FTHM VII: RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Robin Brownlee
May 09 2011 07:43AM

When it comes to making the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota June 24-25, Edmonton Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor said last week that he has his guy. I believe MacGregor's guy is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels.

I don't know that to be the case because, in a series titled "From The Horse's Mouth," MacGregor did not come out and say the Oilers will follow up last June's selection of Taylor Hall by picking Nugent-Hopkins. I haven't polled each and every member of MacGregor's scouting staff and been told he's the guy.

Likewise, neither GM Steve Tambellini nor president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe has slipped me a piece of paper with the name "Nugent-Hopkins" on it. Still, my gut and my ears spell tell me it's the skilled kid who plays just an hour or so down the road, right here in Oil Country.

With Red Deer eliminated from the WHL playoffs since being beaten by Medicine Hat, Nugent-Hopkins won't have the opportunity to further separate himself from the rest of the pack the way Hall did with the Windsor Spitfires a year ago, when he left Tyler Seguin in the dust. Still, what I read between the lines is there's no need. He's the guy.

"With the first pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select, from the Red Deer Rebels, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins . . ."

THE SKINNY FROM CSS

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

North American Skater

Red Deer, WHL

Final Rank: 1 Midterm Rank: 3

Position: Center Shoots: Left

Height: 6' 0" Weight: 164

Born: April 12, 1993 Hometown: Burnaby, BC

Born in: Burnaby, BC, CAN

NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald

"(Nugent-Hopkins) has very good puck-handling capabilities. His on-ice awareness is very good. He's one of those guys that knows where everyone is and where they should be and where the puck should go . . . He can dish both right or left, either on his backhand or forehand with that kind of vision. But not just the vision, but the fact he can lay that puck between the skate boot and the skate blade -- that's hard to find."

-- In 2010-11, Nugent-Hopkins led the WHL in assists (75), finished fourth overall in points (106) and was named an Eastern Conference First-Team All-Star after helping the Red Deer Rebels to a first place finish in the Central Division.

-- He served as an assistant captain with Canada’s Under-18 team at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial in the Czech Republic, where he won gold and scored the game-winning goal, beating the U.S. 1-0.

MACGREGOR'S TAKE

Scouting Report: "He's got high-end skills, vision and hockey sense."

Projection: "A first-line centre."

Best Case Scenario: "Very good first-line centre."

Concerns: "I don't think it's size. It's physical strength."

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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Edit: I'm not that kind of guy.

So going by your articles this would seem to be the #1 right now. Question is whether or not the Oil take RNH or if they trade down.

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#2 Cooper
May 09 2011, 07:56AM
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Great, so with RNH, both Cogs and Gags have to be moved in 2-3 years depending on what RNH timeline is to the NHL (see Kyle Turris).

Tambi needs to move Gags and his 31st to move into a top 6 and grab Dougie Hamilton

OR

Gags and the 19th Pick and move into a top 4 position to grab Larsson.

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Cooper wrote:

Great, so with RNH, both Cogs and Gags have to be moved in 2-3 years depending on what RNH timeline is to the NHL (see Kyle Turris).

Tambi needs to move Gags and his 31st to move into a top 6 and grab Dougie Hamilton

OR

Gags and the 19th Pick and move into a top 4 position to grab Larsson.

Why does that have to be done now? What happens if RNH is no better than Gagner? Moving yet another proven player for a draft pick is just going to get us another lottery pick.

Sure some want that lottery pick, but how long are Hall, MPS, Eberle and others going to want to lose?

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#4 fuck off
May 09 2011, 08:04AM
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@Cooper

You're almost right: they move up to grab Couturier, not Larsson. Top 3 are going to be RNH, Larrson and Landeskog. Couturier could slide a little but not much beyound 4th-6th.

