Tonight on TSN (5:30 EDM time) Bob McKenzie will release his top 30 mid-season list. My guess is Aaron Ekblad will be number one, and we should see SamReinhart, Sam Bennett and Leon Draisaitl in the top group. I last discussed the prospects for 2014 here and McKenzie’s last list was here. The fall McKenzie list is here.

I’ll have an article up about the Oilers scouting department later today.

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45 Responses to "MCKENZIE’S 30"

  1. sliderule says:

    My guess
    Ekblad,Reinhart,Bennett top three
    Sneaking into top ten Jared McCann

  2. Rondo says:


    Brock Otten ( who has been on your show)was asked where Ekblad would have gone last year if he was the right age. Ahead of Nurse or behind?

    His answer…

    I”t’s certainly an interesting question. I’m sure if you asked 10 scouts, the votes would probably be split.

    It’s a question of upside versus safety. I don’t think there’s any question that Nurse has more upside (not saying Ekblad is a slouch, but Nurse is the more dynamic and creative offensive player). Where as Ekblad is the safer pick because of what he can do defensively already.

    Would you rather have a guy (Ekblad) who seems like a safe bet to be a Chris Phillips/Brent Seabrook kind of player, or a guy (Nurse) who could be Alex Pietrangelo…or he could be Paul Mara?”

  3. oilersfan says:

    the more I think about it, the less I want to trade this pick.

    if Pietrangelo can be a top 5 dman in the league in his draft +3, and a legit top pairing guy in his draft plus 2, and Doughty can do it in his draft plus 1, why do we want to trade Ekblad plus Eberle plus J Schultz to get say Shea Weber who will be 29 in a few months?

    I know he is the best in the game but that will start to decline in 3 years when Ekblad may be the “next Shea Weber” for the next 10 years after that.

    the GM of Barrie says Ekblad is the best dman his team has ever had, and they had Pietrangelo.

    the scouts say his hockey sense is off the charts.

    I say don’t trade Eberle don’t trade Yak don’t trade the pick.

    the one piece I would trade that will have some value imo is Klefbom.

    Trade Klef for ehrhoff and that gives you a 1LD who can play with Petry next season then start to mentor ekblad into the top pairing role the season after that. Maybe next season Ekblad makes the team as a 6-7 or goes back to junior but this enables the Oilers to have an elite dman coming very soon and be more competitive next year by adding Ehrhoff and possibly Nikitin.

    The reality is that this team is not so flush with talent they can afford to lose eberle. has nobody noticed they don’;t score all that much?

    I am not the biggest fan of Eberle’s contract but think he is a legit number one RW. Not sure when or if Yak will be there. I don’t believe for a second Hemsky would stay. I sure wouldn’t if I were him so all of a sudden the depth on RW isn’t what we think it is.

  4. oilersfan says:


    where do you see Brock Otten being asked that question? I don’t see it in the link anywhere.

  5. Lowetide says:

    The thing to watch for tonight is movement. The BM September list is our last line in the sand. If one of the players listed outside the top 5 moves into the top 5, that’s your runner.

    1T. Sam Reinhart
    1T. Aaron Ekblad
    3. William Nylander
    4. Leon Draisaitl
    5. Sam Bennett
    6T. Jake Virtanen
    6T. Nicolas Ritchie
    8. Kasperi Kapanen
    9. Michael Dal Colle
    10. Jakub Vrana

  6. oilersfan says:

    iirc Brandon Saad was 9th in the January 2011 BM list. dropped to 27th or so by June due to a groin injury that he tried to play through, and the Oilers picked Musil with 31 and Saad was picked around 47. Missed on Saad and Jenner in the same day.. I will be upset about that forever.

  7. stevezie says:


    What if we trade it for Couturier, for example? (Philly is one of the few teams in the league that need D as badly as we do- I actually think that deal is realistic.)

    I understand the appeal of the mystery box (Ekbland could be anything! He could even be Pietrangelo!), but when the return is already as good as you can realistically project the mystery box to be anyway, I think we would be crazy not to take that deal.

    Not that Couturier is the only deal I would take. I’d move the pick in a heartbeat for anyone who fit the above description.

  8. sliderule says:

    If Draisaitl doesn’t kick it into gear he will drop out of final top twenty.

    He has been brutal since returning from WJC.

