I’m a big believer in risk averse drafting but the key is getting the right definition. People often say (I do it all the time) “just print off the Bob McKenzie list and take best number available” but the truth is a little more nuanced. Shades of grey abound. (Cover photo: Rob Ferguson).
Edm Oilers make final cuts, keep F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, put F Gilbert Brule on waivers.
— Gregg Drinnan (@gdrinnan) October 2, 2011
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.
- New Lowetide: No. 19 prospect—John Marino
- Jonathan Willis: No. 20 prospect—Tyler Vesel
- New Scott Wheeler: The top 50 NHL drafted prospects (Oilers content)
- Lowetide: Top 20 prospects: Forwards outside the top 20
- Jonathan Willis: Are Hayden Hawkey and Phil Kemp underrated gems?
- Lowetide: Tracking Oilers training camp six weeks out.
- Lowetide: Some lingering questions about Oilers 2018 draft and evaluating goalies.
- Lowetide: Oilers training camp: 28 men for 23 jobs.
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners in the top 6 and top 9 forwards.
- Lowetide: The news is out: Youth shall be served.
- Lowetide: Cap decisions of 2017 may continue to hamper 2019 decisions
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing the Oilers 2018-19 depth chart (including additions)
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors could be best Oilers AHL team in ages
- Lowetide: Is Evan Bouchard NHL-ready?
- Lowetide: The maturation of Daryl Katz, or heading down a dangerous road?
The Vesel and Marino posts are just the beginning, both men doing good things this past winter. If you haven’t checked in with either player for a time, there has been real progress.
- Milan Lucic: For me it’s just mentally having fun going to the rink again and mentally looking forward to the challenges we face as a team and as an athlete every single day where I think my mindset got very negative last year. So I was almost my own worst enemy where this year I’m going in with a happy healthier mindset and I think that’ll help me get back to the player I am and I think when you’re playing with the best player in the world it gives you a vote of confidence to try and step up and not let him down.I think we’re all feeling that and we all had fun in the 2016/17 season so we want to get back to being that team and winning on a nightly basis.
This is via Spittin’ Chiclets podcast via Original Pouzar via Beer League Heroes. In the interview (OP posted it at the end of yesterday’s post comments section) Lucic mentioned the darkness of winter is a difficult thing to overcome.
I have some experience with this, Mrs. Lowetide has had some issues (mostly in the past) surrounding early sunsets. There’s a name for it, can never remember, but the first winter we went through it was Regina, maybe 1984. I tried everything to get her out of the funk and it didn’t take. I bought her jewellery, we took a trip to Mexico, she finally started running after work (before the sun went down) and that seemed to help. It’s a thing, kind of like depression.
As for Lucic, it sounds like he’s in a good space and looking forward to the season. In a way, he’s a rookie again, with a lot to prove. I’ll be cheering like hell for him.
Something to keep in mind when you're drawing up potential line combinations. When the #Oilers were playing their best hockey last season, posting a 7-3 record in December, with a +11 goal diff, 54% CF% and 57% xGF%, this is how they deployed their forwards. pic.twitter.com/N9KmJiRY2J
— Sunil Agnihotri (@sunilagni) July 27, 2018
DRAFTING THE MCKENZIE LIST, 2011
This is the 2011 entry draft, I used it to show a specific example of what might have changed for the Oilers at the draft table. These numbers are correct save for the “HM” beside Travis Ewanyk, I am sure he was an honorable mention but it isn’t in my archive so there’s some question there.
The Oilers drafted in tune with Red Line Report, Samu Perhonen the only reach on their list. The McKenzie list shows Musil as a reach, and the rest of the group through No. 114 to be anything from a minor to major reach. The current Oilers drafting more risk averse, but does the team have the formula right? Let’s first have a look at this year’s drafting.
The first three selections are risk averse, the only dissenting vote coming from Corey Pronman on the Bouchard selection. My question is this, and I ask it in the hope this looks foolish five years from now: Are the Edmonton Oilers punishing lack of speed enough at the draft?
— Farrsigh (@Farrsigh) October 29, 2015
In the summer of 2016, in an item called A turn north at the draft table? I listed my priorities for a successful draft:
- Value skill above all other things.
- Let math do the work. Travis Ewanyk was a long shot the moment he was selected, the Oilers have been better in the last two drafted in this area. I also thought 2013 lined up pretty well with math, but the 2014 effort has me wondering if the organization is capable of a repeat performance.
- Don’t walkabout in the top 100. Edmonton has been better in recent seasons (2014 aside).
- In an unusual draft like 2014 (or 2003) make better use of those late picks.
- Print off the Bob McKenzie list and compare it to your own list. If a player is ranked on the McKenzie list, and not on the Oilers list, why? There should be a very good reason and it can’t be ‘saw him bad’ or ‘he never looks good when I see him’ and that’s for sure. Have a good long look at the Pronman list, too.
- If there is a shy offensive player on the McKenzie list, move that name down. Every time.
We also talk a lot about speed, how every season sees veterans get left behind. The David Musil pick (and the Griffin Reinhart trade) was part of a market correction that involves all kinds of big defensive defensemen (Dylan McIlrath, Luke Schenn). Maybe speed will increase again and again and maybe we reach a point where a player judged to have sufficient speed becomes deficient seemingly overnight because the league keeps getting faster. Are the Oilers anticipating speed increases or the current limit?
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has two last names. What's he hiding?
— Lowetide (@Lowetide) October 15, 2014
Since 2015, how many speedsters have been drafted by the Oilers? Based on visual evidence and trusted scouting reports, I count Connor McDavid, Caleb Jones, John Marino, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Skyler Brind’Amour, Ryan McLeod. That’s seven.
It doesn’t mean Edmonton is drafting a bunch of slow trains, but should speed be placed on the same level as skill? I think it’s an interesting question.
Since the draft I’ve been getting a few emails each week in regard to Evan Bouchard’s foot speed. It reminds me of the conversation I had with Steve Serdachny after the Nuge was drafted in 2011. I asked about speed, Sedarchny talked about Nuge’s great edges and suggested he would be effective immediately with his stops and starts. Nuge has had some issues as an NHL player (injury, 5-on-5 offense) but skating isn’t one of them.
- HockeyProspect.com: A transitional defenseman with good overall speed, his skating stride is awkward but he still generates power and manages to shift-gears quickly, allowing him to cut-wide on defenders and create additional offensive-chances.
I don’t have your answer, we’ll have to find out together. I do know Evan Bouchard is the most substantial offensive player who plays the position this team has drafted since Paul Coffey. It’s going to be a different experience finding out about him, Edmonton simply doesn’t invest in this player type often.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy day on the Lowdown as we motorvate toward the weekend. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Holidays, Blue Jays, final turn at Glen Abbey.
- Aaron Kasinitz, Penn Live. The Baltimore Ravens have a quarterback situation.
- Matthew Iwanyk, TSN1260. When will the Eskimos have a good start to a football game?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!