2-4-6-8 Motorway

The first time I ever thought to question a general manager over a draft was 1973. Sam Pollock drafted Bob Gainey—who had scored 23 goals for Peterborough—No. 8 overall, leaving two wingers from the same league who had scored 60+ goals each on the draft board. Since that day, I’ve been looking at drafts and wondering if there’s a way to beat the system, Sam Pollock or the man in the moon. It has been a long obsession, expect I’ll be staring at some draft or other in the moment I step away from this lifetime, and can’t say there’s an ounce of regret about it. “Saw him good” to “Dollar sign on the muscle” through “bag of milk” through “million dollar skills, ten-cent head” it’s been a wildly enjoyable experience over 45 years of observation.

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

BACK DRAFT

Starting in 2015, I began ranking 120 players per draft based on math and a few other things I believed. Beginning that year, I started back drafting my list against the Oilers selections. It’s interesting, if not terribly revolutionary.

THE 2015 DRAFT

  • The important one is correct! Connor McDavid is an absolute monster, I’m thrilled to be one of the lucky people watching his career roll out. One of the great pleasures of each winter is witnessing his brilliance live. He is other worldly. Seriously.
  • I had Ethan Bear in my second round, so he shows up earlier. That said, Edmonton’s list overall has more prospects who are still pushing (Jones, Bear, Marino plus Svoboda who has signed a pro deal with another team).
  • My list doesn’t have a prospect at Bear’s level. Korostolev doesn’t have an NHL contract, Nathan Noel does but played half of his games this year in the ECHL (other half AHL). Vladimir Tkachev is a productive KHL player (40 points in 48 games) and Michael McNiven has an NHL contract with Montreal but isn’t pushing like any of the Oilers kids.
  • Edmonton had a better draft than my group, no question about it.

THE 2016 DRAFT

  • Again we agree on the high pick, Jesse Puljujarvi was impossible to ignore. He’s 93 games in and we’ll see but there’s just too much talent here.
  • I had Alex DeBrincat No. 15, mostly because his NHLE (44 points) was better than anyone’s but Matthew Tkachuk. Both men may have more handsome offensive careers than Puljujarvi, we have to acknowledge that possibility today.
  • Tyler Benson has had a healthy run, I have had scouts tell me he has the skill to play top 6F. These are WHL scouts (not NHL) but a pretty smart bunch. Math says third line. We’ll see. I think Filip Berglund, Graham McPhee and Aapeli Rasanen are fine prospects for Edmonton and overall I like their draft.
  • My list is better from this draft. DeBrincat is ahead of Puljujarvi at this point, Abramov had a huge final season in junior (45 goals in 56 games), plus guys like Quenneville, Sokolov and Maksimovich have a chance. The Finn goalie finally got drafted.

THE 2017 DRAFT

  • I’m not sure anyone knows who will win the Kailer Yamamoto versus Eeli Tolvanen race, I had Yamamoto ranked just behind the Finn on my list. Scott Wheeler has Tolvanen miles ahead of Kailer Yamamoto on his top 50 NHL prospects list.
  • Oilers picks from 2017 have all stepped forward save Skyler Brind’Amour. It’s rare to have 85 percent of a draft list with good arrows after 12 months.
  • Kirill Maksimov is really looking like something worthwhile. He’s the top sniper in the system, meaning the young man might arrive sooner than anyone expects because of it. He had 227 shots in 62 games (3.66), Alex DeBrincat 309 in 63 games (4.90).
  • My list has some nice things, but can’t touch the Oilers group. I like Reedy, Safin and Chmelevski.
  • Edmonton wins over my list by a gigantic margin. This is an impressive draft one year gone.

THE 2018 DRAFT

  • Miles to go. I like both lists.
  • Evan Bouchard and Ty Smith should have solid NHL careers. My bias toward great skaters helped me list Smith ahead of Bouchard. We’ll find out together. Both men have outstanding offensive resumes.
  • I think Edmonton did well with Ryan McLeod and Olivier Rodrigue, and Michael Kesselring is an intriguing player who might be a pleasant surprise if he develops (raw, skilled). I’m looking for clues on Patrik Siikanen, but he appears to be the first porridge pick under Keith Gretzky.
  • I like all five guys on my list a lot. There were all inside my top 35. Seriously.

SUMMARY

Edmonton’s 2015 draft is going to be remembered for Connor McDavid but the scouts were quietly excellent with their depth picks. The 2016 draft saw the organization pick Tyler Benson over Alex DeBrincat and that selection highlights what was a meandering weekend at the draft table. The second round lacked focus, and yet later picks seemed to get it all back. Still, an amateur like myself outperformed them simply by not choosing reach picks like Matthew Cairns and by taking what the board gave me (in DeBrincat).

The 2017 draft shines like a diamond  today, one more season like 2017-18 and we may see some graduations from that group. Kirill Maksimov would go much higher in a redraft. This is the first draft for the Gretzky-Green tandem and it was top drawer.

