Oiler Rookies 11-12 (Forwards)

Lowetide
June 28 2011 06:59PM

A year ago, there was already a buzz in the streets of Edmonton. Taylor, Jordan and Magnum PS brought with them the promise of youth and Oilers Nation was reborn. What can they do for an encore? 

All three Oiler rookies had solid rookie seasons. Two of them suffered injury and the third took some time to get rolling, but overall it's obvious these kids have real ability and room to grow. Since 2000, the Oilers have given very few rookie forwards more than 600 minutes of icetime as rookies. Here's the list:

  1. Sam Gagner (07-08) 1238:31
  2. Magnus Paajarvi (10-11) 1231:05
  3. Jordan Eberle (10-11) 1220:08
  4. Taylor Hall (10-11) 1183:38
  5. Andrew Cogliano (07-08) 1112:17
  6. Kyle Brodziak (07-08) 1033:24
  7. Jarret Stoll (03-04) 945:18
  8. Linus Omark (10-11) 783:08
  9. Patrick Thoresen (06-07) 776:33
  10. Ales Hemsky (02-03) 712:12
  11. Jason Chimera (02-03) 710:06
  12. Marc Pouliot (06-07) 600:12

It's an interesting list, pretty much everyone of the good players are here save for the "called up in mid-season" group (Horcoff, Pisani, Comrie). That's a pretty nice list of hockey players there, and the organization still holds the rights to 7 of them.

11-12 Rookies

There are a few forwards who may end up playing for the Oilers in 2011-12. Here's the list based, order based on the odds of them staying for a large portion of the season (most to least).

  1. C Ryan Nugent Hopkins: I didn't think he would make the NHL team until speaking to Cam Moon in Red Deer. Moon talked at length (and with passion) about the weight issue and convinced me that RNH's story is about skill, vision and elusiveness. He's going to get a look, and could very well be sent to Red Deer early in camp. However, I've always maintained that a player should be elevated when ready to contribute and Nugent-Hopkins skill is going to be on display. I believe he'll outclass the competition and stay the season. Estimated games played: 75.
  2. L Teemu Hartikainen: The organization is clearing the decks for him, with JFJ already off the books and the number of 4line LW candidates being reduced daily. He could line up behind an impressive top 3L (Hall, Smyth, MP) or move up the depth chart if the Oilers decide to move Paajarvi to the off wing. Either way, his energy, size and skill are very likely to be in the NHL for a large portion of the season. Most likely destination: 4th line, with a veteran center between Hartikainen and Ryan Jones. Estimated games played: 55.
  3. C Anton Lander: The center position is fluid at this time, it's hard to know what is going to happen. My guess is the Oilers move a veteran C into the lineup and go with a top 4C of Gagner, RNH, Horcoff and that veteran for the 4line. Lander would be among the first options for recall from OKC and he could force his way onto the roster with a strong start in the AHL. Estimated games played: 25.
  4. C Chris Vande Velde: He's in tough now, this organization has options here, there and everywhere. Should the Oilers stay the course, he would be a strong option to start the season as 4line C; however, Lander holds the key to his future: when the Swede is ready, the organization will make room. Estimated games played: 12.
  5. F Lennert Petrell: Interesting winger brings a nice range of skills and some maturity. I don't think he makes the team, but he should get a cup of coffee when injuries hit. Estimated games played: 7.
  6. W Antti Tyrvainen: Agitator is going to stand out in OKC and should do enough to get a quick look from the major league team as the season winds down. Estimated games played: 5.
  7. C Tanner House: Cup of coffee for a strong OKC season. He's an interesting player. Estimated games played: 2.
C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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.
Avatar
#1 Matt Henderson
June 28 2011, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

1st overall picks make their NHL clubs way more often than not for a reason. All this talk that RNH should go back to the WHL is way too premature. Hes going to get his 9 games no matter what and my bet is that he does just fine. The guy is pure skill and hes coming into a lineup with some skilled wingers to complement him.

Hes in a position to succeed here.

Avatar
#2 Dave
June 28 2011, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Please Oilers don't fcuk things up with MPS.

Avatar
#3 Drew - Team no more tanking
June 28 2011, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Sox and Oil

I'll be upset if we're picking that high again. I'm not expecting playoffs but if we're not making forward progress this year then when?

I know it's my first post but i've been reading the blogs and comments forever. Finally broke down and made an account!

Avatar
#5 Where's Your Towel
June 28 2011, 07:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Looking back at that picture, it's amazing how much more like men and less like children Hall, Eberle, and MPS look already.

