Riley Nash

Most of the comments I’ve seen since the completion of the first round have had to do with passing on Cherepanov and Esposito. As much as I can agree it was an oversight, the real crime by the Oilers in the first round was giving up picks at #30 and #36 for the pick that brought them Riley Nash.

Why would they do that? Riley Nash may or may not have been taken by Calgary (or another team) before #30, but I’ll tell you the Flames drafting record isn’t something any other team should be worried about AND in a draft like this it’s always better to have more bullets.

It was a terrible move, probably the most sinful in the KP draft era. Other candidates would be selecting Jesse Niinimaki in 2002’s 1st round and letting Patrick O’Sullivan pass through their hands in the second round in 2003.

Riley Nash the player looks like he might actually be something. Both scouting services I follow (Redline and ISS) like him a lot, and in fact Nash was a topic of conversation in Kyle Woodlief’s chat on USA Today this week:

At Red Line, our staff loves Riley Nash, and I think he could go off the board possibly as high as #15 overall. A really well schooled, all-around player who can play it any way you want.

Nash (like Plante) moved up very quickly on the ISS list. He was unranked in October and ended at #35. Redline had him 24th overall.

Redline: Big, raw, naturally athletic kid who can skate, shoot and pass. Also likes to get his nose dirty and really carried his club down the stretch.

ISS: Well rounded player, competes hard every night. Utility player who can contribute in a variety of areas. Solid two way player. He fits the mould of a “late-bloomer” and with continued attention to small details he will continue to improve. Nash was a stellar performer for the Silverbacks, leading them in regular-season scoring with 84 points and also in the playoffs with team high 11 points. Is a potential prospect for Team Canada at the IIHF U-18 World Championship in Finland.

I’d probably rank him in the 10-12 range on the Oilers list.

As for today, I’ve read Lowe might be trying to get Scott Gomez and also Pitkanen may still be in play. This is a dangerous time to be an Oilers fan, as the frustration of this draft added to what will probably be a tough UFA signing season may mean Lowe makes a bad trade.

And the Oilers just can’t afford to lose any of their NHL players. None.

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19 Responses to "Riley Nash"

  1. Dennis says:

    I’m going to tell you something right now, sir. Kevin Lowe won 6 Cups as a player so if he thinks that it’s worth moving up, then I don’t think we should question him!!

    This was a poor draft class anyway so going off the board this year isn’t as bad as if you did it in the Nilsson.Pouliot.Getzlaf draft for instance.

    Or so it seems.

    Overall, though, just another day and night of more bullshit from Kevin Lowe. The dummies eat it up, and those are the same dummies that tucked in their napkins when the Pronger and Smyth trades were made, the same people who said, “Lowe will use all these newfound picks to get a REAL player.”

    Guess what, imbecilia, you’ve beem had, AGAIN. For about the 79th time since last July.

    The Oilers are a hateful organization right now.

  2. oilswell says:

    Dennis: Yup. If this is what transparency is like, I’d rather have the lies. And vice versa.

    What do we get if we take Lowe at his word? A comfy existence as the classic high school nerd? Anaemic, and outcast. At the whims of the big bullies. And no girls will look his way no matter how he tries. I mean, this is the Oilers’ public persona right now. I think I like aloof and mute better. What happened to the Boys on the Bus?

    That said, they actually moved up this time. Are we satisfied yet?!

    LT: I was incensed when they moved up. My first thought was they gave up too much to move only 9 spots. My second thought was that they moved up to reach. So while I’m on board the fun is let out of the party if nobody can arrive with an argument. There are at least two responses to the fine points in your entry.

    First, it is that they knew that Nash was going to be picked by someone in line before them. AFAIK this is not at all unreasonable. Much of the evil stink is lifted if this is true so it is still worth keeping in mind. Say the player you seriously covet goes to another team and flourishes there while you’re left with a couple of garbage picks. How many times do you let this happen?

    Second, I’m not sure of the strategy in a really weak draft. Is there more emphasis on making good guesses or less? Perhaps this is the year not to wait to take the BPA at your choice points because the likelihood of actually picking him is incredibly low? You could actually make a reasonable argrument on what the right trade up value is based on an idealized curve of pick quality and probabilities, something VF did when Lamoriello moved up to pick Parise. But it can be simplified for our purposes here to a simple thought experiment. Say you feel that there is only three top notch players available at pick 21, you have “high” confidence you know the player, and you have no idea who the other two are among the 200 or so other eligible players. Do you keep your two bullets and hope for the best?

