A GAME YOU DIDN'T WANT TO CARE ABOUT

Jason Gregor
January 15 2014 04:12PM

Oilers fans were hoping they could watch tonight Top Prospect game casually, however, due to another horrific NHL season fans will be watching closely to see which top prospect will help the Oilers the most.

Looking at the NHL standings, I suspect the Oilers will finish 28th-30th. I don't see them catching the Panthers or Islanders, so unless a team that finishes 27th-17th wins the lottery, the Oilers will have a top-three pick this June.

If you are feeling a severe case of Deja Vu, don't worry you aren't alone. By now we all have experience dealing with the speculation, conjecture and predictions of top-three picks so no one should be caught off guard when someone debates the merits of Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Samuel Bennett, Leon Draisaitl (Dry-Siddle), Nick Ritchie and Michael Dal Colle.

The mid-term rankings came out earlier this week and here is a glimpse of how some of them ranked the top-ten players.

NHL Central Scouting: Top-10 North American Skaters (The rest of the rankings are here)

Rank Player Team League Position Height Weight
1 BENNETT, SAMUEL KINGSTON OHL C 6' 0.25" 178
2 DRAISAITL, LEON PRINCE ALBERT WHL C 6' 1.75" 208
3 EKBLAD, AARON BARRIE OHL D 6' 3.5" 216
4 REINHART, SAM KOOTENAY WHL C 6' 0.75" 185
5 DAL COLLE, MICHAEL OSHAWA OHL C/LW 6' 1.5" 179
6 FLEURY, HAYDN RED DEER WHL D 6' 2.5" 198
7 RITCHIE, NICHOLAS PETERBOROUGH OHL LW 6' 2.25" 231
8 PERLINI, BRENDAN NIAGARA OHL LW 6' 2.5" 205
9 VIRTANEN, JAKE CALGARY WHL RW 6' 0.75" 208
10 DEANGELO, ANTHONY SARNIA OHL D 5' 10.75" 175

ISS released their top-30.... Here is their top-ten. They include European skaters as well, Central Scouting ranks them separately.

1 Ekblad, Aaron D 2/7/1996 R 6.03.5 216 Barrie OHL
2 Reinhart, Sam C 11/6/1995 R 6.00.75 185 Kootenay WHL
3 Bennett, Sam LW 6/20/1996 L 6.00.25 178 Kingston OHL
4 Dal Colle, Michael C 6/20/1996 L 6.01.5 179 Oshawa OHL
5 Nylander, Willie C 5/1/1996 R 5.11 169 Sodertalje SweAl
6 Perlini, Brendan LW 4/27/1996 L 6.02.5 205 Niagara OHL
7 Draisaitl, Leon C 10/27/1995 L 6.01.75 208 Prince Albert WHL
8 Fleury, Haydn LD 7/8/1996 L 6.02.5 198 Red Deer WHL
9 Virtanen, Jake LW 8/17/1996 R 6.00.75 208 Calgary WHL
10 Karlsson, Anton LW 8/3/1996 L 6.01.25 187 Mora SweAl

Hockey Prospect ranks them every month and here is their January rankings.


JAN
DEC
PLAYER
POS
TEAM
LEAGUE
HT
WT
1 2 EKBLAD, AARON RD BARRIE OHL 6'4" 213
2 1 REINHART, SAM RC KOOTENAY WHL 6'0" 182
3 3 DAL COLLE, MICHAEL LW OSHAWA OHL 6'2 171
4 5 RITCHIE, NICK LW PETERBOROUGH OHL 6'2" 216
5 8 BENNETT, SAM LC KINGSTON OHL 6'0" 168
6 4 DRAISATL, LEON LC PRINCE ALBERT WHL 6'1" 198
7 11 EHLERS, NIKOLAJ LW HALIFAX QMJHL 5'11" 163
8 9 NYLANDER, WILLIAM LW SODERTALJE SWE 5'11" 175
9 6 MCCANN, JARED LC SAULT STE. MARIE OHL 6'0" 174
10 23 PERLINI, BRENDAN LW NIAGARA OHL 6'2" 195

 QUICK HITS...

  • Ekblad is clearly the best defenceman in the draft, and if they want a D-man he is the easy choice.
     
  • For the past few months much of the focus revolved around Reinhart and Ekblad, but Reinhart is not a run away choice for centre. There are other options, and some who might fit the Oilers needs better. If Reinhart is clearly the best centre come June, then would take him, but after talking to scouts from across the country the past week, I don't get the sense that he is.

