Saturday, June 26, 2010

Harvest Moon

The Edmonton Oilers drafted Taylor Hall yesterday, signalling a brand new day for the team and its fans. They also gave us a clue as to how much they've soured on the NCAA, sending away Riley Nash while drafting a Minnesota State forward on his way to the WHL. The heart of the draft was long over before the Oilers spent any equity on NCAA or NCAA-bound players.

That's cutting off a large portion of the world's hockey pie. The Oilers have long been a team to careen in terms of player preference styles; one year they're chasing down Coke Machines and two years later they're after undersized speed demons. We know this, we're used to it.

We also know that there are some good reasons to avoid taking players from certain regions. Russian players have the lure of the KHL, making that nation a less attractive talent pool. It doesn't mean Edmonton must avoid the KHL prospects completely, but spending a high pick would seem to be folly. If the Oilers (and we don't have enough evidence to suggest it is a trend) have decided to avoid the NCAA, USHL and other feeder leagues (until the bottom of the draft) then it is a concern for Oiler fans. Avoiding talented Russians is one thing, but the American talent pool is rich and getting richer. I'm hopeful the organization doesn't talk themselves out of the region because of a few poor choices or poor management decisions.

I think the Edmonton Oilers today are a club with so many forwards that it is difficult to project anything. If we can agree to set aside 6 players (I've chosen Moreau, O'Sullivan, Jacques, Potulny, Nilsson, Deslauriers) the 23-man roster projection comes into view:
  • G: Khabibulin, Dubnyk
  • D: Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Souray-replacement, 2 veteran depth D, Peckham*
  • C: Horcoff, Gagner, Fraser, Cogliano
  • L: Hall*, Penner, Ryan Jones, MPS*, Omark*
  • R: Hemsky, Brule, Pouliot, Eberle*, Stortini

This is my depth chart, you can pull one name and add another but ther general idea is that the Oilers have to dump a goalie, 5 forwards and add three defenders. Let me know if I missed anyone. Bottom line? They're not close to being done. --

Here's a really quick look at the 2010 Oiler picks.

