ODDS AND ENDS 1

Lowetide
June 21 2014 11:30PM

nuge common33

The Edmonton Oilers and their fans are used to having a front row seat to every summer's entry draft. The last time the club drafted outside the top 10 was Jordan Eberle in 2008, and even then it wasn't their draft slotting (this was the Dustin Penner offer sheet season—by the way those picks for Penner? Tyler Myers, Justin Schultz and Kirill Petrov). This season, it's No. 3 overall again.

The Oilers have been doing this NHL draft thing since 1979, and there's a lot of trivia over 35 years.

A FEW NOTES

  • Kevin Lowe was told the 1979 draft (via telephone) was to start at 10am. He expected a call from agent Alan Eagleson around 10:15 to tell him which team had selected him in the first round. Lowe waited, and waited, and waited. By 10:45am the phone hadn’t rung and Lowe’s mom said “My God, they’re not drafting him.” A mixup in the phone lines caused a one hour delay, but the Lowe household was not aware of it. At 11:10, Eagleson’s secretary called with the news Edmonton had chosen Lowe—21st overall, first round. 
  • Glen Sather was impressed by Mark Messier as he played AGAINST the Oilers in the 78-79 season (WHA). Dennis Sobchuk was a pretty good player and legend has it he thought he could take the kid in the Cincinnati Stinger uniform. Messier apparently had a slight edge in punches. 12-0. Sather noticed and picked him 48th overall in the deepest draft in history, 1979.
  • Barry Fraser was responsible for the Oilers final WHA draft (1978) and 1979-2000 (he made the Mikhnov pick, and minutes later Lowe traded for the pick that became Brad Winchester).
  • D Jim Playfair, #20 overall in 1982, and D Selmar Odelein, # 21 in 1984, were both defenders the Oilers chose in the hopes they would develop into rugged blueliners. Injuries sidelined both careers.

BIG CENTERS GET HURT, TOO

  • C Jesse Niinimaki, #15 overall in 2002, and C Marc Pouliot,#22 in 2003, were both centers with size the Oilers chose in the hopes they would develop into big centermen who could play on the top 2 lines. Injuries impacted both careers.
  • Oilers LOVED their 1988 second rounder Petro Koivunen. He was a center who had a solid first season after his draft year (named to the Finnish team for the Pravda Cup), but he never made it. He did play in Finland, though, and did have some good seasons.

FINLAND ROCKS

  • Jari Kurri very likely would have gone much higher than #69 in the 1980 draft but it was widely thought Kurri would not come over to NA because of military duty. Inside info gave the Oilers an edge and they selected one of the very best to ever play for them.
  • Raimo Summanen was a more highly rated player than Esa Tikkanen. Oilers brass were quoted often as saying Summanen might be the LW Edmonton needed to throw onto the Gretzky-Kurri line.

One of the most famous drafts in history was 1979. What an enormous draft for the organization. Jim Matheson and Terry Jones are still local legends, and they made their reputations by finding interesting angles on the story.

Their draft work 1979 is here

INJURY

  • When we discuss a prospect class or drafting period, it’s important to include injury issues. I understand all teams deal with this problem, but there is a randomness to it that is (of course) outside the control of any team or manager. If we discuss players and their lack of success, I’d encourage you to consider injury issues. Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey wrote an excellent item on Plante here, and concluded the impact on his career at that time was significant.

oil change capture

OIL CHANGE

For modern day Oiler fans, there is absolutely no doubt that the "Oil Change" series provides invaluable draft information for each season (beginning with the Taylor Hall draft). The ongoing story of a rebuild gives us a chance to look back at extremely important moments in draft history, and re-live "Taylor versus Tyler" and other famous draft events.

MODERN DAY OILER DRAFT STORIES

Over the next few days, I'm going to pass along more draft stories, but modern ones, some you may remember and some may be new. Items like this:

  • When the 2002 Entry Draft got underway, I sat in my living room with my Hockey News Draft Guide and my computer (with dial-up!) and waited for the magic!!! The Oilers drafted 14th that season, but traded down one so Montreal could take Chris Higgins. No biggie, plenty of photos and bio's in my Hockey News, AND another pick added somewhere in the 200's!

