Under normal circumstances, Leon Draisaitl would still be considered the shiny, new thing with the Edmonton Oilers after being drafted third overall last summer as the big, talented centre the team has long coveted.

Circumstances in Edmonton have been far from normal, however, since the Oilers won the NHL draft lottery and the right to select centre Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters with the first pick in the 2015 Entry Draft. Oiler fans have been fist-pumping since, and rightfully so. McDavid is, with good reason, the player generating all the buzz.

While Oiler fans celebrate their good fortune and await the arrival of McDavid, Draisaitl has been tearing it up in Western Hockey League playoffs with the Kelowna Rockets, who are today one win away from a birth in the Memorial Cup after taking a 3-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings Monday.

With 9-17-26 in 18 playoff games with the Rockets, Draisaitl is tied for the lead in team scoring and sits tied for second among post-season scorers as Kelowna sits poised to qualify for junior hockey’s biggest showcase and a possible date with McDavid and the Otters.

Bumped down a notch on Edmonton’s prospect marquee by McDavid, Draisaitl is looking like one helluva second banana. New Oiler GM Peter Chiarelli wouldn’t consider trading a big, talented centre like Draisaitl to address other needs on the roster, would he? Would he?


When this season started, fans were rightfully lamenting lack of depth at centre on the roster assembled by then-GM Craig MacTavish. The Oilers broke training camp with only Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon as proven NHL pivots. Bad plan, or lack of one.

Draisaitl was tossed into the mix and was in over his head. He scored 2-7-9 in 37 games before the Oilers sent him to Kelowna after a deal was struck between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Rockets. Draisaitl responded by scoring 19-34-53 in 32 regular season games with the rockets.

Skip ahead to now with Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid penciled in as the top two centres. Gordon is still here and Anton Lander seems to have finally broken through. There’s some doubt there’s room for Draisaitl in the middle. There’s talk having Draisaitl start on the wing is the best option to open the season. There’s also the possibility he could start the season in the minors if he doesn’t outright win a job at training camp.

Those options are fine from where I sit. Better to have too many centres than not enough. If that means Draisaitl starts on the wall in the bigs or begins next season in the minors, it’s all good. What isn’t fine, barring a deal the Oilers just can’t refuse, is if Draisaitl is seen as a spare part or a bargaining chip as Chiarelli sets out to address questions in goal and on the blue line.



The pending arrival of McDavid has opened up all kinds of possibilities for Chiarelli as he looks to fill the holes MacTavish left. There’s been talk about the possibility of Chiarelli dipping into his core players to acquire a stud defensemen. There’s been speculation he could package his other first-round pick, 16th overall from Pittsburgh, and a player to land something he needs.

Short of stiffing a gullible member of the GM’s fraternity in a trade or finding what he needs via free agency, Chiarelli will have to, at some point, give up quality to get quality. How much he gives up, obviously, will depend on what’s coming back. He won’t get what he needs for spare parts.

That said, what I wouldn’t do at this point is move Draisaitl in a trade because there’s no way Chiarelli, or anybody in the organization, knows for certain what they’d be trading after 37 NHL games. What’s Draisaitl’s top end? We don’t know. You can’t know after the glimpse, under less than ideal conditions, we got of Draisaitl this season.

As exciting as the thought of McDavid flying up and down the ice in Edmonton silks is, let’s not lose track of the possibility Draisaitl might well become the big talented centre this team was begging for 12 months ago. You can’t have too many of those.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

  • TKB2677

    Centres can play the wing much easier than the other way around. Drai is big and unproven at the NHL level so a trade in itself would not get much back. We are good at centre for now. What happens if one of them is injured for a substantial part of the season. It is a critical position. Keep him.

  • Rebuilding the Rebuild

    Leon is a keeper, and I like that he’s going to have to fight for a roster spot. He’ll be a better player in the long run because of it.

    On an unrelated note – ATTN: Oilersnation crew. The video ads you guys have running on the site need to go. My browser and laptop is barely functional when I open this site.

