By this time next weekend, we’ll know what happened to Edmonton’s 10 draft picks, we’ll have a better idea about what will be needed in free agency and it’s a decent bet we’ll know the name of the Oilers’ No. 1 goalie for next season. We know one of the names now (Connor McDavid) and can guess at a few more (Cam Talbot) but there’s no doubt at all we’re right at the beginning of an historic week for this hockey team.
- Draft McDavid (and sign him)
- Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot/Lehner item)
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue (as always, clear as mud days before bullets fly)
- Sign a more offensive two-way F (I’m hoping for Soderberg)
- Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for someone goooooood)
He may do more (two defensemen would be better than one) and he may offload some others (no Nikitin OS yet) but those five items above (really four) are central to the summer. Talbot, Sekera, Soderberg, Marincin. Is that too much to ask from a veteran GM?
This gets us here:
If they could just replace Nikitin with an actual NHL defenseman.
— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) February 9, 2015
As we get closer to draft day I’ll be doing brief looks at draft prospects who have been somewhat overlooked so far in our discussions. Up first is Ethan Bear (Kelly Friesen’s article above is excellent) who plays first-pairing minutes for the Thunderbirds. He’s a strong defenseman, 6.0, 205 and shoots right. His boxcars (69GP, 13-25-38) suggest a solid two-way type and his skating is mentioned as being ‘powerful’ in many reports I’ve read. His offensive calling card is a strong shot and that might (might, never get carried away with a junior blue who has a good shot. Bet against him getting the job in the NHL and you’ll be right a lot) see him get 5×4 time down the line.
- Ethan Bear boxcars: 69GP, 13-25-38
- Ethan Bear Evens: 69GP, 6-9-15
- Ethan Bear Power Play: 69GP, 7-16-23
- Ethan Bear Penalty Kill: 69GP, 0-0-0