OKC BARONS RE WINNERS AND LOSERS (WINGERS)

It was an outstanding year for the OKC Barons. Oiler fans can expect to see the results in our town beginning this fall and spreading out over the next several seasons. Who were the big winners and losers?

WINNERS!

  1. Phil Cornet. Expectation: 60+ games and 30+ points in  OKC. Delivery: 67, 24-13-37. Cornet was the biggest surprise in OKC this season, and there were a lot of contenders. Cornet’s very fast start (15 goals in his first 23 games) earned him an NHL callup. His chances of making the Oilers on a skill line are not high, but no one in the organization did more in the minors to improve their standing on the depth chart.
  2. Teemu Hartilainen. Expectation: If he stays all year in the minors, 25 goals is a reasonable expectation.Delivery: 51, 14-18-32. Hartikainen was on pace for 20+ goals despite injury and callup, and he closed well enough to have earned strong consideration for the NHL next year. Jim Byers (OKC pbp man) told me yesterday the Big Finn was Paajarvi’s equal based on performance.
  3. Hunter Tremblay. Expectation: 50+ games.Delivery: 68, 16-15-31. Tremblay is an older prospect but certainly put himself on the prospect map with a strong 2-way season. His 5 shorthanded goals are impressive, and his injury during the playoffs coincided with the club’s first three game losing streak in ages.
  4. Magnus Paajarvi. Expectation:NHL all year.Delivery: 34, 7-18-25. Paajarvi’s best arrow this season was his attitude. Lost in the NHL shuffle and losing confidence, he embraced the demotion and played his best hockey in the final 10 games of the playoffs (10, 2-8-10). Very dangerous because of speed and with good passing skills, Paajarvi’s shot and release will need work if he’s going to play on a scoring line in the NHL.
  5. Lennart Petrell. Expection 40 points in a full AHL season. Delivery: 9, 2-2-4. Petrell was so impressive to the eye on the penalty kill and forecheck the club kept him in the NHL all season. I’m not certain how much he helped–math suggests a mixed result–but Petrell got a tremendous amout out of his season.

GOOD GRADES

  • Ryan Keller: After topping 30 goals two years in a row, Keller’s total fell to 21 but he led the team in scoring. After being captain of the 2011 Calder Cup winning team, his post-season in 2012 was well off his previous levels. However, he is certainly a quality player at this level.
  • Antti Tyrvainen: Tyrvainen started slowly but came on strong as the year wore on. Todd Nelson: “From the start of the season, we knew he (Tyrvainen) had the skills. He plays an abrasive style. He’s playing with confidence now and has good chemistry with his linemates (Lander and House).”
  • Tyler Pitlick: I had him pegged for 12-15 goals and he fell below it. However, as spring arrived Pitlick’s play improved and he was outstanding for the first four games of the postseason. Jury is still out, but he showed enough this season to be considered a quality prospect for NHL play.
  • Cameron Abney: In the RE series I suggested any AHL games for Abney would be progress and he made it into 14 of them. His 24pims are worthy of note, and -1 is also a pretty good number for his player type. I have no idea how the Oilers feel about his progress.

FAILING GRADE

  • Curtis Hamilton: I suggested 20 goals in a complete AHL season would be reasonable. Hamilton was injured for much of the season, but 5 goals in 41 games is disappointing. Without having seen him play it’s difficult to identify the problem, and maybe he could have turned it around ala Pitlick if he’d been healthy all year. All that said, whatever his issue the 12-13 AHL season will need to be much better if he’s going to regain his status as a quality NHL prospect.
  • Oilers: For not showcasing Linus Omark in the NHL–or even better for not giving him a legit shot–they are now left to watch him walk away for a depth pick or less. Awful, awful asset management. Just putrid.
  • Ryan Martindale: I had him as a player to follow this season, but 16, 0-2-2 wasn’t much to follow. Martindale is well off the pace and there were some warning signs in his draft bio. Like Hamilton, a strong second pro season will be vital.