  • If the Oilers want a number one defencemen then they will have to give up something of quality.

    Since most fans reaction to trading anyone of Hall-Yakupov-Ebelre is met with such indignation, one has to wonder who’s left to trade.

    The only two players that have any substance a team might be interested in are Draisaitl and Nurse.

    Plus of course the 16th overall, but that alone won’t get you a number one defencemen.
    An example I used before is if ARZ goes full rebuild and finds OEL expendable would that be significant return for Draisaitl?

    If you use the “how to build a cup team” that takes two top two centers – two top pairing defencemen – and a top tier goalie.

    How do the Oilers go about getting that?

    Personally the price the Oilers paid for Hall –RNH – Eberle and the subsequent development of those players has to outweigh a prospect like Draisaitl.

    The Oilers NEED a number one defencemen and the Oilers NEED to keep actual NHL players, the only asset players left are Draisaitl and Nurse, and if it meant getting an OEL out of ARZ for example, then I would consider that fair trade off.

    • R U Kidding Me!

      To get what the Oil need to improve (i.e. a proven goalie and a couple of experienced top end Dmen)they will need to trade something of value.

      Get used to it folks. The player(s) who go might be your favorite.

      I’m not saying they should trade LD or anyone else. But eventually they will need to trade someone of value to get something of value.

    • ATL Oiler

      Either you are trolling or you took the KLowe/MacT school of player evaluation. The biggest problem with your statement is that the 37 game sample size you refer to should have been 9……probably should have been zero. No NHL team should be so desperate to play anybody but a clear cut #1 in the big show in their first year. He should have been left in the WHL to be the best player in the league.


    Their is a premium by all teams on youth coming up in top 5 , and I see no one trading those away for at least 3 years . If any might go up for trade , I see only 4th year Yak that could be dealt at this stage , and even that is doubtful .

    Oiler likely untradeables are Hall, Hopkins, Eberle , Draisaitl , Nurse , Pouliot , McDavid , Klefbom , and probably Schultz and Yakupov . The rest could be used for upgrades on defence and goaltending .

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Yakupov McDavid Hall – The #1’s

    Pouliot Hopkins Eberle – Proven Top Line

    For years the Oilers biggest weakness was the #2C – with Hopkins sliding into that role this team will finally have a fighting chance.

    Can’t wait for the season to start. If we sign a Soderberg, Mathias type- I have no problem putting Drai on the wing and running a power third line.

    • ATL Oiler

      While I appreciate your enthusiasm, I just can not justify your line of thinking. Currently at center we have RNH, Lander and Gordon. Assuming all goes as per our plan, we can add McDavid to that group. Why rush Drai into the nhl to play 12-14 minutes a night as a third line winger. I would rather see him playing 18-20 minutes a night in Bakersfield so that he can gain the confidence required to play on the big club. Sure he’s putting up a pile of points on a stacked Rockets team, but I don’t think that means he’s ready for prime time. We all pissed and moaned about him being here last year, what did a couple months in the w playing with boys prove. Confidence is huge. Need I remind you of Yak or DD or even Jultz for that matter. Let’s not rush this kid. When he’s ready, the Oilers won’t have a choice! Just my 2 cents.

  • PimKing

    Points to Ponder : For those who are adamant players like Nurse and Draisaitl need to spend time in AHL next season rather than NHL if they appear ready . Number one – how many decent NHL players has our AHL team actually given us over the last 9 years ? Not nearly as many as parent club has by developing them here on main club . Our AHL club has not been a good pipeline for decent NHL talent or development – more like a grave yard . If they are already NHL caliber players then play them on main club .

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I think McDavid and Draisatl make Nuge expendable in about three, maybe four years. If everything goes generally as I hope it does, over that time frame, McDavid will take over the 1st line center duties from Nuge, and Draisatl will assert himself as a second line center.

    It will come down to playing in the western conference, I think. Draisatl’s body and game are absolutely perfect for the west. McDavid will no doubt be a more dynamic talent than Nuge. That leaves our first and second centers as McDavid-Draisatl. That’s a potentially dominant one-two, if Draisatl really is all that and a bag of chips.

