All I ask of the Edmonton Oilers is that they remain risk averse in the top 100 selections. The club was off the grid in 2009, but in 2010 things changed and a nice run ensued. What about 2014?
STU MACGREGOR’S WALKABOUT RECORD
2008 Oilers draft
- Jordan Eberle selected #22 overall, ranked #29 (attended combine)
- Johan Motin selected #103 overall, unranked (attended combine)
- Phil Cornet selected #133 overall,unranked
- Teemu Hartikainen selected #163 overall, unranked
- Jordan Bendfeld selected #193 overall, unranked
The first MBS draft is kind of a mush draft because the club had no 2nd or 3rd rd pick, meaning they could grab Eberle and then were looking at leftovers from the heart of 2008′s list. Still, I don’t think there’s a lot to quarrel over in this draft. In the one spot they could get a player, they got a top drawer forward.
2009 Oilers draft
- Magnus Paajarvi selected #10 overall, ranked #10 (attended combine)
- Anton Lander selected #40 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)
- Troy Hesketh selected #71 overall, unranked
- Cameron Abney selected #82 overall, unranked
- Kyle Bigos selected #99 overall, unranked
- Toni Rajala selected #101 overall, ranked #50 (attended combine)
- Olivier Roy selected #133 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)
This reminds me of the old Prendergast drafts (and a little of the 2012 draft) in that they grabbed “normal” selections early and then went walkabout after the 2nd round. Then, after the coke machines and tall trees they came back and picked up a couple of hockey players. I assume the Oilers did this because everyone else was doing it too, but that’s not a good reason. This fact remains: The McKenzie list had Toni Rajala ahead of Anton Lander, and Edmonton drafted the higher-ranked player 61 slots later. On another note, between Hesketh at No. 71 and Rajala 30 selections later, Cody Eakin, Casey Cizikas, David Savard and Craig Smith all went off the board.
2010 Oilers draft
- Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
- Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (attended combine)
- Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (attended combine)
- Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked 57 (attended combine)
- Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (attended combine)
- Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
- Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked (attended combine)
- Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked (attended combine)
- Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked
- Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked
- Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked
The 2010 draft hasn’t worked out as hoped, but I was thrilled to see the attention paid to established rankings. The Oilers are looking at 33% success rate in the second round (which we know is average), and the guy who worked out was the outer marker, but he was still inside normal. Edmonton could get three players from this draft, and it was a huge improvement over 2009, with only one later Hesketh-Abney moment (Blain).
2011 Oilers draft
- Ryan Nugent Hopkins selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
- Oscar Klefbom selected #19, ranked #21 (attended combine)
- David Musil selected #31, ranked #41 (attended combine)
- Samu Perhonen selected #62, ranked #51 (attended combine)
- Travis Ewanyk selected #74, ranked HM (attended combine)
- Dillon Simpson selected #92, ranked HM
- Tobias Rieder selected #114, unranked (attended combine)
- Martin Gernat selected #122, unranked
- Frans Tuohimaa selected #182, unranked
That’s probably as close to a perfect “risk averse” draft as you can get. Grab players from the McKenzie list who also attended the combine for as long as you can, then take a couple of guys who are either on the BM list or attended the combine. Follow that with a couple of “touch list” gems from the scouts and you’re good to go. I think the 2011 draft is just about perfect—I’d quarrel with need picks like Musil and Ewanyk, but this is pretty damn good value. Only Perhonen didn’t get a pro contract.
2012 Oilers draft
- Nail Yakupov selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
- Mitchell Moroz selected #32, ranked #56 (attended combine)
- Jujhar Khaira selected #63, not ranked (attended combine)
- Daniil Zharkov selected #91, ranked #47 (attended combine)
- Erik Gustafsson selected #93, not ranked
- Joey Laleggia selected #123, not ranked
- John McCarron selected #153, not ranked
Three of their first four picks were on the McKenzie list, and Khaira attended the combine and was a major sleeper for Red Line Report. The selection of Moroz caused quite a stir, but he was ranked as a second-round selection. I’ve previously ranked Khaira as a walkabout pick, but speeds (correctly) mentioned the other day it isn’t really accurate to lump him in with Hesketh and Abney and Bigos. Khaira was known, well thought of by Red Line, and a hockey player. Everyone in the top 100 was at the combine save overager Gustafsson, and that’s miles better than walkabout.
