The first time “Swedish Poster” graced the pages of Lowetide came on October 28, 2014. He began his verbal with an endearing sentence: “Hello Lowetide. Long time lurker. First time poster. Hi mom!” before embarking on some sage advice about one Viktor Fasth. Reading, reacting, learning and interacting with him has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience since. Now about that sage advice.
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: ‘They were looking outside the box’: Oilers’ distinctive third jerseys still stand out
- New Lowetide: If Oilers draft for skill, Seth Jarvis likely to be best available
- New Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Taylor Hall this summer?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: The results are in: How you voted in our inaugural Oilers fan survey
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers are preparing for an NHL draft in June
- Jonathan Willis: How Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard and Riley Sheahan draw calls that lead to goals
- James Mirtle: Ranking every NHL team’s salary cap situation, from best to worst
- Lowetide: Can the Oilers find Connor McDavid’s ideal winger this summer?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The two coaches who had the biggest influence on Dave Tippett
- Jonathan Willis: The 5 reasons why the Oilers re-signed Gaetan Haas
- Jonathan Willis: Can (and should) the Oilers trade Kris Russell?
- Jonathan Willis: How Edmonton could have left 2010 draft with both Taylor Hall and Ryan Johansen
- Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s NHL comparables offer Oilers fans hope for the future
- Lowetide: Top 20 prospect update: A lot of movement and some impressive graduations
- Lowetide: Mavrik Bourque a quality option for the Oilers in the draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Inside the franchise-altering decision to pick Leon Draisaitl over Sam Bennett
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Discount forward options the Oilers could pursue in free agency
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Oh my God, Edmonton’s picking first’: An oral history of the 2015 NHL draft lottery
- Lowetide: Why Jan Mysak could be a value pick for the Oilers at the 2020 Draft
On April 29, 2016 I published a post called What can we expect from the 2016 draft? and included a mock draft that listed Filip Berglund. I had him going to Edmonton at No. 62 overall, after Patrik Laine and Nathan Bastian had been chosen. About 90 minutes after I posted, Swedish Poster responded to the Berglund inclusion:
Just curious LT, how’d you pick up the name Filip Berglund? I’ll post my opinion on some of this years draftees out of Sweden sometime during the weekend and Berglund is one of the guys I’m high on but since he’s flying somewhat under the radar I just wonder how you heard of him. Very interesting player, offensively gifted kid, RHD, good size, great skater. Overager, was draft eligible 2015, who missed a big chunk of his draft -1 season due to a broken arm I think it was so last year was sort of a getting back on track year but this season he’s looked great. Doubt he’ll go as high as 62 though I personally wouldn’t mind him much there. However I think you can hold your cards until the fifth rd or so.
Ten minutes later (I was much better at responding back then) I wrote “I ran some equivalencies and he showed well. I am working on my Oilers and Sweden draft post and he looked good for sure.” On April 30, 2016 I listed my Top 100 for 2016 and ranked Bergund No. 60. I had nothing but math to guide me, but that’s all my list employs every year (along with making sure players have 10 fingers and toes).
On May 4, 2016, Swedish Poster filled in all the blanks that math could not provide. Words and music by Swedish Poster (with some editing):
Filip Berglund, RHD, Skellefteå, has already been discussed a bit on this site. He’s a big kid at 6’3 and already past 200 pounds. He’s an overager, turns 19 in a few days. His draft year was sort of a comeback year after missing a lot of time the previous two seasons due to a broken arm or maybe it was a leg. This year he was up to speed and delivered one hell of a season offensively nearly hitting PPG. As is usually the case with productive D the majority of the points came on the PP where his big shot from the blue line was full value. He scored at nearly a goal per game and a lot was due to his great shot.
He got better and better as the season rolled along, one thing I like to look at for guys in Swedish juniors is how they produce in the Superelite top 10 part of the season. What that means is after Christmas the top 5 teams of the northern and southern divisions are put together into one 10 team league where they play for the playoff spots.
It’s interesting because the level of play goes up and there are fewer teams to pad your stats against. In that segment of the year he scored 1.31 PPG over 16 games. For a D that’s pretty amazing. Small sample obviously but combined with his overall scoring the whole year it paints a very flattering picture offensively.
