WHAT’S BUBBLING UNDER?

gernat common 4

The Edmonton Oilers recalled Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl to the NHL during October, and now find themselves with a rather pedestrian prospect base among the ‘bubbling under’ set. No ‘certain success’ prospects in the AHL, no one in junior or in Europe who we can absolutely call a top-drawer prospect. That’s a problem, and Peter Chiarelli needs to address the lack of top-end prospects in the system.

THE 2015 DRAFT

Edmonton traded a LARGE number of picks during the 2015 draft, and it’s going to impact the organization moving forward. Let’s review the trades at this past year’s draft:

  1. Traded No. 16 (Mathew Barzal) and No. 33 overall (Mitchell Stephens) for Griffin Reinhart.
  2. Traded No. 57 (Jonas Siegenthaler), No. 79 (Sergey Zborovskiy), No. 184 overall (Adam Huska) for Cam Talbot and pick that turned into Ziyat Paigin (No. 209).
  3. Traded No. 86 (Mike Robinson) for Todd McLellan.
  4. Traded No. 107 (Christian Wolanin) and Travis Ewanyk for Eric Gryba. Selection was acquired for Martin Marincin.

Barzal is having a strong season and can reasonably regarded as a blue-chip prospect, and Stephens would have to rank as a reasonable bet. Jury’s out on the rest, and Edmonton did receive three players management deemed as being ready to help right away (Griffin Reinhart, Cam Talbot and Eric Gryba) and paid the troll toll on Todd McLellan’s hiring (the NHL’s well-timed rule may end up punishing very few teams, and Edmonton severely).

WHO NEEDS PROSPECTS?

One of the useful assets an NHL team can use in trade is prospects. The Oilers don’t have a bunch of desirable prospects in the AHL (I imagine men like Laurent Brossoit, Anton Slepyshev and Bo Yakimov have value, but all teams have promising minor league players who are developing but not yet NHL-ready). That kind of prospect is usually a ‘throw-in’ as part of a bigger deal, and I wouldn’t estimate any of them to have substantially more value than Martin Marincin had in June.

2016 DRAFT PICKS

Edmonton currently sits in No. 26 place (actually tied for No. 24) so let’s assume they’ll pick No. 5 in each round of the coming draft. Here are their selections:

  • No. 5 overall
  • No. 35 overall
  • No. 65 overall
  • No. 95 overall
  • No. 125 overall
  • No. 155 overall
  • No. 185 overall

Edmonton did trade one selection from the 2016 draft, that one came over from Dallas in the Shawn Horcoff-Phil Larson trade. The club dealt that selection to Tampa Bay for No. 208 overall and picked up goalie Miroslav Svoboda at the 2015 edition.

RESTOCKING

The Oilers need to offload some of the veteran rentals at the deadline for draft picks and or prospects. Candidates include Teddy Purcell, Nikita Nikitin and Ben Scrivens, but you may also see a player like Mark Fayne sent away (he is not a UFA in summer 2016).

Edmonton could also trade a roster player (they have a lot of lefty defenders) for a pick and of course future selections are on the table as needed.

JUNIOR, COLLEGE AND EUROPE

Most of Edmonton’s prospects are playing pro, either in Bakersfield or in Europe. A few college men like Zach Nagelvoort and Tyler Vesel, USHL defender John Marino and junior players like Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones represent the best of the amateurs under the Oilers procurement umbrella.

One player they could add to their prospect list? Josh Winquist. The young man is enjoying a nice start to the season in Bakersfield and has yet to sign an NHL contract. Peter Chiarelli used the 2015 draft to address extreme need in goal and on defense, and now one of the challenges facing him will be re-stocking the prospect tree.

I’d expect we see some trades for picks, some more college or graduating junior signings, and at least one European player signed by the end of April 2016.

  • pkam

    Love that the draft seekers are instantly going for austin matthews, cause what we are really lacking right now is skilled forwards….. If you are going to throw the towel in on this season at least have the intelligence to look at drafting what we need, DEFENSE….

    • Al Theeathoone

      Can’t let you get away with this comment either…

      What exactly do you think gives you the right to judge people or call anyone on here names? Or to tell someone they don’t have intelligence, or to tell me to grow up after reading my earlier comment?

