IN A PERFECT WORLD

It hasn’t been announced but Bob McKenzie is a lock on these things so Bob Green will increase his role under Bob Nicholson in this bizarre winter of Bob’s. Where Craig and Stu and Todd land lord only knows. It gives us some time to mull over what a ‘perfect fit’ scouting group and a ‘perfect draft’ might look like. Let’s begin with what I consider a solid draft weekend:

OILERS 2013 DRAFT

  • Darnell Nurse at No. 7—Bob McKenzie No. 9
  • Marc-Olivier Roy at No. 56—Bob McKenzie No. 59
  • Bogdan Yakimov at No. 83—Pronman No. 73
  • Anton Slepyshev at No. 88—Pronman No. 45
  • Jackson Houck at No. 94—Pronman No. 91
  • Kyle Platzer at No. 96—Pronman No. 151 (reach)

There ARE arguments that can be made against this list (Nichushkin and Ristolainen were available at No. 7) and I’m absolutely convinced one of the reasons Craig MacTavish went with Nurse is ‘need over bpa’ at the Oilers turn. That said, every pick but Platzer is ‘in the range’ based on Bob McKenzie and Corey Pronman. I’d say that’s a successful draft but do agree taking defensemen early is unwise. When we look back on the draft in 10 years, Nurse may be a splendid defender but it’s unlikely he’ll have delivered the kind of offense we associate with a No. 7 overall selection.

WHL David Musil 20110206

OILERS 2011 DRAFT

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at No. 1—Bob McKenzie No. 1
  • Oscar Klefbom at No. 19—Bob McKenzie No. 21
  • David Musil at No. 31—Bob McKenzie No. 41
  • Samu Perhonen at No. 62—Red Line No. 88
  • Travis Ewanyk at No. 74—Red Line No. 64
  • Dillon Simpson at No. 92—Red Line No. 74

I like this draft too (Tobias Rieder was selected after No. 100 overall and was ranked No. 58 by Red Line) although there were some unusual picks in the third round. I liked Simpson and Rieder on draft day more than Perhonen and Ewanyk but the overall haul was quite good. Steve Tambellini not getting Rieder signed is a big damn deal and yes I do blame him (he’s the same guy who allowed Petry to get into that ‘final season before UFA’ zone, too). I do think the scouts went too soon for Perhonen and Ewanyk but that’s (once again) drafting for need.

moroz ferguson 1415I liked those drafts but the 2012 and 2014 editions had some issues right away. I questioned (at the time and now) both the 2012 and 2014 weekends. In both cases, the Oilers headed walkabout inside the top 100—better known as taking reach picks.

OILERS 2012 DRAFT

  • Nail Yakupov at No. 1—Bob McKenzie No. 1
  • Mitchell Moroz at No. 32—Bob McKenzie No. 56
  • Jujhar Khaira at No. 63—Red Line No. 108
  • Daniil Zharkov at No. 91—Bob McKenzie No. 48
  • Erik Gustafsson at No. 93—Not Ranked

The Yakupov selection has become controversial since draft day but I thought it was the right call then and see no reason to deny it today. Moroz was a different item, as I wrote draft weekend:

  • Finally, a note on the scouting staff and Stu MacGregor. I don’t think their draft was a strong one, as they clearly went after “need” as opposed to “best player available.” Although the overall quality of the draft was not strong, the pick at #32 meant they were passing on too much talent by taking Moroz. The scouting staff better be right, or this pick will be remembered for a long time. Source

The Khaira pick suffered from the same issues, a reach selection based on need. It should be mentioned that no one from No. 31-No. 75 in the 2012 draft has yet emerged as a top flight NHL player—although Damon Severson looks like he’ll be the first and Fredrik Andersen (No. 87) is looking like a keeper as a keeper.

lagesson4

OILERS 2014 DRAFT

  • Leon Draisaitl at No. 3—Bob McKenzie No. 4
  • William Lagesson at No. 91—Corey Pronman No. 60

This is a little different draft and my dissatisfaction with it didn’t come until after 100 picks were gone. It was a very weird draft because the range of opinions produced a crazy-ass second and third round list. There were TONS of talented players left on the list when Edmonton chose Zach Nagelvoort, Liam Coughlin, Tyler Vesel and Keven Bouchard. Tons. Here’s what I wrote draft weekend:

  • This was not a good draft year overall, but I believe the Oilers made it less effective than it could have been via goalies and saw him good. Source

bob green

FORENSICS FORENSICS FORENSICS

So if the Forensic department calls us today and asks our advice on drafting, we can agree that the best plan is to:

  • Value skill above all other things.
  • Take best player available. Always. The GM may be charged with adding talent in specific spots but will have more ammo with better prospects. Oilers have never learned this lesson, not ever.
  • Let math do the work. Travis Ewanyk was a long shot the moment he was selected, the Oilers need to learn that and they haven’t. I thought Edmonton learned the lesson in 2013 but appeared to have turned their backs on it in 2014. That’s an issue. Michael Parkatti works with the Oilers and even though I haven’t asked (and he hasn’t volunteered) I would guess 2013 lined up pretty well with his numbers and 2014 was a walkabout. The Oilers need to stop this, in fact they should be identifying the players who scored well in the math model and how they’re progressing. These men might make attractive acquisitions.
  • Don’t take goalies early (Oilers have learned this).
  • Don’t take defensemen early (Oilers rarely do this but did in the case of Nurse).
  • Speed matters, even more than size. Oilers have learned and unlearned this many times over the years.
  • Don’t walkabout in the top 100. Edmonton has been better in the MacGregor era.
  • In an unusual draft like 2014 (or 2003) make better use of those late picks.
  • Stop mining areas currently frequented that have produced nothing. I’m looking at you BCJHL.
  • Print off the Bob McKenzie list and compare it to your own list. If a player is ranked on the McKenzie list, and not on the Oilers list, why? There should be a very good reason and it can’t be ‘saw him bad’ or ‘he never looks good when I see him’ and that’s for sure. Have a good long look at the Pronman list, too.
  • STOP chasing Coke Machines. Jesus, Mary and Joseph the Oilers could be a much better hockey team based on changing that one thing at the draft table since the turn of the century.

