2013 DRAFT TAKES: TOP 15 (OILERS PICK INSIDE!)

Lowetide
February 20 2013 05:14PM

Russian Valeri Nichushkin is the big climber in our third look at this year's top draft eligibles, and we're far enough into the season to list the top 15. What does that mean? We can project the Oilers 'draft window' and what might be available. Top 15 after the jump.

If the season ended today, the Oilers would draft 11th overall. The top of each season's draft usually goes close to form, with one or maybe two sliders (Filip Forsberg last year, famously Alexei Cherepanov and Angelo Esposito in 2007).

  1. D Seth Jones: There's just too much. Big, strong, skilled, massive wingspan, tough, physical, can do it all. I am a believer in taking the forward over the defender UNLESS we're talking someone who is aces across the board. Jones looks to be such a player. Previous Rank: 1
  2. L Jonathan Drouin: Since our last update not quite one month ago, he's gone 8, 10-10-20 for Halifax and is absolutely blowing away the competition (now 39, 34-48-82 for the season) in terms on points-per-game. I don't know that he'll go 2nd overall (his teammate could go #1) but this is an outstanding resume.PR:2
  3. C Nathan MacKinnon: Based on the scouting services I follow MacKinnon will definitely be the first forward and could be first overall at the draft. I move two players above him based on (Drouin's) offense and (Jones') wide range of elite skills. No slight against MacKinnon, he's an outstanding prospect. PR 3
  4. C Sasha Barkov: A big strong center Bob McKenzie compared to Dale Hawerchuk and that's a lot of skill. A strong World Juniors has some saying he's the best Finnish prospect in over a decade. Skating issues have been mentioned in some scouting reports but it doesn't seem to be a major issue (he's highly ranked on the major lists like McKenzie and Pronman.PR4
  5. L Valeri Nichushkin. An exceptional World Junior tournament has the hockey world talking about this big winger. Pronman: "Nichushkin has a ton of upside between his elite skating, his great skill level, and a good power game. He has been playing in the KHL at 17 and had an impressive World Junior showing." PR8
  6. C Sean Monahan: He's enjoyed a solid showing since the last time we looked at the 2013's (7, 6-5-11) and honestly I'd be thrilled if the Oilers acquired him. Team Canada coach Steve Spott on Monahan: "his hockey sense, in my mind, is at a National Hockey League level right now. He has elite hockey sense. He is just one of those players who can play in any situation - 5-on-5, 5-on-4, on your [penalty kill]. Sean has that innate ability. He is going to be an elite NHL player. There is no doubt about that." He is a little shy offensively compared to the kids above him, that's the reason for this rank. PR 5
  7. L Anthony Mantha: This guy is going to be a player based on the numbers. Now at 45 goals in 57 QMJHL games, he's gone 10, 7-4-11 since our last update. Pronman: "Mantha is an intriguing package of tools as he is 6'4'' with good speed, a heavy shot, and offensive instincts. I wasn't all that sold on him last season, but he has developed well over the last six months or so."  PR 7
  8. D Rasmus Ristolainen: Impressive young defenseman already playing in the SM-Liiga. Craig Button: Rasmus has very good offensive skills with an excellent shot. He jumps into the attack and even initiates the attack if he feels it's necessary. He will play physical, and if he makes contact, you are fully aware of that as an opponent. When the game becomes challenging and the moments important, he is ready, willing and capable of taking a leading role to make a positive difference. A player who is more than capable of being a top defenceman. The description 'workhorse defenceman' comes to mind when you assess his potential. Previously Unranked.
  9. C Elias Lindholm: Has slowed down offensively since January, but remains a quality prospect. Roger Ronnberg (Sweden's coach at the WJ) sums up the player thusly: "He has the smartness and he has the grit to play--he has the most important combinations and that is both the will to compete and the smarts to be a really good player." PR 6
  10. L Hunter Shinkaruk. I know, he's an undersized winger. However, this kid is really putting on a show. 6, 4-7-11 since the last update, he's going to force someone to step up and take him despite the size issue. Corey Pronman: "Shinkaruk is a dynamic offensive player who is a unique skater with high-end hands and finishing ability. He is a little on the small side, though." PR 10
  11. D Darnell Nurse. Fast riser and Craig Button tells us why: Big, strong and competitive and he imposes himself on opponents. Very strong skater with quickness, agility and balance that he uses very effectively to close on plays defensively and to move play ahead and out of his defensive zone. Has really developed his offensive game and he shows the capability of being a very well-rounded and dependable player. The type who can 'log' lots of important minutes in a game and these are valuable players in the NHL. Previously Unranked.
  12. C Curtis Lazar: Oil Kings  Curtis Lazar  has been up and down the draft lists all winter, 32-16-48 this season. In his last 19 games, he's 17-4-21 while still playing a gritty, effective game. 6.0, 198. Pronman: Lazar is a plus skater with a similar amount of two-way work ethic. His production this year has caused mild concerns, but he remains an above-average but not a great offensive player with an upper tier shot. Previously Unranked.
  13. D Josh Morrissey: Highly ranked because of his skating and puck moving ability. Morrissey is a great example of the "new NHL" defenseman: good speed, excellent at moving the puck and solid defensively. Corey Pronman: "Morrissey is a really fun player to watch due to his skating and offensive ability. His only real issue is that his physical game is just okay, leading to questions whether he can be a really effective defender." PR9
  14. L Alexander Wennberg. Craig Button: Can play all three forward positions. Excellent skater who has a free and easy stride with excellent quickness and a change of pace is capable of keeping defenders on their heels. He can open up ice and space for himself with his skating. In traffic, he has the ability to 'slice' through tight areas and with very good balance, can be difficult to deter. Previously unranked.
  15. D Ryan Pulock: Liked this kid from the start. Good offense (50, 14-28-42) from the blueline and a good size/speed combination for the blue (6.01, 211). WHL from Above: Smooth 2-way defender with a bomb of a shot. Button: Very steady, effective and efficient player. His strength is founded on an overall game that is consistent and dependable. Very good puck skills that is augmented by an outstanding shot. Very good vision and awareness and he creates offensive chances. He plays with poise and logs all of the important minutes for his team and he plays with a calming influence.Previously Unranked. 
  • Pronman is such a great resource, his stuff is a must read for draft followers. Latest is here.
  • Bob McKenzie has the inside scoop every year, he is the Bible. You could use his final list in the first two rounds every year, draft bpa and come out looking like a genius. Don't tell Columbus.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

