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.

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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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#101 gcw_rocks
February 21 2013, 12:47PM
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Lazar's rankings are all over the map.

You would have to think that the Oilers, with their love of coke machines, would be very interested Frederik Gauthier. 6'5" with 2-way ability...

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#102 Mikey
February 21 2013, 01:03PM
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keilan wrote:

Can you articulate your thoughts on why that is so?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well just watch an oilers game and you will see. Hall always has the puck or is always calling for it. Good or bad is another topic. When a player always has the puck he is the one driving.

I thought Eberle would/will be the best, but this year I dunno. All he does is cycle the puck so hall can get it, or he skates the puck towards the net then goes behind it. Just once I would love to see him stop at the top of the circle and either look for the trailing man or shoot it.

RNH certainly has sick skill while holding on to the puck near the boards, but he can't make anything happen by himself. He needs someone to pass the puck too. Which he has a sick pass. That is why he can't score 5vs5 and is great in the PP.

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#103 match16
February 21 2013, 01:10PM
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DSF wrote:

That we have to compare a 5 year veteran who was picked in the top 10 with raw rookies is just pathetic.

lol isn't that your specialty?

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#104 keilan
February 21 2013, 01:37PM
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Mikey wrote:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well just watch an oilers game and you will see. Hall always has the puck or is always calling for it. Good or bad is another topic. When a player always has the puck he is the one driving.

I thought Eberle would/will be the best, but this year I dunno. All he does is cycle the puck so hall can get it, or he skates the puck towards the net then goes behind it. Just once I would love to see him stop at the top of the circle and either look for the trailing man or shoot it.

RNH certainly has sick skill while holding on to the puck near the boards, but he can't make anything happen by himself. He needs someone to pass the puck too. Which he has a sick pass. That is why he can't score 5vs5 and is great in the PP.

I think the player that sets the typo of the game, controls the centre of the ice-surface, makes intelligent plays and is smart defensively has greater value then what you described.

Again I like Hall but he isn’t the player the stirs the drink imo.

It’s easy to be critically of any player but a guy with a clear cut breakaway who ends up putting the puck into one corner and crashing himself into the other corner isn’t the picture worthy of a thousand good words.

Hall tries, is very talented and plays with passion but that doesn’t make him better then Nuge. I’m glad he’s on our team though – great supporting cast.

Good to know that RNH is the reason we can't score 5 on 5

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#105 DSF
February 21 2013, 01:48PM
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match16 wrote:

lol isn't that your specialty?

No.

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#106 The Other Ron Burgundy
February 21 2013, 01:58PM
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Sweet Jebus LT - Mila more than makes up for your pic of the Anti-Christ Rachael Ray yesterday.

Oh yeah and Nikushkin or Monahan would be dyn-o-mite. Really liked what I saw of the Russian at the world juniors and Monahan's 17YO numbers project very well, plus he's big. Depending on our draft slot maybe our first and one of the 2nds is enough to move up ('cause please god don't let us be picking in the top 5 unless its because the lotto ball luck continues)

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#107 Mikey
February 21 2013, 02:56PM
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keilan wrote:

I think the player that sets the typo of the game, controls the centre of the ice-surface, makes intelligent plays and is smart defensively has greater value then what you described.

Again I like Hall but he isn’t the player the stirs the drink imo.

It’s easy to be critically of any player but a guy with a clear cut breakaway who ends up putting the puck into one corner and crashing himself into the other corner isn’t the picture worthy of a thousand good words.

Hall tries, is very talented and plays with passion but that doesn’t make him better then Nuge. I’m glad he’s on our team though – great supporting cast.

Good to know that RNH is the reason we can't score 5 on 5

Your confused. What you describe is the better player not the one who stirs the drink. Like I said for better or worse hall stirs the drink. Again watch a oilers game you will understand. Don't take it so personally.

You should practice reading and comprehension, I never put any blame on RNH.

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#108 Mikey
February 21 2013, 03:06PM
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@keilan

The straw that stirs the drink "The person who stimulates or inspires a group"

I don't know about you. But I get inspired by the dude who is creating offense. Not the guy who controls the centre ice. Screw the centre ice. You can't win a game from there, you can lose it, but you can't win it.

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#109 keilan
February 21 2013, 03:47PM
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Mikey wrote:

Your confused. What you describe is the better player not the one who stirs the drink. Like I said for better or worse hall stirs the drink. Again watch a oilers game you will understand. Don't take it so personally.

You should practice reading and comprehension, I never put any blame on RNH.

Learn where to use your & you’re – you’ll appear a little less dense.

The straw that stirs the drink “The person who stimulates or inspires a group; the major factor affecting a trend or set of developments”.

Mikey, don’t take this too personally but are you always the dumb-dumb in the room?

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#110 Mikey
February 21 2013, 03:56PM
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keilan wrote:

Learn where to use your & you’re – you’ll appear a little less dense.

The straw that stirs the drink “The person who stimulates or inspires a group; the major factor affecting a trend or set of developments”.

Mikey, don’t take this too personally but are you always the dumb-dumb in the room?

When someone has no more points to make they resort to name calling and go after grammar. It's cool.

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#111 Ales Hallsky
February 21 2013, 03:56PM
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WTF?!? Its Game Day, Bitches!!

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#112 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 05:12PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

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.

Good points Soup.......I do like Gagner, I really do, but he's not a fit anymore.

Yes, I do believe he will come to NA and dominate., if you watch his videos and read his scouting report, this is not a perimeter player, he drives the net, goes to the net and men can't stop him.

They said the same thing about Galchenyuk, lost a year of development! Won't be able to handle the NHL game, should spend the rest of the year in the OHL.

Age isn't what is keeping these kids back, I will concede it may take him some time adjusting to NA itself.

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#113 Citizen David
February 21 2013, 06:01PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Zadorov has fewer dimensions than all of the other guys in the top 15 imo. He's big, strong, tough and all are great qualities.

But he is not a puck mover and I haven't read anything about a monster shot. In the first round, I think you should take skill over position.

He's inside the top ten on all of Bob Mackenzie's, Craig Button's, and ISS.

Bob- 9th Craig- 8th ISS- 6th

From Bob Mackenzie: physical, very good skill set, strong powerful stride, will assert himself, stops opponents cold in their tracks, has a big shot, it can overwhelm goalies, has huge upside.

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