A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER

by Lowetide

Friends, we are looking at a different draft in 2016. I cannot tell you why it is happening, but we are seeing a significant change in the weather.

matthews capture

Auston Matthews, No. 1 for 2016

A year ago, end of March, we had the top five selections surrounded. Here is my list from March 28:

  • (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) 47GP, 44-76-120 (2.55)
  • (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) 37GP, 24-43-67 (1.81)
  • (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 63GP, 44-82-126  (2.00)
  • (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 68GP, 45-84-129 (1.90)
  • (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) 36GP, 5-18-23 (.639)

The final draft order had Strome going in front of Marner, but that is pretty close. My list isn’t about trying to project the draft, it is about finding best value. That said, the top five overall should be pretty close (defensemen are tough to project).

Draft 2016

This year, we are seeing some unusual movement at this late date. I believe there are two things driving the fluidity of the draft: No one can agree on the defensemen (I spoke to Steve Kournianos this week, he is still strong on Jacob Chyrchun, while Craig Button has moved him down from No. 7 in January to No. 9 now), and there are some guys who appear to be spiking late. Here they are:

  • C-L Pierre Luc-Dubois is having some kind of run. Button now has him N0. 4 overall, Kournianos No. 5 overall. There is little doubt in my mind he will be the first Canadian drafted this year. His NHLE is 34 points, and he is 6.03, 202. I cannot imagine he goes before the gang of four I have at the top of this draft (Matthews, Laine, Puljujarvi and Tkachuk) but you never know.
  • D Olli Juolevi is moving up, no idea if he is ahead of Chychrun but the Finn, Chychrun and Russian blue Mikhail Sergachev seem to be in a cluster.
  • D Charlie McAvoy is coming on now, he is one of those college late-breakers we see sometimes. No idea why the rumbles didn’t hit earlier, he does appear to be a substantial prospect. Another college man, Luke Kunin, may also surprise.
  • D Lucas Johansen (Ryan’s brother) is making some noise out of Kelowna, a nice story on him here. I will have a new top 30 on Sunday, some of these characters will move up (still not sure of Dubois’ speed and that blue cluster may be impossible to figure out).

https://twitter.com/NicholsOnHockey/status/712740359780962304

Adding Matthews to the insane group of forwards currently in Edmonton (I do not share the negativity about the Oilers F crew) would signal either three scoring lines are a lock, or an incumbent is going to be dealt.

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/712673710646239232

  • Elliotte Friedman: Coach Todd McLellan’s exasperation with his forwards grows on a game-by-game basis. At this point, I assume the only untouchables up-front are Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

I have seen this discussed all over the Al Gore this afternoon, and don’t quite see this as others do in regard to the rest of the group. I see McDavid and Draisaitl as being players under control, with term on their entry-level deals. The rest of the group are on contracts that have a due date, and for me that is what Mr. Friedman is saying. I have read (in places) that this quote means McLellan is happy with only McDavid and Draisaitl, it doesn’t read like that for me. I could be wrong, but the author appears to have crafted that last sentences carefully. The first sentence is revealing though, and I do wonder that (if in the quiet moments) McLellan misses the fierce back-checking he received from his soldiers—even the rich guys—in San Jose. Awareness when playing without the puck is an area of frustration, I am willing to bet good money (not mine, but other people’s) on it.

Erin is correct, this is terrific news. Bear had a good year leading into his draft and has followed it up with a strong D+1 season. The trick now will be to finish strong and arrive in camp this fall ready to roll. One final season of junior and then into pro. Long, long road but good for him (and the other kids from a pretty nice 2015 Oilers draft) and I’m cheering for him. Based on this season in the majors, Edmonton should be drafting six-packs of defensemen (14 used in 2015-16 with a mile or more to go).

 

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stush18

I can’t wait for every collective mind in Toronto to go permanently numb when the oilers win the draft lottery again. It really helps to make up for the terrible year, listening to the media lose it

One-Timer

LT, please tell us you mean that Todd missed his back-checking demons in the Sharktank, not YEG. We haven’t seen that kind of critter in these parts for many a year.

highgloveside

All of this mind changing on the top dmen in the draft lead me to believe that they wouldn’t make top 10 in the past couple drafts. I sure hope the Oilers trade the pick for some help in the now and not in the future. I don’t think anyone other than Matthews is ready to make the NHL jump next year, the Finns, as most Europeans do, need another year in Europe or start in the AHL to get used to the North American game.

stush18

I think if Mathews is picked we could see drai on the move potentially, because mcdavid is mcdavid and they’ll keep nuge just cuz running three centres under twenty is stupid. With Mathews being NHL ready and drai having pretty high value, and them being similar in age.

