After months of speculation and hype the 2013 draft is finally here. For the past two months, fans and media been debating what would be the first "Bold" move made by Craig MacTavish. I suspect today we will finally be able to discuss and debate a MacTavish trade, and one man who will be heavily involved in the trade discussion will be head scout Stu MacGregor.
If the Oilers elect to move down from the #7 slot, MacTavish will lean heavily on MacGregor’s opinion of players slotted to go later in the draft.

I spoke to Stu MacGregor before the draft on my show to get his thoughts on this year’s draft and how the Oilers approach seems much different than the past three years.

Gregor: How different does it make this final week for you, since you aren’t picking first and you don’t know who will be available at #7? 

MacGregor: I think you just have to be more prepared, that’s all; Waiting for a lot of scenarios and possibilities- being that we trade the pick, trade down, trade back, trade for help for our team, or just make the pick, and maybe some picks made in front of you that are unexpected and you end up getting a player that you had higher ranked on your list. So you just have to be prepared for a few more scenarios. MacT has got us working hard and being ready and he’s been explaining to us that there could be a lot of things happen at the draft, so we’re trying to be prepared.

Gregor: Is there a noticeable different approach or direction from MacTavish, compared to Steve Tambellini, as far as how they want you approach the draft? 

MacGregor: Well with Mac, skill is really important to him. That’s something that he’s looked for. Obviously the other intangibles of character, hard work, quality of people and players who are passionate to play the game are important, but he really has a high regard for skill. 

Gregor: Skilled players with size are something the Oilers need. I spoke to David Conte (Devils head scout) and he was mentioning how he doesn’t necessarily think this draft will have the high end talent like 2003, but maybe more consistent players deeper into the draft. Is that the case? 

MacGregor: That’s the hardest thing to find, as you just said- big players with skill. David is exactly right in my opinion and he has a great track record for doing what he’s been doing with the New Jersey Devils. I agree with him. I don’t know if there are a lot of big players with skill later in the draft, but there are a lot of good hockey players. I think this draft has some depth to it. There’s certainly some high end draft early and I think whoever fits in the top ten to fourteen or fifteen will get a very, very good player. Then it moves back a little bit, but I don’t think that you’re getting players that aren’t real good NHLers, it’s just players that may take a little bit longer to develop or may not be quite as skill that are going in the top twelve or fifteen.  

Gregor: Historically Swedish offensive players seem to take longer to develop. Do you take that into account when you look at a guy like Lindholm, compared to a guy like Monahan, where Monahan might be better earlier and it might take longer for Lindholm? 

MacGregor: Well, the one thing is that Lindholm has as good of numbers as any player coming out of that Swedish Elite League. He’s already played one full season and part of another, so he’s already tested against men. He’s shown that already. That’s not to say Sean Monahan hasn’t been tested, because he has and has proven that he can put up points with a good team and a weaker time like the team he played with in Ottawa this year. I don’t think that it’s a real problem (Swedish players developing later), but Lindholm is a player that has done extraordinarily well already against men. So I think he might be just fine. 

Gregor: As you prepare for this draft, do you still plan on doing a lot of interviews in the days leading up the draft like in past years? 

MacGregor: We’ve done a lot of interviews already, probably off the charts in interviews this year. Now we will do follow ups from our staff, our area scouts, our crossover scouts, myself. We got a few players into Edmonton already for Craig and Kevin to meet with, get to know a little bit. So we’ve done an awful lot of that. I don’t think we’ll be doing too many in New York. There always a question two that comes up, so we might need to track down a player at the last minute, there could be a couple of those. At this point, there’s really not a lot of those scheduled. Mostly we’ll just be in discussions and trying to get prepared for different scenarios.

Gregor: You mentioned that MacTavish told you to prepare for a lot of scenarios. When it comes to trading up, it is obvious who are the players ranked in the top-four, but if you consider trading down, I’m guessing that’s where you have to do a lot more homework. Do you have to prepare a list of who you think will be available at different parts of the first round? 

