DON’T LOOK BACK INTO THE SUN

Stu MacGregor and his scouting staff have a wonderful track record in the first round 2008-2012, but there is great debate about the other rounds among the oilogosphere. This blog has certainly been one of (if not) the strongest supporters of  MacGregor since 2008, and I remain convinced this group of scouts is doing fine work.

I know we’ll never reach a consensus on these things, there are too many varying views and it’s also a smart group of people on the blogs (by that I mean smart folks used to defending their position and challenging others).

I did want to draw your attention to an interesting fact today. The OKC Barons are enjoying a nice playoff run, and much of the success is coming from the MBS draft group (first round picks not included). Since so much of the attention has been on Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, it’s nice to take note of some of those depth picks and their considerable contributions to success just below the NHL:

  1. Teemu Hartikainen 163rd overall in 2008. 12, 6-8-14 (4th in AHL playoff points) +11. At even strength: 12, 6-5-11. 
  2. Toni Rajala 101st overall in 2009. 12, 3-11-14 (4th in AHL playoff points) +10. At even strength: 12, 2-10-12.
  3. Phil Cornet 133rd overall in 2008. 12, 1-7-8 +9. At even strength: 12, 1-6-7.
  4. Tyler Pitlick 31st overall in 2010. 11, 2-4-6 E. At even strength: 11, 1-3-4.
  5. Martin Marincin 46th overall in 2010. 12, 1-5-6. (5th in AHL D playoff points). +10. At even strength: 12, 0-4-4.
  6. Anton Lander 40th overall in 2009. 6, 4-1-5 +5. At even strength: 6, 3-1-4.
  7. Brandon Davidson 162nd overall in 2010. 12, 0-4-4 -1. At even strength: 12, 0-2-2.

It’s a nice little group, nothing crazy and you can create down arrows for all of them if you try. On the other hand, when the Oilers head to camp in the fall, maybe one of two of these guys shows well enough to get a long look in pre-season. The Oilers have a lot of young talent, so most of these young men will be used as trade bait or released to find their way in another organization.

If we make a list: 4line forward (Hartikainen, Rajala, Pitlick), depth center (Lander) and depth blue (Marincin, Davidson) we begin to see some depth–something the Oilers haven’t really had since the Bulldog days at the turn of the century. History tells us that at best we should expect a couple of players to develop into useful parts for the parent team, the rest lost to injury, developmental stalling, trades, waivers and releases.

Add these men to guys like Arcobello and Fedun, and the future is looking better than it has in some time. Some of that credit surely goes to MacGregor and his group. Many Oiler observers have decided that the MacGregor team deserves no credit for Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, so for those people the argument comes down to this: can the MBS group find role players  for the cluster?

This spring’s answer is encouraging.

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69 Responses to "DON’T LOOK BACK INTO THE SUN"

  1. cdean says:

    For those people that don’t want to give credit for the 1st overalls, I say think of it the other way, are they busts? It can be just as hard to pick a winner at 1st overall as it to pick a bust. Let’s hope that time will be in MacGregors favor because if there is a bust you that people will point to him first.

  2. Cobbler says:

    I like what is happening in OKC and I think they have done a good job mixing in some solid vets to help with development and success at this level (e.g. Randy Jones, Cheechoo).

    Speaking of Cheechoo, do you think the Oilers look at bringing him in on a 3rd line RW role. I’m not sure why the guy is still in the AHL as his production this year has been decent.

    Do you think he get s a shot in a depth role?

  3. Lowetide says:

    cdean:
    For those people that don’t want to give credit for the 1st overalls, I say think of it the other way, are they busts?It can be just as hard to pick a winner at 1st overall as it to pick a bust.Let’s hope that time will be in MacGregors favor because if there is a bust you that people will point to him first.

    I think the #1 overalls are kind of the toughest, because there’s almost no way to go but down. If you make the right pick, you were supposed to. If ANYONE gets by your guy, then it’s epic fail. for me, the Oilers made the right picks but you could easily have chosen Seguin, Landeskog and Murray and be looking less impressive.

  4. Cobbler says:

    I think they deserve credit for the first overalls given that each has stepped in and performed immediately. It would seem to me they picked the right guys, particularly given the amount of debate over who they would pick at the time.

    Are the Penguins given credit for selecting Crosby? Damn straight!

    Credit where credit is due.

  5. TheOtherJohn says:

    Arcobello, Rajala Hartikanen and Marincin had decent to strong AHL seasons. Everyone else, not so much.

    Question is whether the regular season is the true measure of their play or if the playoffs are.

    Our 2nd round and subsequent picks — have underwhelmed. To put it mildly.

    This comparison was posted by someome else earlier.

