This Must Be The Place

by Lowetide

I remember well the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. The Hockey News told me Ron Chipperfield was the number one overall prospect in the entire draft and on the strength of a 90-goal season in the Western Junior League it seemed reasonable. I wasn’t sure he’d go No. 1, the OHA had some good players too, but 90 goals had to be top-10 overall. Right?

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.

Back then, you didn’t get television coverage of the draft. The radio would tell you who went number one and the players the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs had taken with their first picks, but after that you had to wait for July’s The Hockey News. The Saskatoon radio would tell you Bob Bourne (Saskatoon Blades) was chosen by the new Kansas City Scouts expansion club, but it wasn’t a major sports story across the land or locally. If you suggested a five-hour television show live covering the draft in 1974, they would (as my father used to say) send you to Essondale.

Why was the 1974 draft so memorable? Well the NHL was in a war with the WHA over players, so conducted the draft by phone (which took forever) and tried to sign players before the list was released. Crazy stuff. Here’s an example of the kind of story you’d find in your local newspaper.

Eventually enough information would be made available, but I was always curious about why Chipperfield fell so far in that draft. Was it because he’d already told everyone he was going to sign with a WHA club? That would make sense, as Mark Howe didn’t go until the middle of round two because of the rival league (where he had played one season in 1973-74 so was drafted from the Houston Aeros by the Boston Bruins).

Eventually Chipperfield did play in the NHL and of course is a part of Edmonton Oiler history (Chipperfield was named captain of the team October 1, 1979). Had the NHL drafted straight up–without the WHA, without the underage eligbility rule that allowed one selection of an underage player per team in the first two rounds–Chipperfield would have been drafted inside the top 10 in 1974, but not close to his No. 1 ranking. Why?

There was no one who would tell me why in 1974 summer. I know now (speed) but it would have been nice to know back then.

Fast forward to today and we can track the entry draft extremely well. The attention paid to the sport of hockey, the business and procurement side along with the actual game itself is mind boggling to 1974. Everything is sped up, information is readily available and comes in waves; I’m certain a rabid hockey fan today could produce a better draft list than the California Seals did in 1974.

How did that happen? The internet, more leisure time, the news cycle needing more and more content to keep its audience, and of course, money. In 1974, the Seals GM was Garry Young and their scouting director was Ed Reigle. I knew that because of a man named Jim Proudfoot who should have his own wing of the HHOF but that’s for another day. Suffice to say he was the patron saint of nerdy kids on the Canadian prairies.

Today, we have so much access to the draft it’s ridiculous. We can reasonably assume that the Edmonton Oilers will select someone inside Bob McKenzie’s top 30. In 1974? Here’s the first round, with the ranking alongside.

We’re halfway through the first round and you’re probably wondering what the hell is going on. Why didn’t the No. 1 ranked player going in the first half of round 1? What’s with the not ranked underagers getting drafted? Remember, this is THN ranking, NHL teams have their own scouts and there is no Central Scouting at this time. Paiement and Gillies were the best selections, Larouche a dandy pick and Pollock’s Habs didn’t get as much as they should have. Now the second half of the first round, 1974.

More jocularity, as ‘underage, not ranked’ rules the day. We get the No. 40 ranked player before the No. 1 man (Chipperfield) mercifully comes off the board at No. 17. He was the No. 8 man off the board if we exclude underagers. I for one am glad Central Scouting brought in some clarity for the weaker teams. One final note: Clumsy effort by Montreal despite an extraordinary five picks in the first round. Islanders would grab Bryan Trottier in the second round, he was the best player in the draft.

HOLLAND’S LIST

If we’re trying to drill down on what Ken Holland’s list is going to look like on draft day, we should start with a list of players who boast the skills Holland values.

Speedsters who might be available to the Oilers at No. 20 include Seth Jarvis, Rodion Amirov, Marat Khusnutdinov, Kaiden Guhle, Dylan Holloway, Vasiliy Ponomarev.

