Oiler’s Prospect: Evan Campbell

When the Oiler’s drafted Evan Campbell there was a segment of fans that had wondered whether the Oiler’s wasted a draft pick.  But I think almost two years after the selection Campbell might be turning out better than what we would have estimated.

Here is a list of NHL drafted (signed) players born in 93 – 94 in the Hockey East with their points / game.

Player DOB Draft GP PTS PTS/G
Kevin Roy 20-May-93 4th #97 2012 35 44 1.257143
Daniel O’Regan 30-Jan-94 5th #138 2012 37 45 1.216216
Devin Shore 19-Jul-94 2nd #61 2012 39 35 0.897436
Evan Campbell 1-Mar-93 5th #128 2013 34 27 0.794118
Frankie Vatrano 14-Mar-94 Undrafted Signed with Bruins 36 28 0.777778
Mario Lucia 25-Aug-93 2nd #60 2011 42 32 0.761905
Thomas DiPauli 29-Apr-94 2th #100 2012 41 29 0.707317
Adam Gilmour 29-Jan-94 4th #98 2012 37 26 0.702703
Mark Jankowski 13-Sep-94 1st #21 2012 33 23 0.69697
Ryan Fitzgerald 19-Oct-94 4th #120 2013 37 24 0.648649
Zach Sanford 9-Nov-94 2nd #61 2013 37 23 0.621622
Robbie Baillargeon 26-Nov-93 5th #136 2012 26 15 0.576923
Steven Fogarty 19-Apr-93 3rd #72 2011 39 21 0.538462

Campbell doesn’t seem so far off after comparing to similar players.  He is ahead of a couple of high picks, notably Jankowski & Lucia and is in the range with similar 5th round picks.  Kevin Roy and O’Regan are well ahead of the field.  Although, I believe, O’Regan was a linemate of Eichel and his scoring doubled from the previous year.  Still an interesting prospect nonetheless.

Here is a scouting report from Tyler Thomson (Dobber Sports) Campbell has adequate size and hockey sense to go along with a strong work ethic. While his scoring has never impressed over his young career, it appears Campbell’s value comes from a strong two-way game. He will continue to grind away with U-Mass until he is pro-ready.

Jeff Cox from SBNation had the following scouting report after taking in a UMass game.  “This was my first viewing of the River Hawks this season and it comes as no surprise that the Port Moody, British Columbia native has significantly picked up his production this season compared to his rookie campaign. He was held scoreless on the night, but he made several strong, powerful moves to the net. He uses his speed and size to leverage defenders from the puck. He was phenomenal at the faceoff dot, going 17-6. Overall, it seems as if Campbell has really elevated his game to start his sophomore year.”

Hockey’s Future has this too say about Campbell; “He is a big powerhouse center with a gritty playing style. Campbell is the first player drafted directly from the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. His technical skills and skating ability are considered average but his package of size, determination and work ethic attracted the attention of Edmonton scouts.

When I looked to see how Campbell was tracking versus a player like Riley Nash (Nash was well ahead of Campbell by the way) I noticed a teammate on Nash’s collegate team that had a similar route too Campbell.  The player was drafted in his +2 draft year in the BCHL and had moderate success in NCAA.

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts
2005-06 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL 56 27 35 62
2006-07 Cornell University ECAC 31 11 8 19
2007-08 Cornell University ECAC 36 14 19 33
2008-09 Cornell University ECAC 36 15 16 31
2009-10 Cornell University ECAC 34 15 20 35

The player in question – Colin Greening.

If you want to look at the downside here they are;

  • Campbell, although tracking fine, is still a long shot to play in the NHL.
  • He likely doesn’t have much in the way of offensive upside
  • He’s likely a bottom six player at best.
  • Acquiring these types of players is easier than acquiring the top end players.

If you want to look at the positives here they are;

  • When he was drafted the Oiler fans did not like the selection.  He is on par with similar players drafted by other organizations.
  • Offense will likely not be his calling card but he has proven that he can chip in a bit with that regard.
  • Campbell is playing in a good division and is playing top line minutes.
  • Although acquiring ‘bottom six’ players are easier than acquiring top 6 players.  Developing your own players prevents potentially overpaying for this type of player on the open market.  The H-G-K line next year will make over 5 million.
  • Campbell plays in all situations; he’s gritty, good defensively and a good faceoff man.
  • He sounds a little bit like a former NCAA currently with the Oiler’s Matt Hendricks.

So a couple of years after the draft Campbell is drafting on par with his peers and has two more development years left.  I think he’s doing alright.