Jumping Jack Flash (Prendergast) Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

This is a rare photo: the Oilers brain trust smiling about Marc Pouliot. Kevin Lowe, Scott Howson, Pouliot, Kevin Prendergast and Craig MacTavish all seem pretty happy with the board (behind) but as the 2003 draft rolls out each winter the Oilers are losing ground to the other clubs.

Recently, Guy Flaming (and then Tyler Dellow) spent some time discussing Prendergast and his record. I’m not terribly interested in the stories behind the scenes or reading between the lines in regard to trades that KP may or may not have been involved in.

I prefer attempting to use math in an effort to measure performance. Let’s begin with an independent “average” in which to gauge the Oilers. In 2004 a study of the 1979-1995 drafts showed:

  • 4,136 players were drafted by NHL teams.
  • 55% never played a game in the NHL.
  • 24% played less than 200 games.
  • 15% turned out to be average NHLers.
  • 4% turned into impact players.
  • 2% turned out to be a elite players.

Kevin Prendergast was the head scout for Edmonton from 2001-07, with new man Stu (Magificent Bastard) MacGregor being named the head man in the fall of 2007. So, we’re going to use the 67 men drafted in those years as the talent pool and then figure out where they are now. One quick item: we need to remember that the original study took place 9 full years after the final draft in the window. This means that the numbers posted below will only improve over the years up until 2016.

  • 67 players were drafted by the Oilers.
  • 62.7% (42) never played a game in the NHL.
  • 26.9% (18) played in less than 200 NHL games.
  • 10.4% (7) turned out to be average NHLers.
  • no Oilers are impact players.
  • no Oilers are elite players.

I’ll give you the names so we can argue the slotting if you wish.

  • The 7 “average” NHL players are Hemsky, Gagner, Brodziak, Cogliano, Stoll, Greene and Markkanen. You can argue Hemsky should be higher and that Gagner will be, but remember there are NINE years to go here and the odds are one of them will be in one of the top 2 categories. You could also argue that Markkanen doesn’t belong here but he played 128 NHL games and that’s probably north of 200 for a skater.
  • The 18 “less than 200 games” include Peckham, Chorney, Syvret, Schremp, Reddox, Bryan Young, Pouliot, Jacques, Roy, Bodie, Deslauriers, Luoma, Helminen, Lynch, Haakana, Pisa, Stephenson, Stortini. Candidates to move up include Pouliot, Peckham, Stortini, Chorney.

In order for KP’s draft record to qualify for average in terms of “never played an NHL game” he would need 5 prospects to play in one NHL game. Given that Jordan Eberle, Alex Plante, Riley Nash, Jeff Petry, Chris Vande Velde and others are bubbling under it would seem plausible that this group would qualify at the lowest bar in the event.

In the “less than 200 games” category, the Oilers already qualify but chances are that Pouliot, Stortini and Peckham (among others) would move up the list in due time. Still, I think we can safely say the Prendergast draft era is safe at second base in this little exercise.

Next up we have “average” NHL players. This is the group of players who make the show for two or three years (or are part timers over several seasons) and are north of 200 games with something of a track record. The Oilers are shy in this category but there are players on the way (the gap between 15% and 10% in this study is 3 players) and it’s a reasonable bet that Edmonton will have enough to satisfy the test by 2016.

The two toughest categories are “impact player” and “elite players.” There are none in the group currently and at this point only Hemsky is building the resume to qualify (and many Oiler fans would dispute that for a long time). Since 67 players have been drafted, we should reasonably expect 3 impact players and 1 elite player from the group (if the “average” is to be maintained).

The 3 most likely candidates from the group (at this time) are Hemsky, Gagner and Cogliano. If all of them deliver at “impact” or above the Oilers would still be one shy of the average. However, it’s still very early in the window for many of these men, and this club drafted inside the top 10 exactly one time during the period and inside the top 15 four more times. The average slot for first round picks in the years KP was head scout was #17.

Not too many impact players are found in the range, and Prendergast may have found one in 2001. Plus the one time he got to the lottery the club chose Sam Gagner. The club is light on Jacks and Kings and Aces because they rarely chose in slots where they were still available, and the fact the procurement department found usable 6′s and 7′s and 9′s in the flotsam should be viewed as a strength and a positive.

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71 Responses to "Jumping Jack Flash (Prendergast) Is a Gas, Gas, Gas"

  1. Steve says:

    I admire your preference for statistical over anecdotal evidence, but wasn’t some of the anecdotal evidence meant to indicate that Prendergast wasn’t actually the guy calling the shots? This statistical stuff is great for evaluating the Oilers’ draft record, but if Prendergast isn’t the guy to credit or blame for it, then anecdotal evidence might serve some purpose.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    Thank you for this, LT.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Steve: The problem is you never get the straight goods from Oiler stories. Frankly, I’ve given up on them. They frame issues to suit the current calamity and spin yarns worth of Charlie Finley.

    I recall years ago reading that Lowe wasn’t sure about Hemsky but that KP and his staff were certain of him, and more recently I’ve read it was KP who was unsure.

    With those as a back drop, how can we be sure of anecdotal information? Anecdotes are only as good as the bullshitter telling the story.

    With the Oilers, the fish gets bigger every damn summer.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Benjamin, who dislikes Lowe, recently took at a run at Lowe's pre-lockout draft record.

    I was forced to come to Mr Lowe's defense.
    And in doing so, I crunched a few numbers, which I don't have in fronta me.
    But, Lowe's pre-lockout drafting wasn't terrible, it was OK.

    The biggest problem I could see,
    aside from Niniimaki & two goalies,
    was the number of squandered picks.
    From '00 thru '04 the Oilers had more picks in the first 2 Rounds than 27 other NHL squads.

