THE YAKUPOV SELECTION

Lowetide
January 13 2014 01:53PM

 

The Edmonton Oilers selection of Nail Yakupov No. 1 overall in the 2012 NHL Entry draft remains a story 18 months later. For one reason or another, the Yak City pick hasn't settled in like the Hall and Nuge drafts. The story got a little publicity this morning, and one wonders if we'll be dealing with it for years. 

OCTOBER 2013—CONFIRMED

Bob McKenzie confirmed a well known Edmonton rumor in October, tweeting out that the "majority of Edmonton scouts wanted Murray, and the decision to take Yakupov came from a higher authority. 

The story came up this morning when I was on the air at TSN 1260, and I wanted to mention it today. The push from media came courtesy Eric Duhatschek

  • Lots of people in Edmonton believe that owner Darryl Katz had some significant input into the decision to draft Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012 rather than opt for the safer choice, defenceman Ryan Murray, who would have filled a greater organizational need. With every passing day, that decision looks more and more suspect. Murray was limited to 23 games with the Everett Silvertips last year because of major knee surgery, but even as an NHL rookie, has looked good on the Columbus defence, playing a lot with James Wisniewski and providing the defensive presence on that pair. What if Murray turns out to be Alex Pietrangelo good – and they left him on the table to draft another offensive player, of which they had plenty already? How do you assess blame there? Or maybe they already have, since the GM that called Yakupov’s name, Steve Tambellini, is no longer running the show.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I find the conversation surprising. Although there's no doubt Nail Yakupov has struggled this season, Mr. Duhatschek's story is the first time "blame" has been mentioned. Presumptive? Certainly, but it's out there now, and should Nail Yakupov not deliver on promise, the scouting staff would appear to be free and clear. 

I'd still bet on Yakupov. All day. 

In a period where Oilers owner Daryl Katz is taking some heat for his team's won-loss record, perhaps fans need to be reminded that (reportedly) his draft day decisions are very likely to deliver. It remains very risky to take defensemen at #1 overall, and 45 NHL games don't change that at all. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 mouthbreather
January 13 2014, 10:03PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

Can someone ban is rod from this site?

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#52 Nowuknow
January 14 2014, 04:19AM
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Some of this stories are getting desperate for this writers. Lowetied, are you saying yak is not better than Murry? Why did you write this garbage article the end of last season? You are pathetic ........ Please retire sooooooon....

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#53 Oilbaron
January 13 2014, 02:12PM
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Murray would have looked great as an Oiler, but I suspect when all is said and done Yakupov will look even better

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#54 Josh Oiler
January 13 2014, 07:38PM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO...a depleted and injured team in a playoff position?

None of the top players were injured last year: Hall (45), Eberle (48), Gagner (48), Yakupov (48), Schutlz (48) were available almost every game and Nuge only missed 8 games.

The Oilers have been injured far more this year than during Krueger's tenure. And at least the 4th line and the D had some NHL experience last year.

How is that Eakin's fault? Honest question.

From the hockeybuzz article:

"Under Krueger Dubnyk had a .920sv% and a GAA of 2.57...Under Eakins Dubnyk’s performance has fallen off the face of the Earth with a .894sv% and GAA of 3.36".

Dubnyk pretty much accounts for the differences alone. Is that Eakins' fault?

I don't think Krueger did a bad job; but he wasn't that great. And he literally did nothing during the losing streak. Changed nothing. Just a stunned look on his face. Which yes, Eakins has sometimes too.

Because the reality is you can't coach around the holes on this team.

SUTTER can!

Hitchcock can!

TORTORELLA can!

VIGNEAULT can!

Lindy Ruff can too!

Check your facts! Eakins is a small time coach!

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#55 Brian
January 13 2014, 08:01PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

Promise you will disappear?

Oh my gosh, no more Josh.

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#56 Bryzarro World
January 13 2014, 10:12PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

I was on the fence but I'm all in on the Yak trade now...

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#57 Zarny
January 13 2014, 11:36PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

How do you explain the obvious regress of our power play, then?

2012 - 34 PPG in 169 PPO

2013 - 30 PPG in 166 PPO

The "regression" amounts to 4 G.

Explanation? Gagner's mangled jaw.

Last year Gagner played all 48 games and played well. He had 4 PPG 11 PPA 15 PPPTs. This year he's got 4 A after missing 13 games and playing half his games with a face-shield.

