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Oilers in the first round.

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05-01-2004, 01:38 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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Oilers in the first round.

With today's article in the Sun, it once again reminds us that the Oilers poor performance in the first round has been a major contributer to their lack of success in the last decade. We often are told that payroll is the devil that keeps the team from reaching deep into the playoffs, and there is no doubt that it is a huge factor.

However, the path has been more painful that it should have been, simply because the Oilers have been beaten to every impact player available through the draft for several generations of kids.

From 95-99 (a five year window), the Oilers had more success after the first round than they did during the first round (save 2001):

1995-1st rd pick: Steve Kelly; 2nd round pick: Georges Laraque
1996-1st rd picks: Boyd Devereaux, Matthieu Descoteaux; later rounds: Tom Poti, Fernando Pisani.
1997-1st rd pick: Michel Riesen; later rounds: Jason Chimera.
1998-1st rd pick: Michael Henrich; later rounds: Alex Henry, Shawn Horcoff.
1999-1st rd pick: Jani Rita; later rounds: Alexei Semenov, Tony Salmelainen, Mike Comrie.
2000-1st rd pick: Alexei Mikhnov; later rounds: Matt Lombardi.
2001-1st rd pick: Ales Hemsky; later rounds: Doug Lynch, Jussi Markkanen, Kari Haakana, Ales Pisa.
2002-1st rd pick: Jesse Niinimaki; later rounds: Deslauriers, Stoll, Greene, Helminen, Luoma.
2003-1st rd pick: MA Pouliot; later rounds: Colin McDonald, JF Jacques, Misha Joukov, Kyle Brodziak.

I'm not going to list the games played by each, but the best players on this list were landed with picks outside the 1st round (save Ales Hemsky).

So, here's my questions to you:

1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!

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Old
05-01-2004, 02:05 PM
  #2
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide

So, here's my questions to you:

1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!
1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?
I believe that the Oilers should start signing big name restricted free agents and start giving up the five first rounders because they don't do anything with them anyway...How about this deal...Joe Sakic signs a 5 year deal with the Oilers and all we would have given up is Kelly, Devereaux, Reisen, Henrich and Rita? :lol

Ok, now that the humour to subside the pain of the Oilers first round drafting is over, I believe that the Oilers must draft the highest skilled player available. Not the best grinder, not the most likely to succeed, not the most skilled guy over 6' and 1/2", the most skilled. Kevin Lowe said two to three years ago that the Oilers can't compete for skill through free agency so the draft is the only way to accomplish it.

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?
John Short made this comment on 930. I believe him.


3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?
We won't know for 5 years.

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?
Niinimaki is a wild card but I don't think every decision is like this one. One thing that bothers me as someone who pays a lot of attention to prospects...is that the Oilers selections in the first round in the last few years have made me mad. The Gordons, Babchuks, Steens, Grebeshkovs, Bergenheims, Toivonens are all talked about at close to the show and (granted injuries play into it) the Niinimakis are hopefuls. The Parises, Getzlafs, Keslers, Richards, Burns, Bergerons are on the table and the Oilers draft Pouliot.(Which still could turn into a solid pick but others have had either more progress sooner or are spoken more highly of) I think it important to put some of the heat on the players to prove the Oilers right as well. I think it awesome to watch the draft, although I don't want the Oilers to drive me crazy.

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!
I think the Oilers would have to totally go off the board with 14 to make it a risky pick...OMG we are getting McGrath...lowetide you bugger....

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Old
05-01-2004, 02:56 PM
  #3
YKOil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
With today's article in the Sun, it once again reminds us that the Oilers poor performance in the first round has been a major contributer to their lack of success in the last decade. We often are told that payroll is the devil that keeps the team from reaching deep into the playoffs, and there is no doubt that it is a huge factor.

However, the path has been more painful that it should have been, simply because the Oilers have been beaten to every impact player available through the draft for several generations of kids.

So, here's my questions to you:

1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!
NOT JUST A SHAMELESS PLUG - but if you want to see a study of the Oilers draft history and results up to 2003 then follow this link:

http://www.nothing2seehere.com/jsprt_nhl_odr_int.htm

And if you want to see another study of their expertise when it comes to picking Swedes and Russians follow this link:

http://www.nothing2seehere.com/jsprt...dr_ras_int.htm

So... that done let's answer your questions:

1. Yes.

2. No. I think they are simply guilty of having a bad scouting template OR bad scouts OR a combination of those two things.

3. I think so... but time will tell.

4. Always - draft day is fun.

5. I am half expecting to see them draft:

BICKELL, BRYAN OHL OTTAWA 9-Mar-86 6' 3" 210 LW - the 12th ranked NA in the draft by CSB at mid-season.

Simply because of Lowe's fetish for big LW's. Can never have enough - especially when you let them rot on the farm while you pay a guy like Isbister $2 million a year to do nothing but take a regular turn on the injury list. The more I think about that the more I find myself squarely in Rita's corner.


YKOil

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Old
05-01-2004, 05:12 PM
  #4
Lowetide
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Holy moly YK Oil, terrific stuff. I've got to read it all before I can comment, but impressive to say the least.

As for who they might reach for, that high school kid Wheeler looks like an Oiler type to me too. He has been seen by scouts, though, and photos of him are in circulation, so he's not an ideal Oiler first rounder.

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Old
05-01-2004, 07:36 PM
  #5
momentai
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1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

Is that really the case? The only one firmly chosen for high risk/reward in the Prendergast regime seems to be Jesse Niinimaki. The drafting of Hemsky has not at all turned out horribly. And it's not as if Pouliot is not that glaring a question mark regardless of the players Lowe passed on.

