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.

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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 Team 1260.
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#1 D
May 02 2014, 11:10PM
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Kudos LT for finding new and interesting items to write about. But man, the Edmonton Oilers in general depress me right now.

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#3 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 02 2014, 11:41PM
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The Oilers have traded their own 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th round selections away.

Certainly doesn't reflect well on this organization, after another 28th place finish.

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#5 Citizen David
May 02 2014, 11:54PM
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I made a point of following Pollock at every Oil King game I was at this year like I did with Lazar last year. Much like Lazar, pollock doesn't just pick up points from being lucky or from riding with great line mates. Pollock generates offence. Much like Lazar he is always engaged and won't ever be called out for dogging it. He melds a hard forechecking/back checking grinding game with playmaking and good awareness of his teamates. At the junior level at least he has a good shot capable of beating a goalie cleanly from 15 feet. Whereas Lazar's upside is basically limitless, Pollock's upside would be a two way second line center.

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#6 Soccer Steve
May 03 2014, 12:39AM
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Here's the Oil in a nutshell: at this point in the "rebuild" we should be drafting a stud winger this year with a view to that player replacing Hall or Eberle when they are good and ready to in 3-4 seasons. But no, we're still drafting based on a desperate need: a big C. A big C who won't be ready for 3-4 seasons. Right around the time our wingers are moving on or trending down.

We're in a stinky, poorly managed spiral. At least we have each other.

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#7 Norm
May 03 2014, 01:07AM
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Soccer Steve wrote:

Here's the Oil in a nutshell: at this point in the "rebuild" we should be drafting a stud winger this year with a view to that player replacing Hall or Eberle when they are good and ready to in 3-4 seasons. But no, we're still drafting based on a desperate need: a big C. A big C who won't be ready for 3-4 seasons. Right around the time our wingers are moving on or trending down.

We're in a stinky, poorly managed spiral. At least we have each other.

Hey man, are we talking group hug here or co-dependency? The pathetic state of the Oilers and the mentality of their management may cost me the will to live.

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#8 JamMan
May 03 2014, 01:44AM
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Wake me up if they ever stop being pathetic

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#9 RexHolez
May 03 2014, 02:01AM
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The Sharks are gonna be making moves. What do they need to get over the hump and what can they part with?

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#10 bwar
May 03 2014, 02:04AM
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Can't wait to see Yak City 2.0 in an Oilers Jersey.

I could see the sharks shaking things up a bit but I don't think they will be making any trades with the Oilers.

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#11 D
May 03 2014, 02:41AM
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Lowetide wrote:

#3 overall (first round) #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return) #110 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return) #130 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return) #137 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return) #153 overall (sixth round) #183 overall (seventh round)

Speaking of Bryzgalov, it was nice to see him getting Game 7 overtime action the other night.

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#12 RexHolez
May 03 2014, 03:25AM
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bwar wrote:

Can't wait to see Yak City 2.0 in an Oilers Jersey.

I could see the sharks shaking things up a bit but I don't think they will be making any trades with the Oilers.

They need more secondary scoring? Would gagner look good on the wing on their second or third line?

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#13 Bill
May 03 2014, 03:39AM
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RexHolez wrote:

They need more secondary scoring? Would gagner look good on the wing on their second or third line?

Yah they could use Gagner as centre on the Sharks ' I don't give sh/t line '. We could trade him straight up for Thornton who has the same disease.

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#14 Taylor Gang
May 03 2014, 05:02AM
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Bill wrote:

Yah they could use Gagner as centre on the Sharks ' I don't give sh/t line '. We could trade him straight up for Thornton who has the same disease.

Thornton>>>>>>>>Gagner

Thornton is exactly the type of player that Edmonton could use. An undisputed #1 center who is strong on the draws, a premier playmaker, good size, and a locker room voice. Unfortunately I doubt we ever see Jumbo in Oilers silks...

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#15 gr8one
May 03 2014, 05:59AM
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What about Horak?

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#16 Walter Sobchak
May 03 2014, 06:09AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I hear ya. I'm hoping the Oilers get Bennett in the first round, Pollock in the second and that damn bear in the fourth!!!!

So, are we pretty darn sure Flordia take’s Ekblad 1st overall?

With Grigorenko , Girgensons and Ennis already on board, if I’m the Sabers I take Reinhart for the pure skill.

If the Saber do take Bennett , that leaves Reinhart or Draisaitl as draft options for the Oilers, gets a little difficult but I take Reinhart.

Hoping Bennett fall's to the Oilers.

My next season player gamble's would be

Ott - Winnik - Downie

Good-bye

Joensuu - Jones - Acton - Lander -

let's Eakins throw in Gazdic when needed.