MacGregor:  Absolutely. We have to be prepared that if he says we’ll trade back to seventeen, well who are the players? Who are the grouping of players that we feel will get at the 17th spot, or if we traded back to twenty-five. He would want to know what players we felt are there, and what their future potential is. If we move back to ten, what is the grouping of players that we would be falling back to? He may have already chosen players he likes within those ranges, and then he has an idea, “Okay, it’s of value for use to do that.”


Gregor: You said earlier you think after number fourteen there is a little bit of a fall off, could you elaborate on that a bit? Are we talking guys who may talk longer to develop, guys on the off chance who are third line guys, or low end second line guys? How do you determine how significant that drop off is?

MacGregor: Well a drop off is that how soon they would be able to make their impact or debut with your team. Do they have to complete their junior or college careers? Would they have to play through their entry level contracts before they make their debut in the NHL? Those kinds of things. They’re going to be good players who are going to contribute; it’s just going to take a bit longer.

Gregor: That has to be the hardest thing to determine. Can you give us some general things that you feel force guys to take longer with their development? 

MacGregor: A lot of it is physical development and then obviously maturity as they develop physically and mentally and their commitment to the game. Some players haven’t put in as much of a commitment to the game yet, but they’re going to as they realize what their potential is or what the opportunities in front of them are. 

Some of those players become a little bit of a diamond in the rough. I saw in your written interview the other day with David Conte, he said, “It’s not an exact science,” and that’s very accurate. Some players take a little bit longer to develop, and it is difficult to know accurately how long it will take them. Some still end up being great players, it just takes them a little bit more time. It takes them time to physically get strong enough, mentally be prepared to put in the commitment and being able to handle the rigors of the game in the National Hockey League.  

Gregor: As scouts would you sit down with Conte over a beer some time and talk strategy and players or his that frowned upon? 

MacGregor: Well we’re all competitive. David’s a good man, but he wouldn’t sit down and have a beer, he’d have a glass of white wine. He’s a guy that, he’s not going to give you his secret, but he’s willing to discuss players and talk about things in general. He’s a guy that helped grow the game a lot in his own way and obviously you have to look at his track record.

There are people in this game that you have to listen to, sometimes you just have to do sit down and listen. That’s the best thing you can do. Watching and listening helps you gain experience. David’s a good man; I have a good relationship with him. Not that he’s going to give me his list, but he’ll tell me I did a good job on something or other and I’ll do the same thing. A lot of times, David is willing to share some things, but he’s not going to give me all his secrets.


Gregor: How did you develop and become a better scout? How does a scout develop his repertoire? 

MacGregor: Well my repertoire goes all the way back through junior. I guess it just grows through experience, grows through knowledge, grows through learning from other, watching others, trying to gather that information. Analytics have started to become a part of the process for a lot of teams, gathering some information. To grow as a group, we do a self-analysis of ourselves and what we’ve done. Results don’t always show up in the first few years. 

We’ll do a break down of a draft, going back three, four, five years. Five years is generally a pretty good rule of thumb. They’re usually on their way to contribute to the National Hockey League. We will discuss many factors. Okay, we were right here, we were wrong there. What did we see at the time for that particular player and why is he a success, when we didn’t think he was? Or that player we picked, why is he not a success? What were we thinking about, what was it we thought he would bring us? You just try to gather that and put that in your memory bank, make note of it, put your information together as a group. We like to de-brief the drafts. We’ll do one, usually one year after the draft, but then again at three years and again at five years.

Gregor: When you would draft at  twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, do your expectations of that player change a lot, compared to a even a guy at the number twelve, thirteen or fourteen slot?

MacGregor:  I think any time a you pick a little bit earlier in the draft, your expectations are going to be a little bit higher. You hope that the return on investment is a little bit more. So I think yes, it does change for you later in the draft and your expectations might not be as high. You feel that the time of development or time of impact on your organization would possibly be a little bit longer.


