The Draft Is Broken

Opinion

 

As of this morning, a quick trip to Tankathon shows Edmonton has a 6% chance of winning the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

I know it’s fashionable to pick on this storied franchise but enough is enough. Teams with less revenue, smaller development programs and cheaper owners have had far greater success since the start of this mess. Some of these places don’t get snow. We can’t even begin to question and dissect the current state of affairs without first knowing where it started to go wrong.

In the last nine drafts, Edmonton has had the first pick four times. Four! They were used to draft Taylor Hall (NJ), RNH (Edm), Yakupov (KHL) & Connor McDavid. With those four players in hand, they still ended up where they are today. Hall and McDavid could’ve been trained by a monkey with a baseball. They neither support or disprove anything; however, digging a little deeper shows two incredibly talented youngsters rushed through a poor system, onto a terrible team. If you pull up a full list of Oiler draft picks that ended up underwhelming additions or players that just didn’t stand a chance of developing, Couple that with the supporting cast that should’ve pushed them into at least mediocrity and you have a full blown disaster. Don’t believe me? These are -just- draft picks and does not include acquired players (And these are just from 2008-Pres).

Eberle, Paajarvi, Marincin, Klefbom, Rieder, Khaira, Nurse, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto; they can’t possibly take credit for developing Draisaitl or Eberle. Every single other player in the list underperformed or is currently not reaching their potential, some by a whole lot. To their credit, they all became NHL caliber players, but ask any Oiler fan how many of the so-called developed fell short (answer: all of them). This doesn’t even include, using the Leafs as an example, the Engvalls, Johnssons and Moores that the Oilers failed to develop from the later rounds.

This is the toughest pill to swallow for most of the GMs in the league. Tanking, although difficult to prove, is not only prevalent, its a core item of agenda for teams every year. And change isn’t a new idea. The Draft was ALREADY changed because of this miserable organization who still found a way to disappoint mom in the new format. To the NHL’s credit, their new format discourages tanking – and that’s very good. Despite the format change and fail safe measures in place, they somehow won the lottery to draft the 2nd best player on the planet, only to suck his soul out and prop him up like a marionette whenever the press has a question.

Not everyone is crazy though; Back in 2016, a GM proposed a limit within a ten year period for how much a team could select 1st overall. He was promptly laughed out of the meeting.

Will the NHL change the current system anytime soon? Almost certainly not, but it’s obvious that this new format is not aging well. Don’t agree with me? To quote a great man:

” As of this morning, a quick trip to Tankathon shows Edmonton has a 6% chance of winning the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. ” (Legoman Haircut, 2019, Taken from The Draft is Broken, an award winning article)

 

 

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