YAKUPOV, MURRAY OR . . ?

Robin Brownlee
May 14 2012 12:15PM

Will the Edmonton Oilers select dynamic Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov with the first pick in at the NHL Entry Draft in June or will they lean toward addressing organizational need by opting for Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, ranked No. 2 by Central Scouting?

If Edmonton’s chief scout Stu MacGregor has an answer to that question, he declined to pass it on to me today – I’ve been asking for a peek at the player ranking list he and his staff of amateur scouts compile annually for about a decade now without any success – as he prepares to attend the NHL combine, which starts in Toronto May 28.

A lot of fans and hockey people think taking Yakupov, the consensus No. 1 pick, with the Oilers third consecutive first overall pick is a no-brainer because he’s considered the best player available. Ken Campbell of the Globe and Mail makes that case here.

With the Oilers already stocked at forward with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, others are singing the praises of Murray, seen by many as a sure bet for the next 15 years as a top-pairing NHL blueliner. Mike Morreale of NHL.com writes about Murray here.

So, BPA or organizational need? While MacGregor wouldn’t reveal which way he and his staff are leaning as they prepare to interview Yakupov, Murray and 81 other prospects in Hogtown, he did offer his evaluation of both when I caught up with him today.

WHICH ONE?

“We’re still working through that process,” MacGregor said when I asked him if there’s a clear-cut No. 1 on Edmonton’s draft list. “We haven’t really got to that point yet. I’m going to say it’s between a group of guys.”

Really? A group of guys? Yakupov, Murray and . . . Alex Galchenyuk . . . Morgan Rielly . . . Griffin Reinhart? Or is it just that you won’t tell me?

“That’s right,” MacGregor said. “But I think (GM) Steve Tambellini was pretty clear that, you know, maybe we do have to make an organizational decision . . .”

So, with ambiguity duly delivered, I’m not going to put words in MacGregor’s mouth. Instead, here’s what he said about Yakupov and Murray:

ON YAKUPOV

“He’s one of those electrifying offensive players,” MacGregor said. “He’s got skill. He’s got the intensity to try to be an offensive factor each shift. I think he needs to get stronger and fill out physically to be able to do that at the NHL level, but he’s got the potential to be a high-end offensive player.”

I asked MacGregor if comparisons to former Soviet star Valeri Kharlamov – an old-school parallel that’s repeatedly been drawn by Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED – are warranted. Kharlamov was killed in a car accident in 1981 at age 33. Kharlamov is nothing more than a YouTube clip for fans under 40, but he was special.

“It’s big thing to put on a kid, but he’s like Kharlamov in lots of ways,” said MacGregor. “That’s going way, way back and I don’t know if people even remember him . . . how fast he was, how darting he was, how he always seemed to get the puck in the key areas. That probably is a very good comparison.”

ON MURRAY

“Ryan Murray is a very good young player and a good person,” MacGregor said. “He’s a great skater. He’s mobile, quick, fast and positionally, he’s very sound. He’s a solid defender and a very good transitional puck-mover.

“He’s smart off the offensive blue line. He’s a solid package as a player. What he’s showing with the men (at the World Championships) is he can think with them and play with them. I’m sure he’s a first-pairing guy, yes.

“I think he has enough offense. He missed three months with his injury and he played one game before the World Junior camp. I think he’ll be a player who can play a lot of minutes, play in key situations offensively and defensively and play a long time.”

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 Bucknuck
May 14 2012, 12:59PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

I just can't leave this alone. TAKE THE CANADIAN. Or trade the pick to fill numerous holes immediately. Or, I guess, take the BPA. In any event, we can't lose, unless Yak balloons to 250lbs ala Krutov, hits the sauce like Khabi, or divides the dressing room like Ovechkin.

What's Canadian got to do with anything? How about Sean Avery. He was a Canadian, so was Donair Penner, Marc Pouliot, and Chris Pronger. Give reasons for taking the player you like the best, but take the nationality out of it, it's not helpful.

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#2 Zed
May 14 2012, 01:51PM
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Draft the BPA.

If your team has four 30 goal scorers all under the age of 20, one of them will buy you a pretty gosh darn good NHL ready defencemen.

