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Which Draft Day Decision Was The Worst?

View Poll Results: Make your choice for worst draft day decision.
Passing on Shane Doan and taking Steve Kelly in '95. 78 54.55%
Taking Jason Bonsignore 4th overall in '94. 46 32.17%
Choosing Michel Riesen in the first round of '97. 7 4.90%
Not taking Parise and instead getting Pouliot & Jacques instead in 2003. 7 4.90%
Other (and specify). 5 3.50%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-06-2004, 11:58 PM
  #1
Guy Flaming
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Which Draft Day Decision Was The Worst?

Of these choices, which one do you feel was the worst decision the Oilers have made on a past draft day? (I will cover a few of these in an upcoming story so this might be playing a part in that).

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Old
01-07-2004, 12:46 AM
  #2
Digger12
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As much as I rail on about the undrafting of Doan, IMO the Bonsignore pick was the most damaging for this org.

The 94/95 draft was supposed to be the Oilers' one great hope of lifting the Oilers out of the early 90's Gulag it had been sentenced to, we had the #4 and #6 picks, the one big chance for our scouting staff to show it could build on its success stories from the previous draft year (Arnott had been runner-up for ROY, and Stajduhar was still highly regarded after his excellent final year of junior and good play at the WJHC). This was where Glen Sather was going to lay the groundwork for the next great Oilers team, and he swung for the fences with Bonsignore as #4 overall.

Bonsignore was in the running for #1 overall early in his draft year, he had it all: Size, decent speed for a big man, heavy shot, excellent stickhandler who could undress goalies or inside-out opposing dmen with the best of them. As his draft year went on though, there were some concerns that his mental preparation and overall maturity were seriously lagging behind the rest of the package. His junior stats just weren't quite as dominating as they should have been, given his talent level. Even leading up to the draft, at least one Oiler scout was dead set against drafting Bonsignore with either pick, saying something along the lines of "Why bother, he'll never play in the NHL."...he was overruled, and Bonsignore was taken with the Oilers' first pick of '94. At #5, Hartford picked Jeff O'Neill.

Crazy thing was, '94 was very close to being a total disaster because drafting Ryan Smyth at #6 took Sather (in one of his last good draft day decisions) overruling Barry Fraser and the rest of his staff for it to happen. They wanted to draft Ethan Moreau, Bonsignore's linemate in Niagra Falls at #6. Nothing against Ethan, but imagine this team without Ryan Smyth all these years.

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Old
01-07-2004, 01:30 AM
  #3
Digger12
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One more thing. :)

For everyone who'll pick the Kelly over Doan fiasco (likely to be most of you), let me ask this...does anyone think he would've been kept around long enough to realize his potential here?

Looking at his career stats, Doan was close to being a bust until he turned 23. Up until that point, in 249 NHL games he had scored just 22 goals. Then the 99/00 seasons dawns, and it was like a whole different player took over his body, scoring more goals (26) than the rest of his career combined. He hasn't looked back since.

Here's my point: Looking back on the Oilers' drafting and treatment of young players in the early to mid-90's, it always seemed to me that if a rookie didn't impress quickly, he seldom got a second chance. Usually their first rounders would get one solid audition of around 20 games or so in one year, and if they didn't take advantage they were quickly jettisoned.

'91: Tyler Wright - After 3 consecutive years of cups of coffee callups, he finally got his chance in 95/96...23-1-0-1 later, he was in the minors and gone to Pittsburgh the next year.

'92: Joe Hulbig - After 4 years of college and one full year in the AHL, he got a 17 game stint where he tallied 2 goals and 2 assists. The next year he spent it nearly entirely in the AHL, the year after that he was Boston property.

'93: Arnott - Excellent rookie year
'93: Stajduhar - Impossible to judge, he never really recovered from that bottle being broken over his head at some bar fight he got involved in.