  1. #1 overall LW Taylor Hall: Immediately the best prospect in the system, the Oilers have an outstanding young player ready for the fall. If he gets enough powerplay time and especially if the Oilers can find a way to send him out with good players against the soft parade, this guy could win the Calder. BPA at this spot, good value.
  2. #31 overall C Tyler Pitlick: Big, physical center with skill. The Oilers have a few of them in the pipeline now but you can never have too many of this player type. I still think it was a great idea for the Oilers to have the night to re-set their draft order and this pick reflects the result. BPA at this spot, good value. Oilers have since stated they had him among their top 30 selections. They LOVE the fact he's leaving the NCAA and heading to Medicine Hat.
  3. #46 overall D Martin Marincin: Tall, lean 2-way defender with good speed and the ability to think on his feet. Needs to be more consistent, but that's something we can say about pretty much every prospect taken today. ISS and speeds ranked him at 40, McKenzie at 71. I don't know that he was BPA at this spot (it is harder to define as the draft gets deeper) but do believe he was a value pick at this slot. Oilers are very high on him, with Stu MacGregor hinting he may play in the AHL in '10-'11. Tambellini loves his poise on the international stage and his mobility (for a man his size).
  4. #48 overall LW Curtis Hamilton: A wide-bodied winger with solid skills (OK skater, good shot, has a nose for the net) he endured injury problems which cut back on scouts ability to "see him good." He's 6.02, 211, and Smarmy Boss has a nice description of him and his season in Hamilton's draft post comments section. ISS60 and Bob McKenzie57, which makes him a slight reach pick. Tambellini likes his hockey sense and describes him as a good 2-way winger. Intelligent, solid player. MBS likes his size and strength and how well he competes along the boards. Smart player.
  5. #61 overall C Ryan Martindale: Tall C with speed, Redline (at the top prospects game to scout this year's talent) said: Until he rang a quick release snap shot off the crossbar in the third period, you could have told us he wasn’t dressed at all. ISS61, BM58 so it would seem to be a saw-off in terms of value. Tambellini says his inconsistency may come from growing into his body (6.02) and made it clear they were looking to increase size and C (and D) at this draft). MBS likes his talent but wants him to "be there" every night.
  6. #91 overall D Jeremie Blain: Had a fine season in the QMJHL and has good size for a defender. Oilers have had success in the Q, but it has been awhile. He appears to have caught fire in the new year, based on this from HF: Blain continues to play a lot of minutes for the Titans, top four plus PP and PK. He currently has 3 goals and 27 assists in 49 games. He looks bigger and stronger than in earlier viewings. He battles and competes well. There is more upside here than first thought. I don't think we can call this a value pick. Tambellini says he plays with an edge, Bill Dandy really liked him a lot and this was likely a scouts pick.
  7. #121 overall G Tyler Bunz: Redline had him #178 overall but I'm fine with using a depth pick like this one. In fact, I think the Oilers should use one every year in this range. They only need to get lucky once a decade. His SP numbers are poor, but that Tiger team didn't play much defense whenever I saw them. Freddie Chabot has worked with him through the Team Canada development camps and is high on him.
  8. #162 overall D Brandon Davidson: ISS had him #74 and Redline had him #204. That's a wide range, but Remmerde (a great fricking blog, buddy was our guide today folks) is a straight forward scout and says there are some things to like. Based on his words, I'm counting this as a value pick.
  9. #166 overall L Drew Czerwonka: and the chocolate factory! Sorry. There's not much to say about a pick like this one. There are no expectations, it was probably a pick for the area scout and if he turns out holy hell that's a great pick. The only negative is that there are still some names on the board at this time who graded out better and that's something this organization does at certain points in the draft: select for need. Having said that, it wasn't like Slava Trukhno shot the moon.
  10. #181 overall F Kristians Pelss. Poster Buddhaa over at hf boards: Pelss played for the farm team of Riga Dinamo - the Riga Dinamo Junior which played in the Belarus Open League (+/- ECHL level). Was the youngest player on the team. Didn't score much. Unless he's drafted by CHL, he should play next year in the Rigan Dinamo junior team in MHL (the junior league for KHL). Pelss played in U18 and had three points in 6 games (2+1). Haven't seen him much, but supposedly should have decent upside if he's put in proper development program (e.g. CHL). Long shot, but an interesting story.
  11. #202 overall L Kellen Jones: Undersized skill player who performed well for the Vernon Vipers. Has a twin brother and they're both heading to the NCAA (Quinnipiac) this fall. His brother's name is Conner, but I think we should call him "Chipper." Like the Czerwonka pick above, they either "saw him good" or this is a hat tip to some regional scout or bird dog who has done good work in the past. There's not a lot to recommend this player outside of solid numbers in a secondary league.

Overall impressions: A good, good draft. Hall clearly is going to be the story of this draft, but nice value in the second round (Pitlick, Marincin) and later (Davidson) tell us the Oilers set up their draft board well. I also like the Hamilton and Bunz selections, leaving only the Martindale pick as a question mark (they drafted for need) among the team's most dear selections. I think MBS is an outstanding scouting director and if he can find a way to push those "saw him good" picks back another round he'll be even better.

Blain, Czerwonka, Pelss and Jones are probably scouts picks, payment for all those nights driving to little towns all over the world in search of the next Taylor Hall. These men are going to be under pressure to deliver more than an average number of NHLers to the show for the next several seasons and it looks like they've delivered this season. Report card day is around 2015 summer. See you then.


  1. I suspect a few future Barons here too.

    Gotta fill a very empty pipe.

  2. Was pretty sure we wouldn't see a roster player moved today, and we didn't.

    I'm hopeful the organization doesn't get bullied out of the region by a few poor choices or poor management decisions.

    Not quite sure how this happens at the draft table or while scouting. I've never seen scouts from different teams fight in USHL stands. It could however be happening within the organization.

    Long slog for you today, LT, well done, and thanks.

  3. I was really happy with this draft. I think Galiev's mother probably thought telling everyone that the Oilers were going to take him at 31 if he was there would increase his chances of going in the 1st round, because they had plenty of chances and let him slide past.

    I can't complain about any of the first 4 picks, but I really liked the selection of Martindale. I'd been paying attention to him fairly closely this year, and I think he's a project who could really develop into a solid player. I would've liked the pick anywhere in the 2nd round, so getting him in the 3rd was great value IMO.

    I'm just happy we let someone else select John McFarland.

  4. Nice draft. They saved the off the board sections until a little later.

    I'm okay with Martindale, but there was some value left at that spot.

