Problems

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.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great playoff special! Try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here.

  • 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 2018Oilers 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).

  1. Anton Slepyshev 102, 10-13-23
  2. William Carrier 78, 6-5-11
  3. Valentin Zykov 12, 4-4-8
  4. Bogdan Yakimov 1, 0-0-0
  5. Kyle Platzer
  6. Aidan Muir
  7. 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.

MARCO ROY

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.

  1. Nicolas Petan 2013 (WHL) 71, 46-74-120 (1.69)
  2. Shane Prince 2011 (OHL) 59, 25-63-88 (1.49)
  3. William Carrier 2013 (QMJHL) 34, 16-26-42 (1.24)
  4. Tyler Toffoli 2010 (OHL) 65, 37-42-79 (1.22)
  5. Ty Rattie 2011 (WHL) 67, 28-51-79 (1.18)
  6. Ryan Spooner 2010 (OHL) 47, 19-35-54 (1.15)
  7. Alexander Khoklachev 2011 (OHL) 67, 34-42-76 (1.13)
  8. Valentin Zykov 2012 (QMJHL) 67, 40-35-75 (1.12)
  9. Adam Erne 2013 (QMJHL) 68, 28-44-72 (1.06)
  10. Boone Jenner 2011 (OHL) 63, 25-41-66 (1.05)
  11. Marc Olivier Roy 2013 (QMJHL) 65, 29-38-67 (1.03)
  12. Christian Thomas 2010 (OHL) 64, 41-25-66 (1.03)
  13. Petr Straka 2010 (QMJHL) 62, 28-36-64 (1.03)
  14. Devante Smith-Pelly 2010 (OHL) 60, 29-33-62 (1.03)
  15. 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.

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!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

142 Responses to "Problems"

  1. godot10 says:

    I’ve got 99 problems, and the coach is one.

  2. godot10 says:

    //We’ll chat about Drake Caggiula and his ideal role next season.//

    Top six winger in Bakersfield.

  3. VOR says:

    LT,

    I want to thank you for all the work you do policing this blog. I wish we lived in a world where it wasn’t necessary. But you know what they say, “if wishes were donuts we’d all have cardiovascular disease.” I am sure I am not alone in finding this a safe haven and one where I find great ideas and fascinating minds. Your hard work makes that possible. It is appreciated.

  4. Pink Socks says:

    Thanks LT, great as always. I would even include the 2012 draft as another reason for the bare prospect cupboards, though Khaira seems to have a future, they rest of the picks were duds. Of course we would have all lost our minds had Filip Forsberg been the #1 pick over Yak, and the draft as a whole was lacking in top end talent, but those final Stu years are a tough pill looking back 3 years later.

    While the choices are few, this is definitely one thing to give PC a round of applause. The scouting staff and drafting under PC has been significantly better.

  5. stevebergeron97 says:

    Adam Boqvist 😍

  6. Glass says:

    My apologies for how I conducted myself yesterday. Total troll, out to rustle some feathers. Won’t do it again.

  7. Richard S.S. says:

    Peter Chiarelli had expectations about the Players on last year’s Team – that’s is absolutely normal. Everyone, every single Player failed expectations, some more than others – every single Player. Sick, injured, underachieved – one, two or three applied to everyone.

    In the 58-ish games Connor McDavid scored, he averaged basically 2.0 points per games, winning 33 games. In the 24-ish games he did not score, the Oilers won three. He was sicker than anyone should be for longer than anyone should be. He basically played with either tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum or both all season long. If 100% healthy, with competent wingers, Connor McDavid will get the Oilers to the Postseason despite the rest of the Team.

    Last year was the Players, no one really knew what they had, and they failed to even be average. It’s easier to rag on the G.M. and/or Coach, than the Players – just wrong.

  8. McSorley33 says:

    Great review of the Oilers drafting LT – but I find it depressing.

    David Staples with a great article on Tyler Benson (.93 points/game)

    Alex DeBrincast points/game 1.68

    My edit from Staples info yesterday:

    DeBrincat was the only player on this list with a points per game average typical of a forward taken near the top end of the draft. Taylor Hall had 1.86, Leon Draisaitl, 1.59, Nail Yakupov, 1.54, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 1.50 and Ryan Strome, 1.49.

    If you can pass on a kid putting up numbers like DeBrincat – in the 2ND ROUND! – what hope does
    it give you for PC in the future?

    This organization has earned its place at the bottom of the standings again.

    Keep PC and Tmac….of course.

    Because Oilers.

  9. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Here’s an “internal” solution (won’t happen): but really has not more “maybes” than any team IMO

    RNH-CMD-Rattie
    XXX-Drai-Pool
    Lucic-Strome-Kailer
    Caggs-Kharia-Aberg

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Sek-Russell

    – A LW that can score 15-20 on a short term is not hard to find. Rattie = Maroon v. 2.0. Crosby figures it out with non-stud division wingers that he makes awesome chem with (see Maroon)

    – This roster, everyone is slotted properly if healthy (Sek-Russel of course the biggest ?). The 2nd and 3rd pairings D can shuffle around, and Bear they might be tempted as a PP and 3rd pair D

    – pool has to be ready for top-6 next year, Kailer on a soft skill line should work IMO

    – I mean this isn’t the roster next year, but really is this one not a fair representation of where we are, and if we get a better roster, you need to find players better for each of the slots

    – Unless Kailer/Pool/Benson etc emerge as top-9 wingers we aren’t going to win anything anyways. And unless a Bear/Jones etc emerges on D, we are pooched

  10. jeff173 says:

    Richard S.S.,

    If it is the players fault then who scouted/drafted/signed those players?

  11. Moose says:

    Richard S.S.,

    Crazy stat on McDavid there. Thanks for that.

  12. Munny says:

    *Puts down donut and eyes it suspiciously*

  13. wchay says:

    VOR,

    Amen. Always have appreciated the way Lowetide maintains a firm commitment to reasonable discourse. Shouldn’t have to, but glad he does.

  14. Andy Dufresne says:

    The dearth of drafting and numerous misteps by management in the Lowe/Tambellini era put this team/organization in a deep deep hole.

    I can remember posting at the time that we were going to have to pay a severe price ( I call it a premium) for these mis-steps. The cost is not just cumulative, but somewhat exponential.

    Just one small example. Each year that the Austins found themselves outside the playoffs was one more year of opportunity cost in terms of their development. The organization had built a culture of losing and that culture fed apon itself.

    Anyway, the severity of the opportunity cost of that state of affairs was evident to some/many people. Some people I think understood the extent of the damage and the COST that would have to be incurred to reverse said damage. (wether right or wrong) I think those people tend to have a more tolerant view of Peter Chiarelli.

    The premium has been paid. Taylor Hall, Numerous Draft Picks, A Good Coach or Two. All the price that WE (all Oilers fans) paid for the mistakes of the past.

    Noone and no organization EVER fully recovers from these types of (self inflicted?) damage. We are experiencing and will continue to experience the residual effects (they typically go beyond one generation). Best case scenario, it just means we have to wait a little longer than we would have had to otherwise wait to achieve a 6th Stanley.

    Worst case scenario, well lets just say the NYR went 54 years between cups. The Toronto Maple Leafs 51 years and counting

    On the bright side, neither the Leafs of the Rangers had a Conner McDavid…….but there are no garauntees when it comes to Stanley.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Glass:
    My apologies for how I conducted myself yesterday. Total troll, out to rustle some feathers. Won’t do it again.

    I so appreciate you posting this, but my item above was not directed at you. Keep the great posts coming.

  16. McSorley33 says:

    After watching the incredible pace of playoff hockey – I really doubt Ryan Strome and Milan Lucic
    can be a pair together.

    This league is nuts with speed. And Ryan and Milan are *never* going to be able to get in on the fore check of elite teams.

    But, we don’t really have a lot of options so it will probably be Strome and Looch on the 3rd line.

  17. Cassandra says:

    The Oilers have gotten almost nothing past the first round in forever. Of that, there is little doubt.

    However, the 2013 and 2014 drafts were not terrible drafts. In both cases the general manager + head scout had a top 10 pick and had difficult choices to make. And in both cases they made the right choice.

    If you think the team is mediocre now, imagine if they had taken Bennett and Nischuskin?

    Balance those first rounds against the catastrophe that was Chiarelli’s first draft, and remember that Reinhart had already been passed in the Islander organization. His value should have been equal to Marincin, who as it turned out was a much better player.

  18. dustrock says:

    What a goal by Boqvist. Really want him at #9, there’s just no way he’ll be there.

    If wishes were trees, trees would be falling. Listen to reason, season is calling.

  19. Andy Dufresne says:

    McSorley33:
    Great review of the Oilers drafting LT – but I find it depressing.

    David Staples with a great article on Tyler Benson (.93 points/game)

    Alex DeBrincast points/game 1.68

    My edit from Staples info yesterday:

    DeBrincat was the only player on this list with a points per game average typical of a forward taken near the top end of the draft.Taylor Hall had 1.86, Leon Draisaitl, 1.59, Nail Yakupov, 1.54, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 1.50 and Ryan Strome, 1.49.

    If you can pass on a kid putting up numbers like DeBrincat – in the 2ND ROUND! – what hope does
    it give you for PC in the future?

    This organization has earned its place at the bottom of the standings again.

    Keep PC and Tmac….of course.

    Because Oilers.

    I hear you about DeBrincat. And I get your point.

    And its a small thing that doesnt really detract from your point…..but 31 General Managers passed on DeBrincat that day.

    But more realistically approx 20 GMs passed on Debrincat from picks 20 though 38

    1 20 Detroit Dennis Cholowski D
    1 21 Carolina Julien Gauthier R
    1 22 Philadelphia German Rubtsov C
    1 23 Florida Henrik Borgstrom C
    1 24 Anaheim Max Jones L
    1 25 Dallas Riley Tufte L
    1 26 St. Louis Tage Thompson C
    1 27 Tampa Bay Brett Howden C
    1 28 Washington Lucas Johansen D
    1 29 Boston Trent Frederic C
    1 30 Anaheim Sam Steel C
    2 31 Toronto Yegor Korshkov R
    2 32 Edmonton Tyler Benson L
    2 33 Buffalo Rasmus Asplund C
    2 34 Columbus Andrew Peeke D
    2 35 St. Louis Jordan Kyrou C
    2 36 Philadelphia Pascal Laberge C
    2 37 Tampa Bay Libor Hajek
    2 38 Florida Adam Mascheri
    2 39 Chicago Alex DeBrincat

  20. VanIsleOil says:

    Nice reference on “Problems”, LT. A little calming music to start the day , love it!! I can just envision Chia singing this song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyAcfxLtamg

  21. dustrock says:

    Cassandra:

    Balance those first rounds against the catastrophe that was Chiarelli’s first draft, and remember that Reinhart had already been passed in the Islander organization.His value should have been equal to Marincin, who as it turned out was a much better player.

    We were at a downtown bar watching the draft, having fun with the McDavid pick, presenting the hockey pool trophy to this year’s winner, and when they announced the trade to NYI, I yelled out “Hamonic! Yessssssssssss”

    My brother said “well, maybe De Haan”.

    Oh no. No. This is after my brother, who is a giant Bruins fan, just had to watch his team pass on Barzal and Connor, etc. with 3 straight picks.

    I don’t care about Barzal, but trading for Reinhart when you already have Marincin who has played significant young NHL minutes is just weird.

    Trade has to go down with Milbury’s trade of Luongo etc and spending the #1 pick on Di Pietro.

    Imagine twitter when Milbury made that trade ha ha ha ha ha

  22. Rondo says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    I think the reason teams passed on DeBrincat was his skating at that time.

  23. russ99 says:

    IMO the Oilers draft issues are exacerbated by their constant rushing of high picks to the NHL.

    The only two they didn’t do this with are Eberle and Nurse, arguably the best developed of all of them.

    I’m discounting Hall due to his own comments about how he didn’t get there as a player until he went to New Jersey.

  24. russ99 says:

    Andy Dufresne: I hear you about DeBrincat. And I get your point.

    And its a small thing that doesnt really detract from your point…..but 31 General Managers passed on DeBrincat that day.

    But more realistically approx 20GMs passed on Debrincat from picks 20 though 38

    120DetroitDennis CholowskiD
    121CarolinaJulien GauthierR
    122PhiladelphiaGerman RubtsovC
    123FloridaHenrik BorgstromC
    124AnaheimMax JonesL
    125DallasRiley TufteL
    126St. LouisTage ThompsonC
    127Tampa BayBrett HowdenC
    128WashingtonLucas JohansenD
    129BostonTrent FredericC
    130AnaheimSam SteelC
    231TorontoYegor KorshkovR
    232EdmontonTyler BensonL
    233BuffaloRasmus AsplundC
    234ColumbusAndrew PeekeD
    235St. LouisJordan KyrouC
    236PhiladelphiaPascal LabergeC
    237Tampa BayLibor Hajek
    238FloridaAdam Mascheri
    239ChicagoAlex DeBrincat

    You can point to any team and any pick 3-5 years after the fact and say “they really should have drafted that guy”.

