There was a time, many years ago, when a Saturday night game in April involving the two Alberta teams would be talked about for days up to and after the contest. I remember making a run for the border (beer strike) with the idea of getting back in time to see one of them and it didn’t disappointment: Blood, sweat and tears. In those days, the Oilers would often win. It’s been a long, long time and tomorrow—the good tomorrow—is nowhere in sight.
THE 60 BEST PLAYERS IN THE 2015 DRAFT
- (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) 47GP, 44-76-120 (2.55) 5GP, 2-6-8 playoffs
- (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) 38GP, 24-43-67 (1.76)
- (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 63GP, 44-82-126 (2.00) 5GP, 8-5-14 playoffs
- (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 68GP, 45-84-129 (1.90) 5GP, 4-3-7 playoffs
- (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) 37GP, 5-18-23 (.622)
- (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 60GP, 15-46-61 (1.02) 5GP, 0-3-3 playoffs
- (8) R Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton (QMJHL) 55GP, 32-46-78 (1.42) 5GP, 1-4-5 playoffs
- (7) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) 35GP, 9-16-25 (.714)
- (10) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 44GP, 12-45-57 (1.30) 4GP, 3-2-5 playoffs
- (9) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL). 18GP, 2-3-5 (.278)
- (12) R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML) 56gP, 9-19-28 (.500) 7GP, 6-8-14 playoffs (Jr)
- (11) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 72GP, 20-70-90 (1.25) 4GP, 1-5-6 playoffs
- (14) C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 67GP, 42-52-94 (1.40) 5GP, 1-3-4 playoffs
- (13) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) 70GP, 20-59-79 (1.13) 4GP, 0-2-2 playoffs
- (15) R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 61GP, 44-46-90 (1.48) 5GP, 4-3-7 playoffs
- (16) R Daniel Sprong, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) 68GP, 39-49-88 (1.29) 5GP, 4-2-6 playoffs
- (17) C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL) 50GP, 29-40-69 (1.38)
- (18) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 60GP, 29-39-68 (1.13) 4GP, 2-7-9 playoffs
- (19) L Jake Debrusk, Swift Current (WHL) 72GP, 42-39-81 (1.13) 3GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (20) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) 46GP, 5-38-43 (0.93) 5GP, 1-3-4 playoffs
- (23) D Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (OHL) 58GP, 12-51-63 (1.09) 4GP, 2-2-4 playoffs
- (21) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). 37GP, 16-18-34 (0.92) 5GP, 2-1-3 playoffs
- (22) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) 56GP, 29-22-51 (0.91) 4GP, 2-1-3 playoffs
- (25) D Ryan Pilon, Brandon (WHL) 68GP, 11-41-52 (0.77) 5GP, 0-2-2 playoffs
- (27) C Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (OHL) 68GP, 43-61-104 (1.53) 4GP, 4-1-5 playoffs
- (29) G Daniel Vladar, Kladno (Czech 2) 8GP, 1.97 .933
- (26) R Blake Speers, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) 57GP, 24-43-67 (1.18) 4GP, 1-1-2 playoffs
- (28) C Filip Chlapik, Charlotteteown Islanders (QMJHL) 64GP, 33-42-75 (1.17) 5GP, 0-2-2 playoffs
- (30) L Dennis Yan, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 59GP, 33-31-64 (1.08) 5GP, 6-0-6 playoffs
- (31) D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL) 61GP, 8-37-45 (0.74) 5GP, 1-2-3 playoffs
- (32) R Jens Looke, Brynas (SHL) 43GP, 2-4-6 (.139) 7GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (24) R Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL) 55GP, 24-29-53 (0.96) 5GP, 1-2-3 playoffs
- (34) D Jakub Zboril, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 44GP, 13-20-33 (0.75) 4GP, 1-2-3 playoffs
- (36) R Brock Boeser, Waterloo Blachawks (USHL) 53GP, 31-29-60 (1.13)
- (33) L Paul Bittner, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 66GP, 34-37-71 (1.08) 4GP, 0-1-1 playoffs
- (NR) L Dmytro Timashov, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 66GP, 19-71-90 (1.36) 4GP, 1-4-5 playoffs
- (35) C Nathan Noel, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 66GP, 24-38-62 (0.94) 4GP, 2-1-3 playoffs
- (37) D Thomas Chabot, Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL) 66GP, 12-29-41 (.621) 4GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (NR) D Nicolas Meloche, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) 44GP, 10-24-34 (.773) 4GP, 3-1-4 playoffs
- (NR) D Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 69GP, 13-25-38 (.551) 4GP, 1-2-3 playoffs
- (38) G Matej Tomek, Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL) 31GP, 1.71 .932
- (NR) C-R Jeremy Bracco, USNTDP (USHL) 24GP, 14-18-32 (1.33)
- (NR) C Joel Eriksson Ek, Farjestad (QMJHL) 34GP, 4-2-6 (.176) 3GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (NR) C-R Roope Hintz, Ilves (SML) 42GP, 5-12-17 (.405) 2GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (NR) F Colin White, USNTDP (USHL) 20GP, 4-13-17 (.850)
- (NR) D Matt Spencer, Peterborough Petes (OHL) 66GP, 6-24-30 (.455) 3GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (40) F Filip Ahl, HV-71 (SHL) 15GP, 0-2-2 (.133)
