Oilers Improved Draft Grades

Lowetide
January 09 2011 09:15AM

Player procurement is a vital part of any NHL team. Draft bullets are only as valuable as the men who decide to pull the trigger on draft day. In the last 15 seasons, Edmonton Oiler fans have been exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly from three different head scouts. It's been a long time coming, but there is strong evidence the draft bullets are finding their target.
 

Barry Fraser remains a legend in Oiler lore. He was the chief scout from 1978 (final WHA season) through 2000 (the Alexei Mikhnov "Traktor Boy" draft). Things got so weird at the end Fraser maintained the head scouting job while residing in Mexico. Maybe he should have done some scouting for the Trappers, too. Kevin Prendergast took over in 2001; I've always maintained he was an improvement over the final Fraser seasons. His weakness was a big one: huge misses in the first round. That's the kind of thing that will get you fired. Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor has been on the job since 2008. His track record boasts exceptional talent from the first round, solid value from the 2nd round and we're still waiting for what the deeper rounds will bring.

Here's a quick look at Fraser's final seven years at the draft table, KP's career in the role (also 7 years) and the three seasons of Mr. MacGregor.

Barry Fraser (94-00)

  • Best Pick: Ryan Smyth, 6th overall in 1994. Smyth provided heart and soul effort combined with exceptional skill every time he laced them up for the Oildrop. He's over 1,000 games now and approaching 350 NHL goals.
  • Worst Pick: Jason Bonsignore, 4th overall in 1994. Enjoyed a strong offensive season in his draft year but lacked the desire that Smyth displayed in spades. Before the draft, Glen Sather told Fraser he didn't need a home run with the two picks but the club could not afford a mistake on either player. 79 NHL games from a #4 overall is the definition of epic fail. Dammit. Makes me mad to this day.
  • Most Galling Pick: Steve Kelly, 6th overall in 1995. Galling because the entire Oiler crowd was screaming "Doan" and Fraser later admitted they had the two players razor close in terms of how they graded out. Arrogrance was the watch word of the Sather era after 1991 (and really before, but it isn't as irritating when you're winning) so Fraser remained on the job.
  • Number of "home run" selections: One. Ryan Smyth.
  • Number of "exceptional value" selections: Six. Tom Poti (807 games) 59th overall (1996); Fernando Pisani (435 games) 195th overall (1996); Jason Chimera (542 games) 121st overall (1997); Shawn Horcoff (661 games) 99th overall (1998); Mike Comrie (584 games) 99th overall (1999); Matt Lombardi (446 games) 215th overall (2000).
  • Number of "value" picksOne. Georges Laraque (695 games), 31st overall (1995).
  • Number of Blown Lottery picks: 3. Jason Bonsignore, Steve Kelly, Boyd Devereaux. Devereaux was a better player than the other two but not close to being a value pick for #6 overall. They all took place in a three year period and were devastating to the organization.
  • Number of blown first rounders: 8. All but Ryan Smyth. They are: Jason Bonsignore, Steve Kelly, Boyd Devereaux, Matthieu Descoteaux, Michel Riesen, Michael Henrich, Jani Rita, Alexei Mikhnov. Hey, anyone can make a mistake, but this looks like someone is drafting from Mexico.
  • Overall grade 94-00: Epic fail. Anyone paying attention (and we were) had to know something was wrong in the organization that allowed such poor results.

