Found Money

Money1

The prospects who get drafted are the ones who work hard,
produce well and have the dimensions that NHL clubs want. It’s an
uphill battle even for the players whom an NHL club has already put their
stamp of approval on — they won’t all make the NHL. Then there are the ones
who didn’t get drafted. They also worked hard, but maybe they didn’t start
producing until they were older, or didn’t have the physical dimensions
that NHL clubs dream about. If the drafted group succeeds it’s because they
should have. If they fail then the NHL club suffers. If the undrafted group
succeeds it’s found money. If they fail, then nothing has been lost.

The prospect games this fall have highlighted Edmonton’s
fantastic drafted rookies. McDavid is awe-inspiring, Nurse looks like the
future of the blueline, Draisaitl continues to be German. The games, though,
have also highlighted a group of particularly talented players who represent found money. These kids on AHL deals with the
Bakersfield Condors cost nothing to acquire and present no risk to the club at
all.

Bakersfield added Connor Rankin, Alexis Loiseau, and Braden
Christoffer to a group that already had Josh Winquist. These four kids have all looked
very good at the prospect tournament, far better than one might expect from
players who never did get drafted or never did grab an entry level contract
from an NHL team.

THE LONGSHOTS

Connor Rankin is a 20 year old, 6’0” tall, 200 pound center
who just finished his WHL career with the Calgary Hitmen. This past season was his best offensively, with 72GP, 32-47-79. He
also put up 14 points in 12 playoff games last year. He finished the season second
in Hitmen scoring, behind Adam Tambellini. Not only was he a producer and
leader off the ice, but he was also named the Hitmen’s Humanitarian of the Year
for his work with animal charities.

Alexis Loiseau is a 21 year old, 6’1” tall, 179 pound center
who just finished his QMJHL career with the Rimouski Oceanic as their captain. Like
Rankin, this was his best ever offensive season in the CHL. The difference was
just in how well he performed. He finished tied for fifth in QMJHL
scoring and lead the Oceanic with 68GP, 35-61-96. Loiseau was an offensive star
this past season. The year before he was roughly a point per game player as
well. A little lean, a bit late blooming, but there’s clearly talent there. He
also exploded with a four point night against the Jets. Here’s a great article on
Loiseau and the challenges that face overage point producers who just want to
play hockey all their lives.

Like Loiseau, Braden Christoffer captained his former junior
club. He’s a 21 year old, 5’10” tall, 190 pound winger who finished his WHL
career with the Regina Pats. Unlike the previous players added to the Condors
on an AHL deal, Christoffer has lower scoring totals but significantly higher
PIMs. This past season he produced more than he ever has with 72GP, 26-33-59, but
his 147 penalty minutes are what stand out. That was the second highest
PIM total in the WHL last year. He has 31 career WHL fights as per
hockeyfights.com but at the Young Stars Tournament he showed that his hands could be used for more
than pummeling. He had three goals and one assist in the three games he
played.

Josh Winquist is a 22 year old, 6’0” tall, 180 pound left
wing. He is in his second season with the organization on an AHL deal.
Like the others he fell through the cracks of the NHL draft in large part
thanks to being a late bloomer. He had 93 points in 63 games in his final
season with the Everett Silver Tips then transitioned very well to the
professional leagues last year. He went 18GP, 5-18-23 in the ECHL and 46GP,
8-11-19 in the AHL. He won the scoring title (if such a thing exists) at the
2015 Penticton Young Stars Tournament with four goals and one assist in three games,
edging out Draisaitl based on goals. He stands to play the season entirely with
the Condors and it’s clear he’s capable of posting quality scoring totals.

AND?

no-risk

Director of Player Personnel Bob Green, Assistant General
Manager Bill Scott, and the Oilers have added a quality group of players to the
Bakersfield Condors. They are young enough to still be prospects and each of
them has a fair amount of skill. The best part for the Oilers is that they can
take these long shots on and if none of them ever becomes more than an AHL
player then that’s fine. However, if any of them show more promise at the AHL
level then the franchise will be the first to know.

