slepy capture

Craig MacTavish has taken a lot of heat for his transactions in recent months—most fans can list off the errors in seconds. Far beyond the Nikitin, Purcell and Ference deals, way back in the woods among the depth moves, lies a fascinating trade with an amazing story to tell.


  • June 30, 2013—Oilers trade No. 37 overall to
    Los Angeles Kings. LAK use selection to draft Valentin Zykov. Oilers
    acquire selections 57, 88 and 96.
  • June 30, 2013—Oilers trade No. 57 overall to St.Louis Blues. STL use
    selection to draft William Carrier. Oilers acquire selections 83, 94
    and 113.

So, bottom line is this:

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  • Edmonton traded Valentin Zykov to Los Angeles for Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer and Aidan Muir.


  • Draft Day Scouting Report from Chris Bordeleau of Central Scouting:
    “He’s an unbelievable talent; scores the big goals. He’s going to be
    special. Great skater, strong kid. Really a solid kid. He goes into the
    corner and comes out with the puck. He has great hands, can shoot the
    puck, passes the puck, does everything well.”

Zykov looks like a terrific pro prospect and has three goals in his first five AHL games. The Kings are high on his future, his skill set and his work ethic.

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  • Kings Development Coach Mike O’Connell: “He’s a great student. He’s a great teammate, and he takes it very seriously.
    Everything we do, every rep in everything he does, he tries his hardest.
    He’s going to be fine. He’s a good player. His work ethic and his
    attention … he applies himself every time he’s on that ice and that’s
    going to take him a long way.” Source

The article linked to also suggests that he has the ‘power-forward tools’ to get fast-tracked to the NHL in a way that could be similar to Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. That puts the ETA at 21 or 22 for Zykov if he develops as the Kings are hoping. The NHL equivalency (using the Vollman) from his final junior season in 2014-15 is 82GP, 11-12-23 .280. He’s an excellent prospect.


Anton Slepyshev isn’t the first player from the trade to make the NHL, but he’s played in seven games now and has an assist. His NHLE from last year (82GP, 17-11-28 .341) exceeds Zykov’s and the PF
claim would appear to be as legit as the case being made for the LAK
prospect. A bigger player than the numbers implied, Oilers fans have seen him for over a month now and we have an idea about this player. Interesting to look back on his draft day scouting report. 

  • Corey Pronman: He is an above-average skater, with agility and free movement, as
    his shiftiness makes him hard to check. He has a plus shot and he knows
    it, as his mentality is often shoot-first, even from distance. He can
    still make plays, and he does not have tunnel vision, but his playmaking
    skills are not his best element. His physical game has progressed, and
    he has added strength since last season. He can protect pucks moderately
    well. He will display physical effort, although it could be better at
    times. He also needs to work on his defensive game.


Yakimov got to the NHL before any of the other men involved in this trade and there’s every chance he’s going to have a solid pro career. A big train with some skill, Yakimov’s NHLE from last season (82GP, 10-13-23 .280) matches Zykov’s projection. Shy of speed compared to the LAK prospect, Yakimov is a tower and far closer to what we consider to be the classic PF prospect. 6.05, 232 according to the AHL site, Yakimov is 6GP, 1-1-2 for the Condors.

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  • Corey Pronman on draft day: He is a big center, measuring in at about 6’5″. He may not have the
    top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and
    he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he
    can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone,
    he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey
    sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions
    himself effectively. As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could
    use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still,
    he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will
    drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his
    skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps
    are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to
    progress in that area


Platzer has come from a long way back since draft day, as he wasn’t a regular in the OHL at the time of the draft in 2013. What a difference a couple of years makes—his NHLE last season (82GP, 12-17-29 .353) ranked No. 1 among all players involved in the deal.

  • Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: Platzer may not be huge (pushing 5’11), but he’s a
    skilled player who also can provide energy and persistence away from
    the puck. You might notice Platzer outworking opposing defenses along
    the boards, or beating them to loose pucks, but he’s also clearly a very
    intelligent offensive player who is capable of putting up higher point
    totals. He did lead his Waterloo GOJHL team in scoring as a 16 year old
    in 2012. The one thing I admire about London is their ability to make
    younger players work hard to stay in the line-up. Ice time is earned,
    not given. And Platzer earned every second of time he received this

Platzer reminds me of Kyle Brodziak in his approach to the game, and that’s a compliment. It’s easy to look at a player like this and point out a lack of one clear strength in the skill set, but the range of Platzer’s overall ability may be the key to his eventual success. He is 6GP, 0-2-2 so far in Bakersfield.