    Losing Nash is a kick in the Grebeshkov. (Hopefully, Lander or Pitlick turn out better.) But it got us another pick, which is nice.

    But so far this has been the easy stuff. Tambellini still has his 12 labors ahead, and he hasn't shown that he's got any "son of Zeus" in him.

    1. He has to move Moreau
    2. He has to find some cheap, bottom pairing D
    3. He has to, maybe move a young goalie or waive one.
    4. He needs to keep find and keep cap space
    5. He needs to resign Gagner
    6. He needs to deal w/ the Brule possible overpay
    7. He needs to get some kind of return for Souray
    8. He needs to find a spot for Cogliano or get fair value for him
    9. He needs to move POS or buy him out
    10. He needs a tough minutes, right handed center
    11. He has to make a decision on Nillson.
    12. He needs to do something about Khabibulin long term

    So far none of that is done.

  5. Interesting thing about this draft is we'll see some dividends sooner rather than later (Hall), but yeah - no super head scratchers (like Abney last year).

    Next up is the culling of the forwards. With buy-outs and guys qualified/not qualified and free agency there's still a lot of work to be done in the next few days.

    This is just the beginning.

  6. Overall I'm very happy with the draft, but somewhat wary of the obvious return to the allure of the coke machine.

    If I were to express any disappointment with the picks at all, it is that the team didn't take a chance on a skilled European enigma in the mid-rounds. There were several that fell very deep into the draft that I think were worth the risk (i.e. Pulkkinen, Kitsyn, Kabanov, in that order).

    And of course, I'm very anxious to see if Tambellini will now change gears to addressing the obvious front-heavy nature of the lineup. We have too much chaff at LW and RW in particular, while our D corps if left unaddressed will ensure we draft top 5 again next year. Get on it Steve.

  7. LT,

    You didn't mention Stone.

    Do you think he's gone? I know there was talk about his injuries being a killer.

    I'd keep him and make one of the kids beat him at camp. Stone will

  8. Oh, and thanks for all the great posts LT.

  9. kris: Stone is UFA and I can't see the organization signing another forward to an NHL deal until someone (and by that I mean 5 guys) head out of town.

    That's an overstatement--there's nothing wrong with some of these kids playing in Okla City or going home for another winger--but Stone is a guy I wait and sign later on in the summer.

  10. I posted it in an earlier thread, but:

    *standing ovation*

    There is no one in the world that covers this stuff better as it happens as you do.

    Freaking awesome day!

    NHL Network blaring in the background, 630 Ched streaming, and a few sites up, very cold Stella, and no one came close to your coverage of the Oilers.

    Well done sir!

    I like what MBS is doing.

    None of the big boys are pure "coke machine" picks. MBS obviously looks at more than height and weight.

    You can never have enough big, fastish, nose for the net forwards.

    If you have a surplus of those who can play at the NHL level or close, you can turn them into every other thing you need, short of a franchise Dman.

    Drafting what projects for the best future value is in the best interest of the team, and MBS is hitting on all cylinders.

    Not too many wasted picks this year, loading up on what could be some good value.

    Excellent work by MBS.

    come a little bit closer
    hear what I have to say
    just like children sleeping
    we could dream this night away

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. 1. He has to move Moreau
    -buyout or trade this week

    2. He has to find some cheap, bottom pairing D
    -post July 1

    3. He has to, maybe move a young goalie or waive one.
    -post July 1

    4. He needs to keep find and keep cap space

    5. He needs to resign Gagner
    -This week. Hopefully to long term value ala Hemsky

    6. He needs to deal w/ the Brule possible overpay
    -Arbitration is going to happen

    7. He needs to get some kind of return for Souray
    -Post July 1

    8. He needs to find a spot for Cogliano or get fair value for him
    -Huge question. Play him with MPS and watch everyone else try to keep up? Better put Pisani on RW on that line.

    9. He needs to move POS or buy him out
    Buy out this week.

    10. He needs a tough minutes, right handed center
    -Don't like Fraser?

    11. He has to make a decision on Nillson.
    -I vote stay, RH is hardly deep, and he's not far off his value at 2M, and might play with some self interest seeing as its a contract year.

    12. He needs to do something about Khabibulin long term
    -Hands tied so tight Houdini couldn't escape. Best to hope he gets hard time and they use the "morality clause" to junk his contract.