For the Oilers, I think Lazar will be tough to pass over if he's available when they pick. There should be several quality defensemen in that area (the Finn and Nurse are all over the place depending on which scouting service you're reading) and someone like Mantha may fall to them.

The Oilers will not be selecting a Taylor Hall, a Nuge or a Nail this summer. However, the player they get in the first round won't be a bum, either.

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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#51 DSF
February 20 2013, 10:13PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Agree. Find a suitable replacement to help the team win and I am on board. My whole point, and this the last time I will say it, is Barkov, Mackinnon, et al are very unlikely to be an upgrade next year.

Bring in a big, tough, two way, offensively viable centre (since they grow on trees) and I will shake Sammy's hand and help him pack.

Gagner and Hemsky for Ryan O'Reilly.

Problem solved.

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#52 David
February 20 2013, 10:15PM
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speeds wrote:

Thanks for the take, for what it's worth I liked his play when I saw him last year (haven't seen him this year). I do think it is pretty curious to see a highly touted F with so few assists in his draft year, but your take largely lines up with another I read elsewhere (unless this is you posting at HF as well?)

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showpost.php?p=60016127&postcount=483

That's not me, but I agree with what he said. I think like it or not if the oilers finish well enough to be out of the top 10 then they will draft Lazar. They love their Oil Kings. I would be very happy if we do get Lazar. But my take is he would need 2-4 years before coming to the NHL. Time to stop rushing our prospects.

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#53 Ystoil
February 20 2013, 10:19PM
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@DSF

We add in a second and Colorado throws in a first. That's an overpayment for ROR considering Dreger said it was a roster player and a prospect. My opinion anyways.

Edit: I do realize that it's slim to none we get a first out of Colorado.

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#54 Citizen David
February 20 2013, 10:24PM
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@Lowetide

LT, what's your take on Zadorov? I certainly wouldn't mind us taking him in we go the Defensemen route. Don't know if the oilers like him though. Along with Marincin and Gernat that would give us three giants that are excellent skaters on the back end. Where do you think he will end up going?

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#55 Oil country
February 20 2013, 10:30PM
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The oilers finish 24 th overall, then win the lottery again. Tambelini gets fired , Mac T steps up to the podium and selects another Mac.

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#56 The Beaker
February 20 2013, 10:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Gagner and Hemsky for Ryan O'Reilly.

Problem solved.

Ugh... I was going to reply but then I figured I'd take the same advice I'm about to give everyone else.... Don't even bother.

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#57 Walter Sobchak
February 20 2013, 10:46PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

That is where we have to disagree. Nathan Mackinnon would get eaten alive in Gagner's place. He could not play in the top 3 lines at the World Jrs. but suddenly he is lighting it up vs. Mike Richards or Ryan Getzlaf? Barkov is unlikely to play in the NHL next year. I like Monahan but I just don't see these guys playing like seasoned pros in their first year.

That is what makes RNH's rookie year so amazing. What is happening this year is more what I thought last year would be like. Hopefully this year is the anomaly.

Soup, I like Gagner but he IS getting eaten alive out there, you may see me as negative, I'm a huge fan, die hard fan and I share season tickets.

