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 TSN 1260.
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#51 Sketchy
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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kale wrote:

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?

Hopefully leaves JSchultz on another team

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#52 Andrew
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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L..T. That's fine in theory. I assume your rule applies to a well managed and motivated organization. The Oilers are not one of those. I don't how much Koolaid one has consumed but this organization as well as the construct of the on-ice team are a dreadful mess. IMO the Oil are just not at that point yet. I would take Ekblad in a New York minute.

If the Oil only needed minor tweeks to the line-up I agree your theories may apply. They don't just need 1 or 2 D they need a wholesale re-do on the D. With the Oils un-attractiveness to F.A.'s they have to build through the draft. We've seen Mac's results of trading for top 2 D.

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#53 Quik-E
January 23 2014, 09:53PM
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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.

I wish the oilers were a joke of a franchise. I miss those days 3-4 years ago when I use to make jokes about how terrible they are. Now it's just too sad and pathetic to even make fun of them.

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#54 Dog Train
January 23 2014, 09:56PM
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It's not an exciting draft and Ekblad is the clear cut top defender today. I say take him and leave him in junior for another season.

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#55 Reggie
January 23 2014, 10:00PM
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Buffalo will take a forward

Calgary will have the 29th pick and take Ekblad.

Edmonton?

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#56 wiseguy
January 23 2014, 10:01PM
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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.

We should support the trashing of the oilers on the Canucks boards. It's the only ones Katz reads while living in Vancouver and attending Canuck games. Can someone confirm if I am correct that Katz had never attended an Oiler game at Rexall? I have only seen him on camera at Canucks games in Vancouver. Sad.

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#57 Freewheeling Freddie
January 23 2014, 10:01PM
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Randaman wrote:

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

Hall and Ebs are roommates, they trade Eberle that could cause the Oilers major grief. Hall will not want to see his buddy go . I suggest the oilers do whatever it takes to keep Hall happy. It would be devastating if he left. MacT has a lot on his plate, I hope he can fix this sinking ship. Lowe and Tambo royally F&$#%d^.

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#58 oilerjed
January 23 2014, 10:04PM
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What does it take to move things forward a few years and pick up a Cody Franson or Dougie Hamilton?

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#59 Chainsawz
January 23 2014, 10:05PM
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I wonder if Florida would flip picks and ship the Oilers Bjugstad? Then draft Ekblad if he's still there at 4-5 (defensemen can fall) or maybe Draisaitl.

I'd just like the Oilers to have a 6'6" center with silky mits.

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#60 Oiler Al
January 23 2014, 10:13PM
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Colorado taking McKinnon over Jones, was that a coin toss ,or just a real smart move. Remeber they were in need of D men more so than a forward.

They were so sure, that they announced their move before the draft day. Turns out they made the right move, As McK, will be their best forward for years to come.

Not saying Jones is a bad player...the Av's made a play for a now player is all.

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#61 albertabeef
January 23 2014, 10:17PM
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Sketchy wrote:

Hopefully leaves JSchultz on another team

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

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#62 Sketchy
January 23 2014, 10:19PM
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albertabeef wrote:

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

Hahahaha best #2 unit in hockey hahaha thanks for laugh I needed that

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#63 papler
January 23 2014, 10:53PM
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"We wait."

it's starting to feel like waiting for Godot

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#64 dougtheslug
January 23 2014, 11:02PM
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Reggie wrote:

Buffalo will take a forward

Calgary will have the 29th pick and take Ekblad.

Edmonton?

???? Oilers aren't catching Calgary (Calgary 5 points up with a game in hand, playing better and getting injured players back after Olympic break even though they will be selling off at the trade deadline)

Buffalo trails Oilers by 3 with 3 games in hand in the weaker Eastern Conference. Of course they can't score and will be selling off hard at the deadline, but my prediction is....

