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Geoff Paukovich vs. Kyrill Lyamin and what it tells us about the Oilers BPA

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Old
07-18-2004, 02:10 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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Geoff Paukovich vs. Kyrill Lyamin and what it tells us about the Oilers BPA

In the middle of the second round last month the Oilers traded Jason Chimera in order to move up and pick a player. I was listening to the Team at the time (actually I was listening to my son moan about the horrors of having a father who wasn't going to buy him an ice cream cone but I was TRYING to listen to Stauffer and Flaming) and even though I didn't know who was left it was pretty exciting stuff. While Flaming was trying to find out who went where (they didn't actually know WHO had been traded, just a roster player had been dealt) I had visions of some high skill guy who had fallen through to #57.

It was Geoff Paukovich, and high skill he is not.

Through Guy's hard work and draft prep, we already have a pretty nice bio on the guy:

Oiler scout Brad Davis compares Paukovich to Joel Otto, a big centre who has offensive abilities but is best suited as a two-way checking center. Paukovich has a noteworthy mean streak in him as well as the size to back it up.

Redline said he was "Raw and unrefined; not yet the sum of his parts" which sounds to me like another of the big forward picks the Oilers have been selecting in the second and third rounds since 2001. The list includes Eddie Caron, Brock Radunske, Colin McDonald, JF Jacques, Zach Stortini and now Paukovich. That's 6 power forward prospects (for lack of a better phrase, they're not all pf types) in 4 draft years.

In the meantime, those pesky Ottawa Senators and their damnable lust for skill must have had something resembling an orgasm when Lyamin fell to them (just like Meszaros did in the first round). Here's a scouting report on him:

"Russia has problems with (developing) defensemen," said a scout. "They produce good forwards, but Lyamin is the best defenseman they have and he will play once be makes it to the NHL. He has good upside as a good No. 3 defenseman."

Wasn't this completely predictable?

Every season we read about these kids and naturally as fans there is a tendency to value a player's offensive potential more highly than other important facets of the game. Every summer the Oilers draft along the lines that would make Paukovich a more valuable commodity than Lyamin. I think our expectations as fans is that the bpa is closer to the Ottawa model, and the fact is that the Oilers model of bpa subscribes to a completely different template.

So, with all that said, which version of bpa more closely resemles your definition, Ottawa's or Edmonton's?

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07-18-2004, 02:25 PM
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Three new threads from you today, Lowetide! And three good topics here........

My personal view of BPA would have to fit closer to the Oiler model. I suppose the thinking here is that if we have two kids are playing at similar levels doing fairly well, which will do better in the future? The unrefined, raw kid, or the polished one? I would say that the more polished one is closer to reaching his maximum potential, while you can only dream about the unrefined kid and what he can do when he finally does put it together. There is of course more work and patience required for these "project" types, but I think the hope is that along development lines, he'll top out at a higher level.

This kinda thinking is more difficult, however, when comparing Paukovich & Lyamin like you did above, as they're different players in different leagues, competition, skillsets, etc.

The best example I can think of to typify the Oilers BPA model is Niinimaki. There's a kid who was packed with raw skill level but had yet to put it together. He was starting to mind you, until injury put an abrupt halt to that. Again, developmental work and patience will be key in seeing the fruits of scouting labour for these kids.

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07-18-2004, 04:06 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xerburt
My personal view of BPA would have to fit closer to the Oiler model. I suppose the thinking here is that if we have two kids are playing at similar levels doing fairly well, which will do better in the future? The unrefined, raw kid, or the polished one?

The best example I can think of to typify the Oilers BPA model is Niinimaki. There's a kid who was packed with raw skill level but had yet to put it together. He was starting to mind you, until injury put an abrupt halt to that. Again, developmental work and patience will be key in seeing the fruits of scouting labour for these kids.

Excellent post. I'd say Mikhnov fits that descrption too.

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07-18-2004, 05:25 PM
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I was going to say that Ottawa's version of BPA was along the lines of my own definition. However I also agree with xerburt's post. I think Hemsky fit in that mould as well.

Although, hadn't KP said once before that they draft BPA in the first round or two and then look to fill needs. I remember something like that in one of Guy's articles last summer.