The 2018 draft continues 2017’s excellence save for the last selection (seemed to be a favor to a scout or maybe an excellent tournament). Still, the first three selections were immaculate and the big USHL defenseman has a story to tell.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are drunk with guests on what should be a highly entertaining show. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Matthew Scianitti, TSN. A wild and crazy CFL weekend, a run of trades and an even crazier week to come.
  • Mike Rodak, ESPN. The Buffalo Bills and their QB’s: Will Nathan Peterman level the competition?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN. Eskimos win and are at 4-2, can they find consistency against the Roughriders and does it matter?
  • D. Orlando Ledbetter, AJC. The Atlanta Falcons won 11 two years ago, 10 last season. Can they keep that pace?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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60 Responses to "2-4-6-8 Motorway"

  1. Wilde says:

    Your 2016 draft would be absolute money right now. Love Abramov.

    Especially in contrast with what was the only truly head scratching selection from the Chiarelli-era drafting this far.

    LT, may I post the link to my new work from this morning on the Leon project?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Wilde:
    Your 2016 draft would be absolute money right now. Love Abramov.

    Especially in contrast with what was the only truly head scratching selection from the Chiarelli-era drafting this far.

    LT, may I post the link to my new work from this morning on the Leon project?

    Absolutely. Please feel free to post anything that is Oilers or hockey related. I enjoyed your first installment very much.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    With DeBrincat busting out this past year it obviously looks like the wrong choice was made with Benson but I don’t think the door is closed quite yet.

    Benson is back as a real prospect. Maybe he doesn’t have top line offence any more due to skating but maybe his skating comes back with health?

    It’ll be very interesting to see how he does in the AHL this year and if he pushes for NHL games.

  4. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    With DeBrincat busting out this past year it obviously looks like the wrong choice was made with Benson but I don’t think the door is closed quite yet.

    Benson is back as a real prospect.Maybe he doesn’t have top line offence any more due to skating but maybe his skating comes back with health?

    It’ll be very interesting to see how he does in the AHL this year and if he pushes for NHL games.

    For sure the door isn’t closed on Benson as a prospect. But it seems near impossible to envision him becoming the player DeBrincat appears to be right now. No?

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    The middle of the 2016 draft looks good as regard to the Oilers prospects and value for draft position (caveat: I don’t know anything about the players on LT’s list that weren’t picked by the Oilers).

    Dylan Wells had a bad year but he was on a bad team and saw ALOT of pucks and ALOT of high danger chances. His arrows are down but he’s a goalie and I don’t think the door is closed due to his tough year on a bad team.

    Berglund, McPhee and Rasanen are all still developing well, improving year over year.

    A big step-up in minutes for Berglund last year and I expect big minutes from him this year with a bit more offensive production. Hopefully we see him in North America this year.

    I am still a big Rasanen fan ever since the World Juniors this past year where he was a material player for Finland – trusted by his coach in all situations – first PP, first PK, big faceoffs, down a goal, protecting a lead, etc. He was the net front presence on the PP and he also liked to head to the net at evens. I don’t know if he’ll ever make it to the NHL, the chances are less than 50%, however, I do think he’ll get himself an NHL contract in a few years and he has a 3C type of game. I look for a bit of a spike in his offence this year (along with McPhee).

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    We talked at length yesterday about the 2017 draft and all the up arrows.

    Imagine if Krill Maksimov hits? If he does “hit” and makes the NHL, he’ll score some goals with that shot – the organization hasn’t had a forward with a shot like that in the NHL since Jason Arnott (maybe Jarett Stoll).

    I think it the organization’s turn to have a 5th round pick turn in to a star for the team.

  7. Justenvogt says:

    Was your Ty Smith choice made knowing Bouchard was available? All of your lists I read had Bouchard/Dobson/Wahlstrom already taken.

  8. Wilde says:

    Lowetide: Absolutely. Please feel free to post anything that is Oilers or hockey related. I enjoyed your first installment very much.

    Part two is a primer on the change in DZ schemes from 2016-17 to 2017-18, and how that affects our analysis on Leon Draisaitl:

    https://petropraxis.blogspot.com/2018/07/sometimes-sayings-are-just-said-part-two.html

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Excited to see Rodrigue, McLeod and Kemp at the Summer Showcase (Bouchard too but we know he’s a lock if he’s not in the NHL).

    I don’t imagine Rodrigue makes the team this year but I think he’s got the inside track on the starters’ job for 2020.

    What are McLeod’s chances to make the team this year? I’m still learning about this prospect.

  10. jasontheschoolteacher says:

    Hindsight is 20/20, but think of this possible forward depth…Jesse, DeBrincat, Tolvanen…to me Bob Green has been a real detriment to this organization.

  11. dustrock says:

    The other problem of course with Benson is that he hasn’t had a regular development curve in terms of playing injury-free, and not even playing for a top team.

    He’s the type of guy I think could be your Pisani or Horcoff down the line, I just see him coming along slowly.

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde: Part two is a primer on the change in DZ schemes from 2016-17 to 2017-18, and how that affects our analysis on Leon Draisaitl:

    https://petropraxis.blogspot.com/2018/07/sometimes-sayings-are-just-said-part-two.html

    Nice work. Video breakdowns of system play is a favourite of mine.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Justenvogt:
    Was your Ty Smith choice made knowing Bouchard was available? All of your lists I read had Bouchard/Dobson/Wahlstrom already taken.

    Yes. I’m using my final list, published June 1.

    https://lowetide.ca/2018/06/01/here-comes-the-sun-2018-final-edition/

  14. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Nice work. Video breakdowns of system play is a favourite of mine.