Avatar
#6 Sparky
June 28 2011, 07:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Slick

I agree, with you and Lowetide. Paajarvi would be the obvious candidate. None of those guys are fourth liners. So this kinda negates the argument of moving to Gagner to the wing doesn't it? Logjam! Wow, the Oilers Cupboards are pretty stocked these days. It just sucks that the solution to this problem is trading someone, because I would hate too see any of those guys move.

Avatar
#7 Zunn
June 28 2011, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Look at Logan Couture they held him back and it did not hurt him. I hope RNH does stay 1 more year with Red Deer.

Avatar
#8 Smokey
June 28 2011, 09:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Id like to see a poll on whether or not RNH should be sent back to junior. I think he'll be given the 9 game window. After that, its anyones guess.

Secondly, theres a small part of me that wishes the Oil would just play Souray, cause then we theoretically have a defence that looks ok on paper. I think Shelly would suck for awhile and would have to play soft minutes, but the Oil sure miss hes mean SOB song and dance. Hes pretty much what the Oil need, a vet on D, who can fight, until the inevitable happens. If not sign Lipisto or Hedja or Montador...

Avatar
#10 SurfacetoAirMissile
June 29 2011, 06:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Injuries and young players aside, it is time to start winning more games. How many more loosing speaches do you think it will take in the locker room before it starts to go in one year and out the other? I'm not saying to scrap the rebuild, I am just saying it is time to raise the players expectations so they won't begin accept losing. I am sure Ebs, MPS and Hall were "just happy to be in the show" last year but Cogs and Gagne have tasted some limited success and now for a couple straight seasons have had nothing but dissapointment. Let's face it, winning feels way better than losing.

I am optimistic about the Oilers having an 80 point season this year. I also think Hall will take a huge step forward this year and if Ebs can stay healthy I believe he can improve on his point totals from last year. If MPS worked hard on building some strength then he could also take a step forward, he was far too easy to knock off the puck last year. Omark is a bit of a wild card, there is so much to like about his game, hard to knock off the puck and fantastic vision but after his performance in the AHL playoffs I am not sure what to expect. I was also impressed with Gagne last year until his unfortunate end to his season, I think if he can play with Smyth he can have a career year. Petry's second stint with the Oilers last year impressed me, his skating is terrific and his confidence with the puck was great, I believe with a full NHL season will only get better.

Future looks bright...... can't wait!

Avatar
#11 Matt Henderson
June 29 2011, 08:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Hemmertime

I understand that comparing a kid who hasnt played a game to superstars is generally setting yourself up for disappointment, but I think there is a collective forgetting of the fact that we're talking about the 1st overall pick here.

RNH will always be compared to superstars for his whole career, and rightfully so considering his pedigree. It is valid to compare him to Kane. That is a standard by which he needs to live up to. Same goes for Hall.

Avatar
#12 Sparky
June 28 2011, 07:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm pretty stoked for Lander!

And you need to only look at Patty Kane to see that guys of smaller stature can still play. Oh and the St. Louis guy on Tampa, I hear he's alright. I would be excited to to see the Nuge stay up in the bigs, but i don't think you can say if he or not with 100% certainty until after the start of the season. If he looks shaky, then send him down before his contract kicks in. Also noooooo fist for you!

Avatar
#13 dawgtoy
June 28 2011, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hope RNH stays, I'd love to see him play 75 next year!!! Thank LT, nice read.

Avatar
#14 Slick
June 28 2011, 07:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It would be nice to see a LW make the switch to even out the lines a little bit

Avatar
#15 upper-deck-drunk
June 28 2011, 07:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Why do people say "Patty"? Its Paddy.

Avatar
#16 Sox and Oil
June 28 2011, 07:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

LT. Who's unlucky job is it to sift through the hundreds of top ten lists?

Avatar
#18 Dan the Man
June 28 2011, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Lowetide

Do you envision the Oilers moving Cogliano to the wing? Or do you think they'll end up dealing him to address another need?

Avatar
#19 spOILer
June 28 2011, 07:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

My bet is Hartikainen moves over to the opposite wing. He's played RW before and less damage can be done on the 4th line. Pääjarvi is still learning forward position instincts, since he comes from playing D. Either-or could happen, but I'm leaning toward the Finn. And least likely--lol--we bring in a vet winger.

Avatar
#21 horndog77
June 28 2011, 07:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is it worth a shot to sign Cam Barker he could be used to replace Strudwick or Vandemeer or even foster?

