BRETT POLLOCK

Lowetide
May 02 2014 11:06PM

bogdan

The Edmonton Oilers are importing tall trees this summer, in the hopes that one of them eventually finds a way to impact at the NHL level. The Oilers HAVE drafted a two-way NHL center in the last few years—Riley Nash—and the NHL is populated with former Oilers like Jarret Stoll and Kyle Brodziak who can effectively play the position. Will this generation's centers fill the holes?

khaira ferguson 1

Craig MacTavish is bringing some big centers in this spring, and they're going to be taller in the fall. Let's have a look at the current pro centers 'bubbling under' the NHL.

  • Jujhar Khaira 6.03, 210
  • Bogdan Yakimov 6.05, 202
  • Will Acton, 6.01, 199
  • Anton Lander 6.00, 194
  • Travis Ewanyk 6.02, 192
  • Mark Arcobello 5.08, 166

That runs the gamut, no doubt about it. I don't think we'll see any of these men in the NHL next season (save Arcobello, and Lander should he sign), and it might be a couple for Khaira and Yakimov. The prospects we're talking about at number 3 overall vary a little in size:

  • Leon Draisaitl 6.02, 204
  • Sam Reinhart 6.01, 185
  • Sam Bennett 6.00, 178

That's from ISS, I rounded up or down as the case may be for each player. 

Here are some bigger centers available in this year's draft:

  • Shane Eiserman, Dubuque (USHL) 6.02, 200
  • Keegan Iverson, Portland (WHL) 6,01, 219
  • Kyle Petit, Erie (OHL) 6.04, 200

6.02, 183.....

Far below the bigger centers, Brett Pollock looks like a player. I'm sure there are portions of the fanbase who won't be impressed because of his lack of size, but I'll wager Pollock has more of a hockey future than most if not all of the bigger men outside the projected first round.

  • Regular season: 71gp, 25-30-55 .775
  • Down the stretch: 35gp, 12-18-30 .857
  • Postseason: 14gp, 10-7-17 1.21


Kyle Woodlief, Red Line Report (October) 

The other pleasant surprise is forward Brett Pollock, who managed to make the club last year, but sat on the bench most of the season. Red Line liked him in a very limited energy role last year, as he used his big frame to spark the team with an up-tempo forecheck. But the fact that he has already eclipsed his offensive numbers from last year in this campaign's first four games has drawn our attention. Pollock seems to have come back with a much smoother and improved skating stride, and a new-found confidence in his puckhandling.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

bear

The Oilers have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Boyd Gordon at the NHL level and some interesting pro hockey players beyond that trio. Mark Arcobello and Anton Lander are likely to see NHL time (should Lander sign) and we can look forward to seeing progress from Khaira and Yakimov in Oklahoma City.

The truth—and this isn't a great piece of news—is that all of these men are shy offensively. A guy like Lander can handle NHL penalty killing and should help a contending club defensively, but where are the goals going to come from? There's some hope that Khaira and Yakimov can provide a combination of offense, rugged play and checking to be useful NHL players.

Beyond that? I'd take this Pollock kid if he's available when the Oilers make their second pick. Oh, I know it's "another damn Oil King" and that's not cool. I think Brett Pollock is worth the risk.

He's a helluva young player, and has a nice range of skills. If the Oilers are fortunate enough to land a second round pick at the draft, Pollock is worthy of consideration.

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
#51 BALD OLD MAN
May 03 2014, 11:34AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

who to draft? Which players have the character the Oiler covet and the compete level that the Oilers have been lacking? That's Bennett and Ekblad (either will be great). If there are no major trades prior to the draft, Panthers need defence help (Jovocop & Campbell > 30 and nearing twilight of their careers=Ekblad). Sabres need offence (Bennett/Reihart). Oilers will probably have to move up in order to pick one of Ekblad or Bennett. Only if Buffalo pulls off a "Colorado" and name their player (Sam Reinhart) 1 weeks prior to the draft, will the Oilers be ok at 3.

Avatar
#52 Brad 21
May 03 2014, 11:44AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

What about Greg Chase? He's A centre prospect? Also a no brainer pick Bennett.

Avatar
#53 oilfaninvic
May 03 2014, 11:49AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Lowetide did you forget we don't have a 2nd round pick? (Perron)

Avatar
#54 GCW
May 03 2014, 12:17PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
onlyoil wrote:

There isn't a snowballs chance in you know where that Yak could get the Oilers the #1 overall pick. Would you give up a #1 pick overall for Yak? If you would I wish you were the GM of Florida

I don't think you are right on that.

Bob Mackenzie was on TSN radio in Toronto yesterday and said Talon doesn't view this draft class as being that good.

He also needs a scoring winger top play on the right side with Barkov.