    Yeah me too, I’m kind of just trying to a) create the content that I’ve always wanted to see and b) put forth my viewpoints through more than just text

  15. Louis Levasseur says:

    Well it is fun to try and predict which players will have better careers, we have to remember LT’s rule of thumb of waiting 5 years post draft. It is easy now to suggest that the Oil should have taken Debrincat over Benson, but we just don’t know that. Given Benson’s unfortunate history of injuries, I don’t think we can predict his upside. If he can stay healthy, I think his pedigree, size and IQ may just make him a better choice in the long run. However, we have to wait and see.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    Well it is fun to try and predict which players will have better careers, we have to remember LT’s rule of thumb of waiting 5 years post draft.It is easy now to suggest that the Oil should have taken Debrincat over Benson, but we just don’t know that.Given Benson’s unfortunate history of injuries, I don’t think we can predict his upside.If he can stay healthy, I think his pedigree, size and IQ may just make him a better choice in the long run.However, we have to wait and see.

    Absolutely agree. I should have written that in the piece.

  17. Melvis says:

    Great lead paragraph LT. And for some odd reason had me reflecting on Kent Nilsson; or as Gretzty referenced him – “Magic Man”

    He arrived, made a hell of a difference in ’87, and then departed for Europe. I never really got that at the time. Or the various NHL trades that preceeded his short tenure in Edmonton. Was he a flake or something?

  18. theWaxCollector says:

    I really enjoy these types of posts LT.
    It’s fun looking back after a couple years and comparing.
    Maybe I need to start putting my own selections down on paper, because I had “x player” there doesn’t cut it unless it’s documented. My memory fades too quickly as well

  19. godot10 says:

    //Edmonton’s 2015 draft is going to be remembered for Connor McDavid but the scouts were quietly excellent with their depth picks.//

    Edmonton’s 2015 draft is going to be remembered for the Reinhart trade. And won’t be forgotten as Barzal, Kyle Connor, and Boeser keep racking up the points, and Carlo anchors a Bruin 2nd pairing for the next 15 years.

  20. Jordan says:

    theWaxCollector:
    I really enjoy these types of posts LT.
    It’s fun looking back after a couple years and comparing.
    Maybe I need to start putting my own selections down on paper, because I had “x player” there doesn’t cut it unless it’s documented. My memory fades too quickly as well

    It’s funny – when I was younger I remember getting really frustrated that they didn’t draft player X or Y. Now, I just kind of go with it. The only draft I remember thingking the Oilers really blew it was the 2007 draft when they picked Gagner ahead of Couture.

    I remember that draft vividly and was so angry. In my mind, I could see the two-way play that Couture had and couldn’t help thinking he’d be a much better fit for the Oilers – a natural protege for Horcoff’s game. The following year when he was blowing things out of the water with Cogs and Nils, I doubted myself, but more than 10 years later, I still can’t help but call that a big miss.

    But, it all lead to Connor, so… while I can’t say all is forgiven, I can say that there can be bright sides to selecting the wrong player. =P

  21. Todd Macallan says:

    Not sure if it was mentioned earlier, but yesterday on Twitter Pronman had a short list of players from day 1 of u20 camp that impressed from the Red Team. Mcleod was one of those players.

  22. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10:
    //Edmonton’s 2015 draft is going to be remembered for Connor McDavid but the scouts were quietly excellent with their depth picks.//

    Edmonton’s 2015 draft is going to be remembered for the Reinhart trade.And won’t be forgotten as Barzal, Kyle Connor, and Boeser keep racking up the points, and Carlo anchors a Bruin 2nd pairing for the next 15 years.

    So now we’re cherry picking 4 players from the draft they could’ve theoretically drafted with those 2 picks? That seems reasonable….

  23. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks: So now we’re cherry picking 4 players from the draft they could’ve theoretically drafted with those 2 picks? That seems reasonable….

    I’m stating what will be, not if it is right or wrong. #MarcPouliot #ZachParise

    I’ll give a more complete list. A monkey could have throw darts at a board with names and picked two NHL’ers who would be helping about now.

    1 16 NY Islanders Mathew Barzal C Seattle Thunderbirds [WHL]
    1 17 Winnipeg Kyle Connor L Youngstown Phantoms [USHL]
    1 18 Ottawa Thomas Chabot D Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL]
    1 19 Detroit Evgeny Svechnikov R Cape Breton Screaming Eagles [QMJHL]
    1 20 Minnesota Joel Eriksson Ek C Farjestads BK Karlstad [SweHL]
    1 21 Ottawa Colin White C U.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    1 22 Washington Ilya Samsonov G Magnitogorsk-2 (Russia Jrs.)
    1 23 Vancouver Brock Boeser R Waterloo Black Hawks [USHL]
    1 24 Philadelphia Travis Konecny C Ottawa 67’s [OHL]
    1 25 Winnipeg Jack Roslovic C U.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    1 26 Montreal Noah Juulsen D Everett Silvertips [WHL]
    1 27 Anaheim Jacob Larsson D Frolunda Jrs. (Sweden)
    1 28 NY Islanders Anthony Beauvillier C Shawinigan Cataractes [QMJHL]
    1 29 Columbus Gabriel Carlsson D Linkopings Jrs. (Sweden)
    1 30 Arizona Nick Merkley R Kelowna Rockets [WHL]
    2 31 San Jose Jeremy Roy D Sherbrooke Phoenix [QMJHL]
    2 32 Arizona Christian Fischer R U.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    2 33 Tampa Bay Mitchell Stephens C Saginaw Spirit [OHL]
    2 34 Toronto Travis Dermott D Erie Otters [OHL]
    2 35 Carolina Sebastian Aho R Karpat [SM-liiga]
    2 36 Ottawa Gabriel Gagne R Victoriaville Tigres [QMJHL]
    2 37 Boston Brandon Carlo D Tri-City Americans [WHL]

