FINGERPRINT FILE

Every year I follow the familiar path to the draft—Ivan Hlinka, long pause, NHL season opens, 10 days to 40 days, Oilers fall out of the playoff race, WJs and I promise not to write about the draft, denial, rage, sadness, and finally draft talk.

The math is what I like. Math makes the draft look fun, just as it does with baseball. I know lots of people who examine the draft—many who know me and vice versa—and every year I hope my team (your Edmonton Oilers) runs a math draft. You may ask, what would it look like? Well, how about this?

  • No. 4 overall—C Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
  • No. 32 overall—R Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters (OHL)
  • No. 62 overall—LD Lucas Johansen, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
  • No. 85 overall (Florida pick)—RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (SEL)
  • No. 87 overall (Pittsburgh pick)—C Kasper Bjorkqvist, Blues U20 (Jr. SML)
  • No. 122 overall—C Brett McKenzie, North Bay (OHL)
  • No. 148 overall (St. Louis pick)—R Steve Harland, North Bay Battalion (OHL)
  • No. 152 overall—C Andrei Svetlakov, CSKA (KHL)
  • No. 182 overall—C Dante Hannoun, Victoria Royals (WHL)

With few exceptions, I think the Oilers should draft out of the OHL, look for skill at D, C and W. Will they? History suggests the answer is no.

OILERS TRENDS

  • First round selections have been terrific since 2010. Very little evidence the Oilers have been poor in this area, of course it helps to be drafting No. 1 overall. Some believe Nail was the wrong pick, that has never been the view of this blog (the handling afterward was a giant bus over an embankment, however). You could argue Nurse as unwise, but he was in the range and we still have miles to go. Klefbom was a dandy pick at No. 19 in 2011.
  • Second round selections have been focused on filling specific needs. The Oilers draft for need in round two, or trade directly for immediate needs. Trading for help now is not a bad thing—I would trade second-round picks all day for NHL players—but it is blatantly obvious the Oilers use the second round for filling holes over taking BPA. Martin Marincin and David Musil were addressing defense (at the time, Alex Plante and others were not stepping in to expected roles), Mitch Moroz was the big, physical winger they always think they need. Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Marco Roy were two-way forwards who didn’t bring much offense with them to pro. That’s not as big a deal as you might think—every team has second-round picks who don’t end up being useful NHL players—but one of them has to cash or the scouting/development is going to be called into question. Pitlick, Hamilton and Roy lost their job to Iiro Pakarinen, procured by the Euro pro group (themselves unlikely to get a free ticket to the scouting Hall of Fame).
  • Third-round picks are a far more interesting area for the Oilers. It seems the GMs lose interest and allow the hockey people to take over. Jujhar Khaira looks to have about as much offense as Tyler Pitlick, but is also a bull center who may end up filling a role for several years. Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev may not make it as NHL players, but these players at least have a chance to fill a role that could make a difference.
  • Fourth-round picks seem to be Edmonton’s sweet spot. Seriously. Since 2011, the Oilers have procured Dillon Simpson, Tobias Rieder, Erik Gustafsson, Kyle Platzer, William Lagesson, Caleb Jones. I bet you that group plays more NHL games in the next decade than all of the second-round picks. Why is that? My guess is that the expensive suits are playing Mahjong back at the hotel by now.
  • Fifth-round picks include Joey Laleggia and Ethan Bear. It would be so Oilers to get Ethan Bear at this point in the draft and not sign him, and we haven’t heard a thing in that area. Probably nothing, wonder if his agent is the same one employed by Rieder. I suspect the Oilers have a rep for being cheap with their depth picks.
  • Sixth-round pick Brandon Davidson is a shining light for Edmonton scouts. As much as I like Ethan Bear’s future, Davidson is here and is a very useful actual NHL player. Gold. Absolute gold. John Marino is also from this round.
  • Seventh-round picks Greg Chase and Ziyat Paigin have shown promise, but miles to go. The Russian appears to good too be true, let’s hope he can build on a sensational 2015-16 season.

