THE THIRD ROUND

If there’s one thing the Edmonton Oilers were guilty of in the final portion of last decade, it was wasting third-round picks. In 2009, while Cody Eakin (who is a perfect-fit option for the team at C today) was waiting to be drafted, Edmonton selected a tall tree from Minnetonka’s high school program and a WHL fighter-on-skates. If there was ever a team that needed to learn the lesson of ‘third-round walkabout’ drafting it was these Edmonton Oilers. And, I’m happy to say, they did in fact learn their lesson.

I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the third round 2008-13. No grand statements on either side, no claims of victory, just an honest assessment of the way things are, the good and bad arrows, and a discussion in regard to useful players coming out of this area of the draft.

hesketh Troy Oiler camp Andy Devlin(Troy Hesketh photo by Andy Devlin)

 A PROPOSAL

I propose we adopt a line in the sand, we can call it the “Cullen line” after Scott Cullen of TSN. He estimated the success rate (100 NHL games or more) to be 23.5% back in 2009. Let’s adopt 25% as the “line” because it’s easier to remember, and let’s make “100″ closer to two seasons and use 150 games. That way, for our purposes, a player like Theo Peckham (who is not in the study) can be claimed as a victory by the pro side. Fair? I’d love your input here, because the idea is to be fair, not bend over backwards to be fair but “I’m tuning my ’53 flathead Ford engine and need top dead center” fair.

OILERS THIRD ROUND 2008-2013

That set, let’s move on to the Oilers during the MacGregor era (2008-2013). We’re looking at one in four being a success (average) and anything more than that above average. The Oilers have selected nine players in Round 3 during the MacGregor era:

  • 2009: Troy Hesketh
  • 2009: Cameron Abney
  • 2010: Ryan Martindale
  • 2011: Samu Perhonen
  • 2011: Travis Ewanyk
  • 2012: Jujhar Khaira
  • 2012: Daniil Zharkov
  • 2013: Bogdan Yakimov
  • 2013: Anton Slepyshev

No player in the group of 7 has reached the NHL leve, let alone 150 games. And 25% of nine players is two NHL players of 150 games or more from this group, that’s the expectation for an “average” team in the third round.

ewanyk

2014 SUMMER

Since we have no one in the NHL (and frankly, the promising players on this list are just about to play their first AHL games, so this could take awhile) this is not going to be a list that promises immediate results.

  • No longer a prospect: Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney
  • Very bad arrows: Ryan Martindale, Samu Perhonen
  • Bad arrows: Travis Ewanyk, Daniil Zharkov
  • Lukewarm arrows: Anton Slepyshev
  • Good arrows: Jujhar Khaira, Bogdan Yakimov
  • Very good arrows:

Let’s go over this list one by one:

  • D Troy Hesketh—The most frustrating pick of the MacGregor era because there was still real value on the board.
  • R Cameron Abney—The second most frustrating pick, there was no way this was going to bring value from the moment the selection was made.
  • C Ryan Martindale—Signed a two-way NHL deal today, still has a chance but it isn’t a good one.
  • G Samu Perhonen—He wasn’t good enough for the Oilers to sign. The OILERS, a team in dire need of goalie prospects, passed on him.
  • C Travis Ewanyk—Learning the checking game in the AHL, will need to score as his AHL time increases.
  • L Daniil Zharkov—Very disappointing KHL season, he does have some offensive talent but didn’t play much.
  • L Anton Slepyshev—He looked brilliant at WJ’s, isn’t playing enough in the KHL. EDM may want to bring him over fall 2015.
  • C Jujhar Khaira—One of two promising picks from this group, he lack offensive ability but is big and strong and can play hockey.
  • C Bogdan Yakimov—The best player in the group, he’s going to take time to adjust but is a promising player.

yakimov twitter1Yakimov (in photo) and his fellow Russian Slepyshev combine with Jujhar Khaira to offer some hope for this area of the Oilers draft under Stu MacGregor. However, there are two items we need to address at this point in our conversation:

  • The Oilers drafted some absolute duds based on something other than projection. Cameron Abney and Troy Hesketh were selected at a time when finding an enforcer was a key item, and size was on the front burner. The galling thing about these picks is that they are predictable and so are the results: The Oilers have done this BEFORE and it. does. not. work. They aren’t smarter than the other guy, just aren’t. Fortunately, the last ‘walkabout’ pick in the group (Jujhar Khaira) appears to be one of the best in the third round 2008-13. It’s still a bad idea.
  • I’d really like to know the decision process around the selection of goalies. Do they have them on a list with the skaters? Or do they randomly throw them out there, guessing as to what other teams are thinking. The reason I ask is Stu MacGregor’s statement after the draft that he had a discussion with Craig MacTavish about selecting Keven Bouchard with their last pick. Seems strange, wouldn’t you just select the next guy up? If it’s true Edmonton just slots people in, then I’m going to object to the selection of Perhonen in this group, despite his not being a large walkabout selection (Bob McKenzie had him No. 51, Perhonen went No. 62).

perhonenThe Oilers drafted nine players in the third round 2008-13, and the expectation of average is 2 NHL players of 150 or more big-league games. They are (in my estimation) down to Yakimov, Khaira and Slepyshev as meaningful prospects, and only two of those players are trending. The Oilers probably get one player from this group, is that fair? That’s not a passing grade, and the culprit is saw him good, passion for a player, we heard New Jersey liked him, goalies in the mist, and size.

There is good news. That 2013 draft, the first one Craig MacTavish had a direct hand in, gave them two of their three hopefuls. If Khaira and Yakimov work out, the Oilers will be average in this round. Choosing Cody Eakin would have been a pretty damn good idea.

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62 Responses to "THE THIRD ROUND"

  1. D says:

    In the salary cap world of the National Hockey League, later round picks are where championships appear to be built.

  2. Yak2 says:

    I know Travis Ewanyk didn’t put up offense in junior, but I doubt the whole “he won’t be a regular NHL’er” thing. If he can turn in to a Dominic Moore or Manny Malhotra, a 4th line guy, who provides energy, grit, and some offense, that’s valuable. I think Todd Nelson can make that happen. Him and Musil had a successful first AHL season. MacT wants to follow the CHI model of 3 scoring lines and a defensive 4th line, Ewanyk can eventually be a part of that 4th defensive line in the future.

  3. nycoil says:

    It’s a good point that process counts as much as result. If the Oilers selected a guy like Khaira too early on flawed logic they shouldn’t be rewarded, just like they shouldn’t be punished for taking Pitlick where they did. Luck does play a role.

