GLAD FOR EKBLAD

Lowetide
January 23 2014 07:11PM

If the Edmonton Oilers don't trade their first round pick in 2014, there's a very good chance they'll select Aaron Ekblad. The Buffalo Sabres are loaded with young defensemen and are likely to take a forward, and Edmonton looks like a good bet to finish 29th or 30th overall. Unless another team wins the lottery, the Oilers are going to have a chance at the big man.

IS IT WISE TO SELECT A DEFENSEMEN EARLY?

No. ON has discussed this many times, Jason Gregor pointed out the facts here. The prevailing wisdom is correct, as pointed out by Jason:

  • In the past 25 years, only five times has the first D-man drafted turned out to be the best in his class:  #3 Scott Niedermayer in 1991, #1 Roman Hamrlik in 1992, #2 Chris Pronger in 1993, #1 Ed Jovanovski 1994 and Johnson in 2006. Since 1994, it has only happened once, so it is clear that it is become harder to project who will become the best defender out of an entire draft class.

I agree 100 times out of 100. If there's a forward available who is better than the top defenseman, it makes that rule easy. Draft Nail, pass on Murray. Adam Larsson looks good? Take Nuge! However, what if there's no clear choice among the remaining forwards, and in fact the #1 overall prospect is a defenseman?

That's where we are headed.

MCKENZIE'S BIBLE 

Bob McKenzie's mid-season rankings are out today, and Aaron Ekblad ranks #1 overall, ahead of a plethora of forwards. The list is here. The tsn link also gives insight into each player, including the defenseman.

  • Craig Button: When you build a team, you need a solid foundation. Aaron is a pillar defenceman who can play 25 minutes or more and do so in all important situations. His on-ice maturity is exceptional.

He's a righty, and could form an insane tandem with Darnell Nurse a few years down the road. Added to the fact Edmonton has so many skill forwards they have little or no room to add another, is Ekblad the choice?

POWER FORWARDS?

There are some interesting options, but Leon Draisaitl is falling down the list and the other OHL kids of note (Ritchie, Perlini, Dal Colle) have not emerged as clear lottery selections. The season still has some track to run, and the Oilers must be hoping for someone to pull out and pass the rest.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I'm no scout, and absolutely subscribe to the idea that teams should take a forward early and save the drafting of blue until later. One problem: no one is emerging.

We wait.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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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#1 The Worrier
January 23 2014, 07:14PM
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FIST! No idea what that means.

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#2 hallsyoilerforever5
January 23 2014, 07:15PM
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sigh.. draft talk once again. How depressing.

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#3 The Worrier
January 23 2014, 07:18PM
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Should be called: "Sad for Ekblad"

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#4 Bucknuck
January 23 2014, 07:31PM
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Reinhart, Ekblad, and Bennett are all great picks. Bennett is a big (huge) centre, Reinhart is RNH 2.0, and Ekblad could be a no. 1 Dman.

I will be curious, but not worried, no matter where the Oil pick in the top 3.

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#5 Red
January 23 2014, 07:31PM
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Seth Jones was suppose to go #1. It is early

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#6 Fred
January 23 2014, 07:33PM
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My guess Oilers will end up with the third pick. Unless we win the lottery or lose the lottery

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#7 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 07:34PM
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If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

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#8 VK63
January 23 2014, 07:38PM
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One enticing thing about Ekblad is a physical maturity that has him knocking on the door already.

AND

we are talking about the Edmonton freaking Oilers. How hard a roster is that to make at any position?

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#9 The Real Scuba Steve
January 23 2014, 07:40PM
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Why not do some trading instead.

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#10 Sid
January 23 2014, 07:42PM
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Michael Dal Colle and Sam Bennett are the youngest in the top 5.

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#11 Strange Tamer
January 23 2014, 07:43PM
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@Bucknuck

If Bennett is huge, then RNH is King Kong. Guy is listed at 6'0" ft, 175lbs, so probably closer to 5'10". Oilers fans don't know what a huge center looks like anymore.

Any of those three could fill a hole (defense, second line center) in a couple of years. I'd take Eklbad though, all purpose defenceman with size. Him and Nurse could be our top pairing for a decade.