    To me the bigger issue is the Oilers repeatedly drafting for need or a targeted player styles over talent after the first round.

  25. Oilin4 says:

    Two themes in the Marco Roy list. All from the Q a bust. Most from the O found the NHL. The O is where its at. Default to the O. If you have to leave go W or USHL.

  26. russ99 says:

    dustrock: We were at a downtown bar watching the draft, having fun with the McDavid pick, presenting the hockey pool trophy to this year’s winner, and when they announced the trade to NYI, I yelled out “Hamonic! Yessssssssssss”

    My brother said “well, maybe De Haan”.

    Oh no.No.This is after my brother, who is a giant Bruins fan, just had to watch his team pass on Barzal and Connor, etc. with 3 straight picks.

    I don’t care about Barzal, but trading for Reinhart when you already have Marincin who has played significant young NHL minutes is just weird.

    Trade has to go down with Milbury’s trade of Luongo etc and spending the #1 pick on Di Pietro.

    Imagine twitter when Milbury made that trade ha ha ha ha ha

    Marincin didn’t push the needle at the pro level on either side of the ice. And right or wrong, when a new GM comes in, he discounts his predecessor’s borderline players.

  27. Rondo says:

    3 players Oilers should be looking at in the 2nd rd of the 2018 draft.

    Jake Wise Nils Lundkvist Kirill Marchenko

  28. russ99 says:

    LT: Is that a Sex Pistols song reference? 😀

    I really liked the Powderfinger one yesterday.

  29. jtblack says:

    The problem isnt neccessarily trading draft picks for players. The ISSUE is an ability to properly asses talent. This leads to pick after pick going out the door for players the Oilers MGMT (MacT, PC, etc) have clearly over valued.

    IF they were able to properly assess players, they might well be OK. But they are NOT. FULL STOP.

    If they were properly able to asses draft strength there is no way in Hell they are trading #16 & #33 in 2015. And if they trade out any 2019 oicks, they will be repeating the pattern.

    #FrustratedFan

  30. bendelson says:

    All quiet on the Adam Mascherin front. I haven’t given up hope he is on Chia’s radar…
    Assuming he is ready to sign, that extra 2019 3rd round pick seems about right.

  31. Georges says:

    LT,

    You have the writer’s touch. You talk to all of us when you talk to yourself and the people in your life. You’re not adrift out here on the internet. You see things your way and your compass is sure. But you’re also a warmhearted and generous person. You allow your guests the room to see things in their own way. And you draw a clear, bright line of decency around all of us. I think of the Hemingway story whenever I come back, this line in particular: “Each night I am reluctant to close up because there may be some one who needs the café.”

    In sincere appreciation and thankfulness for what you build here every day…

  32. stephen sheps says:

    Cassandra: If you think the team is mediocre now, imagine if they had taken Bennett

    Agreed.

    I’m so pleased they didn’t take Bennett. I remember while I was still living in Kingston and watching the Fronts play a few games I posted a scouting report in a thread somewhere suggesting that Bennett was not worth the hype and that I didn’t see him good at all.

    Remember of course that I’m not a scout, and at the time I was not yet doing sport research and that I also was all aboard the Crouse train, so my perspective should be taken with a grain of salt, but at least I was right about Bennett (and may have also been right about Wells based on how poorly I saw him in Peterborough).

  33. StixMalone says:

    Of all the coaches available why did the Flames get Bill Peters? Inquiring minds want to know….

  34. Jaxon says:

    Rondo:
    Andy Dufresne,

    I think the reason teams passed on DeBrincatwas his skating at that time.

    No, it wasn’t his skating at the time. I just went over his pre-draft scouting reports and they all mention his speed, quickness, and agility as some of his biggest assets.

    Examples:
    “Survives the physical side of the game by virtue of always playing with his head up, keeping his feet moving and has excellent agility and quickness making him very difficult to hit.”

    “he continues to find ways to make up for the difference in size by identifying the correct time to shift gears and elude coverage”

    “Owns excellent hockey sense, quickness and shiftiness.”

    “He skates well and is very effective around the net. ”

    “He has great speed and a very quick first step. He’s incredibly hard to slow down once he gets the puck…DeBrincat really uses his speed and quickness to his advantage on the forecheck as he chases down loose pucks or applies pressure to the puck carrier. He is a puck-hungry little bugger who can make the life of a defender hell as he is relentless in getting the puck back once he loses it…DeBrincat’s zone entries are done with control and speed, oftentimes driving the play so fast that he pushes defenders back on their heels. When receiving a pass, he has no desire to slow down, more often than not receiving the pass in transition and increasing his speed right as he gets possession.”

    “has the ability to beat anyone one-on-one anywhere on the ice. He has excellent hands and vision. He is able to make quick decisions with the puck to get it to the right places. One of the best in the league at finding open ice. Rarely did he get out battled because of his size. Very aggressive when he has the puck or is in pursuit of the puck. He has great edges and this makes him hard to contain or even hit as he is constantly moving in and out.”

    “He uses the tools he has (skating, quickness, elusiveness) to make great plays.”

    “Truly an offensive sparkplug, Alex DeBrincat is so hard to contain in the offensive end. Blink and he’s behind you, or has positioning over you. He’s so elusive… As alluded to, his skating ability, in particular his ability to stop and start and get a quick burst of acceleration, is fantastic and allows him to be so quick to open lanes or loose pucks.”

    “Alex DeBrincat is a very good skater. He has the speed and acceleration to overcome his lack of size. DeBrincat has a quick first step, allowing him to be first on many loose pucks. He is very agile, good on his edges, allowing him the ability to manoeuver in traffic, both with and without the puck. DeBrincat has a low centre of gravity and uses excellent leverage to be strong on the puck, and also to win battles.”

    ” DeBrincat has a non-stop motor, always working to create opportunities… DeBrincat also has the speed and stickhandling ability to beat defenders one-on-one and create offence off the rush.”

    So, nope, wasn’t a concern.

  35. Jordan says:

    Richard S.S.:

    Last year was the Players, no one really knew what they had, and they failed to even be average.It’s easier to rag on the G.M. and/or Coach, than the Players – just wrong.

    I thought your numbers were remarkable for Connor, and how effective he is. I agree that the other players need to more effective when he’s not on the ice.

    Your assertion that this is a reflection on the players certainly has some validity. They have not found a way to succeed as a group.

    However, your denial of the role the GM and Coach play in that failure is infuriating. it fails to take into account real issues that have been noted here and elsewhere ad-nausium:
    – The Powerplay was poor at generating scoring chances and high-quality shots. But no matter what happened, the players kept doing the same ineefective things over and over again. Either they were following the coaches plan, or they were ignoring the coach’s plan. The problem remains with the coach – either with planing an effective power play, or leading his team and maintaining discipline.
    – the breakout had real issues in ensuring there were quality passing options for players as they tried to advance the puck, thus relying on players to either make bad passes or skate the puck out of their end
    – The team was lacking a 2nd pairing D-man all year. Sekera, as predicted, was not at his previous levels when he came back from injury. Management had no back-up plan, and worse, signed Russell to a terrible contract to help manage the issue.
    – Lucic was horrible and gifted time with our two best centers, despite poor play. Other players were sent down or benched when their play dipped, but still wasn’t as bad as Milan. That was either a management or coaching decision that hurt the team’s ability to win games

    These are just the obvious issues that are indisputably management issues.

    Ignoring this and suggesting it’s all on the players is asinine. Might as well blame enlisted men that World War I took so long. If they’d just worked harder, I’m sure they would have made it across no-mans land and taken the enemy positions. It wasn’t because the leaders had failed to see the nature of warfare had changed. The Oilers just needed a bigger cavalry charge!

  36. digger50 says:

    bendelson:
    All quiet on the Adam Mascherin front.I haven’t given up hope he is on Chia’s radar…
    Assuming he is ready to sign, that extra 2019 3rd round pick seems about right.

    That looks like a solid move to me

  37. Oilman99 says:

    If this team has any hopes of being a contender in the years to come,it is critical that draft picks are not traded away. We need to have a proper feeder system from within(re Winnipeg) if we want to progress. The question is,can the present scouting group get the job done? Secondly, how much interference do they get from the GOB group,and the owner? Are we going to continue to be the laughing stock of the NHL?

  38. Brantford Boy says:

    Munny:
    *Puts down donut and eyes it suspiciously*

    Mmmmm, Donuts!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-4P1WPE-Qg

  39. dustrock says:

    Boqvist again on the PP. come on man.

  40. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    The dearth of drafting and numerous misteps by management in the Lowe/Tambellini era put this team/organization in a deep deep hole.

    I can remember posting at the time that we were going to have to pay a severe price ( I call it a premium) for these mis-steps. The cost is not just cumulative, but somewhat exponential.

    Just one small example. Each year that the Austins found themselves outside the playoffs was one more year of opportunity cost in terms of their development. The organization had built a culture of losing and that culture fed apon itself.

    Anyway, the severity of the opportunity cost of that state of affairs was evident to some/many people. Some people I think understood the extent of the damage and the COST that would have to be incurred to reverse said damage. (wether right or wrong) I think those people tend to have a more tolerant view of Peter Chiarelli.

    The premium has been paid. Taylor Hall, Numerous Draft Picks, A Good Coach or Two. All the price that WE (all Oilers fans) paid for the mistakes of the past.

    Noone and no organization EVER fully recovers from these types of (self inflicted?) damage. We are experiencing and will continue to experience the residual effects (they typically go beyond one generation). Best case scenario, it just means we have to wait a little longer than we would have had to otherwise wait to achieve a 6th Stanley.

    Worst case scenario, well lets just say the NYR went 54 years between cups. The Toronto Maple Leafs 51 years and counting

    On the bright side, neither the Leafs of the Rangers had a Conner McDavid…….but there are no garauntees when it comes to Stanley.

    Excellent post.

    There’s a lot of fans pushing this narrative that the minute the Oilers won Connor in the lottery, they have to be looking to build a Cup winner in the quickest window possible. Firstly, I would say this is the mission objective for every NHL team (i.e. to get better as fast as possible). But secondly, and more importantly, you can make a lot of mistakes in trying to shortcut a process to overcome the massive mistakes of the past.

    This organization has drafted poorly since the late 80’s!

    The prospect cupboard was beyond bare and that impacts everything. Talent begets competition. Competition begets culture. Culture begets excellence.

    When Chiarelli arrived, there was very little talent, minimal competition and a culture of perpetual losing and death marches.

    There’s now some legitimate talent on the roster. Most importantly, it appears to be well rounded talent rather than one dimensional players with warts in their game. We’re now starting to see actual competition at some key roster spots (C and D) and hopefully will see it soon at W and G. There’s also been some progress on the culture front with a trip to the playoffs followed by the inevitable regression. Achieving consistency in the culture is the toughest task of all.

    This organizations gets derided for rushing its prospects and rightfully so, but that is the product of a dearth of talent and it’s what losing organizations do. They literally don’t have better alternatives so kids get fast tracked.

    Talk of trading first rounders. Whale hunts for top pairing RHD. The mythical 3 for 1 trade. These are band-aid fixes for a team in one moment in time, when what’s really required is systemic and consistent improvement throughout the organization to build the talent pool, elevate competition, and establish the culture.

    How many times have we seen this in pro sports? A GM is hired that overhauls and improves the amateur procurement process, stays committed to that approach, but is not around to reap the benefits because impatient owners fire that GM before this long-term approach pays dividends.

  41. Andy Dufresne says:

    In terms of physical stature Mikko Kostinen = Devan Dubnyk

    World Championships BEST GOALIE Awards

    2016-2017 Andrei Vasilevsky (G)
    2015-2016 Mikko Koskinen (G)
    2014-2015 Pekka Rinne (G)
    2013-2014 Sergei Bobrovski (G)

    Stauffer states on his show…”some details in the report of Koskinen are mistaken”….”Im not saying its Koskinen, Im not saying its the numbers, Im just saying” then he goes on to talk about dollars and euros for a few mintues.

    Report was $2.5million AVV.

    My guess is its 2.5 x 1.4 (euro conversion) = $3.5
    Divided by two = $1.75 million AVV

    AND its just the right number for some to hate it, some to say maybe, and some to like it.

  42. dustrock says:

    Merkley with a great pass to Next McDavid LaFreniere on an OT PP for Canada to win 3-2.

    Merkley, Smith and Boqvist all look great to me.

    Merkley should be a top 15 pick on talent. I wonder if this tournament is going to erase some doubts.

  43. dustrock says:

    LaFreniere would probably go top 5 in this year’s draft and he’s 2 years away.

  44. Doug McLachlan says:

    Cassandra:
    The Oilers have gotten almost nothing past the first round in forever.Of that, there is little doubt.

