REVIEWING THE 2011 OILERS DRAFT

Sometimes it takes a few years to find out about a draft class, and it appears the Oilers 2011 group is at least a little about injury. How much will it impact the future? Too soon to know, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom are compiling a resume of difficulties that is at this point a legit concern. If they lose time this coming winter, we can graduate that concern into outright worry.

  • No. 1 overall: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. One of my favorite Oilers ever, he had a difficult season pretty much across the range of his abilities. We will review this during his RE, but the Nuge did not post a career high in any major category and was in fact well below average in many. His first five seasons are a close match offensively for David Krejci and that is an excellent player. As encouraging as 2014-15 was, this past season was something headed in the other direction. I remain convinced of his quality, but he missed a lot of games and he seemed to be out of sync all year.
  • No. 19 overall: D Oscar Klefbom. This was the major payment in the Dustin Penner deal and Klefbom’s place in the organization at this time suggests the deal was a good one. I am very bullish on his future, although the injury history is piling up. The mid-season injury was so ridiculous one doesn’t know how much to worry about it. When healthy this season, Klefbom was a major player and a difference maker. Absolutely vital to this team’s future.
  • No. 31 overall: D David Musil. Musil has developed at pace and made his NHL debut last season, but the NHL road was not available to him this year. A strange, and possibly galling coincidence for Musil? Although he did not play for Edmonton this year, Adam Clendening—taken four spots later in the 2011 selection—was claimed on waivers by the Oilers and spent a lot of time in the provincial capital. Plenty of time for an NHL career of his own, he is often mentioned as an epic draft fail due to the other names taken in the same round (who have past him). Ridiculous of course, Musil had nothing to do with when he was drafted.
  • No. 62 overall: G Samu Perhonen. Taking goaltenders early is a very risky business, but by round three it seems a reasonable bet and Perhonen was taken in that range. He didn’t do much between his draft day and the point Edmonton decided not to sign him, but over the past two seasons he has been building a decent resume. Maybe we will see him down the line.
  • No. 74 overall: C Travis Ewanyk. Ewanyk is now in the Ottawa organization, he posted the same offense as last season and appears to be settling in as an AHL checker—a role we discussed as being likely on his draft weekend.
  • No. 92 overall- D Dillon Simpson: Interesting player, he has been improving in small steps since his draft day. Tracking in a similar fashion to Brandon Davidson, although we shouldn’t read too much into it (the point about Brandon Davidson is that he turned into Brandon Davidson, not that guys with his resume always develop).
  • No. 114 overall: F Tobias Rieder. Rieder was a nice pick for Edmonton, absolutely looked good on draft day and everyday since. At least a solid double into the gap based on where he was taken and the career he is currently tailoring.
  • No. 122 overall: D Martin Gernat. He looked good in junior and had a good first year pro, but the organization soured on him in 2014 training camp and then he got hurt. Dealt away as a minor portion of a deadline deal, he seems to be at a professional crossroads.
  • No. 182 overall: G Frans Tuohimaa. Big Finn is now 24 and had a decent year in the Swedish Allsvenskan. He hasn’t really had a quality season since 2012-13.

Cullen’s list is here and you may also enjoy ‘Harvest Moon‘ written in the hours after the draft’s completion. I have in the past mentioned this as a strong draft, and the trio of Nuge, Klefbom and Tobias Rieder look poised to have long NHL careers. All three have posted over 100 NHL games five years after their draft—the last Oiler draft that could make that brag is 2005—and the only real worry is injury.

Among those who are still pushing, Dillon Simpson—for me—holds more promise than David Musil. It is important to note both men are card-carrying members in the longshot division, but Simpson has momentum and a track record for improvement.

This draft could have been so much better. Nuge and Klefbom were astute picks, and signing Rieder would have made it top drawer. The Musil selection overlooked exceptional talent, and while we shouldn’t blame the player, the organization itself gave so much talent back to the pool that the quality first round had less impact. The forensics may or may not have picked up on it. We wait.

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55 Responses to "REVIEWING THE 2011 OILERS DRAFT"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    Klefbom’s jersey should read:

    I’m with Stupid
    <——————

  2. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    3 legit NHL players and 2 that might still get there in Musil and Simpson.

