We have three years of information now from the 2013 draft, and the NHL players in the selection are making themselves known. At this point, 28 of the 30 first-round picks have played in an NHL game and Edmonton has dressed three of their picks from that draft in the NHL since 2013.
- No. 7 overall: D Darnell Nurse. The big, tough and mobile defender played most of the season in the NHL, and (as the graph shows) started well. Edmonton would have done well to give him more time in the AHL (sending him down after 20 games would have been a plan) but they instead attempted to (I think) fast track him. I am still confident he will be an NHL player and some of his rookie comparables (Andrej Sekera, Robyn Regehr) are promising (when using point shares via hockey-reference.com). Like Regehr, I think a lot of Nurse’s value is going to be defensive. Scott Cullen informs us there’s a 90% chance Nurse will be 100 NHL games and the average player at this spot ends up being an NHL regular who spends time as a top 6D or better.
- No. 56 overall: C Marco Roy. In many ways Roy is the forgotten prospect in the 2013 draft, partly because he wasn’t signed (he is on an AHL deal) and partly because the Q is a tough league to find out (in the west). He went 41, 8-12-20 in his first season with Bakersfield—and 2-7-9 with 15 shots in his final six games. Seems reasonable to still count him as a disappointment, but he wrote an interesting story this season. NHLE: 19 points.
- No. 83 overall: C Bogdan Yakimov. Scott Cullen’s study shows a 24% chance for Yakimov to play 100 NHL games and the average player at this spot is a minor leaguer who plays fewer than 50 games in the show. He had a good AHL debut in 2014-15 (57, 12-16-28) and this year divided time between the KHL (11, 3-1-4) and AHL (35, 5-10-15). A giant (6.05, 232) center, he would seem to be a useful player when he develops, but the offense didn’t spike in year two. NHLE: 17 points.
- No. 88 overall: L Anton Slepyshev. He is probably the most talented skill winger in the system at this time. The Russian is wrapping up a frustrating season in promising fashion. Made the big club out of camp, but was demoted and then slumped in Bakersfield. An injury derailed his AHL season (48, 13-8-21, NHLE: 17 points) but he ended the year 18, 6-6-12 (pending tonight). Scott Cullen’s study has a 24% chance for the Russian to play 100 NHL games and the average player at this spot is a minor league forward who plays fewer than 50 games in the league. I think he might be a player.
- No. 94 overall: R Jackson Houck. He spent his final junior season with Vancouver and Calgary, scoring at a point per game with the Hitmen. Signed an ATO with the San Antonio Ramage after the year ended and he has played three games with them. He has a 24.5% chance at 100 NHL games based on Cullen’s math (a better chance than the Russians, a strange reflection of past success) and the average for this draft slot is minor leaguer who spends 50 games in the NHL.
- No. 96 overall: C Kyle Platzer. Platzer did not post impressive boxcars as an AHL rookie (47, 5-11-16. NHLE: 13). His defensive ability was a known item on draft day, so we could be looking at a real two-way find in the fourth round of the 2013 draft—but he needs to deliver more offense next year. Scott Cullen’s study has a 24.5% chance at 100 NHL games and the average player at this spot is a minor leaguer who plays fewer than 50 games in the league.
- No. 113 overall: L Aidan Muir. The big winger had a good NCAA debut in 2014-15, but could not follow it up this season (35, 2-6-8). He was No. 8 in team scoring last year, just No. 12 this time around—that usually means he lost playing time to someone. Not promising. NHLE:8 points.
- No. 128 overall: L Evan Campbell. In 2014-15, he had a solid-to-good NCAA season as a sophomore, posting enough points to rank No. 4 in team scoring. Like Muir, he took a step down this year (28, 5-7-12. NHLE: 13 points) and at 23 will need to spike in a big way in his final college season. The Oilers prospect has a 16% chance at 100 NHL games and the average for this draft slot is minor leaguer who spends 10-50 games in the NHL.
- No. 158 overall: D Ben Betker. Betker is a mountain on skates, has some mobility and worked his way from the ECHL (49, 3-14-17. NHLE: 6 points) to the AHL (14, 0-2-2). Edmonton’s newest giant has a 15% chance at 100 NHL games, average is minor leaguer who spends 10-50 games in the NHL.
- No. 188 overall: R Greg Chase. I thought he would play more in the AHL (19, 1-6-7. NHE: 14) but the heart of his winter came in Norfolk (43, 18-19-37. NHLE: 16). He has a unique skill set among Oilers prospects and that style should appeal to Chiarelli and McLellan. The extra TOI in the ECHL may benefit him next season in the AHL. Chase has a 10% chance at 100 NHL games and the average for this late pick is minor league forward who gets 10-50 games in the NHL.
As you might expect, the number of players we can count as real NHL prospects is dwindling after year three—I think reasonably we can count Nurse, Yakimov and Slepyshev in that category. The rest are curios until further notice but there are some fun follows like Platzer, Betker and Chase. A big season for all in 2016-17.
HOW IS THAT CRAZY TRADE GOING?
As a reminder, the trades were:
- First trade: Edmonton trades 37th overall (Valentin Zykov) to Los Angeles for 57th overall (William Carrier), 88th overall (Anton Slephyshev) and 96th overall (Kyle Platzer).
- Second trade: Oilers trade 57th overall (William Carrier) to St. Louis for 83rd overall (Bogdan Yakimov), 94th overall (Jackson Houck) and 113th overall (Aidan Muir).
- William Carrier (AHL) 56, 13-17-30 (NHLE: 21)
- Anton Slepyshev (AHL) 48, 13-8-21 (NHLE: 17) (Also played 11 NHL games)
- Bogdan Yakimov (AHL) 35, 5-10-15 (NHLE: 17) (Also played in the KHL)
- Kyle Platzer (AHL) 47, 5-11-16 (NHLE: 13)
- Valentin Zykov (AHL) 45, 7-7-14 (NHLE: 12) (Also traded to Carolina)
- Aidan Muir (NCAA) 35, 2-6-8 (NHLE: 8)
- Jackson Houck: Unsigned, played at 20 in the WHL.
- Carrier 2.109
- Slepyshev 1.894
- Yakimov 1.862
- Zykov 1.435
- Platzer 1.394
Carrier (now with Buffalo Sabres) is emerging as the best option from the group, but the two Russians and Platzer should make this interesting. After three years of watching this trade, still no clear winner in my opinion. Reasonable bet by MacTavish at the time, remains a decent one now. Yakimov photo by Mark Williams.