THREE IN FIFTY IS GOOD

 

TSN released their Top-50 NHL player rankings on Monday and Oiler fans should be pretty excited, if you believe these rankings are accurate.

For the 3rd straight season Sidney Crosby topped the rankings, despite playing 22 games last year, mainly due to his ridiculous 1.68 points-per-game ratio during those 22 games.  His teammate, Evgeni Malkin came in 2nd, but the expectations of Oilers’ fans for the coming season might be even higher after seeing three Oilers crack the top-50.

Jordan Eberle came in at 25; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is 48th and Taylor Hall sits 50th. 

The rankings are here, but here is a recap from most to least.

FIVE:
LA Kings: Kopitar (10th), Quick (16th), Doughty (17th), Brown (43rd) and M.Richards (44th).

FOUR:

Pittsburgh: Crosby (1st), Malkin (2nd), Letang (29th), Neal (36th).
Chicago: Toews (6th), Hossa (32nd), Kane (38th) and Keith (49th).
NYR: Lundqvist (15th), Nash (24th), B. Richards (42nd) and Gaborik (45th).

THREE:
Boston: Chara (12th), Seguin (31st), Bergeron (35th).
Edmonton: Eberle (25th), RNH (48th) and Hall (50th)

TWO:
Tampa Bay: Stamkos (4th), St. Louis (30th)
Detroit: Datsyuk (5th), Zetterberg (22nd)
Nashville: Weber (7th), Rinne (27th)
Vancouver: D. Sedin (8th), H. Sedin (9th)
Ottawa: Karlsson (11th), Spezza (23rd)
Minnesota: Parise (13th) Suter (26th) 
Washington: Ovechkin (14th), Backstrom (33rd)
Anaheim: Perry (19th), Getzlaf (34th)
Carolina: E. Staal (21st) and J. Staal (46th)
San Jose: Thornton (40th), Couture (41st)

ONE:
Philadelphia: Giroux (3rd)
New Jersey: Kovalchuk (18th)
NYI: Tavares (20th)
St. Louis: Pietrangelo (28th)
Calgary: Iginla (37th)
Dallas: Jamie Benn (39th)
Toronto: Kessel (47th)

NONE:
Buffalo
Colorado
Columbus
Florida
Montreal
Phoenix
Winnipeg

WHO GOT OVERLOOKED

When a ranking comes out, there is always a great debate over who got overlooked. Here are some guys I felt were right on the cusp or could have been included in the list.

Bobby Ryan: Only seven players have scored at least 30 goals in the last four seasons, and Ryan is one of them. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Nash, Iginla and Kessel did it and they are on the list. Ryan has scored 30 or more goals in his first four seasons; he’s one of the most consistent goals scorers in the game.

Patrick Marleau: He is the 7th guy with four consecutive 30+ goal seasons. I know many rip him about his playoff performances, but he has 80 points in his last 107 playoff games. He’s far from awful.

Teemu Selanne: He has averaged 0.91 points per game over the past four seasons while he was 38-41 years of age. He is an incredible player, and one of the best people in hockey. Until he retires he is in my top-50.

Patrick Sharp: Good hands, excellent two-way player and I’d take his overall game ahead of Marian Hossa. However, he doesn’t have the explosiveness of Hossa.

Chris Pronger: If he is healthy he is on that list. He’s still one of the best D-men in the game, whether you like him or not.

Niklas Kronwall: He moves the puck very well, isn’t afraid to step up and deliver a big hit and he’s averaged 40 points over his last four full seasons.

WHO WILL CRACK LIST SOON

The league is full of many young great players and I’d expect a few of these guys to crack the list next year.

Gabriel Landeskog: He’s a rugged winger who is Incredibly mature, has good hands and has a solid overall game. Could score 20 in short season.

Evander Kane: Many question his maturity off the ice, but he’s dynamic on it and if he continues to progress like he has the past two seasons he could be ranked in the 40-50 range next year.

Kevin Shattenkirk: Young, skilled D-man who likely ends being the centre piece of the Erik Johnson trade. He’s put up 43 points in each of his first two seasons, and he and Pietrangelo could be the next Suter/Weber combo in St. Louis.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: He is one of the most underrated players in the game. He doesn’t get a lot of coverage playing in Phoenix, but after playing 25:46 a night during the Coyotes run to the conference finals last year, he proved he can excel when it matters most. He’ll be in the top-50 next year.

Who would be on your "up-and-comer" or "overlooked" list?

WRAP UP

Having three players in the top-50 won’t guarantee the Oilers a playoff berth, but it illustrates that the Oilers are heading in the right direction.

Phoenix was the only team to make the playoffs without having at least one player on the list, but last year Ray Whitney had 77 points for them, Mike Smith had a break out season and Ekman-Larsson emerged on the blueline. They were some of the best players in the league despite not being ranked.

You need one great player, and usually two or three, to win the Cup, and the Oilers have some of the best young talent in the game. If they can get some solid performances from Devan Dubnyk, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff the Oilers should be right in the middle of a run to the playoffs in early April. 