    However, the 2013 and 2014 drafts were not terrible drafts.In both cases the general manager + head scouthad a top 10 pick and had difficult choices to make.And in both cases they made the right choice.

    If you think the team is mediocre now, imagine if they had taken Bennett and Nischuskin?

    Balance those first rounds against the catastrophe that was Chiarelli’s first draft, and remember that Reinhart had already been passed in the Islander organization.His value should have been equal to Marincin, who as it turned out was a much better player.

    I believe that LT confirmed that the reins weren’t handed over to Keith Gretzky to run the draft until last year.

    By comparison, I think we are all generally impressed with the arrows of this year’s draft. The willingness to draft Yamamoto in 2017 (where DeBrincat was not taken previously) shows some notable philosophical growth by the organization.

  45. Doug McLachlan says:

    dustrock:
    What a goal by Boqvist.Really want him at #9, there’s just no way he’ll be there.

    If wishes were trees, trees would be falling.Listen to reason, season is calling.

    Sure, if he’s there at 9 you can be sure he gets scooped by the Oilers.

    Here is the question. The Oilers move up thanks to LUCKY LOTTO SOCKS ™.

    #1 – Dahlin.
    #2 – Svechnikov

    If they jump to #3, is Boqvist the guy?

  46. Doug McLachlan says:

    Rondo:
    Andy Dufresne,

    I think the reason teams passed on DeBrincatwas his skating at that time.

    And the “ah ha” moment on size had yet to come for a lot of NHL teams.

  47. ArmchairGM says:

    dustrock:
    What a goal by Boqvist.Really want him at #9, there’s just no way he’ll be there.

    If wishes were trees, trees would be falling.Listen to reason, season is calling.

    Link to highlights?

  48. Jethro Tull says:

    McDavid doesn’t need competent wingers – like Crosby, he drags up whoever plays with him and seem to play the same, no matter who is flanking him.

    What he needs is to able to leave the ice for more than a minute without a car crash, or someone to just actually score when the other team are draped all over him and the refs aren’t calling anything.

  49. Doug McLachlan says:

    russ99: You can point to any team and any pick 3-5 years after the fact and say “they really should have drafted that guy”.

    To me the bigger issue is the Oilers repeatedly drafting for need or a targeted player styles over talent after the first round.

    Fair comment. Keith Gretzky got the 2017 draft. Where did he go walkabout on need or player style, in your opinion? My recollection then and my sense now was that the Oilers actually snatched skill through the draft board: Yamamoto in 1st, Skinner and Samorukov in 3rd, Safin in 4th and Maksimov in 5th.

    Do this for two or three more drafts and we have ourselves a pipeline, no?

  50. Rondo says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Still remember hearing his skating wasn’t great for a small guy.

  51. --hudson-- says:

    VOR:
    LT,

    I want to thank you for all the work you do policing this blog. I wish we lived in a world where it wasn’t necessary. But you know what they say, “if wishes were donuts we’d all have cardiovascular disease.” I am sure I am not alone in finding this a safe haven and one where I find great ideas and fascinating minds. Your hard work makes that possible. It is appreciated.

    Georges:
    LT,

    You have the writer’s touch. You talk to all of us when you talk to yourself and the people in your life. You’re not adrift out here on the internet. You see things your way and your compass is sure. But you’re also a warmhearted and generous person. You allow your guests the room to see things in their own way. And you draw a clear, bright line of decency around all of us. I think of the Hemingway story whenever I come back, this line in particular: “Each night I am reluctant to close up because there may be some one who needs the café.”

    In sincere appreciation and thankfulness for what you build here every day…

    Seconded! It’s amazing how thoughtful and prescience Lowetide is to hardcore Oiler fans.

    Did it take Bill James 20 years to get hired in baseball?

    We’ve had LT for 10 years already, in another 10 years in a post-McDavid org, having LT a part of it would actually give me optimism. I hope this happens.

  52. Doug McLachlan says:

    bendelson:
    All quiet on the Adam Mascherin front.I haven’t given up hope he is on Chia’s radar…
    Assuming he is ready to sign, that extra 2019 3rd round pick seems about right.

    Love the offensive output. Have you watched him play. Won’t lie, not sure how many 5’10” or smaller players NHL GMs are prepared to take on.

    Wonder if this is part of the issue in Florida? With Trocheck, Dadonov and Vatrano already on the roster, they may not project him getting a slot.

    Don’t see the Oilers resigning Cammalleri. Caggiula and Yamamoto would be the two other names on the list and Mascherin would be challenging for Cagg’s spot – with an eye for the net.

    Interesting idea.

    I would be reluctant to ship out a 3rd unless I was convinced that he signs before June 1st. Even then, I would probably want to make it a lesser pick. June 2nd comes and Florida gets nothing but a chance to redraft him along with everyone else.

  53. --hudson-- says:

    jtblack:
    The problem isnt neccessarily trading draft picks for players. The ISSUE is an ability to properly asses talent.This leads to pick after pick going out the door for players the Oilers MGMT (MacT, PC, etc) have clearly over valued.

    IF they were able to properly assess players, they might well be OK.But they are NOT. FULL STOP.

    If they were properly able to asses draft strength there is no way in Hell they are trading #16 & #33 in 2015.And if they trade out any 2019 oicks, they will be repeating the pattern.

    #FrustratedFan

    You might enjoy this excerpt from the Undoing Project in regards to the Houston Rockets GM.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2016/12/how_daryl_morey_used_behavioral_economics_to_revolutionize_the_art_of_nba.html

    “Morey thus became aware of what behavioral economists had labeled “the endowment effect.” To combat the endowment effect, he forced his scouts and his model to establish, going into the draft, the draft pick value of each of their own players.

    The next season, before the trade deadline, Morey got up before his staff and listed on a whiteboard all the biases he feared might distort their judgment: the endowment effect, confirmation bias, and others. There was what people called “present bias”—the tendency, when making a decision, to undervalue the future in relation to the present. There was “hindsight bias”—which he thought of as the tendency for people to look at some outcome and assume it was predictable all along…”

    I’m not sure the Oilers suffer of the endowment effect, Chiarelli seems to undervalue his own assets (at least the ones that predate him). But thats a good idea to give a draft value to each player in the system.

    They do seem to have a problem with ‘present bias.’ How much better would we feel if Chiarelli’s plan indicated another development year while waiting for the NMC’s to become limited NTC and for the prospects to develop? (Although not sure this plan would sell to McDavid, the owner, or the season ticket holders)

  54. dustrock says:

    Doug McLachlan: Sure, if he’s there at 9 you can be sure he gets scooped by the Oilers.

    Here is the question.The Oilers move up thanks to LUCKY LOTTO SOCKS ™.

    #1 – Dahlin.
    #2 – Svechnikov

    If they jump to #3, is Boqvist the guy?

    I pick Boqvist at #3. At the worst, he’s Tyson Barrie. At the best, he’s Erik Karlsson.

    Other than Dahlin and Svech, I think Boqvist is probably closest to a top talent.

  55. ArmchairGM says:

    bendelson:
    All quiet on the Adam Mascherin front.I haven’t given up hope he is on Chia’s radar…
    Assuming he is ready to sign, that extra 2019 3rd round pick seems about right.

    Florida must sign him by June 1st or they lose his rights. What happens then? Does he re-enter the draft or become a free agent?

  56. VOR says:

    There are some hockey beliefs, maybe it would be better to say hockey dogma that I wish I could eradicate forever. At the top of that list is the idiotic idea that 3 and 4th line players are just interchangeable pieces that can be picked up cheap in free agency. This leads to the idea that you should never draft a kid who doesn’t have big boxcars. The idea being that talent is synonomous with offence. Thus, you should always draft DeBrincat ahead of Benson.

    First of all great drafting isn’t easy.

    Let’s try a simple experiment.

    You are drafting 8th Overall. You have as stark a choice as any GM has ever faced. Your scouts have identified two players they think are franchise makers. The first is a smaller player but a highlight reel offensive talent. He has every tool but size. Well he isn’t physical.

    The second is a big man. He is a ferocious hitter and truly incredible checker. But he has about the same offensive upside as Lawson Crouse. Or less.

    Which player do you choose?

    The team picking 8th took the big checker.

    In fact the smallish scorer went 14th. Those of you who picked him chose a dandy. He will become a superstar scorer and an electrifying player who will lift bums out of seats with a career of highlight reel goals.

    So what is my point?

    You still picked the wrong guy.

    The player picked at #8 will start his career in the AHL where he looked dominant. Called up to the NHL he plays on the fourth line and gets 10 points in 66 games. The next year he is gifted 2nd line minutes with two future Hall of Famers. He simply didn’t produce enough offence to stay there.

    He would spend the rest of his career as a defensive specialist mostly playing on the fourth line. In fact the heart of his career will be spent playing with a smurf checking center with no offence at all. Given the live puck era will coincide with our guy’s best years the lack of offence these two will produce is nearly criminal.

    By the standards of the dogma mentioned above he is a draft bust, a waste of a pick. It is obviously absurd of me to say he was a better pick than a superstar scorer.

    See the thing is there are the matter of all those Stanley Cup rings. Then there is the four Selke awards. And the years he wore the C finally leading a once great team back to the Stanley Cup. Or that just 3 years after he retired he was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame. Not to mention being in the top 100 players in NHL history.

    What I am saying is that what determines a player’s importance isn’t always the line they play on, but rather how well they play on that line. Bob Gainey proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Or think of it this way. Imagine this coming year the Oilers were able to ice a fourth line with the modern equivalent of Todd Marchant, Mike Greer, and yes Kelly Buchberger. Anyway think that the Oilers didn’t just take a huge step toward the Stanley Cup. Guess what? None of those guys came to the Oilers via free agency. Being able to shut down the other team takes real talent.

    Maybe we should spend some draft picks on guys with that talent. One of many talents boxcars don’t measure.

  57. ArmchairGM says:

    dustrock:
    LaFreniere would probably go top 5 in this year’s draft and he’s 2 years away.

    Incredible talent. Quinton Byfield is another. Should we start stockpiling 2020 picks now?

  58. ArmchairGM says:

    Doug McLachlan: Sure, if he’s there at 9 you can be sure he gets scooped by the Oilers.

    Here is the question.The Oilers move up thanks to LUCKY LOTTO SOCKS ™.

    #1 – Dahlin.
    #2 – Svechnikov

    If they jump to #3, is Boqvist the guy?

    I would avoid making that decision by trading down to #6 and taking whichever of Boqvist or Wahlstrom is still available. 🙂

  59. jtblack says:

    –hudson–,

    Thx for That!

  60. 90s fan says:

    godot10:
    I’ve got 99 problems, and the coach is one.

    Is he the number one problem on your list, or just one of 99? If you removed his stubborness for change when it just ain’t working, then I would be pretty neutral on him.

  61. russ99 says:

    VOR,

    Excellent post. I think much of the issue is today’s instant information fanbases, and that many players don’t end up as the quality veteran on the same team that drafted them, so a player drafted or coming up to the bigs is valued on what they can give the team soon or now rather than 3,5,8, 10 years down the road.

    Obviously it’s a different era than the one Bob Gainey played in, but there are similar disagreements like looking at Klefbom vs, Larsson, One is an offensive dynamo, but a liability without the puck. The other a rock in one on one situations without the puck and limited offensively. That’s not to say each player is useless, rather better to pair up players to accentuate their strengths and minimize weaknesses.

    Looking at the draft this year, I’m turned off by all the small defensemen. Seeing visions of Brad Hunt, but more skilled. Maybe one could pair with Ethan Bear, down the road, but I’d rather add a forward to a system just now starting to improve from being devoid of real talent.

    Hopefully this is the last time we draft this low in years.

  62. jtblack says:

    stephen sheps,

    “suggesting that Bennett was not worth the hype and that I didn’t see him good at all.”

    Can i ask how you came to that conclusion? he tore apart Junior he had the same boxcars as draisatl?? Did youhave leon as a miss too?

  63. Cassandra says:

    VOR,

    There are some hockey beliefs, or should I say hockey dogmas, that I wish I could eradicate forever.

    One of them is the idea that there is such a thing as lines, as if the job of a player on the third line was different in kind from the job of a player on the first line.

    All players have the same job, and they should be evaluated by the same standard.

    Cause and effect has not been demonstrated by your anecdote. Were the Canadians great because of Bob Gainey, or is Gainey considered great because he played on the Canadians.

    In any case, I do not accept at all that a player who never scored more than 50 pts in a season was a better player, or provided more value, than a player than scored over 90 pts five times.

    I mean it is possible, I guess, depending on things like playing time, and power play opportunities, but the amount of defensive value you are giving to the 40 point player defies belief. It is like giving Gainey the defensive value of the difference between the best and worst goalie in the league.

    Which is, of course, absurd.

  64. VOR says:

    russ99:
    VOR,

    Excellent post. I think much of the issue is today’s instant information fanbases, and that many players don’t end up as the quality veteran on the same team that drafted them, so a player drafted or coming up to the bigs is valued on what they can give the team now rather than 3,5,8 years down the road.

