It is difficult to believe, but come this fall it will have been six summers since Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle emerged as twin towers of the future in Edmonton. The training camp roster was announced in mid-August—these days it is about one month later—and the sense we all got was that these young men were going to lead the team to the promised land.
Hall was assigned No. 84, I said the buzz around town was greater than anything we had seen since the olden days. Eberle was No. 78, and there was enough secondary talent to create real excitement:
- Taylor Hall, now at 381 games and averaging 28-43-71 per 82gp.
- Jordan Eberle, now at 425 games and averaging 28-36-64 per 82gp.
- Magnus Paajarvi, now at 276 games and averaging 10-14-24 per 82gp.
- Jeff Petry, now at 365 games and averaging 6-16-22 per 82gp .
- Chris VandeVelde, now at 197 games and averaging 5-9-14 per 82gp.
- Martin Marincin, now at 150 games and averaging 1-9-10 per 82gp.
- Brandon Davidson is now at 63 games and has 5-7-12 totals.
That is (by my count) two first-line players, a checking winger, a top 4D, two top 6D and a fourth-line center. How disappointed should Oilers fans be about the 2010 rookie camp roster? The bigger problem for Edmonton has been in development, reaping what was sown, and finding the 6s and 7s and 9s to place with the Jacks and Kings. If they had all of the defensemen above this day, the Oilers would be a better team.
The Oilers braintrust taking in the London vs Brandon memorial cup game. They haven't asked for my opinion yet. pic.twitter.com/NvPT5jkz5y
— Bowen TenHove (@BowenTH) May 24, 2016
Interesting seating arrangement, suspect the brass were madly impressed by the London Knights. How many Knights could be drafted in 2016? My list has six names:
- No. 5 L Matthew Tkachuk.
- No. 8 LD Olli Juolevi.
- No. 32 L Max Jones.
- No. 35 G Tyler Parsons.
- No. 46 LD Victor Mete.
- No. 110 C Cliff Pu.
That is from one junior team. Two first rounders, three second rounders and a guy Peter Chiarelli believes could slide into the first round (based on last night’s conversation). I have 35 OHL prospects on my top 130 list (that is 27 percent). We went round and round on Tkachuk vs. Dubois last night, but the truth is you should be happy with either—and any of the three blue. This draft has a lot of nice players and damned if I know who the No. 4 man on the list is this season. I hope they take five guys out of the OHL this draft, that entire league is fire.
THE 2016 DRAFT
— A.M.A. Sports Agency (@AMASportsAgency) February 11, 2016
- Peter Chiarelli at Memorial Cup: “We’ve been paying particularly close attention higher up in the first round this year, I think it’s pretty deep. We’ve heard of dividing lines after three, after 12, I think it’s pretty deep. We got the 32nd pick I think we’re going to get a pretty good player at 32 also. I think there’s a line after [pick No.] 3, but after that I think it’s pretty deep still.” Source
I always find this stuff interesting. Why? It’s that blasted Gare Joyce, who has me hooked on how many top 10s each season contains. This year? 12! After the big three, I will guess Dubois, Tkachuk, Sergachev, Keller, Juolevi, Brown, Chychrun, Fabbro, Jost. I will exclude Alex Nylander—I think he is inside the top 12 for all teams, but doubt Edmonton drafts him (or Keller). I will guess Edmonton’s list has the top three, then Dubois-Tkachuk-Juolevi, followed by (7-12) Brown, Chychrun, Brown, Jost, Sergachev, Fabbro. That is my guess.
— Patricia Teter (@Artful_Puck) May 24, 2016
Schremp has been a traveling man in recent seasons, got the NHL itch and headed across the pond in 2015-16. Not yet 30, he is probably done with the NHL dream, but can boast some good things (114 NHL games, per 82gp: 14-25-39). I hope he wows them in Tiger land this winter.
It rained, we all smelled like wet dog, and of course, at the speedway, Gord Downie opened with Blow at High Dough. https://t.co/nT3D8EqiXz
— Steve Lloyd (@TSNSteveLloyd) May 24, 2016
The Hip makes me think of University. Half the Edmonton Oilers once sat behind me at a Hip concert.
— Loxy is the one (@loxyisme) May 24, 2016
Many moons ago, I worked with a young woman named Heidi. She is one of the funniest people I have ever known (her screen saver was Jimmy Crack Corn dot dot dot). She loved The Tragically Hip and that meant great opportunity for me (I used to make her mad by calling them that generation’s Trooper) to needle her about the band and their lack of American success. I remember the day she told me about the book of poetry that Gord Downie had placed in his solo album (think it was the first one, could be wrong), that was great material. I am thinking about her today, and the many thousands of Downie fans who will be struck by the news and all of their air will be taken from their day. Cancer sucks, it just does.
The Tragically Hip are a unique band in Canadian history. They embraced all the things that make our country (running counter to most of what had come before, with a hat tip to Rick Neufeld), and wrote brilliant (and unapologetic, self conscious) words about this country wrapped around fabulous riffs and a driving beat. I remember people being upset that America never caught up to them, but for me that just added to their authenticity. They were never my generation, but delivered music that was unique, original and very good. You will be able to tell a lot about what Gord Downie means to his generation in the next 24 hours. It is a shitty day, folks.
McKenzie/Shipachyov: "Every team is going to be beating down his door," there'll be all sorts of offers. "I haven't heard any specifics."
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) May 23, 2016
No idea where he would fit, but this is a helluva player. That line was incredible for the Russians, wonder if they come in a package deal?
— Clint Coady (@clintcoady) September 27, 2015
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show as we start a week that could see some activity (Euro free-agent signings, why hasn’t Ethan Bear signed). Scheduled to appear, 10 this morning on TSN1260:
- Scott Burnside, ESPN. A huge G6 for Pens-Lightning and the Sharks on the verge of their first Stanley appearance.
- Kady Hobbins, Hockey’s Future. Kady has an article up at HF, handing out awards to various prospects. We will review and discuss.
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Jon and I will throw around draft and trade ideas and discuss the No. 4 overall selection (if the Oilers use it).
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. The London Knights are on another level. Guy will describe the shock and awe.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!