Rear Window

Lowetide
August 03 2011 05:00PM

Miles and miles from the lottery, Edmonton's NHL team is drafting good hockey players. That is rarely enough, as we all know that 99% of life's success comes from following through.

A good way to gauge a team's draft success is by counting the number of kids who are developed the old fashioned way: the minors. Seeing a #1 overall pick turn out is great fun, but also expected; even a pick like Sam Gagner should deliver a quality NHL player.

It's the "following through" that makes the difference: taking talented kids and grinding them into useful role players for the National Hockey League. Those men--the tough defensemen, the two way centers, the physical wingers--are extremely valuable to an NHL team.

BENCH STRENGTH

During the twelve year period leading up to the OKC Barons taking to the ice, Oiler fans saw a lot of fits and starts from the club's AHL prospects. Here's a list of Oilers picks and minor league free agents who began their pro careers in the AHL and were good enough to play a game (or more) for the Oilers:

  1. R Georges Laraque 695 games
  2. C Shawn Horcoff 684 games
  3. L Jason Chimera 581 games
  4. C Jarret Stoll 515 games
  5. R Fernando Pisani 462 games
  6. D Marc Andre Bergeron 422 games
  7. D Matt Greene 379 games
  8. D Tom Gilbert 337 games
  9. C Kyle Brodziak 337 games
  10. R Brad Winchester 323 games
  11. R Zack Stortini 256 games
  12. D Alexei Semenov 211 games
  13. G Ty Conklin 200 games
  14. C Marc Pouliot 179 games
  15. L JF Jacques 160 games
  16. C Rob Schremp 114 games
  17. L Patrick Thoresen 106 games
  18. D Theo Peckham 102 games
  19. L Liam Reddox 100 games
  20. L Tony Salmelainen 70 games
  21. R Jani Rita 66 games
  22. D Mathieu Roy 65 games
  23. D Danny Syvret 59 games
  24. G Jeff Deslauriers 58 games
  25. D Taylor Chorney 56 games
  26. G Devan Dubnyk 54 games
  27. D Ales Pisa 53 games
  28. C Tim Sestito 46 games
  29. G Mike Morrison 29 games
  30. D Bryan Young 17 games
  31. C Mike Bishai 14 games
  32. L Michel Riesen 12 games
  33. C Peter Sarno 7 games
  34. D Alex Plante 7 games
  35. D Chris Hajt 6 games
  36. D Doug Lynch 2 games
  37. L Alexei Mikhnov 2 games
  38. R Colin McDonald 2 games
  39. G Mike Minard 1 game
  40. D Johan Motin 1 game

Guys like Tom Poti, Mike Comrie, Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner didn't play in the AHL and Sebastien Bisaillon played all of his NHL games before he played in the AHL. I didn't count those players.

Results

  1. Over those 12 seasons, the Oilers developed about 1 player per year if we assume an NHL player graduates at 200 games.
  2. The Oilers also have several players "on track" to pass 200 games. I'd count Pouliot, Jacques, Schremp and Peckham as "on track" players.
  3. I think we should agree a lower total seems fair for goaltenders. Let's say 125 games for goalers. That would mean that Dubnyk is "on track" as well.
  4. Total: 13 players at 200 games or more and another 5 "on track" for the 12 seasons. That works out to 1.5 actual NHL players per season.

HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY

The Oilers under Steve Tambellini have made an effort to employ AHL veterans who can help bring the prospects along. This might include facing tough opposition until the kids find their way, scoring enough goals for the team to be confident and competitive, and serving a mentor role as the boys transition into their pro careers. It's a very important job, one that may have helped Pouliot, McDonald, Jacques, Schremp and others in the last decade.

OKC (so far)

  1. R Linus Omark 51 games
  2. D Jeff Petry 35 games
  3. L Teemu Hartikainen 12 games
  4. C Chris VandeVelde 12 games

Guys like Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle didn't play in the AHL, and I've included Petry in this group because this was his first full pro season. I don't know that we can project any of these kids for 200 NHL games, but they certainly showed some things in year one. There's some outstanding talent among those four names. Anton Lander, Curtis Hamilton and others may soon join the list.