    None of this is to take away from Nuge. I believe that Nuge, McDavid, Leon and Nurse are the true untouchables now. But, if McDavid and Draisatl become actual first and second line centers in three years time, that opens up Nuge to trade, which is incidentally the same year McDavid needs a raise.

    Using the ~three year timeline I stated above, Nuge would be 26/27, just entering his prime. You know what we could get for a bona-fide 1C in his prime, signed at 6 mil per for a couple more years? Just about anything we want, I’d wager.

    • JBear

      Whoooo! Never ending rebuild!

      Why trade any of them? Let’s not forget Pens won their cup with Crosby, Malkin, and Staal down the middle. Look how many cups they’ve won since Suter took over as third line centre.

      Why is everyone or anyone talking about trading the talent who are just now finally starting to come into their own?

      I know we’re Oiler fans and think we should have a perpetually bad team, but let’s try and be more like 80’s Oiler fans that just expected a superstar hall of famer be played at every position in the line up.

      Nuge’s points this year put him inside the top 30 centres in the league, and that’s with only 3 POWER PLAY POINTS in the first half of the year (thanks a lot Eakins). Why would you want to get rid of a top 30 centre? Not to mention, get rid of a PP specialist right when a new coach who is known for running a top power play is about to come in?

      Maybe McDavid does take Nuge’s top spot away, but that just means he becomes the two way second line centre this team has always dreamed of, and Draisaitl heads up one of the more impressive third lines the league has ever seen. Cup winning teams are deeeeeeeep. Case in point, LA’s first cup took Edmonton’s top scorer, and put him on the 4th line. Second case in point, the Ducks picked up one of Columbus’ best defenders at the deadline, and he hasn’t even played. Deeeeeep!

      Nuge will be an Oiler forever. If you need to start trading assets in two to three years, look to the wings. You can always find good wingers in the off season, but as all Oiler fans know, it is damn near impossible to find good centres.

      Plus, looking at the numbers, it’s not impossible to see a situation where not much needs to be traded. Given the team needs 2 D (preferably right side to play with Nurse and Klefbom), and one more forward (given Draisaitl will come up eventually), and of course a goalie. It really isn’t crazy to think finally from here on out guys with expiring contracts can be replaced internally. Gordan might be replaced by Lander or maybe they get Sodoburg. Hendricks could be replaced by Chase. Purcell could be replaced by Draisaitl. ect. Then coming off the books in two to three years will be Nikitin, Purcell, Scrivens, Ference, and Gordon. Those are significant cap hits.

      Nope, I say trade no one, but maybe Marincin to get a guy like Seabrook. Let Schultz walk to free up money for Franson, let Nurse come up when injuries hit, grab Ramo off free agency, grab Sodoburg off free agency. In as little as one year’s time (assuming a Ference buy out) the team is pretty much set for the next ten years with the likes of: Hall, Nuge, Ebs, McDavid, Yak, Pouliot, Lander, Draisaitl, Sodoburg, Nurse, Klefbom, Seabrook, Franson, Ramo, Broussiot. That’s your top nine, and top four D. Bottom Pair D and fourth line could come cheap. Or a guy like Sodoburg could move down to fourth line with some defensive wingers.


      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        I’m not saying sling Nuge right now for whatever you can get. I’m saying that, three or four years down the road, depending on how Draisatl turns out and how much he gets paid, Nuge may be the odd man out.

        McDavid will be a top 30 (top 5?) center in points for probably the next ten years at least, and will be paid accordingly. He duplicates and surpasses Nuge’s skill set. If Draisatl becomes a consistent top 30 scorer as well, I believe his size and boardwork will make him more important to the team than Nuge, especially with McDavid here. I don’t think you can pay him, Nuge AND McDavid while keeping a playoff calibre D-corps, the bottom 6 depth required to compete, and a starting goalie on the payroll.

