Looking to the future…

IIHF World Junior Championship - Canada v USA - Gold Medal Game

When your team is worst in the league, looking towards the future is sometimes the only solace you have. Earlier this week The Hockey News hit the newsstands with their always-anticipated Future Watch edition. It ranks the top 75 prospects in the NHL, and for the first time ever the Oilers had two guys in the top eleven.

The Hockey News gathers info from every NHL head scout and some other scouts and then compiles the rankings. Here are the top eleven across the NHL:

  1. Alex Pietrangelo, (4th, 2008) D-man, St. Louis Blues
  2. Jacob Markstrom (31st, 2008) Goalie, Florida Panters
  3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th, 2009) D-man, Phoenix Coyotes
  4. Cody Hodgson, (10th, 2008) Centre, Vancouver Canucks
  5. John Carlson (27th, 2008) Defence Washington Capitals
  6. Jordan Eberle (22nd, 2008) Winger, Edmonton Oilers
  7. Nikita Filatov (6th, 2008) LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Colin Wilson (7th, 2008) Centre, Nashville Predators
  9. Luca Sbisa (19th, 2008) D-man, Anaheim Ducks
  10. Brayden Schenn (5th, 2009) Centre, Los Angeles Kings
  11. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (10th, 2009) LW, Edmonton Oilers

The only other Oiler prospect in the top-75 was D-man Jeff Petry who was ranked 56th. I put winger beside Eberle’s name because he is comfortable playing either wing. Colin Wilson is ranked 8th, but is currently playing in Nashville. The surprise in the top ten has to be Ekman-Larsson. Many people were shocked when Phoenix took him 6th last year, but clearly he continues to progress. The Coyotes have lots of good young players in their organization.

The THN also ranks the top ten players in each organization and it is interesting to see that Linus Omark is ranked 9th within the Oiler organization.

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
  3. Jeff Petry
  4. Taylor Chorney
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Teemu Hartikainen
  7. Alex Plante
  8. Riley Nash
  9. Linus Omark
  10. Johan Motin

Hartikainen is a name to look for in the future. I know the Oiler scouts like his skating, grit and he has some decent finish. The 6th rounder in 2008 is currently playing for KalPa Kuopio in Finland, and he has 12 goals and 28 points in 49 games. He is 6’1” and 200 pounds and he plays with a bit of “crust”. You might see him come over here this upcoming season, but it isn’t guaranteed yet.

Omark’s ranking should calm some of those who have been calling for him to come here and be a lock in the top-six. If he expects a guarantee to play in Edmonton then I can’t see him coming over here. He does have an out-clause in his KHL contract that would allow him to come over next year, and maybe he comes, goes to camp and if he doesn’t make the team he goes back to the KHL and collect $1.2 million rather than $75,000 in the AHL.

  • Eberle Hall and Paarjavi could likely all make this team next year.Even if the team does not make the playoffs again it would still be exciting hockey to watch the youth grow and improve. Hartikainen will replace Penner within a year or two. i believe this because he just will not resign here.

    Could Omark get us a top 5 pick???? 2010 that is.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Guys like Lander or Hartikainen I can see getting a shot before someone like Omark, simply because the game they play doesn't require as much skill and they are something this team needs now.

    I've been impressed with Motin and hope he one day is a regular on this team. Making the jump from the Sel to the AHL at such a young age shows some maturity to me.

    Is Omark someone you move simply because you have so many similar players in the system?

  • Throw in Hall/Seguin and the Oil likely have 3 of the top 15 prospects. Now there's something to be positive about (fack me, tho).

    I agree on Omark, btw. I don't understand how he's been as talked about as much as he has. Perhaps I'm wrong. Without youtube, do we even know the guy?

    Eberle, Paajarvi-Svensson, Petry & Lander are guys I'd be excited about. Down in Calgary, there's… ahh… umm… well… they have 3 guys in the top 70, too. So there~

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      You answered your own question with the mention of youtude.

