PROSPECT UPDATE: UP ARROWS, DOWN ARROWS, ELEVATOR SHAFT

The Edmonton Oilers have some prospects on the up elevator and others who didn’t wait for the elevator and just jumped down the shaft. It has been a year of substantial improvement and blossoming, and a year that has been so devastating prospect status may no longer be the description applied. Let’s have a look.

The Winter Top 20 is here, we’ll do the top 30 in order.

  1. L Nail Yakupov: 8, 5-1-6 in the NHL after scoring 10 goals in 22 KHL games. The kid has been at least as much fun as advertised, an offensive dynamo whose spirit for the game shines like a diamond mine. He’s a rookie, but there are signs he’s learning the finer points on the job, and the things he does that make him special can’t be taught. Loved his reaction to the empty netter against Colorado yesterday. What a cool kid. Up arrow.
  2. D Justin Schultz: 8, 2-3-5 in the NHL after 34, 18-30-48 in OKC. He’s playing big minutes and showing impressive skills all over the ice. We’re one sixth of the way through this shortened season and he’s on track for 30 points, which is an incredible season for a rookie blue. Effective passer, he’s not getting that wrist shot to go past NHL goaltenders but that shouldn’t come as a shock. It’s still effective because the shot is accurate and gets rebounds. What an enormous addition to the young and developing Oilers. Up arrow.
  3. D Oscar Klefbom: 11, 0-3-3 in the SEL before his season ended with a shoulder injury. It was a pretty severe injury, costing him a large amount of development time. Among the defensive prospects in the Oilers pipeline, Oscar Klefbom offers the best combination of size, skill, mobility and defensive acumen. The multiple good arrows are somewhat offset by his increasing injury difficulties. Make no mistake, this is a blue chip prospect if the injuries don’t drown him. Corey Pronman: ”NHL GM on newly signed Oscar Klefbom. “Physically mature, great skater. Projects to play against best players and some offense.” Down arrow.
  4. D Martin Marincin: 40, 4-12-16 in OKC and healthy all year. I did an update on him Friday, that covered most of it. The important thing with Marincin is that he’s ahead of the other kids on this list (Schultz aside) and he’s healthy. If we take the top 3 defenders on this list, Marincin’s health, development timeline and range of skills put him in a very good position to have an NHL career with the Oilers. Klefbom will likely get the first NHL chance, but that’s not necessarily the best way to develop blue. Another season or more in OKC, and arriving in the show at the end of his entry level deal puts Marincin right on time. Up arrow.
  5. L Teemu Hartikainen: 7, 0-1-1 in the NHL and playing about 10 minutes a night in the NHL. Hartikainen will be waiver eligible soon so must show value. I believe he’s passed that grade and now its a matter of his being able to post enough crooked numbers to hold sway with the up and comers. Hartikainen has (imo) slightly changed his style to a more physical, crash and bang player to fit the Oilers needs but has not added a bunch of addled penalties while doing it. He’s played about one half of a full season in the NHL now, goign 5-6-11 in 36 games. He’ll need to score a little better (say 15 a season) to keep the job that is there for him. Up arrow.
  6. D Martin Gernat: 10, 0-5-5 in the WHL and finally healthy. Gernat lost some precious development time but appears to be returning to form (3 assists last night). I spoke to Corey Graham and Guy Flaming about him this week, and both said the same thing: skating well, has some rust, the skill is there. He’ll have a chance to play close to 40 games if they go deep into the post season, that is plenty of time to get something out of this season. Flat.
  7. C Jujhar Khaira: 25, 4-13-17 in the NCAA and gaining recognition as a quality prospect. For freshman, even getting ice time is an issue, but Khaira has been getting plenty and in all kinds of situations (all of his goals came on the PP). He’s 6.03, 195, playing center, has some bite in his game and took about two weeks to move all the way up the depth chart at Michigan Tech. Up arrow.
  8. D David Musil: 44, 6-16-22 in the WHL and the question with Musil will always be footspeed. He can play defense–he’s a solid defender in the WHL–but mobility is going to be an issue. I think he’s miles better than Alex Plante, but what I think doesn’t count–next season in the AHL will be a large test. We’ve seen how difficult the transition has been this season for Marincin, and should expect a bumpy ride for Musil when he turns pro. Flat
