When Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan arrived, my main concern was the two men would be slow to recognize Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his subtle brilliance. Four summers later and the Nuge is still standing, with the general manager singing his praises and the coach moving him on to the No. 1 line. Seven years after his first NHL game, RNH is an overnight sensation.
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- New Lowetide: Ethan Bear says hello, but is not yet NHL-ready.
- Lowetide: Andrej Sekera: Insult to injury.
- Jonathan Willis: Yohann Auvitu: Oilers need to get more from players like him.
- Jonathan Willis: Matt Benning brings value to the Oilers.
- Scott Wheeler: Final Draft Rankings 2018.
- 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.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers at the draft: Overagers.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers scouting directors: A history.
There was probably some luck involved (Hall had more value, no doubt) but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is still an Oiler and that’s alright by me. In his final weeks of the season, Nuge played with Connor McDavid and the results were handsome. He was riding shotgun with 97 for 203 5×5 minutes, scoring 4-6-10 (2.95 5-on-5 per 60 scoring). Extrapolate that over an entire season (Patrick Maroon had 732 glorious 5×5 minutes with McDavid in 2016-17) and Nugent-Hopkins might deliver 35+ points on the top line at 5×5.
TOP 10 2018: STRATEGY OR TRAGEDY
I’ve been thinking about the 2018 draft this week and what might be available to Edmonton at No. 10 overall. We know Buffalo will take Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov will go to Carolina. Numbers three through five picks belong to Montreal, Ottawa and Arizona, and it’s reasonable to assume Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk and one of Quinn Hughes or Evan Bouchard go at those spots.
No. 6 overall is Detroit and I can see them grabbing Oliver Wahlstrom. Let’s say Hughes goes inside the top 5 overall, that might mean Vancouver grabs Evan Bouchard at No. 7 overall. Chicago offers a challenge, I’ll suggest Jesperi Kotkaniemi goes there. The Rangers often draft out of order, but I do think Noah Dobson fits there. That would mean Ty Smith, Joel Farabee and Adam Boqvist will be on the board when it comes time for Edmonton to choose. I’d be fine with any of the three, how about you?
PERSSON TO PERSSON
Sounds like Oilers may have locked up Swedish Defenceman Joel Perrson. 24 year old right shot from the Vaxjo Lakers. https://t.co/mrjtjCGTsh
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 16, 2018
The scouting report on him is interesting and he plays in a fine league. Persson being a right shot, we immediately wonder if he can slot in on the depth chart behind Matt Benning and before Ethan Bear. Can he play second pairing in the NHL next season? Hold on, now. Let’s take this one step at a time.
- Erik Piri, Elite Prospects: Persson is an offensive defenseman with a great shot from the point. With high-end puck skills and vision, he excels on the power play. Not a speedster, but owns decent mobility and can walk the blueline very well. On the downside, he is smallish and not much of a force in his own end. Source
NHLE, PROSPECTS DEFENSE ’17-18
He finished No. 2 in SHL scoring (defensemen) 2017-18, and he played just 17:06. He had 94 shots on goal, four of his six goals came on the power play and Persson’s goal differential at evens (34-17) is quality. His SHL player page is here.
I would caution you on two counts: This is not yet confirmed (although Rishaug is a most credible source) and there’s no guarantee Todd McLellan will trust him defensively. He does look like a substantial offensive option from the blue. The Vaxjo Lakers had a strong season (Elias Pettersson led the way offensively) and Persson was a big part of it. This is an encouraging piece of news.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. We’re on the air with a quality group and lots to discuss. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We’ll chat about Andrej Sekera, Clare Drake and the World Hockey Championships.
- Perry Stothart, Classic Landscapes. The Classic Landscapes Saturday show is back! We’ll talk about the show and what we’ll hear this year, and about what we can be doing in our backyards already.
- Julian Edlow Draft Kings. We’ll chat about the NBA playoffs and fantasy basketball.
- Theo Fleury. I had a chance to talk to Mr. Fleury yesterday and we’ll play the interview today. He’ll be in Edmonton May 25 to talk about hockey and his life after hockey.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!