Lux et veritas

Lowetide
August 04 2013 01:00PM

The Edmonton Oilers will have a small window of opportunity for a skill center this fall, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues his rehab from shoulder surgery. The two most likely candidates for the job are Mark Arcobello (in photo courtesy Rob Ferguson) and new hire Andrew Miller--signed during the MacTavish era. From a distance, it looks like a close race. Let's look a little closer.

THE MAN FROM YALE

Andrew Miller is a 5.10, 180 center with terrific skills and an impressive college resume. Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus broke down his skills when Miller was signed by the Oilers:

  • Pronman: Miller displays above-average qualities in terms of his speed, puck skills and overall offensive instincts. In his Senior season especially he showed the ability to consistently create scoring chances and keep the play flowing in the right direction.

There are some concerns from Pronman, however:

  • Pronman: The concerns I would have with Miller are firstly his physical game. He’s a 5′9′’ forward and although he does work hard, I’m not convinced he has the necessary grit and physical qualities to be anything more than replacement level in that area in the pro game. With Miller you also wonder if he has enough offensive talent, meaning if he’s dynamic or merely good, to overcome his size. I see reasonable arguments for and against him on that issue depending on which night you saw him.

Pronman's concerns about Miller's offense are strengthened when we run Miller's college numbers through Robert Vollman's new equivalency for ECAC college players. (Vollman's book is here).

ANDREW MILLER'S NHLE (USING VOLLMAN'S METRIC)

  • Age 21 82, 3-18-21
  • Age 22 82, 7-19-26
  • Age 23 82, 4-18-22
  • Age 24 82, 10-13-23

Those numbers suggest an offensive "tweener" and if they do reflect his true offensive value then Miller is unlikely to have an NHL career. However, history tells us that he'll get every chance to show what he can do during training camp and pre-season, for a couple of reasons. First, he's a new center and the club will want to see what he can do as soon as possible, and secondly Craig MacTavish signed him and believes in him.

  • MacT: “He’s not big, but he’s strong on the puck and he’s got great hockey sense. He’s a real cerebral player.”

THE MAN...ER..OTHER MAN FROM YALE

Mark Arcobello is basically the same age, but has been playing pro hockey for three seasons. In 2012-13, Arcobello had a terrific year with the OKC Barons, scoring 22-46-68 in 74 AHL games and playing in his first NHL game with the Oilers. Arcobello also impressed with 236 shots on goal (3rd in the league) and flourished with and without help from the NHL lockout players.

Arcobello's NHL equivalency from last season (I ran all the Barons forwards through Vollman's number awhile back) gives us 82, 11-23-34, or a significantly stronger offensive number than Miller's.

Also important is that MacTavish likes what Arcobello can bring and in fact signed him this summer.

  • MacT: I liked him last year, I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game. It all boils down to your ability to make plays with the puck. When he played with Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma City this year earlier, his production was excellent. It was actually on par with Nuge. I’m not saying that he’s Nuge, but it was on par with Ryan. So I think that we’ll get him to training camp. When we signed him again to a contract I had a conversation with him and told him that he would get a look at training camp. He hasn’t played in an exhibition game or didn’t last year, so we’ll get a look and the rest will be up to him to prove to the coaching staff that he’s got enough game to warrant a bigger look as training camp goes by. I promised him that opportunity and we’re going to give it to him.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers have not supplied new coach with many depth options at center via the draft. The top end guys (Nuge, Gagner) were lottery picks, Gordon is a free agent signing and Miller/Arcobello are college men. Will Acton is an AHL veteran signed for insurance, and only Anton Lander represents the non-lottery draft group in this battle. Perhaps Travis Ewanyk can push his way into the conversation.

For the Oilers, they need a 4C and a replacement C for the Nuge as he readies himself after surgery. What does that mean? Oiler fans are going to see a lot of these Yale products in pre-season, and we should pray to Baby Jesus at least one of them can grab a job and perform well in it.

Center is not a position of great depth at this time.

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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 Team 1260.
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#51 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 04 2013, 07:31PM
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Darrell wrote:

Horrcoff, Segin and Peverley ? I don't think we missed much but look forward to playing Dallas to see how it plays out ....

Don't be a reverse DSF.

Those are three very solid Cs (of course Sequin still has to prove himself, but regardless he is an exceptional talent). Dallas is much better for Nil's efforts.