  4. Ducey says:

    Ewanyk is an interesting study.

    He is said to have no chance because he has never put up good boxcars. However, many, if not most, junior players put up nice boxcars based on easier minutes, lots of ice time, PP, good zone starts etc.

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity. Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK. He apparently relishes it.

    I don’t know that many prospects have been dealt this hand. It will be interesting to see if he can develop into Boyd Gordon. Gordon, by the way did get a push in his last 2 years of junior. It seems to be the only time. In his draft year he had 51 points in 66 games. He had 22 goals. Seven were on the PP. His next year scored 33 goals and got 81 points. He scored 14 (or close to half of his goals) on the PP. So he got 19 non PP goals.

    Ewanyk in the year he was drafted had 16 goals.

    So the question is: Is it a lack of skill, or the lack of opportunity that has led to Ewanyk’s lack of offence? If the Oil Kings had been a weaker team and had moved Ewanyk up the lineup and given him PP time in his draft year, would he have matched Gordon by scoring an extra 7 goals and an extra amount of assists?

  5. Lowetide says:

    nycoil:
    It’s a good point that process counts as much as result. If the Oilers selected a guy like Khaira too early on flawed logic they shouldn’t be rewarded, just like they shouldn’t be punished for taking Pitlick where they did. Luck does play a role.

    Absolutely! I do think you can increase the weight of the dice by following McKenzie until McKenzie is exhausted, though.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Yak2:
    I know Travis Ewanyk didn’t put up offense in junior, but I doubt the whole “he won’t be a regular NHL’er” thing. If he can turn in to a Dominic Moore or Manny Malhotra, a 4th line guy, who provides energy, grit, and some offense, that’s valuable. I think Todd Nelson can make that happen. Him and Musil had a successful first AHL season. MacT wants to follow the CHI model of 3 scoring lines and a defensive 4th line, Ewanyk can eventually be a part of that 4th defensive line in the future.

    I like Ewanyk, and have heard good things about him in OKC, but there aren’t a lot of players who score like he does and have NHL careers.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    Ewanyk is an interesting study.

    He is said to have no chance because he has never put up good boxcars.However, many, if not most, junior players put up nice boxcars based on easier minutes, lots of ice time, PP, good zone starts etc.

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity.Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK.He apparently relishes it.

    I don’t know that many prospects have been dealt this hand.It will be interesting to see if he can develop into Boyd Gordon.Gordon, by the way did get a push in his last 2 years of junior.It seems to be theonly time.In his draft year he had 51 points in 66 games.He had 22 goals.Seven were on the PP.His next year scored 33 goals and got 81 points.He scored 14 (or close to half of his goals) on the PP. So he got 19 non PP goals.

    Ewanyk in the year he was drafted had 16 goals.

    So the question is:Is it a lack of skill, or the lack of opportunity that has led to Ewanyk’s lack of offence?If the Oil Kings had been a weaker team and had moved Ewanyk up the lineup and given him PP time in his draft year, would he have matched Gordon by scoring an extra 7 goals and an extra amount of assists?

    That’s a great point. He’s definitely been in a specific role for many years. Loved watching him as an Oil King.

  8. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Why do you hate slepyshev?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Okay, I tweaked the wording on Ewanyk a little.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Manitoba Oilers:
    Why do you hate slepyshev?

    Bad eyebrow.

  11. Logan91 says:

    I remember when Cody Eakin got traded from Swift Current to Kootenay. It was Eakin for 5 players and 3 draft picks. I’m still waiting for him to have a break out year.

  12. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide,

    “If there’s one thing the Edmonton Oilers were guilty of in the final portion of last decade, it was wasting third-round picks.”

    So, icing the absolutely worst product of any North American sporting franchise is a close second? As long as we call those Hail Mary’s in the third round, it’ll all work out….;-)

  13. nycoil says:

    Lowetide,

    Couldn’t agree more on that. If the Oilers follow McKenzie and fail, that’s fine by me. Hence you won’t see me criticizing the Pitlick selection. The walkabout picks are a problem when they leave talent on the board and claim a higher intelligence. Every team does it on occasion, but some more than others.

  14. rickithebear says:

    All that matters:
    2012 MacT VP hockey ops and amateur acquisition.
    2012
    Khaira
    Zharkov
    2013
    Slepyshev
    Yakimov
    2014
    Scrivens

    MacT has done well with his 3rd round picks.

    Yakimov (18) 33 gm 6 EVG 1PPG 5 EVP 9:55TOI
    Aprox 9:05 EVTOI 299.6min 2.20 EVP/60

    but he plays in a .70 NHLE (.77 by division)
    but I will use .70 NHLE .7/.29 =2.41

    Yakimov’s 2.20 EVP/60 in KHL translates to 5.3 EVP/60 in an 18 year old season.

    Dickson 3.6EVP/60
    Burakovsky 3.5
    Petan 3.5
    Rychel 3.5
    Bjorkstrand 3.2
    Drouin 3.2
    Kulda 3.2
    Lazar 3.2
    Mantha 3.2
    Chase 3.0

    If yakimov does not get in the NHL with a 5.3 EVP/60 CHLE
    the guys in the 3′s sure are not ready.

    extra skater now allows us to compare EV play from Euro pro league to CHL.

    5.3!

  15. speeds says:

    I don’t think you can really compare a pick like Khaira with Abney.

    With Khaira, there was some proven production and some interesting scouting reports from other services. No, not in a top tier junior league, but there was some offense there. Compare Khaira’s offence at 18 in the BCHL (79pts in 54GP, and also one of the younger players in his draft class) with Coughlin at 20 (45 pts in 53 GP, he’s a mere one month younger than Khaira). Is it possible Coughlin could work out? Sure it is, and I hope he does.

    I hoped the same for some of the others, as well.

  16. RexLibris says:

    I remember noticing a trend in the draft where teams would approach the third round with the attitude of taking the last of the big before moving on to the first of the small skilled.

    Some teams jumped the gun and took skilled players, overseas (again with skill), and occasionally a goalie or two (Quick being the Lucic-like poster-child for this).

    The shift for the Oilers is that they moved away from big and decided to focus on skilled, often looking overseas. As you mention, LT, the one time they went a little off the beaten track was when they took Khaira, and it is reasonable to suggest that they were getting skill and size at the time.

  17. wheatnoil says:

    nycoil:
    It’s a good point that process counts as much as result. If the Oilers selected a guy like Khaira too early on flawed logic they shouldn’t be rewarded, just like they shouldn’t be punished for taking Pitlick where they did. Luck does play a role.

