OILERS FAN GUIDE TO WJ'S

Lowetide
December 25 2013 11:13AM

For Edmonton Oiler fans, this is going to be an unusual World Junior championships. Over the last several years Edmonton draft picks have been front and center at the annual prospect tournament, but this year there are only two—Russians Bogdan Yakimov (in photo) and Anton Slepyshev. Is there anything worth watching? Or course!

FUTURE OILERS VIA TRADE

The Oilers did not draft Curtis Lazar (photo by Lisa McRichie via Kukla's Korner) or Griffin Reinhart but they certainly wanted to, and one suspects both young men are still on club radar. Former Oil Kings have value to the organization, as reflected in the trade earlier this season to acquire Laurent Brossoit. My belief is the Oilers put a high degree of importance on character, and from what we know of these two young men they have that part of the equation in great amounts.

FUTURE OILERS VIA DRAFTMAS PAST

As mentioned, the two Russians drafted earlier this year should be major players for the Russians. There will be three chances to see these kids via tsn if you get both channels and I'll be giving you updates throughout the tournament here at Oilers Nation through the holidays.

These two gents (Yakimov and Slepyshev) are important players for the Oilers, because it is extremely rare for the club to venture into the USSR (old timey reference) and success would probably mean more picks from that part of the world. There's no doubting the quality of these players, but signability can be an issue as we all know.

FUTURE OILERS VIA DRAFTMAS FUTURE

Folks, they're everywhere. Canada is represented by Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie Colts), two players who are vying for number one overall. Also in the conversation are Germany's Leon Draisaitl, who plays for the PA Raiders. He's a very popular player among Oiler fans already, with Warren texting to tsn 1260 the other day that Edmonton should do the "death rattle for Draisaitl" ala Fail for Nail and Fall for Hall.

Other eligibles worth paying attention to are Kasperi Kapanen (yes, Sami's son) who is a skill winger for Finland, and Russian center Ivan Barbashev. Another player to follow is Lucas Wallmark, who passed through the draft in the summer but has a fine season going in 2013-14.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Merry Christmas! I'll be updating throughout the holidays on the World Juniors and following the progress of Yakimov and Slepyshev. Best of the season!

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.
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#1 HardBoiledOil
December 25 2013, 11:46AM
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would the Oilers consider trading their high 1st rounder to Ottawa in a deal to actually get Curtis Lazar? I wouldn't be against that, and we'll likely not have the 1st overall pick anyways, likely closer to #3 #4 #5. you think Ottawa would go for that?

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#2 RexHolez
December 25 2013, 01:33PM
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Too bad our stud Dman that's gonna swoop in save our team and solidify our defence can't make the junior team.

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#3 rob
December 25 2013, 03:20PM
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Twas the night before christmas and down at the rink mr katz got his head out his ass and started to think with ganger doing nothing and ebs licking balls my god Id better build this team around st. hall! with no goaltending no-one st stop the puck my god this team is starting to suck! with no defence,no one with a care ferrence skating around like a ballerina thats fair! with no forcheck or someone to grind the turnovers keep happening like everyones blind! merry christmas and best wishes to all mr katz relized how screwed we would be without st hall!

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#4 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 04:55PM
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@Lofty

Aaron Ekblad is just as good or better than Seth Jones from last year . If Ekblad ends up wearing Oiler Blue , than multiple Stanley Cups are guarenteed !!! We don't need no trade . Just one more bad year and we have a chanch at Ekblad and a dynasty ...

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#5 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 07:30PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

"stupid" is claimimg that "all" of the top 10 in the 2014 draft are "all better" than Lazar. how so?

All of the forwards in the top 10 '14 draft are more better snipers than Lazar and Ekblad and Fleury are two awesome D that the Oilers need . Lazar is a good player , but there is better talent in this year's draft .. Oilers don't need to make any trades . We will get better slowly ..

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#6 Jay
December 25 2013, 02:58PM
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Did anyone ask Yakupov if he'd be cool with another Russian on the team named Yakimoz?

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#7 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 05:00PM
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By the way , this year's Ray Whitney in the 2014 draft is : Robby Fabbri . This guy has sick hands and speed . 21 Goals in 25 Games played . Fabbri has the best Goals per Game average in the 2014 draft .