  24. jtblack says:

    godot10: I’m stating what will be, not if it is right or wrong.#MarcPouliot #ZachParise

    I’ll give a more complete list.A monkey could have throw darts at a board with names and picked two NHL’ers who would be helping about now.

    116NY IslandersMathew BarzalCSeattle Thunderbirds [WHL]
    117WinnipegKyle ConnorLYoungstown Phantoms [USHL]
    118OttawaThomas ChabotDSaint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL]
    119DetroitEvgeny SvechnikovRCape Breton Screaming Eagles [QMJHL]
    120MinnesotaJoel Eriksson EkCFarjestads BK Karlstad [SweHL]
    121OttawaColin WhiteCU.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    122WashingtonIlya SamsonovGMagnitogorsk-2 (Russia Jrs.)
    123VancouverBrock BoeserRWaterloo Black Hawks [USHL]
    124PhiladelphiaTravis KonecnyCOttawa 67’s [OHL]
    125WinnipegJack RoslovicCU.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    126MontrealNoah JuulsenDEverett Silvertips [WHL]
    127AnaheimJacob LarssonDFrolunda Jrs. (Sweden)
    128NY IslandersAnthony BeauvillierCShawinigan Cataractes [QMJHL]
    129ColumbusGabriel CarlssonDLinkopings Jrs. (Sweden)
    130ArizonaNick MerkleyRKelowna Rockets [WHL]
    231San JoseJeremy RoyDSherbrooke Phoenix [QMJHL]
    232ArizonaChristian FischerRU.S. National Development Team [USHL]
    233Tampa BayMitchell StephensCSaginaw Spirit [OHL]
    234TorontoTravis DermottDErie Otters [OHL]
    235CarolinaSebastian AhoRKarpat [SM-liiga]
    236OttawaGabriel GagneRVictoriaville Tigres [QMJHL]
    237BostonBrandon CarloDTri-City Americans [WHL]

    + 1/2. 1 NHLer for sure. 2 were there if a team got Lucky.

    Barzal was ranked 5-10 by every Analyst. Why teams passed on him ….. we wont know. Looks like Oil wanted Ek anyway.

    Every year 1 highly ranked player seems to drop.

    Chycrun
    Barzal
    Lindegrin (Toronto D man pick)
    Etc etc

  25. VOR says:

    This is an eternal golden braid story.

    It is about a scout who can’t remember how he became a legend, an 18 year old with sideburns down to his ankles, a rookie scout, and a porridge pick.

    There is a reason Christer Rockstrom is up there with Barry Fraser and Gerry McNamara among the legends of scouting. The problem is he can’t remember how it happened. The stories have become part of the fabric of scouting. They sound fanciful to say the least. But the thing is Christer was there. He should able to confirm or deny the stories. But he can’t remember.

    The one thing Christer tells anyone who asks is that it was all a fairy tale. It just doesn’t happen, not then, not now.

    Think about the preposterousness of it. There is this 18 year old kid playing in a men’s league. Or rather not playing. His coaches hate him. They think he is uncoachable. Not to mention when he does play he underwhelms. He vanishes on the ice.

    Does that sound like the resume of the greatest draft pick of all time?

    It doesn’t happen.

    In that context consider the story of the bus. Legend has it that Christer, unsure if he should draft the kid, got on the team bus and asked his teammates who said “Hell yes.” So Christer asked how high? “First Overall!” Christer, thinking they are jerking his chain, asks “You think he should go first overall this year?” “No!” Long pause. “Any year.”

    Christer isn’t sure it happened that way. He remembers being on the bus several times. He remembers asking the team how they felt about the kid and being impressed by how much they liked the kid as a person and a teammate.

    Not that he is sure this conversation didn’t happen. He thinks some version of it happened. His friends on the team kept telling him he had to come scout this kid. That he was truly something extraordinary.

    And Christer tried. But the coach had given up on the kid and his terrible attitude, his lack of physical engagement, his registering zero on the give a shit meter, and particularly his doing nothing on the ice. So Christer remembers giving up on the kid and forgetting all about him.

    Then fate came knocking. Some player on the team calls him up and says, “we’ve had injuries, the kid is playing, you have to come see him.” Christer remembers the player selling him this whole line of BS about the kid and how great he was.

    Christer went and was totally underwhelmed. For the first period. By the end of the second he says he thinks he began to get what the kid’s teammates were seeing. By the end of the third he was arranging for his boss to come from North America to see the kid play.

    He never scored the kid on a score card. Nor did he give him all five and sixes out of ten, while doodling a giant 10 in the margin of the card. He thinks that was his boss, Neil Smith.

