REGARDING ONTARIO

draisaitl draft board

The NHL draft is this week and the Edmonton Oilers list is (close to) set. As you know, the Oilers have reportedly fired four scouts (via various sources) and clearly will have a different look next season. What area did the forensics identify? Why were these moves made now?

SOURCES

  • Identifying Stu MacGregor as gone, Bob McKenzie. Source
  • Adding Morey Gare, Elliotte Friedman. Source
  • Naming the amateur scouts, Mark Spector. Source
  • Identifying both Davis and Hawley as Oilers scouts covering the OHL. Source

In Mark Spector’s tweet he mentions “more changes expected soon” but there’s lots to talk about with these moves. One area I find interesting is Edmonton’s flushing of their OHL men, suggesting (to me) that the Ontario league may have come under the forensic microscope. It’s a guess of course, but when you look at the four men released yesterday and two of them are from the same region? It’s interesting, let’s leave it at that. 

WHO CARES?

Well, the OHL has an enormous amount of talent this season and the Oilers—with 10 picks—can’t afford to be wrong.

  1. C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters. Franchise cornerstone.
  2. R Mitch Marner, London Knights. Crazy offensive
    player, size only concern.
  3. C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters. A big center with
    ridiculous skill.
  4. C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s. A complete player,
    with terrific speed and skill.
  5. C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting. Big, physical center.
  6. L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs. Big forward with some skill.
  7. R Zach Senyshyn, SSM Greyhounds. Terrific speed, no
    fear.
  8. R Blake Speers, SSM Greyhounds. A talented player
    with a range of skills.
  9. D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters. Undersized, mobile
    defender.
  10. C Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts. Exceptional
    offensive talent.
  11. D Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts. Smart 2-way D
    with some chaos in his game.
  12. C Mitchell Stephens, Saginaw Spirit. Speedy C
    with good hands.
  13. D Vince Dunn, Niagara Ice Dogs. Smart
    offensive defender, very good passer.
  14. D Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals. Undersized
    two-way defender.
  15. R Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting. Skill winger, plus shot.
  16. D Matt Spencer, Peterborough. Tough defender
    with a good defensive reputation.
  17. L Graham Knott, Niagra Ice Dogs. Size, good scorer, range of skills.
  18. G Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack. 23GP, 2.78 .914. 
  19. G MacKenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts. Big butterfly style goalie. 51GP, .906
  20. C Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67’s. Small forward, terrific skill.
  21. D Kyle Capobianco, Sudbury Wolves. Skill D had a strong finish to OHL season.
  22. Gustaf Bouramman, SSM Greyhounds. Puck-moving defender with decent size.
  23. C Brett McKenzie, North Bay Battalion (OHL). Two-way C with skill.
  24. R Jeremiah Addison, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Playoffs were fantastic showcase.
  25. D Thomas Schemitsch, Owen Sound Attack. Range of skills, nothing dominant.
  26. C Pius Suter, Guelph Storm. A small, older, highly
    skilled center who scored 72 points.
  27. D Justin Lemcke, Belleville Bulls. A big two-way defender, decent speed.
  28. R Matt Luff, Belleville Bulls. A big winger, he didn’t deliver much offensively.
  29. D Chris Martenet, London Knights. A HUGE (6.07, 198) defender.
  30. R Roy Radke, Barrie Colts. 6.02 power winger.

And there’s more! Seriously. Fantastic OHL group this year, which makes me wonder about the organization’s forensics. Might be nothing, as Mark Spector suggests more to come. One thing for sure: The OHL is a pretty damn important league, better get it right!

THE PAST

The Oilers overdraft in some leagues (WHL, BCJHL) and underdraft in others. The OHL? FAR less than other NHL teams.

