How Well Have the Edmonton Oilers Drafted Since 2000?

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For those of you who haven’t seen my earlier post(s) I am going through each of the 30 teams and breaking down how they have drafted over the past 15 years. The other teams can be found here:

To make this post I went through all of the Edmonton Oilers picks between 2000 and 2012.

Many of these players were drafted but traded to other teams where they played most of their careers. Despite playing most of their careers on other teams I still used their full NHL stats for two reasons:

1) The team drafted players they believed to have potential; whether or not they fulfilled their potential on that team doesn’t necessarily matter. The important thing is that the team recognized a players true potential and the players that were selected lived up to it.

2) You could argue that they wouldn’t turn out to be the same players if they stayed on the team, and you’re probably right, but I decided to do it this way so that I could specifically focus on the teams drafting ability and not the player development.

TOTAL PICK DISTRIBUTION

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 27 4437 1923
LW 23 1221 465
RW 12 1767 1008
D 37 1530 247
G 10 422 9
Unspecified 7 0 0
Total 116 9377 3652
  • 37 of 116 players drafted since 2000 have played 50+ games in the NHL (32%)
  • 27 of 116 players drafted since 2000 have played 100+ games in the NHL (23%)
  • Draftees (incl. goalies) since 2000 have played a total of 9377 games
  • Skaters (excl. goalies) drafted since 2000 have played a total of 8955 games and accumulated 3643 points (0.41 PPG)
  • Draftees since 2000 have an average of 34 points and 81 games played
  • Best draft year: 2003 – MA Pouliot (22nd), Colin McDonald (51st), Jean-Francois Jacques (68th), Zack Stortini (94th), Kyle Brodziak (214th), Troy Brodie (278th)
  • Worst draft year: 2012 – Yakupov (1st), Moroz (32nd), Khaira (63rd)
  • It was very difficult to pick the best and worst drafts for the Oilers. While 2003 did not produce any superstar players they did end up drafting 6 players who went on to play 100+ NHL games. Though it isn’t known if Yakupov will pan out I picked the 2012 draft because the other 6 selections in the draft haven’t played any NHL games.

FIRST ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 7 1926 960
LW 3 529 334
RW 3 1296 898
D 2 87 25
G 1 231 3
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 16 4069 2220
  • 12 of 16 players drafted in the 1st round have played 100+ games in the NHL (75%)
  • First round picks have played a total of 4069 games and accumulated 2217 points (0.58 PPG)
  • First round picks have an average of 148 points and 254 games played
  • Notable picks: Hemsky (13th, 2001), Cogliano (25th, 2005), Gagner (6th, 2007), Eberle (22nd, 2008), Hall (1st, 2010), Nugent-Hopkins (1st, 2011), Dubnyk (14th, 2004), Paajarvi (10th, 2009), Yakupov (1st, 2012)

SECOND ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 3 951 410
LW 6 557 85
RW 1 140 44
D 7 1059 179
G 1 62 4
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 18 2769 722
  • 7 of 18 players drafted in the 2nd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (39%)
  • Second round picks have played a total of 2769 games and accumulated 718 points (0.27 PPG)
  • Second round picks have an average of 42 points and 154 games played
  • Notable picks: Stoll (36th, 2002), Greene (44th, 2002), Winchester (35th, 2000), Petry (45th, 2006), Lander (40th, 2009), Marincin (46th, 2010)

THIRD ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 6 257 41
LW 2 0 0
RW 1 0 0
D 5 219 24
G 1 0 0
Unspecified 0 0 0
Total 15 476 65
  • 2 of 15 players drafted in the 3rd round have played 100+ games in the NHL (13%)
  • Third round picks have played a total of 476 games and accumulated 65 points (0.14 PPG)
  • Third round picks have an average of 5 points and 32 games played
  • Notable picks: Stortini (94th, 2003), Peckham (75th, 2006)

FOURTH TO NINTH ROUND PICKS

Position Drafted GP PTS
Center 11 1303 512
LW 12 135 46
RW 7 331 66
D 23 165 19
G 7 129 2
Unspecified 7 0 0
Total 67 2063 645
  • 6 of 67 players drafted between the 4th and 9th rounds have played 100+ games in the NHL (9%)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have played 2063 games and accumulated 643 points (0.33 PPG)
  • Fourth to ninth round picks have an average of 11 points and 31 games played
  • Notable picks: Brodziak (214th, 2003), Lombardi (215th, 2000), VandeVelde (97th, 2005), Linus Omark (97th, 2007), Troy Bodie (278th, 2003)

FUN FACT

  • Between 2000 and 2012 at least one Edmonton pick in every draft has played 100+ games in the NHL

WHAT WE LEARNED

Since the 1st overall pick is very different from 30th overall I used this TSN article, which estimates a player’s probability of playing 100+ NHL games based off their round selection, to determined how well a team drafted in the first round relative to their pick placement. In other words, I determined if a team drafted well or poorly in the first round by comparing their success rate to the historical league average.

1st Round Pick Position # of Picks Probability of Success
1 – 5 3 96%
6 – 10 2 74%
11 – 15 4 54%
16 – 20 2 62%
21 – 30 5 58%

Despite the number of high round picks that Edmonton has had as of late they still managed to exceed expectations with 12 of 16 first round picks playing at least 100 NHL games. Their success rate of 75 percent is tied for second of all teams studied (tied with Anaheim and Columbus) next only to Detroit. They beat their success expectations by 8 percent making them one of only five teams who have met or surpassed expectations.

Round Expected Success Rate Actual Success Rate
1 64 – 70% 75%
2 26 – 32% 39%
3 21 – 26% 13%
4+ 10 – 15% 9%

Right off the bat you notice a fairly obviously pattern in Edmonton’s drafting success; from the first round and onward there is a steady yet dramatic decline in their drafting success. They began by exceeding expectations but by the third round their success rate had fallen well below expectations.

The Oilers carry on their success from the first round into the second with an impressive 7 of 19 picks playing 100+ games in the NHL. Their success rate of 39 percent is third highest of all teams in the second round. Despite playing a lot of games their draftees total second round point production is pretty lackluster. Edmonton’s two most successful second round picks Stoll and Greene were not known for their goal scoring ability and as a result their second round PPG is only 0.27 (compared to the league average of 0.39).

After arguably having the most consistent drafting success of all teams through the first two rounds they completely fell out in the third round with a success rate significantly lower than what was expected. The average Edmonton third round pick had 5 points and 32 games played which is the second lowest of all teams studied so far.

Edmonton fell just below expectations in the depth rounds, however, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as their third round. Compared to the league average (so far), Edmonton’s depth drafting ranked lower than most teams in every category except player points per game; this implies that as a whole their fourth round drafting was below average but the individual players who did last in the league produced at an above average rate.

Looking at their drafting as a whole Edmonton hasn’t fared badly compared to the current league average:

Category Edmonton League Avg. Difference
Draftees 116 106 +10
100+ GP 27 22 +5
100+ GP (%) 23% 21% +2%
Total GP 9377 8711 +666
Skater PTS 3643 3427 +216
Skater PPG 0.41 0.41 0
AVG PTS 34 36 -2
AVG GP 81 82 -1

Overall, while their success by round has been relatively inconsistent their total success rate is just above the league average. Their higher points and games played can be attributed to their 10 extra draft picks but looking at averages you see that Edmonton draftees points and games played are consistent with the league average. Considering the pessimism of many Oilers fans leading up to my write up they should be pleasantly surprised as their team will land somewhere in the middle of the pack in my final rankings.

My original post on Reddit with full comments can be found here

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