ENTRY DRAFT ’14: OILERS AND RUSSIA

The Oilers began using Russia as a resource about 100 years after everyone else. Among a generation of poor decisions, this would have to rank up there. Oh well, at least they changed their crazy ways in time to become permanent residents of Yak City.

NHL TOTAL PLAYERS/RUSSIAN PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 8 from the Q
  • 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 4 from Russia
  • 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 9 from Russia
  • FINAL TALLY: 1265 total players, 39 from the Q
  • PERCENTAGE: 3%

OILERS TOTAL PLAYERS/RUSSIAN PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 2 from Russia
  • 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from Russia
  • FINAL TALLY: 49 total players, 2 from Russia
  • PERCENTAGE: 4%

It’s shocking to see how much the KHL has impacted Russians in Russia at the NHL draft. If you’re an agent, and your kid is good enough, you have to get him to North America at 15 or 16. The Oilers covered the average and exceeded it with two picks in the third round last season. I can’t imagine there’s a place on earth where the value is higher—there must be NHL players in Russian junior and pro leagues. The worry? Signing them and bringing these kids over. Putin is a factor in most world events, he and Medvedev are certainly influencing NHL teams.

I’m hesitant to give credit to Craig MacTavish for this, although he is the executive who is responsible for the 2013 selections. It’s my opinion the credit for Edmonton’s new view on Russia comes from their decision to draft Nail Yakupov. I also believe we’re seeing immediate positive results, Yakimov coming to North America being evidence.

I didn’t have a Russia-Oilers post last spring—why would anyone have believed it?—but the two prospects chosen were well known.

  • Corey Pronman on Slepyshev: Passed over in last year’s draft, mostly due to signability concerns. Despite being ranked 17th in last year’s Hockey Prospectus draft rankings, he falls to 45th this season, simply due to the depth of the draft class. He is an above-average skater, with agility and free movement, as his shiftiness makes him hard to check. He has a plus shot and he knows it, as his mentality is often shoot-first, even from distance. He can still make plays, and he does not have tunnel vision, but his playmaking skills are not his best element. His physical game has progressed, and he has added strength since last season. He can protect pucks moderately well. He will display physical effort, although it could be better at times. He also needs to work on his defensive game.
  • Pronman on Yakimov: Had a decent season playing in the second-tier Russian pro league, and he was a final cut from the Russian World Junior squad. He is a big center, measuring in at about 6’5″. He may not have the top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone, he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions himself effectively. As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still, he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to progress in that area.

TOP DRAFT ELIGIBLES 2014, Russia

  1. L Vladislav Kamenev, Magnitogorsk 2: Impressive skill player with size, lit U-18′s on fire. 6.02, 176.
  2. G Ilya Sorokin, Metallurg: Young goalie has been impressive—in the KHL.
  3. L Semyon Koshalev, Kazzinc-Torpedo: Skill player of note, he has value among KHL teams.
  4. L Andrei Kuzmenko, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva: Skill winger, 5.11 168 and one of the smaller forward on the list.
  5. L Alexander Sharov, CSKA 2: Impressive scorer is 6.01, 180 and has been quality for two seasons.
  6. D Nikita Cherepanov, Yaroslavl: 6.01, 180, went 54gp, 4-11-15 and +27 this season.
  7. D Vladislav Gavrikov, Magnitogorsk 2: 6.02, 190 and posted solid numbers across the board.
  8. L Artur Boltanov, Magnitogorsk 2: 6.01, 163, he was part of the Russian tour of juniors and scored well.
  9. R Yegor Korshkov, Yaroslavl 2: Tall, lanky scoring winger who has played on some National teams.
  10. D Yevgeni Voronkov, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva: Big, lanky kid who looks like he could be from around here.

It’s anyone’s guess where these kids go, chances are fewer than 10 will be selected during the entire 2014 draft. I’m very interested in that Kamenev fellow, and can’t help but be impressed with the career progress of Sorokin. Will the Oilers take another Russian? There’s value here, suspect they will proceed based on getting diamonds where others dare not roam. Funny to be in this situation after so many years in the wilderness.

