Oilers draft pick value chart

Jason Gregor
June 24 2014 01:03PM

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I have no idea who made that chart, but it would be awesome if anyone came close to scoring 140 points in an NHL season. Maybe a supreme optimist made that chart, but regardless of what this chart was supposed to track most of us love looking at charts. They can give us a look into the past, present and often they try to project the future. The latter is extremely difficult, but this Friday, all 30 NHL teams will do their best to project which draft eligible players will become NHL players in the future.

It isn't easy, in fact it is extremely difficult, especially once you get past the first round. Last week, I posted an article about the Columbus Blue Jackets and their draft pick value chart. Scott Howson was the GM in Columbus in 2009 when they came up with their chart, so I wanted to know if the Oilers have a similar chart.

Most NHL teams have their own draft value chart, but unfortunately they won't show it publicly. Of course, I understand why they wouldn't, but Howson was willing to share some aspects of the Oilers draft pick value chart and what role it will play this Friday.trade-value-chart

Gregor: How does your value draft chart differ to the NFL one above?

Howson: The first value chart came out in the NFL I think in 1990. I think that Dallas came out with it, Jimmy Johnson I believe, but that was just based on what picks had gotten in trades before that. And we had the idea in Columbus that we were going to try to look at each pick and the cluster of players that were picked 12 or 3 or 44 and see what the success rate was and then end up with a value chart.

Since I’ve come into Edmonton we’ve done our own work, and looked at the different leagues and the histories of players coming out of those leagues. The information we can get now to be quite frank, we get better information out of the leagues like the Western Hockey League than we would say the Swedish Junior League.

So you have to have more confidence maybe with kids from the Canadian Hockey Leagues. So, it’s all based on predicting what a pick is worth and that’s based on the history that we have on players that have been picked that way, right in that specific spot.

The NFL is a different animal. They are drafting for today's team. You find that they are drafting for need. If you have a great left offensive tackle signed for five years, no matter which left tackle is available in the draft, you will go by him because you don't need him.

In the NHL, I remember going back to when I was the assistant GM here and we had some small centres in Mike Comrie and Todd Marchant, so we kind of shied away from small centres, but three of four years later we had no small centres anymore. It taught me a lesson, be careful of what you have here and try to analyze it, because the draft picks are so far away from playing and the NHL keeps changing.

Gregor: When you are looking at what a pick is worth, do you also take into account that other teams might not take him so you think that you can get him five spots later. Does that factor in when you are contemplating moving down five spots for example?

Howson: That factors into every draft. You don’t need a value chart or an analytics analysis to do that. You’re always playing your draft; you think you might have a guy that is hidden. You might like him in second to third round, but you know that he’s probably going to be a fourth or fifth round pick and you can wait. And that’s the gamble that you’re going to take, you might lose him and you might end up with a really good fourth or fifth round pick and your scouts are right.

Gregor: A few years I examined 10 years of drafts, 1996 to 2005, and under my rating system there was a 23.7% chance of getting a good NHL player in the second round, 15% in the third and the fourth to seventh rounds were pretty even between 7-9%. Looking at those numbers, would that be similar with your chart and the value of picks? Historically did you find the success rates after the 4th round is pretty even?

Howson: Yeah, that’s probably right from the information we get. It depends on who you talk to, but I think that the difference between a 4th round pick and a 6th round pick is not as great as people would think. And certainly the success rate of getting a good NHL player is, there is not much difference between a fourth and sixth, or a five and seven or five and six, so once you get past probably the third round, the rates become very similar.

Gregor: The first pick on the NFL chart had a value of 3000 and the last pick in the seventh round had a value of two. What number do you start with at number one and how do you come up with that number?

Howson: Yeah, I prefer not to get into that but the number doesn’t matter, so long as it’s proportionate. The only thing that I would say to you is that the picks, no matter what analysis you use, I think that you’ll will find that picks, especially in the top three picks, are really, really valuable. If you look at the history of the league there are not a lot of misses in those picks and you are almost certainly going to get a good NHL player. You may not get a star and career forward, but you’re almost 100% going to get an NHL player. So that’s why those picks are so valuable.