The PP% this year is hurt by a brutal start when Gagner was on the shelf. When the difference is 4 G that's all it takes.

Context is a beautiful thing.

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#58 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 13 2014, 02:41PM
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I don`t think the point here is actually Murray v Yakupov. It is more of Who is making the important decisions on this club.

Did the Oilers need D Help? Yes

Did they need another medium to smallish forward who can score ? No

Is Yak gonna be better or worse than Murray? Time will tell but there is no mistaking that Yak has some serious skills. Just needs to be developed.

The question here is did katz make the pick? His team, so he can do what he wants obviously. However, letting a non hockey owner make hockey decisions is a bad way to run a club. ( I can see 6rings thinking its a good idea though)

Owners rarely make good decisions on personel. See the Cowboys or the Raiders (Al was actually a great GM until he got old and the game evolved). Redskins are horrendous. Yankees were pretty bad until Steinbrenner stopped putting his hand in all the player decisions. Anyone recall Ballard? He made the Leafs and Ticats bad so he scored a double.

I believe Murray would have been a better fit for the needs but I recognize Yaks talent and it is way to early to say what the better call is. Just get someone with Hockey intelligence to make the call is what the fans would like to see.

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#59 Wintoon
January 13 2014, 02:43PM
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I cannot believe the amount of backbiting hysteria that is creeping onto these sites. Are we really second guessing draft picks less than 1 season into an NHL career. Get a grip people.

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#60 sizzay
January 13 2014, 03:14PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

@Lowetide

I don't understand why fans and bloggers like Lowetide or mc79hockey defend Yakupov and go out of their way to pump his tires.

I find it troubling when even the Russian Olympic team didn't take Yakupov, yet they took apparently inferior KHL players (I guess based on experience), but they also took Valeri Nichushkin (18 years old, so there goes the experience theory). Plus, they can't have any anti Russian bias like great YakCity fan clubs says is the only thing critics have against him.

So if the Russian team and Eakins are seeing the same deficiencies in his game, why is it that fans and bloggers don't give any credence to the theory that maybe, just maybe, he's not as good as hoped? I believe that's a fair question and look forward to the responses that are logical, not just the ones that scream YakCity and say he can shoot a puck real hard.

While you make good points, I also want to point out that it isn't fair to pile on the kid for all of his defensive deficiencies.

When you have TSN pointing out every single one of his mistakes and none of his good attributes I think it is fair for our bloggers to defend the kid.

Example: Ray Ferraro couldn't even compliment Yakupov on a nice assist that led directly to a goal. He goes "He should've passed it sooner". This wasn't last TSN game, but earlier in the year. If he let the puck go sooner, no goal would've happen.

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#61 michael
January 13 2014, 03:27PM
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Zarny wrote:

The Oilers likely won't get a chance to draft Ekblad I'm afraid.

Ekblad is going 1st or 2nd overall. The Oilers will leapfrog the Flames and possibly a couple of other teams over the rest of the season so it's more likely they pick 3-7th unless they win the lottery.

Exactly my thought. Flames lost Cammy to concusion. Can't score into an ocean. The Jets are in freefall. The Predators refuse to have an offence. The Leafs are lost in the wild. Carlyle will be done in time for the Olympic break. The Panthers may be showing some piss but that is short term. The Oilers will likely finish 25th or 24th.Leon Draistl or the Ritchie kid are more likely to be drafted. BIG and Skilled

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#62 David S
January 13 2014, 07:23PM
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Ahhh the old capslock post. Classic.

Man. I so fondly remember the early days of the internet when people thought typing all caps meant anybody reading your post HAD to take it seriously.

Nowadays it just means your a freakin' idio...well, you know.

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#63 RexHolez
January 13 2014, 10:13PM
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Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

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#64 Oilers Coffey
January 13 2014, 10:58PM
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I am sick n tired of hearing this story on the selection of Yakupov. The Oilers picked the most dynamic player available in the draft! Yakupov is going to develop and be one HELL of an NHL player. End of story!!!

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#65 EHH Team
January 13 2014, 11:10PM
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Oilers Coffey wrote:

I am sick n tired of hearing this story on the selection of Yakupov. The Oilers picked the most dynamic player available in the draft! Yakupov is going to develop and be one HELL of an NHL player. End of story!!!

Exactly!

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#66 Bloodsweatandoil
January 14 2014, 06:31AM
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Wow, ON needs a moderator at times, there are some weird and completely ignorant people who should not be around computers!

