Spill the Wine

The 2018 draft could deliver impact talent to the Oilers, but the first-round pick is also shaping up as a pretty valuable trade piece this summer.

THE ATHLETIC!

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 BOB MCKENZIE’S LIST

This week saw Bob McKenzie release his mid-season draft rankings. This is the Cadillac list, the industry standard. I always like to post my list before Mr. McKenzie’s, just to see the gap between math and consensus. McKenzie’s number is the rank, my ranking follows.

  1. LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). No. 1
  2. R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). No. 2
  3. L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL).  No. 3
  4. L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). No. 8
  5. RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). No. 6
  6. LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). No. 10
  7. RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). No. 21
  8. RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). No. 19
  9. R Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). No. 12
  10. LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). No. 5
  11. RD Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL). No. 9
  12. LC Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). No. 16
  13. RC Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Sm-Liiga). No. 17
  14. RD Bode Wilde, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). No. 25
  15. LC Joe Veleno, Drummondville (QMJHL). No. 18
  16. L Joel Farabee, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). No. 11
  17. LC Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). No. 15
  18. LD Jared McIssac, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). No. 31
  19. LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). No. 20
  20. L Isac Lundestrom, Lulea (SHL). No. 29
  21. L Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl (MHL). Not listed
  22. R Serron Noel, Oshawa (OHL). Not listed
  23. LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). No. 4
  24. LD Mattias Samuelsson, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). Not listed.
  25. R Dominik Bokk, Vajxo Lakers (SuperElite). No. 24
  26. LC Jack McBain,Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL). Not listed
  27. RD Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). No. 14
  28. LC Benoit-Oliver Groulx, HalifaxMooseheads (QMJHL). Not listed
  29. RC Akil Thomas, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). No. 7
  30. R Martin Kaut, Pardubice (Czech). Not listed
  31. LD Alexander Alexeyev, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Not listed

There’s plenty worth discussing here, including a break around No. 20 that indicates the hockey industry is coalescing around some players who are heavy on the ‘saw him good’ and light on ‘math says green lights!” Now, we’re early enough in the process for there to be major swings in rankings, but I will tell you a player like Jared McIsaac will probably land about No. 40 on my list. I think it means the NHL is going to settle on about 10 players as the ‘top tier’ and then it’s a jailbreak by about No. 20. We’ll see if things tighten up by spring.

Draft Notes

  • As far as I know, “Allsvenskan” isn’t Swedish for Money Puck but maybe it should be based on prospect performance. The second highest league in Sweden, the loop keeps producing real gems and represents the rare under-drafted league in the modern era.
  • In the last several years, some prospects from that league have been shot out of a cannon after their draft. David Pastrnak, Jesper Bratt, Jonathan Dahlen and (last year) Elias Pettersson have all emerged by the tweener league to overshoot their draft numbers immediately.
  • I’m all-in on the Allsvenskan now, I have Jacob Olofsson at No. 4 and Filip Hallander at No. 13. Mr. McKenzie has Olofosson at No. 23 and Hallander at No. 49. European kids often spike late due to those spring tournaments that come very late in the draft schedule. I’ll be tracking both men but will remain bullish on the Allsvenskan.
  • Why do prospects do so well after the Allsvenskan? A guess would be these young men get more playing time than in the SHL while the quality of competition also remains high.
  • I spoke to Simon Boisvert yesterday, he had a fascinating point about the puck-moving defenders who sit behind Rasmus Dahlin. Simon said he views all of Boqvist, Hughes, Merkley and Smith as being different shades of even and it may come down to team preference over clear cut superiority. Simon did say he likes Hughes the most but it’s an even race.

KAILER YAMAMOTO

Kailer Yamamoto picked up an assist on Saturday and has been on fire recently. His splits are incredible.

  • First 10 games: 1-8-9
  • Last 10 games: 7-11-18
  • Total: 20, 8-19-27

He spent a long time (November 10-December 1) struggling but has been much better recently. Yamamoto will get a good shot at making the big club in the fall, unless the Oilers experience a dramatic change in behavior.

