HF’s Top 20

Hockey’s Future has a new writer and a new top 20. The new writer is Lloyd Poast and his first top 20 is here.

Guy Flaming is my friend and a helluva guy, but this list looks better to me. Gone from the top is Jeff Petry, who always seemed to be getting the pump from management and doesn’t look well clear of Chorney or Wild, and the new number 1 is Jordan Eberle. I’m of a mind that Riley Nash is the organization’s top prospect but have no real issues with Poast’s choice of Eberle as the top prospect.

The article lacks Flaming’s wonderful quotes from Oilers’ insiders and his quirky “scouting reports” from scouts and NHL people outside the organization. Poast’s list is a better one but it doesn’t give us the look inside Flaming’s top 20′s offered each time.

Is it better to know the organization’s thinking (or their public stance) or make a list on more traditional lines (using draft position and stats)? I don’t have the answer, but this is probably a good time to ask the question.

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43 Responses to "HF’s Top 20"

  1. Matt N says:

    Plante at 12.

    He seems to have gotten it going this season. I don’t watch any WHL games but his production is certainly better than last year injury plagued campaign.

    So the question is to resign or take the compensating pick? I am in the resign camp but open to counter arguements.

  2. Scott says:

    Is it better to know the organization’s thinking (or their public stance) or make a list on more traditional lines (using draft position and stats)?

    I think that I would prefer to know what the organization is thinking/their public stance from the HF list. Using draft position and stats to form opinions is something that will be done in this community regardless. Both have value, but I think a traditional list – unless Poast turns out to be very very good at identifying which prospects will become NHL players – is somewhat redundant for the Oilers online community.

  3. Unleaded says:

    I’m with you Scott. The more information we have, the better the position we are in to second guess what the Oilers Brain Trust is doing. Which is why we are all here, right? :P

  4. jon k says:

    I’d agree with the two previous posters, especially in light of things such as the inclusion of Lerg as an honorable mention when Millard has commented on the TPS blog that it seems the organization doesn’t have Lerg in their future plans given his poor performance this season.

  5. B.C.B. says:

    Kinda shocked not to see Milan Kytner on the list. He has greatly improved his WHL game, and to my eyes one of the cogs that made team Slovak work at the world juniors. He is gritty, big, and can score, but O’Marra beats him out because he is Canadian and went in the first round. Disgusting.

    I liked Guy’s report better, because of the outsider comments he included. Not really for what the Oiler brass thought, but the other NHL scouts’ comments: those made it a must read for me.

  6. Stuart van says:

    Omark made a big jump to number 7. Do we know much about this guy other than his stats? Character, skating, toughness. His NHL equivalencies blow every other prospect out of the water, so I’m wondering what he might be missing to be ranked the number 1 prospect. Could his game translate to the NHL?

  7. hunter1909 says:

    “Could his game translate to the NHL?”

    Funny, but I’ll die remembering that series v the Stars, where Comrie and Marchant(two runt centers if ever there were any) were 100% negated in every possible way.

    I liked reading about Peckham though. Peckham, for you non Londoners, is one of the toughest places in Europe. Kind of like being named Theo Bronx.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Now that I’m on topic, Edmonton just happens to be a part of North London, and for any of you pussies who think the chuck is starting to get tough, I would reccomend a vacation to the London equivalent. I guarantee when you return, you’ll never diss the chuck so long as y’all live.

  9. pboy says:

    http://tsn.ca/nfl/story/?id=268574&lid=headline&lpos=secStory_main

    The NFL is making sweeping cuts due to the economy but the NHL is doing better than ever according to Gary B!!!!

    Anyone who believes that, I have some land to sell just get in contact with me……

    Sorry about the threadjack.

  10. Phil says:

    Is it better to know the organization’s thinking (or their public stance) or make a list on more traditional lines (using draft position and stats)? I don’t have the answer, but this is probably a good time to ask the question.

    I think that a top prospect list should reflect the players’ value to the team as an asset (trade value, if you will).

    If you made a list by what management thought of players, it wouldn’t make much sense to the average fan. Prendergast’s list would have every prospect tied for the #1 spot, MacT’s list would have all the role players up top (see Zorg, Reddox, JFJ, etc), and who knows what Tambellini thinks? He hasn’t said more than three words since he’s been hired, so…

    Re: Plante. Sign, please. He is to me what MAPoo is to LT. He has a lot of upside – a top four Dman, for sure. Back me up here, Doogie2K!

