Peter Chiarelli is under a great deal of pressure this offseason and much of the negative is self inflicted. It’s important to acknowledge the train wreck prospect pipeline he inherited and today we’re going to have a look at one reason it got that way: The 2013 entry draft.
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- New Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira took a big step forward in 2017-18
- New Jonathan Willis: Drake Caggiula is still finding his way
- Lowetide: The Oilers and Mikko Koskinen.
- Scott Wheeler: Rasmus Dahlin: Breaking down the makings of a generational talent.
- Lowetide: Nuge finds a sweet spot in the heart of the order.
- Lowetide: Milan Lucic at a crossroads after disastrous season.
- Jonathan Willis: The problem was never Ryan Strome, it was Oilers’ expectations.
- Justin Bourne: What the other 30 GM’s can learn from Vegas Golden Knights.
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s outstanding 2017-18 season.
- Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
THE 2013 DRAFT
Craig MacTavish was the general manager in 2013, still basically a rookie. Dallas Eakins would guide the team, a young coach (hired 20 days before the draft) with lots of ideas and a great deal of determination. Stu MacGregor was the scouting director, he had been since the Jordan Eberle draft in 2008.
At the time of the draft, MacTavish appeared to be the one driving the good ship Oiler. His interview about Darnell Nurse after the draft involved a bathroom break, talk of his first-round selection “riding shotgun for the first overall picks” and what a pleasure it was to choose Nurse as his first draft pick. The Oilers looked closely at Valeri Nichushkin, but passed on the skilled Russian.
At No. 37 overall, MacT listened to his scouts (who felt there was a lot of value later on in the second and third rounds) and traded down for a massive package of picks. I’ve written about it many times, but the bottom line is that Edmonton dealt No. 37 (used to draft Valentin Zykov) for five selections (No. 83, 88, 94, 96, 118), with a pit stop to deal No. 57 (William Carrier). With Anton Slepyshev possibly heading back home, here’s how things look five years later (ranked by NHL games).
- Anton Slepyshev 102, 10-13-23
- William Carrier 78, 6-5-11
- Valentin Zykov 12, 4-4-8
- Bogdan Yakimov 1, 0-0-0
- Kyle Platzer
- Aidan Muir
- Jackson Houck
The big trade, added to second-round selection Marco Roy, must certainly have given the team the impression that a major group of forwards was heading for pro hockey in the fall of 2015. I think that’s the reason Edmonton decided to draft so unusually in 2014 (Leon Draisaitl, plus two forwards heading for college and two goalies in a 6-name draft).
In total, Edmonton would sign six picks from the 2013 draft (Nurse, Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Kyle Platzer, Ben Betker, Greg Chase), four of whom were forwards. Edmonton signed Marco Roy to an AHL deal, passed on Evan Campbell but signed his teammate Joe Gambardella, and didn’t get a lot from what looked like a promising draft at the time.
Edmonton needed more from the 2013 draft, and when they didn’t get it, the 2014 draft became more important. When the selections were poor (it was a strange list, folks) that made 2015 vitally important, bringing us to Peter Chiarelli. Here are the picks traded in 2014 and 2015.
2014 PICKS TRADED
- No. 33 (Ivan Barbashev) to the St. Louis Blues in the David Perron trade.
- No. 63 (Dominec Turgeon) to the Los Angeles Kings in the Ben Scrivens trade.
- No. 93 (Nick Magyar) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Mike Brown trade.
- No. 123 (Matthew Berkovitz) to the Anaheim Ducks in the Viktor Fasth trade.
- No. 137 (Tyler Bird) to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Nikita Nikitin trade
2015 PICKS TRADED
- No. 16 (Mathew Barzal) to the NY Islanders in the Griffin Reinhart trade.
- No. 33 (Mitchell Stephens) to the NY Islanders in the Griffin Reinhart trade.
- No. 57 (Jonas Siegenthaler) to the NY Rangers in the Cam Talbot trade.
- No. 64 (Dennis Yan) to the Anaheim Ducks in the Viktor Fasth trade.
- No. 79 (Sergey Zborovskiy) to the NY Rangers in the Cam Talbot trade.
- No. 86 (Mike Robinson) to the San Jose Sharks as compensation for Todd McLellan.
- No. 94 (Adam Musil) to the St. Louis Blues in the Magnus Paajarvi trade.
- No. 107 (Christian Wolanin) traded to the Ottawa Senators in the Eric Gryba trade.
- No. 184 (Adam Huska) to the NY Rangers in the Cam Talbot trade.
The only time the Oilers spent a lot of picks on forwards in the last five drafts was 2013, and it was not successful. Failure to launch. We are here. This can’t stand. Man.
He was a reasonable bet. Marco Roy was a good hockey player (he had a strong ECHL season in 2017-18) and the numbers suggested the QMJHL center was good value late in the second round. Here’s how he ranked in points-per-game compared to several forwards from the era in their draft years.
- Nicolas Petan 2013 (WHL) 71, 46-74-120 (1.69)
- Shane Prince 2011 (OHL) 59, 25-63-88 (1.49)
- William Carrier 2013 (QMJHL) 34, 16-26-42 (1.24)
- Tyler Toffoli 2010 (OHL) 65, 37-42-79 (1.22)
- Ty Rattie 2011 (WHL) 67, 28-51-79 (1.18)
- Ryan Spooner 2010 (OHL) 47, 19-35-54 (1.15)
- Alexander Khoklachev 2011 (OHL) 67, 34-42-76 (1.13)
- Valentin Zykov 2012 (QMJHL) 67, 40-35-75 (1.12)
- Adam Erne 2013 (QMJHL) 68, 28-44-72 (1.06)
- Boone Jenner 2011 (OHL) 63, 25-41-66 (1.05)
- Marc Olivier Roy 2013 (QMJHL) 65, 29-38-67 (1.03)
- Christian Thomas 2010 (OHL) 64, 41-25-66 (1.03)
- Petr Straka 2010 (QMJHL) 62, 28-36-64 (1.03)
- Devante Smith-Pelly 2010 (OHL) 60, 29-33-62 (1.03)
- Nick Sorensen 2013 (QMJHL) 46, 20-27-47 (1.02)
Not everyone developed but a lot of these young men have enjoyed NHL careers. Roy was a late birthday (November 1994) and that may have been a contributing factor. I have followed his career, he is helping the Fort Wayne Komets in the playoffs (although he may be injured).
Sail on, Kalevan Pallo
Well dammit. Iiro Pakarinen was an inexpensive extra winger and a damn good penalty killer for the Edmonton Oilers. He was No. 2 among forwards in SA/60 (50 or more minutes) this past season via Natural Stat Trick and was also inexpensive. Pakarinen was easily the best of the ‘loose cannon’ free agents in recent years (Petrell, Belov) and he did a damned good job in a support role.
Is this finally the year when #Kärpät goalie Veini Vehviläinen gets drafted?
— FinnProspects (@FinnProspects) April 23, 2018
I have always liked him. I had Veini Vehvilainen No. 37 on my 2016 draft list, and had him No. 149 as late as May 2017. He has been a consistently good goaltender and would seem to be a reasonable late-round option for any NHL team.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. We’ll chat about Drake Caggiula and his ideal role next season, plus this new Finnish goalie.
- Nick Dika, The Arkells and Baseball Prospectus Toronto. He is on tour in the UK with the band but will make time to chat!
- Scott Cullen, TSN. The Leafs forced Game 7, and the Capitals won a series. Wild times!
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!