PRONMAN’S TOP 10 LIST

Earlier today, I had Corey Pronman on the LDWLT show as a guest. Corey ran through his top 10 for the Oilers and gave a very convincing argument for each player. It’s interesting because his list is quite different than many we’ve seen–Toni Rajala is #4 overall and there are FIVE forwards among his top 10. Pronman’s story is here, and this is his top 10:

Edmonton Oilers Top 10 Prospects

  1. Oscar Klefbom, Defense
  2. Darnell Nurse, Defense
  3. Martin Marincin, Defense
  4. Toni Rajala, Left Wing
  5. Anton Slepyshev, Left Wing
  6. Martin Gernat, Defense
  7. Jujhar Khaira, Left Wing
  8. Marc-Olivier Roy, Right Wing
  9. Bogdan Yakimov, Center
  10. David Musil, Defense

LOWETIDE TOP 10 PROSPECTS

  1. Darnell Nurse, Defense
  2. Oscar Klefbom, Defense
  3. Martin Marincin, Defense
  4. Marco Roy, Right Wing
  5. Martin Gernat, Defense
  6. Jujhar Khaira, Left Wing
  7. Anton Slepyshev, Left Wing
  8. Bogdan Yakimov, Center
  9. Toni Rajala, Left Wing
  10. Dillon Simpson, Defense

My summer list (30 deep) is here. The things I find interesting are:

  1. Pronman spells both “center” and “defense” correctly.
  2. The lists are very similar.
  3. There is only one center.
  4. There are so many defensemen at the high end. Someone is going, folks. One of these defenders will be traded by this time next summer.

 

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46 Responses to "PRONMAN’S TOP 10 LIST"

  1. spoiler says:

    LT

    The criteria are obviously slightly different from one’s list to another’s, but if the criteria is “who is likely to have an NHL career” and “who, out of those likely people, who is most likely to contribute to NHL team wins”, then I think your list is a better ranking.

    Always nice to have other opinions, though.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Pronman spells both “center” and “defense” correctly.”

    The word correctly ought to be in quotes here.

    ———
    The biggest discrepancy seems to be how high he rates Zharkov and Lalegs vs. your ranking.

    I wonder if that will prod you to a re-think?

  3. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide is ‘murrican?

  4. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=428723

    Bogosian signs with the Jets-7 years $36M

    How does that affect the Jultz contract..?…Petry..?

  5. OilClog says:

    I think I actually like Pronman’s ranking a bit more, Rajala is where I’d put him and I’d have Musil over Simpson.

  6. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Pronman spells both “center” and “defense” correctly.”

    The word correctly ought to be in quotes here.

    This.

    I really find it interesting (hilarious? depressing?) the Oilers have so little F depth at the high end. Each draft brings thru so many Fs, at some point you would think some might pan out. Not so apparently.

    Also, I think any player drafted by a team who stays & contributes, whether 2line or 4 line is valuable. Maybe not to the same extent, but a team needs four lines to play & if the players come from in the system & not by trade or UFA signing, then that guy is a win for the team. That’d why i recommend you stay with the 200 games played benchmark for draft success. Otherwise you are splitting hairs, trying to parse who is more valuable than whom.

    (being able to run out a reliable defensive 4liner in the dying minutes of a game can be just as valuable as sending out a strong top 6er in the middle frame, imo)

  7. Cobbler says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Perhaps the number of defensemen in the top of the rankings has to do with the number of forwards (Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, RNH, Yak) coming out of round one that have graduated over the last few years. Basically the top of the list are the defencemen from rounds 1 and 2 from those years that are slower to graduate/develop than the forwards were.

    The lack of centers within the top ten outside Yakimov is a concern though.

  8. Manitoba Oilers says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I don’t think so

  9. godot10 says:

    Before one claims the OIlers have too many defensive prospects, does not the team have to already have a good defense.

