FRIDAY, I’M IN LOVE

by Lowetide

We are counting down (Casey Kasem style) to the NHL draft, and for the Edmonton Oilers this month is crucial. Balancing assets, cap and draft picks and cobbling together a truly useful summer will be a challenge for Peter Chiarelli. Let’s start with what he has done in procurement so far this spring.

  • G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent.
  • D Caleb Jones, WHL D. Newly signed, definite slide rule.
  • L Drake Caggiula. A nice addition, let’s not go crazy on projecting him.
  • L Jere Sallinen, Newly signed, you can never have too many Finns.
  • R Zack Kassian, gigantic one year opportunity to become a legit part of the team.

Smaller additions (AHL types) also took place during the spring season. Jones was going to get signed sooner or later (and I expect we will see Ethan Bear’s announcement too) and at some level the Zack Kassian deal was anticipated. Caggiula and Sallinen are a bit of a tell in that those transactions inform us about areas of weakness (inexpensive scoring wingers) and the template for the future (inexpensive scoring wingers).

June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces a trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the eighth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces a trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the eighth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

CHIARELLI’S FIRST SEASON (TRADES)

  1. Traded No. 16 and No. 33 to NY Islanders for Griffin Reinhart. I understand the deal, but part of the appeal had to be from immediate impact. The trade makes sense if the return helps immediately. Also galling was GR is a LHD, a particular area of strength for the team. A loss.
  2. Traded No. 57, No. 79 and No. 184 to NY Rangers for G Cam Talbot and No. 209 overall. I am actually surprised by the amount of push back on this trade (one reason I am listing the deals again). For me, I think it was a reasonable bet, Talbot struggled early and then recovered. I do think it wise to have a veteran backup. A win.
  3. Traded D Martin Marincin for Pick No. 107 (F Christian Wolanin) and Brad Ross; Traded Pick No. 107 and F Travis Ewanyk for D Eric Gryba. Every time I write this, a few folks post about my undying love for Marincin. Folks, he is a good defenseman and has a growing track record of effectiveness in terms of possession. I love that for sure. Marincin remains in Toronto, Gryba is a free agent after one season. A loss.
  4. Traded C Boyd Gordon for to Arizona Coyotes for Lauri Korpikoski. A loss.
  5. Traded the rights to Liam Coughlin to the Chicago Blackhawks for G Anders Nilsson. A nifty little trade when it happened and it worked at least as well as we thought it might. Of course, we could be surprised. A win.
  6. Traded G Ben Scrivens to Montreal Canadiens for R Zack Kassian. The winger started well and then faded, but I remain impressed PC made the deal. A win.
  7. Traded D Phil Larsen to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2017 fifth-round selection. I am tempted to write this as a win, but honestly it is too soon to know. Neutral.
  8. Traded D Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a third-round selection. Based on what is likely to be a short career with the Pens (they will not renew), Edmonton made out well (doubt that contract was staying on the books here, either). I am warming to the idea of JS winning a Stanley Cup, serving as reminder about what happens when you have insane forwards and a hot goalie. A win.
  9. Traded R Teddy Purcell to the Florida Panthers for a third-round selection. I still think they should have gotten more, TP had a good year. Neutral.
  10. Traded G Anders Nilsson to St. Louis Blues for a fifth-round selection. Neutral.
  11. Traded D Martin Gernat and fourth-round pick to Anaheim Ducks for L Patrick Maroon. I don’t think it will always look this good, but little doubt Chiarelli did well here. A win.
  • Positives (imo): Talbot, Kassian, Nilsson and Maroon (plus the third for Schultz)
  • Negatives (imo): Reinhart, Gryba and Korpikoski

Chiarelli’s negative trades came during the summer, he may have figured out a direction as the season wore along. Pretty flimsy argument, I am sure you agree. What was his best trade? Worst?

https://twitter.com/ShawnReis/status/732596340375617537

I have Tyson Barrie at No. 4 on my procurement list for defensemen. He would be higher, but I fear the acquisition cost on this player. If this was a matter of dealing No. 4 and a young defender to Colorado for No. 10 and Tyson Barrie, I could live with the deal. I believe the cost would be far more dear.

