LEON

Lowetide
March 31 2014 07:00AM

leon11

The Edmonton Oilers may have a decision to make after all at this year's entry draft. Aaron Ekblad may still be their choice, but a big German center who plays for Prince Albert is going to make the decision difficult.

matty twitter

Earlier in the month, Jim Matheson posted this on twitter, and I've been wondering about it ever since. Matheson is a connected newspaper guy and those connections run deep. So, let's assume that the tweet comes from somewhere credible and there's a chance Edmonton takes Draisaitl in front of Reinhart.

Is there a reason we can find? Why would Reinhart be behind the other two prospects, or Sam Bennett for that matter?

SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: EVENS

top 3f at evens

We'll take a look at Ekblad (and compare him to last year's blue) in an upcoming post. For now, let's have a look at the three center's at the top of this year's draft. This is very close, and each of these players posted strong seasons in the season leading up to their draft. 

SIZE

The Oilers (according to Matty) value Draisaitl more than Reinhart and Bennett. From the scouting reports, we know the following about these players:

  • Reinhart is 6.01, 183 according to the WHL website
  • Bennett is 6.0, 181 according to the OHL website.
  • Draisaitl is 6.01, 209 according to the WHL website.

So, if we're looking for things that make Draisaitl stand out the extra 25 pounds stands out. Fair?

SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: POWER PLAY

TOP 3F ON PP

With the man advantage, Reinhart and Draisaitl appear to be very close. The two teams are similar offensively, so without knowing time on ice I'd have to assume the two men are equal offensive talents. Bennett doesn't have the kind of boxcars Reinhart and Draisaitl do, but opportunity may have a lot to do with it.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

good grief

The smart money is on Edmonton taking Aaron Ekblad. With the emergence of Leon Draisaitl as a viable option, I think there's a chance the Oilers choose the big center instead. MacT would have to get a veteran center to bridge the time between Leon's draft and NHL debut, but 'building up the middle' can be satisfied by selecting the Deutschland Dangler.

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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 Scrivy
March 31 2014, 01:27PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Oilers agree to terms with Jordan Oesterle

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=712103&navid=DL|EDM|home

Looks like another soft American college defencman in the mould of Poti, Petry and Shultz.

Except Schultz is Canadian. I get your drift, but when you get a prospect for free, why wouldn't you sign him.

I can think of a soft American defenceman who is quite good. Suter Fowler was his name. You never know.

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#52 Joe Mamma
March 31 2014, 01:32PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

If you believe that Gagner is either 5'11", or 200lbs, then I've got a bridge you might be interested in buying...

Yep. I've met the guy numerous times. I'm 6'0" 202lbs, and he is nowhere near 5'11" or 200 lbs. Maybe 5'10" and 185lbs. And that's being generous.

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#53 RexHolez
March 31 2014, 01:36PM
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With another high pick this year, we're gonna have one of the best junior teams playing in the NHL.

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#54 Wintoon
March 31 2014, 01:38PM
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TKB2677 wrote:

I'm really torn with this upcoming draft. DO the Oilers need help on defense? Yes they do but they also need help at center, especially big centers that can play in the top 6.

So I have been doing a lot of thinking and I wonder, what is harder to get via trade or free agency? Big top 6 center or top 4 Dmen? I know having a #1 Dman can make a HUGE impact on your team but so can having 2 very good centers especially if 1 of them is big. I look at some of the best teams in the NHL right now. Not all of them have that #1 Dman but they all have very good centers and usually 1 of them is big.

So I really don't know what I would do. It is difficult to get #1 Dmen but you can get a bunch of top 3-4 guys and have a pretty solid defense and do very well (Ducks, Sharks, Pens, Rangers, Flyers, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago). Chicago out of all of them has the closest to a #1 Dman. Keith and Seabrook are both #2 easily but you can go down the list and list off 10 guys that are probably considered better than they are. They don't have a Weber, Suter, Pietrangelo, Chara, Doughty. Keith is pretty good though. Nashville has the best guy in the league - Weber - but nothing up front. So what does that get them. They used to have 2 of maybe the top 5 dmen in the league (Weber and Suter) and they didn't win squat. But if you look at the teams I listed and except for Detroit and Columbus, everyone of those teams has gone farther in the past playoffs with a bunch of guys farther down the list at the D position because their overall team was superior.

I look at that and I think. If the Oilers keep developing their young guys - Marincin, Schultz, Klefbomb and those young guys turn into all top 2-3 guys. Maybe get 1 or 2 solid top 4 guys and have not an elite defense, but a good - very good defense, are they not better off if they have 2 solid centers? You typically can get top 4 Dmen but it's pretty hard to get top 6, big centers unless you draft them.

Right on the money. The perfect example of this is the Oilers dynasty. They had gretzky and Messier. While Coffey was a great player, the key was the centremen. The NYI never really succeeded until they added Goring to complement Trottier. Sedin and Kesler added tremendously to the Canucks. The list goes on and on. a cup contender must have strength at centre and the Oilers today need another highly talented centre.

Ekblad will take too long to develop, if he ever does.

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#55 RexHolez
March 31 2014, 01:58PM
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Why is Bennett not being talked about?? I'm no scout and haven't watched these guys play much, but from everything I hear and read about this guy, he's the perfect 2c. Aside from size, he competes and plays defense.

