Another Top 8 Pick?

Lowetide
May 25 2011 07:45AM

According to a Jim Matheson article yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers have completed their scouting meetings with no clear number one. How could this be true? 

I don't think the recent performance of Jonathan Huberdeau will impact the Oilers final list. Huberdeau's team is loaded, so their appearance in the final four is no surprise and his impressive offensive totals have been compiled when the other elite talent from this draft are no longer playing. It is perhaps unwise to punish those players for running out of blacktop.

One of the quotes in the Matty article attempts to shed some light on the issue but really just muddies the waters. Matheson suggests that GM Steve Tambellini feels if two players are deemed equal by his scouts, he may make the call based on team need. Here's the muddy: the Oilers team needs perfectly align with the top of the draft:

  • #1 Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Couturier, Ryan Strome, Jonathan Huberdeau
  • Gritty skill winger: Gabriel Landeskog
  • Complete defender: Adam Larsson

I think the Oilers might consider trading down to #3 or #4 overall if the return is right. That return might include picks and players with enough appeal to get the Oildrop from #19 overall (the LAK pick) back into the top 10. If the Oilers walk away from the draft's first round with Sean Couturier and Dougie Hamilton, is that worth more than RNH and Mark McNeill? 

It might be.

MAGIC 8 BALL

It is generally agreed that the top end of this draft is exactly 8 deep. We discussed it here. I'm not certain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the number one player on the Oilers list, but I think he's the odds-on favorite to end up there. I'd bet even more money that the Oilers scouts discussed a second pick in the top 8: if these eight kids are as good as advertised, collecting a future #1 C and a future top pairing defender would be a major heist.

HOW DO YOU GET THERE FROM HERE?

Columbus would seem to be a likely candidate. They select 8th and are looking to improve enough to make a playoff appearance. Atlanta and Ottawa are also in the range.

I don't know for certain that Steve Tambellini will attempt to move up from 19th to 8th (or better), but it makes a helluva lot of sense.

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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 TSN 1260.
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#51 Nick Dynasty
May 25 2011, 11:29AM
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don't think the OIL should even consider trading down from #1 unless a team is offering the world. hope they do trade up from 19 though. if we can get out of the first round with RNH and a solid D like Siemens i'm laughing all the way to training camp. as long as trading up doesn't cost us Hemsky.

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#52 David S
May 25 2011, 11:35AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

This sounds, to me, like business as usual at Oilers HQ. They dont give up info on this kind of thing. They didnt last year and they wont this year either.

I'm more willing to believe that they know exactly who they're taking and dont want to give that info to the media than I'm willing to believe they dont know who they're taking #1.

I also think it would be a terrible mistake trading down from #1. I would have a sick feeling in my gut if the Oilers ended up missing the best player in the draft just to get another player in the top 10. They already have 3 selections in the top 31. Just take the best player at #1 and the rest is gravy.

Uhhh...I think LT was talking about the 17th pick and a player for that second top 8 pick. Only an idiot would trade a #1 for a #8.

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#53 dawgbone
May 25 2011, 11:35AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Yes. Yes it is. If I pay a guy to tell me who the #1 18 year old player in the world is then he better deliver.

Somebody is better. Someone will have a more impactful career than the other. History and common sense hold those statements to be true.

If I hire a Coach and he tells me he doesnt have a gameplan then he's fired. If I hire a GM and he cant sign players or make trades then he's fired. If I hire a scout that cant tell me who the best prospect is then he is...***

***Keep in mind I have no desire to see Stu Mac fired. He's done a fine job. That's why I think he will make the determination before the draft that Player X > Player Y. I seem to recall from the OilChange series that the process of evaluation and discussion doesnt even end until shortly before Draft Day. Hell, the Mem Cup isnt even over yet. The Royal Decree isnt scheduled until June.

Picking the best 18 year old is easier than picking the best future NHL player.

One is more integral to scouting than the other.

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#54 Bucknuck
May 25 2011, 11:40AM
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Ender wrote:

In reading Matheson's piece, the news that the scouting staff couldn't or wouldn't say who was number one was only very mildly interesting; I'm pretty sure that's all just smokescreen anyway. What I found much more interesting was his take that Souray would be bought out this year. Really? Why? All the reasons why it made sense not to buy him out last year are still valid reasons. Spread the remaining cap out over two years? I guess the Oilers could; the $2.4M cap hit isn't so big that the Oilers couldn't eat it this year if they wanted to, although losing $1.5M of room in 2012-13 might be slightly uncomfortable. But why would you? Why not just do what you did last year, leave him in the AHL to toil in obscurity, pay him his $4.5M, and not impact your cap at all? Who doesn't like that plan? Katz who's out $4.5M (instead of the $3.9M from the buyout; potential savings of only $600K)? He's finishing what he started and he's got the money, so I don't see some pocket-change being an issue with him when it wasn't last year. Souray? Who cares what he thinks; if he doesn't like it, he can just fail to report, we tear up the contract, and everyone can go their separate ways. No, the whole buyout thing just doesn't make sense to me. I don't see why Matheson feels it's such a foregone conclusion.

