THREE IN FIFTY IS GOOD

Jason Gregor
January 16 2013 10:38AM

 

TSN released their Top-50 NHL player rankings on Monday and Oiler fans should be pretty excited, if you believe these rankings are accurate.

For the 3rd straight season Sidney Crosby topped the rankings, despite playing 22 games last year, mainly due to his ridiculous 1.68 points-per-game ratio during those 22 games.  His teammate, Evgeni Malkin came in 2nd, but the expectations of Oilers' fans for the coming season might be even higher after seeing three Oilers crack the top-50.

Jordan Eberle came in at 25; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is 48th and Taylor Hall sits 50th. 

The rankings are here, but here is a recap from most to least.

FIVE:
LA Kings: Kopitar (10th), Quick (16th), Doughty (17th), Brown (43rd) and M.Richards (44th).

FOUR:

Pittsburgh: Crosby (1st), Malkin (2nd), Letang (29th), Neal (36th).
Chicago: Toews (6th), Hossa (32nd), Kane (38th) and Keith (49th).
NYR: Lundqvist (15th), Nash (24th), B. Richards (42nd) and Gaborik (45th).

THREE:
Boston: Chara (12th), Seguin (31st), Bergeron (35th).
Edmonton: Eberle (25th), RNH (48th) and Hall (50th)

TWO:
Tampa Bay: Stamkos (4th), St. Louis (30th)
Detroit: Datsyuk (5th), Zetterberg (22nd)
Nashville: Weber (7th), Rinne (27th)
Vancouver: D. Sedin (8th), H. Sedin (9th)
Ottawa: Karlsson (11th), Spezza (23rd)
Minnesota: Parise (13th) Suter (26th) 
Washington: Ovechkin (14th), Backstrom (33rd)
Anaheim: Perry (19th), Getzlaf (34th)
Carolina: E. Staal (21st) and J. Staal (46th)
San Jose: Thornton (40th), Couture (41st)

ONE:
Philadelphia: Giroux (3rd)
New Jersey: Kovalchuk (18th)
NYI: Tavares (20th)
St. Louis: Pietrangelo (28th)
Calgary: Iginla (37th)
Dallas: Jamie Benn (39th)
Toronto: Kessel (47th)

NONE:
Buffalo
Colorado
Columbus
Florida
Montreal
Phoenix
Winnipeg

WHO GOT OVERLOOKED

When a ranking comes out, there is always a great debate over who got overlooked. Here are some guys I felt were right on the cusp or could have been included in the list.

Bobby Ryan: Only seven players have scored at least 30 goals in the last four seasons, and Ryan is one of them. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Nash, Iginla and Kessel did it and they are on the list. Ryan has scored 30 or more goals in his first four seasons; he's one of the most consistent goals scorers in the game.

Patrick Marleau: He is the 7th guy with four consecutive 30+ goal seasons. I know many rip him about his playoff performances, but he has 80 points in his last 107 playoff games. He's far from awful.

Teemu Selanne: He has averaged 0.91 points per game over the past four seasons while he was 38-41 years of age. He is an incredible player, and one of the best people in hockey. Until he retires he is in my top-50.

Patrick Sharp: Good hands, excellent two-way player and I'd take his overall game ahead of Marian Hossa. However, he doesn't have the explosiveness of Hossa.

Chris Pronger: If he is healthy he is on that list. He's still one of the best D-men in the game, whether you like him or not.

Niklas Kronwall: He moves the puck very well, isn't afraid to step up and deliver a big hit and he's averaged 40 points over his last four full seasons.

WHO WILL CRACK LIST SOON

The league is full of many young great players and I'd expect a few of these guys to crack the list next year.

Gabriel Landeskog: He's a rugged winger who is Incredibly mature, has good hands and has a solid overall game. Could score 20 in short season.

Evander Kane: Many question his maturity off the ice, but he's dynamic on it and if he continues to progress like he has the past two seasons he could be ranked in the 40-50 range next year.

Kevin Shattenkirk: Young, skilled D-man who likely ends being the centre piece of the Erik Johnson trade. He's put up 43 points in each of his first two seasons, and he and Pietrangelo could be the next Suter/Weber combo in St. Louis.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: He is one of the most underrated players in the game. He doesn't get a lot of coverage playing in Phoenix, but after playing 25:46 a night during the Coyotes run to the conference finals last year, he proved he can excel when it matters most. He'll be in the top-50 next year.

