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