Last year they were trying to get someone to pick him up on Waviers or for a team to pick him up at the deadline. I think it is safe to say that will no longer happen.

It would enable Souray to get another contract in the NHL. That would be the most ethical thing to do at this point, and if the Oil want to rebuild their reputation as a good place for players they better start with being ethical when they can. Like now.

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#55 Ender
May 25 2011, 11:41AM
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@Lord Tunderin'

Right. I had the cap hits correct but I had a brain fart when I equated those hits with actual salary paid. We actually pay 2/3 of the salary, which is $3M of the $4.5M owed. Savings is, as you rightly point out, $1.5M.

I think whether it's $600K or $1.5M, the money isn't a driving factor for Katz. I still don't understand why the buyout would be the option that best serves the Oilers.

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#56 Ender
May 25 2011, 11:47AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Last year they were trying to get someone to pick him up on Waviers or for a team to pick him up at the deadline. I think it is safe to say that will no longer happen.

It would enable Souray to get another contract in the NHL. That would be the most ethical thing to do at this point, and if the Oil want to rebuild their reputation as a good place for players they better start with being ethical when they can. Like now.

I like you, Bucknuck, but this post made me giggle. Ethics? Really?

"It’s not a players thing, it’s not a fans thing or a city thing. It’s a management thing. They’ve given up on me, and it’s a two-way street.”
“You talk about Prongs (Chris Pronger) and guys like that, and it should raise an eyebrow when players who leave town are skipping out with a smile on their face."
Sheldon Souray

Maybe the ethical thing for Souray to do would not have been to flush his trade-value down the crapper and take public shots at the team in the process. If you're suggesting for a single second that the Oilers owe Sheldon Sharik Souray a damn thing, you're living on a different planet than the one I reside on.

If Souray wants another contract, he can walk away from the one he has currently any time he likes. I don't think the Oilers will stop him. The point would be kind of lost, though; where would he go? We've already seen the level of interest in the NHL for his services.

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#57 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 11:48AM
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dawgbone wrote:

Picking the best 18 year old is easier than picking the best future NHL player.

One is more integral to scouting than the other.

If it wasnt difficult then anyone could do it

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#58 Quicksilver ballet
May 25 2011, 11:53AM
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It's the Atlanta,New Jersey or the Ottawa pick or bust for me. Outside of the 3rd 4th or 5th selection, we fail to get our hands on Couturier,Strome or Huberdeau.

Have a little faith in Petry,Peckham,Tuebert,Mirancin,Souray etc. With Hopkins and Couturier in the picture next season, we're bound to land another top 6 pick in next summers draft. Perhaps 4 of the top 6 are d,men in one years time.

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#59 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 12:01PM
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David S wrote:

Uhhh...I think LT was talking about the 17th pick and a player for that second top 8 pick. Only an idiot would trade a #1 for a #8.

LT wrote: "I think the Oilers might consider trading down to #3 or #4 overall if the return is right."

I wish we were talking about moving up from 19 to 8. I think I even saw someone mention trading #1 + Smid for Bogosian + #7. I cant imagine a scenario where downgrading from 1st to 7th and taking on Bustgosian would be a great move, but it's this kind of thinking that scares the bejeezus out of me.

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#60 Smokey
May 25 2011, 12:03PM
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Of course they say this. They wanna know if theres a GM out there willing to throw in multiple picks and his wife to get that top spot. Secretly they have no designs on trading a first overall pick unless they get the guys mistress as well.

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#61 thebiggestmanintheworld
May 25 2011, 12:30PM
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Hmmmmmmmm, the Oilers combining drafting and trading? ~sounds like a foolproof plan~ let the scouts do what they do(scout and evaluate). let management do what they do(assess situations).

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#62 9 Inches Uncut
May 25 2011, 12:31PM
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RNH is number one on their lists. These dinks milk the walkup to the draft like it's their Stanley Cup.

