds. Those are always bound to have a low projected potential, but you never know how good they actually can be right off the bat. Unsigned prospects will continuously develop just like any other player throughout the season and their potential will also be updated accordingly. After a few years, you can finally decide whether a player is worth signing or not.