      First of all I am likely twice as old as you. I had seasons tickets (4 seats) to the Oilers years before they even got into the NHL. I follow everything I can that they have done and do now using Radio, TV, Internet, this ON site here and others like it as well.

      I’ve either watched live in person or on TV virtually every game the Oilers have played for as I said likely (and I am guessing) longer than you’ve been alive. And I’m pretty sure I’ve played more hockey than you’ve seen hockey games on TV. I may be wrong about some things but I certainly don’t need any advice or comments coming from the likes of people like you.

      You tough guys, conflict junkies and Einsteins on here can make your points without your weak attempts at putting others down – trying to puff yourselves up and convince yourselves you are the only ones with any hockey knowledge, experience or intelligence.

      How many times every day on here does some know it all like you say “do you ever even watch the games”? or “do you know anything about hockey”?, or have you ever played organized hockey as if that makes you any wiser – (Google Scotty Bowman or Ken Hitchcock) or “you need to get out of your Mom’s basement”, or you need to grow up, or dozens of other immature ill conceived comments like those.

      Just because you can hide behind your keyboard doesn’t make you tough, or smart, or more intelligent, wiser, or better in any way than anyone else. It just makes you and your comments appear to be just what they are – weak.

  • hagar

    The Oilers will not win until they get veteran help.

    At least 2 of the top 6 forwards should be Veterans.

    We always seem to think the new kid on the block like Slepyshev, Pakarinen, Draisaitl, Yakupov will be the answer to the top 6.

    Bring in a player like Joe Thornton or Eric Stall to show Hall, Eberle, Davey, RNH the way. Derek Roy was and is not a very good player but he helped the Oilers last year.

    As for defense trade the first pick next year and one of the core Hall, Eberle, RHN, Yak, Drai for a #1 defensemen/

    A more experienced team is the only way to go. The Oilers will not win with the existing group.

  • BDH

    I find it odd that people will write essays in these comments but its way too much effort to actually write out a persons full name. Eight paragraphs but McClellan, McDavid, and Chiarelli must be way too much to type. Have to go with MacL, McD and Chia or else carpal tunnel will set in

  • Zarny

    @TigerUnderGlass

    Systems haven’t really changed in like forever. 2-1-2. 1-2-2. Overload. Left-wing lock. All basically the same with minor variations on positioning and defensively responsibilities.

    All that has really changed is the coach’s insistence on players staying in position and playing within the system.

    I, and certainly many players like Zach Parise, would agree that strict adherence to structure and positioning removes intuition and creativity from players.

    I don’t see any system “promoting” intuition and creativity. Coaches will give certain players more leeway to freelance and use their creativity but the system doesn’t promote it; the coach allowing the player to ignore the system sporadically does but it’s always on an individual basis for players like Sid, Ovi, Kane etc.

    • The Last Big Bear

      I have to disagree with you here.

      North American coaches use only a handful of systems.

      But many world-class coaches in Europe and Russia have an altogether different way of doing things.

      The fact that we don’t see them in the NHL is more a reflection of the NHL being an old boys club with a majority of North American players. But I don’t think for a second that the NHL has a monopoly on solid coaching.

      And trust me, there are a lot of successful professional coaches in the KHL, Sweden, etc, who do things drastically differently from what we see here… And their systems work.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Desperate team trade draft picks and hope for something to stick…………trading draft picks should not be done lightly and Allan has done a good job of pointing that out.

    I would diagree though that our cupboards are empty……….we just have to learn to be patient with our draft picks.

    Like Brandon Davidson, we can draft in later rounds and have success……….was it not you that penned the article on Zyiat Pagin, Allan?

    Enough talk on draft picks………the season just started!

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Our losses are not the coaches, G.M.’s, or a systems fault. Our guys are not competing on a consistent basis. Notice how most games we are one goal ahead and you get that “spidey” sense like there going to lose the lead? Then we fall behind and coming into the third period we finally get mad and try and tie it up. Why can’t they play mad all the time? Play with heart, play like you are grateful to be making millions of dollars doing something you love and are the envy of millions of players who never get a cup of coffee in the NHL. We have the superstars now we need the players with heart like Hendricks, Smitty, Jason Smith, and of course our dynasty team. Why did we win 5 cups? They had, Confidence, heart, accountability and they were friends true friends, where you mess with one, you mess with them all.