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219 Responses to "Spill the Wine"

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  1. VOR says:

    The Bruins are sort of the poster boy for the idea that nobody gets it right all the time.

    I freely concede that Professor Q is right. It could never have been. But they could clearly be even better than they are.

    The game is to be right more often and more consistently than other players.

    I don’t think any of us are sure our current management team can accomplish that.

  2. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I think Kailer has 7 straight multi-point games since returning from Buffalo.

    Its good to see and what was somewhat expected of him in the WHL this year.

    I agree that Kailer has a real shot at the NHL this year but I truly hope that management (whoever that may be) is able to provide some established top 6 winger competition for him and he’s not gifted a spot based on lack of depth as oppossed to readiness.

    I’m just not sure how we fill such a winger spot with our cap issues – well, Strome as 3C allows us to stack the top 6 with incumbents……

    In order for Yamamoto to be able to be a significant player in the NHL, he is going to have to get stronger and more solid on his skates. Sure he dominates against sixteen and seventeen year olds,but it was evident at WJC and the games he played in the NHL,every time he got bumped he was on his ass.

  3. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I assume Merkley will be able to put on a bit of weight as he turns in to a man – he’s pretty slight at this point.

    He’s eating Samorukov’s PP time right now – as he should be.

    The ratings show Merkley is going in the wrong direction,could finish even lower in the ratings.

  4. Oilman99 says:

    Clarkenstein:
    This is what a writer had in his column today. You could probably say this about a lot of teams but I do find it somewhat interesting…
    With the right kind of drafting and without a trade or two made, the Edmonton Oilers could have a defence of Rielly, Charlie McAvoy, Josh Morrissey and Ryan Ellis and an offence that includes Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Gabriel Landeskog, Matthew Barzal or Brock Boeser. And that was possible.

    Good luck with that payroll in three years unles the cap is 150mil.

  5. Oilman99 says:

    pts2pndr: OriginalPouzar,

    I think he will prove to be better than Yamamoto , Oiler bias against Russians not withstanding!

    I would put money on Benson too, if his injuries are behind him.

  6. Oil Fan 99 says:

    The Oilers are a mess. Chiarelli can not make another high profile trade like Nugent-Hopkins without it being career suicide. I think Nuge is safe until at least a Stanley cup berth.

    The Oilers are going to need to upgrade their defence. If you go through the names Nurse has become our number one. Sekera and Russell have no trade clauses. Larsson is a righty traded for Hall and Benning is a righty that won’t cost much to resign. Leaving Klefbom. Even he is too high profile to trade unless the other player coming back is a better fit or that player is already on the roster. To my eye that is free agent Carlson or to a lesser extent Greene. Trade options is the oft rumoured Barrie or perhaps Faulk from Carolina. Carolina has an embarrassment of quality young defenceman but would love to see Faulk in an Oilers uniform.

    As Oilers fans we had expectations of playoffs. We also have expectations of trades. Maroon we understand is likely to be traded. The return I expect would either have to be a first round pick or better yet an identifiable prospect in the likes of Jordan Kyrou. Even if that trade has to be sweetened.

    Chiarelli also has to find the next Maroon. I like Grabner or Bailey but both are having good seasons and may have priced themselves out of Oilers contention. They have wheels and can kill penalties. Chiarelli must also obtain these pieces without giving up high profile players. As an Oilers fan we could live with Yamamoto, Slepyshev, Caggiula, Maroon, Lucic, first round pick and maybe Klefbom.

    This fan base won’t take any more robbing from Peter to pay Paul. No more Reinhart when we already have Nurse. No more Davidson, Auvitu, Gryba, Stanton, Lowe, Simpson signings to play 7th d and take 2 AHL spots.

    The Oilers need balance. There are some nice pieces in McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge… but we need to surround them with some wingers, without a lot of cap room. Ok so we have to trade Eberle. How cool would it have been to get Barzel or Boeser? Who’s the next Boeser?