They are a zero risk group of pretty talented players. It’s
more than likely that by the end of the year we’ll have forgotten about at
least a few of these kids. However, if any of Rankin, Loiseau, Christoffer, or
Winquist ever progress to play even a single game in the NHL then they are
found money for the Oilers.

Good luck to them all.

    • mcjesus take the wheel

      Lol. PC doesn’t have a thing to do with any of these players. Grasping at straws again and praising PC for things he has ZERO to do with. Sheep. Baaaa.

  • freelancer

    Finding guys like these is a good start to being successful in the future. Out of my own curiousity, Matt, are you familiar with the linemates of any of the above mentioned players last year? Hate to be that guy but looking for any info to explain the points increase.

    • Not overly familiar with a lot of Jr players, but big point increases are relatively common with older players. It’s why we can’t get too excited while at the same time we can hope there’s more to it than just age and experience in the CHL.

  • WhoreableGuy

    It’s a good feeling that we are finally getting excited about prospects that didn’t go #1 Overall.

    What the hell did the previous scouting group do?

    • vetinari

      Can’t remember the GM who said it but I remember one interview where the GM said that his scouts should find and the team should be able to draft at least two future NHLers in each draft. The first rounder will almost always get some serious consideration and playing time and at least one other from the rest. Three of more guys from the same draft class was considered a huge success. One or none was a huge disappointment.

    • So you are saying you were not excited about last years prospects like Yakimov ,Winqist ,Holgren , Khaira , Chase , Munoz , Musil , Simpson , Marincin , etc.. Draisaitl and Nurse from last year you were not excited about ? Somehow , I do not believe you . This years crop had a much better and older Nurse , Winquist and Draisaitl , and new commer McDavid that helped immensely for entire team to look better .

  • ubermiguel

    I love the approach here – like a free pull on a slot machine. I also love that they appear to be targeting guys that were captains of their former squads. You can never have too many leaders.

    I feel a bit like Charlie Brown lining up for a kickoff, but by Odin’s Raven am I looking forward to this season and the future of this team.

  • ubermiguel

    The Found Money factor is why I loved Arcobello and hated the way he was squandered on the way out of the organization. Found Money was so rare for this organization, I look forward to filling the AHL with guys like this and seeing who becomes a bottom 6 NHL player.

  • freelancer

    On a different note, here is a quote from McDavid describing the play on the Loiseau goal.

    “One guy was on (Draisaitl) who cycled it, and another guy came to me. Just by those numbers alone there should be a guy open, so I just tried to throw it out there, and obviously Loiseau made a pretty spectacular play,”

    Just the way he talks about the game is different. Many NHL players would probably have noticed the same thing on the ice but just to hear him point out all the things he was processing in a couple seconds just shows how fast this kid thinks the game.

  • mcjesus take the wheel

    This takes away a bit of the sting of giving up the two draft picks for Reinheart. Yes, those picks are more likely to be better NHLer’s but they would not have made the club this year, and really would be looked for to bring some skill down on the farm.

    Now it looks like the farm will have Shlepyshev, Yakimov, Draisaitl, Winquist, Rankin, Chase, Pitlick, Laleggia, Hunt, Platzer, Davidson, Pakerinen, and Osterle.

    I would say that’s a good amount of skill to be developing for possible roles on the third and fourth lines.

    I mean, even Draisaitl looks to have the best shot to break in on the wing, so that will likely keep other guys down developing until they are ready.

    If only the defence was so deep.

    • Wiggleswag

      How is this comment getting trashed? I mean, I’m not upset, I just want to know what positive outlook point found in here people are taking exception to? Do they not think this takes away the Reinheart sting?

      Brazal, picked at number 16th overall had 44 points in 57 games is 6ft and weighs 175.