OILERS CURRENT PROJECTED ROSTER

oilers summer 2016 roster

There are some fine things here, LW is fabulous and I do like the centers (would love a RHC added, though). If Leon is a pivot then the Oilers have to replace Teddy Purcell or commit fully to Nail Yakupov on RW (this will not happen).

The main issue is defense, and it is clear the RH side is the major item. Back in the olden days, Edmonton was effective in reaching out and adding a Jason Smith or Steve Staios. I am uncertain as to how it happened, but for some reason the Oilers lost that magic along the way. The evaluation of defensemen in this city has been extremely poor since Ladislav Smid arrived and was forced into the lineup miles too early. This is the challenge for Peter Chiarelli, who was effective in procuring established NHL defenders in his last job. Let’s see if he can do it again.

One of the things I learned from doing the roster exercise with Dusty and Wil yesterday on TSN 1260 was about roster priority. You (and listeners) feel a puck-moving defenseman (I did not get one in my six moves) is a very high priority. I would rather seek balance—two pairings coach McLellan can count on, plus Davidson as insurance—but the PP and improving it is higher on your list.

SOMETHING FROM 1984

ALTERNATIVES TO BARRIE AND FAULK

souray1

The last time Edmonton had a real hammer, this fellow was not familiar with Chocolate City. The Oilers need a hammer, and Tyson Barrie/Justin Faulk are going to cost the moon. How can Peter Chiarelli address the need without ripping apart the forwards? One way to accomplish it may come by acquiring an under the radar talent. On my list of blue sky blue, I posted several names:

  1. Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Big shot from the point has high value, he is a very young target for a team looking for bona fide help.
  2. Ryan Murphy, Carolina Hurricanes. Some chaos, but good speed and puck-moving ability. Hurricanes have a lot of options among blue and need forward help.
  3. Jordan Schmaultz, St. Louis Blues. One thing we haven’t looked at a lot is the substantial offensive defensemen in the AHL. Schmaultz is such a player and we could see the Oilers acquire a player like Schmaultz. He is a very good prospect.
  4. Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay Lightning. Another player with a puck-moving element to his game but not yet estsblished as an NHL player. We have talked about him quite a bit, most recently here.
  5. Brandon Montour, Anaheim Ducks. This could be a special player. He is not far from a point-per-game as a rookie defensemen in the AHL. No idea if he is available but worth the ask.
  6. Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. He never gets mentioned, but if you look at the numbers this guy keeps showing up in interesting places. No idea if he has a future, but his now is interesting.
  7. Ville Pokka, Chicago Blackhawks. Young defender in the Chicago system just posted a solid year in the AHL. Suspect they will keep him, but you never know.
  8. Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. Puck-moving defender in the AHL, he might be ready for an NHL role this fall.
  9. Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season, he would probably be available for less than zero. Wildly unpopular idea, it might work.

If deals for Barrie and Faulk don’t come to fruition—and we have to believe Peter Chiarelli is at least shopping in that part of the market—then one of these names may end up being the attempted fix this summer. It is not sexy, but could be effective and will be far less expensive.

I think Peter Chiarelli will be potentially interested in Loui Eriksson, Milan Lucic, David Backes, Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, Frans Nielsen, Radim Vrbata, Teddy Purcell, Kris Versteeg and P.A. Parenteau. Many of these names depend on who gets sent away, of course.

STEVE KOURNIANOS, MOCK DRAFT

Steve Kournianos has been a frequent guest over the last months as we matriculate towards the 2016 draft. His May mock is running now, here is what he has for Edmonton in the first three rounds:

  • No. 4 overall: D Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL) (Round 1)
  • No. 32 overall: L Givani Smith, Guelph Storm (OHL) (Round 2)
  • No. 62 overall: R Joey Anderson, US National Team (USHL) (Round 3)
  • No. 89 overall: C Tanner Kaspick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Steve does not have Edmonton making a pick with the Florida selection in Round 3. You can click on each link above and read about the players and reasoning behind the picks.

BROCK OTTEN, OHL PROSPECTS

I always look forward to Brock Otten’s final list, gives me a really good idea about the world’s best junior league. His list comes out in several posts, 1-10 is here. You can see all of the names here.

