The 10 Best Players In The 2012 Draft

Okay, I give. There’s not much to talk about at the NHL level and the WJ’s are in the rear view. We’ve exhausted the trade deadline talk and that’s six weeks ago. So, without further delay, here are the 10 best names in the 2012 NHL entry draft. God help us all.

  1. R Nail Yakupov: Exceptional talent, he is tracking a little ahead of Taylor Hall’s NHLE at this time and is described as being just as dynamic as #4 for the Oilers. Should Edmonton win the lottery, he would be impossible to pass up no matter team need.
  2. C Mikhail Grigorenko: Big center who displays a nice range of skills and is a strong offensive talent. I’m not certain that he’ll go number two overall in the summer and there does seem to be a gap between the two Russians based on their numbers so far this season.
  3. D Ryan Murray: The odds-on pick for Edmonton should they have an opportunity to select him. Murray displays a nice range of skills offensively and does a lot of good things at the defensive end. Almost as important for the Oilers: he’s possibly the most NHL ready player in this season’s entry draft. Knowing the Oilers tradition of avoiding Russian kids, I think it’s reasonable to suggest the possibility exists Edmonton would take Murray as high as #2 overall.
  4. L Filip Forsberg: There’s every chance this guy will end up being the second best player in the draft. Already has good size, exceptional for his age. Plus speed, creative. His NHLE isn’t impressive but he’s playing in the Swedish Elite League and is a late ’94 birthday.
  5. D Morgan Reilly: Nice speed/size combination and he can move the puck efficiently. Like most of the kids on this year’s list, he’s encountered an injury this season. I wish I knew the gap between Murray and Reilly, he appears to be maybe a little better offensively than suggested at first blush.
  6. D Matt Dumba: There’s a lot of talent and some chaos too with Mr. Dumba. Risk/reward, high octane offense and hi-lite reel hits. The concern will be injuries–he’s not a big man and those hits will add up. My guess is the Oilers will want a more complete player type.
  7. C Zemgus Girgensons: Latvian center has good size and as we saw at the WJ’s is very skilled. Creative playmaker and the scouting reports I’ve read suggest a plus skater.
  8. C Alex Galchenyuk: Yet another impact Russian forward (although born in Milwaukee), knee surgery has kept him from playing this season and certainly impacts his draft status. Fine stickhandler and good shooter, his scouting report suggests footspeed is an issue so that will impact his final number.
  9. D Griffin Reinhart: Big, mobile defender who can make a solid outlet pass. He’s not flashy like Dumba, and because of it he will probably slip down the draft as the season wears on.
  10. R Pontus Aberg: Speedy winger has been playing (and posting crooked numbers) in the Swedish Elite League. Could be the fastest player in the draft and there were some worries about his offense but 7 goals in 29 SEL games projects nicely.

One thing we learned a year ago is that scouting reports can say all the right things and yet don’t reveal important points. When they talked about RNH’s skating (as an example) there were several reports about his footspeed and very little about his edges and just how elusive he is on the ice. I got some kind of indication from Oiler skating instructor Steve Serdachny after the draft but really don’t think this blog (or any other I could name) reflected his skating ability accurately before the draft.

So we live with what we have, and this list is my first real look at 2012. Dammit.

Nation Radio hits the air today at noon Edmonton time on Team 1260. I’d love to hear from you, seems to me Oiler fans would like to say something today and this is a chance for public exposure for your views. You can email nationratio@theteam1260.com or leave comments in this post; there are two twitter accounts available: @ItsNationRadio and @lowetide_

Guests today:

  • Scott Taylor from Jets Nation. I believe that Pavelec had been playing goal for the ’90 Jets Edmonton doesn’t win the Stanley. I’ll ask Scott if he agrees and we’ll review the homestand and look forward to the road trip.
  • Kent Simpson, commentator for the Edmonton Oil Kings on Team 1260. The Hanson’s are in town tonight and we’ll talk SLAP SHOT!, the Oil Kings and their chances and I’ll ask Kent about what coach Tom Renney will be saying to his Oilers these days.
  • Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. We’ll talk about Jay Feaster’s attempt to both compete despite flaws and to hold on to the future. The Bourque-Cammalleri trade may also come up in discussion.
  • David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. David has a unique view on the Oilers and doesn’t back down from a conversation day or night. We’ll talk about this year’s model of the Oilers and discuss the trade deadline, the future of management and owner Daryl Katz and his role in helping the fanbase figure out just what is going on.
  • Thomas Drance from Canucks Army. I’ll attempt to interview Thomas without getting looted. Among the topics of discussion: are the Bruins running the Canucks show?

Hope you tune in.

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79 Responses to "The 10 Best Players In The 2012 Draft"

  1. godot10 says:

    I went to see the movie Take Shelter last night rather than look for a live stream of the game.

    It is about a man who realizes that he is slowly going insane, and that he is unable to doing anything about it (even though he is trying), and at the same time trying to protect his family, perhaps from outside forces, perhaps from himself.

  2. Woodguy says:

    I live streamed the hockey game last night.

    It was about a fan base going slowly insane and is unable to do anything about it.

    The management is about to trade their best Actual NHL player for futures.

    They keep moving the ball further away and as hard as I run, the rebuild fruit are always a few years away.