  9. R Tyler Pitlick: 32, 1-4-5 in the AHL and an injury that may change his career progress a great deal. The concussion was a concern and the inability to light the lamp a danger sign, but the ripped knee ligaments (using Jim Matheson’s choice of words here) suggest the young man has had a major setback. We’ll see, but he’ll be two-thirds of the way through his entry level season by summertime, and we have not seen the kind of development one hopes for in a #31 overall selection. Elevator shaft.
  10. D Dillon Simpson: 28, 2-14-16 in the NCAA and a player who is developing well in North Dakota. As with Musil, we’re going to be seeing a defensemen with footspeed issues and a ton of ability to read and react, but Simpson has been working on his skating and is improved in that area. Simpson has moved up the depth chart and at this point we should consider him in the group of prospects that starts with Klefbom and ends with Gernat: Simpson is trending. Up arrow.
  11. C Anton Lander: 39, 3-7-10 in the AHL and 2, 0-0-0 in the NHL. Lander appears to have left a lot of his scoring in the SEL, and at this point that item will be a major part of his story. Called up this weekend to the NHL, Lander looked good on the PK again but the only offense I’ve noticed is two long range shots with zero chance of going in. He’s not shy–Lander will engage–but I don’t know where the offense is going to come from. Flat.
  12. L Mitchell Moroz: 51, 9-16-25 in the WHL and he’s matched last season’s point output in 15 fewer games. Moroz can make plays, but consistency is an issue and his passing/taking a pass ability need improvement if he’s going to play with skill at the next level. Moroz was part of one of the most incredible fights I’ve seen in recent years earlier in the year, and that will get him a contract and a lengthy pro career unless they ban fighting. Flat.
  13. L Tobias Rieder: 38, 17-18-35 in the OHL. At this point he’s mirroring Liam Reddox perfectly (huge year in the season after his draft and then back to normal), but like Reddox his wide range of skills will get Rieder plenty of chances. No doubt he gets a contract in my opinion, although like Reddox he may spend some time in the ECHL as a rookie pro. Down arrow.
  14. G Tyler Bunz: 24, 3.43 .879 in the ECHL. I think we can begin to wonder about Bunz as a pro prospect. In the time Edmonton has been sending kids to Stockton I don’t recall these kinds of numbers even on the guys who fail to make it as AHL regulars. Since we know he was a quality G in junior, we’re left to wonder about the concussions, maturity and the other things that derail hockey players. Disappointing player. Elevator shaft.
  15. D Joey Laleggia: 27, 9-13-22 in the NCAA and he remains a pretty incredible PP contributor. I don’t know that the Oilers turn him pro this fall–they have so many graduating blue–but this is an interesting player and somewhat unique among Oiler prospects. Flat.
  16. G Olivier Roy: 19, 2.86 .899 in the AHL and I do believe he’s made some progress this year. Roy didn’t play for a long stretch–when the really good players were in town–and then got the job handed to him when Danis got called up. He’s playing more, and despite being wildly inconsistent there have been incredible flashes of brilliance from the youngster. I don’t think the Oilers have Dubnyk’s replacement here, but with some years in the AHL he might have a career in the NHL. Flat.
  17. D Colten Teubert: 43, 3-3-6 in the AHL and I believe he’s now blocked from the NHL for the forseeable future. Why? The Oilers went out and got a better Teubert in Fistric and still haven’t given up on Peckham. What’s more, the “defense first” guys above him (Klefbom, Musil) are going to be playing North American pro hockey soon. I still think he has a career as a 5-7D in the NHL, and maybe in Edmonton, but Teubert’s window is closing for this time around, and the Fistric pickup proves it. If the Oilers felt Teubert could do the job, he’d be doing it. Flat.
  18. D Taylor Fedun: 41, 2-10-12 in the AHL and he’s moved up in the estimation of the Oilers. He was a mid-week recall for training camp and is playing a feature role with the Barons this season. I don’t know where he fits long term, but he’s going to get some callup games in the next few seasons and I suspect he could grab a foothold on a job during one of them. Up arrow.
  19. L Curtis Hamilton: 35, 2-2-4. Not much to say, he’s been passed by so many kids drafted after him the mind boggles. Martindale and Pelss from his own draft year were taken after him and have moved ahead of Hamilton. He has one more year of his entry level deal after this one, not a lot of teams looking for a player with Hamilton’s resume. Elevator shaft.
  20. L Daniil Zharkov: 39, 14-9-23  in the OHL and much improved since the WJ’s. In 9 games since the New Year he’s 9, 6-6-12 +14 and looking very good in the OHL. His team has improved their overall roster and Zharkov is performing well with the more skilled linemates made avaialable. Up arrow.

