Nail Yakupov leads all NHL rookies in scoring

Jonathan Willis
April 28 2013 01:14PM

For the second consecutive season, an Edmonton Oiler is tied for the rookie scoring lead in the NHL. This time, it’s Nail Yakupov, who scored a hat-trick in Edmonton’s final game to tie Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau with 31 points. Additionally, with 17 goals Yakupov sits alone at the top of the rookie goal-scoring charts.

The NHL’s schedule is almost finished, with Ottawa playing Boston tonight. The Senators’ Cory Conacher has 11 goals and 28 points, so with a four-point night he could move into the scoring lead, but right now the smart money is that Yakupov and Huberdeau will end up co-scoring leaders among rookies.

Yakupov’s Sensational Stretch

As Bob Stauffer points out this morning, Yakupov has been on an unbelievable tear of late, even as the team has (mostly) struggled around him.

Yakupov’s assist rate over both this most recent run and from the beginning of the year is basically unchanged; he posted 0.29 assists per game over his first 34 and 0.29 assists per game over his last 14. What has changed is his shooting – he’s gone from firing 1.4 shots per game to 2.4 shots per game. By eye he’s been a much better player all over the ice during this last stretch, and I think this helps confirm that in that he’s finally starting to generate shots in volume.

Also spiking was shooting percentage; after a 12.5 percent run over his first 34 games, he’s scored 11 times on 33 shots for a 33.3 percent shooting number. He’s now at 21.0 percent on the season, a number which is almost certainly too good to be true. However, the possibility at least should be considered that Yakupov could be a truly elite shooting percentage player (15.0%+) – we don’t have his shooting percentage from junior, but we know he was a better goal-scorer than Taylor Hall and a much better goal-scorer than Jordan Eberle at the same points in their careers. Of all the things that make Nail Yakupov a fantastic prospect, his shot stands out as something that is a high-end NHL weapon in the here and now; it’s just a matter of the rest of his game catching up to it.

Everything has been catching up; it’s a process but his growth as a player is undeniable. Criag MacTavish raved about his development on After Hours last night and particularly highlighted Yakupov’s willingness to put extra work in. That kind of skill married to that kind of work ethic make him a very special player.

Award Possibilities

Yakupov’s strong run over the late season has moved him into the conversation for the Calder Trophy. I think he ultimately finishes as a finalist rather than the winner simply because Jonas Brodin has been such a revelation on the Minnesota blue line. Over a full season, that might be different because the learning curve for Yakupov was steep in the early going and he hasn’t had a lot of time to make up for it, but over a shortened year I think he falls just short.

He should be on the all-rookie team, though. The three forwards on that squad will doubltess come from the group of six with 27+ points: Yakupov, Huberdeau, Conacher, Brendan Galalgher, Brandon Saad and Alex Galchenyuk. The defenders seem obvious – Brodin and Justin Schultz – and while there are three possibles for the goaltender honours Ottawa’s Robin Lehner seems the logical choice.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Dennis
April 28 2013, 03:18PM
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Does Whitney know he's out the door already? Interesting tweet.

Ryan Whitney ‏@ryanwhitney6 Want to wish the Oilers best of luck in the future. Met a lot of great people and made some life long friends during my time in Edmonton

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#52 Aron S
April 28 2013, 03:22PM
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Dennis wrote:

Does Whitney know he's out the door already? Interesting tweet.

Ryan Whitney ‏@ryanwhitney6 Want to wish the Oilers best of luck in the future. Met a lot of great people and made some life long friends during my time in Edmonton

Yeah, the interwebs are blowing up because he just ripped coaching and management. He wants to play with a "really good team" and thinks Potter and Fistric should have been sat before him. More at the Journal (by Willis) and at Lowetide's site.

Oh and also, he's "already made his money" to paraphrase. You're welcome, Ryan.

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#53 Dennis
April 28 2013, 03:26PM
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Aron S wrote:

Yeah, the interwebs are blowing up because he just ripped coaching and management. He wants to play with a "really good team" and thinks Potter and Fistric should have been sat before him. More at the Journal (by Willis) and at Lowetide's site.

