THE SECOND ROUND

Years ago (2008 late) this blog gave Stu MacGregor a nickname. I’m not going to state it, you either know it or don’t but I’ve been hoping it would slide into the ether and lately it’s faded away nicely. I would very much like to have a discussion about MacGregor and his staff–the Oilers amateur procurement department–and their success rate. In order to do this, we absolutely have to agree on some things:

  • We can’t judge a draft weeks after it happens
  • We can count arrows, and they are a good indicator
  • We cannot expect all of the picks to succeed, that isn’t reasonable
  • We have to come to some kind of conclusion about a line in the sand and agree to it.

In order to ensure we all enter into this discussion without bias, and in order to make sure we don’t end up back in the tired old arguments about the difficulty of deciding between Taylor and Tyler for #1, or Jordan Eberle at #22, or Oscar Klefbom at #19, we’ll wall off the first round Poe-style and walk away with our own beliefs–secure in the knowledge that a several year discussion has left us no closer to agreement.

So, let’s see if we can come to an agreement about selections 31-60.

THE SECOND ROUND

Edmonton Oilers fans my age were spoiled by the Barry Fraser drafts 1979-1982. Tom Awad’s system ranks 1980 as #1 and 1979 as #6 all-time in entry drafts by one team, and that my friends is crazy return. The interesting thing about both of those drafts: Edmonton didn’t have a 2nd rd pick in 1979 or 1980. The second round promises to be a very interesting battlefield for Oiler fans when discussing the amateur scouting department. We’ve knocked around the names so long, and talked about their draft number compared to their predicted draft number, for so long, it’s become an eye-rolling area of discussion.

Let’s try something different. As the second round picks begin making their way to the NHL (Anton Lander got a head start, but that’s okay we’ll adjust) I’d like to find a line in the sand we can all agree on. I have a couple of candidates:

  • The Scott Cullen version: He estimated the success rate (100 NHL games or more) to be 28% back in 2009. I’m not completely thrilled with the 100 game threshold, but do like the “or likely” portion where we don’t have to fret over every player–there’s a distinct finish line.
  • This look suggests a 2nd round pick has about a 25% chance at success and gives 200 games as the finish line.
  • Jason Gregor came to a conclusion of 23.7%, using 100 games here.

I welcome other studies, but it looks to me as though we might be able to use 25% and 200 games as a starting point, with Cullen’s “or likely” as an addition that allows us to measure the process “in-game”. Fair?

OILERS SECOND ROUND 2008-2013

That set, let’s move on to the Oilers during the MacGregor era (2008-2013). We’re looking at one in four being a success (average) and anything more than that above average. We also have to factor in the three #1 overalls (less room for new picks) but if the players are quality that should mean only a slight delay (say a year) before they find solid footing in another town and are on their way.

  • 2008: No second round selections
  • 2009: Anton Lander
  • 2010: Tyler Pitlick
  • 2010: Martin Marincin
  • 2010: Curtis Hamilton
  • 2011: David Musil
  • 2012: Mitchell Moroz
  • 2013: Marco Roy

7 players taken in the second round, 2008-2013. Using the 25% success rate, we should expect 1.75 of these players to become NHLers. Using the five year rule, there are no players who we can “judge” from this round, as the 2008 draft (the only year that has clicked the 5 year tumbler) didn’t have a second round selection. However, we have the Cullen rule (“or likely”) and we have the good and bad arrows (and they can inform us about a player).

  • Very bad arrows: Curtis Hamilton
  • Bad arrows: Tyler Pitlick
  • Lukewarm arrows: Marco Roy, Mitchell Moroz, David Musil
  • Good arrows: Martin Marincin
  • Very good arrows: Anton Lander
  • Covered the bet (or likely):

Fair?

  • Lander is in a really good spot to my eye. The new GM held the job Lander is applying for (defense first C) for many years in the NHL, so the fact that the organization didn’t add another veteran C (yet) to the roster is a positive for the Swede. This season will be a big tell, it’s the final year of his entry level deal and we shouldn’t underestimate the possibility of Lander going back to Europe ala Hartikainen (seems unlikely, but he’s not yet established). If Lander performs well and plays 40 games or so this season, I think we can probably check off “or likely” but we’ll make that call together next summer.
  • Marincin looks good three years after the pick and since he’s a defenseman the lack of  NHL GP shouldn’t be a surprise.
  • Beyond those two, we’re either looking at failed picks or young men we can’t really project either way (as described above with the arrows).

CONCLUSION

  • If Lander and Marincin graduate to the NHL and play 200 or more NHL games, the 2008-13 2nd round will have reached the “success” level. If any of the other 5 players reach the 200 game plateau, the Oilers scouting department should be judged as ‘better than average’ based on the studies above.

Agree? Disagree? Have another study I can look at?

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68 Responses to "THE SECOND ROUND"

  1. mumbai max says:

    Good work. However, i think Marco Roy is being judged too harshly for this point in his trajectory.
    I know you have your ‘reasonable’ hat on this week, but i could live with more enthusiasm about
    this player. He could push this lot into ‘exceeding expectations’.

  2. Young Oil says:

    I am really excited to see the development of Marco Roy in the next few years. The people on TSN at the draft kept saying he was very similar to Alex Burrows, and if Roy follows that path, without the finger biting, that would be phenomenal.

    Also curious about Moroz. He was likely a bad pick at that number, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an above average 4th line grinder.

