How did it work out so badly? We tend to separate prospects into ‘success’ or ‘fail’ based on their NHL performance and ability to sustain a level of play that keeps them in the big league. Looking back, understanding injuries, coaching changes and a lack of a designated farm team for part of the decade, it seems incredible the Oilers didn’t get more from their drafted forwards 2000-09. How bad was it? Bad.
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 Lowetide: 5 AHL forwards who offer the Oilers a chance to buy low on real talent
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Agape’: Why Oilers prospect Cooper Marody wrote a song about Colby Cave
- New Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid’s recovery is just one of 2020’s incredible Masterton stories
- Lowetide: Every prospect in the Oilers system and what’s next for each player
- Lowetide: Oilers minor leaguers over 40 years, and Jay Woodcroft’s current role
- Lowetide: Charting Theodor Lennstrom’s future with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Projecting the Oilers’ black aces and how much they’ll play
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ lineup for their play-in series versus the Blackhawks
- Lowetide: Could the Oilers draft a defenceman in the first round?
- Lowetide: Why the Oilers should extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as soon as possible
- Lowetide: Oilers farmhand Josh Currie’s small window of opportunity
- Jonathan Willis: Misguided priorities helped turn the Oilers’ 2010 rebuild into a debacle
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘It’s what’s best for the league’: Oilers accept challenge of play-in series
- Lowetide: Oilers greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Six bold (and not so bold) predictions as the Oilers prepare for the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers facing a bonus penalty for 2020-21 but the news isn’t all bad
- Jonathan Willis: Multiple choice: What might an Oilers trade at the 2020 NHL Draft look like?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers return to play guide: How the NHL’s 24-team format impacts Edmonton
- Lowetide: Mike Green’s playoff role and possible future with the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers’ most likely recalls from Bakersfield for the playoff run
THE KIDS FROM 2000-04
The Oilers received over a decade of hard work from Ales Hemsky, but the rest of this group was either traded too soon (Brodziak, Stoll), succumbed to injury (Pouliot, Jacques) or faded away. Many of these players either fit the style of coach Craig MacTavish or ground their skills in the minors to make themselves more responsible. Schremp was the outlier. Edmonton didn’t get much from these selections as a group. The farm team walkabout was certainly a major factor and trades impacted the team too, plus looking for a second opinion (Winchester) that worked out for the player in a new town (for a time). What can we learn from this? Patience, dammit!
THE KIDS FROM 2005 TO 2009
Eberle>Hemsky but the portion of the bell curve ahead for Ebs will bring him back to the pack. This group wasn’t impacted by the farm team chaos, but were fast tracked (Gagner, Lander) or flushed for no good damned reason (Omark). One bizarre note: Schremp’s even strength scoring per 60>Gagner. How bizarre.
THE KIDS FROM 2013 TO 2017
This is the current group, the last five years. Enormous advantage in having the top two names signed to long-term deals, and Yamamoto took a step forward this season. I’m encouraged that Holland reached out to Slepyshev and further encouraged by recent comments from Jesse Puljujarvi that could have him back in Edmonton. I don’t think it’s wise to get too high or low with this news, the Puljujarvi side has wanted a trade for some time and it seems unlikely they would abandon the goal at this point in the offseason. A month from now? August? More likely.
Fascinating turn, Samorukov the latest in a (now) long line of Russian prospects who would prefer to play at home than in Bakersfield. Samorukov was challenged by AHL opposition a year ago, so a return would have been the play here. The KHL is a good league too, so as long as he plays then Samorukov should not lose any development time with this transaction. I do wonder if this might be a signal about the AHL season but that’s a stretch, we just don’t know. Oilers need some AHL blue if there’s a 2020-21 season though, that’s a fact.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
I have a feeling it’s going to be a busy day for breaking news, our turn comes at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports and Inside the Truck podcast will talk about the NHL’s return and what the game will look like upon return. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will talk Euro 2020, hockey players in the summer Olympics, and the critera for the NHL’s hub cities (which seems to be changing). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!