2008 Draft Summary

The Edmonton Oilers were one of the quietest teams in the NHL this weekend at the draft. The offer sheet signing of Dustin Penner (and subsequent lay down by Anaheim) meant that Edmonton would be standing in the shadows for much of the heart of this draft.

Compounding the problem was the inability to acquire a draft pick in round 2 or 3. Looking at the transactions it appears as though many teams were willing to trade picks but lesser picks in this year’s draft were part of the asking price.

Simply put, the Oilers didn’t have the currency required to get in the game based on the facts before us. One quibble with that statement would be that the New York Rangers acquired pick #90 with a prospect “in the range” of Jean-Francois Jacques. On a day when quality was available well into the 4th round it might have been an opportunity missed as Jacques will be waiver eligible this fall if and when he is sent away.

Let’s take the Oilers draft round by round:

  • Round One: RW Jordan Eberle- A perfect combination. A strong argument can be made that Eberle was the best player available and he certainly addressed a need (shooter) in the system. He’s a May 1990 and 16 (tied for 4th in the WHL) of his 42 goals (tied for 4th in the WHL) came on the powerplay. A quality pick and immediately one of the 5 best prospects in the system (I’ll rank them all next weekend with a new top 20).
  • Round Two: None. Kevin Prendergast stated the price was so ridiculous they decided to sit and wait where they were. Kevin Lowe said they might have moved up had they pulled the trigger on the 2 needs for the NHL team (top 2line F and toughness) but the extra NHL and fringe talent (Stoll, Torres, Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques) was held back for another day.
  • Round Three: None. There was still quality on the table at this time and most certainly the Bourret trade at #90 is a tell that the Oilers could have been in the mix (the two teams involved, NYR and Phoenix, are “Oiler friendly” and one imagines Edmonton decided not to offer a superior talent to Bourret which is not a difficult task). We all have our opinions, but I think Edmonton needed to pay their way in to the third round and pick up another asset with Jacques. Perhaps I’m overvaluing the player, but Bourret is no screaming hell I’ll tell you that much right now.
  • Round Four: D Johan Motin. A solid, if unspectacular pick and generally speaking we adopt this player type as our own when the Oilers brass give the seal of approval. Stay at home type with size and a mean streak, he apparently can be exposed in areas and is no sure thing. Still he’s rather safe for the 4th round and my bet is he’ll play at some point in time with the big club.
  • Round Five: LW Phillippe Cornet. His scouting report reads like a pure tweener. He’s skilled but he isn’t fast, he’s got some try but isn’t overly physical. Somewhat similar to Stephane Goulet at first glance, but players with his resume taken in the fifth round do not have a terrific history of success. This is where the Kyle Brodziak’s of the world, the plumbers, find their homes and begin the long process of grinding themselves into useful role players. A real long shot from here.
  • Round Six: C Teemu Hartikainen. This is the type of player who can get somewhere from this point in the draft. Good size and strength combination, he has feet of clay but some pluck and desire. Finns seem to be genetically predisposed to playing well in the North American style and based on his resume this fellow would seem like a worthy candidate. The third most valuable player taken by the Oilers this weekend.
  • Round Seven: D Jordan Bendfeld. Tough as nails enforcer who will go right to pro (he’s a draft re-entry, former Coyote selection). This is an organizational hire who someone in management likes for what might be a variety of reasons. There are probably 100 kids with more talent that didn’t get drafted today and another 100 with the same talent who could be signed as minor league free agents tomorrow. I don’t think these kinds of picks are terribly wise simply because it’s a bullet in the organizational gun and you might as well pick a “draft and follow” player who may emerge as something else again one year from now. Having said that, if this were my kid Lowe had just drafted I’d be crying on the deck with a beer in my hand right now so what the hell let’s leave it alone.

The Oilers weekend came and went and we’re still left with the need for a shooter and some grit on the big club and a plethora of players who are NHL players or near NHL players with not enough deck chairs for the fall dance. Among the things that are more likely today than they were a week ago are Marty Reasoner being passed over because of roster problems, JF Jacques hitting the waiver wire and Curtis Glencross finding a new home. Nothing really got done but that Eberle kid is a terrific story and looks like a player.

We’re porridge.

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30 Responses to "2008 Draft Summary"

  1. DeBakey says:

    “meant that Edmonton would be standing in the shadows”

    So in light of that
    Did the Oilers decide to just follow the Hockey News?

