2013 ENTRY DRAFT POST 4: THE MACT FACTOR

New GM Craig MacTavish has a lot of questions marks on the big club, and there’s also plenty of work to be done underneath–goaltending and center are the main items, and a slight change in draft philosophy is also happening. (photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

MacTavish has given us some insight into what we might expect this draft, although specific items are probably outside the verbal he’s delivered so far this spring.

  • MacT: “There’s the amateur side, through the course of this year I spent a lot of time with them I have a great degree of comfort in their ability. There are things we can do as a group that will benefit our drafting from a strategic standpoint, from a philosophical standpoint.  We can hit better and more impact players in the later rounds, we’ve talked about it a lot on the amateur side, trying to get more impact players with our later picks. I’m happy with that group.”

Over the last few days, we’ve looked at selections in the top 100 of drafts 2008-12; here’s a list of 100+ selections during those seasons and prospect progress:

  • 2008-Johan Motin selected #103 overall (1 NHL game)
  • 2008-Phil Cornet selected #133 overall (2 NHL games)
  • 2008-Teemu Hartikainen selected #163 overall (52 NHL games)
  • 2008-Jordan Bendfeld selected #193 overall
  • 2009-Toni Rajala selected #101 overall
  • 2009-Olivier Roy selected #133 overall
  • 2010-Tyler Bunz selected #121 overall
  • 2010-Brandon Davidson selected #162 overall
  • 2010-Drew Czerwonka selected #166 overall
  • 2010-Kristians Pelss selected #181 overall
  • 2010-Kellen Jones selected #202 overall
  • 2011-Tobias Rieder selected #114 overall
  • 2011-Martin Gernat selected #122 overall
  • 2011-Frans Tuohimaa selected #182 overall
  • 2012-Joey Laleggia selected #123 overall
  • 2012-John McCarron selected #153 overall

There are lots of theories about how much to expect from draft picks in the fourth-seventh round, but I tend to think anything you gather up after pick #100 should be counted as found money. Teams can’t count on these guys working out beyond becoming useful AHL players, but sometimes a player will make strides after the draft and deliver a quality career. In my time watching and reading drafts, I’ve never found an article that establishes it is more likely that one team will succeed over another in the depths of the draft. There have been times (Euro invasion, Russians coming over) when teams had drafted players unavailable at the time in hopes they’d arrive in the future, but that’s not the same as beating the other scouts every season.

And of course some of this stuff is about opportunity; some of these kids are going to go the Walt Poddubny route.

It’s tough to evaluate this group at this point in time. We could list those who have signed (most of them) against those who have not, but signing  a pro contract isn’t what we value–it’s NHL GP. We could list those who look like they might actually do something in pro hockey (my list is Hartikainen, Rajala, Davidson, Pelss, Rieder, Gernat) but that’s a guess at who knows?

So far, Teemu Hartikainen is the only player from the group to play in the NHL for more than a week. The vast majority of this list will either rise or fall in the next couple of seasons. We wait.

Back to that MacT quote at the top. What does it mean? Trying to get more impact players with our later picks? Well, let me offer up a couple of ideas as to what he might be talking about in this regard.

  • Draft and Follow: This has been a pet item of mine forever, borrowed from baseball (of course). The idea is this: in later rounds, select someone like Edgars Kulda. He didn’t get to play much during the regular year but injuries gave him a chance late. I do think he’ll be selected (Central didn’t rank him) because of the strong finish, but certainly worth a shot.
  • Coke Machines: Get ‘em, but get ‘em late. There’s a guy in this draft named Cooper Rush. He’s a giant. Take him after the 5th round and we’ll love him more.
  • College Men: I do like the idea of taking older college guys who might be able to come out as needed (depending on year). A center like Jonny Brodzinski might fit.

Basically, get good players. I think the Oilers will go heavy on C’s and G’s this year, and would guess one of Barkov-Monahan-Horvat and one of Comrie-Jarry is an Oiler before we start drinking June 30th.

dog day

 

Today on the Lowdown with Lowetide (10am on Team 1260) we’ll talk playoffs, draft and trades/ufa’s. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. We’ll talk Finn goalies, Russian blue, Hall’s future, Yakupov’s mentor and Oilers PP when they gain possession.
  • Pat McLean from Black Dog Hates Skunks. We’ll talk Hawks, kids, luck and anything else we can think of.
  • John Farlinger, former Eskimo. John is a former color commentator on Eskimos broadcasts and a former Eskimo. We’ll talk about the team and the season, and I’ll ask him to share some memories of the great Eskimos teams of yore.
  • Kirk Luedeke, Redline Report. We’re counting down to draft day, Kirk will guide us through some NCAA, USHL and USHS names.
  • Eric Rodgers will talk about the Barons and the most unusual weekend in team history.

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73 Responses to "2013 ENTRY DRAFT POST 4: THE MACT FACTOR"

  1. sliderule says:

    NHL average for third round and later is 10 percent.

    Contrary to a lot of opinions here drafting is not voodoo magic.A good scouting group should beat that figure.

    MacT understands that.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Sliderule: My question for you is this: can we identify the NHL teams who have consistently beaten that number? Or is it luck?

  3. Ducey says:

    I have been confounded by them taking small college guys. Jones and Laleggia have little chance of making it. You can find them every spring as college free agents (Miller, Read, Butler, etc).

    They seem to have had the greatest success drafting Europeans from places like Slovakia. Stick with that. The North Americans have been all picked over by round 4.

  4. gcw_rocks says:

    So, if the odds are 10% for a useful NHLer in each of the later rounds, we should see one being produced approximately every 3 years for an NHL scouting staff to be considered average. Looking at that list above I can see Stu’s team hitting for average, maybe, but not better than that.

