2013 DRAFT POST 12: OILERS TOP 30 PROSPECTS (UPDATED)

The Edmonton Oilers once again graduated elite NHL talent this past season, with #1 prospect (Nail Yakupov) and #2 prospect (Justin Schultz) making their debuts. Added to 2010-11 graduates Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark and Jeff Petry and 2011-12 graduates RNH and Anton Lander the Oilers have an insane group of young talents in a cluster.

This is a quick spring update of the current list that takes out the graduates and re-sets the list with areas of strength and weakness in the system being the focus. This list is the update from my winter top 20 on this blog and is not related to the one I do at ON (slightly different).

  1. (3) D Oscar Klefbom: Impressive 2-way defender who fits the modern game. Good skater, physical and willing to jump into the play. Decision making has improved since draft day, injuries are a concern. Klefbom’s SEL totals (67, 3-4-7) give us an NHLE (82, 3-4-7) that suggests stay-at-home type. However, Euro leagues throw around second assists as often as I buy lunch, so that’s perhaps an unfair projection. Safe to say we should not expect a 20-point rookie season in the NHL. Based on MacT’s quotes after taking over the big job we should expect him to make a push for the big league roster this fall and he could graduate this list by next summer.  Corey Pronman: ”NHL GM on newly signed Oscar Klefbom. “Physically mature, great skater. Projects to play against best players and some offense.”
  2. (4) D Martin Marincin: It’s been awhile since the Oilers had a defender play this well in the AHL debut. Marincin’s arrows are strong now–he’s healthy, has started to add weight for the pro game (AHL has him 6.05 196) and his boxcars (69, 7-23-30) and NHLE (82, 4-12-16) suggest he’ll bring some offense to the show–although playing with Justin Schultz padded his numbers. However, his point total in the playoffs was on par with regular season point-per-game. Should be the second member of the maligned 2010 draft to make the NHL. Todd Nelson: “His body has to mature (187 at the time). As long as his body keeps maturing, he’ll be able to sustain the game at the NHL level. He’s rangy and green still, but there’s tremendous upside. Everybody is looking for 6-foot-5 defencemen with offensive ability. I think he has great opportunity to see games in the NHL.”
  3. (6) D Martin Gernat: Overcame injury to have a nice season (WHL reg/playoffs combined: 45, 9-21-30, NHLE 82, 5-11-16) and is probably the most talented offensively of the ‘big three’ defenders who sit atop the prospect tree for the Oilers currently. Gernat has been a pleasure to watch as an Oil King, adding parts of his game as he matured. Fans in OKC will see a ‘riverboat gambler’ similar to Marincin (and with a similar mean streak that appears from time to time) and a player who will play in the NHL (should he make it) as a mobile 2-way defender. I spoke to an NHL scout about him (an eastern conference team) and he told me Gernat’s game has developed well defensively, his footspeed and size will be his pro calling cards and we should not expect a lot his offense to come with him to pro hockey. Remains a possible late round gem.
  4. (7) C Jujhar Khaira: An ‘ultimate sleeper’ pick by Redline before the draft, Khaira (according to Redline) “does the dirty work in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking ability.” His boxcars (37, 6-19-25) and NHLE (82, 5-18-23) show nice improvement year over year and his range of skills makes him the top forward prospect in the system as we head to the draft. Khaira has gotten bigger (now listed at 6.03, 198–he was 182 at the combine) and his arrows are heading in a very good direction.
  5. (26) L Toni Rajala: I don’t recall moving a prospect up by 21 spots before, but then again Rajala’s had a tremendous season. He’s listed at 5.10, 163 which probably means he’s 5.07, 150. His OKC boxcars (46, 17-28-45) and NHLE (82, 13-22-35) are so impressive (and his playoff was too, as we discussed yesterday) I just can’t find a way to keep him outside the top 5. I have him behind Khaira because his road to the NHL is blocked and he is not guaranteed a second chance with another NHL organization (no draft pedigree). Cheering like hell for him, though.
  6. (10) D Dillon Simpson: This is such a nice player. Now 6.02, 200 and is playing a feature role on a strong NCAA club at age 20. He has one more year with UND and then will turn pro, and I’m having a hard time keeping him out of the conversation with the top 3 D in the system (above). The skating issues are no longer mentioned, his size is certainly not going to be a problem and his offense (boxcars: 42, 5-19-24; NHLE: 82, 4-15-19) have him near the top of the Oilers D prospect table offensively. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that Simpson hurt his draft number in 2010-11 by playing in the NCAA. The skating issue looked more pronounced against older players and he didn’t get the PP push he’d enjoyed in Spruce Grove. The Oilers got him in the 4th round in 2011, he’s a much better prospect now.
  7. (NR) D Anton Belov. Russian defender who can skate and move the puck. There are questions about his defensive ability so this ranking is a guess, but his KHL numbers (46, 9-17-26) and his NHLE (82, 13-25-38) suggest he could have a major impact on the offense this season. 26 years old and 6.04, 216.
