2014 ENTRY DRAFT: TOP 30

For the next five Mondays, I’ll be posting a morning edition of the 2014 top 30. As in previous years, there are a few things you need to know. This is a top 30 from a fan, using NHLE as a guideline and also holding ‘wide range of skill’ players in high regard. This is NOT a mock draft—this list will differ from the Bleacher Report mocks I’ve written this spring—there’s bias galore on this list. Corey Pronman, Red Line Report, Bob McKenzie and Craig Button influenced the rankings, but these are mine and don’t reflect any specific list. This will end up being this list, and I’ll do a 31-60 as well draft week.

I enjoy this part of the season more than any other. Now let’s push this giant ball of oil out the window.

  1. C Sam Bennett—Complete set of skills, and he delivers in all areas. EV impact scorer.
  2. C Sam Reinhart—Elite offensive skills, best pure passer in the draft according to Pronman.
  3. D Aaron Ekblad—Size, speed, shot, defensive awareness and passing ability—outstanding talent.
  4. C Leon Draisaitl—Big center and a high-end playmaker, outstanding passer.
  5. L Michael Dal Colle—Quality scoring winger, all good arrows. Across the board skills.
  6. L William Nylander—Pronman: Probably the most skilled player available in the draft.
  7. L Nikolaj Ehlers—Dynamic skill winger, terrific scorer and playmaker. Breathtaking skill.
  8. R Kasperi Kapanen—Has a nice range of skills, average showing at U-18′s may hurt.
  9. C Robby Fabbri—Undervalued due to size, very skilled with a motor that won’t quit.
  10. L Nick Ritchie—A mountain on skates, I don’t know if he’s going to have enough offense for top 6F.
  11. R Jake Virtanen—Power winger who can score goals. Outstanding release, very physical.
  12. D Haydn Fleury—Calm defender with impressive speed and some offense.
  13. L Brendan Perlini—A solid scoring winger with size and speed. He’s a very safe first round pick.
  14. R Kevin Fiala—Described as a game breaker, he’s a quality prospect.
  15. L Nikolai Goldobin—Getting lost in the crowd a little, he’s a quality offensive prospect.
  16. L Jakub Vrana—Has a complete skill set, only question is how much will he score?
  17. D Julius Honka—Quality puck-moving defender is undersized but can play defense.
  18. L Ivan Barbasehev—Excellent offensive player, excellent passer, effective scorer. Gritty player.
  19. L Nikita Scherbak—Skilled, rugged winger impressed with range in his WHL debut.Quality.
  20. R David Pastrnak—He’s a first-shot scorer with speed and skill. Outstanding prospect.
  21. L Sonny Milano—Skill winger who can make plays and score goals. Some defensive issues.
  22. C Jared McCann—Two-way center with a defensive bent. I love these player types.
  23. L Adrian Kempe—Skill winger with size and a nice range of skills. Determined player.
  24. R Alex Tuch—Power forward with enough skill to play on a scoring line.
  25. R Josh Ho-Sang—Speed burner can score goals, finished strong.
  26. L Dylan Larkin—Power forward impressed at the U-18 World Hockey Championships.
  27. R Connor Bleackley—Two-way winger has nice range of skills, may lack offensive gear.
  28. L Spencer Watson—Pure goal scorer, he’s an impressive skill player.
  29. C Nick Schmaltz—Creative center with quick hands.
  30. G Thatcher Demko—A .935 save percentage is outstanding anywhere.

The Edmonton Oilers can take any of the first four players on this list and be just fine. Here’s the Desjardins’ NHLE’s, which you bunch seem to like most:

DRAFT ELIGIBILES NHL EQUIVALENCIES (per 82gp)

  1. Sam Reinhart (WHL) 15-28-43
  2. Kevin Fiala (SHL) 11-30-41
  3. Leon Draisaitl (WHL) 15-25-40
  4. Sam Bennett (OHL) 16-23-39
  5. Nikolaj Ehlers (QMJHL) 18-20-38
  6. Robby Fabri (OHL) 19-18-37
  7. Michael Dal Colle (OHL) 14-21-35
  8. Nikolai Goldobin (OHL) 14-21-35
  9. Sonny Milano (USHL) 12-23-35
  10. Ivan Barbashev (QMJHL) 12-21-33
  11. Josh Ho-Sang (OHL) 12-19-31
  12. Nick Ritchie (OHL) 16-14-30
  13. Brendan Perlini (OHL) 14-16-30
  14. Nikita Scherbak (WHL) 11-19-30
  15. Alex Tuch (USHL) 11-16-27
  16. Jake Virtanen (WHL) 16-9-25
  17. Nick Schmaltz (USHL) 7-18-25
  18. Jared McCann (OHL) 10-14-24
  19. Connor Bleackley (WHL) 10-14-24
  20. Dylan Larkin (USHL) 14-8-22
  21. David Pastrnak (Allsvenskan) 8-12-20
  22. William Nylander (SHL) 3-17-20 (TOI worries)
  23. Kasperi Kapanen (SML) 8-8-16 (TOI worries)
  24. Adrian Kempe (SHL) 7-8-15 (TOI worries)
  25. Jakub Vrana (CZE) 4-4-8 (TOI worries)

 

DEFENSEMEN

  1.  Aaron Ekblad (OHL) 10-12-22
  2. Julius Honka (WHL) 6-16-22
  3. Roland McKeown (OHL) 4-13-17
  4. Haydn Fleury (WHL) 3-13-16
  5. Josh Jacobs (USHL) 2-7-9

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83 Responses to "2014 ENTRY DRAFT: TOP 30"

  1. gcw_rocks says:

    Off topic, but…

    Watching the Oil Kings game last night left me thinking. Laxdal would be an appropriate replacement for Nelson in OKC, should the Oilers grow a pair and move Bucky and Smith into community relations roles and promote Nelson to the big club.