    Look at the LAK draft picks since 07 http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006664.html

    And the Oilers: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006664.html

    We ain’t doing so well and Lander’s GP # in NHL is misleading because he was completely overwhelmed & ought not to have been playing there.

    But some of our later round players are having a good playoff run in the AHL.

    Too bad Voynov, Martinez, Simmonds, Clifford, Toffoli, King, Nolan are all doing the same thing at the NHL level

    LAK amatuer scouts are the real “Magnificent Bastards”

  6. Racki says:

    I wonder about Arco and Rajala… both seem quite talented, but you have to wonder just how many more small guys we want to cram into our line up. But hey, if they can somehow play that puck possession game we’re looking for, what’s it matter, so long as they’re on the positive side of possession numbers and putting up points.

    I think they’ll be in tough though. But I do think that in the case of Arco, he wasn’t given enough chance to prove what he can do last year. If we only gave Taylor Hall 1 game to prove himself, he might not have been back either. So I’d like to see an extended look in pre-season, and wouldn’t mind seeing him get a stretch of games in the regular season, depending on what the roster looks like after the summer. I might even give him more opportunity over Harsky and others briefly just to give him a better/longer shot to prove himself… unless he proves to be a big detriment at the NHL level.

  7. Cobbler says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I think you would have to add Fedun to that group of AHL successes this year. Similar boxcars to Marincin in his rookie and defying some odds with that injury.

    That group may not currently have the cache of the Cup Champions, but there is time and no one expected a Martinez.

    Hartikainen is a 6th round pick! The fact that he is still in the discussion is something special.

  8. Racki says:

    Cobbler:

    Speaking of Cheechoo, do you think the Oilers look at bringing him in on a 3rd line RW role.I’m not sure why the guy is still in the AHL as his production this year has been decent.

    Do you think he get s a shot in a depth role?

    I think a lot of people have a misconception that AHL success translates to NHL success. A slow, or poor skater can still put up good numbers there. A small player can still put up good numbers. It’s not the same game as the NHL. From what I understand, Cheechoo has lost that speed in his game due to knee injury. At this point, he might not be able to get back to NHL levels anymore. I haven’t watched him play lately though, so maybe someone knows better in that regard. But that’s my guess as to why he hasn’t been up here. You can get away with being slow at the AHL level, but generally you’re not going to generate a lot of offense in the NHL if you’re dragging a piano behind you… nor are you going to help at your end of the rink.

  9. Lowetide says:

    TOJ: The 2007 draft for Edmonton was a disaster, three first round picks and only one who had enough impact to cover the bet. It also included a terrible pick by LA (Hickey).

    2008+ have produced Doughty, Voynov, Schenn for LAK at the high end. For the Oilers? Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, RNH, Yakupov.

    Below the first round, I don’t really think we can judge 2010+, not enough time. Which is the area where I think most fans feel MacGregor has failed.

    Too soon imo. Paajarvi’s season in 12-13 is proof of that, surely.

  10. Acumen says:

    Yeah, I think this is a huge item–especially since the UFA age got bumped back during the last lock out. Willis’ piece about team identity on ON points out that ‘winning is always in fashion,’ and that there is no set way to build a team that is verifiably better than others. He’s right, but all these teams are built on kids with gumption making their way on to the big squad either on or recently coming off their ELCs. The team is certain of what they’re getting with these kids, and dictates their development into their prescribed role. While we’re putting Lander out 2 or 3 seasons too early, picking up option Cs like Hordichuk and Petrell, and scrambling around to find Boyd Gordons and Colby Armstrongs to flesh out our lineup, knowing that their bodies will soon begin breaking down on the inflated contracts we give them, western heavy hitters like LA, Chicago and Detroit are enjoying the effects of the slow cooker method from guys like Nolan, Richardson, Lewis, Bickell, Saad, Kruger, Shaw, Abdelkader, Helm, Nyqvist, and on and on.

    Not having kids come into the fold in a position to succeed has been one of the most dreadful parts of the rebuild, but I think we’ll soon see our own home grown bottom 6 making noise like the aforementioned forwards. Even if Hartikainen, Lander, and Pitlick ‘only’ turn out to be quality 4th liners, that is absolutely humongous for us. Having a steady flow of quality 4th liners coming through the system (ideally still on their ELC) is what allows successful teams to have success.

    Also, I call BS on the #1 overall picks not counting towards the track record. Picking up Hall, Nuge, and Yakupov may not be rolling sixes on Henrik Zetterberg or Jamie Benn in the later rounds but it’s still a huge choice at #1. And for my money, those 3 look a LOT better on this squad than Seguin, Landeskog/Larsson, and Murray would.

  11. Captain Happy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Arcobello, Rajala Hartikanen and Marincin had decent to strong AHL seasons. Everyone else, not so much.