  8. (18) D Taylor Fedun: He played a feature role with the Barons this year and has been top 4D all down the line. I don’t know where he fits long term, but he is certainly in the mix for immediate NHL employment (depending on how active the club is going to be this summer). He plays in all situations, has improved his footspeed from the fall and his boxcars (70, 8-19-27) and NHLE (82, 4-10-14) suggests he’ll be able to contribute should he get an NHL job.
  9. (12) L Mitchell Moroz: Big, tough winger who played on the shutdown line for the Oil Kings this past season with Travis Ewanyk (and Klarc Wilson, later Edgars Kulda). Moroz had few opportunities to move up the depth chart and play with skill, but showed well in those moments and I think we’ll see his offensive production increase with so many Oil Kings heading out of town beginning this fall. His boxcars (69, 13-21-34) and his NHLE (82, 5-7-12) improved slightly but he’s still tracking with Zack Stortini as an offensive player. At this point, he projects as a fast 4th liner with legit fighting ability and size (6.02, 208). A player to watch this fall, as of now he’s in the ‘enforcer’ family of player types.
  10. (8) D David Musil: It’s all down to skating now. He provides reliable defense featuring an uncanny ability to defuse oncoming sorties, win battles along the wall and in front of the net, to calm the waters–and he delivers it consistently and effectively. However, when David Musil is tired or is matched up against a fleet winger, chaos often ensues.  The same scout who told me about Gernat feels it’ll be an extreme test for Musil beginning this fall and he wondered if Musil would be an every game option. Interesting.
  11. (21) D Brandon Davidson: One of the major surprises this season, has overcome everything in life so I can’t imagine much on the ice will overwhelm him. Took a giant leap later in the season, ending the year on the top pairing for OKC in their playoff run. His boxcars (26, 2-3-5) and NHLE (82, 3-4-7) suggest pure stay at home, but Davidson had more offense in junior, and had a better run in the post-season so there could be more there as we move along. In a season of devastating prospect news on and off the ice, his story is a rainbow.
  12. (25) C Mark Arcobello: Enjoyed an exceptional season, moved past several players and found himself playing with the NHL guys during the lockout. Even more impressive, he maintained the offense when they left, finishing in the top 3 in both regular season and playoff scoring in the entire AHL. Arcobello’s signing a 2-way contract with the Oilers tells us he’s arrived and is a part of the future in OKC, and maybe in Edmonton too. Impressive career progression. Boxcars are incredible (74, 22-46-68) and his NHLE (82, 10-23-33) tells us he’s got enough of a bat to play in the NHL as a replacement level skill player. Best Yale prospect in the system, which didn’t mean a thing until recently.
  13. (NR) C Andrew Miller: Yale C signed as a college free agent this spring, 5.10, 180 and 24 years old, there is a player here. Corey Pronman: center is a classic small, skilled college player. Miller displays above-average qualities in terms of his speed, puck skills and overall offensive instincts. In his Senior season especially he showed the ability to consistently create scoring chances and keep the play flowing in the right direction.” Boxcars at Yale (37, 18-23-41) and NHLE (82, 16-21-37) suggest he has enough offensively to play in the NHL. Interesting prospect.
  14. (9) R Tyler Pitlick: It was a strange season. Here’s what it looked like at OKC TC: Coach Todd Nelson, pre-seasonHe has to play in a top-six role, that’s where we have him slotted. He might play in a line with Josh Green. We’re just kind of looking at things. Tyler Pitlick, we feel that he’s a top-six guy and he’s going to get an opportunity to prove that and play in that role.” Pitlick did nothing with the opportunity and then suffered an injury that cost him much of the season. He does some things that make him unique–bigger body, aggressive, works hard in the corners and he has a very good shot. However, his boxcars (combined reg/playoffs 60, 5-11-16) and NHLE (82, 3-7-10) are miles from normal. This coming season is going to be a major opportunity, I don’t think he gets another contract without showing some offense.
  15. (20) L Daniil Zharkov: One of the more promising offensive players from last season’s draft ran in place in the same league he’d played in at 17. It isn’t catastrophic, but it isn’t a great sign either. Off to Russia, who knows if we’ll see him again. His boxcars from the OHL (59, 25-18-43) and his NHLE (82, 10-8-18) should have been better based on age and experience.
  16. (15) D Joey Laleggia: Undersized skill D who plays for U. Denver, Laleggia’s numbers were off this past season but there’s little doubt he’s an exceptional offensive weapon on the PP. The big question for Laleggia will be how well he can play defense (he’s 5.09, 180) and he’s in the ‘longshot’ area of the top 20 because of it. However, his boxcars (39, 11-18-29) and NHLE (82, 9-16-25) are the strongest offensive numbers among defenders in the system. If he can figure out how to survive in the NHL defensively, Laleggia could be a gift to big league powerplays.
  17. (16) G Olivier Roy: Built on a strong ECHL season in 11-12 with some nice work in the AHL behind Yann Danis, but eventually was sent back to Stockton because of struggles there. Roy found his groove and enjoyed an outstanding season and playoffs. A .902SP in the AHL isn’t going to get the job done, but Roy has earned a season in OKC to showcase his skills.