    I don’t think this is totally fair because it is dependent on whose logic you are referring to. All the picks were made with some degree of logic. What you’re really saying here is: If the Oilers make a pick that I agree with, then even if it doesn’t work out, it was a good pick. If the Oilers make a pick that I don’t agree with, even if it does work out, they get no credit.

    Look, I think the reaching for size over skill is a mistake, especially in the 3rd round. However, if a pick works out, credit is due and we should look back to see how that pick was made. If a pick fails, then we should go back and analyze what happened. It could be a reach pick, it could be injuries or any number of things.

    As to Khaira… he was a big guy drafted out of a lesser league… however, he did tear up that league in his draft year and one of the main reasons he wasn’t in a better league is due to his size. He was apparently quite under-sized, got cut from making any major junior team (also wasn’t drafted out of midget), then had a huge growth spurt that matched up with a break-out offensive year. That’s not a bad player to reach for… because he has skill AND size and may be overlooked because he happens to be playing in a lesser league off the beaten path in Kamloops.

    Whether the 3rd round is too early for such picks is a completely fair question.

  18. RexLibris says:

    Nice look at the RW side there LT.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/14/starboard

    A little shy of the kajillion goals I have them scoring at evens and the PP, but then I’m probably using that new math they’re teaching in the schools these days.

    I was just looking over the list of picks above and from earlier and thinking to myself “they have got a tonne of prospects on the wing. I wonder if something shakes loose in a year or two like we say about the young D?”

  19. Woodguy says:

    Yak2:
    I know Travis Ewanyk didn’t put up offense in junior, but I doubt the whole “he won’t be a regular NHL’er” thing. If he can turn in to a Dominic Moore or Manny Malhotra, a 4th line guy, who provides energy, grit, and some offense, that’s valuable. I think Todd Nelson can make that happen. Him and Musil had a successful first AHL season. MacT wants to follow the CHI model of 3 scoring lines and a defensive 4th line, Ewanyk can eventually be a part of that 4th defensive line in the future.

    Moore scored in the OPJHL 87pts in 51gp (similar to BCJHL and AJHL) when he was 19, then went on to score well at Harvard

    Malhotra scored 51pts in 57 for Guelph in the OHL is 18 year old year (draft year)

    Ewanyk scored 27pts in 72 games his draft year.

    NHL checkers were not checkers when they were young, they were the best in their leagues.

    When they got to the best league in the world they had to carve out a different niche to stay there.

    Most of them skate very, very well, which is why they are NHLers.

    This has been shown and dissected 100 different ways to Sunday many times. You pick the player with the most points because they have a better history of actually making the NHL than those who don’t.

    They don’t necessarily make it as scorers, but they are good enough hockey players and good enough skaters to figure out how to stay in the NHL.

    The draft is free gold in the top 5-10 and free lottery tickets the rest of the way.

    The goal is try to figure which lottery tickets have the best odds.

    Time has shown the the best determinate of better odds is higher scoring. Even for Dmen this is true.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    However, many, if not most, junior players put up nice boxcars based on easier minutes, lots of ice time, PP, good zone starts etc.

    That’s a statement that’s going to need some proof.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity. Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK. He apparently relishes it.

    I think that’s bullshit too.

    Coaches try to win.

    If Ewanyk was his coaches’ best option to win by playing him up the line up, he would have.

    Sure, he may not get PP, but people have been looking at 5v5 stats for years and they line up behind “pick the player with the most points”

    Does that mean Ewaynk doesn’t make it?

    No, everyone has a chance.

    It shows that his chance is much, much slimmer than others.

  22. Deadman Waiting says:

    The implied assumption of “smartest man in the room” is that no-one enjoys an information advantage, perhaps by means of “studied him good”.

    This could be true. Scouting could be so pervasive in the modern era that no rock goes unturned.

    If two people get a different answer from the same information, then it’s all down to whose analysis is the better one. The levelling factor in this equation is “same information”.

    Certainly I would say that first round and most second round selections are comprehensively scouted. By the third round? There could be an information differential, especially for players who aren’t tracking in a straight line (no wait—isn’t that all of them at this level?)

    The other non-transitive factor is pipeline status: that the player selected will get the best possibly opportunity to develop because he slots into the roster (at each level, as he progresses) where there’s a strong demand for that player type.

    Need correlates with opportunity. Just ask the old shine box.

  23. supernova says:

    LT, love this series. I will say it on every round you post.

    My thoughts on each one

    2009: Troy Hesketh- not sure what they were thinking on this pick at all

    2009: Cameron Abney- Rex nailed this one, I think management wanted that next Knuckledragger so bad it didn’t matter how many players were available at this point. IMO keep gazdic for life just to avoid this again

    2010: Ryan Martindale- maybe once we get deeper into advanced stats in Junior we will know more but defendable pick. Center with size who can get points, no issue with the pick

    2011: Samu Perhonen- don’t know how to judge goalie picks, 3rd is acceptable to pick one

    2011: Travis Ewanyk- IMO not a bad pick be better in round 4 but his name holds certain value in the hockey world. Slim shot but just maybe he can be a Colin Fraser type career.

    2012: Jujhar Khaira- he keeps surprising me and looks like he is well on track to make it, picked higher than I thought he should go

    2012: Daniil Zharkov- seemed like a great pick but has lost his way.

    2013: Bogdan Yakimov- Center with size. At first look I thought here we go a Martindale without Offence

    2013: Anton Slepyshev- really liked this pick at the time, jury seems out and probably will be for a while

  24. Ryan says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    I used to love the old Lt, ‘get yur shine box (Robbie Schremp.’

  25. supernova says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity. Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK. He apparently relishes it.

    I think that’s bullshit too.

    Coaches try to win.

    If Ewanyk was his coaches’ best option to win by playing him up the line up, he would have.

    Sure, he may not get PP, but people have been looking at 5v5 stats for years and they line up behind “pick the player with the most points”

    Does that mean Ewaynk doesn’t make it?

    No, everyone has a chance.

    It shows that his chance is much, much slimmer than others.

    Deadman Waiting,

    Ducey,

    I partially agree with Ducey here.

    Theoretically I agree with Woodguy. If he is the coaches Best option he would move up the line up.

    However we have had Laxdal say differently.

    We also have to look at championship teams differently. Junior and Pro.

    Look at Stoll in LA, ever since he was concussed one to many times in Edmonton he hasn’t brought the same O, but he is his coaches best option In a specific role.