      Who was that guy years ago that was oiler property that flipped the puck on his stick and wrapped the puck around topself? I beat he would've been talked about just as much if we had youtube back then.

      • Bucknuck

        I think his name was Schremp and he has 25 points in 44 games. That equates to 0.57 PPG.

        The oil only have three guys better than that: Gagner, Hemsky, and Penner.

        It makes me kind of sad.

        • How many of those are on the PP though? A small undersized no defence playing PP specialist with delusions of grandeur? No thanks. Would have been nice to see if they could have picked up something for him though instead of losing him to waivers.

          • Did the NHL dis-allow PP goals this year? Do PP goals only count as half a goal?

            They probably could have got something for him if they let him play and he put up 25 points in 44 games here. Too bad that was just another black mark on Tambellini's record of asset management.

          • My point is do you really want someone who is entirely a one trick pony on the squad? When a guy only contributes on the PP, is an egomaniac and a distraction, and serves no other purpose on the squad I think we're better off without him regardless of him putting hte puck in the net on the PP.

            If he was here we'd be hearing about how Horc sucks because he can't pass the puck to Schremp.

            I agree that it would have been nice to get something for him but part of that was Mac-T's disdain for the player.

          • A one-trick pony will always be better than a no-trick pony. I think the character assassination of Schremp was pulled off miraculously by MacT. The fact that you go so far as to call the guy an "Egomaniac" and a "distraction" is proof enough.

            What is the proof that he was a distraction while here in Edmonton? How about his egomania? Is it really just because he wanted to get back into playing "Rob Schremp Hockey"? Dustin Penner all but said he did the same thing when he said he needed to get back into Driving to the net the way he did in College and early Pro, is he an egomaniac?

            Any argument that the club is better off not having anything instead of a slightly flawed asset is pure malarkey.

          • Not trying to be difficult here Arch but read my initial comment (10) and subsequent one (39). I said that it would have been nice to get something for him as opposed to losing him to waivers. I'm as critical of management here as the next guy (unless JW is the next guy) and I think that they have failed to manage the asset properly because if they did so we could have got something for him if it was done earlier in the process..

            That said, when they were putting together the line up this year there wasn't room for him and the team made its decision. I don't think there were too many people that were screaming to put Rob on the squad last fall after camp and preseason. At that point they had to decide if the collection of smurfs were going to include people that had more to bring to the table than being a PP specialist. I agreed with it then and I agree with it now. Should something have been done sooner? Sure, but a lot of that is on Mac-T.

            As far as him having issues his history is well documented from junior on up. I don't think he was ever with the big club long enough to cause a problem but if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it is probably a duck.

            http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7164/the_revealing_of_rob_schremp/

          • You can count me in Schremp's corner. I wanted him to get a real shot last year blah blah blah. It doesnt matter now anyway.

            Read the article you linked. Nothing in it supports the idea that Schremp was a poisonous player.

          • Jason Gregor

            You are in Schremp's corner because of what? His junior success? He is like many elite junior players, who don't make the jump.

            Your argument that waiving Nilsson and keeping Schremp instead to save money only makes sense money wise. That is it. And as bad as Nilsson is, I'd take him over Schremp. He skates way better, and has the ability to force D-man to respect his speed. Schremp doesn't have that, nor will he ever.

            It must be a slow day in the Nation that you guys are talking about him. And ARCH you said he was an asset? Really? The Oilers tried to trade him, but no body wanted to give up anything for him. That isn't much of an asset in my mind.

            Until Schremp does something more than seven goals in a season I think it is accurate to point out that he is nothing more than a paper asset.

          • The Oilers tried to trade him, but no body wanted to give up anything for him. That isn't much of an asset in my mind.

            The same applies to Moreau, Pisani, Horcoff, Nilsson, Strudwick, Stortini, and most of the rest of the junk on the Oilers roster.