    Question is whether the regular season is the true measure of their play or if the playoffs are.

    Our 2nd round and subsequent picks — have underwhelmed. To put it mildly.

    This comparison was posted by someome else earlier.

    Look at the LAK draft picks since 07 http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006664.html

    And the Oilers: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006664.html

    We ain’t doing so well and Lander’s GP # inNHL is misleading because he was completely overwhelmed & ought not to have been playing there.

    But some of our later round players are having a good playoff run in the AHL.

    Too bad Voynov, Martinez, Simmonds, Clifford, Toffoli, King, Nolan are all doing the same thing at the NHL level

    LAK amatuer scouts are the real “Magnificent Bastards”

    Yes they are…and you missed a few.

    Tanner Pearson – 30th overall 2012. 19G and 47P +17 as a 19 year old in the AHL. Has been called up for the playoffs and appeared in 1 game.

    Nick Shore – 82 overall 2011. PPG player in the NCAA with University of Denver

    Derek Forbort – 15th overall 2010. Huge defenseman who just turned pro after 3 years at UND.

    Linden Vey – 96th overall 2009. Almost a PPG in the AHL.

    Brandon Kozun – 179th overall 2009. 26 goals in the AHL.

    Andrei Loktionov – 123rd overall 2008. No room on the Kings roster, traded to NJ and has played 87 NHL games.

    Thomas Hickey – 4th overall in 2007. Looked like a bust but was traded to the NYI and played 39 games going 1G 4P +9.

    Oscar Moller – 52nd overall 2007. Couldn’t crack the Kings lineup and left for the SEL. Scored 18G 26P in only 28GP this past season.

    Bud Holloway – 86th overall 2006. Couldn’t crack the Kings lineup so escaped to Sweden and scored 71P in 55 GP with Skelleftea to lead the SEL in scoring.

    Their draft success has been more than amazing.

    When you look at that record and realize they also drafted Schenn, Clifford, Doughty, Voynov, Simmonds, Martinez, King, Bernier and Lewis, in that 6 year period, you come to realize that the M in MBS stands for mediocre by comparison.

  12. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide:
    TOJ: The 2007 draft for Edmonton was a disaster, three first round picks and only one who had enough impact to cover the bet. It also included a terrible pick by LA (Hickey).

    2008+ have produced Doughty, Voynov, Schenn for LAK at the high end. For the Oilers? Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, RNH, Yakupov.

    Below the first round, I don’t really think we can judge 2010+, not enough time. Which is the area where I think most fans feel MacGregor has failed.

    Too soon imo. Paajarvi’s season in 12-13 is proof of that, surely.

    Weren’t you recently suggesting the Oilers should move heaven and earth to get Kulikov?

    Think Tallon would take Paajarvi for him straight up?

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Cobbler: I think you would have to add Fedun to that group of AHL successes this year.

    Pretty sure he’s left out of this particular conversation because he was undrafted and signed out of his Ivy degree… like Miller this year.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: Question is whether the regular season is the true measure of their play or if the playoffs are.

    Why pose it like that?

    No need for the either/or.

    All information is useful in this exercise.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: Weren’t you recently suggesting the Oilers should move heaven and earth to get Kulikov?

    Think Tallon would take Paajarvi for him straight up?

    I believe I said Kulikov “has some nice things” but running it through the DSF spin cycle I’m sure it sounded something like ‘heaven and earth’ to you.

  16. Captain Happy says:

    Listened to Patrick Roy’s introductory press conference in Denver this afternoon.

    He says he and Sakic are willing to look at offers for the 1st overall pick.

    McKinnon anyone?

  17. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide: I believe I said Kulikov “has some nice things” but running it through theDSF spin cycle I’m sure it sounded something like ‘heaven and earth’ to you.

    Heaven and earth are “nice things” :)

    Would you trade Paajarvi for him?

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Speaking of Orphic tales…

    The temptation to “look back” to the glory days has to be huge here, maybe so huge as to inspire a series of poor, overreaching decisions… but ironically, the only way they can be recaptured is by stoically refusing to look back.

    Looking back in this case might as well be rendered as “set the controls for the heart of the sun”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO2n2nUN7tM

  19. Jonathan Willis says:

    I think we don’t have enough track record for firm judgment, but I’d put MacGregor & Co. somewhere around middle of the pack, league-wide.

    And with all due respect, LT, it doesn’t take very much to make some down arrows for Pitlick, the number eight forward in point scoring in OKC these playoffs (and, if not for Lander’s injury, almost certainly number nine). Pitlick isn’t covering the bet at this juncture, and I honestly wouldn’t put him in that group right now.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    I think we don’t have enough track record for firm judgment, but I’d put MacGregor & Co. somewhere around middle of the pack, league-wide.

