PROSPECTS TALK

Jason Gregor
June 21 2012 01:21PM

Thirteen of the top prospects in this year's draft and a host of media had lunch and then did interviews on the roof top of the Empress boat of the Gateway Clipper fleet. It's a beautiful afternoon in Pittsburgh, but it was incredibly hot and muggy on the roof top.

Most of the media members must have thought the cups of water had vodka in them, because they were chugging them left and right. The 13 young men: Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Mikhail Grigorenko, Alex Galchenyuk, Morgan Reilly, Cody Ceci, Radek Faksa, Olli Maatta, Jacob Trouba, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Dumba (ranked 1st to 11th by central scouting) and the top ranked European, Filip Forsberg and the #1 ranked North American goalie, Malcolm Subban went through a few bottles of water while answering numerous questions.

All the players were incredibly excited, but most admitted it was just one step towards their goal of making the NHL.

Here's a quick recap of what I discovered.

  • Alex Galchenyuk hasn't spoken to the Oilers since the combine, which would lead me to believe it won't be taken first tomorrow. That isn't a major shock, considering Galchenyuk admitted that, "My injury probably cost me a shot at going #1. I'm healthy now and feel great, but not playing made it hard for me to show what I can do," he said.
     
  • Filip Forsberg played wing this past season, despite being listed as a centre. When I asked him the hard question of comparing his game to an NHLer he responded with, "Corey Perry. I like to shoot and I'm not afraid to mix it up. I love how he plays." If he can score 30 goals and get under the opposition's skin he'll be a great pick for someone on Friday.
     
  • "Hitting doesn't come down to size. It comes down to the technique, how you go about doing it, how you catch the guy, how your feet are positioned, balance, your explosiveness and how you pop through the guy so I'm not worried about that. I guess we'll see once I'm at that level we'll see what I can and cannot do. I'm excited to go to the next level," said Matt Dumba.

    Dumba was a great kid. Very personable, excited and determined yet very respectful. He's heard the concerns about his size and style equating to success in the NHL, but he's confident in his abilities as a player and as a hitter.
     
  • Malcolm Subban's favourite goalie is Henrik Lundqvist and he tries to emulate his athletic style. 
     
  • Lots of rumblings that the Ottawa Senators are a legit contender in the Rick Nash sweepstakes. It would take a lot to get him, one of their young goalies, Bishop or Lehner, Foligno, their first rounder this year and possibly another high-end prospect. Would be good to see a market like Ottawa land a big fish, rather than the usual teams like Philly, NYR, Detroit, etc.
     
  • Did you know that Pittsburgh has the most bridges of any city in the Western Hemisphere? Little tidbit I learned over lunch today.
     
  • New associate coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Craig Hartsburg, will join me at 2:20 MST today on TEAM 1260 and we'll get his thoughts on Nash and some other NHLers.
     
  • Former NHLer and father of Griffin, Paul Reinhart gave a very good viewpoint from a parent's perspective on what today should mean for their kids.

    "I think the big thing for these guys and their families to recognize is that what happens in the next 24 hours really has nothing to do with your career. Everything that you have done to date has put you in this position, but it's all about what you do afterwards. One thing I've tried to inpart upon my boys is that you are now graduating to a point where development will always be important, but make no mistake, when you are being paid winning is important.

    "Tomorrow will be a wonderful statement for what you've done in the past, but going forward to be successful in this game you have to become a winner, you have to make sure that, not just you continue to develop, but that you somehow develop the players around you."

 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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The Nation will be up in arms and FISTs if Yak isn't our comrade tomorrow!

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Forsberg has not produced at a pace of top end pick at any level. Why is he so sought after?? Brad Winchester can skate and shoot.

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#3 Shaun Doe
June 21 2012, 01:29PM
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Dregor went on Record as saying he feels the Oilers will pick Murray first overall. Makes you wonder when it comes from a source like him.

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#4 nhlest79
June 21 2012, 01:37PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Forsberg has not produced at a pace of top end pick at any level. Why is he so sought after?? Brad Winchester can skate and shoot.

There is only a primary assist awarded overseas, so many players lose out on points. That affects their numbers.

He MAY have been playing in the "men's" league, so that would obviously slight his numbers since he is playing against mature men. He MAY have been in their equivalent of junior, however, and then this point is irrelevant.

But still, the fact that there is only one assist is huge. Plus I don't think there are as many goals scored over there as there are in our junior leagues here.