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#8 Step Daddy J
December 26 2013, 08:16PM
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Don W wrote:

Ekblad and McDavid will look good in OIlers silks. I have a hard time believing the Oilers won't be in contention to draft both. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it.

If Edmonton Drafts Aron Ekblad in the 2014 nhl draft , mark my words , the Edmonton Oilers will make the 2015 nhl playoffs . Calgary or New Jersey can have Mc David aka Adam Oates 2.0 .

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#9 Step Daddy J
December 26 2013, 08:19PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

Nugent-Hopkins was also cut as a 17 year old, so I guess he sucks then, right? I only heard part of a radio interview with a guy who was involved with the selection process who said that Nurse wasn't the "type" of player they were looking for...but wasn't able to hear the reason why. don't read too much into whether or not junior age players can make Team Canada or not, I have found, with Nuge being a great example of this, that in the long run, not being selected doesn't mean jack when it comes to being a good NHL player in the future. my only concern is that MacT has already made it known that our 1st rounder is already in play. if it's a top 5 pick, maybe he just needs to keep it and pick? this team still needs to continue to build it's developmental system.

Nurse is already drafted when he was cut from Team Canada . Hopkins was not drafted yet . Nurse is a great D , but Ekblad is better . I hope we have both in our lineup next year 2014-2015 .

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#10 A-Mc
December 25 2013, 01:04PM
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Ekblad or a trade are the only 2 options for this year's draft imo (1st round).

If Ekblad is good, big and strong, I can't see how we pass him up; even knowing full well that it'll be years before he makes the NHL lineup regularly.

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#11 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 04:52PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

would the Oilers consider trading their high 1st rounder to Ottawa in a deal to actually get Curtis Lazar? I wouldn't be against that, and we'll likely not have the 1st overall pick anyways, likely closer to #3 #4 #5. you think Ottawa would go for that?

What a stupid idea .All the top 10 in the 2014 draft are all better and younger than Lazar .

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#12 Step Daddy J
December 27 2013, 11:06AM
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JT wrote:

Oh great, here comes the "play bad for Elblad" justification

Why not . You want a cup or two don't you ?? Aron Ekblad will give us that cup !!

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#13 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 25 2013, 12:33PM
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Most of us probably caught a glimpse of Draisaitl at the last WJC when he was often paired with former Oiler prospect Tobias Rieder -- who.. Tambo will be shocked to discover brought his offence with him to the pros:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=34851

Those two made a lot of magic together and Leon was basically still a child.

Matty has the Oilers eyes on Draisaitl:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/12/01/this-n-that-edmonton-oilers-eye-prince-albert-raiders-centre-thinking-ahead-to-nhl-draft/

And for good reason. He's a center, has size and hands. Him and Reinhart are the peaches of the draft this year IMO and I really hope the MacT follows up on his X-mas declaration to scout the WJC and draft eligibles hard:

http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=520814&navid=DL|EDM|home

Ivan Barbashev is my Lazar pick this year. The player I target if we move down to 10-15 spot in the draft. Another center with size and hands. There's a very strong chance he breaks into the top ten by the time the draft hits, however.

Speaking of former Oil kings… LT do you think they would target Pysyk at all? I don't know if BUF would put him on the table… but he'd be a nice add to the prospect list and may fit MacT's recent talk of interest in D on their ELC or still RFA.

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=BUF&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

I wonder if this year's first+ gets you Ehrhoff and Pysyk.

Ehrhoff-Petry Ference-Pysyk Belov-Schultz

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#14 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 10:33PM
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Thinker wrote:

And that time isn't now. It should be, but the rebuild has progressed a little slower than it should have. When we need to go from playoff team to cup contender , then we can talk about these trades.

Right on . There is still lot's of time . We don't won't to be the 90's Leafs or the 2000's Sabres , very strong teams that just couldn't go all the way . We are the Oilers . We want Cups !

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#15 Robin Brownlee
December 25 2013, 12:05PM
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The daredevil donkey in the Santa suit taking a jagged shard of plastic table leg up the chute . . . now, that's funny.