I drive 4 hours on the worst highway in North America to watch the Oilers get eaten alive the last 4 years......I feel I've earned the right to be a little pissed off.

Barkov, right out of Bob McKenzies mouth is NHL ready. Also one of the most dominate players to possible come out of the Finnish elite league.........that is very impressive since the likes of Kurri, Koviu and Selanne have came out of that league.

Gagner is a liability. Also the line is BETTER with the raw rookie then without him.

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#58 Time Travelling Sean
February 20 2013, 10:49PM
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Liability? He costs us games? He is only scoring at a PPG pace this year.

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#59 GeorgeOrwell
February 20 2013, 10:51PM
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At this point, I don't know how anyone could have MacKinnon above Drouin. I know that MacKinnon is a center, and Drouin a winger, but here are their seasons so far:

MacKinnon: 41 - 28 - 41 - 69

Drouin: 40 - 35 - 51 - 86

Drouin has played 1 less game, and has 17 more points! He is tied for 3rd in QMJHL scoring, 4 points back of the leader, who has played 58 games (18 more!).

MacKinnon may play a "bigger" game, but they are pretty much the same size:

MacKinnon: 5'11" - 179 lbs

Drouin: 5'11" - 176 lbs

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#60 Walter Sobchak
February 20 2013, 10:56PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Liability? He costs us games? He is only scoring at a PPG pace this year.

So he is scoring a point a game but its on the PP, good yes.

on evens he's costing them more and will start to lose them games, It's a double edge sword.

He's not good defensively, so with the Oilers only scoring two goals a game he's a free spot on the board or the other team.

Not to mention he's getting eaten up in the face-off's.

You want a oneway player, I want an all round player, you take Gagner, I'll take Barkov see who wins this race in Barkovs rookie year.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
February 20 2013, 10:57PM
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GeorgeOrwell wrote:

At this point, I don't know how anyone could have MacKinnon above Drouin. I know that MacKinnon is a center, and Drouin a winger, but here are their seasons so far:

MacKinnon: 41 - 28 - 41 - 69

Drouin: 40 - 35 - 51 - 86

Drouin has played 1 less game, and has 17 more points! He is tied for 3rd in QMJHL scoring, 4 points back of the leader, who has played 58 games (18 more!).

MacKinnon may play a "bigger" game, but they are pretty much the same size:

MacKinnon: 5'11" - 179 lbs

Drouin: 5'11" - 176 lbs

Drouin is a beast. He is a player.

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#62 keilan
February 20 2013, 11:01PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

That is where we have to disagree. Nathan Mackinnon would get eaten alive in Gagner's place. He could not play in the top 3 lines at the World Jrs. but suddenly he is lighting it up vs. Mike Richards or Ryan Getzlaf? Barkov is unlikely to play in the NHL next year. I like Monahan but I just don't see these guys playing like seasoned pros in their first year.

That is what makes RNH's rookie year so amazing. What is happening this year is more what I thought last year would be like. Hopefully this year is the anomaly.

I'm amazed how often I've read/heard how RNH's is off to a poor start this year.

I guess if someone is looking solely at goals scored thus far you might reach that conclusion. Almost every part of Ryan's game belies his age, he imo is the straw that stirs the Oiler's drink.

Nuge is the real deal and the guy I'd like to see wear the "C" when the time is right. His vision, poise, defensive prowess and hockey IQ are extreme.

When Team Canada comes looking for players, Nuge will be the forward they'll select first from the Oil.

DSF assesses ability/talent better then most here yet is slander repeatedly. He's absolutely correct about he's critic of Gagner in this thread.

Sam is exactly the centre I loved playing against, he doesn't win many face-offs, poor skater, plays small, has no idea what to do in his own end. It never fails to bring a chuckle when I watch Sam directing traffic in his own zone!!

I think Yakapov should be brought along slowly. 3rd line minutes with two responsible linemates learning the defensive side of the game will go a long way in his development. The better he becomes defensively, the more time he sees on the PP. It would be a huge mistake if Yak was one dimensional.

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#63 The Soup Fascist
February 20 2013, 11:14PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Soup, I like Gagner but he IS getting eaten alive out there, you may see me as negative, I'm a huge fan, die hard fan and I share season tickets.

I drive 4 hours on the worst highway in North America to watch the Oilers get eaten alive the last 4 years......I feel I've earned the right to be a little pissed off.

Barkov, right out of Bob McKenzies mouth is NHL ready. Also one of the most dominate players to possible come out of the Finnish elite league.........that is very impressive since the likes of Kurri, Koviu and Selanne have came out of that league.

Gagner is a liability. Also the line is BETTER with the raw rookie then without him.

Big difference between NHL ready and "key contributor at the NHL level" which 2C has to be. I would be surprised if Barkov does not play in Europe next year.

I get it, everyone wants Malkin, Staal or Richards as there #2 centre - me too! - but the truth is those guys are few and far between. So unless you can find someone who helps us now I am tired of beating on a guy who is giving us all he has.