Oh and also, he's "already made his money" to paraphrase. You're welcome, Ryan.

Yeah I just listened to his end of year interview. Pffff! Well see you later Whitney. Take your inability to turn somewhere else. Newsflash, most people can play better on a "really good team". That's kind of what makes them "really good". LOL

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#54 Crispy
April 28 2013, 03:44PM
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The main thing that annoys me about Whitney is that we are now losing him for nothing when we could have salvaged something for him at the trade deadline. Maybe a second round pick. He should be on a "really good" team right now realizing we're not the only team that would scratch him.

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#55 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 03:58PM
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Crispy wrote:

The main thing that annoys me about Whitney is that we are now losing him for nothing when we could have salvaged something for him at the trade deadline. Maybe a second round pick. He should be on a "really good" team right now realizing we're not the only team that would scratch him.

He was offered up to everyone for anything. No takers. Everyone could see his limitations and his stats. No one was risking a bag of pucks, let alone a second round pick, for a guy that can't skate. The saddest moment of his career was in his last game against Anaheim where he really looked like a guy off the street who won a "be an Oiler for a day" contest. Twice he fell like a tier 6 peewee, when he tried to turn on his bad ankle. I felt sorry for him then, and I feel sorry for him now. But he's well spoken enough to land a media career. Dollars to donuts he's played his last NHL game.

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#56 Dennis
April 28 2013, 04:00PM
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@Crispy

Hopefully those dithering days are over. He should have been gone, but then again, a lot of things should have been done that didn't happen.

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#57 justDOit
April 28 2013, 04:01PM
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Crispy wrote:

The main thing that annoys me about Whitney is that we are now losing him for nothing when we could have salvaged something for him at the trade deadline. Maybe a second round pick. He should be on a "really good" team right now realizing we're not the only team that would scratch him.

You have no way of knowing that he wasn't shopped, and that the return offered just wasn't worth it.

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#58 Naky
April 28 2013, 04:06PM
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Pft. Calder. Yeah right.

It will be either Huberdeau, because he's in the east and because he can be sold as 'the only bright spot on a really bad team this year' or Brodin because 'oh wow rookie defenseman is really awesome in a really tough position despite getting paired with a really awesome veteran defenseman... oh and we want someone from the west that isn't on the Oilers'.

So, no, there will be no Calder for Yak City sadly.

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#59 Saytalk
April 28 2013, 04:08PM
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If Barrett Jackman can win the Calder from partnering with Al MacInnis, then Jonas Brodin can win it from partnering with Ryan Suter. Not sure if the eastern voters have even paid enough attention to notice him though, so that will give Yak and Huberdeau a chance.

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#60 Crispy
April 28 2013, 04:14PM
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justDOit wrote:

You have no way of knowing that he wasn't shopped, and that the return offered just wasn't worth it.

I thought the general feeling was that Tambellini was showing good faith in the team by not trading Whitney, since they were still in the playoff race. It would be interesting to see what any offers might have been... Maybe a second round pick is too high, Douglas Murray got 2 2nds though.

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#61 Gaz
April 28 2013, 04:14PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Please stop with Wellwood. Even if their numbers are similar (I dunno; didn't check), Wellwood hangs out and gets fat in the offseason. Not the best attitude to emulate.

Horcoff is overpaid (at least his salary is moving in the right direction the next two years) but he is a pro, whether you like his game or not.

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#62 dougthesluig
April 28 2013, 04:18PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

And @Justdoit

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/17/steve-tambellini-made-the-popular-but-wrong-choices-for-the-edmonton-oilers-at-the-trade-deadline/

yes, there were a lot of different scenarios where I could have moved people for mid-round picks, maybe a little higher in a couple of other circumstances, but that wasn’t my goal coming into this trade deadline. It was to find somehow to not take away from the depth of our dressing room, or the people that we’ve asked to compete so hard to get to this spot, was to show them that we trust this group, that they have a wonderful opportunity to get to the playoffs here.