    Bolland in Chicago same thing.

    Just because a player gets more ice time doesn’t mean they will produce.

    Not saying Laxdal knew this but Laxdal had better offensive options, but Ewanyk was used in very specific roles.

    We typically want to see skill players in junior become role players in pro.

    Maybe (doubtful) Ewanyk can be the outlier and be a utility player in junior and still make the show.

  26. sliderule says:

    I am not sure what you are trying to show with this series.

    If you want a real comparison you would do like I did and add up games played and points scored for each teams selections.The oilers will probably be mid pack because most of the bad teams are bad for a reason they don’t hire smart people as scouts.

    Instead we hear about good arrows and bad arrows for oiler selections based on minor league scoring and converted to seen him good.

    The oilers second round and later picks have done diddly squat at the nhl level.A player like lander has inflated the games played but has barely scored.The only late round prospect that has shown anything is Marincin..

    The oiler scouting was poor under KP and it’s just as poor under Stu.

  27. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    sliderule,
    July 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I am not sure what you are trying to show with this comment. If you want to show a flaw in LT’s step by step reasoning you night want to start somewhere other than your conclusions.

  28. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Coaches try to win.
    If Ewanyk was his coaches’ best option to win by playing him up the line up, he would have.
    Sure, he may not get PP, but people have been looking at 5v5 stats for years and they line up behind “pick the player with the most points”

    You know it’s funny …

    I know that you are a big Sean Couturier fan, and that you feel he’d be a great 2C because his crappy scoring – and it really is crap, <0.4 ppg in over 200 NHL games – is all because of his use as a tough minutes eater, and he'd magically blossom played higher in the lineup.

    I too think highly of SC, but as a 3C – we've disagreed in the past in that I don't think he'd be that good a 2C. Because of his lousy scoring. From the (few) times I've watched him play, I do not think he'd blossom played up higher because frankly I don't see that much offensive creativity in his game.

    I think he's played as a tough minutes guy and not as a scoring centre because he's suited to the former and not the latter.

    It makes no sense that a great scorer is played down the lineup. Scoring is the hardest thing in hockey, so why shoot yourself in the foot?

    Coaches, as you say, want to win.

    If it's true for Ewanyk, is it not true for Couturier? (or vice versa?)

    NOTE: in case you’re wondering, I agree with your point on Ewanyk and lower league scorers becoming checkers in the NHL. I’m just demanding consistency of logic…

  29. oliveoilers says:

    Deadman Waiting:
    The implied assumption of “smartest man in the room” is that no-one enjoys an information advantage, perhaps by means of “studied him good”.

    This could be true.Scouting could be so pervasive in the modern era that no rock goes unturned.

    If two people get a different answer from the same information, then it’s all down to whose analysis is the better one. The levelling factor in this equation is “same information”.

    Certainly I would say that first round and most second round selections are comprehensively scouted.By the third round?There could be an information differential, especially for players who aren’t tracking in a straight line (no wait—isn’t that all of them at this level?)

    The other non-transitive factor is pipeline status: that the player selected will get the best possibly opportunity to develop because he slots into the roster (at each level, as he progresses) where there’s a strong demand for that player type.

    Need correlates with opportunity.Just ask the old shine box.

    The word is ‘consilience’. Thanks to Rex!

  30. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity. Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK. He apparently relishes it.

    I think that’s bullshit too.

    Coaches try to win.

    If Ewanyk was his coaches’ best option to win by playing him up the line up, he would have.

    Sure, he may not get PP, but people have been looking at 5v5 stats for years and they line up behind “pick the player with the most points”

    Does that mean Ewaynk doesn’t make it?

    No, everyone has a chance.

    It shows that his chance is much, much slimmer than others.

    Dallas Eakins and Nail Yakupov.

  31. spoiler says:

    sliderule: If you want a real comparison you would do like I did and add up games played and points scored for each teams selections

    How relevant are points scored to so-called drafting ability? Defensemen and goalies do get drafted.

  32. Woodguy says:

    G Money: You know it’s funny …

    I know that you are a big Sean Couturier fan, and that you feel he’d be a great 2C because his crappy scoring – and it really is crap, <0.4 ppg in over 200 NHL games – is all because of his use as a tough minutes eater, and he’d magically blossom played higher in the lineup.

    I too think highly of SC, but as a 3C – we’ve disagreed in the past in that I don’t think he’d be that good a 2C.Because of his lousy scoring.From the (few) times I’ve watched him play, I do not think he’d blossom played up higher because frankly I don’t see that much offensive creativity in his game.

    I think he’s played as a tough minutes guy and not as a scoring centre because he’s suited to the former and not the latter.

    It makes no sense that a great scorer is played down the lineup.Scoring is the hardest thing in hockey, so why shoot yourself in the foot?

    Coaches, as you say, want to win.

    If it’s true for Ewanyk, is it not true for Couturier?(or vice versa?)

    NOTE: in case you’re wondering, I agree with your point on Ewanyk and lower league scorers becoming checkers in the NHL.I’m just demanding consistency of logic…

    We’re talking about junior hockey players.

    Playing Couturier (who scored 96pts in 58 games in his junior year) as 3C in the NHL is world away from junior.

    Find me the players who scored 0.375pts/gm in junior and made to the NHL for 50 games.

    If you aren’t good enough to the 1st or 2nd option in junior, there is little hope you will be the 1st or 2nd option in the AHL.

    If you aren’t the 1st or 2nd option in the AHL, there is little hope you will be the 3rd or 4th option in the NHL.

    The NHL is miles and miles from junior and very few make it from one to the other, and most of them were the best options in junior for their coaches.

    This is not new.

  33. rickithebear says:

    spoiler: How relevant are points scored to so-called drafting ability? Defensemen and goalies do get drafted.

    195GM 68G 88A 156P -1 #22 2008
    218gm 32G 38A 70P -21 #10 2009

    It matter in forwards.

  34. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    is all because of his use as a tough minutes eater, and he’d magically blossom played higher in the lineup.
    I too think highly of SC, but as a 3C – we’ve disagreed in the past in that I don’t think he’d be that good a 2C. Because of his lousy scoring. From the (few) times I’ve watched him play, I do not think he’d blossom played up higher because frankly I don’t see that much offensive creativity in his game.

    Couturier was the highest scoring CHL player in his draft class.

    That history, as well as what he’s been able to produce with pedestrians with tough ice time tells me he would produce more in a different role.