  13. Whattabout Pouliot too?

    Right now, D has to be the focus.

  14. Great work, LT. Your blog makes being an Oiler fan more fun, even through the bad days - which I hope are in the rearview mirror. You are the source for Oiler info.

  15. I think the way they got Grebs is how they should handle Russians.

    Bring them over and sign them to their second contract and when you can safely tell them they won't have to be in the AHL for more than half a season.

    Let them ripen somewhere else.

  16. Russians are high risk high reward picks.

    Not drafting them early might not help that. Considering players are most likely to stay if theyr highly regarded.

    But with the 3rd rounders conversion %, you'd have to wonder just how much of a gamble Kabanov would have been (I'd say he'd be a safer bet than some guys)

  17. Hope the new model includes looking for good Finns and Swedes.

    American teams in non-traditional markets will overpay for US kids, so it might just be a question of only kids with mega issues falling to you. As long as they're seriously scouting US Junior A and NCAA bound kids would not read too much into a single draft.

  18. One thing I'm interested to see is if the 'Hall Factor' will elevate Edmonton at all as a destination for free agents.

    I know that Tambo said they were not going to pursue the big fish anymore, but still. The bottom to mid level FA's (like we need on bottom pairing D or 3 line C) may now not dismiss Edmonton out of hand.

    Sort of ironic that they have so many players to trade away that they may not have any need for FA's.

  19. Phil: The Oilers will be active in free agency. They have no choice, because they have exactly 3 NHL defensemen who want to play here this fall.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. This Pelss kid better be drafted by the Oil Kings in the CHL Import Draft...if somebody doesn't beat them to it. Not that he's an elite prospect but his chances of turning into something useful would increase exponentially if he were playing over here versus another year or two in Siberia.

  22. johnny: Yeah, I think we can be pretty confident this is a kid who is coming over to the Western League. Oilers drafted today like it was their own personal farm league, which now that I think of it is a pretty good idea.

  23. LT,

    A quick question, who do you think is on the Oilers list of possible free agent defencemen? You say we need to fill two spots that way and I'd agree it is a very high priority unless we want to get killed next year. My followup question is who would you be looking at/versus who you think they might be looking at (you've talked about Freddie Meyer but who else?).

  24. Awesome stuff LT. I tried to liveblog just yesterday and lost interest just about when Hall was signed.

    You sir have crust, jam, sticktoitiveness and all of that nice stuff.

    Now have yourself a(nother) beer. :)

    Overall a pretty good draft I would say. First two picks are terrific and I like most of what followed.

    A good couple of days.

  25. I was surprised to see Blade player Charles Inglis go undrafted. His good friend and teammate Josh Nicholls went in the seventh round.

    Teigan Zahn is a big tough defensemen that was drafted by Chicago a few years back but he must of been unsigned as I saw Tampa take him.

    Rangers took big man Randy McNaught. That guys is the definition of a coke machine. Former blade Brandon Wall played some pickup hockey with a coworker and he told him the whole Raider team was scared of this guy. He's in the video montage of Dylan Mcilrath in one of his fights.

    With the Curtis Hamilton pick he's going to have to have a healthy season. The Blades lost their captain and had 7 19 year olds last season. He's expected to play top line minutes and be one of their top offensive players.

    Charles Inglis will also have to take a bigger role. Lorne Molleken hasn't done well in my books with these top midget draft players like Inglis and Benson. We'll see if he gives them more rope this year.

  26. I've made a list in the order I'd try for free agents d-men.

    1. Mike Mottau
    2. Freddie Meyer
    3. Mike Weaver
    4. Jay McKee
    5. Christoph Schubert
    6. Milan Jurcina
    7. Shaone Morrisonn
    8. Zybnek Michalek

    The value deal cutoff probably falls at about number 6. Morrisson and Michalek aren't going to come cheap. I assume neither Washington or Phoenix are brain dead and they will both be re-signed by their existing teams. I assume Schubert and Meyer top the Oilers list given our stated preference for being tougher to play against. I personally prefer efficient defencemen rather than head hunters but we are looking like being a bit passive on the back end.

  27. linnaeus: I'd say Michalek would be at the top of my list (but he's not coming here). He's like Hamhuis (only better), all kinds of attractive options.