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#63 dawgbone
May 25 2011, 12:33PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

If it wasnt difficult then anyone could do it

Naturally. And if there was an exact science to it teams would never blow a draft pick.

So why would you fire them because they didn't come to a consesus on who is #1 in a draft featuring at least 5 and as many as 8 who could be the best player?

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#64 kgo
May 25 2011, 12:50PM
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thebiggestmanintheworld wrote:

Hmmmmmmmm, the Oilers combining drafting and trading? ~sounds like a foolproof plan~ let the scouts do what they do(scout and evaluate). let management do what they do(assess situations).

foolproof like when burke drafted the sedins 11 years ago?

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#65 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 12:53PM
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@dawgbone

If I'm Darryl Katz and I'm paying an entire scouting staff to determine who the best pick in the 2011 draft is going to be, I'd be pissed if my head scout came back to me in the final meeting with the message "I have no clue, just pick whoever you like."

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#66 Bucknuck
May 25 2011, 12:58PM
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@Ender

Yes Souray made his own bed and he lied in it for a year. He was properly humbled. I do not think the Oil acted improperly. But at this point it does not hurt the Oil to buy him out, and then he can get on with his NHL career and hopefully gain back a little pride.

Win-win in my opinion. We can move on, so can he. The Oilers look better for it.

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#67 LoDog
May 25 2011, 01:15PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Yes Souray made his own bed and he lied in it for a year. He was properly humbled. I do not think the Oil acted improperly. But at this point it does not hurt the Oil to buy him out, and then he can get on with his NHL career and hopefully gain back a little pride.

Win-win in my opinion. We can move on, so can he. The Oilers look better for it.

Set him free, set him free.

And just because he is a billionaire doesn't mean Katz will throw away 1.5 million that he doesn't have to. You don't stay rich very long if you do things like that.

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#68 JeffG
May 25 2011, 01:18PM
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Maybe the nice comments about Souray (by Olczyk ) is paving the way for him to come back to the team.

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#69 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 01:27PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

If I'm Darryl Katz and I'm paying an entire scouting staff to determine who the best pick in the 2011 draft is going to be, I'd be pissed if my head scout came back to me in the final meeting with the message "I have no clue, just pick whoever you like."

Not saying this is the case, but I think the conversation would be more like:

Theirs up to 8 players that all have the same potential, now is a chance to trade down if enough assets are on the table to do so.

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#70 Quintana
May 25 2011, 01:31PM
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vetinari75 wrote:

It seems to be that the Oil are in a bit of a bind and would require two separate trades with teams with picks in the top 5 to adequately secure their choice of a future top 2 centre and either a top 3 defenceman (like Larsson) or a power forward (like Landeskog).

They can easily move down from the #1 pick but trading up from #19 is going to be a challenge unless they work out a three-way trade (Team A gets the #1 but sends players and a top 5 pick to the Oil; Team B gets the #19 pick and some of the Oil's prospects and/or players that Team A sends over in exchange for their Top 5 pick). Who can they trade with that would consider that option?

I don't know, Would Colorado trade their 2nd and 11th, for our 1st and 19th? then we grab Couturier and Hamilton (or Siemens if Dougie is not available at 11th)Does this trade make any sense to anyone?

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#71 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 01:33PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I would start looking for a new HS if he came to me and told me that not only are there a couple players with the same potential, but there's 8 of them.

I could have saved Katz a lot of money by submitting my own top 8 and telling him to try and get as many as he could from the list.

Seriously, I'll do that every year for half of what Stu gets paid if that's now good enough.

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#72 madjam
May 25 2011, 01:38PM
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dawgbone wrote:

If the Oilers were a defenceman away from competing for the Cup, then I'd draft Larsson.

The problem with Larsson is that he's just not projected to put up a lot of points. If he was a 50+ point defenceman year in and year out (ala Lidstrom, Pronger, etc...) then he'd be hard to pass over. If he's a 35-40 point defenceman that plays in all situations, then you have to wonder if that's good enough for the #1 overall pick.

If it were Bowman making all the reasons to take Larsson , you'd all be for him . Your problem is more with accepting me as credible . His offence will do just well in NHL , as this season his numbers are being put up in a mens league better than AHL, playing with injuries, and all seem to agree his numbers offensively will increase markedly in the years to come . No one projects him to be a flop /bust in NHL in offensive numbers down the line . Mind you , we could always give up 3-4 first round picks plus overpay a d-man like Weber to come play here by way of offer sheet or trade . I say take the cheap route and get a likely gem in Larsson at a price far more credible and cost and future team effective .