Moves were there. A mid-round or higher pick for Whitney would look pretty good to Stu right now I bet.

They weren't talking about Whitney

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#63 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 04:20PM
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dougthesluig wrote:

They weren't talking about Whitney

Considering he's a UFA and the team had soured on him...

He's the likely choice to be shopped... along with Jones, Nik, Fistric and the other UFAs.

Who do you think he's talking about?

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#64 toprightcorner
April 28 2013, 04:21PM
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I don't think Brodin wins, his stats don't really jump off the page and most eastern voters won't have seen him on the ice to sway their decision. He is also playing beside one of the best defenceman in the league.

I actually think Shultz has a chance to win based on offensive totals. plus/minus means nothing because the team your on makes such a huge difference. Dany Heatly was -19 and Alfredsson was -18 when they won the Calder.

A defenceman only 4 points off the scoring lead is a huge accomplishment and he won defenecemen of the year in the AHL playing less then half a season. That's defenceman, not rookie.

Offence seems to rule the roost when it comes to the Calder and Schultz, as a defenceman, stats jump of the page and slap you in the face! Tied for 12th in defenceman scoring.

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#65 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 04:24PM
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It's very rare for D to win the Calder.

I think Yak loses... because Oilers, if not... because filthy Russian celebrationist.

But Gallagher, Huberdeau and Conacher all have a shot.

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#66 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 04:25PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I think it's safe to say Eberle is not overpaid. We're talking about a player who can put up 76 points in a season.

As for Hall, 6 million is chump change for a top 10 NHL scorer.

With guys like Zach (same number of points as Gagner) Parise making 7.53 million unto 2025(caphit, actually 12 mill for the next 3 years), you can bet your bottom dollar that Ebs and Hall aren't overpaid. Hall's contract looks like the smartest thing Tambo did (not much competition but still....)

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#67 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 04:30PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Considering he's a UFA and the team had soured on him...

He's the likely choice to be shopped... along with Jones, Nik, Fistric and the other UFAs.

Who do you think he's talking about?

Hemsky, Smyth, Belanger, Jones, Petrell - really, anybody in the bottom six. I really think no one was buying and the "we want to keep this together for the stretch run" was just smoke being blown our way. And as it turned out, the rest of the NHL had done their homework. And now MacT more or less admits that other than the core, its open season.

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#68 ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣ ␣
April 28 2013, 04:32PM
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Trade Yakupov now best value.

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#69 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 04:38PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Hemsky, Smyth, Belanger, Jones, Petrell - really, anybody in the bottom six. I really think no one was buying and the "we want to keep this together for the stretch run" was just smoke being blown our way. And as it turned out, the rest of the NHL had done their homework. And now MacT more or less admits that other than the core, its open season.

Well...

that's possible. but we have no evidence that is the case.

We do know that sub-par players went above value in a thin market and that ST has said publicly deals were on the table.

Maybe he's blowing smoke.

But it seems likely teams were calling and that Whitney was a target. He was afterall attached to rumors with various teams.

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#70 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 04:45PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well...

that's possible. but we have no evidence that is the case.

We do know that sub-par players went above value in a thin market and that ST has said publicly deals were on the table.

Maybe he's blowing smoke.

But it seems likely teams were calling and that Whitney was a target. He was afterall attached to rumors with various teams.

I assume, by sub par, you mean players like Regehr and Murray. But watching those guys down the stretch , man, they still have some game and actually have been pretty useful. Pro scouting is pretty good (at least for other teams) and I'm sure no one was buying a pig in a poke like Whitney.

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#71 Time Travelling Sean
April 28 2013, 04:46PM
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Why does everyone hate Petrell? :c

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#72 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 04:50PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I assume, by sub par, you mean players like Regehr and Murray. But watching those guys down the stretch , man, they still have some game and actually have been pretty useful. Pro scouting is pretty good (at least for other teams) and I'm sure no one was buying a pig in a poke like Whitney.

