BLUE BULLET’S EARLY 30

With every draft class, a theme emerges and while the 2014 Draft class lacks in size it more than makes up for it in skill. With this draft, it does not have some of the lustre of past years, due to its lack of star power at the top end of the draft, but there appears to be a lot of depth and skill at the forward position. As a rule of thumb, the best pick to take is the best forward available and while many will argue there is no clear cut top forward I am starting to see one emerge.

This year I decided to include the points-per-game of each player as well as their points-per-game not including power-play points. I have also included what percentage of their points are non-power play points.

 

1. Sam Bennett

POS: C
DOB: 6/20/96
HT: 6’0.25”

WT: 178
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Kingston (OHL)
STATS: 41GP  27G  41A  68P  +29  95PIM

P/G 1.64

P/G(w/o PP): 1.14 (69.4%)

Bennett not only has the best points per game of any CHL player in the draft, he also has the most impressive even strength production with a P/G >15% better than the rest of the CHL draft class. Combine this with the fact Bennett is a 96 born rather than a 95 born like Reinhart and that he plays with an edge at a very high compete level, Bennett currently stands out as the best forward available.

 

2. Aaron Ekblad
POS: D
DOB: 2/7/96
HT: 6’3.5”
WT: 216
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Barrie (OHL)
STATS: 38GP  17G  21A  38P  0  60PIM

P/G: 1.00

P/G(w/o PP): 0.39 (39.5%)

For most people Ekblad is the top choice, as he projects to be a minute munching pillar of a d-man and the perfect partner to match on a top pairing with an offensive player. While I never projected a huge offensive upside with Ekblad, what I like this year is he has developed into a strong shooting option on the power play making him the type of d-man that can be used in all situations.

 

3. Sam Reinhart

POS: C

DOB: 11/6/95

HT: 6’0.75”

WT: 185

SHOOTS: R

TEAM: Kootenay (WHL)

STATS: 40GP 24G  41A  65P  +9  9PIM

P/G: 1.63

P/G(w/o PP): 0.95 (58.5%)

Reinhart is always described as being the most intelligent player in the draft, so it is not surprising to see he is very effective on the power play where it allows him to pick apart the other team. While he does not project to be an elite player, he appears more likely to be a very good two-way center that would be a #1 on a bad team or a great #2 on a good team.

 

4. Michael Dal Colle
POS: C/LW
DOB: 6/20/96
HT: 6’1.5
WT: 179
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Oshawa (OHL)
STATS: 50GP  32G  39A  71P +9 32PIM

P/G: 1.46

P/G(w/o PP): 0.76 (53.5%)

Out of my top five players, Dal Colle has been the least effective player at even strength, but you have to factor in that he is a younger player than either Draisaitl or Reinhart and should be further behind in development. Another positive going for Dal Colle is that he can add a lot of size and strength to his lanky frame so he has more room for growth in this area compared to Draisaitl.

 

5. Leon Draisaitl
POS: C/LW
DOB: 10/27/95
HT: 6’1.75”
WT: 208
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Prince Albert (WHL)
STATS: 43GP  19G  41A  60P  -2  20PIM

P/G: 1.40

P/G(w/o PP): 0.93 (66.7%)

Statistically Draisaitl and Reinhart are having similar seasons in the WHL, with the big difference in point production due mainly to Reinhart’s power play production. However, Reinhart has outperformed Draisaitl at the big scouting events and while I do not like to put too much emphasis on a handful of games, it can show how a player reacts to a pressure situation.

 

6. William Nylander

POS: C/LW
DOB: 5/1/96
HT: 5-11
WT: 169
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sodertalje (Allsvenskan)
STATS: 29GP  11G  10A  21P  0  14PIM

P/G: 0.72

P/G(w/o PP): 0.52 (71.4%)

While being arguably the most skilled player available, Nylander has had an up and down season, as he had only been scoring at a 0.44 P/G pace with Rogle before being transferred to Sodertalje where his production spiked to 1.18 P/G. If he continues to play at this level for the rest of the season, where his production actually matches his talent level, I would expect Nylander to move back into the top 3 discussion.

 

7. Jake Virtanen
POS: RW
DOB: 8/17/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 208
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Calgary (WHL)
STATS: 51GP  32G  18A  50P  +15  73PIM

P/G: 0.98

P/G(w/o PP): 0.73 (74%)

What Virtanen has going for him is his strong even strength goal production combined with the fact that he is one of the youngest players available. Add in the fact that he is a great skater, with a good shot, who likes to play a power forward game and it would not surprise me if he ends up a top 5 choice.

