Tobias Rieder is one of the more interesting prospects the Oilers have in their system. The German-born winger made the jump to the OHL last season and played well enough for the Oilers to draft him in the fourth round this year. In 2011-12 he exploded, scoring 42 goals and recording 84 points in 60 games.
How does that compare to other OHL forwards drafted in 2011?
It compares very well.
Scott Reynolds, who includes both regular season and playoff numbers in his calculations, had Rieder as the 12th-most prolific forward in the entire 2011 Draft when he looked at NHL equivalencies the other day for NHLNumbers.
The list I’ve put together below is for all of the OHL forwards drafted in 2011 (excluding overagers). I’ve used regular season numbers only – I tend to think the benefits of including playoff numbers (greater sample size) are outweighed by the negatives (scoring is typically lower in the post-season, players on marginal playoff teams are unfairly penalized). Even so, Rieder’s place on the list is interesting:
Of the top-20 OHL forwards ranked by points-per-game, only two: Rieder (ranked fourth on this list) and Andrew Fritsch (ranked 18th) were picked after the top-100 selections. Rieder’s offensive production in 2011-12 compares pretty favourably to that of 5th overall pick Ryan Strome (Rieder had better goal totals; Strome better point totals) and 7th overall pick Mark Scheifele (Rieder was ahead in both goals and points).
Now, there are some obvious caveats: first, there’s more to hockey than picking up goals and assists, and second, this is a single season – Rieder scored 49 points in his draft year; Scheifele had 75, Strome more than 100.
Even so, it’s difficult to imagine what more Rieder could have done in his second OHL season. His offensive totals are far better than what we would expect for a player with his draft number, and at this point it’s possible to begin wondering if he might end up having a future on a scoring line at the NHL level. Obviously, that’s far from a certainty, but he’s in the conversation now and he really wasn’t based on his totals a year ago.
If the 2011 draft were re-done, I think there’s very little chance that Rieder would last to the end of the second round.