  3. Jordan says:

    I agree.

    However, just because a player turns out, doesn’t mean he was a good bet at the time, does it?

    I mean, does anyone today think that Moroz represents good value where he was taken? I do not. That said, he could still turn into a good 4 line banger. If he unlocks some hidden magic and learns offense, maybe his ceiling rises?

    I’d argue that Pitlick and Hamilton were much better bets where they were selected. However, both seem to have lower ceilings than expected. Is being able to judge ceiling is different than making a bad bet though?

    I’m not sure.

  4. Colonel Obvious says:

    The problem with this framework of analysis is that the sample size is nowhere near sufficient for results based conclusions. You would never evaluate a baseball player on the basis of the results of seven at-bats. Instead you would have to observe the at-bats themselves and then make a practical judgement that was made, at least somewhat, independent of the outcomes.

    Similarly, the best that can be is to make these kinds of judgements concerning the draft. Objectivity in this case is a veil that conceals more than it reveals

  5. Manitoba Oilers says:

    I’m exited for slepyshev. He fell way to far I wanted him instead of moroz last year but the Russian factor takes over. I bet if we didn’t take him he wasn’t going to be selected.

  6. wheatnoil says:

    Jordan:
    I agree.

    However, just because a player turns out, doesn’t mean he was a good bet at the time, does it?

    I mean, does anyone today think that Moroz represents good value where he was taken?I do not.That said, he could still turn into a good 4 line banger.If he unlocks some hidden magic and learns offense, maybe his ceiling rises?

    I’d argue that Pitlick and Hamilton were much better bets where they were selected.However, both seem to have lower ceilings than expected.Is being able to judge ceiling is different than making a bad bet though?

    I’m not sure.

    I think our expectations of draft picks are quite high. We view high draft picks as potential top 6 players or busts. However, that’s not a fair comparison. If only 25% of draft picks in the second round make 200 games, then fully 3/4 don’t make that number. Further, of the 25% that do make it, many will not be top 6 players. What this tells me is that getting a top 6 player out of the second round of the draft is the exception, not the rule.

    If the Oilers got a top 6 player out of the second round, that should count for double and may be reasonable grounds for success on it’s own. When we judge drafting success, our comparison can not be our expectations. They need to be in comparison to other teams. Other teams get an impact player in the second round only rarely.

    That’s why I think LT’s suggestion is fair… 200 NHL games. That’s a damn useful pick at any place in the line-up. You want your first round picks to be impact players. Second round picks… the evidence seems to show that we should expect second rounders to never hit 200 games the vast majority of times (75%).

    The only thing I would add is this:
    We can not separate scouting from development. Any answer we get from this analysis is a grade for both scouting and development as one. The only way we could separate the two is if the scouting staff changed but the entire development system remained the same, or vice versa, and that hasn’t happened in a manner that would allow us a large enough sample size.

    The answer to this inquiry tells us something about Stu MacGregor, but it also tells us about the entire Oilers development system, and separating the two to find the key variable may be near impossible.

  7. gr8one says:

    This blog is as Magnificent as fat Bastard is large.

  8. speeds says:

    Lowetide, from the article:

    In order to do this, we absolutely have to agree on some things:

    We can’t judge a draft weeks after it happens

    I don’t agree. Yes, it’s true that we don’t know how things will turn out, but we can make some educated guesses about things.

    Are you really telling me that, had the Oilers drafted Czerwonka, Pelss, or Jones #1 OV in 2010, that’s not something people could have commented upon/judged right away?

  9. TheOtherJohn says:

    We have not adjusted for the early 2nd round slot for many of the above picks.

    Think it’s way too early to ascribe any arrow to Marco Roy. Don’t know him from Adam and with the exception of 4 or 5 hardcore draftophiles here nobody has seen him play in games. So don’t think we can comment on him at all.

    Hamilton and Pitlick are, at this point, drowning in the AHL shallow end. Mitch Moroz did not trend upwards which was the only freaking reason he was selected in the 2nd round little alone at the very front of the 2nd round. 20 goals and 60 pts and the Oiler scouting department looks pretty smart. Not LAK or STL smart but a decent early pick. He had the type of season one would expect late 3rd early 4th rd big body pick would have done in draft year+1.

    Believe Marincin is the biggest success story we have in 2nd round. But agree all he’s done to date is good arrows pointing right direction. I’d play him 65+ games in OKC this year

    Lander is 4 years out from his draft. To buy the Lander has arrived argument you have to believe 2 things: Lander’s mediocre or worse play in the NHL never happened (get out the eraser and remove all those games adding no value) blame it on his line mates, his zone starts, start time for games, Tom Renney, whatever you want but simply erase; and 2ndly that his play over the last 20 games of the AHL season (regular & post season) is really what we are getting this coming year. That is, do not look at his accumulated work as a professional — where he can’t score to save his life, anywhere. Just look at the last 20 games. It is also imperative to include in that run of games the 6 pts he got March 30th because without that 6 points in that 20 game sample size he had another mediocre year offensively. Cuz if you ain’t scoring in the AHL you ain’t scoring in the show. He did score 8 points in 8 post season games. Kudos. Truly. believe it was early — ie series get tougher but 8/8 is still pretty impressive. At one point last year in the playoffs Pitlick was scoring quite well in the early rounds too. That did not carry over to this past year.

