GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME

Old timers like me will often wax poetic about the past, but you young folks never believe it. THESE are the good old days.

Today’s generation doesn’t have to worry about old photos popping up on the internet. Merely delete the ones you don’t want (do you seriously believe Rex would have approved this?) and move on.

Progress is everywhere. Take scouting reports. Here’s a 1972 scouting report:

  • Steve Shutt plays his position (LW) exceptionally well and should be an easy pupil for an NHL coach. He patrols his wing religiously and is always well positioned in the attacking zone. Defensively, he is rated well above average for a junior. His shot is his major asset: quick, heavy and accurate. He is equally dangerous with a wrist or slap shot. Good skater and more than willing to dig in the corners. Shot is sufficiently impressive, along with heady play, that he could become point man on an NHL powerplay as a freshman with the right club. Last year, his 70 goals were only one shy of the OHA record (set by Richard Martin).-George Hanson, Montreal Star.

Compare that to this item from Corey Pronman:

  • Ryan Murray is advanced beyond his years with well above-average hockey sense and the rare kind of game-processing ability and vision that makes him a significant two-way threat even without elite offensive tools. Murray is a great presence on the back-end with the puck because he rarely makes a mistake and even though he doesn’t limit himself to the basic plays, he not will force the big passes if they are not there. He doesn’t get rushed by opposing forechecks and is one of the best outlet passers in this draft. Murray makes smart reads defensively, takes his assignments well, and will not shy from using his body to separate his check from the puck. He’s an above-average to plus skater although he isn’t the kind of player to threaten regularly with a speed game on the rush, rather he relies on a great first step and all-around mobility to keep the play in front of him and close on the puck. Murray’s puck skills are solid, and while he’s not a dangler, he can certainly hold his own in open ice. On the power play, he is a pass-first guy who makes the smart plays and the difficult passes with consistency. He also has a pretty hard shot and can wire it through legs when he needs to. While Murray does not project as an elite prospect, he has a low risk tag on his projection. He will be the kind of player to log over 20 minutes a game while playing tough minutes against the opposition’s best players while still managing to put up impressive possession numbers.

Both give wonderful descriptions of each player but the 1972 version is brief and staccato. Pronman’s prose gives the reader a concise view of the player at this age, to the point where you can begin to form an opinion about him before even seeing the guy play. Combined with the math we’ve learned over the last 40 years this is a wonderful time to follow the draft and watch these players transition.

Corey Pronman’s well worth the read, and there are others out there. Getting to know the top 10, or 30 or even 100 prospects is something a fan can do without spending hundreds of man hours on the internet. I don’t know where this is heading, but it’s certainly a better place.

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76 Responses to "GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME"

  1. sliderule says:

    After the golf today my buds and I had a heated debate about wtf the oil are doing in this draft.

    The question is are they misdirecting or showing their intentions by picking Murray for WC team.

    The consensus was how could they be so stupid to pick a defenceman who is not a generational at number one.

    The point was also made that Murray is not even rated by all the scouts as the best defenceman in this draft..

    It was also pointed out that Klefbom is only two months older than Murray and as he was a WJC all-star then we already have the best age group defenceman in Klefa.

    We all left saying wtf.

  2. Lowetide says:

    McKenzie’s list–which is the gold standard–would seem to disagree

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=62636

  3. knighttown says:

    Continuing the discussion from the last thread…

    jfry:
    KT, ovie is averaging over 21 mins a game in the series vs the rangers. your point about hunter playiing the beagles of the world holds, but lets not get carried away. hunter played AO 21, 13.5, 35 and 16 mins so far this series. game 2 was away and maybe a message being sent — don’t take minute and a half shifts in the second round. otherwise his minutes have been fine and msm is making a bigger deal of it than it ought to be.

    Uh…don’t you think that 35 minutes in a triple OT game might be the outlier there? 35 minutes in 6 periods is 17.5 minutes per 60. So in the past four games he’s averaged 15-ish minutes.

  4. knighttown says:

    Bohologo: Agreed. Except Kostitsyn is in fact from Belarus.

    Exactly.Except that the Sochi Olympics are in fact in 2014.

    Precisely. I suspect it’s a sign of Coach Hunter’s preferences.

    Listen, KT, I think you’ve got some strong points to make, but coming out of the gates like this can blunt your message a bit.

    A little harsh, no? I’m well aware that the the Sochi Winter Olympics are not in 2012…since Winter 2012 is over.

    I’m also aware that the Kostitsyns are from Belarus. The KHL doesn’t only accept players from Russia. Perhaps I was a little loose with the therm “Russian factor”. I would think that any players from Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Krygystan, Tajikistan, Turkministan and Georgia would be a flight risk. Actually, Europe in general depending on how the next few years go.

  5. Lowetide says:

    KT: Are you replying in the right thread? It’s all good, just want to make sure the people you are writing to see what you’re saying.

  6. sliderule says:

    LT

    Mckenzie has had a good track record but Blue bullet and Button both have Dumba rated higher.

    In my viewings at WJC and now at WC I don’t see the offensive upside.He looks to be a smart defender who is positionally responsible much like Nick Schultz.

    He is not very physical and the oil management and fans have not been kind to that type of defender.

