March 09 2014 10:33AM
The Los Angeles Kings roll into Edmonton tonight, in search of two points and a healthy roster at minute 60. The Oilers? Evaluating the recalls, making sure next year's goalie tandem doesn't spring a leak, and trying to straighten out the ghastly power play.
- D Aaron Ekblad
- C Sam Reinhart
- C Sam Bennett
- C Leon Draisaitl
- L Michael Dal Colle
- L Jake Virtanen
- C Ivan Barbashev
It's time to add another name, we'll call him #8 on the list: RW David Pastrnak. Each year I look for a name (near springtime) to emerge from the Europeans and for 2014 I believe it's Pastrnak.
- Craig Button: Pastrnak's ability to challenge defenders with his skating from both straight-ahead and darting positions makes him dangerous. He has very good hands and is always looking to create scoring opportunities.
If the season ended today, Edmonton would be drafting 2nd overall (I believe they'll pass the Islanders and the Panthers). I also believe they'll be happy with any of the top 4 names above, and that there's a slight chance Ekblad is not chosen #1 overall. It's a very interesting top of the draft board currently.
My bet for Oilers pick: Ekblad if they can make a move draft day, Draisaitl any other way.
After the trade deadline passed without a second or third-round selection coming to Edmonton, I think there's an increased chance we see Sam Gagner dealt for picks (or a pick and a player). Bruce Garrioch talks about NHL teams holding their high picks more dear at the deadline here.
If the Oilers deal Gagner for a second and a third at the draft, I'm absolutely certain many Oiler fans will be up in arms. However, the Gagner money ($4.8M) may be better spent on a free-agent defender (possibly Brooks Orpik or Andrei Markov) or in trade for Braydon Coburn or Christian Ehrhoff.
Gagner for Ehrhoff works too, but the Oilers may have to offload the Gagner contract and then pursue a player with the cash in hand.
I've lifted this from the last GDT, the two recalls won't play. Both men are on emergency recall, so we'll see how it rolls. Edmonton is down to three recalls available now (Larsen being the first) so at least three of the guys in OKC we thought we would see won't be here this season.
PREDICTION: Scrivens stops 50 and the Oilers win 2-1. Team takes Scrivens out for fries and a Coke after the game.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Los Angeles will dominate entire shifts.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PREDICTION: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins breaks out of his slump with both goals—on the power play!