    THN had
    Eberle @ 22
    Motin @ 51
    Cornet @ 82
    Hartikainen @ 75

    ***************

    Trading:
    LA had 3 picks in the 3rd round
    How about Torres for all 3?
    Could have had Paquette, Grachev & Stefanovich.

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    Torres must be spoiled milk at this point. If he gets back and shows no ill effects, I think they can move him right away.

    I don’t think the organization did themselves any favors by stashing him away and not talking about his rehab at all.

    I really think they need to talk to the Pens about moving Torres and Jacques. The Pens have no LWs under contract and no LWs worth a shake anywhere in the organization.

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    I forgot to mention – Sugartits should be included in that conversation as well.

    Hell deal all three of them.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Coach: I’m hoping they sign Glencross and keep 5 lw’s out of camp:

    1. Penner
    2. Nilsson
    3. Torres
    4. Glencross
    5. Moreau

    Ethan has played 32 out of a possible 164 NHL games over the last 2 seasons (19.5%) and he’s 33 this September. Counting on him is risky business.

  5. doritogrande says:

    I think I feel more confidant in our late round picks from last year compared to this year.

    I was okay with the Motin pick…until I checked and saw that Harri Sateri, an 18-year old who split playing in the U-20s for Finland, went two picks after we made our selection. The organization could have used a goalie this year.

  6. Coach pb9617 says:

    Ethan has played 32 out of a possible 164 NHL games over the last 2 seasons (19.5%) and he’s 33 this September. Counting on him is risky business.

    Oh LT, I’m not counting on him. I’m resigned to him breaking a diametic spoke joint of the left plaza bone and missing 54 games. I expect Glencross and Moreau to fill out the bottom of the charts with Torres, Sugartits, and Jacques competing. I also expect Pouliot to be in that LW mix once the dust from the impending LW trade clears.

    I do think that there is a golden opportunity to take advantage of as FA opens. The Pens have four centers [the savior, Milkman, Staal and Talbot], two right wings [Kennedy and Sykora] and that’s it. Hossa announced he’s gone, the org ‘insulted’ Malone with two lowball offers. They have no one in the organization that will step in as all of their picks from the last four years are on the roster or traded.

    Going into free agency, they need RW #1, LW #1, LW #2, RW #3, LW #3, LW #4 and a defensive dman to replace Orpik.

    If that isn’t an ideal place to find a home for Torres and Jacques [though I'd have a hole in my stomach when Jacques is put on the savior's wing and pots 35] for a 2nd and a 3rd, I don’t know what is. It doesn’t have to be those two, but with a glut of LWs and Pittsburgh in desperate need, this is a natural match.

  7. Lord Bob says:

    I already used my good thoughts on my blog (yes, I had enough thoughts that I bothered posting to my blog, holy crap). But one thing I didn’t really mention is that I didn’t see Lowe overlooking a lot of good players.

    You can make the argument that he should have traded into the third round and I think it’s a good argument; I’m not sure Jacques would have done it but if it had it’s a deal K-Lowe should have done for sure. But as for the picks he did make, how many better players did he leave on the board? The one I saw was taking Hartikainen over Belleville goalie Mike Murphy… and that’s it. I saw only one thing where I could clearly say “you should have taken this guy!”

    I find that a hopeful sign.

  8. choppystride says:

    I’m relatively happy with Eberle. Though I have to say I’m somewhat disappointed that they went with a smallish forward but decided to pass on both Ennis and Tendenby when both were still available. Both are phenomenal skaters and higher skilled and, imo, superior prospects.

  9. uni says:

    Funny you should mention that, I can’t remember who, but someone posted a chat session with RLR and they were asked who of the small forwards they would pick if they had to, and Eberle was the guy pegged.

  10. Asiaoil says:

    Dorito – right you are and SJS took Sateri – a team known for identifying and developing elite talent in goal. Missed opportunity IMHO as Sateri was probably BPA as the #2 Euro goalie.

    As for Eberle – his development path will be more Schremp than Gagner since he doesn’t have any of the elite speed, size or skill needed to get to the bigs ahead of time. A good pick at that slot but he will require patience.

    Motin I give a pass to as this org has a proven record with dmen (like Montreal and SJS with goalies) but the lack of footspeed in all of our picks this draft is worrying. Speed does insure you will make it – but not having it is just one more big obstacle to overcome for guys with the odds stacked against them in the first place.

    Last point – if Eberle gets hit by a bus or joins a cult – this draft has the potential to be an epic bust like that 1980s draft where not one guy played a minute in the NHL.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    As for Eberle – his development path will be more Schremp than Gagner since he doesn’t have any of the elite speed, size or skill needed to get to the bigs ahead of time.

