Light a candle. Send a message heavenward to the God who’ll listen, find some instant karma and think good thoughts. Sweet baby Jesus one day the Oilers will spend a decade in the back row of the draft, but some of us may not make it to that day. One time, baby. Come on Gary, you know you want to, let the tumblers click just this once and we’ll never ask again. Probably. Maybe.
If the Oilers win the lottery tonight, I will have a celebratory beverage. I will NOT get McWasted like I did last year though…I mean it.
— Tyler Hupka: Bandwagon 2018 Jets Fan! (@thupka1982) April 30, 2016
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- New Lowetide: Todd McLellan the only man standing after Friday coaching purge.
- New Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers bring back Mike Cammalleri?
- Lowetide: A season of struggle for Zack Kassian
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers should take a long look at their role in Puljujarvi’s season
- Lowetide: What if the Oilers won the draft lottery?
- Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira took a big step forward in 2017-18
- New Jonathan Willis: Drake Caggiula is still finding his way
- Lowetide: The Oilers and Mikko Koskinen.
- Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
Q AND A ABOUT THE DRAFT
I will publish my latest draft update (Top 120) tomorrow or Monday depending on what shakes out today. There are questions and comments I never get to in a day, thought it might be a good time to do some call and response about the draft.
- Why are you pushing Ty Smith? Stop it. I like Smith a lot. He’s an outstanding skater, has posted great offensive numbers and his 5×5 GF-GA is 93-54. The next best defender on the team is Tyson Helgeson (68-57). Smith is a great young player. I’d take him No. 2 among defensemen in this draft.
- Ahead of Boqvist, Bouchard, Hughes, Dobson? Yes, that’s my math take. I have no doubt most or all will go ahead of Smith, but I’d take him as the first defender after Dahlin.
- You’re going to look pretty dumb five years from now. I doubt you’ll have to wait that long, but based on the things I value (math, scouting reports, range of skills, foot speed), Ty Smith is a fabulous prospect.
- All this time looking for a RHD and you pass on the guy? Yes. If there’s a better player at another position. Absolutely. Smith is an intelligent player, he can carry the puck and is an excellent passer. Good shot. Only downside is handedness and no one I know every suggested leaving a more substantial talent on the board because of it.
- Can we agree the Oilers will take a defenseman? I mentioned yesterday, suspect it’s a defenseman from the group we’re discussing or a European forward.
- If the Oilers take a defenseman at No. 9, and Boqvist, Smith, Hughes and Dobson are available, who do you think the Oilers would take? Hughes. Zero doubt in my mind. He’s a burner, undersized but can run a power play. I expect him to be gone before No. 9 though.
- If you had to pick the Top 8, in order, what would it look like? Dahlin, Svechnikov, Zadina, Tkachuk, Bouchard, Wahlstrom, Boqvist, Hughes. That’s pretty much Bob McKenzie’s list.
- Who would be left on McKenzie’s list? No. 8 Noah Dobson, No. 10 Jesperi Kotkaniemi, No. 11 Joe Veleno, No. 12 Barret Hayton, No. 13 Ty Smith, No. 14 Joel Farabee and two Russians tied at No. 15 (Grigori Denisenko, Vitali Kravtsov). Kravtsov spiked in the playoffs.
- Who would you take? Ty Smith.
- God. You are an ass. I think any of the names would be fine. I do think they’ll take a forward.
- Who do the Oilers take at No. 9? I honestly don’t know. Dobson or a Euro forward, perhaps someone is emerging at these U18’s.
- What if they win the lottery? Dahlen. If the draft No. 2, I’ll guess Svechnikov.
- No. 3? Zadina is my guy, maybe they like Bouchard more.
- Give me a dark horse candidate at No. 9 overall. Among the names not on Bob McKenzie’s list, I like Jacob Olofsson, Filip Hallander and Joel Farabee.
- Give me your Oilers top five? What I think the Oilers have as their list?
- Yes. Dahlin, Svechnikov, Zadina, Bouchard, Tkachuk. Those names will be gone unless Edmonton wins one of the lotteries. If they do, one of those names will be an Oiler. Fairly certain that’s true.
- Will the Oilers win the lottery? On lottery day 2016, I prepared a mock draft with Edmonton taking Noah Hanifin. The mock draft I have ready for tomorrow or Monday has the team drafting No. 9 overall. I don’t expect fireworks but am prepared to be delighted again.
- Will Edmonton get value in the second round? At No. 40 overall, Jesse Ylonen, Nathan Dunkley and Ty Dellandrea are solid options. I’d put them in the Tyler Benson range, remember I like Tyler Benson as a prospect.
#KHL: RW Vitali Kravtsov (Ranked No. 20) scored in Tractor's 4-1 win over Sibir. Big, dangling winger with sick hands has not looked out of place as a teen in the KHL. Stupid "Russian Factor" better not apply to this stud on draft day.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) March 1, 2018
Using the McKenzie list, there are three men who spent much of the 2017-18 season playing pro hockey against men in Europe.
- LHD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). 41, 7-13-20 (19:02 toi)
- LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). 57, 10-19-29 (15:35 toi)
- LR Vitali Kravtsov, Chelyabinsk (KHL). 35, 4-3-7 (9:19 toi) and playoffs 16, 6-5-11 (13:21 toi)
It’s likely Svechnikov could play in the NHL next season, Tkachuk too. That’s five. I don’t think the player Edmonton grabs at No. 9 makes it all the way to Edmonton in the fall, but there are a few who might be available at that number who could push.
I mentioned it a month ago but will say it again. He earned the award but they’re not going to give it to him. The NHL awards are a strange collection of votes from various constituencies. If I was 25, I’d round up a bunch of young writers and start a new way of finding out who should get these awards. Publish them for a decade, sell a show to the other network and by the time you’re 60 the NHL awards have some competition and you have peace of mind. I’ll be dead by then.
Chiarelli to @Bob_Stauffer on McLellan:
"I'm not absolving myself in any of this because I have to be better in providing him with players but he's too good of a coach not to keep. He's got a lot of good qualities & we all can improve & we're going to do that." #Oilers
— Brenden Ullrich (@BrendenUllrich) April 27, 2018
I think there would be a lot less public upset about Peter Chiarelli if he’d said those words at the season ending exit interview. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned a lot: The Oilers should be better than last year just based on luck and health. Too much talent, last year had too much illness and concussion and shoulders and wobble. Much work to do though.