Dispelling Myths: Are top 3 picks a crap shoot?

By , January 20, 2010 9:40 pm
Drafting high is no guarantee... but is it pretty close? Or a crap shoot?

Drafting high is no guarantee... but is it pretty close? Or a crap shoot?

For a post elsewhere, I did some research to see how the top 3 picks were turning out, and thought it might be an interesting post to talk about here, given that there is a lot of worry that even if we do pick in the top 3, the pick could be a dud. That is a valid concern, but I got to wondering just how often a top 3 pick is a dud. Is it blown out of proportion because we’ve seen it happen a few times in the last 30 years, or does it happen quite regularly still? I chose the top 3 to look at, because, as it stands right now, the worst we could pick is #3 and the best we could pick is number 1. Of course, that could change depending on where we slot when the season is over. The purpose of this post though is to help determine if: top-3 picks are commonly that much of an unknown, are overrated, or are game changers.

Top-3 Picks Of The Last 10 Years

Here is a list of the top-3 draft picks from each year from 2000 to 2009 in the NHL.

Year Pick # Team Name Pos GP G A P PIM
2000 1 NYI Rick DiPietro G
2000 2 ATL Dany Heatley L 557 289 309 598 486
2000 3 MIN Marian Gaborik L 549 248 246 494 317
2001 1 ATL Ilya Kovalchuk L 587 325 285 610 429
2001 2 OTT Jason Spezza C 434 153 284 437 310
2001 3 TBL Alexandr Svitov C 179 13 24 37 223
2002 1 CBJ Rick Nash L 492 216 184 400 473
2002 2 ATL Kari Lehtonen G
2002 3 FLA Jay Bouwmeester D 521 55 166 221 361
2003 1 PIT Marc-Andre Fleury G
2003 2 CAR Eric Staal C 445 174 217 391 335
2003 3 FLA Nathan Horton C 406 138 145 283 372
2004 1 WAS Alexander Ovechkin L 364 249 235 484 276
2004 2 PIT Evgeni Malkin C 285 129 219 348 298
2004 3 CHI Cam Barker D 190 17 63 80 210
2005 1 PIT Sidney Crosby C 339 162 292 454 332
2005 2 ANH Bobby Ryan R 136 57 49 106 94
2005 3 CAR Jack Johnson D 167 13 27 40 180
2006 1 STL Erik Johnson D 116 9 47 56 81
2006 2 PIT Jordan Staal C 295 76 77 153 151
2006 3 CHI Jonathan Toews C 189 74 89 163 124
2007 1 CHI Patrick Kane R 211 66 132 198 110
2007 2 PHI James Van Riemsdyk L 44 11 17 28 12
2007 3 PHX Kyle Turris C 66 8 13 21 23
2008 1 TBL Steven Stamkos C 127 48 45 93 59
2008 2 LAK Drew Doughty D 129 15 47 62 88
2008 3 ATL Zach Bogosian D 95 18 20 38 89
2009 1 NYI John Tavares C 49 17 14 31 12
2009 2 TBL Victor Hedman D 46 4 10 14 42
2009 3 COL Matt Duchene C 49 15 18 33 8




That’s a lot to digest. So, let’s start by grouping players into a few different groups: duds, impact players, elite players, and unknowns. The duds fit the description of players who never really made it in the NHL, or probably should have been drafted much further down the line. The impact players are the players that are above average players to stars, but not exactly a player to build the franchise around. The elite players ARE those players to build around, or at the very least are in the upper echelon of NHLers. Lastly, the unknowns.. well, we just haven’t quite figured those guys out just yet, most likely because it’s too early to tell. In some cases they have as much potential to drop off the face of the earth as they do to be a star in the league. Also included in the unknowns are players I haven’t enough knowledge on just yet (this would be Van Riemsdyk, Turris, Duchene, for example).

Duds (1)

Alexandr Svitov (who?).

Impact players (9)

Jason Spezza (can dominate a game.. oft-times considered elite), Jay Bouwmeester (could one day be considered elite), Cam Barker (good offensive ability and can lay the body), Bobby Ryan (despite Kevin Lowe’s superb eye for talent, Ryan is looking to be a pretty good pick by the Ducks), Jack Johnson (well-rounded d-man, although his dad and Carl Lindros could start a father/son – agent/player business), Erik Johnson (high-end offensive potential), Jordan Staal (could be more of a focal point on a team with less depth than the Penguins… good two-way abilities), Zach Bogosian (very easily could be considered elite, and maybe should.. but a bit too early to tell, bare minimum is an impact player), Nathan Horton (good goal scorer, but on the bottom end of impact players and may drop off over time).