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#5 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 09 2011, 08:05AM
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I have no Question in my mind that they have to take this guy. If he blossoms in to someone able to dish a pass OR score he will indeed drive the other teams nuts. #99 was always a double threat and that is what made him so dangerous if RNH puts up half the Numbers #99 did we would be so thrilled. Then to have Hall and Eberle as well all I can say is look out in 2-3 years. Yes there are many other holes but we will find those guys. I really hope we fill some holes in free agent land this summer. I don't need a super star but some good solid players. I really agree with "Grapes on HNIC" when he told the Oilers not to let these guys get used to loosing. HOPE may be important but it will only work if they all have hope, real hope.

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#6 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 09 2011, 08:10AM
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When the Canucks loose in game 7 the twins should have to wear women's underwear in the team picture.

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#7 hark
May 09 2011, 08:17AM
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thanks Robin, great reading material

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#8 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 09 2011, 08:27AM
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Cooper wrote:

Great, so with RNH, both Cogs and Gags have to be moved in 2-3 years depending on what RNH timeline is to the NHL (see Kyle Turris).

Tambi needs to move Gags and his 31st to move into a top 6 and grab Dougie Hamilton

OR

Gags and the 19th Pick and move into a top 4 position to grab Larsson.

Edmonton Oilers centers 2011-2012:

Horcoff Cogliano Fraser VV

3rd straight 1st overall selection here we come.

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#9 mayorpoop
May 09 2011, 08:33AM
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MBS seemed to say less about RNH than the other players discussed which, to me, would seem to say more.

gotta be RNH.

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Who does COL want? Is it worth it to trade down?

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#11 Jon
May 09 2011, 08:35AM
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Great series, Robin. Thanks for writing these.

So based on these, I would say MacGregor's rankings are probably

1. RNH 2. Couturier 3. Larsson 4. Huberdeau 5. Landeskog

And I wouldn't be surprised if Strome, Hamilton or some other others were slotted ahead of Huberdeau or Landeskog based on what was said about them.

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#12 buttermilk biscuits
May 09 2011, 08:41AM
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RNH it is!

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#13 Truth
May 09 2011, 08:46AM
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Projection: "A first-line centre."

Best Case Scenario: "Very good first-line centre."

Very nice, although I was hoping for:

Best Case Scenario: "Second coming of Christ"

because thats what the Oilers need.

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#14 lowetide
May 09 2011, 08:49AM
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I'm supposed to be working right now! Thanks for this, Robin. Excellent stuff.

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#15 DBO
May 09 2011, 08:53AM
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I wonder if trading down would work. We need a bunch of players to get us to playoff calibre. What about trading the first overall for Bogosian and Atlanta's 7th overall pick. We would have a shot at either Couturier, Strome or Huberdeau. Solves two problems right away, especially if there is no clear cut first pick. Atlanta (Winnipeg) needs a splash, and 1st overall is a good start, and Bogosian is now a bottom pairing dman who is due a raise. Helps both teams.

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#16 kristian
May 09 2011, 09:12AM
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Some want to compare gagner to RNH because of size. The big difference that I see is gagner played on a stacked London team. Gagner wasn't the best player on that team. RNH is the best player for red deer. He's also a player that makes his marginally good team mates look good. I've also read that he has all the tools to help make him a very good player in the NHL. Speed, smarts, skill, and vision. They say if you have two of those you'll be an NHL player and so on.

I agree that we need to get better this off season. We need a couple impact vet players. A faceoff winning centre and another solid dman would help dramatically. If we were a better faceoff team a lot of our deficiencies would be corrected.

One last note on size is todays game is well suited for the smaller player.

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#17 Aitch
May 09 2011, 09:17AM
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I still can't shake the feeling that RNH is going to be one of the those guys that hits a wall at some level and is never able to climb it. I hope I'm wrong. Ending the season, there was no clear-cut #1, yet as spring slowly turns toward summer RNH's stock seems to be like a runaway snowball despite the fact that several other potential top candidates have had equally impressive playoffs with their own teams. Larsson was a beast in the SEL playoffs apparently, yet his stock seems to be slipping. Huberdeau is gone nuts in the Q playoffs too and gaining some steam, yet RNH seems to be separating himself with one good playoff. I'm not a scout, but I don't get it.