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    With the 97th pick the Oilers took
    LINUS OMARK, 5′ 9″ 168 from Sweden

    Fom Bill Melzer at the WJC:
    The most pleasant surprise for me in the tournament was the play of tiny Luleå HF winger Linus Omark for Sweden. He scored one of the tournament’s prettiest goals, showed considerable puckhandling acumen and savvy around the net. He wasn’t afraid to mix it up with bigger players, either, and was deservedly chosen as Sweden’s best player against both Canada and the USA (first-round meeting).

    Omark has been a very productive goal scorer at the Swedish Junior Superelit level and has done pretty well this year for Luleå’s big club, so I don’t think it’s an abberation.

    It will be interesting to see if some NHL team takes a late-round flier on Omark this year after he previously slipped through the cracks of the NHL draft.

    Well the kid looks like he’ll fit right in with the other Oiler’s prospects.

  4. Jesse says:


    New Jersey had their eyes on Nash but had no round 1 pick, and Lowe is hoping to get a deal done with Gomez so he can flip Nash to the Devils in a sign-and-trade.

  5. jon says:

    Jesse: So we essentially trade the 30 and 36 picks for the right to negotiate with Gomez?
    That sucks.

    I think Nash is a decent player who will probably beat the odds and make it to the NHL. As a decent 3rd liner. Just way too early, total botched pick.

    Right now it’s become very hard to not repeat “Fuck the Oilers” over and over again.

    Dennis: I don’t think there’s anyone who is happy with the outcome of this draft, anywhere. We went in with 4 picks in 36 and came out with 3 picks, including two guys who could have possibly been available at 30 and 36. Brutal.

    As for the Smyth and Pronger deals, you don’t like them, we get it. Let it go. 🙂
    Lowe will be gone by year’s end, I am sure of that much so this kind of pain will be gone soon… to be replaced by another form I’m sure.

  6. godot10 says:

    jon wrote:
    //Dennis: I don’t think there’s anyone who is happy with the outcome of this draft, anywhere. We went in with 4 picks in 36 and came out with 3 picks, including two guys who could have possibly been available at 30 and 36. Brutal.//

    So is your argument that the Oilers shouldn’t have a scouting system, and just use the Central Scouting list and other public services?

    One really can’t bitch about the picks until 5 years from now.

    Nash wasn’t going to make it to 30. The scouts will have to answer for the pick in 3 years.

    The Oilers did what every good organization does. Collect extra drafts picks, and then move up and down in draft position to get the players one wants, not who happens to be left to you.

  7. Asiaoil says:

    I’m still sitting here thinking we could have had Voracek, Cherpanov and Petrecki yesterday instead of Gagner, Plante and Nash. The later picks are just sooooooooo Oilers – nice mediocre 2 way lads who will thrive on our 3rd line and bottom 6

  8. Asiaoil says:

    So you look at who was available at 36 and you see SWEATT, HJALMARSSON and REPIK…..nice

    ….and now I see we took a Swedish dwarf who has ZERO chance of ever playing in the NHL instead of the goalie Kent Pattersen who was take a few picks later by COL.

    I didn’t think it was possible but his just keeps getting better and better…

  9. Dennis says:

    Hey, you have to keep looking to the Pronger and Smyth deals because that’s the day the music began to die.

    Lowe’s about 0/15 and it reminds me of the time when Chris Widger went 0/35 and Felipe Alou wouldn’t give him a rest.

    You just know that every time Lowe steps to the plate, he’s gonna hit a weak fly to left field.

  10. Vic Ferrari says:

    Well, I’ve never seen any of these kids play so I don’t have a very strong opinion. I’m loving the emotion surrounding the draft though, great stuff.

    As far as the whole thing of trading the 31 and 36 for the 21st overall … there isn’t much in it. Held against the historical results of draft picks … it’s a bit of an overpay, but not much. In player terms about 7% of one good player (SEE Marchant, Todd). Minny and San Jose paid a very similar price to move up.

    From a “draft position trade” point of view … the really peculiar deal was St. Louis moving up to take CGY’s spot: Terrible valuation by the Flames there.

    The concensus of the callers to talk radio was that this player (Riley Nash) would likely have been available in the second round of the draft. Obviously if this is true, then it’s a wacky move by the Oilers.