Elite players (13)

Dany Heatley (olympian, prolific goal scorer, has the ability to reject being traded to crappy teams), Marian Gaborik (gifted one-on-one player, although hampered by injuries), Ilya Kovalchuk (scored more times than Wilt Chamberlain), Rick Nash (singlehandedly makes things happen.. yes he is elite.. stop typing in the comment box below that “I’m not so sure Nash is elite”… he is, and you wish we had him), Eric Staal (great one-on-one player and finisher and olympian), Alexander Ovechkin (’nuff said), Evgeni Malkin (Ovechkin without the hitting, flash, and bad hair), Sidney Crosby (also ’nuff said), Jonathan Toews (this is just the beginning with this kid), Patrick Kane (beats up cabbies and gets away with it. I hate you Chicago), Steven Stamkos (possibly too early to call him this, but I’m pretty sure this kid is a future elite… PPG player at 19? Move over Vinny), Drew Doughty (Olympian at 20? Excels at both ends of the ice), Marc-Andre Fleury (olympian and stellar goaltender who could also one day be considered elite).

Unknowns (7)

Rick DiPietro (several injuries, rushed into the league, but had a stellar rookie season – I’d say is at least an impact player), Kari Lehtonen (could be a high end goalie, but injuries are holding him back currently – as suggested, I’ve moved him to the unknowns), James Van Riemsdyk (looks like he’ll be a very good power forward, but I’m not willing to commit to slotting him anywhere else just yet due to limited NHL games played), Kyle Turris (ditto to Van Riemsdyk, but replace the power forward stuff with goal scorer and playmaker), Matt Duchene (got off to a flying start before things cooled off, but is too young and inexperienced to know where he sits just yet – mainly I also haven’t seen enough of him yet), John Tavares (as a few have suggested, listed Tavares as an unknown now since it’s too early right now to know), Victor Hedman (same as Tavares).
1st overall: 7 elite, 1 impact, 2 unknown
2nd overall: 4 elite, 3 impact, 3 unknown
3rd overall: 2 elite, 5 imact, 1 dud, 2 unknown


So there we have it. As would be expected, 1st overall picks have the highest chance of drafting an elite, 2nd overall the next best chance, and 3rd overall the next best (of top-3 picks). In 10 years, we’ve seen 1 dud. We’ve got 7 guys who are unknowns still, although none appear to be duds (nearly half – Tavares, Hedman, Duchene – are unknown just based on age, and each of those 3 have elite potential). On the good side, we’ve got 9 players who are top line players, and 13 players who dominate (or will dominate) the game. So in that sense, almost half of top 3 picks are going to be dominant / franchise players (if history continues), 30% of top 3 picks are going to be top line players with potential for better. And lastly, the chance of picking up a dud is next to nothing (3.3% if you’re playing the odds). That remaining 23%-ish we still will have to wait and see, but it looks like at the very least they’ll be impact guys. As for DiPietro, I wouldn’t consider him a dud, but he’s a tough one to rank. One more note on the unknowns. I would say that most are at least going to be impact players. In some cases, players already have been impact players (Lehtonen/DiPietro) but due to injury we haven’t had a chance to see if they can maintain that level consistently. So really, the bottom line is that the vast majority of top 3 talent since 2000 has been very good.

Cream of the Crop – 2010 Draft-Eligible Prospects

So next, let’s take a look at the current top 3 crop of prospects: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Cam Fowler. Below each player is a list of their strengths (+), weaknesses (-) and a comparison point. I personally don’t like comparisons because often they are ridiculous and leave high expectations on players. But I’m going to do it anyways, just because they also give us a bit of a visual as to who that player patterns their game after.


Taylor Hall
Taylor Hall – Left Wing – 6’1″, 186lbs, Shoots: L
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Windsor Spitfires OHL 63 45 39 84 22
2008-09 Windsor Spitfires OHL 63 38 52 90 60
2009-10 Windsor Spitfires OHL 40 29 41 70 32

+: Blazing speed; elite goal scoring ability.
-: Needs to use linemates better; defensive game could stand to get better.
Misc: Currently plays on a strong team, which maybe misleading to his abilities.
Style: Lighting-fast scorer.
Comparison: Pavel Bure.


Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin – Centre – 6’1″, 180lbs, Shoots: R
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 Plymouth Whalers OHL 61 21 46 67 28
2009-10 Plymouth Whalers OHL 42 31 40 71 44

+: Good two-way abilities; excellent playmaker; possesses leadership qualities; thinks the game very well.
-: not as good a skater as Hall and isn’t as polished as Hall as of yet.
Misc: Unlike Hall, does not have the benefit of strong linemates, which should mean his overall game could be better than it appears.
Style: Two-way playmaker.
Comparison: Joe Sakic.


Cam Fowler
Cam Fowler – Defense – 6’2″, 195lbs, Shoots: L
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 U.S. National Under-18 Team NAHL 38 3 10 13 2
2008-09 U.S. National Under-18 Team Ind 47 8 32 40 44
2008-09 U.S. National Under-18 Team NAHL 14 2 7 9 12
2009-10 Windsor Spitfires OHL 37 3 39 42 8

+: Powerplay quarterback; elite skater; all-around defenseman; good positioning; excellent puck-mover.
-: Not physical for a defenseman his size; needs to pick better shooting lanes.
Comparison: Scott Neidermayer.