Is it un-Christmas-like to laugh out loud at this knucklehead? I did. Repeatedly.

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#17 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 25 2013, 12:41PM
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Oh, and a merry merry to all the Nations' faithful.

Keep your Oiler jersey in the closet and wear your national jersey with pride as we enjoy the kids sacrifice their holidays and chase WJC glory.

Go Canada Go!

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#18 Pouzar99
December 25 2013, 10:47PM
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The Oilers should seriously consider trading their top pick unless they can get Ekblad. I do not want to suffer through another years with an atrocious D core. We need to beef up on the blueline and add at last two more junkyard dog forwards to the top 3 lines through trades and free agency. It will be hard to accomplish all that but prepare for another year of pain without major upgrades.

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#19 misfit
December 25 2013, 11:16PM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

What a stupid idea .All the top 10 in the 2014 draft are all better and younger than Lazar .

Is "younger than Lazar" really a trait we should be looking for?

I also think once you get past Dal Colle, Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl, and Barbashev, the "better than Lazar" starts to come into question in the forward group in this year's draft as well. But I'm a pretty big Lazar fan, so my bias is probably a factor here.

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#20 Step Daddy J
December 26 2013, 11:21AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

dal Colle appears to have more *scoring* potential than Lazar, though Lazar is a complete player who is finally showing the offensive abilities that scouts have always said he has. I don't know how good dal Colle is defensively, but he would still be an excellent pick for the Oilers and would give us a great 1-2 punch at center down the road.

Ekblad, Mckeown and Fleury would be great Oiler picks too, but none of these d-men are better d-men than Nurse from everything I have read.

my original point was not a *straight up* trade of our 1st rounder for Lazar, but a package involving the two.

Manfly says Ekblad, Mckeown and Fleury would be great Oiler picks too, but none of these d-men are better d-men than Nurse from everything I have read.

If That's So , How does a 17 Year old Ekblad make Team Canada and an older Nurse is cut ? Ekblad is better than Seth Jones .Haydn Fleury is awesome too . Honestly I never thought the Oil would be the second worst team in the nhl half way through the season . I thought at worst same as last year ( 8 th worst ) . At 8 th worst I thaught Haydn Fleury would be a realistic draft pick but since Edmonton is playing so bad this year , Ekblad is within reach ... So go for Ekblad !

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#21 Don W
December 26 2013, 04:21PM
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Ekblad and McDavid will look good in OIlers silks. I have a hard time believing the Oilers won't be in contention to draft both. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it.

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#22 Step Daddy J
December 27 2013, 08:40PM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

Why not . You want a cup or two don't you ?? Aron Ekblad will give us that cup !!

I guess the two dummies that trashed my last message don't want cups .

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#23 Lofty
December 25 2013, 12:15PM
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What about Ekbald?

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#24 John Chambers
December 25 2013, 01:12PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Ekblad or a trade are the only 2 options for this year's draft imo (1st round).

If Ekblad is good, big and strong, I can't see how we pass him up; even knowing full well that it'll be years before he makes the NHL lineup regularly.

I'm with you, but if they could hedge the bet by obtaining a top Dman they need now along with a C with size i say get 'er done.

Like imagine years ago if you had the choice between selecting Gudbrandson or getting over a long payoff absence. In hindsight you would clearly pick the latter.

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#25 Step Daddy J
December 25 2013, 04:57PM
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gr8one wrote:

Question for all of you people that are vastly more informed than me.

What are you're thoughts on this Michael DalColle kid?

Based on the following profile and his position(C), skillset and size, to my eye there's not a better fit for the Oilers and he's projected to go iin the range of where we'll likely be choosing, yet I haven't really heard anything about him or anyone lobbying for him as a choice.

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2014/NHL-Draft-Profiles/Michael-DalColle

Michael DalColle is awesome . He plays with heart , and yes he would make a fine Oiler . Top 5 pick in the 2014 Draft for shure . If we don't get Ekblad , than I would be more than happy with DalColle .

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#26 HardBoiledOil
December 25 2013, 05:19PM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

What a stupid idea .All the top 10 in the 2014 draft are all better and younger than Lazar .