RE TODD MCLELLAN

We are over halfway through the RE series, I will post the Todd McLellan RE at 5pm this afternoon Edmonton time (unless something breaks).

hurdle gif

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show to rap up the week, TSN1260 beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Is Toronto an association city?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counter Point, we discuss Zack Kassian.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. NHL playoffs, WHC and Raptors.

Friday, May long, snow in beautiful Alberta. The world is turning as it should. @Lowetide, 10-1260 via text.

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npanciroli

This summer should be exciting!

I really don’t get all these mock drafts with the Oilers drafting a LHD at #4. I could see a RHD at that number if it wasn’t a reach but we are so light on forward prospects. I think a lot of people who don’t watch the Oilers just assume we have forward prospect depth and terrible D prospect depth.

dustrock

Nice one, LT.

I enjoy Brock’s descriptions. Brown is definitely intriguing.

His breakdown of the 3 main D-men seems to link up with the consensus from what I’ve read.

Juolevi safest pick. Sergachev definitely the best offensive chops, can he pick up the defensive game? Chychrun the best potential for your minutes-eating, all-situations D-man.

At one point, I think up to February, Kourinanos had Chychrun #2 ahead of Laine, but I think Laine and Puljujarvi’s WHJC and post-juniors play put them higher.

I am beginning to wonder about Dineen as a lower option for D though.

rickithebear

Talbot struggled first half of Season.
he was the best Goalie in the game VS med and High Chance shots the other 2.5 seasons.
That whole 85% of goals from thing!

Lebeau

Colin Miller sounds interesting. I have never seen him play but this numbers look good.

Offer Yak and Reinhart for Connelly and Miller and Boston takes our 4th round this year for compensation instead of the 2nd rd oilers owe them

Connelly and Miller are both right handed adds depth

BONE207

rickithebear:
Talbot struggled first half of Season.
he was the best Goalie in the game VS med and High Chance shots the other 2.5 seasons.
That whole 85% of goals from thing!

Ricki…you must have numbers flying around that bear brain but when you write you must slow down some and clarify. You lose me 85%…

till_horcoff_is_coach

The expansion would raise an interesting opportunity to get a top four from Nashville. They risk either losing fiala, Wilson or ekholm/ellis and would love to have a player not in need of protection.

http://www.todaysslapshot.com/nashville-predators/expansion-draft-force-predators-lose-key-player/

Drai/Nurse could be the ask but ideally the 4OV would be the centerpiece. Most teams won’t want an extra d to protect so it is a chance to buy low.

jake70

Needing a hammer from the point. – couldn’t agree more. As much to open up some ice/create chaos down low than to score.

till_horcoff_is_coach

With expansion in mind (I’m more convinced than LT that it will happen), I don’t think it is worth giving up any assets for someone of negligible upgrade over Reinhart/Davidson (which for me would be around number 4 on that list above) since it just leads to exposing the above 2 and 1 will hopefully establish themselves this year (assuming Sekara, Klef, X are protected).

Ducey

So Blues lose. Hitch fired, then hired by CGY?

leadfarmer

I hope Chia is paying close attention to this year’s playoffs. Size and toughness winning championships is a thing of the past, recent past, but past. Its all about speed and quickness moving the puck, well with some luck thrown in as well. But big bodies being able to grind down a game is a thing from 5 years ago. Now you need speed and good quick passing to be able to get scoring chances before defensive systems are in place because once they are in place it is very hard to score. When they are in place you really need speed and passing to try to break them down.

LoDog

Kelfbom, Nurse and who exactly was loading up that left side?

Cassandra

The offseason is pretty simple once you disregard the impossible dreams (Subban).

Sign Demers
Trade for Vatanen.
Fill-out the roster with cheap veterans looking for jobs.
Waiver exempt players start in the minors effectively expanding your roster size and providing depth.

There are better guys than Demers, but they aren’t available without trading major pieces.
There are better guys than Vatanen, but they probably aren’t available without trading major pieces.

Pouliot is gone for Vatanen, Yakupov is gone because he wants out, replace with low cost veterans

Run three scoring lines (this is an absolute must).