    So because the GM played that position and Lander had a decent final 20 games: now the arrows are all pointing up. To that I say maybe but even with his 6 pt game and his 8 pts in 8 playoff games Lander scored at a .5 pts a game average. Which is pretty low # when adjusted for the NHL. Not known as a face off man or a physical presence so not sure why the arrows are pointing way way up. If Lander does not work out it will be reminiscent of the Oilers not getting insurance for Whitney’s ankle recovering. You know: Whitney with some power skating will round back into skating shape. That too was possible. It just wasn’t probable. That’s what I think on Lander. Hope he works out though because 4C is pretty thin right now

    Musil went to the Alex Plante school of power skating. Much better defender. If his skating is adequate at the NHL level he will play 200 games in the show. I do not think that happens and hope I am wrong. Heady D

  10. Lowetide says:

    So, you all love it! Great! :-)

  11. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    You can’t lump a bunch of drafts together over a 5 year period and pronounce it a success if 1.75 players make 150 GP.

    Each draft is different.

    You also need to look at the context of the team doing the drafting.

    Based on his actual performance, it’s highly likely that Lander’s NHL GP would be very close to zero if he had been drafted by an average or above hockey team.

    The bottom line is the Oilers have only produced ONE NHL hockey player in the second round or later in the last ten years (Jeff Petry).

    That’s far from magnificent.

  12. speeds says:

    wheatnoil,

    No one expects EDM to land an impact player every year in the 2nd round, or even come close to that, but that doesn’t mean getting 200GP from a prospect that turns out to be a 4th liner has much value to an organization.

    Say you draft an 18 year old player at 45OV in the 2nd round. He plays 2 years in the CHL, signs, plays out his ELC in the AHL. Following that, he spends two years bouncing between the NHL and AHL, lets say 85 NHL games combined. After that, he plays 160 games in the NHL over the next two years as a competent 4th line player, at which point he goes UFA and leaves the organization.

    How much value has he added, really, to the organization?

  13. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    wheatnoil,

    No one expects EDM to land an impact player every year in the 2nd round, or even come close to that, but that doesn’t mean getting 200GP from a prospect that turns out to be a 4th liner has much value to an organization.

    Say you draft an 18 year old player at 45OV in the 2nd round.He plays 2 years in the CHL, signs, plays out his ELC in the AHL.Following that, he spends two years bouncing between the NHL and AHL, lets say 50 NHL games combined.After that, he plays 150 games in the NHL over the next two years as a competent 4th line player, at which point he goes UFA and leaves the organization.

    How much value has he added, really, to the organization?

    So, is there a better mousetrap? Because if as DSF suggests Petry is the only second rounder of value over the last decade we need to define “value” and then recount the last decade to see how many players of Petry’s calibre are available and chosen in the 2nd round.

  14. speeds says:

    I think we need to acknowledge the concept of “replacement value”, and build that into the definition of “value” for it to be meaningful.

    The 2nd round draft pick that ends up being a 4th line player is not much better, if better at all, than a flat out bust who isn’t even signed. One could even argue that getting a 4th liner would be worse than picking a guy who isn’t signed – they don’t clog up your development spots, and you can save the signing bonus money. You can sign a 4th line player via UFA for reasonable money every summer, the same money it would likely cost you to ice the drafted 4th liner 5-6 years post draft.

    The problem is some portion of that, and probably a large portion, is hindsight – when you sign the player, you don’t necessarily know where his upside caps. Every team drafts a number of players they think have top 6 upside, but only end up as 4th line players. Those players can end up making your team, but that doesn’t mean they are adding a bunch of value to your organization either. But there’s a difference between drafting and signing players that you think have the potential to be top 6 F’s (but end up being 4th line F’s) and drafting and signing players that you think have 4th line potential (and attain that potential).

  15. Lowetide says:

    So, Shane O’Brien has the same value as Jeff Petry?

  16. cabbiesmacker says:

    I think the teams done just fine in the second round.

    Brandon Saad at 43 overall, Adam Clendening, Brandon Pirri (12/13 AHL scoring leader), Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith…..and I think we’ve done just fine thank you very much.

    Toss in Niklas Hjalmarsson in the 4th and Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kreuger in the 5th?

    I don;t see any reason to complain much really.

    Too soon?

  17. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    I think we need to acknowledge the concept of “replacement value”, and build that into the definition of “value” for it to be meaningful.

    The 2nd round draft pick that ends up being a 4th line player is not much better, if better at all, than a flat out bust who isn’t even signed.One could even argue that getting a 4th liner would be worse than picking a guy who isn’t signed – they don’t clog up your development spots, and you can save the signing bonus money.You can sign a 4th line player via UFA for reasonable money every summer, the same money it would likely cost you to ice the drafted 4th liner 5-6 years post draft.

    The problem is some portion of that, and probably a large portion, is hindsight – when you sign the player, you don’t necessarily know where his upside caps.There a number of players that you might think have top 6 upside that only end up being 4th line players.You don’t necessarily have to throw them away, but that doesn’t mean they are adding a bunch of value to your organization either.But there’s a difference between drafting and signing players that you think have the potential to be top 6 F’s (but end up being 4th line F’s) and drafting and signing players that you think have 4th line potential (and attain that potential).

    Sure, agreed. But do we know now that Lander’s upside is 4line C? I certainly wouldn’t think that’s established at this point, especially considering the unusual they’ve developed him.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Well that’s not what we’re discussing. can you do only 2nd round?