    Ewaynk scoring 27 in 72 is so far away from “being held back by his role” its ridiculous to discuss it.

    So does he double his output to 54 in 72 and become the 145rd highest scorer in his draft class if he’s not being held back?

    Consistency in logic?

    This guy scored .375pts/gm in a league of teenagers.

    The elite of that league make the NHL regularly. The best of the rest often fail.

    The dregs of the rest usually go to school or play in Europe.

    Junior players who score the most make it to the NHL the most because they are the most talented.

    If a player isn’t the most talented to make his way to the top of his junior team, its not bloody likely to bode well for NHL employment.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Isn’t Samu “out of the system” or whatever also? I think he’s gone and not simply a down arrow.

    IIRC he actually spend the season playing in the USHL with Muir…. checks

    yep.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=43533

    but he only played like 8 games.

    ————
    That Hesketh pic at the top is freaking me out. Looks like a painting.

    ———-
    I watched a lot of Barons games this year. First real exposure to Ewanyk.

    I’m not a reliable viewer here… but I saw him pretty bad as a defensive center (if that is his apparent charm). He didn’t seem to track the opposition in his own zone very well and often looked like he was flying out of position to try and hit something.

    ———
    On Stu and MacT and Goalies… stu actually said a lot.

    he named two separate scouts involved for the picks and he said something to the effect: “no, I had to push Craig to take the goalies” (plural)

  36. JamesL says:

    Players the Oilers could have drafted instead of Troy Hesketh: Cody Eakin, Casey Cizikas, David Savard, Craig Smith, Marcus Foligno, Roman Horak (hey, wait a minute…), Gabriel Bourque, Marcus Kruger, Jordan Nolan.

  37. nycoil says:

    wheatnoil,

    Perhaps I erred in using Khaira as an example then, but I think you extrapolated something from my comment that I did not intend. My point was that walkabout picks that go well off the board that happen to pan out shouldn’t necessarily be attributed to the skill of the scouting staff and vice versa if “consensus” picks don’t pan out.

    There is a difference between picking Moroz, who let’s say makes it as a 4th line NHLer, and picking him a round earlier than he was projected to go (this matters less later on, eg. The difference between taking a guy in the 6th round vs 7th is probably less).

    If a scouting team can show that they are able to pick more players who pan out among their so-called “reach” picks than the average, well, we can certainly give them credit for that.

    And it doesn’t need to fit my perceived rankings or yours. With respect to the first 3 rounds so many independent scouting services put out a top 100. We can definitely say if a player is taken way out of turn or not based on the average rankings of the various services, or as LT said, by looking at McKenzie’s list, which is an average already.

    If Barbashev pans out this year for example, it’s going to be hard to say the Blues’ scouts are geniuses. But it will be easy to say the teams that passed on him beforehand are dumb. I’m saying it’s not quite so simple and there is some luck. But you can better defend the draft record of a team that drafts according to the McKenzie or other list than one that goes off the board. Hesketh and Abney were way off the board.

    In the end, a guy like Billy Beane would argue a systematic approach with back-tested results would win out over something more random over the course of a large sample size and time. College over high school arms or whatever.

    Anyway, I have rambled. But some randomness is going to factor in. If the average team is drafting successfully 28% in rd 2 and 23.5% in rd 3, over any given 5 year stretch one player could make the difference between being above average or below. I would prefer my scouts to find the system that they see produces the highest rate of success they can.

  38. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    You’re trying to sidestep the argument my friend.

    You take issue with the defense some used of Ewanyk, that maybe he actually *was* a high scorer but his actual low production in the CHL was due to his usage by the coaches. You said (paraphrase) “no coach would ever do that, they want to win.”

    I happen to agree with you.

    The difference is that I happen to think the same logic applies at the NHL level – even moreso, given the incredibly high stakes involved in winning and losing at the pro level.

    No coach would ever put a scorer into a checking role. That’s stupid. They want to win.

    I don’t care what Couturier scored at the CHL level. That’s a red herring. It’s irrelevant. What he’s demonstrated is that he hasn’t been able to score at anywhere near an elite level in the NHL. If he could, one of his two coaches would have used him that way.

    They didn’t – ergo, he can’t score at the NHL level. As you say, that happens a lot – elite Jr scorer becomes a checker at the NHL level. He’s an elite checker. Terrific 3C. Not a good 2C.

  39. Old School G says:

    Gordon between Hendricks and Lander is a pretty solid 4Line, hat tip to the soldiers. Ewanyk, looks like a beauty Jim Dowd type. Grier wasn’t the smoothest skater, nor was Brodziak for that matter, if Khaira can fit that bill, there we go. Yakimov may be a weapon on the 3Line one day, Handzus was a big man with his own style out there. I really like these guys, they’re their own story throughout the seasons.

    Off Topic Thought on this Monday Night

    On Leon. I looked up Jason Arnott’s stat line in his rookie year. He put up 68 points. Guy was a horse. Anze Kopitar put up 61 points in his rookie year. Couple big chaps with different styles. I just need to ask. Is it that wrong to think Leon could put up 60 something points in his rookie season? Am I exercising terrible caution with my hopes for him here? It’s all just speculation right now! He looks like a serious guy, I need to think he’ll do the work to be at that Arnott/Kopitar level. No?

  40. Lowetide says:

    Old School G:
    Gordon between Hendricks and Lander is a pretty solid 4Line, hat tip to the soldiers. Ewanyk, looks like a beauty Jim Dowd type. Grier wasn’t the smoothest skater, nor was Brodziak for that matter, if Khaira can fit that bill, there we go. Yakimov may be a weapon on the 3Line one day, Handzus was a big man with his own style out there. I really like these guys, they’re their own story throughout the seasons.

    Off Topic Thought on this Monday Night

    On Leon. I looked up Jason Arnott’s stat line in his rookie year. He put up 68 points. Guy was a horse. Anze Kopitar put up 61 points in his rookie year. Couple big chaps with different styles. I just need to ask. Is it that wrong to think Leon could put up 60 something points in his rookie season? Am I exercising terrible caution with my hopes for him here? It’s all just speculation right now! He looks like aserious guy, I need to think he’ll do the work to be at that Arnott/Kopitar level. No?

    Leon’s NHL equivalency is 82GP, 15-25-40. Could he get to 60? Don’t think so. If he had lots of PP time and Taylor Hall on his flank?

    I don’t see that happening.

  41. G Money says:

    wheatnoil: That’s not a bad player to reach for… because he has skill AND size and may be overlooked because he happens to be playing in a lesser league off the beaten path in Kamloops.