I think the reason he doesn’t come with more hype is partly because he’s an overager who’s had an upward trajectory all season so he’s really come along the last few months. Having said that he’s still raw and a bit of a project going forward.
As I mentioned he got into a handful of games with the men’s team and looked really good, he should be able to get a regular spot next season though Skellefteå is a tough team to crack. They have two D on the swedish WHC squad plus Alexander Urbom and Tim Heed who I’d argue are both better than the guys who made the swedish squad and also Anaheim 2014 2nd rounder Marcus Pettersson among others.
All in all a prospect I like a lot, high risk high reward kind of guy but on a very nice trajectory and with a lot of upside.
I guess he’ll end up in the mid-late rounds though if one of the teams who put a lot of trust in their swedish scouts, Nashville, Toronto, Detroit, has had a lot of good viewings I think he could go earlier.
NHL teams do love their big guys who can skate, and when you add those offensive numbers I could certainly see some team fall in love with him enough to grab him much earlier. He ticks off a lot of boxes of qualities the Oilers are in need of that’s for sure.
Swedish Poster had him fifth round, I had him No. 61 on my final list, suspect we can call it square. I enjoyed these years of monitoring Berglund’s progress, reading Swedish Poster’s verbal and finally seeing the young man sign with the Oilers. We all got to share in Berglund’s post-draft journey and hopefully, one day, get a chance to see him on NHL ice in Edmonton. An awesome journey for all. Thanks, Swedish Poster! You have added so much to our community.
Berglund played 2+ minutes per game on each special team this season, making him a complete player in the SHL. Skelleftea finished 92-84 at even strength this season (if my math is correct), Jonathan Pudas and Arvid Lundberg were the big even strength minutes munchers (over 17 minutes at even strength and +12 and +14 goal differential respectively). After that Berglund and a couple of others (Niclas Burstrom and Petter Granburg) made up the next group of blue. Mike Zanier (SHL media analyst) talks about Berglund and other prospects of interest to Oilers fans in a conversation with Jonathan Willis and me here. Worth the listen, great insight).
50-MAN LIST (40 plus a slide)
Oilers now have 13 defensemen who will likely play in North America (rfa’s are never certainties) and two who are likely to play in Europe (plans change). The Condors have AHL deals for Vincent Deslauriers and Janis Janks, meaning Holland has a full boat should he sign Bear, Benning, Lagesson and Day as rfa’s.
POSSIBLE CONDORS 2020-21
James Hamblin turned 21 the other day, scored 109 goals in his final four WHL seasons. He’s a talented player, that’s a nice get for the farm. How many forwards on this list have more skill than Hamblin?
Harvest Moon 2012
The Edmonton Oilers drafted another elite offensive talent this weekend, another outstanding teenager with a magnificent future. Old Oiler fans like me are reminded of the fab four who arrived 30+ years ago and cut through the NHL for a decade. Young Oiler fans can look forward to better days and perhaps their first Stanley in memory.
One thing we all share: Oiler fans have had enough of looking forward to draft day as climax to each season. Enough. This organization’s upper management should move up or move on.
#1 overall: R Nail Yakupov. Ridiculous talent combined with swagger and attitude. Yakupov has great personality and should give Oiler fans a lot to cheer for on and off the ice. Perhaps this young Russian can win the Calder trophy for a franchise that still hasn’t been honored with the trophy. NHLE 82, 18-22-40.
#32 overall: L Mitchell Moroz. Coke Machine selection that takes Oiler fans back to the days of Kevin Prendergast, Moroz was taken when their was more skill on the board. The organization may be familiar with him because he’s an Oil King, and his TOI ranged from 4th to 2nd line during the season. NHLE 82, 6-3-9.
#63 overall:F Jujhar Khaira.Another big forward (6.03, 195) with room to grow, he played in the BCJHL and Redline suggests he was underscouted. Quoting RLR: this kid is big, mean, aggressive, nasty, and guess what, he can score too. NHLE 82, 6-11-17.
#91 overall: L Daniil Zharkov. The second most famous prospect Edmonton drafted this weekend, Zharkov is also Russian and another strong personality. At 6.03, 200 he fits the Coke Machine description (or will) but has enough skill to be considered a good hockey player. NHLE 82, 11-7-18.