And then it happened...the Edmonton Oilers select.....Jesse Niinimaki!! I looked through my HN and found him at No. 50 Euro, but there was no bio and no help. I raced to the dial up, searching madly for something, anything on the strangely named and incredibly obscure Finn. On Monday, this appeared in USA Today:

niinimaki red line

Four players taken in Round 1 that season didn't play an NHL game. Niinimaki led the way at No. 15, followed by Jakub Koreis, Martin Vagner and Mike Morris. The funny thing is this: Niinimaki is still playing high level hockey, and has played in over 400 SM-Liiga games over the years. This coming season, he has signed to play for Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL.

Up next: Pierre McGuire, Robert Nilsson and how the Edmonton Oilers got nothing out of the 2003 draft. 

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
#51 OiledStatGuy
June 22 2014, 11:38AM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

ps. HockeyProspects has Draisaitl at 6th.

pss. Jankowski was off board unnecessary, not Ritchie

psss. Trouba ranked 10th, selected 9th, could easily end up best player from 2012. You can find best player outside top three ranking, especially in a weaker draft year, so we need the BPA by type whose potential impact is highest if you are going to outpace other teams. Throw in that Oil are in Pacific, maybe heaviest division, which means Oil have no choice but to take Ritchie :-)

Avatar
#52 pelhem grenville
June 22 2014, 11:38AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
camdog wrote:

Do you know what Goosfraba.... stands for?

...go to Google type in... define goosfraba

Avatar
#53 madjam
June 22 2014, 12:04PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Kings give Gaborik a low ball 3year -$15M offer . I doubt he signs for that . What will Oilers offer ?

Avatar
#54 Spydyr
June 22 2014, 12:29PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
madjam wrote:

Kings give Gaborik a low ball 3year -$15M offer . I doubt he signs for that . What will Oilers offer ?

Pass.....floater.The Oilers have more than enough of them already.

Avatar
#55 The Soup Fascist
June 22 2014, 12:43PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
madjam wrote:

Kings give Gaborik a low ball 3year -$15M offer . I doubt he signs for that . What will Oilers offer ?

Skilled, soft, oft-injured winger.

6 million for 6 years seems about right.

Avatar
#56 Quicksilver ballet
June 22 2014, 01:02PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Jari Kurri was a gem. 99-17 two on one the most lethal in the history of hockey.What a one timer boom there it is.

Defensively one of the best ever.

If the Oilers bring in one more guy from the boys on the bus he is my guy.He has been the Finnish GM for years now.Doubt he even wants to come back.Especially to this regime.

Finlands answer to Mike Bossy, and the way they both felt about missing the net.

To be a paid professional and miss the net when the opportunity arose, was totally unacceptable to Mike. Jarri sure didn't miss many either.

Avatar
#57 Spydyr
June 22 2014, 01:28PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Finlands answer to Mike Bossy, and the way they both felt about missing the net.

To be a paid professional and miss the net when the opportunity arose, was totally unacceptable to Mike. Jarri sure didn't miss many either.

Bossy had a slightly better shot but Kurri was far better defensively IMO.

Both gems without a doubt.

Avatar
#58 OiledStatGuy
June 22 2014, 01:38PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

LT, don't think this audience needs any more pessimism about screwing up at draft ;-) plus it's not like u.

e.g. HockeyNews Draft Preview says this about Nick Ritchie:

"He might have the best pro qualities of all kids in the draft but he doesn't show up every night, which is disappointing. If the light switch goes on, he's going to be a scary player. But if it doesn't..."

LT, we need more articles that help us look past the critique and nails the potential. With three consensus top picks we now need to risk for strategic pick.

They further write:

"One scout called him one of the toughest players in the draft. 'The term power forward' is overused in hockey, but it's not in this case,' said another scout. 'This kid is a power forward. He can impose his will on games and when he does, it's a scary thing to behold.'"

If you ranked a list of prospects over half dozen years with the size and skill set of power forwards you might have Ritchie at the top. If you do the same for skilled centers over a six yr time frame Sam/Sam/Leon might not make your too ten list.

