The Choice

Jonathan Willis
April 10 2014 12:07AM

84-Klefbom-5

There are only so many slots available for young defencemen on an NHL roster, which is why it makes sense to think that only one of Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse will play for the Edmonton Oilers next season.

The Depth Chart

2-Petry-12

  • Justin Schultz (RFA): 23:26 minutes per game, 120 games of experience
  • Jeff Petry (RFA): 21:36 minutes per game, 234 games of experience
  • Andrew Ference: 21:03 minutes per game, 831 games of experience
  • Martin Marincin: 19:09 minutes per game, 42 games of experience

We can reasonably assume those four names. To that group we can add players from three sources: external additions, holdovers (any of Mark Fraser, Philip Larsen or Anton Belov) and youth.

As it stands, the Oilers will be icing a minimum of three defencemen with less than 250 games of experience, two with less than two full seasons under their belts, and at least one with less than a full season.

I would argue it isn’t at all a good idea for the Oilers to go into next season with five of their top seven below that 250 game mark, four under the two season mark, or three with less than a year’s experience. If Craig MacTavish agrees with me, that sets the cap for fresh rookies at one.

Who Will It Be?

84-Klefbom-4

Oscar Klefbom has been a welcome addition to the Oilers’ defence corps. His player type – the big guy who isn’t totally incompetent with the puck – is one that’s been widely reputed to exist but hasn’t been seen in Edmonton for some time. He’s a very good skater, he’s strong enough to win battles in the corners and his puck-moving ability dramatically exceeds his point totals.

He’s rawer than Marincin, but his strength gives him an important edge that his teammate lacks.

Darnell Nurse

Darnell Nurse was assigned to Oklahoma City yesterday, and in a lot of ways his scouting report reads like Klefbom’s. Nurse has far shinier point totals and a reputation for a mean streak that Klefbom lacks, and it’s almost certainly not a stretch to project him as the better player long-term, but the problem for him is readiness. Klefbom’s older and more seasoned, and there’s no real downside in letting Nurse have another year of junior hockey (everything I’ve read and heard says he’s still progressing).

The wild card here is Aaron Ekblad, who might be the Oilers’ first round pick at this summer’s draft. He would figure into this conversation. Also figuring into this discussion are things like how Klefbom closes out the year, what Nurse looks like in the AHL, who gets added over the summer and what happens in training camp.

But right now, assuming no Ekblad, I’d slot Klefbom into the Oilers’ lineup and send Nurse back to junior.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
April 10 2014, 01:16AM
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Oilers wrote:

Show me the links to actual blogger articles with frank and well thought out arguments to fire lowe et al., and not just comments by pissed off fans.

http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/23/from-top-to-bottom

Brownlee called for Lowe to be fired a few weeks ago. It was after a rough game, but it was a fairly written and well thought out piece

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#2 Cody anderson
April 10 2014, 06:45AM
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It is a nice problem to have after the lack of choices and gifting of spots over the last 5 years.

Nurse -Ekblad

Klefbom - Schultz

Marcinin - Petry

Ference

Holly hell would I be scared going into next season this young, but wow what potential in a year or 2.

This could easily be one of the best D corps in the NHL in 3 or 4 years.

If Nurse comes into camp over 200 lbs and looks like one of our best D, how do you send him down?

If Klefbom and Marcinin finish strong, work hard over the summer and come into camp even better how do you send them down?

If Ekblad gets drafted and is NHL ready......could be lots of great youth with limited spots.

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#3 The Real Scuba Steve
April 10 2014, 03:18AM
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Oilers wrote:

Show me the links to actual blogger articles with frank and well thought out arguments to fire lowe et al., and not just comments by pissed off fans.

What are you new to this site?

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#4 Starving Student
April 10 2014, 12:27AM
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Oilers wrote:

The Choice!! What a title.

I thought you were going to talk about a choice Vancouver made over the last 2 days and that maybe after 14 years with Lowe in the organization, we may have an argument to make.

Alas, no deal. Bloggers too scared to write about the sacred truth of choice. To fire poor management or keep them around because they are ex-NHL players.

Keep writing articles that will not change this team, because some way or another, Lowe et al. will manage to screw it up.