What “They’re” Saying…

The current rankings by Central Scouting Services has Taylor Hall ahead by a nose, followed by Tyler Seguin and then Cam Fowler. Ditto for International Scouting Services. The Red Line Report has Seguin ahead of 2nd place Hall, and Fowler in 3rd.

E.J. McGuire, the NHL’s Director of Central Scouting, said this of the three top picks: “We’re splitting hairs. What does a team need? That’s how close it is. Does a team need a right-shot center (Seguin)? There’s your answer. Does a team need a speedy left wing (Hall)? There’s your answer. Does your team need a defenseman (Fowler)? There’s your answer.”

“The bottom line is all three of them are outstanding hockey players. It’s just the way it works out,” said Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting (OHL). “You get a gut feeling on guys. If I was picking that’s the way I would pick them.”

On Taylor Hall, Don Cherry had this to say “The very first time I saw him, I knew he had it. He’s got all the tools – he can skate, shoot, he’s got hockey savvy. I could go on and on. He’s got the touch. I’ve seen them all come up – (Sam) Gagner, (Rick) Nash, (John) Tavares – and this kid’s as good as any of them.” Each year, Don Cherry and Bobby Orr coach the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game. So when he says he’s seem them all, he means it.

Windspor Spitfires coach Bob Boughner has/had the pleasure of coaching all three of the consensus top-3 prospects. He currently coaches Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler in Windsor, and has coached Tyler Seguin on the Canadian under-18 team at 2009′s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. “He’s an effortless skater,” said Boughner, of Seguin. “I think Taylor might be a little bit more dynamic with the way he dominates games with his speed, but I think Seguin is a great playmaker. He’s always making guys around him better.” As for Hall, “How driven he is and what he expects from himself, it’s amazing,” Boughner said. “This kid wants it. He’s so driven, he wants to prove he is the guy. You tell him something once and he’s got it.” Lastly, of Fowler, Boughner said near the start of the 2009-10 OHL season that “he’s an elite player and his skating is such an asset for him. He’s a guy that once he learns the league and gets himself comfortable he’s going to thrive here.”

You know what, we often hear a lot of hype surrounding the top 3 picks, and there is valid reason to buy into it. I think each player brings an element with their game that would not leave a team disappointed. At this point, I’d be happy with any of the top 3 prospects. Are they going to lift our team out of the ashes? Probably not, but they will definitely complement our current group of up-and-coming prospects quite well.

Interesting reads

Hockey’s Future – Top 10 OHL prospects for 2010 draft
NHL.com – Hall grabs midterm top spot over Seguin, Fowler
The Windsor Star – Hall, Seguin sing praises — of each other
NHL.com – Fowler making smooth adjustment to OHL


Who would you like to see the Oilers draft this year?

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69 Responses to “Dispelling Myths: Are top 3 picks a crap shoot?”

  1. gr8one says:

    I always wonder as well how much the handling of a pick plays in to the success of a prospect.

    What I mean is, they obviously have talent or they wouldn’t have been successful at every level they’ve every played, and , especially nowadays where so much is put into NHL scouting that you have to wonder if a high pick does become a dud, what factors play into it? did the team push them too hard and kill their confidence? did the team take them too slow and kill their confidence? did the team put them in situations that held them back? so many different factors involved, but really, in the case of the duds, how does someone with so much talent just start sucking, is it a process, or immediate?

  2. gr8one says:

    oh yeah…Duchene just took over the rookie scoring lead from Tavares, thought it slightly skewed that you’d rank them differently.

    great post btw.

  3. Racki says:

    Yah, Duchene was in my unknowns still. I suppose Tavares should fall in there too, but he just seems a given. I haven’t seen much of Duchene yet, but I’ve seen enough Tavares to feel he’ll live up to expectations. Also, Tavares doesn’t play on as good of a team either, so that was my reasoning there. Duchene could have fallen into the “franchise” area, but I’m not sure where he’ll fall just yet, is all.

  4. Racki says:

    Also, Trogdor and I were kind of discussing your point earlier today (About ruining confidence). Question mark might be on Horton, who wanted to quit hockey a couple/few years ago. I think he wasn’t having fun in Florida, from what I recall. Also, DiPietro might be a guy who was thrown in the fire too soon. I also would site Carey Price on that. It seems goalies are more often now thrown right into it… sink or swim, Patrick Roy style.

  5. Racki says:

    When I next get around to it, I’ll do a write up on some of the other guys who would be nice to see in an Oiler jersey… guys ranked a little higher.

  6. gr8one says:

    yeah, once again your assessments are dead on IMO, I agree about Tavares/Duchene btw, just wanted to hear you elaborate a little on why you ranked them differently.

    All things being equal though, I like Hall…and not just because of his skill and all the other great things the top 3 all have, but I don’t think I’ve ever read/heard anyone “in the know” talk about him without citing his fire/desire to be the best, and that’s an intangible that you cannot teach, and one that our team seems to be sorely lacking in.