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#52 DSF
August 04 2013, 07:31PM
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Manfly wrote:

jeez, the Oilers can't please the critics no matter who they draft or what moves they make, can they? Nurse was an outstanding pick! and it was clear the Oil were going to get either a long sought after big, talented center in Sean Monahan, or a long sought after *potential* top pairing d-man in Darnell Nurse. and yet people still complain! unless you have multiple top 15 picks in the entry draft, you can't get all the good players you want...so the Oilers finally draft a *potential* top end d-man that this team has been long criticized for not doing, and people *STILL* complain! unreal!!

1st pairing D?

PK Subban - 2nd round 43rd overall

Kris Letang - 3rd round 62nd overall

Shea Weber - 2nd round 49th overall

Ryan Suter - 1st round 7th overall

Andrei Markov - 6th round 162nd overall

Keith Yandle - 4th round 105th overall

Dion Phaneuf - 1st round 9th overall

Brian Campbell - 6th round 156th overall

Duncan Keith 2nd round 54th overall

Slava Voynov- 2nd round 32nd overall

Francois Beauchemin - 3rd round 75th overall

Alex Pietrangelo - 1st round - 4th overall

Dan Hamhuis - 1st round 12th overall

O Ekman Larsson - 1st round 6th overall

Paul Martin - 2nd round 62nd overall

Alex Edler - 3rd round 91st overall

Drew Doughty - 1st round - 2nd overall

Brent Seabrook - 1st round 14th overall

Fedor Tyutin - 2nd round 41st overall

Zdeno Chara - 3rd round - 56ht overall

Not an exhaustive list but sufficient to indicate that you are just as likely to find a top pairing defenseman later in the draft.

I guess, if you think Nurse is a slam dunk to be in the company of Doughty, Pietrangelo and Suter, picking him in the top 10 was smart.

We'll see.

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#53 Darrell
August 04 2013, 07:38PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Don't be a reverse DSF.

Those are three very solid Cs (of course Sequin still has to prove himself, but regardless he is an exceptional talent). Dallas is much better for Nil's efforts.

Ok - which of the three do you want as an Oiler? I just don't see a fit here ...

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#54 DSF
August 04 2013, 07:56PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

It's a big enough difference that MacT and everyone else, excepting you, thought it worth exploiting.

Picking D in the top 10 is risky. I don't think it is dumb. I would have picked the Russian. But today Nurse looks like a safe bet and a better one than any of those Cs and that's all you need to make the pick.

Your analogy is meaningless. Players aren't non-perishable commodities. You can never have enough good players, especially on D.

No NHL team will ever have enough D. Ever.

Time, injury, salary cap, collapse of play, free agency, etc.

Thinking you can stand pat and address other needs because you are good is stupid.

MacT took 4 centers in his first draft. I'd say the shelf stocking started a few months ago.

Listen.

I agree you can never have 2 many D.

The issue is how you acquire them and what the rest of your roster depth looks like. You can ignore that at your peril.

Vancouver, for example, is credited with having one of the best D corp in the league.

Hamhuis - free agent signing

Bieksa - 5th round pick.

Edler - 3rd round pick

Garrison - free agent signing

Tanev - free agent signing

Corrado - 5th round pick

Alberts - 6th round pick

See any top 10 picks there?

It's all well and good to start shelf stocking at C but waiting until #56 doesn't indicate much of an organizational priority..

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#55 DSF
August 04 2013, 08:02PM
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Darrell wrote:

Ok - which of the three do you want as an Oiler? I just don't see a fit here ...

Dallas' centre depth isn't limited to those 3.

Seguin

Peverley

Horcoff

Vernon Fiddler

Cody Eakin 48GP 7G 17A 24P NHL

Radek Faksa

That's a nice group.

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#56 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 04 2013, 08:07PM
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Darrell wrote:

Ok - which of the three do you want as an Oiler? I just don't see a fit here ...

I'd be happy with any of them as an Oiler under other circumstances. As it is, Peverley would be a fine fit as the 4C.

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#57 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 04 2013, 08:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Listen.

I agree you can never have 2 many D.

The issue is how you acquire them and what the rest of your roster depth looks like. You can ignore that at your peril.

Vancouver, for example, is credited with having one of the best D corp in the league.

Hamhuis - free agent signing

Bieksa - 5th round pick.

Edler - 3rd round pick

Garrison - free agent signing

Tanev - free agent signing

Corrado - 5th round pick

Alberts - 6th round pick

See any top 10 picks there?

It's all well and good to start shelf stocking at C but waiting until #56 doesn't indicate much of an organizational priority..

