Tracking 2010

It takes years to properly evaluate a specific draft year. However, we can count the arrows (good and bad) for each player in a specific draft and the 2010 Oilers entry draft is tracking extremely well. We’ve discussed Taylor Hall, Martin Marincin and Curtis Hamilton in past weeks, and in the last 7 days Ryan Martindale has joined the party.

The last entry draft for the Oilers that we can safely close the books on is 2002. Jarrett Stoll and Matt Greene are solid NHL players and Jeff Deslauriers is still trying to establish himself. The other 12 players selected by Kevin Prendergast and the scouting department include a couple of interesting items (including Jesse Niinimaki–he’s posting some good numbers in Finland and I wouldn’t rule out an NHL team giving him a shot) but we can probably make the call on the 2002 draft. However, from 2003 through 2010 there are too many variables, too many pages unwritten for any kind of conclusion to be drawn at this point in time.

We can say that the 2010 entry draft is tracking like a lion.

  • 1st overall: Taylor Hall. 9gp, 2-3-5 in the toughest league in the world, and sky’s the limit. Watching a first overall pick play his first NHL season is a unique experience–it’s equal parts worry and anticipation–and I think this fellow is going to do some amazing things  in the next few seasons.
  • 31st overall: Tyler Pitlick. 9gp, 3-7-10 in the WHL with Medicine Hat. Pitlick received a suspension this week (3 games) for a kneeing infraction against Nathan Deck of Prine Albert. Deck will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks because of the injury (torn MCL).
  • 46th overall: Martin Marincin. If you watched Oil Change in the last 10 days, then you know that the organization seriously considered taking this player at 31st overall. The Magnificent Bastard said "we need defensemen" and it looks like the scouting department hit an early home run here. 16gp, 7-11-18 with Prince George puts him in a tie for 21st overall in league scoring. He went 3gp, 1-2-3 -1 this past week.
  • 48th overall: Curtis Hamilton. 14gp, 6-10-16 with Saskatoon Blades. Hamilton’s offense has dried up in the last 10 days (he was 7gp, 3-7-10 in the season’s first two weeks) but he’s in the top 10 plus minus and the big item for this player is health. Hamilton has played in all of the Blades games.
  • 61st overall: Ryan Martindale. The Ottawa 67 center had a strong week (4gp, 3-4-7 +4) and now ranks 11th in OHL scoring (16gp, 8-12-20). He’s 2-5-7 on the PP.
  • 91st overall: Jeremie Blain. 2gp, 0-1-1 for Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL). Titian GM Sylvain Couturier: "Blain is a key player for us and he’s only played two games so far." Injury is a major prospect killer, and this young man is losing key development time.
  • 121st overall: G Tyler Bunz. 7gp, 2.99 .897SP for Medicine Hat. His SP ranks him 19th in the WHL, although his GAA puts him higher (13th). The other goalie (the incredibly named Deven Dubyk) has a .923SP so Bunz numbers don’t stand out all things considered.
  • 162nd overall: D Brandon Davidson. 15gp, 1-8-9 with Regina (WHL). 3gp, 0-1-1 +2 this past week, as his team seems to be settling down a little after a monstrous start. Hard to evaluate at this early juncture, but he’s putting up points and is certainly one of the team’s top defenders.
  • 166th overall: L Drew Czerwanka. 15gp, 5-4-9 for Kootenay (WHL). 4gp, 1-2-3 -2 this week, he’s now surpassed his goal scoring total from one year ago (4 in 54go). An interesting prospect, hard to get a complete read on him when browsing his scoring lines in the WHL.
  • 181st overall: C Kristians Pelss. 14gp, 1-1-2 with the Oil Kings (WHL). A quiet week (zip in 3gp) and he hasn’t hit the scoresheet since October 9th. It’s important to remember that players drafted at this point (181st overall) are extreme longshots to play in the NHL. The Oilers scouting department saw something in him, and there’s almost always an adjustment period for these kids (Pelss was in Belarus a year ago). His 2nd half could be much better.
  • 202nd overall: L Kellen Jones. 6gp, 3-3-6 with Quinnipiac (NCAA). 20-year old leads his team in scoring and is having an immediate impact. There’s a quick story on Jones and his brother here.

