RE 13-14 STU MACGREGOR: I’VE BEEN WORKING

We are now six years into the Stu MacGregor drafting era, and the hits and misses are coming into view. MacGregor, the first ‘risk averse’ scouting director in team history, has an interesting story to tell 2008-13 at the draft table.

  1. What was his best pick? Taylor Hall. Really the only player I see who could eventually take the title away is RNH, and that’s not going to happen for some time. Wonderful selection.
  2. He blew the Yakupov pick. I think they got it right, but the Oilers were a house divided based on the information that was leaked. I’m not sure what is more distressing, the fact that EDM can’t keep their business private or the scouts getting overruled. Either way, crazy day that one.
  3. Has he had any first round picks that have done well outside the #1 overall picks? You know this. Jordan Eberle was his first pick, home run.
  4. Anyone from Round 1 who missed? Magnus Paajarvi, although I like him. He still can’t hit the fastball over the fence, but he’s got a good glove and I think he’ll have a career.
  5. There’s no way he can be called a truly successful pick. Agreed. Five years in, Paajarvi isn’t established as a 15-goals a year two-way winger, and he was a top 10 selection. That’s enough for me. He needed to be more.
  6. In 2011, Oscar Klefbom was a first-round pick. Yes, and I think he’ll be fine if concussions and shoulder injuries don’t do him in.
  7. Two years later, Nurse. He’s on track, too early to get excited or discouraged, but there you go.
  8. Seven very high first-round picks and they can’t get out of the basement. True. Hall, Nuge, Yakupov, Eberle, Klefbom and Nurse is a very nice group of six, and MacT cashed Paajarvi for Perron.
  9. How much credit do you give for picking the right #1 overall selection? I’m not sure, and am tired of talking about it, so now avoid it. We’ll just talk about the success of all the picks and then both of us will make our closing arguments to the jury at the end.
  10. Let’s talk second round selections. Sure. Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Marincin, Curtis Hamilton, David Musil, Mitchell Moroz, Marco Roy.
  11. Awful. Just awful. Seven picks, you’d want at least a couple to come through for sure. I’d count Marincin as being on track, and there are several who have a chance. Only Hamilton is completely out of the race.
  12. How many, aside from Marincin, are trending? None.
  13. A-HA! There are some hopeful signs. Lander’s development was slowed because of that first season, but he performed well in the AHL last year and the club signed him to a one-way deal for next season. I do wonder about his offense, but he’s got a contract and another bullet in the chamber. If he can play a role on this team for the rest of the decade, well, that’s one problem solved. He can penalty kill and play center.
  14. Anyone else? Pitlick showed well in his first three games (before injury) and I think he might emerge as a role player if he can stay healthy.
  15. And? Hamilton is so far off the pace one wonders if they’ll bring him back. Injuries derailed his career—they were a concern before he was drafted—and if he does make it from here it would be a miracle.
  16. And that’s it, right? I’m always hesitant to write off players before they’ve played three years pro. David Musil has done some good things, although the footspeed issue alone could keep him from being an NHL defenseman.
  17. Moroz? We’ve discussed him at length, and I do think there may be an NHL player here. I don’t know if he’ll play above the fourth line, but Moroz has skill. He can take and make a pass, score goals, and use his size effectively. The other night, he forechecked hard, separated the rushing defender from the puck, drove to the net, made a nifty pass to Samuelsson, goal. That’s impressive for a big man. The Oilers may have a player here.
  18. The numbers suggest he won’t make it. We’ve tracked Moroz over the years, and his comparables (original work by C&B) have some nice names. I think this kid might make it.
  19. Marco Roy was a disaster. The analytics guys chose the wrong guy! Marco Roy began his post-draft season like a house on fire (8GP, 2-11-13), but injuries before and after that run saw his final numbers (39GP, 14-21-35) sag. He went 31GP, 12-10-22 to close the season, but got a little run in the postseason (20GP, 4-8-12). I think we’re miles from knowing about Marco Roy.
  20. How many of these guys would you bet money on? I don’t think it’s wise to look at it that way. If we can agree that two out of seven NHL players would be a good number, Marcincin and another covers the bet. I think that’s certainly possible, in fact I’d say there’s a good chance that happens.
  21. If you have to pick one player from that group to join Marincin in the NHL, who would it be? Moroz.
  22. Fits a need? Starting in October. I don’t think he plays in the NHL in 2014-15, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.
  23. What would Lander need to do in order for him to “make it” as an NHL player? There’s a role for him as a two-way center/winger, who can penalty kill and chip in 20 points a season. I just don’t know if he can score enough to manage it, and he’s not a speed burner. Here’s hoping, I always liked Lander’s skill set.
  24. Doug Jarvis? You bet. Those guys are really valuable.
  25. Okay, up next third round picks. Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Ryan Martindale, Samu Perhonen, Travis Ewanyk, Jujhar Khaira, Daniil Zharkov, Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev.
  26. Good grief! It’s a bad list. We’ve talked about this many times before, but the third round—for years—has been the walkabout round. I think MacT may have changed it last season, but the only player from 2008-12 who might turn into a useful NHL player is Khaira. That’s a lot of wasted picks in search of tall trees an long shot goalies.
  27. I can’t get over how bad the Oilers do in the third round. Been like this forever. The Oilers take a forward in round one, a defenseman with their next pick, an then go walkabout for enforcers, et cetera. One of the things I really like about MacGregor is that he’s been reducing this kind of silliness over the years. From the Hesketh-Abney draft to Khaira-Zharkov represents real progress. And the 2013 draft showed MacT’s influence.
  28. Fourth round? Johan Motin, Kyle Bigos, Toni Rajala, Jeremie Blain, Dillon Simpson, Tobias Rieder, Erik Gustafsson, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer, Aidan Muir.
  29. Anything good? Oh yeah, some very nice stuff here. I’d count Dillon Simpson and Jackson Houck as legit prospects, and two players no longer in the organization (Rajala, Rieder) may have an NHL future.
  30. A lot of waste, too. Once you reach the fourth round it’s really becoming a crap shoot. I do think there are picks, like Bigos and Platzer or Muir, that could be moved back a round. They feel like scouts picks, or picks taken because someone knows someone, as opposed to really looking for value from what’s left on the board.
  31. But you like some of them? Dillon Simpson was a fourth-round selection. That’s a very good spot to get a player of his quality. The Oilers aren’t perfect at the draft table, no one is, but the pick of Craig’s boy may end up being one we talk about for a long time.
  32. 5th round? Phil Cornet, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Martin Gernat, Joey Laleggia, Evan Campbell.
  33. Who do you like? Love the Gernat pick, that’s a real draft find right there. I think he could have an NHL career.
  34. 6th round? Teemu Hartikainen, Brandon Davidson, Drew Czerwonka, John McCarron, Ben Betker.
  35. Who do you like? I like the Oilers more in the sixth round than the third round. I think what happens—and this is a guess—is that Lowe and Tambellini and Katz and (now) MacT have done meddling with the board and the scouts control these  picks.
  36. Seriously? Honestly. McCarron is a better prospect than some of the guys taken way higher, and it’ll probably happen again this season. It was like this before MacGregor took over—the Oilers took Kyle Brodziak long after Colin McDonald was loaded into the shopping cart—and it continues to this day.
  37. 7th round? Jordan Bendfeld, Kristians Pelss, Kellen Jones, Frans Tuohimaa, Greg Chase.
  38. Good? GREAT! Greg Chase is a better hockey player than a lot of the guys taken above him. That’s crazy value.
  39. So, that’s it. That’s the MacGregor era by round. I like his drafting style: Risk averse, embracing Russia and Sweden, and even a few beloved Finns thrown in. Lots of CHL kids, lots of skill.
  40. What’s the best thing about the MacGregor era? Risk averse. Here’s 2013′s top 100:
    • Darnell Nurse at #7–Bob McKenzie #9
    • Marc-Olivier Roy at #56–Bob McKenzie #59
    • Bogdan Yakimov at #83–Pronman #73
    • Anton Slepyshev at #88–Pronman #45
    • Jackson Houck at #94–Pronman #91
    • Kyle Platzer at #96–Pronman #151 (reach)
  41. You like that? I’ll tell you what: You try cheering for a team that takes Jesse Niimimaki in the first round and then come back and talk to me about the charm of reach picks.
  42. What don’t you like about the MacGregor era? I think there’s an expectation of the era—possibly caused by portions of the fanbase—that is wildly out of control.
  43. That’s your objection? No. My objection is that the Oilers ownership and management may be sensitive to the fanbase and their views.
  44. Which is? Crazy. If the Oilers took Nail Yakupov because they feared a public backlash, fire the owner.
  45. You liked the Yakupov selection. You bet, but you can’t spend your life paying people in a specialized area and then ignore their opinions. That’s an insane way to run a business.
  46. What is your grade on MacGregor as chief scout? I’ll give him a “B” so far, with the understanding that it could improve or decline as we move along.
  47. I give him a D. There’s nothing outside the first round beyond Marincin, and the entire 2010 draft—which you loved—is now in the ocean. Pitlick, Hamilton, Martindale, garbage! The 2010 Entry Draft brought Taylor Hall and Martin Marincin, plus Tyler Pitlick who may yet work out.
  48. I give him a C- for the 2011 draft. Not enough, once again, and the Musil draft on another team would have been grounds for dismissal. The 2011 draft brought the Oilers RNH and Oscar Klefbom, with Musil, Simpson, Rieder and Gernat showing good arrows.
  49. He gets an F for 2012. Yakupov is a disaster, MacGregor and the scouting staff needed to fight harder for Murray. I think the scouting staff’s job is to recommend the list, and the manager’s job is to listen or fire the scouts. It might be worth mentioning that Moroz, Khaira and McCarron.
  50. The 2013 draft is C+, but I’m watching closely for failures. Roy’s already a bust. I think this might end up being the best value draft for Edmonton in many years. Nurse, Roy, the Russians, Houck, one giant Betker and then the kicker in Greg Chase.
  51. Can we at least agree the 2008 and 2009 drafts were a disaster? No. 2008 saw a major hit with Eberle, and then an interesting player in Hartikainen. I think the 2009 draft is lost.
  52. Well, you’re stubborn, but not hopeless. Thanks.

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116 Responses to "RE 13-14 STU MACGREGOR: I’VE BEEN WORKING"

  1. russ99 says:

    I can’t rip on Stu, when it’s obvious that Tambellini had him off the reservation hunting for the next Lucic.

    And frankly considering our draft positions in general, a more proactive GM could have used the 1st pick in the second round and other assets to move up late in the first and get another high level player than just waiting until it’s our turn.

