Oilers Future On Display?

As the reality of another summer spent without addressing center ice adequately sinks in, I thought it might be a good time to introduce you to a possible future.

Sean Couturier is 17-years old, born in Phoenix and the next Hockey Jesus. LAST SEASON–16 years old at the beginnng of the year–the young man (man?) ripped up the QMJHL to the tune of 68gp, 41-55-96. At that age, it is a stunning total. Other impressive numbers? He’s 6.03! 193! Won the Beliveau trophy (leading scorer!). Plus he was doing it while playing the other team’s best! Already! Has his own tsn player page!

Couturier told tsn: "I had a great offseason last year. I got a lot of experience and I matured from that. And going to the Under 18s (last year) gave me a huge boost of confidence and I carried that for the rest of the season."

Couturier is currently turning heads at the Canadian World Junior summer camp (which goes through Saturday night so watch tsn for updates) and there’s a very strong chance we’ll see him at the Christmas tournament.

He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Sidd Finch since, well, Sidd Finch. So the next time some other NHL team addresses need and gives their roster balance, remember Sean Couturier. He’d be a nice fit to the current Oilers department of youth.

  • Cheesenaka

    Am I the only one who thinks that our center position isn’t as bleak as everyone makes it out to be? Maybe management HAS addressed our center position, albeit with a new young center.

    I see our centers being:

    Gagner
    Hall
    Horcoff
    Fraser

    Subs/Options for Center in case of injuries, etc:

    Brule
    Cogliano

    From the Oil Change video, I got the impression that Oilers management was comfortable with the idea of Hall playing center. Hall says that he is comfortable playing center. I realize this is his first year and we probably don’t want to put him against the other team’s top opposition, but going up against another team’s 2nd, or 3rd line seems a bit more reasonable.

    At the very least I think its something that we should consider/try.

    Hall and Gagner could be the #1 and #2 centers that we’ve been looking for.

    Could this be why management has not brought in the so called 3rd line center that “we need”?

    Have I maybe missed an announcement that Hall WILL be playing wing for sure come training camp?

  • Ducey

    Calgary will do fine. They have a great goalie, very good D and should score just enough. They are a playoff team. They just won’t do anything once they get there – again.

    • Jerk Store

      Sutter’s Checklist for a Successful Season

      1) Totally muck up Higgins / Kotalik acquisition. Check

      2) Make team’s 1st selection in 3rd round. (Note to self: check out how Chris Chucko is making out). Check

      3) Bring back Finnish Center who did for locker room morale in 1st tour of duty what Michael Jackson did for babysitting. (see #s 1 and 2) Checkerooni

      4) Make players wear worst jersey since Roger Nielsen first waved a white towel. Wait a minute that white looked pretty sharp, better see if hockey pants come in that color. Check

      5) Bring in Mike Keenan as head coach. Oops how did this one get back in here. Damn cut and paste!

      6) Make Oilers fans feel infinitely better about cheering for a 30th place team. Done and done

    • Lofty

      I have to disagree. They sure didn’t score many goals last season. They do have a good back end but they just don’t get enough support up front. I don’t think O.J is worth a damn unless he’s playing in the South east division.

      If ‘fine’ is around 7th in the west then you may be right, but I think a fair projection would be 7th-10th in the west. As an Oiler fan its not a comfortable position.

    • ubermiguel

      You gotta love the annual Calgary playoff melt-down.

      If they stay healthy you might be right. But Sutter’s decimated their depth so badly they’re a couple of injuries away from total failure. Waitaminute, did I just describe the Oilers in recent years?

  • If you’re looking for the center in the ’11 draft, it’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Averaged almost a point per game in his first WHL season (Red Deer Rebels), 6’0, reports I’ve read say good speed. He’s also four months younger than Couturier.

