I think it depends on how you define it as working
If it's a list spot viewed in isolation, vs proportion of successes overal then sure, in the majority it hasn't worked
If it's compared to the success or otherwise of comparable picks, I think it's probably much of a muchness
But in reality, half of those guys were halfway through a contract, and were going to be around anyway in some way, shape or form. The only actual decision was leave them on the main list and take a 3rd (or 4th or 5th) rookie pick; or demote them to rookies and take a 4th (or 5th or 6th) national draft pick or FA or cheap trade.
You can attract players to your main list, but nobody's coming here to be a rookie.
Ie Eades as rookie + Stewart
vs Eades still on main list + best of whoever was left in the 3rd round of the rookie draft [ironically probably some other club's retread like Joel Patfull or Fraser Mcinnes]