Kevin Prendergast (01-07)

  • Best Pick: Ales Hemsky, 13th overall in 2001. It was KP's first pick and remains his best. Hemsky has played in 470 NHL games, most of them thrilling to watch. His sorties into enemy territory are must see t.v. More exciting, the organization is finally starting to deliver talent good enough to push him and complement him.
  • Worst Pick: Jesse Niinimaki, 15th overall in 2002. It wasn't just the pick, it was the things around it. The Oilers traded down one spot so Montreal could draft Christopher Higgins. What did they get? The 245th overall pick and Tomas Micka. No disrespect, but that pick has little value. If the Habs wanted Higgins they should have been made to pay more. Also, after the draft the Oilers stated "other teams were going to take him" but they've said it so often I wonder if teams are just playing with them. Stop listening to what other people are saying and do your own damn homework!
  • Most Galling Pick: Marc Pouliot, 22nd overall 2003. I'm still fine with the pick, but the enormous cries from Oiler fans the world over must be respected. The Oilers dealt down so the Devils could draft Zack Parise. Edmonton ended up with the twin blessings of Pouliot and JF Jacques. It has not played well with the fan base.
  • Number of "home run" selections: One. Ales Hemsky.  
  • Number of "exceptional value" selections: Four. Jarret Stoll (474 games) 36th overall (2002); Matt Greene (338 games) 44th overall (2002); Zack Stortini (251 games) 94th overall (2003); Kyle Brodziak (298 games) 214th overall (2003); In KP's case and in MBS's too, there are names that will eventually reach this level that we can't include today. Names like Peckham, Petry.  
  • Number of "value" selections: Two. Jussi Markkanen (128 games) 133rd overall (2001); Andrew Cogliano (286 games) 25th overall (2005).
  • Number of Blown Lottery picks: 0.The only lottery pick of the Prendergast era was Sam Gagner. Although he isn't yet a value or exceptional value pick, Gagner is not a blown pick either.
  • Number of blown first rounders: 2 and counting. Jesse Niinimaki and  Marc Pouliot are considered lost picks, and the jury is out on Devan Dubnyk, Rob Schremp, Alex Plante and Riley Nash.
  • Overall grade 94-00: A solid C. C+ if you like that kind of thing. Prendergast didn't perform well in the first round but made up for it with 2nd rounders who were solid or better (Stoll, Greene maybe Petry). I think it saved his draft resume.

Stu MacGregor (08-10)

  • Best Pick: Jordan Eberle, 22nd overall in 2008. Like KP, it was his first selection and came later on in the first round. Any reasonable re-draft has Eberle going much earlier which is an indication of just how much his value has increased since his draft day. An outstanding building block with his first selection.
  • Worst Pick: Troy Hesketh, 71st overall in 2009. He wins in a close race with Cameron Abney because Hesketh was taken earlier in the same draft. Hesketh gets noticed only when being traded and that happens quite often. I know he's a player whose boxcar numbers will never reflect value, but there are usually good players still on the board at #71 overall. Hesketh was a player that Oiler scout Mike Peluso liked a lot, so maybe he's a late bloomer. At this point, he's at the bottom of the MBS pile.
  • Most Galling Pick: Cameron Abney, 82nd overall in 2009. I suspect this was an organziational pick (as in "let's pick Abney well before the Coke Machines start getting picked because that's how we got Geoff Paukovich!") because it's so out of time with an MBS pick. Either way, you can sign these guys out of that crazy Quebec league for the league minimum. IF he turns into Don Saleski then I'll retract the statement but this looks like a draft for need selection. It fills a need that is easily filled. Galling pick.
  • Number of "home run" selections: Two. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle. These young men don't have the games played to back up this boast, but by role and by performance they are clearly big flies.
  • Number of "exceptional value" selections: None. So far. Candidates include Magnus Pääjärvi , Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Olivier Roy and the entire 2010 draft. I kid, but only a little.
  • Number of "value" selections: None. As above, we can see some of these young men already making noise. Lander might play for the big club next fall, Hamilton is a strong candidate too. The force is strong on that 2010 draft and it could begin to deliver (outside of T Hall) by next season.
  • Number of Blown Lottery picks: 0. Along with skill comes luck and the Oilers had two #1's to choose from in 2010. If Stu gets another chance to pick 1st overall in 2011 he'll earn his money.
  • Number of blown first rounders: 0. All three are performing as well or better than expected.
  • Overall grade 94-00: A+ so far. If the most damning thing we can say about Stu MacGregor is that he spent two picks in 2009 on guys his scouting staff argued heavily for then I think we need to credit him with an amazing three summers. The number of selections whose arrows are pointing in the right direction is the best indicator of the current scouting chief of staff. I count 17 of 23, or 74% and none of the 6 down arrows (Kellen Jones, Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Kyle Bigos, Phil Cornett, Jordan Bendfeld) are high selections. Some of them could turn it around in the next 24 months.
C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
Avatar
#2 Team Hall
January 09 2011, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

