Chain Train

by Lowetide

I was prepared to dislike Tyler Wright’s 2020 draft, in fact the more I read about his past the more trepidation came over me. The Oilers have been drafting well since 2011 (2012 was a dead pool) and the only real crime is damnable GM’s trading picks 10 at a time.

Wright represented change just when I was digging the present. The Kailer Yamamoto selection, small smaller smallest but high skill, was a great moment in my opinion for the Oilers scouts. Wright wasn’t part of that, his reputation had him drafting big muscles and shy skill. Been there, done that.

Wright and his scouts ripped off an impressive 2020 draft, with four skilled men (Dylan Holloway, Carter Savoie, Tyler Tullio and Maxim Berezkin) right off the top. So, how do I feel about Wright now? Let’s go back and start from the beginning of his time as a scouting director and work our way through the years.


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’s the latest!


  • Round 1, No. 2 overall: LD Ryan Murray (395 NHL games)
  • Round 2, No. 31 overall: G Oscar Dansk (6 NHL games)
  • Round 3, No. 62 overall: G Joonas Korpisalo (160 NHL games)
  • Round 4, No. 95 overall: RW Josh Anderson (319 NHL games)
  • Round 6, No. 152 overall: RW Daniel Zaar
  • Round 7, No. 182 overall: LD Gianluca Curcuruto

In the moments after Edmonton selected Nail Yakupov in the 2012 entry draft, Tyler Wright’s career as a scouting director took flight. It was his first year as director of amateur scouting for the Blue Jackets, and looking back the CBJ got more value than most.

The 30 teams drafted 211 players, and 108 made the NHL (about 3.6 per team). The 108 who made it have averaged 222 NHL games, making Murray and Anderson successes, and Korpisalo also gets a check mark for being one of the top five goalies in the draft (there were some good ones). Wright found his best player in the fourth round. Grade B


  • Round 1, No. 14 overall LC Alex Wennberg (471)
  • Round 1, No. 19 overall LW Kerby Rychel (43)
  • Round 1, No. 27 overall LC Marko Dano (141)
  • Round 2, No. 50 overall LD Dylan Heatherington (11)
  • Round 3, No. 89 overall RW Oliver Bjorkstrand (302)
  • Round 4, No. 105 overall RC Nick Moutrey
  • Round 6, No. 165 overall RW Markus Soberg
  • Round 7, No. 195 overall RW Peter Quenneville

This draft is less impressive, two NHL players and three guys in the top-50 overall who missed. There were 104 NHLers in this draft, that’s 3.5 per team and Columbus technically had five. Average career NHL games (180) means Wennberg and Bjorkstrand passed with flying colours and Dano gets the club close to three. Grade: C-


  • Round 1, No. 15 overall LC Dylan Larkin (433)
  • Round 3, No. 63 overall LC Dominic Turgeon (9)
  • Round 4, No. 106 overall LC Christopher Ehn (114)
  • Round 5, No. 136 overall G Chase Perry
  • Round 6, No. 166 overall LW Julius Vahatalo
  • Round 7, No. 196 overall LW Axel Holmstrom
  • Round 7, No. 201 overall LW Alexander Kadeykin

Interesting draft, and a little similar to Edmonton’s (Leon Draisaitl at the top, then William Lagesson followed by crickets) but the one pick that cashed was a home run. There are 96 players from the 2014 draft who made it, that’s about three per team (Detroit is par for the course). Average games 146, so Larkin has lapped the field and Ehn plus Turgeon fall short. Grade: B


  • Round 1, No. 19 overall RW Evgeny Svechnikov (41 NHL games)
  • Round 3, No. 73 overall RD Vili Saarijarvi
  • Round 4, No. 110 overall G Joren Van Pottelberghe
  • Round 5, No. 140 overall LC Chase Pearson
  • Round 6, No. 170 overall RD Patrick Holway
  • Round 7, No. 200 overall LW Adam Marsh

An absolute belly flop off the high bar here, no NHL players from the best draft of the century. Wow. There are 101 men from the 2015 draft (3.4 per team) who made the NHL and they average 135 career games so far. DRW lost a lot of ground on 2015 draft weekend. Here’s the thing: I liked Svechnikov big time, had him No. 10 overall. Grade: F.


  • Round 1, No. 20 overall LD Dennis Cholowski (104 NHL games)
  • Round 2, No. 46 overall RW Givani Smith (37 NHL games)
  • Round 2, No. 53 overall RD Filip Hronek (167 NHL games)
  • Round 4, No. 107 overall LD Alfons Malmstrom
  • Round 5, No. 137 overall RD Jordan Sambrook
  • Round 6, No. 167 overall G Filip Larsson
  • Round 7, No. 197 overall LW Mattias Elfstrom

Filip Hronek is the saviour of this draft and the reason 2016 gets a passing grade. There are 85 NHL players from this draft, meaning Detroit is slightly above average with three men dressing for a big league game. Average is 85 games, DRW have two exceeding that total. Grade: C


  • Round 1, No. 9 overall LW Michael Rasmussen (102 NHL games)
  • Round 2, No. 38 overall RD Gustav Lindstrom (29 NHL games)
  • Round 3, No. 71 overall LD Kasper Kotkansalo
  • Round 3, No. 79 overall RW Lane Zablocki
  • Round 3, No. 83 overall LC Zachary Gallant
  • Round 3, No. 88 overall G Keith Petruzzelli
  • Round 4, No. 100 overall LD Malte Setkov
  • Round 5, No. 131 overall RD Cole Fraser
  • Round 6, No. 162 overall RC Jack Adams
  • Round 6, No. 164 overall RD Reilly Webb
  • Round 7, No. 193 overall LC Brady Gilmour

Michael Rasmussen saw NHL games this year and is progressing in a Michael Dal Colle way. There are 31 teams for this draft, and 73 players (over two per team) who played in the league so far. Those players have averaged 55 games, making Rasmussen above average. Grade: D


  • Round 1, No. 6 overall RW Filip Zadina (86 games)
  • Round 1, No. 30 overall LC Joe Veleno (5 games)
  • Round 2, No. 33 overall RW Jonatan Berggren
  • Round 2, No. 36 overall LD Jared McIsaac
  • Round 3, No. 67 overall RD Alec Regula (3 games)
  • Round 3, No. 81 overall RD Seth Barton
  • Round 3, No. 84 overall G Jesper Eliasson
  • Round 4, No. 98 overall RW Ryan O’Reilly
  • Round 6, No. 160 overall G Victor Brattstrom
  • Round 7, No. 191 overall LC Otto Kivenmaki

Zadina had a decidedly pedestrian season in 2020-21, and Veleno made his debut. I’m not sure about this draft, Berggren might be the best of the group. There are 41 NHL players from this draft, DRW well ahead of the curve with three names who have played. Average is 48 games, making Zadina the success story. Grade: C.