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#3 Travis Dakin
May 14 2012, 01:42PM
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People need to remember that Victor Hedman was more highly touted than Murray is currently. It was a toss up who the Islanders were going to take. THey chose right with Tavares. Not that Hedman is doing poorly but here we are 4 years later and he's certainly not dominating the league.

Drafting Murray may pay off in 2017 but they are still going to have to get a number one D man in the mean time.

Alex Galchenyuk is going to be the Jeff Skinner of the draft. He will be the star.

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#4 Digger
May 14 2012, 01:48PM
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Pucker wrote:

who would you rather have - Valerie Kharmolov or Scott Neidermayer.

tough one.

I wouldn't be so quick to make the parallel between Murray and Scott Niedermayer.

As a young 17 year old during his draft year (didn't turn 18 until 2 months after he was drafted), Niedermayer put up 82 points in 57 games.

As an old 17 year old (in fact, he turned 18 before the regular season even began), Murray, put up 31 points in 46 games, admittedly on a much weaker team than the powerhouse Kamloops Blazers that Niedermayer was on.

Even so, I just don't see the high end offensive pedigree to warrant Murray being the 1st overall pick. Top 5, for sure. Even top 3 could be argued for...but 1st?

In my opinion that would be a mistake.

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#5 Spydyr
May 14 2012, 12:52PM
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Take the best player available, always.Then have a competent GM make hockey trades using duplicate players to fill your needs.

Is Tambo that GM?

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#6 Rocknrolla
May 14 2012, 01:53PM
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Since this is our last year drafting this high....get ready....Take Both!

as tough as it will be for Tambi to get this done, he's got some time. Trade some players, and get that Columbus pick.

Moving forward with Justin Schultz as well, we have a lot of the pieces...

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#7 @NateInVegas
May 14 2012, 06:09PM
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Does anyone think the Oilers will draft a player that isn't in the NHL next year? I don't. Forget about BPA or positional need, Edmonton's drafting MNHLR (Most NHL Ready)

Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, Rielly, and Dumba all need another year to develop and the Oilers aren't in a position to be patient.

If Yakupov and Murray are the top 2 players why aren't teams lined up to trade with Edmonton? I get the feeling the best player in this year's draft won't be the one selected 1st overall. It's too bad there are 2 franchise players in next year's draft that would address both of the Oilers needs (C1 MacKinnon/D1Jones)

I'm still in favor of trading the 1st pick and developing a prospect outside the NHL, even at the expense of being in the lotto again next year.

Am I alone?

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#8 speeds
May 14 2012, 07:27PM
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I find it odd to read some suggest fans need to have patience along with a rebuild, yet drafting Murray over Yakupov (based on what I've read to this point) would speak to a lack of patience in finding a number #1 D, IMO.

Even if you accept the premise that a team needs a "#1 D" to be a top team in a cap world, no one is suggesting the Oilers are going to be top of the conference playoff team next year - what is the rush to find a #1 D this summer?

Not to mention the fact that "needing" a #1 D doesn't magically make Murray, or anyone in this draft class, that player. I'm not saying he's not, but having a need doesn't necessarily mean you can fill it this year's draft.

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#9 speeds
May 15 2012, 12:30AM
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That last sentence should read:

It's not unimaginable that EDM could take Yakupov this year, finish 5th or 6th last next season and still get a better D than any of the D available this draft.

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#10 Rama Lama
May 14 2012, 12:52PM
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This is going to be very easy.......simply ask Lowe and Tamby who they would draft, and then do the opposite.

In Stu we trust!

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#11 Pucker
May 14 2012, 12:57PM
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I'd take Valerie. Defense is vital but natural goal scoring ability is rate.

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#12 Bucknuck
May 14 2012, 01:24PM
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Yakupov, Murray and Alex Galchenyuk all have merit in the top three. A big centre who may be undervalued due to the injury he sustained, a Speedy winger with amazing skill, or a franchise defenseman.

You have to love choices like that!

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#13 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 14 2012, 02:02PM
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The 3 first/second yr NHL'ers were the best players the last two yrs. With the veterans nowhere to be found, this summers draft is another opportunity to sell the farm and grab 2 of these kids.

With the Oilers doing nothing additional on their own, the finish line isn't even in sight yet. 3 holes filled, still 3 more holes to go (a top 2 blueliner, a center, and a left winger)

At Steves one boobie prize per yr pace, this could go on for evaaaa.