Anything else?

AHL Hockey: Oct 23 Barons vs Monsters

OILERS RFA LIST AND PRUNING

Every year the Oilers take a long look at their RFA list and prune it. I love MacT in this area, he’s a killer. If there’s any doubt it’s here’s your hat what’s your hurry? The only surprise for me came last year when Curtis Hamilton was retained. Here’s a mid-season look at the list and what I think we may see:

  • Nail Yakupov: As frustrating as his entry-level deal has been for both sides, I can’t see a divorce. Edmonton may trade him but if they don’t, a one or two year bridge deal is most likely.
  • Justin Schultz: I think another bridge deal is the answer, MacT looks very smart now for avoiding that long term deal.
  • Martin Marincin: Sign him to a one-way deal and bring him up for good. You can’t tell me with a straight face Nikitin is better now and MM is young and progressing. Oilers need to get over themselves and call this player up today.
  • Anton Lander: Sign him and use him. Lander has now played 100 NHL games and none of them better than Friday night. Nelson may have saved him.
  • Keith Aulie: Two-way deal, he is big and can play defense.
  • Brad Hunt: I like Brad Hunt but can’t relax when he’s playing. Does that make sense? MacT will sign him.
  • Brandon Davidson: He’s a young defender who has potential. He gets signed for sure, may lose him on waivers at some point.
  • Tyler Pitlick: I think they probably spend the money and roster spot on Klinkhammer. Pitlick just can’t stay healthy. Two-way deal likely. Waiver worry.
  • Matt Fraser: I like his offense but skating is an issue. I don’t think he’s going to make it. Likely lost on waivers eventually.
  • Curtis Hamilton: It’s likely he’ll get an NHL look this year, still unsure of his future. I’ll guess he won’t be back.
  • Andrew Miller: I think he’s a tweener and don’t think he’ll be back unless it’s an AHL-only deal.
  • Kellen Lain: AHL depth, don’t know if he warrants a 50-man spot. I don’t think he gets one.
  • Frans Tuohimaa: I don’t think he’ll be back.
  • Tyler Bunz: I don’t think he’ll be back.

So, I’m guessing the Oilers flush Bunz, Tuohimaa, Hamilton, Fraser and offer AHL-only deals to Miller and Lain. That’s six off the books and they’ll need all of them. Tambellini wouldn’t do any of this but MacT is a different personality altogether. I don’t think Edmonton keeps anyone they have doubt about and that may include Tyler Pitlick. Klinkhammer’s impact on that 4line can’t be lost on management and that’s the job Pitlick was applying for this season.

I think Edmonton will also say goodbye (either deadline or summer) to Jeff Petry, Viktor Fasth, Derek Roy, Jesse Joensuu, Steve Pinizzotto and Ryan Hamilton. Rob Klinkhammer is likely to be signed in my opinion. It’s only been a few games but lordy that 4line is a monster. I think the club will also retain Richard Bachman.

marco roy

CHL POINTS PER 60 (ESTIMATE)

  1. Marco Roy 4.22
  2. Jackson Houck 2.9
  3. Kyle Platzer 2.75
  4. Greg Chase 2.48
  5. Leon Draisaitl 2.44
  6. Darnell Nurse 2.40
  7. Ben Betker 1.13

Great stuff coming out of CHL STATS and the points-per-60 is fascinating. This is an estimate based on points and estimated ice-time. It shows Marco Roy miles ahead of everyone (due mostly to not getting a lot of special teams time if I’m reading things correctly). Draisaitl, Nurse and Chase are already signed and I think they’ll get Roy, Houck, Platzer and Betker under contract before the draft.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

wood time

10 this morning, TSN 1260 and it’s going to be a fun show! Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk NHL All-Star game and the suddenly average Pacific Division.
  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. Nurse’s winter, Leon’s WHL expectations and the quality of the 2015 draft.
  • Dennis King. Oilers Friday and Oilers Sunday plus NFL.
  • Travis Yost, TSN. Bills hire a coach, Sens and Oilers.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!

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83 Responses to "IN A PERFECT WORLD"

  1. HiddenDarts says:

    Great post, LT. Now how do we get this Forensics list carved into wall-sized stones and installed into the offices of everyone in Oilers management?

  2. Aitch says:

    To explain Curtis Hamilton’s retention, I don’t think you have to look any further than the connection that cropped up during the Draisaitl demotion; his father, being head coach of Kelowna and a “friend” of the braintrust. Suspect they kept him around an extra look as a favour to an old friend.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Lowe-Howse-Tavish(I refuse to argue fucking semantics they’re ALL involved); aren’t they known for picking every round with the same basic idea?

    Round 1 – Often go for some kind of “reach” pick…until they started landing top 5 picks on an annual basis.

