REVIEWING THE OILERS 2012 DRAFT

Looking back, the height of Edmonton’s chaos under Katz may have taken place at the 2012 entry draft. When people talk about things like ‘snafu’ or ‘fubar’, they are referring to being present in moments like this one:

  • Mark Spector: Head amateur scout Stu MacGregor would ask the scouts to vote, and then he would leave the room. He’d come back with some alternate criteria to describe the type of player the Oilers wanted to choose, and they’d vote again. Every time, the vote came back the same. Nine votes for defenceman Ryan Murray, and two for Nail Yakupov. Truth be told, one of those Yakupov votes had started as a vote for Alex Galchenyuk, then morphed into support for Yakupov. Source

As you know, the final vote that counted (Tambellini? MacT? Katz?) cast the ballot for Nail Yakupov and the rest is history. I have written about this very issue before, and wrote about the best plan of action in life when faced with the issue described above:

  • If I could give one piece of advice to the Oilers scouting department it would be this. Fuck ’em, fuck ’em all. Sooner or later, everyone gets the shiv, might as well go down with the courage of your convictions. You were looking for a job when you found this one. Source

I agreed with the pick of Yakupov in 2012, agree with it now. I am also not a scout. You need to fire all of your scouts if there are no plans to listen to them. If you ever wonder why Bob Nicholson, Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan were needed by this organization, read that Spector article again.

  • No. 1 overall: R Nail Yakupov. The difficult maturation of Yakupov never had a chance in Edmonton, and I will go to my grave blaming the suits—your mileage may vary. Through 3.44 seasons with Edmonton, he averaged only 32 points per 82 games played. He was pretty damned good when they gave him a veteran center.
  • No. 32 overall: L Mitchell Moroz. Moroz is now two AHL seasons into his career and did improve year over year. Two things have happened recently that could help him. First, Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan do like bigger forwards, and there is a role for Moroz (or similar) on a future Oilers team. Second, he did play (when he played, Moroz got into 40 games)  more (estimated 12 minutes) than a year ago (estimated 8:49) if estimated time-on-ice is accurate. That increase in TOI suggests the organization believes he can develop into something useful. Scott Cullen’s numbers tell us selection No. 32 has a 34% chance of playing 100 NHL games and the average pick at this number becomes a minor leaguer with 50+ games in the NHL.
  • No. 63 overall: C Jujhar Khaira. He did exactly what one hopes every prospect can do, spike during his entry-level deal. The fact Khaira did it in year two is even better. Having already played in the NHL for the new coach and GM gives him an advantage heading toward training camp, and he could see more NHL time in the coming season. One thing Khaira seems to have over several previous AHL hopefuls (Hartikainen, Lander): Good foot speed. It is important. Scott Cullen’s work shows a player taken No. 63 overall has a  37.5% of playing 100 NHL games and the average player at this number is a good to very good minor league who could be expected to play in 50 or so NHL games. Khaira has 15 on his resume.
  • No. 91 overall: L Daniil Zharkov. Russian winger was a surprise add to Bakersfield’s first training camp roster last fall. The cool story ended badly though, as he tore the ACL in the same knee that forced him out of action last season. Absolutely up in the air as a prospect. Scott Cullen’s numbers tell us selection No. 91 has a 24.5% chance of playing 100 NHL games and the average pick at this number becomes a minor leaguer with under 50 NHL games as the expectation.
  • No. 93 overall: D Erik Gustafsson. This was a really nice pick, have had a chance to see him and I think he will have an NHL career. Definitely playing a support role for the Blackhawks (41 games), his underling numbers are pretty damn nice. The Cullen story goes like this: No. 93 has a 24.5% chance of playing 100 NHL games and the average pick at this number becomes a minor league player/under 50 NHL games. Gustafsson has basically covered his draft bet, buy whoever picked him a beer when you see him.
  • No. 123 overall: D Joey Laleggia. He had a pretty strong AHL debut, posting 27 points in 63 games. The coach gave him playing time too (estimated 18:50) and that is somewhat unusual for new pro players. Laleggia is an older prospect—turns 24 in June—so his time is now. Cullen’s toy has Laleggia with a 16% chance of making it to 100 NHL games and average is a minor leaguer with 10-50 games in the NHL.
  • No. 153 overall: John McCarron. He signed a pro deal and played most of the year with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. Unlikely to have a long pro career, but you never know. His chances are no worse than men like Aidan Muir and Evan Campbell, and you could argue the chances are a little better based on his size. The Cullen story goes like this: No. 153 has a 15% chance of playing 100 NHL games and the average pick at this number becomes a minor league player/under 50 NHL games.

