SOME UGLY BABY

The young Oilers failed early, often and miserably last night in their pre-season opener at the Penticton shootout. The day is ruined, the world will never be the same.

Or not. hayek

 

UP ARROWS

  1. Martin Marincin: +1 on a night when the Oilers were taking bullets by the hundreds, he was a calm, reliable defender and stood out because of it.
  2. Jujhar Khaira: Started slowly, but scored a goal, was +1 and had 4 shots on goal. Good in the FO circle too.
  3. Marco Roy: Had a brilliant chance and led the team with shots (5). Despite being -3 on the night I liked him plenty. Needs better linemates.
  4. Greg Chase: Loved his game. I’m a fan. Nice pass on the Khaira goal and was a problem for the other guy all night long. More please.
  5. Martin Gernat: Had an assist, three shots on goal. There’s some chaos, but he’s a very nice prospect.

DOWN ARROWS

  1. Cameron Abney: Not much to be said, he can’t get to the play until it’s over, and after the whistle he damaged the team with a bad penalty. I understand new management wanting to get a look at everyone, but this isn’t going to end well.
  2. David Musil: Got beaten one on one and he doesn’t have the foot speed to recover. Remains a prospect whose actual ability seems to have a wide range of opinion.
  3. Oscar Klebom: -3 and made an awful pass in the first period but Bunz saved it. I don’t think there’s much to worry about, but we should look for a stronger effort next time out.
  4. Tyler Bunz: Made some brilliant saves, let in some softies. The numbers don’t lie, as the young man said pre-game.
  5. Andrew Miller: Did some nice things later in the game (3rd period) but didn’t do much offensively and he needed to be better in that area. Among the players likely to get a long look at this camp, Miller was perhaps the least impressive.

wallach1

There’s a Canadian Press article up about the Oilers and their talent development. Everything they say is all well and good but lordy your kids need to develop. We’ve gone round and round on Pitlick, Hamilton and Martindale since 2010  fall, and I’m sure the Oilers are hopeful Pitlick can turn the corner. But in my opinion, there are three elements to the process:

  1. drafting well
  2. making sure your draft picks are developing at the junior/college/Euro level
  3. helping them develop on the farm

I think the Oilers have done a good job since Stu MacGregor took over, there’s far less draft walkabout than in past years. However, last night’s best forwards were taken in the last year or so–there’s some buzz growing about Khaira, Chase and Roy–and whatever the fracture from junior to pro to NHL the time to find it is now. I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that Marco Roy is a poor prospect, but getting him from here to the NHL is a big thing.

2014 MINOR LEAGUE RFA’S

The one major item we need to watch through this winter is the performance of the minor league rfa’s (2014 edition). This is make or break time for this group, and some of them might not make it through the season:

  1. Tyler Pitlick: Remains the most highly regarded of the 2010 forward prospects drafted outside the first round, Pitlick looks like a hockey player. He’s been in the ditch with his shooting percentage as a pro, and that’s getting to be a fairly long track. 
  2. Curtis Hamilton: Always cheered for him (he’s a Saskatoon Blade) and he had that one fine WHL season before turning pro, but he’s more suspect than prospect as he enters what might be his final season of North American hockey.
  3. Ryan Martindale: Like Pitlick, he’s never gotten untracked offensively. Martindale posted some nice junior numbers and with the Oilers signing fewer top 6F’s this summer I’m wondering if a guy like Martindale might get an extended look  (say, a half season) to show his offensive ability. The danger of course is games like last night–if your man is overwhelmed by competition level, he’ll never have the puck.
  4. Olivier Roy: He’s the one  guy on the list who appears to be on track as a prospect. The only danger here? MacT is going to overhaul the goalie list between now and the draft. We might see a nuclear winter for the organization’s goalies.
  5. Taylor Fedun: He’s been passed by a lot of kids and there’s a truckload on the way. I wonder if he’ll prefer to try another organization. Certainly nothing wrong with him as a hockey player, hope he gets his chance.
  6. Mark Arcobello: A big season for him, he’s shown well in the AHL and may have a chance this fall to push his way to the NHL. Arcobello’s offense is clear of Andrew Miller’s based on Vollman’s NHL equivalencies and he could be this generation’s Toby Petersen (with more offensive acumen).
  7. Cameron Abney: I think we can make the call from here.  In the hour after he was drafted I said “I suspect this is a decision by the organization to bring in some filthy players. Sort of like Bendfeld a year ago. The concern, as it was with the Coke Machines drafted 00-03, is that the Oilers are doing this extremely early. This fellow should have been available much later in this draft.” Proof last night, as the invite Bilcke performed better (in a small sample size, but we’ve seen years of Abney).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

