Last night Martin Marincin played in his first NHL game, making it three for the show from the 2010 Entry Draft for the Edmonton Oilers. Taylor Hall made it in the fall of 2010, Tyler Pitlick a few short weeks ago and Marincin last night. How often do the Oilers have three players from one draft play in an NHL game? How often do they draft three players who end up playing 200 or more games? 500? More after the jump.
Since 1979, the Oilers have taken part in 35 drafts, and the numbers are fascinating:
- How many times have 3 players drafted by the Oilers played in one NHL game? This is very common. The only seasons that are outside this range are 1990 (when no one played in an NHL game), 2006 (Petry and Peckham), 2009 (Paajarvi and Lander) and the three most recent seasons.
- How many times have 3 players drafted by the Oilers played in 200 NHL games each? The early years (1979, 1980, 1981) built this city’s hockey legacy, but the Oilers also turned the trick in 1987 (Brad Werenka, Geoff Smith and Shaun Van Allen), 1989 (Josef Beranek, Peter White, Anatoli Semenov), 1991 (Tyler Wright, Martin Rucinsky, David Oliver), 1993, 1996 (Boyd Devereaux, Tom Poti, Fernando Pisani). That’s 8 in 35 years, but none in many years—that may change as the recent seasons fly more sorties.
- How many times have 3 players drafted by the Oilers played in 500 NHL games each? 1979 was crazy (Lowe, Messier, Anderson) and 1980 was too (Coffey, Kurri and Moog), but 1993 (Arnott, Satan, Vyborny) also turned the trick, although most of the talent was traded away for beans.
Jeff Petry is an example of recent drafting success for the Oilers among blueliners. He’s now played in 185 NHL games and will pass 200 later this season. How many defensemen has Edmonton drafted who have played more than 200? 500? Here’s the list:
- Paul Coffey (1980) 1409
- Kevin Lowe (1979) 1254
- Tom Poti (1996) 824
- Steve Smith (1981) 804
- Jeff Beukeboom (1983) 804
- Matt Greene (2002) 481
- Geoff Smith (1987) 462
- Brad Werenka (1987) 320
- Francois Leroux (1988) 249
- Alexei Semenov (1999) 211
Petry will be the 11th Oiler drafted defenseman in 35 years of the draft to play 200 games, and there have been 5 blue to play in over 500 games. So, should Marincin (or Nurse or Klefbom) play in 200 games they’ll stand out and if they make it too 500 it’ll be worthy of a celebration.
The Oilers don’t spend their dear picks on defensemen.
HOW LONG BEFORE WE CAN MAKE THE CALL?
I believe it takes 5 years before you can really see a specific draft, and the 2010 draft is a good example. Before this season, we didn’t really know if Martin Marincin would ever play a game (although he was tracking well), but now he’s done it and didn’t look like an alien so maybe there’s more opportunity in the future. Tyler Pitlick is also from the 2010 draft, and looked miles better than we thought he would based on the scouting reports on boxcar numbers.
We don’t know about these players, they’re still just kids really. Hell, Anton Lander has some traction this season based on a nice Oklahoma City start.
One thing I believe we can predict: the number of Oiler picks (defense) who have been drafted and will play more than 200 NHL games is going to be moving up in the next several years.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It takes a long while to properly evaluate a specific draft era, and we can make the call on all drafts 2008 and previous, but even the 2009 draft has some more blacktop before we know what we’re dealing with for the Oilers.