    Seems that MacT at least attempted to change both those issues last year, so I’m hopeful for improvement with future draft crops.

  2. LMHF#1 says:

    Many good picks in there.

    The two exceptionally bad ones are Musil and Moroz. Neither pick made sense. One was presumably because of Frank, and the other because the guy they actually wanted was gone (Samuelsson of course, the one that makes Moroz look like a hockey player) and they couldn’t seem to find their list from any other junior franchise in the world..

    There were a number of very good players in the second round after Musil. Boone Jenner and John Gibson the most striking examples in terms of impact to date. Brandon Saad as well of course.

  3. G Money says:

    Draft success is a process that is hugely variable and hugely random. You need an enormous sample size to be able to definitively conclude one is better than the other.

    So when comparing scouting records, taking two scouts over five years and saying “well, *this* guy had two players and *that* guy had four players so *that* guy is obviously a better scout” is about the same as saying “*this* guy rolled a two and *that* guy rolled a four so *that* guy is obviously better at dice”.

    With anything other than say a ten year track record, you have little data to draw a conclusion from. To my mind, if you’re going to look at Stu M, you have to look at two things:
    - How often does he go walkabout? Answer: not very
    - When he does go walkabout, based on the pick(s), does it look like he knows what he’s doing? Answer: so far, yeah, probably.

    So the only conclusion I would make about MBS so far is that I do think he’s a definite improvement on the previous regime, and he does appear to be a decent scout – but the error bars on that last conclusion are enormous.

  4. Rondo says:

    Mark Twain pointed out that it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.

  5. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money:

    With anything other than say a ten year track record,

    Does anyone (or even – should anyone) last 10 years?

  6. G Money says:

    The other thought I have is w.r.t. to Yak City.

    In my head, the list of failed high (1-5) picks – at least when the pick is a consensus pick and is a forward, as Yak was – over the years is a short one.

    And in deconstructing those few failed picks, in my head I come up with guys usually derailed by either injury or by lack of desire or both. Anyone actually analyzed the reasons why a high pick failed to make an impact in the NHL.

    I think we’re far far from a point where you can apply the term “failed pick” to Yak, and his hot streaks/games over the last two years still have me confident that we have the highest ceiling player from that year and that this guy is going to be a dominant NHL scorer for many years.

    I also believe something was up with Yak’s first full season, where he started out well but unlucky, then completely went off the rails. (Shameless plug) I posted on that topic here: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/5/3/5677352/the-two-weeks-that-wrecked-yak
    The team desperately needs to figure out what happened.

  7. LMHF#1 says:

    Rondo:
    Mark Twain pointed out that it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.

    Sounds more like Yogi Berra to me…but apparently it could be any of these guys: http://www.larry.denenberg.com/predictions.html

  8. Ducey says:

    The problem of course is the perception of people like LMHF who, with the benefit of hindsight, figure the Oilers should have taken the guy taken 3 or 5 or 10 picks later.

    Lets look at the 2010 draft. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2010e.html

    After the second round you have some guy named Radko Gudas and Brendan Gallagher (near the end of the 5th round) as the only guys who have close to 100 NHL games. Most of the picks are either washouts or on the bubble like Pitlick.

    The critics will usually be right, as the vast majority of picks never make it.

  9. G Money says:

    LMHF#1,

    Precisely. That’s why I say – when dealing with a process that has such enormous inherent variability, you have to use something other than just a simplistic look at track record as your primary assessment point.

    For geeks only: I did a Monte Carlo simulation about six months ago that compared the results of two hypothetical scouts, one with draft skill 20% poorer than the other (that is to say, 20% fewer successful picks and 20% fewer games played when successful – the data for that eventually fed my two “Draft Success” posts over at C&B, second shameless plug: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching and http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/24/5650132/draft-success-ohl-vs-whl).

    When using a ten year timeframe, the results distribution for the two was indistinguishable. That’s because the inherent variability of drafting absolutely dwarfs the skill difference. I’ll go find that chart and post it here.

    I actually had to push the simulation parameter to 500 years before the two distributions meaningfully separated. Or to put it another way, in a process that has the enormous variability of the NHL draft, a 20% skill difference between scouts would take 500 years to conclusively manifest.

    That’s a hell of a career.

  10. Henry says:

    Nice piece LT, very comprehensive. MacT does deserve credit for turning the 2009 draft into Perron. All the wheeling and dealing to get extra late picks looks like a nice expression of confidence in his scouts by the GM.

    I know the Yakupov-was-not-the-scout’s-pick idea came out there during this season, but I don’t know the source of this even from the media end. Does anyone here? Was it some musing from Dreger when he was piling on Yakupov?

  11. Henry says:

    G Money:
    LMHF#1,

    Precisely.That’s why I say – when dealing with a process that has such enormous inherent variability, you have to use something other than just a simplistic look at track record as your primary assessment point.

    For geeks only: I did a Monte Carlo simulation about six months ago that compared the results of two hypothetical scouts, one with draft skill 20% poorer than the other (that is to say, 20% fewer successful picks and 20% fewer games played when successful – the data for that eventually fed my two“Draft Success” posts over at C&B, second shameless plug: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching and http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/24/5650132/draft-success-ohl-vs-whl).

    When using a ten year timeframe, the results distribution for the two was indistinguishable.That’s because the inherent variability of drafting absolutely dwarfs the skill difference.I’ll go find that chart and post it here.

    I actually had to push the simulation parameter to 500 years before the two distributions meaningfully separated.Or to put it another way, in a process that has the enormous variability of the NHL draft, a 20% skill difference between scouts would take 500 years to conclusively manifest.

    That’s a hell of a career.

    G Money,

    Does that mean that Barry Fraser from 1984-2000 was worse than 20% below average?

  12. Racki says:

    I have high hopes for Moroz.. Well, I have him as an impact 3rd liner. But he has to improve in areas though to do that. I also have good hope for Khaira. I was unsure when he was drafted, but I like his size a lot and that he has skill too. These guys will help address need. I think with Moroz though you see a guy who wants it. Or at least I do. That can go a long way.

    As for Yak over Murray, I admittedly wanted Yak. He was the consensus #1,and the scouts made it sound like he was a cut above all. But he could still end up that way. Still way too early in their careers to judge the 2012 draft.

    I’ve always been a “bpa” guy in that first round, especially that high though. So I didn’t see drafting Murray 1st as the best idea because most had Yak at #1. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20. Murray probably would have seemed like a bust with the complementary D (or lack of) on this team though.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    Ducey:
    The problem of course is the perception of people like LMHF who, with the benefit of hindsight,figure the Oilers should have taken the guy taken 3 or 5 or 10 picks later.

    As if no one said it at the time, and acknowledging it now is irrelevant…come on…

    I guess every decision with the slightest bit of justification is just correct until the end of time and not worth looking back at to learn from. Okay.

    It is hilarious how many people trot out the “well that’s just hindsight” BS.

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money:
    LMHF#1,

    Precisely.That’s why I say – when dealing with a process that has such enormous inherent variability, you have to use something other than just a simplistic look at track record as your primary assessment point.

    So I’m guessing that instead we look at if said scouts A) had a plan B) the plan was logical (for lack of a better term) C) they stuck to the plan?

    That process may fail, but at least there was one? The head scout likely gets retained or fired on results on the ice, but the whole player scouting/acquistion/development/deployment process is big enough that he certainly isn’t the only one holding the bag.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LMHF#1:
    Many good picks in there.

    The two exceptionally bad ones are Musil and Moroz. Neither pick made sense. One was presumably because of Frank, and the other because the guy they actually wanted was gone (Samuelsson of course, the one that makes Moroz look like a hockey player) and they couldn’t seem to find their list from any other junior franchise in the world..

    There were a number of very good players in the second round after Musil. Boone Jenner and John Gibson the most striking examples in terms of impact to date. Brandon Saad as well of course.

    I don’t think Frank had much to do with his son’s pick.

    Lowe said they have a rule that relations have to leave the room when discussing players. I have no reason to believe he’s lying.

    Musil’s WHL tenure is clouded by a really strong first season:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123011

    I think they probably thought he was going to bring more offense even though he flagged in his draft year. And, they probably saw him a ton in the WHL, while Frank was scouting Gernat and the other Euros.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Only Hamilton is completely out of the race.”

    I think this is the right assesment of his chances for success, but I think his chances of being qualified may outstrip his NHL chances by some margin.

    If you put any credence into the puff pieces the Oilers’ PR dept. puts out (and I’ve been wrestling with how much credence to give them), they were quite high on Hamilton this year:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=699530

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=24895

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=701296

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “two players no longer in the organization (Rajala, Rieder) may have an NHL future.”

    Hobby Horse alert!!!

    If Rajala never gets back to the NHL (for any number of reasons), I don’t think that should impact our evaluation of the scouting staff.

    Their job is to identify talent. If Rajala plays for 15 years at a high level in a top pro league, that reflects well on the scouting staff.

    It is management’s job to shepherd players about once picked and to hopefully get something NHL useful out of them.

    Or, I’m more concerned whether my scouts are correctly distinguishing the Rajalas from the the Abneys, than I am with whether a player hits in the NHL.

  18. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1: As if no one said it at the time, and acknowledging it now is irrelevant…come on…I guess every decision with the slightest bit of justification is just correct until the end of time and not worth looking back at to learn from. Okay.It is hilarious how many people trot out the “well that’s just hindsight” BS.

    Sorry to pick on you but your earlier comment smacks of 20/20 hindsight BS. It was the typical nepotism drive by that really irks me.

    I doubt you could have told John Gibson from Christopher Gibson (taken a few picks afterwards) until recently. Jenner and Saad are forwards,who develop quicker.

    Just because they have developed doesn’t mean that Musil is a poor one.

    Saying Musil was a poor pick made for the benefit of Frank ignores the fact that Musil was a very good prospect. He was taken 12th overall in the KHL draft the year before and there was enough of a fight over him in the WHL they had a special draft for him. He also has NHL bloodlines, which do tend to matter.

    He has a whopping 61 games in OKC (where he apparently played well) and you have him written off. There is still a place in the NHL for a cycle breaking, stay at home, tough defenseman.

    Maybe Musil will be that guy.

    I have seen Moroz play enough to believe he has a real shot at being a good NHL player.

    I notice you came up short on guys they should have taken instead of him. In a couple of years you should be able to do that expertly.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    this is a new ripple:

    CapGeek ‏@capgeek 3m
    A NMC was written into Phaneuf’s contract for 2012-13 and 2013-14. Report from @RealKyper indicates the trade from Calgary voided it.

  20. LMHF#1 says:

    Ducey: Sorry to pick on you but your earlier comment smacks of 20/20 hindsight BS.It was the typical nepotism drive by that really irks me.

