I am guilty of many things, but have learned a few lessons along the way. One of those lessons came in 2010, when I was convinced the Oilers delivered a strong draft crop that would produce at least two (possibly more) quality NHL players. The correct answer? One.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Early roster rumblings as Oilers open training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers training camp: Forecasting the big roster battles
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s world juniors work offers clues about Oilers future
- Lowetide: The Bakersfield Condors will be competitive in the coming AHL season
- Athletic: How we’d run the Oilers: Maximize primes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
- Eric Duhatschek: How a stint in Sweden prepared Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard for NHL camp
- Jonathan Willis: After a brilliant rookie Oilers season, how high is Ethan Bear’s ceiling?
- Lowetide: How secure is Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers’ top line?
- Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
- Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
- Lowetide: 7 big questions facing the Oilers heading into next season
- Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Left-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
- Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
In December of 2010, when looking at the prospects (under 50 games), I wrote “this is the strongest group of Oiler prospects I can recall. The 79-81 Oilers top 20 would have been better but after that this group must be the best.”
Well, no. The 2010 group did deliver quality, though. Here are the NHL games played by the 2010 top-20 at Lowetide (2010 picks in yellow):
- Jordan Eberle 724
- Jeff Petry 680
- Taylor Hall 627
- Devan Dubnyk 520
- Magnus Paajarvi 467
- Chris VandeVelde 278
- Tyler Pitlick 248
- Martin Marincin 227
- Anton Lander 215
- Brandon Davidson 174
- Taylor Chorney 166
- Theo Peckham 160
- Linus Omark 79
- Teemu Hartikainen 52
- Alex Plante 10
- Curtis Hamilton 1
- Tyler Bunz 1
This is a strong top-20 but I oversold the 2010 draft. Only Hall emerged as an NHL regular, and of course he was a splendid difference maker for the Oilers (and later New Jersey). As it turned out, the second best player drafted by Edmonton was Brandon Davidson, who I believe would have had a more substantial career but for injuries.
So. This morning people are going to be talking about Dylan Holloway, who had a solid world juniors, and people have reason to be excited about Carter Savoie, who is scoring seemingly at will for the Denver Pioneers. Tyler Tullio is productive in the Slovak league and Maxim Berezkin impresses everyone who sees him.
No bragging here. Observe. Smile. Learn from the past. It’s a mighty long way down a dusty trail, and the sun burns hot on the cold steel rails. Wait for prospects to see the light of day in the NHL. Wait until they’ve accomplished what Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones did a year ago.
Announcing arrivals early is fun, and attention getting, but it is not productive. Beware anyone who trumpets things that are not yet accomplished.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we’ll hit the ground running on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will talk World Juniors, the Oilers training camp (Benson moving up to Khaira line this morning) and remember John Muckler. At 11, Joe Osborne from OddsShark will pop in to preview the NFL playoff weekend and some NBA games that may be inviting. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!