BUILDING DOWN THE MIDDLE: C

We’re beginning to see the transformation of the Edmonton Oilers at center. They’re about to go from an undersized group to above average as a group. It will take some time, as amateur procurement in hockey is a process, but it’s happening all the same.

The team as it currently sits has Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Boyd Gordon, Mark Arcobello and Anton Lander as big league centers. They’ve recently signed Bogdan Yakimov (6.04, 220) and Jujhar Khaira (6.03, 210), plus the Oilers may draft Leon Draisaitl (6.01, 208 at age 18).

Mark Arcobello (5.08, 166) and Anton Lander (6.00, 194) will be more change of pace types, and if Gagner goes (I think it’s likely, even if it’s for picks) you’re looking at a bigger pro group of centermen. Will Acton (6.01, 199), Travis Ewanyk (6.02, 192), CJ Stretch (5.11, 195) offer minor league depth.

NONE OF IT MATTERS

And none of it matters. UNLESS the bigger men can play. Sam Gagner needs to be replaced because he can’t play NHL center, not because he’s under 6.04. If size were the most important thing, NHL scouts would be scouting basketball games for talent. The hope is that all of these big men have enough talent to make the grade as actual NHL players, but we’re not certain that is true. Jujhar Khaira’s size and rambunctiousness married to Mark Arcobello’s offense is a player we can all get behind. Is that player on the roster?

No. No he is not.

The Oilers C depth chart today is:

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Boyd Gordon
  4. Mark Arcobello
  5. Anton Lander

The bigger men are on their way. Are they any good?

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78 Responses to "BUILDING DOWN THE MIDDLE: C"

  1. Rondo says:

    Are you saying Oilers will draft Leon Draisaitl over Sam Bennett or Reinhart.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    Are you sayingOilers will draft Leon Draisaitlover Sam Bennett or Reinhart.

    I’m saying they “may” draft Leon Draisaitl.

  3. regwald says:

    I thought you were going to talk about signing Stastny or a trade with SJ ?

  4. Lowetide says:

    regwald:
    I thought you were going to talk about signing Stastny or a trade with SJ ?

    That would be awesome, but I’m uncertain how much value Joe Thornton holds for Edmonton. they are more likely to draft Connor McDavid next summer than they are to making a deep playoff run next spring.

    Why hire thornton?

  5. Zangetsu says:

    How much do you think you would have to give florida for 1OV? If we centered a package around gagner (I know he’s not worth much), we could fill two holes in one draft. The question is how much more than gagner will it take. Musil, simpson, roy and next years second?

  6. VanOil says:

    My dream solution for the Oilers Centers;

    Trade Gagner for Brock Nelson (Large Young Corsi Monster)

    Sign Malhotra as a UFA on a 2 year deal

    Draft a Center (Reinhart, Draisaitl, Bennett is my order of preference)

    Let rookie return to Jr or play on Gordon’s wing. Hope the large men in OKC can eventually replace Malhotra and Gordon and the rookie can eventually knock Nelson down the order.

    All of this is possible and yet none of it is likely (except the Draftee playing in the NHL next year)

    Go Oil Kings!

  7. Lowetide says:

    Zangetsu:
    How much do you think you would have to give florida for 1OV? If we centered a package around gagner (I know he’s not worth much), we could fill two holes in one draft. The question is how much more than gagner will it take. Musil, simpson, roy and next years second?

    I think there’s a deal to be made, and it wouldn’t be a monster.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Zangetsu:
    How much do you think you would have to give florida for 1OV? If we centered a package around gagner (I know he’s not worth much), we could fill two holes in one draft. The question is how much more than gagner will it take. Musil, simpson, roy and next years second?

    I think that depends on how the Oilers view their RHD compared to their C.

    Their D depth is very good, albeit young, but most are LHD.

    Their C depth is nearly non-existent.

    I think this depends on what MacT is hearing on the FA front.

    Teams usually have a decent idea who they can get and who they can’t quite early.

    If I’m MacT and I have a verbal from Grabbo and Kulimen to sign this summer I trade from 3 to 1 using Gagner to get there in a heartbeat.

    RNH is long term 1C, if not today and Grabbo can fit the bill for the next 3 years or so.

    You have 3 years to replace him.

