DRAFT AND FOLLOW

There are few things in sports I enjoy more than a draft and follow. I discovered the practice during my years as a baseball fan. A team would take some kid who barely played and say “well, he’s a kid we like the look of, if he can get a foot on that fastball of his maybe we have something” and it stuck with me as a chance to cheat the system. Long odds, mind, but better to take a player whose photo hasn’t quite developed than one who is fully developed and unimpressive. And at the end of the draft, that can happen.

Six summers ago, I wrote about draft and follow and said the following:

  • The Oilers draft players all the time who have slipped through the previous season. Guys like Mathieu Roy, Kyle Brodziak, Danny Syvret and yesterday Jordan Bendfeld. Edmonton has been able to get a lot of quality out of that area of the draft. So, why would they wait the season and risk a spike in value? If Kyle Brodziak was on the Oiler radar a year before he was drafted (and he was) then draft the guy. Right? And you’re taking a kid who has just completed his 17-year old season over a just-turned-20 prospect who you can sign for just dollars after the draft.

The Oilers had just drafted a kid (Bendfeld) they could have SIGNED a few weeks later. That’s just silly, especially if there was no lineup for his services (and please please don’t argue that Jordan Bendfeld had a lineup for his services). It might have been a favor for a friend, or maybe one of those moments where they were tipping the cap to a scout for passing over several years worth of talent in his area (don’t laugh, this happens in baseball and hockey).

Travis Toomey did not turn into an NHL player, but I cheered for him all down the line. Draft and follow. These are my people.

Key points on draft and follow:

  • they are draft eligible for the first time (just completed their 17-year old season)
  • they are NOT key players on their team at this time
  • they show some signs of being a prospect

bouchard clip

This brings me to Keven Bouchard. He’s a draft and follow. On draft day, I was critical of the pick (why you use two out of six picks on goalies in any draft is beyond me. It’s like drafting one pitcher and six catchers) for reasons beyond the player (well, his save percentage was no screaming hell, either). Upon reflection, something an instant analysis on draft day doesn’t allow, Bouchard is exactly the kind of pick I like: draft and follow.

  • More MacGregor: We had a bit of an eye on him from the previous year, and I just happened to be at a game that he did play, and he did get a period at the Memorial Cup that I was there at. He’s a guy with potential … he’s very fit, he’s very strong, so he’s willing to put in the work to get better. Freddy Chabot and Sylvain Rodrigue know him really well, so that helps. They’ve been involved with him, and they used that experience to [advise] that he’d be a prospect.
  • InGoalMag.com: The Oilers added another goalie late with the 10th-ranked North American goalie in Bouchard, who backed up Memorial Cup star Antoine Bibeau for the QMJHL champs in Val D’or. He posted an impressive 17-6-1 record but only a .897 save percentage.

We’ll see how this turns out, but Bouchard has a decent resume, and could blossom in his final two season in junior. There’s some knowledge of the player, and his save percentage from January through the end of the regular season was .929.

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38 Responses to "DRAFT AND FOLLOW"

  1. Merchant says:

    Great write up LT. Drafting, like life has a certain element of chaos involved, especially for guys taken this late. Brossoit is the goaler I’m following with high hopes, probably because his success is the only thing that can fill the hole in my heart left over from the Smid trade :)

  2. "Steve Smith" says:

    Could we get four or five more Stu MacGregor quotes about this guy?

  3. VanOil says:

    It strikes me that with the better coaching and development systems that late round picks would be better spent on Swedish and Finnish goalies.

  4. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Could we get four or five more Stu MacGregor quotes about this guy?

    lol. I’m just happy he didn’t say “after we took him, a lot of scouts were saying ‘you pulled one over us there’ because that is absolutely the kiss of death.”

  5. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Could we get four or five more Stu MacGregor quotes about this guy?

    I got one LT hasn’t posted:

    We had a bit of an eye on him from the previous year, and I just happened to be at a game that he did play, and he did get a period at the Memorial Cup that I was there at. He’s a guy with potential … he’s very fit, he’s very strong, so he’s willing to put in the work to get better. Freddy Chabot and Sylvain Rodrigue know him really well, so that helps.

    So there’s that.

  6. Lowetide says:

    you’re ALL jackasses. Every damn one of you!

  7. raventalon40 says:

    I heard he’s pretty fit, and very strong. Probably willing to put in the work to get better. :)

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Key points on draft and follow:”

    are these an “any of the following” or an “all of the following” kind of thing?

    like would Platzer qualify? he was buried, but taken in his draft year.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Key points on draft and follow:”

    are these an “any of the following” or an “all of the following” kind of thing?

    like would Platzer qualify? he was buried, but taken in his draft year.

