Bullitt

by Lowetide

During the period where I write about the draft, a theme arises out of the mist. Several emails, comments, tweets remind me that drafting someone in 2020 will be of no help for many years. Very true. Building through the draft is the worst possible approach. Except for all the others.

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

Speed merchants on the wing

When Ken Holland arrived in Edmonton, he began the process of improving the team in areas that were lagging. Speed was a major priority. He signed Joakim Nygard, Gaetan Haas, drafted Philip Broberg and then acquired Andreas Athanasiou at the deadline. He’s adding speed, for now and the future, as those are things his team needs.

Let’s try this another way. Between 2010 and 2013, the Oilers drafted four right wingers with the potential to fill a scoring role (Tyler Pitlick, Nail Yakupov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck) for years to come.

Yakupov spent four years (averaged 14.5 goals per 82 games) trying to get the feeling and Anton Slepyshev had moments of clarity. Pitlick made the NHL but as a checker and Houck didn’t sign with the team.

The four picks came in four different rounds and Edmonton had a right to expect at least seven years of scoring from Yakupov, maybe a couple of years on a skill line from Pitlick and Slepyshev. Didn’t work out.

Between 2014 and 2017, Edmonton chose Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamaoto, Ostap Safin and Kirill Maksimov. That’s a lot of riches spent on one position, but Yamamoto’s emergence is one of the most encouraging outcomes in what is truly a baffling decade for right wingers procured through the draft.

Matej Blumel is the only RW drafted in the last two seasons.

Long way to get to this point: When you say “drafting someone in 2020 will be of no help for many years” the only acceptable response is “yes” because it’s obvious.

However, the work of populating the skill RW spots for the 2020-21 season should have come from the 2012-17 draft. It’s insanity that Yakupov and Puljujarvi aren’t 1-2 on the depth chart with Yamamoto pushing.

The 2020 draft is important, because 2025 needs to fed, too. That’s the job.

Immediate need

Between 2010 and 2013, the Oilers drafted left wingers Taylor Hall, Curtis Hamilton, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira, Daniil Zharkov and Marco Roy. Based on draft selection, Edmonton had a right to expect seven years of quality from Hall (before free agency) and perhaps a year or two on skill lines from Hamilton. The team traded Hall after six seasons and have been running big enforcer types with skill since then on the portside.

Ken Holland and Dave Tippett added skill on LW in 2019-20, moving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over and trading for Andreas Athanasiou. Edmonton also acquired a rental (Tyler Ennis) who looked productive during a short audition.

Why did Holland acquire Athanasiou? Part of the reason comes from poor drafting. Between 2014 and 2017, the Oilers drafted only Tyler Benson and Graham McPhee. Athanasiou’s acquisition was about speed, but also development time for Benson and a lack of solutions drafted in these years. Edmonton stopped drafting left wingers after 2013. Curious.

Bottom line

When people say “a player drafted in 2020 won’t help until 2025” the answer is yes, but that’s not really the conversation we should be having. A more appropriate statement would be “the lack of drafting success, added to fewer selections devoted to left wingers, made the acquisition of Athanasiou necessary. Better drafting in 2020-2023 should mean Edmonton will need fewer trades of this type in the future.”

The argument that a 2020 pick won’t help a team win in the fall of 2020 has been winning arguments on the internet since the halcyon days of hfboards. It shouldn’t be a winning argument in a case of this kind. It is not germane to the subject at hand.

Both 2020 and 2025 are priorities. The second rounders sent away for Athanasiou are what amounts to an admission of draft failure, with a $3 million dollar cap invoice attached. It was a good trade for the Oilers, but a painful one all the same.

Why would a good organization fail to draft in 2020 with an eye on 2025? They would not.

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OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: Bouchard’s ELC slides this year, so the Oilers could well get three inexpensive years out of him. Two-and-a-half is virtually guaranteed.

Yup.

It some (many) cases, the argument can be made that its beneficial in the medium term for the ELC to not slide and to burn a year as that second contract will come a bit earlier and the player should be cheaper.

3 years from not I presume and anticipate that Bouchard will be very expensive on his 2nd contract, however, with that said, 3 years of this player between $894K and $1.6M (depending on bonuses vested) should be a major value contract for the Oilers and could be a material part in a championship.

VanIsleOil

€√¥£€^$: OP, dude, you spelled your name wrong……

..hmmmmm….. is he really the Original?

