DRAFT POST (2017) NO. 1: LET IT BLEED

Today we begin in-depth coverage of the 2017 NHL draft. This season offers us a different challenge in identifying Edmonton’s direction and in many ways this year becomes more interesting because of it. Expect some forwards early and perhaps fewer defensemen chosen than in the last two seasons. I’m guessing high skill and using the OHL, WHL and USHL will be part of the template. Let’s get started.

What if we entered every NHL draft with just numbers—just NHL equivalencies—and followed them exactly. Would we better off? Worse? Here is a quick look at the top 10 forwards for each draft year (qualified by being in the realm of top prospects leading into the selection).

 2010

  1. Taylor Hall 17-29-46
  2. Tyler Seguin 19-22-41
  3. Mikael Granlund 13-28-41
  4. Vladimir Tarasenko 21-18-39
  5. Jeff Skinner 19-16-35
  6. Jaden Schwartz 12-19-31
  7. Tyler Toffoli 14-16-30
  8. Brett Connolly 14-15-29
  9. Austin Watson 10-16-26
  10. Alex Burmistrov 9-16-25

 2011

  1. Ryan Strome 12-28-40
  2. Sean Couturier 14-24-38
  3. Ryan Nugent Hopkins 11-27-38
  4. Jonathan Huberdeau 15-21-36
  5. Zack Phillips 13-20-33
  6. Sven Bartschi 13-19-32
  7. Gabriel Landeskog 17-14-31
  8. Matt Puempel 15-16-31
  9. Joel Armia 17-11-28
  10. Mark Scheifele 8-20-28

 2012

  1. Tomas Hertl 19-21-40
  2. Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
  3. Tanner Pearson 15-22-37
  4. Mikhail Grigorenko 16-17-33
  5. Alex Galchenyuk 11-19-30 (16 year old season)
  6. Radek Faksa 12-15-27
  7. Tim Bozon 13-12-25
  8. Zemgus Girgensons 11-14-25
  9. Brendan Gaunce 10-15-25
  10. Teuvo Teravainen 12-8-20

 2013

  1. Jonathan Drouin 19-30-49
  2. Sasha Barkov 18-22-40
  3. Elias Lindholm 15-25-40
  4. Nathan MacKinnon 17-22-39
  5. Max Domi 15-18-33
  6. Hunter Shinkaruk 14-19-33
  7. Sean Monahan 13-20-33
  8. Anthony Mantha  17-13-30
  9. Valeri Nichushkin 20-10-30
  10. Adam Erne 9-15-24

 2014

  1. Sam Reinhart 15-28-43
  2. Kevin Fiala 11-30-41
  3. Leon Draisaitl 15-25-40
  4. Sam Bennett 16-23-39
  5. Nikolaj Ehlers 18-20-38
  6. Robby Fabri  19-18-37
  7. Michael Dal Colle  14-21-35
  8. Nikolai Goldobin 14-21-35
  9. Sonny Milano 12-23-35
  10. Ivan Barbashev  12-21-33

 2015

  1. Connor McDavid 25-42-67
  2. Jack Eichel 20-34-54
  3. Mitch Marner 18-34-52
  4. Dylan Strome 17-33-50
  5. Andrew Mangiapane 17-23-40
  6. Jack Roslovic 10-25-35
  7. Kyle Connor 13-19-32
  8. Anthony Beauvillier 13-17-30
  9. Evgeny Svechnikov 12-18-30
  10. Mathew Barzal 6-23-29

2016

  1. Matt Tkachuk 14-35-49
  2. Alex DeBrincat 22-22-44
  3. Auston Matthews 22-20-42
  4. Clayton Keller 13-23-36
  5. Alex Nylander 13-22-35
  6. Pierre-Luc Dubois 14-20-34
  7. Logan Brown 9-24-33
  8. Tyson Jost 9-14-23
  9. Patrik Laine 9-8-17
  10. Jesse Puljujarvi 6-7-13

If we used this list, would we be better off? Last year was an anomaly, in that three of the first four selections played in European pro leagues, but the NHLE correctly identified Matt Tkachuk as a worthwhile option.

