Many moons ago, the Edmonton Oilers passed on drafting Zach Parise. Why? Well, he was a small forward, and the Oilers had several in the system already. They were covered at that spot, no need for overkill. Best player available? NOPE! Marc Pouliot (flying, in photo) and J-F Jacques were the return for the draft pick that New Jersey used on Parise.
How’s that working now? Well, let’s see if we’ve learned any lessons.
One of the more bizarre elements of this year’s draft was the inclusion of two goalies in the six Edmonton picks. Kind of overkill, no? In the Stu MacGregor era drafts 2008-13, the Oilers selected four goalies out of 49 picks. That’s 8%. In this year’s draft, it was 33%. One would have to think this was a helluva year for goalies, right? I hadn’t read that, but Edmonton must have felt that way. If you’re taking bpa and two of your picks are goalies, that must mean it’s a good year for goalies.
- Stu MacGregor, February 2014: “We need to find a goaltender. There are some good prospects. None are off the charts. But there are quite a few of them. As a group they are pretty good.” source
Hmmm. Sounds like drafting for need to me, and honestly I think we should have expected this after Edmonton lost out on Zach Fucale last year at the draft. Having said that, drafting for need in any season is a bad idea, especially when there is value left on the table.
This season, it appears that was the case.
QUALITY PLAYERS LEFT ON THE TABLE
Every NHL team left quality on the table this year, it was a wild edition of the annual selection. However, this year things were more pronounced. Here are the players from Craig Button’s final 100 list who were taken after No. 100:
- Michael Bunting
- Adam O. Mattsson
- Ondrej Kase
- Michael Prapavessis
- Ryan Mantha
- Emil Johansson
- Reid Duke
- Gustav Forsling
- Axel Holmstrom
- Kelly Summers
- Kyle Jenkins
- Oskar Lindblom
- Jaedon Descheneau
- Jack Ramsey
- Daniel Audette
- Austin Poganski
- Nikita Lyamkin
- Ryan Foss
By my count, the following players in Button’s top 100 weren’t taken at all in the draft:
- D Vladislav Gavrikov
- R Reid Gardiner
- C Alexandre Goulet
- L Vladimir Tkachyov
- L Daniel M. Bagenda
- C Tyson Baillie
I think it’s a legit question this morning. At what point does drafting for need come into the equation? I would argue ‘never’ and suggest the Oilers should always take the guy who is next on their list.
Stu MacGregor, June 2013: “Our mandate from Mac T is to pick the best available player and the
management group will deal with what that player is. If they need to, they can use an asset within the
organization to fill the holes we need to fill from a positional
standpoint, but he wants skill.” Source
So. Last June it was bpa, this year it’s draft for need. I know it’s kind of silly to be arguing over the return on a 7th round pick, but this is in fact a pretty damn big deal. BEST. PLAYER. AVAILABLE.