It may take years, but the ‘big trade’ for the Oilers this summer may have been the one, the boring one, the one announced in aged monotone by Jim Gregory at the NHL entry draft. It was actually two trades, and the return was five names for one name. It’ll be ages before we know the winner, but the race is on!


Valentin Zykov 2012 (QMJHL) 67, 40-35-75 (1.12). Zykov was a highly rated player going into the draft, in fact he was picked to go in the first round on many lists. Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau: “He’s an unbelievable talent; scores the big goals. He’s going to be special. Great skater, strong kid. Really a solid kid. He goes into the corner and comes out with the puck. He has great hands, can shoot the puck, passes the puck, does everything well.”


Bogdan Yakimov 21, 3-6-9 Penza (Rus-2). HUGE Russian center from Yak City’s hometown (now known as "EAST Edmonton"), Yakimov impressed Bruce McCurdy at the recent prospects came in Sherwood Park. McCurdy: "He was often seen in close proximity to Daniil Zharkov, the other Russian speaker at camp (Sergei Slepyshev was unable to attend due to work visa issues). Yakimov has plenty of work to do on skating and related mobility issues, but was at his most impressive any time he had a puck on his stick."


Anton Slepyshev 11, 4-2-6 Ufa (KHL). Passed through the draft one year ago, Slepyshev is an outstanding prospect who is already playing in the KHL. Although signed to a KHL contract through 2015, Slepyshev projects as a skill winger with size when he arrives.


Big power winger has some fans at Redline Report: Blossoming power winger uses size to establish and hold position around crease. Already tough to move off the puck and has a frame that could still add 20 pounds.


Kyle Platzer 65, 5-17-22 London (OHL). He is not a well known player, even in his own league. Platzer played for the very deep London Knights and didn’t get a lot of playing time. Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: "He may not be big, but he’s effective in puck retrieval and does a good job working the boards. He’s got great hockey sense and acknowledges and takes advantage of openings when they occur in the offensive end. If he’s given a chance to show more of his creative side and plays with higher skilled players, I think we’ll get a sense of just how skilled he is. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up a 20-20 season."

 AND PICK #113

Aidan Muir 37, 17-23-40 Victoria Honda Midget (MWEHL). Another player who impressed McCurdy at the prospects camp:



The Edmonton Oilers decided that 5 bullets later in a deep draft had more value than one bullet early. We’ll know a little about this trade by 2015 summer, and should have the complete answer by the end of the decade. From here, it looks like a very interesting bet. Valentine Zykov is an outstanding talent, but Anton Slepyshev isn’t far behind. Add in the others and we’ll be revisiting this deal for a long time.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Hated the move(s) draft day but the logic appears sound now. The Eberle pick was the jewel in the Pronger trade. Klefbom could be the plum of the Penner deal. Even though those were firsts, maybe one or two of these five later picks will pay dividends. As indicated we won’t know for awhile.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Sounds like a bring back Tams speak . Bold move by Lowetide ? Does he have any idea of the possibility and percentages any of them will become NHL’ers” ? Lowetide’s a little bit to optimistic .

      • Citizen David

        Seeing where Slepyshev was ranked last year, he probably has a better shot than Zykov of being an impact NHLer. The question is does he want it?

        Read all the reports on Roy. If they don’t get you optimistic then you aren’t an Oilers fan.

        I don’t think all five added in the trade will be misfires so pull out your Russian flag and wave it around! Don’t be a downer!

      • Lowetide

        It’s going to be interesting, because Bykov is a helluva prospect. I don’t really think there’s a way to be ‘optimistic’ until we see how these guys progress.

        There’s a lot to be learned here, though. The Oilers (also NJD, WPG, others) were trading down quite often during the draft. Clearly they felt the value was greater later.

        I think this isn’t really a trade you take a side on, more a trade you monitor and assume the conclusion is many winters away.

      • The Soup Fascist

        Not at all. Tambellini could not manage water down a drain. Lowe actually made the trade for the pick that yielded Eberle.

        2nd round picks are like 30% historically NHL contributors and drop significantly in subsequent rounds, but this is a deep draft and MacT has five chips on the roulette table instead of one. Bold? – meh. Smart – probably.

        Btw if Fucale was still on the board, no way they would have traded 37.

        • Citizen David

          And then I would have gagged. Fucale is the Fleury of the QMJHL. The only good stat he had was wins. Which is the worst way to measure a goalie. Their are goalies that their teams win because of them and goalies who are along for the ride. Fucale was the later. For over half the season while he raked in wins he was sub .900 save percentage. He managed to scrape above it in the end. At the top prospects game he was the only goalie to get scored on. The other three goalies got shut outs. He let in three goals in half a game.

          Sorry for the rant. I just hate how people think wins mean something other than the goalie was on a great team or played a ton of games.

          • The Soup Fascist

            1) Highest rated goalie by a significant margin – Comrie and Jarry were 2a / 2b. 2) A lot of “experts” had him potentially going in the first round. 3) Oilers have virtually no young goaltending depth.

            I have zero credentials to judge good or bad goaltending at the junior level, but based on those three facts I think he should have been the Oilers choice had he slipped one more spot.

