In all the excitement of this year’s lottery, it is important to remember the Edmonton Oilers already won. Whatever happens Saturday, last April was the day the earth stood still. That isn’t bragging (zero to do with me, or you) it is a simple statement of fact. Here are some memories from just before the lottery and then after (on this blog):
- 8:30am—Light a candle. Send a message heavenward to the God who’ll listen, find some instant karma and think good thoughts. People will tell you the Edmonton Oilers don’t deserve McDavid, I say diddly squat. Edmonton Oilers fans have earned the right to have two lottery picks and win the day, and perhaps the hockey Gods have been beating fans senseless these years in order for us to earn our reward. Source
- 8:40am—Bohologo: Stan Weir be with us!
- 8:48am—FlyFish1168: May the Draft Lottery Force be with us.
- 9:10am—Colie087: please hockey Gods i pray. i dress in oiler colors every day. 3 1st overall picks come out to play. #4 + # 93 should lead us into temptation. but as i stand here today nine years no post station. so please with your help sweet 1 pick in McDavid sensation.
- 11:24am—Younger Oil: I just have a sinking feeling that Toronto is going to get McDavid. I’d honestly be fine with any eligible team getting him as long as it’s not Toronto.
- 3:51pm—Marna10: Calling it here. LT gets his 3 for 1 unicorn tonight. 3rd pick elevated to 1st.
- 5:17pm—Ben: I heard that Bob Green is carrying a vial containing a few beads of Steve Tambellini’s forehead sweat.
- 6:04pm—Eastern Oil: I’m not sure what to do with my hands… Up? To the side? Double gun and wink?
- 6:05pm—Kitchener: Reason for delay: Bettman’s hitting the “try again” button until TO comes up.
- 6:09pm—Skidplate: Let’s go OIlers let’s go. CLAP CLAP
- 6:14pm—Skidplate: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- 6:14pm—Scott Ladouche: OMFG!
- 6:14pm—Jake 70: ahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahahaha
- 6:14pm—Frank the Dog: BLOOD HAIL!!!!!
- 6:14pm—Van Oil: Holy shiy!
- 6:14pm—Tarkus: I AM GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER BEER AND I AM GOING TO HAVE ANOTHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
- 6:14pm—Marna10: Finally a three-for-one!
- 6:14pm—There’s Oil in Virginia: HOLY WOW! and HOLY COW too!
I had written a mock draft with Noah Hanifin going to the Oilers, so quickly put this up, before tweaking the mock and then publishing it. There were over 1,000 comments that day on this blog, it was beyond sweet music. We shared that moment together, and I will remember it forever. I have read the comments in all three of those threads several times over the last 12 months. Thanks for making those pages so memorable. Beautiful.
All the GM's of the Canadians teams are expected at the lottery draft on Saturday. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) April 28, 2016
Peter Chiarelli will have his eye of newt, toe of frog and Tambi sweat, Bill Scott’s cufflinks and God knows what else. I am a very superstitious person, so will prepare a Mock Draft with Edmonton at No. 2 overall. It is ridiculous not to prepare for the alternative, but I will do everything exactly as I remember a year ago. Thank goodness I didn’t have salad that day.
Multiple NHL teams with continued interest in KHL defenceman Michal Kempny. Could agree to NHL contract as early as next week.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 28, 2016
His EP bio doesn’t say much and his NHLE (23 points) doesn’t imply he is a better bet than our man Paigin. He is LHD, 25, Dreger mentioned him earlier this spring. Apparently Colorado is in the mix.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) April 27, 2016
A subtle change in the weather here, meaning fewer AHL veterans will also have an NHL component to their deal. Make no mistake, this is a good thing for the Oilers—Hamilton is a mentor to the youths, an effective player at that level, and he may have been able to secure an NHL deal elsewhere. There was no doubt some sacrifice for the player—there is no direct connection to an NHL team for him, the first time since the spring of 2006. He played in 30 NHL games, 18 as an Edmonton Oilers forward.
