PROJECTING OILERS DRAFT TRENDS INTO 2014

MACGREGOR COMMON

Chances are the Edmonton Oilers will select from the CHL in Round 1 of the 2014 Draft. I know, I know. Not exactly earth shattering, is it? Having said that, if we look closely at recent Oiler draft picks, there are several trends that match up with this year’s selection. The Edmonton Oilers will pick….

OILER TRENDS SINCE 08 (49 PICKS)

  1. WHL: 14 selections, 28.6%
  2. OHL: 7 selections, 14.2%
  3. Sweden: 5 selections, 10.2%
  4. QMJHL: 4 selections, 8.1%
  5. Finland: 4 selections, 8.1%
  6. BCJHL: 4 selections, 8.1%
  7. NCAA: 4 selections, 8.1%
  8. Russia: 2 selections, 4%
  9. Slovakia: 2 selections, 4%
  10. MWEHL: 1 selection, 2%
  11. Minnesota High School: 1 selection, 2%
  12. Belarus: 1 selection, 2%

Some interesting things when we look at the numbers clustered:

  • CHL + BCJHL: 29 selections, 59.1%
  • Russia, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Belarus: 14 selections, 28.6%
  • US College/High School/Junior Leagues: 6 selections, 12.2%

OILER PICKS IN 2014

  • #3 overall (first round)
  • #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return)
  • #111 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return)
  • #130 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return)
  • #137 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return)
  • #153 overall (sixth round) 
  • #183 overall (seventh round) 

WHAT CAN WE ASSUME?

  1. The obvious: the No. 3 overall pick is coming from the CHL. Again, this is obvious since the candidates all come from the CHL, but it’s also true the Oilers have taken CHL players five of seven times when choosing in the first round during the MacGregor era. Exceptions: Magnus Paajarvi, Oscar Klefbom.
  2. The Oilers have 7 selections in this year’s draft. Using the percentages above, we can guess that the Oilers will take four players from the CHL,two from Europe and one from the USA.

WHAT MIGHT THAT LOOK LIKE?

  • No. 3: C Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert (WHL)
  • No 91: G Ilya Sorokin   Metallurg (KHL)
  • No. 111: L Edgars Kulda, Edmonton (WHL)
  • No. 130: R Vaclav Karabacek, Gatineau (QMJHL)
  • No. 137: D Marcus McIvor, North Bay (OHL)
  • No. 153: R Juuso Ikonen, Espoo-JYP (SML)
  • No. 183: L Chase Phelps, Shattuck-St.Mary’s (USHS)

That’s kind of the projected makeup of a typical Oilers draft. Craig MacTavish has toughened it up a little, but it’ll still have lots of skill. I picked one goalie and I could have chosen two, but that OHL defenseman looks like Ben Betker all over again.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I think the draft board goes:

    Reinhert Bennet Ekblad Draisaitl

    Defenseman typically fall- if we don’t land Ekblad im happy with any of the 3 centers.

    • nuge2drai

      I hear if the SAMs go 1-2, that the Oilers take Drysaddle…..because they love him and can’t stand the thought of the Flames getting him!

      Oiler domination a LONG time away……

      WW

        • Spydyr

          Ekblad is a man playing against a bunch of 16 year old boys………no wonder he dominates.

          How are his numbers even strength?

          How does an early maturing D-man play against players his own size?

          And I beg to differ on your assessment of Mactavish……

          WW

          • Strottie

            Straight from the OHL Network:

            Aaron Ekblad
            GP: 175 G: 40 A: 76 Pts: 116 +/-: 31 PIM: 189

            Seeing that powerplays and short-handed attempts don’t contribute to +/-, I’d say that Ekblad’s even strength numbers are pretty good. Personally, I don’t pay attention to corsi or other advanced stats (mostly because I don’t understand them), so if I’m not looking at a big enough picture feel free to correct me there. At the CHL level, Ekblad dominated. I don’t expect him to play in the NHL after his 9-game cup of coffee is up, as a year (or two) in the AHL wouldn’t/shouldn’t stunt him in any way whatsoever. Once he makes the NHL and stays, then I’ll answer your second question.

            You seem to forget that Ekblad’s been dominating those same 16-year old’s since he was their age and possibly younger. The kid was given exceptional status for a reason. Quite frankly, I don’t see what you have against him. It’s probably easier to get a second-line centreman than it is a franchise defenceman.