Yes, it was Lowe. He certainly deserves credit for it.

So it appears that Lowe's best ability was identifying talent to identify talent. He just sucked at identifying talent.

Avatar
#3 Chris.
January 09 2011, 10:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Prendergast really pissed me me off with his performance at the 2007 entry draft. He had three first round selections to work with... (God I wish it had been Stu instead) and went way off the board to take Plante at 15th and then traded up to take Riley Nash a BCHL player who was committed to play only a handful of games a year in Cornell.

It's funny that everyobne in the organization was pissed about Nash's decision to play in Cornell... but they knew that when they drafted him (Didn't they?)! It's almost like they didn't bother doing their homework.

Avatar
#4 a lg dubl dubl
January 09 2011, 10:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Steve Smith wrote:

How is Stoll a homerun but Horcoff only exceptional value? Fine players both, but if I'm looking at them divorced of their contracts (which is the only fair way to look at them, if we're evaluating scouts rather than GMs) I'll take Horcoff every time, and he was drafted two full rounds lower.

You haven't seen Stoll ply his craft down in LA have you? IMO Stoll is the better center,should have been the Oilers #1c not Horcoff. Don't get me wrong I like Captain Horc,he gives it his all, but he should have never been thrust into the top centermans position, he's more 3rd/2nd line center. Stoll and Horcoff play similar games but Stoll over all is a better player. But thats just me

Avatar
#5 a lg dubl dubl
January 09 2011, 10:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

O and it still burns me as a fan to see a 35 yr old Ryan Smyth already have 17 goals, with that he'd be our leading scorer,and showing the likes of Hall and co. the ropes.

Sorry to re-hash old night terrors for everybody but im just sayin

Avatar
#6 OilBaron
January 09 2011, 10:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@ a lg dubl dubl

That is two of us. Stoll is an exceptional player with the edges in his game that horcoff never had, never will have.

Avatar
#7 Kingervision
January 09 2011, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Lowetide

That list is the rest of the 1st round. I'm just saying that mid-1st-round is hardly where you get lock players, just look at drafts through the years. There are 16 players on this. Of course 1 or 2 are going to be good, but expectations should be tempered. No one on this list could be called: "I can't believe we dint' pick him".

Avatar
#8 Maggie the Monkey
January 09 2011, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Who hired Stu MacGregor? Was it Lowe?

Also, how long should it be before the person who hired him starts to get some credit?

Avatar
#9 etownman
January 09 2011, 10:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Actually criticizing the 2007 draft is a little premature. Gagner just turned 21 a couple months ago & he'll probably bag about 60 pts this year on a last place team. He's still improving. There's still plenty of upside for Plante, especially with his size & he just turned 21 as well. The kicker here is Tamby traded Nash (the only pick I personally didn't like) for a second rounder last draft & that turned out to be Marincin, who I think will be an outstanding all round d-man! Don't really agree with quite afew other assessments as well! Just my thoughts!

Avatar
#10 Harlie
January 09 2011, 09:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It would be nice to get the Fist pick overall again this year!

Avatar
#11 Dutchscooter
January 09 2011, 09:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Any reason for listing the Swiss Miss twice in Fraser's list? I know it was a brutal pick, but I would say the Bonsignore pick was worse.