  19. DeadmanWaking says:

    Take any baseball prospect who is projecting to hit about 0.250 in his rookie MBA season. Take photos of fifteen pitches half way to the plate from multiple perspectives, along with many slow motion replays of how the prospect is addressing the pitch ending on the frame where the ball is frozen mid-flight. Check out the timing of the ankle bob. Sort these quivers into arrows. Determine if player will clear the Mendoza line sooner or later.

    The problem here is judging anything at the fat end of infrequent with a numerator less than seven.

  20. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/MacTavish+eager+Grebeshkov+Oilers+lineup/8718907/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournalInteresting MacT thoughts on Grebeshkov.

    At lease in that article we have confirmation that Belov is intended to play the right side Had to be one of him or Ference.

    DeadmanWaking: The problem here is judging anything at the fat end of infrequent with a numerator less than seven.

    This,

    If less than 1.75 picks make it from the 5 years chosen, it isn’t indicative of much. The next 4 straight 2nd round picks could work out. And then there could be a drought. These are essentially coin flips that at any time could flip from success to failure after the pick due to injury, attitude, confidence, personal or family problems…

  21. Lowetide says:

    So, before we begin to tier these draft picks into 1line, 2line, 3line, 4line, I’m wondering how many 2nd round picks ARE top 2lines and top 4D pairing players?

    From 2000-09, Oilers in 2nd round

    Brad Winchester (4line)
    Jarret Stoll (3line)
    matt Greene (3rd pairing)
    Jeff Petry (2nd pairing)
    Anton Lander (4line)

    so, one player from the decade ranks inside that top 2line, top 2 pairing area. Does that make Stoll a poor pick? Man. I have to say games played is a lot cleaner, and although we do have some worries over guys like Lander, it’s probably easier to pluck them out.

    Right?

  22. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    Lowetide: So, Shane O’Brien has the same value as Jeff Petry?

    I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean?

    I understand, and believe myself, that Petry is a better player, but IMO, O’Brien has delivered more value from his draft spot than Petry (so far).

  23. Lowetide says:

    thebiggestmanintheworld: I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean?

    I understand, and believe myself, that Petry is a better player, but IMO, O’Brien has delivered more value from his draft spot than Petry (so far).

    My premise is that games played is the best way of putting these things on a line. It’s being suggested in the thread that a 4line player has lesser value (obviously) than a 2line player and we should factor it in.

    The problem I have with that is that we’re opening up the conversation to bias. I might think Jarret Stoll is in fact a 2line player, you may feel differently. GP is such an easy measuring stick.

  24. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    I have never liked using “games played” as a proxy for value with the draft, especially with forwards. It does not account for the difference in value between 10GP of Crosby vs. 10GP of Lander. Maybe if you were to combine GP with some estimate for the value of each GP, perhaps using something like pts/GP. Funnily enough, mathematically, that works out to the same thing as using just points, which is the proxy that makes the most sense to me, intuitively. I fully realize that points don’t tell you everything about a player, but if we’re only using one measure, for F’s especially, I think I prefer that measure to be points. I fully concede that it could be possible that someone can find a better measure, or can show that GP works better than pts, I’m just saying I don’t think I’ve seen that yet.

  25. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Lowetide,

    I have never liked using “games played” as a proxy for value with the draft, especially with forwards.It does not account for the difference in value between 10GP of Crosby vs. 10GP of Lander.Maybe if you were to combine GP with some estimate for the value of each GP, perhaps using something like pts/GP.Funnily enough, mathematically, that works out to the same thing as using just points, which is the proxy that makes the most sense to me, intuitively.I fully realize that points don’t tell you everything about a player, but if we’re only using one measure, for F’s especially, I think I prefer that measure to be points.I fully concede that it could be possible that someone can find a better measure, or can show that GP works better than pts,I’m just saying I don’t think I’ve seen that yet.

    Hmm. Interesting. That would certainly take the bias out (1line, 2line) and as you say give a really good reflection of forward value. I like it. Points for defense would be fine too, right as long as you keep them from the forwards and understood that if Pronger isn’t at the top there’s a problem?

    Okay. Thanks speeds!

  26. Магия¹º says:

    Why does Lowetide hate MBS so much?

  27. speeds says:

    The other proxy someone might want to look at using is time on ice – it might be that TOI is the best “easy” combination of longevity and value per game. Records of TOI obviously don’t go back as far as points, or GP, but they might give a better estimate of value than either.

    No matter which single proxy you use, it will have issues – it’s just trying to find which one is the least problematic, if you are set on only using one.

  28. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    speeds:
    The other proxy someone might want to look at using is time on ice – it might be that TOI is the best “easy” combination of longevity and value per game.Records of TOI obviously don’t go back as far as points, or GP, but they might give a better estimate of value than either.

    No matter which single proxy you use, it will have issues – it’s just trying to find which one is the least problematic, if you are set on only using one.

    Lander has received far more TOI than many players selected in the second round by good teams.

    Also, many teams use their second round picks to take goaltenders which, given their serendipitous development, skews things.

  29. wheatnoil says:

    I agree that TOI might be the best indicator of value, but we don’t have the information yet on what the mean, upper quartile, and lower quartile TOI is for a second round draft pick in the last 20 years. So how do we compare the Oilers to other teams?

    I think that points for forwards and TOI for defense (or perhaps TOI for both?) might be the best indicator of value from a draft pick, if we had to pick a single indicator. However, in the absence of comparative norms, I think we’re stuck with games played until someone does the work for the other values.