    That’s not bad.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Mr. Debakey: Hahahaha.

    Cash: Agreed. Also why waiting five years is important.

  4. Woodguy says:

    So if the OIlers took Jenner or Saad (as many had hoped for) instead of Musil and signed Reider then the 2011 would have been “the draft that vaulted the Oilers back up to an Actual NHL Team”

    Instead we have a decent to good draft.

    Oh those OIlers.

  5. Cameron says:

    Flames fans recall the 2011 draft very well.

  6. Caramel Batman says:

    Re: Andrew Shaw

    It’s a strange world when assaulting a human being for no reason is totally fine, but a few words spoken in anger is worthy of a suspension.

    The NHL can do nothing right.

  7. bcoil says:

    Look you cant magically forget that Nuge and a whole lot of other kids on this team have only had ONE year of real NHL coaching .This year . That is not their fault they cant just learn the game thru Osmosis Their slow progress is at th edoor step of previous management .Take another look at these kids next January after a year and a half of real coaches and then you can be critical if they are still lagging but the last 6 years should just be sponged from everyones data.

  8. Chachi says:

    Cameron:
    Flames fans recall the 2011 draft very well.

    Yes, Laurent Brossoit could end up being a steal considering where they took him!

  9. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Cameron,

    Why would anyone care about what Flames fans think of the 2011 draft?

  10. John Chambers says:

    Just two or three months prior to the 2011 draft there still wasn’t a concensus pick among the NHL intelligentsia. Nuge, Larsson, Landeskog, Couturier, and to some extent Hamilton were the big names, with Huberdeau making a push after a ridiculous playoff in the Q.

    It would be hard to argue that RNH isn’t still the best player of the lot, but on the whole there seems to be a quantity of very good players destined for solid NHL careers vs a few impact players at the top of other drafts.

    Surprisingly, both Ottawa and Winnipeg went “off the board” selecting Zibanejad and Scheifele ahead of Couturier and Hamilton, and after 5 years it’s hard to argue that they made bad decisions as both of those players are very good 2C’s not yet having met their full potential.

  11. Chachi says:

    I saw Sam Gagner hustle on the back check today harder than I ever saw him do it as an Oiler. He was STILL almost “also in picture” on a dangerous Washington rush. Is it possible to lose a step at that young an age or has the game gotten that much faster since he started? More than ever, small and slow is a really dangerous combination for a player trying to hang on to a job in today’s NHL. That is my super “hot take” for the night.

  12. Cameron says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Cameron,

    Why would anyone care about what Flames fans think of the 2011 draft?

    Because we did it so much better than you and you hope one day to be better than last?

  13. Ryan says:

    Watching SNW. Can’t believe they have a brand of sausages made in Johnsonville.

  14. Hockey Buddha says:

    Woodguy:
    So if the OIlers took Jenner or Saad (as many had hoped for) instead of Musil and signed Reider then the 2011 would have been “the draft that vaulted the Oilers back up to an Actual NHL Team”

    Instead we have a decent to good draft.

    Oh those OIlers.

    I still think Musil is going to make a solid NHL defenseman, but Jenner is looking great. Rieder may not have wanted to sign here, if the rumours swirling around him when he was dealt for Kessey (who hasn’t shown all that much) had merit. Otherwise, it does look like a reasonably good draft. Rieder (in the sixth round) was a great find by the scouting staff! Klefbom is a fantastic player, and Nuge is one of my favourite players to watch. He thinks the game tremendously well.

  15. AsiaOil says:

    You know I’d really like to see RNH play with a couple of wingers who were good enough at both ends of the ice to free him up a bit for offense to see what he can do. The kid’s been stuck covering up for others his whole career because he’s naturally responsible at both ends of the rink – but you’ve got think it’s hurt his offensive output.

  16. Hockey Buddha says:

    Cameron: Because we did it so much better than you and you hope one day to be better than last?

    A troll. Cute.

  17. RexLibris says:

    Cameron: Because we did it so much better than you and you hope one day to be better than last?

    Your troll game is slipping.

    Or maybe it was the result of an unsustainable PDO and your sh% (in this case “sh” doesn’t stand for shooting) is regressing to the mean.