Well, they took RNH at 1. I'd say that was a priority. Gagner at 6th.

56th was their second pick in the draft. by definition that's priority compared to the picks of the day. (though I highly doubt Roy ever plays C if he makes it to the NHL).

Besides, drafts don't work that way. You pick based on who's available.

We all know they wanted Monahan very bad. he was gone.

Last year, they really wanted Samuelson. he was gone.

------ Lots of good players come out of other rounds. But re-drafts aren't drafts.

Like I said, I'd have taken the Russian. I don't prefer D in the top 10. But I don't think they take a center at 7 unless it is Monahan or Lindholm. I don't either.

I prefer Nurse to all those other Cs. But I prefer the Russian above all of them.

We'll know in five years or so. With any luck they'll all have great careers and give us something to enjoy watching.

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#58 Walter Sobchak
August 04 2013, 09:06PM
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Let me get this right.

For the first three years the defense was the issue, we went to camp with players like Barker,Foster,Belle,Chorney,Vandermeer,Petiot, Strundwick,Plante,Peckham,Teubert,Fistric,Potter even Whitney.

Everyone wrote and commented what a bad job Tambellini did getting quality defensmen in when it was a major weekness.

Fast forward to the present and now people are Ok with MacTavish coming to camp with 3 defensmen who have never played in the NHL and one that was cast away only to be brought back by MacTavish cause he seen him good once...correct.

Everyone commented and wondered outloud why Tambellini never acted on his centre postion when the Oilers centers went down?

Fast forward to the now again, Everyone seem's ok with MacTavish coming to camp with 2 NHL ready centers and 4 defensmen who have never played in the NHL?? In arguable the hardest, strongest, deepest division. Are we actually ok with players like Miller, Arcobello and Lander stepping in even for a month??

With 10 out of 14 games on the road, the Oilers are going to sit dead last when the team hits November.

That's whithout a capable 3rd and 4th line.

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#59 Ari Gold
August 04 2013, 09:28PM
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I'd prefer any of Horcs/Seguin/Peverley over Arcobello/Miller. Oilers desperately need a real center.

I like Grabovski, move Gags to the wing if you need to when Nuge comes back. Dump Hemsky, dump Schultz Sr. Free up the cap room. It CAN be done. I simply wouldn't sign Grabo for anything longer than a 3 year deal.

He's skilled, can play in the corners and is plain nutz! Did anyone watch him in the Boston series? Kid deserves a shot at a real role.

This team needs to realize that great teams have excellent depth at centre. Even when Nuge returns, the team is WEAK at centre.

I know we're all dreaming of a Franchise Dman. If Pietrangelo isn't available, or if we can't trade Shea Weber for Omark, it just isn't going to be possible. Lets move on to another position. GET A REAL CENTRE!!!

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#60 Manfly
August 04 2013, 09:32PM
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DSF wrote:

1st pairing D?

PK Subban - 2nd round 43rd overall

Kris Letang - 3rd round 62nd overall

Shea Weber - 2nd round 49th overall

Ryan Suter - 1st round 7th overall

Andrei Markov - 6th round 162nd overall

Keith Yandle - 4th round 105th overall

Dion Phaneuf - 1st round 9th overall

Brian Campbell - 6th round 156th overall

Duncan Keith 2nd round 54th overall

Slava Voynov- 2nd round 32nd overall

Francois Beauchemin - 3rd round 75th overall

Alex Pietrangelo - 1st round - 4th overall

Dan Hamhuis - 1st round 12th overall

O Ekman Larsson - 1st round 6th overall

Paul Martin - 2nd round 62nd overall

Alex Edler - 3rd round 91st overall

Drew Doughty - 1st round - 2nd overall

Brent Seabrook - 1st round 14th overall

Fedor Tyutin - 2nd round 41st overall

Zdeno Chara - 3rd round - 56ht overall

Not an exhaustive list but sufficient to indicate that you are just as likely to find a top pairing defenseman later in the draft.

I guess, if you think Nurse is a slam dunk to be in the company of Doughty, Pietrangelo and Suter, picking him in the top 10 was smart.

We'll see.

you are just as likely to find a top scoring forward in the later rounds too, doncha think? and i mentioned that Nurse had the *potential* to be a top pairing, but what if he and Klefbom aren't? so what? we keep trying to draft/sign/trade for a top d-man. Nurse and Nichuskin were clearly the BPA's and the Oilers had to choose one and they did. i and many Oiler fans are happy with this pick, and i hope he can turn out to be as good as Pietrangelo or Ekman-Larson. time will tell and i think most Oil fans would agree he's worth the risk.

