HERE COMES THE SUN (2017 DRAFT EDITION)

So this is Christmas, for fans like me. The first NHL Entry Draft I recall was 1971, and it will never leave my memory. Why? Well, it was front page news across the nation and anyone my age can remember at least the frame of the story.  From the book “The Memorial Cup” by Lapp and Macaulay:

  • The St. Catherine’s Blackhawks-Quebec Remparts contest was an intense rivalry on many levels. The series inevitably had some Quebec vs. Ontario and French vs. English undertones. In addition to the potent matchup between Marcel Dionne (St Cath) and Guy Lafleur (Quebec), Dionne had left the Quebec Leage for the Ontario League because he felt that the OHA offered a higher level of competition.
  • Skipping ahead….The series returned to Quebec City for the third game (tied 1-1 in games). A crowd of 13,896 crowded the 10,240 seat Colisee to cheer Quebec to a 3-1 win. Lafleur scored twice. The ref handed out 102 minutes in penalties. Two Blackhawks were penalized for being belligerent to the lineseman.
  • One night later, the series got ugly. Quebec crushed St. Catherine’s 6-1 (Lafleur with a hat trick) before another overflow crowd. As the game moved further out of reach, the Blackhawks began to manhandle the smaller Quebec players. Scrap after scrap broke out, with St. Cath winger Mike Bloom exiting the penalty box to re-enter the fray more than once.
  • Their team well ahead on the scoreboard but losing in the fisticuffs, the Colisee fans becamse volatile. St. Catherine’s coach (Milne) complained that his players were being pelted with potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, bolts from seats, golf balls, debris and at least one knife. The St. Catherine’s team left the ice for their dressing room under police escort. A spectator succeeded in spitting on Bloom, who replied by blindly swinging his stick–hitting one of the policemen in the face and sending him to hospital.
  • Things were no better outside the building. A large ornery mob had gathered and was throwing bottles and pounding on the sides of the Blackhawks’ team bus. The St. Catherine’s players, becoming genuinely frightened, lay face down on the floor of the bus as five police cars, sirens wailing, cleared a path for the vehicle.
  • The next game was on neutral ice at Maple Leaf Gardens. St Catherine’s won the game 6-3 and the series stood at 3-2 Quebec.
  • But the series suddenly ground to a halt. The Blackhawks would not return to Quebec City. “The parents of the kids refuse to send them into such a violent atmosphere”, said coach Milne. Not only were parents of the St. Catherine’s players reading lurid press accounts of game 4, but new suggestions of threats and assaults against Dionne and his relatives began to surface.
  • Then it got a little crazy. There were stories released that connected some of the threats against some Blackhawk players to the FLQ (Front de liberation du Quebec) and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Blackhawks weren’t going back to the Colisee.
  • CAHA president Dawson ultimately declared the Quebec Remparts the series winner. They were now clear to play the Edmonton Oil Kings, champions of the west. They won handily.

A FEW NOTES

  • I use NHLE as a strong guiding light. Christian Roatis has my current conversation calculator here.
  • My list list rewards offense heavily, and the most gifted offensive players will be at the top. Players with a range of skills usually do well, but there is a fine line between a two-way player and a checking future. The list does not give high numbers to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game. Goalies are graded (almost exclusively) by save percentage, although success over more than one season has terrific value.
  • I view Bob McKenzie’s list as the draft Bible, but my list does not factor in any scouts input beyond the obvious. (My list is complete before his final one).
  • Craig Button’s list has high value for me, I like the fact he has the courage of his convictions.
  • I pay attention to Red Line Report, Corey Pronman, Kirk Luedeke (also Red Line), McKeen’s Steve Kournianos, Grant McCagg (fabulous new blog here), Tom Hunter, The Black Book, Scott Wheeler, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren, ISS.
  • I do not copy their rankings (this should be fairly obvious if you look at the rankings of the scouting services) and don’t actively pursue their rankings until early June, when Red Line is released—my list was published June 1.
  • I have found Simon Boisvert (frequent guest on Lowdown) to be an increasingly valuable resource and his input has impacted this list. His first round is available in McCagg’s draft guide and is an education. Very interesting observations.
  • Mark Edwards Black Book is a brilliant reference. His release last year has been very useful for this year’s draft.
  • It is very rare for me to rank a defenseman No. 1 overall. Last time? Victor Hedman, 2009.
  • My list is not designed to compete with, or copy any of the sources mentioned above. Organizations like Red Line, ISS, McKeens, Future Considerations and others employ actual scouts who observe, evaluate and project. None of their work is contained here.
  • This list uses math, previous draft trends (the CHL delivers enormous talent to the NHL), various pieces of anecdotal information volunteered by scouts and observers along the way, and an educated guess based on watching these things unfold since 1971.

I will post my Top 150 and then focus on five players who may fall to Edmonton at No. 22. This draft is all over the place, so hold on to your hat.