Later round speed demons include Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Alexander Pashin, Jakub Konecny, Wyatt Kaiser. On draft day, when you’re staring at all the players we’ve discussed at No. 20, if the Oilers choose Marat Khusnutdinov, speed will be the reason.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. We check in with Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal, talking Oilers-‘Hawks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will pop in at 11 to talk UFC250, Nascar prop bets and NHL Eastern Conference Play-In Series. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. A reminder I’ll be part of the sandwich draft at 9 this morning, TSN1260. You gotta go with what you know.

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OriginalPouzar

A few months ago we could zero in on the pick around 20 but, now, who the heck knows where this team is going to pick?

What a wild ride its going to be.

I sure hope that a placeholder wins one of the lotteries (or two) – more intrigue to be added, for months.

OriginalPouzar

The QMJHL put out a statement the other day about planning for a full 68 game schedule starting October 1.

I’m not sure if that is in any way realistic, however, it would be interesting if the CHL starts in the fall prior to the NHL draft – do guys like Rossi, Lafreniere, etc. simply report to their junior teams and play? Do we see them sign with European teams with out clauses?

ArmchairGM

“Speedsters who might be available to the Oilers at No. 20 include Seth Jarvis, Rodion Amirov, Marat Khusnutdinov, Kaiden Guhle, Dylan Holloway, Vasiliy Ponomarev.

Later round speed demons include Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Alexander Pashin, Jakub Konecny, Wyatt Kaiser. On draft day, when you’re staring at all the players we’ve discussed at No. 20, if the Oilers choose Marat Khusnutdinov, speed will be the reason.”

Excellent group of names, LT. I can see why Holland refused to send out the 1st this year – even in a potential Taylor Hall trade – as there are going to be some fantastic players available at #20. Now the challenge for him is to land another pick around #20 – Senators, Rangers and Wild all have additional picks in that range – and you can add two more young men to your summer top prospects list.

Greenberg

Early leader for the best sports blog in the universe during the COVIE-19 timeout is LT with an incredible morning-by-morning burst of flames of energy matched by no one else. This man has spinach for breakfast. Thank you, My Man, it is truly appreciated by all of us.

N64

Greenberg: LT with an incredible morning-by-morning burst of flames of energy matched by no one else. This man has spinach for breakfast.

~ And he’s strong to the finich ~

meanashell11

That’s funny. Dave Maloney is a good friend of mine and our kids played hockey and lacrosse together here in Greenwich.

hunter1909

Does anyone know when to expect the NHL to announce certain playoff dates etc? Asking for a friend.

Brantford Boy

Greenberg,

Actually Kang and Kodos from Rigel VII might give LT a run for his money… I just want to be on the right side when they colonize Earth…

Bohologo

It’s hard to improve on the original, let alone the Stop Making Sense version, but I think this cover succeeds:

https://youtu.be/IslMHJFkIME

Harpers Hair

lisa dillman (@reallisa) Tweeted:
Per Kings: Signed forward Arthur Kaliyev and defenseman Jordan Spence to three-year entry-level contracts,

wolf8888

Greenberg:
Early leader for the best sports blog in the universe during the COVIE-19 timeout is LT with an incredible morning-by-morning burst of flames of energy matched by no one else. This man has spinach for breakfast. Thank you, My Man, it is truly appreciated by all of us.

Well, maybe not “flames” of energy 🙂 but I second your feelings!

jp

I was just browsing Holland/Red Wings draft history again and it’s truly remarkable the number and quality of players he/they were able to find outside the first round.

Holland was named director of scouting in July 1987, so his first draft was 1988. He was in charge of the draft or the Wings for 31 drafts before he headed to the Oilers.

Lots of ways have been used to define successful NHL players picks, I’m just going to list the ones I think are/were legitimate NHL players. This is players drafted AFTER the 1st round by Holland and the Wings going back to 1988.