    And with all due respect, LT, it doesn’t take very much to make some down arrows for Pitlick, the number eight forward in point scoring in OKC these playoffs (and, if not for Lander’s injury, almost certainly number nine). Pitlick isn’t covering the bet at this juncture, and I honestly wouldn’t put him in that group right now.

    Top 9, regular shift, based on all reports he’s contributing. I understand he was drafted 31st overall, but if we consider his career appeared to be hanging by a thread not long ago I think that has to be ranked as a positive.

    I suspect Pitlick gets an NHL shot at some point, depending on his ability to stay healthy and deliver at least some offense.

  21. spoiler says:

    Captain Happy:

    Would you trade Paajarvi for him?

    They’re close enough in talent and so different in role that this is a question of need not value.

  22. gd says:

    I think the thing about the 2010 draft is very few guys are trending positively. I wonder if the lockout and missing training camp really screwed with a lot of guys’ progress. Over half of the second round would already be in the suspect category. Marancin is easily in the top 10 of the second round. Other then Faulk being a home run the only other strong prospects right now from the second are Toffolli, Zucker, Jarnkrok and maybe Larsson. Chicago had 4 picks and none of them look promising at this point.

  23. Ice Sage says:

    Yawn – I do tire of the DSF clan’s cherry-picking to pile on the Oil.

    LA looks golden now and their youngish players, like all recently peaking teams (Det, Chi, Bos, Pitt) benefit from a sheltered intro to the league and good players-in-their-prime mopping up for them. Voynov / Leddy would be Petry if they were on the Oil (and vice versa). Yawn.

    How about those Canucks draft picks? There’s a team to pile on to for an abysmal development cycle, squandered opportunities and poor scouting.

  24. sliderule says:

    Rex licbris has a great aricle on NHL numbers showing the scouts whose picks are doing the best.

    When you disregard the first rounders which were for the most part no brainers the only ones that look good are the euro scouts.

    The OHL and Q scouts haven’t done much but they haven’t been given a lot of opportunity as they haven’t had that many picks

    In the not so MBs backyard ,the WHL the oil have been pathetic.It’s no wonder that according to Oil Change Stu doesn’t value picks in third or fourth round as they haven’t had one that looks like it’s worth a tinkers dam..

    MacT has to rework this whole scouting staff with exception of Euros.

    He is ok with this draft as he has seen most of the top fifty but I would hope he relys on euros after second round.

  25. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Rex licbris has a great aricle on NHL numbers showing the scouts whose picks are doing the best.

    When you disregard the first rounders which were for the most part no brainers the only ones that look good are the euro scouts.

    The OHL and Q scouts haven’t done much but they haven’t been given a lot of opportunity as they haven’t had that many picks

    In the not so MBs backyard,the WHL the oil have been pathetic.It’s no wonder that according to Oil ChangeStu doesn’t value picks in third or fourth round as they haven’t had one that looks like it’s worth a tinkersdam..

    MacT has to rework this whole scouting staff with exception of Euros.

    He is ok with this draft as he has seen most of the top fifty but I would hope he relys on euros after second round.

    Here is the Rex article.
    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/5/24/who-are-the-oilers-best-scouts

    Interesting that you recall him saying in the WHL “the oil have been pathetic” when his article actually says “The WHL is delivering decent money on the bets placed so far and Stu MacGregor could retire on the goodwill he earned with that first selection he made back in 2008.”

  26. spoiler says:

    Once you get into the 2nd round the differences between the prospects at that age are marginal. You are getting a lottery ticket subject to injury, development, dedication, genetics, etc… Some teams are going to be luckier than others; the outcomes are not going to be distributed evenly.

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan Dittrick @ryandittrick

    For those wondering about Gernat and the situation with his ATO w/ #OKCBarons: He had to head back home to Slovakia to finish school.
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers

    ============================
    Just a follow up from an item that was touched on in the last thread-the above was tweeted by the Oilers earlier this afternoon.

    Do you still think he’s a flight risk LT..? I’ve heard you mention it more than once.

  28. Captain Happy says:

    TSN tracking possession time…WITH A STOPWATCH…what a novel concept.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Gerta: I don’t think he is now. I don’t know him obviously, but based on what we see with him I think the kid is homesick–or they write a lot of damn tests in his country! :-)

    Either way, he’ll be playing in OKC with Marincin next season, suspect it’ll be easier for him.

  30. spoiler says:

    They sent Musil back with him. He’s living in a hotel up the road. and has Gernat’s passport. And Marty has been given only one mission this summer: out-eat Frank, every meal.

    Also, to the best of my knowledge, none of the above is true.