wallach

Back in the studio today, Friday and a lot going on. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports. He’ll have terrific insight into the Burke hiring. 
  • Erin McLeod, brilliant Olympian goalkeeper for Canadian’s Womens Football Team
  • Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. We’ll argue over prospects, suspects and the Oilers opening night lineup.
  • Rod Proudfoot from FC Edmonton. Eddies had a big crowd for the Cosmos and look for a strong result this weekend.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. We’ll talk about the Tour of Alberta racers and their routines (eating, resting) during competition.

Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260  via text. We’ll also talk a ton of football, CFL and NFL.

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54 Responses to "SOME UGLY BABY"

  1. fuzzy muppet says:

    I know it’s only one game, but it’s hard not to second guess the pick of Nurse at 7 when Nichushkin was there.

    People are raving about his goal last night.

    As Pronman said “He’s not good at everything, but the skills he does possess (scoring, stickhandling, offense) are ELITE.

    Offense is hard to find…

  2. wheatnoil says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    I know it’s only one game, but it’s hard not to second guess the pick of Nurse at 7 when Nichushkin was there.

    People are raving about his goal last night.

    As Pronman said “He’s not good at everything, but the skills he does possess (scoring, stickhandling, offense) areELITE.

    Offense is hard to find…

    Thing is, forwards tend to arrive in the NHL more quickly than defensemen and wingers arrive the fastest. Young wingers tend to be more advanced than their defensive counterparts at the same age. That’s one reason why the World Juniors is so damn fun to watch. The forwards are a step ahead of the D and you get some good old fashioned river hockey played by boys with high skill. So you would expect that a forward (Monahan, Nichushkin, Horvat) drafted at around the same time as a D-man would be more advanced (i.e. closer to NHL-ready) in the next few years following the draft. (One of the reasons why it has been argued to never take defensemen high in the draft.)

    This is a long way of saying that we shouldn’t expect Nurse to dominate the way Nichushkin might in a tournament such as this (though we may see improvement from game 1).

    All that said, I’m fine with Nurse but I would’ve been happy had they picked Nichushkin on draft day.

  3. Logan91 says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    I agree with you, I was not impressed with Nurse at all. He tried to do to much, but what frustrated me most is how he kept pinching for hits and would miss.

    Calgary was to fast.

  4. commonfan14 says:

    fuzzy muppet: I know it’s only one game, but it’s hard not to second guess the pick of Nurse at 7 when Nichushkin was there.

    If you’re going to make the pick partly based on who can help the earliest (a mistake at 7, in my opinion), you also need to consider where Nichushkin was going to slot in as a RW this year.

    Based on the highlight packages I saw of him where virtually every goal was from the right side, I don’t know why people were thinking he was going to play with Gagner and Yak.

  5. cadooo says:

    It was good to see Oilers Hockey in the Okanagan again. Not getting to see Yak here last year was a major disappointment.

    There were a lot of Oiler Jerseys in the crowd. Papa Nurse was in the Oilers end watching the game. MacT, Eakins, Stu, Lowe were all in attendance. I don’t remember this much brass at the last one of these tournaments.

    I thought the Nurse showed a lot of good things last night. In the second he intercepted a pass on a two on one very nicely. He sent the puck the other way confidently all game. He quickly jumped into the play offensively. He reminds me a bit of J. Schultz with a bit more grit. There was something about the way he moved his head in drills that made me think of the J. Schultz comparison or it could just be that he’s lanky 18 year old.

