draft commonn12

At the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was wheeling and dealing draft picks. At the time, it looked like the exact opposite of bold, moving down to collect lower draft picks. 15 months later, how do things look?


  • June 30, 2013—Oilers trade No. 37 overall to Los Angeles Kings. LAK use selection to draft Valentin Zykov. Oilers acquire selections 57, 88 and 96.
  • June 30, 2013—Oilers trade No. 57 overall to St.Louis Blues. STL use selection to draft William Carrier. Oilers acquire selections 83, 94 and 113.

So, bottom line is this:

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  • Edmonton traded Valentin Zykov to Los Angeles for Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer and Aidan Muir.


I thought it might be worthwhile to look at how things are going this fall with the six prospects. 



A report from Rink Royalty tells us about Zykov’s progress:

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  • RR: Valentin Zykov was impressive, and showed off his talent with the puck
    and ability to score during the rookie training camp.  A loaded roster
    allows the Kings time with the 19-year-old Russian.  The extra time to
    develop, and remain dominant at the Junior level will benefit Zykov. 
    Though it may not be what he wants patience is a virtue for Zykov. 
    He’ll be in the show wearing the Black and Silver in the next few years.


A team like the Kings can afford to be patient, and Zykov is enjoying a fine junior career. Another year in the QMJHL should mean a bona fide prospect in the AHL (or pushing for an NHL job) fall 2015. 

yakimov young stars


As you know, he’s been a revelation in Oilers training camp, to the point where coach Dallas Eakins gave the slightest of hints he could make the big club this fall. A stunning result if it happens, Yakimov has shown excellent progress since draft day. 


Anton Slepyshev started slow this season in the KHL, and still isn’t playing enough, but is 10GP, 1-3-4 so far during the Russian regular season. He is a candidate for signing in the spring and has enough talent to play pro in North America.

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Big power winger Red Line Report was very high on draft day, Houck scored 34 goals in the WHL last season. He looked slow at the Young Stars game and there’s miles to go, but the goals make him a legit prospect.


This guy was impressive at the Young Stars and got to hang around a little longer because of it. A two-way type with more jam than previously thought, he’s off to a nice start (3GP, 0-4-4) with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL.


Chris Dilks from SB Nation listed Muir (headed to Western Michigan) as one of 10 Freshman to watch for the coming season:

  • Muir is an ideal fit for the style of hockey that Western Michigan head
    coach Andy Murray wants his team to play. There is very little flash in
    his game, but the big-bodied forward is excellent at grinding along the
    boards and in front of the opposition’s net. His motor is always running
    and he plays what is described as a very heavy brand of hockey. Even if
    he doesn’t put up huge offensive numbers, he’ll still make his impact
    felt on the game.




Don’t kid yourself, Los Angeles traded up for a quality prospect and Zykov looks like the real deal. However, it’s beginning to look like the Oilers may have done themselves a favor with these series of moves, as Yakimov alone may cover the bet.

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It’s an interesting time for Yakimov and Oilers fans, but it’s also important not to get ahead of ourselves. You have to wait five long years to see how this turns out, but it’s okay to count arrows.

The arrows on this trade are good for both teams. A win-win, as they say.

We wait.

    • ubermiguel

      Definitely an over-ager now, but a bona fide star back in the day.

      I loved these moves by MacT. Cupboard is bare, so let’s stock up on prospects. 37th picks have a low chance of making the NHL, might as well have 6 long shots for the price of 1 long shot.

      Don’t think 37th picks are a long shot? Here’s a sample starting 5 years ago:

      2009 – Mat Clark
      2008 – Stefan Legein
      2007 – Yury Alexandrov
      2006 – Scott Jackson
      2005 – David Shantz

      Looking at those Round 2 selections it’s amazing how few NHLers are in there.

  • Raider Jesse

    I was a little choked with the trades until Yakimov was selected. Then when we grabbed Slepyshev after I was tickled pink. Of course my scouting was limited to just Russian international play but boy did I like the looks of Yakimov as a draft eligible C.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^i was happy as well with the Yakimov pick….i think he’s a better fit or need than Zykov would have been and the other players we got as well is just the cherry on top of the cake.

  • Serious Gord

    This is a very spurious game of who won a trade of picks:

    1. We don’t know who EDM would have drafted it they kept the pick or who la would have drafted had they kept theirs. If we knew those answers the we would have a much better idea of whether it was a good deal

    2. It’s far too early to say what these players are going to develop into.

    That said, so far LA seems to have gotten a player who is – barring injury – going to be a solid NHLer while EDM has two big maybes. ‘A bird in the hand…”

    • Devolution

      “That said, so far LA seems to have gotten a player who is – barring injury – going to be a solid NHLer while EDM has two big maybes. ‘A bird in the hand…”

      At this point it would be fair to suggest that each of these, including LA’s pick, are not “A bird in the hand…”
      I think the chances are very good that, barring injury, Yakimov alone has a wonderful chance of making these trades look good but it’s too early to tell.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^no, actually Gord, Yakimov may make the Oilers this year while Zykov has already played a few games in junior, so from my point of view, the Oilers appear to have won this deal at least so far.

    • 916oiler

      How did this comment get so many trashes? This is exactly the scenario at hand.

      Who’s to say the Oilers would have selected Zykov?? Yak2 looks good so far, but it’s far too early to tell.

      We do have the possibility of Slepy or Houck which is nice.