  31. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    TOJ: The 2007 draft for Edmonton was a disaster, three first round picks and only one who had enough impact to cover the bet. It also included a terrible pick by LA (Hickey).

    2008+ have produced Doughty, Voynov, Schenn for LAK at the high end. For the Oilers? Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, RNH, Yakupov.

    Below the first round, I don’t really think we can judge 2010+, not enough time. Which is the area where I think most fans feel MacGregor has failed.

    Too soon imo. Paajarvi’s season in 12-13 is proof of that, surely.

    You can’t close the book fully, that’s true, but if you look at some of the EDM picks that have been questioned within minutes of being selected, people haven’t had to eat a lot of crow.

    Hesketh and Abney from 2009 are decent examples. Sure, you want to give time to be sure, but many disliked those picks as soon as they were made. Ewanyk from 2011, Moroz in 2012, it’s still very early and you can’t say with certainty that those guys won’t work out, but those picks were questioned as soon as they were made, and it doesn’t yet look like they’ve been better picks than some of the other players being advocated for at their draft position.

  32. speeds says:

    Captain Happy,

    Personally, I would have a lot of players, picks, and prospects available to move up into the top 3 or 4, who knows which teams would be actively looking to move down or move their pick outright.

    I wrote a quick piece about that COL news today, maybe there’s a fit there?

    http://hockeysymposium.blogspot.ca/2013/05/if-colorado-is-willing-to-trade-1.html

  33. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I guess it’s how you define success..

    Of the eight picks made from the WHL and BC HL up to not including 2011 and2012 there is only Davidson that even remotely looks ok.
    As he hasn’t played a game in NHL that’s still zero percent
    The four picked in 2011 and 12 other than Khaira are not tracing well and though it’s early I don’t see a player in the other three.

  34. RickDeckard says:

    Captain Happy,

    Honest question, would you rather have 1 full minute of possession along the perimeter and no shots or simple zone entry and a single shot?

  35. spoiler says:

    I think Roy is thinking he can get Jones AND another asset. Certainly Sakic will want to be blown away for the rights to the pick, if its not flipping 1 for 2 or 3 and a pick/prospect.

  36. Lowetide says:

    speeds: You can’t close the book fully, that’s true, but if you look at some of the EDM picks that have been questioned within minutes of being selected, people haven’t had to eat a lot of crow.

    Hesketh and Abney from 2009 are decent examples.Sure, you want to give time to be sure, but many disliked those picks as soon as they were made. Ewanyk from 2011, Moroz in 2012, it’s still very early and you can’t say with certainty that those guys won’t work out, but those picks were questioned as soon as they were made, and it doesn’t yet look like they’ve been better picks than some of the other players being advocated for at their draft position.

    I remember well the Abney pick, I think everyone felt that this was a player they could have drafted much later. The Hesketh pick was obscure, honestly don’t recall a lot of anything either positive or negative.

    The 2010 draft was pretty much roses and sunshine, mostly because (imo) they were risk averse.

    http://lowetide.blogspot.ca/2010/06/oilers-pick-at-31-tyler-pitlick.html?m=1

    http://lowetide.blogspot.ca/2010/06/harvest-moon.html?m=1

  37. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide,

    I guess it’s how you define success..

    Of the eight picksmade from the WHL and BC HL up to not including 2011 and2012 there is only Davidson that even remotely looks ok.
    As he hasn’t played a game in NHL that’s still zero percentThe four picked in 2011 and 12 other than Khaira are not tracing well and though it’s early I don’t see a player in the other three.

    Picks from the west:

    1. Jordan Eberle
    2. Jordan Bendfeld
    3. Cameron Abney
    4. Kyle Bigos
    5. Curtis Hamilton
    6. Tyler Bunz
    7. Brandon Davidson
    8. Drew Czerwonka
    9. Kellen Jones
    10. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
    11. David Musil
    12. Travis Ewanyk
    13. Dillon Simpson
    14. Mitchell Moroz
    15. Jujhar Khaira

    2008 had Eberle and a guy picked 193
    2009 had Abney (I’ll give you that one) and Bigos, who apparently was on track until this season in the estimation of the team
    2010 Hamilton and four guys drafted 5th rd or later, one of which was Davidson
    2011 Nuge and we don’t know yet
    2012 We don’t know yet.

    The WHL guys have Abney and Hamilton as negatives, covered (imo) the Nuge bet and then the Eberle homer. The rest we’re waiting on.

    speeds point about Ewanyk and Moroz is well taken, but I just can’t make a final call on a teenager, it just doesn’t seem right to me.

    Arrows? Some good, some bad imo.