  2. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Off topic, but…

    Watching the Oil Kings game last night left me thinking. Laxdal would be an appropriate replacement for Nelson in OKC, should the Oilers grow a pair and move Bucky and Smith into community relations roles and promote Nelson to the big club.

    Promote Laxdal, Hamilton, and Nelson or lose them. There must be an NHL assistant we’d be happy to lose.

  3. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:
  4. Melman says:

    LT – with the Oilers having more/better young D prospects than C prospects, if it goes Bennett, Reinhart and you are the GM do you still take Ekblad? Is he that good?

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    for those interested in the comparison.

    here’s the Vollman LT did recently:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/04/vollmans-nhle.html

    you’ll see he awards the OHL the same, but dings the W and Q

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    on AHL coaches.

    Mark Morris has left the Monarchs (LAK).

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/07/kings-part-ways-with-longtime-ahl-coach-morris/

    don’t know why, but you’d have to assume to look for NHL work.

    reminder that Nelson has a crowded field of competition facing him and he’s probably in the worst possible market to get exposure.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/7/todd-nelson-s-options

  7. bsmart says:

    I would use a mid round selection on Edgars Kulda especially with how he played with Moroz. I like guys who can play and he excelled against the highest end prospects in the game all tournament.

  8. bsmart says:

    Also i agree with LT that Bennett is the numero uno but by a small margin. I am happy with any of these 4 players.

    My list is:

    Bennett
    Draisaitl
    Reinhart
    Ekblad

    I have trouble picking D so high when they are so hard to predict. My hope he is off the board so we can chose a centre. I agree with Rom that if FLA takes him maybe we can pry Kulikov loose. Now that would be magic.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Fabri, Richie and Virtinen all have more goals than assists.

    Has anyone done any work on how a player who has more goals than assists in their draft year translates that offence to the NHL?

    Gut feel is that you would need to ding them more.

    Having shooting percentage would be immensely helpful in this situation.

  10. Melman says:

    Melman:
    LT – with the Oilers having more/better young D prospects than C prospects, if it goes Bennett, Reinhart and you are the GM do you still take Ekblad?Is he that good?

    Rom, Wood what’s your opinion on this?

  11. Rondo says:

    I will be interested in what body type Bennett and Reinhart have , whether they have the type of body that can put on weight . I believe the NHL Combine starts today

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    Fabri, Richie and Virtinen all have more goals than assists.

    Has anyone done any work on how a player who has more goals than assists in their draft year translates that offence to the NHL?

    Gut feel is that you would need to ding them more.

    Having shooting percentage would be immensely helpful in this situation.

    raises another interesting question. 2nd assists and whether they are tracked and whether you feel they are less indicative of scoring potential.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    if you go here:

    http://www.whl.ca/stats/show/type/records/ls_season/245

    (same kind of records for OHL)

    under “leaders” you can isolate for a variety of useful info (goals, assists, pp, etc) and a grab bag of nonsense.

    “insurance goals” “short handed assists”

    nothing about shots, but hey who got the most “short handed assists”!

  14. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    LT – with the Oilers having more/better young D prospects than C prospects, if it goes Bennett, Reinhart and you are the GM do you still take Ekblad?Is he that good?

    At the top, you take BPA. The worry about Ekblad is that he might be what he is, and the three centers are being projected on a higher plane. I’d take the center with the most room to grow, and have literally no idea how to measure it.

  15. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Rondo:
    I will be interestedinwhatbody type Bennett and Reinhart have , whether they have the type of body that can put on weight .

    Sam Gagner did. Shortest and Heaviest of the top 9. Want a guy who does the most with his weight. NHL average weight would be fine.

    Rondo:
    I believe the NHLCombine starts today

    Busy week for Pollock and Irving.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Melman: Rom, Wood what’s your opinion on this?

    my opinion doesn’t matter. too idiosyncratic.

    I’d pick a F in the top ten regardless of what the consensus said.

  17. TheOtherJohn says:

    The coaches pick 3 best players from each team at WC:
    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/387/IHM387000_85J_1_0.pdf

    Just saw Rom comment and already knew Seth Jones one of USA best players at WC…..

  18. Rondo says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    From what i have read Bennett makes the most sense if he can get bigger and stronger. Oilers have no player like him. Reinhart seems like another RNH . Draisaitl is also something Oilers don’t have, however my concern is his play away from the puck. He does not look aggressive without the puck.

  19. Caramel Obvious says:

    Woodguy:
    Fabri, Richie and Virtinen all have more goals than assists.

    Has anyone done any work on how a player who has more goals than assists in their draft year translates that offence to the NHL?

    Gut feel is that you would need to ding them more.

    Having shooting percentage would be immensely helpful in this situation.

    My guess is the opposite. If goals are influenced by shooting percentage, assists are influenced by on-ice shooting percentage. Either way you can’t get away from the issue of shooting percentage.

    Moreover, while there is always variation in shooting percentage, the shooter has more of an influence on it than the passer.

    And then there is the issue of second assists.

    Any way you look at it you have to weigh goals more than assists. Personally I’d weigh goals at 1.25, primary assists at 1, and secondary assists at .5. That roughly gives you the same scale of points but shifts the balance a little to the scorers.

    But that will only get you so far. Even strength time-on-ice is a huge issue. As is quality of teammates.

    I also think that because the spread of NHLE’s for the top players is so small they arepretty useless. The spread of variation is smaller than the error bar of the measurement.

    All to say there is no statistical way based upon the information available to make a substantive choice between those players. Myself, I think teammates matters as much as anything so I’d lean Draisatl. I also like how he’s big, if only to get people to stop talking about size.