  18. (NR) R John McCarron: NCAA power winger (6.02, 225) hasn’t found his offensive game but plays a physical style and should adjust well to the pro game. Oilers have two more years (he was a sophomore at Cornell this winter) to make a decision on him. 33, 7-12-19 at Cornell, that’s NHLE 82, 7-12-19 too.
  19. (23) G Frans Tuohimaa: The tall, lean Finnish goalie (6.02, 180) went 13, 2.29 .912 in the SM-Liiga this year and was exceptional in a brief period in the playoffs (2, 0.77 .960). Tuohimaa’s signing by the organization is obviously a clear indication they hold him in some esteem. I am uncertain about the plan for the coming year–will he come to North America?–but he does seem to have a promising future.
  20. (30) D Erik Gustafsson: 49, 7-16-23 +12 in the Allsvenskan (league below SEL). Swedish puck mover had a terrific start and then fell off offensively. Then he caught fire again and went 22, 4-11-15 to end the year–Corey Pronman was impressed with him, saying “has a fair amount of skill and mobility. Several times he showed the ability to be an effective puck carrier who can make impressive plays and be a starting point for offense. He’s a little undersized which won’t help him, but considering that I thought he defended at an ok level as his reads were fine.” Oilers haven’t talked about him, so we have no idea how they feel about him, and considering the sheer number of blue ahead of him on this list we may never see Gustafsson.
  21. (29) L Phil Cornet: Won a skill line job in OKC after the lockout and played well again in that role. His boxcars (46, 15-18-33) and NHLE (82, 12-14-26) suggest he is a ‘tweener’ offensive winger and not likely to make the NHL grade. Certainly has enough skill to hook on with another AHL team and could get a callup or two along the way, but we have seen him for three seasons now and have a good idea about him.
  22. (28) C Ryan Martindale: Part of the 2010 draft, Martindale is still looking for regular work as a pro. Battled injury but also lost playing time this year due to period of ineffective play. His boxcars (41, 6-8-14) and NHLE (82, 5-7-12) aren’t close to good enough and despite size (6.03, 207) no one ever talks about his physical play.
  23. (NR) L Kale Kessy: Big forward with toughness and an ability to agitate/fight. Oilers got him this spring in a deal for Tobias Rieder. Kirk Luedeke had a nice profile of Kessy in his draft year, including a quote from a scout that went like this: “this is a kid who’s legitimately tough. Last year, he’d blast people and then turn around, looking for someone to take him on. And, he fought some guys older than him and more than held his own. He can go.” Kessy is 6.03, 202 and his boxcars (60, 21-22-43) and NHLE (82, 9-9-18) tell us we should expect a 4line pugilist in OKC next year. If he does have more offense as the playoffs implied (15, 11-3-14) he may take Moroz’ slot as the top ranked enforcer in the system.
  24. (14) G Tyler Bunz: The Roy-Bunz race was once touted (by me) as ‘JDD-DD 2.0′ but the second edition is awesome only in the sense of awe on gets watching a train wreck or a car crash. Bunz had a terrible year. 37, 3.35 .886 in Stockton (ECHL), the last Oiler prospect to post that kind of number in Stockton was Bryan Pitton. His junior numbers suggested a better player, we are left to wonder if the concussion issues had a greater impact than expected, or about maturity and the usual issues that derail prospects. Certainly not a player to flush, but he needs to show much better this coming season.
  25. (19) L Curtis Hamilton: Had a poor season and then lost his season to injury. The Oilers are likely tiring of his lack of production, and depending on how his rehab goes there’s a chance Hamilton’s Oiler career is over before it began. His boxcars (61, 5-4-9) and his NHLE (82, 3-2-5) scream NP, but my guess is the Oilers give him one more chance if he’s healthy.
  26. (NR) C Travis Ewanyk: He has struggled with injuries during his junior career, and I don’t think he’s going to score enough to play in the NHL. Oilers have liked him since drafting him and he’s a tough, rugged C who can agitate; but his boxcars (58, 8-15-23) and NHLE (82, 3-7-10) suggest he will not be an NHL player.
  27. (27) C Chris VandeVelde: The longest running prospect in the system (he was drafted in 2005 and turned 26 in March), VV is a depth player who gets a cup of coffee from time to time (up to 27 NHL games now). I don’t know that he’ll be back, but hope he is–VandeVelde plays tough minutes and the PK.
  28. (17) D Colten Teubert: When an NHL team hires a coach to develop talent–as they did with Todd Nelson–and the coach chooses to play 26-year old ECHL callups in front of a highly touted former first round pick–they’re either sending a message or they’ve decided to cut him loose at the next stop. Unless he’s hurt–and he’s apparently healthy–Colten Teubert is in a lot of trouble as an NHL prospect.
  29. (NR) F Kellen Jones: Undersized skill F who hasn’t gotten a lot of mention since draft day, he has one more year before graduating. His boxcars (43, 13-14-27) and his NHLE (82, 10-11-21) suggest he can post some offense but is unlikely to be an NHL player on skill alone. His size (5.09, 165) is also considered a negative.
  30. (NR) R Cameron Abney: Fighter has played only 18 AHL games since turning pro 2 years ago and is unlikely to be part of the organization after his entry level deal expires at the end of the 2013-14 season. He was a feared fighter in junior, I don’t know if injury impacted him or the Oilers felt he would improve as a player, but at this point there’s no way to get him to the NHL from where he is right now.