  9. sliderule says:

    Gagner is a good offensive hockey player.He has his weakness on defense as does almost every oiler forward.
    Lt you got rid of Smid please quit trying to punt Gagner.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Yea. I’m not thinking about the kids yet. They are at least a year away, probably 2. Whomever they draft too.

    I think you’ve got to add via trade or UFA to center. MacT has to right last year’s wrong on this score.

    If it’s

    Nuge
    xxxx
    Arco
    Gordon
    Lander
    —–
    Acton
    Khaira
    Yakimov
    Ewanyk
    —–
    Draisaitl/Reinhart/Bennett
    Chase

    We can start to see how crucial that xxx player is going to be. Is it ROR? Legwand? Grabo? Staal? other Staal? Sutter? Nelson?…. …. …. …. we could go all day.

  11. Zangetsu says:

    Woodguy,

    I’m talking 1OV straight up. I’m obviously short on my deal, but thats because I’m shitty at it. If we could get one of bennett or reinhart plus ekblad,we could put ourselves in very good position for the future.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I think there’s a deal to be made, and it wouldn’t be a monster.

    Agreed.

    Going from 3 to 1 doesn’t cost a mint at all.

    If the guy with the #1 pick is trading it, he *knows* he’s getting his guy at the spot he’s trading to.

    At the least knowing who #1 is taking and doesn’t see much difference in how they rate the next X players that will be available.

    I still think its smoke as FLA has very good young C and need D help.

    BUF is full of D and probably wouldn’t move, the next is the Oilers and they wouldn’t let the Dman pass them.

    Its either trade it to EDM or don’t trade it.

    Unless they actually rate Nylander above all and they can get him 5th or so……odds on them rating him that high are pretty low imo.

  13. regwald says:

    Lowetide,

    True enough. As it sits the current youth movement means lotto pick again. :(

  14. Woodguy says:

    Zangetsu:
    Woodguy,

    I’m talking 1OV straight up. I’m obviously short on my deal, but thats because I’m shitty at it. If we could get one of bennett or reinhart plus ekblad,we could put ourselves in very good position for the future.

    The trade is #3 plus Gagner for #1.

    You don’t end up with both #1 and #3

  15. Racki says:

    Lowetide: That would be awesome, but I’m uncertain how much value Joe Thornton holds for Edmonton. they are more likely to draft Connor McDavid next summer than they are to making a deep playoff run next spring.

    Why hire thornton?

    I was lamenting earlier today on how the Oilers really do need a few too many pieces for them to be considered competitive. But that said, I think MacTavish is likely to try and check as many boxes as he can and hope that it improves the team now. Joe Thornton seems a little unrealistic to me though just because I am not sure why the Sharks would move him.

    Spezza is apparently “available” (or perhaps just his name keeps being mentioned), and I think that fits the Oilers M.O., especially Lowe who likes to swing for the fences for the high priced very shiny toy. I could see the Oilers making some attempts to bring him here. If the Avs don’t sign Stastny before July 1st, I’d imagine that’s another one they’ll try for too, but the Avs will likely get it done before then.

    I am thinking the more likely scenario is the Oilers will have to slum it another year with less than stellar 2nd center. Hopefully they check off at least one of the major needs: big game d-man or big, skilled top six C.

    I like the mentions of Grabo+Kulemin signing combo too. More Soviets iz good for Yakupov, no?

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: The trade is #3 plus Gagner for #1.

    You don’t end up with both #1 and #3

    to do this… you’d have to really love one of the four (I’d guess Ekblad) and be certain he’s not there.

    I’d try to swing a bigger deal and get kulikov while I’m at it.

    another item Tallon seems to be happy to part with and he’s RFA so… shouldn’t cost a bundle either, but something valuable all the same.

  17. Lowetide says:

    MacT on TSN: “A guy we’ve watching in Edmonton (Moroz). He’s a sheriff at this level, we’re excited to get him into the organization. He’s going to be a big part of our future.”

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Unless they actually rate Nylander above all and they can get him 5th or so……odds on them rating him that high are pretty low imo.

    It seems plausible that they rate him, say 6-8 but only see marginal drop off after each ranking.

    that might be their thinking.

  19. VanOil says:

    MacT is in a good mood. It must be a relief not watching the Oilers lose every day.

  20. Woodguy says:

    I’d try to swing a bigger deal and get kulikov while I’m at it.

    I’m not sure Kulikov is better than Marincin.