THE 2017 LIST

  1. LC Elias Pettersson, Timra (Allsvenskan) 62.5*
  2. RC Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound (OHL) 36.3
  3. R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane (WHL) 36.2
  4. RC Nolan Patrick, Brandon (WHL) 33.1
  5. RC Cody Glass, Portland (WHL) 32.4
  6. LC Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat (WHL) 31.4
  7. RC Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor (OHL) 31.1
  8. LC Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL) 30.9
  9. R Owen Tippett, Mississauga (OHL) 30.8
  10. R Kole Lind, Kelowna (WHL) 29.6
  11. L Jason Robertson, Kingston (OHL) 29.3
  12. LC Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current (WHL) 28.4
  13. LC Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay (USHL) 27.7*
  14. LC Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City (WHL) 26.2
  15. RC Robert Thomas, London (OHL) 24.6
  16. R Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City (USHL) 23.0*
  17. LC Lias Andersson, HV71 (SHL) 21.5
  18. R Ivan Lodnia, Erie (OHL) 21.2
  19. LC Grant Mismsh, USNDTP (USHL) 20.4
  20. RC Joni Ikonen, Frolunda (SuperElite) 16.8*

I went 20 deep because the Oilers pick No. 22 and we want to have a nice group to look at as draft day arrives. A couple of notes: The Allsvenskan is an interesting league that hasn’t produced many players who jump quickly to the NHL. However, those players have thrived, so the NHLE is perhaps artificially high. Second, an asterisk suggests I am using a deflation device that is less proven, so judge yourself accordingly.

We know that Suzuki and Yamamoto won’t go 1-2, but should they be considered? It’s an unusual situation at the top of the draft, lots of questions outside the top two selections. I have Yamamoto at No. 11 and Suzuki at No. 12 on my list, I wonder if the Oilers consider trading up if one or both fall to No. 15.

KOLE LIND

By the time we reach No. 22, the impact players will be gone and the list will be bleeding offense with each selection. I think the Oilers should be looking for:

  • An offensive forward
  • A player who has speed
  • A player who can shoot the puck

Areas of compromise might be size and two-way acumen. I don’t think you’re going to get a player who checks off all the boxes at No. 22, but a scoring winger like Jordan Eberle would be a perfect fit. Here are the draft year numbers for Eberle and Lind.

  • Jordan Eberle 2007-08: 70gp, 42-33-75 (1.07)
  • Kole Lind 2016-17: 70gp, 30-57-87 (1.24)

Lind’s skill set (speed, skill, good shot) and size (6.01, 175) mean he should be able to score at all levels as he moves along and turns pro. I have Lind No. 21 and I think he represents a very good target for Edmonton on draft day. I would take Yamamoto over him should the Spokane forward fall. Lind’s skating is very strong, he can dart into holes and possesses a wicked wrist shot. I would have had him higher, but as an October 1998  Lind has a head start on much of his draft brethren.

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36 Responses to "DRAFT POST (2017) NO. 1: LET IT BLEED"

  1. Ducey says:

    The NHLE certainly is a good guide, but no guarantee of success (and of course doesn’t help with D so much):

    2010

    Brett Connolly – high water mark 25 points
    I would take Ryan Johansen over most of these guys
    Burmistrov has been a bust so far (but did ok in AZ last year)
    Austin Watson – high water mark 17 points

    2011
    Zack Phillips – complete whiff
    Bartschi – meh
    Armia – meh, meh
    Matt Puempel – meh x 3

    2012
    Yak – weeps
    Forsberg/ Hertl – missed them
    Grigorenko – meh
    Faksa – 33 points last year, maybe figured it out
    Bozon – picked in 3rd – complete miss
    Gaunce – little offense so far – looks like 3C

    The rest are too early to tell.

  2. JDI says:

    Bill Belichick would have a nano drone inside the arena at the draft, with an HD video camera transmitting back to the bat cave.