Cullen’s list is here, and you may also enjoy ‘Harvest Moon‘ written in the moments after the draft. If you look at this draft through the filter of the Yakupov pick, I think it is pretty difficult to argue the scouts failed in this draft. Khaira and Gustafsson look like they will get an NHL chance, and we will see how Yakupov fares in his new town. Three NHL players from this draft is possible and that would represent a pretty good selection weekend.

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43 Responses to "REVIEWING THE OILERS 2012 DRAFT"

  1. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    I was re-reading my old travel log from 2012. At the time, I was in a foreign country with limited internet when I discovered that the Oilers had signed Justin Schultz and drafted Yakupov (I learned both items at the same time).

    My travel log was filled with positive comments like “It’s as though we just drafted 2 first overall picks. Good times ahead soon enough!”

    Lord… Katz’s Oilers have really put their fans’ hearts through the meat grinder.

  2. JJ says:

    LT et al,

    I think you will find this interesting.

    The article/blog, Process, Outcome and Sport, talks about the resignation letter from
    Sam Hinkie. of the Philadelphia 76ers.

    You can listen and read the actual letter here
    http://www.trendfollowing.com/2016/04/17/ep-442-process-outcome-sport-michael-covel-trend-following-radio/

    Thank you LT for this blog.

    P.S. Dear Oilers, More process (AHL) for our new prospects to create better outcomes.

  3. Alpine says:

    Ah, the summer of 2012. Pretty much the peak of my Fire Tambo rage, and that rage plateau’d until he was fired. I don’t think we acquired a single veteran NHLer that offseason until moving out a third for Fistric after the lockout ended.

    Those Tambo years, man. Hopeless, but the brass had the balls to spin it like it was anything but.

    Still funny how Chia found two useful Coke machines in the span of two months when Tambo and whoever else used and traded numerous picks on guys who might become Shawn Thornton.

  4. Water Fire says:

    At least they should have kept the one guy that spotted the best player who is Galchenyuk. Trade down do what ever given that draft (but the BOTB had it goin’ on for Murray even though he was weak when it counted in the TOSSS) and do what LT said. Legends aren’t made in weak decisions.

    Still, McDavid!

  5. Ducey says:

    Water Fire:
    At least they should have kept the one guy that spotted the best player who is Galchenyuk. Trade down do what ever given that draft (but the BOTB had it goin’ on for Murray even though he was weak when it counted in the TOSSS) and do what LT said. Legends aren’t made in weak decisions.

    Still, McDavid!

    Ironically, they should fire the guy that originally voted for Yak.

    He had the stats but for the life of me I cannot see what the scouts saw in him. His junior highlight packs show a guy who made a living playing featured minutes. I did like his last few games this year though.

    I wonder what’s up with Moroz. He seems like guy who might be having some issues away from the rink.

  6. TheOtherJohn says:

    Oilers might not have anyone on their roster next year from the ’12 draft notwithstanding having the #1, 4 and 32,pick from that draft. In their draft plus 5 season. On a 29th place team. That is really really REALLY hard to do. You can equally blame the amateur scouts, pro scouts (Reinhart) and the pro development staff.

  7. AsiaOil says:

    Anyone think that this is an acceptable line for a 1OV in D+4?

    82 4-21-25 -10

    There would be howls equally as loud if we chose Murray who is nowhere even close to being the best defenseman of that draft let alone the best player. That most of our scout saw differently just confirms how clueless they were.

