I CAN SEE THE RED TAIL LIGHTS HEADING FOR SPAIN

This is the final installment of my 2015 draft coverage. It’s my favorite part of the year, although a playoff run wouldn’t go amiss around here either if it comes to that some day. I would like to thank Corey Pronman, Cody Nickolet, Kirk Luedeke and all who spent time discussing the draft with me on the Lowdown over these months.

Corey Pronman is a helluva scouting service. He’s one of three national evaluators (Woodlief, Button) who fans find accessible and forthcoming during the year. All of these men have strong opinions and all of them back up their statements with sound reasoning. I thought it might be a nice idea to look at all three services and how they saw Edmonton’s picks BEFORE they were drafted (important for two reasons: first, how many players did they mention in their top 120, second what exactly did they say about him?).

PRONMAN’S OILERS

  • No. 1: Connor McDavid. Get used to this name; he could end up as one of the faces of hockey for the next 10 to 20 years. McDavid is one of the best pure skaters I’ve ever seen.
  • No. 86: Ethan Bear. He’s a well-rounded prospect but doesn’t have standout attributes.
  • Hon. Mention (101-125): Caleb Jones. He’s a gifted athlete who skates well, creates plays by himself and can make plays at both ends of the rink.
  • Pronman about Reinhart: I thought the deal was equitable for both sides. Only thing I heard around AHL rinks for Griff was praise, even if it wasn’t “he’ll be a star dman” level.

Corey’s stuff is at ESPN, highly recommended. It’s like $3.33 a month or something. There’s miles more in his reports, I’ve used only a little for each player but Pronman has very good descriptions of player, skills and shortcomings. I’ve been reading scouting reports since the 1970’s and his are extremely thorough and an easy read.

WOODLIEF’S OILERS

  • No. 1: Connor McDavid. Dynamic speed and acceleration. Has a top end separation gear that’s a blur.
  • No. 81: Ethan Bear. Good skater, laser shot, sharp tape-to-tape passes. Needs to refine positioning.
  • Woodlief about Reinhart (before the draft): Griffin Reinhart, is easily the biggest defender available at 6-4, 207 pounds, though he’s not naturally physical or aggressive. Reinhart is a workhorse who can be used on both special teams and soak up big minutes. He plays an extremely calm game with terrific four-way mobility and puck movement skills, and has strong bloodlines as the son of longtime NHL blue-liner Paul Reinhart.

Woodlief is the gold standard and despite some misses over the years (Hemsky) would be my choice for ‘desert island’ scouting service. Woodlief and Red Line employ good people (Kirk Luedeke is a fabulous addition) and their scouting reports pull no punches. His service is more expensive but extremely worthwhile.

BUTTON’S OILERS

  • No. 1: Connor McDavid. Two words; unprecedented speed. Skating speed, hand quickness and mental processing that he executes simultaneously to threaten defenders and create opportunities. He would be the first pick at every draft since Sidney Crosby in 2005, perhaps even in Crosby’s draft year.
  • No. 77: Ethan Bear. There’s a lot of substance in his game. He doesn’t get himself into trouble, you earn everything you get when playing against him. Coming out of his own zone, he understands what the options are and these are things that will translate to the NHL.
  • No. 81: Caleb Jones.
  • No. 86: Ziyat Paigin.
  • Button on Reinhart (before the draft): He has a an excellent understanding of the game with a composure and patience that may suggest a lack of urgency but don’t be confused, his competitive waters run deep and he’s capable of being aggressive and assertive when necessary. He is a very good skater with strong balance and agility and along with his size, he is extremely difficult to break down 1-1 and gain an advantage on. He uses his body effectively and doesn’t lose position and is capable of punishing opponents. His vision is very good, he sees the play unfolding, knows what his options are and is capable of doing this very quickly. He makes very good plays in all areas of the game and ones that gain advantages for his team. His offensive skills continue to evolve and he is increasingly confident creating offense. Griffin has an assuredness in his play and along with his skill and physical attributes, makes him a player who has a chance to be an impact player in the NHL.