    The NHL Games Played per Top-2-Rounds picks was not a good number, relative to other NHL clubs.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey: In 2001, they took Hemsky and Lynch. Lynch got hurt. In 2002, they missed with Niinimaki but scored in the top 50 with Greene and Stoll plus Deslauriers is still in there pitching.

    2003 was a poor draft also affected by injury (Poo and Crazy Train). 2004 Dubnyk who is of course a goalie and his story has yet to be written and Schremp who is apparently close to NP at this time.

    I’d say injury had a lot to do with the Oilers pre-draft record before the lockout. Lynch was an AHL All-Star at 20.

  6. bookie says:

    The only stats that matter are the average NHLer and up. Just because a team brings a player up to fill a spot as 7th dman or plays a hopeful player for a season or two does not give that any value. If someone like Brule does not pan out, then the whole time they were in the NHL they were just taking up space that any cheap vetran could fill so its a wasted draft pick.

    On that scorecard, the Oilers are doing about 55% as well as the league average (10.4% against 19%)

    Hemsky should probably draw above the average category in my opinion… but that is a subjective call and I bet LT just put him in average to goat us.

  7. Lowetide says:

    bookie: We need to remember the KP group is several years away from the finish line, so that when you say they’re 55% against league average it should probably end with a line like “with 9 seasons left to go before the window closes on this group.”

  8. Dennis says:

    At the risk of jacking the thread, I know the only reason we can watch all these games is because of the proliferation of local coverage but there were some awful displays tonight by both the FSN Detroit crew and also Chico Resch with the Devils.

    Daniels and Redmond were acting like the Wings invented hockey and Resch just lost it on the Canes GWG goal with .2 seconds remaining. A very embarrassing moment by him as he went on and on and Emrick didn’t even acknowledge it.

    And, finally, Hughson just called Luongo Bobby Lou and instantly made me feel dirty for loading up on Dys in my playoff draft.

  9. William says:

    This is an interesting perspective on things. Number of games played in the NHL still seems like the most reasonable way to look at things though. Draft position would have an impact on the number of “impact” or “elite” players that a team produces, and the Oilers have certainly not had the chance to pick in the top 5 for a couple of years in a row like some teams. Still, it would be nice to see the organization develop more of their later round draft picks into impact players (hello Detroit) or at least luck into a few that turn out that way.

  10. Lowetide says:

    William: I think luck is an important word in all of this. I remember many years ago the Philadelphia Phillies were pretty much a model franchise. When they decided to do something it was noticed in a “well, they know what they’re doing” kind of way.

    Anyway, one day they decided the next great player was a fellow named Von Hayes and so they traded a bunch of guys to Cleveland. Long story short they gave up oodles of talent for a guy who had a very good career but stopped short of being “the one.”

    They were pretty good at identifying talent and Von Hayes was an extremely valuable young player at the moment the trade was made. I even think it was worth the try (and maybe that’s what we’re hoping for, try) but it’s a crapshoot either way.

  11. HBomb says:

    And, finally, Hughson just called Luongo Bobby Lou and instantly made me feel dirty for loading up on Dys in my playoff draft.I will not sit back and relax until the following teams are eliminated:

    1) Montreal (will be taken care of tomorrow night)
    2) Calgary (I think Chicago takes care of business in six)
    3) Anaheim (if they get by San Jose, Detroit’s gonna rip ‘em a new one)
    4) Vancouver (this is the one that will be toughest to achieve, and the longer it goes, the more unbearable it will get….I cannot stand that team, even though there’s several players I’d gladly take on the Oilers; it’s mostly because the large majority of their fans are asshats).

  12. doritogrande says:


    You commented that Stu McGregor, he of magnificent bastard fame, took over Fall 2007. Wouldn’t that mean that Eberle was his pick, and not one Prendergest can lay claim to in the hopes of creeping up towards NHL average?

    Like you say, it’s still another couple of years before the samples can be compared, but I really doubt the two can be accurately compared. Those drafts back in the earlier days scouts had a much better idea of who the stars were going to be. Probably due to the draft age at the time being higher, but that’s just my two cents. It’s a nice read though.

  13. oilerdago says:

    Just wanted to say great post LT. It's another way to look at the KP & Co. draft record and it's a solid, objective analysis.

    Am just curious as to why you did not include Stoll & Greene in this analysis too as they both played north of 100 games in the copper & blue.

  14. bookie says:

    bookie: We need to remember the KP group is several years away from the finish line, so that when you say they’re 55% against league average it should probably end with a line like “with 9 seasons left to go before the window closes on this group.”.

    Yep,that sounds reasonable to me, but i suspect from your stats (and I admit to not knowing near as much as many of you about the prospects themselves) that the Oilers are at least behind the curve here…

  15. Lowetide says:

    dorito: Yes, Eberle is certainly part of the next (Cooking with Stu) group.

    The age difference is absolutely a consideration, that’s a terrific point. Drafting Gilbert Perreault in 1970 was a bit different than picking #1 this year (Perreault was a star and could certainly have played in the NHL at 18).

    olerdago: Stoll and Greene are included as “average” NHL players in this group.

  16. bookie says:

    I say we draft this guy. I dont know if he can skate, but as you will see if you watch the whole video, he is freeking impressive. Those are some skills! He could at least entertain all of us during intermissions or something….

  17. Lowetide says:

    bookie: I think the KP group is probably ahead of the curve at this time. The “impact” player we’re looking for probably plays 1000 games or scores 850 points. Ryan Smyth and Jason Arnott would be players who should be considered “impact” players for their careers under this format (imo).

    So, with that as a backdrop, I think Hemsky and Gagner would be candidates under the Arnott example and that a guy like Cogliano might play 1000 games even if he doesn’t end up being a scorer.