            The hue and cry would have been deafening had the Oilers traded the pick if Fucale was available – warranted or not.

          • Citizen David

            Maybe we should go back and look at the “highest rated goalie in the draft” track record. Fucale could turn out. But I won’t touch him with a twenty foot pole if I was a GM.

            Partick Roy #51
            Dominic Hasek #199
            Curtis Joseph undrafted
            Ed Belfour undrafted

            Martin Brodeur was drafted #20 but was ranked third goalie heading into the draft. Trevor Kidd was ranked number one goalie.

            Goalies just can’t be figured out.

  • RexLibris

    Given that the Oilers are looking to stock up on the proverbial 7s, 8s and 9s rather than the Jacks and Kings, this move makes some sense.

    They turned one chip at one table into several chips spread around the casino.

    Increased odds of winning if one is willing to take less of a return. With all the skill positions more or less spoken for, this was a good trade for both. The Kings will look for someone like Zykov to restock any top six position they lost to financial attrition and need to make use of ELCs sooner rather than later.

    Meanwhile the Oilers were looking at a likely development slump if they didn’t restock a system that hasn’t lived up to expectations after the 2010 draft. This draft influx may remedy some of that.

    Interesting in that I don’t think MacTavish has outright “won” any trades (at least so far as we can tell this early*), but he hasn’t been hosed in any (*same applies as above) and for a rookie GM to leave the proverbial blackjack table with his shirt on and his head high is a good sign.

  • Lowetide

    Rex: Excellent point. Some of the rumored deals (Clarkson, Schneider) were ghastly sounding, but they didn’t work out. Give MacT some time to suss things out, I think he’ll be outstanding in the role.

    MacGregor needs to find him another Eberle though. This time in the 2nd round. 🙂

    • RexLibris

      Not sure he needs another Eberle-player type exactly, but that kind of draft value has to be forthcoming.

      This is a bit of a tangent, but I suppose based on some early indications about being objective and critical we can hope that MacTavish doesn’t get lulled into a false sense of security or romanticized by what his amateur scouts do.

      If they start to fall off in production he won’t wait for a decade to decide on them as Sather did with Barry Fraser. Stagnant drafting is the death knell of an organization.

  • Citizen David

    Add in Roy and Chase and of course Nurse and the draft looks great. Lots of players to follow next year. It will be a joy.

    Mactavish certainly has been saved from himself. Schneider, Clarksen, and Fucale. But I’m loving the job he’s doing. He has a vision and he’s gunning for it. Quite refreshing after Tambellini.

  • RexLibris

    MacT’s talk of “Bold Moves/Trades” prior to the draft may have been not entirely correct but they were words of progress and being Gung Ho…and I liked it…still do in fact.

    But what I like more is that more common sense with future needs and projections/realistic present needs came first,…. from the day of the draft and since, even though there were some type offers to players made (yet never worked out…thank God).

    I agree totally with Rexlibris above about better winning odds in how the Oilers took more picks even though later. MacT did right with that he has stocked up the system even more. the kids chosen still have potential a lot and that is what the draft is….potential!!!

    MacT also did very well so far in picking up better veteran players to give much better depth and skill on the Oilers as to what has been these last yrs…with exception of the excellent kids in place now as the present to very near future core (Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yak, J. Schultz, Petry, Klefbom and Nurse, etc).

    Way to go MacT…and please now finish up very good what ya started the right way a few weeks ago!!!

  • Numenius

    LT, if Zykov turns into a 2nd line forward, and the Oilers’ picks result in 2 3rd line forwards, would you consider the trade a win?

    I think I’d be satisfied with that, but it might be a bit more of a wash than a win.

    • Lowetide

      Depends, really. I think Zykov has the best chance of being an NHL player but Slepyshev has a good chance too. Both are skill wingers.

      The big C could play more than one role, the PF could too and the kid from the OHL is a born checking winger.

      Muir is a massive unknown.

      If Slepushev and one of Houck/Yakimov end up being players and Zykov does too, I’d be happy with that exchange.

    • Joy S. Lee

      What if the lot of them turned into good AHLers? Grade that one, please.

      Okay, I’m going to answer my own question, because I’d still grade that a win, too, though that may surprise some people. Thing is, our pro depth was waning because most of the skilled youth injections have come directly to the parent team.

      If you want young kids (not drafted in the top 10) on the cusp of pro hockey to develop into NHL players, the truly great organizations surround them with good players at both levels, and reap the benefits down the road. Building one’s system is never, ever a bad thing, though I suspect that when the Russians are coming (LOL), they’ll do so expecting big-league contracts? That’s where the Russian factor could potentially get sticky, but that’s another subject. I’m agreeing with the tone of others here about MacT’s moves, and thinking that the stocking of our system is equally as important as a single, quality player, and that this was a very astute move by the Oil.

  • RexLibris

    I like the trade down and acquiring additional picks. If two of the players end up making the NHL, I would consider this a successful trade. If Slepyshev has a great year in the KHL I would think he should be brought over the following year for conditioning in the AHL.

    All players should be making their way through our AHL team, even if it’s for a short period of time. If players are not willing to do this, we should not draft them.