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#12 Jesse
January 23 2014, 07:44PM
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VK63 wrote:

One enticing thing about Ekblad is a physical maturity that has him knocking on the door already.

AND

we are talking about the Edmonton freaking Oilers. How hard a roster is that to make at any position?

Don't you know Oilers ruin players there is no Shea Weber teaching the young D men.

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#13 Saytalk
January 23 2014, 07:44PM
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Just because the top defenceman selected rarely ends up being the top defenceman of his class doesn't mean it's wrong to pick the top defenceman. Pick a better statistic than that to prove your point.

So I guess you think Katz is right, Lowetide? We're on the right track, let's just keeping picking finesse wingers because they're the "best player available".

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#14 Thumby
January 23 2014, 07:46PM
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Screw it, I have given up on seeing a competitive Oilers team before the new barn opens.

Stack the hell outta the defence prospects now so we can enjoy a decade of better teams.

You are never going to get a top 10 or Norris level defence man in Edmonton unless you draft him.

Besides if we suck it another year, we just might be in line for the generational forward we have not found so far.

#depressed

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#15 Rob...
January 23 2014, 07:49PM
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This is the best thing that could happen to the team. Just think about it, most of our top 6 D won't even be able to legally drink on those long southern road trips.

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#16 Fresh Mess
January 23 2014, 07:50PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

Agreed, assuming he can get huge value for the pick. They also should have traded the pick instead of drafting Fail. Just think what they may have gotten. They'll never get that for him now.

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#17 RL
January 23 2014, 07:51PM
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Does Perron and the first, or maybe less, Gagner/Hemsky and the first get you Letang from the Pens? Watching the game tonight, in intermission, analysists feel the kid Ollie Maata is making Letang irrelevant. It might be a longshot, and a risk on the Pens part,but could be feasible for the Oil.

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#18 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 07:53PM
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Draft Bennet and trade for a dman who's a quality NHL player NOW. This team can't wait 5 years on hope that a young guy can potentially become a good dman maybe 1 day. They need someone now

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#19 Primo
January 23 2014, 07:54PM
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The drafting of young top talent is no longer a sustainable strategy for the Oilers. Go ahed McT and try it again. The kid is 17 and it will be 3-5 years before he even starts too make any kind of noticeable impact. Do you really think you and 6 rings will be around by that time?

Suggest you package this pick for a veteran top level D man!!!

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#20 Bobby
January 23 2014, 07:59PM
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Draft this guy Oilers need size

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/jrhockey-buzzing-the-net/nhl-draft-tracker-michael-dal-colle-oshawa-generals-155301345.html

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#21 Bucknuck
January 23 2014, 08:07PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

That depends on what is coming back the other way. It would have to be an amazing return to make it worthwhile...

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#22 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:10PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Agreed, assuming he can get huge value for the pick. They also should have traded the pick instead of drafting Fail. Just think what they may have gotten. They'll never get that for him now.

Thus Lowetide's post should be about who we can get trading the pick. Post's that even just talk about keeping the pick provide dangerous encouragement for the clowns who run this team.

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#23 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:11PM
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RL wrote:

Does Perron and the first, or maybe less, Gagner/Hemsky and the first get you Letang from the Pens? Watching the game tonight, in intermission, analysists feel the kid Ollie Maata is making Letang irrelevant. It might be a longshot, and a risk on the Pens part,but could be feasible for the Oil.

Letang is too soft and too weak defensively for the oil's needs.

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#24 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 23 2014, 08:11PM
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Remeber when we all thought the Oilers had a great young group with Hall ,MPS,Eberle and Nuge. Since then they have added Justin Shultz, Nurse, Yakupov and either Eckblad, Rienhart or Bennet. Insane young core.

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#25 Show me da Money
January 23 2014, 08:16PM
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Does anyone really think that the pick will be traded? I don't.

I believe that Eberle will be gone and not the pick.

Wouldn't a team more than likely be trading for something tangible rather than someone who might not pan out? Eberle is a known quantity. He is also the same size as our other munchkin forwards.

The offense has to be getting bigger.

Goodbye #14. Hello Aaron Ekblad.

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#26 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:17PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

That depends on what is coming back the other way. It would have to be an amazing return to make it worthwhile...