Well...

as I said at LT's... we'll know soon enough.

when Whitney hits the open market and signs this offseason we'll get a pretty good indication of his value to various teams out there.

My guess is he fools enough GMs out there to pull a Barker c. 2011 Oilers or better.

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#73 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 04:54PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Why does everyone hate Petrell? :c

Not sure anyone hates Petrell... but he's just not a very good player.

He's very good at PK, but he can't manage the puck when the job requires more than simply dumping it aimlessly out of the zone.

You need a roster player, even a 4th liner, to be able to handle minutes at EVENS and he can't:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

and see Bruce's work on zone exits:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/25/three-guesses-which-winger-most-often-leads-the-charge-out-of-oilers-zone/

this part is essential reading:

"Notable among them is Lennart Petrell, who seemingly plays at even strength as if he’s killing penalties! He’s the only forward on the team that exits the zone under control less than 50% of the time. Even when he does successfully turn the puck up ice out of Oilers’ end, his play of choice is to get as far as centre and dump it in. When it comes to moving the puck, Lennart’s compass points straight north."

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#74 Taylor Gang
April 28 2013, 04:54PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well...

as I said at LT's... we'll know soon enough.

when Whitney hits the open market and signs this offseason we'll get a pretty good indication of his value to various teams out there.

My guess is he fools enough GMs out there to pull a Barker c. 2011 Oilers or better.

Ryan Whitney is a name that stands out to GM's. Remember when the albatross himself Gomez signed with the Sharks?

No doubt about it he signs with a team. Quickly.

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#75 DSF
April 28 2013, 04:56PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

He was offered up to everyone for anything. No takers. Everyone could see his limitations and his stats. No one was risking a bag of pucks, let alone a second round pick, for a guy that can't skate. The saddest moment of his career was in his last game against Anaheim where he really looked like a guy off the street who won a "be an Oiler for a day" contest. Twice he fell like a tier 6 peewee, when he tried to turn on his bad ankle. I felt sorry for him then, and I feel sorry for him now. But he's well spoken enough to land a media career. Dollars to donuts he's played his last NHL game.

Yeah, Souray was offered up to everyone too...look how that worked out.

Just another case of the rest of the league not willing to get involved in the Oilers soap opera.

And, on it goes.

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#76 Walter Sobchak
April 28 2013, 05:10PM
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Great read JW

I like how we can discuss Yakupov without having to defend trading this kid for a coke machine who’s at the end of a contract or a coke machine that once scored 20 goals, that conversation drives me.

I also like the idea of watching all the kids grow, especially Yakupov, I just love to see a player that is so committed to the game he will only keep getting better.

I think Yakupov and Hall will have healthy competition for years to come, small sample size against teams not really playi9ng for much (save for the Wild) but never the less impressive from both players.

I would also like to throw in huge props for young Schultz, a lot of hockey, sometimes over his head, but playing with players that are clearly not good enough to support him on a consistent basis, his +/- is a clear reflection of the players around him and not the kid himself.

He will be a beast next year playing with Weber.

What can you say about Hall that hasn’t been said? Kid is a missile out there!

Eberle, rest your hand, RNH hope for a quick recovery, let’s get back at this again next year!

Got to love these kids playing a mans game and winning!

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#77 DSF
April 28 2013, 05:13PM
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Gaz wrote:

I can't wait for DSF to make the argument that Huberdeau should win the Calder, and then in the same breath, criticize Schultz's plus/minus (while Huberdeau is -15).

Oh wait, there's a rookie D-man in Minny. Nevermind.

Hey D, would you ever stoop to our level and speak will of Brodin's compatriot, Klefbom?

Well since you asked:

P/60 5V5 (which is the best indicator of a forward's true value)

Galchenyuk - 2.76 (2nd among Habs forwards)

Gallagher - 2.67 (3rd among Habs forwards)

Conacher - 2.29 (1st among Senator forwards)

Zabinejad - 2.16 (2nd among Ottawa forwards)

Yakupov - 2.05 (3rd among Oiler forwards)

Huberdeau - 1.45 (5th among Panther forwards)

The envelope please................