  38. speeds says:

    Yup, I’m not saying that every pick that doesn’t work out was a bad pick – I specifically left out the 2010 draft because I don’t recall there being a lot of dissension with EDM’s 2010 2nd and 3rd round picks. I can remember that Pitlick was the guy I wanted EDM to draft at 31 that year.

    Sometimes you make good picks that don’t work out, but that doesn’t mean bad picks that don’t work out are preferable. If Pitlick doesn’t turn into a quality NHL player, well, no one is saying that every pick you make will become an NHL player. That’s simply unrealistic. But Pitlick not working out, to me, would be pretty different from Abney not working out.

  39. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide,

    We might have said the same thing last spring. Than this season was a total disaster that somehow managed not even to meet the modest expectations set by Pitlick’s lousy rookie campaign.

    Maybe he plays his way into an NHL shot; certainly there aren’t a wealth of players standing in his way for the role he’s looking at. But 130 games into his professional career (including playoffs) he has just one point more than Toni Rajala scored in 46 games this season.

    Right now, the big question with Pitlick is ‘can he score enough to survive in a fourth line role at the NHL level someday’ and the only encouraging news on that front is a playoffs where he’s played a third line role for Oklahoma. It’s just not enough to upgrade him from suspect to prospect.

  40. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Yup, I’m not saying that every pick that doesn’t work out was a bad pick – I specifically left out the 2010 draft because I don’t recall there being a lot of dissension with EDM’s 2010 2nd and 3rd round picks.I can remember that Pitlick was the guy I wanted EDM to draft at 31 that year.

    Sometimes you make good picks that don’t work out, but that doesn’t mean bad picks that don’t work out are preferable.If Pitlick doesn’t turn into a quality NHL player, well, no one is saying that every pick you make will become an NHL player.That’s simply unrealistic.But Pitlick not working out, to me, would be pretty different from Abney not working out.

    God yes. If I gave that impression above, I want to revoke immediately.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    Lowetide,

    We might have said the same thing last spring. Than this season was a total disaster that somehow managed not even to meet the modest expectations set by Pitlick’s lousy rookie campaign.

    Maybe he plays his way into an NHL shot; certainly there aren’t a wealth of players standing in his way for the role he’s looking at. But 130 games into his professional career (including playoffs) he has just one point more than Toni Rajala scored in 46 games this season.

    Right now, the big question with Pitlick is ‘can he score enough to survive in a fourth line role at the NHL level someday’ and the only encouraging news on that front is a playoffs where he’s played a third line role for Oklahoma. It’s just not enough to upgrade him from suspect to prospect.

    Absolutely. My post above was giving him credit for his contributions to the playoffs, and I do feel he was worthy of mention.

  42. gcw_rocks says:

    My view of the Oilers amateur scouting staff has fallen quite a bit over the last 2 years. I think Willis has it right. They are somewhere in the middle of the pack at best. LA, for example, seems to have done a much better job of identifying NHL players Ottawa as well, despite drafting lower.

    If “better” is your standard, then MBS’ team seems better than the previous regime. If “excellent” is your standard, this scouting staff isn’t up to snuff.

  43. spoiler says:

    Sharks score. Now we have a hockey game.

  44. Henry says:

    Who on the scouting staff covers the colleges? IMO they have done an excellent job stocking OKC with Arco and Fedun from the ECAC and Tremblay was an excellent utility guy last year. They may never make the big club due to size or bionics yet still help the org build a nice winning culture in the A.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Henry:
    Who on the scouting staff covers the colleges?IMO they have done an excellent job stocking OKC with Arco and Fedun from the ECAC and Tremblay was an excellent utility guy last year.They may never make the big club due to size or bionics yet still help the org build a nice winning culture in the A.

    That’s a great question, don’t know the answer. But agreed, they’ve done a nice job in that area. Fedun and Arco have a real chance imo.

  46. speeds says:

    I was thinking Cole would be an interesting offer sheet target for an RFA D, STL resigned him to a 2 year deal today.

    http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=672253&navid=DL|STL|home

  47. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: That’s a great question, don’t know the answer. But agreed, they’ve done a nice job in that area. Fedun and Arco have a real chance imo.

    Almost have to throw Laleggia in there too, as well as Schultz. Plus they were chasing a couple of this year’s free agents.

  48. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    You missed the part were I said you exclude the first round picks which were no brainers including Eberle who was touted by Davis but he was a top thirty on all lists.

    The first round picks are great but other than Eberle they were top 10 and first picks.

    The second round picks should yield a player at least every four picks..So far no luck.

    The third round and later drop off to 12 percent.so far no luck

    The problem with going with the averages is just that.If you are at the average you are mediocre .If you are above the average you are doing your job.If you are below the average you stink.

    So far other than first rounders the oilers stink.

