In all of the excitement it’s easy to forget the Edmonton Oilers have been adding some interesting pieces to their arsenal. We’ll enjoy the efforts of about 50 pro players this coming season in Edmonton and Bakersfield, and the recent additions are legit prospects.
- March 26: Signed D Ben Bekter. He’s big (6.06, 220) and can skate well, that’s absolute gold for an NHL team. His NHLE (12 points) suggests Betker will be a shut down type, but his speed/size should mean he’s capable of filling that role in the modern game. We should expect he’ll spend most of his entry-level deal in the minors but this signing has promise.
- March 31: Signed D Joey Laleggia. At the other end of the prospect rainbow from Betker, we find Laleggia. He absolutely ripped up college hockey this past season (NHLE: 37 points!) and he could have an NHL career if he can play successfully away from the puck (he is 5.10, 185).
- April 2: Extended C Anton Lander. This is a massive deal, because Lander looked like he was heading the way of Hartikainen and Rajala before Christmas. A stunning turnaround in the second half, and a terrifici WHC’s seem to have marked the turning point in this young man’s career. We’ll need to see it again, but he looks bona fide.
- April 5: Signed C Kyle Platzer. On his draft day Platzer was described as a two-way type who had played a utility role in junior. That’s not a good spot for a draft eligible—people say good prospects play on deep teams but it usually has more to do with the prospect than the team—but Platzer proved to be the exception. His NHLE (29 points) suggests he has a chance to make his mark in the pro game.
- April 13: Extended R Nail Yakupov. I’m still uncertain about where this ends, but the quick signing by Yak to a friendly two-year deal indicates a desire to make this work. His NHL numbers per 82 games played (18-20-38) aren’t terrible, and he should be stepping into a better situation with Todd McLellan (who produces high octane offensive teams).
- May 12: Signed free-agent G Eetu Laurikainen. He’s 22, coming off a season where he played in a good Euro league (SML) and posted a .933 save percentage. I’d say that’s the definition of a solid bet. The only concern I have is this: The signing may have occurred one year too late, as it’s likely the Oilers will spend an early draft pick on a G.
- May 27: Signed L Anton Slepyshev. This was a nice draft pick by MacTavish/MacGregor. He has big league speed and size (6.02, 188) and post ed his first quality KHL season at age 20 (NHLE: 28 points, including 16.5 goals). We should expect him to play in Bakersfield, and he’s willing to learn on the farm, but the numbers suggest he’s a better quality than most of the wingers Edmonton sent to the Barons for seasoning.
I finally broke down and including Dennis Malgin in my top 120 yesterday. Why? The guy keeps showing up in spots where valuable players are listed. Malgin is small (5.09, 175) and is a January 1997. His WJC performances (U18 and U20) were stellar and he’s a slick player. He also has no fear based on his scouting reports. I have him in the fourth round (No. 96), and that means he’ll probably go in the sixth round (my list doesn’t include giants, coke machines and bagmen). Fast, skilled, successful. That’s a nice combination.
- McDavid: “There’s nothing to accept. If it’s Edmonton, it’s great. I’ll be so happy if it’s Edmonton. If it’s not, it’ll be great as well. It doesn’t really matter. Everywhere is great in the NHL.” Source
I’ve been struck a few times this spring by a disturbing thought. It seems to me that both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are more mature and composed than the people covering them. If you go back and read twitter from prominent msm in the moments after the lottery show, it’s incredibly insightful (and inciteful!) to see how people really feel. It isn’t pretty, and it’s green. Just saying.
- Travis Dermott on playing with McDavid as a kid: “Both our dads were the coaches and we were close, all four of us. But you’d go ask Connor to hang out and he said he couldn’t sleep over because he had to stay home and stickhandle. Little things like that sort of set him apart at a young age.” Source
There’s a lot about this young man that’s awesome and this story adds to it. How lucky we are to be cheering for the team that fell ass over tea kettle into No. 1 overall. I don’t think it’s hit us yet, but later this month a (very young) giant will walk among us.
DOUGIE HAMILTON OFFER SHEET
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe does a fantastic job of talking you into an Oilers offer sheet for Dougie Hamilton. Seriously. I mean, read the article and tell me it’s a bad idea.
- Shinzawa: To sign a player for $7,305,316 to $9,131,645 annually, a team would have to give up two firsts, one second-, and one third-round pick. As highly as the Bruins think of Hamilton, this would be a steep price to pay.
Would the Oilers pay that much? Would they have to go beyond $7M to crush Boston? Shinzawa also states a team that signs a player to an offer sheet worth $5,478,986 to $7,305,316 annually would have to cede first-, second-, and third-round picks. Would $7M get Boston to back off?
It’s still a dog’s breakfast, but Hamilton could really help this team. It’s worth thinking about, that’s for sure. I still don’t see how they keep Darnell Nurse off this roster. What are the odds Nikitin or Ference is healthy opening night? Suspect we’ll see full IR if Nurse is ready.
YANDLE AND TALBOT?
Larry Brooks has some interesting thoughts in today’s NY Post:
- Brooks: Perhaps Yandle becomes part of a package with Cam Talbot the Rangers can use to bring back a strong, grinding physical forward who can get to the net in the playoffs, when most obstruction infractions are ignored. Source
That would be an interesting addition, no? Yandle and Talbot? Edmonton has Benoit Pouliot (I don’t want to trade him) but I’d think a three-way deal with a team interested in prospects and picks might work best.