The Edmonton Oilers continue the auditions—Ethan Bear, Ty Rattie, Pontus Aberg when they find him—as we all wait for possible front office and coaching moves that may come after the schedule completes. We’re just a little over one month from the draft lottery and Edmonton can still catch a couple of teams in the overall standings. Trade options continue to be discussed, although the options out (Nuge, Klefbom, Puljujarvi, 2018 first-round pick) are much too dear. There’s so much up in the air it’s impossible to find clarity now, at this time of year. Perhaps the auditions will change the equation.
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- Lowetide: Ty Rattie gets a chance.
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers and trading the Nuge.
- Lowetide: The Oilers and college free agents.
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can win summer without breaking the bank.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
CAROLINA IN MY MIND, YEAR OVER YEAR
- March 2016: 5-4-0, goal differential -2 (10 points)
- March 2017: 6-2-1, goal differential +13 (13 points)
- March 2018: 4-4-1, goal differential -1 (9 points)
- March 18, 2016: Edmonton 2, Vancouver 0 (Source)
- March 23, 2017: Edmonton 7, Colorado 4 (Source)
The 2016 and 2017 teams had a nice run through the middle of March, this year’s team will try to keep pace with the first McLellan group. Oscar Klefbom is lost for the rest of the season, Dillon Simpson has been recalled and we’ll see what the lineups bring us later today.
AFTER 72, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 27-38-7, goal differential -49 (61 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 39-24-9, goal differential +31 (87 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 31-36-5, goal differential -33 (67 points)
- March 16, 2016: Edmonton 6, St. Louis 4 (Source)
- March 22, 2017: Anaheim 4, Edmonton 3 (Source)
The 2015-16 team won their G73, winning the 28th game of the season. Edmonton’s team of a year ago lost, but would compile 16 more points in the final nine games of the year. Amazing. The 15-16 gang would go 4-5-1 in the final 10, to finish 31-43-8, 70 points. The 16-17 crew wrecked everyone, finishing 8-2-0 on the way to 47-26-9, 103 points.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH
- At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-1)
- On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
- Current results: 4-4-1, 9 points in nine games
Though a final decision likely won’t be made until the season ends, It’s extremely likely that McDavid plays for Canada at the World Championships. RNH and Nurse would be considerations for Canada as well I’d suspect.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 20, 2018
We didn’t have these discussions a year ago, and hopefully won’t have another chance to watch Oilers at the WHC’s until 2030 or so. That said, it should be entertaining to see McDavid and company play at the international level. No Olympics for NHL players makes this a bigger event.
THE BUTTON LIST
Craig Button’s latest draft list is out and there’s plenty of movement. Button’s appeal is that he has his own mind, he’s a scout and so the list compiled resembles no one else. His scouting background means we’re basically getting a free scouting director’s list and for me there’s a great deal of value there. Here’s my top 10 and where he ranks them:
- LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). Button also ranks him No. 1. Universal top pick.
- R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). Button has him No. 3.
- L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Ranks No. 4 on Button list.
- LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). No. 19 on Button’s latest ranking.
- RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). No. 6 for Craig Button.
- R Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL). Pure scorer is No. 9 on Button list.
- LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). No. 12 for Button.
- L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). Button has him at No. 2 overall.
- LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). Speedy center No. 21 on Button list.
- RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). No. 5 on Craig’s list.
This is a big release, Button has his ducks pretty much in order based on his own past. International tournaments will inspire some movement from the Europeans and some of the CHL kids will spike with strong playoffs. We’re getting close now.
OILERS CURRENT PICKS FOR 2018
- First Round—No. 7 overall
- Second Round—No. 38 overall
- Third Round—No. 69 overall
- Fourth Round—No. 100 overall (Oilers acquired goaltender Al Montoya from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. Montoya has now covered the condition. It is a fourth).
- Fifth Round—No. 129 overall
- Sixth Round—No. 160 overall
- Seventh Round—No. 191 overall
I believe the Oilers will prefer to take a forward at No. 7. Button’s ‘best available’ at the number includes sniper Oliver Wahlstrom and skill center Jesperi Kotkaniemi. I could see one or both being selected. If the Oilers do take a defender, bet on a righty like Boqvist or Bouchard.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, guests are fluid but we have a top drawer show heading your way at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. We’ll chat about his Nuge article and what RNH’s value might be.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Good teams are going to miss the playoffs, should the NHL tweak the playoff format?
Plus a couple of very cool guests have yet to confirm but I’m confident! 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!