No idea if the Oilers allow math into the room, and in no way am I suggesting scouts should be excluded—they found Brandon Davidson and Tobias Rieder. I will tell you this, though: Kasper Bjorkqvist is a splendid hockey prospect. I know it. I know it.

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38 Responses to "FINGERPRINT FILE"

  1. RexLibris says:

    If your list is the actual Oilers’ draft board when the final pick is called, I will be over the moon.

    Getting Raddysh, Berglund and Bjorkvist, just to name three, on top of Dubois, would be a very good day’s work.

  2. Centre of attention says:

    I swear if they ‘pull a Rieder’ with Bear’s contract I’m going to lose it.

    I don’t give a damn if he wants second round money, PAY THE KID.

  3. Westchester Oil says:

    Hey, don’t knock mahjong.

  4. dustrock says:

    Your last couple of mocks have been quite different but I loved them both.

    Agreed with Rexlibros.

    Last mock you had Dineen and Kyrou which was pretty sweet as well. Kyrou is one of those guys who will figure it out and I think honestly get a few Calder votes.

  5. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    Your last couple of mocks have been quite different but I loved them both.

    Agreed with Rexlibros.

    Last mock you had Dineen and Kyrou which was pretty sweet as well.Kyrou is one of those guys who will figure it out and I think honestly get a few Calder votes.

    I seriously love the OHL this year. If Green takes five guys from the OHL this draft I will be thrilled.

  6. Water Fire says:

    After time spent learning about the draft, mainly here, I think now that outside of the top 3-5 depending on the year that it’s best to pick for need.

    You can’t project the difference between the top 5 this year really. Certainly the top 3 have separated, but that is not the same as a guarantee.

    In everyone’s work here posting about previous trades down and up at the draft it seems the team moving up almost always wins and teams moving down aren’t so successful. This makes me think trading the pick for a player is a better idea than trading down.

  7. theDjdj says:

    The solution is simple. We trade in our second and third round picks for more 4th round picks.

    I joke but it does make me wonder whether the math supports having a larger series of picks in the later rounds over just two in the early rounds. Diversification is key in other investment worlds, or so I’m told.

    Moot point as most teams only ever have one pick to trade each round. Interesting though. Would it be a better strategy to trade the second and the third each year for a lower pick and a prospect?

    I feel like the draft is an example of heuristics clashing with statistics and logic. We’re basically crystal balling here. It’s like walking into a class of kids and saying “this kid here is an A+ student. Definitely going to be a CEO. No way any one here will work out better”.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Water Fire:
    After time spent learning about the draft, mainly here, I think now that outside of the top 3-5 depending on the year that it’s best to pick for need.

    You can’t project the difference between the top 5 this year really. Certainly the top 3 have separated, but that is not the same as a guarantee.

    In everyone’s work here posting about previous trades down and up at the draft it seems the team moving up almost always wins and teams moving down aren’t so successful.This makes me think trading the pick for a player is a better idea than trading down.

    I think they should just pick skill, players who score points. Even Hannoun, who is 5.05, I would take him over a LW with 7 goals and 10 assists even if he was 6.10.

  9. Westchester Oil says:

    Lowetide: I think they should just pick skill, players who score points. Even Hannoun, who is 5.05, I would take him over a LW with 7 goals and 10 assists even if he was 6.10.

    I agree. That’s the Detroit model. Draft players who have a shot at being a top 6 forward or a top 4 dman. The rest you can get relatively cheaply by trade/waiver/free agency.

  10. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I think they should just pick skill, players who score points. Even Hannoun, who is 5.05, I would take him over a LW with 7 goals and 10 assists even if he was 6.10.

    I would love for a guy like Laberge to slip to the early second round. As enticing as grabbing a D with that early second would be, there are plenty of very interesting forwards in that range. He’s in the range for sure.