  7. knighttown says:

    The ‘Russian factor’ doesn’t exist. If you look at the players that are usually given as examples of reasons that a team might be wary of drafting a Russian, it’s clear that there are actually two or three entirely different concerns, each of which has some high profile Russian examples.
    Marc:
    knighttown,
    The second is the ‘will take big bucks in the KHL instead of playing in the AHL or for a low value ELC in the NHL’ concern.Radulov is the poster boy for this concern, with Burmistrov looking like another possible example. This is the one concern that does actually seem to be much more prevalent among Russian players, with no really high profile examples from other countries that I can think of.
    Objectively, there is zero reason to think that any of these concerns actually apply to Yakupov. I have seen no scouting reports that indicate he’s skilled but doesn’t like to work. As a first overall pick he’ll earn close to $4M per year the moment he starts playing in the NHL, so he won’t obliged by the CBA to play for 3 years at a $1+M per when he could be making three times as much in the KHL, like Burmistrov will. He might be able to make a bit more in the KHL, but not three or four times as much. And I’ve heard no reports that he’s any more of a party animal than say, Eberle is.
    So there is no ‘Russian factor’ as far as Yakupov is concerned. Or at least there shouldn’t be.
    This is a good post. I’ve removed 2 of your 3 examples which i agree with and acknowledge but I’m not ready to dismiss your 2nd factor as a non-issue. You’ve now got one young star who has bailed because of his ELC and another Top 10 pick considering it. Vladimir Tarasenko has committed to staying in the KHL. Evgeni Kuznetsov has spurned the Russian-centric Capitals for 2 years with Traktor.
    2014 Sochi Olympics. 13% income tax. A league that caters to them (many fans feel Radulov is above the law since he wasn’t punished for the “attack” on his coach). Stars getting 5 million plus and “stipends” for guys like Tarasenko and Kuznetsov that allow them to make far more on their ELC.
    it seems your only argument for Yakupov not being a risk is that he’s “too elite” and the KHL can’t really offer more than he’ll make in the NHL. OK. I’ll acknowledge that no one of Ovechkin or Malkin’s ilk has left the NHL yet but is it that far of a leap to think it’s impossible?
    I don’t trade Yakupov for a Family Matters box set but if Yakupov + Klefbom gets you Subban + Murray I go ahead and take that.

  8. knighttown says:

    Lowetide:
    KT: Are you replying in the right thread? It’s all good, just want to make sure the people you are writing to see what you’re saying.

    Sorry LT. I don’t get here enough to have a conversation in real time. I’ll stop clogging your airways.

    Ahem…on to this thread. I would definitely consider a trade down that got us Murray. If Subban is somehow available and we can still draft Top 5 I make that happen.

  9. jimbones100 says:

    DSF so I should be angry at Oilers management because a couple of the first rounders are not stars? You are talking as if drafting elite players out of the lottery is automatic.

    Even your new favorite team (Kings) as you pointed out drafted Teubert and Hicky in the first round and neither has provided good value. And your old favorite team recently sent their first round pick Hodgeson away for little return.

    Sorry Troll… Err DSF I am happy with the Oilers drafing, and very happy with their minor league development system.

  10. Lowetide says:

    knighttown: Sorry LT.I don’t get here enough to have a conversation in real time.I’ll stop clogging your airways.

    Ahem…on to this thread.I would definitely consider a trade down that got us Murray.If Subban is somehow available and we can still draft Top 5 I make that happen.

    No, it’s all good. I just didn’t want your thoughts to go unread by the people you were talking to. “Clogging” is what we do best on this blog! :-)

  11. DSF says:

    jimbones100:
    DSF so I should be angry at Oilers management because a couple of the first rounders are not stars?You are talking as if drafting elite players out of the lottery is automatic.

    Even your new favorite team (Kings) as you pointed out drafted Teubert and Hicky in the first round and neither has provided good value.And your old favorite team recently sent their first round pick Hodgeson away for little return.

    Sorry Troll… Err DSF I am happy with the Oilers drafing, and very happy with their minor league development system.

    Good for you.

    And, as soon as they hand out the awards for best drafting and development system while missing the playoffs for nearly a decade, I’m sure a grinning Tambellini will happily accept the trophy.

    The Kings also drafted Kopitar, Brown, Doughty and Quick in the first round.

    I see an elite forward, an elite power forward, an elite defenseman and an elite goaltender in that group.

    The Oilers may have 4 of the first…problem is they don’t have ANY of the following 3 categories.

    Think it might be time to create some balance by moving the first overall pick?

  12. DSF says:

    Lowetide: No, it’s all good. I just didn’t want your thoughts to go unread by the people you were talking to. “Clogging” is what we do best on this blog!

    Clogging?

    Did you say clogging?

    http://youtu.be/s2WywwxWbvY

  13. stevezie says:

    DSF,

    Yeah, hundred percent, if the right deal is available. Nail looks like a scoring beaut, but like you said, we’ve got three of those (four if Hemsky recovers, and Gagner sure ain’t bad either). We would be better served with an elite d-man (who is elite now, not in three years), or some size and defence at forward. I am all for the Oilers exploring every option. Aren’t we all? Who is arguing this?