            MacTavish, despite having Lowe looming over his shoulders, had a pretty good first year as a GM. A few gaffes (ie; Hemsky, signing Labarbera), but did more than enough to make up for it (Perron and Scrivens). I’ve got just enough confidence that he’ll make the right call on draft day, regardless on what he has available.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Good projections Alan—I do feel that we need to pay more attention to the European prospects. Our scouts over there have had some success when they haven’t been out voted by the others as the draft table. Perhaps we could see the pattern shifting a little this year. Also at least one pick has to be from SASK-just for our peace of mind.

  • BlazingSaitls

    Nobody talks about it much but I think the Oilers would seriously consider trading down if Ekblad and Drysaddle are gone in the top two.

    Id be happy with either Sam as a fan but I get the impression Oilers are deadset on the two big guys.

    This is all far fetched fan speculation of course. It sux draft time is the most exciting part of the year…anyway.

    I think if Ekblad and Drysaddle are gone the Oilers might trade down(with yak and/or Sam packaged) for a proven top 9 forward or proven defencemen. If they make the trade with Islanders, Flames, or Nucks they still might get a great player in Dal Colle. If Oilers trade the pick outside the top 10 I think the quality of player in return increases.

    • BlazingSaitls

      If the Oilers trade the #3 PLUS Yak for a “Top 9 forward” then this club is dumber then I thought.

      Great package, but it better be for a #1 Dman or a #1C. Anything less and we lose the trade now and in 5 years!

      • BlazingSaitls

        You misunderstand. I think the pick would be swapped in the trade. The 3rd pick for 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th or 8th or 9th or 10th..get my point? Of course the Oilers wont give away yak and 3rd for a depth roster player

        • I think NJ either doesn’t have a first round pick, or they have the 30th pick (because of the Tampering charge from the Kovi contract).

          They wouldn’t make a good trade partner when it comes to swapping first round picks. Plus, I believe that Yak stays as his value is lower then it should be and he can rebound into quite the sniper, if given the opportunity to develop without being asked to play a solid defensive game. That isn’t the player that he is.

          As for Gags, who cares what his value is, get rid of him. Too much money for a defensive liability. His position needs to be a two-way strength. He isn’t a first line center.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^not a bad list, but unless he’s gotten bigger since last year, when he was passed over at the draft, Jusso Ikonen is just another Toni Rajala in the size and talent department, so what would be the point of taking him?

      • Zarny

        Winning the last game did throw some of the balls Edm had in the drum over to Fld but there is no way to know if those were the ones that got picked. It’s not like Fld had no chance to start with. It’s possible though.

  • Spoils

    Flames fans prefer Reinhart over Ekblad and Bennett . They prefer by 80% taking Bennett over Draisaitl . Will we botch up their plans ? Speculating if Flames get Reihart ,they’ll probably also get Jeadon Descheneau down the line as well. Will Burke and Lowe feud over choices ?

    Just hope Draisaitl does not turn into Drycycle (joking) .

    • Spydyr

      One thing to note about the flames is that they don’t have a size problem. So they will go for the most skilled guy because that’s what they need desperately.

      So that’s probably one of the reasons most of their fans are Reinhart > Bennett > Draisatl.

    • Strottie

      Actually that’s not quite correct.

      A Straw Poll of Flamesnation showed a tie for #1 between Reinhart and Ekblad for first preference; followed by Bennett and then Draisaitl.

      Personally as a Flames fan I’m hoping the Oilers pass over Bennett and leave us Draisaitl.

      Excluding the current vets, the Flames Top6 prospects in development would then have two 6’2″ Centres to build strength down the middle, and include six 1st rounders plus Gaudreau to round out the group.

      For the bottom 6 Granlund plus ~5 prospects with speed/skill/size/grit plus 4 heavies at 6’3″ 230+lbs to help protect the kids.

      No parade-planning by any means but some nice pieces being assembled, and quickly. Two years ago the Flames prospects were ranked 27th by HF, last year 13th, and now 6th.

      With some patience next year, in two years we could move nicely up the standings. Just leave us Draisaitl please!

  • Spoils

    I have a question…. What did we get for the Labarbera trade? I know he was traded to Chicago for “future considerations” but did anything come of that, or did we legitimately just give him away?

  • Spoils

    Looking at the number of whl players selected, andthen looking at the rest of the league it is clear the oilers are using the oilkings as a scouting grounds.

    perhaps time for katz to buy an ohl and or qmjhl team

  • Spydyr

    Draisatl’s numbers indicate a 70 pt player.
    His GM coached Getzlaf. He stated. Getzlaf was labelled inconsistent. But the problem was he thought the game so much faster. The lazy none driven was really
    wait for teamates to catch up.