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#17 They're $hittie
May 03 2014, 06:40AM
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Soccer Steve wrote:

Here's the Oil in a nutshell: at this point in the "rebuild" we should be drafting a stud winger this year with a view to that player replacing Hall or Eberle when they are good and ready to in 3-4 seasons. But no, we're still drafting based on a desperate need: a big C. A big C who won't be ready for 3-4 seasons. Right around the time our wingers are moving on or trending down.

We're in a stinky, poorly managed spiral. At least we have each other.

Draft the center, convert to wing. Cant have to many centers.

San Jose has four centers on their power play. 2 right handed 2 left. If one gets thrown out of the draw the other goes in.

Imagine if Hall and Yak were natural centers, We would have no problem with center depth.

Wingers are also easier to trade for. We always say Eberle or Yak need to go for a number one D. Do we ever say trade nuge.

When Eberle, Yak or Gagner go for a Dman, I think it best to trade the winger. Yes we are giving up a better player but he will not only get you more, gagner than moves to wing and can fill in at center upon injury,

This is Depth.

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#18 Taylor Gang
May 03 2014, 06:40AM
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We've seen it in the past, we'll see it again. Defensemen always fall at the top of the draft.

Between Buffalo and Florida, I can only see Florida picking a defenseman, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll pick either Bennett or Reinhart with the number one selection. Defensemen just aren't off the board as quickly as a premier scorer is. This is all my opinion of course, but remember that Jones was supposed to go #2 overall last year...

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#19 They're $hittie
May 03 2014, 06:43AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

So, are we pretty darn sure Flordia take’s Ekblad 1st overall?

With Grigorenko , Girgensons and Ennis already on board, if I’m the Sabers I take Reinhart for the pure skill.

If the Saber do take Bennett , that leaves Reinhart or Draisaitl as draft options for the Oilers, gets a little difficult but I take Reinhart.

Hoping Bennett fall's to the Oilers.

My next season player gamble's would be

Ott - Winnik - Downie

Good-bye

Joensuu - Jones - Acton - Lander -

let's Eakins throw in Gazdic when needed.

I dont think Grigorenko is what Buffalo was expecting and he has KHL written all over him.

I feel confident in them drafting a center.

Florida winning the lottery was the 2nd best outcome, because they will draft BPA, which to them is probably Reinhart or Bennett.

Florida will take BPA but I think their list is Reinhart, Ekblad, Bennet,

So Florida takes Sam R

Buffalo take Sam B

Oilers take Ekblad (please people stop spelling Eckblad)

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#20 Wintoon
May 03 2014, 06:49AM
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The Oilers need to make some hockey trades this off season. The problem with this is that as the 28th place team and having been in the basement for the last few years the entire NHL knows that the general quality of players on the roster is very sub standard. As a result the other teams want to cherry pick our top players and prospects.

Knowing this, MacT must be very careful in his attempts to improve the roster this summer. Almost any situation MacT faces means he is going to have to overpay to get what he wants. As a result,I believe it is critical for the |Oilers to retain their #3 overall pick and draft one of the top 4 prospects. It is probably the only way MacT will get full value in any deal this off season.

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#21 Will
May 03 2014, 06:54AM
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Um, can we talk for a second about that bear? Does that essentially explain all bigfoot theories?

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#22 CMG30
May 03 2014, 07:10AM
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Will wrote:

Um, can we talk for a second about that bear? Does that essentially explain all bigfoot theories?

You just blew my mind!

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#23 Thumby
May 03 2014, 08:02AM
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RexHolez wrote:

The Sharks are gonna be making moves. What do they need to get over the hump and what can they part with?

Can we open the vault and land Dan Boyle?

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#24 Soccer Steve
May 03 2014, 08:11AM
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@They're $hittie

Appreciate the reply but I stopped reading after "imagine if."

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#25 madjam
May 03 2014, 08:26AM
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We have plenty of draft choices in system already waiting to develop , but a base that simply seems to be getting worse instead of better . Until we form a better base it is unlikely our club will go anywhere upwards in next couple of seasons . MacT. has done little via trade, etc. to give us a decent base . He's weeding out , but bringing in very little to turn this club into a contender . All decent teams have a solid base behind their offensive stars -we do not as results point out. We are weak down the middle and even worse defensively . Until that changes we are going to remain at bottom of conference and league . What we have now as a base around our youth is more the problem than the answer to being more competitive .

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#26 The Real Scuba Steve
May 03 2014, 08:56AM
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Wintoon wrote:

The Oilers need to make some hockey trades this off season. The problem with this is that as the 28th place team and having been in the basement for the last few years the entire NHL knows that the general quality of players on the roster is very sub standard. As a result the other teams want to cherry pick our top players and prospects.

