The Best of Youtube Scouting

Jonathan Willis
April 01 2009 03:57PM

Ladies and gentlemen, Linus Omark.

Now, I'm not really a big fan of scouting by video clip, but if I were I'd be salivating. Omark scores in every situation - garbage goals from in front of the net, quick goals on the rush, and gritty goals off of the cycle. His goal at 4:03 was a special move. What statistics we have are good; he led his team in scoring and finished third in the entire Elitserien.

We won't know until next year of course, but Linus Omark has a good chance at being the best player the Kevin Lowe-era Oilers have drafted out of Europe.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 baggedmilk
April 01 2009, 04:03PM
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Hahaha Did you just read Staples' blog? I did too. The dude has some sick hands. That flip shot, shootout goal was unbelievable.

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#2 Boundz
April 01 2009, 04:05PM
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Is that skill and heart all in one? Do the Oil ever need that. For the first time, FMNF. Get rid of the pre-madonna's. Breathe some new life into the Oil.

Pissed.

B

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#3 Zamboni Driver
April 01 2009, 04:06PM
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5'9"....buck fifty.

Gosh if only we could have another one of those.

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#4 Archaeologuy
April 01 2009, 04:13PM
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I dont care about size or buy into any of that BS. If this kid can produce I dont care if he needs a phonebook to see over the dashboard.

Isnt there a rumour out there that KHL teams are trying to poach him?

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#5 Jeremy
April 01 2009, 04:14PM
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Sick goals. Didn't really think he was facing any kind of defensive specialists to say the least in any of those goals, though.

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#6 Ogden Brother
April 01 2009, 04:16PM
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I late round home run is just what this team needs to complement the recent first round success stories.

Now we just need to go 0-5 and hopefully grab a big forward. Kane/Schenn etc

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#7 Zamboni Driver
April 01 2009, 04:20PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

PRETTY sure we already have one of these.

Can't think of the Dude's name tho'....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01vrAqHkTJ4

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#8 prongerspawn
April 01 2009, 04:34PM
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I'm so bloody mad at the Oilers right now, I can't feel optomistic about much of anything. Go Flames Go, and I hope the Oil don't win another game- they don't need the playoff revenue anymore with Mr. Katz in charge, and it's so tight in the standings that a few losses might vault them higher in the lottery. Go (Insert Canadian team here) Go!!!

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#9 prongerspawn
April 01 2009, 04:37PM
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P.S. Tell me if I'm crazy (I probably am)...

Hemsky to Canucks for Cody Hodgson, and Willie Mitchell next year.

Might as well rebuild with all the youth on the Oilers...Gagner, Cogliano, Eberle, Peckham, O'Sullivan, etc

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#10 Chris
April 01 2009, 04:42PM
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Look at the time and space offered by the opposing D... Robin Regier would take his little head off! (Omark will probably look good against the likes of Tom Gilbert and will therefore earn a contract out of camp and go on to have an 11 goal season with an Oiler Squad that finishes tied for tenth in the west...)

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#11 Robin Brownlee
April 01 2009, 04:52PM
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We won’t know until next year of course, but Linus Omark has a good chance at being the best player the Kevin Lowe-era Oilers have drafted out of Europe.

And, really, that's a pretty elite group, isn't it?

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#12 Jon K
April 01 2009, 04:55PM
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Supposedly his entry-level deal is currently being negotiated by management. Should be interesting to see if it has a clause that will allow him to be released back to Europe if he fails to make the big team.

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#13 Sandra
April 01 2009, 04:56PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

We won’t know until next year of course, but Linus Omark has a good chance at being the best player the Kevin Lowe-era Oilers have drafted out of Europe. And, really, that’s a pretty elite group, isn’t it?

I thought with all the trouble they went through to get him in the draft, it might be Pouliout next year.

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#14 Jonathan Willis
April 01 2009, 04:59PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

And, really, that’s a pretty elite group, isn’t it?

I have it on good authority that Alexei Mikhnov's mom occasionally stops by this site. There's no reason to be so mean.