Is it just that we're slowly learning that perhaps there was a front-runner all along and that the perception of their being a pack at the top wasn't the reality?

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#18 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
May 09 2011, 09:18AM
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You cant go wrong with RNH. Yes its like drafting Gagner again but with more upside potential. Gags was not the driver for his line, that was everyones favorite american, Mr.Patrick Kane. Unless youre a red deer fan or covered the team I bet 97% (yes, being uber specific) you cant name RNHs linemates off the top of your head.

Also, with this oick our center depth becomes quite good actually and can allow Tambo to trade one of them to move up. Horc, Gags, Cogs, CVV, Fraser, Lander, Pitlick, RNH and probably one more taken in the 2nd/3rd.

If any one of the top projected drop, especially Landeskog out of top 3. They gotta take a serious play at movin up. Otherwise I think Tambo moves up but cant get into the top 8. Everyone needs to keep in mind that Gags is a 50-60pt guy. Those are not exactly easy to find at 21 y/o. You better be getting something pretty awesome in return especially WITH a 1st rounder aswell.

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#19 Mark-LW
May 09 2011, 09:21AM
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DBO wrote:

I wonder if trading down would work. We need a bunch of players to get us to playoff calibre. What about trading the first overall for Bogosian and Atlanta's 7th overall pick. We would have a shot at either Couturier, Strome or Huberdeau. Solves two problems right away, especially if there is no clear cut first pick. Atlanta (Winnipeg) needs a splash, and 1st overall is a good start, and Bogosian is now a bottom pairing dman who is due a raise. Helps both teams.

If scouting firmly believes RNH will be a legit first line centre then you never never trade away that pick. We all know just how easy it is to find one of those right?

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Mark-LW wrote:

If scouting firmly believes RNH will be a legit first line centre then you never never trade away that pick. We all know just how easy it is to find one of those right?

Sure, but you trade down and still get RNH and COL gets all the fancy press that comes with the 1st overall pick.

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#21 madjam
May 09 2011, 09:30AM
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Breakdown of top 4 picks . Hopkins has top eye hand coordination skills with peripheal vision a plenty ! All around ability he ranks 4th , however , in comparison to how far along the other 3 are . The other 3 have size and physical abilities that i don't forsee Hopkins rising above them . Can/will Hopkins fill out and still maintain his few advantages over his rivals in a mens league ? Hopkins is not the best finisher of the group of 4 , and likely will remain so as time goes on .

Three of present group already have what Oilers sadly lack - size , two gifted finishers , and one multi- talented defenceman with size , and physicality ! Thats tough to ignor considering the size of leagues elites now , and the growing number of serious injuries most clubs are dealing with in todays NHL .

Will Hopkins turn out to be any better than Eberle or Gagner down the line ? Not bad if he even was the same , except he is unlikely to be much of a physical asset like the other two still are not , nor probably ever will be .

Hard to passs on Hopkins , but even harder to pass on Coutourier , Larsson and /or Landeskop whom will fill more than just one one of our glaring needs adequately now and for years to come on which to build on more expediantly ! If Hopkins turns out to be another forward that spends an abundance of time in tough areas on the seat of his pants like so many we have now - then it could easily be a wasted first overall pick . I don't forsee the other 3 prospects having to worry much about the physical aspects of the game and thus their learning curves should be shorter than Hopkins by some fair margin .

My top 2 that i think will be definite hits are Larsson and Coutourier - i don't think you can go wrong with either of them .

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#22 Quicksilver ballet
May 09 2011, 09:34AM
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Paging Stuart MacGregor, paging Mr. MacGregor.