  7. Racki says:

    I’m all over the map with Hall/Seguin/Fowler. And by that, I mean, I have had a tough time deciding which one would be best. And well, it’s not because one of them is bad, it’s because all 3 seem to be franchise guys. I think the E.J. McGuire quote pretty much says it all.

  8. gr8one says:

    Racki: When I next get around to it, I’ll do a write up on some of the other guys who would be nice to see in an Oiler jersey… guys ranked a little higher.

    yeah…hey, do you remember that one player in the WJHC that was just a hitting machine? I THINK he might have been a Finn, but I can’t say with certainty, but he was a one man wrecking crew, I remember all of us commenting on him in whatever the GDT was at the time. PICK HIM OILERS!

  9. Racki says:

    Oh yah! I’ll have to look at the Finn roster, but yes, he was a Finn d-man… I’ll know his name when I see it, I believe.

  10. Bostonoiler says:

    I saw Hall’s comparison as Bure and was solid.

  11. Racki says:

    Figured it out.. it was a Slovakian, and it was Peter Hrasko

  12. gr8one says:

    or was he on the swiss team?

  13. Racki says:

    Peter Hrasko, Slovakia. For sure. 100% sure. I knew I’d recognize the name when I saw it. hehe

  14. gr8one says:

    Racki: Actually, I think it was a Czech.. probably from the Czech Finn game. And I think it was Jakub Jerabek. Sound familiar?

    yeah, that does kinda ring a bell, can’t say for certain though.

  15. gr8one says:

    Racki: Peter Hrasko, Slovakia. For sure. 100% sure. I knew I’d recognize the name when I saw it. hehe

    hehe, yup…that’s the one!

  16. LateNightOilFan says:

    Nice post Racki – a ton of work and certainly appreciated. I’m a bit too tired to get into much of the detail right now but one thing that stuck out to me is if you have DiPietro as an unknown, Lehtonen has to be there as well with severe groin injuries and coming off 2 back surgeries. Both are impact players when healthy, but also can’t seem to stay healthy, and both are coming off lengthy absences after major, multiple surgeries.

  17. Racki says:

    Believe it or not, he’s only listed at 5’9, 175! I wonder if he hit a spurt before the WJHC or if he just plays big. I didn’t think he was that small, so that seems odd.

  18. Racki says:

    LateNightOilFan: Nice post Racki – a ton of work and certainly appreciated.I’m a bit too tired to get into much of the detail right now but one thing that stuck out to me is if you have DiPietro as an unknown, Lehtonen has to be there as well with severe groin injuries and coming off 2 back surgeries.Both are impact players when healthy, but also can’t seem to stay healthy, and both are coming off lengthy absences after major, multiple surgeries.

    Very valid point. I haven’t figured out DiPietro, myself. I mean, he had a fantastic rookie season, and has been good, but yes, the injuries have hampered him and as such hasn’t given me enough to see him. Also, being out West, I never really see him much. I thought about putting him in the “impact” section, and also thought about putting Lehtonen in the unknown section. Both were a bit of a tough call for me. I knew there’s going to be a few names here and there that people wouldn’t agree with though. But the main point of the post still stands even if a few guys could be shifted around. Top-3 picks = pretty dang good!

    So I’m open to suggestions on both DiPietro, and Lehtonen, and anyone else.

  19. MetalOil says:

    ya who the heck is Alexandr Svitov ???

  20. Haboiler says:

    Yes I think he could be considered a major dud.

    Great read Racki and much appreciated. Interesting to hear from Hall on Oilers Lunch on Team 1260 that he is a natural centre. If we were somehow able to unload certain contracts Seguin might be the better fit to play with MPS and Eberle. Both Hall and Seguin are decent size as well. I’m not as sold on Fowler as these two and might be disappointed if we ended up picking 3. I do think we end up with Hall either way as Carolina owner loves Seguin and he owns the OHL team that Seguin plays on.

  21. Racki says:

    Interesting info, Haboiler.. didn’t know he owned the Whalers. That would probably help influence the decision quite a bit.

    Btw, I’ve updated the description for “unknown”. I kind of blurred the line a bit there. In the description I said that these are players that could basically disappear in the league, or could be great players. But really, they are just the guys I haven’t quite gotten a beat on yet, either by not seeing them enough, or just can’t commit to them in one of the other rankings yet.

    Perhaps some of you guys can give a bit of suggestion as to where guys such as: Duchene, Van Riemsdyk, Turris, DiPietro, and Horton fit, in your eyes. Horton I probably still keep unknown just because he’s been inconsisent.

  22. LateNightOilFan says:

    Ok – just a bit of time this AM to respond to your request!

    As far as your unknowns, personally I think anyone in their first year is still an unknown. So that includes Tavares and Hedman if Duchene is also there. Tavares started off hot, went through a terrible slump and just broke out of it but he is easily contained by the opposition and can be invisible. Still so much to learn. Duchene just passed him in rookie scoring. Can’t comment on Hedman too much since I haven’t seen him much. Agreed with vanReims & Turris as unknowns right now.