21-30 and beyond later today.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

47 Responses to "PROSPECT UPDATE: UP ARROWS, DOWN ARROWS, ELEVATOR SHAFT"

  1. Calamus says:

    The two Tyler’s are severely disappointing. Such high hopes for those two players, and at positions of need too. (I consider a big, hard-hitting forward that had top 6 potential to be a position of need)

    Here’s hoping that Jujhar turns into a gem to assuage my depression over those two guys.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Do Yak and Schultz still count as “prospects”… might be time to graduate them

    if Martindale and Pelss are ahead of Hamilton… why aren’t they?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Rom: For the purposes of my top 20, 50 NHL games is the line in the sand. I will probably change that for this season, as Yak and Schultz will have graduated at season’s end (unless they are injured).

  4. jp says:

    We’ve spent a fair bit of time talking about the elevator shaft guys, but as a group the prospects haven’t done so badly this season have they? (even aside from the massive success of top 2)

    By far the most glaring organizational need (in my eyes) is a decent 3C to replace Horcoff/Belanger. I’m kinda looking at the depth chart to see what positions can likely be filled from within with these prospects (assuming no trades) and that’s the only one that really concerns me (backup goalie too, but hopefully that’s a less key position).

    Along with Hartikainen and Paajarvi, 2 or 3 of Khaira, Pitlick, Moroz, Rieder and Zharkov could reasonably be expected to fill the bottom 6 winger slots.

    On D, there’s Smid, Petry, J. Schultz and N. Schultz who should be kept around, possibly with one of Peckham and Fistric. So 2-3 D slots to be filled by Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat et al. Sounds not too crazy.

    In net, there are a bunch of prospects who appear to be longshots even as NHL backups. I wonder if Hovinen might actually be the best of the bunch – his numbers from Finland suggest he could Markkanen quality. IF Dubnyk turns out to be a quality starter, a FA backup who only needs to play 15-20 games isn’t too difficult to find in any case.

    At C though, it’s just RNH, Gagner and Langer (and Martindale?). I think Lander can be a 4C, but hope for any offense from him is all but gone. Maybe, just maybe Khaira ends but being able to fill the role, but that’s asking a lot of the kid.

    In any case, it’s nice to be able to look at the Oilers current lineup and prospect pool and be able to project most of the spots as likely being fill-able. I’ve done this over quite a few years, and too often I even the most optimistic projections didn’t look very pretty.

  5. Captain Happy says:

    Not sure if you caught this…but former Jets defenseman Randy Jones has signed in OKC.

    http://okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=pressreleases&ra=showarticle&guid=4C5137DD-7024-4C4C-A173-77392B30EB99

  6. In the Grease says:

    @Rom, this is not a re-ranking, but rather LT reviewing his previously compiled Winter Top 20, and essentially grading what the players on that list have done to this point. I would definitely expect a significant shuffle (particularly the bottom half) in a re-ranking.

    @LT – With the way things have played out to this point with the 2010 draft class, does it take some of the shine off the “Magnificent Bastard” proclamation for you? I seem to recall a LOT of enthusiasm for the 2010 draft (Taylor Hall was a gimme) but with the disappointing results shown by Pitlick, Hamilton, Bunz, and the Oil cutting bait on Blain, Czerwonka, and likely Jones, as well as “jury’s out” on Martindale, Davidson, Pelss…. – I mean we’re 2.5 years out now, and I’m become less and less convinced that MacGregor’s drafting skills are really that much above league average. Thoughts?

  7. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: For the purposes of my top 20, 50 NHL games is the line in the sand. I will probably change that for this season, as Yak and Schultz will have graduated at season’s end (unless they are injured).

    The way you state that, makes me think that deep down inside you’re almost certain the Oilers aren’t going to make the show.

  8. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: The way you state that, makes me think that deep down inside you’re almost certain the Oilers aren’t going to make the show.

    I believe they’ll make the playoffs. They should, this team’s top 6 forwards are so damn good that’ll make up for a lot of problem areas.

  9. Lowetide says:

    @LT – With the way things have played out to this point with the 2010 draft class, does it take some of the shine off the “Magnificent Bastard” proclamation for you? I seem to recall a LOT of enthusiasm for the 2010 draft (Taylor Hall was a gimme) but with the disappointing results shown by Pitlick, Hamilton, Bunz, and the Oil cutting bait on Blain, Czerwonka, and likely Jones, as well as “jury’s out” on Martindale, Davidson, Pelss…. – I mean we’re 2.5 years out now, and I’m become less and less convinced that MacGregor’s drafting skills are really that much above league average. Thoughts?

    No, I’m still onside with MBS. I’m more concerned with the 2012 draft that included going off the board a little for Moroz than the 2010 draft. Pitlick and the others were taken “in the range” of where they were ranked, and that’s a major reason why I believe in Stu MacGregor.

    I explained it here
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/07/what-happens-when-the-oilers-go-draft-walkabout.html

    and the 2010 draft was just a great set of bets imo:

    2010 Oilers draft

    Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
    Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (attended combine)
    Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (attended combine)
    Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked 57 (attended combine)
    Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (attended combine)
    Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
    Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked (attended combine)
    Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked (attended combine)
    Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked
    Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked
    Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked

    Now one guy got cancer and another ripped up his knee, and I don’t know what’s happened to Hamilton. But there’s no Niinimaki there, no goaltenders in the first round, no Hugh Jessiman’s. I honestly believe the first 8 picks were terrific.

    Didn’t work out on some, them’s the breaks.

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    Outside the top 5 on the list (and 2 of them are regular NHLers), what a disappointing list. Seriously doubt any of the others will have bonafide careers in the NHL.

    2010 2nd round looks very, very disappointing. Makes you wonder what the Oilers could have received if they offered all 3 second rounders at the draft?

    Tyler Toffoli was available – why did they pass up on him, in favour of a bigger gamble in Curtis Hamilton?

    Pitlick and Hamilton – very disappointing. Just atrocious numbers.

    Bunz likely the biggest disappointment given his solid numbers in the WHL.

    Stu MacGregor is overrated. It’s not a popular opinion, but there is evidence to suggest this.