  49. spoiler says:

    Wow, I really thought Paddy Marleau and the Gingers would find a pot of gold at the end of tonight’s rainbow.

  50. RickDeckard says:

    They say it isn’t a series until someone loses on home ice. Then again, they also say that clutching and grabbing is against the rules.

  51. Racki says:

    Lowetide: That’s a great question, don’t know the answer. But agreed, they’ve done a nice job in that area. Fedun and Arco have a real chance imo.

    According to articles I dug up, like this: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=565967

    Stu MacGregor is all over, in his scouting. Scott Harlow seems to handle the Eastern U.S. colleges, Brad Davis has done some college scouting too in eastern parts (most of NCAA is in the eastern half of the U.S., primarily north eastern, but some is in the Colorado area too.. not sure who would handle that area).

    That’s about all I could really dig up.

    In summation, just give MBS credit for everything since he oversees it all.. lol

    That, and I think we have a plant in the Detroit organization that just relays whomever they’re looking at :P

  52. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide,

    You missed the part were I said you exclude the first round picks which were no brainers including Eberle who was touted by Davis but he was a top thirty on all lists.

    The first round picks are great butother than Eberle they were top 10 and first picks.

    The second round picks should yield a player at least every four picks..So far no luck.

    The third round and later drop off to 12 percent.so far no luck

    The problem with going with the averages is just that.If you are at the average you are mediocre .If you are above the average you are doing your job.If you are below the average you stink.

    So far other than first rounders the oilers stink.

    No, just don’t agree with it. I think not giving credit for Eberle makes any kind of discussion about draft success moot. Eberle was ranked 29th on Bob McKenzie’s 2008 list, and Tyler Pitlick was ranked 25th on BM’s 2010 list.

    And yet we give no credit for Eberle, but blame for Pitlick? I can’t really make sense of that.

  53. godot10 says:

    Why is everyone calling Pitlick a bust, when we have observed first hand how long it took Colin MacDonald?

  54. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Why is everyone calling Pitlick a bust, when we have observed first hand how long it took Colin MacDonald?

    Well, jmo but I think a player who finally emerges as a 1-season regular a decade after being drafted doesn’t cover the bet. They needed him to be good in 2008 or so.

  55. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I give them credit for Eberle but the first round is a lot easier .If they had used McKenzies list they would have picked Carlson.

    I am not faulting them for specific picks it’s just that if they want to be considered good they should beat the average by a bunch.

    This is especially true when you are picking at or near the top of each round

  56. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide,

    I give them credit for Eberle but the first round is a lot easier .If they had used McKenzies list they would have picked Carlson.

    I am not faulting them for specific picks it’s just that if they want to be considered good they should beat the average by a bunch.

    This isespecially true when you are pickingat or near the top of each round

    Agree completely with all of that.

  57. Rondo says:

    5 teams left for the Stanley Cup

    2012 – LA Kings
    2011 – Boston Bruins
    2010 – Chicago Blackhawks
    2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins
    2008 – Detroit Red Wings

    Hmmm

  58. melancholyculkin says:

    If we’re going to have a reasonable discussion about the Oilers drafting and scouting here is what we need to be able to properly frame the discussion:

    a.) What is the mean rate of success when it comes to drafting? What is the mean rate of success given the position the Oilers have been drafting from? If the Oilers have been below the mean, are they they within any sort of acceptable margin of error? How should any margin of error be defined?

    b.) Is there any team that has a demonstrated talent at the draft table that cannot be explained by chance? If so, how much credit goes to the scouts and how much to the persons responsible for player development? Do scouts have any influence on a player beyond recommending they be drafted? Colin McDonald emerged as a player this year. Should Kevin Prendergast receive credit? Is it the fault of Stu MacGregor that Pitlick and Hamilton fell off the track in the AHL?

    c.) Do we have enough data to draw definitive conclusions about the Oilers drafting?

  59. Gi JQE says:

    Just my opinion. Disappointed. We have to be better in rounds two and three. Round one… well you should never fail in top 3… And really, isn’t if a bit of later rounds that define scouts? Round 1 is usually more set, especially in top 15. LA type teams have the great pool of prospects due to collecting players from multiple rounds… not just round 1 and then ‘o well, odds aren’t great’ in later rounds.

    I want to buy into all the hype on Stu… but I see nothing beyond EBERLE to substantiate suggesting he is anything but average… or below average based on how high we have picked in rounds two and three (which are really late first rounders and late second rounders)

  60. gcw_rocks says:

    I was taking a look at the 1990 draft yesterday (wanted to see who Quebec could have taken instead of Nolan) and, man,. that was an interesting draft.

