For the Edmonton Oilers, the sixth round is where luck landed in 2010 and Brandon Davidson is the prize. Make no mistake, if they knew he was going to be this player, Steve Tambellini and Stu MacGregor would have called his names several rounds previously.
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, but Davidson should get there this coming year.
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, 2008-16
- 2008: Teemu Hartikainen (Kevin Lowe) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2010: Brandon Davidson (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2010: Drew Czerwonka (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2012: John McCarron (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2013: Ben Betker (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2014: Tyler Vesel (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2015: John Marino (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
- 2016: Aapeli Rasanen (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
2015 SUMMER (NHL GAMES PLAYED)
- Brandon Davidson 63
- Teemu Hartikainen 52
Davidson has a long way to go if he is going to catch the top sixth-round pick in franchise history—Steve Smith played in 804 games—but he is a welcome asset all the same.
- Productive in Europe/AHL: Teemu Hartikainen
- “It’s Over” arrows: Drew Czerwonka, John McCarron
- Bad arrows:
- Lukewarm arrows: Ben Betker, Tyler Vesel
- Good arrows: John Marino
- Very good arrows: Brandon Davidson
- New arrows: Aapeli Rasanen
ONE BY ONE
- L Teemu Hartikainen: Hartikainen is now firmly entrenched as a solid KHL forward, having posted three good years in a row. His NHLE from last season (47 points) makes me wonder if he might get an NHL shot. He is 26 and there is size and skill.
- D Brandon Davidson: Even last year at this time, there was no certainty about an NHL career. Edmonton was graduating Darnell Nurse and had traded for Griffin Reinhart—but Davidson trumped both and all emerging blue with a fine year and won a two-year deal.
- 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: Edmonton did not sign him a year ago, McCarron catching on with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins. He ended up flourishing in the ECHL with the beautifully names Wheeling Nailers, and I would expect more AHL time this coming season.
- D Ben Betker: Giant blue spent most of his first pro season in the ECHL. Blocked by the Leftorium, he probably benefited from the year at a lower level, and we could see him take a regular shift in Bakersfield in 2015-16.
- F Tyler Vesel: Showed promise in his first NCAA season and came close to the same production in year two. A two-way forward, he is halfway through his college career and worth following—although a pro contract is far from guaranteed over the next two summers.
- D John Marino: Playmaking defender with size, good skater, nice shot. He stepped up to USHL level and maintained his offense, a nice arrow. This coming season he will be in the NCAA at Harvard, and that range of skills will receive another test.
- C Aapeli Rasanen: Surprised he fell this far, the scouting reports and the numbers suggest this is a player of interest for Oilers fans. Played in Jr. Sm-Liiga last year and will suit up for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL this season.