The Edmonton Oilers and the second round have had a love—hate relationship since the turn of the century. The best picks (Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Jeff Petry, Brad Winchester) in the second round rated as some of the team’s best overall, but the Stu MacGregor years have been slow developing. MacGregor, no longer with the team, was scouting director for the 2008-14 drafts and heavily involved in the scouting process this season. Here are the second-round picks delivered (listed with GM):
- 2008: No second round selections (Kevin Lowe)
- 2009: Anton Lander (Steve Tambellini)
- 2010: Tyler Pitlick (Steve Tambellini)
- 2010: Martin Marincin (Steve Tambellini)
- 2010: Curtis Hamilton (Steve Tambellini)
- 2011: David Musil (Steve Tambellini)
- 2012: Mitchell Moroz (Steve Tambellini)
- 2013: Marco Roy (Craig MacTavish)
- 2014: No second round selection (Craig MacTavish)
- 2015: No second round selection (Peter Chiarelli)
MacGregor was part of the scouting group for 2015, although Bob Green was head of the group by draft day and MacGregor had been axed along with several scouts. I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the second round 2008-15. No grand statements on either side, no claims, just an honest assessment of the way things are, the good and bad arrows, and a discussion in regard to useful players coming out of this area of the draft.
In order to do this, we absolutely have to agree on some things:
- We can’t judge a draft weeks after it happens.
- We can count arrows, and they are a good indicator.
- We cannot expect all of the picks to succeed, that isn’t reasonable.
- We have come to some kind of conclusion about a line in the sand and agree to it.
That last item was a moving target forever, but Scott Cullen at TSN has the line surrounded. His latest effort is here, and Cullen’s estimates suggest a second-round selection has a 33.8% chance of playing in 100 NHL games. Ironically, the ‘sweet spot’ second round picks since 1990 has been No. 41-45, with a 39% chance of making 100 games. Cullen’s work is here. So, we’re looking for players who have reached 100 NHL games or are trending that way.
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES)
- Anton Lander 132
- Martin Marincin 85
- Tyler Pitlick 27
- David Musil 4
- Curtis Hamilton 1
- Mitchell Moroz 0
- Marco Roy 0
Lander passed the 100 game plateau this past season and is ‘in the range’ of expectation for Cullen based on No. 40 overall (“average” for No. 40, according to Cullen, is a very good minor leaguer who plays 50-200 NHL games). I think we can also argue that Marincin is now in that range, so we’ll count two men (of the six) who have qualified as average. Beyond that, Tyler Pitlick and David Musil played in 2014-15 and may play games with the Oilers this coming season. No home runs, no Jarret Stoll, but this looks more promising than two years ago (probably part of the whole ‘wait five years’ thing we talk about all the time).
- “It’s over” arrows: Curtis Hamilton, Marco Roy
- Bad arrows: Mitchell Moroz
- Lukewarm arrows: Tyler Pitlick, David Musil
- Good arrows: Martin Marincin
- Very good arrows: Anton Lander
ONE BY ONE
- C Anton Lander: I’m prepared to call this a successful selection, although that may not be agreeable across the fan base. Lander took forever, but much of that can be laid at the feet of the organization and their handling of the player. From January 2015 to the end of the World Hockey Championships, Anton Lander looked like a quality player of high calibre. I think this has been a successful selection, perhaps a little late.
- R Tyler Pitlick: Of all the 2010 picks (aside from Hall), he’s the one I always thought would make it. I understand his offense hasn’t carried with him to pro but if Rob Klinkhammer can forge a career then Tyler Pitlick should be able to find a role. Pitlick is in a great spot now with all of these fantastic centers in the system but he must stay healthy. Five years in, his career looks somewhat similar to Anton Lander’s one year ago. I think Lander is a better player but Pitlick may catch McLellan’s eye and end up having more success with a new coach.
- D Martin Marincin: I believe he’s an NHL player and fully expect him to have success in Toronto, beginning in the fall. If you focus on the things Marincin can do, instead of what he cannot, well it’s a pretty damn long list. Whatever the Oilers do to get themselves into a stubborn spot with defensemen like Petry and Marincin, they need to find that flaw, lance that boil, and kiss it goodbye once and for all. You’re developing defensemen for other teams, Edmonton, and it’s a silly damn thing to do.
- L Curtis Hamilton: He was granted an extra year and it was his best one in OKC. Hopefully he finds gainful employment and gets another chance with an NHL team. I always felt Hamilton needed to play a more aggressive game, to be more physical, but that’s a view from afar and perhaps unfair. Best of luck, Curtis Hamilton.
- D David Musil: Draft day aside, he’s done a pretty damn good job of matriculating toward NHL employment. He seems a little blocked now, but you can see him arriving as a 5-6D depth defender in a year or two and having a good run. Musil is a smart defenseman and that should bode well as he gains more pro experience.
- L Mitch Moroz: Right at the end of a lost first pro season he began to show his ability, and that’s important for his second season. Moroz is big and has foot speed, plus an ability to agitate and create havoc. That has value and if he can bring some of his offense to pro I think he could make it. Disappointing season, but a nice teaser at the very end.
- C Marco Roy: Extremely disappointing result and I’m still uncertain why he wasn’t signed. Edmonton could use a two-way forward with some grit and that’s Roy in a sketch. There must have been a disconnect somewhere but the exact fracture is not readily available to me as an observer.