The 2007 Entry Draft was a massive missed opportunity for the Edmonton Oilers. Three first round picks netted a phenom, a raw defenseman and a center from tier two, and it didn’t sit well with anyone. It marked the end of Kevin Prendergast’s time as scouting director, and gave Stu MacGregor the opportunity to step into the head scouting role. MacGregor and Prendergast have one thing in common: they hit massive home runs with their first selections.

eberle common

Jordan Eberle, NHL, per 82GP: 29-37-66

Jordan Eberle was an inspired selection, and remains a terrific hockey player. The #1 overall picks who have come after may have obscured the monumental success of the 2008 first rounder, but grabbing the 29th ranked Eberle at #22 overall was a career-maker for MacGregor and his group. Eberle paid off from the moment he hit the podium, and four years into his NHL career he’s an established offensive winger.

 Forwards (per 82GP)

  1. Teemu Hartikainen 19-22-41. I’m convinced the Oilers made a mistake with this player, and if they had signed him to a contract similar to the recent Lander deal, we might have two regulars from the 2008 entry draft. Hartikainen is not a fast train, but he is skilled, and is now Toronto property. I have no idea what they have planned for Harski, but hope they bring him over and give the big Finn a chance.
  2. Phil Cornet 8-10-18. His fourth AHL season is basically a repeat of the previous three, with a slight down arrow from 12-13. Chosen 133rd overall, I think this is exactly the type of player one would expect at that number. Played 2 NHL games, likely headed to Europe at some point.

Both selections were well outside the top 100, I’d say the results are above average for two late picks. I’m also convinced Hartikainen has more to show an NHL team, and hope he gets the opportunity in Toronto.

Defense (per 82GP)

  • Johan Motin 1-6-7. Selected after 100, got into 1 NHL game and then headed back to Sweden where he’s played regularly since. Without a 2nd or 3rd round selection, the Oilers chose a pretty good Swedish defender who moved along when he kept sliding down the depth chart. At that time, the OKC defense had Jeff Petry, a future NHLer, but also housed marginal talents like Colten Teubert,Taylor Chorney (who had been reclaimed on waivers), Alex Plante, Kevin Montgomery (AHL vet, OKC signing), Bryan Helmer (AHL vet, OKC signing), Ryan Lowery (OKC signing) and Kirill Tulupov (OKC signing). Motin’s leaving suggests that we weren’t looking at an NHL-level talent.
  • Jordan Bendfeld out of hockey. I think this was another of those weird picks where some guy knows another guy and what the hell why not? He could have been signed after the draft, and was out of hockey by the time EDM called RNH’s name.


  1. R Jordan Eberle
  2. L Teemu Hartikainen
  3. L Phil Cornet
  4. D Johan Motin
  5. D Jordan Bendfeld

A very easy draft to rank, the lack of a 2nd or 3rd round selection is often overlooked when discussing this draft. 102 players have made an NHL appearance, that’s a low total (2009 has almost as many) and a re-draft would surely have Eberle among the top 10 selections. We’ll watch over Hartikainen, Leafs must have traded to get him for a reason.


  1. L Taylor Hall
  2. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. R Jordan Eberle
  4. R Nail Yakupov
  5. D Darnell Nurse
  6. D Oscar Klefbom
  7. D Martin Marincin
  8. L Magnus Paajarvi
  9. C Greg Chase
  10. D Dillon Simpson
  11. C Bogdan Yakimov
  12. C Anton Lander
  13. C Jujhar Khaira
  14. D Martin Gernat
  15. L Teemu Hartikainen
  16. L Toni Rajala
  17. R Tyler Pitlick
  18. R Tobias Rieder
  19. L Marco Roy
  20. R Jackson Houck
  21. L Mitchell Moroz
  22. D David Musil
  23. L Anton Slepyshev
  24. D Erik Gustafsson
  25. D Brandon Davidson
  26. R John McCarron
  27. D Ben Betker
  28. D Joey Laleggia
  29. L Aidan Muir
  30. L Curtis Hamilton
  31. L Phil Cornet
  32. C Kyle Platzer
  33. C Travis Ewanyk
  34. L Daniil Zharkov
  35. D Johan Motin
  36. G Olivier Roy
  37. D Kyle Bigos
  38. C Ryan Martindale
  39. G Tyler Bunz
  40. G Frans Tuohimaa
  41. F Kellen Jones
  42. L Evan Campbell
  43. D Jeremie Blain
  44. G Samu Perhonen
  45. L Drew Czerwonka
  46. D Jordan Bendfeld
  47. R Cameron Abney
  48. D Troy Hesketh

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20 Responses to "DRAW YOUR BRAKES"

  1. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Brilliant series, LT. Your approach of ranking each draft individually and gradually building a combined ranking for all picks of the MBS era was inspired. Nicely done.