Hall–Hopkins–cheap FA
Maroon–McDavid–Eberle
cheap FA–Draisatl–cheap FA
Hendricks–Letestu–Kassian
Pakarinen

Klefbom–Demers
Sekera–Vatanen
Davidson–Fayne
not Nurse not Reinhart

The only question is the three cheap free agent roles. At least one of them should be a center. But these can be found, guys like Mason Raymond a few years ago. Decent players accept training camp invites every year. They don’t always work out but that is what depth is for. Plus if the season is going well this is where you can upgrade at the trade deadline.

JimmyV1965

npanciroli:
This summer should be exciting!

I really don’t get all these mock drafts with the Oilers drafting a LHD at #4. I could see a RHD at that number if it wasn’t a reach but we are so light on forward prospects. I think a lot of people who don’t watch the Oilers just assume we have forward prospect depth and terrible D prospect depth.

Totally agree. People who make these kind of suggestions simply aren’t paying attention. Same with the experts who say the Canucks are taking a dman when Benning has strongly hinted it will be a forward.

Extend Russell

I think the Reinhart trade is still neutral. He looked more than fine at the end of the season and we all know how long it takes for defenseman to get up to speed at the Nhl level.

He may not be sexy by any means but if he steps in as 6-7 d man next year that puts up solid performances on the pk, I would call that a win. His strengths are more subtle and he desperately needs a quality veteran defenseman that can pass and skate with the puck to play with.

I was a fan of the trade because I seen him good as an oil King and I know everyone saw him good during the last few games last year. I would resign Pardy and make GR fight it out with him for the 6th spot next year. I was more impressed with Pardy than I was with Gryba tbh.

Jmho
Cheers

anjinsan

The trades are not equal, 16 and 33 for Reinhart was a huge loss.
16 = (Barzal/Kyle Connor) and 33 = Brandon Carlo.
Kyle Connor + Carlo much more value than Reinhart.

Losing Marincin in favor of Gryba is also a big loss.

The trades have to be weighted; they are not equal. To give credit where credit is due, Maroon and Kassian may prove substantial wins, but we need to see another season to confirm.

I truly believe that scouting, drafting and developing is where teams pass other teams. The key thing is being better than the other guys at envisioning the development of prospects and team with accuracy — doing what Gretzky did, but as a GM. The folks who say all prospects are pot shots have no faith in their ability to do such envisioning and need to wait to see players at the end of development — but that’s too late because all other teams have the same information. I think we need to keep #4 and draft really well. I’m down to Dubois, Chychrun, or Juolevi; thinking Dubois ~ Messier; Chychrun ~ Ekblad; Juolevi ~ OEK (Juolevi is very, very smart!). To get a 1st pairing RD now we’re going to have to trade a good roster player and Eberle is the guy, IMO. I’m hoping other GMs start seeing Dubois as a big Messier center, in which case we get Puljujarvi because he falls to #4. Unfortunately all this hopeful energy may be laid to waste by Chiarelli grabbing up some big, heavy lunks, pulling another Seguin/Reinhart dumb-ass move.

Rondo

haters,

So your neutral therefore you would do the trade today in the draft give up #16 + #33 for Reinhart? We can’t use this years draft as it is a weak draft compared to last year. Last years draft was considered the strongest draft in over a decade .

GCW_69

If you want a right handed centre, I think you need to look at Strome in NY. He had a down year scoring wise, but the prior year was good. And, his possession numbers held even as his scoring fell. Another buy low opportunity.

Strome can also play right wing, which is another area of weakness for the Oilers.

With the Connelly deal out there as a benchmark where the Bruins paid 2 second round picks at a time picks are worth the least, the Oilers could have a shot at Strome at a time where picks are worth the most at the draft. Say, the Oilers second (which is close to a first) and a later round pick next year. Maybe Snow bites? Or, if Yak isn’t going to New Jersey for Severson, maybe Yak straight up?

Barcs

Eberle+ for Strome and Pulock?

I probably have my orange and blue tinted glasses on again.

godot10

//One of the things I learned from doing the roster exercise with Dusty and Wil yesterday on TSN 1260 was about roster priority. You (and listeners) feel a puck-moving defenseman (I did not get one in my six moves) is a very high priority. I would rather seek balance—two pairings coach McLellan can count on, plus Davidson as insurance—but the PP and improving it is higher on your list.//

The power play cost them games last year. The absence of a power play meant teams could take more liberties because you cannot punish them.

