Daum to Coach Springfield

Since the 2005-06 season, Edmonton’s top minor league team has been located in three cities: Hamilton, Wilkes-Barre Scranton and Springfield. The club also farmed out players to places like Iowa and Milwaukee, all of them in the American Hockey League.

When they finally arrived in Springfield for the 2007-08 season, many felt it would mean a more stable development system for the farmhands. Some of us didn’t think it would make a difference: if a minor league player is getting his at-bats and honing his skills then the production line will produce useful players.

Right?

A quick look at the players who came through the system from the 2003 & 2004 entry drafts gives us an idea about the club’s success rate:

  1. Kyle Brodziak (214th overall/2003): 173 games in the AHL, 175 in the NHL since 2004.
  2. Zack Stortini (94th overall/2003): 115 games in the AHL, 147 in the NHL since 2005.
  3. Marc Pouliot (22nd overall/2003): 153 games in the AHL, 141 in the NHL since 2005.
  4. JF Jacques (68th overall/2003): 140 games in the AHL, 60 in the NHL since 2005.
  5. Liam Reddox (112th overall/2004): 79 games in the AHL, 70 in the ECHL and 47 in the NHL since 2006.
  6. Mathieu Roy (215th overall/2003): 241 games in the AHL, 10 in the ECHL and 30 in the NHL.
  7. Bryan Young (146th overall/2004): 169 games in the AHL, 17 in the ECHL and 17 in the NHL.
  8. Rob Schremp (25th overall/2004): 216 games in the AHL, 7 in the NHL since 2006.
  9. Troy Bodie (278th overa/2003): 153 games in the AHL, 46 in the ECHL and 4 in the NHL.

The two first rounders (Pouliot and Schremp) have not done as well as some lower picks, notably Kyle Brodziak and Zack Stortini. None of these players have emerged as top 6F talents at the NHL level, but we can agree that most of those players skip the minors altogether (Hemsky, Cogliano and Gagner from the Oilers recent past).

I wonder how many legit NHL players:

  1. Were drafted in the first round
  2. Spent a lot of time in the minors
  3. Went on to productive NHL careers

I won’t do anything in-depth here, but a quick glance at the Oilers since 1997 shows:

  • 1997: Michel Riesen played 202 AHL games, 12 in the NHL.
  • 1998: Michael Henrich played 222 AHL games.
  • 1999: Jani Rita played 204 AHL games, 66 in the NHL.
  • 2000: Alexei Mikhnov played 27 AHL games, 2 in the NHL.
  • 2001: Ales Hemsky played 0 AHL games, 421 in the NHL.
  • 2002: Jesse Niinimaki played 27 AHL games, 0 in the NHL.
  • 2003: Marc Pouliot played 153 AHL games, 141 in the NHL.
  • 2004: Rob Schremp played 216 AHL games, 7 in the NHL.
  • 2005: Andrew Cogliano played 0 AHL games, 164 in the NHL.
  • 2006: None.
  • 2007: Sam Gagner played 0 AHL games, 155 in the NHL.

We’ve looked at this (for the Oilers) before, but with Detroit clearly getting players to spend time in the minors even after they’re NHL ready it might be an idea to do this for a few clubs next time. Based on this very narrow view, the Edmonton Oilers are extremely unlikely to get a useful top 6 forward from a first round pick who spends even one day in the AHL.

It’s a place for 6′s and 7′s to learn the price of mistakes.

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27 Responses to "Daum to Coach Springfield"

  1. Showerhead says:

    Been a while since I've been on the internet, but first thing's first – I hope your mom is doing well! Family is as important as it gets in this world.

    Second, a cursory glance at the Red Wings' draft page at Wikipedia says that Niklas Kronwall is the only Detroit 1st rounder with a 2000 or later draft year to play in the NHL. His AHL GP total is 102.

    When you look at all of the late round picks of theirs to make the NHL in reasonably significant roles (Fleischman, Filpulla, Franzen, maybe a few other people whose names start with 'F'), you'd have to assume that in the extreme case of Motown, development time does not necessarily preclude important roles. That said, even when you go back far enough to include Datsyuk and Zetterberg, my first instinct is to say the Red Wings represent the exception and not the rule.

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    OT LT: Islanders to select Duchene?

    Alternatively titled: how to make Brian Burke mess his pants.

    As to the topic at hand: you kind of hope your high end guys never see the AHL and it becomes your method for filling your bottom six and bottom three on the extremely cheap. Dammit Daum, just give me depth!