    Now I’m no scout, but like LT says the reports are better than ever, so as a slacker reading them I will say that I have limited interest in Murray. To me the two G centers and Nail look elite, everyone else is a step below. Murray looks like a sure fire decent defenceman, but young D in general are a huge question mark and even in juniors Murray just looks well-rounded. I don’t see where his excellence comes in. If we turn this pick into anything other than elite help than I think we screwed up.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a way that involves sending the pick for a great two way center to anchor the second line (Hanzel, Staal, O’Reilly) and I just can’t. They’re all exactly what we need, but an elite 2nd liner is by definition a mediocre 1st liner, right? Maybe I’m too stuck on winning the trade over fixing our problems. I think it Lou who said, “it’s never a loss when you get something you need.”

    Exception to my young D rule – I am in love with Dougie Hamilton.

  14. VOR says:

    DSF,

    Jonathon Quick was a thrid rounder and the fourth player picked by the Kings the year he was drafted (taken 73rd overall in 2005).

  15. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    DSF,

    Yeah, hundred percent, if the right deal is available. Nail looks like a scoring beaut, but like you said, we’ve got three of those (four if Hemsky recovers, and Gagner sure ain’t bad either). We would be better served with an elite d-man (who is elite now, not in three years), or some size and defence at forward. I am all for the Oilers exploring every option. Aren’t we all? Who is arguing this?

    Now I’m no scout, but like LT says the reports are better than ever, so as a slacker reading them I will say that I have limited interest in Murray. To me the two G centers and Nail look elite, everyone else is a step below. Murray looks like a sure fire decent defenceman, but young D in general are a huge question mark and even in juniors Murray just looks well-rounded. I don’t see where his excellence comes in. If we turn this pick into anything other than elite help than I think we screwed up.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a way that involves sending the pick for a great two way center to anchor the second line (Hanzel, Staal, O’Reilly) and I just can’t. They’re all exactly what we need, but an elite 2nd liner is by definition a mediocre 1st liner, right? Maybe I’m too stuck on winning the trade over fixing our problems. I think it Lou who said, “it’s never a loss when you get something you need.”

    Exception to my young D rule – I am in love with Dougie Hamilton.

    Well, Dougie Hamilton is exactly what the team needs and I really would offer the Bruins almost anything to get him…including one of the kids.

    If you need to dangle Hall to get their attention, I would do it since, in many ways, Yakupov would fill that gap.

    I agree that Murray appears to be underwhelming so I would draft Yakupov but with a clear plan in mind to move one of the kids for a stud defenseman.

    I imagine you could wait another year and see what you have in Yakupov but that only delays the inevitable IMO.

    Pittsburgh might listen on the Staal deal if the return is high enough but he’s only got one year until he is UFA and, word is, he wants to play with Eric in Carolina.

  16. DSF says:

    VOR:
    DSF,

    Jonathon Quick was a thrid rounder and the fourth player picked by the Kings the year he was drafted (taken 73rd overall in 2005).

    Mi bad.

    It was Bernier they selected in the first round.

    Sucks to be them.

  17. stevezie says:

    Bernier, just one more goalie who will drive down Luongo’s asking price. I almost feel bad for Vancouver. There has never been a better time to go get a goalie than this summer. Let’s not forget that young phenom Steve Mason has already been told by his GM he’s not coming back.

  18. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    Bernier, just one more goalie who will drive down Luongo’s asking price. I almost feel bad for Vancouver. There has never been a better time to go get a goalie than this summer. Let’s not forget that young phenom Steve Mason has already been told by his GM he’s not coming back.

    I really don’t think Vancouver is expecting a huge return for Luongo…the cap space he frees up will allow them to address other needs.

    Since they have two other NHL quality goaltenders in Schneider and Lack ready to go, Vancouver will likely be happy with a decent pick or mid level prospect,

    In the larger picture, it should be remembered that Luongo was acquired for Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld.

    That they got 6 years of stellar goaltending (for the most part) out of that package, I think they did okay.

  19. jimbones100 says:

    DSF,

    Yes DSF those players were drafted and playing well for LA.

    Yes DSF any trade that improves a team should be considered. I believe I did hear the Oilers GM state he would do just that (listen to offers)..

    I take exception is with you trying to influence oiler fans that they should be unhappy with the Oilers drafting. I am not. And to add the development system also has me excited. Go MPS – GO Ladner – Go Barons! How does that feel me sharing my happiness and excitement? Is that like a knife in the heart for someone who is hellbent on being and sharing your misery?

  20. Woodguy says:

    DSF: Clogging?

    Did you say clogging?

    http://youtu.be/s2WywwxWbvY

    Deep into a bottle of Advocaat today DSF?

  21. Woodguy says:

    DSF: Since they have two other NHL quality goaltenders in Schneider and Lack ready to go, Vancouver will likely be happy with a decent pick or mid level prospect,

    What does current players under contract have to do with return on a trade?

  22. godot10 says:

    DSF: Well, Dougie Hamilton is exactly what the team needs and I really would offer the Bruins almost anything to get him…including one of the kids.

    If you need to dangle Hall to get their attention, I would do it since, in many ways, Yakupov would fill that gap.

    Ah…the Mike Millbury model of building a perenniel lottery team. Keeping swapping the last shiny new toy for an even newer shiny new toy. Churn, churn, churn, churn…..

  23. ASkoreyko says:

    Tyler Pitlick is now 6GP 2G 5A 7P +4 12 SOG in the AHL playoffs so far.

    Good enough for 16th place in scoring. The kid is not lighting up the AHL but this has to be seen as encouraging progress for the young man.

    Also of note, for all the reports I have read about Pitlick not being afraid of the rough stuff the kid also has 0 PIM’s. Is he focusing more on the offensive side of the game now or only just delivering clean checks?