"stupid" is claimimg that "all" of the top 10 in the 2014 draft are "all better" than Lazar. how so?

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#27 Casey
December 25 2013, 05:21PM
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Lofty wrote:

What about Ekbald?

Well that would be a great pick for us BUT we could fit two full rosters of defensemen prospects. Dillon Simpson, Taylor Fedun, Martin Marincin, Marty Gernat, Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom,David Musil, and Brandon Davidson just to name the "notable" ones. I although would really find Ekblad a great pick. The one thing though is we lack a true #2(or #1) centre

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#28 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 25 2013, 06:58PM
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gr8one wrote:

I wonder if the risk of taking themselves out of the Connor McDavid sweeps would Trump that though?

Probably not, but it's a thought though.

No one has any insights on the DalColle kid?

LT's recent take:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1889814-stock-watch-for-top-prospects-in-the-2014-nhl-entry-draft/page/7

whole thing is worth a read.

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#29 Thinker
December 25 2013, 09:50PM
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@camdog

And that time isn't now. It should be, but the rebuild has progressed a little slower than it should have. When we need to go from playoff team to cup contender , then we can talk about these trades.

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#30 Rama Lama
December 26 2013, 12:02PM
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I think the Oilers will play the balance of the season in strong form ( there will be no real pressure anymore) and pull off a bunch of wins. This means we will not be in the top five, if I'm correct when it comes to drafting.

I hope that somehow we end up with another first round draft choice through a trade prior to the trade deadline. If we can have multiple draft picks, that gives us a chance to draft Ekblad and really cement our defence.

Having another second round (to cover for the loss due to the Perron trade) would also give us some options. It seems to me that having good draft choices is the only real currency left for GM's as trades seem to be going extinct.

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#31 They're $hittie
December 26 2013, 07:59PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

^I kind of see this every year.....the next year's players at the next draft are all more valuable than the previous draft's players. and, right, the Oilers scouts are "lazy" and show "too much love" to players playing on a winning team in our own back yard....and I don't know what reports you've been reading about the d-men, but other than Ekblad, I haven't read anywhere about any of the other top d-men in this draft being NHL ready! I doubt Nick Ritchie is on the Oiler radar, though I think he should be at his size. Lazar is out scoring Ritchie too.

the lazy comment was a joke

Picking a bunch of kids from a team that is stacked with overagers in junior and saying they will be good in the nhl because they win in the whl is not a reason to put all your eggs in one basket

the dman i am referring to that is nhl ready is Ekblad, did not mention any other one as being ready

more often than not a top 5 player in any draft will be better than the 17th in the previous draft no matter how deep it is

lazar should not be on the oilers radar because we want a number two center with size, trading gagner in for a younger same sized player just sets the rebuild back

Other than Ekblad, and exceptional Dman with size, a defensive game, an offensive game, a mean side who could be a number one dman, the oilers have options to fill the center position with a number two C with size or a powerforward winger with size.

But you would rather trade this pick for a player who is a year older that the oilers all ready have an abundance of. Unless your plan is to tank for McDavid than this makes no sense.

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#32 D
December 25 2013, 11:39AM
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Merry Christmas LT. Thank you for all the great writing.

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 25 2013, 12:19PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

The daredevil donkey in the Santa suit taking a jagged shard of plastic table leg up the chute . . . now, that's funny.

Is it un-Christmas-like to laugh out loud at this knucklehead? I did. Repeatedly.

And @ LT

If all goes according to plan… what exactly were those guys hoping would happen?

I can't for the life of me figure out how they drew it up on the kitchen table.

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#34 Robin Brownlee
December 25 2013, 12:21PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

And @ LT

If all goes according to plan… what exactly were those guys hoping would happen?

I can't for the life of me figure out how they drew it up on the kitchen table.

Model glue. Plastic bag.

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#35 They're $hittie
December 25 2013, 01:44PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

would the Oilers consider trading their high 1st rounder to Ottawa in a deal to actually get Curtis Lazar? I wouldn't be against that, and we'll likely not have the 1st overall pick anyways, likely closer to #3 #4 #5. you think Ottawa would go for that?

