The Edmonton Oilers signed Tyler Vesel on Monday, he represents a successful “draft and follow” and I think some proof that analytics can find you useful talent. He was chosen in the sixth round (No. 153 overall) in the 2014 entry draft. Only two players—Kevin Lebanc and Ondrej Kase—have played over 100 NHL games among those drafted after Vesel. He is the third Oilers pick (Leon Draisaitl, William Lagesson) to sign an NHL deal, and probably (Zach Nagelvoort, Liam Coughlin, Keven Bouchard) the last. Was this an astute signing?
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- New Lowetide: It was a tough season for Oscar Klefbom.
- New Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse delivered a strong season for the Oilers.
- New Scott Wheeler: Final Draft Rankings 2018.
- Lowetide: Predicting the late June trade that will flummox Oilers fans this summer
- Lowetide: Ty Smith a quality fit for the Oilers at No. 10 overall.
- Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s pick at No. 10 has great value.
- Lowetide: Woodcroft walks the streets of Bakersfield
- Lowetide: The Oilers and Mikko Koskinen.
- Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
Earned the deal with his play in Bakersfield. Had five points over the final six games of the season. Smart player. https://t.co/qO7FyCQxYl
— Ryan Holt (@CondorsHolty) May 8, 2018
I did not have Tyler Vesel among my Top 20 Prospects during the winter but he has talent (as shown in the NHLE for forwards). For me, everyone from Benson up has a chance to play in the NHL (mostly in a secondary offensive role) and Vesey is in that group. He’ll help a solid group that may include Kailer Yamamoto, Cooper Marody, Cameron Hebig and Tyler Benson.
The team will have 20 forwards (above) playing pro hockey in Edmonton, Bakersfield and Wichita. The roster as you see it doesn’t represent lines, or a depth chart, but I will say the NHL players are at the top of each position. Here’s my shot at the opening night lineup for Edmonton and Bakersfield (with the understanding there are moves ahead):
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Ty Rattie
- Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Pontus Aberg
- Jujhar Khaira—Ryan Strome—Jesse Puljujarvi
- Drake Caggiula—Brad Malone—Zack Kassian
- Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
- Andrej Sekera—Kris Russell
- Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
- Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen)
- Joe Gambardella—Cooper Marody—Kailer Yamamoto
- Tyler Benson—Cameron Hebig—Tyler Vesel
- ???—Colin Larkin—Mitch Callahan
- Ryan Stanton—Ethan Bear
- Caleb Jones—Eric Gryba
- William Lagesson-Ryan Mantha
- Al Montoya (Shane Starrett)
MORE ABOUT VESEL
Vesel’s career is similar offensively to Nic Dowd, who is a bigger player and a depth checker in the NHL. I think that’s probably Vesel’s future (if he has one) even considering those early AHL games mentioned above. I’m going to write an item this weekend for The Athletic on draft and follow types, I think analytics may have contributed to this selection.
THE 2014 DRAFT
Vesel is the third signing from the draft, Leon Draisaitl was the first-round selection followed by William Lagesson in the fourth round. To give you an idea about just how much harm trading away picks in 2014 and 2015 has caused the depth chart, here’s how the draft looks with no traded selections.
- No. 3 overall C Leon Draisaitl
- No. 33 overall C Ivan Barbashev (part of David Perron trade)
- No. 63 overall C Dominic Turgeon (part of Ben Scrivens deal)
- No. 93 overall R Nick Magyar (Mike Brown)
- No. 123 overall LD Matthew Berkovitz (Viktor Fasth)
- No. 153 overall RC Tyler Vesel
- No. 183 overall G Keven Bouchard
That’s a pretty good draft list, except the heart of the order was ripped away because the organization wanted immediate help. We’ve talked about this before but 2015 was even more devastating.
In early April I wrote about an ideal summer for the Oilers at The Athletic.
- Oilers management doesn’t have $8-million in walking around money this summer, so they have to be innovative and make some smaller bets. I count the main issues as a scoring winger for Draisaitl’s line and backup goaltender (we’ll call him 1B). I know the Oilers are going to push hard for a righty blue who can help on the power play, but for me that’s a luxury the club can’t afford.
- Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Pontus Aberg
The No. 2 right-winger is a bigger need than replacing Kris Russell as No. 2 RD. That’s a fact. I’m watching Aaron Ekblad hammer Connor McDavid shots into twine at the World Hockey Championships so get the idea of a hammer from the point. It’s a very small pool of talent that qualifies for that role and Ethan Bear might fill it a year from now. How much are you willing to spend on Ryan Pulock?
THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A full boat this morning, big brains and big fan starting at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Aaron Ekblad isn’t coming to Edmonton, so should the Oilers pursue a Pulock even if it means another overpay? Or keep their powder dry?
- Andrew Stoeten, The Athletic Toronto. It has been a devastating 24 hours for the Blue Jays.
- Eric Koreen, The Athletic Toronto. The Raptors brilliant season met a sudden end and it sounds like head coach Dwane Casey may not return.
- Murat Ates, The Athletic Winnipeg. Showerhead makes his Lowdown debut! Big brain, good fellow.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!