The 100 best players in the 2020 draft

A report yesterday from Pierre Lebrun suggests the NHL might proceed with a June entry draft no matter the state of the 2020 playoffs. Music! To celebrate, here’s my latest list, now a sprawling 100 names.

THE ATHLETIC!

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 Athletic, check it out here.

  • New Lowetide: Adam Larsson’s Oilers future uncertain as ‘sexy’ options emerge
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: One-on-one with Wayne Gretzky: On the time he visited Moscow during the Cold War
  • New Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Discount forward options the Oilers could pursue in free agency
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Oh my God, Edmonton’s picking first’: An oral history of the 2015 NHL draft lottery
  • Lowetide: Comparison of Oilers, Flames drafts 2010-19 closer than it should be
  • Lowetide: The most potent lines in Oilers history
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: On the time Dave Semenko fought Muhammad Ali
  • Lowetide: Why Jan Mysak could be a value pick for the Oilers at the 2020 Draft
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers overcame malice in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to join the NHL
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Remembering Jacques Plante’s brief tenure with the Oilers at age 45
  • Lowetide: Oilers need to find (or get) real value in William Lagesson
  • Jonathan Willis: Flashback: When ‘Oil Change’ revealed key details of Oilers’ 1979, 2010 drafts
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s Sports Hall of Fame should have 3 founding members
  • Jonathan Willis: What does the Oilers best possible playoff lineup look like?
  • Lowetide: Why Jack Quinn is a perfect 2020 draft fit for the Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
  • Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton

TOP 100 OF 2020

1 (1) L Alexis Lafreniere, QMJHL. October 2001. He has insane talent and appears to be as sure a thing as one can get in an NHL draft. NHLE is 50.

2 (2) LC Quinton Byfield, OHL. August 2002, he is 6.04, 215. He skates well, can pass, take a pass and has a dynamic ability to him. Very likely to go here.

3 (3) LC Tim Stuetzle, DEL. Dynamic player, highlight reel offense and dangerous on every rush. His two-way game is good for his age. January 2002. People write about him as if afraid he’ll blow their list up and make them look silly in 2025. A good sign.

4 (5) LC Marco Rossi, OHL. Moves up one spot, lots of positive verbal. Posting jaw-dropping numbers, he’s a September 2001. Good speed, exciting, range of skills.

5 (4) RHD Jamie Drysdale, OHL. Great speed, passing and instincts, he’s instant offense from the blue. Part of Canada’s WJ Gold winner. April 2002. Room to grow.

6 (6) LC Cole Perfetti, OHL. In a normal year he would be a lock for the top five but this is a strong draft at the top. January 2002. His wrist shot is already a great weapon in the OHL and he’s not fully grown (5.10, 177). NHLE is 48.2. Exceptional.

7 (7) RW Alexander Holtz, SHL. First-shot scorer with a range of skills, he’s an electric player. He’s quality. January 2002. NHLE is 22 but that’s without considering how little he played in the SHL (12:35).

8 (8) LW Lucas Raymond, SHL. Smart player who has ridiculous skill. March 2002. NHLE is 14.8, but he played only 9:48. Note: I don’t think there’s a chance in hell Edmonton gets close to the top eight names. After this, it’s wide open.

9 (10) RW Jack Quinn OHL. He is a September 2001 who kept scoring goals all year. NHLE is 38.

10 (9) RC-RW Dawson Mercer, QMJHL. Highly skilled forward who is a plus passer. He emerged a year ago and is taking another step this season (very good sign). October 2001. NHLE is 33.

11 (11) RC Mavrik Bourque, QMJHL. Creative center with great hands. Great passer, great shot. January 2002. NHLE: 33. I think he might be available when Edmonton chooses in the first round.

12 (12) LC Connor Zary, WHL. Two-way center who is likely to top out as a top-six forward is a good bet by this point in the first round. September 2001. NHLE 37.

13 (13) LC Anton Lundell, Liiga. October 2001 has a nice range of skills and is showing nice growth in his second Liiga season. NHLE 24.

14 (15) RW Noel Gunler, SHL. Young winger has a great release and an impressive resume but is only an average scorer in the SHL. However, the points he is gathering are at even strength. October 2001.

15 (14) LD Jake Sanderson, USHL. This is Geoff Sanderson’s son and he can skate like the wind. Smart player, have drilled down a little on him and expect he’s going to be a top 20 pick on merit. July 2002

16 (19) RC Seth Jarvis, WHL.  Jarvis is a fantastic player, undersized and skilled. He might end up in my top 15.

17 (17) LD Jérémie Poirier, QMJHL. Smart two-way defender who may rise on my list. Solid from the Hlinka forward, he’s a gathering storm and could slide up several spots. June 2002

18 (16) RC Jacob Perreault, OHL. Skates well, great shot, great numbers. His numbers earn Perreault this spot. April 2002

19 (18) RD Braden Schneider, WHL. Fine skater who has a range of skills, owns a fairly complete game. Schneider’s offense is comparable to most of the defenseman I have in the first round. Sept 2001

20 (21) LC Jan Mysak, OHL. A late breaker and someone who has quite a lot of buzz around him all of a sudden. He’s a June 2002, very skilled and is effective in all three disciplines. He’s going to land in a good spot on the final list.

21 (23) LC Hendrix Lapierre, QMJHL. Skill center who projects as a playmaker. The buzz on him entering the season was far more pronounced than it is now, so the second half of his season will be vital. Feb 2002.

22 (24) LW Lukas Reichel, DEL. One of the mid-season risers from Europe, his totals in the DEL (32, 10-11-21) are promising. He has skill, speed and plays with abandon. I like him better than Peterka but we have some distance to go.

23 (20) G Yaroslav Askarov, VHL. He plays an unusual style. June 2002, has a .923 VHL save percentage. He could go anywhere 8-25 in the first round.

24 (27) RC Tyson Foerster, OHL. Great offensive weapon, quick release and accurate. His NHLE is very strong (34).