Avatar
#23 Zunn
June 28 2011, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RNH may not be NHL ready but he will make it , Oilers are weak at center.

Avatar
#24 Quicksilver ballet
June 28 2011, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Are we assuming Brule is going to be bought out?

Might as well bring Strudwick or Vandermeer back, if there's a year we want to tank it, it's this coming yr. Move whatever isn't nailed to the floor at the deadline.

Avatar
#25 Sox and Oil
June 28 2011, 08:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Zunn wrote:

RNH may not be NHL ready but he will make it , Oilers are weak at center.

I can't see management rushing RNH if he's not ready. They've been bring prospects along properly (imo) since bringing Gagner and Cogs in a little early.

@ Quicksilver

I thought Brule couldn't be bought out do to mystery illness/injury.

Avatar
#26 Woodguy
June 28 2011, 08:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Long before the draft Tambellini was making noise that the 1st Overall pick did not have to play in the NHL next year.

He said the same things after RNH was picked.

I put the odds that he plays more than 9 regular season games at 4-1.

Unless he comes in and blows everyone away. Then he stays.

Avatar
#27 Sox and Oil
June 28 2011, 08:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Zunn

Couture to RNH not exactly apples to apples. Couture was drafted 9th overall in 2007 went back to the Ottawa 67's for TWO more seasons and then spent half a season in the AHL. That was a luxury that San Jose was able to do plus when he was sent back to Jr his production declined.

RNH had a vastly superior draft year. Here's the biggest thing though:

If Ryan earns a spot on the team he HAS to play in EDM anything else would seriously hamper his development. If he doesn't earn a spot on the team he HAS to go back to Red Deer anything else would seriously hamper his development. Kinda simple isn't it. We won't know until training camp.

That said I wouldn't be upset if he spent another year in RD played in the world jrs, hopefully mem cup and next year centers Hall on the Left and Yakupov on the Right.

Avatar
#28 Zunn
June 28 2011, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Center is probably the toughest position to play in hockey, as a winger maybe, but at center I think he should go back to RD. Even though he probably could make the oilers at center and still not NHL ready

Avatar
#29 Sox and Oil
June 28 2011, 08:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Zunn

Pretend your a 18 year old kid who was just told he was the best Jr hockey player in the world. You go to training camp and legitimately earn a spot on the NHL team that was lucky enough to have you. The team,even though you earned a spot on the club, sends you back to the kiddies table. What kind of baggage would you take with you? How likely would you be to sign a contract with that organization? Would you demand trade? Re-enter the draft?

Avatar
#30 Sparky
June 28 2011, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think everyone can agree that it can't be called yet, only after he EARNS the spot and has a good showing in the first nine. I believe he will, but if not, I wouldn't be upset to see him at the wjc's in Alberta, playing junior in Alberta, and possibly a chance at a memorial cup.

Avatar
#31 lostdog82
June 28 2011, 09:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Can't wait for the season to start to see if RNH can make the team. Can't help but feel impatient to see him in the nhl since the rookies faired well last year.Lack of patience ruined cogs and gagner, so if we have to wait another year so be it.

Avatar
#32 horndog77
June 28 2011, 09:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm pretty sure that the Oilers offence will do much better this year and that letting RNH play one more year with the Rebels would be good for him. What the Oilers need to do is fix that defense. I would like to see a trade involving Cogs and Chorney plus picks for a top four defensemen.

Avatar
#33 Sparky
June 28 2011, 09:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well with the overflow we have up front i don't think anyone would disagree that if a trade is to be made, it should be to upgrade the blue line. The only argument left is, who is the odd man out? I'd say it's Cogliano. RNH gags Horcules and lander are our future in the middle. We already decided it's a log jam on the wings, so he's the odd man out.

Avatar
#34 horndog77
June 28 2011, 09:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If only the Oilers could trade Bulin back to Tampa for whatever and sign a guy like Josh Harding and have him and Dubs split the duties.....then get back to fixing that D.

Avatar
#35 buttermilkbiscuits
June 28 2011, 09:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I would really love to see RNH light it up in the Juniors for one more year..possibly scoring 130+ points..being a leader on team Canada..The Mem Cup..if Red Deer sucks for some reason he could play 3-5 games for OKC..play at the world championships...I see the Oilers treating him the way they treated Eberle when he was 19..good enough to play in the NHL..better for him to spend another season in Junior hockey..

