An outside perspective on the 2013 Draft

Jonathan Willis
June 26 2013 12:41PM

Tim Murray, the assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators, is rapidly approaching the 20 year mark working for NHL teams, much of it on the amateur scouting side of things. He currently runs the team’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, a tremendously successful team that won the Calder Cup in 2011. Yesterday, Murray commented on this year’s draft, and his comments offer an outside perspective for Oilers fans.

Both Murray and Pierre Dorion, the Senators’ director of player personnel, have some interesting comments on the general makeup of the draft. Interestingly Murray downplayed the overall strength of the 2013 group, suggesting it doesn’t match well to the legendary 2003 crop.

Additionally, Murray suggested that there were tiers to the 2013 draft, saying, “This year, you could say there’s three top guys, and then there’s another five, then there’s another five, then there’s another six.” He didn’t elaborate on who the Senators have in those tiers, but the first one is obvious: Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones, and Jonathan Drouin.

For the Oilers, the interesting group is the next five players, since they are currently slated to pick seventh overall. It’s a group that almost certainly includes Aleksander Barkov, Valeri Nichushkin, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan. The other guy in that tier from a Senators’ viewpoint is less obvious – Darnell Nurse has received significant press as a potential pick for the Oilers at seven, but Bob McKenzie’s final rankings have Rasmus Ristolainen ahead of Nurse in the number eight slot. Most lists give Nurse the edge, and he would be my guess as to the player Murray had in mind.

Making A Trade

Murray also made some interesting comments about trying to make a trade at the draft. He was answering a question about the possibility of the Senators moving up from 17th overall, but it works in reverse as a possible guide to a team like the Oilers moving down from the seventh overall slot:

If we were picking in the top five, it would be extremely hard – or top 10 – it would be extremely hard for [general manager Byran Murray] to come to [director of player personnel] Pierre [Dorion] and I and say ‘we have a chance to move down, we can get a third line centre, we can get the 20th pick in the draft and we can get a second round pick.’ It sounds exciting but if the whole amateur staff is in the suite in New York and that comes up the chances are we’re going to say ‘no.’ But saying that, there are teams out there that need NHL players, and they’ve stated it. There are teams out there that are very thin.

Adjusting a little for the Oilers’ position (seventh overall rather than top five), we might think of Ottawa offering the 17th overall, Zack Smith and a 2014 third round draft pick in exchange for the seventh overall. While a solid depth player like Smith and the extra pick are both good assets, is it the kind of trade that makes sense? If the Oilers have a shot at a guy like Lindholm or Monahan or Nichushkin or Nurse, is it worth shoring up the depth now, adding another a pick, and moving down to Curtis Lazar territory? It isn’t a question with an obvious answer, though (evidently like Murray) I’d personally lean more towards staying at seven rather than taking that specific package. Based on Jason Gregor's interview with Craig MacTavish, the Oilers general manager feels the same way.

Recently around the Nation Network

As Craig MacTavish did yesterday, a number of general managers have been speaking to the media in the lead-up to the draft and answering questions. One of those is Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who talked about a lot of things. From the JetsNation recap, here's their take on Cheveldayoff's announcement that the team was looking for a top-six forward:

Just like almost every other team in the league, the Jets made it known today that they are in the hunt for another top 6 forward. Seems like Chevy has finally realized that he won’t be able to find one via the waiver wire. (Thank Goodness) It’s been said a million times already that the free agent pool is really thin, but there are some guys out there (Jarome Iginla?) that are up for grabs for a team willing to spend a fair chunk of change.

Click the link to read more, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#1 Smokey
June 26 2013, 12:59PM
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Let's just stop the nonsence talk of trading down.

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#2 Spydyr
June 26 2013, 01:20PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

What if Nichushkin is there? Any takers?

BPA always

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#4 Spydyr
June 26 2013, 01:37PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I don't like this generalization. It's so subjective. And it's starting to become a cliche.

Who's better, Jones or MacKinnon? Nichushkin or Lindholm?

That is why the NHL pays scouting staffs millions of dollars. To figure that out.