 

8. Nick Ritchie
POS: LW
DOB: 12/5/95
HT: 6’2.25”
WT: 231
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Peterborough (OHL)
STATS: 42GP  23G  25A  48P  -4  97PIM

P/G: 1.14

P/G(w/o PP): 0.83 (72.9%)

It would be nice to have TOI stats because with his huge frame and his strength I would have expected Ritchie to have more power play points. While I do think Ritchie’s offensive skills are a notch below that of the top five players, I could see him easily going top five as a team falls in love with a big physical winger that can skate and may play in their top six.

 

9. Haydn Fleury
POS: D
DOB: 7/8/96
HT: 6’2.5”
WT: 198
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Red Deer (WHL)
STATS: 51GP  6G  30A  36P  +16  32PIM

P/G: 0.71

P/G(w/o PP): 0.35 (50.0%)

In terms of skillset, Fleury has all the tools you want in a top 4 d-man as he brings size, smarts and skating. At even strength, Fleury has produced at a similar rate to that of Ekblad and while his upside is not that far behind Ekblad, Fleury is not as polished currently.

 

10. Alex Tuch
POS: RW
DOB:
HT: 6’4”
WT: 213
SHOOTS:
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 37GP  22G  19A  41P  +23  32PIM

P/G: 1.11

P/G(w/o PP): 0.86 (78.0%)

NCAA P/G: 0.93

NCAA P/G(w/o PP): 0.79 (84.6%)

Tuch is a player that is currently all over the map in the rankings but count me on the Tuch bandwagon as I like the fact that he produces strong even strength numbers not only at the USHL level but also when playing against NCAA teams. The main concern with Tuch is how much of his production is a result of other talented players on his team (Eichels, Milano) and how much is due to him.

 

11. Nikolaj Ehlers
POS: LW
DOB: 2/14/96
HT: 5’11.5”

WT: 162
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Halifax (QMJHL)
STATS: 48GP  30G  41A  71P  +41  39PIM

P/G: 1.48

P/G(w/o PP): 0.90 (60.6%)

While not a big person, this Dane has had an outstanding rookie season and you can see that his lack of size is doing nothing to stop him from scoring at an even strength rate similar to Reinhart. Combine that with the fact he has blazing speed and this little guy is showing good signs that he could be a very productive top 6 forward.

 

12. Kasperi Kapanen
POS: RW
DOB: 7/23/96
HT: 6-0
WT: 180
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: KalPa (Liiga)
STATS: 35GP  5G  5A  10P  0  4PIM

P/G: 0.29

P/G(w/o PP): 0.26 (90.0%)

When a player plays in a men’s league it can make it tough to project their offensive potential, so in these situations I have to put more emphasis into what the scouting rankings are saying. With a European player what I like to do is slot them alongside a North American player who I perceive to have similar upside and in this case I see a skilled player with top six upside like Kapanen slotting in just behind Ehlers.

 

13. Sonny Milano
POS: LW
DOB: 5/12/96
HT: 5’11.5”
WT: 183
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 35GP  16G  36A  52P  +21  19PIM

P/G: 1.49

P/G(w/o PP): 0.94 (63.5%)

NCAA P/G: 1.00

NCAA P/G(w/o PP): 0.50 (50.0%)

Scouts have described Milano as a skilled finesse playmaking winger and he is having a very good year, as he is the current leading scorer for the USA Under-18 team. One thing that makes it difficult when looking at Milano’s stats is the fact that the USA U-18 team plays against different levels of competition. One interesting stat to look at is his NCAA production where Milano has put up a 1.00 P/G.

 

14. David Pastrnak
POS: RW
DOB: 5/25/96
HT: 6-0

WT: 167
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sodertalje (Allsvenskan)
STATS: 36GP  8G  16A  24P  +7  24PIM

P/G: 0.67

P/G(w/o PP): 0.50 (75.0%) 

When you read the scouting reports for Pastrnak you hear many similarities to Ehlers as both are smaller, flashier players with good speed and offensive skills. At this point in time, I have more information about Ehlers, so he slots in ahead of Pastrnak, but it is very impressive that Pastrnak is currently the scoring leader for Sodertalje playing in the Allsvenskan (the Swedish AHL).

 

15. Robby Fabbri
POS: C
DOB: 1/22/96
HT: 5-10
WT: 166
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Guelph (OHL)
STATS: 40GP  30G  27A  57P  +29

P/G: 1.43

P/G(w/o PP): 0.93 (67.3%)

Fabbri is my dark horse pick and the player I feel is being underrated the most out of any player in the first round. When compared with a NHL player, Fabbri is usually compared with former Guelph player Ryan Callahan but the difference is that Callahan was 3 years older than Fabbri when he put up a 1.35 P/G season with the Storm. (Jeff Skinner put up comparable numbers in his draft year to Fabbri).