  11. Scott says:

    Re: Plante. Sign, please. He is to me what MAPoo is to LT.

    Needlessly overrated? :)

  12. reijo29 says:

    Not really a fan of the list but I must say I am intrigued by the mix of talent that Lowe/Prendergast have put together. Only real concern is in the net and maybe the fact that we can't seem to draft an effective crash & bang winger for the life of them. (JFJ being the only big guy who has any potential).

    Small Explosive Forwards
    Eberle
    Omark

    All Around Forwards w/ Top 9 Talent
    Nash (Top 6)
    Kytnar (Top 9)
    Van de Velde (Top 9)
    Teemu Hartikainen (Top 9)
    P.Cornet (?)

    Puck Moving D Men
    J.Petry
    T.Chorney
    C.Wild
    J.Hrabel

    Stay @ Home D w/ Off Upside
    T.Peckham
    A.Plante
    J.Motin

    Goaltending
    D.Dubnyk

  13. Oiler Mag says:

    “I liked reading about Peckham though. Peckham, for you non Londoners, is one of the toughest places in Europe”

    Hunter – there’s tougher places than Peckham in South London, never mind Europe ;)
    Also, the original Edmonton is one of the most mind numbingly boring place on Earth, famous for a large Ikea store and Tottenham fans (undoubtable the least charasmatic of all football fans).

  14. Mr DeBakey says:

    He’s another candidate to turn pro

    Vande Velde, Omark, Petry, Nash…

    Its interesting to consider
    whose contract is going to be among the 50 next season.
    Which RFAs are re-signed, which are dumped.

    We could run a pool

  15. oilerdago says:

    I would agree with a lot of the comments made re: the list. It’s not as comprehensive as Guy Flaming’s.

    Am surprised that JFJ and Potulny show up – would’ve have thought that they’ve got too many games in the bigs to be on the list.

    Props to BCB on Kytnar, I think he ranks higher than several on this list. Also, am wondering what’s the deal w/Hrabel – would he come back next season or is he over it like Mikhnov?

  16. doritogrande says:

    Re: Plante. Sign, please. He is to me what MAPoo is to LT. He has a lot of upside – a top four Dman, for sure. Back me up here, Doogie2K!

    I ain’t Dooogie, but I’ll join in the coalition. You can’t teach size, and this kid’s got it in Pronger-type capacity. He’s a mean kid as evidenced by his PIM totals and his offensive production has shifted heavily toward EV production this year (LT had a post about it sometime back around November). The big man from Brandon has it back on track, and is definitely a prospect of interest. Probably should be ranked higher than Wild/Chorney/Petry based on his age.

  17. doritogrande says:

    I’ll second the notion about Guy Flaming being one of the best prospect guys around these days, and his blog is really living up to that reputation right now. Some amazing stuff coming from he and Dean the last little while. Of note, VandeVelde was the WCHA player of the week for the last two weeks. Nice fourth rounder.

  18. Unleaded says:

    On Plante:

    Have to say I like the Kid. He’s got enough spirit to be open about what he likes and what he doesn’t as evidenced in his initial request for a trade this past summer. He’s got enough skill to put up some points (albeit on one of the WHLs best teams this year) and enough size to warrant at least a lengthy AHL carreer. If he can change his skating style to one that doesn’t suck, I’d say he’s in our top 5 prospects.

    All that said, if we are going to drop him, this is the year to do it. A second rounder this year is likely to net a comparable prospect. But, considering it’s just a comparable prospect, I’d stick with the big guy. Odds are, he’s got more top-end potential.

    Considering how may players we have who are “interesting prospects” right now, I firmly beleive that we have enough mid to high end prospects to warrant going for that legendary 5 for 1 trade, without leaving the cupboard bare.

    I would like to ask a question though – at what point do we have too many prospects? We have players like Wild, Chorney, Hrabal, Omarra, McDonald, and others who really haven’t had as much playing time as they probably need to have a fair shot at taking the next step. Some of that is on them, but some of it has to be on the team too. A lot of people have mentioned bringing other players into the fold of the minor league teams. How does that help their development, if they don’t get the playing time? It’s like with JDD – Does just having him with the team really help him grow as a player?

  19. jon k says:

    To be honest Plante is following a similar development arc to Alexei Semenov. Not a lot to get excited about.

    His numbers are OK, but he plays for an absolute juggernaut. This is also tempered by the fact that he’s essentially the 4th d-man on the depth chart in his 19 year old season.

