MATH SPEAKS OUT ON 2012 DRAFT

The Edmonton Oilers have the #1 overall pick on the strength of winning the draft lottery. Experts tell us that Nail Yakupov (in photo) is the best player available. What does our friend math say?

GETTING READY FOR THE PAGEANT

The NHL draft is months away and evaluation will involve several areas–mental, physical, mathematical. We can look at the math now courtesy the brilliant Gabriel Desjardins and his website behind the net. Gabriel’s work has stood up under several seasons of testing and does in fact deliver a reasonable "line in the sand" for projecting players.

This season, there are a few hurdles we don’t ordinarily have to overcome. There have been a large number of injuries, so the NHLE’s I’m going to post here are over fewer games than we’d see in a normal year. Also, one of the very best prospects this season–Filip Forsberg–plays in the SWE1 league, one pro league down from Sweden’s SEL. I’ve asked Gabriel for his input and the number below is posted and explained for Forsberg.

I thank Mr. Desjardins for his aid in this matter.

STOP TEASING AND POST THE NUMBERS

These are the top rated players from Bob McKenzie’s mid-season list and their NHLE’s. The final list will be different by the time we gear up for draft week but these are the men who looked like the cream of the crop at mid-season.

NHLE FORWARDS

NAME

LEAGUE

NHLE G

NHLE A

NHLE PTS

NAIL YAKUPOV

OHL

18

22

40

MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO

QMJHL

16

17

33

FILIP FORSBERG*

SWE-1

3

3

6

ALEX GALCHENYUK**

OHL

11

19

30

RADEK FAKSA

OHL

12

14

26

ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS

USHL

10

14

24

BRENDAN GAUNCE

OHL

10

15

25

 *An estimate. I asked Gabriel Desjardins about NHLE for Swe-1, which is the league Forsberg plays in. The number above reflects his estimate. Forsberg is playing in a men’s league and we don’t know the extent of his TOI. It’s important to keep that in mind when reading this chart.

**Galchenyuk was injured for almost the entire season, so the numbers you see here are from his 16-year old season. The young man is clearly underrated using this number but I wanted to include him.

 

NHLE DEFENSE

NAME

LEAGUE

NHLE G

NHLE A

NHLE PTS

RYAN MURRAY

WHL

5

12

17

MATT DUMBA

WHL

7

13

20

JACOB TROUBA

USHL

4

14

18

MORGAIN RIELLY*

WHL

4

21

25

GRIFFIN REINHART

WHL

5

10

15

CODY CECI

OHL

7

16

23

OLLI MAATA

OHL

2

12

14

 *Rielly played in only 18 games during the regular season so the odds of these numbers properly reflecting his offensive ability are not high. Having said that, I think it is fair to suggest he’s among the best offensive defenders in the draft based on his resume and that is reflected here.

 

 WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

We’re trying to take a black and white photo and project it forward with color. We have some very specific issues with this year’s group due to injury and the Forsberg situation. Those things acknowledged:

  1. Yakupov is clearly the class of the group offensively.
  2. Galchenyuk has to be a very compelling prospect. To post numbers at 16 that put him in the conversation for top 5 in the following season is incredible. He might end up making a lot of teams sorry they passed on him.
  3. Grigorenko remains the most controversial player among forwards and math can’t help us decide. He’s good, but not as good as Yakupov and Galchenyuk might be his equal. Thanks math, we know that beforehand.
  4. The defense is deep this season.
  5. Murray and Reinhart are basically equal offensively, so the footspeed versus grit issue is the item Edmonton must decide on (if they’re still leaning toward blue).
  6. Rielly’s injury probably cost him.
  7. Dumba is a fascinating prospect.
  8. Ceci doesn’t get mentioned a lot but is a player of interest.

Bottom line: Math says Nail Yakupov is the class of the group.

  • billylikestodrinksoda

    Also it would be insane for the Penguins to deal a center that can slide in from 1st to 3rd line center, PK, and play on the PP. He owns a wide range of skills and is big, strong, and can hit. He also logs some very tough 20mins/game. Deal doesn’t make sense for either side. The Oilers need a better dman than Niskanen and the Penguins are fine offensively as they were the highest scoring team in the NHL by a decent margin.

  • O.C.

    Is Sutter an upgrade, right now, from Renney?

    *edit*. Nevermind. If I were GM I would select my coach after the Draft. I will have a better idea of what my team looks like, and the kind of coach I need.

  • O.C.