  20. Barcs says:

    Hey LT,

    Something I’ve wondered since I began reading your blog is what your rational is for deferring to players with a wide range of skills?

    I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’m guessing you would prefer, for example, a strong two-way player like P Bergeron over a more singularly offensive guy like P Kane?

    Likewise, you would value a player that is an elite shooter but doesn’t pass much, like say Kessel, less so than a player that can both pass and shoot but has lesser finishing skill, such as Zetterberg?

    Those names are just the first ones off my head, more of a concept-based question than anything.

  21. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Barcs:
    Hey LT,

    Something I’ve wondered since I began reading your blog is what your rational is for deferring to players with a wide range of skills?

    I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’m guessing you would prefer, for example, a strong two-way player like P Bergeron over a more singularly offensive guy like P Kane?

    Likewise, you would value a player that is an elite shooter but doesn’t pass much, like say Kessel, less so than a player that can both pass and shoot but has lesser finishing skill, such as Zetterberg?

    Those names are just the first ones off my head, more of a concept-based question than anything.

    Looking at draft prospects you also have the question which translates better to the NHL? No shortage of ppg players in Junior.

  22. bsmart says:

    Caramel Obvious: My guess is the opposite. If goals are influenced by shooting percentage, assists are influenced by on-ice shooting percentage. Either way you can’t get away from the issue of shooting percentage. Moreover, while there is always variation in shooting percentage, the shooter has more of an influence on it than the passer. And then there is the issue of second assists. Any way you look at it you have to weigh goals more than assists. Personally I’d weigh goals at 1.25, primary assists at 1, and secondary assists at .5. That roughly gives you the same scale of points but shifts the balance a little to the scorers. But that will only get you so far. Even strength time-on-ice is a huge issue. As is quality of teammates. I also think that because the spread of NHLE’s for the top players is so small they arepretty useless. The spread of variation is smaller than the error bar of the measurement. All to say there is no statistical way based upon the information available to make a substantive choice between those players. Myself, I think teammates matters as much as anything so I’d lean Draisatl. I also like how he’s big, if only to get people to stop talking about size.

    I like Draisaitl and Bennett points differential to their next closest teammate. In that regard they blow Reinhart out of the water. The splitting difference for me is bennett two way play and grit.
    Championship teams always have players like Bennett.

  23. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    bsmartChampionship teams always have players like Bennett.

    I don’t think Bennett will be there at 3. Wonder if someone likes him more than Florida? Enough to pay and for Florida to trade?

  24. bsmart says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: I don’t think Bennett will be there at 3.

    It is so hard to know what will unfold in the 1 and 2 position. But one thing is for sure Edmonton and Calgary got extremely fortunate to not be picking out of the top 4.

  25. Rondo says:

    bsmart,

    I agree with you, however Reinhart is a two way player.If I’m guessing Oilers list would be:

    1. Ekblad

    2. Bennett

    3. Draisaitl

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious: All to say there is no statistical way based upon the information available to make a substantive choice between those players. Myself, I think teammates matters as much as anything so I’d lean Draisatl. I also like how he’s big, if only to get people to stop talking about size.

    I think we all know where I stand on Draisaitl.

    Putting that aside, one question he has raised for me that I’ve tried to ask around about (probably here too) is about linemates.

    Draisaitl — compared to the other top Fs — probably had the least amount of help putting up points.

    Reinhart:
    http://whl.ca/stats/show/type/skaters/ls_season/245/ls_team/222

    105 points. next closest F: 98 points

    Bennett:
    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/stats/show/type/skaters/ls_season/49/ls_team/2

    91 points. next closest F: 70

    Draisaitl:
    http://whl.ca/stats/show/type/skaters/ls_season/245/ls_team/209

    105 points. next closest F: 72 (the player spent half the season on a different team)

    that… could make Draisaitl look good (he’s doing it without elite F linemates), or bad (his TOI must be off the charts on that team)

    BUT… the real kicker is this

    highest scoring D for Reinhart: 48 points

    highest scoring D for Bennett: 51 points

    highest scoring D for Draisaitl: 73 points (also happens to be second highest scorer on PA after Drai)

    That’s Josh Morrisey.

    Which has pushed me to ask this question: what’s more valuable: an elite scoring winger to help pad your stats, or an elite puck moving D to help pad your stats?

    Is Draisaitl’s lack of scoring wingers made up for by his having a truly elite (at this level) puck moving D like Morrisey? Is it even better than that?

    ———
    Part of what made me think of this was a tweet Parkatti posted months ago about the Oilers’ CF% with and without Marincin.

    With a good puck mover everyone gets a boost. Maybe a bigger one that with a scoring winger?

    I don’t know. And, there’s a lot of variables to form all that into such an generic question.

  27. shawnmullin says:

    With Draisaitl I again point to the quality of his team and linemates. He did have a great offensive defenceman (Morrissey) to start the attack, but his linemates were not up to the level Reinhart and Bennett had. Conroy is a solid but streaky scorer who never produced at all until he played with Draisaitl and he spent a lot of the year playing with two guys on his left wing that were your basic physical grinder types without much offensive instinct. That and the Raiders in general were just not as good or as deep as Kingston or Kootenay. He did more with less I’d suggest.

    Of course you could flip that around and say the other two willed their team to better seasons and the Raiders didn’t live up to expectations. That and a team with less depth means he had more ice time and had the puck on his stick more often.

    Lots of factors to consider. I don’t consider Draisaitl as poor in the defensive zone though. It was perhaps his consistency that was more a worry for me. Sometimes he was all world and clearly the best player on the ice and other times he played the Broncos you didn’t even notice him much. Reinhart you pretty much always knew what you were getting… maybe the ceiling isn’t as high though.