To the theme of the blog, the scouts picked Murray, management picked Yakupov.

In my opinion, I think management got it right in that aspect, but I think they should have traded Yakupov at that moment for roster needs within the roster. Even if they picked Murray, they should of done the same.

The Oilers are still not better with the top three number ones. Adding more is not going to help either.

This season really magnifies hindsight, I would hope after all these mistakes, a lesson is going to be learned sometime.

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#67 book¡e
January 13 2014, 02:37PM
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That quote about "the majority of scouts" is not as informative as some people make it out to be.

Who cares what the rank and file want. Those guys just can't accept that they advise the head scout, who advises the GM, who gets to make the decision unless the President or Owner have a strong opinion.

Some regional scout thought that it was a democracy and ended up spouting the pick to a reporter and was shocked when his superiors disagreed.

Its good info, but its simply a look into how organizations function.

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#68 Ryan2
January 13 2014, 03:45PM
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The only player the Oilers should have strongly looked at taking ahead of Yak that year is Galchenyuk. If he had not been injured and missed a good chunk of that season they likely would have. I would have taken him instead as you can never have enough top two centermen.

Murray is like going to be a #3 d-man in the end that is good at a lot of things but not great. While every team needs players like that, drafting a #3 d-man first overall is a whiff. In the end Murray will likely not be the best d-man in his class either (in fact, Lindholm is oupacing him now).

Yak or Galchenyuk were the only two players to consider at #1 overall that year.

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#69 A-Mc
January 13 2014, 03:52PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

The only player the Oilers should have strongly looked at taking ahead of Yak that year is Galchenyuk. If he had not been injured and missed a good chunk of that season they likely would have. I would have taken him instead as you can never have enough top two centermen.

Murray is like going to be a #3 d-man in the end that is good at a lot of things but not great. While every team needs players like that, drafting a #3 d-man first overall is a whiff. In the end Murray will likely not be the best d-man in his class either (in fact, Lindholm is oupacing him now).

Yak or Galchenyuk were the only two players to consider at #1 overall that year.

I'd take #2/3 Dman at #1. For this club, it's exactly what we need. Free agency hasn't been nice.

Infact if the Oilers somehow get 1st over all this year, I'd be pissed if they didn't take Ekblad

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#70 OilClog
January 13 2014, 03:56PM
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Who would ever take anyone but Yakupov 1st overall. Absolute madness. Anyone that would of took Murray 1st is now on the opposite list in management. Anything they suggest, opposite!!!

Murray is playing with a partner in Columbus that Edmonton has no comparables to provide. Nurse is better then Murray, let alone Yakupov.

If next year Yakupov is still struggling then I'll start to worry. This is his real first season in the NHL. Watch his game from here until the end of the season resemble more like last years ending.

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#71 Nimrod
January 13 2014, 05:51PM
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Yakupov wasn't needed and since Oilers would never trade a player they pick #1 overall they now have a team that's so unbalanced they have no chance competing in the Pacific Division.

Now they are already trying to sell Ekblad to Oilers fans as the solution (see MacTavish interview).

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#72 Quinn the Eskimo
January 13 2014, 06:38PM
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Wintoon wrote:

I cannot believe the amount of backbiting hysteria that is creeping onto these sites. Are we really second guessing draft picks less than 1 season into an NHL career. Get a grip people.

"Are we really second guessing draft picks less than 1 season into an NHL career" No, we are discussing the propriety of the owner making the picks. I'm against it.

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#73 justDOit
January 13 2014, 06:55PM
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@Josh Oiler

At least Z isn't yelling. Can you take it down a bit?

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#74 Zarny
January 13 2014, 07:37PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

Yak City lead the Oilers in goals last year.. In his rookie season playing decent minutes.

Yakupov's TOI/game 2014 - 14:23

Yakupov's TOI/game 2014 - 14:33

Yak averaged an extra 10 seconds on the ice per game last year.

Try again.

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#75 John Kirsch
January 13 2014, 08:03PM
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@Josh Oiler

True but it was a strike shortened season and he didn't have to go through the grind of a long season. Also there was no advanced scouting on him.

What you are saying is if he (Yak) played more he would score more than say Hall right and that the coaching staff is ultimately to blame for his lack of scoring by limiting his playing time. The team would be better off from a wins perspective with him playing 20 mins a night.