    But whatever the truth behind the legend Christer Rockstrom discovered Nick Lidstrom. But that isn’t why he is a legend of scouting. It is what happened the day he announced he was leaving Detroit for a promotion with the New York Rangers that cemented his status as one of the God’s of scouting.

    You see Christer suggested a young man to replace himself. In fact, he sold his management on this total novice. Remember what Christer said, it was a fairy tale. An utter impossibility. That was in reference to Nick Lidstrom. But he says it applies just as much to his hand picked successor.

    The young man had never scouted. He was a decent Junior B level player. Then he suffered a catastrophic knee injury. But rather than coach or train he changed careers. When Christer anointed him the young man had been out of hockey totally for nearly a decade.

    The rookie scout lacked confidence. He refused to give up his day job as a fishing guide. Detroit’s team management didn’t help the problem when they told the rookie he had one chance, they’d give him their last pick in the draft to see what he could do.

    The rookie scout had no idea how to proceed, none. Then he came up with a clever idea. He’d go to the auditions for the Swedish National Junior Team and choose a pick from the players that got cut. The prospect he picked was pure porridge. Not fast, not really big, not skilled, a classic scout’s pick.

    The rookie picked him because he remembered Scotty Bowman saying that part of Sam Pollock’s genius was he could pick horses for courses. There was a small part of the game where the Rookie’s porridge pick was extraordinary. When you needed someone someone to stand in front of the net his pick wasn’t just willing he was able. He was the horse for that course.

    So Christer gave Detroit Lidstrom (and Fedorov) and recommended they hire Hakan Andersson who gave them Holmstrom, Datysuk, and Zetterberg. And just as Christer can’t remember how he discovered Lidstrom he can’t figure out why Hakan was the person he recommended. Knowing Christer is a critical part of the long run of success Detroit had does almost no good because he can’t remember how he did it.

    The best you can say is Edmonton could probably use a scout like Christer Rockstrom.

  26. ashley says:

    LT, I was hoping to see the traded picks in your 2015 chart. Who would you have taken if those picks weren’t traded?

    I know it’s painful, but post-mortem analysis can be a useful learning tool, perhaps even more so when the decision is considered an error, in retrospect.

  27. Lowetide says:

    ashley:
    LT, I was hoping to see the traded picks in your 2015 chart.Who would you have taken if those picks weren’t traded.

    I know it’s painful, but post-mortem analysis can be a useful learning tool, perhaps even more so when the decision is considered an error, in retrospect.

    i did that the week after the 2015 draft. 🙂

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/07/24/re-draft-my-list/

  28. VOR says:

    Injury prediction in elite athletes is really complicated.

    In hockey players we know the following things predict injury.

    1. Psychological profile. Some players feel they have to play out on the edge. It is hard to coach out of them because it is part of how they define themselves and also how they get their thrills. Taylor Hall is often used as an example. He wants to go outside and drive the net, he wants the puck on his stick coming out of his end, and while those traits make him a driver of play they also put him at risk. But that is who he is, a high wire thrill a minute player.

    2. Allostasis. Your body is a complicated series of feedback loops. When they work together you are in homeostasis. When they don’t you are in Allostasis or Alleostasis if you prefer. Jet lag can knock you out of balance, so can extensive travel, so can competitive stress. The result is fatigue and lack of focus and greatly heightened injury risk.

    3. Ice time and level of play and total games. The more time you are on the ice and the harder the ice the more likely you are to get injured. It is self evident but important.

    4. Flexibility. This should be self explanatory but bears saying.

    5. Ligament, muscle and tendon anatomy. Thicker tendons reduces risk. Muscle and ligaments it is about fibrils and their interaction. Again flexibility is good.

    6. How much annoyance the player has to deal with. As one researcher put it “have a fight with your wife, get stuck in traffic, get a speeding ticket, get to the rink and discover the trainer hasn’t taped your sticks properly get hurt”. This is why smart teams will do anything and everything for their players.

    7. Response to stress. How much stress hormones the player makes in response to stress is critical. There are huge differences in the player population. More stress hormone more injury risk.

    8. Bad coaching/learning. For example, some players lower their head before they hit and before they get hit. Needless to say not a good idea. Keeping your head up at contact is trainable/coachable/learnable.

    9. Tactical issues. Various choices the coach makes can put players at increased risk.

    10. Cumulative issues. Wear and tear adds up and sets the stage for injury.

  29. OIL ADDICK says:

    godot10,

    Every time that draft is referenced, it’s a stark reminder of the DOD. McDeezy is a gift for our wounded team aspirations. But only if we choose to never speak of the follies we witnessed that year.

  30. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: So now we’re cherry picking 4 players from the draft they could’ve theoretically drafted with those 2 picks? That seems reasonable….

    Everyone in the world except EDM & BOS had Barzal as BPA at 16.

    My twitter feed (tons of fans from other teams as well as EDM fans) lost its collective shit when BOS passed on him, Connor and Chabot and it melted down when EDM traded.

    If we use LT’s list we get:

    EDM 16 – Barzal
    EDM 33 – Kylington

    That’s fair.

    Edit: I guess it was Harkins. I used an April 2015 list where LT had Kylington 3 slots above Harkins.

