The Edmonton Oilers have a good shot in the 2021 draft. Can Wright and Green score? – .

The Edmonton Oilers have a good shot in the 2021 draft. Can Wright and Green score? – .

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There is no sure path to success in the NHL, but a good draft is as good as any. That’s why it’s so crucial that Edmonton Oilers draft bosses Tyler Wright and Bob Green get it right.

The Oilers have just five picks this year, the 19th overall pick in the first round, followed by marginal picks in the fourth, sixth (two) and seventh rounds.

For Edmonton to succeed, they need to find at least one Core 12 player in the 2021 draft. That pick is quite possibly the team’s first draft, which is four times as valuable as its other four picks combined.

Wright and Green just have to pass this selection. Will they do it? Will they identify and draft a Core 12 player?

The Core 12 player: key to NHL success

What is a Core 12 drive? The Core 12s, as defined by NHL players’ agent Ritch Winter, are the six forwards from the top two lines on a team, the center of the third line, the top four d-men and the top goaltender. . Teams with strong and productive Core 12s have a good chance of progressing to the playoffs.


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Teams without a solid Core 12 are like the Edmonton Oilers for much of this century.

If you want to see why the Oilers entered the Decade of Darkness-Plus from 2006-07 to 2018-19, the team’s inability to find Core 12 players outside of the first round is Exhibit A.

You can’t always count on a first-round pick, so finding these players every few years in a subsequent round is the measure of a strong NHL recruiting staff.

The Oilers scouts have only pulled off this impressive shot twice in this century, winning Jarret Stoll with the 36th pick in the 2002 Draft and Jeff Petry 45th overall in the 2006 Draft.

This represents a massive indictment of the team leadership and the scouts.

Recent improvement? It’s the trend like that

But all is not lost, mainly because the Oilers have hit hard three years in a row with high-end draft picks, Darnell Nurse in 2013, Leon Draisaitl in 2014 and Connor McDavid in 2015, but also because under the Scout Leader Bob Green (and Keith Gretzky for a while), a number of players have been drafted and tend to be Core 12 players. Not all will make it, but if half of them are successful in as Core 12 players, the Oilers are much more likely to be successful as well.

The picks that are now Core 12 contenders include: Caleb Jones, 117th overall, Ethan Bear, 124th overall, and John Marino (now with Pittsburgh) in the 2015 Draft; Stuart Skinner, 78th overall, and Dmitri Samorukov, 84th overall, in the 2017 draft; Ryan McLeod, 40th overall, in the 2018 draft; Raphael Lavoie, 38th overall, Ilya Konovalov, 85th overall, and Matej Blumel, 100th overall, in 2019; and Carter Savoie, 100th overall, and Tyler Tullio, 126th overall, in the 2020 draft.


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That makes at least 11 players with a potential Core 12 for the Oilers caught out of the first round in the last six draft. The Oilers don’t need everyone to hit like Core 12 aces (and Marino is already beyond their reach). But they need four or five of the remaining ten candidates to do so.

The best bets? Your guess is as good as mine, but it’s nice to have so many options, and it’s a testament to Green’s work that it does.

Seven good picks in the first round in a row? Perhaps

Green’s reputation took a hit when he was told he preferred to move high picks for Griffin Reinhart in 2015. Reinhart’s trade was a massive fiasco – which I personally blame on the scout who handled the LAH in 2014-15 and on managers who didn’t watch Reinhart’s most recent play in that professional minor league – but late-round success might make up for this alleged blunder. It’s also true that the first-round picks since Green joined Green as a scout have also been successful or are heading well: Draisaitl, McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg and Dylan Holloway.

It’s true, of course, that the Oilers had some great picks to work with in the first place, including five Top 10 picks in the draft, but the Oilers seem to have done well with most of those high-value picks, this That can’t necessarily be said of Tyler Wright when it comes to his job in Detroit.

In his eight draft-leading seasons before arriving in Edmonton (two in Columbus, six in Detroit), Wright had 68 picks to work with. Six of them have so far proven to be Core 12 players, including three subsequent round picks, Josh Anderson, 95th overall in the 2012 Draft, Oliver Bjorkstrand, 89th overall in the 2013 Draft, and Filip Hronek, 53rd overall in the 2016 draft.


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There are other recent non-first round picks made by Wright that could still turn out to be Core 12 players, including winger Jonatan Berggren, 33rd overall in 2018, Antti Tuomisto, 35th overall in 2019, Albert Johnansson, 60th overall in 2019, and Elmer Soderblom, 159th overall in 2019.

If two or three of those more promising prospects come to fruition, Wright will have saved his reputation as a good draft, something that took a hit in Detroit after leading two solid drafts for Columbus in 2012 and 2013.

Wright’s first-round picks in Detroit? Hmm

The problem in Hockey Town? Not all of Wright’s first-round picks hit the mark. Dylan Larkin, 15th overall in 2014, has been strong, but Evgeny Svenchnikov, 19th in 2015, has been held back by injuries, and Dennis Cholowski, 20th overall in 2016, has yet to land a job in the team. NHL. But Wright’s two biggest question marks are the enormous Michael Rasmussen, drafted ninth overall in 2017, and Filip Zadina, sixth overall in 2018.

When you draft into the Top 10 it’s crucial to be successful, but it’s not clear whether Rasmussen or Zadina will be successful. Both have struggled to score points at the NHL level so far.

On the bright side, Detroit’s top pick in the 2019 draft, d-man Mortiz Seider, drafted sixth overall, has had an exceptional season in the Swedish top league. If Seider and one of the Zadina or Rasmussen become top players, that will help Wright’s reputation as well.

As it stands, it failed to draft enough Core 12 players during the Detroit era, with only Larkin and Hronek having reached the mark so far.


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He and Green appear to have done better together in the 2020 Edmonton Draft, but they need to qualify for Ken Holland.

The Detroit Red Wings of the Netherlands outperformed any other NHL team in finding top talent in the 1983-2004 Draft and made the playoffs 25 years in a row. But when Detroit’s scouting dropped after 2005, it was difficult for Holland to continue to put together winning teams. Holland’s problem? He clung too long to the Boy Scouts who had done so well in the 1990s but could no longer do the job.

Scouting is a terrible task, with many Scouts doing their best in their early years on the job, as seen with Wright in Columbus. It’s up to him to prove that he still has some play. It is crucial for the future of the Oilers that he comes out.

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