This is where it all began. The Katz rebuild (legend holds) began on a cold January day when the Oilers owner, after hearing the only way to get jacks and kings was to tank, not only endorsed it, but suggested the team scorch the earth and wait for the northern prairie winter to do the rest. The rebuild continues and until recently the 2010 draft has been regarded as an absolute failure.
- No. 1 overall: L Taylor Hall. The human chance machine has been the best reason to watch an Oilers game five years running. By Christmas of year one he was pushing the river and that’s been the story since. Robbed of a berth in the Annual All-Star selection 2014, he is absolutely one of the best LW’s in the NHL, age 23. He and Tyler Seguin will no doubt fight it out for best player from the 2010 draft, with Seguin ahead on points and Hall carrying the day in points-per-game. The third best player from this draft? I’ll say Ryan Johansen but that Tarasenko fellow may have something to say before we’re through. Scott Cullen’s study tells us No. 1 overall’s have a 100% chance of playing 100 NHL games (he’s at 299) and the average at this number is a top-line forward. Per 82GP in the NHL, Hall is 29-43-72. Lordy.
- No. 31 overall: R Tyler Pitlick. He scored well in his one season junior (22 EV goals) but he didn’t resemble anything close to a top 9F in the AHL before season three. Part of that had to do with injuries, and he does look like he can play a crash and bang style when he’s in the NHL, but the offense is really a concern. Of the five players taken immediately after Pitlick, only Alex Petrovic (46 NHL games) is ahead of him. Justin Faulk was taken six spots back. Cullen’s numbers suggest a player taken No. 31 overall has a 35% chance of playing 100 NHL games (Pitlick is now at 27 NHL games) and average is a good to very good minor league who plays 50 or more NHL games.
- No. 46 overall: D Martin Marincin. There’s some evidence that the Oilers’ inability to evaluate defenseman—the same inability that has Jeff Petry in Montreal—has impacted Marincin’s career. Edmonton would do well to use the big rangy defender until something better comes along—and that could take awhile based on the current depth chart. Tyler Toffoli and Calle Jarnkrok were both selected in the five spots following Marincin, but he should be considered solid value in this range. Players selected No. 46 overall have a 32% chance of playing 100 NHL games (Marincin is at 85 and should pass than number this coming year) and the average player in this range is a good to very good minor league who manages 50 (or so) AHL games. I believe Marincin should be considered a strong candidate for future NHL success based on his first five seasons after the draft.
- No. 48 overall: L Curtis Hamilton. There was a considerable injury history for Hamilton before the draft and those issues have had considerable impact on his pro career. After a strong Draft+1 season in Saskatoon, Hamilton played 64% of the available AHL games during his entry-level deal. Injuries had a huge impact on him and it was only this season (63GP, 12-20-32) that some of his offense found its way to the AHL. Among those taken immediately afterward, Calle Jarnkrok and Calvin Pickard have made themselves known in the NHL. Cullen’s graph shows a 32% chance of 100 NHL games (Hamilton has made it into one NHL game) and the average is a good to very good AHL player who plays in 50 (or so) NHL games. The change in GMs may not bode well for Hamilton.
- No. 61 overall: C Ryan Martindale. Big center who had a bit of an uneven rep based on his draft year performance. He was moved along for Steve Pinizzotto in January 2014 and his career track doesn’t look promising. Radko Gudas was taken five slots behind and does look to be cobbling together an NHL career. Among players taken at this position, Scott Cullen informs us they have a 37.5% chance of playing 100 NHL games (Martindale has zero) and the average prospect becomes a good AHL player with less than 50 NHL games to his name.
- No. 91 overall: D Jeremie Blain. The first player from this draft who didn’t get a contract from the Oilers, Blain has played more in the ECHL than AHL since turning pro. Players taken here have a 24.5% chance of making it to 100 NHL games (Blain has zero) and the average is a good AHL player with fewer than 50 games in the show. No players among the group taken immediately afterward have shown themselves to be NHL players.
- No. 121 overall: G Tyler Bunz. WHL goalie who had some injury issues along the way and couldn’t find the range as a pro player. Post SP’s of .919 and .921 in his final junior seasons but couldn’t crack .900 during most of his time in the organization. He is an RFA this summer and unlikely to be re-signed by Edmonton. 16% of 100 games (Bunz has 1) and the average is minor league player with under 50 NHL games.
- No. 162 overall: D Brandon Davidson. One of the great stories for Oilers fans over the last several years, Davidson’s back story is inspiring. He looks very capable as an NHL player in a very small sample size but could develop into a useful 5-7D if given the opportunity. I don’t know if he’s so talented his future is assured but there’s a chance. Cullen says there’s a 15% chance of 100 games (Davidson is at 12) and we’re looking at a minor leaguer here. No one in the five picks after Davidson has played in the NHL—he’s the success story.
- No. 166 overall: L Drew Czerwonka. Injuries finished his career before he turned pro. 16%, minor leaguer.
- No. 181 overall: L Kristians Pelss. RIP.
- No. 202 overall: F Kellen Jones. Has enjoyed a solid AHL season but would have to be considered a long shot for NHL employment.
You may enjoy Scott Cullen’s look at draft probabilities. You may also enjoy the ‘Harvest Moon‘ gushing I did on that promising day in 2010. I think the Hall pick is full value and Marincin looks like he’s a good bet for an NHL career. If one of Pitlick, Hamilton or Davidson can add to the total, I’ll call it a good draft. Still heartbroken about the young man from Preili and that will not change, ever.