    Next year they’ll take about how its only year 3 of the rebuild and true rebuilds take 5-7 years.

  3. Smarmy says:

    Despite how awful they are now I don’t think they’ll have the first overall pick. (Even if they do they’re not keeping it in the lottery)

    That said, there are three really good looking WHL blueliners in this draft and I think one of them ends up an Oiler.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Smarmy: Agreed. I can’t decide the gap between the three dub blue. Any thoughts?

  5. Zack says:

    Good read LT, unfortuneatly looking at the top picks this time of year will be exciting for the fan base as opposed to Edmonton bubbling for playoff contention. Although I must admit I’d rather finish bottom three overll than three spots out of the playoff spot.

    I’m not sold on Yakupov’s attitude but everything on the ice how can you not like this kid? I’d be extremely happy of the Oilers landed Murray and I wouldn’t mind if he played another year in the juniors and even worked his way up through the minors if nessecerary. No need to rush a D-man.

    If it wasn’t for injury, another guy that would probably be creeping onto this list is Slater Koekkoek. With or without the Oilers drafting high I’ think I’ll always be interested in the draft from now on.

    On question though LT, if the Oilers squire a late first rounder do you think that the would take a chance on the late bloomer, 6′ 190lb+, Tanner Pearson? Would even be available in round two?

    Last year late bloomer Brendan Kicthon (Cowen’s defensive partner) put up ~80pts however went 5th round to the Islanders. Other things could have factored into this though like size and inflated stats.

  6. jake70 says:

    Loweitide, have you ever been to a draft? It would be really cool to have a blogger/radio guy like yourself there giving reports as an Oiler fan and draft geek (as I am pretty sure you self described yourself). I could have a bake sale at my work place to help if finances are a challenge. ;)

    (for photo upload – tried the gravatar site, put in my user and pw from this wordpress site and can’t log in…strange….want to get HAL back up on screen to keep “an eye” on things…oh well)

  7. Mr DeBakey says:

    Jesus H Christ
    Its all to much
    Goddam draft talk in January.
    Buncha guys arguing about a buncha kids they’ve never seen

    ****

    I think the decision to denest the Comments Section is a good one.

    Also, Bill Hunter did a pretty good job putting together a solid group of Centers for the Oilers first season – Jim Harrison, Eddie Joyal, Ross Perkins and Ron Walters.
    No Left Wingers though. That’s Alberta I guess.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Zack: I think he’s exactly the kind of player EDM might pursue, although I also think they’ll be trading for a defenseman around the draft.

    Jake: I was at part of it in Edmonton but honestly it’s difficult from what I’ve been told to get a feel for the draft while there. I’d pay actual dollars to be in the Oilers war room the week of the draft, but the actual event lends itself to following a story as opposed to getting an overall view.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t go to one, though. :-)

  9. bookje says:

    Jake 70 – you just need to sign up to Gravitar using the same EMAIL address that you used to sign up for wordpress – its not about your username or password.

    For example, If your email is Zeds@Dead.com, then just use this to set up a Gravitar account.

  10. Wolfie says:

    I don’t know if anybody cares but apparently Evander Kane is available for the right price out of Winnipeg. Is he somebody the Oilers would look at acquiring? He’s the right age to fit with the cluster. However he needs to get paid next year and will be looking for big money.

    I’ve heard around town in Winnipeg that he has some entitlement and attitude issues. He would add some size and edge to the top 6. I’m sure Winnipeg will want the moon.

    Would Hemsky, Paajarvi + maybe a Hamilton get it done. I know it resolves none of the Oilers problems on the blueline. Is it even something to consider?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Why on earth would they trade Evander Kane? Unless there’s a damaging back story hire the man.

  12. lazerguidedmelody says:

    There appears to be an increasing amount of Renney angst on those there interwebs, regardless of PP/PK improvements. After last night’s horrorshow, ever get the feeling that he’s close to being jettisoned?

  13. pboy says:

    Agree with LT. I can’t see any reason at all why the Jets would deal Kane. He’s a fantastic, young player which they should be building on. I would be blown away if he was available.

  14. ashley says:

    LT, I don’t know if your current job offers sabbatical time, but what about writing a short book on the Oiler rebuild with in depth research onsite a la Peter Gzowski in 1981? If Oiler management approved, that could get you in war room and dressing room for every big event. Not only that, unlike most books published, yours would actually sell quite a few copies given the strong fanbase (in spite of any evidence of success), unique behind the scenes information offered to an otherwise very closed business, and your excellent skill in writing. You might have a lot of fun too. A little more commitment than just writing a blog obviously, but just a thought….

  15. Maverick says:

    Its Ground Hog’s day once again in January in Edmonton. Weather is turning colder, the Oilers are crapping the bed in games, and the talk of the coming draft is hitting the internet. Sigh. I do enjoy watching the upcoming draftees just was hoping this discussion wouldn’t be until March.

    The amateur scouts are doing their jobs, providing the organization with quality players and prospects. The Oilers best players are 22 and under for the most part. The professional scouts are having huge trouble identifying actually NHL players who will fit in and help this team. Truly sad. The next 6 weeks until the trade deadline will be very interesting to see what will happen with this Oiler’s team. I still believe they will not finish 30th but perhaps 26-27th still a lottery team, however. Let’s just hope any of us that are going to the games at Rexall for the rest of the season get to see more of an effort than last night. That was a ‘rough’ game to witness.

