2013 DRAFT POST 13: CENTER ICE

Since the Oilers are clearly focused on centermen this year, I wondered how deep the list is at the position. Turns out there are a lot of  solid prospects listed as centers.

  1. C Nathan MacKinnon: Wide range of skills, outstanding prospect and a Sept 1 birthday.
  2. C Sasha Barkov: Size, across the board skills and he’s playing in a pro league.
  3. C Elias Lindholm: Outstanding talent, may end up playing the wing.
  4. C Sean Monahan: Oilers target, key tumbler for new MacT building up the middle. Wide range of skills.
  5. C Bo Horvat: Trending due to nice range of skills. Solid offense, tough and a load.
  6. C Curtis Lazar: Nice range of skills, strong player who provides enough offense to bat high in the order.
  7. C Max Domi: Subpar Memorial Cup will hurt his final draft number.
  8. C Hunter Shinkaruk: Somewhat one dimensional, but that dimension (shooter) is golden.
  9. C Fredrik Gauthier: 6.05, 210 C with skill, intimidating size and he’ll likely play on a skill line.
  10. C Nicolas Petan: I know, he’s very small. Don’t care.
  11. C JT Compher: Wide range of skills, a very nice skill set.
  12. C Alex Wennberg: Lanky skill center with speed and quickness; playing in Swe2 league.
  13. C Laurent Dauphin: A very nice skill player.
  14. C Ryan Hartman: Good skater very good awareness a player who is no fun to play against!*
  15. C Greg Chase: Nice combination of skill and grit.
  16. C John Hayden: Big C with some skill.
  17. C Miro Aaltonen: 20-year skill C, underized.
  18. C Connor Hurley:  Hurley is a strong, two-way forward
  19. C Jimmy Lodge: Lodge is a wiry forward who plays with good intensity and energy.
  20. C Ryan Fitzgerald: Smart C, undersized.

The Oilers are in dire need of help at center. If we include Sam Gagner (rfa) on the list, here’s how the C depth chart looks today:

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Shawn Horcoff
  4. Eric Belanger
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Marc Arcobello
  7. Ryan Martindale
  8. Andrew Miller
  9. Travis Ewanyk
  10. Jujhar Khaira

Jason Gregor’s article about Corban Knight makes complete sense, and I also think we might want to  think about the Oilers using their pick at #56 on a center. If they walk away from the first two rounds with Sean Monahan, Tristan Jarry and Greg Chase, that would improve the C depth chart markedly  and begin the long process of shoring up G as well.

Are the Oiler deep enough at defense and wing to focus their three major picks on C & G? From here, it looks like the obvious option.

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37 Responses to "2013 DRAFT POST 13: CENTER ICE"

  1. Rondo says:

    I hope they get a chance at Monahan, picking Horvat will be difficult if they decide to trade down, really don’t know where he will go. Oilers might have to use their 7th pick on him. I wonder if they will just pick the BPA if Monahan is gone and take Lindholm.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Lindholm is a player I think has more value than Monahan, so it’s a no brainer from here. Flames are probably strong on Monahan, though.

  3. OilClog says:

    9. Gauthier.. This is the guy I wonder about, all the makings..

  4. Rondo says:

    This draft is far more exciting than the last 3 given we pick 7th. We wait

  5. fifthcartel says:

    The depth is scary with Horcoff and Belanger on the way out, unsigned/rfa Gagner, and post-surgery Nuge. MacT has his work cut out for him.

  6. Kris11 says:

    I would bet good money the Flames will pick Monahan over Lindholm and Nicushkin.

  7. Destroyko says:

    Count my vote as being against using a 2nd round pick (especially the 37th) in a draft that looks to be deeper than average on a goaltender. The projectability of goaltenders at this age has been explored by men smarter than I, and I think the possibility of losing out on the next Schultz or Voynov at 37 outweighs the potential benefit in scooping Jarry or similar.

    Drafting for organizational need (driven, in this case, by a lack of top-end goalies in the system) is fundamentally wrong. Sure, if two guys are neck-and-neck on your list, use need as a tiebreaker. But teams shouldn’t slot guys on their list with an eye to need as a primary driver.

  8. Rondo says:

    I was watching ” Thats hockey Playoff Edition” They had NM SJ JD and Darnell Nurse all sitting together, I can’t believe how thin Nurse is compared to the other players, He is a rail.

  9. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Kris11,

    Lindholm will be the guy that just keeps falling: it seems like everyone acknowledges that he’s good, but no one is excited about him. I would bet he goes to Buffalo at 8…. I bet we get the big Russian at 7. Flames take Monohan, Carolina takes Nurse. I also think it’s possible Drouin falls beyond the top 3.

  10. prairieschooner says:

    We have a sort of top 6 with minor tinkering required
    We need help on the blue line which could be fixed with some Trade or UFA pick ups
    At centre we have major issues if Horc and the triangle are gone (one being a player and the other a depth disappointment)
    How is Knight a saviour? (I can here Gene now)
    If we can not fix all of our problems in one year, surely we can get some journeymen players who can buy us a little time until a better solution can be arrived at?

  11. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Carry over from last thread.

    There was talk of Pronman’s vs Button’s take on Nichushkin spitting the bit in the VO2. The video is on tsn at: http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/ , currently on the 4th page with “NHL Combine: Valeri Nichushkin”.

    To ruin the drama: he clearly spits the bit.

  12. fifthcartel says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 2m

    The #Oilers will not be getting Corban Knight

    Damn..

  13. sliderule says:

    MacT is going to be highly involved in this draft.

    He has probably seen the top 60 as much and maybe more than Stu.

    This is the draft to pick a center.

    Monahan and Horvat are true centers .Both are face-off savants.Both have offensive upside and are rated as solid defensively.

    I think Horvat has a little more speed and tough to move off puck.

    If Lindholm is gone and maybe if he is still there the oil will pick one of those two.

    I have a bet that it’s Horvat.

  14. Smarmy says:

    Kris11:
    I would bet good money the Flames will pick Monahan over Lindholm and Nicushkin.

    Monahan seems like the perfect #2 center and the Oilers already got a #1. Calgary should be looking for a homerun on higher offensive talents like Nichushkin or Lindholm but Monahan seems like the most Flamsie of picks.

    If Monahan is gone I think I’d be fine with Horvat. He looks like another second line center in the making.

  15. Thinker says:

    Calgary might be willing to throw in a little extra to move up, and that might be best case scenario for the oilers, as colorado would probably want a dman at six.
    Mackinnon
    Jones
    Drouin
    Nichushkin
    Barkov
    Nurse
    MONOHAN

  16. Rondo says:

    fifthcartel,

    Surprised given he knows Eberle and Dillon Simpson.

    Calgary will get him.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Watching Kevin Weekes and that blonde again, this time she’s got three uptight white dudes between her and Kev for major comedic undertones etc.

    Hawks playing the skill heroes, the Bruins the heavies, but they can play hockey, unlike the LAKings who basically play football on ice and now that they’ve actually won one, may they never win another cup, ever.

  18. prairieschooner says:

    Anybody in the KHL or other parts of Europe that could give us cover at centre?

  19. Captain Happy says:

    hunter1909:
    Watching Kevin Weekes and that blonde again, this time she’s got three uptight white dudes between her and Kev for major comedic undertones etc.

    Hawks playing the skill heroes, the Bruins the heavies, but they can play hockey, unlike the LAKings who basically play football on ice and now that they’ve actually won one, may they never win another cup, ever.

    Lombardi is not an idiot.

  20. RexLibris says:

    While I’m high on Jarry, using a 2nd round pick on him is risky.

    Also, not very interested in Chase. I know he looks like a player, but there have been some rumours about personality and professionalism. Okay, I realize it is junior, but I’d hate to see the Oilers end up taking a player with all the physical attributes and none of the mental/character attributes.

    Shame the Flames will outduel us for Knight. A 3rd is the rumoured offer. A 3rd round pick for Knight or a 3rd round pick on Jarry? Let’s see, what did the Oilers do with their 2013 3rd round pick again….

    argh!

    Damn you, Tambellini!

  21. Marquee says:

    RexLibris:

    Also, not very interested in Chase. I know he looks like a player, but there have been some rumours about personality and professionalism. Okay, I realize it is junior, but I’d hate to see the Oilers end up taking a player with all the physical attributes and none of the mental/character attributes.

    Fun fact: Chase is the son of former Team 1260 employee Kyle Chase.

  22. blackadder says:

    As impressive as Horvat was in the playoffs, if the Oilers pass over Nichuskin because they’ve decided to use the draft to fill a need, then we might as well call ourselves the Edmonton Islanders and be done with it. There is a ton of talent available in this draft, you cannot afford not to go for Bpa. You get you’re core talent thru the draft, free agency and trades fill needs.

  23. supernova says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach,

    I just watched the Nichuskin combine clip on TSN, is there another clip because I can’t say that would be the proverbial “spit the bit” clip. I watched the 3 minute clip and maybe he didn’t finish the strongest but it also doesn’t show the clock and with VO2 max testing only have to hit a certain time, after that it is purely bragging rights.

    Nothing I seen indicates a poor character, I am going to search around a see if I can get the paper test results.

    I am not a big fan of taking Nichuskin but if he is Top 4 talent and is there ar 7 with Monahan and Barkov gone, I think it gives the oilers great strength. They can draft him or have a value player that teams might pay more to trade up and draft.

    If I was a GM I would be very cautious of drafting a Russian, these teams do there home work though, and it seems the Russians get slammed character wise all the time. I am sure quite a few Canadians did the same thing, and heck jones, mackinnon and Drouin didn’t even test. I know they played long but if nichuskin was in the same situation would he have been given the same Benifit of the doubt?

  24. Gerta Rauss says:

    Taylor Hall
    @hallsy04

    I disagree
    “@FriedgeHNIC: Healy says Chara needed stitches in back of head after pre-game collision with Lucic. Most dangerous warmup ever.”
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers

    ==============

    Ha!!-awesome

    I doubt Corey Potter found that funny.

  25. supernova says:

    RexLibris,

    Agree on Jarry, risky taking a goalie above even a 3 rd pick. In a few years even the very top tier (luongo, fleury, price) ranked goalies might be a 3rd round pick.

  26. supernova says:

    blackadder,

    Horvat and/ or Lazar will almost surely go at 8 or 10. With buffalo or Dallas.

    Agree with the comments but it isn’t a big over draft scenario when 85 % of the teams will do the same thin.

  27. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    supernova,

    By the reactions of the staff it seemed he “had to keep going”, not bragging rights. I didn’t mean to post it as a slag on him either. The combine as a whole may exemplify some character attributes… or not. I just recalled seeing it during the combine and thought it showcased where pronman’s tweet was coming from.

    My feelings are Nichushkin had no idea about the bike testing (as he stated in his post-interview). I suspect many of the more local kids were very familiar with what would be covered. Between translations, discomfort and exhaustion I wouldn’t hold any of it against the kid. What he does on the ice would be a more relevant story…. but I am not a scout, nevermind one that pronman is referencing.

  28. VOR says:

    supernova,

    I had the same reaction. I have taken this test, several times. I remember the first time grabbing the mouth piece and firing it across the room. Then I threw up for about 20 minutes straight. I really wanted to know how long he had been on the bike when that part of the video starts.

    All those numbers you hear them calling out suggest he is up at max heart rate, in other words he isn’t dogging it. We don’t know how long he has been at Max VO2 but he is certainly at it from the comments of the testers. Of course, without the time on task we don’t know if he should be approaching exhaustion or not. The test is designed to go to collapse or exhaustion. The testers try to take you as close to the envelope as possible (I should maybe point out that a member of Canada’s rowing team who was testing right after me actually hit one of the testers who took their encouragement just a little too far). Thus all the encouragement and pressure they are applying. At some point he can’t go on, which is how each and every test ends.

    I think the problem here may be that not only is the clip incomplete but many of the people who are viewing it have neither the expertise nor the experience to understand what they are seeing.

    I can’t imagine the numbers are going to show an inferior performance because apparently according to Pronman himself TBL seem very interested in Nichushkin. They wouldn’t be if he had shown some sort of lack of fitness or character at the combine.

  29. VOR says:

    till-horcoff-is-coach,

    I can’t find the Pronman tweet Woodguy referenced. Do you have it? All I have is Woodguy’s cut and paste which can’t all be one tweet.

  30. supernova says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach,
    VOR,

    I thought I would reply because you posted a link.

    As someone who has done many physical tests like this one and others, I am also a active cyclist, I also previously was involved in power lifting and boxing, baseball, hockey, and other sports. I can’t see anything In that clip that indicates any worries. Actually quite the opposite, he has a frame that will fill out. Hockey is really a cardio sport now with physical contact.

    VOR,

    Looks like we were thinking the same thing, because we have experience this before. I was very close to throwing up, and the trainers made me feel like crap because I didn’t. If I was so exhausted I might have punched them myself. I wasn’t a very good hockey player, even though I really really wanted to be. I was captain or assistant captain of almost every sports team I have played on and have won medals for leadership and sportsmanship.

    I was thinking when I heard this about Nichuskin that if I and almost all of teammates and friends felt like spitting the bit and knocking the guy out who was telling us we weren’t good enough. It needs to be something very major for me to think less of Nichuskin. What I seen was really nothing,

  31. Thor762 says:

    I just re-listened to the podcast that Craig Button did with Bob Stauffer on Friday. They talk about Nichuskin at 12, 16, and 20 minutes of the podcast. Craig Button says he was sitting there watching Nichuskin and he didn’t quit. Said the time was about average, between 10 minutes and 10 minutes 20 seconds. And that the score was above average, 57, with 55 being the average.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    An interesting would be to go through the top 100 draft picks in the past 10 years and find everyone listed as a Centre on draft day. And then check up on whether they played C (at least through most of their time) at the pro level thereafter.

    My suspicion is that many of these folks will play wing. And I wonder if the premium placed on Cs doesn’t lead to players angling for the position in Jr. knowing it will help them in the draft?

  33. Maverick says:

    RexLibris:
    While I’m high on Jarry, using a 2nd round pick on him is risky.

    Also, not very interested in Chase. I know he looks like a player, but there have been some rumours about personality and professionalism. Okay, I realize it is junior, but I’d hate to see the Oilers end up taking a player with all the physical attributes and none of the mental/character attributes.

    Shame the Flames will outduel us for Knight. A 3rd is the rumoured offer. A 3rd round pick for Knight or a 3rd round pick on Jarry? Let’s see, what did the Oilers do with their 2013 3rd round pick again….

    argh!

    Damn you, Tambellini!

    I know if they had a 3rd round pick I would have suggested the Oilers take a shot at Ryan Kujawinski in the 3rd round, but …. (Tambo – Fistric for a 3rd oops!)

    Concerning Corbin Knight, someone made a comment about the connection to the Flames, as did Stauffer yesterday, and they are correct. Here is an article about his Dad – Jack Knight being involved with youth hockey and the Flames and the Stampeders in a ministry role.

    http://www.westernwheel.com/article/20110824/WHE1101/308249970/athletes-take-action-in-okotoks-camp

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “The Oilers are in dire need of help at center. If we include Sam Gagner (rfa) on the list, here’s how the C depth chart looks today:”

    Just wondering, if you are including free agents, why VDV isn’t on your depth centre list?

  35. VOR says:

    supernova,

    I was also a multi-sport athlete. Unlike you in most of them I was pretty mediocre (tended to end up benching warming in University). However, I was delusional and kept trying over and over again to prove I could be an elite athlete. Sort of fake it to you make it. My punishment was all the testing high end athletes go through. One time they did this one where we cycled on the ergometer while they slowly reduced the O2 in the air we were breathing.

    While as you and I know 10 minutes wouldn’t be outstanding for VO2 max endurance for sports like rowing or cycling apparently for an NHL hockey player it would be pretty typical. It does give you an idea how guys like Marincin (to use an Oiler) were doing when they got over 14 minutes. Certainly nothing here to knock Nichushkin for. Like you I was struck by how despite his current size it is clear he is going to get bigger and stronger (yikes).

  36. supernova says:

    VOR,

    I can see why teams get excited over Nichuskin, especially as a forward with that kind of size and skill set. I really hope he gets selected by Tampa, which causes Nashville to have a choice between Drouin and Barkov. Then the Oilers can trade am arm and a leg to get Barkov at 5. That is my dream scenario in this draft.

    Wasn’t trying to hype myself, just state the frame of mind these athletes can be in. It sounded like to much was made of him being a mental gamble.

    I loved hockey and even though I was the captain of my team, I was already the heart and soul leader, not the top scorer, who kept everyone up, in minor hockey ( i was probablt this last seasons Ryan Smyth) I started power lifting and boxing in my mid 20′s and cycling and kayaking in my late 20′s. I work at a desk so I love to stay active. I am not saying I was great just active and I made it a goal of mine to add a different phyisical activity every few years. It really gives me great perspective on athletes.

  37. Jayamania says:

    Anybody think Columbus would trade the 14th and 19th to the Oilers for the 7th and say Gernat? Then there would be a chance the Oilers could draft Horvat at 14, and maybe grab Lazar at 19. Although I think both Horvat and Lazar could go a few spots earlier.

    Would Horvat and Lazar be better than just Monohan or just Lindholm?

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