You're serious right? Bloggers probably hold management the most accountable because they're fans with a channel of voicing their discourse!

To be fair, I thought an article titles "The Choice" would be about the draft.

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#5 Ambassador humantorch
April 10 2014, 01:27AM
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Oilers wrote:

Show me the links to actual blogger articles with frank and well thought out arguments to fire lowe et al., and not just comments by pissed off fans.

You're kidding, right? Aside from the great articles here by Brownlee, Willis, etc. you should go read pretty much anything written by blackdoghatesskunks.blogspot.ca or mc79hockey.com over the last couple of years. Not only have they both written many MANY well thought out arguments to fire the entire management team (using actual evidence and historical accuracy to back up their arguments, not just emotional hand-wringing) but they're both fantastic writers who could make grocery lists engaging.

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#6 BLAKPOO
April 10 2014, 02:42AM
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Oilers wrote:

The Choice!! What a title.

I thought you were going to talk about a choice Vancouver made over the last 2 days and that maybe after 14 years with Lowe in the organization, we may have an argument to make.

Alas, no deal. Bloggers too scared to write about the sacred truth of choice. To fire poor management or keep them around because they are ex-NHL players.

Keep writing articles that will not change this team, because some way or another, Lowe et al. will manage to screw it up.

To scared to write about the sacred truth of choice?

What does that even mean?

Willis has the power to write articles that will change this team? Awesome!

Willis! Do up one where we trade Acton and Belov for Couturier and Coburn!

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#7 sheldon
April 10 2014, 10:32AM
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I'm curious, Do most fans not like Petry or is this just Edmonton media guys blowing things out of proportion to get a story again. On most boards I visit and people I talk to think Petry is a good player, they just wish he would hit more(which is true with practically every valuable player). Anytime someone says Petry sucks I see numerous fans jump to defend him so many fans do see his value, the guy is playing first pairing minutes and although he's not perfect doing a lot better than most dmen in the league could do. give this post props for yay petry, trash for nay petry

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#9 freelancer
April 10 2014, 12:55AM
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The lack of experience on the back end in key positions should be the first area of damage control this summer. I have no problem letting Klefbom and Nurse both take another year to develop if needed. Trade or free agency is the only way to get an immediate impact. Even guys like Seth Jones and Adam Larrson weren't put into the #1 spot. Hell Jones plays with Weber. Quickest way to ruin a top defensive draft is throw him into the fire immediately. Even if it's Ekblad we're going to need more help.

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#10 Ivan Drago
April 10 2014, 07:53AM
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To all you posters, who regardless of what the topic of the article is about, continue over and over with the fire management comments, I have a comment for you............shut the eff up and contribute something worthwhile to the article. I don't like Lowe either, but this non stop barrage of comments from the same dozen or so posters is ridiculous

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#11 Oilcruzer
April 10 2014, 12:57AM
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coco crisp wrote:

Nurse, Ekblad, Schultz, Nurse… Thats pretty exciting. In like 6 years.. When I'll be middle aged and balding.

Think u meant Klefbom.

Try 3 years til a legit contender. And you could have been born a Leafs, Sens, Canucks, or Jets fan. How long have they waited for a cup?

(Going to Abbotsford Friday to watch Nurse.)

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#12 Gk1980
April 10 2014, 06:08AM
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Ya let's get of petry, a defenceman with NHL experience because we have toast of this guys. Come on people! Shake your heads, he is no superstar but it's what we have right now. He is still learning the game and maybe he sees the competition coming up and steps it up a bit. Just chill on the petry trades.

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#13 Westcoastoil
April 10 2014, 07:12AM
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One thing that seems to come up regularly is that teams have a drafted player that is AHL inelligible who has outplayed himself from junior but isn't ready for the NHL. The NHL needs to work with the AHL so that each team can have at least 1 roster exemption for this type of player - maybe they have to be a first round pick or some other restriction. The CHL allows underagers to play in certain circumstances. It would be good for player development and also good for the AHL to get better quality players as well.

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#14 Oilers
April 10 2014, 12:20AM
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The Choice!! What a title.

I thought you were going to talk about a choice Vancouver made over the last 2 days and that maybe after 14 years with Lowe in the organization, we may have an argument to make.

