MAKE THE CALL

Lowetide
April 17 2014 09:23PM


Being an Oiler fan means never being completely happy. For many Edmonton fans, the draft has turned from Reinhart versus Ekblad at the top of the draft to Draisaitl versus Bennett at number three. Is there a reason to worry and fret? OF COURSE there is!

ABOUT SAM BENNETT

Make no mistake, this Sam Bennett fellow is going to be a worthy NHL player. Here's a few nice things that have been said about him:

  • Chris Edwards, Central Scouting

    "Bennett has not only been very noticeable but extremely effective every shift of every game so far this season. His puckhandling and playmaking are excellent and he has one of the best shots in this year's draft class. He has scored several goals from the high slot and coming in off the wing and has been very effective on the power play."

That's a very nice scouting report. Bennett doesn't take a shift off and he's effective in all situations, including the power play. 

THE BIG THREE C'S ON THE POWER PLAY

TOP 3F ON PP

Bennett led his team in power-play goals this season, and that assist total was also tops on Kingston. Those are quality totals, but he ranks third among the top-ranked centermen in this year's draft. There's some concern over adopting these numbers as gospel, because we don't know how much time these kids actually played with the man advantage.

As much as we know, Bennett is the number three offensive center with the man advantage. 

JONATHAN TOEWS TYPE CAREER

Dan Marr of Central Scouting gave Bennett a tremendous endorsement

  • "There are guys who elevate their game when it matters most, and you're looking to project which players will do that consistently at the next level. The guys we have at the top all are in that mold, but when we look at Sam Bennett we see a guy who could potentially have a Jonathan Toews type of career."

THE BIG THREE C'S EVEN STRENGTH

top 3f at evens

If we're going to find Jonathan Toews in this draft, even strength scoring would be a nice place to start. Bennett does very well in this category, scoring more than one point-per-game at even strength.

Reinhart is (again) the better offensive player in the group, and I think the other two are pretty close in ability. So, you could make the case that 'either or' will be a good choice.

NO DAMN WAY!

It looks to me like an even race, but early returns from Oilers Nation have Bennett out in front due to truculence and the ability to play a physical game.

  • Reinhart is 6.01, 183 skilled and not overly physical.
  • Bennett is 6.0, 181 and physical. He has 118pims
  • Draisaitl is 6.01, 209 and wins battles but is not truculent. He has 24pims

The Oilers, based on some reports, may have fallen in love with Draisaitl. Which is fine by me, I'm not a scout and happen to think Stu MacGregor and his band of frequent flyer scouts are doing well. This season alone we got a nice look at Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom, among others. We eagerly await the arrival of Darnell Nurse and the signing of Dillon Simpson and on it goes.

The Oilers, once again, have to get it right. Why? Because Calgary picks fourth! If the Oilers choose Draisaitl and Bennett ends up being the better man, there's going to be hell to pay. If it goes the other way? Well, at least the fanbase was happy on draft day.

This is the scenario that played out in the Nail Yakupov draft, and everyone is still happy about that one.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

kunis gif

    Suddenly, the entry draft is a landmine. What should the Oilers do? Well, they're unlikely to ask my advice, but here it is anyway.

    Trust your scouts. Pick the best player. Screw the politics of the moment and man up.

    Make the call.

    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 Team 1260.
    Avatar
    #101 Quicksilver ballet
    April 18 2014, 01:48PM
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    Zarny wrote:

    Good grief, so now you think the answer is bringing in two 18 y/o lol.

    Every kid in the top 10-20 gets compared to some NHL superstar. It's just as likely Draisaitl becomes the next Thornton or Ryan Johansen as Bennett becoming the next Toews.

    As for Ekblad, Hedman was the highest ranked D in 2009 but the best D might be OEL. And Ekblad could easily track closer to Larsson or Gudbranson.

    Moving assets to get 2 kids this draft only sets the Oilers up for disappointment in 2 years when they aren't what you dream they are.

    This is a process Zarny. Not all the kids selected will pan out. New blood in, ones you've made your mind up on, out. Remember, the water always starts boiling at the bottom of the pot first. Like it or not, two more 18 yr olds are the ONLY option to this market. Haven't we seen enough Cam Barkers come through here already?

    One could make an argument the Oilers are atleast 2 or 3 yrs away from making the post season anyways. This ideal would conform, no?

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    #102 Quicksilver ballet
    April 18 2014, 01:53PM
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    @Walter Sobchak

    I'll defer to DSF and say, who would Burke choose between Draisaitl or Bennett. _______________________________________________________________________________

    Quoted for truth.

