Draft Update

This is Ales Hemsky before he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. The day it happened I sent a pm to “Hossa” who lived in Ottawa. He was a poster at HF Boards (Hossa joined before you did, back then it was redtwilight & me among Oiler fans, and Hossa, Kyle’s Mom and Yokel (Gilles) among Ottawa fans and that was it baby. This was 2000 or so when I joined) and lived in the Ottawa area.

Hossa gave me a terrific scouting report on Ales Hemsky, in fact it gave me hope (I was pulling for Colby Armstrong before the draft) that the Oilers had in fact made a good selection. He detailed Hemsky skill, but (unlike redline) also gave me an idea that the kid had some gumption.

“Hossa” is Sean Keogh and in my daily travels through the internet highway I came across a beauty item written by Sean. It is here. Among the things that I found interesting:

  • Zack Kassian: However, I have serious concerns with not only his skating but his ability to create offence with the puck and on the fly. At the U18s, when the pace was quicker, the opponent more talented than the OHL, he seemed to have very little utility offensively other than as a big body down low. In the NHL, this would limit the number of systems where he could really have an impact.
  • Nazem Kadri: While Kadri has fancy moves and the occasional electrifying rush, those are not likely to work at the NHL level, and I am not convinced either that his offensive skills, specifically his hockey sense, will make him a consistent scorer at the next level. I actually see a fair bit of grit and effort in his game, and believe he could be a good role player at the next level, even a tweener second/third line type of guy, much like Antoine Vermette.
  • Ryan Ellis: I am not convinced he will ever be more than a powerplay quarterback and offensive specialist; however, it is possible he goes in the top ten if a team is convinced he will be.

I love the annual NHL entry draft and specifically all of the lists and predictions that come from various sources on the Al Gore. I’ve come to believe Bob McKenzie is some kind of savant when it comes to predicting the top 30 and in fact when he posts his list, I print it and wait for the draft instead of buying all the publications (on line and in newstands) that have become money making productions.

The other guy we need to pay attention to this time of year is Robin Brownlee. Back when he wrote for the Sun (who stepped into an elevator shaft coverage wise when Brownlee left and have not yet recovered), Brownlee’s annual “prediction” article on the weekend of the draft was possibly the most anticipated single daily article in my home. I seriously raced out of the house to buy the Edmonton Sun on that one day each year.

Today’s post by Brownlee at ON isn’t the prediction article because we’ve got some weeks left before the draft, but it is a wonderful article that tells us which way the wind blows:

The Oilers would be happy to get Schenn, Paajarvi-Svensson, Glennie or Cowan. The question is, what would moving four or five spots cost? Depends on the team on the other end of the conversation with GM Steve Tambellini. If the Oilers can’t move up, don’t be surprised if they take Kassian at 10th or even move down and take a long look at Ryan Ellis.

Stu MacGregor remains a magnificent bastard, but he may lose the crown at this year’s entry draft. The editors of Lowetide have been very clear: Glennie good, Kassian bad. On that note, ON’s Jason Gregor chimes in with a nice article today too, and here’s one of the quotes:

I don’t see them taking Kassian if they have him projected as a solid 3rd liner with potential to become a top six. I know they really like Kadri and Glennie, but MacGregor feels that after the top three, there is a group of five or six, which caps out at the #9 pick. If he believes that strongly in the top-nine, don’t be surprised to see the Oilers try to move up one to three spots.

Fun time of year.

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47 Responses to "Draft Update"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Stu MacGregor's interivew from just a game:


  2. PunjabiOil says:

    By the way, don't the Oilers have Philly's 3rd round pick as well resulting from the Joffrey Zoolander trade?

  3. speeds says:

    Ahh, Hemsky vs. Armstrong, those were fun HF times. As I recall, Goc was discussed a bit at that time as well, EDM seems to have made the right call ;)

    All this Kassian talk makes me nervous, he's certainly not a guy I'd be looking to select at #10. Kind of like the Dubnyk back in 2004. Too early to say I'm getting that sort of bad vibe again, I find it encouraging that Schroeder and Glennie appear to be on their radar.

  4. Lowetide says:

    speeds: When can we expect your list? I think Stu the magnificent probably realizes that picking in the top 10 and getting a guy who might be a 3line winger isn't the way to go.

    Ethan Moreau emerged as an extremely useful player, but the Hawks probably hoped for more offense on draft day.

  5. jon k says:

    I think we're looking at three possible scenarios, with two being more realistic.

    The first is that the Oilers are able to trade into the top nine and take one of the following:


    The scenario is that someone goes off the board and one of those players falls to ten. I think the Oilers take that player on the basis of comments from Stu and Tambellini.