 NEEDS

  • Center: MacT is right, the Oilers at center are not strong. The current NHL depth chart has youngsters RNH, Gagner and Lander waiting in the wings, but that’s not exactly the 1984 Oilers up the middle. The top C’s on this list are Khaira (#4), Arcobello (#12), Andrew Miller (#13), Martindale (#22), Ewanyk (#26) and VandeVelde (#27). The number of prospects (6) is about right, but the quality just isn’t there. Adding Sean Monahan would be a major item.
  • Goalie: Oilers have no goaltenders with NHL calibre resumes. Olivier Roy (#17), Frans Tuohimaa (#19) and Tyler Bunz (#24) are not tracking as NHL starters and that’s an area of need too. I think most of us believe Edmonton will use one of their 2nd rounders on a goalie (Jarry, Comrie).
  • Left Wing: The top portside option for the Oilers on this list is led by Rajala (#5) with Moroz (#12), Zharkov (#15), Cornet (#21), Kessy (#23), Hamilton (#25) and Jones (#29) following. The organization has devoted two very high selections (Hall, Paajarvi) on the position in recent years, so need only a 2-way type to develop behind them. Rajala’s skills are not a match, and Moroz appears to be more of an enforcer/policeman/4line option. I don’t see the club spending a high pick on this position, but perhaps they will use their second 2nd round selection on one if someone falls to that spot.
  • Right Wing: Starboard is not well represented here and those who do populate the top 30 have not delivered as hoped. Pitlick (#14), McCarron (#18) and Abney (#30) are the extent of the RWers (although several C’s can move over) and I think we should expect Edmonton to draft one or more this time. This position has enjoyed two impact selections (Eberle, Yakupov) in recent years so–like LW–is well covered at the skill positions.
  • Defense: The Oilers have spent much of their draft bullets on defensemen in recent years and that is reflected all over the top 30. I’m not going to list them all, but would point out that 7 of the top 10 on this list are defensemen. Eleven of the 30 names on the list are blueliners. I don’t think the Oilers need to add to the talent pool on D, as the club has all kinds of player types and sizes already in the fold.

Based on need, I think we’ll see Center, Goal and to a lesser extent wing addressed at the draft and over the summer. Craig MacTavish’s words are borne out by the facts: Edmonton is extremely weak at center and in goal.

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54 Responses to "2013 DRAFT POST 12: OILERS TOP 30 PROSPECTS (UPDATED)"

  1. Rondo says:

    Elias Lindholm

    http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=673947

    Nashville Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty’s player synopsis: “He is another very good two-way player,” Kealty said. “He has a very good sense of the game, great vision and good competitiveness. He can make plays on both ends of the ice. He is one of those players that makes guys around him better. He is a real versatile player – for him to be contributing at the level he is in the Swedish Elite League at 18-years old is very impressive.”

  2. blackdog says:

    Love this list, always wonder why no Petry but can’t complain, its free content and if I’m going to complain I should start up my own blog really.

    Striking to me is how thin they are up front. Stacked at D but pretty well nothing but probable fourth liners at F. Of course much of this because their F have all graduated, being number one picks and all but I was still a bit surprised.

    Why no Teemu? He’s still Oiler property, no?

  3. Ducey says:

    Rondo,

    Is he an upgrade on Samwise?

  4. Ducey says:

    blackdog:
    Love this list, always wonder why no Petry but can’t complain, its free content and if I’m going to complain I should start up my own blog really.

    Striking to me is how thin they are up front. Stacked at D but pretty well nothing but probable fourth liners at F. Of course much of this because their F have all graduated, being number one picks and all but I was still a bit surprised.

    Why no Teemu? He’s still Oiler property, no?

    Also no Lander (can’t forget about him – he is still a player) I guess they have 50 NHL games?

  5. Ducey says:

    Also, I agree Hamilton is done. The thing that strikes me is the lack of PIM and shots. He is not really doing anything that would show up in the stats.

  6. sliderule says:

    I think they have to draft centers till they are blue in the face.

    The c&b have an analysis of NHLe for Finnish league that shows it may be weaker than SEL .