NHL DRAFTING FROM OHL

  • 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 41 from the OHL
  • 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 37 from the OHL
  • 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 48 from the OHL
  • 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 46 from the OHL
  • 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 42 from the OHL
  • 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 42 from the OHL
  • 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 46 from the OHL
  • FINAL TALLY: 1475 total players, 302 from the OHL
  • PERCENTAGE: 20.47%

The NHL procures 20% of its overall talent from the Ontario league—that’s a rich, rich mine. The numbers are consistent too, ranging from 37 to 48 players over the last seven drafts. If your team has 10 selections, as Edmonton does this year, two picks should be from the OHL if averages hold. The Oilers? They don’t shop the OHL as much

OILERS DRAFTING FROM OHL

  • 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from the OHL
  • 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 2 from the OHL
  • 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 2 from the OHL.
  • 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 1 from the OHL.
  • 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 2 from the OHL.
  • 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from the OHL.
  • 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from the OHL.
  • FINAL TALLY: 55 total players, 7 from the OHL.
  • PERCENTAGE: 12.7%

That’s a big dropoff, and remember Edmonton has chosen No. 1 overall out of the OHL twice during this run. It’s actually kind of incredible to see how little the Oilers use the Ontario league, because the players they choose are pretty damn good:

  • (2010) Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires. 299GP, 106-157-263 in NHL
  • (2010) Ryan Martindale, Ottawa 67’s 0GP in NHL
  • (2011) Tobias Rieder, Kitchener Rangers 72GP, 13-8-21 in NHL
  • (2012) Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting 192GP, 42-46-88 in NHL
  • (2012) Daniil Zharkov, Belleville Bulls 0GP in NHL
  • (2013) Darnell Nurse, Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2GP in NHL
  • (2013) Kyle Platzer, London Knights 0GP in NHL

That’s a terrific group, even without the first round picks! Tobias Rieder is an emerging NHL talent, he’s going to have a career. I think you can count Kyle Platzer as a promising prospect, and it’s reasonable to suggest Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Darnell Nurse will have NHL careers.

That leaves Ryan Martindale and Daniil Zharkov as rank outsiders and leaves me wondering why the Oilers don’t shop Ontario more often. Any ideas?

SUMMARY

I’m not a scout and have no idea how Mr. Davis and Mr. Hawley have been regarded in the industry. I hope they find gainful employment and help their new teams, sure they will. The question I have is this: Why aren’t the Oilers spending more draft picks in the OHL? I’m not sure this is a scouting issue, it might be an Oilers disregarding their territory issue.

The Oilers appear to be drafting well from the OHL, but need to do it more. Maybe borrow some of those BCJHL picks? As an aside, the BC tier two league saw five players chosen by the Oilers in the same time period the OHL managed seven. Source.

I’d be interested in your opinion on the disconnect between the Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.

  • nugeformayor

    Bennett was definetly the better player debate will be put to rest next year as loen struggles to play in nhl and Bennet becomes a star. You notice this kid every time he’s on the ice I’m glad stu is gone due to this always drafting soft players

    • SSB1963

      We will see how Bennett holds up next year. Flames fans like to say how Hall plays a reckless game, I see the same style of game in Bennett. Both players go to the hard area’s of the ice. Only difference is that Hall now weighs over 200lbs. Further more Bennett won’t be flying under the radar anymore.

  • BlueHairedApe

    At least one of the picks from the WHL was a lock (Nuge) and Draisaitl appears for now to be the right choice also. If those two picks were taken from the OHL the average would be up to 16 percent. Had no idea that many players came from the BCJHL when there was OHL players available. Brutal.

  • NJ

    Part of me assumes that the Oilers draft mostly out of the west because they think a western Canadian boy is more likely to stay with the Oilers into his FA years, and be satisfied playing in Edmonton. We all know how people from Toronto and Ontario view themselves. Now imagine moving from the centre of the Universe to a 2 horse town like Edmonton. Flip that to some farm kid or guy from PA, Regina, Medicine Hat, and Edmonton would be the big exciting city. For whatever reason it actually is, the Oilers were wrong in doing this. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, they were barely right over the last 9 seasons. Things needed to change and they did. I’m looking forward to the future as an Oilers fan now.

  • NJ

    Part of me assumes that the Oilers draft mostly out of the west because they think a western Canadian boy is more likely to stay with the Oilers into his FA years, and be satisfied playing in Edmonton. We all know how people from Toronto and Ontario view themselves. Now imagine moving from the centre of the Universe to a 2 horse town like Edmonton. Flip that to some farm kid or guy from PA, Regina, Medicine Hat, and Edmonton would be the big exciting city. For whatever reason it actually is, the Oilers were wrong in doing this. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, they were barely right over the last 9 seasons. Things needed to change and they did. I’m looking forward to the future as an Oilers fan now.