PARTING SHOTS

  • Today is the final open practice for the Oilers. It starts at 11 a.m. and they will have an extended scrimmage today according to Ralph Krueger.
     
  • Take a moment and send me an email to gregor@theteam1260.com and nominate a coach for our Elite Sportswear Coach of the week. It doesn’t matter what sport they coach, team or individual, I just want to hear what makes them a great volunteer coach.They will be interviewed on the show and get lots of great swag from Elite and you will feel great for recognizing their efforts.
        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          hahaha… so you are Jefff… otherwise, how could you speak for him?

          at any rate… was Fleury a top 10 G? was Osgood?

          considering RNH was 28th in scoring last year for Centres in only 62 games of his rookie season… yea… I’d say he’ll get there.

          • DSF

            No.

            You have to remember that both Pittsburgh and Detroit have TWO top 10 centres.

            Osgood had a .930 SV% in their last cup winning playoff run. That’s elite.

            Fleury was .908 in the Penguins last cup win but having two of the top scorers in the league made up for that.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            exactly… any goalie can get hot in a short streak. Osgood proved that. So did Roloson for that matter…

            or… you can win with just better than or worse than average goaltending.

            point being that since so many different kinds of teams have won in so many different ways that these kinds of lists (you need a top 50 C, D and G) are only so helpful

            no team is going to be air-tight perfect.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            other than Carolina…

            1) Wings 08. Osgood, an average to better than average .914 goalie, gets hot goes .930

            2) Penguins 09. Fleury puts them predictably in jeopardy .908

            3) Blackhawks 10. Niemi predictably limps to the finish line .910

            there… 3

          • DSF

            1) 2 top 10 centres and the best defenseman in the world. Osgood hot.

            2) The two best centres in the world. Malkin 36P in 24GP. Crosby 31P in 24GP.

            3) Top 10 centre, TWO top 10 defensemen

            I guess i can agree with you that you might win a cup if you have either two top ten centres and/or two top ten defensemen and have just above average goaltending but I don’t think you can win a cup with none of the above.

      • DSF

        These are not just top 50 centers, these are all potential Selke winners.

        RNH could become a#1 center but you will still need a two center.

        O”Reillly may be that center.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          which list… tsns?

          too many lists… gets confusing.

          at any rate, I’d rather take Couture, since you brought him up.. but not by much (right now… maybe by more later). I’d rather have either him or gags over O’Reilly.

          • Oilertown

            Yeah, and would rather have Toews. It comes down to who is potentially available.

            I would like OEL, Pietrangelo or Hedman. But a guy like Adam Larsson may be available. O’Reilly may be available .

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            but that was your point. Couture WAS available and we took Gagner remember…

            at any rate, everyone is available it’s just a matter of price and ease of access.

            as far as O’Reilly is concerned.. I already said, I’d rather keep Gagner.

            If I’m looking for another C, I’m not looking at O’Reilly even if he is relatively speaking more available.

  • O.C.

    The list does have some quirks – like Toews as the 6th best in the NHL? Really? And Kane 38th? Ummmm… No.

    The best player is probably Pavel Datsyuk – most complete superstar in the league and he’s 5th?

    Iggy 13 places ahead of Jordan Staal (who JUST beats out Phil Freaking Kessel)? I know who I would rather have…

    But – that’s why they make lists. So we can blog about them.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Emotions are running high, feathers have been ruffled, panties have been knotted without even being able to enjoy the wedgie.

    It’s a sure sign hockey season upon us again BIOTCHES!.

    Rule no. 1 here on Oilersnation…..never enter here without your can (nards supporter) on, peoples. Page 14 in your Hockey for Dummies handbook.

    Darn rookies!

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    If this the instigator of one of our good friend’s disdain:

    http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-edmonton-oilers-are-a-useless-franchise

    then… he should take Gregor’s advice and relax.

    This is just a drunken rant… he could have been much more biting in terms of substance.

    His only real insights are that RNH shouldn’t have burned a year of his ELC (a judgment call with sound arguments on both sides) and that Eberle’s going to slip from his wonder year (he doesn’t even mention shooting %)…

    both of these things Oiler fans alreay debate ad nauseum… there’s no revelation here or even a novel take on a well-worn topic.

    all this is… is some fun venting by a nuck fan desperate to sip from the cup.

    Sure it’s strident… but it’s hardly a substantial case against the Oil… and anyone thinking oiler fans aren’t the first to rip their own mgt. and team is out to lunch anyway.

  • book¡e

    I am boycotting the use of punctuation at OilersNation because an unammed blogger named wanye wrote an article criticizing wok box chili at the Oodle Noodle Nation page I am also boycotting all noodles – everywhere And china baca use they make noodles and Italy too and Marco Polo.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    I’ll agree that Thom Drance’s article was complete horse****, over the top and written to not insult but ‘hurt’ Oiler’s fans. I definitely draw a line there, it reminded me of Dan Tencer’s pathetic audio blog’s that he did a few years back about the Vancouver Canucks after they lost to Boston. I dislike the Canucks as much as anyone but he went too far the same way that terrible article by Thom did. Just my opinion.

