NHL DRAFT TALK WITH KYLE WOODLIEF

Jason Gregor
May 28 2014 12:26PM

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Kyle Woodlief is the chief scout and publisher of the Red Line Report. He is a former NHL scout and has been involved in the draft for years. The Red Line Report has been a very good source for the draft in the past, and I caught up with Woodlief to get his thoughts on the Memorial Cup, the Edmonton Oil Kings and the top centres in this year's draft class; Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl.

My thoughts are in italics.

Gregor: Does the Memorial Cup impact the rankings very much?

Woodlief: Slightly, not that much. Guys like Robbie Fabbri, Dysin Mayo and Aaron Irving, there were a few prospects like every year, but I don't think Fabbri moves more than a spot from where he had been on our list, Mayo may move up a couple of spots and Irving might move down a few spots.

Gregor: Looking at Mayo and Irving, who do you have ranked higher and why?

Woodlief: We have Irving higher. After the first half of the season he had, right into January, was in our first round. The typical scenario for first year players in the WHL is they take a few months to get comfortable. He was the opposite. He came in and played well offensively in the first four months, but then it seemed like the coaching staff started sheltering his offensive minutes down the stretch, and he didn't produce much offensively, where as Mayo came on down the stretch. Irving was a ways ahead of him at the top of the stretch in February and March, and Mayo did close the gap, but long-term I think Irving still has more upside to his game.

Gregor: What do you like about Irving's game more than Mayo?

Woodlief: Irving is more physically active in his own end and he's a really good two-way defender. He can be part of a shut down pairing. Mayo, at this point, is more of a puck moving, finesse defender.

***Mayo was a top-four D-man for the Oil Kings throughout the playoffs, while Irving was in the 3rd pairing and didn't play nearly as much. Steve Hamilton didn't shelter Irving offensively as much as it was a case of Mayo playing better in the second half. They are different types of players, and while Irving is heavier and more aggressive, Mayo is a good skater and he thinks the game very well. It will be interesting to see which one becomes a better NHLer. I'm not as sure as Woodlief that it will be Irving.**

Gregor: Edgars Kulda was passed over last year but is ranked this year. When you are ranking players, how much does that extra year impact them?

Woodlief: Every year it seems we have more and more second and third year draft eligible players. In this particular draft year, because it is a weak year, I'm seeing on our list about 15-20% higher second and third year eligibles than there normally would be. We rank about 350 players during the course of the season and generally speaking you have about 30-35 players who are older, but this year there is about 50 of those types of players because it is a weaker draft year. You are looking for talent anywhere you can find it and guys like Kulda pop up.

The same thing happened to Kulda last year. He had a strong playoff for Edmonton, and we put him on our rankings late. I don't think we had him on our rankings all year, and then finally in April we put him on. He had a good regular season, but he came up really big in the playoffs. I'd be very surprised if he goes undrafted this year.

***He was ranked as a 4th or 5th rounder before the Memorial Cup. He might sneak into the 3rd round, but usually there isn't much of a difference between a 3rd rounder and a 4th or 5th. A lot of it will depend on how the player matures and what opportunity he is given within his NHL organization.***

Gregor: A player could have a great month or six weeks in the playoffs. Does that impact the rankings because many people value the playoffs more than the regular season?

Woodlief: You try not to get sucked in. The bottom line is it is a long grind in an NHL season, it is 80 games plus playoffs, so you want guys who can do it consistently over the course of a long season. Players in junior who aren't getting in done in the regular season,but rev it up for a couple of weeks at playoff time...It is good, it will get them on the list, and in some cases move players value up the board, but, again, you are still looking for that player who has done it over the long haul.

TOP END CENTRES...

ReinhartBennettDraisaitl

Gregor: Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl and Nylander are the best centres in the draft in most people's rankings. Where do you rank them from first to fourth and is there a significant drop at any point?

Woodlief: The top four grouping is Bennett, Ekblad, Reinhart and Draisaitl. Those are the top four on the board and it wouldn't surprise us if they went in any order. I tend to think that the top two players off the board will be Bennett and Ekblad, in which ever order you care to mention. I think just because of the fact that Edmonton has drafted a lot of really good players, but similar style players, who are all kind of like  Reinhart in some respect, I think if Edmonton sat still at number three and were looking for a player to take they'd be a little bit better off taking a big centre who could give you some size and strength down the middle in Draisaitl.

