Magnificent Bastard

The most important man in this photo might be Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor. He is to the immediate right of Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and the only Oiler executive in the photo having a good year. MacGregor wasn’t given physical gifts and isn’t overly stylish (I own that tie, as a for instance) but the man does appear to be Midas (or something similar) at the draft table.

In the two drafts MacGregor has been the head man of the procurement department the Oilers have drafted Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paarjavi-Svensson. A re-draft of either year would most certainly elevate these two, and that could be the tip of the iceberg.

  • 2009 2nd round pick Anton Lander showed very well at the World Junior championships and has already gained a reputation for being a responsible forward in the SEL.
  • 2009 5th round pick Olivier Roy was a WJ invite and has recovered from a slow start to emerge as one of the QMJHL’s best SP goalies this season.
  • 2008 4th round pick Johan Motin is playing in the AHL and holding his own at age 20.
  • 2008 6th round pick Teemu Hartikainen was among the best Finn’s at the WJ’s and could be that big forward Edmonton badly needs down the line.

MacGregor’s two drafts have resulted in 12 names being called by the Oilers. Draft expectations break down like this:

  • 2% turn into elite players
  • 4% turn into impact players
  • 15% turn into average NHL players
  • 24% turn into fringe NHL players (less than 200 games)
  • 55% never play an NHL game

Applying those numbers to MacGregor’s list, we should expect no elite or impact players, 2 men should be expected to turn into average NHL players, and 2 more should be fringe players who play in fewer than 200 NHL games.

From the group of 12, we can safely break them down into the following categories:

  • On Track: Eberle, Motin, Cornet, Hartikainen, MPS, Lander, Hesketh, Bigos, Rajala, Roy
  • Off the Rails: Bendfeld, Abney

That’s a pretty nice total. One quick note, I’ve listed both Bendfeld and Abney as mistakes because draft history tells us they were selected so far out of order that it can safely be considered an error the moment it occurs. No disrespect to either player, but one addressed need about 100 picks before necessary and the other player could have been signed after the draft (Bendfeld).

We’ll talk more about MacGregor’s open attitude towards Europe (compared to KP) and about his keen eye for skill early (1st round, Eberle and MPS) and his keen eye for more developed and complete talents (Lander, Motin) later; for now, I think it is enough to agree that the recent WJ’s was an oppportunity for Oilers fans to see just how much progress has been made in the last two seasons.

With a total of 5 kids in the World Juniors (Eberle, MPS, Lander, Rajala, Hartikainen) and two others who made the Canadian WJ camp (Roy, Cornet), only 5 of MacGregor’s drafts had no involvement in the process.

Of those 5, only two (Hesketh, Abney) were eligible. Both Bigos and Motin are 20, and Jordan Bendfeld is 21.

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