    That would mean that one more player from the group would need to emerge.

  18. William says:

    Hah, I remember as a kid thinking “What’s Von Hayes’ first name”?

    Agreed on luck. Unless you have a chance to draft a Crosby or Ovechkin, you’ve just got to hope all the pieces fall into place for the player you’re drafting. Though clearly some orgs are better at helping those pieces fall into place. It’d be interesting to know which teams have had the most success over the KP era and find out what was behind it – draft position, better scouting, better minor development, or just dumb luck.

  19. Fake Craig McTavish says:


    The KP legacy will always be tainted by 2003.

    Given how many impact and elite players were available, useful 6′s and 7′s just don’t compensate.

    How many teams have drafted fewer impact and zero elite players during KP’s reign?

  20. doritogrande says:

    Yeah, but would you have rather drafted a clod like Kesler, who can’t keep proper care of his stick, producing a 4-minute penalty in overtime?

  21. HBomb says:

    Misses on potential impact players in early rounds, 2000-2004:

    2000 (and yes, I know this was Fraser’s final F-U): Mikhnov instead of Frolov or Volchenkov

    2002: Niinimaki instead of Cam Ward or, a guy who Frank Musil stumped for, Jiri Hudler

    2003: Pouliot instead of any of Parise, Getzlaf, Richards, Kesler, Perry, Weber or Patrice Bergeron

    2004: Schremp instead of Mike Green; not trading up using the two first rounders to select Stafford (despite being in love with the guy)

    2005: Chorney instead of Paul Stastny

    No scouting staff is perfect, but the Oiler scouts have turned potential triples and home runs into singles (or worse) on a few occasions. Make even one decision differently, and things look a lot better.

    FCM is right – 2003 sticks out like a sore thumb, given what was left on the board. And this is from a pro-Pouliot guy.

  22. doritogrande says:

    Burrows snipes, Blues swept.

  23. Lowetide says:

    I know this is lost in the storm, but the Pouliot pick had a huge asterisk (injury) by the following summer.

  24. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    I know this is lost in the storm, but the Pouliot pick had a huge asterisk (injury) by the following summer.

    But that injury is long since past and, while it may have slowed his development, it did not prevent it.

  25. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Well it was more than one injury and at that age (18) time lost can have a massive impact on development. Everyone agrees with this, right?

  26. Schitzo says:

    2004: Schremp instead of Mike Green; not trading up using the two first rounders to select Stafford (despite being in love with the guy)

    2005: Chorney instead of Paul Stastny

    See, that’s creeping closely into “They should have drafted Datsyuk, those dummies” territory.

    When players that good get passed over by that many teams, I think we’re into luck, not skill.

  27. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: Well it was more than one injury and at that age (18) time lost can have a massive impact on development. Everyone agrees with this, right?

    I don’t.

    Many players (see Steve Mason) have had a bout with mono and many others have suffered injuries early and still had a decent career.

  28. bookie says:

    bookie: I think the KP group is probably ahead of the curve at this time.

    Ok, I must be missing something because it appears to me that in this analysis you are giving the oilers ‘futures’ wheras you are not giving other teams the same consideration.

    So, what I am saying is that the stats suggest that the Oilers have not done as well up to this point in time (others have gotten more from their draft picks). Yes, the Oilers may have some future assets yet to pan out to their full value, but wouldn’t the other teams as well.

    I am only trying to interpret the stats that you provided, I am not speaking from any additional knowledge than that.

  29. R O says:

    Ok, I must be missing something because it appears to me that in this analysis you are giving the oilers ‘futures’ wheras you are not giving other teams the same consideration.I think the reason for this is that the “league average” presented was a study conducted 9 years after the latest draft in the years under consideration. Whereas in the case LT is making for the Oilers, 9 years have not yet passed.

  30. Quinn says:

    I say we draft this guy. I dont know if he can skate, but as you will see if you watch the whole video, he is freeking impressive. Those are some skills! He could at least entertain all of us during intermissions or something…..

    Thanks for the video bookie. I was talking to my students today about how boys tend to get themselves injured or killed at a consistently higher rate than girls over the span of a lifetime because they take more risks than girls. The girls in the class did not believe me, but I can use this evidence to bolster my point (ie. boys are idiots).

    As far as the whole drafting thing goes…. I think fans of a team want to be hard on the drafts that team does. Certainly nitpicking coulda, shoulda, woulda (see above posts). But the very least that we can see from LT’s post is that KP’s drafting record is merely average rather than atrocious. We spend so much time focused on the Oil we tend to miss the fact that there are as many teams that do as badly or worse than they do.

    Not that I want to mitigate the misses that the scouts have made, since I think they need to be accountable for their actions, but LT is right. Luck is a huge word in this.

    Now, if you want to talk development, there’s an issue that you can beat down people with ….

  31. Rod says:

    Lowetide said…
    Well it was more than one injury and at that age (18) time lost can have a massive impact on development. Everyone agrees with this, right?

    Fake Craig McTavish said…
    I don’t.

    Many players (see Steve Mason) have had a bout with mono and many others have suffered injuries early and still had a decent career.

    Since when does the exception to the rule disprove the rule? Sure, there’s a guy here or there that managed to excel despite injury at a young age. However, it’s seems quite obvious that an injury at the wrong time can severely impact development. Tack on additional injuries…even if it’s just confidence that’s lost, it’s a big deal.

    The ones that pull through against the odds, good for them. That’s a definite plus on their scorecard. That doesn’t mean it’s the norm.

    Long way of saying I agree with Lowetide.

  32. bookie says:

    RO-thanks, I wasn’t paying attention to that critical bit of info!