What’s drai get you? (Note: This is me speculating, not shitting on a player and trying to trade him)

Woodguy

ETHAN BEAR IS A FINE RIGHT HANDED DMAN AND THEREFORE MY NEW FAVORITE PROSPECT!!!

Ducey

I would hope we get more forwards in this draft. And some right handers!

The Oilers have Nurse, Reinhart, Oesterle, Musil (maybe), the Simpsons, Leggs, Betker, Lagesson, Bear, Jones, Paigin, Marino. Them’s a lot of D.

Up front they have Khaira, Sleppy, Big Yak, Chase, Platzer and uh, well some very dark horses.

I think only Chase and Platzer shoot right up front. Only Bear and Marino shoot right on D.

sliderule

Button has dropped defenceman down before .

Last year he dropped Hanifin to 12

Oops.

If you only go by boxes Tkachuk and Nylander don’t score a lot of goals for wingers.

The oilers with the centres they have need goal scorers..

There will be two defenceman at bargain prices if you beleive Button.

I hope oilers read consumer reports and not Button.

Woodguy

(I spoke to Steve Kournianos this week, he is still strong on Jacob Chyrchun, while Craig Button has moved him down from No. 7 in January to No. 9 now),

From Steve’s site (via the link) :

Finland’s top prospect is uber-scoring winger Patrik Laine (No. 3), whose torrid production slowed down in March without compromising effort or involvement. We view him as the best draft-eligible goal scorer since Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, and one can argue Laine’s pre-draft season in the Finnish league is as, if not more, impressive than what Ovechkin did in Russia in 2003-04.

Oh my.

That is why I don’t trade out of 1 or 2 and make room for them.

I heard “a bigger Jari Kurri”

A Finnish Ovechkin is ok too eh?

Woodguy

Lowetide: They asked him to change over, he buggered up the photo.

YOU STAY AWAY FROM HIM MISTER!

square_wheels

stush18,

You’ve got it all wrong. They can draft Mathews first overall, just send us Morgan Reilly, their 1st and Dion’s 2002 Miata convertible.

Woodguy

sliderule:
Button has dropped defencemandown before .

Last year he dropped Hanifin to 12

Oops.

If you only go by boxes Tkachuk and Nylander don’t score a lot of goals for wingers.

The oilers with the centres they have need goal scorers..

There will be two defenceman at bargain prices if you beleive Button.

I hope oilers read consumer reports and not Button.

Agreed.

I like Chychrun a lot and if you take into account his injury and Darrien *spits* Hatcher then he’s fine.

His 16 year old season was almost Doughty-esque.

Rare.

That kind of talent doesn’t go away, it just gets smothered by idiot head coaches who used to water ski behind all my favorite Oilers and elbow them without repercussion.

Hatcher.

*spits*

Fuck that guy.

frjohnk

Woodguy:
(I spoke to Steve Kournianos this week, he is still strong on Jacob Chyrchun, while Craig Button has moved him down from No. 7 in January to No. 9 now),

From Steve’s site (via the link) :

Finland’s top prospect is uber-scoring winger Patrik Laine (No. 3), whose torrid production slowed down in March without compromising effort or involvement. We view him as the best draft-eligible goal scorer since Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, and one can argue Laine’s pre-draft season in the Finnish league is as, if not more, impressive than what Ovechkin did in Russia in 2003-04.

Oh my.

That is why I don’t trade out of 1 or 2 and make room for them.

I heard “a bigger Jari Kurri”

A Finnish Ovechkin is ok too eh?

I had mentioned that during the world jrs Laine reminded me somewhat of Ovie with his size skill and skating.

Especially the time when he was upset and completely ran over some poor 19 yearold from Sweden.

Mr DeBakey

highgloveside: I sure hope the Oilers use the pick for some help in the now and not in the future.

Yeah, an 18-year-old who can do that should be easy to find.

square_wheels

Woodguy,

What I loved about him in the WJC is he is very involved, gets in on the forecheck, battles for net presence and boy can he rip pucks.

Any comparison to the legendary 17 is beyond expectations. Let’s hope the Gords bless us again.

Fuck Hatcher, worst of the worst.

Mr DeBakey

while Craig Button has moved him down from No. 7 in January to No. 9 now)

Like others have commented above.
Button’s ups and downs are indicative of not much.

frjohnk

Woodguy: Agreed.

I like Chychrun a lot and if you take into account his injury and Darrien *spits* Hatcher then he’s fine.

His 16 year old season was almost Doughty-esque.