  8. Colieo87 says:

    Well the 2007 and 2012 draft is almost offically in the graveyard. Yawn

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    AsiaOil:
    Anyone think that this is an acceptable line for a 1OV in D+4?

    824-21-25-10

    There would be howls equally as loud if we chose Murray who is nowhere even close to being the best defenseman of that draft let alone the best player. That most of our scout saw differently just confirms how clueless they were.

    I think you mean “that most scouts… “

  10. square_wheels says:

    Holy shit Philly game is out of hand !

  11. Clay says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think you mean “that most scouts… ”

    Agreed. The general consensus was Murray was the best dman (even Mr. McKenzie). Consensus #2 was Griffin Reinhart, who the Oilers were also high on.

    I think it’s more of an indictment of trying to project 18 year olds than it is of Oilers scouting.

  12. square_wheels says:

    5 ppg – stick a fork in the Flyers, totally undisciplined all year and now it’s catching them.

    Tough to see Orpik and Orlov down though.

  13. TheOtherJohn says:

    Agree with Rom

    NHL scouts did not cover themselves with glory in the 2012 draft and, in particular, picking the D

    Think a redraft of D would likely go:

    Lindholm
    Reilly
    Ghost
    Parayko
    Maata
    Murray
    Trouba
    Dumba
    Severson
    Ceci

    Reinhart or Pouliot

    Now go look at the draft order

    Oiler picks still pretty bad

  14. TheOtherJohn says:

    Clay,

    Then why do the Oilers do such a bad job drafting? After a decade at the front of each draft

  15. sliderule says:

    In fairness to all the scouts the 2012 draft was weak and a lot of top players were injured and as a result hard to evaluate .

    Galchenyuk and Reilly missed most of season .Murray and Yakupov both played only around 46 games because of injuries.

    The reason I was told that the scouts didn’t want Yakupov was because his father was a pain in ass interfering with coaches about the way his son was being handled..With the way Yak and his agent and you have to assume his family have dealt with oilers the scouts were right on.

  16. Washingtron says:

    This is in the running for most off topic of all time, but I’m in an episode of Blindspot on NBC tonight as an art forger. I know more than anyone that the playoffs take precedence, but I was proud and wanted to share.

  17. Johnny skid says:

    sliderule: The reason I was told that the scouts didn’t want Yakupov was because his father was a pain in ass interfering with coaches about the way his son was being handled..With the way Yak and his agent and you have to assume his family have dealt with oilers the scouts were right on.

    this comment would be a hit on hfboards.

  18. Aron_S says:

    What I recall most about day 2 of the draft was the disappointment that Samuelsson went at the end of the first and the Oilers in turn went after Moroz. There was a lot of hand wringing about the selection (and justifications of “someone else had their eye on him, so we took him now.” I know we’re not following the wait.five.years. rule to judge it, but looking at those second round selections, I really think the 2012 quality was piss poor and we couldn’t see it at the time.

    I remember wanting them to grab Frk or Aberg. Looks like I would’ve blown the pick too.

  19. sliderule says:

    Johnny skid,

    I actually posted this back in 2012 on this site.

    If you don’t like it just ignore.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Aron_S:
    What I recall most about day 2 of the draft was the disappointment that Samuelsson went at the end of the first and the Oilers in turn went after Moroz. There was a lot of hand wringing about the selection (and justifications of “someone else had their eye on him, so we took him now.” I know we’re not following the wait.five.years. rule to judge it, but looking at those second round selections, I really think the 2012 quality was piss poor and we couldn’t see it at the time.

    I remember wanting them to grab Frk or Aberg. Looks like I would’ve blown the pick too.

    Looking like it for sure. I wanted one of Aberg, Finn or Thrower, and two of those three have been in the ECHL a lot. Aberg looks like he might work out, though.

  21. Johnny skid says:

    sliderule: I actually posted this back in 2012 on this site.

    did anyone with any credibility comment on this or just you?

  22. Ryan says:

    Anyone watching the Wild/Stars game?

