Oilers’ #7 Prospect December 2007: Riley Nash

Current Rank: 7
Summer 2007 Rank: 13

The Edmonton Oilers have a tremendous number of quality prospects in college this season. Taylor Chorney is at #4 on my list, and any or all of Chris Vande Velde, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild may end up on the top 20 this month.

The reason I’ve chosen Nash ahead of all but Chorney is simple: age. The stats being put up currently by all the players mentioned above are attention grabbing, even at their current age (they are all 20). Nash’s NCAA season comes at age 18 (he’ll be 19 in May) and therefore is far more impressive even considering he plays in a weaker college conference.

Nash is tied for his team’s scoring lead (9gp, 3-6-9) with a 20-year old (Colin Greening) Ottawa draft. He’s getting powerplay time (2 goals on the PP) and he’s clearly competing against players much older (Cornell’s roster boasts only 2 teenage regulars and that is common in the NCAA) and bigger (Nash’s 175 pounds make him and every other teenager in college vulnerable to early-to-mid 20s men whose height and weight would not look out of place on an NHL roster).

Nash’s resume from his draft day did not lead with his projected point totals or his skill level. He falls into the “complete” player category as a prospect, with well developed skills married to discipline, speed, touch and grit. The two best scouting services hockey fans can get their hands on liked him a lot before the draft:

  • A really well schooled, all-around player who can play it any way you want (RLR).
  • Well rounded player, competes hard every night (ISS).
  • Big, raw, naturally athletic kid who can skate, shoot and pass (RLR).
  • Utility player who can contribute in a variety of areas (ISS).
  • Also likes to get his nose dirty and really carried his club down the stretch (RLR).
  • Solid two way player (ISS).

Redline especially is a hard marker, those quotes aren’t available for every prospect they write about each spring. It’s early in Nash’s college career and we can’t get ahead of ourselves, but his BCJHL season at 17 was superior to some famous kids who came before (Zajac) and his resume reads in a somewhat similar fashion to another BCJHL grad (Horcoff) who improved by leaps and bounds during his college career.

Riley Nash may end up being something special.

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9 Responses to "Oilers’ #7 Prospect December 2007: Riley Nash"

  1. Black Dog says:

    I don’t know if its that haircut but he looks like he’s about forty in that pic. Weird.

    LT you’re giving me the warm and fuzzies here. Four of the top six guys on this list are graduating and each of them looks like a legitimate NHL player. We’re not talking Brad Winchester here.

    Now this kid sounds like he may be the real deal. At the very least his intangibles plus his speed lend themselves to the fact that he may be a solid bottom sixer.

    Good stuff. If Plante turns out to be a player as well then this draft might be one we’re talking about twenty years from now.

    Blue skying! :)

  2. Dennis says:

    Because Staples is in love with Lain and that means he’ll be reading this piece, I figured I’d drop in here with reports that I just read Staples blog where he talked about Lain’s Lowe post.

    Nice to see Staples talking about the anti-Lowe faction slamming him for slights both real and imagined;) and then saying that you know what, golly gee, the Smyth and Penner moves were probably the right ones.

    Fanboyism legitimized.

    Anyway, Nash has some good size, and as you said, there’s a bit of recent history with guys coming out of the BCHL, ie Zajac and Turris. The only downside is he’s pretty damn close to looking like The Sherminator from the American Pie series.

  3. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    Hmmm…

    In my draft day notes, such as they are, I have… “top 3 IQs = Turris, Gagner and Nash.” I think it’s from McKenzie, but didn’t jot it down.

    I’m in.

    Louise

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Anyone remember after Nash got his name called, and they were taking pictures, he forced a smile?

    Then, later on he said he’s a BC boy and a Canucks fan, ”but Edmonton is good too.”

    I think he was hoping the Canucks take him.

    Not saying anything, but just saying.

  5. Shawn says:

    Dennis why are you so confrontational? Just stick to the topic instead of using your time to call Staples out for being a fanboy.

    Or call him out on is own blog or in an e-mail to him.

  6. Dennis says:

    I felt the “slights real and imagined” line warranted it.

    In any case, I also threw some comments in on Nash so all things were served.

    Overall, anyone who looks to have an agenda, that’s something I’m going to confront each and every time.

    Sorry I ruined your weekend.

  7. dstaples says:

    Yes, Dennis, I have an agenda and, in fact, I’m part of a conspiracy. As you know, for some time, the Edmonton Journal, Canwest, the Edmonton Oilers, Kevin Lowe, Dustin Penner’s agent, Robert Nilsson, Lauren Pronger, Satan and I have been in league to drive the Oilers to the bottom of the standings while maximizing profits for Cal Nichols, our Master.

    How brilliant of you to spot me posing as a simple Oilers fan and newspaper reporter who enjoys blogging about hockey and his favourite team.

    P.S. My email is dstaples@thejournal.canwest.com, and perhaps that would be a more appropriate forum for this kind of talk. Or, hey, give me a call, 780 498 5829

  8. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: Next time you talk to Satan ask him if Ron Low is still on his Christmas list.

    :-)

  9. Dennis says:

    Staples, do you accept collect calls;)

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