JOHNNY TOO BAD

The 2009 draft offered the Oilers a top 10 selection and gave fans their first chance to see Steve Tambellini’s prowess during a summer procurement season. It was Stu MacGregor’s second draft, and he and the scouting staff were getting a lot of attention for the Jordan Eberle selection one summer previous. paajarvi1

Magnus Paajarvi, NHL, per 82GP: 12-14-26

I miss him. Magnus Paajarvi remains the most Pisani of all the kids, and one day (imo) he’ll play a key role for a good NHL team as a fine two-way player. You might think that’s a waste of a top ten selection, but for my money it’s one of the key elements the current Oilers are missing. A good two-way winger can mentor talented kids (Pisani did with Stoll and Torres) and can help your team in so many ways. I’d take him back in a heartbeat.

Forwards (per 82GP)

  1. Anton Lander 14-28-42. His offense finally found a way to blossom on North American soil. The concern is that much of it (43, 10-16-26) came on the power play. If you RE his EV numbers (43, 8-14-22) you get 82gp, 7-11-18—and that is his real offensive ability in my opinion. The good news is that Lander probably does have the defensive chops to survive in the NHL while delivering paltry offense. The bad news? I don’t know that the Oilers will value that aspect of his game to the point where they settle on him. I suspect they’ll find another option.
  2. Toni Rajala 16-21-37. This fellow looks like a player to me. He posted a quality AHL season before heading to Sweden, and put up good numbers there. He’s still just 22, and I doubt we see him again (he wasn’t a high pick, and he’s undersized), but I like him plenty.
  3. Cameron Abney ECHL. Fans looking for a hammer against MBS can use this and never get a complaint from me. Although the Oilers shy away from ‘reach selections’ nowadays, the 2009 draft boasted two off the board picks that truly set the tone for a wasteful draft year. Abney could fight, but broke his hand in junior and was never the same player. He was dealt to Toronto in the Mark Fraser deal, and that will give him a place in the Hockey Encyclopedia.

The 2009 draft has produced almost 100 players who have made an NHL appearance, and many of them are excellent forwards. Among the group taken after Lander: Drew Shore, Richard Panik, Brandon Pirri, Tomas Tatar, Reilly Smith, Craig Smith, Cody Eakin, Marcus Foligno, Marcus Kruger and Jordan Nolan. I’m happy Edmonton signed Lander, and even happier it was at $600,000. He may have a future, but he may be a waiver wire victim in the fall. I don’t think there’s much doubt that you’d want a little more for your second round pick five years on.

Defense (per 82GP)

  1. Troy Hesketh Out of hockey. The nadir of the MacGregor draft era, this was the ultimate reach pick, a reminder of the Niinimaki days when even the internet couldn’t find 30 words on a pick. The line that made me giggle: ‘we heard New Jersey was after him’. Sure they were. OR they leaked they were and drafted NHL player Alexander Orbom instead. The Oilers are risk averse since this draft, but Troy Hesketh should serve as a sober reminder of the evils of the words ‘he had a real passion for the guy’ in the draft process. “You like him, Frank? How come Red Line has him #9000?” That question should be asked, good golly especially in the third round when McKenzie’s list still has some remnants. Bad, bad bad asset management.
  2. Kyle Bigos ECHL. I’d like to talk for a moment about Steve Tambellini. Bigos is a big man with speed issues, born in the wrong era. I liked him as a prospect, but the world has changed and I don’t think the big Korab’s are going to get around the ice much anymore. Doug Murray might be the last, or John Scott. Anyway, Tambellini traded Kyle Brodziak for this pick and the one used for Olivier Roy. When people talk about the horrible Oilers drafting record, I think we should spend a moment discussing flushed assets like Brodziak. I know he was taken deep in a draft and was selected as an overager, but the Oilers didn’t have to send him away for a pair of 4th round picks. Oh, and the Oilers also sent the pick that turned into Darcy Kuemper in that deal. Lordy.

Goalie

  1. Olivier Roy 12, 3.31 .902 AHL. Roy is an interesting prospect, but he’s spent a lot of time in the ECHL and is three pro seasons into his career. I don’t know much about goalies, but nothing in his minor league resume screams future NHL goaltender.

RANKING THE 2009 OILER DRAFT

  1. L Magnus Paajarvi
  2. C Anton Lander
  3. L Toni Rajala
  4. G Olivier Roy
  5. D Kyle Bigos
  6. R Cameron Abney
  7. D Troy Hesketh

This draft has an outside chance of producing two NHL players, but there’s a lot of waste here. I never had a quarrel with the Paajarvi pick, and do think that Lander would have had a career if he’d been lucky enough to end up with a strong, mature and well run organization. It was not to be, and now we are here.