    Poor skating and agility.

    What’s to be so excited about?

    Size is important, when it’s possessed by an actual NHL talent.

  20. Black Gold says:

    Size is nice, but so is skating..
    We all saw Malik v Cole last night right?

  21. Scott says:

    Re: Plante

    I think it mostly depends on what kind of contract he’s going to be willing to sign. The Oilers need to offer him a contract in order to get the compensatory pick. They could low-ball him with a $500,000/$35,000 deal, but there’s nothing that prevents Plante from signing it. if he’s expecting a lot more than that, he may end up being somewhat disappointed because he most certainly won’t be a first rounder in the upcoming draft. Peckham was a third rounder and gets $600,000 per at the NHL level.

  22. Schitzo says:

    The Oilers need to offer him a contract in order to get the compensatory pick

    Is that a new rule? I thought that we let Bustimaki walk and still got a compensatory pick.

  23. Scott says:

    Is that a new rule? I thought that we let Bustimaki walk and still got a compensatory pick.

    I don’t know if it’s a new rule or not, but in the current CBA you need to offer the player a contract in order to get the pick. I think that you also get one if the player dies (RIP Cherepanov) or if he retires, but “he’s just not very good” doesn’t cut it. The minimum offer, I believe, would be $500,000/$35,000. At least, that’s how I read 8.3.b and 11.12.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Oiler Mag: Peckham is a pretty rotten area, and always has been. It’s where 15 year olds end up getting stabbed to death and no one gives a fuck about it. It’s so rotten probably the biggest brit sitcom ever based on a pair of losers was set in it.

    For my money you could take south London and nuke everything that isn’t Bermondsey, and no one would notice it.

    Everything said, Theo Peckham still sounds a lot tougher a name to me than say, Theo Hampshire. Or Theo Cardigan, lol.

  25. Schitzo says:

    I don’t know if it’s a new rule or not, but in the current CBA you need to offer the player a contract in order to get the pick.

    Thanks. Yeah, that’s different than it used to be.

  26. Unleaded says:

    While I’m not going to deny that Theo Peckham is a fairly strong name, I’d take a Duncan Kincade over anyone named anything relating to south London. But, then again I’m biased…

  27. Schitzo says:

    I can’t believe you guys have all forgotten noted minor league player Brock Millwoods.

  28. Alice says:

    Candy Bottoms – I confess I can’t remember what team she was on, though.

  29. Unleaded says:

    The real shocker is that you haven’t… :P

  30. Jonathan Willis says:

    I like the list, with two key exceptions:

    1) He overrates Schremp.
    2) He vastly underrates Tyler Spurgeon.

  31. George B says:

    Several things. Lloyd is new, so I can give the benefit of the doubt on stylistic points. His work will undoubtedly improve.

    The rankings also will improve with time. Several I don’t agree with, but Guy’s lists would take the team’s internal information, his personal viewings, draft position, and stats, and put them all into one.

    My best top 20 for HF was for Chicago after a several hour conversation with Stan Bowman.

    Hopefully Lloyd develops a good relationship with the Oilers like Guy did.

  32. Sean says:

    Stuart Van, I’m going to Sweden for a couple weeks shortly and plan to watch Omark play if Lulea is still in the show. I’ll post here if the hockey gods allow me to catch some action.

    Fairly solid list overall. I tend to agree with JW on Schremp/Spurgeon. I also dont see how Reddox went down the rankings either.

  33. Master Lok says:

    Agree with JW.

    Overrated Schremp. I can’t understand how Reddox DROPS after playing most of the season in the NHL.

  34. Doogie2K says:

    My view from five rows up: I think Plante’s done pretty well for himself this year, especially given how badly last year went and this year started (before he came back to the fold and had rattled off points in his first seven). He’s not playing with someone of Karl Alzner’s ilk this year, so obviously his numbers aren’t going to glitter like they did in ’07, but for playing the second unit PP and second pairing at EV (with Brent Seabrook’s little brother), he’s doing just fine offensively, and he’s generally looked solid on the PK. He still has a propensity for the sort of penalties big, slow, physical defencemen take, both good and bad, but a lot of his PIMs are from fights, particularly early in the year, and his speed has at least caught up to his WHL peers, which is something. I think he’s gotten better in his positioning, his battling, and his overall awareness and decision-making, though there’s still the odd time where he gets caught standing around. Oh, and there’s that beauty shootout goal he scored to seal it against Lethbridge back in December, which is likely of zero relevance, but one of the highlights of my season so far. Anyway, whoever called him a poor man’s Sheldon Souray is probably on the right track: looks like a second-pairing physical guy with PP upside, but of course, you all know I have a bit of a soft spot for him. I say sign him and let him grow in the “A” for two or three years, and maybe pay for some more power skating lessons during the summers. ;)