  28. shawnmullin says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Well you said this just a few seconds before I did. Draisaitl did play some with Valcourt although not a lot. He mainly played with Conroy (streaky scorer who I think benefitted a lot from being out there with him) and a lot of the year he had Carson Perreaux out there with that line. Calder Brooks later in the season played with them some. Valcourt also.

    The main story though is that he wasn’t a part of a dominant line nor did he have some magical chemistry with a certain winger. He was the guy who made it happen and the other guys were along for the ride.

  29. serum114 says:

    Haven’t been following closely enough, but what’s the knock on Fiala? Great production, I know he looked great at the small sample size WJCs… He’s a little small but not tiny and his NHLE is great.

    LT/Others: Why is he seemingly pegged as a late 1st-mid 2nd?

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    shawnmullin:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Well you said this just a few seconds before I did. Draisaitl did play some with Valcourt although not a lot. He mainly played with Conroy (streaky scorer who I think benefitted a lot from being out there with him) and a lot of the year he had Carson Perreaux out there with that line. Calder Brooks later in the season played with them some. Valcourt also.

    The main story though is that he wasn’t a part of a dominant line nor did he have some magical chemistry with a certain winger. He was the guy who made it happen and the other guys were along for the ride.

    that scans with what I’ve read.

    The offence on PA ran through Draisaitl and Morrisey. almost to a fault.

    and as we’ve both suggested… there are two ways to look at that.

    Good: they get the job done, and without a lot of help.
    Bad: because they are the only ones really counted on for offence, they are probably getting all the opportunity.

  31. Barcs says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    My interest was piqued when a few articles ago LT mentioned how many of the more successful two-way types in the NHL were ppg or better scoters in junior and then were forced to round out their game when they couldn’t translate that to the show for whatever reason. This, as being compared to guys who were lesser-scoring defensive specialists through junior. Having to hit the Mendoza line, I suppose.

    For a draft example, I wonder about guys like Jared McCann and Connor Bleakley, who are renowned for their two-way play but their offensive ceiling has been called to question from a few scouts.

    Comparing them to someone like Sonny Milano or Josh Ho-Sang, who can certainly score now, and teams drafting them will to have to hope their own-zone play can be hammered out, I wonder which player type is more valuable?

    I don’t know as much about these players as I’d like to so I may be mistaken about them, but just using them as an example.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    serum114:
    Haven’t been following closely enough, but what’s the knock on Fiala? Great production, I know he looked great at the small sample size WJCs… He’s a little small but not tiny and his NHLE is great.

    LT/Others: Why is he seemingly pegged as a late 1st-mid 2nd?

    I don’t think anyone is knocking the player anywhere.

    He’s ranked roughly in the top 20 on all lists. that’s pretty highly regarded territory.

    The issue is how much weight to put on his small sample with Men. Some (Pronman) put a lot on it (has him at 6th OV — though to be fair, I’m sure he’s not isolating his opinion to that showing). Others have a more modest view.

    It’s really just a matter of trying to gage a kid in between jr and sr. ranks in Euro. that’s what makes ranking Euros so confounding regardless of the player.

  33. Lois Lowe says:

    I have Josh Ho-Sang’s NHLE at 38. What did I miss?

    14.4 + 23.85 = 38.25

  34. Rondo says:

    A puck moving D is critical for a center like Draisaitl who by all accounts is an average skater. If I were betting I would say a D-man is more important to Draisaitl than a winger for scoring points.

    I wonder what Draisaitl point totals were with and without Josh Morrisey

  35. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m inclined to assess this the same way we would in the NHL.

    Teams with just a couple of good players often struggle because the other team will gameplan around those good players. They will always face the best D and the best checkers and/or power on power all the time.

    It therefore means that Draisaitl (and Morrissey) deserve credit for fighting through that and still being successful on a team otherwise lacking depth.

    It is the opposite of the Gagner-Kane effect, I think.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    JHS: 1.2686 PPG x .3 = .380 x 82 = 31.208 PPG

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m inclined to assess this the same way we would in the NHL.

    Teams with just a couple of good players often struggle because the other team will gameplan around those good players.They will always face the best D and the best checkers and/or power on power all the time.

    It therefore means that Draisaitl (and Morrissey) deserve credit for fighting through that and still being successful on a team otherwise lacking depth.

    It is the opposite of the Gagner-Kane effect, I think.

    That’s another good point.

    It’s one of my concerns with Ehlers for example. Though some have told me that he doesn’t play with Druin as his center (maybe one of our Eastern friends can confirm this).

    I think you have to put all of this into the pot, let it boil and try not to over or under weigh any of the information.

    ——–

    Rondo: Draisaitl who by all accounts is an average skater.

    I’m going to press you on this, because I always do when that word appears. Define “skater” in relation to Draisaitl.

  38. Rondo says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    First step is average.

  39. Lois Lowe says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Right. I was looking at AHLE.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Rondo:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    First step is average.

    I’ve heard this too. thanks for answering. He’ll need to take power skating (or rather, more. I assume he already has been) to improve, but there’s probably a ceiling there.

    I’ve also heard his “top speed” is fine.

    My question is about his edge work, which I haven’t heard anything about. But, given his dominance in puck control, I’m assuming it’s good to very good.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Right. I was looking at AHLE.

    I’ve tripped up on that one too!

  42. shawnmullin says:

    I would agree with average first step but overall good skater. He moves well for a big guy and he’s very elusive.

  43. shawnmullin says:

    Rondo,

    There are only 5 games I can find that Draisaitl played without Morrissey this season.

    He went 2 G 6 A 8pts and -4 in those 5 games.

    That’s such a small sample size I don’t think we can do much with those numbers except to say he didn’t fall off without him.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Shawn Mullin: Thanks for chiming in, appreciated.

