Twitter legend Hope Smoke tweeted out some gems from Ray Ferraro this afternoon, and Ferraro’s words about possible No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad were fascinating for this Oilers fan. This is all Ray Ferraro speaking, courtesy Hope Smoke:
- “I wouldn’t be opposed to the Leafs moving up to take Ekblad. I think he’s a second pairing defenseman.”
- “people will think that it’s negativity, but I don’t think he’s [Eklbad] a 1 or a 2. I don’t believe he’ll be that at the NHL level”
- “watching Ekblad at the WJHC I was more impressed with his mobility than I thought. He’s unbelievably strong. A grown man”
- “that [Ekblad's size & strenght] will level off when he gets to the NHL because you can’t continually be the biggest/strongest guy”
- “if you’re moving up to get that pick in the draft, you’re making a significant move. You’re not moving your third line winger”
- “do you move Kadri and your 1st for the top pick? That’s the type of guy you’d need to move. Around that age”
- “here’s the thing with Ekblad: let’s say you draft him with the thought that he’s a #2 for you, say that’s a swing and a miss, he becomes a 3rd pair for 10-12 years. That’s ok too. He’ll play in the NHL for a long time”
- “both physically and mentally Ekblad is a mature kid. If he plays a safe game for the next 5 years & that’s the high end for him, that’s a real solid asset.”
- “I think you have Ekblad you don’t get the high end ceiling that Rielly has, but the low end isn’t a 5’10″ defenseman”
- “you’re getting a real safe pick in Ekblad in a draft where people aren’t jumping up and down”
Again, my thanks to Hope Smoke. Let’s quickly remind ourselves about where Ekblad finds his offense.
|.541||SETH JONES (WHL 12-13)||61||10||23||33|
|.397||DARNELL NURSE (OHL 12-13)||68||10||17||27|
|.362||AARON EKBLAD (OHL 13-14)||58||6||15||21|
|.357||HADYN FLEURY (WHL 13-14)||70||4||21||25|
|.314||JOSH MORRISSEY (WHL 12-13)||70||9||13||22|
|.534||AARON EKBLAD (OHL 13-14)||58||16||15||31|
|.377||SETH JONES (WHL 12-13)||61||4||19||23|
|.343||JOSH MORRISSEY (WHL 12-13)||70||5||19||24|
|.300||HADYN FLEURY (WHL 13-14)||70||4||17||21|
|.176||DARNELL NURSE (OHL 12-13)||68||2||10||12|
So, according to Ferraro he sees him as a second-pairing defender. The numbers tell us that Ekblad—playing big minutes at evens—is not Seth Jones as an even-strength scorer. No sin in that, but it does cast some doubt on Ekblad’s reputation of being a complete player—especially in light of Ferraro’s words this afternoon.
It sounds like he’s Sheldon Souray. Fine player but not a No. 1 overall. Not even a No. 3 overall. Thoughts?