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#15 Andrew W
April 01 2009, 05:04PM
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Robin, I think you're missing your sarcasm button again.

It's right here ~

This being said, I for one wouldn't complain if Omark matches Hemsky on the Oilers' depth chart. It seems like a bit of a long shot, though; perhaps the Copper and Blue version of Fabian Brunnstrom?

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#16 prongerspawn
April 01 2009, 05:07PM
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@ Chris: It would be cool to see a bashing d-man that can skate on the Oilers blueline, like Regehr. I wonder if it's too late to apologize to Semenov?

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#17 swany
April 01 2009, 05:12PM
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I would like to know how big some of those D-men are trying to knock him off the puck, he sure looks like he has great balance. Need to see him on the smaller ice with less room, and if he makes the club he must move a couple smaller guys ie Nilsson+

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#18 Robin Brownlee
April 01 2009, 05:27PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I had never actually been horrified at how bad a prospect had looked until I went out to Millennium Place several years ago to get s sneak peek at Alexei. To be fair, his season had been over for awhile and he was using skates and equipment borrowed from Cory Cross, but still, he looked like he'd never played the game before that day.

I've seen enough guys who are wizards with the puck but lack the size, grit and desire to survive in the NHL to get too carried away by what Omark has shown so far.

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#19 Librarian Mike
April 01 2009, 06:03PM
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Who knows if this dude will pan out, but it kind of reminds me of all those Youtube clips of Schremp doing that lacrosse move in shootouts. Sigh. I guess we should be thankful our scouting staff doesn't phone picks in from Cabo...anymore...

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#20 Jonathan Willis
April 01 2009, 06:11PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Honestly, I'm not sold on Omark's NHL upside at all. If I had to guess, I'd say he tops out in the Robert Nilsson class.

But given that the prospects for the current season are ugly, it seems ok to indulge in some hope right now.

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#21 TDSM31
April 01 2009, 06:32PM
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Linus...Swedish for 'Drive to net with great vigor'...er..or is it 'Sucks thumb and carry's blue blanket'...one of the two, I can't remember.

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#22 TDSM31
April 01 2009, 06:38PM
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This guy really is special. Did you see what he can do with his tooth at 4:09?

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#23 Phil
April 01 2009, 06:51PM
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People underestimate Swedes.

Don't you know they're the new Canadians?

They're a coaches dream, work hard, selfless, easy for them to play the skill game etc. etc.

Sure it's just a video but it was a very impressive one none the less. He definitely has finishing ability, can thread the needle, dangle etc.

Edmonton shouldn't be afraid to bring this guy in, especially given there's a new coaching staff in town next season for starters.

He should get a shot, as Edmonton should move some of the garbage they have up front, in both the bottom and top 6 players.

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#24 Andrew W
April 01 2009, 07:10PM
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While trying to stay on the positive side of things, does anybody else have any opinions about JF Jacques to share?

He has looked great the last few games - albeit in a limited capacity. Hopefully there will be enough time at the end of this season to resurrect his career, and hopefully it will also continue with the Oilers. After all of the injury troubles he's had, I for one had all but written him off, and it's nice to see him coming around. He's obviously not the sort of player who can change a team's outlook on his own, but neither was Glencross, and Jacques might be a good fit to fill that niche, IMO.

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#25 rickithebear
April 01 2009, 07:20PM
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JW: commented on me pushing the merits of Omark since Fall 2008. I post what I posted AT HFBoards.

Since the start of the SEL in 1976 13 players have been in the top ten in scoring at the age of 21 or earlier. Here is a list of those players, The first time they apeared in the SEL top10, and there nhl production.