25 (25) LW Rodion Amirov, KHL. His offensive potential is high, although the KHL numbers (21, 0-2-2) are shy. Scouts love the tools and he’s a fast train in a draft season with slow boats. October 2001.

26 (29) LD Kaiden Guhle, WHL. Big defenseman has good foot speed and appears to have something resembling an ideal skill set. In a large group of blue who appear to be two-way types but don’t bring big offensive numbers. Jan 2002

27 (22) LW Dylan Holloway, Big 10. Big power forward. He has a great shot and makes good passes, strong skater, nice range of skills. Offense never arrived, so I faded him.

28 (26) RHD Justin Barron, QMJHL. Mobile defenseman who can defend. Lacks top-end offensive ability so is shy of the top-10 overall, but a team who likes him might jump up. November 2001.

29 (31) LW Ridly Greig, WHL. Smart offensive winger with good instincts, he isn’t a fast train so gets nicked a little. August 2002 so there’s still room to grow.

30 (28) RC Jean-Luc Foudy, OHL. Speedy center with plus skill, he’s a May 2002 and has 61 assists in 99 junior games. His brother is a famous prospect, not certain how he compares but in this year’s draft looks like mid to late first round.

31 (30)  LW Jake Neighbours WHL I was surprised math liked him so much compared to his draft rivals. I have spoken to scouts who have him as an early second round pick, but he’s here on math. He’s skilled, gritty and plays a strong two-way game. March 2002

32 (33) RW Luke Evangelista, OHL. I don’t trust London Knights numbers but this young man looks like a hit. Spiked in a big way this year, I like his scouting reports. Feb 2002

33 (34) LD William Wallinder, Superelite. He’s a big (6.04, 195) defenseman with great speed and the scouting reports suggest offensive potential. His numbers in the Swedish SuperElite don’t scream offense.

34 (35) LW John-Jason Peterka, DEL. A speedy winger with skill, and not yet the sum of his parts. Is scoring well (33, 6-4-10) in a men’s league, the question pertains to the quality of the league. I have faded him.

35 (37) RW Ozzy Wiesblatt, WHL. Skill winger lacks size but plays with great determination. Scoring at a point per game rate, and has already reached 20-goal plateau. March 2002.

36 (41) LD Emil Andrae, SuperElite. Fast defenseman with offensive potential. Plus passer. Feb 2002.

37 (36) LW Martin Chromiak, OHL. I like his scouting report and his OHL scoring numbers, not certain if he’s getting zoomed by Shane Wright. He looks substantial.

38 (32) LC Ty Smilanic, USHL. Lean two-way center with enough skill to project into the top six based on math. Scouting report talks about plus skating and finding another gear. Promising resume. January 2002

39 (38) LC Vasili Ponomaryov, QMJHL. Great hands and good speed, he’s a little under the radar but rates well with other skill forwards I have ranked in the bottom half of the first round. March 2002

40 (39) LD Ryan O’Rourke, OHL. Good size (6.02, 181) and growing offensive ability have him here. Foot speed improving as he matures, projects as a top-four defenseman. May 2002.

41 (42) RW Sam Colangelo, USHL. Big power winger with skill, he has scored 20 goals in the USHL already. December 2001

42 (44) RW Zion Nybeck, SuperElite. Undersized playmaker, creative, great passer. Impressive speed. Smooth. May 2002.

43 (40) LC Thomas Bordeleau, USHL. Owns a great shot and is highly skilled with the puck. First shot scorer, year over year improvement looks substantial. Jan 2002

44 (45) LW Brendan Brisson, USHL. Undersized speedster has a late 2001 birthday and lots of talent. His skating is good.

45 (53) RW Connor McClennon, WHL. His offensive numbers are solid to excellent and he’s a June 2002 so there’s room to grow. He’s undersized but drives to the net. Range of skills.

46 (49) RW Daniil Gushchin, USHL. Small, speedy playmaking forward. Good numbers. Feb 2002.

47 (50) RC Jack Finley, WHL. An August 2002 and a big pivot, he plays a fairly complete game and scouting reports have him as a good skater but without a strong first step.

48 (61) LW Sean Farrell, USHL. A good skater with plus skills, he is posting strong numbers this season. November 2001

49 (47) RC Justin Sourdif, WHL. Two-way winger gained notice at the Hlinka and has scored well on an average offensive team (Vancouver Giants). March 2002

50 (48) RC Jaromir Pytlik, OHL. He’s a fine skater and has two-way skills, meaning he’ll probably land in the top 50 on my list. Sept 2001

51 (65) RD Helge Grans, Malmo (SHL). Solid two-way defenseman with good size and speed. Offense may be underrated, he was point per game in SuperElite this year.

52 (56) RW Kasper Simontaival, Koovee (Mestis). Unusual skating style but he’s quick and has high-end skill. I’m uncertain of the league quality offered by Mestis, but he has posted impressive numbers all the way through his career.

53 (55) LW Daniel Torgersson, SuperElite. He has size and good speed, plus his numbers at lower levels are impressive. A January 2002, we’ll know more about him by April.

54 (51) LW Will Cuylle, OHL. Lots of positives about Cuylle, I have him here because I don’t think his offense makes him a likely top-six forward. Has a great shot.

55 (52) LC Roni Hirvonen, Liiga. Undersized two-way forward, he can play center or wing. Known more for playmaking but he scored four times in three games at the Hlinka. January 2002.

56 (60) LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. Undersized and not a great skater, how does he make the list? Miettinen fills the net with pucks, 42 in 52 Jr. Liiga games.

57 (46) LW Luke Tuch, USHL. Alex Tuch’s brother, he plays a similar style. Tuch’s USHL numbers are good not great. March 2002

58 (57) RW Alexander Pashin, MHL. He won’t be the first Russian chosen but he’s very interesting. Small winger with impressive skill who gives effort across 200 feet. He can score and pass.