COMBINING THE 2009-2013 DRAFTS (RANKED)

  1. L Taylor Hall
  2. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. R Nail Yakupov
  4. D Darnell Nurse
  5. D Oscar Klefbom
  6. D Martin Marincin
  7. L Magnus Paajarvi
  8. C Greg Chase
  9. D Dillon Simpson
  10. C Bogdan Yakimov
  11. C Anton Lander
  12. C Jujhar Khaira
  13. D Martin Gernat
  14. L Toni Rajala
  15. R Tyler Pitlick
  16. R Tobias Rieder
  17. L Marco Roy
  18. R Jackson Houck
  19. L Mitchell Moroz
  20. D David Musil
  21. L Anton Slepyshev
  22. D Erik Gustafsson
  23. D Brandon Davidson
  24. R John McCarron
  25. D Ben Betker
  26. D Joey Laleggia
  27. L Aidan Muir
  28. L Curtis Hamilton
  29. C Kyle Platzer
  30. C Travis Ewanyk
  31. L Daniil Zharkov
  32. G Olivier Roy
  33. D Kyle Bigos
  34. C Ryan Martindale
  35. G Tyler Bunz
  36. G Frans Tuohimaa
  37. F Kellen Jones
  38. L Evan Campbell
  39. D Jeremie Blain
  40. G Samu Perhonen
  41. L Drew Czerwonka
  42. R Cameron Abney
  43. D Troy Hesketh

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26 Responses to "JOHNNY TOO BAD"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    It’s amazing that there’s so many players arguably worse than Evan Campbell. Amazing.

  2. FastOil says:

    Morning gents. I’m catching up on reading and not meaning to thread jack but want to make a comment about Gordon before the party starts here.

    Very few players would do well doing what he has with who he has. Hendricks is an overpriced 4th liner. Gordon without the severe ZS and competent line mates would be at least adequate at 3C. I bet he’d even do well with hard ZS.

    If they had any C depth they may even be able to use him like Horcoff at 2C with Perron and Yak.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It’s amazing that there’s so many players arguably worse than Evan Campbell. Amazing.

    lol. Well, if he retired today Campbell might end up at the bottom, but he’s active. So that puts him ahead of Czerwonka and Hesketh. Abney I’m comfortable putting there, believe me. You could argue Perhonen and Blain and I’d listen, it could be organizational bias on my part.

  4. Hammers says:

    None make it between 24 and 43 . Maybe 4 have a shot from 14 to 23 . The top 13 all have a chance of playing at least a few games if not long careers with probably 7 having a long run . Considering 3 are 1st overall picks this list doesn’t look that good for 5 years .

  5. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    None make it between 24 and 43 . Maybe 4 have a shot from 14 to 23 . The top 13 all have a chance of playing at least a few games if not long careers with probably 7 having a long run . Considering 3 are 1st overall picks this list doesn’t look that good for 5 years .

    Based on what? Is there evidence available that puts this 5 year list into the ‘doesn’t look that good’ category? I’m not aware of that kind of list over multiple teams, but would love to compare. Surely that top 6 will trump one or two five year clusters over the years.

  6. John Chambers says:

    Remember TC back in 09 when Paajarvi-Svensson netted a Hattie playing on the left side with Hemsky on the right?

    I thought he might just emerge as the best of the three.

    St Louis might flush the kid, and I would ache to get him back.

  7. CurtisS says:

    This tells us why our rebuild through only the draft is going to be 10 years. Im using 2008 as a starter because this is when Stu took over.

    Out of 2008 and 2009 we have one player making a impact on our team. Lets say 2 because of Perron, thank god management corrected the scouting a few years later.

    2010 looks better only because of Hall. Marincin is going to be fine, and thank god we hit on this pick, because it was originally a 2007 first rounder.

    To early to tell on 2011 2012 2013 drafts, but if they are like the first 3 of Stu’s we are in for the 10 year rebuild.

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Roy is an interesting prospect, but he’s spent a lot of time in the ECHL and is three pro seasons into his career.

    Good grief, you’re right. I made the point a couple of threads back that Roy was still in the ECHL after 2 years to Brossoit’s 1, and that it was a big difference, but I lost a year in there. If there’s a goalie out there with THREE seasons in Double A who went on to be anything at all at the NHL level, I can’t think of who it is.