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Jackson Houck was not signed by the Oilers and is back in the WHL for his final year. Edmonton has no claim to him, so Houck’s presence on the original deal is merely a curio—no longer a major item in evaluating the deal. One other player, Aidan Muir, is in college and may eventually become an Oiler. He is an active part of the trade but a less substantial part of it at this time.


  1. R Anton Slepyshev 7GP, 0-1-1 (NHL)
  2. F Valentin Zykov 5GP, 3-0-3 (AHL)
  3. C Bogdan Yakimov 6GP, 1-1-2 (AHL)
  4. C Kyle Platzer 6GP, 0-2-2 (AHL)
  5. F Aidan Muir 5GP, 1-0-1 (NCAA)


If you look at the actual trade, Craig MacTavish made out like a bandit. The three Oilers prospects playing pro hockey (Slepyshev, Yakimov, Platzer) are all on par (or higher) compared to Zykov. The LAK’s prospect being called a power forward (AHL site lists him at 6.0, 209) seems a little hopeful but his 12 shots in five games suggests we may be looking at an interesting offensive player.

MacT won this deal based on what we know today. Agree?

  • Serious Gord

    Ridiculous discussion on the face of it.

    No way to guarantee that EDM would have drafted the same player as LA did not that la would have picked the players EDM did.

    Regardless of that we are talking kid second round picks or later – none of whom will likely ever see consistent third line minutes.

    Making out like a bandit maybe. But on a Lilliputian scale. And thus it does almost nothing to offset the dreadful mistakes Mact/klowe made in so many other far more important areas.

    • Serious Gord

      MacT and KBlowe have done so much damage to the Oilers its almost beyond repair.

      MacT, in two years as GM, made so many mind-numbingly bad decision, his hockey IQ needs to seriously questioned. KLowe, MacT and their drones (Howson, Semenko etc) drove this once proud franchise into the ground, and their arrogance and overconfidence, in the face of perpetual failure, is hard to fathom.

      Good riddance – the fanbase owes them nothing.

      • Canoe Ride 27.1

        Actually, without Lowe, we’d likely have no Oilers. He stood on his head to maintain the franchise, and as far as his hockey IQ and creds, he’s always been respected internationally and within the league, both as a player, and management. He made one small regrettable comment to media about “tiered” fans, and many insecure band-wagoners got their panties in a tangle.

        As for MacT – no one loves hockey or this team more than he; he bleeds the team colours, and as far as a player, coach and manager – he did pretty well.

        Until we got McD, no one wanted to come to Edmonton – including players and high level coaches. With few tradeable assets outside of our best players, it’s been a slog; Took a chance on shoring up D and goal, but didn’t pan out ideally.

        It’s a tough world and a tough league; easy for armchair GMs to make the call from their iPad – quite another story in the real world…!

        • For Pete's Sake!

          Actually it was Cal Nichols and the ownership group that saved the Oilers, not Klowe.

          I’ll grant you that Klowe was a better GM than Tambellini and MacT but that’s not saying much. And he’s the guy that hired those two incompetents.

          As for saying it was a “tough slog” for poor MacT and it’s tough to be successful in this league.

          What a load of crap! Why were 29 other GM’s in the NHL more successful than these guys in the last 10 years??

          • The Oilers Shot Clock


            Pretty simple really and already well documented. We havent had a hit in the second round in forever. The later rounds are just as bad. Cumulative poor drafting and poor development sunk this team more than any decision one man made at any given time.

            The second reason and more underlying one is Cronyism. Thats on Katz. MacT should have never been hired to begin with.