    You’d have to make a detailed argument that he’s better than Klef.

    He’s better than Nurse today, but might not be tomorrow.

    Oilers are loaded at *young* LHD more than pretty much every other NHL team.

    Adding Kulikov makes no sense.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    MacT on TSN: “A guy we’ve watching in Edmonton (Moroz). He’s a sheriff at this level, we’re excited to get him into the organization. He’s going to be a big part of our future.”

    Aim higher Craig.

    Please?

  22. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: to do this… you’d have to really love one of the four (I’d guess Ekblad) and be certain he’s not there.

    I’d try to swing a bigger deal and get kulikov while I’m at it.

    another item Tallon seems to be happy to part with and he’s RFA so… shouldn’t cost a bundle either, but something valuable all the same.

    The Panthers would definitely need D coming back too.. sluff Ference off in the process? *evil grin* Not that I don’t like Ference, just they probably need to move some salary at some point to sign all my dream list of players they need to sign.. .:P

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    MacT on TSN: “A guy we’ve watching in Edmonton (Moroz). He’s a sheriff at this level, we’re excited to get him into the organization. He’s going to be a big part of our future.”

    umm… Sportsnet?

    hahaha. great freudian slip!

  24. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Off-topic, but there’s an article on NHL.com regarding Tokarski having to step in for the Canadiens, drawing parallels to Markkanen in ’06. Even has some words from the Juice-man himself and how he prepared himself for that situation.

    Man, I miss 2006 :(

  25. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It seems plausible that they rate him, say 6-8 but only see marginal drop off after each ranking.

    that might be their thinking.

    I read today that this year’s draft doesn’t have the high end of most drafts, but lots of “1B” type players.

    I have no idea if this is true.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    I’d try to swing a bigger deal and get kulikov while I’m at it.

    I’m not sure Kulikov is better than Marincin.

    You’d have to make a detailed argument that he’s better thanKlef.

    He’s better than Nurse today, but might not be tomorrow.

    Oilers are loaded at *young* LHD more than pretty much every other NHL team.

    Adding Kulikov makes no sense.

    I think he’s well clear of Klefbom now and going forward (higher range of skill) and has the edge on Marincin if only due to track record.

    Kulikov is a hell of a player, still with some upside and still young enough to grow with the team.

    my more extensive case for the player here:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/04/bossa-antigua-dmitry-kulikov/

    LT’s from last night:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/19/hard-target-search-florida-panthers

  27. VanOil says:

    I would not be overly concerned if MacT traded the #3 pick for the Middle Reinhart brother.

  28. blainer says:

    Woodguy: I think that depends on how the Oilers view their RHD compared to their C.

    Their D depth is very good, albeit young, but most are LHD.

    Their C depth is nearly non-existent.

    I think this depends on what MacT is hearing on the FA front.

    Teams usually have a decent idea who they can get and who they can’t quite early.

    If I’m MacT and I have a verbal from Grabbo and Kulimen to sign this summer I trade from 3 to 1 using Gagner to get there in a heartbeat.

    RNH is long term 1C, if not today and Grabbo can fit the bill for the next 3 years or so.

    You have 3 years to replace him.

    Gm’s are not allowed to talk even verbally, to players as that is considered tampering and is the reason why teams trade players rights before Free Agency. Now I do believe players chat to each other and MacT gets the wink wink nod nod from his own player and then has plausible denial. I do believe he has done his work and has a feel as to who he can go after as well as many trade scenarios. Lets hope Stastny is one of them and or a trade for the 1st overall.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: umm… Sportsnet?

    hahaha. great freudian slip!

    My fingers don’t allow me to type it, apparently. OR brain won’t. :-)

  30. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think he’s well clear of Klefbom now going forward (higher range of skill) and has the edge on Marincin if only due to track record.

    Kulikov is a hell of a player, still with some upside and still young enough to grow with the team.

    my more extensive case for the player here:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/04/bossa-antigua-dmitry-kulikov/

    LT’s from last night:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/19/hard-target-search-florida-panthers

    Good arguments for the player.

    I don’t see a lot of arguments for giving up something to push Klef off the roster (Ference is like furniture and is LHD)

    Unless you give up little, but I doubt you get Kulikov for little.

    If you can, of course you get him.

  31. Woodguy says:

    blainer,

    Gm’s are not allowed to talk even verbally, to players as that is considered tampering and is the reason why teams trade players rights before Free Agency.