      Alexis Loiseau went 96 points in 68 games in the Q and is bigger.

      The others on this list I would say are at least comparable.

      Mitchell Stevens, got 48 points in 62 games in the OHL last year, and is a little bigger, but still not over 200.

      Point being, while Brazal might end up being better than the guys on this list, is he better than Nuge, McDavid, or Draisaitl? Cause as a center, that’s who his competition would be for a spot in the NHL.

      So again, how did this get a downvote?

      • mcjesus take the wheel

        Just because the Islanders took Barzal and traded the other doesn’t mean those would have been our picks at those spots. There were so many other great players available with those picks. I don’t believe Reinhart will be as good in the NHL as most here hope. I would have either used the same picks plus to get Dougie Hamilton or used them on other prospects. But PC didn’t. So we wait a few years to see if it works out.

        • mcjesus take the wheel

          Ugh, you again. You are killing me!

          It’s well reported Boston wanted the two picks plus Darnell Nurse.

          So knowing that, are you still making that deal? As for other prospects, name me one who was available at the 16th spot who is going to either a better defender THIS YEAR, than Reinheart. Or name me a forward whose numbers in junior were exponentially better than the FA’s picked up on this list.

          The only one I can see worthy of arguing is Chabot, but again, is he going to be a better help to the Oilers either this year or next year considering Nurse isn’t even on the team yet?

          Maybe, but you also have to remember Edmonton made the trade early in the draft, and of course did not know who would be on the board by the time 16 rolled around.

          So please, with evidence, not opinion, enlighten me.

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            Yeah im killing you because i actually use my brain not like other sheep here.

            Fact. This is an instance where PC hurt us rather than helped us. Boston made that demand knowing we wouldn’t do it but then sold him off for less than our offer of the 3 picks that were better than Calgary.

            Who is going to help this year? Reinhart most likely won’t. If he makes the team at all its as a bottom pair.

            And no they did not make the trade early. They knew many of the guys on the board still. Boston had made their trades and picks. They knew what was available. Fact.

            Keep pumping.
            And not only that. Barzal though he went 16 was rated top ten in virtually every ranking out there. In one of the deepest drafts in memory.

          • ubermiguel

            Ok, so, I still don’t see how Chi could have used the picks to get Hamilton. What is your solution to a situation where the team trading Hamilton, didn’t want to trade him to us, unless it was for too much?

            You know what, never mind. You’re posts fall over their own arguments. I am done responding to you.

            Good day sir.

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            Lol you clearly aren’t bright enough to understand the basic concepts.

            If PC wasn’t our GM, Hamilton would likely be an Oiler right now. PC hurt us. Not helped.

            But you and others continue to praise everything about him while ignoring the negatives.

          • freelancer

            So correct me if I’m wrong (and try not to toss out insults while you do) but you weren’t a fan of bringing in Chiarelli. Did you have a different choice you would have preferred? Did you want to keep MacT?

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            I don’t hate either of them. They both have done both good and bad things. The sheep here though will never admit Mact did any good and will say PC can do no wrong. They also bash moves Mact made in the past but they praised them at the time. The whole hockey world praised Mact for getting Eakins. At the time it was a major coup. But now knowing the result a lot on here like to act holier than though. Hypocrits is what they are.

          • freelancer

            Fair enough. Hind sight is always 20/20. While I was happy to have a GM change, I thought MacT did plenty of good things too. Unfortunately the team did not improve which is all anyone will ever remember. The same will hopefully go for Chiarelli. If the team doesn’t improve I’m sure we will start to see people look at him more objectively.

            For the time being, he has helped bring change to the organization, whether these prospects turn out or not, right now they are trending upwards which is all you can ask. We will be able to have a more objective look at them as the season begins and they start playing in the AHL.

            The whole summer has been full of potential. For once I’m actually excited to get back to the season with some faith that it will not disappoint.