  5. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I don’t have the time or patience to do a bunch but I will pick a few and report back.

  6. nelson88 says:

    Speaking of drinking on the 30th….

    What is the deal with the draft on a Sunday? I recall the first round happening on Friday evening at least the last few years with the following rounds on Saturday morning. Worked perfect, go get drunk and debate picks with friends and then drink your hangover tonic and eat french toast the following morning while trying to keep up with a pick every 30 seconds and being entertained as LT does his best to post something interesting about a 5″8 midget from Transylvannia picked in the 7th round.

    What was Gary thinking?

  7. daryl says:

    sliderule,

    Curious as to your findings sliderule. My opinion is that I don’t think a good scouting group would beat it by much, and that in these rounds it is closer to voodoo magic than anything else. While it is true that half the teams in the league should beat the median %age, I think the variation in ability across the scouting groups is small, then factor in the rest of the variables into a pick making it from these rounds and I think we’ll see the teams “good” at it getting 11% and the teams “bad” at it getting 9.

  8. vishcosity says:

    I forget the probability for a 4th or 5th round pick, but I’ll guess 15%.

    I’m wondering really if trading a 4th for a 6 and 7 makes more than statistical sense. Do teams ever do that? I can’t remember any.

    Does that seem like a good idea to anyone? I’m not sure what to think of this seemingly statistically sound logic. My first cup of coffee isn’t finished but I’m going to post this anyway, despite what I learn from LT.

  9. FrankenOil says:

    nelson88,

    I do believe it has to do with the end of the playoffs as the games could (I may be wrong) go to June 28th (the Friday).

  10. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I just picked a few mostly from west.

    Season from 2000 to 2005 as later picks usually need a couple of years 200 game minimum

    Blues 3 out of 41 7.3 percent
    Kings 4 out of 42 9.3percent
    Sharks 4 out of 38 10.5 percent
    Detroit 5 out of 45 11 percent
    Canadians 7 out of 39 picks 18 percent
    Oilers 3 out of 48 6.3petcent

    I think MacT wants more like Canadians.

  11. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:

    So, if the odds are 10% for a useful NHLer in each of the later rounds, we should see one being produced approximately every 3 years for an NHL scouting staff to be considered average. Looking at that list above I can see Stu’s team hitting for average, maybe, but not better than that.

    If those are the odds (10%) then we should expect 1.6 players from the list above. My question is this: how long do we wait for said player to show signs? I belive it’s 5 years (Hartikainen has shown enough to be considered a possible success, the rest of the 2008′s are not going to make it).

    Is that fair?

  12. RexLibris says:

    The apparent draft dominance of some teams (Detroit) is based more on a mixture of perception, overall franchise success to follow, and region than a clear statistical edge. There are teams that have a wide variance in either success or failure when compared to the pack.

    Historically, the Ducks and Canadiens are way out in front of the group while the Tampa Bay Lightning are the team that even the ugliest stepsister could point to and laugh.

    MacTavish’s philosophical changes and re-focusing may improve some of the selections to bring about perhaps a 0.8% improvement in their success rate. Now we don’t have enough data to really call the ball on MacGregor’s picks with certainty, but I suspect that level of improvement would work out to bringing their draft success rate to just over the league average by about a percentage point or two. Not bad and when you translate that to one useful body every second draft year it can mean the difference between playoff depth or a third round exit, ie: Buffalo 2006.

    With regards to Kulda, I was watching him very closely this season to see what aspects of his game the Oilers might use to justify him as a 7th round selection. He has some game, but I don’t think he has even Pelss’ overall talent ceiling. That being said, we’ll have to wait and see. I’m not a professional scout, nor do I play one on television, so if MacGregor and co. call his name they’ll find some reason for it.

    Maybe they could plant some counter-intel and convince Feaster and Weisbrod to use the St. Louis 1st on him? ;-)

  13. Zack says:

    I’ve had a boss that played in the AHL (trying to make the show) and a buddy of mine is friends with a Sherwood Park boy that just made it onto a team this past year. I’ve also heard many other stories but the bottom line seems to be, and I understand the talent is there but there seems to be a lot bigger push and a much greater leash from organizations for the first round picks to make the show which is another factor too.

  14. sliderule says:

    RexLibris,

    The ducks had a great record over the 200 to 2005 period.
    5 out of 34. For 15 percent.
    Tampa not so much
    3 out of 51 for 5.8 percent
    In fairness Tampa had two players with over 190 games which would have brought them past the oil

  15. Zack says:

    Raanta to the Hawks?

    http://m.iltasanomat.fi/nhl/art-1288570638184.html

    Not sure how reliable the source is.

  16. Bruce McCurdy says:

    “Raanta, 24, made ​​an agreement with HIFK, but not with these views against any spinner beast shirt.”

    I guess that tells us everything we need to know.

  17. misfit says:

    The best way to get NHL players for 4-7 round draft picks is to trade them. I’d much rather see MacT trade every pick after the 3rd round on rentals, depth players, or for moving up with your 1-3 rounders.

    Starting from 5 seasons ago and going back 10, we’ve selected 55 players past the 3rd round. 5 of them have played 100 or more NHL games (Markkanen, Brodziak, Lombardi, Bodie, and Reddox – the latter only barely making 100 and likely won’t see another) and the best one of the bunch went back into the draft and never played a game with the Oilers. Hartikainen looks like he might have a career and Omark probably would too in a different organization. Of that group, you’ve got one top-6 forward and the rest are bottom of the roster players who could likely be aquired in any given year for one or more 4-7 round picks.

