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Closing the books on the 1979 Draft.

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Old
04-01-2004, 04:24 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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Closing the books on the 1979 Draft.

With the possibility of Mark Messier having played his final game, the 1979 draft has likely run its course.

What a draft it was, although as I recall there wasn't a big whoop about it (honestly? I remember everyone being po'ed that Bengt Gustaffson had been lost in the expansion draft, even though the Oil were assured he wouldn't be touched).

Very quickly,though, it became obvious that the big three (Lowe, Messier, Anderson) would have a major impact in the NHL.

I haven't done any number crunching or anything, but the Oilers 1979 draft (imo) ranks with the Red Wings 1989 draft and the Bruins 1979 draft as the all time best.

The Bruins 1979 draft (Bourque, McCrimmon, Keith Crowder, Mike Krushelnyski) didn't have the number of high quality players the Oilers got that same year, but Bourque is one of the all time best, McCrimmon was a high quality dman for a long time, and the other two were extremely useful forwards.

The Red Wings went ape in the 1989 draft, although they didn't hit a home run in the first round (Mike Sillinger was a solid junior, but has had a career of about the same value as, say, Krushelnyski). However, Niklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov are players of the highest calibre, and Dallas Drake has been a quality player over a long period. Vlad Konstantinov contributed to his team in a valuable way, and Bob Boughner has had a decent career.

One thing the Oilers 1979 draft had going for it was the 1980 draft (Coffey, Kurri, Moog), which is also one of the all time best.

Now, here's my questions: which draft would you take, given the choice? also, which recent drafts do you see having similar impact?

PS, anyone who suggests the Oilers 2000 draft goes to the back of the line.

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04-01-2004, 04:38 PM
  #2
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Geesh they're drafting has been very bad since the 80's.

Since the 90's I guess the best draft classs that the Oilers have had (or drafted) would be 93.

7 - Jason Arnott
33 - David Vyborny
111- Miroslav Satan

1994 was a bad year even thought it's the year they drafted Smyth. They had 2 picks in the top 6 (4-Bonsignore) with 16 picks overall.

95 was another bad year with Steve Kelly as the top choice (over Shane Doan )


Currently I think that 2002 has a chance to be a very good year for the Oilers. 1 player has already cracked the line-up with 3 top prospects in Niinimaki, Deslauriers, Greene.

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04-01-2004, 04:51 PM
  #3
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I think they used up all their drafting karma in the early years. Three franchise players in a single draft? It's like they signed a contract with the devil. Short term gains in exchange for eternal damnation (the 90's drafts... Steve Kelly, Bonsignore).

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Old
04-01-2004, 04:58 PM
  #4
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I don't think any of the Oiler's drafts will have an impact like the 79 one. We're talking about potential hall of famers here...Messier is a lock, Lowe and Anderson might have a chance. Then we have the 80 one with Kurri already being in the HOF, Coffey a lock, and Moog having a great career. Its kinda sad, but I don't think hockey today is anywhere close to what it was before.

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04-01-2004, 06:14 PM
  #5
Mizral
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I'm not looking or anything, but I believe the Montreal Canadien's selected all three of John Leclair, Eric Desjardins, and Mathieu Schneider in the very same draft. To me, that's right up there with those others.

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04-01-2004, 07:45 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I'm not looking or anything, but I believe the Montreal Canadien's selected all three of John Leclair, Eric Desjardins, and Mathieu Schneider in the very same draft. To me, that's right up there with those others.
Right you are - 1987 (I did look). They also drafted Andrew Cassels in the first round - LeClair and Desjardins were second, and Schneider third.

I still don't think that's as good as Lowe et al in 79 though.

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04-01-2004, 09:04 PM
  #7
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I'm admittedly biased as a Wings fan and native Detroiter, but I think if you consider how deep in the draft the players were selected that '89 Detroit draft stands out above the others. Lidstrom was selected 53rd, Fedorov 74th, Drake 116th and Vladdie 221st overall. For an 11th round pick Vlad the Impaler was a huge success and he would have had an even greater career if it weren't for that tragic accident. As it was he was a large part of the '97 cup run, and the motivation for the '98 effort.

Compare that to the '87 Montreal draft, Schneider was the latest pick of consequence and he was only 44th overall. Likewise the '79 Edmonton draft was all low picks. The '79 Bruins draft snagged Krushelnyski in the 6th round, 120th overall, which is the only pick close to Detroit's in terms of late round success.

