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.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
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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#1 Steve
May 04 2011, 08:41PM
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I've no friends and no life. I have nothing better to do than sit at a computer waiting for the opportunity to show why.

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#2 @Oilanderp
May 04 2011, 09:04PM
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The Beaker wrote:

but but but... what if he was the best third line player of all time!?

~ We already have the best third line player of all time, and we didn't draft him until the fourth round, 99th overall, in 1998. ~

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#3 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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#4 knobby
May 05 2011, 02:42AM
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Thanks for this series of posts. It sure shows that this draft has a lot of moving parts to consider and we are only speculating on what might happen. The scouts have much to consider.

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#5 Aitch
May 05 2011, 06:53AM
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After doing all of the reading on Landeskog, I just don't see the Oilers taking him. What are the pros on him? Let see... 1) scoring winger. Well, we already have that in Hall, Eberle (Paajarvi & Omark) going forward. 2) great leadership. If we're looking for a natural, young leader, rumour has it, Lander is going to be bringing that in spades when he shows up.

Given the other glaring holes in the organization and the projection that his upside is as a 2nd line winger, I H.O.P.E that the Stu & the gang don't take this kid. On my wishlist, he's still back of Larsson, Couteriour (I'll learn to spell it right if he's drafted) and Nugent-Hopkins.

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#6 Harlie
May 05 2011, 09:34AM
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and the coolest series win celebration goes to....the Tampa Bay Lightning!

How can you not love hearing ACDC "Thunderstruck" which then morphed into "For Those About To Rock" when they won last night?! That was fricken awesome! Brought me back to my high school days. Loved it!

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#7 WheresYourTowel
May 05 2011, 09:41AM
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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.

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#8 jofa
May 05 2011, 10:16AM
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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.

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I'm not even sure if I'm a fan of taking a guy that projects to be a third liner with LA's first.

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#10 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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#11 buttermilk buscuits
May 05 2011, 03:52PM
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last...

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

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#13 @Oilanderp
May 04 2011, 08:43PM
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This effectively eliminates any possibility that the Oil will be taking Landeskog at #1. You wouldn't want to pick a 3rd line player as your first overall pick...... would you?

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#14 The Beaker
May 04 2011, 08:55PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

This effectively eliminates any possibility that the Oil will be taking Landeskog at #1. You wouldn't want to pick a 3rd line player as your first overall pick...... would you?

but but but... what if he was the best third line player of all time!?

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#15 Mitch
May 04 2011, 09:25PM
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Robin with concerns over skating and projecting to be a 3rd liner with potential to be a 2nd liner, I can't see Landeskog going #1. RNH is the guy, Stu said it when he mentioned that Hopkins is the straw that stirs the drink, Hopkins also come out and said he wants to be here enough said. It was direct and honest what more could we want.

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#17 @Oilanderp
May 04 2011, 09:49PM
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This piece has me thinking, Mr. Brownlee. I wonder if the other lottery teams' head scouts think along the same lines as Mr. MacGregor. If so, would this translate into a 'Fowlerian' draft slide for Landeskog? I'm curious what the magnificent bastard would give up in addition to the 19th overall pick in order to move up and grab him just outside the top 10? Am I being ridiculous even considering this?

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#18 gongshow
May 04 2011, 09:52PM
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Steve wrote:

I've no friends and no life. I have nothing better to do than sit at a computer waiting for the opportunity to show why.

Comedic genius

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#19 Bucknuck
May 04 2011, 09:55PM
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A young Ethan Moreau, perhaps?

EDIT - perhaps I should elaborate. Moreau was projected to be much more offensive than he ended up being in the NHL. I remember being stoked when the Oil acquired him.

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#21 Trent
May 04 2011, 10:05PM
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Good read; thanks for the breakdown.

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#22 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 04 2011, 10:12PM
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I guess this takes him out of the running for number 1 pick.

