It’s my belief Canada is pretty normal as modern countries go. We’ve settled some important issues over many decades without bloodshed, and survived some truly unusual prime ministers.
There are things about Canada that take some explaining. Smarties, Hawkins’ Cheezies, surviving the cold, farmers making their own replacement parts out of necessity, and Toronto.
One of the curios must be the entry draft, a weekend each summer where fans of the various teams pray to any God that will listen for the strength to endure another addled draft set.
I don’t know if Bob McKenzie is a seer, saviour or enabler, but I’m happy he arrives each summer with a reasonable order. If we didn’t have Bob McKenzie, we’d have to invent him.
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: Oilers’ July 2015 orientation camp produced a watershed of NHL talent
- New Lowetide: Do Oilers fans expect feature minutes from Tyler Ennis on top line?
- Lowetide: Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and the Oilers’ need for veteran insurance
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why the Oilers should protect these 8 skaters in the Seattle expansion draft
- Jonathan Willis: Why Carl Soderberg is an intriguing free agent possibility for the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie’s possible impact in his first year pro
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The good, bad and ugly of the Oilers’ last 15 years of free agent signings
- Lowetide: Why you should be worried about William Lagesson’s future in Edmonton
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Remembering the goal that made Fernando Pisani a cult hero in Edmonton
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2016 draft remains an enigma, with a glimmer of hope
- Jonathan Willis: The parallels from the fall of Alexander the Great and the 2006 Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Agape’: Why Oilers prospect Cooper Marody wrote a song about Colby Cave
- 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: 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 greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
The unique quality of McKenzie’s list is that it represents the industry, or at least a portion of it. McKenzie polls a number of scouts (believe it’s 10 this year) in what might be more accurately described as a ‘poll’ that takes about 30 percent of the industry and presents it as the state of the art in real time. It’s always fun to see what McKenzie’s list would have recommended for Edmonton, and how those differences morph through the years.
2007 DRAFT EDGE OILERS
I didn’t like this draft, despite being pleased with Gagner at No. 6 (would have been equally pleased with Jakub Voracek, who turned out to be a better player). The Plante selection passed over several quality options and the Oilers traded up for a checking center in Riley Nash. Edmonton traded No. 30 and 36 to get to No. 21. It wasn’t a strong decision. The Oilers did beat the McKenzie recommendations, but it’s a stretch to suggest the organization got enough from four picks inside the top 36.
2008 DRAFT OILERS WIN
An absolute home run pick, supreme return on investment considering where Edmonton chose Eberle. He ranks No. 2 among all 2008 draftees in goals, behind only Steven Stamkos. He could score 350+ goals in his career (he’s at 225, age 30).
2009 DRAFT EDGE MCKENZIE
Ryan Ellis was the jewel available at No. 9, but Kulikov has enjoyed a strong career (11 years averaging 20 minutes a night) that ranks as superior to Paajarvi’s. Lander>Shore, I think the Oilers did just ‘okay’ in 2009.
2010 DRAFT MCKENZIE WINS
The McKenzie list graduated three bona fide NHL regulars who I think we can agree covered their draft bet. Edmonton? Full value for Hall, and some bad luck with Pitlick (who was in the range). The Marincin pick was off the board. A clear win for the McKenzie list. This isn’t 2007 disappointing, but Oilers needed to get more from this draft.
2011 DRAFT A TIE IN STRONG DRAFT
I think this is one of the best drafts of the decade for Edmonton, the dual hits in the first round had a big impact on the team’s roster depth for the last seven years of the decade. Saad would have been another major piece, but getting two men who serve in major roles can’t be overlooked.
2012 DRAFT EDGE EDMONTON
This was not a strong draft, Edmonton was unlucky to win the lottery. I’m not sure what can be said, beyond the fact the Oilers did slightly better than the McKenzie list.
2013 DRAFT EDMONTON WINS
I was a fan of MacT’s trades down and even though they didn’t work out the Oilers should do it again if the opportunity presents itself. Edmonton got a better first-round pick than McKenzie’s scouts and that fact wins the day. There are a significant number of Oilers fans who don’t rate Nurse but I think he’s been fairly consistent and his foot speed is a blessing.
2014 DRAFT EDMONTON WINS BIG
This is a long home run, the murder hornet version of the Eberle selection. The Oilers accomplished the unlikely when drafting the 20th best player in a draft at No. 1 overall earlier in the decade, and in 2014 grabbed the No. 1 player at third overall. Fantastic selection, the McKenzie list, the scouts, had the wrong man at No. 3 overall.
2015 DRAFT A TIE
Majestic moment. The power and the glory. Connor McDavid has the biggest impact on every game he’s in, beginning with the opposition coach having a terrible night’s sleep heading into game day. Superhuman hockey player. Both McKenzie and the Oilers got it right in the easiest test in draft history.
2016 DRAFT A TIE
For a draft that is now four years old, much remains up in the air. No clear winner here, I don’t think this will rival the 2012 draft in terms of farce but it does have that feel to it. Big seasons for the entire group on the way.
2017 DRAFT EDMONTON WINS
This draft has the potential to be one of the best this decade. Yamamoto took a big step forward, and Samorukov has a chance to be a top-four defenseman if he develops. A fascinating draft by Edmonton.
2018 DRAFT TOO SOON TO KNOW
I expect we’ll be looking back at this draft in 2025 and talking about most if not all of these names having NHL success. Things broke well for the McKenzie list and the Oilers in 2018.
2019 DRAFT TOO SOON TO KNOW
I’m still amazed Lavoie hung around to No. 38. For the purpose of the McKenzie list versus the Oilers it comes down to Zegras versus Broberg. Zegras finished third in scoring at Boston University, Broberg found his way in the SHL. Miles to go.
I have it at 6-2-3 with several too soon to knows thrown in for good measure. Clear victories for Edmonton in 2008, 2013 and 2014. McKenzie and his scouts win clearly in 2010.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we’ll talk McKenzie list and more on TSN1260. Reid Fowler from Draft Kings will review a great golf tournament on the weekend with a terrific finish (the RBC Heritage) and Jason Gregor will talk NHL return and NHL draft at 11. At 11:25, it’s Jon Abbott from TSN1040 in Vancouver to chat hub city. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!