    Obviously it’s a different era than the one Bob Gainey played in, but there are similar disagreements like looking at Klefbom vs, Larsson, One is an offensive dynamo, but a liability without the puck. The other a rock in one on one situations without the puck and limited offensively. That’s not to say each player is useless, rather better to pair up players to accentuate their strengths and minimize weaknesses.

    Looking at the draft this year, I’m turned off by all the small defensemen. Seeing visions of Brad Hunt, but more skilled.

    I don’t like the idea of having size being a way of ranking draft eligible players. There have been many great small defencemen. I assume the way the NHL is going right now there will be many more.

    I want the Oilers to pick the most talented player left with each of their picks.

    I don’t want box cars to be the only criteria. I do want more of a players skills and talents to be used in judging them on draft day. As an example puck support for a center or communication skills for a goalie. And I could go on and on. Consider for example how good they are at self reflection and self improvement.

    I suspect you are right that the emphasis on instant offence is a function of the age of instant communication.

  65. Fuhr and Lowething. says:

    Oilers win the lottery and proceed to trade the pick, Lucic and Talbot for Doughty and Quick.

    Because Oilers.

  66. Cassandra says:

    Man, Rick Middleton had an incredible career. I had no idea how great.

    Anyone who thinks Gainey was the better player, or provided more value to his team, isn’t being reasonable.

  67. jtblack says:

    Cassandra:
    VOR,

    There are some hockey beliefs, or should I say hockey dogmas, that I wish I could eradicate forever.

    One of them is the idea that there is such a thing as lines, as if the job of a player on the third line was different in kind from the job of a player on the first line.

    All players have the same job, and they should be evaluated by the same standard.

    Cause and effect has not been demonstrated by your anecdote.Were the Canadians great because of Bob Gainey, or is Gainey considered great because he played on the Canadians.

    In any case, I do not accept at all that a player who never scored more than 50 pts in a season was a better player, or provided more value, than a player than scored over 90 pts five times.

    I mean it is possible, I guess, depending on things like playing time, and power play opportunities, but the amount of defensive value you are giving to the 40 point player defies belief.It is like giving Gainey the defensive value of the difference between the best and worst goalie in the league.

    Which is, of course, absurd.

    I think when the numbers are as extreme as you present, of course its absurd.

    But perhaps a player that scores 45 points per year can be of more value than a perrenial 60 pt player? COULD that be possible in your world?

  68. Cassandra says:

    jtblack: I think when the numbers are as extreme as you present, of course its absurd.

    But perhaps a player that scores 45 points per year can be of more value than a perrenial 60 pt player? COULD that be possible in your world?

    Yes, of course. Not just possible, but it is certain that some 45 pt players are more valuable than some 60 pt players.

  69. dustrock says:

    Fuhr and Lowething.:
    Oilers win the lottery and proceed to trade the pick, Lucic and Talbot for Doughty and Quick.

    Because Oilers.

    Or Oilers win the lottery and trade Draisaitl for an extended Karlsson and I laugh and laugh and know they’ll still find a way to screw it up

  70. Primetime says:

    ArmchairGM: I would avoid making that decision by trading down to #6 and taking whichever of Boqvist or Wahlstrom is still available.

    I think they both could be gone by 6. The only safe position would be 5 to get one of Boqvist/Walstrom/Zadina.

    That being said, if we win the lotto for pick #3, then I agree trading to #5 is exactly what we should do….

  71. Spooky Lynx says:

    Doug McLachlan: Sure, if he’s there at 9 you can be sure he gets scooped by the Oilers.

    Here is the question.The Oilers move up thanks to LUCKY LOTTO SOCKS ™.

    #1 – Dahlin.
    #2 – Svechnikov

    If they jump to #3, is Boqvist the guy?

    ArmchairGM: I would avoid making that decision by trading down to #6 and taking whichever of Boqvist or Wahlstrom is still available.

    Seconded.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    McSorley33:
    Great review of the Oilers drafting LT – but I find it depressing.

    David Staples with a great article on Tyler Benson (.93 points/game)

    Alex DeBrincast points/game 1.68

    My edit from Staples info yesterday:

    DeBrincat was the only player on this list with a points per game average typical of a forward taken near the top end of the draft.Taylor Hall had 1.86, Leon Draisaitl, 1.59, Nail Yakupov, 1.54, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 1.50 and Ryan Strome, 1.49.

    If you can pass on a kid putting up numbers like DeBrincat – in the 2ND ROUND! – what hope does
    it give you for PC in the future?

    If you can pass on a kid putting up numbers like DeBrincat – in the 2ND ROUND! – what hope does
    it give you for STEVE YZERMAN in the future?

    See what I did there? A GM making a mistake (in hindsight) with a draft pick should not cause one to lose all hope in the GM.

    I’m not saying hope shouldn’t be lost on Chiarelli with respect to being a GM or with respect to negotiating contracts or trade, etc. but, with respect to drafting, this looks to be a mistake, one many GMs made and, frankly, we are talking about the 2nd round of an NHL draft – this is often a crapshoot and “mistakes” are made consistently when looking back years later.

    In my opinion, Chiarelli has done a fantastic job of calling names at the draft since hired.

    He’s only had 3 drafts (and didn’t have all of his picks in the first year because of the stupid compensation) but there are many many up arrows from his drafts, from the 1st round through the seventh,

  73. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The only thing that matters in hockey is outscoring. To be a good team every line has to be able to do it in the big picture.

    It doesn’t matter how that happens, players have different ways of doing it.

    One thing that is true is that there are very few undersized or oversized players in the NHL. Like other sports there are optimum physical attributes that benefit a player, and given the parity and world’s highest competitive level that the NHL is, players with those attributes tend to succeed far more often than physical outliers.

    There were only 2 players in the top 50 scorers when I checked during the season under 5 10, 2 at 5 10.

    Any player can succeed, but it seems there are enough obstacles to overcome that being disadvantaged physically provides one too many for most.

    Sure league bias plays into it to some extent, but things are changing and every team on a capped league will take ability wherever they can find it.

    Skating has also become a necessity, every season heavy boots drop out of the league like staged fighters have.

    If drafting outliers to me they should be of exceptional skill and skating ability. For every Ryan Ellis there are 100 Brad Hunts. For every Lucic there are 1000 Mitch Moroz, and the Oilers used to try to draft them all.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looking forward to Stuart Skinner and the Broncos going for a massive 3-0 series lead tonight.

    Stay hot Stuart….

  75. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: If you can pass on a kid putting up numbers like DeBrincat – in the 2ND ROUND! – what hope does
    it give you for STEVE YZERMAN in the future?

    See what I did there?A GM making a mistake (in hindsight) with a draft pick should not cause one to lose all hope in the GM.

    I’m not saying hope shouldn’t be lost on Chiarelli with respect to being a GM or with respect to negotiating contracts or trade, etc. but, with respect to drafting, this looks to be a mistake, one many GMs made and, frankly, we are talking about the 2nd round of an NHL draft – this is often a crapshoot and “mistakes” are made consistently when looking back years later.

    In my opinion, Chiarelli has done a fantastic job of calling names at the draft since hired.

    He’s only had 3 drafts (and didn’t have all of his picks in the first year because of the stupid compensation) but there are many many up arrows from his drafts, from the 1st round through the seventh,

    Agreed, the issues are in pro evaluation, and negotiations.

  76. Andy Dufresne says:

    Sounds like Oilers may be in on Gulutzan and Trent Yawney.

    Yawney for the Defense and Special Teams? ( Paul Coffee not commited enough?)

    Gulutzan Associate Coach?

    Woodcroft to Bakersfield?
    Rockey Thompson Head Coach Bakersfield?

  77. frjohnk says:

    Yesterday, I made the comment that “Whats amazing is that we are entering year 9 after our first 1st overall pick and to get better right now we are looking at robbing from the future”

    Here is how we robbed from the future to “get better now” since 2014.

    General Manager
    Peter Chiarelli
    Round 2 pick in 2017 number 53

    Coach
    Todd McClellan
    Round 3 pick in 2016 number 86

    Goaltending

    Viktor Fasth
    Round 5 pick in 2014 number 123
    Round 3 pick in 2015 number 64

    Ben Scrivens
    Round 3 pick in 2014 number 63

    Cam Talbot
    Round 2 in 2015 number 57
    Round 3 in 2015 number 79
    Round 7 in 2015 number 184

    Al Montayo
    Round 4 in 2018 number 102

    Defense

    Nikita Nikitin
    Round 5 in 2014 number 137

    Griffin Reinhart
    Round 1 in 2015 number 16
    Round 2 in 2015 number 33

    Eric Gryba
    Round 4 in 2015 number 107

    Forwards

    Mike Brown
    Round 4 pick in 2014 number 93

    David Perron
    Round 2 pick in 2014 number 33
    Round 4 pick in 2015 number 94

    Patrick Maroon
    Round 4 pick in 2016 number 93

    We should remember that getting some of these players cost more than just picks, ie Perron also cost Magnus Pajarvi. And in a couple of these transactions we did get a pick back, ie 7th rounder back with Talbot,

    So if my math is correct, it should be close, we have spent 16 picks from above in the last 4 drafts (17 picks in 5 drafts when we include Montayo) to “get better right now.”
    1-1st rounder
    4- 2nd rounders
    4-3rd rounders
    5- 4th rounders
    2-5th rounders
    1-7th rounder

    That compensation rule for coaches and GM sure did not help us. That was a stupid rule. So if we exclude those, what we have for player assets to show for those picks, we have
    -Cam Talbot, a number 1 goalie for some people, not a number 1 goalie for others
    -Zack Kassian, a bottom 6 player,
    -Eric Gryba, a number 7/AHL defender,
    -Al Montayo a backup goalie, who does not seem to figure into the Oilers future plans
    -Cooper Maroody, a prospect
    -JD Dudek

    Significant asset picks were spent and there is not much to show for it on the NHL player roster today. Not sure how this stacks up to other teams, but over the last 5 years, the Oilers process of robbing from the future to “get better right now” has not been an avenue of success.

  78. Richard S.S. says:

    The only time Keith Gretzky had total control, by himself, of the Draft was 2014 with Boston and 2017 with Edmonton. I have great faith in him doing a GOOD job.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Merkley should be a top 15 pick on talent. I wonder if this tournament is going to erase some doubts.

    I don’t think there are any doubts about his high end offensive talent, is there?

    To my knowledge, its well known that he may have the highest, or among the highest, offensive potential in the draft.

    Its other issues that has him sliding down the first round and in to the 2nd.

    I don’t think he slides that far, he’ll get taken in the first round.

    I don’t think the Oilers can take the risk (he’s got bust potential and we cannot afford to have the #9 bust) but a team with a better defensive prospect pool, or prospect pool in general, should be able to hedge the risk.

  80. bendelson says:

    Doug McLachlan: Won’t lie, not sure how many 5’10” or smaller players NHL GMs are prepared to take on.
    Wonder if this is part of the issue in Florida? With Trocheck, Dadonov and Vatrano already on the roster, they may not project him getting a slot.

    Size is not an issue with Mascherin. He is a 5’10” tank – over 200 lbs. Great at puck protection with his low centre of gravity. His best skill? The shot. It’s NHL quality – no doubt. His main issue would be skating – apparently only average top speed (but has decent edge work/lateral motion).

  81. Richard S.S. says:

    Cam Talbot is a number one goalie. Is he great? No, but he doesn’t need to be with decent Defense. He just needs a little more regular rest than he regularly gets.

  82. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Looking forward to Stuart Skinner and the Broncos going for a massive 3-0 series lead tonight.

    Stay hot Stuart….

    Going to the game. Cheering for the Home team though!

    EDIT: If you watch online let me know what you think of Addison for Leth Draft Eligible RHD.

  83. Richard S.S. says:

    Forward:
    Top offensive talent, defensibly responsible, good size, very good speed, etc.
    Defense:
    Top defensive talent, offensively responsible, good size, very good speed, etc.

    This is the benchmark for Drafting, Trades, Free Agents.
    You can teach Players how to be better defensively, but scoring needs to be an inate talent.
    Speed matters. You can teach Players how to skate better, just not faster. Very good speed is, I’m told, part of the “twitch reflex”, you got it or you don’t.
    The absolute most an 18 year-old can gain in height is approximately 1.5”, very rarely that even rarer more. Acquiring someone less than 5’10” is not recomemded, there’s too much disadvantage to go there now.

  84. dustrock says:

    ha ha this LFC Roma match has been awesome.

    Man Salah really does play like Messi.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Florida must sign him by June 1st or they lose his rights. What happens then? Does he re-enter the draft or become a free agent?

    This is determined by age – give he’s 19, he’ll re-enter the draft. If he was 20, he’d become a UFA.

  86. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is determined by age – give he’s 19, he’ll re-enter the draft.If he was 20, he’d become a UFA.

    Thanks.