  2. Hammers says:

    Lt you say the Leafs must have traded for Hartski for a reason . Your right it was to get rid of Fraser What time you must spend on listing these draft picks and like all your readers I respect your choices but my opinion is still our top 8 with Marincin the exception could or should have been picked and I can’t give paid employees starting with MacGregor the amount of credit they continually get . How many teams get players deeper in the draft while we still hope 31st round picks like Lander and Pitlick make it let alone all those that followed .Build and win from the draft and that was why we had the team of the 80’s . I just hope McT gets this team on the right track .Maybe I’m over critical but personally I think they should do better .

  3. Ivan says:

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this yet, but Friedman says the Dys are kicking tires on Howson.

    8. Sounds like Edmonton’s Scott Howson was in Vancouver for an interview. He didn’t respond to a call, email or text seeking comment. That is The Triple Crown of avoidance.

  4. Pajamah says:

    I love the fact you have Jordan Bendfeld, a player no longer in pro hockey, ranked higher than Cam Abney, whose selection was that of utter stupidity. Quite telling actually.

    Glad to see you’re still high on Yakupov, even after this trying season.

    Hope Greg Chase meets that number and finds a long NHL career as well.

  5. russ99 says:

    I’d assume that Toronto traded for Harski to stash him for the future. Not sure how many years that will be.

    Also, this draft should be a cautionary tale as to what happens when you don’t have a second and third pick, like this year.

    I’m hopeful MacT can rectify at least one of those picks in a trade.

  6. judgedrude says:

    Pajamah: Glad to see you’re still high on Yakupov, even after this trying season.

    Yak did have a trying season, but for the second year in a row, did he outplay last year’s Calder winner?

  7. rich says:

    Stellar work LT.

    Reviewing your work on the drafts as it relates to the d-men shows the value of not racing to conclusions on the Oiler scouts. In a few years, we could very well be looking at a core as good as any in the league. Injuries could change that – as could a trade, but it’s a solid group.

    Marincin and Klefbom have delivered in small sample sizes last year ahead of when many expected them to. It would not surprise me if we see the same thing with Simpson as well. As you pointed out, Gernat could be on the Marincin track – and if we have another player there in a couple of years, you’re talking a very good core along with Nurse – whom I hope is allowed to stay in juniors another season so he can properly develop.

    Thinking back to 2003 draft – everyone thought Nashville hit a homerun with Suter, but they also had Weber and Klein that year as well. I’m not saying that Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse and Simpson will be in the same stratosphere at the top – but this group added to Petry has the potential to anchor the Oilers blueline for years to come.

    That said, it would not shock me to see 1 of those 4 traded for an instant upgrade – in which case MacT better not make a mistake that sets the org back the way Tambellini did. Otherwise, the drought could last even longer.

  8. Ducey says:

    I think Hartikanen was a good pick, but I don’t agree he has an NHL future.

    Slow and soft won’t get you there. He had his chance with EDM and refused to play physically. He is not skilled enough to get away without running into people to retrieve the puck or without going to the net hard.

    Playing in the KHL won’t help that any.

  9. Jon K says:

    LT, great series. I don’t necessarily agree with your view of MBS and his scouting, but I absolutely delight in consuming these analyses. Not only are they are interesting now, but I personally think there is immense value in coming back and seeing how we all view these prospects a few years removed from now.

    Trying to objectively evaluate the team’s scouting is hard. Very hard. We largely have no idea what considerations teams might have in moving young prospects up and down their lists. We don’t know how much of the picks were made by MBS or his staff, versus picks made by people higher up the organizational ladder. Personally, I think the management should be involved with setting drafting priorities or concerns, but otherwise the scouts should make the calls based upon best player available. There should almost be a firewall to avoid decision making being influenced by team need.

