oilers draftee evan campbell went 1-1-2 with an ES assist in a 3-0 win over RPI pic.twitter.com/1ZpK5OHTQm
— r + l = ok (@twolinepass) October 10, 2015
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?
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
— Evan Campbell (@sooups93) August 31, 2015
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
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.