At the end of the day we both want better results and at least for myself I want to get better soon. Barkov as 2C makes you better in 3 or 4 years, I just don't think next year. So fine lets find that elusive big body in the middle but if the plan is to put a raw rookie in Gagner's spot next year I think we keep hearing the same song.

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#64 The Soup Fascist
February 20 2013, 11:19PM
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keilan wrote:

I'm amazed how often I've read/heard how RNH's is off to a poor start this year.

I guess if someone is looking solely at goals scored thus far you might reach that conclusion. Almost every part of Ryan's game belies his age, he imo is the straw that stirs the Oiler's drink.

Nuge is the real deal and the guy I'd like to see wear the "C" when the time is right. His vision, poise, defensive prowess and hockey IQ are extreme.

When Team Canada comes looking for players, Nuge will be the forward they'll select first from the Oil.

DSF assesses ability/talent better then most here yet is slander repeatedly. He's absolutely correct about he's critic of Gagner in this thread.

Sam is exactly the centre I loved playing against, he doesn't win many face-offs, poor skater, plays small, has no idea what to do in his own end. It never fails to bring a chuckle when I watch Sam directing traffic in his own zone!!

I think Yakapov should be brought along slowly. 3rd line minutes with two responsible linemates learning the defensive side of the game will go a long way in his development. The better he becomes defensively, the more time he sees on the PP. It would be a huge mistake if Yak was one dimensional.

I Agree. You would OWN Gagner on the ice.

Now if we could just get Sam to come out to Claireview for Div 6 beer league Tuesday nights at 10 .......

PS. Ebs is on 2014 Olympic squad. RNH is at home watching. I like Nuge too but Canada is waaaaaay deep at centre.

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#65 GVBlackhawk
February 21 2013, 12:47AM
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keilan wrote:

I'm amazed how often I've read/heard how RNH's is off to a poor start this year.

I guess if someone is looking solely at goals scored thus far you might reach that conclusion. Almost every part of Ryan's game belies his age, he imo is the straw that stirs the Oiler's drink.

Nuge is the real deal and the guy I'd like to see wear the "C" when the time is right. His vision, poise, defensive prowess and hockey IQ are extreme.

When Team Canada comes looking for players, Nuge will be the forward they'll select first from the Oil.

DSF assesses ability/talent better then most here yet is slander repeatedly. He's absolutely correct about he's critic of Gagner in this thread.

Sam is exactly the centre I loved playing against, he doesn't win many face-offs, poor skater, plays small, has no idea what to do in his own end. It never fails to bring a chuckle when I watch Sam directing traffic in his own zone!!

I think Yakapov should be brought along slowly. 3rd line minutes with two responsible linemates learning the defensive side of the game will go a long way in his development. The better he becomes defensively, the more time he sees on the PP. It would be a huge mistake if Yak was one dimensional.

I disagree vehemently with the following statements:

RNH stirs the drink. No, that's Hall. This is not a slam on RNH; Hall drives the bus. Period.

DSF is a great evaluator of talent. No, he throws enough sh!t against the wall that some of it sticks. I can cite a multitude of examples of his prognostic blundering.

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#66 Reg Dunlop
February 21 2013, 12:49AM
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Sounds like a deep 1st round this year, wonderful news for Columbus but really should not impact our NHL roster. It is time to slowly develop our prospects, in essence we need to teach our children. Throwing them out against the Getzlafs of the world is akin to leaving kids home alone with matches to play with while you go to the casino. Ah, the casino... reminds me of when my brats were little.

For anyone who saw the Pitt-Philly game tonight, this should show how incredibly far the oil have to go to compete against motivated men. 5 Penguins in their crease frantically thwarting a scoring chance. Intense puck battles, hits and fights meant to hurt. YIKES. The oil have NO chance presently in a game this intense. Maybe even a few oiler players . would have spent extended periods pretending to tie their skates a'la Pierre Turgeon in Piestany. Love them oilers but we are still years away IF we can man-up our roster, if we can't I think this rebuild may not have an end point.

The flames, compared to us, lack youth, potential, excitement, depth and decent jerseys.What they do have over us is toughness and commitment. When we face them we lose. Have for years. They play us like the game is IMPORTANT. The BOA and all that. It's just another game to the oil. This is part of the losing culture that has taken foothold in our dressing room and front office. Anyone calling BS on this, ask yourself: why would we go year after year with an AHL defence and bottom 6 forwards that could not play for any other NHL squad? Anyway, I forgot what my point was; I am just so choked by the way this season seems to be playing out.

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#67 GVBlackhawk
February 21 2013, 12:57AM
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Jasmine wrote:

No matter who the Oilers draft, fans will criticize them for it. It's happened since 2000 so why would this year be different. I remember fans being upset in 2010 as they wanted Seguin instead of Hall. 2011 they wanted Larsson instead of RNH. Last year Don Cherry bashed the Oilers for drafting Nail instead of Murray. Cherry went on to say that the Oilers will regret not drafting Murray.