  30. Lowetide says:

    DSF: Yeah, agreed. I think points is a good way of doing it.

  31. wheatnoil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: many teams use their second round picks to take goaltenders which, given their serendipitous development, skews things.

    Goalies do tend to screw things up in analysis, even in the ‘games played’ category. Damn goalies.

    As Speeds says, there’s always going to be a problem with any measure. Example: Slepyshev. What if he lights up the KHL, being a quality player for 15 years, but never steps foot in the NHL. The Oilers got a quality player at that pick, but never got to extract any value from it.

  32. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide,

    In the last 10 years:

    Boston (Lucic, Krecji and Bergeron) – 981

    Edmonton – (Lander, Petry, Chorney, Jacques, McDonald) – 81

    Yikes.

  33. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    wheatnoil,

    That has to be part of he drafting equation.

    Russians are a risk.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Lowetide,

    In the last 10 years:

    Boston (Lucic, Krecji and Bergeron) – 981

    Edmonton – (Lander, Petry, Chorney, Jacques, McDonald)– 81

    Yikes.

    Oh God yes, replacing Prendergast was overdue. Bruins have rolled over a scouting director or two in the last few years–maybe that’s the key.

  35. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide,

    Colorado – 625.

  36. jp says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Lowetide,

    Colorado – 625.

    Is any team lower than that 81 GP by Oiler picks?

  37. speeds says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Lander has received far more TOI than many players selected in the second round by good teams.

    Also, many teams use their second round picks to take goaltenders which, given their serendipitous development, skews things.

    It’s true that the TOI a prospect gets would depend on the team that drafts him. That is also true of GP. The difference is that using TOI instead of GP gives you a better (not perfect, but better IMO) gauge of value per game. Two forwards drafted in the 2nd round one year, could both play 60 games 3 years later, and would look the same if one used GP as the proxy. But one of them could be playing 18 min per game, while the other were playing 8 min per game. Yes, there would be situations where a player playing for a weaker team might get more minutes than he otherwise might, but on balance I would guess using TOI instead of GP would give a better read on value.

    It’s also true that even a measure like points depends on which team drafts a player, although I would guess it would be less noticeable (still noticeable, but less noticeable?) using points than GP.

  38. Jordan says:

    Lowetide:
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/MacTavish+eager+Grebeshkov+Oilers+lineup/8718907/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal

    Interesting MacT thoughts on Grebeshkov.

    Most significant tid-bit – Belov plays the off-side:
    “Belov and Denis could be a pretty good pair because Belov plays the offside. Our goal is quick puck decisions, getting the puck up to the forwards. He’s got that. He’s physical.

    Does that mean he plays RD? If so… I think our depth chart may have just shifted in a very good way.

    Most egreigious error: Kelfbom was the second pick in the second round of 2011.

    Klefbom, 20, has the most interest for Edmonton because fans have been waiting for him since he was the second player they took in Round 2 in the 2011 entry draft after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went first overall.

    I know it’s low-hanging fruit to pick him for this, but really? Second round? Come on.

    —–

    Lowetide: Oh God yes, replacing Prendergast was overdue. Bruins have rolled over a scouting director or two in the last few years–maybe that’s the key.

    I don’t buy it. The Cheif scout builds the list based on the what the GM wants. The GM makes the pick. Now, maybe the head scout screws up and gives shitty lists and the team gets crap players. But the Oilers have been pissing away 2nds and 3rds on Stortinis, Heskeths, Paukovichs, Abneys and Morozs for more than a decade. Some more useful than others for sure, but the priority on size and truculence in the 2nd & 3rd remains failure of the Oilers organization as a whole.

    That’s through Pendergast and MacGregor. The common element there is Lowe.

    The ironic part is it looks like Colin is actually going to make it as more than a tough on the 4th, after more than a decade of apprenticeship in the lower leagues. Glad someone did – that list of failure was getting ripe.

    I hope that MacT’s trend to take skill first continues. At least if they do make it, they can play in the NHL and not just really expensive bouncers for the press-box.

  39. wheatnoil says:

    spoiler: At lease in that article we have confirmation that Belov is intended to play the right side Had to be one of him or Ference.

    MacT’s comments on Belov start to make the D picture look a little less lopsided in terms of the depth chart:

    LD ————- RD
    Smid ———- Petry
    Ferrence ——- J. Schultz
    N. Schultz —– Belov
    Grebeshkov — Larsen
    Klefbom ——- Potter
    Marincin ——- Fedun

    Still a little heavier on the L-side and, of course, the rest of OKC seems to shoot left, but at least at the NHL level it’s not QUITE as ridiculous with Belov pushed over.

  40. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    jp: Is any team lower than that 81 GP by Oiler picks?

    Just off the top of my head, I’ve always thought the Vancouver Canucks are the worst drafting team in the league.

    So I had a peek.

    Mason Raymond has 374GP and 178P

  41. Lowetide says:

    Jordan: Yes. Thus the reason for my walkabout posts. Oilers have been dinking around with those second and third round picks forever.

  42. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide,

    And the Moroz pick would seem to indicate nothing much has changed.

    Perhaps MacT can change the philosophy although there is a good chance he shares it.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Lowetide,

    And the Moroz pick would seem to indicate nothing much has changed.

    Perhaps MacT can change the philosophy although there is a good chance he shares it.

