Stu MacGregor’s time as the scouting director for the Edmonton Oilers is now 6 summers deep, and we’re getting a nice idea about where his team is getting value. Here’s a look—by season—at the best draft picks by MBS outside the first round.
2008: TEEMU HARTIKAINEN
After hitting a home run in the first round (Jordan Eberle, 22nd overall) the Oilers didn’t have a second or a third round selection. In the sixth round the club found big Teemu Hartikainen, who has played in 52 NHL games (and is currently having a nice season in the KHL). Oilers retain his rights, it is unknown when he’ll return. Hartikainen certainly covered the draft bet placed on his with 2/3’s of an NHL season.
2009: ANTON LANDER
Lander’s basically the only player left from the 2009 entry draft (second round, 40th overall), and is having a solid year in Oklahoma City. Lander has played in 68 NHL games, but those came when he was unready and have given him the reputation of being a poor NHL option. His progress in the AHL has been impressive, and there’s a good chance he will carve out an NHL career.
2010: MARTIN MARINCIN
Marincin was selected 46th overall (second round) in a cluster of picks (4 in 30 selections) during the 2010 entry draft. Although he hasn’t yet played in the NHL, Marincin’s progress at the pro level has been impressive and he is likely to make his NHL debut in 2014.
The day Simpson was drafted, the scouting reports talked about skating and strength issues. Since then, Simpson has worked very hard to improve in all areas and at this point it’s anyone guess as to where he’ll land on the pro depth chart when he finally signs in 2014. The Oilers are suddenly deep on the back line, but Simpson’s range of skills make him a player of some note.
Tobias Rieder and Martin Gernat are also developing well from this draft.
2012: JUJHAR KHAIRA
The 2012 draft has some nice things tracking, but it’s early. Jujhar Khaira has followed up his strong NCAA season at Michigan Tech a year ago with solid two-way work in the WHL. Khaira is not a feature offensive player for Everett, and he has been injured, but there’s no doubt his size, speed and skill have him heading in a good direction.
Mitchell Moroz and John McCarron are also players of interest from this draft.
It’s too soon to tell for 2013, with Marco Roy, Bogdan Yakimov and Greg Chase all in the running. But, it’s early.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Patience is required when it comes to prospect development, and defenseman take time. The Oilers talent pipeline should be sending some impressive talent to the NHL starting later this season, and the Oilers may be able to turn a few trades their way with the addition of one or more of these young prospects.