€√¥£€^$

OriginalPouzar: Caleb Jones
Willie Laggeson
Eric Gustaffson
Shawn Horcoff
Josef Baranek
Esa Tikkanen
Yaroslav Pouzar

OP, dude, you spelled your name wrong……

ArmchairGM

duct tape and foil:
Since the NHL has definitively said the play-in round is NOT the playoffs, why not let Neal/Lucic goals recorded during the play-in round decide the fate of the pick. If Neal scores 2 more, the Oilers pay. If he doesn’t or Lucic scores more than the set amount then the Oilers keep it. At least games would decide the issue instead of an arbitrary Bettman whim.

But that’s not the case. NHL definitively stated that play-in stats will be considered playoff scoring, not regular season scoring.

ArmchairGM

defmn: Boston is another team that I think makes a contribution to the discussion.

They had 3 first round picks at 13, 14, 15 and struck out on two and got a double? with DeBrusk.

7 picks in the first 75. Five of them were duds but the Bruins picked up a Carlo in the second round and came out OK.

The thing is, though, that Boston didn’t need 3 or 4 hits. They had most of their core positions already covered for the next 3 or 4 years so they just kept trucking.

The Oilers are not that. They still need to fill some of those positions and the farm team is not flush. The other side of the discussion, though, is what has already been said. The Oilers need to prove to the guys here now that they want to win with them. That the heart of their careers won’t be sacrificed because of bad management in the past.

To me this is the tightrope that Holland is walking and so far I am impressed. More picks are good but winning creates advantages in terms of free agent signings and happy players.

You do realize that Boston is a 1-line team with excellent defense and goaltending, right? There’s a reason they’ve never gone all the way with that setup – no scoring depth.

ArmchairGM

defmn:
The Oilers might get 2 inexpensive years out of Bouchard but one and a half is just as likely.

Bouchard’s ELC slides this year, so the Oilers could well get three inexpensive years out of him. Two-and-a-half is virtually guaranteed.

duct tape and foil

Since the NHL has definitively said the play-in round is NOT the playoffs, why not let Neal/Lucic goals recorded during the play-in round decide the fate of the pick. If Neal scores 2 more, the Oilers pay. If he doesn’t or Lucic scores more than the set amount then the Oilers keep it. At least games would decide the issue instead of an arbitrary Bettman whim.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Georges,

No matter how you slice it, that’s a heady list of players to compare a late round pick with.

I’m no maths wizard, but intuitively speaking… the chances of either or both of one of two second round picks turning into a Coyle/Smith/Callahan/Smith/Staal/Zibanejad/Rakell/Little are pretty low. No?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

So, about 7/40 years? Give or take?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Georges,

What was wrong with Linus is that was he was a disrespectful rookie.

source: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/sports/hockey/14rookie.html

‘Omark, of the Edmonton Oilers, scored a spectacular shootout goal on Friday in his first N.H.L. game, a 360-degree, pump-fake snap shot between the goalie’s legs. The unconventional showmanship brought Oilers fans to their feet and infuriated the Tampa Bay goalie Dan Ellis and others.

“It’s embarrassing for him,” Ellis said. “You come into a league, a respectful league like this, and you try a little move like that. It’s not a very classy thing. That’s just the kind of person he is.”

Omark’s highlight-show goal has sparked a heated argument across North American hockey, a game rooted in the values of Victorian-era Canada, which regards personal flair and goal celebrations as immodest and contemptuous of opponents.

Some hated it, like Ellis’s teammates Martin St. Louis, who called it “a slap in the face,” and Steven Stamkos, who said he “didn’t think it showed a lot of respect.”’

This was, of course, rather over hyped. LO took his 360 at the centre ice line as he took possession of the puck. If I recall correctly, one Steven Stamkos took a shootout attempt not too long after this event, complete with a 360 at or near the goal line, and scored. Nobody blinked.

Interesting that Craig Smith shows so well, where JGP was the subject of the recent hype-machine. Perhaps OP has been right all along, and he’s the elusive 3C we have been looking for…

defmn

Great conversation today.

jp

Harpers Hair: Not sure what Eriksson has to do with Chiasson, Kassian and Sekera but just a reminder that the Oilers have their own Eriksson and he’s about to turn 33.

James Neal has three additional years remaining on his contract…Eriksson has two.

The potential damage done by these deals is less than the largest of the Canucks numerous boat anchors.

The guy who signed every one of the Canucks ‘balanced’ $3M apiece bottom 6 is still running the show.