  18. Doug McLachlan says:

    Zack,

    Bruce McCurdy,

    The Raanta to ChiHawks rumour would appear to be sourced back to a Finnish fan of Pori. He has a lot of followers and tweets in Finnish which makes him only silghtly more credible than Eklund.

    Still with Stauffer tweeting that the agent hasn’t gotten back to some of the teams that made offers, I don’t know.

    This long quiet is a good thing, bad thing?

    The Goalie Guild is suggesting that he may need some AHL time, and is reminded of the Monster. Like Gustavsson, figures this may be much ado about not as much. That said, I’m still hoping that a quick review of the #Oilers’ goalie depth makes his decision easy and he comes in and goes all Pekka Reine on the league.

  19. Zack says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Ah good to know, so you are saying there’s still a chance… I was a little baffled if his choice was the hawks, it’s a great team but he’d have a more resistant path to play compaired to the Oil or Jets.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On the after 100s….

    I think randomness has to be the primary cause of success/failure.

    But there are probably a few ways teams can try to massage better results. Some guesses:

    1. sliders (extreme or otherwise)? the fact that a player slides is probably indicative of a series of ?s attached to the player. but if a player is listed on BMs list (top 60 plus HM) and is still available after 100, that is probably a better bet than otherwise.

    2. overagers? I think we’d have to look back at the drafts and see how many overagers were taken in a given draft year, where in the draft they typically were picked (if there is a typical spot) and see if they had any success.

    the theory here would be that a player emerges later but carries the stigma of being overage and thus a potentially useful player can be plucked quite late.

    For obvious reasons, this kind of success is going to be a very rare occurrence.

    3. untapped wells? these probably don’t exist anymore… but I would suggest the lingering whiff of anti-Euro/Russian sentiment probably leaves talent on the board for teams either willing to take the Russian chance or ignore the anti-Euro swill.

    Also… emerging markets… hockey does seems to be growing in places like Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, etc…. maybe an intrepid scout can find a player in one of these places under a rock.

  21. Racki says:

    Now more media is pushing this Antti Raanta to the Hawks stuff… making it sound official.

    @FriedgeHNIC Finnish reporter @jhiitela says Blackhawks have signed UFA goalie Antti Raanta. He was MVP in league playoffs…

    ….

    Bruce McCurdy:
    “Raanta, 24, made ​​an agreement with HIFK, but not with these views against any spinner beast shirt.”

    I guess that tells us everything we need to know.

    Lol! Always consider the views of the spinner beast shirt.

  22. Bag of Pucks says:

    In terms of analyzing historic draft performance, I’m curious as to why there is such a tendency to rely so heavily on GPs as the definitive evaluation metric?

    Yes, the goal is to choose players that can play in the bigs, but when I see the NYI’s topping the list on anything related to organizational acumen that raises a red flag for me. And in this case, I think it’s deserved.

    Clubs like NYI and Edm will score highly on GPs by drafted prospects precisely because they’re poor orgs with minimal organizational depth and a propensity for rushing their prospects to the bigs – regardless of whether those prospects actually merit the promotion or have the ability to compete at this higher level. Lander and Peckham likely never see NHL ice to this point with a club that actually knows what it’s doing. Thus GPs alone shouldn’t be used as proof of drafting proficiency.

    At some point, doesn’t the players actual production in the NHL have to factor in alongside GPs? It’s not enough to just put warm bodies in uni’s. If I recall, Prendergast drafts consistently had a respectable GPs average, all while the team spiraled the drain towards haplessness. Whether the picks end up playing in the bigs, is not nearly as important as how well they play once they get there IMO.

    Btw, given the way the league is trending with ‘size’ as the most coveted skill, an argument can be made that drafting a player like Moroz is the very definition of risk adverse as opposed to drafting a slight player with an alleged ‘wide range of skills.’ Yes, I’m thinking of you Linus Omark.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    “Raanta, 24, made ​​an agreement with HIFK, but not with these views against any spinner beast shirt.”

    I guess that tells us everything we need to know.

    I wonder if the “horse-head fan taunting” of the Oiler faithful scared off the “spinner beast shirt”

  24. Racki says:

    Bob McKenzie tweeting now that Raanta signed 1 year deal with the Blackhawks, so sounds official.

    Please have a beer and cry in it for me..

  25. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    Sliderule: My question for you is this: can we identify the NHL teams who have consistently beaten that number? Or is it luck?

    From time to time a player will have a shooting percentage approaching or above 20%. Most people (at least on here) don’t assume that is sustainable. I think it’s the same with drafting. Teams can get lucky for a season or two, but there is no evidence I’ve seen of a team consistently outperforming the expected draft return for an extended period of time.

    Good scouts should consistently give you your average return, and hopefully get lucky from time to time. Bad scouts will not give your average, especially in the first round, and end up working for Hockey Canada for some reason.

  26. LMHF#1 says:

    So, who’s the next mystery goalie in line?

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So I checked on late sliders (after 100 picks who were on BM’s list) for 2008 and 2009

    As expected the list is short:

    (BM Rank – player – pick)

    2008
    57 – sateri – 106
    60 – carle – 203

    HM – Jenks – 100
    HM – Petersson – 109

    of note:
    46 – Arniel – 97
    56 – holtby – 93

    (this year BM only listed 15 HMs)

    that must have been a rough day for David Carle! Wow… sliding 143 spots!