    Round 2 – Often huge reach picks to enable Lowe-House-Tavish to finally land Milan Lucic. Everyone knows they’re total shite at drafting, so they also like to trade this pick away – to save embarrassment).

    Round 3 and on – each round seems to have a specific philosophical paradigm(lol) for Lowe-House-Tavish, but my all time fave is picking in lower rounds (6 or 7) simply to appease far away scouts for political purposes.

    No doubt it goes back to Slats Sather’s disregard for the NHL draft. Sather is their idiot idol.

    They’re fools.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Can someone explain to me why taking defensemen high is unwise. There is more evidence that taking goalies and wingers high is a poor idea than there is to taking defensemen high. Top pairing defensemen also tend to play 20% more and some even almost 50% more than forwards and you want your best players on the ice as much as possible.

  5. smellyglove says:

    Chase at 21p in 18gp with Victoria–looks like the trade worked out well. He’s one of my fav. prospects in that he has sandpaper and offense.

  6. supernova says:

    Excellent read.

    If I am Bob Nicholson I want Bob Green to have a 3 year draft plan this year.

    Oilers seem to have a decent plan one year and then a huge deviation for the next one.

    “Over the next three years we will acquire draft picks that fit this criteria”

    They can re-assess but good grief, have a plan and criteria and stick to it.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    HiddenDarts:
    Great post, LT. Now how do we get this list carved into wall-sized stones and installed into the offices of everyone in Oilers management?

    I’d like to see their names written on stones – headstones.

  8. Ca$h-Money! says:

    leadfarmer:
    Can someone explain to me why taking defensemen high is unwise.There is more evidence that taking goalies and wingers high is a poor idea than there is to taking defensemen high.Top pairing defensemen also tend to play 20% more and some even almost 50% more than forwards and you want your best players on the ice as much as possible.

    In a nutshell, it’s harder to figure out which defenders are going to end up being elite when looking at 18 year olds. It’s easier to tell with forwards. Dmen become elite, typically, when they are 25.

    To illustrate the point:

    1. Eric Johnson
    2. Jordan Staal
    3. Jonathan Toews
    4. Nic Backstrom
    5. Phil Kessel

    That’s only half the picture. You could say “imagine the STL Blues with Toews, OMG” which is true. But the other side of that coin is that STL gave up on Johnson and traded him. The funny thing is that the Dman they got back in that trade, Shattenkirk, is currently one of the best offensive dmen in the league, and is certainly better than Johnson, which was not assumed at the time of the trade (Stewart was the main piece, perceived to be a strong PWF with 30goal/season potential).

    So it wasn’t even clear which Dman was in fact superior at the time of the trade, after several years of post draft exposure.

  9. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Good morning, LT.

    May I suggest a post reviewing Bob Green’s resume, track record, quotes about procurement between now and the spring to familiarize your reader base with the man and what his priorities/focus may be.

    It has been over a year since he joined the group as head of amateur free agent scouting. Which signings can we attribute to him and how they are tracking, etc.?

    This is the quote from your brief post when he was hired:

    “The Edmonton Oilers announced Bob Green as the head of amateur scouting this morning in a confusing press release. The release says “he will work closely with the Oilers’ hockey operations department and amateur scouting staff and will assist with identifying and recruiting NCAA, CHL and select European free agents”, implying he will in fact be looking for 20-year old or older players who have passed through the draft.

    The disconnect: his title suggests he has sweeping powers that would include all amateur procurement (and the draft), but the statement in italics suggests a more narrow view based on players who are no longer draft eligible.

    At moments like these, it’s important not to overreact. So, I am currently making a protest sign with giant “WTF STU?” on it, will be protesting until dark. “

  10. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    I mostly agree, however, Erik Johnson has taken a couple of giant steps forward as a complete defenseman last year and this year. He has come to be underrated, I think, just as much as Jack Johnson is overrated.

  11. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    One thing that bugs me a bit about draft decisions is the narrative (overused word, I think, but oh well) about “translating” high scoring in major junior to big league pro hockey.

    Every year, we’ll see a ton of kids in junior who have very good/insane numbers get passed over on draft day.

    Scouts and commentators will look at high scorers in junior and find a reason to claim that they will be held back in major pro hockey — usually whatever sticks out most — size, height, strength, style, etc. And we all know what happens next; a lower-scoring guy will get picked ahead of them, based on things like “oh his frame has major league written all over it. Big league frame.”

    WHAT THEY ARE FORGETTING is:
    1. These guys found a way to score in a tough league. That right there is a skill that they could carry over to pro.
    2. It’s not like the players in junior are playing against little kids. These guys have beards and are big guys.

    The upshot is that every year you see these “surprises” where some high scoring guys who got passed over are on fire in the minors or in their major league debuts or whatever.

    I say, pick the damn high scorers! For crying out loud. I submit that, even over “skill” (as skill level is a matter of perception), let our draft board prize SCORING NUMBERS!

  12. Bruce McCurdy says:

    It hasn’t been announced but Bob McKenzie is a lock on these things so Bob Green will increase his role under Bob Nicholson in this bizarre winter of Bob’s.

    Reminds me of the “no-arms-no-legs” school of jokes that was in vogue a few years ago.

    What do you call a man with no arms & no legs who is adrift at sea?

    — Bob

    What do you call a group of five men & a woman, all with no arms & no legs, who are adrift at sea together?