  • Round 1, No. 6 overall RD Moritz Seider
  • Round 2, No. 35 overall RD Antti Tuomisto
  • Round 2, No. 54 overall LW Robert Mastrosimone
  • Round 2, No. 60 overall LD Albert Johansson
  • Round 3, No. 66 overall LW Albin Grewe
  • Round 4, No. 97 overall RC Ethan Phillips
  • Round 5, No. 128 overall LD Cooper Moore
  • Round 6, No. 159 overall LW Elmer Soderblom
  • Round 6, No. 177 overall RD Gustav Berglund
  • Round 7, No. 190 overall LW Kirill Tyutyayev
  • Round 7, No. 191 overall G Carter Gylander

There have been 22 players from the 2019 draft to make the NHL, I think Moritz Seider might be No. 23. Lots of good progress but we’ll have to wait to hang a number on it. Grade: Too soon to know.


  • Round 1, No. 14 overall: LW Dylan Holloway
  • Round 4, No. 100 overall: LW Carter Savoie
  • Round 5, No. 126 overall: RW Tyler Tullio
  • Round 5, No. 138 overall: LW Maxim Berezkin
  • Round 6, No. 169 overall: LW Filip Engaras
  • Round 7, No. 200 overall: LW Jeremias Lindewall

I liked it before Holloway spiked and Savoie went on his hot streak. Tullio didn’t play, but Berezkin made it to the KHL. Engaras and Lindewall also did interesting things. It’s miles too soon to drop a grade on this bunch, but I will say the big man in the first round is trending well.


Wright’s draft picks, from Josh Anderson to Dylan Holloway, are fine athletes, strong players. He seems to do fairly well after the first round, there has been some wobble in first-round picks, owing partly to injury. Here are the NHLE’s for his first-round selections on each draft day, you’d love 30+ for forwards and 15+ for defensemen (anything over 20 points and they could be a PP quarterback).

  • 2012 LD Ryan Murray 16.7
  • 2013 LC Alex Wennberg 20.5
  • 2013 L Kerby Rychel 33.9
  • 2013 LC Marko Dano 12.5
  • 2014 LC Dylan Larkin 22.1
  • 2015 L Evgeny Svechnikov 33.0
  • 2016 LD Dennis Cholowski 8.5
  • 2017 LC Michael Rasmussen 27.2
  • 2018 LR Filip Zadina 33.5
  • 2018 LC Joe Veleno 28.7
  • 2019 RD Moritz Seider 6.9
  • 2020 LC Dylan Holloway 13.3

NHLE is a guide, but it has been a poor draft day predictor for Wright’s selections. The three 30+ picks have produced one successful NHL player (Zadina) and he didn’t have a terrific year. On the other hand, Dylan Larkin spiked after his draft and both Moritz and Holloway are trending well.

Overall, I would say Wright’s first-round selections are less impressive as a group than his later hits (Josh Anderson, Joonas Korpisalo, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Filip Hronek). I looked at his resume and was not impressed and I do think that Trevor Timmins and others have better track records.

His first draft in Edmonton is trending very well, I mean rock solid considering where he was drafting. Looks like he’ll have another challenging draft in 2021 with very few picks in the heart of the process.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260 we have a massive amount to talk ab out from the weekend. Chris Peters from Hockey Sense will join us at 10:20 to discuss WHC, the Erie prospect tournament and the draft to come. At 11, Jason Strudwick will pop in and talk about his international experience and what winning means for Team Canada at the WHC’s. We’ll also chat about the NHL playoffs. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Geez, the narrative sure has changed on Bear. Many, many posters last year wanted to sign him six years for $4 mill. Now he’s a third pairing scrub. Some of us were worried about regression – and there you have it – he regressed. Next year the regression could easily work the other way. Darnell Nurse is a frickin beast. He can easily carry Bear on the first pairing if the young dman cleans up his game a bit.


It’s almost like fans on this site forgot a concussion derailed most of his season. He even spoke openly to the media about the lingering effects.

Ice Sage

Yes, this!
But… that kind of injury can permanently alter a players trajectory.

Harpers Hair

Sunil Agnihotri (@sunilagni) Tweeted:
Joined by @oilersnerdalert on the show this week to talk #Oilers and how they can better integrate and use analytics as part of their overall strategy and decision-making processes.

I suggest every serious Oiler fan listen to this.

90s fan

Something about a jet, an nhl team and a city with no airport in tonight’s results…

It’ll come to me….


Yep I’m sure the Habs don’t regret signing and then playing the piss and Vinegar Caulfied kid. It took balls to insert the kid directly in a playoff series unlike the Oilers with the same scouted line-up that got out foxed by the heartless Jets.


Cole Caufield and Dylan Holloway are not the same person.


Should have played Bouchard, not Holloway.

Tippett is an albatross around the Oilers neck.


Doesn’t help that Holloway had a broken thumb…

Younger Oil

A team that lost just under 60% of their regular season games is in the NHL semifinals…


Last edited 4 months ago by Younger Oil
Victoria Oil

Tyler Toffoli…..Overtiiiiime Winner!