Would like to know your opinion on Ryan Strome. Is he a possibility to go in that top 5? Please formulate your opinion to conform with what Mr.Browlee had done on previous efforts, eh.

Stu, see what you can do on that Gudbranson front too....kay?

Thank you in advance sir.

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#23 mayorpoop
May 09 2011, 09:47AM
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@madjam

"all around ability he ranks forth". lets safely assume this your personal opinion because i never heard that anywhere and had i, we would not be discussing RNH as #1.

knowing that it is conclusion you have formulated how did you exactly do your figuring?

larsson is your man i get that, you said it forever....i do appreciate your loyalty to the swede.

if we are so unsure of RNH but PROFESSIONALS, and i cant stress that enough, have him ranked #1 then how are putting so much stock in SC and all others. what makes them better other than a "feeling" not a PROFESSIONALS opinion?

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#24 shau_co
May 09 2011, 09:50AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

I just don't see this happening.

If Colorado wants Larsson, I can almost garauntee they already know Edmonton is drafting RNH. Why would they give up anything more than a late pick (which aren't worth that much). Take the best player and don't bother risking losing him - it's not wroth it!

Plus, how good would RNH feel that Edmonton traded down instead of jsut calling his name. Giving RNH the bonus of being a 1st overall pick and saying we want you really badly to everyone is worth more than a late draft pick.

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#25 Ca$h-Money!
May 09 2011, 09:57AM
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I don't understand why people (madjam above, but lots of other people) are so keen on Landeskog. Don't get me wrong, I think he'll be good, but I also don't think he has top end talent, instead he has good talent with top end intagibles. He probably won't score as many points as Gagner over the course of his career, but he brings grit and leadership. I'd love to have him on my team, but if you take him before RNH you are crazy. RNH is getting comparables to Sakic and more recently Datsyuk, that is good stuff.

Also, Hall will be the leader of this team, he already shows the kind of fire we need in a captain, so I'm not sure another guy as a future captain is necessary. Lander also projects as a third line guy that will wear a letter on his jersey, so that's two of the three letters locked in. If Whitney is healthy and we keep him long term, he's the guy on the back end wearing an A aswell, so what do we get w/ Landeskog?

MY POINT: Landeskog is good, someone will be quite happy with him, but his UPSIDE is as a 60 point guy who kills penalty's and throws good clean checks. He isn't a first overall selection kind of guy.

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#26 9 Inches Uncut
May 09 2011, 09:58AM
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Agree with Robin. Based on those projections by Stu. RNH is their man.

Strome made a surge this year but I think the Oilers play it safer. (Much like last year) and take the guy that was always in the conversation for first overall.

I believe they give him a long look at camp and possibly even break with the Oilers for a few games but he's best served with one more season in junior hockey to grow a bit, get stronger, and work on some of the things the Oilers will want him to do.

People might counter with the the fact that first overall guys always make their teams but RNH only has two full seasons of junior hockey. Taylor Hall played three seasons. Eberle played four. No reason RNH can't be extended a similar courtesy.

on edit* I also think it will be a good thing for RNH to play for his country in the World Juniors. He'd be the man on that team.

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#27 Matt Henderson
May 09 2011, 10:03AM
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If all goes well then one day soon (NOT by next season) the Oilers depth chart at C will look like this:

1) RNH 2) Gagner 3) Horcoff 4) Lander/Cogliano/???

I'm hoping to hell that RNH is that 1C the Oil have been dreaming of since Weight left town. Hopefully the future line of Hall-RNH-Eberle will dominate the league in real life as they do in my imagination.

I can already tell that my obligatory "Oilers Fan Summer of Hope and High Expectation" has begun.

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#28 Sox and Oil
May 09 2011, 10:08AM
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Robin, thanks for the series really enjoyed it. I think most oil fans are so draft crazed right now that you can just put up a picture of one of the top five each day and still get 80 comments.

