You can go sleep at home tonight (If you can get up and walk away)

The Oilers went into last year’s draft with seven picks and in dire need of making them count. One year later five of those picks are signed and one of the other selections had a solid year in college. Music! Now. Do it again.


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DRAFT 2018

There have been times when Oilers fans wondered openly what the hell was going on at the draft table containing the Oildrop logo. The year 2007 comes to mind, but there have been others (Blind Alexei Mikhnov, Jesse “can’t put on weight” Niinimaki, Rob “banana hammock” Schremp) and on it went for several years.

Now I believe Oilers fans have reached the stage where they would like to see what the scouting staff could do with a full boat at the draft. This year, the club is missing only a fourth-round selection, and has picks at No. 10, 40 and 71. They might not get five men worth signing but three seems possible. Lay that pipe, Oilers, build that system.


I like to park these side by side around this time of year, we get to see the draft’s final stories focus and come into view. Something tells me Boqvist falls and the Oilers pass on him, possible to grab their own wildcard (Bokk? Kravtsov?) or my personal favorite Ty Smith (I have him at No. 5 overall but he could go in the 20’s). Button’s list often mirrors the Oilers, so we might want to spend more time looking at Barrett Hayton. What Oilers fans really need is for the Rangers to draft out of order, something that could happen. Future Considerations list is here.


Frank Seravalli (last week on the Lowdown) and Elliotte Friedman (31 Thoughts) both stated the Oilers are looking to move Milan Lucic. Seravalli talked about Edmonton adding a sweetener and Friedman mentioned the Oilers “seemed confident there is a fit” which may mean a deal is already in place and they are waiting for the completion of the trade. I’m thinking Lucic and No. 40 for Dion Phaneuf, I don’t like where this is going.

  • Bob McKenzie to Dustin Nielson (TSN1260): There’d be lots of teams that would roll the dice on Milan Lucic; but again, you literally would have to give him away in some respects to make a really favorable deal.” Source (Eric will tweet out interview this morning).

Dion Phaneuf, Bobby Ryan, and don’t forget the sweetener plus the Oilers might have to retain. This is beyond perilous, but it isn’t grand contemplating status quo either. If there’s an opportunity to improve the team without trading away valuable picks and prospects, then make it so. Milan Lucic and Drake Caggiula for Loui Eriksson? The Eriksson deal is a year shorter, and Eriksson might be able to help out in ways (penalty kill, two-way player) that represents a need for the Oilers. This is a difficult transaction.


I like to rank goalies for my own purposes but the math I apply (save percentage over as many as three years, holding the starting job, size) are fairly rudimentary. Here are the 10 best goalies by my eye:

  1. Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech). Huge goalie, quality resume.
  2. Oliver Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL). Best NA goalie by consensus.
  3. Lukas Dostal, Brno (Czech). Fabulous numbers over the last two seasons.
  4. Olof Lindbom, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Good size, rebound control, strong U18’s.
  5. Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (MHL). Undersized but brilliant.
  6. Ivan Prosvetov, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). Big goalie, gaudy numbers.
  7. Joel Hofer, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). He didn’t play much, quality when he did get in games.
  8. Justus Annunen, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Massive goalie, solid season, playoff spike.
  9. Vincent Purpura, Omaha Lancers (USHL). Big goalie has been consistent.
  10. Alexis Gravel, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Talented big man mediocre in draft year.


Lots of chatter about Ty Smith in the last 24 hours, Bob Stauffer’s tweet getting a lot of reaction on twitter and in the comments section. I’ve seen “if they draft Ty Smith at No. 10, I’m done!” and that’s a reflection of the great passion of Oilers fans.

I think it’s wise to understand why a shuffle may be taking place at this time. First, NHL teams will have a much better idea about each player in regard to health, injury, and the various testing results will lead them away from some prospects and toward others.

That said, it’s unlikely Bob is going to publish the Oilers list, so let’s calm ourselves a little. Beyond identifying a worthy player (see above), Stauffer is offering you his insight into a player “in the range” for Edmonton. Some have suggested the intent of the tweet was to send out a message to other NHL teams, while my own belief is Bob was giving you his opinion. I think it’s reasonable to expect a late shuffle and Boqvist (and others) may be falling. It happens every year. What you hope for is the fallers are matched or exceeded by risers. It’s one of the reasons why I publish my list June 1, the risers and fallers become obvious. Here is my top 10.