    Yeah, I can’t argue against that, I also think you could argue that taking Nurse over Nichushkin was passing on enormous value. I like Nurse, but Nichushkin could end up being one of the two or three best players in the draft.

    At #10!

  44. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I can’t argue against that, I also think you could argue that taking Nurse over Nichushkin was passing on enormous value. I like Nurse, but Nichushkin could end up being one of the two or three best players in the draft.

    At #10!

    To me, passing on Zykov in the 2nd round is a much more grievous error.

    The Kings will turn him into a superstar.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Sure, Zykov and Carrier may end up being superstars and the Russians they drafted may be nothing. Better than taking Moroz at 32, though.

  46. jp says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Just off the top of my head, I’ve always thought the Vancouver Canucks are the worst drafting team in the league.

    So I had a peek.

    Mason Raymond has 374GP and 178P

    Well, didn’t take long to find at least one team. Anaheim got only 59 pts out of their 2nd rounders back to 2003 (and J. Schults had almost half of those).

  47. dangilitis says:

    http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=190

    Its interesting that Messier, Anderson and Lowe are considered a poorer draft than Hull, Roberts and Suter. Maybe I am biased and I know he put more thought into it than a player vs player comparison (e.g. draft position), but it just seems wrong.

  48. jp says:

    Ducks – 59
    Thrashers/Jets – 8 (and 3 by the goalie Pavelec).
    Bruins – 992
    Sabres – 70
    Flames – 0
    Canes – 125
    Hawks – 301
    Avs – 647
    Jackets – 107
    Stars – 671 (Benn and Eriksson)
    Red Wings – 173
    Oilers – 91

    I’ll stop there. Huge variation, but there are a bunch of teams in the Oilers range. Certainly below average due to not getting an impact player (or 2) out of the 2nd round, but they aren’t alone in that.

  49. gvblackhawk says:

    Lowetide,

    Let’s be honest, though. Boston got lucky with Lucic (and to a lesser extent with Krejci and Bergeron). Lucic wasn’t even the first guy that Boston picked in the second round — they took some guy named Yuri Alexandrov at #37. He never played a game in the NHL They have other second round busts, too.

  50. dangilitis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    And then they let him go for nothing and traded Hodgson away for a face puncher. Its not just about talent assessment at the draft, its how you assess that talent after you possess it. This is not a defense of the Oilers walkabout picks ala Moroz or pre-MBS era. Another example is when I compare the Oilers and Flames drafts above, Hull seems like an unfair consideration because they didn’t know what to do with the guy. Which also leads me to my last point – GP and Pts are useful stats, but you should also consider how many of those they gave to the team who drafted them.

  51. gvblackhawk says:

    Lowetide,

    How about Tyler Pitlick? He was projected to be a solid pick, but so far has not delivered. Bad pick? Bad development plan? Bad luck (injuries)? How much of this falls on the scouting staff? I don’t think it is fair to blame the scouting staff for this pick.

    Moroz was obviously a huge reach and they will have some egg on their face for that one.

  52. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I think GP are fair, especially if judging rounds 2+. Even a third liner that sticks it out 200+ games means he’s bringing value of some kind. Judging points alone seems mis-applied as it over-counts offensive hits and under-counts higher percentage but lower ceiling hits.

    When comparing teams, it should also have total number of picks. Seems that a lot of competitive teams might be trading picks for playoff runs.

    LT: I hope this actually generates some agreement and moreso is just the start of the evaluation, as drafting strategy plays a heavy part of the draft haul. Word is Gernat was ranked very high but was an unknown – so SMB waited on him. Uncovering potential diamonds where other teams didn’t tread shows something valuable from the scouting staff and shouldn’t be discounted as they properly waited to draft him.

  53. gvblackhawk says:

    Lowetide,

    Leading up to the draft, I thought Nichushkin was the better player, but reading Scott Reynold’s scouting report was a real eye-opener. Nichushkin’s offense does not project as well as one might think. I probably have some Oiler bias here but I do think they got it right with Nurse.

  54. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    dangilitis: should also consider how many of those they gave to the team who drafted them

    I’d disagree. Teams trade future for present all the time. Having valuable prospects developing in a system allows a team to package more for a push in the present. Scouting and development can still claim success for their job, GM just has a different time-table. Also if the player is having trouble developing in one team and goes to a different development system to succeed, then that’s probably a bigger sign the scout did a good job assessing the talent to begin with.

  55. dangilitis says:

    Agreed on the Scouting and Development. But Dead Cat Bounce is using his points about drafted players as an indictment of the team as a whole.

  56. FastOil says:

    I agree with speeds. It isn’t clear if we are looking for quality of player or just finding players good enough to play 2.38 seasons at all at any ability. Quality has far more importance to the team’s success.

    I think CorsiRelQOC, P/60 and TOI would be good indicators to look at. I weighted them by importance as I see it and ran some players. The weighting is just from what seems right – how much better is Hall than Eberle for example. It seemed to create appropriate differences by focusing mostly on competition and discounting TOI. From BTN – CRQOC x 3, P/60 x 2, TOI x .5

    Hall 15.47
    Eberle 12.86
    Gagner 10.71
    RNH 11.78
    Petry 11.32
    Smid 9.67
    JS 9.35
    Pajaarvi 9.76
    Perron 13.29

    I like that looking at things this way seems to reflect what we know about the players – Perron now is a significantly better player than Pajaarvi and it is reflected in the number. Petry was a better defenceman than JS despite the difference in offensive talent. Petry is carrying Smid somewhat.