  • I still believe a trade involving Brayden Coburn and the #7 pick, would have to include the Oilers getting the Flyers #11. I don’t see Coburn being worth the #7 straight up, and if I was a betting I’d say Oilers keep #7 and the trades they make will involve roster players and their 2nd round picks.
  • Kris Letang got his money. He signed an 8-year, $58 million deal with the Penguins today. In May I wrote that the Pens would keep Letang, which could make Paul Martin expendable next summer. If he is available, I’d make a strong pitch to acquire him. Letang’s extension doesn’t kick in until next year, and the cap will likely go up, so his raise won’t hurt the Penguins as much as some think.
  • It is funny how suddenly the Canucks realize that trading Corey Schneider might be their best bet. We’ve been saying that across the Nation Network for months. I’m still not sold that Schneider is as great as some suggest, but he’d get a better return than Roberto Luongo, mainly due to his contract. I wouldn’t over pay to get Schneider in Edmonton. It is true the Oilers need another goalie, but they need a top-three defender and better forwards more than they need a goalie. The Oilers have proven their forwards and defence aren’t good enough, while Dubnyk has only had one year as a starter. He had some great games, and some bad games, but he showed he was capable of playing very good. I don’t see goaltending as the major concern on the Oilers at this point.
  • If you are looking to hang out with your fellow Oiler fans, the Oilersnation draft party is today at the Pint downtown. Stop in and yell at the TV with your fellow fans. It will be a great bonding moment for Oiler fans.



  • 15w40

    Gotta be a real potential for disappointment from the scouting staff if they don’t get to go to work until the 4th round.

    Said it before, saying it again – if the Schneider trade involves the 1st round pick – walk away, very briskly.

    • DSF

      TSN said, 1st, 2nd and a top prospect. Just run and laugh your ass on the way. This rumor gone from stupid to ridiculous. Schneiders a starter, sure. He’s not Pekke Rinne. He’s slight upgrade on what we got, I’ll admit that,. Not worth my seventh.

      We’d just coninue to have a huge hole at center or defense. Gagner and Lander, Arco, and Josh Green starting next year at center till Nuge is back, even Hasek could not get a team with that center depth at 500 till Nuge returns. MacT should be fired on the spot if he was to even concider such an overpay.

  • bizgriz

    Jason I agree and hope they don’t trade the #7 pick
    or Paajarvi. If Coburn is all that great why are Philly shopping him its not like they are overloaded with defensive depth, they must be working on a Edler Scheider deal with Gillis.
    I hope Clarkson makes it to FA and we can do an overpay for him and maybe make a deal with Buffalo for one of their D.

    • Jason Gregor

      Because they have no cap room. Many very good players have been traded.

      Their blueline is actually solid with Timonen, Streit, Meszaros, Schenn, Grossman and Gustafsson.

  • Jason Gregor

    I can’t think of many other jobs that can drive you crazy like pro hockey scouting. Sure, it is easy to pick the generational talents when they fall into your lap, but to be able to pick a boy in the later rounds and project him to be a certain type of pro when you can’t control for so many other things like injuries, how they will physically and psychologically develop, life events, etc—-it’s a crap shoot at best. Look at Shea Weber. Not a blue chip draft, but now he is the cat’s ass for nhl defencemen.

    I found Macgregor’s comment about MacT valuing skill very interesting in that he was comparing MacT to Tambo. What does that say about Tambo and what he coveted at the draft after the obvious #1 pick?

    Glad the big shiny bauble Letang is not there any more.

    C’mon MacT. We’re all rooting for you to make bold but sensible moves.

  • 15w40

    How about a deal with the Bruins for Seguin & Anton Khudobin. If not him the Emery (if he will come to Edmonton).

    That will be later in the few weeks to come i’m guessing.