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#61 Naky
August 04 2013, 10:03PM
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I think the only reason why they didn't pick Nichuskin is because he bailed on the bike. Just flat out quit. That turned a lot of teams off and sent a lot of warning bells. The Oilers made the right choice choosing the kid who obviously values hard work above all over the Russian who quit when the going got tough. One might have more of an immediate impact than the other, but at least we'll never have to worry about a potential poison in the dressing room with Nurse.

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#62 DSF
August 04 2013, 10:04PM
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Manfly wrote:

you are just as likely to find a top scoring forward in the later rounds too, doncha think? and i mentioned that Nurse had the *potential* to be a top pairing, but what if he and Klefbom aren't? so what? we keep trying to draft/sign/trade for a top d-man. Nurse and Nichuskin were clearly the BPA's and the Oilers had to choose one and they did. i and many Oiler fans are happy with this pick, and i hope he can turn out to be as good as Pietrangelo or Ekman-Larson. time will tell and i think most Oil fans would agree he's worth the risk.

Not true.

Of the top 30 scoring forwards in the NHL last season, only Martin St. Louis, Chris Kunitz, Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Ribiero, Henrik Zetterburg, Derek Stepan, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau were drafted after the first round.

In other words, 22 of the top 30 scoring forwards were first round picks.

Forwards 31-40?

Daniel Sedin 1st round

Joe Thornton 1st round

Max Pacioretty 1st round

Jiri Tlusty 1st round

Pascal Dupuis (Crosby coat tails)

Zach Parise 1st round

Sam Gagner 1st round

Logan Couture 1st round

Jordan Eberle 1st round

Mikko Koivu 1st round

Finding a point producer outside the first round is a rare occurrence (9 out of 40)

Finding a top pairing D outside the first round is closer to 50-50.

It's all well and good to be happy with the pick but when you have only two bonafide NHL centres entering a season, there IS a problem.

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#63 K_Mart
August 04 2013, 10:34PM
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Grabo seems like a good choice to me. But he'd have to know he'd be the #2 C until Nuge comes back, after that it'll be up to him to battle with Gags for the #2 C spot. No freebies. If he expected the #2 C spot to just be handed to him, I wouldn't sign him.

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#64 Dog Train
August 04 2013, 10:34PM
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The centre position is the real elephant in the room right now. We are deep on D and in goal and have some intriguing players in the mix for the bottom six winger spots. We don't match up well down the middle with any of the contenders in our division even with the Nuge healthy. Hopefully one of Arco or Miller can seize the day.

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#65 TLHansum
August 04 2013, 11:09PM
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Not often i agree with DSF, so when i do, i gotta say something.

Unless you're Absolutely SURE that the D you're picking in the first round is gonna be a top pairing defense man (and i don't know how you could be), you should always be picking a forward in the first round. Almost no exceptions. I mean, Cam Fowler at 12th overall is an exception.

Then pick defense men that can skate in the second round. They don't have to have major points, but awareness, passing, and (not necessarily, but as a bonus) meanness.

I don't hate the Nurse pick, but i was hoping for Nuchiskin. I was quite upset that we passed on him. We'll know in 3 years if we made the wrong call. By then Nuch will have played enough we'll know how legit he is, and Nurse will be playing in the NHL or 'developing'... which means for a top 10 pick, he's behind.

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#66 David S
August 04 2013, 11:23PM
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I hate to say it, but DSF is firing on all cylinders tonight.

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#67 Eddie Shore
August 04 2013, 11:43PM
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A rookie 18 year old 2C is not going to make or break this team. Which C should the Oilers have selected ahead of Nurse that would save this season?

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#68 Quicksilver ballet
August 04 2013, 11:47PM
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LT, when they invented the very first clock. How did they know what time to set it to?

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#69 Walter Sobchak
August 05 2013, 01:14AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

A rookie 18 year old 2C is not going to make or break this team. Which C should the Oilers have selected ahead of Nurse that would save this season?

A less then capable 2nd line center is going to get absolutely creamed in the Pacific division!

Look at the teams 2nd lines in the division and just imagine an AHL player or a varsity player going head to head, it’s laughable!

would it have been bad had the Oilers taken Nurse and signed Grabovski, which would have solidified the center depth?

The inability to buy out Hemsky or move him is also going to bite MacTavish in the ass.

For what it's worth.