    That Minnesota also drafted a real goalie in Darcy Kuemper in addition to the free player they got in Brodziak is a cruel twist. It might not be the worst thing Oilers have done, but that is one trade that has done nothing but stick the knife in and twist. Horrendous asset management.

  9. D says:

    Hi LT,

    I took a quick look at the 79 – 83 cluster – 11 of those names pop out as regulars/contributors to the Oilers long term and an additional 4 as more than fringe but less than regular. This 09 – 13 cluster seems to be trending just short of that number, but if Chase, Simpson, and Yakimov (or a Marincin-like surprise further down) end up becoming NHL regulars, then this group can form a solid core. The high end of the 09 – 13 cluster really needs to step up production though.

  10. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It’s amazing that there’s so many players arguably worse than Evan Campbell. Amazing.

    It’s difficult to project “out of hockey” whereas some of the guys below him have already achieved that nadir of development. For now he just looks like a bad pick without years of non-performance to back that up. If he’s in the UHL in three years he’ll give some of these dudes a run for their money.

  11. Racki says:

    This 2009 draft looks like a serious dud. Oh well.

  12. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It’s amazing that there’s so many players arguably worse than Evan Campbell. Amazing.

    I don’t agree.

    Campbell had a pretty decent freshman year. Some healthy scratches; diminished ice time until his coach trusted him. By year end and into the playoffs he was putting up decent numbers (13 points in his last 22 games including playoffs)

    I would think he is the range to put up 20+ points in 33 games next year. That’s good for a sophomore.

    Maybe you ding him because he was drafted as a 20 yr old out of a minor junior program. The great Pisani was drafted as a 20 year old out of the AJHL.

    Pisani put up more points in his first year in college than Campbell (30 in 35 vs 11 in 33) but no doubt some of that was opportunity.

    As a 5th rounder he basically has no chance and the critics will likely be right, but its a little early to put him on the scrap heap.

  13. Racki says:

    FastOil:
    Morning gents. I’m catching up on reading and not meaning to thread jack but want to make a comment about Gordon before the party starts here.

    Very few players would do well doing what he has with who he has. Hendricks is an overpriced 4th liner. Gordon without the severe ZS and competent line mates would be at least adequate at 3C. I bet he’d even do well with hard ZS.

    If they had any C depth they may even be able to use him like Horcoff at 2C with Perron and Yak.

    I’m with you here. I think 3rd C is a very realistic option for Gordon. They’re going to Horcoff him into an early grave though if they keep using him the way they are. I would like to see another centerman brought in of that calibre to help share the burden. I think while Gordon isn’t going to be banging a lot of pucks in the net, he seems capable of keeping up to the play. I thought he looked pretty good early in the year when he had more offensive opportunity.

    I think the Oilers should try to set their sights higher for #2C, but could definitely stand to see Gordon as the 3rd C if they have a reliable 4th option.

  14. tcho says:

    Apologies if it’s already been linked to in a previous thread, but an interesting read for the LT crowd:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/when-nhl-players-peak-hockey-metrics-1.2646054

  15. Zangetsu says:

    It’s funny horcoff has come up so much this thread. He was roasted for his massive contract, but the oil could have afforded to keep him for it’s duration. Meanwhile fans are looking to take on problem contracts such as Phaneuf and Umberger. I will never get how some fans think.

  16. frjohnk says:

    Does Ewanyk possibly project as a 4th liner in the NHL in 3, 4 years? I remember him in jr as an energy player, really good on the faceoff, good defensively, hard checking, willing to drop the gloves and was described as a fitness freak. He is 6-2 and I’m guessing over 200 pounds by now. Not sure how he did with the Barons this past year.

  17. season not played says:

    If we can agree that the Oilers have been on a neverending fruitless search for size and toughness that can play in their top nine, or even top six, then someone still has to explain to me why they didn’t take Zack Kassian in this draft when they had the chance. He may be a Class A jerk, but he is exactly what this team needs and as close to Milan Lucic as you will find in the league.

    Also LT just to comment on your draft series from the last couple of days as a whole, nice work. The reality of it is, unless whoever is in charge of this team over the next couple of years can make some beneficial trades and astute FA signings based on solid pro scouting (don’t hold your breath) than this team isn’t going anywhere based on the players they have procured from the drafts between 2008 and 2013. There isn’t enough coming yet and we won’t fully know about 2013 until the next decade. Ultimately, wins and losses will tell the story about whether or not the Oilers are a legitimate organization or still a broken one.