          • camdog

            Simple – more desirable destinations, and a willingness to move a few spots up the standings by leveraging tradeable assets;

            Taking the top picks that we did wasn’t really controversial at the time, but in retrospect picking for need rather than picking the best might have served better; so not exactly building D/goal/middle out…

            As well, there has been a progression in NHL style of play (some might say regression); the highly entertaining free-wheeling days of hockey have been replaced to a large degree by stifling defensive -heavy systems play that locks down the middle of the ice and results in a lot of dump and chase by big-bodied forwards that play a heavy style of hockey but lack finesse.

            So, we ended up with a talented and skilled group of forwards, not overly big, that are exciting to watch, but have yet to master their blocky opponents;

            I, for one, am glad we kept the “core”, as these guys, including Schultz, will allow for a level of elite unmatched by other teams, once some of the fundamental pieces are shored up. We’ve got the goalie in Talbot who, according to Slats, “Kevin and Craig” had been hounding him about for “years”, and the D will be there soon. Once Nurse and maybe one more piece are on board, and with Ebs back, we’re looking pretty Damned good. Most of this was already in place before new mgmt, and as we’ve seen with Gryba, Korpiksoki and Sekera, it’s not always easy to acquire the supporting pieces that will turn the team around.

        • AJ88

          Shocking to see somebody that speaks some sense. Way too many “armchair critics” that have 20/20 vision after the fact and basically do not know what has happened in the war room. I have not heard much from ON about the Klefbom signing, what if he turns south, I am sure A number of ON armchair critics will be out in full force saying what a brutal signing it was.

          Saying that and what we have seen so far, it is most likely when players are available the Oilers will be trading for a strong veteran Dman to teach the up and comers… I am sure there will be unhappy ON posters when Yak may be the one traded.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            Wow! Aren’t you the clever one? Trading Yak for a strong veteran Dman? Not even a top pairing Dman.

            Sounds like something Klowe and MacT would do. That’s the kind of thinking that got us Belov, Ferrence, Nikitin, Fayne….

            So what are you saying here AJ88? That Klowe and the boys are beyond critism? Wow!

          • AJ88

            So tell me what do you think of the Klefbom signing so I know that you have 20/20 vision right now. And who said the strong veteran Dman is not a top 2 Dman? Typical ON armchair critic with after the fact 20/20 vision.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      The Oilers are 3 and 7 before October is even over, working their way out of contention for a playoff spot at a faster pace than usual and all you can find to talk about is a possible win on some obscure draft day trade by McT from several years ago??

      I’m sorry but I have to agree with Serious Gord. This article is ridiculous.

      Or is there an odour of sarcasm in it?

  • Soiled Trousers

    So MacT traded some low end players for some slightly better low end players. Whoop-De-Do. MacT was an absolute bum as a GM. Between himself and Lowe their culture of cronyism and complete disdain for the fans has left this team in the dumpster. The Oilers might recover from the shambles of the boys on the bus era but it won’t happen anytime soon. The Oilers are going to tie the record for consecutive years out of the playoffs. By any kind of objective appraisal the Lowe/MacT era has to be considered an abject abomination. The fact that they still work for the Oilers is salt in an already festering wound.

  • Shit bitch cunt fuck

    LT, where do you predict Sleppy goes from here? Does he go down to AHL? Will he continue to adapt to NHL level and see his time on ice increase?

    I believe original thoughts were some strength and a touch of offense to Landers line. Has Korpikowski unseated him? Iiro?

    • For Pete's Sake!

      Hard to argue with that.

      Trading high draft picks for players with low percentage of major NHL success is a crap shoot. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      Good value trades of substance have not part of managements resume.

    • Makaveli

      What did Pakarinen ever do to you to deserve such treatment? Lander and Korpikoski are dreadful. I doubt McLennan has any faith left in Lander as he turns in weak game after weak game. Pakarinen has potential that I don’t think has any chance playing with Lander. I think Lander is destined for Europe maybe as early as next season.

  • Fuzzy

    What happened the person who always says to wait 5 years after a draft before evaluating a pick/picks?

    MacT was going to pick Zac Fucale. So no, one probably shouldn’t give him credit for somebody else saving him from another blunder, liked he was saved from the Clarkson blunder.

    Too bad nobody saved MacT from his Petry blunder, from his Ference blunder, from his Purcell blunder, from his Nikitin blunder, from his Eakins blunder, from his Dubnyk blunder.

