Perfect Storm

Lowetide
January 20 2011 05:34PM

In a draft season that is perhaps a little shy of the 2010 edition, it looks like the Edmonton Oilers might be entering a perfect storm. Their "ideal" player is out there but seems to be slipping down the charts. The Oilers may fall ass over tea kettle into Sean Couturier. It's a big deal.
 

The 2010 entry draft boasted both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin at the top, plus some very nice consolation prizes in Erik Gudbranson, Jeff Skinner, Ryan Johansson, Alexander Burmistrov and Cam Fowler. The 2011 draft has Adam Larsson (likely a New Jersey Devil come draft day) and then an interesting assortment of top drawer forwards.

Sean Couturier has been a player of interest for Oiler fans since early fall. Why? Size, skill, strength and some swagger at center. For an organization that used seven of their last 10 first round picks on the position, he would seem to be a perfect seelction. However, Couturier's status at the very top of the draft has come into question. Skating issues, few points at the World juniors and last night a subpar showing at the prospects game imply he might be falling down the draft list.

What can we say in defense of Sean Couturier? Plenty.

  1. Although Couturier's WJ boxcars are just average (2-1-3) the young man did not play a feature role on an offensive line nor did he get monster PP opportuinities. He did finish +6 (tied for 3rd) at the World juniors.
  2. Couturier is lighting it up in the QMJHL (19-43-62 in 37 games) and his points-per-game number (1.68) is a perfect match for Tyler Seguin's OHL season in 09-10 (1.68 ppg).
  3. His current NHL equivalency (courtesy Gabriel Desjardsin) is 82gp, 12-26-38 .463. That's about where Tarasenko ranked a year ago.
  4. 6.04, 195. Sam Gagner (5.10, 190), Shawn Horcoff (6.01, 202), Andrew Cogliano (5.10, 185) could use the help.

I believe the Oilers should draft Sean Couturier if he's available in June. I also believe Stu MacGregor is probably leaning this way, considering just how long it has been since this club had a stud in the middle. Proof? Tune in Bob Stauffer's show most days and listen how he talks about team needs, and especially listen when someone is interviewing Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor. The Oilers need a big center with skill like a flower needs the rain.

There are other candidates. If Larsson falls to the Oilers I expect they'll strongly consider him, although there does seem to be less pressure on the future blue with the development of Peckham and Petry this season. Also, I've made my views on Gabriel Landeskog known (the Oilers need a gritty winger with a touch of filth almost as much as they need a center), but at the end of the day (which will be the title of Chris Pronger's life story) Couturier should be an Oiler come draft day.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 CrazyCaptain88
January 21 2011, 07:45PM
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Question for Lowetide: If we are going to pick a center in this years draft, do you think a trade with Boston for Seguin for our first rounder this year makes sense? I think Seguin would be an upgrade on Couturier or RNH. Would Boston make this trade if we threw in Cogliano to sweeten the pot a bit? Where does that leave Gagner if we pick up another center? How about a package for Seguin and Wheeler and we send over our 2011 first rounder, Gagner and Cogs?

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#52 Butters
January 21 2011, 09:50PM
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I think Couturier stock is dropping. He won't be BPA when the Oilers pick, which will be 1st or second.

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#53 Mike Modano's Dog
January 21 2011, 10:06PM
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CrazyCaptain88 wrote:

Question for Lowetide: If we are going to pick a center in this years draft, do you think a trade with Boston for Seguin for our first rounder this year makes sense? I think Seguin would be an upgrade on Couturier or RNH. Would Boston make this trade if we threw in Cogliano to sweeten the pot a bit? Where does that leave Gagner if we pick up another center? How about a package for Seguin and Wheeler and we send over our 2011 first rounder, Gagner and Cogs?

I love that idea!

If Seguin IS the best center and we like him better than anyone else in next year's draft... and that's a big if - that would be an awesome idea!

It's not like we'd be trading away our future getting a guy who's one year older!

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#55 speeds
January 22 2011, 02:46AM
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tyler wrote:

what has coutourier produced every time ive watched him hes been invisible. I know we need a center but draft the best player available. take into account that he hasnt really produced anything outside of the quebec league, and that the quebec league is probably the softest and easiest league tp play in.

Well, in terms of production, last night he produced 2G, 1A, +2, 16/24 in faceoffs, and 1st star of the game.

He hasn't produced anything outside the Quebec league? Well, maybe, but how much else is there really to look at? And should it be given more weight than all his Q games? He played in the WJHC, put up 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 games which isn't great production, but it's not all zeros either. He did have a good plus minus, and he was able make the team in his draft year - a definite plus.

If you want to ding him a bit because you perceive the Q to behind the O and W, maybe that's fair enough (although the Q hasn't been as high scoring as people seem to think, over the past couple of seasons), but i don't think we can say his performance there is totally unimpressive.

It could well just be that you've happened to see his bad games.

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#56 tyler
January 22 2011, 12:45PM
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speeds wrote:

Well, in terms of production, last night he produced 2G, 1A, +2, 16/24 in faceoffs, and 1st star of the game.

He hasn't produced anything outside the Quebec league? Well, maybe, but how much else is there really to look at? And should it be given more weight than all his Q games? He played in the WJHC, put up 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 games which isn't great production, but it's not all zeros either. He did have a good plus minus, and he was able make the team in his draft year - a definite plus.

If you want to ding him a bit because you perceive the Q to behind the O and W, maybe that's fair enough (although the Q hasn't been as high scoring as people seem to think, over the past couple of seasons), but i don't think we can say his performance there is totally unimpressive.

It could well just be that you've happened to see his bad games.

Ive watched the subway super series which he played two games juniors 7 games and prospects games those are kind of important games where you think he would want to do something with people also being able to watch him on tv he was really that impressive he just seemed like your average player. People have said that hes supposed to be dominant I just dont see it in the 10 games Ive watched him which is a few games to prove yourself, remember it only gets tougher when you make the jump to the nhl. Seguin would be awesome to get theirs a future star center. Maybe boston would take our pick if they had a chance to get landeskog. Remember boston wanted hall but couldnt get him.

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