        I hate the idea of trading Nuge too. He hasn’t peaked yet, and it looked like he was finally finding the next gear that everyone knows he has. In my perfect world, we go with McDavid-Nuge-Draisatl as our 1-3, but salaries and team need might not allow for that.

        This is one giant what-if scenario, so I suppose it’s a moot point. In three years, this team could be unrecognizable and the cap might be $75 million+. But I think it’s foolish to write off trading Nuge at any point, especially with McDavid on the way. Nuge’s value will only go up as he matures. A true 1C can get you an actual #1 D man, a proven starting goalie, a fast, physical power forward. Who knows what the team needs will be at that point?

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          Well, if Oiler fans didn’t have speculation, we wouldn’t have had much at all these last nine years. So, not trying to piss in your cornflakes, just jumping on the speculation wagon. In three – four years, the Nuge, Ebs, Hall contracts are going to look like steals.

          I looked at this the other day, in two years the Oilers are looking at re upping Yak, Klefbom, Lander, and Draisaitl. In three years it will be McDavid and Nurse.

          Of those guys, I do see McDavid getting a sizable second contract, but I doubt it’s as sky high as Toews or Kane currently. Crosby, Malkin, Kane, Toews, these guys all took very reasonable second contracts.

          As good as I think Nurse and Klefbom will be, I also do not think their re ups will be north of 4 million. Defencemen just don’t make that kind of money right out of the gate unless they are Karlson, Subban, or Doughty.

          Yak is a complete wild card, but if he becomes a 30 goal scorer in the next two years (which could happen on a line with McJesus) well then tough to say. Personally, I would ship him out for assets long before Nuge. And not because I don’t think he’s unreal, but because you are right that I’m not sure they will be able to afford everyone.

          As for Draisaitl, given his first year was a bust, and it was. Not his fault but a poor combination of asset management and coaching. And given the fact he will likely start next year in the AHL or on the wing on the third line, there is no way Draisaitl gets the 6 mill 6 year contract that the other team stars grabbed.

          I think Lander will always be one of the value contracts, Pouliot is very reasonable as well.

          So again, I think if by some miracle we can get Seabrook, then next summer he gets locked up on a monster 7 mill type deal and is the Oilers top pair right side guy the team has needed for ever.

          Nurse, and Klefbom should be pretty good value for a long time coming. Hall Nuge Ebs again will be great at that price. Drai will not need a huge pay day.

          So, I think this is maybe the most important summer. If they can land Franson for 3 years, sign a goalie for 3 years (hopefully a guy like Broissoit is ready to take over at value), and grab Sodoburg at reduced dollars and longer term, then I can see needing to trade Yak if he shoots the lights out, but I can’t see the team needing to trade Nuge.

          You also have to think, if Nuge becomes the team’s second line centre, then when it comes time to extend him, they don’t have to pay him like a first line centre. He might actually take a pay cut. Maybe Nuge will never be the number one centre. But maybe, just maybe, he is a god given second line guy.

          Is he better than Kesler, Malkin, Zetterburg, Pavelski, Spezza, or Stepan? I would say no, so why would he get paid like them?

          AHHHH Another super long post, FAAAAAK sorry.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            Haha, I’ll reign mine in as well or we’ll end up capping Wanye’s bandwidth

            Nuge isn’t better than the names you listed right now, but in three years I would put big money on him being far better than every one of those guys, save maybe Malkin. That fact, plus the fact he will be making 6 million a year on what is sure to be considered one of the more palatable contracts in the league, will allow Chiarelli to pick and choose what he wants from just about any team, if he dangles Nuge as an incentive.

            Nuge lead the league in total minutes this year. Out of every player. I just don’t see a scenario where he is considered a second line center, unless he takes a value contract to help the team stay together when his first is up.

          • JBear

            Like I mentioned earlier, the top 6 will all have to take value contracts to keep everyone. When the younger guys are out of their ELC’s and the older 3 are out of their second contracts they will have to sacrifice the big pay days for Stanley.