Up next in the series: Centers.

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47 Responses to "OKC BARONS RE WINNERS AND LOSERS (WINGERS)"

  1. jake70 says:

    Putrid is being generous in describing Omark’s handling IMO. Am curious though, has Omark tweeted anything since the time of “live to show the two” statement, even a good luck to his OKC “teammates”?

    Bohologo, “body of work” likely got Hemsky 5M x 2yrs a couple of months ago (and good for Hemmer, hope he rebounds and kicks ass next year).

  2. DSF says:

    Bohologo:
    How the hell am I supposed to think about hockey when you keep posting pictures of the twins?

    My answer for the holes question (cut it out, you guys in the back): there’s just one, really.

    The most significant hole the Oilers have is not a lineup hole (although these remain, of a nontrivial nature), but in the front office.

    This front office is big on the phrase “body of work,” and regardless of when Steve Tambellini finally started calling the shots, or even if he still isn’t, the Oilers lack an elite GM, based on what we have seen.

    There’s your hole.

    Now, back to the twins.

    This is pretty much all you need to know.

    In the cap world, which teams are successful and which aren’t is pretty much a function of the General Manager’s competence.

    You see guys like Lombardi, Lamourello, Tallon, Chiarelli, Maloney, Gillis, Holland, Sather, Holmgren and Shero building teams that are long term competitive while the remainder of the team execs scramble to find the formula.

    Needing to resort to a scorched earth rebuild is just a sign of desperation.

    Hell, even guys like Bryan Murray and McPhee can keep their teams in the hunt.

  3. speeds says:

    Here’s an interesting Grigorenko article, with a bit of Oilers info near the end:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=632917

  4. Lowetide says:

    Great find, speeds. Grigorenko is interesting, as is Galchenyuk. Hell with all these injuries someone might get the best player at 6.

  5. eidy says:

    my favorite part,

    “Edmonton asked me this question,” he said with a smile. “They asked me, me or Yakupov? I said Yakupov is an amazing player, and for sure it depends on them, but I can say that I’m a player who can play with the team, I’m a team player. I will do everything the coach will tell me to do.”

    I’m still hoping Yakupov is the one to beat

  6. loganoil says:

    Thanks for the article Speeds,

    I hope the Oilers choose Yakupov, but with the latest article from Jim Matheson,
    my hope slowly fades.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/99/6685626/story.html

  7. Lowetide says:

    Loganoil: the line that struck me in that Matty article was Matheson writing that “I know MacGregor likes Murray a lot.”

    I think they believe they are looking Scott Niedermayer 2.0 in the face. Helluva player to pass up, if that’s what you believe. The questions I have are:

    1. Are the scouts in agreement on Murray or Yakupov? By that I mean are they all convinced one or the other is the guy?
    2. Does Stu MacGregor feel the same way?
    3. Will Lowe and Tambellini veto their choice?

    At some level we’re talking about some kind of disconnect because all of the little tells we Oiler fans look for (and have been trained by the Oilers to look for) says “this isn’t Nail country.”

    doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but I very much doubt we see the Tyler/Taylor airplane rides to meet the folks and the lovely jet ride home with Tambellini and Lowe.

  8. jfry says:

    @lt, i’m curious how concerned they are with the purported 28 mins games for yakupov. i can’t imagine that as a 16 yr he was playing such huge minutes. before the injury he was putting up crosby lite numbers. even if u reduce those pre wjc numbers by 25 percent he’s still the pick of the crop. i don’t think a 17 yr old forcing himself onto the ice is as big a concern as a 19 yo doing the same

  9. loganoil says:

    I think the last clue we Oilers fans will get, will be how the Oilers PR
    covers the Combine.
    In 2010, it was all about Hall and Seguin.
    Last Year, it was only RNH, hardly a peep about Landeskog or Larsson.
    This Year? If it’s only Murray then we have a winner, but if it’s balanced between
    Yakupov, Murray, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, it’s anyone’s guess.