#93 overall: D Erik Gustafsson. Very interesting player, he’s 20 years old and one imagines the Oilers might bring him over right away for OKC. Gustafsson’s size (6.0, 176) runs out of time with the Coke Machine theme of this season’s draft. NHLE 82, 5-6-11.
#123 overall: D Joey Laleggia. This has the best chance to be a depth gem along the lines of Gernat and Rieder. Corey Pronman’s take: He’s a good skater with a great offensive mind who would be a nice shot in the dark pick in the mid-rounds due to his notable offensive upside. He flashes high-end hockey sense with his quick game processing and he’s really effective moving the puck out of his own end and controlling the blue line on the power play.NHLE 82, 9-21-30.
#153 overall: R John McCarron. The third straight 1992-born player, he’s a huge winger (6.03, 215) with plenty of toughness and a mean streak. McCarron fits the Coke Machine label perfectly. NHLE 82, 6-12-18.
NHLE’S over the past 2 drafts (draft seasons)
- R Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11-27-38
- C Tobias Rieder 9-10-19
- L Daniil Zharkov 11-7-18
- R John McCarron 6-12-18 (’92)
- F Jujhar Khaira 6-11-17
- L Mitch Moroz 6-3-9
- C Travis Ewanyk 5-4-9
- Joey Laleggia 9-21-30 (’92)
- Erik Gustafsson 5-6-11 (’92)
- David Musil 2-8-10
- Dillon Simpson 2-7-9
- Oscar Klefbom 3-3-6
The highlight of this draft is Nail Yakupov. Winning the lottery allowed the Oilers to draft the best player available and gives the club a ridiculous cluster of talent up front.
The pick at 32 was somewhat disappointing. The players we talked about this morning were available at that number. My picks were Pontus Aberg, Dalton Thrower and Matt Finn–you may have had other names.
I was initially unimpressed with the Khaira pick but after reading more he’s at least worthy of being “in the range” of his selection. The Oilers clearly spent the day drafting for need and I think this player gives them their best chance of getting that big forward who can play with real skill.
I like the Zharkov pick. In a draft filled with flags and frayed corners, I think the player covers the number.
The three 20 year olds are interesting but their window of opportunity is limited.
Laleggia’s numbers are impressive and I’ll spend a little time over the next few days having a longer look. Could he come out right away?
We don’t know enough about Gustafsson to make the call.
I have no quarrel with the last pick, he’s a lottery ticket and hell maybe it cashes.
I think Oiler fans would have felt a lot better about this draft if the club had drafted (say) Matt Finn at 32. I think the initial shock of the Moroz selection may have clouded our judgement of the rest of the group and suspect we’ll find some things to like about Khaira, Zharkov and Laleggia in the coming days.
I think the Oilers probably wanted to trade into round 1 and grab Samuelsson, and when that wasn’t available checked down to their next Coke Machine. It might have been Sutter, but it was Moroz. Might be something about inside knowledge or maybe they saw his progress October to May and felt he was the better man.
Finally, a note on the scouting staff and Stu MacGregor. I don’t think their draft was a strong one, as they clearly went after “need” as opposed to “best player available.” Although the overall quality of the draft was not strong, the pick at #32 meant they were passing on too much talent by taking Moroz. The scouting staff better be right, or this pick will be remembered for a long time.
NOTES FROM THE FUTURE
What a mess you were, 2012 draft! Nail Yakupov averaged 15-17-32 per 82 NHL games during his career in the league but didn’t develop in some important areas. He was the ultimate example of one year’s experience five times, and I do believe the Oilers of this era were ill-suited to bring him along. A team that banished a useful veteran to the farm for words were unable to negotiate the rapids of development with an eager, sensitive, stubborn Russian winger. Mostly, these years later, the word I associate with Yakupov is sad. Sad it didn’t work out, sad he couldn’t help, sad his NHL career will be viewed as a failure. A dumb, ridiculous faceoff injury contributed to the career arc. A damn shame.
Mitchell Moroz was a solid checking WHL winger, chosen too soon by an organization that could have used a mathlete feeding information to the general manager and scouting director. Consider the NHLE’s before and after Moroz: Tanner Pearson (37), Mitch Moroz (9), Sebastian Collberg (16.6).
The rest of the draft produced two NHL players, fans can’t be upset with 2012’s back end. This brings to an end our look back at harvest moons, hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.