**Interesting that he didn't mention Nylander. I've read some reports that Florida really likes him, but I'd be shocked if they took him 1st overall. Maybe they trade down knowing they could get him later, but part of me feels the Nylander talk is a bit of a smokescreen.**

Gregor: If the rankings were out of 100, how close are Bennett, Reinhart and Draisaitl?

Woodlief: There is not a big gap at all. We have Bennett at #1 at Redline Report, because we've been really impressed with his heart and desire and that's put him over the top in our mind, but there is not a lot of a drop off from him to Reinhart and Draisaitl.

Gregor: I asked about the gap because you don't take size if the smaller player is clearly better. Are you suggesting the gap between the players is so small that in this case size would be the better option for Edmonton?

Woodlief: That would be take on the situation. They could use a big, strong centre down the middle more than they can use another player similar to what they have. I honestly think Reinhart projects better on the wing in the pros. I think he is more of a goal scorer than a play maker. He does both, don't get me wrong, but I think you can put him on the wing in the NHL with a good centre who can get him the puck he will fill up the net.

***As you know I completely agree with Woodlief. The Oilers don't need more of the same. They have an abundance of small, skilled players, so if it comes down to Reinhart and Draisaitl I take Draisaitl all day. The interesting decision would be if Ekblad and Draisaitl are both available at #3. If Ekblad becomes this year's Seth Jones and drops a few spots, I'd lean towards taking him over Draisaitl, but it would still be a tough decision. You need skilled size down the middle to win, especially in the western conference, but it would be hard to pass on Ekblad.**

Gregor: Which player do you think will go higher at the draft than people expect?

Woodlief: The one guy we really like at Redline Report over the course of the second half of the year is down in Calgary, big defenceman named Travis Sanheim. In the first half of the season in October to December you wouldn't have even noticed him, but all of a sudden in January he started taking off and he has just gotten better and better.

**Sanheim is 6' 3" and 195 pounds. He has been ranked as a late first rounder thus far, but with very few elite D-men in this year's class, a team between 15-25 might grab him if they need defensive depth.**

WRAP UP

think-positive

The good news for Oilers fans is that the Oilers biggest organizational needs are available with the 3rd pick. This team needs a right shot D-man and help at centre. In 2012, I wrote that I would have taken Alex Galchenyuk, because this team needed a big centre, and two years later I feel the same way. I'd pick Draisaitl, because I don't see Ekblad dropping to #3, but if he does then the Oilers could get a franchise right-shot D-man.

The Oilers should walk out of Philadelphia with either a big, skilled centre or an elite defender.

LAST CHANCE...

For the fourth consecutive year we are doing our Ultimate Sports Fan package in support of charity. On June 7th I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour, and I've come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan.

How it works is you make a $100 donation and you get 1 entry. If you make a $200 donation you get two entries.

We only take 100 entries and we will raise $10,000 for MS.  The draw is Tuesday, June 3rd, and we only have 20 entries left.

This year's winner will get the following: The final package will be value at over $5,000.00

  1. A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
  2. A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets in the lower bowl.
  3. A signed, game used Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stick.
  4. 20 tickets to the Oil Kings opening night game and banner raising night. Also, you will get an Oil King of your choice to come to your backyard rink or minor hockey practice for an hour. ( Between November 1st and December 15th.)
  5. A pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets.
  6. Two VIP floor seats to MFC 41 on October 3rd. That includes dinner before the fights, and you will also get to watch the prelims at ringside with the MFC broadcast team.
  7. The Nation's own Jason Strudwick and one of his former NHL friends will play a game with your Men's League team next season. Struds will bring the beer, a few good stories and some shootout moves.
  8. Four infield passes to the Canadian Derby on Saturday August 16th.
  9. Pizza for a year (1 pizza a week) from Papa Johns Pizza. When you want to watch the big games Papa Johns will ensure you have great pizza.