Jets couldn’t even take it to triple OT…. lame.




Logan Stanley for the hatty?

Ice Sage

yep – a sun visor… Jets out in fore

Silver Streak

Did I miss something…..where was DeBrusk tonight ??

Gerta Rauss

NHL dot com has him as scratched tonight…not sure if it was a healthy scratch


Is it notable that Taylor Hall wasn’t out there in the last minute with the goalie pulled and down one? That was a bit surprising to me.

What type of contract would Boston be offering Hall? He’s been a nice piece but, after his poor season in Buffalo, he has 5 points in 10 playoff games and clearly isn’t a go-to guy when they need a goal.

Is he in the $5M range?

Maybe he would come to Edmonton for one year on a show me deal in that range? The increase value with McDavid/Drai premise?

Doubt it – would be interesting if he came in at that price point.

Material Elvis

It will be very difficult to get much of a return for DeBrusk given his RFA qualifying offer. Maybe if he agreed to an extension at a lower AAV? Pretty tough to sell a guy with that many healthy scratches on his resumé and a high QO number.


Yup, the qualifying offer makes a trade a non-starter – even if there was a real buy low opportunity as far as acquisition cost goes, unless the deal happened after July 28 and it was in connection with a re-signing at MUCH lower AAV, it would have to be treated as a one-year rental.

I mean, if they were able to get him for Niemelainen or Marody and a 5th, sure, i’d take the flyer for one season and see if there was a bounce back and the ability to work out a deal that made sense.


Is it notable that OP hates Taylor Hall?
Also Krejci has been out with top pp to help net front


You may note it, you would be wrong though.

I never wanted him traded and would happily slot him in to our top 6 next season for a contract under $6M per (and that doesn’t have term for his regression years).

Have always been against re-acquiring him in a situation that would require a big contract for term – still am.

Scungilli Slushy

“Is it notable that Taylor Hall wasn’t out there in the last minute with the goalie pulled and down one? That was a bit surprising to me.”

Perhaps a worry about winning key battles and it’s over?

His game remains what it was when I watch.

I’ll say it again, talent is not in short supply, talent that can dominate in the NHL is.

CMD had a negative 5v5 goal diff this season.

It is hard and takes on ice discipline and solid decision making in terms of puck management.

If play drivers don’t learn when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, they remain high event, and don’t get the props it would seem they should. And they typically are on the wrong end of the score sheet.

OT winning goal. Are you moving on because of the player’s overall contribution and winner, or despite their play being a factor to being in that place in the first place, and them scoring it?

This is the rub.


CMD had a negative 5v5 goal diff this season. 

Um.. no.

He was even at 5v5 vs Winnipeg and +16 during the regular season.


More generally, I’m a bit unclear what you’re saying here.

I thought you were saying ‘very good players can still be shit in critical moments, and that’s why the don’t achieve the greatness they seem they should’.

But the “CMD negative 5v5 goal diff” thing is throwing me off.

Do you think McDavid and Hall are actually being outscored due to their lack of discipline/decision making/puck management? (they are not)


NHL…mostly goaltending

Victoria Oil

Bruins outshoot NYI 44-19 and lose. Montreal has outshot Wpg 36-12 and are tied.

buck yoakam

Kahun/Kadri/Kassian… that line could do some pushing for just the price of adding Kadri…


The more cushion the less pushing.

Scungilli Slushy

The type of players that help win when it counts, outside of the top skill guys if you have them, haven’t
changed. It’s not a mystery.

Unless the NHL brass changes it’s tune, you need aggressive playing, all state capable physical players. Not bangers, players that win battles and don’t stop doing it.

It’s why outside of freak skill players like Kucherov or Kane, freak players that know how to win every battle and play despite size like Bergeron and Gallagher, that those that succeed are big and gritty.

Look at Whitecloud, a horse against all odds.

An old favourite was Ben Lovejoy. Basic player, and wherever he went the team did well.

Hainsey, Cullen for the Pens.

Quite guys on the ice that refuse to be punked. It makes a huge difference to the team. The Oilers are thin there.


Go Islanders Go! (sorry Lowetide).

Gerta Rauss

Beautiful snipe by Eberle to make it 4-2 NYI

Oilers fans have seen that move before



I always cheer for ex-Oilers (when appropriate).


Dusting it off looks great when he scores. One more win for the Islanders and the Oilers move up a spot in the draft! Go Isles!


With a little deep dive on Cup Winning Teams from 2016 – 2020 it has become very clesr to me that not only Should a team consider moving ASSETS for immediate NHL roster help; they have to.

If the Goal is to be mushy middle forever, then slow build this out til Conner is 35.

If the the Goal is win the Stanley Cup; start trading futures for real NHL Talent. **** This does not mean trading every pick every year *** but does mean sacrificing somw of tomorrow to help today.

2020 – TAMPA …. major futures gone for Coleman & Goodrow. won Cup and have chance again in 2021
2019 – ST.LOUIS …. major futures gone for Schenn & O’Reilly
2018 – WASH … 3 – 2nds and 3rd for Eller and Johanssen. Plus a failed crack at Shattenkirk for a 1st
2016 & 2017 – PENS Kessel, Hornqvist & others brought in ….

It’s pretty clear that making moves like this does not guarantee that you can win a cup; but it also shows us that every team that has won the cup has made moves to acquire NHL players for 1st’s or 2nd’s …


An easy difference between the above and EDM right now is their depth.

They were a couple pieces away from dangerous to contenders, whereas the Oilers have a number of holes left in the wreckage from previous regimes that need mending.

At least the cap room starts to open up and if Kenny doesn’t spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave we have a legitimate chance to build depth at key positions and slot players in their proper roles to succeed.

Not to mention of the above, WAS had a solid core for a long time but couldn’t get past PIT. It took some serious roster wrangling and a commitment by Ovi to playing properly without the puck before they could get over the hump.

Last edited 4 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

I disagree that the Oilers wouldn’t have been, won’t be solid contenders with 2 solid adds.