 

16. Josh Ho-Sang
POS: C/RW
DOB: 1/22/96
HT: 5’11”
WT: 166
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Windsor (OHL)
STATS: 49GP  24G  39A  63P  +27  32PIM

P/G: 1.29

P/G(w/o PP): 0.96 (74.6%)

In terms of skill level, Ho-Sang is one of the most talented players in the draft and I find it impressive that the majority of his production has been at even strength despite being an undersized forward. One of the concerns with Ho-Sang is that he can be too individualistic in his play but if he continues to improve upon this I could see him continuing to shoot up the rankings.

 

17. Brendan Perlini
POS: LW
DOB: 4/27/96
HT: 6’2.5”
WT: 205
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Niagara (OHL)
STATS: 46GP  28G  33A  61P  -4  24PIM

P/G: 1.33

P/G(w/o PP): 0.61 (45.9%)

In past years, I would likely have overrated a big skilled player like Perlini, as I would not have put up enough emphasis on him racking up over half of his points on the power play. One thing to keep in mind with Perlini is the amount of growth he has had from one year to another as he had only 12 points all of last season.

 

18. Ivan Barbashev
POS: C/LW
DOB: 12/14/95
HT: 6’1”
WT: 185
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Moncton (QMJHL)
STATS: 38GP  17G  33A  50P  -8  25PIM

P/G: 1.32

P/G(w/o PP): 0.74 (56.0%) 

With Barbashev I was expecting to see a higher PPG for a 95 born but you should not just fixate on just the numbers as there are many factors such as TOI, luck, quality of team and so much more to consider. What I really like about Barbashev is that if his offensive game isn’t good enough to be in the top 6, he is such a versatile hard working player that he should be able to find a role as a 3rd liner.

 

19.Nikolay Goldobin
POS: LW/RW
DOB: 10/7/95
HT: 5’11.5”
WT: 178
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Sarnia (OHL)
STATS: 50GP  34G  41A  75P  -16  21PIM

P/G: 1.50

P/G(w/o PP): 0.98 (64.4%)

Goldobin has great offensive skills that he has been using to carry the offensive load for the Sting. What I find impressive is that his even strength production is so strong considering how other teams must key in on him every game. While his offensive talents are undeniable, Goldobin needs a lot of work in other areas like his defensive game and physicality.

 

20. Anthony DeAngelo
POS: D
DOB: 10/24/95
HT: 5’10.5”
WT: 175
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sarnia (OHL)
STATS: 43GP  13G  47A  60P  -29  67PIM

P/G: 1.40

P/G(w/o PP): 0.67 (48.3%)

What speaks volumes of DeAngelo’s offensive talent is that if you were to show me just his stats lines I would expect him to be a playmaking centre not a defenceman. The concern, as with most small offensive d-man, is whether he can develop the defensive side of the game so that he can be an effective pro. The upside is huge if he does.

 

21. Julius Honka
POS: D
DOB: 12/3/95
HT: 5’10.5”
WT: 178
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Swift Current (WHL)
STATS: 43GP  12G  30A  42P  +11  34PIM

P/G: 0.98

P/G(w/o PP): 0.53 (53.8%)

It is a tossup, at the moment, as to which small puck moving d-man I prefer but for now I went with DeAngelo, who has the more dynamic offensive skills. Who ends up as my favorite at the end of year will likely come down to pouring over the scouting reports to try and determine which of the two players projects to be the better overall defenceman.

 

22. Adrian Kempe
POS: C/LW
DOB: 9/13/96
HT: 6’1.5”
WT: 187
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: MODO (SEL)
SEL STATS: 36GP  4G  5A  9P  +5  12PIM

J20 STATS: 16GP  3G  16A  19P  +9  24PIM

SEL P/G 0.25

SEL P/G(w/o PP): 0.25

J20 P/G: 1.19

J20 P/G(w/o PP): 0.75

It is impressive that despite barely making the cut-off age for the draft, Kempe has spent the majority of the season playing in the top league in Sweden. While I like the fact he plays a strong power forward game it will be whether I feel Kempe has 2nd line upside or is he more suited to be a 3rd line checker.

 

23. Jared McCann
POS: C
DOB: 5/3/96
HT: 6’0.25
WT: 179
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
STATS: 49GP  22G  26A  48P  +11  30PIM

P/G: 0.98

P/G(w/o PP): 0.53

McCann is a player that you can find in the top 10 on a few rankings but I just don’t see the upside that warrants such a high selection with his even strength production projecting him to be more likely a 3rd liner. While only being average sized, what he does have going for him is being a smart well-rounded centre with a good shot.

