The Edmonton Oilers will be at one of the front tables again (!!!) at the 2015 draft but there will be new faces walking onto the stage. Oiler fans saw first indication* yesterday that Stu MacGregor is out and Bob Green is in as amateur scouting director.
*(changed word from confirmation to indication, so as to avoid conclusion 10:18AM)
- Mark Spector: We can tell you that it is clear to those inside the organization where a major problem lies, and that is in the player evaluation side. Both the amateur and pro scouting isn’t good enough, as Edmonton’s draft record and current goaltending tandem prove. Expect changes atop the amateur scouting department soon, where I would expect Bob Green — the man who built the Memorial Cup champion Edmonton Oil Kings as the team’s GM — to be put in charge of the department. Source
Book it. Spector also talks about the Oilers trading the Penguins’ 1st rd pick (acquired yesterday for David Perron) for defensive or goaltending help. Makes sense, but I think we’ll see that kind of a deal later in 2015, possibly the draft. Expect Jeff Petry and (possibly) Boyd Gordon next out of town.
THE 30 BEST PLAYERS IN THE 2015 DRAFT
- (1) C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Hard target No. 1.
- (2) C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Hard target No. 2.
- (5) D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Closed well at world juniors. Impressive talent.
- (3) C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 6.03, approaching 2 points-per-game in world’s best jr league.
- (4) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA). Range of skills, trending.
- (10) R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 77 points in 37 GP. NHLE: 82, 21-30-51.
- (6) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna (WHL). Powerful skater with plus playmaking ability. Crazy offensive season.
- (7) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL) Huge forward impressing so far at WJ.
- (8) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Love his skills, he’s going to be a favorite.
- (9) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SEL) 6.0, 174. Two-way defender with terrific speed and an across the board skill set.
- (11) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Intelligent offensive player with exceptional passing ability and speed.
- (12) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big, big winger with some skill. The new Lucic hopeful?
- (NR) R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML). Big winger with terrific skills. A fun player to watch.
- (NR) Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Good size, speed, skill. I bet he moves up the list before June.
- (13) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Two-way center with emerging offense. Intelligent.
- (14) R Daniel Sprong, Charlettown Islanders (QMJHL) Dynamic scorer, excellent skater.
- (15) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Quality two-way defender. Smart player.
- (NR) Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL). Major skill, size, speed.
- (NR) C Jeremy Bracco, USND (USHL). NO idea why this small skill center isn’t getting more attention.
- (NR) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Skill F, slightly undersized. Started slowly, coming along now.
- (NR) D Jakub Zboril, Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL). A puck-moving defender with size.
- (NR) L Dennis Yan, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL). Skill winger scoring well in a good junior league.
- (NR) C Colin White, USND (USHL). Skill center scoring well, famous early.
- (NR) C Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Impressive young player, very creative.
- (NR) R Brock Boeser, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Appears to be a talented tank.
- (NR) C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL). Small, exceptionally skilled center.
- (NR) L Ryan Gropp, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Has a plus shot, skates well, good size. Throwback winger.
- (NR) G MacKenzie Blackwood, Erie Otters (OHL). Started slowly, now sporting .914SP, .944 in December.
- (NR) C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL). Scoring center isn’t lighting it up this year, highly regarded.
- (NR) L Paul Bittner, Portland (WHL). Big winger with some skill. I bet the Oilers love him.
- (NR) C Nicholas Roy, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Tall, rangy playmaker who can play center or wing.
- (NR) D Nicolas Meloche, Baie-Comeau Drakker (QMJHL). Physical two-way defender.
I ran a bonus pair because Edmonton has three picks in the top 31 currently (lottery aside). While I’m at it, here are the current numbers of Oilers picks in the 2015 entry draft:
- No. 1 overall
- No. 28 overall (Perron trade)
- No. 31 overall
- No. 68 overall (Hemsky trade)
- No. 91 overall
- No. 121 overall
- No. 151 overall
- No. 181 overall
SAIL ON, ST. JEROME PANTHER
I liked him on his draft day, as a St. Louis Blues winger and absolutely loved his game as an Oiler. David Perron gave Edmonton’s second line an agitator and a skilled man, he gave fans a nifty, sneaky veteran to cheer for and gave the opposition fits. I hope he wins Stanley in Pittsburgh or down the line and I think he’s a helluva hockey player. Sail on, David Perron, we saw you only 116 times in an Oilers uniform but you made an impact. One day this team will have enough David Perron’s to make a difference. I don’t know when that day will be, however.
Now @Bobbyklink grew up in. Lethbridge. Not Germany. Lots of chinooks. And the odd clipper there. So he can handle the cold. For sure.
— Bob Cole (@BobColeBaby) January 2, 2015
ROB KLINKHAMMER 2014-15
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.10
- 5×4 points per 60:
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 53
- Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (3line opp)
- Qual Team: 9th best teammates among regular forwards (3line)
- Corsi Rel: 9.1 (4th among Penguins forwards)
- Zone Start: 52.1%
- Shots on goal/percentage: 33/12.12%
- Boxcars: 29gp, 4-2-6
These are combined totals, including Arizona and Pittsburgh. This is a good player card, Klinkhammer is a MacT-type through and through. I suspect he’ll slide in for Tyler Pitlick on the 4line (goodbye zone starts!) and that trio may end up getting more TOI than the Yakupov (fourth) line. I like the player, thought he was effective against us when a Coyote.
IS IT A GOOD TRADE?
The value of the trade, the return, is fine. About 116 more David Perron games for a useful checker and a first-round selection in a deep draft. Craig MacTavish needs to turn that pick into something useful for 2015-16 or this team will never get out of the lottery. The trade itself, without explanation, tells us they are once again moving back the age of the cluster. If that is their plan, all is lost. We can hope Craig MacTavish will trade the pick for immediate, effective help but we don’t have enough evidence that he’s capable of doing it. We wait.
Jeff Petry 72% CF. Sweet freedom will soon be yours, Jeff
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) December 24, 2014
Love is all around for the Oilers best defenseman. What’s not to like? As this article explains, he’ll cost peanuts.