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    #103 Virtual_Xi
    April 18 2014, 01:59PM
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    "Oh, and there is a long tradition of hyping up Edmonton prospects. Until they actually make it to the NHL and make a difference, I have a hard time believing in prospects. Look at Lander. The kid dominates in the AHL but just can't put it together at the NHL level.

    We have had a parade of prospects like this. I'm happy he's doing great, but until he does great on the Oilers, I'm on the look out for the immediate upgrades."

    Definitely agree, I'd toss the pick for immediate help on the backend too, but this guy will be great.

    Highlights from this season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkR-F14cK1Y

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    #104 BC BOY
    April 18 2014, 02:00PM
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    Quicksilver ballet wrote:

    All the scouting agencies have him ranked 4th. These are the people who would know him the best, no?

    Or, these rankings don't mean anything to you.

    The pick should be Bennett, if we're going to take the minimum due to us after another gong show year.

    His coach said he had no idea why people were questioning his compete. I would say his coach knows him better then the scouts.

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    #105 MyGuess
    April 18 2014, 02:04PM
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    How soon we forget. 2009 Magnus Paajarvi-Svenson drafted 10th by Oilers IN 2009. 6 ft 3in at 210 and has 32 goals and 40penalty minutes after 218 games. Size must have heart and willingness to play hard and Bennett has proved that while Driastl still unproven. The worst thing that an Oiler fan is Calgary picks Bennett and he becomes the Star and Driastl becomes another Jason Bosignore

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    #106 Oil Fan 9
    April 18 2014, 02:04PM
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    macT in his press conference said he's really focusing on character guys. Seems like Bennet is skilled and has some serious passion. If macT has to pick between size or character I think he goes character. My vote is Bennet and I think it's macTs as well.

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    #107 Will
    April 18 2014, 02:19PM
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    Virtual_Xi wrote:

    "Oh, and there is a long tradition of hyping up Edmonton prospects. Until they actually make it to the NHL and make a difference, I have a hard time believing in prospects. Look at Lander. The kid dominates in the AHL but just can't put it together at the NHL level.

    We have had a parade of prospects like this. I'm happy he's doing great, but until he does great on the Oilers, I'm on the look out for the immediate upgrades."

    Definitely agree, I'd toss the pick for immediate help on the backend too, but this guy will be great.

    Highlights from this season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkR-F14cK1Y

    I'll admit, he does look tough to push off the puck.

    And honestly, I really think it would be difficult to screw this pick up. Maybe Ekblad falls to third, and we take him, or we get one of the 3 centers which is also an area of need for the Oilers.

    Either way, we are getting a really good player.

    Depending on what they can get for Gagner, I think a center might help make the team better next year.

    But Ekblad could be our cornerstone defender, and help make up a formidable top pairing.

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    #108 Quicksilver ballet
    April 18 2014, 02:31PM
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    BC BOY wrote:

    His coach said he had no idea why people were questioning his compete. I would say his coach knows him better then the scouts.

    He was referring to his character yesterday, not compete level.

    Would you not also say one would also expect a dash of bias (coming from his coach) as well?

    No better way to err on the side of caution. MacTavish should get of his duff and get both Draisiatl and Bennett. Deal with this issue once and for all. One could stay and one could go back to junior.

    The Flames aren't interested in Draisaitl, they're gambling Edmonton does something stupid and passes on Bennett. Have to think that Islander pick can be had for a price if Leon falls to that 5 spot.

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    #109 jonny94
    April 18 2014, 02:45PM
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    I'm definitely confused and torn on both Bennett and Draisaitl. Initially I figured Draisaitl all the way, hes got size, he can score and has all the right tools the Oilers desperately need in their top 6.

    However, the more I read and hear about Sam Bennett the more I'm convinced he would be our guy. His PIMs alone says he's got a mean competitive streak in him, he's got sick hands and Bob Mckenzie stated Bennett is the most complete overall C in the draft. If we're bringing in a player to slot in at 2C we're going to need someone whose a scoring threat just as much as them being defensively responsible.

    End of the day when it comes to the draft you don't draft based on need you draft BPA. Bennett is projected at #3 overall so my vote is for Sam Bennett.

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    #110 Virtual_Xi
    April 18 2014, 03:22PM
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    jonny94 wrote:

    I'm definitely confused and torn on both Bennett and Draisaitl. Initially I figured Draisaitl all the way, hes got size, he can score and has all the right tools the Oilers desperately need in their top 6.