  87. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Cam Talbot is a number one goalie.Is he great?No, but he doesn’t need to be with decent Defense.He just needs a little more regular rest than he regularly gets.

    – Well this is the Oil’s money question?

    – Was last year a mirage for Talbot? Or was it the healthy D corps last year?

    – How much of this year Talbot being bad was Sek/Klef/Larsson not being as good or playing as many games, or was Talbot bad and made the D look bad?

    – It’s all kind of interconnected: were Coach’s systems good on D last year, which meant the D played well, and the goalie, and this year it all broke down, or was it the goalie or was it the D this year?

    – If the top-3 D play more games at full health, how much better will Talbot be?

  88. stephen sheps says:

    jtblack:
    stephen sheps,

    “suggesting that Bennett was not worth the hype and that I didn’t see him good at all.”

    Can i ask how you came to that conclusion? he tore apart Junior he had the same boxcars as draisatl?? Did you have leon as a miss too?

    Honestly I wish I could find the thread I posted my amateur hack scouting report, but if memory serves, I saw a kid who floated, was rarely engaged in the play and just didn’t seem to see the game like an elite 1C.

    That Frontenacs team he played on was a solid team and well coached by Todd Gill, but having watched a bunch of games that year, it seemed like he disappeared a lot. Sometimes when players aren’t noticeable, it’s because they do a lot of little things right, but other times it’s something else – they disappear in situations you’d expect them to dominate. Bennett was that player in both his draft -1 and draft year for me. I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. To be fair, one game we went just to see Bennett vs. Ekblad; Ekblad completely dominated, and it wasn’t even close. Bennett also took a lot of Pouliot-esque penalties 200 feet from his own net, which is why he had 118PIMs that season to go along with his 91 points.

    I can’t put my finger on what it was and I am not a scout or a coach, so my analysis is mostly crap, but he just didn’t seem like a franchise player. I remember many times during the games that my old house mate and I went to, commenting that Crouse was the forward to watch on that 13-14 team, and oddly enough, Roland McKweon was my favourite defender on both the 12-13 & 13-14 Fronts teams. I also remember saying a few times ‘yeah, I hope we don’t take Bennett, I want that German Gretzky kid.’

    Living in Kingston and as a broke-ass grad student at the time, going to Fronts games was cheap and easy entertainment. And since the Oilers were crap, it was the best chance for me and my housemate (also an Alberta ex-pat and Oilers fan) to see top prospects up close. I know I’m far from the most trustworthy person when it comes to talent evaluation, but I do remember not finding Bennett to be the game-breaker he was projected to be, and really didn’t understand the hype even though he put up 91 points in 57 games. I’m not VOR – I don’t have multidimensional models or other math based analytical tools to work with (and if you’re around today VOR – I love your idea for that model and if you start your own page/project, you’ll have a daily reader in me!), I’m just a sociologist with an eye for detail, pattern recognition and the occasional ability to find the stories that the numbers can tell us. In this case, I saw a player badly and while I hope he has a long career (because I hope that for all players), I am pleased the Oilers picked Leon instead.

  89. Doug McLachlan says:

    ArmchairGM: Florida must sign him by June 1st or they lose his rights. What happens then? Does he re-enter the draft or become a free agent?

    I believe he reenters the draft.

    A player in a similar position is 6’5″ center out of Spokane, Hudson Elynuik. Was drafted by Carolina in the 3rd round of 2016 and had a big pop in his offensive numbers after getting drafted (his draft year was a big pop offensively from the years before as well).

    Always cautious about big guys in Junior doing impressive things as an overager – and even then is 31g, 55a for 86pts that impressive in the WHL – but 6’5″ center with some offense certainly is worth looking into, particularly if the acquisition price is low.

    Who does one even call in Carolina at this point to try and get his rights? Don Waddell?

  90. Doug McLachlan says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Sounds like Oilers may be in on Gulutzan and Trent Yawney.

    Yawney for the Defense and Special Teams? ( Paul Coffee not commited enough?)

    Gulutzan Associate Coach?

    Woodcroft to Bakersfield?
    Rockey Thompson Head Coach Bakersfield?

    That sounds surprisingly well thought out by the Oilers – clearly won’t happen.

    I saw a report (on twitter so salt to taste) that the Oilers had asked for permission to speak with Ottawa assistant Paul MacLean. I wasn’t aware that he was still in the Ottawa organization, his last job that I can see was as Bruce Boudreau’s assistant in Anaheim.

  91. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    frjohnk,

    – Interesting stuff. I can’t keep track, but in the last 4 years, how many draft picks did we acquire through trades etc? 17 draft picks went out and we have these net players to show, but what is net picks lost?

  92. Doug McLachlan says:

    Richard S.S.:
    The only time Keith Gretzky had total control, by himself, of the Draft was 2014 with Boston and 2017 with Edmonton.I have great faith in him doing a GOOD job.

    I liked our 2017 draft – specifically the late steals of Safin and Maksimov.

    The Boston 2014 draft! Wow. Only 5 picks. Pasternak late 1st, Donato late 2nd, Heinen late 4th and the 5th and 7th round picks are both playing with the Providence. Ok, I am even more impressed with his work now.

  93. Doug McLachlan says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is determined by age – give he’s 19, he’ll re-enter the draft.If he was 20, he’d become a UFA.

    Thanks. So while Mascherin has to re-enter the draft, Elynuik (who the Oilers probably have some familiarity with watching Yamamoto) could be had with a contract offer on June 2nd? July 1st?

  94. --hudson-- says:

    stephen sheps: Honestly I wish I could find the thread I posted my amateur hack scouting report, but if memory serves, I saw a kid who floated, was rarely engaged in the play and just didn’t seem to see the game like an elite 1C.

    Is this it?
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/03/21/bloom-is-off-the-rose/comment-page-1/#comment-304013

    Note I found it by searching google for: site:lowetide.ca bennett “stephen sheps”

  95. Jethro Tull says:

    Whilst I applaud each and every optimistic post, yay, verily, it has been much better than reading the usual post season vitriol, I would like to remind all that just because a player may be signed/traded for/drafted seemingly late, it does not follow that we MUST.

    For a start, I would look at possible underlying reasons that 31 other GMs, (all smarter than Chia, according to some here) have not gone after them……

    Should it be that the player just hasn’t gotten a fair chance in a deep organisation, then I’m down…..if the guy is another GR and should be further along than he is…..

  96. VOR says:

    I want to be clear.

    1. I think Rick Middleton should be in the Hall of Fame. That he isn’t is beyond unfair. Until he got hit in the head by a puck in practice he was one of the most exciting players in hockey. I don’t much care what his team accomplished not being a Bruins fan. He was just so much fun to watch. His nickname, Nifty, says it all.

    He was also a real Gentleman as his Byng and mutliple close calls with the Byng attest. He was a well above average checker to boot. He got close to the Selke a couple of times.

    2. I think Gainey was the better player.

    Value comes from your impact on team goal share and not just your personal goal share. Gainey is fairly unique amongst defensive forwards in that people noticed the impact he was having on game outcomes. He sawed off the toughs. From media reports at the time we have to conclude he played the NHLs best players to at worst a standstill. But usually he and the guys he played with outscored their on ice opposition.

    In doing so he exposed the other teams soft underbelly to the brutal attack of his more offensively gifted teammates (and they were gifted). And with him outscoring they started out ahead. All Montreal’s top three lines had to do was outscore the other teams bottom three lines and they’d win. Which they did, a lot.

    Not to mention he and Jarvis were truly astoundingly good penalty killers.

    Those of you having a hard time imagining what impact a great defesive player has should consider this: how bad would the Oiler’s record be if every night the other teams checking unit out scored McDavid and whoever is playing with him? Gainey and his checking unit teammates neutralized players like Middleton, over and over and over. Nobody else in the league could do that. It wasn’t just Middleton, Gainey disrupted and minimized the games of most of the greatest scorers hockey has ever seen.

    I can’t understand why anybody has trouble understanding that this is what great defensive players do. They increase their team’s odds of winning by outscoring the other team’s best players. Yeah maybe the game ends 2-1. But if you are the 2 and they are the 1 then you’ve done your job.

    Nor do I understand why people believe that elite defensive, game changing defensive talent can be taught. Can most offensive players learn to do it better than they did it in junior or early in their pro careers. Yes, sure. But that is as much because of how badly they played defence before they actually realized it was important as how easy it is to play defence at an elite level.

    Can you teach a failed scorer to be as good at as Gainey or for that matter Datysuk or Marchant or Greer, or yes, Buchberger? I would argue that more commonly what you get is players that become two way options, usually relatively ineffective two way options. Occasionally one redefines that role like Gainey did the checking forward role. Daniel Cleary comes to mind as an example. Again if you outscore the opposition you’ve done your job. Marty Gelinas would be another example.

    I am just saying there is such a thing as defensive talent. And that some portion of that talent is innate.

    Name a great defensive forward in the NHL. Now go and look up their scouting reports pre draft. Notice how often the term two hundred foot player comes up or even superb checker, great away from the puck, strong back checker, etc occur. Defensive skill announces itself early and often we just chose not to listen or even to entertain the idea that it might be more important than offensive performance. Cleary, Datysuk, and Gelinas are all examples by the way of players who showed defensive talents early and scouts noticed.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Pavel Datysuk game then what Alex DeBrincat does is pretty well irrelevant including his boxcars.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Daniel Cleary/Marty Gelinas game then Alex DeBrincat has to equally outscore similar competition to be as valuable. The boxcars are irrelevant.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Bob Gainey game then Alex DeBrincat has to equally outscore similar competition to be as valuable. The boxcars are still irrelevant.

    In other words it is really down to Tyler Benson to find a role and contribute positively.

    Given that in the long run the boxcars are irrelevant why is that such a focus for so many of you?

    Surely you want to draft kids who can contribute positively?

    Alex DeBrincat had a great season this year. I am hoping that has sustain. I am rooting like mad for the kid. I am a fan of small players. But he did it with a major zone start push, some help with the lifting, and quite soft competition. His shooting percentage might also not be sustainable.

    In the long haul these two kids aren’t applying for the same job. DeBrincat will stick in the NHL as a soft minutes outplayer (Dennis Maruk is probably his true upside – no knock on Maruk who had moments he was a true superstar) and deserved on merit to be drafted higher. I said so at the time by the way.

    Tyler Benson is expected to outplay a much tougher level of competition and by doing so set the table for a player like DeBrincat. He won’t get an ozone push, or as much help, or soft competition. He will make his way, if he does at all, with hard work with the ice tilted against him. If he turns out to be as good at it as any of the guys I have mentioned here every Oiler fan should be forever thankful.

    Great teams need both kinds of players but to get there you have to draft both kinds of forwards. Those that outplay by outscoring and those that outplay by creating more than they leave and leaving precious little.

    I think we have lost track of the importance of the second half of that statement. It seems anchored in a believe that defence is a skill and offense is a talent. They are both partly innate talents that can be improved by workling on relatted skills. Anybody who ever watched Esa Tikkanen poach (have you ever seen anybody do it as well?) should understand defence is a talent and a portion of it is innate, the rest you earn. Tikk is probably a pretty good upside comp for Benson which is why I mention him.

    But there is just the off chance Benson is the guy I started this post talking about. Which is why you draft him before the soft minutes outscorer. Every time. Just like you take Bob Gainey before Rick Middleton every time. Because the goal is winning.

  97. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    In my opinion, Chiarelli has done a fantastic job of calling names at the draft since hired.
    *********************************************************************************************************

    Our prospect pool has received a lot of 3rd party attention lately.

    I am glad you like PC’s work.

  98. stephen sheps says:

    –hudson–,

    that would be the one, yes. Thanks for tracking it down.

    I feel like I may have had another ‘scouting report’ but I know it wasn’t on my blog. It might have been at Copper N Blue, since I was still active over there at the time (though no longer on the masthead), but who knows. No need to look into it at all, really.

    Point is, I said he wasn’t what the Oilers were looking for at the time, and I stand by it now…

    All that to say is this is all much ado about nothing. It was a throwaway comment to Cassandra earlier that I really didn’t think would lead to any further comments later in the day.

    But thanks again for finding the old comment. It’s fun to look through those old threads from years ago and see some names I haven’t seen around these parts in some time that I miss seeing regularly.

  99. McSorley33 says:

    frjohnk,

    Significant asset picks were spent and there is not much to show for it on the NHL player roster today. Not sure how this stacks up to other teams, but over the last 5 years, the Oilers process of robbing from the future to “get better right now” has not been an avenue of success.
    *******************************************************************************************************************
    Yes, but to be fair this org. has been picking from the very *bottom* of *each* round…..oh, wait.

  100. Andy Dufresne says:

    Anyone got the time nailed for Lottery?

    What I got so far is Saturday on NBC

    Last year I think it was done a half hour before the evening game on CBC

  101. geowal says:

    Anybody confused by the Bill Peters thing? He resigned as coach (that’s a thing?) and proceeded to sign with the flames. Is this not collusion/tampering, etc? If ever there was a situation to keep the compensatory draft pick, surely this is it. I don’t get why is contract to Carolina is suddenly irrelevant.