    Sidenote: great game on TSN2 right now, Chicago and Detroit, we can only hope and pray maybe one day our great city will be blessed with a team again that can be compared to those two.

  16. rocket says:

    My Question – do you keep Gagner, Belanger as part of the rebuild? Do we keep Dubnyk? Thank you

    Notes:
    Actual NHL players – playing ok – Hemsky, Horcoff, Smyth. Jones, Gagner
    Actual NHL players – not playing well – Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk
    2nd year players – Hall, Erberle, Pajarrivi
    Rookies – RNH, Lander, Petrell

    Defense – we need 2 more actual top 4 experienced D men

  17. oilersfan says:

    I disagree on the russian issue in this case. They have come to play in canada for juniors, that shows their intent to stay. Grigorenko is being compared to half Joe Thornton half Mario Lemieux. He won’t be 18 until May and is dominating the Q in a way Couturier could only have dreamed of. Drafting him will set the Oilers top six up for 15 years. As for d I have a question: how many of the Bruins’ d were drafted by the Bruins? I believe the answer is zero. So draft Grigs then use any of the 2013 draft picks to acquire high end 22-25 year old dmen from Nashville, toronto or LA .

    I would appreciate some advanced math on Francois Beauchemin who showed me last night he is the one dman the Oilers must chase as a ufa.

  18. Smarmy says:

    Smarmy: Agreed. I can’t decide the gap between the three dub blue. Any thoughts?

    Honestly couldn’t say. I’ve seen three junior games this year so Morgan Reilly wasn’t someone I can say anything about one way or the other. I have seen Dumba a few times and he’s interesting but the Blades have owned Red Deer in their barn so I haven’t seen him that well.

    Ryan Murray is a guy I saw once in his age 16 season and I can say the kid was a great skater and had enough presence and poise that it blew your mind that he was only 16. He made the World Juniors as a 17 year old when a guy like Duncan Siemens didn’t even get an invite. (prendergast)

    Now granted Murray looks warty with that Russian game performance but maybe that is a cautionary tale of why we don’t see more 17 year olds in a 19 year old tournament or maybe it’s just a case of rotten luck.

    I’d be fine with going heavy on blueline picks. I like Murray in the first round and if the Oilers get a middle to late round second pick then take Dalton Thrower (Great hockey name) a really solid defenseman for the Blades.

  19. PunjabiOil says:

    I probably have:

    Yakupov
    Grigorenko
    Murray
    Galchenyuk
    Dumba

    In that order.

    Not high on Filip Forsberg – he plays in a second tier SEL league, has struggled their offensively, and had a poor performance in the WJC (only 1 point). Better gambles out there IMO.

  20. PunjabiOil says:

    there*

  21. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’m just a fanboy when it comes to drafting but I think I would take the 2 Russians first and second as well.
    I’m not convinced the Oilers are going to solve their D problems via the draft even if Ryan Murray is ready to play in the NHL next year.At some point they are going to have to trade assets for help on D.

    Been a fan of Beauchemin for years-not sure what it would take to get him to sign as a UFA but he’s the player type this team needs.He could bunk with Gagner on road trips:)

  22. Traktor says:

    “The management is about to trade their best Actual NHL player for futures.”

    Luckily for you and others that want to sign him to an unrealistic 1 or 2 year deal Hemsky would need to remain healthy from now until the Trade Deadline, which is far from a certainty. There is a realistic chance that Hemsky injures himself before the TD and vanishes any remaining trade value that he once had.

    The good news is we can just trade Ben Eager or Darcy Hordichuk for a top 4 defensemen.

  23. Wolfie says:

    LT, there are issues with Kane in Winnipeg. Apparently he’s not liked by his teammates. He’s also left some unpaid tabs around town which will not sit well with ownership and the community oriented approach they have. He’s been in and out of Claude Noel’s doghouse a few times this year. I’ve heard from a few friends around town with ties to the club that he will be dealt probably by the deadline.

  24. jb says:

    “Luckily for you and others that want to sign him to an unrealistic 1 or 2 year deal ”

    How’s this unrealistic? Hemsky can’t expect any sort of significant raise, and he can’t expect someone to throw a long term contract at him.. His injuries may help us sign him to somewhat of a bargain contract.

    After so many years of Hemsky being a one man show, is he really the kinda guy that’s going to walk out on the team after we’re finally seeing progress with the talent surrounding him?

    Is he really being pouty and wanting out because he’s now surrounded by some All star talent? Doubtful.

    Just because the contract isn’t being hammered out in public, doesn’t mean it’s bad news for Oilers fans. Everyone seems to be assuming the worst though… I’m not buying it.

    Hemsky stays an Oiler.

  25. PDO says:

    @Traktor

    What top 4 D do you think you could get for Hemsky?

    That’s not a trade that happens at the deadline with him being unrestricted next year.

    If you’re trading Hemsky, you’re looking at a Penner-type package. An iffy prospect who is famous, a first, and a mid round pick.

    I think you would have better luck dealing Gagner for a young d (Schenn?) at the draft OR Horcoff for an overpaid D (Campbell?), but it’s tough to say.