    Quain – I once read a study that suggested that there is societal level evolutionary factor that results in teenage boys being less risk adverse than girls or anyone else in society. The process is actually biological, but the argument is that it developed through an society level evolutionary process.

    The suggestion is that hunter/gathers that had a group of aggressive individuals who were risk takers would fair much better than a tribe of 100% risk adverse individuals. So having a cabal of young vigorous men who would go after wildebeest with a stick or who would defend your group from a wild animal or an enemy group with rocks was a strong benefit to survival and procreation.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Quinn: Which is exactly why girls go for the “bad guys”. Girls for the most part do whatever they’re told, and when they’re teenagers seek out those wilder boys who can show them the kind of stuff they’re fascinated with. Excitement, danger etc.

    “Nice guys”, on the other hand aren’t all that much different from the girls, which gives the girls less reason to want to date them.

    Of course the girls who end up getting knocked up, and in hospital or worse, help give these bad boys their bad reputation. None of which is really the girl’s fault, but that’s just the way it is.

  34. Quinn says:

    bookie & hunter

    thanks for the information, though, since I will be talking to 10 and 11 year olds, I believe I will avoid the phrases society level evolutionary process and knocked up . It may not be appropriate ;)

    Excellent use of the word cabal though! There is just some language which doesn’t get used enough, but then I tend towards being sesquipedalian.

  35. Oilman says:

    LT, the numbers from the study show about 82 of the 4100 players drafted became “elite” players – about 5 players per draft year. Is there any indication in the study of the draft positions of these players? How many of them are top 5 picks? And how many top 5 picks have the Oilers had in the period you’re comparing? It’s probably safe to assume that about 12 of the 82 would have been #1 overall, 10 at #2 overall, and so on, with the odd Glenn Anderson and Daniel Dore thrown in there to skew things just a little. With the exception of ’07, Edmonton hasn’t picked higher than 13th over the Pendergast era – that would seem to throw the percentages off a bit don’t you think?

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Oilman: Yes, but with the salary cap, now teams can’t really afford to keep too many bona fide elite players together on one team.

    That’s how Kevin Lowe’s Oilers, using their newfound ability to offer large contracts have been able to secure a few of these top players, instead of simply wasting money on overpaying, for example, third line grinders, or soon to be washed up defencemen.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Oilman: Absolutely, that’s a factor. In the period 01-07, Edmonton drafted once in the top 10 (Gagner at 6). In the previous 7 year period, they drafted:

    #4 Bonsignore
    #6 Smyth
    #6 Steve Kelly
    #6 Boyd Devereaux

    It’s important to remember that the “Oilers” and “lottery” didn’t spend much time together in the KP era.

  38. Oilman says:

    hunter – not exactly sure how what you’re saying refers to the Oilers draft position. I’m just saying that a certain portion of the elite players from the study LT quoted would have come from draft positions that the Oilers have not had under the pendergast, so it’s harder to acheieve those percentages.

  39. Doogie2K says:

    So when we review the Stu MacGregor era years from now, will the post on the hive mind be called, “Boogie With Stu”?

    Aaaaanyway, looking at it from this perspective, even granting that there’s still a ton of time, doesn’t the KP era look kind of average, all told? Sure, injuries have played a non-trivial role in all of this, but when you can point to 2002 and 2003 as missed opportunities without even thinking too hard (Higgins and Parise/Getzlaf, respectively), I just can’t say that KP’s been more than adequate. And really, being an upgrade over most of the Barry Fraser era (say, 1983-2000) isn’t saying much at all.

  40. Smarmy Boss says:

    Someone should tell Dys fans they have to win three more series.

    As much maligned as the Oilers were this year. I think they would have made more of their playoff chances then the Blues did.

  41. relic says:

    The thing that bothers me about using the injury excuse for Pouliot is that there doesn’t seem to be any lingering physical damage. Did he lose a step from a leg injury or range of movement from an upper body problem, concussion issues? He looks like he has the tools when he plays, decent speed, decent hands, good size.

    Watching him, it looks to be more an issue with what’s between his ears. Maybe the old coach had something to do with it, maybe not.

    At this point, knowing in hindsight what else was available, I think it’s fair to call the pick a miss.

  42. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Likely, a team by team comparison during the KP era would be instructive.

    For instance, what is the average draft position of the Anaheim Ducks (starting at the top of the alphabet) compared to the Oilers and what elite or impact players has that period yielded?

    One would have to account for successfully or unsuccessfully trading up or down in the draft to make it truly meaningful.

  43. quain says:

    Watching him, it looks to be more an issue with what’s between his ears. Maybe the old coach had something to do with it, maybe not.

    I think I can safely say I’d be marked as one of the dirty MacTavish lovers here, but Pouliot has definitely not gotten a full chance to shine under MacT and I would be horrendously surprised if he didn’t get a full go-around this season be it here or somewhere else.

    And I think he’ll look okay. Not Getzlaf or Parise-esque, obviously, but he’s likely a player in this league for awhile.

  44. Undisclosed Personal Reasons says:

    Hi all,

    My first post. I’ve been lurking a while and really enjoy your writing, LT, as well as the comments on this blog. It’s far better than the Edmonton Oilers Forum!

    I like the statistical breakdown. I wish we could fast forward to 2016 now to see how KP compares. A few points:

    First, there are more teams now than in 79-90 which means more opportunity for draft picks to play in the NHL. To be longwinded about it:
    –From 1979-1990 there were 21 teams up until 1991 (SJ was added) and then 4 more were added before 1995. Hence, there were fewer teams for draft picks to play for in the 79-95 era compared to the KP era (30 teams). In 79-95 there were roughly 40,000 (82 games x 22 players on a roster x 22 teams) total man games played each year and in 01-present there is a total of roughly 55,000 (82 games x 22 players on a roster x 30 teams) total man games played each year—15,000 more opportunities to play a game. That is to say, if MAP was drafted in 79-95 he might not have made the cut and Markennen may not be in the 200+ club. Hence, the additional teams favour KP’s evaluation. So a fair comparison, imo, would need to account for the difference in the eras. There would be other things to consider too, like number of teams in the draft, # of draft picks, but I would hazard a guess that these would have a minimal impact.