Well if Don Cherry said that, then it MUST be true.....

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#68 GVBlackhawk
February 21 2013, 01:01AM
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DSF wrote:

How about this?:

"Just a horrible game on so many levels here. Sam Gagner put up a season worst -16 even strength Corsi, beating his own record of -14. He was on for 6 shots for, and 22 against.

Think about that.

Almost 4 times as many shots were taken against his net as he got off on theirs. And therein lies the contradiction of Samwise. The guy has the offensive talent level to complement great players and put up points, but his overall play this season at even strength has been extremely, unquestionably poor.

Out of the 15 games played so far, he’s had one of the worst three Corsi rates on the Oilers 8 times. I’m not sure what’s wrong with the second line, but it’s not working, and not having a serviceable second line will kill this team’s chances of making the playoffs."

http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/02/19/game-notes-oilerskings-feb-19/

On one hand you are anti-Corsi. On the other hand you use Corsi numbers to support your argument.

Hypocrite. You can't have it both ways.

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#69 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 03:54AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Big difference between NHL ready and "key contributor at the NHL level" which 2C has to be. I would be surprised if Barkov does not play in Europe next year.

I get it, everyone wants Malkin, Staal or Richards as there #2 centre - me too! - but the truth is those guys are few and far between. So unless you can find someone who helps us now I am tired of beating on a guy who is giving us all he has.

At the end of the day we both want better results and at least for myself I want to get better soon. Barkov as 2C makes you better in 3 or 4 years, I just don't think next year. So fine lets find that elusive big body in the middle but if the plan is to put a raw rookie in Gagner's spot next year I think we keep hearing the same song.

I get it, your in love with a one dimensional player, terrific.

As for Barkov, no he's not spending another year in the elite league, he's been playing against men for 3 years already.

You mean not ready like Hall was not? No, how about not ready like RNH, or Paajarvi or Eberle, Yakupov perhaps? You must mean Schultz?

That's a bogus argument, you know it, I know it. Bob MacKenzie and Craig Buton tell you he's NHL ready and you come back with in 3-4 years.

C'mon man.

Lets find out, Barkovs rookie season he out perform Gagner defensively and is damn close or better offensively.

PS unlike past years, this is a deep draft of elite players, the top ten are exceptional.

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#70 fuzzy muppet
February 21 2013, 06:57AM
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I'm willing to bet this is Gagner' last year as an Oiler.

He is in year 6 and still can't play a lick of defense.

His PPG totals enable them to sell high, which they will.

he's getting a raise after this year because of his offensive statistics and if the Oilers throw 4.5+ at 89, this team will be bottom dwellers for a long, long time.

Gagner can be a good 2nd line player, but it's not at C, and it's NOT for the Oilers.

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#71 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 21 2013, 07:29AM
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@keilan

DSF assesses ability/talent better then most here yet is slander repeatedly.

DSF has left a long enough trail of BS to have earned his reputation, both good and bad.

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#73 Shane
February 21 2013, 08:04AM
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LT,

That is the best picture of Mila I have ever seen.....WOW!! That girl is simply stunning, thank you! I mean look at .....ugh.....err... Oh yea, ugh, draft picks and what not, hockey!

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#74 gcw_rocks
February 21 2013, 08:23AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Liability? He costs us games? He is only scoring at a PPG pace this year.

In the last game against the Kings, Gagner was on for 6 shots for, and 22 against. He has been in the bottom three on this metric for the Oilers in more than half their games.

The points are there, but Gagner has and will cost this team a lot of wins if he keeps this up.

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#75 Clyde Frog
February 21 2013, 08:28AM
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Has anyone ever noticed that the statement "This years draft is way more deep than the previous years" is regularly stated BEFORE the draft takes place; then never said again until the next draft?

Last years draft was so deep fans wanted us to trade away the farm for a shot at another 1st rounder. The year before the same.... The year before that? The same.

Keep your core roster players and trade your fringes for other roster players. Any extra magic beans we pick up will be 2-4 years away.

Also as for DSF's talent at well identifying talent...

I believe his top 3 in the west were: 1) MINN

2) STL

3) LAK

Yup, amazing talent.

Oh and for funzies:

Shultz is at 4 G 4 A -5 while Suter is crushing it in Minny with 0 G 8 A -5

Gagner is at 5 G 11 A -3 and Parise is killing it at 7 G 5 A +/- 0

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#76 Shane
February 21 2013, 08:58AM
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@Clyde Frog

I remember hearing nothing about strong draft last year. I thought all I heard was that it was a very weak draft year

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#77 michael
February 21 2013, 09:02AM
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Great look at what we are going to be all talking about come June. The deal is this for me. Until further notice the plans for a Stanley Cup Parade are on hold. The league this years has shown that we need more size on the wings to be competitive. The Oilers are getting killed below the goal line. Teams like L.A.,Pheonix and suchlike are running are show because we lack the physical size combined with the grit to push back. Of our Dmen Smid and Fistric are the only ones who show any willingness to engage.