  102. stephen sheps says:

    geowal,

    Peters had an out-clause in his contract and with the lack of a new GM in place, he chose to exercise it.

  103. godot10 says:

    The Montreal Canadiens had lots of players like Rick MIddleton, particularly, Guy Lafleur just entering his prime. They had nobody like Bob Gainey. They identified a player elite in every other way, particularly skating, except offense, and he wasn’t a bad offensive player. He produced 15-25 goals for over a decade without any power play time playing against the best players on the other team, and being an elite PK’ers.

    And considering he probably didn’t get power play time in junior either, his offensive production there at even strength was pretty good.

  104. godot10 says:

    geowal:
    Anybody confused by the Bill Peters thing? He resigned as coach (that’s a thing?) and proceeded to sign with the flames. Is this not collusion/tampering, etc? If ever there was a situation to keep the compensatory draft pick, surely this is it. I don’t get why is contract to Carolina is suddenly irrelevant.

    The new owner in Carolina didn’t want him back and didn’t want to fire him (because he would then have to pay him) so he was happy Peters exercised the option in his contract to opt out of the final season.

  105. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Cassandra:
    Man, Rick Middleton had an incredible career.I had no idea how great.

    Anyone who thinks Gainey was the better player, or provided more value to his team, isn’t being reasonable.

    Middleton was a fav of mine, tremendous player and probably never got as much recognition as he deserved.

    There is some validity to Vor’a point. The issue is again outliers. Gainey was a really good player. But he was unusual and exceptional.

    There is such a variable in drafting because of the human component. Perhaps somebody like Vor will find the algorithm that can reliably find the intangibles (actual intangibles not gritensity) and great multi dimensional can be drafted.

    Until then it is very risky to try to draft role players. It is risky to draft physical outliers IMO because the odds are stacked against them even more than the already low odds of even making the league as a useful player and even lower odds of being an impact player.

    Drafting the best skill with the least obstacles is reliable, less complicated. It is critical to get productive players every draft of you want your team to remain a contender.

    A GM who knows what he is looking at in pro players can fill holes reliably outside of the draft. It is largely impossible to get impact players outside of the draft now, mainly because of the cap and that the league despite it’s warts is getting more sophisticated at management levels.

  106. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR:
    I want to be clear.

    1. I think Rick Middleton should be in the Hall of Fame. That he isn’t is beyond unfair. Until he got hit in the head by a puck in practice he was one of the most exciting players in hockey. I don’t much care what his team accomplished not being a Bruins fan. He was just so much fun to watch. His nickname, Nifty, says it all.

    He was also a real Gentleman as his Byng and mutliple close calls with the Byng attest. He was a well above average checker to boot. He got close to the Selke a couple of times.

    2. I think Gainey was the better player.

    Value comes from your impact on team goal share and not just your personal goal share. Gainey is fairly unique amongst defensive forwards in that people noticed the impact he was having on game outcomes. He sawed off the toughs. From media reports at the time we have to conclude he played the NHLs best players to at worst a standstill. But usually he and the guys he played with outscored their on ice opposition.

    In doing so he exposed the other teams soft underbelly to the brutal attack of his more offensively gifted teammates (and they were gifted). And with him outscoring they started out ahead. All Montreal’s top three lines had to do was outscore the other teams bottom three lines and they’d win. Which they did, a lot.

    Not to mention he and Jarvis were truly astoundingly good penalty killers.

    Those of you having a hard time imagining what impact a great defesive player has should consider this: how bad would the Oiler’s record be if every night the other teams checking unit out scored McDavid and whoever is playing with him? Gainey and his checking unit teammates neutralized players like Middleton, over and over and over. Nobody else in the league could do that. It wasn’t just Middleton, Gainey disrupted and minimized the games of most of the greatest scorers hockey has ever seen.

    I can’t understand why anybody has trouble understanding that this is what great defensive players do. They increase their team’s odds of winning by outscoring the other team’s best players. Yeah maybe the game ends 2-1. But if you are the 2 and they are the 1 then you’ve done your job.

    Nor do I understand why people believe that elite defensive, game changing defensive talent can be taught. Can most offensive players learn to do it better than they did it in junior or early in their pro careers. Yes, sure. But that is as much because of how badly they played defence before they actually realized it was important as how easy it is to play defence at an elite level.

    Can you teach a failed scorer to be as good at as Gainey or for that matter Datysuk or Marchant or Greer, or yes, Buchberger? I would argue that more commonly what you get is players that become two way options, usually relatively ineffective two way options. Occasionally one redefines that role like Gainey did the checking forward role. Daniel Cleary comes to mind as an example. Again if you outscore the opposition you’ve done your job. Marty Gelinas would be another example.

    I am just saying there is such a thing as defensive talent. And that some portion of that talent is innate.

    Name a great defensive forward in the NHL. Now go and look up their scouting reports pre draft. Notice how often the term two hundred foot player comes up or even superb checker, great away from the puck, strong back checker, etc occur. Defensive skill announces itself early and often we just chose not to listen or even to entertain the idea that it might be more important than offensive performance. Cleary, Datysuk, and Gelinas are all examples by the way of players who showed defensive talents early and scouts noticed.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Pavel Datysuk game then what Alex DeBrincat does is pretty well irrelevant including his boxcars.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Daniel Cleary/Marty Gelinas game then Alex DeBrincat has to equally outscore similar competition to be as valuable. The boxcars are irrelevant.

    If Tyler Benson comes out and plays the Bob Gainey game then Alex DeBrincat has to equally outscore similar competition to be as valuable. The boxcars are still irrelevant.

    In other words it is really down to Tyler Benson to find a role and contribute positively.

    Given that in the long run the boxcars are irrelevant why is that such a focus for so many of you?

    Surely you want to draft kids who can contribute positively?

    Alex DeBrincat had a great season this year. I am hoping that has sustain. I am rooting like mad for the kid. I am a fan of small players. But he did it with a major zone start push, some help with the lifting, and quite soft competition. His shooting percentage might also not be sustainable.

    In the long haul these two kids aren’t applying for the same job. DeBrincat will stick in the NHL as a soft minutes outplayer (Dennis Maruk is probably his true upside – no knock on Maruk who had moments he was a true superstar) and deserved on merit to be drafted higher. I said so at the time by the way.

    Tyler Benson is expected to outplay a much tougher level of competition and by doing so set the table for a player like DeBrincat. He won’t get an ozone push, or as much help, or soft competition. He will make his way, if he does at all, with hard work with the ice tilted against him. If he turns out to be as good at it as any of the guys I have mentioned here every Oiler fan should be forever thankful.

    Great teams need both kinds of players but to get there you have to draft both kinds of forwards. Those that outplay by outscoring and those that outplay by creating more than they leave and leaving precious little.

    I think we have lost track of the importance of the second half of that statement. It seems anchored in a believe that defence is a skill and offense is a talent. They are both partly innate talents that can be improved by workling on relatted skills. Anybody who ever watched Esa Tikkanen poach (have you ever seen anybody do it as well?) should understand defence is a talent and a portion of it is innate, the rest you earn. Tikk is probably a pretty good upside comp for Benson which is why I mention him.

    But there is just the off chance Benson is the guy I started this post talking about. Which is why you draft him before the soft minutes outscorer. Every time. Just like you take Bob Gainey before Rick Middleton every time. Because the goal is winning.

    Nice post.

    Patrice Bergeron is the current example of a player that usually dominates the best without high offense.

    I’m wishing this for JP, a dominant outscorer that has the size and speed that says there is nothing you can do about it.

  107. leadfarmer says:

    VOR,

    More draft picks have been thrown away at the “200” foot player and “future captain material” than could be counted. Yes look at the guys that have a great 2 way game and a lot of them had it early. But across the board so few of those guys actually make it. Very few

    To be able to shut down this new breed of NHL star you have to skate like those guys. Benson cannot skate like those guys.

    Also, this whole notion of top 6 bottom 6 roster player is dead. Long dead. We need to move on.
    Thats why when our brain trust said that you cant play Nuge on the 3rd line center i knew that these guys just dont get it. You need to roll 3 lines in todays NHL.

    You never ever draft Benson before Debrincat. Ever. You can find defensively responsible two way players, its really hard to find fast offensively skilled players.

  108. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    VOR,

    More draft picks have been thrown away at the “200” foot player and “future captain material” than could be counted.Yes look at the guys that have a great 2 way game and a lot of them had it early.But across the board so few of those guys actually make it.Very few

    To be able to shut down this new breed of NHL star you have to skate like those guys.Benson cannot skate like those guys.

    Also, this whole notion of top 6 bottom 6 roster player is dead.Long dead.We need to move on.
    Thats why when our brain trust said that you cant play Nuge on the 3rd line center i knew that these guys just dont get it.You need to roll 3 lines in todays NHL.

    You never ever draft Benson before Debrincat.Ever.You can find defensively responsible two way players, its really hard to find fast offensively skilled players.

    PC has taken a lot of fliers on players with significant injuries, as in career ending injuries like Benson.

    If Benson gets past his hip area issues I believe his skating will improve, he wouldn’t have been an exceptional status player with sluggish boots.

    I’m ok with signings and late round picks for players like this, but firsts and seconds need to be the lowest risk possible. It is critical they pan out at a good rate.

    I really wish they’d drop the from Edmonton Alberta prairies thing. They have McD and a splashy arena , it’s enough to go for the best talent.

  109. Professor Q says:

    Scungilli Slushy: PC has taken a lot of fliers on players with significant injuries, as in career ending injuries like Benson.

    If Benson gets past his hip area issues I believe his skating will improve, he wouldn’t have been an exceptional status player with sluggish boots.

    I’m ok with signings and late round picks for players like this, but firsts and seconds need to be the lowest risk possible. It is critical they pan out at a good rate.

    I really wish they’d drop the from Edmonton Alberta prairies thing. They have McD and a splashy arena , it’s enough to go for the best talent.

    Especially as that best talent at that time happened to have played alongside (sometimes) and on the same team as said McDavid, for a few years.

  110. frjohnk says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    frjohnk,

    – Interesting stuff.I can’t keep track, but in the last 4 years, how many draft picks did we acquire through trades etc?17 draft picks went out and we have these net players to show, but what is net picks lost?

    Yeah. We gained picks by trading guys like Nail, Schultz and Purcell along with others.

    One could easily track those transactions. With the picks we did acquire or kept, I like what PC has done with them for the most part.

    But my point was to travel down the road of how did we fare by trading picks for “NHL players” in the last few years. Oilers have not done well by trading picks for immediate help. Actually, the results are terrible for the prices paid.

  111. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Professor Q: Especially as that best talent at that time happened to have played alongside (sometimes) and on the same team as said McDavid, for a few years.

    I wonder if they asked Connor about him?

  112. Alpine says:

    There’s a handful of guys who’ve become great two way forwards with roughly 1.0 PPG seasons in their draft year. Jordan Staal, Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O’Reilly come to mind. Bo Horvat looks to be on a similar trajectory. Two of the above are top 10 picks, two are second rounders. I think it’s fine to draft guys like that high up if you’re absolutely sure of their defensive upside or ability to score at evens.

    All of those guys play Centre though. Staal is huge at 6’4’’ and Bergeron and O’Reilly both clear 6’ by an inch or two. Horvat and O’Reilly weigh well over 210 lbs. Bergeron is skinny but is the best offensively of the group. These guys are obviously the blue sky scenario for a player who scores like Benson (maybe throw Landeskog in there). I don’t believe Benson can match the skating or muscle mass of Horvat or O’Reilly nor the offensive prowess of Bergeron. He’ll never catch Staal in pure monstrous size either. As a 32nd pick he doesn’t have to match any of them.

    But I have my doubts about guys who aren’t great scorers or skaters making it as everyday top 9 forwards. I like what a lot of what Benson brings. I do wonder how many guys of his ilk made it without even becoming reliable secondary scorers or good defensive players. Not many good defensive forwards do it these days without above average skating ability.

    I think Benson might score better than the average projection of his junior scoring ability will seem to predict. I also think his skating might hold him back from truly realizing his two-way talent at the NHL level.

  113. Professor Q says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I wonder if they asked Connor about him?

    I definitely wondered about that! Maybe they asked him about DeBrincat and Raddysh.

    He obviously really liked Dylan Strome. Enough so that Chia would trade for him…

  114. meanashell11 says:

    VOR, not sure if you saw my comment the other day when you were asking some modeling/charting questions (other than my Gaussian Copula comment) but I asked if you had looked at Litterman’s 1996 paper while he was at GS called “Hot spots and Hedges”. I was at GS at the time and what he did there sounds sort of what you were asking about.

  115. Scungilli Slushy says:

    frjohnk: Yeah. We gained picks by trading guys like Nail, Schultz and Purcell along with others.