    He’s a righty center, 6 foot 1”’ and some nice progression year over year. He lead his team in scoring with 23 goals / 68 pts in 56 games, and for what its worth he had 182 shots over that time. That is almost 3 per game, not a bad clip for a center.

    I know its kind of drafting for need but I like the player.

    *Edit* I have heard consistency is an issue, but he has broken his hand two separate times in recent seasons, and that may be a factor. I hope he slides to #32. ISS has him #30

    Nice read here: http://www.thedraftanalyst.com/prospects/pascal-laberge/

  11. anjinsan says:

    Andrew Peeke in round 3.

  12. Kepler62 says:

    I also think selection based on name should have about a 10% say at the draft table… Kasper Bjorkqvist has a much better shot at an NHL career than John Marino. The name says it all.

    (I kid)

  13. Lowetide says:

    I have always felt name has import. Mike Johnson was a solid two-way player for a long time, but if he had been Lars Howitzer?

  14. jimmers2 says:

    Lowetide,

    I believe that Lars Howitzer, translated into Finnish, reads as “Risto Siltanen”.

    Or is that Mortar? I was never sure where Risto’s shot was going to go.

  15. jimmers2 says:

    Is June 1 the deadline for signing Ethan Bear?

  16. Lowetide says:

    jimmers2:
    Is June 1 the deadline for signing Ethan Bear?

    No. Well, June 1, 2017.

  17. jimmers2 says:

    Lowetide,

    Ah, some good news there. Thanks, LT.

  18. GCW_69 says:

    Centre of attention:
    I swear if they ‘pull a Rieder’ with Bear’s contract I’m going to lose it.

    I don’t give a damn if he wants second round money, PAY THE KID.

    This! Get it fucking done.

  19. dustrock says:

    Suspect we’ll see Chia Pete on the phone pretty much from TO announcing Matthews onward.

  20. stevezie says:

    Wouldn’t pure math suggest taking Tkachuk? I prefer the Frenchman, but if we’re just looking at numbers and nothing else, a goal-a-game playoffs (and as many assists) are tough to argue against.

  21. Stelio Kontos says:

    Maria Marcontuoni, Jed Soleway, or Tyler Guadet for Ethan Bear?

    Must have missed him at the 2014 draft, but Maxim Letunov is interesting. 6’2 150lbs. Over a ppg in the NCAA as a rookie though.

  22. Stelio Kontos says:

    stevezie:
    Wouldn’t pure math suggest taking Tkachuk? I prefer the Frenchman, but if we’re just looking at numbers and nothing else, a goal-a-game playoffs (and as many assists) are tough to argue against.

    The math is guesswork at that level, and people have too many biases to play nice this year.

  23. Loyal2theoil says:

    http://imgur.com/Qh3GCUc

    the best confirmation i could find for an Ethan Bear signing..

    date is may 14th

  24. Oilspill says:

    Centre of attention,

    No he can prove himself against men ( not 16 17 year olds).

  25. Mr DeBakey says:

    stevezie: Wouldn’t pure math suggest taking Tkachuk? I prefer the Frenchman, but if we’re just looking at numbers and nothing else, a goal-a-game playoffs (and as many assists) are tough to argue against.

    Ask yourself, and those around you, what would DuBois done on that line, on that team?

    Don’t draft like puke – Draft Pierre-Luc!

  26. Hockey Buddha says:

    Being right-handed, Raddysh makes more sense from a positional point-of-view, but I’d still have a very difficult time being dissuaded from Tyler Benson at 32, if he’s still on the board.

  27. Professor Q says:

    Mr DeBakey: Ask yourself, and those around you, what would DuBois done on that line, on that team?

    Don’t draft like puke – Draft Pierre-Luc!

    Perhaps we’ll never know. But we’ve been over this. Don’t discredit Dubois’ line, which is known as the second best line in the CHL.