    The last time Saskatoon was in town, I didn’t track Kyntar too much, but I remember he got one really undeserved minus by creating a point-blank opportunity that a teammate fanned on, which promptly came back 180 feet on a 2-on-1 and was deflected in by a sliding Carson MacMillan. Hell of a goal, but a hell of a way to get slapped with a minus. I also won’t be watching Eberle at all tonight: between the weather and my continuing workload, which I’m neglecting just to put this together, it’s just not feasible.

    And since I’m talking WHL prospects, my favourite early-1990-born shrimp (overlooked in the draft due to both size and relative youth) cracked 100 points at the last game I attended. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, kid’s got spunk, he goes to the dirty areas and doesn’t back down or whine to the refs, just gets back up and keeps going. While it looks bad that he went undrafted last year, consider the fact that this is essentially his 18-year-old season (his 19th birthday comes with two games left on the schedule) and that his 5’8″ listing is probably taken with full equipment (surprisingly, he looks up to Martin St. Louis). Some team is going to look very clever by taking a flyer on him in the fifth or sixth round, and I’m not going to shut up about wasting a late pick on Jordan Fucking Bendfeld unless Kozun washes out of pro hockey completely. Or the Oilers draft him, whichever.

  35. Black Gold says:

    My thoughts on Reddox dropping. He’s a long way from being a top six forward, and it’s going to be very tough to be a bottom six at 5’10″, 180lbs. All the little things we see him do right are hard to see when you look at a stat line. You don’t get a lot of chances at his size.

    Also on the size/Plante note, size is nice, but you to bring more than just size to the table. Compare Tampa and SJ. Two very big teams, two very different spots in the standings.
    (I still like his chances though.)

  36. Lowetide says:

    Reddox dropping is a curious one, for certain. He’s passed both of the first rounders from 2004 and every at-bat in the majors this season gives him an edge on the competition in the fall.

  37. Bruce says:

    Seems odd that our two first rounders from 2004, Dubnyk and Schremp, rank 10th and 6th respectively despite playing all of 4 NHL games between them this year while late-rounder Reddox (36 GP) ranks 18th. I guess the objective is who has the greatest upside? i.e. Is Schremp closer to being a top 6 winger than Reddox? There’s no denying that Reddox has taken the most direct route to his upside, however limited that might be. To see his own rating back-sliding down this chart seems nonsensical.

    Anybody care to comment on that note under Chorney about Rob Daum coaching a “much more freewheeling style” than Jeff Truitt?

    Hunter: Didn’t Theo Peckham once play on a defence pairing with Dinsdale Piranha?

  38. bookie says:

    I like Cake!

  39. godot10 says:

    //MacT’s list would have all the role players up top (see Zorg, Reddox, JFJ, etc), and who knows what Tambellini thinks? He hasn’t said more than three words since he’s been hired, so…//

    Gagner, Cogliano, Grebeshkov, and to some extent Nilsson disprove your thesis.

  40. Greg MC says:

    Brule not classified as a prospect?

  41. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Since we are on the topic of prospects.
    Daum has really turned springfield around (last 5 games anyways) they are 3-1-1, and before he showed up they were on like a 7 game losing streak.
    Interesing, Shane Willis at a ppg in feb, danny sabourin has won3 straight, and DD has dropped 10 straight. Recent trade linglet (for corazzini) has put up something close to a ppg since the trade (was nowhere close to that before the trade). And robbie shremp got 2 pts tonight, and is looking like he is getting his game back.
    I really think the coaching was toxic before Daum showed up.

  42. Doogie2K says:

    Brule not classified as a prospect?

    He’s played 157 NHL GP; that’s well past LT’s cutoff line.

  43. Dennis says:

    I’d rather have the old Flaming system with quotes from the org.

    Whether I was right or wrong, I took those quotes and attached them to what I felt were the expectations of the org.

    Anyone can make a list but Guy had the quotes down pat.

    Or in this case, Kevin (Pendergast)

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