Ten years ago, on a cold dark night, the Edmonton Oilers chose poorly in a deep, deep draft. It has cost them for a decade, as other teams gathered one, two even three important parts of their foundation while the Oilers watched their picks fade away.
There are some saying the 2013 entry draft is the strongest since 2003. A repeat of the performance of one decade ago must be avoided at all costs.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2003
It is a credit to the OilersNation fanbase that I don’t need to spend much time on 2003–we all know the story. However, a brief summary is in order:
- The Oilers traded down in the first round, dealing #17 (Lou Lamoriello would select Zack Parise) for #22 (Marc Pouliot, who contracted everything but polio after being drafted) and #68 (Jean-Francois Jacques, who skated like the wind but spent his pro career far away from the puck–I think he had some kind of allergy to rubber). Not only did they miss Parise, but Ryan Getlzaf, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards and Corey Perry would also be selected in this first round). "We didn’t even have a name tag for him because we didn’t think he’d be there" said Lamoriello about Parise.
- The Oilers chose Colin McDonald from a second tier USA league (EJHL) with the 51st selection. Chicago picked Corey Crawford with the next selection and St. Louis chose David Backes 11 picks later.
- Mike Comrie’s situation was months from being resolved.
- Deep in the 2003 draft, 214th overall, came the good news of the day: Kyle Brodziak, a player Oilers scout Lorne Davis wanted to draft a year earlier, finally became an Oiler.
TEN YEARS GONE
Let’s review the results of the 2003 draft:
- #22 C Marc Pouliot (192, 21-36-57)
- #51 R Colin McDonald (52, 8-10-18)
- #68 L J-F Jacques (166, 9-8-17)
This year, Edmonton once again has three picks in the first two rounds and one hopes they’ll do miles better.
- #7 overall. The Favorite–C Sean Monahan, Jason Gregor had a great item on him one month ago.
- #7 overall. The Trending player–C Bo Horvat, who Redline Report loves:
- #37 overall. The Favorite–C Ryan Hartman. Redline loves him too, saying that he’s a real ‘prick’ to play against. Certainly has enough skill to play on a skill line moving forward.
- #37 overall. The Trending Player–D Chris Bigras, Corey Pronman says:
- #56 overall. The Favorite–G Tristan Jarry. They know the player, his SP is all-world and he is absolutely one of the best goaltenders available in the draft. Hard to argue against this selection (outside of ‘draft for need’).
- #56 overall. The Trending Player–R Michael McCarron. Big PF type, brother of Oilers pick from a year ago (John McCarron) and Prongman tells us his story:
SAW HIM GOOD–THE SCOUTING REPORT
We don’t know the Oilers list–I think there’s a very good chance that Edmonton deals #7 overall based on reports (the most recent being a Bob McKenzie tweet from last night). The key item is make those picks count. Stu MacGregor and his crew have three bullets early (currently) and need to make them count.
I’m absolutely certain they have something more sophisticated than "I love redheads" as a scouting report, and am confident they’ll deliver quality. That 2003 draft can serve as a cautionary tale, though. Trust your board, examine injury history, understand tier 2 is tier 2 and perhaps the fastest, biggest guy should also be skilled too.
We’re three weeks away. It’s going to be a thrill ride this summer, with the entry draft the top of the mountain.