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#14 Dog Train
May 14 2012, 02:09PM
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It's the scouts job to take a look at the players individually and come up with a list. If Yakupov tops that list the way that he does with basically every major scouting industry, then we either take him or trade down. I am a big Murray fan but Yak will quite likely be the biggest impact player in a draft seemingly short on high-end offensive talent.

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#15 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2012, 02:53PM
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I'm with Quicksilver here folk's, I say draft Yakupov and trade up to select Murray or Reilly.

If you can’t find any players in the top five then move on and trade for a top pairing defenseman, but this one pick and out has got to stop, this re-build has to stop!

Time to accelerate this process. Tambellini needs to start being a GM and show more then “with the first pick the Oilers chose"

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#16 Jimmer
May 14 2012, 03:14PM
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@ Brownlee

Why not trade with Anaheim to get Fowler and their 6th overall pick and then draft one of Dumba, Rielly or Trouba?

There is no way we can dress a somewhat balanced team if we have Ebs, Hall, RNH, and Yakupov (assuming they play to their potential after their entry level deals are done) $6-7 million each per year. That is 24-28 million tied up on 4 players...in a cap world.

Would I be nuts to assume that out of a group of Klefbom, Musil, Fowler, Petry, and one of Dumba, Rielly or Trouba you could get 3 top 4 NHL d-men?

Balance is the key I say...

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#17 michael
May 14 2012, 03:22PM
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How much weight will the Murray's play at the WHC carry into making who the Oilers pick #1? When the tournament is done and the evaluations are done how much weight will Duane Sutter's opinion carry? Might be key especially if Sutter's name continues to be in the mix for the Oilers head coaching job.

I would take Kharlamov. I am old enough to actually remember him and how skilled he was. Stauffer is near dead on in his comparison other than I think Yakupov is heavier on the puck. Same unbelieveable skill. We were blessed to see Igor Larionov play at the tail end of his career. As good as he was VH was better than IL. IMO. I think few people would argue that if VH had played in the NHL the level of skill that he would have brought would have been better than 99% of the league at the time. There were few players who were his equal in talent and skill.

I am going to be sick with anticipation on June 22cd. I know in SMB we Trust.

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#18 RexLibris
May 14 2012, 03:31PM
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Thanks again Robin, really enjoyed reading more about MacGregor. In my dreams, if I won the lottery (the real lottery) I would probably try to buy my way into those Oiler draft meetings just to sit and listen to it all go down.

Reading into MacGregor's comments about the organization having the luxury, after two 1st overall picks, of being able to draft positionally, I would wonder if some of the most interesting discussion in the Oiler draft room is about the difference between Grigorenko and Galchenyuk.

The Oilers could use a 2nd line center at this stage more than even a defenceman. They have organizational depth in the bottom rotation center position and a tonne of depth in the defensive prospect position. The wings are sparse in development but wingers are among the easier things to acqurie through trade and free agency.

Finding centers is nearly impossible in this league and the chance to draft one at this position may not come up again for a very long time. If the Oilers were to draft either of these two in Grigorenko or Galchenyuk they could even let them play another entire season in junior.

*A note on Galchenyuk - he had great success playing with a highly competitive fast and reckless winger in Yakupov. Might he not find the same chemistry playing with Hall?

The Oilers have the luxury of leaving some talent on the table at this draft in order to select the best player for this core.

Yakupov and Murray are tremendous talents, and I won't be saddened by adding either to the roster. I just have to think that the possibility of adding a center is too tempting at this stage.

As Shredder said, in the end we have to trust in the scouting staff that found Gernat, Marincin, Klefbom, Eberle, Rieder, and so on.

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#19 vetinari
May 14 2012, 04:46PM
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Look at it from this viewpoint: would you trade Yakupov straight up for Murray if another team had him? If the answer is no, then take Yakupov without hesitation. If the answer is yes, then take Murray instead.

I think the best draft strategy is to package up some players and go after another top 5 pick and shoot for a defenceman like Murray, Rheinhart or Dumba as well.