**Edit...THANK YOU. We sold out yesterday, it took less than a week. Awesome.***

Recently by Jason Gregor:

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Robin Brownlee
May 28 2014, 12:28PM
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Draisaitl.

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#2 LOIL99
May 28 2014, 02:04PM
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I hate polls but I am really interested what you guys all think on this one...

If Bennett and Draisaitl are both there at #3 who do we take?

PROP - Bennett TRASH - Draisaitl

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#4 Will
May 28 2014, 01:03PM
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I still don't think they can go wrong.

Ekblad if he's there. Draisaitl if not, Bennet if all three are gone.

The team is getting one of a right shooting franchise D who can quaterback a powerplay and has some size, a big centre who is hard on the puck, or a skilled centre who plays with an edge.

There is literally no bad option here.

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#5 sizzay
May 28 2014, 12:35PM
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Before people hate on the Oilers taking Draisaitl over Bennet (if that's the case). Please read Ryan Kennedy's top 30 ranking done on May 8th, 2014. It is done via interviews with scouts from different NHL teams.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/ryan-kennedys-top-30-prospects-for-the-2014-draft/

I agree with Jason Gregor, take Draisaitl.

Size and skill is needed in this top 6 and it's near impossible to trade for.

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#6 A-Mc
May 28 2014, 01:03PM
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I'm going to be pissed if Draisaitl and Eckblad are gone at #3.

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#7 Sam
May 28 2014, 01:09PM
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JG,

Would you agree with this order?

I still think the order for the Oilers based on availability .

1.Ekblad

2.Bennett

3.Draisaitl

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#8 Tikkanese
May 28 2014, 01:52PM
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Sorensenator wrote:

Calgary is going to get one of the top four no matter how you splice it. Frankly I don't care, the more 18 year olds they have on their team the better...Taylor Hall will be 23.

I, possibly strangely, want the Flames to get better as well. Don't get me wrong, I hate them with all my being. I have a hard time cheering for Flames and ex-Flames even on Team Canada.

I just miss the actual Battle of Alberta. The BoA since the mid-90's has been a BoA in name only.

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#10 jonny94
May 28 2014, 12:58PM
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I'm not opposed to drafting Draisaitl in the slightest, having size is obviously very important especially with the Division that we're in. However, if Sam Bennett were available it would be extremely tough to pass up on that guy with the style of play he brings.

End of the day I think the Oilers can't make a wrong choice Ekblad, Draisaitl, Bennett are all good picks and I'd be happy to have any of them in Oilers silks.

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#12 BLAKPOO
May 28 2014, 03:09PM
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madjam wrote:

There is a strong case/argument for Draisaitl going first overall to be honest . Ekblad and Draisaitl might be first two chosen . Then who do we choose ? Maybe exposing Oilers interest in Draisaitl might come back to haunt them .

Umm.. if Ekblad and Draisaitl are both chosen, that means the consensus #1 guy, Bennett, is still available.

This, to me, seems to be more of a no-brainer decision rather than a problem.

If we had the #1 overall pick, Draisaitl wouldn't even be in the conversation. It would be a 2 horse race between Ekblad and Bennett.

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#13 Digger
May 28 2014, 01:48PM
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To me, trading the 3rd overall for H. Samuelsson would be an utterly crazy thing to do. I've watched quite a few games of him, and while I love the game he brings when he's focused and not taking too many dumb penalties and wouldn't have any problem having him as a prospect, I honestly don't see a future NHL 2nd line C when I watch him play. For me, he's going to top out as a good to very good 3rd line forward that will be a valuable player to have, but no way worth giving up a top 3 pick for.

I could see him having a Kyle Brodziak type career, but with more physical play. Once again, a nice asset to have. I'd rather keep that 3rd overall pick though.

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#14 Sorensenator
May 28 2014, 01:42PM
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Scrivy wrote:

So you'd leave Reinhart for Calgary, hey?

Not sure I would. How is Draisaitl's defensive game? That does matter too.

Calgary is going to get one of the top four no matter how you splice it. Frankly I don't care, the more 18 year olds they have on their team the better...Taylor Hall will be 23.