 

24. Dylan Larkin
POS: C/LW
DOB: 7/30/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 190
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 37GP  17G  15A  32P  +9  38PIM

P/G: 0.86

P/G(w/o PP): 0.62 (71.9%)

NCAA P/G: 0.71

NCAA P/G(w/o PP): 0.50 (70.0%)

There is a lot of talent on this years USA Under-18 team and Larkin is among them as he is a speedy hard working power forward. The question with Larkin is whether he has the skills to be a top 6 forward and if you compare him with Tuch and Milano his even strength production is about 2/3 of theirs which suggest to me he is likely more of a 3rd liner.

25. Conner Bleackley
POS: C/RW
DOB: February 7, 1996
HT: 6’0.5”
WT: 192
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Red Deer (WHL)
STATS: 51GP  23G  34A  57P  +13  37PIM

P/G: 1.12

P/G(w/o PP): 0.71 (63.2%)

The theme for this section of my draft rankings would be versatility as Bleackley is another hard working character player that every team likes to have. It was a close decision between Larkin and Bleackley but Larkin being the better skater was the deciding factor at this time.

 

26. Roland McKeown
POS: D
DOB: 1/20/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 197
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Kingston (OHL)
STATS: 47GP  8G  24A  32P  +25  47PIM

P/G: 0.68

P/G(w/o PP): 0.36 (53.1%) 

There was a point in time when I would have slotted a great skating jack-of-all-trades d-man like McKeown ahead of many of the forwards above him because d-men are the more valuable commodity. However, history has shown d-men are tougher to predict than forwards are so it is less likely McKeown reaches his second pairing potential.

 

27. Anton Karlsson
POS: RW
DOB: 8/3/96
HT: 6’1.25”
WT: 187
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Frolunda (J20)
STATS: 22GP  10G  8A  18P  +4  57PIM

P/G: 0.82

P/G(w/o PP): 0.55 (66.7%)

Karlsson is another one of those players that is tough to get a read on due to him being all over the rankings. The reason his rankings are inconsistent is likely due to Karlsson’s play being described as inconsistent. The power winger plays a well-rounded game in tournament play but a more selfish skilled game in league play.

 

28. Nikita Scherbak
POS: LW
DOB: 12/30/95
HT: 6’2”
WT: 174
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Saskatoon (WHL)
STATS: 51GP  25G  39A  64P  +4  28PIM

P/G: 1.25

P/G(w/o PP): 0.80 (64.1%)

It is a credit to the skill level of the forwards in this draft that a tall lanky skilled player like Scherbak is considered a late first round pick. With Scherbak, I see his top end potential slightly lower than the players in my teens and he is not as versatile as the players just above him, so while I like him as a prospect, there are a few players I like just a little more.

 

29. Jakub Vrana
POS: C/RW
DOB: 2/28/96
HT: 5’11”
WT: 185
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Linkoping (SEL)
STATS: 19GP  2G  1A  3P  -2  2PIM

STATS: 22GP  14G  11A  25P  +6  16PIM

SEL P/G: 0.16

SEL P/G(w/o PP): 0.16

J20 P/G: 1.14

J20 P/G(w/o PP): 0.77

With most top Swedish prospects, like the skilled undersized forward Vrana, they split their time between the junior level and the SEL. I have always found it easier to compare their junior league stats where they receive considerably more playing time. Vrana stats lines at juniors are interesting where only one of his 14 goals has been on the power play yet only four of his 11 assists have been at even strength.

 

30(A). Nick Schmaltz
POS: C
DOB: 2/23/96
HT: 5’11.5”
WT: 172
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Green Bay (USHL)
STATS: 33GP  10G  28A  38P  0  10PIM

P/G: 1.15

P/G(w/o PP): 0.76

When it came to deciding to pick my final player for my top 30 I decided to cop out as I wanted to include both Schmaltz and Fiala in my rankings. With Schmaltz, there is always praise for his hockey sense and his puck skills, but he falls in my rankings as there are concerns such as the fact he has only five even strength goals for the season.

 

30(B). Kevin Fiala
POS: C/LW
DOB: 7/22/96
HT: 5’10”
WT: 180
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: HV71 (SEL)
SEL STATS: 9GP  3G  7A  10P  +3  4PIM

J20 STATS: 26GP  10G  14A  24P  +9  38PIM

SEL P/G 1.11

SEL P/G(w/o PP): 0.88

J20 P/G: 0.92

J20 P/G(w/o PP): 0.54

I am having trouble getting a good read on where to place Fiala as his production at the junior level did not have him in my radar as he was producing less than a P/G pace. Where Fiala really started to grab attention was at the WJC and it continues with an impressive run in the SEL, where he is scoring at a higher P/G pace than he did at the junior level which is unheard of.

