As luck would have it, the last decade’s worth of fourth round picks have been more productive for the Edmonton Oilers than the second rounds. The gap will grow, as the fourth round in 2015 saw Caleb Jones taken, he is going to be a productive player for a long time. Are there any other gems coming down the pipe?
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 Murat Ates: My favourite player: Ryan Smyth
- New Jonathan Willis: What does the Oilers best possible playoff lineup look like?
- New Lowetide: Why Jack Quinn is a perfect 2020 draft fit for the Oilers
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: My favourite player: Donovan Bailey
- Jonathan Willis: For one glorious fall, Alexander Selivanov was the NHL’s most dangerous scorer
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hockey’s not that important right now’: Oilers minor-leaguer Colby Cave in coma
- Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors forward prospects might need a history lesson
- Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton
- Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
- Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid on a ‘fair season’, working out and picking quarantine teammates
- 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
THE FOURTH ROUND
- 2010: Jeremie Blain (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2011: Dillon Simpson (3) (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2011: Tobias Rieder (434) (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2012: Erik Gustafsson (221) (Steve Tambellini) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2013: Jackson Houck (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2013: Kyle Platzer (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2013: Aidan Muir (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2014: William Lagesson (8) (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2014: Zach Nagelvoort (Craig MacTavish) (Stu MacGregor)
- 2015: Caleb Jones (60) (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
- 2017: Ostap Safin (Peter Chiarelli) (Bob Green)
- 2019: Matej Blumel (Ken Holland) (Bob Green)
Oilers second-round picks in the 2010’s played fewer NHL games than the fourth rounders.
More important is that Rieder, Gustafsson and Jones are better players than Pitlick and Marincin. Here are NHL games played by round in the years 2010-11 through 2019-20:
- First Round: 3,281
- Second Round: 487
- Third Round: 321
- Fourth Round: 718
Now that’s some crazy draft lists, ladies and men. It’ll continue for years into the next decade. Caleb Jones is a better hockey player than all the second-round picks in the 2010’s. How do the Oilers set up their draft lists?
I’m about to spend some time on the forwards drafted in the second and fourth rounds, but want to spend just a moment on the key fourth-round pick over the decade: Caleb Jones. Rieder and Gustafsson got away, but Jones signed and is a top flight young defenseman. Speed, skill, intelligence. If you grab one thought from today’s discussion, let it be Caleb Jones is a fantastic fourth-round pick.
OILERS SECOND ROUND PICKS (FORWARDS)
Edmonton chose a forward in the second round seven times, and the early picks weren’t close to value in terms of NHLE. Recent seasons have seen an improvement and as always I’m flummoxed that the organization didn’t invest more time in Marco Roy.
The most recent picks are on a higher trajectory than Pitlick, Hamilton and Moroz from earlier in the decade. The Moroz pick was 2012, the Roy pick 2013.
What changed? MacTavish became general manager.
OILERS FOURTH ROUND PICKS (FORWARDS)
Tobias Rieder, chosen in the fourth round in 2011, had a better NHLE than Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton, who were second round picks in 2010.
Early days but both of Holland’s 2019 picks (Lavoie and Blumel) posted strong NHLE’s. I don’t believe Holland or Tyler Wright track prospects using NHLE but there’s more than one way to use math and NHLE isn’t perfect. Here are the NHLE’s for the final 10 forwards drafted by Detroit before Holland’s exit:
- Filip Zadina (first round, 2018): 33.5
- Jonatan Berggren (second round, 2018): 30.8
- Joe Veleno (first round, 2018): 28.7
- Michael Rasumussen (first round, 2017) 27.2
- Jack Adams (sixth round, 2017): 23.6
- Otto Kivenmaki (seventh round, 2018): 21.3
- Lane Zablocki (third round, 2017): 20.9
- Zachary Gallant (third round, 2017): 20.8
- Brady Gilmour (seventh round, 2017): 19.2
- Ryan O’Reilly (fourth round, 2018): 16.7
The first three names on the list are genuinely good prospects and their NHLE reflects it. Michael Rasmussen was a No. 9 overall pick, his NHLE was not a strong one (Kailer Yamamoto was taken No. 22 overall in the same draft and owned a 37.7 NHLE) and it does appear offense will be an issue. Berggren was a strong pick in the second round based on NHLE, Veleno a quality pick late in the first round. I don’t see any poor selections here, Jack Adams and Kivenmaki are quite reasonable bets.