    — Bob, Bob, Bob, Barbara-Ann, Bob, Bob

  13. linkfromhyrule says:

    LT, curious as to why you think they let go of Roy? If he will take a reasonable deal x 1 or 2 years, sign the man! He is not an ideal 2C but he is MILES better than what we were running before. That being said, I could totally see the Oilers opting not to resign him to make room for Drai/McEichel.

    If we dump this player for nothing, and do not replace him with at least an equivalent, we will likely be drafting top 5 again next year. QUIT GIFTING KIDS IMPORTANT ROSTER SPOTS, DUMMIES

    Judging by their draft record, they seem to alternate between terrible and decent year to year. Last year was pretty terrible outside of Leon, so I think it’s likely we see a decent draft this year. They shouldn’t have any shortage of picks to use after the deadline that’s for sure.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    There sure is lots of evidence that d-men is more of a crap shoot. 2008 was probably one of the best d-men drafts. Hard to over look the top of the draft with Doughty, Pietrangelo, and Karlsson was the 7 d-men taken at 15th. Bogosian, Schenn and Myers were drafted prior to Karlsson but they are still young enough and would be in our top 4.

  15. regwald says:

    LT, slightly off topic but thought I would mention it as I was checking out OKC stats and standings this morning.

    OKC leads the AHL. The entire AHL in points with 56. Two teams from the East are close with 55 (Springfield) and 54 pts (Manchester). The next closest team in the West has 51 (Utica).

    Pretty impressive given the coaching change and the number of players promoted to Edmonton. (Lander, Klefbom, Pitlick).

  16. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide’s principles should be stapled to the front of every draft report. In fact, I’d make it even simpler.

    1) Take the guy with the most pts/60 at even strength.
    2) Take the younger guy.

    That’s all you need to know. Sure, you’ll miss a lot. But they do that already. Calculate a conversion factor for forwards and defense, never draft for need, never draft a goalie, never draft for the third or fourth line and you are set.

    *Obviously you need goalies and and third and fourth liners but it is a lot more efficient to get them in other ways (trades, Europe, AHL, free agency).

    The draft is for offense. Period. It’s the only place you can get it. Plus failed scorers turn into good third line players all the time. Failed third line players never turn into scorers. Draft the guy with the points. Always.

  17. alice13 says:

    The BPA – I get it, but how do you determine the best player available when they play different positions?

    Compare Nurse to Nichushkin – how?

    Also, if you’re selling your prospect later for need, who says you get 100 cents on the dollar? It’s not a perfect market so if market inefficiencies steal say 15% of your ‘value’

    Also, if you’re selling your prospect later for need, you want to be selling something that’s in high demand, so all positions are not created equal in terms of realizing later value

    Which boils down to the conversion success ratio for various positions. A prospect winger should both graduate sooner and more reliably than a center or a D. But they will command less in trade if you’re looking for one of those other two positions.

    In fact, LT you say essentially the same thing:

    Take BPA. Always.

    [Later]
    Don’t take defencemen early

    So “Always” really means “unless it’s early going and there’s a Center available too…”

    Everything on that list rings true, speed and skill trump all. It’s just BPA is trotted out like it lives outside of positional considerations. It doesn’t. It should live outside of considerations of present team needs is all.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Yes but EricJohnson had two back to back lost seasons due to injury.

    Look at the 2009 draft do you think Tampa is kicking themselves for taking Hedman over Kane or B Schenn. Do you think Arizona is regretting taking OEL over Kadri or Glennie, and Ottawa taking Cowen over MPS.

    I looked at the last ten drafts in one of LTs previous threads and other than not taking goalies, wingers are actually a lot more suspect than defenders.

  19. knighttown says:

    The thing with drafting based on offense in the draft season is that it doesn’t take into account the players role on the team. You can say that the really good ones will force their coach to give them major minutes and special teams which is probably true for the first rounders. I expect that with the possible exception of a Rob Schremp, most picks in the Top 50 are playing Top 6 minutes with lots of PP time if offense is their calling card.

    But what do you do with the Kyle Platzers of the world? He wasn’t going to bust through on that loaded Knights team so his number will suck compared to his peers. Drafting him is questionable based on not enough data but ignoring him is questionable and will lead you to ignore a good portion of the draft eligibles.

    Maybe this new CHL stats is the beginning of the answer although it needs to be EV pts/60 as none of these 3rd rounders are going to be playing much power play in the NHL.

  20. leadfarmer says:

    Not taking D early is an old wives tale that is somehow continued on this blog without evidence to support it. And then you have teams like Edmonton and Dallas, that were both picked to be a lot better this year, but without defensemen they are going nowhere.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    In 2008, the teams that picked Doughty, Bogosian, and Pietrangelo are wishing they would have followed the dont draft d high rule and picked Filatov, Wilson, Boedker, Bailey, or Hodgson.

    Florida really looks like they are regretting picking Ekblad 🙂

  22. knighttown says:

    On Nurse…

    I agree that if something holds him back it will be offense. I’ve not yet seen (there’s that word again) high level vision or passing and that’s where defensemen score their points.

    Saying that, he’s probably the safest Oiler pick in a decade. With that skill set and size a full-out bust is a near impossibility.

    He’s on that Eric Johnson/Joni Pitkanen spectrum of defenders who will play a tonne and contribute at the VERY LEAST. And Christ, if that hockey aptitude develops (and by all accounts he’s bright) Larry Robinson is one nice potential stretch target.

    In this one case at least, I like Nurse over Nikushkin because finding defensmen is impossible.

    Scoring wingers are safer no doubt but its for that exact reason that the bold can find value with drafting defensmen or goalies earlier than anyone else is willing to. I thought the Habs were nuts for taking Carey Price.