And I really hope this isn’t the situation otherwise the Oilers are how many years away from being serious contenders?


Well what two positions/players are we away from truly being contenders?

I’d say the team needs the following:

  • top-6 LW
  • top-6 RW
  • 3C
  • 2LD (Kelfbom, hopefully)
  • 1G

That’s not the sort of roster deficiencies overcome in one TDL.

So clearly there will need to be some combination of organic internal growth/ascension and creative acquisition of outside talent, either through trades or FA signings.

We should be able to deal with the 1G this year, either through trade or the raft of talent available as UFA.

A 2LD solution could already be on the roster in Kelfbom, or a resigning of Kulikov whom could be platooned with KRusty and Jones until 77s return at a bargain.

A 3C is one of the top priorities, IMO, and there are a number of suitable targets available. I still like Haula. Granlund is available. So is Bozak. Dannault. And so on. Out of the box thinking here is not required.

The toughest solutions are likely the two wingers we need to get to balance and depth. I’m not betting on Holloway, though I believe in him in the medium to long term, especially when there are options available externally.


I’d say the team needs the following:

top-6 LW

top-6 RW


2LD (Kelfbom, hopefully)



Boom, done!

Ha – of course:

Holloway – sure, maybe he’s ready to be a top 6 LW at some point this season but that is far from a certainty and he may not even be NHL ready at all this season. I would put the bet on him being a complimentary top 6 to Drai or McDavid at 80% but who knows how long it will take to get there

It would be great to knock Kailer down to 3RW – that would be contender depth on the right side. Of course, Kailer could very well be a legit 2RW this coming season – he was for 27 games in 2020 and his talent and chemistry contributed to that 25% shooting percentage. Of course, he was NOT a legit 2RW for most of this past season so we don’t know what we are going to get from his next season. 1st plus Sammy for Reinhart and move Kailer to 3RW. What do we need to add to the trade to include Kass (maybe with $750K retained).

Lavoie is a year away and 50% to make it as a legit top 6 winger to me. Its way too early to tell on Savoie – great shot, lots of work to do. NCAA is perfect for him.

McLeod may get slotted in as 3C this year but he showed more of a 4C this past season. Hopefully he comes to camp stronger, much stronger, and confident in man-strength that will help him wade in to battle and engage – his offence will come if he plays a more engaged physical game. I do think he is 70% to be a 3C but it may need a year or more of tweener type bottom 6 roles.

Sammy will impact the NHL lineup this season and I have him at 65% to develop in to a legit Adam Larsson type d-man – this generally takes time.

Rodrigue likely has the highest ceiling of all three but is the farthest away. I ride out Smith/Stalock for a year and see where we are with those 3 after another year of development.

The goalie Calder candidate was drafted 7 years ago…….


A legitimate 1LW and 3C changes how this season ended. No reason not to think this team couldn’t have, shouldn’t have, come out of the North with legitimate NHLers in those roles based on how successful the team was without a 3C and Leon at 1LW. The gamble on Turris for 3C was disastrous.

Based on your list you must think the Oilers are another season or two away from winning a few rounds in the playoffs?

Harpers Hair

Thing is Holland is given a free pass even though he could easily have added a top 6 winger with cash he spent on Kassian, Barrie and Turris.

He explained himself in the after aftermath by saying it wasn’t a season to go all in but, if so, why the hell did he make those signings?

$7 million buys you a top 6 forward all day long.

Harpers Hair

Barrie plus Kassian plus Turris represents a lost opportunity no matter how it is sold.

The fact is that money was not available to sign or trade for a significant player in the top 6.

Sure Barrie had a nice season but so what? Would the drop off from Barrie to Bouchard have been such a calamity that freeing up that cap space for a top 6 contributor been unwise.

That Turris can be buried is of little comfort because Holland went into the season thinking he had value.

I would also add Kahun to the pile of bad bets given that Holland acquired him to play in the top 6.

Had Holland not added all these marginal players, he DID have the cap space to make a significant addition which not only have helped last season, but made the job much easier going forward.

The bottom 6 would still have required an overhaul but it still does so treading water (at best) has done nothing more than set back the infinibuild by another season.


Ha so conveniently Bouchard is a great prospect to you all of a sudden!
Holland needed a pp qb and a guy that can help moving the puck and someone who can play a lot without a lot of commitment and he knocked it out of the park.

Harpers Hair

3rd pairing D are not that critical.

Tyler Toffoli among others was available and would have been a much more astute investment.

He can actually score 5V5


too bad Vancouver didn’t know that…


Kassian was an unforced error and its was noted by many at the time of the contract (and even before the contract was signed). Thankfully its the only mistake that Holland has made that that puts a real dent in future team building.

Turris was a swing and a miss but that’s a $475k cap mistake for this coming season and then gone – its a minor mistake as far as continuing to build the roster.

Barrie was a homerun. Even if some think he was a net negative on the ice, despite a 70 point pace, he does show, with certainty, that the premise of coming to play with McDavid and Drai and boosting value is something that can be real.

Maybe Tatar sees what Barrie did and sees a spot in the top 6 on the Oilers and signs for one year @ $3MM and the Oilers can use him as stop gap to give the likes of Lavoie and Holloway more development time before they are thrust up (or in) the lineup.


Turris was and is more than a minor mistake.


As it stands, right now, the contract has a $475K cap implication for one year. As far as continuing to build the team going forward, it has a minor implication.


Were you not using the phrase “death by a thousand cuts” a couple days ago?

Last edited 4 months ago by Sierra

Yes and I stand by that.

I’m not saying that the Turris contract wasn’t a mistake, it clearly was (well, unless he bounces back big time next season, which I guess is possible) but its not an egregious contract for term that causes issues all on its own going forward (like Lucic, (which is now Neal plus $750k retained), like Kassian, like Koskinen, etc.)

Harpers Hair

What will you be saying if Lucic, who has waived his NMC, gets shipped to Seattle with 50% retained and Seattle buys him out in return for a sweetener?

