For Bo Yakimov, the KHL season has been both a huge jump in quality and a major confidence boost. Although he’s playing at a much higher level than a year ago, Yakimov is having success, and that is a positive arrow for his NHL future. It also bodes well for the big draft day trade that involved six picks. So far, so good for the Oiler side.


The deal went down like this: Edmonton traded #37 overall to Los Angeles (Valentin Zykov) for #57 overall (which was then traded to St. Louis), #88 (Anton Slepyshev) and #96 (Kyle Platzer). The 57th selection being dealt meant Edmonton also added #83 (Bogdan Yakimov), #94 (Jackson Houck) and #113 (Aidan Muir) to their summer loot.

Here’s how it’s working out so far.

  • Valentin Zykov (QMJHL) 7, 4-5-9 (1.29)
  • Bogdan Yakimov (KHL) 10, 2-4-6 (.600)
  • Anton Slepyshev (KHL) 7, 0-0-0 (.000)
  • Jackson Houck (WHL) 6, 1-0-1 (.167)
  • Kyle Platzer (OHL) 6, 4-2-6 (1.00)
  • Aidan Muir (USHL) 5, 1-2-3 (.600)

The reason Edmonton made the deal in the first place (it was actually two deals) is that their scouting people were saying there was exceptional value outside the first two rounds–it was a deep, strong draft in 2013. Edmonton chose to give up an early 2nd round selection in favor of two late 3rd rounders, two early 4ths and a late 4th round pick.

In a normal season, this probably doesn’t give you outstanding value, but armed with what his scouting and Math people were telling him, MacT decided to roll the dice.


It’s important to remember we’re early days here (only 1 player has been in 10gp this season) but it does look good for the Oilers. Yakimov has been a revelation, playing in the tough KHL and scoring at a very nice rate/per game. Kyle Platzer had a nice start to the season and is on an impressive run, but returning juniors may rob him of valuable ice time (London is loaded). Still he performed well when given the opportunity. Slepyshev and Houck have strugged, and it’s tough to say how well Muir is going (those stats are okay, but not world breaking).

On the other hand, Zykov has some very interesting things going on for him during his QMJHL season. Although the numbers above are good not great, he’s averaging about 6 (41 in 7 games) shots a game–that’s an impressive total, easily inside the QMJHL’s top 5.


This is very early. Zykov looks like a very nice value and Yakimov is having a very nice start to his KHL career and that’s a surprise (he’s still a kid). If there is a value gap between Zykov and Yakimov, is that value made up by the potential careers of the others?

This isn’t a black and white answer, and it shouldn’t be this soon into the process. It’s certainly a story worth keeping track of over the next several years. 

    • thefarside

      there is a bigger problem that caused Bo and the other russian to fall down the draft and in some cases not appear on some teams draft list. The flaw in LTs logic here is that neither Russians have given a time frame for coming to North America–but they have made it clear they want to play in the KHL

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Lowtide……I enjoy your radio show…..enjoy your blog columns and posts, really like your positive approach to all things hockey. I especially value your insights , opinions and enthusiasm regarding advanced stats and the prospects in the Oilers system……for all that a big thank-you.

    I do however find I need to read your stuff through a filter that accounts for your exuberance. IMO while advanced stats have some value in evaluating players, they are simply not THAT advanced as to draw the types of conclusions that those who use them draw. Does player X have good Corsi numbers because he is a superior talent….or is it because he plays with two other above average players, or is on the ice mostly with a Shea Weber or Zedeno Chara, or on a better coached team with a better system, or an older more mature team,etc, etc.

    Also, IMO, while I too really enjoy watching and evaluating our prospects, and prospects in general ( World JR Team for example)…as you stated on previous post, from the period from 2008 to the present, the Oilers have ONE non-first-round pick, that they, theOilers, drafted. Jeff Petry. It just seems like we spend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and resources on picks from rounds 2 through 7 with such little return, that I wonder if the exuberance is in in fact false or misguided exuberance.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still enjoyable and worthwhile to discuss these things, but shouldn’t there be some kind of disclaimer that the value of Advanced Stats is still at the early stages of its development and potential worth, and that when we talk about the prospects, like the ones in the list above, there’s a better chance than not that none of those on the list, will ever play 100 games for the Oilers let alone become an impact player?

    Believe it or not, I’m an optimist, and prefer a positive attitude in life to a negative one……I just think that too much optimism can be mis-leading.