    In the tournament of ‘seen him good’ in limited viewing… I haven’t seen Demers particularly good. Not terrible, but if he’s the big add, it feels like a Sekera-esque addition. Good add but not nearly enough. I know his underlying numbers are pretty good..

  23. Ryan says:

    Ryan:
    Anyone watching the Wild/Stars game?

    In the tournament of ‘seen him good’ in limited viewing…I haven’t seen Demers particularly good.Not terrible, but if he’s the big add, it feels like a Sekera-esque addition.Good add but not nearly enough. I know his underlying numbers are pretty good..

    Cue the goal from Demers.

  24. Chachi says:

    Washingtron:
    This is in the running for most off topic of all time, but I’m in an episode of Blindspot on NBC tonight as an art forger.I know more than anyone that the playoffs take precedence, but I was proud and wanted to share.

    Congrats! That is a fantastic show!

  25. marty62 says:

    Yak is going to be added to the long list of Oiler players that goes to other teams and shines. Some team will give him a center and he will score 25 to 30 goals a year for the next decade…. Miroslav Satan says hello…

  26. El Duderino says:

    sliderule:
    In fairness to all the scouts the 2012 draft was weak and a lot of top players were injured and as a result hard to evaluate .

    Galchenyuk and Reilly missed most of season .Murray and Yakupov both played onlyaround 46 games because of injuries.

    The reason I was told that the scouts didn’t want Yakupov was because his father was a pain in ass interfering with coaches about the way his son was being handled..With the way Yak and his agent and you have to assume his family have dealt with oilers the scouts were right on.

    I don’t mind seeing this type of info’ at all. Plus Sliderule has a fair amount of credibility (in response to Skidmark).

  27. Ryan says:

    marty62:
    Yak is going to be added to the long list of Oiler players that goes to other teams and shines.Some team will give him a center and he will score 25 to 30 goals a year for the next decade….Miroslav Satan says hello…

    I’ll go on record here as saying that I can’t see that happening like at all.

  28. DBO says:

    Been traveling for business, so missed some of the talk about Eberle, Yak, etc. Wonder if only a few moves makes us balanced and playoff worthy. Keep pick, deal Eberle, sign Stempniak and Demers.

    Hall-Nuge-Laine
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yak
    Maroon-Draisatl-Stempniak
    Hendricks-Lander-Kassian
    Khaira-Slepyshev

    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Sekera-Demers
    Davidson-Fayne
    Nurse

    Is that a playoff team? Only deal is Eberle for Hamonic and a prospect. Sign Demers and astempniak type vet. Letestu and Korpikoski dealt for picks or prospects for cap space.

  29. admiralmark says:

    Of course we all know that had Galchenyuk been drafted he would of been given the same development path as Yakupov. And Murray would of started out his career playing 1st pair min’s with Justin Schultz as his partner. So there’s that.

  30. Clay says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Clay,

    Then why do the Oilers do such a bad job drafting? After a decade at the front of each draft

    Oh, there’s plenty of evidence to say they do a shitty job drafting. I’m just saying that 2012 was one of those years where everyone got it wrong. At the top end, anyway.

    The Islanders offered Columbus all of their draft picks (including #4 overall) for #2 overall, in the hopes of getting Murray. You don’t think, in hindsight, Columbus would like a re-do there? Do you think Garth Snow would’ve regretted that trade?

    A re-draft would probably have Forsberg going #1, and he fell to #11.

    It was just a messed up year.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2012/06/new-york-islanders-columbus-blue-jackets-draft-picks-trade.html

  31. admiralmark says:

    sliderule:
    In fairness to all the scouts the 2012 draft was weak and a lot of top players were injured and as a result hard to evaluate .

    Galchenyuk and Reilly missed most of season .Murray and Yakupov both played onlyaround 46 games because of injuries.

    The reason I was told that the scouts didn’t want Yakupov was because his father was a pain in ass interfering with coaches about the way his son was being handled..With the way Yak and his agent and you have to assume his family have dealt with oilers the scouts were right on.