  31. Side says:

    VOR:
    Injury prediction in elite athletes is really complicated.

    In hockey players we know the following things predict injury.

    1. Psychological profile. Some players feel they have to play out on the edge. It is hard to coach out of them because it is part of how they define themselves and also how they get their thrills. Taylor Hall is often used as an example. He wants to go outside and drive the net, he wants the puck on his stick coming out of his end, and while those traits make him a driver of play they also put him at risk. But that is who he is, a high wire thrill a minute player.

    2. Allostasis. Your body is a complicated series of feedback loops. When they work together you are in homeostasis. When they don’t you are in Allostasis or Alleostasis if you prefer. Jet lag can knock you out of balance, so can extensive travel, so can competitive stress. The result is fatigue and lack of focus and greatly heightened injury risk.

    3. Ice time and level of play and total games. The more time you are on the ice and the harder the ice the more likely you are to get injured. It is self evident but important.

    4. Flexibility. This should be self explanatory but bears saying.

    5. Ligament, muscle and tendon anatomy. Thicker tendons reduces risk. Muscle and ligaments it is about fibrils and their interaction. Again flexibility is good.

    6. How much annoyance the player has to deal with. As one researcher put it “have a fight with your wife, get stuck in traffic, get a speeding ticket, get to the rink and discover the trainer hasn’t taped your sticks properly get hurt”. This is why smart teams will do anything and everything for their players.

    7. Response to stress. How much stress hormones the player makes in response to stress is critical. There are huge differences in the player population. More stress hormone more injury risk.

    8. Bad coaching/learning. For example, some players lower their head before they hit and before they get hit. Needless to say not a good idea. Keeping your head up at contact is trainable/coachable/learnable.

    9. Tactical issues. Various choices the coach makes can put players at increased risk.

    10. Cumulative issues. Wear and tear adds up and sets the stage for injury.

    So what you’re saying is, there are a lot of different factors, factors which medical professionals/trainers would be aware of in a professional hockey league and it’s not just about whether you are 5 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than other athletes your age?

  32. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Everyone in the world except EDM & BOS had Barzal as BPA at 16.

    My twitter feed (tons of fans from other teams as well as EDM fans) lost its collective shit when BOS passed on him, Connor and Chabot and it melted down when EDM traded.

    If we use LT’s list we get:

    EDM 16 – Barzal
    EDM 33 – Kylington

    That’s fair.

    I actually had Jansen Harkins at No. 33 .

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=161793

    He is shy offensively, looks like a miss.

  33. anjinsan says:

    Lowetide,

    Yes, but as the draft actually unfolded, who did you have as BPA at 33?

    Regarding Kylington, if Chiarelli had signed Neuvirth and not traded picks for Talbot, Kylington was there at #57.

  34. VOR says:

    Side: So what you’re saying is, there are a lot of different factors, factors which medical professionals/trainers would be aware of in a professional hockey league and it’s not just about whether you are 5 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than other athletes your age?

    Sort of.

    But also injury risk is widely variable and unique to the individual – see Andrew Cogliano versus Gilbert Brule.

  35. Lowetide says:

    anjinsan:
    Lowetide,

    Yes, but as the draft actually unfolded, who did you have as BPA at 33?

    Regarding Kylington, if Chiarelli had signed Neuvirth and not traded picks for Talbot, Kylington was there at #57.

    Jansen Harkins.

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/06/26/here-comes-the-sun-2/

  36. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Everyone in the world except EDM & BOS had Barzal as BPA at 16.

    My twitter feed (tons of fans from other teams as well as EDM fans) lost its collective shit when BOS passed on him, Connor and Chabot and it melted down when EDM traded.

    If we use LT’s list we get:

    EDM 16 – Barzal
    EDM 33 – Kylington

    That’s fair.

    Edit: I guess it was Harkins.I used an April 2015 list where LT had Kylington 3 slots above Harkins.

    My brother and I were jumping up and down when Barzal fell. We also watched a ton of oil kings games and dreaded the trade the moment we saw Stauffer tweet GR’s name. Famous June trades for Chiarelli

  37. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: I actually had Jansen Harkins at No. 33 .

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=161793

    He is shy offensively, looks like a miss.

    If the OIlers had drafted McDavid and Barzal, they probably would have went D at #33.

  38. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: I actually had Jansen Harkins at No. 33 .

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=161793

    He is shy offensively, looks like a miss.

    I edited it.

    I had an April list for some reason.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: For sure the door isn’t closed on Benson as a prospect. But it seems near impossible to envision him becoming the player DeBrincat appears to be right now. No?

    As far as pure points produced? Yes, its tough to imagine but not necessarily out of the question (Benson does have high end offensive talent that is starting to come back with his skating).

    I think Benson has the potential to become a very good all-situations type player that is underrated vis-a-vis pure points.

    Benson is a very smart hockey player from accounts and the little I’ve seen. That can go along way especially when combined with his level of skill.

  40. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: As far as pure points produced?Yes, its tough to imagine but not necessarily out of the question (Benson does have high end offensive talent that is starting to come back with his skating).

    I think Benson has the potential to become a very good all-situations type player that is underrated vis-a-vis pure points.

    Benson is a very smart hockey player from accounts and the little I’ve seen. That can go along way especially when combined with his level of skill.