Rare.

That kind of talent doesn’t go away, it just gets smothered by idiot head coaches who used to water ski behind all my favorite Oilers and elbow them without repercussion.

Hatcher.

*spits*

Fuck that guy.

Sarnia was one of the highest scoring teams in the OHL, so I wonder what kind of impact Hatcher had on Chychruns offense.

Ah forget it, why are we debating a Dman again like last Hanifin last year.

We are gonna win the 1st pick again.

I hope to be a fly on Jeff Oneils wall when that happens.

highgloveside

stush18:
I can’t wait for every collective mind in Toronto to go permanently numb when the oilers win the draft lottery again. It really helps to make up for the terrible year, listening to the media lose it

Apparently they already feel Nylander and Marincin will be the saviors of the Leafs. I still can’t stop from laughing every time I think about that. Kadri was the savior once too right?

Tarkus

A Finnish Ovechkin is ok too eh?

Mmmmm…Ovechkinen….

Do we want #2 to take a triggerman this team so desperately needs? Or #1 just to rub it in the media / NHL faces?

New Improved Darkness

If I were Aussie’s teammate, I’d have the infamous blue and gold lottery card from last June printed up, and I would spring it on him whenever he least expects it.

“Oh, Aussie, you’re not beaming with pride. Come on! You can do better than that. Kiss for the camera! Show us ‘spontaneously overjoyed’.”

And I’d keep doing it and doing it until he has a complete ogre melt down. Or two.

Then there would be a team pool on draft day about which facial expressions cross his face at the highly scrutinized moment of truth.

highgloveside

Woodguy:
(I spoke to Steve Kournianos this week, he is still strong on Jacob Chyrchun, while Craig Button has moved him down from No. 7 in January to No. 9 now),

From Steve’s site (via the link) :

Finland’s top prospect is uber-scoring winger Patrik Laine (No. 3), whose torrid production slowed down in March without compromising effort or involvement. We view him as the best draft-eligible goal scorer since Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, and one can argue Laine’s pre-draft season in the Finnish league is as, if not more, impressive than what Ovechkin did in Russia in 2003-04.

Oh my.

That is why I don’t trade out of 1 or 2 and make room for them.

I heard “a bigger Jari Kurri”

A Finnish Ovechkin is ok too eh?

Changed my mind, pick Laine if he is available. A 40 goal scorer in the NHL will score 50+ with McDavid.

Justthestatsman

I guess we all know we’re not winning a Stanley with the current roster. If we ever win one again it’s likely not too many of the current roster will get to hoist the trophy. I’m okay with that. 1984 was my favorite cup win because it was the first, but 1990 was a close second because they did it without Gretzky.

I don’t remember celebrating cups any less after Coffey was traded either. It doesn’t mean I hated the players after they were traded. I just wanted our boys too win. Do whatever you have to do, Pete. Just don’t screw it up!

highgloveside

Mr DeBakey: Yeah, an 18-year-old who can do that should be easy to find.

I meant trade it, not use it. WG’s post on Laine has me questioning that if he is available

Frank the dog

What we need, is for our talent to stay healthy plus a couple of good D men and a backup goalie.
We need to play on level ice, with fair reffing, and a more balanced schedule.

We need a group of big, mean psychotic b@st@rds with bushels of hair on their ass on every line and every pairing, who apply Nurse-esque beat downs to every asshole who rides our players into the boards, and enough of them that suspensions don’t matter.

That would get us into the playoffs but they’d still find a way to stop us winning it all.
Or, Katz could use his access to pharma records or hire someone to get compromising photos of the right people.

Yup, I’m somewhat exasperated.

Rondo

Pierre-Luc Dubois sounds like a Chiarelli type player big and nasty. Also late birthday , plays all 3 forward positions and a goal scorer.

Chychrun had an incredible season as a 16 yr old, I think some scouts worry about his progression because of this year compared to last. He is one of the best skaters in the OHL and very strong , but once you get to the NHL you need a lot more .

He was ranked #2 at the beginning of the season.

hunter1909

Justthestatsman: I don’t remember celebrating cups any less after Coffey was traded either. It doesn’t mean I hated the players after they were traded. I just wanted our boys too win. Do whatever you have to do, Pete. Just don’t screw it up!

Pete’s been doing a good job so far; adding big hulks like Maroon + Kassian to the talented but callow forward corps. Talbot’s been an excellent goaltender also.

I like the way Pete’s been sticking to his guns, essentially tanking the season to send a message to the rest of the NHL that either way, Oilers are getting the players they want.