TOP 150 PLAYERS, 2017 DRAFT

  1. RC Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). A complete talent but not an elite one. NHLE is 33.1.
  2. LC Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). More dynamic player than Patrick. NHLE 30.9.
  3. R Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). Size, speed, sniper. NHLE 30.8.
  4. L Elias Pettersson, Timra (Swe-1). Impressive talent, I’d take him top five overall.
  5. RD Timothy Liljegren, Rogle (Swe Jr). He is a mobile 2-way D with impressive skill.
  6. RC Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Complete skill set (NHLE: 32.4).
  7. LC Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Speed and skill at C.
  8. RD Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits (AJHL). Fast, exceptional puck-moving acumen.
  9. RC Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Creative C with size, NHLE (33).
  10. L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Plus skater, NHL shot and release.
  11. R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart, elusive, offensive. NHLE (36.2).
  12. RC Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack (OHL).  Skill and creativity, NHLE (36.3).
  13. LD Miro Heiskanen, HIFK (Sm-Liiga). Puck-mover, excellent vision/speed.
  14. RC Robert Thomas, London Knights (OHL). Speedy forward, creative. Complete.
  15. LC Lias Andersson, Linkoping (SHL). Throwback 2-way C, aggressive, quick.
  16. RC Martin Necas, Brno (Czech). High speed skill, just 5.11. Spiked late.
  17. LD Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans (WHL). A big two-way D, smart, creative.
  18. R Klim Kostin, Balashikha (MHL). Giant winger, good offense. He is 6.03, 196.
  19. C Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Big C, physical, good skater.
  20. LD Nicholas Hague, Mississauga (OHL). Rangy, aggressive, emerging offense.
  21. R Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedy W with skill. NHLE (29.6).
  22. L Kristian Vesalainen, Frolunda (SHL). Big W, skilled, strong, can play L or R.
  23. LD Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL). Undersized skill defender, outstanding skater.
  24. LC Alexei Lipanov, Dyanmo Balashikha (VHL). 2-way C, excellent skater.
  25. LC Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State (NCAA). Big skill C.
  26. LC Joshua Norris, USNDTP (USHL). Two-way C showing good offense.
  27. RC Ivan Lodnia, Erie Otters (OHL). Small skill F, great skater.
  28. RD Conor Timmins, SSE Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, range of skills.
  29. RC Scott Reedy, USNDTP (USHL). Center with speed, range of skills, dynamic.
  30. RC Morgan Geekie, Tri-City Americans (WHL). 2-way C, emerging offense.
  31. L Matthew Strome, Hamilton (OHL). Strong 2-way W, speed a concern.
  32. C Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Small skill C, terrific skills.
  33. R Nicholas Henry, Regina Pats (WHL). Emerging scorer. 35 goals.
  34. LC Jaret-Anderson Dolan, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Small, skilled, quick.
  35. L Nikita Popugaev, Prince George Cougars (WHL). Big, good skater, plus shot.
  36. G Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA). 35gp, 2.11 .927. Fabulous numbers.
  37. LC Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Cerebral W with skill.
  38. G Mike DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). 51gp, 2.35 .917. Small, brilliant.
  39. RC Joni Ikonen, Frolunda (Swe SuperElite). Small skill center with good speed.
  40. LD Noel Hoefenmeyer, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Range of skills.
  41. LD Uro Vaakanainen, JYP (Sm-Liiga). Fast two-way blue with a good shot.
  42. L Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (OHL). 6.06, 200 and scored 28 goals.
  43. LC Evan Barratt, USNDTP (USHL). Small finesse center with skill.
  44. LC Jake Leschyshyn, Regina Pats (WHL). Quality two-way C,
  45. LC Shane Bowers, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Impressive two-way C, plus skill.
  46. C Jesper Boqvist, Brynas (SHL). Average size, good speed and skill.
  47. R Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Excellent skater, heavy shot.
  48. LC Morgan Frost, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, skilled, and emerging.
  49. RD Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Smooth skating Finn OD.
  50. LD Mario Ferraro, Des Moines (USHL). Undersized OD with real offensive potential.
  51. RD Cal Foote, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Huge D, awkward skater, good passer, tough.
  52. L Ostap Safin, Sparta Praha (Cze). Big forward, good skater, has plus skills. Nice range.
  53. R Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big (6.04, 202) F who plays intelligent game.
  54. RD Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Charlottetown (QMJHL). Two-way D, some nice boxcars.
  55. L Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big winger with a good shot.
  56. RC Alexander Chmelevski, Ottawa (OHL). Impressive skills, outstanding TP game.
  57. L Alex Formenton, London Knights (OHL). An absolute burner, has some skill.
  58. L Grant Mismash, USNDTP (USHL). Physical winger with some skill.
  59. RD Ian Mitchell, Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL). Undersized, mobile two-way defender.
  60. F Andrey Altybarmakyan, St.Petersburg (MHL).  The math is strong on this one.
  61. LC Marcus Davidsson, Djurgardens (SHL). Two-way center has some offense, nice range of skills.
  62. RD Kale Fleury, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Fascinating prospect. Haydn’s brother. Range of skills.
  63. L Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Fast skater, intelligent player, boxcars moving.
  64. L Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Emerging PF, 40-goal man. Average speed.
  65. RC Jack Studnicka, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Range of skills, quality offense. No buzz.
  66. R Lukas Elvenes, Rogle (SuperElite). Highly skilled winger, terrific hands.
  67. L Mackenzie Entwistle, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Big winger, who can skate, check, some skill.
  68. RD Artyom Minulin, Swfit Current Broncos (WHL). Big defender with emerging skills.
  69. L Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Skilled, good size, skating average.
  70. RD Eemeli Rasanen, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Giant defender with skill, mobility.
  71. LD Max Gildon, USNDTP (USHL). Size, speed, skill. Inconsistent or he would be higher.
  72. L Jacob Tortora, USNDTP (USHL). He is a burner and he is skilled and he is small.
  73. G Keith Petruzzeli, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). An actual giant goalie. Luedeke is on him.
  74. C Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Draft re-entry having a fine offensive season.
  75. LD Josh Brook, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Mobile, dependable, emerging. Could be a find.
  76. G Daniil Tarasov, Ufa (MHL). Tall thin goalie impressed at U18s.
  77. R Emil Oksanen, Espoo (Mestis). Skilled winger, great shot, he can scoot.
  78. RC Nathan Schnarr, Guelph Storm (OHL). Big center with speed, a little shy offensively.
  79. LC Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Undersized, nifty and aggressive F with skill.
  80. LD Jack Rathbone, Dexter School (USHS). A bullet on skates, very skilled.
  81. LD Robin Salo, Sport Vaasa (SML). Two-way defender, mature.
  82. LD Cameron Crotty, Brockville Braves (CCHL). Intelligent two-way defender, great passer.
  83. RD Dylan Coghlan, Tri-City Americans (WHL). 2-way defender, good skater, spiking offensively.
  84. L Filip Chytal, HC Zlin (Czech). Two-way C, skilled, intriguing prospect.
  85. C Fabian Zetterlund, Farjestad (SuperElite). Smart C, great shot, he is skilled.
  86. LC Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Very small, very skilled.
  87. LD Markus Phillips, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Undersized two-way defender improved 16-17.
  88. L Pavel Koltygin, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). Two-way winger.
  89. RC Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). 1998 born, too much skill to pass on.
  90. LD Dylan Samberg, Hermantown High (USHS). Big (6.03, 190) mobile blue. Offense a mystery.
  91. G Olle Eriksson Ek, Farjestads (SuperElite). Big goalie with a good track record.
  92. LD Clayton Phillips, Fargo Force (USHL). Undersized OD, speed, great shot.
  93. W Jonas Rondberg, Vaxjo (Swe Jrs). Smart offensive winger with plus skills.
  94. RD Reilly Walsh, Chicago (USHL). Mobile puck mover, great passer and a plus shot.
  95. L Ivan Kosorenkov, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Undersized, 34 goals.
  96. L Rickard Hugg, Leksands (SuperElite). Intelligent two-way winger, playmaking skill.
  97. LC Austen Keating, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Offensive center, more consistent this season.
  98. LC Ben Jones, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). I think he might be a sleeper. Playmaker.
  99. LC Ivan Chekhovich, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL). Undersized skill forward, point-per-game.
  100. G Maxim Zhukov, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Solid .912SP.
  101. R Aatu Luusuaniemi, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Winger with skill, excellent boxcars, zero buzz.
  102. L Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Smart, skilled, good speed.
  103. C Igor Svyrev, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Skill center, impressive offense.
  104. RC Greg Meireles, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Smaller forward, speedy, responsible.
  105. RC Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans (OHL). Small and skilled, rising.
  106. LD Jocktan Chainey, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Good skater, can move the puck.
  107. L Ryan Moore, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Small and very skilled.
  108. RD Filip Westerlund, Frolunda (SHL). Impressive passing skills, some chaos on D.
  109. RD Luke Martin, Michigan (NCAA). Big, mobile defender plays intelligent game. Not a lot of buzz.
  110. LD Antoine Crete-Belzile, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Two-way defender, injury issues.
  111. LD David Farrance, USNDTP (USHL). Mobile, clever D, undersized. Rising.
  112. G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, HPK (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Impressive size and good results.
  113. L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Good skater, skilled, with size. 1998.
  114. RC Emil Bemstrom, Leksands (SuperElite). Small, fast winger with skill.
  115. RD Adam Thilander, North Bay Battalion (OHL). Impressive skills, could be massive value.
  116. L Macauley Carson, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). A 30-goal season in a strong league.
  117. LC Brayden Burke, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Lots of skill, undersized and 20.
  118. F Pavel Shen, Marmonty Yugry (MHL). Small, skilled, August 1999.
  119. LD Tyler Inamoto, USNDTP (USHL). He is a mobile 6.02, 196 defender.
  120. R Sami Moilanen, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Small buzzsaw who can score goals.
  121. LC Skyler McKenzie, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Small F (5.07), very skilled.
  122. F Alexei Toropchenko, Balashikha (MHL). Size and speed, some offense.
  123. LC Paul Washe, Fargo Force (USHL). Two-way C, a little shy offensively.
  124. LD Michael Anderson, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Strong, good speed, defense.
  125. R Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Skill F posted strong season.
  126. R Austin Pratt, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Power winger who can skate. Offense still uncertain.
  127. G Alexander Samoilov, Armiya Moskva (MHL). .928SP, blossomed this year.
  128. G Matt Villalta, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). .918SP, June 1999.
  129. R Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgaden (SHL). Impressive skill W, I’ve ranked him 3 times!
  130. RD Juho Korhonen, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Small and very skilled puck mover. Great passes.
  131. R Brett Davis, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Good size, impressive offense for a June 1999.
  132. LD Nate Knoepke, USNDTP (USHL). Two-way defender with good size.
  133. LD Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph Storm (OHL). Giant defenseman, two-way type.
  134. LC Jacob Peterson, Frolunda (SuperElit). Two-way C under the radar.
  135. L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 5.08, July 1999, 55 pts/65 games.
  136. RC Cole Guttman, Dubuque (USHL). Late entry has impressive 5×5 numbers.
  137. RD Brady Lyle, North Bay (OHL). Big two-way defender.
  138. RC Maxime Fortier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). He is 5.10, very skilled.
  139. RD Gustav Lindstrom, Almtuna IS (Allsvenskan). 6.02, 187 two-way defender.
  140. LD Dylan Seitz, Kitchener (OHL). Big PF, scoring potential a question.
  141. L Ryan Peckford, Victoria Royals (WHL). Good skater, terrific shot.
  142. RD August Berg, Brynas (SuperElite). Speedy defender with skill.
  143. RC Liam Hawel, Guelph Storm (OHL). Giant (6.05, 179) C improved offense after trade.
  144. LC Bryce Misley, Oakville Blades (OJHL). Skill C with good size. Good speed. Sleeper?
  145. R Oliver Castleman, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Good even-strength numbers.
  146. LC Jesse Koskenkorva, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Two-way forward with speed, some offense.
  147. L German Poddubnyi, Erie (OHL). Big PF could be fine draft & follow.
  148. R Lane Zablocki, Regina Pats (OHL). Two-way W with skill, kind of a throwback player.
  149. R Bobby Dow, Kemptville 73s (CCHL). Impressive offense at lower levels.
  150. LC Alexandre Texier, Grenoble (France). Small, fast, skilled. Intriguing.