    I disagree. He may not have the measurables mentioned, but he has one — goal scoring.

    Thus far, in his ascent, he’s outscored Schremp in a league tougher to score in and he’s outscored our own little legacy.

    Oilers fans far and wide know that the one thing lacking on the team since Guerin has been a scorer. Not a setup man, not a garbage man, not a specialist, but a scorer. Eberle fits that profile. I don’t think he makes it this year, but I think next year, he’s knocking on the door.

    Schremp is a setup man and a power play specialist. Eberle lights the lamp at higher rate than any draft pick since Heinrich. WIth the support system in place and the development talent that he’ll see, I think he’s going to be challenging for a spot next year and will dominate the A, but not as a power play jesus, as a scorer.

  12. Dennis says:

    I don’t know enough about the kids to say who should’ve went here or there but in picking Eberle, it looks like the Oilers — at least in the short-term — will think long and hard before they let another Zach Parise slip away.

    Also, reading all the Day 2 coverage, I loved how Eberle went back to the rink to watch Day 2 and tried to get himself further aquainted with the org.

    Looks like this kid is a lifer.

  13. danny says:

    nhl.com has scouting reports on youtube, they confirm he is a winger as well.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6yksza_N8UU

  14. Lowetide says:

    All kinds of Eberle stories emerging that will make him a fan favorite. Who was the last first-shot scorer drafted by EDM?

  15. Coach pb9617 says:

    All kinds of Eberle stories emerging that will make him a fan favorite. Who was the last first-shot scorer drafted by EDM?

    These are the things we come to you to understand. Stop asking us!

  16. Lord Bob says:

    All kinds of Eberle stories emerging that will make him a fan favorite. Who was the last first-shot scorer drafted by EDM?

    Probably Michael “I Just Threw Up A Little In My Mouth” Henrich.

  17. Lowetide says:

    It’s hard to peg, really. Among first rounders the last one might be Mikhnov but even that is a bit of a stretch.

    Henrich is probably the right answer.

  18. godot10 says:

    //Last point – if Eberle gets hit by a bus or joins a cult – this draft has the potential to be an epic bust like that 1980s draft where not one guy played a minute in the NHL.//

    Well, for it to be a bust, one will have to compar/add at some future date Penner’s output vs. the output the players Anaheim chose using the draft picks.

  19. Bruce says:

    Right you are, Godot10. Penner has already played 82 more games for the Oilers than the entire Class of 1990.

  20. doritogrande says:

    “Oilers fans far and wide know that the one thing lacking on the team since Guerin has been a scorer. Not a setup man, not a garbage man, not a specialist, but a scorer.”

    How quickly everyone likes to forget about Joffrey Zoolander.

    There, but for the grace of God, went our “one shot scorer”.

    …Come to think of it, could Lupul be a good comparison for Eberle? Good first step but no 4th gear, plus plus shot, WHL highlight reel goalscorer, first round draft pick.

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    There, but for the grace of God, went our “one shot scorer”.

    There but for the three loose screws, you mean.

  22. Lowetide says:

    dorito: Lupul has more skill (drafted much higher). This kid seems to have a little more urgency.

  23. rickibear says:

    Bruce and Godot: You almost nailed it.

    Considering all the ways the oilogosphere has looked at justifying or slamming the Penner offer, there is only one legitamate way to look at it.

    The real answer is to have Penners totals count for this draft. Since he was drafted from this years picks. We compare his totals to the totals generated by the Five anaheim picks:(Gardiner, Deschamps, O’Dell, Schultz, Brittain) From this we say could the 2008 draft have been better.

    We also look at how many drafts this years draft(including Penner) already ahead of.

    The answer:

    Lets look at the totals and the years Game carriers. I think whom is getting or has the potential to acumallate games also reflects the standard of the draft.

    2000: 121 GM
    Winchester

    2001: 526
    Hemsky

    2002: 440
    Stoll
    Greene

    2003: 352
    Pouliot
    Storitini
    Jacques
    Brodziak
    Roy
    Hrabel

    2004: 21
    Schrempf
    Young
    Reddox

    2005: 108
    Cogliano
    Chorney
    Syvret

    2006: 1
    Peckham
    Petry
    Wild
    Bumagin

    2007: 82
    Gagner
    Plante
    Nash
    Omark

    2008: 82
    Penner
    Eberle
    Mohtin
    Cornet

    Better than 2000, 2004, 2006 and a chance to be better than all the drafts but 2007.