'94: Bonsignore - Got a 20 game stint as a 19 year old, 0 goals and 2 assists. The next year was entirely in Hamilton and the following year he was traded to Tampa Bay.
'94: Smyth - Only had 2 goals in 48 games in his rookie year, spent a bit of time in the farm but was obviously too good to be there. IMO Sather stuck with him because he'd known Smitty since Ryan was a 10 year old in Banff, and knew the strength of his character. The next year Sather was rewarded with a 39 goal campaign, unfortunately Smyth hasn't really come close to that since.

'95: Kelly - After an 8 game cup of coffee in 97/98, the following year he got his chance...19 games, 0 goals, 2 assists. Later that same year he was in Tampa Bay with Bonsignore.

'96: Devereaux - Had only 1 goal in 38 games in his rookie campaign, but the team stuck with him, probably because he was a great character guy and saw a willingness to improve. The following year he made the team, and might still be an Oiler today if management hadn't been scared off by that bad concussion he got. He came back, and Detroit was the happy recipient.

'97: Riesen - After 2 years in the minors, he finally got his shot with the 'Bulldog line' of Swanson/Cleary/Riesen after a strong preseason showing by that line; 12 games and 0 goals later, he was back in Hamilton and was soon off to St. Louis, never to see NHL daylight again.

Looking at these, one can see that unless the first rounder showed some intestinal fortitude or some other attribute to offset his slow acclimitization to the NHL, the Oilers didn't waste much time in trying to develop the asset...they just got rid of it posthaste.

This brings me back to Doan. Obviously the guy was a local boy and probably would have gotten more than a 20-odd game audition like some others did, but would the Sather regime have stuck with him for nearly 250 games before pulling the plug on him? It's my belief they would've traded him away before we saw him blossom into what he is now. But then who really knows how he would've worked out in Edmonton? Different atmosphere, different linemates, different coach...maybe he flicks the switch earlier or not at all?

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Old
01-07-2004, 02:44 AM
  #4
Bohologo
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Good thread, although we're playing with the fire called hindsight. I voted "other", because if Fedotenko & a couple of second rounders can get you Pitkanen, Lowe should have tried harder. But that's assuming he was in on the offer, and we're back to hindsight again.

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Old
01-07-2004, 03:54 AM
  #5
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Parise didn't impress in the gold medal game or in the semi vs Finland .Anthony Stewart that's the guy.

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01-07-2004, 05:21 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohologo
Good thread, although we're playing with the fire called hindsight. I voted "other", because if Fedotenko & a couple of second rounders can get you Pitkanen, Lowe should have tried harder. But that's assuming he was in on the offer, and we're back to hindsight again.

Same here with me - Lowe should have tried to get this pick.

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Old
01-07-2004, 05:36 AM
  #7
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I vote for Bonsignore. The Parise/Pouliot Jacques depends on a lot of future factors and the result of which we won't know for some time.

The team with
O'Neill/Smyth
Friesen/Smyth
Ohlund/Smyth
Elias/Smyth
(Or Drury or Hejduk, Varada, Alfredsson, Nabokov, Zednik, Holmstrom, Turco, Scatchard, Brown...you get the picture. Man this was a good draft.)

Bonsignore was the earliest pick in the team's history. The Oilers crapped the bed on this one. Everything else I could forgive.

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Old
01-07-2004, 05:44 AM
  #8
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to me kelly is the bad decision.

Bonsignore I can forgive, the upside was too large to ignore, and they couldn't have got both of O'Neil/Smyth (apparentely HART had both of them above Bonsignore, so EDM wouldn't have got both if they had passed on Bonsignore) anyways.

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Old
01-07-2004, 07:04 AM
  #9
Oil_in_my_veins
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My gut tells me to go with Bonsignore because it was our highest pick ever and we blew it, but we made up for it with Smyth...

so I voted for Other...1990

We drafted Scott Allison over

- Keith Tkachuk (seven 30+ goal seasons)
- Martin Brodeur (nuff said)
- Doug Weight (but that turned out anyway)
- Sergei Zubov (the quarterback we needed)
- Peter Bondra (nine 30+ goal seasons)

these are game breakers. Doan is a good player but he's not a franchise player.

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Old
01-07-2004, 07:31 AM
  #10
Digger12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Oilfan
Doan is a good player but he's not a franchise player.
Before this year, I would've agreed with you. He and Nagy are pretty much carrying Phoenix on their backs offensively this year, both averaging over a PPG.