    For the record, hockeyDB lists Couturier as LW.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    so, we trade one of penner/hemsky at the deadline for a 1st rounder + …and then we convert that first rounder, with ours + gags, for courtier?

    i just don’t think the likelihood of us getting 1st pick is that good, something like 1/30 🙂

  • I say scorch the earth like a forest fire, it’s the best way to open the cones up. Teams always hold on top draft picks for dear life leading up to the draft. I say we pick our dog and trade Hemmer by Christmas to Boston for TO’s pick. That way the team we are helping out in the trade isn’t impacted to the point our draft pick raises. That way we have 2 top 5 picks next year, two shots at the winning ball being taken and who the hell knows. Larsson and newest Hockey Jesus. Or Hopkins and Larsson. HJ himself and Musil. Plus our crop. F me is all i have to say. That and if your planing on that route, do it prior to Xmas and NOT the week of the draft. Our RW looks strong in the future MP, Eberle, LW Hall, Penner Center Gagner. Trade Hemmer.

  • What do you think the top 6 projected lottery teams for next year will be? FLA and the NYI will be horrible, but who else: T.O., Minn, Edm, CBJ – or will we have a surprise tankapalooza?

    • Ducey

      I think it will be Edmonton, NYI, FLA, CBJ, and Atlanta in the lottery. CBJ and FLA are the main challengers to Edmonton for number 1.

      Toronto will improve. Burke will look like more of an ass for giving up two lottery picks. He will do anything to avoid that.

      Dallas, Minni and the Ducks have good chances to suck too.

      • ubermiguel

        I was thinking about them too. On a quick look I think Kipper has seen more rubber than any other goalie over the last 5 years. He’s 33 and sooner or later he’s going to wear out – maybe this year. I think Iggy can keep them out of the bottom, but if he or Kipper get hurt… I don’t see them making the playoffs no matter what, but a couple key injuries and they might be looking at at 62 point season. I just hope they stay healthy enough to suffer through a horrible season without getting a good draft pick.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i’d be happy to just get a top 5 pick. with Center Couturier, d-man Larsson, F Nugent-Hopkins, d-man David Musil and F Seth Ambroz in the early top 5, things look promising, even if we don’t get #1 again. keep an eye on Michael St. Croix of the Oil Kings. could be a top 10 pick by years end.

    • Reggie

      Not sure St. Croix is a top ten guy. They had someone on Gregor’s show this week reviewing the results of the under-18 camp and St. Croix did not show well.

      Didn’t score much and they said he was undersized and needs to put on some weight. He did not make the under-18 team. 4 players from the WHL made the team – including defenceman Myles Bell (REG), Ryan Murray (EVT) and Duncan Siemens (SAS), along with the 2009-10 WHL Rookie of the Year and Red Deer Rebels’ sniper Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

      He may have the skills, but right now he’s not even on the under-18 team for Canada. Maybe a first round pick target, but I think top ten draft pick is a stretch right now.

      That said, it is a long way from next June, so he has the motivation and time to improve his standing.

  • Sidd Finch? Now there’s a name from the past. I remember reading that April 1 issue of SI when it appeared. I was great, and worth a read for all you young guys. How fast was his fastball? Lowetide, thanks for conjuring up this memory.

  • so what….. the “suck for sean” campaign? Oiler brass is too dumb to draft guys who have names that are difficult to pronounce, or spell, so this Roy guy seems a shoo in, thus leaving sean (who may be a center with more upside and fills an obvious vacancy up the middle) to be passed over in favor of the safe choice whose name they can spell. or not.

  • Lowetide

    I thought he was a center too, based on what is out there. His Desjardins equivalencies as a 16 year old: 82gp, 14-18-32. At 16.

    This next season will be key, to see if he can dominate in a Lafleur-type fashion.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    TSN just called him a center and his coach in the Q praised his well rounded game… he would look good in copper and blue.

    *wipes drool from mouth and then realizes next year may be another long season

  • Jason Gregor

    The only way the Oilers get a shot at this kid is if we deal Penner and Hemsky to contenders this season for some top, young prospects and draft picks.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i thought he was a center as well. maybe they are trying him at wing? at any rate, i would pick him over Adam Larsson if i were picking 1st overall. what a physical specimen and talent!

  • VMR

    On the player page they have him listed as a center but in the article they call him a left winger anyone know exactly what position he does play? Or is it a situation like Hall where he’s played both?