    Personally I don’t mind one bit how Yak, Larionov, or his father have handled his tenure as an Oiler. He was given a piss poor developmental path and he has a right to want out.

  32. AsiaOil says:

    I honestly have concerns about throwing Sekera-like money at Demers. Even at his current $3.65 million he seems paid in full. If he wants/gets $5 million then I think you walk away from that number. We rolled the dice on Sekera out of desperation and seemed to have done OK – just don’t feel like risking it again on a 25 point a year #4 guy. Just don’t see much value in UFA this summer so a trade for a 2nd pair RHD seems the better route. I’d take Vatanen before Demers for the offense which is a bigger need.

    Think NYI would do Fayne plus our #1 (if we are 4th or 5th) for Hamonic and their late first rounder?

    The 2 Finn wingers and Sergachev are intriguing though – liking the Russian as he’s the highest goal scoring dman in the OHL as a foreign rookie and he was coming on like gangbusters late.

  33. Ryan says:

    AsiaOil:
    I honestly have concerns about throwing Sekera-like money at Demers. Even at his current $3.65 million he seems paid in full. If he wants/gets $5 million then I think you walk away from that number. We rolled the dice on Sekera out of desperation and seemed to have done OK – just don’t feel like risking it again on a 25 point a year #4 guy. Just don’t see much value in UFA this summer so a trade for a 2nd pair RHD seems the better route. I’d take Vatanen before Demers for the offense which is a bigger need.

    Think NYI would do Fayne plus our #1 (if we are 4th or 5th) for Hamonic and their late first rounder?

    Haha, you sort of read my mind.

    If… If…If we can sign Demers… He will get paid in full and then some in dollars and term.

  34. who says:

    AsiaOil:
    I honestly have concerns about throwing Sekera-like money at Demers. Even at his current $3.65 million he seems paid in full. If he wants/gets $5 million then I think you walk away from that number. We rolled the dice on Sekera out of desperation and seemed to have done OK – just don’t feel like risking it again on a 25 point a year #4 guy. Just don’t see much value in UFA this summer so a trade for a 2nd pair RHD seems the better route. I’d take Vatanen before Demers for the offense which is a bigger need.

    Think NYI would do Fayne plus our #1 (if we are 4th or 5th) for Hamonic and their late first rounder?

    The 2 Finn wingers and Sergachev are intriguing though – liking the Russian as he’s the highest goal scoring dman in the OHL as a foreign rookie and he was coming on like gangbusters late.

    Yeah I think they can afford one sek contract but not two. They are already paying fayne way too much, no need to add to the collection.

  35. Alpine says:

    admiralmark: Personally I don’t mind one bit how Yak, Larionov, or his father have handled his tenure as an Oiler. He was given a piss poor developmental path and he has a right to want out.

    I think it was Godot a couple years who brought up that Igor Larionov, a man fully confident in his knowledge, ability, and achievements, wasn’t going to let Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins of all people dictate how his client was handled.

    Igor was one of the best players on the dynasty Wings in his late 30s! He wasn’t going to back down to a couple of rookies in their first ever big league managerial/coaching roles.

  36. digger50 says:

    DBO:
    Been traveling for business, so missed some of the talk about Eberle, Yak, etc. Wonder if only a few moves makes us balanced and playoff worthy. Keep pick, deal Eberle, sign Stempniak and Demers.

    Hall-Nuge-Laine
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yak
    Maroon-Draisatl-Stempniak
    Hendricks-Lander-Kassian
    Khaira-Slepyshev

    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Sekera-Demers
    Davidson-Fayne
    Nurse

    Is that a playoff team? Only deal is Eberle for Hamonic and a prospect. Sign Demers and astempniak type vet. Letestu and Korpikoski dealt for picks or prospects for cap space.

    My take Is yes, it looks very good and did not cost much in regards to assets. Just for fun, I would move Drai to the wing. Yes he’s great Center but as for a playoff team they
    may be better beefing up the wing with Drai and then trying to add Backes at Center free agent instead of Stempniak. Use Stemnial or Versteeg to fill for Yak is he’s moved.