  28. Professor Q says:

    Rondo,

    Belanger going Souray…

  29. Hockey Buddha says:

    Professor Q,

    Schultz was handled and deployed poorly in Edmonton–not his fault. Like all of our young players, he was force fed minutes for lack of better options. The fans of Edmonton eventually simply ate the kid. Chiarelli did him a favour really. Now I hope that Schultz wins the cup; it will be some justice on the season for him.

    The Oilers have a pretty large and easy target on them right now. I can’t really say that it means all that much coming from Belanger, who was supposed to bring in some veteran leadership and undelivered on all accounts. He’s right though; it’s difficult to pin this hapless mess on the players. The team has been inept for too long. It needs to return to respectability to stop this kind of thing from happening. It’s pretty simple. God speed in delivering Peter Chiarelli.

  30. GCW_69 says:

    stevezie:
    Wouldn’t pure math suggest taking Tkachuk? I prefer the Frenchman, but if we’re just looking at numbers and nothing else, a goal-a-game playoffs (and as many assists) are tough to argue against.

    Is playoff performance sustainable or just a hot run for a hot line ?

    Regular season Tkachuk was 22nd in OHL goal scoring with 30 and 2nd in assists. Math to me says we are looking at an outstanding playmaker but questionable goal scorer. Playoff run opens the possibility but probability would still seem to favour playmaker.

    Dubois was 5th in his league in scoring with 47 and I think the top draft eligible goal scorer in that league. To me math says if you want a sniper Dubois is the better bet.

    So in a close race, you take Tkachuk if you need a playmaker and Dubois if you need a goal scorer.

  31. stevezie says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    That involves scouting, no?

  32. rickithebear says:

    Hockey Buddha: Like all of our young players, he was force fed minutes for lack of better options.

    Yes sink or swim.

    Some proved they could swim !
    Some needed to go to the east were suck can look half decent with the expected 12-22% increase jn Def. performance.

    A bottom 20 Def D in the west can look like above average D in the east!

    He was addition by subtraction.
    the same problem Barrie, Faulk, …… provides to the oilers.

    As for Developing?

    1. Eberle Drafted 2008 played to draft +2 in CHL and brought in his 20 yr season.
    2. MPS Drafted 2009
    18 yr season SEL 49gm 29P; WJC 6gm 10P; WHC 9gm 9PT
    19 yr season 80 gm 34P, 12 EVg 13 EVA
    3. Lander drafted 2009
    4. Hall drafted 2010 62gm 22G 20A 42P, 31 EVP 2nd on oilers.
    5. Marincinplayed draft +2 in CHL; 1 year AHL+20 D; almost break even D in 21yr NHL.
    6. Davidson played Draft +3 CHL; ECHL/AHL @21; AHL @22; 55gm AHL +10D/ 12gm NHL @23;
    Full time NHL
    7. RNH drafted 2011 62gm 52P, 29 EVP @18; top 3 fwd. Top 40 PPG NHL
    8. Klefbom Draft +2 SEL 11gm +7 D @19; AHL 48Gm/17NHL @20; AHL 9gm +10 D/60gm NHL/WHC SWE
    9. Reider Draft +2 CHL, top 3 PK fwd OHL; Traded for Kessey (tambo)
    10. Yakupov dafted 2012; top 30 G scorer NHL @18, -68 in 144gm Eakins era; -16 in 60gm.
    11. Khaira draft +2 NCAA; CHL; AHL @20; 49gm AHL/15gm NHL @21
    12. Gustafsson draft +5 ; not signed
    13. Nurse draft +2 CHL/11gm AHL/2gm NHL; 9gm AHL/69 NHL gm
    First D brought in way to early.
    14. Slepyshev; Draft +2 KHL; 11gm NHL; 49gm AHL @21.
    14: Draisatl Draft +1 37gm NHL/ 32gm CHL Mem cup MVP; Draft +2 top #18 EVP/60 FWD NHL
    15. Mcdavid; #1 EVP/60 fwd NHL

    Top 4 Pick?????????