    Many like Sam Bennett, and despite the differences in weight from one site to the next, he currently sits around 175-180. He will fill out according to everyone I spoke with, and he plays with a bit on an edge to go with his great offensive skills.

    Draisaitl is big and strong. His size and skill would fit perfectly in Edmonton and help counter the massive size and skill of the top teams in the Pacific Division.

    Scouting reports on Dal Colle point to him being skilled with an aggressive side as well. He plays both LW and C.

    The debate over which centre will be the best NHLer will be intense and intriguing over the next five months.
     
  • Here is a a quick look at their offensive numbers.

    Reinhart November 6th, 1995              
    Season  Team  Lge  GP  G  A  Pts  PIM  +/- 
    2011-12  Kootenay Ice  WHL  67 28 34 62 2 16
    2012-13  Kootenay Ice  WHL  72 35 50 85 22 8
    2013-14  Kootenay Ice  WHL  34 18 35 53 2 7
                     
    Dal Colle June 20th, 1996              
    Season  Team  Lge  GP  G  A  Pts  PIM  +/- 
    2012-13  Oshawa Generals  OHL  63 15 33 48 18 19
    2013-14  Oshawa Generals  OHL  43 27 37 64 30 9
                     
    Bennett June 20th, 1996              
    2012-13  Kingston Frontenacs  OHL  60 18 22 40 87 -2
    2013-14  Kingston Frontenacs  OHL  40 26 40 66 85 26
                     
    Draisaitl October 27th, 1995              
    2012-13  Prince Albert Raiders  WHL  64 21 37 58 22 22
    2013-14  Prince Albert Raiders  WHL  35 19 35 54 18 2

That isn't a typo; Dal Colle and Bennett were born on the same day.

Their point totals are pretty even when you look at points per game this year.

Bennett: 1.65
Reinhart: 1.55
Draisailt: 1.54
Dal Colle: 1.48

Points are only one aspect of their game. They all have different styles.

Here is how the Scouting Report sees them:

Reinhart...
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound centre is an excellent two-way forward who has really elevated his offensive game in the early going of the 2013-14 season. Reinhart shows an ability to produce in all situations and his excellent vision and offensive awareness bode well when projecting what type of offensive impact he can have in the NHL.

Bennett:
Bennett is a true 200-foot player and is capable of playing on the powerplay, penalty kill, and is never one to cheat his defensive responsibilities to initiate something at the other end of the ice. That's not to downplay his offensive game, however, as Bennett is a very crafty player who has a deceptive shot release and underrated playmaking ability.

Draisaitl:
With pro size, Draisaitl plays brings a consistently high compete level and has excellent hands and offensive talent. More of a playmaker than a scorer, Draisaitl has shown that he can be an offensive catalyst night in, night out, and should wind up having a good opportunity to make the jump to the NHL next year.

Dal Colle:
The 6-foot-2 forward is capable of playing both centre and the wing and possesses impressive puck protection skills and offensive zone creativity that project well on his ability to be a big-time producer at the next level. Dal Colle’s top-end speed is an area of continued improvement, but his elusiveness, stickhandling ability, and long reach create matchup problems for any OHL defenseman.

WRAP UP...

Keep in mind that the above scouting report is just one example. Not every scouting bureau will see players the same way; just like Oilers fans don't see every player the same way.

We hope this is the final time we have to start previewing draft selections in January, but until the Oilers become more competitive, we have no choice but to discuss draft picks in January.

I'll be watching tonight's game closely. Here are the projected lineups...

TEAM ORR...
 
21 Lemieux - 92 Draisaitl - 96 Watson
11 Perlini - 19 McCann - 66 Ho-Sang
61 Bishop - 72 Point - 18 Virtanen
91 Clarke - 10 Cornel - 24 Ehlers
 
2 Peters - 5 Ekblad
4 Marrtin - 6 Honka
28 Haydon - 27 Thomas
 
MacDonald (starting)
Billia
 
TEAM CHERRY
 
71 Dal Colle - 23 Reinhart - 66 Barbashev
20 Ritchie - 72 MacInnis - 91 Bleackley
22 Mistele - 19 Fabbri - 90 Goldobin
28 Audette - 9 De Leo -27 Scherbak
 
4 Fleury - 24 Irving
7 DeAngelo - 21 Middleton
3 Vanier - 2 McKeown
 
Edmonds (starting)
Nedeljkovic

Bennett is not playing unfortunately due to an injury, so you will have to watch his OHL games on line if you want to see him in action. He was replaced by Point.