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@Shaun Doe

Going on record to say that you "feel" something will happen reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKiSPUc2Jck&t=1m23s

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nhlest79 wrote:

There is only a primary assist awarded overseas, so many players lose out on points. That affects their numbers.

He MAY have been playing in the "men's" league, so that would obviously slight his numbers since he is playing against mature men. He MAY have been in their equivalent of junior, however, and then this point is irrelevant.

But still, the fact that there is only one assist is huge. Plus I don't think there are as many goals scored over there as there are in our junior leagues here.

Who told you this nonsense?

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#7 ken
June 21 2012, 01:42PM
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In the same interview Rishaug went on record as saying he thinks Yak is the guy..

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#8 Shaun Doe
June 21 2012, 01:52PM
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Just putting it out there for people that haven't seen the video is all. Many people tend to feel that Dreger to be a very well connected individual. So just thought it was worth noting when he has a "Feeling" about something.

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Shaun Doe wrote:

Just putting it out there for people that haven't seen the video is all. Many people tend to feel that Dreger to be a very well connected individual. So just thought it was worth noting when he has a "Feeling" about something.

I hope I don't have to blame him tomorrow for something he wasn't responsible for.......

"IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, DREGER!"

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#10 dohfOs
June 21 2012, 02:01PM
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Go check out Lisas Oil Patch, she got lots of recordings from the day: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/top_prospects_speak/

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#11 Shaun Doe
June 21 2012, 02:02PM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat.

Always handy to have options when picking a scapegoat.

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@Shaun Doe

Good one! It comes so natural to me, I never really looked at it like that.

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#13 book¡e
June 21 2012, 02:07PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Going on record to say that you "feel" something will happen reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKiSPUc2Jck&t=1m23s

Thanks a lot, I just wasted 20 minutes watching Ron Burgendy Clips - I am never going to get my work done if people keep doing stuff like this to me.

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#14 steelymac
June 21 2012, 02:07PM
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I hope the only feeling Dregger gets is from the burritos and the draft beer.

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@book¡e

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16US1Y6Ridg

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#16 Mike Modano's Dog
June 21 2012, 02:58PM
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Great read, Jason. I agree completely about having a different team be able to land the big fish. It's really nice to NOT be able to predict where the stars are going to go for a change - if that happens!

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#17 nhlest79
June 21 2012, 03:24PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Who told you this nonsense?

@Bicepus Maximus - FIST Movement

So I actually got off my ass and checked.

There is only one assist credited for each goal in the Swedish league, so that affects the point totals.

As well, he WAS playing in a professional league in Sweden. There were people 40 years old, 30, 25, etc. on his team and in the league so obviously as a 17-18 year old he is gonna be a bit mismatched.

That would be why his offensive numbers are smaller than the Yaks and Grigorenkos, etc.

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#18 Yzermanfan19
June 21 2012, 03:58PM
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Spector just tweeted he is confident were taking Yak, take it for what its worth, But I am into it

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#19 LoDog
June 21 2012, 04:03PM
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@nhlest79

According to @dohfos, everyones favourite Swedish Oiler fan, that league is very bad. Like worse than the ECHL bad.

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nhlest79 wrote:

@Bicepus Maximus - FIST Movement

So I actually got off my ass and checked.

There is only one assist credited for each goal in the Swedish league, so that affects the point totals.

As well, he WAS playing in a professional league in Sweden. There were people 40 years old, 30, 25, etc. on his team and in the league so obviously as a 17-18 year old he is gonna be a bit mismatched.

That would be why his offensive numbers are smaller than the Yaks and Grigorenkos, etc.

Did you get all the way off your ass to check?

Here's a score card from a Swedish Elite League game:

http://www.flashscore.com/match/vgCe4RN2/#match-summary

Looks to have secondary assists.

And here's the current IIHF rule book. Look at article 472 on page 43:

http://www.iihf.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Sport/rulebook2010/Rulebook_10_51_-_29_September.pdf

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#21 Westcoastoil
June 21 2012, 04:24PM
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Soooo, seeing as how the draft is tomorrow shouldn't the team have named a coach by now? Isn't that what Tambi said?

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#22 Chris
June 21 2012, 04:33PM
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"Alex Galchenyuk hasn't spoken to the Oilers since the combine, which would lead me to believe it won't be taken first tomorrow. That isn't a major shock"

The major shock to me is that Galchenyuk is actually an "it". This could be the first trans-gender NHL first rounder that I know of!