It just has to be a reasonable return - we can't expect to pick someone's pocket. If we need more than a pick to get one player then let's bundle it with a prospect or one of our excess forwards and some of our cap room.

The pick has value. This team has little else to offer besides cap room and sacrifice of what we once considered untradeable.

I can only imagine what taylor hall and perhaps the nuge would do if by august MacT and lowe haven't gotten a solid #one goalie and two 1-3 d-men and one or more big 1-2 line wingers. If this team is just going to try and muddle through like it tried to this season, i'm betting that hall demands to be traded.

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#27 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:18PM
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Show me da Money wrote:

Does anyone really think that the pick will be traded? I don't.

I believe that Eberle will be gone and not the pick.

Wouldn't a team more than likely be trading for something tangible rather than someone who might not pan out? Eberle is a known quantity. He is also the same size as our other munchkin forwards.

The offense has to be getting bigger.

Goodbye #14. Hello Aaron Ekblad.

eberle isn't enough. There are too many holes (see my post above) to fill.

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#28 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 08:28PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Draft Bennet and trade for a dman who's a quality NHL player NOW. This team can't wait 5 years on hope that a young guy can potentially become a good dman maybe 1 day. They need someone now

I agree they need someone now... but who ?

Shea Weber, not a chance. OEL, not happenning. Giordano, probably not. Letang, god I hope not.

The only guy I could see would be PK out of Montreal and only because there always seems to a fight there with him. And what does that cost ? Nail and this years first ? Better resign Hemsky.

I'm all for trading the pick, trading anyone... I just dont see a lot of options. The Oilers simply don't have the pawns to spare like the good teams do.

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#29 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 08:34PM
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Show me da Money wrote:

Does anyone really think that the pick will be traded? I don't.

I believe that Eberle will be gone and not the pick.

Wouldn't a team more than likely be trading for something tangible rather than someone who might not pan out? Eberle is a known quantity. He is also the same size as our other munchkin forwards.

The offense has to be getting bigger.

Goodbye #14. Hello Aaron Ekblad.

Nashville needs offense.

Send Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Draft Ekblad.

That would be fun. Run with Schultz, Jones, Nurse, Ekblad, Marincin, and Klefbom. lol

I know it has been said before. But could that really be worse that what we have now !

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#30 CMG30
January 23 2014, 08:36PM
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This team needs defense now. This team needs an established player now.

That said, if fair value cannot be had for the 1st overall then for the good of the team down the line maybe we have to make the pick?

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#31 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 23 2014, 08:38PM
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http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

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#32 Josh Rose
January 23 2014, 08:39PM
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The key is, if you draft Ekblad, don't rush him to the NHL thats why top 10 defenseman dont work out as often as they should, they get rushed to the NHL and defense is the hardest position to play in the NHL it often takes guys until they are 23,24,25 to adjust and figure it out, not saying you have to wait that long, but develope Ekblad properly if you want te best out of him down the road.

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#33 Harry
January 23 2014, 08:40PM
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If Edm have the chance to take Ekblad they absolutely have to. Trading one or two of Gags, Hemsky, Ebs, Yak, Perron, Klef, Marincin will get us some defence now.

I just cant see Mac passing on Ekblad

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#34 thebiggestmanintheworld
January 23 2014, 08:49PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Letang is too soft and too weak defensively for the oil's needs.

It's hard to get anywhere, when a Norris trophy finalist is too soft and weak defensively to play for our team....

...and we wonder why we can't have nice things...

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#35 Stamsky Hemkos
January 23 2014, 08:56PM
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Select Bad for Ekblad... Suck Bad for Ekblad... the 'Bladiator is coming!

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#36 clyde
January 23 2014, 08:58PM
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SlaveLake wrote:

Nashville needs offense.

Send Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Draft Ekblad.

That would be fun. Run with Schultz, Jones, Nurse, Ekblad, Marincin, and Klefbom. lol

I know it has been said before. But could that really be worse that what we have now !

Eberle will not even come close to getting Jones.