    Just one mans opinion,
    Yours truly.
    New Age Sys,…..ah I mean,
    Old Retired Guy

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Also, I do get your point that whether or not any of the prospects in the list above ever make it to the NHL it will still be interesting to follow the process to its conclusion and see what if anything can be learned.

  • Lowetide

    ORG: Thanks for the kind words, and I certainly have been told in the past that I’m a glass half full type. 🙂

    In regard to advanced stats, it’s important to remember that this is a developing set of metrics and sometimes what we think we see is in fact mirage. This season, the Oilers have two games worth of information and that’s not enough to draw a real conclusion.

    The seasons 2010-13 were very clear though, by eye and by math. Horrible. This season does offer more promise, although saying that on a day like today is a little more difficult than normal.

    In regard to prospects, I think it’s important to remember that patience is important. You mention that 2nd-7th rd picks from 2008+ haven’t arrived, but those players often take more time and the Oilers have selected a lot of defensemen (and they have a longer development timeline).

    The 2008 draft is in the books, with Eberle (home run) and Hartikainen (a successful pick) in the books. HArtikainen was taken in a spot where one doesn’t expect 50 NHL games.

    2009 featured Anton Lander who is a prospect of note and then 2010 features Marincin who should be an NHL player. The short answer for me is that you have to wait 5 years before making a call on a draft.

    Meaning, the only Stu MacGregor draft we can make a call on is 2008. And they didn’t have a 2nd or a 3rd, but walked away with Eberle (22nd) and Hartikainen.

    How can we possibly call that a bad draft year?

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Thanks for the response….I’ll keep the 5 year milestone for the prospects in mind. And the fact that Advanced Stats is a DEVELOPING set of metrics.

      IMO, it IS a developing set of metrics, the value of which will continue to grow, but in its current state should be scrutinized appropriately, as it is, like all statistics, prone to misinterpretation, misrepresentation, manipulation, and even abuse………which brings us to the topic of DSF………………JUST KIDDING!

  • Lowetide

    I for one am tired of the advanced stats crowd picking and choosing what way they want to steer there agenda. Ie Alan tweets a story by Tyler Denlow who uses one games corsi numbers to argue his point against hnic using faceoff and hit numbers. Mr Mchockey in an earlier story discredits Dubnyks early season numbers. Why? He likes dubnyk, he thinks his corsi numbers tell the story better than mainstream media. Jonathan willis and allan mitchell are guilty of this as much as anybody. Ei Jonathan loves flashy players like omark fills storys with fringe stats that “prove” hes a great player, claims he is strong on the puck, claims he plays a good two way game when watching a game totally discredits his opinion.. He dislikes fighting and hitting so In his storys and game ratings he will go out of his way to point out how bad a player like mike brown is , funny thing is he will convieniently leave out selective stats that would make a case any way other than which way he wants to steer a story. Allan Mitchell does the same thing on his show monotoning praise for hemsky, omark, gilbert any player whois soft as butter. Didnt mind him spinning oldies, talking weather and traffic in 1982 but he has no business writing or broadcasting about hockey.

    • PutzStew

      Most stat guys seem to use only the stats that prove there points…and yes ..although not as bad as those guys at COH…Lowetide is one of them. In the end you don’t need advance stats to prove that this team is 0 and 2 and that they have sucked the hind tit to start of the season.

      • Lowetide

        You CAN use advanced stats to suss through the rubble and useful things. For instance, Mark Arcobello has earned (imo) another start with a skilled set of wingers.

        I don’t know that many of us would have been arguing for him without the Corsi evidence.

        • PutzStew

          Sure he did but in the end the team still lost. Your advance stats also say that Hall sucks at center. I’m sure you will have other excuses for that, but in the end, as I have been saying all along, Hall is a winger, not a center, so leave him on the wing and quite trying to make him something he is not.

    • Lowetide

      Tyler’s Dubnyk article (correctly) argues that the previous seasons are a better reflection of actual ability than two games. That isn’t advanced stats, that’s just reasonable.

      In regard to HNIC, Dellow again correctly talks about Healy’s choosing things like blocked shots and faceoffs won as an argument in favor of the Oilers “winning the stats page” which believe me is incorrect.

      As for my qualifications to broadcast about hockey, well that’s certainly an item that is open to debate. If my two hours a day fail to draw an audience, I’m certain it’ll be a short lived enterprise.

