AARON

Lowetide
April 01 2014 07:53PM

ekblad capture

Aaron Ekblad remains the most interesting prospect available in this year's draft. For Oiler fans, the idea of another top 10 pick to address the blueline has wide appeal. Surely if the team picks Ekblad these defensive woes will go away? Not all defensemen are created equal, and there is some evidence that Ekblad's skill set is unique when compared to the Oilers current stable of blue.

drance ekblad

Aaron Ekblad is a dynamite power-play performer, we discussed that here in January

How unusual is that number? Well, based on last season's top CHL defensemen, Aaron Ekblad's source of points puts him in a different area of the offensive spectrum. He may not be Shea Weber or Sheldon Souray, but the young man's shot seems to get through a lot.

BLUE ON THE POWER PLAY

EKLBAD PP NUMBERS

Hmmm. Seth Jones and Josh Morrissey brought an offensive reputation with them to their draft seasons, and of course Ekblad does too. The 16 goals seem to be an extremely large number for a defenseman—Nail Yakupov had 12 in 42 games in his draft season—and especially for a draft eligible.

BLUE AT EVEN STRENGTH

EKBLAD EVEN STRENGTH

Ekblad doesn't score as well here, but I'm not sure how much we can gain in terms of insight. He's in the range with Nurse, and we might ask if he moves the puck up or passes it based on these numbers. I've found defensemen rarely stand out from the crowd 5x5, and this season (in which there are six D with 30 points or more in the NHL) proves the point.

NHL EV points for D. 

TELL ME ABOUT EKLBAD AGAIN

  • OHL Prospects: "The absolute stud of the draft in my opinion....plays 25 minutes a night against all the best players in the league...physically ready right now....never gets to high or low...showed at world juniors that when paired with, and playing against better players, raises his game...will be a 15 year pro on a top pairing at NHL level in my opinion." - Anonymous scout

Source .

Jesus.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

idiot idiot idiot

It's very important in life to know your limitations, and not outsmart yourself. Is it better to wait your turn, or jump up in search of glory and run into a brick wall?

I think it may be very difficult for the Buffalo Sabres to pass on Aaron Ekblad. What does Edmonton do about that?

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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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#1 captain
April 01 2014, 08:07PM
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"What does Edmonton do about that?"

Sam Bennett.

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#2 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 01 2014, 08:08PM
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This team desperately needs Ekblad or Draisaitl. One of those two, plus McDavid, and we should be in the same shoes we're in today, 4 years from now.

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#3 bmac
April 01 2014, 08:08PM
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Oilers will win the draft lottery even if they win all of their remaining games and the panthers, Islanders and flames lose every one and select Joshua Jacobs with the first overall pick

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#4 RexHolez
April 01 2014, 08:09PM
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How long has it taken hedman to develop? How long has it taken yak, RNH etc to develop? dont d man take even longer? How many high draft picked defenceman even turn out to be the best defenceman in the draft?

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#5 Saytalk
April 01 2014, 08:10PM
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Simple, if Ekblad is gone, then they draft a center. This draft is exciting if only for the reason that the Oilers won't be taking another winger with their top pick.

By the way, the box scores of a junior defenceman say very little about his chances of becoming a reliable NHL defender. The more important factor is whether he has the skating, physicality and intelligence to learn how to play defence at an NHL level. The Oilers don't need another powerplay specialist with Schultz and Larsen in the lineup.

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#6 RexHolez
April 01 2014, 08:11PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

This team desperately needs Ekblad or Draisaitl. One of those two, plus McDavid, and we should be in the same shoes we're in today, 4 years from now.

You win my Internet

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#7 RexHolez
April 01 2014, 08:17PM
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Just a crazy idea, but have we ever thought about getting defenceman that play defence?

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#8 Rusty Patenaude
April 01 2014, 08:30PM
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@Saytalk

I am praying that they do not have Larson in the lineup after this season. He does not bring enough offense to counteract his awful defensive zone coverage and giveaways. Surely they will part ways with Larson.

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#9 Brian
April 01 2014, 08:55PM
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There is one "Boy on the Bus" we need to get here to actually coach the young D-Men we have now, and potentially Ekblad: Charlie Huddy.

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#10 Toro
April 01 2014, 08:58PM
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I really think Ekblad is one of those defenseman that will live up to the hype, he was granted exceptional status into the OHL as a 15 yr old and if you look at every player who has accomplished that they are now a star in the NHL today. In my opinion he was the best defenseman on the Team Canada Jr team as a 17 year old. With the lack of offense that Buffalo has I could actually see them taking Reinhart over Ekblad giving us a shot at him although if we pass Florida in the standings I don't see them passing on him. So if we want a sniff at this guy we just have to keep losing, because it seems like that's Floridas plan right now, I haven't seen Luongo play for a few games now so unless he's hurt Florida isn't icing the best team they can, but with the injuries to the Oilers and as bad as they are should be an interesting race for that 2nd overall pick, at least we have that race to look forward to.....