The next few months decide if the Oilers finish 28th, or if the wheels completely fall off and they manage to finish below Calgary and/or Buffalo.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Bobby
January 15 2014, 05:19PM
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Sam Reinhart

Michael Dal Colle

Leon Draisaitl

Brendan Perlini

Any of these players for the Oilers

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#2 Jed
January 15 2014, 04:23PM
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Oilers fans will be caring about this game for 3 or 4 more years

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#3 Sorensenator
January 15 2014, 04:34PM
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I'm sorry but if the Oilers fail to grab Ekblad they didn't do their job. I will be pissed if they draft another forward it's time to take a page out of Nashville's book.

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#4 Shredder
January 15 2014, 04:28PM
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Playin' bad for Ekblad!

Seriously though, let's say we get 1st overall pick this year...the 4th in a 5 year span. At what point do you stop drafting the "Best Player Overall" (ie: almost always a skilled forward) and take a positional need instead? If Bennett and Reinhart are available when the Oilers pick, and for conversation sake let's say they're ranked higher than Ekblad, would you take Ekblad anyways?

A further thought for comparison is in the last 7-10 years, when have the Oilers been able to get an impact player in another way (ok, I guess they made a trade for Perron, and Penner was a RFA pickup)? Or will they be able to get their coveted Dman in another way?

We've passed up Bogosian, Larsson, and Murray for Hall, Nuge and Yak. I'd take those same guys if I was there again, but now we're in a different spot and we need a dman.

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#5 Sam
January 15 2014, 04:55PM
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Brendan Perlini could be the Oiler pick.

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#6 A-Mc
January 15 2014, 04:38PM
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As far as i'm concerned there is really only 2 options, based almost entirely on size (assuming skill is so even up at the top anyway):

Ekblad or Draisaitl. Either of the Sam's could work out as well but when i think about taking one of them, i get the feeling that we're missing out on something that we NEED more than more skill: Size. These kids are skilled, this we know. For my money, i'm picking one of the 2 big kids.

It's a pipe dream but i just had a short day dream where we traded Yakupov to Buffalo for the 2nd overall pick (Oilers pick 1st overall of course), and we snag BOTH Ekblad and Draisaitl #1/2. oooOoOOOoOOoooo

*snaps out of his fantasy*

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#7 Shredder
January 15 2014, 04:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Bogosian was drafted 3rd overall in 2008...Oilers didn't pass on him. I assume you meant Gudbranson...

If Ekblad is available when they pick, I'd be shocked if they didn't take him...

Yes, my bad...it seems our counterparts at Flamesnation feel the same way...

I guess my point is more about the theory than the actual players. I'd take Edblad too, #1 overall. What if he's gone though? If Flames continue to score less than a goal a game, they'll take 1st overall.

So let's say Ekblad goes #1 and we pick #3. Do we take the next best dman or do we go for (yet another) skilled forward (these guys don't seem any bigger than Hall, in fact maybe a bit smaller, not that Hall is small, just that he's not big)?

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#8 Rama Lama
January 15 2014, 06:00PM
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I do not like any of the players on the above mentioned list........most of them are too big anyways, so they will be ignored by Lowe and company.

Gregor do you know of someone who is small & fast? We need a bookend for Gagner.

If I was the GM I'm looking at Eakblad or Draisiti real close........should be a good game.

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#9 Jeremy
January 15 2014, 06:44PM
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Why don't they deal this pick for a young, established NHL player?! Have they learning nothing? High draft picks are not sure fire NHL playes, let alone NHL stars. I think the Oil are testimony to that!

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#10 DisappointedFan
January 15 2014, 04:42PM
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Sorensenator wrote:

I'm sorry but if the Oilers fail to grab Ekblad they didn't do their job. I will be pissed if they draft another forward it's time to take a page out of Nashville's book.

Unless they are completely blind (KLowe makes the pick) they will take Ekblad because he is the hands down best choice for this team.

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#11 wintoon
January 15 2014, 04:47PM
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I believe the Oilers should draft a centre this year. Either Draisaitl or Bennett would be fantastic. With them you know pretty well what you are getting. If the Oilers draft Ekblad, the potential time line until he has an impact on their NHL line up is unpredictable and longer. Furthermore, most of the undisputed #1 D men in the NHL were drafted further down the draft than one would expect. In any event, every player is an asset and at some point a very good forward can get you a very good D man.