    😉

    Been awhile. Was wondering how things were going.

  18. RexLibris says:

    Interesting note on the Penner deal.

    I remember feeling pretty good about that deal at the time because it seemed like Penner was due to hit the wall before long and I hated the acquisition cost from the beginning.

    Wasn’t too excited about Teubert or the 3rd rounder, but the 1st was important for this team.

    I was more excited about winning (read: retaining) the 1st overall pick in 2011 than I was for the 2010 draft because I had been watching Nugent-Hopkins for a few months and REALLY wanted to add him to Hall and Eberle.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Cameron: Because we did it so much better than you and you hope one day to be better than last?

    Go away

  20. RexLibris says:

    Hockey Buddha: A troll.Cute.

    Hilariously, the Flames have traded away three of their five selections in that draft year while Wotherspoon looks ready to move on to another team.

    They hit on Gaudreau, but they moved Granlund (a pick returned in the Erixon trade) and Baertschi to the Canucks for a 2nd rounder, then Brossoit to us for Smid and Olivier Roy, whereabouts currently unknown.

    They hit on Gaudreau as a 1st line LW.

    After that the jury is still out on how Shinkaruk and Andersson (taken with the Baertschi pick from the Canucks) turn out.

  21. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Cameron,

    great first round in 2011, 2012, 2009, and 2008 too.

    might’ve flubbed taking Bennett over Pastrnak, Nylander, Larkin though

  22. Ryan says:

    teddy!!!

  23. Aron_S says:

    I just wanted to chime in re: Cameron.

    But… but we were only second last!

  24. Ryan says:

    Woodguy: Go away

    Is Nick Leddy zooming Hamonic?

  25. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: Hilariously, the Flames have traded away three of their five selections in that draft year while Wotherspoon looks ready to move on to another team.

    They hit on Gaudreau, but they moved Granlund (a pick returned in the Erixon trade) and Baertschi to the Canucks for a 2nd rounder, then Brossoit to us for Smid and Olivier Roy, whereabouts currently unknown.

    They hit on Gaudreau as a 1st line LW.

    After that the jury is still out on how Shinkaruk and Andersson (taken with the Baertschi pick from the Canucks) turn out.

    More or less exactly right.

    Baertschi – traded to Vcr for a 2nd
    Wotherspoon – depth defender, on slow development train (I still think he’s likely an NHL player)
    Granlund – traded for Shinkaruk (a late first rounder)
    Gaudreau – best player in the draft!
    Brossoit – traded for Smid (ugh)

    But all in all it looks four, maybe even 5 NHL players out of that draft for Calgary.
    At least you guys got the Nuge and SexBomb though.

    I just wish that Brossoit deal wasnt so lopsided.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Cameron: More or less exactly right.

    Baertschi – traded to Vcr for a 2nd
    Wotherspoon – depth defender, on slow development train (I still think he’s likely an NHL player)
    Granlund – traded for Shinkaruk (a late first rounder)
    Gaudreau – best player in the draft!
    Brossoit – traded for Smid (ugh)

    But all in all it looks four, maybe even 5 NHL players out of that draft for Calgary.
    At least you guys got the Nuge and SexBombthough.

    I just wish that Brossoit deal wasnt so lopsided.

    Personally, I’m really looking forward to watching the Flames achieve perennial mediocrity with a star winger while furiously casting about to fill out a roster around him.

    Again.

    😉

  27. Ryan says:

    Any way of tracking offensive zone pass attempts +/- shot attempts as a proxy for puck possession?

    Paging Mr. Money.

  28. Ryan says:

    Ryan: Is Nick Leddy zooming Hamonic?

    Stats.hockeyanalysis says ‘no.’

  29. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: Personally, I’m really looking forward to watching the Flames achieve perennial mediocrity with a star winger while furiously casting about to fill out a roster around him.

    Again.

    Well you Oiler fans are known for your wishful thinking!

  30. Centre of attention says:

    RexLibris: Personally, I’m really looking forward to watching the Flames achieve perennial mediocrity with a star winger while furiously casting about to fill out a roster around him.

    Again.