  10. jfry says:

    there were the same isues being mentioned with rnh’s pp numbers last year. turns out his junior coach rode the 17 yo for good reason.

  11. Lowetide says:

    jfry:
    @lt, i’m curious how concerned they are with the purported 28 mins games for yakupov. i can’t imagine that as a 16 yr he was playing such huge minutes. before the injury he was putting up crosby lite numbers. even if u reduce those pre wjc numbers by 25 percent he’s still the pick of the crop. i don’t think a 17 yr old forcing himself onto the ice is as big a concern as a 19 yo doing the same

    Well he also wasn’t playing with a superior team, so that’s a factor too. I really wish we could get the TOI totals because it’s a huge item. 50 home runs in 500 at-bats is a monster season, but in 1,000? Not so much.

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    Niedermayer didn’t go #1 in his draft year, and wouldn’t in a re-draft either.

    BPA; and it is not him.

  13. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    Niedermayer didn’t go #1 in his draft year, and wouldn’t in a re-draft either.

    BPA; and it is not him.

    I agree. BPA is Yakupov.

  14. franksterra says:

    Yak is BPA. I think we should take Yak. Am preparing myself for us not taking Yak. Trying to think of scenarios where we gain other good asset(s) to offset lack of Yak when we take Murray. We’d only trade down to 2nd or 3rd max, so what, a 3rd rounder, or good-but-not-great prospect? Yuck. Lack of Yak.

    If it’s a trade with the BJs, make it a bigger one that also lands Johansen or Tyutin.

  15. godot10 says:

    LMHF#1:
    Niedermayer didn’t go #1 in his draft year, and wouldn’t in a re-draft either.

    BPA; and it is not him.

    Why wouldn’t Niedermayer go 1st in a redraft? Lindros’s and Forberg’s careers were severely shorted by injury. Niedermayer won multiple cups for multiple organizations. Long healthy career. 500 hundred more career games (60 something % more games) of an elite top defensemen than injury-riddled career shortened centres?

  16. godot10 says:

    Pittsburgh has blown their dynasty with two failed pricey free agent defensive acquisitions in Martin and Michalek.

    Tallon may have effed himself in Florida like he did in Chicago, since Jovanoski’s contract may make it impossible for him to afford Garrison.

    When has the great white whale every landed in Edmonton via unrestricted free agency.

    Betting the entire rebuild on the premise that one can neglect the defence hoping and praying that the white whale UFA defensemen (and be the right ones) will come is a high risk strategy too.

  17. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Tallon may have effed himself in Florida like he did in Chicago, since Jovanoski’s contract may make it impossible for him to afford Garrison.

    FLA has 16 players signed for next year with 23.6MM in cap space.

    Significant RFA’s are Wolski (they let him walk), Versteeg (probably $4MMish), Kulikov ($2.5MMish) and Ellerby ($1.5MMish)

    So that would be 19 players signed with 15.6MM left in cap space.

    The cap is going up as well.

    I have no idea what their internal budget is.

    If they want to spend to the cap they can afford Garrison.

    I’m sure they’d prefer Garrison for the next 3 years at $4.15MM than Jovocop though.

    Terrible contract and a 35+ to boot.

  18. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    Tallon may have effed himself in Florida like he did in Chicago, since Jovanoski’s contract may make it impossible for him to afford Garrison.

    FLA has 16 players signed for next year with 23.6MM in cap space.

    Significant RFA’s are Wolski (they let him walk), Versteeg (probably $4MMish), Kulikov ($2.5MMish) and Ellerby ($1.5MMish)

    So that would be 19 players signed with 15.6MM left in cap space.

    The cap is going up as well.

    I have no idea what their internal budget is.

    If they want to spend to the cap they can afford Garrison.