"The Edmonton Oilers are proud (even though we should be ashamed, humiliated and embarrassed) to select, for the fourth time in five years, first overall in the 2014 draft....Aaron Ekblad"

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#65 dougtheslug
January 23 2014, 11:14PM
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....And if that curly headed Katz kid gives the draft pick the Oiler jersey I'll....well I'm gonna.....somebody's gonna get.......I'm gonna get real ..... I mean it, I'm gonna.....probably go up the basement stairs and go mow the lawn

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#66 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:14PM
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thebiggestmanintheworld wrote:

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...

Letang was very badly exposed in last year's playoffs. If we can get him cheap (a fire sale after the GM is fired this spring for not getting the pens to the promised land perhaps?) then sure. But he's not worth a number one pick.

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#67 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:17PM
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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.

I LOLed when I saw how much my post had been trashed. Christ on a Kawasaki there are some head-in-the-clouds types in this fanbase.

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#68 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:23PM
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Andrew wrote:

L..T. That's fine in theory. I assume your rule applies to a well managed and motivated organization. The Oilers are not one of those. I don't how much Koolaid one has consumed but this organization as well as the construct of the on-ice team are a dreadful mess. IMO the Oil are just not at that point yet. I would take Ekblad in a New York minute.

If the Oil only needed minor tweeks to the line-up I agree your theories may apply. They don't just need 1 or 2 D they need a wholesale re-do on the D. With the Oils un-attractiveness to F.A.'s they have to build through the draft. We've seen Mac's results of trading for top 2 D.

You can trade picks and avoid the FA market altogether until this team gets competitive - and hopefully Lowe has moved on.

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#69 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:06AM
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I sure hope The Oilers are not making their first round pick as that would mean they have secured a top pair dman in a package.

At the very leaset if they could trade down a bit and get a power forward likle Ritchie, Vertanen, Perlini or Tuch, all well over 200 lbs and 6'2".

Adding Ekblad means we "could" have a top 4 dman in 4 years. Using the pick in a Package for Yandle, Bufuglien or McDonagh is a far better option with the young guys in their prime with 5-6 years left in their contract.

Gagner, pick and Klefbaum should easily get a deal done. Sign one of Girardi, Nikita, Niskanen, Markov or Orpik as a top four and an older veteran hard working 6/7 guy to help the rookie we will be vastley improved

Bufuglien - Petry Girardi - J Schultz Ference - Marincin/Fedun

Robidas or Sarich

A defence like that this year ans we would still be in the hunt for sure

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#70 Taylor Gang
January 24 2014, 12:08AM
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Bear in mind that Ekblad was granted exceptional status upon entry into the OHL. You want to talk about great defensive prospects? This guy is the real deal.

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#71 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:15AM
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albertabeef wrote:

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

You make me laugh!

J Shultz and Klefbom would be lucky to be bottom pairing in Chicago, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Vancouver or Columbus, now those teams have solid top 4 guys!

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#72 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:19AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

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.

Bennet is 6'0" and 178 lbs thats only huge if he is playing in China

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#73 Cynic
January 24 2014, 12:21AM
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Suck Bad for Eckblad

Eegad, not Eckblad

Lack gonad, draft Eckblad

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#74 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:23AM
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Thumby wrote:

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

so in 5 years when we have 4-5 great defenceman we drafted, haven't made the playoffs yet and Hall and Ebs with 1 year left on contract and Nuge with 2 years left, You really think they will want to stick around.

Too late to keep building through the draft, we need quality players now while our core is entering their prime to give the 7-8 years to compete before it starts all over again

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#75 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:32AM
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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.

a soft, high scoring avg defensively player making $7.25 for the next 8 seasons is not the guy to build a d-core around. That is J Schultz in 2 years.

If the Pens had the tiniest thought of trading him they would not hive extended him to a $57 mill deal 6 months ago

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#76 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:37AM
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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.

~Oh No, I guess in 4 months if an Oiler fan sees a Nucks fan they have to get revenge and beat them up so we can save face! Cause waiting 4 months fixes everything and instantly makes the oilers tough and hard to play against~

~ = sarcasim

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#77 Spoils
January 24 2014, 03:41AM
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D may be riskier, but a top D is hugely valuable.