  9. Rondo says:


    Philly also have Scott Laughton somewhat similar to Couturier.

  10. Pouzar says:


    Wow wasn’t aware the Barrie GM said that.

    I want Ekblad.

  11. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    So if we draft Nylander and he puts on the sweater on stage, is he still coming after he checks with Mom?

  12. oilersfan says:


    I would have to seriously consider that, as an example, but it is all these ideas to trade half the roster for shea weber I don’t like.

    that being said, if you do that for Couturier,, what do you do about the D?

    the reality, as I see it is, this team has too many holes and not enough assets. They are last now so get the franchise dman. hopefeully they can finish around 22nd next year and can get a big two way center ala Couturier/Hanzal/Bo Horvat They are usually found around the 10th overall pick, or possible in one year the Oilers can trade the 10th overall (kets hope) to a team looking to go nuclear on a rebuild and sell a guy like that (like Travis Zajac or someone). for now fill that role with the best free agent you can find for 2 years or keep Gagner and find him a LW with size to make him a better all around player like Penner..

  13. oilersfan says:

    not sure if any of you are noticing, but guys like Ryan Murray, Trouba and seth Jones are playing around 20 minutes a night and not getting killed. I think we can pencil in Ekblad to play 2RD next season.

  14. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I truly hope we move that pick and not have to suffer through TSN draft day and the subsequent and lengthy wander in the desert waiting for tomorrows promise. I get not giving up high picks as a general rule, but I think that gets tested when you’ve had three no. 1′s consecutively followed by a no. 7. Time to trade promise for immediate need to ‘average out’ and get back to the draft table in 2015. Enough already.

  15. ASkoreyko says:

    The big advantage of acquiring an all-world dman like Weber is he doesn’t just push everyone down 1 spot, he pushes them all down 1.5 spots.

    If you suddenly plunk Weber on this team it allows you to run a more raw rookie like Nurse or even Marincin with him and then turn your former 1/2 into 3/4.

    That being said, like mentioned above, it didnt take Pietrangelo or Doughty 3+ years to become players capable of handling 20 mins a night.

    The team needs a quality 2nd line center (new Horcoff), but you would hope you can sign a guy to fill that role for cheaper if the kids manage to turn things around and players actually WANT to play here.

    If the draft happened today I would want the Oilers to draft Ekblad. As nervous as dmen make me, see what the kid has accomplished already makes me drool. I get the argument he is a man playing against boys, but his season prior to this was excellent as well.

  16. stevezie says:


    I think you’re making a jump there. Only Jones is playing immediately after being drafted, the rest had time to percolate.

    Also, Jones was spoken of in much more glowing terms than Ekblad, and has struggled mightily at time this season. I don’t think you can reasonably expect Ekblad to be a consitantly positive factor for whoever drafts him for at least two years.

    “that being said, if you do that for Couturier,, what do you do about the D?”
    If we draft Ekblad, what about center depth? I see both holes as equal. I support deploying the pick in whichever way nets the most effective plug. Right now I would rank Couturier over Ekblad. Now one hole is guaranteed, for sure plugged. At this point in team building, I think we need a guarentee.

    *I would probably trade Yak for Trouba, though I think our window on that one has closed. We need to keep Yak until he gets good now. (I’d still take him over Murray)


    Exactly, and Schenn can play center. Both teams would be getting what they need and giving what they can spare. It’s one thing to have a Jordan Staal playing 3C, it’s another to hang on to him when he could net you the top D your franchise is dying for a lack of.

  17. denny33 says:


    the GM of Barrie says Ekblad is the best dman his team has ever had, and they had Pietrangelo.
    Welcome to the small tiny club in here advocating Ekblad….

    Lots of quotes like the ones above I have heard…..scouts are *unanimous* he is the best D-man in the draft…

    I hear other correctly point out foot speed – and the Eric Gudbranson pick does haunt me in the back of my mind…

    BUT – Jonas Brodin, Jacob Trouba, Seth Jones, etc, etc all came from the draft.

    It is waiting for us – if we want it…unless Buffalo takes Ekblad.

    Nurse, Klefbom
    Petry Ekblad
    Marincin J Schultz

  18. denny33 says:


    Philly – Holmgren – not in a position to trade a known player for a 17 year old….

    Holmgren on the hot seat now – right now. This minute. Snyder calling every day. Have you improved the team yet.