    They GMs and players talk.

    All the contracts for $50MM+ that used to signed WITHIN MINUTES of the FA window opening speak to this.

    No one, in no industry, writes contracts worth that in 1-5 minutes.

    They talk.

    Always have, always will.

    The NHL adding a week of “wooing” is very good as ups the competition, but they talk before then.

  32. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    MacT on TSN: “A guy we’ve watching in Edmonton (Moroz). He’s a sheriff at this level, we’re excited to get him into the organization. He’s going to be a big part of our future.”

    If only the Oilers put as much effort into grooming all prospects as they have Moroz.. but I think he will be a valuable player here down the road. Not a top six guy though, so people won’t give too much of a damn about him now or maybe later when he’s in the league. Maybe he ends up being a Moreau type (early Oilers Moreau). I don’t expect him to be a top-six guy, but I still put a lot of importance on good bottom six guys. I will always love my fighters, and the fact he actually can play some hockey definitely makes me happy. Not the consensus opinion? Oh well.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    blainer,

    Gm’s are not allowed to talk even verbally, to players as that is considered tampering and is the reason why teams trade players rights before Free Agency.

    They GMs and players talk.

    All the contracts for $50MM+ that used to signed WITHIN MINUTES of the FA window opening speak to this.

    No one, in no industry, writes contracts worth that in 1-5 minutes.

    They talk.

    Always have, always will.

    The NHL adding a week of “wooing” is very good as ups the competition, but they talk before then.

    I know a guy who told me before the draft Ference was coming here. Very confident, he was.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Good arguments for the player.

    I don’t see a lot of arguments for giving up something to push Klef off the roster (Ference is like furniture and is LHD)

    Unless you give up little, but I doubt you get Kulikov for little.

    If you can, of course you get him.

    The verbal all year has been that Tallon doesn’t care for Kulikov.

    So, I think you still have to pay for him, but he’s not going to cost full-market value. That’s part of the reason to chase him

    If your LHD goes:

    Kulikov
    Marincin
    Ference (or, you find a way to trade him… lordy please!)
    Klefbom
    —–
    Simpson
    Gernat (those two may be in the wrong order, I have no idea)
    Musil
    —-
    Nurse
    Betker

    I think that gives you crazy depth. You can swap one of the pro kids (Klefbom, Simpson, Gernat, Musil) for something else and/or keep some of these kids developing.

    Keeps Marincin from top pairing. Klefbom on the farm. Nurse in Jr.

    If he was RHD… wow… but I’d still chase him even with all that depth.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Simpson really likes RH side, Musil’s fine there too.

  36. Racki says:

    For some reason my last comment is awaiting moderation… :P

  37. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Kulikov.

    Yes.

    I ran his name against a collection of other veteran defenseman, teammates, some Oiler D, and age-range comparables in the Vollman Sledgehammer a few months back and the numbers show he is a very nice young player.

    If Tallon doesn’t like him, trade him Gagner and Gernat for Kulikov and a 3rd or some such deal. If the Oilers could turn Gagner into either Gardiner or Kulikov, those are the deals that Sather used to pull regularly.

    Tallon loves the draft and is addicted to picks, maybe there’s an “in” there.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Simpson really likes RH side, Musil’s fine there too.

    I remember that…

    but whenever I see or read that I think of Dellow’s post on Oates and Ference about off-side D and part of me hopes Eakins/Nelson get the horses to keep people on the correct side.

  39. blainer says:

    Lowetide,

    Ya I guess it all makes sense. I assume they are just playing the game for Bettman and his Tampering BS…. It wouldn’t hold me back if I was the GM…

  40. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: I read today that this year’s draft doesn’t have the high end of most drafts, but lots of “1B” type players.

    I have no idea if this is true.

    Don’t Reinhart’s numbers blow away Nugent-Hopkins?

    Ekblad: Larsson
    Drasaital:Couturier
    Bennett:Huberdeau
    Dal Colle: Landeskog

  41. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    For some reason my last comment is awaiting moderation… :P

    It disagreed with my opinion. :-) Seriously, no idea why it did it.

  42. OilClog says:

    So Because MacT has faith and loves how Moroz is turning into a Physical Monster.. Let’s shit all over him..

    If Moroz turns into a dominate bottom 6 Big as to what’s similar around the league.. People will still clearly have the pitchforks out.