Save those extra first round picks we would save, that can down the line also procur other d-men and centers , etc. in a cost effective manner .

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#73 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 02:07PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I would start looking for a new HS if he came to me and told me that not only are there a couple players with the same potential, but there's 8 of them.

I could have saved Katz a lot of money by submitting my own top 8 and telling him to try and get as many as he could from the list.

Seriously, I'll do that every year for half of what Stu gets paid if that's now good enough.

Lucky for Stu, it looks like teams actually make contingent plans for if/when prospects are deemed equal:

"Oilers GM Steve Tambellini has said if two players are deemed equal by the scouts"

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#74 Moose
May 25 2011, 02:24PM
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If we really did make a play for Hall AND Seguin at the draft last year, I don't see why we shouldn't be aggressive and try and get RNH AND Larsson this year. I think Larsson will slip to #4 or #5, as Colorado may take Landeskog and Florida appears to want a forward (Couturier or Huberdeau?).

Granted it will be tougher to do because the dance partners are different, but it's worth a shot. NJ at #4 may want an impact center for Kovy/Parise, although the Islanders may not want to pass on the defenseman. But, they're the Islanders, so who knows?

It would probably require us swinging another deal to get in the top 10 to entice someone in the top 5 to trade down.

Just a thought.

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#75 DangerMan
May 25 2011, 02:32PM
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I think Matheson's spin machine is telling us, Dudes!!! Don't get too cozy with RNH!

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#76 VMR
May 25 2011, 02:46PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

LT wrote: "I think the Oilers might consider trading down to #3 or #4 overall if the return is right."

I wish we were talking about moving up from 19 to 8. I think I even saw someone mention trading #1 + Smid for Bogosian + #7. I cant imagine a scenario where downgrading from 1st to 7th and taking on Bustgosian would be a great move, but it's this kind of thinking that scares the bejeezus out of me.

Yeah, I said that only because I dont see the guys at 3, 4 or 5 giving up much to move up. I think thats the kind of deal you might be able to get but I agree that it's not great value for the Oil and dont hold out much hope for a move up or move down. I think we're going to be picking at 1 and 19 and we should get used to that idea. There are enough decent prospects in the top 30 or so that every team is likely to think well of at least one or two and be unwilling to drop down unless we're offering up something better, I'm doubtful we'd be willing to give up much.

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#77 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 02:49PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Lucky for Stu, it looks like teams actually make contingent plans for if/when prospects are deemed equal:

"Oilers GM Steve Tambellini has said if two players are deemed equal by the scouts"

So you're saying that I'd run a tighter ship than the GM of the worst place team in the NHL? Impossible.

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#78 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 03:29PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So you're saying that I'd run a tighter ship than the GM of the worst place team in the NHL? Impossible.

I'm saying that I bet almost all teams realize that their can be a "tie" when it comes to prospects.

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#79 Ender
May 25 2011, 03:37PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So you're saying that I'd run a tighter ship than the GM of the worst place team in the NHL? Impossible.

That made me laugh, Arch. Thanks for the brightest moment I've had all day.

If the GM of the Oilers was an elected position, I'd throw you a vote. You have your lucid moments, there's no question.

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#80 Bucknuck
May 25 2011, 03:43PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So you're saying that I'd run a tighter ship than the GM of the worst place team in the NHL? Impossible.

I have to give you props for that one. You made me guffaw.

I think at this stage in the game it is fair to have a tie. I think the interviews will have more input in those cases and if I am not mistaken,they haven't had those yet. You need to figure out what a player is about via the interview before you decide. I wish that in '94 they weren't blinded by Bonsignore's million dollar smile.

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#81 Wax Man Riley
May 25 2011, 03:53PM
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madjam wrote:

If it were Bowman making all the reasons to take Larsson , you'd all be for him . Your problem is more with accepting me as credible . His offence will do just well in NHL , as this season his numbers are being put up in a mens league better than AHL, playing with injuries, and all seem to agree his numbers offensively will increase markedly in the years to come . No one projects him to be a flop /bust in NHL in offensive numbers down the line . Mind you , we could always give up 3-4 first round picks plus overpay a d-man like Weber to come play here by way of offer sheet or trade . I say take the cheap route and get a likely gem in Larsson at a price far more credible and cost and future team effective .

Save those extra first round picks we would save, that can down the line also procur other d-men and centers , etc. in a cost effective manner .

But madjam, Larsson is projected to be a 3-4, MAYBE a #2. We already have Petry, Gilbert and Whitney that are 2-4 D men.

