The sixth round will forever be a favorite if only because it gifted us Teemu Hartikainen. There’s a 15.8% chance a player chosen in this round plays 100 NHL games—which sounds like ‘why bother?’ but some exceptional players were taken this late. Among Oiler draft picks 2000+ who have played 100 games, we can count no one. The last Oilers selection from the sixth round to play 100 games? Anatoli Semenov, 1989. It’s been awhile.
I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth 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)
OILERS SIXTH-ROUND PICKS, 2016
- 2008: Teemu Hartikainen
- 2010: Brandon Davidson
- 2010: Drew Czerwonka
- 2012: John McCarron
- 2013: Ben Betker
- 2014: Tyler Vesel
- 2015: John Marino
I know that no one since 1989 has played 100 games, but there’s some talent here, folks. Hartikainen would have passed 100 games with some luck and a coach who believed in him (imo) and Brandon Davidson is ‘in the range’ of catching on with an NHL team. Young Betker has some buzz around him, but it’s early days for him.
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES PLAYED)
- Teemu Hartikainen 52
- Brandon Davidson 12
- Productive in Europe/AHL: Teemu Hartikainen
- “It’s Over” arrows: Drew Czerwonka
- Bad arrows: John McCarron
- Lukewarm arrows:
- Good arrows: Brandon Davidson, Ben Betker, Tyler Vesel
- Very good arrows:
- New arrows: John Marino
ONE BY ONE
- L Teemu Hartikainen: Dealt to Toronto in another useless trade, Harski bolted to Russia and has been productive there for two seasons. Now property of Toronto, at 25 he’s young enough to get another NHL shot.
- D Brandon Davidson: He’s a good hockey player and (I’d guess) about No. 10 on the depth chart for 2015-16. That said, if Edmonton decides to send down Reinhart and Nurse he’d be No. 8 and if someone gets hurt before opening night he’s on the roster. I don’t believe he’s so talented Edmonton will worry over waivers, but that’s not the same as saying he has no value. I cheer for him always.
- L Drew Czerwonka: As happens so often with prospects, he was injured often during junior and passed on a pro career due to the rigors of the game.
- R John McCarron: This post is about three weeks early because the news involving McCarron is yet to come. If Edmonton doesn’t sign the big winger before August 15th, he’s a free agent. He’s big, but his point total was halved last season, and that suggests a reduction in playing time/quality of linemates. We wait, but we kind of know.
- D Ben Betker: Holy crow, he’s big and fast. Saw him at the orientation camp and couldn’t keep my eyes off of him (in a non-weird way). If this young man continues to develop, Edmonton got a steal. Lots of possibilities.
- F Tyler Vesel: Showed promise in his first NCAA season and it’ll be interesting to see if he can take another step next season. He’s an older prospect (21 in April) so if he spikes Edmonton may bring him out after his sophomore season.
- D John Marino: Playmaking defender with size, good skater, nice shot. We wait. Looks like he’ll head to the Chicago Steel of the USHL, as per below. You know who played for the Chicago Steel? Troy Hesketh. Le sigh.
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) July 22, 2015