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68 Responses to "BLUE BULLET’S EARLY 30"

  1. Lowetide says:

    All of this post is BB”s just want to thank him for allowing me to present it here.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “However, Reinhart has outperformed Draisaitl at the big scouting events and while I do not like to put too much emphasis on a handful of games, it can show how a player reacts to a pressure situation.”

    This is the kind of thing that I think has Draisaitl all over the map. His play at the WJC and the prospects game wasn’t amazing and appears to have been offset what was a building interest in the player.

    I tend to discount what this line of thought has to offer, but I also like to pay it a lot mind knowing that hockey decision makers give it a lot of credence.

  3. Lowetide says:

    I’d guess the Oilers have it:

    1. Ekblad
    2. Bennett
    3. Reinhart
    4. Draisaitl
    5. Dal Colle

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The attention to DOB and 5×5 points is really strong here. I congratulate BB for it.

    For the next step I’d like to see the NHLE for the various leagues.

  5. russ99 says:

    I’m still pretty high on Draisaitl, and if his stock falls and we can trade down and get an asset and still be able to draft him, that would work out pretty well for us, especially if Ekblad is off the board when we pick.

  6. Jordan says:

    Well, at least I understand the Oilers’ season game plan now:

    Suck for Tuch.

    That is all.

  7. Ducey says:

    Looks like two replacements for Gagner in the top 3. Question is, should we expect either to be any better?

    My fear is that the Oilers trade Gagner on the assumption that they will get Bennett or Reinhart and the guy they pick just turns out to be Gagner v.2

  8. Jon K says:

    Well, the Oilers are in contention for the first overall pick, so of course it has to be a year without elite talent at the top. Unfortunate, but not much use in complaining about it.

    I agree completely with BB’s ranking of 1-3. Those three seem to be the top tier, with Dal Colle, Draisatl, Nylander, and Virtanen being the tier just below that.

    I would think that the Oilers covet Ekblad, but would settle for Bennett. For all appearances Bennett appears to be the antithesis of the Oilers current young stars. Plays a complete, two-way game and competes in hard areas all over the ice. The one problem area is size, with his highest listed weight online at 181 lbs. We don’t see reports talking about a projectable frame either, so that might be close to his limit.

    Overall, Bennett’s ES scoring and age make him the number one with a bullet. Hard to see Buffalo passing on him if they are 1st overall, given how starved they are for centres and scoring.

    I think it’s important to keep in mind that the new draft lottery really messes with the Oilers’ chances of getting a top two pick if they finish 29th.

    Chances of drafting first overall:
    30th: 25%
    29th: 18.8%
    28th: 14.2%

    So if the Oilers finish 29th, they have an 18.8% chance of drafting first, 25% chance of drafting second, and 57% chance of drafting third overall.

    Speculating wildly, I bet the Oilers move the pick if they get bumped down to third.

  9. Ducey says:

    Sam Reinhart has just 9 minutes in penalties? Wow. Bennett has 95!

    Might seal the deal for me (in favour of Bennett).

  10. russ99 says:

    Jon K,

    I’d rather see the Oilers draft a bigger player over a more polished one. Send whoever it is back to juniors another year and bring both this pick and Nurse over to the big club in Fall 2015.

  11. alice13 says:

    Yesterday Buddy Holly

    Today, his guitar

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey:
    Looks like two replacements for Gagner in the top 3.Question is, should we expect either to be any better?

    My fear is that the Oilers trade Gagner on the assumption that they will get Bennett or Reinhart and the guy they pick just turns out to be Gagner v.2

    With any luck the player they select will have a nagging injury come Sept-Oct and they’ll be forced to send him back to junior.

  13. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Bren it for Bennet

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On the latest Oil Change, there’s a good hunk on how awesome Hemsky is. starts around 2:30

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=554764&catid=4

    I’m not optimistic they keep him, but there are flickers in the ether.

  15. Melman says:

    LT – if Edm. (sigh) gets the 1st overall again and you were the king on Kingsway, do you:

    1) try and trade down;
    2) Bennett;
    3) Ekblad;
    4) other

  16. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: With any luck the player they select will have a nagging injury come Sept-Oct and they’ll be forced to send him back to junior.

    Well, he will need to blow out his shoulder right away.