75-76: Kent Nilsson (19yrs) 553GM 264G 422A 686PTS (1.24pts/gm) Thomas Gradin (20) 677GM 209G 384A 593PTs (.88pts/gm) 76-77: Bo Berglund (20) 130GM 28G 40A 68Pts (.52Pts/GM) 77-78: Mikko Leinonen (21) 162GM 31G 78A 109Pts (.67Pts/GM) 78-79: None 79-80: Mats Naslund (20) 651GM 251G 383A 634Pts (.98Pts/GM) 80-81: None 81/82: Hakan Loob (21) 450GM 193G 236A 429Pts (.96Pts/GM) Patrik Sundstrom (20) 676GM 219G 369A 588Pts (.87Pts/GM) 82/83: Tomas Sandstrom (18) 983GM 394G 463A 857Pts (.87Pts/Gm) 83-84: None 84-85: None 85-86: None 86-87: None 87-88: None 88-89: None 89-90: None 90-91: None 91-92: None 92-93: Markus Naslund (20) 1066GM 382G 465A 847Pts (.80Pts/GM) Peter Forsberg (20) 706GM 249G 636A 885Pts (1.25Pts/GM) 93-94: None 94-95:None 95-96: None 96-97: None 97-98: None 98-99: None 99-00: H. Sedin (19) 592GM 91G 313A 404Pts (.68Pts/GM) D. Sedin (19) 588GM 160G 248A 408Pts (.69Pts/GM) 00-01: Henrik Zetterberg (20) 380GM 165G 193A 358Pts (.94Pts/GM) 01-02: None 02-03: None 03-04: None 05-06:None 06-07:None 08-09: Linus Omark ????? Johan Jarju ?????

Get him over!

Omark is still growing. His team site says he is 5'10.5" 175Lbs. He has one more year of Core strength development. Then another 5 years before he hits his prime.

I look forward to a youtube package for the bigger draft steal of Teemu Hartikainen.

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#26 Phil
April 01 2009, 07:39PM
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TSN has a segment on him now.

Kid is catching a buzz in a major way.

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#27 Jonathan Willis
April 01 2009, 08:02PM
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@ rickithebear:

Nice work! I haven't done much figuring on development in the Elitserien, but that's a damn impressive list. Thank you for that - it's encouraging to say the least.

And I know we're both pulling for Hartikainen, but I have a scary feeling that the vast majority of his production this year was with the man advantage.

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#28 rickithebear
April 01 2009, 08:20PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ rickithebear: Nice work! I haven’t done much figuring on development in the Elitserien, but that’s a damn impressive list. Thank you for that - it’s encouraging to say the least. And I know we’re both pulling for Hartikainen, but I have a scary feeling that the vast majority of his production this year was with the man advantage.

Hmm an 18 year old scoring on the power play at a .6 goal per game pace the last half of the season in a league that ranks higher than the AHL.

I wonder what team could use that on there pp.

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#29 Q
April 01 2009, 09:46PM
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On the Omark thing - I bet he has hit the ceiling on what he can do in Eliteserien. Makes at least a little sense to get him over here for a good long look in the AHL - where guys can hit and play tougher defence than what that video shows. But, and this is a Kirsty Alley pre-Jenny's butt, he looks to be Hemsky tough on the puck. Sure, Hemmer gets thrown for a loop by the likes of Regehr, but we know what he can do in a game (at least that one against Columbus). Give the kid a look in Springfield, please.

Andrew W wrote:

While trying to stay on the positive side of things, does anybody else have any opinions about JF Jacques to share? He has looked great the last few games - albeit in a limited capacity. Hopefully there will be enough time at the end of this season to resurrect his career, and hopefully it will also continue with the Oilers. After all of the injury troubles he’s had, I for one had all but written him off, and it’s nice to see him coming around. He’s obviously not the sort of player who can change a team’s outlook on his own, but neither was Glencross, and Jacques might be a good fit to fill that niche, IMO.

I posted on Lowetide last night that the return of JFJ is one of the few positives this season has provided the Oil. He looks like a bonafide 3rd or 4th liner right now, in the GlenX mode.

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#30 Chris
April 01 2009, 10:12PM
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Euroschremp.

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#31 Q
April 01 2009, 10:16PM
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@ Chris:

Chris, get a new box of cornflakes. Someone urinated in yours.

