THE OILERS AND RUSSIA (2016 EDITION)

After ignoring Russia at the draft table for over 20 years—and then further walking softly for another dozen—the Edmonton Oilers are finally embracing the giant hockey country. In what can only described as a predictable result, they are finding hockey players.

NHL TOTAL PLAYERS/RUSSIAN PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 11 from Russia
  • 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 7 from Russia
  • 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 8 from Russia
  • 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 4 from Russia
  • 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 6 from Russia
  • 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 9 from Russia
  • FINAL TALLY: 1,686 total players, 57 from Russia
  • PERCENTAGE: 3.4%

 OILERS TOTAL PLAYERS/RUSSIAN PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 1 from Russia
  • 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 2 from Russia
  • 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from Russia
  • 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from Russia
  • FINAL TALLY: 61 total players, 3 from Russia
  • PERCENTAGE: 4.9%

This really is an astounding item. First, Russia is being actively avoided by the NHL now—there are probably 20-25 NHL-calibre players available but teams won’t draft them because of the KHL. Second, Edmonton is now ahead of the NHL in drafting Russians! Whoa Nellie! What is going on????? In the last three drafts, the Oilers have chosen three players. The rest of the NHL, 29 other teams, have taken 23 players. Edmonton has drafted 11.5 percent of the Russians playing in that country since 2013. You have got to be kidding me. And you know what? It’s working! These are good prospects, as reflected by their current rank among Oilers prospects.

OILERS RUSSIANS

  • C Bogdan Yakimov. Jumped back to the KHL in mid-season, played the rest of the year in Bakersfield. Ran in place during his second AHL season, had some injury issues and looked slower to my eye in this year’s TC. A healthy training camp in 2016 could be vital to his getting a second contract.
  • R Anton Slepyshev. One of the early stars of Todd McLellan’s training camp, he has the size and speed McLellan likes in his complementary forwards. He made it into 11 NHL games, meaning Slepyshev is the first Oilers pick (‘drafted out of Russia’ division) to play more than 10 NHL games since Anatoli Semenov in 1989.
  • D Ziyat Paigin. Drafted at age 20 (he is just four months younger than Yakimov), Paigin emerged this season as a legit NHL prospect. It looks like he is destined to play another season in the KHL, and after that we may see him. A very encouraging draft pick.

THE TOP RUSSIANS FOR 2016

 

  1. C German Rubtsov, Team Russia (MHL). Fine two-way forward.
  2. R Yegor Korshkov, Yaroslavl (KHL). Brilliant WJs, big and skilled winger.
  3. L Artur Kayumov, Team Russia (MHL). Fast, skilled, great shot. One dimensional.
  4. LD Yegor Rykov, St. Petersburg (MHL). Two-way D, good passer, intelligent. Can skate.
  5. L Roman Krikunenko, Yaroslav (MHL). Scored 32 points in 35 games.
  6. C Mikhail Maltsev, Team Russia (MHL). Impressive size (6.03, 198) and skill.
  7. G Mikhail Berdin, Team Russia (MHL). A strong (.929) season, highly regarded.
  8. C Igor Svyrev, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Skill center, spiked in the second half.
  9. L Evgeny Mityakin, Yekaterinburg (MHL). A 1997, scored well and has size.
  10. C Mikhail Meshcheryakov, Team Russia (MHL). Range of skills, spiked offensively.
  11. G Vladislav Sukhachyov, Team Russia (MHL). The numbers (.930) shine.
  12. C Andrei Svetlakov, CSKA (KHL). Skilled, gritty forward. Might be a good target.
  13. RD Nikita Makeyev, Team Russia (MHL). Small skill defender, might be worth a pick.
  14. L Oleg Susonov, Yaroslav (MHL-B). He is 6.08, 243. Lordy.

 

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20 Responses to "THE OILERS AND RUSSIA (2016 EDITION)"

  1. cc says:

    One guy that’s caught my eye is Vasili Glotov (F) – He’s an overager but was born in Sept, 4th, 97. He’s on the small size 5’11 skinny though. But looks to have high end offensive skill-set. Could be worth a late round pick.