Avatar
#13 Harlie
January 09 2011, 09:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

LT can you regale us with the story behind Stu's MBS moniker? I'm sure it has to do with his drafting resume and nit carving Nazi symbols in foreheads but I still dont know who coined the nick and when etc. Tia

Avatar
#14 dohfOs
January 09 2011, 09:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Dubnyk might actually become a homerun and Omark might be a exceptional pick, especially considered he's a 4th rounder. In the end, I'd say it might bump Prendergast up to a B. You have a "so far" grade on MBS, should be the same with Prendergast.

Avatar
#15 michael
January 09 2011, 09:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hindsight is always 100% right. We can't look back any further. This organizations poor draft record in the past crippled this team. We all know that. The people who were in charge of that department are gone. The question we ask as fans is not what have you done before but what have you done for me lately. The scouting staff have delivered Hall, Eberle,and MP. Hamilton, Lander and Omark and and a pick or 3 this draft will add to the organizations overall depth and talent. The Oilers are moving in a direction that will pay dividends longterm.

Avatar
#18 Steve Smith
January 09 2011, 09:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How is Stoll a homerun but Horcoff only exceptional value? Fine players both, but if I'm looking at them divorced of their contracts (which is the only fair way to look at them, if we're evaluating scouts rather than GMs) I'll take Horcoff every time, and he was drafted two full rounds lower.

Avatar
#20 OilBaron
January 09 2011, 10:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

For the record, Parise isn't the only guy that was available at our original pick. It seems to be a great fixation. Getzlaf goes 19, Kesler goes 23, Richards goes 24, and Perry goes 28th. Y'know the 3 bigger centers we would love to have (Richards isn't so big but when compared to our middle he's huge) and the big, nasty scoring winger.

Can't disagree with the evaluation though. This organization has suffered a lot of self inlficted wounds.

Avatar
#21 m_kennedy13
January 09 2011, 10:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I know I've been MIA for a few weeks here Lowetide, but that's not any reason to delay my Sunday morning read is it?

Don't know what else to add to the discussion other then MBS has god like talent at drafting.

I feel the most important move for the organization this season, besides growing the rookies properly, is to try and give MBS as many bullets as possible. I would like to see us give him 4+ picks in the first two rounds.

Avatar
#22 Oilcruzer
January 09 2011, 10:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Fantastic overview. Two comments.

When Devan Dubnyk was announced by KLowe, there was a collective cry of "Who?" While it may work out, he was going to be available in round two or three.

No one in the NHL thought Bonsignore was anything but a future talent. Of all the drafts ever taken by Edmonton, I forgive them for not having a passion analyzer.

Sidebar. Worst pick not taken (in hindsight lucky for the Oil due to his tragic passing.) Cherpanov. At the time he was available, he HAD to be picked.

Avatar
#23 DonDon
January 09 2011, 10:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Can't argue with what Lowetide states: "Player procurement is a vital part of any NHL team." But procurement goes beyond just the draft and should include trades and acquisition of UFA. I would like to see his grading of the organization on trades and acquisitions of RFAs and UFAs.

As to players acquired through the draft, my sense is the Oilers' organization has too often failed in the proper development of its draft choices. It is only the last season its #1 farm team, now the OKC Barons, seems to be properly fulfilling its role. Prior to last season, the Oilers' farm system was close to being a total failure.

During most of the past five seasons, the management has also failed to protect/complement their young and developing players on the big club with a balance of elite and NHL-calibre role players, including centres. As for the quality of coaching, MacT, Quinn, Renney and all their assistants, there is clear evidence something is missing in technique development, e.g. winning faceoffs, productive power play and penalty kill, soft on the puck, all coachable to some degree. The old adage of placing players in a position to be the best they can be doesn't seem to be working with the Oilers.

Now that NHL has entered the second half of the season and the playoffs loom, how will the Oilers organization protect either its elite players like Hemsky and Horcoff (when he returns), the smurfs and the rookies from the kind of liberties the Canucks took, with impunity in targetting them for extremely rough treatment?