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#15 RexHolez
May 28 2014, 02:17PM
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I'm tired of the draft

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#16 Tom
May 28 2014, 03:17PM
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Draisaitl vs. Bennett

I think at the combine Oilers will look at Bennett's body type and strength to see if he can play with more weight and strength. I believe they did that with Taylor Hall and thought his body type could put on weight.

If Bennett does have the body type to be for example 200lbs+ I think he would be Oilers choice, if not than Draisaitl

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#17 vetinari
May 28 2014, 01:57PM
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Sam wrote:

JG,

Would you agree with this order?

I still think the order for the Oilers based on availability .

1.Ekblad

2.Bennett

3.Draisaitl

That would be my draft order too... you can't pass on a potential franchise defenceman like Ekblad and I still think that there is a good chance that Florida and Buffalo may each take a centre since scoring has been a problem for both of them.

Frankly, as long as we leave the draft with either Ekblad, Bennett or Draisatl, it will be a good day.

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#18 TigerUnderGlass
May 28 2014, 03:40PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Kings have Kopitar (224) Carter (212), Hawks have Toews (208) Handzus (215), Ducks have Getzlaf (221), Sharks have Thornton (220), Minnesota has Koivu (222), Blues have Backes (221) and Colorado has Stastny (205).

That is 7 out 8 west playoff teams, which if you add up is more than half of the West. Dallas was only team without one and they finished 8th and didn't win a round.

It is okay to accept the truth that the Oilers aren't big enough up the middle. In the West you need skilled size to compete.

So making it far only counts when it supports your view? Neither Eastern finalist has one on their top 2 lines.

Detroit competed in the west for a long time without meeting your criteria.

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#19 oilabroad
May 28 2014, 03:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Kings have Kopitar (224) Carter (212), Hawks have Toews (208) Handzus (215), Ducks have Getzlaf (221), Sharks have Thornton (220), Minnesota has Koivu (222), Blues have Backes (221) and Colorado has Stastny (205).

That is 7 out 8 west playoff teams, which if you add up is more than half of the West. Dallas was only team without one and they finished 8th and didn't win a round.

It is okay to accept the truth that the Oilers aren't big enough up the middle. In the West you need skilled size to compete.

I have to disagree with this, Edmonton needs to become more difficult to play against, not just add bigger pylons... Big soft Euro who doesn't play a 2 way game doesn't solve a lot of this teams problems

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#20 Scrivy
May 28 2014, 12:56PM
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So you'd leave Reinhart for Calgary, hey?

Not sure I would. How is Draisaitl's defensive game? That does matter too.

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#21 cp119
May 28 2014, 01:04PM
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Gregor, I think you are overlooking the deficiencies of Draisaitl and only seeing his weight. Scoutiiing reports. List him as an avg junior skater, week defensively and not physical. Size may be needed but, a better all round C is needed more than 14 lbs. Also, I do not know, maybe you do, how is the fitness testing going! I'd take a 190 lb C with room to grow than a 204 lb that is not as "in shape".

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#22 sizzay
May 28 2014, 01:10PM
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cp119 wrote:

Gregor, I think you are overlooking the deficiencies of Draisaitl and only seeing his weight. Scoutiiing reports. List him as an avg junior skater, week defensively and not physical. Size may be needed but, a better all round C is needed more than 14 lbs. Also, I do not know, maybe you do, how is the fitness testing going! I'd take a 190 lb C with room to grow than a 204 lb that is not as "in shape".

Some issues here:

1)Average skating can be improved but I'm glad you said average and not weak which people like to blow out of proportion

2)He isn't weak defensively but it could be improved. McGregor said on Gregor's show he could use improvement away from the puck but was confident it would improve since he has a high hockey IQ and awareness (from every scouting report).

3) He is 6'2 (6'1.75 to be exact) and 212 lbs (from the world championship game against USA - announcers said that weight). He is 209 everywhere else. That's 30 pounds, not 14. Big difference. He also projects to fill out at 225lbs

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#23 pkam
May 28 2014, 02:24PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Is there a picture of these 3 centres standing beside each other? I wanna see this "size" Draisitl has over the other 2

I thought you were tired of the draft.

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#24 LOIL99
May 28 2014, 02:33PM
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This quote from the article to me puts Bennett as the top C for the Oilers.