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07-19-2004, 12:21 AM
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Agree fully, lowetide, that Mikhinov totally fits that bill. In this regard, I think we may even see a trend where the time taken to get these players polished enough to reach the NHL level will be a little longer than most prospects. I can see Mikhinov and Niinimaki taking 2-3 more years to even get a good crack at making the big team.

If we're right about the Oilers' BPA strategy, it seems to work best with Europeans and collegiates whom are the rights of the club indefinitely and for 4 years respectively. Given the "extended time" it might take to develop the full talents of these guys, it makes more sense to apply it to these divisions of play.

I would think that the project type player is riskier when pulled from junior, given that the rights are only for two years. In those two years, can you be sure that you've given the raw skill guy enough time to put it all together before deciding whether or not to offer him a contract? Tough call. Potential is one thing, but some type of progress toward that potential is equally important.

And Mr. Mackey, I too remember the quote regarding 2 rounds of BPA and then fillers. In my opinion I don't know if there really are too many teams that go exclusively by the BPA strategy. It makes sense to me that there would be some kind of mix of BPA + need, even if it's 90/10. BPA in their respective position would make the most sense from most of the picks I've seen.

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07-19-2004, 02:38 AM
  #6
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I like the Ottawa version of BPA better. Given their success with it it seems to be working REALLY REALLY well.


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07-19-2004, 03:11 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
I like the Ottawa version of BPA better. Given their success with it it seems to be working REALLY REALLY well.


YKOil
This is an interesting point.

Ottawa has had better regular season success but in the playoffs that BPA talent seems to be inadequate or incapable of bringing them to the next level (which in this case is the Cup). Considering they've been considered Cup favourites on an annual basis for a while now, and considering how people view Ottawa as having a pretty stacked team, this lack of postseason success is indicative of something.

It is also worth noting that the Oilers lack the same postseason success and have been worse in the regular season.

Perhaps then the best version of BPA is something in between the Oilers and the Senators, with a slight edge towards the Sens method of drafting. It's clear that neither version has produced a clear outcome of success, and that usually means a compromise will be the best way to go.

That is, however, much easier said than done. Trying to find a player that's in between is likely the toughest job in the draft, IMO.

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07-19-2004, 10:41 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloned
Perhaps then the best version of BPA is something in between the Oilers and the Senators, with a slight edge towards the Sens method of drafting. It's clear that neither version has produced a clear outcome of success, and that usually means a compromise will be the best way to go.

That is, however, much easier said than done. Trying to find a player that's in between is likely the toughest job in the draft, IMO.
Not sure about all of that but I do understand the point you are making and grant that it is as good as any other.

I just see the Sens as being a better team at both drafting and developing talent. To the point where they can make foolish moves (like trading Gleason) in the pursuit of the Cup. The Oilers seem to be perenially swinging for the home-run ball - looking for a player whose ability catches up to their potential - rather than draft players who will probably play.

In Ottawa JDD and DD would be hard pressed to get a chance to play (Ottawa would have to make the room) yet in Edmonton they are considered sure things - and that distinction isn't solely based on talent. Edmonton has so little depth that any top-end goalie they draft will get a shot.

In Ottawa they make a home-run swing because they can, as they have players already performing in those positions, and they have the luxury of making Havlat choices. In Edmonton choosing players off the board is an annual event.

Yay for us.

Ottawa has better scouts and better development processes and I prefer their systems to ours. They are one money-goalie away from the Cup and that is all there is to it. We... are a LOT further away than that.


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07-19-2004, 10:56 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
Not sure about all of that but I do understand the point you are making and grant that it is as good as any other.

I just see the Sens as being a better team at both drafting and developing talent. To the point where they can make foolish moves (like trading Gleason) in the pursuit of the Cup. The Oilers seem to be perenially swinging for the home-run ball - looking for a player whose ability catches up to their potential - rather than draft players who will probably play.

In Ottawa JDD and DD would be hard pressed to get a chance to play (Ottawa would have to make the room) yet in Edmonton they are considered sure things - and that distinction isn't solely based on talent. Edmonton has so little depth that any top-end goalie they draft will get a shot.