That's a helluva first season.

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 Team 1260.
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#1 Westcoastoil
August 03 2011, 05:06PM
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Drafting - the fist step to success

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#2 Jodes
August 03 2011, 05:12PM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

Drafting - the fist step to success

Drafting Properly is the first step.. Or do you not recall how the Oilers drafted for most of the 90s and early 00's?

The ship definately corrected itself with Stu "The Magnificent B*st*rd" MacGregor being the head scout!

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#3 treevojo
August 03 2011, 05:12PM
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Not to be a dick. And maybe it doesn't fit into the context that you are portraying, but eberle did play a few tames in the ahl.

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#4 pelhem grenville
August 03 2011, 05:13PM
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...fist Raymond Burr art...very nice...reading now

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#6 treevojo
August 03 2011, 05:20PM
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Lowetide wrote:

At the end of his junior seasons. Eberle was never sent down by the Oilers. You're correct, but I don't think Eberle's PTO games should count against him.

That's what I figured.

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#7 Ender
August 03 2011, 05:25PM
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At first I wasn't sure I agreed with the premise that goalies should be 'on-track' with that many fewer games in the NHL than skaters. If anything, I mused, I would think the typical goalie should have a longer playing career than a skater. That could mean a higher threshold of games played, not lower.

What's the rationale? I guess it's this: if a goalie puts in 50 starts a season for 2.5 seasons, they're at least a 1A/1B goalie on that team. If they can hold that spot for that length of time, then I can see how that puts them on par with the skater that plays 80 games per season over the same span.

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#9 RexLibris
August 03 2011, 05:43PM
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Good point LT. As I've said before, I've argued this point, drafting well in the mid-rounds being as important as nailing the 1st round picks, with fans of other teams.

Just a side note: Did anyone else when they heard about the Weber arbritation settlement feel sorry for the Predators? When I heard it I felt like I was back in the 90s, with good young talent developing and getting pooched by a mediator before having to trade said talent away because we couldn't afford him. I don't suppose Nashville can do much except accept and try to trade near the deadline for a king's ransom.

If I were a Predators fan I'd want to try and trade Weber to the Oil for some forwards, but I don't see Tambellini wanting to take on that much salary.

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#10 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 05:59PM
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Lets see some of this MBS guys actually become quality NHL players before we get too excited.

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#11 Westcoastoil
August 03 2011, 06:06PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Good point LT. As I've said before, I've argued this point, drafting well in the mid-rounds being as important as nailing the 1st round picks, with fans of other teams.

Just a side note: Did anyone else when they heard about the Weber arbritation settlement feel sorry for the Predators? When I heard it I felt like I was back in the 90s, with good young talent developing and getting pooched by a mediator before having to trade said talent away because we couldn't afford him. I don't suppose Nashville can do much except accept and try to trade near the deadline for a king's ransom.

If I were a Predators fan I'd want to try and trade Weber to the Oil for some forwards, but I don't see Tambellini wanting to take on that much salary.

I think Nashville did this to themselves. If the stories are true that they offered $4.75 I'd be majorly PO'd if I was Weber. Weber will be the 5th highest paid defenseman next year, and anyway you slice he is one of the 5th best defensemen in the league. Other teams have their guy at a lower cap hit, but in Nashville's case the full cap hit helps them. They look top be in a very similar boat to the Oilers back in the 90's - on the cusp of putting things together, but unable to keep their best players because of salary let alone add the little extra pieces that are missing.

At least Weber is an RFA next year again - it'll be interesting to see if Suter and Weber get dealt...which makes the Fransen trade make even less sense - I think that will come back to haunt them.

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#12 Puritania
August 03 2011, 06:11PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Lets see some of this MBS guys actually become quality NHL players before we get too excited.

NO! I cannot! I AM TOO EXCITED!!!!!

*places plastic bag over head and passes out*

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#13 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2011, 06:20PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Lets see some of this MBS guys actually become quality NHL players before we get too excited.

Agreed, what does he have to his credit to date....just Eberle so far excluding the lottery selections?

The jury's still out on Harsky,Lander,Paajarvi and Omark etc.