    A different weighting could be thought out for D if it’s needed, perhaps not discounting TOI as much as it is a very strong indicator for D.

    I thought about trying to factor in games but ended up not liking the implication of attributing value to games played. The fact that Gagner has 400+ games doesn’t make up for the fact RNH is a better player. Or that Smid’s games played really don’t mean much when he’s compared to Petry who is better now. There should be a minimum number of games played to control the sample size. Perhaps also the requirement of full seasons or being a regular player.

    I like the idea of a formula that looks at what we can agree on as most important, and then we need someone who can crunch data to find league averages by round for comparison, perhaps binning them by increments of 15 to reflect top or bottom half of the round.

  57. TheOtherJohn says:

    Interesting read. Not an easy topic and we will not know just how good or bad these picks are until about 7-8 years out. Today, it does not look very promising

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    2008: No second round selections
    2009: Anton Lander
    2010: Tyler Pitlick
    2010: Martin Marincin
    2010: Curtis Hamilton
    2011: David Musil
    2012: Mitchell Moroz
    2013: Marco Roy

    Actually, if I remove the hindsight goggles for a second… That list isn’t half bad on draft day.

    Lander is a bit of a reach, Moroz is out in no-where’sville and Musil is ahead of where I’d like, but he’s not wildly off-kilter.

    IIRC Marincin is the biggest reach on this list, but looks to be the best long term bet. The glaring failure lies in the development path of Pitlick and Hamilton.

    But if we isolate on those two… the real question for me is… weren’t those solid bets on draft day? Sure look like it. How much blame can we give Stu for development not coming up roses?

    Only so much.

  59. hags9k says:

    Great post LT, I agree with the summary.

    I would only add that we need to remember to factor in coaching at the AHL level as having an effect (big?small?) on a player’s NHL GPs. MBS cannot be held totally responsible if some picks were solid but we couldn’t coach our way out of a wet paper bag at the minor league level.
    How about a study on the graduation rates for AHL coaches and/or orgs? Are the Todd Nelson’s of the world making the Stu Macs look undeservedly good or bad? Or further, the effect of the junior coaching/org the player comes from. (London)

    Maybe some numbers exist on this, I wish I had the time.

  60. Yeti says:

    Might a different, complementary metric help out? This 100 or 200 game line in the sand is useful in shedding some light on draft success; but might a relative approach work in parallel? After all, drafts are relative in that you are choosing alongside other teams who may make better or worse bets.

    So, for judging the second round, how about looking at the five players drafted before the player Edmonton selected; and the five after. That gives a reasonable frame of reference. It gives you an idea of where other teams saw value at that point in the draft. Then use an established metric on those selections: whether its games played or ‘up arrows’. I’m fairly confident that you’ll get a good idea of whether a pick was a strong bet or not in relation to other players and offer and what other teams were thinking. If the teams around you failed to get strong picks, then it isn’t so bad if you didn’t come up with the goods. If the others made off like bandits, then fire your scouts.
    That’s the kind of context that is surely essential to make these judgements because you can see over time whether your team has a history of making good or bad bets in the appropriate context that decisions were taken.
    Just a thought.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Reading back through the posts, I’m going to offer some random thoughts.

    *I don’t think we need to worry about Marco Roy yet. that is why he’s in the “lukewarm” pool.

    *I agree with speeds about evaluating draft picks right away, but I think he’s being a bit too cute by half reading LT here: “We can’t judge a draft weeks after it happens”… I really don’t think LT means we can’t start to form some preliminary thoughts here. I don’t get the push back on this line.

    *On GP – I think this is a fine base line for evaluating drafts. I think the complaints are all valid (what about 4th liners; players pushed too soon on crappy teams; positional differences; etc.). But these complaints seem designed to supplement a base line evaluation, not supplant it.

    Or, I think we are missing the forest for the trees. Setting GPs isn’t IMO about setting a definitive mark in stone, it’s about giving a ready-to-hand, universal system for coming to a very preliminary assessment on a pick. Judged in that spirit, I think GP is a fine “line in the sand.” It is not, however, and should not be treated as though it is setting up a “hill to die on.”

    Any serious consideration of a particular player is going to demand a lot more analysis tailored to that player’s developed measured against historical evidence and his peers.

    This serious consideration doesn’t invalidate the quick, general assessment of GP… it supplements it.

    That said, I think the caveats added are solid. I like the idea of using points. And, previously I suggested staggering GP by position. Something like 100 GP for Gs; 150 for D and 200 for F.

  62. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    LT if they selected Nichushkin it would be going away from statistical evaluation and strictly going by seeing good.
    Nichushkin scoring in junior was the same as Bogdan.He had a decent KHL but then only one goal in WJC.
    DSF is as usual overstating but passing on Zykov will be a mistake.I place the blame for that in only having one set of eyes in the Q.
    Dam it LT if you keep putting up these draft threads late afternoon I will have to stop going out in the evening.

  63. goldenchild says:

    Im late to the party here and certainly not a draft expert but I would think if you combined Pts and GP you get a pretty good read on how successful you have been. The value in pts is obvious but certainly if you are drafting guys who play games in the 100′s they have been able to provide value to their team. Right now if a couple of the guys drafted in last 5 years were entrentched in the bottom 6 how much better would we feel about this team?

