PF 2011

The day Boston drafted Milan Lucic, it was not obvious to all the Bruins had selected a future impact forward. He had size–6.02, 204 according to Central Scouting–but he wasn’t at the top of the scoring charts (9 goals all season) and his PIMS (149) suggested long stretches in the sin bin for feeling shame. The Edmonton Oilers need a "Milan Lucic" and right soon–where is he? 

At this point in time the Edmonton Oilers sadly lack big men with a wide range of skills. Steve MacIntyre is one of the best enforcers in the NHL currently, JF Jacques can skate extremely well for a big man but in both cases these men are mostly "stick optional" types. Jacques fit the PF bill quite well coming out of junior but lost an enormous portion of his fine motor skills when his back injuries began to take their toll.

So, along with grabbing the right guy at #1 overall and not blowing the LAK pick later in the first round when he takes a defenseman, Stu MacGregor and the scouting staff need to find a Lucic among the youngsters available this summer.

ANYONE ON THE HORIZON?

The Oilers current group of roster players doesn’t boast anyone who fits the bill (I believe Taylor Hall will be able to take care of himself, but no one in their right mind wants #4 dictating the physical tone of an NHL game), but there are some bubbling under candidates:

  • Tyler Pitlick turns 20 in November and is 6.02, 188. However, he had only one fighting major with Medicine Hat this season and 31 PIMS overall. His goal/pim numbers (27/31) don’t really have that Lucic feel.
  • Drew Czerwonka turns 19 in July and is 6.02 197. He would be my choice for strongest PF candidate of the bubbling under group as he clearly is a game rooster (6 fights in the WHL) and his goal/pim ratio (14/78) more closely resembles the player we’re looking for at this spot. Czerwonka has played some with skilled men on the Kootenay Ice roster and I think he’s a player of great interest moving forward.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN THE DRAFT POOL?

Anyone hoping Travis Ewanyk would slip through the cracks unnoticed is sol this morning as his performance at the U18’s turned some heads and got people talking about his range of skills. Jim Matheson talks about Ewanyk in his Sunday morning column here and will no doubt be reading about him more this spring. The Pipeline guys have Ewanyk blogging for them here. I count 10 fighting majors on his resume this past season.

Austen Brassard of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls is also getting some notice. He’s 6.02, 191 had 5 majors in the OHL and has good footspeed for this player type. There are some questions about his hockey sense but he’s definitely a player to follow in this category.

Stefan Noesen is from Plano, Texas and is 6.01, 195. Although he didn’t fight that much, his reputation is as a hard working, physical forward who won’t back away from the rough stuff. He scored 34 goals for Plymouth (OHL) this season so there’s a lot of skill with this player.

ANY DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH?

By the time we start talking about a player as a potential draft pick, one imagines NHL teams have a bunch of foolscap on said prospect. I think Medicine Hat winger Kale Kessy might be just what the doctor ordered for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s 6.03, 185 and scored 65gp, 10-14-24 129pims for the Tigers this season. 9 majors. There are several youtube highlights including this one.

  • CurtisS

    David Clarkson off the Devils should be our power forward target this summer.

    He is making too much money (2.8 cap hit) for New Jersey and he has scored 20 goals in the past and is an absolute beast. He hits, fights, scores, blocks shots, and did I mention he fights. He could play 12 minutes a night and do the same job as macintyre’s 3 minutes a night.

    I don’t know what it would cost but one has to think that the devils are still in cap trouble and do not have a tonne of draft picks over the next few years due to trades and the kovalchuk contract.

    If he is available you make that trade.

  • Horcsky

    Landeskog? An opposing GM on one of the many Team 1260 shows said that he runs around in games and often times no one is willing to fight him cuz he can chuck the knuckles too.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    The world juniors had a lot of these
    Sean couturier-probably more penner like but he could become a dominant force
    Zach kassian-possible to aquire skilled and big
    Marcus foligno-heard his name all tournement. Big hits combined with a scoring touch. I would target this player he’s the next lucic. We must beg buffalo for him. How bout a third and brule
    Casey cisikas-finished his checks and scored but not many ‘wow that was a big hit” moments. Probably will just end up a common third line player.
    Marcus johansen- next big skilled center but we cant get him

  • CurtisS

    Nevermind, Cogs and a third rounder would never do it..Lets go with Gagner for Kassian straight up…I would even give Gags and Cogs for Kassian plus a 3rd rounder..

  • Lowetide

    I think the next coming of Milan Lucic will be Zach Kassian, too bad hes already a member of the Sabres, maybe somehow the Oil can trade for him? How about Cogliano and a 3rd round pick?

      • Spartacus

        Yes- the Sabres have something going on for sure when it comes to later round nice pick-ups. How about Marcus Foligno, this kid id 6′-3″ 216lbs already. This kid plays with grit and fire and wouldn’t he look good in an Oil jersey.
        To bad we don’t have a GM that would target some of these kids and start filling some holes on this team.
        Dare to dream I guess. As long as ST and KL are running this team we will be for ever chasing our tails, talking about how good our future looks and all our great prospects on the farm. OKC, by the way is done. Beat by the Habs farm team…..Did someone say the future looks good ??? Folks- if those words are coming from ST and KL, please proceed with caution. The only thing we have going for us is Stu. We need someone to put together the pieces. Make the right tweeks, fill the obvious holes. With ST and KL running this team we are another NYL, year after year drafing in the top five and nothing to show for- only false hope. This false hope is starting to run thin !

        • Clay

          Relax its been two years at number 1 if it happens again next year then you can complain, OKC went from being the worst team in the AHL last year to making playoffs this year while getting their team torn apart. Tambo has spent his time cleaning up Lowes mess his only bad move has been the Bulin signing and this year I honestly believe they just wanted to see what they had, if he does nothing over the offseason and we suck again next year then I will have a complaint against him but otherwise its been more so a cleanup of the roster. However the bulin signing was terrible and we are still stuck with Horcoffs contract (love what he brings to the Oilers hate the cap hit) but I think we will be sitting good he built up OKC and hopefully does that same with the Oil.

    • Lowetide

      I would have Couturier at the top of my list but I do think he’s identified the first 8 names off the board. It also points out why a team like Ottawa might want to trade up. If they’re not after a defender (Sens have some nice young blue) then those 8 names become 6.

      If they have Landeskog as their target (which would be my guess) they can’t know with any confidence that he’ll be available at any number (seriously, he could go 1-6).

      Crazy draft.

    • Lowetide

      He certainly has size and grit, but I don’t think he’s a fighter and doubt he’ll be a major deterrent to those agitators who’ll run around making filthy plays on the Oilers skill group.

      Hartikainen does have some PF offensive skills, though. That move to the net for one of his NHL goals was incredible.