    Oiler fans for the most part give the prospects next to zero chance of working out.

    Glad there isn’t numerous options to look at around the league at how Oiler draft picks have turned into successful NHL players for other teams.. Due to a large part of them being ran out of town without ever being given a chance.

    Sure will be happy to see Moroz crushing out guys in the future. FFS

  43. OilClog says:

    The player Edmonton will pick will be whoever in that top 5 interviews the best. This is clear isn’t it?

  44. Racki says:

    Lowetide: It disagreed with my opinion. Seriously, no idea why it did it.

    I thought you might have a boring rant filter installed, but there were far more boring rants of mine that slipped through!

    Boo.. Val D’or ties it up again.

    Edit: oops, maybe because like a dummy, I mention Letang is a RHD, but slot him in on the left side. Stupidity filter.

  45. sliderule says:

    Draisaitl looked good today.

    Playing against men got a nice goal and an even better assist.

    Positives for Draisattl is he played in WJC and prospect game.Didnt play all that well but didn’t hide.

    Bennett didnt play in prospect game or in U 18 .Injuries.

    Reinhart and Draisaitl played in everything they could play in and it gives you a better read on their games.

    Bennett not so much.

  46. Rebilled says:

    I’m glad the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA draft today, moving up 9 spots with just a 1.7% chance of winning it.

    because we’re already talking about McDavid.

  47. vesci says:

    Lowetide,

    Lowetide: I know a guy who told me before the draft Ference was coming here. Very confident, he was.

    Why was it that when I read this to myself it was in Yoda’s voice?

  48. Zangetsu says:

    Rebilled,

    I forgot that was tonight. I wanted my suns to get it. They need to replace their canadian content with nash playing for the Devils-er-Lakers. It was a longshot though. I’ll be cheering like hell for andrew wiggins.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I know a guy who told me before the draft Ference was coming here. Very confident, he was.

    Thanks Yoda.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The verbal all year has been that Tallon doesn’t care for Kulikov.

    So, I think you still have to pay for him, but he’s not going to cost full-market value. That’s part of the reason to chase him

    If your LHD goes:

    Kulikov
    Marincin
    Ference (or, you find a way to trade him… lordy please!)
    Klefbom
    —–
    Simpson
    Gernat (those two may be in the wrong order, I have no idea)
    Musil
    —-
    Nurse
    Betker

    I think that gives you crazy depth. You can swap one of the pro kids (Klefbom, Simpson, Gernat, Musil) for something else and/or keep some of these kids developing.

    Keeps Marincin from top pairing. Klefbom on the farm. Nurse in Jr.

    If he was RHD… wow… but I’d still chase him even with all that depth.

    That’s fair, but I don’t want to pay much.

  51. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Don’t Reinhart’s numbers blow away Nugent-Hopkins?

    Ekblad: Larsson
    Drasaital:Couturier
    Bennett:Huberdeau
    Dal Colle: Landeskog

    I have no idea.

    There was no “1A” in RNH’s draft either.

    1A is Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Tavares, Hall/Seguin, Kane, Ovechkin.

    Guys who *everyone* agrees are a big step above the next guy/guys.

  52. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    MacT on TSN: “A guy we’ve watching in Edmonton (Moroz). He’s a sheriff at this level, we’re excited to get him into the organization. He’s going to be a big part of our future.”

    BARF BARF BARF.

    Pleasure watching Samuelsson and Lazar though. Too bad the Oilers would probably rather have G. Reinhart and Moroz…

    Speaking of, look at Reinhart – turns the puck over to give up the tying goal and is then caught on the winner. Good luck NYI. You’re going to need it.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    this is brutal, hilarious… everything really

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=7065

  54. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    this is brutal, hilarious… everything really

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=7065

    Agreed. But Simmond buffoonery is too common. The Canucks Army article earlier today comparing there drafting record to a virtual potato even funnier. The conclusion was that it cost the Canucks the cup and there Dynasty. It has really made my day.

  55. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: That’s fair, but I don’t want to pay much.

    LT floated some deal structured around Gagner for Kulikov.

    I don’t know what’s needed on either side to get it done, but if it’s something in that range, I’d do it (I think).