Ladies and gentlemen...the rookie forward most deserving of the Calder Trophy is...............Alex Galchenyuk.

Now, those of you following along at home will remember I told you that the Oilers should have drafted the big centre instead of Yakupov but you had all these bright shiny things distracting you and you all opted to go with the guy who has the best cell.

Too bad.

I expect we will see a huge vote split here so the race is really wide open.

Perhaps Brodin runs up the middle and takes it.

Brodin, as a rookie, played more than 23 minutes a night on Minnesota's top pairing against the toughest competition and finished +3 on a team that finished the season with -5 goal differential.

Despite coming to play on the smaller ice, learning a new language and culture, (remember all those Paajarvi excuses?) suffering a broken collarbone in the AHL and playing far more games that he was used to, he didn't fold up like a Taiwanese lawn chair near the end of the season.

Defensemen rarely win the Calder though so I doubt he does.

If I had a vote...it would be for Galchenyuk.

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#78 DSF
April 28 2013, 05:14PM
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@Walter Sobchak

"Got to love these kids playing a mans game and winning!"

Say what?

They finished 24th.

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#79 Gaz
April 28 2013, 05:29PM
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@DSF

There it is. You don't disappoint!

P/60 5v5 is your best indicator of a forward's value, but not everyone's.

Did you actually imply that Whitney has gotten a bad rap from the Oilers and he will excel on another team? Could you confirm that for me please?

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#80 Time Travelling Sean
April 28 2013, 05:36PM
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If you ask me, Yak scored the most goals of any rookie, and when the games mattered he got better and better. The rest of the team didn't, but he did.

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#81 DSF
April 28 2013, 05:37PM
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Gaz wrote:

There it is. You don't disappoint!

P/60 5v5 is your best indicator of a forward's value, but not everyone's.

Did you actually imply that Whitney has gotten a bad rap from the Oilers and he will excel on another team? Could you confirm that for me please?

I assume your only indicator of a forward's value is that he plays for the Oilers despite them being a dreadful hockey team.

As for Whitney, he likely did get a bad rap from the Oilers since they are renowned for not communicating well with their players and instead choose to let them twist in the wind...it's happened over and over again.

For the record, I was against the trade for Whitney from the very beginning since even a moron should have known he had medical issues and moving an elite (at the time) offensive defenseman for one with HUGE question marks was just dumb.

So the Oilers have now turned Stoll and Greene into Visnovsky and then turned Visnovsky into Whitney and turned Whitney into NOTHING.

Any surprise they are such a horrid organization?

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#82 Will
April 28 2013, 05:46PM
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So, of the three are we getting / taking Monahan, Gauthier, or Nurse? Gautheir is definitely a draft for need, though he did look good in the Under 18's. Monahan is arguably the BPA, and Nurse will be a project, and we already have that guy in Tuebert.

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#83 DSF
April 28 2013, 05:54PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

The truth is we have no idea what criteria the voting committee uses.

Three things seem likely though:

1) Barring beyond exceptional play, it is highly unlikely to go to a D. Cross off Schultz and Brodin.

2) It is highly unlikely the voters bother with anything beyond "saw him good" and boxcars. Cross off any P/60 5x5; corsirel; qualcomp arguments.

3) It is highly unlikely to go to a forward who put up less points on the table.

That basically leaves Yakupov and Huberdeau.

If they sour on both (anti Oiler/anti Russian/anti celebration vs. anti +/- bias), I'd look at Saad or Gallagher.

Saad is big and got a lot of CHI coverage this year. Gallagher is in a huge market and gets a lot of press for his moxy, which gets the "good canadian kid" seal of approval as opposed to the Russian diss).

You're making all sorts of specious assumptions and generalizations.

First of all, there is no "voting committee".

The voting is conducted by ballots that are sent to the members of the Professional Hockey Writer's Association.

While I am sure some of them are blinded by hype, others are very astute observers of the game will look at much more than the raw boxcars when marking their ballots.