Oil need to take Ritchie in consideration of the best of type over multi-year period. Corollary, Oil drafting in top ten next year may get someone comparable to Sam/Sam/Leon but they still might not find a Nick Ritchie.

It's a risk and scarcity issue, but it's time for a risk in a scarce big nasty power forward who can score. So glad LA won.

Avatar
#59 Danger Pay
June 22 2014, 01:41PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What a great picture. We are so blessed to have a youngster like Ryan Nugent Hopkins in our midst here. He rocks!

Goosfraba....

Serenity now...serenity now....serenity now....insanity later

Avatar
#60 Spydyr
June 22 2014, 02:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The full 2014-2015 NHL schedule is out:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=723369&cmpid=nhl-fb

Avatar
#61 Serious Gord
June 22 2014, 02:23PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
OilPain wrote:

Regarding the Oilers' recent failures, I'm just glad that the city of Edmonton has a professional hockey team. I feel as if Oilers fans often take the simplest things for granted, such as having a franchise in the first place.

Many years ago that was the case and thanks to the efforts of Gary bettman and many others EDM never lost the oil.

But for about a decade now EDM has been a top third team from a revenues standpoint in what is still a gate driven league.

Unless and until the league becomes popular enough in the US to become primarily an electronic media driven one that will remain the case.

And rather than being thankful for even existing, fans of the team should be unrelenting in demanding a top third team on the ice that would be commensurate to its top third revenue status.

Avatar
#62 Serious Gord
June 22 2014, 02:29PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

@Spydyr

And he stole from all of those series revenues - possibly over ten million. He facilitated collusion with wirtz on bobby Orr and burgled the NHLPA that you think he was so great to organize.

The guy was and is SCUM.

And that Bobby Clarke and others fraternize with him is a disgrace.

Avatar
#63 jeremy
June 22 2014, 02:34PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

@OiledStatGuy

You must be related to this kid. How does picking another winger help when we NEED CENTRES and D MEN simple IT DOES NOT.

Avatar
#64 Spydyr
June 22 2014, 02:58PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Serious Gord wrote:

And he stole from all of those series revenues - possibly over ten million. He facilitated collusion with wirtz on bobby Orr and burgled the NHLPA that you think he was so great to organize.

The guy was and is SCUM.

And that Bobby Clarke and others fraternize with him is a disgrace.

Not once did I say he was great and by no means am I defending him.I just said he was part of forming it.

He was a crook no doubt but he did do some good things for the game even if he stole while doing it.

Avatar
#65 OiledStatGuy
June 22 2014, 02:59PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Say you have foresight to realize that to win a first round series Oil have to compete against Kopitar, Getzlaf, or Thornton down the middle for foreseeable future.

So you concede on selection of Drysaddle as best chance. Even if he puts on weight, which he looks like he could, you are still going to lose the battle to those bug heavy studs - hmm wonder why those teams dominate.

To win that battle MacT is going to have to trade or sign UFA.

However, as early as next year, you could have the heaviest skilled goal scoring nasty guy in Pacific division. You get to the top by out gunning teams in different player types, not by playing second fiddle to them which we would with Leon.

No relation to Ritchie, and I've recognized and addressed that Oil are short a second line center and top two D. That is, we are even more in need of heavy skilled nasty players. Leon isn't nasty, sorry. Ekblad will be gone. The closest Oil have to this player by type is Moroz and he might some day make your fourth line. Great we'll need Moroz on fourth line, but we won't be getting a Ritchie - someone who can play up in lineup- via trade or free agency, sorry.

Avatar
#66 Fasteddy
June 22 2014, 03:12PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

@OiledStatGuy

Completely agree......I swear most people haven't watched Draisaitl play. He is not the answer in my opinion. My choice would be Reinhart , he's twice the player, if available, but I'd be more than happy with Bennett, Ritchie, or Dalcole. (I haven't seen them play live, but I've seen enough of Draisaitl to know he isn't the savior!)

Avatar
#67 SlowTalker
June 22 2014, 04:12PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Bossy had a slightly better shot but Kurri was far better defensively IMO.

