The Oilers, Minus Trades

Jonathan Willis
April 27 2010 12:02PM

2009 NHL Entry Draft, First Round

One way to assess the work done by the scouting staff is to go back and look at what a team would look like if they only used players taken in the NHL Draft. With news about the Oilers fairly slow at the moment, this seemed like a good time to indulge in this exercise with them.

One problem with this exercise is that the teams produced using just drafted players can be fairly unbalanced. In the Oilers’ case, this means they lack top-end defencemen (Matt Greene may be the best active defenceman drafted by the team) and a proven starting goaltender. Sometimes, teams address those holes by acquiring undrafted free agents – in the Oilers case, for example, we might add Marc-Andre Bergeron. However, since it’s difficult to track all those players, I’m going to exclude them.

Here’s the list of active NHL’ers, by position, drafted by the Oilers. I believe it to be complete, but please let me know if I’ve missed anyone.

Centre

Edmonton Oilers v Nashville Predators

  • Jason Arnott
  • Kyle Brodziak
  • Andrew Cogliano
  • Sam Gagner
  • Shawn Horcoff
  • Matthew Lombardi
  • Marc Pouliot
  • Jarret Stoll

Wing

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Troy Bodie
  • Jason Chimera
  • Mike Comrie
  • Dwight Helminen
  • Ales Hemsky
  • Jean-Francois Jacques
  • Georges Laraque
  • Kirk Maltby
  • Fernando Pisani
  • Miroslav Satan
  • Rob Schremp
  • Ryan Smyth
  • Zack Stortini
  • Brad Winchester

Defence

  • Taylor Chorney
  • Matt Greene
  • Theo Peckham
  • Tom Poti
  • Mathieu Roy
  • Danny Syvret

Goal

  • Jeff Deslauriers
  • Devan Dubnyk

That’s some ugliness on defence, a lot of quality up front and depending on how one feels about Nikolai Khabibulin anything from a big drop-off to a vastly improved situation in net.

When I look at that group of players, I feel fairly confident that if Steve Tambellini had the option to swap out his current group for that group, he would. Even if one ended up moving some combination of Horcoff/Stoll/Lombardi/Cogliano for defencemen, I think the team would be better off.

Granting that this is an indulgent, hypothetical exercise, is it fair to argue that the last 10-15 years of Oilers drafting has outpaced the last 10-15 years of Oilers management? What if we narrow it down, tossing out the late ‘Fraser in Mexico’ years and just focus on the Prendergast/MacGregor stuff?

I think it’s fair to say that. I’m not defending Prendergast here; his work with the AHL team speaks for itself (I agree with Scott Reynolds’ evalutation of Prendergast) but I think the scouting staff has probably been about NHL average or maybe a little better, and to my eye they’ve improved since MacGregor took over. Even with all the misses, they certainly put together an enviable group of forwards.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 28 2010, 11:33PM
Trash it!
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I suppose you think the Oilers should treat Liam Reddox the same as Sam Gagner too. Yeah. OK. ~They're totally the same also~

If Reddox was roughly the same age and they had essentially the same production in their first 240ish games in the NHL, then yes, I'd put them in roughly the same catagory.

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#102 White Copper and Blue 99
April 29 2010, 01:17AM
Trash it!
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If we had these guys it would be pretty good, Goal would be much better. D would need some trades. Hey! You guys should make like an all-star team of current NHLers who have played for the Oilers at one point in their careers. That would be awesome, Roloson, Pronger, and all those other stars!

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