    Yep. But I hate him.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I think I posted this on draft day or thereabouts… but it’s kinda funny to watch again anyway

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv16XuMcwu8

  11. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I think I posted this on draft day or thereabouts… but it’s kinda funny to watch again anyway

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv16XuMcwu8

    70s shorts!

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Yep. But I hate him.

    Well. who doesn’t?

    My neighbor regularly leans over the fence to deliver a rousing brocade of invective against the young centerman.

    I keep saying: “he’s not even a leaf prospect!”

    and he just keeps saying: “who? don’t you try and Platzer my train of thought!”

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: 70s shorts!

    Keven’s actually got pretty normal shorts on.. they are just spandex or something. tight!

    but, it’s the next kid in line that has done something horrifying. he’s somehow tucked his shorts into themselves to create an unwelcome effect.

  14. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    They get bunched up doing squats like that, or you pre-bunch to avoid any binding.

    He’s playing around with quite bit of weight there – impressive!

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    They get bunched up doing squats like that, or you pre-bunch to avoid any binding.

    He’s playing around with quitebit of weight there – impressive!

    I don’t doubt it is a comfort issue. it still looks… well I saw it.

  16. Oilanderp says:

    I regret coming here today.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oilanderp:
    I regret coming here today.

    you take that back!

  18. Lowetide says:

    One day when we’re all drunk I’ll tell you about my Grade 8 and 9 gym teacher.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Aren’t we always already drunk?

  20. Lowetide says:

    No, it’s too much. I have to build up to the memory. It’s not something I can re-live without a long afternoon of imbibing.

  21. Bar_Qu says:

    Ah, jr high gym teacher short shorts in the 80s. That takes me back!

    Not that this is what LT is referring to. Likely just a meandering tale of why it was a bad idea to go to the gym in his school.

    “Anyway, about my washtub. I just used it that morning to wash my turkey, which in those days was known as a walking bird. We’d always have walking bird on Thanksgiving with all the trimmings: cranberries, injun eyes, and yams stuffed with gunpowder. Then we’d all watch football, which in those days was called baseball.”

  22. Oilanderp says:

    I’m drinking Alberta Premium whiskey in B.C.!!! Don’t tell the neighbours.

    *re-hides behind bush*

  23. spoiler says:

    Eskie special teams need to go to Special Ed.

  24. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Eskie special teams need to go to Special Ed.

    What a pathetic play. Christ.

  25. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: What a pathetic play. Christ.

    Throw in the muffed punt for a turnover, and the Stamps’ excellent yardage on their returns, and it’s a nightmare.

  26. SouthernOil says:

    Any other notable players in this draft you think would fall into this category?

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    SouthernOil:
    Any other notable players in this draft you think would fall into this category?

    all of them?

    seriously… after Draisaitl and Lagesson… they pretty much all qualify.

    Nagelvoort: overage
    Coughlin: overage
    Vesel: overage
    Bouchard: buried

  28. spoiler says:

    Special Fucking Teams.

  29. RexLibris says:

    2nd and inches.

    2ND AND INCHES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!

    Take the down and keep moving! Even Tom Higgins would’ve been able to make that play call!

    Arghhhh.

    How is it the Eskimos can so easily fill me with boiling rage?

  30. Lowetide says:

    That was a frustrating game. The Stamps didn’t deserve that win.

  31. Zangetsu says:

    50/50. I don’t know if you’ll hear from me for awhile . It takes time to get wifi to a private island.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Zangetsu:
    50/50. I don’t know if you’ll hear from me for awhile . It takes time to get wifi to a private island.

    did you win??!?!?!?!?!

  33. OilLeak says:

    Wow, that’s some impressive work by Bouchard. Kid is already a monster at 18. He’s also pushing a prowler in the video, which automatically makes him my favourite goalie prospect.

  34. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: That was a frustrating game. The Stamps didn’t deserve that win.

    Sorry but yea they did . When you make that many mistakes ( Here this Oiler players ) you deserve exactly what you get and I just drank half a liter of Gin . Player mistakes & coaches mistakes . Gets you every time .

  35. justDOit says:

    Hammers,

    So will the gin!

  36. Lois Lowe says:

    Lowetide,

    They haven’t announced the winner yet because the jackpot was over $350,000! That’s a lot of scratch! I missed the entire second quarter getting my tickets.

  37. Marc says:

    Moroz meets all of the requirements of a draft and follow. Because of the team he was on and the role he played on it, his counting numbers were a lot lower than they would have been if he had a top 6 role on a crappier team.

    A lot of the outrage that followed his drafting was from people who thought we’d wasted a high pick on a coke machine, when what had actually happened was that we had used an unusually high pick on a draft and follow.

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