Avatar
#24 Steve Smith
January 09 2011, 10:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@a lg dubl dubl

Among Kings forwards who have played at least twenty games this year, Jarret Stoll has:
* the sixth highest quality of competition
* the third best quality of teammates
* the sixth best goal differential (with a PDO of more than 1,000)
* the fifth best relative Corsi

Among Oilers forwards who have played at least twenty games this year, Shawn Horcoff has:
* the fourth highest quality of competition
* the third best quality of teammates
* the best goal differential (only forward in the black, albeit with a pretty high PDO)
* the fifth best relative Corsi

If you want to look at it in absolute terms, Horcoff's scoring differential is better than Stoll's, despite playing on a vastly inferior team.

Avatar
#25 Dan the Man
January 09 2011, 10:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The Oilers could certainly done a lot better in the 94-96 drafts but if you look at the top 10 in each of those years there wasn't a ton of really high end talent. Ryan Smyth was probably the best player taken in the top 10 over that 3 year period.

There were quite few misses from several organizations in the first rounds of 94-96.

It's amazing how far scouting and drafting has come over the last several years.

In Stu we trust.

Avatar
#26 Dan the Man
January 09 2011, 10:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OilBaron wrote:

@ a lg dubl dubl

That is two of us. Stoll is an exceptional player with the edges in his game that horcoff never had, never will have.

I like Stoll but I don't know why people think of him as edgy. I don't think he's had a fight in his career which doesn't automatically exclude you from being edgy but when you play a chippy style and NEVER fight you lose some of that edge in my mind.

Avatar
#27 ClosetGM
January 09 2011, 11:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

There is no doubt that the reason this team has been so brutal in the last 20 years is because of how we drafted. Hopefully MBS is the saviour everyone makes him out to be only time will tell

Avatar
#28 godot10
January 09 2011, 11:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

//Best Pick: Ales Hemsky, 13th overall in 2001. It was KP's first pick and remains his best. Hemsky has played in 470 NHL games, most of them thrilling to watch. His sorties into enemy territory are must see t.v. More exciting, the organization is finally starting to deliver talent good enough to push him and complement him.//

The potential Black Swan is that Hemsky doesn't complement any of the talent they are acquiring.

Taylor Hall: "It is tricky to play with Ales Hemsky."

Did anyone ever say that about Gretzky, Messier, Orr, Lemieux, or other elite players. Elite players are supposed to be easy to play with, not "tricky".

Is it wise for Hall to be making adjustments for Hemsky? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Avatar
#29 Harlie
January 09 2011, 11:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2008/11/crossing-jordan.html

Props!

Avatar
#31 Kingervision
January 09 2011, 12:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I look at the 2007 draft and don't think the comments are warranted. Let me put that another way: fans generally have unrealistic expectations about how a draft should work for THEIR team. Who on the list do you see that are no-brainers should have picked before Plante or Nash. Unless you have a top-3 or 4 pick, most years, you aren't looking at much anyways(At least we didn't draft Cherepanov...). I've never heard of most of these guys from the 2007 draft:

Alex Plante (Defence) Colton Gillies (Centre) Alexei Cherepanov (Right Wing) Ian Cole (Defence) Logan MacMillan (Centre) Angelo Esposito (Centre) Riley Nash (Centre) Max Pacioretty (Left Wing) Jonathon Blum (Defence) Mikael Backlund (Centre) Patrick White (Centre) David Perron (Left Wing) Brendan Smith (Defence) Nick Petrecki (Defence) Jim O'Brien (Centre) Nick Ross

Avatar
#33 godot10
January 09 2011, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Lowetide

//You know, Lafleur was pure hell to play with. Seriously. The guy was all over the place. Bowman put his two most intelligent forwards (Lemaire and Shutt) with him and it worked out for awhile there.//

Steve Shutt didn't need to touch the puck to be effective.