          • pkam

            Wow, that is a hell of a stat. Nuge and Hall will have 2 more years at 6 after McDavid and Nurse get their second contracts. Ebs and Pouliot will only have one. I think if Yak turns into a top line RW and say Hall, McDavid, Yak becomes the team’s top line. Well then I could maybe see Eberle being moved before Nuge. I just can’t see him getting more than 6 mill a year if his numbers continue below 60. I don’t think they will as all the team really needs is a full year of running a good PP. But even still, with Eberle gone that basically buys Nuge.

            I would imagine the team could find a cheaper 2nd line RW option than Eberle by then. Not that he’s not great, but I bet he could also net a huge return, and I’d rather see a winger be moved over a centre. Especially a centre who is really developing a two way style ala Datsyuk.

            I like Leon a lot, and I know his top end speed is impressive, but his skating is not even close to Nuge, and I’m not sure it ever will be. I think they’re passing is on par or could be, but after last season, I think Nuge will have the better shot. At just 22, if I have to choose between them in 3 years, I am picking Nuge every time.

            As for the contract situation, again, I think the team pays Hall by then, and maybe will need to trade one of Yak or Ebs, and maybe need to find a second line rw cheaper than Franson who will sign this summer for 3 years at 4.5 mill (yep), but with Purcell, Ference, NIKITIN, Scrivens, and Gordon all coming off the books by then and the cap going up, I don’t think it’s out of the question Cherelli will be able to keep the team together.

            I just want to point out this might be the first time Oiler fans are arguing over two good outcomes. “Oh we’ll need to trade a player for a huge return in 3 years because other incredible talents will make that guy expendable.” “Oh, no way, we’ll continue to be the best team in the universe forever…” ect ect ect. Thanks you McDavid! And too a lesser extent Tembillini, Lowe, McTavish, and Eakins.

          • Rob...

            Wanye? Where is that guy, anyways. I’m thinking news of the Yeggie launched him into a 4 day bender that ended abruptly when he was thrown out of a small Himalayan village by Sherpas, after managing to consume their entire 2 month supply of fermented yaks milk.

          • pkam

            In 4 years, Eberle will be in the last year of his contract, and Hall and Nuge will have only one more year left and all of them are at their prime. If their contracts don’t look like a steal at that time, then they are terrible contracts to begin with.

            In 3 years, McDavid’s salary will be close to Toews and Kane. If I remember correctly, Crosby and Malkin both get 8.7M for 6 years in their 2nd contract about 7 years ago. You don’t think McDavid will get around 10M unless you only sign him to a 2 year bridge and then prepare to pay him 13-14M after the bridge.

            Not sure why anyone would want to sign their core players to bridge contract. Just look at Subban, the Habs could have signed him to 8 years around 6M but they chose the bridge and have to pay him 9M just 2 years later. Can you imagine how much we have to pay to sign Hall now? Didn’t Kessel just sign for 8M? You may save a couple million for a couple of years, but you will pay a couple more for many more years after the bridge. The only reason to sign a player to a bridge is you are uncertain about the player, or you don’t have enough cap. There is no real benefit.

            And good luck signing Seabrook to 7M. Subban is making 9M and Phaenuf is making 7M. You honestly think Seabrook will sign for 7M? I see no chance unless it is 8 years long. He is an UFA and I am sure there are many teams willing to pay more than 7M.

          • pkam

            By bridge I meatn something similar to Towes, Kane, and Crosby’s bridges. Which were longer term, but not outrageous dollar amounts. I just really do not see a player going to get 10 mill on his second contract. Unless he wins the team 3 stanleys in a row, it’s not going to happen.

            Subban has won the Norris. Phaneuf got that contract after getting 49, 50, 60, and 47 point seasons and would have been about 25 at the time. Also he played really physical back then.