    Note: Everything I know about Bill Belichick I learned from South Park.

  3. stush18 says:

    How far does Elias Peterson fall LT? What’s his “consensus” ranking?

    I know a lot of draft people are saying this year everyone is going to have different lists. Curious as to where you think he goes.

    Prolly to Detroit damn them. Lol

  4. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    How far does Elias Peterson fall LT? What’s his “consensus” ranking?

    I know a lot of draft people are saying this year everyone is going to have different lists. Curious as to where you think he goes.

    Prolly to Detroit damn them. Lol

    Not sure. A lot of disagreement about his skating, what I have read is that he grew a bunch and looked awkward for a time. I think he’ll go 7-15, somewhere in there.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    I saw this Finnish player named Kristian Vesalainen; 17 years old 6’3″ and 95 kilos lmao I’d draft him to stick with JP.

    ps: Please I hope no one starts attacking me over this; I know nothing about this player aside from stats.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide,

    What have you heard on Popugayev? He seemingly fell off a cliff after getting traded mid-season. Maybe he didn’t like his new coach or vis versa? Usage? Injury? Gah!

    Every time I watch film of him all I can think is “this guys perfect for what we need”. Big. Right shot. Good skater. Wicked wrist shot.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    Lowetide,

    What have you heard on Popugayev? He seemingly fell off a cliff after getting traded mid-season. Maybe he didn’t like his new coach or vis versa?Usage? Injury? Gah!

    Every time I watch film of him all I can think is “this guys perfect for what we need”. Big. Right shot. Good skater. Wicked wrist shot.

    A couple of people have mentioned to me his play fell off badly before the trade and that he hasn’t gotten it back. The worst time to do it but maybe he ends up being a bargain.

  8. StevieG_8 says:

    hunter1909:
    I saw this Finnish player named Kristian Vesalainen; 17 years old 6’3″ and 95 kilos lmao I’d draft him to stick with JP.

    ps: Please I hope no one starts attacking me over this; I know nothing about this player aside from stats.

    I personally think that’s ideal if he ever falls down enough that trading up won’t cost us much. His English is pretty good and he can go to AHL right away. It’ll help to have a buddy for JP then pair them with a veteran roommate.

  9. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: Not sure. A lot of disagreement about his skating, what I have read is that he grew a bunch and looked awkward for a time. I think he’ll go 7-15, somewhere in there.

    Where is our friend from Sweden? He promised to tell us who his top 3 in the draft from his fair country are.

    I’m not sure where you read about his skating LT? From what I’ve read the knock on Pettersson is that he’s thin – like pencil thin – like thinner than RNH when he was drafted thin. His older brother who’s the same height and was a pick of Nashville’s is now 23 and still under 180 lbs.

    The scouts don’t seem to think his offence will translate on a smaller ice surface playing against full grown men.

  10. rickithebear says:

    Lt: pp toi is almost unrepeatable for most players drafted.

    You have to moderate for age when looking at translatable production
    Potential 50% variance
    From sept 16 1998 to sept 15 1999

    The answer is better if we look at age adjusted even nhle.

  11. Centre of attention says:

    Michael Augello‏ @MikeInBuffalo 9m9 minutes ago
    More Per @FriedgeHNIC, the Colorado Avalanche have asked for and received permission to talk to #Leafs Asst GM Kyle Dubas.

    Avalanche fishing in the right pond. Dubas is a bright fellow.

  12. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    I know a source from M.J. and word is that is work ethic is highly suspect. Based on that alone I would run away from this choice.

  13. jtblack says:

    jtblack,

    I should also clarify. That was only from 1 source.

  14. jtblack says:

    rickithebear,

    Nolan Patrick missed last years draft cutoff by 4 daya. Nick Suzuki (Who LT likes) is an Aug B day. Almost 1 year younger. I like Suzuki a lot heard hes one dimensional?? Never seen him play. Not sure about skating. But he is a RC who can score

  15. GMB3 says:

    You guys hear Remenda rip Eberle today?