Alas, no deal. Bloggers too scared to write about the sacred truth of choice. To fire poor management or keep them around because they are ex-NHL players.

Keep writing articles that will not change this team, because some way or another, Lowe et al. will manage to screw it up.

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#15 Shredder
April 10 2014, 07:03AM
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Yes we could go from worst defense to best defense in a couple years...thanks to the draft...

but only if we don't ruin these guys. Marincin and petry and klefbom are all homegrown and took the right path (schultz even took his time developing and had to do half a season in the ahl)...but let's hope management don't rush the rest of the pack...Nurse should go back to junior (and dominate his league even more, hopefully make wjc) and Klefbom can have the NHL roster spot. If we get Eckblad I'd do the same to him: back to junior and wjc.

By the way look how good ryan murray looks in cbj...no shot at yak, but murray looks solid (he was sent down for another year too...even if he missed the season with injury).

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#16 City of Champignons
April 10 2014, 09:09AM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

To all you posters, who regardless of what the topic of the article is about, continue over and over with the fire management comments, I have a comment for you............shut the eff up and contribute something worthwhile to the article. I don't like Lowe either, but this non stop barrage of comments from the same dozen or so posters is ridiculous

PROPS X 1,000,000.

I agree 100% - enough with the whining about the management! If you want to be negative go post on Coppernblue. Let's have thoughtful, meaningful, and positive discussion.

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#17 Ivan Drago
April 10 2014, 10:19AM
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Spydyr wrote:

How about we just go ahead and let everyone express their opinions freely .No one is making anyone here read anything they don't want to.

Sometimes venting is therapeutical.

Go ahead and express your opinion, on the TOPIC at hand. Otherwise the next time someone writes an article about Halls corsi, we might as well discuss politics and religion in the comments section.

If Brownlee or some other blogger writes an article about Oilers management, which they have, then fire away in the comments about management.

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#18 Tikkanese
April 10 2014, 10:33AM
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Why is Fedun never in these conversations? He is arguably the most seasoned of all the kids.

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#19 OilDieHard
April 10 2014, 05:36AM
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there's no need to rush Nurse, and Klefbom and Marincin have both earned a spot for next year as far as i'm concerned. and if we were to get Ekblad and he is NHL ready, then he gets a spot too. Petry can be traded as far as i'm concerned.

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#20 Quicksilver ballet
April 10 2014, 09:48AM
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Conventional wisdom checking in here........a 19 yr old Darnell Nurse could make more of an impact on the Oilers lineup than an 18 yr old Ekblad could have. Play them all, but see to it a couple of them do not play more than 45 games in each of their first two seasons. This way the Oilers can control them for 8 yrs instead of 7.

We'd just need to get Rod Langway in here and help coach these kids. With Ekblad, all the desires of bringing in an high priced established top pairing blueliner go out the window. It's cheaper to rebuild from within.

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#21 CaptainLander
April 10 2014, 10:26AM
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Niskanen Nikitin Ference Schultz K-Bom Marincin Nurse

This would be a nice UFA win to me. Hate to see what you would have to pay N&N to come here but I think they would both be nice targets. Both are only 27 and have played fairly prominent roles for their teams this year.

Maybe its my German heritage talking but I would draft Leon Draisaitl over Ekblad. This team is desperate for that big, skilled centerman as much as they are for 1-2 d-men. The difference is we may already have a 1-2 d-man in the system and there are a couple options in the UFA market and although some of them may be aging the likely still have some game left (Boyle, Markov, Timmonen. But this centerman is no where in sight. So much like Barkov last year I see Draisaitl moving up. Could he really have a worse year next year then Gags had this year?

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#22 Hoozonphirst
April 10 2014, 12:39AM
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You would pick Belov, Larsen and Fraser over Klefbom, Nurse and possibly Ekblad who some have argued is the only player in the up-coming draft to step into the NHL next season? Thank goodness you are nothing more than another voice from the blogosphere. Thank goodness you are not the GM. Egads man.

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#23 Ari Gold
April 10 2014, 12:51AM
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Move Petry and picks/assets for a solid guy and I'll be happy. I'd give K-bomb the spot.