    The last scenario is no trade and no off the board, and from the sounds of it the Oilers will take the "safe" picks in going for Glennie, Kadri, and lastly Schroeder. Probably in that order.

    If it goes down in any of these ways I think I'd be fine I think. I'd prefer Glenni over Kadri or Schroeder, but I think generally we're looking at a long shot with the tenth overall pick compared to any of the previous nine. Moving up would be ideal.

  6. jon k says:

    Forgot to mention, I think that we are most likely to see the Oilers stand pat or pick up a player who falls out of the top nine.

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    If he believes that strongly in the top-nine, don’t be surprised to see the Oilers try to move up one to three spots.

    The Bill Walsh approach. It's so much more dangerous than the Chuck Noll approach.

  8. speeds says:


    Working on it at the moment.

    I'll have the early version done tonight. And I'm allowing myself to change my list, maybe significantly in some cases, come draft time. There are a couple of guys I'm having a pretty tough time placing. Here's a few of those for you:


    Some of these guys might move quite a bit from where I currently have them listed by the time I finish my final list the day or two before the draft.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Rundblad's a tough one alright. He could be better than a lot of D's rated higher.

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    I'll answer my own question. The Oilers have the 82nd overal pick in addition to the 71 overall pick.

    10th + 71st + 82nd + Schremp + Brule to move up 3-4 sports in the draft? Reasonable?

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    Rundblad's a tough one alright. He could be better than a lot of D's rated higher.

    Then move down a couple of slots at take him over Kulikov.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Coach: But that's what they did with Pouliot. I'd hope the organization is absolutely certain about a player (and I'm hoping Glennie) because "they're all about the same" is the exact point the Oilers missed Parise, Getzlaf etc.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    If they do take Glennie, I hope they grab Erixon in the second round.

  14. speeds says:

    You can't really force it though LT. If you get to 10 and don't know which of 4 guys you like the best, you don't know. Wishing you knew doesn't really help things.

  15. Lowetide says:

    But then you have to make a smart decision and the Oilers have a history of screwing it purple. Steve Kelly and Shane Doan were within inches of each other, etc.

    They traded up for Hemsky and they rushed the stage for Gagner. I remember Lowe looking like he just shot his dog before making the Dubnyk pick.

  16. HBomb says:

    I remember Lowe looking like he just shot his dog before making the Dubnyk pick.

    My guess is that's because he was kicking himself for not trading up 2 spots to grab Stafford, the guy they reportedly really wanted, who had gone with the previous pick to the Sabres.

  17. Smarmy Boss says:

    Kassian screams Moreau to me. Or even worse. Isbister.

  18. Asiaoil says:

    Given the glut of small offensive guys we have – it seems obvious that we should liquidate some of these assets to move up. Whether any combination of Nilsson, Schremp, Brule or Eberle is enough to get it done is questionable – but these are guys that need to be moved to improve our draft position or as part of quality for quantity trades. I'd also throw MAP on that pile as well as Moreau and Staios – all are in play.

  19. Matt N says:

    If there is no one that they like at 10 very much then I would prefer to see a trade down.
    But that's what they did with Pouliot
    They may have picked the wrong player, but that doesn't make their intentions wrong. Just because the optics of doing it 6 years ago turned out poorly doesn't mean they shouldn't do it again.

    Move down. Go after Kassian, Ashton Carter or someone else on your list.

  20. Sean says:

    I'd invest several hours on the phone with Greg Sherman. If your gonna try moving up might as well shoot for he moon. With the cap expecting to plateau I just don't see any of the top 7 to moving down. Kulikov would be my pick but he is likely gone way before 10.

  21. NBOilerFan says:

    Two things;

    (1) When does MacKenzie normally post his list? Can we expect it as soon as next week or closer to teh actual draft?

    (2) Do you LT, or anyone else, have the scouting reports on Hemsky for the year he was drafted? I'd be interested to read what they had to say about him and his projection.


  22. Lowetide says:

    Ales Hemsky: When scouts talk about Ales Hemsky, they mention Martin Havlat in the same breath for good reason. They're both from the Czech Republic and are highly skilled wingers. Hemsky is a top notch puck carrier who can reach top speed in a few quick strides. He handles the puck with poise and confidence and is such a good stick handler he's often double teamed. "He has great skills," said a scout. "He is a typical European winger with good hands, good skills, great skater. Size is an issue but we all knocked Havlat a little too. He is very creative." Hemsky has a quick and accurate shot. He had 100 regular season points and led Hull in playoff scoring with 5 points in 5 games. The knock on him, however, is that he is a soft player. "He could be a Martin Straka or a Havlat," said a scout. "I'd take a flyer on him

  23. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT – I've come around to Glennie. A big, fast winger with finish would compliment Harski in the organization. They should be ready by about the same time as Nash too.