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#14 justDOit
August 03 2011, 06:22PM
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@Puritania

*calls 911, but then hangs up - not knowing where you are*

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#16 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2011, 06:29PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well yes and no. The jury's still out on Lander and Hartikainen, but Paajarvi is trending very well. Steve Kelly was a 6th overall pick, he never posted a season in the NHL like the one Paajarvi just ripped off at 19.

Omark was drafted in the KP era.

I guess it's a little unfair to need a scorecard on Stu so soon. We should know by his 8 or 9th yr in that position if he needs to be run outta town.

The clock is ticking Stuart.

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#18 horndog77
August 03 2011, 06:34PM
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I peronally would like to see better goalie drafting. I've been an Oilers fan for a very long time, since when have we had a stud goalie. Granted Bunz and oliver and Devan look alright but do you think they would spend a first on a goalie next year, Oilers seem to trade for older guys.

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#19 a lg dubl dubl
August 03 2011, 06:42PM
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If by chance that ST grows some brass jewels and calls up Nashville to inquire about Weber, I wonder if Gilbert(gotta take some cap hit back),Chorney, & or Omark + next drafts 1st rounder would entice the Preds to say OK.

I might be wrong but as long as Weber's contract isn't more than a 5yr term the Oil should have the cap space to swing a trade like that even with Hall, Eberle and PRV needing to re-sign in 2yrs, this is were shrewd GMing comes in.

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#20 Wax Man Riley
August 03 2011, 06:54PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

If by chance that ST grows some brass jewels and calls up Nashville to inquire about Weber, I wonder if Gilbert(gotta take some cap hit back),Chorney, & or Omark + next drafts 1st rounder would entice the Preds to say OK.

I might be wrong but as long as Weber's contract isn't more than a 5yr term the Oil should have the cap space to swing a trade like that even with Hall, Eberle and PRV needing to re-sign in 2yrs, this is were shrewd GMing comes in.

Shrewd GMimng eh?

Aren't we talking about the same guy that was able to somehow screw up a trade when the player said the only place he wanted to go was Edmonton?

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#21 Bucknuck
August 03 2011, 06:54PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

If by chance that ST grows some brass jewels and calls up Nashville to inquire about Weber, I wonder if Gilbert(gotta take some cap hit back),Chorney, & or Omark + next drafts 1st rounder would entice the Preds to say OK.

I might be wrong but as long as Weber's contract isn't more than a 5yr term the Oil should have the cap space to swing a trade like that even with Hall, Eberle and PRV needing to re-sign in 2yrs, this is were shrewd GMing comes in.

Don't get me wrong, I think Weber is a stud, but he's getting paid a poopload more than anyone on the team, except perhaps Ryan Smyth, who will get a decrease next year (if he signs). I wonder where that puts the mindset of the younger players in the room who may or may not consider themselves a bigger star in two years.

Though with Weber on the back end (and maybe a good goalie - HELLO TAMBO!?), this team may win, which creates a home town discount of its own. Sigh.

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#22 DSF
August 03 2011, 07:00PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well yes and no. The jury's still out on Lander and Hartikainen, but Paajarvi is trending very well. Steve Kelly was a 6th overall pick, he never posted a season in the NHL like the one Paajarvi just ripped off at 19.

Omark was drafted in the KP era.

By almost any measure, Paajarvi had a disappointing season for a 10th overall pick.

His P/60 were well south of the rookie crop of 10/11, his plus/minus was near the bottom of the barrel, his shooting percentage trailed at least one rookie defenseman, his 5v4 P/60 was a little better but hardly in the same area code as the top rookies and he was 399th in the NHL for hits per 60 by a forward.

Comparing him to a complete bust like Steve Kelly might pump his tires somewhat, but why not compare him to top 10 draft choices who actaully 'ripped off a season at 19".

Hold off on the coronation.

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#23 bigrroberto
August 03 2011, 07:01PM
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@DSF

Look who he was playing with for most of the season... I say he did just fine.

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#24 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2011, 07:07PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

Not so sure if you'd have to check Steves underwear or Katzs underwear for said brass items you speak of. If Daryl gives Steve the green light, then Steve acts on those desires.