In Ottawa they make a home-run swing because they can, as they have players already performing in those positions, and they have the luxury of making Havlat choices. In Edmonton choosing players off the board is an annual event.

Yay for us.

Ottawa has better scouts and better development processes and I prefer their systems to ours. They are one money-goalie away from the Cup and that is all there is to it. We... are a LOT further away than that.


YKOil
I'd have to agree with that. And for that reason, don't really mind living in O-town and so far away from God's Country....

Watching the Sens play and win (at least in the regular season) is fun... Don't think Hasek is their 'money-goalie', but they also have Prusek and Emery to help out.

Both teams may use the 'BPA' rule, but the difference is based on the values of the respective organizations. BPA for the Oilers generally means the player with some skills that haven't met up with potential and a whole lot of heart and determination.

BPA for the Sens generally means someone who is very skilled at their role i.e. putting pucks in the net. Leadership, willing to pay the price, heart etc do not make someone the BPA to their scouts.

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07-19-2004, 11:15 AM
  #10
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If we were to compare Edmonton and Ottawa, obviously Ottawa has to be rated way higher than Edmonton in terms of making use of the draft and developing their players.

I don't really thinkit is fair to use Ottawa as a case study and I am not sure that they are really that different fromanyother team. Obviously they had great success with teh draft and development but is it the org or the position they were ranked for ten years? How long does that perception stay with a team?

It seems to me that Ottawa hasn't done a whole lot with the draft that would elevate them about the Oilers if you were comparing that last 4 or 5 years. They have all this great drafted and Ottawa developed talent but their success stories seem to be largely attributed to the picks they had before they became "regular season elite".

If you look at the last 4 years, it seems that Edmonton (at least from the amount I follow prospects) has drafted more NHL potential than the Senators. A couple obvious exceptions are Spezza and Emery, however it can't dismissed that Ottawa traded for the Spezza pick and at the time appeared to give up a bundle for it.

I guess the point I am trying to make is if we were to compare BPA draft picks, wouldn't it be better suited to use a team that for the last 5 or 6 years constantly drafting in the middle of the pack? And then measure the effectiveness of the different phylosphies?

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07-19-2004, 11:27 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
If we were to compare Edmonton and Ottawa, obviously Ottawa has to be rated way higher than Edmonton in terms of making use of the draft and developing their players.

I don't really thinkit is fair to use Ottawa as a case study and I am not sure that they are really that different fromanyother team. Obviously they had great success with teh draft and development but is it the org or the position they were ranked for ten years? How long does that perception stay with a team?

It seems to me that Ottawa hasn't done a whole lot with the draft that would elevate them about the Oilers if you were comparing that last 4 or 5 years. They have all this great drafted and Ottawa developed talent but their success stories seem to be largely attributed to the picks they had before they became "regular season elite".

If you look at the last 4 years, it seems that Edmonton (at least from the amount I follow prospects) has drafted more NHL potential than the Senators. A couple obvious exceptions are Spezza and Emery, however it can't dismissed that Ottawa traded for the Spezza pick and at the time appeared to give up a bundle for it.

I guess the point I am trying to make is if we were to compare BPA draft picks, wouldn't it be better suited to use a team that for the last 5 or 6 years constantly drafting in the middle of the pack? And then measure the effectiveness of the different phylosphies?

Thanx, c&b.
You wrote, pretty much, what I was thinking.

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07-19-2004, 11:52 AM
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The fact of the matter is we aren't going to see who is right and who isn't for a couple of years.

So to state that the Ottawa Senators scouts are better is just plain foolishness.

I'm sorry, but I am not seeing these home-run swings everyone else.

First of all, none of us have seen most of these guys play, so who the hell are we to talk about them when they get picked off the board.

Sorry, but Redline is nice, but how many times do they see each prospect play? Also, did they see a guy like Niinimaki more than the Oilers scouts did?

All it takes is for you to see something that catches your eye once, and you are drawn to it. Redline may have seen Niinimaki on a bad night, then casually watched him as they watched other guys and formed their opinion. Oiler scouts may have seen Niinimaki on a very good night and spent more time focusing on him.