  17. RBB says:

    Lowetide,
    How would you compare Nick Ritchie (a big power forward who could play in the top 6-9) with Valeri Nichuskin (sp?) from last years draft.

    I know it is more likely the oilers will draft either Ekblad, or a centre, but it seems to me like Ritchie could fill a void on the oiler’s prospect list.
    He obviously ranks higher than jar-jar and our other sizable prospects, so would he be a player of interest if we did move down the draft board?

  18. stephen sheps says:

    Since I live in Kingston, I’m planning to go to at least 2-3 Frontenacs games over the next few weeks. If all goes according to plan, I’ll send along a scouting report on Bennett. Please remember that I am a sociologist who does a lot of qualitative work so don’t expect stats or anything, but I’ll let y’all know if he’s “good at playing hockey” or something like that. I can’t guarantee it will be good, but It’ll be something…

  19. Ribs says:

    This is just sort of depressing. Not much to get worked up about here. A bad year to suck.

  20. prairieschooner says:

    Jon K
    Well, the Oilers are in contention for the first overall pick, so of course it has to be a year without elite talent at the top. Unfortunate, but not much use in complaining about it

    We already have 3 recent 1st round picks for most organizations that is more than enough to change a clubs fortunes

    but oilers

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: Well, he will need to blow out his shoulder right away.

    obviously.

  22. Ducey says:

    Ribs:
    This is just sort of depressing. Not much to get worked up about here. A bad year to suck.

    Look at the bright side. The Oilers will suck next year too!

  23. gogliano says:

    Anyone think Ekblad drops to #3+ at the draft?

    Maybe this is reading too much into ’11 and ’13 but it’s possible multiple teams have become gunshy when it comes to selecting D with the very top selections, especially with relatively known quantities available. If S. Jones can fall to #4 I can see Ekblad there at #3 if the Oilers are bumped by the lottery.

  24. Ribs says:

    Ducey: Look at the bright side.The Oilers will suck next year too!

    :(

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gogliano:
    Anyone think Ekblad drops to #3+ at the draft?

    Maybe this is reading too much into ’11 and ’13 but it’s possible multiple teams have become gunshy when it comes to selecting D with the very top selections, especially with relatively known quantities available.If S. Jones can fall to #4 I can see Ekblad there at #3 if the Oilers are bumped by the lottery.

    Sure.

    It’s really hard to know what exactly will happen, but it’s always a safe bet to assume a couple of players in the top 10 will slip and slide a few spots worth noting.

  26. G Money says:

    … and while the 2014 Draft class lacks in size it more than makes up for it in skill …

    Figures. Because what we need is even more skill trying to compensate for a lack of size.

  27. Jon K says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Sure.

    It’s really hard to know what exactly will happen, but it’s always a safe bet to assume a couple of players in the top 10 will slip and slide a few spots worth noting.

    Yeah, and it’s usually guys from weird hockey markets that don’t play well in the WJCs and top prospects games that fall. Draisaitl at 11, just like Kopitar? ;)

  28. sliderule says:

    If buffalo and Flames finish ahead of us there will only one choice Ekblad.

    Draft would go.

    1 Bennett
    2 Reinhart
    3 Ekblad

    If we finish second we still have to take Ekblad as Reinhart plays identical to Nuge.

    Draisaitl is way too high in Blue Bullets ranking.He will be lucky to go top 10.His poor performance at WJC and lack of goal scoring combined with skating issues is dropping him.

    BB has McCann pretty low.In the prospect game he showed outstanding speed and ability.He will be drafted before Draisaitl.

  29. Evilas says:

    i think Ekblad is the #1 target here. I wonder if MacT is trying to pry Lazar out of Ottawa.

    Also, any chance the Jets would trade Kane for Ebs?

    Thoughts?

  30. Ben says:

    Is it just me or is there a noticeable lack of size in the projected first round this year?

  31. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    LT – if Edm. (sigh) gets the 1st overall again and you were the king on Kingsway, do you:

    1) try and trade down;
    2) Bennett;
    3) Ekblad;
    4) other

    Me? I trade it. Oilers? They take Ekblad.

  32. delooper says:

    Ben:
    Is it just me or is there a noticeable lack of size in the projected first round this year?

    The first sentence of the article including “the 2014 Draft class lacks in size” would indicate it’s not just you.

  33. sliderule says:

    Lowetide: Me? I trade it. Oilers? They take Ekblad.

    Would you take Ehrhoff for the pick?

  34. Pouzar says:

    Ekblad until we see the offer.

  35. Lowetide says:

    sliderule: Would you take Ehrhoff for the pick?

    No. #1 overall should get you more imo.