    Deadman Waiting: The implied assumption of “smartest man in the room” is that no-one enjoys an information advantage, perhaps by means of “studied him good”.

    Certainly I would say that first round and most second round selections are comprehensively scouted. By the third round? There could be an information differential, especially for players who aren’t tracking in a straight line (no wait—isn’t that all of them at this level?)

    In financial markets, you would call this market efficiency. The first and second rounds are a highly efficient market, where no-one enjoys an information advantage.

    That’s why I do think it’s fair to criticize teams that go far off the board in the first couple of rounds.

    In that case, “smartest man in the room” is a pejorative implying wilful and unjustified arrogance, and for Oiler fans, refers probably quite specifically to the drafting of Steve Kelly over Shane Doan.

    After that – going off the board should be the norm. Teams cannot scout all draft-age players effectively. There will be geographic and personnel advantages. Going off the board at this point does not imply that same wilful arrogance, but rather should be a result of an objective assessment of information advantage.

    In the Oilers case, it’s logical to think that they should feel – and actually have – an information advantage in the WHL and the BCHL. Which presumably explains the Khaira draft (though the Moroz draft, having occurred in the second round, still needs some rationalization!)

  42. smellyglove says:

    Given the flatness in the ‘likely to turn into NHLer’ curve over the 2nd and 3rd (heck, maybe 4th round too), why not break draft analysis into sections? 1st round, mid rounds, later rounds. That might, in some cases, correct for arbitrary cut-offs between picks (ie: #60 and #62, different rounds, essentially same pick).

    Also, I’d always thought that evaluating drafts would be in relation to one’s peers — the other teams. Would it stand to reason to look at the next five or so guys taken after your pick? If their cumulative NHL games played (or additive NHLE) is greater than your guy then you have some work to do at the draft table.

    Thoughts?

  43. nycoil says:

    Old School G,

    6.5 goals per game in the NHL in Arnott’s rookie year. Not to mention an 84 game schedule. A full goal less per game now.

    So can’t see 68pts. Certainly not 33 goals.

    RNH blew his 40pt NHLE out of the water thanks to ridiculous power play points. Can’t say the same for Leon is likely. So I’d say if he is on the 3rd line he is 30-35pts, 2nd line and 2nd PP 45-50pts, something in between? His NHLE of 40 seems Goldilocks?

  44. G Money says:

    smellyglove,

    Not quite sure what you’re asking BUT I think what you’re suggesting is akin to what I posted about 3 months ago over at C&B.

    It’s a draft success curve (using games played) for all players:
    http://i.imgur.com/7oIqoQJ.png

    Forwards only:
    http://i.imgur.com/sguO279.png

    And defensemen only:
    http://i.imgur.com/NALh156.png

    I also did goalies but concluded that it’s voodoo. You can read the whole thing here:
    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching

  45. Old School G says:

    Lowetide: Leon’s NHL equivalency is 82GP, 15-25-40. Could he get to 60? Don’t think so. If he had lots of PP time and Taylor Hall on his flank?

    I don’t see that happening.

    Completely get the NHLE angle, but didn’t MacKinnon outperform his NHLE? I bet Arnott and Kopitar outperformed their NHLE’s too? I guess where I’m going is that it’s mid-summer work outs for the team, it’s all just a guess, statistically or otherwise. I mean Leon at 40 points playing 2C minutes or Leon at 60 points playing 2C minutes would both be a success. Like you’ve laid out (thank you for the articles by the way!) we have a competent crew of wingers that could make it pretty ok for him out there, he’s not quite being tossed in the deep end, like Nuge, but he is being asked to keep up with other exceptional athletes. They seem to have built up the wings specifically for him.

  46. smellyglove says:

    G Money,

    That’s kind of what I’m thinking. I’m proposing that there are different ways to contextualize how we look at draft #s other than the rather arbitrary 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. rounds. By your forwards curve there isn’t a lot of difference in rounds 2 through 4. The first 15 picks of the draft are nearly literally ‘off the chart’. I’m saying let’s look at the first round, 2nd round through 4th, and then the end of the draft. It could help smooth out multi-year analysis whereby one year in a five year sample size has no picks in a particular round. Just throwing it out there.

    G Money:
    smellyglove,

    Not quite sure what you’re asking BUT I think what you’re suggesting is akin to what I posted about 3 months ago over at C&B.

    It’s a draft success curve (using games played) for all players:
    http://i.imgur.com/7oIqoQJ.png

    Forwards only:
    http://i.imgur.com/sguO279.png

    And defensemen only:
    http://i.imgur.com/NALh156.png

    I also did goalies but concluded that it’s voodoo.You can read the whole thing here:
    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching

  47. Hammers says:

    My problem with all drafts and Cullens top 100 # is that every draft year is different . This year supposedly there where 5-8 at the top and the other 20+ didn’t have much separation . Some years “they ” say the top pick is obvious then the next 5-10 are similar value but different player type, size , position , points etc . I tend to think the top 10 most years make it and are drafted nearly as predicted by all the “experts ” . This synopsis for me would be better if ( for arguments sake) we put the top 10 in one category then split the others in groups of 25 -30 . When checking actual time played & points scored that top group always seem to be in a group of there own and in many cases the next 25-30 are all in another grouping and so on . Really if a team screws up a pick in the first 10 someone should be fired . The fact the 1st round has 30 picks for me doesn’t mean that much , just because there are 30 teams .

  48. Old School G says:

    nycoil,

    I just picture Eakins and LD in the gym, with Eakins beaming about the perfect nightmare they’ve drafted.

    Then off he goes to study game tape with Nuge, Gordon, Lander, and Arco, I’m really not that down on this whole thing we have going on here. It all just needs to work out…

  49. jfry says:

    I think woodguy is talking about individual player successes across a career.

    I think gmoney is suggesting that coaching philosophies might be the same in junior and the show.

    Unfortunately they are having this discussion using about as large as outliers as possible which makes the “come together” a little more difficult.

    Coaching and player usage in extreme roles is a relatively new phenomena in hockey. Talent always rises to the top.

  50. Yeti says:

    jfry,

    Or perhaps Woodguy is talking about Travis Ewanyk, whereas G Money is determined to raise an old (but very interesting) argument about Sean Couturier.

    Ewanyk is not an outlier. He would only be an outlier if he actually made the NHL. Then he’d be one hell of an outlier given his historical levels of production…

  51. maudite says:

    The puzzle pieces missing from the majority of draft success talk is fairly key to getting a clear idea about it.