    2009
    50 – rajala – 101

    HM – Avtsyn – 109
    HM – D’Amigo – 158
    HM – Fallstrom – 116
    HM – Foucault – 103
    HM – Helgeson – 114
    HM – Pasquale – 117
    HM – Roy – 133
    HM – Stajcer – 140
    HM – Vatanen – 106

    of note:
    58 – hutchings – 93

    (this year BM listed 25 HMs accounting for a bigger group of sliders)

    Tiny sample size here and it seems like a tough call to claim these players are a better bet than any other late rounder…. but it does appear that sliding does occur from the BM list into the late rounds…

    maybe on balance it gives a slight edge… who knows.

    (that took way too long for so little)

  28. Smarmy says:

    I mentioned this once before but the Oilers could look at spending a late round pick on Alex Forsberg.

    He was a first overall bantam pick of Prince George and was a projected first round talent. Things soured mightly this year and he quit the team over the xmas holidays after he asked to be dealt and they refused. His brother who had played in Prince George a few seasons asked out this past summer and joins a long list of players that have refused to play for or want to stop playing for Prince George.

    So while I think some onus should be placed on the player I’m willing to think he might flourish if a team like the Oilers gave him a plan and put some pressure on Prince George to extricate him to the Oil Kings or another better run franchise.

  29. RexLibris says:

    sliderule:
    RexLibris,

    The ducks had a great record over the 200 to 2005 period.
    5 out of 34. For 15 percent.
    Tampa not so much
    3 out of 51 for 5.8 percent
    In fairness Tampa had two players with over 190 games which would have brought them past the oil

    I’m looking at %’s since 1979, and the Canadiens are probably one of the most consistent. It isn’t a perfect reflection, but it does suggest that the organization has something on many of the others around the league.

  30. VOR says:

    Here are some suggestions for what MacT may be thinking about:

    1. After the first round combine results have some predictive power – particularly (oddly) hand grip strength and extended VO2.

    2. In the later parts 11-30 of the first round all else being equal always taker the bigger player.

    3. In rounds 2 and 3 the math says avoid the midgets and the giants. NHL average size players have better outcomes from these rounds. the math also says this is where you draft for need. Yes, I know you don’t believe me. However, first round picks are far too valuable to waste on picking need rather than BPA. From round 4 on the best strategy is to pick BPA and it isn’t close. That only leaves rounds 2 and 3 to take need. At the moment I would argue need is power forward left wingers. Hello Kerby Rychel, welcome to the Edmonton Oilers.

    4. From round 4 onwards always make sure you are using performance on the ice as your evaluation criteria not intangibles. If you are looking at a player check their performance against remaining players by position by league. Always take the kid with the best #s. Don’t worry about age, size, or team effects.

    So for example, and this may actually happen, the Oilers with their 5th pick have a chance to take Mitchell Wheaton (who I think will fall simply because of his very short history in junior), Marc McNulty, and Tyler Lewington. They are all WHL defencemen.

    Wheaton is huge. 6.05, 225, right handed, loves the heavy going. He plays for the Kelowna Rockets. He went 39 games 1G 7A 8P 27 penalty minutes, +20. He is a funny kid, team leader, great attitude.

    Marc McNulty is 6’6″ 189 left handed and played for the Prince George Cougars. 52GP 8G 7A 15P 70PM -18. Alternately brilliant and horrific McNulty is a classic project. At his best almost no D in this draft has the same ability to change a game.

    Tyler Lewington is 6.01 182, right handed and played for the Medicine Hat Tigers. 69GP 2G 24A 26P 131PM +14. He is very plain vanilla envelope. You can watch Medicine Hat play and never realize he is on the ice. On the other hand, from time to time, he drops his gloves and proves to be a gifted fighter. Lewington has very fast hands.

    Who do you take?

    Conventional thinking says take one of the two giants, probably Wheaton. The math says take Lewington. Ignoring scouts tendency to project (ie. ignore their current successes or failures) onto players greatly increases your chances of getting a valuable asset.

    Consider Tony Rajala. Maybe he never plays an NHL game but there is no question statistically he was the best player left when the Oilers picked him. You need to pick Rajalas in the late rounds.

    Luc Robitaille had 85 points the year he was drafted 171OV. He was too slow to ever play in the NHL, everybody knew that. Sure there was nobody left in the draft in any league with that many points but so what? This kid would never play in the NHL. You need to pick Robitailles in the late rounds.

    Presumably we took Hartikainen because of his success in SM-Liga not his size. Everybody agreed he couldn’t skate well enough to play in the NHL. To date it hasn’t been his foot speed that has prevented him sticking in the NHL.

    Simply best player available actually matters far more in the later rounds than teams generally appreciate.

  31. Wolfie says:

    So with Raanta in Chicago I guess the writing is on the wall for Emery, any chance the Oilers take a look at Rayzor?

  32. russ99 says:

    LMHF#1,

    Somebody with NHL experience, I hope.

    I wonder if Danis could be gone too, after those last two losses to Grand Rapids… Goalie is a “what have you done for me lately” position. Hopefully he turns it around and gets the Barons to game 7.

    Emery would be an OK pickup, but I’d assume we’re really looking for a younger 1A goalie who can push Dubnyk.

  33. Captain Happy says:

    VOR,

    No way Kerby Rychel falls to the second round.

    Every list I’ve seen has him in the late first round and word is the Canucks have targeted him if he’s available at 24.

  34. VOR says:

    Rom,

    Try looking at when they slid. Every year there are one or two players whose slide begins after the regular season is over. Generally it is simply because they are on teams that don’t get into any playoffs of any kind. If they slide not because of their performance but rather because scouts and the media get sucked into the tournament of small sample size vortex then they may well be high value targets. This was part of what happened with Tony Rajala.