    All: I would really caution against any of us making sweeping statements about Draisaitl’s foot speed.
    Why? Illusion and bias. I spent my childhood hearing announcers talk about the plodding Frank Mahovlich, and you’ll read Joe Thornton was slow as a kid, too. I have no idea how fast Draisaitl is, but that’s why God invented scouts. A guy like Mullin has observed Draisaitl, talked to scouts, formed an opinion.

    Failing walking up to an NHL amateur scout, I think Mullin’s view is the best available.

  45. Caramel Obvious says:

    Perron is also an average skater. He can’t really keep up with Hall and Eberle. That just means he’s a half court player on offense. Which is fine.

    Draisatl sounds similar. I’m fine with that.

  46. Ice Sage says:

    Sounds like a Leon love-in here.

    Let’s see what the combine reveals.

  47. shawnmullin says:

    Lowetide,

    Well I caution anyone about taking too much from what I say. I saw him 8 times last season and I wans’t focusing on his game I was following the puck trying to keep up with the play while calling a game.

    Oh he played lots of PK too. Just _tons_ of ice time. What you’d expect at this level.

  48. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy:
    Fabri, Richie and Virtinen all have more goals than assists.

    Has anyone done any work on how a player who has more goals than assists in their draft year translates that offence to the NHL?

    Gut feel is that you would need to ding them more.

    Having shooting percentage would be immensely helpful in this situation.

    Even goals and Pp goals and Shooting %.

    I however would think a linear driven player who shoots before he passes would have a more sustainable point rate than high assist guys.

    Passers are facing better dmen with better lane control. dought there is the same success rate for passing. addon to that the reduced shooting success rate. that is equal accross the board for all shooters.
    High % goal scorers have the goal successrate go down.

    Hig assist guys have the pass success rate go down followed by a reduction in goals from the guys who reciev the pass.

    the shoot first Guy will allways be the better choice. For goals!

  49. ashley says:

    How confident can we be in NHLE as the predominant ranking tool? I mean, is there really a large difference between someone who has an NHLE of 39 vs 35? Maybe a bit of injury/linemate/TOI luck, and those two players switch places? Yet how often would you see a ranking list with the 39 guy below the 35 guy?

    Looking at last year, Monahan was always mentioned at the bottom of the talented 7 players discussed (including Nichushkin). Sort of in the mix in the top end talent, but nobody was foaming at the mouth like they were for Barkov or MacKinnon. Yet Monahan looks like he may end up being one of the best of that group of 7. Still this is very much open to debate and 4 more years before we draw real conclusions.

    I wonder what some current studs NHLE’s were? What about Getlaf, Perry, Weber, Suter? That was Eberle’s NHLE?

    Maybe NHLE is all we really have if we don’t trust eyeballs?

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ice Sage:
    Sounds like a Leon love-in here.

    Let’s see what the combine reveals.

    incidentally Pronman just tweeted this:

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman 7m
    It doesn’t. Mostly about interviews. RT @FullDrawCody: @coreypronman How much does performance at the combine affect draft stock?

    Considering the impression Draisaitl made on his coach, Stauffer and Gregor and how he comes across in various interviews (ask Bruce), I’d say he’s a shoe in to do fine.

    kid is smart, self-reflective and humble (or so he comes across).

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ashley: Looking at last year, Monahan was always mentioned at the bottom of the talented 7 players discussed (including Nichushkin). Sort of in the mix in the top end talent, but nobody was foaming at the mouth like they were for Barkov or MacKinnon. Yet Monahan looks like he may end up being one of the best of that group of 7. Still this is very much open to debate and 4 more years before we draw real conclusions.

    LT posted last year’s NHLEs with this year’s yesterday:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/entry-draft-14-oilers-and-the-qmjhl.html/comment-page-1#comment-316390

    the interesting number for me isn’t Monahan, but MacKinnon.

    ———
    On Monahan, I think you have seriously over-rated him here. massively.

    One year in I don’t see a case for him being ahead of anyone yet (perhaps Lindholm, but even there it looks like more of a saw off to me).

    but, agreed with you last point, we are a long ways away from knowing.

  52. Racki says:

    If Florida takes Bennett, I’d be fairly surprised, but I also think that there would be a good chance ekblad drops to 3.god I hope ekblad doesn’t fall to 4

  53. boopronger says:

    Kramerica!

  54. Hammers says:

    LT # 5 to 7 look good to me and that’s why a trade down to NYI or even Toronto maybe appropriate .You also never know for sure if there is a GM who says Nylander is our #1 and all of a sudden these players rank can change in 1 move . Even though most all of us say take the pick there is a really good argument for a trade . Phaneuf , Kadri & there pick for Gags ,Klefbom & our pick wouldn’t upset me if I could also get any of your 4 through 9 players in your top 30 . Would a Toronto or Isles bite if it’s Ekblad sitting at #3 . Curious that’s all .

  55. Jordan says:

    I expect that I’m in the minority here, but for my money, I’d bet Leon’s the best bet for the Oilers at 3.

    I recognize there are lots of nice things about all the players in the top 4, but the combination of size, skill and puck control the german brings are a huge part of what the Oilers need. Combine that with the potential higher ceiling this kid has not only because of the bigger frame, but also because he came to higher-level hockey so late compared to the other top draft picks, and he feels like the player who could have the highest ceiling 5 years from now.

