The not-so magnificent seven

With two games left in the season, the Edmonton Oilers can finish no lower than seventh overall in the pre-lottery draft rankings, and could finish as high as the second overall pick if everything breaks right (wrong?).

The Standings

Important games tonight include:

  • Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers
  • Tampa Bay @ Boston
  • Nashville @ Detroit
  • Calgary @ St. Louis

Both the Lightning and the Predators can pass Edmonton with a win tonight. They’re only a combined 4-13-3 in their last 10 but both clubs are coming off wins. Tampa Bay is a long-shot, having played last night and facing Boston tonight, but Nashville is rested and facing a tired Detroit club. Calgary and Carolina, meanwhile, can add some space to their leads on Edmonton.

The Prizes

From NHL Numbers consensus draft rankings, here are the top-12 players available; the Oilers will almost certainly be selecting one of them.

The Oilers would need some Steve Tambellini lottery magic to grab Seth Jones – not only the best player available but also the best fit for need – but there are a lot of players to like here. I admit I’m partial to Aleksander Barkov, a guy who plays a complete game and has size, speed and skill, but that’s also because I’m more familiar with him than with the other prospects available here. The other big centre, Sean Monahan, likely also appeals to the Oilers, and of course the big defencemen group – Nurse, Ristolainen, Zadorov – all have a lot of appeal as prospects.

Recently around the Nation Network

  • wiseguy

    I really am at a loss for people who think we drafted wrong. Seguin, though really good, is not Hall. This team needs a Hall way more than a tough centre. Hall brings so many other things to the table above Seguin it’s not even a comparison. RNH over Landeskogg? comon, how is Landeskogg working out in Colorado? A team with another really good big two centre? Oh they are at the bottom again. Huh. And Yakupov for Murray? Murray was the most overrated player at the draft, and has already had shoulder surgery. A case could be made that Gal might have been the better choice, but that is one hell of a gamble with the first overall on a player that spent the previous season injured. I mean that would have taken some serious faith in Gal coming back, and I don’t think anyone’s crystal ball is that good. And Gal is only a better payer purely because the oil need a centre with size. Having said that, Yakupov is one of our more physical players. The kid is a poor mans Ovechkin with the way he plays, only without the attitude. Plus why draft Murray when we signed Schultz. Getting Yakupov and Schultz is, in my opinion a better combo then Murray. You think Schultz would have signed here if we just drafted Murray? Nope.

      • wiseguy

        @Will

        “Murray overated? You obviously have never seen the kid play”

        I’m pretty sure nobody has seen him play an NHL game against NHL players, so until he does I find it absurd to compare him to a player who has played a full (albeit shortened) season in the NHL with reasonable success.

        Funny how someone else’s shiny toy always looks more interesting than your own.

  • Spydyr

    BPA has to mean not the best skilled player. It has to mean the best hockey player available. There is more to hockey than skill. Things like heart , toughness, grit and the fear of failure.

    All things the Oilers now lack.

    • The Oilers lack that but it isnt coming from the Oilers’ last 3 BPA 1st round selections.

      Hall is a motor that never quits. Big kid who served a suspension for a check that crossed the line.

      Yak is physical and plays with more heart and passion than anyone. ANYONE.

      Nuge just played 90% of a season with a torn Labrum based on the hope that THIS squad could make the Playoffs. If that isnt tough then I must be missing something.

      The Oilers got into trouble at the draft when they stopped taking BPA and started looking at Organizational needs. Mitch Moroz anybody?

  • Spydyr

    No complaints about the drafts in the recent past. This time though they need, skill , grit and size not just skill. They need a jerk / SOB who happens to be an excellent hockey player.

  • Gagner almost seemingly leading team by desire down the stretch – more so than even Hall who had a mediocer game against Chicago . Gagner keeps getting better and more effective despite some shortcomings , and plays bigger than his size . Could he be captain material down the line ? How would losing his influence affect the other youth for starters on team negatively ? Now we set his value correctly , he still remains a possible victim for size upgrade via trade . Hemsky and Horcoff contracts will make it very difficult to get equal back in return . Jones is a question mark to move or not .

  • Truth

    Hartikainen just sent down to experience an event known as the “playoffs”. Intriguing.

    He is one who should show some heart, toughness, grit, and impose fear on the other players. Instead, he tried finesse. His 3 pts (I think) should show that he needs to change his game to play at this level. How come the Oilers aren’t ever lucky enough to get a guy with a mean streak. (The old) Matt Cooke gets destroyed in the media, but I would love to see an Oiler cross the line every now and then just as he used to do. Preferably not our best player, either.

  • Yak Attack

    Oilers did a reasonable /acceptable of drafting since the rebuild , but have done a very unacceptable job of procuring an NHL core to supplement them . That is now stage two for MacT. to do respectfully . Drafting different than we did , would not have probably solved the bigger problem of a competent core .

  • Tikkanese

    Pronger left due to family reasons (cough) had an affair and got her pregnant and his wife thought a move would be best (cough). He was even questioned about it at the trade press conference. How it got magically “forgotten” by the media and turned into “Edmonton sucks” is beyond me.

  • Tikkanese

    It’s incorrect to generalize that all free agents sign with a team for only one reason, particularly if you’re claiming that one reason is the quality of life in the city.

    I bet the two biggest factors in signing with a team are 1.) the chance of winning a Stanley Cup and 2.) money. Quality of life, media/fan scrutiny, potential role/ice-time, and personal relations with coaching staff/other players probably factor into the decision as well, but they are likely secondary factors for most players.

    Look at Souray, Vanek and Penner; they all signed with the Oilers because they were offered a ridiculous amount of money. But look at Hossa, he turned down the ridiculous money to play with Stanley Cup contenders instead. That’s probably why Heatley also refused to be traded here (low odds of Cup contention). I guess that’s why I was very surprised (but happy) to see Schultz sign here; his decision seemed to be based more on a secondary factor like ice-time (or perhaps the assumption that this team would be a contender over the longer term).