    Before a faceoff in the second Nurse went over said something to Chase which led to Chase having a really nice breakout. I think this kid has a really good head on his shoulders. I was surprised how close he was to Klefbom in terms of development given the difference in age and experience.

    I’m not sure how much we can get from this tournament. RNH didn’t impress me that much two years ago at the tournament. The next game I saw him live he scored a hat trick against the Canucks.

  6. Jesse says:

    Important to remember that Nurse was playing against players several years older than him and also a couple levels ahead of him. I think it always takes players time to adjust when they play at a level that’s higher than they’re used to.

    I could be reading this wrong, but it sounds like there’s a lot of people saying, “I’m not trying to overreact over one game but…” and then they make a judgment call on one game. The ultimate SSS. Reasonable expectations for Nurse this year are for him to play top pairing in the OHL and post some crooked numbers, but that’s against junior-level players. Put up against much more difficult/older/more experienced competition, it makes sense he might be a bit overwhelmed in his first game.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Solid points, Jesse. The Oilers had several defensemen struggle last night, some quite a bit older than Nurse. I think he improved as the game went on, but you’d like to see a bit more in Saturday’s game. However, if he doesn’t play better I think we can reasonably assume it’s not the end of his career.

    The debate about Nichushkin v Nurse is a different item. I think many (speeds?) stated at the time it was a missed opportunity and it may indeed turn out that way.

    Making the call after one night is diabolical. Even for Oiler fans. :-)

  8. no noise suggests no bees says:

    Oilers fans panicking after one preseason prospects game. HOCKEY IS IN THE AIR IN EDMONTON

  9. Hammers says:

    Totally agree with your UP arrows . Klef & Nurse need to be split up in the next game . Nurse will go back to junior based on last night / his position / his age/ and he will need to be a leader not a follower .I allready felt this groups “D” was our best prospects and I still do .If OKL is going to win any games Lander needs to go down as well as Acton . I won’t be surprised to see McT finally get an experienced center .

  10. G Money says:

    To keep some perspective, Wheatnoil‘s point is a good one. Forwards develop faster than defenseman, and last night was a team of older experienced forwards (with some pro experience, including the NHL) against a young D core (with little pro and no NHL experience).

    Even were the experience and age a little more closely aligned, a forward-heavy team has an advantage over a defense-heavy team in a tournament like this, just because of lack of familiarity. The lack of playing time together tends to hurt D more in my observation.

    The main thing is we should expect to see our young D get steadily better over the tournament, as Klefbom works off the rust, Nurse gets used to the pace, and all the pairs practise and get used to each other and the size and pace of the players. If they still look like Keystone Kops in the last game of the tournament, I will start to get a little worried.

    The other point is that inasmuch as the focus was on the defense, I’m actually strangely buoyed by the results from the forwards. I say this because going into the game, I really only had expectations for the following players: Khaira, Roy, Chase, Miller. Three of those guys showed pretty well, and that’s not a bad percentage.

    I *am* very disappointed in Miller, even with a one-game sample. He has neither rust nor age as a concern. He should have been one of the best players on the ice, and he wasn’t, and barring information about some nagging injury, that is not a good thing.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT, I know you’re a big ScarJo fan. Thought you might get a laugh out of this one.

    http://www.wwtdd.com/2013/09/scarlett-johansson-has-big-boobs/

  12. Numenius says:

    Just for some perspective on the imbalance of forward skill last night, here are lists of the drafted forwards with their draft round (with a few notable additions).

    The key things to note are that the Flames had three 1st round picks playing and the Oilers had none. Plus the Oilers’ only 2nd round pick was brand new off the shelf in 2013. That explains a lot of things. Imagine if the Oilers had their latest 3 forward 1st rounders on the ice: Hall, Nuge, and Yak.