    Racki:
    If Florida takes Bennett, I’d be fairly surprised, but I also think that there would be a good chance ekblad drops to 3.god I hope ekblad doesn’t fall to 4

    If Calgary can take Ekblad here and we get Leon or one of the Sams, I’m fine with that. I like Aaron just fine, but I have the same bias as others wrt 1st round defensemen. There are a lot who are taken 1st round who don’t pan out, or who don’t work out as well as 2nd round selections. Especially players the Oilers seem to like (Plante, Teubert, etc…). For my money, you don’t take a D-man inside the top 30. That’s why while I like the prospect, I don’t like the Nurse pick last year.

    Always the trouble with looking for the BPA – it’s hard enough to judge who’s the best now, let alone who’ll be the best in 5 years. Anyone know who Maggie the Monkey’s picked as the best?

  56. G Money says:

    *** SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION WARNING

    This is at the opposite end of the scale from the draft, but just as important to the future of the Mighty Oil: namely – who are the Oilers going to sign as UFAs, and what are they going to get paid?

    As per discussion on this very blog from a number of weeks ago, this is my attempt at defining “fair pay” for UFAs.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/5/26/5752148/whats-a-ufa-worth

    Please read and lemme know what you think!

    [puts on tinfoil helmet]

  57. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    I think it’s a good first crack. However, I think you need to exclude contracts with any RFA’s altogether, or at least put them in their own bucket.

    It may not change the numbers. However, if it doesn’t that is interesting in its own right.

  58. Jordan says:

    G Money,

    That’s actually a pretty useful line in the sand.

    Now, it’s clear that it doesn’t do very much to help inform the discussion on players like Gordon who are used in an extreme role (Def zone starts) but certainly for offensive players it provides a clear guideline for value contracts at the moment.

    The Hall and Ebs contracts look very nice moving forwards – very encouraging. The question is how well we will leverage the money they are not getting to bring in other valuable players. If MacT can avoid whale hunting and the inherant risk of getting taken for a ride by your catch, I think there’s a lot of potential for this team moving forwards.

    BTW, how bad does a metric like this make Stralman look? After reading MC79′s look at him, I expect he’d look horrid by this metric, no?

  59. commonfan14 says:

    Lowetide: I have no idea how fast Draisaitl is, but that’s why God invented scouts.

    God also invented the combine, but for some reason the hockey world refuses to use it to answer basic questions.

    Maybe I’m thick and just can’t see the obvious truth about how the VO2 max and verticle leap tests tell you everything you need to know about a hockey player, but I’d just as soon they actually had the kids lace up and do some actual skating. Could even put some radar to their shots.

    The NFL doesn’t make teams guess about a WR’s speed – they just make him run and time how long it takes. Everyone seems to like it.

    I complain about this every year, because every year it makes me just a little bit crazier

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money,

    interesting. thanks. tweeted out to the world as per usual.

    ———
    you should look at Eric T’s latest work:

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/5/21/5738518/nhl-stats-method-sample-size-scouting

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/5/22/5739838/nhl-stats-ratings-scouts-veterans

    not the same, but related.

  61. Ice Sage says:

    commonfan14: God also invented the combine, but for some reason the hockey world refuses to use it to answer basic questions.Maybe I’m thick and just can’t see the obvious truth about how the VO2 max and verticle leap tests tell you everything you need to know about a hockey player, but I’d just as soon they actually had the kids lace up and do some actual skating. Could even put some radar to their shots.The NFL doesn’t make teams guess about a WR’s speed – they just make him run and time how long it takes. Everyone seems to like it.I complain about this every year, because every year it makes me just a little bit crazier

    Yes, that wouldn’t be hard to do. WHL is introducing a combine with on-ice evaluations for Bantam & Midget players this year (on a voluntary basis for a few hundred $). Good for the players who can see where their relative performance is and good for the league who can get some objective data on prospects. The real utility in so doing is to see how such measurements correlate with playing effectiveness.

  62. Jordan says:

    Huh…. Apparently Jason Gregor agrees with me wrt Leon.

    I may need to revise my opinion…. =P

  63. Lowetide says:

    I’d be fine with Leon. I think Oiler fans, as a group, are prepared to hate anything the Oilers do. And I understand that, but it’s like watching a couple break up. You listen, and shake your head in support, but you really wish it was two years later and you had your friend back.

  64. Racki says:

    Jordan,

    I completely respect that fear people have. You have to be really sure. It can be risky taking a D man. There are definitely some good examples of D in first round that panned out. It’s also hard to believe Shea Weber wasn’t one of them. Anyways, I think a complete D man is the Oilers #1 need by I get the worry that it won’t work. We already regretted (well some do) taking a certain winger over a certain D man… Nothing is safe in drafting. You just gotta pray your scouts have done their research well.

  65. Racki says:

    Lowetide,

    Good analogy. I feel Kind of the same way. Like.. Stu does a fairly good job, I think. Some picks don’t pan out but that’s the nature of the game. Plus I think the Oilers haven’t done the best job at making him look good by poorly developing some picks or rushing them… some also had some terrible injuries.

    The other tough part is some guys just are perfect fits for one organization but not another.

    But I am pretty sure that no matter who the Oil select, their will be initial excitement followed by immediate backlash before any games are played.

  66. Rondo says:

    shawnmullin,

    Thanks

  67. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    Lowetide,

    Good analogy. I feel Kind of the same way. Like.. Stu does a fairly good job, I think. Some picks don’t pan out but that’s the nature of the game. Plus I think the Oilers haven’t done the best job at making him look good by poorly developing some picks or rushing them… some also had some terrible injuries.

    I think people are mad about results, but are staring at the wrong part of the development tube for results. Looking at 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for players who can impact NHL games is crazy, even the guy taken #1 overall in 2012 is having a hard time.

    2007 was a disaster, 2008 they had one pick in the top 100, 2009 was not a great draft, and 2010 has produced Hall, Marincin has just arrived and Pitlick may help if he can stop being Super Dave Osborne.