    I think the Oilers (when Huddy was here) were excellent at finding really good value along the blue.

    Players who would cost money but might be available: Meyer, Mike Mottau (NJD), Andy Sutton (OTT), Mark Eaton (PIT).

    But I think there's probably some guy who is less expensive they're looking at out there in the ether.

  28. First off, LT, thanks for all the weeks' posts. Your blog is a must read on most days, but draft week takes it to a whole other level. Great work.

    Really happy with the draft. Especially first 5 picks. Didn't mind the Nash trade as I think his value only declines with time and less leverage. In general I think you load up your gun with as many top 60 picks as you can get and then take your shots after that, and Tambo did that.

    Being at the draft I can tell you, there was some real drama and stomach churning when word made rounds that Tambo was trying to get the #2. I walked in at about 2pm local time and sat in my seats right above the Oiler table and the first thing I saw was he and Chiarelli taking in front of the podium. At the very least it was great to know he was thinking big.

    No the real work begins in clearing out the bodies and re-shaping the roster.

  29. I don't know if he'll be a "value" necessarily given the thin market, but I really like Tallinder and would add him to the UFA d-man target list.

  30. I agree with kris - the draft was the glory work, now time for some hard-sloggin' which will set the team for real.

    Buy-outs (POS and Moreau strike as no-brainers), and the packaging of F's for D's seems like a good idea too.

    I hope ST can mine some value out of the market right now, because the team is woefully thin in some significant areas. Perhaps some of the available cap space needs to be spent on D, but I think trade is a better bet the FA.

  31. Lowetide

    Excellent work. One can see that you abide by the quote cited below.

    Seek not perfection in the world strive for it yourself. - Anon -

    Thank you for all of your hard work.

  32. Between the draft, the coverage of it on this site, and Ghana's performance today I'd call Saturday a success.

    Add to that a call I just got from an old buddy - we're going to dust off our respective instruments, drink, and jam for the night - and I'd say I'm a pretty fucking happy guy right now.

    Cheers all - hope you all get a chance to do the things you love more often than not. And considering the success of Lowetide's blog, I'd suggest life is good for a lot of us on that front.

  33. I'm sad that I missed the draft day.

    But then again, what an after prom it was =).

  34. fpv: good to hear! Live it up and make sure you do all of those things you want to look back at later and say you did :)

  35. A decent days work for the Oil with all of the early picks fitting the mold of a team needing to get bigger while not being seduced by skilled players with so-so reputations who had slid.

    They kept the strategy simple and safe. While not everyone will make it to the big club, one must think there are some decent AHLer's in the group.

    The mood here is upbeat yet realistic. This team has nowhere to go but up while 300 km's to the south there is still hope that a little duct tape (FA's and drafting sons of alumni) is all that is needed to right a leaking ship.

  36. LT

    Pretty sure we gotta move Cogliano because for 2 successive years Oil management have clearly communicated to the hockey world that he is not part of the core here. Do not think Cogliano deals with that very well either.

    Could we talk Burke out of Ross or Nashville out of Watson? If Cogs plus could get that done that would be a pretty good deal

  37. i have this fantasy that the oilers convert Moreau into a D-Man but that will never happen. besides, he'd still find a way to incur stupid offensive zone penalties.

    more likely is that the oilers will try to shop moreau to teams with a lot of cap space like atlanta or carolina or dallas in exchange for an inconsequential draft pick.

    you have to feel for o'sullivan. what a disheartening story. i remember when he joined the oilers at the deadline with such excitement about joining a probable playoff team. what a horrible downhill slide it has been from there.

    i suspect that mister o'lanterns will be bought out.

    and .. i can't shake the suspicion that robert nilsson will be on the team next year. whether you call it continued optimism for a guy who clearly has some unique talents or flat out nepotism, i think he'll be in the oilers organization.

  38. Now that these guys are drafted they are going to need some nicknames.

    Taylor Hall - he just goes by Taylor - everyone knows who you are talking about

    Tyler "Potluck"

    Martin "the Condor" Marincin (one of his scouting reports said he had a Condor like reach)

    "Hurt" Hamilton

    "Wink" Martindale

    Jeremie Blaine ?

    "Try our" Bunz

    Brandon Davidson ?

    "Willie" Czerwonka

    "BSA" Pelss (thats Best Slovak available)

    Kellen "Killer" Jones

    I am sure some of you can do better...