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#12 A-Mc
January 15 2014, 04:49PM
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So... If the Oilers draft a winger this year, What's the Over/under on Oilers head quarters mysteriously catching fire?

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#13 Zev
January 15 2014, 06:25PM
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Oilers have dept at D. They don't need another young Dman unless he is considered a franchise player. Oilers have no dept at Center

Klefbom Nurse Marincin Belov Simpson Gernat Fedun

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#14 The Oilers Shot Clock
January 15 2014, 10:14PM
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This entire draft pool has bust written all over it. It's going to be one big game of minesweeper. Whoever gets consensus #1 status will be the least touted in many years. If ever there was a year to trade the pick.........failing that, choose a center.

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#16 Sisyphus
January 15 2014, 04:58PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

It's weird that the idea of the Oilers picking in the to five doesn't make me nearly as excited as it used to. Having said that, I would be very happy with another centre or a D-man with the pick. It certainly can't hurt.

Well-put. At this point, though top picks should still be good players long-run, I'm just not thrilled. What, so we can have more "potential", and yet be unable to actually turn that into a solid season, much less run at the Cup?

I'd rather see us trade the pick, and whatever else we need, to show significant, marked improvement by next season. I dont want "improvement", I want finishing in at least top 20, if not top half, of the league

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#17 tphillers
January 15 2014, 05:11PM
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I live in Kingston and have had a chance to see Bennett play quite a bit this year. I forecast him as a 2nd line playmaking NHL centre. He plays more on the PK than I thought he would for his young age and he is deadly in the offensive zone. It's funny how easily "plays with an edge" can be spun in the scouting world. The kid definitely has an attitude, pretty sure I would too if I was the best player on my team and slated to go to "the show;" but as far as being hard-nosed or hard-edged, I don't see it. Good player but I am not sure how much more he gives you than Red Deer's Conner Bleakley -- who made the Oil Kings look silly in December.

Imo, the Oilers should trade the pick and get that veteran D-man they need.

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#18 The Oilers Shot Clock
January 15 2014, 05:14PM
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I think if your picking top 3 and the picks are close,and there's an opportunity to pick a center with size, you take the center every time. I'm not sold on ever taking a D with a lottery pick or even a top ten pick. It would have to be a much bigger slam dunk than Ekblad for us to do it again.

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#19 Mason Storm
January 15 2014, 05:20PM
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If the Oilers draft Ekblad, is he going to be left too teach himself how to play in the NHL? Or are there any good veteran d-men they could pick up too help him?

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#20 Harry
January 15 2014, 06:27PM
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I would hope its Ekblad Draisaitl or a trade for.a top dman. Anything else is same old same old

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#21 Step Daddy J
January 15 2014, 10:20PM
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Anaheim has 2 1 st Round Draft Picks this year . They want the cup so they might trade 1 0r 2 . What do you guys think about trading away Gagner and Hemsky for Anaheim Goalie Prospect John Gibson . Gibson is projected to be a future no 1 goalie . Also , to add some bold , why not trade Eberle for two of Anaheim's 1 st Rounders . I really like Ekblad . He and Nurse are " Salt and Pepper " if they play together for the Oil . A lot of people are saying 2014 is a weak draft year but I really think those people are blowing smoke . I really like Defenseman Haydn Fleury . Very Complete D Man . I also like Robby Fabbri . He's small but such soft hands . Great Goal Scorer .

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#22 Randaman
January 15 2014, 11:01PM
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A-Mc wrote:

As far as i'm concerned there is really only 2 options, based almost entirely on size (assuming skill is so even up at the top anyway):

Ekblad or Draisaitl. Either of the Sam's could work out as well but when i think about taking one of them, i get the feeling that we're missing out on something that we NEED more than more skill: Size. These kids are skilled, this we know. For my money, i'm picking one of the 2 big kids.

It's a pipe dream but i just had a short day dream where we traded Yakupov to Buffalo for the 2nd overall pick (Oilers pick 1st overall of course), and we snag BOTH Ekblad and Draisaitl #1/2. oooOoOOOoOOoooo

*snaps out of his fantasy*

Would you trade Yak & Eberle for their pick? That is what it would take. If I was Murray, that would be bare minimum. I would make that deal. I would even add a second rounder in 2015. That is BOLD!!