Did you watch what Bieksa and Hamhuis just did to us?

Plus a top D can eat up 50% of the game. All you have to do is tie for the rest.

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#78 bwar
January 24 2014, 05:07AM
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Ekblad-Nurse Petry-Marincin Schultz-Klefbom...

With the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Connor McDavid.

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#79 michael
January 24 2014, 06:13AM
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Anaheim and Pheonix arrive this weekend to inflict their specialkindofmisery upon the Oilers. The Oilers may get a point but as far as this season goes lets not do anything stupid. Like win.

Eckblad and Bennet OHL. Rheinhart WHL. Oilers need a competitive 2cd line center who can play both ways. You take Rheinhart.

Unless you feel Eckblad can step in next year.And some say he can. Then you take Eckblad.

Bennet cane give you skill and also compete.Character.Gilmour loves him.He might be the guy.

St Louis with the 31-33 pick. MP + thepick worked out well for them in some ways.

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#80 Loweblows
January 24 2014, 07:02AM
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On February 2 the Super Bowl is played. The next day Edmonton and Buffalo play in the Toilet Bowl. Mark it on the calendar folks. That could be the day we secure 30th spot.

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#81 Fresh Mess
January 24 2014, 07:09AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

so in 5 years when we have 4-5 great defenceman we drafted, haven't made the playoffs yet and Hall and Ebs with 1 year left on contract and Nuge with 2 years left, You really think they will want to stick around.

Too late to keep building through the draft, we need quality players now while our core is entering their prime to give the 7-8 years to compete before it starts all over again

That makes too much sense for the 20something fangirl fanatics here. They would rather draft a cute new prospect whose potential they can swoon over. Just like their lover, the uber effective Yaksy.

Who needs results when you can fantasize about potential?

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#82 HardBoiledOil
January 24 2014, 07:10AM
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Loweblows wrote:

On February 2 the Super Bowl is played. The next day Edmonton and Buffalo play in the Toilet Bowl. Mark it on the calendar folks. That could be the day we secure 30th spot.

i'd like to see the fan reaction if the Oilers suck their way to a loss in this game....get your jerseys ready!!

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#83 outdoorzguy
January 24 2014, 07:51AM
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So if we do get Ekblad in the draft, and Nurse and Klefbom move up next year, is Steve Smith and Dallas Eakins really the guys we want to trust their development to?

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#84 Hall the time
January 24 2014, 08:26AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

So if we do get Ekblad in the draft, and Nurse and Klefbom move up next year, is Steve Smith and Dallas Eakins really the guys we want to trust their development to?

Stop with the first overalls I'm done with these kids. The Oilers don't develop people well, we need strong Vets ASAP.

OH but what about Taylor Hall Luck of the draw, literally.

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#85 vetinari
January 24 2014, 09:21AM
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Take Ekblad. Good defencemen are worth a premium in the NHL and with a few staggered in the pipeline (J. Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, and then Ekblad), we could be set for the next 5-10 years with the potential to deal one or two of them for help elsewhere, if needed. Frankly, our free agency options are limited and will continue to be limited until we post a few winning seasons and the draft is our best bet out of this sewer.

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#86 BobbyCanuck
January 24 2014, 09:52AM
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I would be very curious to find out that if any top projected draft picks reduce thier output in such a way that they fall out of the top 5. just so they do not wind up on a bottom feeding team?

I know if I was Ekblad, I would start playing bad, but not bad enough to fall out of the first round, but thats just me, follow the path of least resistance to get to attain your goal.

I do not know if the goal of draftees is just to make the NHL, win the cup, or win the lotto (contract)

Any thoughts?

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#87 Chris A
January 24 2014, 10:20AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

a soft, high scoring avg defensively player making $7.25 for the next 8 seasons is not the guy to build a d-core around. That is J Schultz in 2 years.

If the Pens had the tiniest thought of trading him they would not hive extended him to a $57 mill deal 6 months ago

Soft? Hahahahahahaha you obviously know nothing about Letang or the Penguins. Letang has his flaws for sure - namely stupid decisions and turnovers, and a lot of injuries.