    That said, I think we are reaching a point where we can levy some criticisms at MBS’ draft record:

    – I think they rely too heavily on the WHL. There are many reasons to believe that the OHL is the superior league of the CHL. Narrowing of focus is a massive sin when drafting, in my view.

    – There still has been too much emphasis on drafting players with intangibles or projected traits that fill a current organizational need. The result has been a number of reach picks that have fallen flat, taken from the heart of the draft. Hesketh and Abney immediately come to mind, but the same criticism could be levied at the Lander and Musil selections. I remember following the Paajarvi draft, and I distinctly recall MBS (or another Oilers management individual) saying after the Paajarvi pick that they were going to select someone with immense upside and potential with the 2nd round pick. I was excited to hear that, but the selection of Lander was, in my view, not consistent with this verbal at all. I liked Lander a lot 2+ years later, but he was never going to be a top6 player and skating was always a concern. It remains a concern now.

    Anyway, I hate to be overly critical, it just seems that we’ve only received league average scouting in both the Prendergast and MBS eras, despite occupying a draft position superior to 90% of the rest of the league. I’ll be very interested to see how MacT handles this year’s draft, now that he has a year of experience under his belt. For what it’s worth, the 2013 draft one year out looks like it could deliver 3-4 NHL prospects, an improvement over past years.

  10. John Chambers says:


    I actually take an opposing viewpoint.

    It seems more rare than common, as evidenced by LT’s analysis, that 2nd rounders rarely become top-drawer NHL players (certainly not the Oilers), with the Subban & O’Reillys being the outliers, however 2nd rounders routinely get traded for Cogliano, Visnovski, or Cammalleri type players.

    The Oilers really whiffed with all their 31 & 32 selections. Turning even one of those picks into a Boone Jenner would make one fewer hole to fill. Having Marincin as the only quality pick out of 8 or 9 during that timespan is ghastly.

    Therefore I conclude that if you can parlay these picks into Perrons and Scrivens’es, you make that deal every single time. At least MacT isn’t afraid to make these rational, if not so bold moves.

  11. Lowetide says:

    I’m becoming a Sutter fan. Kill me. http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/DONT_MAKE_EYE_CONTACT

  12. TheOtherJohn says:

    Great read LT. Superb series

    Think you credit MacGregor too much but more of his 5 year drafts are ripening. Eberle was superb pick. Then 1OV’s which remain no brainers…. But we could have taken Sequin, Landeskog and R Muray and we would not be any worse than 29/24/28 but I like our 1OV just fine.

    To see what some teams have drafted since 07 and what we’ve picked is depressing outside of the 1st round and that includes counting Marincin who looks like a solid 10+yr top 4 D man.

    Man we picked a lot of unsuccessful draft picks.

  13. sliderule says:

    John Chambers,

    I have to disagree with you about second round picks not being top players .

    Here are some second rounders from just two drafts.

    2003 Bergeron Weber Erikson
    2004 Bolland Bickell Booth Dubinsky Krejki

    It’s just the oilers who can’t piss a drop in second round

  14. prairieschooner says:

    Toots and the Maytails

    Am I too late?

  15. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers,

    I have to disagree with you about second round picks not being top players .

    Here are some second rounders from just two drafts.

    2003 Bergeron Weber Erikson
    2004 Bolland Bickell Booth Dubinsky Krejki

    It’s just the oilers whocan’t piss a drop in second round

    Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin say hello.

  16. Ribs says:

    Lowetide: I’m becoming a Sutter fan. Kill me.

    I’ve been feeling the same way this year. I’ve read a bunch of Sutter’s quotes on players and how to play the game this season and he’s usually been right on the money. I never thought I’d see the day.

  17. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Guelph becomes first team to qualify for Memorial Cup final after 1.1 games of the round robin.

    Nice no show, Val d’Or.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Really great series LT. a great review of some cats we’ve come to know so well over the years, we’ve forgotten how and why we came to know them in the first place.

  19. sliderule says:


    I would hardly consider them in that class just yet.

    Time will tell.

  20. Lowetide says:


    I would hardly consider them in that class just yet.

    Time will tell.

    Hmmm. Could have sworn you said Oilers “can’t piss a drop in the second round.” My mistake.

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