  19. sumaclab says:

    Who cares? Isn’t MacT suppose to piss away this pick in favor of some ELC player who can helpus now? Trade for D.Take a center. Or better yet trade this pick to Montreal for Galchenyuk and Montreal’s 1st round pick.

  20. sumaclab says:

    Honestly if I were GM I’d wait to see where we pick before anything is done with the pick. That includes at this years trade deadline. The Oilers willhave at least 9 new faces next year for Dallas. 5 of those have to be NHLplayers. Not tweeners.

  21. Blackbyrd says:

    Has anyone else been kind of unimpressed by Reinhart?

    In an admittedly small sample size (i.e., mostly the WJCs), he kind of reminds me of – and I hesitate to say this – Sam Gagner: the only superlative skill that I’ve seen is his hockey sense, vision, and his passing (although it seems to extend to the defensize zone too in Reinhart’s case). Everthing else looked very good to great to me, but not exceptional: good not great speed – with excellent edgework – but not a burner; willing to engage, but undersized; a slightly above average shot…I don’t know…I think he’ll be a better player than Gagner, but I see enough similarities in their game to worry that he’s not worth a #1 overall pick.

  22. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:


    I had the same thought including the comparison to Gagner.

  23. stevezie says:


    This offseason he will either be fired or not fired. If he is not fired he will fully be in the position to do this because this 17 year-old will be addressing his franchises greatest area of need. Philly sucks because their defenceman suck. They can’t even blame the goalie this year.

    If he is fired then his successor will be in the position to do the same thing. There’s no way this trade happens right now, sadly. but it makes sense in the summer.

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    I still think this shows that there’s a lot to like about Gagner. Just, not a lot to like about him on this team. Or not enough, anyway. Gagner is good, but we need Martin Hanzel.

  24. Rondo says:

    Never been a Gagner fan wanted to trade him forever, however the guy had a broken jaw I think it takes time to heal physically and mentally .

  25. gr8one says:

    If we’re trading with Philly and our first is on the table I’d guess waiting until draft day would be the most prudent.

    I could see the excitement of them hosting the draft and wanting to make a big splash for their home fans being a good recipe to extract maximum assets.

  26. prairieschooner says:

    Sorry to go off topic but
    I believe Darren Dreger spouted about the Oilers making snap hirings without doing a proper search and that management were totally at fault for the team yada yada
    It seems to me that The hiring of ST took a while as did RK
    This would tend to indicate an erratic process rather than snap judgements.
    Was ST hired to ensure the Oilers would have multiple “top” picks.
    Did he know ?

  27. Lynas1 says:

    Sam Bennett. That is all.

  28. Rondo says:

    Sounds like Oilers will be looking at

    Aaron Ekblad

    Michael Dal Colle

    Leon Draisaitl

  29. steveb12344 says:

    It’s a real tough call for the Oilers. It should be very interesting, provided they keep the pick.

    Any of those top 3 look very good. If he has his choice, I’d bet on MacT to take Ekblad. I think he’s drooling over the thought of a future pairing of Ekblad/Nurse.

  30. cabbiesmacker says:


    What if we trade it for Couturier, for example?

    Then you’d get a middling C who can PK but doesn’t provide much offense. I’m not a Couturier hater by any stretch but I’ve followed his career very closely because I liked him a lot in that draft year. Imo he hasn’t improved a whole ton in 3 years. Not buying the linemates thing either.

    IMO you want your 2C to provide a lot more offence than SC does. Couturier gets 4th C and #8F minutes on the PP for a reason and it’s because he’s more valuable on the PK and can’t provide as much O.

    I wouldn’t trade the #1 – 2 OV for him straight up and unless you’re giving a top 5 pick for him Philly probably isn’t that interested. Maybe a position where we have redundancy (RW). Oilers need good D more than that 2C and imo it’d be easier to trade a prospect, non first round pick, and a Gagner type to get one. Potential star D don’t come around every year.

    One back at you if you like him a lot…would you trade Yakupov for him?

  31. VanOil says:

    Ekblad does not appeal to me. (A physically mature kid will always look good against other kids)

    If Oilers secure the 1 pick that secures him I hope they trade down. Flipping picks with Florida for Kulikov and drafting Draisaitl even if we have to through in a D prospect like Fedun would appeal to me a lot more.