          • The “whole hockey world ” in any competent NHL organization would not have had MR chop wood carry water back for a second year, in fact I would venture he would have been skidded by the 20 game mark is his first year, Anything that Lowe Mac-T and Howson did that ever worked out was by accident.There can be no legitimate defence for the 3 stooges and the “whole hockey world ” knows this.

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            There are some of us fans who think PC is overly credited for the majority of moves that have taken place since he’s been here. I have no inside knowledge but think about the coaching situation towards the end of the year when the Oilers nearly played .500 hockey under Nelson & the majority of fans were clamoring for MacT to bring him back for next year. MacT didn’t say one way or the other but did indicate the Oilers had to leave their options open. I believe interest was being shown by both sides (McLellan & Oilers) at this time. Remember, MacT was answering these questions while over in Europe where McLellan was coaching Team Canada (Hall & Eberle) included at that time. This is just one example.

          • Joy S. Lee

            Let’s say these moves were in the works before PC was hired. It’s still his decision and he deserves some credit for making it or allowing it to happen.

            I’ve liked MacT all along. Not as the GM though. He did some good moves and he did some bad ones. Some that we may think were bad moves, may have been intentional. Plus all the nice prospects we have aren’t a result of the PC era.

            I think MacT would have done himself better by working as an assistant longer under a good GM.

          • bradleypi

            When I think about it, MacT was a disaster for the following reasons:

            * hiring Eakins – in bushleague manner

            * staying loyal to old Oiler cronies, while team floundered

            * made stupid comments to the press that weakened his position

            * overvalued certain players, because apparently he is the smartest guy in hockey and knew more then everyone else

            * Mishandling of Petry contract – which should have been avoided

            * Got his job because he is buddies with Katz and Lowe, which isn’t how it should be done in the real world

            Also, MacT won the lotto when Slats gave him a second chance after his DUI, and he played on a team with six of the greatest NHLers in history. Good for him for making it work, and he was a great role players, but so was Norm Lacombe. If the Oilers didn’t have MacT in the 80s they still would have won 5 cups.

            Good riddance to MacT and good luck to TM, BG and PC.

            Go Oilers.

          • hagar

            The number one thing that pissed me off about Mact wasn’t his various horrible signings and decisions… it was the way he would stare straight into the camera, and lie about the progress of the team.. to this day he still says Eakins was the the right choice for the oilers as a coach, and he refuses to admit what the entire world knows..

            It’s like catching a little kid stealing candy on camera, but he simply refuses to admit it was him, even though he is still wearing the same shirt and pants.

          • ubermiguel

            As you have stated, if PC was not our GM Hamilton might be an Oiler today.

            PC is our GM, Hamilton is a Flame and you want to down tick PC because the Bruins are spiteful.

            Somehow, this seems to be kind of a childish argument doesn’t it. Good day sir.

          • Joy S. Lee

            Don’t know who is trashing the above comment, but it makes perfect sense in it’s simplicity and logic. If that’s a 50/50 comment… a few people have no clue… or a vendetta.

          • Joy S. Lee

            “If he makes the team at all its as a bottom pair.”

            Is that as an NHL bottom-pair, rookie defenseman? Do you think that might signify an improvement in the depth of the organization, since presumably, he’ll be behind Sekera, Fayne, Klefbom, and ONE (or two) of Gryba, Nurse, or Schultz?

            You make it sound like being a 3rd pairing NHL defenseman is akin to failing. That’s where the defensemen who aren’t “dominant” go, but let’s not overlook the obvious fact that he would be a ROOKIE 3rd pairing NHL defenseman. Let me remind you also that kids rarely step into a top 4, let alone a top 2 role on an NHL team. Which would mean they start on the 3rd pairing.