The only one that you could definitely say could turn out poorly is Niinimaki... and that really isn't a whole lot to go on since his development is far from over. It's an entirely different atmosphere... so I'm not sure we can just lump our past failures into the more present ones until we can get a better handle on what our results yield in the first round from this regime. There's still time.

I don't see the real problem with drafting for high risk/high reward type players. Under this regime, it has not really proven to be such a huge detriment. After all, how else can the Oilers get these high skilled forwards/dmen without taking risks in the draft?

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

It's certainly possible. However, don't all first rounders have their agents push for the max? After all, drafting them in the first round certainly means that the club sees something in them - it would only be logical for the agent to exploit this. What might be a little more telling is the bonus structure for these players. And that could conceivably be cheaper with high risk players... so I suppose there could be something there.

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

I'd say it's looking that way. However, it is still fairly early to compare with Fraser and company. But it's been so bad for so long.. that having Pisa/Markkannen/Stoll already make the NHL seem like a breath of fresh air. This does not even have to include the likes of Lynch and Brodziak who took steps forwards faster than expected.

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

Hockey is hockey. You and I both know we're going to be watching it anyway. We're all hooked and we know it.

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!

Adam Pineault? Sergei Ogorognikov?

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05-02-2004, 12:14 AM
  #6
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To be honest, I'd rather see them try for that guy who could turn out to be a dominant player in the first round. Chances are, that is where they are.

And with the secondary picks, go for guys who may not have all the flash and pizazz, but will be solid NHLers.

Like I mean Niinimaki is one of those guys whose top end is astromically high, but then you have your sure bets like Stoll in that draft.

To be honest, I'd rather see them go for all the marbles in the first round to pick up that diamond in the rough and use their secondary picks for guys who have a decent shot at 2nd-4th line duties.

I mean they have picked 11 guys who have made a decent contribution at the NHL level in those drafts you mentioned. That isn't bad at all, plus factor in guys like Lynch, Salmo, Deslauriers who all look as close to guarantees as you will find outside the NHL, and the drafting isn't that bad.

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05-02-2004, 03:00 PM
  #7
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1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

Well, once again, this all boils down to the Oilers definition of BPA. KP says that they draft the BPA at all picks, but their definition of the BPA is obviously weighted heavily on long-term, home-run potential and weighted less on the likelihood of reaching that potential. The Oilers scouting staff needs to take a long hard look at their definition of BPA and its effect on their picks. I feel that their BPA definition needs to be adjusted to reflect more the likeliness of the player playing in the NHL.

Another reason for the "high-risk, high-reward" offensive picks is that they are the hardest holes to fill through trades or free agency for a small-market team like Edmonton. Any high-end offensive talent must be developed from within, or we must be willing to pay a premium for it.

One more reason for this is our draft pick location. We are continually picking in the early to late teens. In this range, there are no longer any surefire offensive types still available, so in order to try and fill these holes, we must go off the board and reach a little bit.

While our need for a top-end scorer is very evident, I feel the Oilers as an organization have set themselves back quite a bit by they're annual first round shot in the dark. I'd be more apt for a safe pick with our first pick this year.

For all those against a pick like Chipchura, just look back at past Oilers first rounders, and imagine what could have been if they have taken the safe road with their top pick.

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

No. I don't believe the Oilers would turn down a safer pick to save a few bucks.... I hope not anyways....

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

Too soon to tell, but there's nowhere to go but up from where he started....

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

Yes, because doggone it, I want to be the first Oiler fan scrambling across the Internet trying to figure out just who the hell is this Jesse Niinimaki.....

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!

Risky picks would include McGrath, Sindel and Lisin. I think a guy like Wolski might fall down to us, and I hope that we just let a guy like that keep falling, because I'm sick of these super-skilled juniors that mature before their peers, and then can't hack it in the pros because everyone has caught up to them physically...

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Old
05-02-2004, 04:06 PM
  #8
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
[B]The only one that you could definitely say could turn out poorly is Niinimaki... and that really isn't a whole lot to go on since his development is far from over. It's an entirely different atmosphere... so I'm not sure we can just lump our past failures into the more present ones until we can get a better handle on what our results yield in the first round from this regime. There's still time.
Certainly true. What I sometimes forget is that the 2002 draft didn't have an obvious top 15 (as this season appears to have). I'd say a reasonable person could argue that Hemsky was the bpa when the Oilers picked in 2001 and that MA Pouliot was a strong pick 17-21 in 2003.

The 2002 draft looks even more peculiar two summers later, and if they'd picked Stoll or Deslauriers at 15 Niinimaki might be in New Jersey (there was a rumor that some team was very high on him later in the first round).

The real reason for my original post was 95-99, and I strayed from it when I was writing. Your post frames the issue better.

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05-02-2004, 10:41 PM
  #9
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1. Do you believe the Oilers should abandon what appears to be a "high risk/reward" type attitude in the first round since they're so damn poor at it?

Depends on the draft, i think some drafts from where the Oilers draft from they have to take a little more risk to get the player/skill set they want. Usually when the Oilers draft all the "bonafide" stars would have been picked up already.

2. Do you think that the Oilers go high risk in the first round so that they only have to pay out the rookie max if the guys performs at a very high level?

No

3. Is it getting better since KP took over the head job?

Too early to tell

4. Is it worth spending part of a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the first round when there's every chance the guy they take is the number 50 Euro?

That's what makes it interesting, see if the "pros" come to the same conclussions.

5. Who, iyo, is the most risky first round pick this season? I ask because THAT's the guy we're taking!

Johannes Salmonsson; everything says stay away from this guy. cos he's had some serious injuries, but there's no denying the skill he has. some say he's the most gifted Swede in the draft... good size too.

GXL

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