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#24 @mbrunihockey
April 10 2014, 07:54AM
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Oilers wrote:

Show me the links to actual blogger articles with frank and well thought out arguments to fire lowe et al., and not just comments by pissed off fans.

http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/23/from-top-to-bottom

Theres one. Are you really criticizing the bloggers for not basing every one of their articles around Lowe? They hear it enough from the fans every single day. Does it not get repetitive?

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#25 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 10:41AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Why is Fedun never in these conversations? He is arguably the most seasoned of all the kids.

He has been passed over in the depth chart by Klefbom and Marcinin soon to be Nurse and Ekblad if he does indeed get drafted by the Oilers.

Fedun's window was the year he got hurt.It does suck to be him.Tough ,tough break literately and figuratively.

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#26 No longer a fan
April 10 2014, 12:36AM
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Starving Student wrote:

You're serious right? Bloggers probably hold management the most accountable because they're fans with a channel of voicing their discourse!

To be fair, I thought an article titles "The Choice" would be about the draft.

Show me a blogger article that is a very frank, honest and well written argument of why the Oilers should keep Lowe et al. around as opposed to the comments by pissed off fans.

I have yet to see a good blogger article to fire Lowe. I have seen lots of well articulated comments by fans.

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#27 coco crisp
April 10 2014, 12:46AM
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Nurse, Ekblad, Schultz, Nurse… Thats pretty exciting. In like 6 years.. When I'll be middle aged and balding.

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#28 Oilers
April 10 2014, 12:32AM
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Starving Student wrote:

You're serious right? Bloggers probably hold management the most accountable because they're fans with a channel of voicing their discourse!

To be fair, I thought an article titles "The Choice" would be about the draft.

Show me the links to actual blogger articles with frank and well thought out arguments to fire lowe et al., and not just comments by pissed off fans.

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#29 David S
April 10 2014, 09:59AM
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Oilers wrote:

The Choice!! What a title.

I thought you were going to talk about a choice Vancouver made over the last 2 days and that maybe after 14 years with Lowe in the organization, we may have an argument to make.

Alas, no deal. Bloggers too scared to write about the sacred truth of choice. To fire poor management or keep them around because they are ex-NHL players.

Keep writing articles that will not change this team, because some way or another, Lowe et al. will manage to screw it up.

What a comment.

Because there hasn't been NEAR enough discussion on every damn Oilers blog in existence about Lowe and front office management.

Hey thanks alot for bringing this to our attention! I for one will work hard over the next while to bombard comments sections about this. Because we all know just a few well placed comments will force the team to do EXACTLY what we want.

*Slap*

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#30 Jerod
April 10 2014, 10:29AM
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Oilers ruin players and when they reach their bottom , the GM comes in and trys to trade them, except no one wants them at the price Oilers are selling at. Oiler management destroys confidence in the room, because they don't have a clue what they are doing. 8 years of losing and they need to move Taylor Hall around the lines to get offence. 1 player 8 years.

This is a comedy isn't it. No one could be this stupid.

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#31 2004Z06
April 10 2014, 12:50PM
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Sam wrote:

My guess for the draft for the Oilers first pick. If they pick #4 and these 3 guys are gone I could see them trading down or the pick.

1. Ekblad 2. Bennett 3. Draisaitl

Why the defenseman? This team has at least some depth on Defense in the system. Ekblad is not going to step in as your number one D in the forseeable future (if at all). By comparison, this organization has ZERO depth at center.

If you are looking at this years draft to help the team improve today, then you trade the pick for an NHL player.

If you are looking at the draft to improve organizational depth, then you take the big centerman Draisaitl or Bennett.

Hell either of them might be able to come in as a 3/4 line guy next year a la Sean Monahan in Calgary.

I just don't see why everyone is so eager to draft another D man when we desperately need centermen.

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#32 OilDieHard
April 10 2014, 09:17AM
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people shouldn't be scared to have Ekblad, Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin on this team next year if they have earned it. we suck anyways, so would we really be any worse with those guys? and what do you draft all these top d-men for anyways? to use as trade bait? for more experienced d-men who don't have the upside that these kids do if we're just a little more patient? it's a nice problem to have though isn't it? Ekblad (if we get him), Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom, Simpson, Schultz, Ference and Petry. and i'm not against trading a couple of these guys because it's obvious all can't play here due to lack of room, but other than trying to get a "top" d-man, the Oilers have other holes throughout the lineup that need to be addressed, and some of our defensive depth could get us the players we need.