Vatanen (or Barrie, I think the price of Vatanen is lower, and I think I like him better) please. Or Faulk. Or Trouba. Or Shattenkirk. Someone who can take away excuses for the coaching staff on the power play. Since McDavid is a left shot on the right half wall, one really wants a right shot power play D.

Barcs

GCW_69,

I like it. Although I think Connelly was generally considered more far gone than Strome is now, in terms of reaching his potential.

i. e. Strome might have greater value, cost more.

godot10

//Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Big shot from the point has high value, he is a very young target for a team looking for bona fide help.
Ryan Murphy, Carolina Hurricanes. Some chaos, but good speed and puck-moving ability. Hurricanes have a lot of options among blue and need forward help.
Jordan Schmaultz, St. Louis Blues. One thing we haven’t looked at a lot is the substantial offensive defensemen in the AHL. Schmaultz is such a player and we could see the Oilers acquire a player like Schmaultz. He is a very good prospect.
Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay Lightning. Another player with a puck-moving element to his game but not yet estsblished as an NHL player. We have talked about him quite a bit, most recently here.
Brandon Montour, Anaheim Ducks. This could be a special player. He is not far from a point-per-game as a rookie defensemen in the AHL. No idea if he is available but worth the ask.
Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. He never gets mentioned, but if you look at the numbers this guy keeps showing up in interesting places. No idea if he has a future, but his now is interesting.
Ville Pokka, Chicago Blackhawks. Young defender in the Chicago system just posted a solid year in the AHL. Suspect they will keep him, but you never know.
Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. Puck-moving defender in the AHL, he might be ready for an NHL role this fall.
Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season, he would probably be available for less than zero. Wildly unpopular idea, it might work.//

An inexperienced offense only young 3rd pairing RD is a poor choice.

1) They need a proven guy for the power play. Hope that a rookie can do the job is NOT a winning strategy.
2) They need a vet on the 3rd pairing right D because they are breaking in Nurse and/or Reinhart at left D. 3rd pairing RD is Davidson’s or Fayne’s spot. The investment in the development of Nurse and Reinhart for the future of the McDavid cluster is crucial

Pay the price for Vatanen or equivalent. Don’t bet on an inexperienced power play quarterback.

The spend freely on forwards and skimp on D attitude has to change

GXL

I’m sure many will point out the Reinhart for 16th + 33rd as being the worst, but I can live with the justification and thought behind it, though the intel might of been bad. The bad trade that had little to no benefit was the Gordon for Korpikoski. Not only did we trade a valuable penalty killer with an expiring contract, we got a player who does less for a longer duration. This for me is unforgivable. Reinhart still has value, Korpikoski, I’m not sure if anyone is willing to take him for $3M x2 years if you waived him.

GXL

Drew

Caramel Batman:
The offseason is pretty simple once you disregard the impossible dreams (Subban).

Sign Demers
Trade for Vatanen.
Fill-out the roster with cheap veterans looking for jobs.
Waiver exempt players start in the minors effectively expanding your roster size and providing depth.

There are better guys than Demers, but they aren’t available without trading major pieces.
There are better guys than Vatanen, but they probably aren’t available without trading major pieces.

Pouliot is gone for Vatanen, Yakupov is gone because he wants out, replace with low cost veterans

Run three scoring lines (this is an absolute must).

Hall–Hopkins–cheap FA
Maroon–McDavid–Eberle
cheap FA–Draisatl–cheap FA
Hendricks–Letestu–Kassian
Pakarinen

Klefbom–Demers
Sekera–Vatanen
Davidson–Fayne
not Nurse not Reinhart

The only question is the three cheap free agent roles.At least one of them should be a center.But these can be found, guys like Mason Raymond a few years ago.Decent players accept training camp invites every year.They don’t always work out but that is what depth is for.Plus if the season is going well this is where you can upgrade at the trade deadline.

this makes a great deal of sense. the only thing i would like to see differently is Yak is kept as a 3rd line scoring winger in a pump and dump. there is a kiss and make-up moment and we continue on with Yak becoming a low cost value scorer. i know, i know. making sense to nonsense.

