GREAT DRAFT MOMENTS, 2013

The Edmonton Oilers back story for the 2013 entry draft is slowing coming into view, and most of it (so far) comes from the hard working cameramen of tsn and some incredible video from the Philadelphia Flyers website. In this video, the Flyers begin the process of reviewing their draft board–which begins with Nurse and Monahan ahead of Samuel Morin but a very unhappy scouting director. He wants to know why Morin (the guy he CLEARLY wants) is behind Monahan and Nurse, and eventually Nurse ends up at #12–a drop of (by my count) 6 spots. GM Paul Holmgren then enters the room, has a look, and says “you guys are fading under the pressure.”

Classic.

I think it’s fairly close–Bob McKenzie had Darnell Nurse #9 and Samuel Morin #17–but you can see that Morin has some appeal and he was closing as the draft arrived. A huge, raw defender, he seems to have turned a corner around mid-season and enjoyed a very strong post-season. If Morin is the best defenseman not named Seth Jones I wouldn’t be surprised, but what does have me flummoxed is the verbal in the video. I’m absolutely certain they cut a lot from the video, but that looks to me like a scouting director browbeating his staff into agreeing with him.

I welcome your input, but that’s what it looked like to me. Episode two is up tonight (just up now) but there’s no video of the many exchanges between Paul Holmgren and Craig MacTavish. Maybe episode three will have something.

Some other draft notes out in the ether:

  • Darnell Nurse is–as you know–a player MacTavish really liked a lot. The Oilers were apparently very strong on him, and the Russian Nichushkin. I did not hear a WORD about Ristolainen around town, but there were whispers about Nikita Zadorov being in the mix.
  • Marco Roy is a player that the scouts and the math apparently agreed on. I interviewed Michael Parkatti (the Hackathon winner who did some advanced work for the club on the math side of the draft) for the LDWLT and he said “the model really liked Marco Roy. There’s a lot of things to like about the player outwardly, and if you look at the statistics diagnostically it’s not just the point production but also the situation he found himself in. The team he played for this year was very good, but it was one of those situations where he wasn’t being dragged along by anybody. The way I like to look at it was he was the good player on the team, he played an integral part on that team. And you really saw that in the playoffs.”
  • The drafting of Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev indicates the Oilers have a new Russian pipeline for talent and they are going to exploit it. There’s a tipping point in draft value that says even if a player is going to be difficult to sign–or that his playing rights won’t be easy to keep once he’s here due to the Russian option–there’s a line in the sand where that risk becomes worthwhile. I’m thrilled Edmonton took this step, absolutely thrilled. Nail Yakupov’s value as a hockey player is unquestioned, but if he can open up a lush hockey market for procurement he may end up being a true Oiler legend in more ways than one.
  • I haven’t seen the quote in any msm, but lots of  people have mentioned the Andy Murray-Craig MacTavish connection for Aidan Muir. The eyes I trust who saw him at the summer camp were impressed so he’s a player to watch this winter.
  • I’m convinced the Oilers have a hidden gem in Greg Chase. At even strength last season, he went 69, 13-23-36, which is very solid production in the WHL for a 17-year old. First round pick Curtis Lazar went 72, 22-13-35 at even strength with the Oil Kings, and Lazar went 170 spots higher in the 2013 NHL draft.

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20 Responses to "GREAT DRAFT MOMENTS, 2013"

  1. Young Oil says:

    I don’t know if it’s the Kool Aid talking, but I am much happier about this year’s draft picks when compared to the past few years. Maybe it’s the whole ‘drafting for skill’ thing, but it seems like we could have 3-4 actual NHL players from this draft, that will actually fill holes in our lineup. Nurse is practically a lock for the top 4 for obvious reasons (barring injury), TSN seemed to be very confident in a Burrows comparisson to Roy (without finger biting), which could be a great 3rd line force on our team, or even a replacement for Perron in a few years. Chase seems like an ideal bottom 6 center so far. Then you could make a good case for each of Slepyshev (skill), Yakimov (size), and Houck (grit/work ethic) to get NHL games in a few years. I don’t remember the 2010-12 drafts instilling this much optimism in me. Maybe because so much attention went to who the Oilers were going to draft #1. I guess time will tell.

  2. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Young Oil:
    I don’t know if it’s the Kool Aid talking, but I am much happier about this year’s draft picks when compared to the past few years. Maybe it’s the whole ‘drafting for skill’ thing, but it seems like we could have 3-4 actual NHL players from this draft, that will actually fill holes in our lineup. Nurse is practically a lock for the top 4 for obvious reasons (barring injury), TSN seemed to be very confident in a Burrows comparisson to Roy (without finger biting), which could be a great 3rd line force on our team, or even a replacement for Perron in a few years. Chase seems like an ideal bottom 6 center so far. Then you could make a good case for each of Slepyshev (skill), Yakimov (size), and Houck (grit/work ethic) to get NHL games in a few years. I don’t remember the 2010-12 drafts instilling this much optimism in me. Maybe because so much attention went to who the Oilers were going to draft #1. I guess time will tell.