    Second, and less technical, is that one can usually determine elite players by the potential they show early in their careers. This isn’t always the case, in fact I know there are many exceptions to this, but I would expect that Gagner, and Cogliano will become impact players at best, Hemsky is already there imo) and I don’t think the Oilers have drafted any future elite players (draft position does affect this as mentioned by many others).

    Third, the lack of getting an elite player or several impact players from within the organization is probably partly due to drafting but also, perhaps more influential is the development of our players or lack thereof.

    Whew, that was longer than I intended!

  45. Mr DeBakey says:

    There’s plenty of grousing hereabouts re the 2003 draft,
    Giving NHLer Pouliot the 20/20 hindsight treatment

    To me the problem one is 2004.
    4 picks in the top 57 – Devan Dubnyk, Rob Schremp, Roman Tesliuk, Geoff Paukovich.
    7 NHL games between the four, and its 50/50 they don’t crack 25 games total.

  46. quain says:

    In the 2001-2007 range there have been five PPG players drafted (six if you include Ivan Baranka and his one game, one point). All five were drafted in the top two.

    Opening it up a bit wider, there have been 22 .750 PPG players. Eleven were taken in the top five picks, the other eleven:

    Player Pos.
    Paul Stastny / 44
    Ryan Getzlaf / 19
    Anze Kopitar / 11
    Alexander Semin / 13
    Jason Pominville / 55
    Mike Cammalleri / 49
    Derek Roy / 32
    Ales Hemsky / 13
    Zach Parise / 17
    Mike Richards / 24
    Patrice Bergeron / 45

    Going down to .500 PPG, which I think is getting outside of the realm of ‘impact’ player, and filtering out those who haven’t even played half a season, leaves us with 78 players, eighteen were taken in the top five, twenty-nine were taken in the top ten.

    Out of all of this, here are the Edmonton draft picks in those 78 players:

    Player / Pos.
    Ales Hemsky / 13
    Jarret Stoll / 36
    Andrew Cogliano / 25

    This exercise is obviously kind of stupid as it omits goaltending and defensive stalwarts (like Duncan Keith, 54th pick and Bouwmeester, 3rd pick), but I think it’s a nice rough look and it shows we haven’t done too terribly.

    This team could definitely stand to pull a Keith out of the mid-rounds one of these days, but if we take Parise instead of Pouliot this draft class is probably one of the best possible given where we drafted. Even pooching that draft we’re still right in the middle of the pack in terms of quality bodies coming out of the ether.

  47. quain says:

    And, in terms of rough numbers, Edmonton ranks 16th in terms of games played by their draft picks.

    Doogie’s analysis is probably spot on. Porridge drafting for a porridge team.

  48. Ribs says:

    The thing that bothers me about using the injury excuse for Pouliot is that there doesn’t seem to be any lingering physical damage. Did he lose a step from a leg injury or range of movement from an upper body problem, concussion issues?

    I think the thing that LT is trying to get across is that the injuries happened at very vital times when a player does the most developing. It’s very possible Pouliot would be on a brighter path if he hadn’t missed so much time due to injury during his learning years.

  49. Bruce says:

    This is a rare photo: the Oilers brain trust smiling about Marc Pouliot.

    Great opening line to another great post, LT.

    I know this is lost in the storm, but the Pouliot pick had a huge asterisk (injury) by the following summer.

    So you keep reminding us LT, but Pouliot came with an asterisk due to injury incurred BEFORE the draft, which made the trade-down and subsequent pick risky from the get-go.

    As I recall in the moments leading up to the trade Bob McKenzie was dispensing wisdom and Pierre McGuire was dishing out the Koolaid on Zach Parise, and I for one was drinking it. When we later made the pick for the guy whose major highlight video was getting absolutely fucking smoked by Calgary’s just-picked draft stud in the previous season’s Top Prospects game, the optics were bloody terrible. They haven’t improved one bit since, as both Pouliot and our bonus pick (JFJ) spin their wheels with health and other issues, while Parise and several others from that same window are lighting up the league.

    It was a great draft, but all we have to show for it at this point is four fourth-liners.

    To me the problem one is 2004.

    Good point, Mr. dB, although the later pick of Liam Reddox in that draft more than makes up for all those busts in the top two rounds. *rolls eyes*

  50. Traktor says:

    It’s not the actual injury that kills prospects’ chances for the most part, it’s the lost developmental time. A year off is absolutely devastating for young players.

    Take a look at Stefan Legein.

    In 2006-2007 he had 43 goals in 64 games in the OHL.

    In 2007-2008 he had 24 goals in 30 games and 18 points in 10 playoff games.

    He then decided to take a year away from hockey.

    A year he returned and fell on his face – 1 point in 26 AHL games.

    Any shot at an NHL career is probably over.

  51. Black Gold says:

    Quinn, I think the dictionary.com search log just peaked for sesquipedalian.

  52. jon k says:

    The Pouliot injury argument always seems to ring a bit hollow to me. By most scouting reports his upside was that of a second line centre with good intangibles. Obviously it’s speculation at this point but there was never any possibility that even an uninjured Pouliot could cover the bet Parise made.

    Parise is the next Modano. Pouliot is the next Mats Lindgren.

  53. spOILer says:

    Was Parise figgered to be the next Modano by any team on draft day?