It wouldn't suprise me to see alot of these places that do rankings only see a guy a couple of times, and rely on 2nd hand information for the rest, especially if said player didn't blow them away the first time around. That could be the difference between a guy being ranked 42nd on CSS, and 12th on an NHL club.

But until we see whether or not the Oilers scouts are any better than Ottawa's, we are going to need to see these players pan out or fail... otherwise the opinions are rather base-less.

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07-19-2004, 12:18 PM
  #13
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so for that matter

we should have messageboards where you post in five years? or should we compile a list of topics to discuss in five years?

personally I don't think I can scout better than the guys the OIlers pay to do it but according to lots of people who do talk about these prospects the Oilers are succeptable to the home run swing. I mean you want to believe that everything the Oilers do is great but it doesn't translate on the ice so whether you like it or not there is ground to questions decisions that impact '04 as much as the ones you want to put off until '07 or 08"

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07-19-2004, 12:43 PM
  #14
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Every teams list is completely different. They will see these guys at different times than other teams, they will have completely different opinions. Also factoring in is that teams will value different attributes differently. Some teams won't take slow skaters, some teams will shy away from small guys, some teams will lean towards high character players, etc.

BPA just means taking the highest ranked guy on your list instead of taking the highest ranked forward on your list, or highest ranked defensemen on your list, etc. All teams do it in the early rounds.

Not really sure what conclusions you're trying to draw here.

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07-19-2004, 12:50 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
according to lots of people who do talk about these prospects the Oilers are succeptable to the home run swing.
The description of "home run swing" has popped up quite often over the last little while.

I gotta say that I don't understand it. I can understand if the concensus for player "A" is a 32nd selection and a team takes him at 20 then to most people the "home run" thing makes sense.

However to the team that selected him, he was the best player available therefore there isn't any greater gamble than if the selcted the consensus #20. Right? In fact to the team that drafted the "home run" player, the gamble in their eyes should be even less than the consensus #20. Or am I off base?

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07-19-2004, 12:52 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flames Draft Watcher
Every teams list is completely different. They will see these guys at different times than other teams, they will have completely different opinions. Also factoring in is that teams will value different attributes differently. Some teams won't take slow skaters, some teams will shy away from small guys, some teams will lean towards high character players, etc.

BPA just means taking the highest ranked guy on your list instead of taking the highest ranked forward on your list, or highest ranked defensemen on your list, etc. All teams do it in the early rounds.

Not really sure what conclusions you're trying to draw here.

I think that is the basis of what Lowetide was getting at.

Every team's list is different therefore which teams phylosophy for BPA is better.

Then he used Ottawa as an example to compare against the Oilers.

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07-19-2004, 01:36 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
we should have messageboards where you post in five years? or should we compile a list of topics to discuss in five years?

personally I don't think I can scout better than the guys the OIlers pay to do it but according to lots of people who do talk about these prospects the Oilers are succeptable to the home run swing. I mean you want to believe that everything the Oilers do is great but it doesn't translate on the ice so whether you like it or not there is ground to questions decisions that impact '04 as much as the ones you want to put off until '07 or 08"
Well then the question becomes "how can you tell?"

I mean Emry was as hyped by Ottawa as JDD has been by Edmonton... yet YKOIL says that neither JDD or DD would get a chance in Ottawa...

I just don't know how any rational decision can be made at this point.

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07-19-2004, 05:09 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
I don't really thinkit is fair to use Ottawa as a case study and I am not sure that they are really that different fromanyother team. Obviously they had great success with teh draft and development but is it the org or the position they were ranked for ten years? How long does that perception stay with a team?

It seems to me that Ottawa hasn't done a whole lot with the draft that would elevate them about the Oilers if you were comparing that last 4 or 5 years. They have all this great drafted and Ottawa developed talent but their success stories seem to be largely attributed to the picks they had before they became "regular season elite".

If you look at the last 4 years, it seems that Edmonton (at least from the amount I follow prospects) has drafted more NHL potential than the Senators. A couple obvious exceptions are Spezza and Emery, however it can't dismissed that Ottawa traded for the Spezza pick and at the time appeared to give up a bundle for it.