  56. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    this is brutal, hilarious… everything really

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=7065

    Most of the big names don’t know much about hockey analytics. The best work is from bloggers. That’s why I love the fact that LT mixes his guest list up and gets guys like Dellow and Rom on his show. Great stuff

  57. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If you can trade Gagner for Kulikov (à la LT) and sign the White Russian and friend (à la WG) Yak and Yak II can run free! Make it so comrade MacTavish.

  58. FastOil says:

    So if Gordon is the 2nd best C on the team why doesn’t he play 2C?

  59. FastOil says:

    Perhaps this problem with thinking makes the team lose? Always?

  60. VanOil says:

    FastOil:
    So if Gordon is the 2nd best C on the team why doesn’t he play 2C?

    For the same reason Arco can not Center the 4th line and the GM played without a helmet.

  61. Racki says:

    Gordon can not play 2nd line because he must play in the d-zone all night or he gets the hose again.

    I thought Gordon had a really nice start in camp. He came out flying to start the season too, 4 goals and an assist in the first 6 games (plus a few apples in 3 preseason games).

    I remember him getting good ice time early on, then Dallas Eakins decided that Gordon’s fun was over, and it was time to tie the entire team’s defensive responsibilities to his back. This team seriously needs some guys who can help Gordon. Love the guy, but he’s 30 years old, and I’d really love for him to live til at least 32.

    No matter how much respect he gets from fans, I don’t think he gets enough.

  62. russ99 says:

    It would be wise to add two NHL centers to the mix, and send whoever we draft back to juniors for another year.

    Smart organizations learn from their mistakes. Rushing any of these kids to a NHL second line role is a bad idea,

    I think we should target a 2nd and 4th line center in trade/FA, as that will improve the talent at the NHL level and also push Arco/Lander to earn a spot, which should especially be urgent due to their waiver status with one way contracts.

  63. G Money says:

    VanOil: Agreed. But Simmond buffoonery is too common. The Canucks Army article earlier today comparing there drafting record to a virtual potato even funnier. The conclusion was that it cost the Canucks the cup and there Dynasty. It has really made my day.

    Yeah, that was a funny article and well worth the read.

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

    Apart from the obvious enjoyment of mocking the Canucks, their little experiment also confirms some aspects of drafting which I believe to be true:
    - Drafting is hard.
    - Late round drafting is a giant crapshoot.
    - Most teams overthink their draft choices.
    - Size with skill is awesome, but picking for big size over big skill is mega dumb.
    - Pick against common sense and the consensus at your peril.

  64. Lowetide says:

    G Money: Yeah, that was a funny article and well worth the read.

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

    Apart from the obvious enjoyment of mocking the Canucks, their little experiment also confirms some aspects of drafting which I believe to be true:
    - Drafting is hard.
    - Late round drafting is a giant crapshoot.
    - Most teams overthink their draft choices.
    - Size with skill is awesome, but picking for big size over big skill is mega dumb.
    - Pick against common sense and the consensus at your peril.

    I agree a lot of it is luck, but you can see some weird stuff too. I mean, at what point was Greg Chase (probably) the BPA available? I had him #51. Oilers must have had him ahead of Evan Campbell.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/06/2013-entry-draft-post-9-31-60.html

  65. Hammers says:

    OilClog: The player Edmonton will pick will be whoever in that top 5 interviews the best. This is clear isn’t it?

    Totally agree . McT wants character in his picks .

  66. Hammers says:

    G Money: Yeah, that was a funny article and well worth the read.http://canucksarmy.com/2014/5/20/we-think-the-vancouver-canucks-may-have-a-scouting-problemApart from the obvious enjoyment of mocking the Canucks, their little experiment also confirms some aspects of drafting which I believe to be true:- Drafting is hard.- Late round drafting is a giant crapshoot.- Most teams overthink their draft choices.- Size with skill is awesome, but picking for big size over big skill is mega dumb.- Pick against common sense and the consensus at your peril.

    That was my point last night . These guys get mega bucks to make decisions that a McKenzie or Red Line give for free . The best amateur scouts seem to get the better late picks and so far I rate Marincin our best pick not in the first round . 1 2nd in 5 years with Lander & Pitlick at # 31 picks that we still aren’t sure will make it . A #9 ;1 ;1 ; 1 ;’7 and now a #3 . McGregor and his crew should get that right and so would most of the people on this site . Sure someone would take Tyler or a Landescog but they will all PLAY and for a long time . Ebs & Klef were what 23 & 19 but still first rd picks .It’s time we get players from the deeper rounds or this rebuild goes on for another 5 years.