Both gems without a doubt.

QSB, you and Spydyr are total Brüderlichkeit!

Avatar
#68 OiledStatGuy
June 22 2014, 04:46PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Say you have foresight to realize that to win a first round series Oil have to compete against Kopitar, Getzlaf, or Thornton down the middle for foreseeable future.

So you concede on selection of Drysaddle as best chance. Even if he puts on weight, which he looks like he could, you are still going to lose the battle to those bug heavy studs - hmm wonder why those teams dominate.

To win that battle MacT is going to have to trade or sign UFA.

However, as early as next year, you could have the heaviest skilled goal scoring nasty guy in Pacific division. You get to the top by out gunning teams in different player types, not by playing second fiddle to them which we would with Leon.

No relation to Ritchie, and I've recognized and addressed that Oil are short a second line center and top two D. That is, we are even more in need of heavy skilled nasty players. Leon isn't nasty, sorry. Ekblad will be gone. The closest Oil have to this player by type is Moroz and he might some day make your fourth line. Great we'll need Moroz on fourth line, but we won't be getting a Ritchie - someone who can play up in lineup- via trade or free agency, sorry.

Avatar
#69 OiledStatGuy
June 22 2014, 06:18PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@jeremy - How do we make case for Ritchie when we are in such handicapped place on centers and d?

Easy, it is the entire logic of BPA, and I'm just adding in by type.

Here's the test: has there been a previous OHL player that has bested Ritchie across all following categories: 6'3", 225 lbs, 39 goals, 135+ PIM? While playing on an average Pete's team without much help.

If not, we may be talking generational player by type of player.

Hall and Ritchie, one-two punch on left side that would be tough to beat for grit and scoring - going by NHLE goals in Pacific.

Perron and Yak can both play right. So you package two of them, Eberle and Gagner and you complete the BPA logic by trading for an Eric Staal type center. You close the gap between Oil and heavy Pacific div teams.

Avatar
#70 The Last Big Bear
June 22 2014, 09:06PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Anyone who's been paying attention to the Oilers during the Lowe era knows that this draft is going to come down to one thing:

Toe drags.

From Schremp to Gagner to Yakupov, the Oilers can always be relied upon to draft the kid with the best available toe drags.

After all, offence wins games, defence wins championships, but dynasties? Dynasties are built on toe drags.

Apparently.

Avatar
#71 The Soup Fascist
June 22 2014, 09:45PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

Anyone who's been paying attention to the Oilers during the Lowe era knows that this draft is going to come down to one thing:

Toe drags.

From Schremp to Gagner to Yakupov, the Oilers can always be relied upon to draft the kid with the best available toe drags.

After all, offence wins games, defence wins championships, but dynasties? Dynasties are built on toe drags.

Apparently.

Oilers should be drafting like Calgary. Unknown high schoolers putting up 150 points in a league equivalent to Midget B.

Glass houses my friend. Glass houses.

Safe to say there are not many tie drags in Nurse's arsenal. Maybe they are learning.

Avatar
#72 Serious Gord
June 22 2014, 10:42PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Not once did I say he was great and by no means am I defending him.I just said he was part of forming it.

He was a crook no doubt but he did do some good things for the game even if he stole while doing it.

And hitler facilitated building of the autobahn and the Volkswagen. He's still hitler.

Much of the good you say he did was actually done to line his pockets and shower him with glory whilst beggaring many of the players.

Avatar
#73 Joy S. Lee
June 23 2014, 07:28AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Pass.....floater.The Oilers have more than enough of them already.

Um, not sure which Gaborik you were watching in the playoffs. He was instrumental in their Cup win. No kudos for that, huh?

Avatar
#74 Joy S. Lee
June 23 2014, 07:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
jeremy wrote:

You must be related to this kid. How does picking another winger help when we NEED CENTRES and D MEN simple IT DOES NOT.

We DO need big wingers. We only need a D-man or two to plug holes until the kids arrive ready to play bigger roles on the D. You are correct in that most of all we need a center or two. But don't downplay the value of a banging, scoring winger with size. That would seriously help our mix. And if you only need one to precipitate a shift, would you be willing to go after the most prominent one available in the draft? (18-yrs old: 235 lbs.)