59 (59) RW Dylan Peterson, US National Development Program. Big winger with skill and speed, he was a little shy offensively this season. That’s the problem with the U18 national team, real talent is often obscured.

60 (43) LC Antonio Stranges, OHL Terrific speed and skill, and delivers solid offense but the math doesn’t match the verbal. Feb 2002

61 (54) RD Topi Niemela, Liiga. I’ve faded a couple of Finnish defensemen this year because of foot speed. Niemela skates well but has some chaos. March 2002.

62 (62) RD William Villeneuve, QMJHL. Tall, thin two-way defenseman is spiking offensively this season (51 points in 56 games). Great passer, March 2002.

63 (66) LW Carter Savoie, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL). Small, fleet skill winger delivered 99 points in 54 games this season. Might be badly undervalued, led his league with 53 goals.

64 (69) RC Theodor Niederbach (SuperElite). Skill center is a late breaker this draft, partly because he missed last season entirely. A bit of a wild card but the numbers are impressive.

65 (58) LW Roby Jarventie, Mestis. He’s an August 2002 and a nice size and speed combination. Has a good shot. Has played five Liiga games (scored a goal) and could spike.

66 (67) LD Lukas Cormier, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Undersized skill defender with good speed and skill. He’s a smart player, lack of size for his position will hurt draft number. NHLE is 19, if he’s hanging around in round three a team should take Cormier.

67 (64) G Nico Daws, OHL. Hard to know where the goalies land, but his numbers in a good league have him here.

68 (68) LC Marat Khusnutdinov (MHL). Small (5.09, 165) two-way center with great wheels. NHLE is 13. Offense is the worry.

69 (72) RD Michael Benning, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL). Impressive skills (fine skater, excellent passer) lend themselves to the offensive side of the game, and he can transition well. Undersized, he may fall on draft day but it worth a third-round pick based on puck-moving ability.

70 (70) LD Eemil Viro (Sm-Liiga). Small and fast offensive defender, lots of opinions on him. Has some two-way ability but lacks a dominant skill.

71 (71) LD Shakir Mukhamadullin, UFA (KHL). He’s 6.04, 178 and raw as a prospect. Good speed, talent, hasn’t yet found success in the offensive zone.

72 (76) LW Owen Pederson, Winnipeg (WHL). There’s no doubt he was getting zoomed by substantial linemates, but Pederson scored 28 goals in 61 games. He’s worth drafting, question is where.

73 (78) RW Pavel Novak, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedster with skill, he’s a scorer who can also make plays with the puck. NHLE is 26, he’s an April 2002. Lots to like this late.

74 (74) LW Oskar Magnusson, Malmo (SuperElite). Smaller winger with good speed and two-way acumen. Plays in all disciplines, can play center, has goal-scoring ability.

75 (75) RW Ryan Francis, Cape Breton (QMJHL). Playmaking winger who plays a smart game. A December 2001, his NHLE is 27. He could be a steal.

76 (82) LW Brett Berard, US National Development Team (USHL). Small skill winger with good hands, he scored seven goals in 13 USHL games this season.

77 (73) G Calle Clang, Rogle (SuperElite). Good size, a .913 SP and stellar work at the Hlinka.

78 (77) LC Elliot Ekmark, Linkoping (SuperElite). High skill, elusive, great speed, undersized. Steve Kournianos says he plays “inside” meaning he can play in traffic.

79 (81) RW Brandon Coe, North Bay (OHL). Power forward scored 25 goals in the OHL this season. A December 2001, he owns a plus wrist shot and has good speed.

80 (79) RD Luke Prokop, Calgary Hitmen (WHL). A giant (6.04, 218) already (May 2002), scouting reports have him able to gaps and suppress offense. Has some offensive flair, including a good shot.

81 (63) LD Tyler Kleven, USHL. A big shutdown defenseman (6.04, 201) with good speed and a scouting report that says he has ‘offensive tools’ but his USHL numbers are shy. January 2002.

82 (NR) LD Yan Kuznetsov (NCAA). He’s 6.03, 201 and 18 and completed a season of NCAA. hockey. Regarded as a solid defender, he posted 11 points in 34 games. At 18.

83 (80) G Sam Hlavaj, Sherbrooke (QMJHL). Boasts a .915 save percentage and stands 6.04, 218. Has drawn comparisons to Devan Dubnyk.

84 (NR) RC Tyler Tullio, OHL. Small playmaking pivot. Good passer, great shot. Improved a lot season over season.

85 (RC) Tristan Robins, WHL. Impressive numbers and a big spike year over year, he is very skilled and doesn’t get much attention.

86 (84) LC Daniel Ljungman, Linkoping (SuperElite). Emerged from nowhere at the Hlinka Gretzky, he had a solid year. Great release.

87 (NR) L Kyle Crnkovic, WHL. Small (5.07) doubled his point total season over season. Got plenty of chances on an offensively challenged team. Spiked second half.

88 (NR) LC Theo Rochette, QMJHL. Undersized two-way center improved only slightly year over year but has intriguing offense. Not a burner.

89 (85) RW Wiljami Myllylä, HIFK (Jr Sm-Liiga). Speed demon, has been posting gaudy scoring numbers for several years. Also made my list a year ago.

90 (83) G Joel Blomquist, Karpat (Jr Liiga). Strong numbers (.929) he’s a confident goaltender who has a good glove.

91 (NR) LC Cameron Berg, USHL. Good speed and skill, based on what I’ve read a little more offensive was expected.

92 (86) G Dylan Garand, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). Eye popping SP (.921) for June 2002, but he’s only 6.0 in height so won’t go high. Born in the wrong era, he’s talented. Good numbers down the line.

93 (NR) RC Zayde Wisdom. I’m still not completely certain about him but he’s a May 2002 just shy of a point per game in the OHL.

94 (87) LD Daemon Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Big defender with good wheels, he is an effective player without the puck and will earn his money as a shutdown defenseman should he make the NHL. Suffered an injury that robbed him of much of the season.