    However, the more I read and hear about Sam Bennett the more I'm convinced he would be our guy. His PIMs alone says he's got a mean competitive streak in him, he's got sick hands and Bob Mckenzie stated Bennett is the most complete overall C in the draft. If we're bringing in a player to slot in at 2C we're going to need someone whose a scoring threat just as much as them being defensively responsible.

    End of the day when it comes to the draft you don't draft based on need you draft BPA. Bennett is projected at #3 overall so my vote is for Sam Bennett.

    I know i've been watching too much nfl when I start thinking about needs vs. BPA, but we already have a sam bennett.

    Greg Chase (centre):

    2013-14 Regular Season Calgary Hitmen GP70 G35 A50 P85 +-29 PIM83

    6'0, 204lbs.

    I really don't see why we would pass up a beast down the middle, that is, if ekblad is taken.

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    #111 Sizzay
    April 18 2014, 03:26PM
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    pIMs give teams chances at scoring. That's a good thing?

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    #112 hemi
    April 18 2014, 03:29PM
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    Apparently the good folks on the Cowtown site have the Mighty Oil pegged at taking Draisaitl and leaving Bennett for their pick. This could be very interesting indeed.

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    #113 Butters
    April 18 2014, 03:40PM
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    I think MacT likes players with a lot of try in their game. I wouldn't be surprised if they take Bennett. But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Bennett is gone by the time the Oilers pick.

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    #114 Fourthliner
    April 18 2014, 03:48PM
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    My take: Ekblad if available. The Oil have a nice stable of up and comers on the back end. Keep the best, trade bait what's left. Otherwise, my vote is absolutely clear - Sam (Doug Gilmour v 2.0) Bennett - welcome to Edmonton!!

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    #115 Oil Can
    April 18 2014, 03:52PM
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    Virtual_Xi wrote:

    I know i've been watching too much nfl when I start thinking about needs vs. BPA, but we already have a sam bennett.

    Greg Chase (centre):

    2013-14 Regular Season Calgary Hitmen GP70 G35 A50 P85 +-29 PIM83

    6'0, 204lbs.

    I really don't see why we would pass up a beast down the middle, that is, if ekblad is taken.

    I love your thinking but why don't you mention that we have big centres in Yakimov and another big centre in Khaira. Both of these guys are huge, so to be fair to the rest of the league we should forfeit our picks because we don't need them.

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    #116 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    April 18 2014, 03:58PM
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    Calgary absolutely cannot get Bennett. Monahan and Bennett would give us Oil fans hernias every BoA for the next ten years.

    If Ekblad is there, nab him. If it's down to Bennett or someone else, Bennett all day long. Reinhart or Leon, take Leon.

    My priority list:

    Ekblad, Bennett, Ze German, Reinhart

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    #117 Sizzay
    April 18 2014, 04:05PM
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    Turkadactyl wrote:

    Wayne Simmonds is listed at 6'00" and 180 lbs. Who wouldn't want him on the team? I'll take truculence at 185 over a big soft body oat 209.

    Simmonds is 6'2 185

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    #118 Sizzay
    April 18 2014, 04:07PM
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    People seem to forget that Tim Murray was apart of Ottawa that drafted zibenajad who bennet is somewhat compared too.

    Oilers problem is not scoring off the rush which it seems bennet mainly does, it's offensive zone pressure and cycling against the big pacific boys. Who would help? Perhaps draisaitl

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    #119 Chambers
    April 18 2014, 04:07PM
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    The Oilers are full of Sam Bennett's so as a Flames fan I say go ahead and draft him. I have been reading all the comments and not one Oiler fan has mentioned Dal Colle. He is turculent has size and soft hands and the Flames covet him. They also like Leon for the same reasons MacT likes him...size and skill!

    I agree with 2 ON fans who suggest they trade the pick for some established defensive help. Of course Sam Bennett will not make any kind of impact for 3-4 years so enjoy your bottom 5 finishes in the future Oiler fans>

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    #120 Stubblejumper
    April 18 2014, 04:27PM
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    Chet134 wrote:

    Lets break the Oilers drafting down. Sam G small/soft/can't win a face off/ can't win one on one battles. 4.8 million contract Jordon Eberle goal scorer/ soft/small/can't win one on one battles/ defensive liability. 6 million dollar contract Magnes medium size/soft/defensive liability/can't win one on one battles/traded Hall potential superstar worth the 6 million dollar contract Hopkins small/soft/can't win a face off/can't win one on one battles. 6 million dollar contract Yak small/soft/ can't win one on one battles/defensive liability Petry big/soft/can't win one on one battles/ defensive liability. Expecting a raise Schultz medium size/soft/can't win one on one battles/ defensive liability. Expecting a big contract Nurse unknown What's the oilers trend in drafting with our top picks. Were able to score but soft/small/can't win one on one battles/defensive liability. Hey Lowetide I figured it out. It's the fans fault that we are in a eight year rebuilt, laughing stock of the league/ poor management/with a top five ticket price, don't compete/don't give an entertainment value on home games and we have drafted this way. How dare the fans be upset!!!!!!'

    Good points...but try paragraphs!!

    Agree...Bennett is from the same mold as the rest of the core..small-medium size, doesn't play a 200 ft game, can't win 1-on-1 battles.

    Ekblad or Draisaitl in that order!

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    #121 Stubblejumper
    April 18 2014, 04:42PM
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    BC BOY wrote:

    Why are people trying to talk about Draisaitl compete level? The kid moved to NA from Germany to play in Prince Albert. He put up great numbers on a bad team and got them into the playoffs.

    Not every player is gonna look like they have a fire in their belly but that doesn't mean they don't. Look at players like thornton and kopitar! He is already 208lb and his coach even said he is a thick thick kid that will probably be at least 220lb.

    I just don't think bennet will be as effective as he could be if the Oilers drafted him. He would be playing teams like San Jose, Anaheim and LA on a team that already has Nuge, Eberle, Perron and Yakupov. We need players that can cycle the puck and that can dominate down low against big strong teams. Draisaitl has proven this year that he can be that type of player.

    You can't draft bennet just because he seems like he is more competitive. Because unless you around these kids all the time you don't know!

    Absolutely agree.

    Look at the video. Draisaitl is a big thick body who can cycle it down low, hold off defenders while one-handing the puck, turn on a dime, is a fantastic assist machine with nifty touch passes..but who has a heckuva wrist shot, is fast and can score off the rush.

    Size, skating and skill..Draisaitl has it all. Bennett is RNH 2.0.

    The question is not what will Calgary get...but what do the Oilers need to win the BoA!

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    #122 Chambers
    April 18 2014, 04:43PM
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    Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

    Calgary absolutely cannot get Bennett. Monahan and Bennett would give us Oil fans hernias every BoA for the next ten years.

    If Ekblad is there, nab him. If it's down to Bennett or someone else, Bennett all day long. Reinhart or Leon, take Leon.

    My priority list:

    Ekblad, Bennett, Ze German, Reinhart

    I have read many comments like yours where Oilers fans appear to be more concerned about what Bennett would do for the Flames than what is best for the Oilers. Reminder...the Oilers have been rebuilding for eight years now and the roster is full of 1st overalls of the Sam Bennett mold.

    Other than last year the Flames have been drafting no lower than 15th overall and have young talent on the roster that are mainly 4th or 5th round selections. They are now easily projected to make the playoffs in the 2016 season after 1 year of rebuild.

    Don't worry about the Flames........Get 1-2 established defenseman and 1-2 power forwards. Yes you will need to trade 1-2 of your first overalls!

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    #123 Butters
    April 18 2014, 04:53PM
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    Chambers is right that we should worry about our team, not the Flames. But I disagree with trading any first overalls, unless we are following the NY Islanders rebuild model.

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    #124 Chambers
    April 18 2014, 05:01PM
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    Butters wrote:

    Chambers is right that we should worry about our team, not the Flames. But I disagree with trading any first overalls, unless we are following the NY Islanders rebuild model.

    I think you are 2-3 players from turning this disaster around. Oilers will never get the quality player required to do this without giving up some of your first overalls.

    In my view the only untradeable player you have is TH.

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    #125 Butters
    April 18 2014, 05:14PM
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    Chambers wrote:

    I think you are 2-3 players from turning this disaster around. Oilers will never get the quality player required to do this without giving up some of your first overalls.

    In my view the only untradeable player you have is TH.

    Jason Gregor posted an article here a while back about teams trading their first overalls. His examples, perhaps selective, perhaps not, seemed to indicate the teams trading the first overall always lost the trade.

    Can you think of any examples to counter this conclusion? Not trying to be a jerk, just genuinely interested.

