Since 2000, the Edmonton Oilers have invested a tremendous number of picks in forwards with size. “Coke Machines.”
Since 2004, they’ve stepped to the podium in the first round to announce the name of a skill center under 6 feet three times (Schremp, Cogliano, Gagner).
Anything else? Here’s a list of things the Edmonton Oilers have done on draft day:
- When they selected Alex Plante in the first round last season, it marked the first time a defenseman had been drafted by the Oilers in that round since Mathieu Descoteaux in 1996. Like 2007, the Oilers had the 6th overall pick in front of the selection.
- The most popular position in the first round is center, with Jesse Niinimaki, Marc Pouliot, Rob Schremp, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner and Riley Nash all being selected since 2002. In the same span, they’ve chosen one goalie (Dubnyk) and one defenseman (Plante).
- During the “Coke Machine” era, the Oilers would routinely draft kids 40+ slots before one might have expected them to go. Geoff Paukovich was NA#80 (which would put him well into the 100s overall) in 2004 and they picked him 57th overall, dealing NHLer Jason Chimera for the right to do it. JF Jacques was ranked #88NA in 2003 and they picked him 68th overall.
- Despite going 248th overall in 2003, Josef Hrabel was ranked #30 Euro by Central Scouting. His ridiculous hgt/wgt ratio (6-1, 176) probably helped the slide.
- Rob Schremp fell big time. ISS had him top 5 and CSB had him #10NA but he fell all the way to #25. Mike Green went to Washington 4 picks later and he was ranked #9NA.
- Every year the Oilers say they tried to trade up. They’ve been after Pitkanen, Coburn, Barker, Alzner, usually defensemen but it never works out.
- The Oilers DO trade a lot on draft day but it’s usually down. The infamous Parise-Pouliot deal, the Niinimaki-Higgins trade are just two, although they did trade up for Riley Nash.
- The 2002 trade that saw them send Jochen Hecht to Buffalo for 2 second-rounders featured Darcy Regier looking like he was about to pass out with glee on the draft floor. Seriously.
- Lowe on the draft floor looks like a befuddled high school Math teacher looking for his shoes. Kevin Prendergast resembles a man about to receive the “Tobacco Rep of the Year” award and Craig MacTavish looks like the coolest grey hair on the freaking planet. He is definitely the Jesus of Cool.
- Many think Barry Fraser arrived in time for the 1979 draft, but in fact Fraser’s first Oilers draft was the 1978 WHA amateur draft.
- Garnet Bailey was a scout after spending a little time coaching once his playing career ended.
- When they drafted Messier, several references in newspapers mentioned he was “raw-boned.” That phrase is seldom used these days.
- Jari Kurri lasted until the 69th pick in 1980 because NHL teams were convinced he would remain in Finland for military duties.
- Scott Metcalfe was compared to two-way LW Dave Hunter the day he was drafted.
- We’ve talked about him a lot on this blog, but Tony Hand is the most interesting human interest story Edmonton drafted.
- Through about 1983, the Oilers basically buggered the other NHL teams senseless at the draft table. They were that good.