Fifth-round picks have a 14.9% chance of turning into NHL players (expressed as ‘playing 100 games’) and this is the real lottery area. The one fifth-round success since the turn of the century was overager Jussi Markkanen.
I’m hopeful we can have a rational conversation about the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round 2008-16. 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 FIFTH ROUND PICKS 2008-2016
- 2008: Phil Cornet (Kevin Lowe) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2009: Olivier Roy (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2010: Tyler Bunz (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2011: Martin Gernat (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2012: Joey Laleggia (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2013: Evan Campbell (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2014: Liam Coughlin (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2015: Ethan Bear (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
- 2016: Dylan Wells (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
- 2016: Graham McPhee (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
The fifth round is an abandoned drive-in for the Oilers, not much shaking since 2008. The most promising players are either recently drafted or in their entry-level deal—there are no players in this group who look like a threat to play 82 NHL games in the coming year.
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES PLAYED)
- Phil Cornet 2
- Tyler Bunz 1
- Productive in Europe/AHL: Phil Cornet
- “It’s Over” arrows: Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Martin Gernat, Liam Coughlin
- Bad arrows: Evan Campbell
- Lukewarm arrows: Joey Laleggia
- Good arrows:
- Very good arrows: Ethan Bear
- New arrows: Dylan Wells, Graham McPhee
ONE BY ONE
- L Phil Cornet: Close to 300 AHL games before he headed for Norway last fall. A productive season in the ice and snow won him a job in Finland for the coming year. Per 82 AHL games, he went 19-22-41—that is a tweener for sure, but a decent fifth-round selection.
- G Olivier Roy: He played in Slovenia and is off to Austria for the coming year. Roy peaked in the AHL, where he played 44 games.
- G Tyler Bunz: Played only eight AHL games during his entry-level deal. He made it to the NHL for one game, and did not play this past season. Had some injury issues and at least one moment that is still genuinely scary to read.
- D Martin Gernat: Played 138 games in the AHL before heading back home, he will play with Sparta Praha in the Czech league (so it isn’t home, as he is Slovak). He was a fine junior, and posted a strong AHL rookie season. I hope he finds success with the Atlantic crossing.
- D Joey Laleggia: He had a decent rookie season at the pro level, finishing No. 12 among rookie defenders (63gp, 8-19-27). That is cheating a little, he played forward for a little while. Laleggia has all kinds of hurdles—Oesterle looks like a better player across the board, the Leftorium is crushing, but all he can do is perform—and he did, as a rookie pro.
- L Evan Campbell: Enjoyed a strong season in the NCAA age 21 (34GP, 12-15-27) but did not follow it up at 22 (28gp, 5-7-12). His final college season begins this fall and he will be 24 when he hangs up the skates in the spring. A strong senior year could help his hockey career.
- C Liam Coughlin: Finally got to play college hockey, and he wasn’t bad at all. Went 35gp, 3-9-12 with Vermont and has a chance to move up the depth chart in 2016-17.
- D Ethan Bear: Enjoyed a strong offensive season in the WHL, including a terrific year on the power play. Went 69gp, 19-46-65 and then added 22 more points in 18 playoff contests. He has work to do—mobility, reading the play—but he is a good passer and has a terrific shot.
- G Dylan Wells: He had a poor year but is generally regarded in the industry as a good prospect. Cannot wait to see if he posts a .920 or an .870 SP this coming season.
- L Graham McPhee: Pronman likes him, that is a good arrow.