2013 Oilers draft
- Darnell Nurse at #7–Bob McKenzie #9 (attended combine)
- Marc-Olivier Roy at #56–Bob McKenzie #59 (attended combine)
- Bogdan Yakimov at #83–Pronman #73 (attended combine)
- Anton Slepyshev at #88–Pronman #45
- Jackson Houck at #94–Pronman #91 (attended combine)
- Kyle Platzer at #96–Pronman #151 (reach)
- Aidan Muir, at #113, not ranked
- Evan Campbell at #128, not ranked
- Ben Betker at #158, not ranked
- Greg Chase at #188, Pronman #99
Another nice job inside the top 100, and a stunning pick at No. 188. I count six legit NHL prospects here, and the Oilers can’t wait to get Yakimov into pre-season games. Interesting draft by the Oilers, lots of possibilities, and the only reach in the top 100 was Platzer at No. 96 overall. If they’d taken Chase there it would have been perfect, but it’s close enough for jazz. Edmonton may get three players out of this draft.
2014 Oilers draft
- Leon Draisaitl at #3—Bob McKenzie #4 (attended combine)
- William Lagesson at #91—Pronman #60, ISS #71
- Zach Nagelvoort at #111—ISS #8G
- Liam Coughlin at #130, not ranked
- Tyler Vesel at #153, not ranked
- Keven Bouchard at #183, not ranked
Very much like the 2008 draft, with the exceptions being a much higher No. 1 overall pick and Lagesson being ranked (Motin was not). I’d love to see where the Oilers ranked all those Oil Kings.
THE MACGREGOR DRAFTS
Stu MacGregor and his scouting department draft from five distinct categories:
- The #1 overalls. MBS is completely risk averse here, good grief they simply grabbed the best player available and walked off the stage. I do believe the club has had periods of time in their history where they might have outsmarted themselves.
- The ranked/combine group. This is the heart of the MBS group—32 players were either ranked, attended the combine or did both things. The best among this group (excluding the #1 overalls) might be Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Bogdan Yakimov. It also includes the controversial Moroz selection.
- The walkabout bunch. This is the group that sees Edmonton grab players inside the top 100 who are not ranked in the top 100 and were not included in the combine group. This collection includes Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Jeremie Blain. We shouldn’t expect this to be an area of strength, this is “drafting for need” and “feeling a passion” and rarely works out.
- The overage kids. Beginning with Kyle Bigos and blossoming 2012, the Oilers seem to have a fascination in late rounds with overage draft and follows in Europe and the NCAA. That list would include Bigos, Kellen Jones, Loey Laleggia, John McCarron, Aidan Muir, Evan Campbell, Zach Nagelvoort, Liam Coughlin and Tyler Vesel.
- The BCJHL. Kyle Bigos, Kellen Jones, Jujhar Khaira, Evan Campbell and Liam Coughlin have all been taken by the team since 2008. Khaira is the only major selection in the group, but the drafting from the BCJHL seems excessive based on the returns so far. I’m pleased they drafted someone from Vernon, but was hoping it would be Dexter Dancs, who had a better season and is five months younger.
Long time readers will know this blog’s author is a fan of the MacGregor drafting team, and certainly 2010+ have shown risk averse drafting and there are good players on the way. You will hear grumbling about a lack of talent arriving after the first round picks, but Martin Marincin’s impressive arrival this year offers some indication about the future.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN 1260, 10-noon. A busy morning with much jocularity. Dennis King (Oilogosphere icon) joins at 10:05, and is followed by Travis Yost of Hockeybuzz. We’ll discuss the Sens’ depth at center and need of help on the blue line, and see if we can find a match between the Oilers and Ottawa. Rob Soria stops in at 10:45 to talk about Five Hole for Food and its success. In hour two, I’ll be joined by Veritas’ hockey agent Tom Lynn to discuss the draft and free agency from the player side. Dean Millard joins at 11:25 to discuss the British Open.
@Lowetide_ on twitter, 10-1260 text.