All I know is if their's a wrong decision to be made, the oilers will make it

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#56 oilerjed
March 31 2014, 02:05PM
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michael wrote:

Lowetide do the Islanders move next season in Barclays in Brooklyn or is it the year after?

The reason I ask is motivation. How motivated is Wang to put a competitive product on the ice in Nassau vs in Brooklyn? Does he care about the small fan base in Nassau? At all?

Would Garth Snow consider trading his pick for an established player with term? Gagner? Tavares has Strome who has how many games experience at center in the NHL? I think the longer Sam Rheinhart and the Ice play the more likely it is he'll be chosen number 1.

If Florida picks second I think they take Eckblad. The Oilers will take Leon.

The Isles Dal Colle. They need a shooter to compliment Tavares.

I really think that the Oilers can offer the Isles what they need up front only if they are willing to trade Eberle. If Eberle is the deal then its the Isles first and Griffin Rheinhart and a 2cd and 3rd pick.

Wong's motivation is probably at an all time low as he has put his percentage of the team up for sale.

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#57 Smellyalater
March 31 2014, 02:09PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Why is Bennett not being talked about?? I'm no scout and haven't watched these guys play much, but from everything I hear and read about this guy, he's the perfect 2c. Aside from size, he competes and plays defense.

All I know is if their's a wrong decision to be made, the oilers will make it

That last sentence is the truth. If we manage Ekblad, he will bust or injure himself or decide to play in Europe and Leon will go onto score 50 goals win a cup in his rookie season with the NYI. If we grab Leon, he will turn out to be softer then Jeff Petry score 0 goals and then return to Germany to be with his family. While Ekblad wins the norris and the stanley cup in his rookie season. if we trade the pick they all score 50 and all top 5 picks win the cup in their first year and we get Dustin penner back

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#58 The Real Scuba Steve
March 31 2014, 02:20PM
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vetinari wrote:

You can't go wrong with any of those prospects, but with the centremen, you can look at it this way-- Draisaitl is putting up the same numbers as the other centremen despite having a weight advantage over all of them.

I heard the same talk in months leading up to when we picked Nudge and Yak. There is no such thing as You can't go wrong with any of those prospects.

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#59 Naky
March 31 2014, 03:02PM
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If the Oilers are picking third, they're going to miss out on both Ekblad and Draisaitl and you can almost guarantee that. The only prayer that the Oilers have that one of the two aren't gone if they're picking third is if a non-lottery team wins the lottery and feels that they can be patient enough with Reinhart/Bennett and have the luxury of sending them back to junior to fill out their frames and even the Ekblad temptation may be too much to resist. A big, skilled d-man that can play effectively right now? That's one heck of a temptation to pass over and depending on the team, it may be too much.

I'm honestly at the point where if both Ekblad and Draisaitl are gone at third, the Oilers need to flip that pick into the best NHL player(s) they can get for the pick even if it's a package deal. We just don't have the luxury of waiting for Bennett and Reinhart to put on more weight. We absolutely do not need another RNH right now.

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#60 Rama Lama
March 31 2014, 04:17PM
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Man was that knockout ever funny! Sort of like the Oilers at the start of the season............great parallel.

How about " Lose for Leon"!

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#61 copper
March 31 2014, 07:11PM
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Book on draisaitl. Talented offensively but poor defensively, average at best skater @ Junior level and does not play physical.

Why would anyone think this is what the Oilers need? Us fans (led by Media) already ran Penner out of town.

Reinhart has been pegged class of this draft for 2-3 years already. Forget size (really?? (25lbs) and look at complete package. Don't be a Jason Negative.

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#62 Dog Train
March 31 2014, 09:04PM
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I've seen Draisaitl play a few times this year. He's a big kid, obviously, and protects the puck well but does not play overly physical. He's not very solid defensively either. This draft isn't the greatest for high-end talent. I wouldn't oppose to trading the pick if a deal can be made.

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#63 Jarrett
March 31 2014, 09:22PM
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Why doesn't Craig MacTavish try for his "BOLD MOVE" at this Draft? Gamble a bit, you might say. I have always believed in pairs, not three set lines. So, saying that, trade Yakupov, and maybe a second rounder next year, for the NYI pick(which they were going to give Buffalo). We then draft Ekblad at #2, and hopefully L.D. at #3 or #4.We can then look at trading Gagner, for a legitimate Dman, from somewhere. Just my thoughts...

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#64 Oiler Al
March 31 2014, 10:44PM
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TKB2677 wrote:

You're exactly right. 6'4, 221lbs and strong so he is big enough and strong enough that it is difficult to get the puck away from him. But my point is he doesn't have a mean steak in him either.

David Backes plays on one of the best teams in the league for the past 3-4 years. They are an excellent possession team. Backes 260hits in 69 games this year. IN 48 games last year, he had 158. He plays a very physical, tough style. That's just the way he is. They both are very big guys, both play on very good teams, both play on very good puck possession teams where hitting isn't a necessity because they have the puck all the time. One guys hits everything that moves by choice, the other doesn't by choice.

So if you look at Backes's numbers vs Getzlaf's, based on the numbers, it looks like Getzlaf is a soft player. I don't for a second think Getzlaf is soft at all but according to the numbers, he is.

So what is the definition of soft?

" So what is the definition of soft?"

Answer: Oilers Top Six.

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