But he is anything but soft. He plays a very physical game, similar to Ference in that neither of them are big but both play very physical.

As an Oilers fan, I will be absolutely thrilled if J Schultz ever gets to be as good as Letang.

Having said all that, as a Pens fan - no way Perron and the first get Letang. Gagner AND Hemsky AND the first would likely end with Shero hanging up on MacT. The Pens are Cup contenders, they need good roster players (a top 6 wing and a 3rd line wing), not high draft picks and definitely not garbage like Hemsky and Gagner.

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#88 Rama Lama
January 24 2014, 10:28AM
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Let's see........we have been whining about not having a franchise defenceman for the better part of a hundred years, and we are discussing the potential of taking the BPA.

For any one who thinks we should be talking a forward over a future franchise defenceman, just ask yourself where do you expect to find one of these??

Team don't trade them very often ........the only way to get them is thorough the draft.

If we take another highly skilled forward over Ekblad........I'm done with the Oilers!

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#89 Chris A
January 24 2014, 10:31AM
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As a diehard Oilers fan and a diehard Penguins fan, I have to laugh at all the Letang hate. Ya, he has significant problems (see my earlier comment), but he would be the Oilers' best defenseman by a huge (gaping chasm - like Grand Canyon scale) margin.

Letang mans the point on the league's best powerplay and plays significant minutes (2:03 per game) on the league's best PK. He also plays a good physical game despite his small size.

Letang's turnovers would drive Oilers fans bat-sh*t crazy (sometimes I throw things at the TV when watching him in Pens games), but his ability to skate or pass the puck out of the D zone along with some pretty incredible offensive skill would make him a huge addition to the Oilers.

As an Oilers fan, I would love to see the Pens trade him here. As a Pens fan, I don't want to see that happen because Edmonton has nothing the Pens need or want except maybe Eberle and his contract would kybosh that pretty much right away.

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#90 RexHolez
January 24 2014, 10:32AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

i'd like to see the fan reaction if the Oilers suck their way to a loss in this game....get your jerseys ready!!

All these empty promises about jerseys being tossed, when are we actually gonna see it again??

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#91 RexHolez
January 24 2014, 10:39AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Let's see........we have been whining about not having a franchise defenceman for the better part of a hundred years, and we are discussing the potential of taking the BPA.

For any one who thinks we should be talking a forward over a future franchise defenceman, just ask yourself where do you expect to find one of these??

Team don't trade them very often ........the only way to get them is thorough the draft.

If we take another highly skilled forward over Ekblad........I'm done with the Oilers!

It's been proven many times over that the best defenceman at draft time rarely turns out to be the best defenceman in the draft.

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#92 Death Metal Nightmare
January 24 2014, 10:43AM
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that woman looks like a boy. better pic better gender defined pics next time so it doesnt scare the Hetero Hockey Bros away.

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#93 Hair bag
January 24 2014, 10:54AM
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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.

Now is not the time to panic SG, it is blatantly obvious that the Oilers are a long way from competing for the playoffs (potentially years) and even longer from competing for a cup with the strength of the teams in the west. No one in the hockey world whether it be MacT or the best hockey executive in the game (whoever that may be) is going to turn this thing around any faster. Patience, no matter how painful, is the key. Unless he can trade the first round pick as a package for a legit 1-2 defenseman or a big number 2 Center then keep it, stockpile the assets. Adding more third or fourth liners for a pick that high would be asinine. Oiler fans need to face the music and that is the fact that this team is going to have to grind in the bottom a while longer before they turn the corner. They are in a position of weakness as far as trades go and it's probably going to get worse, unfortunately, before it gets better. They need better players and they don't have the assets to get them without robbing peter to pay Paul. It sucks to be an Oiler fan right now but we still need to be realistic.

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#94 Oiler Al
January 24 2014, 11:06AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Letang was very badly exposed in last year's playoffs. If we can get him cheap (a fire sale after the GM is fired this spring for not getting the pens to the promised land perhaps?) then sure. But he's not worth a number one pick.