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#23 Braydon
January 15 2014, 04:29PM
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I believe MacT and his staff have decided this is a weak draft 2014 after maybe the top 10.

I do believe that is why Oilers traded their 2nd and 3rd round picks.

If it was my choice I would go after a big skilled Center. Oilers do have potential dept on defence.

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#24 Bucknuck
January 15 2014, 04:47PM
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It's weird that the idea of the Oilers picking in the to five doesn't make me nearly as excited as it used to. Having said that, I would be very happy with another centre or a D-man with the pick. It certainly can't hurt.

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#25 freelancer
January 15 2014, 06:02PM
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It will depend what the market is for pieces the Oil may be willing to trade. Eberle, yakupov, gagner, hemsky, arcobello. May all be available. I don't think it's impossible to think there isn't a top 6 centre or top d man to be acquired from that. Say through trade we acquire a top d man, then I'd like to take a run for Draisaitl

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#26 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 15 2014, 07:28PM
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Furious pace to this game so far. Pretty sure both of these teams could beat the Oilers.

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#27 GoofyGoon69
January 15 2014, 09:16PM
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A-Mc wrote:

As far as i'm concerned there is really only 2 options, based almost entirely on size (assuming skill is so even up at the top anyway):

Ekblad or Draisaitl. Either of the Sam's could work out as well but when i think about taking one of them, i get the feeling that we're missing out on something that we NEED more than more skill: Size. These kids are skilled, this we know. For my money, i'm picking one of the 2 big kids.

It's a pipe dream but i just had a short day dream where we traded Yakupov to Buffalo for the 2nd overall pick (Oilers pick 1st overall of course), and we snag BOTH Ekblad and Draisaitl #1/2. oooOoOOOoOOoooo

*snaps out of his fantasy*

I would love that! Let's hope Buffalo takes that deal

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#28 RexHolez
January 15 2014, 09:40PM
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I like the scouting report on Bennet. Sounds like a perfect #2c

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#29 CMG30
January 15 2014, 10:19PM
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If it comes down to it, always take the best player available, if that's Ekblad then fine. If it's close, default to a centerman with size. I get why everyone want's to draft defensemen, but they're not going to do this team much good for years to come until they develop. The last thing this team needs is more rookie defensemen. Instead take the forward if you have to and/or pull the trigger on a trade for an already established D-man.

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#30 Dog Train
January 15 2014, 06:06PM
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At least the top end of this draft seems to fit with team need better than in past years. If we believe that Ekblad is a top-pairing potential dman, then we should take him. Failing that, we could actually use a centre more as we have next to nothing there in the pipeline.

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#31 Citizen David
January 15 2014, 07:08PM
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Bennettt or Ekblad. But the player I want the most from this draft is Aaron Irving. He's been impressing me all season. Can probably get him in the second round possibly third.

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#33 BADFOREKBLAD
January 15 2014, 09:34PM
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EKBLAD IS A BEAST !!! HE IS ONLY 17 AND ALREADY 6 FOOT 4 and 217 POUNDS! WE MUST HAVE HIM!

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#34 Anton
January 15 2014, 09:40PM
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A-Mc wrote:

As far as i'm concerned there is really only 2 options, based almost entirely on size (assuming skill is so even up at the top anyway):

Ekblad or Draisaitl. Either of the Sam's could work out as well but when i think about taking one of them, i get the feeling that we're missing out on something that we NEED more than more skill: Size. These kids are skilled, this we know. For my money, i'm picking one of the 2 big kids.

It's a pipe dream but i just had a short day dream where we traded Yakupov to Buffalo for the 2nd overall pick (Oilers pick 1st overall of course), and we snag BOTH Ekblad and Draisaitl #1/2. oooOoOOOoOOoooo

*snaps out of his fantasy*

...I'm speechless...

If the Oilers management agree with your thinking process then we will keep on sucking for a very long time.

Seriously, this year that draft has already been considered as one of the weakest talent pool that we had in recent years. Drafting a D in early round has not been working out that well for most of the team. If you want size then it is better to just trade for some other team's third line players instead of drafting unproven rookies.

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#35 Sorensenator
January 15 2014, 09:41PM
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Sam Reinhart or Bennett does not help this team, we have drafted at these positions. A big powerful center or a stud defenseman is what we need. Ekblad first and Draisaitl if we miss the man child.