Alpine

I think you consider picking a D at 4 if you think they have 1D potential.

I’m personally big on Chychrun as I believe he drives more of his OHL team’s offense than Juolevi, and he seems to be a better defensive player than Sergachev.

His draft-1 numbers also outpace Ekblad’s, the latter of which had an extra year of OHL experience as an exceptional. I also think I’ve seen Chychrun better as a skater and as a puck carrier. A lot of Ekblad’s offense in junior and for FLA has come from his point shot.

If he’s the guy you want than just take him and don’t risk moving down and having PHX or BUF snatch him up because they will. You can worry about the handedness thing next summer because he won’t make the team until 2017 at the earliest.

godot10

npanciroli:
This summer should be exciting!

I really don’t get all these mock drafts with the Oilers drafting a LHD at #4. I could see a RHD at that number if it wasn’t a reach but we are so light on forward prospects. I think a lot of people who don’t watch the Oilers just assume we have forward prospect depth and terrible D prospect depth.

1) Trade it alone or in a package for a top 4 right shot D.
2) #TeamDubois

godot10

till_horcoff_is_coach:
The expansion would raise an interesting opportunity to get a top four from Nashville.They risk either losing fiala, Wilson or ekholm/ellis and would love to have a player not in need of protection.

http://www.todaysslapshot.com/nashville-predators/expansion-draft-force-predators-lose-key-player/

Drai/Nurse could be the ask but ideally the 4OV would be the centerpiece. Most teams won’t want an extra d to protect so it is a chance to buy low.

Nashville with protect 8 skaters (and not 7 forwards and 3 D) to protect all 4D. Nashville doesn’t have 7 forwards worth protecting.

Many teams are only going to protect their top line, then 2nd centre, and four D. 8 skaters.

It is far harder to replace a #4D than a 2nd line winger. Oiler fans should know this better than anyone else.

Rondo

Alpine,

None of the top 3 D project as a #1 D in the NHL. That is why they are usually ranked outside the top 6.

Seth Jones was ranked #1 for most of year in his draft year and he went #4.

David

Rondo:
Alpine,

None of the top 3 D project as a #1 D in the NHL.That is why they are usually ranked outside the top 6.

Seth Jones was ranked #1 for most of year in his draft year and he went #4.

Brock Otten projects Chychrun as a #1D

bendelson

Bendelson writes:

I listen to the Lowdown as often as I can get to a radio in the mornings LT and read your blog throughout the day – everyday. You have become such a big part of my hockey world, I’d just like to thank you for doing what you do. If I could, I’d like to make a long distance dedication to a good friend who is one of your biggest fans and dearly misses Oiler playoff hockey. Could you play “Seasons in the Abyss” by Slayer for Jason in Halifax?

Thanks LT.

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…

till_horcoff_is_coach

godot10: Nashville with protect 8 skaters (and not 7 forwards and 3 D) to protect all 4D.Nashville doesn’t have 7 forwards worth protecting.

Many teams are only going to protect their top line, then 2nd centre, and four D.8 skaters.

It is far harder to replace a #4D than a 2nd line winger.Oiler fans should know this better than anyone else.

Fiala has 1 line potential. Wilson had 3rd most ice time in the playoffs. By protecting 8 they expose a lot more talent, so while you might be right I think they would be loathe to lose players such as these for nothing. I suppose the larger point might be they aren’t forced into a decision until the end of the year so maybe I am optimistic about seeking them out during the offseason.

Alpine

Rondo:
Alpine,

None of the top 3 D project as a #1 D in the NHL.That is why they are usually ranked outside the top 6.

Seth Jones was ranked #1 for most of year in his draft year and he went #4.

They still have that top pairing 1.5ish D potential though. And we lack defensemen in our system with that potential. And i’m not talking Norris contenders, I’m talking your average 1/2D who can eclipse 30 points and own souls against top opposition.

None of them will put up Karlsson numbers (tiny chance Sergachev gets somewhat close) but top pairing stability is something we could use down the road more than a smaller Keith Tkachuk lite and a 2/3 C. Super hard to acquire in a trade, as we’ll see this offseason when the best D we can get for Eberle or whoever is a 3/4 guy.