    I know I am projecting a lot on this kid but I really see him as a potential future 3rd line grinder/2nd line big body to go along with the kids.

    I really wish the AHL would give us TOI (as you have said many times LT), would be nice to see if what Nelson was saying about Pitlick/Hamilton (forcing them to work their way up the lines) really had such a strong effect on their counting numbers. Pretty hard to do NHLE when the kids are not being used in their intended/drafted roles. It might hurt our projection of the MBS selections but I am very interested to see what it does for their actual progression.

    It really is to bad Hamilton got hurt…

  24. spoiler says:

    And there it was! The puck! And an empty side!

  25. DSF says:

    godot10: Ah…the Mike Millbury model of building a perenniel lottery team.Keeping swapping the last shiny new toy for an even newer shiny new toy.Churn, churn, churn, churn…..

    Aren’t you the guy insisting on drafting Murray instead of Yakupov because the Oilers need a defenseman?

    Why wouldn’t you use the pick or Hall to get a much better one?

  26. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Deep into a bottle of Advocaat today DSF?

    Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

  27. DSF says:

    Woodguy: What does current players under contract have to do with return on a trade?

    Sanguinity.

  28. DSF says:

    jimbones100:
    DSF,

    Yes DSF those players were drafted and playing well for LA.

    Yes DSF any trade that improves a team should be considered. I believe I did hear the Oilers GM state he would do just that (listen to offers)..

    I take exception is with you trying to influence oiler fans that they should be unhappy with the Oilers drafting. I am not. And to add the development system also has me excited. Go MPS – GO Ladner – Go Barons!How does that feel me sharing my happiness and excitement?Is that like a knife in the heart for someone who is hellbent on being and sharing your misery?

    Good for you.

    Patrick Laforge has a season ticket package with your name on it.

  29. godot10 says:

    DSF: Aren’t you the guy insisting on drafting Murray instead of Yakupov because the Oilers need a defenseman?

    Why wouldn’t you use the pick or Hall to get a much better one?

    I have no problem with trading the pick for a more established young defenseman (but you aren’t going to get offered OEL or Dougie Hamilton for it, because good GM’s don’t do the Millbury thing of pulling the chute so quickly on their prospects, since it just creates chaos.)

    But I wouldn’t mess with the established core of the rebuild (Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle), which is what Millbury kept on doing.

    The Oilers are NOT going to given an offer they cannot refuse. Yeah.. they will get offered poisoned chalices like Schenn and the #5.

    Yakupov is not the trophy prize that is going to attract good offers. He is not Stamkos. He is not even Taylor Hall.

  30. godot10 says:

    If Yakupov is as great as his supporters say he is, we should expect Boston to be willing to offer Dougie Hamilton, because a dynamic scorer is Boston’s need.

    But Boston isn’t going to offer Hamilton, because Yakupov is not that elite forward that everyone claims he is. He is just the best forward in a weak forward draft class.

  31. DSF says:

    godot10: I have no problem with trading the pick for a more established young defenseman (but you aren’t going to get offered OEL orDougie Hamilton for it, because good GM’s don’t do the Millbury thing of pulling the chute so quickly on their prospects, since it just creates chaos.)

    But I wouldn’t mess with the established core of the rebuild (Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle), which is what Millbury kept on doing.

    The Oilers are NOT going to given an offer they cannot refuse.Yeah.. they will get offered poisoned chalices like Schenn and the #5.

    Yakupov is not the trophy prize that is going to attract good offers.He is not Stamkos.He is not even Taylor Hall.

    Well, I agree with you.

    And we are likely going to be having this same conversation a year from now but the Oilers most likely won’t have the #1 pick as currency.

    Then what?

  32. Lowetide says:

    I’d be fine with Yakupov at #1 overall, if the Oilers could land Schultz and at least one veteran defender with a nice range of skills. I don’t think the Oilers will do that, though. They’ll end up with that guy in columbus who is playing in the WCH (Methot) and some distant bell renney remembers from the European summer league (we’ll call him Mike Shabaga).

  33. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d be fine with Yakupov at #1 overall, if the Oilers could land Schultz and at least one veteran defender with a nice range of skills. I don’t think the Oilers will do that, though. They’ll end up with that guy in columbus who is playing in the WCH (Methot) and some distant bell renney remembers from the European summer league (we’ll call him Mike Shabaga).

    Shabaga apparently prefers the Romanesque “Miko”…it has more élan.

  34. jake70 says:

    LT, isn’t that the brother of the Canadian women’s goalie, …what’s her name…um….

    Also, get Rex on Nation radio the Saturday after day 1 of the draft to do a cross “oil” country check up, if the CBC will give him permission.

  35. loganoil says:

    LT,

    It’s nice that you use scouting reports by Corey Pronman
    to describe Ryan Murray.
    I especially liked his assessment about Yakupov,

    “He plays with the energy and grit at times of a fourth line player, with the skill set of a top pick.
    Yakupov added a high-end passing element to his game that has made him an even more dangerous offensive weapon as he can make quite impressive feeds to keep the defense from keying in on him and only him. He has such a powerful stride that he can take a handful of strides and already have travelled half the distance of the ice. ”

    BTW, Corey Pronman has ranked Murray 8th, behind Dumba and Rielly.
    You’re right, Pronman really does provide a concise view of a player.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Loganoil: I have Yakupov #1 on my list too. Honest.

