Before Ken Holland’s arrival, the Edmonton Oilers talked about trading up in the draft, but it rarely happened. The Oilers added first-round picks by trading men like Dustin Penner, Ryan Smyth and Mike Comrie. Moving up? In 2007, Edmonton dealt picks No. 30 and No. 36 to move up and pick Riley Nash at No. 21 overall. Maybe it’s best not to trade up after all. Trading down? In 2003, the Oilers dealt No. 17 (Zach Parise) to the NJD for selection No. 22 (Marc Pouliot) and No. 68 (J. F. Jacques). Stand pat. Good idea. (Photo by Rob Ferguson).
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Holland has his first-round pick (No. 1, No. 15 or somewhere in the 20’s) plus (as I see it) Jesse Puljujarvi, Matt Benning, Kris Russell, Alex Chiasson, Jujhar Khaira and William Lagesson as trade pieces. Some of those have little value, you could trade your issue for their issue but nothing major.
Trading up from No. 15 or 20 would take a lot. If you had No. 20, I think that pick and Jesse Puljujarvi might get you to No. 15. My estimate of Jesse Puljuarvi’s value is a second-round pick. No. 35 overall.
I know some of you will balk at the idea, or suggest I’m down of JP. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I wouldn’t trade Puljujarvi for pick No. 35, unless Jan Mysak is still on the board.
I can see this happening. If Holland owns No. 15 overall, could he trade it for No. 25 and another pick in the second round? I bet that’s a deal that could happen, especially if an attractive name has slipped down the draft board (as inevitably happens in a deep draft year). If Holland could deal down and grab Mavrik Bourque and Jan Mysak, music! Dare to dream.
THE 2011 DRAFT
Between 1973, when the Montreal Canadiens drafted Bob Gainey, and 2010, when the Oilers won the No. 1 overall pick, I did not create a draft ranking in any year I recall. If I did, it wasn’t serious. In 2010 I worked on it, but the 2011 draft is where I actually fretted over the ranking. I spent about a month thinking about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Sean Couturier at first overall. Here is my final list.
- C Ryan Nugent Hopkins
- C Sean Couturier
- D Adam Larsson
- L Jonathan Huberdeau
- C Ryan Strome
- L Gabriel Landeskog
- C Mika Zibanejad
- D Ryan Murphy
- D Dougie Hamilton
- R Joel Armia
- L Sven Bartschi
- C Mark McNeill
- D Nathan Beaulieu
- C Mark Scheifele
- D Joe Morrow
- L Alexander Khokhlachev
- L Matt Puempel
- D Duncan Siemens
- D Jamie Oleksiak
- F Zack Phillips
- R Rikard Rakell
- C Viktor Rask
- C Daniel Catanacci
- D Oscar Klefbom
- D Jonas Brodin
- D David Musil
- C Vladislav Namestnikov
- L Shane Prince
- R Ty Rattie
- L Brandon Saad
The Oilers chose Ryan Nugent-Hopkins No. 1 overall and I believe that was the right pick. Hindsight is 20-20 but no other player in the 2011 draft had to come and play for the 2011-12 Oilers. I had Couturier No. 2, but Colorado went with Landeskog, Bob McKenzie’s No. 4 player. So, McKenzie’s No. 2 and No. 3 players (Larsson and Huberdeau) are still on the board, and his No. 5 guy (and my No. 2 player) Couturier is still available. Couturier went No. 8 overall.
How did it happen? It was a deep draft, like the 2020 draft only the 2011 edition was 20 good to great players deep (Oilers got two), and the 2020 draft has 15 or so as we see things from here. Can the Oilers get two of those players? Unlikely. It is rare to get a Nuge and an Oscar in the same draft. Damn near impossible when you have one pick inside the top 75.
THE 2015 DRAFT
As the 2015 draft grows in infamy, we’re going to have to find a way to credit the right people for the success enjoyed. Peter Chiarelli was the general manager but he’d been on the job for two months. Can we credit him for the draft’s success?
No credit to anyone for Connor McDavid, unless the Oilers have a scout named Sheer Luck. In order to credit we need to create the timeline again. Chiarelli fires Stu MacGregor, head pro scout Morey Gare, amateur scouts Brad Davis and Kent Hawley and pro scout Dave Semenko on June 22, the draft is four days later. So, how do we credit for each player? Here’s a list of the scouts after the firings:
Bob Green: Director of Player Personnel
Stu MacGregor: Head Amateur Scout (fired)
Bill Dandy: QMJHL
Brad Davis: OHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O (fired)
Kent Hawley: OHL, QMJHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O (fired)
Bob Brown: WHL (and BCJHL based on media comments)
Jim Crosson: WHL
Scott Harlow: NCAA and American junior leagues (east coast)
Frank Musil: Europe
Pelle Eklund: Europe
Robert Nordmark: Europe
Joseph Cucci: Year three, don’t know his area but it might be New England
Dave Heitz: Year three, goalie scout
Matti Virmanen: Appears to be in pro scouting now
Sylvain Rodrigue: Year two, goalies.
I think we can give Chiarelli some credit for Caleb Jones. As Bruins general manager he was mining the USHL heavily in those years (Matt Grzelcyk, 2012; Anders Bjork 2014). I think credit also goes to Green, MacGregor, Harlow and Cucci. Shared credit there but I don’t think we can associate Jones with Chiarelli in the same way we can associate Philip Broberg with Ken Holland.
Ethan Bear credit is in Edmonton’s backyard, don’t think Chiarelli gets as much credit here. Green, MacGregor, Brown and Crosson would all have earned some credit based on what we know.
John Marino is the one player I think we can credit Chiarelli for at this time. He drafted Ryan Donato out of a Massachusetts high school the year before, and the Bruins were outlier league demons in those years. Harlow might have loved him, but Chiarelli had the power to pick Marino.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun morning on TSN 1260 starting at 10. Hailey Salvian from The Athletic will discuss the Ottawa Senators lottery luck and the names who might represent best available when the team picks. Max Bultman from The Athletic talks Detroit Red Wings luck at the draft and what might be the best way forward for Steve Yzerman. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 joins us at 11 to talk the latest in RTP news and host cities. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!