Lately, the worst thing is reading trade proposals from the fans in a rush to lose the main “assets” so painfully got during the past decade; this reads like a scene from the Titanic with people trapped below decks(the fans) screaming.

Maybe someone can organise a “Ten Years Out of the Playoffs” party. Invite all of the 1st and 2nd round picks for a group photo, with Lowe+MacT in front of the Stanley Cup.

CrazyCoach

Woodguy:
ETHAN BEAR IS A FINE RIGHT HANDED DMAN AND THEREFORE MY NEW FAVORITE PROSPECT!!!

Bonsoir from Paris gentlemen.

As the president of the Ethan Bear fanclub, I’m glad to see him doing well. He is a smooth skater. Great skill to have and it makes learning the game much easier. I hope he does well.

Haven’t seen a game, because they start at 3AM here. Not gonna do it!

And now I sleep.

Quinlan

Re: Dubois

Agreed that he is unlikely to supplant Tkachuk but he’s had a nice little run. Maybe if MTL ends up choosing in that slot, they go with a Quebec product to soothe the locals after a rough year.

Good chance that two of the better American prospects in recent years are going to end up in Canada – I wonder how much pull the League has in these situations.

Would Backes come here? It just seems to me that other than the D he solves the most problems up front, and there are problems. He also wouldn’t cost assets in trade.

Skilled, right-handed, can win faceoffs, toiled under Hitch, hits and is a grade A asshole.

Bet bringing him in would do wonders for unicorns and protecting the kids as well. You could shift the four top six centres you have around freely across the top three lines.

JD_Wry

CrazyCoach,

Most games show up here after: http://rutube.ru/video/person/979571/

hunter1909

Hunter1909’s Official Oilers 2016 Death March Update for 23.3.16

Oilers on pace for a 70 point finish.

That is all.

Ancient Oilers Fan

The recent article on Bear on the oilers site gives the season stats for prospects.

It shows Paigin as a forward

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=875168

Big strong winger or defender. Either works.

Rondo

Quinlan: Tkachuk

Tkachuk December 11, 1997 plays with Mitch Marner and Dvorak looks more like a play maker LW

Pierre-luc Dubois June 24th 1998-a 195 days younger meaning he played 1 less season compared to Tkachuk, Looks like a goal scorer 42goals 62games plays C

If he has a good playoff I could see him as a #4 rank player

hunter1909

Anyone checked the standings recently?

Oilers currently look like being in pole position to finish 30th. They’re coming through down the stretch like the 4x champions they are.

Let’s hope the Easter Bunny visits Kevin Lowe this spring. The one from Jersey City.

Woodguy

CrazyCoach: Bonsoir from Paris gentlemen.

As the president of the Ethan Bear fanclub, I’m glad to see him doing well.He is a smooth skater.Great skill to have and it makes learning the game much easier.I hope he does well.

Haven’t seen a game, because they start at 3AM here.Not gonna do it!

And now I sleep.

G’night CC.

Always appreciate when you chime in.

Even when you tell me I’m full of shit.

Rondo

According to Corey Pronman

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl-draft/insider/post?id=832

In some of the biggest debates about top NHL draft prospects in recent years, one trend has been common among them. It existed in Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall vs. Tyler Seguin, Nathan MacKinnon vs. Seth Jones, Aaron Ekblad vs. Sam Reinhart and this draft season with Auston Matthews vs. Patrik Laine. One of these prospects played a full extra season of hockey prior to being drafted due to having a late birthdate, and the other didn’t.

Since I started doing work in the hockey prospect arena, the issue of late-birthdate prospects confounded me. After years of dealing with prospects, and doing recent research on the matter, I am convinced it is one of the most important quantitative factors that can go into prospect evaluations.

speeds

stush18:
I think if Mathews is picked we could see drai on the move potentially, because mcdavid is mcdavid and they’ll keep nuge just cuz running three centres under twenty is stupid. With Mathews being NHL ready and drai having pretty high value, and them being similar in age.

I think they’ll move RNH if that happens.

Yes, that would be a pretty young top 3 C’s, although they wouldn’t be running 3 C’s under 20 (Draisaitl will be 21 in October, McDavid 20 in January, Matthews 19 when the season starts), but it wouldn’t exactly be the average team running its past 3 15OV 1st round picks at C.

square_wheels

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

While you were posting all those awesome pics over in the homeland, I was on the Backes soapbox.

He’s a prick, can score, block out the sun, C/RW…….he’s a perfect fit behind Drai and McD or as one of their wingers.

But he’s going on 30, is American and is the C of his team. Not sure we pay his rate, unless he is willing to do a short term high $$ without a NMC/NTC ?