    I’m sure they’d prefer Garrison for the next 3 years at $4.15MM than Jovocop though.

    Terrible contract and a 35+ to boot.

    The cap is expected to be $68M+ next season.

    That would leave Florida with around $28M in cap space with 16 players under contract.

    They’ll walk away from Samuelsson, Sturm and Madden most likely.

    So, if Kulikov gets $3M, Ellerby gets $2M, Versteeg gets $4M, they have $19M left to sign 3 players one of which will likely be goalie Markstrom who has a cap hit of $1.3M.

    Considering they’ll likely also be adding Huberdeau, Howden and Robak on ELC’s, I think they’ll be alright.

    If there is an amnesty in the next CBA, you can bet Jovo is bought out and Bob’s your uncle.

  19. godot10 says:

    DSF: The cap is expected to be $68M+ next season.

    That would leave Florida with around $28M in cap space with 16 players under contract.

    They’ll walk away from Samuelsson, Sturm and Madden most likely.

    So, if Kulikov gets $3M, Ellerby gets $2M, Versteeg gets $4M, they have $19M left to sign 3 players one of which will likely be goalie Markstrom who has a cap hit of $1.3M.

    Considering they’ll likely also be adding Huberdeau, Howden and Robak on ELC’s,I think they’ll be alright.

    If there is an amnesty in the next CBA, you can bet Jovo is bought out and Bob’s your uncle.

    The league cap isn’t the issue in Florida. What Florida’s internal cap might be is. How much money is Florida’s owner willing to lose?

    Florida has more than enough cap room for Garrison. The question is does the Florida owner have enough money for Garrison.

    Maybe the cap floor goes up enough that they have to spend on Garrison to get to the cap floor. i.e. Maybe the cap floor goes up enough that Florida can offer Garrison more than anybody else. i.e. like with Campbell, the salary doesn’t really matter, since they needed to reach the cap floor. Jovanoski’s multiyear 35+ contract didn’t matter because Florida is not a cap team, so if Jovanoski retires, so much the better having the cap dollars hanging around on the books to help you get to the cap floor.

  20. Maverick says:

    speeds,

    Nice article on the big Russian. Makes things a little more interesting in a few short weeks. Yakupov, Galchenyuk and Grigorenko, pretty interesting bunch, might come down to the best interview, as it did with Hall, great line from Oil Change, Hall in the doorway saying I just want to be drafted by them. Great kid!

    The journal article however, scares the crap out of me. My problem with the whole drafting Ryan Murray is he is a 18 almost 19 year old kid who they are hoping will help an NHL team right now to get better and into the playoffs. Just shows how badly run the NHL pro scouting staff and the GM is at strengthen the NHL roster. An established NHL defenseman is needed for this team to succeed now not a 19 year old rookie defenseman who is still learning who he is as a person at that age, plus learning how to play defense at the NHL level.

    Murray may become Niedermayer lite but not for 3-5 years, he is no Pronger or Doughty and that is my issue. If the Oilers were a 20th place team that needed a young player to come in and contribute as a 5-6th defenseman and strengthen that position, great!! But that is not this team, pick a forward with offensive ability, trade one of the established young forwards with NHL experience in a package to get a NHL real defenseman. Another bottom 5 finish in 2012-2013 is a absolute failure and how long before the fans begin to turn up the heat.

  21. godot10 says:

    Maverick,

    I have yet to see anyone arguing for just Murray. As perhaps the biggest and perhaps the only Team Murray guy around, I have been advocating for Murray AND Garrison AND Schultz, and if Schultz fails to materializes someone else. 2 more D PLUS Murray.

    Taylor commanded “Fix the defense”. That is what the Oilers should do.

  22. stevezie says:

    godot10: Why wouldn’t Niedermayer go 1st in a redraft?Lindross’s and Forberg’s careers were severely shorted by injury.Niedermayer won multiple cups for multiple organisations.Long healthy career.500 hundred more career games (60 something % more games) of an elite top defensemen than injury-riddled career shortened centres?