    I agree with all of this

  3. fifthcartel says:

    That last bit about Chase and Lazar is very interesting!

  4. Young Oil says:

    But as for the video, all I can say is I’m glad we have MacGregor over Pryer…I mean if you have Morin over Nurse, moving him from #7 to #5, fine. They might have seen him better, but I have no idea how they would justify moving Nurse from #6 to #12, and even more insane, moving Monohan from #5 to #13 after comparing him to Couturier. It’s absolutely baffling why they moved Nurse AND Monohan down rather than just rearranging the #5-#7 spots.

  5. mcoupefan says:

    … that looks to me like a scouting director browbeating his staff into agreeing with him….

    My impression was a bit different. I’ve been in that position many times, and the key is to get people to express themselves. They were all sitting with their arms folded and the scouting director was trying to get a real debate going. That said, I think he focussed on an area that he wasn’t comfortable with (Morin, Nurse, etc.).

  6. bookje says:

    Ok guys, we spent a year developing the perfect multi-criteria analysis matrix. We researched and debated each measure and the weighting of each measure as we developed it.. We analysed it and produced the list.

    However, now that I look at it, my gut tells me the list is wrong. Lets change some of the factor weightings untill this thing gives us the same result that our gut instinct would.

  7. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    Ok guys, we spent a year developing the perfect multi-criteria analysis matrix.We researched and debated each measure and the weighting of each measure as we developed it..We analysed it and produced the list.

    However, now that I look at it, my gut tells me the list is wrong.Lets change some of the factor weightings untill this thing gives us the same result that our gut instinct would.

    EXACTLY! Just pick the guy you want!

  8. Captain Smarmy says:

    Well they did like that Morin will wack you with his fuckin stick. And you can’t quantify that sort of thing with numbers you nerds.

  9. Hammers says:

    That’s why i like to see any draft pick playing the pro game . So many opinions when there 18-19 years old plus a big difference in the level of competition .. Even at the pro level in Europe or NA there is still another jump to make . Thats why I tend to lean to a Klefbom or Slepyshev from Europe or a Marinchin after his first AHL season .

  10. Lowetide says:

    Captain Smarmy:
    Well they did like that Morin will wack you with his fuckin stick. And you can’t quantify that sort of thing with numbers you nerds.

    Lol. This week’s episode talks about Chris Pronger as a comp. Pronger had 77 points in 61 games as a 17-year old, Morin had 12 in 46.

  11. Racki says:

    Anyone else chuckle at the line @ 0:50 in Flight Plan Ep2 : “before taking the short bus ride up the New Jersey turnpike..”. No? Just me? Hmm…

    Back on topic here, I found it interesting that the Canadiens tried to trade for the pick for Samuel Morin too.

  12. Ribs says:

    Fun video. Travis Hughes breaks down their board a bit here

    1. Nathan MacKinnon
    2. Seth Jones
    3. Jonathan Drouin
    4. Elias Lindholm
    5. Aleksander Barkov
    6. Samuel Morin
    7. Mirco Mueller
    8. Nikita Zadorov
    9. Darnell Nurse
    10. Rasmus Ristolainen
    11. Sean Monahan
    12. Josh Morrissey

    It’d be pretty cool to see it all decoded!

  13. Ribs says:

    An HF Boards poster had this….

    1. MacKinnon
    2. Jones
    3. Drouin
    4. Lindholm
    5. Barkov
    6. Morin
    7. Mueller
    8. Zadorov
    9. Nurse
    10. Ristolainen
    11. Monahan
    12. Morrissey
    13. Gauthier
    14. Horvat
    15. Lazar
    16.
    17.
    18.
    19. Domi
    20. Nichushkin
    21. Rychel
    22. De La Rose
    23. McCaron
    24. Hartman
    25. Hagg

  14. Ribs says:

    Columbus has a draft video up as well (Aug 13) – http://video.bluejackets.nhl.com/videocenter/

  15. DeadmanWaking says:

    I go a bit further into the dreamfield in the dog days of balmy must (it’s been a real project to keep my Cab-Sauv under 27 degrees during primary ferment). I realized after my manic post on reciprocal Psalms (the one two steps after one-half, one-third, one-fourth, … one-nineteenth, one-twentieth, one-twentyoneth … ) that I’ve managed to stumble into a cliche that many athletes and artists talk about: you’re not at your best when you’re pushing the envelope. You’re at your best after pushing the envelope, when you relax again and retract into the enlargened sweet spot that results from tromping around in loose and unsteady boots of grand adventure.

    It seems my satire was aimed at the arbitrary (and often baroque) origins of all things human. I didn’t know myself why I put that line in about the large-eyed infant demanding both breasts, acceptable in either order. After contemplating the matter, I suspect my subconscious was commenting on the origins of right/left cultural symmetry breaking (e.g. in written language). Many cultures embed other meanings into right/left, such as Muslim and Ghanaian societies who regard it as dirty.