    Drafted Forwards (plus notable additions): Name – round, year

    Flames

    Monahan – 1st 2013 (6th overall)
    Poirier – 1st 2013 (22nd overall)
    Baertschi – 1st 2011 (13th overall)
    Granlund – 2nd 2011
    Hanowski –3rd 2009
    Reinhart – 3rd 2010
    Ferland – 5th 2010
    Knight – undrafted, College free agent

    Oilers

    Roy – 2nd 2013
    Khaira – 3rd 2012
    Ewanyk – 3rd 2011
    Abney – 3rd 2009
    Kessy – 4th 2011
    Houck – 4th 2013
    Chase – 7th 2013
    Miller – undrafted, College free agent
    Fyten – undrafted, ECHL

    That explains a lot of the tilt in the Flames favour and shows that it shouldn’t be too concerning.

    Compare also the Jets:

    Scheifele – 1st 2011 (7th overall)
    Petan – 2nd 2013
    Lipon – 3rd 2013
    Lodge – 3rd 2013
    Lowry – 3rd 2011
    Kosmachuk – 3rd 2012
    Brassard – 5th 2011
    Olsen – 6th 2012

    Not quite as unbalanced round-wise, but the Jets 2nd and 3rd rounders have much more skill than the Oilers’ 2nd and 3rd rounders (compared across rounds), with the (possible) exception of Khaira. 2012-13 CHL points for Jets 2nd and 3rd rounders: Petan, 120, Lipon, 65, Lodge, 67, Lowry, 88, Kosmachuk, 65. Of course, we should remember that the Oilers 3rd rounders from 2013 aren’t here (Slepyshev and Yakimov), so that mitigates some cause for concern if the Jets’ prospects beat the Oilers’ prospects soundly.

  13. denny33 says:

    Darnell Nurse is going to be fine. Same with Klefbom.

    The question for me is whether our collection of forwards could muster anything offensively …

    And do the surprise of nobody – we could only score one goal. Calgary saw fit to make a game by scoring on their own net.

    We generated 19 shots on net….

    As some of us noted before hoping Andrew Miller, at his age, would surely show something against a Calgary group that is not really the envy of the league.

    As I predicted before this tournament – not a lot for oppostion goalies to do agains the young oilers.

    Lone positive from what I read is Kharia…..

  14. speeds says:

    Lowetide:

    The debate about Nichushkin v Nurse is a different item. I think many (speeds?) stated at the time it was a missed opportunity and it may indeed turn out that way.

    I never specifically wrote about it at the time, because I couldn’t find a way to properly set the tone I wanted in the article. I think Nurse is a very good prospect, but I think EDM left value on the board in bypassing Nichushkin. LT talks about “draft walkabout”, my personal take is that anyone besides Nichushkin was a draft walkabout at 7 – I felt there was that much of a gap between him and everyone else. And if they didn’t want to take Nichushkin at 7, then IMO they should have (attempted to) line up a trade to move down from 7 to 8-15 – maybe they get Nurse later, maybe they don’t, but I didn’t think the difference between Nurse and a bunch of the guys picked right around him was worth more than they (likely, who knows what they’d have actually received) would have obtained in exchange for moving down.

  15. thejonrmcleod says:

    Though it is extremely unlikely, if Curtis Hamilton ever scores 3 goals in a professional hockey game, do we call it a “Dittrick”? (I don’t think this is in poor taste since I think Ryan now has a new job.)

  16. fuzzy muppet says:

    speeds,

    To me the issue was(and is) that Offense is harder to come by than defense.

    Passing on Nichuskin’s “elite” offensive set (not to mention that he’s got the size the Oilers need) for a steady Eddie defenseman with some Snarl (ESPECIALLY considering the prospect depth of Defense in the system), this one will likely be a huge mistake.

  17. M Parkatti says:

    Nurse is an 18 year old defenceman. Yes, he looked rather clueless at times out there, but if any of that honestly concerns people you need to just chill out. Any of the HFBoards set that assumed he’d make the team out of camp (or even had a chance) are straight up bonkers. I would assume he’ll have a full junior career and a year in the minors after that. He’s got to basically put on 30-40 lbs before he’s ready for NHL time as the player he projects to be.