Yakopuv's junior numbers were as good or better than this draft class. He scored well in his rookie season. Like Huberdeau he had a bad second season, but he still has value and should come back strong in the right circumstances.

If his scouts like Yakopuv, I could see that deal happening. The story line for his fans would be a first overall for a first overall. But one that is two years more experienced and therefore should help the team win sooner.

Avatar
#55 Sorensenator
May 03 2014, 12:34PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
GCW wrote:

I don't think you are right on that.

Bob Mackenzie was on TSN radio in Toronto yesterday and said Talon doesn't view this draft class as being that good.

He also needs a scoring winger top play on the right side with Barkov.

Yakopuv's junior numbers were as good or better than this draft class. He scored well in his rookie season. Like Huberdeau he had a bad second season, but he still has value and should come back strong in the right circumstances.

If his scouts like Yakopuv, I could see that deal happening. The story line for his fans would be a first overall for a first overall. But one that is two years more experienced and therefore should help the team win sooner.

I think both of you are smart like trained animals

Avatar
#56 Lochenzo
May 03 2014, 01:43PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

It's too early to give up on Yakupov. By eye, you've seen it as well as I, this kid is probably the best pure goal scorer on the team. Great shot, great hand eye, showed great scoring instincts in his rookie year.

Yak struggled with position this past year. You see young guys struggle with this many times. Being smart positionally without thinking about it too much. If he can master that, he's going to be one heckuva player.

Avatar
#57 G-Unit
May 03 2014, 02:30PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Lochenzo wrote:

It's too early to give up on Yakupov. By eye, you've seen it as well as I, this kid is probably the best pure goal scorer on the team. Great shot, great hand eye, showed great scoring instincts in his rookie year.

Yak struggled with position this past year. You see young guys struggle with this many times. Being smart positionally without thinking about it too much. If he can master that, he's going to be one heckuva player.

I am not sure where the mentality is that trading a player is always giving up on him. I don't feel that Yak will become a top tier forward, so if you can turn that asset into a better asset deal away. Even if Yak does become a 70 point player and we make the playoffs because we turned him into a top 3 defence man I would call that a success. And we haven't had many of those recently.

Avatar
#58 Rama Lama
May 03 2014, 03:44PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

If we land a second round draft choice ( Gagner for a second rounder) I would love to see us stock up with centres.

I for one can't believe that we are so thin on the two most important positions in hockey........centreman and defensemen.

Thanks Tamby you useless clown!

Avatar
#59 GCW
May 03 2014, 03:50PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Lochenzo wrote:

It's too early to give up on Yakupov. By eye, you've seen it as well as I, this kid is probably the best pure goal scorer on the team. Great shot, great hand eye, showed great scoring instincts in his rookie year.

Yak struggled with position this past year. You see young guys struggle with this many times. Being smart positionally without thinking about it too much. If he can master that, he's going to be one heckuva player.

I wouldn't trade him because I an giving up on him. I would trade him if trading him would allow me to acquire a player that filled a greater need like a defender or a centre with skill and sandpaper.

Avatar
#60 Walter White
May 03 2014, 06:39PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
GCW GCW wrote:

I would explore trading Yakopuv to Florida the first overall pick.

Grab Ekblad and either Bennett or Leon.

One step back for two steps forward.

None of the top 4 picking teams would trade their pick for Yak........would you trade your 3rd overall for him???!

WW

Avatar
#61 Oiled Stat Guy
May 04 2014, 01:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

No chance, without trade, of getting Polluck, but LT can you do a write-up on Nick Ritchie.

Yes, Oil need centers and a projected top D, but we also have no one in organization that can do power forward - of super heavyweight variety - that could score in top six role.

So, yes pick BPA but do it by type. It could be several drafts before someone else can match you with makeup of this kid. (Go watch closely the utube highlights - watch his shot, watch him drop shoulder, watch him skate, hit, fight). Besides the top end in this draft doesn't look to project as elite.

Thought for a while that we could trade down two or three spots but now I'm thinking just get him. Then ask yourself who else in west can match you for this ingredient (gawd knows we haven't been working on make-up of team so far).

p.s. Draisaitl, no thanks, puck protection at that speed I don't see translating well. Watch his toe drag release and compare again with Ritchie's. The two Sams are just too much of same for Oil and, yes, I know how badly we need center.

Avatar
#62 chris
May 05 2014, 12:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
G-Unit wrote:

I am not sure where the mentality is that trading a player is always giving up on him. I don't feel that Yak will become a top tier forward, so if you can turn that asset into a better asset deal away. Even if Yak does become a 70 point player and we make the playoffs because we turned him into a top 3 defence man I would call that a success. And we haven't had many of those recently.

top three d man hahaha. bag of hockey pucks more like it

Comments are closed for this article.