  • camdog

    Here I go defending MacT: Oilers Mgt did exactly what they said they’d do: suck until they stockpiled assets to have a go. It took forever but when you are starting out with a 30th place team that had no farm team; almost nothing in any minor league system; a new arena project that took forever; a new owner that took over in a hostile bid; an inexperienced owner that knew nothing about the above; ETC – what do you expect??? MacTavish was not the problem. Everything leading to MacT was the issue, no different than Paul Martin taking over as PM of Canada after Chretien & the Sponsorship scandal. He was set up to fail, miserably. If you recall what the HNIC crew said after the Oilers missed the playoffs in 2007, Ron McLean tried to get off the topic that was railing on the Oilers “The issues in Edmonton are deep and it’s going to take years to rectify”. Guess what? A decade later to fix having no minor league team, no system, no arena, no owners, recovering from Slats leaving, new owners, etc, etc. And 10 years later the system has corrected. Yes, it does take that long to recover from the above.

    • Danglishish

      All of what you say may be true, to a point. But it doesn’t explain away decisions like Nikitin, Schultz and Petry.

      I 100% agree this is going to take time, but to suggest that MacT was dealt a bad hand and did what we should have expected is misleading. His decision-making added to the problem – it didn’t move us in the right direction as you seem to be suggesting.

      • Derian Hatcher

        When the engine is flipped off the tracks, the train moves not. MacT was smart enough to take the paycheck but not smart enough to avoid getting on a train wreck after it had already happened even though the owner & president were sure that the train was still moving. Who’s most culpable? We’d all agree. 🙂

    • Danglishish

      all the above all day PLUS….I believe it is very clear that sometime 3 or so years ago in the boardroom on Kingsway the question was asked….how can we secure the least obvious and best route to draft McDavid…..enter Eakins and all the past 3 years makes more sense now doesn’t it !!

  • Makaveli

    A little premature to evaluate this trade?

    I think out of all the players in this deal there will be about 100 combined NHL games that will be played. Nothing to get too excited about.

    I get trying to swing ON comments back to positivity, but only wins will do that and unfortunately they will not be consitently coming for a while.

  • ubermiguel

    Great move, I called it “stocking the cupboards” at the time. At worst you fill some ECHL/AHL spots with young blood, at best some of those picks turn into bottom-6 NHL players. Even at pick #37 it’a a gamble and you’d be lucky if they turn out, I liked the multiple lottery ticket idea MacT executed.

    • Lowe But Now High Expectations

      That’s the first thought I had. So the Oilers traded one marginal NHL player for three marginal NHL players. No wonder we’re screwed.

  • Spydyr

    My lasting impression of Mac-T …..Horcoff belongs on Canada’s Olympic team. Schultz has Norris potential.


  • camdog

    What a ridiculous post!
    Who cares what MacTavish did in his complicated manipulations to maximize prospects in the system.
    Evident that all the players he did get have almost zero impact on the Oilers actually winning an NHL games. So the entire exercise was futile.
    It would have been more constructive to review what he didn’t do when he could have.
    Like not offer Gagner a contract. Like not hiring Eakins. Trading Jultz in the first summer he took over. Like nurturing Petry. Like actually getting something for Smid instead of assets that have no impact on the NHL roster. Missed the insight on just how limited RNH is , only to pay him $6mm.

    For someone committed to bold moves, he only made bold blunders.

    Worst of all, he never improved the Oilers defense. Not one move actually improved that position.

    Worst he left a legacy that Chiarelli inherits,and uses to justify his own dithering.

    Why not call him out as one of the destructors of this team.

    I mean contemplate the enormity of it. The Oilers have a generational player and not any better. Worse actually.

    That is where the rage should be directed.
    Not dissecting a deal of low impact to actual NHL results.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    Leaders should be measured by what they do……..but also what they fail to do.

    MacT had a chance to sign one of our most productive defencemen, ( Petry) and failed to do so. Instead he went and found an aging, small, slow defenceman and signed him to a masssive deal………Ference is a leader but terrible at hockey.

    Most GM’s would have been fired over this deal, but not MacT.

    Really sad!