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#5 The Beaker
June 26 2013, 02:14PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Nichushkin is a left winger isn't he?

And besides, I'm looking at it on an organizational needs side. He adds size to the top 6, and he uses his size.

He could also make Yakupov want to stay more.

Why is Yakupov wanting to stay a concern? Dude moved his entire family here, why is this even a line of questioning?

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#6 The Other Ron Burgundy
June 26 2013, 01:22PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I'm very undecided on this.......

He's a LW too. We'd have 14, 64, then him on the LW depth chart.

Edit: RW, not LW.

Isn't Yak properly a RW? Gags with 2 ruskies - one a bit of a giant and one with the heart of a giant. That might work out well for all concerned.

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#7 RexLibris
June 26 2013, 01:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Pass.

Not sure Iginla does much of that.

Seriously though, I agree. Let's look at the future and let Iginla sign in Vancouver this summer. That would certainly make for some interesting times around here.

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#8 godot10
June 26 2013, 01:47PM
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Zach Smith is the Senators 4th line centre on an expensive (and long) contract for that role, and they have cheaper and possibly better replacements.

i.e. Zach Smith is tarnished goods. Therefore one should only offer tarnished assets (a short big contract, a long small contract) in return, or a low draft pick. (Or wait for the Senators to be forced to put someone, maybe Zach Smith, on waivers at training camp).

You certainly don't trade a high first round pick for such a tarnished asset.

Hemsky (your own tarnished asset) for Zach Smith makes sense. Both teams would be taking a measured risk on something they need.

Sean Monahan for Zach Smith (and stuff) is just really dumb, IMHO>

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#9 mr common sense
June 26 2013, 12:48PM
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any chance the oil would make a pitch to Iggy? how much would that cost? he'd be a good mentor to Hall for sure....2yrs/10M?

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#10 Spydyr
June 26 2013, 12:52PM
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mr common sense wrote:

any chance the oil would make a pitch to Iggy? how much would that cost? he'd be a good mentor to Hall for sure....2yrs/10M?

Did you watch Iggy in the playoffs?

He is as done as Smyth. Try finding the next Iggy not the over the hill one.

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#11 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 26 2013, 01:26PM
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Spydyr wrote:

BPA always

I don't like this generalization. It's so subjective. And it's starting to become a cliche.

Who's better, Jones or MacKinnon? Nichushkin or Lindholm?

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#12 SrCain
June 26 2013, 05:18PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Why is Yakupov wanting to stay a concern? Dude moved his entire family here, why is this even a line of questioning?

Im sure all he means is that it cant hurt to have a young fellow countryman on your team going through the same thing in a new country. Its nice to have someone to talk to.

No one said it was a line of questioning, as you said he moved his family here. end of story on that front.

Hes also right, VN is a LW, and since hes big and very skilled he fills THE hole in our top 6. Gagner may not be perfect but he is not a hole on the roster.

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#13 nuge2nail
June 27 2013, 01:08AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Nichushkin would solve our biggest concern- size in the top 6.

Hall-Gagner-Eberle

Nichuskin-Hopkins-Yakupov

We can fill in the bottom six with a ufa pickup, the second rounders and Hemsky trades.

Larionov would support Nichushkin in his development as well i imagine. I doubt he's available at 7 though. His YouTube videos are ridiculous.

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#14 mr common sense
June 26 2013, 12:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Did you watch Iggy in the playoffs?

He is as done as Smyth. Try finding the next Iggy not the over the hill one.

lol true.....he cant skate anymore

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#15 Quicksilver ballet
June 26 2013, 01:06PM
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@Smokey

Quoted for truth!

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#16 WhattaMike
June 26 2013, 01:09PM
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Hey JW, very interesting read ya put out here today.

I have been listening to radio show interviews and TV as well, and I have come to realize that the Oilers should go for one of three players...Lindholm, Monahan, or Nurse...

Thew Oilers need a top 1A to 2nd line centre to go with RNH and these two of Lindholm and Monahan compliment that. I just read as well that Calgary may be leaning to grabbing Fucale as their 6th overall pick due to that this kid will be grabbed far before their 22nd pick.