If EDM took RNH (i hope he drops a name) the most important thing is not to rush him to the show, see Gilbert Brule. We don't need him right away and lets not waste his ELC. I don't know how drafting a C that could/should take a few years to develop makes "deep down at C". We need all the veteran center help we can get, not saying cogs or frasier are vets.

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#29 @Oilanderp
May 09 2011, 10:13AM
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Landeskog
----------
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."

Larsson
---------
Scouting Report: "A great two-way defenseman with good offensive puck-moving ability. He's strong and he competes hard on the boards in and around the net."
Projection: "A one or a two. Probably a two."
Best Case Scenario: "His most potential? Possibly a one."
Concerns: "He's a good skater but he's not a great skater. His offence is only OK at this point."

Huberdeau
----------
Scouting Report: "He's got hockey sense, skill and vision."
Projection: "A very solid second-line player. It depends where he plays. He plays wing now, but he played centre when he first came into the league. What will he be in the NHL? He could be a centre."
Best Case Scenario: "He could be a first-line player."
Concerns: "He's only 170 pounds. He needs to get stronger to be able to take his game forward and be able to play in the areas that he likes to play in, which is in and around the net."

Couturier
----------
Scouting Report: "He's got great vision, hockey sense and puck control. He's real big and strong and he'll get more powerful as he develops physically."
Projection: "I think he could be a first-line centre."
Best Case Scenario: "A good first-line centre."
Concerns: "He has to get quicker, speed-wise."

Nugent-Hopkins
--------------
Scouting Report: "He's got high-end skills, vision and hockey sense."
Projection: "A first-line centre."
Best Case Scenario: "Very good first-line centre."
Concerns: "I don't think it's size. It's physical strength."

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#30 madjam
May 09 2011, 10:16AM
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@mayorpoop

The other 3 i feel , as many do, that they have a more in depth all around game than Hopkins does now . I like Hopkins , but i feel other 3 give us more of what we need at this peticular time . Thus i rank him 4th for Oilers purposes . Hopkins has more red flags around him than the others at this time , and thus a riskier pick . In traffic areas in NHL i have my doubts about whether he can or will be able to handle it at a high level . The others should do well in high traffic areas . Those observations can be readily made without use of figures .

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#31 Nick Dynasty
May 09 2011, 10:18AM
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If we do take RNH first overall we should send him back to Red Deer. Wait for him to put on another 15-20lb of muscle and let him win a gold medal for Canada in Oil Country. I'd rather let him dominate another year in the WHL like Eberle did, rather than string him along slowly in the NHL like Boston is doing with Seguin.

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#32 Mantastic
May 09 2011, 10:23AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

COL needs NHL ready wingers and D-Men. gibby and hemmer could be options to COL but i really doubt it.

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#33 KB
May 09 2011, 10:24AM
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I think this article confirms what many have suspected for a while now, that RNH is the Oilers' guy at #1. I really hope that they don't trade the #1 pick. Do what you can with your other assets to try to move up, but keep the #1 pick...

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#34 Mark-LW
May 09 2011, 10:24AM
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madjam wrote:

The other 3 i feel , as many do, that they have a more in depth all around game than Hopkins does now . I like Hopkins , but i feel other 3 give us more of what we need at this peticular time . Thus i rank him 4th for Oilers purposes . Hopkins has more red flags around him than the others at this time , and thus a riskier pick . In traffic areas in NHL i have my doubts about whether he can or will be able to handle it at a high level . The others should do well in high traffic areas . Those observations can be readily made without use of figures .

Martin St. Louis Right Wing Born Jun 18 1975 -- Laval, PQ Height 5.08 -- Weight 176 -- Shoots L

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#35 Mantastic
May 09 2011, 10:25AM
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@DBO

did you even read this post? when 6/10 scouts have RNH as their #1 guy, isn't that clear enough?

