FTHM III: GABRIEL LANDESKOG

Robin Brownlee
May 04 2011 08:37PM

Could Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers be the hard-nosed winger with very good hands that the Edmonton Oilers, and every NHL team for that matter, wants and needs?

Enough amateur scouts think so that Landeskog will certainly be in the conversation when it comes to the Oilers, who will have the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota June 24-25.

I talked with Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor about Landeskog and got his quick assessment of the Kitchener captain. I've added particulars and comments from the Central Scouting Service courtesy of NHL.com, although there are several other reputable scouting services that can be referenced for more on Landeskog.

I've done likewise for top North American skaters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Couturier and Jonathan Huberdeau, as well as for Adam Larsson, the top-rated skater among European players, and I'll run those items in coming days.

THE SKINNY FROM CSS

Gabriel Landeskog

North American Skater

Kitchener, OHL

Final Rank: 2 Midterm Rank: 1

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left Height: 6' 0" Weight: 207

Born: November 23, 1992 Born in: Stockholm, SWE

NHL Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan

"Gabriel does remind me of former Kitchener Ranger (and Philadelphia Flyers captain) Mike Richards. He sticks up for his teammates and is as strong at both ends of the rink as any player in the draft this year. He competes as hard if not harder than anybody. He's got all the assets that you need to be a team leader and, for a potential No. 1 overall, that's what you would want."

-- Despite an ankle injury shortening his season to just 53 games, Landeskog led Kitchener with 36 goals and a plus-27 rating. In the first round of the 2011 playoffs he led the Rangers forwards with 10 points (6-4-10) in the seven-game series loss to Plymouth.

-- At 17-years old, he was the youngest player in 30 years to be named captain of the Kitchener Rangers and was the first European captain in the 48-year history of the Rangers franchise. His leadership experience extends most of his career – he wore the ‘C’ for Sweden’s under-16, under-17, and under-18 teams, and he even captained Djurgarden at the age of six.

MACGREGOR'S TAKE

Scouting Report: "He's a powerful guy who is strong on the boards . . . he's a very straight-ahead kind of player . . . he's good off the cycle to the net and strong in front of the net . . . he can kill penalties as well and he's got good hockey sense."

Projection: "He's going to be a third-line player who could be a good second-line player."

 Best Case Scenario: "A second-line player who plays in all key situations for you."

Concerns: "He's got to become a better skater."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Mantastic
May 05 2011, 01:00PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Protectign a junior club at the expense of a player's development doesn't seem worth it. It's time for this rule to be modified.

Tyler Seguin is a perfect example of a kid that should've been an exception and playing in the AHL.

the clubs have that option for their players development path. they can either play them in the NHL or send them back down to junior. yes it sucks for the players but it's the clubs fault of either not playing them in the NHL or send them back to junior.

Seguin was better off being sheltered in learning in the NHL as are most top draft forward picks. look at stamkos or skinner, they was just as sheltered.

MPS was an example of a junior player which could be sent down to the AHL because he didn't originally have a junior CHL team.

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#52 buttermilk biscuits
May 05 2011, 01:06PM
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If we knew what we know now..where would Mike Richards be drafted at today? Top five? What about Kessler? Both players were also projected to be 2nd 3rd line players in their draft year.

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#53 @Oilanderp
May 05 2011, 01:13PM
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@beaumatters

I take it you don't think it is possible that Landeskog could drop 10ish spots in the draft like Cam Fowler did last year? Its more than unlikely since he isn't a d-man but still possible :)

Awww hell. Guess I will have to cross off "make beaumatters on Oilersnation fall in love with me" on my list of life goals.

If anything, I should be crossed of the list of "knowledge hockey fan" for simply responding to you, Troll.

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#54 They're $hittie
May 05 2011, 01:16PM
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WheresYourTowel wrote:

Can we please stop talking about filling holes with this draft pick? I don't care how many wingers we have, if a winger is the best ASSET available when your pick comes up, we take them. If MBS thought Gabe was going to be a better player than RNH, we'd be calling his name, regardless of H.O.P.E.

The draft is about finding NHLers, not about filling immediate needs. All the more so, now that we're back in the AHL business and seem to be actually developing our prospects.

I agree, BPA. But in this dradt class where it is tight than BPA may be where you need to fill a hole. I dont think Landeskog is going to be BPA. Also would people stop talking about Omark as the HOPE and Future of this team. If so we are in trouble. But even with out him we hve four top wingers.

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#55 Quicksilver ballet
May 05 2011, 01:20PM
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D-Man wrote:

Weber for Paajarvi, Plante and 2012 first?? I'd jump at that offer (if I were the Oil) but Nashville doesn't bite... You'd probably have to add Hemsky to that deal along with a couple additional draft picks... I'd love to see Weber in an Oilers jersey though....

To include a player whose best may be behind him isn't much of a stretch. It's one or the other for me, either the 2012 1st or Hemsky. Think that's a good starting point.

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#56 rubbertrout
May 05 2011, 01:48PM
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jofa wrote:

I'll take a Kesler/Richards type player over a Spezza/Backstrom type player for the Oilers when they are battling for the Stanley Cup in 2014. Character can't be undervalued.

WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY AVATAR?

EDIT: Not really that mad but just sayin' you know? I've had this thing for a while.

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#57 rubbertrout
May 05 2011, 01:52PM
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buttermilk biscuits wrote:

If we knew what we know now..where would Mike Richards be drafted at today? Top five? What about Kessler? Both players were also projected to be 2nd 3rd line players in their draft year.

Hindsight is 20/20. That said, I don't think anyone that has a number 1 pick should even think about drafting a guy who projects to be a 2nd or 3rd line guy in the hopes that he turns out to be Mike Richards 2.0.

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#58 I'm a Scientist!
May 05 2011, 03:00PM
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@rubbertrout

I gave you props for owning what's yours. Don't you let him take that from you!

*I am surprised nobody has adopted my unicorn picture...sigh*

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#59 buttermilk buscuits
May 05 2011, 03:52PM
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last...

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#60 fuck off
May 05 2011, 05:30PM
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^^^FAIL^^^

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#61 Oilcruzer
May 05 2011, 07:14PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I don't really think it is too early to start comparing 07, but even if you wanted to lean on that crutch you can look at what the 07 guys have done at 20/21 compared to what the other classes did at 20/21.... 07 still comes out significantly weaker.

07 was different but not a crap draft. Doesn't help when the likely best of the bunch is a dead guy now.

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#62 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 05 2011, 07:25PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

07 was different but not a crap draft. Doesn't help when the likely best of the bunch is a dead guy now.

I doubt the guy taken 17th was likely best of the bunch.

Anyways, I'm just talking about the top handful of picks (because that's all that is really relavant to my original point ie comparing it to our odds of pulling an impact player this year)

If arguably the worst top 5 of the decade isn't a crap draft then I don't know what is.

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