  36. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree for first pick

    If we ended up with third pick I would think hard about it.

  37. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide,

    I agree for first pick

    If we ended up with third pick I would think hard about it.

    Yes, agreed. I think we might see “Oilers trade 3rd overall and Roman Horak to Buffalo for Christan Erhroff and #32 overall” kind of trade.

  38. Andy P says:

    Whoever they take, for goodness sake season them in the AHL until they are playing a solid 200 foot game. One player wont be the salvation of the franchise, and we already have too many screwed up 1st rounders.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule: Draisaitl is way too high in Blue Bullets ranking.He will be lucky to go top 10.His poor performance at WJC and lack of goal scoring combined with skating issues is dropping him.

    Hello Mr. Button!

  40. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Damn ,

    You caught me.

  41. The Great One says:

    sliderule: Would you take Ehrhoff for the pick?

    Ehrhoff has a no trade clause and a cap friendly $4M cap hit.

    Might not be an easy target.

  42. The Great One says:

    Also should add that Buffalo already has 2 first round picks which, given current standings, are #1 and #3.

    They’re also likely to get additional first round picks for Matt Moulson and Ryan Miller so trying to trade them another one would likely be a difficult chore.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One:
    Also should add that Buffalo already has 2 first round picks which, given current standings, are #1 and #3.

    They’re also likely to get additional first round picks for Matt Moulson and Ryan Miller so trying to trade them another one would likely be a difficult chore.

    That’s a really good point. And, while it’s hard to know what they might want, it is certainly possible that they value 1st rounders, even really high ones differently than other teams.

  44. Younger Oil says:

    The Great One:
    Also should add that Buffalo already has 2 first round picks which, given current standings, are #1 and #3.

    They’re also likely to get additional first round picks for Matt Moulson and Ryan Miller so trying to trade them another one would likely be a difficult chore.

    I believe the Islanders can choose to defer the pick to next year, correct me if I’m mistaken:

    http://prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/2014.htm

    Regardless, they are still doing a good job gathering picks.

  45. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s a really good point. And, while it’s hard to know what they might want, it is certainly possible that they value 1st rounders, even really high ones differently than other teams.

    Give their likely plethora of first round picks, I think you’d have to lock their socks off to get them to take another one.

  46. sliderule says:

    The Great One,

    You must mean no one and five as isles are in five slot?

  47. The Great One says:

    Younger Oil: I believe the Islanders can choose to defer the pick to next year, correct me if I’m mistaken:

    http://prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/2014.htm

    Regardless, they are still doing a good job gathering picks.

    That correct…it will depend on whether or not the Islanders think this year or next year’s draft will yield a better pick.

    I’d wager they’ll give Buffalo’s this years.

    And, of course, the Islanders will also get a first round pick for Thomas Vanek.

    Some interesting speculation from Pierre LeBrun here:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/29065/rumblings-will-vanek-be-moved-soon

  48. The Great One says:

    sliderule:
    The Great One,

    You must mean no one and five as isles are in five slot?

    #5 Calgary .445

    #4 Florida .445

    #3 NYI .439

    #2 Edmonton .379

    #1 Buffalo .345

  49. fifthcartel says:

    The Mayor John Hoven ‏@mayorNHL thinks Gagner will go to LAK fir Clifford plus a pick.

    God, that would be awful.

  50. sliderule says:

    The Great One,

    It’s not baseball.To me points are what count.

    Percent is an interesting way to look at it.

  51. The Great One says:

    sliderule:
    The Great One,

    It’s not baseball.To me points are what count.

    Percent is an interesting way to look at it.

    The percentages compensate for differences in games played.

  52. flyfish1168 says:

    One of the things I don’t see mentioned is % of total team offense. Tyler Seguin was in on 43.5% of the 245 Plympouth Whalers goals. Which was a pretty week team Where Taylor was on a Strong London Knight team and was in on 39% of the 273 goals they scored. I remember when this was brought up this caused a debate who was more value to there team and who may have more upside.

    I think in the long run we got the better player. Just an interesting stat

  53. hunter1909 says:

    The Great One: #5 Calgary .445
    #4 Florida .445
    #3 NYI .439
    #2 Edmonton .379
    #1 Buffalo .345

    I think it’s more effective when you have:

    1 – Buffalo
    2 – Edmonton
    3 – Brooklyn
    4 – Florida
    5 – Arseholes from Hell

    Wondering if someone clever might be able to figure out some imaginary over under line, then make a number to co-respond with the teams mentioned, these 5 main teams in the race for the number 1 draft pick.

    Something to do with amount of points likely needed to finish in each of the five spots.