    Heads up: he’s going to look worse than Nichushkin right now, of course! And he will for awhile! But I’m very hopeful he’ll be taking shifts in our top 4 in 3-4 years, and that will be a very useful thing. Klefbom aside, this org doesn’t have anyone other than Nurse that has the potential to be a top 30 Dman in the league. It’s up to him and the org to get him there.

    But the pissing in the milk here after one prospect game is something else. He had, what, 4 weeks to himself to train/prepare for this season? I’ll start to get alarmed if he doesn’t progress in junior this year, full stop. Then next summer he’ll have a lot more time to train & gain weight. Chill.

  18. justDOit says:

    That entire game (for the most part) was a train wreck of nerves and unfamiliarity. They played a little more cohesively towards the end of the game, but things were pretty much wrapped up by then. In addition to the Flames dressing a more ‘veteran’ prospect lineup, the Oilers were doubly cursed with an abundance of knuckle-draggers (or so it seemed), compared to the Flames’ roster. The level of talent seemed quite one-sided for most of that game.

    It looked like Miller was constantly wondering where his position was. I think the jump from college hockey to this prospect tourney is bigger than most realize, and we’ll have to wait to see how he comes along during this weekend and then into TC.

    There was one player who surprised me, with good positioning and sound puck skills – a BIG defender, wears number 95 (I think?).

  19. Numenius says:

    justDOit,

    95 is Betker.

  20. justDOit says:

    Numenius,

    Thx. I’ve been trying all morning to load the post game vid and highlights from the Oiler site, but nothing is working.

  21. VOR says:

    I am morally conflicted.

    I know that D men develop by sundial. It is one hell of an unpredictable sundial to boot.

    I know that if the list of D that were trashed as rookies and went on to NHL Hall of Fame careers is long.

    I know that if the Oilers fanbase’s patience was as long this would be a very boring blog.

    There in lies the Catch 22. I know logically that these young men will not be defined by this tournament but if I convince others of that then I miss out on the pleasure of seeing panic, hysteria, and hyperbole combining in entertaining new ways. I have decided it is more fun to allow the panic to settle in and hopefully deepen.

    I guess I am just a bad person.

  22. rickithebear says:

    We control for the next 6-8 years
    Hall-XXX-Yak
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    we control for the next 3-5 years
    Perron-Gagner-XXX
    Gordon C
    Lander W/C

    We control for the next 4-6 Years
    Smid-XXX
    Ference-XXX
    XXX-J. Schultz
    Larsen
    Petry for the next 2 years.

    Potential adds best case NHLE @ 22
    Khaira CHLE .98 PPG @ 17.1 73% 60 point NHLE @ 22
    Slepyshev CHLE 1.55 PPG @ 18.3 47% 60 point NHLE @22
    Marco Roy CHL 1.03 PPG @ 17.9 52% 44 point NHLE @ 22
    Chase CHL .71 PPG @ 17.7 57% 33 point NHLE @ 22
    Houck CHL .84 PPG @ 17.5 61% 34 point NHLE @ 22
    Moroz CHL .38PPG @ 17.3 67% 21 point NHLE @ 22
    Most players translate
    75% Chl points at 17.0 in draft year
    50% at 18.0 in draft year.
    40% at 19.0
    35% at 20

  23. rickithebear says:

    Numenius: Monahan – 1st 2013 (6th overall)
    Poirier – 1st 2013 (22nd overall)
    Baertschi – 1st 2011 (13th overall)
    Granlund – 2nd 2011
    Hanowski –3rd 2009
    Reinhart – 3rd 2010
    Ferland – 5th 2010
    Knight – undrafted, College free agent
    Oilers
    Roy – 2nd 2013
    Khaira – 3rd 2012

    numenius!
    i See you posted players and reflected the lack of
    potentialy 2 of our 3 possible top 6 FWD prospects.
    who should role in around the expiration of the 3 year controlled top 9 fwds
    Perron
    Gagner
    Gordon.