    Reading your stuff here today, it does seem more likely to me that Riley would have gone by the 30th pick. Who the hell knows?

  11. Mr DeBakey says:

    a Swedish dwarf who has ZERO chance of ever playing in the NHL


    In 5 years, while Linus Omark is leading the Swedish League in scoring, the Sabres will be working Jean-Simon Allard [147th] into their line-up.
    Everyone will be saying “Where do Buffalo find these guys?”

    To be fair to the Oil’s braintrust, both Kytnar and Quist look to be interesting picks.

  12. Master Lok says:

    Dennis 0/15? Have you ever noticed how much your bias is skewing your hockey sense? Or are you suggesting that Gagner, Plante and Riley are all failed draft picks THE DAY AFTER THEY WERE DRAFTED?

  13. jon says:

    It’s probably important to have a little on both sides. What happened at the draft and the Smyth and Pronger moves really indicate that this is a re-building team on a budget in a market that won’t allow for re-building. Lowe and the EIG has just been pretending to try and get this team back to the playoffs this year. The lack of trades really indicates that we should be focusing on hope for the future and not so much on winning now, because we would not have made 3 first round picks if this team was serious about winning any time soon.

    As usual, it sucks to be an Oilers fan.

  14. Devin says:


    Interesting question. I’d be willing to bet, over say, the past 20 years, that had the Oilers used an aggregate weighting of the various scouting organizations’ rankings as the shopping list, their results would be much stronger. At least more consistent from year to year. I think YK did something like that at his site — basically average the rankings of each prospect and create a total score. Whoever has the highest score when your pick comes up, well, you damn well take him. I HIGHLY doubt the Plante or Nash picks are going to be visionary moves that we all talk about for years. And they would flat out have to be to justify Lowe’s idiotic moves yesterday. History tells us that the chances of that are slim to none.

    Maybe it’s me, but I can’t see the point in a icing a shitty NHL team so you can rule the AHL for the next 3-4 years. Greene, Smid, Gilbert, Nilsson, Pouliot, Schremp, Brodziak, Petry, Cogliano, Truhkno, Chorney, Jacques, Thoresen, Gagner, Nash, Plante, Roy, etc etc. What’s the point of hoarding ALL these guys exactly!? If even half of them turn into decent NHL players it would be a victory – but you CANNOT break them all in at once.

  15. OYLer says:


  16. Colby Cosh says:

    So is your argument that the Oilers shouldn’t have a scouting system, and just use the Central Scouting list and other public services?

    I’m certain one can demonstrate that the best scouting departments perform better than Central Scouting. I’m willing to bet that a proper study would find that the league as a whole doesn’t. So if you’re gonna go off the board you’d better be sure you’re smarter than 15 other guys.

  17. oilerdiehard says:

    I forget now if it was Lowe or Pendergast, I think Lowe. He mentioned besides them liking Nash a lot as a player he scored “off the charts” on the character / personality tests they give the kids. Something to that effect.

    Also if you heard the end of 1st day interview with Pendergast he seemed almost over confident Lowe was getting a 2nd rounder back on day 2 (maybe as part of that trade that was supposed to go down?). Not sure if that had anything to do with them being more willing to burn the 2nd on Nash.

    I am not crazy about the move, he sounds like a good hard working kid but I am not sure if you blow extra assets trying to get at him.

  18. Dennis says:

    NO, I’m not saying that all these guys won’t pan out, but I am saying that Kevin Lowe’s in a massive slump right now, and he’s not even hitting the ball hard.

    Just another case of bluster followed by nothing happening and the hole he’s trying to dig out of, he’s not gonna make up that ground anytime soon.

  19. David says:

    This post really goes to show how idiotic it is to criticize a draft before it comes to fruition. It’s still too early, and yet only a year later, a lot of these comments make absolutely no sense.

    Cherepanov may never play a game in North America (he’ll always be offered more money to play in Russia, IMO), Gagner is a serious contender for the single best pick in the draft, and Nash has done everything he possibly could to impress. Plante still looks questionable, but it’s a clear case of a player who it’s still too early to label a bust. In addition, Omark posted some nice numbers in the SEL, and may turn out to be a decent selection. If anything, the 2007 draft may turn out to be one of the Oiler’s best.

    It’s okay to be skeptical, it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic, but show some due patience. Let these kids become men before you judge how good they are, and what might have been.

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