I would have taken Horvat in a heartbeat over Nurse.

Like DSF said it’s not a reach taking Horvat at 7.

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#70 Rocket
August 05 2013, 02:19AM
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@Walter Sobchak

I don't completely disagree with you but would a rookie Horvat vs. Thornton, etc. be better than Lander? Or Arcobello? Maybe but I doubt it. The Oilers have relied too much on super skilled rookies lately.

Even Nichushkin would barely help in that area.

You're right though, signing Grabo and moves by MacT would help. So many hole to fill, so little time.

BTW I like Horvat, but I'll wait to pass judgement until I see him play against the rest of the pacific division.

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#71 Walter Sobchak
August 05 2013, 02:31AM
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Rocket wrote:

I don't completely disagree with you but would a rookie Horvat vs. Thornton, etc. be better than Lander? Or Arcobello? Maybe but I doubt it. The Oilers have relied too much on super skilled rookies lately.

Even Nichushkin would barely help in that area.

You're right though, signing Grabo and moves by MacT would help. So many hole to fill, so little time.

BTW I like Horvat, but I'll wait to pass judgement until I see him play against the rest of the pacific division.

I think Horvat head to head vs Miller or Arcobello would be close.

Lander would have a step up of course, but still so far away from quality of the other teams.

I dont care if they are rookies, RNH was almost better then Gagner and better offensively then Horcoff when he entered the league.

Not saying Horvat is RNH but Horvat projects to be a Peca 2.0, I wouldnt mind that one bit.

As far as Nurse, I still think the big russian will be the better player, but I'm not upset we took Nurse.

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#72 Rocket
August 05 2013, 02:54AM
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@Walter Sobchak

Yeah fair enough, I like Nurse as well. Another Peca on The Oilers would be super gnarly too.

My only concern with Nichushkin is that we all thought Paajarvi would be a world beater too & we all know how that turned out so I'm a little nervous when people talk about Nichushkin like he's a sure thing.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong and he lights it up but I'm reserving judgement for a while still.

BTW I think Nuge was better than Gagner in his rookie year by my eye but maybe advanced stats have it the other way.

Between Horvat & Monahan I think The Flames & Canucks are drafting quality prospects though.

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#73 RyanCoke
August 05 2013, 06:51AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

LT, when they invented the very first clock. How did they know what time to set it to?

The first clocks were self setting. Sun dials told the time based on the position of the sun

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#74 Hags9k
August 05 2013, 07:03AM
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Our center depth chart looks worlds better as soon as Nuge is healthy but more importantly when he settles into the league and becomes a star. As much as Hall is a beast and our best player, this team won't click into gear until the Nuge truly "arrives". Once Nuge takes flight, so will the Oil.

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#75 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 05 2013, 08:18AM
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There are two debates here. We should be clear about them.

1. Taking a D in the top 10 vs. a consensus top billing forward.

2. Taking a C in the top 10, who is not a consensus top billing forward vs. taking a D who is.

1. It is IMO certainly riskier to take the D over the generic top billing forward. I would have taken the forward, i.e., the Russian. D take longer and have more pot-holes along the way.

But MacT laid out a clear philosophy for drafting and he said on day one he was willing to expose himself to risk. I can understand and support that even if I part ways with it somewhat.

2. It is much riskier to leap to take a non-top billing forward in the top 10, than it is to take a top-billing D in the top 10.

Horvat was #13 on both McKenzie and Zona's consensus lists. If we divide by 1.5 (to approx. a walkabout threshold) taking him 9th and up would be marginally safe. Taking him 8th and below would be a walkabout.

MacT put an end to the walkabout era of chasing shadows.

If it wasn't going to be Nurse it was going to be the Russian. That was always going to be the smart move. The Russian, Nurse or Ristolainen.

Leaping to take a C to solve today's problem is a really, really bad idea.

The only reasonable option would have been to trade up to get Monahan/Lindholm, or down and pick Horvat, Lazar, etc, in the teens.

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#76 K_Mart
August 05 2013, 08:27AM
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DSF wrote:

Not true.

Of the top 30 scoring forwards in the NHL last season, only Martin St. Louis, Chris Kunitz, Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Ribiero, Henrik Zetterburg, Derek Stepan, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau were drafted after the first round.

In other words, 22 of the top 30 scoring forwards were first round picks.

Forwards 31-40?