    If that’s true it would be better to wait for Monahan or Horvat at seven.

  7. Lowetide says:

    I graduated Yakupov, Schultz the younger, Hartikainen and Lander from the last list. All are either past 50 games or close to doing it. This list will get some additions after the draft and I’ll post that late sunday night June 30 or more likely July 1st.

  8. blackdog says:

    Ah gotcha Ducey/LT, didn’t even think of that, thanks.

  9. rickithebear says:

    Hall-XXX-GAgner
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    MP-XXX-Yakupov

    BD: luckily after this draft it is likely about filling 3c (khaira) and 9-12

    It is striking that an Aggitator that project 15EVG 15EVA since his 16 year old season
    is Below Pitlick who’s last two years say 4G 9A.

  10. admiralmark says:

    Seems like a well laid out internal assessment that concludes moving some D prospect(s) and possibly draft picks in order to land Barkov would be the prudent way to go here? Monahan or Lindholm would be great.. But I think Barkov is the only draft eligible one of the 3 that should play in the NHL next season.

  11. Zack says:

    Just throwing it out there… LT would you trade Eberle + #7OV to Florida if Mackinnon was available at #2OV? What do you think of the value there? Too much, too little? As much as I’d hate to see Ebs leave I think it definitely addresses center and develops at good 1-2 punch for years to come. However I’d much rather see a power-forward on that second line on the wing somewhere.

    Projected Top 6
    Hall – RNH – Yakupov
    Paajarvi – Mackinnon – Gagner

    Happy Fathers Day!

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Great Job LT!

    Boy that’s a lot of work. Just reading through it was an intensive experience.

    Couple of thoughts:

    Rajala: “I have him behind Khaira because his road to the NHL is blocked and he is not guaranteed a second chance with another NHL organization (no draft pedigree).”

    Just wanted to note he was on BM’s list and slid considerably. He was ranked #50:

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?fid=7331

    I don’t know if that = “pedigree” but it would seem to suggest he’s not as long a shot as we might think.

    Also, did he attend the combine? Do we have his results? and is there an update on his weight. The height seems fine, but everyone is concerned he is under-weight. but if that is 2009 data, maybe things have changed and no one bothered to update?

    ——–

    Where is Bigos? Was he flushed? I don’t recall an item on him staying or going… if he’s still in the system, I can’t imagine him below Abney.

    ——-

    Not sure Belov belongs that low, esp. considering he’s going to be given every chance (ahead of probably every D on the list excepting Klefbom) to make the show this year… but it is probably reasonable considering his is such a wild card.

    ——-

    If it reads a morbid curiosity, rather than the respectful tribute I intend it as, then forget it… but I think it might be a nice tribute to give Pelss a farewell writeup and ranking. IIRC he was rising of late and starting to look like an interesting prospect. FWIW here’s your winter write up:

    #24 L Kristians Pelss 13, 2-3-5 (ECHL) and 3, 0-2-2 (AHL) continues to find ways to get noticed. A mammoth suspension will have him on the sidelines for about 25% of the regular season, but he’s shown some things and the organization never passes up an opportunity to rave about him. A cool story about his draft came out via Stu MacGregor: “I think he could fit into the Oilers plans in a role as a high energy guy who can skate. I was at the World U-18 with Oil Kings general manager Bob Green when we both saw the kid. Frank Musil did some clandestine work to see if he’d come over to play for the Oil Kings. Knowing that, I figured ‘Let’s take a swing at this guy.’ We even had to add him to the Central Scouting draft list so we could pick him. When you do that he only appears on your list.”

    So sad.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Bigos will go unsigned, there’s talk he’ll be signed to an AHL deal if no one picks him up. I had him as an honorable mention and Pelss 14th in the spring.

  14. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Off topic have you ever heard Serna Ryder singing Bruce’s song Racing in the streets?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvjGxcZSMz4

  15. mumbai max says:

    Zack,

    It depends what it would take to trade to 4/5 for Barkov. That might be a better overall deal.
    In the absence of that possibility I might do it. We might need a sweetener though. Established 70 point winger for a POTENTIAL elite center. Needs to be something in there for the uncertainty. Perhaps a 2nd?.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: Bigos will go unsigned, there’s talk he’ll be signed to an AHL deal if no one picks him up. I had him as an honorable mention and Pelss 14th in the spring.

    Just found this item:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/05/01/should-the-edmonton-oilers-sign-kyle-bigos/

    looks like they are going to let him try and find a nhl contract on the market and gave him some assurance an AHL home would be available to him if nothing crops up.

    seems a solid route to me. If the latter happens would he, Kessy and Ewanyk all conceivably be in OKC next year? that’s a lot of meat!

  17. Zack says:

    mumbai max,

    Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too but as we approach draft day the price for the pick will only increase (even if it’s just marginally) and I think will end up for something of that value, especially knowing Tallon and how he likes to build from the draft.