    Definitely agree with DP as unknown – he’s making very good progress but has been quite sheltered by the team’s strong play and not fully tested yet, plus they don’t know what kind of load he will be handle again. He’s passed all the tests so far though. I wouldn’t call him elite though, once fully recovered he would move up to impact player.

    Not sure about your hesitation with Horton, he’s just as much an impact player as Ryan and he’s very much sought after in every armchair GM’s trade scenarios! He’s already matched his pt total from last year and on pace to get over 70pts this season – so that’s 60/45/70=175 over 3 seasons. Ryan is on pace for 65pts – so that’s 10/57/65=132 over 3 seasons.

    Definitely feel Lehtonen has to be unknown right now for reasons I already outlined. Finally, although he’s had a so-so season, I think Fleury has finally joined the elite ranks – the guy was clutch in the cup win.

    Anyway, just my opinions about past selections. Your point does remain though, the top 3 in the past 10 years have not disappointed at all (save for 1), and the way the scouting rankings have improved over the years, I think the risk of selecting a dud is less and less every year. These guys are just under so much scrutiny and assessment by so many different experts, and most teams don’t go off the board with the top 3 picks.

  23. Racki says:

    LNOF: Nice work. I actually do agree with you on that, and as such will update the post. Fleury, I was actually on the border on… I was going to put him in the elite category, but was just a bit hesitant to say so just yet, but I agree that he should be there, and just needed some confirmation on him and a few others. And I do agree that a few guys should be considered unknowns. Will change the post a bit. Thanks for the help! As for Horton, he is an unknown to me just because his point totals dropped off from his hot start to his career. However, I think you’re right that we can at least say he’s been an impact player for Florida.

  24. neufab says:

    Great post. Assuming the Oilers get a top 2 pick, I think they have to select a forward. I saw Hall in the Orr vs. Cherry game last night. I turned there late and just in time to see Hall break up a play short handed, burst out of the zone and set up a goal. I’ve gotta say I’m a sucker for speed, having said that, the Oilers have had so many lefties that the right handed shot of Seguin might be reason enough to make a guy think twice. Either way, it seems a safe bet that both would be impact players.

  25. chucker says:

    Racki: Figured it out.. it was a Slovakian, and it was Peter Hrasko

    Yup. We have to draft this kid. He hits everything.

  26. Racki says:

    There is one issue that is a concern. The guy DOES hit everything, but unless he’s grown, he’s only 5’9″ / 174lbs! That’s pretty small for a d-man. It can work in Junior, but in the NHL, I don’t know. I think he’ll be a later pick for that reason alone. Damn, he hits a growth spurt, he’ll be a good pick.

  27. Racki says:

    neufab: Great post.Assuming the Oilers get a top 2 pick, I think they have to select a forward.I saw Hall in the Orr vs. Cherry game last night. I turned there late and just in time to see Hall break up a play short handed, burst out of the zone and set up a goal.I’ve gotta say I’m a sucker for speed, having said that, the Oilers have had so many lefties that the right handed shot of Seguin might be reason enough to make a guy think twice.Either way, it seems a safe bet that both would be impact players.

    Yah, I turned onto the game at about that point too. He’s a dangerous threat on the PK.

  28. chucker says:

    Racki: There is one issue that is a concern. The guy DOES hit everything, but unless he’s grown, he’s only 5′9″ / 174lbs! That’s pretty small for a d-man. It can work in Junior, but in the NHL, I don’t know. I think he’ll be a later pick for that reason alone. Damn, he hits a growth spurt, he’ll be a good pick.

    Nevermind then. We have enough smurfs. Too bad though.

  29. Bostonoiler says:

    HabOiler: I forgot the Canes owner owned the Whalers too (how ironic…..Hurricanes select a Whaler) I really want Hall to be an Oiler. I’m big on these guy re-building and if they are to do it right we need out form of the Hawks big young three. I do see some similarities between these teams though. They had Khabi, we have Khabi. They had Havlat, we have Hemsky. They had Towes, I think Eberle will be our Towes. They had Sharp, I think Svensson is our sharp, They had Kane, I think Hall/Seguin will be our Kane. Brule reminds me of Verseteeg, Campbell and Vishnovsky compare, Keith could compare with Gilbert (NOW Keith had some rough times before becoming a star, think Gilbert is having those rough times now) Eager and Storts. Now we have Penner and Gagner,they didn’t have those types of pieces when they began. Oh and after taking time to think, I highly doubt Cogliano will be traded, but that O’Sullivan is as good as gone. If you see what I’m saying our re-build and the Blackhawks re-build can some what compare. We could be like NYI, low top ten pik (They had 7 we had 10) then a top (They had 1st, we are TBA) and head to the playoffs. The Av’s have also proven that you dont have to suck for a long time either.