Material Elvis

That’s not going to happen but just for kicks, what do you think that sweetener would be? Two 1st round draft picks? Matthew Tkachuk?

Harpers Hair

Always next year…or maybe the year after that.


Barrie was the 35th highest scoring player in the league. There were 18 wingers who scored more points.

Harpers Hair

Not to mention every team remaining this season has also done so to varying degrees.


Not to mention the multiple teams that did that this year and fell flat on their face already

buck yoakam

are those nylons garter or just pull ups?


Only when said team is in the “window” of absolute contention like the above teams. Oilers are not there but building. When they get there in a few years they will have tradeable assets in both prospects and picks to offer. They only have current futures to deal and that would leave the cupboards too bare.


THIS. Is the correct answer.
Timing is everything. If you spend your futures for the final push, before you have the depth to sustain a cup run, you run the risk of your window closing before your team can peak. Edmonton needs to build a deeper team, and prospect pool, before they start sacrificing futures. The AA trade illustrates the dangers of spending picks before you are ready to compete for the cup.
Tampa and Washington were playoff teams for years before they made the deals you mentioned. St Louis is a bad example. Their cup win was a bit of a fluke. They weren’t the best team in hockey, they just rode a hot goalie. Similar to Edmonton in 06, Montreal in 86 and 93, etc.


Aren’t (winning) trades part of building a successful franchise? It’s going to be a long wait for a draft and develop 1LW and 1G.


If the Oilers were a 1LW, or a 1G, away from winning the cup I’d say go for it. Spend the futures.
But they’re not 1 piece away. I’m not against them making trades. I just think it’s foolish to spend a bunch of futures on 1 piece, because the Oilers are still several pieces away.


THIS. Is the correct answer.

Timing is everything. If you spend your futures for the final push, before you have the depth to sustain a cup run, you run the risk of your window closing before your team can peak. Edmonton needs to build a deeper team, and prospect pool, before they start sacrificing futures. The AA trade illustrates the dangers of spending picks before you are ready to compete for the cup.

I agree and this is why I don’t understand those that think they need to “go all in every year” because they have McDavid and Drai. There is no ability to do so as there is a limited amount of assets to use.

The Oilers didn’t even go “all in” at the 2020 deadline and the assets out hurt there ability to make moves in 2021.

Yes, trades can be made to improve the team but if its futures going out in the off-season, the trades need to bring in assets that will help for a period of time.

A first for Rakell who is one year to UFA – no thanks.

A first (plus) for Reinhart who is an RFA – sure.


Who is saying go all in every year?


Noone in this thread today, that I’ve read – but I read it every day, on multiple platforms – its not even a small sub-set of the fanbase – many think that the GM should be “going all in” every season.


Agreed JTBlack.


Trading futures for good roster players that you can sign to reasonable contracts is a very good idea
trading first round picks for depth players for a playoff run like Foligno was stupid the day it was made and it’s complete Derp mode now

Harpers Hair

Only one team wins the Stanley Cup so I would assume every trade made by those who don’t are garbage in your world.

Better to sit on your hands while the adults win the cups.

buck yoakam

pepperment patty says hi!


Yes because no team has ever re-signed a player they acquired at the trade deadline. Sheeesh

acquiring a top notch player at the trade deadline is a pretty good deal without winning the cup
acquiring a top notch player and re-signing that player is a great great deal
acquiring a bottom 6 player for a high pick that you know you can’t re-sign is a terrible deal that only becomes palatable if you win the cup
Notice how the cup is actually not a important variable


Yup, making it to the top 4 is a serious contender in my world.

Holland can either sign/trade for some legitimate NHLers who know how to win for the 1LW & 3C slots or wait and hope for Benson, McLeod, Marody and/or Holloway. I’d be signing/trading.


You really need to buy a friend!


not sure he has enough money for that ;)…

Scungilli Slushy

Which is why the trade deadline is to be avoided. It’s the most expensive time to add.

You get role players then, if you need them.

If you have cap room and can’t find value in this situation with team many owners wanting to save real dollars, you don’t know how to see players, you don’t care, or you aren’t competent.

Fill your holes with better than you have, see what your team doesn’t have that the best teams do.

The Oilers lack size and physicality (boards not blowing people up) with enough skill and skating. and shooters.

They also have Russell and Bear who get the job done mostly, but aren’t skilled enough to also be average skaters and undersized.

Second or third pair at best for Bear, Russell is a fill in.

In the playoffs the same level of talent D on other teams are far bigger, and as we see in the playoffs it matters.

Larsson can cover his bet despite deficiencies because he is big enough, mean as dirt and knows his job.

Think about Piunk being better than most Oiler D when it mattered. Puke.



It’s a time to add good players in key positions (top 6 F, top 4d 3c) that you can re-sign to your core

Scungilli Slushy

True, if you want to pay through the nose.


The teams were all contenders for an extended period of time with deep rosters and prospect/draft pools when they began expending assets.

The rosters were complete and mostly balanced already.


As amazing as a great whale hunt would be I really would just be happy with a 3rd line that can beat the opposition and not cost an arm or a leg.
4th line can just be penalty killers for all I care as mcdavid and Drai will probably take most of their 5v5 min


Most teams with an out scoring 3rd line have at least one $5m+ player, no?


i think you build a good third line by acquiring top six players and pushing guys down the lineup.


This, all day.



Yamamoto at 3RW would be awesome and a great example of this.


There are two main measures to describe the “average” in a group of numbers, the mean and the median. Datasets following normal distribution (bell curve tail either side of the peak, to one expect 50%median line up petty good to the mean) the two can be used somewhat interchangeably, but for datasets with a hard low limit, when the peak is close to the lower limit and there is no tail to left of the peak. In such case, the numerical average mean can occur as late as 60~70% percentile of the population.

Number of games play by draft pick is one such non-normal distributed dataset because one cannot play negative games, most played a few games, and a few that made it played high hundreds of games. For this reason comparing the “average”(mean) number of games played does not tell the full story how an average (15th mediocre) team does. It might have been more interesting looking at the 50th percentile games play instead.