    It’s a steep price for acquiring MacKinnon but at the same time when I watch him I see shades of Hall except he’s a natural center, which we all know how important it is to build a team down the middle. In terms of competing it would probably put the team back a step or two initially but in the long run, even if he doesn’t reach his full potential I think he could pan out to be a “1B” center who could possibly contribute more than Gagner.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Totally random point of interest.

    Here’s a great podcast with Rick Moranis.

    LT you might find of interest his discussion of being a radio jockey in the mid-70s in Toronto, it’s basically the first topic they tackle:

    http://www.nerdist.com/2013/06/nerdist-podcast-rick-moranis/

  19. Woodguy says:

    Hey LT,

    Curious why you have Belov behind others who are behind him in terms of NHLE?

    Is it due to the Oilers only having him under contract for a year and perhaps his long term position in the organization is indeterminable?

    6’4″ 216lb defender who was on a premier WHC team (read: making the RUS team >>> making GER team) has more to offer today of any of the AHL Dmen, and probably Klef too given his age and experience.

    Also,

    I don’t think we really got excited enough over the Oilers signing Belov. 6 other NHL teams went after him, including a very good PIT team who desperately need D, and MacT landed him.

    Impressive stuff and an impressive resume (lately) of the player.

  20. Lowetide says:

    WG: Belov is 26. I love his immediate future, but when we’re projecting him next to someone like Dillon Simpson that’s several years gap. I put him behind all of the guys I felt could reasonably be projected as NHL regulars before age 24.

  21. OilClog says:

    Kale Kessey.. If it’s between him or Moroz as the 4th line face punch. It’s Kessey, has that crazy but controlled switch. He’ll get some games as he fills out.

    A prospect “player type” top 5 would be interesting to see.. shooters, playmakers, grinders, coke machines, goalies yadda yadda.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    OilClog: Kale Kessey.. If it’s between him or Moroz as the 4th line face punch. It’s Kessey, has that crazy but controlled switch. He’ll get some games as he fills out.

    IIRC Moroz will be in Junior one more year so he won’t conflict with Kessy. Kessy will be fighting Ewanyk for 4th line time in OKC… and Bigos if he lands that AHL contract.

    Maybe someone goes to Stockton.

  23. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: IIRC Moroz will be in Junior one more year so he won’t conflict with Kessy. Kessy will be fighting Ewanyk for 4th line time in OKC… and Bigos if he lands that AHL contract.

    Kessy (LW) and Ewanyk (C) likely won’t be battling for the same ice time, in fact they may share it on the 4L.

    re: Moroz, the thing that impressed me most about him in the second half and playoffs was his skating. Buddy is a load, and very mobile. Reminded me of Ethan Moreau in that way. Will be very interesting to see what happens in his 19 year-old season. He needs to find some offence.

    Great post & ongoing series, LT. A terrific read.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Kessy (LW) and Ewanyk (C) likely won’t be battling for the same ice time, in fact they may share it on the 4L.

    I didn’t mean positionally, I meant as player type, ie., enforcers.

    So maybe some nights Nelson picks one and slides another player into the roster to cover the position.

    Presumably they will play together a fair bit, but they could find themselves fighting to stay in the lineup depending on how their development works out vs. the myriad other prospects and vets looking for TOI vs. how much commitment Nelson and the Oil give to development vs. winning

    Who knows, Eager might be fighting them for a roster spot come Fall.

  25. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I didn’t mean positionally, I meant as player type, ie., enforcers.

    So maybe some nights Nelson picks one and slides another player into the roster to cover the position.

    Presumably they will play together a fair bit, but they could find themselves fighting to stay in the lineup depending on how their development works out vs. the myriad other prospects and vets looking for TOI vs. how much commitment Nelson and the Oil give to development vs. winning

    I don’t really see Ewanyk as an enforcer per se. He’s a grinder who fights. Certainly gets involved & his nose dirty. I have an inkling he’ll be a better pro than junior.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yeah I’m leery of the Moroz pick mostly because of the talent that was still on the table at the time, specifically Frk (and my own belief that the Oilers still need to invest in skill on the wings for the future). However, I don’t think he’ll fall into the Abney/Hesketh range of draft busts.

    I do think he was the fallback position on Samuelsson, and a significant downgrade there to be certain, but I haven’t written either Moroz or Ewanyk off as potential depth NHL players yet.

  27. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Re: Ewanyk
    Agreed. There were many who described him as a goon when he got his ELC this year, but I never saw that. More like an aggressive player willing to engage and/or respond. Definitely not the knuckle-dragger some made him out to be.

  28. Lowetide says:

    One thing I think I think is that Moroz has a way better future than Ewanyk. We’ll see but that’s how I view them anyway.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I don’t really see Ewanyk as an enforcer per se. He’s a grinder who fights. Certainly gets involved & his nose dirty. I have an inkling he’ll be a better pro than junior.

    Fair enough.