  2. RexLibris says:

    (Insert token Tkachev mention here)

  3. AsiaOil says:

    Prefer Russians as later round picks because they typically have skill – unlike the late round left-overs from North American leagues. But it’s a tough road to develop and keep them in russophobic societies like Canada and the USA. Those guys eventually go home or stay home for a reason. So there is also more going on than just KHL. We are at war with EastAsia if you haven’t noticed (low-level, hybrid, media, proxy, economic) and you can’t have the enemy scoring PR wins in any arena – literally or figuratively 🙂

  4. kdunbar says:

    Would like to see a couple of Russians with the later picks.

  5. square_wheels says:

    AsiaOil,

    How does this explain the Stamkos-less Bolts who are icing 4 Russian regulars ? I think the perfect environment for Russians is a few other Russians. Nail’s experience would only deter a handful of players, many would much rather live in NA than Putin’s Paradise.

  6. Ryan says:

    “RD Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. The gap between Faulk and (say) Barrie is not large in my mind. He cooled off as the season wore on but he would be a nice option.”

    In my very limited viewings of Faulk, he sure has that Rockstar look of a number 1 d… meaning if you put Doughty on the back of his jersey, you wouldn’t blink.

    Barrie’s a nice offensive dman, but not in the same league imo.

    Carolina was the forth lowest scoring team in the league last season.

  7. MrEd says:

    I really appreciated the considerate coverage of the McMurray situation today LT. It was almost uplifting to know how truly interconnected and dependant we are on one another. In need, in deed.

  8. Wonder Llama says:

    AsiaOil,

    No, we are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

  9. PunjabiOil says:

    Disagree that we live in a Russophobic society. It has nothing to do with that.

    Nail Yakupov is one of the most popular players on the Oilers despite the on-ice performance not being parallel to said popularity.

    The talented Russians (Tarasenko, Kucherov, Datsyuk, Mironov, Markov, Ovechkin, Malkin, Animisov, etc.) – you never hear the stories of struggles, lack of locker room acceptance,lack of tolerance, etc.

    The bad apples? All sorts of scare tactics at the first sign of adversity – be it demanding trades or threatening to go back to the KHL:

    There are countless examples of Russians specifically who have done so. Radulov, Zherdev, Filitov, Mikhnov, Yakimov, Taratukhin are just some on the top of my head. Our own Nail Yakpov, 3 weeks into his second NHL season, was already requesting a trade through his agent due to a healthy scratch. How many other country prospects do we have this sort of flight risk?

    Putting it all together, there is some inherent risk in drafting a Russian, particularly those coming out from the other side of the Atlantic. This can lead to market opportunities to exploit in the later rounds. Of course many of these Russians are drafted in later rounds or not at all due to the higher inherent risks involved – so one can argue the market is valuing them fairly.

    If you’re Columbus (Radulov) or Nashville (Zherdev) or even Edmonton (Yakupov, Mikhnov, Yakimov) who have been burned by said prospects, do you not think twice or at least acknowledge there is increased level of risk in using a high draft pick on a Russian prospect?

  10. Lowetide says:

    MrEd:
    I really appreciated the considerate coverage of the McMurray situation today LT. It was almost uplifting to know how truly interconnected and dependant we are on one another. In need, in deed.

    I appreciate that, it was a difficult morning because it was emotional.

  11. stephen sheps says:

    MrEd:
    I really appreciated the considerate coverage of the McMurray situation today LT. It was almost uplifting to know how truly interconnected and dependant we are on one another. In need, in deed.

    Lowetide: I appreciate that, it was a difficult morning because it was emotional.

    I’m reposting this from the other thread because it’s the only thing I can really do to try and help, beyond the small donation I made to the red cross. Well actually it’s an EJ article promoting the benefit show I posted on the last thread… but you get the point.

    If any of you who actually live in Edmonton have a chance, please go to this show and help my friends help their hometown.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/music/edmonton-musicians-rally-to-raise-money-for-fort-mcmurray-fire-victims

    (thanks LT for allowing me to spam this event. I won’t do it again. this is one of the few spaces I have that connects me to home, something I need to be able to do in times like this while living so far away)

  12. Rocknrolla says:

    Justin Schultz 3rd in overtime so far….

  13. Acumen says:

    Just got caught up on the last few threads. Two thoughts

    1) SwedishPoster is an absolute gem. Those were great write-ups.

    2) I am very intrigued by Filip Berglund. Would be overjoyed with him in the second.