Daniel Sedin 1st round

Joe Thornton 1st round

Max Pacioretty 1st round

Jiri Tlusty 1st round

Pascal Dupuis (Crosby coat tails)

Zach Parise 1st round

Sam Gagner 1st round

Logan Couture 1st round

Jordan Eberle 1st round

Mikko Koivu 1st round

Finding a point producer outside the first round is a rare occurrence (9 out of 40)

Finding a top pairing D outside the first round is closer to 50-50.

It's all well and good to be happy with the pick but when you have only two bonafide NHL centres entering a season, there IS a problem.

This.

Although I don't see this lasting. Teams seem to always be increasing their scouting staff and I'd like to believe that fewer and fewer top pairing D slip passed the first round in future drafts.

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#77 gongshow
August 05 2013, 08:56AM
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How about for 4C adding an actual NHL center with size that can win important draws and kill penalties for cheap? Marty Reasoner is still an available UFA and at this point in the offseason you could probably add him for pretty cheap. This would allow RNH sufficient healing time so that he isn't rushed back and you have a veteran who could mentor a bunch of these kids on faceoffs and Dzone play.

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#78 Manfly
August 05 2013, 09:54AM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah fair enough, I like Nurse as well. Another Peca on The Oilers would be super gnarly too.

My only concern with Nichushkin is that we all thought Paajarvi would be a world beater too & we all know how that turned out so I'm a little nervous when people talk about Nichushkin like he's a sure thing.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong and he lights it up but I'm reserving judgement for a while still.

BTW I think Nuge was better than Gagner in his rookie year by my eye but maybe advanced stats have it the other way.

Between Horvat & Monahan I think The Flames & Canucks are drafting quality prospects though.

i agree. i think way too muxh credit for being more of a sure thing is being given to Horvat and Nichuskin and nowhere near enough to Nurse.

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#79 I am the Liquor
August 05 2013, 10:51AM
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DSF wrote:

1st pairing D?

PK Subban - 2nd round 43rd overall

Kris Letang - 3rd round 62nd overall

Shea Weber - 2nd round 49th overall

Ryan Suter - 1st round 7th overall

Andrei Markov - 6th round 162nd overall

Keith Yandle - 4th round 105th overall

Dion Phaneuf - 1st round 9th overall

Brian Campbell - 6th round 156th overall

Duncan Keith 2nd round 54th overall

Slava Voynov- 2nd round 32nd overall

Francois Beauchemin - 3rd round 75th overall

Alex Pietrangelo - 1st round - 4th overall

Dan Hamhuis - 1st round 12th overall

O Ekman Larsson - 1st round 6th overall

Paul Martin - 2nd round 62nd overall

Alex Edler - 3rd round 91st overall

Drew Doughty - 1st round - 2nd overall

Brent Seabrook - 1st round 14th overall

Fedor Tyutin - 2nd round 41st overall

Zdeno Chara - 3rd round - 56ht overall

Not an exhaustive list but sufficient to indicate that you are just as likely to find a top pairing defenseman later in the draft.

I guess, if you think Nurse is a slam dunk to be in the company of Doughty, Pietrangelo and Suter, picking him in the top 10 was smart.

We'll see.

What an insufferable jackass you are.

If they Oilers had picked a forward you would be on here going on and on about how poor their defense is and how stupid they were to take another forward with their top pick.

Predictably predictable.

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#80 Yakman
August 05 2013, 11:08AM
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Is it possible the trash it feature is making DSF raise his game?

I think Arcobello will have a good chance to keep the 1c spot warm for Nuge based on previously established chemistry with Hall and Eberle... give them butter soft zone starts and it could work out well enough... he strikes me as the type that could have a hot streak a la Scott Fraser... not a realistic long term option but could do some damage in a limited viewing...

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#81 Joy S. Lee
August 05 2013, 11:12AM
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DSF wrote:

The difference between a 7th overall pick and a 9th overall pick (Horvat) is infinitesimal.

Unless the player you are drafting is a generational talent (I doubt he is), picking a D in the top 10 is dumb.

Many of the best defensemen in the game were selected in the second round.

"Stocking the shelves" sounds good in theory but, if you keep stocking tampons while you have no aspirins in the store is ridiculous.

Solving the lack of C depth is not a question of this season or even next but the centres the Oilers have in the system are pretty much crap.

When does the team start stocking the shelves with centres?

What was the difference between the 4 & 5 pick in this years' entry draft? Infinitely infinitesimal?

And, yet, some might say the difference between picking either Seth Jones or Elias Lindholm may have been significant, and that 30 out of 30 teams would have chosen Jones in the 4 slot, leaving Lindholm for 5th. For such an "infinitesimal" difference, it's a definite result.