    The Oilers defense still mostly sucks. Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz have top 4 potential, but only Petry is sort of actually there. Ference is a #4 on the decline into bottom pairing only in a year or two. Smid is a 3rd pairing defensemen on a good team. And NSchultz is the only other proven veteran, and most here don’t think he is more than 3rd pairing at best.

    Everybody else is a question mark. So to say Klefbom, Nurse, and Marincin is too many is, IMHO, silly. The OIlers are probably going to need all three to have a contending quality D.

  10. Lucinius says:

    .Smid is a 3rd pairing defensemen on a good team.

    I generally like your posts, but this, right there, has me going “what the hell is he smoking?”

    Smid is the best d-man on the Oilers, in the defensive zone (and, imo, its not that close, either). Smid, in my view, is a solid second pairing d-man almost anywhere in the league.

  11. godot10 says:

    Lucinius,

    I think the connotation of “good” that I meant in that statement was “contending”. My thinking and my writing did not mesh.

    Smid is a 3rd pairing defensemen on a contending team.

  12. Lucinius says:

    godot10:
    Lucinius,

    I think the connotation of “good” that I meant in that statement was “contending”. My thinking and my writing did not mesh.

    Smid is a 3rd pairing defensemen on a contending team.

    I still don’t agree. He could be third pairing on a contending team, but I really believe he’d fit in just fine as a second pairing d-man on a contending team. He’d actually probably thrive in that situation.

  13. rickithebear says:

    the key to a prospect is have they joined the team draft year +2 (20) or made an impression in a .45+ nHLE league (21)

    We have these forwards for the next 6 years.
    Hall LW/C 6.0M
    Eberle RW 6.0M
    RNH C/W 3.775M RFA
    Yakupov RW 3.775M RFA

    the next 3 years.
    Gagner C/W4.8M
    Perron LW/RW 3.8M
    Gordon C 3.0M
    Lander C RFA

    Do we see these prospects in the next 3-4 years.
    Rajala
    Yakimov
    Khaira
    Slepyshev
    Marco Roy
    Kessey

  14. Zipdot says:

    Selling Smid short, imo. Just because he’s not elite doesn’t mean he doesn’t rank right up there with the other 20+ minute d-men in the league.

  15. godot10 says:

    Lucinius,

    In the context of this post, if I am a GM, I want my D to be good enough that Smid is my #5D, before I am happy.

    I think the Oilers probably need all of their top D prospects (because they will lose some to injury) to eventually push Smid to #5. I wouldn’t trade any of the top 3, until I had a better read on their top end potential. All three look like #2′s and #3′s. I don’t trade the cheap years of that. Those are $5 million dollar D in the free agent market.

  16. wheatnoil says:

    Toni Rajala is a fascinating prospect. A part of me says that he’s far too small and too slight to be a significant player in the NHL. Yet, another part of me says that he did a damn good job in the AHL… maybe it’s worth a shot? At the very least, he’s an interesting second line wing injury call-up. His size causes to word “underdog” to be stamped across his forehead… which makes me really want to cheer and root for him.

    As for having too many defensemen… I don’t know about that. Don’t forget, none of Nurse, Marincin, or Klefbom have played a game in the NHL yet and only Marincin has played a North American pro game. They all have potential to be top 4 options (Nurse and Klefbom could be top 2 options), but don’t forget the Prospects Rule of 3s. You can only expect one of 3 legitimate prospects to meet their potential. At this point, we can still only expect one of Nurse, Marincin, or Klefbom to make it as a top 4 option. If two make it, the Oilers are laughing. If all three actually make it and the Top 6 D in 3 years is Petry / Smid / J. Schultz / Klefbom / Marincin / Nurse… well then somebody better call witchcraft on the Oilers!

  17. Zipdot says:

    Smid is 6’3, 207, was top 5 in blocked shots a while back, plays big minutes, and is the current goal scoring leader on the Oilers (ouch). Anywhere deep enough where he is on the third-pairing isn’t just a contender, it’s a team saturated in top-heavy defence depth and probably doesn’t have the cap space to have enough good forwards to be an actual contender, imo.