I know it doesn’t help us win next season or even the year after, but to have a defenseman with that upside waiting in the wings for McDavid’s prime is something we should at least ‘consider’. Extra safeguard against Klefbom not staying healthy, Nurse not panning out, Davidson topping out as a 5D, or Sekera hitting his decline.

digger50

Drew,

I also like this roster Mr Batman, but wanted to comment just for fun.

Could Faynes cap hit not be used more effectively? Thus Fayne out an an inexpensive growth player there. I have Gryba and Nurse slotted in as I think Gryba will be signed and Nurse will be played.

For the forwards, do they have to be cheap veterans? Do we not have some money to spend here with this roster? I’m hoping that Caggiula and Sleppy fight it out for one of those spots, leaving two spots to be filled. Those two spots are critical to making the forwards work, They need to be difference makers. Not necessarily Lucic, but similar to the difference that adding Marron made. First choice would be put Drai on right wing and bring in that functional center. (Shaw / Strome / Nielson) If we cannot obtain that center then Drai stays center and we look for that right winger. Worth spending some money here as right side is not strong. (can we afford one Okposo or one Backes?

) I like your plan of finding some free agents with lots of miles left – and players coming available due to cap crises. May be the solution; and I agree this roster on paper looks excellent…..but I’m terrified that without adding enough we remain running in place.

Rondo

David,

If Chychrun projected to be a #1 D he would be #4 in all mock drafts . As Bob Mckenzie said when he talked to scouts 6 out of 10 scouts have him outside the top 10.

Now if Oilers think he or the other 2 will be #1 D’s in the NHL then over course take him at #4.

Derek

I would try to trade down to the 7 or 8 spot and take Chychrun. Failing that I would take him at 4.

Drafting an 18 year old to fix current team needs is bad. Agreed.
Young defencemen take longer to develop and are harder to project. Agreed.
Chychrun had a poor draft year, perhaps not indicative of a future #1. Yes
A defenceman selected in this years draft probably isn’t contributing to team success in a real way until Mcdavid is well into his second contract. Yup.

I’d roll the dice because elite defencemen are very rarely traded until they’re on the downslope of their careers. They cost an arm and a leg to acquire. Jakob had elite draft-1 numbers and he’s already got the Edmonton Oilers™ shoulder surgery out of the way, which hampered his progress mightily in the first half of the current season.

Its a gamble, but so is hoping and praying a defenceman is going to fall into your laps eventually.

Rondo

Alpine,

I’m not saying they should not draft a D-man with their first pick, but if they do trade down with Arizona.

I’ve been a PLD fan for a long time.

Alpine

Rondo:
Alpine,

I’m not saying they should not draft a D-man with their first pick, but if they do trade down with Arizona.

I’ve been a PLD fanfor a long time.

I’m a huge PLD fan as well. I just think we should be open to picking a D, because I really rate the top 3 and think they could make an impact nearly as soon as Dubois or Tkachuk could. I prefer Chychrun the most and I think PHX and BUF would snap him up if we traded down with either.

Even if he is just a 2D i think getting one for free is good enough, as there’s the real possibility that the available Fs top out as a 2nd liners as well.

Derek

Alpine: I’m a huge PLD fan as well. I just think we should be open to picking a D, because I really rate the top 3 and think they could make an impact nearly as soon as Dubois or Tkachuk could. I prefer Chychrun the most and I think PHX and BUF would snap him up if we traded down with either.

I agree with this man but I feel as though we need to trade with someone to make sure Dubois doesn’t end up in Calgary or Vancouver.

Rondo

Alpine,

Did you watch Chychrun i n the Under 18 tournament ? Shouldn’t he dominate against the same age players. He looked ok but not great.

3 even strength goals in 62 games. Why does Chychrun not dominate? He is strong and fast.

Clay

Barcs:
Eberle+ for Strome and Pulock?

I probably have my orange and blue tinted glasses on again.

Seeing as those are Islanders colours too, you’re good to go!

barry.moore23

bendelson,

Yes !!!! More Slayer !!!!! 🙂

Ducey

Barcs:
Eberle+ for Strome and Pulock?