So whichever rating system that you use, whatever numbers you want to use, as long as they are proportionate I think that it works. I think that the reason you have such high numbers at the top is to make the low numbers work.

EVOLUTION OF SCOUTING

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Gregor: There is way more time, energy and money put into scouting and drafting in the last five years than there was even ten years ago. So how far back do you go to make it accurate to today’s draft?

Howson: I think you need to go back as far as you can. And you’re right, it’s more sophisticated now and that may change things, but the problem with that is that to look at a draft even three or four or five years ago, well these players haven’t all established themselves and you can’t predict what that player is going to be. Some of them you do know, but most you don’t even four or five years later. We know where Taylor Hall is and where he’s going, but the fifth round pick might still be playing in the AHL and five years from now he might be an NHL player. So it’s hard to analyze without going back. I think you need to go back and use all the data available from previous drafts.

Gregor:  Once you draft players, then it’s all on player development. When you guys were going over your chart, do you put a value on certain organizations that have had more success with draft picks? Do you think that they have a better development plan and then how do you portray the development with scouting, how do you combine that or is that even part of the calculation?

Howson: No, but one thing that I was quite excited about when I came here was the development department that we have here. I think we’re going to see the fruits of that. It does take time because as you know the players that we pick Friday, after the first round pick, are probably not going to be here for another four or five years. So what’s happening in between draft day and four or five years is really crucial. And you know there are organizations that have done it very well, and everyone points to Detroit and I think San Jose does a very good job as well; LA is starting to do that too.

I tend to focus on what we’re doing and what we can do better. I really think that we have a terrific development coaching staff in Oklahoma City and the players get lots of attention when they are in the CHL or College or wherever they are. So I think that we have to just keep working at that, and keep focusing on development.

It’s not always about winning every game in Oklahoma City. You want to win, you want to have a good competitive environment for your players down there, and you want a winning atmosphere, but the young guys have to be given a chance to play and I think we’re making strides in that area.

Gregor: I spoke to Joe McDonnell from the Dallas Stars, their new Director of Scouting who came over with Jim Nill after scouting for Detroit since ’95. He admitted that the big advantage Detroit had regarding prospects was they could be patient with them because they had a good NHL team. They could keep guys in the minors for an extra 30 or 40 games or even an extra season and it really paid dividends.

The Oilers haven’t had much success recently, but despite that is your organization ready to say, ‘we just have to bite the bullet, find a few more fringe NHLers if necessary so we can be patient with our young guys’?

Howson: Yeah I think that we’re trying to do that more here. Once you get the top picks, I think that they are in a category of their own because some of them would have great benefit to be up in the NHL.

I think of a player like Ryan Johansen or Ales Hemsky, Ryan Johansen we had in Columbus and we took some criticism. I think we took some criticism here with Ales, keeping him as a 19 year old, keeping Johansen in Columbus as a 19 year old. But you know in retrospect as you look back a few years later, that was probably the best thing for those players.

I think for the other kids, the picks after the first round, we can keep them in the AHL and learning because it’s such a big transition from junior hockey, or even College hockey to the AHL, not to mention the lifestyle. People underestimate the transition off of the ice, where you’re not responsible for taking care of yourself and it sounds easy to us, but there can be transitions especially for Europeans.

So I think that we are trying to focus on letting those players play and you know, you used the word ‘overripe’ which Detroit has done with their prospects, they are almost overripe when they come up. We’d like to get to that situation, a lot harder to do when your team is not having success in the NHL.

WRAP UP

I'm always interested in how teams are changing or evolving how they look at drafting or development. It is refreshing to hear that the Oilers plan on being more patient with prospects. In 2011, Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale would have been better off staying in junior rather than playing limited minutes in the AHL and ECHL. The organization has to learn from that and ensure if they do send kids to the AHL, then they have to play them.