"We have Bennett at #1 at Redline Report, because we've been really impressed with his heart and desire and that's put him over the top in our mind..."

NOWHERE NEAR enough heart and desire on the Oilers right now, not even close. Oil NEED this much more than they need an extra few inches or lbs.

Draft Bennett.

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#26 LOIL99
May 28 2014, 04:06PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So making it far only counts when it supports your view? Neither Eastern finalist has one on their top 2 lines.

Detroit competed in the west for a long time without meeting your criteria.

Altho I don't necessarily agree with Gregor on this, I think his point was the Oilers have to beat the west just to make it to the playoffs. And then have to win 3 rounds against the west before they ever play the east. So you don't build your team to match up against the east.

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#27 Dman09
May 28 2014, 12:48PM
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Man would it ever be nice to somehow snag the 1st pick without giving up the 3rd overall. Free agency isn't going to help because elite players wont come here on reasonable contracts. Take Ekblad and Draisaitl.

I would totally run with D pairings of Petry-Marincin, Nurse-Ekblad, Schultz-Ference/Klefbom

Not other options seem to make much sense. If signing more Belov's and Grebekshov's is really the only options just run with the young kids. They may surprise you.

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#28 Mike Krushelnyski
May 28 2014, 01:01PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Draisaitl.

Even if Ekblad is still available?

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#29 Tikkanese
May 28 2014, 01:08PM
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I haven't really watched any of them play but from what I hear, Bennett plays big and isnt exactly small. Leon is big but doesn't play all that big. I'd lean towards Bennett but either way the Oilers will be filling a hole in the future. Big players that don't play big are more frustrating than small skilled forwards that don't backcheck.

Watch them go off the board and draft a skilled winger though...

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#30 sizzay
May 28 2014, 01:11PM
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sizzay wrote:

Some issues here:

1)Average skating can be improved but I'm glad you said average and not weak which people like to blow out of proportion

2)He isn't weak defensively but it could be improved. McGregor said on Gregor's show he could use improvement away from the puck but was confident it would improve since he has a high hockey IQ and awareness (from every scouting report).

3) He is 6'2 (6'1.75 to be exact) and 212 lbs (from the world championship game against USA - announcers said that weight). He is 209 everywhere else. That's 30 pounds, not 14. Big difference. He also projects to fill out at 225lbs

Also meant to put he doesn't run around hitting but he does play the body. His ability to shield others off the puck is quite good.. aka uses his size effectively.

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#31 Leon
May 28 2014, 01:14PM
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OHL prospects on Sam Bennett

As a draft eligible player, Bennett dominated this year's OHL coaches poll, winning the smartest player, best playmaker, and best stickhandler, while finishing 3rd in the best defensive forward. All those accolades were deserving as Bennett is one of the most complete draft prospects I've ever seen. He's incredibly shifty one on one and does a great job at using his skating ability (his agility and ability to turn is exceptional) in conjunction with his terrific puck skill, to create lanes for him to shoot. His acceleration is very deceptive and he's able to beat defenders down the wing to the net, or explode off the wall to create scoring chances. As previously mentioned, Bennett is also a fantastic playmaker as he does a great job of spotting open teammates, especially off the rush and through the cycle. If the Fronts lose possession, Bennett fights hard to get the puck back and is a very effective backchecker, as well as board player. He also excels in the physical side of the game, especially on the forecheck where he's eager to make a hit to force a turnover. To put the icing on the cake, there wasn't a more consistent player in the league this year than Bennett, who had a 25 game point streak through November-January. I really can't say a bad thing about his game. He just needs to get stronger to ply his trade at the next level and you're looking at a potential captain and offensive leader for your hockey team.

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#32 Jeffff
May 28 2014, 01:42PM
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madjam wrote:

There is a strong case/argument for Draisaitl going first overall to be honest . Ekblad and Draisaitl might be first two chosen . Then who do we choose ? Maybe exposing Oilers interest in Draisaitl might come back to haunt them .

There is a strong case/argument that madam is insane.

Draisaitl has been ranked #4 -#7 in respectable mock drafts.

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#33 Dman09
May 28 2014, 02:44PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Soooo, big guy, soso skater, does hit but uses his size well.

