I keep everything. It’s both a curse and a giant pain in the ass. It’s also a gigantic pool of story ideas for me and helps me write every day. So, one week I’m reading about Pierre Jarry joining the Minnesota North Stars in November 1975 because they’ve traded all their draft picks and are getting old in a hurry, and the next week I’m reading about the Buffalo Sabres flushing their scouts and going with video in 2010. Guess what you’re going to read about today.
Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.
- New Lowetide: 10 free agent targets for the Oilers this offseason
- New Lowetide: What if the Oilers went scorched earth in front of 2020 free agency?
- New Lowetide: Examining Matt Benning’s future with the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 Prospects, Summer 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Unqualified RFAs could be top offseason targets for the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Legendary Oilers PA announcer Mark Lewis discusses his temporary comeback
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s bet on Andreas Athanasiou and how Oilers will proceed
- Lowetide: Lessons learned from the ghosts of Oilers’ draft weekends past
- Lowetide: Oilers’ William Lagesson may benefit from extraordinary circumstances
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We’ll learn and grow from it’: Connor McDavid’s tune different compared to last year
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Who stays? Who goes? The most likely players to stay with and leave the Oilers
- Lowetide: A rational approach for the Oilers at the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What’s holding back the Oilers? Superstars’ defence and team’s depth under focus
- Jonathan Willis: After a play-in round exit, the Oilers need an offseason of change
- Lowetide: Oilers 2020 picks finalized, it’s go time for Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s urgent summer as Oilers general manager begins
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The Oilers have some disappointing lessons to learn — even in season of progress
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Replacing Tyler Ennis: Ranking the best left wing and backfill Oilers options
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Bang for your buck: Ranking the Oilers based on contract expectations
- Jonathan Willis: Is Philip Broberg on track to be a top-pairing defenceman?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options over the next five months
In the summer of 2010, The Hockey News hired a bunch of interesting writers who offered fresh views. It didn’t last but I loved it. One of them was a former hockey exec named Tom Thompson, who had a scouting background. Thompson had a conversational writing style and since he was an industry exec he was giving me valuable information about what hockey teams were doing during the draft season. Here’s a passage from just after the 2010 draft:
“This will not be a critical look at the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft for one important reason – never has the order of selection so closely followed my personal list. Either great minds think alike or fools seldom differ. I will let you choose.”
The Oilers had drafted pretty close to the McKenzie list and of course the McKenzie list was (and is) the industry standard. Here are the Oilers picks with the McKenzie numbers in brackets:
- No. 1 Taylor Hall (BM 1)
- No. 31 Tyler Pitlick (BM 25)
- No. 46 Martin Marincin (BM 71)
- No. 48 Curtis Hamilton (BM 57)
- No. 61 Ryan Martindale (BM 58)
- No. 91 Jeremie Blain
- No. 121 Tyler Bunz
- No. 162 Brandon Davidson
- No. 166: Drew Czerwonka
- No. 181: Kristians Pelss
- No. 202: Kellen Jones
By 2010 I was also paying attention to Red Line report, who were delightful in that the verbal had an edge and that they didn’t give one tiny fur ball about consensus. Red Line was the 31st team and they made their list. Here’s how it looked run through the Oilers picks:
- No. 1 Taylor Hall (Red Line 1)
- No. 31 Tyler Pitlick (Red Line 30)
- No. 46 Martin Marincin (Red Line 50)
- No. 48 Curtis Hamilton (Red Line 121)
- No. 61 Ryan Martindale (Red Line 100)
- No. 91 Jeremie Blain (Red Line 156)
- No. 121 Tyler Bunz (Red Line 178)
- No. 162 Brandon Davidson (Red Line 204)
- No. 166: Drew Czerwonka
- No. 181: Kristians Pelss (Red Line 218)
- No. 202: Kellen Jones
Eventually, I would graduate to NHLE and at this point I think an equivalency and a scouting staff who give their view on each prospect is the best route to go. Here are the NHLE’s for Oilers picks in 2010. Who would you put your money on?
- No. 1 Taylor Hall 49.3
- No. 31 Tyler Pitlick 18.0
- No. 46 Martin Marincin 4.1
- No. 48 Curtis Hamilton 15.2
- No. 61 Ryan Martindale 26.1
- No. 91 Jeremie Blain 13.8
- No. 121 Tyler Bunz .898
- No. 162 Brandon Davidson 14.3
- No. 166: Drew Czerwonka 6.0
- No. 181: Kristians Pelss 3.7
- No. 202: Kellen Jones 13.8
Top forward (Hall) and top defensemen (Davidson) by NHLE made the NHL, plus Pitlick and Marincin. Pitlick remains shy offensively and no offensive measure was going to predict Marincin (who I believe is still early in his career. He’s a Pelagornis sandersi).
HARVEST MOON 2010
Here’s what I wrote in Harvest Moon 2010:
Overall impressions: A good, good draft. Hall clearly is going to be the story of this draft, but nice value in the second round (Pitlick, Marincin) and later (Davidson) tell us the Oilers set up their draft board well. I also like the Hamilton and Bunz selections, leaving only the Martindale pick as a question mark (they drafted for need) among the team’s most dear selections.
Blain, Czerwonka, Pelss and Jones are probably scouts picks, payment for all those nights driving to little towns all over the world in search of the next Taylor Hall. These men are going to be under pressure to deliver more than an average number of NHLers to the show for the next several seasons. Report card day is around 2015 summer. See you then.
I truly believe math can help a draft. If you look at the players who will be available when Edmonton picks No. 14 overall (using Bob McKenzie’s list) math is screaming some names and not saying a word about others.
- No. 12 BM Anton Lundell 23.6 NHLE
- No. 13 BM Dawson Mercer 33.3 NHLE
- No. 14 BM Kaiden Guhle 15.5 NHLE
- No. 15 BM Hendrix Lapierre 20.8 NHLE
- No. 16 BM Dylan Holloway 13.3 NHLE
- No. 18 BM Seth Jarvis 41.8 NHLE
- No. 19 Rodion Amirov 19.1 NHLE
- No. 20 Lukas Reichel 24.4 NHLE
- No. 21 Jacob Perreault 32.5 NHLE
- No. 22 Connor Zary 37.4 NHLE
- No. 23 John Peterka 11.2 NHLE
- No. 24 Ridly Greig 26.5 NHLE
- No. 26 Mavrik Bourque 33.7 NHLE
So there are five names here who are clearly identified by math. I think scouts are vital to the process, so it’s important to find out about each player. Maybe Jacob Perreault is such a good shooter that the decision is made to pass on Jarvis and the others. Math informs the decision, but has earned a seat at the table. I believe this to be true.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
NHL quarterfinals are underway and some eyebrow raising results in the early days of this round. At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we’ll discuss that and more. Jesse Granger of The Athletic is scheduled to join us at 10:20, NHL teams are doing morning avails now so that’s a moving target. RJ Anderson from CBS Sports will also join us at 11 to talk MLB deadline. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!