The guy who signed Lucic and lead to the Oilers owing Neal is no longer with the Oilers.

Fair?

Georges

OriginalPouzar: Pre-injury Sekera was a fantastic d-man and arguably the best Oiler d-man that season through the playoffs. He was worth every penny of that $5.5M per in my opinion.

I wasn’t on board with him being bought out and I still wish Holland would have found another way but, as it turns out, moving the player out and allowing for Bear and Jones to earn their roles on the team, has helped the team.

Nice value contract for Dallas but lets not over-play Sekera this year – in 2020, he’s solidly 3rd pairing (6th on TOI/G) and 2nd pairing PK (with no PP time).

Fair enough.

Sekera definitely has more fans than Russell.

It’s good you noted the role he’s playing in DAL. Awful tough to pay $5.5M for a similar role here.

Tippett is using Russell on the 3rd pair as well. I’m not entirely sure that’s a reflection on Russell or more Tippett’s very strong belief in and support of Bear. I don’t think Tippett isn’t confident in Russell the way that other guy wasn’t confident in Fayne. He’s usually paired Russell with the younger player he wants to play the least. At least, that’s my impression of it.

Georges

By the way, here’s my comparison set for AA’s future performance.

Forwards who’ve scored between 0.5 and 0.55 Pts/GP by the end of their 5th year in the NHL. They’ll also have had to have played at least 100 games. (I forget the range of 5th year seasons I used to filter the list…)

Player, Pts/GP by 5th year, GP after 5th year, Pts/GP after 5th year

Cam Atkinson, .55, 271, .75
Derick Brassard, .55, 577, .58
David Booth, .55, 227, .31
Bryan Little, .55, 487, .67
Rich Peverley, .55, 166, .54
Ryan Spooner, .55, 111, .45
Rickard Rakell, .55, 211, .73
Teuvo Teravainen, .54, 150, .93
Marcus Johansson, .54, 303, .59
Mika Zibanejad, .54, 267, .87
Jordan Staal, .54, 592, .57
William Karlsson, .53, 63, .73
Dave Bolland, .53, 212, .43
Reilly Smith, .53, 292, .70
Patrik Berglund, .53, 359, .38
Sergei Kostitsyn, .52, 46, .33
Tomas Hertl, .52, 125, .88
Clarke MacArthur, .52, 262, .59
Ryan Callahan, .51, 473, .51
Frans Nielsen, .51, 659, .53
Patrick O’Sullivan, .50, 23, .17
Craig Smith, .50, 302, .49
Steve Downie, .50, 162, .36
Elias Lindholm, .50, 151, .87
Michael Grabner, .50, 357, .38
Charlie Coyle, .50, 217, .50
Alexander Wennberg, .50, 57, .39

Hmm, I guess to be fair, if I’m going to include players who did a little better than AA, I should also include players who did a little worse. I’ll do that tomorrow, I guess. Maybe the picture isn’t as clear or rosy.

OriginalPouzar

Georges:

I didn’t think that much of pre-injury Sekera, particularly when compared to Russell. Post-injury Sekera was a complete disaster for the Oil. Good for him he’s found some footing in Dallas. Holland must have gambled on an increasing salary cap to justify the two additional years hit. But how could anyone have known there was a pandemic on the way?

Pre-injury Sekera was a fantastic d-man and arguably the best Oiler d-man that season through the playoffs. He was worth every penny of that $5.5M per in my opinion.

I wasn’t on board with him being bought out and I still wish Holland would have found another way but, as it turns out, moving the player out and allowing for Bear and Jones to earn their roles on the team, has helped the team.

Nice value contract for Dallas but lets not over-play Sekera this year – in 2020, he’s solidly 3rd pairing (6th on TOI/G) and 2nd pairing PK (with no PP time).

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Georges,

Tangential question I know, but AA was a 4th round pick at 110 overall.We’re comparing him to what we paid to acquire him (which is fair).But what are the chances of finding a player of his ilk in the fourth round?

AA, Josh Anderson, and Jacob Slavin all came from the same fourth round of 2012 which is touted to be a particularly weak draft year by many.I don’t know what it means, just that I find the point interesting.

Caleb Jones
Willie Laggeson
Eric Gustaffson
Shawn Horcoff
Josef Baranek
Esa Tikkanen
Yaroslav Pouzar

Harpers Hair

jp: Even if these are bad value (that’s not clear) they’re still small beans.