LT, do you think the Oilers are in Webers top 6 of places he'd accept employment?

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#26 a lg dubl dubl
August 03 2011, 07:16PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Shrewd GMimng eh?

Aren't we talking about the same guy that was able to somehow screw up a trade when the player said the only place he wanted to go was Edmonton?

I hear ya ST is the most back and forth GM Ive ever seen, one minute he gets guys like Barker,& Belanger(really good signings IMO) the next he screws up gimme trades like Smytty and if the rumors were true Souray for Hartnell(WTF!!?...) Yea things might have been misconstrued via media and such but sometimes ST leaves me wondering WTF MAN!! more often than not.

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#27 a lg dubl dubl
August 03 2011, 07:24PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Good point but Icant help but think that Katz is getting tired of being last all the time, sure ST had to blow up the mess that KLowe left behind and start over but to "dither" away at some trades and waiver pick ups over the last 2-3yrs that Tamby has been here that could have helped the team be at the very least competitive. If I was Katz my boiling point would be near the top ready to explode.

EDIT and didnt Katz say when he bought the team the Oilers would be a cap team?

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#28 billylikestodrinksoda
August 03 2011, 07:30PM
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DSF wrote:

By almost any measure, Paajarvi had a disappointing season for a 10th overall pick.

His P/60 were well south of the rookie crop of 10/11, his plus/minus was near the bottom of the barrel, his shooting percentage trailed at least one rookie defenseman, his 5v4 P/60 was a little better but hardly in the same area code as the top rookies and he was 399th in the NHL for hits per 60 by a forward.

Comparing him to a complete bust like Steve Kelly might pump his tires somewhat, but why not compare him to top 10 draft choices who actaully 'ripped off a season at 19".

Hold off on the coronation.

what do you mean by almost any measure? By a statisical analysis of a guy who got 3rd line minutes with minimal powerplay time on a last place team? Not exactly the definition of a good "measure"

00 mikhail yakubov 01 dan blackburn 02 eric nystrom 03 andrei kostitsyn 04 boris valabik 05 luc bourdon 06 michael frolik 07 keaton ellerby 08 cody hodgson 09 the man himself 10 dylan mcIlrath

the tenth overall pick the past 10 years excluding this year. Now, call me crazy but I am gonna throw stats away for a sec and use common sense. Obviously he could blow up and be a bust but looking at that list, there are few people who wouldnt take paajarvi as their first choice in the 10 spot at the moment

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#29 Puritania
August 03 2011, 07:30PM
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justDOit wrote:

*calls 911, but then hangs up - not knowing where you are*

*dies*

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#31 a lg dubl dubl
August 03 2011, 07:33PM
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I wonder what Doughty will want now that Weber will be getting 7.5mil for this season...DL must be pooping in his pants right now LOL

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#32 justDOit
August 03 2011, 07:35PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Look who he was playing with for most of the season... I say he did just fine.

I'm with you on that, bigroberto. MPS had to adjust to the small ice, to a new home (and continent), and had to play on one of the worst last-place teams in decades. If you can't see the glint on that un-cut diamond, you might want to adjust your spectacles.

And complaining that he's 399th in the league in hits is hilarious! You were counting on him to be a bruiser, DSF?

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#35 justDOit
August 03 2011, 07:51PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I wonder what Doughty will want now that Weber will be getting 7.5mil for this season...DL must be pooping in his pants right now LOL

I don't see Doughty in the same light as Weber. He's smaller and not a shut-down guy, but is as talented offensively. And Weber has shown that he's for real for a few years now.

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#36 Puritania
August 03 2011, 08:08PM
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@Lowetide

And Lowetide thrills!

*Basks in the adulation of strangers on the internet for such witty remarks**

**realizes he forgot to click "include quote", hangs head in shame*

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 08:12PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

If by chance that ST grows some brass jewels and calls up Nashville to inquire about Weber, I wonder if Gilbert(gotta take some cap hit back),Chorney, & or Omark + next drafts 1st rounder would entice the Preds to say OK.