OILERS AT THE 2017 DRAFT

  • First Round: No. 22 overall—L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL).
  • Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)—LD Mario Ferraro, Des Moines (USHL). 
  • Third Round: No. 84 overall—RC Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL).
  • Fourth Round: No. 115 overall—L Macauley Carson, Sudbury Wolves (OHL).
  • Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)—R Aatu Luusuaniemi, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga).
  • Fifth Round: No. 146 overall—G Matt Villalta, SSM Greyhounds (OHL).
  • Sixth Round: No. 177 overall—LC Jacob Peterson, Frolunda (SuperElit).
  • Seventh Round: No. 208 overall—F Andrey Altybarmakyan, St.Petersburg (MHL).

FIVE FOR THE OILERS

  • L Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (OHL). Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: First thing you notice is his size at 6’6. And he skates very well, with good speed and acceleration. But he’s also not even 200 lbs yet. As he fills out, I don’t think we truly know how good he could be. Ratcliffe’s other best quality is his shot. He has an absolute rocket of a wrist shot and I think he’s got big time scoring potential. Once he’s able to add that aforementioned strength, he’ll be able to generate more scoring chances for himself as he can protect the puck better and look to be aggressive in driving the middle of the ice. His physical game is inconsistent and that’s another area of his game that will need to improve. Ditto for discipline. Anyone who watched the U18’s can tell you that he struggled with some lazy stick penalties and it was the same in Guelph too. He has the potential to be an excellent defensive player though with his size and skating ability. Playing for Guelph is a wild card all in itself. Because of how bad Guelph was at times this year, he had a propensity to disappear at times. Source
  • R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). The Black Book “An electric player with dynamic offensive ability, easily some of highest skill of any forward I watched this year, he’s just so small and at times took some big contact when I was viewing him. Love his aggressive nature and how he attacks puck carries from all angles, it puts players on edge. When I left viewings of Yamamoto I just kept saying to myself this players makes things happen all over the ice.” – HP Scout, Andy Levangie
  • L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Corey Pronman: Simply put, Tolvanen has produced everywhere he has gone. In my opinion, he was the best player in the USHL this season, and he has looked very good in international play for Finland the past few seasons. Tolvanen is known mostly for his big-time shot, which makes him one of the more feared goal-scorers in this year’s class. However, he is more than a shooter. Tolvanen has great hands, can make difficult feeds and can play at a quick pace, though he is most comfortable when winding up his cannon. He’s small and not incredibly quick for a player his size (though I think his skating is adequate), but he’s smart enough to put himself in position to score and has a little physical edge to his game too. He’s committed to Boston College for 2017-18. Source
  • RD Timothy Liljegren, Rogle (Swe Jr). Craig Button“Very gifted skater who uses his feet to his advantage defensively and in transition. Smart, poised, anticipates the play, sees where to exploit opponents and can dictate play in all areas. Excellent in the defensive zone because he beats pressure, fends it off and the puck gets moving ahead quickly. Has a command of the game and he finds a way to be a contributor at critical times.” Source
  • LC Joshua Norris, US National Development Team (USHL): Steve Kournianos: Norris has everything you want in a top-six center – size, speed, strength, and the ability to make his linemates better. He’s thick, strong on his skates, plays physical, is matched up against top players and also provides offense on special teams, including on the penalty kill. A playmaker with soft hands and a very hard, accurate shot, Norris plays a heavy game and uses his size and determination to win puck battles. He’s a solid stickhandler and controls the puck in tight spaces, and he settled things down by curling or weaving away from pressure. Playing in traffic isn’t a problem for Norris, and he’s consistently poised on his zone entries. Source

The Oilers need skill and they need it at forward (wrote about it yesterday).

TODAY

Ryan Strome is an Edmonton Oiler and it looks like Kris Russell will be one later today. Twitter is now lost in the flood over it, I’m hoping we can have a rational conversation in this corner of the Al Gore. Before we get to the numbers, I wanted to touch base on reasoning.

Todd McLellan trusts Kris Russell, we can see it by eye and number. If you watched the playoffs, then the ‘saw him good’ portion of the scouting report is covered. The things coach McLellan values were on display during the postseason by Mr. Russell. McLellan’s second pairing is nonexistent at this time but could be back together in time for the playoffs. McLellan surely values that, and so Chiarelli would value it too. Folks, it is extremely rare for a team to walk away from the players who helped them to a successful season. I understand Russell benefited (as did most Oilers) from playing with Connor McDavid but he will again in the coming season.

A few notes on numbers. According to the Woodmoney, Russell played 35 percent of his 5×5 time against elite, going 47.8 Dangerous Fenwick percentage. Andrej Sekera was 35 percent and 47.0; Oscar Klefbom was 34 percent and 48 percent DFF %; Adam Larsson was most impressive, going 48.5 DFF and playing 35 percent of his 5×5 minutes against elites. Russell played a lot against the other teams best and had a Dangerous Fenwick in the range of the other dice bouncing around in the car. (My thanks to Woodguy and GMoney and all who sail the Woodmonies for the numbers).