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#84 Will
April 28 2013, 05:55PM
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Having said that, the top two Russian players Valeri Nichushkin and Valentin Zykov are both pretty big and might look good on a line with Yak. And I didn't even mention the big Swedish Centre Lindholm. Basically, what I'm getting at is that at 7th, or 8th, there is going to be a name available that will be a welcome addition to our stunning group of young forwards. Is it Barkov? No, but it might turn out to be better.

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#85 Will
April 28 2013, 06:04PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

With any luck someone ahead of us with grab Nurse as this year's Reinhart pick and leave one of Monahan or Lindholm for us.

I think even if they don't, one of those guys will be available. Lets assume Jones, Mckinnon, Druoin, and Barkov are gone in the top four. That leaves Nishkenin, Monahan, Lindholm, Nurse, Shinkaruk and Zykov for the next picks. All these guys are placed in these slots in various orders on various different mock drafts. To leave Nishkenin on the board at 5th and 6th would be pretty difficult. This kid is being herald as the next Malkin. I like Lindholm, but that would be tough for any other team not as deep at RW to pass him over for what amounts to a good two centre prospect. This draft is just so damn deep I really don't think we can make a bad pick, only a better one.

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#86 DSF
April 28 2013, 06:05PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Not sure how the "Professional Hockey Writer's Association," which comprises the "voting committee," isn't a "voting committee"

You'll have to tease that logic a few more times to make that sensible.

And... guess who the Executive Vice President of this august association is?

Mark Spector.

Some of these people are very astute. Most are ok to very good at reporting on Hockey. Most are very, very poor at analysis. Very few indeed bother with adv. stats.

They are reporters, committed to narratives and storytelling by and large.

Since you hold this to be true...perhaps you could name the "committee" members and give us your thoughts on how each of them will vote and how they will reach their decision.

Ridiculous generalizations aside.

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#87 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 06:33PM
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@Will

I think the Oil won't touch the Russians. too much risk.

The talk is there is a substantial drop off after 7.

At the bottom end of the 7 are the Russian, Monahan and Lindholm.

We need a C. expect them to target Monahan and Lindholm.

I think they avoid a D in the 1st, unless they get 1st overall.

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#88 gcw_rocks
April 28 2013, 06:40PM
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JW: No Barons articles on ON? They are tied 1-1 in their series against the Checkers.

Some interesting stuff going on there. Not only in terms of the series outcomes so far, but also in terms of who is playing and who is not.

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#89 Jason
April 28 2013, 06:42PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I think the Oil won't touch the Russians. too much risk.

The talk is there is a substantial drop off after 7.

At the bottom end of the 7 are the Russian, Monahan and Lindholm.

We need a C. expect them to target Monahan and Lindholm.

I think they avoid a D in the 1st, unless they get 1st overall.

I'd like to draft Steven Santini with the Oilers 2nd round pick. He is a big fast D- man.

Interesting who the Oilers would pick if they are 7th if Monahan Lindholm and Nichushkin. Sounds like Valeri Nichushkin has the highest upside and the highest risk

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#90 Jason
April 28 2013, 06:49PM
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Will wrote:

I will let good players drop due to the "Russian factor" all day long. Forgetting about Galchenyuck for a moment, do you see any of "the Russian factor" in Yakupov? The kid works hard, plays physical, and apparently has a great attitude.

Nishkenin is rightly being compared to Malkin. Russian factor or not, if Edmonton lands the next Malkin, that is going to make our top two lines as deep and deadly as any in the league.

Having said that I do hope very much we can get a big two way centre, as Magnus and Yak seem to be having some good chemistry lately.