    Llisting by draft year is lovely but
    often not reflective for player comparison.

    Khaira Aug 14 1994
    Monohan Oct 12 1994
    less than 2 months apart in age!

  24. delooper says:

    The only way I could have imagined a different outcome for that game was if the Brute Squad collection of forwards the Oilers put together decided to turn the game into guerrilla warfare, a more old-timey Battle Of Alberta (strangely set in BC).

    The D are going to get better but that forward crew (aside from the few points of light pointed out by many of you above) is going nowhere.

  25. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wow, I post a link that says Scarlett Johansen has big boobs and there’s not a single digression from the current conversation discussing the pros & cons of Oil v Flamers prospects.

    I’ll try another tack.

    1) Darnell Nurse is a far safer pick that address a critical need and is thus a better pick than Nicushkin for the Oil at this stage of the rebuild.

    2) ScarJo would look fantastic in a sexy nurse outfit.

    Mental multi-tasking is a wonderful thing.

    Btw, if the leak is true, those new Canada Oly jerseys look horribly generic.

  26. DeadmanWaking says:

    VOR: There in lies the Catch 22. I know logically that these young men will not be defined by this tournament but if I convince others of that then I miss out on the pleasure of seeing panic, hysteria, and hyperbole combining in entertaining new ways.

    If Chicken Little’s Barber of Seville sundial rain-dance is still giving you fizz past the age of fifty, your brain contains more THC than myelin.

    The day comes when you go to put the glove back on, and the glove doesn’t fit.

  27. G Money says:

    VOR: I guess I am just a bad person.

    Yes. Yes you are. (:-) just in case it isn’t obvious)

    delooper: The only way I could have imagined a different outcome for that game was if the Brute Squad collection of forwards the Oilers put together decided to turn the game into guerrilla warfare

    Actually, that’s an interesting point. This game is a perfect showcase against the tired old “we need to get bigger” refrain. By my recollection of the rosters, the Jr Oiler Forwards were considerably bigger overall than the Jr Flamers. The problem is, the Jamers were better hockey players. And they won, easily. Huh. Go figure.

  28. speeds says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I’ll bite:

    Nurse is not a “far safer” pick, and not only does he not address a critical need (in fact, LD is one of the areas EDM is least in need of a prospect – although you always want good prospects no matter the position), he doesn’t address need as much as Nichushkin would have.

  29. speeds says:

    M Parkatti,

    I don’t think this was addressed to me, but when I mentioned Nichushkin vs. Nurse as I did above, it didn’t really have anything to do with Nurse’s game last night.

  30. ASkoreyko says:

    I forgot what this place can turn into after a ugly loss sometimes. Perhaps we are paranoid that good times ahead that look so close are actually much further off in the distance then originally thought. I get not wanting to get ahead of ourselves but the amount of worrying that is going on in this thread after a single game is pretty amazing.

    I think everyone needs to relax and just enjoy watching some of these young players play the game.

    I get that delayed gratification is one of the hardest disciplines to master (hence all the fat/broke) people in the world, but it really is something that is required when talking about drafting Dmen. They might not yield results immediately like another shiny new forward, but man are you screwed later on if you haven’t put a few away for the future.

  31. commonfan14 says:

    speeds: he doesn’t address need as much as Nichushkin would have

    4th line RW?

  32. speeds says:

    commonfan14,

    I’m not talking about addressing need in the first year post-draft.

  33. commonfan14 says:

    I’ve been feeling ticked lately about how all three of our 2nd rounders from the 1 OV years are currently trending toward bust and what that will mean to the team’s chances going forward, so today I checked up on Pittsburgh’s 2nd round picks from their four straight lottery years.

