I’ve always felt the criticisms leveled at the Oilers for their second-round selections applied far better when dealing with the third round. Whereas the second round had injuries and draft for need issues, the third round for Edmonton has been wingnut central for a decade (although the Craig MacTavish era improved things).
I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the third round 2008-15. No grand statements on either side, no claims of victory, just an honest assessment of the way things are, the good and bad arrows, and a discussion in regard to useful players coming out of this area of the draft.
In order to do this, we absolutely have to agree on some things:
- We can’t judge a drafted player weeks after his selection.
- We can count arrows, and they are a good indicator.
- We cannot expect all of the picks to succeed, that isn’t reasonable.
- We have come to some kind of conclusion about a line in the sand and agree to it (the Cullen grades).
Cullen’s numbers suggest a third-round selection has a 27.3% chance of playing 100 NHL games. Notable Oilers picks from the third round this century include Zack Stortini (297 NHL games), Danny Syvret (59 NHL games), Theo Peckham (160 NHL games).
OILERS THIRD ROUND 2008-15
- 2008: No second-round selections (Kevin Lowe)
- 2009: Troy Hesketh (Steve Tambellini)
- 2009: Cameron Abney (Steve Tambellini)
- 2010: Ryan Martindale (Steve Tambellini)
- 2011: Samu Perhonen (Steve Tambellini)
- 2011: Travis Ewanyk (Steve Tambellini)
- 2012: Jujhar Khaira (Steve Tambellini)
- 2012: Daniil Zharkov (Steve Tambellini)
- 2013: Bogdan Yakimov (Craig MacTavish)
- 2013: Anton Slepyshev (Craig MacTavish)
The Tambellini era of third-round selections is incredible. On draft day, the only players with enough offensive spark to be considered actual prospects were Ryan Martindale and Daniil Zharkov and the goalie wasn’t good enough to sign. A tall tree in a Minnesota high school, an enforcer, a goalie and two checkers who couldn’t score in junior or college. That’s a lot of risk for picks well inside No. 100 overall. Again, I always thought the third round was the real dead zone.
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES)
- Bogdan Yakimov 1
That’s about right. Steve Tambellini’s third-round selections have yet to play an NHL game.
- “It’s over” arrows: Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Ryan Martindale, Samu Perhonen
- Bad arrows: Travis Ewanyk (since traded), Jujhar Khaira, Daniil Zharkov
- Lukewarm arrows:
- Good arrows: Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev
- Very good arrows:
ONE BY ONE
- D Troy Hesketh: 47 players who have played in the NHL were chosen after Hesketh, who had size and there were rumors that New Jersey was interested in taking him. The most frustrating pick of the MacGregor era because there was still real value on the board.
- R Cameron Abney: 39 players who have played in the NHL were chosen after Abney, who was a fighter in the WHL. He hurt his hand after draft day but remains in the system (Bakersfield this season) on a minor league contract. More successful selection than Hesketh, as Abney played 18 AHL games. The second most frustrating pick of the MacGregor era, there was no way this was going to bring value from the moment the selection was made.
- C Ryan Martindale: Peaked in the AHL (180 games and counting) and he has enjoyed some success (14 points in 19 games with Syracuse at the end of the 2014-15 season). The pick seemed a reasonable bet on draft day, 40 players who have played in the NHL were chosen after Martindale.
- G Samu Perhonen: Finnish goalie didn’t show much in the two years after his draft, but recovered in the SM-Liiga this past season and could have a career (.911SP). 33 players chosen after Perhonen have played in the NHL. 33 players chosen after Perhonen have played in the NHL.
- C Travis Ewanyk: He was partial payment for Steve Staios (it was Aaron Johnson and the pick used on Ewanyk) and if he could score even a little more Ewanyk might have a career. He was a very good shutdown center in junior and played on some very good (and famous) WHL teams. Has played 137 AHL games and his offense (20 points) during those contests highlight the issue for Ewanyk. 28 players chosen after Ewanyk have played in the NHL.
- C Jujhar Khaira: Big, strong center who has the same issue as Ewanyk. Khaira’s AHL point-per-game average (.196) is better than Ewanyk’s (.145) in the same league but this is a prospect in trouble because of offense. 12 players chosen after Khaira have played in the NHL so far.
- L Daniil Zharkov: Big strong Russian winger famous for saying he’d be better than Nail Yakupov on draft day (it was funny, not meant to be a diss). He bolted for the KHL and played a full season there in 2013-14, but played only nine in Russia’s best league last season and played most of the year at lower Russian levels. The odds of Edmonton fans seeing Zharkov play in front of them as an Oiler is not high. Nine players chosen after Zharkov have played in the NHL.
- C Bogdan Yakimov: Easily a better prospect than any in the Tambellini era, Yakimov is a load on skates and he can move pretty well. His NA debut was spent in the AHL (the one game in the NHL aside) and he posted .491 points-per-game at that level. His productivity spiked after the Lander callup and we should look for a good season in Bakersfield. Four players chosen after Yakimov have played an NHL game, as has the Russian. 26 players from the 2013 draft have played in an NHL game, two of them Oilers.
- L Anton Slepyshev: Scoring winger had a breakout season in the KHL and is headed to North America. His 15 goals in 58 KHL games represents bona fide ability and his presence on the training camp roster should not be overlooked. Three players chosen after Slepyshev have played in the NHL.