    One could easily track those transactions. With the picks we did acquire or kept, I like what PC has done with them for the most part.

    But my point was to travel down the road of how did we fare by trading picks for “NHL players” in the last few years. Oilers have not done well by trading picks for immediate help. Actually, the results are terrible for the prices paid.

    In anything the most important thing to do is understand and make sure you are asking the right questions. Everything follows much more easily if you can do that. Start as you intend to go as LT says.

    The Oilers have a long history of asking the wrong questions, and it is troubling that despite the changes in management they didn’t change seemingly at all on the pro side. Drafting has become better.

    A lack of due diligence remains. For example Jokinen was a superb player, but after a knee injury and being at an age where most players drop off anyway, how did they not know he had lost too many steps?

    It makes me think that they are being too old school and chummy about these things. And not demanding proof, not doing background work on vets or draftees.

    One thing about Katz is he has high revenue from his team and seems willing to spend. Use it to not waste time on mistakes, Connor was an incredible windfall, but time moves quickly and he has only so much time in the league.

    To respect him means making the best possible decisions and building the best team with what you can acquire reasonably. Losing trades and signing done players isn’t that.

    Or giving protection that elite players might deserve to role players. And money. There are lots of guys that will gap far and block shots and struggle with physical play for less than 4M, and be good in the room and try to help young guys.

    Pissing around and wasting time ‘learning’ isn’t acceptable for experienced people. Know what you are doing or move management on pronto. Coaches too.

    Sorry I’m pissy but it’s true.

  116. VOR says:

    leadfarmer:
    VOR,

    More draft picks have been thrown away at the “200” foot player and “future captain material” than could be counted.Yes look at the guys that have a great 2 way game and a lot of them had it early.But across the board so few of those guys actually make it.Very few

    To be able to shut down this new breed of NHL star you have to skate like those guys.Benson cannot skate like those guys.

    Also, this whole notion of top 6 bottom 6 roster player is dead.Long dead.We need to move on.
    Thats why when our brain trust said that you cant play Nuge on the 3rd line center i knew that these guys just dont get it.You need to roll 3 lines in todays NHL.

    You never ever draft Benson before Debrincat.Ever.You can find defensively responsible two way players, its really hard to find fast offensively skilled players.

    Very few second rounders or beyond make it period. You pick the most talented player available for that very reason. Elite talents are hard to find period.

    I will stick to my original point. If they are defnsively talented they are still talented. If they are elite defensive forwards that outplay by leaving nothing that is still elite talent. Collect enough elite talent, fit it all under the cap, and your odds of winning a Cup goes up.

    I think we forget that offensive players need to outplay not just score a lot. Connor McDavid shows the value of offensive players who can outplay against anyone. As for that matter did Taylor Hall. However, that doesn’t mean you should play them power versus power. If you have somebody who can outplay the other team’s power your superstars can shred the next tier of opposition.

    And if, as happens the offence doesn’t come with the player to the NHL but they have real talent away from the puck the player can be a two way or checking forward and still be a positive contributor. If DeBrincat can’t outscore his mistakes without all the sheltering he will struggle to be a positive contributor.

    I haven’t ever seen a healthy Tyler Benson skate in game play. I have no idea how good a skater he is or isn’t.

    Frankly, even with digital monitoring it is actually hard to make the call on a kid’s skating.

    I just watched film of some kids who are eligible for next year’s draft. It is digital of course and my analysis had this one kid being a below average skater. Then I hit the moment he comes down one on two against two pretty good D men. He squared up on the right D, then went laterally about three feet in a fraction of a second, drove forward like a rocket, caught the other D flat footed, stepped in on him, went laterally again – other direction – and wristed it top corner far side. So slower than average over the length of the ice but an immensely gifted skater in tight spaces.

    What I am saying is skating is multi-dimensional.

    Years ago I was at an Oilers game and that was one stacked team. This is the post Gretzky Oilers, but also post the trade. Up until this game I would have told you Martin Gelinas was never going to amount to anything. Then he, Joe Murphy, and Adam Graves got trapped deep, over committing on the forecheck. They lost possession and it came to I think it was Dale Hawrechuk. The guy could fly and its a three on two.

    Gelinas took off in pursuit. He knew he couldn’t catch Hawrechuk. But he killed himself to get back into the play and turn it into a 3 on 3. Then he lifted the trailer’s stick at just the right moment and stole the puck. He couldn’t get clear possession but he whacked it into the corner and went and fought to get full possesion. He finally succeeded in freezing the play.

    I thought nothing of it until I heard Cam Cole interviewed and he went on and on about how fabulous a skater Gelinas was. Coming from a standing start headed the wrong way to catch the trailer. He talked about not just the skill it took but the incredible fitness it took to do it at the end of a punishing shift. And then how strong he was on the puck as he fought two players for possession and managed to freeze it in his skates while they tried to knock him off the puck. And how smart he was from start to finish.

    The thing is Cam Cole nailed it. Smart thinking and superb secondary skating skills, especially being incredibly strong on his skates with phenomenal, effortless edge control helped Gelinas to carve out a career. It made him one of the most ferocious forecheckers in hockey history.

    From this I learned there is much more to skating at the NHL level than being a fast skater. Once I started upgrading my own skating I came to realize that those other aspects of skating are damn hard to master. And being able to think fast and clearly is the key to deploying those other skating skills. Now I am, no offence to you, reluctant to take anyone’s word on a player’s skating until I have a chance to measure it in real time (in game conditions) with the best equipment.

    Hockey history is littered with the bodies of guys who could fly but couldn’t play hockey worth crap. But it also holds hundreds of examples of guys who could fly in junior and couldn’t skate well enough to play NHL hockey. Conversely, there are lots of guys whose skating based on scouting reports was sub standard. Then they show up in the NHL and turn out to be phenomenal skaters. Nick Lidstrom for example was considered a below average skater coming into the draft. In the NHL the guy never broke a sweat because he was such a great skater he didn’t need to exert to get where he needed to be faster than everyone else.

    So I reserve judgement on Tyler Benson’s skating.

    Like I said it is up to him to find a role where he can contribute positively. A lot of you are assuming he can’t because he doesn’t have the offence to be an offensive star. I think you are probably wrong on two accounts, pre-injury he was an extremely gifted offensive player and two I will bet he has other talents that he can deploy at the NHL level based on scouting reports.

  117. VOR says:

    meanashell11:
    VOR, not sure if you saw my comment the other day when you were asking some modeling/charting questions (other than my Gaussian Copula comment) but I asked if you had looked at Litterman’s 1996 paper while he was at GS called “Hot spots and Hedges”. I was at GS at the time and what he did there sounds sort of what you were asking about.

    I hope to have a moment tomorrow to track it down and thanks for the tip. Sorry for not repsonding earlier.

  118. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Alpine:
    There’s a handful of guys who’ve become great two way forwards with roughly 1.0 PPG seasons in their draft year. Jordan Staal, Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O’Reilly come to mind. Bo Horvat looks to be on a similar trajectory. Two of the above are top 10 picks, two are second rounders. I think it’s fine to draft guys like that high up if you’re absolutely sure of their defensive upside or ability to score at evens.

    All of those guys play Centre though. Staal is huge at 6’4’’ and Bergeron and O’Reilly both clear 6’ by an inch or two. Horvat and O’Reilly weigh well over 210 lbs. Bergeron is skinny but is the bestoffensively of the group. These guys are obviously the blue sky scenario for a player who scores like Benson (maybe throw Landeskog in there). I don’t believe Benson can match the skating or muscle mass of Horvat or O’Reilly nor the offensive prowess of Bergeron. He’ll never catch Staal in pure monstrous size either. As a 32nd pick he doesn’t have to match any of them.

    But I have my doubts about guys who aren’t great scorers or skaters making it as everyday top 9 forwards. I like what a lot of what Benson brings. I do wonder how many guys of his ilk made it without even becoming reliable secondary scorers or good defensive players. Not many good defensive forwards do it these days without above average skating ability.

    I think Benson might score better than the average projection of his junior scoring ability will seem to predict. I also think his skating might hold him back from truly realizing his two-way talent at the NHL level.

    I took my son to an a Canucks game and a buddy arranged that we could meet some players in the public area and Edler in the dressing room. Great buddy for sure.

    Horvat was one, and he is a nice guy and really is built like a linebacker. Under 6 and a tank. Not a typical NHL build. Crosby is a tank, but a lot is lower body, Horvat looks like a bodybuilder. I think being heaviy doesn’t help as much as skill, skating and being taller.

    Horvat is a good player for sure but I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t develop production his draft position suggests. Although he can score goals it seems.

    These days at least. IF the league reverts to allowing more obstruction again being a tank will become more important as it was. Right now pace is key, both skating and decision making, because skill has more room.

  119. ArmchairGM says:

    Doug McLachlan: Thanks.So while Mascherin has to re-enter the draft, Elynuik (who the Oilers probably have some familiarity with watching Yamamoto) could be had with a contract offer on June 2nd?July 1st?

    June 2, yes. Seems like a decent option.

  120. jtblack says:

    J.J. Khaira in Lethbridge to watch his brother

  121. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I took my son to an a Canucks game and a buddy arranged that we could meet some players in the public area and Edler in the dressing room. Great buddy for sure.

    Horvat was one, and he is a nice guy and really is built like a linebacker. Under 6 and a tank. Not a typical NHL build. Crosby is a tank, but a lot is lower body, Horvat looks like a bodybuilder. I think being heaviy doesn’t help as much as skill, skating and being taller.

    Horvat is a good player for sure but I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t develop production his draft position suggests. Although he can score goals it seems.

    These days at least. IF the league reverts to allowing more obstruction again being a tank will become more important as it was. Right now pace is key, both skating and decision making, because skill has more room.

    Horvat is already outscoring a couple of forwards drafted ahead of him (Lindholm, Drouin) and no one selected after him is even close. Not sure what you were expecting.

  122. Wilde says:

    VOR, the individual to individual variance of talent and the rate of scoring is so high in junior hockey that if you have ‘defensive talent’ you will also score.

    If your mind works at a speed that allows you to properly read situations enough to check properly, you will also be in the right place at the right time often enough to score.

    Look at the European kids who play in adult leagues as minors: They don’t score(usually), but their clubs see benefit in having them on the ice anyways.

    When they go back and play their U20 games, they score.

    Your entire point about this is putting on ice goal share above individual scoring.

    Makes sense.

    The problem is, it’s harder to drive a margin when the GF side of the ledger isn’t going up.

    The big checker can strangle the best competition down to, say, 2.0GF/60.

    If he doesn’t drive the GF/60 above 3.0, then the superstar forward is still more valuable when he puts up four goals and hour giving up three.

    Sean Courturier is one of the successful examples of a junior player’s checking ability being valued, and translating that into the NHL as a Selke candidate forward.

    He also scored 96 in 58 in the Q.

    His widest margin goal differential that he’s driven in his career has been this year, an incredible +31 5v5.

    He didn’t do this by driving down the GA. They put him in between two potent offensive players, and they scored more.

    You’re never going to stop star forwards from scoring at least two goals per hour. Not in the modern NHL.

    So you need to also be able to threaten them offensively.

    Bag of Pucks:

    When Chiarelli arrived, there was very little talent, minimal competition and a culture of perpetual losing and death marches.

    There’s now some legitimate talent on the roster.

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Here are the difference making talents from before Chiarelli:

    McDavid
    Hall
    Draisaitl
    Eberle
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse

    Here they are now:

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Sekera
    Larsson

    That’s after blowing an insane amount of valuable draft picks to acquire players who should have competed, and a large amount(11.95MM) of cap space.

    There’s plenty of Chiarelli induced competition on the roster, but it’s all at the edges. Players coming into our org still have a free ticket into cherry minutes. See Caggiula, Aberg, etc. Marody will likely break the NHL roster out of camp.

    A non-lottery draft+1 guy broke out of camp as the top RW, because he could beat out another 19 year old and Zack Kassian.

  123. leadfarmer says:

    VOR,

    Yes that’s true, but being a subpar skater is now a nail in the coffin. Doesn’t matter how good you are in every other aspect of the game. It is now a fatal flaw.
    The guys you are listing as great defensive players other than Gelinas are actually amazing offensive players and have been so I don’t know why you are listing them as just elite defensive players. Elite defensive forwards make me thing of guys like Faksa or Backlund, guys that are great in their end but no where near the offensive leaderboards. The other guys were elite offensively and grew to become elite defensively.
    I liked the Benson pick, I wanted Debrincat much more but I never expected Chia to consider him. Back to back season with significant injuries is a prospect killer.
    He never got much out of that exceptional status because he had a knee injury, seems to be story of his career

  124. Wilde says:

    Also, I’m getting the feeling the Oilers are ‘saving’ their newsbreaking until everything’s in place.

    100% Jim Johnson’s gone already. Why not announce it? There has to be more.

    Plan the plan unveiling!

    Also, it’s only 4 days until we ascend to true supervillainy.