  26. TheOtherJohn says:

    Love to have Evander Kane, but if not him, how about Stamkos but only if he pays his bar tab and tips waitress’ 15%

  27. rickithebear says:

    The key:
    Our scouts find the player who seperate thru edgework and spacing. Eberle RNH

    Grigorenko
    May birth NhlE age 22 .5 +.18 =.68 x 1.61 = 87vPoint Season Best case.
    with .7GPG rate in his 17 year old season. (37G 50A)

    Yakupov
    October birth NHLE .5+.02 = .52 X 1.69 = .88PP = 73Pt
    With .81GPG rate in his 18 year old season (35G 38A)

    Pick?

  28. Traktor says:

    On one hand fans claim that Hemsky is our “best actual forward” and on the other hand they argue that he shouldn’t be paid like it. hmmmm

    I’ll remind you all that Horcoff, coming off a season ending shoulder injury, landed a 6 year 5.5M per deal.

    And the man who signed him is still in charge to sign off on Hemsky’s deal.

    Scottie Upshall has had quite an injury prone career and signed a 4 year 3.5M deal deal and isn’t half the player Hemsky is.

    Ville Leino just signed a 6 year 4.5M per deal.

    This 1 or 2 year talk at 4-5M is nonsense.

  29. Traktor says:

    PDO:

    I don’t think you could deal Hemsky for a top 4 D but I believe you could trade him for assets (1st, former 1st round prospects) that could be traded in a different deal for a top 4 D. Trading him for futures would also you to trade different futures if necessary (Tyler Pitlick, David Musil) without cleaning out the prospect cupboard.

    Lots of options.

  30. PDO says:

    @Traktor

    Damn… you’re pretty bang on there, and that’s pretty depressing.

  31. Jamie says:

    “How’s this unrealistic? Hemsky can’t expect any sort of significant raise, and he can’t expect someone to throw a long term contract at him.. “

    I’d be willing to bet that someone would give him a 3 or 4 year deal as a UFA. GM’s have shown over the last few years that they are willing to give injury prone guys mid range deals if they have talent (see Gaborik and Havlat). There is no incentive for Hemsky to sign a 1-2 year deal with the Oilers. Given his injury history he is wise to get as much money as he can, for as long as he can.

    As much as I would like to keep Hemsky it is too risky to sign him anything longer than 2 years. And no contending team is going to give up a decent roster player for him. I would expect a Ryan Ellis for Hemsky type of deal. Book it!

  32. Wolfie says:

    I agree with Traktor on this one. Hemsky will get paid.

  33. commonfan14 says:

    If Hemsky can get paid (and I agree that he can), then can Whitney be traded?

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’m afraid we’re going to be having the same discussion 12 months from now regarding Whitney-I don’t think any GM is going to trade for him until they/we see he can skate.And offering Whitney a long term deal is going to be as risky/nuts as offering a long term deal with Hemsky.

  35. Ducey says:

    disagree on the russian issue in this case. They have come to play in canada for juniors, that shows their intent to stay.

    Very good point. But I think they still realize they need a D

  36. oilersfan says:

    I don’t see how drafting a dman will help for, oh say 3-5 years. I prefer to draft a forward (Grigerenko please) and overpay Beauchemin. He only makes 3.8 now and I bet would come for a bit of an overpay. 8.5 over two or 12.5 over three gets us another legit top 4 dman who can score and fight. He would know Penner, Cogliano, and Sutton who by all reports enjoyed playing here. Adding Grigerenko to our soon to be elite list of forwards will be able to attract the second tier dmen imo.

    Forget about Suter and Weber but maybe we would have a chance with Beauch.

  37. oilersfan says:

    I don’t see how drafting a dman will help for, oh say 3-5 years. I prefer to draft a forward (Grigerenko please) and overpay Beauchemin. He only makes 3.8 now and I bet would come for a bit of an overpay. 8.5 over two or 12.5 over three gets us another legit top 4 dman who can score and fight. He would know Penner, Cogliano, and Sutton who by all reports enjoyed playing here. Adding Grigerenko to our soon to be elite list of forwards will be able to attract the second tier dmen imo.

    Forget about Suter and Weber but maybe we would have a chance with Beauch.

    That 2-3 year timeline allows Marincin and Klefbom to mature and give us the dmen we need for another ten years.

  38. PaperDesigner says:

    If the Oilers win the lottery (which they well might if they finish third or fourth–it always seems to be that team that gets the number one overall pick), it would be too much to pass up Yakupov. The kid might score fifty goals in a league where that isn’t allowed anymore.

    But wouldn’t the logical thing to do be to trade Jordan Eberle?

    This might be their last season where they are bad enough to get elite talent from the draft. I pray, at least, that it is. And if they don’t walk away from the off-season stronger on the defence, long-term, they are in trouble. They can’t win with dynamic wingers alone.

    So if you have a top line of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, Gagner is still in the mix as a second line forward, and Omark and Paajarvi as possibilities on that second line as well, would it not be… time to ship off a player who looks like he might be an elite level winger to a team in desperate need of offence for a player on defence with similar pedigree?

    I think if you’re dealing a player who can score you ninety points, the concept of an “untradeable player” becomes less clear. Could Jordan Eberle at least get a conversation started with the Los Angeles Kings about Drew Doughty?