Who is Dustin Penner?

Fans here loved that guy, so what could go wrong?

That is exactly what I was thinking.

But if you have a line of Perron-Penner type-Yakupov that might not be a bad thing. Yak and Perron can get pretty fiesty and a calming force at center might be a good complement.

Bennet however sounds like he plays a 6'3" game even though hes not and let face it look at the impact Perron had this season. That kind of impact can't be overlooked.

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#34 Zarny
May 28 2014, 04:15PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So making it far only counts when it supports your view? Neither Eastern finalist has one on their top 2 lines.

Detroit competed in the west for a long time without meeting your criteria.

And both NYR and Mtl will likely get pulverized against LA or Chi.

It's been 5 years since Detroit really competed in the West; and when they did they had guys like Franzen doing work. Zetterberg was also a horse on the puck, Datsyuk a perennial Selke nominee and they had a 7 time Norris winner on the blueline with Lidstrom.

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#35 pkam
May 28 2014, 02:14PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

It would be tough, but I'd still lean towards Draisaitl. I love his high end skill and size. Bennett is competitve and better two-way than Draisaitl, but he has narrow shoulders so it is unlikely he will get to 200 pounds. I think in the West you need one of your top-two centres to be skilled and at least 205-210 pounds.

I believe the top 2 centers of the Boston Bruins are both under 200 lbs, and the top 2 centers of the Carolina Hurricanes are both over 200 lbs.

I am fine if Bennett can turn into a Patrice Bergeron style player even if he is less than 200 lb.

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#36 sizzay
May 28 2014, 02:58PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Soooo, big guy, soso skater, does hit but uses his size well.

Who is Dustin Penner?

Fans here loved that guy, so what could go wrong?

MacTavish spoke highly of Draisaitl

MacTavish didn't like Penner as a player

If MacT drafts Draisaitl, don't you think there is more differences than similarities?

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#37 nunyour
May 28 2014, 12:53PM
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If Draisaiti and Ekblad are gone I would be looking to trade the pick,let the other teams know the best offer for a centre or d-man can have the pick.

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#38 Ed in Edmonton
May 28 2014, 12:52PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Man would it ever be nice to somehow snag the 1st pick without giving up the 3rd overall. Free agency isn't going to help because elite players wont come here on reasonable contracts. Take Ekblad and Draisaitl.

I would totally run with D pairings of Petry-Marincin, Nurse-Ekblad, Schultz-Ference/Klefbom

Not other options seem to make much sense. If signing more Belov's and Grebekshov's is really the only options just run with the young kids. They may surprise you.

Only if the objective is to go all in for McDavid.

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#39 Thumby
May 28 2014, 01:57PM
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All things being equal or close, take the Canadian player every time...Bennett.

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#40 Frank
May 28 2014, 03:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Kings have Kopitar (224) Carter (212), Hawks have Toews (208) Handzus (215), Ducks have Getzlaf (221), Sharks have Thornton (220), Minnesota has Koivu (222), Blues have Backes (221) and Colorado has Stastny (205).

That is 7 out 8 west playoff teams, which if you add up is more than half of the West. Dallas was only team without one and they finished 8th and didn't win a round.

It is okay to accept the truth that the Oilers aren't big enough up the middle. In the West you need skilled size to compete.

You also need 2 -way players. Oilers have none in the top 6 yet

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#41 Sorensenator
May 28 2014, 02:30PM
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pkam wrote:

I believe the top 2 centers of the Boston Bruins are both under 200 lbs, and the top 2 centers of the Carolina Hurricanes are both over 200 lbs.

I am fine if Bennett can turn into a Patrice Bergeron style player even if he is less than 200 lb.

I think your missing the point, because all the other Oiler forwards are under 200 pounds, except Hall..barely.

Boston has big boys on the wings. I guarantee you that if Boston had wingers in similar stature to their top two centres, they would not be nearly as effective.

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#42 TigerUnderGlass
May 28 2014, 02:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How many centres are deemed physical?

Does Crosby, Kopitar, Toews or others run around and hit guys? Draisiatl is very strong on the puck. I don't understand why anyone thinks centres need to be physical.

