The Hockey News came once a month, so you had to pace yourself. The inside cover offered the table of contents, so I would race to the Boston Bruins (“Orr’s surgery successful, should be ready for the season”) and to the draft portion (“Montreal drafts five in 1974’s first round”) but you couldn’t gobble it all up in one day. The California Golden Seals article was always a catastrophe (“Seals could be spending final summer in Bay area” or “No television or radio games for Seals in 1974”), but the WHL was a highlight (“Tiger Williams sets penalty record”) and I read two articles a day until complete, then read it again cover to cover. And then again.
What I really wanted was an interactive edition of The Hockey News, where I could ask why Bob Hess wasn’t developing and why Bobby Leiter looked 90 and why Oakland’s top rookies always fell flat in year two. And you know what? It finally arrived, with the internet and the various places we interact. Thanks, Al Gore!
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.
- New Lowetide: No. 5 prospect—Cooper Marody.
- New Lowetide: No. 6 prospect—Kirill Maksimov.
- Lowetide: No. 7 prospect—Tyler Benson.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Scottie Upshall to PTO, expand options
- Jonathan Willis: No. 8 prospect—Caleb Jones.
- The Athletic Cross Canada Tour Will hit Edmonton!
- Lowetide: No. 9 prospect—Filip Berglund.
- Jonathan Willis: No. 10 prospect—Dmitri Samorukov.
- Lowetide: No. 11 prospect—Stuart Skinner’s net worth.
- Jonathan Willis: No. 12 prospect—Joel Persson.
- Lowetide: No. 13 prospect—Ostap Safin
- Jonathan Willis: No. 14 prospect—Olivier Rodrigue
- Lowetide: No. 15 prospect—William Lagesson
- Jonathan Willis: No. 16 prospect—Cameron Hebig
- Lowetide: No. 17 prospect—Graham McPhee
- Jonathan Willis: No. 18 prospect—Ryan Mantha
- Lowetide: No. 19 prospect—John Marino
- Jonathan Willis: No. 20 prospect—Tyler Vesel
- Lowetide: Top 20 prospects: Forwards outside the top 20
- Jonathan Willis: Are Hayden Hawkey and Phil Kemp underrated gems?
THE 2008 TOP 20 PROSPECTS
I ran a throwback item on the 2003 top 20 prospects one month ago (here) and discovered four men who played 400+ games: Jarret Stoll, Raffi Torres, Matt Greene, M-A Bergeron. Five years later, in 2008, things looked about the same.
The 2008 successes are Jordan Eberle, Jeff Petry, Devan Dubnyk and Riley Nash. When faced with this kind of result, it’s easy to hammer the scouting and development departments. Here’s the thing, though: Of the eight names (four from 2003, four more from 2008), all were sent away from Edmonton while being entirely useful. You can’t fault the scouts for trading young players who did develop and every damn one of the eight names who made it were gone too soon.
THE 2015 TOP 20 PROSPECTS
Three men are clearly on track for 400 games, and Peter Chiarelli has signed two of those three to long-term deals that should have them playing their best hockey in Edmonton. I don’t think getting Nurse signed to a bridge deal should be Everest, your mileage may vary. We can’t see the fourth player yet (Pitlick?) but there are miles to go.
THE 2017 TOP 20 PROSPECTS
I ran this list just to show the new group and maybe shine a light on the importance of these young men to the Oilers future. Trading one or more of Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ethan Bear, et cetera, exacerbates a problem that has been hanging around this team for over a decade: The Edmonton Oilers don’t value their own draft picks, or didn’t, so many productive players had to find their way in other organizations. I don’t know that Jujhar Khaira is this generation’s Kyle Brodziak or Jason Chimera, but best to find out while he is wearing an Oilers logo.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy and educational show this morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Recent Oilers moves (Upshall, Jerabek) and summer changes by the team that will have the biggest impact.
- Michael Chandler, The Score. EPL season underway, concern for Man U while Man City is 2-0 and has a +7 goal differential.
We’ll also talk NY Giants as we prepare for the NFL season and your comments are welcome @Lowetide or via test 10-1260. See you on the radio!