This opens the door more so, if a true rumour, for one of Monahan or Lindholm being available at #7.

If Nichushkin was to be there as well, I am not sold on this kid's ethics and attitude like I was with Yakupov the year before.

Now Nurse might just be the Oilers' newest crown jewel as well...especially if he could turn to be very much like a future Pronger type defender in the next two to three years ... and this is what makes him such as tantalizing choice at #7.

So there's the only three right type choices for #7 if I was MacT....based on that MacKinnon, Jones, Barkov, Drouin were already gone by then.

Right now for of maybe the Oilers trading that pick???.... Deal or No Deal?????...No Deal!!!!! Take one of these kids...

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#17 Taylor Gang
June 26 2013, 01:10PM
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Smokey wrote:

Let's just stop the nonsence talk of trading down.

Yes.

I'd rather just trade the pick for one good player rather than trade down and get a low pick with a mediocre-at-best player

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#18 Taylor Gang
June 26 2013, 01:12PM
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What if Nichushkin is there? Any takers?

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#19 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 26 2013, 01:16PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

What if Nichushkin is there? Any takers?

I'm very undecided on this.......

He's a LW too. We'd have 14, 64, then him on the LW depth chart.

Edit: RW, not LW.

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#20 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 26 2013, 01:24PM
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The Other Ron Burgundy wrote:

Isn't Yak properly a RW? Gags with 2 ruskies - one a bit of a giant and one with the heart of a giant. That might work out well for all concerned.

Oops. I meant RW. Him, Yak, and Ebs are all RWs.

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#21 Quicksilver ballet
June 26 2013, 01:26PM
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I'd be trying to outright buy another late top ten selection. I know these kids are all about futures but they still need to keep blue chippers coming from the pipeline. Lindholm and Nurse, or Monahan and Ristolainen/Nurse are what's needed. Short term pain for long term gain.

We thought the first 3 yrs of the rebuild would be tough. The next 3 could be equally as difficult. Having to rush these kids (whenever possible) is a reflection of just how difficult things are with the parent club. Lowe did mention the Oilers would need about 6 yrs to get back on their feet. The Oilers are only half way there.

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#22 RexLibris
June 26 2013, 01:30PM
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For the record, I'm in agreement with Murray.

2013 looks good, but it is broken into several strata of prospects, and I don't believe that one will be able to find potential elite NHL players straight into the 2nd round.

I believe this draft year will produce some solid NHL players, and will rival some of the better years, but to declare it to be one of the best in a decade before any of these players has skated a shift in the NHL is very premature.

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#23 Trufflepig
June 26 2013, 01:31PM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

14 and 64 are RW's.

We'd have Hall and then him, unless Paajarvi continues to trend upwards

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#24 justDOit
June 26 2013, 01:39PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Not sure Iginla does much of that.

Seriously though, I agree. Let's look at the future and let Iginla sign in Vancouver this summer. That would certainly make for some interesting times around here.

Propsed that, even though I don't think Iggy would voluntarily go to a team that has a ReTorted coach.

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#25 rickithebear
June 26 2013, 01:42PM
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Spydyr:

he was the a top 10 PK winger in the game last year.

in 2011-2012 ryan smyth was tied for 24th ranked LW in league with 38 even points. He was tied with Nash, Landeskog, Ladd.

This year Ryan Smyth had 11 even points. he played 527 even minutes in 47 games.

He played 24.66 games of even minutes with Brown, pettrell, Eager, Horcoff, Hartikainen, hemsky. in that time he had .5G and 2.5 assists and -8. So a full season he would be 2G 8A and -26. All with guys who will not be on the team.

The rest of his major minutes (22.33 games) were with Belanger, Yakupov, Jones, Eberle, Pajarvi, Gagner, RNH, Smithson. he had 1.5G and 6.5A. or a season pace of 6G 24A 30 EVP +6. His shooting % was below average this year.