    I doubt you could have told John Gibson from Christopher Gibson (taken a few picks afterwards) until recently.Jenner and Saad are forwards,who develop quicker.

    Just because they have developed doesn’t mean that Musil is a poor one.

    Saying Musil was a poor pick made for the benefit of Frank ignores the fact that Musil was a very good prospect.He was taken 12th overall in the KHL draft the year before and there was enough of a fight over him in the WHL they had a special draft for him.He also has NHL bloodlines, which do tend to matter.

    He has a whopping 61 games in OKC (where he apparently played well) and you have him written off.There is still a place in the NHL for a cycle breaking, stay at home, tough defenseman.

    Maybe Musil will be that guy.

    I have seen Moroz play enough to believe he has a real shot at being a good NHL player.

    I notice you came up short on guys they should have taken ahead of them.In a couple of years you should be able to do that expertly.

    I don’t think you understood the context of my comment. If I was doing what you thought I was doing, I would have ragged all over the Hamilton pick – I didn’t.

    You can think what you want about the Musil pick. I hated it then and I hate it now. Meh. I know it is far from perfect, Musil was listed at #38 in NA in the final draft rankings. I’m sure some of the other reports had him higher but this one was pretty simple to locate. you’ll notice Rattie, Saad, Jenner etc. Higher.

    I didn’t particularly look for players who should have gone ahead of Moroz. Again, you didn’t appreciate the context there. I objected to Moroz because of the perceived reason he was selected more than anything else.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t think Frank had much to do with his son’s pick.

    Lowe said they have a rule that relations have to leave the room when discussing players. I have no reason to believe he’s lying.

    Musil’s WHL tenure is clouded by a really strong first season:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123011

    I think they probably thought he was going to bring more offense even though he flagged in his draft year. And, they probably saw him a ton in the WHL, while Frank was scouting Gernat and the other Euros.

    I won’t dispute that this is possibly what happened, but in searching for an explanation of why you take him at 31 I’m coming up empty. McKenzie had him 41 with a number of guys still on the board well ahead of that. “Will need to improve his skating to make the NHL as a fifth or sixth defenceman.” Yikes.

  22. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: “two players no longer in the organization (Rajala, Rieder) may have an NHL future.”Hobby Horse alert!!!If Rajala never gets back to the NHL (for any number of reasons), I don’t think that should impact our evaluation of the scouting staff.Their job is to identify talent. If Rajala plays for 15 years at a high level in a top pro league, that reflects well on the scouting staff.It is management’s job to shepherd players about once picked and to hopefully get something NHL useful out of them.Or, I’m more concerned whether my scouts are correctly distinguishing the Rajalas from the the Abneys, than I am with whether a player hits in the NHL.

    I tend to disagree with the Rajala/ Omark/ Kellen Jones picks.

    The draft isn’t a showcase for how well scouts can evaluate talent. Its to pick guys who may play for the Oilers.

    The way I see it, the only way Rajala/ Omark/ Kellen Jones will play 200 games in the NHL is if they play in the top six. And that is very, very unlikely as they have to beat out guys like Eberle to do so.

    A guy like Jackson Houck (or Greg Chase) on the other hand may really surprise you and become a bona fide top 6 NHL player but also can fill a role in the bottom six. The reality is that often young players play in a bottom 6 role for a few years in pro and then develop to the point where they can play up and down the lineup.

    My impression is that this is one change that MacT made this year and I think it will lead to some dividends on the NHL roster.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LMHF#1: I won’t dispute that this is possibly what happened, but in searching for an explanation of why you take him at 31 I’m coming up empty. McKenzie had him 41 with a number of guys still on the board well ahead of that. “Will need to improve his skating to make the NHL as a fifth or sixth defenceman.” Yikes.

    Sure, the pick was a reach of sorts and didn’t have a lot of defenders at the time.

    I just don’t think we need to imply this was some nepotism gesture. It seems perfectly reasonable that the team honestly valued him that high.

  24. Marcus Oilerius says:

    LMHF#1: I won’t dispute that this is possibly what happened, but in searching for an explanation of why you take him at 31 I’m coming up empty. McKenzie had him 41 with a number of guys still on the board well ahead of that. “Will need to improve his skating to make the NHL as a fifth or sixth defenceman.” Yikes.

    If a player is rated #41 but taken at #31, I don’t think that’s much of a reach. Given the slipshod nature of drafting and the percentages, that’s well within the margin of error.

    Moreover, if we go to hypothetical extremes and the #1 ranked player is a left wing, and the #31 ranked player is a left wing, and the #61 ranked player is a left wing, and you hold all those picks, do you draft them all where they’re supposed to, especially if you already drafted some left wingers in previous drafts? Of course not, that would be daft.

    BPA is a good policy for the first overall pick, but it’s not necessarily a hard and fast rule in that scenario either. Particularly if there’s some debate about who the BPA is, and one fills a hole, and the other would have to play on the third line. Yak vs Murray, for example. Not that I regret Yak (not yet), especially since Murray gets injured more often than Klefbom.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: I tend to disagree with the Rajala/ Omark/ Kellen Jones picks.

    The draft isn’t a showcase for how well scouts can evaluate talent.Its to pick guys who may play for the Oilers.

    The way I see it, the only wayRajala/ Omark/ Kellen Jones will play 200 games in the NHL is if they play in the top six.And that is very, very unlikely as they have to beat out guys like Eberle to do so.

    A guy like Jackson Houck (or Greg Chase) on the other hand may really surprise you and become a bona fide top 6 NHL player but also can fill a role in the bottom six.The reality is that often young players play in a bottom 6 role for a few years in pro and then develop to the point where they can play up and down the lineup.

    My impression is that this is one change that MacT made this year and I think it will lead to some dividends on the NHL roster.

    This is a slightly different question.

    You seem more concerned about player type and defining future roles (top 6; bottom 6; etc), than with my question.

    At any rate, I disagree. I prefer to take the player with skill, esp. with the widest range of skill.

    The line of thinking that X needs to play in the top 6 and is blocked by Y so we should take Z who will fit in on our bottom 6 is flawed in a variety of ways.

    1. Y may not be here in 5 years when X finally is ready to play.

    2. If Y hits and is actually blocked, say like Pirri, you trade him, he’ll have more value than, say Ewanyk.

    3. It seems more likely to me that a skilled, not-truculent player, will alter his game to play in the NHL and make it, than a not-terribly-skilled, truculent player will score enough to have an NHL career.

    4. This reads like the exactly line of thinking that traded Rieder for Kessy.

  26. LMHF#1 says:

    Marcus Oilerius: If a player is rated #41 but taken at #31, I don’t think that’s much of a reach.Given the slipshod nature of drafting and the percentages, that’s well within the margin of error.

    One thing to be rated at #41 and go at #31. More interesting to be rated in the ‘teens and not go ahead of the guy ranked #41.

  27. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is a slightly different question. You seem more concerned about player type and defining future roles (top 6; bottom 6; etc), than with my question.At any rate, I disagree. I prefer to take the player with skill, esp. with the widest range of skill.The line of thinking that X needs to play in the top 6 and is blocked by Y so we should take Z who will fit in on our bottom 6 is flawed in a variety of ways.1. Y may not be here in 5 years when X finally is ready to play.2. If Y hits and is actually blocked, say like Pirri, you trade him, he’ll have more value than, say Ewanyk.3. It seems more likely to me that a skilled, not-truculent player, will alter his game to play in the NHL and make it, than a not-terribly-skilled, truculent player will score enough to have an NHL career.4. This reads like the exactly line of thinking that traded Rieder for Kessy.

    I didn’t mean to say that you pick for need. You should pick BPA.

    I think a guy like Rajala may have more “talent” than Moroz but Moroz has a wider range of skills. He might turn out to be a guy who could score 20 goals in the NHL but he also could fill a lot of other roles too. I am not necessarily saying a guy needs to be truculent, but generally some ability to physically protect the puck or get it back is important.

    A guy like Rajala is a one trick pony who has to be an elite level scorer like Eberle to stick. This is very unlikely. And I don’t think he can really alter his game. The list of small checking wingers is extremely short because NHL teams usually want bigger players for all the usual reasons (truculence, net presence, defence, checking other bigger players, etc).

    Plus, how does Rajala break in? They are not going to plunk him on the PP or in a high minutes situation right away. That leaves a bottom six role.

    See Kirk Maltby or Dan Cleary. They broke into the NHL in this type of role.

    There are a couple of other reasons that the Oilers should not be drafting smaller, one dimensional scorers.

    1) a small guy like Rajala or Omark, while skilled, have next to no trade value. Other teams (rightly or wrongly) value bigger players (likely for the reasons I have cited)

    2) these smaller skilled type of guys are regularly available as college free agents, waiver wire pickups, undrafted free agents, or in Europe. (see Josh Winquist, Mitch Holmberg, Miller). Why use a valuable pick on them?

    I have no problem with taking a smaller player if he has a wide range of skills and elite level ability, but these types of guys don’t show up in the 5th round.

  28. j says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree – the job of the scouts is to evaluate the best available talent. The job of management is to determine the priority and make the pick based on perceived need/future plans. Surely the two overlap (i.e. management will ask the scouts to look for certain attributes) but in my opinion if a scout picks 6 players and only one makes the Oil however the other 5 play for other NHL clubs – that is a very successful draft year. Whether the team received enough compensation for the 5 players is a different story and is completely on management.

  29. Caramel Obvious says:

    Ducey,

    Everything you say depends on the premise that there is such a thing as “roles” such as “checking winger.” However, this premise is obviously false. Teams should play their best players, whomever they may be, four lines deep.

  30. Bag of Pucks says:

    Being risk averse seems an odd reason to like a scouting staff, particularly if the definition of risk averse is their picks track well vs aggregate pre-draft opinion.

    First, I’m not sure that the opposite of ‘risk averse’ automatically translates to ‘reach pick’ That seems like a bit of a red herring. Contrarian methods can succeed at the draft table (NE Patriots a notable example) without the club resorting to ‘reach’ picks.

    Second, if the idea is simply to outperform MacKenzie’s or the CSA rankings, why have a scouting staff at all? On one hand, we’re saying if you have these guys, you have to listen to them. On the other hand, we’re saying if you have these guys and their opinion doesn’t jibe with the collective, they’re suspect?

    It would be an interesting exercise to make a mock roster for the Oilers from this draft forward based solely on bpa from MacKenzie’s list at the time of the Oilers’ selection and compare that to the players they took instead. Obviously far too many variables to control here given you’re appraising the development of players ultimately groomed by other orgs, but I’m just suspicious of this whole mob mentality approach to scouting.

