For years now we’ve been waiting for that 2010 entry draft to stand and deliver. I’ve argued for a long time that it’s impossible to measure a draft’s success in the short term (unless it’s obvious, like Taylor Hall or Troy Hesketh) and in 12 months I think we’ll be able to safely make the call on the Oilers 2010 edition. How is it going?
THE 2010 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
- TOTAL PICKS: 210
- TOTAL OILER PICKS: 11
- TOTAL NHL PLAYERS SO FAR: 68 (32.4%)
- TOTAL OILERS NHL PLAYERS SO FAR: 3 (27.2% of Oilers 11 picks)
- TOTAL NHL GAMES PLAYED SO FAR: 3,944
- TOTAL OILERS NHL GAMES PLAYED SO FAR: 300
- Taylor Hall—246GP, 92-133-225
- Martin Marincin—44GP, 0-6-6
- Tyler Pitlick—10GP, 1-0-1
The Hall selection has turned out as well as hoped—there’s no special reward for the scouting department in getting that one right, only wrath if the picks fails. For a long time, the rest of the 2010 draft looked very poor, but in mid-season 2013-14 Martin Marincin and Tyler Pitlick were recalled and gave an indication that more help might be coming from the 11 Edmonton picks that year.
At the time of the draft, I wrote the following about the 2010 performance by Oilers’ scouts:
Overall impressions: A good, good draft. Hall
clearly is going to be the story of this draft, but nice value in the
second round (Pitlick, Marincin) and later (Davidson) tell us the Oilers
set up their draft board well. I also like the Hamilton and Bunz
selections, leaving only the Martindale pick as a question mark (they
drafted for need) among the team’s most dear selections. Blain,
Czerwonka, Pelss and Jones are probably scouts picks, payment for all
those nights driving to little towns all over the world in search of the
next Taylor Hall. These men are going to be under pressure to deliver
more than an average number of NHLers to the show for the next several
seasons and it looks like they’ve delivered this season. Report card day
is around 2015 summer. See you then.
We’re just twelve months away from the five year mark and we have most of the draft surrounded, but there are still returns coming in and hanging chads hither and yawn. What are the problems facing the still developing members of the 2010 draft?
- Injuries as we discussed here.
- The lack of opportunity in the minors, due to those injuries, the lockout that impacted a significant portion of the 2012-13 season, playing time lost to AHL veterans playing ahead of prospects and impacting development.
There’s a fine line between reason and excuse involved in the second option there, but it is certainly true that the OKC Barons did not send Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton out for 15 minutes a night as rookies. The club DID give Phil Cornet a push, and AHL veterans got ice time, but the two second-round picks were depth players and battled injuries.
There has been talk that Craig MacTavish instituted a plan that sees prospects get a push in the minors, and there are fewer AHL veterans on the rosters these days. I’m not absolutely convinced this makes a difference but wanted to include it as a discussion point.
Either way, Pitlick has overcome injuries, lack of ice time and AHL veterans to become a legit prospect.
ABOUT TYLER PITLICK, 2014
Todd Nelson: “He’s a strong guy, he
has great speed and he has some skill, but he has to play a
straight-lined game up and down his wing, being physical in the corners,
finishing his checks, shooting the puck and keeping things simple. When
he’s hitting people and he’s shooting the puck, he’s at his best. He’s
always got pretty good wheels out there, he understands the game. Once
again, it’s just a matter of being consistent. He’s knocking on the door
to be a full-time NHLer.”
Nelson late in the season: “I think Tyler
Pitlick has to be talked about. He’s taken his game to a whole new level
and he’s ready to play up there. I see this guy as not being back in
OKC next year, I see him playing in the National Hockey League… He’s
really a lot more mature than he has been in previous years. He’s taken a
quiet leadership role where he understands his play on the ice is
contagious to the rest of the hockey team where he has to play a
physical game and move his feet. As a coaching staff, we have confidence
There is still time for Curtis Hamilton, Brandon Davidson, Ryan Martindale (in another organization, he was traded last season for Steve Pinizzotto) but I think it’s safe to say this is the final year we should consider these young men as prospects.
If they succeed in a ‘hey, Colin McDonald is playing for the Islanders’ kind of way, I’m not sure we can consider this a draft success.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Last night in Winnipeg, Tyler Pitlick played a solid game. It was against young opposition and he may get passed by Pinizzotto or some Finn, but he remains a prospect with a chance. Curtis Hamilton also played well, and even though his situation looks more dire there’s still time for him to emerge as a legit NHL prospect.
Think of it as a baseball game. Every team gets 27 outs, and you can’t run out the clock. Pitlick and Hamilton have been trailing since the early innings, but there are still opportunities.
A year ago, few were talking about Martin Marincin as a player of significance. One more year. Then we’ll make the call.