How much should Russell be paid? I guessed $4 million times two years on the RE, so the extra money (rumored) and term would be outside my comfort zone. The Sekera injury meant the die was cast and we are here. I think maybe some folks are angry because (as predicted) the McDavid cap rumor has them in shock. If you thought 97 was going to take $9.7 times eight it must come as a terrible shock and I get it. I will tell you McDavid at $14 million times eight years represents outstanding value and I’d grab two extra years on that deal all day. The Russell signing? No. The odds of the Russell contract biting Peter Chiarelli is extremely high if it is four years. You can chase the crazy all day but these are the facts:

  • Teams rarely walk away from a player who has contributed (in their estimation) to a successful season if they can avoid it affordably, the affordable portion being the key word here.
  • Todd McLellan values Kris Russell.
  • Russell at $4 million times two is a contract that has risk but the term isn’t going to bury the organization if his foot speed enters the Fayne zone. Four years? Massive risk in that deal.
  • If you are an Oilers fan, best to plan on enduring this contract as opposed to defending it.
  • History tells us Mr. Russell’s age and style of play mean he is approaching the Grand Canyon at warp speed. That doesn’t diminish Russell’s ability, heart, grit, et cetera. In fact, I think it acknowledges those things while setting a reasonable outer limit on career expectation. No one really wants to hear that today, including the general manager. This is what we could call a perfect storm.

If you felt the addition of Ryan Strome (for Jordan Eberle) and Kris Russell we talked about was shy of the summer goal, then you are probably wildly unhappy about this week. I can tell you that (imo) we’ll see some more moves in the coming days, on defense and at forward. The McDavid and Draisaitl contracts loom large.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Lansky has a project that will blow your mind but is going to take some time to publish. I will attempt to pry it out of him publicly. Also, Eberle for Strome.
  • Matt Iwaynk, TSN1260. CFL predictions and the Strome-Eberle deal.
  • Farhan Lalji, TSN. CFL Week One got off to a rocking start last night, we’ll preview the rest of the weekend.
  • Paul Almedia, TSN1260. Eberle deal, draft expectations and Oilers in free agency.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

 

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392 Responses to "HERE COMES THE SUN (2017 DRAFT EDITION)"

« Older Comments
  1. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    DaveWatchesHockey:
    Not a huge fan of Russell.

    But, it’s getting overblown imo.

    Limited NTC for last two years means we can trade him two years from now at the draft.Hell we can trade him next year if we feel the need.We could trade him at training camp!

    Frontloaded contract makes this easier.Seems like this could actually be an option that was considered?

    Am I missing something?

    Dave.

    I just noticed the other thread re. the trade where a number of people make a similar point. oops.

    Dave.

  2. Ducey says:

    3 hrs to Wapner!

  3. Scungilli Slushy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    My goodness Hjalmarsson was available for THAT. And they signed Russell!!

    No doubt. Maybe the Oilers weren’t on his trade list. If they were terrible, one year left after this on contract.

  4. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: Speaking of Trump supporters.

    Easy.

  5. Chachi says:

    Cassandra:
    The trainwreck just continues.

    But I have faith, by next week all the fans who are unhappy today will be back on the kool-aid.

    The Oilers will still sail into the playoffs so no matter what happens the fans will give Chiarelli credit.

    Serious question.What has to happen to the team before you fire Chiarelli?

    You keep going after Moby Dick, Captain Ahab. One day you’ll get him and your leg back too.

  6. Todd Macallan says:

    Thoughts on the Russell contract mirror most on here: money is a bit much, term is way too much. However I think the way it is structured shows that Chia doesn’t see him as a long term solution, ie. being front-loaded and the NTC not kicking in until after yr 2 make this a (hopefully) more tradeable contract within the next 2 yrs.

    Another point of interest is the possibility that the McD and Drai contracts are completed in principle, seeing as how Chia was emphatic that he wouldn’t sign Russell or anyone else until he had those two taken care of.

  7. Bank Shot says:

    VOR:
    I think I may not have been clear enough before.

    Strome can help our offence in ways Eberle couldn’t. He can open up space on the right side with his speed and he can freeze up defenders with his puck handling skills. A sniper he isn’t but most of the time he gets the puck on net and he produces a lot of rebounds (quick release, odd angles, decent to plus wrist shot, lots of variety in shots).

    I haven’t watched much Islanders games but Islanders fans have mentioned that Strome isn’t fast, and plays a perimeter game.

    He kind of sounds like a bigger, less skilled Eberle.

  8. N64 says:

    Bank Shot: I haven’t watched much Islanders games but Islanders fans have mentioned that Strome isn’t fast, and plays a perimeter game.

    He kind of sounds like a bigger, less skilled Eberle.

    Did anyone post the Woodmoney on Strome?

  9. Mike says:

    So it really was Chia that went off the rails in Boston. Seems we should hire the young As. GM in AZ

    Pc and his inability to not give out blank check contracts that are also buy out proof.

    Today was a huge step in the direction of L.A and other teams getting ruined through contract miss management.

  10. Diablo says:

    Bank Shot: I haven’t watched much Islanders games but Islanders fans have mentioned that Strome isn’t fast, and plays a perimeter game.

    He kind of sounds like a bigger, less skilled Eberle.

    I’ve gone back and watched a few Islanders games (the ones from after Weight took over as HC) – I concur with VOR in that he is quicker than Ebs (who just never could seem to get cleanly past the opposition’s D like he used to when he first broke into the league), but his speed is not elite.

    What I like about him is that he’s got a surprising nose for the net, and is better than Ebs at getting to and establishing scoring position in the high danger scoring areas. While he doesn’t have Eb’s sweet backhand sauce, his forehand is superior due to a much quicker release … but he often passes up shooting chances to make an extra pass.

    He’s probably better than Ebs at possession play along the boards but he’s very impatient on the cycle …. though the Islanders as a team play seem to play that way, so I’m not sure we can conclude anything from that.

    In the D-zone he’s not much better than Ebs and tends to lose his check quite often … IMO that’s something that can be fixed if the player is open to being coached.

    Consistency is another issue … he can disappear for whole periods, but Ebs was that way too.

    VOR compared him to Hemsky, and that’s a very astute comparison. If Tmac can install a “shoot first” mentality to his approach, Strome could be extremely dangerous with McDavid or Draisaitl, and a much better “fit” than Eberle was.

    I was pretty lukewarm about the player before watching him, but I’ve come around to VOR’s thinking that Strome could be a pretty good bet.

  11. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bank Shot: I haven’t watched much Islanders games but Islanders fans have mentioned that Strome isn’t fast, and plays a perimeter game.

    He kind of sounds like a bigger, less skilled Eberle.

    Going by draft reports it’s the opposite. Not a burner but a quick agile skater, protects pucks well, high skill level and plays at speed, good shot if not Ovechkin. He was knocked for physicality but what top 5 draft picks who are high skill are bangers?

    Eberle wasn’t rated as good in his draft year, and his play panned out exactly as his draft report read. Most players do. By the time they are draft eligible they aren’t going to change as players in style and ability much, they can add responsibility and battle harder if they choose, and tweak some things. Strome was a #5 pick, he is at least as skilled as Eberle. Not that I’m knocking Eberle, but it seems that way to me.

    Under McLellan Strome will have to be more defensively responsible and battle harder, but those are simply decisions to be made, not fundamental structural changes. I think he will become a better player than Eberle is, who is at his ceiling.