            Seabrook is 30 now coming off seasons of 34, 41, and 31 (I didn’t count the lockout year). Since both joining the nhl in 2005, Phanuef has amassed 400 points playing on a line with no one, while Seabrook has gotten 318 playing on a line with Duncan Kieth. Seabrook passes to Towes, Kane, Hossa, Saad, Smith, and Sharp. Phanuef passes to… the Leafs. Also, in the last 3 seasons Seabrook has gotten 92 points, compared to Phanuefs 88. Also Phanuef played about 10 less games in that span.

            Also, everyone around the league sees that contract as terrible. So I think you made pretty apt comparison here. On that note, yeah, maybe a team would be willing to apy 8 mill for Seabrook at 7 years. That team can have him cause that is a stupid, stupid, stupid contract.

            Don’t get me wrong, I think Seabrook is a top pairing guy, but he’s not worth the same money as Subban or Letang or Kaarlson or Weber. In fact, he’s not even worth the same money as Phanuef because Seabrook will be 31 by the time of his new contract whereas Phanuef was like 25.

            Oh hell, trade for Phanuef. Blegh.

          • pkam

            Crosby’s bridge was 8.7M for 5 years dated back to 2009. So you don’t think McDavid will get closed to 10M when his ELC expired in 2018?

            Seabrook is rated as top 20 defensive players every year by hockey experts and media, sometimes even top 10. Phaenuf has never been rated top 30. Seabrook is always in the mix when considering for the Olympic team, Phaenuf not even once. And Phaenuf is 25? I think he was 25 when he was traded to the Leafs.

            I wish you were right that Seabrook sign with us at 7M for 5 years, I just don’t see that happening.

          • Word to the Bird

            Don’t get me wrong, Seabrook is a top 2 defenseman, but I think Seabrook is a tad overrated. I don’t think he’s a top 10 defenseman in the league, I think he looks better playing with Keith and probably the most well rounded team in the NHL…

          • Word to the Bird

            Oh My GAD the semantics with you.

            Sorry, he will not get 10 mill or over.

            Phanuef was nominated for both the Calder AND THE NORRIS in two different seasons.

            He has been an all star 3 times and played for the worlds like 4 times.

            I don;t know where you are getting your info, but I think you’re just making it up because you hate Phaneuf. Which is fair. But contracts are based on comparables, and in terms of age, size, point totals, time in the NHL, and basically every other metric used in hockey, Seabrook is a worse defender who has played on better teams his whole career.

            So to think he wouldn’t sign for 7 mill, especially given his age is a tad naive. Boychuck signed a front loaded contract with a cap hit of 6 mill for 5 seasons. And while I do think Seabrook is a better defenceman, I don;t think it’s by a mile, again, especially given he will be 31 at the time of signing. Maybe it ends up being 7.5, but I really do not think it will be that high.

            And finally, I’m pretty sure Seabrook was also snubbed last Olympics, even though both have gone to the camps every time. Also, I can’t really see Seabrook’s agent being like “well sure Phauef has more points, but Seabrook was considered for the Olympics!”

        • pkam

          If we really have to move one of the kids, I’ll try to trade Eberle before moving Nuge. Just move either Drisatle or Nuge to the Wing.

          Nuge is a centre and plays a 2 way game, he is already bigger and plays more physically than Eberle. He also has a 6M salary like Eberle but started one year later which means it will end 1 year after Eberle’s contract.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Well done.

        The only problem is, I’m not sure Chiarelli is one who waits. I guess we’ll see, but I do agree that allowing it to unfold as it is has it’s own merits.

        • pkam

          I hope he doesn’t let it unfold either. I think this is the summer he adds the rest of the pieces. Looking around the league, next year’s defensive UFA crop is atrocious.

          So I hope this is the year he walks away from the Schultz experiment and his 3.7mill cap hit in favor of a guy like Franson for the next 3 years (right when McDavid will be up for a bridge).

          I also hope he packages up the pens first pick and goes after Seabrook. With only one year left, and a super cap crunched hawks, I don’t think that deal would cost as much as the Yandle deal did for NY.