Both players cost less than Eriksson as a for instance. And Kassian will be younger when his deal ends than Eriksson is now…

Not sure what Eriksson has to do with Chiasson, Kassian and Sekera but just a reminder that the Oilers have their own Eriksson and he’s about to turn 33.

James Neal has three additional years remaining on his contract…Eriksson has two.

Georges

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Georges,

Tangential question I know, but AA was a 4th round pick at 110 overall.We’re comparing him to what we paid to acquire him (which is fair).But what are the chances of finding a player of his ilk in the fourth round?

AA, Josh Anderson, and Jacob Slavin all came from the same fourth round of 2012 which is touted to be a particularly weak draft year by many.I don’t know what it means, just that I find the point interesting.

227: Fourth round forward picks from 2007 to 2019.

4: Number of forwards who have career Pts/GP of 0.5 or better And have played 100 or more career games

Gaudreau
Arvidsson
Nyquist
Athanasiou

Are there are other 4th round picks already in the NHL who are already at or above 0.5 Pts/GP but haven’t yet played 100 games?

No.

How about lowering the scoring threshold to 0.4 Pts/GP? Maybe they’ll produce more offense later in their careers.

8 more players show up:

Player, GP, Pts/GP

Craig Smith, 661, 0.5 (rounding up)
Danton Heinen, 229, 0.47
Joonas Donskoi, 348, 0.45
Drake Batherson, 43, 0.44
Josh Anderson, 267, 0.43
Adam Brooks, 7 GP, 0.43
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, 435, 0.42
Linus Omark, 79 GP, 0.41

I believe 7 are active players.

So, success rate is between 4 and 12 out of 227 players.

What was wrong with Linus?

jp

Harpers Hair: Great analysis…so many unforced errors.

But I’m not sure the bleeding has been staunched.

The Chiasson and Kassian contracts and buying out Sekera look like more of the same.

Even if these are bad value (that’s not clear) they’re still small beans.

Both players cost less than Eriksson as a for instance. And Kassian will be younger when his deal ends than Eriksson is now…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Georges,

Curious about the reasoning/data behind this comment of yours where you seem to prefer KRusty over the Turd Polisher:

“I didn’t think that much of pre-injury Sekera, particularly when compared to Russell.”

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Harpers Hair,

That is such an apt description of that … shit hole, it defies discrepancy.

I left my hometown for many a reason, and that’s a pungent parallel on par.

Georges

Harpers Hair: Great analysis…so many unforced errors.

But I’m not sure the bleeding has been staunched.

The Chiasson and Kassian contracts and buying out Sekera look like more of the same.

What’s the matter with Chiasson?

– he scores like a typical NHL forward

– the team is 21-19 with him on the ice at 5v5

– he costs about $90K per point according to CapFriendly; that puts him above the median for forwards on a standard contract

– he has one more year, right? seems like a simple vet signing with a very reasonable return

What’s wrong with Kassian?

– he’s the only player that can ride shotgun with CMD when necessary and he doesn’t hurt CMD’s offense

– CMD’s on-ice results are better with Kassian than without

– the team wins his minutes @ 5v5

– he’s scoring at a top 6 pace and he fights

– he gets $1.2M more for 4 more years; the Kassian of 19-20 is an excellent deal @ $3.2 per

– will he put his feet up? maybe… but he’s a former first rounder, went off the rails, nearly out of the game, now a reborn type… nice story

– it seems he has a lot of gratitude for the team taking a chance on him; seems like a good bet, those early, flaky years didn’t put that much mileage on his body

I didn’t think that much of pre-injury Sekera, particularly when compared to Russell. Post-injury Sekera was a complete disaster for the Oil. Good for him he’s found some footing in Dallas. Holland must have gambled on an increasing salary cap to justify the two additional years hit. But how could anyone have known there was a pandemic on the way?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Georges,

Tangential question I know, but AA was a 4th round pick at 110 overall. We’re comparing him to what we paid to acquire him (which is fair). But what are the chances of finding a player of his ilk in the fourth round?

AA, Josh Anderson, and Jacob Slavin all came from the same fourth round of 2012 which is touted to be a particularly weak draft year by many. I don’t know what it means, just that I find the point interesting.

OriginalPouzar

jp: Chiarelli was GM for 4 drafts (2015-18). In that time the Oilers drafted 11F, 11D and 4G.

What’s interesting is that aside from Bouchard, none of the D were drafted before the 3rd round. That 4 of the 11 D appear to be legit NHLers, or tracking as that (Bouchard), well that’s pretty solid work.