          • What jump? He was never given a fair chance in Edmonton. He seem to e doing alright on a crappy Islanders team with limited playing time.

            What teams didn't want to give up anything for Nillson? What were the Oilers asking for?

            7 goals isn't bad. Nillson has 8, Moreau and Cogliano got 6 each. I don't know what with the negativity on Schremp.

            Paper asset is your opinion. I think he will finish with a better career numbers, then Moreau, Cogliano and Nillson.

          • Jason Gregor

            I will take the bet that Cogliano outscores him for sure. And I'd be stunned if he comes close to the length of career that Moreau has.

            I said no one wanted to take Schremp thus they waived him. And I can tell you with certainty NO TEAM wanted Nilsson this year with his salary.

            As for paper asset, considering no other team wanted to trade for him, I think it is more than just my opinion that he is a paper asset.

          • Chris.

            Paper asset is your opinion. I think he will finish with a better career numbers, then Moreau, Cogliano and Nillson.

            Paper asset in my opinion also… and in the opinion of the 29 other General Managers who wouldn't offer anything for Schremp via trade.

            Let's face it: Schremp is a very marginal NHLer on a very marginal team… The fact that you would even compare Schremp to the player Moreau was, and the player Cogliano already is, is laughable.

            Why do so many people base their player evaluations entirely on boxcar numbers?

          • If Rob Schremp finishes with more career goals than those other players you listed I will pay you $1000 of my own money.

            He's only 135 behind Moreau and he'll be lucky if he hits 60 on his career.

            On a completely unrelated note, just in case the Hall/Seguin debate wasn't muddled enough, here's even more to read!

            http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/teams/story.html?id=de92a89f-60e2-420e-b72f-f4e7799ffea4&add_feed_url=http://www.faceoff.com/columnists.atom

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            You can teach players to shoot. Cogliano-esque speed can't be taught, though. Game, set, and match to Cogliano.

            Edit: That's why Cogliano gets included in a trade for Heatley, and Schremp gets waived by (what is now) the worst team in the league.

          • So why haven't they started to teach Cogliano to shoot yet? The game the set and match is only your opinion. What good is speed if he is constantly skating around aimlessly. I'm not hating on Cogliano but I'm just stating ain't much worth in his skating.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            It's my opinion, but it's shared by people who have more pull in the NHL than I do. I edited the comment you quoted after-the-fact with an explanation.

          • Bucknuck

            Hey I wasn't saying I wanted him. We have enough smaller players. I was mainly pointing out the last Utube sensation is now an NHL regular getting more points per game than all the oilers except our top line (Penner, Gagner, Hemsky was a fun line to watch).

            It would have been sweet to actually get something for him.

            And by the way, I don't think the team could have done much worse than it has so who's to say he wouldn't have helped.

          • I love how people look at Schremp with 20/20 hindsight. Given the number of smurfs the Oil had (and has) is keeping one more of them with a limited skill set a good idea?

            ~Yeah sure we should have known that Hemsky was going to hurt himself so we could use another body for the PP~

            Give me a break.

          • ~Yeah sure we should have known that Hemsky was going to hurt himself so we could use another body for the PP~

            Thats not the point. Nilsson and Schremp are basically seen as "PP specialists" (of the 2nd unit variety). They could've just as easily cut bait with one Rob for anotherand kept Schremp instead of Nilsson. No way I would have kept both, though.

          • Look at my Schremp v. Nilsson post ^^

            No hindsight needed for that one. I suggested as much in September. And that was about the only way I would've kept Schremp around. I may have opted to keep neither, but Nilsson was done in my eyes… at least in Edmonton. And maybe thats what Schremp needed too – a change of scenery. Maybe he stays and does nothing. Who knows?

  • More than half of those guys dont play in the AHL. The Oilers really need to play up the fact that by choosing to play on the Falcons (whatever name they end up with next year) these prospects are 1 injury away (on a team that gets injured more than anyone) from playing in the NHL.