We are at a point where we can make the call on the first six drafts of the previous decade. It takes a long damn time for five long years to find its way into the rear view window. We are here.
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 Jonathan Willis: The 2020 NHL broadcast rankings: The best and worst markets to watch the games
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
- New Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers rocket to Russia during free agency this summer
- Lowetide: Will Oilers drafts be less reliant on the WHL under new management?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid on a ‘fair season’, working out and picking quarantine teammates
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett deploys unproven talent expertly in first Oilers season
- Lowetide, Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Oilers ABC: Picking the best players in franchise history, from Anderson to Zuke
- Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers need to clear money with a buyout, they have one real option
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
- Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season
- Jonathan Willis: Does Filip Berglund’s new SHL contract mean he’s done with the Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evolution of a star: Why Leon Draisaitl was our Hart pick
- 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?
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ challenge could be finding relief with a low cap ceiling
Oilers grabbed Hall No. 1 overall, so there’s going to be fond memories no matter one decade later. I don’t think Pitlick or Merrill worked out completely, and don’t believe there was a clear winner at that spot. The Toffoli pick tips the balance in favor of the McKenzie list (Edmonton could have walked into the draft with the consensus. I once trumpeted this as a possibly special draft, but Pitlick, Marincin and Brandon Davidson (sixth round) were unable to establish themselves as NHL regulars. Davidson was so close to being a legit top-four blue before derailed by injury. A wonderful No. 1 overall, but the 2010 draft fell short of original promise.
Nuge is a personal favourite and even with some seasons where he was less than stellar offensively I’ll suggest he has been a quality player. Klefbom later in the first round was another impressive addition, but the second rounder was a miscue despite quality on the board. Tobias Rieder’s late addition makes this a winning draft, but is awarded only a draw against the McKenzie list due to the Saad kicker.
I think they were in an impossible situation. The Oilers picked the right guy, he just didn’t work out. Seriously. The draft gets a fail but I’m not going to hammer the team for picking Yakupov. Khaira and Aberg aren’t so strong you can make a call one way or another and Erik Gustafsson didn’t sign, so I’ll call it a wash with the McKenzie list.
Oilers won the first round but the second round pick clearly favors the McKenzie list. Anton Slepyshev was a solid pick later but the McKenzie list wins it. I’ll give this a passing grade, the Nurse selection provided Edmonton with a top-four defenseman.
This was a home run for the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl has emerged as a tower of strength for the current team and a ridiculous steal at No. 3 overall.
In the history of a hockey team, walking to the podium and calling out the name McDavid is once in a lifetime. For all of the hype and expectation, he hasn’t disappointed. Not for one moment. A home run on the first pitch, ball still hasn’t landed.
I think the 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 drafts contributed to the team we see today and so judge them as successful. A lot was left on the table, injury impacted 2010’s haul, and of course luck has a lot to do with this portion of the hockey industry. Getting impact players in 2014 and 2015, considering where the team picked 2010-12, is really kind of incredible.
The fourth Condors signing of spring, this is the most promising to my eye. A center, his NHLE implies he could be a plug and play on a skill line in the AHL. Astute addition.
OILERS PROSPECT NHLE (FORWARDS)
I’m not suggesting Brosseau and Fowlkes will skate on the skill lines, but the previous regime was handing out NHL deals to Colin Larkin and Nolan Vesey. This is better.
This is a little like 2012 in that a very high pick is going to fall short of expectations. As was the case then, I don’t think anyone can hammer the Oilers for taking JP. I do think his NHL story will involve many more chapters. The rest of the draft is too soon to know. One more season before we make the call, this one is looking like an F.
This draft has two years left and is the last one we’ll look at today. I like the chances of this one landing for Edmonton.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy, fun show today gets rolling at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis will pop in to talk about his latest article (link above) about the best-to-worst broadcast teams across the NHL. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will discuss which of the North American leagues are easiest to handicap. Cody Benjamin from CBS Sports will talk about the new NFL playoff format. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!