    Bottom line – 23 YO RHC, 3 inches taller, 20 lbs heavier, similar offense, 3.5M cheaper. The main point is young skilled RHC, not an easy get.

  12. godot10 says:

    T0ML:
    So everyone is complaining we signed a defender who played quite well in top 4 minutes for us last year (at what would be considered below market value), in an off season at what roughly a #4 d-man will go for in the off season?I guess everyone here would rather hand a contract to Franson (Who is quite slow I do believe? ) Than take the guy who plays the system here, and seemed to do well with it.

    Hainsey and Streit on one year deals…NOT Franson.

  13. N64 says:

    N64: Did anyone post the Woodmoney on Strome?

    Think I found the DFF%
    44.5 overall.

  14. Mike says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    There’s no way of knowing if Strome at 23 WILL EVER be as good as this past season for eberle. Which was a career worst for ebs, more likely is they both regress to there mean.

  15. John Chambers says:

    At least many of us can re-purpose our Taylor Hall #4 jerseys.

  16. VOR says:

    scungilli slushy,

    Mostly I agree with you. Based on seeing Strome play, pre-draft and a couple of times a year (or more) since, he is not slow. I would say he is clearly faster than Eberle and probably a more dynamic skater. He is very skilled with the puck and likes to hang on to it. But he absolutely is not a physical force. But neither was Eberle.

    He also isn’t a center. Doesn’t defend the position well. And Adam Oates and Mike Peca working 24-7 for the next year couldn’t make him a decent face-off man. He is a right winger who likes to roam the offensive end of the ice with the puck on his stick. He reminds me, as I said above, of Ales Hemsky.

    So the Oilers got younger, faster, and cheaper but they still got a “soft” player with defensive issues, who doesn’t exactly bang in the corners. The two players have very similar offensive skills. So I see the trade as a net positive. But a small one.

  17. Bank Shot says:

    I don’t see how they can have similar offensive skills.

    Eberle had 2 60+ seasons under his belt by the time he was Strome’s age.

    Strome had one decent offensive season and then headed in the wrong direction.

    Maybe raw skills are similar, but if Strome can’t think the game on Eberle’s level he probably never will be in the offensive ball park.

    With Strome, he’s already finished his draft +6 season and has 260 NHL games played. There is a good chance he’s not really going to change much from what he is now, and what he is now seems pretty underwhelming.

  18. VOR says:

    I like Diablo’s point about installing a shoot first approach into Strome’s game. There was a point Strome looked like a decent 6-8 shots per sixty player. So not elite but given the number of looks he would get with McDavid probably sufficient to let Leon go back to Center. He has a decent shot and as I said, he mixes it up and hides the release well. Plus he gets the puck on the net.

    I’d also second Diablo’s point about Strome setting up in the High Danger areas of the ice somewhat more than the Eberle of late (probably more like vintage Eberle). He has quick hands and from time to time deflects the puck on net trying to catch the goalie off guard, which is hard to do if you aren’t parked in the slot. But don’t get too excited. Ryan Smyth he is not.

    What Strome is I realized, is sneaky fast. He times his acceleration or start to catch the defender flat footed. He gets free in the o-zone fairly regularly but doesn’t really have break away speed. But something I forgot to mention is that he actually protects the puck quite well.

  19. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    a key part of chiapete’s talk about strome was snuck in at the very end of the interview and might have been missed by some – he said strome is a very “cerebral” player.

    if you’re going to play with mcdavid you need to think the game well.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    a key part of chiapete’s talk about strome was snuck in at the very end of the interview and might have been missed by some – he said strome is a very “cerebral” player.

    if you’re going to play with mcdavid you need to think the game well.

    Oilers need Strome to be a soft minutes center who can score at 5×5 in that role and a guy who can be the hinge scorer on the power play. IF he can snipe those McDavid passes, well, the trade becomes something else.

  21. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: Oilers need Strome to be a soft minutes center who can score at 5×5 in that role and a guy who can be the hinge scorer on the power play. IF he can snipe those McDavid passes, well, the trade becomes something else.

    Given how happy Letestu was to do so, I’m sure Strome should have comparable or greater success. One hopes.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Mike:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    There’s no way of knowing if Strome at 23 WILL EVER be as good as this past season for eberle. Which was a career worst for ebs, more likely is they both regress to there mean.

    No way to know, but Strome’s points per 60 which says more about TOI / how they were used, shows that Strome isn’t far behind Eberle now. Playing with the quality of players Eberle did on the Oilers and Eberle’s PP time it wouldn’t be way off base to say he will get similar points to Eberle’s last season.

    It seems to me Strome has a bigger tool kit than Eberle – faster, bigger, at least same skill level, better shot including one timer, playmaking. He has to do something with it, I think he will. I think we’ll see him engage physically more. Larsson did in a big way and brought his game forward from the knocks on him to that point.

    To me if the player has everything needed to succeed including attitude, in the right environment they do. Eberle can’t get taller and heavier and faster, and that is the root of what ails his game IMO because while quality he’s not an elite scorer. Lacking a physical two way game most teams will expect top production.

    That is why those types of forwards get traded more than players with less offense but a better overall game. Why Panarin was traded for Saad. I guess just under 1 PPG wasn’t enough of a trade off for Bowman when an 80% offensive zone start was required to shelter him.

  23. dustrock says:

    Kinger Oil I am wondering if any of the armchair GMs picked “$4m x 4” for Russell on your poll.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    Well at least we didnt sign Oshie to that contract.

  25. Richard S.S. says:

    Peter Chiarelli wants a second round pick if at all possible. He seems willing to move up or down as the occasion dictates. This could be an ideal time to fill a hole or upgrade a possible if the right opportunity arises. The only thing I want out of this draft is NO MORE SMURFS drafted ever again.

  26. Munny says:

    LT said…

    “So this is Christmas, for fans like me.”

    Also probably the best two days to be an Lowetide fan.

  27. Psyche says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s what I’m hoping for!

    Opportunity of a career for R. Strome.

  28. striatic says:

    I like the flexibility Strome provides in terms of moving Draisaitl around. His previous and Current GM both view him as a natural Centre, so he offers the lineup something Eberle couldn’t – ease of moving Draisaitl from RW to C depending on the situation.

    Improving McClellan’s ability to make that adjustment is important, as is the lineup’s increased resiliency to injury.

  29. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    dustrock:
    Kinger Oil I am wondering if any of the armchair GMs picked “$4m x 4” for Russell on your poll.

    – Ill have to get back to you on that: spreadsheet saved on different computer: lots of people said he was going to be signed though (I didn’t)

  30. danny says:

    Can Edmonton extend Strome now?

    If they plan on giving him a shot with McDavid, having him extended for 3-4 years at reasonable dollars would be wise.

    Conversation with his agent would be he gets a shot with McDavid on a extension. Dirty pool but everyone wins in the long run.

  31. godot10 says:

    Emilly Kaplan (formerly of SI’s and Peter King’s MMQB) is ESPN new national hockey writer. Burnside’s and LeBrun’s replacment.

  32. doritogrande says:

    Let’s go drafting. Blue sky for me is we trade up for a falling Liljegren, one defenseman always falls due to over-scouting. Will be happy to welcome whichever prospect we call out (if we call one out tonight).

  33. Richard S.S. says:

    danny:
    Can Edmonton extend Strome now?

    If they plan on giving him a shot with McDavid, having him extended for 3-4 years at reasonable dollars would be wise.

    Conversation with his agent would be he gets a shot with McDavid on a extension. Dirty pool but everyone wins in the long run.