            Keep pumping, alright, because the lights are out and you need to generate some electricity. Since you’re such an expert on how Reinhart is sure to be a failure – even it is in one of those lowlife 3rd pairing NHL spots – did you see him lead the Oil Kings to the WHL and Mem Cup championships? Did you see him weak there, too? Where is your tremendous insight coming from? Pumping sheep, apparently…

          • Bruins wanted Nurse instead of our first round pick I take it , and our two second round picks ? Hamilton for that might have been worth it . However , then we would not have the draft picks left to have gotten Reinhart if we made that deal . Thus we would have no Reinhart or Nurse and still down 2 second round picks minimum for Hamilton . It still may have been the better way to go , who knows at this time . Could also work as a blessing in disguise for us ? If MacT. was still Gm he probably would have faced a similar scenario , but would have won with a better bid than Flames I believe .

          • Train#97

            From my understanding, it was Nurse + 16th overall + 33 overall.

            Wheras I think Chi was willing to deal 16th, 33rd, and another pick for Hamilton, similar to the Flames deal.

            It was basically the Bruins saying F U to Chi.

            While I would agree Hamilton is currently a better player than Nurse, and maybe even will impact a game more than both Nurse and Reinheart combined at the moment. You have to remember you also give up all the years of Nurse playing for much less money than Hamilton, And you do that with Reinheart as well. In a cap league those value years have almost unquantifiable value. Think of Kane and Toews helping the Hawks win the cup while in their rookie contracts. They, in turn, helped players from that team look amazing, who then had higher trade value to acquire assets that helped in subsequent cup wins, and so the cycle went.

            Anyway, like you say, time will tell, but given the pedigree of Reinheart, what he accomplished in the Dub, and the obvious potential and current talent of Nurse, I think the Oilers will be fine.

          • hagar

            Tough to say on that one… I am sure the answer will come out in hindsight over the next couple years.

            I know I would have traded nurse plus the second and third for OEL or webber or some other guaranteed now performer. I don’t see hamilton being worth it right now myself. Maybe in two years it would take Nuge and Eberle to land Hamilton like it would to land Webber right now.

          • Train#97

            Being only an armchair GM, it’s a tough call. Chi has too look not just about the team today, but the team five years from now, so really you’re asking would you trade Nurse’s 3 rookie contract years, for Hamilton’s ability right now. And to that I have to say no. There’s just too much value Nurse can bring in the next few years in a salary cap world.

      • ubermiguel

        Down-voted because the 16th and 33rd picks are not more likely to become NHL players than Reinhart.

        Take a look at a few entry draft lists; around the 16th pick is where craziness happens. You could end up with a guy that has a fantastic career, but you’re just as likely to get a guy that has no career.

        • ubermiguel

          Hhhmmm, I think we are making the same point. I also do not think anyone available at 16 and 33 are going to be better than Reinheart, nor are really head and shoulders above the guys listed in this article which got picked up for nothing. At forward at least. Chabot and the Russian Goalie I think were solid late first round picks.

          But again, better than Reinheart? Hhhhhmmm, I don’t know.

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            Since any NHL team can offer these guys a contract and take them without any compensation to the Oil (as confirmed above) I am not convinced that we should be so high on this situation as a great Oil victory. Actually, one could maybe argue that we are using Condor / Oiler resources and ice time to develop a player that could benefit another team. Perhaps at the expense of not having that spot available to develop an Oiler prospect that can’t be pinched. ???

          • Joy S. Lee

            First you have to find the prospects.

            No one knows how kids are going to adapt to being a professional. They’re all different in so many ways, physically and mentally.

            Toss in the fact that you’re only allowed 50 contracts, on a budget… it’s a balancing act. They get to see them up close and know them personally. They can sign the ones that impress them most. Timing is everything.

            To me? From seeing only 1.5 of the games so far, from the new guys I like Christoffer who may be better than appearances suggest, plus Rankin and Loiseau showed some potential.