  39. A note on Marincin. He has been rumoured to be the #1 pick in the CHL import draft. Prince George holds the top pick, which isn't seen as the ideal place for a top prospect to play.

    MacGregor saying they want Marincin to play in the AHL next year is likely the Oilers trying to scare off Prince George from taking him and manouevring him to a more preferred spot in the CHL. Reading his scouting report, he doesn't seem like a guy ready to step into the AHL.

  40. What about "The Marincinian Candidate?" No? Too obscure?

  41. Showerhead: Thank you. It was memorable.

    Made a butched up fire at 3:00 AM then climbed the Mont Royal in Montreal to catch the sunrise =).

  42. Now help me with this. Is "Mount Royal" code for something you kids do these days?

  43. @LT ... love the candidate nickname. when obama was in the thick of the election, all i heard my dad talk about was that movie. pretty funny.

    anyhow, thanks for the great work today and to all the people who comment here and fill out the discussion.

    i didn't go to one MSM site today! what a difference from the days of scouring stats in the Edmonton Journal.

    Might be a crazy rumour, but i heard there's already a "hall for mayor" campaign brewing ;)

  44. Fun movie; better book

    I like 'Helen' for Jones (Helen Kellen)

  45. LT: Serious or not =)?

    No lol, it's just a real mountain (Even tough it's small (250m))

  46. LT;

    I too thank you for your research & draft day work - that is greatly appreciated.

    I know nothing about Martindale except to say that everything I read says his upside is a 3rd line player.

    With Kabanov available, that is who they should have taken. I'd rather have a 10% chance of a 1st line player than a 50% chance of a 3rd line player.

    Especially since we already had one NHL ready player plus three fairly decent draft picks for the pipeline...

    No disrespect to Martindale - none whatsoever...

  47. I'll add to the chorus of thanks for your coverage yesterday and today. Just awesome. I'm winding down the day, rummaging around on your site, and listening to Blow by Blow. Pretty pleasant evening.

  48. The Oilers have comprehensive coverage of the draft up on their site.Comments from both Tambo and the Bastard re:Nash

    I hope they at least speak to Michalek-maybe he's buddies with Hemsky(wishful thinking I know)

    I might throw a 1 year overpay at Willie Mitchell-if things don't go well we can move him at the deadline.
    I've always liked Kurtis Foster.

    Brendan Witt finished the season in the AHL and is a likely buyout candidate on the Island.His contract on it's own is a disaster,
    but if we can turn Moreau into Witt and a little something it would be better than buying him out.He can't possibly be any worse than

    Thanks for the draft coverage LT-much appreciated.

  49. LT - "Immediately the best prospect in the system"

    How can you say that with a straight face, or have you bought the same bill of sale as the Oilers br(ass)?

    What scale are you using? During the WJHC his play was second to that of Eberle, so how does he become the immediate #1 in the system.

    I will make this prediction right now. Eberle will make Hall a better player! But you and many of the other coolaid drinkers will sing the hall song.

    Why, because Eberle sees the ice better, reads the play better, is a better play maker, (just ask Jordan Weal) and has a better scoring touch.

    Sure I'm still pissed they took Hall over the better guy but I'll get over it until I watch boston this season.

    Just like the Nash trade. these guye running the show are brutal.

    Just sayin"

  50. I would have been excited if we could have picked up Kabanov with the 61 pick and pick up Pickard with the 48 th pick. But I guess we'll see.

  51. Thanks a lot for all the coverage LT..

    Its obvious you love draft time, and I think some of that rubs off on the rest of us (me, at least)..

    It would have been nice to see Nash packaged for a round 1 selection.. oh well, they did get some quality from the sounds of it..

    A Calder Trophy Winner, An Oiler Calder Trophy Winner... Man, that would be a treat!!..

  52. My top three prospects go like this
    1) Hall
    2) MPS
    3) Eberle

    My guess is Hall and MPS make the team next year. And Eberle plays half the season in the AHL and the other half as an Oiler.

  53. Is Paul Coffee on the Oilers' staff? I swear I saw him at the Oilers' draft table.

  54. While I think MPS is a better prospect I would put him in the AHL instead of Eberle. Eberle has clearly shown he is already too good for the AHL and it might be better for MPS to learn the NA game a little more.