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#33 Ivan Drago
April 10 2014, 10:32AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Pretty well every article here goes back to Oilers management or mismanagement.

This is a hockey blog IMO anything to do with hockey goes. Politics and religion not so much.There are many other places one can go for that.

Hardly any of the articles are directed at management. Those with tunnel vision skew every article to be about something management did or didn't do. When Willis does an article about how Ebs can't sustain his shooting % (just an example), people like you blame it on Lowe.

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#34 kboob
April 10 2014, 07:56AM
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Get some legitimate coaches to work with these dmen and you could easily have 2 rookies in the line up next year.

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#35 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 10:22AM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Go ahead and express your opinion, on the TOPIC at hand. Otherwise the next time someone writes an article about Halls corsi, we might as well discuss politics and religion in the comments section.

If Brownlee or some other blogger writes an article about Oilers management, which they have, then fire away in the comments about management.

Pretty well every article here goes back to Oilers management or mismanagement.

This is a hockey blog IMO anything to do with hockey goes. Politics and religion not so much.There are many other places one can go for that.

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#36 2004Z06
April 10 2014, 12:54PM
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Vinny wrote:

I hear Chris Pronger's not doing too much these days. I know reality doesn't allow such a thing to happen, but it'd be nice to have a guy like him to show these kids the ropes.

Call Pronger (or another recent ~retired top dman) a defensive consultant or whatever, since we can't seem to make space in the assistant coach ranks.

It wouldn't even need to be full-time, just get some insight for these blue chip prospects into how a top 2 dman plays this game.

Unfortunately if Pronger retires or takes another job in any organization, he forfeits that fat cheque every month that the Flyers are paying him.

No to mention Lauren wouldn't let him come back to where his illegitimate child and baby momma are still living.

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#37 oilcountryforlife
April 10 2014, 06:08AM
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Fire Kevin Lowe...there it was asked to be said and I said it. It is curious that I haven't seen any Fire Kevin Lowe rants after seeing what happened in Vancouver. Lowe should have been fired years ago, but this is Katz's personal fun project and Lowe is his buddy. Heck his son picks the #1 draft picks after all.

We fans are just silently resolved to more of the same, as we squabble and pontificate about whether this guy or that guy would be a better #4 or #5 defensemen, when we really should be having more fun talking about the #1,2,3 defensemen we don't have. I'll talk Coffey, Chara, and Bobby Orr...now at least we can really have a fun wish list, and yes I know two of those players are retired.

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#38 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 08:49AM
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At first I thought there is no you can have that many rookies on defence.

Now with next years draft having Connor in it.Well do it, dress all the rookie defencman(Klefbom,Nurse,Marincin and hopefully Ekblad) and fail with honor for Connor.

I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic here.Man, this is a the strangest time to be an Oiler fan.

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#39 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:17AM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

To all you posters, who regardless of what the topic of the article is about, continue over and over with the fire management comments, I have a comment for you............shut the eff up and contribute something worthwhile to the article. I don't like Lowe either, but this non stop barrage of comments from the same dozen or so posters is ridiculous

How about we just go ahead and let everyone express their opinions freely .No one is making anyone here read anything they don't want to.

Sometimes venting is therapeutical.

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#40 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:24AM
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Dave wrote:

Off topic Question:

Could Gagner play on the wing ?

He is weak on the boards weak in the corners does not win puck battles and gets knocked off the puck easily and does not stand in front of the opponents goal. He sure has pretty shootout moves though.

What do you think?

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#41 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:51AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Conventional wisdom checking in here........a 19 yr old Darnell Nurse could make more of an impact on the Oilers lineup than an 18 yr old Ekblad could have. Play them all, but see to it a couple of them do not play more than 45 games in each of their first two seasons. This way the Oilers can control them for 8 yrs instead of 7.

We'd just need to get Rod Langway in here and help coach these kids. With Ekblad, all the desires of bringing in an high priced established top pairing blueliner go out the window. It's cheaper to rebuild from within.