  11. In the Grease says:

    Thanks LT – yes I think that after years of shocking off the board picks, and atrocious results from what amounted to many ‘blown drafts’ it was just such a relief to see some logic, and sound reasoning in choices that were made that it almost felt like, by contrast, we had a genius at the helm in MacGregor… It just seems to me as things are playing out now we are coming back down to earth. With a soft thud.

    And hindsight being what it is, maybe the only player of note who we could have taken instead of Pitlick in the second round of 2010 was Devante Smith-Pelly, who went to Anaheim at #42.

    It does illustrate, once again, that even with decent strategy in place the draft still winds up being largely a “roll the dice” proposition. Which is why I found it a little perplexing that there were people proclaiming a 3rd round pick to be an overpay for Fistric…. even in a deep draft I would prefer a proven mid-20′s NHL d-man who can help the team (and I’m sure his play for the most part, has quieted those who were not happy about giving up that pick ) over a 3rd round gamble who may never pan out….

  12. Lowetide says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Outside the top 5 on the list (and 2 of them are regular NHLers), what a disappointing list.Seriously doubt any of the others will have bonafide careers in the NHL.

    2010 2nd round looks very, very disappointing.Makes you wonder what the Oilers could have received if they offered all 3 second rounders at the draft?

    Tyler Toffoli was available – why did they pass up on him, in favour of a bigger gamble in Curtis Hamilton?

    Pitlick and Hamilton – very disappointing.Just atrocious numbers.

    Bunz likely the biggest disappointment given his solid numbers in the WHL.

    Stu MacGregor is overrated.It’s not a popular opinion, but there is evidence to suggest this.

    Actually, that IS the popular opinion I expect. However, I don’t think those who feel the MBS group are poor at drafting are looking at it correctly. The Oilers missed on Faulk, Zucker and Toffoli and I believe they got a player in Marincin (we’ll see).

    What they DIDN’T do is pick long shots in round two. Pitlick was a first round pick based on Bob McKenzie’s list so he had value. The numbers are listed above. The fact that these guys haven’t worked out is not the result we wanted but I’m not convinced there was exceptional evidence on draft day that Faulk, Zucker and Toffoli were clearly the best 2nd rders avaialble.

  13. Ryan says:

    PunjabiOil,

    “Stu MacGregor is overrated. It’s not a popular opinion, but there is evidence to suggest this.”

    I can’t say I see much going on myself outside of first round pics.

    I’m not a draft expert, but with three first overall draft years, you’d think he’d have to find something that’s better than replacement level in one of those high 2nd round draft pics.

  14. jp says:

    Captain Happy:
    Not sure if you caught this…but former Jets defenseman Randy Jones has signed in OKC.

    http://okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=pressreleases&ra=showarticle&guid=4C5137DD-7024-4C4C-A173-77392B30EB99

    Wow, really nice moves (including Clark and Cheechoo) to solidify the Oilers depth and give OKC a fighting chance.

  15. Ryan says:

    I’m not known to be a contrarian here like Traktor or DSF, but I’ll give it a try to start discussion. :P

    If people considered Cogliano a disappointment at 25, how does that make PRV look? I can’t see PRV ever hoping to carve out Cogliano’s career.

    Shine box was considered a bust at 25. Imagine if we used a 10th overall on him.

    For the 2nd rounders…

    2009 – Andon Lander – 40 OV – Unlikely to ever hit above the Mendoza line in the NHL. Possible projection as a 4rth line Centre likely below replacement level.

    2010 –
    Tyler Pitlick – 31 OV – As above, elevator shaft.
    Martin Marcin – 46 OV – Seems like there could be a player there. Bottom pairing / PP ?
    Curtis Hamilton – 48 OV – As above, elevator shaft.

    2011 – David Musil – 31 OV – Long shot to play in the NHL due to footspeed? Upside is maybe a bottom pairing, stay at home defender?

    2012 – Mitch Moroz – 32 OV – Outside chance at a Hordichuk type career?

    With hindsight being 20-20, who were the class of the 2nd rounders from 2009-12?

  16. leadfarmer says:

    Yeah I think the early MBS proclaimation was a little premature and an attempt to put some light at the end of the tunnel of a very dark part in the Oilers history. Now that we are a few years into his work some of his misses will stand out, but not every prospect will make it. For example, if Klefbom never plays in the NHL will you call him a bad draft pick. I dont think you can, cause at the time of selection he showed a lot of promise and was derailed by injury. Hopefully some of these guys recover and at least we can settle to call him Stu “Above Average Bastard”.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: No rational person should consider Cogliano a disappointment. It isn’t his fault the Oilers made drafting #1 overall an annual event.

    As for your projections, I’d suggest we might want towait a little before projecting these kids as one thing or another. Its one thing to have an elevator shaft season, quite another to write off a player completely.

    There are Oiler fans who have written off Hartikainen, for instance. Five years is really the first point in time (imo) where we can assess. That means the 2008 draft is fair to look at this summer.

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    Stu MacGregor is heavily lauded (though more skeptics have been surfacing in the last calendar year) in Oilers country – and I just can’t figure out why?