I guess the point I am trying to make is if we were to compare BPA draft picks, wouldn't it be better suited to use a team that for the last 5 or 6 years constantly drafting in the middle of the pack? And then measure the effectiveness of the different phylosphies?
First off, in response to another post, my actual quote was: "In Ottawa JDD and DD would be hard pressed to get a chance to play (Ottawa would have to make the room)"

As for the above (the bold was added by myself):

-- Ottawa entered a state where they were drafting in a spot equal to, or worse than, the Oilers in 1997. So, if one were to look at the first two picks for each team from each draft year (8 years total) then:

Year -- Ottawa ./. Edmonton

1997 -- 12 & 58 ./. 14 & 41
1998 -- 15 & 44 ./. 13 & 67
1999 -- 26 & 48 ./. 13 & 36
2000 -- 21 & 45 ./. 17 & 35
2001 -- 23 & 60 ./. 13 & 43 (excluded Spezza)
2002 -- 16 & 47 ./. 15 & 31
2003 -- 29 & 67 ./. 22 & 51
2004 -- 23 & 58 ./. 14 & 25

So Ottawa has been drafting, on average, 6 spots behind Edmonton for the last 8 years. On that record alone we should be doing a better job of it.

1997
012 Marian Hossa
058 Jani Hurme
066 Josh Langfeld
119 Magnus Arvedson
229 Karel Rachunek **

1998
044 Mike Fisher
101 Petr Schastlivy
161 Chris Neil

1999
026 Martin Havlat
164 Martin Prusek

2000
021 Anton Volchenkov
055 Antoine Vermette

2001
023 Tim Gleason **
060 Victor Uchevatov
099 Ray Emery
193 Brooks Laich **

2002
016 Jakub Klepis
047 Alexei Kaigorodov

2003
029 Patrick Eaves

2004
023 Andrej Meszaros
058 Kirill Lyamin

----------------------------------

1997
121 Jason Chimera

1998
099 Shawn Horcoff

1999
013 Jani Rita
036 Alexei Semenov
041 Tony Salmelainen
091 Mike Comrie

2000
017 Alexei Mikhnov
035 Brad Winchester
215 Matthew Lombardi

2001
013 Ales Hemsky
043 Doug Lynch
133 Jussi Markkanen

2002
015 Jesse Niinimaki
031 Jeff Deslauriers
036 Jarret Stoll
044 Matt Greene

2003
022 Marc-Antoine Pouliot
051 Colin McDonald
214 Kyle Brodziak

2004
014 Devan Dubnyk
025 Rob Schremp

Now, granted, I am being quite generous to Edmonton here as I am sure Eaves is not the only player/prospect of note from Ottawa's 2003 draft, however the point is made - IF we are doing better than Ottawa at drafting it sure isn't by much and much of that is because we are drafting at a different point in the cycle (we are building development assets while they are building Cup assets **).

And note that Ottawa is still drafting very well -the question from most scouts isn't whether or not Meszaros will play - it's whether or not he will be a #5-6 or a number 1-2.

Ottawa is a very good team to compare ourselves to as over the last 8 years they haven't been drafting in a spot so much better than ours that they are incapable of making a poor pick - they have been working out of a spot worse than ours.

I maintain the fact - they are better at drafting and developing talent. Sooner or later our prospect pool will look better than theirs but I doubt it will be because we are better than they at it, I think it will be because he are drafting earlier and we have more picks - SOME of our guys are bound to turn out. Aren't they... Mikhnov???


YKOil


** meaning that they are trading away prospects for players that will help them win now while we don't have that worry

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07-19-2004, 05:41 PM
  #19
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Going by your examples, I'd say the only year they clearly did better was '97(which was an incredible draft for them by the looks of it). Other than that, I think we have them beat, not to mention how much our drafting has improved between then and now(from when Pendergrast took over actually).

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07-19-2004, 05:58 PM
  #20
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I know it gets said alot but....

I don't think it is fair to lump this front office's decisions in with Sather's front office.

That takes a number of those years out of the equation.