I'd rather take the #1C over the #3D

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#82 Jimmer
May 25 2011, 03:54PM
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Depth...depth....depth.....

Fill the cupboard with highly touted prospects so that when we do become competitive we can shed a few youngsters for experience and make a run for the cup.

You will never win on just draft alone.

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#83 SrCain
May 25 2011, 04:35PM
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@Smokey

Thats exactly whats going on (i REALLY hope)

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#84 Bucknuck
May 25 2011, 05:07PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

But madjam, Larsson is projected to be a 3-4, MAYBE a #2. We already have Petry, Gilbert and Whitney that are 2-4 D men.

I'd rather take the #1C over the #3D

Amen. If the professionals say he will be top four but aren't optimistic about top two, then I will defer to their opinion.

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#85 Chris.
May 25 2011, 06:03PM
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@Matt Henderson

You always preach patience with regards to players like Cogliano and He's-Only-21-Gagner... Why so quick to label a 21 year old defencemen with less than 200 games played a "Bustgosian"?

What's next... NoGudbranson?

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#86 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 06:27PM
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@Chris.

It's true. I dont like Bogosian or Gudbranson. I'm just not impressed by them and I think they've been extremely over-rated by Oiler fans.

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#87 Chris.
May 25 2011, 06:32PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

It's true. I dont like Bogosian or Gudbranson. I'm just not impressed by them and I think they've been extremely over-rated by Oiler fans.

Waaaaa? Oiler fans rarely, rarely, (if ever) are guilty of over-rating players. Doesn't happen.

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#88 Oilcruzer
May 25 2011, 06:46PM
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You gotta believe that Ottawa wants to move up and Atlantipeg will really want the first overall.

Definitely worth answering the phone.

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#89 @NateInVegas
May 25 2011, 07:21PM
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If there is no clear number one, will more prospects be touring Katz Kathedral?

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#90 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 07:21PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

You gotta believe that Ottawa wants to move up and Atlantipeg will really want the first overall.

Definitely worth answering the phone.

Ya that would be a really great way for the Jets to begin their first season.

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#91 Dog Train
May 25 2011, 07:54PM
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Trading down from #1 seems kind of like a pie in the sky scenario. These situations are talked about every year and rarely ever come true. I do think that Columbus is the prime target for trading up into the top 8 and my guess is that Ryan Murphy will be the guy left at that spot. This draft should be very interesting anyways.

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#92 TigerUnderGlass
May 25 2011, 08:05PM
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I'm not sure that insisting your head scout proclaim which player is best equates to running a tight ship.

If players are roughly equal why insist on differentiating? You're just forcing it at that point.

It is perfectly acceptable for your HS to come to you and say players A and B are equally acceptable as the number one pick if there is not enough to separate them.

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#93 longbottom/P.Biglow
May 25 2011, 08:15PM
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Ok I know I am a dreamer here, but listen to my reasoning and then comment please. Could the Oilers end up with say three first rounders? We know Columbus and maybe 1 or 2 other top ten teams are needing to get in the playoffs next season or the g.m.'s jobs might be on the line. say a package of Hemsky and Smid and say a third get us in the top ten. then we could end up with say, 1st RNH 2nd Hamilton 3rd Macneil I say go for it Steve. Hell I have to dream.

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#94 Matt Henderson
May 25 2011, 08:31PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

It's only acceptable if you first accept the silly notion that there can be two players that are equal in every meaningful way as prospects. Only then can it be acceptable. I dont care if he says its close, as long as he still does his job and makes one final recommendation.

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#95 Thinkerbell
May 25 2011, 08:41PM
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I think that rnh plus ganer would be a good 1 2 punch, but it does seem tempting to flip gagner for a top end pick who turns into couturier. This years draft is weaker and the right team might take that shot. A top end scorer with a wide range of skills including defence and faceoffs would be a tremendous asset. Especially with similar player type mps. I would consider taking couturier first overall, but i think that couturiers falling stock might be a helping hand from fate, one which could put us over the top. Get couturier at around fifth at all costs.