    Pitlick was regarded as the BPA at 31 in 2010 – so I won’t criticize that pick. That being said, Jordan Eberle and 1st overall picks aside, what exactly has Stu achieved under his regime?

    1. There were already rumours that Stu wanted Murray over Yakupov (confirmed myself with 2 Oiler employees)

    2. 2011 draft – Ty Rattie, Rocco Grimaldi, Boone Jenner, Matt Finn, among a few others were regarded as players with higher upside than Musil.

    3. Plante and Riley Nash in 2007 – picks in Stu’s territory, for which he has acknowledged share of blame.

    4. Have any of the 2nd round picks turned out yet?

    5. Selection of players with limited upside at relatively high draft position (Moroz, Abney, Hesketh, Ewanyk) is extremely concerning due to the inability to understand value.

  19. jp says:

    A little OT, but I’m wondering if Klefbom has used a year of his ELC by signing last summer then playing a year in the SEL (well, part of the year). I’m assuming he hasn’t, but I’m not sure about the rules for ELC sliderule eligible players playing pro in Europe.

    I was looking at Rajala as an example. He signed with the Oilers in summer 2009, played a year in Brandon, then 2 years in Finland before returning to NA this year. Capgeek lists him as having this year and next left on his ELC, so only the 2nd year in Finland seems to have counted. This is consistent with Jr aged players playing in Europe basically being considered as if they’ve returned to Jr – I’m just deducing this from one example though. Klefbom is a late birthday too, so he was eligible to play in OKC this year in his draft +2 season. Not sure if that affects things. If anyone has any insight it would be appreciated.

  20. Ryan says:

    I’ll try to dig up a few.

    1st round:

    1 10 Edmonton Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson L Timra IK [SEL] 126 17 25 42 20

    Others:

    1 14 Florida Dmitri Kulikov D Drummondville Voltigeurs [QMJHL] 204 13 58 71 119
    1 16 Minnesota Nick Leddy D Eden Prairie H.S. (Minn.) 137 8 41 49 14
    1 24 Washington Marcus Johansson C Farjestads BK Karlstad [SEL] 155 27 46 73 18
    1 17 St. Louis David Rundblad D Skelleftea HC [SEL] 33 1 6 7 6
    1 11 Nashville Ryan Ellis D Windsor Spitfires [OHL] 40 4 9 13 4
    1 13 Buffalo Zack Kassian R Peterborough Petes [OHL] 52 9 7 16 63
    1 30 Pittsburgh Simon Despres D Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL] 24 2 5 7 16

    Benchmark 2nd round:

    2 40 Edmonton Anton Lander C Timra IK [SEL] 58 2 4 6 14

    2009:

    5 149 Chicago Marcus Kruger C Djurgarden Jrs. (Sweden) 87 9 18 27 34
    4 104 Buffalo Marcus Foligno L Sudbury Wolves [OHL] 22 7 11 18 22
    4 98 Nashville Craig Smith C Waterloo Black Hawks [USHL] 80 14 22 36 36
    2 55 Washington Dmitri Orlov D Novokuznetsk Metallurg [KHL] 60 3 16 19 18
    2 49 Colorado Stefan Elliott D Saskatoon Blades [WHL] 39 4 9 13 8

    2010:

    2 37 Carolina Justin Faulk D U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 72 9 15 24 29
    2 42 Anaheim Devante Smith-Pelly L Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors [OHL] 54 7 6 13 16

    2011:

    5 139 Chicago Andrew Shaw C Owen Sound Attack [OHL] 46 13 13 26 52

  21. Lowetide says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Stu MacGregor is heavily lauded (though more skeptics have been surfacing in the last calendar year) in Oilers country – and I just can’t figure out why?

    Pitlick was regarded as the BPA at 31 in 2010 – so I won’t criticize that pick.That being said, Jordan Eberle and 1st overall picks aside, what exactly has Stu achieved under his regime?

    1.There were already rumours that Stu wanted Murray over Yakupov (confirmed myself with 2 Oiler employees)

    2.2011 draft – Ty Rattie, Rocco Grimaldi, Boone Jenner, Matt Finn, among a few others were regarded as players with higher upside than Musil.

    3. Plante and Riley Nash in 2007 – picks in Stu’s territory, for which he has acknowledged share of blame.

    4.Have any of the 2nd round picks turned out yet?

    5.Selection of players with limited upside at relatively high draft position (Moroz, Abney, Hesketh, Ewanyk) is extremely concerning due to the inability to understand value.

    Finn was part of the 2012 entry draft, so I don’t think you can blame Stu MacGregor for that one. :-)

  22. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed about Cogliano. That’s a fine career for a 25 OV. That being said, no question that many fans seemed disappointed–perhaps because he set the bar high in his first NHL season.

    Agreed on it being too early, but we can either take a look now or wait to assess.

  23. Lowetide says:

    jp:
    A little OT, but I’m wondering if Klefbom has used a year of his ELC by signing last summer then playing a year in the SEL (well, part of the year). I’m assuming he hasn’t, but I’m not sure about the rules for ELC sliderule eligible players playing pro in Europe.