  18. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’m in no hurry to trade any of our D prospects. We are in a position now that the pipeline is stocked with both quality and quantity,we’ll need to leverage that as the forward group is lining up to get paid.

    A steady trickle of quality D pushing from below is nice to have.

  19. Oilanderp says:

    Whoa whoa whooooaaa Nelly…

    Let’s see if any of these new FA signings from across the pond work out before we start trading away our high end D prospects. It’s early, and it’s a good thing.

    I play with the name “Rajala” on the back of my jersey in online team play for NHL 13 now. I am such a bandwagoner!

  20. sliderule says:

    When the team starts winning we will look at the defiense totally different.

    The oil finished 19th in goals against.this was while playing a rookie defenseman big minutes.

    They also had a coach who had a chaotic defensive zone coverage system that neither the players or fans could understand.

    If Eakins can do a job and forwards play better away from the puck the defense will surprise.

  21. Ca$h-Money! says:

    wheatnoil,

    Marincin can be top pairing too. Probably won’t be, but could be.

    #2 D is a funny thing. It’s not necessarily the guy that plays with the #1… just because Ian White plays with Lindstrom doesn’t mean Kronwall isn’t #2 that year…

    Who’s #2 on Boston? Boychuck? I think Boychuck-like upside for Marincin is in the cards. On LA, Scuderi? On San Jose, Pickles? I think Marincin could be Pickles if everything turns out.

    Nurse and Klefbom could be truly elite. Probably won’t be… but could be.

  22. Hammers says:

    godot10:
    Before one claims the OIlers have too many defensive prospects, does not the team have to already have a good defense.

    The Oilers defense still mostly sucks.Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz have top 4 potential, but only Petry is sort of actually there.Ference is a #4 on the decline into bottom pairing only in a year or two.Smid is a 3rd pairing defensemen on a good team.And NSchultz is the only other proven veteran, and most here don’t think he is more than 3rd pairing at best.

    Everybody else is a question mark.So to say Klefbom, Nurse, and Marincin is too many is, IMHO, silly. The OIlers are probably going to need all three to have a contending quality D.

    Totally agree and that’s why McT shouldn’t trade any of those top 3 . Fedun , Genat , Musil yea for the right return but that top 3 with justin , Petry & Smid will give us a Great “D” . To bad its 2-3 years away .

  23. Hammers says:

    rickithebear:
    the key to aprospect is have they joined the team draft year +2 (20) or made an impression in a .45+ nHLE league (21)

    We have these forwards for the next 6 years.
    Hall LW/C 6.0M
    Eberle RW 6.0M
    RNH C/W 3.775M RFA
    Yakupov RW 3.775M RFA

    the next 3 years.
    Gagner C/W4.8M
    Perron LW/RW 3.8M
    Gordon C 3.0M
    LanderC RFA

    Do we see these prospects in the next 3-4 years.
    Rajala
    Yakimov
    Khaira
    Slepyshev
    Marco Roy
    Kessey

    2 of your middle 3 year players will last 5 or 6 years just not sure who but i expect Gordon & Perron will stay. As for your bottom group Rajala will get a shot and the others haven’t sold me yet but odds says at least 1 more of them . Lets not forget trades will be made and some of these guys will be in that group . Roy maybe 4 years away from even playing in the NHL Nice problem to have if your McT

  24. Clay says:

    Bar_Qu: This.

    I really find it interesting (hilarious? depressing?) the Oilers have so little F depth at the high end. Each draft brings thru so many Fs, at some point you would think some might pan out. Not so apparently.

    I see this sort of sentiment a lot, but the “lack of F prospect depth” issue is a bit deceiving, because ALL of the Oilers’ first round F picks in the last 6 years have graduated to legit NHL player status, and 3 or 4 of them (depending on your opinion of Eberle or Gagner) are franchise-type players.

    I don’t have numbers to really back it up, but any development system that graduates at least 1 legit NHLer per year is doing just fine.

    Yes, I know, first overall picks and such, but still. Other teams are deeper at forward because they’re not picking as high, so their top picks are staying as prospects longer, so they pile up.

    It would be crazy to think that the team could quickly re-stock a prospect pool of forwards such as the Oilers have turned over recently via the draft, because then you’re not picking BPA, you’re picking for need, and we all know where that gets you.

    AND, it would be crazy to think that this team should be re-stocking the forward pool via trade, because its foolish to trade for prospects that project to be bottom 6 players, which is what this team needs for now. They’re certainly not going to trade assets for blue-chip F prospects, because they’re all full up on that. (Of course the argument could be made that they need another young top 2 centerman if you don’t like Gagner, but that’s for another post).

  25. nelson88 says:

    I will be very pleasantly surprised if Klefbom is better than Nurse when all is said and done. I would also have Simpson above Gernat.

    I thought Khaira was drafted as a C? Is he playing LW in college?

    LT. Stop hating on Smid so much. It is rubbing off on others. ;)

  26. Melman says:

    Since we’ll be drafting in the bottom 1/2 of the first round next year and we have D coming out our ears, I advocate that they simply take the BCA – Best Center Available – from start to finish. Odds say one of them will turn out.

  27. Melman says:

    LT did Jujhar get moved to wing this year? I thought he was a center

  28. Bar_Qu says:

    While I agree the Oil have put their 1st rounders into action pretty well over the last few years (We’re number one!) I still don’t think that qualifies the F prospect depth as acceptable. IMO, the Oil should have several guys all pushing for at least limited cups of coffee on the lower lines when injury strikes. Right now we are all fine, but if RNH doesn’t heal and some dirty bugger on the Canucks wipes out Gagner for 5-10 games in game 2, we are all wondering how the Oil will manage. Let alone if another forward gets hurt in the first 20 games. Who pushes up from the farm? Do we really want anyone up yet?

    The Oil are woefully thin, especially if we dread the prospects being called up. I think this reason alone drops Edmonton way down on the prospect depth chart versus the league.

  29. Lucinius says:

    godot10,

    Also, according to TSN’s That’s Hockey (I know, I know.. they’re pretty bad), Smid is third pairing here in Edmonton!

    Of course, they have the pairings as;

    N. Schultz — J. Schultz
    Ference — Petry
    Smid — Belov

    Yeah.. I think I’d weep if that were the case.

  30. Oil In Enemy Territory says:

    Lucinius:
    godot10,

    Also, according to TSN’s That’s Hockey (I know, I know.. they’re pretty bad), Smid is third pairing here in Edmonton!

    Of course, they have the pairings as;

    N. Schultz — J. Schultz
    Ference — Petry
    Smid — Belov

    Yeah.. I think I’d weep if that were the case.

    THN listed Edmonton’s like this in their latest magazine:

    Petry-J. Schultz
    Smid-Ference
    N. Schultz-Klefbom
    Potter-Larsen
    Fedun-MUSIL

  31. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Bar_Qu:
    While I agree the Oil have put their 1st rounders into action pretty well over the last few years (We’re number one!) I still don’t think that qualifies the F prospect depth as acceptable. IMO, the Oil should have several guys all pushing for at least limited cups of coffee on the lower lines when injury strikes. Right now we are all fine, but if RNH doesn’t heal and some dirty bugger on the Canucks wipes out Gagner for 5-10 games in game 2, we are all wondering how the Oil will manage. Let alone if another forward gets hurt in the first 20 games. Who pushes up from the farm? Do we really want anyone up yet?

    The Oil are woefully thin, especially if we dread the prospects being called up. I think this reason alone drops Edmonton way down on the prospect depth chart versus the league.

    Pronman has them at 15th in team prospect strength.

    That’s likely pretty close to reality.

    The issue is, after drafting so high for so long, the Oilers should be brimming with bonafide bottom 6 forwards pushing for jobs but their continuing failure in rounds 2-7 are coming home to roost.

