Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Introduction

Edmonton Oilers

2007 Version

Historical Review of Draft Results


Please leave your comments here.

This is opposite the rest of the pages where I kindly ask that you withhold comment until I am done... I apologize for how long this took to produce.

Welcome to the 2007 edition of the Edmonton Oilers Draft Review. It is a comprehensive study of the draft history of the Edmonton Oilers NHL Hockey team. Two earlier editions of this study/review have been produced (by myself) in 2000 and in 2003. The 2000 study is, I believe, still archived at www.Oilfans.com.

The version you are looking at now is a complete upgrade of the original study (2000) and a minor upgrade of the second (2003).

This is a very long article/study. I review the last 29 years of the Edmonton Oilers draft history, grade every player on their performance as a hockey player, and then dissect that information into six (7) key analysis groups so that I can measure the success of the organization in terms of: Draft Year, Draft Pick, Draft Round, Player Age When Drafted, Drafting by Position, Developmental League and Nationality.

"... grade every player on their performance as a hockey player... ". This is very important and I will devote an entire chapter (the 'Player Grading System') of this review to that goal. For now I will limit my comments to a single, pertinent point: This study is concerned with the organizations ability to draft talent - how that player played for the Oilers or what 'value' that player had in relation to trades made (for example) is irrelevant.

While every page of this review will have some of my commentary on it, I am leaving much of the analysis open for discussion. Take from it what you will. This is, as far as I know, the most complete study of its kind anywhere and there is an amazing amount of ancillary work that could be done with a data set like this - go to town.

"... It is, after all, my work." Please keep that in mind, not just for purposes of copyright, but for purposes of simple etiquette as well. Feel free to critique - just don't be an ass about it.


Chapter links can be found below. The study is best read by following the links in order.

Without further ado, I invite you to read and enjoy, the Edmonton Oilers Draft Review (2007) Edition.


Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Introduction
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results Summation

Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 1979 to 1983
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 1984 to 1988
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 1989 to 1993
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 1994 to 1998
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 1999 to 2003
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Yrs 2004 to 2007

Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Year
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Pick
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Round
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Age
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Position
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By League
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Draft Results By Country of Birth

Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Player Grading System
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Graded Players Summary
Edmonton Oilers 2007 HRDR - Data Set Changes


Have a great evening everyone.


Lowetide said...

Great, great stuff.

DSF said...

Amazing piece of work. Thanks much.

Black Dog said...

Great stuff and what a whack of work you put in. Thanks so much.

Early still but these last three drafts may be the basis for a nice looking team.

Those first three drafts blow me away.

Bruce said...

Those first three drafts blew the whole league away. Other teams have had indivdual years that were as good, but three in a row like that may be unprecedented. I can't think of another team that comes close. The Islanders did pretty well 1973-77, but hat took five years, not three, wih a dud year in the middle.

Great work, YKOil.

Bruce said...

Oh, and since you're now asking for comments, let me repost one which is lost at the bottom of the "Graded Players Summary".

Nice work. I agree with most of your gradings, but will comment on a couple of exceptions.

Steve Smith: 804 GP, 72-303-375, +144, 2139 PiM plus another 134 GP in the playoffs; three seasons of 54+ points, eight seasons of 160+ PiM, three Stanley Cups -- to me that is a "star" level player.

(Interestingly he was the second Steve Smith drafted in the 1981 draft (6th round, 111th overall). The other one (1st round, 16th overall by Philadelphia) played all of 18 GP over 6(!) different seasons, scoring 0-1-1, -2. Definitely NOT a star.)

Secondly, Jaroslav Pouzar was definitely NOT a "borderline" player. He was 31 when drafted so he had a limited shelf life, but played in Edmonton for four seasons, and went to the Stanley Cup Final all four times, winning three of them. Surely that's at least worthy of "journeyman" status; I personally would bump him all the way up to "solid". He was a beauty.

YKOil said...

Thanks for all the kind comments.


As for Pouzar - I only look at NHL career. I suspect he would have received 'journeyman' ranking had he started at age 27 or so and if he had actually come over at age 22 a 'star' ranking is not our of the question. Guy started way late and given the parameters he remains 'borderline' for draft review purposes.

Smith IS an interesting case. Problem is that I just don't have TOI numbers for way back then. If Smith was routinely logging 24+ mins a night versus the best opposition over a 6 to 8 year period I would have to look at moving him up a grade. But what we have is a guy who only ever played in one all-star game and had a career that petered out so painfully it hurts.

It also doesn't help him that he was well down the Oilers depth chart year after year. Coffey, Lowe, Huddy & Muni were all higher up the chart than Smith was during the Oiler years and it wasn't until his Chicago years that Smith could be considered bonafide top-2 or 3 on his own team. The fact that he only played two seasons of 70+ games in Chicago doesn't help him at all.

All in all Smith was a great pal skippy for a lot of defensemen much better than he both in skills and in longevity. I like Smith. I really do. But that only makes him a 'star' for YKOil the fan. Not YKOil the reviewer.

Bruce said...

Getting caught up on all your excellent work, YKOil, and found your comment in reply to mine. Thanks, but we'll have to agree to disagree. First, tho', a question: you call yourself a "grumpy old white guy" but are you old enough to have seen these guys play?

re: Pouzar, sure he was old when drafted, but got airlifted right onto the best line in hockey where he made an impact with his savvy and board play. His job was to make space for his star linemates.

One of the toughest players I've ever seen -- he was Lee Fogolin-tough -- Pouzar issued one of the classic one-liners of all time in his broken English when asked about getting his face stitched up mid-game without any local anesthetic: "Me married. No need good looks."

Pouzar's "accidental" demolition of Billy Smith in Game 3 of the 1984 Stanley Cup Finals was one of the turning points of that famous series. A wicked dart, one Smith had had coming for years. Oh, that was beautiful.

Sorry, I have trouble accepting that anybody who contributed to three Stanley Cups could possibly be considered a borderline player. Word means something else to me entirely.

re: Smith, calling him a pal skippy does him a great disservice. Longevity was indeed an issue; he suffered a serious neck injury which almost derailed the back half of his career, forcing him to prematurely retire and miss an entire season before coming back to a limited role with the (kak, kaff) Flames.

But for his peak years he was a beauty. Sure he was behind Coffey on the depth chart for awhile, but when Coff got traded to Pittsburgh Smith stepped into a major role on the defence in 1987-88:
79 GP, 12-43-55, +40, 286 PiM;
and in the playoffs
19 GP, 1-11-12, +16, 55 PiM .
He led Oiler defencemen in scoring, and the entire team in both PiM and +.

After that breakout season Smith continued to be a dominant player in Edmonton before his ill-advised trade to Chicago (for Dave Freaking Manson) during the break-up of the team in 1991. In Chicago he played on an All-World pairing with Chris Chelios that the Hawks used in all situations; while there are no readily-available TOI stats, I'm sure he played well over 25 minutes a game. The only such stats that are available are in Calgary, where he averaged 21:49 in his three post-comeback seasons at the very end of the line. He definitely was a big-minutes, both-special-teams type of player.

Smith's career post-season +/- rating of +49 (in just 134 GP) ranks eighth "all-time" (records kept only since 1983).

Smith may have only played in one "Floaters Game", but in 1991 he made and contributed to Team Canada's best-on-best squad that won the Canada Cup. Simply put, when healthy he was one of the best defencemen in the game. In my mind the best comparable to Smith among Oiler defencemen is CFP.