    Moreover, it is entirely possible, though probably unlikely, that one of these cats has a light bulb go on and finds himself chasing someone from the 3rd line. Wouldn’t that be a pleasant surprise!

    Just to keep the conversation going… does anyone have a sense that Bigos might actually have other options than a AHL-only contract?

    Would that size tempt others enough?

  30. Lowetide says:

    Bigos would be an Oilers now imo if not for the GM change. Someone will sign him

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Bigos would be an Oilers now imo if not for the GM change. Someone will sign him

    Are you saying ST is somewhere bemoaning the loss of his complete set of Giant Men?

  32. prairieschooner says:

    2 Things first the Kelfbom draft picture has a window suggesting a comparable of Douglas Murray, really?
    The topic of centre.
    If Horc is on the way out does that leave an opening for face off centre Belanger?
    I know I know but there is no cost to keeping him for now.
    Maybe a new coach can cure his pythagorial affliction

  33. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Are you saying ST is somewhere bemoaning the loss of his complete set of Giant Men?

    Yes. Yes I am. Arby’s in Surrey.

  34. gcw_rocks says:

    I don’t get the moroz ranking. I haven’t seen anything that would suggest he has better hands than Ewanyk. Other than pedigree, they seem fairly similar to me.

    Davidson would seem to be tracking better than Moroz. Moroz’s offence flatlined, did it not? Whereas Davidson earned the trust of his coach in tough situations in the playoffs. To me that is a player ahead of moroz.

    Its also a pretty weak list. The oilers need to draft well this year to replenish the system.

  35. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I don’t get the moroz ranking. I haven’t seen anything that would suggest he has better hands than Ewanyk.Other than pedigree, they seem fairly similar to me.

    Davidson would seem to be tracking better than Moroz.Moroz’s offence flatlined, did it not?Whereas Davidson earned the trust of his coach in tough situations in the playoffs.To me that is a player ahead of moroz.

    Its also a pretty weak list.The oilers need to draft well this year to replenish the system.

    Moroz actually moves back a little when you add in that we’ve taken Yakupov, Schultz, Harski and Lander away. He would have moved up 4 spots just standing still. Davidson moves up 10 spots and full measure for it. However, Moroz was a higher selection and did improve a little this season offensively, plus he was on the de facto shutdown line with the Oil Kings.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    If Fedun or Marincin are in the NHL in the fall, we are in trouble.

    Also, I wonder if Hemsky + the 7th would be enough to get Nashville’s pick. I doubt it but they sure could use a little immediate offensive help.

    I know they graduated a lot of prospects in the last 4 years, but that is a very mediocre group IMO.

  37. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    If Fedun or Marincin are in the NHL in the fall, we are in trouble.

    Also, I wonder if Hemsky + the 7th would be enough to get Nashville’s pick.I doubt it but they sure could use a little immediate offensive help.

    I know they graduated a lot of prospects in the last 4 years, but that is a very mediocre group IMO.

    I’d say it’s stronger than the same list one year ago

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/06/draft-week-post-10-current-top-20.html

    It is true the Oilers aren’t drafting #1, but if they add Monahan, Jarry and another quality guy later in the second round it should approach the 2008 summer list.

  38. DBO says:

    LT you keep mentioning Umberger. While I like him, his contract is killer and I believe you could get Gagner under contract for around that same price. I also feel Dubinsky (yes I have been on that bandwagon for years) is a great fit on our 2nd line as a centre/LW. Be a great compliment to Gagner and Yakupov. Wonder if they could do a :

    Hemsky, Shultz Sr, 7th overall
    for
    Dubinsky, Tyutin, 14th overall

    Columbus saves some money, gets a better offensive compliment to Gaborik, and moves up in the draft to have a shot at a better offensive centre like Lindholm (who is a better fit for Columbus then the Oil).
    Edmonton upgrades their D (the big prize) and adds a 27 yr old two way winger/centre with grit and size to go with enough skill to play top 6 (and not have the killer length of contract that Umberger has). And allows us to still draft Lazar or Horvat (if they feel those two are as good as Monahan or one of those and they truly do not like Lindholm), and fill 2 needed spots while taking on a bit more money.

  39. Lowetide says:

    DBO: In the trade scenario I posted over at ON, I didn’t want to take Umbarger or deal Gagner, but that’s the only way I can see the Oilers getting Tyutin. He’ll cost a lot.

  40. fifthcartel says:

    Woah, crazy that the Coyotes might actually move to Seattle.

  41. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    yeah you may be right. wondered if the 7tn would be enough to avoid it.

  42. Dahoosman says:

    @Lowetide:

    One thing to remember about Fedun is that he was a MacT find and recommendation. I think this could impact his standing with the team.

  43. leadfarmer says:

    Wish Bettman fought this hard to prevent franchises from moving south in the first place

  44. Lowetide says:

    Dahoosman:
    @Lowetide:

    One thing to remember about Fedun is that he was a MacT find and recommendation.I think this could impact his standing with the team.

    True. I think it’s about to get crazy.

  45. eidy says:

    Centre depth is a killer for this team.

    If there was a way to get up to 5 and get a shot at barkov that would be outstanding. I suspect they would like a veteran defenseman going the other way and N. Schultz has a good reputation. If that meant taking on Ruutu I could live with that. It also sounded like they were shopping Jamie McBain as well and he would be intriguing as well. I don’t know what he would take to get though.

    Then if you move up and barkov is gone by 5 you have a choice. take the russion or Monahan or call buffalo. see if they want to move up for 8 and 16. Then you could move back and get potentially Horvat and Lazar.

    It would be highly unusual to move up and then back, but if you make the deal for 5 ahead of time and your guy isn’t there, you explore all options.

  46. dawgtoy says:

    Pronman’s write up on Corban Knight is here.
    http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=355

  47. RickDeckard says:

    dawgtoy,

    dawgtoy,

    Hopefully Dillon put in a good word.

  48. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    “Moroz actually moves back a little when you add in that we’ve taken Yakupov, Schultz, Harski and Lander away. He would have moved up 4 spots just standing still. Davidson moves up 10 spots and full measure for it. However, Moroz was a higher selection and did improve a little this season offensively, plus he was on the de facto shutdown line with the Oil Kings.”

    Thanks for the explanation. Do you think Moroz has materially better scoring ability than Ewanyk? Their draft year totals are very similar. Moroz has .49 PPG this last season and Ewanyk had .40 PPG. Ewanyk is a year older, granted, but given that Ewanyk missed most of his 19 year old season, they should be fairly even in development.

  49. LostBoy says:

    Lowetide:
    DBO: In the trade scenario I posted over at ON, I didn’t want to take Umbarger or deal Gagner, but that’s the only way I can see the Oilers getting Tyutin. He’ll cost a lot.

    Umberger’s a tough one. His numbers eroded across the board for the second straight season, and the term and cap hit are grim. Four more years at $4.6m for a guy coming off what would be a 32 point season, with the trajectory downward? He got the extension as a 55 point guy at his peak. He’s everything the Oilers need in many ways, and he only just turned 31, so it’s not as if he couldn’t bounce back. But he’s not going to deliver anything approaching that contract playing on the 3rd line with the guessed-at likes of Stalberg. For the record, I think Umberger-INSERT NAME-Stalberg could be a fantastic third line from a hockey pov (and I’m fine with Stalberg where he belongs in a third line role occasionally playing up the batting order, if he could be signed for $2.5m or ideally less). But Umberger’s contract, imo, is just too heavy to roll the dice on, given the other needs and pressures. I’d love R-Jo and Tyutin, and I’d love Umberger too as a hockey player – he’d be an awesome 3L. I just don’t see how it works with the realities of our other positional needs and what they’re going to cost.

  50. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Lowetide,

    “Moroz actually moves back a little when you add in that we’ve taken Yakupov, Schultz, Harski and Lander away. He would have moved up 4 spots just standing still. Davidson moves up 10 spots and full measure for it. However, Moroz was a higher selection and did improve a little this season offensively, plus he was on the de facto shutdown line with the Oil Kings.”

    Thanks for the explanation.Do you think Moroz has materially better scoring ability than Ewanyk?Their draft year totals are very similar. Moroz has .49 PPG this last season and Ewanyk had .40 PPG.Ewanyk is a year older, granted, but given that Ewanyk missed most of his 19 year old season, they should be fairly even in development.

    I think Ewanyk has two advantages: he’s a center and he’s more of an agitator. Moroz positives are his size, speed and health. We’ll know a lot more about him this time next season, but for me Moroz still has time to show us somethnig in junior hockey.

  51. OilTastic says:

    i have to admit, while i do like the talent pool we have, it looks like at least half of these players may never play for the Oilers. what’s too bad is a few of them were once highly touted….like Teubert, Pitlick, Plante, who wasn’t mentioned and is likely out the door, and Hamilton. sucks for us, but the ones who’s arrows are pointing up like Marincin, Rajala, Khaira, Gernat, Simpson and perhaps Olivier Roy give us some good hope for the next few years to come.

  52. russ99 says:

    The system seems really weak in forwards with skill, which IMO is a side-effect of this “next Lucic” hunt that Tambellini wasted so many resources on.

    Going to be real interesting to see how they fill the roster in OKC next year.

    So far we have Rajala, Arcobello, Pitlick and maybe Eager and Cornet. Need 7-9 more forwards, especially some who can put points up on the board.

  53. russ99 says:

    The system seems really weak in forwards with skill, which IMO is a side-effect of this “next Lucic” hunt that Tambellini wasted so many resources on.

    Going to be real interesting to see how they fill the roster in OKC next year.

    So far we have Rajala, Arcobello, Pitlick and maybe McCarron, Eager and Cornet. Need 7-9 more forwards, especially some who can put points up on the board.

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