As a data crunching type I could recommend trying a stats software like minitab. Fitted histograms often provide a different feel to the numbers away from spreadsheet.

Fuge Udvar

Isn’t the sample size much too small to get any relevant results?


7 round x 30 players per round isn’t usually considered that small of a sample size.


This sounds like an interesting idea.

I’ll expect you’ll have it done by Monday? 🙂

Harpers Hair

This issue with Jake DeBrush is not acquisition cost its that he’s due a qualifying offer of just under $5MM after next season – that is a non-starter unless he agrees to an extension well below in conjunction with the trade (which would have to occur after July 28).


I wonder if DeBrush would take a… haircut… to play at home?

Gerta Rauss

He’ll be combing through the offers if he gets to RFA status

buck yoakam

thats not his style

Harpers Hair

Are you suggesting he’ll be parting ways with his team?


one in the hand is worth twi in debrush!😉

Gerta Rauss

I think Debrusk’s qualifying offer will be $4.41M after his current contract expires

There was a change in the CBA that limits the QO to 120% of the current AAV for contract signed after July 2020

Puckpedia also confirms this number

Still, $4.41M is lot for this player

Interesting player, if BOS backs up the truck for Taylor Hall(which they will) Debrusk may be available at a price Kenny can afford


Yes, I know of this change to the QO calculation but I thought there was grandfathering and it would only apply to new contracts?


This was a great post, super interesting and I loved the ‘grades’ for each draft. Thanks LT.


Just a quick follow up to what I said a few weeks ago….when Dave Tippet faced them:

The Winnipeg Jets dressed the following D :

Derek Forbort
Tucker Poolman
Logan Stanley


Different team facing those D …..Even local Winnipeg media is admitting Staal and Perry are owning people.

Last edited 4 months ago by McSorley33

I didn’t watch that game, but pretty funny to see Joel Armia pot two goals and also get a helper.


When 3.5 of your top 6 is soft as butter you’ll be asking who’s your daddy come playoff time.

Bruce McCurdy

What’s puzzling to me is how Suzuki & Caufield are able to beat them with wide speed but McDavid couldn’t?

buck yoakam

I think its a case of those younger guys don’t pose the huge threat that mcdavid does and so they haven’t devised a clutch/graband shadow plan just for them…

Scungilli Slushy

System and pace I think

The Oilers still aren’t great at breakouts or getting pucks to players in stride, with options, and through forecheckers, so face defenders in better position.

And that if the Jets did to the Habs players what they did to Connor they’d see the arm up.


To paraphrase: Tyson Barrie isn’t any good.


What does that say about the other 6 dmen?

Scungilli Slushy

If you need what he has, he’s great. The Oilers need the opposite.


When I think of Montreal dmen, mobility and passing is very low on my list of strengths.

Scungilli Slushy



How about the North?

Maybe the players, GM’s and analysts were right?


Maybe one of the two biggest markets needed to come out of the North. The only threat to that was the Oilers. If you follow what would be best for the financial good of the league it does explain a lot. The team with the fewest wins in the Canadian division is set to be in the final four.


It’ll be tough to judge Wright until after the 2022 draft – 2020 looks good, 2021 is such a weird year, and his record is mixed.

I thought the Oilers were above average at the draft in the McDavid era before Wright so was disappointed he was brought in, but so far so good.

Randle McMurphy

To complement our McDiety

The name Holloway is primarily a gender-neutral name of English origin that means Holy Spring.

Randle McMurphy

Just to sprinkle a little cheer on to our day:

Dylan Holloway consistently applies pressure on the backcheck, pickpockets puck-carriers, makes timely hits, wields a disruptive stick — you name it. He never flees the zone early and is a capable east-west attacker who shields the puck from opposing defenders really well. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide


He’s exactly what we needed this spring and I’m positive he would have made a impact for us if he didn’t break his thumb. Does anyone think Caulfield looks out place the league is full of cheap entry level wingers.


The scouting report was before Holloway popped massively in his 2nd college season and it rings even truer today.

Yes, the Oilers need Holloway’s skill-set – his skill set could be a perfect fit with McDavid.

Of course, there is a long way to go from the NCAA at 19 to the NHL and in top 6 minutes.

I’m not sure there is any value in comparing Holloway to Caufield – Caufield is older and just finished his draft plus 2 year and was a more dynamic offensive player through his college career, including this past season. His skill-set isn’t similar to Holloway’s in any aspect and equating Caufield having some success at the NHL level to Holloway doing it is non-sensical to me.

Holloway could be ready in October, January or Sept 2022 – we don’t know.

What we do know is that is a big jump from the NCAA to the NHL, not many just turned 20 year olds do it (and Holloway will turn 20 in Sept) and its highly reasonable to suggest that 1/2LW in the NHL is not the likely spot for him in October 2021.


Before the year is finished Hollaway will be a regular in the top 6. He will also be on the short list for rookie of the year.


This may become true and I hope it does – its not out of the realm of reasonableness.

Of course, that’s not quite the same as stepping in the Oilers top 6 in the playoffs as a 19 year at end of his draft plus 1 years and solving the Oilers’ issues – which you have consistently suggested.

To be fair, you have been consistent in your opinion and we will never know if it would have been the case – seems unlikely to me but we’ll never know.

Randle McMurphy

C’ mon Kenny and jump
On the chain train

(Feels like) This entry draft is death no matter what you do
(But) Oh boys the one who writes the end is you

C’ mon Tyler choose the right track give fire this way
Oh the answer’s not far just one track away
On the chain train

And a chain is made out of links, baby

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy

I thought that Keith Gretzky and his team were doing very well in the years leading up to Ken Holland coming in and bringing Tyler Wright with him. The 2019 draft looks a bit “uneven” at this point and the 2020 looks like many arrows up but, of course, way too early to tell on both these drafts.