  18. frjohnk says:

    season not played,

    Zach Kassain? *Barf*
    Dumber than a bag of hammers. Guys like that are constantly doing stuff that have teammates saying to themselves “what the hell is that guy thinking”.

    I had a teammate like that in AAA , big body, but always doing stupid stuff ( he also had the kassain look, you know, lights are on but nobody is home glaze). Pretty much every game we just shook our head at his antics. Guys like that are not good for dressing room cohesion either.

  19. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: Based on what? Is there evidence available that puts this 5 year list into the ‘doesn’t look that good’ category? I’m not aware of that kind of list over multiple teams, but would love to compare. Surely that top 6 will trump one or two five year clusters over the years.

    LT you tell me if your gut tells you this is a good list . No other team ever had 3 firsts with a #9 and #7 on either side plus a # 19. Just stating my opinion or gut feel . I just feel that 6 should be stars even if its Matheson or Jones picking let alone actual paid employees . MacGregor should have got that group without watching a game .

  20. RexLibris says:

    In case anyone here is interested in analytics and statistical analysis.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2014/5/19/journal-of-hockey-analytics-volume-i-issue-2

    Just remember to clear your history afterwards (FlamesNation).

  21. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: LT you tell me if your gut tells you this is a good list . No other team ever had 3 firsts with a #9 and #7 on either side plus a # 19. Just stating my opinion or gut feel . I just feel that 6 should be stars even if its Matheson or Jones picking let alone actual paid employees . MacGregor should have got that group without watching a game .

    I think that’s the point, Hammers. We all wanted more, what’s fair? Normal? If this is a giant disappointment, as you seem to feel, may I ask for evidence? I’m not arguing that the Oilers drafting 2008-13 is the best six year period, but I believe the lack of success for the NHL team has drawn a lot of early attention on the draft group.

    The failures are famous, I’ll give you that. But why are the successes, like Simpson and others, obscure? That’s what I’m trying to shine a light on.

    Your point is well taken, it appears to our eyes as though there should be more? Should there? Should the Oilers be drawn and quartered for missing Saad and Gallagher? Or is this randomness happening, but under a microscope.

    I’m not asking you to change your mind, I’m asking you to have another look. I believe that’s fair.

  22. Backhand says:

    Lowetide: I think that’s the point, Hammers. We all wanted more, what’s fair? Normal? If this is a giant disappointment, as you seem to feel, may I ask for evidence? I’mnot arguing that the Oilers drafting 2008-13 is the best six year period, but I believe the lack of success for the NHL team has drawn a lot of early attention on the draft group.

    The failures are famous, I’ll give you that. But why are the successes, like Simpson and others, obscure? That’s what I’m trying to shine a light on.

    Your point is well taken, it appears to our eyes as though there should be more? Should there? Should the Oilers be drawn and quartered for missing Saad and Gallagher? Or is this randomness happening, but under a microscope.

    I’m not asking you to change your mind, I’m asking you to have another look. I believe that’s fair.

    I’ve spent some time searching other teams draft history out of curiosity. By eye, it appears that most teams draft 1-2 players per draft that become NHL players. Should a team draft 3, I would call that draft a huge success. Now this is all subjective (including definition of NHL player), but the Oil do have a chance to take 10 players from that list and make NHL players out of them. I think that would be a success no matter what quality of players the remaining turn into. You have 3 great players at the top already.

    What I noticed about some good teams, was drafting consistency. They tended to get their 1-2 NHL players every draft. Where as others would have good and bad years.

    I know subjective analysis is not popular on this blog, but just something to think about. Should someone crunch the numbers one day, they may find something different.

  23. OilClog says:

    Horc was roasted more so for who we lost while we kept Horc.

  24. gcw_rocks says:

    I desperately wanted the Oilers to take Kulikov in that draft. The Oilers would have screwed him up, no doubt, but man, he would have filled a need and would be maturing at exactly the right time.

  25. gcw_rocks says:

    Ottawa had a heck of a draft. Cowen, Silvferberg, Lehner, and Hoffman.

  26. hags9k says:

    Man it would just do wonders for this club if a couple guys like Lander and Pitlick could do a 3rd and 4th line version of going supernova…

    The prospect I’m pulling hardest for is Musil. Honorable mention to Davidson. Musil will have to come from a ways back, but I’m not giving up on him.

    Also, every bone in my body says that Moroz was born to be an Oiler, and will be a tonic for this team.

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