    This year’s poster boy is Kerby Rychel. The way things are going some lists now have him as low as 46. He was 21 on Craig Button’s list post season and pre-playoffs.

    Gauthier and Lazar appear to have fallen for reason (though not as far). For Rychel there is no obvious explanation.

    Rychel actually nicely makes my point about consensus rankings being used as a tool for evaluating draft strategy. Rychel has plunged. Now if somebody takes him in the range 20-30 it will be seen as a reach. A back to back forty+ goal scorer in the OHL, who does that with no support, who is a great penalty killer, and is well above average all over the ice taken at 20-30 is a reach pick simply because his team was crap. This leads to the question, when is a reach pick really a reach?

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    russ99:
    LMHF#1,

    Somebody with NHL experience, I hope.

    I wonder if Danis could be gone too, after those last two losses to Grand Rapids… Goalie is a “what have you done for me lately” position. Hopefully he turns it around and gets the Barons to game 7.

    Emery would be an OK pickup, but I’d assume we’re really looking for a younger 1A goalie who can push Dubnyk.

    I’m led to believe that the Oilers think the goaltending is more of an issue than many of us do. I am far from Dubnyk’s biggest booster, but he was not our problem last year. Not by far.

    A strong backup to push him would be great. I’m just having a hard time finding someone out there with sufficient upside to justify not getting a 30+ year old instead. Like Martin Gerber a couple years ago.

  36. sliderule says:

    I did the western conference for draft success after round two in period 2000 to 2005.

    Nine middle teams between 9 and 12 percent

    Three top teams
    Colorado 16 percent
    Ducks. 15 percent
    Flames. 13 percent

    Bottom three teams

    Blues 7 percent
    Oilers 6 percent
    Coyotes 5percent

  37. VOR says:

    Hey sliderule I get that was a tremendous amount of work and truly appreciate you doing it.

    However, I think you are wrong about the number for Colorado. I get it being 22.2% of all the players taken after the 2nd round playing 100 or more games. That is spectacular.

    My problem is that when you look at the total NHL games of all the players that made the NHL from the Oilers and Avalanche in these years (2000-2005) there isn’t much difference in games played. The Oilers total 5205 to the Avalanches 4919. If you look at goals the Avalanche lead 668 to 665.

    So if you look at late round success the Avalanche look like world beaters and it would be easy to say wow what a great scouting staff, rather than wow are they lucky. Similarly you would say the Oilers scouting staff are dogs. Looking at the two teams overall drafting success you would say that they are pretty much equal.

    That means to suggest that you can pick well late consistently and Colorado is proof you would need to be able to demonstrate that they did something differently in the late rounds from what they did in the early rounds when they were flipping horrible. Perhaps they did do something differently but we have no idea of what it was. More likely some bad luck at the top of the draft was offset by some good luck at the bottom of the draft.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Great stuff VOR. ‘Spot on’ as the brits say.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VOR,

    That’s a good point about post-season runs and shiny objects. injury would lead to the same thing I assume.

    I’m not sure how much it affects BM’s final ranking list though… presumably his final list reflects some of that thinking, i.e., if the scouts he’s talking to are high on post-season players, his list should reflect that.

    looking at last year’s list:

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9825

    there is no publication date. but, considering he hasn’t published this year’s yet, and based on memory… the list comes out fairly close to the actual draft.

    On a similar topic, what is interesting to me is the players who are high in BM’s first of the year rankings only to disappear (for whatever reason). An interesting player here is the swede de la Rose:

    in the prelim. he was 8th overall. Midseason dropped to 26.

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9600

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9842

    looks like lack of scoring did him in over the course of the year (noted as “not a natural scorer” in both lists) and he may drop even further in the final listing.

    maybe this, however, is the kind of thing to look for… players who fall off the map over their draft year and you hope it is merely a small sample size?

  40. OilTastic says:

    too bad Gerber is now 38, Oilers could bring him back….but no more old guys please!

  41. sliderule says:

    VOR,

    I used 200 games which is the standard.

    I don’t think very many of these picks were impact players but they are assets that can be used to acquire one.

    The oilers didn’t do very well for that period and though KP was in charge I believe a lot of the scouting team hasn’t changed all that much.

    Unfortunately we won’t know about Stu’s picks until a couple more years pass.

  42. SoxandOil says:

    LMHF#1: I’m led to believe that the Oilers think the goaltending is more of an issue than many of us do. I am far from Dubnyk’s biggest booster, but he was not our problem last year. Not by far.

    A strong backup to push him would be great. I’m just having a hard time finding someone out there with sufficient upside to justify not getting a 30+ year old instead. Like Martin Gerber a couple years ago.

    i agree, I think the last thing the Oilers need is a goalie project or controversy. Someone to push Dubnyk would be great but I also think a benefit would be a more veteran goalie to mentor Dubnyk. Emery would be ok so long as he has a good attitude.

    Ideally I would target someone like Giguere so long as he has gas left in the tank. He voiced his displeasure with the Avalanche at the end of the season and would be good for 25-30 games. He has 1 year left on his contract and one would think that Colorado would be trying to improve its goaltending, possibly going after big name free agents.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VOR: More likely some bad luck at the top of the draft was offset by some good luck at the bottom of the draft.

    reminds one of Dallas pulling Jamie Benn out of a hat in 2007 in the 5th round (129 overall) but basically blowing their other 7 picks that year.

    is that a worthwhile trade I’m left to wonder?
    was getting an impact player (but nothing else) a good year for the scouting staff?
    would 2, 3 or even 4 players who managed 200 games but little else be more valuable?

    at any rate, that pick sure looks like luck and basically saved a terrible year at the draft table.