The value in a top 5 pick is way higher than a third line center with no size who might at best become a two way second center. In the top ten there is a star center in Reinhart, Exceptional Dman who will be NHL ready on all accounts, two large centerman with scoring potential in Draisaitl and Barbeshev, as well as a scoring powerforward in Ritchie, but you would want Lazar?

I dont mind taking oil kings in the later rounds but there is too much love there. Are the scouts that lazy they dont even want to leave Rexall?

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#36 CMG30
December 25 2013, 01:57PM
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As a general rule I hate trading away first round picks but this year I wouldn't mind assuming the return was a top paring D-man ready for primetime. But I'm under no illusions that a deal like that may not be out there right now.

If we keep the pick then a big skilled centerman sounds good!

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#37 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 25 2013, 02:44PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Could you imagine if Buf traded for the Oilers 1st and, given that hey already own NYI's pick for Vanek, owned the top 3 picks in the draft?

Reinhart, Ekblad, and Draisaitl in Buffalo. With Grigorenko and Girgensons they would have depth at C to die for.

So maybe they throw in Grigorenko to make the deal for our 1st happen.

NYI put a poison pill in the Vanek trade.

"TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun added Tuesday that if the 2014 first-round draft pick acquired by Buffalo in the deal ends up being a Top 10 selection in June, the Islanders would have the option to defer the pick to the 2015 draft."

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435356

Basically, the Isles can defer the pick a year if they choose and bank on the chance that next year they are greatly improved and the pick won't be so high.

If they are picking in the top 3 this year… I think it is automatic that they exercise the option.

Either way, BUF made out like bandits in that trade.

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#38 gr8one
December 25 2013, 03:56PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

NYI put a poison pill in the Vanek trade.

"TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun added Tuesday that if the 2014 first-round draft pick acquired by Buffalo in the deal ends up being a Top 10 selection in June, the Islanders would have the option to defer the pick to the 2015 draft."

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435356

Basically, the Isles can defer the pick a year if they choose and bank on the chance that next year they are greatly improved and the pick won't be so high.

If they are picking in the top 3 this year… I think it is automatic that they exercise the option.

Either way, BUF made out like bandits in that trade.

I wonder if the risk of taking themselves out of the Connor McDavid sweeps would Trump that though?

Probably not, but it's a thought though.

No one has any insights on the DalColle kid?

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#39 Concur
December 25 2013, 04:11PM
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LT, do you have a bead on any high goalie prospects? MacT mentioned how he wanted to stock the cupboards in that area and we have nothing in the NHL caliber next year, so you can bet on a trade or FA signing to replace Bryz.

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#41 camdog
December 25 2013, 07:51PM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

All of the forwards in the top 10 '14 draft are more better snipers than Lazar and Ekblad and Fleury are two awesome D that the Oilers need . Lazar is a good player , but there is better talent in this year's draft .. Oilers don't need to make any trades . We will get better slowly ..

There will come a time when talent is sacrificed for players that play to win, rather than play to score goals.

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#42 misfit
December 25 2013, 11:06PM
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Very excited to see the Russians play. I was somewhat familiar with Slepyshev from past WJCs, but Yakimov is much more of a mystery to me. I've read a fair bit about him, but have never watched him play.

I don't doubt the Oilers are very interested in Lazar, but I just don't see what sort of opportunity might come up where they would be in a position to trade for him. High skill, high character, toughness and versatility...very little chance Ottawa moves him. Also, MacT is trying to move prospects/picks for players, no? Surely it would take a real player to get Lazar.

I thought I heard that Kapanen was injured and unlikely to play in this tournament. Even so, there's still a lot of 2014 draft eligibles to watch, and (sadly) a very real chance we could end up with our pick of all of them come draft day, or at least the runner up.

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#43 RexHolez
December 26 2013, 02:24AM
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misfit wrote:

Is "younger than Lazar" really a trait we should be looking for?

I also think once you get past Dal Colle, Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl, and Barbashev, the "better than Lazar" starts to come into question in the forward group in this year's draft as well. But I'm a pretty big Lazar fan, so my bias is probably a factor here.