  16. SkaSaxGuy says:

    Man I was really hoping the Oil were going to take DeBrincat at 32 over Benson. Chicago has another skilled (but undersized) cheap winger to toss in with their top guys!

  17. SkaSaxGuy says:

    GMB3:
    You guys hear Remenda rip Eberle today?

    Yeah it was just garbage. Even if the organization has soured on him, I’ve never understood devaluing an asset before you want to move him. They did the same thing with Yak.

  18. stush18 says:

    Diablo: Where is our friend from Sweden? He promised to tell us who his top 3 in the draft from his fair country are.

    I’m not sure where you read about his skating LT? From what I’ve read the knock on Pettersson is that he’s thin – like pencil thin – like thinner than RNH when he was drafted thin. His older brother who’s the same height and was a pick of Nashville’s is now 23 and still under 180 lbs.

    The scouts don’t seem to think his offence will translate on a smaller ice surface playing against full grown men.

    Can’t see chiarelli taking him then, unfortunately.

  19. Professor Q says:

    Diablo: Where is our friend from Sweden? He promised to tell us who his top 3 in the draft from his fair country are.

    I’m not sure where you read about his skating LT? From what I’ve read the knock on Pettersson is that he’s thin – like pencil thin – like thinner than RNH when he was drafted thin. His older brother who’s the same height and was a pick of Nashville’s is now 23 and still under 180 lbs.

    The scouts don’t seem to think his offence will translate on a smaller ice surface playing against full grown men.

    Isn’t Kane still 165 lbs.?

  20. stush18 says:

    SkaSaxGuy:
    Man I was really hoping the Oil were going to take DeBrincat at 32 over Benson.Chicago has another skilled (but undersized) cheap winger to toss in with their top guys!

    For all we know, he could turn into kris versteeg. Valuable, but not replaceable.

    Wait five years

  21. SkaSaxGuy says:

    stush18: For all we know, he could turn into kris versteeg. Valuable, but not replaceable.

    Wait five years

    That’s fair. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about injuries before he even has an Oilers jersey on though…

  22. Lowetide says:

    Diablo: Where is our friend from Sweden? He promised to tell us who his top 3 in the draft from his fair country are.

    I’m not sure where you read about his skating LT? From what I’ve read the knock on Pettersson is that he’s thin – like pencil thin – like thinner than RNH when he was drafted thin. His older brother who’s the same height and was a pick of Nashville’s is now 23 and still under 180 lbs.

    The scouts don’t seem to think his offence will translate on a smaller ice surface playing against full grown men.

    Three reports I have read mentioned his speed, most recent Pronman. He had a growth spurt and that no doubt impacted him. He is in my top 5, so I’m on board with his talent.

  23. Ducey says:

    GMB3:
    You guys hear Remenda rip Eberle today?

    Please don’t make him the colour guy again next year. Please.

    There were many games where I turned off the sound so I did not have to listen to him anymore.

  24. Diablo says:

    Professor Q: Isn’t Kane still 165 lbs.?

    5, 10, 175 lbs according Wiki.
    Though comparing any kid to Patrick Kane is not setting realistic expectations.

  25. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: Three reports I have read mentioned his speed, most recent Pronman. He had a growth spurt and that no doubt impacted him. He is in my top 5, so I’m on board with his talent.

    No doubting the talent – but he’s been on the scouts radar for a while now – and the offence hasn’t impressed them enough to rank him higher – I’d want to know why.

    I’d suspect that the scouts are worried that a kid that lanky (seriously check out photos of this kid – he is rail thin with his equipment on) won’t be able to translate his offence against men on a smaller ice surface. Pronman has him at 17 in his last top 20 – but I haven’t seen an actual write up on his thoughts on this kid anywhere.

    Whoever drafts him is going to have to be very patient – if his older brother is anything to go by, he’s going to need at least 3 seasons to put on enough weight to hold his own in the NHL.

    Seems like kind of a boom or bust pick – though I prefer our scouts to swing for the fences then making boring coke machine type picks.

