Since Peter Chiarelli arrived the Edmonton Oilers have shifted focus at the draft table. Whereas the club would spend plenty of picks in Sweden, the QMJHL and BCHL during previous regimes, Chiarelli and Bob Green have settled in on the OHL-WHL-USHL axis and are having success. Here, let me show you.
OILERS DRAFT TRENDS 2008-14
- WHL: 15 players (27 %) including Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl
- USA: 8 players (14.5 %) including Pitlick, Simpson, Nagelvoort
- OHL: 7 players (12.7 %) including Hall, Yakupov, Nurse
- Sweden: 6 players (10.9 %) including Paajarvi, Lander, Klefbom, Lagesson
- QMJHL: 5 players (9 %) including Marco Roy and Keven Bouchard
- BCJHL: 5 players (9 %) including Bigos, Khaira and Coughlin
- Finland: 4 players (7 %) including Hartikainen and Rajala
- Russia: 2 players (3.6 %) Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev
- Slovakia: 2 players (3.6 %) Martin Marincin and Martin Gernat
- Belarus: 1 player (1.8 %) Kristians Pelss
A few notes:
- The NHL as a whole (including Edmonton) drafted out of the WHL at about 17%. The Oilers loved the dub in a big way, using a quarter of their total picks on players from the league.
- The NHL drafted out of USA leagues and colleges at 24%, meaning Edmonton was underusing this area compared to the rest of the NHL.
- The NHL used the OHL at 20% and it’s the best junior league in the world. Edmonton drafted at 12.7 percent in these years. You’d really have to work to convince me that it’s wise to under draft out of the Ontario league. Seriously.
OILERS DRAFT TRENDS 2015-17
- USA (27 %)—Caleb Jones, John Marino, Graham McPhee, Vincent Desharnais, Skyler Brind’Amour, Phillip Kemp
- OHL (23 %)—Connor McDavid, Markus Niemelainen, Dylan Wells, Dmitri Samorukov, Kirill Maksimov
- WHL (18 %)—Ethan Bear, Tyler Benson, Kailer Yamamoto, Stuart Skinner
- Finland (9 %)—Jesse Puljujarvu, Aapeli Rasanen
- Czech (9 %)—Miroslav Svoboda, Ostap Safin
- Russia (5 %)—Ziyat Paigin
- OJHL (5 %)—Matthew Cairns
- Sweden (5 %)—Filip Berglund
- The OHL spike is very encouraging. As mentioned above, the previous regimes drafted 12.7 percent out of the OHL, while the NHL was grabbing players at a 20 percent clip out of Ontatio. That’s nuts.
- Edmonton is drafting at 23 percent from the OHL, while the league is at 18.9 percent in those three years.
- Taking Edmonton’s five selections (of 22) out of the equation, the other 30 teams are investing in the OHL at 18.8 percent.
- I’ll bet you money overdrafting the OHL is an efficient draft strategy.
- QMJHL and BCHL have yet to get on the books and Sweden has been reduced to an outpost (although much of this is surely luck of the draw). The USHL gets the most love, six out of 22 total picks, but none of them are early picks (Jones is the earliest, fourth round).
- The first-round picks have been equally doled out to the OHL, Sm-Liiga and WHL. If the team picks a Swede from the SHL first round next year, that’s probably balance (again, luck has a lot to do with it).
- A final item: Oilers did shop in obscure spots like Belarus and Slovakia, for three total selections 2008-14. Looks like those selections are going to the USA now.
"I came to Canada because I want to play in the NHL. Edmonton is the best team for me. Best fans and best city." – Dmitri Samorukov #Oilers
— Eric Friesen (@EricJFriesen) June 24, 2017
- Corey Pronman: Samorukov is mobile, particularly at 6-foot-2, and is more than capable at jumping up into the attack. His skill level isn’t elite, but he’s a smart puck-mover who can make creative plays. On defense, he’s not afraid to get involved in the physical play and can win battles. His game started to show more pace as he got used to the smaller North American rinks, and while his decisions weren’t perfect, I see solid hockey IQ in his game. Source
- ISS: Two-way defenceman who possesses a very good skill-set and skating ability.
- Black Book: Dmitri has good size on the back end and plays an offensively minded game. He likes to rush the puck up ice whenever possible and his skating is ok. He often made the smart pass but would sometimes get caught trying to force a play that wasn’t there. This improved as the season went on. Dmitri is a good puck mover in the offensive zone but is very aggressive when trying to hold the line.
— Jamie Tozer (@station_nation) June 30, 2017
- Corey Pronman: I see qualities there that are desirable, but I’m slightly lower on him than the industry. On the plus side, there are good athletic qualities to his game. At 6-foot-5, he has very good feet for a big man, with an easy first few steps. He handles the puck fine, can make the occasional creative play or distribution, possesses an accurate wrist shot and is able to finish chances well. However, he’s not going to be a primary playmaker on his line as a pro. His physical play is inconsistent. Source
- ISS: Big bodied, puck protecting winger with strong offensive skill-set and instincts.
- Black Book: Ostap is a huge winger with good puck protection ability. He has a very heavy, powerful shot and a devastating one-timer. He has very good skill level for a player of his size. He is a decent skater for his size and can provide a good forecheck.