  23. rickithebear says:

    LT:
    21 year old goalies getting .918+ save% in AHL.
    and
    U20 goalies .920+ save% in NCAA. get a shot at being a starter in NHL!
    #111 Nagelvoort (19) .929 Save% NCAA this has to be a Math Pick!
    #153 Vesel #3 in USHL scoring

  24. Aitch says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    What do you call a man with no arms and no legs adrift at sea near a life preserver?
    — Bob Hope

    Didn’t get the Barbara-Ann part. Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

  25. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    knighttown,

    I think Nurse’s minimum hurdle is to be better than Ristolainen, and for longer. LT had Risto ranked higher, as did several scouting agencies. Nurse has the North American background, the mean streak, and probably is more gifted athletically. However, Ristolainen is already a good defenseman in the NHL, and so far has been improving as he goes.

    If Nurse winds up better than him, he covers the bet, in my opinion. If he doesn’t, people will point to that more so than they will point to Nichushkin (power forwards take time as well).

  26. Hammers says:

    Funny after yesterdays game I’m saying to my son McT should sign Klinkhammer right now and trade or pass on Fraser . Totally agree with your assessment on who gets retained . Actually if Lander keeps playing like he is ( say 20 games ) offer him a contract before seasons end as well .Both those guys should be under a $ million probably 750-800 .My only add to your list is Gazdic . Well liked but adds fighting only .They need to start auditioning AHL players .

  27. Lois Lowe says:

    If Nurse turns into Jason Smith with better skating I think the Oilers are happy.

  28. sliderule says:

    I think Mact told MacGregor to follow the principles LT espouses.He told him that he wanted skill to be the number one.

    If you look at Stu’s work since Mact came on board do you think he is listening.

    I don’t.

  29. book¡je says:

    Aitch:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    What do you call a man with no arms and no legs adrift at sea near a life preserver?
    — Bob Hope

    Didn’t get the Barbara-Ann part. Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

    Bob Bob Bob Bob Barbara Ann in reference to the beach boys song.

  30. flyfish1168 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Lowetide’s principles should be stapled to the front of every draft report.In fact, I’d make it even simpler.

    1) Take the guy with the most pts/60 at even strength.
    2) Take the younger guy.

    That’s all you need to know.Sure, you’ll miss a lot.But they do that already.Calculate a conversion factor for forwards and defense, never draft for need, never draft a goalie, never draft for the third or fourth line and you are set.

    *Obviously you need goalies and and third and fourth liners but it is a lot more efficient to get them in other ways (trades, Europe, AHL, free agency).

    The draft is for offense.Period.It’s the only place you can get it.Plus failed scorers turn into good third line players all the time.Failed third line players never turn into scorers.Draft the guy with the points.Always.

    Excellent points

    I just like to add on they must be a good to great skater.

  31. slopitch says:

    In their first year as head scout, Pendergrast drafted Hemsky and MBS drafted Eberle. The rest of the years both had pretty average drafts.

    We often talk about the Oilers needing more NHL players. They havent had a great year outside the first rounders in a while. The Oilers are likely to have 4 picks in the top 60. Its time to have a home run draft.

  32. Ribs says:

    Let math do the work. Travis Ewanyk was a long shot the moment he was selected, the Oilers need to learn that and they haven’t. I thought Edmonton learned the lesson in 2013 but appeared to have turned their backs on it in 2014.

    Bob (McKenzie) has a passage in his Hockey Confidential book where he talks about the Marco Roy pick and how the Oilers used the numbers to identify him and traded down picks knowing they could get him later on. You do have to wonder what happened to this type of thinking just one year later.

    My only guess is that MacTavish didn’t get his hands as dirty in the drafting process as he did in 2013. His gnashing of teeth towards the scouting department this year may suggest this.

  33. Bag of Pucks says:

    leadfarmer:
    In 2008, the teams that picked Doughty, Bogosian, and Pietrangelo are wishing they would have followed the dont draft d high rule and picked Filatov, Wilson, Boedker, Bailey, or Hodgson.

    Florida really looks like they are regretting picking Ekblad

    The other factor in this is supply and demand. Legitimate 1D and 2D are far less plentiful than scoring wingers and next to impossible to acquire outside the draft unless you back up the Brinks truck like MIN did with Suter.

    It aggravates me to no end when Oiler fans argue against drafting D in the 1st. Nurse is the only legitimate 1D possibility in this org. How was he acquired again folks?

    Lidstrom was drafted in the 2nd round so we get to listen to this “don’t draft D high” meme until the end of time.

    BPA should mean best player regardless of position. If you can draft Doughty or Carey Price with your 1st rd pick, then you do it regardless of positional bias.

  34. leadfarmer says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Especially now that its becoming fairly well known that you can’t trade a winger for an equal caliber center, you have to trade for a center with less value. Highly drafted Defensemen that are not developing to plan also keep their value higher than wingers. Look at what Johnson brought back in trade as someone listed above. J Johnson brought back a good player too.

  35. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Aitch:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    What do you call a man with no arms and no legs adrift at sea near a life preserver?
    — Bob Hope

    Didn’t get the Barbara-Ann part. Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

    Barbara Ann

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    The part of the “don’t draft Ds and Gs high” meme that’s really ironic is the uncertainty of their development compared to Fs.