    Ryan Strome is still an RFA for one last year after this contract. Because this is the last year of a contract he can be extended (like McDavid can) after July 1st.

  34. striatic says:

    danny: Conversation with his agent would be he gets a shot with McDavid on a extension. Dirty pool but everyone wins in the long run.

    As Garth Snow and Peter Chiarelli and many others have said, Strome is really best as a Centre, it’s just that NYI was imbalanced and had him on the wing for a long time. Playing RW has been hindering his value.

    LT puts it well when he writes “Oilers need Strome to be a soft minutes center who can score at 5×5 in that role and a guy who can be the hinge scorer on the power play.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s the plan, not putting him on McDavid’s wing 5×5. Whenever Drai swings from RW to C, as will happen from time to time, Strome can move to RW for either McDavid, Draisaitl or RNH, but this trade is about creating flexibility in the lineup, and an extension with a promise that robs the Oilers of that flexibility goes against the value of the player.

  35. Southern Oil says:

    Part of the thing I really like about the NHL draft is that it is so unique. Gary – don’t screw this up! Now we are having the top prospects sit in a green room, pull a hat off the rack, walk across the stage and shake Gary’s hand. Stop trying to turn the NHL into the NBA / NFL. Their drafts are terrible compared to ours. Oh FFS. Next they will stop having teams sit on the floor of the arena.

  36. Munny says:

    Draft Order, barring any trades…

    1. The Devil’s Advocate
    2. The Philadelphia Experiment
    3. Dallas Buyers Club
    4. Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead
    5. Van Wilder
    6. Leaving Las Vegas
    7. Gangs of New York
    8. Where the Buffalo Roam
    9. Doctor Detroit
    10. The Return of the Pink Panther
    11. The Fisher King
    12. Hurricane Season
    13. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    14. Percy Yzerman & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
    15. Vegas Vacation
    16. Trapped in the Flames
    17. Leaf Blower Massacre II
    18. The Boston Strangler
    19. Sharknado
    20. The Lone Ranger
    21. The Blues Brothers
    22.There Will Be Blood
    23. The Howling
    24. La Jetee
    25. Sister Act II: Back in the Habit
    26. Black Hawk Down
    27. Meet Me in St. Louis
    28. Sense and Sensibility
    29. North Dallas Forty
    30. Predator
    31. The March of the Penguins

  37. russ99 says:

    In the nosebleeds but in here. Always fun to boo Bettman in person.

    I can see MacTavish at the Oilers table from here and it makes me queasy.

  38. danny says:

    Richard S.S.,

    He’s eligible for UFA after this season?

    Worst case scenario he gets McDavid duty. Then he gets long term at big dollars for buying his UFA years after a big season.

    I hope this is handled intelligently by Chia

  39. Munny says:

    Turned it on at the perfect time. Bettman’s last sentence.

  40. Ribs says:

    My shot in the dark guess at the Oilers 1st pick…. Alexei Lipanov.

  41. doritogrande says:

    I woulda gone Patrick 1st overall, but can’t go wrong there.

  42. godot10 says:

    Blame Ralph Krueger for these Swiss #1 OV’s.

  43. Lucinius says:

    Flyers have to be giddy.

  44. Professor Q says:

    godot10:
    Blame Ralph Krueger for these Swiss #1 OV’s.

    *sobs*

  45. Diablo says:

    Dang 8 years x 5.75 million for Oshie!
    Crazy term.

  46. Professor Q says:

    Lucinius:
    Flyers have to be giddy.

    Could Patrick be a Lesser Lindros?

  47. doritogrande says:

    Even without pads, Patrick fills that Flyers jersey out. Added to Provorov and Schenn, they might as well buy stock in Brandon.

  48. doritogrande says:

    That large man from Dallas needs a bigger suit.

  49. Lucinius says:

    Just pick already.

  50. McNuge93 says:

    Wow Flyers off the board

  51. doritogrande says:

    How in the actual hell was Heiskanen not among the top 8 kids who merited the “green room”?

  52. Munny says:

    Dallas all owner.

  53. doritogrande says:

    Sorry, too high for Makar.

  54. Ribs says:

    Fun fact… I was born in Brooks. Great place. The Bandits rink is excellent.

  55. Munny says:

    Eaves re-signs with ANA. 3 yr deal at $3.1M AAV reportedly.

  56. Richard S.S. says:

    People said 3-15 was interchangeable while 15-50 was interchangeable.

  57. McNuge93 says:

    Jeez this is going to take a while. In other years by now the Oilers would have picked and I would turn off the tv and do something else

  58. Professor Q says:

    Anyone know where to watch online?

  59. doritogrande says:

    Pettersson, that’s a stats pick.

    Probably could have traded down for that. Also, there go every expert’s mock-draft that tried to shoehorn another Swede to Detroit.

  60. Professor Q says:

    McNuge93:
    Jeez this is going to take a while. In other years by now the Oilers would have picked and I would turn off the tv and do something else

    Last year it was actually slower. It was a solemn day for my family, as was the next, so I guess maybe I remember it like that.

  61. doritogrande says:

    Jim Benning currently confirming they were drafting for need. “We came here looking for a playmaking center”.

    Dumb.

  62. N64 says:

    Richard S.S.:
    People said 3-15 was interchangeable while 15-50 was interchangeable.

    APM the top 2D went 3 and 4 before starting in on the interchangeable forwards.

  63. doritogrande says:

    Cody Glass goes to Vegas, great kid to build a team from scratch around.

    Two Winnipeggers in the first six.

  64. Ribs says:

    It’d be awesome if they could pop the collars on those Golden Knights jerseys.

  65. trencan says:

    Professor Q:
    Anyone know where to watch online?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffMF6ugyRbc

  66. Professor Q says:

    These picks are all over the place.

  67. doritogrande says:

    LT and THN both have Andersson being a reach there. Wonder if NYR couldn’t find a trade partner and had the courage of their convictions.

  68. Richard S.S. says:

    Professor Q:
    These picks are all over the place.

    No, these are all top 15 picks, just as I posted before.

  69. N64 says:

    Professor Q:
    These picks are all over the place.

    If there is a trend the euros in BM’s interchangeable forwards @ 5-13 went early.

  70. doritogrande says:

    Mittelstadt is said to be over-competitive. I bet he’s already planning to throw Evander Kane’s track suit into a shower.

  71. Professor Q says:

    doritogrande:
    LT and THN both have Andersson being a reach there. Wonder if NYR couldn’t find a trade partner and had the courage of their convictions.

    Most have been reaches thus far.

  72. N64 says:

    doritogrande:
    Mittelstadt is said to be over-competitive. I bet he’s already planning to throw Evander Kane’s track suit into a shower.

    Should be just fine with Eichel 😉

  73. JDI says:

    Professor Q,

    http://onhockey.tv/

    uBlock plugin is a must for that site.

    Could also check http://www.reddit.com/r/nhlstreams

  74. doritogrande says:

    Most have been reaches thus far.

    Pettersson was close, but I see Andersson as the only potential reach thusfar. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 are all on point so far, per all the scouting services.

  75. frjohnk says:

    doritogrande:
    Mittelstadt is said to be over-competitive. I bet he’s already planning to throw Evander Kane’s track suit into a shower.

    Or he could cut it up so Kane has short shorts and a muscle shirt and wear that all day while in Toronto

    That happened when Kane was playing with Atlanta

  76. Munny says:

    doritogrande,

    Since he refuses to work out, CM probably gonna lose that battle.

