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.

  • Crash

    I can’t believe Oiler fans aren’t on the Hall bandwagon yet, I can’t believe Tyler Seguin is still talked about so much in here…he’s a Boston Bruin…

    It does amaze me how so many people can get caught up in one good season. This was a very dangerous proposition in my mind…the Oilers got it right, they went for the winner, they went for the guy who competes when the chips are down, they went for the guy who has shown consistency over and over again…

    I don’t get this 5 on 5 arguement, what is the basis for this makes Seguin a better player? Is it possible Seguin got to play more minutes than Hall 5 on 5 because he was on a weaker team? How is it that you can claim Seguin is a better player because he produced more ONE season 5 on 5. Did he maybe manage some points off of faceoffs wins? Just what is this broad statment about 5 on 5 and what does it prove? If he is the better player then why didn’t he produce more on the PP too? And just how weak was this team (Plymouth) that finished 4th in the eastern conference? They couldn’t have been that bad could they to finish that high? If I’m not mistaken Seguin wasn’t the ONLY good player they had.

    What is the basis for Seguin produced with lesser linemates? On one hand you guys say that makes him better because Hall had better linemates and then on the other hand you talk about how it doesn’t really matter about linemates because Crosby didn’t make his wingers better. So which is it and who are these great linemates that Hall had? Did any of them make the NHL this year? Are any of them tearing up the AHL right now? Uhhhh, no, they aren’t.

    Also for anyone that has played a lot of hockey in their lives, especially at higher levels you would likely know that centers stand a much better chance of producing points than wingers do, simply because for the most part they have more time with the puck than either winger and they also take faceoffs which can lead directly to points. If a winger is producing as much as a center is, chances are that winger is a better player than that center is. So the fact that Seguin couldn’t outscore Hall while enjoying having the advantage of playing center is another reason to take Hall. Everyone also forgets that Hall played 6 less games than Seguin did this past year. I would hazard a guess that Hall just may have produced some points in those 6 games and won the scoring race outright, with relative ease.

    Frankly I’m surprised it took the Oilers scouting staff so long to figure it out and that it took not only the 3 consecutive consistent seasons by Hall to convince them but that Hall had to produce yet another Mem Cup MVP before they finally went his way.

    I can’t believe we’re still on this Seguin thing and that anytime he does anything we get updates on it. While we’re at it, why don’t we update when Jeff Skinner does anything? We could have taken him too or Alex Burmistrov.

    Hey Oiler fans, rejoice, we have a great hockey player on our team and the guy is a proven winner. He also seems genuinely thrilled to be playing here….I hope he’s here for a long time, but who knows, there will be some that will probably want to run him out of town in the next 3 yrs, similar to what it seems is starting to happen to Gagner.

    Heck I think there are already some that want to run him out of town.

    • Whoa Crash. I want Hall to be the best player in the draft. Let’s address a few things here, calmly.

      It’s not like Seguin is crapping the bed in the NHL. He’s producing very well on limited time so far.

      I believe that it is harder to score 5 on 5 than on the PP. You might think that it’s tougher on the PP, I dont. So when someone produces almost 2X as much as someone else at even strength, I give that guy the nod. That said, every team needs guys that capitalizes on the PP.

      We dont talk about Skinner because there was no chance the Oil were going to take him. Seguin was a VERY real possibility.

      You’re right. On one hand I say that Crosby didnt elevate his wingers, on the other I say that Hall played with better linemates. What I didnt say was that linemates dont matter. Hall’s linemates didnt “elevate” his game. He still needed finish and talent to score as he did, but he didnt have to do it all by himself. Seguin didnt have Ellis, Henrique, Nemisz, Kassian, and Fowler to help out.

      • Crash

        I’m not saying Seguin is going to be a bad player and kudos to him for a decent start to his career as well.

        IMO, scoring 5 on 5 is more of a crapshoot…. and one year Seguin could have better numbers 5 on 5, the next year it could be Hall or someone else…there are many different things that factor into 5 on 5 scoring and we weren’t privy to any of them. Such as, did Hall get less 5 on 5 time due to his team being deeper and being able to avoid cutting down their bench? Did Boughner call off the dogs when Windsor started blowing teams out and give more ice time to the 3rd/4th lines? Did the Plymouth coach keep putting out Seguin to pile up points against weaker opposition? What I’m saying is I don’t think you can just simply look at one seasons worth of 5 on 5 and just paint the overall stat with a brush like it’s an indication of how things will be year after year. Such as, at the moment Hall is outscoring Seguin 5 on 5. What does this mean? Well basically it really means nothing which is the point I was trying to make about 5 on 5 scoring.

        Sometimes having a deeper team is going to mean less ice time, so having Ellis, Henrique, Nemisz, Kassian and Fowler to help out could result in being used less as well. Going back to Crosby’s linemates, they also had a deeper team to work with, with players such as Malkin, Staal, Goligoski, Letang, Gonchar, etc. but yet their numbers were still down. For example I have Niklas Kronwall in a hockey draft and he plays on Detroit, including PP time. He averages over 24 min a game including over 3 min a game on the PP. But what does he have? He has a miniscule 2 pts. Both goals, both on the PP. You would think playing with all that talent, 24 min a night, including PP that he’d have more points.

