THE GRADUATES!

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.

2010-11

  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

2011-12

  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

2012-13

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

 

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!

OILERS HAVE DONE BETTER IN THE PAST!

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

THE ROOKIES 79-80

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

THE ROOKIES 80-81

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

THE ROOKIES 81-82

  • 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.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

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.

  • DSF

    I have more respect for Mac T after listening to him for 10 minutes that I did watching Tamby talk for six years.

    I have been very critical of Tamby mostly because he refused to admit anything, say anything, do anything, except speak in general terms about nothing. What a refreshing change.

    I get the sense that in spite of everything else the last two games were statement games from the skilled players………..do something and support us by providing role players that can actually play the game of hockey.

    Based on his performance, I say Yaks has now entered the untouchable zone.

  • Aron S

    While I appreciate MacT saying that he didn’t want to play the game of having untouchables on After Hours last night, what was a more beautiful sound to my ears was his acknowledgement of having a “Sakic or Bourque” style franchise players in the current mix. He seems to recognize that these players could really make the team great for the next 10 years if he doesn’t trade them away.

    Hopefully he can identify the right players to move.

  • RexLibris

    I loved listening to PJ Stock last night talk about how tired he was of the Oilers young players and choosing instead to focus on Corrado. Good young player, perhaps, but I ended up tuning out the hockey panel until I saw Elliotte Friedman open his mouth. Then at least I knew I’d hear something worthwhile.

    My Calder money is on Huberdeau because he plays in the East, and his ice sliding game is nowhere near as developed as Yakupov. Besides, we all know the Eastern media hates the Oilers, right? 😉

    Honestly, though, that is a great group to build around. Everybody is so keen to subtract from the high end in order to shore up the low end, but I remain unconvinced.

    As I recall, there was no shortage of suitors calling Glen Sather offering to give a little helping hand to his young squad in exchange for one or two of those young hotshot kids he had at the time. More astute free-agent signings and a trade of one forward asset soon to be RFA could go a long way to resolving the roster’s current imbalance.

    • And this is why winning the last two games of the season was the worst thing this club could have done. Now we go into the offseason thinking we are better than we really are. News flash: teams that can beat the canucks 7-2 dont finish out of the playoffs. This teams needs a significant roster makeover. If there are not 6-8 new face on the starting lineup next year then this summer was a fail. This is not the time to feel contented with this team, just look back at the last quarter of the season and tell me they are anywhere near good enough.

      Oh and MORE astute free agent signings? Which of the past free agent signing was so bloody astute?

      • 719

        Thats why having Tambo gone and Mac T is great for this. When they were sitting in 8th Mac T even admitted that he didn’t think they were good enough to sustain the spot. He understands teams are never as good as they seem on a win streak and never as bad as they seem on a losing streak.

        Change will happen, if anything these last two games just show that the young guys are for real but everything else need to change.

      • Eddie Shore

        MacTavish said on After Hours last night that even after the 5 game winning streak he did not believe the team was good enough to be a playoff team. I don’t think two meaningless wins at the end of the season will change his mind.