    We draft Yakupov because we are still 2 centermen with size and grit for top 6 , and 2 top notch 1-2 defencemen from being a top notch contender for playoffs next year . Perhaps we might even add a top notch goalie to that list . In a nutshell , Tams inability to add a decent core to team will keep us out of playoffs again next season , We have young talent and not much else going for us, and dealing away Yakupov will do little to shore up our core with the way Tams has dealt in the past 3-4 years . Keep the pick and work on new core throughout the year as it’s very unlikely web will make playoffs anyways with current underachievng core . Yakupov a forth piece of puzzle – now to work on keeping them and surrounding them with decent personnel to make them sucessful the year after . Two top 6 centermen and defencemen with perhaps a goalie .

    • Clyde Frog

      Oh madjam… Your wall of words always astounds for its “specialness”, I didn’t think you would show up anymore after stating in no uncertain terms that Taylor Hall & RNH would never amount to anything (In their respective draft years).

      Why would we need 2 top 6 centremen and why do our scoring line centres have to be gritty? How many top 1-2 defencemen would you like on this team? Any suggestions?

  • Clyde Frog

    I just can’t trade Yakupov a #1 pick with an elite offensive ceiling(and 1st line potential) for Staal who is an amazing 3rd line centre who has only ever produced in line with Gagner, (Someone who the fans on these boards decries for terrible production) and will have to play incredibly hard to hit even 60 pts.

    With this pick you get to choose the best 18 year old in the world, lock him up for 7+ years and build around him and the other 2 best 18 year olds in the world. He is head and shoulders above his competition, he outscored galeyenchuk by 20 goals in their 16 year old seasons, he doesn’t carry the defenseman projection risks.

    It really comes down to ensuring you have the best player long run, team need changes every deadline. If Hemsky flounders and Teemu never finds a scoring touch as 2nd liner, our RW depth is almost gone. It’s not like we are 6 deep there and can’t use him…

    • Lexi

      I think its important to note that Staal also bring size, grit, defensive ability, and PK time into the situation. The only way Gagner can be his equal is if he could put up more points to offset the lack of everything else and he hasn’t. Also if a guy that is playing on a third line with third line wingers can put up 50 points a season what do you think he could do with linemates like a hemsky, Nail, Eberle, Hall and increase offensive role and ice time. I would take him over Gagner for a 2nd line center but only if it costs Gagner and a 4th or 5th round pick anything else wouldn’t be worth it.

      • Clyde Frog

        I’m not arguing he isn’t more dimensional than Gagner, nor that he won’t pot in the same range of points. I’m not arguing he would be an upgrade in several ways…

        I’m just saying he is not worth the worlds best 18 year old of 2012, when his point production will not eclipse Gagner by a significant margin and those other skills are best served by the 3rd line.

        If you want to talk flipping Gagner, etc… Then you have a pipe-dream conversation, but he is NOT worth that #1 pick.

        • Clyde Frog

          I agree with you on the #1 pick you just never know what you will end up with. What if he ends up being a 100 point player. Would you be willing to trade him at all…… no likely how many 100 point guys are out there very few. I agree keep the pick no question and move other parts to fill holes. I think we have a for sure 4 center already in the system in VandVelde. He played just as good as horcoff and belanger in my opinion.

          Really either Gagner steps up or they need to see if they can package him for an upgrade. I think a Gagner + Omark and maybe Peckham would perk some eyes but what bigger center could be had with that package?

  • Lexi

    Staal & Getzlaf are UFA after next season, our big centre need might be only one year away.

    I’m hoping for very little change I the new CBA as the Oil are in great position for a 5 plus year run and teams like Pitts/Van/Phil could be entering Cap related decline.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Tambi in his interview does not put Yakupov in the same class as Taylor Hall.
    Just because he is the consensus number one does not mean he is as good as RNH ot Hall
    As number one he will be hyped like crazy because he is number one but it does not make him equal.
    Some years the quality of the farmers crop is not as good as previous years

    • Clyde Frog

      Yeah… But Yakupov outscored Hall by a fair margin in their 16 year old seasons, so how much of that is lip service to appease fans if he does make a move.

      Hall = 38 goals, 52 assits for 90 pts in his 16
      year old season.

      Yakupov = 49 goals, 52 assist for 101 pts in his 16 year old season.

      RNH = 24 goals, 41 assists for 65 pts in his 16 year old season.

      Now compare production with Tambellini’s statement and draw your own conclusions.