I'd love to see a copy of the Oilers value chart and see specific values on the 40th, 70th, 100th and 150th pick. How much different are they compared to the 50th, 80th, 110th and 160th. Every team will likely have a slightly different number, and that is why trades will be made.

The other factor is how much a team likes a specific player. Teams will overpay, and some will undervalue their pick and move down, often because of how they view the players still available. I think we will see a lot of that in this draft.

I'm sure we will see many players between the 20th-60th pick that will go well ahead or much later than many of the draft publications projected them to go. The aftermath of the draft will be awesome, because many will speculate who had a good or bad draft.

Only time will tell who was more accurate, and that is why the draft will always be intriguing to fans and media.

I can't wait until Friday and Saturday to see how it unfolds.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 RexHolez
June 24 2014, 01:08PM
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Is there a chart that shows how long the oilers could keep so many high draft picks on the team in a salary cap world?

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#2 vetinari
June 24 2014, 01:18PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Is there a chart that shows how long the oilers could keep so many high draft picks on the team in a salary cap world?

@ RexHolez: Don't need one-- take Salary Cap in Year X divided by $6M/per season and you have the total.

As for the article, I would love to see their weighted pick chart. Frankly, if all the teams have one and most teams only have a pick or two per round, you're not really pulling one over the other teams, are you, by keeping it secret? You want my #18 pick overall and you pick #27-- then I also want your #57. You either want the pick or you don't.

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#3 Darren
June 24 2014, 01:22PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Is there a chart that shows how long the oilers could keep so many high draft picks on the team in a salary cap world?

Is there a chart that shows the intellectual level of your posts? Most are negative, and rarely with substance. Try writing something positive or at the very least worthwhile.

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#4 A-Mc
June 24 2014, 01:29PM
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Is it friday yet?

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#5 Spydyr
June 24 2014, 01:32PM
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Charts are pretty to look at but until you can chart:

1)heart

2)desire

3)the will to win and the hatred of losing

4)passion

5)grit

6)how difficult you are to play against

and many other intangibles they are not a true measure of a hockey player.

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#6 A-Mc
June 24 2014, 01:39PM
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If you built a chart based on your %'s Gregor, you would likely need to break things down a little more closely for the 1st round, but for the 2nd,3rd-7th, it should be pretty straight forward points wise.

your top spots in the 1st round would be at or near 100% (or 100pts). Scale the rest down to meet at 24pts #30/31. Round 2 would linear scale from 24 to 15pts, 3rd from 15pts to 7pts, 4-7 remain 7pts.

Spread in Pts each round:
Round 1: 100pts - 24pts
Round 2: 24pts - 15pts
Round 3: 15pts - 8pts
Round 4: 8pts - 7pts
Round 5-7: 7pts

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#7 Craig1981
June 24 2014, 01:48PM
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I don't think there is a generic chart for every NHL team either. A team like Detroit in the 2000s with great scouting would have their later picks much more valuable compared to Edmonton's picks that had a hard time finding talent in the 1st and only found 2 players outside the 2nd round, one of them being Stortini (which barely counts) compared to Detroits

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#8 -30-
June 24 2014, 01:58PM
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Great article Gregor.

What I'd really like to see is a chart valuing the GMs in this league and how their teams have excelled or floundered under their leadership.

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#9 TigerUnderGlass
June 24 2014, 02:00PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Charts are pretty to look at but until you can chart:

1)heart

2)desire

3)the will to win and the hatred of losing

4)passion

5)grit

6)how difficult you are to play against

and many other intangibles they are not a true measure of a hockey player.

Actually, if those qualities do make a person a better hockey player they will show up on charts.

Besides, this wasn't about rating players, it was about assigning value to picks.

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#10 Zarny
June 24 2014, 02:31PM
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Very interesting. I'd love to see a value chart for the NHL.

I would expect the value of each successive pick to drop a little more in the NHL because there are far fewer positions.

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2014, 02:53PM
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I can see how all these numbers are becoming more and more valuable to teams. Once you remove all the personal elements (passion/desire/compete levels), all you're left with is the data from how effective your system is. Whose systems robots performed the best on any given night.

The system has become far more valuable than the players. Like the league has had to dumb it down because of the lack of talent spread over too many teams.

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#12 Tikkanese
June 24 2014, 03:07PM
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You would think the late round steals like Datsyuk or even Luc Robitaille back in the day would make that particular draft number ranked higher than the surrounding numbers.

There can't be a steal at every draft number can there? I wonder if there is a draft number that has never had a player play a game in the NHL or at the least has the lowest percentage by far. I.E. the cursed draft pick number.

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#13 Zarny
June 24 2014, 03:21PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

You would think the late round steals like Datsyuk or even Luc Robitaille back in the day would make that particular draft number ranked higher than the surrounding numbers.

There can't be a steal at every draft number can there? I wonder if there is a draft number that has never had a player play a game in the NHL or at the least has the lowest percentage by far. I.E. the cursed draft pick number.

No, a value chart doesn't work like that. The 170th pick is still worth more than the 171st Detroit used to select Datsyuk because he was available at 170.

Just like you would never simply trade away the 157h pick if no player drafted 157th had ever played an NHL game. The pick still has more value than every pick afterwards.

Value charts don't come into play when you actually get down to selecting a player. They are a tool primarily used to evaluate trade value.

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#14 Lochenzo
June 24 2014, 03:27PM
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I think that part of the discussion regarding Detroit's over-rippening of players and drafting players based upon your needs down the road vs now, are tied together.

If you can draft to fill your prospect cupboard with the right proportions of positions and develop these guys until they are over-ready, when it comes time to fill your NHL roster needs, you should have everything you need right there.

Detroit has a stable management and leadership system that has been in place for years. That's another element that other teams are missing. There's pressure on GMs and coaches to fill holes now. How many GMs out there have 5-6 years to develop the system that Detroit currently has?

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#16 RexHolez
June 24 2014, 04:20PM
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Darren wrote:

Is there a chart that shows the intellectual level of your posts? Most are negative, and rarely with substance. Try writing something positive or at the very least worthwhile.

None of us have to watch the oilers struggle to play hockey this month. That's a positive. Maybe go sing kumbaya in church if your looking for positivity. Not gonna get much at a fan site of the worst run team in all professional sports. And I apologize if my posts don't live up to you're Mensa level of intellect. But I hear Poe has alot of substance in his writings if that's the type of reading you're looking for

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#17 v4ance
June 24 2014, 04:29PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Charts are pretty to look at but until you can chart:

1)heart

2)desire

3)the will to win and the hatred of losing

4)passion

5)grit

6)how difficult you are to play against

and many other intangibles they are not a true measure of a hockey player.

I tried making a chart like that but gave up and just picked the guys who got the most points

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#18 Tikkanese
June 24 2014, 04:39PM
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@Jason Gregor

I meant more as in a late round superstar pick like a Datsyuk affecting the value of that particular pick as opposed to the Cechmanek's who play around the 200 game mark. But I guess there is not much point into digging that deep into the value of late picks.

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#19 Tikkanese
June 24 2014, 04:42PM
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A broken down chart of different leagues chances of late round picks of becoming a superstar may be fun. As in is it more likely to get a gem picking from Europe vs CHL in rounds 4-7.

I would venture to guess that Europe would be more likely as they are not heavily as scouted as North American players are.

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#20 Kirk
June 24 2014, 04:45PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Charts are pretty to look at but until you can chart:

1)heart

2)desire

3)the will to win and the hatred of losing

4)passion

5)grit

6)how difficult you are to play against

and many other intangibles they are not a true measure of a hockey player.

That is why Oilers will pick either Bennett or Ekblad or Draisaitl at #3.

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#21 BLAKPOO
June 24 2014, 04:52PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I can see how all these numbers are becoming more and more valuable to teams. Once you remove all the personal elements (passion/desire/compete levels), all you're left with is the data from how effective your system is. Whose systems robots performed the best on any given night.

The system has become far more valuable than the players. Like the league has had to dumb it down because of the lack of talent spread over too many teams.

Dumb it down? Lack of talent?

Seriously, do you watch hockey at all?

Systems and stats are more important now because the level of talent available is consistently so much HIGHER. Today's hockey players are 'bred' for the game. Diet plans, physical training, development programs.. the kids coming into the game now are beasts too. They're all being groomed and conditioned to be pro athletes.

When you have such a consistent level of talent, you NEED analytics to stay competitive. You NEED superior systems.

Usually, the intangibles like heart and desire translate directly to stats. If you try harder, you usually see more success. If you don't have the inherent desire to commit to the game at this level, you won't be here for long. Which is why it's also important to have coaches capable of keeping players motivated, because the differences between a good team and a bad team could be as simple as a state of mind.

Look what Colorado did last year.

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#23 Spydyr
June 24 2014, 06:36PM
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v4ance wrote:

I tried making a chart like that but gave up and just picked the guys who got the most points

Now it makes sense.Thank you for sharing Mr.Lowe.

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#24 Rickithebear
June 24 2014, 09:41PM
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Michael Schmucher @ St. lawrance UNIV.

A chart was already published in 2011. looked at 200 game players.

http://myslu.stlawu.edu/~msch/sports/Schuckers_NHL_Draft.pdf

Peoples expectations for drafting are delusional at best.

Our draft is already a huge success.

#10 2010 (MP) 56.5% + #33 2014 23.7% 80.2% got us 220games of top 40 Goal scorer

#63 2014 17.5% got us a top 3 inside 20ft (box or chance area) Save % goalie.

Pretty good start to this years draft!

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#25 rickithebear
June 24 2014, 10:00PM
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Colorado: had consistent growth of points the years before last season and were on pace for the playoffs when injury hit. Wrecked their short season. basically a fringe playoff team that benefited from a short season. If it is a full season. there players return and they are out of the lottery. Then they win the lottery and Get #1.

Colorado already had Mcginn-Statsny-XXX XXX-Duschene-Parenteau Landeskog-O'rielly-XXX

then they added #1.

there point growth was consistent for the last 4 years. except a 25 game stretch affected by injury the fell in a short season and let a strong team get Nathan M.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
June 25 2014, 12:24AM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

Dumb it down? Lack of talent?

Seriously, do you watch hockey at all?

Systems and stats are more important now because the level of talent available is consistently so much HIGHER. Today's hockey players are 'bred' for the game. Diet plans, physical training, development programs.. the kids coming into the game now are beasts too. They're all being groomed and conditioned to be pro athletes.

When you have such a consistent level of talent, you NEED analytics to stay competitive. You NEED superior systems.

Usually, the intangibles like heart and desire translate directly to stats. If you try harder, you usually see more success. If you don't have the inherent desire to commit to the game at this level, you won't be here for long. Which is why it's also important to have coaches capable of keeping players motivated, because the differences between a good team and a bad team could be as simple as a state of mind.

Look what Colorado did last year.

All these mathletes working their way into todays game. It's all really just a front, a make work project, started by Revenue Canada. Probably to keep some hockey fans off of welfare, no?

Have you watched any Oilers hockey at all, these last 5 years? Jesse Joensuu is all this and more? I'd wager the Oil Kings could give these guys a run for their money. Honestly, does any of what you mentioned apply to our local team here?

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#27 Nick
June 26 2014, 11:10PM
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Would be an interesting chart to take the last 20 years and tabulate your Goals, Assist, Points, and any other stat like pims from each pick over the years, average out the actual stats and determine where you're better off getting certain stastical categories, and then if you want, take it one step further by taking what the kids did in their junior stats as well to see what the earned value comparsion would be

Ie average pts in the nhl was 20, and the average pts in junior for that same pick was 50, could be an interesting way to break down stats and forecasts and what those picks would be worth as well by gambling on the odds with trade value

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