    I mean, that blue line looks OK to be honest. If they don’t trade Backlund and bring in a legit second line center to play behind Mr. Boring then they are probably going to be OK.

    But knowing my southern neighbors they will probably trade Backlund, not bring in a center and get Hamonic instead just to piss off the Oilers. That would definitely lead to extended mediocrity if not worse.

    I’m personally hoping for option B.

  31. Mr DeBakey says:

    Alex Petrovic just scored for the Panthers.
    A 215 lbs RHD
    He was on the Board when the rebuilding Oilers took Pitlick

  32. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention: I mean, that blue line looks OK to be honest. If they don’t trade Backlund and bring in a legit second line center to play behind Mr. Boring then they are probably going to be OK.

    But knowing my southern neighbors they will probably trade Backlund, not bring in a center and get Hamonic instead just to piss off the Oilers. That would definitely lead to extended mediocrity if not worse.

    I’m personally hoping for option B.

    I actually thought about that (Hamonic to CGY). Snow would probably love Hamilton and the Flames might be able to pry one of those cool forwards away too.

  33. wheatnoil says:

    Ryan:
    Any way of tracking offensive zone pass attempts +/- shot attempts as a proxy for puck possession?

    Paging Mr. Money.

    No way to do it automatically (unless G has some magic up his sleeves). You’d have to manually track it, which is similar to what @RK_stimp is doing with his Passing Project.

    The most recent update I see is here… https://hockey-graphs.com/2015/12/18/passing-project-data-release-volume-i/

    …though I swear they had a more recent update and are still looking for trackers.

  34. Hockey Buddha says:

    Gordies Elbow,

    Wow, he’s something. Thanks for that.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: Is Nick Leddy zooming Hamonic?

    No.

    Last 2 years Hamonic has played a total of 2641 5v5 min

    1199min w/ DeHann @ 52.6%CF
    602 min w/ Leddy @51.2%CF

    Interestingly all of Hamonic’s 4 most common Dpartners have better CF% away rather than with, but I think you can chaulk a lot of that up to “when you play with Hamonic, its against the best”

    They also don’t drop a ton in CF%, just a point or two.

  36. Hockey Buddha says:

    Lowetide,

    That would make some sense. Hamilton has not worked out as expected in Calgary.

  37. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I actually thought about that (Hamonic to CGY). Snow would probably love Hamilton and the Flames might be able to pry one of those cool forwards away too.

    I think Calgary would love to pawn off Gio to the Islanders for Hamonic. Snow is [hopefully] smarter than that and asks for Hamilton. If Calgary does that trade are they not just back in square one? If Calgary gets a forward plus Hamonic, then they are winning that trade and I am going to be upset that Peter couldn’t get in there.

    So basically if its Calgary spinning its wheels flipping chairs on the blue line while not addressing their real needs, I’m a happy camper. If they steal Hamonic from us AND get Ryan Strome *spit* I might have to take up smoking again. Something drastic, for sure.

  38. John Chambers says:

    Hemsky just ripped one past Dubnyk

  39. Centre of attention says:

    Burns scores on a beauty one-timer.

    *swoons*

  40. El Duderino says:

    Who the hell was responsible for that Musil pick, that Moroz pick and so on. My blood just boils every fucking draft. Even five years, ten years after. The guys commenting here know how to pick a lot better than the asshats working the Oiler draft table. Or signing free agents. FFS it’s the land of 100 clowns with bees in their pants.

  41. Professor Q says:

    John Chambers:
    Hemsky just ripped one past Dubnyk

    Memories…

  42. El Duderino says:

    Dellow, would you please do something. The guys you’re working for do not know how to build a good team. A sucky team, yes they’re the best.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Cameron: Well you Oiler fans are known for your wishful thinking!

    Says the “my team finished 26th and they are awesome!” guy

  44. Professor Q says:

    El Duderino:
    Dellow, would you please do something. The guys you’re working for do not know how to build a good team. A sucky team, yes they’re the best.

    Is he even still alive?

  45. G Money says:

    Ryan,

    wheatnoil,

    I am keeping a close watch on the the Stimson project, and will incorporate when I see a logical way to do so (right now the data is a bit thin and fits more on the interesting* side rather than useful side of things). The most recent update I have is from March.