    If so, why did he get picked where he did?

    Seems to me decision-making on that day shouldn't include what has happened since.

    If Pou was projected to be a second line centre on draft day, what was Parise projected to be on that day?

    Was that more than 2nd line centre + scoring Coke machine?

    And judgin by the development paths of the Kerrs, Bertuzzis, & Leclairs of this world, do we have the full story of that Coke machine yet?

  54. jon k says:

    spoiler: Parise’s knocks were that he had been passed over in his first draft year I believe, and he was small for the pre-lockout game.

    His results as an 18 year old in NCAA were simply elite however.

    Parise’s numbers at 18 were:

    For comparison, Heatley’s numbers as an 18 year old were:

    Obviously there’s other factors such as how much their respective teams scored and how much they contributed to team offense as an individual, but my point is just that Parise’s numbers were in the elite range for NCAA prospects.

  55. Bank Shot says:

    1. Injuries- Oilers aren’t the only team to have draft picks injured or worse. Just look at Bourdon, Renaud, Cherepanov, Blackburn etc. every team has to deal with that at one time or another so it likely cancels out.

    2. High Picks- The Oilers may not have had any top five picks, but they’ve certainly had more first rounders then most, and they’ve certainly had a lot of rounds to fire since 2001. Much more than successful teams.

    3. Less than 200 games club- I’m thinking most of the mediocore clubs will have more players in this category than the teams that have fielded contenders over the last 5-6 years. As such, I don’t consider it to be much of an accomplishment.

    4. Average players selected by others(High picks in Parenthesis):

    Boston: 10
    Alberts, Jurcina, Morisson, Bergeron, Stuart, Versteeg, Krejeci, Hunwick, Lucic, Kessel(5).

    The only picks higher than 19th overall have been Kessel and Hamill(2007).

    Buffalo: 11
    Novotny, Roy, Thorburn, Pominville, Wideman, Paille, Ballard, Hejda, MacArthur, Vanek(5), Stafford

    Same relative draft positions as Oilers.

    Chicago: 8
    Ruutu, Anderson, Wisniewski, Keith, Babchuk, Byfuglien, Seabrook, Bolland
    Chicago has some very high picks, but still have produced more average players outside of those picks.

    Colorado: 6
    Budai, Svatos, Gilbert, Wolski, Stastny, Stewart.

    One less average player then the Oilers. Colorado’s had 4 first rounders in that time period compared to Edmonton’s ten and the highest was 14th in 2007.

    Dallas: 7
    Jokinen, Smith, Daley, Eriksson, Grossman, Niskanen, Neal.

    5 first rounders. 26th overall was their highest.

    Hudler, Fleischman, Filppula, Franzen, Quincey.

    3 first rounders.

    Florida- 6
    Majesky, Krajicek, Campbell, Booth, Olesz(7), Frolik(10)

    The Panthers had 3 top five picks that don’t count.

    LA- 7
    Cammalleri, Huet, Grebeshkov, Brown, Kopitar, Moller, Simmonds.

    Minnesota- 6
    Sekeras, Shultz, Veilleux, Koivu(6), Burns, O’Sullivan,

    Then you’ve got Sheppard(9), and Bouchard (8). Bouchard was a higher pick then anything the Oilers had until Gagner, but out of the top 15 in 2002 there were only two busts. Oilers traded down to get their guy who was one of them.

    Plekanec, Komisarek(7), Higgins, Halak, Lapierre, Streit, Grabovski, Latendresse.

    NYR- 7
    Hollweg, Zidlicky, Tyutin, Prucha, Callahan, Dubinsky, Staal

    Rangers lost first rounders to death and career ending injury in this time period. Jessiman also lost most of a season to injury as a prospect.

    Laich, Schubert, Emery, Gleason, Eaves, Meszaros, Foligno

    Seidenberg, Sharp, Ptikanen(4), Carter, Richards, Giroux

    Armstrong, Whitney(5), Christensen, Talbot, Kennedy, Letang

    Not a bad haul despite there only being 2 first round picks in this bunch.

    San Jose- 9
    Goc, Ehrhoff, Clowe, Pavelski, Carle, Bernier, Michalek(6), Vlasic, Setogouchi(8)

    St.Louis- 7
    McClement, Cajanek, Stempniak, Backes, Oshie, Berglund, Perron.

    Washington- 7
    Oduya, Gordon, Eminger, Semin, Schultz, Green, Backstrom(4).

    Even after eliminating the high picks from alot of teams, over half the NHL still drafted at a comparable level to the Oilers.

    I say the Oilers are just average at the draft table. Possibly a bit below or above. I don’t think there is really an arguement to be made that their drafting has been solid though.

  56. oilerdago says:

    Bank Shot: Good work on the team by team breakdowns. I would have to agree that overall, the Oilers drafting from 2001 to now is average, maybe a bit below.

    When you break it down, they’ve found more than a decent number of value picks beyond the first round but it’s in the first round where they’ve been more miss than hit (so far) and this has hurt.

    Certainly, when you look at the way LT has listed them, Hemsky, Gagner and Cogliano have the chance to be in the top 2categories. It’s way too early to see if Eberle gets there too. But that’s it and that is not acceptable.

    In the later rounds, the Oilers seem to have been able to turn up more than their fair share of talented role players. One can argue that this is BECAUSE there have been so many misses at the top that they’ve had to make up and play these guys.

    But I think that some of this comes back to philosophy. If you don’t draft BPA and go for need early, this is what happens.

    By the later rounds, you’re looking at BPA and it does them good.

    That’s why I like a lot of what Guy Flaming had written – and why I give KP some latitude here.

