What are your expectations for this year’s Oilers draft? If the team drafted another Nuge plus a Klefbom, would that be enough? If you had a choice between drafting another Leon Draisaitl or Andrew Cogliano/Jeff Petry, which one would you choose?
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Father’s Day Offer!
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evaluating the pros and cons of potential Oilers buyout candidates
- New Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Jay Woodcroft returning to coach AHL Condors and be reunited with Ken Holland
- Lowetide: Looking at the Oilers’ options for the No. 8 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.
- Jonathan Willis: How many of Sam Gagner, Zack Kassian and Jujhar Khaira can play top-nine minutes for the Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A with Ken Holland: On the draft, buyouts, free agency and how to have a successful offseason
- Lowetide: Trading for Loui Eriksson: What makes sense for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Differing needs of Oilers, Jets could create a trade fit
- Lowetide: How will Ken Holland build around Connor McDavid?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
- Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
- Lowetide: Hard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a third-line grinder launched the star-filled Oilers to their first Stanley Cup and a hockey dynasty.
- Lowetide: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?
I think the best plan of action is to draft skill with every pick. Seriously. If there was a guy who could score goals but had a piano tied to his ass available in the seventh round, take him. Maybe you can untie the piano. Below are the forwards who could land inside this year’s top 20. They won’t go in the order below, but how long should a team wait before taking Arthur Kaliyev? Bobby Brink?
Note: I think the USHL number being used currently doesn’t deflate the boxcars enough, that’s reflected in the difference between the numbers above and my final ranking.
I think a smart team just keeps on keeping on with skill. We’re looking at forwards today, but same goes for defensemen. Here’s the next wave of prospects this season and I think a wise team exhausts the first list and then dives into this one.
Draft them all. Keep going! This is not an exact science. Michael Dal Colle’s scoring numbers towered over Dylan Larkin. Shiza happens. This is the remainder of the forward group inside my top 40 overall and doesn’t include Jamieson Rees or Albin Grewe. If I’m the Oilers, I draft all forwards if good options are available.
I read “Brett Connolly, Loui Eriksson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brian Elliott.” It’s a pleasing scenario, although the Flyers trade with the Capitals today buggers up the Connolly signing.
The Niskanen-Gudas deal
Although I do like Ken Holland’s early moves, this is the kind of deal that could derail summer. Niskanen had a poor season after several excellent campaigns, so in a way is similar to Adam Larsson at this time. However, Niskanen turns 33 in December, his most recent struggles could well be the new normal. Philly paid in full and then some to find out. Larsson? He turns 27 in November and is on a wonderful contract. His chances of having a strong rebound, followed by successful seasons, is far better than Niskanen’s. Flyers made a poor trade.
DRAFT TRADE TALK
Back in the old hippie days, the Oilers were always good for at least one “we tried” story. Here’s Guy Flaming post-draft 2009:
As the first round continued and defenceman John Moore continued to be available, Edmonton began kicking tires to see what it would take to move up into an area where they might be able to take him. Moore is a player that Oilers Assistant GM Rick Olczyk knew well from his days spent in the Chicago area where he actually coached the defenceman at a younger age. It’s my sense that Moore was very likely 10th on Edmonton’s list, just behind Glennie, so if they could have found a way to get back into the first round, they would have. As it turned out, the asking price was a later pick in round 1 and they simply didn’t have one so they watched with envy as former Oiler Scott Howson came away with another player Edmonton valued.
Ken Holland is the new general manager but he’s also a veteran and part of his personality is to drop pieces as teases (as he did last night with the season ticket holders). I expect we’ll see a story like this, possibly from Matty, after the draft next week.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We celebrate an incredible week in sports today at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will give us a live action update from Toronto, as the Raptors bring the trophy home. Joseph Casciaro from The Score will stop by to talk about how the Raptors won, and what’s next. Matt Iwaynk will pop by at 11:05 to talk about the Eskimos game against Montreal tonight, and Simon Boisvert has a visit at 11:25 and we’ll discuss the draft and best available for Edmonton. 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!!!