Thanks, Nail!

slepyshev

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Friday! Busy show with interesting guests! TSN 1260 beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Bob Cole, Habs out, NHL combine.
  • Alanna Phillips, CFL is for Girls. Impressive blog, interesting opinions.
  • Corey Pronman, ESPN. Draft, focusing on Euro’s like Kamenev, your questions welcome.
  • Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra. Previewing tomorrow’s show guests, which include Magnus Paajarvi’s Dad. !!!!.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. If you have a question for Pronman or any of our guests, twitter is the best way to get them through.

 

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33 Responses to "ENTRY DRAFT ’14: OILERS AND RUSSIA"

  1. D says:

    Speaking of the Habs being out – the NHL has got to be excited about a New York – LA or New York – Chicago match up. If this is Bob Cole’s last game, sorry to see him go.

  2. jake70 says:

    Im at work, literally just spent 20 minutes talking to a guy here about drafting Russians which we never do…strange. I hope the Yak thing work out, either as an Oiler or good return for him. But I think you are bang on about Putin/Medvedev – the influence is undeniable. We talk about “tilting the ice” in games, Putin wants to tilt the ice in terms of talent towards the KHL. He got 50B for Sochi, so no shortage of money. I miss old drinking/dancing Yeltsin..lol.

    Mike Keenan won the KHL championship this year, on HC at noon interview, he said that league is better than the AHL.

    Anyway, I think I stay away from Russians, soley because of the KHL thing.

  3. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    TYPOS: The Q is not that far east.

  4. Oilanderp says:

    I wonder what is the average salary these guys can expect in the KHL versus the AHL. It would be nice to know. It would put the possibility of flight in perspective.

  5. rickithebear says:

    Alexander Kadeykin?
    Not sure if draft eligble? ( question how it reads)
    20 in October
    top 15 in U24 points

  6. Chunklets says:

    Have you heard anything from your draft sources about Nikita Tryamkin, the massive (6’7″, 230) defenseman from Avtomobilist? He’s got two pretty much full KHL seasons under his belt, and although he didn’t light up the scoreboard (4-7-11 in 20 min/game over 77 games), he’s kept his head above water on what was at times an absolutely godawful team. In 2012-14, he went -4, while Avtomobilist’s goal difference overall was -76. He also scored decently in the Russian junior circuit, so there is some offense there. He may have hideous skating issues that I’m unaware of, or the like, but I think he’s an interesting player!

    Here’s his elite prospects card.

  7. Bar_Qu says:

    What do they do in Russia? Prevent all the under 5’10″ people from breeding? That’s a lotta tall trees available in the draft.

    Making another option an actual option, even if it isn’t where you are getting your first rounders, is a good idea. Good on the scouting staff/organisation for expanding their minds to include Russia.

  8. rickithebear says:

    jake70:
    Im at work,literally just spent 20 minutes talking to a guy here about drafting Russians which we never do…strange.I hope the Yak thing work out, either as an Oiler or good return for him.But I think you are bang on about Putin/Medvedev –the influence is undeniable.We talk about “tilting the ice” in games, Putin wants to tilt the ice in terms of talent towards the KHL. He got 50B for Sochi, so no shortage of money. I miss old drinking/dancing Yeltsin..lol.

    Mike Keenan won the KHL championship this year, on HC at noon interview, he said that league is better than the AHL.

    Anyway, I think Istay away from Russians, soley because of the KHL thing.

    Any way I draft the best russians if we are taking the 60th best NA. in the draft.

    Which has a greater chance of making an impact in the league.

    Players who scored like Ovechkin and Malkin in Russia.
    or some fringe NA. junior.

    The exact reason you take them. they are the best young players in the second best league in the world.

    by NHLE 2.75 times togher than the CHL.

    Cheers to MacT.

    Take a bunch of Elite Russian; Czech; Euro players in the lower rounds. let them cook for the 1 or 2 years while there contracts run out. Bring them over!

    if they have not lit up The Ahl and forced there way onto the team. that 6-17% chance of getting a player was worth the risk.

    we draft 2 players who’s KHL nhle and Age projection say both will be top 60 in EVP.