    There’s a reason some teams excel at scouting while others don’t, and I suspect the primary reason isn’t that the former are risk averse. I think it has more to do with the evaluation criterion their organizations have established and the ability of their management teams to stick with the courage of their convictions. A recent and classic example of this is the Avalanche’s selection of MacKinnon over Jones. By the definition of risk averse as measured by consensus rankings, the Avs made an error in not selecting the bpa based on pre-draft consensus? Note how ridiculous that sounds now with the benefit of hindsight. That should be a red flag for the theory, no? Obviously, Jones vs MacKinnon has a long way to go before a winner is ultimately declared but its hard to argue with the Avs approach based on the early returns.

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: I think a guy like Rajala may have more “talent” than Moroz but Moroz has a wider range of skills.

    First, Moroz was taken 31st, Rajala 101.

    I literally have no idea how anyone can complain about Rajala pick or the idea that spending a late pick on talent is a bad idea. nuts.

    Ducey: A guy like Rajala is a one trick pony who has to be an elite level scorer like Eberle to stick.

    This simply isn’t the case.

    The truth is we are talking about long shots in all these cases. Most won’t make it. You start from there.

    Next, most regular NHLers scored a ton in junior. You draft guys that score and find room for them if they make it. You don’t worry about “role” or anything, that’s old world stuff.

    Good teams have lots of small, skilled players. Tons of them, throughout their lineup.

    Ducey: 1) a small guy like Rajala or Omark, while skilled, have next to no trade value. Other teams (rightly or wrongly) value bigger players (likely for the reasons I have cited)

    This isn’t remotely the case. There is no NHL market for big players that can’t score at lower levels. None.

    Other teams value players that score. They value them more if they are also big. But there’s no line up for big players that can’t score. In the battle of who’s more valuable a scoring, small player and big unscoring player, there’s no contest.

    Ducey: 2) these smaller skilled type of guys are regularly available as college free agents, waiver wire pickups, undrafted free agents, or in Europe. (see Josh Winquist, Mitch Holmberg, Miller). Why use a valuable pick on them?

    this is absurd. The exact same is even more true of big players that can’t score.

    The truth of the matter is that where Omark (97) or Rajala (101) were drafted there aren’t any of the players you think exist available. Big players that can score are long gone at that point. You are left with scoring players overlooked by the coke machine chasers, coke machines, D that can’t score, or play defense and goalies. long shots.

    Skill over size every damn time.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis
    Good teams have lots of small, skilled players. Tons of them, throughout their lineup.

    Cool, can you name a couple that have won Cups recently?

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    j:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree – the job of the scouts is to evaluate the best available talent.The job of management is to determine the priority and make the pick based on perceived need/future plans.Surely the two overlap (i.e. management will ask the scouts to look for certain attributes) but in my opinion if a scout picks 6 players and only one makes the Oil however the other 5 play for other NHL clubs – that is a very successful draft year.Whether the team received enough compensation for the 5 players is a different story and is completely on management.

    Agreed. that’s another way to look at it that has even more value.

    If you’re the scout that picked Ryan McDonaugh… pat yourself on the back. If you’re the GM that traded him, here’s a warm bath and a razor blade.

    I would just like — esp. for late round picks — to note that there are draft busts (players that wind up out of hockey or in a really crappy pro league–say ECHL or CHL) and then there are draft busts with an bullet point (players that enjoy fine careers in Europe).

    The latter “failures” aren’t necessarily a failure of the scouts to find and project talent.

  34. Ducey says:

    Caramel Obvious: Ducey, Everything you say depends on the premise that there is such a thing as “roles” such as “checking winger.” However, this premise is obviously false. Teams should play their best players, whomever they may be, four lines deep.

    Yes, I agree. Hall – Nuge – Ebs x 4 please.

    In reality they are going to have a little bit of a drop off from these guys to some of the other lines.

    In that event, a guy like Hendricks or Moroz is a “better” player than Omark or Rajala.

    And anyone that doesn’t think there is such thing as a “checking winger” is confused..

    What in the world is the mythical Pisani? Why do people want Daniel Winnick? What was Doug Jarvis? Eas Tikkanen? Tood Marchant? Mike Grier? (some were C’s). They exist and play an important role in line matching, team defense, and even keeping the Corgis marching in the right direction.

  35. godot10 says:

    Henry:
    Nice piece LT, very comprehensive.MacT does deserve credit for turning the 2009 draft into Perron.All the wheeling and dealing to get extra late picks looks like a nice expression of confidence in his scouts by the GM.

    I know the Yakupov-was-not-the-scout’s-pick idea came out there during this season, but I don’t know the source of this even from the media end.Does anyone here?Was it some musing from Dreger when he was piling on Yakupov?

    That Yakupov was not the scouts choice did not originate this season. It originated the week prior and day of the draft.

    There was even the theory that MacT was hired/broughtback to ask Daryl and Kevin the “Do you really want to do that?” question, and that he whispered in Daryl’s ear to overrule the scouts.

    There was also the theory that the Oilers had private information from the Schultz camp, which turned the choice.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Cool, can you name a couple that have won Cups recently?

    let me guess you are a fan of the Bruins?

    Ok… now counter factual land. You are late in the second round (63) in 2004. Are you — lover of tough guys — going to take a 6’00″ 178 pound Czech who’s never played in NA?

    Hell no. tough old bag of pucks wants him some leatherfaces.

  37. Lowetide says:

    godot10: That Yakupov was not the scouts choice did not originate this season.It originated the week prior and day of the draft.

    There was even the theory that MacT was hired/brought to ask Daryland Kevin the “Do you really want to do that?” question, and that he whispered in Daryl’s ear to overrule the scouts.

    There was also the theory that the Oilers had private information from the Schultz camp, which turned the choice.

    This is exactly how I recall it.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: let me guess you are a fan of the Bruins?

    Ok… now counter factual land. You are late in the second round (63) in 2004. Are you — lover of tough guys — going to take a 6’00″ 178 pound Czech who’s never played in NA?

    Hell no. tough old bag of pucks wants him some leatherfaces.

    Can’t answer the question, so misdirects to ad hominem. Got it.

  39. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    Second, if the idea is simply to outperform MacKenzie’s or the CSA rankings, why have a scouting staff at all? On one hand, we’re saying if you have these guys, you have to listen to them. On the other hand, we’re saying if you have these guys and their opinion doesn’t jibe with the collective, they’re suspect?

    MacKenzie’s list is a derivative product. It would not exist unless each team did their own scouting. MacKenzie’s list is consensus list from a sample of 10 of the 30 NHL teams, who confidentially agree to share their rankings.

    The consensus is not necessarily right, but if one’s ranking deviates significantly from the consensus, one should figure out whether it is because you have better information and the consensus is wrong, or you have not done enough work, and you should go figure out why the consensus thinks differently.

  40. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10

    The consensus is not necessarily right, but if one’s ranking deviates significantly from the consensus, one should figure out whether it is because you have better information and the consensus is wrong, or you have not done enough work, and you should go figure out why the consensus thinks differently.

    Agreed. The crux of it for me is getting that ‘better information’ not patting yourself on the back cos your list looks a lot like the derivative one.

  41. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: First, Moroz was taken 31st, Rajala 101.I literally have no idea how anyone can complain about Rajala pick or the idea that spending a late pick on talent is a bad idea. nuts.This simply isn’t the case.The truth is we are talking about long shots in all these cases. Most won’t make it. You start from there.Next, most regular NHLers scored a ton in junior. You draft guys that score and find room for them if they make it. You don’t worry about “role” or anything, that’s old world stuff.Good teams have lots of small, skilled players. Tons of them, throughout their lineup. This isn’t remotely the case. There is no NHL market for big players that can’t score at lower levels. None.Other teams value players that score. They value them more if they are also big. But there’s no line up for big players that can’t score. In the battle of who’s more valuable a scoring, small player and big unscoring player, there’s no contest.this is absurd. The exact same is even more true of big players that can’t score.The truth of the matter is that where Omark (97) or Rajala (101) were drafted there aren’t any of the players you think exist available. Big players that can score are long gone at that point. You are left with scoring players overlooked by the coke machine chasers, coke machines, D that can’t score, or play defense and goalies. long shots. Skill over size every damn time.

    Ah, recasting the argument. Nice. Even threw in a “nuts” and an “absurd”. Very nice.

    I see your absurd and, well… I’ll be nice

    I never said they should be drafting coke machines or big guys without skill. I said they should not be drafting small guys without the elite level offensive skill which is their only ticket to the NHL. Do you get the difference? One assertion doesn’t lead to the other.

    Rajala had no chance to make it. None. Jones has no chance to make it. None. Omark had no chance to make it. They are one dimensional scorers who can’t defend, check their coat or even venture into the corners. They don’t even have the pedigree of Rob Schremp who had the same problems.

    Could Rob Schremp’s offense and skill kept him in the NHL? Sure? Well, why isn’t he there? I am thinking that perhaps, just maybe, NHL GM’s and coaches were looking for some other things from him.

    Maybe there is a requirement to have more than some nice boxcars fattened up on PP and easy minutes.

    If you can’t figure out that Houck or Yakimov or Chase are better bets than one dimensional players with just scoring skill (again we are not talking elite scoring skill) then you are not looking at what the teams in the playoffs are doing,

    Frankly, as this seems to be the draft philosophy of most of the NHL teams, I don’t see what the controversy is.

    Or maybe that’s why there is the controversy.

  42. godot10 says:

    Musil is still fully on target. He transitioned to the AHL as a rookie pro and played at a better than satisfactory level pretty seemlessly. The existential question about whether he is mobile enough is still there. This was and still is a binary prospect.

    People would have criticized taking the goaltender (Gibson) at #31. Goaltenders are always binary prospects.

    Brandon Saad was a draft diver, just like Pitlick the year before. And well, he was a binary prospect (like Musil) because of family issues. I think he was ranked in the top ten on MacKenzie’s List V1.0 in the previous fall.

  43. LostBoy says:

    godot10: That Yakupov was not the scouts choice did not originate this season.It originated the week prior and day of the draft.

    Yes. Like, this was one of the big dramas on the day. Larionov was walking around openly complaining that the Oilers were not talking to him on the morning of draft day. I recall this was reported in various TSN tweets.

  44. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is a slightly different question.

    You seem more concerned about player type and defining future roles (top 6; bottom 6; etc), than with my question.

    At any rate, I disagree. I prefer to take the player with skill, esp. with the widest range of skill.

    The line of thinking that X needs to play in the top 6 and is blocked by Y so we should take Z who will fit in on our bottom 6 is flawed in a variety of ways.