  37. danny says:

    godot10,

    Godot,

    Do you have anything to substantiate your claims regarding Yakupov? His boxcars doesn’t jive with your opinion. Is there anything specific that makes him a poor 1st overall?

  38. mustang says:

    sliderule:
    LT

    Mckenzie has had a good track record but Blue bullet and Button both have Dumba rated higher.

    In my viewings at WJC and now at WC I don’t see the offensive upside.He looks to be a smart defender who is positionally responsible much like Nick Schultz.

    He is not very physical and the oil management and fans have not been kind to that type of defender.

    I agree with you, I just don’t see a high end talent , I see a good dman in the mould of Nick Schultz with more offence and has the ability to move the puck better. I don’t see an outstanding prospect like Doughty. If the Oilers pick him #1 overall I believe they aren’t getting the best dman, never mind the best player. Reilly or Dumba have higher potential in my opinion, these kids can dominate at the junior level. If I was picking and had to pick the best dman, I would pick Dumba, his only downfall might be his size(I think we may have heard this before with respect to a player or two). It’s his compete level that will propel him above his peers.

  39. mustang says:

    DSF: Well, Dougie Hamilton is exactly what the team needs and I really would offer the Bruins almost anything to get him…including one of the kids.

    If you need to dangle Hall to get their attention, I would do it since, in many ways, Yakupov would fill that gap.

    There isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that will happen. Taylor Hall is exactly what this team needs…heart….skill…compete…drive, just can’t give up on that, that is exactly what champions are made of, PERIOD

  40. mustang says:

    godot10:
    If Yakupov is as great as his supporters say he is, we should expect Boston to be willing to offer Dougie Hamilton, because a dynamic scorer is Boston’s need.

    But Boston isn’t going to offer Hamilton, because Yakupov is not that elite forward that everyone claims he is.He is just the best forward in a weak forward draft class.

    He scored 101 points as a 16 yr old, could be wrong, but I’m thinking the kid is good.

  41. oilersfan says:

    Godot

    I ha ve to strongly disagree with your lukewarm assessment of Yakupov. On a much worse team than Windsor in Hall’s draft year Yak was on pace for just under two points per game going into the wjhc. Without the star Galchenyuk to play with he was on pace to score over 60 games about 115 points and over 50 goals. When it comes to pure offense, especially finishing the goal, he appears to have a higher ceiling than Hall, closer to Stamkos.

    I just don’t see why so many people here want to trade Yakupov. Who here wants to trade Hall? Yak looks to be offesnively a better player. He may not be the whole package leadership wise but he looks to be an elite offensive player.

    Hopefully when he score 50 goals in his third season he will shut you all up. And no I wouldn’t trade him straight up for Dougie Hamilton, let alone add Hemsky to the deal,

    There are other ways for the Oilers to get good defencemen than trading Yakupov. They aren’t going to win the cup next year, hell they probably won’t make the playoffs. So they have draft picks to trade for the 2013, 2014 draft etc.

    Detroit traded the 25th pick this season for Kyle Quincy. Deals like that will be available.

    Hell if they sign Justin Schuktz, with Klefbom coming maybe a Jason Garrison is all that is needed to add to what the Oilers have now to be a helluva team.

  42. Lowetide says:

    what if the Oilers traded the first for OEL?

  43. loganoil says:

    Lowetide,

    The way that Phoenix is playing in the playoffs,
    this deal is highly unlikely.

  44. jb says:

    Where are all these trade talks coming from? I haven’t followed Oiler “news” since the season ended, but I’m certain all this drama is ridiculous.

    Facts as I know them

    -Yakupov will be number one, simply because he’s that much better than the draft class. If you think otherwise, your wrong.

    -Oilers will draft number 1 unless blown away by an offer.

    -There’s no legit rumors or leaked info here… That I’m sure of. I’m going to guess this drama was fabricated by the MSM to generate Oiler “news” in the off-season?

    We hold all the cards here, it’s trade down a couple spots and receive a strong roster player plus our D-man of choice, or draft an elite winger. It’s win win.

    Time to enjoy the rest of the playoffs and this nice weather.

  45. Schitzo says:

    Question for the audience: is there any change in the Oilers’ trade options pre- and post-draft? If the #1 pick will clearly be used to select Yak, what’s the difference between trading the pick on June 22 or trading Yak on June 25?

  46. jfry says:

    @kt, replied in the other thread. i agree, real-time is impossible for me too.

  47. gogliano says:

    I believe the correct saying is YOU ARE WRONG.

    Anyways, I think you need to bet on that knee. Yakupov might be better than Hall. The numbers prior to the knee blowout bear that out. I want to watch another player of Taylor Hall’s calibre and I can only imagine the two will force each other to compete (they seem of similar spirit). It’d be fanastic hockey. Maybe they never win a cup but I’d rather watch Taylor Hall and Yakupov and RNH and Eberle torch defenders and push one another for the next few years rather than try to assemble a winner with #2s like Murray because of need. Accept the hand that fortune dealt you and roll with it. Would anyone prefer to watch Murray over Yakupov?

  48. stevezie says:

    I think the best case scenario for this team is the Coyotes getting sold quickly to someone who wants to keep the team in Arizona but figures he needs a star to do it. PHX is loaded with young D, and Nail is really, really good. Maybe, if the owner pushes it, we could get OEL.