    But the heart wants what it wants, and the reputation may have been overblown by local bloggers. Bastards.

  68. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: if he can stop being Super Dave Osborne.

    Pres. Ford?

  69. Barcs says:

    Barring a trade, the way the signs seem to be pointing in regards to the top 4, to me are:

    1. Ekblad
    2. Reinhart
    3. Draisaitl
    4. Bennett

    Which is fine, I like Leon, but I picture Bennett being a player that fits in very well in Calgary and makes our lives miserable in many a BoA.

    I would rather give CAL Leon, which is a terrible way to decide.

  70. Racki says:

    Lowetide,

    So he’s not actually magnificent OR a bastard? Sad face.

    I think a bit more time is needed. As you say, looking at these newer picks and expecting a Savior is fairly unrealistic.

  71. Racki says:

    Barcs:
    Barring a trade, the way the signs seem to be pointing in regards to the top 4, to me are:

    1. Ekblad
    2. Reinhart
    3. Draisaitl
    4. Bennett

    Which is fine, I like Leon, but I picture Bennett being a player that fits in very well in Calgary and makes our lives miserable in many a BoA.

    I would rather give CAL Leon, which is a terrible way to decide.

    I’m betting that #2 and #4 will be reversed. Calgary can’t have enough Reinharts. And I can’t see anyone passing on Bennett, except Florida, who is quite stocked at C

  72. OilClog says:

    After watching Bennett interview on sportsnet yesterday there’s not a chance MacT isn’t blown away.

  73. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    With regards to the Draisaitl opportunity/ice time/offense discussion. I know this has been mentioned and covered but I thought I’d throw in my two cents:

    If Draisaitl is one half of the entire offensive system for the Raiders (Morrissey being the other half) and we can assume that he is therefore receiving a tonne of ice time as a result, and it is shown that his supporting cast is not on the same level as he, then it stands to reason that opposing coaches are doing their utmost to stifle his offensive chances by matching him against their best players. If he is still accomplishing all that he has in the face of such competition and, again returning to mediocre support from the rest of his teammates, then I believe this favours him all the more.

    I love players like Reinhart because he has been “it” for the Ice since arriving. Everything goes through him and the team has focused on making him their keystone player for several seasons now. In addition, he is a smart player with an excellent and developed game much like Lazar but with a higher offensive upside and a game suited as a natural center.

    That being said, if the Oilers are left to choose between Draisaitl and Reinhart at #3, I know the team fares better with Draisaitl for the future.

    Also, personally I hope that Ekblad falls to the Flames. He’d be too tempting for Burke to pass up and I believe his impact will be more immediate, making it less likely that either McDavid or Eichel ends up in Calgary, and his ceiling is ultimately more modest than any of the forwards listed. Yeah, I’ve thought this through a bit.

    And in closing – Edgars Kulda. That is all.

  74. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I think it’s a good first crack.However, I think you need to exclude contracts with any RFA’s altogether, or at least put them in their own bucket.

    It may not change the numbers.However, if it doesn’t that is interesting in its own right.

    Yeah, I recognize that’s a weakness in the analysis, having to lump those two together.

    The problem is a data problem. It’s easy to identify contracts as EL, or ending in RFA or UFA – and by “easy” I mean “can be done in software”. It’s harder to identify those that were signed as UFA’s, and by “harder” I mean “must be done by hand”. AKA “No I’m not gonna do it, I’ve got kids ya know!” :-)

    So I lumped them all in together and happily the whole thing still hangs together pretty well. Logically, you would expect to find more of the partial RFAs on the “value” side of the line. Like with overpays for other reasons like “grit”, I guess that would be a correction/assessment left as an exercise to the reader!

  75. G Money says:

    Jordan: BTW, how bad does a metric like this make Stralman look? After reading MC79′s look at him, I expect he’d look horrid by this metric, no?

    Defensemen are a different beast – it’s tough to use PPG to assess them, so I had to look elsewhere to try and draw a reasonable value line in the sand.

    That’s why it’s going to be published as a separate follow-up post.

    Sneak peek: From a salary value perspective, Stralman in his current contract doesn’t look great, but he doesn’t look horrid, either. But if you have to give him a big raise to get him here, yeah, that would be a definite concern.

  76. Jordan says:

    Lowetide: But the heart wants what it wants, and the reputation may have been overblown by local bloggers. Bastards.

    Speaking of those cheesy eating basement dwellers… did you have a chance to try the Lowedown drinking game today on your day off? I hear the Rookie had a very good morning listening to Neilson. I imagine that with the Oilkings win yesterday, and the LDG today… tomorrow could be a really difficult day…

    Seriously though – With Toonces in charge of the team, we needed someone in Mgmt to cheer for. MBS fit what we needed – hope for the future, in the face of a present that was atrocious at best. I agree the anger is about results, but not just the draft – this anger has been building for a while. It just became acceptable to come out when MacT ran his mouth last spring and failed to deliver this season. Now the knives are out, and no one’s safe. Even people like MacGregor who’s done a fine job (MOPO).

    A big part of the frustration is mis-directed. With the exodus of young pros between 2007 – 2014, the Oilers have been steadily losing the players in their prime who were a part of this team. These are the players who should have been holding back the water while the younger players were learning the ropes. But they were all shipped off in a series of trades that have left the Oilers with lesser and lesser players / assets. Which leaves an inexperienced team of kids to learn the game with no shelter.

    Gagner was playing behind Stoll, Reasoner & Horcoff in his first season as centre. He looked like mana from heaven on that team. On this team, where he’s expected to face 2nd/3rd line comp? Not so good… With RNH facing the toughs? Worse. SO when the young players come and and struggle, it’s like someone thinks its their fault for not being put in a position to succeed.

