The Oilers amateur scouting staff has been mostly stable in the last couple of years. I do this every year, I’m not certain it’s accurate in terms of area, and do believe area scouts would see more than just their region by the time the draft arrives. As an example, Edmonton would have had scouting reports on Nail, Darnell and Leon from most of the group below. Lagesson? Probably not. Again, that’s a bit of a guess based on Oilers’ scouting activity over many years—we get far less info on this group than in olden days when Guy Flaming uncovered massive amounts of information at Hockey’s Future.
OILERS SCOUTS 2013-14
- Stu MacGregor: Head Amateur Scout, cross checks the world
- Bob Green: Director of Amateur Free Agent scouting, searching the world for Khachev’s and Oesterle’s
- Bill Dandy: QMJHL
- Brad Davis: OHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O
- Kent Hawley: OHL, QMJHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O
- Bob Brown: WHL, tier 2 leagues
- Jim Crosson: WHL, tier 2 leagues
- Scott Harlow: NCAA and American junior leagues (east coast)
- Frank Musil: Europe
- Pelle Eklund: Europe
- Robert Nordmark: Europe
- Joseph Cucci: Year two, don’t know his area but it might be New England
- Dave Heitz: Year two, goalie scout
- Matti Virmanen: Year two, Europe, seems to have some torque
- Sylvain Rodrigue: Year one, works closely with Chabot in goaltender development and scouting
2014 DRAFT AND THE AREA SCOUTS
- Leon Draisaitl—Stu MacGregor, Bob Green, Bob Brown, Jim Crosson
- William Lagesson—Stu MacGregor, Bob Green, Frank Musil, Pelle Eklund, Robert Nordmark, Matti Virmanen
- Zack Nagelvoort—Stu Macgregor, Bob Green, Dave Heitz, Scott Harlow, Fred Chabot, Sylvain Rodrigue
- Liam Coughlin—Stu MacGregor, Bob Green, Bob Brown
- Tyler Vesel—Stu MacGregor, Bob Green, Brad Davisk, Kent Hawley and possibly Joseph Cucci
- Keven Bouchard—Stu MacGregor, Bob Green, Bill Dandy, Kent Hawley, Fred Chabot, Sylvain Rodrigue
OILERS AND THEIR DRAFT TENDENCIES SINCE 2008
- WHL: 15 players (27.2%) including Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl
- USA: 8 players (14.5) including Pitlick, Simpson and Nagelvoort
- OHL: 7 players (12.7%) including Hall, Yakupov and Nurse
- Sweden: 6 players (10.9%) including Paajarvi, Lander, Klefbom and Lagesson
- QMJHL: 5 players (9.1%) including Marco Roy and Keven Bouchard
- BCJHL: 5 players (9.1%) including Bigos, Khaira and Coughlin
- Finland: 4 players (7.2%) including Hartikainen and Rajala
- Russia: 2 players (3.6%) Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev
- Slovakia: 2 players (3.6%) Martin Marincin and Martin Gernat
- Belarus: 1 player (1.8%) Kristians Pelss
- The WHL is a monster for the Oilers, I’d have to run the numbers but they have to be one of the strongest teams in terms of WHL drafting. I looked at it last season, and the average NHL team plucked 16.5% of their picks from the WHL 2008-13. The Oilers? 28.6% at that time. The Oilers have selected a WHL player during each of Stu MacGregor’s seasons as chief scout, and the last time Edmonton didn’t select a WHL player was 2006—about a decade ago. The club has selected WHL players very high—Nuge and Leon—but have also found value elsewhere (Eberle, Chase) and overall have a nice group from the 15 selections.
- The OHL is regarded as the best junior league in the world. Edmonton’s best player and two of their three No. 1 overall picks come from the Ontario league. Darnell Nurse was a top 10 selection, and Tobias Rieder looks like a brilliant pick. The Oilers could probably draft more kids from this league based on results over a long period of time. This season, the club drafted no OHL kids, but did select a BCJHL and USHL player. If I’m doing a forensic on this team’s drafting tendencies, I would probably include that in the final report as ‘more than a curio.’ I suspect someone in the room should have been a lawyer. Not a criticism, but maybe that scout should be moved to Ontario.
- Sweden is the new Finland for Edmonton. The club has devoted a lot of their draft currency to the Tre Kronor, even this season using their second pick on Lagesson. The club’s first round picks (Paajarvi, Klefbom) are the most interesting, but this Lagesson fellow may fill a need, too. The Oilers are looking for that physical type who can win battles and also move the puck—Klefbom fits that description—and we shouldn’t underestimate Lagesson’s potential. Corey Pronman had him No. 60 overall.
- The USA kids haven’t really had an impact, but Pitlick is the only really high pick and he could be coming online this season. Simpson is a Canadian, but as is the case with Nail in the OHL, we count him as an American (sorry Mom and Dad). I like Simpson’s progress very much, we could see him in the NHL someday if he continues along the current curve.
- The QMJHL isn’t really a big player in this build, just as it wasn’t 1979-83. Oilers plucked Kevin Lowe with their first ever NHL pick though, he played for the Remparts. Hopefully they grab another one that good soon. Marco Roy looked very good on draft day, and despite injuries he posted decent numbers in a trying season. Traded to the Remparts this summer, let’s see how he looks in training camp. The Oilers have not signed him yet.
- The BCJHL has provided Riley Nash and Jujhar Khaira since 2007, plus a lot of depth picks that don’t really develop. The drafting of 19 and 20 year old kids from this league is a recent trend, and as mentioned above I think the OHL would be a better place to buy a lottery ticket.
- Finland is no longer an area of Oiler strength. Sad Jouhikko.
- Russia is an exciting new opportunity, and Yakupov begat Yakimov and Slepyshev. Here’s hoping they mine this area with value picks for years to come.
- Slovakia has been very very good to Edmonton. Two nice players.
- We think of you, Kristians Pelss. A lot. Miss you. RIP.
PROJECTED 2015 DRAFT PICKS (BASED ON ESTABLISHED PAST)
This is assuming Edmonton finishes 20th overall in 2014-15.
- No. 11 overall: CHL
- No. 41 overall: USHL or NCAA
- No. 75 overall: Sweden (this is the Hemsky pick from Ottawa)
- No. 102 overall: CHL
- No. 132 overall: BCJHL
- No. 162 overall: CHL
- No. 192 overall: Russia
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10 this morning, TSN 1260. Dennis King starts things off, the Travis Yost pops in. Derek from Fear the Finn will discuss Thornton, Raffi and more on the coast and then Alan Hull from Copper and Blue swings by after his nine damn weeks of holidays.
I don’t promote these guys much, but if you don’t listen to the show this would be a great day to start. King will one day host his own show from his buddy’s bar in NL, it’ll go across the country and be considered the best of its type. Yost will one day own his own country, not a big one, maybe like Sweden or Argentina. Derek from Fear the Finn represents a brilliant group of people on the coast who would rather play with their Texas Instruments than surf and chase girls. Something wrong with him, but I’m happy he’s going to join us. Hull is making babies like rabbits on the right coast, we’ll try to slow him down for 15 minutes this morning.
See you on the radio!