From (almost) the beginning, Taylor Hall could push the river. On a team riddled with poor defensemen, the young man would cradle the puck in his own end, fly past pleasure crafts and steamboats, before crashing or scoring, the entire city behind him. Some days were diamonds, some days were stone, all days the hard times would not leave these Oilers alone. The relationship between Taylor Hall and the Edmonton Oilers is close, very close. If Peter Chiarelli plans to trade him, he would do well to lasso the moon, the sun and a few stars along with it. This town will explode if it happens any other way.
LUCIC AND DEMERS VISIT
It seems genuinely impossible for the Oilers to sign both Milan Lucic and Jason Demers, but they were in the city today. Despite reports, my understanding is that decisions are days away and we would all do well in waiting for more than one report before proceeding with what might be unreliable information. Although I have no recent examples of this kind of thing, it does happen and we should all be mindful of the harm it might unintentionally cause.
RE-DRAFT: MY LIST
I like doing this every year, using my list as a guide to see if I can catch the Oilers. They did damn well last year (I like their list better), let’s see how this year shakes out.
OILERS AT NO. 4: JESSE PULJUJARVI
LOWETIDE AT NO. 4: JESSE PULJUJARVI
This was a helluva pick, no matter how you slice it. As was the case with the McDavid selection, I don’t think you can give the organization a pile of credit for it. I have read a few items about the management team sussing out the CBJ intent, but we should expect that from a veteran like Peter Chiarelli. I am not trying to be unfair, rather that seems to be fair—assuming the group can do their jobs.
OILERS AT NO. 32: TYLER BENSON
LOWETIDE AT NO. 32: ALEX DEBRINCAT
I like Benson a lot, he is (in my opinion) an astute selection who could turn into a brilliant one. There is risk, but I have no quarrel with the selection. DeBrincat lasted to No. 39, suspect he has a productive career.
OILERS AT NO. 63: MARKUS NIEMELAINEN
LOWETIDE AT NO. 63: VITALY ABRAMOV
Edmonton gets a mobile two-way defender with size, and my list is rounding up all of the really good small skill wingers. Abramov did not go until No. 65, but for me that is progress—these undersized scorers are going strong.
OILERS AT NO. 84: MATTHEW CAIRNS
LOWETIDE AT NO. 84: VEINI VEHVILAINEN
The Oilers list and mine both go walkabout here, and for me there are no issues with either selection. If you read up on Cairns (and I will do a post on him soon) there is a real player here. Steve Kournianos was on the Lowdown today and delivered some impressive verbal.
OILERS AT NO. 91: FILIP BERGLUND
LOWETIDE AT NO. 91: MAXIME FORTIER
I like both players, Edmonton gets a dandy defender with a complete range of skills. Kournianos had him playing a major role in all game states, and he said the team he played for was a button-down defensive group. Interesting player. Fortier is yet another small forward, occupational hazard for my drafting style.
OILERS AT NO. 123: DYLAN WELLS
LOWETIDE AT NO. 123: VLADIMIR KUZNETSOV
Wells is an OHL goalie of some reputation who suffered through a down year. He appears to be a legit prospect, definitely off the board but he is at No. 123 overall. The Russian my list chose has size and skill, but was not drafted.
OILERS AT NO. 149: GRAHAM MCPHEE
LOWETIDE AT NO. 149: KYLE MAKSIMOVICH
The McPhee pick is more popular than one would believe at first blush, I will have Corey Pronman on tomorrow’s show to discuss him. My choice, and stop me if you have heard this before, is an undersized winger with skill. My list has now drafted the same player (basically) four times.
OILERS AT NO. 153: AAPELI RASANEN
LOWETIDE AT NO. 153: DAVID QUENNEVILLE
Both interesting prospects, Edmonton chose an impressive two-way center and my list fetches an undersized defender of some note. I like both players, especially this late in the draft.
OILERS AT NO. 183: VINCENT DESHARNAIS
LOWETIDE AT NO. 183: DMITRI SOKOLOV
Edmonton plucks a gigantic college defenseman who appears to have stepped into a larger role later in the season. My list grabs an impressive scorer (30 OHL goals).