We know NHL teams use math as an aid in several areas, including the draft. We also know that knowledge is being honed each year and the level of sophistication has reached impressive levels. We further know that many teams were slow to adapt and some teams have been left behind. How are the Oilers doing?
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The Oilers have a new amateur scouting director. What can we learn from Tyler Wright’s track record at the draft?
- New Lowetide: The Oilers are finally recovering from the wayward 2014 Draft
- New Lowetide: Projecting Darnell Nurse’s next contract and possible trades
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A missing mom, aching feet and looking for Kevin Lowe: A week in the life of Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie
- New Lowetide: What to do when Connor McDavid rests: The Oilers’ ideal No. 2 line for 2019-20
- Lowetide: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
- Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
- Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
THE 2012 DRAFT
This draft year didn’t feature a strong group and by the second round every team was floundering. Still, the “successes” were Aberg and Di Giuseppe, who math recommended over Moroz and Collberg. I’m using NHL equivalencies to place everyone on a straight line.
THE 2016 DRAFT
I’ve been running this group of 10 for several years, mostly due to DeBrincat and just how obvious math was making things in 2016. Hajek is a fine prospect, but a lot of his value is defensive. Tampa Bay, generally regarded as a leading NHL team, might have been wise to trade down (similar to the Oilers situation with Phil Broberg at this year’s draft). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the shutdown defenseman, but to my eye grabbing that player type should wait until all of the high skill forwards are gone.
THE 2019 DRAFT
I thought the industry was heading in a math direction, but the fact Kaliyev and Brink fell outside the first round makes one wonder. Detroit drafted another defenseman with uncertain offense and Anaheim takes a prep school player (although his point total is a monster) meaning he played outside the best available leagues for his age. Edmonton did well, and looking back to 2012, appears to have elevated math in the list of priorities for second round picks.
OILERS V. LIGHTNING 2019 (NHLE)
If this is Bob Green’s final run as scouting director, and it is, I’ll say that he did a fine job getting value right through the last selection (based on math). The draft actually mirrors the Lightning (who once again did well) with Lavoie and Foote a match, and Blumel-Cajkovic a set. However, whereas we’d see Cam Abney or Kyle Bigos or Travis Ewanyk chosen (all shy of needed offense), Edmonton grabbed some talented kids after the second round. Music! Now. Keep it going with the new guy (Tyler Wright).
BROBERG V. HAJEK
One thing this little exercise brought into view for me is the limitations of NHLE when it comes to blue. Hajek’s NHLE projection suggested he would be a shutdown defenseman and that has been confirmed since draft day. Broberg’s 41 Allsvenskan games suggest shy offense but his work in the Hlinka/Gretzky and U18’s suggests something more substantial. Although it’s fair game to criticize the pick with so many offensive forwards on the board, I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest Broberg=Hajek. I think Broberg is closer to Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse offensively. We wait.