  67. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah for sure. It’s certainly true that the idea of a draft consensus probably starts to dissipate after the first few rounds. The scouting becomes thin, the market becomes ‘inefficient’ as it were. The takeaway I had from the article is – even in late rounds, you can still use some straightforward rules (“take the highest scoring CHL player left”) and probably do pretty well. Using that rule, in their scenario, note that the Nuckleheads would have taken Chase before the Oilers!

  68. VanOil says:

    G Money: big size over big skill is mega dumb

    Can we put this on a sign on Kingsway? Love it.

    Luck is a fickle in winning and drafting but goalies are Voodoo!

  69. G Money says:

    Hammers: That was my point last night . These guys get mega bucks to make decisions that a McKenzie or Red Line give for free . The best amateur scouts seem to get the better late picks and so far I rate Marincin our best pick not in the first round

    Yeah, but be careful of what you mean when you say that.

    Bear in mind that most of the scouting services are aggregated, meaning that they rely on the consensus opinion of multiple scouts to form these ‘free’ opinions.

    If all the teams decided to give up their scouting departments and just use the aggregated scouting services – poof, the aggregated services disappear because they have nothing left to aggregate.

    You still have to do your own scouting as a team – especially, as you say, in the later rounds where there is less consensus anyway.

    The real value to my mind of the aggregated services is that they give you a sanity check on your scouting department.

    If your scout says Player A should be taken at #10, and the consensus is that player is a third rounder at best – you are betting that your scout is smarter than/knows more about that player than most of the other scouts in the business. Maybe it’s true, but boy you better be damn sure of it.

    Smartest Guys in the Room rarely are.

  70. Lowetide says:

    G Money: Great, great point. People talk as though McKenzie’s list somehow makes scouts moot, when in fact they manufacture the damn thing. If I was the GM (heh), I would come in and ask about things based on BM’s list, though.

    “Frank, you have Nylander 12th on your list, BM has him #5. Why are we out of time with the list?”

  71. jake70 says:

    Woodguy: Thanks Yoda.

    Now, LT, during the off-season, can you take Yak with you to the Dagobah system for some Jedi/2-waytraining….he’s not too old this one……..

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money,

    Lowetide,

    the other thing these aggregated lists provide is a strong guess at where a pick will go.

    So, a pick you have very high, who is lower on the other lists, you are in a safer position to gamble and wait for another round to take him.

  73. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    G Money,

    Lowetide,

    the other thing these aggregated lists provide is a strong guess at where a pick will go.

    So, a pick you have very high, who is lower on the other lists, you are in a safer position to gamble and wait for another round to take him.

    Exactly. Take the Gernat pick, whom I believe there was some discussion that the oilers thought he was in the top 50, but they took him late. The fact that he doesn’t show up anywhere near 50 on the aggregate list allows the team to rest a little easier waiting to take him.

  74. delooper says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Exactly.Take the Gernat pick, whom I believe there was some discussion that the oilers thought he was in the top 50, but they took him late.The fact that he doesn’t show up anywhere near 50 on the aggregate list allows the team to rest a little easier waiting to take him.

    So say you’re a scout that works for team X. You scout a player that no other scouts have looked at (say, in Kazakstan) and you believe he would go 1st round if other scouts knew about him. Do you “under sell” him in your report to NHL central scouting? Is there any kind of check on that behavior?

  75. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Take the Gernat pick, whom I believe there was some discussion that the oilers thought he was in the top 50, but they took him late.

    As I recall Oilers said Gernat was #35 on their list, but they were pretty confident he wasn’t even on many lists so they could gamble he’d still be there later on. Snag Simpson first, then hope Gernat is still around in Round 5.

  76. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Adding Kulikov makes no sense.

    Kulikov is much closer to that magic 300 game mark where NHL defensemen seem to get it. You add Kulikov if you want to speed the process along rather than wait for Klefbom to mature and because Marincin sustaining this years’ level of play is not a sure thing.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: As I recall Oilers said Gernat was #35 on their list, but they were pretty confident he wasn’t even on many lists so they could gamble he’d still be there later on. Snag Simpson first, then hope Gernat is still around in Round 5.

    They said they had him in the top 35 overall

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/08/a-closer-look-at-martin-gernat.html

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