  77. Professor Q says:

    doritogrande:
    Most have been reaches thus far.

    Pettersson was close, but I see Andersson as the only potential reach thusfar. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 are all on point so far, per all the scouting services.

    Really? Because I see different. Even the commentators have been commenting on the picks going earlier due to storylines and family connections.

    I’ve even seen some drafts where the picks are in the 20s or 2nd round. Even when they are in the Top 15, that doesn’t necessarily scream Top 5.

    Vilardi was around 3-6 if I remember correctly.

  78. doritogrande says:

    Since he refuses to work out, CM probably gonna lose that battle.

    Can you blame him for not working out? He looks 12.

  79. JDI says:

    Rah rah Rasmussen…

  80. McNuge93 says:

    Dammit Tippet is gone. No chance he would have lasted to 22

  81. doritogrande says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such ginger hair.

    Agree that based on most lists, Vilardi’s falling. Speed kills, and he doesn’t have it.

  82. N64 says:

    Professor Q: Even the commentators

    Lol. Compare to the BM consensus.

  83. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Hope Calgary doesn’t take Yamamoto, or Suzuki. Or any good player.

  84. Professor Q says:

    doritogrande:
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such ginger hair.

    Agree that based on most lists, Vilardi’s falling. Speed kills, and he doesn’t have it.

    It would have been perfect copper hair for Edmonton.

    *pouts*

  85. doritogrande says:

    If any team looks at Vilardi’s speed and goes “meh”, it’s LA.

  86. JDI says:

    doritogrande: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such ginger hair.

    He must feed primarily on krill.

  87. McNuge93 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Hope Calgary doesn’t take Yamamoto, or Suzuki. Or any good player.

    Actually Yamamoto would look good in Calgary. Add some more truculence to them

  88. russ99 says:

    Halfway to Oilers pick:

    This is going pretty fast in person, pretty weird not having between-pick commentary.

    Glancing at the Oilers table every minute or so, nothing cooking yet.

  89. Jaxon says:

    My preference:
    Liljegren
    Vesalainen
    Timmins
    Popugayev
    Lind
    Kostin
    Yamamoto
    Foote

  90. T0ML says:

    Suzuki to VGK

  91. N64 says:

    Believe all top 13 are from BM’s top 13. One big jump. One bid drop.

  92. doritogrande says:

    Vegas is doing this right. Two C’s to start. Take another.

  93. Munny says:

    Should start to see some D go.

  94. doritogrande says:

    Thank God Foote’s off the board.

  95. LMHF#1 says:

    Thanks Steve! Much appreciated!

  96. Professor Q says:

    Sergachev and Foote will be a nice pairing.

    Love the history between the two families.

  97. Jaxon says:

    Glad Foote is gone. Scouting reports of weird skating stride would scare me away. Musil all over again.

  98. doritogrande says:

    There’s the reach.

  99. Jaxon says:

    Is incredible that Florida may have gotten the third best player with the tenth pick. LA may have lucked out with Vilardi to (even with concerns about his skating).

  100. treevojo says:

    LMHF#1:
    Thanks Steve! Much appreciated!

    Keep that kinda talk up and you will be kicked out of “Cassandra’s support group”

  101. Munny says:

    Interesting pick there. Thought they would prefer Liljegren.

  102. Cahoon says:

    Liljegren will get picked up in the next few picks. Man it would be great if he came to us

  103. LMHF#1 says:

    treevojo: Keep that kinda talk up and you will be kicked out of “Cassandra’s support group”

    Never accepted my invite.

    Support groups are for vegans.

  104. Cahoon says:

    I think he’s Torontos pick

  105. Professor Q says:

    Here we go…

  106. Munny says:

    Funny song choice.

  107. JDI says:

    No – YOU SO Valimaki!

  108. Jaxon says:

    Wow, these next 4 picks are serious Oiler repellent. I would say or 4 biggest rivalries all in a row. This could hurt to watch if they pick players we covet.

  109. doritogrande says:

    Glad Calgary didn’t take Tolvanen.

  110. Professor Q says:

    Wow. Toronto could have a solid D corps to go with their F group.

    Can’t wait to hear about it from everyone over here..

  111. doritogrande says:

    Damn.

  112. Cahoon says:

    That sucks. I knew it though

  113. trencan says:

    Shit, good pick Toronto

  114. Oilanderp says:

    Damnit Lou

  115. Jaxon says:

    I hope Toronto, Boston, San Jose, St Louis and Rangers take:
    Tolvanen, Vaakanainen, Gauge, Poehling, Thomas

  116. Munny says:

    Lily a steal because Leafs.

  117. Professor Q says:

    I was hoping they’d take Thomas due to the Hunter connection.

  118. Jaxon says:

    Still hoping for Vesalainen and Timmins for Edmonton.

  119. danny says:

    Who are the fellow ‘tidians hoping is available / taken at 22?

  120. doritogrande says:

    Vaakanainen Hometown: Jesse Joensuu, Finland?

    Someone’s trolling us, right?

  121. Munny says:

    Bruins always do things their own way.

  122. russ99 says:

    Activity at the Oiler table. One of our scouts gave a sheet of paper to Bob Green.

  123. Richard S.S. says:

    Boston going to the beat of their own drum.

  124. danny says:

    I’m hoping for Karate Yakuza

  125. doritogrande says:

    Top options still available for me: Tolvanen, Poehling, Ratcliffe, Vesalainen, Thomas, Lind.

    No D-men worth taking, and I’m not as high on Yamamoto as LT is.

  126. Ducey says:

    Whoever the Oilers pick now is terrible

    – Cassandra

  127. striatic says:

    russ99:
    Activity at the Oiler table. One of our scouts gave a sheet of paper to Bob Green.

    All hands, brace for impact.

  128. Professor Q says:

    Yamamoto looks perplexed and pissed off.

  129. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    yamamoto – “the analytics guys love him”

  130. doritogrande says:

    Forgot about Norris. He really came on at the end of the year.

  131. Cahoon says:

    russ99,

    It’s cool that you are there, feels like insider Intel.

  132. Munny says:

    17th pick isn’t in-between stage. 20th is. Per Sportsnet.

  133. N64 says:

    Professor Q:
    Yamamoto looks perplexed and pissed off.

    24 on McKenzie list

  134. danny says:

    Everybody talkin bout Norris tight pants. His tight pants. He got his tight pants on.

  135. striatic says:

    Only one RW taken so far. No LWs or Gs.

    Cs and Ds aplenty.

  136. Professor Q says:

    N64: 24 on McKenzie list

    Are you being an arse for some reason, or no reason at all?

    If you’re actually watching you’d have seen what I was referring to. Not your fooking list ranking.

    Go away.

  137. N64 says:

    Professor Q: Are you being an arse for some reason, or no reason at all?

    If you’re actually watching you’d have seen what I was referring to. Not your fooking list ranking.

    Go away.

    Don’t have a TV feed right now. Thought you meant he was annoyed to be falling. My mistake.

  138. jp says:

    Thomas gone.

  139. T0ML says:

    Thomas gone …. Kinda wanted him just for the name.

  140. russ99 says:

    Yamamoto or Ratcliffe?

    I don’t see us going Euro long route.

  141. JDI says:

    Rob Thomas. Smooth.

  142. Professor Q says:

    T0ML:
    Thomas gone …. Kinda wanted him just for the name.

    And classy with the bow-tie.