    • Jason Gregor

      I’ve heard rumblings that Seguin might have hip issues.

      Khudobin is a UFA in five days, no need to trade for him, just wait and sign him without giving up anything.

      • 15w40

        Well then – scratch that entire idea.

        Still take a run at the goal tender though when the window opens.

        With respect to Seguin, obviously a good deal of due diligence would be required on investigating a hip issue. Especially if its degenerative.

      • OilersBrass

        Hip issues or not, kid can flat out fly. One of the best wrist shots out there too. Might not be as accurate as Eberle’s but he can rip it.

        I’d move Eberle for him.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    this is an important draft for the Oilers and i’m pretty pissed that they have traded their 3rd and 4th round picks on players who may not even be back this coming season.hoping that the Oil can trade a roster player and the #7 pick to the Flyers for Coburn and #11…i could live with that.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Trade for Seguin Please!

    #7, #37 and a mid-range d prospect.

    He’s the right age to get us to compete for the playoffs. Another painful growing year developing an 18 year old kid is not what the Oilers need.

    Shortly after spend the rest of the summer working on a trade for Gagner

  • Jason Gregor

    After our experience with Whitney and his feet, I would vote to stay away from Seguin and his hips. A 22 year old who already has “issues” with his hips is not going to have a long career; he’s probably already got his titanium implants picked out.

    • 15w40

      Bobrovsky is looking for $6M on a new deal. I get that he won the Vezina but he is on crack looking for that kind of $$$.

      One – 48 game season does not make a consistent starting goaltender worth $6M.

      Columbus has put him on the market now after his crazy salary demands.

  • nuge2drai

    Coburn and an 11th pick is better than just a 7th pick in this draft . At 11th I suspect we will have a minimum choice of Pulock , Domi , Zadorov ,Lazar or Horvat ,and with any luck get Ristolainen or Nurse . My 3 favorites would be Risto , Domi or Pulock . Philly is high on Risto as well as Buffalo , however .Risto or Nurse would more than adequately fill the Cobourn hole laeft in Philly and give them some wiggle room with the cap and signing of Streit . Win win for both clubs here .

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      i’m hoping the Oilers can actually pull this trade off with the Flyers….guess we’ll see in a couple of hours when the Oilers are supposed to pick.

  • OilersBrass

    Hey JG this is a great in depth interview interview with Stu. I like reading of what the Oilers’ Top Man Scout says prior to each draft.

    Thank goodness Letang is not coming to Edmonton. I love this guys abilities and skills but not at the type same money just below Shea Weber.

    Now, I had to double look this morning when i saw that Seguin could be in play. I would be jumping up at the chomp bit and call Boston to use that #7 pick (or next yrs’ first rounder)plus also a lower 2nd to 3rd round 2014 pick and also maybe a prospect so as to get the kid here now.

    There is the Oilers next 2nd line centre…if either of Monahan or Lindholm are not available… That is a no-brainer to me as a top next option. Seguin is already locked in for six more years at $5.75 mil per.

    The Oilers then can use those two second rounders plus next yrs first (if they didn’t use the 2014 pick) for that one top defender they absolutely need.

    They then sign a top UFA winger such as Horton, Bickell (unlikely as he is signing back with Chi), Stalberg…

    The top two lines then start to look like the following:

    Hall – Seguin – Eberle (1st line)
    LW – RNH – Yakupov (2nd line)

    The Cory Schneider to the Oilers possible deal probably won’t take place so the Oil should be targetiung Khudobin or Emery..

  • OilersBrass

    @Mean Machine…

    I would not offer Ebs or any of the other five (Hall, RNH, Yak, J. Schultz, Klefbom) for Seguin.

    The Bruins are suggesting he is possibly available and it’s due to the Horton situation and the cap issues.

    The Oilers should offer either this yrs’ #7 or next yrs’ first rounder, maybe a prospect or two…such as…Lander, MPS, Omark, Rajala or even one of Gernat/Marancin or Fedun… etc, so as to get this deal done.