    I considered this while munching a smoked albacore sandwich. I think a nursing Dharma–in any culture–needs to shuffle the burbling milk-leach from side to side, and this likely involves switching arms, too. So I asked my lemon tree: does it seem plausible that women handling infants have a dirty hand, or is this just a guy thing, really? Yes, my lemon tree agreed with a sagittal sway, it’s probably just a guy thing. We’re always trying to clean half as much. (The transverse torsion that results from shaking unroasted granola to a uniform depth in a shallow baking tray leads to a visceral pact. It’s a different modality, not a different answer.)

    It always puzzled me as a child why a west wind blows from the west. Who decided that? It’s not that way with people. “Go from east, young man.” Then I twigged that the predator/prey axis is in play here. Rabbits would be preferentially attentive–with their other rabbit senses–to what is down wind, and a fox would tend to keep his nose pointed into the breeze. So where does that leave humans? If we name the wind by which way we’re facing, I guess we’re predators.

    Or perhaps our settlements have become crowded, and we’re doing our best to evade the schnapps sirocco of our fellow revelers. I think historically a great deal of human cognition was devoted to staying on good terms with a fickle breeze.

    Well, modern humans do spend an inordinate amount of cognition on whether it’s going to squee or eeep or brap, and whether it will hang in thin, swirling vines of sepulchre Hades, or permeate the premises pinto pronto with the queasy seep of rotting germaniums. There is much calculus of air currents and relative rates of occupational egress. One notices that the cereal aisle is next to the coffee aisle. Just a few more steps and then ever so gently, home free! There doesn’t seem to be any great bargains here anyway–and I just remembered we used up the last three onions last night. Moving along briskly, then, to the produce department. You think I jest? Observe next time how many people replenishing onions arrive via the coffee aisle.

    I guess I’m saying that forms change, yet functions remain.

    I recall Staples has a recent piece on which elements of the game plan Eakins plans to change, as limned by Tyler Dellow. Here’s a different angle: how much would Krueger himself be changing the Krueger plan based on lessons learned in his half season? As much as Eakins? Or more?

    I’m still nervous about the Eakins subtext. It’s one of those things that will look good when it works, yet other culprits will walk the plank when it doesn’t. The body has a way of cycling into forcible recuperation in response to any sustained stress in excess of established capacity. The failure mode for playing your studs 25 minutes a game night after night is the night when it seems the whole team fails to show up–because the overpaid and lazy athletes don’t give a rat’s ass, so we’re always told. That’s what got them here in the first place: apathy and indifference.

    Does Eakins have the silver bullet for the listless outing? Other than the whip, the bag, and the bus? I’m seriously not yet buying his hypothesis of elite+ fitness as a steady state. Excellence begets consistency. Inconsistency begets excellence. I’ve always said the other name for inconsistency is “learning”. One finds the boundaries mainly in the overstepping.

  16. bookje says:

    I’ve watched that video three times and it gets funnier each time. I can’t decide if its more funny that the guy keeps alluding to the ‘problem’ giving hint after hint (like pointing to the names) or that his entire crew just sits there staring at him with drool coming out of their mouths leaving him to get more and more ridiculous. “Ok,morons, I’m thinking of a name that is in the wrong spot, it starts with M and ends in N, tell me when you see the problem. Am I the only one smart enough to see the problem? Ok, I’m thinking of a number, it’s between 10 and 12…”

  17. Captain Smarmy says:

    Lowetide: Lol. This week’s episode talks about Chris Pronger as a comp. Pronger had 77 points in 61 games as a 17-year old, Morin had 12 in 46.

    Seth Jones is the only player sort of close to Chris Pronger. Hell Nurse is more viable a comparison than Morin.

    I almost want to believe they just refilmed this to show that the guy they got at 11 was on their board at 6 to show what a steal it was or something.

    Then again, Flyers seem to be one of the better teams at drafting and finding talent. I want to see a war room of a team that’s really awful at it. Every video I see of behind the scenes NHL offices is hilarious.

  18. Wolfpack says:

    If Roy were to turn into something resembling Burrows, that would be a dream. Burrows is filthy but he is the type of player the Oilers have lacked for a long time. A player who can get under your skin enough to draw you into a stupid penalty then score on the powerplay to win the game.

    When Raffi Torres arrived with the Oilers, that was the game I thought (hoped) he would bring. Raffi hit like a truck but never really got involved in the scrums after the whistle or did a lot of chirping.

    Looking at his numbers from last season, Roy has about half the penalty minutes that Steve Ott had at the same age but I kind of think there might be a comparisson there. If Roy could bring a bit more of his offence to the bigs in exchange for a bit less abrasiveness, that would be just fine too.

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    That punch line from Holmgren was outstanding.

    What a surprise that the Flyers would like a 6’8 goober that’ll whack you with the fuckin’ stick.

    Morin is one letter off of being a perfect Flyer. Put him out there with former Flyer players/picks Ben Eager, Darren Rumble, Darren Powe, and Patrick Maroon.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    That punch line from Holmgren was outstanding.

    What a surprise that the Flyers would like a 6’8 goober that’ll whack you with the fuckin’ stick.

    Morin is one letter off of being a perfect Flyer. Put him out there with former Flyer players/picks Ben Eager, Darren Rumble, Darren Powe, and Patrick Maroon.

    lol. Classic.

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