  44. maudite says:

    Haven’t looked too far into it, but off the top of my head I have a hard time simply writing off the wings success in drafting and, more importantly, developing. Helm, adelbaker and others come to mind. I don’t really count success that Stortini or Jacques made it as many games as they did. But straight stats based on gp would indicate these as successful picks.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    SoxandOil: Ideally I would target someone like Giguere so long as he has gas left in the tank. He voiced his displeasure with the Avalanche at the end of the season and would be good for 25-30 games. He has 1 year left on his contract and one would think that Colorado would be trying to improve its goaltending, possibly going after big name free agents.

    I’d pass on Giguere.

    http://capgeek.com/player/338

    he’s got another year at 1.5M and a NTC/NMC (not sure which). plus his performance over the past 5 years is pretty underwhelming. that and… 36.

    of the mid-age UFAs I’d target Labarbera:

    http://capgeek.com/player/686

    younger, don’t have to trade, should be cheap, solid performance in the last 5 years.

  46. maudite says:

    Abdelkader…sorry.

  47. maudite says:

    I also think buffalo has a pretty great draft/development history the past decade. Just overlooked due to level of success.

  48. maudite says:

    The real seperation to me is picks 30 to a 100 this is what sets teAms apart. This is where failure and draft success really come through. Thus far we look to be failing under MBs. The harti, Ramallah, Ryder type picks I’m comfortable with what we are getting. The picks that I believe likely influenced by management desire for size and lucic, or face punchers are really putting a huge red mark on draft record going forward.

  49. maudite says:

    I truly believe the key component is resources spent on ahl affiliate and development. It takes time but this is one thing that Katz money is working on. We lost more prospects in the eig era due to this than likely pendergAst assumed poor drafting.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    maudite: The harti, Ramallah, Ryder type picks I’m comfortable with what we are getting.

    MBS was really going off the grid with that Ramallah pick :)

    He may yet be the first player from the West Bank chosen in the entry draft.

  51. VOR says:

    Sliderule,

    Thanks for the clarification. I went back and looked at Colorado’s previous five years (1999-1995). I get them being a remarkable 10 players over 200 games with 38 picks or 26.3%. They continued to struggle in the first two rounds. Of all games played by players drafted in the years 1995-1999 inclusive 62% were played by players drafted 3rd round or later. I’d say if that is the same group all the way through they had a unique approach to the late round. The only thing is that their early round problems continue. if it weren’t for the incredible run they went on in 1998 when they had 4 first round choices and got 2950 games from the 4 players with Regher and Tanguay still playing it would have been a blood bath. In the other four years they got a grand total of 407 games from 8 players taken in the first two rounds.

    What I am saying is I think you may well have stumbled on proof that teams can massively improve their odds in the late rounds somehow. On the other hand we still can’t rule out that whatever curses them in the early rounds is related to what makes them successful in the later rounds.

    On the other hand if as you say you explore the issue of impact players in the ten year period you could argue it is about even. Colorado got 7 and the Oilers got 7. Samuel Pahlsson, Radim Vrbata, John Michael Liles, Mark Parrish, Marek Svatos, Tom Gilbert, and David Jones versus Fernando Pisani, Tom Poti, Jason Chimera, Matthew Lombardi, Kyle Brodziak, Shawn Horcoff, and Mike Comrie.

    I am wondering if we need to agree on the definition of impact players and then go back and re-run the analysis?

  52. VOR says:

    Maudite,

    I am not picking on you but I assume you are referring to the drafting of Mitch Moroz. You are assuming they were looking for Lucic. There is no evidence that was the sort of player they were trying to draft. It is possible they were looking for Bob Gainey for all we know.

    Also, as Marc has tried to point out the odds for a second rounder are low to begin with. Not to mention that we have no idea if management influenced the picking of Moroz. By the way, not a single 2nd round choice from 2012 has yet played in the NHL. Not one. So maybe we should wait and see on Moroz. Plus, Moroz has a skill set that will translate very well into the NHL and may well have a very long career.

  53. nelson88 says:

    Fooling around with HockeyDB and I now feel very comfortable proclaiming Kale Kessy as the next Milan Lucic.

    Just look at the Oilers track record at drafting 111th! How can he not be.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/draft_bests.php?page=6

    Yes, I understand the OIlers didn’t actually draft Kessy but in the years you don’t get the 111th pick you need to get creative.

  54. FastOil says:

    sliderule:
    NHL average for third round and later is 10 percent.

    Contrary to a lot of opinions here drafting is not voodoo magic.A good scouting group should beat that figure.

    MacT understands that.

    Agreed. The Oilers could easily up their average by simply not selecting players that essentially have very little chance of making it because they are completely one dimensional. They have tended toward extremes I think too much.

    MacT’s comment about the Cup winner becomes the new fad gives me hope they’ll move away from going after versions of now coveted player types. Enough brain, enough attitude, can actually play some hockey.

  55. maudite says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Autocorrect is a huge pain

  56. maudite says:

    @ slider I get what you are saying, it just seems like we are prone to reaching after the first obvious choice the last few. While statistically I’m sure it’s fair to say odds of 2nd and 3rds aren’t great. When you pull through hockey db seems like the teams that pull actual impact type players in these picks with any type of consistency over a string of years really set themselves up. We haven’t really managed to do so for awhile (petry and possibly marincin is next hit) and that hurts our overall depth greatly. The moroz and abney type plays just don’t seem like good bets of late. Pick on me all you like ps. True sign of intelligence is being able to accept you are often an idiot.