    1. Y may not be here in 5 years when X finally is ready to play.

    2. If Y hits and is actually blocked, say like Pirri, you trade him, he’ll have more value than, say Ewanyk.

    3. It seems more likely to me that a skilled, not-truculent player, will alter his game to play in the NHL and make it, than a not-terribly-skilled, truculent player will score enough to have an NHL career.

    4. This reads like the exactly line of thinking that traded Rieder for Kessy.

    I think you have to compare apples to apples. Rajala and Arco are small for small players at the NHL level which makes them very extreme outliers. Almost no chance to make it in a no chance game.

    A player like Moroz who is 1/10th the player Rajala is has a better chance because he has what a player who doesn’t score at elite levels needs apparently to make the NHL.

  45. remlap says:

    Player-Tracking Technology Is Coming To Hockey. It’ll Change Everything.

    http://deadspin.com/player-tracking-technology-is-coming-to-hockey-itll-ch-1575703133

    Figured this was as good a place as any to share this link..

  46. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks: Can’t answer the question, so misdirects to ad hominem. Got it.

    Uh, no, he is answering the question with “David Krejci”. The question itself is… are you seriously asking for a list of small, skilled players that have won cups recently? There are so many it is not worth answering. I’ll just restrict the search to last year’s champs, What are we calling small? ~190? Okay, then Bolland, Kruger, Kane, Morin, Oduya, Pirri, Leddy, and Andrew Shaw.

    Even if you take out the two guys who didn’t play major minutes (Morin and Pirri) that’s still a five significant “small” players. Most of the team is medium sized.

  47. Racki says:

    A team typically isn’t drafting by need (save for few exceptions like players being similar projection and early pick) because team needs change so much. By the time our 3rd rounder (or maybe even 2nd) see NHL time, the Oilers could be bragging about how stable their blue line is. We could be looking at holes at left wing.. Maybe right wing.. Who knows… Cause needs change and it takes a fair bit of time for the average draftee to see NHL ice.

    So I wouldn’t rip on Stu if he didn’t fill certain nees today with guys he drafted 5 years ago because things change. That said, there never seems to be any team saying “we have too many big skilled centres” or “we have way too many 2 way D with size”.

    I guess having the ability to balance what your drafting over time wouldn’t hurt though. The Oilers seem to go through waves where they draft coke machines.. Then regret missing Parises.. Then draft high risk high reward small guys.. Then need to go after coke machines again… They just need to be more diverse in their picking maybe and focus more on who the seemingly best player available is. Then perhaps go for need when unsure.

    Then again, maybe they should just draft big centres every round ;P

  48. stevezie says:

    FastOil,

    I think it is a mistake to separate size from skill.

    As a general principle, it doesn’t matter how a player gets results, it only matters that a player gets results. “Results” being your team scoring more than the other team. So it doesn’t matter if Moroz has literal bricks for hands, or if Rajala is so light he’s carried by the winds from one zone to the next- all that matters is who helps his team score more than the other team.

    Winnick doesn’t have Omark’s hands, but when he is out there his team scores more than Omark’s, so Winnick is more skilled at hockey than Omark.

    It doesn’t matter if you use defence or offense, size or stick-handling, tactics or voodoo, it just matters what gets done.

    No one (I hope) is saying size doesn’t matter- we’re saying don’t get mesmerized by size so that you miss the important question.

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie: Uh, no, he is answering the question with “David Krejci”. The question itself is… are you seriously asking for a list of small, skilled players that have won cups recently?

    No.

    I was asking him to name a couple of ‘teams’ with this type of roster composition that have won the Cup recently, not players.

    His assertion is that there’s a TON of good teams with small, skilled players throughout their lineup.

    If that is in fact the case, there should be one or two that have won the Cup recently?

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw LT, if you’re ever considering alternate monikers for the site, ‘Bully Pulpit’ starring WG & ROM is pretty fitting on most days.

  51. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Don’t the Hawks count? Two of their best defenceman, their best scoring forward, and three forwards who play meaningful minutes (they replaced Bolland with Versteeg). How many do they need to qualify for “throughout”?

    It just stands to reason that most players will be average size, right? They have six significant players- 1/3 of their team- who are “small”. I’d call that “throughout”.

  52. RexLibris says:

    remlap:
    Player-Tracking Technology Is Coming To Hockey. It’ll Change Everything.

    http://deadspin.com/player-tracking-technology-is-coming-to-hockey-itll-ch-1575703133

    Figured this was as good a place as any to share this link..

    Interesting.

    Also, I think this is the same Ryan Lambert who is nearly universally despised over at FN because he is overtly critical of many of the Flames’ moves (and often with good reason).

    Great article. I like Lambert’s point in that the NHL may not choose to make the data public because, you know, developing a more intelligent and informed fan runs counter to the league business plan.

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Don’t the Hawks count? Two of their best defenceman, their best scoring forward, and three forwards who play meaningful minutes (they replaced Bolland with Versteeg). How many do they need to qualify for “throughout”?

    It just stands to reason that most players will be average size, right? They have six significant players- 1/3 of their team- who are “small”. I’d call that “throughout”.

    190lbs is not ‘small’

    The conversation was centering on players like Rajala, Omark, Schremp, etc. This is what we mean by ‘small’

    The Hawks are not a ‘small’ team. That position has already been debunked in other threads.

  54. wintoon says:

    The greatest disappointment for me has been the lack of success of our 2nd Round selections. With our placement over the last 5-6 years we have not realized the quality of players which we should have. These have ben almost first rounders and we have little in terms of tangible results.

    When that is combined with an unwillingness to package these second rounders with other assets to move up in the draft order during these years, it begins to show a true lack of perception. That is almost criminal.

  55. rich says:

    LT: This year your series at season’s end is outstanding. Doing the coach, GM and chief scout in a way that recognizes both success and shortcomings has been a treat. One of the few things we could actually look forward to.

    MacGregor’s track record seems to trend above average at this point – a significant improvement over KP. I’m most impressed with the number of guys taken after the 3rd round that we’re still talking about as having potential for a role in either Edmonton or OKC. Simpson, Gernat, Houck, McCarron and Chase all have the potential to contribute in the AHL (some already are) and Simpson is a good bet to play 200+ in the NHL if he stays healthy.

    The 2nd and 3rd rounds do seem to be the places where they have been maddeningly inconsistent. Marincin is the one solid player you can point to who is delivering on the bet. Maybe Pitlick does as a 3rd of 4th liner, maybe Lander as well but the misses hurt. We should also note Ewaynk is in the AHL contributing as is Musil. Remains to be seen but still, not as good as we needed.

    Looking at 2008 thru 2013, safe to say in the 1st round he’s had 3 clear big hits (Eberle, Hall, Nuge), 2 tracking well (Nurse, Klefbom), 1 who’s been up and down (Yak) and a big miss (Paajarvi). Compared to others picking in the first round this might only be average – particularly since 3 of these picks are #1 overall, but still, it goes to show that the strategy that was deployed in 2013 (mitigate risk) is probably the wisest course of action.

    Time will tell but overall, it has been an improvement, just not as good as we need.

  56. nycoil says:

    I don’t think that the Oilers’ choice of Musil was a clear case of nepotism; I think they liked David a lot and he was a reach, however not an enormous one. Still, the footspeed issue was known well before the draft. I seem to recall an analyst (was it McKenzie?) Saying before the draft year he was expected to go in the mid-first round. He slid a bit over the course of the year.

    However, nearly everyone who posted on this blog at the time was calling for Jenner and/or Saad at the time. That bit isn’t hindsighting. No one was a big defender of the Musil selection at the time.

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: Ah, recasting the argument.

    how so.

    Ducey: I never said they should be drafting coke machines or big guys without skill. I said they should not be drafting small guys without the elite level offensive skill which is their only ticket to the NHL. Do you get the difference? One assertion doesn’t lead to the other.

    we’re still talking about mid-to-late round picks right?

    Where are these full drawers of scoring big guys in those rounds? I’ve been looking for them for a while!

    The whole framing of the issue is wrong IMO.

    Size is a factor, not a over-riding one. If you are picking around 100 and taking size over skill you are going to get Abney 9 times out of 10.

    Again… the truth is… these players are LONG SHOTS!!!!

    And, NO, smaller players don’t have to have elite scoring to play in the NHL.

    Player perseverance and creative management/coaching offer more options.

    Ducey: Rajala had no chance to make it. None. Jones has no chance to make it. None. Omark had no chance to make it. They are one dimensional scorers who can’t defend, check their coat or even venture into the corners. They don’t even have the pedigree of Rob Schremp who had the same problems.

    This isn’t true and the comparables are all wrong.

    Schremp was a 1st round pick!!

    Rajala and Omark were taken c. 100.

    In Rajala’s draft year, of the Fs taken in the 4th round or later who have played in the NHL >50 gps (there are 8), only half are >6′ and >190.

    Ducey: If you can’t figure out that Houck or Yakimov or Chase are better bets than one dimensional players with just scoring skill (again we are not talking elite scoring skill) then you are not looking at what the teams in the playoffs are doing,
    Frankly, as this seems to be the draft philosophy of most of the NHL teams, I don’t see what the controversy is.
    Or maybe that’s why there is the controversy.

    The only dimension you’ve added is size.

    If you care to add, defensive accumen (or two-way or whatever)… then guess what, you are back to my initial statement. Take skill. I think defensive play is SKILL. I think size is a vital stat.

    You are right though, this controversy is weird. very throwback.

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: I think you have to compare apples to apples. Rajala and Arco are small for small players at the NHL level which makes them very extreme outliers. Almost no chance to make it in a no chance game.
    A player like Moroz who is 1/10th the player Rajala is has a better chance because he has what a player who doesn’t score at elite levels needs apparently to make the NHL.

    Arco wasn’t drafted.

    Moroz should have a much better chance of making the NHL. He was drafted 70 picks ahead of him.

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: No.

    I was asking him to name a couple of ‘teams’ with this type of roster composition that have won the Cup recently, not players.

    His assertion is that there’s a TON of good teams with small, skilled players throughout their lineup.

    If that is in fact the case, there should be one or two that have won the Cup recently?

    winning the cup is a different question from what is a good team. that’s should be obvious.

    Nearly all good teams have small, skilled players. And, every cup winner I can think of has them too.

    Bag of Pucks: 190lbs is not ‘small’

    The conversation was centering on players like Rajala, Omark, Schremp, etc. This is what we mean by ‘small’

    The Hawks are not a ‘small’ team. That position has already been debunked in other threads.

    follow along.

    the statement was:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The truth is we are talking about long shots in all these cases. Most won’t make it. You start from there.
    Next, most regular NHLers scored a ton in junior. You draft guys that score and find room for them if they make it. You don’t worry about “role” or anything, that’s old world stuff.
    Good teams have lots of small, skilled players. Tons of them, throughout their lineup

    No where in there did I define small as Rajala small.

