On the left in this photo is Mikko Luoma in a game in Finland. Selected in 2002, he's the best 6th-round pick of the Kevin Lowe-era to date. As this sereis continues, trends which were noticed earlier continue to develop.
2001 – Mikael Svensk, 185th overall
11/30 players selected in Round 6, 2001 would play in the NHL. Marek Zidlicky, Dennis Seidenberg, Jussi Jokinen and Brooks Laich lead this group in terms of games played, while goaltender Pasi Nurminen has had quite a career in Europe, and played two seasons as the starter for Atlanta, posting respectable numbers.
Mikael Svensk, on the other hand, is a 6’-3", 214lb defenseman who turned 25 in February. He’s a middling player on a Division 1 team in Sweden. His 05-06 statistics are a little sketchy because his team, the Halmstad Hammers, went bankrupt. Beyond playing for bankrupt teams, there isn’t much noticeable about Svensk. Unless you count the fact that he’s another failed Kent Nilsson pick.
2002 – Mikko Luoma, 181st overall
8/30 players selected in this round have played in the NHL, and one of them is Mikko Luoma. Paul Ranger and Ian White are the real gems in this group, with Matt Foy, D.J. King and Jaroslav "Ballistic" Balastik, Joey Mormina and Curtis McElhinney rounding out the other NHL talent.
Like many of the better late-round picks by the Oilers, Mikko Luoma was taken as an over-age European. The 6’3" defenseman has played extensively in the top leagues in Sweden and Finland, and in 2003-04 played 65 games for the Toronto Roadrunners, and picked up one assist in three games with Edmonton. Not thrilled with the minor-league lifestyle (rooming with Brad Winchester will apparently do that to you), he returned to Europe, likely for good.
2003 – Dragan Umicevic, 184th overall
7/30 players selected in this round played in the NHL. New York Islanders defenceman Bruno Gervais is the only real standout in this group.
Dragan Umicevic, despite having a really, really cool name, is a young late-round European, so I’m sure you can guess the rest. Unlike some other young, late-round Europeans, at times it seemed like he might have an NHL career, and right now he’s putting up respectable numbers for Sodertalje SK of the SEL.
2004 – Max Gordichuk, 177th overall
4/30 players selected have played in the NHL so far, including Tampa Bay Lightning "Goalie of the Future" #238, Karri Ramo. The Toronto Maple Leafs picked Robbie Earl, and so far their late round picks haven’t been that bad, surprisingly enough. Also selected: 6’3" 245-lb Aaron Boogaard, most famous for having a mean older brother, and teaming up with aforementioned sibling to run a hockey-fighting camp.
Gordichuk made his professional debut in 2007 with the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL. He’s 6’6", 216lbs. Probably picked by MacGregor/Brown. What else do you say about a 6’6" defenseman who’s playing in the Central Hockey League? That Bryan Young looks like a sure-fire NHL’er in comparison?
2005 – None
2006 – Alexander Bumagin, 170th overall
It’s early for any of these guys to be playing, and the only guy to do so as of yet is Anaheim’s Petteri Wirtanen, who has 1 goal in 3 NHL games.
Alexander Bumagin, however, is basically doomed. He’s a late-round, young European selection, and for the Edmonton Oilers, this means one thing: a career of playing in the East of the Atlantic equivalent of the ECHL. So far, despite injuries (concussion, broken wrist, etc.) he’s remained in the RSL, Russia’s best league. However, his numbers haven’t improved since his draft year, when Russian prospects (among others) graded him highly. It seems unlikely that he’s a prospect of interest to the Oilers.
2007 – William Quist, 157th overall
No players from the 6th round of the 2007 Draft have yet played NHL hockey, but nonetheless there are a couple of familiar names. The Islanders took Blake Kessel 166th overall and Corey Syvret went 181st to Florida.
William Quist, listed at 6’4", 192lbs, is, unlike Alexander Bumagin, certainly doomed. In addition to being a young late-round Euro, he’s also extremely big, and both of those things have been common factors in Oilers prospects who dream of one day appearing in an AHL game. HockeysFuture lists him as a 6.5D, which fits nicely with my assessment. His picture, however, is on the Oilers website, a sure indication that he’s in the team’s future plans!