  57. Lowetide says:

    There is WAY too much to be written with these players to suggest something isn’t acceptable. Riley Nash and Alex Plante haven’t turned pro for crying out loud.

    As for alternate ways of measuring, that’s terrific but let’s agree and then do the work before drawing conclusions.

  58. Dennis says:

    Matheson reported today that the Oil will wear the old school gear for 27 of their 41 home games next year.

    So, we’ve got that going for us.

    In other news, there’s this thing in the NHL called playoffs and I’ve really been enjoying the.

    It seems like I remember something about the Oilers being but I also have a condition where I can’t fully recall things that happened more than three years ago.

  59. jon k says:

    It’s worth noting that Alex Plante is apparently having a very good playoff run. Supposedly he’s been the hitmen’s go-to guy for the shut down role and has done well doing so.

    It’s also been reported that Nash, Petry, and Van de Velde were all told by the Oilers to return to college for another year.

  60. Bruce says:

    Good work, Bank Shot, and I agree with your conclusions. Given the dearth of elite or impact players I’d tend to the “below-average” side of the equation. The Oilers might not have had any top 5 picks, but commensurate with our perennial middle-of-the-pack standing we’re usually picking nearer the middle of the first round than the back end of it. In 2002-04 we picked 15th, 22nd (from 17th), 14th, and 25th, and pretty much blew every pick. That’s not an elephant in the room, it’s a herd.

  61. bookie says:

    Bank Shot – Nice work, but really, shouldn’t you actually be doing the work that you were procrastinating from when you put that together :)

  62. digger says:

    It’s also been reported that Nash, Petry, and Van de Velde were all told by the Oilers to return to college for another year.That’s nice to hear, but weren’t these guys already pretty much committed to this path by their own initiative anyway? I don’t recall any articles this past while talking about these guys having a burning desire to ditch College and make ready for training camp ’09.

    No biggie in the grander scheme, but it just struck me as a bit odd that the Oilers felt the need to articulate that.

  63. spOILer says:

    I thought there might be a chance Petry would come out given the weakened/young state of the team he is on, but also given the plethora of Dmen in the system, it doesn’t really make sense for him to turn pro.

    Not sure what effect this will have on his development… He’ll get far more ice time and a leadership role in college, but his quality of competition and quality of teammates won’t be as good.

    Maybe Chorney’s past year has the Oil a bit gunshy?

  64. knighttown says:

    In other news, there’s this thing in the NHL called playoffs and I’ve really been enjoying them.

    Being from the east Dennis, I assume you’ve been watching the Eastern conference pretty closely and getting some sleep while the Blues-Nucks play? My God, the hockey out here is fabulous. Whether it’s by design of coaching or because the talent pool is thinner, Eastern Conference hockey is so much more damn entertaining. Tons of scoring chances resulting from forced and unforced errors, bad blood, huge hits and acrobatic goaltending.

    Although I’m willing to accept Calgary-Chicago seems excellent too.

    Submitting for your approval (and relating to the Poo 2003 gaff) Mike Richards, Top 5 NHL forward. Carter/Hartnell etc. can screw off…this guy makes this team tick.

  65. spOILer says:

    This is OT and pretty long, yammering on about the playoffs, so skip over it if you could care less. Apologies to all.

    As far as the playoffs go, not sure if you’ve been staying up to the wee hours to watch the ANA-SJS series Dennis, but it has been lovely to watch. ANA is absolutely unconscious at picking up rebounds in front of their own net, rarely allows an odd man break, and are playing with the confidence and experience you would expect from a team led by Scott N, CFP, and Getzlaf. If they were playing anyone but SJS, DET, or BOS, I think they’d be up 3-0 in games already. They just need to stay out of the box.

    CAL-CHI has been pretty even, but CHI looks like they have a level Cowtown can’t match. Kipper seems like he might be too tired to go deep anyway. Injured Regehr and missing Sarich early has hurt them too. Can’t believe the number of Flames fans that want Phaneuf traded though… no patience at all for his development down here. Perhaps the Norris nom and the resulting expectations were the worst thing that could have happened to him in hindsight.

    VAN looks tough to beat. Anyone who thinks our D corps is one of the best in the league ought to take a look at the Left Coasters.
    And Luongo’s fundamentals look bang on–always in position early, cutting down angles. Gets up and down with excellent quickness. High stick side looks like the only weak spot and at his size, he’d still have to be a half step too deep in the crease for it to be a factor. He’s giving VAN great PK numbers and should be our goalie at the Oly, bar none.

    Detroit, well what can you say? Osgood seems to have this little frickin switch he can flip when playoffs arrive. Kind of like the Anaheim bunch. Lidstrom hasn’t looked quite the same to me though–still super solid, but playing more careful than usual, might be hurt. Rest are playing focused.

    MTL-BOS. I will take any series between these two that ends in a Beantown win. So much payback yet to be given for all the tears I shed over the Bruins in the 70s. Been a rough series, but won’t matter as looks to be a short one. Took Ryder in one pool, thinking a Newf in the playoffs might be able to pull off a Cleary, especially against the team that dumped him.

    PIT-PHI. Another rough, hard entertaining series. After I saw how well the Pens could hit in their last match against the Flames, I loaded up on the Pens in the pools, but these teams are about as even as can be. Pens get the nod I think because of better netminding. Love Gonchar.

    WAS obviously needs a real goalie. Neither team in this series is likely to go far with their pre-existing issues. NJD and CAR turning into a heckuva series though. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to watch much of them.

  66. Bruce says:

    Not sure how qualified I am to comment on the playoffs after missing three entire days of games last weekend while picking rocks in back country Saskatchewan. But I’ve been thoroughly enjoying most of what I have seen; nothing like the first round of playoffs for high-energy hockey played with urgency, focus and a real nasty edge. I love it.