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#20 oilers2k12
May 14 2012, 05:40PM
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With how defencemen develope Slater Koekoeck, Ollie Maata, That Pouliot kid, or any other d ranked in the top 40 overall could turn out better than Murray..history has shown theres a real good chance..not the same can be said for forwards.

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#21 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2012, 05:53PM
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@ RexLibris

Personally, I think MTL takes Grigorenko, I’m not convinced the NYI will take a center as they require defensemen like the Oilers, TML have a center and want Nash, they will give that 5th up.

The Oilers give up the 1st and a prospect, say a Marincin (whomever) for CBJ’s 2nd and 5th.

CBJ gets there defensemen the want in Murray.

The Oilers now have options; the Oilers may have to throw a conditional pick at NYI as a courtesy for not drafting Galchenyuk even though there set on Dumba.

The Oilers come out with Yakupov and Galchenyuk,

That leaves both Hemsky and Gagner free to use for a top defensemen.

Just a scenario I can see as one of many possibilities the Oilers could pursue IMO

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#22 Bucknuck
May 14 2012, 05:55PM
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Steve Tambellini phones Brian Burke:

"Mr Burke, I was thinking you might like the 1st overall pick."

"Yes."

"If you can get me two picks in the top five you can have it and our second rounder."

"OK."

Than let him do the work!

EDIT - I think I would prefer to have the pick, myself... but if he's thinking of trading it I think that is the way to go.

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#23 DieHard
May 14 2012, 06:18PM
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Draft the BPA which is Yakupov. Then next summer, go after Weber. He would probably sign a 7 year/50M deal. Now we have a contender with great prospects and lots of internal competition. Trading for need would be very doable.

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#24 Bucknuck
May 14 2012, 06:20PM
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@@NateInVegas

I don't know if you are alone, but I am sure not with you. Next year they absolutely have to get into the playoffs. With the top end talent they have, there really is no excuse for a competent GM if they don't get that far.

I remember when they were drafting Hall, and someone was lamenting (and there was a chorus echoing his statements) that they didn't have the pick next year since there was this stud named Couturier who was going to solve all those problems. Turned out Couturier dropped to seventh and we got RNH instead. Things can change a lot in a season of junior.

I do not care about the draft picks next year. The time is now to enjoy the fruits of SIX YEARS OF SUCK. No more bending over for the sake of the draft position. It's not an option... I'm tired of watching the playoffs without an ounce of emotion.

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#25 Belly
May 14 2012, 07:13PM
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We have a lot of young talent bursting below the NHL as well as in the NHL. Why not move some of it for the second pick as well and include our first next year? They then can acquire yaks and his centermen, or Murray and yaks, or Murray and galenchyuk. I think we could possibly persuade Columbus to do this considering they could have the possibility of having two top 5 picks next year.

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#27 Pucker
May 14 2012, 12:25PM
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who would you rather have - Valerie Kharmolov or Scott Neidermayer.

tough one.

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#28 Reg Dunlop
May 14 2012, 12:36PM
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I just can't leave this alone. TAKE THE CANADIAN. Or trade the pick to fill numerous holes immediately. Or, I guess, take the BPA. In any event, we can't lose, unless Yak balloons to 250lbs ala Krutov, hits the sauce like Khabi, or divides the dressing room like Ovechkin.

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#29 Talbot17
May 14 2012, 12:59PM
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I wouldnt be surprised if they took Murray, although I still feel Yakupov may be picked then kept in the system for a year to season him further while they continue to evaluate/give opportunities to Magnus and some of the other guys

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#30 madjam
May 14 2012, 01:05PM
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If they are just about even , i would expect they will take Murray because he is N.American , and also needed for many defensive holes we need filling . Seems like obvious choice now ,seeing how well he is handling World's . Yakupov is slipping because Murray's stock is rising at the World's .

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#31 Smokey
May 14 2012, 01:42PM
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Take Kharmolov. Consensus first overall pick. Then keep him away from Bobby Clark a.k.a. Mike Richards.

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#32 Oiler Al
May 14 2012, 01:47PM
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A lot of flippin and floppin going on here. I always said go for the BPA..its an asset of great value.. either to play or trade.It would appear Murray could step in and play front line right away and might be an easier choice, now that he is looking like a second pick over all. If OIlers are thinking about moving Hemsky, then they have to take Yakapov to fill the right side, and chase defense men outside of Murray, who then would likely go second to CBJ.Flipping with CBJ, the only player you'd want back is Johnson,and if you have Murray at 2 nd pick why would you need Johnson.So the CBJ flip is out of the question.My guess at this point it will be Murray.

