One of the things we do as Oilers fans is make group decisions, adopt them as gospel and then write it in our memory banks. No real harm—we all do it, who can hold on to all info—but things get left behind that are important. Example: The 2015 draft. Edmonton got Connor McDavid AND Cam Talbot AND Griffin Reinhart AND five other picks besides! They won the draft!
Yes. Yes they did. However, along with winning the draft they also dealt away a bunch of quality talent that will be under control for seven to nine years. If we put the draft day trades in proper context, we get:
- One year of Cam Talbot, six years of Griffin Reinhart and seven to nine years of Ziyat Paigin for
- Seven to nine years of Mathew Barzal, Mitchell Stephens, Jonas Siegenhalter, Sergey Vborvskiy and Adam Huska
I’m not condemning the trades, quite like both players and the pick seems reasonable based on draft position. I’m saying that when you make trades like this, the cost to the franchise is two to ten years out and could be dear. Those picks were part of the Connor McDavid cluster, Cam Talbot may not be part of it. We need to recognize these things, acknowledge them. They’re important.
DRAFTING FROM LAST YEAR’S LIST
A year ago, I published my top 120 list and a bunch of players didn’t get drafted. Here’s the list, with my ranking from 2014 and (if they were selected) their draft number from 2015.
- (43) L Dexter Dancs
- (49) L Vladimir Tkachev
- (52) C Andrew Mangiapane—CALGARY NO. 166 OVERALL
- (62) L Kris Schmidli
- (73) C Luke Philp
- (78) D Gavin Bayreuther
- (80) D Riley Stadel
- (81) C Colby Cave—SIGNED BY THE BOSTON BRUINS.
- (82) C Reid Gardner
- (90)L Blake Clark
- (98) D Sebastian Aho
- (112) L Darby Llewellyn
- (114) L Ryan Foss
- (116) R Mitchel Slattery
Lots of talent passed through in year two, but Mangiapane was taken and I’d argue Calgary got exceptional value where they took him this year. Let’s have a look at the kids who were on this year’s list and didn’t get taken:
- No. 48— C Nathan Noel, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) Wide range of skills, undersized.
- No. 67— L Vladimir Tkachev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) Small W, extremely skilled.
- No. 74— G Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (OHL) 23GP, 2.78 .914
- No. 75— C Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals (WHL) Lightning quick forward.
- No. 84— C Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Small forward, terrific skill.
- No. 86— D Sebastian Aho, Skelleftea (SHL). Undersized, puck mover.
- No. 92— C Sebastian Ohlsson, Skelleftea (SHL). Small skill center showed well at U18’s.
- No. 103— C Brett McKenzie, North Bay Battalion (OHL). Two-way C with skill.
- No. 116— R Kay Schweri, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Fantastic playmaker.
- No. 117— D Loik Leveille, Cape Breton (QMHL). I can’t keep him off the list. Ultimate boom/boom.
- No. 118— C Brayden Burke, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Was very good in half a season.
- No. 120— L Pius Suter, Guelph Storm (OHL). A small, older, highly skilled C, scored 72 points.
Once again, lots of talent fell through the draft and it’s good to see Edmonton picked up Soy and Leveille for the orientation camp. I would love to see the Oilers sign one or both and wonder what happens to Tkachev now.
THE OILERS BEST DRAFT PICKS, 2015
Although Edmonton did trade away a bunch of picks (A BUNCH!) they delivered some real value in later rounds based on my top 120 for 2015.
- No. 1 overall—Connor McDavid (I had him ranked No. 1).
- No. 124 overall—Ethan Bear (I had him ranked No. 38).
- No. 154 overall—John Marino (I had him ranked No. 112).
I also like Caleb Jones but didn’t have him in my top 120.
BOTTOM LINE ON THE DRAFT
I wanted to get this down because it’s been on my mind and two years from now I’ll think I wrote it but won’t be able to find it. This could have been an astounding draft if the club had kept the picks and part of me really believes the right call was making those selections. That said, Edmonton hired Peter Chiarelli to improve the team immediately and have them in contention for the playoffs this time next summer. Not every bet he made is a winner, and a couple look a tad wobbly now, but the additions he gives Todd McLellan in the fall should mean a more competitive team for the Oilers in 2015-16.