In the 2010 young stars tournament, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and others impressed us and breathed life into a sinking franchise. Do you remember what we said about those young men (and the other kids) that summer?
Back in 2010, Oiler fans were pretty excited about the young stars and looking forward to some big time offense from Hall, Eberle and MPS! There were others who drew our eye, too. Here are some comments from August and September 2010 (Credited where available)
- Ross Creek Nation: I think only 1 of Pääjärvi or Eberle will start here. I’m gonna say I think Magnus will see the toughest minutes of the 3. Eberle will join the team in Dec. Hall will have most pts. None will see Calder. Now you know..
- doritogrande: I see Paajarvi getting the Hemsky treatment at the beginning of the year but towards January his maturity (he’s been playing against men for 3 years now) will start to show through. Seems like the most "complete" player among the Oilers’ 3 rookies, and Renney is the type of coach to reward defensive acumen with increased playing time.
- Madjam: Lets not forget about Omark , whom might be most complete of bunch as well up front . Plante might even emerge on defence ? We certainly have an abundance of youth with credentials we have never seen in the past busting on to the scene at the same time perhaps. Not just one or two either !
- Eddie Shore: Magnus Pääjärvi
Svenssonwill win the Calder. Book it!
- Joe Hallenback: One thing the Oilers have changed the past few drafts is they seem more inline with different scouting services with there 1st and 2nd round picks. The last draft were they might have reached was 2007 with Plante at 15(although I believe he was in the 15-30 range on alot of lists) and Nash at 21. Since then I can’t really complain or argue about there picks. They seem to be a little more loose with there later picks but I think at that point you have to go with what your scouts tell you. A guy like Blain was surely a scout pick. I am positive someone was backing that pick and they went with it.
- Wanye: LT, I beg of you to continue to refer to Paajarvi-Svensson as such. We can’t let these millionaire athletes change their names on a whim.(I ignored him, but have followed instructions since!)
- Jake: Wonder where that Hesketh kid is, the D from Minnesota?
- Razzer: For all you Oil Fans thinking about coming to Penticton to watch….there are more Oilers fans in the Okanagan than Nucks fans. Come down to the SOEC and wear your colours proudly.Word has it, the owner of Slack Alice’s is loyal to the oil and might by you a draft.
- Cowbell_Feva: I know Taylor Hall is getting a tonne of recognition and whatnot for going #1 overall, yada yada yada… But in my mind the rookie that will stand out this year is Eberle.
- bookje:Bold Pre-season Prediction – Hemsky will have a astonishingly weak pre-season and look indifferent. Loads of internet people will get totally stressed about this. He will start to care again when regular season begins and stress levels will lower.
- Golden Seals: Glad to see all of us armchair coaches are back from summer vacation. Good thing we don’t have to take physicals.
- Lowetide: That D scares the hell out of me!
- Wanye: The theme for this season should be "exciting last place hockey." Alternatively "more robots, more killing" would have some zip.
- Archeology: Decent (read: Franchise quality) centres are hard to acquire. I’d rather draft one than pay through the nose to pick up a free agent or trade away one of the kids to get a C. Obviously the Oilers need to take the BPA in the draft, but I bet Chicago is thanking the hockey gods they didnt win the lottery in 2006 and had taken Erik Johnson instead of Toews. (Arch would get his wish with RNH the following summer).
- Steve: Here’s my ideal season (my ideal season would involve a Stanley Cup, but keeping it within the plausible range): the Oilers are an entertaining team that’s always near the bottom of the standings, but is in the game most nights. They have a bad streak shortly after the all-star break which drops them to 30th, then they finish the season with a hot streak that pushes them up to 26th. Then they win the lottery. The players go into the off-season feeling good about the team as-is (since it finished so strongly with so many players who can only expect to be better the following year), and feel even better when they consider that another first overall is on the way.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I missed this last fall and winter. A hockey season has a certain construction: the rookie camp, where we make wild predictions that do or don’t come true; the first pre-season game where all is lost (or won!); and the great delight of opening night and then the long winter days and nights of a season and the building hope for the playoffs.
The lockout took it away from us, but it’s back. Time to make wild predictions and use hyperbole in a sentence involving Ben Betker! It’s all good! There’s nothing about the rookie camp we’ll remember three years from now, except the names of the players who made progress and have NHL futures.
But it’s fun to groan and gasp and embellish–it’s a time honored tradition.
BRING IT ON!
In the last 24 hours I’ve read that Darnell Nurse is a draft bust, Oscar Klefbom is the second coming of Doug Lynch (injured before he could make an NHL impression) and that losing to the Flames in Game one of a (STILL SUMMER) rookie tournament is a very strong tell for the regular season.
Imagine my delight when visiting ON this evening to read the voice of reason–from a Winnipeg perspective:
- #74 Darnell Nurse: The first thing to notice about Nurse is his skating. He’s a big, big man, but it’s his transition and lateral skating that make him effective. His straight away speed is reasonable, and his skating in short bursts is very good. He was able to keep a close gap against the Flames, and his escapes were sharp all night. He is remarkably mobile and rarely needs to use his size. He’s effective with the puck and showed strong awareness while his partner switched sides all night. He did, however, struggle to read coverage and was rarely patient without the puck. (PS: the trip on Nurse in the third was really, clearly a trip. Tough break.)
I hadn’t read Kevin McCartney before tonight, and that is clearly my loss. I will look out for his next article with great anticipation. (Hall and Ebs photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).