Jeremy, there is no need to knock OiledStatGuy's desire to fill another hole, we need to do that almost as much. It would be really nice if they could address all 3 elements of immediate need in the next few weeks. But I understand why this Ritchie kid is so enticing, and will bet he will go in the top 7 because of his upside/potential. Check out his Height/Weight #'s compared to the other prospects... and he's known to have skill. If I believed in the kid as a person, I might draft him higher, too. I don't think OilStatGuy is so far out of line here that he should be trashed for it, based on what might actually happen.

Avatar
#75 Joy S. Lee
June 23 2014, 08:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OiledStatGuy wrote:

Say you have foresight to realize that to win a first round series Oil have to compete against Kopitar, Getzlaf, or Thornton down the middle for foreseeable future.

So you concede on selection of Drysaddle as best chance. Even if he puts on weight, which he looks like he could, you are still going to lose the battle to those bug heavy studs - hmm wonder why those teams dominate.

To win that battle MacT is going to have to trade or sign UFA.

However, as early as next year, you could have the heaviest skilled goal scoring nasty guy in Pacific division. You get to the top by out gunning teams in different player types, not by playing second fiddle to them which we would with Leon.

No relation to Ritchie, and I've recognized and addressed that Oil are short a second line center and top two D. That is, we are even more in need of heavy skilled nasty players. Leon isn't nasty, sorry. Ekblad will be gone. The closest Oil have to this player by type is Moroz and he might some day make your fourth line. Great we'll need Moroz on fourth line, but we won't be getting a Ritchie - someone who can play up in lineup- via trade or free agency, sorry.

I'm not saying you are right... but I'm not like the others here who are so certain you are wrong, either.

It's a bit of a conundrum, but also a potential opportunity for the team. They really do need a center, first and foremost. But that huge, skilled winger would be so valuable as well... I would honestly be okay if we ended up trading down a few spots and selected Ritchie (with an eye toward Virtanen/Tuch as alternatives), so long as we somehow obtain a center who can play on the top two lines, and fairly immediately. In other words, pick the C at 3, and try to trade up somewhere 7 - 15 to select the large winger with skill, that may really be the most logical option... except MacT has already said they are in the phase of filling out their current roster, not taking away from it, so it's unlikely he'd obtain another high pick.

I'm getting to hate this patience thing we've got going here...

Avatar
#76 Zarny
June 24 2014, 09:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
michael wrote:

I believe it will be Eckblad-Draisatl-Rheinhart-Bennett and Ehlers as the top 5 picks.

I would be pleased as punch to get Rheinhart. I'll take brains over brawn everyday of the week.

Tyrion Lannister has outlived a Mountain,a Hand and a King.Why? Because the sob uses his head.

Brains pays. Brawn? Well lets just say not as much.

Tyrion has outlived all 3 because he's a fictitious character in a fantasy novel and that's what George R. R. Martin wanted.

GoT doesn't actually translate to real life let alone professional hockey.

Avatar
#77 Zarny
June 24 2014, 09:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@OiledStatGuy

Nick Ritchie is an interesting prospect. Maybe he's the next Milan Lucic. Of course, he could be the next Zack Kassian. There is no guarantee Ritchie's offense will translate to the NHL.

Avatar
#78 Zarny
June 24 2014, 09:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

Anyone who's been paying attention to the Oilers during the Lowe era knows that this draft is going to come down to one thing:

Toe drags.

From Schremp to Gagner to Yakupov, the Oilers can always be relied upon to draft the kid with the best available toe drags.

After all, offence wins games, defence wins championships, but dynasties? Dynasties are built on toe drags.

Apparently.

You know who else has a nifty toe drag?

Pavel Datsyuk. Claude Giroux. Sidney Crosby. Patrick Kane. Tyler Seguin. Evgeni Malkin.

Just to name a few.

FYI...Yakupov isn't a toe drag guy. Seldom tries it actually.

Comments are closed for this article.