Spring is Busting Out All Over

Spring brings with it many wonderful colors. The shadow grey’s give way to deep, rich blue and green and the warmth of the sun invites the fairer sex to show us what we’ve been missing these long, dreary months. Whatever God you pray to, the maker of the big old sun was absolutely on our side.

The weeks are flying by now, we’re scant days away from the NHL entry draft (I can write any damn thing I want here, you’re not reading). Blah Blah blah blah blah, list of consensus top 8 below.


We’re in the "market correction" phase of this year’s draft. We’ve talked ourselves in circles (pre-draft talk looks exactly like your collie chasing its tail) and now it’s the period where we wake up, put the empties away and pour the stale beer down the drain. So, what are the market corrections this spring?

  1. Sean Couturier: After being relegated to the back half of the top 10, we hear rumblings from various credible sources that the big man from Phoenix, Arizona is likely to go in the top 5 overall. Credible sources are here and here.
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Very quickly, the lean C has established himself as the clear #1 pick. It might be Ken Hitchcock’s praise or Bob McKenzie’s prose, but either way RNH is firmly slotted as the top selection. I don’t expect things to change down the stretch.
  3. Adam Larsson: His contribution to a quality SEL team during the playoffs is testimony to Larsson’s defensive abilities. There is some question about how much offense he’ll deliver but it’s a good bet Larsson will be the second name off the board.
  4. Ryan Murphy: More and more, people are looking at his boxcars and wondering why he isn’t in the top 5. Murphy (63gp, 26-53-79) had an enormous offensive season in the OHL–on par with Ryan Ellis one year ago.
  5. Ryan Strome: Despite exceptional numbers, he remains outside the top 5 on many lists. Math gushes over his ability and he might end up being this year’s Jeff Skinner (although not a pure scorer like Skinner).
  6. Jonathan Huberdeau: A complete wild card now, he could go anywhere from 3rd overall to the tail end of the top 10. A huge playoff is helping him move up the list.
  7. Gabriel Landeskog: I expect the draft hype to hit new highs for him come combine time. Landeskog is a man, he’s well spoken and any NHL team interviewing him is likely to be very impressed by his composure under pressure.
  8. Dougie Hamilton: Another player that several publications have all over the top 8 (Redline has him at 4, Bob McKenziie at #7).

And that my friends is pretty much the universal top 8 (in no particular order). It’s a strong list, and according to several sources falls off after that and it’s pretty much a crapshoot through the end of round two. But those are the players whose names will be called draft night. Will the Oilers get RNH? Larsson? What if they could make a deal and get two of the top 8? 

Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at noon on Team 1260. Among the guests scheduled to appear:

  • James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. We’ll talk Stanley Cup playoffs, the World Hockey Championships and the nationwide opinions of Vancouver’s Canucks (it’s varied).
  • Gregg Drinnan from Taking Note will update us on WHL business and we’ll talk about the classic series involving Kootenay and Portland.
  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun will chime in on the playoffs, we’ll mull over the Oilers and the conversation will no doubt involve the people of Winnipeg.
  • Olivier Gabriel, Portland Winter Hawks winger and Columbus Blue Jacket prospect. I’ll ask him about his draft experience and how he ended up signing with the Jackets.

Your calls and emails are a big part of the show, please send them to nationradio@theteam1260.com and I’ll read them all.

    • Lowetide

      Thrashers are interesting trade partner but I don’t think it will involve the draft pick. I’m still hopeful they can get Bogosian out of Atlanta. 🙂

      As for NJD, I think it’s time for them to re-stock and they haven’t picked this high in awhile (iirc). Bet they pick Landeskog.

  • O.C.

    I don’t know what is more depressing. The fact that there is no clearcut, dominate #1 overall pick…. Or that Sean Penn and his old balls are stealing ScarJo’s prime years. At least when Van Wilder was married to her you could take pride in knowing a fellow Cdn done good! LOL!

  • Lofty

    The way I see it,

    Take RNH or Couturier with the 1st, Trade for Bogosian (Hemsky or Gagner would be gone.)

    Trade up with Columbus if one of the big 3 D are available at #8.

    Oil would not have the other first round pick.

  • O.C.

    Oilers take Hopkins and swap him to N.J. for Zajak or Elias , and their 4th overall pick . Follow it up with Musil @ 19th spot . Hopkins would be a natural fit for someone like Kovalchuk .

  • Edmonton shouldn’t trade for Columbus’ pick until it’s their turn to draft at #8.

    The Oilers would probably overpay for a player that might not be available. For NYI’s pick at #5, I’m all for it.

    To choose between Couturier,Strome,Hamilton,Huberdeau at #5 is worth trading up in advance. I don’t see any of them available at #8.

    The Islanders seem to be making bold moves (off the ice), why not inquire about the Gagner/Tavares connection and see if there’s interest?

  • Oil Fan in Ottawa

    Oilers HAVE to take Couturier, size down the middle is impossible to find through trade and free agency.

    This guys good offensively, defensively, wins draws, physical…prototypical #1C

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I think it unlikely Hemsky gets moved while rehabbing. We should be safe from a trade this draft day. I don’t think the Oilers are anywhere ready to give up on Gagner either. And I hope they’re not considering divesting themselves of both.

    According to MBS, there are three pretty sure 1st line players available: RNH, Couturier, and Larsson. Most scouts think RNH has the best potential to become elite.

    Next five look pretty much even: Huberdeau, Strome, Hamilton, Landeskog, Murphy. Murphy has the greatest risk; Landeskog the least, but maybe the poorest upside. I think Murphy is likely to drop a bit, like Fowler and Ellis. Huberdeau probably has the edge in this grouping.

    I think there’s a pretty good chance the Avs take SC with their pick. They would be terrific up the middle, Pittsburgh-like, and can still take a winger or a Dman at 11.

    Columbus is reputedly looking pretty hard for a puck-moving Dman. They can’t really afford a high-priced vet, so unless they can trade for a younger guy like Bogo or Franson, I think they take the best offensive defenceman at 8–and they should have some good options–rather than trading for a hurt Hemsky. Unless we’re trading something like Gilbert and the 18th and making our D corps even thinner. I don’t see it.

    With Hemsky hurt there isn’t a lot of trade value on the team for high first rounders.

    Maybe the Avs would be willing to switch 11 for 18+ but I doubt it. So while a trade during the draft would add some thrill and excitement, I think we pick where we sit: 1, 18, 31.

    Right now I would take RNH, Brodin and his teammate Klefblom and be very happy with the pipeline.

  • Oil Fan in Ottawa


    After reading this article:

    I think the questions about Larsson’s offensive upside lack merit. He was stuck behind two guys who were older than him and deserved the prime PP minutes. Won’t know for sure on his offensive upside until next season, but to hold his offensive numbers against him for this season is pure folly…