        • Lowetide

          Dellow does outstanding work and it does inform us about the game. I understand it may not be for you, but I’m always impressed by what Dellow and Willis and others can grab from the numbers.

          It’s been an education.

          • Space Dad

            LT, I just read through the comments and I have to say that, in my estimation, your class puts you on another level. The contrast between the brutish simplicity of the troglodyte mind and the more complex dignity fundamental to human being could not be more clearly shown.

            Well done, sir.

          • O.C.

            Agreed. He’s cerebral. Not always right, as there is always another intangible argument. Like seeing him venture outside the box.

            Not like the Healys of the world who spew crap and think they are bright.

            Tyler has to quit dropping F bombs in his Twitter account though. He’ll never gain full MSM cred with that. It looks (and is) immature.

  • PutzStew

    LMAO. I think it is hilarious that your are praising MacT on a day after the line up he put together lay an egg effort wise.

    There should be no credit to anyone in management until the win something. Right now they can’t even put together a full NHL lineup.

    This is as bad is that idiot who wrote a whole blog on Hemsky’s goal against Winnipeg, in a game where he was -1 and his corsi was -5.

    • Lowetide

      MacT changed the roster plenty, but there’s no doubt losing the club’s two best centermen has hurt them. I argued they needed better depth during the summer, and that’s certainly something that has come home to roost.

      • PutzStew

        Your a card Lowetide.

        So the only problem that this team has is that they are missing there top two center men??? The fact that even with them in the line up, they are still carrying a guy who is just along for the ride (Smyth), a guy no other team wants (Hemsky), no starter (Dubby), a bunch of AHLer’s or guys that shouldn’t be in the NHL (Acton, Grebs), have a GM with NO MANAGEMENT EXPERIANCE (MacT), who seems to think he knows better then everyone else, a coach with no NHL experience, assistant coaches that should have been fired 2 head coaches ago (Bucky, Smith), an owner who is going to rank up there with names like Wirtz (senior) and Ballard in future years and of course, a President that is to busy polishing his 6 stanley cup rings that he won, almost 20 years ago, to take responsibility for any of the mistakes, he might have made, has nothing to do with it. You can include in a bunch of fans that through players under the bus, when players don’t perform how they think they should in positions, those players don’t belong (see hall at center).

        Oilers are a joke and will continue to be as long as these problems exist. I’ve been say that for a while now and so far this team is doing nothing to prove me wrong.

        • Lowetide

          Thank you! I consider myself to be less than a card, but will accept the compliment and consider myself lucky.

          I’ve never believed Hemsky was as others felt (and you’ve stated), and the fact that the Oilers couldn’t give away Hemsky looks pretty damn good now!

          Dubnyk has had a terrible start, hasn’t he? Man it’s been brutal. The good thing about the past is that it usually gives us an idea about the future, so those solid seasons by Dubnyk give us some inclination about what might be ahead for him. We’ll see, he sure does need to be better.

          I don’t think the Oilers are a joke, suspect you don’t either. Games come pretty quickly this season, so we may have more to talk about tomorrow night! 🙂

          • PutzStew

            Sorry Lowetide,

            I do think the Oilers are a joke. So much so that I’m loving watching them choke, and admiring what the Flames are doing, in there rebuild. As long as KLowe and Katz are running the show then this will be a clown college.

            I am very disappointed by supposed “loyal fans” whom are spending there money despite the half ass attempt by this team for the past couple years. if they were loyal they would be holding management and ownership accountable for this debacle instead of finding excuses.

            If Someone like Burke was running the show, Hemsky would be gone, Smyth would be gone, MacT and Scotty would never have even been allowed near the team, Bucky gone, Smith gone, there would be more then one NHL center one the ice last night, and the message would have been “Lossing is not an Option. If you aren’t going to give it your all you are not going to play”.

            Instead we get all these rejects and the message of “Ya we are losing but it’s a learning process…..but we will take you money still.”

            Yeh I a fan of laughing my ass of at the Failer that is the Edmonton Oilers and “Loyal Fans”

          • Lowetide

            If Burke were running this team we would have SIZE, TOUGHNESS on all forward lines and D-PAIRINGS and very few DAFODILS or stick checking FAIRIES on our team!!! Half this group would be gone and replaced by BIG, COMPETITIVE BAD A$$ES!!!

