Did the Edmonton Oilers get enough from the Los Angeles Kings for Dustin Penner in the form of former first-rounder Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional draft choice?
I’m not sure — at least not nearly as sure as some people seem to be based on what’s been written and said since GM Steve Tambellini did the deal at the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 28. They, clearly, know something I don’t.
It made sense to me to ask Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor about that bit of business. I’ve always thought it better to get the low-down from the horse’s mouth — in this case, a person who actually assesses hockey talent for a living — rather than rely on the other end of the animal. You know what they say about *ssholes and opinions — everybody has one.
With MacGregor in the process of grabbing a shower and a shave before heading out the door for a drive to Belleville, the 10 minutes we spent talking hardly represents a comprehensive interview, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway.
WHAT ABOUT TEUBERT?
People have opined whether Teubert, a defenseman drafted by the Kings from the Regina Pats 13th overall in 2008, represents enough of a return as the live body coming back in the trade, given that a prospect like Russian Vyachislav Voynov has turned heads on the Kings’ AHL farm in Manchester this season.
Morey Gare and Edmonton’s pro scouting staff have been Tambellini’s sets of eyes when it comes to Teubert since he turned pro. MacGregor’s take is based on what he saw of Teubert with Regina.
"I know our pro guys where pleased to get him," MacGregor said. "His history in junior is that he’s a hard-nosed guy who plays hard. A good skater. He shoots the puck well.
"The pro guys are pleased where his game has advanced from what they saw at the beginning."
THE COACH SAYS
We got more insight on Teubert today from Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson, who did an interview with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Lunch. Teubert has played three games with OKC since the trade.
"He plays with an edge out there," Nelson said. "It was known from his first shift that he wasn’t willing to take crap from anybody.
"He was sticking up for his teammates. He hasn’t fought or anything like that, but he does play a physical brand of hockey. He’s got a cannon for a shot. He moves pretty good for a big, young guy. He’s pretty mobile."
Then, Nelson offered this bit of glowing praise: "In Teubert, you’ve got kind of a, I don’t know, a Scott Stevens-type defenseman," he said.
"He has skill to him, but, also, he has that jam. He plays very tough in the corners, very tough in front of the net. When he finishes guys, he wants to punish them. That’s pretty impressive for a young guy like himself."
WHAT ABOUT THE PICK?
We won’t know how the first-round pick in 2011 shapes up until we see know where the Kings finish the regular season and what, if anything, they do in the playoffs.
The pick could wind up falling from the mid-teens to 30th overall, if the Kings win the Stanley Cup. I asked MacGregor about picking in that range, given the 2011 crop of talent.
"I think we’ll get a good player," MacGregor said. "I guess you can always ask, did we get enough for whoever? I think they did pretty well.
"I know Penner is basically a 30-goal scorer on an ongoing basis. You either love him or you hate him kind of guy, I guess from what the media writes and everything else.
"I like Dustin. I thought his game came around the last couple of years. I thought he was an effective player for us. With any trade, when you trade a player for futures, there’s always going to be a question, right?
"Unless you get the first pick overall, and you say, "Oh boy, we’re going to get a really good player,’ unless you really screw it up, but I feel we’re going to get a good player. That pick could be as high as 13 and as low as 30, I guess, if they won the Cup.
"Obviously, as you move further down the list your chances of getting a good player aren’t as good, but I think we’ll do fine and get a good player even if they win the Cup. There’s enough depth in the draft, enough good players, that I think we’ll be quite happy with what we’ll get."
SAW HIM GOOD
MacGregor just got back from a week in Sweden, where he watched defenseman Adam Larsson, a sure lottery pick and possible first-overall choice, play two games with Skelleftea in the SEL.
"I was very pleased," MacGregor said. "He’s a good player. A very good player. "He is what he is. He’s a very solid first-pass guy. He moves the puck well. He’s very intelligent. He see the ice. He’s a solid defender. He’s got good size. He’s a very good two-way guy with something on the offensive side."
MacGregor has seen Larsson before. Likewise, anybody else rated near the top-five — Sean Couturier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the like. Larsson, a six-foot-three, 220-pounder who has 1-8-9 and 41 PIM in 37 games in his third season with Skelleftea, didn’t disappoint.
"He’s a guy you have to consider that early in the draft," MacGregor said. "I don’t know where we’ll pick, anywhere from one to three, I’d think, and he’ll be a guy in that area for sure. He just reaffirmed that he’s one of the top players in the draft.
"There’s a long way to go in the process. I haven’t really got to the point where I’m sure on anybody, but I’m certainly not disappointed in any of them."
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.