What does this mean for the organization? Another spot on the 50-man list. Here is what the AHL portion of the Oilers 50-man list looked like when Peter Chiarelli took over:
- G Laurent Brossoit (AHL starter and plenty of opportunity to move up)
- G Tyler Bunz (RFA) (I don’t think he gets a renewal, .890 in ECHL not good enough)
- G Frans Tuohimaa (RFA) (.876 in the ECHL is even worse than not good enough)
- D Keith Aulie (RFA) (May get another two-way contract)
- D Brad Hunt (RFA) (May get another two-way contract)
- D Jordan Oesterle (I think they like him a lot, the speed is going to get him NHL looks)
- D Brandon Davidson (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal, generous AHL portion)
- D Dillon Simpson (His progress in season two pro should be fun to watch)
- D Martin Gernat (One hopes he follows the conditioning program closely this summer)
- D David Musil (Chiarelli employed Adam McQuaid. Musil will be fine)
- C Bogdan Yakimov (Shoulder aside, strong season)
- C Jujhar Khaira (Solid checker, offense may keep him from NHL career)
- C Travis Ewanyk (Not enough offense, we knew it draft day)
- C Kellen Lain (RFA) (A big body,long shot get a contract)
- L Matt Fraser (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal)
- L Ryan Hamilton (he’ll be the veteran hand in the minors helping to guide the kids)
- L Curtis Hamilton (RFA) (Very uncertain future)
- L Mitch Moroz (I think Chiarelli might like him)
- L Kale Kessy (If he can play, Kessy may have a future)
- R Iiro Pakarinen (I think he is going to make the team and have an impact)
- R Tyler Pitlick (RFA) (prediction: signed to a reasonable one-way deal)
- R Andrew Miller (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal, generous AHL portion)
There were 10 RFAs listed there, plus (in the original article) some decisions to be made in regard to players who would end up in the AHL (Anton Slepyshev, Daniil Zharkov, John McCarron, Marco Roy, Jackson Houck).
CURRENT 50-MAN (35)
- G Cam Talbot. No. 1 next season.
- G Laurent Brossoit. Projects as NHL backup/AHL starter, signed a two-year deal.
- G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent.
- G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
- D Oscar Klefbom, likely top pairing, needs to stay healthy.
- D Andrej Sekera, top 4D, important part of the team.
- D Brandon Davidson, top 6D, maybe even top 4D if he continues on current track.
- D Mark Fayne, I question Oilers ability to find three better RH this summer.
- D Darnell Nurse, probably top 6D next season, ideally in Bakersfield.
- D Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Could be dealt.
- D Andrew Ference, they will buy him out (if able). LTIR is my guess.
- D Joey Laleggia, AHL D matriculating.
- D Dillon Simpson, AHL D, matriculating.
- D Ben Betker, AHL D, matriculating.
- D Caleb Jones, WHL D. Newly signed, definite slide rule.
- C Connor McDavid, Giant.
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
- C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
- C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
- C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
- C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
- C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
- L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player. Many fans want him gone.
- L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many. Trade rumors.
- L Patrick Maroon, big winger has been exceptional since arrival.
- L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers should try to offload him this summer.
- L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
- L Jere Sallinen, you can never have too many Finns.
- L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
- L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
- R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger could be in play.
- R Nail Yakupov, gone baby, gone.
- R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger should push for NHL time.
- R Greg Chase, minor league winger, matriculating.
Men who Edmonton has to make a decision on:
- R Iiro Pakarinen, suspect he will push for a spot next fall. RFA
- R Zack Kassian, probably part of the future in a top 9F role. RFA.
- D Jordan Oesterle. Suspect he signs. RFA.
- D Adam Clendening. Foot speed will cost him. RFA.
- D David Musil. Three straight solid seasons in the AHL. RFA.
- R Adam Cracknell. I have no idea if he will be back. UFA.
- R Rob Klinkhammer. No feeling either way. UFA.
- D Adam Pardy. He played well, doubt there is room. UFA.
- D Eric Gryba, UFA. A chance he signs. UFA.
- D Nikita Nikitin, UFA. Ufa alright.
- D Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
- L Josh Winquist. Best offensive prospect in the AHL currently—but does not have an NHL deal.
- R Josh Currie At 23, he forced his way into the lineup and played very well. Can also play center.
- C Marco Roy. Began slowly, but fought his way up the depth chart and emerged as a solid option.