My list of the Oilers Top 20 prospects for Summer 2015 is here and the entire organization’s prospect list and 2015-16 expectation is here. This ends my coverage of the 2015 entry draft, hope you enjoyed it!

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25 Responses to "I CAN SEE THE RED TAIL LIGHTS HEADING FOR SPAIN"

  1. RexLibris says:

    Tomorrow we begin our analysis of the 2016 draft class!

    🙂

    Kidding.

    kind of.

  2. jake70 says:

    “He would be the first pick at every draft since Sidney Crosby in 2005, perhaps even in Crosby’s draft year”

    I am sure I am not alone, but every once in while I get that giddy laugh like I did lottery night. Reading that triggered another episode.

  3. oilfan9911 says:

    RexLibris,

    So long as it begins with who’s likely to be available at 14-18 I’m all for it.

  4. DBO says:

    Looking at the draft rankings, we seem to have done really well. As I believe you mentioned LT, you would have been ok with Bear in the second round. Yes we gave up a lot for Reinhart, but he seems to be what you want in a top 4 Seabrook type of player. And add the solid value picks we got, with players who fell but we’re on many lists, and the draft picks, along with Reinhart and Talbot seems to make it very successful.

    Two way defenceman with the ability to make a pass out of the zone, but coupled with some grit and hard play is a direction in drafting I can fully support.

    I hope Nurse and Reinhart and Draisatl all start in the AHL. Give them big minutes for 30-40 games. Let the vets fight to stay (we may have motivated vets, like Purcell and Nikitin fighting for new contracts) then dump them closer to deadline and bring up the more seasoned against men kids who dominated the AHL. there is nothing wrong with this approach. Maybe I am still pessimistic due to the past, but I can’t see us as a playoff team yet, so easing the kids in will pay dividends. Pump and dump the vets. Kids in by mid season. Happy times.

  5. sliderule says:

    A big thank you for all the excellent work you put in to the draft coverage .

  6. Lowetide says:

    DBO: The passing caught my eye early, it’s a reason I have Bear ranked high (No. 38) and Marino in my top 120 (No. 112). I didn’t rank Jones but at the recent orientation camp he looked very mobile and is more offensive than the numbers in the USHL implied. We’ll get a good idea on all of these kids this coming year.

  7. Oil2Oilers says:

    RexLibris,

    Fun thing about the 2016 draft is there is no glaring need. The team is stacked with skilled young centers, backed up by young large tough centers. Plus, so many talented young defenders there is no room for them all. Needs are basically down to goal tending voodoo and skilled wingers. This is a good place to be and yet another McDavid miracle.

  8. anonymous says:

    I think Mcdavid goes first over Crosby due to playing in the OHL. Their numbers are similar but the Q is higher scoring. I want to say the comparison between now and the crosby draft might favor Mcdavid even more but I’d be guessing.

  9. Loyal2theoil says:

    In 2016, there’s a lot of Alberta boys available. Tyler Benson and Sam Steel of Sherwood Park. Kale Clague of Lloydminister. Etc. A couple of them could be available 10-20 range.

  10. jfry says:

    OT:

    Can someone tell me where I can find more information on “bombay charts” that war on ice is using?
    http://war-on-ice.com/bombay-scores.html

    I’d like to know what this kind of chart is called, “outside of hockey” as I feel that it has tremendous applications in my day-to-day, but for the life of me, I can’t find any information on it.

    Does anyone know of a tool to create this kind of chart?

    I really appreciate any input. thanks. I hope you all had a good long weekend.

  11. RexLibris says:

    oilfan9911:
    RexLibris,

    So long as it begins with who’s likely to be available at 14-18 I’m all for it.

    So you’re saying they trade up from 30th?

    Bold.

  12. RexLibris says:

    jfry:
    OT:

    Can someone tell me where I can find more information on “bombay charts” that war on ice is using?
    http://war-on-ice.com/bombay-scores.html

    I’d like to know what this kind of chart is called, “outside of hockey” as I feel that it has tremendous applications in my day-to-day, but for the life of me, I can’t find any information on it.