  39. Lowetide says:

    I’d take Yakupov and keep all of RNH, Hall and Eberle. Hell you’re a center away from going super nova with that bunch..

  40. hunter1909 says:

    I understand bringing the Hall/Eberle/RNH up to the big club as extremely young players, as they’re offensively gifted, but wtf is the rationale behind the 3rd and 4th liners ala Lander who often do nothing but get hammered into the ice on a nightly basis?

    Third and 4th line players with experience are ten to a penny. But the management clearly doesn’t understand this. They prefer to have unskilled players spend years learning how to play NHL hockey; well, I suppose because looking at “the captain” that’s about all they ever had to work with, and therefore that’s about all they understand.

    The defence is a similar mess. Not enough experienced defencemen, and a lot of green kids running around with their heads cut off like a barnyard full of chickens. Whitney!? He’s finished. If not so, then great, but it pretty well looks like he’s too banged up to go on much further. Depending on this guy is silly, stupid – because he’s never not injured.

    Like, I’m not even an expert, and I understand that it’s a philisophical disconnect/disaster running the OIlers. And it goes right back to the dark MacT era, when that particular defense always coach would be given offensive prospects then proceed to ground them into the dust while he promoted his fave plugs.

    The only thing that’s changed is, Renney is a different type of coach – but seeing the way he’s mishandling MPS and Omark, it’s patently obvious that there’s still a totally disfunctional situation viz the front office and the on ice team.

    What’s so bloody hard about having the coach, GM, and farm team all on the same page? Because in order to do so, some people have to get sacked? And they’re Katz’s golf buddies?

    Of course once Yakupov/Girogrenko is on the team, everything should magically fix itself. Shawn Horcoff will still be getting Gretzky-like ice time(all situations, many which any fool can see he’s clearly not equipped to handle), and the young players will either stagnate, or else develop and leave Dpdge asap.

    Provided they don’t end up like Hemsky first – beaten bloody on a nightly basis until they’re so injury prone as to be almost worthless. Poor Hall – he might have gone to Boston and played for a real hockey team that actually protects their players on the ice.

    Insane.

  41. DSF says:

    @LT

    How are you going to be able to afford them all in 4 years?

  42. Lowetide says:

    Well you might have to deal one at some point but why on earth would you pass on any of them at the draft?

  43. DSF says:

    Well, if you wait and deal one later for, say, another first round pick or a young defenseman, you run the risk of waiting even longer to develop a defense corp.

    I guess you can hope you can trade one of them for a top pairing defenseman, but it is a risk.

    Of course, with the 6 year rebuild underway, we can wait another four years to address the blue. :0

    A smart GM might want to be a little more pro-active and either deal the pick at the draft or deal one of the current young guns for more immediate help.

    Stockpiling forwards is an Atlanta rebuild.

  44. hunter1909 says:

    Just talked to a long time Oiler fan who thinks Horcoff’s all but assured a nice fat front office job as soon as he retires.

    You know, this is all turning into a situation like the movie Marathon Man: Oiler fans play Dustin Hoffman’s character who have just had their teeth drilled by the evil nazi dentist(Lowe and the old boys club), then are given the illusion of escaping the fiasco by Katz(playing the William Devane character), but just when Hoffman thinks he’s got away…Bam!! He’s taken right back to where the nightmare began.

    Given the natural arrogance of any newly rich asshole, plus the ridiculous “MacT isn’t going anywhere” pronouncement that Katz has already tried on, who wants to argue that Oiler fans won’t be subjected to MacT/Horcoff/Lowe/Bucky until Black Dog’s children are all in graduate school?

  45. Semenko and Troy says:

    How many of the top centers would have their agent’s number on speed dial looking for the opportunity to play between Hall and Yakupov? Not to mention the available left wingers for RNH and Eberle. Our timetable moves up by two years. Now, if you rebuild it, they will come.

  46. bookje says:

    If the Oilers win the lottery (which they well might if they finish third or fourth–it always seems to be that team that gets the number one overall pick)

    Always? Are you sure of that? Does it even have ANY bearing in reality? Let’s check.

    in 16 years, the 3rd team has moved to first 4 times (beating the odds as the most likely result would be twice). The number 4 team has moved up 1 time (the odds would also suggest about 2 times for this position)

    In 8 of 16 years, the first team (30th place finish) has retained the first overall pick. This is pretty much in line with what the odds would predict.

    Interestingly, the team with the second pick (29th place finish) has never won the draft lottery (the odds would suggest that it should have won three of them by now).

    Therefore, its clear to all who understand statistics and the law of averages that the best place to finish is 2nd overall this year.

    insert inverted ! please

  47. bookje says:

    Also, I love how Oiler fans (including myself) now talk about NHL finishes in the inverse. We say First for a 30th place finish, second for a 29th place finish, etc. It makes this whole Oiler fan thing easier I think.

    Its a bit like when I go to Vegas, I always set a goal of blowing $X through gambling. I always win (achieve my goal)!

  48. misfit says:

    This isn’t the NFL. If you have the chance to take Yakupov, you do it and don’t look back. You might take Grigorenko if your scouts think he’s the better player, but not because he plays center and you think we need one of those more (even though he’s more often listed as a RW from what I’ve seen).