    As for Landers, would love to see him receive another chance but at this point can you give him that fourth line Center spot over Letestu? I also believe just a few (4) key moves necessary, if they can nail the rift players. Besides two defence, one draft pick and one top 9 tough to play against forward.

    Guess I better include back up goalie, so 5 players on my list.

  37. AsiaOil says:

    who: Yeah I think they can afford one sek contract but not two. They are already paying fayne way too much, no need to add to the collection.

    That’s my take as well – no more paid-in-full 2nd pair dmen – which is what Sekera actually is. Hamonic could hold his own as a defensive guy on a top pair with Klef – and we might have to trade a winger or young LHD to get an offensive 2nd pair RHD like Vatanen to play with Sekera. But Demers is going to cash in because of the lack of UFA dmen this summer – particularly RHD. I’d pass unless the price is well below what I think it will be.

  38. John Chambers says:

    AsiaOil: That’s my take as well – no more paid-in-full 2nd pair dmen – which is what Sekera actually is. Hamonic could hold his own as a defensive guy on a top pair with Klef – and we might have to trade a winger or young LHD to get an offensive 2nd pair RHD like Vatanen to play with Sekera. But Demers is going to cash in because of the lack of UFA dmen this summer – particularly RHD. I’d pass unless the price is well below what I think it will be.

    I guess it depends on whether you want to give up assets or money.

    If we can agree that we need two top-four RH defensemen, then at least one of them will have to be acquired in a trade. Demers isn’t an ideal option in the same vein as Sekara, but his playing time and point totals have been steadily increasing over his career and he’s 27 which means you’re getting the player at his prime.

    I think Demers and Hamonic would represent a B+ of a summer in that the two major check boxes get filled but we fall short of a true top-pair player. But the plus side is that it would cost a minimal amount of forward and/or draft-assets to acquire.

    Demers is a nice player. $5.5 X 6 is a high price to pay but he’s no Dan Girardi and I’ve been convinced now that any player / contract is moveable if the will exists.

  39. AsiaOil says:

    John Chambers: Demers is a nice player. $5.5 X 6 is a high price to pay but he’s no Dan Girardi and I’ve been convinced now that any player / contract is moveable if the will exists.

    Wow that’s a ton of money to pay a “lesser Sekera” who only has a single 30 point season (3 seasons ago) and has never scored more than 7 goals. A big pass if that’s what it takes since that contract will effectively kill any attempt to get a far better dman or pay one of our own young guys that develops.

  40. hags9k says:

    If on draft day 2016, Patrick Laine is not enough to land a defensive defensemen Hamonic who has requested a trade to Western Canada, I give up.

  41. JimmyV1965 says:

    I really loathe the idea of signing UFAs. You always pay for past performance and rarely does it work out. At best, you sign someone like Sekera, who is merely okay for the money you pay. We are much better off making hockey trades or offer sheeting RFAs. Would much rather get Barrie than Demers and their cap numbers will probably end up very similiar. Why throw money at Lucic when you can offer sheet Kreider? Or better yet, threaten to offer sheet and then make a trade.

  42. Professor Q says:

    hags9k,

    I don’t think that’d be a good trade for whichever team is giving up Laine…

  43. who says:

    hags9k:
    If on draft day 2016, Patrick Laine is not enough to land a defensive defensemen Hamonic who has requested a trade to Western Canada, I give up.

    I’m sure you could get Hamonic for Laine but it would be a bad trade for the Oilers. Seems like a lot of people on this board really underestimate what a top 3 or top 5 pick is worth in most drafts. Yeah the Oilers have made some mistakes here, like Yak, but that doesn’t make this pick any less valuable. Calling it magic beans or whatever is silly. This spot is where most of the true impact players are found. Yeah you can get lucky in the later rounds but I don’t think you can count on it . This may be the last time for quite a while that the Oilers get a pick anywhere near this high, I think they should take advantage of it.

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