It’s been a busy week for the Edmonton Oilers. They won the NHL draft lottery, which will likely lead to selecting Erie Otters super prospect Connor McDavid. The Oilers also hired a new general manager and president in former Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.
Chiarelli was fired by the Bruins after they missed the ayoffs for the first time in seven years. Despite the success of the Bruins organization, Chiarelli has made a lot of mistakes which has led to a situation where Boston will have to rebuild.
Now with an organization desperate for a new philosophy, Chiarelli will have to learn from his mistakes in Boston.
To start with, Chiarelli will have to draft better. Unlike the Bruins, Edmonton will have high draft selections for years to come. It’s hard to mess up the first pick, but Chiarelli has a shaky history.
Out of every draft pick Chiarelli has made, which is every Bruins pick since 2007, just three have played in over 50 NHL games; Tyler Seguin, whom was traded to the Dallas Stars; Jordan Caron, who was non-productive and traded to the Colorado Avalanche; and Dougie Hamilton, a ninth overall selection.
Of all the picks Chiarelli has had, two have seemed to actually pan out. Those were Seguin and Hamilton, both early first rounders thanks to the Phil Kessel trade. It remains to be seen if David Pastrnak, a late first round pick, will last in the NHL, but even if he does, the rest of Chiarelli’s draft record isn’t good at all.
In 2007 it was Zach Hamill selected in the first round. He saw very little NHL time in Boston before bouncing in the AHL and then going overseas. The next season they selected three prospects in rounds 1-3. The first rounder was Joe Colborne, now a regular with the Calgary Flames, who was traded for rental player Tomas Kaberle. The next was Max Sauve, now overseas. The third was goalie Michael Hutchinson whom they let go and he became a starter with the Winnipeg Jets.
2009 brought Caron as the Bruins first draft selection. 2-12 was Seguin, but their second round pick, Jared Knight, was recently traded to Minnesota for a journeyman minor leaguer. 2011 was Hamilton, but the rest of that year’s draft? Alexander Khokhlachev, who has barely left the minors; Anthony Camara, who has the same story; and Brian Ferlin, a fourth liner.
2012 and beyond has some potential, but it remains to be seen. While other teams have gotten younger and faster, the Bruins have gone in the wrong direction. Chiarelli might have a gift this season, but what happens when and if the Oilers get later and later selections?