    Funny, I would’ve thought predictive forecasts of talent through the end of the development cycle is the primary skill that scouts are supposed to have. But apparently, we can’t expect that skill to translate effectively into the evaluation of D and G. Those positions are too HARD so it’s better to avoid them altogether until the best talent is picked over. lol

    Imagine if an NFL team took this approach to QBs? After all, many more QBs bust than prosper, so best to avoid picking a QB until later rounds. Lunacy.

    Fortune favours the bold, especially the bold that do their homework.

    Avoiding D and G early in the draft is a decision criterion based on ‘fear.’ Making decisions based on fear is no way to live your life.

  37. kooler says:

    “I think Edmonton will also say goodbye (either deadline or summer) to Jeff Petry, Viktor Fasth, Derek Roy, Jesse Joensuu, Steve Pinizzotto and Ryan Hamilton. ”

    LtT,
    You dont think the Oil work Roy into the program or has he overperformed? Almost proven on a short sample that he’s an asset to Yak.

  38. jake70 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Barbara Ann

    Reminds me of John Mcain singing Bomb Iran a few years back……..think he caught some flak for that….

  39. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I don’t agree with the “don’t draft goalies” statement that’s been made in this thread and others. Agree that they shouldn’t be drafted high, but in my book you draft 1 every year, no earlier than the 3rd round and preferably higher.

    Drafting an elite goalie seems to be voodoo, but it’s also pretty darn necessary. Most of the elite goalies in the game are playing for the team that drafted them, or at least for the first team that gave them a shot (Rask, but Boston traded away their Calder winner for him as a prospect).

    Since later picks are lottery tickets anyway, might as well buy a ticket where the jackpot is highest.

  40. rickithebear says:

    sliderule:
    I think Mact told MacGregor to follow the principles LT espouses.He told him that he wanted skill to be the number one.

    If you look at Stu’s work since Mact came on board do you think he is listening.

    I don’t.

    #7 Nurse
    #56 MOR
    #83 .20+ GPG @19 Russia Semin; Ovechkin; Malkin; Tarasenko; Kuznetsov
    #88 .20+ GPG @19 russia
    #94 Houck Vcr leading Scorer draft year .83 PPG
    #96 Platzer 21 EVp 4TH LINE ROLE age based NHLE 40 pt
    #113 Muir TOP 25 pts for age NCAA. 3rd line role
    #128 Campbell Strong Set-up Fwd BCHL: 1St line #1 team Hockey East
    #158 Betker Size
    #188 Chase .71 PPG .53 EVPPG

    2014:
    #3 Draisatl
    #91 Lagesson #7 rank Euro D.
    #111 .920+ SV% 19 yr NCAA
    #130 Coughlin
    #153 Vesel #3 Scorer USHL age based NHLE 42PT
    #183 Bouchard

    No Skill B…………. Sh……………..

  41. SkatinginSand says:

    Aitch,

    Beachboys. Probably before your time.

  42. Ben says:

    re: Bringing back Roy, Draisaitl + McEichlel, Gordon/Lander next year

    I’m not sure if anyone that reads this bog has access to the ‘inner circle’ of the Oilers ‘brain-trust’, but if anyone does, could you please let them know that it’s probably more effective to move a C to the wing than to play a W at centre?

    Heck – that might even be a smart way of breaking a rookie C into the league!

    But what do I know about winning?

  43. Pouzar says:

    There is no debate for me regarding Nurse. He is a 25 min a night 1st pairing D-man when he hits his prime. I don’t know how anyone can watch that kid play and not say he wasn’t the right pick for this team. I’ll be happy to admit I am wrong in a few years if it comes to that.

  44. GCW_69 says:

    “Tambellini wouldn’t do any of this but MacT is a different personality altogether.”

    Some thoughts:

    1. Why are we still talking about Tambellini. He’s gone. It doesn’t matter what he might or might not have done.

    2. If we have to go there…. How do we know what he would do with those players? Roster flexibly was a big thing for him. Every bit or bigger chance he would have flushed these players plus some.

    The question I was hoping you would ask is, “what would Holland or Lombardi do with these players?” that’s a far far more interesting question.

  45. Melman says:

    While better drafting is needed, that won’t make the intended difference until they chance and improve the development philosophy on these kids. Whether Nurse is dressed on opening night in 2015 will be the tell. A potentially good TC should not mean that 40+ games in the A aren’t required.

  46. Pouzar says:

    Melman: While better drafting is needed, that won’t make the intended difference until they chance and improve the development philosophy on these kids. Whether Nurse is dressed on opening night in 2015 will be the tell. A potentially good TC should not mean that 40+ games in the A aren’t required.

    This.

    But we know they have Nurse pencilled into that opening night lineup.

  47. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Pouzar: This.

    But we know they have Nurse pencilled into that opening night lineup.

    Fine. Not great, but still a step forward in terms on not throwing teenagers into the lineup, which is exactly what Buffalo did with Rasmus Ristollainen (sic) or NJD did with Adam Larson. It’s more in the Trouba fold of rushing a player.

  48. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Pouzar: This. But we know they have Nurse pencilled into that opening night lineup.

    MacT’s comments after the WJHC say so. Hopefully someone tells him otherwise, maybe he even tells himself.

  49. stush18 says:

    Said this during the world jays. Nurses potential is going to be decided on his offense, and i dont see the offense foe this guy. Hope im wrong, but he seems more like a less offensive brent seabrook then a peteriangelo per say. Hope im wrong tho.