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#96 oilbaron
May 25 2011, 09:00PM
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ok, im gonna go off the board here and ill take the punishment that i get from all you guys. whoever we pick 1st overall will set the course of the "elite 8" and who goes where. i know what our teams needs are and i could see us filling 2 of them in the first round. i say we pick adam larsson 1st overall. these types of defenceman dont grow on trees and looking back on how bad we are defensively in own own zone and with the lack of a true 1-2, which i think larsson will be, in our system. i say we need this player. i also think that he would still be available in the 3-4 spot, i see colorado picking landeskog 2nd, they already have 2 legit #1 and #2 centers in stastny and duchene and they johnson and liles on defence. what they do lack is that gritty winger and landeskog fits that bill perfectly. florida needs a center, i would see them picking RNH than we have newjersy, i also see them needing a winger. would it be possible trading them hemsky plus #19 for the #4 spot and pick sean coutourier? i could see them thinking about a first line of kovalchuck zajac hemsky. i think were NJ finished was a fluke and that they are still legit eastern conference favorites. i think that larsson is the clearcut best defenceman in the draft and that there are allot of really close centres in the top 10. RNH, Coutourier, Huberdeau, Strome, Phillips and Zibanejad are my top ranked centers in the top 10.

bottom line is take larsson with the first pick we have, no matter if we keep it at #1 or trade down. use what ever asset/assets it takes that doesnt hamper our future along with the #19 pick to move up into the top 10 and pick the next best center available. we still have great prospects at center with the likes of lander, pitlick, martindale and vandevelde.

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#97 Cervantes
May 25 2011, 09:53PM
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I would expect that for teams that feel they're close, Gags + the LA pick is pretty tempting. I don't think Larsson is a good choice, D men are notoriously hard to predict, take a long time, plus we have a solid D pool that just needs to mature. Building down the middle with RNH and SC is certainly tempting. I don't think we need more skill wingers, and although Landeskog is tempting, we're already rocking Jones and Hartikainen, so I don't know if it's a desperate need. With Gags moved, Cogs on the wing, and Horcoff, SC, RNH, Lander, and a solid FA pickup like Brooks Laich or Zenon Konokpa, that's not a bad core to build out from.

I don't believe Tambo has the sack to get anything actually done, but it sure is fun to pretend.

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#98 SLURVE
May 25 2011, 11:00PM
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I am typing this as my mom is reading over my shoulder. I like the idea of getting Columbus's eighth pick. This will give us a chance to get Siemens. Then we will be set for years to come. Since Columbus's GM is Scott Howson, an ex-oiler, this may provide some flexible negotiations. With Hemsky injured and older (esp on a young team), I would offer Sam Gagner (a tagged second line center) plus our 19th pick and maybe Smid. Gagner will command a significant pay increase sooner than later. As a second line center, I think we can go with Cogs until Lander, Pitlick, Hartikanen (mainly 3 line center) and or Martindale are ready. I like Cogs as of late-never complains, seldom hurt, versatile at center/winger, speed demon and works hard. I guess he is a better skilled - Todd Marchant.

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#99 speeds
May 25 2011, 11:17PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

And I said as much in comment 2. I just think that saying "they're equal" is a farce. It has never happened in the history of the game that the top 3-4 players in the draft have had equal careers. Someone is better. At least of the top 3-4. When someone comes out of left field (a la Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom) then it's acceptable to say "I had no idea" because nobody could see it happening.

But there is no excuse for having the 1st pick and not selecting the best kid out of the consensus top tier of prospects. It's your job to know who the best is.

No one is saying they expect the top 4, or 5, or 8 players in this draft will turn out exactly the same - some are saying they can't really really tell which ones look like good bets at this point.

What you're saying is that you'd like a head scout to make up some rationale and tell you that heads are more likely to come up than tails on a given coin flip, simply because you are unable or unwilling to look at the opinion that two equivalent options exist. You're trying to choose between two cans of the same brand of beer, demanding that there be some way to know which one is better before you crack the seal. There's no way to know, and wishing doesn't make it so.

All you can do is make the best forecast you can, and if that forecast is that 2 players are equals as prospects. What reason is there to pretend you know which one will be better when you don't?

"But there is no excuse for having the 1st pick and not selecting the best kid out of the consensus top tier of prospects. It's your job to know who the best is."

It is your job to know which one is the best bet going forward at the time of the draft.

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#100 PRG moose
May 25 2011, 11:25PM
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I've noticed a lot of us are hoping for some more grit on the team especially the bottom six forwards. Names like Konopka Hartnell Upshall and Glencross as well as Weber. Personally I would like to see Clutterbuck and Burns in Oil silks. We could definitely use the leading hitter year after year. Some combination of Hemsky Gilbert and Vandervelde (minnesota boys the last two) for the above two and a draft or prospect. Just throwing out some names would be hard to see Hemmer go. Also make attempts at Bieksa and Wisnewski at free agent time.

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