    I said you take the skilled, scoring player in the draft and don’t worry about size or role. If that means you take Rajala, Kruger, Krejci, etc. that’s what it means.

    It means you don’t go to the table looking for size. If you find it in the most skilled player available, great!

  60. nycoil says:

    What I am trying to say is I don’t care if the guy is the scout’s son, the POHO’s son (Keegan), or if he’s Shayne Corson’s nephew, if the people you pay to evaluate amateur talent for you full time say he is the best player available at that slot, you take him.

    Now that leads to a second issue: Best Player Available (TM) vs. Best Projectable Future Pro. This is always a conundrum when looking at more “polished” guys like Ryan Murray vs. more “raw” guys like Darnell Nurse. Who will make the best pro hockey player down the line? And yes, I know they were from different drafts, but I couldn’t think of a good same draft year example.

  61. Racki says:

    nycoil:
    What I am trying to say is I don’t care if the guy is the scout’s son, the POHO’s son (Keegan), or if he’s Shayne Corson’s nephew, if the people you pay to evaluate amateur talent for you full time say he is the best player available at that slot, you take him.

    Now that leads to a second issue: Best Player Available (TM) vs. Best Projectable Future Pro. This is always a conundrum when looking at more “polished” guys like Ryan Murray vs. more “raw” guys like Darnell Nurse. Who will make the best pro hockey player down the line? And yes, I know they were from different drafts, but I couldn’t think of a good same draft year example.

    Seguin vs. Hall.. The running theme was Hall was the better player now and Seguin was the better long term guy. That was the running theory at the time, anyways.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    You didn’t say good teams have some small players in their lineup.

    You said there are TONS of good teams with small, skilled players THROUGHOUT their lineup.

  63. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide:
    A few things about the ‘Hawks
    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/GET_BUSY_LIVING_OR_GET_BUSY_DYING

    Its a good thing they made Shawshank or you would really be stuck for titles!

    ;-)

    btw, I agree. Chicago needs to close it out tonight. And not just because its Minnesota. *spits*

  64. Racki says:

    How many bushels of people is a throughout?

  65. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    How many bushels of people is a throughout?

    7. there’s 9 in a Throw up and only 1 in a thorough. Kind of opposite of the way we’d think it would be.

  66. RexLibris says:

    nycoil:
    What I am trying to say is I don’t care if the guy is the scout’s son, the POHO’s son (Keegan), or if he’s Shayne Corson’s nephew, if the people you pay to evaluate amateur talent for you full time say he is the best player available at that slot, you take him.

    Now that leads to a second issue: Best Player Available (TM) vs. Best Projectable Future Pro. This is always a conundrum when looking at more “polished” guys like Ryan Murray vs. more “raw” guys like Darnell Nurse. Who will make the best pro hockey player down the line? And yes, I know they were from different drafts, but I couldn’t think of a good same draft year example.

    If I recall correctly, there have been comments attributed to MacGregor that they are tasked (have been since 2010, and I believe still are) with identifying the best player five years from draft day. Therefore, we could assume that they are working off of projections and educated guesses on the likely development of prospects with organizational requirements and other such miscellany making the deciding vote, if necessary.

    BPA is a cliche that is thrown around far too liberally. Best? According to whom? We all got a chance to see the Canucks draft list from last year and it raised eyebrows about their organization’s method of ranking talent.

    To paraphrase the old saying about economists, put ten talent scouts in a room and you’ll have eleven opinions.

  67. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: 7. there’s 9 in a Throw up and only 1 in a thorough. Kind of opposite of the way we’d think it would be.

    Can you convert that metric for me? Imperial measurements always confuse me.

    *waits for obligatory metric rant from “old man LT”*

    ;)

  68. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Can you convert that metric for me? Imperial measurements always confuse me.

    *waits for obligatory metric rant from “old man LT”*

    ;)

    Sure. Let me just cook up these eggs for you and drive over and FEED THEM TO YOU!!! Damn kids and your ‘I’ve never used an addiator!”

  69. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    You didn’t say good teams have some small players in their lineup.

    You said there are TONS of good teams with small, skilled players THROUGHOUT their lineup.

    and that is true.

    In the line up of most good teams (tons!), you will find small players.

    let’s look at all the remaining playoff teams with players =<6' and =<190

    Boston:
    Krejci
    Marchand
    Smith
    Krug

    Habs:
    Briere
    Desharnais
    Gallagher
    Gionta
    Weaver

    Hawks:
    Kane
    Kruger
    Shaw
    Versteeg
    Leddy
    Oduya

    Wild:
    Fontaine
    Granlund
    Haula
    Pominville
    Zucker
    Spurgeon

    Pens:
    Gibbons

    Rags:
    Hagelin
    St. Louis
    Zuccarello
    Strallman

    Ducks:
    Cogliano
    Koivu
    Perreault
    Robidas
    Vatanen

    Kings:
    0

    how is this controversial?

  70. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Bag of Pucks: By the definition of risk averse as measured by consensus rankings, the Avs made an error in not selecting the bpa based on pre-draft consensus?

    Um. MacKinnon had 8/10 on the final McKenzie consensus.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=426318

    Not sure if the Avs scouts needed the playoffs to make the right call, but would have been pretty risky following the mob that temporarily fell in love with a hot D and lost the plot on an injured generation talent that had been on their board too long.

  71. JimRoepcke says:

    A whole blog about Stu, and 71 comments, and nobody has mentioned Valeri Nichushkin?

    I begged Stu, in person, just weeks before the draft last year, to draft Nichuskin. Darnell Freaking Nurse better turn out to be the second coming of Ray Freaking Bourque.

  72. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis

    Good teams have lots of small, skilled players. Tons of them, throughout their lineup.

    through·out

    THro͞oˈout/Submit

    preposition & adverb

    all the way through, in particular.
    in every part of (a place or object).

    preposition: throughout; adverb: throughout
    “it had repercussions throughout Europe”

    synonyms: all over, across, in every part of, everywhere in, all through, right through, all around More
    from beginning to end of (an event or period of time).
    “the Church of which she was a faithful member throughout her life”

    synonyms: all through, all, for the duration of, for the whole of, until the end of
    “she remained fit throughout her life”

  73. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: and that is true.In the line up of most good teams (tons!), you will find small players.let’s look at all the remaining playoff teams with players =<6′ and =<190Boston:KrejciMarchandSmithKrugHabs:BriereDesharnaisGallagherGiontaWeaverHawks:KaneKrugerShawVersteegLeddyOduyaWild:FontaineGranlundHaulaPominvilleZuckerSpurgeonPens:GibbonsRags:HagelinSt. LouisZuccarelloStrallmanDucks:CoglianoKoivuPerreaultRobidasVatanenKings:0how is this controversial?

    Bah. I had the perfect response that would have showed you :) and when I tried to post it was eaten by the ghost of Tony Rajala.

    Enough time wasted…

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    JimRoepcke:
    A whole blog about Stu, and 71 comments, and nobody has mentioned Valeri Nichushkin?

    I begged Stu, in person, just weeks before the draft last year, to draft Nichuskin. Darnell Freaking Nurse better turn out to be the second coming of Ray Freaking Bourque.

    I don’t think Stu had a choice on that one.

    That pick was a MacT pick.

  75. nycoil says:

    JimRoepcke:
    A whole blog about Stu, and 71 comments, and nobody has mentioned Valeri Nichushkin?

    I begged Stu, in person, just weeks before the draft last year, to draft Nichuskin. Darnell Freaking Nurse better turn out to be the second coming of Ray Freaking Bourque.

    Assuming here you are being sarcastic that Stu should have listened to you after begging him to take the Nuke. LT was on the record saying he liked Nichushkin best at #7 during the draft, but here in Oiler land, I guarantee you there would have been a lot of comments about how the Oilers drafted yet another winger instead of a potential top pairing D-man had they taken him over Nurse. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t when you are wandering in the desert.

  76. FastOil says:

    stevezie:
    FastOil,

    I think it is a mistake to separate size from skill.

    As a general principle, it doesn’t matter how a player gets results, it only matters that a player gets results. “Results” being your team scoring more than the other team. So it doesn’t matter if Moroz has literal bricks for hands, or if Rajala is so light he’s carried by the winds from one zone to the next- all that matters is who helps his team score more than the other team.

    Winnick doesn’t have Omark’s hands, but when he is out there his team scores more than Omark’s, so Winnick is more skilled at hockey than Omark.

    It doesn’t matter if you use defence or offense, size or stick-handling, tactics or voodoo, it just matters what gets done.

    No one (I hope) is saying size doesn’t matter- we’re saying don’t get mesmerized by size so that you miss the important question.

    What gets me is how the folks interested in the details of hockey, stats, seem completely befuddled and really undisciplined in how they look at size. I’m all for skill but you don’t see many really light players and probably for a good reason. Not all of the GM’s or puppet masters are old school buffoons.

    You also don’t see half point per game potential players under 180 who aren’t really quick and/or really aggressive. You have to bring something to the party. There are a 1000 skilled players every year hitting draft age around the world. Skill is as plentiful as size. Elite skill is rare. Players with enough of or all of the tools are rare: speed, size, skill, attack, defensive discipline.

    You’re also not going to see a franchise bend over backwards to put a long shot atypical guy in perfect scoring situations unless he is an absolute offensive prodigy. Why should they? Yak gets a push, Rajala doesn’t. If Rajala was even average sized for a male he’d have been a top 5 pick with his international play.

    Omark has enough weight for nowadays listed at 5’10″ and 180, he can’t score enough to warrant his sideburns and attitude. He had something of a shot. A player like him has to be a constant threat and he’s not, on the ice anyway. If Arco gets his chance he has to attack like a madman and not give up too much on D or they’ll look right over him. Sorry, bad.

  77. Racki says:

    Hard not to like Nichuskin, but he’s in an environment where a lot of good things are happening. The Stars are aligned.. Zinnnng. Anyways, I think we will be quite happy with Nurse in the long run if people are patient. Nichuskin is instant results but I do think it helps being on a team where most players seem to be performing well

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: through·out

    THro͞oˈout/Submit

    preposition & adverb

    all the way through, in particular.
    in every part of (a place or object).

    preposition: throughout; adverb: throughout
    “it had repercussions throughout Europe”

    synonyms:all over, across, in every part of, everywhere in, all through, right through, all around More
    from beginning to end of (an event or period of time).
    “the Church of which she was a faithful member throughout her life”

    synonyms:all through, all, for the duration of, for the whole of, until the end of
    “she remained fit throughout her life”

    and?

    you may be confusing throughout with any of the following: plurality, majority, or, in the extreme vast majority.