    I’m working on my cackle.

  125. Pescador says:

    Wilde:
    VOR, the individual to individual variance of talent and the rate of scoring is so high in junior hockey that if you have ‘defensive talent’ you will also score.

    If your mind works at a speed that allows you to properly read situations enough to check properly, you will also be in the right place at the right time often enough to score.

    Look at the European kids who play in adult leagues as minors: They don’t score(usually), but their clubs see benefit in having them on the ice anyways.

    When they go back and play their U20 games, they score.

    Your entire point about this is putting on ice goal share above individual scoring.

    Makes sense.

    The problem is, it’s harder to drive a margin when the GF side of the ledger isn’t going up.

    The big checker can strangle the best competition down to, say, 2.0GF/60.

    If he doesn’t drive the GF/60 above 3.0, then the superstar forward is still more valuable when he puts up four goals and hour giving up three.

    Sean Courturier is one of the successful examples of a junior player’s checking ability being valued, and translating that into the NHL as a Selke candidate forward.

    He also scored 96 in 58 in the Q.

    His widest margin goal differential that he’s driven in his career has been this year, an incredible +31 5v5.

    He didn’t do this by driving down the GA. They put him in between two potent offensive players, and they scored more.

    You’re never going to stop star forwards from scoring at least two goals per hour. Not in the modern NHL.

    So you need to also be able to threaten them offensively.

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Here are the difference making talents from before Chiarelli:

    McDavid
    Hall
    Draisaitl
    Eberle
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse

    Here they are now:

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Larsson

    There’s plenty of Chiarelli induced competition on the roster, but it’s all at the edges. Players coming into our org still have a free ticket into cherry minutes. See Caggiula, Aberg, etc. Marody will likely break the NHL roster out of camp.

    A non-lottery draft+1 guy broke out of camp as the top RW.

    Damning truth,
    I wonder which core piece will be sent away this summer to improve the outside edges
    At least we have continuity

  126. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Horvat is already outscoring a couple of forwards drafted ahead of him (Lindholm, Drouin) and no one selected after him is even close. Not sure what you were expecting.

    Typical DSF post. Bunch of words very little truth. The draft was very weak. But Domi is drafted behind him and is only 22 points behind with a entire season less played. Wennberg also has very similar numbers to Horvat. And before you move the goalposts he actually hasn’t outscored Lindholm

  127. Pescador says:

    Wilde,

    They like to seep out the news rather then announce,
    Sunday afternoon or Monday morning of a planned holiday week.
    Plus we are going down in the draft not up,
    This year just keeps on giving
    Optimism is hard

  128. Wilde says:

    Bo Horvat is a valuable player.

    If we get a player of his calibre at our draft spot this year, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    There’s no reason his line shouldn’t be getting caved every year, and I think some of the numbers on Chris Tanev’s resume are partially his doing.

  129. Doc Savage says:

    Wilde: Couldn’t disagree more.

    Here are the difference making talents from before Chiarelli:

    McDavid
    Hall
    Draisaitl
    Eberle
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse

    Here they are now:

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nuge
    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Sekera
    Larsson

    That’s after blowing an insane amount of valuable draft picks to acquire players who should have competed, and a large amount(11.95MM) of cap space.

    There’s plenty of Chiarelli induced competition on the roster, but it’s all at the edges. Players coming into our org still have a free ticket into cherry minutes. See Caggiula, Aberg, etc. Marody will likely break the NHL roster out of camp.

    A non-lottery draft+1 guy broke out of camp as the top RW, because he could beat out another 19 year old and Zack Kassian.

    McDavid was always going to get paid and that’s a $9 million dollar difference to reconcile from the pre and post-Chiarelli roster. The bet may not have been that Puljujarvi replaces Hall, but that the combination of Draisaitl and Puljujarvi replaces Hall and Eberle. Of course, this ignores the fact that Lucic makes $6 million and would have been a straight up swap for Hall with Draisaitl and Puljujarvi still on the roster.

  130. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: Typical DSF post.Bunch of words very little truth.The draft was very weak.But Domi is drafted behind him and is only 22 points behind with a entire season less played.Wennberg also has very similar numbers to Horvat.And before you move the goalposts he actually hasn’t outscored Lindholm

    Seriously?

    Horvat has scored 71G in 295GP.
    Lindholm has scored 64G in 374GP.

    Horvat is 27 points behind Lindholm but has played 79 fewer games….almost a full season.

    I expect Horvat could more than make up the difference in a heartbeat.

    I agree it was a weak draft but Horvat has certainly held up his end of the bargain.

    FTR…Domi has posted back to back 9 goal seasons.

    I wouldn’t be dying on that hill if I were you.

  131. N64 says:

    Harpers Hair: I wouldn’t be dying on that hill if I were you

    ~ DSF won’t be found dead on any hills. It will be moving those heavy goalposts that will do it. ~

  132. Harpers Hair says:

    N64: ~ DSF won’t be found dead on any hills. It will be moving those heavy goalposts that will doit. ~

    Truly amazing how many otherwise sentient posters don’t want to deal with the facts.

  133. Professor Q says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I took my son to an a Canucks game and a buddy arranged that we could meet some players in the public area and Edler in the dressing room. Great buddy for sure.

    Horvat was one, and he is a nice guy and really is built like a linebacker. Under 6 and a tank. Not a typical NHL build. Crosby is a tank, but a lot is lower body, Horvat looks like a bodybuilder. I think being heaviy doesn’t help as much as skill, skating and being taller.

    Horvat is a good player for sure but I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t develop production his draft position suggests. Although he can score goals it seems.

    These days at least. IF the league reverts to allowing more obstruction again being a tank will become more important as it was. Right now pace is key, both skating and decision making, because skill has more room.

    Horvat is not under 6. And even though he’s listed at 6’0″ officially, I swear he could actually be taller. I’m 6’1″ and he’s about my height. It might actually be a case of the opposite of the usual exaggerated values.

    Plus, he’s built like a bull. Sure, he doesn’t have “Crosby Speed Skater Haunches”, but still.

    As for production, he’s improved annually, in different areas (offensively, defensively, postionally, leadership, etc.). Considering he was only 9th Overall, I really think he’s done more than well enough to cover that draft position, and higher ones as well. I would absolutely welcome a player of his calibre on Edmonton’s squad, and that’s even without my bias.

  134. VOR says:

    Wilde,

    You do know that this is Sean Couturier just finished his sixth season in the NHL?

    The first year (part of a year) he was not very good in any way but showed glimmers on the defensive side of the puck. The next four years he outplayed some of the toughest competition in the NHL with bad zone starts and only moderately gifted teammates. So for four years he produced mediocre offence but got the job done. Each year he got better at outplaying and he did it by reducing GA/60. Apparently you don’t need to be an offensive Dynamo to outplay the league’s best.

    In passing I just want to mention that a lot of scouts a) pointed out Couturier’s defensive talents at the time of draft and b) mentioned he wasn’t fast. Apparently being fast in today’s NHL isn’t essential to being a fabulous two way player worthy of a Selke nomination.

    This year Couturier had a stunning season but that wasn’t a function of just improved line mates. His minutes increased more than a little. He led all Flyers forwards in minutes played and by a pretty large margin. He played monster minutes in all three disciplines.

    He is the poster child for a change in deployment changing boxcars. Which is why I keep saying look for the positive contributors regardless of boxcars. He is also an example of a player with elite defensive skills being able to carve out a career when their offence falls short. He is pretty unique within that group in suddenly adding real fire power so far into his NHL career but few have ever gone from checker to first line minutes. Jacques Lemaire maybe.

    Now consider Alex DeBrincat and Sean Couturier. Are they applying for the same job. Nope. Which job is more valuable. Who contributes more?

    Here the boxcars in their draft year are very similar. But the players are not. Couturier had (and has) a talent DeBrincat didn’t. That talent made him a valuable contributor through years of lean offence.

    My original point stands. By and large defensive talent is under appreciated in our love affair with offensive fire power.

    I’ve come up with a simple thought experiment. Compare Sean Couturier’s first full NHL season to the season Alex DeBrincat just had. Which player do you think brought more value to their team? How much of the difference in value is explained by one player having elite defensive skills? Elite offensive skills?

  135. Wilde says:

    VOR,

    Couturier is a supremely gifted offensive player. He has always been. That’s the point, he’s proven he can provide value even in a wholly defensive deployment… but he’s also a scorer, and I think that’s most often the case with ‘defensively talented’ players.

    My original point stands. By and large defensive talent is under appreciated in our love affair with offensive fire power.

    I don’t think this is true, though.

    Perhaps defensive talent is underappreciated by itself, but any lack thereof is an enormously expedient and popular method for the derision of any offensively productive player on a losing team.

    I think the actual population of players that have a significant gap between their offensive talent and their defensive talent, the latter being the greater, is entirely overreported.

    If you’re good defensively, you score. Almost the only outnumbered situations that occur during NHL play are manufactured by a takeaway at either blueline. The reason Couturier didn’t is because of the unit and opportunity, and not his own lack of offensive talent, demonstrated by his boxcar explosion.

  136. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Seriously?

    Horvat has scored 71G in 295GP.
    Lindholm has scored 64G in 374GP.

    Horvat is 27 points behind Lindholm but has played 79 fewer games….almost a full season.

    I expect Horvat could more than make up the difference in a heartbeat.

    I agree it was a weak draft but Horvat has certainly held up his end of the bargain.

    FTR…Domi has posted back to back 9 goal seasons.

    I wouldn’t be dying on that hill if I were you.

    Typical DSF Fashion. You fell right into it.
    So Horvat has a few less points in almost a full season less yet you disregard Domi who has a few less points in almost a season less.

  137. meanashell11 says:

    Wilde:
    VOR,

    Couturier is a supremely gifted offensive player. He has always been. That’s the point, he’s proven he can provide value even in a wholly defensive deployment… but he’s also a scorer, and I think that’s most often the case with ‘defensively talented’ players.

    I don’t think this is true, though.

    Perhaps defensive talent is underappreciated by itself, but any lack thereof is an enormously expedient and popular method for the derision of any offensively productive player on a losing team.

    I think the actual population of players that have a significant gap between their offensive talent and their defensive talent, the latter being the greater, is entirely overreported.

    If you’re good defensively, you score. Almost the only outnumbered situations that occur during NHL play are manufactured by a takeaway at either blueline. The reason Couturier didn’t is because of the unit and opportunity, and not his own lack of offensive talent, demonstrated by his boxcar explosion.

    I see a lot of Couturier in RNH. In an offensive role, he can score. In a defensive role he can shut down.

  138. meanashell11 says:

    leadfarmer: Typical DSF Fashion.You fell right into it.
    So Horvat has a few less points in almost a full season less yet you disregard Domi who has a few less points in almost a season less.

    I cannot believe this guy is back.

  139. PrairieOil says:

    meanashell11,

    Yeah, you’d think that with the runaway success of his blog, he’d have no time to pop in here and edify the little people

  140. meanashell11 says:

    PrairieOil,

    hahahaha!!!!

  141. Jethro Tull says:

    Wilde: Couturier is a supremely gifted offensive player. He has always been.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=115908

    Cooter (to his friends) is a fine player, but perhaps you should revisit this statement. He has never broken 40pts before this season. His PPG was never great, but he did provide value. Good for him he had a great season, his best, your statement doesn’t jive.

  142. VOR says:

    Wilde:
    VOR,

    Couturier is a supremely gifted offensive player. He has always been. That’s the point, he’s proven he can provide value even in a wholly defensive deployment… but he’s also a scorer, and I think that’s most often the case with ‘defensively talented’ players.

    I don’t think this is true, though.

    Perhaps defensive talent is underappreciated by itself, but any lack thereof is an enormously expedient and popular method for the derision of any offensively productive player on a losing team.

    I think the actual population of players that have a significant gap between their offensive talent and their defensive talent, the latter being the greater, is entirely overreported.

    If you’re good defensively, you score. Almost the only outnumbered situations that occur during NHL play are manufactured by a takeaway at either blueline. The reason Couturier didn’t is because of the unit and opportunity, and not his own lack of offensive talent, demonstrated by his boxcar explosion.

    In his first 416 games in the NHL Sean Couturier scared 191 points. That is hardly a player who has always displayed supreme offensive skills. But with a one year exception he has always been an outstanding defensive player. Apparently being good defensively doesn’t mean you score. I don’t mean that offensively. I get what you and Leadfarmer are trying to say. I appreciate you taking the time to engage.

    I think you are missing my point which is probably my fault. I am not saying ignore offence. I am saying draft players who have upsides that includes being able to thrive in reduced minute and specialist roles. Stop making it all about the boxcars and look at what happens if that center you drafted is getting the fourth most ice time of any center on your team.

    The Oilers need good role players, cheap ones. Great role playing is about outplaying. Because of limited minutes role players need to leave very little because they don’t have time to create very much. All I am saying is make sure you don’t miss a great role player chasing just one kind of talent.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca