Nepotism in the NHL? Family Relationships and the NHL Draft

Rodney J. Paul
Nick Riccardi
and Steven DiMaria

This research investigates player career performance compared to their National Hockey League (NHL) draft position as it relates to nepotism and physical/human capital transfer. After identifying family members of former players, we analyze their performance compared to others using a sample of over 1100 players from the 2005‒2010 drafts. We find no evidence of nepotism as it relates to sons in relation to earnings and only slight possible evidence in terms of reaching a low minimum games-played threshold. Although sons appear to be drafted appropriately, players with NHL siblings appear to be significantly undervalued as they outperformed their peers.