Jeremie Blain

The Oilers are getting close to the June 1st deadline to sign their draft picks.  The big question is should the Oilers sign Jeremie Blain, Drew Czerwonka & Brandon Davidson.

Jeremie Blain:

Let’s take a look at the success rate for a 4th round pick and what should expect for Jeremie Blain.   What are the odds of Jeremie Blain being an impact defender?   Here’s a look at the success rate of 4th round players.

From 2001 to 2005 there were 150 players drafted. So far 22 will likely play 200+ which is around a 15% (14.6% to be exact) success rate. Among those players are; Ryan Callahan, Keith Yandle, Christian Erhoff, Nik Hjalmarsson, Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey & Tyler Kennedy. You also have several role players such as; Torrey Mitchell, Ray Emery, Ryan Jones & Jordin Tootoo.  I’d say between 7-10% of players drafted in the 4th round become average to above average players.

How does Blain compare to other defenseman drafted in the late 3rd & 4th round drafted out of the CHL?
Jermie Blain – 6’2 195 lbs – .86 PPG
Morgan Ellis – 6’2 195 – .86 PPG
Austin Madaisky – 6’2 200 – .71 PPG
Julian Melchiori – 6’4 210 – .51 PPG
Stephen Silas – 6′ 205 – .48 PPG
Brandon Archibald – 6’4 212 – .24 PPG
Alex Theriau – 6’1 185 – .24 PPG

As far as peers the only player that Blain compares to is Morgan Ellis, who according to Hockey’s Future is the 3rd rated defenseman prospect in Montreal’s system, behind two first round picks Tinordi & Beaulieu.

Last year there were 4 2010 1st round D-men picks playing in the CHL. Blain has outscored them all except Brandon Gormley.
10. Dylan McIlrath – .44
13. Brandon Gormley – .91
22. Jared Tinordi – .33
23. Mark Pysk – .67
46. Martin Marincin – .69

In fact, other than Gormley the only other CHL defenseman that is outscoring Blain is – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc.

Blain plays with a bit of grit and has decent size.  The scouting reports say that he has excellent vision, hockey sense and has good offensive ability. One area of need for the Edmonton Oilers defense prospects is the PP QB, Blain might be candidate for this list. He does have injury concerns, and needs to improve on his skating, but nothing that would shy me away from an ELC.

Jeremie Blain has done his part to earn an NHL contract, now the Oilers need to see if he can continue his development and if he will be one of the 15% to become an NHL regular.

Jesse Wallin (Potential Sutter Coaching Staff)

If Sutter is coach of the Edmonton Oilers, could Jesse Wallin (HC of Red Deer Rebels) be one of his assistant coaches?  Wallin has several connections to Sutter & the Oilers.

Jesse Wallin

  • Jesse Wallin was the Junior HC of RNH.
  • Wallin was under Brent Sutter in his final years of coaching the Rebels  Typically, the HC gets to choose an assistant of his choice, it would make sense that
  • He is well respected enough by Hockey Canada (with whom the Oilers have connections too) to be the HC of the U18 Canadian team.

What is Wallin’s background?  He was a former Detroit Red Wings 1st round pick that played 49 games and retired due to concussion problems.  After taking two seasons off he apprenticed as an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels (Wallin’s Junior team) under Brent Sutter for three seasons, until taking the reigns in 2008-2009.

Although Wallin has 7 years coaching experience, due to retiring at a young age (25), is a young coach that would be an excellent choice to communicate to the young, developing defense squad.  Although, there is not a huge prospect base coming through Red Deer the last 4 years.  He has had a hand in developing RNH, Alex Petrovic, Matt Dumba and Darcy Kuemper.

Due to his ties with Sutter, I think that Wallin would be considered for Sutter’s staff in the event that Sutter is the candidate.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Working Hard Playing Hard

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Number: 93

Height: 6’1’’

Weight: 175

Birthdate: April 12, 1993 (19)

Acquired:  Drafted 1st Overall, 2011

Ted Nugent

Now it’s my turn to show my stuff;
It’s sometimes fun and sometimes rough.
I’m workin’ hard to earn my way;
But, lucky me, my work is play.



  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is getting respect in the league.  Rumor has it, I can’t find the source, in a game in Nashville after winning a battle against Mike Fisher, Trotz walks over Fisher and says ‘the kid is owning you’ to which Fisher replies ‘coach the kid is pretty good.’

Ken Hitchcock:  “His hockey intelligence and tenacity on the puck was way ahead of everybody. I watched him play against good teams and he was dominant offensively and defensively every night. There’s lots of players in junior, who have the skills but they’re not ready to play in the NHL. In the NHL they’re not always going to have the puck but Nugent-Hopkins was so good in both aspects. You just knew that he was going to put a lot of pressure on his team to keep him,” said Hitchcock.


  1. His numbers for an 18-year-old were outstanding when compared against other top rated players who played one year after their draft.  He rated first in CorsiRelQoC by a fairly wide margin & first in PPG by a fairly wide margin.  His TOI was second to Tavares, but well ahead of Seguin (5 minutes) and Stamkos (2:30 minutes).  He was 4th for TOI for Oilers forwards as a rookie.
Player CorsiRelQoC OZStart FO% TOI PPG
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins .594 62.5 37.5 17:36 .84
Tyler Seguin -.406 50.6 49.5 12:12 .30
John Tavares .473 56.9 47.5 18:00 .66
Steven Stamkos -.045 58 47.5 14:56 .58
  1. There are a couple of items that are slight causes for concern.  His FO% is bad, very bad.  Until RNH improves in this area it’s going to limit his effectiveness.  He won’t be able to line up at center for important draws either offensively or defensively.  One thing that I hope the Oilers are doing is having Mike Sillinger (director of player development) & Eric Belanger help the young Oilers centers on improving their FO%.  Sillinger & Belanger both consistently owned FO% at or above 55%.  This is an organizational problem; the Oilers have not had centers win 50% of the faceoffs since MacTavish left.  I am not sure if it’s not that important to Renney and his staff but I’m hoping that the new coach makes this a priority.
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins numbers tailed off in the last half of the season.  Stamkos & Tavares significantly increased their productivity in the last 20 games.  In March & April, Stamkos & Tavares scored 19 & 20 points in their final 20 games.  Nugent-Hopkins scored 14 points in 19 games.  Some of this might have been due to fatigue and it also might have to been due to playing less sheltered roles in the final 19 games.  I don’t think this is huge cause for concern just something to be noted.  One area that he should be working on is strength and conditioning.
  3. The one thing that stood out for me with Nugent-Hopkins was his start.  Skinny, 18-year-old rookies are not supposed to be this good.  I don’t care about soft opposition or zone starts in his first 20 games Nugent-Hopkins put 19 points on the board.  That is amazing!  Just for reference in his first 20 games that kid from Cole Harbour put up 20 points.  Ryan, now it’s your turn to show your stuff!