  30. Racki says:

    chucker:
    Nevermind then.We have enough smurfs.Too bad though.

    Yup.

  31. Horpensky says:

    They all look great.

    I personally think Seugin is better, who doesn’t have the benefit of strong linemates like Hall.. but would probably take Hall just because he played with Eberle at the WJC. Fowler isn’t overly physical, but neither is Lidstrom or Bouwmeester and could have a long career because of it.

  32. zackman35 says:

    Racki: There is one issue that is a concern. The guy DOES hit everything, but unless he’s grown, he’s only 5′9″ / 174lbs! That’s pretty small for a d-man. It can work in Junior, but in the NHL, I don’t know. I think he’ll be a later pick for that reason alone. Damn, he hits a growth spurt, he’ll be a good pick.

    Just draft him late and let the organization inject him with HGh.

    Also excellent content Racki, really like the report and it’s done pretty nicely too (aesthetically). My 2cents is that I think the Oilers should be in the hunt for Senguin. Simple because he’s carrying the team himself and he’s an awesome two way player with great hockey smarts, or so I’ve heard.

    Hall did look quite impressive in the WJC but I think we should go for Senguin, I know I’ve only read stuff and barely seen him play but I’ve also watched quite a few of his interviews and a few of the specials he had with the Cherry vs Orr game and he seems like quite a mature kid already, especially for his age. Where as Hall still seems like he has a bit of growing to do yet. Anyways, if possible be in the hunt for Senguin.

    And I’d say lets sign Laraque for the rest of the season and bring big Georges back to Oil country (It’d give me a lot better reason to go to the autograph sesh this year with my brother too). Couldn’t hurt and the character he brings is almost second to none. Even if it did ‘hurt’, hey we’re in the hunt for top 5.

  33. neufab says:

    Off topic but seeing the flames loose again helps me sleep at night… and then there’s the leafs #1 pick… check that, Bruins #1 pick, lol… almost brings me tears of joy.

    With Hemsky, Gagner, Brule, Penner, Visnovsky, Eberle, MPS, 2010 pick… I think the mood of Oiler fans will be much more upbeat in a year or two. I look forward to the trade deadline to see what will happen with this roster, and I’m curious to see how the multiple contract expirations will play out. It’s a good year for many of those contracts to be up as long as management doesn’t get stupid.

  34. Racki says:

    Zack: Thanks for the compliment! And as for Laraque, I’ve mentioned in a few other sites I don’t have interest in him. Like you though (by the sounds of it), I appreciate his community-factor. But on the ice, I’m just going to say it… big waste of ice time.

    As for which guy we should draft.. I’ve been flip flopping on each of these guys (which, again, is a sign as to how close the race is). Right now, I’m kind of thinking Hall. He has all the offensive tools and he’s been a danger short-handed this year too. But then you’ve got Seguin, who appears to be more of a complete player, with leadership ability. Tough call. I think I go with Hall though just because I have no problem picking up that guy that is all out offense (and even though I mentioned it above, I am having a tough time believing his defensive play is THAT bad, from what I’ve seen).

    Neufab: Yep! The future IS bright (although I’ve said that lots before, I mean it more and more). And I’m hoping that by the trade deadline, this roster is seriously trimmed down of some of the bigger contracts.

  35. zackman35 says:

    Racki: Zack: Thanks for the compliment! And as for Laraque, I’ve mentioned in a few other sites I don’t have interest in him. Like you though (by the sounds of it), I appreciate his community-factor. But on the ice, I’m just going to say it… big waste of ice time.

    Yeah man, I’d love to see him back for more community/character aspects for the organization/team. It would be good to let him play a few games but really he’d be like Mac Attack v2. There really is no spot for him on the ice unless we acquire him to sink further in the standings.

    As for Senguin, you should watch a few videos, even his mic-up skate video is pretty good at the CHL prospects event. Gives you a pretty good feel of what kind of kid he is.

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=57741

    Might of been this one too, it made me laugh when he was walking out on the ice for-warning the guys to smile for the camera.

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=57726

  36. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Nice work breaking things down Racki. Another spin on this would be the effect the player has had on the club. According to the experts, you can’t become an elite team unless you have an elite player which is easier to draft than to trade for. So it occurred to me that some of the teams tanked not just for one season, they tanked for several seasons. Also, these are American franchises where I believe the fanbase is more willing to accept being a bottom feeder for 3 straight seasons. Actually, they don’t accept it, they just don’t bother to show up to the games so the team has free reign on doing exactly what they want. Its almost like taking a few years off.

    Anyways, teams like Atlanta, Columbus, NYI, Florida…had top 3 picks but they failed to turn their franchises into elite teams. Pittsburgh on the other hand had top 3 picks in 4 consecutive years to turn their team into what it is today. Then you have teams like TB and Carolina that have won cups but also spent much of the time as bottom feeders.

    Regardless of who we select this coming draft, we’ve got a lot of work ahead to right the ship.