Yak is a talented dude no doubt but I think he should be in OKC to get the minutes/experience that is all. That said I don't have much confidence in the coaching staff at this moment.

Lastly I am tired of the hindsight speculation of we should have picked this player over this player. This banter is a complete waste of time, Yak is Oiler property for now hopefully he can flourish while he is here and the Oilers can build a winner.

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#76 Johnnydapunk
January 13 2014, 08:42PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

I try not to feed the troll action but this one is too good to miss...

So this whole Eakins racist stuff you are talking about, his dislikes for Muslims is what you are implying (in baffling caps lock) yes?

Sooo that would be the same Eakins who was mentioned by a certain player who is now playing for the Leafs as someone who believed in him and helped him with his career. That being a certain Nazem Kadri who happens to be a Muslim, yeah Eakins is definitely racist towards Muslims, c'mon now...

"Dallas Eakins and me really beared down, and he stuck with me the whole way, and that's what you get – results," Kadri said. "It may have taken a couple years – a long couple years – but it's worth it in the end."

And for fun, if you read up on Yakupov a bit you will realise that he seems more content with identifying himself as Tatar as opposed to Russian, there was a lovely article here that he spoke of that, so I don't know how happy he would be if you called him Russian, I don't think it will ruin his day, but it would maybe make him correct you.

Here is the link to the site for your enjoyment.

Oilersnation Interview with a yet drafted Yakupov

This may be a long winded "answer" but it bites my a** when people throw the racism tag around when there isn't any. There's loads of things that could be considered racism, but this sure isn't one of them.

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#77 bulldog12
January 13 2014, 09:18PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

LOOK HERE ZARNEY - IF THATS EVEN YOUR REAL NAME!!

IVE MET NUGE. I KNOW YAK - CHECK YOUR FACTS!!

AND YOU MAY NOT KNOW ANY BETTER!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOUR SELF BECAUSE YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY MIS INFORMED.

I agree with Zarny. You've taken stupid to a whole new level. Are you in love or swapping spit with Yak. WOW

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#78 Death Metal Nightmare
January 14 2014, 10:36AM
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yeah, because taking Ryan Murray with the geniuses who run this PoS organization wouldnt have turned into a total clown college pick anyhow. who was he going to play with that made him "look good"? pfff haha . . kid would be -10 or more and have about 5-10 points

TSN just likes to stir up a poop pot on teams that arent MTL, TOR, or VAN. they can F-off for the rest of my hockey interested life.

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#79 Zarny
January 13 2014, 02:11PM
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I would have been fine with the Oilers drafting either Yakupov, Galchenyuk or Murray.

It's not like Murray would be making a world of difference for the Oilers this year. He's not even as good as Petry yet.

And Yakupov can always be traded for a D that is as good as Murray only 5 years further developed.

Players are simply assets which is why you typically take the best player available.

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#80 RexHolez
January 13 2014, 03:11PM
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Haven't read the article or any comments. My initial reactions to the title of the article:

He has just recently played a full season in the NHL. He's 20 years old, playing his off wing and led his team in scoring his first 48 games. I will now read....

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#81 -30-
January 13 2014, 03:19PM
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Listening to Ed Olczyk who has an outsiders impartial perspective, he couldn't sing enough praises for Yakupov.

Give the guy a chance. Not many players get their groove right away.

Too many posters on here jump on and off the bandwagon the same way they change their underwear.

Loved one game and hated the next.

-30-

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#82 Zarny
January 13 2014, 03:40PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I wouldn't hold your breath on Edmonton leap frogging teams...

Their first 20 games means they won't likely leapfrog many but they will finish ahead of Calgary and Buffalo for sure and they probably only have to be a few games above 0.500 the rest of the way to catch Florida, NYI and Winnipeg.

Even if they draft 3rd Ekblad is off the board.

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#83 Zarny
January 13 2014, 03:43PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

As much as I love Yak, you can't help but wonder why the scouts liked Murray more.

I mean, between Hall and Seguin, Hall is clearly the superior player.

Nugent-Hopkins doesn't really have anyone in his draft class that is on his level.

They were bang on with these choices, so I wonder why Yakupov wasn't the popular choice amongst the scouts

It's possible the scouts saw more upside in Murray; but I suspect the scouts liked Murray more simply because he was a position of need.

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#84 A-Mc
January 13 2014, 03:49PM
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Ugh, the only thing worse than sucking as much as the Oilers have this season.. is to somehow also miss out on guys like Ekblad and S. Reinhart.