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07-19-2004, 06:13 PM
  #21
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I think Ottawa is running circles around us 97-00, and since 2001 Prendergast has closed the gap. That may change if Mikhnov becomes something and Semenov becomes something else (both extremely possible imo) but Volchenkov and Vermette are good quality in 2000 and they got Martin freaking Havlat in 1999.

However, since 2001 (imo) KP has done a few things:

1. All the scouts see the top players. This makes sense on the face of it because if Kent Nilsson was talking about Mikhnov like he was Valeri Kharlamov then he can carry the room if he is a forceful person and well respected in the room (which he clearly is since they still employ him). However, that didn't mean he was a better prospect than Volchenkov or even Vermette, but who the hell knew? They hadn't seen Mikhnov (few did apparently) and so they went with the guy who had the courage of his convictions. Doesn't mean it was a bad pick, I'm still a Mikhnov fan. It does however point out the logic of all the scouts seeing the best prospects so that everyone who is going to be in the room when they make up the list has a frame of reference.

2. KP has widened the talent pool Edmonton chooses from by being less of a hard ass on things like foot speed. Stoll, Lynch and others aren't exactly Yvan Cournoyer, but they're very useful players. This is huge, as the Oilers have selected several players since 2001 they would have passed by in the past.

3. Kevin Lowe has done an excellent job stockpiling picks and it really is beginning to pay off handsomely.

4. Their established draft strategy of two skill guys, then the big men, and back to a few skill players after that has given the Oilers a nice group of young men the size of a Mack Truck. If ONE of them turns out they've done well.


The only thing about the Oilers current system that worries me is that they are not scouring Europe like the elite teams (Det, NJ, Ott). The Oilers in 79-81 drafted some terrific players late because they were maybe a little under exposed but since then other teams have made it their business. Jarmo Kekalainen (now with St. Louis) was a big part of the Sens success in drafting, and David Conte spends gobs of time over there. I think its an open question as to whether the Oilers devote as much time to Europe as these teams, but the fact is that the Oilers diamonds in the rough have not turned into Pavol Datsyuk or Karel Rachunek.

However, back to the question at hand: I prefer Ottawa's definition of bpa, and I think most fans do too.

Bottom line is that there is more than one way to win a Cup, and the Oilers bpa and Sens bpa should both be able to work. I don't think liking one definition of bpa over another makes the other guy wrong.

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07-19-2004, 07:27 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
** meaning that they are trading away prospects for players that will help them win now while we don't have that worry
This and also the fact that we also don't have that luxury. Great post, YK.

I'd have to agree that there is a significant divide in the drafting done in the first and last four years of the Oilers regime, a direct result of Prendergast stepping in. While the entire 8 year period is certainly comparable, the change in strategy by the Oilers does put a significant wrinkle in the analysis of things in my opinion.

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07-20-2004, 01:34 AM
  #23
YKOil
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There is no question that Prendergast has made a big difference - I don't feel like the draft is pure entertainment anymore... as if the Oilers will actually improve as a team by drafting well.

Only a dream with Fraser at the helm.

I actually put the KP era back to the Mikhnov year - yes it was Frasers last year but for all intents and purposes he was a figurehead that year and it was KP's show as I recall it. I know I have a book/interview somewhere where KP states just that.

Anyways, Oilers are drafting better and I hope they hit that home-run soon.


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07-20-2004, 02:11 AM
  #24
MrMackey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
I actually put the KP era back to the Mikhnov year - yes it was Frasers last year but for all intents and purposes he was a figurehead that year and it was KP's show as I recall it. I know I have a book/interview somewhere where KP states just that.
I remember seeing that too, and can't put my finger on where I saw it... but I also remember him saying that Fraser made the first pick, and all the others were KP's (I don't know if my mind decieves me).

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07-20-2004, 04:34 AM
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Jamie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMackey
I remember seeing that too, and can't put my finger on where I saw it... but I also remember him saying that Fraser made the first pick, and all the others were KP's (I don't know if my mind decieves me).
Either way, you can't truly call Mihknov a KP pick as one of his philosophies has been to have every scout see all the top rated players and this pick certainly did not follow that rule of thumb.

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