Lemaire is "nuts". As shown in his coaching career, he became OC about defensive tactics. He was willing to sublimate his offensive talents and metamorph his game to Lafleur's, much as Horcoff has done for Hemsky.

Are you suggesting that Hall and Gagner should sublimate their own games and development to server the needs of Ales Hemsky?

Is that a winning rebuild strategy? Hall and Gagner are NOT Steve Shutt. They need puck touches. It is in their DNA.

When the Oilers were Hemsky and a bunch of scrubs, the fact that Hemsky was a square peg, because all the other pegs were indescript.

But Hall and Gagner are round pegs.

Avatar
#34 Scott in Grande Prairie
January 09 2011, 12:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's easy to second-guess first-round picks five, 10 and 15 years out, but I think that it's also important to note that several of those first-round duds (Jason Bonsignore, Steve Kelly, Boyd Devereaux, Michel Riesen, Michael Henrich, Jani Rita) were all highly-rated prospects by The Hockey News and, more importantly, NHL Central Scouting.

There's really only a couple of times that the Oilers wandered off the reservation with their first-rounders and that would be Miknov and Ninnimaki.

In other words, if the Oilers hadn't taken Bonsignore, Kelly, etal. in the first round in their respective draft years, other NHL teams would have. Simple as that.

I'm OK with ripping the scouting staff during dry spells, but I think it can only be taken so far. Those bad picks suggest a team that didn't do its homework, yes, but also one that fell victim to the crapshoot nature of the draft.

Avatar
#36 BarryS
January 09 2011, 01:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@DonDon

UFA's and RFA's are irrelivant to the discussion as they have the sole choice where to sign not the Oilers. Not even higher offers count as reasons to choose, except in players want the most in a final contract, witness a certain goalie. The team can not dictate who will sign, only make the team seem a good place to sign and this will take a year or three yet.

Any farm team issues in the past is strictly an ownership not a team management issue. If the owner(s) won't put money into a proper farm system, there is no farm system. Any blame(?) for farm team issues rests with the EIG, not Lowe or anyone else in team management.

Now the owner puts money in the farm system, now management can be held accountable in a few years for development due to farm coaching hires etc.

Avatar
#37 godot10
January 09 2011, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Lowetide

//I really don't know where you're heading with this, but wanted to address the items you sent my way.//

I am just making an observation at this point. Decisions probably have to be made on Penner and Hemsky by this summer.

But where am I headed? How about?

What are the Black Swans out there that could derail or doom the rebuild?

Finding another second pairing defenseman or fixing the bottom six fowards are not issues that will derail or doom the rebuild. Yes, and the team has a lot of identifiable and fixable problems on the roster. And the boards talk about them endlessly.

The fate of the rebuild rides not on such questions but on questions as like "Should Quinn or Renney be coach?" Or is Hemsky the guy you offer the big money extention to?

I'm not giving a definitive answer to the second question at this point. I'm just saying it is a question that should be given more thought than it is being given, since a decision on the player has to be made in the near future.

What ARE the potential Black Swans that could end up in the rebuild falling short of the ultimate destination, winning the Stanley Cup?

Is Hemsky and/or Penner the right guy(s) to bet the future on with extentions? Those are THE questions for the Oilers this year.

P.S. As soon as Randy Moss because a square peg, Belichek sent him packing, and he brought back a round peg in Branch. Belichek is ruthless on value-for-money, and whether the player fits into the latest iteration of what he is trying to do.

Avatar
#38 Traktor
January 09 2011, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

godot10 said "What are the Black Swans out there that could derail or doom the rebuild?

Finding another second pairing defenseman or fixing the bottom six fowards are not issues that will derail or doom the rebuild. Yes, and the team has a lot of identifiable and fixable problems on the roster. And the boards talk about them endlessly.

The fate of the rebuild rides not on such questions but on questions as like "Should Quinn or Renney be coach?" Or is Hemsky the guy you offer the big money extention to?