    *Example:

    Based on a small sample, so caution is warranted, but here’s an interesting matched pair of questions for you:
    – who led the Oilers in one-time shots?
    – who led the Oilers in setting up one-time shots?

  46. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Looking at WOWYs on an individual basis is fraught with peril due to the opposition (Qoc) effect, and also due to the ‘five man unit’ effect (i.e. the on-ice bias that David Staples hates so much quickly becomes irrelevant when looking at the large sample size of raw Corsi, but when you slash that sample size back down for WOWYs, it becomes an issue again).

    To counteract/account for that, I like two data visualization formats for WOWY data that lets me look at a wider spectrum of WOWYs for a player at once: the side by side plot (which I use for DangerWOWYs), and the HockeyViz ‘spider’ style chart.

    By looking at the spectrum, you take away the sample size issue. You’re now visualizing the entire data set, even though you’re still getting the benefit of slicing and dicing the data by individual player combos.

    For forwards I like the clarity of the side by side view, but for defensemen, I like the spider style, as it separates out shot attempts for and against (which I believe has particular value when looking at defensemen).

    This is HVz spider WOWY for Hamonic: http://hockeyviz.com/img/player/wowy/1516/NYI/wowy-1516-NYI-hamontr90-shots.png

    The ‘perfect’ player would have a bunch of blue dots in the middle but above the red line, and all the black dots would be above and to the right of that, and all the red dots would be below and to the left.

    The closer you can get to that, the better the player you have. Hamonic you can see is pretty darn good – most players are (within reasonable margins) as good or better with him than without him.

    Another example is the much coveted OEL: http://hockeyviz.com/img/player/wowy/1516/ARI/wowy-1516-ARI-ekmanol91-shots.png

    Who also has a good chart (depending on your viewpoint, it’s either slightly better than or not quite as good as Hamonic’s, but one must still make significant allowances for team quality).

    Now contrast that with, say, Andrew Ference last year:

    http://hockeyviz.com/img/player/wowy/1415/EDM/wowy-1415-EDM-ferenan79-shots.png

    and you’ll see what I mean.

  47. Chachi says:

    Woodguy: Says the “my team finished 26th and they are awesome!” guy

    And that is with having a relatively healthy season compared to the rest of the league. If the team I cheer for had barely more points than the Oilers while having a close to full lineup all season I would keep my head down and shut up. I probably would also not gloat about having a great 2011 draft when the management team that was at the helm of it at the time was shit-canned a little while later.

  48. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Says the “my team finished 26th and they are awesome!” guy

    Check your DM box on twitter.

  49. wheatnoil says:

    RexLibris: Check your DM box on twitter.

    DON’T LET HIM BOSS YOU AROUND, WOODGUY!

  50. theres oil in virginia says:

    Cameron: Well you Oiler fans are known for your wishful thinking!

    That ship left the harbor years ago (and is now smashed upon the rocks of “We hoped for the best…”).

  51. ToonTownOil42 says:

    @ Lowetide. – Long time reader here but never a writer. With all the chatter of the Oil moving a 6M man to fill a hole on DEF. Why no talk of DET. as a possible landing spot for RNH. The Wings have long been known for replacing there ageing stars imminently through F.A. or trade. They seem to have a team model and stick too it. Datsyuk is on the way out, Who better than RNH to fill his spot. Just wanted to throw this out. You are a amazing writer and loyal fan of the Oil. Thank you for everything you do.

  52. Lowetide says:

    ToonTownOil42:
    @ Lowetide. – Long time reader here but never a writer. With all the chatter of the Oil moving a 6M man to fill a hole on DEF. Why no talk of DET. as a possible landing spot for RNH. The Wings have long been known for replacing there ageing stars imminently through F.A. or trade. They seem to have a team model and stick too it. Datsyuk is on the way out, Who better than RNH to fill his spot. Just wanted to throw this out. You are a amazing writer and loyal fan of the Oil. Thank you for everything you do.

    Thanks for the very kind words. I actually mention Detroit in this morning’s item! 🙂 Nuge as a Red Wing would be a perfect fit. For THEM!

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