In addition to Bouchard, 5F and 1G were drafted in the 1st and 2nd round by Chiarelli.

Willis has an article at the Athletic about “why NHL teams should gamble of D later in the draft”. I haven’t actually read it but seems like it might have been a solid strategy by Chiarelli and his staff.
https://theathletic.com/1828498/2020/05/21/why-nhl-teams-should-gamble-on-defencemen-over-forwards-later-in-the-draft/

Agree the Oilers haven’t gotten anything out of their goalie picks in some time. Chiarelli drafted 1 per year but again, the highest pick spent on a goalie was #62 for Rodrigue.

Honestly all this seems like a sound strategy to me.

It is true that not much has been received from the goalie picks during that time but there is still lots of yard left to go. I mean Wells is 22 and Skinner 21, both on their ELCs. We know the general time frame with goalies and that many pop nearing their mid-20s and even later.

Rodrigue and Konovalov were both regarded among the top goalies in their draft classes and Rodrigue had a great draft plus 1 season.

No sure things for sure but still lots of road ahead.

Harpers Hair

Georges: 1. Not understanding how unreliable the draft is as a source of NHL talent.

– each draft class has to compete for jobs with the best players from all previous draft classes as well as the best undrafted players

2. Not understanding how to properly value NHL players.

– you have a much better chance if you can identify value in actual NHL players and make the appropriate moves to secure players who are undervalued by their current teams; we were always giving in this regard, never receiving

3. Not understanding how to select and evaluate HC’s.

– even when we managed to get a competitive group together, we hired awful coaches who performed below expectations and then blamed the roster, leading to more giving by the GM’s who couldn’t properly value NHL players

For a long time, I tried to defend the Hall-Larsson-Lucic moves. It was mega-dumb. If you’re going to trade Hall, you can’t trade for Larsson. If you’re going to give someone Hall’s money, you can’t give it to 28 year old Lucic. So straightforward. I have an excuse; I’m a civilian.

But it was all set in motion by how craptacularly badly the HC handled the 15-16 season, just hideous. PC should’ve fired that guy or at least said, dude, you get one more chance. Leading into the summer, PC had already muscled us up by bringing in Maroon and Kassian. Talbot had stabilized. What happened in the summer of 17 was almost as gross…

Anyway…

So far so good with Holland and Tippett. Those deadline moves make this team extremely interesting. Tippett doesn’t get a free pass if EDM exits early. That’s life as an HC. But Tippett knows that. No better time to win than today.

Great analysis…so many unforced errors.

But I’m not sure the bleeding has been staunched.

The Chiasson and Kassian contracts and buying out Sekera look like more of the same.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

A club will not be deemed to have made the playoffs unless they reach the round of 16, but all individual and club stats/points from hereon out are considered playoff points.

Okay then, NHL.

Harpers Hair

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Harpers Hair,

Featuring The Donut Mill and Glenn’s (I’d hope).

Have been to both numerous times but my most “memorable” visit was the time I had to take a leak.

Stopped at one of the gas stations and upon entering the washroom I discovered someone had taken a dump in the sink.

Welcome to Red Deer!

Georges

Lowetide: I would throw in the referee who didn’t help.

Gawd… that poor guy… has that ever happened before or since?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Harpers Hair,

Featuring The Donut Mill and Glenn’s (I’d hope).

digger50

jtblack: You never know how long Connor and Leon will be elite, but if you factor today’s training, nutrition and overall body care;judging by other Superstars, they have 10+ years left. Sid, Gino and Ovie just finished 15th, 15th and 16th seasons.All were 1 PPG or better ….I think McD & Drai are in that class ..

I think Edm are contenders now. In this playoffs.Their window starts now and hopefully it runs for a decade.KH said he was trying to build an annual contender.

Here is my favorite model.
https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00008871.html

Drafted 13 of their 161st Round picks since Ovechkin arrived.They have made a few trades and signed some FA’s as well, but the core of their team is from drafting and developing well.They have been contenders for a decade, so they didn’t sacrifice winning in the present (2009, 2012, 2015), all the while continuing to add key pieces to their team.

The 2020 Draft is 5 years after Connor was drafted.For Wash Kuznetsov was drafted 6 years after Ovie. Tom Wilson 8 years after Ovie.

As far as the JT Miller trade. It has proved excellent for Van thus far. And yes, if Edmonton knew they were getting a JT Miller, hindsight tells us almost every GM would consider that trade. But the flip side is few people predicted Miller would be as Good a fit as he has been. He’s been outstanding.

