The Draft One Year Later (Part 1)

The prevailing wisdom among followers of the NHL draft is that 5 years is the earliest possible point to pass judgement on a specific draft. While boring, it makes a lot of sense: 5 years gives college kids a chance to play all 4 years and junior kids can play 2 and then begin their pro careers. After five, everyone should have played at least one season in pro hockey. However, how long before a bad draft begins to smell? Not long. 

I believe Stu MacGregor’s 2010 NHL draft will rival all but the very best in the Oilers history. The best (1979-81, 1993) are among the best ever and some (2007) in recent years could end up being in some elite company. The new candidate is 2010, with Taylor Hall and a bunch of other kids tracking extremely well one year out.

What does a poor draft look like one year later? Is everyone progressing as they should? 

The 1985 Oiler draft boasted no lottery selections and no superstars in the making. However, there was a lot of promise for the future and the scouting department was happy with the return. Barry Fraser gave the thumbnail sketches to the Edmonton Journal about the most coveted kids that day:

  • C Scott Metcalfe"He’s something like Dave Hunter was coming out of junior." Oilers had the rugged winger ranked 13th on their list and were delighted he was available at 20th overall.
  • D Todd Carnelley"We had him rated 21st overall. He’s not flashy, but a good, sound player." WHL 1st All-Star.
  • D Mike Ware: "Very tough."
  • R Tony Fairfield: "Aggressive player. May be going to the University of Alberta."

Not mentioned in the article was 9th round selection Kelly Buchberger. One season later, the situation had changed.

  • C Scott Metcalfe increased his offense a little during his first post-draft season and had a ton of pims (213). He also had a good run (10gp, 3-6-9) during the playoffs. He did not dominate as one expects from a first round pick.
  • D Todd Carnelley missed a lot of action the year after his draft but was around for the Kamloops Blazers Memorial Cup appearance. Injuries–especially for defensemen–are an absolute down arrow.
  • R Mike Ware kept right on being big and tough for Hamilton of the OHL. His stats remained constant the year after his draft. He was Cam Abney before Cam Abney.
  • C Tomas Kapusta had a solid World Juniors for the Czechs (7gp, 2-2-4) and I can’t find much else.  Kapusta was highly regarded as a prospect and one year later would probably have been considered a quality prospect.
  • G Brian Tessier didn’t look good for either OHL team he played for in 85-86.
  • R Shawn Tyers played only 22 games in the season after he was drafted and I found an item about his being an early no-show fall 1986 for Oilers camp. He didn’t play organized hockey after 1986 spring.
  • R Tony Fairfield didn’t go to the U of A, he ended up at Northern Arizona University.
  • R Kelly Buchberger ran in place during the regular season with Moose Jaw (WHL) but caught fire during the playoffs (13gp, 11-4-15) and would play his first NHL games during the spring 1987 playoffs.
  • D Mario Barbe had a strong season in the QMJHL and was traded during the season. His counting numbers were up across the board.
  • C Peter Headon played very little for Boston University during his post-draft season.
  • G John Haley ended up being overwhelmed in 5 games for RPI (NCAA).

By my count, that’s one player who clearly established himself as a legit prospect (Buchberger) and a few guys you could say were on track (Metcalfe, Carnelley despite the injury, Kapusta, Barbe). However, just one year later cracks are forming and a lot of these kids were unable to sustain their status as prospects.

Next up: we’ll review the 2010 draft one season later. By eye, it looks like an ernormous draft even allowing for the fact that  the Oilers had the first overall pick.

  • DonovanMD

    Anyone can get it right with a FIST overall pick, Stu will go down as the architect of an awesome draft due to his depth picks. Looks nothing short of brilliant so far.

    • Kermit.the.frog

      Drafting is not that hard . Just go by what the scouting reports have available when your turn comes up and take the next lowest one still on list . Surprisingly , you’ll probably be better off doing that , than trying to find an “overlay ” that might be better than that pick to begin with . Much like using a points per game strategy when drafting for dollars . You draft that way and you’ll almost always be in the money . Draft outside that strategy and you’ll almost always be out of the money .

      The final lists of scouting agencies is extensive and seldom that far wrong on the talents available each draft year .John decides to go with an overlay right off the bat taking Tinordi – to risky for me .

  • Kermit.the.frog

    The “Nuge” shall be a combintation of pavel datsyuk, joe sakic, and patrick kane.