I might be wrong but as long as Weber's contract isn't more than a 5yr term the Oil should have the cap space to swing a trade like that even with Hall, Eberle and PRV needing to re-sign in 2yrs, this is were shrewd GMing comes in.

I don't know if "entice" is the word I'd use.

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#38 gowi48
August 03 2011, 08:20PM
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Hey whats with Stauffer and Oilers lunch. Is it toast

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#39 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2011, 08:33PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Shrewd GMimng eh?

Aren't we talking about the same guy that was able to somehow screw up a trade when the player said the only place he wanted to go was Edmonton?

While part of me agrees with your analysis, one part of me says this was a very unique trade. In todays game, how often do you see one team get rolled and take on a further 5.4 million dollar payroll increase. More often than not in todays game contract values are traded.

If it wasn't Ryan Smyth involved in this deal there's no way a deal like this gets done in todays cap conscious NHL. Part of me also realizes that Tambellini has a job to do as well. I don't think it was too much for Steve to start and expect them to accept Souray in exchange, they still gain almost 2 million in cap space. As much as Lombardi was in a tough spot by having Smyth declare he only wanted to come to Edmonton, Steve was also in a tough spot being forced to take on an additional 5.4 million in salary in exchange for a player he couldn't afford to say no to.

Can anyone remember a trade in the last 20 yrs that included a significant dollar value swing in a trade such as this Smyth trade?

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 08:36PM
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@ QSB Pronger to the Ducks and Richards to the Star both Flyers centers to a lesser extent.

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#41 justDOit
August 03 2011, 08:54PM
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@QSB: Not reaching back too far, but Rolston ($5M), for Hunter (why doesn't my keyboard have a cents symbol?).

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#42 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 03 2011, 08:55PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ QSB Pronger to the Ducks and Richards to the Star both Flyers centers to a lesser extent.

I haven't looked it up but between Brewer,Woywitka and Lynch, i believe they collectively were worth about 4 in total compared to the 5.5 Chris Pronger made back then.

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#43 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 09:04PM
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@ QSB that wasn't the trade to the Ducks ;)

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#44 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:17PM
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Lowetide wrote:

The other thing is that the NHL tracks hits in a poor manner. Complete homer rinks boost totals and other rinks appear to pay little attention. I don't trust that stat.

At all.

LT, you know as well as I do that over an 82 game season played by 30 teams that that hits stat will be smoothed.

We can say with certainty that Magnus is one of the softer players in the league.

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#45 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:20PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Look who he was playing with for most of the season... I say he did just fine.

Of course, the corollary argument is "look at who the guys who were playing with Magnus" had to play with.

Circular arguments are a waste of time.

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#46 Jason Gregor
August 03 2011, 09:21PM
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@LT,

Schremp doesn't have an NHL contract so far and it sounds like he is going to Europe, so I'm not sure he will reach the 200 game mark.

I don't think a player will ever be as over-hyped as Schremp was as an Oiler. Wasn't his fault, but many felt he was going to be a star and he never came close.

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#47 FastOil
August 03 2011, 09:28PM
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Weber is a "great" player, but really faded out when the chips were down. Injury, whatever, to my eye he struggled when the Preds had a chance to do something.

If you are going to pay a player that much, he has to be guaranteed franchise (prime Lidstrom or Pronger), which Weber while very good, currently is not close to at the same age.

Never buy high. Lemmings to the cliff. Depth and balance wins more Cups than even having the game's all time greatest player and unstoppable force, ask Wayne.

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#49 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 09:39PM
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DSF wrote:

LT, you know as well as I do that over an 82 game season played by 30 teams that that hits stat will be smoothed.

We can say with certainty that Magnus is one of the softer players in the league.

hits will hardly be "smoothed over" when a lot of guys get 41 games in a barn where the hits are handed out easily.

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#50 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:54PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

hits will hardly be "smoothed over" when a lot of guys get 41 games in a barn where the hits are handed out easily.

I guess big numbers like 82 games X 30 teams confuse you. Unless you have some evidence that the Oilers' team scorers are less likely to hand out hit stats.

Which, of course, you don't so your comments are totally irrelevant.

And, if you're basing his "production" as a tenth overall pick on his rookie season...he's clearly been sub par.

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