      Also for those worried about grit : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AsP6_O4xBBQ

      9 minutes of Yakupov’s impact = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm7rJQTp0Xk&feature=player_embedded

      Watch both of those and don’t tell me that kid isn’t a solid A++ prospect in the terms of Hall and RNH (Sure he didn’t rack up 2 memorial cup MVPs, but those teams were pretty different)

    • Stocc

      Tambi referred to Hall’s back-to-back Memorial Cup MVPs. Even though Hall’s performance was spectacular(and made it clear that he is a special player), there is no question that he played on a superior junior team. While Nail might not be quite in the class of Hall, he definitly is the class of this year’s draft and might also turn out to be a special player.

      Draft Nail and package lesser players to fill the holes.

    • Clyde Frog

      Please never quote Tambellini when making an argument. In my opinion he doesn’t know much about Yakupov because he didn’t think the Oilers had a shot at drafting him.

      I think Yakupov is falling into that over scouted fate, where he has been the consensus number 1 for so long that people will start to knock him but the thing is I haven’t heard any scouts who do it for a living knock him.

      I do believe last year when scouts were saying there wasn’t a sure fire number 1 they mentioned if Yakupov was in the draft he would be it.

  • Dipstick

    Its not all about scoring. Some players have the ability to make their teammates better by their leadership qualities. Hall looks to beat Yakupov in that category at first glimpse. That being said, Yakupov also looks like one heck of an offensive weapon.

    • Clyde Frog

      Look at the link where he put the kid through the glass, there is more to him than just a shot. Sure he won’t be taking runs in the first couple years like that, at least until he matures physically, but there were already quotes about his incredible work ethic etc…

      He performed at the World Juniors, he produces above our other #1’s and he isn’t afraid to initiate.

      Sure he may not be eloquent, nor a font of inspirational quotes, but honestly we have Hall for that.

      Draft him because of his amazing skill and talents, also if he can human missile Sven Baerstchi through the glass next year, he has paid for his draft selection in spades!

  • GiftedGregerius

    Yakupov is sick, plain and simple. The only thing that I worry about is the injury that he got this year. With all the new research that is coming out on head injuries and concussions, what does this say about his future in the NHL. I think picking him is the best option, as I doubt any GMs will offer anything good, but the head injury worries me a bit.

  • RexLibris

    Looking at this, Yakupov looks like the safe bet, but Galchenyuk could eventually be the more valuable player. Before the Oilers won the draft lottery I was pulling for them to take Galchenyuk over Grigorenko or Murray.

    If it were at all plausible to trade down and still be able to take Galchenyuk I would endorse this, even though I’m not really a fan of trading down from the first overall pick.

    However, the closer we get to the draft the more I see teams choosing Galchenyuk or Forsberg over Grigorenko for a forward.

    I like Yakupov’s drive and while I don’t know that he’ll be an Oiler for long, I’d much rather be in a position where we have to trade away a star young forward than try to think of ridiculous circumstances of how to acquire one (coughCalgarycough).

  • RexLibris

    I AGREE WITH CRAIG BUTTON ON TSN:

    When there’s a player of YAKUPOVs awesome skill set who is head and shoulders above his draft class, a potential 100point player available to you… YOU DRAFT HIM.

    GET YOU DEFENSEMEN LATER ON IN THE DRAFT! Besides they are a dime a dozen on the FA Market.

    CRAIG BUTTON FOR OILERS GM JOB!!!

  • RexLibris

    The most fascinating thing about Dumba as a prospect is how anyone expects him to translate his Phaneuf-like game of big hits, big shots, and decent passes into the NHL… while weighing 170lbs soaking wet, on a slim 6′ frame.

  • RexLibris

    Draft Yakupov and then sell the farm to draft Galchenyuk. We have enough prospects and picks to make that possible. Why not offer the Islanders a package of players and picks? They need guy like Gagner and MP. We could use a carrot like this years 31st and or next years first to augment the deal. A player and prospect and a pick should get you the center we all covet. What better way to move into the next phase of the rebulid then by adding Yakupov and Galchenyuk?

  • RexLibris

    I would trade Edmonton’s # 1 pick to Columbus for their #2 pick and their #18 pick in the first round.

    Or perhaps trade Edm #1 pick for a young established D-man

  • RexLibris

    this is what i would do .trade hemsky for the number 5 pick to toronto because the leafs are not rebuilding and hemsky helps them make the playoffs .then trade sam gagner for the number 7 pick , so we now draft yakupov number 1 , draft Alex Galchenyuk number 5 and malcom subban at number 7 .so second line we reunite Galchenyuk with yakupov along with Magnus Pääjärvi.So this way we have a bigger center