I saw Ekblad first hand in Sweden at the world juniors, he is a calming presence on the blue line and is everything you want in a defenseman.

I spoke to Gord Miller and Craig button at bar in Malmo on New Years Eve, they both agree Ekblad is the choice for the Oilers.

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#36 Sizzay
January 15 2014, 11:05PM
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Jason, what did you think of ekblads hockey iq at the world juniors? I understand he's 17 and in a 19 year old tournament but I question the hockey sense a bit. No doubt the physical components are there.

As of now I vote draisaitl. We need size down the middle to compete with the west.

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#37 Eulers
January 16 2014, 06:54AM
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"Kevin, do you think the Oilers will be secure another draft pick this year?"

"I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today who was working in the game that had spent as many consecutive seasons out of the playoffs as me and I fired Tambellini. So I think I know a little bit about losing, if there’s ever a concern."

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#38 Truth
January 16 2014, 07:58AM
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The poor Oilers are just so unfortunate. Going to get 4 first overall picks in a span of 5 years and not one of them is a talent like Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin (2nd overall), Tavares, or Stamkos.

Also a shame Connor McDavid isn't in this years draft. He's the only one they are predicting to be a generational talent in the next two years. No worries though, I'm quite sure the Oilers will be in lottery position again next year!

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#39 Truth
January 16 2014, 08:05AM
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There's no doubt they take Ekblad if they have the opportunity to. To those that say the Oilers shouldn't because they have depth on defense, please realize the depth you speak of is prospect depth. There is no problem at all having 2-3 potential top pairing defensemen as prospects, as they currently only have one top four defenseman playing in the NHL in Petry.

I don't think anyone will tell you that too many good defensemen are a bad thing either.

Unrelated, but it would be fun to watch an Ekblad - Nurse top D pairing in the WJC next year, especially both as Oilers prospects.

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#40 Truth
January 16 2014, 08:20AM
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One more thing, and sorry to clutter the comments section, but have a look at the Oilers first overall's draft -1 year numbers:

Hall - 63 gp - 90 pts

RNH - 67 gp - 65 pts

Yakupov - 65 gp - 101 pts

Reinhart scored 62 points in 67 games in his WHL rookie campaign and is the only one even close to any of the Oilers top picks. The other forwards would most likely be outside the top 10 if last years and this years draft class were combined. Ugly draft year.

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#41 Ryan
January 16 2014, 08:45AM
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@ Gregor

How do the scouts project how big these kids get? I thought Dal Colle looked good last night, has a great shot. At 6'2" I imagine he could be a bigger skilled winger. Although he is only 170 lbs but 17.

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#42 sizzay
January 16 2014, 08:50AM
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Truth wrote:

There's no doubt they take Ekblad if they have the opportunity to. To those that say the Oilers shouldn't because they have depth on defense, please realize the depth you speak of is prospect depth. There is no problem at all having 2-3 potential top pairing defensemen as prospects, as they currently only have one top four defenseman playing in the NHL in Petry.

I don't think anyone will tell you that too many good defensemen are a bad thing either.

Unrelated, but it would be fun to watch an Ekblad - Nurse top D pairing in the WJC next year, especially both as Oilers prospects.

I won't object to taking Ekblad, but I was not impressed with his decision making at times at the World Junior. Maybe he was partnered with the wrong guy in Pouliot. They both seemed to be offensively minded.

I like Draisaitl. If Draisaitl and Ekblad are seen as equal, i think its more important to get that big centre to compete in the west especially since we have Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, and Gernat. We currently have no high end centre prospects. None.

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#43 match16
January 16 2014, 11:41AM
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Obviously we go for Ekblad this year, and get our C next year in McDavid...

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#44 MattL
January 16 2014, 01:03PM
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I believe the Oil will stick with the SWA plan. Smallest winger available.

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#45 Step Daddy J
January 16 2014, 07:46PM
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Truth wrote:

There's no doubt they take Ekblad if they have the opportunity to. To those that say the Oilers shouldn't because they have depth on defense, please realize the depth you speak of is prospect depth. There is no problem at all having 2-3 potential top pairing defensemen as prospects, as they currently only have one top four defenseman playing in the NHL in Petry.

I don't think anyone will tell you that too many good defensemen are a bad thing either.

Unrelated, but it would be fun to watch an Ekblad - Nurse top D pairing in the WJC next year, especially both as Oilers prospects.

I don't think Nurse and Ekblad will be playing in the WJC next year . They'll be in the NHL .

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