I probably have my orange and blue tinted glasses on again.

Both teams wear orange and blue, so its likely 🙂

I don’t like Strome. He seems to have the great hands, offensive ability, but struggles defensively and with grit, intensity and consistency. No PK time. 41% on the dot. Not well rounded. Reminds me of Sam Gagner.

He did the same in junior. 1.63 ppg in his draft year. It dropped to 1.47 in draft +1. Then it bounced to 1.77 in draft +2.

I would trade Yak for him (they seem similar in a lot of ways, including that they are risky projects) but not Eberle. Especially after coming off a 28 pt season.

I get that you are throwing in Pulock, but he is a ways off.

Rebilled

Is PC really interested in trading for Eriksson?

Is he?

Is heeeee?

vinotintazo

Rebilled,

trading? he’s a UFA

su_dhillon

haters,

The fact that Rienehart is not going to be a top 4 D for at the very least 15-16, 16-17 seasons and that he is a LHD and not RH make that trade a huge loss. You paid a very large price for a player that is behind the curve and at a position where you have depth and other better options.

wintoon

Would Duchene and Barrie for Nugent-Hopkins and Nurse be a reasonable trade? Comments please.

Cassandra

digger50,

I kept Fayne on the roster because I was trying to be realistic. If you could replace him cheaper I would. But I wouldn’t replace him with Nurse, I want Nurse in the minors as depth to call up for injuries. Ideally, after the roster limits are removed at the trade deadline he comes up and plays well pushing Fayne to the bench. Playoff teams get contributions from young players who didn’t start the year on the big club every year.

I left Caggiula and Sleppy off on purpose. Even if they are better than the free agent options I still want them in the minors. You can’t know with any certainty they are better based on training camp. If you start with cheap free agents you effectively expand your roster size. If they fail or someone gets hurt you have inhouse replacements. However, if you start with Caggiula or Sleppy if they fail or someone gets hurt you don’t have anyone in the wings.

Rebilled

vinotintazo,

Damnit! So tired…

Cassandra

Skeeziks:
Would Duchene and Barrie for Nugent-Hopkins and Nurse be a reasonable trade? Comments please.

If by reasonable you mean an unbelievably good trade for the Oilers, then yes it is reasonable.

RJ2016

I think the scoring could be weighted a little differently to reflect the impact on the team.

Trading for Talbot could be considered a strength much more than adding a Gryba. Talbot was better than previous goalies.

At the same time, to surrender as much as they did to get Reinhart (comparable to Hamilton, an actual top-4 RHD) and to see him play most of the season in the AHL, that’s a huge loss in my books. That hurt the team short-term and long-term unless Reinhart jumps a few levels. I mean, he wasn’t even the top defender in Bakersfield. Horrible trade and jut saying loss doesn’t capture it.

Alpine

Rondo:
Alpine,

Did you watch Chychruni n the Under 18 tournament ? Shouldn’t he dominate against the same age players. He looked ok but not great.

3 even strengthgoals in 62 games.Why does Chychrun not dominate? He is strong and fast.

Admittedly I saw him more for Sarnia (4/5 games) than for Canada (a couple periods). He can play it safe or take risks. I saw him better for the Sting where he did dominate at times when needed. I like when a D keeps it simple with passing and positioning etc. when the pace of the game demands patience and Chychrun will do that.

His offensive output suffered for Sarnia initially because of coaching at the start of the season, that much is known. The low ES goal output is a bit worrisome, but at the same time I expect most of any defensemen’s output to come from ES assists and PP production. I’m not drafting him or Juolevi for ES goal production.

I project both these prospects with a small chance of being a true Norris contender 1D, and a reasonable chance of an of all situations top pairing D. I think you can be the latter without averaging over 1 PPG in your draft year.

PLD projects similarly as low end 1C/high end 2C like RNH or Drai, so it’s really about which position you’d rather strengthen. I think we have a need for it more in the system at D and less at F, because I have my doubts about us acquiring anything more than second pairing D this summer, and I think the D prospects available at 4OV have the potential to better than Klefbom/Sekera/Nurse at their peak. Just my own hypothesis based on viewings and the info available.