    Says Draisatl has the best Forehand/Backhand passing of any player he has seen. Thinks ahead of his players and waits. he expects a jump in production when he plays with elite players. Just like Getzlaf.

    Getzlaf junior season said 70 point player. his good years aroungd 90 points.

    Hall-Draisatl-XXX

    Perron-RNH-Eberle

    XXX-Yakimov-Yakipov

  • Zarny

    The fact that the Oil had to struggle to get four of their seven (low) picks through trades at or near the deadline is very telling. This team needs to develop its talent better, and a huge step towards that would be focusing on getting more picks to expand its prospect pool.

    • nuge2drai

      Oiler Domination To Follow

      The fact that MacT was able to trade 2-3-4th round picks for Perron, Scrivens and Fasth is very telling.

      Than he was able to bring in late picks by trading Bryz. Shultz and some other dead weight.

      I hope MacT continues this trend this year, punctuated by trading the 2015 first rounder for a proven top 2D or top 2C.

  • Edsez

    The Devils aren’t in any better position with picks at 30, 41, 71, 131, 152 & 161

    Think Lamoriello would bite on Gagner, 3rd & 91st for Zajac, 30th & 41st ?

  • Strottie

    I find it fascinating weeks ago the posters here were giving Ekblad the Norris trophy before he played 1 game in the NHL and now someone reads the Ekblad maybe be only as good as a 2nd pairing. The fans jump on this info . Fans are so fickle when it comes to the draft.

    • BlazingSaitls

      I’ve never wanted Ekblad. What’s the point of waiting for another dman to develop? He’s not an elite prospect, just the best out of this years class.

      • You are aware that there have only been 4 players ever granted CHL exceptional player status to play major junior before their time?

        John Tavares was the pioneer
        6 years later, Ekblad was the next, followed up by Connor McDavid

        Sounds like pretty elite company to me

        • “You are aware” that exceptional player status is granted well before their draft year?

          We know that projecting 18 year old defensemen is messy, so I’m not prepared to rely on the past projection of a 15 year old defenseman to determine my draft order.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        You are aware that there have only been 4 players ever granted CHL exceptional player status to play major junior before their time?

        John Tavares was the pioneer,
        6 years later, Ekblad was the next, followed up by Connor McDavid

        Sounds like pretty elite company to me

        • Zarny

          And exactly how does Ekblad stack up against exceptional players?

          Tavares is truly exceptional. He turned 15 Sept 20th his first year. He put up 77, 138, 118 and 94 pts in 4 years of Jr.

          McDavid and Ekblad were just Jan and Feb birthdays who turned 16 halfway through their first year of Jr. Drew Doughty’s birthday is in December so he didn’t need special status.

          Doughty had 33, 74 and 50 pts in 3 years of Jr. McDavid had 66 and 99 pts his first 2 yrs of Jr. Pronger only played 2 years of Jr. but had 62 and 77 pts.

          Ekblad had 29, 34 and 53 pts with his last year skewed by 31 pt on the PP. An unsustainable rate much like Yak shooting 20+% and the Leafs winning while being horribly outshot.

          Where would Ekblad have been drafted in 2008? Certainly after Stamkos and Doughty.

          Bogosian had 61 pt his draft year and 33 as a 17 y/o. Pietrangelo had 53 pt his draft year but 52 pt as a 17 y/o.

          Schenn, Myers, Teubert, Karlsson, Gardiner, Sbisa, Del Zotto, Cuma and Carlson were all drafted in the 1st round but Ekblad is likely in the mix with Bogosian and Pietrangelo going 3rd-5th.

          Somewhere between Bogosian to Pietrangelo is probably what to expect from Ekblad.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Maybe I’m talkin crazy, but if Mike Richards is going to be bought out or traded after the SC finals I hope MacT can get him. Big money or not for a 3rd/2nd line center and clutch, is what the Oilers need, and he’s only 29!

  • 24% body fat

    Would you do an article on the history of German born players in the NHL? I can think of few like OLAF KOLZIG, Marco Sturm,and suchlike.But what is their success rate as drafted players vs as actual NHLers?

    I know that the German Ice Hockey League has grown in terms of competiveness but in my mind kids from Germany are soccer players inherently.
    LD is in the top echelon of players in this draft. Does history show us anything regarding German born players in regards to success when drafted in the first round?

    just do not know.

    Where as we know CHL players and specifically Ontario born players make up a majority of Canadian born NHLers. I believe there are like 18 in the Stanley Cup final.