I worry about Connors wide open style and potential injury, and I don’t see him slowing down which is why we love him.

I also enjoy your draft posts.

Georges

Harpers Hair: Well, as I pointed out, the Oilers have been building through the draft for at least 13 years and yet, here we are.

What would you point to as the reason for lack of sustained success?

1. Not understanding how unreliable the draft is as a source of NHL talent.

– each draft class has to compete for jobs with the best players from all previous draft classes as well as the best undrafted players

2. Not understanding how to properly value NHL players.

– you have a much better chance if you can identify value in actual NHL players and make the appropriate moves to secure players who are undervalued by their current teams; we were always giving in this regard, never receiving

3. Not understanding how to select and evaluate HC’s.

– even when we managed to get a competitive group together, we hired awful coaches who performed below expectations and then blamed the roster, leading to more giving by the GM’s who couldn’t properly value NHL players

For a long time, I tried to defend the Hall-Larsson-Lucic moves. It was mega-dumb. If you’re going to trade Hall, you can’t trade for Larsson. If you’re going to give someone Hall’s money, you can’t give it to 28 year old Lucic. So straightforward. I have an excuse; I’m a civilian.

But it was all set in motion by how craptacularly badly the HC handled the 15-16 season, just hideous. PC should’ve fired that guy or at least said, dude, you get one more chance. Leading into the summer, PC had already muscled us up by bringing in Maroon and Kassian. Talbot had stabilized. What happened in the summer of 17 was almost as gross…

Anyway…

So far so good with Holland and Tippett. Those deadline moves make this team extremely interesting. Tippett doesn’t get a free pass if EDM exits early. That’s life as an HC. But Tippett knows that. No better time to win than today.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Are you at all concerned that Yamamoto’s shooting percentage was 25%.

It was 7.7% the previous season.

Nope, not overly concerned. I don’t expect him to shoot that high year over year or to be to 5 in the NHL in P/60 year over year.

Of course, as Drai shows, good players on good lines create good scoring chances and shoot at a higher percentage.

As an Oiler-hater are you concerned that a 21 year old Yamamoto produced at the excellent rates he did and didn’t even receive any material PP time?

Imagine how much more productive he could be.

Last year’s shooting percentage is irrelevant – he was a developing player that shouldn’t be in the NHL playing in his first year pro – weird that a first year pro would improve.

As an aside, JT MIller shot 2.7%, 7.8% and 9.6% in his first three years in the NHL….

jp

Harpers Hair: Very different team structures.

Agree that the Oilers top two forwards are at a higher level both in terms of ability but also cap hits while the Canucks have much better forward depth and balance.

No doubt the Oilers D depth is better and that will be the Canucks weakness until they fix it but starting that process with a true #1D in Quinn Hughes will help.

Depth: Paying 6 different forwards $3M+ each to score less than 20 points.

Bonus: Having all 6 of those guys on the payroll for this season AND next.
(And also still having to pay 4 of them in 21-22).

It’s going to be very tough for the Canucks to improve in the short term due to that “depth” you speak of.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Top 10 is likely…it’s also likely to not be good enough to be a contender if your 5V5 play is average at best.

Still lots of work to do and not many assets (other than trades) to do it.

There is work to do, of course – but it is not nearly as much as the post above indicates.

Lots of important pieces in place with a few sparklers on their way including Evan Bouchard – Kailer Yamamoto showed how important one little piece can be.

Of note, through the last 30 games of the season, with the Oilers being one of the best teams in the league, the 5 on 5 goal differential was massively positive – with McDavid missing a quarter of those games.

Perhaps the 5 on 5 goal differential has been solved internally.

OriginalPouzar

Reja: It’s not going to happen

Not going to happen. LeBrun Is just trolling Oiler fans.

I don’t think they are going to assign the flames the Oilers’ third round pick and move on.

I don’t think they are going to have the Oilers keep their third rounder and the flames receive nothing and move on.

jp

oilersfan:

One thing I don’t like about the Chiarelli era drafting was the over focus on defence men and goalies. We can only have six goalies in the system and the team needs twice as many forwards as defensemen so why were 80% of the skaters drafted in that era defence men. ???

Chiarelli was GM for 4 drafts (2015-18). In that time the Oilers drafted 11F, 11D and 4G.

What’s interesting is that aside from Bouchard, none of the D were drafted before the 3rd round. That 4 of the 11 D appear to be legit NHLers, or tracking as that (Bouchard), well that’s pretty solid work.