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#33 Dman09
May 14 2012, 02:03PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

A lot of flippin and floppin going on here. I always said go for the BPA..its an asset of great value.. either to play or trade.It would appear Murray could step in and play front line right away and might be an easier choice, now that he is looking like a second pick over all. If OIlers are thinking about moving Hemsky, then they have to take Yakapov to fill the right side, and chase defense men outside of Murray, who then would likely go second to CBJ.Flipping with CBJ, the only player you'd want back is Johnson,and if you have Murray at 2 nd pick why would you need Johnson.So the CBJ flip is out of the question.My guess at this point it will be Murray.

The thing with flipping picks with the Jackets is this: If they have Murray and Yakupov rated slow closely together and want to take Murray anyway then it would be in their interest trading the 1st overall for the 2nd and another pick maybe the 31st overall.

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#34 Shredder
May 14 2012, 02:33PM
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No one has seen these two more than Stu MacGregor and his staff, so whoever they pick, I'm going to be happy. That said if it were me I would try to swap with CLB, and if you want one of these 2, you need one of the top 2 picks...while there are a lot of other good players in the draft, that is where I believe the top 2-3 teams will want to pick ideally. I want one of these 2 kids, and no one else, so forget about TO's pick.

I personally would take Murray 1st overall if there wasn't a deal to be had with CLB. It appears that is where the Oilers are headed, unless they are ramping up Murray's stock to scare CLB into doing a deal with them. I think Yakupov will have a bigger impact on the Oilers GF column, but Murray will have a bigger impact on the Oilers win column...

There were lots of flashy forwards in 2010, we got the best in Hall...lots of great centremen in 2011, we got the best in Nuge...lots of great defensement in 2012, ...

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#35 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2012, 03:04PM
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@ Brownlee

Good read.

Do you get a gut feeling that MacGregor hands maybe tied on this draft?

“That’s right,” MacGregor said. “But I think (GM) Steve Tambellini was pretty clear that, you know, maybe we do have to make an organizational decision . . .”

Not to put words in anybodys mouth, but my gut tells me that a comment like that tells me Tambellini is going to pick Murray.

or am I reading to much into that?

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#36 Acumen
May 14 2012, 03:25PM
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I'm really concerned that they are out-thinking themselves. I know the team can't come out and say, "this is our guy," but it would help me sleep a lot easier.

But Stu comparing a player to someone who's *arguably* top 20 all time in Kharlamov has to mean that he really likes him and should make HIM the choice, right? Right?

Right!?

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#37 oilers2k12
May 14 2012, 03:48PM
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Any top defensive prospect should be able to handle themselves at the worlds, especially when playing so few minutes against mostly ahl level opposition..its not likr Murray has been playing unbelievable..hes just holding his own..I would never waist a top pick on him, his junior stats are barely half of what doughtys were.. Theres lots of good d coming up the oil pipeline (gernat, musilm marancin, klefbom..maybe teubert).not any offensive players that havr future top six potential (except maybe paajarvi..maybe maybe rieder) Oilers need more scoring, yakupov brings that and a ton of character..top four d can be found through free agency, college signings..or trades.. Oilers will be very sorry three years from now if they pass on yakupov I think, he projects to be as good, if not better than hall, eberle, or rnh.

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#38 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 14 2012, 04:03PM
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[cut and pasted 2010,2011 quote]used 3 times.[source:wikipedia]

This year we should be able to see how Magnificent that bastard Stu MacGregor really is.

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#40 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 14 2012, 04:25PM
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@Robin

I noticed your picture of that beautiful Biscane on twitter, nice. Noticed the hood up and parked at the side of the road. Just wanting to make sure but...is this a call for help, she seize up on you again?

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#42 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 14 2012, 04:30PM
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Little known fact:

8 out of 10 brides who share in a piece of their own wedding cake, suffer from a greatly reduced desire for intimacy after the fact.

Don't let your bride suffer these same consequences, just say no to the wedding cake.