    I don’t want to trade another forty goal scorer either, but we need really defenceman. I think Philly and NJ were the only teams to make the playoffs without an all-star calibre D-man. Granted, one of them will make the conference finals, but let’s play the percentages.

    I’d rather draft Nail than trade down (or draft Murray outright), but I’d rather get the player we need than the best one available. To my ignorant eye, that would mean selling the pick outright. Calls calls calls, Tambo should just be making calls all day, just to know what’s on the table. I’m sure he is.

  49. stevezie says:

    DSF,

    We’re on the same page on Hamilton, but if he’s so good how did he slip to ninth? No way Nail drops to ninth even in last year’s class. He migth not have been first, but he wouldn’t be ninth. Of course Hamilton’s given us one more good season so he’s that much safer of a bet. I would think we could get them to add something, and it’s just natural Oiler fan pessimism that has us thinking we’d be the ones throwing more into that deal.
    Surely Boston considers their cup window still open, and with Horton messed up their biggest immediate need is scoring. I don’t see any other young stud incoming on their D, but their current D core is locked up for a few years. Wouldn’t you want to see Seguin playing with the Russian Hall for the next seven years if you were Chiralli?
    Worst case scenario it would be a straight up swap. I’d would have to talk long and hard to my scouts, but as an ignorant fan with no scouts to talk to I’d do that deal. It’ probably won’t happen, but I honestly don’t know why not.
    Next week I’m planning on going to Helsinki and looking for Lowe. If I feel like annoying a busy person I may just pitch the idea.

    Sorry for double posting long posts. I haven’t in…. a long time and I’m busy finding reasons not to write an essay. Tetris was giving me tendonitis so I came here.

  50. stevezie says:

    Final point: Anyone kicking the Oilers for taking MPS over Kulikov but preaching caution on Nail because he’s Russian sounds pretty hypocritical to me. Of course, based on scouting reports, I would have taken PRV no matter who what nationality Kulikov was, which I’ll admit now makes me wrong. At the time I thought it was close enough to just go with the forward.

  51. edwards_daddy says:

    It’s been mentioned here before – outside of the the top-pick and the 3 kids, Tambo has over 60 assets at his disposal for trades. If he can’t turn some of those into a couple of top-4 D-men and a 3rd line RW, he’s just not earning his paycheque.

  52. stevezie says:

    edwards_daddy,

    Easy to say. We think OMark and Peckham have potential because we’ve seen them at their best. I would think every team has a plethora of bubble prospects they’re talking themselves into.

    We might end up looking at eating the contract of a player who still has value. Can Paul MArtin be salvaged? Is there a Ryan Smith this year (aging two way player who is over-paid but still good?) WE should have the cap space. I agree this is plan C, but it might come to that if no one think Omark, Peckham and Rajala add up to anything better than what they already have.

    Perhaps Blain and Davidson have some value? Looks like we might not be able to fit them anyway. If BUffalo can’t fit Sekera I’d rather trade nickles for him than overpay Garrison, but there’s a lot of “if”s in the equation.

  53. russ99 says:

    If the Oilers are so in love with getting a defenseman high in the draft this year, then why not make a deal and move into the top 10 and pick both Yakupov and the defenseman.

    If the Oilers are serious about taking the big step up, next year’s #1 should be on the table too, if that player they want is on the board.

  54. jfry says:

    the nuge and eberle were seperated today atwhc. nuge playing with sharp and benn– looking really good. sharp with 5 pts, benn with 2 goals, nuge with 2 g and an apple so far.

    i am against drafting murray but think that it’s a great tactical and negotiation move by lowe to have him at whc.

  55. jfry says:

    sutter had sharp taking draws but nuge was playing c once the puck was dropped

  56. edwards_daddy says:

    stevezie,

    It’s difficult from down here to gauge how the grown-ups value the assets. A fabled 3 for 1 would be just what we need – Jones, Blain and the 32nd should get you something decent in return, as should Omark, Davidson and a third.
    They might be salary dumps coming back, but they should be solid players.

  57. stevezie says:

    edwards_daddy,

    Can’t argue that.

  58. Ducey says:

    russ99:
    If the Oilers are so in love with getting a defenseman high in the draft this year, then why not make a deal and move into the top 10 and pick both Yakupov and the defenseman.
    If the Oilers are serious about taking the big step up, next year’s #1 should be on the table too, if that player they want is on the board.

    No. This team is still rebuilding. We don’t need an extra player to get us to the Cup finals.

    Plus next years draft will be quite a bit stronger by the looks of things. This one is considered weak.

    Until the Oilers are contenders they should not be trading their #1 pick next year. They could run into a bunch of injuries, bad managment, or just bad luck. Maybe they finish 28th. Maybe they finish 18th and win the lottery and move to 14th.

    You have to figure the chances of them picking top ten next year are at least 50%.

    Losing out on a Lazar or Macinnon to pick a Reinhart this year may not work out too well.

    Beware the lessons of 2007. They loaded up with three first round picks in a poor draft year.

  59. Jordan says:

    russ99:
    If the Oilers are so in love with getting a defenseman high in the draft this year, then why not make a deal and move into the top 10 and pick both Yakupov and the defenseman.

    If the Oilers are serious about taking the big step up, next year’s #1 should be on the table too, if that player they want is on the board.