    As for this post, agree with the take that Russians are a good bet with later round flyers. Primarily forwards who play a high skill game and have caught individual scouts eyes. Earlier on, I just trust the expanded exposure with local leagues/programs to make the right call. Not much to recommend our bird dogs in the nether regions in the last… What? Decade? It’s Marincin and mud, right?

  14. AsiaOil says:

    If you wish to understand Russians, then the first thing to throw out of your mind is that they are just like other Europeans. They are not. Russia had a choice in it’s midieval stages of development when it was being threatened by both European kingdoms like Poland,Lithuania and Sweden and the Mongol hordes. They could not defeat both and made the choice to submit to the Ghengis Khan who invaded Russia in 1223. The mongols didn’t mess with local culture or religion for the most part and Russian cities became tribute-paying principalities of the Golden Horde. This Asian influence that emerged as a result of the mongol rule between 13th to 15th is strong, but subtle, and is a defining aspect of the Russian national character along with the connection of Russian culture to Byzantium (not Rome). Christians have been trying to invade and convert Orthodox Russia for about 500 year – but the stubborn Russian bastards just won’t submit. So to understand our friend Nail and other Russians – you must comprehend this broad historical context – and several other peculiarities of the Russian national character. The following material on how Russians take and deal with offense is from Dmitry Orlov whose writing is particularly useful in this area.

    Western nations have emerged in an environment of limited resources and relentless population pressure, and this has to a large degree determined the way in which they respond when they are offended. For quite a long time, while centralized authority was weak, conflicts were settled through bloody conflict, and even a minor affront could cause former friends to become instant adversaries and draw their swords. This is because it was an environment in which standing your ground was key to survival. In contrast, Russia emerged as a nation in an environment of almost infinite, although mostly quite diffuse, resources. It also drew from the bounty of the trade route that led from the Vikings to the Greeks, which was so active that Arab geographers believed that there was a salt-water strait linking the Black Sea with the Baltic, whereas the route consisted of rivers with a considerable amount of portage. In this environment, it was important to avoid conflict, and people who would draw their swords at a single misspoken word were unlikely to do well in it.

    Thus, a very different conflict resolution strategy has emerged, which survives to this day. If you insult, aggrieve or otherwise harm a Russian, you are unlikely to get a fight (unless it happens to be a demonstrative beating held in a public setting, or a calculated settling of scores through violence). Instead, more likely than not, the Russian will simply tell you to go to hell, and then refuse to have anything further to do with you. If physical proximity makes this difficult, the Russian will consider relocating, moving in any direction that happens to be away from you. So common is this speech act in practice that it has been abbreviated to a monosyllabic utterance: “Пшёл!” (“Pshol!”) and can be referred to simply as “послать” (literally, “to send”). In an environment where there is an almost infinite amount of free land to settle, such a strategy makes perfect sense. Russians live like settled people, but when they have to move, they move like nomads, whose main method of conflict resolution is voluntary relocation.

    This response to grievance as something permanent is a major facet of the Russian culture, and westerners who do not understand it are unlikely to achieve an outcome they would like, or even understand. To a westerner, an insult can be resolved by saying something like “I am sorry!” To a Russian that’s pretty much just noise, especially if it is being emitted by somebody who has already been told to go to hell. A verbal apology that is not backed up by something tangible is one of these rules of politeness, which to the Russians are something of a luxury. Until a couple of decades ago, the standard Russian apology was “извиняюсь” (“izviniáius’”), which can be translated literally as “I excuse myself.” Russia is now a much more polite country, but the basic cultural pattern remains in place.

    Although purely verbal apologies are worthless, restitution is not. Setting things right may involve parting with a prized possession, or making a significant new pledge, or announcing an important change of direction. The point is, these all involve taking pivotal actions, not just words, because beyond a certain point words can only make the situation worse, taking it from the “Go to hell” stage to the even less copacetic “Let me show you the way” stage.

    My apologies for being long-winded – but it seemed an appropriate place to shine small sliver of light on the nature of Mother Russia’s citizens that certain naive posters are totally oblivious about.

  15. GCW_69 says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Disagree that we live in a Russophobic society.It has nothing to do with that.

    Nail Yakupov is one of the most popular players on the Oilers despite the on-ice performance not being parallel to said popularity.

    The talented Russians (Tarasenko, Kucherov, Datsyuk, Mironov, Markov, Ovechkin, Malkin, Animisov, etc.) – you never hear the stories of struggles, lack of locker room acceptance,lack of tolerance, etc.