Who would be on your "up-and-comer" or "overlooked" list?

WRAP UP

Having three players in the top-50 won't guarantee the Oilers a playoff berth, but it illustrates that the Oilers are heading in the right direction.

Phoenix was the only team to make the playoffs without having at least one player on the list, but last year Ray Whitney had 77 points for them, Mike Smith had a break out season and Ekman-Larsson emerged on the blueline. They were some of the best players in the league despite not being ranked.

You need one great player, and usually two or three, to win the Cup, and the Oilers have some of the best young talent in the game. If they can get some solid performances from Devan Dubnyk, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff the Oilers should be right in the middle of a run to the playoffs in early April. 

PARTING SHOTS

  • Today is the final open practice for the Oilers. It starts at 11 a.m. and they will have an extended scrimmage today according to Ralph Krueger.
     
  • Take a moment and send me an email to gregor@theteam1260.com and nominate a coach for our Elite Sportswear Coach of the week. It doesn't matter what sport they coach, team or individual, I just want to hear what makes them a great volunteer coach.They will be interviewed on the show and get lots of great swag from Elite and you will feel great for recognizing their efforts.
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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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#151 David
January 16 2013, 09:23PM
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I missed the memo that I'm supposed to hate good teams. Probably because that's stupid. I would love to cheer for the Canucks. The reasons why I don't are Lappierre, Burrows, Kesler, Luongo. And no one on the team that I especially like. I like the penguins, I like the rangers. I like the blues. When the senators were a powerhouse I was cheering for them to win the cup. Vancouver being a good team has nothing to do with why I don't like them. It's because the thought of those listed players lifting the cup makes me sick.

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#152 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 16 2013, 09:24PM
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David wrote:

What the heck is with all the O'Rielly love?

He's the "potentially available" cinderella of the moment.

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#153 David
January 16 2013, 09:24PM
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Also Jefff has to be DSF.

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#154 DSF
January 16 2013, 09:25PM
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David wrote:

What the heck is with all the O'Rielly love?

He's a very good hockey player.

Played the toughest competition (along with Landeskog) and came out ahead.

He's younger than Gagner and scored 55 points while playing the toughs.

Gagner scored the same as Kyle Wellwood while facing the 8th best competition.

Eerie.

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#155 DSF
January 16 2013, 09:26PM
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David wrote:

Also Jefff has to be DSF.

No, he doesn't.

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#156 David
January 16 2013, 09:26PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

He's the "potentially available" cinderella of the moment.

I have a feeling oilers fans won't want to trade Gagner for O'Rielly after this season. I wouldn't do it now.

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#157 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 16 2013, 09:28PM
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DSF wrote:

The Drance article is a little over the top in style...but the substance is pretty much bang on.

I can't think of a single substantial argument he advanced that isn't either a highly debatable topic (i.e., RNH's ELC; Eberle's "luck"), entirely frivolous (Paulina Gretzky), or couldn't have been made better, a lot better (i.e., ST's bungling) and which hasn't been made better by Oiler fans elsewhere.

His vitriol I respect. I just wish he bothered to be a bit funnier and more absurd. he didn't go far enough.

But... there was no substance there to be "bang on" about.

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#158 David
January 16 2013, 09:28PM
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I think no one will want to trade Gagner after this season.

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#159 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 16 2013, 09:32PM
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a solid comparison of Gagner/O'Reilly

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/01/opening-night-lineups-and-the-12-13-opener.html/comment-page-1#comment-197389

besides if we are going to send $$$ at guys not yet signed... I'd rather chase Jamie Benn

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#160 Jefff
January 16 2013, 10:16PM
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Here are some #'s on O'Reilly

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1423

I'm actually surprised many Oiler fans wouldn't trade Gagner straight up for O'Reilly.

I guess your entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.

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#161 pelhem grenville
January 16 2013, 10:45PM
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two girls no cup left our happy little gathering because of Thom Drance fecal matter@vice...

really...that kid is waaay thin skinned...

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#162 Rogue
January 16 2013, 10:49PM
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I see Defying Sanity Forever,(DSF) has brought in a lackey. I guess Drivel Spouting Fool, (DSF) has brought his fantasy friend out of his mind onto the Nation. How fortunate for us all!! I hope his alter ego Jeffffff does take over his mind! Ohhhh scaaaaaary!!