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#11 Brian
April 01 2014, 09:10PM
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captain wrote:

"What does Edmonton do about that?"

Sam Bennett.

What does Edmonton do? Whatever Harrison Katz wants them to do.

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#12 jeff
April 01 2014, 09:14PM
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With 3 bright d prospects in the system are we sure we don't want to grab a center?

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#13 Citizen David
April 01 2014, 09:14PM
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I think Buffalo will definitely pass on Ekblad. It is the history of teams at the draft to blink when it comes to defensemen at the top. Tavares over Hedmen, Larsson went fourth, Jones went fourth. When it gets to draft day Buffalo will go with Reinhart.

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#14 Walter Sobchak
April 01 2014, 09:27PM
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Trade the pick for established players.

Ekblad maybe great in 5 years, unfortunately the Oilers can no longer play the suck game, it's damaging everything including the players they have now.

Time to turn this s**t around.

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#15 Total Points
April 01 2014, 09:30PM
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It makes no sense to keep the first round pick. What have we got with all the first round picks - Yak, RNH, Hall, Eberle, Gagner Paajarvi, Dubnyk, etc.

Bottom feeders of the league.

We need to trade the first pick this year and 2 of Gagner, Eberle, Perron, Shultz, Marincin, Klefbom for NHLers that can play now.

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#16 Al Low
April 01 2014, 10:03PM
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I don't think it's that complicated. If the Oil have a shot at Ekblad, they need to draft him. If they end up drafting 2nd or 3rd, then they should think about Reinhart or Draisatl. If there's anything they should have learned from the Tambellini/6Rings era, it's that you need to build a team from the backend up. At the very least, with Nurse and Ekblad, you probably have one of the best defense pairs in the NHL in a few years and there's no way you're gonna got that type of pairing through free agency or trades.

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#17 Rondo
April 01 2014, 10:06PM
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I think Oilers fans think Ekblad is a Norris winner already.

Corey Pronman said Ekblad would have gone in last years draft # 5 or #6

Brock Otten of OHL prospects thought Ekblad would go #7 or #8 in last years draft.

Brock also compared Nurse and Ekblad and said Nurse has a higher upside and a higher downside.

There are no guarantees. Oilers will pick anywhere from #1 - #4

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#18 719
April 01 2014, 10:18PM
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Take Reinheart or Draisatl.

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#19 admiralmark
April 01 2014, 10:22PM
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I think it may be very difficult for the Buffalo Sabres to pass on Aaron Ekblad. What does Edmonton do about that?

I've been saying this for a few weeks now but I believe 2 things will need to happen for Ekblad to be there for the Oilers to picks.

1) They HAVE to retain that 2nd overall pick. (if a team below them wins the lottery and bumps them to 3rd Ekblad will be gone).

2) Islander HAVE to keep there 1st round pick. If they give it to Buffalo then i Believe Buffalo will draft Ekblad 1st and draft a C with the pick the Islanders give them.

I think the percentages also say the odds are Oilers draft 3rd. So my guess is its Draistl or Bennet for the Oilers this year.

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#20 kale
April 01 2014, 10:40PM
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I can see Buffalo passing on Ekblad but I cannot see Florida passing on him, I would be shocked

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#21 RigPig69
April 01 2014, 10:42PM
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How pathetic! Every year it's the same damn discussion. A shot at winning the 1st overall is all Oiler fans have and its the longest running joke in Canadian hockey history. This is equally as pathetic as the 5 cups were glorious!

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#22 Geoff
April 01 2014, 10:44PM
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Rondo wrote:

I think Oilers fans think Ekblad is a Norris winner already.

Corey Pronman said Ekblad would have gone in last years draft # 5 or #6

Brock Otten of OHL prospects thought Ekblad would go #7 or #8 in last years draft.

Brock also compared Nurse and Ekblad and said Nurse has a higher upside and a higher downside.

There are no guarantees. Oilers will pick anywhere from #1 - #4

If Ekblad is generally on the same level as Nurse I don't think that's a bad thing lol

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#23 Casey
April 01 2014, 11:19PM
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Saytalk wrote:

Simple, if Ekblad is gone, then they draft a center. This draft is exciting if only for the reason that the Oilers won't be taking another winger with their top pick.