            Pakarinen is a good example of the value a good bird-dog can bring for free. Oh, and Slepyshev, Chase, Yakimov and Platzer (really like this kid) were drafted, but all four of those guys could be big players for the farm team. These guys you are questioning are bringing more POTENTIAL to the table. Beats the heck out of hired guns like Ryan Hamilton who offer stability and leadership, but no future. Give the ice time to kids who MIGHT turn into something useful at the NHL level. It’s worth a shot, at the very least. Timing is everything; if they get pinched, it’s only because someone knows something or the Oilers fall asleep at the switch. It’s proper asset handling and development; you can’t find a gem unless you look for it in the first place.

  • pynetime

    This is the value that someone like Bob Green brings to the organization. I have to believe he had a lot to do with bringing in these guys. Lets not forget that this is how Tyler Johnson got his start. I’m not saying any of these guys are going to be the next Tyler Johnson but if one of them can produce half of what Johnson looks to be on track for then I’d call that a big win!

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    In some ways I felt McDavid looked like he was playing like I would expect a veteran to be playing this time of year. Sure he went hard and tried to do his best but somehow he seemed to not be very jacked up about being in a non-point game. I like that as it shows that he expects to be playing with men. Has skating with Hall etc made him have high and lofty goals? Nothing will be as it was, Nothing.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    I am so amazed at how many players have been scoring. VS Vancouver 8 different players scored. Same last night yet in both cases those two top centers had a lot of assists. McDavid and Draisaitl are both making everyone around them better. What will be interesting to see is if playing with them will inspire the work to make the NHL in several of these players listed above. I would suspect that having a chance to play with such a generational player will inspire. McDavid really does change many things. It will be interesting to see if the Veterans come to camp just a little stronger etc just for the chance they could be here for silver in a future year.

  • Hey Matt,

    Do these AHL contracts provide the Oilers with first rights / protection of these players? Or is there a risk that if another team offers them an NHL contract we can lose them (without compensation)? Not sure that the chance of that is very likely but curious if that is a risk?

  • Train#97

    To Will and ubermiguel

    Now that you both have emptied your pistols shooting past each others’ arguments, i’d like to offer a perspective that might be more on target.

    No one (or very few) is saying that Reinhart is not a better bet to help the Oilers than either #16 OR #33. I think the issue is the reaction to using the equivalent of 2 first round picks (i.e. 16 AND 33) to acquire a player who clearly wasn’t in the Isle’s future plans. If the trade had been #16 plus a 3rd or a prospect i suspect there would be very little whining.

    Many fans had spent their summer dreaming (i use that word in the literal sense) of using our high picks to acquire a proven defenseman (e.g. Seabrook) or a proven goalie. Instead, they saw our 2 best remaining draft assets used to acquire another unproven defense prospect. What we are witnessing now is the tail end of a grieving process. When Reinhart becomes a reliable top 4 defender for us, the tune will change.

    • Joy S. Lee

      @bluetada

      I can agree with that. I figured it could have been the 16 and 57th, or whatever, but that may not have been enough at the end of the day for the 4th overall pick (drafted behind only Yakupov, Ryan Murray and Galchenyuk) and AHEAD of fellow D-men Morgan Reilly, Hampus Lindholm and Jacob Trouba! Only 3 years ago!

      There is also value on their return in that Reinhart has been developing his pro game for a year or two. Maybe that factored into it?

      I might also add that all Reinhart really has to do is belong as an Oiler 1-6 D to stem some of that skepticism; that, or light up the farm. I’m reasonably confident he’ll be able to achieve one of those two things this year… and since we’re big on POTENTIAL (that’s what draft picks are) around here, Griffin Reinhart has a huge upside that way, too, and THAT’s the part that isn’t being equated on their side of the argument.