95 (88) LW Pavel Gogolev, Guelph Storm (OHL). I had him No. 85 in 2018 and he was injured last year. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.

96 (89) LC Juuso Mäenpää, Jokerit (Jr Liiga). Very small but highly skilled playmaker who didn’t get a lot of looks at the Hlinka but impressed in limited minutes.

97 (90) LW Maxim Groshev, Nizhnekamsk (KHL). A December 2001, he’s 6.02, 187, he’s skilled and determined with the puck on his stick.

98 (91) RD Kasper Puutio, Everett Silvertips (WHL). Skill defender had a good Hlinka and then a strong late push after being dealt. Could be underrated here.

99 (NR) LW Cross Hanas, WHL. Speedy winger performed well at the Hlinka Gretzky and scored 22 goals in Portland.

100 (NR) LC Evan Vierling OHL. Playmaking center spiked after trade to Barrie. Excellent passer.

OILERS MOCK!

I used Craig Button’s list as my guide, taking the best available still on the board at each selection. This is going to be a wild draft! I used the pick at No. 209 to grab the player at No. 60 on my list! Crazy.

No. 23 overall: RW Noel Gunler, SHL. Wheeler talked about him in our chat for The Oil Can. Skilled and fast, he already plays in one of the best leagues in the world. His even-strength points per 60 in ’19-20 was 1.92. For reference, Alexander Holtz posted 1.86 and Lucas Raymond 1.41 in the SHL. I don’t know if he’s a better prospect than Raphael Lavoie but he’s a different player type and has a nice resume.

No. 85 overall: RC Jaromir Pytlik, OHL. His NHLE is 23.6, another good skater who has two-way skills. I think he’d slide in and compete with Ryan McLeod for future No. 3 pivot for the NHL team if all works out.

No. 147 overall: LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. His NHLE is 29.3, young man scored at will in his junior league. Speed an issue but scoring goals is a difficult thing to do.

No. 178 overall: RW Dylan Peterson, USHL. His NHLE is 12.8, but good prospects often don’t play much in that U.S. National Development Program. He is big, has skill and good speed.

No. 209 overall: LC Antonio Stranges, OHL. His NHLE is 17.4, and his scouting report talks plus speed and skill.

Since I’m running my list up against Button’s list, little wonder I love the outcome. That said, Edmonton’s won’t choose forwards at every spot. I really like the top two selections, for me both are legit NHL prospects.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will bring his calm voice of reason to the airwaves about 10:20. Michael Chandler from The Score will pop in at 10:40 to talk Alphonso Davies and his new deal, plus the progress being made by teams in getting started on a return to the pitch. Finally, Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk NFL draft prop bets (will Roger Goodell wear a suit?). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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81 Responses to "The 100 best players in the 2020 draft"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    As I mentioned yesterday, this seems odd to me but at least it allows the Oilers to win the cup this year and still draft before the projected drop off at 24 – Music!

  2. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As I mentioned yesterday, this seems odd to me but at least it allows the Oilers to win the cup this year and still draft before the projected drop off at 24 – Music!

    I think the two possibilities are No. 20 and No. 23 depending on what course the NHL chooses.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Please keep comments from previous posts in previous posts. Thanks!

  4. dustrock says:

    Saw one scout saying Lundell was going to drop because of skating issues. Thinks he’s able to pick his spots a bit at this level.

  5. Sunnyboy says:

    Mr. McCurdy again has an excellent piece of work on Dave Tippett today and the highlight for me is the “pesky pink cell”. This seems to me to be the reason to swing a scythe thru the bottom half of the forward group and forego any sentiment to rationalize the return of them all. Let Ken Holland have at this group again as he did last year and cull the herd. I’ll take my chances that he can improve this group because they are not good enough, no balance photo in sight. The team has to improve, status quo will miss the playoffs again next year. JMO

  6. Darth Tu says:

    dustrock,

    I saw that too, how far do you think he drops? And is he worth grabbing if he’s floating around 23rd? I’m kind of on the take highest scoring winger we can in the first round train.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Sunnyboy:
    Mr. McCurdy again has an excellent piece of work on Dave Tippett today and the highlight for me is the “pesky pink cell”. This seems to me to be the reason to swing a scythe thru the bottom half of the forward group and forego any sentiment to rationalize the return of them all. Let Ken Holland have at this group again as he did last year and cull the herd. I’ll take my chances that he can improve this group because they are not good enough, no balance photo in sight. The team has to improve, status quo will miss the playoffs again next year.JMO

    Management knows the roster as constituted because they made the roster last summer; the team was improving but nowhere near an obvious contender like Pittsburgh/Chicago/LAK

  8. jp says:

    Sunnyboy:
    Mr. McCurdy again has an excellent piece of work on Dave Tippett today and the highlight for me is the “pesky pink cell”. This seems to me to be the reason to swing a scythe thru the bottom half of the forward group and forego any sentiment to rationalize the return of them all. Let Ken Holland have at this group again as he did last year and cull the herd. I’ll take my chances that he can improve this group because they are not good enough, no balance photo in sight. The team has to improve, status quo will miss the playoffs again next year.JMO

    Again next year? Like in 2019?

  9. jp says:

    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

  10. dustrock says:

    Darth Tu:
    dustrock,

    I saw that too, how far do you think he drops? And is he worth grabbing if he’s floating around 23rd? I’m kind of on the take highest scoring winger we can in the first round train.

    Just one scout’s opinion but I have heard his name as a faller the last month or so. It’s silly season so every possible weakness is going to be pored over.

    I think LT is absolutely correct and after the top 8 or so it’s going to be all over the place.

    I’m not convinced Mercer goes in the top 10.

  11. Pretendergast says:

    jp:
    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

    I don’t think that’s in the ‘keep Connor happy’ line of drafting. If some skill forwards don’t arrive for his line and the success is limited, maybe he doesn’t sign that next contract. You shouldn’t expect a goalie for at least 5 years. Carter Hart is the exception and even he has struggled at times, Vasilevsky and Samsonov now is the more likely scenario.