    Does anyone know of a tool to create this kind of chart?

    I really appreciate any input. thanks. I hope you all had a good long weekend.

    I don’t have a name for them but I fooled around with them a few years back when I was doing my draft history research.

    I love the format that lets you compare two values in a variety of areas or over a time span, but never really found a way to use it for the draft purposes that I had time for. The only method that came to mind was to draw up a mean value for each round by success %s and then do a graph for each team per year against that average.

    Like I said though, never got around to it as I had to move on to other projects.

    It is a nice visual format, though, with lots of potential.

  13. jfry says:

    RexLibris,

    it’s an amazing visual tool. my company sells digital ads and SEO services and i’m always looking for easier ways to describe ad performance and this format sums up 10 boring spreadsheets into an instantly digestible format. it’s awesome.

  14. G Money says:

    jfry,

    They are called radar or spider charts. I actually think XL can produce them but I don’t have my work laptop here so I can’t confirm for sure.

  15. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    jfry,

    They are called radar or spider charts. I actually think XL can produce them but I don’t have my work laptop here so I can’t confirm for sure.

    Yes, XL can, that’s where I came across them first. Standard MS Office Excel. I had a chunk of data on Kevin Lowe, iirc, and Randy Carlyle and just started dropping it into every graph format I could find just to see what happened. That came out and it was pretty obvious how you could use it to contrast performances of two or one against the field. Tried three and it got a little messy so figured it was ideal using two data sets.

  16. jfry says:

    G Money,

    Thanks so much, i’m already deep into reading. I really appreciate it!

  17. RexLibris says:

    Geez, 10 in the evening on the Monday of a long weekend and a bunch of us are here discussing the enormous potential of an obscure graphing tool on a hockey blog.

    Nerds indeed.

    I am home.

  18. slopitch says:

    Thanks for all the good reads LT. It’s nice to keep the hockey fresh on the mind.

    Still can’t believe we got CMD.

  19. jfry says:

    RexLibris,

    awesome, right?!!

  20. JJ says:

    jfry says:
    August 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    OT:

    Can someone tell me where I can find more information on “bombay charts” that war on ice is using?
    http://war-on-ice.com/bombay-scores.html
    —————————————————————————

    Here is a tutorial on Radar Charts in Excel.

    http://www.internet4classrooms.com/excel_radar.htm

  21. jfry says:

    JJ,

    that’s the exact tut i started with. thanks!!

  22. mujidog says:

    Thank you Lowetide.

    We Oilers fans are truly lucky to have your voice and enthusiasm (both on radio and on blogs) covering the Oilers. Seriously thanks. I’ve been following you and others in the Oilogosphere for several years now. Being an Oilers Fan is one thing. Being an Oilers Nerd (and that’s what we all are) is a whole ‘nother level. And it’s a lot of fun. Sure, it’s a lot of “wasted” time and energy, but that’s what hobbies are.

    Thank you.

  23. rickithebear says:

    Radial charts are real awesome when you apply dimensional amplitude like a A volman’s bubble.

    It was an extensive tool used fro Nfl position player valuation.

    Have been using basic ones to define ( good box protection D)

    As we go thru a full Alrm Mgmt review of the false acting alarms related to uneeded trips in power plants.

    A lot of the situational bar graphs on cntl boards have a more effective visual recognition when display ed in a radial fashion relative to equipment conditions.

    A Power Eng can be conditioned to recognize and react to those radial shapes.

    Rather than ignore alarms cause of over alarming. leading to major equipment failures.

    We are doing a major review of alarm ignoring and reacting paralleled with different board displays.

    it is the most simple way to take many values and have conditioned recognition.

    I am sure most people can look at 10 values and visualize a radial display of that data. Instantly recognize th players you want and do not want.

  24. sliderule says:

    Leaf fans have to be excited by the performance of Mitch Marner in last nights Canada vs Russia game.

    He made play after play showing his magical puck handling and vision.

    If he can stay healthy he might end up second best player of 2015 draft.

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