Another year, another astonishing rookie crop. Since 2010, the Edmonton Oilers have added exceptional young talents to their roster and watched them play major roles on the young team. This year promised to be very good, and it did not disappoint in terms of quality rookies.


  1. Jordan Eberle 69, 18-25-43
  2. Taylor Hall 65, 22-20-42
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 80, 15-19-34
  4. Linus Omark 51, 5-22-27
  5. Jeff Petry 35, 1-4-5


  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 62, 18-34-52
  2. Anton Lander 56, 2-4-6
  3. Teemu Hartikainen 17, 2-3-5
  4. Colten Teubert 24, 0-1-1


  1. Nail Yakupov 48, 17-14-31
  2. Justin Schultz 48, 8-19-27


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That’s an amazing cluster of players. There’s no goaltender, but two fine defensemen, a center with a wide range of skills, and the marquee position (winger) delivered three outstanding players (Hall, Eberle, Yakupov) and a nice one in Paajarvi. All in a three year span!


Sure, the best rookie cluster in a three year period was probably 1979-1981, and it stopped traffic:


  • Dave Lumley (80, 20-38-58)
  • Kevin Lowe (64, 2-19-21)
  • Peter Driscoll (39, 1-5-6)


  • Jari Kurri (75, 32-43-75)
  • Glenn Anderson (58, 30-23-53)
  • Paul Coffey (74, 9-23-32)


  • Grant Fuhr (48, 3.31 .899)
  • Charlie Huddy (41, 4-11-15)

The list of players who were not considered rookies because of WHA games played (Gretzky, Messier, etc) would make this three year cluster the best all-time for any team. As it is, that’s a handful of HOFers plus very nice pieces on top of it. Fuhr in goal, Coffey, Lowe, Huddy on the blue and Kurri, Anderson and Lumley up front is glorious in a three year span.

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This may not be the best three season rookie cluster in team history, but it’s certainly worthy of a double take. I do think the three number one picks will reach exceptional levels of play, so we should re-visit the conversation a few years down the road. Add in Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and a fine young player in Petry and we could be looking at something very special building here.

These kids are just getting started.

  • Spydyr

    So now Gagner is a solid 2L (has he ever even played left wing?) and he “isnt just beating opponents one-on-one , he is dissecting opponents systems and optimising his linemates this way.” LOL

    Spydyr’s post #67 correctly answered all of the questions I’ve had regarding Gagner. I’m struggling to find the evidence behind the other posts in support of Sam.

  • Funny. Last time I looked games were won by scoring, directly measured by goals and assists. Sam Gagner was #2 on the Oilers in that department.

    Unless you can get a replacement that brings at least equal in production, you lose the trade.

    He’s trending to be a solid second line, 65 point player. What more do you want?

    I know some of you guys like fights and GINORMOUS THUNDERIN’ CHECKS but scoring wins you games.

    • DSF

      Scoring also loses you games if its the other team scoring.

      Sam Gagner:

      GFON/60 2.51

      GAON/60 3.31

      +- ON/60 – 0.81 (12th best among Oiler forwards.

      Gagner can’t play defense AT ALL.

    • Spydyr

      Funny, My original question was:

      What exactly does Gagner, without the puck, bring to the team ?

      Without the puck you understand that means points don’t matter. Right?

      Letting in goals cost you games. He is a factor in more goals against than goals for.

      He brings nothing without the puck, nothing.

      • ghostofberanek

        I respectfully disagree on your take on Gagner. This kid will go above and beyond to try and make something happen. If he’s in a slump, he’ll fight someone much bigger than him, which shows heart. To my eye, he was a very effective player on the penalty kill as well.

        I see Gagner as “Doug Weight lite” which isn’t a bad thing to have around in my opinion.

        • Spydyr

          I respect your opinion also but tell me other than one fight a year. A handful of shifts on the penalty kill. What does he bring to the table outside of points ?

          • ghostofberanek

            That’s obviously a tough question to answer. I think you could ask that question of any player and have a tough time. What does Zach Parise do when he’s not putting up points? How about Patrick Kane? When a player doesn’t have the puck, his goal is to get the puck back. He clearly can’t knock most players off the puck with his size, so he’s forced to use positioning and anticipation. These are things that take time to learn, and he still has lots of time to learn it.

            I think you just have a natural hate on for Gagner, and you’ll never be convinced otherwise. You minimalize his accomplishments while magnifying his deficiencies.

          • Spydyr

            I don’t hate someone I have never met. That is asinine.

            He does however have many deficiencies as a hockey player. IMO the team would be better off moving him and getting a more rounded second line center.

            Remember this all started by me asking what does he bring outside of points.Still no one has answered that question in a reasonable manner. So I will rest my case.

  • John Chambers

    On Gagner –

    Here’s a guy who could really have success if paired with an elite scorer (Hall or Yak) as well as a veteran puck-possession winger. But at $4.5M+, my feeling is that there are a lot of guys who would succeed under those circumstances. Fact of the matter is the guy is lousy on the puck and on draws, bleeds chances defensively, but is looking for compensation the ignores his negative attributes but puts his .7 ppg on a pedestal.

    However, until we develop Monaghan or Lindholm into that guy, or unless we sign the only C on the UFA market who can out chance top players – that being Weiss -, or until we move Hall to C, our lack of depth puts Gagner in the driver’s seat for negotiations …

    The book move therefore is:
    Flip him for a quality young D, and move Hall to C. Draft Monaghan and have him earn his way up the depth chart.