In addition to Bouchard, 5F and 1G were drafted in the 1st and 2nd round by Chiarelli.

Willis has an article at the Athletic about “why NHL teams should gamble of D later in the draft”. I haven’t actually read it but seems like it might have been a solid strategy by Chiarelli and his staff.
https://theathletic.com/1828498/2020/05/21/why-nhl-teams-should-gamble-on-defencemen-over-forwards-later-in-the-draft/

Agree the Oilers haven’t gotten anything out of their goalie picks in some time. Chiarelli drafted 1 per year but again, the highest pick spent on a goalie was #62 for Rodrigue.

Honestly all this seems like a sound strategy to me.

Material Elvis

OriginalPouzar: Evan Bouchard with 3 years coming up on his ELC (assuming our #10D doesn’t play 10 games through the rest of the year)……….

The value that contract is likely to bring over the next few years is arousing……

Damn OP….. take Bouchard’s contract and get a room.

jp

Harpers Hair: Are you at all concerned that Yamamoto’s shooting percentage was 25%.

It was 7.7% the previous season.

geowal: I’ll take the average of those two and run, please and thanks.

Yamamoto’s shooting %
19-20 NHL 25.0%
19-20 AHL 18.6%

18-19 NHL 7.7%
18-19 AHL 22.2%

17-18 WHL 20.8%

The WHL didn’t keep stats for Yamamoto’s draft year when he scored 42 goals. I imaging the SH% was nice that year too.

Yes, he’ll regress from 25%. And at least splitting the difference between this NHL season and last seems a very good bet based on his own history.

Georges

“However, the work of populating the skill RW spots for the 2020-21 season should have come from the 2012-17 draft.”

A skilled forward, relative to his peers, scores at about a 0.5 Pts/GP pace. To be an impact forward, he also has to be relatively durable and play the majority of games.

In 19-20, there were 169 forwards who played 40 or more games and scored at 0.5 Pts/GP pace or better. 54% of them were playing on the team that drafted them. Which means there were many skilled forward spots that were populated by players that teams didn’t draft. And if you factor in that teams will more likely hold on to the highest end offensive talent (72% of forwards scoring 0.8 Pts/GP or higher were with the teams that drafted them), you’ll see that teams are more likely to find their mid-level forward talent outside the draft. The draft is just one part of the work of populating skilled forward spots. It’s nowhere near the only part.

“It’s insanity that Yakupov and Puljujarvi aren’t 1-2 on the depth chart with Yamamoto pushing.”

Unusual, yes, insanity, no.

Let’s leave Yamamoto out of this because he’s (so far) our one success of those 3 picks and he was selected outside of the top 5.

Between 2012 and 2017, 21 forwards were selected in the top 5 spots of the draft. Let’s exclude the 4 picks the Oilers made in that time. Here’s the remaining list:

Name, GP, Pts/GP

Matthews, 282, 1.01
Marner, 300, 0.97
Eichel, 354, 0.95
Pettersson, 139, 0.95
MacKinnon, 525, 0.94
Barkov, 479, 0.85
Laine, 305, 0.81
Dubois, 234, 0.68
Hischier, 209, 0.65
Strome, 164, 0.64
Reinhart, 400, 0.64
Lindholm, 525, 0.61
Drouin, 349, 0.60
Galchenyuk, 549, 0.58
Patrick, 145, 0.42
Bennett, 364, 0.35
Dal Colle, 85, 0.20

Laine and above are high end players. 7 out of 17. All are still with their drafting teams.

Patrick, Bennett, and Dal Colle haven’t reached the skilled forward threshold. 3 out of 17.

Of the remaining 7, 4 are skating with different teams than the ones that drafted them, indicating that they were in some way a disappointment to their original teams.

When Strome left ARI in his draft+4, he had played 48 games and scored 16 points in 3 seasons of play. He went to CHI and was resurrected.

When Lindholm left CAR, he had scored 188 points in 374 games, right around the threshold of skilled forward. In two seasons in CGY, he’s chasing a point a game pace.

All in all, we have 3 out of 17 picks that were disappointments and one narrowly escaped by leaving his drafting team and finding new life with a new franchise that gave him confidence and opportunities he didn’t have in his first go. But he failed to live up to expectations for his drafting team, as in, he didn’t even reach the 0.5 Pts/GP threshold.