    Then, if necessary, trade up in the second and snag Erixon. Done, done, everyone is happy.

  24. Sean says:

    I think the team most likely to trade their pick to the Oilers would be the Kings. They have recent trading history with the Oilers and by many reports are looking to make a push this season. Although, at the 5th pick, I doubt Duchene or Kane would be available. Who do you guys have at 5? Cowen? I don't know I make that trade given how much longer it takes D to develop and his injury history.

  25. ian says:

    Any chances the Oilers trade up by using some of their smaller assets say for example Omark and Eberle plus our 10th to get the guy with 5 names or would that get you even higher?

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, in my last post, BCB brings up some stuff about Plante in the comments. Can you confirm that? If that's the case, the Plante pick makes all kinds of sense.

  27. Matt N says:

    Why isn't this guy getting more attention:

    ALLSVENSKAN League (2nd highest Swedish)

    TSN- #8
    ISS- #9
    CSB -#4 (Europe-behind Hedman, MPS and Jacob Josephson)

    He has moved up on all lists since the beginning of the year.

    6'2" – 176lbs.

    (3rd on his team in PPG)

    Most impressively, as a 17 year old rookie, he was +44. The highest in the league.

    His profile on Eliteprospects.com

    A very mobile defenseman with an impressive skating technique. Ekman-Larsson is blessed with good hockey sense, soft hands and impressive puck control. He is furthermore a good passer. Could improve his release.

    A nice article at HF


  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    Matt, there are a number of mocks that have OEL going to the Oilers.

  29. Black Gold says:

    Coach, if that's the case I'd be a very happy Oiler fan.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    This site tracks mock drafts. I found it after doing that all by hand, which was annoying.

  31. NBOilerFan says:

    Thanks LT.

  32. knighttown says:

    With the news about Emery likely signing in Philly it looks like we'll be bidding against ourselves for a starting goalie this season.

    These teams have solid number 1's (18):
    Van, Min, NJ, Pit, NYR, Bos, Buf, Car, Fla, TB, COl, Nas, St. L, Ana, Dal, Phx, SJ, Det.

    These teams may have question marks but have committed, either in $ or in a top prospect and would have to make a trade (7):
    NYI, Mo, Ott, Cal, Chi, Atl, Phi

    That leaves 4 teams bidding against the Oilers:

    Was- I expect they'll be aggressive although Throdore is under contract and Varlamov showed promise.

    Col- needing a goalie but they'll either go mid level or young with high upside cause they're not going to compete.

    LA- tough call. They like the potential of the young guys and so Lombardi will probably stay the course. However, they may want to make the playoffs and have the cap room to go big game hunting if they want to.

    Tor- I think Toskala is fine but apparently they don't. Even if they do sign someone that just means another decent option is available.

    The Options:
    UFA or available big fish-
    Giguere, Khabibulin. Gustavsson

    Of course, not a typical move for lots of reasons but if you believe in value, you'll never get either of these guys cheaper. Giguere has a NMC but you'd think he'd move it to start. Khabi's really good and won't get anywhere near the $ or term he got. Would 4 million/1 year work?

    A ton here including Dan Ellis, Clemmenson, Biron, Toskala, Anderson, Harding. There is a ton of value here and assuming no one is going to pay more than a million for a backup, you could get two of these guys for the price of one any other year. All have a mix of upside and history/pedigree.

    There's also guys like Fernandez, Theodore, Nittymaki, Garon, LaBarbera, Auld, Gerber, Roloson, Budaj, Sanford, Tellquist and Boucher who could be had for 10 cents on the dollar.

    No matter how you slice it, some excellent goalies are going to be backups and some damn good ones will be heading overseas. I'd love to hear what our resident goalie guru Asia has to say about this situation.

  33. Smarmy Boss says:

    I'm on my knees begging the Oilers take Gallimore in the 3rd round. He's a big body that bangs. He has good hockey sense and hands.

    Playing for Molleken means being a responsibile two way player. He'll be a solid pick.

  34. Smarmy Boss says:

    Looking at goalies. Washington would be wise to take a stab at Roloson. He'd be a good fit there.

  35. PDO says:

    Souray's house for sale?

    Reading that Brownlee reported it on JAG… can anyone confirm…?

  36. Traktor says:

    "Looking at goalies. Washington would be wise to take a stab at Roloson. He'd be a good fit there."

    How do you figure?

    Simeon Varlamov is the goalie of the future and will get at least 40 games next year and the Caps are stuck with Theo.