He's not worth Eberle trade either!. People are bent on trading Eberle, yet we put up with the Glider Twins [ 89 and 83 ] for how many years now, and still there are those that would keep those two over #14.

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#95 Bucknuck
January 24 2014, 11:07AM
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Strange Tamer wrote:

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.

Bob McKenzie described him as a 6 foot 3 physical centre on his top 30 special on TSN. That's where I was pulling my info.

I would pick Ekblad, too. I'm just think all three will be good players so I am not overly excited which one they take.

EDIT - just watched the segment on Bennett again and they called him a 200 foot player. Not sure where I got the 6' 3" from. Wishful thinking maybe. Thanks for the correction folks.

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#96 sizzay
January 24 2014, 11:13AM
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Start of the year he was pegged as a #4 dman. Looks like he's improved but don't have your hopes up that he is going to be a guaranteed #1 Dman in the NHL.

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#97 Zarny
January 24 2014, 11:22AM
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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.

The Oilers need solutions now and three or more years from now. The goal is to create a program that will contend for 10-15 years.

IF MacT can trade the pick for what Ekblad will be in 4-5 years that is best case scenario.

That is a very short list of D however; especially when you remove players who simply aren't available.

If the best case scenario isn't available then the answer might be to trade Klefbom, Marincin, Petry, Schultz etc for the next step down. Dan Girardi, Ehrhoff, Campbell etc.

They won't be "the" answer over the long term but they can give the Oilers a legit top pairing D while kids like Nurse and Ekblad transition into the roll over the next few years.

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#98 Zarny
January 24 2014, 11:34AM
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Hair bag wrote:

Now is not the time to panic SG, it is blatantly obvious that the Oilers are a long way from competing for the playoffs (potentially years) and even longer from competing for a cup with the strength of the teams in the west. No one in the hockey world whether it be MacT or the best hockey executive in the game (whoever that may be) is going to turn this thing around any faster. Patience, no matter how painful, is the key. Unless he can trade the first round pick as a package for a legit 1-2 defenseman or a big number 2 Center then keep it, stockpile the assets. Adding more third or fourth liners for a pick that high would be asinine. Oiler fans need to face the music and that is the fact that this team is going to have to grind in the bottom a while longer before they turn the corner. They are in a position of weakness as far as trades go and it's probably going to get worse, unfortunately, before it gets better. They need better players and they don't have the assets to get them without robbing peter to pay Paul. It sucks to be an Oiler fan right now but we still need to be realistic.

I don't think it's blatantly obvious that the Oilers are a long way from competing for the playoffs.

The top pairing D basically play half the game. Look at what Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda have done for Colorado.

If you put Keith and Seabrook on the Oilers blueline they'd make the playoffs. That's two players. Two very key players but still only two.

MacT won't get Keith and Seabrook; but he can get stop-gaps that are just a step down.

Yes, it will mean trading picks and/or prospects. That's fine. The Oilers have a logjam of young D prospects. They can't keep them all.

And you're right fans do need to be realistic. The situation wasn't as rosy as some deluded themselves into believing at the beginning of the season, but it also isn't quite the armageddon some make it out to be now.

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#99 bazmagoo
January 24 2014, 03:30PM
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Dog Train wrote:

It's not an exciting draft and Ekblad is the clear cut top defender today. I say take him and leave him in junior for another season.

The Oilers definitely have to snag Ekblad if he's available, but personally I think both him and Nurse would be best served playing professional next season. At the very least, give them both their 9 game look before deciding where they play. In an ideal world, I'd like to see them both in OKC next season.

Not sure if that's possible though, recall the AHL having some rule about the min age of their players.

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#100 bazmagoo
January 24 2014, 03:37PM
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Seems like both Nurse and Ekblad would have to play in either the CHL or NHL next season, neither are eligible to play in the AHL due to their wonky rule about having to have a minimum of 4 years experience in the CHL or be 20 years old, when coming from a CHL contract. Weird.

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