I would still like to see a top pairing veteran guy come in to show the kids the way.He could be in his early thirties a transition player to get the kids up to speed.

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#42 DrunkGuyTy
April 10 2014, 06:30AM
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Perhaps the writers of the first few comments should open their eyes with regards to what has been written on this site over the past several months/years. Secondly, these are blogs meant for entertainment. You might be thinking they have a little more influence on the team than they actually do.

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#43 michael
April 10 2014, 08:36AM
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If Nurse and Klefbom and Eckblad are on the roster this fall it will because they outplayed and earned their spots on the roster. Not because of their draft position.

MacT will sign a FA or bring in another dman via trade.Who that will be is anybody's guess.

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#44 Quicksilver ballet
April 10 2014, 09:15AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

It is a nice problem to have after the lack of choices and gifting of spots over the last 5 years.

Nurse -Ekblad

Klefbom - Schultz

Marcinin - Petry

Ference

Holly hell would I be scared going into next season this young, but wow what potential in a year or 2.

This could easily be one of the best D corps in the NHL in 3 or 4 years.

If Nurse comes into camp over 200 lbs and looks like one of our best D, how do you send him down?

If Klefbom and Marcinin finish strong, work hard over the summer and come into camp even better how do you send them down?

If Ekblad gets drafted and is NHL ready......could be lots of great youth with limited spots.

Bravo Cody.

It certainly conforms to the rebuild from within blueprint the Oilers would have us believe.

On a side note, Marincin and another piece would land you that second line center that's been vacant for years. The Oilers should think long and hard about that though, with Marincin perhaps being the best of that Klefbom/Nurse/Schultz/Ekblad bunch. Petry + could bring something worthwhile back as well. Now that he's an NHL regular, Jeff can't wait to get outta here and be somewhere south of the boarder.

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#45 CaptainLander
April 10 2014, 08:00AM
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Would you move one of these young d-men if it brings back a legit top 2 d-man?

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#46 Felix
April 10 2014, 10:23AM
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It does not matter.

Oilers will have another lottery pick next year and the one after and so on. They think they can keep young D's and young F's and the team will eventually get better. Their philosophy is to lose.

Oilers can get the #1 pick for the next 5 years , they will still be losers.

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#47 Tuningout
April 10 2014, 10:58AM
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Oh man tough call. I would like to see Nurse play a few games next year. But realistically nurse and Ekblad/Draisaitl should be back in junior next year. Marincin and Klefbom should be enough rookies (kinda rookies) next year. I have hope for the Oilers. But only in 2-3 years when new rexall is built. Sucks. But after this draft. And maybe next years. The Oilers are set and should compete for a long time. Despite DEakins best attempts at destroying Yak.

I don't care what happens next year. I just want to see progress from Yak. Yakupov and Yakimov. Very important forward pieces.

15/16 bring in Nurse and Ekblad/Drasaitl. Scary good. On defence. Let's see Dillon Simpson late next year.

So realistically I don't see the Oilers being good until 16/17 season.

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#48 MrBig
April 10 2014, 11:20AM
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Given the depth of Defensive prospects, the Oilers will not rush out to get Ekblad unless he falls in their lap at 3rd overall (which is not likely to happen). They will move out Gagner and bring in Draisatl. I wouldn't be surprised in Yakupov is moved either, though I don't want him moved yet...

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#49 BLAKPOO
April 10 2014, 02:21AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Move Petry and picks/assets for a solid guy and I'll be happy. I'd give K-bomb the spot.

Thank you for making sense. Props +1

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#50 Tikkanese
April 10 2014, 10:08AM
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The best choice is none of the above. It would be better long term for both the Oilers and these young D(Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom & Ekblad if drafted) to spend at least another year seasoning.

Marincin and Klefbom might not look too out of place at the moment, or next year for that matter either but another half year+ in the AHL will do wonders for their offensive games. Also in Marincin's case, another year of putting on some much needed muscle on his skinny frame. Also playing in the likely losing atmosphere next year in Edmonton won't help develop them much either.

We want these kids as beasts, not just as average NHL'ers which they basically are at now.

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