    I’m glad you asked. I agree that Niedermayer had the superior career of the three, but if we’re drafting the 17 year-old player not their career, I would still take Lindross 1st overall, and it isn’t even remotely close. Two reasons:
    1.Eric Lindross was dominant from game 1 on. There was no investment of time to develop him. When drafting you want to maximize what you’re going to get in between the rookie season and UFA (why should Jersey care about Scott’s Anaheim cups?). Granted Niedermayer was excellent right away, but Lindross was better.
    2. Lindross was the best player in the world for awhile there. Niedermayer is a hall-of-famer, but he was never the best player in the world. I can’t turn down that ceiling. Full credit to Niedermayer for his cups, but he played on one of the league’s two best-run franchises; Lindross dragged Ron Hextall to the finals.

    Forsberg vs. Niedermayer is a pretty interesting conversation. I lean toward Forsberg for all the reasons listed above, but admit it’s a little closer.

  23. stevezie says:

    godot10:
    Maverick,

    I have yet to see anyone arguing for just Murray.As perhaps the biggest and perhaps the only Team Murray guy around, I have been advocating for Murray AND Garrison AND Schultz, and if Schultz fails to materializes someone else.2 more D PLUS Murray.

    Taylor commanded “Fix the defense”.That is what the Oilers should do.

    What he really commanded was “make the team better”. He won’t be mad if the defence remains the same but we still win the cup. Someday when Hall is GM he can make specific moves, but for now “make the team better” is it.

    Obviously you’re right, we do need to improve the defence, but I’m not sure that drafting Murray will make or break that mission. You love his scouting report and the likelihood that he’ll be an impact player in the next three years a lot more than I do.

  24. jake70 says:

    Rob (sugarnipples or whatever you guys call him..lol) Schremp sitting with Cory Perry at the Memorial Cup final.

  25. Lowetide says:

    tits. Sugartits.

  26. bookje says:

    I like Grigorenko a lot – perhaps even enough to consider him as the first overall.

  27. jake70 says:

    Lowetide:
    tits. Sugartits.

    Lol, thanks for the clarification. I actually knew that but Mom is looking over my shoulder. And I made a mistake….it’s the MASTERCARD Memorial Cup final.

  28. DSF says:

    godot10: The league cap isn’t the issue in Florida.What Florida’s internal cap might be is.How much money is Florida’s owner willing to lose?

    Florida has more than enough cap room for Garrison.The question is does the Florida owner have enough money for Garrison.

    Maybe the cap floor goes up enough that they have to spend on Garrison to get to the cap floor.i.e. Maybe the cap floor goes up enough that Florida can offer Garrison more than anybody else.i.e. like with Campbell, the salary doesn’t really matter, since they needed to reach the cap floor.Jovanoski’s multiyear 35+ contract didn’t matter because Florida is not a cap team, so if Jovanoski retires, so much the better having the cap dollars hanging around on the books to help you get to the cap floor.

    Getting to the second round of the playoffs would easily offset Garrison’s contract.

  29. Bar_Qu says:

    bookje,

    im disappointed there isn’t the standard “they will talk lots and then call Yak” response here, bookje. I’ve come to rely on you as my anchor for hope! ;-)

  30. Lowetide says:

    jake70: Lol, thanks for the clarification.I actually knew that but Mom is looking over my shoulder. And I made a mistake….it’s the MASTERCARD Memorial Cup final.

    Oh, geez. Tell her I’m sorry. I blame Dennis. :-)

  31. PDO says:

    Godot,

    You don’t fix the defense with 18 year olds.

    Amazingly, they can fix the defense AND take the BPA.

    Yakupov’s numbers at 16 are better than Hall’s were. Passing him up is beyond asinine.