I'm not giving a definitive answer to the second question at this point. I'm just saying it is a question that should be given more thought than it is being given, since a decision on the player has to be made in the near future.

What ARE the potential Black Swans that could end up in the rebuild falling short of the ultimate destination, winning the Stanley Cup?

Is Hemsky and/or Penner the right guy(s) to bet the future on with extentions? Those are THE questions for the Oilers this year.

P.S. As soon as Randy Moss because a square peg, Belichek sent him packing, and he brought back a round peg in Branch. Belichek is ruthless on value-for-money, and whether the player fits into the latest iteration of what he is trying to do."

Best post I've read here at oilersnation. Well done.

Avatar
#40 Kingervision
January 09 2011, 06:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Scott in Grande Prairie wrote:

It's easy to second-guess first-round picks five, 10 and 15 years out, but I think that it's also important to note that several of those first-round duds (Jason Bonsignore, Steve Kelly, Boyd Devereaux, Michel Riesen, Michael Henrich, Jani Rita) were all highly-rated prospects by The Hockey News and, more importantly, NHL Central Scouting.

There's really only a couple of times that the Oilers wandered off the reservation with their first-rounders and that would be Miknov and Ninnimaki.

In other words, if the Oilers hadn't taken Bonsignore, Kelly, etal. in the first round in their respective draft years, other NHL teams would have. Simple as that.

I'm OK with ripping the scouting staff during dry spells, but I think it can only be taken so far. Those bad picks suggest a team that didn't do its homework, yes, but also one that fell victim to the crapshoot nature of the draft.

Yes Scott, this is what I was trying to say, but you did a better job! Just by the numbers, if you are drafting from anywhere from say 7 to 30, getting a top-6 forward, or a top-4 D is highly unlikely. Lowetide (I think)did a nice piece awhile back about what expectations are for draft picks in various rounds of drafts. Fans need to set their expectations: doing well in a draft is indeed a crapshoot.

Avatar
#41 Maggie the Monkey
January 09 2011, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

Yes, it was Lowe. He certainly deserves credit for it.

That might quietly become the best move of his managerial career.

Avatar
#42 Maggie the Monkey
January 09 2011, 09:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Team Hall wrote:

So it appears that Lowe's best ability was identifying talent to identify talent. He just sucked at identifying talent.

Very well put.

I'd like to nominate that for quote of the month, regardless of all of the great writing over on JW's post today.

Avatar
#43 T.C.
January 09 2011, 11:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

So is there a story behind Fraser?As to why he was able to last as a scout even though he picked a crapload of bad draft picks.

Avatar
#44 Jerk Store
January 10 2011, 05:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Lowetide, One thing stands out as funny. I can't think of too many d-men we have drafted in the 1st round. Coffey, odelein, stadjuhar, descoteaux, Plante. I did not check so I am probably missing a couple, but if defence makes up 33% of your roster you would expect in 32 drafts to take roughly 11 d men (not even taking into account years like 2007 where we had multiple picks). I realize d men take longer to develop, but is this an organiztional bias or a league trend? Actually, looking at the names other than Coffey, an argument could be made we should not draft d-men.

Avatar
#45 Mike Modano's Dog
January 10 2011, 08:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thanks Lowetide - for listening to us Oiler fans all over the world. I am one of those guys who will be forever pissed about the MAP pick. It's cool that even though you may not feel the same about the pick you let it be known loud and clear from all of us how we feel about that epic fail!

Great read, by the way!!

Avatar
#46 Jerk Store
January 10 2011, 10:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ok I missed a few guys. Lowe (duh), Beuk (duh), soules and Leroux. I can be excused for the last 2. So 9 dmen in 38 first rounders. Certainly not many in the past decade and a half.

Avatar
#47 russ99
January 10 2011, 12:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@T.C.

Look up the 1979 and 1980 Oilers drafts.

As head scout, Frasier had free rein for a long time after pulling that off.

Comments are closed for this article.