  57. 106 and 106 says:

    maudite,

    I get what your saying as well, but odds are different than proportion because your denominator is actually lower (making it greater odds), so I think you actually mean – the proportion of drafting 2nd and 3rd rounds aren’t great (because the odds are slightly better).

    It’s too bad LT doesn’t list Moroz as one who was going to be an NHL player. Such a shame to waste SUCH a high 2nd rounder.

    Did we really give up our 3rd AND 4th this year? Oh right – the Fist and Stud Smithson. I don’t see Tambo getting another gig anywhere else. What a dud.

  58. sliderule says:

    maudite,

    The actual success rate for second rounders is somewhere north of 25 percent depending on period you pick.
    The concern a lot of us have about oilers last few second picks is that they were almost late first rounders and should have a higher success rate than that.
    It’s still early but arrows are not great so far.
    It’s my guess that Stu or in past KP would have a lot of input in first two rounds but would not have seen much if any of the later picks..if that’s true the oiler scouts were not doing a great job during the 2000 to 2005 period with picks after second round.
    When you see some of Stu’s picks like Abney and Hesketh It makes you wonder if they are any better

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    FastOil: Agreed. The Oilers could easily up their average by simply not selecting players that essentially have very little chance of making it because they are completely one dimensional. They have tended toward extremes I think too much.

    MacT’s comment about the Cup winner becomes the new fad gives me hope they’ll move awayfrom going after versions of now coveted player types. Enough brain, enough attitude, can actually play some hockey.

    Small sample size but doesn’t Pitlick (conventional pick) vs. Moroz (reach for size / need? ) blunt this argument somewhat?

    I think Pitlick is really the poster boy for what LT’s advocating in this series of posts (i.e. risk adverse pick based on consensus rankings and a broad range of skills). Interesting position to take given how poorly this particular player is trending at the moment.

    Conventional wisdom equals conventional results?

    I like where some posters are going here in regards to differentiating btw players that slide for a valid reason for those that can and should be bought at discount draft prices. I think there’s a viable edge to be achieved in this area from a scout department that gets it right.

    Along these lines, there was an interesting story on the NFL network recently trying to explain how every team in the league passed on Tom Brady until the Pats took him in the 6th round. Turns out that the Pats fill out a scouting profile on every potential draftee that is way more detailed than the average team, a system that has now migrated to other teams like the Atlanta Falcons (GM Dimitroff ex of the Pats org) and these teams are definitely outperforming their competition at the draft. Two evaluation criteria in particular that the Patriots rank more thoroughly and highly than other teams are intelligence and willingness to sacrifice for the team.

    Heading into the draft, if you looked at Tom Brady purely as a piece of meat as many NFL scouts do, he did not look like a legitimate starting QB in the NFL. This was reinforced when Brady performed poorly at the NFL combine. Watch the game film however and the player was a consistent winner in a big time college program (Michigan) who scores off the charts for in game decision making and throwing accuracy. Identifying the value slider (i.e. the worthwhile lottery tickets) in many ways can be as simple as seeing the results and not the warts and all human being that produced them. In other words, eliminating scout bias?

    With players like Marincin, Khaira, Moroz, I think MBS is actually looking past the conventional wisdom and finding value in the intangibles. Interesting how often they need to unearth just one diamond in the rough to validate the approach. Draft a Lidstrom and you’re geniuses. Draft a Thomas Hickey and….well, you win the Cup too. lol

  60. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Smarmy:
    I mentioned this once before but the Oilers could look at spending a late round pick on Alex Forsberg.

    He was a first overall bantam pick of Prince George and was a projected first round talent. Things soured mightly this year and he quit the team over the xmas holidays after he asked to be dealt and they refused. His brother who had played in Prince George a few seasons asked out this past summer and joins a long list of players that have refused to play for or want to stop playing for Prince George.

    So while I think some onus should be placed on the player I’m willing to think he might flourish if a team like the Oilers gave him a plan and put some pressure on Prince George to extricate him to the Oil Kings or another better run franchise.

    He was just ok with the SJHLs Broncos last year. The talent is there – the drive is not – He’s no longer a prospect of interest

  61. OilLeak says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    “Intangibles” is just a fancy word for a player that isn’t really good at anything.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    OilLeak:
    Bag of Pucks,

    “Intangibles” is just a fancy word for a player that isn’t really good at anything.

    Not sure if you’re joking or not?

    Certainly that’s the viewpoint endorsed by the ‘piece of meat’ scouts. Those that look deeper see intangibles as skills that are just more difficult to measure than height, weight, the speed of your slapshot, etc.

  63. HeavySig says:

    I know Derek Zona did a piece on the Oilers employing a sports Psychologist a few years ago (a few decades after trendsetting sports clubs), but I wonder how much weight the Oilers put into prospects perceived personalities in relation to their observed skills and measurable statistics?

    This is not talking about the usual cliches of grit and jam, but from the semi-scientific analysis of player profiles. I say “semi,” because it is hard for me to give a lot of credence to Psychology as a true science, but if the profession can help in any way with weeding out the lost causes, then we might as well fold it into the formula of choosing draft picks.