I could be wrong but I think Valeri Nichushkin also plays Center as well as Leftwing

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#91 Will
April 28 2013, 07:03PM
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Jason wrote:

I could be wrong but I think Valeri Nichushkin also plays Center as well as Leftwing

HA! I've had this conversation already with Willis. From what I've seen he has played all three forward positions and depending on the prospect list you look at, he's listed as LW, RW, and C. So who knows, maybe he can play all positions effectively. I think if you could put a decent two way guy in between these two Russian dynamos, that would be an impressive line. Especially if that centre had some size and bite.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that if we pick 7th or 8th, there is going to be a very good player there that will help the Oilers sometime in the future. Maybe not next year, but likely the year after that.

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#92 madjam
April 28 2013, 07:25PM
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Jason wrote:

I could be wrong but I think Valeri Nichushkin also plays Center as well as Leftwing

The odd one lists him as right wing as well - not sure about politically . Maybe he is ambidexterous as well ? He may slip quite a ways if we do not take him , because he seems to have little desire to play in the NHL at this stage .

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#93 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 07:32PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well...

as I said at LT's... we'll know soon enough.

when Whitney hits the open market and signs this offseason we'll get a pretty good indication of his value to various teams out there.

My guess is he fools enough GMs out there to pull a Barker c. 2011 Oilers or better.

You might be right. My guess is his downside is too glaring to ignore. A chili cheesedog on the outcome?

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#94 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 28 2013, 07:44PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

You might be right. My guess is his downside is too glaring to ignore. A chili cheesedog on the outcome?

how about a glass of bourbon?

you don't happen to live in Toronto do you?

haha

at any rate, If the bet is simply whether he finds work in the NHL next year... don't forget that Cam effing Barker got signed this year after being brutal on the Oil.

if anything, the constant search for depth on D to stave off inevitable injuries will get him a job.

I'd expect someone to take a flyer on him.

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#95 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 07:44PM
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Will wrote:

I think even if they don't, one of those guys will be available. Lets assume Jones, Mckinnon, Druoin, and Barkov are gone in the top four. That leaves Nishkenin, Monahan, Lindholm, Nurse, Shinkaruk and Zykov for the next picks. All these guys are placed in these slots in various orders on various different mock drafts. To leave Nishkenin on the board at 5th and 6th would be pretty difficult. This kid is being herald as the next Malkin. I like Lindholm, but that would be tough for any other team not as deep at RW to pass him over for what amounts to a good two centre prospect. This draft is just so damn deep I really don't think we can make a bad pick, only a better one.

My sentiments exactly, which is why I wasn't bemoaning those last 2 wins. I'm not sure, after Seth Jones, that anyone can predict the order of picks. I just hope Stu has done his homework.

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#96 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 07:48PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

how about a glass of bourbon?

you don't happen to live in Toronto do you?

haha

at any rate, If the bet is simply whether he finds work in the NHL next year... don't forget that Cam effing Barker got signed this year after being brutal on the Oil.

if anything, the constant search for depth on D to stave off inevitable injuries will get him a job.

I'd expect someone to take a flyer on him.

You're right, and I note that Cam was up to his old tricks at -4 last night. So I guess I probably owe you tumbler of Jack already.

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#97 dougtheslug
April 28 2013, 07:57PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Watching the turnstile play for the other side was the cherry on top of last night's win.

Watching Whitney will be a little more bittersweet, but it will still be a pleasure to watch the kids stroll around him while he takes a half hour trying to pivot.

I agree it's bittersweet.For about 30 games, before he got hurt, he was the best dman to play here since Pronger. It's a shame.

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#98 Gaz
April 28 2013, 07:58PM
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@DSF

Your assumption would be wrong, but you know how the ol' saying goes...

For the record you were against Whitney? No. Find the record. Until then it's you being a monday morning quarterback.

Every comment you make chips away at your credibility. You flame others for wearing Oilers glasses (which in some cases is very fair), but you are unable/unwilling to give any credit to the organization.

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#99 Sammy
April 28 2013, 08:22PM
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@nrXic

"You can discount his performance in the last 2 games, and his skill is still apparent, especially when outperforming most of his team during a 6 game losing skid."

Are you kidding me Vancouver quit halfway through the 3rd period. It was not a NHL game

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#100 Jimmy
April 28 2013, 08:24PM
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