Sounds like someone's been listening to alot of bob stauffer

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#44 Step Daddy J
December 26 2013, 06:20AM
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misfit wrote:

Is "younger than Lazar" really a trait we should be looking for?

I also think once you get past Dal Colle, Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl, and Barbashev, the "better than Lazar" starts to come into question in the forward group in this year's draft as well. But I'm a pretty big Lazar fan, so my bias is probably a factor here.

Nick Ritchie , Brendan Perlini , Jared McCann , William Nylander are all better than Barbashev and round out this year's top 10 . The Oilers need Ekblad or Fleury more than they need Dal Colle, Bennett, Reinhart, Draisait . Defence wins cups .

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#45 Spydyr
December 26 2013, 06:37AM
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Merry Christmas.Go Canada Go.

Hope when it comes the Oilers turn to pick in June the BPA is a possible 2C.

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#46 Spydyr
December 26 2013, 06:57AM
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I don't do this often but if you ever played hockey you will love this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8gzXBpyWGM

Looks like today is a good day to head for an outdoor rink.

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#47 OILERSORDEATH
December 26 2013, 10:10AM
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So Darnel Nurse was cut from the Canadian team?

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#48 HardBoiledOil
December 26 2013, 10:41AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

The value in a top 5 pick is way higher than a third line center with no size who might at best become a two way second center. In the top ten there is a star center in Reinhart, Exceptional Dman who will be NHL ready on all accounts, two large centerman with scoring potential in Draisaitl and Barbeshev, as well as a scoring powerforward in Ritchie, but you would want Lazar?

I dont mind taking oil kings in the later rounds but there is too much love there. Are the scouts that lazy they dont even want to leave Rexall?

^I kind of see this every year.....the next year's players at the next draft are all more valuable than the previous draft's players. and, right, the Oilers scouts are "lazy" and show "too much love" to players playing on a winning team in our own back yard....and I don't know what reports you've been reading about the d-men, but other than Ekblad, I haven't read anywhere about any of the other top d-men in this draft being NHL ready! I doubt Nick Ritchie is on the Oiler radar, though I think he should be at his size. Lazar is out scoring Ritchie too.

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#49 HardBoiledOil
December 26 2013, 11:08AM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

Michael DalColle has more potential than Lazar and Haydn Fleury is a + 200 pound defenceman that might be nhl ready . Fleury and Ekblad make me drool on the D Line ..

dal Colle appears to have more *scoring* potential than Lazar, though Lazar is a complete player who is finally showing the offensive abilities that scouts have always said he has. I don't know how good dal Colle is defensively, but he would still be an excellent pick for the Oilers and would give us a great 1-2 punch at center down the road.

Ekblad, Mckeown and Fleury would be great Oiler picks too, but none of these d-men are better d-men than Nurse from everything I have read.

my original point was not a *straight up* trade of our 1st rounder for Lazar, but a package involving the two.

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#50 HardBoiledOil
December 26 2013, 11:36AM
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Step Daddy J wrote:

Manfly says Ekblad, Mckeown and Fleury would be great Oiler picks too, but none of these d-men are better d-men than Nurse from everything I have read.

If That's So , How does a 17 Year old Ekblad make Team Canada and an older Nurse is cut ? Ekblad is better than Seth Jones .Haydn Fleury is awesome too . Honestly I never thought the Oil would be the second worst team in the nhl half way through the season . I thought at worst same as last year ( 8 th worst ) . At 8 th worst I thaught Haydn Fleury would be a realistic draft pick but since Edmonton is playing so bad this year , Ekblad is within reach ... So go for Ekblad !

Nugent-Hopkins was also cut as a 17 year old, so I guess he sucks then, right? I only heard part of a radio interview with a guy who was involved with the selection process who said that Nurse wasn't the "type" of player they were looking for...but wasn't able to hear the reason why. don't read too much into whether or not junior age players can make Team Canada or not, I have found, with Nuge being a great example of this, that in the long run, not being selected doesn't mean jack when it comes to being a good NHL player in the future. my only concern is that MacT has already made it known that our 1st rounder is already in play. if it's a top 5 pick, maybe he just needs to keep it and pick? this team still needs to continue to build it's developmental system.

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