    And if we can get that kid thats 6’7 and 240 would be one hell of a round for the 1st.

    • Souby

      I would love to see the Oil draft that monster of a kid!

      Jamieson Oleksiak, D-Man, Ranked 13th NA skaters and listed at 6’7″ and 244lbs!!!!

      I don’t know much else about this kid though. Does anyone know how his skating is? He is obviously huge, but how aggressive is he?

      Anyone got a scouting report on him?

  • The link to Barry Fraser’s thumbnail sketches that he provided to the Edmonton Journal seems to be to digital pictures of a some non-digital medium such as mashed up, dried and flattened tree flesh. With such obviously primitive 1985ian technology available, is it even fair to compare it to the uber-robotronic ultra-precisiomasterian 2010 draft? MBS is clearly from the future, and so it is not fair to compare, but yet you dare!

    *flies away in his 2018 Toyota Eberle hover-car*

    P.S. Any responses to this post will disrupt the timespace continuum and obviously (duhh) cause the responder to cease to exist.

    P.P.S. In 2018, prospect G John Haley still hasn’t panned out. Hope is starting to wear thin.

  • While the jury is still out somewhat on MacGregors draft record, it is certainly in on Frasers. Fraser did almost nothing from 1983 to 2000. Since 83 his most notable achievement was in 1990 when not 1 of 11 players selected played a single game in the NHL. And if you think it was just a weak draft class, it featured players like Keith Tkachuk, Martin Brodeur, Doug Weight and several others all selected after the Oilers turn.

    As to MacGregor he has already delivered more players in 4 years than Prendergrast did in 8, and as many as Fraser did in his last 15 so regardless of how 2010 and this coming draft turn out it looks like he is the man.

    The thought that you can’t miss from the #1 hole makes me a bit squeamish though (see Daigle, Stefan, Philips, DiPietro)With Daigle and DiPietro it was just bad drafting and I don’t think we need to worry about that. But with Stefan and Philips, just like Berard and Jovonoski it was a case of simply not a lot of elite players. I am way more worried about that this year.

  • Who doesn’t like to go off the board and find an overlay after first round or even during first round if it be a later one ? Everyone has their biasis . I like Musil at 19th , but who knows if he might also be available at 31st . Olesiak might be available at 31 and grow to be 7 Ft . and close to 300 lbs.. That sumo wrestler might turn out to be a goaltender or d-man ?

    My first blog was just to say the scouting reports are well put together for the draftees at the time of drafting , but can change radically depending on how much further they might develop after that . I’d like to see a version where and what each team would have if they all stuck to scouting report final listing , as compared to going off that order . How many teams might have faired better by sticking to report than their own ?

    Things i do not like to see is using two reasonable early picks to get one before that person might have gone anyways and lose a pick for nothing . Example the year we took Plante and Nash – a double bad hit that still is doubtfull Plante will ever turn out . Maybe Maricin will turn out to lessen the waste Nash became .

    What are the chances Oilers using our first round picks to try and pry loose a Malkin type talent ? Thornton or Weber and /or Radulov on our radar ? Jagr making making a pitch to Oilers with his buddy again (Cervanek ?).What’s happening with the mighty Quinn ?

  • Are the draft ranking easier and more thorough nowadays than they were just a decade ago ? The days of long tenureship in the AHL dwindling , especially for d-men ? Todays players further advanced on the learning scale than those a meager decade ago ?

  • Bucknuck

    An incompetent scouting crew can completely mess up your team. I am really pleased we seem to have someone with brains in charge now. Hopefully he keeps it up.

    The more picks, the better the chance you will get lucky. I think the past scouting staff had a few lucky ones early and then relied on that history for years of mediocre (bad) selections.

  • Kermit.the.frog

    I could see Weber comming over being a good old westren boy, but thorton and malkin would never stick around. Tambelini discussed he doesnt want a high priced player next year.

    I’m sure someone with a good attitude like Weber could persuade Tambo. More leadership is needed.

    Thorton= is a choke artist in the playoffs ( i know he is having an alright run)

    Malkin=russian (enough said)

  • Little Buttcheeks

    Shawn Tyers sounds like he was a winner. Thank goodness the NHL cut back to just 7 rounds. Some kids might fall through the cracks and have to do things the hard way but at least some of these guys who have no desire to do what it takes to make it as a pro don’t get drafted.