The Oilers have several prospects at the WJSS (World Junior Summer Showcase) and some in the group are shining like a diamond. We were gifted a terrific report yesterday afternoon courtesy poster Todd Macallan.
- Kailer Yamamoto was excellent all night. Scored a nice goal from a Kemp deflection and was an absolute puck hound on the forecheck. Also spent some time on the PK and was effective to my eye. Not surprised at the speed and skill I saw, but was surprised by how well rounded his game was tonight.
- Phillip Kemp was steady and barely noticeable (a compliment for a player of his ilk). No mobility issues, made solid breakout passes and was on the ice with 2:00 left defending a 1 goal lead. Not bad for a 7th rounder.
- Stu Skinner struggled, as did the whole CAN team in front of him for the half game he played. 4 goals on 11 shots, but only the last one I’d say he could’ve had. I think summer hockey is tougher on goalies than any other positions. Still love him as a prospect.
- Dylan Wells on the other hand was stellar in the second half of the game and without him no way does CAN come back to win.
- Aapeli Rasanen seemed to win every faceoff and made a beauty cross seam pass for the game tying goal for FIN before they lost in OT.
That’s an excellent update and I thank Todd for it. Here are the boxcars so far in this tournament for Oilers prospects:
- Kailer Yamamoto 4gp, 2-2-4 (7 shots) (2-1-3 at evens)
- Phil Kemp 4gp, 0-1-1 (1 shot) (0-1-1 at evens)
- Aapeli Rasanen 2gp, 0-1-1 (1 shots) (0-1-1 at evens)
- Markus Niemelainen 2gp, 0-1-1 (0 shots) (0-1-1 at evens)
- Dylan Wells 2gp, 4.23 .875
- Stuart Skinner 2gp, 8.23 .727
Yamamoto looks fabulous (I’ve watched two of his games and he’s a bull on skates, very aggressive), Wells had a dandy outing in half a game yesterday. Important to take all of this with the proper measure of salt, but it’s the hockey and Edmonton has six prospects from these countries eligible to play at Christmas.
Between the selection of Kevin Lowe in 1979’s 1st round and Esa Tikkanen in 1983’s 3rd round the Edmonton Oilers (in 39 picks) acquired the heart of a champion. In fact, that “draft cluster” rivals the best 5 year procurement timelines in NHL history.
- Goal: Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog
- Defense: Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Jeff Beukeboom
- Center: Mark Messier, Walt Poddubny, Marc Habscheid
- Left Wing: Esa Tikkanen, Jaroslav Pouzar, Raimo Summanen
- Right Wing: Juri Kurri, Glenn Anderson
Astounding quality and depth, especially when you consider Wayne Gretzky was already on the roster the day Lowe was chosen. I wonder how many men who deliver 5-10 quality seasons (or more) have been drafted as part of the McDavid cluster. That is going to be a key element, and will require success outside the first round. Perhaps Anton Slepyshev is the first one to make it.
THAT CRAZY TRADE
- Edmonton traded Valentin Zykov to Los Angeles for Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Kyle Platzer and Aidan Muir.
It’s been a little while since I updated this thing, thought I might take a minute to break things down. Zykov is now in the Carolina system, played two games there this season (NHL debut). The Oilers have Slepyshev on the verge of regular status and retained Yakimov’s rights (he is the other substantial prospect in the group). At this point, MacT looks like the winner in this trade on Slepyshev alone, and his analytics people made the right call in advising him to trade down. Believe it or not, this coming season will be No. 5 after the draft, meaning the earliest we can make a call. Looks good right now, still some track to go.
I received some feedback yesterday about my RE and how it is rolling out among the forward group. For me, the RE is a guess about deployment, what Todd McLellan will end up doing. I do have the coach moving Leon to center, but far later in the season. That’s the RE. If I had my druthers, I would keep all three centers up the middle and take some chances on RW.
- Talbot (Brossoit)
My extra’s would be Jujhar Khaira, Ty Rattie and Johann Auvitu. That’s the lineup I would prefer but I don’t believe it’ll happen. McDavid—Draisaitl is too much to resist, I believe.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun day on the Lowdown, starting at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Yamamoto at the Showcase, Strome on wing, Nurse-Gryba as third pair.
- Jeff Hauser, The Ralphie Report. John Elways signs another long deal with the Broncos.
- Dave Dawson, Onside CFL Fantasy. CFL weekend offers some terrific matchups.
- Rob Vollman, ESPN & NHL.com. The new book drops very soon!
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. 90 minutes until showtime!