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#32 David S
April 01 2009, 11:37PM
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Q wrote:

@ Chris: Chris, get a new box of cornflakes. Someone urinated in yours.

Yeah. Let's get all horny about a skilled 170 lb kid playing against 170 lb kids on the big ice. I just watched 5:14 of no-check midget hockey. Geez. Sam Gagner would eat this kid for breakfast, let alone Detroit's stick boy.

Euroschremp indeed. Maybe we should see him in a few big boy games before locking up his 5 year, $8 Million/yr contract hey?

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#33 Dale Driedger
April 01 2009, 11:41PM
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So far I like what I have seen on you tube and read about Omark. Sadly our team is stacked with a pile of 5'10'' 180lbs forwards. I would hate to be in management's position this off-season as they will be needing to make some tough decisions about guys like Nilson, Cogs, Pouliot, Schremp, Reddox, etc... considering we have Eberle and Omark coming up in the next year or two. What the oilers need to do is tank the rest of the season, blow out a few of the old guys that aren't getting it done and admit the fact that we TRUELY need to rebuild this team. We have a plethora of good young talent. Save the $$$'s for a few years down the road when our team has a legit shot at making a run at the cup. I was at last night's game, and it was sad to see that Jacques, Stortini, Brodziak, and maybe Gagner were the only oil out there that seemed to care what was going on on the ice. Horc, Hemmer, Penns, need to show some more effort out there and show that they actually care about winning hockey games.

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#34 albundy
April 02 2009, 06:56AM
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Oil can win tonight they are right back in it.Calgary isn't playing that well and we have to play them twice. My only concern is Roli, he is starting to look very tired and we really can't give me a day off. I think Sheldon is dead tired also and it has affected how he is playing.

GO OILERS GO

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#35 Zamboni Driver
April 02 2009, 07:24AM
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@ albundy:

So, the Oilers two best players (and only two with any sack at all) are looking tired.

The Flames are nine million times better than the Oilers, have a psychotic as a coach who has probably been calling them every name in the book.

Yeah, we've gottem right where we want 'em.

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#36 Jonathan Willis
April 02 2009, 08:26AM
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@ David S:

For starters, Omark's going to be on an entry-level deal, so there will be a cap on how much he can make. Secondly, I don't think anyone's talking about anything more than a two-way deal; Omark himself said he'd be willing to play in the AHL first because his dream is to play in the NHL and he'll do whatever it takes.

Aside from all that, aren't you being just a little pessimistic? Omark has yet to prove anything in North America, but from Rickibear's list it seems clear that 21-year olds don't usually finish in the top ten of SEL scoring, and those that do have a nice track record over here.

Not that they're the same, but I wonder if you would have been as automatically dismissive of Henrik Zetterberg, another small (at the time) Swede who put up inferior numbers to Omark in the SEL before coming over to North America?

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#37 rickithebear
April 02 2009, 08:48AM
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David S wrote:

Yeah. Let’s get all horny about a skilled 170 lb kid playing against 170 lb kids on the big ice. I just watched 5:14 of no-check midget hockey. Geez. Sam Gagner would eat this kid for breakfast, let alone Detroit’s stick boy. Euroschremp indeed. Maybe we should see him in a few big boy games before locking up his 5 year, $8 Million/yr contract hey?

Hyperbole at it's finest. Schremp! that poor skating fool. His 18 year old Junior year said he was never going to be anything better than a <50 Pt player. Entry level contracts my man, entry level.

Katz chased the shiny toy and lost glencross. This guy is now a shiny new toy and will cost about 7.5M less for the next 3 years. The scary thing is the list I posted says he has a chance.

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#38 Cam
April 02 2009, 08:51AM
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I can't hope anymore... it just hurts too much these days. i am thinking "next year" and if the Oilers win the table then I will be ecstatic, but if they don't I won't be heartbroken.

I have been thinking that we have a contract that is ahrd to unload and one that is a dream (Horcoff/Hemsky). I am just speculating here (obviously), but if Tambo marketed those two as a package I wonder what he could get in return?

