This is the final time we will look at the 2010 Oilers draft, making it a good time to also look back on what was hoped for that weekend:
- Overall impressions: A good, good draft. Hall clearly is going to be the story of this draft, but nice value in the second round (Pitlick, Marincin) and later (Davidson) tell us the Oilers set up their draft board well. I also like the Hamilton and Bunz selections, leaving only the Martindale pick as a question mark (they drafted for need) among the team’s most dear selections. I think MBS is an outstanding scouting director and if he can find a way to push those “saw him good” picks back another round he’ll be even better. Blain, Czerwonka, Pelss and Jones are probably scouts picks, payment for all those nights driving to little towns all over the world in search of the next Taylor Hall. These men are going to be under pressure to deliver more than an average number of NHLers to the show for the next several seasons and it looks like they’ve delivered this season. Report card day is around 2015 summer. See you then.
As it turns out, one of those selections needed a sixth season to show what he could do at the NHL level. Wait six years? If necessary.
- No. 1 overall: L Taylor Hall. Splendid since his plane touched down at the International, Hall remains the human chance machine. The lack of playoff success in his Oilers career has many turning on him, which is a damned shame. Absolute winner, remain thrilled he is an Oilers player. All kinds of rumors—real or imagined—about his status, but the idea of Hall on one line and McDavid on the other is the best music imaginable. Hope he stays.
- No. 31 overall: R Tyler Pitlick. He scored well in his one season junior (22 EV goals) but he didn’t resemble anything close to a top 9F in the AHL before season three. The young man simply couldn’t stay healthy enough to stay in the lineup and that bad luck caught him again this season. Two things: He always looked like an NHL player to me, and if you count the number of men who emerged this season from the 2010 draft perhaps there is still hope. Among those who did are Alex Petrovic, Calvin Pickard, Oscar Lindberg, Stephen Johns, Bryan Rust, Joonas Donskoi and others. Maybe there is hope for Pitlick, too.
- No. 46 overall: D Martin Marincin. A year ago, I wrote the following: There’s some evidence that the Oilers’ inability to evaluate defenseman—the same inability that has Jeff Petry in Montreal—has impacted Marincin’s career. Yep. Now a solid third-pairing option in Toronto with good underlying numbers, he is a counter in the Stu MacGregor ledger on the good side. Damnable crappy assessment of talent has been so terribly bad for so terribly long. Glad for Marincin though, hope he makes it to 1,000 games.
- No. 48 overall: L Curtis Hamilton. There was a considerable injury history for Hamilton before the draft and those issues have had considerable impact on his pro career. He stepped off after last season and played well during 2015-16 for Sparta Praha of the Czech League. Perhaps we will see him again.
- No. 61 overall: C Ryan Martindale. Big center who had a bit of an uneven rep based on his draft year performance. He was moved along for Steve Pinizzotto in January 2014 and his career has been running in place since. While splitting time between AHL and ECHL games, Martindale’s per 82GP boxcars in the high minors (14-18-32) suggests he was the tweener many felt he would become. Is the first player from this draft to not play in an NHL game.
- No. 91 overall: D Jeremie Blain. The first player from this draft who didn’t get a contract from the Oilers, Blain has played more in the ECHL than AHL since turning pro. Played with the Brampton Beast (ECHL) and Chicago Wolves (AHL) this past season. No NHL games at this point.
- No. 121 overall: G Tyler Bunz. WHL goalie who had some injury issues along the way and couldn’t find the range as a pro player. Post SP’s of .919 and .921 in his final junior seasons but couldn’t crack .900 during most of his time in the organization. Got into one NHL game, did not play this season and probably good as he did have some concussion issues. We wait to see if he returns to the game again.
- No. 162 overall: D Brandon Davidson. One of the fun stories for Oilers fans over the last several years, Davidson was a good story a year ago—now he is a great one. Kept on the roster as a No. 8 defender, he posted an exceptional season and is poised to establish himself as a productive NHL player for years to come.
- No. 166 overall: L Drew Czerwonka. Injuries finished his career before he turned pro.
- No. 181 overall: L Kristians Pelss. RIP.
- No. 202 overall: F Kellen Jones. Appears to be settling in as a brilliant penalty killer at the AHL level—success in my opinion for a player taken in Round 7.
- Taylor Hall 381, 132-196-328
- Martin Marincin 150, 2-16-18
- Brandon Davidson 63, 5-7-12
- Tyler Pitlick 27, 3-0-3
- Curtis Hamilton 1, 0-0-0
- Tyler Bunz 1, 0-0-0
They used to say that if two kids from a draft worked out it was a success, and it looks like three will do it based on these numbers. That said, the Oilers had 11 picks (four more than gifted) and four of those came inside the top 50 overall. I think we can call this a good not great draft, and it was certainly a better one than 2008 and 2009 drafts—Stu MacGregor’s first two as scouting director. We won’t review those two seasons, the die is cast and the decision rendered.