    I want the 6’5″ center Kadeykin who likely will be able to replace Gagner’s 45P

    RNH 6’1″ ???Lb
    Yakimov 6’5″ 225lb 35 EVP ??????????? PP
    Kadeykin 6’5″ 220lb 45P
    Khaira 6’4″ 220lb

  9. wintoon says:

    This piece today links well with a previous piece that stated that college kids also provide a potential source of high potential players with little or no downside cost/risk. Given the situation the Oilers fid themselves in, MacT is well advised to be seeking out these possible bargans. It is one way to intelligently supplement the value of lower picks.

  10. PTeter says:

    Oilanderp,

    Players in the KHL can make anywhere from double an ELC AHL player’s salary on up to more than 15 times that salary. For those on entry level AHL salaries, it is of course much higher. On top of the salary the possibility of playing more and having more of an impact is also a huge factor. Some of the lower ranked teams are on par with the very best AHL teams, others would rank far above. Keenan said the KHL playoffs were comparable with NHL play.

  11. Hammers says:

    wintoon: This piece today links well with a previous piece that stated that college kids also provide a potential source of high potential players with little or no downside cost/risk. Given the situation the Oilers fid themselves in, MacT is well advised to be seeking out these possible bargans. It is one way to intelligently supplement the value of lower picks.

    I think they and most other teams are already doing exactly that . Arco , Schultz , Simpson to name 3

  12. Woodguy says:

    Ahhh, Steve Lansky and Russians in the same post.

    Here a Lansky gem and my follow up:

    Steve Lansky ‏@bigmouthsports May 25
    Russians win gold at #IIHFWorlds or, as they refer to it, “The only championship we give a s**t about” #StanleyCup #RightOvi?

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 May 25
    .@bigmouthsports Ovi’s points/playoff game is identical to Esposito and Lafleur. I guess they didn’t care either.

    Steve Lansky ‏@bigmouthsports May 25
    @Woodguy55 Has absolutely NOTHING to do with points scored

    ‏@Woodguy55
    .@bigmouthsports So how are you measuring how much he cares?

    Here’s Lansky on Fancystats:

    Steve Lansky @bigmouthsports · May 19
    Honest to gawd, Corsi stats are just so nerds, who know nothing about sports, can feel like they’re part of it. That’ll be a popular tweet.

    I love that guys like Lansky and Simmons consider themselves as “part of the game” because they were/are a part of sports media, but fans are not and can not be “a part of the game”

    Simmons was giving fancystats guys the gears one day and said “I learned hockey from Al Arbour”

    When pressed to explain this, he said he covered the Isles SCF a couple years.

    Amazing.

    When he watches a game he’s “learning”

    When fans watch the game and study it, dissect it etc.etc we don’t.

  13. Racki says:

    Woodguy,

    Some “fancy stats” folks rely too heavily on them though I think. I don’t think they should be rejected at all, however . I was a late adopter though, and still getting used to them. But to me it should help explain what your eyes see and possibly negate a bit of that subjectivity. But I don’t like when people just scrape up some stats on a player they don’t watch as though they know all there is to know about a player. I think using a bit of both is very good practice. Your eyes can have some bias… And the fancy stats help remove that a bit.

    I used to have the same attitude as these a holes though. It’s closed minded. And really, they’re no less fanboy Nerd types than those that pull out the pocket calculator to watch a game.

  14. Jordan says:

    Woodguy:
    When he watches a game he’s “learning”

    When fans watch the game and study it, dissect it etc.etc we don’t.

    And people say that class warfare is dead. At least in sports I can understand how it can exist – either you’ve developed the skills to play the sport at the elite level or you haven’t.

    But to suggest that either you understand the game or you don’t… by your level of access and experience in reporting it? LAWLZ… Napoleon was a tactical genius, but didn’t stop him from failing to see the strategic miss-step that was invading Russia. Clearly he should have known his role and stuck to it, right Steve?

  15. Mr DeBakey says:

    rickithebear: I want the 6’5″ center Kadeykin who likely will be able to replace Gagner’s 45P

    He is under contract with Atlant Mytishchi for another season.