A trio from the 2019 draft will/should play big roles in Bakersfield this season (Broberg, Lavoie, Konavaolov), Blumel’s stock is spiking (and I look for a potential ELC soon) and
Denezhkin had a nice season in the MHL but does anyone really know what that means?

Randle McMurphy

When will Savoie be walking the streets of Bakersfield?


When he graduates. Maybe after his junior year. There is no need to rush a guy out of US college hockey if he is in a good situation.

Elgin R

Savoie needs to commit to conditioning, improving his skating and play away from the puck. He is only 5’9″ and so will have be really good to make the NHL. He has shown that he can score against lesser comp d and goalies, but will need time to get even to the AHL. Suspect 2 more years at Denver then Bakersfield for the 23-24 season.


At least one more season at Denver, if not two.

A plus of drafting college players is that there is longer than the two year window to sign them – rights are held through their senior years at school.

I watched a lot of the Pioneers this past season – Savoie has a crazy good shot – accurate, hard, good release, etc. He’s got decent puck skills and I was impressed with his increasing physicality over the year – he would engage on the boards in the offensive zone.

His skating was quite meh to me and I believe he may have had fitness issues – this was my determination from watching him decline through shifts.

Denver is a great program with great coaching and facilities – its the perfect place for him to develop in these areas.


I would love to hear the story of why Florida thought it was a good idea to trade Reilly Smith to “force” Vegas to take Marchesault.

It is not like either were entirely unknown players. Marchesault scored 30 goals the year before and Smith had a decent 37 point season while being 3rd in icetime for forwards on the team.

Meanwhile they protected Bjugstad, Pysyk, and Petrovic, none of which, in retrospect, are even close to either of the other two as players. And even at the time they were not a) appreciably younger or b) better. Bjugstad only played 13 minutes a night, and the two D played, but had no offense at all.

But even accepting those protection decisions, why did Florida go out of their way to lose both forwards?

It makes no sense at all. At least with the Tuch and Karlsson screw ups there is a seeming rationale. Neither were established NHL players, and in the Karlssson case they got rid of Clarkson’s contract (though it came with a first round pick), and in the Tuch/Haula case it meant they could keep Dumba, who is at least good.

Those three moves changed NHL history, without them the story of Vegas is very different.

Seattle is going to have a very different (and much longer) road to success.


Money money money
they needed to shed money


Florida that is


That’s how I remember it. Vinny Viola was pinching pennies and Marchessault had fallen out of favour being regarded as too expensive. Smith was the sweetener/casualty.


My recollection is slightly different. They felt Smith wasn’t worth his contract and used Marchessault to dump the Smith contract.


Right you are, I had the details in reverse. Thanks.


the rumors were that Florida was told to drop 10 mil in salary which they accomplished by moving Reilly Smith 5 mil per (but 6 mil in real money that year) by using Marchessault
then they shed Demers who had to be paid 5 mil that year to Arizona

John Chambers

The Oilers have Leon Draisaitl under contract for FOUR more years, McDavid for FIVE.

I don’t care who the team drafts in rounds 2-7. If they need to expend every piece of draft capital to surround those two players with skill at the NHL level then so be it.

Randle McMurphy

I was actually just thinking before you posted this, that Kenny should build out this roster as though McDavid was not here. (with the exception of cap space)

In part because McDavid is so exceptional, its really hard to know what the right fit is for him in terms of linemates.

But mostly because, once you’ve built a roster that isnt wholey dependent on 97, then 97 bcomes your true cheat code; your true angel of death for opposing teams.

Last edited 4 months ago by Randle McMurphy
John Chambers

Four years ago this was true. But now the Oilers have prime generational talent that is on-the-clock.

I’m not advocating being foolish – just recognizing that the iron has been long in the kiln.

Harpers Hair

Alan Hull (@alanhull) Tweeted:
@Alex_Thomas14 @SuperNovs1 @thupka1982 The thing I LOVED about the Vrana/Mantha trade for DET is that Yzerman identified his window, concluded Mantha didn’t fit it & traded him w/ term to maximize return.

If I’m EDM & my window starts this fall, I’d look at moving at least one of either Broberg/Holloway to win now.


I am curious why you posted Alan Hull’s tweet? I checked his Twitter bio which says he is a “Father, husband and sports fan.”

Do you just repost random tweets from fans of hockey? Very confused why you are just parrotting random peoples tweets in lieu of forming your own thoughts?

Harpers Hair

I post the thoughts of others to engender conversation…which it has done.

If you don’t like them, feel free to ignore them.


So you post other random peoples original thoughts on topics they may or may not be correct about, and when a poster like Godot calls out the content of the post from the original poster, you just leave it at that I guess?

Just seems strange is all, to repost a comment in it’s entirety from Twitter without any content of your own, causing others to wonder who Alan Hull is or what relevance his thoughts on twitter have to do with John Chamber’s comment on Lowetide.

Kinda hard to ignore content like you suggest without me trying to figure out who the original poster is and whether I should care about the post or not.


It’s really simple if it is posted by HH it’s value is in troll dollars which have zero value!


So you agree, we all should ignore your posts.

buck yoakam

these pretzels are making me thirsty!


Vrana is 25. Mantha is 26. Hull’s argument is WRONG.

Vrana may be a slightly better player, but he is headed into RFA and arbitration, and needst o be re-signed.

Mantha is cost-controlled for three years.

Washington is a cap challenged team. The uncertainty about what the arbitration award for Vrana would be made a roughly equivalent cost-controlled more position diverse asset in Mantha more attractive.

Holloway arrives in January in the NHL. It is possible Broberg arrives by the trade deadline. Both could arrive sooner. Neither is very far away.

Broberg’s game is more suited to the NHL game than the SEL game.

Plus, Holloway and Broberg will be on ELC and inexpensive, which are key to contending in the next four years. Anybody they would get traded for would be expensive immediately, making it harder to build a deeper team.

Basically, Mr. Hull is just another person who doesn’t understand cap management and building a contending team. Mr. Hull is just advocating Chiarelli all over again.