    I don’t think the Oil have the luxury of doing it. Goalies in round 1 are rare and are usually done by teams ala Washington, Tampa, even Boston with Subban, that can afford to wait because they’re already established good teams.

  12. Elgin R says:

    Lt: What, no song as the title to the article? I could not think of a good rock song but the following is a great substitute: 0 to 100 / The Catch Up (Drake).

    The positions that the Oilers have had the hardest time finding in trades or free agency are RC and RHD. Shoutout to Pistol Pete for getting Strome, daggers for trading him.

    Oiler’s Draft Order (1st Round)

    Seth Jarvis (RC)
    Braden Schneider (RHD)
    Jacob Perreault (RC)
    Tyson Foerster (RC)
    Justin Barron (RHD)

    Some teams always go off the board so hoping either Jarvis or Schneider is available.

  13. defmn says:

    jp:
    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

    My guess would be no simply because history and verbal tends to come together to support the idea that Holland prefers to spend his money elsewhere in the lineup and high draft picks have a tendency to become expensive as they emerge from their ELC’s.

  14. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair:
    The complications of holding the draft before the playoffs.

    https://www.tsn.ca/talent/nhl-exploring-moving-draft-up-to-june-before-season-is-completed-1.1468686?tsn-amp&__twitter_impression=true

    I think this guy nailed it.

    “This makes zero sense,” another GM said. “I think it just gives you guys [the media] something to talk about.”

  15. Munny says:

    Looking at the paucity of high-end D (and the cornucopia of forwards) in this draft makes me wonder if that was another reason for Holly taking Broberg last summer…

  16. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Munny,

    Placing one’s trust in an Old Holland to separate the wheat from the chaff is a good bet.

  17. Munny says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    lol… he’s all that and a bag of chips.

  18. Harpers Hair says:

    A dreary, rainy day on the Island so it’s time to fire up another recipe.

    Featured on tonight’s menu…Pan Seared Scallops with Vanilla Butter Sauce.

    I discovered this delightful dish at the restaurant at Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach a few years back and have made it several times.

    Ingredients:

    ½ pound large sea scallops
    ½ cup butter
    1 cup cream
    2 tablespoons onion, minced
    1 clove of garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon good quality PURE vanilla extract
    Blanched golden beet

    Directions:

    Melt butter over medium high heat in a frying pan. Sear scallops and cook until just done, about one minute per side. Remove from pan and keep warm.

    Add onion and garlic to the pan and sauté 2 minutes. Add cream and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened.

    Slice beet into rounds and serve scallops on top of beet slices.

    Pour vanilla sauce into serving plates, place scallops on top and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.

    Enjoy!

    ***Thanks to VANISLEOIL for the tip on Man Lee’s Foods in Nanaimo. Have driven by there scores of times but never stopped in.

  19. jp says:

    Pretendergast:
    I don’t think that’s in the ‘keep Connor happy’ line of drafting. If some skill forwards don’t arrive for his line and the success is limited, maybe he doesn’t sign that next contract. You shouldn’t expect a goalie for at least 5 years. Carter Hart is the exception and even he has struggled at times, Vasilevsky and Samsonov now is the more likely scenario.

    I don’t think the Oil have the luxury of doing it. Goalies in round 1 are rare and are usually done by teams ala Washington, Tampa, even Boston with Subban, that can afford to wait because they’re already established good teams.

    Well Broberg didn’t fit the “keep Connor happy” mold either.

    It occurred to me since Askarov fell at #23 on LTs list, and the Oilers current/future goaltending picture isn’t exactly clear. They have quantity in the pipeline but I’m not sure any are trending NHL options.

    I think it’s unlikely Holland picks Askarov too, but just maybe he sees a future starter.

  20. jp says:

    defmn: My guess would be no simply because history and verbal tends to come together to support the idea that Holland prefers to spend his money elsewhere in the lineup and high draft picks have a tendency to become expensive as they emerge from their ELC’s.

    That’s a good point, though Holland did emply Hasek for quite some years.

  21. buck yoakam says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Ok ..but no baloney casserole …sorry

  22. defmn says:

    jp: That’s a good point, though Holland did emply Hasek for quite some years.

    Pre cap though I think although my old brain has trouble keeping track of those things. It was one thing to fill the roster with the best that money could buy back when the only effect was to empty your owner’s bank account.

    I think that with the cap there is a little more subtlety in assessing what drives wins and losses most in terms of cost.

    At leas that is how I seem to remember an interview he did on the subject some years ago.

  23. defmn says:

    buck yoakam:
    Harpers Hair,

    Ok ..but no baloney casserole …sorry

    Ah, a Maritime delicacy. 😉

  24. defmn says:

    jp: Well Broberg didn’t fit the “keep Connor happy” mold either.

    I would be very disappointed if keeping Connor happy involves anything more than winning.

  25. Munny says:

    jp,

    defmn,

    Dutch is a former goalie. It’s the roster spot where I trust him the most, no matter what he decides to do.

    It was also the position where I trusted MacT the least.

  26. jp says:

    defmn: I would be very disappointed if keeping Connor happy involves anything more than winning.

    I can’t imagine it does.

  27. jp says:

    defmn: Pre cap though I think although my old brain has trouble keeping track of those things. It was one thing to fill the roster with the best that money could buy back when the only effect was to empty your owner’s bank account.

    I think that with the cap there is a little more subtlety in assessing what drives wins and losses most in terms of cost.

    At leas that is how I seem to remember an interview he did on the subject some years ago.

    Had to check. Hasek was in Det for 2 years before the lockout, went to Ottawa for a year right after, then 2 more in Det. I thought he played more yrs for Holland than that.

    Your point about spending that money for an elite G is definitely fair, it wasn’t just some guy.