    Throughout, as the definition you quote says, means all along the way one will find X.

    You find destination mileage boards throughout Canadian highways. No one would assume, however, that they outnumber say, electric/phone polls, trees, etc.

  79. Bag of Pucks says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: Um. MacKinnon had 8/10 on the final McKenzie consensus.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=426318

    Not sure if the Avs scouts needed the playoffs to make the right call, but would have been pretty risky following the mob that temporarily fell in love with a hot D and lost the plot on an injured generation talent that had been on their board too long.

    Wasn’t Jones the ‘consensus’ number one at the time of the draft, given his inclusion atop more of the ‘lists’ though?

    Obviously, good on MacKenzie for having him #1

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: and?

    you may be confusing throughout with any of the following: plurality, majority, or, in the extreme vast majority.

    Throughout, as the definition you quote says, means all along the way one will find X.

    You find destination mileage boards throughout Canadian highways. No one would assume, however, that they outnumber say, electric/phone polls, trees, etc.

    If moving the goalposts was a skill, you’d be in the Hall of Fame.

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: Bah.I had the perfect response that would have showed you and when I tried to post it was eaten by the ghost of Tony Rajala.

    Enough time wasted…

    considering myself showed!

    ;)

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: If moving the goalposts was a skill, you’d be in the Hall of Fame.

    Your failure to understand a word’s usage is not my moving a goalpost.

  83. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: Yak gets a push, Rajala doesn’t. If Rajala was even average sized for a male he’d have been a top 5 pick with his international play.

    It’s not size that separates these players. It’s the very skill you are talking about.

    comparing 1OVs with players taken after 100 is a bad place to start a conversation about skill comparisons.

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    4 out of 23 does not mean ‘throughout’ whatever rhetoric you spin to the contrary.

  85. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Bag of Pucks: Wasn’t Jones the ‘consensus’ number one at the time of the draft, given his inclusion atop more of the ‘lists’ though?

    Obviously, good on MacKenzie for having him #1

    McKenzie runs a consensus list. 8 of 10 NHL scouts had MacKinnon first. Would not weight that list equally with personal lists. There was heavy movement from MacKinnon and back to MacKinnon over the course of the year. See bias, recency.

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    4 out of 23 does not mean ‘throughout’ whatever rhetoric you spin to the contrary.

    aren’t we talking about forwards? (I only included the D for the sake of completeness)

    If you’ve got 12 regular players… how many would it take to say a team had =<6' =<190 players "throughout the lineup"?

    3 would be a quarter of the teams forwards? 4 a 3rd?

    seems like plenty to me meeting a narrowly defined size category.

    I'll leave others to decide if that is enough.

    I'm satisfied that many good teams see enough value in small players to have them on their regular roster that any argument from authority (which, we should ignore anyway) to the contrary isn't up on the facts.

  87. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: aren’t we talking about forwards? (I only included the D for the sake of completeness)

    If you’ve got 12 regular players… how many would it take to say a team had =<6′ =<190 players “throughout the lineup”?

    3 would be a quarter of the teams forwards? 4 a 3rd?

    seems like plenty to me meeting a narrowly defined size category.

    I’ll leave others to decide if that is enough.

    I’m satisfied that many good teams see enough value in small players to have them on their regular roster that any argument from authority (which, we should ignore anyway) to the contrary isn’t up on the facts.

    Yep that pretty much cinches it that you don’t know what the word ‘throughout’ means.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BPA means the BPA according to the scouting staff of the team picking.

    The consensus lists help you, me and the media have a baseline for comparing what the actual teams come up with.

    And BPA is fungible enough for GMs/Scouts to put any attributes they favor into its box.

    The term only applies in two situations:

    1) when a team makes a conscious decision to ignore what it thinks is the best player in favor of what it understands to be a slightly worse player who fits a team need.

    2) when you, me and the media differ with a team’s ranking of who the BPA is.

    But, these are different matters and follow different logics.

  89. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yep that pretty much cinches it that you don’t know what the word ‘throughout’ means.

    hahaha. fantastic!

    you got me. You’ve been making interesting points throughout the thread today!

  90. Bag of Pucks says:

    Actually, with my first post, I was much more hopeful to encourage some conversation in the direction of potential contrarian methodologies for prospect appraisal…

    But you know how it goes. Some overly defensive tool insinuates you’re a relic, or worse a Bruins fan, and then you’re drawn straight into the old school-yard sturm und drang.

  91. commonfan14 says:

    nycoil: What I am trying to say is I don’t care if the guy is the scout’s son, the POHO’s son (Keegan), or if he’s Shayne Corson’s nephew, if the people you pay to evaluate amateur talent for you full time say he is the best player available at that slot, you take him.

    You do not take Shayne Corson’s nephew.

  92. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Actually, with my first post, I was much more hopeful to encourage some conversation in the direction of potential contrarian methodologies for prospect appraisal…

    But you know how it goes. Some overly defensive tool insinuates you’re a relic, or worse a Bruins fan, and then you’re drawn straight into the old school-yard sturm und drang.

    Bruins fans are awesome.

  93. Bank Shot says:

    One thing we can all agree on is that the Oilers drafting and development just isn’t good enough.

    The biggest thing that aggravates me isn’t the size vs skill debate, it’s the way the Oilers seem to just throw away late round draft picks on overagers that aren’t even getting great results.

    Kellen Jones, Jordan Bendfeld, Gustafsson, Laleggia, McCarron, Evan Campbell.

    Do you really have to waste draft picks on these guys? Evan Campbell is 21 and they just drafted him in 2013!

    Do these guys really have a tonne of room left to grow? You could probably sign a baker’s dozen of these guys every year out of college hockey.

    Why not spend those picks on guys that might actually have some upside.

  94. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bank Shot: Do you really have to waste draft picks on these guys? Evan Campbell is 21 and they just drafted him in 2013!

    Campbell is just weird.

    That whole pick screams: favor to Bob Brown who saw him once somewhere or something like that.

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Actually, with my first post, I was much more hopeful to encourage some conversation in the direction of potential contrarian methodologies for prospect appraisal…

    But you know how it goes. Some overly defensive tool insinuates you’re a relic, or worse a Bruins fan, and then you’re drawn straight into the old school-yard sturm und drang.

    Odd, I could have sworn I was making some point or other about separating scouting from developing when someone got all huffy about size…

    hmm… go figure, that’s exactly what happened!

  96. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Sure, that makes sense, thanks. So if the scouts wanted Murray, but every ranking service had Yakupov #1, case 2 applies (“We had Murray ranked number one”). If, on the other hand they thought Yakupov was BPA but took Murray instead, case 1 applies (“We didn’t go with the BPA”).

    I guess my question was if BPA was already factoring who may end up the best eventual NHLer out of whomever is available at that draft slot, but you’re saying the term “BPA” itself should already factor that in, if that’s a category the team cares about as an “input” into the formula that makes up BPA. That’s fair enough.

    I suppose the term “highest ceiling” encompasses what I was trying to get at anyway, so BPA doesn’t necessarily equal highest ceiling so that covers it. As for the post that mentioned Tyler vs Taylor as an example, I kind of disagree because there were at least as many people who said Taylor now and in the future vs. people who said Taylor now Tyler in the future.

    Anyhow, back on subject, I can’t blame Stu for the Pitlick failure (so far). The kid was pretty much consensus #31 while everyone slept on it ahead of Day 2 that draft. Musil a lot more debatable. Hamilton–not covering the bet at all. Marincin–looking very good so far. Lander- he got a second pro contract. It might only be an infield single, but it’s still not an out. So we can probably say it’s 2-for-4 so far on recent second round picks (too early for Moroz), where one of the outs was pretty much the guy every draft board said we should take, and Musil, though a bit of a reach, still has time to deliver to possibly make it 3-for-5, but it looks more likely to be 2-for-5. Could have easily been 4-for-5 as well if Pitlick didn’t keep getting hurt. That’s not bad, that’s pretty good.

    As for the MPS “miss”– well, I think everyone, yours truly included, was thrilled when he slipped to #10. And we still converted him into Perron (though yet to see what STL does with the pick). Interesting that some scouts did mention legitimate concerns back then about his offensive skills. The discourse went from how he was a potential top 5 pick with size, speed, and skill, to how he was more likely to be a Dvorak-type at best (and I liked Dvorak a lot) pretty quickly.

  97. nycoil says:

    commonfan14: You do not take Shayne Corson’s nephew.

    I put that in there deliberately for hyperbole that you want your scouts recommending the best player regardless of other factors. I went for the most vile example I could think of, but I guess you didn’t get that point.

  98. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil,

    I think you might like MacT iteration of what BPA means to him: “the player who is going to have the largest impact on his team over the course of his career”

    or something like that.

    that implies that they are taking “the long view” on the picks.

  99. sliderule says:

    There is no way to sugarcoat it the Stu era 2008 to present has been poor other than first round.
    Despite the fact we have had high picks in every round we only have two players who played more than twenty games in the past season drafted after the first round.
    The Preds Jackets Kings Wild and Avs have had 5.
    The Lighning and Ducks have had 6
    Other than Preds every one of those teams made the playoffs.
    Mact mentioned that they have to do better in later rounds.I have heard that they had a number of scouts at u 18 so i think he is trying.
    If they dont do better in the second round down they are destined to be bottom dwellers

  100. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

  101. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

    donkey?

  102. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You went with “Shrek,” I went with “Babe.” Either I am showing my age or superior level of lameness. “Shrek” works better for this team, anyway!

  103. russ99 says:

    I find it ironic that many of the people advocating only truculent draft picks are the same ones who want Arcobello to get a shot.

    You can’t have it both ways. With a system of full of checkers, Arco would have never have gotten to this point.

    Look at OKC this year, no real offensive talent, tons of checkers. It’s very hard to develop prospects in such an environment. We need checkers and skill guys at every level of the system so they can all get better. Even if they don’t impact the NHL roster. This will become even more vital when we’re not picking in the top half of the draft anymore.

    That’s why I’m not down on Marco Roy. Our system desperately needs a player like that. A post-draft bump in the road due to injury is no reason to sell him short or give his spot in the future to another grinder.

    Who knows, maybe 3 years from now he’ll get 80 points in the AHL and force his way into the conversation at the top 6.

    This is what good teams do, this is what the Red Wings do. We finally got away from Tambellini stuffing the system with guys looking for a needle in a haystack that resulted in the ugliness that was the Barons forward group this year.

    It’s about time we get a good mix for every players’ benefit. I just wish we could undo Reider – Kessy. What an awful trade…

  104. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: donkey?