  3. Traktor says:

    Note: 2004/2005 not counted

    Torres – 119 AHL games
    Boyes – 158
    Keith Primeau – 48
    Rolston – 35
    Glen Murray – 48
    Stillman – 142
    Allison – 65
    Doan – 39
    Sykora – 50 AHL, 42 IHL
    Dumont – 63 AHL, 7 IHL
    Briere – 179
    Samsonov – 79 IHL
    Umberger – 88
    Higgins – 67
    Stafford – 34
    Brassard – 42
    Little – 34

    Only 9 players have played a full season worth of AHL games since 1990

  4. Traktor says:

    Umberger shouldn't be on the list – played his games during the lockout but I forgot to remove him.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead: Thank you for your thoughtful remark about family (I agree completely). My Mom passed away last Thursday and the funeral was yesterday.

    She was a wonderful person and we miss her very much.

  6. Showerhead says:

    Oh my. My condolences LT – I was sincerely hoping for different news. Without having known her, can only say that she raised one hell of a blogger – a son who shows patience and respect to people of all different backgrounds. Also, if you are as long in the tooth as you sometimes playfully allude to, she herself must have lived a good life. With that, I'll accept that words from strangers are kind of cheap and end by wishing you and your family the best at what I expect is a very difficult time.

  7. Showerhead says:

    Traktor: how good do they have to be to make your list? If it's thorough, you make one hell of a point. Off the top of my head, I think Martin St. Louis is an omission but maybe you were just offering a sample.

  8. Traktor says:

    Showerhead: I was looking strictly at 1st round picks.

  9. Showerhead says:

    My apologies, that should have been obvious.

    Looking it over, there ARE some very good players on that list but they come in at a rate of about one per year and that is obviously not a good bet.

  10. speeds says:

    My condolances as well LT, wishing the best for you and your family.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    My condolences LT. My deepest sympathy for your kids – I know how tough it is on them.

  12. Ribs says:

    Sorry to hear about your mom, LT. I hope you and your family are doing well. I'm glad Dennis and others helped remind you to visit her over the years.

  13. Greg MC says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  14. oilerdago says:

    My condolences too LT.

  15. Bruce says:

    Lain: My sincerest condolences to you on your loss. Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.

  16. HBomb says:

    My condolences and sympathies LT.

  17. Deano says:

    My deepest sympathies to all of the Babcooks.

  18. Jonathan Willis says:

    Very sorry to hear that LT. All the best to you and yours.

  19. William says:

    All the best to you and your family.

  20. Dennis says:

    LT: I know what it's like to lose a parent and everyone has their own timeframe within to heal and I hope that yours is as short as possible.

  21. RiversQ says:

    Traktor: You're missing Spezza. Pretty much a full year before the lockout.

    Anyway, I don't think you can really limit an evaluation of AHL service to just 1st round picks. It's needlessly arbitrary.

    Furthermore, decisions on first round picks are often not based on merit and further skewed by the NHL's rules surrounding junior age players. For example, Doug MacLean did enough stupid shit to get banned from NHL rinks forever on this issue alone.

    I think Gagner's a great example too. Sure he skipped the AHL and played at 18, but he was pretty much a speed bump so what does that tell you?

  22. PDO says:

    Terrible news Lain.

    That's devastating.

    My condolences, and best wishes to you and yours.

  23. digger says:

    Best wishes LT.

    I don't know you personally, but I do know what it means to lose family. My thoughts are with you and your family. God bless.

  24. PunjabiOil says:

    My condolances LT, wishing the best for you and your family.

  25. spOILer says:

    Deepest condolences to you and all of your family.

    For someone who does all this work for free and out of love… you are an amazing professional.

    You have scarcely missed a beat during this trying time and devastating loss, but I suspect that's the kind of man your mom raised.

    Thank you yet again for everything you put into this amazing online salon. Thank you for all your strength. And thank you to your mom, for without her, we would not have you or this now legendary place.

    Best,
    spOILer

  26. Black Dog says:

    My deepest sympathies, Lain.

    Based on the man that your mother raised she must have been some woman.

  27. Alice says:

    Nothing to add but yeah, we're all sharing a bit of your loss, had a couple scares with my mom and know that's something never to take for granted, that she's still around. And around this week, as it turns out , for the happy occasion of a wedding.

    All the best to your real family, from your other one :-)
    al

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