Year Round Player
2016 2nd Hronek
2014 4th Ehn (he would be debatable)
2013 2nd Bertuzzi
2013 3rd Janmark
2012 4th Athanasiou
2010 2nd Jankrok
2010 5th Mrazek
2009 2nd Tatar
2009 5th Jensen
2008 4th Nyquist
2006 2nd Matthias
2005 2nd Abdelkader
2005 5th Helm
2004 3rd Holmstrom
2003 2nd Howard
2003 4th Quincey
2002 2nd Hudler
2002 2nd Fleschmann
2002 3rd Filppula
2002 9th Eriksson
2000 2nd Kopecky
1999 7th Zetterberg
1998 6th Datsyuk
1994 2nd Dandenault
1994 10th Holmstrom
1992 2nd McCarty
1992 10th McGillis
1991 2nd Pushor
1991 3rd Osgood
1991 4th Knuble
1990 7th York
1989 2nd Boughner
1989 3rd Lidstrom
1989 6th Drake

That’s 34 legitimate NHLers, many of them high end players, drafted outside the 1st round in 31 years. I haven’t even included 3 Russians he got for cheap around the fall of the Soviet Union. Holland was early recognizing that talent pool and exploiting it so you can add them to the list if you like.

1990 3rd Kozlov
1989 4th Fedorov
1989 11th Konstantinov

Full list is here: https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00005492.html

I’d count 20ish legit players drafted by the Oilers outside the 1st round in the same period. Holland’s work with the Wings seems pretty damn impressive to me…

LadiesloveSmid

Harpers Hair:
lisa dillman (@reallisa) Tweeted:
Per Kings: Signed forward Arthur Kaliyev and defenseman Jordan Spence to three-year entry-level contracts,

Kaliyev is going to make 25 GMs, Holland included, look stupid. I don’t think it will take very long either.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

https://dobberprospects.com/nhl-draft-report/

Interesting article came up in my feed today, some names regular readers of this blog will recognize as having been identified by the maths.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

jp,

That list also speaks volumes of the development model he employs.

OriginalPouzar

NHL and Return to Play committee speaking today – likey get some resolution on two outstanding matters soon:

– if the first two real playoff rounds will be best of 5 or 7
– if they are going bracket or re-seeding

duct tape and foil

LadiesloveSmid: Kaliyev is going to make 25 GMs, Holland included, look stupid. I don’t think it will take very long either.

Holland? Nobody had Kaliyev going top 10 outside Lowetide. Pretty sure Holland would have grabbed him with the 2nd round pick if available, but Lavoie is a pretty damn good runner-up prize. I like the Broburg-Lavoie combination a lot.

defmn

OriginalPouzar:
NHL and Return to Play committee speaking today – likey get some resolution on two outstanding matters soon:

– if the first two real playoff rounds will be best of 5 or 7
– if they are going bracket or re-seeding

Moving at the speed of light. There’s a reason they don’t erect statues in honour of committees. 😉

LadiesloveSmid

duct tape and foil: Holland? Nobody had Kaliyev going top 10 outside Lowetide. Pretty sure Holland would have grabbed him with the 2nd round pick if available, but Lavoie is a pretty damn good runner-up prize. I like the Broburg-Lavoie combination a lot.

Kaliyev had the production of a top 5-8 pick, also a late June bday. I’m with LT, I’d have taken him 8 over Broberg though Zegras was my guy.

Clarkenstein

Would never have thought the best player, far and away, would be Clark Gillies in the ’74 draft. Just look at the rest of them and nobody is close. I might be biased tho.

OriginalPouzar

I’ll be listening to Coach T. on Oilers Now a bit later this aft when I get back on the treadmill but it seems he did a video conferece as well earlier today.

As per Nugent-Bowmans:

Oilers coach Dave Tippett just finished up a video conference call. He’s in Minnesota right now and plans to return to Edmonton in a couple weeks. (Coaches aren’t allowed on the ice during Phase 2 of NHL’s return to play — whenever that happens.)

Tippett said he’s had four or five calls with the players during this break (and more with just the coaching staff). He compared this time to the lockouts in terms of trying to stay ready. “You feel like you’re a doctor on call.”

Tippett, fearful of sloppy play and and the impact on players after a long layoff, said he anticipates using all healthy regular skaters at his disposal.