I think if you look at it objectively all 4 drafts were massively successful, but the superb scouting by Detroit to land such great talent so much later in the draft tilts the scales to their favor the way I see it.

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04-02-2004, 05:42 AM
  #8
Yanner39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublejack
I'm admittedly biased as a Wings fan and native Detroiter, but I think if you consider how deep in the draft the players were selected that '89 Detroit draft stands out above the others. Lidstrom was selected 53rd, Fedorov 74th, Drake 116th and Vladdie 221st overall. For an 11th round pick Vlad the Impaler was a huge success and he would have had an even greater career if it weren't for that tragic accident. As it was he was a large part of the '97 cup run, and the motivation for the '98 effort.

Compare that to the '87 Montreal draft, Schneider was the latest pick of consequence and he was only 44th overall. Likewise the '79 Edmonton draft was all low picks. The '79 Bruins draft snagged Krushelnyski in the 6th round, 120th overall, which is the only pick close to Detroit's in terms of late round success.

I think if you look at it objectively all 4 drafts were massively successful, but the superb scouting by Detroit to land such great talent so much later in the draft tilts the scales to their favor the way I see it.
This is why I never really considered Detroit one of those big market clubs that goes out and buys Stanley Cups. They draft well and as a consequence of that, their players develop well and reach a point where you have to shell out some cash to pay them.

I have no problems with they throwing $$ at a player who's been with the Org. since day one. The wings continue to draft well in the later rounds. That why I always found it amusing where some posters suggested the Oilers doing what they are doing now (the playoff run) is bad for their 2004 draft position. Who cares. The talent is there in the later rounds.

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04-02-2004, 05:48 AM
  #9
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I like the Nordiques' 1991 draft... Forsberg, Huffman, Hextall, Ricci, Duschesne, Chris Simon, Nolan Baumgartner, Jocelyn Thibeault, $15 mil.. and that was just the first round :lol

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04-02-2004, 09:32 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Now, here's my questions: which draft would you take, given the choice? also, which recent drafts do you see having similar impact?

PS, anyone who suggests the Oilers 2000 draft goes to the back of the line.
In terms of which of our recent drafts will have a huge impact, I answer 2002. It's hard to say just how well it will turn out, but it looks fantastic:
1) Niinimaki - potential top two line centre that we need badly.
2) Deslauriers - potential starter.
3) Stoll - we already know what we have here (plus room to grow )
4) Greene - seems to be developing great.
5) Radunske - good potential.
6) Koltsov - could turn out to be great or a bust, but still nice
......

Those top 4 all seem to be headed for very nice NHL careers. Great draft.

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04-02-2004, 10:06 AM
  #11
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Bear
In terms of which of our recent drafts will have a huge impact, I answer 2002. It's hard to say just how well it will turn out, but it looks fantastic:
1) Niinimaki - potential top two line centre that we need badly.
2) Deslauriers - potential starter.
3) Stoll - we already know what we have here (plus room to grow )
4) Greene - seems to be developing great.
5) Radunske - good potential.
6) Koltsov - could turn out to be great or a bust, but still nice
......

Those top 4 all seem to be headed for very nice NHL careers. Great draft.
It's funny about drafts, isn't it? I remember the so-called draft experts saying the '02 draft was pretty weak, and that after the top 15 or so there was no real difference for as far as the eye could see.

You know what? They look to be exactly right! If we did a re-draft today, imo Stoll marches well into the first round, and Deslauriers probably does too.

However, guys like Thomas Fleishmann, David LeNeveu, Kirill Kolstov and Jiri Hudler went deep into the second round, and Helminen was way the hell and gone at the end.

So you never know. WHen I first came to this board in the spring of 2000, all of us Oiler fans were giddy with the 1999 draft. Oh well.....

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Old
04-02-2004, 12:04 PM
  #12
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Not to rain on anyone's parade, but a big reason that 1979 draft was so good was that it included multiple birth years. There were guys drafted who were born in 1959, 1960, and 1961. I believe that this was due to the NHL draft age being lowered that year, from 20 to 18, but I could be wrong. In any case, still a spectacular draft for the Oilers.

That year also kind of stands out because so many of the great players who were drafted that year came a little later in the draft than is usual. It seems to me that a lot of the teams didn't want to have to wait a year or two longer for guys to develop. Oh well-it certainly paid off for the Oilers.

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04-02-2004, 12:36 PM
  #13
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but a big reason that 1979 draft was so good was that it included multiple birth years. There were guys drafted who were born in 1959, 1960, and 1961. I believe that this was due to the NHL draft age being lowered that year, from 20 to 18, but I could be wrong. In any case, still a spectacular draft for the Oilers.