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01-07-2004, 07:35 AM
  #11
Easilee 27
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I voted Steve Kelly, not only over Doan, but Iginla as well. Those were lean years, why not give the fans someone to get excited about. Although I guess one could look back at Kelly, and Bonsignore as keys to aquiring Hamrlik, and eventually Brewer.

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01-07-2004, 07:37 AM
  #12
goldenchild
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
to me kelly is the bad decision.

Bonsignore I can forgive, the upside was too large to ignore, and they couldn't have got both of O'Neil/Smyth (apparentely HART had both of them above Bonsignore, so EDM wouldn't have got both if they had passed on Bonsignore) anyways.
I agree completely. Bonsignore just seemed too good to pass up, I saw him in banff at his first training camp and he looked like a can't miss blue chip talent. Kelly over Doan was a bad pick.

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Old
01-07-2004, 09:11 AM
  #13
Oil_in_my_veins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger12
Before this year, I would've agreed with you. He and Nagy are pretty much carrying Phoenix on their backs offensively this year, both averaging over a PPG.
he is having a career year, must be those power skating lessons from his cousin Catriona Le May Doan.

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01-07-2004, 09:45 AM
  #14
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The Doan draft, for me, really shows what was wrong with this organization at that time.

The draft is in Edmonton, the fans are screaming "DOAN, DOAN, DOAN" and they walk to the podium and pick Kelly.

Well, that's fine but you better be right. And they weren't, and they hadn't been for so long it was silly.

The Edmonton Oilers scouting department was either fatally flawed at the time, or the man making the ultimate decision was ignoring them. Many years after these drafts, most of the good players were sent away for ten cents on the dollar (Satan) or just weren't good enough to begin with (pick one).

I guess the most galling thing was the post Kelly draft reaction, where they said Doan and Kelly were pretty equal but that they liked Kelly a little better!

Let me get this straight: you've been pissing in the wind at the draft table, the entire draft comes to your back yard, your fans are in the house, and you can't throw them a bone because you 'like the other guy a little better?'

Jesus Murphy.

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01-07-2004, 09:59 AM
  #15
Digger12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
The Doan draft, for me, really shows what was wrong with this organization at that time.

The draft is in Edmonton, the fans are screaming "DOAN, DOAN, DOAN" and they walk to the podium and pick Kelly.

Well, that's fine but you better be right. And they weren't, and they hadn't been for so long it was silly.

The Edmonton Oilers scouting department was either fatally flawed at the time, or the man making the ultimate decision was ignoring them. Many years after these drafts, most of the good players were sent away for ten cents on the dollar (Satan) or just weren't good enough to begin with (pick one).

I guess the most galling thing was the post Kelly draft reaction, where they said Doan and Kelly were pretty equal but that they liked Kelly a little better!

Let me get this straight: you've been pissing in the wind at the draft table, the entire draft comes to your back yard, your fans are in the house, and you can't throw them a bone because you 'like the other guy a little better?'

Jesus Murphy.
Hope you're happy...I was in a good mood today, now after that I'm all grumpy. :mad:

Sather stepping up to the podium...the fans chanting "DOAN, DOAN, DOAN", and Slats literally spits out the words "STEVE...KELLY!" in a nearly defiant tone. The fans boo. I throw my remote and kick the cat.

Maybe the chief exhibit of the Oilers drafting a player based on speed, without giving equal airtime to everything else that has to do with playing the game of hockey. It's fine enough with a mid round pick when you're pretty much throwing darts blindfolded anyway, but to do it with a 6th overall pick...ugh.

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01-07-2004, 10:26 AM
  #16
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I said Bonsignore. It's not often a team gets a top 5 pick. When you do, make sure it's a good one. I know there are no guarantees, bt with the way scouting is today, it's almost inexcusable.