By the way, the box scores of a junior defenceman say very little about his chances of becoming a reliable NHL defender. The more important factor is whether he has the skating, physicality and intelligence to learn how to play defence at an NHL level. The Oilers don't need another powerplay specialist with Schultz and Larsen in the lineup.

You really think Larsen is going to be an Oiler come preseason?

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#24 Oiler63
April 01 2014, 11:45PM
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No matter whom they pick at the draft, it takes at least 3 years for that player to have meaningful impact. And the team cannot afford another 3 years of sucking. It doesn't matter whom they pick. The time is now. They need immediate help!!!

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#25 hagargt
April 02 2014, 01:13AM
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jeff wrote:

With 3 bright d prospects in the system are we sure we don't want to grab a center?

The oilers do not have the for-site to make out of the box decisions. They will simply take the highest rated player in the order they are available. The team has ZERO smart hockey minds.. maybe eckblad is the smart choice, but if he works out, it is only because the dice landed on the right spot. The smartest hockey minds could take our first pick, and turn it into two or three fold in potential. It's just not too often we get to see it because the smartest hockey minds are on winning teams! Those people still turn a 25th overal, or a second rounder into stars.

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#26 zoolander
April 02 2014, 01:20AM
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If D take longer to develop why not just draft Ekblad and put him on right wing.

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#27 pelhem grenville
April 02 2014, 04:35AM
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...if it's not a centreman drafted...trade the damn pick and find the centreman needed...

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#28 HardBoiledOil
April 02 2014, 05:29AM
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if the Oilers maintain a top 2 pick, then they need to pick Ekblad or Reinhart, the best d-man and center in the draft. if they manage to catch Florida and end up picking 3rd, then take big center Draisaitl. it's not rocket science. i think it's a win-win-win situation.

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#29 Aitch
April 02 2014, 06:56AM
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RigPig69 wrote:

How pathetic! Every year it's the same damn discussion. A shot at winning the 1st overall is all Oiler fans have and its the longest running joke in Canadian hockey history. This is equally as pathetic as the 5 cups were glorious!

No, the longest running joke in Canadian hockey history are Leaf fans who think they have a shot at the Cup every fall. 47 Years and Counting!

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#30 blainer
April 02 2014, 07:00AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

if the Oilers maintain a top 2 pick, then they need to pick Ekblad or Reinhart, the best d-man and center in the draft. if they manage to catch Florida and end up picking 3rd, then take big center Draisaitl. it's not rocket science. i think it's a win-win-win situation.

I rate those players the same way Reinhart/ekblad.. and third Draisaitl. Things can change for teams picking in the top four when it comes to defensemen. I believe that the combine plays a factor for sure. I think it was at the combine the oilers really decided on Nurse. For me it is a tough decision. Is Ekblad is in the Doughty category because if he is then I take Doughty. I don't get the feeling he is tough based on comparisons where he would have went in last years draft. What if reinhart is Stamkos. That is a win win for the oilers if that is the case and they pick 2nd. What a draft that was for those two teams to choose from... Stamkos or Doughty. If Ekblad turns into Doughty or even Pietrangelo without the wait that will be some pairing with nurse...

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#31 blainer
April 02 2014, 07:08AM
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I have a good question for the Nation. I was on vacation in the Dominican and did not see Ekblad at the WJC. Can anyone comment on how they would compare Ekblad's Tourney to when Doughty played in the WJC. That always seems to be a big help to me when trying to projet what a player will turn out like.

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#32 pelhem grenville
April 02 2014, 07:35AM
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imho...too many 'ífs' related to the development of any dman picked from the draft...there are only so many Doughty types to come along and so in the face of logic I can't see the oilers taking/picking a junior dman over any centre rated high on draft day...commenters on here can only see hear and taste Ekblad...he's not the answer...a centre is waay more important especially the way 89 gets carved on here ALL the time...

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#33 OnlyOil
April 02 2014, 08:00AM
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LT, I think if Ekblad is gone when MacT has the podium, the Oilers will pull off a blockbuster. Something like the pick, Eberle, and maybe somebody like a Gernat/Musil/Simpson if signed maybe Klefbom, for big stud Dman, and maybe throw in a little more and get a big second line centre.

MacT has to make changes and significant changes. The stink has to go, Gags must go, same with the ass. coaches. Katz can jump on board and can Mr. Six rings, make him his butler or something, I don't care as long as he is gone.

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#34 CaptainLander
April 02 2014, 08:11AM
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@Toro

"if we want a sniff at this guy we just have to keep losing"

I think Perron got the orders last night to do just this.

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#35 Spydyr
April 02 2014, 08:15AM
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If Buffalo does take Ekblad they may be willing to move one of their other defensive prospects.Hope Mac-T makes inquiries.