Optimism is Foolish

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I have mentioned this before as well. Trouble is his age combined with the style game he plays. If he comes on a short term deal then he would be a fantastic addition only to be overshadowed by the mythical top rhd we all want first.

Centre of attention

RE: Halls slump.

John Tavares is on pace for his lowest point-per-game total since his rookie season. Do you hear Islander fans blaming him for their team possibly missing the playoffs? Do you think they call him the “problem”?

*sigh*

Why do I even bother…

magneto

In OTT, Melnyk calls out the team then Karlsson calls out the owner. Maybe there is a chance for a blockbuster?
Hall+ 1 or 2 OV for Karlsson+ 10 or 11 OV
Oilers add Reinhart as well?
OTT down 3-0 right now

I am so bored with season, trade proposals are all I got!

square_wheels,

Optimism is Foolish,

Yes, thanks. All valid points.

But, and I think you’d agree, at some point the team needs to sign a 30 year old that can play and actually help push the kids down into easier roles.

Not another Hendricks type but someone up top who can play.

That guy will be the wrong side of 30 but the guys the right side of 30 who can play never hit free agency. At some point you have to bite the bullet.

Can’t keep throwing kids to the wolves. Draft Laine and throw him in there? Sound like draft Leon and throw him in there last year to you?

The definition of insanity is…

magneto

Centre of attention,

Yeah there was some people saying he wasn’t a “real captain” whatever that means.

Centre of attention:
RE: Halls slump.

John Tavares is on pace for his lowest point-per-game total since his rookie season. Do you hear Islander fans blaming him for their team possibly missing the playoffs? Do you think they call him the “problem”?

*sigh*

Why do I even bother…

To my knowledge, going back to the last thread, no one here is blaming Hall. So I don’t understand the exasperation. All some people are doing is saying his play for the past 45games is not above criticism.

Klima's_Bucket

Centre of attention: John Tavares is on pace for his lowest point-per-game total since his rookie season. Do you hear Islander fans blaming him for their team possibly missing the playoffs? Do you think they call him the “problem”?

Most Islanders people I talk to are pumped that Tavares is rounding out his defensive game and are not too concerned about his offence.

square_wheels

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

100% with you. Hell, I’d resign Teddy P in a heartbeat for the same reason.

Look at the Sharks, Wings, Colorado,Wild – surround your youth with vets and keep the roster balanced while also staying competitive.

I’m at the point where being competitive in the West is all I am asking for.

Cassandra

Klima’s_Bucket: Most Islanders people I talk to are pumped that Tavares is rounding out his defensive game and are not too concerned about his offence.

Scoring peaks early. It is very, very, common for top draft picks to have their best scoring seasons when they are 23 or 24 (or younger).

Tavares turned 25 in September.

Time waits on no man.

Centre of attention

Klima’s_Bucket,

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

It wasn’t directed at posters here, mainly twitter and other blogs/groups I am a part of.

I come here to vent because gentlemen like yourselves know what your talking about 😛 I guess I was looking for a friend.

Anyways, on the topic of this thread: I really like Laine. Even before the world juniors he was on my radar. Recent reports have me even more intrigued. Like I have been saying for awhile now, if I’m the Oilers I think long and hard about trading away #2. All bases must be covered.

speeds

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
square_wheels,

Can’t keep throwing kids to the wolves. Draft Laine and throw him in there? Sound like draft Leon and throw him in there last year to you?

The definition of insanity is…

Doesn’t really sound like the same thing to me – the F’s around him would be better, also a position of less defensive responsibility, plus the possibility exists that he’s a better player than LD at the same age.

Centre of attention:
Klima’s_Bucket,

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

It wasn’t directed at posters here, mainly twitter and other blogs/groups I am a part of.

I come here to vent because gentlemen like yourselves know what your talking about I guess I was looking for a friend.

Anyways, on the topic of this thread: I really like Laine. Even before the world juniors he was on my radar. Recent reports have me even more intrigued. Like I have been saying for awhile now, if I’m the Oilers I think long and hard about trading away #2. All bases must be covered.

Fair. Woodguy mentioned the same. I guess that’s why I just come here to get my Oilers fix and avoid twitter debates and all that.
The average sports fan is going to give you a really average look at young men’s lives. Probably why I don’t bother reading the comments on TSN or Sportsnet pages either.

I guess in some ways I miss out, but it seems to mean less aggravation, too

Laine is a stud. And the Oilers don’t have any strong forward prospects of which to speak. Maybe Slepyshev. So I have no issues if they select him over one of the D.