    To your other post, maybe, just maybe Holland sees a future franchise goalie and grabs him, if he sees that as an avenue to winning (acknowledging it’s unlikely and that would be tough to reconcile with a short term timeline)

  28. Harpers Hair says:

    Jason Markusoff
    @markusoff
    · 1h
    Wow. NHL in talks to host all remaining Pacific division games in Edmonton — which has been largely spared from coronavirus’ blow, esp compared to Calgary or Vancouver areas. https://twitter.com/btaplatt/status/1253029203617996805

  29. Lowetide says:

    jp:
    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

    I think so, yes. Oilers have a new GM and Wright is in charge of the draft. We don’t know what we don’t know.

  30. Harpers Hair says:

    Brian Platt
    @btaplatt
    ·
    1h
    ESPN story says they’re now looking at using one NHL arena per division. Edmonton, Minnesota and Carolina possible options. https://espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29083478/sources-nhl-no-longer-considering-neutral-sites

  31. slopitch says:

    Harpers Hair,

    What about rest of the league though? Seems overly risky…

  32. defmn says:

    jp: I can’t imagine it does.

    Me either.

  33. defmn says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Brian Platt
    @btaplatt
    ·
    1h
    ESPN story says they’re now looking at using one NHL arena per division. Edmonton, Minnesota and Carolina possible options. https://espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29083478/sources-nhl-no-longer-considering-neutral-sites

    This rumour has been around for awhile now. I don’t know about the other destinations mentioned but Edmonton is set up pretty well for a self-contained event like this.

    If they play more than one a day it will be interesting to see how they air them on TV. Hard to keep results quiet in this day and age.

  34. Harpers Hair says:

    slopitch:
    Harpers Hair,

    What about rest of the league though? Seems overly risky…

    The rest of the league is covered in the ESPN link.

  35. godot10 says:

    jp:
    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

    A 0.01% chance.

    Askarov cannot make a difference in the next five years. McDavid’s tenure as an Oiler will be almost over by then.

    The Oilers need assets that will make an impact withing three to five years. Cheap impact forwards mainly on ELC’s.

  36. godot10 says:

    jp: Well Broberg didn’t fit the “keep Connor happy” mold either.

    A contending quality defense is essential to keep Connor happy. Broberg and Bouchard means the defense is set up for the remainder of McDavid’s tenure with the Oilers.

    You are still believing the hype on those USNTP guys. They aren’t that good.

  37. Harpers Hair says:

    No idea how the NHL could make the Pacific Division work.

    Just checked the schedules.

    VCR has 8 Pacific games remaining, VGK 6, EDM and CAL 5.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Brian Platt
    @btaplatt
    ·
    1h
    ESPN story says they’re now looking at using one NHL arena per division. Edmonton, Minnesota and Carolina possible options. https://espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29083478/sources-nhl-no-longer-considering-neutral-sites

    I suggested this a while ago. Have at least one division in minneapolis. not many cases and several arenas in area you could play at .
    The question becomes what do you do with teams that have nothing to play for.
    I would probably just tell them to stay home, no need to play the Devils Red wings, Sens or Kings Ducks Sharks in Pacific at this point and dont know how much interest those players would even have to get in shape for 10 games of suckitude far from home so just end their season.
    Finish the season with intradivisional play, find a way to make the rest of the games fair to determine who out of the four teams makes playoffs.
    Eg Pacific, 5 teams play each other twice and single game elimination 4th and 5th team are a point within each other and have a game in hand.

    People in US are so starved for sports they would even watch hockey.
    ESPN had a computer gaming tournament on last weekend

  39. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: A 0.01% chance.

    Askarov cannot make a difference in the next five years.McDavid’s tenure as an Oiler will be almost over by then.

    The Oilers need assets that will make an impact withing three to five years.Cheap impact forwards mainly on ELC’s.

    Carter Hart is 21

  40. Primetime says:

    If the league actually thinks it’s starting up again soon, then all the Euro’s who went home should come back in a hurry. They will need to self isolate for 2 weeks upon their return first…in Canada at least….

  41. Harpers Hair says:

    Primetime:
    If the league actually thinks it’s starting up again soon, then all the Euro’s who went home should come back in a hurry.They will need to self isolate for 2 weeks upon their return first…in Canada at least….

    The proposals I’ve seen are talking about games to be played in July.

  42. jp says:

    godot10: A contending quality defense is essential to keep Connor happy.Broberg and Bouchard means the defense is set up for the remainder of McDavid’s tenure with the Oilers.

    You are still believing the hype on those USNTP guys.They aren’t that good.

    I liked the Broberg pick from day one. I still do and was never a strong proponent of the USHL guys (though I imagine a number of them will emerge as strong NHLers).

    I was just pointing out that Holland did not follow the quickest path (cheap impact forward) in picking Broberg.

  43. jp says:

    Munny:
    jp,

    defmn,

    Dutch is a former goalie. It’s the roster spot where I trust him the most, no matter what he decides to do.

    It was also the position where I trusted MacT the least.

    Ha!

    Yes, Holland’s built considerable trust in all his moves (from me as well). But what do you make of Mike Smith?

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I think the two possibilities are No. 20 and No. 23 depending on what course the NHL chooses.

    Yup, if they are holding the draft in June there won’t be any more regular season games so, if they do have the playoffs, the Oilers can win the cup and still draft before the tier drop off after the 23rd/24th pick (so I’ve heard).

  45. jp says:

    defmn: If they play more than one a day it will be interesting to see how they air them on TV. Hard to keep results quiet in this day and age.

    Early and late games each night for each division, teams play every 2nd night. 8 teams play per division every 2 days (Central teams will get some extra rest). All the games could be live in the evenings (6pm and 9pm starts?). Should work smoothly, no?

    Alternatively the 2 games each night/each division could run concurrently. Fans are most often focused on ‘their’ team so it wouldn’t affect viewership too much to run the games at the same time.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reid Wilkins
    @ReidWilkins
    Premier Kenney says he got a call from Gary Bettman about Alberta battling covid, had a general discussio. Says he has not received a formal proposal about the NHL playing here.

    Dr. Hinshaw says any proposal from the league would have to line up with public health requirements.