(By the way, Seth Jones is a defenseman, too. Did Nashville screw up as well?)

I understand what you are saying about the need to improve the team at that key position, and you'd be right, but your argument that picks that close together are equal is hardly convincing, especially in the top round of the draft.

Besides, each team does their research, and has their reasons for wanting certain players. I believe the Oilers reasoning was very sound in picking Nurse. You don't. But it's they who have the choice, and they chose Nurse. Get on with it, already, you're condemning something that you won't have any data for for months, and no real proof for years. How long do you want to debate something like this before the debate is even started?

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#82 DSF
August 05 2013, 11:32AM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

What was the difference between the 4 & 5 pick in this years' entry draft? Infinitely infinitesimal?

And, yet, some might say the difference between picking either Seth Jones or Elias Lindholm may have been significant, and that 30 out of 30 teams would have chosen Jones in the 4 slot, leaving Lindholm for 5th. For such an "infinitesimal" difference, it's a definite result.

(By the way, Seth Jones is a defenseman, too. Did Nashville screw up as well?)

I understand what you are saying about the need to improve the team at that key position, and you'd be right, but your argument that picks that close together are equal is hardly convincing, especially in the top round of the draft.

Besides, each team does their research, and has their reasons for wanting certain players. I believe the Oilers reasoning was very sound in picking Nurse. You don't. But it's they who have the choice, and they chose Nurse. Get on with it, already, you're condemning something that you won't have any data for for months, and no real proof for years. How long do you want to debate something like this before the debate is even started?

If you refer to my original point, I suggested drafting a D in the top 10 was a bad idea unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN he will be an impact top pairing D.

From what I've read, Seth Jones meets that criteria while Nurse and Ristolainen don't.

While it certainly could happen, there is ample evidence picking a forward in the top 10 is a much, much better bet.

Having said that, I think Nashville did the right thing not "screw up".

For the record, I don't think the Oilers screwed up either but, given the organizational lack of depth at centre, I really think you have consider the chances of Nurse or, say, Bo Horvat, having more impact on the Oilers over the next decade.

Considering they already had Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Simpson and Musil (among others) already in the system, I think "drafting for need" in this case would have been the smart thing to do since the perceived difference between Nurse's and Horvat's potential is not that great.

My draft philosophy has always been, if its even close, draft the centre first, a D second and a winger third.

My thinking there is based on how difficult it is to obtain impact centres.

Here's a scouting report on Horvat...let me know if you don't think he's EXACTLY what the Oilers need.

"Strengths - You can make a very strong case that Bo Horvat is the most complete player in this year’s draft class. He does so many things well and can make a positive impact in so many different ways that he amazes me almost every time I see him.

Horvat is an extremely reliable two-way player, who is among the best in the OHL when it comes to winning faceoffs. His attention to detail, especially in his own zone, is second to none. He’s rarely caught out of position and is used in every defensive situation by Knights head coach, Dale Hunter.

Horvat isn’t just a defensive specialist, though. He’s a good skater, knows how to drive possession and possesses above average puck skills. He sees the ice well, has a very high hockey IQ and always knows where he needs to be on the ice. Horvat has a hard, accurate shot and is a good passer as well.

Horvat leaves everything he has on the ice every shift and is very rarely outworked. He’s very strong on the puck and wins a ton of battles along the boards. He’ll finish his checks and isn’t afraid to be physical, but he always keeps a calm demeanour no matter what happens. Horvat doesn’t take many penalties or retaliate to the opposition when they attempt to get under his skin, which you don’t find often in a young player who plays the way he does.

He’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas, he’ll block shots and is the definition of a team first guy. Horvat will do whatever it takes to win and has outstanding leadership qualities. He most certainly has potential to take on a leadership role in the NHL down the road.

Weaknesses - While he’s a good skater, he would benefit from a little more explosiveness in his stride. He isn’t really dynamic offensively, but given he has offensive ability and is above average in so many aspects of the game, that shouldn’t hinder him at all. Horvat isn’t afraid to use his body and will finish checks, but I’d like to see a little more edge in his game, too.

Career Projection - Horvat’s an exceptional two-way player with high end leadership qualities, so there’s nothing stopping him from having a lot of success in the NHL. He has the upside to be a top-line center but the safe projection is probably an above average second line center."

