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07-01-2013, 01:50 PM
Hockey Buddha
Darnell Nurse
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So, far I'm happy with MacT. Grade: A

I'm okay with MacTavish's inaction on the trade front at the draft table. Like most everyone else, I was anticipating more moves at the table and still expect some as the summer progresses; but I'm not unhappy with draft day, and I really don't want MacT moving on deals that don't make sense for the club just to show activity. The truth is that there were not a lot of trades on draft day, and I'm not sure that I wanted the Oilers in on them anyway. MacTavish, in my view made an intelligent decision for the future of the club yesterday, by restocking the prospect cupboards.

A lot of people were upset that the Oilers didn't make the trade Toronto made to land Dave Bolland, a $3.75M centre, who is a UFA after next season. Let's look at how that played out: Dave Bolland was moved to the Leaf for a pick that would land Chicago Swedish defenseman Carl Dahlström in the second round and then they packaged their acquired 117th pick from Toronto. Chicago used the 117th pick and 156th pick to land another Swedish defenseman, Robin Norell. They still have Toronto's fourth round pick at next year's draft. For an equivalent, the Oilers would be giving up second round pick (#56) Marc-Olivier Roy and fourth round pick (#114) Aiden Muir and a fourth rounder next season. I guess that we'll see how Roy, Muir, and our fourth rounder next season turn out. I don't see that Bolland is a huge upgrade over Lander, and he makes a significant amount for a third line centre. In the new cap world, picks have an increased value. In my view, that deal does not make sense for the Oilers; they still need to look towards the future, without being too mired in the present with the players they have.

What I'm particularly happy about is the intelligence of the moves that MacTavish has made thus far. The Belov signing in the summer was a slick move. Also, turning the 37th overall pick yesterday (through two separate deals) into Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer, and Aidan Muir makes me smile quite a bit. I also like going to Russia for the two picks--Yakimov and Slepyshev. It makes a whole lot of sense to me. The Oilers have also had good success drafting from the BCHL, and went there again this year, selecting RWer Evan Campbell, who is NCAA bound.
I also like the following list of acquired prospects from yesterday. They fill some needs at the prospect level, where we were getting in short supply:
  • Nurse, a 6'4" D, a potential franchise defenseman.
  • Marc-Olivier Roy, a 6'1" C, a skilled, tenacious centreman with offensive upside.
  • Yakimov a 6'4" big, skilled centre in the KHL with good hands..
  • Slepyshev a 6'1" LWer in the KHL
  • Houck a 6'0" RWer, leading scorer on the Vancouver Giants (WHL)
  • Platzer 5'll" a skilled, two-way RWer who played sheltered minutes on a talented London Knights (OHL) squad.
  • Muir is 6'4" C or LWer, who plays a gritty, tough game, headed to Western Michigan University next season.
  • Campbell 6'2" RWer or LWer, a BCHLer committed to the University of Massachusetts Lowell next season
  • Betker 6'5" D, a shutdown defenseman, playing for the Silvertips of the WHL.
What I like most about the draft is that we can now afford to let a lot of these players develop seasoning (in the KHL, NCAA, and in the CHL). With the addition of ten prospects we add significant depth, and we can begin developing players instead of rushing them. This is a draft with the long-term interest of the club at heart. I'm glad that MacTavish is prepared to do that and show some patience, when he is in a position with so much expectation from the fans. To me, it shows character as well as intelligence.

As an aside, I also thought that MacT was easily the best draft day quote: “My deal-rate-per-spoken-word is very low right now.” Funny. My confidence in MacT is not shaken. He will get it done, and I'm glad he's not going to blink on a deal, that's when you lose your shirt.

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