Having said that..Would love to see RNH with the Oil this season lighting it up every 5th game or so with the likes of Omark, Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle, Gagner, Hartakainen, etc etc

Avatar
#36 zunn
June 28 2011, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Next years draft has 15 first round D-man.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=927811

It's early but

Avatar
#37 horndog77
June 28 2011, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Could Scott Hannan be a good pick up for Edmonton? He looks to be a free agent. And what about Tuebert is he ready to make the team?

Avatar
#38 zunn
June 28 2011, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Maybe Griffin Reinhart

Avatar
#39 itsnotu_itsme
June 28 2011, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Seems to be alot of people drinking koolaid around here. The smart thing to do is let RNH gain some strength back in Red Deer, keep working on faceoffs, and keep his mobility after putting pounds on. He probably could do fine if he stayed up, but we dont want fine. We want him to be be great. Get that World Junior gold under his belt. Come up and be a showcase next year.

Add a UFA center who can win faceoffs, trade cogs and spare parts for a Dman.

UFA's will typically take a solid long term contract over a short contract, so that makes things more difficlt. Maybe Lander or VV is the answer this year. O'Marra??? (hope not)

Avatar
#40 @Oilanderp
June 28 2011, 10:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Sox and Oil wrote:

Pretend your a 18 year old kid who was just told he was the best Jr hockey player in the world. You go to training camp and legitimately earn a spot on the NHL team that was lucky enough to have you. The team,even though you earned a spot on the club, sends you back to the kiddies table. What kind of baggage would you take with you? How likely would you be to sign a contract with that organization? Would you demand trade? Re-enter the draft?

RNH seems pretty humble and he has already said that even though he wants to make the team, he'll be happy going wherever he is told to. Not every #1 pick is full of himself and let's his ego get in the way of the team. I'm just glad we didn't draft Sox and Oil ;)

Avatar
#41 Sparky
June 28 2011, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Pros and cons to both sides, I am waiting to see him in action before making a call. However the fact remains, Theres going to be some body moving going on... cue Beastie Boys

Avatar
#42 CrazyCaptain88
June 28 2011, 10:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Sox and Oil

IMO RNH will have signed his ELC well before training camp and I'd be surprised if he wasn't signed before the upcoming prospects camp. I doubt the kid would demand a trade if he was sent down. Probably goes down with a chip on his shoulder, but he knows he's got to earn his spot if he wants it. He seems like he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders and knows what he's up against, I don't see that kinda ego in the kid.

Avatar
#43 freeze
June 28 2011, 10:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Where's Your Towel

I thought the same thing. Imagine them after a round of playoffs!

Avatar
#44 westcoastoil
June 28 2011, 10:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I can't recall, but i'm guessing Matt Duschene wasn't much more than 180 when he played as a rook.

Why is Lepisto in the conversation - as an example or as a real possibility? he's are RFA or didn't they qualify him. If they didn't doesn't that say something? They aren't exactly stacked on the back end

Avatar
#45 oilogosphere.com
June 28 2011, 10:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Lowetide

Dumba reminds me of PK Subban. Great skill, patience and can get away with pinching.

---

In regards to RNH, it would save me a heck of a lot of money to go to Rebels games here in Red Deer over Rexall. I'll stick to the tube for the Oilers games.

Avatar
#46 oilogosphere.com
June 28 2011, 10:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
CrazyCaptain88 wrote:

IMO RNH will have signed his ELC well before training camp and I'd be surprised if he wasn't signed before the upcoming prospects camp. I doubt the kid would demand a trade if he was sent down. Probably goes down with a chip on his shoulder, but he knows he's got to earn his spot if he wants it. He seems like he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders and knows what he's up against, I don't see that kinda ego in the kid.

not to mention RNH has said himself it's probably best for him to spend another year in Juniors to put on some more size.

Avatar
#47 Sparky
June 28 2011, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Yeah Dumba is great. At least if RNH stays up we will still have Dumba in red deer. He's going to be pretty good!

Avatar
#48 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
June 28 2011, 11:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Back to Red Deer, Ryan

Put on Twenty or more pounds,

And light up the Dub.

Avatar
#49 Romanus
June 28 2011, 11:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Quicksilver ballet

You want to tank again? How man prospects do we need?

Avatar
#50 Matt Henderson
June 28 2011, 11:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@oilogosphere.com

Pretty sure he said he wouldnt be upset if he had to spend another year in Red Deer but he thought he could make it in the NHL. That doesnt sound like someone who thinks he NEEDS another year in Jr.

Comments are closed for this article.