Craig MacTavish has taken a lot of heat for his transactions in recent months—most fans can list off the errors in seconds. Far beyond the Nikitin, Purcell and Ference deals, way back in the woods among the depth moves, lies a fascinating trade with an amazing story to tell.
- 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
So, bottom line is this:
- Edmonton traded Valentin Zykov to Los Angeles for Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer and Aidan Muir.
— AHL (@TheAHL) October 18, 2015
Draft Day Scouting Report from Chris Bordeleau of Central Scouting:
“He’s an unbelievable talent; scores the big goals. He’s going to be
special. Great skater, strong kid. Really a solid kid. He goes into the
corner and comes out with the puck. He has great hands, can shoot the
puck, passes the puck, does everything well.” Source
Zykov looks like a terrific pro prospect and has three goals in his first five AHL games. The Kings are high on his future, his skill set and his work ethic.
Kings Development Coach Mike O’Connell: “He’s a great student. He’s a great teammate, and he takes it very seriously.
Everything we do, every rep in everything he does, he tries his hardest.
He’s going to be fine. He’s a good player. His work ethic and his
attention … he applies himself every time he’s on that ice and that’s
going to take him a long way.” Source
The article linked to also suggests that he has the ‘power-forward tools’ to get fast-tracked to the NHL in a way that could be similar to Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. That puts the ETA at 21 or 22 for Zykov if he develops as the Kings are hoping. The NHL equivalency (using the Vollman) from his final junior season in 2014-15 is 82GP, 11-12-23 .280. He’s an excellent prospect.
— Gene Principe (@GenePrincipe) October 6, 2015
Anton Slepyshev isn’t the first player from the trade to make the NHL, but he’s played in seven games now and has an assist. His NHLE from last year (82GP, 17-11-28 .341) exceeds Zykov’s and the PF
claim would appear to be as legit as the case being made for the LAK
prospect. A bigger player than the numbers implied, Oilers fans have seen him for over a month now and we have an idea about this player. Interesting to look back on his draft day scouting report.
Corey Pronman: He is an above-average skater, with agility and free movement, as
his shiftiness makes him hard to check. He has a plus shot and he knows
it, as his mentality is often shoot-first, even from distance. He can
still make plays, and he does not have tunnel vision, but his playmaking
skills are not his best element. His physical game has progressed, and
he has added strength since last season. He can protect pucks moderately
well. He will display physical effort, although it could be better at
times. He also needs to work on his defensive game.
My boy Bogdan Yakimov rockin the 70% CF 5on5. #Oilers
— Vaughn Woodruff (@conkanen) September 24, 2015
Yakimov got to the NHL before any of the other men involved in this trade and there’s every chance he’s going to have a solid pro career. A big train with some skill, Yakimov’s NHLE from last season (82GP, 10-13-23 .280) matches Zykov’s projection. Shy of speed compared to the LAK prospect, Yakimov is a tower and far closer to what we consider to be the classic PF prospect. 6.05, 232 according to the AHL site, Yakimov is 6GP, 1-1-2 for the Condors.
Corey Pronman on draft day: He is a big center, measuring in at about 6’5″. He may not have the
top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and
he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he
can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone,
he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey
sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions
himself effectively. As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could
use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still,
he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will
drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his
skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps
are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to
progress in that area.
— Ryan Holt (@CondorsHolty) October 3, 2015
Platzer has come from a long way back since draft day, as he wasn’t a regular in the OHL at the time of the draft in 2013. What a difference a couple of years makes—his NHLE last season (82GP, 12-17-29 .353) ranked No. 1 among all players involved in the deal.
Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: Platzer may not be huge (pushing 5’11), but he’s a
skilled player who also can provide energy and persistence away from
the puck. You might notice Platzer outworking opposing defenses along
the boards, or beating them to loose pucks, but he’s also clearly a very
intelligent offensive player who is capable of putting up higher point
totals. He did lead his Waterloo GOJHL team in scoring as a 16 year old
in 2012. The one thing I admire about London is their ability to make
younger players work hard to stay in the line-up. Ice time is earned,
not given. And Platzer earned every second of time he received this
Platzer reminds me of Kyle Brodziak in his approach to the game, and that’s a compliment. It’s easy to look at a player like this and point out a lack of one clear strength in the skill set, but the range of Platzer’s overall ability may be the key to his eventual success. He is 6GP, 0-2-2 so far in Bakersfield.
Jackson Houck was not signed by the Oilers and is back in the WHL for his final year. Edmonton has no claim to him, so Houck’s presence on the original deal is merely a curio—no longer a major item in evaluating the deal. One other player, Aidan Muir, is in college and may eventually become an Oiler. He is an active part of the trade but a less substantial part of it at this time.
- R Anton Slepyshev 7GP, 0-1-1 (NHL)
- F Valentin Zykov 5GP, 3-0-3 (AHL)
- C Bogdan Yakimov 6GP, 1-1-2 (AHL)
- C Kyle Platzer 6GP, 0-2-2 (AHL)
- F Aidan Muir 5GP, 1-0-1 (NCAA)
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
If you look at the actual trade, Craig MacTavish made out like a bandit. The three Oilers prospects playing pro hockey (Slepyshev, Yakimov, Platzer) are all on par (or higher) compared to Zykov. The LAK’s prospect being called a power forward (AHL site lists him at 6.0, 209) seems a little hopeful but his 12 shots in five games suggests we may be looking at an interesting offensive player.
MacT won this deal based on what we know today. Agree?