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    Thanks for getting ON to rehash MacT hate LT.

    Maybe we could do a story on the top 100 reasons to hate MacT and role it out weekly?

    Or we could move on.

  • Spiel

    Very hard to evaluate as that draft was only two years ago.
    If you want to be fair, why not look at who the Oilers COULD have taken with that 37th overall pick instead of who the Kings picked.
    Let’s suppose the Oilers made no trades and kept the 37th overall pick.
    Nic Petan and Madison Bowey jump out as two premium prospects that were drafted after 37th and before 56th. Bowey is considered the Capitals best prospect and was right there with Nurse at the world juniors. I’d say those two players are better than any of or the combination of Yakimov, Slepyshev, Platzer, Muir or Houck. The fact that those players of that ability were there with the 37th pick and the Oilers chose to trade out of the pick says something of the Oilers evaluation process.

    Now let’s suppose the Oilers had kept the 57th overall pick. The pick they traded for the choices to select Yakimov, Houck, and Muir. The Oilers could have taken the likes of Eric Comrie (selected 59th) or Anthony Duclair (80th) with that pick. Wouldn’t Comrie look pretty good in an Oilers system that could use goaltending depth? Not sure Duclair would have been picked, but he is a player that was available and would be better than the 3 players selected by the Oilers.

    The article ignores the glaring error of drafting Marco Roy with the 56th overall pick.
    Also, no mention is made of Slepyshev being a full year older than Zykov – it makes a difference.

    The point is that the Oilers did not make out like bandits in 2013. They went in to that draft with 3 picks in the top 60, and ended with one player (Nurse) who looks like he could be more than a marginal NHL player.
    Even if the Oilers still wasted the pick on Marco Roy, they could have selected Bowey and had a Nurse/Bowey future d-pair (wow!) or selected Nic Petan and have another top 6 forward in the system. That is much better than Nurse with combination of fringe prospects.

  • Derian Hatcher

    Slepyshev, has had his look see. Not impressed,
    but stil a young guy.

    He needs to be in the AHL, full season!. He is not getting experience in the NHL playing 8 minutes a game.

    Apparently he has a big shot, havn’t seen it. Only has 5 shots in 8 games, so hard to tell.

    Someone said he is a physical player ??????

    PS; He had some shifts with the big guys up front, didn’t show much.

  • Serious Gord


    It is not “the trade” it is “a” trade.

    Oilers fans know what “The trade” was. And many are still needing professional counselling as a result.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    You know what would be interesting?, and maybes its already been done. A comparison of everyone we’ve drafted in the first 4 rounds going back ten years to the highest ranking player still available on Bob Mackenzie’s list for that year.

  • Derian Hatcher

    ” I would, uh, I think it’s safe to say that half the general manager’s in the National Hockey League would trade their roster for our roster right now”

    – KLOWE April 2013

    “The potential there is absolutely in that group [with Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang]. I think that Justin has Norris Trophy potential and I don’t think that there are too many people who would disagree with me in that regard.”

    MacT – Aug 2014

    They wouldn’t say these things if they didn’t believe it. No one is saying they aren’t nice guys or haven’t done a lot in this community, but their competence (or lack thereof) as hockey executives is there for all to see.

    Free to have your opinions, but facts are facts…records are records – there for all to see.

    It’s obvious to most.

  • AJ88

    When it comes to the draft, I think quality wins over quantity.

    Basically, its too early to tell now. If Zykov is a top six player and Sleppy, Yak2 and Platzer never break into the top six, then LA wins the trade. Right now but comes down to Sleppy vs Zykov and you can’t call a winner on that yet.

  • AJ88

    You can put as much lipstick on this pig as you want to, the fact remains MacT is a loser. The only reason he is still on the payroll is that he is a friend of Kim Kong Lowe.

  • camdog

    The last thing Oiler fans need to do is start looking at ex Oiler draft picks playing in other teams systems, Tyler Myers, Ivan Barbashev, Valentin Zykov and the kids in the Reinhart deal.

  • Spiel

    Lets talk about Petry and Dubnyk or the poor scouting beyond the first pick or the revolving coaching door or……OMG instead of speculation on some trade where none of these players may play more than 50 games in NHL…..