I'll be so disappointed if we dont land the #2 pick.

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#85 Lochenzo
January 13 2014, 04:42PM
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I now know what's it feels like to be a Lambourghini enthusiast complaining about having TWO Diablos in the garage.

On the one hand, you may ask why do you have two Diablos. On the other hand, you may want to smack the guy upside the head and say, is that what you're really complaining about!

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#86 Kr55
January 13 2014, 04:46PM
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I always laugh at those EA rankings. Like Yak doesn't know how to shoot a puck coming into the NHL and it'll take him 3 years of NHL development before their is any power or accuracy behind his slap shot :)

In any case, Yak was and still is the right choice. At the very least he gives us depth at RW and Ebs can be used in a package to get an established D-man. It's up to the inept management of the Oilers to make the right moves with what they have. Good luck with that eh?

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#87 pkam
January 13 2014, 05:19PM
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Zarny wrote:

Hey Seth Jones dropped to 4th so nothing is impossible. If picks were solely based on hockey I'd say no chance; but selling tickets is part of the equation (see Yakupov).

None of Buf D prospects are in the same ballpark as Ekblad. Buf will likely ship Ehrhoff and Myers out of town shortly, and they also have Hodgson and Grigorenko.

Calgary drafted Monahan last year. Reinhart's brother is already with the Flames and they could go for a C regardless; but I have a feeling Burke goes for Ekblad if he's available.

Florida drafted Barkov last year so if the Oilers manage to jump ahead I see them going D too. If they catch NYI I expect they go with Ekblad if available since they already have Tavares.

And if one of the bottom feeders doesn't win the lottery it's more likely the team picking #1 will already have a 1st line center.

And regardless, if Ekblad is available I'd rather see the Oilers the package the pick to Phx for OEL or something like that.

Colorado needs defense nearly as much as the Oilers and they passed on Jones to take Mackinon. I can understand that Mackinon is probably a better player than Jones long term.

Panthers already have some defense prospects and needs a center more so it may explain why.

But I think Tampa really need some defense and even they pass on Jones.

Which makes me to believe if there are players of equal talents, most teams will picks centers first, then wings before defense and goalie because forwards develop faster and are less risky.

Buffalo just sent Grigorenko down to the juniors and some argue that neither he and Hodgson are true no 1 center.

Calgary only have one top center in Monahan, they are still in need of another one.

I am not saying Ekblad will be available for 3rd or 4th picks, I just say he may after watching what happened last year.

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#88 Zarny
January 13 2014, 06:10PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

Try reality sometime...you'll like it.

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#89 michael
January 13 2014, 06:34PM
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@Zarny

The Oilers need not 1 defenceman but 3 going into next season. Marincin though is making it harder with each passing game. The Oilers need another Ference type dman.

The Oilers are not going to spend a truck load of money and assets to aquire a number 1 dman. Especially if they feel that what they are giving up in return is detrimental to the team long term.

Lowetide believes the Oilers will trade their pick this year. I don't believe you do that because regardless of opinion the Oilers are doing the right thing by building through the draft. You can't buy that kind of loyalty. Sure for every Ference there is a Pronger.

Ference grew up in the Edmonton area. It was a good move for him career wise and financially.

You look at a guy like Ryan Smyth. You can't buy that kind of loyalty. His leadership on and off the ice is invaluable.

What have the likes of Ben Eager,Eric Belanger and others brought to this team via free agency? Squat. Boyd Gordon knew what he was buying into when he signed here. He played down the road in Red Deer. He understands the deal. Sure has been a player as advertised. Plays hard every night.

We need players who are commited to Edmonton and its community. Not only to the team. We need guys who are brought through the organization. We need organic growth and development.

When MacT can he should add character players as he has done this past off season. When given a choice the Oilers should look within their organization for players to fill roles.

Free agency is a crap shoot. We've all seen what the results can be. Chasing guys like Heatly and Nylander. We need to stop the madness. Focus on developing and drafting. Its the only way to develop a winning organization long term.

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#90 Quinn the Eskimo
January 13 2014, 06:39PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

YOUR VOICE IS GONNA GIVE OUT IF YOU KEEP SHOUTING LIKE THIS, JOSH. !!!!! !!!!!

