With the NHL Draft coming up in just over a month, I wanted to take a look at the last decade’s worth of picks that have gone in the #10 slot to see if there’s anything we can learn. Did it work? We shall see.
Heading into this year’s Draft, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not the Oilers will/should use their pick or try to move it for immediate help. There are holes in the roster that need filling and moving the pick could help remedy that, but, on the other hand, the prospect pool is still quite shallow and moving a 10th overall pick would do nothing in term of stocking the shelves. Is there a right or wrong answer? I don’t know but I was hoping that history could be our guide. With that in mind, I wanted to look at the past decade to see if there’s any pattern or information about the #10 pick that can help us find out what kind of player that we could be looking at. Can we learn anything from the past? Will looking at this list help us decide whether or not moving the pick is a good idea? Let’s find out.
2017: Owen Tippett (RW) – Florida Panthers
The 2017-18 season: OHL: 51 GP – 36-39-75, AHL: 5GP – 1-1-2, NHL: 7GP – 1-0-1
“Arguably the best shot in the 2017 draft class, Tippett is a pure goal scorer. He has a lethal shot, it is quick, hard, and accurate and he is able to disguise his release very well. Besides taking a high volume of shots, Tippett is also a big player that uses his size, reach and strength to protect the puck, win board battles and provide a strong net presence. The other asset to his game is his above average skating, his breakaway speed and acceleration gives him separation ability and like all components of his game he uses all his skill to support his goal scoring tendency.”
2016: Tyson Jost (C) – Colorado Avalanche
The 2017-18 season: AHL: 5GP – 1-1-2, NHL: 65GP – 12-10-22
“With elite hockey sense, top-end skating, and a competitiveness that is off of the charts, Jost can be counted on to play heavy minutes in every situation with effectiveness. Able to protect the puck from checkers, he is capable of controlling the play by utilizing exceptional anticipation and finding seams to generate offense. Combining a wicked wrist shot that he is liable to release from anywhere and at any time, with the ability to thread a cross-ice pass, Tyson is a dangerous offensive player whenever he steps on the ice.”
|2017-18||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||5||1||1||2||0||1|
2015: Mikko Rantanen (RW) – Colorado Avalanche
The 2017-18 season: NHL: 81GP – 29-55-84
“He possesses a competitive motor, engages physically and wants to make a difference on every shift – all projectable character skills. Rantanen owns the size and willingness to engage physically in board battles and is efficient in high-traffic areas handling the puck. Beyond these impressive offensive attributes, Rantanen is a workhorse competitor, never giving up on a play.”
2014: Nick Ritchie (LW) – Anaheim Ducks
The 2017-18 season: NHL: 76GP – 10-17-27
“Ritchie has all the makings of a prototypical, Eric Lindros-type power forward. A big bodied winger with smooth hands and a shooting touch, he is not overly aggressive to make the big hit, but when he does make contact he’s probably one of the smoothest hitters in the game. As with any player his size, his agility and flexibility are two areas that could improve. But he dominated at the junior level and should be effective as he continues to develop.”
2013: Valeri Nichushkin (RW) – Dallas Stars
The 2017-18 season: KHL: 50GP – 16-11-27
“He’s a bull. A massive frame, with really good skating and speed, plus a boatload of skill and a great shot. He’s got a powerful skating stride and with a little more strength and conditioning we’ll probably see even more noteworthy breakaway speed from him. One thing that really sticks out that shows his understanding of how to be an offensive threat is his ability to change the tempo and shift a gear when he has the puck. He knows when to push it and he knows when to downshift and really mess with a defenseman’s gap and then burn him with strength, speed and skill.”
2012: Slater Koekkoek (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning
The 2017-18 season: NHL: 35GP – 4-4-8
“Koekkoek is primarily an offensively-oriented defenseman possessing a heavy and accurate shot. He also has solid playmaking ability, with the ability to make a good first pass out of the defensive zone as well as accurate passing in open ice. At this point, Koekkoek projects as a second-pairing defenseman with some potential to be a power-play quarterback.”
|2017-18||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||35||4||4||8||18||4|
2011: Jonas Brodin (D) – Minnesota Wild
The 2017-18 season: NHL: 73GP – 6-15-21
“Brodin is a very mobile defender, who is an excellent skater and a decent passer. His average offensive instincts hold him back from being an elite package, but he is developing quickly. He is a very good skater and plays very mature game in his own end. He gives a good opening pass and has good puck-handling skills but he needs to improve his shot to be a fantasy worthy player.”
2010: Dylan McIlrath (D) – New York Rangers
The 2017-18 season: AHL: 76GP – 7-10-17
“McIlrath is a nasty, in-your-face defenseman who won’t back down and can clear the crease for his netminder. He is not afraid to fight or just intimidate, McIlrath has a good shot and his puck distribution has been improving but he needs to improve his skating and defensive positioning.”
|2017-18||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||76||7||10||17||119||8|
2009: Magnus Paajarvi (LW) – Edmonton Oilers
The 2017-18 season: NHL: 79GP – 8-4-12
“Paajarvi is a very speedy and skilled winger. His acceleration is top notch and what really characterizes his game is the way he drives to the net. In full speed, he gets around the opposing defenseman with ease and usually gets the puck on the net with a quick wrist-shot. Offensively, he is also blessed with above average hockey sense, nice technical skills and the ability to set up his teammates with passes. He is a creative player with smarts that usually scores quite spectacular goals and does things that are hard for the defensemen to read.”
|2017-18||St. Louis Blues||NHL||44||2||2||4||8||-3|
2008: Cody Hodgson (C) – Vancouver Canucks
The 2017-18 season: Did not play
“Hodgson is a solid all around talent. He does not possess blinding speed, or flashy moves, but he tends to get the job done. He has developed into a fine two-way player. Hodgson is an extremely smart player who uses all of his skills in both ends of the ice. Excellent skater, very strong on the puck, can quarterback the powerplay. Hodson has very good hands and excellent on ice-vision.”
As I was putting this list together, all I could think about is how the NHL Draft is a blend of educated guessing and overall voodoo. I remember being in the building when Magnus Paajarvi scored a pre-season hat trick against the Lightning and thinking that he was going to be the best of the original H.O.P.E. bunch, so seeing where he wound up on the depth charts of the places he’s played was certainly surprising. Point being that you never really know what you’re going to get. As you can see, over the past 10 years, there has been a blend of forwards and defenceman selected with the #10 pick and the results have been a mixed bag.
After seeing the hits and misses over the past 10 years, it’s hard to say if putting this list together has really swayed me one way or the other in terms of using the pick or trading it. It seems like for every Jonas Brodin you get at #10 there are a handful of guys that don’t necessarily work out as planned. Obviously, some of these picks are still too early in their careers to make the call one way or the other, but putting this together does show that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. As you can see, some of the guys above were highly-touted but never ended up living up to their potential while others have gone on to be productive NHL players. What does all of this mean? I have no idea. All we can really do is hope and trust that the Oilers’ amateur scouts will get this right and that Chiarelli’s decision will be what’s best for the organization now and in the future. Get your crystal balls ready.
What do you guys think? Does seeing this list affect your thinking about what to do with the 10th overall pick?