As per Gregor:

“Preparation will be key. We will go from a pause to 100 miles an hour in a hurry. This isn’t like a training camp where you have some players who can jump up, we know what we have and where most of the pieces fit.” Tippett on Return to Play. #NHL

—————————-

If we know anything about coach T is that he’ll have his team prepared!

Reja

Clarkenstein:
Would never have thought the best player, far and away, would be Clark Gillies in the ’74 draft. Just look at the rest of them and nobody is close. I might be biased tho.

I myself would have taken Gllies of the first rounders that ended up going but Paiement and Larouche weren’t chopped liver.

godot10

Harpers Hair:
lisa dillman (@reallisa) Tweeted:
Per Kings: Signed forward Arthur Kaliyev and defenseman Jordan Spence to three-year entry-level contracts,

Who believes that Arthur and Flattop will mix any better than Jesse and Flattop? Not me.

Eh Team

Clarkenstein: Would never have thought the best player, far and away, would be Clark Gillies in the ’74 draft. Just look at the rest of them and nobody is close. I might be biased tho.

Trottier and Mark Howe went in round 2. The player with the second most GP from that draft year (behind Trottier) was Harold Snepsts (with 1033).

Reja

Eh Team: Trottier and Mark Howe went in round 2. The player with the second most GP from that draft year (behind Trottier) was Harold Snepsts (with 1033).

Arguably the best Canuck player in their storied franchise.

Material Elvis

Reja: Arguably the best Canuck player in their storied franchise.

No, that’s Bogdan Raffetskiy.

ArmchairGM

ArmchairGM: Vasiliy Ponomarev

Watched some highlights of his this afternoon. Love love love this player, especially considering he could be available on day 2. He’s a candidate to explode next season, IMO.

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
I’ll be listening to Coach T. on Oilers Now a bit later this aft when I get back on the treadmill but it seems he did a video conferece as well earlier today.

As per Nugent-Bowmans:

Oilers coach Dave Tippett just finished up a video conference call. He’s in Minnesota right now and plans to return to Edmonton in a couple weeks. (Coaches aren’t allowed on the ice during Phase 2 of NHL’s return to play — whenever that happens.)

Tippett said he’s had four or five calls with the players during this break (and more with just the coaching staff). He compared this time to the lockouts in terms of trying to stay ready. “You feel like you’re a doctor on call.”

Tippett, fearful of sloppy play and and the impact on players after a long layoff, said he anticipates using all healthy regular skaters at his disposal.

As per Gregor:

“Preparation will be key. We will go from a pause to 100 miles an hour in a hurry. This isn’t like a training camp where you have some players who can jump up, we know what we have and where most of the pieces fit.” Tippett on Return to Play. #NHL

—————————-

If we know anything about coach T is that he’ll have his team prepared!

I thought Bob did a bang-up job with Coach T. – trying to get lineup info out of him without asking too directly. Couple of things I took away:

– Bob asked who would be able to get their game back quicker, youngsters or veterans – Coach T. oubviously referenced the “younger bodies” but then mentioned that they are going right in to playoff games and the veterans know what that takes and will be important. Interesting as it relates to Chiasson, Neal, Rusty, etc. for me

– asked about Nygard and given how great he played with Sheahan and Archie if he’d go back there – Coach T oubviously acknowledged it as an option but was clear that Nygard, while healthy now, has been out for a long time and his injury was tough – hand surgery and it takes a while to get back from that and he didn’t get a chance to practice. Said he was sure his legs will be there but it may take his hands a bit. To me, he may need to earn a lineup spot in camp or early in the series.

– asked about his tenders – Coach T had just talked to Schwartz and, of course, they are confident in both guys and they will see who is looking better at training camp – of course, he acknowledged that Smith has the experience – blah.

– asked about the bottom pairing D and Coach T really likes his mix of veterans and youngsters and puck movers – he thinks “lots of players will be needed”.

– asked about Khaira at center and said he really liked him there and really liked that line with Chiasson and Neal flanking him – a tough, heavy forecheck line. To me, it sounds like a line Coach T would use in the playoffs.