    I was looking at Rajala as an example. He signed with the Oilers in summer 2009, played a year in Brandon, then 2 years in Finland before returning to NA this year. Capgeek lists him as having this year and next left on his ELC, so only the 2nd year in Finland seems to have counted. This is consistent with Jr aged players playing in Europe basically being considered as if they’ve returned to Jr – I’m just deducing this from one example though. Klefbom is a late birthday too, so he was eligible to play in OKC this year in his draft +2 season. Not sure if that affects things. If anyone has any insight it would be appreciated.

    No, Klefbom signed his entry level deal but it begins to click this fall. I believe that is the correct reading of these contracts, that would fall in with Paajarvi and Lander’s signings.

  24. jp says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Stu MacGregor is heavily lauded (though more skeptics have been surfacing in the last calendar year) in Oilers country – and I just can’t figure out why?

    Pitlick was regarded as the BPA at 31 in 2010 – so I won’t criticize that pick.That being said, Jordan Eberle and 1st overall picks aside, what exactly has Stu achieved under his regime?

    I agree with all of your points I think. I’m not going to argue whether the “Magnificent” title is warranted, but it came about largely due to Eberle. Helped out also by finding guys like Hartikainen, Gernat and Bunz in the later rounds. All looked like top notch prospects a year ago (some still do), and were picked after slot 120. He’s certainly blown some higher picks though, even allowing for the jury still being out on many of them.

    Lowetide,

    Thanks.

  25. melancholyculkin says:

    Is there any evidence that any team has a consistent ability to hit on picks outside of the first round?

  26. oilswell says:

    I think it is a fool’s game to look at a selection list after the 2nd round and claim choices were bad because there were better players drafted later. That’s working from knowledge not available at the time. Otherwise: Zetterberg, Demitra, DSF.

    I also would caution against putting the blame and credit at the feet of the head scout. We already know about area picks and organizational directives. Apart from second hand sources I think its very possible that MBS liked Murray over Yakupov because of the conversation between him and Tambellini on Oil Change where Tambellini basically says its important to have people in the room stand up for contrary opinions. I don’t think Tambellini was talking about some random minor scout there. The thing is, I think that’s also very healthy. If I were to draw up a drafting team I would want that divergence of opinion encouraged and working, but yet still hope they would have picked Yakupov in that condition. But again, this muddies appropriate credit and blame.

    Organizational priority (read: fridge hunting season in the 2nd round) is particularly problematic for evaluating the Oilers’s amateur scouting team. In the first round we have lots of knowledge, particularly early, to make a reasoned choice. In the latter rounds, its very much more random. Its the 2nd and maybe 3rd rounds that probably tell much more about the ability of the scouts to really separate wheat from chaff with limited or contradictory information available. So what about Moroz and the like? Seems to me more likely it is a managerial failure if that pushes them towards those rankings. Given what we’ve seen of Oilers (mis)management over recent years, how confident are we that the draft record wouldn’t be better without organizational directives?

    Given this, perhaps one of the few patterns that seems to be disturbing is the number of players that appear to do well early and then fall off the map. This could suggest that the draft team are not projecting well enough to what makes an NHLer, but are rather fixated on current numbers or are failing to properly acknowledge factors that make it possible for players to succeed early and not late. The thing is, is it better to make a bet on a player that has great success early but may not make it because there are real questions about the ability to transfer to the bigs (Laleggia, is perhaps a good example), or is it better to make a bet on a player that has “tools” or “poise” or “elan” (or whatever) but has never really seen numerical success? They’re both bets. Probably you want to make both kinds of bets, like buying bonds as well as stocks. And it’s not an either-or proposition, because the scouts sure as hell look to “tools” as well as counting numbers. Still, if its a matter of one or the other, I think I like the bets on players currently excelling, and am encouraged by progress early. Do more players fall of the map, or are there more that never find the map? I don’t know of anyone that has crunched the numbers, but I’m guessing more of the latter.

    So while one might worry about the number of guys dropping after early rising (Reider, Bunz, Hamilton, Pitlick, even Klefblom) and wonder whether that indicates a pattern of poor long term projection by the draft team, I don’t think its a strong argument. Even if the draft team is only good at picking players that do very well after their draft year, I’d generally like the odds of that team finding good NHLers too.

  27. Lowetide says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Is there any evidence that any team has a consistent ability to hit on picks outside of the first round?

    No. But three picks in the second round AND not going draft walkabout should get you something. In the Oilers case, it is down to Marincin (or so it appears) pretty early.

  28. Captain Happy says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Is there any evidence that any team has a consistent ability to hit on picks outside of the first round?

    Yes.

    LAK.

    2005
    Quick 72nd

    2006
    Trevor Lewis 17th

    2007
    Wayne Simmonds 61st
    Alec Martinez 95th
    Dwight King 109th

    2008
    Voynov 32nd
    Loktionov 123rd

    2009
    Clifford 32nd
    Vey 96th
    Kozun 179th
    Nolan 186th

    2010
    Toffoili 47th
    Weal 70th

  29. jp says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Is there any evidence that any team has a consistent ability to hit on picks outside of the first round?