If we come back to the four Oilers picks, two were hit right out of the park and two didn’t turn out. If picks were independent, then based on the results from the other teams, we shouldn’t be too surprised to find that one of our picks didn’t make it.

Yak’s story is super sad. He had great numbers in his first year and then… Eakins. And after Eakins, TMac. After TMac, Hitchcock. Good grief. By the time he got to Bednar, it was too late.

JP’s story is yet unwritten. Unsuccessful launch, the dreaded TMac+Hitchcock tandem. And probably some mean girls locker shenanigans to harpoon the kid’s confidence. He’s still in the running for a Strome like resurrection. If that happens, then we’d have only Yak as a clear draft failure.

It feels to me like picks aren’t actually independent. Both Yak and JP played for the Oil and struggled, and both had the TMac+Hitch experience. TMac isn’t a mediocre coach… he’s a terrible, terrible coach. Hitch, meanwhile, was lost in the sauce. He was such a dink with JP, telling the locals I know how to fix him, he belongs up here… grrr

So, yeah, not insane, when you look a little closer.

leadfarmer

I’ll be curious to see what the ratings will be for these playoffs
After being cooped up for months I don’t see a huge desire to stay inside this summer to watch hockey especially in the US

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Well, as I pointed out, the Oilers have been building through the draft for at least 13 years and yet, here we are.

What would you point to as the reason for lack of sustained success?

When you let the talent get to rock bottom it is a long climb back. Poor draft and development put them in the hole and until recently has kept them there.

geowal

Harpers Hair: Are you at all concerned that Yamamoto’s shooting percentage was 25%.

It was 7.7% the previous season.

I’ll take the average of those two and run, please and thanks.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965: Don’t forget RNHHe is a huge part of the PP. I think it’s the best part of his game, even though he’s great on the PK.

Its tough to evaluate PK ability by the numbers for the most part but, if I remember correctly, hasn’t Nuge had semi-poor numbers on the PK over the years? Likely a function, at least partially, of being on an overall poor PK unit but still.

Also, I think JJ has had fairly solid numbers the last few years even on tough PK units and he is Nuge’s regular PK partner this year.

Not to deride Nuge….

OriginalPouzar

jtblack: in the last 5 years, the Edmonton Oilers have exactly 2 players to play 100+ games.

McDavid and Puljujarvi.so not sure why that metric matters?

That number will go up and up and up thought – Bear, Jones and Yamamoto will assuredly be added to the list – can’t imagine Bouchard won’t be. A number of others likely as well.

I would think the same can be said for PIT though so your point is likely very valid that the metric doesn’t tell much.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Of note, I believe Edmonton was 6th in the league in points percentage since Yamamoto was recalled at the turn of the calendar – and that includes 7 games (I think) without McDavid (and much of it prior to accumulating the deadline depth).

Are they an elite contending team?No, but I think they can certainly go on a run.

They have depth at every single position right now:

– 2 of Ennis, Nygard, Haas, Chiasson, Neal will be healthy scratches
– one of Rusty/Jones will be a scratch on LD and they still have Lagesson
– one of Benning/Green will be a scratch on RD and they still have Bouchard
– nope, neither of Koski nor Smith are elite but both have shown the ability to get hot and that can win playoff series.
– shit, if once of the top 2 centers went down, there is still Nuge to fill in up the middle

Are you at all concerned that Yamamoto’s shooting percentage was 25%.

It was 7.7% the previous season.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: I don’t think that 30% is sustainable year after year but having a good PP, year over year, has shown to be repeatable and much more predictable than a great PK.

Do we really think the likes of McDavid, Drai and Nuge, none of them near regression years, won’t continue to succeed on the PP?Klefbom has learned now to distribute the puck with those guys but there are two young high end PP talents that will replace him over the next few year – both Bear and Bouchard were elite PP d-men in junior – it may not translate but I don’t see this PP not being top 10 in any year in the near future.

The reliance on special teams is absolutely a concern – i give you that. For the rest of this season, AA and Ennis provide some extra 5 on 5 depth that gives the coach options and should improve 5 on 5 play – should.

For the future, well, GM Ken Holland is still building.

Top 10 is likely…it’s also likely to not be good enough to be a contender if your 5V5 play is average at best.

Still lots of work to do and not many assets (other than trades) to do it.

geowal

jtblack:
flyfish1168,

“Seattle well get a good player from us”

just like Vegas did ?

If Seattle doesn’t get a good player from your team, it means your team sucks. Just like with Vegas.