  32. Lucinius says:

    Oil In Enemy Territory,

    Any listing that has J. Schultz facing the toughest competition shows the maker’s ignorance (not uncommon). And wow.. they don’t even get the sides right for Petry or Ference (and depending on when the magazine came out, flat out ignored Belov/Grebeshkov).

    I mean, depending on camp you’d figure the set up will likely be, at least to start;

    Smid — Petry
    Ference — Belov
    N. Schultz — J. Schultz

    Grebs
    Larsen
    Potter
    Klefbom
    Marincin
    Fedun

    (I have Belov in the second pairing given the statements about him playing the right side and his price tag/coming from Russia likely included ice time promises and it gives that third pairing a sheltered role to excel in, especially if N. Schultz ends up getting moved and a more offensive partner joins J. Schultz).

  33. Melman says:

    Lucinius,

    They also had Brown as our 4RW, so we have that going for us too.

  34. skinny65 says:

    Hey LT, tried to email you a couple times last week about a project I’m working on, but wasn’t sure if I was sending them to the right spot. Could you let me know how to best contact you?
    I’m at skinny_65@hotmail.com

    Thanks

  35. icecastles says:

    Pronman spells both “center” and “defense” correctly.

    Then he uses the word “smoothen”.

  36. justDOit says:

    icecastles,

    Well at least it is a word, and it’s not nearly as bad as not using the word competitiveness.

  37. Ducey says:

    I am excited by how nicely Pronman speaks about Musil. The way some dump on him made it sound like he has no chance of making it. I always liked his game.

    Similarly, Gernat doesn’t come out as strongly (in terms of comment) as some around here have him. I tend to be on the cautious side with him. I think 3rd pairing in sheltered minutes is about right. Of the defense prospects in the stable I would trade him before most of the others.

  38. justDOit says:

    skinny65:
    Hey LT, tried to email you a couple times last week about a project I’m working on, but wasn’t sure if I was sending them to the right spot. Could you let me know how to best contact you?
    I’m at skinny_65@hotmail.com

    Thanks

    Not to be a jerk, but any emails that I receive from skinnyanything at hotmail go directly to the junk folder.

  39. skinny65 says:

    Yeah, old hockey nicknames last forever. It’s my burden to bear, but since I’ve had the same email for 15 years, I can’t really go changing it now.

  40. justDOit says:

    skinny65,

    Well, I hope LT responds to you, despite that handle!

    Edit: First thing I thought of was Skinny Pete, from Breaking Bad.

  41. skinny65 says:

    Haha, now that dude can play him some piano!!!

  42. Lowetide says:

    skinny65:
    Hey LT, tried to email you a couple times last week about a project I’m working on, but wasn’t sure if I was sending them to the right spot. Could you let me know how to best contact you?
    I’m at skinny_65@hotmail.com

    Thanks

    Found it! I’ll reply.

  43. justDOit says:

    skinny65,

    Damn straight, yo!

  44. gcw_rocks says:

    Smid has proven he is a capable second pairing player. Unfortunately he has to play first pairing minutes with what appears to be weak coaching. Send him to Nashville or Detroit and he will thrive.

  45. FastOil says:

    wheatnoil: Toni Rajala is a fascinating prospect. A part of me says that he’s far too small and too slight to be a significant player in the NHL.

    There is no reason other than teenager sized guys get their asses kicked by men in a full contact highest league in the world. Same reason Larsen needs to be moved.

    Anyone who thinks a 165 lb player (unless he’s 5< feet tall) who didn't score 200 pts in the AHL will play in the NHL and be an impact player isn't paying attention. It doesn't happen enough to even think about. There are about 3 players in the league that small, and none of whoever you think will make it will – basic math. Trade Rajala to a team that can support a child sized scorer and bundle Omark in there as well.

    Sign older talent UFA on the bottom 6. Retire Smyth next year without question. Tiny scorers have no roster spot on the Oilers. MacT needs to create equity out of them.

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