    This team’s defensive problems aren’t going to be solved at the draft. Marincin, Klefbom, Musil, etc., might be top 2 defensemen some day, but in 2-3 years? Not likely. Try 5-6. Murray/Dumba/Trouba/Reily? Probably the same. Just look around the league. Outside of Doughty, which of the current #1 defensemen out there were there in 2 years?

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t take Murray if he’s available, but the holes on defense need to be filled long before he’s ready..

  49. DSF says:

    @ Semenko…that would only be useful if the “top centres” are UFA’s and don’t get better offers than the cap strapped Oilers could afford.

    And you still haven’t addresses the defense or goaltending.

  50. bookje says:

    The problem with Russians is that they can leverage the “I’ll go back to Russia” card when negotiating salaries. Most Europeans (or North Americans for that matter) are far less likely to make that threat and/or to actually go play there. I am not saying that you don’t pick Russians because of that, but just that you need to take that into account.

  51. DSF says:

    @ misfit

    Erik Karlsson – 21 years of age..3rd NHL season
    Alex Edler – 25 years of age…5th season in the league
    Dion Phaneuf – 25 years of age…8th season
    Ryan Suter – 26 years of age…7th season
    Keith Yandle – 25 years of age…5th season
    Kevin Shattenkirk – 22years of age – 3rd season
    Matt Carle – 27 years of age – 8th season
    Dimitri Kulikov – 21 years of age – 3rd season
    Jack Johnson – 25 years of age – 5th season
    Oliver Ekmann-Larssen – 20 years of age – 2nd season
    Drew Doughty – 22 years of age – 4th season

    Many, many examples of first round draft pick defensemen having an impact in far less than 3-5 years.

  52. Woodguy says:

    Luckily for you and others that want to sign him to an unrealistic 1 or 2 year deal Hemsky would need to remain healthy from now until the Trade Deadline, which is far from a certainty. There is a realistic chance that Hemsky injures himself before the TD and vanishes any remaining trade value that he once had.

    Maybe that’s right. Maybe not.

    I’m just tired of this team trading away players who can handle tough minutes and come out ahead.

    They way I see the roster, there are currently two forwards who can do this. Hemsky and Hall.

    I think Eberle may be able to soon, but RNH is probably a few years away from being able to center a tough minute line (if they ever ask him to do it, they may not)

    That’s the reason I was opposed to the Penner trade. He out scored tough opposition, or at the very least outshot them, which is almost as rare. Maybe playing with Hemsky carried Penner to that level, I don’t know, but I hate trading away any player who can do the toughest thing in hockey for futures.

    Will Tuebert be able to play toughs and come out ahead? Based on how he looks now, probably not, but who knows.

    Will Klefbom be able to play toughs and come out ahead? No idea, but we are years away from finding out. High end Dman can play early in the NHL, but not near the tough competition. Only players like Larsson who generally are touted as the next Lidstrom have that kind of ability, and the Oilers did draft that guy with LA’s pick.

    Larsson’s playing 2nd toughs with Salvador, getting beat -0.58/60 and he’s a very good young Dman.

    That’s my biggest problem. Getting rid of players who can do the toughest thing in hockey.

    The NHL is full of 1st rounders who can never come close to doing what Hemsky has done with meh help for years. Why would you give up on that?

    There is a very good crop of UFA Dmen you can add this year with just money and not players.

    Why give up on something you have very little of, and is extremely tough to get, for much, much less.

    Even when the kids were running hot, the second Hemsky came back, the opposition started putting their top pair out against him, not the kids. I tracked it and over 85% of the games saw Hemsky seeing top pairing D when 4,93,14 were playing together.

    Other teams know Hemsky’s value.

    Organizations like CHI, DET and PIT are hard after Hemsky. They know his value.

    Will Hemksy stay healthy? Who knows, my crystal ball is as murky as everyone’s, but I know what he’s capable of, and he’s still only 28.

    The good news is we can just trade Ben Eager or Darcy Hordichuk for a top 4 defensemen.

    I read what you wrote about using the assets you get for him towards a D, and that makes sense if you actually trade him.

    I like trading for one and signing one UFA. There are lots of assets the Oilers can give up that haven’t beaten toughs. I’d probably start with Gagner because he’d bring the best return (they would need to add to get a good one, but they can.

    Hall and Hemsky are it right now. Don’t make it only Hall.

  53. DSF says:

    NYI and Carolina both with wins.

    Oilers solidly in 28th.

  54. Henry says:

    I’m not sure 28th is that solid. Anaheim will likely have a better 2nd half than us. Jeez

  55. regwald says:

    @Woodguy,

    Horcoff is a tough minutes player as well ? No ?

  56. "Steve Smith" says:

    Horcoff’s playing tough minutes, but he’s not outscoring this season.

    (Mind you, neither is Hemsky this season. Smyth is.)

  57. ASkoreyko says:

    You take Nail if you get the chance, but I just can’t imagine us catching CLB this year (although there is one thing I have learned is to never underestimate the Oilers!).

    However Grigorenko would make more sense for the Oilers than one of the defensive prospects that will be available. You add big 1B/2A Center that can control the play with his size and reach and the Oilers start looking like a scary team. I realize you need to actually move the puck out of our zone to even begin attacking but I am hoping that is what a few key UFA’s will be able to do. Whitney could always come back healthy next year as well…

    People talk about the Kids getting used to losing in this environment, this might be something I would be worried about if they (the kids) were not leading the team themselves. It is a different thing to be playing behind vets and losing and learning to accept their inability, its another to be leading the charge yourself and just not getting the returns quite yet that you know will be there. The kids know they will start to win, it will just take a little while.