      Yes, Barzal and the others offer big potential in such a DEEP draft year, but Reinhart offers enormous potential in being able to control a hockey game. If he figures it out, he could be a dominant NHL defenseman. Could 16 & 33 do that, too? Maybe. But it’s far less likely. I see your point; but only time will tell, and there are so many factors. Team that gets the best player in the deal wins, usually. It’s not a bad bet to take for an organization that needs defensive help but also wants to build the best YOUNG team to learn, grow and win together.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I would also contend the situation was exasperated by the fact Calgary got Hamilton for less than what was reported Edmonton offered.

      So, had the Hamilton trade not occurred, or least under different circumstances like an offer sheet, the Rienheart trade likely would have had less critiques.

      Instead of using picks to get the prospect lots of fans wanted in the 2012 draft, all some people saw was the waste of picks the team used to not get Hamilton, or as you say Seabrook.

      I agree, with everything you said.

      Question, do you believe Chirelli that Reinheart will start the year in the NHL? And if so, who gets pushed out of the log jam that includes
      Sekera, Fayne, Klefbom, Schultz, Ference, Nikitin, Gryba, and I think even Davidson would need to be exposed to waivers?

    • Train#97

      Post game up in no particular order:

      How did Christopher go undrafted? That kid has had an unreal young stars tournament and that continued on against the Golden Bears.

      McDavid looked like he wasn’t trying, but maybe that’s the type of player he is. You don’t notice him, until you do. And when you do, you notice how he does things that you’ve never seen another hockey player do.

      Draisaitl has a great move where he carries the puck at speed, forcing the D and backcheckers to speed up, then he slows the play down to freeze the line, then threads a pass to another player who’s coming into the zone with speed, which often leads to a scoring chance. Also, there were times in the corners, where two Bears could not get the puck away from one Draisaitl. I cannot believe the Oilers now have Nuge, McDavid, and Draisaitl for centers. I’m almost embarrassed.

      Nurse looks like he took Chi’s comments about not trying to do everything to heart as he only decided to try and win the game by himself one or two times last night. His worst moment came on a PP when he bobbled the puck at the line not once but twice, forcing the young Oilers to regroup.

      I didn’t even know Laleggia was playing, but upon asking if he was half way through the second period, I think he heard me, cause from that moment on, he was dangerous all night. His goal was amazing.

      Etu did let in 3 goals, but played well enough to let the talent in front of him win the night. There was once sequence early where players were falling all over him and he managed to keep the puck out from the left side of his net. However, better players would have or at least should have buried that puck, and I think he got pretty lucky. All in all though, a good performance.

      Chase was pretty absent, though the fourth line did have a really good shift or two.

      Slepyshev too was pretty quite and his goal was not indicative of his talents. I see a similar development curve as Yakimov in that he has the tools, and will need some time to understand how best to make them work in North America.

      Ben Betker’s best moment was the warm up where he looked big. After that he never pumped his legs at all. It’s likely that he can skate, he simply does not.

      The Golden Bears played a typical Golden Bears team game, but just could not overcome the pure individual talent they got shelled with by the likes of Draisaitl, Nurse, McDavid, and the FA pick ups Winquist, Christopher, and Rankin. One of the most entertaining games that building has seen in a long time.

  • Hello Arch
    First time poster here. If you used to (?) post at Lowetide then I’m glad you found a forum here as I enjoy reading your thoughts on the Oilers.
    Just wanted to say good job, yes those young fellas impressed me and agree.. indeed found money if they work out.

    It’s timely and true to note that even though the Oilers have been knocked for their player development, it’s also worth noting that it was an important phase when they finally got their own affiliate farm teams.
    Years ago man, I used to feel bad for those prospects shuffled off to other teams’ farms, hoping and fighting for ice time. I’ll always appreciate EIG for keeping my team here but yeah, tough times.

    So as we are about enter the ‘McDavid’ era, I am also feeling pretty good about this aspect of the organization with Green leading the way.

  • The 16 pick as well as 33 of a very deep draft was traded for a player who was playing little in the AGL playoffs. The gm better be right in this one. Saying he was great as a 20 year old in junior is not a confidence builder.