    The bad apples?All sorts of scare tactics at the first sign of adversity – be it demanding trades or threatening to go back to the KHL:

    There are countless examples of Russians specifically who have done so.Radulov, Zherdev, Filitov, Mikhnov, Yakimov, Taratukhin are just some on the top of my head.Our own Nail Yakpov, 3 weeks into his second NHL season, was already requesting a trade through his agent due to a healthy scratch.How many other country prospects do we have this sort of flight risk?

    Putting it all together, there is some inherent risk in drafting a Russian, particularly those coming out from the other side of the Atlantic.This can lead to market opportunities to exploit in the later rounds.Of course many of these Russians are drafted in later rounds or not at all due to the higher inherent risks involved – so one can argue the market is valuing them fairly.

    If you’re Columbus (Radulov) or Nashville (Zherdev) or even Edmonton (Yakupov, Mikhnov, Yakimov) who have been burned by said prospects, do you not think twice or at least acknowledge there is increased level of risk in using a high draft pick on a Russian prospect?

    Not sure how you can argue this. In general, Russian players that can step directly into the NHL don’t seem to represent a materially bigger fight risk, but with Radulov, Zherdev, Filatov, and Kovakchuk bolting for home for various reasons, to say the risk is non existent or represents bias seems to ignore history. Still, it would appear the majority of elite Russian players represent a good bet and a risk adjusted ranking system should not impact them too much.

    Where I would like to see stats is for those players that need AHL time. What percentage of Russian players bolt early? What percentage of other Europeans bolt early (Rajala) vs North American born players bolting for European leagues or the KHL? I suspect since the AHL isn’t all that glamorous, nor does it pay that well, you would see a difference between players from different regions. How long would you stay in a foreign country for less money and lower working conditions than you would have back home? Set something like age 25 as the cut off and determine calculate percentages.

    If you knew that, you could develop a risk adjusted ranking model.

    Maybe the new guy in Arizona will create one…

  16. Магия 10 says:

    GCW_69: Maybe the new guy in Arizona will create one…

    for Arizona’s use only.

    Mentioned in a previous thread that when the trader Henry could not hire Beane away he made baby Theo his GM. Theo was shocked that Beane shared so much analytic info with the Moneyball author. NHL teams would agree with Theo.

  17. Shredder says:

    So…I guess we’re completely ignoring Yakupov? We still drafted the guy – there should be a 1 under 2012 for drafted Russians…instead of 0. Can’t believe we’ve already forgot about him!

  18. rickithebear says:

    when reviewing the top scoring draft year forwards in the Q since 05-06 one little russiin has made an impression this year.

    Abramov 5’9″ 170lb age NHLE ratio .661
    Age NHLE 33G 80P
    Even Age NHLE 21 EG 52 EP

  19. oilfan9911 says:

    Shredder:
    So…I guess we’re completely ignoring Yakupov? We still drafted the guy – there should be a 1 under 2012 for drafted Russians…instead of 0. Can’t believe we’ve already forgot about him!

    Nail was drafted out of the OHL and thus doesn’t apply for the purposes of LTs study.

  20. maxwell_mischief says:

    I think all this voluntary-relocating cultural thing is a load of bologna.
    im sure there is lots of source reading that went into this cultural study
    but this seems like some kind of excuse, some way of claiming ignorance for our current racism with broad strokes of undergraduate anthropology
    just seems wild to me
    the talented ones are good aliens who stay quiet? and the rest are “bad apples”?
    i feel like i am missing something in the tone … maybe?
    so as to say that, let’s say Nail Yakupov – who’s numbers with skill center are pretty solid,
    who had Junior numbers not dissimular to other Elite players in the game, who had built up enough of an acumen to be selected 1st overall – is not a “talent” he is a “bad apple” for asking to put in a situation where he feels like he can still have an impact career?
    i dno
    but it just seems a prescriptive load of bull.
    my guess is it has more to do with the fact that one who considers returning to Russia could live at home, make more money, play more significant minutes, not have learn a whole new language for the sake of media, and not be scrutinized for playing too “russian”.
    And who are any of us to assume North America is some kind of “dream land” that is soooo much better than the idea we have of russia?
    We got our shii, man.
    From our end, looks like these crazy Russians are leaving “the best opportunity of their lives” but for them it is probably often a wise choice.

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