So he will be playing with players that he is a 30 to 38 evp winger with next year.

and the guys he was a 9 evp -6 player with will all be gone.

DONE! DONE? LOL!

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#26 Spydyr
June 26 2013, 01:46PM
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rickithebear wrote:

Spydyr:

he was the a top 10 PK winger in the game last year.

in 2011-2012 ryan smyth was tied for 24th ranked LW in league with 38 even points. He was tied with Nash, Landeskog, Ladd.

This year Ryan Smyth had 11 even points. he played 527 even minutes in 47 games.

He played 24.66 games of even minutes with Brown, pettrell, Eager, Horcoff, Hartikainen, hemsky. in that time he had .5G and 2.5 assists and -8. So a full season he would be 2G 8A and -26. All with guys who will not be on the team.

The rest of his major minutes (22.33 games) were with Belanger, Yakupov, Jones, Eberle, Pajarvi, Gagner, RNH, Smithson. he had 1.5G and 6.5A. or a season pace of 6G 24A 30 EVP +6. His shooting % was below average this year.

So he will be playing with players that he is a 30 to 38 evp winger with next year.

and the guys he was a 9 evp -6 player with will all be gone.

DONE! DONE? LOL!

He is done, he skates like a beer league player. Three strides and time for a breather. No speed no energy. Done. Too many miles on his body.

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#27 Buke
June 26 2013, 01:52PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I don't like this generalization. It's so subjective. And it's starting to become a cliche.

Who's better, Jones or MacKinnon? Nichushkin or Lindholm?

Nichushkin has been scouted and compared to the best in the draft. There is little doubt that if he is there at seven he will be the BPA...question is, does SM and MacT go with BPA or try and fill an organizational hole.

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#28 Walter Sobchak
June 26 2013, 02:00PM
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Buke wrote:

Nichushkin has been scouted and compared to the best in the draft. There is little doubt that if he is there at seven he will be the BPA...question is, does SM and MacT go with BPA or try and fill an organizational hole.

Nichushkin may indeed end up being the best in this draft year.

Having said that, I get the risk involved with taking such a player, however, if he's there at 7 he will be the BPA and will fill a huge need.

The belief is he can play both sides IIRC, RW/LW the Oilers desperately need a puck retrieval player and a big skilled body that can create separation for Gagner and Yakupov.

I wouldn't hesitate to take the Russian Bear.

I can just hear Reg in the back ground!

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#29 Ducey
June 26 2013, 02:00PM
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@WhattaMike

I think you may be right. Calgary may upset everything by going for Furcale at 6. Why?

1)Craig Button was over the top in his praise for him during the TSN mock draft. His bother is the Flames' chief scout.

2)Feaster doesn't mind making unorthodox moves.

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#30 russ99
June 26 2013, 02:05PM
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If both Lindholm and Monahan are off the board I'd pick Nurse ahead of Nichushkin any day.

Despite the KHL issue, it's a need pick.

None of our defense prospects are big, tough, play a complete game and control the zone like Nurse does.

Besides, we can't expect all of Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Musil and maybe Simpson to become impact NHL players.

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#31 The Soup Fascist
June 26 2013, 02:08PM
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Ducey wrote:

I think you may be right. Calgary may upset everything by going for Furcale at 6. Why?

1)Craig Button was over the top in his praise for him during the TSN mock draft. His bother is the Flames' chief scout.

2)Feaster doesn't mind making unorthodox moves.

Virtually zero chance of that happening. If they are committed to taking Fucale (which would be a shock), why would they not trade down to 10 or so and still be virtually guaranteed to get him.

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#32 Taylor Gang
June 26 2013, 02:09PM
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Nichushkin is a left winger isn't he?

And besides, I'm looking at it on an organizational needs side. He adds size to the top 6, and he uses his size.

He could also make Yakupov want to stay more.

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#33 RexLibris
June 26 2013, 02:10PM
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Ducey wrote:

I think you may be right. Calgary may upset everything by going for Furcale at 6. Why?

1)Craig Button was over the top in his praise for him during the TSN mock draft. His bother is the Flames' chief scout.