Although we’re just 4 months beyond the draft, there’s already some strong tells among the group. Taylor Hall looks capable of playing at the NHL level, Marincin is dominant in the WHL, Hamilton, Pitlick and Martindale are also doing good things in the CHL. Blain’s injury and Bunz average play are the first bumps on the draft list, but Davidson and Czerwonka make the later rounds interesting. Pelss and Jones are "draft and follow" types that we’ll be watching with interest years down the road.

That 2002 entry draft gave the Oilers two solid NHL players (Stoll, Greene) and a perennial goaltender prospect in JDD. The 2010 draft needs about 8 years to give us the same kind of focus, but we can say with some confidence that the kids drafted in the top 70 are tracking well out of the box.

  • Peckham looks like he may be able to play the role that Greene once did.

    Those numbers for Marincin seem incredible for a WHL defenceman and it will be very interesting to see how he progresses as it appears that defenceman too are able to step in and play at a younger age then in the past and boy was MBS right about what the Oilers need.

  • Lowetide

    Wow, when its all laid out like this, its crazy to see how much they love the Dub, lota players over there right now.

    I think we can honestly say that this is the best draft year weve have in many many years, the top 3-4 look to have a good chance at NHL time, and all but the last 2 will most likely spend a few seasons on the farm at the very least.

  • Alex87

    LT – if you’re Renney/Tambellini do you put Marincin in the AHL next year, or do you send him back to junior for another year? He looks like he’s more than up to the challenge of the dub and he could technically be playing in the AHL already.

  • Lowetide

    Alex87: AHL for sure. Why not? I’m believe that you elevate prospects to the next level as soon as they’re ready. MBS suggested he might put the kid in the AHL right after the Oilers drafted him, then back tracked a little after Prince George drafted him.

    But he’s 2nd in rookie scoring and is tied for the lead among defensemen!!! I’d send him to Okla City next fall.

  • Alex87

    Hello, LT. I’m a longtime listener and first-time caller.

    Other people on other websites have differing opinions. Should they be considered?

    Have a nice Sunday,


  • Lowetide

    I had an opportunity to see the Oil Kings play both Prince George and Medicine Hat, and all three of Marinicin, Pitlick and Bunz looked like real solid prospects. Marincin in particular looked astonishingly composed and accomplished for a guy playing one of his first games on this side of the pond (this was three weeks ago). I was initially pretty surprised when he went #1 overall in the CHL Import Draft but he sure looks to be covering the bet and then some.

  • Lowetide

    Bruce: I’ve talked to a few people who know a little about the WHL and he certainly stands out at that level. It’ll be interesting to see if he can sustain this kind of offensive output over an entire year.

    Dan the Man: Thanks. They’re fun to do.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      From 2000 to 2005 (probably too early to judge classes later then that) 6 of the 50 top 10 picks have turned into what I would call “#1C/#1D”.

      So 12%.

      What’s inexcusable is not realizing the rarity of the the above happening.

    • Steve Smith

      So let’s say the BPA when the Oilers pick is “Bob”, a winger, but the Oilers instead take the best defenseman available, “Joe”. Are you really going to be sanguine about watching Bob light it up for another team because you happened to have a round hole into which Joe was the better fit?

      If a team has a good enough base of great players at any position, free agents will be willing to sign there to fill in the gaps. It’s convenient when the BPA happens to fill a positional need, but you can’t pass up a better player because of what you think your positional needs might be four years down the road, when the draft pick can be expected to contribute at the NHL level.

    • Ryan14

      I wish, instead of Eberle, the Oilers drafted Daulten Leuville, or Peter Holland instead of MP. Stu really pooped the bed when he drafted those 2. I mean look at Leuville and Holland. 2 of the best young centers in the game right now.

      You are really starting to look like a fool on these boards. Your disdain for Hall is making you look like you have no hockey intelligence whatsoever. 1st round pick does not equal first line, starting goalie, #1 d-man.

      If you educated yourself, you probably wouldn’t be so full of hate.