  33. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    I’d like to share something. I know people here have issues with some of the things I say and thats fine but I can assure you I am no troll I love the Oil as much as you do and LT you do such a grest job on this site I appreciate your hard work.

    With that being said, I know I probably don’t have any real credibility with many here but I’ll share a quick story take it with a grain of salt if you will but I assure you it’s true.

    I live in London and like Professor G and maybe a few others my old man and I went to see the Knights Memorial Cup ceremony downtown. It was a great scene all the players, coaches and some parents were there. Anyways, we ran into the Billets for Olli Juolevi. (Billets are local families that put up the players when they are away from home if anyone didnt know). They have some good stories and I mentioned how I was an Oilers fan. They told me that they expected Juolevi to go 4th overall to Edmonton. They werent joking they seemed convinced Edmonton was going to take him. I tried to politely push them for more they said the Oilers brass was at the Memorial Cup to evaluate Olli more than Tkachuk. They said they personally met scouts during OHL final who expressed their desire in Juolevi and obviously asked character questions about him. They said if Edmonton doesnt take Juolevi 4th they could trade down a couple spots possibly but he still goes there. Obviously they are going to be biased but they were extremely knowledgeable about all hockey and were clearly not trying to say too much.

    Now, all these parents get free season’s tickets and are in the same circle so the amount of truth to it is questionable. However, it got me thinking what if Chiarelli was actually at the Mem Cup to get a first hand look at Olli and Tkachuk overshadowed him? Best case scenario for Chia? I love Tkachuk and was focused so much on his performance I overlooked Juolevi a bit. Perhaps he was seeing if he was worth the 4th pick or if they could trade down would he still be there.

    Just food for thought again take it with a grain of salt but we might be debating between the wrong players here. If the Oil were focused on Juolevi even more than Tkachuk than maybe Matthew did them a favour and Chiarelli pulls the trigger to move down and still get the guy he wants in the end. Who knows. At this point I’d be happy with either just hope if we do get the Knights dman it is in a trade down thst includes a coveted top 4 RHD.

  34. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    I remember reading somewhere here awhile back about someone saying J.J. Khaira had a brother (maybe Pouzar?) who was bigger and better than J.J. and was a RHD. Anyone know if and where he will be drafted?

  35. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes:
    I remember reading somewhere here awhile back about someone saying J.J. Khaira had a brother (maybe Pouzar?) who was bigger and better than J.J. and was a RHD. Anyone know if and where he will be drafted?

    Sahvan Khaira is a 6’3, 218 lb RD who is draft eligible this year (turned 18 in Jan). His stats won’t blow you away — scored just 1 goal & 10 assists in 67 games split between Seattle & Swift Current, with an ugly -19. I saw him play with the T-Birds when they came to town (went to scout Bear, but Khaira was hard to miss). He had raw athleticism but also took a couple of comical spills for no apparent reason.

    Whether & where he’ll be taken in the draft is a better question for LT than me, though it wouldn’t surprise me if some team rolled the dice on him in the late going.

  36. Professor Q says:

    Hockey Buddha:
    Professor Q,

    Schultz was handled and deployed poorly in Edmonton–not his fault.Like all of our young players, he was force fed minutes for lack of better options.The fans of Edmonton eventually simply ate the kid.Chiarelli did him a favour really.Now I hope that Schultz wins the cup; it will be some justice on the season for him.

    The Oilers have a pretty large and easy target on them right now.I can’t really say that it means all that much coming from Belanger, who was supposed to bring in some veteran leadership and undelivered on all accounts.He’s right though; it’s difficult to pin this hapless mess on the players.The team has been inept for too long.It needs to return to respectability to stop this kind of thing from happening.It’s pretty simple.God speed in delivering Peter Chiarelli.

    What were you replying to, by the way? I don’t think I said anything about Schultz…

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