    How about dem Blue Jackets? *crickets* OK then, how about dem Blues? Both accomplished a lot by making the playoffs, and don’t/didn’t seem to have much left. Haven’t seen a minute of DET-CBJ, but I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s denouement to VAN-STL which was a wonderful hockey game. Focussed on a few players who all played tremendous games — David Backes, David Perron and Barrett Jackman for St.Loo; Alex Burrows, Roberto Luongo and my old fave Willie Mitchell for the Dys. At the start of OT I picked Burrows to get the winner and wasn’t surprised that he did after several other near misses. I won’t be popular around here saying that guy is an absolute force, but it’s true.

    I pegged the NJD-CAR match-up to be a good one to watch and wasn’t disapointed in last night’s barnburner, my first glimpse of a hard-fought series. Marty Brodeur’s frustration last night stemmed from a lot of sources; giving up the winner with 0.2 seconds left had to suck no matter what, esp. when it wasted a great comeback by his team. The bump was relatively minor, however it was the second questionable goal after a more egregious case of goalie interference on the ‘canes previous tally. Two such plays in one game would have any self-respecting goalie blowing his gasket. I know I would. :)

    I’ve also watched quite a bit of the BOS-MTL blowout which should be winding down in half an hour or so. A blowout by any measure; the Bruins are the better team when both are healthy, and Montreal isn’t. Losing Markov is about the equivalent of us losing Vis. With or without him the Habs have nobody to counter Zdeno Chara. Carey Price has been outclassed by Tim Thomas in the Boston nets. The Bruins have a cabal (love that word) of impressive young forwards, and regular season breakout players like Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, and the superb David Krejci are continuing to dominate in the postseason. Fun to watch ex-Hab Michael Ryder stick the knife in with 2-1-3 tonight after sniping the winner in Game 3. Ryder is just one of several Newfoundlanders — Dan Cleary, Ryan Clowe, Adam Pardy — who have had positive effects in the playoffs already. Fun for some of us islanders on the ‘sphere.

    Next up is what should be a pivotal game in the CHI-CAL series. Calgary seemed to be asserting themselves in Game 3, and it’ll be interesting to see how the talneted young Hawks respond tonight.

  67. Dennis says:

    I saw most of G2-3 of the SJ series and last night was an absolute fucking beauty. There was one point in the second period where I was laughing because the game was that fucking good.

    I did notice the Ducks clearing rebounds but Hiller stole the show in the first couple of games and then last night Nabby damn near helped him out again.

    Det/CBJ: Osgood made two dandy saves right off the hope in the P1:G1 and it seemed like he got set and then the Wings rolled the last 40 min. G2 was pretty much the same and then last night Osgood outdid himself with a couple of great saves and in particular a sweet stop after a give-and-go with Huselisis-Nash. As much as the Blues strong play didn’t carry into the second season, the Jackets poor play did and this hasn’t really been a series.

    Stl/Van: Luongo set the tone with great saves in an early 5-on-3 in G1 and it was pretty much done. Outside of last night’s game, I didn’t think the Blues were even coming close to matching the Dys at EV. I took all of DSedin, Demitra, Burrows and Kesler so I basically have to cheer them but it doesn’t mean I feel great about it.

    Cgy/CHI: I saw G1-3 and the physical play was great and I think the Flames are doing fine considering Regier’s out, Sarich is playing on fumes and they’ve got out injury concerns as well. I look at Chi and I think they’re one good D away from being a damn good bet to win two playoff rounds.

    Bos/Mtl: Mtl didn’t have the horses and the B’s are pretty much healthy and are deep.

    Car/NJ: because of all the TV clashes, I haven’t seem much of this at all.

    Wsh/NYR: I’m usually a bit of a Rags guy come the playoffs but Drury’s hurt so there’s no reason to believe they can go deep. THe caps have drafted well but they need to steal a guy in a deal to round them out like the Hawks did with both Sharp and Versteeg and they need another D and the netminding to settle.

    Pit/Flyers: I have all of Crosby, Kunitz, Sykora and Fetedenko in my pool so I’ve seen all of their games and it’s been damn close, I must say. MAF was unreal in G4, Pit was awful in G3 and G2 was a toss-up.

  68. Dennis says:

    I don’t know what my favourite MacGuire quote’s been from the Cgy series.

    But right now I’d trim it down to “Bfuyfligen’s gonna be a future NHL superstart” vs “Iginla’s a treasure and shouldn’t have to listen to all the smacktalk.”

  69. R O says:

    Stl/Van: Luongo set the tone with great saves in an early 5-on-3 in G1 and it was pretty much done. Outside of last night’s game, I didn’t think the Blues were even coming close to matching the Dys at EV. I took all of DSedin, Demitra, Burrows and Kesler so I basically have to cheer them but it doesn’t mean I feel great about it.Depends on what you mean by matching at EVs. Game 1 was a Canucks blowout, games 2 and 3 were slight edges by Vancouver and game 4 was domination by St. Louis. The cumulative Corsi was +4 over the series. A battle of the mediocre-at-ES.

  70. Dennis says:

    RO: that’s very interesting and it’s not the way my naked eye saw things.

    I knew they peppered the Dys in G4 but I thought the much better chances were coming on ST for Stil in G1-2-3.

  71. R O says:

    Dennis: I thought the only difference I could see between the two teams at EV was goaltending. Canucks had the edge. Special teams was a different story, I couldn’t believe how inept St. Louis was on the 5-on-3.

    I don’t think Vancouver’s advancing past the second round. Luongo might have a 2% edge on his rival goaltender in any series, but it won’t matter if his team’s getting outchanced 1.5 to 1 or even 2 to 1 (which they most certainly will if they play Detroit).

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