        Ultimately it comes down to the player himself, whether it’s 5 on 5, PP, or PK. Do I think Seguin is going to be fine player? Yes I do, especially regular season when the going isn’t as tough. Do I think Hall will be better? Yes I do, especially when the going gets tougher.

        To me, when Seguin and Hall went head to head in that playoff series and Seguin was completely shutdown and also had poor defensive numbers it set off all kinds of alarm bells to me. Yes Windsor was a better team, but even so, when the chips were down Plymouth’s best player needed to show at least something. He needed to show up at least a little bit. He needed to lead, and didn’t.

        Seguin disappeared in that playoff series, not just a little bit, but he completely disappeared. Was this not a worry for anyone? Is this player possibly a great regular season guy but not so much during the bigger games? If people are going to go all ga ga over one good regular season, shouldn’t they also look at the one playoff series?

        I’m so glad the Oilers took Hall. But had they taken Seguin, I’d be in his corner and this is what I don’t understand about some so called Oiler fans. Not so much you as I can clearly see you are true blue Oiler, but there are others that just won’t let it go, and they go on and on and on and on about Seguin.

        They may as well become Bruin fans.

  • C-DOG

    Do we have any evidence at all to support this notion that Boston was going to give us something to pass on Hall?

    What was it exactly?

    I don’t think they were prepared to give us anything, and certainly nothing that would be enough to convince us to pass on the guy we thought was best.

    Also, Crosby really should be able to make his wingers better like Gretzky did if he is that kind of generational talent. The fact that he hasn’t been able to is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for the Pens, and it’s a big part of how the Habs were able to beat them last spring. It’s puzzling why he hasn’t been able to make it happen in a big way yet.

    • C-DOG

      Who became a Hall of Famer/ perenial allstar that played with Gretzky after he left Edmonton, that wasn’t an allstar before he got there. Ahh….ahhh….ahhh, I’m waiting.

      Chiarelli saying we wont give up 4 things probobly means they would of given at least 2 things but of course mngt was hard up for the sexy pick and we’ll never find out.

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

          Fine then.

          Kurri scored at a 1.36 pace Gretz 2nd last year when he played 79 games

          Kurri scored at 1.34 pace the after Gretz was traded.

          I’m not comparing Gretzky to anyone, I’m saying it’s not clear cut that every guy that rode shot-gun with him seen their #’s artificially inflated.

    • C-DOG

      In 05-06 Recchi had 57 points in 63 games, then he finished the season 7 points in 20 games with Carolina, and 68 points the next year back with Pittsburgh, so he has been better with Crosby post lockout. You can’t hold an 18 game segment against Crosby, it was his fallout with Therien that caused him to get waived. Either way he’s had a very good career regardless were he has been.

      I’m going to sleep good night.

  • raventalon40

    Hall was also Boston’s first choice, not just ours – otherwise talks would not have lasted . Seguin pops into a loaded club , while Hall ends up on a gutted and rebuilding club. Hall doing well , and would be doing much better if we had let Boston get him . Would Seguin be doing as well on an Oiler squad – i doubt it !! Oilers choose the right guy , just not the good caste to support him as yet, like Seguin has been blessed with to start .

    Would you trade Hall for Malkin straight up ? Not as easy as it sounds at first . Hall has those intangibles that make winners down the line .

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Hey Lowetide do you think the Oil are giving Kellan Jones a bit more of a chance than other late round picks cause of his and twin brothers (Connor) chemistry together.
    Im from Vernon and watched them dominate a Junior A league alot like the Sedins do.
    I know it would be a long shot for my friends to make the show but what are the Oilers feelings on having 2 twins with Chemistry?

    • D-Man

      Probably… He’s been skating for a couple weeks now… I’m somewhat surprised that we haven’t heard news yet that JF would be in OKC for a couple weeks for a conditioning stint…

  • Ender

    Cue the discussion for the remainder of the day: ‘What if he doesn’t clear?’

    He’ll clear. The real question is how OKC will split the starts with JDD, Gerber, and Pitton.

    On a related note, if JDD is now officially never going to be a part of the Oilers future, at what point do we care if he actually was claimed on waivers? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think getting anything for him in trade at this point beyond, say, a sixth-round pick is probably optimistic.

    • D-Man

      Agreed.. He’ll clear.. If he doesn’t clear – although we’d need to chalk up another poor decision from the old regime’s asset management plan – we’d at least have another $1.0 million cleared in cap space… He’s also a UFA at the end of the year – so even though a trade would be extremely doubtful – I’d argue you should get at least a 4th round pick…

      • Lowetide

        It would be nice to think that they knew there was some interest, but not enough for a pick, and decided to let the kid go and get a chance to play somewhere (while shedding his salary at the same time)

  • Horcsky

    Wow, a wasted roster space freed up to give the coach game-day roster flexibility, 4 out a possible 6 points on a road swing, and a 7-4 drubbing of the defending stanley cup champs?

    Things are lookin’ up for the mighty Oil.

  • McCreeper

    I don’t think it’s JFJ because we are probably able to send him to the farm for a conditioning stint which means he’s probably 2 weeks away. If they don’t send him for a conditioning stint I’ll be shocked.

  • D-Man

    I see Martindale had another goal and assist in a loss last night,Now sits at 7th in scoring.
    Maybe being 6ft3 and with a frame that could fill out to 210 plus we allready have our future big center.Big guys take longer to develop.