    For me, the real story these years is how well the many young pros have done in spite of the lack of shelter for anyone who needed it. It’s been trial by fire for several years now, and we’re starting to see players step up and manage, if not thrive.

    Hard as it is to beleive, I think most fans don’t realize how bad this team has been, and from how far back they’re coming.

  77. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Thanks man!

    Of those two articles, I’d seen the first one before but not the second one.

    The conclusion of that article certainly seems to be consistent with the strong correlation between career ppg and cap hit.

    Perhaps veteran players need to come with the financial product disclaimer: “IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Past performance may not be indicative of future results.

  78. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I think people are mad about results, but are staring at the wrong part of the development tube for results. Looking at 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for players who can impact NHL games is crazy, even the guy taken #1 overall in 2012 is having a hard time.

    2007 was a disaster, 2008 they had one pick in the top 100, 2009 was not a great draft, and 2010 has produced Hall, Marincin has just arrived and Pitlick may help if he can stop being Super Dave Osborne.

    But the heart wants what it wants, and the reputation may have been overblown by local bloggers. Bastards.

    If people want to get uppity about drafting, check this article out first and then decide if MacGregor is worth lambasting.

    http://canucksarmy.com/2014/5/20/we-think-the-vancouver-canucks-may-have-a-scouting-problem

    The funny thing is, the Canucks’ draft record appeared to be getting worse under Gillis than it was with Burke/Nonis and that’s is some kind of thing.

    Let’s see what Benning does. I wonder if, once the draft is complete, he has ends up firing the scouting staff the way Howson did immediately following the 2012 draft.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: If Draisaitl is one half of the entire offensive system for the Raiders (Morrissey being the other half) and we can assume that he is therefore receiving a tonne of ice time as a result, and it is shown that his supporting cast is not on the same level as he, then it stands to reason that opposing coaches are doing their utmost to stifle his offensive chances by matching him against their best players. If he is still accomplishing all that he has in the face of such competition and, again returning to mediocre support from the rest of his teammates, then I believe this favours him all the more.

    well put. it’s a point that we’ve gone over, but can always be re-said.

    In fact, it’s something that Laxdal mentioned on Stauffer today. He was talking about how great G. Reinhart was and saying his mistakes are only magnified because he has to face the top opposition every game… the first name out of his mouth was Draisaitl.

  80. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    Lowetide,

    So he’s not actually magnificent OR a bastard? Sad face.

    I think a bit more time is needed. As you say, looking at these newer picks and expecting a Savior is fairly unrealistic.

    I think he is, I love MBS. Having said that, I’m biased. Generally speaking in life, if you don’t know for sure, find 10 smart people and ask for a consensus. If you grab 10 knowledgeable Oiler fans, I suspect their opinion of MacGregor and my opinion of him are not similar.

  81. Racki says:

    Lowetide: I think he is, I love MBS. Having said that, I’m biased. Generally speaking in life, if you don’t know for sure, find 10 smart people and ask for a consensus. If you grab 10 knowledgeable Oiler fans, I suspect their opinion of MacGregor and my opinion of him are not similar.

    What makes you biased? Did your dad leave you at birth too? Are you also magnificent?

    All stupid jokes aside, I’m with you here. I think he’s done reasonably well. Ya, some players haven’t turned out but I think there’s been some other problems involved in that too such as this teams inability to build around players, or tending to stock up on the same time of player in bulk. I’m not convinced either that some of the players drafted wouldn’t have failed better in better organizations.

    I think MacT will help change things though. I think the team sees more of a need to surround it’s best players with a helpful supporting cast rather than cycling turds through the line up to see if someone sticks. I think an important part of player development is not only having the patience to wait for them to be ready but having reliable linemates for them to eat into the NHL. The trend here, again, up until recent, has been to sink or swim prospects.

  82. Lowetide says:

    Racki: I’m a big believer in people with the power to learn. MacGregor’s 2009 draft featured walkabouts in rd 3 (Hesketh, Abney and Bigos) but he had cleaned it up quite a bit by 2010. Musil and Moroz are oft-maligned, but they were in the range and I do think the organization may have dropped the twisted finger of fate onto those selections.

    But there’s a ton coming, and people who understand the 5-year rule are generally supportive. We’ll see in a few years.

  83. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    Racki: I’m a big believer in people with the power to learn. MacGregor’s 2009 draft featured walkabouts in rd 3 (Hesketh, Abney and Bigos) but he had cleaned it up quite a bit by 2010. Musil and Moroz are oft-maligned, but they were in the range and I do think the organization may have dropped the twisted finger of fate onto those selections.

    But there’s a ton coming, and people who understand the 5-year rule are generally supportive. We’ll see in a few years.

    My belief (which I think is reasonable) is the Oilers wanted Samuelsson with that pick, but of course he was off the board. I think maybe they panicked a bit and really wanted to address that team size need. We’ve seen the research and moroz wasn’t a big stretch if you consider where he was taken and what he was ranked and if you consider that the Oilers wanted one of these two guys.

    I’m actually a fan of the pick, myself, possibly the only person out there not employed by the Oilers that is. My bias might be playing here too that in that I like the tough guys, and this is a tough guy that can play. If Prust or Thornton is the upper limit, it still isn’t too bad when you consider how those two have helped their teams in the playoffs. He is getting a tonne of opportunity and maybe not making as much out of it as one would hope to see, but I see it as grooming a guy who will be able to play any role you like. People fear this type of player because of jfj and other mistakes, but I think you just have to wait it out and see. If you see him as more of a complementary player with having a bit of offensive upside, it isn’t too bad. I think people see “not Lucic!” and immediately freak. It may not work out, but I have no problems with them trying to address a pretty important need (size and Jack of all trades.. Albeit master of none bu the physical stuff).

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