I'm kind of suprised he projects him so low, I didn't think he'd be lights out offensively but wouldn't be suprised if he puts up David Bakes type numbers.

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#23 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
May 04 2011, 10:36PM
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If the Oil do take him 1st and/or he is the 2nd best N.A. skater then I think that this would have to be considered a pretty weak draft. I've heard otherwise though. Maybe MBS just has a little bit lower of opinion of him than the majority.

Probable 3rd liner who could be a good 2nd liner? Doesn't sound like top 3 material to me.

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#24 Toro
May 04 2011, 10:42PM
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I cant see this guy being considered for 1st overall and only being considered a 2nd liner at best..I liked everything I read in this article about this guy and with such a young team moving forward there gonna need a leader to emerge and as history shows in Edmonton we like hard working lead by example type captains I think he would make a great Oiler...But with that being said I still believe in take the best player available which is RNH so I can almost guarantee thats who will be the Oilers pick come June.

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#25 Bucknuck
May 04 2011, 10:42PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

That's fine and not a bad pick if you're getting a 15-year NHLer like Moreau in the 10-15 spots, but not at No. 1.

I agree. That was actually my point, though I failed to make it properly.

A third line player is not what you want with your first overall pick. Any prospect taken that high better have top line written all over them.

Would love to get a player like Ethan later in the draft though.

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 04 2011, 10:46PM
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Max Powers - Team HME Evans wrote:

If the Oil do take him 1st and/or he is the 2nd best N.A. skater then I think that this would have to be considered a pretty weak draft. I've heard otherwise though. Maybe MBS just has a little bit lower of opinion of him than the majority.

Probable 3rd liner who could be a good 2nd liner? Doesn't sound like top 3 material to me.

Ya just thinking the same thing. That assesment of him contrast to his CSS ranking should really shed some light on how weak this draft is.

I'm thinkin 07 all over again. Lets just hope we find the Pat Kane.

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#27 Team Brownlee
May 04 2011, 11:04PM
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Nice stuff Brownlee, I think we are reading between the lines. Using a #1 pick to draft a possible 2nd liner could get Stu in hot water. Even if we need grit, #1 overall is not the place to get it. Now, at 17th overall maybe....

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#28 Knobby
May 04 2011, 11:47PM
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Robin Who do you think MacGregor will select with L.A.'s 1st round pick? Did Stu offer any insight in what they may be looking for there? If the Oil's 1st round pick(s)are in play who will make that call? Is that Tambellini/Lowe or may MacGregor have something or someone else in mind?

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#29 Wax Man Riley
May 05 2011, 12:03AM
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He will be a very good NHL player, and being from Edmonton he is my favorite player in the draft (hard-nosed, hard working etc...). I am going to love watching his career.

Landeskog is going to be a beast! Just not at 1st overall.

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#31 PaperDesigner
May 05 2011, 01:37AM
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@Robin Brownlee

I think this effectively ends any "what if the winger is BPA?" talk. Clearly, if they're projecting him as a middle six winger, he's not in serious discussion for who they're going to take with their second pick.

I'm looking forward to the one on Larsson. I don't think anyone doubts that Nugent-Hopkins is in the discussion... the only question is if anyone else is in the discussion with him. If MacGregor is as guarded about Larsson as he is about Landeskog, well, I think we won't have to tune in to TSN's coverage to find out who they're going to pick. Huberdeau couldn't be working himself into the picture... could he?

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#32 Archaeologuy
May 05 2011, 07:39AM
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Cross Landy off the draft board. I was worried about all the hype this guy got because his offense is really second tier compared to the others in the equation. I guess that worry was really over nothing.

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#33 Oilcruzer
May 05 2011, 08:06AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ya just thinking the same thing. That assesment of him contrast to his CSS ranking should really shed some light on how weak this draft is.

I'm thinkin 07 all over again. Lets just hope we find the Pat Kane.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I hate posts that make me research a response. Well maybe not "hate".