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    #126 Stubblejumper
    April 18 2014, 05:16PM
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    Chambers wrote:

    I have read many comments like yours where Oilers fans appear to be more concerned about what Bennett would do for the Flames than what is best for the Oilers. Reminder...the Oilers have been rebuilding for eight years now and the roster is full of 1st overalls of the Sam Bennett mold.

    Other than last year the Flames have been drafting no lower than 15th overall and have young talent on the roster that are mainly 4th or 5th round selections. They are now easily projected to make the playoffs in the 2016 season after 1 year of rebuild.

    Don't worry about the Flames........Get 1-2 established defenseman and 1-2 power forwards. Yes you will need to trade 1-2 of your first overalls!

    IMO I agree the team dynamic and culture of the Oilers has to change, which means trading a couple of the core to get quality pieces that bring size, grit and do-or-die tenacity to mix with speed and skill.

    The D are still 3-4 years away and we really need a couple quality power forwards. Yak and Ebs provide great trade bait for the right team!

    However to date MacT has been gun-shy about making the major deals he talked about to improve this team so I rather doubt anything is going to happen.

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    #127 Walter Sobchak
    April 18 2014, 09:13PM
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    Quicksilver ballet wrote:

    He was referring to his character yesterday, not compete level.

    Would you not also say one would also expect a dash of bias (coming from his coach) as well?

    No better way to err on the side of caution. MacTavish should get of his duff and get both Draisiatl and Bennett. Deal with this issue once and for all. One could stay and one could go back to junior.

    The Flames aren't interested in Draisaitl, they're gambling Edmonton does something stupid and passes on Bennett. Have to think that Islander pick can be had for a price if Leon falls to that 5 spot.

    This is without a doubt the best option for the Oilers.

    Draft Bennett & trade for NYI pick.

    Chances are Calgary picks Michael Dal Colle and leaves Draisiatl on the board.

    If Calgary chooses Draisiatl, then you have Dal Colle to add size & skill to the top six.

    win,win here.

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    #128 2004Z06
    April 19 2014, 08:59AM
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    It makes me sick to my stomach that we are even having this conversation again. Lets draft another small, skilled forward....We need more of those. Worked out well so far right? Draisaitl may not be "truculent" but the scouting reports say he protects the puck well. When is the last time you heard that about any Oiler?

    He doesn't need to be nasty, he just needs to be able to protect the puck and lean on guys.

    At the end of the day, it is irrelevant anyway. This team does not need any more draft picks, we need NHL players!

    Everyone here saying to keep the pick must be a fan of the Islander model. Perpetual rebuild!! Oh and for those making comparisons to guys that played the game 20+ years ago...You do realize that the game has completely changed since then? The average size of a guy in the NHL today is 3 inches and 20 lbs bigger than in Gilmours era. Apples to oranges folks. Stop living in the past.

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    #129 Wildcard
    April 19 2014, 09:52AM
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    Quicksilver ballet wrote:

    I'll defer to DSF and say, who would Burke choose between Draisaitl or Bennett. _______________________________________________________________________________

    Quoted for truth.

    Deferring to the guy who wanted Cam Fowler over Taylor Hall is not a wise choice.

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    #130 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
    April 19 2014, 04:41PM
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    jonny94 wrote:

    I'm definitely confused and torn on both Bennett and Draisaitl. Initially I figured Draisaitl all the way, hes got size, he can score and has all the right tools the Oilers desperately need in their top 6.

    However, the more I read and hear about Sam Bennett the more I'm convinced he would be our guy. His PIMs alone says he's got a mean competitive streak in him, he's got sick hands and Bob Mckenzie stated Bennett is the most complete overall C in the draft. If we're bringing in a player to slot in at 2C we're going to need someone whose a scoring threat just as much as them being defensively responsible.

    End of the day when it comes to the draft you don't draft based on need you draft BPA. Bennett is projected at #3 overall so my vote is for Sam Bennett.

    If Bennett is what everyone here thinks he is....then there's no way he should be there at the third pick...if he's all the things you say he is why wouldn't you...and every other team, take him in front of Reinhart?

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    #131 John Krahn
    April 20 2014, 04:32AM
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    TKB2677 wrote:

    So the OILERS draft Bennett. They give Calgary Draisatl.

    So in 2 years the Oilers have at center Nuge -6'1 190lbs Bennett - 6 ' 190lb maybe 195 max

    The Flames in 2 years at center will have Monahan - 6'2 200lbs or more Draisatl - 6''2 225lbs or more

    So all you Bennett lovers think that's ok and think the Oilers will compete?

    WOW!!

    JF jacques,marc antoine pouliot. Wow

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