    I honestly tried to build it but kind of hit some rough seas personally and shelved the idea.

    An actual weighted draft tool. The weighting is two fold.

    1st grading the player. Regardless of where they were drafted, I was putting a tool that allowed you to grade the actual quality of each player A-E

    A) Superstar (the Toews/Crosby/Pronger/Lidstrom tree)
    B) 2nd from Top level player (Eberle etc)
    B) Remaining Top 6 F/Top 4 D (Ladd etc)
    C) Quality bottom 6 (Reasoner)
    D) tweener/goon/press box (Stortini)
    E) Bust

    The second part of matrix was draft position. Had not ironed out the kinks but essentially
    1. Top 3
    2. 4-10
    3. 11 – 20
    4 21 -30
    5 31 – 50
    6 51 – 75

    etc….I hadn’t perfectly ironed sensible groupings out yet as far as draft position.

    I had pulled out all the hockey database draft years from like 1985 – 2010 or so and was building it from there.

    Once you tweaked the weightings of each to come out with something that produced reasonable results, you can then get a much clearer idea about draft success from each team. Based on draft position and player quality.

    Simply pegging it at games just doesn’t seem deep enough to truly critique and compare success of teams. 200 games of Stortini or 100+ games of JFJ are not = to an Andrew Shaw but thus far that seems like where we are at.

    As much as I love these articles and appreciate them we really do need to build you a tool to dig a lot deeper.

  52. wheatnoil says:

    nycoil,

    Ah, I see what you’re saying. I partially agree with you then. In the top 100, I’d prefer a scouting staff not stray too far from the consensus scout lists.

    That said, we’re talking about awfully small numbers here. Two in nine for success for 3rd round, 2 in 7 for the second round… There’s not a real chance we’re going to be able to definitively say a scouting staff is successful at reach picks because there won’t be a large enough sample of reach picks. So, what your statement means in practice is that no credit can be given for any reach pick, even if it does work out. I don’t think that’s fair.

    I don’t really know what goes into scouting or projecting, I’m not a scout. However, if it’s never okay for a scouting staff to go off consensus, why have a scouting staff?

    Also, given how rarely draft picks work out anyways, do we know that reach picks are less likely to turn out or do we just notice them more and notice their failures? We remember Hesketh and Abney because they are so blatantly horrible, however if success is 2 in 9, can we say that picks off the consensus board succeed less than 20 or 25% of the time?

    I’m being a bit of a devil’s advocate here and I suspect my drafting philosophy is not that different from yours, so I’m questioning myself as much as you here, but I wonder if we have the evidence to undervalue the scouts as much as we are.

  53. Ryan says:

    maudite,

    Some very good points… Another flaw with gp is the bias it creates relative to the gp inflation of poor teams like the Oilers.

    I.e. The Oilers rush players to the NHL to fill roster holes and gives them games even when they’re drowning: see Lander, Anton. That’s an extreme example, but teams with less roster competition will inflate the gp of their drafted prospects relative to playoff teams.

    A good example of that is Magnus PRV who even last year struggled to get into the lineup on a stacked Blues roster.

    What’s more is that players on poor teams walk right into cherry minutes… I.e. Tyler vs Taylor rookie seasons.

  54. Ducey says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    Ewanyk has never been given any kind of offensive opportunity. Someone decided long ago he was going to be a shutdown center and he has been getting the shi**y assignments ever since – tough zone starts, hard opposition, lots of PK. He apparently relishes it.

    I think that’s bullshit too.

    Coaches try to win.

    If Ewanyk was his coaches’ best option to win by playing him up the line up, he would have.

    Sure, he may not get PP, but people have been looking at 5v5 stats for years and they line up behind “pick the player with the most points”

    Does that mean Ewaynk doesn’t make it?

    No, everyone has a chance.

    It shows that his chance is much, much slimmer than others.

    What if the coach thought his best chance to win was to play Ewanyk against the toughs? What if the coach had lots of other options offensively, including a bunch of smaller offensive guys who would play a checking role very well?

    Your argument assumes some sort of market efficiency, equally applicable to each team, player and coach. You just spout out the fancy stat dogma, failing to note that I raised the possibility it may not always apply. The notion that all players are judged equally based on boxcars is not accepted in relation to NHL players. We look at zone start, line mates, opposition, etc. Yet when I suggest that the same rules should apply to the junior players, you just dismiss it with “the coach wants to win”, and look at his boxcars and say “aint going to make it”.

    The notion that all players would be used in the same manner by all coaches “because they want to win”, is itself BS. Junior hockey has lots of inequities as a result of money, location, cycles imposed by the brief window a player can play, etc.

    Anyway, my point is that what if Ewanyk was given the same chance as Gordon? Could he have scored 7 more goals given PP minutes and better linemates? I think he would have, in which case you would not be as worried about his scoring ability.

  55. maudite says:

    Ryan,

    That’s definitely another tier to look at. If I ever figured out how to build a functional matrix for draft, next step is development.

    That would be a lot harder to systematically capture (draft one easier just required simply grading each player….draft position takes care of itself, on e you are happy with how weight is tweaked).

    Average age prior to rookie season
    Number of prospects not properly screened through AHL prior to playing rookie season etc.

    A lot harder to capture than draft but definitely one of the largest glaring holes in weaker teams (oilers are extreme example). The very idea that lander is seen as a flop or That the blues will likely produce a better PRV than the one that remained an oiler (I’m bizarro world) is a huge issue.

    Drais (hopefully not nurse as well) is likely the next up in flawed development curve…to me the true litmus test for Mact is this. We they cannot fix what has occurred but not finding a stop gap and righting this glaring flaw in direction will likely end up stuck on the other side of this iceberg they’ve been stubbornly planted on for almost a decade.

  56. frjohnk says:

    I don’t think Ewanyk has ever had much offensive talent. Even in bantam he was just an OK offensive player with 31 points in 30 games. Maybe his coaches have been giving him tough competition, and low OZ starts since he was 14 :)

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=37130

    Could he become a decent 4th liner? Yes, but I think his ceiling is more like Acton’s.

  57. Yeti says:

    Ducey: Anyway, my point is that what if Ewanyk was given the same chance as Gordon? Could he have scored 7 more goals given PP minutes and better linemates? I think he would have, in which case you would not be as worried about his scoring ability.