2)Feaster doesn't mind making unorthodox moves.

If that happened then the fan reaction would make the recent flooding seem like a minor inconvenience.

Not saying I'm opposed to it, but I very seriously doubt that Feaster and Weisbrod go that route.

At #22 perhaps, #28 very likely, if he is still around.

But for them to reach that far down that early...hilarity would ensue, provided you don't live in the 403 area code.

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#34 CaptainLander
June 26 2013, 02:11PM
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@Ducey

The Flames would probably have a good chance to get him at 22, or move the 2 late rounds to move up to say 15 and take him.

But then again with Feaster...you never know.

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#35 BC BOY
June 26 2013, 02:12PM
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JW,

With St. Louis signing Patrik Berglund and Kevin Shattenkirk and still having to sign Pietrangelo do you think Chris Stewart would be available? He would fit in perfect with our top 6

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#36 15w40
June 26 2013, 02:23PM
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If Valeri Nichushkin is there, I think you have to take him. Could be the next Chris Stewart and the Oilers don't have any of that. Get a defenseman via trade or free agency. A 2013 drafted D-man is likely 2 years away minimum from being an impact player.

Klefbom is coming, Marincin is coming, Fedun is available.

Coburn might be an option.

I still say the Oilers should see what kind of deal nets them Joe Colborne from the Marlies. Big centre, not a real mean streak but may slot in nicely up the middle in the next year or two.

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#37 Taylor Gang
June 26 2013, 02:34PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Why is Yakupov wanting to stay a concern? Dude moved his entire family here, why is this even a line of questioning?

There's a thing called "moving", you ever hear about it?

Did you ever consider that maybe if he didn't feel like he belonged he'd go somewhere else? Jeez...

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#38 Godot10
June 26 2013, 02:40PM
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BC BOY wrote:

JW,

With St. Louis signing Patrik Berglund and Kevin Shattenkirk and still having to sign Pietrangelo do you think Chris Stewart would be available? He would fit in perfect with our top 6

Who do you intend on playing out of position? Eberle, Yak, or Stewart, who are all rw's. MacT wants to improve compete level. Stewart doesn't always show up.

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#39 Lochenzo
June 26 2013, 02:45PM
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If Horton walks, I could see Iginla landing in Boston.

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#40 neil melenka
June 26 2013, 02:50PM
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so what if seth jones is sitting at 4th over all... would a trade of the seventh overall + hemsky + a second round pick (56 overall) plus toni rajala for the fourth overall and a 3rd round pick or a role player do the trick?

just a thought cheers

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#41 WhattaMike
June 26 2013, 02:51PM
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Since Feaster became the Flames GM and made that totally off the board "jankowski" pick last year, I think the Flames will go for one of Lindholm, Monahan or Fucale...

But then again,...lol...another Jankowski type might be available at the 6th spot...

Anyways, I very much like one of just three for the Oil...Lindholm, Monahan, or Nurse...for #7.

I am also hoping very much too...that the Oilers may trade both 2nd rounders (or one and a prospect/even a trade) to get back to 16th (Buf) or 19th (Columbus) for either Horvat or Fucale myself.

If the Oilers could get two picks of Lindholm, Monahan, Nurse or Fucale... (and I like defenceman kid McCoshen too)I would be ecstatic!!!

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#42 admiralmark
June 26 2013, 02:57PM
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@Buke

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/06/26/nichushkin-labelled-arrogant-and-a-mystery-by-iss-chief-scout/

All those times in the past NHL teams have shown to be hesitant because of the unknown "Russian" character issues... This guy exudes it in spades... He may very well turn out to be the most talented player in the draft. But what good is it if in 2 years he decides he doesnt like his ice time or what line the coach has him on or what he's beef stroganof tasted like. This is a "wild card" . And a wild card should not be used on the 7th overall pick in this years draft. Too critical a pick.

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#43 Lochenzo
June 26 2013, 03:14PM
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@admiralmark

That's obviously a red flag right there on Nichushkin. Sean Monahan seems like a very safe pick. But that's also the problem with Monahan. Safe but less upside than some of the other guys.