  7. Bling says:

    Was Sekera rushed back too soon?

    14 games, 1 assist, and a -10 are not your typical Sekera stats.

    He has struggled. With Davidson playing as well as he had been, I question the decision making process there.

    Might have contributed to flushing the season.

  8. JD_Wry says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): That Seguin deal though

    That was like trading the travel package on Let’s Make a Deal, for what was behind door #2, and the door goes up to reveal a goat.

  9. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Wow. I am on the verge of feeling sorry for Chia. Expectations for this deadline are so high among some fans that people are going to be upset when Maroon fetches a late 2nd rounder, which is about what he is worth, I think. If Chia gets more than that, great.

    What would the Oilers have to add to Maroon to get Kyrou instead of a 2nd? Benson? Bear? We’re trying to buy high on hyped prospects. Usually doesn’t work out. The Erat for Forsberg trade is so rare and hard to bank on happening again.

    St. Louis doesn’t look ready to go all-in this year. Yeah they probably will do rentals and be buyers but they’re not looking like Cup winners at the moment. Their future is their young core of prospects plus Tarasenko, Schenn, Schwartz, Parayko and Pietro. Very nice core when you add Kyrou, Thompson, Thomas and Kostin to that.

    Edit-
    I mean, if it happens we can sing Chia’s praises. I am just saying that setting that as the expected benchmark is really tough.

  10. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    JD_Wry: That was like trading the travel package on Let’s Make a Deal, for what was behind door #2, and the door goes up to reveal a goat.

    Ha ha.

  11. €√¥£€^$ says:

    VOR,

    How do you rate this Draft? Is it as good as 2015?

    I am a fan of trading higher picks for more picks, especially after the 2nd Round and we all know that this team is pretty thin on prospects.

    If you have posted this already, I apologize, but I was wondering, if Edmonton had the 10th pick (in all Rounds) who would you pick, (the top 3 players you project to be available at that slot/round)?

  12. JimmyV1965 says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Wow. I am on the verge of feeling sorry for Chia. Expectations for this deadline are so high among some fans that people are going to be upset when Maroon fetches a late 2nd rounder, which is about what he is worth, I think. If Chia gets more than that, great.

    What would the Oilers have to add to Maroon to get Kyrou instead of a 2nd? Benson? Bear? We’re trying to buy high on hyped prospects. Usually doesn’t work out. The Erat for Forsberg trade is so rare and hard to bank on happening again.

    St. Louis doesn’t look ready to go all-in this year. Yeah they probably will do rentals and be buyers but they’re not looking like Cup winners at the moment. Their future is their young core of prospects plus Tarasenko, Schenn, Schwartz, Parayko and Pietro. Very nice core when you add Kyrou, Thompson, Thomas and Kostin to that.

    Edit-
    I mean, if it happens we can sing Chia’s praises. I am just saying that setting that as the expected benchmark is really tough.

    The Blues are in an interesting situation. They have four prospects all about the same age. They can’t bring them all up at the same time because there’s too many of them. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

    The Jets are in a similar situation as well. The issue is compounded for the Blues because they don’t have an AHL team. They are sharing a team with Vegas, but it is the Vegas affiliate. Guys like Klim Kostin are not getting the sugar time because there’s only so much to go around and it’s the Vegas coaching staff running the show.

    I’m not saying this means they will be trading one of their prospects, but it does create a unique scenario. TSN has also included Kyrou in its top 30 players to be traded at the deadline. Now I’m sure they don’t have any inside info, but they put him on the list for a reason.

    Maybe the Blues trade for a guy with term left on their contract instead of a UFA, but I don’t think they can fit anyone under their cap.

    I won’t be disappointed if Chia makes a trade and doesn’t get an upcoming prospect, but I won’t be happy if the return is a late pick in the second round.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: In order for Yamamoto to be able to be a significant player in the NHL, he is going to have to get stronger and more solid on his skates. Sure he dominates against sixteen and seventeen year olds,but it was evident at WJC and the games he played in the NHL,every time he got bumped he was on his ass.

