Oilers 2000 Draft Analysis
Finally the Oilers may discontinue their horrendous draft record from the years 1984 to 1992, where not one of their first round picks made the team, by having another solid day at picking and choosing the hope for the future. Under the Current salary restrictions of being a small market team Edmonton must build through the draft since it has very little chance of competing on the free agent market. Also, development of these players is even more crucial because of the recent resignation of Glen Sather who made one savvy deal after another to keep his team from falling into the basement of the league.
This years war room is headed by director of player personnel Kevin Pendergast who has been with the Oilers for nine years and is on the lookout for players who might eventually have to replace Doug Weight since he is a free agent in two seasons. A big scoring center is at the top of the list, and preferably one that could possibly come and play in a couple of seasons. This would be a luxury they have not had since Jason Arnott.
l fit their system.
The Oilers of late have a tendency to favor American college players and Europeans by only taking one player that was not from either in the last nine years and that was Jason Arnott. If they to decide to stay at the 17th position and draft for need their are a few players that might interest them.
Pos: Center Ht: 6-0 Wt: 181 Shoots: Right Team: Erie Dob:4/17/82
Notes: Exceptional intelligence and hockey sense and is a better playmaker than scorer, but is still dangerous at times. He needs to add some size and improve his skating but scouts agree he has heart and character and will find some way to make it.
Future Outlook: Offensive second line center
Marcel Hossa Pos: Center Ht: 6-1 Wt: 200 Shoots: Left Team: Portland Dob: 10/12/81
Notes: Being the younger brother of Marian Hossa is no big deal according to Marcel he says he’ll just go out and do his own thing. He is a good skater and is smart with the puck but is inconsistent with his effort and competitiveness which can change with a change a scenery and the right coaching.
Future Outlook: Play making second line center
Rated a little lower are two other players that could be taken later if Edmonton was to trade down or pick up an extra pick maybe in the second round.
Brian Sutherby Pos: Center Ht: 6-2 Wt: 190 Shoots: Left Team: Moose Jaw Dob: 3/1/82
Notes: He is an aggressive and physical two-way player with decent offensive numbers although he is not very flashy Brian plays a solid all-round game with attitude and competitiveness.
Future Outlook: Two-way second line or third line center
(27) Krys Kolanos Pos: Center Ht: 6-2 Wt: 196 Shoots: Right Team: Boston College Dob: 7/27/81
Notes: Here is another college player and although he played in Dany Heatley’s shadow it did not slow down this players enthusiasm. With good size and offensive potential all he has to do is show he can become physically stronger and a little grittier in the corners.
Future Outlook:point producing second line center.
Three player in the second round could also contribute at the center position in a few seasons.
Thatcher Bell Pos: Center Ht: 6-0 Wt: 175 Shoots: Left Team: Rimouski Dob: 2/1/82
Notes: A good offensive threat who has the skill, intelligence and speed to play with the best players however does not play well in traffic which will have to change at the next level.
Future Outlook: If he continues to rack up the points definitely a second line center.
Antoine Vermette Pos: Center Ht: 6-0 Wt: 184 Shoots: Left Team: Vicoriaville Dob: 7/20/82
Notes: Not as good a player as Gagne but should become a regular point producer as long as he is aware of his defensive responsibilities.
Future Outlook: Offensive Second Line Center
Shane Endicott Pos: Center Ht: 6-4 Wt: 205 Shoots: Left Team: Seattle Dob: 12/21/81
Notes: His only real problem is he is a little slow but he has very good numbers and is smart and makes plays. With his size he may be too good not to take with the 46th pick, if not in the first round. He is the kind of pick that could make you look like a genius if he continues to develop his skating and mobility.
Future Outlook: Could be a third line two-way player or a tough second line power center.
Since the decision on (D) Mike Van Ryn has not been made and the re-entry of a few notable players such as (LW) Ramzi Abid, (C) Justin Papineau, and (G) Mathieu Chouinard the Oilers could change their outlook on the upcoming draft. If Mike Van Ryn is available in this draft, and still there at the 17th pick, Edmonton could select and sign him so he could help fill the
void on defense if Roman Hamrlik was traded.
Mike Van Ryn Pos: Defense Ht: 6-2 Wt: 191 Dob: 5/14/79
97-98 Michigan (CCHA) gp-31 g-4 a-14 pts-18 pim-36
98-99 Michigan (CCHA) gp-37 g-10 a-13 pts-23 pim-52
99-00 Sarnia (OHL) gp-61 g-6 a-35 pts-41 pim-34
Note: Mike is a solid two-way player who can handle the puck well and likes to join the rush, he is a fast skater and is a character player and would fit Edmonton’s style of play. If for any reason Mike Van Ryn is not available at the 17th pick another option that could help Edmonton next season especially with Bill Guerin’s situation over the next couple seasons is Halifax’s Ramzi Abid.
Abid was Colorado’s second round pick, 28th overall in 1998 who re-entered the draft this season. The 20 year old power forward could replace Guerin in a few years if his services are not retained. Ramzi possesses everything needed to be a good power forward. He is blessed with size, power, and soft hands. He has the ability to stand his ground in the slot and in front of the net. He is also a terror on the power play and scores big goals in big games.
Ramzi Abid Pos: Left Wing Ht:6-2 Wt: 205 Dob: 3/24/80 Age:20
Year Team Gp G A PTS +/- Pim
96-97 Chi 65 13 23 37 n/a 147
97-98 Chi 68 50 85 135 +29 266
98-99 Ch/Ba 45 25 37 62 +7 199
99-00 Ba/Ha 72 67 91 158 +39 209
Total 250 155 236 391 +75 821
Ramzi would add to their long term needs by giving them a winger who can score more than 20-25 goals a season and with Riesen & Henrich on the right wing and Dan Cleary & Jani Rita on the left, Ramzi could round out a solid group of prospects in the organization for the next 5 years. Then, if possible, a deal could be made for a second round pick so they could take a center with some size to fill in this years most glaring weakness.
The other option is to trade the pick, to a team without a first round pick or a team looking to move up, for a second line center to fill the immediate need of helping Doug Weight and giving the team a more well rounded scoring department. A couple teams that may want to trade for the pick are Florida and Los Angeles.
Florida has Rob Niedermayer whom they may part with since he has not produced the way they have expected and has had only one stand out season. In 95-96 he had 26 goals and 61 points and was played a large part in beating Philly in the playoff’s when he shut down Eric Lindros. The change of scenery and the wide open style of game played in Edmonton and the Western Conference may be what is needed to rejuvenate his career. Also, he is a bigger center which is something Edmonton is lacking.
The city of angels could part with Bryan Smolinski and his salary in not too outrageous for the Oilers at 1.7 million US. If he can stay consistent throughout the season, the traveled veteran quite possibly could be a piece of the puzzle that gets the Oilers into the second round of the playoff’s and maybe helps them upset a team to sneak into the Conference final.
When all is said and done I would prefer to either take Ramzi Abid with the 17th pick and trade into the second round and select center Shane Endicott with whom some improvement in his skating could develop into a solid second line center, or make the trade with either Florida or Los Angeles.