    You do not trade next season’s 1st for anything. Especially not picks in this draft.

    2013 has a potential phenom, Nathan MacKinnon. While I’d love to beleive that the Oilers will not be in the lottery again… if Tambi is still in charge I wouldn’t put it past him.

    You do not give up lottery tickets that could be worth billions for lottery tickets that might be worth millions.

    Trading the 2013 1st could be just as terrible long term for the Oilers as trading Phil Kessel for Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight.

    Edit
    Ducey,

    Exactly.
    ….

    I am very glad that the prospect drafting has improved as well. It’s much easier to complain about teams making terrible picks when there is a lot of information to back it up.

    After all, if we didn’t have access to the info now, odds are the Oilers would just draft Murray and give Yak to Montreal or something. While I’m not against Montreal on a philosophical level, I would t be a little pissed if he went there and the Oilers got an “okay+” player to Montreal’s benefit.

    They’ve had enough gifts for a long, long time.

  60. Captain Obvious says:

    The scouting reports on Ryan Murray sound like Wade Redden with less offense. That’s a good player but nowhere near good enough for the first overall pick.

    There are only two moves here. Take Yakupov or make a F’n’A trade for an elite, entry level D. Subban would be a good target. He’s the one player of that type whose performance is better than his reputation.

    Phoenix will trade Yandle before OEL.

  61. Gerta Rauss says:

    Got some clarification on Justin Schultz. The Ducks have until June 1st to sign him, but if they don’t he won’t become a UFA on June 1st. He become a UFA after he informs Wisconsin that he isn’t returning for his senior year. If he does that prior to the draft, then he’d have to go back in the draft. He likely won’t declare that he is leaving school until the week after the draft, so then he’d be a UFA starting July 1st. There is some other criteria that goes into it, but this seems to be the correct timeline. My info was wrong on the June 1st date. Apologies.

    Gregor has a new article up at ON-above was c/p from his quick hits section…the above was talked about at length around here so I thought I’d post it.
    It sure would be nice to know before the draft if Schultz would sign with the Oilers…I guess we could still trade a piece to Anaheim for his rights if it came down to that.

  62. Mr DeBakey says:

    They could run into …..bad managment

    Yeah, its hard to imagine, but they could.

    If they’re to trade a first pick:
    This is the year
    The place is New Jersy
    And the target is Adam Larsson

  63. Acumen says:

    @Stevezie – As another massive Hamilton fan and an advocate for trading the pick IF IT’S FOR HIM (/him+), I just want to make a note on your point of Hamilton falling to 9th last year and how the same likely wouldn’t have happened with Yak.

    It’s important to note that Yakupov is only 4 months younger than Hamilton, and in terms of developmental years they are the same age. That means that one can look at their seasons THIS year as directly in line with one another. Looking at it in that lens (and the image comes through pretty clearly considering they played in the same league), I would say their years were very comparable and I might even give the edge to Dougie for the rarity of his strengths (6’5 D-men with those instincts who skate that well and put up 1.5 ppg are quite rare!). I see so much Rob Blake in Dougie Hamilton.

    As far as worrying about draft position, I would say that it is kind of arbitrary in this case. Right from the off I was saying that the Isles were ridiculously stupid to pass on him at #5 for Strome, and this season proved it with Hamilton outscoring Strome from the backend (they’re teammates, and Dougie only played 4 more games than Strome, scring 4 more points). Couturier and Hamilton falling past Ottawa and Winnipeg shows that something was simply out of whack last year. If Yakupov were eligible for last years draft I would say his value would have been roughly equal to Couturiers after the year they had, so its conceivable that he would have fallen to the same range.

    Now, having said all that I would like them to just pick Yakupov as I think he’s a great kid and an amazing player, and I really really want to see him and Hall on the ice together. But I have a huge prospect crush on Hamilton and think he would be pretty much fair value if they are going to trade the pick.

    It would be incredibly difficult for the brass to sell the Oilers faithful on the optics of trading the 1st overall for last years 9th overall though.

  64. commonfan14 says:

    Gerta Rauss: The Ducks have until June 1st to sign him, but if they don’t he won’t become a UFA on June 1st.

    So does anyone know exactly what he will be on June 1st? It sounds like he won’t be Ducks property anymore, but also won’t be a UFA. What exactly does that make him, something equivalent to an underage junior player?

    It would be good to know if it will be legal for other teams to start talking to him on June 1st or not. Hard to imagine it would be though.

  65. stevezie says:

    Acumen,

    I’ll give Steve Tambellini credit for one thing: He knows what he ultimately has to sell is winning. I don’t see him not doing something because he couldn’t sell it. His media silence during the Hemsky negotiations in particular make me think he couldn’t care less what fans think, for better or worse.

    One quibble with your reasoning though, while Dougie is only four months older he has an extra season of OHL experience on Nail. I’m sure that was good for a lot.

    Pretty goofy-looking guy too, but I’m willing to look past that.

  66. Acumen says:

    Yeah, that’s definitely something that can’t be overlooked. One also has to take into account the culture schock, language barrier, etc., but just looking at the cross-league comparison I don’t think either one looks greatly superior to the other at the same age.