    On taking only the highest ppg players, i agree. I think the problem is when they see a “coke machine” at say .6 ppg and a skill guy at .75, they think “well, this guy is bigger and has a better chance at making the team and playing throughout our lineup”. I dont disagree with this either. Maximize the potential for nhl players. However taking coke machines for reasons like toughness or drive or a potential to develop into a scorer are folly.

    I think when it comes to drafting, you centers and defense should always be priority. You can nevwr have too mich depth, and and centres can be moved to wing. I have no problem with taking elite skilled wingers, but as you move deeper into the draft, the safest bet is up the middle.

    Goalies are voodoo, we just need to find our black magic priest. Some teams have them, once we get ours goalies wont become so scary to draft anymore.

  50. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    http://www.uscho.com/stats/overall/division-i-men/2014-2015/

    Eichel is having a season for the ages. Offensively the best freshman year since Kariya and he is carrying his team.

    “Best consolation prize” is correct.

  51. kooler says:

    If Oil finish 2nd last…..good chance we get 3rd pick with the way the lottery is set up?

  52. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Jim Matheson’s latest article on Gazdic–what’s he seeing that I’m not? Gazdic , in my opinion, doesn’t “have game” beyond defending his teammates.

  53. Pouzar says:

    stush18,

    Nurse has been a better offensive player in Jr than Seabrook was if my eyes aren’t deceiving me.
    He is on PPG pace right now. I think we undersell his offense imo.

  54. Caramel Obvious says:

    I would add that obviously pts/60 is a very blunt instrument. The problem is that scouting is more blunt.

    If I was in charge I’d keep the scouts but I’d also employ a team of draft researchers, whose job was to develop and get good data from the CHL, even if that included hiring staff in every junior city to track stats for me.

    I don’t know how much that would cost but since the surplus value on a hit after the second round is enormous, and pretty much the only way to win, I figure it would be worth the investment.

  55. fifthcartel says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”,

    If even Matheson can see the uselessness of Gazdic, then that bodes well for Oilers management.

  56. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    fifthcartel,

    Did we read the same article? He doesn’t call Gazdic useless at all.

    “How long can the Oilers keep a player as an extra forward, who doesn’t play? Maybe a long while because Gazdic, even with his lack of activity, might not clear waivers at his age and they don’t want to risk losing him for nothing. ”

    “Gazdic,25, can get up and down the ice, and he can shoot off the wing. He’s worked hard to get pucks out of his end defensively, and work on cycles along the boards. ”

    “Unless somebody gets hurt or the new head knock behind the bench Nelson, sees an opponent with more muscle than he’s got, Gazdic will sit as McGrattan sat. It’s an uncomfortable feeling for Gazdic, who has some game outside of an affinity for defending people, but can’t get in one.”

  57. Showerhead says:

    Pouzar:
    stush18,

    Nurse has been a better offensive player in Jr than Seabrook was if my eyes aren’t deceiving me.
    He is on PPG pace right now. I think we undersell his offense imo.

    So far, Nurse is at a point per game. Seabrook, in his equivalent season, was 0.85. Is that significant? Probably.

    Also, I liked what I saw from Nurse at the WJC but it’s dangerous to project too much from that. It looked like he was more than capable of defensive positioning, of winning battles, passing/skating the puck to safety, and jumping into the play offensively. I liked his mean streak! On the other hand, he’s 19 (almost 20) and we need to acknowledge the huge benefit of that. There were also flaws such as the sheer volume of high-risk/high-reward rushes, one stupid penalty (vs. USA, although I’ll grant 1 is not many) and the fact that for all his offensive instincts he was only able to put up 1 assist. You’d really have wanted to see more than that, IMO. All of those rushes and 1 assist looked Pajaarvi-esque to me.

    All to say I think he’s very good but would need to know that 1 point per game for a 19/20 year old in the OHL is truly indicative of a good offensive producer before committing to the idea of him as having top-pairing potential.

  58. RexLibris says:

    Playing around with CHLStats and I see that Chase is listed at -17% Rel ES GF. This despite his being 55% in Even Strength Goals For %.

  59. Pouzar says:

    Showerhead,

    Yeah I was using the wrong year for Seabrook.

    Thx

  60. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    fifthcartel,

    Did we read the same article? He doesn’t call Gazdic useless at all.

    “How long can the Oilers keep a player as an extra forward, who doesn’t play? Maybe a long while because Gazdic, even with his lack of activity, might not clear waivers at his age and they don’t want to risk losing him for nothing. ”

    “Gazdic,25, can get up and down the ice, and he can shoot off the wing. He’s worked hard to get pucks out of his end defensively, and work on cycles along the boards. ”

    “Unless somebody gets hurt or the new head knock behind the bench Nelson, sees an opponent with more muscle than he’s got, Gazdic will sit as McGrattan sat. It’s an uncomfortable feeling for Gazdic, who has some game outside of an affinity for defending people, but can’t get in one.”

    Ha.

    The Flames put McGrattan on waivers last week. Nobody took him.

    If Brian Burke can part ways with McGrattan the Oilers can certainly part ways with Gazdic, and I’ve seen improvements in his game since the start of last year.

    That aside, how long can you keep an extra forward and not play him? For as long as it serves the needs of the team. Unless Klinkhammer or Fraser go down with injury then either one is a better option for the team right now than Gazdic.

  61. fifthcartel says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”,

    Yeah, whoops I wrote that before I read the actual article. That was a lot different than I thought it was going, haha.

  62. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Showerhead,

    Yeah I was using the wrong year for Seabrook.