  55. Coffey was at the draft.Not sure in what capacity.

  56. Leave to anonymous to argue that the Oilers second best (or third best now) prospect is superior to Taylor Hall. That guy is always stirring up trouble.

    Taylor Hall doesn't just step into our prospect pool as the best kid, he probably steps into the league wide pool of drafted prospects as the #1.

    Such a strange and good feeling that is.

  57. LT,

    Want to add my thanks for your hard work. Well Done!

    So..... What's next?

    Oh Yeah! Noon Canada Day!

    Looking forward to more of your hard work!

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Thanks LT for your sterling work. I look back on the days when all we had was two lines on each player in the Journal the day after the draft and wonder how we survived. God bless the interweb!

    In terms of scouting, if you try to be good at everything, you run the risk of being good at nothing. A number of American teams concentrate their efforts on American kids so I think we'll always have fewer scouts, with fewer connections to high school coaches, than those teams. As such I would think that the Oilers would be at a disadvantage and thus more likely to miss gems and/or warning signs.

    The CHL, and especially the WHL, on the other hand, is an area where we have an advantage over a lot of other teams, both because the Oilers own a team and because of the familiarity of most of management with the CHL and the people in it.

    The Oilers strategy seems to be own the CHL, have a couple of guys in Europe who you trust to tell you what you need about the highly ranked players and deliver a few diamonds in the rough in the lower rounds, and give the US sufficient coverage to tell you what you need about higher ranked American players, but otherwise not wasting resources in an area of competitive disadvantage.

    I can't say that I disagree with this.

  60. I'm with Anonymous. To hell with every other professional and amateur scout.

  61. @ Anonymous:

    You believe Seguin is 'the better player', but in all honesty how can any Canadian junior be as good, let alone better than the current 2 time Memorial Cup MVP?

  62. Vish and ST had to convince MBS on Hall over Seguin


    MBS relates the moment when Hall scored on the next shift after the devastating hit into the boards vs. Brandon as a turning point.

    I think that was the turning point for LT as well.

    A little sad that Lowe and ST didn't just leave it to MBS, as I think that he's smarter than both of them combined when it comes to judging kids.

    Then again Vish and ST did spend all spring talking to everyone who ever met these kids, and they are right that his compete level is off the charts.

    At least that's what their vacation video wanted led us to believe.

  63. MBS strikes me as a guy who has the courage of his conviction. I believe he was convinced, and suspect it was his scouts who did it. No disrespect to Ozzie and Harriet, but I think it would have taken a little more than pressure from them to change his mind.

  64. "I thought the decision was done"

    That's the point where LT went from leaning to Seguin to leaning to Hall.

    But if MBS went to lock for Hall at that point he was probably already leaning Hall by then.

    No surprise that the head scout would take the role of making the case for Seguin over the course of the year. The whole point is to get both sides aired thoroughly and leave the decision open til late.

  65. 'Ozzie and Harriet'


    Unfortunately, this means its not Stu that we are trusting.

  66. We will always have to compare Hamilton to Toffoli because we easily could have picked Toffoli-Marincin instead of Marincin-Hamilton.

    Toffoli is smaller, without the injuries.

    Then we could have ended up with linemates Toffoli and Martindale.

  67. The head scout should keep an open mind till near the end, and challenging the arguments of others.

    This year, having an open mind, pretty much meant trying to make the case for Seguin.

    In the end, Hall chose himself. Unlike Taveres, it was pedal to the metal for Hall through the finish line.

  68. i agree gambling on Kabnov woulda been fun, i think after a year or two and realizing what the OILERS are doing. his agent may have said "GET TO EDMONTON" THERE for the NASH trade..we look like idiots here... thats a total of 3 PICS nash cost us...i cant believe a B.C. BOY was such a WHINER about EDMONTON! WE HAD THE CHANCE TO DOMINATE THAT DRAFT...WE TOOK GAGNER, PLANTE AND NASH! DALE TALLOON LOOKED LIKE A GENIUS... I CANT BELIEVE WE COULDNT GET A 2ND RD PICK FOR SOURAY! LET HIM PLAY IN THE AHL WITH NILSSON, AND 0'SULLIVAN.. im SURE SOURAY COULD THEN COMB HIS HAIR FOR ALL THE GURLS IN OKLAHOMA...