    I see Ak Bars Kazan signed Fyodor Malykhin, arguably the best UFA from the KHL.

  16. Younger Oil says:

    That’s a pretty intriguing list, but there’s one name that wasn’t mentioned that I think is definitely worth a mention! Pavel Kraskovski, a 6’4” 187lb center playing for Yaroslavl. 27 points in 39 games with a +22 in the MHL, and a goal and a +1 playing in 8 KHL games, playing under 10 minutes a game. He’s young too, born on September 11, 1996. Definitely worth considering for a late round pick IMO. Seems a bit like Yakimov, but essentially two years younger.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=212441

  17. G Money says:

    I wonder if Lansky and co. approach other life endeavours the same way?

    “I don’t want a doctor that uses numbers and tests and measures to diagnose me! That’s NERD stuff! A good doctor can just SEE what’s wrong with me.”

    “I don’t need an accountant to know whether my company is making money. That’s NERD stuff! A good businessman can just SEE how well the company is doing.”

    etc.

    It’s just the howl of the stupid, frankly.

  18. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    When I watch House I know that I am learning medicine.

    That’s how it works right?

    I am also qualified to be a forensic scientist and a lawyer. I can build my own house. I can even write a newspaper column.*

    *Note, only one of those is actually true.

  19. spoiler says:

    G Money: I wonder if Lansky and co. approach other life endeavours the same way?
    “I don’t want a doctor that uses numbers and tests and measures to diagnose me! That’s NERD stuff! A good doctor can just SEE what’s wrong with me.”
    “I don’t need an accountant to know whether my company is making money. That’s NERD stuff! A good businessman can just SEE how well the company is doing.”
    etc.
    It’s just the howl of the stupid, frankly.

    Dumb has been cool for a long time. It is exalted on TV, and in many movies. It is a goal of this modern day society.

  20. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Ahhh, Steve Lansky and Russians in the same post.
    Here a Lansky gem and my follow up:
    Steve Lansky ‏@bigmouthsports May 25
    Russians win gold at #IIHFWorlds or, as they refer to it, “The only championship we give a s**t about” #StanleyCup #RightOvi?
    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 May 25
    .@bigmouthsports Ovi’s points/playoff game is identical to Esposito and Lafleur. I guess they didn’t care either.
    Steve Lansky ‏@bigmouthsports May 25
    @Woodguy55 Has absolutely NOTHING to do with points scored
    ‏@Woodguy55
    .@bigmouthsports So how are you measuring how much he cares?
    Here’s Lansky on Fancystats:
    Steve Lansky @bigmouthsports · May 19
    Honest to gawd, Corsi stats are just so nerds, who know nothing about sports, can feel like they’re part of it. That’ll be a popular tweet.
    I love that guys like Lansky and Simmons consider themselves as “part of the game” because they were/are a part of sports media, but fans are not and can not be “a part of the game”
    Simmons was giving fancystats guys the gears one day and said “I learned hockey from Al Arbour”
    When pressed to explain this, he said he covered the Isles SCF a couple years.
    Amazing.
    When he watches a game he’s “learning”
    When fans watch the game and study it, dissect it etc.etc we don’t.

    Yes, but using computer networks and software, like Twitter, isn`t nerdy. Jesus what an idiot (Lansky is).

    Lansky knows he has a built-in anti-stats audience he can cater to. He knows he has built-in insults for the stats crew. Why do actual work and thinking when laziness will pay off just as well?

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I wonder what the league numbers (of drafted Russians) look like when we account for teams that take players like Zharkov or Yakupov, players that came over to take a crack at North America and case depending stay, go back, or land somewhere in-between?

    How many Russians of note playing in the CHL or USHL are there?

    Barbashev being the most prominent.

  22. spoiler says:

    I am still whacked out on T3s. Can I daydream about off-season game plans some more? Or are y’all still sick of me from yesterday, lol?

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    Past the first couple sentences, Pronman’s scouting report for Slepyshev could just as easily be describing Yak.