    Taylor Hall talked about coming to Edmonton to help them rebuild and turn them into a winner, a few seasons of learning on the job won’t lead him to learning to be a loser.

  58. bookje says:

    Anyone go to the Skills competition this afternoon?

    Did the Oilers win?

  59. NOTB says:

    @DSF

    You mention dealing the upcoming first rounder, or one of the ‘current young guns’ for more immediate help… under that scenario (as arm-chair GM) who would you move and what would you target as a reasonable return?

  60. Woodguy says:

    Horcoff is a tough minutes player as well ? No ?

    The last year Horcoff outscored toughs was 08/09. Toughest QC on the team by far and was +.49/60

    He also took the most face offs that year in the NHL and was 53.9%.

    3 years and various injuries later and I don’t think Horcoff will ever be that player again.

    He’s the best tough minute C the Oilers have, but he’s declining. I’m not sure at this point how much a drop off Belanger would be to Horcoff in the tough C role, or if he’d be a drop off at all.

    You could argue that the same is starting to happen to Hemsky. If you are sure then you trade him.

    I’m not sure though.

    I don’t have enough confidence in Tambellini to know for sure either. I actually trust Lowe more on this because he knows the player much better, but who knows.

  61. "Steve Smith" says:

    The last year Horcoff outscored toughs was 08/09. Toughest QC on the team by far and was +.49/60

    Accurate, but he came close last year – with the second best 5v5 +-/60 among Oilers’ forwards. Hemsky was the only guy in the black.

    He’s the best tough minute C the Oilers have, but he’s declining. I’m not sure at this point how much a drop off Belanger would be to Horcoff in the tough C role, or if he’d be a drop off at all.

    Belanger’s putting up similar results to Horcoff, and he’s doing it against far easier competition. I think he’d be a drop.

  62. hags9k says:

    Maybe Stevie Y would panick and cough up V. Hedman for Hemmer and Nik Khasbeenboozin?

  63. bookje says:

    LT – you need to ban Woodguy, his irrational hate of Horcoff is a blight on this blogsite. Every article, he has to somehow bring it around to Horcoff bashing. Enough is enough Woodguy, get over it.

    Dammit, where did I leave my bookiethingy?…

  64. hags9k says:

    As far as the draft goes, it all depends on where we pick. If we pick #1, and NY is still the consensus #1, I would try and trade down. I just feel that there would be no way to build long term with RNH, Ebs, Hall, and Yakupov. The reason being they all are going to command big dough and only ONE of them is a center. That’s going to be way too much cash spent on 3 wingers. I think Grigorenko makes more sense for us as a #2C long term and that may be the way to go. The BOTB hate the Ruskies though and this would also leave no room for Gags and he would have to be sent out. So a Grigorenko Vs Gagner decision would have to be made. Everyone is saying Murray is our guy and that would obviously be a fit to our needs, but should we pick at #2 I think the choice comes down to Gagner and Murray or Grigorenko and the D return you get for Gags and Hemmer. Sorry to offend the Hemsky stalwarts here but the body language doesn’t lie, and his silence all year has spoken loudly. He is moving on. If we are in a position to pick Grigorenko then I think we may come out farther ahead sending Samwise out with 83. Kills me to say that especially after his last game, and for the record I will be pleased if we keep 89 and draft Murray. But I’ll leave the question with y’all……What type of D man can we get for BOTH 83 and 89?

  65. PaperDesigner says:

    I don’t think you can pass on Yakupov if you get the chance. I also don’t think you can try to run with Yakupov, Hall and Eberle as your wingers long-term. Too costly, and at a position (wing) that is relatively of lesser impact than other skaters. I think you dangle the player that looks the most immediately explosive (Eberle) for one of the guys on DSF’s list, and use him as your cornerstone of your defence.

    And Lowetide, it doesn’t matter if a forward group that includes Yakupov, Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Paajarvi, Gagner and Omark (I hope) goes Supernova if you have a defence core that can’t even get the puck into the same galaxy as them.

    This team needs at least one more defenceman young enough to hit his stride at the same time as the young guys do. Which means they need to be at least a couple years older than the Nugent-Hopkins-Hall-Paajarvi-Eberle-Gagner cluster.

  66. Woodguy says:

    Belanger’s putting up similar results to Horcoff, and he’s doing it against far easier competition. I think he’d be a drop.

    Probably. I wonder how much the better help would help Belanger though?

    As much as he’s improved this year, Jones is still a gongshow in his own end and cheats for offense.

    I doubt Horcoff makes it through the rest of the year with injury, we might find out.

    Given the difference between the cap hits, you could add a good Dman. I wonder if there will be the one player amnesty clause when the figure the next CBA.

    It will help Ed Snider, so it will probably be there.

  67. oilersfan says:

    As interesting as the draft picki for 2012 will be – I am hoping for Grigorenko, the other two topics of great interest, in my opinion , should be , how will the Oilers get two top 4 dmen?