We need a serious look at our size issue. Also who we are choosing in terms of character.The Justin Shultz's of the league are nice to have but need more mark Fistrics. We really need to be harder to play against.

If I were picking I would take Lazar.he is hard to play against.

Unfortunately I believe that we have hit a critical point in the season where we either will move forward or take a step back. The lack of scoring throughout the league 5 on 5 is a huge issue. On the Oilers the players being counted on to perform that role are failing miserably.They are playing well but whether through a combination of bad luck or defence the team is not firing on all cylinders.

The Oilers are walking into the slaughter chute and the bolt is about to end any hope for a step forward this season. All the arrows are pointing in a direction that we all have seen before. Unless a sense of urgency is instilled into this team sooner than later the Oilers will be picking much higher than most of us thought at the beginning of the season.

I believe without any changes in the current roster the Oilers will likely finish 27th. I see a 65 point season when all is said and done.

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#78 Mike Krushelnyski
February 21 2013, 09:20AM
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If we're picking a forward outside the top 5, I think we have to be looking at a guy who is at least 6'3. No more 6'0 195 forwards please.

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#79 DSF
February 21 2013, 09:28AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Has anyone ever noticed that the statement "This years draft is way more deep than the previous years" is regularly stated BEFORE the draft takes place; then never said again until the next draft?

Last years draft was so deep fans wanted us to trade away the farm for a shot at another 1st rounder. The year before the same.... The year before that? The same.

Keep your core roster players and trade your fringes for other roster players. Any extra magic beans we pick up will be 2-4 years away.

Also as for DSF's talent at well identifying talent...

I believe his top 3 in the west were: 1) MINN

2) STL

3) LAK

Yup, amazing talent.

Oh and for funzies:

Shultz is at 4 G 4 A -5 while Suter is crushing it in Minny with 0 G 8 A -5

Gagner is at 5 G 11 A -3 and Parise is killing it at 7 G 5 A +/- 0

Well, I have to admit I didn't see Chicago or Anaheim playing lights out the way they are.

Who did?

The Wild are slowly getting their stuff together (5-4-1 in their last 10) and I think are poised to make a run up the standings. Considering they have turned over 40 percent of their roster in one off season, that's not surprising.

STL lost their starting goalie and have been relying on a rookie but, as soon as Halak returns, they'll be just fine although I doubt anyone can catch Chicago at this point.

No idea why LAK can't score...if you can figure it out...please let Sutter know.

Must win game for the Oilers tonight kids...lose and it's over.

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#80 Clyde Frog
February 21 2013, 09:31AM
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Shane wrote:

I remember hearing nothing about strong draft last year. I thought all I heard was that it was a very weak draft year

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/06/20/rating-the-nhl-draft-pool

There was plenty of talk on these boards and in the media about trading into certain ranges as there was depth.

There was also talk about it not being as deep, just saying as we approach draft classes we tend to get beer goggles about the potential of the "magic beans".

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#81 DieHard
February 21 2013, 09:32AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

If we're picking a forward outside the top 5, I think we have to be looking at a guy who is at least 6'3. No more 6'0 195 forwards please.

I agree. This is Lazar size.

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#82 Phixieus666
February 21 2013, 09:54AM
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@DSF

And you just lost 60% of this team goal production on the year. RIGHT.

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#83 RSD
February 21 2013, 10:04AM
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@DSF

I doubt that it is must win but, they are certainly running out of time and space to keep close to the top 8. .

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#84 RSD
February 21 2013, 10:08AM
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@DieHard

We need less finness, and more size & grit.

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#85 keilan
February 21 2013, 10:31AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I Agree. You would OWN Gagner on the ice.

Now if we could just get Sam to come out to Claireview for Div 6 beer league Tuesday nights at 10 .......

PS. Ebs is on 2014 Olympic squad. RNH is at home watching. I like Nuge too but Canada is waaaaaay deep at centre.

The point is relative to whatever level you played at whether it’s midget, junior or the bigs. If someone doesn't win many face-offs, poor skater, plays small, has no idea what to do in his own end. They are the guy you wanted to play against. When NHL centre’s line up against Gagner they are licking their chops.

Ebs is 22 and Nuge is 19 – who do think will be the better player over the next 10 years? This isn’t a slight against Jordan, I like him for what he is.

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#86 keilan
February 21 2013, 10:43AM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

I disagree vehemently with the following statements:

RNH stirs the drink. No, that's Hall. This is not a slam on RNH; Hall drives the bus. Period.