    That being said, I love Oilersnation!

  • DSF

    Man, its exhausting reading through the comments -more plot lines than a Mexican soap opera. And I’m just trying to figure out how Travis Zajac’s contract is somehow Donald Fehr’s fault.

  • Oilertown

    A very digusting article from a very petty and unprofessional writer. You should be ashamed ppl who run this site!!

    Oilersnation was started for us and to allow someone like that to write on this site is a disgrace. Wow just wow.

  • book¡e

    Ok, now I get it, Jeff is a mocking imitation of DSF.

    As per the Dance article (found it), it is childish (though correct regarding saples’s Paulina Gtetzky coverage) but nothing to get too concerned over. Really , it’s just a failed attempt at humor.

    When does hockey start?

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I liked it…. so-so…

      I love some smack talk…

      but he wanders back and forth between trying to just talk smack (which he could have done better if he simply committed himself to it) and trying to actually make an argument (which he never really got off the ground)

      at any rate, no one should take it to heart or fret about it… it’s all pretty banal.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I can’t think of a single substantial argument he advanced that isn’t either a highly debatable topic (i.e., RNH’s ELC; Eberle’s “luck”), entirely frivolous (Paulina Gretzky), or couldn’t have been made better, a lot better (i.e., ST’s bungling) and which hasn’t been made better by Oiler fans elsewhere.

      His vitriol I respect. I just wish he bothered to be a bit funnier and more absurd. he didn’t go far enough.

      But… there was no substance there to be “bang on” about.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    I missed the memo that I’m supposed to hate good teams. Probably because that’s stupid. I would love to cheer for the Canucks. The reasons why I don’t are Lappierre, Burrows, Kesler, Luongo. And no one on the team that I especially like. I like the penguins, I like the rangers. I like the blues. When the senators were a powerhouse I was cheering for them to win the cup. Vancouver being a good team has nothing to do with why I don’t like them. It’s because the thought of those listed players lifting the cup makes me sick.

      • Oilfred

        Sample sizes. Lets see him do that for two years in a row. I like the kid, a ton, but lets not get too crazy. Its a deep draft and Colorado will move heaven and earth to protect that kind of asset.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Vollman’s article is very good. It’s an excellent profile of O’Reilly.

      The idea, however, that he is a clear “factual” upgrade on Gagner is not established. It is a matter of opinion.

      As I stated twice, I’m not convinced he is a clear upgrade, or solution to the question of long term #2 C.

      Therefore, the rigamarole of switching #2 Cs doesn’t seem worth it to come out a draw.

  • Rogue

    I see Defying Sanity Forever,(DSF) has brought in a lackey. I guess Drivel Spouting Fool, (DSF) has brought his fantasy friend out of his mind onto the Nation. How fortunate for us all!! I hope his alter ego Jeffffff does take over his mind! Ohhhh scaaaaaary!!

  • positivebrontefan

    I read the Drance article and realized as soon as I read it, I read his stuff over on Canucks Army, that it was an over the top attempt at humor that was sure to rile up the thin skinned. I honestly laughed out loud. What really put it into the category of favorite articles of all time was the snap job that Millhouse did on twitter about it. He even took a shot at the nation network. Check out @ThomasDrance. Funny stuff.

  • Rocket

    With my work schedule, it seems I’m always coming late to the party.

    To review:

    -DSF & Jefff catching heat for for not being fanboys but having cautious optimism

    -Arch still loving Gagner

    -Two girls no cup not loving Drance

    -Everyone loving O’Reilly

    -& Gagner still being The Oilers’ second line centre.

    Lots of love & a little bit of trollz.

    BTW, how about that TSN fantasy draft eh? Oilers represent!

  • Oilfred

    Hey Archaeologuy,
    You wrote….
    Seguin had 14 more points than Hall did and plays C for a successful team. He was also +34 compared to -3.

    I know I am late to the party as your post was early onin this discussion, but when comparing Tyler VS Taylor, as mentioned by another repsonse Tyler does NOT play center. It is probably my greatest complaint I have about the comparisions. When comparing the two you need to look at it as a RW vs a LW. If you would have rather had a RW in Tyler then sure I am with your reasoning but if you are saying a center? Well, Seguin is NO NHL Center at this point in his career. He does spot duty and I mean spot duty. AAlso comparing the two players is very difficult because of the quality of linemates and especially team. The Bruins were cup champions, the Oilers were 30th.

    Did the Oilers finish last cause of Taylors inability? Nope, did Bruins win cup cause of Tylers help? Nope, they didnt. They both contibuted.
    Also saying Hall played higher up in a top 6 roll from the start means he was also facing tougher opposition, and saying Seguin plaed a 3rd line role so was unable to produce at a higher rate would be forgetting he faced lesser opposition.

    In the end, they both are totally two different players and still at this point, neither has been able to be a clear favourite to a general fanbase, depends on what your needs are as a team. I will still pick Hall, because I like his drive and determination even though it could mean a shorter career due to injuries.

    anyway just wanted to add some extra thought into that discussion.

    cheers