07 had some other strong fits like JVR, Logan, Voracek, Shattyquack, Gagner (who turned out to be a very solid choice that year). In comparison to other drafts, it wasn't that weak, it just filled teams with solid second and third liners, not a lot of first liners. Cherepanov could have been amazing, but we will never know.

Oil won't move here or trade up here.

Gabriel is a great fit for Avs or NJD.

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#34 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 05 2011, 08:07AM
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Steve wrote:

I've no friends and no life. I have nothing better to do than sit at a computer waiting for the opportunity to show why.

But now you have friends as we all love Oiler fans just stay away from wearing to much red during game days and you will be fine. Welcome to the family.

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#35 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 05 2011, 08:17AM
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I really do not under stand why Gabriel Landeskog is top 3 I would suggest it is all about potential leadership and size. Sure he has good hands but to spend a top 10 draft pick on him I really do not understand. Could fall like a rock on draft day. Am I missing some thing here?

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#36 gongshow
May 05 2011, 08:19AM
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What if Landeskog does drop on draft day? At what number would it be worthwhile to move a body + #19 pick for a two-way, middle 6 with character? Players like Versteeg, Bolland, Samuelson, Fisher and yes even Moreamanding great value on cup contenders (yes, I know I threw a few centermen in there).

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 05 2011, 08:21AM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I hate posts that make me research a response. Well maybe not "hate".

07 had some other strong fits like JVR, Logan, Voracek, Shattyquack, Gagner (who turned out to be a very solid choice that year). In comparison to other drafts, it wasn't that weak, it just filled teams with solid second and third liners, not a lot of first liners. Cherepanov could have been amazing, but we will never know.

Oil won't move here or trade up here.

Gabriel is a great fit for Avs or NJD.

???

The top 4-5 of 07 is substantially weaker then the top 4-5 of almost every other draft class (in recent memory anyways)

Kane/JVR/Turris/Hickey/Alzner

vs

Stamkos/Doughty/Bogosian/Pietriangelo/Schenn

Johnson/Stall/Toews/Backstrom/Kessel

Crosby/Ryan/Johnson/Pouliot/Price

Ovechkin/Malkin/Barker/Ladd/Wheeler

MAF/Stall/Horton/Zherdev/Vanek

It isn't even close.

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#38 db7db7db7
May 05 2011, 09:06AM
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Good read, I can't wait for your piece on Couturier.

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#39 Quicksilver ballet
May 05 2011, 09:16AM
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Can see Larsson and Landeskog falling out of the top 3 selections. Hopefully Steve is aggressive in pursuit of a second lotto pick. Pretty sure this is the way the cookie will crumble draft day...

1) RNH 2)Huberdeau 3)Strome 4) Larsson 5) Landeskog 6) Couturier.

C'mon Steve, 2,3 or 6 will be another fine addition.

After sleeping on the thought of bringing in Shea Weber, i'd let David know an RFA offer sheet is imminant and try and work out a deal. (Paajarvi,Plante,2012 first)

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#40 fuzzy muppet
May 05 2011, 09:46AM
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He won't go first Overall, But Landeskog is exactly the type of player the Oilers need.

Grit, leadership, good in the corners, stands up for others. Had the highest EV goal scoring ratio of all the Lottery guys.

Think Hartikainen with more skill, better skating and scoring prowess.

I'd be fine if they traded out of #1 and took landeskog a little lower. I'm very leery of RNH.

NO way in hell he slides past Ottawa at 6. Half their fan base has already named him Alfredsson's successor as Captain.

Ottawa may have to trade up to get him...

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#41 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 05 2011, 09:54AM
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Whom ever we draft I very much expect them to at most play 9 games next year with the big club. OK will love having a hot prospect all year and it helps the cap in the long term. Also none of these top prospects seem NHL ready.