  54. spoiler says:

    Blue Bullet,

    Very nice write up. Thank you for all the hard work and hours you put in, they are appreciated.

  55. The Great One says:

    hunter1909,

    I would think the bottom 5 teams have already been established and, given the apparent weakness of this draft, I don’t think it matters much where any of the 5 pick.

    The one thing that may affect it is that Buffalo will have an overwhelming chance to pick #1 if they have 2 picks in the top 5.

  56. hunter1909 says:

    Here’s something:

    1 – Buffalo 57 points likely
    2 – Edmonton 62 points likely
    3 – NYI 72 points likely
    4 – Florida 73 points likely
    5 – Arseholes from Hell 73 points likely

    If you ran this along with a graph showing this position 82 times over the season it would be a cool idea.

    The graph would show any team that might be improving or tanking.

  57. Logan91 says:

    flyfish1168:
    One of the things I don’t see mentioned is % of total team offense. Tyler Seguin was in on 43.5% of the 245 Plympouth Whalers goals. Which was a pretty week team Where Taylor was on a Strong London Knight team and was in on 39% of the 273 goals they scored. I remember when this was brought up this caused a debate who was more value to there team and who may have more upside.

    I think in the long run we got the better player. Just an interesting stat

    What Taylor was on the London Knights?

  58. oliveoilers says:

    hunter1909:
    Here’s something:

    1 – Buffalo 57 points likely
    2 – Edmonton 62 points likely
    3 – NYI 72 points likely
    4 – Florida 73 points likely
    5 – Arseholes from Hell 73 points likely

    If you ran this along with a graph showing this position 82 times over the season it would be a cool idea.

    The graph would show any team that might be improving or tanking.

    If only the NHL would put those points into some kind of table. I predict you would see the top teams with more points. But not the best teams with more points. Oh no. No siree. I was told in no uncertain terms by the stat guys that a league table, with points awarded for a win in regulation and OT and none for a loss, cannot be used as an indicator of how a team is doing.

  59. stevezie says:

    The Great One,

    Snow had the good sense to protect the pick. The Sabres only have the one first rounder this year.

  60. The Great One says:

    stevezie:
    The Great One,

    Snow had the good sense to protect the pick. The Sabres only have the one first rounder this year.

    At the moment.

  61. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    The Great One,

    Snow had the good sense to protect the pick. The Sabres only have the one first rounder this year.

    Sure. then they get the 2015 pick, the Isles suck, and win the lottery—and Buffalo gets the kid.

  62. gogliano says:

    hunter1909:
    Here’s something:

    1 – Buffalo 57 points likely
    2 – Edmonton 62 points likely
    3 – NYI 72 points likely
    4 – Florida 73 points likely
    5 – Arseholes from Hell 73 points likely

    If you ran this along with a graph showing this position 82 times over the season it would be a cool idea.

    The graph would show any team that might be improving or tanking.

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL_Points.html

    For the Pacific:

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Western/Pacific_Points.html

    Doesn’t extrapolate but it shows trends graphically.

  63. sliderule says:

    I think this draft in the top 10 is just about the same as last year.

    As for size there were three forwards over 200 lbs last year in 2014 there are four.

    Bennett and Reinhart are scoring at the same per game rate as MacKinnon the number one pick.

    Ekblad is scoring at a higher rate than Jones and like Jones played well in WJC.Ekblad is bigger and more aggressive than Jones.

    Drouin ,MacKinnon and Jones played on powerful teams which would inflate points.

    The top 10 in 2014 are playing on average teams which makes it tougher to dominate.

    It looks pretty good to me.

  64. stevezie says:

    The Great One,

    I hadn’t even thought that NYI might rather give away a sure top 3 for a shot at The Kid. I guess they know that if the don’t fix their goaltending they will suck again, and even if they do they still might.

    Interesting.

  65. flyfish1168 says:

    Logan91: What Taylor was on the London Knights?

    sliderule,

    Opps Windsor Spitfire Sorry mind wondering on that one. Taylor Hall on 32% of Windsor’s 331 goal’s

  66. Pretendergast says:

    Not that we’ll have to worry about it but scherback is a hell of a talent… when he feels like turning it on. He was the best player on the blades by a long shot the other night when one of the other rookies took a cheap shot. He is in on most points for the blades, but when hes tired or disinterested, he stops working for pucks that only seconds ago he was grabbing and scoring with.

  67. mumbai max says:

    How about Eberle for Edler?

    (and sign Hemsky)

  68. Lowetide says:

    Great, gread read. I like BB’s take on Virtanen is especially interesting. He’s the kind of player Edmonton needs.

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