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    dorito: Lupul has more skill (drafted much higher). This kid seems to have a little more urgency.

    urgency

    A wordsmith you are.

  25. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    The grandbaby stayed for a few weeks.
    This :-D is me.

    Lowetide said: This kid seems to have a little more urgency.

    And… a much higher IQ.
    This :-D is me.

    There were three elite IQs in last year’s draft, and we nabbed two of them. Well, boys and girls, we got us another one.
    be still, my heart
    Bonus… this one has quite the trigger.

    There was a time when Pisani was one of a handful of really smart [130+ IQ] guys on the team. Now more than half the team he finished the season with have over a 130 IQ. And… there are more than a handful of guys over 140, where Horcoff previously stood alone.

    Throw in the three wunderkinds [160+] and I get weak in the knees thinking of what the future may hold.
    Oh, my… my…
    Perhaps this is the hockey gods’ way of making nice for all the FCP crap. ;-D

    One thing that I know for sure…
    Amazing things can happen when a bunch of really smart buggers have a collective goal.
    This :-D is me.

    L8r
    Louise

  26. Bruce says:

    Ha! I came back here to post a comment about Eberle winning the Doc Seaman Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year (actually they award one winner in each conference), and I see Louise has beaten me to it again. :D That’s worth big points in my book, whether it’s IQ, application of same, or (usually) some combination of the two. Besides all of Oilers’ college players, CHL grads like Pouliot, Stortini and now Eberle have gathered such accolades. (Any others, Louise? I don’t know who keeps a list.)

    Speaking of lists, here’s what Eberle accomplished in Regina this year:

    TEAM ACCOLADES
    • Scholastic Player of the Year
    • Hub Bishop Most Sportsmanlike
    • Torchey Schell Top Scorer
    • Bill Hicke Most Popular Player
    • Molson Cup Three Star Award

    Scholastic, sportsmanlike, popular — that’s a natural hat trick of “good guy” awards. All of which maybe mean squat without that “top scorer” tag, but it seems like a pretty attractive combination.

  27. IceDragoon says:

    Yeah, Bruce, what can I say?
    I’m a sucker for big brains… especially when accompanied by talent.
    ;-D

    I don’t know how to create a link here, so just remove any spaces you find when you cut and paste.

    WHL – Doc Seaman Trophy Winners:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Daryl_K._(Doc)_Seaman_Trophy

    ’08 – Jordan Eberle
    ’04 – Devan Dubnyk
    He then beat out the O & Q reps to win the CHL award. We should find out soon how Eberle does against his couterparts.

    + one of my all time covets…
    ’91 – Scott Niedermayer

    If you would like to see the winners of other WHL awards open the following page and click on the links near the bottom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Western_Hockey_League

    OHL – Bobby Smith Trophy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Bobby_Smith_Trophy

    ’94 – Ethan Moreau

    Stamkos won the only year that Gagner was eligible, but Sam has the higher IQ. He also completed university courses while finishing highschool and playing for the Knights. *note* Sam’s dad won in ’83.

    Wow… Dustin Brown won it three years running, ’01 – ’03, and took the CHL in ’03.

    Other award winners are linked at the bottom of the page.

    fwiw – Rob Schremp was the top draft pick in ’02, the RoY in ’03 and top scorer in ’06.

    QMJHL – Marcel Robert Trophy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Marcel_Robert_Trophy

    zip

    Other award winners are linked at the bottom of the page.

    Ales Hemsky won the Mike Bossy – best professional prospect – in ’01.

    I think team awards would have to be searched out team by team.

  28. Bruce says:

    Louise: I am coming to the inescapable conclusion that Dustin Brown is a Monster.

    Like every power forward from Howe to Neely, he has invested a few years in making space for himself. His points-per-game have risen inexorably from 0.16 to 0.35 to 0.57 to 0.77 to don’t-know-what-yet but I’m expecting 1.00, half of them goals. The +/- needs work, but he does play for the Kings. A team which has assembled some very nice pieces, btw.

  29. IceDragoon says:

    Bruce:

    Yeah, I think you may be right about Brown. Altho, “monster” paints too many Pierre visions in my head. ;-)

    LA could be a contender in a few years… if they get the right coach.

    I forgot to add that Gagner wasn’t even the SPoY for his own team. Doesn’t change my opinion of him, tho. Apparently, George Carlin dopped out of school in grade nine. The man was brilliant, regardless.

  30. Bruce says:

    Ah, George Carlin, a personal favourite since the days of the Hippy Dippy Weather Man. The Gretzky of comedians.

    Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
    – George Carlin

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