  1. LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL)
  2. R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). 
  3. L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
  4. LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA)
  5. LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
  6. RC Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL).
  7. L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA).
  8. RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). 
  9. RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite)
  10. RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)


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205 Responses to "You can go sleep at home tonight (If you can get up and walk away)"

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  1. VOR says:

    I want to talk about ranking lists, mock drafts, and consensus lists.

    I occupy an odd niche. I don’t and would never publish a list attempting to predict the draft or the correct order of the draft.

    I am interested in helping scouts and GMs do a better job not in supplanting them. For that matter I am interested in helping people like Corey, Alan, and Craig be right more often and not in being them. And in a general sense I am interested in enriching the experience of draft aficionados and not in being an online expert.

    So with that context I am going to answer why you might want Ty Smith at 5OV.

    After Rasmus Dahlin there is no consensus on who the best D in the draft is or will be.

    Some ranking lists value particular skills more than others LT likes speed and he likes offensive production.

    LT has said repeatedly he focuses on the players entire resume (big tournaments are a small part of a larger resume)

    He has also said that he has a few resources he refers to while preparing his list. Those other scouts say Smith can fly and is an outstanding skater in all dimensions, thinks the game at an elite level, and puts up numbers while playing remarkably good defence.

    If you value skating and offence but want your D to play D then Smith is a legitimate contender for the 2nd best D in this draft. 5 OV within the reference framework LT has given us is a perfectly valid ranking for Ty Smith.

    The thing is most of these ranking lists are like LT’s – they have strong biases that drive their rankings. LT just tells us what his biases are. For most of these lists we have no idea of the methodology or the biases. They are black box lists. They should be taken with a large grain of salt.

    These public scouts never provide us any feedback on how well there past lists have done. In other words there is no accountability. LT has at least given us some opportunity to look back and reflect on his previous work.

    We know that these lists get between a 60% and 70% score in any given year. So at the low point they are as good as Central Scouting and at the high point they are as good as the best teams in the NHL. Over time they hover around 65% about as good as an average NHL team. Thus no list is going to be perfect. They are all going to have hits and misses, large and small.

    Mock drafts are worse. Teams have boards that look nothing like these public scouting lists. They also know what prospects they have coming up and which of their guys will resign and what free agents have given them the nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Mock drafters have access to none of that. While teams occasionally tell the public who they are taking in the first round they never go deeper than that. And some of what they say is deliberately misleading.

    Then there are consensus lists. They never go deep since consensus doesn’t. They often do a good job in predicting draft order in the first round. Beyond that they are very poor long term talent predictors.

    So when you look at a list with an outlier like Ty Smith is on LT’s list ask yourself what you know about the type of list, the methodology used to produce that list, the biases of the person who produces that list, and the background provided on that and other lists. Usually the outlier is a simple result of these factors.

  2. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: Not in one of my posts today did I say we should have kept Yammer up for nine games. What I have repeatedly said is that he earned the nine games. So he shot 60%. We all know that’s unsustainable. But he also played damn good. And that was certainly the narrative around here at the time. Some people argued that he should have been sent to junior right away, but I find it highly unlikely that anyone said he didn’t play well enough to earn the nine games.

    I believe I did. But I was opposed to giving him 9 games all along, from the moment he was drafted.

  3. godot10 says:

    GMB3: If Kailer getting 9 games hurt the team, then the team isn’t very good anyways. I don’t think KY was a negative during his 9 game trial, and if other players were upset that he got a 9 game trial by comingnoutnready to play in training camp, maybe they aren’t the right players to fill your roster. I’d look at moving those guys.

    I don’t think KY getting a 9 game trial had any negative impact on the season. This is the NHL. Every single one of these guys has been on teams where players had strong preseasons, started the year in a role, and the player may not have succeeded in that role.

    Not many players are so talented that they can make it in to the NHL, let alone last at that level, being that mentally weak.

    A supposed Stanley Cup contender was screwing around with its lineup during training camp and the first 15% of the season. Yes. It impacted the team.

    It was an Eakins-esque training camp and start to the season.

  4. pts2pndr says:

    godot10: A supposed Stanley Cup contender was screwing around with its lineup during training camp and the first 15% of the season. Yes.It impacted the team.

    It was an Eakins-esque training camp and start to the season.

    There is no question in my mind what you say is true! My question is why given the coaches complete meltdown after the Vancouver game complete with bag skate!

  5. pts2pndr says:


    Fair enough.

    I haven’t seen any of these kids play, but solely on the basis of box cars, age and circumstances that affect scoring ie. team quality I would think that the OHL centres should be ranked:

    1. Dellandrea
    2. Hayton
    3. Foudy
    4. McLeod

    An argument could be made for Foudy if you are looking for a player to play with Connor!

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