    He is an above-average skater, with agility and free movement, as his shiftiness makes him hard to check. He has a plus shot and he knows it, as his mentality is often shoot-first, even from distance. He can still make plays, and he does not have tunnel vision, but his playmaking skills are not his best element. His physical game has progressed, and he has added strength since last season. He can protect pucks moderately well. He will display physical effort, although it could be better at times. He also needs to work on his defensive game.

  24. Lowetide says:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/30/building-the-perfect-beast

    I used that cool Capgeek feature to rob Toronto and Montreal.

  25. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/30/building-the-perfect-beastI used that cool Capgeek feature to rob Toronto and Montreal.

    I love it too. So easy-peasy. It also collects stats so you can see who fans are trading away the most and who they are trading for. Salaries they give, lots of things, if I could only remember through the haze…

  26. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide,

    I like it. Here’s how to make it better :)
    I would try and sign Stralman instead of Weaver and play him with Markov, and push Petry and Schultz down one.

    I would also play the forwards differently.

    I would play Kulemin with Grabovski and Perron. That’s my all situations line.

    I would play Hendricks with Gordon and the Moss signing. That’s my defensive zone start line.

    Then you have Yakupov with Wilson and Arcobello. That’s my offensive zone start line.

    To do this you’d have to squeeze the salaries a little more. But I think it’s a better team.

    The key is to find the money for Stralman instead of Weaver, or to find a way to trade for Josi instead of Wilson.

  27. Caramel Obvious says:

    There are two paths forward this offseason. There are variations on the lowetide plan above. And there is finding a way to trade Gagner and stuff for Byfuglien. Let’s see a Byfuglien plan.

  28. Caramel Obvious says:

    Cullen’s lineup is depressingly realistic. It’s more likely to happen but it isn’t good enough to win.

  29. Caramel Obvious says:

    Ok, this is the Byfuglien lineup. It just fits under a $71 million cap using lowetide’s numbers. Make it happen.

    CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
    CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6.000m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($4.500m) / Nikolai Kulemin ($3.500m)
    Matt Hendricks ($1.850m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / David Moss ($2.500m)
    Anton Lander ($0.600m) / Mark Arcobello ($0.600m) / Nail Yakupov ($0.925m)
    Luke Gazdic ($0.699m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Andrei Markov ($6.500m) / Dustin Byfuglien ($5.200m)
    Martin Marincin ($0.730m) / Jeff Petry ($4.500m)
    Oscar Klefbom ($0.894m) / Justin Schultz ($4.000m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Viktor Fasth ($2.900m)
    Ben Scrivens ($2.300m)
    BUYOUTS
    Eric Belanger ($0.000m)
    BURIED
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.025m)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $70,285,167; BONUSES: $3,340,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $714,833

  30. spoiler says:

    Caramel Obvious: There are two paths forward this offseason. There are variations on the lowetide plan above. And there is finding a way to trade Gagner and stuff for Byfuglien. Let’s see a Byfuglien plan.

    I’ve been working on Byfuglien between fits of narcolepsy and I have to say that I can’t seem to make it realistic without giving up a 1st rounder. Unfortunately, he’s only signed for two more years, Burns, for eg, has more term. And I’m thinking I want the stud on the left side. Reason being is that Schultz is obviously going to get his minutes and probably tough opp, so do we want him paired with Ference or Klefbom? Or a bona fide stud muffin?

    I also worked out an even more unrealistic scenario where we sign Grabo and trade for Burns AND Byfuglien (but lost two 1sts Yak Gags and prospects), just because I felt the need to look at something and sob uncontrollably.

    Edit:

    Ahhh, now I see that you wanted Markov and Byfuglien. You greedy thing, lol.

  31. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    spoiler: It also collects stats so you can see who fans are trading away the most and who they are trading for

    Since buyers can buy more players than are sold by sellers, why stop at one of whoever you want?

    “we were five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards”

  32. spoiler says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: Since buyers can buy more players than are sold by sellers, why stop at one of whoever you want? “we were five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards”

    True. But you get an idea of most-hated versus most-desired. What fans think of their players. Back in the day, Tom Gilbert would have topped the traded away list.

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