    Also if you are able to build your bottom 6 internally through the draft it is much more cap friendly, paying for 3rd line players on open market can be very expensive as we saw this year with the Gordon signing.

    The major issue I have wth 2nd rd failures of the Oilers the last few years is they had the enviable position of picking at the top of the round every year besides Roy, I think that has to be included in this assesment and for that reason to me the Cullen and Gregor models arent totally fitting, I mean you are picking 31-32 you gotta hit somewhere in there.

    Finally it is impossible to seprate the development side and thats the part Macgregor and his crew have nothing to do with. With a guy like Moroz it seems quite predictable that he would not live up to his draft slot but a guy like Pitlick Im not sure, Is that on Stu or the organization?

  64. maudite says:

    LT,

    Sorry this is late and you likely won’t see it. A couple years back I actually started building a draft matrix excel template. Basically it had adjustable multipliers for quality of talent and position picked. These could be easily adjusted until you get something that seemed workable. So, while it required a person to rate every player in a draft, I was trying to make it a lot easier to assess the two sides of the coin with regards to drafting success and make it a lot easier to “paint a picture” than current methods.

    This discussion has been kind of floating about for a good long time and definitely it would be great to have a tool that factors in draft positioning relative to actual level of talent. I think the games played approach is the best ‘dirty’ way to go about it.

    Just because WE play Stortini and such to the successful cutoff, doesn’t mean it was a great pick relative to competition.

    256 games of Dan Fritsche does not equal 528 games of Shea Weber. Both have to be factored in to get a good comparison of draft over/under achievers. If got busy and set it aside (changed jobs and divorces tend to sidetrack a person lol). If you might be interested in such a tool, I can dust it off and start working on getting something into your hands.

    Just let me know if you like.
    chartleys@yahoo.ca

  65. nycoil says:

    Lowetide,

    I love the discourse here in terms of applying new methodologies to evaluate draft success. What I would like to add is that the comparison needs to be made more in term of apples to apples. I submit that “rounds” are somewhat of an arbitrary number. There are 30 teams, hence 30 picks in each round, but I don’t think anyone would argue a top 5 pick has the same value as a 26-30 pick in round 1. Likewise, the Oilers drafting at 31 or 32 or even 37 is not the same as drafting at 57. The probability of a top 5 pick clearing the NHLer hurdle would be much higher than that of the late first-rounder, and the probability of a 31st overall pick clearing the hurdle is more similar to that of the 29th overall pick making it than the 59th overall pick.

    In round one, it’s tough to draw the cut-offs for comparison’s sake, but maybe it goes something like Top 5, 6-12, 12-20, 21-30, and then increments of 15 after that for the 2nd round: 31-45, 46-60. But each pick within that range should be given a band. So, for example, a pick at 33 should maybe have a reasonable range of +/- 3 picks. Compare to 30~36 as well. I know it seems complicated at first glance, but a simple spreadsheet calculation could actually yield those results fairly easily as long as the data is there.

    Here’s an example: Since we are talking about the 2nd round, the Oilers’ pick at #31 in 2010, Tyler Pitlick, should be compared to anyone taken 31~45 down the road in terms of evaluating the qualifying hurdle, but should also be compared more closely to 28, 29, 30 overall, as well as 32, 33, 34. Anyone taken after 46, well, that’s where teams sometimes luck out with Datsyuks and even Webers, and so if 14 other teams pass on said player, this prevents the team in question’s drafting record from being unfairly criticized due to post-mortem cherry-picking.

    On a personal note, with apologies to your regular readers, I’d like to take a paragraph to introduce myself. I live in NYC now, but lived in Tokyo for a decade before that, where there was very little Oiler news available. I grew up a die-hard fan in Japan, where my old man was working for the Alberta Government in the 80s. When I finally moved to Edmonton, it was during the dark days of 1991-1993, when Corson, Todd, Ciger were the “stars.” I was then on the left coast until graduating from university, but bled with the Weight-Guerin-Smyth Oilers until once again I was back out to Tokyo, this time for my career, for the aforementioned decade. Crazy things I’ve done for love of Oil include flying from Tokyo for one night back to Edmonton for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, paying $3200 for 4 tickets (it was last minute, spur of the moment, once-in-a-lifetime, and I have no regrets) to take 3 of my friends along and watch the game, then fly back. There used to be Canadian bar in Tokyo called, what else, “The Maple Leaf,” and it killed me when I went there after work to watch a replay of Game 7 (time difference meant I couldn’t watch at work). During those years before NHL Gamecenter took off online and all of that, one of my few sources of Oiler info, and certainly about the only one outside of the white-washed MSM story, was your site, so I’ve pretty much been reading your blog everyday for years and years now. I remember when you were a mod on HF for example. So, thank you very much for keeping me in the loop all these years. I think your writing and quality of thought is top notch, your writing style appeals to broad audiences, but the best product of your hard work is the tremendous, intelligent community of discussion you have cultivated. So thank you sir. I’m raising my beer glass to you, “and then I’ll have another.”

  66. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    I think there is an argument for weighting value. I look for second round picks top become middle six forwards or second pairing defenders. Anything less than that really isn’t any value, in my opinion. I want to see a Weber, or a Josi or a Kulemin. Petry is there. Marincin might get there. Lander has an outside shot. But since Petry predates stu, right now he needs help to make average, and I don’t know why we should be satisfied with average.

  67. Lowetide says:

    NYC OIL: you’re very kind, thank you. We need to get you to Edmonton for another game!

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