The Oilers, Minus Trades

2009 NHL Entry Draft, First Round

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

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

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

Centre

Edmonton Oilers v Nashville Predators

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

Wing

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs

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

Defence

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

Goal

  • Jeff Deslauriers
  • Devan Dubnyk

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

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

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

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

  • I think Lupul & O’Sullivan are fair comparables to a point. If I’m not mistaken, O’Sullivan was ranked much higher (supposed to be a late 1st rounder IIRC) but fell a bit on draft day… I think some questioned his character & attitude, not to mention the whole daddy thing. I’ve still got The Hockey News pre-draft issue from that year (and the past 17 years). I’m in the process of moving so I don’t have it directly in front of me now, but I’m going to make a point of seeing what they had to say about O’Sullivan. He did score 40 in his draft year.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Ah, someone else that follows the NHL as a whole. Do you remember the buzz around O’sully coming out of LA during his 22G/53p season?

  • What does playing in the world juniors have to do with anything?

    Seguin will most likely never see that tournament yet he has a 50/50 shot at going number one overall.

    AS for the O’Sullivan-Lupul thing, I think back to expectations when each player arrived, and any claims that anyone thought O’Sullivan was expected to do as much as Lupul are ridiculous.

    Lupul comes to town and we heard, “Great pick-up, potential future star”

    O’Sullivan comes to town and we heard, “Hey, not bad considering we were going to lose Cole for nothing.”

    Regardless of their numbers, Lupul was much more highly regarded than O’Sullivan. At this point though who wants either one?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      ” AS for the O’Sullivan-Lupul thing, I think back to expectations when each player arrived, and any claims that anyone thought O’Sullivan was expected to do as much as Lupul are ridiculous.

      Lupul comes to town and we heard, “Great pick-up, potential future star” ”

      I think alot of that was an overhyping of Lupul because he was the center piece of the Pronger trade.

      On the flip side, a little bit of the luster off O’sully had worn off by the time he got here becaus of his contract dispute (which elevated some character concerns) and because his numbers had tailed off a bit from the year before.

      Anyways, the point was to illustrate the hypocrisy between chastising the team for being impatient with one young player (for dumping him after 80 games) while at the same time calling for the team to dump another young player after 100 games.

      • If you are truly unable to spot the difference between Lupul and O’Sullivan then you have a serious problem.

        You are simplifying the issue way too much. You are completely ignoring the fact that one player is significantly better and always has been considered a better prospect.

        You are asking me to treat one diminutive underachieving late second rounder the same as a former 7th overall pick that was coming off of a 28 goal season.

        I’m sorry, but your claim that I’m being a hypocrite is based solely on your complete disregard for the pedigree and production of the players in question

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          One of the few guys here that follows the league outside of their Edmonton bubble see’s enough similarity to draw a resonable comparison between the two.

          That’s good enough for me.

      • Do you honestly know a single person whose expectations were tempered by O’Sullivan’s contract situation? Come On.

        Your point is dependent on the two young players in question having similar expectations. Dumping a struggling young player considered to have significant potential is not the same as dumping a young player whose potential has likely been met. It doesn’t matter if you agree about this…when it comes to Arch wanting to keep one and ship the other it only matters that this is Arch’s opinion.

        You can’t call someone a hypocrite based on his evaluations of different players. You clearly disagree on the relative values and potential of the two players, but his stance is based on his view of the players.

        It would only be hypocrisy if YOU wanted to keep one and lose the other, because YOU are the one who seems to think they are similar players. Based on his evaluation of the two his position makes perfect sense.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          I would guess that LA’s managment’s expectations of him were temperd based on their contract situation. From what I’ve heard/read the negotiations didn’t go well and character issues became more prominent.

          As for the hypocrisy statement, I quoted post 56 and was specifically looking at the following statement:

          “Maybe 1 season of struggles isnt enough to dump young players.” which doesn’t distinguish between which level of young player.

  • White Copper and Blue 99

    If we had these guys it would be pretty good, Goal would be much better. D would need some trades. Hey! You guys should make like an all-star team of current NHLers who have played for the Oilers at one point in their careers. That would be awesome, Roloson, Pronger, and all those other stars!