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#36 Wintoon
April 02 2014, 08:17AM
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At the draft in June there will be 4 very solid picks avaialble at the top of the table. (Reinhart, Ekblad, Draisaitl and Bennett) As long as the Oilers are picking in the top four they will be guaranteed a quality prospect.

Depending on their draft position, the choice they make could change drastically based on what they need and what is still on the board.

What would really cause some head scratching is if the Oilers won the lottery and got the first overall pick once again. NHL fans would go ballistic and the expectation level on the Oilers would sky rocket. Given how the young Oilers have dealt with 'expectations' to date, this could be a serious problem for the organization.

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#37 El Pindo
April 02 2014, 09:11AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

This team desperately needs Ekblad or Draisaitl. One of those two, plus McDavid, and we should be in the same shoes we're in today, 4 years from now.

Sir you made my day

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#38 Zarny
April 02 2014, 09:41AM
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Plan A should be to trade the pick.

No one in this draft is considered exceptional including Ekblad. None would have ranked in the top 5 last year. And the Oilers need help now not in 4-5 years.

"He's not available" is a common phrase and MacT should completely ignore it. Schneider and Seguin weren't available either last year until they were. You never know until you ask with a top 3 pick.

Buf now has 1 player with 40 pts...Tyler Ennis. A Gagner clone except he's had even less success. Buf only has 3 other players who have topped 30 pts so I think it will be easy for Buf to pass over Ekblad but you never know.

If the Oilers use the pick Ekblad should be their top choice. His PP numbers are a red flag. He doesn't have an exceptional shot and he won't produce like that on the PP in the NHL; PK are way too good at blocking shots. At even strength Ekblad's numbers trail Nurse.

Many like Draisaitl because he isn't small but 6'1" 208 lbs also is not big. That's the same height and 3 lbs heavier than the average NHLer. The C he would face in the West are 6'4" 230 lbs. His scouting report also indicates he's most comfortable handling the puck at slower speeds. That won't cut it in the NHL.

Reinhart and Bennett will no doubt be good NHLers. Just like Huberdeau, Galchenyuk and Nuge. None of them are Stamkos, Tavares, Mckinnon or McDavid. None of them are Taylor Hall.

If there was ever a year for the Oilers to trade their pick it's this year.

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#39 City of Champignons
April 02 2014, 09:48AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Trade the pick for established players.

Ekblad maybe great in 5 years, unfortunately the Oilers can no longer play the suck game, it's damaging everything including the players they have now.

Time to turn this s**t around.

Yes, yes, yes, GOOD GOD YES! How many defense prospects do the OIlers need?

Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, Musil, Fedun...all unproven...and we want to draft another one? No thanks, let's use this year's first rounder as a trading chip and get some established talent.

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#40 Zarny
April 02 2014, 09:52AM
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blainer wrote:

I rate those players the same way Reinhart/ekblad.. and third Draisaitl. Things can change for teams picking in the top four when it comes to defensemen. I believe that the combine plays a factor for sure. I think it was at the combine the oilers really decided on Nurse. For me it is a tough decision. Is Ekblad is in the Doughty category because if he is then I take Doughty. I don't get the feeling he is tough based on comparisons where he would have went in last years draft. What if reinhart is Stamkos. That is a win win for the oilers if that is the case and they pick 2nd. What a draft that was for those two teams to choose from... Stamkos or Doughty. If Ekblad turns into Doughty or even Pietrangelo without the wait that will be some pairing with nurse...

No, Ekblad is not in Doughty's category. Not even close.

And no, Reinhart is not Stamkos. Once again, not even close. No one this year is considered exceptional.

It's possible Ekblad turns into Pietrangelo but you will most certainly wait 4-5 years. Just like TB did with Hedman (5 years).

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#41 Air on Egg blood
April 02 2014, 09:56AM
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If Ekblad is not available at number two, I think the Oil souldn't trade their first round pick outright. Otherwise they wont pick untill the fourth round. A team that finishes 29th can't afford to not draft untill the fourth round. But we could trade for one of the many young d-men Buffalo has. And use our pick on Draisaitl. It is not ideal, but then again nothing has been ideal for the Oilers for a while.

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#42 Scrivy
April 02 2014, 10:02AM
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It was reported on 1260 that the strong rumour out of Buffalo amongst fans and media is that Buffalo needs to pick a forward.

Kind of like the strong rumour in Edmonton is we want Ekblad or Draisaitl.

So if we finish 2nd overall, I like our Ekblad chances.