  143. godot10 says:

    Dammit, we’re going to end up with a winger again.

  144. russ99 says:

    All quiet at the Oil table.

  145. doritogrande says:

    Tolvanen’s available! First person shooter.

  146. Rondo says:

    That the guy I picked for Edmonton Chytil

  147. franksterra says:

    russ99,

    I’d be happy with Kailer Yamamoto.

    Keyser Kobayashi

  148. digger50 says:

    Not The Yammer, we have enough danglers

    We need go to the net no nonsense player

    Guess best chance is
    Poehling
    Ratcliffe

    Then go for d man Hague

    Okay then, welcome to the Yammer!

  149. vinotintazo says:

    I hope is Yamamoto. But he’s not a chia type player.

  150. Munny says:

    Whoever they pick it will be the wrong pick.

  151. PaperDesigner says:

    Munny:
    Whoever they pick it will be the wrong pick.

    Agreed, but the fun part is waiting five years to know it!

  152. Cahoon says:

    I want tolvanen. That would be great

  153. The Hermit says:

    Chia looks happy.

  154. N64 says:

    PaperDesigner: Agreed, but the fun part is waiting five years to know it!

    Here you know right away 😉

  155. russ99 says:

    Yamamoto!!!!!

  156. T0ML says:

    And its Yamamoto!

  157. vinotintazo says:

    yeeees

  158. doritogrande says:

    Fine. I’ll take him, but there are better options.

  159. franksterra says:

    N64,

    Zing

  160. Professor Q says:

    vinotintazo:
    I hope is Yamamoto. But he’s not a chia type player.

    What about Marchand?

  161. Spengler says:

    Well, I’ll be. That was surprising. I’m chuffed.

  162. N64 says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!

  163. jp says:

    Wow, cool!

    Didn’t think they’d do it!! 🙂

  164. Jaxon says:

    Vesalainen please

  165. leadfarmer says:

    Damn that’s a fine choice

  166. Cahoon says:

    Yamamoto would have been my second choice after Tolvanen so I am happy with the pick

  167. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Hopefully he can score less than Eberle does in 5 years.

    Strong pick, that was my guy

  168. russ99 says:

    Kid needs to eat his Wheaties.

  169. Professor Q says:

    This could be my favourite Japanese-Descendent player since Kariya!

    Definitely cheering hard for the guy. Will be exciting to see how Strome, Yamamoto, and Puljujärvi are going forward.

  170. Munny says:

    Good thing they sized that sweater before picking.

  171. JDI says:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer 2m2 minutes ago

    Bob Stauffer Retweeted Edmonton Oilers

    Yamamoto trains with Spokane products Tyler Johnson and Derek Ryan, took a quantum leap this spring in the gym. Highly-skilled forward

  172. Jaxon says:

    I know size isn’t everything, but 153 lbs?!?!?! You know who was 154lbs?

    This guy:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Tkachev_(ice_hockey,_born_1995)

    Vesalainen was still on the board!

  173. blainer says:

    Pissed we never took Vesa..

    But will admit I do like Yams NHLE

  174. who says:

    Hope he’s fast because man is he ever tiny.

  175. doritogrande says:

    Jets need Timmins.

  176. Oilanderp says:

    11th best player according to LT, taken at 22. I accept that.

  177. jp says:

    Jaxon:
    I know size isn’t everything, but 153 lbs?!?!?! You know who was 154lbs?

    This guy:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Tkachev_(ice_hockey,_born_1995)

    Vesalainen was still on the board!

    How big was Kane when he was drafted? Honest question – he couldn’t have been too much more than 153.

    One thing about Yamamoto I’m heartened by is that he scored 23-34-57 as a 16 year old. He was able to compete even 2 yrs ago. God knows his weight then.

    And is his NHLE best in the draft (aside from the wonky Pettersson)?.

    Guess we’ll see, but I like this pick.

  178. Cahoon says:

    Tolvanen and Lane would make a great Finnish sandwich for Scheifele

  179. Cahoon says:

    Laine *

  180. digger50 says:

    Again, Welcome to the Yammer.

    Not the safe pick, I really hope he can make the transition.
    Sure has some nice 5×5 stats. Loved his Dads reaction, he knew the best team for potential success.

  181. Cahoon says:

    I guess Vesalainen can make that sandwich happen too.

  182. doritogrande says:

    Unreal that that was the first trade of the night.

  183. N64 says:

    doritogrande:
    Unreal that that was the first trade of the night.

    McPhee said he had a deal to get to 5. But his guy was gone. Probably one of the D.

  184. doritogrande says:

    So much for my Philadelphia Wheat Kings theory.

  185. Jaxon says:

    jp: How big was Kane when he was drafted? Honest question – he couldn’t have been too much more than 153.

    One thing about Yamamoto I’m heartened by is that he scored 23-34-57 as a 16 year old. He was able to compete even 2 yrs ago. God knows his weight then.

    And is his NHLE best in the draft (aside from the wonky Pettersson)?.

    Guess we’ll see, but I like this pick.

    You have a point. FYI Kane was 5’10” and 165lbs on draft day. 12lbs heavier. Kane is now 5’11, 177lbs.

    5’8″, 153 lbs is a substantial difference. Kane gained 12 lbs from draft day and 1″ in height. If he Kailer doesn’t grow 3″ to reach 5’11” like Kane he’ll have a harder time adding on 24 lbs to reach 177lbs.

    http://www.sharkspage.com/2007_nhl_draftpreview.html

    I’ll be chearing like hell for him, but I’m not sure I’d bet on him. Makes you look back on 2016 draft and wonder why Chiarelli didn’t take DeBrincat.

  186. doritogrande says:

    Wow that’s a huge haul for someone who hasn’t topped 60 points.

  187. jp says:

    Jaxon: You have a point. FYI Kane was 5’10” and 165lbs on draft day. 12lbs heavier. Kane is now 5’11, 177lbs.

    5’8″, 153 lbs is a substantial difference. Kane gained 12 lbs from draft day and 1″ in height. If he Kailer doesn’t grow 3″ to reach 5’11” like Kane he’ll have a harder time adding on 24 lbs to reach 177lbs.

    http://www.sharkspage.com/2007_nhl_draftpreview.html

    I’ll be chearing like hell for him, but I’m not sure I’d bet on him. Makes you look back on 2016 draft and wonder why Chiarelli didn’t take DeBrincat.

    Yeah, Kane did have a size advantage on draft day. Plus his scoring was in another world. Though he was also the hands down 1OV that year, so Kailer is gonna be well back in some respects.

    In terms of DeBrincat, didn’t he have some speed issues (quite mediocre)? I could be mistaken.

    Agreed Yamamoto needs to add some bulk, but I’m intrigued. He posted the best actual offence in his draft class. The guy’s got a chance.

  188. digger50 says:

    Trade two thirds for a second, maybe Vegas?

    Still a few good targets left.

  189. danny says:

    I had a bad dream last night.

    Buffalo traded Kane for Vans picks.

    Buffalo then extracted revenge and signed Drai to a massive offer sheet.

  190. Cahoon says:

    Nashville would be the team to get Tolvanen

  191. Pescador says:

    danny:
    I’m hoping for Karate Yakuza

    Great Kid

  192. Pescador says:

    danny:
    I had a bad dream last night.

    Buffalo traded Kane for Vans picks.

    Buffalo then extracted revenge and signed Drai to a massive offer sheet.

    If Leon signs an O sheet with Buffalo,
    He is not the guy I thought he was.

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