    The Oilers basically took the day off. What horrible drafting. Allison at 17 only to see Tkachuk, Brodeur and Smolinski go almost immediately after? Brutal! not one player they selected making 200 NHL games, if I am not mistaken.

    Then there is the Flames trading up to take Kidd, only to see the Devils get Brodeur with the lower pick. Crazy.

    The Kings scouts were decent, even back then. Sydor and Lang from the same draft is pretty good.

    How good would the Avs have been if they had taken Jagr over Nolan? Could you imagine a powerplay featuring Sakic, Forsberg and Jagr?

  61. gcw_rocks says:

    I think how a team does in the second round is a strong indicator of the quality of the amateur scouting group.

    Year Oilers Great
    2009 Lander vs Lehner, Orlov
    2010 Pitlick, Hamilton, Marincin vs Petrovic, Faulk, maybe Merril, Toffoli, Jarnkrok, Larsson
    2011 Musil vs Granlund, Saad, maybe Rask, Gibson, Mayfield
    2012 moroz vs To early to tell, but whomever great is, will be much better than Moroz.

    The Oilers are a long, long way away from great at this point in time.

  62. Henry says:

    Racki: According to articles I dug up, like this: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=565967

    Stu MacGregor is all over, in his scouting. Scott Harlow seems to handle the Eastern U.S. colleges, Brad Davis has done some college scouting too in eastern parts (most of NCAA is in the eastern half of the U.S., primarily north eastern, but some is in the Colorado area too.. not sure who would handle that area).

    That’s about all I could really dig up.

    In summation, just give MBS credit for everything since he oversees it all.. lol

    That, and I think we have a plant in the Detroit organization that just relays whomever they’re looking at

    Thanks for digging that up Racki. Nice article in that it is more than an Oilers propeganda piece. Quite nicely shows just how extensive the org is and how important it has to be that the scouting directors and GM work together effectively.

  63. russ99 says:

    Every scouting staff has it’s tendencies, ours is to western Canadian players (especially Oil Kings) and coke machines once their BPA threshold is reached, seemingly either before or halfway through the second round, depending on the quality of draft and availability.

    I’m not averse to Stu taking a chance on someone in that profile over more skilled, more projectable players, but that should be done later in the draft. 2nd and early 3rd rounders are just too valuable. Look at what Montreal and Toronto drafted after the first last year, a world of difference from the reaches we made.

    Maybe that changes under a more direct management of scouting under MacT, especially with the need to draft quality with those two second-rounders in a deep draft this year.

  64. Henry says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I think how a team does in the second round is a strong indicator of the quality of the amateur scouting group.

    Year OilersGreat
    2009Lander vsLehner, Orlov
    2010Pitlick, Hamilton, Marincinvs Petrovic, Faulk, maybe Merril, Toffoli, Jarnkrok, Larsson
    2011 Musil vs Granlund, Saad, maybe Rask, Gibson,Mayfield
    2012 moroz vs To early to tell, but whomever great is, will be much better than Moroz.

    The Oilers are a long, long way away from great at this point in time.

    I agree with your thesis, but I think you have to compare stack a single org’s picks through the years against the Oilers. If the same org is consistently winning the second and third rounds then their scouting director can be pope.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: Almost have to throw Laleggia in there too, as well as Schultz. Plus they were chasing a couple of this year’s free agents.

    and they even got one!

    Miller.

    I assume he’ll be Baron Miller next year. Interesting to see what he can do.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Henry: I agree with your thesis, but I think you have to compare stack a single org’s picks through the years against the Oilers.If the same org is consistently winning the second and third rounds then their scouting director can be pope.

    That’s right, how often is a team praised for pulling a gem out of x round only to throw up the smoke and mirrors around all their other picks.

    Look at Dallas 2007. Sure they hit the ball out of the park on J. Benn in the 5th round… but they had 8 picks in that draft. No one else is close to anything like anything.

    ie., you can’t simply go back and say better players emerged. It’s not an argument. Everyone goes into the draft knowing better players will emerge from who knows where. That’s the nature of the game.

    You can only make an argument on consistent terms. And even there we should be wary of ruling out chance.

  67. melancholyculkin says:

    gcw_rocks,

    When you reduce it to MacGregor vs The Field, MacGregor’s going to lose. Every player that emerges from a draft is an obvious pick in hindsight.

  68. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Henry: I agree with your thesis, but I think you have to compare stack a single org’s picks through the years against the Oilers.If the same org is consistently winning the second and third rounds then their scouting director can be pope.

    Agreed.

    For an empirically driven blog, the evaluation of Stu deviates wildly from the norm.

    All of this talk about how good or bad Stu doesn’t hold any weight without a comparison to how other organizations have performed. Maybe some type of rating system that includes NHL games played and accounts for draft position would be a place to start.

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