Saturday, 19 May 2007

NHL Entry Draft - Winning Strategies

The Oilers picks in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft are at 6, 15 and 29 (probable).

Spilt milk being what it is I still cannot help but note that the last week-end of the season destroyed the team's draft position. Edmonton went from picking 4th to 6th (on their own merits) while the Islanders squeeked in(to the playoffs) and dropped a pick at 12th down to 15th.

Horrible positioning in this draft really. Just outside the sweet spot of each of the main groups of players. The difference is staggering:

-- at 6th, instead of picking out of the blue chip pool of Kane, Turris, vanReimsdyk and Voracek we get to gamble with Cherepanov or pick from the best of the rest in Alzner and Gagner.
-- at 12th, instead of an outside shot at a top-10 talent that drops pending other teams (miss)picks, we are solidly picking from the group considered NOT top-10 talent.



In terms of making the picks straight up:

I like Gagner at 6th and Lars 'The Great Dane' Eller at 15th (I like the nick-name as much as anything). McDonagh or Cole is also a nice pick at 15. After that I tend not to care too much. This draft WILL have some great/good players come out of it but damned if I know who they are.

Personally, of the favorites, vanReimsdyk scares me the most (Cherepanov being a given). He got a lot of hype from a great 'end-of-season' tournament performance and that sort of thing has always made me wary.


What to Do?? What to Do??

I believe that making the picks straight up is a huge mistake.

In a draft of few favorites, where no one feels too strongly about anyone the draftees in question, my belief is that a team should go big or go home. Be aggressive and make yourself a winner.

There are only three good strategies in this kind of draft:

-- get more picks, or
-- trade up, or
-- both

I already discussed one (very aggressive) approach to getting more picks
here. With more picks your chances of hitting the lottery go up and make no mistake about it - this kind of draft is VERY much a lottery.

Remember: rookies/prospects tend NOT to earn their paycheque until they have a few seasons under their belt - and now they turn UFA at age 27. Just when they are starting to get valuable.

GOOD for the 1st round draft pick that gets full rate while only playing 4th line minutes... BAD for the team that drafted him.

In regards to trading up, well, I believe that Voracek is all that. If Lowe thinks so too then don't be the wallflower - go get him. Every draft, it seems, Lowe is credited with trying to trade up...

Well Quit F*+king Trying.

Coming out of this draft with Alzner, Petrecki and a bunch of daisies is, as good as those draftees are, a miserable result imo. I would rather Lowe trade down and increase his chances to win big.
i.e. use the 6th and ? to get Montreal's 12th and 22nd

Let someone else take the 'safe' pick (Alzner). If Gagner is out of there then so am I. At 12 / 15 / 22 / 29 the chances of getting someone, who might just be an outstanding pro, go up. And that is all I can ask for from a draft like this.


Have a great evening everyone.


PunjabiOil said...

The last 2 days were a kick to gut at the end of an already horrific season.

The Oilers first tied the game with ~15 seconds left in the second period, and then insisted on winning in the third period. Drop from 4th to 6th.

Then Chicago has a chance to bump us up 1 spot - they blow a 2-1 lead with 7 minutes left. Couldn't even get to OT - and voila, we stay sixth. They stay at 5th, and subsequently win the lottery.

A complete reversal of the previous year - where bounces were going our way.

Anyways, I simply do not want Alzner. Gagner is a solid choice.

As I've proposed before, I'd trade Lupul + 2 second rounders, and hopefully that can land us another top 5 pick...or at least another top 10.

I just got the gut feeling it will be the 15th overall pick that will be moved in a trade.

PunjabiOil said...

^ in a trade for a roster player

YKOil said...

Lupul and a 2nd
2nd pick overall (Philly)

Is a good deal imo IF it gets us Voracek. I think the Oilers like Turris however and that kind of worries me.