    It seems successful teams have a large number of OHL players in their lineups.

    Eckblad and Bennett vs Rheinhart and LD.

  • If people think FLA will pass at the chance of having Ekblad & Gudbranson to go along with Barkov & Bjugstad as 1-2 down the middle, you may be in for a rude awakening at the draft.

    Buffalo needs F more than D, given last years draft and their overall performance offensively, so it only makes sense that Bennet goes there.

    Draisaitl would end up fulfilling every oiler pundits prophecy and land here, while CGY gets there reinhart brothers. Hope those guys get the regher/hemsky treatment from Nurse

  • I’d look to do a couple moves like this:

    1) move Schultz for Brayden schenn

    2) move gagner for Ryan Ellis

    To me we don’t really lose anything on the backend and we get schenn who has similar traits to Sam Bennett and is a better skater than gagner. Better defensively too.

    Then you draft leon.

    Consider moving eberle for Ryan o Reilly/James Neal/niño niedereiter. Each brings something we don’t have. Also note oreilly played a lot if wing this year so is quite versatile.

    • Not a bad post but Ellis is too small. We don’t need small offensive dmen, we need some actual physical defence-first men on the back end. Not just size, but mobile, good skating, good first pass! Ellis is JSchultz Jr.

      And moving Eberle for Neiderreitter (sp?) would be a complete downgrade. Ebs isn’t as physical but for a first line RW, he doesn’t need to be.

      Only way in hell Eberle gets traded is in a pkg for a true, legit #1 dman. And the few that are out there don’t seem to be on the market right now.

  • 24% body fat

    I hope the draft goes Sam, Sam, Ekblad too. It is not too late to build the team from the back-end out. I think it is easier to sign or trade for #2 center than #1/2 defenseman.

  • Zarny

    June 27th 2014 {Philadelphia, PA.}
    [Gary Bettman] – Ladies and Gentlemen… We have a trade to announce… [Fans] – Booooo.. [Bettman] – The Edmonton Oilers… [Fans] – BOOOO! [Bettman] – Ahem, The Edmonton Oilers have traded… the 3rd overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Sam Gagner and Martin Gernat to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber and Zach Budish.

    Meanwhile in Edmonton for mixed reasons everyone at Oilersnation.com sh!ts a collective brick!

    Back in Philadelphia.
    [Gary Bettman] – We have another trade to announce! [Fans] – BOOOO!!! [Bettman] – Better Check yo self Philadelphia…. [Ron Hextall, somewhere, looking at his watch,struggling to sh!t a brick] Argh!!! [Bettman] The Edmonton Oilers have traded Nail Yakupov, their 2015 1st round selection, and whatever other magic beans and spare-parts the fans at Oilersnation choose to Pittsburgh for Evgeni Malkin.

    And In about 365 heartbeats the beloved Oilers go from front row at future entry drafts to back row, hanging out with their Stanley cups, Championship Banners and other assorted Hardware…

    WOO!

  • 24% body fat

    With high draft choices comes high expectations . Due to free agency being a boon to state side teams , Canadian teams have a far more difficult time attracting the types of players and cores to reach the top level . It seems it just gets harder and harder for Canadian teams to compete each year under present system .

  • 24% body fat

    The way the draft appears to be setting up is that the Oilers will be having to decide between filling their #1/#2 D Man slot (Ekblad) or their #1/#2 C spot (Reinhart or Draisaitl). Overall, the alternatives are not bad and at least one gaping hole on the roster will be filled in the near future.

    What will be key for Oiler fans and media is to keep their expectations realistic. The Oilers will be drafting a good player in the #3 slot. There are, however, no guarantees he will be a great player. As long as the fans and media have patience and don’t carve this player up, the Oilers should be substantially better after this draft.

    • Probably easier and cheaper for us to do additions thru the draft . Unfortunately it also takes much longer .

      I don’t mind trading anyone so long as we can adequately replace that person and also make team better overall at same time . Too many of our trades do neither . Gagner comes to mind and his contract makes that doubly hard to accomplish . Overpaying often means underperforming the overall clubs on ice personal .

      Due to the uncertainty of this draft , I could see us using that pick for an upgrade or more on current club . It would have to be quite an upgrade for sure , and I believe should be at least two or more in return for that pick .

      Example : Yakupov should get you a first overall plus in a weak draft year in order to trade him at this time. He’s had 2 years and should only get better I would think . Mind you if he wants out that makes getting value for him all that more difficult .