Hockey News has hired some interesting columnists and former scout and NHL exec Tom Thompson posted some interesting items throughout the draft period. Among his really fascinating quotes:
- “In May or early June, most teams conduct meetings where an overall rating list is compiled. These meetings often serve as the emotional high point of the hockey season. Scouts can be passionate in arguing the virtues or drawbacks of prospects with whom they are familiar.” This quote feeds my suspicion that some of the depth picks for the Oilers over the years have been rewards for area scouts. I think that is probably one reason why teams like the Sabres are well founded in going the video route. While rewarding scouts for their hard work would seem to be an honorable thing to do, it doesn’t jive with me in terms of taking the best possible player available with every pick. Something to discuss as we move along.
- “I focus on several other features. For instance, if a local scout familiar with a top prospect is negative about him, that local scout is almost always correct.” Again, this doesn’t seem to be an efficient way of filtering the information your people are passing along.
Either way, I’m glad for the column and look forward to a bunch of them as we lead up to the 2011 entry draft. On another item, I always like to go back after the draft and check off the Oiler picks who attended the NHL combine. This season, 100 picks were invited and nhl.com listed them as the “top 100″ prospects for the 2010 draft. If true, the Oilers got more than their share of the top names (7 in all) during the 2-day affair. The combine also lists their exact (and I mean exact) height and weight so I thought it would be a good idea to list it here:
- Taylor Hall. 6 feet one half inch, 185 pounds
- Tyler Pitlick 6 feet one and an half inches, 194 pounds
- Martin Marincin 6 feet 4 inches, 187 pounds
- Curtis Hamilton 6 feet 2 and a quarter inches, 187 pounds
- Ryan Martindale 6 feet 3 inches, 183 pounds
- Tyler Bunz 6 feet 1 and a quarter inch, 196 pounds
- Brandon Davidson 6 feet 1 inch, 190 pounds
Martindale is the tallest forward, Pitlick the heaviest. Marincin is the tallest defenseman and Davidson is the heaviest. Finally, I’d like to list final draft ranking from each resource I could find for this draft.
- #1: Taylor Hall: #1 (ISS, Redline, Bob McKenzie)
- #31: Tyler Pitlick: ISS20; Redline30; Bob McKenzie25
- #46: Martin Marincin ISS40; Redline 50; Bob McKenzie71
- #48: Curtis Hamilton ISS60; Redline 121; Bob McKenzie57
- #61: Ryan Martindale ISS61; Redline 100; Bob McKenzie58
- #91: Jeremie Blaine Redline 156
- #121: Tyler Bunz ISS 14G; Redline 178; Bob McKenzie NR
- #162: Brandon Davidson ISS75; Redline204; Bob McKenzie NR
- #166: Drew Czerwonka unranked
- #181: Kristians Pelss Redline218
- #202: Kellen Jones unranked
If you can add anything I’ve missed, please pass it along. This is my attempt to keep people away from Central Scouting’s final rankings. If we can agree that any player taken within 10 slots of projected number isn’t a reach pick, then the only wonky choices are Hamilton (and then only according to Redline who nicked him because of his injuries and slow recovery) and Martindale (again according to Redline; they don’t like him) in the top 100. Bunz and Davidson look like they might have been sliders that the Oilers picked up when they fell.
We won’t know for years, but it looks like a good draft. The first 5 picks were all somewhat famous as prospects, and Bunz plus Davidson seem to have slipped to the Oilers. Hell, even Kellen Jones has an interesting story.