    Interesting question/point. I thought the answer was probably no, but I had a quick look at Detroit’s draft record (since they’re always used as an example of great drafting). It’s extremely impressive, much more so than I realized.

    First, a link I found and posted a few months back. Some nice info about expectations out of draft picks by round. 35-40% of 1st round picks will play 200 games. Less than 20% of 2nd rounders will. So 1 in 5 2nd rounders becoming a regular is average or slightly above average.
    http://myslu.stlawu.edu/~msch/sports/Schuckers_NHL_Draft.pdf

    Back to the Wings. I looked at their picks from 1999-2008. 10 years with some time for even the recent picks to establish themselves. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00005492.html

    The Wings finished well and/or traded away lots of picks, so the highest they drafted was 19th, and only had 4 1st rounders:
    Thomas McCollum 2008
    Brendan Smith 2007
    Jakub Kindl 2005
    Niklas Kronwall 2000

    Not bad, how about the 2nd round? Only 5 2nd rounders in 10 years.
    Cory Emmerton 2006
    Shawn Matthias 2006
    Justin Abdelkader 2005
    Jiri Hudler 2002
    Tomas Kopecky 2000
    All but Emmerton have 200+ games already, and he’s been a regular this year and last so he’ll get there before long.

    3rd round or later they also picked up:
    Gustav Nyquist 121st 2008
    Darren Helm 132nd 2005
    Johan Franzen 97th 2004
    Jim Howard 64th 2003
    Kyle Quincey 132nd 2003
    Tomas Fleischmann 63rd 2002
    Valtteri Filppula 95th 2002
    Jonathan Ericsson 291st 2002
    Henrik Zetterberg 210th 1999

    And they picked Jiri Fischer and Datsyuk in 1998. WOW

    They virtually didn’t miss with their (late) 1st and 2nd round picks, as well as picking up 1 NHLer per year in the 3rd round or later. There might be some luck involved, but there’s way too many good picks in crappy spots here to believe that the Wings aren’t doing something right with their scouting.

    I would have to say that yes, this is evidence that at least 1 team can consistently pick well outside the 1st round.

    Edit: LAK too apparently.

  30. godot10 says:

    Magnus Paajarvi is going to have a long NHL career. He is not going to score a lot of goals though.
    It took Markus Naslund, and the Sedins a long time to figure out the NHL too.

    I don’t know why some people are so down on Marincin. The AHL is a good league. Rookie defensemen have ups and downs, but Marincin is mostly playing. Next year, one will want to see consistency in his AHL game.

    With goaltenders, (re: Bunz) one always wants to see two years before declaring them a bust. Ditto for Roy. Roy had a great year in the ECHL last year. A so-so year in the AHL this year. So next year will be critical for Roy also.

  31. godot10 says:

    Captain Happy: Yes.

    LAK.

    2005
    Quick 72nd

    2006
    Trevor Lewis 17th

    2007
    Wayne Simmonds 61st
    Alec Martinez 95th
    Dwight King 109th

    2008
    Voynov 32nd
    Loktionov 123rd

    2009
    Clifford 32nd
    Vey 96th
    Kozun 179th
    Nolan 186th

    2010
    Toffoili 47th
    Weal 70th

    I see you are omitting Hickey and Teubert from the assessment of the Kings drafting ability.

  32. Captain Happy says:

    godot10: I see you are omitting Hickey and Teubert from the assessment of the Kings drafting ability.

    They were selected in the first round. The question was successful picks in the second or later rounds.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: They were selected in the first round. The question was successful picks in the second or later rounds.

    Yeah, the Kings like to lull their opposition into a false sense of security with poor 1st round picks. :-) Frack, the draft arguements are always my favorites.

  34. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah….

    Kopitar, Doughty, Bernier, Schenn, Forbort, Pearson….

    What were they thinking?

  35. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    I think the point was that even a team like LAK that drafted fairly well has some really bad misses. The entire draft is such a crap shoot that the best scouts are only slightly better than the average scouts. If the detroit scouts that picked Zetterberg really knew what he would become do you really think they would pick the high flying Jari Tolsa, Andrei Maximenko, and Kent McDonell before him.

    In case your wondering, the first plays in Sweden, the second played in Russian Division II and III, and the third played a scattered 32 NHL games before going to Europe.

  36. gcw_rocks says:

    The Kings draft record looks pretty good to me.

  37. Captain Happy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Captain Happy,

    I think the point was that even a team like LAK that drafted fairly well has some really bad misses.The entire draft is such a crap shoot that the best scouts are only slightly better than the average scouts.If the detroit scouts that picked Zetterberg really knew what he would become do you really think they would pick the high flying Jari Tolsa, Andrei Maximenko, and Kent McDonell before him.

    In case your wondering, the first plays in Sweden, the second played in Russian Division II and III, and the third played a scattered 32 NHL games before going to Europe.