  32. Ducey says:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/71795/edmonton-oilers-prospects-go-deep-into-the-post-season/

    Not much new here but it does say that Blain and Davidson are expected to sign with VDV and Harsky noted for their playoff play.

    Good news if true.

  33. PDO says:

    Bohologo,

    Agreed on all points.

    Oiler’s D can be fixed by adding two quality top 4 guys. I personally think that the need for 30 minute/night D is overrated, and I actually dislike it a bit just because D get hurt so often and you rely so heavily on those guys. I’d rather have 6 really good D than 1 stud, 3 good D, and 2 plugs.

    Justin Schultz might be a top 4 guy off the bat. Is he? I have no idea, but there are guys with way more hockey knowledge than me that have seen him play extensively and are comparing him to guys like Doughty and Niedermayer. So there’s one..

    Then grab a 30 year old stay-at-home guy to flush it out. I like Jackman, but there’s about 5 or 6 guys of his calibre available.

    Smid – Whitney
    J. Schultz – Jackman
    N. Schultz – Petry

    Or whatever combination works. But there’s not a “weak” pairing there. Sutton is #7 and Teddy Peckham #8, send Potter to OKC to be the #1 D… and I guarantee all 9 of them play at some point anyway.

  34. Maverick says:

    godot10:
    Maverick,

    I have yet to see anyone arguing for just Murray.As perhaps the biggest and perhaps the only Team Murray guy around, I have been advocating for Murray AND Garrison AND Schultz, and if Schultz fails to materializes someone else.2 more D PLUS Murray.

    Taylor commanded “Fix the defense”.That is what the Oilers should do.

    LT,
    If possible after the upcoming posts of Centers and then Defense and Goaltending could you please do a quick NHL roster and non-roster depth chart. The reason for my request is that you are very much respected and your opinion does carry some weight. With a visual list of depth at position it may provide a little help for some to see exactly what and where the holes in the roster are now and where the lack of depth is and projected to be in two years.

    If I get a chance today I will do the same. The lack of offensive prospects depth is why I would be drafting one of Yakupov, Galchenyuk or Grigorenko instead of Murray.

    Just an early morning suggestion :)

  35. SoxandOil says:

    2 things that jumped out at me from Matty’s article.

    First time i’ve read something saying Murray could play in the NHL next year. Yikes. He looked like he was over his head in the deep end at the WC’s.

    And if the Rangers make Dubinski available he’s a player that the Oilers could surely use.

  36. Ribs says:

    Matheson getting some good stuff these days. Has he made some new connections? Or is Lowe becoming a lot more involved these days?

    “I do not buy the theory that you can’t take a defenceman early in the draft because they take too long (to develop to get to the NHL). Did Scott Niedermayer? Did Chris Pronger? Did Drew Doughty? It is a harder position to learn, but maybe we’re in a good position (as a team) for a young guy to learn,” said MacGregor.

    That’s a tough quote to swallow. Murray doesn’t look to have the offense of any of those guys.

  37. Moose says:

    Justin Schultz update, rumors that he’s already chose the Leafs (Ducks might file tampering charges). Read here: http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/2012/5/26/3045122/schultz-watch-update-ducks-preparing-tampering-charges

  38. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I read the Matheson article with the opposite reaction as everyone else I guess.

    The MB: “I’m working on it in my mind. Yeah, OK, I’ve got a pretty good idea.”
    MacGregor swears Tambellini hasn’t told him yet if they should be drafting by position….

    The MB doesn’t slag Yakupov at all, and seems to have no concerns. Seems pretty clear-cut to him and if that’s the case Yakupov is the only clear-cut #1.

    The only pro-Murray part in that piece was Matheson trying to add to the drama by talking about Stu liking Murray. He does it right after the MB states he has a good idea and shapes the rest of the interview around that premise – but everything from Stu’s mouth reads Yakupov IMO.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Pick three times in the draft 1st – check.

    Add Eberle, as good as the rest – check.

    Abject fail to provide adequate protection to said young talent, leaving it to the mercy of the opposition.