    I’m sure that is why they drafted him, took the risk as he was a first rounder if healthy. I really hope his lower body returns to normal. I imagine though from what I read about the issue at the time it might not, and problems later rise up. I hope not.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I edited it.

    I had an April list for some reason.

    Shoulda quit in April. 🙂

  42. Oilman99 says:

    dustrock:
    The other problem of course with Benson is that he hasn’t had a regular development curve in terms of playing injury-free, and not even playing for a top team.

    He’s the type of guy I think could be your Pisani or Horcoff down the line, I just see him coming along slowly.

    This is the first time Benson comes to a camp healthy,and with a full offseason to train properly and not doing rehab. It will be interesting to see how things unfold this September. Here’s hoping he is in full stride from the get go.

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: I’m stating what will be, not if it is right or wrong.#MarcPouliot #ZachParise

    Well, you’re probably right about that with the state of armchair GM’ing being what it is.

    I can understand the Barzal outrage. An obvious slider that would’ve presented outstanding value at #16.

    But it starts to get a tad ridiculous when pundits start picking any player they like that was available from the #16 slot on with the full benefit of hindsight at their disposal now. Doing that is kind of like arguing that every single NHL GM is dumb because they all passed over Lidstrom in 89 when he fell to the second round.

    It’s not a crystal ball when someone has the benefit of hindsight. It’s a rearview mirror.

    This is why there’s such value in a post like LT’s today because he shows his work and admits the misses where they occured. Much better than someone who sees Carlo hit the ground running in the Bs system and then castigates the Oilers for not picking him. That’s weak imo.

  44. Munny says:

    LT said…

    The first time I ever thought to question a general manager over a draft was 1973. Sam Pollock drafted Bob Gainey—who had scored 23 goals for Peterborough—No. 8 overall, leaving two wingers from the same league who had scored 60+ goals each on the draft board.

    And Gainey went even higher in the WHA draft!

    To this day I’m not convinced he was the better choice for any old team over Middleton. VOR might argue that Gainey does more to win hockey games, but it kind of depends on what you need. And if you need offense than Middleton was the right choice.

    So I’d say Gainey was the right choice… for the Habs. Perfect fit.

    The curious thing is the other OHA 60 goal scorer… Blake Dunlop. Dunlop’s a guy who in his draft year is leading all Fs on his team in points by 50 percent! So he’s definitely driving the bus on his line. And while he had a solid career, he took some time to find his stride and had nowhere near the career of either Middleton or Gainey. Same with Darcy Rota out of the Oil Kings.

    However, looks like most of the scouts had Gainey and Middleton ahead of both those other 1973 talents. But howdoyareallyknow?

    And it’s tough to evaluate even in hindsight, because Gainey and Middleton played for real teams. Real good teams.

  45. VOR says:

    VOR: Sort of.

    But also injury risk is widely variable and unique to the individual – see Andrew Cogliano versus Gilbert Brule.

    There is some evidence that average NHL player size was rising until quite recently. With that size increase came an increase in injury. But by being bigger a player increases their own injury risk not just those of opponents. First the risk of brain injury increases with the combined size of the two players involved in a collision. But interestingly the risk of non-collision injury increases with player size.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Munny:
    LT said…

    The first time I ever thought to question a general manager over a draft was 1973. Sam Pollock drafted Bob Gainey—who had scored 23 goals for Peterborough—No. 8 overall, leaving two wingers from the same league who had scored 60+ goals each on the draft board.

    And Gainey went even higher in the WHA draft!

    To this day I’m not convinced he was the better choice for any old team over Middleton.VOR might argue that Gainey does more to win hockey games, but it kind of depends on what you need.And if you need offense than Middleton was the right choice.

    So I’d say Gainey was the right choice for the Habs.Perfect fit.

    The curious thing is the other OHA 60 goal scorer… Blake Dunlop.Dunlop’s a guy who in his draft year is leading all Fs on his team in points by 50 percent!So he’s definitely driving the bus on his line. And while he had a solid career, he took some time to find his stride and had nowhere near the career of either Middleton or Gainey.Same with Darcy Rota out of the Oil Kings.

    However, looks like most of the scouts had Gainey and Middleton ahead of both those other 1973 talents.

    And it’s tough to evaluate even in hindsight, because Gainey and Middleton played for real teams. Real good teams.

    Rick Middleton for a washed-up Ken Hodge. One for one. A straight-out theft by the Bruins.

  47. Lowetide says:

    VOR: There is some evidence that average NHL player size was rising until quite recently. With that size increase came an increase in injury. But by being bigger a player increases their own injury risk not just those of opponents. First the risk of brain injury increases with the combined size of the two players involved in a collision. But interestingly the risk of non-collision injury increases with player size.

    The amount of room players had back in the day made a difference too. Peter Mahovlich was 6.05, he was the outer marker. Plus they changed the size of the neutral zone, I’ve always felt that changed the dynamic of the game in all ways.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    LT said…

    The first time I ever thought to question a general manager over a draft was 1973. Sam Pollock drafted Bob Gainey—who had scored 23 goals for Peterborough—No. 8 overall, leaving two wingers from the same league who had scored 60+ goals each on the draft board.

    And Gainey went even higher in the WHA draft!