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#36 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 09 2011, 10:25AM
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madjam wrote:

The other 3 i feel , as many do, that they have a more in depth all around game than Hopkins does now . I like Hopkins , but i feel other 3 give us more of what we need at this peticular time . Thus i rank him 4th for Oilers purposes . Hopkins has more red flags around him than the others at this time , and thus a riskier pick . In traffic areas in NHL i have my doubts about whether he can or will be able to handle it at a high level . The others should do well in high traffic areas . Those observations can be readily made without use of figures .

Mind boggling that you still get that you don't draft 18 year olds based on your needs *today*.

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#37 mayorpoop
May 09 2011, 10:32AM
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madjam wrote:

The other 3 i feel , as many do, that they have a more in depth all around game than Hopkins does now . I like Hopkins , but i feel other 3 give us more of what we need at this peticular time . Thus i rank him 4th for Oilers purposes . Hopkins has more red flags around him than the others at this time , and thus a riskier pick . In traffic areas in NHL i have my doubts about whether he can or will be able to handle it at a high level . The others should do well in high traffic areas . Those observations can be readily made without use of figures .

we can play should and could, maybe, probably, possibly and most likley all day long but i'm gonna get crazy here and say i will go with the high end talent, the one that is ranked #1.

tomorrow may be better for your 3 but i will bet my #1 has a better future.

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#38 DieHard
May 09 2011, 10:33AM
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What do you think of this trade.

Oiler's LA pick plus Edmonton's 1st in 2012 for New Jersey's 4th. New Jersey has to give up a first rounder within the next 4 years so could then do it next year while still maintaining a first rounder this year and next. That would give us Toronto-like incentive to get as far away from the bottom as possible.

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#39 Ducey
May 09 2011, 10:38AM
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Robin,

Is this feeling you have about RNH more or less strong than your feeling that the Oilers were going to take Seguin last year? :-)

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#40 Westcoastoil
May 09 2011, 10:41AM
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I don't get the concern about size for a 17 year old kid who is 6'0 and 164. He is 17, for farts sake! If he was 5'9" then go ahead and fuss. Raise your hand if you didn't put on 20 pounds of beef between 17 and 21.

I'd take Sakic over Joe Thornton all day long

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#41 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 09 2011, 10:42AM
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kristian wrote:

Some want to compare gagner to RNH because of size. The big difference that I see is gagner played on a stacked London team. Gagner wasn't the best player on that team. RNH is the best player for red deer. He's also a player that makes his marginally good team mates look good. I've also read that he has all the tools to help make him a very good player in the NHL. Speed, smarts, skill, and vision. They say if you have two of those you'll be an NHL player and so on.

I agree that we need to get better this off season. We need a couple impact vet players. A faceoff winning centre and another solid dman would help dramatically. If we were a better faceoff team a lot of our deficiencies would be corrected.

One last note on size is todays game is well suited for the smaller player.

But not Veteran players whom get big bucks for putting pucks in the net but more solid Defensive players to not only teach Defense but allow those future superstars to shine in those rolls such as power-play.

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#42 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 09 2011, 10:44AM
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DieHard wrote:

What do you think of this trade.

Oiler's LA pick plus Edmonton's 1st in 2012 for New Jersey's 4th. New Jersey has to give up a first rounder within the next 4 years so could then do it next year while still maintaining a first rounder this year and next. That would give us Toronto-like incentive to get as far away from the bottom as possible.

I could live with that! You might get Larson that late even, for sure another good center!

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#43 Mantastic
May 09 2011, 10:46AM
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@Nick Dynasty

it would be worse if the gold medal was won in calgary, which i think the gold medal game will be played in, Rx1 is just not good enough.