          • Lowetide

            Watching the Flames – Canucks. Flames have many players with guts and character!!! Add in BIG BAD BRIAN MCGRATTAN and the Flames are competing with the Canuckleheads NO PROBLEM. Sestito, Weise, Bieksa and Kessler look so innocent against the Flames- no extra dangling in the Flames zone or they will get SMOKED- and nobody wants to make eye contact with McGrattan or even give out any little shots to the more skillfully Flames!!!

        • Joy S. Lee

          For all you who are bashing this comment – and I’m not advocating everything PutzStew has said – but I would suggest almost every single item brought up in this post most certainly is up for debate, whether you disagree with it or not.

          It’s interesting in that it might not be the players or coaches that take all the heat this year. It seems the entire organization is being called into question now. Maybe guys like Lowe and Katz start feeling like they’re on the hot seat. Edmonton is a hockey pressure-cooker, isn’t it?

          Tonight’s result will be interesting, if only for the fan response, as it could be a wild swing either direction, and often is.

          • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

            Every single item in the post? That’s generous.

            1. Suggesting smytty is only along for the ride.

            Seriously? Your questioning Ryan Smyths heart and try? Seriously? Watch a hockey game once in a while.

            2. Hemsky is a player no other team wanted.

            Seriously? I’m sure lots of teams would line up if he went on the waiver wire. They simply didn’t want to pay what mact felt he was worth. This is of course besides the point considering the assumption that if a team doesn’t want a player then he is a bad hockey player. (Marty st.loius was undrafted and therefore unwanted)

            3. No starter.

            Technically Whoever starts the game in net is the starter so I guarantee the oilers will have a starter every game whether dd or someone else. Asinine point.

            4. Ahl guys or guys who should not be in the NHL.

            Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m fairly certain every team has some guys who are borderline nhlers this point holds no water unless the number of ahlers overtakes the number of nhlers on a roster. Also from limited viewing I would suggest Acton is a legit 4th line centre.

            5. Managment with no managment experience.

            Say hello to Scott Howson and rick olczyck. Also mact was senior vp of hockey operations for one season so technically he does have managment experience. Oh look another point made without actually being a legit point.

            6. This is taking too much of my time to counter point obvious stupidity so I’ll end on the coach note. Eakins does not have nhl coaching experience. Neither did dan bylsma. I think he has a cup ring now.

            Putz needs to stay away from the internet. He clearly is fact challenged.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Depth is why MacT traded #37 for five picks (essentially) in the recent entry draft. The organization needed it. As Lowetide mentions, it may take 5 years to judge the effectiveness of a draft. Guess we’ll have to wait to see, but there’s depth in the system, now.

        Oddly enough, I half expect this year will reveal our lack of depth, but that the Oilers will actually start looking like a deep team as soon as next year! It’s why it’s called a maturation process. Guys like Pitlick, Lander, Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, could all be NHLers in 365 days. How’s the roster look if that happens? Big changes. This year will be what it is, hopefully we can turn it around, but organizational depth should start paying at least SOME dividends as of next season. Yeah, I know….patience. Getting harder and harder to hear that word around here.

  • PutzStew

    As a side note. I live in a place where beat up white Ladas seemingly outnumber people. And they are all driven by idiots. It was funny to see one get kicked in that GIF!

  • EasyOil

    Wow the barely-literates are out in full force… if stats aren’t for you that’s fine but please can people keep an open mind! Great work as per usual LT.

  • book¡e

    Daer LT,

    I like you, but cause I don’t really have a depth of knowledge of how evidence based analysis works, I want to tel you how stupid it is. It’s soft as butter to say a player is good when I can clearly see that a player is soft as butter. I prefer the soft as butter analysis because it is simple and I don’t need to think to use it. So from now on can you please just say players are soft as butter or not and stop it with all of the other crap.

    ON Commenter.

  • Lowetide. How you hold your high personal standards of civility in the face of such ignorance is something to behold. Killing them with kindness. Keep up the great work.

    And guys, your is not you are;)

    Soft as butter.

  • @ Jim and Rotten Ron

    If you are going to judge someone based on their writing, at least get their name right. It’s Tyler Dellow.

    Also, although I agree that every fan has their right to their opinion on their hockey team, assuming that stats guys are wrong because of your “I saw him good/bad” opinion is asinine.

    Advanced stats are not perfect, never will be. But that’s why the community is always trying to develop itself.

    I don’t know who you are from a hole in the ground so why should I put any faith in your opinion?

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Sorry joy my reponses are obviously mostly directed at Putz it didn’t include his points in my post. Obviously you thinking he made any legit point puts your legitimacy up for question as well though.