    The same goes for the Bobrovsky or Schneider type possible deal…do not overpay any of the Oilers’ core thats been built up strongly so far. Bobrovsky apparently wanting up to $6 mil a yr makes me more likely to try for Schneider or…wait for Khudobin or Emery as a UFA signing…

  • Eddie Shore

    Just curious Gregor:

    If a team were interested in trading for Seguin, are they privy to his medical info?

    I’m not talking about Chiarelli saying “his hips are fine”, I’m talking about being able to see medical reports on his hips?

    I know it sounds like buying a show dog and I don’t want to make it sound so callous, but it’s an interesting point; lots of medical-legal implications of exchanging that kind of info of an employee.

    • DSF

      Having been wrongfully deprived by WCB in a fraudulent manner of proper and timely curative therapy for work catalysed and serious bi-lateral hip injuries consistant in symtomology to the partial and full subluxations professional Athletes in contact sports commonly suffer I can offer some insights into the Seguin situation.

      I can tell you that the key to evaluating the potential future impact of hip injurys and longevity of impact of chosen curative therapys is that one MUST know the amount of time that has elapsed between the traumatic impact and initial damages and full and complete diagnosis combined with timeline of immediate curative therapy.

      It is CRITICAL to recieve immediate treatment and not continue to do more collateral damage, which can in some cases can eclipse the initial traumatic injuries in impact if intervention isnt timely.

      Many pro Athletes experience curative interventions that if managed properly have much less impact on the men than the same injuries would have on a regular Joe like me who didnt recieve that timely diagnosis and curative intervention, my injuries could have been drasticlly reduced in impact had I recieved proper TIMELY treatment{goddam WCB fraud artists}, now I face major surgeries.

      The average diagnostic timeline for a non-sports or conventional trauma related{car accident ect.}associated subluxation is 3 years , if you are a Pro athlete it could be under three days. Followed by immediate intervention.

      There are many lesser degree hip injuries Pro Athletes can suffer from which dont carry the caveat of a subluxation or partial dis-location. Labral tears and the like can be treated very very effectively. It is all about the expedient timing and accuracy of diagnosis.

      Definately dont write him off, but definately get a solid chronological timeline of the constellation of symptoms he suffered and the focus and timeline of the treatment course he chose.

      If you have any questions the Harvard Medical School Diagnostic Training textbook is online for free and there are excellent sections that specificlly deal with complicated traumatic hip injuries and their causality.

  • YFC Prez

    A lot of kicking tires going on , but the Coburn and swap of picks makes sense to both teams . Signed , sealed , delivered . Where to go after could be fruitful as well seeing as Hemsy and Horcoff have yet to move .

    Minor deals for bottom six could also muster with any luck , and unlikely to influence our second round picks which I feel we will keep . Onward and upward for the Oilers !

  • MarcusBillius

    Mike Gillis is unreasonable in his demands.

    He could have gotten rid of Loungo’s contract several times last year, but he was greedy and delusional in his expectations for a return.

    I hope no one deals with him and we can enjoy watching him try to sign players without cap space.

  • DSF

    James Duthie ‏@tsnjamesduthie 16m

    “@Real_ESPNLeBrun: one NHL exec on the draft floor: “I bet we see 10 trades today at least.” Then he added “And that’s just the Oilers!”

  • DSF


    thanks for the insight

    It’s obvious anyone needs to very careful and do their due diligence re: Seguin’s injuries in the past.

    As for the Oil: hopefully their medical staff are better at hips than they’ve shown themselves to be with shoulders in recent years.

  • DSF

    NHL Public Relations ‏@PR_NHL 10m
    In 1st Round, Clubs may not make a trade during their time-out. For Rounds 2-7, Clubs are permitted to make trades during their time-out.

    Does this mean teams can’t make trades in the first when they are on the clock? Or only when they are on the clock?