    I don’t disagree for the most part although you have to admit the number of NHL players LA has drafted in the past 6 years is notable and I would think well above average/

    The notion that Stu is Magnificent” certainly doesn’t hold water.

    Other than the Eberle pick, his record is trending toward below average.

  38. Lowetide says:

    I think we can say the following:

    “NHL scouts–as a group–usually have the best players off the board by #50 overall. That does not mean that any one of these scouting groups has an outstanding chance of putting three drafts together in a row, but it does mean they have the best people available surrounded.”

    Which is why, in my opinion, being risk averse and plucking names from the Bob McKenzie list is the wisest thing to do. Which is also why I believe Stu MacGregor was a good choice for scouting director. Risk averse.

  39. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    I think the Klefbom pick was a good pick. The #1 picks are good, but some people disregard them because they were slam dunk picks. If you do that then MBS has only picked twice in the first round with Eberle being an exceptional pick and Klefbom being a good pick (cant predict injuries). The second rounders aren’t doing well but some of them are clear organizational choices aka Moroz, and Musil is one since the organization has a strong love for family members of old NHLers. Marincin looks like he will have an NHL career. The rest of the guys its too early to tell. One of them could be a late bloomer.

  40. Captain Happy says:

    Way too early to call the Klefbom pick one way or another.

    I would think the whiff on Paajarvi when much better players were on the board pretty much negates the Eberle pick so you’re left with the second and late round picks (and the first overall chimp picks).

    Certainly nothing special so far.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy:
    Way too early to call the Klefbom pick one way or another.

    I would think the whiff on Paajarvi when much better players were on the board pretty much negates the Eberle pick so you’re left with the second and late round picks (and the first overall chimp picks).

    Certainly nothing special so far.

    Paajarvi is not a whiff. Jesus, Joseph and Mary people, can we get away from making calls on these kids before they reach their early 20s? Good grief.

  42. oilswell says:

    Facts:
    Only a fraction of the players draft in the lower rounds make it.
    All teams demonstrably take players when better players are on the board.
    30 teams drafting.

    Honest question: if all teams were absolutely equally good at drafting, on a given 10 year window would you expect all 30 teams to have equally good records? Or would you think some would stand out as being notable, either good or bad, and a lot would have mixed records. If you think all would have equal records, then perhaps a good draft record would convince you that the team is somehow better rather than just the lucky one.

    For the convinced, consider the following thought experiment. Suppose that there is a league where 30 teams draft two players in the 2-3 rounds per year for 10 years. Suppose further that there is a 1 in 5 (20%) chance of drafting a player that plays 200 games or more, and that it is completely random whether that player is a >200 or <200 player. Do you think that all teams will have (odds) * (years) * (picks/year) = .2 * 10 * 2 = 4 players of interest? This is easy to test with some modest excel or programming skills. Here's the results of a few runs:

    1: 9 teams with 4, 19 in range 3-5, 1 with 7.
    2: 5 teams with 4, 15 in range 3-5, 2 with 7.

    Its hard for me to tell whether teams have better draft records because they draft better or they are just lucky. To be honest, I'm not sure who can. And if they claim to be able to, whether their argument comes down to a “just so” story.

  43. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide: Paajarvi is not a whiff. Jesus, Joseph and Mary people, can we get away from making calls on these kids before they reach their early 20s? Good grief.

    He’ll be 22 in a couple of months.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    Not everyone can draft as well as Vancouver.

    J/K. Everyone always praises the Detroit system of keeping prospects until their mid20s and how they are patient with them and they develop well. If another team keeps a prospect in the AHL past 22 then he is a bust. I got it.

  45. Captain Happy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Captain Happy,

    Not everyone can draft as well as Vancouver.

    J/K.Everyone always praises the Detroit system of keeping prospects until their mid20s and how they are patient with them and they develop well.If another team keeps a prospect in the AHL past 22 then he is a bust. I got it.

    I assume you’re being facetious about Vancouver…they’re terrible in the draft….always have been.

    Detroit does have great patience with their prospects but it doesn’t mean they try and turn a 3 into a 10.

    Perhaps the most recent “late bloomer” they brought along is Filpulla who, in his first season in Grand Rapids scored 20 gaol and 71 points in 74 GP.

    Paajarvi can’t score in the NHL, or in the AHL and is very close to leading BOTH teams in negative plus/minus.

    Having patience is one thing…not recognizing failure is quite another.

  46. spoiler says:

    It would be insane to cut bait on Paajarvi at this point. He might have a Pouliotian career. But it is impossible to know yet. He has more skill than Pouliot, and certainly his skating is world class. Sure he’s tradebait, but that’s also a commentary on the skill ahead of him. Takes longer to carve out a role when the offense doesn’t come as naturally as those who are touched by the gods.

    The Oilers aren’t stupid. They’re being patient. Beats the compulsive-obsessiveness displayed by the mentally infirm, the drug-addled and by internet trolls.

    Patience doesn’t always work, but it beats the hell out of the alternative.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide,

    In the Grease,

    Thanks guys… that all seems very obvious now…

    but, hey… someone has to ask the stupid questions around here!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca