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):
- 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).
- 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?