That year also kind of stands out because so many of the great players who were drafted that year came a little later in the draft than is usual. It seems to me that a lot of the teams didn't want to have to wait a year or two longer for guys to develop. Oh well-it certainly paid off for the Oilers.

You're right, I should have mentioned it. From TOTAL HOCKEY, 1979 NHL ENRY DRAFT:

In addition, it was decided that the NHL would include the drafting of underage talent for the first time since 1974. However, an ongoing debate regarding eligibility restrictions forced the 1979 draft to be delayed.

Finally it was agreed that the age of eligibility would be 20 years old, but that NHL teams would be able to draft 19 year olds if they so chose. All 19 year olds who were involved in the WHA would be included in the drafting pot.



Same publication, from 1980:

As was decided in 1979, all junior players aged 18 years old would be eligible for the 1980 draft.


So, somewhere in the 1979 and 1980 drafts, three actual draft seasons were eaten up in two drafts.

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04-02-2004, 01:10 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Bear
In terms of which of our recent drafts will have a huge impact, I answer 2002. It's hard to say just how well it will turn out, but it looks fantastic:
1) Niinimaki - potential top two line centre that we need badly.
2) Deslauriers - potential starter.
3) Stoll - we already know what we have here (plus room to grow )
4) Greene - seems to be developing great.
5) Radunske - good potential.
6) Koltsov - could turn out to be great or a bust, but still nice
......

Those top 4 all seem to be headed for very nice NHL careers. Great draft.
Niinimaki - Took a big hit this year with his shoulder injury. Lost a whole year of development. VERY bad news for him.

Deslauriers - From what I can tell, he can impersonate Patrick Roy one night and Pokey Reddick the next. Not the picture of consistency you want in a goalie. Still has time to turn in around.

Stoll - What more is there to say about this guy?? Smart, skilled. The amount of responsibility that MacT feels comfortable placing on this kid's shoulders is unbelievable.

Greene - Sounds very encouraging. I see him as having a Sean Brown size and demeanor, without being a complete pylon. Big, mean, solid defensively........ drool....

Radunske - Perhaps the only player more inconsistent that Deslauriers. Hasn't taken the step forward expected from him this year. He's still got a lot of potential though.

Koltsov - Looked TERRIBLE on the Russian junior team that travelled over here. Mind you, the team was overmatched, but there was nothing promising about this kid.


Stoll has arrived, and Greene looks to be a very safe bet to make it here.

Deslauriers and Niinimaki look like boom/bust picks, so if even one of them makes it here, this draft would have to be considered one of the best in recent memory.

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Old
04-02-2004, 01:42 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Now, here's my questions: which draft would you take, given the choice? also, which recent drafts do you see having similar impact?

PS, anyone who suggests the Oilers 2000 draft goes to the back of the line.
good thread.

3 teams had excellent drafts in 1984:

1. Calgary (Brett Hull, Gary Roberts, Gary Suter, Paul Ranheim, Jiri Hrdina)
2. Montreal (Patrick Roy, Shayne Corson, Stephane Richer, Petr Svoboda)
3. Pittsburgh (Mario, Mario, Mario and Doug Bodger)

that draft ended being the foundation of cup winners in those three cities, and I would argue these fit in somewhere....but probably below most of the ones you have mentioned

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04-02-2004, 02:41 PM
  #16
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those are three very strong draft seasons as well looob

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04-02-2004, 03:22 PM
  #17
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned one of the more impressive draft years in recent memory and how well a pair of perrennial powerhouses did in them:

Colorado in '98:

12 - Alex Tanguay
17 - Martin Skoula
19 - Robyn Regehr
28 - Ramzi Abid
38 - Philippe Sauve

New Jersey in '98:

26 - Mike Van Ryn
27 - Scott Gomez
37 - Christian Berglund
82 - Brian Gionta
105 - Pierre Dagenais

Also of note is Jersey's 1990 draft, not so much for overall quality, but quality at one position:

20 - Martin Brodeur
53 - Mike Dunham
200 - Corey Schwab

Not bad :-)

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Old
04-03-2004, 09:52 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serum114
I'm surprised no one has mentioned one of the more impressive draft years in recent memory and how well a pair of perrennial powerhouses did in them:
Those are impressive drafts, but those 98 picks included 6 first rounders and a pair of second rounders - the more I look at it, the better the Wings '89 looks.

(Just kicking around some ideas, trying to not think about the game tonight...)

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