    This list made me feel a little bit better:

    2002: Ondrej Nemec (35 OV) – 0 NLH GPs
    2003: Ryan Stone (32 OV) – 35 NHL GPs
    2004: Johannes Salmonsson (31 OV) – 0 NHL GPs
    2005: Michael Gergon (61 OV in the Crosby snake draft) – 0 NHL GPs

  34. Jon K says:

    Ultimately, the Nurse pick was a problematic one, but not necessarily for any perceived reason regarding his upside, or lack thereof.

    The problem with the Nurse pick is that we took a player who by necessity will take a number of seasons before even the possibility of being an impact player on a winning team. The clock is ticking NOW on the Hall and Eberle contracts.

    I’ve never been much of a fan of the pick, but my main beef is that we took a long view prospect when immediate help was a possible outcome (i.e. trade the pick, or take Nichushkin). That being said, I wasn’t very bullish on Nichushkin for other various reasons as well.

    Ultimately, the validity of my complaint won’t be known for many years. But even now we can ask, how many impact years can we expect from Nurse, if he even makes it, during the next seven years? The answer is likely in the three to five year range. Or less.

  35. commonfan14 says:

    speeds: I’m not talking about addressing need in the first year post-draft

    3rd line RW?

    Sorry to be a dick (and I probably would have picked Nichushkin myself if it were my call), but I don’t see where filling a need plays into it. The top-6 RW spots look pretty well occupied for the foreseeable future.

    The top-1 D spot is excruciatingly open.

  36. speeds says:

    commonfan14,

    I don’t think teams should draft for need either, I was responding to “Bag of Pucks”. So, I wouldn’t have drafted for need, but I think Nichushkin filled a need in the prospect pool moreso than did Nurse.

  37. delooper says:

    I’m not really seeing where you’re coming from either, speeds. So the Oilers acquire Nikushkin and leave him in OKC as the big team has no room for him. The only thing I could see of benefit from that is that Nikushkin would perhaps be a more “obviously valuable asset” earlier than Nurse. But the only way the Oilers would get anything out of that is if they trade-away one of their top wingers or as some kind of injury call-up. None of this is great, even from a short-term thinking perspective.

  38. delooper says:

    Teams have to occasionally draft players that have long development windows. If they don’t, the only way they could acquire players of that type (good defencemen for example) would be by trade or the UFA market. Has any team had success with that kind of model — basically spending all their best draft picks on wingers?

  39. hunter1909 says:

    G Money: By my recollection of the rosters, the Jr Oiler Forwards were considerably bigger overall than the Jr Flamers. The problem is, the Jamers were better hockey players. And they won, easily. Huh. Go figure.

    Great critical thinking.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    A lot of posters bewail the Nurse pick. For this poster, the 2007 Draft(First Round)still produce moments of Zen clarity.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    2007 Draft Oilers first Round(for the youngsters reading Lowetide), had Klowe and MacT drooling and boasting like rabid yet terribly out of condition attack dogs, loudly proclaiming their THREE First Round picks and a very early 2nd Round pick would at a single glorious stroke right everything that had ever been wrong with the Oilers, the posters on Lowetide, and the entire city of Edmonton since they built the roof on the new City Hall.

    Then, like drunken sailors blew three of the four picks on Alex Plante+Riley Nash.

    Nurse still holds Larry Robinson upside, compared to 2007.

  42. hunter1909 says:

    Klefbom on the other hand…lol

    This might turn out to be another case of Doug Lynch-itis.

  43. denny33 says:

    speeds,

    The whole league said “Finally” when the Oilers finally selected a top tier defenceman…

    Hall, Eberle, RNH and Yak is enough elite forwards for one team….

    Some kids are scarred by watching Ryan Whitney play hockey from last year….

    We need – desparately – a top end defenceman.

  44. Woodguy says:

    I thought the baby looked breath taking – Dr. Feffa

  45. speeds says:

    delooper:
    I’m not really seeing where you’re coming from either, speeds.So the Oilers acquire Nikushkin and leave him in OKC as the big team has no room for him. The only thing I could see of benefit from that is that Nikushkin would perhaps be a more “obviously valuable asset” earlier than Nurse.But the only way the Oilers would get anything out of that is if they trade-away one of their top wingers or as some kind of injury call-up. None of this is great, even from a short-term thinking perspective.