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#43 Lofty
May 14 2012, 04:36PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Yakupov, Murray and Alex Galchenyuk all have merit in the top three. A big centre who may be undervalued due to the injury he sustained, a Speedy winger with amazing skill, or a franchise defenseman.

You have to love choices like that!

More than likely one of these players will not be a top line player. You have to pick the best player to protect yourself from picking a career 3rd liner. Treat the players as currency and hord theim like the crazy cat lady down the street. Trades have to be made to build a championship team.

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#44 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2012, 04:56PM
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@ RexLibris

Good points on the center position Rex. While I think it would be sheer madness to pass on Yakupov, I sincerely think the Oilers should try and make a move for Galchenyuk,

@Travis Dakin summed it up really well; there is no Larrson or Hedman in this draft, the wait on Murray will be a long one for maybe a second tier defensemen.

Draft the forwards trade for the defensemen.

I can foresee some type of scenario that involves the CBJ and the Leafs. Nash to the Leafs for there 5th and a player or two

The Oilers give up there 1st to CBJ for the 2nd and the Leafs 5th The Oilers then can draft Yakupov and Galchenyuk

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#45 RexLibris
May 14 2012, 04:57PM
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@vetinari

The idea of the package deal is sound, the problem is in the act. Is there anything that the Oilers can afford to part with at this point that a team drafting in the #3, #4, or #5 slot would prefer to have over that draft pick?

Montreal (#3) - Not since Gauthier left.

Islanders (#4) - They want a 2nd line center and a defenceman, but can the Oilers afford to trade Gagner and Marincin and something else shiny for that pick? That leaves them without a 2nd line center. And would the Islanders even want that deal?

Toronto (#5) - We don't have the goalie they need and we aren't giving them the center or winger that they desire.

If the Oilers could somehow snake-oil salesman someone such that they could walk away from round one with Galchenyuk and Reinhart I'd be a giddy mess. I'm just not going to lose sleep waiting for it to happen.

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#46 RexLibris
May 14 2012, 05:06PM
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@Wes Mantooth

Yakupov may be the better player next year and the next three years afterwards. But centers win championships.

I also don't think that there is any reason a winger can't create offense like a center, provided his game and creativity are there. Yakupov could be a playmaking RW for this team. We've spent the last decade watching Hemsky do it.

The problem is that the Jackets, Canadiens and Leafs all want a center. Grigorenko and Galchenyuk are pretty much it in this draft class (Faksa and Girgensons are a step below). If the Oilers draft Yakupov then they could trade Hemsky at either this year's deadline or next February. If they draft Galchenyuk then, as I said, they are leaving talent on the table, but getting a player that may make the team as a whole more balanced and, ultimately, better.

It is a very, very risky move. Had Galchenyuk played all season and posted similar numbers I don't think any of us would be having this conversation. The injury makes this risky. That being said, I suspect that the Oilers knew enough to be scouting Yakupov last season and were likely watching Galchenyuk as well and so have already built up an opinion of him from his rookie year.

They passed on a center in 2010, they picked the more gifted center in 2011. Looking at their depth chart (and prospects) there isn't a single name listed, in my opinion, that ranks as a good to elite level center to rotate in that top six. Toews has Sharp, Crosby has Malkin, Lecavalier has Stamkos. We are going to need center depth sooner or later.

Again, just my opinion.

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#47 Jasmine
May 14 2012, 05:09PM
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@Shredder

And yet the Oilers are still get criticized by some fans for not drafting Seguin.

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#48 Jasmine
May 14 2012, 05:14PM
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@RexLibris

So why were the oilers criticized last year fro draft RNH who is a centre instead of Larsson.

No matter who the Oilers draft, its a guarnatee, some fans won't be happy and will criticze the Oilers no matter who they draft.

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#50 Reg Dunlop
May 14 2012, 08:05PM
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Hey Wes; draft forwards trade for D... if only it was as easy as that. Teams hold on to quality D like dogs on a bone.

Hey Nate; you are not alone bro, I dig the idea of flipping this years 1st for Cbus' 2013 1st.

Finally to all who compare Yak to Kharlamov; Yak is more likely to be Helmut Balderis( I will let you google that name). Also, I heard rumblings that the KHL will exempt players defecting from the NHL from their new teams salary cap.

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