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01-07-2004, 10:40 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
I said Bonsignore. It's not often a team gets a top 5 pick. When you do, make sure it's a good one. I know there are no guarantees, bt with the way scouting is today, it's almost inexcusable.
Both Bonsignior and Kelly were really bad picks. I just wonder what player we would have had under pendergrass, as he seems to be pretty on the ball. Time will tell on the parise thing, but today it looks like they dropped the ball on it.

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01-07-2004, 11:26 AM
  #18
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I'm surprised nobody has talked about Jason Soules yet. :-)

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01-07-2004, 12:43 PM
  #19
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Still have that bitter distaste!

My 'Other' vote would single out drafting Comrie as ultimately the worst Oilers' draft pick ever. Although he was snagged later and shouldn't have commanded a premium in term's of signing bonus, his greed agency shenanigans working the CBA loopholes cost the Oilers 12.2 million U$ and he still heldout and a great draft pick went to just good, then to bad, and finally to ugly. This financial disaster cost the Oilers' players they might have been able to sign if Me Fir$t Mikey hadn't scoped up all the cash. Maybe there is even enough money to offer Marchant, a 10 year vet, assistant captain, the league average 1.79 million U$ and Toddy stays an Oiler?!?

The subsequent distraction and hole left in the line-up because of his holdout probably cost the Oilers a shot at going to the 2nd round of the playoffs this year. One could go on but why continue to flog a horse, whose greedy little ass, has already bolted E-Town to count his 40 pieces of silver.


Last edited by OYLer: 01-07-2004 at 12:48 PM.
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Old
01-07-2004, 01:38 PM
  #20
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yeah when i was doing the stats for my "why we are where we are" thread, i was SHOCKED to see how badly the oilers have drafter from about 1998-1999.... we seem to be turning the corner since lowe has teken over as a bunch of our picks aer actually looking like they might play some games..... the scariest stat i thought was that 38% of all players taken in the 1st or 2nd rounds (from 1986-2000) never played one single game in the NHL!! thats just pathetically bad.... and we wonder why we are a mediocre team at best, with drafting this poor its amazing that we have made the playoffs as often as we have..... hopefully lowe can change this, as drafting well is IMO the easiest and best way to create a winning program

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01-07-2004, 01:40 PM
  #21
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i just thought of something..... if the oilers (or any team really) would spend an extra million per season on scouting and player evaluation, rather than give some 2nd line winger an extra million a season, imagine now much farther ahead that program would be, as you can pay quite a few scouts expendatures and salaries with a million bucks..... i would guess that a million would buy you 5-6 extra scouts per year

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01-07-2004, 01:44 PM
  #22
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I'd have to go with Kelly for the reasons that lowetide mentioned and not Bonsignore for the very reasons that speeds said, he was one of those can't miss prospects.

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01-07-2004, 01:48 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog
i just thought of something..... if the oilers (or any team really) would spend an extra million per season on scouting and player evaluation, rather than give some 2nd line winger an extra million a season, imagine now much farther ahead that program would be, as you can pay quite a few scouts expendatures and salaries with a million bucks..... i would guess that a million would buy you 5-6 extra scouts per year
Maybe... but even extra scouts don't guarantee anything. For example, I don't think there was a team that wouldn't have chosen Daigle 1st overall.

It's a giant guessing game, and it isn't the quantity of scouts, but the quality. There are some scouts that just have this knack of finding the right players, or being able to look at two guys who seem very equal, and picking the better one based on other factors outside skill or size, etc.

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01-07-2004, 02:05 PM
  #24
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well yeah of course there are some scouts that are better than others..... you could spend this extra money on trying to obtain some of these "great" scouts ..... it doesnt really matter WHERE you spend the money, but rather that you SPEND it, lol...... my whole point is that i would rather see the oilers pump another million into scouting than give smith a million dollar raise next year.... IMO, this is how you create a winning program

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01-07-2004, 02:45 PM
  #25
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Excellent points Digger. I agree, the Oilers during the Sather years seem to show extremely little patience with their draft picks.

Hopefully, Lowe will improve with his drafting and our coaches will give the picks some playing time. From what I've seen so far, I've been extremely happy with the development of Hemsky, Torres, Stoll, Pisani, Reasoner, Semenov, Bergeron and Conklin.

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