          Then really all he needs to do is lock up a guy like Sodoburg who can likely take over Gordon’s spot in a few years, or Lander could. Now in two years time, the centres depth is Nuge, McDavid, Sodoburg, Draisaitl, Lander.

          I am envisioning a line centered by Sodoburg, with Draisatl and maybe Yakimov or Chase on the wings. That would have to be the biggest line in hockey. And the skill is unreal on that line.

          Also our top four D would be Nurse / Seabrook, Klefbom / Franson. That is crazy.

          • pkam

            Unless McDavid succeeds to the level that Yakupov has succeeded there is no way #97 will ever see a bridge deal.

            Unless bridge deal is now considered an 8 year max deal till his next 8 year max deal.

          • Word to the Bird

            Again, Bridge was the wrong word.

            But somethign similar to what you saw with Toews, Kane, Crosby, or Malkin. I don’t think Kane and Toews made massive dollars their first contracts after their ECHL, even though they had won a Stanley by then.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    There aren’t many players in the world, let alone the league, that could keep up and make plays with McDavid in full flight. I think Hall happens to be one of them.

  • JBear

    Someone earlier asked how we are going to afford all these players in the future.


    (or their replacements) will all be asking for big numbers when the time comes.

    Obviously you can’t pay any of them Toews/Kane money if you want to keep this core. If the cap is $70M you can pay them each $6M (this is not including cap inflation) while paying the bottom 6 $1M each. I mean, some players will be worth a little less than others so you can adjust salaries accordingly.

    Geekingly, I have a giant spreadsheet on this that delves into this way more.

  • oiler_head

    I recently saw Draisaitl in Portland. My friends have seats on the glass so I got an upfront look. I came away unimpressed by his skating.

    Granted this was one game that the Winterhawks blew Kelowna out but they eventually lost the series, so it was likely an off night for him and his teammates.

    Despite, my first impression, I would never think that the Oilers should trade him. He is big and strong (if not a bit chippy too). The Oilers haven’t had a prospect like this for a long time.

    Keep him!

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  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I’d definitely trade Ebs before Nuge and move one of the centers to wing, if I had a choice. And that hurts to say. There are just so many contracts coming off the books in the next few years, it’s hard to guess what Chia will do.

    Say what you want about Dithers and MacT, but one area they both did generally well in was contract term and length. There are some obvious overpays (Nikitin, Purcell) and some stupid negotiation decisions (Schultz, Petry, Gagner), but they did a really good job of not handcuffing themselves with huge, lengthy contracts, and not firing off NMCs like they were going out of style. MacT even punted Horcoff and his anchor contract, his only mistake was not finding an NHL center to replace him.

    Ference is the only one I see with a contract both too lengthy and too expensive. On the other side of the coin, I think Hall and Nuge’s contracts will be considered two of the best in the league in a year or two. Ebs maybe should be making slightly less, but he was just coming off the first 70+ point Oiler season in a while, so I can see why they gave him 6×6 as well.

    Chiarelli is in a pretty good spot. He’ll be able to reap the benefits of our decade of suck, and the former regime was good enough to not stick him with too many long, expensive and useless contracts, so he’ll have some cap space to work with over the next few years.

    Doesn’t it feel good to post about something other than how terrible the team is and what a joke our franchise has become? We’ve weathered the storm, people. Last season, we passed through the eye. The clouds aren’t gone yet, but there’s blue on the horizon.

    • TKB2677

      Where I get down on Dithers and Mac T is they both finished with a worse defence than when they started. They also did nothing to improve goal in 9 years.

      As for Eberle being overpaid. 284, 263, and 188 are the point totals for Eberle, Hall, and Nuge since they entered the league. Hall and Nuge have lost significant injury time, but for me that’s on them. So at the moment, Eberle is currently the most value at his 6 mill.

      Of course Nuge has one less year, but I don’t see him getting 94 points next year.

      But that’s why I think he’ll be a better trade piece over a guy like Nuge who I hope plays his entire career in Orange and Blue.