Only problem with that speculation is that those two are players I want to stick around. Horcoffs contract is too high, but he is our best faceoff guy and two way forward, and he doesn't float. Hemsky is... well... Hemsky.

But... you have to give something up to get something back, and I imagine you could get a pretty amazing player for those two. I am not even sure if I want that to happen, but thought I would put it out there for comment.

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#39 Clarkenstein
April 02 2009, 08:54AM
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I only have one question... Can we have this guy here by 7:00 pm tonight?

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#40 Zamboni Driver
April 02 2009, 08:58AM
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Cam wrote:

Only problem with that speculation is that those two are players I want to stick around. Horcoffs contract is too high, but he is our best faceoff guy and two way forward, and he doesn’t float.

Pretttttty sure you don't need to worry about Horcoff going anywhere.

There are 29 guys in suits laughing their @sses off every time they look at the Oilers pay sheet for next year....and the year after that....and the year after that....

Chances of moving "Hork" = zero

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#41 Cam
April 02 2009, 09:05AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Cam wrote: Only problem with that speculation is that those two are players I want to stick around. Horcoffs contract is too high, but he is our best faceoff guy and two way forward, and he doesn’t float. Pretttttty sure you don’t need to worry about Horcoff going anywhere. There are 29 guys in suits laughing their @sses off every time they look at the Oilers pay sheet for next year….and the year after that….and the year after that…. Chances of moving “Hork” = zero

He will if he is part of a Hemsky package. Hemsky is a very sweet deal.

...and incidentally I apologize to JW... this was supposed to be an Omark blog and I dropped a trade spec on it. I was just thinking out load.

For the record I like seeing our prospects doing well. It only takes one (like Zetterberg/Hemsky) to change the look of a team and it is always good to have hope. I don't have hope for this season anymore so I look to next year.

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#42 Reggie
April 02 2009, 10:01AM
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Things to note from what I saw - ya, you can't judge a highlight real on his full game package he brings. He seems to have decent speed as he is shown breaking away from a few dmen and forwards in the highlights. He likes to go to the net and shows good puck handling skills. He also uses his backhand like Sid does ... some pretty cool goals in close.

Is he the saviour ? No, probably not, but increasing your skill and competitiveness up front is a great start for next year.

Just remember the shrimp in Chicago (Kane) that everyone second guessed. Wait to see how he does against NHL forwards and dmen, but why pretend he doesn't bring a level of excitement and skill ?

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#43 risto
April 02 2009, 10:06AM
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Great post yesterday, JW! Your subtle but penetrating insistence that PERHAPS Moreau's analysis is off was gold.

The RedWings traded in their Russian 5, led by Fetisov on the blue, for a pack of Swedes, led by Lidstrom on the blue. There's something to it. Players don't go to Detroit for the downtown nightlife and scenery.

I like the idea of bringing in a contingent of countrymen to work together.

I also would love to see some Mike Grier types on this roster, who GRIND and HIT and KILL PENALTIES. They come from all countries.

It's going to be a tough decision, but we need to thin the ranks of smallish guys for some players with jam, and bet the house those who stay can blossom. Let's sign this kid, before Detroit gets their Swedish tentacles into him.

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#44 JustAName
April 02 2009, 12:00PM
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I see a whole lot of cutting through the middle not looking at where he is going / heads down / no hitting.... he will last long in the NHL.

Here is hoping he can adapt to the smaller ice and hitting.

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#45 Ender
April 02 2009, 01:36PM
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Say what you want about YouTube scouting, but this video shows one thing pretty clearly: the guy can hit the corners of the net better than any Oiler on the roster.

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#46 Stuart
April 03 2009, 02:13PM
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This guy is an exciting prospect. There are no guarantees in life, but the numbers he has put up blow Brunstrum (and Thoresen) out of the water (to name a couple recent swedes coming over from the SEL). And at a younger age too.

Is Patrick Kane a good comp?

So, I guess Carolina won the Cole trade in the short term...

Can anyone say "Ryan Ellis". We should draft him with our top ten pick

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