    To this day I’m not convinced he was the better choice for any old team over Middleton.VOR might argue that Gainey does more to win hockey games, but it kind of depends on what you need.And if you need offense than Middleton was the right choice.

    So I’d say Gainey was the right choice for the Habs.Perfect fit.

    The curious thing is the other OHA 60 goal scorer… Blake Dunlop.Dunlop’s a guy who in his draft year is leading all Fs on his team in points by 50 percent!So he’s definitely driving the bus on his line. And while he had a solid career, he took some time to find his stride and had nowhere near the career of either Middleton or Gainey.Same with Darcy Rota out of the Oil Kings.

    However, looks like most of the scouts had Gainey and Middleton ahead of both those other 1973 talents. But howdoyareallyknow?

    And it’s tough to evaluate even in hindsight, because Gainey and Middleton played for real teams. Real good teams.

    Bah! I was thinking of Middleton and Morris Titanic as the 60-goal scorers. The mind she is inconsistent.

  49. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR: There is some evidence that average NHL player size was rising until quite recently. With that size increase came an increase in injury. But by being bigger a player increases their own injury risk not just those of opponents. First the risk of brain injury increases with the combined size of the two players involved in a collision. But interestingly the risk of non-collision injury increases with player size.

    Bigger players playing a more robust style I would say. The NHL still expects it largely.

    I’d far rather have players playing hockey first, while being willing to match the opponent’s challenge whatever it is. Don’t start it, don’t back down, do what needs to be done.

    Having healthy players is a huge part of success. It’s also a big differentiator between HOF careers and very skilled players that aren’t considered, they usually need a lot of games.

  50. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Bah! I was thinking of Middleton and Morris Titanic as the 60-goal scorers. The mind she is inconsistent.

    Lol, well Titanic did have a 60 goal season going into that draft AND went before Dunlop & Middleton, so your mind is just fine. Plus he was the bigger draft bust.

    His line mate, Eric Vail, 9 months younger, turned out to be the player to take from Sudbury.

  51. Munny says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Rick Middleton for a washed-up Ken Hodge. One for one. A straight-out theft by the Bruins.

    The Bruins had the Rags number in 70s trades. I got the feeling back in the day that the Blueshirts were always looking for “Marquee Moons”.

    That said, at first blush I wasn’t too happy with the trade… then I saw Nifty play.

  52. Drew says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Everyone in the world except EDM & BOS had Barzal as BPA at 16.

    My twitter feed (tons of fans from other teams as well as EDM fans) lost its collective shit when BOS passed on him, Connor and Chabot and it melted down when EDM traded.

    If we use LT’s list we get:

    EDM 16 – Barzal
    EDM 33 – Kylington

    That’s fair.

    Edit: I guess it was Harkins.I used an April 2015 list where LT had Kylington 3 slots above Harkins.

    I wonder if we used LT’s draft list over the last few years how many teams would have better outcomes?

    The Oilers?

  53. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Peter Mahovlich was 6.05, he was the outer marker.

    The James Arness of hockey.

    Sorry, Them is showing on the televisionator right now.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Munny: The James Arness of hockey.

    Sorry, Them is showing on the televisionator right now.

    i don’t remember the year I found out James Arness’ brother was Peter Graves, but it shocked the hell out of me.

  55. commonfan29 says:

    Lowetide,

    And then you remembered their noses and slept like a baby?

  56. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: The amount of room players had back in the day made a difference too. Peter Mahovlich was 6.05, he was the outer marker. Plus they changed the size of the neutral zone, I’ve always felt that changed the dynamic of the game in all ways.

    I always mix Peter “Little M” Mahovlich (and his brother, Frank “Big M”, for that matter) up with “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

  57. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: As far as pure points produced?Yes, its tough to imagine but not necessarily out of the question (Benson does have high end offensive talent that is starting to come back with his skating).

    I think Benson has the potential to become a very good all-situations type player that is underrated vis-a-vis pure points.

    Benson is a very smart hockey player from accounts and the little I’ve seen. That can go along way especially when combined with his level of skill.

    This is true, he still has a chance to be a very valuable player.

    I guess what I was thinking about more generally, but didn’t say, was that there’s very little doubt at this point DeBrincat was the better choice at 31. Everything would have to break right for Benson to have equal value to what DeBrincat has already done at the NHL level.

  58. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Lowetide,

    I am thinking Harkins is just getting buried by the Jets LW prospect depth (and Buddy Robinson, smh)….or their C depth, where it looks like he also had at least 2 AHL vets blocking his way. Opportunity is a thing, and with his 2-way reputation, he was likely not put it the best positions to succeed offensively. I suspect he will re-emerge in 2 or 3 years.

    Perhaps Crazy Coach or another poster knows the player from Junior or anyone who has watched the Moose some can provide commentary. I suspect a change of scenery would do him good.

  59. anjinsan says:

    Lowetide,

    Well, there you have it. Like Godot, I think the Oilers would have gone D and in particular RHD at 33…bringing us Carlo.

    Regarding the ’15 list … Vlader over Samsonov?

    Anyway, what a draft ’15 was, an invasion of talent.

    If that draft had been handled right, it was the 2nd coming of the Oilers.

    Instead, blowing it set in motion the series of events that cratered the team leaving McDavid as the disproportionately main mast.

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