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#163 Oilertown
January 16 2013, 11:08PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

so... they're a bunch of very good clowns!

Lol Rom that was good.

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#164 positivebrontefan
January 16 2013, 11:24PM
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I read the Drance article and realized as soon as I read it, I read his stuff over on Canucks Army, that it was an over the top attempt at humor that was sure to rile up the thin skinned. I honestly laughed out loud. What really put it into the category of favorite articles of all time was the snap job that Millhouse did on twitter about it. He even took a shot at the nation network. Check out @ThomasDrance. Funny stuff.

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#165 GVBlackhawk
January 16 2013, 11:42PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Ok,the jig is up. You're DSF or DSF's mom. And I doubt if your mom likes you that much.

DSJefff

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#166 The Soup Fascist
January 16 2013, 11:43PM
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Jefff wrote:

Here are some #'s on O'Reilly

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1423

I'm actually surprised many Oiler fans wouldn't trade Gagner straight up for O'Reilly.

I guess your entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.

I think I speak for everyone Jefff, when I say get the "f" out of here.

Just kidding - but it had to be said.

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#167 Oilfred
January 17 2013, 12:25AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

two girls no cup left our happy little gathering because of Thom Drance fecal matter@vice...

really...that kid is waaay thin skinned...

Its his right let the man go. It takes all kinds right?

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#168 Oilfred
January 17 2013, 12:28AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I think I speak for everyone Jefff, when I say get the "f" out of here.

Just kidding - but it had to be said.

Sample sizes. Lets see him do that for two years in a row. I like the kid, a ton, but lets not get too crazy. Its a deep draft and Colorado will move heaven and earth to protect that kind of asset.

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#169 Rocket
January 17 2013, 01:11AM
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With my work schedule, it seems I'm always coming late to the party.

To review:

-DSF & Jefff catching heat for for not being fanboys but having cautious optimism

-Arch still loving Gagner

-Two girls no cup not loving Drance

-Everyone loving O'Reilly

-& Gagner still being The Oilers' second line centre.

Lots of love & a little bit of trollz.

BTW, how about that TSN fantasy draft eh? Oilers represent!

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#170 revingev
January 17 2013, 03:46AM
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Hey Archaeologuy, You wrote.... Seguin had 14 more points than Hall did and plays C for a successful team. He was also +34 compared to -3.

I know I am late to the party as your post was early onin this discussion, but when comparing Tyler VS Taylor, as mentioned by another repsonse Tyler does NOT play center. It is probably my greatest complaint I have about the comparisions. When comparing the two you need to look at it as a RW vs a LW. If you would have rather had a RW in Tyler then sure I am with your reasoning but if you are saying a center? Well, Seguin is NO NHL Center at this point in his career. He does spot duty and I mean spot duty. AAlso comparing the two players is very difficult because of the quality of linemates and especially team. The Bruins were cup champions, the Oilers were 30th.

Did the Oilers finish last cause of Taylors inability? Nope, did Bruins win cup cause of Tylers help? Nope, they didnt. They both contibuted. Also saying Hall played higher up in a top 6 roll from the start means he was also facing tougher opposition, and saying Seguin plaed a 3rd line role so was unable to produce at a higher rate would be forgetting he faced lesser opposition.

In the end, they both are totally two different players and still at this point, neither has been able to be a clear favourite to a general fanbase, depends on what your needs are as a team. I will still pick Hall, because I like his drive and determination even though it could mean a shorter career due to injuries.

anyway just wanted to add some extra thought into that discussion.

cheers

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#171 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 17 2013, 08:21AM
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Jefff wrote:

Here are some #'s on O'Reilly

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1423

I'm actually surprised many Oiler fans wouldn't trade Gagner straight up for O'Reilly.

I guess your entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Vollman's article is very good. It's an excellent profile of O'Reilly.

The idea, however, that he is a clear "factual" upgrade on Gagner is not established. It is a matter of opinion.

As I stated twice, I'm not convinced he is a clear upgrade, or solution to the question of long term #2 C.

Therefore, the rigamarole of switching #2 Cs doesn't seem worth it to come out a draw.

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