    I came across this study of pro-hockey players tested using SportPro (a personality inventory trademarked my Marshall in 1979) by Chris Gee, John Marshall and Jared King. While Marshall’s name is on the paper and he did own SportPro, I think it is worth looking at the numbers for fun. Basically they chart a guy on five characteristics associated with a “top performer,” with “5″ being the ideal. The test was given to 124 amateur hockey players prior to the 1991-92 entry draft. They then followed the subjects that met the criteria for 15 years to chart the results of the ones who made it to the NHL. I believe this was done with Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche. With that in mind, I was wondering if some of the statistical wunderkids on here could explain this passage:

    total of three simultaneous regression models were computed. Players’ composite personality scores were found to significantly predict the number of goals
    [R2=.084;F(1, 47)=4.31,p<.05], assists [R2=.087;F(1, 47)=4.67,p<.05], and total points
    [R2=.087;F(1, 47)=4.65,p<.05] that players’ accumulated over this 15 time period.

    from: http://www.selfmgmt.com/documents/IJCS%20Manuscript.pdf (Page 6 of 10)

    Apparently this supports the SportPro testing, to what extent I have no idea. There are probably much more refined tests out there now, but to what extent do clubs pay attention to them? Would paying more attention to these tests prevented say, Rob Schremp from being selected by the Oilers?

    I am curious about this, as I have always been skeptical of the whole field. However, if applied properly, can the use of Psychology help draft make better draft decisions? Maybe where it should be used is in Pro acquisitions, as that as where some of the worst attitudes seem to come from.

  64. OilLeak says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    And I say if a scout is looking at intangibles over skill then that person shouldn’t be a scout. If a scouting report lists “leadership” and “intangibles” as the player’s most attractive qualities then that player should be given a wide berth.

  65. VOR says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Maybe the scouting staff of the Oilers are being honest when they say they knew he was going to go before they had a chance to pick him in the third round (which was presumably their original plan). That would mean they valued him enough to take the extra risk of the reach. Thus it wasn’t about need but about the specific player.

  66. OilLeak says:

    HeavySig,

    I wonder how much value that would have if applied to scouting. Many of these kids have been coached on what to say to media and scouts alike. Long term observation might be more valuable, but I’m not sure how players would respond to that kind of invasion of privacy.

  67. VOR says:

    HeavySig,

    What this statement says is they plotted each of the players goals, assists, and points as one of a pair of coordinates. The other member of the pair would be the score on the test. The horizontal axis was presumably always the score they received on the personality test and the vertical axis the tested variable – goals, assists, points for each of the 124 players. Then a classic regression analysis was performed. In its simplest terms they tried to find the straight line that best fit the data. Essentially this allowed them to figure but how much of the variation between 15 year career performance was attributable to differences in the test scores. They are saying 86 odd % of the differences in hockey players careers can be explained by their attitudes and personality at 18. That is a very bold statement, unfortunately none of the necessary info is in this paper to know whether or not their claim is true.

    OilLeak,

    These tests are actually very hard to game.

  68. HeavySig says:

    Thanks, VOR, that is a good enough explanation for me to get the gist of it. I agree that more would have to be known about the testing in order to get a legitimate read on it. As it is, it appears as little more than a thinly disguised advertisement for Marshall’s SportPro testing. I suppose it could be legit, and Marshall had to fund the test himself just to get someone to do the analysis.

    For all we know, the prospects that entered the draft highly ranked also scored highly on the SportPro tests and there was little significant differentiation made by the tests that would of helped pick the winners.

  69. G Money says:

    Drawing conclusions by comparing the results of picks 2000-2005 and confidently declaring that “Team A is better than Team B” suggests a significant lack of understanding of the underlying statistics and the nature of random processes.

    Given the small sample size and the relatively narrow observed variation, the analysis DOES not show a differentiation in drafting skills of teams.

    If you were picking RANDOMLY from a selection of players with a 1 in 10 chance of making it, you would expect to see a high variation in the success rates. Yet that would just tell you the random variation, NOT indication of skill.

    For example, I just ran a simulation as follows:
    - 1000 players to be drafted, with approximately 100 players “making it”
    - 17 teams selecting (why 17? because it fit on my screen)
    - Each team drafting 35 players

    Here are the results showing the “skill” of the teams at drafting (number of successful picks):
    4 2 3 8 2 3 3 5 2 3 3 1 2 1 3 4 4

    Or to put in success rate terms:

    11.4% 5.7% 8.6% 22.9% 5.7% 8.6% 8.6% 14.3% 5.7% 8.6% 8.6% 2.9% 5.7% 2.9% 8.6% 11.4% 11.4%

    Notice how most teams were right around the average – 3 or 4 players. One team was BRILLIANT (22.9% or 8 players) and a couple were TERRIBLE (2.9% or 1 player) and three were mediocre (just 2 players). Oddly enough, just one fiver – but that’s the nature of random.

    In this simulation, the only variation was random chance – since they were selecting randomly, there was no “skill” variation in the drafting abilities of these 17 teams. Yet look at the variation resulting around a 10% average success rate.

    Tying that back to the real world – if you are using the years 2000-2005 as a comparison, none of the analysis above has actually distinguished drafting ability from the original assertion of voodoo (i.e. pure random).

  70. FastOil says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    The players mentioned have a reasonable shot – they aren’t the issue I see (although draft position is a problem for some). It’s the tiny who aren’t likely to translate and the huge that can’t play well or score. Wasted picks.

  71. VOR says:

    Captain Happy,

    Pronman has Rychel at 46. CSS has him at 17 among NHL skaters that for a kid who was once as high as 17th OV. Yes, I know bleacher reports mock draft has him going to the Canucks at 24. I think that would be a great pick by Vancouver. I really like the kid. I just don’t think it will happen.

    I am not saying he should be plunging, I am just saying he is. Big questions are being asked suddenly about his work ethic and consistency. Also, scouts are now projecting him as 2 to 3 years away rather than 1 to 2. Go online and read some of the older scouting reports then read the most recent ones and tell me you don’t think the tone has changed and is significantly more negative.

    I am guessing but bet he won’t be in McKenzie’s top 30.

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