  26. dustrock says:

    Man the equivalents make this look indeed like a weak draft year.

  27. HT Joe says:

    Ducey: 2012
    Yak – weeps

    I’m still holding out that in 2015-2016, Yak looked every bit as good on McDavid’s line as Eberle. Yak didn’t score as many goals, but McDavid scored more goals and Yak provided a level of irritation to the opposition.

    Yak’s contract is expired, and he’s now UFA.

    For the sake of familiarity and cap space, who would simply expose Eberle to Las Vegas, sign Yakupov for ~ $1-1.5M 1-yr contract, and clear up $4.5-5M cap space (to upgrade the blue line)?

  28. Diablo says:

    HT Joe: I’m still holding out that in 2015-2016, Yak looked every bit as good on McDavid’s line as Eberle.Yak didn’t score as many goals, but McDavid scored more goals and Yak provided a level of irritation to the opposition.

    Yak’s contract is expired, and he’s now UFA.

    For the sake of familiarity and cap space, who would simply expose Eberle to Las Vegas, sign Yakupov for ~ $1-1.5M 1-yr contract, and clear up $4.5-5M cap space (to upgrade the blue line)?

    If LV doesn’t select him in expansion, then he’s probably headed back to KHL or will have to swallow his pride and accept a 2 way contract and some AHL time next year – he got press boxed by two coaches in St. Louis – I know it hurts to have one of our No. 1’s bust so epically but its time to take off the fanboy glasses and acknowledge what is painfully obvious to everybody else – he’s not a top 6 winger in the NHL, and right now he’s completely miscast as a bottom 6 winger.

    Sometimes I just don’t get Oiler’s fans – pining away for the MA Pouliots, Schremps and Yakupovs of the world while simultaneously wanting to flush legit top 6 forwards like Ebs for nothing – this is why we can’t have nice things.

  29. Lloyd B. says:

    Diablo,

    We have nice things now. You are right though. Time to stop pining for things that were not nice.

  30. Diablo says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Diablo,

    We have nice things now. You are right though.Time to stop pining for things that were not nice.

    True – we’ve had lots of nice things, and then we flush them away for magic beans. Ebs is a nice problem to have – 20 goals and 50 points in a down year when he made a genuine effort to change his game and become a better 2-way player. There are reasons that we may have to move him (damn that cap), but giving him away for free would be unbelievably stupid.

  31. jtblack says:

    Lloyd B.,

    Well said.

  32. anjinsan says:

    Your favored metric rated Tkachuk over Matthews and Laine. Bravo, maestro!

  33. Diablo says:

    anjinsan:
    Your favored metric rated Tkachuk over Matthews and Laine.Bravo, maestro!

    NHLE is a guide but it is not the end all and be all of prospect evaluation. These kids don’t develop in straight lines, and that’s where you have to trust the judgement of your scouts. An imperfect science – I’m all for raising the draft age to 19 or 20 like other professional leagues have already done.

  34. jtblack says:

    I am Slow witted. Is the NHLe the players projected NHL points total in a season or is just a random number, the higher the better?

    Thx

  35. Yeti says:

    jtblack:
    I am Slow witted.Is the NHLe the players projected NHL points total in a season or is just a random number, the higher the better?

    Thx

    It’s a projection based on historical averages of players who move from one league to another in consecutive years. If a player scores X points in the AHL one year, /on average/ that player will score Y in the NHL the following year. So NHLe gives you a rough (very rough) idea of how much of a player’s current scoring will translate to the NHL based on what has happened historically when players transfer between leagues.

    Of course, no player is average, so they will all fall one or other side of their NHLe based on the quirks of their game and how well it translates to the bigger, faster league. Plus it doesn’t account for ice-time usage, which can vary enormously.

    In that respect, it’s a fairly blunt tool, but it’s nonetheless a useful one to apply along with all the other forms of analysis to give a little added insight.

  36. jtblack says:

    Yeti,

    Gor it. Thank You!

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