  47. defmn says:

    Sammy Hudes
    @SammyHudes
    ·
    9m
    Premier Kenney says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called him to ask about Alberta’s status on combating #COVID19.

    “We have not received a formal proposal of any kind” on NHL games in Alberta when the league restarts, says Kenney.

    Sammy Hudes
    @SammyHudes
    ·
    9m
    “If a proposal were forthcoming, we would obviously expect the league to prepare a very detailed plan to mitigate risk,” says Kenney.

    “It’s pretty clear to me that if something like that were to happen, we would not have large crowds gathering in arenas.”

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp:
    Any chance the Oilers take Askarov if he’s there at 23?

    For me, I sure hope not and that doesn’t have anything to do with his “disappointing” performance at the World Juniors.

    With the draft supposably being so deep in really really good looking forward prospects, I’d have a tough time taking a goalie in the first round.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pretendergast: I don’t think that’s in the ‘keep Connor happy’ line of drafting. If some skill forwards don’t arrive for his line and the success is limited, maybe he doesn’t sign that next contract. You shouldn’t expect a goalie for at least 5 years. Carter Hart is the exception and even he has struggled at times, Vasilevsky and Samsonov now is the more likely scenario.

    I don’t think the Oil have the luxury of doing it. Goalies in round 1 are rare and are usually done by teams ala Washington, Tampa, even Boston with Subban, that can afford to wait because they’re already established good teams.

    I don’t think Connor re-signing in 5 years or so should have (or does have) any impact on Holland’s strategy at the draft.

    Holland is proceed I’m sure with what he thinks best for his plan for the team – to build a consistent cup contender – a team that makes the playoffs and contends for the cup, year after year after year.

    I would think he will most likely draft a forward but last year showed us that we can’t say for sure.

    If Holland executes his plan, as stated above, McDavid will be quite happy I’m sure.

    Winning is what Connor wants to do.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: Pre cap though I think although my old brain has trouble keeping track of those things. It was one thing to fill the roster with the best that money could buy back when the only effect was to empty your owner’s bank account.

    I think that with the cap there is a little more subtlety in assessing what drives wins and losses most in terms of cost.

    At leas that is how I seem to remember an interview he did on the subject some years ago.

    I believe you are absolutely correct – While Hask was near the end of his career at that point, I think he moved on to Ottawa by the time the cap was in effect.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: I would be very disappointed if keeping Connor happy involves anything more than winning.

    As would I and I have almost zero concern in that regard. I’m quite confident that McDavid is on-board with whatever draft decisions are made that help the team win in the short and medium term.

  52. iHockeyWpg says:

    Shelter Point Single Malt Whisky
    Purchased earlier this week and I have to say it’s very smooth. Goes down well with Boylan’s Ginger Ale… 👍

  53. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, if they are holding the draft in June there won’t be any more regular season games so, if they do have the playoffs, the Oilers can win the cup and still draft before the tier drop off after the 23rd/24th pick (so I’ve heard).

    Do you think the Oilers can get past VGK, DAL, STL or COL?

    Seriously?

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Reid Wilkins
    @ReidWilkins
    Premier Kenney says he got a call from Gary Bettman about Alberta battling covid, had a general discussio. Says he has not received a formal proposal about the NHL playing here.

    Dr. Hinshaw says any proposal from the league would have to line up with public health requirements.

    Reid Wilkins
    @ReidWilkins
    ·
    34m
    Bettman tells Ron MacLean the decision to return to play will ultimately be made by health officials and governments.

    ——-
    Chris Johnston
    @reporterchris
    Gary Bettman to Ron MacLean: “Let’s be clear about one thing: We have no revenues coming in right now and that poses an issue.”

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I think so, yes. Oilers have a new GM and Wright is in charge of the draft. We don’t know what we don’t know.

    I am quite happy with the change to the Oilers pro scouting to be led by Archie Henderson but am not nearly as confident in Wright taking over from Keith Gretzky in the amateur procurement department.

  56. Halfwise says:

    This may be controversial.

    I work in oil and gas but with a global perspective not just N America.

    I think we should assume significant wealth has been destroyed and isn’t coming back for 5 years, as one scenario. Other scenarios are rosier.

    Pro sports may have a business model that no longer works. Crowds will be smaller, player health less certain, venues less dependable. Development leagues also under threat.

    I think the NHL would be wise to consider 4 skaters and 3 on ice officials for regulation and OT. Trim all rosters by 4 players. Shorter seasons too. Same for the AHL and ECHL.

    The money for business as usual may not ever come back. That’s one scenario.

    We have oil business clients who are all cashed up. We have former clients who are flat broke.

  57. Todd Macallan says:

    Harpers Hair: Do you think the Oilers can get past VGK, DAL, STL or COL?

    Seriously?

    Yes, yes, no, yes.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Do you think the Oilers can get past VGK, DAL, STL or COL?

    Seriously?

    My goodness, it was a light-hearted throw away comment made in jest.

    With that said, sure, why not?

    STL is in a separate tier than the other 3 (in particular assuming Tarasenko is back).

    A hot tender can do alot in the playoffs and the Oilers actually have two that have shown to get super hot for stretches – especially when fresh.

    Not to mention, the Oilers actually have more points than the Stars (ya, ya, points percentage) and like two less than the Knights. Through 70 games, there is no seperation – those teams are in the same tier.

  59. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: My goodness, it was a light-hearted throw away comment made in jest.

    With that said, sure, why not?

    STL is in a separate tier than the other 3 (in particular assuming Tarasenko is back).

    A hot tender can do alot in the playoffs and the Oilers actually have two that have shown to get super hot for stretches – especially when fresh.

    Not to mention, the Oilers actually have more points than the Stars (ya, ya, points percentage) and like two less than the Knights. Through 70 games, there is no seperation – those teams are in the same tier.

    Agree on STL.

    DAL has TWO goaltenders better than the Oilers pairing and one of the top D corp in the league.