    And to all the Nail-thumpers, I’m not trying to discredit Yakupov at all – I want us to draft him – I am simply saying that Dougie Hamilton is just as good. Consider, hypothetically, if Hamilton were born on the same day as Ryan Murray (they’re both 93 birthdays, Murray is 3 months and 10 days younger) but his development followed the same path it has with his June birthday. Is he not right there with Yakupov in the first overall discussion in this years draft? Do the Oilers pass on him with the organizational need for D, all things being equal? Pronger was a late birthday in his draft year (’93) and his numbers are actually worse than Dougie’s in the same developmental year. Pronger went 2nd overall after Daigle.

    And as for the looks. Well, when they drafted Hall over pretty-boy Seguin I think the message they wanted to send out loud and clear was that they weren’t drafting for looks ;)

  67. Marc says:

    commonfan14: So does anyone know exactly what he will be on June 1st?It sounds like he won’t be Ducks property anymore, but also won’t be a UFA.What exactly does that make him, something equivalent to an underage junior player?

    It would be good to know if it will be legal for other teams to start talking to him on June 1st or not.Hard to imagine it would be though.

    My reading of clause 8.6(c) of the CBA is that Anaheim retain the exclusive rights to negotiate with him until he tells Wisconsin that he’s not coming back for his senior year, so teams most likely will not be able to talk to him until after the draft.

  68. Ducey says:

    Marc,

    I would think that as Schultz doesn’t become a free agent until July 1, that he can’t talk to any teams until then?

  69. rickithebear says:

    Ducey,

    i think omark watched the last 4 years of oilers games.

  70. spoiler says:

    Closest thing to Murray I can think of in last year’s draft is Brodin.

    Both players are known for their effortless skating, excellent passing and vision, a quiet-feet, no-panic game, and an ability to make defensive reads more mature than their age group. Very brainy defensive game with plus skating. Both are a little short on size, physicality and offense.

  71. TigerUnderGlass says:

    Marc: My reading of clause 8.6(c) of the CBA is that Anaheim retain the exclusive rights to negotiate with him until he tells Wisconsin that he’s not coming back for his senior year, so teams most likely will not be able to talk to him until after the draft.

    This is incorrect. As per 8.6(c)(ii), this will be the fourth June 1 since his draft so Anaheim loses exclusive negotiating rights after June 1.

    On another note – Can someone tell me which part of the CBA talks about college players reentering the draft? I’d like to read it but I don’t want to take the time to go looking for it.

  72. DSF says:

    TigerUnderGlass: This is incorrect. As per 8.6(c)(ii), this will be the fourth June 1 since his draft so Anaheim loses exclusive negotiating rights after June 1.

    On another note – Can someone tell me which part of the CBA talks about college players reentering the draft? I’d like to read it but I don’t want to take the time to go looking for it.

    It doesn’t exist.

    Which sends the esteemed “barrister on training wheels” Steve Smith into paroxysm’s of angst.

    As you accurately noted, the CBA deals only with what happens when a college player reaches the age of 22 and hasn’t been signed by the team that drafted him.

    It says nothing about what happens next.

    Why didn’t the dog bark?

    It’s a loophole in the CBA that was exploited by Blake Wheeler and now by Justin Shultz.

  73. spoiler says:

    DSF: It doesn’t exist.

    Which sends the esteemed “barrister on training wheels” Steve Smith into paroxysm’s of angst.

    As you accurately noted, the CBA deals only with what happens when a college player reaches the age of 22 and hasn’t been signed by the team that drafted him.

    It says nothing about what happens next.

    Why didn’t the dog bark?

    It’s a loophole in the CBA that was exploited by Blake Wheeler and now by Justin Shultz.

    Yes, it does exist. The CBA specifically refers to players of that age group being draft eligible.

  74. TigerUnderGlass says:

    spoiler,

    Can you tell me where? Players from college are treated differently than everyone else. Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t see anything about it.

  75. Magnus says:

    jb: There’s no legit rumors or leaked info here… That I’m sure of. I’m going to guess this drama was fabricated by the MSM to generate Oiler “news” in the off-season?

    This is exactly it. The team has said it would entertain offers for the 1st pick… same as the past 2 years. Other than that, the only thing lending any weight to the rumors is the choice of Murray to join the WHC team. But when you think about it rationally, I find this to be little more than due diligence. Murray is probably on Edmonton’s top 5 list and they wanted to get a better look at him. I have no doubt that if Yakupov or Galchenyuk were Canadian, they would have invited them as well. Having said that, nothing about Murray’s play at the WHC has supported the argument to choose him at #1.

    This whole idea of the Oilers “having to choose a defenceman at #1 or trade down to choose a defenceman because that’s where the team is weak” is a creation by the mainstream media, this site included. Yet, I have yet to see a valid, logical reason why it would be in the team’s best interest to do so.

    Lowetide: You may have Yakupov ranked number one, yet you have promoted the idea of the team picking Murray over Yakupov several times.

  76. Wolfpack says:

    I can’t shake the feeling that Ryan Murray is Eric Brewer. I remember Brewer, a 5th overall pick, as being a smooth-skating d-man who everyone believed would develop his offence in the NHL but it never really happened. Brewer has had a long career and has played in the top-pairing for a lot of that time (mostly on poor teams) but I am guessing that we’d all be disappointed if Ryan Murray contributed at the same level as Eric Brewer.

    I am tired of hearing Stauffer suggest the Oilers will trade down and get Luke Schenn. I would be very unhappy with that outcome. I just hope they draft Yakupov and work out someting on the side for help on defence.

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