- R Tyler Pitlick. Young veteran is RFA again. If he could only stay healthy.
- G Niklas Lundstrom Lundstrom is probably the easiest call among this year’s free agents. RFA.
- L Kale Kessy. Rugged winger, skills duplicated on roster. RFA.
- R Andrew Miller. He may have traded himself. No chance he returns imo. UFA.
L Ryan Hamilton. May receive another deal from the Oilers.
- I wrote about this here.
DUCKS ELIMINATED, IS VATANEN AN OILER YET?
The feeding frenzy around the Oilers in terms of trade rumors (I will have Lyle Richardson on today) has reached top dead center and things are humming baby. A trade built around Jordan Eberle for Sami Vatanen has been in the ether for weeks but not that the Ducks have disappointed there may be some completion on the way. I have said since Peter Chiarelli’s media avail—where he said waiting until the draft was not necessary if something made sense—we might see a mid-playoffs trade involving the orange and blue. Suspect whatever takes place will happen after the lottery on Saturday, but ‘Ducks-Oil deal imminent!?!???!’ will be your click bait today.
RAINING IN MY HEART
If you are tired of ‘reaction’ coverage to silly stories from media in other cities, or general click bait tomfoolery, let the people writing it know it. Important to offer input to all blogs and publications, encourage you to do so. Let’s aim higher, blogs! Thanks.
THE MCKENZIE LIST
I spoke to Jonathan Willis and Scott Cullen yesterday about the value of the McKenzie list to NHL teams. It also has value for us, because it can answer questions. For instance: This year’s defense. Now, I think we can agree that predicting the No. 1 defenseman at the draft is miles different than predicting who will eventually become the best defenseman in the selection for 2016. That said, I had some real questions and my list is based (mostly) on math. Here are the D in my top 15:
- No. 6 LD Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
- No. 7 LD Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL).
- No. 9 LD Jacob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL).
- No. 10 RD Dante Fabbro, Penticton (BCJHL).
- No. 12 RD Charlie McAvoy, Boston University (NCAA).
- No. 13 LD Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen (WHL).
My list rewards range of skills, offense and I have a definite bias for CHL players. I also tend to prefer forwards over defensemen. Now, as I mentioned, the defensemen listed here are (mostly) the same offensively. Sergachev is No. 1 on my list because the offensive spark is dominant (Juolevi too) whereas I think Chychrun has more of his value on the defensive side. Doesn’t mean he won’t score a bunch of goals on an NHL power play, but we are talking about a (potential) top 5 overall selection—you need offense from that player. Here is how the McKenzie list values them (this is important stuff):
- No. 7 LD Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL).
- No. 8 LD Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
- No. 9 LD Jacob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL).
- No. 12 LD Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen (WHL).
- No. 14 RD Charlie McAvoy, Boston University (NCAA).
What does that tell us? Well, scouts love Joulevi’s offense. The math says these cats are all basically the same, but Joulevi somehow comes out on top. I rank Sergachev No. 1 because there is a slight edge offensively using the Roatis NHLE:
- Mikhail Sergachev 22.32
- Jake Bean 20.84
- Jakob Chychrun 20.74
- Charlie McAvoy 20.5
- Olli Joulevi: 19.33
I am completely onside with these five men being in the same range—we cannot be so in love with math as to allow small gaps like these to sway us—but I do find the idea that Joulevi is considered superior to the other defenders curious. In watching Joulevi, I felt his defense would be kind of a drag on his overall number. Does not appear to be the case. We will have to dig deeper into this as the weeks fly by.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun day even if they don’t trade for Vatanen. TSN1260, beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:
- Lyle Richardson, Spector’s Hockey. Trade rumors are coming from everywhere but the basement bloggers. Are they credible? How times have changed.
- Scott Zerr, Oilers Nation and TSN1260. Ryan Hamilton’s signing to an AHL contract is the first sign of stirring for next season in Bakersfield. Scott and I will discuss the possible roster.
- Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report. NFL draft day! Round 1! Rams and Eagles pick the QBs and then the real fun begins.
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. The carnage continues, as NHL giants continue to fall. Hawks, Kings and now the Ducks. Who is left?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!