Fifth-round picks have a 14.9% chance of turning into NHL players (expressed as ‘playing 100 games’) and this is the real lottery area. Over the last 15 years, Oilers fifth rounders who have played 100 or more games include Jussi Markkanen (128 games). .
I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round 2008-15. No grand statements on either side, no claims of victory, 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 drafted player weeks after his selection.
- 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 (the Cullen grades)
OILERS FIFTH ROUND PICKS 2008-2015
- 2008: Phil Cornet
- 2009: Olivier Roy
- 2010: Tyler Bunz
- 2011: Martin Gernat
- 2012: Joey Laleggia
- 2013: Evan Campbell
- 2014: Liam Coughlin
- 2015: Ethan Bear
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES PLAYED)
- Phil Cornet 2
- Tyler Bunz 1
- Productive in Europe/AHL: Phil Cornet
- “It’s Over” arrows: Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz
- Bad arrows: Martin Gernat
- Lukewarm arrows: Liam Coughlin (traded to Chicago!)
- Good arrows: Evan Campbell
- Very good arrows: Joey Laleggia
- New arrows: Ethan Bear
ONE BY ONE
- L Phil Cornet: Coming up on 300 AHL games now and of course a cup of coffee in the NHL with the Oilers. A fifth-round pick who can hang in playing pro hockey at a high level for five years seems like a success to me. No quarrel with the pick.
- G Olivier Roy: He was a pretty famous junior player but the pro level didn’t agree with him. Spent more time in the ECHL than the AHL, but the Oilers did get some value for him (Smid-Brossoit trade) although that may well have been a 50-man necessity.
- G Tyler Bunz: Played only eight AHL games during his entry-level deal. I’m not sure Edmonton ever viewed him as a real prospect, but his last two WHL seasons were solid.
- D Martin Gernat: He’s over 100 AHL games (to only three in the ECHL) but I’ll confess to being disappointed with his lack of progress. I’m uncertain how much of this had to do with the conditioning issue (the Oilers are willing to send better players than Gernat away over it, so it won’t end well for the Slovak).
- D Joey Laleggia: Hobey finalist and a brilliant offensive player in college. Small skill defenseman now embarks at the pro level. Magician with the puck but the key will be what he can do without it. If he can play defense in pro hockey, Laleggia should have a significant career. That would be a major win for the Oilers (to get a fifth-round pick to the NHL).
- L Evan Campbell: Enjoyed a strong season in the NCAA age 21 (34GP, 12-15-27) and there’s some hope he’ll have a pro career. Campbell’s skill set includes grit and skill so maybe there’s a player here. He has two more seasons in college.
- C Liam Coughlin: As an Oilers fan I danced a jig upon finding out the Oilers acquired anyone for Coughlin. Then, again as an Oilers fan, I went uh-oh and began to wonder what Chicago knows. Alas, one suspects Coughlin, who had a good year in the BCJHL (not great, and he’s too old to be in that league and an NHL prospect) is destined for levels below the NHL.
- D Ethan Bear: I would have been happy if the Oilers had taken Bear in the second round. Has a nice range of skills, shows offensive ability (can pass well, has vision, a very good shot) and appears to be a legit defender. That’s a lot for the fifth round.