  37. Scott says:

    It's been said before, but Giggy's very unlikely to waive his NMC. He chose Anaheim because he has a very sick child and Anaheim is home to one of the best doctors in the world for his disease (I can't remember what it is).

    I really doubt Edmonton is a city he'll waive his NMC for.

  38. Bruce says:

    (3rd on his team in PPG

    Matt: Thanks for that, but clarification please: 3rd in points per game or powerplay goals? Not enough context to tell.

    I've taken to using P/G to express the former. It's a royal pain in the ass that out of 17,576 possible three-letter acronyms, the same one occurs twice in a relative handful of three-letter hockey stats.

    Scott: It seems to me Anaheim has treated Giguere first class the whole way. Didn't he miss a few games in the '07 playoffs for personal reasons? He came back and helped the Ducks to the Cup. They gave him an even split of ice time this year (46 GP each) despite his poor year, before turning to Hiller for the stretch run and playoffs. That was on merit, and Giguere should have no complaints. It may be that his focus wasn't entirely on hockey this past year; rather than criticize his poor performance the team seemed from this distance to be his staunchest supporter.

    Given JSG's contract has two years to run and Hiller is a UFA in '10, maybe Jonas is the guy to go after. Can't imagine he'd be cheap though, either in acquisition cost or next contract … unlike Bryzgalov who was squeezed by both JSG and Hiller, the Swiss keeper is both a rising star and cheap ($1.3 MM) insurance for the Ducks this year, and it would take a real chip to pry him loose this summer. My guess is the Ducks hang on to him, but if Giguere returns to form he may well become available, as the Ducks won't be anxious to repeat Chicago's experience with two high-priced netminders.

  39. Matt N says:

    @ Bruce

    3rd on his team in points per game (.44) amongst defencemen. Sorry, should have clarified. Ric Jackman (Dallas 1st rounder in '96) was first in P/G (amongst defencemen) on Leksand.

    The more I look at this guy, he is great on paper. He is a 17 year old playing with men and kicking some a$$.

    I admittedly don't get to many ALLSVENSKAN League games, so this is purely "Google Scouting".

    I can't find too many negative things about him that can't be fixed with maturity and growth.

  40. boopronger says:

    PDO, dont know if this is of any help but I talked to a real estate agent a couple weeks ago who talked about souray's house being for sale.

    Also said Stortini is a hell of a guy who likes to play street hockey with the local kids.

  41. Traktor says:

    I thought Ekman-Larsson looked great in the U18'S. Reminded me of a young Brent Burns.

  42. rickibear says:

    //I really doubt Edmonton is a city he'll waive his NMC for.//

    Lived in St. John, NB for a year. They send there kids to stollery kids hospital in edmonton. Not toronto's Hospital for sick children. They have a great pediatric research department.

    There may be an otpion.

  43. Scott says:


    I'm pretty sure that playoff departure was related to his son as well. I remember because I had him in my fantasy pool and I was worried Bryz might be allowed to carry the load. Giggy took over at the first sign of Bryz cracking (maybe a couple on the bench) and carried it home (and me to second place).

  44. Matt N says:

    @ Rickibear:

    Jiggy has a 6Mil cap hit and a NMC. He isn't even the best goalie on his team. This guy is a huge anchor on the Ducks franchise salary structure. This is not an option, no matter how great the Stollery is.

    The only way I can see this happening is some kind of non hockey trade where the Oil take on salary and get compensated for it. Maybe Jiggy and a 1st comes our way.

    I would settle for a second and the opportunity to let Lowe kick HeWhoShallNotBeNamed in the nutsack.

  45. Bruce says:

    BooPronger (mind if I call you BCFP for short?) wrote:

    Also said Stortini is a hell of a guy who likes to play street hockey with the local kids.

    Did you hear whether or not Zach was able to crack the Top 6? :D

    All jokes aside, that little tidbit doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Not even the tiniest bit. The big kid does love to play.

    If they ever do a remake of slapshot, Zorg is a natural to play one of the Hansons. All he needs is taped-up glasses, tinfoil and a train set. He already plays the part.

  46. uni says:

    Neither here nor there but I've heard a lot of stories about Borje Salming being a helluva guy that used to play street hockey with the local kids as well.

    One story that stuck out was a guy recounting his childhood days when he was one of a few kids who decided to go meet Borje during a pick up game of street hockey. Eventually they worked up the nerve, knocked on his door, and Borje answered, very soft spoken smiled and was polite as they gawked at him. When he noticed that they were all holding hockey sticks, he asked to be excused for a moment, ran off into his house and returned with a hockey stick and joined in the game. All this before a game he had later that night at MLG.

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