Last edited 4 months ago by godot10

I wonder if this is where HH tweets your post to Alan Hull and then retweets Alan’s response here?

Harpers Hair

Some good points but I’m struck by the phrase “contending in the next four years”.

Curious why you chose that time period and if you think it will take another four years to become a contender?

If that is the case, your core has started to age out and you’re likely looking at a very short window.

I could once again provide another example of how aggressive Sakic has been in team building but suggest a look at how Vegas moved high end prospects like Suzuki (Holloway comparable?) to acquire Max Pacioretty in order to contend RFN.

Wouldnt you make that deal?

buck yoakam

mmm…liver and onions


If there is a “next JT Miller” trade out there, for a proven mid six centre winger 25 or younger and cost controlled for at least three years, I would be willing to trade the 1st round pick.

For a defenseman in that category, I would be willing to trade the 1st or Samorukov, (i.e. someone like Sergachev) or maybe both if Klefbom isn’t someing back.


Hull was arguing about trading picks and prospects to compete now on the current McDrai contracts (i.e. in the next four years).

Holloway and Broberg are needed not only for the long term, but because they will be on ELC, they are needed on McDrai’s existing contracts.


Would you do that?

I want to start winning & this is the summer to get that happening but that seems a little bit overly aggressive given the cap anchors & holes still in the lineup. I’d be more comfortable trading the 1st this summer since that player is 3 years away while Broberg & Holloway are closer.

Of course that depends on who is available in trade. For the right guy I’d trade pretty much anybody on the team.

Harpers Hair

Yes, I would also trade this year’s first before the other scenarios but given it’s a low pick in an uncertain draft, the value of the pick might be lower than usual.

I see some posters already assuming Broberg and Holloway being locks to have an impact as soon as January but I’m not sure those are reasonable expectations and, if this is a go for it season, counting on that to happen is counter intuitive.


It’s true that it’s a low pick in an uncertain draft, but it’s still an expansion-exempt asset, so I think that bolsters the value of the pick.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

The expansion draft will be held before the normal draft, so unless a trade is conducted before then it won’t matter.

But, yeah that might matter for a few teams.


You are the same person that was sure Brogan Rafferty was the next great D for the Canucks. Both Samorukov and Broberg’s resumes are superior by a country mile.


The reason we are where we are has a lot to do with the Lucic deal which was part of the Hall trade. The hurry up knee jerk crap doesn’t work particularly if your pro scouting is questionable at best.


Well in 2014 Rutherford took the opposite approach.. he made trades that wrre going to make Pitt better at the NHL Level and gave up a lot of futures PITT won 2 Cups (’16 & ’17) … the adds were Kessell, Honqvist, Bonino, etc …

RUTHERFORD knew the window was limited.

If you build a team out NOT accounting for the AGE & Contracts of your Top 2 Players; you are short changing your Franchise & your Fans.


Last year Tampa moved 2 – 1st Round picks and a high end prospect (#27 overall in 2019) for Coleman and Goodrow.

So essentially 3 – 1st round picks for 2 NHL players on Cap Friendly deals.

GM took a risk Tampa won a CUP and looks like they will advance to final four this year and possibly have another chance at the Cup


BLUES moved a 1st Rounder in 2018 to Acquire Brayden Schenn. Then a 1st & a 2nd +++ to acquire Ryan O’Reilly.



So how long does one wait?

I agreed with PC’s logic. The REAL problem was PC didnt win 80% of his trades due to piss poor Pro Scouting Dept and he lost All His big Trades.

Many GMs would have done much better trading those caliber of assets. But we will never know.


It wasn’t those trades though. It was dumping Barrie…er…Shattenkirk, moving Parayko to the hard shutdown role, freeing Pieterangelo to kill the opposition when he had easier minutes.

And a goaltender coming out of nowhere. A goaltender they had mostly given up on, who got a chance because of injuries.


I agree with the premise but the other side of the coin pertains to draft/development strategy.

Looking at the resume compiled today by our host, Wright seems to have a gilded touch finding impact players deep in the draft.

It would be unwise to ignore the later rounds in the name of haste.

To me it looks like the strategy is similar to the heyday in DET, where the name of the game is skill skill skill. Swing for the fences after the second round and uncover some gems every couple or few years.


You know, we should/could be contenders in a few years for several more. Their contracts would be due. Why/where would they go? We would have the cap space to re-new and the cup in view.


I agree with this.

Why do we think the window closes in 4-5 years?

I’m pretty sure Holland isn’t thinking that way.


4 and 5 years – that is a LONG time.

These contracts are not running out any time soon. McDavid and Drai will be here for the foreseeable future.

The most important years to content for re-signing those two is in the last couple of years of those contracts.

Of course, the “window is open” and the time is now to contend but the window is not short and, with Drai and McDavid, I anticipate they will be elite players in to their next contracts and their early 30s.

The Oilers needs team success this coming year but also for the years after and, in order to have sustained success, they will need value contracts – players on their ELCs and 2nd contracts playing somewhat material roles. Bouchard will almost assuredly do so, as will Holloway but there need to be more coming in behind them.

Some trades of future for immediate help likely makes sense this off-season or during this season but spend wisely.


Sammy and Phil need to arrive early.


Or Jonesy needs to get the yips out of his game. Or Klef’s shoulder has to last for another season.


If the Oilers commit to a KID line as their 3rd line and go with basically the same def with Bouchard in for Barrie, then they could get a 5-6 million goalie and spent 16-18 million on an entirely new 2nd line. One that can score without McDavid and can drive some offense in the playoffs

On a side note, I wonder if Colorado gets bounced by Vegas if Edmonton and the Avs would trade the negotiation rights of RNH and Landeskog? RNH would anchor their second line and probably cost less (Avs have some big signings coming up). We need a second line caliber power forward.

Harpers Hair

They would counter with Kadri.


Well then you take that deal. Considering Kadri is signed to a nice deal for 2 more years. Lol

buck yoakam

are those your legs or are you riding a chicken?