OBSCURE ALTERNATIVES

For Edmonton Oilers fans, there are No. 1 overall picks and a bunch of obscure picks we’ll probably never see at Rexall (or the new arena). On draft day, we read some about Evan Campbell and then forgot about him—I bet you don’t know the year he was taken (I won’t until I look) and Edmonton may not sign him after his college career. Why bother talking about him? Evan Campbell is posting some crooked numbers in college. Does it mean anything?

SCOUTING REPORT

  • Jeff Cox, SB Nation, Nov 2014: “This was my first viewing of the River Hawks this season and it comes
    as no surprise that the Port Moody, British Columbia native has
    significantly picked up his production this season compared to his
    rookie campaign. He was held scoreless on the night, but he made several
    strong, powerful moves to the net. He uses his speed and size to
    leverage defenders from the puck. He was phenomenal at the faceoff dot,
    going 17-6. Overall, it seems as if Campbell has really elevated his
    game to start his sophomore year.”
    Source

As Cox mentioned, there was a significant spike in performance year over year for Campbell. He’s an older prospect, but it’s clear he received more playing time last season and flourished in the role.

  • 2013-14 (20 years old, freshman) 33GP, 9-2-11
  • 2014-15 (21 years old, sophomore) 34GP, 12-15-27
  • 2015-16 (22 years old, junior) 2GP, 1-2-3

    He’s listed at 6.01, 195 at the U. Mass-Lowell site and may or may not be a center if and when he hits pro hockey. The big item for Campbell is offense—even more than age, if he can’t score at a high rate then his chances of playing pro are not high. Recent draft John McCarron was a victim of failed offense and didn’t get a contract, but the Oilers have had success in the past with older players going the college route.

    • 1996-97 (19 years old, freshman) 35GP, 12-18-30
    • 1997-98 (20 years old, sophomore) 36GP, 16-18-34
    • 1998-99 (21 years old, junior) 38GP, 14-37-51
    • 1999-20 (22 years old, senior) 38GP, 14-24-38

    That’s Fernando Pisani at Providence College in the late 1990s. He was a terrific two-way player who had a good NHL career, and Pisani’s NCAA numbers reflected a good offensive player at that level—superior to Campbell at 20 and 21. Pisani was a point-per-game in his final year, Campbell’s offense is ‘too soon to tell’ for the coming year. The fact he’s in a conversation is surprising based on Campbell’s draft +1 year, so it’s worth tracking no matter the reason for the spike.

    WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

    History teaches us not to count on fifth-round picks. They have a 14.9%
    chance of turning into NHL players (expressed as ‘playing 100 games’)
    and this is the real lottery area. Over the last 15 years, Oilers fifth
    rounders who have played 100 or more games include Jussi Markkanen (128
    games).

    Chances are there won’t be an Oilers Nation update on Evan Campbell for a year, if ever. And yet, there’s that bump in offense a year ago and a nice start to this season. Here’s hoping Evan Campbell keeps going, he’s definitely on a roll.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      never liked the pick that was Evan Campbell, but he may be proving me wrong and that’s OK. depending on what he does this year in college will likely determine whether or not he’s re-signed.

    • AJ88

      Please forgive me LT, but I going off topic, plus I don’t read every article you write. But I’m curious, if Katz hired you instead of Chiapete would you have claimed PRV off waivers to play with Lander? I would of. In my line of thinking that would’ve set you’re third line ‘pair’ in stone and you could work up from there. I don’t think you can deny those 2 have chemistry…. What would’ve been the down side to it?? Put him on waivers again?

        • AJ88

          Been down a lot of paths with not such great results… I’d rather take my chances with Paajarvi on Landers wing than Purcell, Korpikoski, Shlepeshev or whoever else there running out there… But maybe I’m just missing something…

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            You must forget how soft Paajarvi is or how he cant put up points. At least Purcell can hit the 35ish pt mark. Even Korpikoski has a better history of point production.

            Slep has been pushed down to the 4th line and has been getting 5 minutes a night. Id prefer to see him in the AHL if he doesn’t have to go through waivers. He needs some minutes and is still a valuable prospect.

    • Anton CP

      Last year’s Art Ross was a fifth round pick. The truth about draft picks are ranked based on the performance before most of the players even reached adulthood. Some players took longer to reach their true potential due to the learning curve and some were already reached their ceilings before they turned pro. Look at Red Wings, they took players based on the design of systems and stick them in minors for few years until that they got confortable with the system then they get promotions.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      I really hope they trade this Campbell guy very far away. The last thing we need is another reminder of that Fernando ‘dirtbag’ Pisani. Maybe this guy will also screw the team over on a contract when he knows he is unable to play, that is what the team needs, another useless contract.

    • BDH

      Discussing the success of draft picks two games into the season? Constant mentions of Fernando Pisani, the guy who scored at a limited third line pace in a handful of seasons? Lowetide is the Mark Spector of Oilers Nation