"When Horvat was selected, Ray Ferraro and Bob McKenzie immediately pointed out that scouts compared him to Ryan O’Reilly and Patrice Bergeron. It is, of course, brutally unfair to compare an 18-year-old prospect to two of the better two-way forwards in the NHL and arguably the best in Bergeron, but no one ever said hockey was fair."

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#83 Eddie Shore
August 05 2013, 11:51AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

A less then capable 2nd line center is going to get absolutely creamed in the Pacific division!

Look at the teams 2nd lines in the division and just imagine an AHL player or a varsity player going head to head, it’s laughable!

would it have been bad had the Oilers taken Nurse and signed Grabovski, which would have solidified the center depth?

The inability to buy out Hemsky or move him is also going to bite MacTavish in the ass.

For what it's worth.

I would have taken Horvat in a heartbeat over Nurse.

Like DSF said it’s not a reach taking Horvat at 7.

I agree that the Oilers need another C. I also think its laughable to think had we drafted one instead of Nurse that he would automatically be an upgrade over Lander et al (for this year).

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#84 hags9k
August 05 2013, 11:57AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

There are two debates here. We should be clear about them.

1. Taking a D in the top 10 vs. a consensus top billing forward.

2. Taking a C in the top 10, who is not a consensus top billing forward vs. taking a D who is.

1. It is IMO certainly riskier to take the D over the generic top billing forward. I would have taken the forward, i.e., the Russian. D take longer and have more pot-holes along the way.

But MacT laid out a clear philosophy for drafting and he said on day one he was willing to expose himself to risk. I can understand and support that even if I part ways with it somewhat.

2. It is much riskier to leap to take a non-top billing forward in the top 10, than it is to take a top-billing D in the top 10.

Horvat was #13 on both McKenzie and Zona's consensus lists. If we divide by 1.5 (to approx. a walkabout threshold) taking him 9th and up would be marginally safe. Taking him 8th and below would be a walkabout.

MacT put an end to the walkabout era of chasing shadows.

If it wasn't going to be Nurse it was going to be the Russian. That was always going to be the smart move. The Russian, Nurse or Ristolainen.

Leaping to take a C to solve today's problem is a really, really bad idea.

The only reasonable option would have been to trade up to get Monahan/Lindholm, or down and pick Horvat, Lazar, etc, in the teens.

1. I agree unfortunately with DSF that it is riskier to take the D over the F that high, and this should not become regular practice.

However, I think Nurse will cover the bet. No way I would trade him for either Horvat or the Russian right now. If the Russian pots 20+ this year in big D then the pressure mounts but I think Nurse is going to be gold.

2. I agree with you that you take the consensus D instead of reaching a bit for a C because of need. BPA wins over time. But in this case the gap to Horvat from the C group above(Lindholm, Monahan, Barkov) was enough that Nurse was the best option.

GOILERS

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#85 DSF
August 05 2013, 12:03PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

I agree that the Oilers need another C. I also think its laughable to think had we drafted one instead of Nurse that he would automatically be an upgrade over Lander et al (for this year).

Who was suggesting the Oilers needed to draft a centre who would have an impact for this year?

The issue is the Oilers don't have any centres of real value in the system and trading down to draft one at #56 hardly addressees that issue since the chances of Marc Olivier Roy becoming an impact centre in the NHL are exceedingly small.

Drafting another wild card C at #83 won't solve the issue either.

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#86 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 05 2013, 01:10PM
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hags9k wrote:

1. I agree unfortunately with DSF that it is riskier to take the D over the F that high, and this should not become regular practice.

However, I think Nurse will cover the bet. No way I would trade him for either Horvat or the Russian right now. If the Russian pots 20+ this year in big D then the pressure mounts but I think Nurse is going to be gold.

2. I agree with you that you take the consensus D instead of reaching a bit for a C because of need. BPA wins over time. But in this case the gap to Horvat from the C group above(Lindholm, Monahan, Barkov) was enough that Nurse was the best option.

GOILERS

Don't give DSF that much credit.

Everyone knows it is riskier to pick D high. MacT said as much.

MacT rolled the dice on Nurse. The Russian would have been a safer bet. Both are much safer today than the Cs available.

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#87 EHH Team
August 06 2013, 07:39AM
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@Yakman

Is it possible the trash it feature is making DSF raise his game?

No

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#88 Deke Rivers
August 06 2013, 01:20PM
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As a point to some earlier posts. The Oilers only have 4 divisional games in the first two months (October and November) or first 27 games. (Canucks, Kings, Sharks, Flames)

2 games in October 2 games in November

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