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#43 zenoil
April 02 2014, 10:17AM
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Trade Yak or whomever to the Islanders for fourth overall. Come out of the draft with what we need. Either Ekblad and a center. Or two elite centers. Draisatl and Bennet would be two improvements to our one dimensional top six. Size and sand paper.

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#44 Will
April 02 2014, 10:36AM
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I really don't think it matters this year since the top four rated players are all either defence or centers. Two huge areas of need for Edmonton. Watching Monhahan play it is sad to think we missed out on a second line center with size, skill and grit by one spot.

But this year, it sounds like we either get another Nuge, another Monahan, or another Nurse. I do not see the downside to drafting any one of those guys. Especially since I don't believe any of them actually help the club next year. Not one of those prospects should be up playing with the club next year.

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#45 revingev
April 02 2014, 10:43AM
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I find it interesting when people have strong opinions on the scouting of draft prospects but yet have barely followed the player other then listen to MSM opinions or maybe a scout on a radio show. I am not knocking their opinion but making blanket statements on players based on little information and over a short period of time is usually fatal.

Anyway, I generally follow the top 30-40 ranked players from around 15 years old and up. Watching their growth curve can tell you a lot about the player more then how 1 season point totals fared. You can see their physical and strength development, you can observe their handling of popularity, their composure in pressure moments even when younger and their ability to handle the down moments.

I have been following and on occasion corresponding with some scouts from all over Canada and a few in Europe and the United States. Not trying to say I have a better read on how much better one player is to another but some of this is simply science and development.

In saying all this, a great article and post comments. From my perspective Ekblad was not selected for exceptional status for no reason. No one knows if he becomes a elite defencemen but he is trending in a upwards curve and will be a tough player to pass on. I know many were high on Seth Jones and I still think he was good but following his career path it was likely he was going to drop some at the draft floor. Ekblad likely will not. IMO Ekblad will be selected 1 or 2 but most likely 2 since Buffalo is likely to pick #1.

I am stunned people keep commenting on this site and several other places that Drasaitl is preferred over Reinhart for a center the Oiler are needing. IMO Reinhart is hands down the top player and his game is ready for the NHL now but could be sent back for one more year to mature unless he is lights out at Training Camp. Ekblad is the #2 choice for me but Sam Bennett is not a player I think will be picked Top 5 (I have been wrong before).

If I was a mind reader , it is likely the Oilers who WILL finish in Top 3 for drafting (4th if someone in top 27 wins draft lottery) and name the following as their priority to select.

1) Ekblad 2) Reinhart 3) Draisaitl

Those are just some of my thoughts on the whole draft. Lord please let's pray next year we DO NOT have this discussion again next year at this time.

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#46 backup bob
April 02 2014, 11:19AM
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A team building through the draft, should pick defencemen in the first two years, followed by forwards in later years. As defencemen take longer to develop, the players mature at the same time line. The Oil is doing it backwards. For the Oilers to be a contender in the near future the defence can not be built through the draft.

Trade the first overall pick, and a top three forward for a defenceman under contract.Try to add one more through free agency if possible.

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#47 Reg Dunlop
April 02 2014, 11:29AM
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@revingev

As soon as I read that you follow kids from 15 years old I had to shut her down. Creepy, like that Lionel Ritchie video where he stalks the blind chick.

At the draft when picks are over-valued you trade picks for players. At the deadline when players are over-valued, do the opposite. It isn't really that complicated.

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#48 cbsicbb
April 02 2014, 12:09PM
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bmac wrote:

Oilers will win the draft lottery even if they win all of their remaining games and the panthers, Islanders and flames lose every one and select Joshua Jacobs with the first overall pick

What, did we hire Mr. Feistier after Calgary fired him?

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#49 pkam
April 02 2014, 12:11PM
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Assume we end up with the 2nd overall and Panthers with the 3rd overall, and Sabres will draft Reinhart, instead of drafting Ekblad, we have the option of trading that 2nd overall to Panthers for their 3rd overall plus some additional picks and draft Draisaitl.

Do you think the 2nd overall (Ekblad) will get us the 3rd overall (Draisaitl), and the Panthers' 2nd and 3rd round picks? Do you think it is a fair trade or a losing trade?

And how many would trade our 2nd overall to Panthers for their 3rd overall and their 2nd and 3rd round picks?

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#50 hockey fan 1976
April 02 2014, 12:46PM
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So Ekblad's 60% of his points come from the PP, so yes let's put him in a team which runs an abysmal PP this year under Eakins and 3 stooges and ruin this guy's confidence. I hope if they do get this great talent they sure as hell fire their current PP Coaching Staff and get someone who actually uses this kid to his strength as well as Yakupov with his slap shot which was put to waste this year.

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