Clarkenstein

Eh Team,

You’re right about Trots but I guess I was thinking of that first round.

barry.moore23

Material Elvis: No, that’s Bogdan Raffetskiy.

Stop bashing the USHL kid. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. You try playing D in the world’s best league.

Kidding man. Love you.

🙂

OriginalPouzar

As per David Pagnotta, league is expected to make an official announcement on timing of phase 2 by the end of the week.

Hopefully some guidance on length of series for the first two rounds and bracket vs. re-seed (although that is in the players’ hands I believe).

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

ArmchairGM: Watched some highlights of his this afternoon. Love love love this player, especially considering he could be available on day 2. He’s a candidate to explode next season, IMO.

Would be nice to get both him and his higher-rated teammate so they can grow together!

jp

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
jp,

That list also speaks volumes of the development model he employs.

This is true.

OriginalPouzar

Listening to Coach T’s media call now:

He has mentioned a few times that there is the opportunity for a youngster to “crack the lineup” if some incumbents aren’t in as good as shape as they expect, etc.

Coach was scheduled to come back to Edmonton last week but it got pushed back – he’ll be heading to Edmonton in the next few weeks – mentioned with Stauff that he’ll want to get his 14 days in, etc.

Asked about Jones – he now knows he’s an NHL player and plays like one. Has some young player in him but that can be a good thing with energy. We’ll see how camp goes to see where he fits – To me, it really sounds like Rusty has the inside edge on 3LD.

He’s had 4-5 call with the team and the full staff and recently talked about expectations and talked about what camp will look like, etc. Has had more calls with just the coaching staff over the break.

Training camp will be about evaluating the players, where they are and where their conditioning is. Sounds worried about differing levels of “readiness”.

OriginalPouzar

hunter1909:
Does anyone know when to expect the NHL to announce certain playoff dates etc? Asking for a friend.

We know some general potential timelines.

We know stage 2 is likely to start in the next few weeks but that is simply informal skates permitted in small groups with no coaches. Sounds like very few players will travel to their team cities to participate.

We know that stage 3, training camp, will not be before July 10 and the league is “aiming for” July 14 at this point.

We know that camp is likely to be 2-3 weeks – sounds like closer to 3 weeks.

That takes us to very early August for Stage 4 which is when teams head to their hubs – its been said that there will be a week until the real games start (2 exhibition games per in that time).

So, real games around Aug 10 if everything goes as hoped.

OriginalPouzar

LadiesloveSmid: Kaliyev is going to make 25 GMs, Holland included, look stupid. I don’t think it will take very long either.

If I’m not mistaken, LT had him much much higher than where he went.

I don’t believe Holland will be made to look stupid for a number of years, if ever – you know, given the developmental path the team is choosing for Broberg. Kaliyev could be a star in 2 years and Broberg could be a bigger start in 4, for example.

We wait.

OriginalPouzar

LadiesloveSmid: Kaliyev had the production of a top 5-8 pick, also a late June bday. I’m with LT, I’d have taken him 8 over Broberg though Zegras was my guy.

……and all three have had solid draft plus 1 development years in line with expectation and none of the three have played a second of professional hockey (in North America).

There is little doubt the two forwards will “arrive” prior to the European drafted d-man – doesn’t mean time won’t show the d-man to be the “better pick” – we wait.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: ……and all three have had solid draft plus 1 development years in line with expectation and none of the three have played a second of professional hockey (in North America).

There is little doubt the two forwards will “arrive” prior to the European drafted d-man – doesn’t mean time won’t show the d-man to be the “better pick” – we wait.

Much more likely the Broberg pick will be compared to Victor Soderstrom (11th overall), Lassi Thomson (19th overall, Ville Heinola (20th overall) and Tobias Bjornfot (22nd overall).

Worth noting that Heinola and Bjornfot have already played NHL games.
l

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: Much more likely the Broberg pick will be compared to Victor Soderstrom (11th overall), Lassi Thomson(19th overall, Ville Heinola (20th overall) and Tobias Bjornfot (22nd overall).