  37. Racki says:

    We do, but I think in the past few years, the team has drafted better. Or perhaps you could say, the rest of the league has drafted worse in some cases (allowing MPS to fall in our hands at 10, and Eberle at 21 22, for example). Of course that all remains to be seen, but I think we do have a few guys capable of being big name players. And it’s not just the prospects. There is Penner and Gagner as well too who have a really good chemistry together. Then of course we already have Hemsky… as well Souray and Visnovsky (I stress Visnovsky, as I think the guy deserves more credit than he’ll ever get..). This is something that a lot of those bottom feeders didn’t have benefit of starting with. Then you can also throw in good solid non-star players like Smid, Chorney, Peckham on the back-end. These guys will be pretty reliable in the future.

    I do not in any way think this team needs to shit the bed for another 3 years. This is year number 4 already of doing it, and we’ve managed to build up a decent pool of prospects. Is it as good as Pittsburgh? No, of course not. But there is no reason that we have to nose dive that hard.

    We’ve got the core group of prospects laid out (especially with this year’s presumably high pick). Now Tambi’s job is going to be to clean up the bad contracts in any way he can to help complete this team and fill in the gaps with savvy veterans to help these guys along.

  38. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I really hope that is the case Racki. You might recall that I was one of the fans hoping we didn’t try and tank for Taylor this year, mainly because of the poor environment for our young players when they just lose night after night after night. After night. For whatever the reason, Tambi’s inability or unwillingness to make moves that address the teams needs we are in this position now.

    In a way Oiler fans have nothing to cheer for now so Tanking For Taylor sort of takes the sting away from the abysmal team we have out there night after night. I consider myself an extremely optimistic person but I need feedback from the team that gives me that optimism. I don’t want to be a naysayer to all those who have high hopes for what this team has in the next few years but lets not forget about the high hopes we had a few years ago. Souray signed here and he was excited to be a part of what looked like a bright future. Lubo came here and at first seemed like he was upset about leaving LA but warmed to the idea of going to a team with a bright future like Edmonton where he’d finally make the playoffs. Now we draw up lineups for the coming years penciling in all our draft picks and expect we’ll be a great team in a few years.

    I’m not expecting us to win a cup in 3 years but I always hope we win the cup. What I expect to see from the team is progress. Something that will inspire some confidence or atleast a bit of optimism.

  39. Racki says:

    I hear you Mr. M. And while I’m vocal about being on board with the “Tank for Taylor”, it is 100% because of the fact that this season is a write-off. So I say it because I want to salvage something from it. If this team sits around 20th or so again, it’s a set back (unless we land Supero Nintenderreiter or someone who could be a potential impact player). But getting a top 3 pick is something that even the most incompetent of GMs can’t fuck up… can they?? It’s improving the team without the GM having to actually break a sweat actually doing something. Yes, I am a bit miffed over the negligence. I actually think it may be a sign that Tambi himself is Tanking for Taylor.

  40. gr8one says:

    Racki: We do, but I think in the past few years, the team has drafted better. Or perhaps you could say, the rest of the league has drafted worse in some cases (allowing MPS to fall in our hands at 10, and Eberle at 21 22, for example). Of course that all remains to be seen, but I think we do have a few guys capable of being big name players. And it’s not just the prospects. There is Penner and Gagner as well too who have a really good chemistry together. Then of course we already have Hemsky… as well Souray and Visnovsky (I stress Visnovsky, as I think the guy deserves more credit than he’ll ever get..). This is something that a lot of those bottom feeders didn’t have benefit of starting with. Then you can also throw in good solid non-star players like Smid, Chorney, Peckham on the back-end. These guys will be pretty reliable in the future.
    I do not in any way think this team needs to shit the bed for another 3 years. This is year number 4 already of doing it, and we’ve managed to build up a decent pool of prospects. Is it as good as Pittsburgh? No, of course not. But there is no reason that we have to nose dive that hard.
    We’ve got the core group of prospects laid out (especially with this year’s presumably high pick). Now Tambi’s job is going to be to clean up the bad contracts in any way he can to help complete this team and fill in the gaps with savvy veterans to help these guys along.

    yeah, totally agree here, and hopefully going forward management has learned from their cap mistakes and as some of these bad contracts start dropping off of the books they are more savvy in how they dole out future contracts. by the time that happens, hopefully we will have strung a couple good/exciting seasons together with our young stars that if we do need to sign some UFA’s not only could we afford them, but they might actually want to sign here.

    by the way, a lot of people look at Chicago as a template for the Oilers, but I’m a little wary of that…they sucked hind banana for many years to get the young stars they have, and yes they drafted well, but they also have some pretty atrocious contracts(Campbell, Huet) and they also went for the “home run” player in Hossa.

    I’m not saying that Chicago has done a bad job at managing their team, but certainly the jury is still out…it will be interesting to see how things go for them in the next 2 or three seasons.