    This is crazy. He wasn’t given the same chances as Gordon because he doesn’t have the skills. If he’d been a useful option on the powerplay he would have been on the darned powerplay. The fact that he wasn’t speaks to his one-dimensional play. He can’t score! And one-dimensional checkers without the skills to capitalise offensively at lower levels rarely – if ever – make the NHL because they don’t have the range of skills needed to perform at the higher levels. Elite checkers at the NHL level show a wide range of hockey skills at junior level including offense. If you can’t put up offense at the lower levels you are simply not a good enough player to play NHL hockey in any role.

    Might it work out for Ewanyk? It could happen – and, shit, we all hope it happens – but it’s an extreme case if it does happen.

  58. Woodguy says:

    G Money: What I have learned most about NHL players is that their line mates are ridiculously important to the success of a player.
    Its incredible really.
    Look at that Arco thing I did, its pretty stark.
    Couturier played his first season with Talbot and Rinaldo. Awful scorers.
    The next year it was Read (good) and Talbot mostly.
    Then this last year, Read and Downie.
    Here’s Cout’s Goals For/20 with those players over the past 3 years:
    COUTURIER, SEAN 0.722
    READ, MATT 0.903
    TALBOT, MAXIME 0.516
    RINALDO, ZAC 0.656
    DOWNIE, STEVE 0.778
    VORACEK, JAKUB 0.732
    SIMMONDS, WAYNE 1.026
    Talbot and Rinaldo stick out like sore thumbs.
    Its tough to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.

    What I have learned most about NHL players is that their line mates are ridiculously important to the success of a player.

    Its incredible really.

    Look at that Arco thing I did, its pretty stark.

    Couturier played his first season with Talbot and Rinaldo. Awful scorers.

    The next year it was Read (good) and Talbot mostly.

    Then this last year, Read and Downie.

    Here’s Cout’s Goals For/20 with those players over the past 3 years:

    COUTURIER, SEAN 0.722
    READ, MATT 0.903
    TALBOT, MAXIME 0.516
    RINALDO, ZAC 0.656
    DOWNIE, STEVE 0.778
    VORACEK, JAKUB 0.732
    SIMMONDS, WAYNE 1.026

    Talbot and Rinaldo stick out like sore thumbs.

    Its tough to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.

  59. nycoil says:

    wheatnoil,

    You’re right. No credit at all for a successful reach pick is probably swinging the pendulum too far the other way. And totally agree on the small sample size issue where +/- one successful draft pick would swing you from horrible (1 out of 7) to average (2 out of 7) to very good (3 out of 7). And if we’re talking about a 5 year period specifically (or 6 in the Stu study), well that sample size should shrink even further to 5 (and yes this fails to account for teams that obtain more draft picks but there’s a zero sum game there in that someone is then giving up their picks).

    I would again say though that for rounds 1~3, we should be able to identify “reach” picks based on the draft lists going in. I think LT did a study just like that last year where he defined reach as a specific number too early vs consensus (so like taking a 60th ranked player 40th for example). Moroz would qualify as a reach, as would Hesketh and Abney. Musil (whom many consider a bad pick because of the availability at the time of Jenner) would not qualify as a reach because he was taken only a little ahead of his draft number, neither would Pitlick, who “fell” to the Oilers in the 2nd round.

    It may not work for this survey, but as the years pile on, we can identify if the Oilers’ reach picks pan out at a below, average, or above-average rate. If they don’t, we can argue that the scouting staff should “stick to the book” a bit more than they do. If they are above average, we can say they add some value over just using the book.

    It’s hard to make definitive, sweeping statements, of course, especially as development plays a role. If Lander fails or if Pitliick fails, can we really blame Stu that much? Where does the line blur? If Khaira works out, conversely, how much can we attribute that to Stu and how much to luck and development? I think that’s what we are trying to get to, is a baseline for discussion.

    Maybe we can look at the concept of WAR from baseball when it comes to drafting. So what does a “replacement level” scouting team produce in each round? The average is 2 out of 7 for round 2 or 2 out of 9 for round 3, but what would a computer that automatically selected the highest ranked player according to consensus or the McKenzie produce? And then how many players above or below that number do the team in question’s scouts produce? So Wins Above Consensus?
    Wins above average to me just seems a bit difficult to assess.

  60. Jesse says:

    Yeti: This is crazy. He wasn’t given the same chances as Gordon because he doesn’t have the skills. If he’d been a useful option on the powerplay he would have been on the darned powerplay. The fact that he wasn’t speaks to his one-dimensional play. He can’t score! And one-dimensional checkers without the skills to capitalise offensively at lower levels rarely – if ever – make the NHL because they don’t have the range of skills needed to perform at the higher levels. Elite checkers at the NHL level show a wide range of hockey skills at junior level including offense. If you can’t put up offense at the lower levels you are simply not a good enough player to play NHL hockey in any role.Might it work out for Ewanyk? It could happen – and, shit, we all hope it happens – but it’s an extreme case if it does happen.

    This is why I love this blog, for comments like this one. The guiding philosophy follows Occam’s Razor. Yes, maybe Ewanyk was in a sheltered role for his entire career which would have supressed his scoring. Maybe he has offense that has never been allowed to fully actualize because of his usage. Maybe he was never used in an offensive role not because of his skill but because of his coaches continual insistence that he fit into a different role. But for all the years that we have data for, to assume that much is a very large reach. The simplest answer is that he likely never showed enough O to warrant greater opportunities. The alternative is not impossible, but given the years and years of data and knowledge that we’ve accumulated, the odds are greatly stacked against him.

  61. wheatnoil says:

    nycoil,

    Good points. So maybe what we need to do is find out the chance of success of McKenzie’s list. How many McKenzie first rounders make 100 games (or 150 or 200)? How about McKenzie second rounders? That would be the gold standard of comparison for the first 2 rounds. WAM = Wins Above McKenzie!

  62. tubes says:

    Example of the best possible Ewanyk:

    Andrew Shaw

    Year GP G A Pts PIM Pts/G
    Draft Year 56 8 9 17 97 .304
    +1 68 11 25 36 129 .529
    +2 66 22 32 54 135 .818
    AHL 28 8 6 14 84 .500

    Travis Ewanky

    Year GP G A Pts PIM Pts/G
    Draft Year 72 16 11 27 126 .375
    +1 11 1 3 4 8 .364
    +2 58 8 15 23 119 .397
    AHL 68 7 5 12 100 .176

    Shaw didn’t get picked until his third year of eligibility and in the fifth round, but didn’t exactly light it up as an 18 or 19 year old. If TE doesn’t put up more points this year, he’s probably a lost hope.

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