    • C-DOG

      You are partially right, at 10 & 22 you have to take BPA, but at 1 & 2 when they are that close and you you already have Eberle/Paajarvi/Hemsky etc… & what Boston would of given up for passing on Hall, it should of been a no brainer. Seguin’s doing a lot in a 3rd line role & at 18 is 51% on the dot. Remember this has never been a referendom on Hall, he’s great and will put up 90 points/year. It’s just not what we need and Stu loved Seguin anyways.

      If people were listening closely to Brownlee, it was obvious Stu liked Seguin, but the influence from some scouts/Lowe/Tambilini helped change his mind, and on Oil change Stu suggested that.

      This is not on Stu, his job is to tell mngmt who are the BPA, then it’s up to Tamb/Lowe to mix the proper ingredients together, this isn’t the NBA were you put the 2-3 best superstars, it’s more like the NFL were you need to be strong all over the place,no one plays half the game.

      Long live the “MB”. He’s are only hope.

      • Ryan14

        Seguin is 4th on Boston for face-offs taken and is below 50% away from home. He is a benefactor of taking face-offs against the oppositions weaker center men. Not really awe inspiring.

        • C-DOG

          He’s barely below 50% on the road and you don’t know the %’s of his opposition , either way great for an 18 year old, Crosby was low 40% in his 18 year old season, now he’s one of the best. Very awe inspiring! How are our 21,23 30 year old faceoff men doing….ah…..ah exactly.

          • Ryan14

            Crosby also played against top level talent his entire career.

            Seguin is at a 6% discrepancy between home and away percentages. That is petty significant.

            I would say our 21 year old face off man is doing pretty damn good considering he is playing against some of the best opposition. Our 23 year old should be traded for a multitude of reasons and our 30 year old is average.

            It’s been 9 games into seguins NHL career and your acting as if his career has been written in stone. Wait until he is no longer a third liner before you start comparing him to Crosby

          • C-DOG

            I like how you make it look like I said he would be as good as Crosby when I was only talking about faceoffs, and yes 54% to 48% for an 18 YEAR OLD is a petty discrepancy.

            Barring injury or disaster it is written in stone that he will be an elite 1st line centre.

            Imagine him between Paajarvi and Eberle in a few years, WOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! He would be a 90-100 point player.

            Start hunting for crow my friend.

  • Lowetide

    It seems like every year Stu out does himself. I can’t wait to see what he can pull of next draft.

    Marincin is the guy making this draft class truly shine right now. Great job by the scouting staff identifying him and good on Tambellini for getting a deal done. Nash who?

    • Lowetide

      OF: I was and am a big time Nash fan, but that trade looks fabulous at this early juncture. Nash is 10gp, 0-2-2 with Charlotte (AHL) and was pointless his first 8gp.

      • Ducey

        Oh, I was a huge fan of Nash while he was here. I thought he would be a staple on the third line for many a year and was actually pretty upset at the trade when it went down. Something about trading a #22 for a #46 didn’t sit right, and I was hoping the Oilers would try to make amends with Nash, but I’ve definitely changed my tune on the trade in recent times.

        With Pitlick, Lander, Hamilton, etc. in the system, the Oilers still have a bunch of 2-way potential for the bottom six, and Marincin has been fantastic. His early success got me thinking, and I’m starting to come around to the opinion that trading into the second to grab defensemen is overall a great bet.

        Let’s look at some defensemen taken in the 2nd in recent years:

        2004- Nicklas Grossman (56), Alex Goligoski (61)
        2003- Kevin Klein (37), Matt Carle (47), Shea Weber (49)
        2002- Trevor Daley (43), Matt Greene (44), Duncan Keith (54), Johnny Boychuk (61)
        2001- Fedor Tyutin (40),
        2000- Nick Schultz (33), Paul Martin (62)
        1999- Mike Commodore (42), Jordan Leopold (44)

        As you can see, every year there’s at least some quality on the blue in the second, and it’s possible to hit a huge home run. For all the guys who turn out, there are also plenty more great prospects who don’t. If the Oil like a D in the 2nd, by all means make a trade and get him. There’s a pretty decent chance it’ll work out wonderfully.