      • pkam

        You really think Zykov is going to be a solid NHLer while Yakimov and Slepyshev are just 2 big maybes?

        IOW, you believe Zykov is more promising than Yakimov and Slepyshev even though he hasn’t played one pro game yet?

        Can you tell me what makes you think Zykov is more likely to be a solid NHLer than Yakimov and Slepyshev?

    • abbeef

      I agree with your first 2 points but your third point contradicts your second. No one knows how the prospects are going to turn out. At this point it looks like Zykov and Yakimov should both eventually make the NHL. That could change for either of them but right now all anyone has is maybes, no one has ‘a bird in the hand’ right now as none of them have made the NHL yet.

      We all understand you don’t like the Oiler’s managerial team but that doesn’t mean every single move they do is negative.

    • Serious Gord

      Zykov recorded 1.12 PPG in the OHL in his draft year and 1.19 PPG in his post draft year. Those jr PPG levels, only minor improvement in his post draft year and being sent back to junior a week ago in his post post draft year don’t seem to be the facts that project into “going to be a solid NHLer”

  • OilClog

    If Yakimov turns out to be a NHL man up the middle, Oilers win hands down.

    No one would trade us a quality 2C for a scoring winger.. So getting Yakimov for Zykimov is one hell of a steal.

    • Raider Jesse

      I am quite surprised that Tkachev isnt signed by the Oilers yet as my understanding is that today is the last day for that to happen. The Oilers interest is obvious since he is still around. Makes a guy wonder if maybe Tkackev is being greedy for a guy that was not drafted…

  • Leef O'Golin

    I might be wrong, but I understood that MacT had targeted Zach Fucale for the 2nd round pick, but shifted gears and started trading down once the Habs picked him up.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^i believe that was true, though i didn’t know why they didn’t just pick the next goalie that went which was Tristan Jarry? if they didn’t think he would be as good, that’s fine, but he DID just win the Memorial Cup !

      • ubermiguel

        If Dubnyk drove you nuts for letting in a soft goal every game the Jarry is not the goalie for you. Don’t get me wrong, I love that team, and he’s a fine junior goalie, but I don’t see that consistency yet that will take him to the next level. All THAT said 19 year old goalies are the toughest prospects to predict.

  • OilClog

    D.Staples In Journal has an interesting article in his column under :Cult of Hockey . Claims Oilers need to prove they can make huge progress this year or Katz needs to revamp entire management, scouting and coaching . Gives good examples of all teams that built similar to us and how they would have/did emerged in similar circumstances . In a nutshell – our young stars are no longer young but in their primes basically . “Enough with excuses ..debackles… chaos “. Have to agree it is time for a big move forward this year .

    • Serious Gord

      I expect by March we will be hearing MacLooselips and Lowe concede that this season was a disappointment, but assuring the gullible fans that there is a plan and help is on the way in the form of developing talent in the system.

      I would just like to add…Nail Yakupov is terrible.

    • This also coincides with the prevailing belief that Katz will be unloading this team on a wealthy suitor. A new rink with a young (ish) team on the cusp of something of substance will aid Mr. Katz in his negotiations/demands immensely.

      • CMG30

        No way is Katz selling the team unless someone comes to him and offers something stupid. Win or lose the Oilers make a ton of money.

        The team is going nowhere. Part of the arena deal was something like a 30 year agreement to keep the Oilers playing in Edmonton.

        Besides the Oilers are a linchpin in the entertainment district around the new arena that Katz is now heavily invested in.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^Katz isn’t dumping the team, LOL….he just got his rink and his fancy new high rises and developed surrounding district, so why on earth would he sell?

  • The Last Big Bear

    As a Flames fan, I have to give credit where it’s due, and the one area in which MacT has shown himself to be clearly competent, is how he deals with draft picks

    He has a keen understanding of their value, and has been astutely using them as currency to grease the wheels of smart deals.

    Moving draft picks got him Perron, Scrivens, and Nikitin, and I think he got good value for the pick in each case. Trading down for multiple picks is also good value in the later rounds, and he did a great job of that.

    He’s picked (arguably) the best player available in the first round, and his later picks are either cashed-in by trading for real NHLers, or used on long-shots leaning towards defencemen and goalies.

    I really can’t fault anything he’s done with his draft picks.

    • vetinari

      Only thing lower than a 30th place finish is being a Flames’ fan… ahhhh… that felt good! Gotta get my Flames’ trashing up to regular season standards or else I might lose my roster spot to WONGER, DSF or NewAgeSystems…

      • The Last Big Bear

        You know how you spend the first few weeks of January always having to remind yourself to write the date correctly because the year has changed?

        After the NHL expands to Seattle and Toronto 2, we’re going to keep absent-mindedly talking about how the Oilers are a 30th place team, when really we mean 32nd place.

  • PlayDirty

    I can hardly wait till we win the Cup to find out what kind of negitive spin (see what I did there) Gordy puts on that. …not suggesting it will happen this year.

    Anywho, I was skeptical about trading down too. It looks like Mac-T mighta done good.

    We’ll see….

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Watching the video above, Slepyshev skating and handling of the puck looks very similar to Yakupov. The stride, the hop, pushing the puck a little head when he handles it. Just an interesting observation.

  • The Last Big Bear

    It should be noted that Dean Lombardi has only traded multiple picks for 1 player twice in his GM career. first time was 2010 when he traded up to get Tyler Toffoli, second time was for Zykov. Zykov is an excellent 2way player who will fill the void for Richards when he moves on.