  41. Racki says:

    Yah actually, the Blackhawks suffered through the Bill Wirtz era for a long time, lest we forget… so good point there. I hope though that these guys in head office can get their heads out of their butts. I had faith that the bad signings were over with. Yah OK, the Heatley trade was ridiculously drawn out. I can forgive that though. But signing Khabi to 4 years.. at $3.75M… yeeeeeeeeeeeeesh. Tambellini will have to redeem himself for that one.

  42. Jonathan says:

    Hey Racki, thanks for the analysis. It is comforting to know that the odds are pretty good that we’ll get someone who will have a significant impact!

    The Taylor Hall bit was interesting. I watched him a bit during the World Juniors and didn’t come away with my jaw around my ankles. He was good but Cam Fowler seemed like the second coming of Bobby Orr.

  43. gr8one says:

    yeah, I also just want to make a counterpoint to all the people that say “Hall/Fowler/Seguin” will not be our Saviours…to which I agree, and Crosby alone would not have been the Pens saviour, or Ovie not the Caps saviour…the caps without Backstrom, Semin, Green and some others, and Pittsburgh without Malkin, Staal, Gonchar, Fleury and company would not be very good teams either.

    like a few have already said, we already have some very good pieces in Hemsky, Penner, Gagner, Cogs, Visser, plus Eberle, MPS, plus 2k10 draft, if Tambellini does a good job we have the potential to be a very good team next year.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, why would any fan NOT want us to tank and get a potential elite player at this point?

    and by that I don’t mean stop playing hard as a team. we can still suck and play hard.

  44. Racki says:

    Jonathan: Hey Racki, thanks for the analysis.It is comforting to know that the odds are pretty good that we’ll get someone who will have a significant impact!The Taylor Hall bit was interesting.I watched him a bit during the World Juniors and didn’t come away with my jaw around my ankles.He was good but Cam Fowler seemed like the second coming of Bobby Orr.

    Sadly I missed most of the tournament. I tuned in sometime before Hall’s short-handed assist. It’s not fair to base things on one game, of course though, but Seguin didn’t seem to impress either. I wish I could see more junior action. I’d tune in to every game I could for Windsor to see Hall/Fowler play.

  45. Racki says:

    gr8one: yeah, I also just want to make a counterpoint to all the people that say “Hall/Fowler/Seguin” will not be our Saviours…to which I agree, and Crosby alone would not have been the Pens saviour, or Ovie not the Caps saviour…the caps without Backstrom, Semin, Green and some others, and Pittsburgh without Malkin, Staal, Gonchar, Fleury and company would not be very good teams either.like a few have already said, we already have some very good pieces in Hemsky, Penner, Gagner, Cogs, Visser, plus Eberle, MPS, plus 2k10 draft, if Tambellini does a good job we have the potential to be a very good team next year.I guess what I’m trying to say is, why would any fan NOT want us to tank and get a potential elite player at this point?and by that I don’t mean stop playing hard as a team. we can still suck and play hard.

    Yup, I do agree. I’m actually liking what I’m seeing right now (although I missed Colorado / “hind banana” game). It’s been entertaining hockey for me, but they still keep the drive for five alive.

    Also, the whole “Hall/Seguin/Fowler won’t save this team” stuff is completely missing the point. Save the team or not, it doesn’t matter. These guys will (with almost certainty) make the team better and could make linemates better, plus there is the potential that they are going to be franchise players. Like you said gr8one, why wouldn’t you want that?

    When I’m picking between potential franchise player and last place or maybe above average player and 20th place or so, I’ll risk it with the potential franchise player.

  46. HockeyNoob says:

    OMG lol. I forgot that the Islanders took Dipietro over Heatley and Gaborik. Isn’t that the cardinal rule of drafting… Never pick a goalie in the 1st round–especially 1st overall?

    Great post guys… It looks like there’s a big drop off from 1st to 2nd pick depending on the draft year.

    As for gr8one’s thoughts about tanking, I would tend to agree. Fortunately, having two sub .900 goalies, a dismal PK/faceoff stats, 1/3 of a 1st line, among other factors should help take care of the tanking.

  47. MetalOil says:

    Wow is the OMB ever a gong show now. Someone trying to start rumors that Talyor Hall does not want to come to Edmonton because he grew up a Flame fan (LOL). We are now at the point of saying players do not want to come here before they are even drafted. Just wow.

  48. Mr.Majestyk says:

    MetalOil: Wow is the OMB ever a gong show now. Someone trying to start rumors that Talyor Hall does not want to come to Edmonton because he grew up a Flame fan (LOL). We are now at the point of saying players do not want to come here before they are even drafted. Just wow.

    lol. Maybe he wasn’t impressed by Eberle at the WJHC? Not much of a future for that kid;)

  49. Racki says:

    More like scared that he’ll live in Eberle’s shadow. :P

    But seriously, what a dumb suggestion (that Hall already doesn’t want to play here).

  50. chucker says:

    I see Nino plays for the Winterhawks. I like him even more now. Definitely a guy who should be in our sights.

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