    • Britts94

      Here’s a few thoughts that might go to help prove that PC made a decent trade.
      A) Reinhart is a 20 year old. Even more so, he is not a 20 year old winger who can jump into a team’s line-up after a stint in the AHL. He is a 20 year old defenceman. And unless your name is Aaron Ekblad I don’t think there’s a 20 yr old d-man playing more than 8-ish minutes a night.
      B) Reinhart was drafted fourth overall in 2012. So we pretty much traded a middle first and early second rounder for fourth overall. Sounds pretty good to me.
      C) This one’s for the future. Pick #16=Mathew Barzal, Pick #33=Mitchell Stephens. (#33 was traded to Tampa, who picked Stephens) Let’s take a look in 2020 and see who we think won the trade 🙂

      • bradleypi

        He’s a 21 year old and there are plenty defenceman that age and younger in today’s game who step in at that age and younger. The concern is that he wasn’t even playing much at the AHL level by the end of the year and skating is an issue. He might be ok eventually. Hope so because that was a steep price to pay on a maybe.

          • Train#97

            At arguably a higher price than Calgary paid for a bonafide NHL defenceman who will play top four for them now, I would have hoped for more of a sure thing. Maybe he will turn out but there are a lot of red flags.

          • mcjesus take the wheel

            Once again…just because those are the guys that were selected in those spots doesn’t mean that is who the Oil coulda woulda selected in those spots. Could have been anyone after. Samsonov, Svechnikov etc etc.

  • freelancer

    I wouldn’t really call this found money, cuz we you find money you can just pick it up and go spend it on whatever you want. This is like finding a signed Gretzky card. First thing you gotta do is find out if it’s real or not, then you gotta find a buyer.

  • bradleypi

    MacT. relieved of job due to tumbling poor results . Chia and McLellan relieved of duties for same reason . It might be premature to expect them to turn our club around in short order . Expectations are they will at least show upward progress with team . I am higher on the players performing better (on ice product) this year than the managerial and coaching changes . They have already taken one step back by lack of familiarity with the players we have . Hopefully that is not the case come opening night , but it might be .

  • mcjesus take the wheel

    I’ve been an Oiler fan since I was 7 years old (which was 1975 for anyone that gives a sh*t)

    Darkest days of all time were the last 9 years, and MacT and KLowe and their minions are a huge reason for that. They are great ex-Oilers, but they will never be more important then the well-being of the franchise. Due to their arrogance and ineptitude they did more harm then good, and as a life long fan, I owe them nothing. I respect them for their on-ice contributions, but have zero respect for their incompetence which led to Oil being a laughing stock of the league.

    Last year, during the depths, I had told my wife (who doesn’t give a sh*t about hockey) that I had lost all hope, and was willing to not pay for my NHL gamecenter and honestly was losing interest. We, as Oil fans owe MacT and KLowe nothing. I hope the current management team will restore this franchise to a respectable level, that can endure setbacks and provide a quality product that competes for the playoffs on an annual basis.

    Hockey means so much to our city, its imperative that our franchise is respected and competitive and well-run, so I hope that the gong-show days of KLowe and MacT are something that is an unfortunate side-note in franchise history.

    Interestingly, the Oilers, who joined the NHL in 1979, have won 5 cups, which places us right behind the Bruins and Blackhawks (and ahead of the Rangers) in total cup wins. This is something that should never be denied, and something that should be a foundation to being one of the most celebrated teams in NHL history.

    • mcjesus take the wheel

      The part of your post I found interesting is the fact that since the Oilers joined the NHL nobody has won more Cups (5) or been in more Cup Finals (7) than the Oilers! That’s 7 Cup finals in 35 years. And you could add one more Cup win & appearance if we counted the 94′ Cup win by the Rangers which was basically orchestrated by Oiler players. Nice! Should be an interesting 10 more years I would think to build on that legacy.