Every player has some deficiencies. You seem to only want to focus on his. Now Draisaitl isn't in shape? If you don't like a player, fine, but don't make up stuff.

Agreed. Running around hitting guys is the last thing I care about in my centers.

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#43 backup bob
May 28 2014, 12:44PM
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Go big!

Draft players that are different from what you have.

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#44 pkam
May 28 2014, 02:00PM
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John wrote:

If Phoenix is willing to trade H. Samuelson for the Oilers 1st round pick this year do you make that trade? I'd be tempted. Gives them size down the middle and a known player from the Oil Kings org. Could potentially speed up the building as well with him starting the year in OKC and availability to go up and down right away. If Ekblad still there at 3 maybe keep the pick.

You don't trade a potential top 2 center or top 2 defense for a potential bottom 2 center.

Even Phoenix package their 13th overall with Samuelson, I still wouldn't make that trade.

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#45 Craig1981
May 28 2014, 02:06PM
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I actually like Bennett and I think the fans would too. Oilers fans love a player with heart and Smyth turned out for us

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#46 esa tikkanen
May 28 2014, 02:11PM
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if anybody cares, stauffer's show had Draisaitl's coach Corey Clouston on a few weeks ago and he said he projects Draisaitl to be 220-225 when he is fully grown as he has thick legs and broad shoulders.

I suspect Bennett will be more like RNH, skinny and topping out around 195-200 even if he is only an inch shorter than Draisaitl he is nowhere as big and heavy.

Also Draisaitl has only played in Canada with Canadian coaching for two years. One would think there is a more upside from that perspective too.

It would be nice if he had Gilmour's mean streak and skating and defensive ability like Bennett has but I agree with Gregor I go for the weight and find somebody tenacious to play with him like Perron or a UFA they can find.

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#47 TigerUnderGlass
May 28 2014, 03:08PM
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sizzay wrote:

MacTavish spoke highly of Draisaitl

MacTavish didn't like Penner as a player

If MacT drafts Draisaitl, don't you think there is more differences than similarities?

Very much not the point of my comment,but since you brought it up, no I don't.

Don't forget that MacTavish has admitted to making mistakes using Penner and that Penner was a good player.

Either way, my comment was more about the Oilers fan base than either player. Edmonton fans seem to have issues with bigger players that don't hit much because the don't appear to "have as much try" as little guys with their legs pumping hard.

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#48 TigerUnderGlass
May 28 2014, 04:27PM
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LOIL99 wrote:

Altho I don't necessarily agree with Gregor on this, I think his point was the Oilers have to beat the west just to make it to the playoffs. And then have to win 3 rounds against the west before they ever play the east. So you don't build your team to match up against the east.

When in Rome huh? You don't build teams to match up with certain styles, you build teams to be the best hockey team you can build. Gregor has a size fixation. If it was the other way around he'd be praising the virtue of Eastern conference teams that really know how to build a roster.

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#49 Lofty
May 28 2014, 04:36PM
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Dman09 wrote:

That is exactly what I was thinking.

But if you have a line of Perron-Penner type-Yakupov that might not be a bad thing. Yak and Perron can get pretty fiesty and a calming force at center might be a good complement.

Bennet however sounds like he plays a 6'3" game even though hes not and let face it look at the impact Perron had this season. That kind of impact can't be overlooked.

Fair point but I would love to see a good pissed off 2nd line. Bennett would be sexy in between Perron and Yak. Looks doubtful but it could happen.

Yaks best game of the season came when he played chippy.

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#50 Jeremy
May 28 2014, 06:07PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How many centres are deemed physical?

Does Crosby, Kopitar, Toews or others run around and hit guys? Draisiatl is very strong on the puck. I don't understand why anyone thinks centres need to be physical.

Every player has some deficiencies. You seem to only want to focus on his. Now Draisaitl isn't in shape? If you don't like a player, fine, but don't make up stuff.

All those centres you mention are great w/o the puck, Toews is very physical, the others go into corners and come out with the puck .

At the moment Bennett is much more aggressive w/o the puck, Draisiatl protects the puck well. Oilers have no players like this. Either one will be a good choice.

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