  • TKB2677

    I get the “Leon could be awesome someone trade him” sentiment, but we should not lose sight of the fact he is not a proven NHLer. Waiting may increase his value, but it could also decrease it.

    If the opportunity comes up to cash Leon in for proven NHL player at a key position of need, you can’t dismiss it because of what Leon might be.

    Example, Nashville offers Josi or Jones, or jersey offers Larsson, you need to look at it.

  • Zarny

    Some day the Oilers may find Draisaitl in a similar position as Staal was in Pit. He may not be able to maximize his potential if he gets pigeon holed behind Nuge and McDavid.

    Until then he is potentially a very good value contract. Given the importance of C I’d move Eberle or Yakupov. Simply a numbers game.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins


      You can’t trade Yakupov he’s virtually un-tradable right now. See; penny’s on the dollar.

      So your next move is trading a bonafide 60 point NHL player and keeping a prospect who couldn’t piss a drop in the NHL….

      Dear Lord; You’ve been in the rebuild to long, this is exsactly what a MacTavish or Tambellini would do.

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        I think you missed the point where he said eventually.

        He’s right in that eventually, it’s going to be very hard to keep 3x 6mill for Eberle, Hall, and Nuge. + resign Yak + give Draisaitl a second contract + give McDavid his monster second pay day + re up Klefbom + re up Nurse, not to mention carry the contracts of any big name UFA defencemen and/ or goalies they grab this summer.

        Plus Pouliot’s contract will run out and if he keeps up his pace from this year, he will need more money to stay as well.

        If by then, the very likely scenario of Mcdavid taking over on the top line, and if he happens to bring Hall and Yak with him up there, well then trading the very valuable Eberle is the way to go as it’s going to be waaaaay easier to replace a second line RW than it will be to replace a high quality #3 C like Draisaitl who’s second contract is not going to be too big given his first year performance and the likelihood he starts this year in the ECHL.

        Like he said, it’s just a numbers game.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Just read Nurse is in the lineup for OKC tonight. Anyone have a good stream? I love watching the guy play. He might have the most raw athletic ability out of anyone in the organization.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Kinda out of left field, but I’ve got a good feeling about Nurse. I can’t remember the last defensive prospect we had with this much potential upside. I remember someone from the NHL’s scouting division saying something to the effect of ‘Jones is a better/more complete player than Nurse right now, but in five years they will be at the same level.’ Jones was the top ranked North American skater that year, if I recall correctly. I remember being aghast that he dropped to 4th.

    I said it in a previous thread, but I think I’d rather have Nurse than Jones. If they have about the same level of talent and athleticism, I’ll take the guy who is known to be an absolute prick to play against. This is completely subjective and has no real bearing on the conversation, but look at their pictures side by side. Jones looks like a good dude, the kind of guy who would help you up after a scrum during a game of pond hockey. Nurse looks like it would take three guys to hold him back from jumping on you again. The Oilers site has him at 6’05”, 205 lbs at 20 years old. If he can add even 10 lbs without sacrificing any mobility, look the frig out when you’re coming into the Oiler zone.

    On a side note, that might be an interesting read – the effect added muscle has on an athlete’s overall agility.

    To conclude this novella, I would like to see Nurse on the Oilers, but not as a third pairing guy. Unless he forces his way into the top 4 at camp, I think I’d rather see him play 25+ minutes a night in all three disciplines in Bakersfield. Something tells me he won’t need much time to adjust.

    Just wait till Nurse and Draisatl are regulars on the big club, I’ll have to change my name to Jordarnell McNugent-Hallsaitl.

    • Word to the Bird

      I just hope they get someone to help mentor Nurse. Right now the options are Nikitin, Schultz, or Fayne.

      I want a Weber to Nashville’s Jones, a Giordano to Calgary’s Brodie, a Suter to Minnesota’s Brodin, a Martin to Pittsburgh’s Letang, a Chara to now New York’s Boychuck, or a Chara to Boston’s Krug.

      Namely, I want Seabrook. I want him baaaaad. I would even take Phanuef except he shoots left.