    While it is possible to do it at the draft by picking Ryan Murray or someone similar, we all know it is difficult for a young dman to come into the league and make a difference early. The other two ways are via free agency and trade. Since the Oilers need two, wouldn’t it make sense to try for one of each?

    As I have mentioned several times, the one I would target would be F Beauchemin from Anaheim. Failing him signing I would go for Greg Zanon in Minnesota. Defensive guy, but the type that is badly needed in Oilertown. The other method is via trade. While many suggest trading Gagner or Hemsky, the one I think has value to other teams and not so much to the Oilers yet is Magnus Pajarvi. I wonder if a team long on dmen like Nashville, LA, Phoenix or Toronto would be interested in acquiring him for Ellis, Blum, Voynov, Rundblad, or Schen? Paajarvi has the pedigree if not the proven NHL success, and if the Oilers get Grigorenko I think with Gagner and a re-signed Hemsky the team wouldn’t need any more top 6 forwards. MP would be wasted on the third or fourth line and would be my favourite candidate to move for a similar level quality d prospect.

    Not much has been mentioned of Phoenix but how many offensive dmen do they need ? Yandle is already elite, OEL is expected to be elite, so how does Rundblad even get on the PP? I would trade him for MP and I think that would be a winning trade for both teams…

  68. "Steve Smith" says:

    Don’t get me wrong, at his cap hit I’d dump Horcoff if the opportunity was there and I was looking to compete. But it wouldn’t make me happy, and we’d be losing quality if we did.

  69. hags9k says:

    I totally agree Paperdesigner with regards to Yakupov leading to too many big$ guys at the wing, with the wing being a lesser impact position. Another top C or a 1-2 D is far more valuable long term. I disagree with trading Ebs though, cmon dude, OURS. But if we have the #1 pick again, I think this may be the year to trade it for as good a young stud Dman as we can get. Or trade down and take Grigs and deal Hemmer and Samwise for the Dman as per my last post.

  70. Lois Lowe says:

    Can we put a moratorium on any trade proposition that includes either Weber or Suter?

  71. oilersfan says:

    i agree with you Lois. So who is the best of the next tier that may be willing to come to Edmonton for a slight ovrrpay and a chance to pad their offensive stats on a decent power play?

  72. hags9k says:

    Weber and Suter ain’t happenin. Shoot for Ryan Ellis.

  73. Ducey says:

    That’s the reason I was opposed to the Penner trade. He out scored tough opposition, or at the very least outshot them, which is almost as rare. Maybe playing with Hemsky carried Penner to that level, I don’t know, but I hate trading away any player who can do the toughest thing in hockey for futures.

    Penner is playing the 5th toughest competition among forwards in LA. He has 10 pts in 33 games so he is not even on pace for 30 this year. He had one year with 63, otherwise its 47, 37, and 45 before this year.

    His Rel Corsi is second best on LA, and I expect he is not getting the PP time he did here, but I don’t think too many people are criticizing that trade.

  74. rickithebear says:

    Ducey:
    Penner’s: goals/season rate is 20th best post lockout. Goals!. He not give up and 20th best Get. Assists are from guys who Score!

    Lat nights game he contributed to at least one goal and no assist.

  75. DBO says:

    If we embrace the crap we have again, we must look at our roster and figure out who doesn’t fit for a playoff run in 2 years. And whose contribution can be replaced on the roster easiest. Belanger is one I would look to deal since the org loves lander, and with Gagner playing solidly as 2C you have Horc at 3c, you have no room for Belanger.

    Easy deal : offer Belanger to Caps (who liked him before) for Jeff Schultz. He had been scratched a bunch under Hunter, but is 25, has had success and on our team is a top 4 option signed to a reasonable 2.5 mill deal for a few more years. Caps need centre depth and Belanger fits their age need for a cup run. Throw in Sutton and get like a 3rd rd pick back.

    Belanger and Sutton for Schultz and a 3rd. Keep Omarra up to replace Belanger and embrace the pain.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    I was stating why I wanted Penner signed and not traded last year. I was not engaged in a hindsight exercise.

  77. Bruce McCurdy says:

    When they talked about RNH’s skating (as an example) there were several reports about his footspeed and very little about his edges and just how elusive he is on the ice.

    “The kid is hard to contain as quicksilver, as he has superb lateral mobility including a sideways step at speed that is very difficult to contain, and a variety of spin moves away from pressure that all seem to include full control of the puck. His awareness of where the “good ice” is in a given situation is off the charts.”

    – Me, April 12, 2011

  78. Maverick says:

    I know this is a few days old, but just read David Staples article about trading the Oiler’s pick this year for a really veteran defenseman. Let’s say Oiler’s top pick this year is 1st to 3rd overall, plus Hemsky and another pick for Weber? I think that is an OVER payment. So 5 years from now would you trade Yakupov (possibly turning into a Taylor Hall type player), Hemsky and 2nd rounder for Weber? I surely would not do that! Sure sounds like a Brian Burke Toronto type of deal. Not sure what the answer is, and it is quite a pickle that Mr.Dithers is in, need help on defense not sure how much to give up to get something, tough decisions ahead indeed.

  79. pistolpetestar says:

    Anybody else get just a little nostalgic when they think of the possibilty of a Forsberg picking other teams apart as opposed to the way ol’ Foppa used to treat us?

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