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#91 **
January 13 2014, 06:51PM
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Quinn the Eskimo wrote:

"Are we really second guessing draft picks less than 1 season into an NHL career" No, we are discussing the propriety of the owner making the picks. I'm against it.

I'm not against Yakupov, I think he is going ot be a superstar. I'm against Oilers ownership and management not making the best decision for the team. Yakupov was not what the team needed.

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#92 GeezMoney
January 13 2014, 07:35PM
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Haha, Oilers fans... still deciding who you are going to pick first overall?

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#93 Quinn the Eskimo
January 13 2014, 08:09PM
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@Josh Oiler

"LOOK HERE ZARNEY - IF THATS EVEN YOUR REAL NAME!!"

Ha ha! AND I GUESS WE CAN FIND YOU UNDER 'OILER' IN THE PHONEBOOK, JOSH?

fool.

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#94 Ryan2
January 13 2014, 09:47PM
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Zarny wrote:

The last 6 words...Dubnyk is having a bad year. You hit the nail on the head.

Explain Bryz? He had a 2.79 GAA and 0.900 SV% in Phi last year. He's just not that good. Par for the course.

I said Nuge missed 8 games last year. Hall missed 3 and their 3rd line C Horcoff missed 16. Eberle played every game. So did Gagner, Yak and Schultz.

This year Nuge missed 2, Hall 7, Perron 4, Eberle 1, Schultz 8, Yak 3 and their 2nd line C Gagner has missed 13 while playing 10 with an injured jaw. So injuries have been worse this year.

I agree the defense was garbage both years. The depth on both rosters is atrocious.

The difference between last year and this year however, is not coaching. Dubnyk lost 4-5 games on his own to start the year. That isn't coaching. That's folding under pressure. If the Oilers go 8-10-2 over the first 20 games they are basically where they were last year with more key injuries.

While Dubnyk cost them a couple games, goaltending was not the biggest issue with the start of the season. The problem with the team the SWARM Junior A system that Eakins tried to play with. It does not work at the NHL level where teams can make two fast passes to beat it. He was an AHL coach coming in with an AHL system and it showed. By the time he decided to get rid of it, the season was done.

As far as your injury totals, last year Nuge was playing with a bum shoulder the whole season which limited his effectiveness until they shut him down when the playoffs were out of reach. Trying to say he only missed 8 games is a bit off base when he was not healthy the entire season. The only reason some of the other injured like Ebs played through injury last year is that they were in playoff contention up until close to the end playing solely against Western Conference teams. This year, there is no worry re: playoffs so players can sit when hurt.

As far as the defence, they had a much weaker blue line last year. Whitney could not turn or skate at the end. Ference is overrated and a bad contract, but he is better than most of who they iced last year.

While I don't think Ralph was the long term answer, he got way more out of the team by designing a system to play to their strengths. Eakins, on the other hand, tried to force the team into a system that they do not have the roster to play AND, more importantly, will not work at the NHL level.

Maybe Eakins will adapt and grow as a coach over the long term and prove the naysayers like me wrong. However, I have not seen anything yet from him to suggest that this will be the case. He also has no problem deflecting the blame for losses onto his players, which is a huge question of his leadership IMHO. For a guy who preaches accountability, he has shown very little of it when it comes to ice time as well (except in Yak's case, but there he mishandles him by not rewarding him when he does play well). Even better, how did it look to the rest of the team when he played his assistant's kid and another Eakfavorite career AHLer when they did not merit it? If I constantly threw my branch under the bus when things did not go our way and gave preferential treatment to select employees that did not warrant it, as a manager I know how long I would last.........

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#95 Oilcruzer
January 13 2014, 10:51PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

You are getting warmer. Not the right question though.

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#96 EHH Team
January 13 2014, 11:12PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

Because he might be better.

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#97 K_Mart
January 14 2014, 12:29AM
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Off topic... this year hall's scoring chance numbers for and against have been atrocious for the first time in ... ever?

What is causing this?

His line's possessions are often one and done, and when the opposition gains our zone it almost always results in a multichance scenario.

For a good 10 game stretch I noticed hall start to back check hard and strip the opposition of the puck, but he's already reverted back to his old habits and the back checks have stopped.

Eberle, Nuge, Hall, Gagner, and Yak are all guilty of giving up on a back check if there is no chance that they catch the forward, or if they think another forward on their line has a step on them and they need to stay back for a quick turnaround or to cover the opposition's D at the point in our end. I see this all the time with these guys. And worse yet, the odd time that they do back check hard, they quit right as they catch up to the puck carrier and they try a really half assed poke check that never works.