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#38 Randaman
January 23 2014, 08:59PM
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If they want to keep the pick and I think MacT is leaning in that direction, they better try and improve quickly and keep Hall happy because Ekblad has the same agent. You don't think they talk? Think again. Trade whatever you have to to get a solid mentor for the young defence men going forward. Trade Eberle and Hall will not be happy with management. Players have a lot more power & influence than they used to. Who does that leave? Your guess is as good as mine but attracting UFA's will be near impossible with the reputation Lowe has around the league. Sad truth I'm afraid

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#39 Manfly
January 23 2014, 09:06PM
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hallsyoilerforever5 wrote:

sigh.. draft talk once again. How depressing.

what's even more depressing is that if Ekblad is ranked #1 by draft time, say bye bye to the Sabres for him and hello to yet another scoring forward....and more of the same. *sigh*

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#40 Lowe Expectations
January 23 2014, 09:08PM
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An article discussing the top lottery pick for the Oilers. Just me, or does this feel like the movie "Groundhog Day".

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#41 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 09:10PM
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clyde wrote:

Eberle will not even come close to getting Jones.

That's a good point. Last 5 games Jones has 1 assist and is -8. By trading Jones the Preds will give up their dream of somehow winning games by never scoring goals, ever. Just saying.

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#42 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 09:13PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

Ya, what's your argument against the statement that we're a joke of a franchise?? From where I'm sitting the oilers are a joke

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#43 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 09:15PM
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SlaveLake wrote:

I agree they need someone now... but who ?

Shea Weber, not a chance. OEL, not happenning. Giordano, probably not. Letang, god I hope not.

The only guy I could see would be PK out of Montreal and only because there always seems to a fight there with him. And what does that cost ? Nail and this years first ? Better resign Hemsky.

I'm all for trading the pick, trading anyone... I just dont see a lot of options. The Oilers simply don't have the pawns to spare like the good teams do.

They don't need a top 5 dman in the league, they need a top 30. It's not my job to shake one loose

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#44 junior
January 23 2014, 09:19PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

Your argument regarding the Canucks being 4 years away from big problems may very well be correct.

The "trash talk" calling the Oilers franchise a joke is absolutely correct.No playoffs in 8 years, no reasonable optimism for expectation of playoffs next year.

I'm not trolling for a war of words on this, but the truth is, the Oilers ARE a joke, and have been for a long time.

I can't blame fans of any other team for calling a spade a spade, just because I cheer for the Oilers.Pathetic is pathetic, and the Oilers are PATHETIC.

"Trash" or "props" doesn't change the truth,hopefully it won't be this way for too much longer...

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#45 Reggie
January 23 2014, 09:19PM
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I really can't see Buffalo taking a D man with their first pick. They are loaded with Dmen.

Ekblad will fall to #2.

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#46 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 09:20PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Ya, what's your argument against the statement that we're a joke of a franchise?? From where I'm sitting the oilers are a joke

I think the point is it's the guy with the 3.5 inch penis laughing at the guy with the 3.0 inch penis in the change room. It's probably better to just shut up and change with a towel.

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#47 Lochenzo
January 23 2014, 09:24PM
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VK63 wrote:

One enticing thing about Ekblad is a physical maturity that has him knocking on the door already.

AND

we are talking about the Edmonton freaking Oilers. How hard a roster is that to make at any position?

ha, ha! Get Ekblad some goalie pads.

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#48 kale
January 23 2014, 09:28PM
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Are you all looking forward to Steve Smith mentoring Ekblad. MacT wont trade this pick. He has stated Ekblad and Nurse would be great bookends. Wonder where that leaves J. Shultz?

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#49 Return of the Mac
January 23 2014, 09:33PM
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I wouldn't touch Ekblad with a 10-foot pole... he doesn't have the footspeed to play in the NHL.

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#50 shaddup
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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SlaveLake wrote:

I think the point is it's the guy with the 3.5 inch penis laughing at the guy with the 3.0 inch penis in the change room. It's probably better to just shut up and change with a towel.

Ohhh...sorry to hear about your penis,Dude...are you good at math? Always a big need for a math whiz...sorry,sorry didn't mean to say "whiz" I meant student.Always a big need for a math student.

Oh my,I've done it again...not a "big need" for a math student,really...more of an "adequate" need for a math student.Always an adequate need for a math student...not too large a need,yet not too weeny a need...oh,rats,here we go again...

Can somebody please pass this gentleman a towel?

No,no, not the big towel...just the adequate towel...

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