    COL has suffered long injuries to two of their top forwards…they’re healthy now.

    VGK is much, much deeper than the Oilers at forward and equal on D.

  60. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am quite happy with the change to the Oilers pro scouting to be led by Archie Henderson but am not nearly as confident in Wright taking over from Keith Gretzky in the amateur procurement department.

    I agree. No disrespect to Wright but the Oilers had a nice bit of momentum going, 2016 aside.

  61. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Agree on STL.

    DAL has TWO goaltenders better than the Oilers pairing and one of the top D corp in the league.

    COL has suffered long injuries to two of their top forwards…they’re healthy now.

    VGK is much, much deeper than the Oilers at forward and equal on D.

    Who the hell knows what kind of shape any of the players are in if they do restart and if the players need to be quarantined during a series so I would think any team in playoffs has a pretty good chance to beat another.
    Except the Canucks, they have no chance

  62. Harpers Hair says:

    Damien Cox
    @DamoSpin
    ·
    11m
    As I’ve said, there’s no guarantee all 31 NHL teams survive this. Not necessarily a bad thing for a league that would be so much stronger at 26-28 teams.

  63. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Do you think the Oilers can get past VGK, DAL, STL or COL?

    Seriously?

    I don’t think you understand how divisions work

  64. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: Who the hell knows what kind of shape any of the players are in if they do restart and if the players need to be quarantined during a series so I would think any team in playoffs has a pretty good chance to beat another.
    Except the Canucks, they have no chance

    If any teams have an advantage, it would be the ones with Swedish stars.

    Sweden’s response to COVID has been lax and hockey players in that country have been working out and skating.

  65. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: If any teams have an advantage, it would be the ones with Swedish stars.

    Sweden’s response to COVID has been lax and hockey players in that country have been working out and skating.

    And they are the ones most likely to contract Covid

  66. Halfwise says:

    leadfarmer,

    And maybe then the first to recover.

  67. defmn says:

    Cox has been saying this for 10 years. He doesn’t like the cap. He’s like Brooks in NY. He thinks rich owners should be allowed to buy championships.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Agree on STL.

    DAL has TWO goaltenders better than the Oilers pairing and one of the top D corp in the league.

    COL has suffered long injuries to two of their top forwards…they’re healthy now.

    VGK is much, much deeper than the Oilers at forward and equal on D.

    I never said the Oilers had better tenders – I said they have two tenders that can get very hot for stretches – this have proven to be true.

    Dwayne Roloson was not a good goalie – he got super hot at the right time in 2006.

    That’s nice about Colorado and Vegas – Vegas doesn’t (and never has scared me). I’m not saying the Oilers are better than either of those teams but I could definitely see them beating either of them in a series.

  69. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: I don’t think you understand how divisions work

    Yeah. I do.

    If the Oilers get past their first round opponent (likely Vancouver) they’ll have to beat VGK and then the best of STL, DAL or COL.

    Can’t see them beating any of those teams.

  70. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah. I do.

    If the Oilers get past their first round opponent (likely Vancouver) they’ll have to beat VGK and then the best of STL, DAL or COL.

    Can’t see them beating any of those teams.

    Yeah but not a lot of people saw Columbus sweeping T Bay last year. There’s a reason they play the games.

  71. Harpers Hair says:

    Music for a trying time.

    https://youtu.be/ywkN4wh68Uo

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah. I do.

    If the Oilers get past their first round opponent (likely Vancouver) they’ll have to beat VGK and then the best of STL, DAL or COL.

    Can’t see them beating any of those teams.

    I’m sure you couldn’t see the Oilers beating Dallas in 97 or Colorado in 98 or Detroit in 2006 or SJ in 2017.

    I’m sure you couldn’t see Tampa getting swept.

    Of course the Oilers could beat any of those teams in a series – shit, they have more points accumulated and a better goal differential than Dallas.

    A rested McDavid and Drai – McDavid a few months further removed from his knee injury…..

    Its the NHL playoffs – upsets each and every year and there is very little to choose between most of the teams.

    Shit, VEG may not even get by NSH/WIN – that’s if they even win the division.

  73. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair: If any teams have an advantage, it would be the ones with Swedish stars.

    Sweden’s response to COVID has been lax and hockey players in that country have been working out and skating.

    Provided that they don’t get infected.

  74. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah. I do.

    If the Oilers get past their first round opponent (likely Vancouver) they’ll have to beat VGK and then the best of STL, DAL or COL.

    Can’t see them beating any of those teams.

    It is a whole new season in the restart. We have no idea which teams will emerge from it better or worse than they were.

  75. hunter1909 says:

    Harpers Hair: If the Oilers get past their first round opponent (likely Vancouver) they’ll have to beat VGK and then the best of STL, DAL or COL.
    Can’t see them beating any of those teams.

    You probably thought Detroit were going to beat Edmonton in 2006.

  76. Scungilli Slushy says:

    If you make the playoffs anything can happen.

    Good goalies are great, but hot goalies and team buy in are what wins then. Health. And the quality of elite players on the roster.

    There aren’t any dynasty type teams in the cap era. It’s a free for all.

  77. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Provided that they don’t get infected.

    Testing is becoming available. Problem solved as far as sports and unattended venues are concerned I would think in terms of public health.

    Edit- Unclear, I meant no fans, test all other people involved. Doable for sure.

  78. hunter1909 says:

    One imagines a modern English soccer match played with the Black Death going on. They could have provided ongoing body counts of fans dropping dead in the stands during the games.

    Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2

    Attendance 56,358

    Carried off dead fans(during 90 minutes):

    1st half – 17 confirmed dead

    2nd half – 19 confirmed dead plus 2 arguing that they’re still alive

  79. Genjutsu says:

    leadfarmer: Carter Hart is 21

    Patrick Roy won a cup right out of junior.

    The good ones make themselves known early.

    Pretty sure woodguy ran the numbers on his blog and the conclusion iirc was that teams generally wait too long to both call up and stop playing goalies.

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