    Well, he’s currently a teenager and will very likely become stronger and more solid on his skates as he continues to mature and develop. With that said, I’m not sure that being bumped on his ass is all that great of an indicator – Taylor Hall spends half (exaggeration) of each game on his ass and he is very strong on his skates.

    I personally think that Yamamoto will probably need some time in the AHL learning how to compete and excel against big strong men. He’ll get stronger but will always be slight of stature and will need to learn what works and what doesn’t at the pro level.

    Many/most of the effective offensive producers that are slight of stature weren’t materiel at the NHL level until well in to their 20s.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: I would put money on Benson too, if his injuries are behind him.

    Yup – I like me some Benson as long as he continues to work on his skating.

    The nice thing about Benson is that he is more than an offensive point producer – he is a responsible 2-way player that is good in board battles, etc.

    His offensive ceiling isn’t what it was once thought to be (when he was almost granted exceptional status) but that’s OK – strong offensive instincts with an all-around game.

    Will be rooting for him in Bakersfield next year.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling:
    Was Sekera rushed back too soon?

    14 games, 1 assist, and a -10 are not your typical Sekera stats.

    He has struggled. With Davidson playing as well as he had been, I question the decision making process there.

    Might have contributed to flushing the season.

    If he’s “healthy” then, no, he wasn’t rushed.

    It was fairly widely accepted that he’d be a shell of his normal self when he returned and we wouldn’t see the normal Reggie until next year. This was somewhat to be expected.

  16. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: Well, he’s currently a teenager and will very likely become stronger and more solid on his skates as he continues to mature and develop.With that said, I’m not sure that being bumped on his ass is all that great of an indicator – Taylor Hall spends half (exaggeration) of each game on his ass and he is very strong on his skates.

    I personally think that Yamamoto will probably need some time in the AHL learning how to compete and excel against big strong men.He’ll get stronger but will always be slight of stature and will need to learn what works and what doesn’t at the pro level.

    Many/most of the effective offensive producers that are slight of stature weren’t materiel at the NHL level until well in to their 20s.

    The thing that benefited Eberle (along with Perry and Getzlaf… *spits*) was the pre-eligibility AHL playoff experience.

    Here’s hoping that Bakersfield gets there this year and the CHL guys get some time then, too!

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q: The thing that benefited Eberle (along with Perry and Getzlaf… *spits*) was the pre-eligibility AHL playoff experience.

    Here’s hoping that Bakersfield gets there this year and the CHL guys get some time then, too!

    Yes, I’m a big fan of the CHL prospects joining the Condors after they are done their seasons.

    The Condors are in last place in the division but not that far out of 4th place and playoff cut-off (although a little farther back by points percentage).

    Hopefully they can go on a bit of a run and make the playoffs – it would be nice to see Benson, Yamamoto and Samorukov get some pro games when they are eliminated from contention.

  18. VOR says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    VOR,

    How do you rate this Draft?Is it as good as 2015?

    I am a fan of trading higher picks for more picks, especially after the 2nd Round and we all know that this team is pretty thin on prospects.

    If you have posted this already, I apologize, but I was wondering, if Edmonton had the 10th pick (in all Rounds) who would you pick, (the top 3 players you project to be available at that slot/round)?

    My personal opinion is that this is a unique draft. That it goes deep, which is to say 50+% of the players will eventually play in the NHL. But it is also unusually strong. Over 15% of the players will play more than 350 games and be top four D or top six forwards. How many will be top pairing or top line remains to be seen.

    How it is unique is that it is filled with a lot more than the usual amount of risk. There is really no consensus after Dahlen. Some teams will get as many as three good players in this draft. Others will get nothing. It will starkly reveal who can draft well and who doesn’t have a clue.

  19. €√¥£€^$ says:

    VOR,

    Thank you for the response!

    Very interesting, so would you be prepared to reveal your top 3 choices/round?

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