Knowing this, MacT must be very careful in his attempts to improve the roster this summer. Almost any situation MacT faces means he is going to have to overpay to get what he wants. As a result,I believe it is critical for the |Oilers to retain their #3 overall pick and draft one of the top 4 prospects. It is probably the only way MacT will get full value in any deal this off season.

Your wrong! Kevin Lowe has publicly said that half of the NHL teams would trade their roster for our roster.

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#27 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
May 03 2014, 09:12AM
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While Oilers fans speculate on who to draft (very sad) the Habs, ateam who quickly rebuilt is in the 2nd round of playoffs.......

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#28 The Real Scuba Steve
May 03 2014, 09:19AM
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ONTARIO OILERS FAN wrote:

While Oilers fans speculate on who to draft (very sad) the Habs, ateam who quickly rebuilt is in the 2nd round of playoffs.......

Don't forget elite players don't want to play here.

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#29 GCW GCW
May 03 2014, 09:27AM
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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.

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#30 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 03 2014, 09:30AM
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Leon Draisaitl 6.02, 204---A Tall Pine-------- Sam Bennett 6.01, 185---A Short Oak--------- Sam Reinhart 6.00, 178----A Pussy Willow

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#31 Gofucoffee
May 03 2014, 09:31AM
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That bear reminds me of Hallsy breaking down the wing!

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#32 Taylor Gang
May 03 2014, 09:33AM
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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.

And prolong the rebuild even more? I want to see a winning team before I'm 90 (I'm 19).

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#33 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 03 2014, 09:36AM
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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--------

Looks like two trees and some shrubs.

And a weed Arco...no matter how hard you try to beat him down or get rid of him, he just keeps poppin up! He's the kind of weed that could put a crack in your cement!

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#34 G-unit
May 03 2014, 09:41AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

Your wrong! Kevin Lowe has publicly said that half of the NHL teams would trade their roster for our roster.

I have not heard that statement for 2 years. I guess we got so good no one can imagine us making that trade now? Rubber Boots must go and if they put his number in the rafters I will climb up and toss it to the ice #mostoverratedoilerinhistory

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#35 The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge
May 03 2014, 10:01AM
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Yesterday I watched the pre-WC game Germany vs Switzerland and took an eye on Draisaitl playing against men: Negative: He really isn't the fastest guy out there which I don't like and he seems to slown down when he enters the offensive zone and searches the space for a pass. He also made a horrible pass right on the blade of a opponent which caused a huge chance for the Suisse. Positive: Draisaitl uses his body very effectively to protect the puck and that allows him too look for the open space to make a pass. Leon had one assist on a beautiful play with Tobias Rieder (ex Oiler prospect - had a huge game, 1 goal, 1 assist). Draisaitl made a couple of amazing passes, he seems to find the open spot most times and he was also pretty good in the faceoff. This was Draisaitl's first game with men and overall he payed a solid game. His line, with Tobias Rieder and Plachta was the best one on the ice.

PS: Kevin Fiala, the 17-year old swiss looked just amazing! One of the best players yesterday!

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#36 The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge
May 03 2014, 10:05AM
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This Yakimov guy looks like he could be a very nice option as a Center for Yakupov in the future. I'm excited of what he can bring in OKC next year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DWl3WwvU7o

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#37 Sizzay
May 03 2014, 10:10AM
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The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge wrote:

Yesterday I watched the pre-WC game Germany vs Switzerland and took an eye on Draisaitl playing against men: Negative: He really isn't the fastest guy out there which I don't like and he seems to slown down when he enters the offensive zone and searches the space for a pass. He also made a horrible pass right on the blade of a opponent which caused a huge chance for the Suisse. Positive: Draisaitl uses his body very effectively to protect the puck and that allows him too look for the open space to make a pass. Leon had one assist on a beautiful play with Tobias Rieder (ex Oiler prospect - had a huge game, 1 goal, 1 assist). Draisaitl made a couple of amazing passes, he seems to find the open spot most times and he was also pretty good in the faceoff. This was Draisaitl's first game with men and overall he payed a solid game. His line, with Tobias Rieder and Plachta was the best one on the ice.

PS: Kevin Fiala, the 17-year old swiss looked just amazing! One of the best players yesterday!

Good write up. His speed can be improved. Remember Monahan had a similar knock. Same with couturier. He slows down in the ozone because he likes to slow the game down and look for his wingers, like Thornton.

Watched him in the whl playoffs and his passes from the corner to the slot were spot on. Him and yak would have nice chemistry.

They do say his awareness is off the charts is I would expect him to adapt to making smart plays as he develops.

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#38 The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge
May 03 2014, 10:16AM
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@Sizzay

Yeah I think he would have great chemistry with Yak too.

But when it comes to the Draft I would prefer to take Bennett! But my guess is that he will be taken by Buffalo, so the Oilers have to choose between Reinhart and Draisaitl and then I don't really know who I would take, but I lean towards the German because of his size.