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#42 Archaeologuy
May 05 2011, 10:32AM
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Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!" wrote:

Whom ever we draft I very much expect them to at most play 9 games next year with the big club. OK will love having a hot prospect all year and it helps the cap in the long term. Also none of these top prospects seem NHL ready.

The only player eligible to play in OKC next year (of the people suspected of going in the top 4-5) is Larsson.

No one else can jump into the AHL at the age of 18. It's either here or back to Red Deer for RNH.

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#43 buttermilk biscuits
May 05 2011, 10:54AM
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Something about Landeskog reminds me of Ryan Kessler..

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#44 Mantastic
May 05 2011, 11:04AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

???

The top 4-5 of 07 is substantially weaker then the top 4-5 of almost every other draft class (in recent memory anyways)

Kane/JVR/Turris/Hickey/Alzner

vs

Stamkos/Doughty/Bogosian/Pietriangelo/Schenn

Johnson/Stall/Toews/Backstrom/Kessel

Crosby/Ryan/Johnson/Pouliot/Price

Ovechkin/Malkin/Barker/Ladd/Wheeler

MAF/Stall/Horton/Zherdev/Vanek

It isn't even close.

how you can compare the 07 draft class to other classes that have a year+ in development?

if you looked at the 06 draft class last year, only stamkos and doughty had any significance.

and i would without a doubt say 07 class > 02 class.

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#45 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 05 2011, 11:21AM
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Mantastic wrote:

how you can compare the 07 draft class to other classes that have a year+ in development?

if you looked at the 06 draft class last year, only stamkos and doughty had any significance.

and i would without a doubt say 07 class > 02 class.

Stamkos and Doughty were 08

~How can you compare that to 07 when 07 has a year+ in development~

You also might want to look at what Pietriangelo did this year.

You can maybe make the case that 07 >> then 02.

I think that's even a stretch though, Bowmester and Whitney are both pretty high end dmen (and Pitkanen is no slouch either) certainly all three are miles above Hickey and probably better then Alzner too.

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#46 Nick Dynasty
May 05 2011, 11:56AM
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First of all, I really like Landeskog's game. Definitely the type of player every team wants but he's not nearly as dynamic as a Taylor Hall or perhaps a RNH. Those are the type of players you want at the top spot. I'd love to see him in an Oilers uniform but not with the first pick. If Landeskog is the next Mike Richards we should all keep in mind that Richards was drafted 24th overall.

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#47 Mantastic
May 05 2011, 12:06PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

my bad about the stamkos and doughty draft year but you really can't compare the 07 draft to draft classes before because of development time. yes i agree with pietriangelo, it was his break out year, one of the reasons the blues sent johnson packing but was kinda of over shadowed with shattenkirk lighting it up after the trade.

alzner, arguably, will be better then bowmester. although he was great in florida, as he is in his prime now, he has already hit his ceiling, which he is well below it now. hickey was a complete bust.

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#48 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 05 2011, 12:22PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

The only player eligible to play in OKC next year (of the people suspected of going in the top 4-5) is Larsson.

No one else can jump into the AHL at the age of 18. It's either here or back to Red Deer for RNH.

So what is the Logic used for that policy. It seems like you would want a player to play Pro at the highest level possible As they will learn the most there.

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#49 Mantastic
May 05 2011, 12:29PM
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@Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

it's for protecting the junior CHL clubs.

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#50 D-Man
May 05 2011, 12:46PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Can see Larsson and Landeskog falling out of the top 3 selections. Hopefully Steve is aggressive in pursuit of a second lotto pick. Pretty sure this is the way the cookie will crumble draft day...

1) RNH 2)Huberdeau 3)Strome 4) Larsson 5) Landeskog 6) Couturier.

C'mon Steve, 2,3 or 6 will be another fine addition.

After sleeping on the thought of bringing in Shea Weber, i'd let David know an RFA offer sheet is imminant and try and work out a deal. (Paajarvi,Plante,2012 first)

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....

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