Bob Green and his Oilers scouts track the hockey world from August to May each season, attempting to outsmart the competition. An organization that has misspent on youth in some important draft spots badly needs to score early and often in 2015, 2016 and beyond. It is a long, long road. (Limelight)
BOB GREEN DRAFT LIST
- Round 1, No. 1 overall: C Connor McDavid.
- Round 4, No. 117 overall: D Caleb Jones.
- Round 5, No. 124 overall: D Ethan Bear.
- Round 6, No. 154 overall: D John Marino.
- Round 7, No. 208 overall: G Miroslav Svoboda.
- Round 7, No. 209 overall: Ziyat Paigin.
- No. 4 overall—R Jesse Puljujarvi.
- No. 32 overall—L Tyler Benson.
- No. 63 overall—LD Markus Niemelainen.
- No. 84 overall—LD Matthew Cairns.
- No. 91 overall—RD Filip Berglund.
- No. 123 overall—G Dylan Wells.
- No. 149 overall—L Graham McPhee.
- No. 153 overall—RC Aapeli Rasanen.
- No. 183 overall—RD Vincent DeSharnais.
- Why didn’t you use Lucky Ones? Loverboy? They didn’t make the cut this time. You are right of course, Bob Green and staff have been extremely fortunate at the top of the draft.
- His drafting looks good so far. Yes. It is important to remember that most of the names above will not become productive NHL players, but good arrows in the early days.
- Can we identify players more likely to succeed? Draft number means a lot, and the odds do inform. For instance, it is basically impossible for all of Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear and Ziyat Paigin to become productive NHL regulars. It is far more likely that only one of three will play in the NHL to 100 or more games—and all of them could fail. That is what draft history suggests.
- Who would you bet on? Jones. He was the highest pick, and hasn’t done anything to lose his spot in line. Many miles to go.
- And yet you have Bear rated higher. I rated Bear at No. 6, Jones at No. 7, and Paigin No. 3. As mentioned, many miles to go. All three have good arrows though—a good sign. I suspect someone falls off in year two.
- Is this the Chorney, Petry, Wild story? Yes, as a matter of fact. In that case, the second ranked player—Petry—ended up being the NHL player. He was chosen No. 45, Chorney No. 36 and Wild No. 140.
- Any sign of analytics in this draft? I think you can find analytics in anything if you look long enough—even if it isn’t in use from the other side. In terms of moneyball bets, I liked Ethan Bear, Filip Berglund and Aapeli Rasanen on their draft days. I do not know if analytics played a part in any of the selections in 2015 and 2016.
- Anything else? Well, there seems to be a little more offense in the defensemen—none are strictly speaking defensive defensemen. That is a change—Ethan Bear had 38 WHL points in his draft year, Musil 25. It isn’t a firm rule—Markus Niemelainen had 27 points in his draft year—but there appears to be an acknowledgement that guys like Musil and Mitch Moroz didn’t bring enough offense to be taken so early. Need to make better bets.
- They wasted two of their third-round picks? No, I disagree. Niemelainen is a big man with good speed, who played in the best junior league in the world. He may not spike offensively, but I was pleased to see an OHL pick. Matthew Cairns has a nice resume, including some two-way ability and a good shot. I know he played in tier two, but the players chosen immediately afterward (Josh Mahura, Casey Fitzgerald, Garrett Pilon) did not represent extreme value. I really like their third pick in the round, Filip Berglund.
- Is Green involved in any other areas? Green and staff are probably involved in scouting college players, and that may include Drake Caggiula. I wrote about Bob Green’s whiteboard in February, the club did procure a name or two from that list. Bakersfield also signed Jordan Descheneau today, Green and staff probably had a big book of facts on him.
- I still blame him for Reinhart. You have to get over this stuff, it will do you no good. The general manager makes the trades, the amateur scouting director compiles the amateur list and advises when asked his opinion.
- Would Green have given a glowing review on Reinhart? God yes. GR as an Oil Kings defender was a wonderful player, an impact defenseman. Chances are Green would have been very complimentary in regard to Reinhart.
- I rest my case. Reinhart was drafted in 2012, we will see how this coming season works out. I do believe Peter Chiarelli paid too much, while also remaining amused by those who are seeking to bury a 22-year old defender.
- What areas does Edmonton need help in at the amateur level? Goaltending, although they have some new recruits now and you never know. I think RH defense could still use a boost, and of course forwards drive results so it never hurts to grab another two or three.
- How long should a team wait to evaluate a scouting director? Great question. I always say five years for players, so would probably suggest waiting seven or so for scouting directors. That way they can get a good look at two or three draft seasons.
- What lost Stu MacGregor his job? Probably the picks 31-91 in 2010 and 2011. If you add them all up, Tyler Pitlick (No. 31), David Musil (No. 31) Martin Marincin (No. 46), Curtis Hamilton (No. 48), Ryan Martindale (No. 61), Samu Perhonen (No. 63), Travis Ewanyk (No. 74) and Jeremie Blain (No. 91), there simply isn’t enough from that group.
- So Bob Green needs to do better? I have always thought that scouting directors can survive forever if the NHL team is winning. Must have learned it from Barry Fraser.
- Why this song? The limelight angle works—and the observer role too, but I picked it for the song’s feel. It is a hopeful song, the music itself makes you feel good. Rush was never my band but I like bunches of their songs, this was near the top.