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#44 Team Centerman
May 09 2011, 10:48AM
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Great stuff again Robin, you're bringing the high heat lately. This is must read material for all Oiler fans. I agree with your assessment that Stu wants RNH, you can tell from the language. I'm pretty happy with that. The thing that helps me sleep at night is the phrase, "straw that stirs the drink". In other words, this is not Sam Gagner or Marc Pouliot hitching a ride on a superstars back. This guy was flat out responsible for getting Red Deer to #1. The fact that Red Deer was eliminated so quickly is actually an advantage in this case. It proves they were a one-threat team. When RNH was neutralized, the team failed. That's a good thing, it proves that the Nuge is their best player, and the real deal. I'm happy, even though I was a Couturier man, I have to yield to his excellency, Stu the Magnificent.

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#45 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 09 2011, 10:52AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

If all goes well then one day soon (NOT by next season) the Oilers depth chart at C will look like this:

1) RNH 2) Gagner 3) Horcoff 4) Lander/Cogliano/???

I'm hoping to hell that RNH is that 1C the Oil have been dreaming of since Weight left town. Hopefully the future line of Hall-RNH-Eberle will dominate the league in real life as they do in my imagination.

I can already tell that my obligatory "Oilers Fan Summer of Hope and High Expectation" has begun.

I have absolute faith that Hall and Eberle are the real deal. RNH I am getting more confident in as time goes by and I watch how he played but most importantly he has the greatest potential upside. YOU JUST HAVE TO RISK THE PICK ON HIM because if you do not and he leads the team he is on to Stanley we will all hang our heads for ten+years.

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#46 mayorpoop
May 09 2011, 10:52AM
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DieHard wrote:

What do you think of this trade.

Oiler's LA pick plus Edmonton's 1st in 2012 for New Jersey's 4th. New Jersey has to give up a first rounder within the next 4 years so could then do it next year while still maintaining a first rounder this year and next. That would give us Toronto-like incentive to get as far away from the bottom as possible.

i'd love it if our GM was committed to doing something this summer but alas mr. dithers will be asleep at the wheel.

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#47 Team Stu
May 09 2011, 10:52AM
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Every year the Oilers say they would like to trade up into the top 5, and every year they don't. This year could be different, but if you're a team drafting 5th and staring at Sean Couturier, do you flip that pick away for 19 overall? I doubt it. Will still be a huge draft, with the Oilers having 2 picks in the top 20. They might be able to move up to 10, but I doubt any higher than that.

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#48 Westcoastoil
May 09 2011, 10:53AM
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@Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

So you're asking Lou to give up a 4th for a 19th and a 10th (say). Interesting, but i think the value of a 4th in this year's draft is higher than that.

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#49 @Oilanderp
May 09 2011, 10:54AM
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First let me say that I believe that the Oil will take RNH first overall and will NOT be packaging picks/players to move up and grab another high end pick. However, I have a strong suspicion that the combine and the interviews that come with it will go a long way to determining how much of the future Tamby and his staff are willing to give up in order to move up and grab another high end pick in addition to RNH. Stu himself thinks Couturier, for example, will be a first line C. If Couturier exhibits that fierce 'compete', that 'god damnit I want to win a Cup more than anything in the world and nothing is going to stop me you bastards' attitude.... I wonder if this will be enough to shake the Oil brass out of their 'slow and steady wins the race' method of rebuilding? I have accepted and am happy the Oilers will draft RNH. As you can see, however, I can't seem to accept letting Couturier slip through our fingers. How much is too much to give up in order to get him too? The combine and interviews will be the deciding factor I think.

P.S. Lowetide has been saying for a while that the combine is important to watch as the Oil drafted 7(?) guys who were invited to it last year. This is not my idea, I'm just thinking it will be the scale-tipping solidification of value and worth at the upcoming draft. If Couturier has the compete, my god we have to get him too don't we?

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#50 Team Hoppy
May 09 2011, 10:55AM
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Think of the marketing possibilities of picking RNH, you turn all of Red Deer into Oil Country, from those godless flames. Alberta beef. Alberta Crude. Red Deer is now Oil Country. Plus, you have a guy who probably wants to stick around this area for life. These are not bad side benefits of the pick. Still picking the bpa, but it has a nice spinoff.

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