  • Lowetide

    LT: The blue definitely needs some work. A couple more careful moves like the Marincin one could go a long way towards fixing that though. Adam Larsson certainly shouldn’t hurt either 🙂

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    From a Brownlee blog, June 25th:

    “I came to the conclusion about three weeks ago that it was Taylor,” said MacGregor. “I felt very comfortable with that . . . all the information came together and it was really comfortable for me. Our staff was strong on Taylor. I hadn’t told any of the guys where I stood, then I laid it out today”

    Nice try Shadi :0

    • It seemed to me from the 2nd installment of Oil Change that Stu looked pretty torn to say Taylor Hall’s name. I’m not saying that he didnt actually change his mind to Hall, but it was obviously a tough decision.

      He did credit the Mem-Cup and his scouts for changing his mind last minute.

        • C-DOG

          What would you expect him to say, “I disagree with Tambi and he twisted my arm”. He initialy wanted Hall, but after watching both players carefully his instincts said Seguin, then he was convinced to change his mind because of playoff performances on the greatest junior team of all time, yes he was the best player ,but they were winning games by large margins, winning in junior doesn’t always translate to the NHL.

          Tambi going hard for the second pick showed me how much Stu liked Seguin,I don’t know if the rumors were true on what they would of given up, but it does show the org’s feelings about Seguin. I never said Stu was against drafting Hall, If Low/Tambi wanted Seguin or were split, I personaly beleive Seguin would be an Oiler.

          And are you keeping score of something? (:0) realy!
          And who’s MC.

          • C-DOG

            No, I said “I beleive” which means it’s my opinion, not a C.T.

            I beleive the Oilers could of had the 32nd or MAYBEE! the 15th pick and a conditional 1st round pick if Boston was to win the cup in Hall’s 1st three years similar to the Pronger trade.

            Chiarelli said ” were not willing to give this,this,this and this to get the guy they wanted, thats 4 things, considering all the assets Boston has accumilated I think my package would of done the trick.

            If you watched the first Oil change. you here MBS said when debating Gudbranson/Fowler, “we don’t have that type of D-man in the org”, he threw out BPA for that argument.

  • This scouting staff seems to have a good handle on the draft. They’re record of late is good. It’s hard to argue when all six players on the top 2 lines of the last game (and 5 of the 6 goal-scorers in the last game) were drafted by the Oilers. I’m perfectly fine with BPA. The two players last year were neck and neck with eachother, and I was convinced the BPA was the other kid. Time will tell.

    It’s pretty clear though that the organization is in need of some quality prospects at the C position though.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Indy, what is it that makes you prefer Seguin to Hall? Was is that his upward trajectory was steeper, climbing significantly during this last year, the fact that he is a C and top C’s are rare and conveted, or something else?

      I was a toss-up until I attended the Mem Cup and watched Hall dominate everyone like an alpha-lion, and then watching Oil Change observed that Hall has the psychology of a champion.

      Seguin to me seems to have excellent hockey mechanics, but most people assess that Hall probably can’t sleep at night if he loses a game.

      Just want to hear a strong position from the other side. Thx.

      • Position played a little bit into it. I’d have to run back into the many “debates” I had with Crash, but for me the biggest points for Seguin were that he was producing equal numbers with much weaker linemates and his 5 on 5 numbers were far and away better than Hall’s. Almost double the even strength production, in fact. That was huge for me.

        There’s plenty to be excited about with a player that shows up for the big game, but Hall was surrounded by high-end CHL talent. His team’s success was not entirely dependent on him, Seguin’s was. Seguin’s attitude wasnt exactly rotten either, he seemed very intelligent and willing to work on the little things that make good players great.

        It doesnt matter now though, Hall is an Oiler and I want him to be the better player. I want to have been wrong.

        • C-DOG

          I don’t know if you’ve ever read Moneyball, but there’s a section in the book that breaks down the debate between drafting kids with raw athletic talent out of high school and developing them into MLB all-stars, and drafting college players with strong statistical pedigrees and proven aptitude for the game of baseball.

          I believe the former yielded fewer players to actually keep a job in the show, but a higher chance of producing all-star calibre players. The latter was a sure-fire way to fill a roster with above-average players.

          To me the equation of Hall vs Seguin came down to a player who plays with a dimension of unique raw talent that can’t be taught, might not be seen in a half-dozen years and can’t be passed up on, and a steady point producer who will undoubtedly achieve the ppg or better threshold over his career.

          It’s like picking between a Masserati and an 7-series BMW.