  32. cabbiesmacker says:


    If Oilers secure the 1 pick that secures him I hope they trade down. Flipping picks with Florida for Kulikovand drafting Draisaitl even if we have to through in a D prospect like Fedun would appeal to me a lot more.

    Tell Cgy you’re taking Reinhart but that you’ll give them the pick for Gio?

  33. cabbiesmacker says:

    Has anyone else been kind of unimpressed by Reinhart?

    , Sam Gagner: the only superlative skill that I’ve seen is his hockey sense, vision, and his passing (although it seems to extend to the defensize zone too in Reinhart’s case).

    Nope but I’m chuckling over the comp to Gagner and then you proceeding to mention three skills Gagner “doesn’t” have.

    Reinhart is 6’1, 185. That projects to at least 6’1, 200. With those hands, smarts and that size he could end up being the Oiler #1 in 2 – 3 years.

  34. VanOil says:

    cabbiesmacker: Tell Cgy you’re taking Reinhart but that you’ll give them the pick for Gio?

    Bruke is just crazy enough that this is possible

  35. spoiler says:

    Some points on Ekblad not yet noted in the (B)Oilogosphere, keeping in mind we don’t have TOI data…

    –Height and weight have little to do with scoring from the point. It’s a lot different saying such and such a dman is dominating Juniors offensively because he has a more mature body, than it is saying such and such a centerman is dominating offensively due to his size. The one area where it might have an effect is more EV TOI (because the coach trusts you), but in comparison to another big body like Nurse, this size factor seems far less relevant.

    – Ekblad out-scored Nurse in their draft-1 years by a massive amount. In his draft-1 year Ekblad slightly outscored Nurse in his draft year. In his draft year Ekblad is nearly matching Nurse’s totals in his draft +1 year. (I am using PPG for these comparisons)

    –In his draft-1 year Ekblad had a remarkable playoffs. That means the coach was leaning heavily on a very young player in very difficult situations.

    I like Nurse a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I think Ekblad is at least as good offensively and very likely better. And in fact, I would rank Ekblad’s hockey sense ahead of Nurse’s. Both match up well with Pietrangelo’s totals (who had some injury issues IIRC) and are just a shade behind Jones’. Neither player scored like Doughty did in his draft-1 year, however.

  36. spoiler says:

    Top goalie is Thatcher Demko from BC at #32. Will MacT be able to hold off taking him? Will teams like Pitt or Chicago want him with their 1st?

  37. Lowetide says:

    An item on Ekblad and the Oilers situation

  38. stevezie says:


    Well, to be fair, when I talk about trading our 1st I see it being in the 3-6 range. At one point Eckblad looked like he would fall there, now he doesn’t.

    I doubt SC is worth the 1st overall, and no I wouldn’t trade Yak for him.

    However, if Philly sweetened the pot… somehow? Would they give SC to swap picks? That sounds like a lot, but if we have the one or two I would probably do it.

  39. Pouzar says:

    This is the first time I have wanted to opt for the d-man in our recent high drafts.
    Reinhart and Draisaitl scare the bejesus outta me for some reason.

  40. Rondo says:


    Seth Jones was a bigger favorite to be #1 at this point last year than Ekblad

    btw Jagr says that Valeri Nchushkin will become the best player in the NHL

  41. stevezie says:


    Good point, but his competition was also considered stronger.

    One more reason why I am very onside with trading the pick- I don’t want to get mesmerized by draft number. When Eckblad is compared to last year’s picks he seems to fall in the Nurse-Ristolainen range as opposed to the Jones. Still heady company to be sure, but if someone is willing to pay for a “#1 Pick!” and we’re only selling a #6-10? Let’s dance!

  42. godot10 says:

    Top goalie is Thatcher Demko from BC at #32.Will MacT be able to hold off taking him?Will teams like Pitt or Chicago want him with their 1st?

    I think the St. Louis Blues are trading for Ryan Miller, and thus won’t use that pick on a goaltender.

  43. spoiler says:

    godot10: I think the St. Louis Blues are trading for Ryan Miller, and thus won’t use that pick on a goaltender

    Lol, totally forgot about the Magnus trade while all caught up ciphering the draft. That’s a stupid trade for the Blues; however if they do it, there’s still no guarantee they sign him. I think Miller will want to explore his FA options, barring of course a SCF appearance.

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