The Oilers have been shuffling the scouting deck quite a bit in recent years. Stu MacGregor was scouting director for Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Nuge, Yak, Nurse and Leon. Bob Green was in charge for McDavid, JP and Yamamoto, Bouchard. I’m going to say Ken Holland was scouting director for the Broberg pick, and that’s a good starting point for our conversation today.
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 Athletic, check it out here.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
- New Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season
- New Jonathan Willis: Does Filip Berglund’s new SHL contract mean he’s done with the Oilers?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evolution of a star: Why Leon Draisaitl was our Hart pick
- Lowetide: Oilers get good news from the farm as second-half performances spike
- Lowetide: Should Oilers prospect Philip Broberg play in North America next year?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Which former Oiler has the best argument to have his jersey number retired?
- Lowetide: Which Oilers veterans are in roster peril?
- Jonathan Willis: How good is Anton Slepyshev and what will an NHL return mean for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Peter Chiarelli wants to be a GM again. Has he learned from his Oilers mistakes?
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ challenge could be finding relief with a low cap ceiling
- Lowetide: Projecting Oilers prospects Raphael Lavoie and Kirill Maksimov
- Lowetide: What does Jesse Puljujarvi’s Liiga season tell us about his future?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Oilers plan to help arena workers unclear with games postponed
- Lowetide: NHL season on hold might impact Oilers evaluations, summer plans
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Key questions surround Oilers in wake of NHL’s coronavirus suspension
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: GM Ken Holland on Oilers’ playoff push, offseason plans and Hart thoughts
- Jonathan Willis: Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson and more: 20 observations on the Bakersfield Condors
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones represents Oilers template for development success
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Determining Connor McDavid’s linemates remains a pressing and perplexing problem
- Jonathan Willis: Which players pose the biggest threat to Leon Draisaitl winning the Hart Trophy?
- Lowetide: Is the OHL still the Oilers’ primary resource at the draft?
Let’s start with an easy question. Who have the Oilers employed as scouting directors and what years did they fill that role? Fraser (1979-2000, he was here during some of the WHA era, too); Kevin Prendergast (2001-2007); Stu MacGregor (2008-2014); Bob Green (2015-2019). Keith Gretzky came in during the Green era and had a positive (imo) impact on procurement. This year it’s Tyler Wright.
What’s the management group look like from the scouting director up? Ken Holland is GM, Keith Gretzky is AGM, Wright is scouting director, Bob Green is chief scout.
How the hell does that work? Hell if I know. Maybe Green and the scouts come up with a list and Wright oversees the process. I imagine the top end of the amateur procurement group see the best prospects several times and that would include Holland.
You seem to think Holland ran the 2019 draft. I wouldn’t say ran the draft, but he probably had an impact on the first round pick. I’ll never know, but it is interesting that the Oilers started talking about Philip Broberg after Holland arrived. In early June I wrote “Since Ken Holland arrived on the scene, Broberg’s name is mentioned in the media daily. That’s a tell.”
Is that how Holland will run the draft this season? The addition of Tyler Wright probably allowed Holland to put in place his previous system. What that looks like God only knows. In the book Behind the Moves, Holland said “Every manager needs four or five real key people that help you to be successful. A head coach (Tippett) and an assistant manager (Gretzky), one or two people running your amateur draft (Wright, Green) someone in player development (Howson) and your coach in the AHL (Jay Woodcroft).”
What does Wright’s drafting record look like? The best look I’ve seen is from Daniel Nugent-Bowman (here) and I came away thinking the Oilers had hired another Kevin Prenderast.
What the hell does that mean? Prendergast’s first selection was Ales Hemsky in 2001, and he had more first-round successes (Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Cogliano). However, KP added more outside the first round (Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Kyle Brodziak, Jeff Petry) and that made his drafting record better than it looked at first blush. Wright has some of the same elements.
Who are Wright’s hits? He had a solid draft with Columbus in 2012. Ryan Murray was the first rounder, injuries have derailed him. Joonas Korpisalo has emerged as a good goaltender and Josh Anderson is a substantial player when healthy. That was a good draft.
What about 2013? No home runs but Oliver Bjorkstrand in the third round was quality. Alexander Wennberg was the first round pick, he should be better than he’s shown but we’re several years on now.
And 2014 he moved to Detroit. Yes, and drafted Dylan Larkin at No. 15 overall. That’s his best pick, no question. The 2015 draft looks like a miss, shocking because there was so much talent available. However, in 2016, when Edmonton was having a hard time, the DRW grabbed Filip Hronek in the second round (Dennis Cholowski in the first). I really like the 2018 draft (Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Jonatan Berggren, Jared McIsaac, Alex Regula). Moritz Seider had a strong AHL season as a teenager.
Are you impressed with the group? I can’t answer that, we haven’t seen them in action. The procurement department will have their first-round pick and they need to make it count. That hasn’t necessarily been a strength for Wright, but the Oilers as a group have been hammering like Dick Pound at a Habitat for Humanity barn raising since 2010 in the first round.
Predict Edmonton’s first round selection in 2020? I’ll say Mavrik Bourque.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy and fun show this morning, we start at 10 sharp, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic joins us at 10:20, we’ll talk Leon Draisaitl as Hart Trophy winner and what the NHL might do to save the season. Jeff Krushell pops in at 11 to give us a view of baseball’s situation and when we might see Astros hitters getting beaned. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.