DSF is a great evaluator of talent. No, he throws enough sh!t against the wall that some of it sticks. I can cite a multitude of examples of his prognostic blundering.

I don’t read most of the posts here but from the posts I’ve read, DSF hockey IQ is greater then most of the other posters here. Many posters here are simply homers and appear incapable of independent thought.

Because you state that Hall drives the bus doesn’t make it so. For what it’s worth I was hoping we’d have taken Sequin at the draft. Again I like Hall but we disagree on who stirs the drink.

Period :)

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#87 Dougers14
February 21 2013, 10:49AM
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michael wrote:

Great look at what we are going to be all talking about come June. The deal is this for me. Until further notice the plans for a Stanley Cup Parade are on hold. The league this years has shown that we need more size on the wings to be competitive. The Oilers are getting killed below the goal line. Teams like L.A.,Pheonix and suchlike are running are show because we lack the physical size combined with the grit to push back. Of our Dmen Smid and Fistric are the only ones who show any willingness to engage.

We need a serious look at our size issue. Also who we are choosing in terms of character.The Justin Shultz's of the league are nice to have but need more mark Fistrics. We really need to be harder to play against.

If I were picking I would take Lazar.he is hard to play against.

Unfortunately I believe that we have hit a critical point in the season where we either will move forward or take a step back. The lack of scoring throughout the league 5 on 5 is a huge issue. On the Oilers the players being counted on to perform that role are failing miserably.They are playing well but whether through a combination of bad luck or defence the team is not firing on all cylinders.

The Oilers are walking into the slaughter chute and the bolt is about to end any hope for a step forward this season. All the arrows are pointing in a direction that we all have seen before. Unless a sense of urgency is instilled into this team sooner than later the Oilers will be picking much higher than most of us thought at the beginning of the season.

I believe without any changes in the current roster the Oilers will likely finish 27th. I see a 65 point season when all is said and done.

I absolutely agree with you. We are still to easy to play against and that is why we lost against the Kings. Down low are forwards are getting beaten on board battles...I love our compete this year, there is no lack of effort but simply not strong enough to win those battles.

We need size all through the lineup, I have been impressed with Eager's play lately as he is engaged and finishing checks but we need more of that.

As far as who the Oilers should take in the first round this year, it should be Sean Monahan. A good strong two-way centre which we desperately need!!

We are too weak up the middle and this needs to be addressed. I like Lazar, but it worries me that the Oilers are so focused on the Oil King players, for example when they reached for Mitch Moroz when better players were available. I don't want to see them do that again!

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#88 DSF
February 21 2013, 10:53AM
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RSD wrote:

I doubt that it is must win but, they are certainly running out of time and space to keep close to the top 8. .

It's about as close to must win as you can get.

The problem isn't so much how many points they are out of the playoffs but how many teams are in front of them.

In order to make the playoffs, they don't need to just play better than the team holding down the last playoff spot, they have to play better than ALL the teams between them and the last spot.

With Bettman points in play, that's very tough to do.

Spots Club Stats currently has the Oilers chances of making the playoffs at 27.8% and a loss tonight drops that to 20%

With the road trip from hell approaching, I think there is very little margin for error.

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#89 Dougers14
February 21 2013, 10:55AM
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Oh and by the way, HALL drives the bus on this team, it will go as far as HALL takes them. I love Eberle and RNH and they will get more points over the years I think, but HALL is the backbone of this team and will be for the next 10-15 years!

If you don't agree, then I would suggest that you are not watching this team closely.

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#90 keilan
February 21 2013, 11:01AM
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Dougers14 wrote:

Oh and by the way, HALL drives the bus on this team, it will go as far as HALL takes them. I love Eberle and RNH and they will get more points over the years I think, but HALL is the backbone of this team and will be for the next 10-15 years!

If you don't agree, then I would suggest that you are not watching this team closely.

Can you articulate your thoughts on why that is so?

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#91 Lochenzo
February 21 2013, 11:10AM
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Gags and Hemmer for O'Reilly...ugh. Let's just say that Colorado has some great young players. Let's not make them an extremely significant threat for the division crown against the Oilers over the coming years. I'd even extend that argument to western conference teams like Chicago. Chicago is already a Cup winner, and that roster will remain intact for many years. Can't win the Stanley Cup if you can't win the conference.

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#92 GeorgeOrwell
February 21 2013, 11:16AM
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@keilan

I would not be able to articulate it that well, but this article does a pretty good job:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/2/13/3985812/jordan-eberle-ryan-nugent-hopkins-depend-on-taylor-hall

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#93 GeorgeOrwell
February 21 2013, 11:25AM
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Oh, and to comment on the topic on hand, Darnell Nurse is who I hope the Oilers draft. Big, mean, mobile two-way defender, with definite top pair potential. The only downside to drafting him is that is would mean we are picking top ten.*

*All of this assumes we don't win the lottery after finishing 9th in the West and take Seth Jones.