Worth noting that Heinola and Bjornfot have already played NHL games.
l

Well he only has 6 years left to beat Future hall of famer Brogdan Brofferty

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Well he only has 6 years left to beat Future hall of famer Brogdan Brofferty

He’ll need it.

Rafferty already has two NHL games under his belt with lots more to come this fall..

jp

Harpers Hair: He’ll need it.

Rafferty already has two NHL games under his belt with lots more to come this fall..

Not in August?

ArmchairGM

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Would be nice to get both him and his higher-rated teammate so they can grow together!

I wouldn’t complain about that! I prefer Jarvis over Bourque – Khusnutdinov too – but I’m doubtful he’ll be available at 20.

godot10

Harpers Hair: Much more likely the Broberg pick will be compared to Victor Soderstrom (11th overall), Lassi Thomson(19th overall, Ville Heinola (20th overall) and Tobias Bjornfot (22nd overall).

Worth noting that Heinola and Bjornfot have already played NHL games.
l

He who laughs last…

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Much more likely the Broberg pick will be compared to Victor Soderstrom (11th overall), Lassi Thomson(19th overall, Ville Heinola (20th overall) and Tobias Bjornfot (22nd overall).

Worth noting that Heinola and Bjornfot have already played NHL games.
l

Well that’s nice but the conversation was the Oilers taking Broberg vs. Kaliyev vs. Zegras so, really, another out of left field comment.

Harpers Hair

godot10: He who laughs last…

I think it will likely be the Coyotes who will, be chuckling and sniggering.

Soderstrom has far more offence than Broberg.

He was 14th on Bob MacKenzie’s list…Broberg was 15th.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Well that’s nice but the conversation was the Oilers taking Broberg vs. Kaliyev vs. Zegras so, really, another out of left field comment.

Same draft…same position.

Sorry, as hard as you might try you don’t get to control the conversation.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: He’ll need it.

Rafferty already has two NHL games under his belt with lots more to come this fall..

and Bouchard has 7 under his belt – as an 18 year old – and we keep hearing about his limited potential.

Scungilli Slushy

Hey folks

If you are drafting outside of the lottery sweet spot, which is usually 1-3 or 1-5 depending in the year, teh BPA becomes clouded in fog.

There are few players in any league that have the tool kit to be almost certain to dominate in the best league.

Taking Yama was a good choice based on math, that he was considered at the time one of the best skaters in the draft, and had the required drive that any player, but particularly a tiny player, absolutely has to have.

The Oilers for yonks picked players they liked that had significant warning signs, be it scoring, skating, skill, whatever.

It seems to me Holland has this surrounded. He has stated publicly that the core of the reason is the WIngs drafted at the bottom for a long time. He/they were smart enough to think outside of the very narrow box the league looked through as a majority.

It’s still a gamble, and the Wings got very lucky. So did the Pens, so did the Oilers.

It’s amusing to me that the Oilers and Pens both have had such incredible good fortune. The Wings it didn’t happen for. Such is sports, and life.

I’m REALLY happy the Oilers have what seems like a stable, thinking GM and the same in the coach.

We’ll see who Broberg and Kaliyev become, but I get the bet on Holland’s part. Given who he had to watch while dominating the league for a very long time.

It also makes me think Nuge would be a player he wants on his team, even if not Zet or Dats.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Same draft…same position.

Sorry, as hard as you might try you don’t get to control the conversation.

Not trying to control anything – just noting that you are essentially like my 73 year old Jewish mother who, love her to death, will often just blurt out things in the middle of a conversation that have nothing to do with it.

Shall I call you Miriam from now on?

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: and Bouchard has 7 under his belt – as an 18 year old – and we keep hearing about his limited potential.

OriginalPouzar: Not trying to control anything – just noting that you are essentially like my 73 year old Jewish mother who, love her to death, will often just blurt out things in the middle of a conversation that have nothing to do with it.

Shall I call you Miriam from now on?

Does she yell Bouchard every time someone talks about defensemen?