    Lordy.

  40. stevezie says:

    The big difference between this year and the last two is the fear. Even the most virulent Seguin, Larsson or Landeskog supporters knew that RNH and Hall would be great, and there was really no way to go that wrong. This year? I am sensing a genuine fear that we could somehow screw this up and ruin everything. I’m describing myself, by the way. You’ve got to admire Murray’s scouting report, but looking at his numbers and the history of drafting D and the fact that we are not a strong enough team to afford a miss and I am nervous.

    If we draft Murray I will jump on board, because who knows? But man, I’m hoping to hear something Russian.

  41. spoiler says:

    Martindale’s ECHL numbers may be even more damning.

    Played half the games available during a year where Kytnar bailed, and scored at less than a 0.5 ppg pace.

    The lad needs an epiphany or it’s flameout city.

  42. Ivan says:

    stevezie:
    The big difference between this year and the last two is the fear. Even the most virulent Seguin, Larsson or Landeskog supporters knew that RNH and Hall would be great, and there was really no way to go that wrong. This year? I am sensing a genuine fear that we could somehow screw this up and ruin everything. I’m describing myself, by the way. You’ve got to admire Murray’s scouting report, but looking at his numbers and the history of drafting D and the fact that we are not a strong enough team to afford a miss and I am nervous.

    If we draft Murray I will jump on board, because who knows? But man, I’m hoping to hear something Russian.

    I agree with the “fear” idea. Reading the Hockey News draft issue and seeing some of the truly awful choices made by the Oilers in the 90′s, I think I’d be looking to go with Murray as the “safe pick”, hopefully by trading down a pick or two and picking up another asset. It’s doubtful that he will have a serious impact in the next year or two, but I still fear the spectre of the KHL hanging over Yakupov- it would have to be pretty tempting for him.
    I’m glad I don’t have to make the call…..

  43. VOR says:

    This is actually a weird year. With all of the top ranked players there are serious questions that need answering (TOI, illness, injury, heart, size, offensive upside, transferability of game) which has to make the scouts and the fans of all the teams picking early nervous. However, for the first seven draft picks you see the same names though not always the same order. Scouts and GMs are usually cautious and Yakupov, Murray, Galchenyuk, Reilly, Dumba, Forsberg, and Girgorenko will likely be the top seven though who knows in what order. After that I think there is a remarkable amount of uncertainty. Because of the uncertainty and risk I believe if they don’t trade the #1 OV the Oilers will pick Yakupov. The Oilers drafting has been pretty conservative for the first two rounds under MB.

    Actually, the Oilers first pick in the second round could be quite a tell for the organization. By that point the uncertainty will be so high that the concept of BPA goes out the window and organizational aspirations might well become apparent. I should point out that most ranking lists are now saying Samuelsson will be gone by then. Otherwise it would probably be a slam dunk. What will be left is a collection of guys with one or two elite tools and we will get a direct look at which skill sets the Oilers value most. Normally at that stage there would still be some degree of consensus – not this year. The delta in the lists just explodes by pick 31.

    LT has pointed out over at ON that the Oilers really like combine kids (a lot). He has even taken a stab at guessing which ones might interest the Oilers. http://oilersnation.com/2012/5/4/combine-list-released

    Of the players he has has identified Mitchell Moroz, Stefan Matteau,Tanner Pearson, Colton Sissons, Mike Winther, and Jimmy Vesey are most likely to still be available at the top of the second round. Narrowing it down like that, who would they pick? Of course both Matteau and Sissons could be gone by then, which sort of makes my point about the amount of uncertainty by the time you reach 31 OV having exploded. The way things are going Gaunce could fall that far as might some other big names. I am with Ivan, glad I don’t have Stu’s job.

  44. stevezie says:

    Ivan,

    I could live with them being cautious and trading down to take Murray. I would be pretty shaken if they try him at number one though.

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