This is something that these guys need to learn... right now. Even if you have absolutely zero chance of catching the puck carrier, you'd be surprised how often a little back pressure can help your d stand a guy up and the blue line. Not only that, but even if you are a few steps behind the carrier, often times your defensemen will often slow them down as they enter the zone, allowing you an opportunity to strip them of the puck before their team can get set up or at the very least gain a few more steps on them in that moment. When you see one of your linemates poised to be the first forward back, then it becomes your job to beat the support, which still requires hard back checking. This will make the zone entry and possession that much harder to establish every time. If our young guys want more time in the offensive zone and less time aimlessly wandering around in their own end, make a bigger effort to prevent the zone entry and possession set up in the first place. Most people reading this should think... well duh captain obvious, but yet these pro's often refuse to do it. It's clear that we have trouble defending once a top team is set up in our end. But we have the speed and skill to get back and make it really difficult for them to set up in the first place.

Everyone who's ever played hockey knows they've decided not to backcheck at least a couple times because there really was no possible way of catching up with the puck carrier, but to see pro's do it with such regularity is sickening. Move your ass, and protect the house. Stop letting the other team enter our zone with such ease. This is just a drop in the bucket of problems with this team, but it's a simple fundamental of hockey that most 8 year old hockey players are aware of. And it's also something that has really creeped in to Eberle and Gagner's games as of late. Hall isn't tracking so well either in this regard.

It's much easier for your defensemen to strip an oncoming forward of the puck if you are on that guy's tail with some solid back pressure. The benefits of a hard back check are many, and the problems caused by refusing to do it are many more. If you're able to skate that hard WITH the puck, you should be able to skate even harder without it. Tired of this simple problem always creeping in to the game. And it's not like these guys aren't aware of this, it's just that they are so desperate for offense that they hope the d men will create a quick turnover so they can get an odd man rush. Not sure if they've noticed yet, but our d can't exactly stand up top teams at the blue line with any regularity. You have to get back there. You always hear pros say that in order to get out of a slump they just simplify their game... well.. this is one of the simplest fundamentals of hockey, so frikkin' do it.

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#98 OilFanInVan
January 14 2014, 12:49AM
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The point of the articles was not to debate the better pick (nobody will know that answer for 5 more years) rather it was to debate who is calling the shots...

I think it's baffling that everyone is mentioning Katz as making the pick when in all likely hood it was Kevin Lowe. If Katz said anything it's because KLowe told him too...

Until Katz grows a pair (without KLowe's permission) this team will forever spin in a downward spiral because 6 Rings is, self admittedly, in on every decision of this team.

The 6 ring circus needs to stop and take the entire circus out of town. It starts with KLowe and ends with Eakins. Get a real PHOP, let that person hire a real GM. Let that GM hire a real coach. The the coach hire real assistants.

The culture needs a 180, and it starts at the top.

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#99 MessyEH
January 14 2014, 02:08AM
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Name 3 1st overall picks who ddeveloped in the minors. better yet name 1 fwd drafted 1st over all who developed in the minors.

When you draft 1st overall your team socks. You need that player in the line up.

Eakins is to blame. Lowe is to be fired.

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#100 john
January 14 2014, 02:10AM
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A coach is like a teacher, if your kids at school lose interest in a subject, the teacher tell him he is useless go sit in a corner. The kid doesn't get to play in reset, wouldn't you as parents be mad as hell? A coach need to teach and inspire his players, I can teach a cat to come to me when I call it ( tell it to sit, the cat sit like as a dog would ), why the hell Eakin cannot teach these players? Eakin insulted Nazem Kadri when he played for the Marlies (called him fat at training camp), if he is out of shape then whip him into shape. Eakin is screwing up Yakupov's developement, benching the guy? Why can't Eakin coach him and the rest of the team? Justin Schulz and Hall kept making mistakes and so many giveaways each game but they are not benched? Gagner broke his jaws, he cannot eat foods for a month, can't blame him for not up to par after he joined the team. Coach them and let them have fun, score some goals, play defense as a team. Forget about Murray from draft 2 years ago, they got Nurse last year, Nurse will be better than Murray down the road. Yakupov is a scorer, most teams would love to have him. Let the guy play, if he make mistakes correct him, the season is over so might as well play for the fans last 30 games or so.

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