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#94 keilan
February 21 2013, 11:43AM
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GeorgeOrwell wrote:

I would not be able to articulate it that well, but this article does a pretty good job:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/2/13/3985812/jordan-eberle-ryan-nugent-hopkins-depend-on-taylor-hall

Really George :)

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#95 keilan
February 21 2013, 11:47AM
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At the start of the year I picked the Oilers to finish 12th in the Western Conference. This is a club that hasn’t had a rash-of-injuries like other teams and we were expected to get off to a good start.

What happened?

I think Ralph Kruger is an upgrade.

Our goaltending has been better then expected.

Justin Schultz is better then expected. The rest of the defense is playing about as expected overall but still require an upgrade in personnel.

The core forwards are young and won’t fully develop unless management can acquire some leadership and toughness in the next year. The culture of this team needs to change, winning hockey games is largely about beating the guy across from you.

When Nuge got run over by Dustin Brown the other night the Oilers didn’t have an answer. This team has a tremendous upside but that window can close pretty quickly if the Oilers continue along this path much longer imo.

As of today it’s possible that the Oilers won’t finish any better then last year and that shouldn’t be acceptable in this market.

What would this team look like if we lost Justin Schultz and RNH for 6 weeks?

And guys are talking play-offs – wow!

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#96 The Soup Fascist
February 21 2013, 11:51AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I get it, your in love with a one dimensional player, terrific.

As for Barkov, no he's not spending another year in the elite league, he's been playing against men for 3 years already.

You mean not ready like Hall was not? No, how about not ready like RNH, or Paajarvi or Eberle, Yakupov perhaps? You must mean Schultz?

That's a bogus argument, you know it, I know it. Bob MacKenzie and Craig Buton tell you he's NHL ready and you come back with in 3-4 years.

C'mon man.

Lets find out, Barkovs rookie season he out perform Gagner defensively and is damn close or better offensively.

PS unlike past years, this is a deep draft of elite players, the top ten are exceptional.

WW, Please re-read what you are saying. Three of the guys were FIRST OVERALLS, Schultz is 22 and been an elite player in NCAA for three years, Paajarvi certainly could have used that first year in the minors and Eberle was good but not off the charts as a 20 year old.

Barkov is in his second year of FEL hockey, not third and will just have turned 18 when camp begins next year. He is almost a year younger than Hall / Yak were at draft day. Look, he is Unquestionably a special player the Oilers would love to have. Wes I would love if they got this kid! But ...

.... If you think a VERY young 18 year old (he barely made this draft because of his birthday) who has never played a game of "North American" hockey and is adjusting to a new country and culture is going to be a dominant 2C in the NHL .... I think you can be logical enough to admit where this is going.

So yes draft him, I would rather have him than Drouin or MacKinnon but don't expect him to be more effective than Sam Gagner in October or for a year or two after that. That is expecting WAY too much from the kid. If you don't like SG fine, but bring in a viable effective NHLer to replace him.

C'mon Wes. I am glad you are a dedicated Oilers fan but we need to stop putting these kids on pedestals and then the minute they aren't what we THINK they should be, we start wringing our hands when they are not all in the top 10 in scoring.

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#97 Mikey
February 21 2013, 11:52AM
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DSF wrote:

Probably.

Alex Galchenyuk:

2G 8A 10P +9.

6'1" 200.

Oh, what could have been.

P.S. Gagner is the problem on that line.

I do agree Galchenyuk would have been better for the oilers. And as much as I support Gagner he could have been a nice piece to move to bring something in, maybe a big winger.

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#98 striker777
February 21 2013, 12:20PM
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Drafting Nichushkin would solve our lack of size issues. This kid is a gamer. My only concern is does he want to play in North America? I have a feeling KHL will try to smother him in cash.

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#99 RSD
February 21 2013, 12:33PM
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@DSF

Very true. I suppose the oilers better get their asses in gear and start clicking or else they will be trying to collect draft picks at the trade deadline.

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#100 John
February 21 2013, 12:40PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

If we're picking a forward outside the top 5, I think we have to be looking at a guy who is at least 6'3. No more 6'0 195 forwards please.

I understand everyone's want of a power forward or just a bigger player in general to play in the top 6 but to go into the draft wanting something specific in the first round is just wrong.

Does everyone already forget in 2003 when we needed a big center and ended up trading down so that we could draft Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques in the second round instead of drafting Parise?

No matter what you do, you always draft the best available player unless two players are basically equal and then you go based off of need. If the best player available ends up being Shinkaruk or someone small and they end up turning out great or have huge potential, then you can package him off to get something that suits your own needs.

While I don't agree with drating Moroz or really any of the others drafted last year, at least EDM didn't do that in the first round. The first round has the highest chance of getting an NHL player so we shouldn't waste it just because we want someone for their weight. Look how Penner has worked out.

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