- (NR) C Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 68GP, 37-41-78 (1.15)
- (NR) L Ryan Gropp, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 67GP, 30-28-58 (.866) 4GP, 1-6-7 playoffs
- (NR) L Vladimir Tkachev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 46GP, 16-33-49 (1.07) 5GP, 1-2-3 playoffs
- (NR) D Rasmus Andersson, Barrie (OHL) 66GP, 12-42-64 (.970) 4GP, 0-1-1 playoffs
- (NR) C Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals (WHL) 69GP, 28-35-63 (.913) 4GP, 2-2-4 playoffs
- (39) C Nicolas Roy, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 68GP, 16-34-50 (.735) 4GP, 2-3-5 playoffs
- (NR) C Giorgio Estephan, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) 64GP, 23-28-51 (.797)
- (NR) R Zach Senyshyn, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) 66GP, 26-19-45 (.682) 4GP, 2-1-3 playoffs
- (NR) L Graham Knott, Niagra Ice Dogs (OHL) 59GP, 25-18-43 (.729) 3GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (NR) G Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts (OHL) 51GP, 3.09 .906 4GP, 1.74 .954 playoffs
- (NR) D Noah Juulsen, Everett Silvertips (WHL) 68GP, 9-43-52 (.765) 3GP, 0-0-0 playoffs
- (NR) D Jacob Larsson, Frolunda (SHL) 20GP, 1-2-3 (.150)
- (NR) G Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (OHL) 23GP, 2.78 .914
Not a lot of movement at the top but I think we’ll spend much of the spring sussing out the clusters (No. 3-No. 6) (No. 7-12) (No. 13-No. 22) at the high end of round one. There’s also the European kids (I have only seven in the top 60) who aren’t well known yet and there will be much discussion surrounding men like Lawson Crouse and Pavel Zacha (they’ll go much higher than I’m rating them). Finally there’s a bunch of math stars like Timashov who may or may not have a denver boot in their scouting report (but qualify using the slide rule).
One other note: This is a fan’s opinion (a moo point!) and isn’t meant to be representative of how the draft will go or what the Oilers will do. During a recent Oilers luncheon, Craig MacTavish allegedly (it was not confirmed by more than one source) mentioned Noah Hanifin and Ryan Strome. If you’re an Oilers fan, that information is far more valuable than anything you’ll read here. I use NHLE, Red Line Report, Corey Pronman, two scouts I talk to who don’t work for NHL teams but are familiar with certain portions of the CHL. This blog absolutely has a bias toward forwards and offense, this is reflected in the names and rankings above.
Lots of chatter all over the Al Gore about the Oilers in California but anyone who thought this group could hang with Anaheim and Los Angeles is delusional. Fully healthy, the Oilers have no fun in California because those teams are built for the now and Edmonton doesn’t have the horses. If you want to be mad at someone, direct your attention to the GM, who started the season with little at center, a wobbly blue and didn’t react quickly when the goaltending cratered early. These are the facts with value, not discussing the difficulties encountered by a young defense helped by an old one. If Justin Schultz is the answer, what is the question? That’s the story for this season.
LEARNING HOW TO WIN
- Craig Ramsay: “This has been a year where we’ll go into a game and we’ll play pretty hard, but we’re not there the next time. We’ll have a period where we play well, we play hard, but then we want it to be easy. We’re looking for easy.”
From what I can tell, the summer framing in Edmonton will be ‘Eakins didn’t get it’ followed by ‘this young group needs to learn how to win’ and we’re going to receive a Brent Seabrook and a Jimmy Howard to help turn north. Lord knows what is heading the other way but it will no doubt be dear. From my vantage point, this season is about the GM pushing Leon Draisiatl and Darnell Nurse, about patience when the astute thing to do was make a move (at G and C, D if you could) and about a wasted UFA signing on defense.
Long before we get to discussing the coach, the team was unable to gain lift off.
- Craig Ramsay to Joanne Ireland in regard to Brandon Davidson blocking a shot: “It’s not about a toe-drag top-shelf-er. It’s about banging one in from the goal crease. It’s about putting your foot out (to make a block).” Source
That’s so Oilers. With all due respect to Craig Ramsay, if you have to dig down to find an example of doing what it takes to win, why not use the example of Taylor Hall the other night? He got buried in getting the puck to Andrew Miller, who sent it to Lander, and the young Swede sent a bullet to Brandon Davidson for a tally.
No sir. The Edmonton Oilers can’t bring themselves to see leadership among their young skill group and it’s my belief we’re about to see yet another example of big game hunting. Your next captain isn’t here yet, ladies and men. He won’t come from the young group, because they don’t have the winning spirit and what it takes to be the boys on the bus.
One of the main reasons the Edmonton Oilers are losers is that they overvalue what is readily available and undervalue what is truly rare. The Edmonton Oilers can’t stand up for falling down.