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#23 Ken
June 21 2012, 04:49PM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

Soooo, seeing as how the draft is tomorrow shouldn't the team have named a coach by now? Isn't that what Tambi said?

No they just said that they were hoping to have one by then. They didnt set a timeline on it, but hopefully by July 1st.

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#24 Wäx Män Riley
June 21 2012, 04:50PM
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Chris wrote:

"Alex Galchenyuk hasn't spoken to the Oilers since the combine, which would lead me to believe it won't be taken first tomorrow. That isn't a major shock"

The major shock to me is that Galchenyuk is actually an "it". This could be the first trans-gender NHL first rounder that I know of!

I don't get where you're going with this.

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#25 jeanshorts
June 21 2012, 05:32PM
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"Did you know that Pittsburgh has the most bridges of any city in the Western Hemisphere?"

Hmm, guess that explains the "City Of Bridges" moniker.....

I'm really, really interested in how this Galchenyuk kid turns out. From everything I've been reading over the past few weeks I'm starting to get the impression he may turn out to be Getzlaf-esque in terms of being taken later than he probably should have and making a lot of teams regret passing him over (though I'm sure no one here can relate to anything like that....).

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#26 ubermiguel
June 21 2012, 05:35PM
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"Alex Galchenyuk hasn't spoken to the Oilers since the combine, which would lead me to believe it won't be taken first tomorrow. That isn't a major shock"

The major shock to me is that Galchenyuk is actually an "it". This could be the first trans-gender NHL first rounder that I know of!

It puts the puck in the net or else it gets the hose again.

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#27 Truth
June 21 2012, 05:40PM
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Hockey Break @HockeyBreak, who is usually pretty accurate, just tweeted the Flyers close to aquiring the #6 pick from Ana. Could we see JVR in Anaheim and then a subsequent Bobby Ryan to the Leafs and the Ducks jumping one spot up in the draft? Other pieces would be included I'm sure, but Leafs fans have to be dreaming of that.

Interesting couple of days ahead.

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#28 Cervantes
June 21 2012, 06:09PM
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Aside from Burkie swinging the Sedin picks a decade ago, can someone remind me when there was an actual decently awesome trade done on the floor? We hear all these big rumours around draft time, and maybe I'm getting old and cranky, but it seems like forever since one of them actually hit. I mean, I'd love the believe the Oil will move Yak for Subban, or drop some prospects/picks in exchange for another top 10 pick, but I can't recall the last time someone did that, let alone Steve "Lemme Think About That" Tambellini.

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#29 Quicksilver ballet
June 21 2012, 06:13PM
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Edmonton has one more interview to do this evening. It will be at the conclusion of this meeting that the Oilers will reveal to him that he's their guy and he can rest peacefully this evening knowing he'll be an Edmonton Oiler very soon.

The guy they're talking to is Alex Galchenyuk.

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#30 Westcoastoil
June 21 2012, 06:51PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Edmonton has one more interview to do this evening. It will be at the conclusion of this meeting that the Oilers will reveal to him that he's their guy and he can rest peacefully this evening knowing he'll be an Edmonton Oiler very soon.

The guy they're talking to is Alex Galchenyuk.

and some time ago they said that they've known him and had many discussions over the years with him so he was the most known quantity of the kids up for draft

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#31 steelymac
June 21 2012, 09:09PM
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that quote is scary.could it mean Reinhart Kinda hope not,But Rather him than Murry.

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#32 Reg Dunlop
June 21 2012, 11:30PM
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@ubermiguel

Well done sir. Funniest crack of the week, bar none.

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#33 Digger
June 21 2012, 11:33PM
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From Jill Ireland's latest article:

"The Oilers brought a few players into Edmonton following the NHL combine, including Murray and Yakupov. They did not meet with either player in Pittsburgh. Nor did they talk again to forwards Mikhail Grigorenko or Alex Galchenyuk."

So who did they interview this evening?

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#34 Cowbell_Feva
June 22 2012, 12:05AM
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Come join the dark parade....I hope you are right. I think Galchenyuk is the best player in the draft. I have my fingers crossed

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#35 OutDoorRink
June 22 2012, 12:58PM
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After seeing all of the interviews etc, I would not be upset if we took Murray first. I love how he talks about being a leader, and gaining the respect of your team mates. I think he would be a fantastic future Captain for the Oil going forward, and man, do we need to upgrade our D.

However, I'd be happy with Nail or Galchenyuk too, so no worries.

Got my booze and chow ready. It's gonna be a fun evening.

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