    The pig quote is from Babe, which would have come out before Shrek ;)

  105. DeadmanWaking says:

    Ducey:
    I think a guy like Rajala may have more “talent” than Moroz but Moroz has a wider range of skills.He might turn out to be a guy who could score 20 goals in the NHL but he also could fill a lot of other roles too.I am not necessarily saying a guy needs to be truculent, but generally some ability to physically protect the puck or get it back is important.

    Nice post. The horse-traders in the crowd have this mistaken belief–a false zero buried in some off-diagonal corner of the competence matrix–that “showcasing” a player is a zero-cost operation.

    Scenario A.

    Coach wakes up in the morning and his first thought–and second thought, and third thought–is how to jigger a line combination to give a bit of a boost to some borderline ANP who’s on the special-of-the-day change-of-scenery big board.

    Scenario B.

    Coach wakes up and his center depth chart for established NHL centers reads “Boyd Gordon”.

    Showcasing a player for “asset management” is like applying for a bank loan: the more you need the loan, the less likely you are to obtain one.

    Scenario C (coming to a distant theatre not yet near you).

    It’s the second round, game six. You’re down in the series 3-2 with home ice for game seven. You feel like you’re the stronger team, but unfortunately you’re a walking infirmary–and your shutdown center is sitting for the second game of a two gamer.

    You look down your depth chart and you spot Mitch Moroz newly arrived. He played 15 games at the NHL level two seasons ago, but then settled into the Big George role at the WHL level. Once a period he single-handedly cycles the puck for 15 seconds, and once a game he walks the post for a stuff with two guys draped all over his back. The “stuff” is actually his best offensive weapon. Too bad, he almost could have been a player in the show. You know he’s not going to generate any offense, but on the plus side, he’s got fresh legs and cement shoulders, and even if he can’t move the puck, he’s darn good at battling the puck to a standstill–in either zone.

    So you roll Mitch out there for a regular turn monitoring his performance with your right eye through the crook of a fuzzy wedding band and on his third shift of the game he puts the Theo Peckham/Raffi Torres shoulder down for a momentum-changing kablamo–the other squad’s sandpaper fullback goes for a giraffe-neck rag-doll ice-dart swan-dive. Four double bricks. The greasy perp didn’t even see it coming in the freight-train fog of playoff intensity–plugger was digging so deep he was burning damp Chinese coal in a bromide haze.

    So, in this scenario did Moroz cover the bet or not? After he levels a guy so abruptly every overshooting cameraman in the building is reversing his dolly crank to bring the play back into frame by echo location?

    Anyway, the point is this: I’d rather take the player who can feasibly showcase himself rather than devoting 200 games to coddling JFJ or another slick-stick Munchkin. Nor do I think it hurts to have a pick turn into a winning-culture stalwart in the organization one level down who can actually be a difference maker as a Raffi Torres rent-a-game call-up at first-shift rodeo playoff intensity.

    My fellow Orange Mitt showcasers, ask not what your team can do for your prospects, ask what your prospects can do for your team.

    Of course, my scenario is quite preposterous. As it happens, all scenarios from the fourth quadrant are quite preposterous. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing thing how often the fourth quadrant manages to wag the dog.

  106. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It’s not size that separates these players. It’s the very skill you are talking about.

    comparing 1OVs with players taken after 100 is a bad place to start a conversation about skill comparisons.

    Not sure if you’re looking here today Rom, but I find it funny that this is such a mental hurdle for a lot of stats guys even though the large sample says guys under 180 are rare. It’s a fact, not my opinion.

    Rajala was the highest scoring international junior, beating Ovechkin wasn’t he? Not even a sniff from 30 teams? There is a growing contingent of smaller players, but small as in Eberle small. If really short, they tend to be heavy for the height. If they are light they tend to be approaching 6 feet.

    It’s a ratio of strength and reach. Nearly all under sized players are also great skaters because they protect the puck by being elusive, they aren’t going to do it with strength (shielding the puck with body). Some of them have the cajones to play a physical game but it’s irrelevent if admirable because it doesn’t wear the opponent down, and in the playoffs that’s a tactic. When Lucic is running around it mentally preoccupies a team, also a tactic. Eberle or Larsen, not so much. Arcobello not at all.

    If I’m wrong where are the multiple examples of these really short and light players providing great offense? Or are all the GM’s just John Wayne wannabees?

  107. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: Not sure if you’re looking here today Rom, but I find it funny that this is such a mental hurdle for a lot of stats guys even though the large sample says guys under 180 are rare. It’s a fact, not my opinion.

    Rajala was the highest scoring international junior, beating Ovechkin wasn’t he? Not even a sniff from 30 teams? There is a growing contingent of smaller players, but small as in Eberle small. If really short, they tend to be heavy for the height. If they are light they tend to be approaching 6 feet.

    It’s a ratio of strength and reach. Nearly all under sized players are also great skaters because they protect the puck by being elusive, they aren’t going to do it with strength (shielding the puck with body). Some of them have the cajones to play a physical game but it’s irrelevent if admirable because it doesn’t wear the opponent down, and in the playoffs that’s a tactic. When Lucic is running around it mentally preoccupies a team, also a tactic. Eberle or Larsen, not so much. Arcobello not at all.

    If I’m wrong where are the multiple examples of these really short and light players providing great offense? Or are all the GM’s just John Wayne wannabees?

    no.

    what is very confusing is the inability to distinguish between the reasonable expectations we have of players taken 1st overall (Yakupov, or now Ovi! wow!) with players taken 101.

    the reason you think you can group players like this is some weird focus on player type, which doesn’t even make sense. Yak and Ovi are much larger and way, way better than Rajala.

    the whole question is absurd.

    start from first principles: players taken after the 2nd round and around/after 100 are LONG SHOTS. Rajala didn’t make it for the same reason the hulking wingers clustered around his draft spot didn’t. because the odds are vastly stacked against them.

    But, Rajala had/s a much better shot than those wastrels of ever playing productive pro hockey. he already has.

    Here’s BM’s list from 2009:

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?fid=7331

    had him at 50. he was taken 101.

    Seriously people… freak out over Hesketh, Abney, etc. and get over this ridiculous size obsession. Rajala was a marvellous pick at 101.

  108. commonfan14 says:

    nycoil: commonfan14: You do not take Shayne Corson’s nephew.
    I put that in there deliberately for hyperbole that you want your scouts recommending the best player regardless of other factors. I went for the most vile example I could think of, but I guess you didn’t get that point.

    I’d like to argue, but you’re clearly an expert in not getting things.

  109. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: no.

    what is very confusing is the inability to distinguish between the reasonable expectations we have of players taken 1st overall (Yakupov, or now Ovi! wow!) with players taken 101.

    the reason you think you can group players like this is some weird focus on player type, which doesn’t even make sense. Yak and Ovi are much larger and way, way better than Rajala.

    the whole question is absurd.

    start from first principles: players taken after the 2nd round and around/after 100 are LONG SHOTS. Rajala didn’t make it for the same reason the hulking wingers clustered around his draft spot didn’t. because the odds are vastly stacked against them.

    But, Rajala had/s a much better shot than those wastrels of ever playing productive pro hockey. he already has.

    Here’s BM’s list from 2009:

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?fid=7331

    had him at 50. he was taken 101.

    Seriously people… freak out over Hesketh, Abney, etc. and get over this ridiculous size obsession. Rajala was a marvellous pick at 101.

    I feel you’re skirting the issue. I am completely aware that players out of the top 5 drop quickly in their odds of making it.

    The point, simple and clear, is that there are almost no players in the NHL under 180. Why is that? It has nothing to do with late draft odds. It’s not a statistical anomaly, it’s not noise. They don’t make it because they are seen to be to small by the entire league. They mostly aren’t in the league.

    The concept has to be kept in context. We are speaking about unusually small players. It’s the same as drafting overly big players that aren’t physically suited to NHL hockey as in the guys you mentioned. They might have skill but if they can’t move quick enough it’s a moot point.

    Referring to skill in a blanket sense is too general to mean anything. There are boatloads of skilled players outside of the NHL. Not elite, but skilled. Some are too small, some to timid, get injured, unlucky, lazy, too slow, too selfish, a myriad of reasons why they don’t make it. Size is one of those reasons when they are “unusually” small.

  110. nycoil says:

    commonfan14,

    Sorry if you got my sarcasm and instead my sarcasm meter failed me instead ;) There are many things I don’t get! I am working on becoming an expert on that because the more I learn the less i know.

  111. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: I feel you’re skirting the issue. I am completely aware that players out of the top 5 drop quickly in their odds of making it.

    The point, simple and clear, is that there are almost no players in the NHL under 180. Why is that? It has nothing to do with late draft odds. It’s not a statistical anomaly, it’s not noise. They don’t make it because they are seen to be to small by the entire league. They mostly aren’t in the league.

    The concept has to be kept in context. We are speaking about unusually small players. It’s the same as drafting overly big players that aren’t physically suited to NHL hockey as in the guys you mentioned. They might have skill but if they can’t move quick enough it’s a moot point.

    Referring to skill in a blanket sense is too general to mean anything. There are boatloads of skilled players outside of the NHL. Not elite, but skilled. Some are too small, some to timid, get injured, unlucky, lazy, too slow, too selfish, a myriad of reasons why they don’t make it. Size is one of those reasons when they are “unusually” small.

    sure they are rare. but so are players unusually tall, or heavy.

    yet, they exist in the NHL.

    a number of them are listed here:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/6/8/does-size-matter-in-the-nhl-draft

    no one is saying it’s not a factor. But, it is crazy to make it such a factor that you won’t draft a player after 100 who was ranked by the consensus as 50OV simply because he’s small.

  112. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: sure they are rare. but so are players unusually tall, or heavy.

    yet, they exist in the NHL.

    a number of them are listed here:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/6/8/does-size-matter-in-the-nhl-draft

    no one is saying it’s not a factor. But, it is crazy to make it such a factor that you won’t draft a player after 100 who was ranked by the consensus as 50OV simply because he’s small.

    I may be crazy but I am fun at parties :)

    Your list proves my point. 2 players under 180 by more than a few pounds. It suggests to me that at that height/weight it is almost impossible to make the NHL. So why not use the pick on someone with at least some sort of chance?

    It’s just as foolish as drafting some football player on skates and hoping he becomes Lucic.

  113. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: I may be crazy but I am fun at parties

    Your list proves my point. 2 players under 180 by more than a few pounds. It suggests to me that at that height/weight it is almost impossible to make the NHL. So why not use the pick on someone with at least some sort of chance?

    It’s just as foolish as drafting some football player on skates and hoping he becomes Lucic.

    re-read the article.

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