Can't predict how Nichushkin's personal angst will affect his play or his interaction with the team. But I will say that Patrick Kane can be a spoiled little bugger sometimes. But he's also a Conn Smythe winner.

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#44 Taylor Gang
June 26 2013, 03:16PM
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neil melenka wrote:

so what if seth jones is sitting at 4th over all... would a trade of the seventh overall + hemsky + a second round pick (56 overall) plus toni rajala for the fourth overall and a 3rd round pick or a role player do the trick?

just a thought cheers

Realistically, I could see them trading us the fourth overall pick for Hemsky with half of his salary swallowed by us (not cap, Nashville is a salary floor team), our 7th overall pick, the 56 overall pick and one of our good defensive prospects like Marincin.

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#45 The Beaker
June 26 2013, 03:20PM
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@Taylor Gang

Yeah sure, anything is possible. The problem is that creating worries out of nothing is just perplexing. We might as well start going "Shhhhh everyone, stop mentioning Ebs in trade scenarios, he might actually read them and want to leave!!!"

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#46 Oiler Al
June 26 2013, 03:48PM
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I Would bet that Nichushkin is gone before the call for No.7 comes up. this guy is really a top 3 pick. I think the big question is always is he staying here wanting to go back to the KHL./ Ask Washington about that.

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#47 madjam
June 26 2013, 03:49PM
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Oilers poised to get their man . The least talked about is probably the one - to discourage others from seeing our hand for fear they might take him before us .They don't want to over hype him until after the draft . I venture that man is Ristolainen and his booming shot , something we have sadly lacked for a while now . To me it's not only the best choice , it's the obvious one .

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#48 rickithebear
June 26 2013, 04:10PM
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Spydr:

MacT clearly stated, his line structures. You need speed for zone entry, high blue and along the boards. but wants high pocession players who can carry out the puck and penetrate the zone Not wanting turnovers. He needs a puck control player who can enter or drive the box. A player who can handle the post 05-06 physical play in front of the net. He wants zero dump and chase.

Smyth has slower footspeed but still managed many full pocession zone entries last year. Mact was likely smiling ear to ear watching video of smyth. His terrible results were largely with Petrell, Eager, brown. complete tools that ran around with no skill or common zone sense. Bu bye!

Smyth would enter the zone look for a target and peteagbro would be no were to be seen.

he would try to control the puck along the boards on his own or do a wrap around with limited success as the dmen compressed on him with zero concern for the supporting forwards.

When he played with real players he had options, more space, and results.

I know you really want to be right.

But giving some unsupported response cause you have nothing to counter the facts is worse than my five year old whinning and turning away.

He is at least smart enough to know when he is wrong.

Ryan Smyth is a top 30 Even point scoring left wingwithquality teamates. He is an elite pk winger.

That is Why MACT was very stern and direct in sayin Ryan Smyth is going no were.

Smyth is likely going to be 11 even minutes on the 4th line getting 28 to 32 even points.

He is not the problem re support from the bottom 6.

Bye Pettrell, Eager, Jones, Smithson, Belanger,

we start our bottom six with MP-XXX-XXX Smyth-XXX-XXX 13th XXX 14th Brown???????

Brook it! Chook it! cook it! crook it! hook it! gook it! kook it! look it! nook it! rook it! sookit! snook it! stook it1 took it! aw but no B...............

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#49 Hockey buff
June 26 2013, 04:11PM
Trash it!
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The Oilers should trade down and get Bo Horvat , he's the guy they need , good shutdown guy , solidify the bottom 6 .... Meat and potatoes type of player

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#50 DonDon
June 26 2013, 04:31PM
Trash it!
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Lochenzo wrote:

If Horton walks, I could see Iginla landing in Boston.

I doubt Iglina going to Boston. Boston really doesn't need him or his salary. They have seen him good and he is lacking. I see Iglina trying to get to SoCal, where the weather is better. Will take a major haircut on the part of Iglina.

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