    You say “as the big club has no room for him” as though you know that with certainty. Teams have 4 lines, players get hurt, Nichushkin could surprise. There’s nothing wrong with having really good players on the 3rd line – it’s ideal to have players that can potentially play up the depth chart.

  46. speeds says:

    delooper:
    Teams have to occasionally draft players that have long development windows.If they don’t, the only way they could acquire players of that type (good defencemen for example) would be by trade or the UFA market. Has any team had success with that kind of model — basically spending all their best draft picks on wingers?

    Teams are nearly always better off to take the best player available, IMO, and worry about filling needs in ways that don’t involve the draft.

    In the case of the Oilers specifically, prior to the Nurse selection, the Oilers had invested one 1st (19OV – Klefbom) and two 2nds (32OV – Musil, 46OV – Marincin) in defencemen in the three previous drafts – they hadn’t exactly avoided the position with quality draft picks.

  47. LMHF#1 says:

    denny33:
    speeds,

    The whole league said “Finally” when the Oilers finally selected a top tier defenceman…

    Hall, Eberle, RNH and Yak is enough elite forwards for one team….

    Some kids are scarred by watching Ryan Whitney play hockey from last year….

    We need – desparately –a top end defenceman.

    And there is very little indication that man will be Nurse.

    No such thing as enough elite players at any position. Take em all. Worst case you trade them for a different one.

  48. ASkoreyko says:

    LMHF#1: And there is very little indication that man will be Nurse.

    No such thing as enough elite players at any position. Take em all. Worst case you trade them for a different one.

    Very little indication based on what?

    His scouting reports or the one game we saw yesterday?

    There was lots of verbal on Nurse around the draft of him being a top pairing Dman in the NHL. If you are dismissing the scouting reports on Nurse then Nichushkin needs to die by the same sword.

  49. Lowetide says:

    An independent offering on Nurse last night

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/9/6/young-stars-tournament-day-one-oilers-disorganized

    #74 Darnell Nurse: The first thing to notice about Nurse is his skating. He’s a big, big man, but it’s his transition and lateral skating that make him effective. His straight away speed is reasonable, and his skating in short bursts is very good. He was able to keep a close gap against the Flames, and his escapes were sharp all night. He is remarkably mobile and rarely needs to use his size. He’s effective with the puck and showed strong awareness while his partner switched sides all night. He did, however, struggle to read coverage and was rarely patient without the puck. (PS: the trip on Nurse in the third was really, clearly a trip. Tough break.)

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    ASkoreyko: Very little indication based on what?

    His scouting reports or the one game we saw yesterday?

    There was lots of verbal on Nurse around the draft of him being a top pairing Dman in the NHL. If you are dismissing the scouting reports on Nurse then Nichushkin needs to die by the same sword.

    Scouting + numbers. Didn’t watch anything yesterday and would be silly to base anything on a random game in Penticton anyway.

  51. justDOit says:

    New post up – time to argue about which Russian prospect is already a bust!

  52. Spartacus says:

    LT, I know it’s late in the discussion, but I’d just like to say,

    “You are the son of a thousand fathers, all of them bastards like you!”

    I love Tuko.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Spartacus:
    LT, I know it’s late in the discussion, but I’d just like to say,

    “You are the son of a thousand fathers, all of them bastards like you!”

    I love Tuko.

    Me too. I actually think he’s the best thing about the movie. BLONDIEEEEEE!

  54. russ99 says:

    That point were missing on Nurse and Klefbom is that nobody is trading top pairing defensemen right now, and rarely do they end up on the FA market. If so, what are our realistic chances of landing one?

    So we need to develop our own, and we’re going to have to be patient with these guys. Neither of them will be top pairing NHL defensemen the next two seasons, but both of them could be afterward.

    In the meantime, Marincin is looking like he could impact the big league roster as early as January.

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