    Thx

    Better than using the wrong Seabrook: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=10656

  63. ChiliChunk says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    It hasn’t been announced but Bob McKenzie is a lock on these things so Bob Green will increase his role under Bob Nicholson in this bizarre winter of Bob’s.

    Reminds me of the “no-arms-no-legs” school of jokes that was in vogue a few years ago.

    What do you call a man with no arms & no legs who is adrift at sea?

    — Bob

    What do you call a group of five men & a woman, all with no arms & no legs, who are adrift at sea together?

    — Bob, Bob, Bob, Barbara-Ann, Bob, Bob

    My favourite was always:

    What do you call a man with no arms and no legs who is sitting in a hole?

    — Phil

  64. doritogrande says:

    Showerhead:

    I use Nurse’s D-partner as a good comparison if you’re concerned about his offense. Theodore in and of himself is an offensive juggernaut. But he was asked, as was Nurse, to play a specific role in the team. Take care of your own end, which the tandem did like no shutdown pair has since the days of Staal-Parent. Theodore’s only offensive contributions would have come because he also played #1PP. I don’t recall Nurse even getting #2PP time during the tournament.

    He had a great showing, truly one of Canada’s 3 best players, but as we all know it’s nicknamed the tournament of small sample sizes ™ for a reason.

  65. Lloyd B. says:

    And of course the ever popular guy with no arms and no legs hanging on the wall.

  66. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Better than using the wrong Seabrook: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=10656

    Oh my eyes!

  67. Showerhead says:

    doritogrande:
    Showerhead:

    I use Nurse’s D-partner as a good comparison if you’re concerned about his offense. Theodore in and of himself is an offensive juggernaut. But he was asked, as was Nurse, to play a specific role in the team. Take care of your own end, which the tandem did like no shutdown pair has since the days of Staal-Parent. Theodore’s only offensive contributions would have come because he also played #1PP. I don’t recall Nurse even getting #2PP time during the tournament.

    He had a great showing, truly one of Canada’s 3 best players, but as we all know it’s nicknamed the tournament of small sample sizes ™ for a reason.

    I take your general point about the shutdown role that Nurse and Theodore excelled at. To their credit in that role, Nurse found his way into the offensive zone fairly often. He just didn’t produce points.

    I consider 1 point per game over the course of a season to be much more valuable a piece of information than 1 assist in the WJC’s but I just didn’t see the offensive game I hoped to.

  68. hunter1909 says:

    If they didn’t pick defencemen early where does Paul Coffey go?

  69. thegabe says:

    Lloyd B.,

    Hi Art!!!

  70. Alpine says:

    Pulling for Betker to make it as an NHLer solely because he has great hair. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/photo.php?if=ben-betker-2015-41.jpg

  71. Lloyd B. says:

    thegabe,

    Lobbed that one in for you !

  72. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Alpine,

    That is fantastic hair for a non Swedish hockey player.

  73. regwald says:

    fifthcartel,

    Stauffer was saying last night on the post-game show that St. Louis is a perfect place to play Gazdic and that I think Reaves turned down Gazdic the last time they played. This is a perfect spot to bring him (with limited minutes) back into the lineup as Fraser didn’t bring much to the team last night.

    Brown agreed and then Stauffer and Brown quickly jumped into St. Louis rolls 4 lines and you need to compete on all 4 lines, etc.

    How Stauffer can say, play Gazdic limited minutes and then turn around and say the Oilers need 4 strong lines to compete with the 4 lines of STL, is a bit baffling.

  74. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    regwald: St. Louis

    Oilers at Blues. I’m not sure it matters if Gazdic dresses tomorrow or not.

  75. regwald says:

    Well, I just think it is silly to think adding Gazdic to the lineup will help you roll 4 lines against the Blues.

    As for being outmatched by the Blues. Yup, they sure are.

  76. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    regwald: silly to think adding Gazdic to the lineup will help you roll 4 lines

    No argument there.

    Maybe Hitch will make it interesting and start Marty? Losing 6 – 3 feels better than losing 6 – 1… slightly…

  77. jake70 says:

    OIlers-Stars game 7 from 1997 on the Sportsnet Classic game.

  78. Marc says:

    What do you call a man with no arms and no legs and 50 rabbits up his bum?

    — Warren

  79. Zangetsu says:

    My perfect draft takes best fwd first round. Best dman late first or second. BPA rest of the way. Goalie can be picked late,round 5+, if at all.

  80. Zangetsu says:

    hunter1909,

    Darren Veitch, Rick Lanz, and Fred Arthur were all picked around coffey. High ranking defence can go either way.

  81. PhrankLee says:

    Lois Lowe: If Nurse turns into Jason Smith with better skating I think the Oilers are happy.

    I loved Gator but feel Nurse has more tools in the kit.

    Even meaner than Smith. That’s a tough kid.

    Better hands and Jason had a really good 1st pass.

    Clearly a better skater already. But prone to walkabout.

    He is cold as a new razor blade.

  82. Lowetide says:

    Sorry if I deleted posts, there were a couple that quoted a deleted item. My apologies, carry on.

  83. supernova says:

    Pouzar: Oh my eyes!

    I seen both Seabrooks play quite a few times in Junior.
    Immediately could see that one was far superior to the other.

    Brent was a very good junior player with a mean streak at a young age. He seemed raw, but good offensively and defensively.

    He has been one of my favorite players and I have hoped and prayed for years the Oilers would acquire him.

    Excellent pick, if Nurse could be somewhat close to Seabrook it would be glorious.

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