And I really hope Draisaitl will play at the WC so we would have the chance to take another look at how he does against NHL players.

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#39 Jackson
May 03 2014, 10:24AM
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If Florida is interested in trading their #1 because they like 4 players the same. Oilers should attempt trading their #3 plus ? for Barkov.

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#40 Ricky B
May 03 2014, 10:26AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I hear ya. I'm hoping the Oilers get Bennett in the first round, Pollock in the second and that damn bear in the fourth!!!!

Is that bear Stortini?

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#41 Sizzay
May 03 2014, 10:27AM
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The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge wrote:

Yeah I think he would have great chemistry with Yak too.

But when it comes to the Draft I would prefer to take Bennett! But my guess is that he will be taken by Buffalo, so the Oilers have to choose between Reinhart and Draisaitl and then I don't really know who I would take, but I lean towards the German because of his size.

And I really hope Draisaitl will play at the WC so we would have the chance to take another look at how he does against NHL players.

Fair enough. My preference Is leon due to size and board/puck protection skills.

I like that Bennett is complete and feisty. Ok with him. I love reinharts hockey sense but lacks flash and size. My preferences:

Leon

Bennet

Ekblad

Reinhart

As Gregor said, leon has played against sub par players up until last year when he came to the dub. Could be a lot more to his game, just late development.

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#42 etownman
May 03 2014, 10:27AM
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Citizen David wrote:

I made a point of following Pollock at every Oil King game I was at this year like I did with Lazar last year. Much like Lazar, pollock doesn't just pick up points from being lucky or from riding with great line mates. Pollock generates offence. Much like Lazar he is always engaged and won't ever be called out for dogging it. He melds a hard forechecking/back checking grinding game with playmaking and good awareness of his teamates. At the junior level at least he has a good shot capable of beating a goalie cleanly from 15 feet. Whereas Lazar's upside is basically limitless, Pollock's upside would be a two way second line center.

I think it's great the way Pollock has matured as a junior hockey player because this bodes well for the Oil Kings maintaining a strong presence in the league. I think Pollock isn't a mystery and will probably be plucked in the second round.

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#43 Oiler Al
May 03 2014, 10:54AM
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Ricky B wrote:

Is that bear Stortini?

Well we know the bear is not Gagner, because he didnt fall down or had snow on his pants.

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#44 Walter Sobchak
May 03 2014, 10:58AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

I dont think Grigorenko is what Buffalo was expecting and he has KHL written all over him.

I feel confident in them drafting a center.

Florida winning the lottery was the 2nd best outcome, because they will draft BPA, which to them is probably Reinhart or Bennett.

Florida will take BPA but I think their list is Reinhart, Ekblad, Bennet,

So Florida takes Sam R

Buffalo take Sam B

Oilers take Ekblad (please people stop spelling Eckblad)

Drafting BPA is always the good bet...

Having said that FLA is loaded at C spot and have aging D-men.

They need the D just as bad as the Oilers do.

IMO - BPA is Ekblad as per most scouting agencies.

I think the draft plays out like this.

FLA - Ekblad

BUF - Reinhart..........(Please!)

Oil - Bennett

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#45 Oiler Al
May 03 2014, 11:01AM
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If Oilers should land Ekbald, then I would open up the vault and go after Stasny! Not sure he would want to comer here, but $7.5 @ 5 years might do it.

He could beome the No.1 Ctr. and Nuge can drop back to 2 nd line, and have some development time.

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#46 flyfish1168
May 03 2014, 11:07AM
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The size of the players heart or the fight in him is more important then his physical size at times.

Andrew Shaw on the Hawks is only 5.10 and 180 lbs. What team wouldn't want this player as one of their centermen.

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#47 Joey
May 03 2014, 11:10AM
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I think the Oilers will have to look at Bennett at the combine and decide if he has the body type to put on strength and play in the NHL with his style.

It is nice he compares himself to Gilmour but the NHL has changed players are much bigger and stronger.

If however he gets the green light from the Oilers size and strength I would pick him over Ekblad.

Bennett

Ekblad

Reinhart

Draisaitl

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#48 Joey
May 03 2014, 11:12AM
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flyfish1168 wrote:

The size of the players heart or the fight in him is more important then his physical size at times.

Andrew Shaw on the Hawks is only 5.10 and 180 lbs. What team wouldn't want this player as one of their centermen.

He is a good player but he does not drive the bus, he is a complementary player. If Oilers pick Bennett they are picking him to drive the bus

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#49 Sam
May 03 2014, 11:18AM
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I like the idea of trading Gagner for Adam Larsson

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#50 onlyoil
May 03 2014, 11:26AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
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.

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

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