Needs at the Draft Table

I write this every year although it’s tough to project with new management. When we are two or three years in with a general manager/scouting director the lay of the land will be more clear. Oilers fans haven’t had a chance to observe and witness the Ken Holland-Tyler Wright tandem yet, so the experience begins with the 2020 draft. What do the Oilers need? There are cracks and holes, but the key of course is to find NHL players.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

RIGHT DEFENSE. 8 PICKS IN THE DECADE

Since 2015, Edmonton drafted Ethan Bear, John Marino and Evan Bouchard who have appeared in NHL games. The importance of a RH defenseman became more commonplace during the decade, Oilers got on board in a timely fashion. The signing of Matt Benning and procurement of Adam Larsson set up a solid depth chart. Mike Green was added at the deadline, he may return. Logan Day is in Bakersfield and has talent, but is rfa this summer and looking at a tough climb.

Currently matriculating are Filip Berglund, Phil Kemp and Michael Kesselring. Oilers current depth chart is Larsson-Bear-Benning with Green injured. I don’t think we’ll see a Bakersfield addition to this group.

Possible Selections: Michael Benning is Matt’s brother and offers good speed and passing ability. William Villeneuve and Alex Cotton are two mid-round options, but Benning would be my choice as most likely.

GOALIES. 10 PICKS IN THE DECADE

Mikko Koskinen is either No. 1 or No. 1A and the second option is likely to come from free agency. Edmonton’s pro depth chart shouldn’t require re-signing Shane Starrett but the team may decide to do it anyway.

The last time Edmonton chose a goalie in the first round was Devan Dubnyk in 2004. The last three goalies chosen (Stuart Skinner, Olivier Rodrigue, Ilya Konovalov) are edging close to Jeff Deslauriers territory (he was the first pick of the second round, 2002) and one of them could cash.

Holland didn’t spend draft riches on goalies but his staff did find Jimmy Howard in the second round and Peter Mrazek in the fifth round. Keith Petruzelli is also posting fine college numbers although I don’t know much about him.

Possible Selections: There’s a chance Edmonton picks Yaroslav Askarov if he’s on the board in the first round. I like Calle Clang based on his numbers and quality of league, but he may go in the top 100. Perhaps Holland uses the Neal pick if it still belongs to northern Alberta.

RIGHT WING. 10 PICKS IN THE DECADE

We now reach the Bermuda triangle of Oilers drafting in the 2010’s. The Oilers have spent more draft capital and received less in actual production than any other position. From Tobias Rieder to Nail Yakupov to Jesse Puljujarvi, when the decade ended right wing knew it wasn’t getting a dime of its damage deposit back.

Kailer Yamamoto was chosen in 2017, he may change the team’s fortunes in this area. RW depth chart at this time is approximately Zack Kassian, Yamamoto, Josh Archibald and Alex Chiasson. Raphael Lavoie, who can also play center, along with Kirill Maksimov and Ostap Safin are pushing.

Possible Solutions: I think the draft could see Holland draft heavily around this position (he picked three C’s a year ago). Dawson Mercer, Mavrik Bourque, Noel Gunler and Jacob Perreault are all possibles, with the possibility of at least one name in this group being available very high. There’s a bunch of interesting names later on, including Ozzy Wiesblatt and Luke Evangelista.

LEFT WING. 14 PICKS ON THE DECADE

The Oilers haven’t chosen a LW in the first round since Taylor Hall, and the portsiders taken since then (Curtis Hamilton, Mitch Moroz, Anton Slepyshev, Tyler Benson) are either matriculating toward the NHL or down the road. Oilers shouldn’t have traded Taylor Hall, or Drake Caggiula for that matter.

Current depth chart has natural center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the top option, followed by Andreas Athanasiou, James Neal and Jujhar Khaira. Tyler Ennis was a deadline pickup who could be retained. Tyler Benson is the most promising among the group pushing for NHL employment. The acquisition of AA and moving Nuge to LW have turned the position into a possible strength.

Possible Solutions: Rodion Amirov, Dylan Holloway, Ridly Greig could be first-round options.

CENTER. 17 PICKS IN THE DECADE

The marquee position for the Oilers over the past 10 drafts, peaking in 2014 (Leon Draisaitl) and 2015 (Connor McDavid). It’s a tricky position, because centers can play wing but I count them as pivots if that’s their position on draft day. No harm in regard to Leon or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins but Tyler Pitlick (as an example) didn’t spend five minutes at the position during his NHL career.

The current depth chart is akin to writing credits for the Rolling Stones, as in miles and miles of Jagger-Richards and not much Taylor, Jones, Wood, Wyman or Watts. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl represent the highest peak in the NHL, no question. Riley Sheahan, Gaetan Haas and Jujhar Khaira are all adequate plus as No. 4 centers but the team badly needs a No. 3 option.

That could arrive sooner than later in the person of Ryan McLeod. He already has NHL speed and I was impressed with how much even-strength offense he managed in a downbeat season for the Bakersfield Condors. Other possibles include Raphael Lavoie (although I think he’ll be a RW) and Maxim Denezhkin, who is the most intriguing prospect in the system.

There are many centers who would be a great fit in this year’s draft. Among them are Seth Jarvis, Mavrik Bourque, Connor Zary, Dylan Holloway, and later Jack Finley, Jakub Konecny.

LEFT DEFENSE. 17 PICKS IN THE DECADE

This position wins the ‘most likely to be chosen annually’ award, as the Oilers missed taking a lefty just once (2018) during the entire decade. Edmonton managers have invested high picks on the position too, procuring Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Philip Broberg. Value picks for this position include Brandon Davidson, Erik Gustafsson and Caleb Jones.

The current depth chart is the strongest in the organization, with an excess at both the NHL and AHL levels. The pro depth chart at this time is Oscar Klefbom-Darnell Nurse-Jones-Kris Russell-William Lagesson-Theodor Lennstrom-Dmitri Samorukov-Markus Niemelainen. The bubbling under crew is led by Broberg and also includes Matt Cairns.

I could see the Oilers spending the first rounder on a blue, although it seems unlikely given the nature of the depth chart. My guess is the team would be interested in Jake Sanderson, Kaiden Guhle, Ryan O’Rourke, William Wallinder. Later on, Joni Jurmo, Eemil Vero, Ethan Edwards and Ben Meehan are interesting.

MY IDEAL LIST

Draft day 2007 I wrote the following on this blog.

Today is a terrific day. The NHL draft. Jim Matheson says the Oilers have targeted Sam Gagner and that’s alright with me. I’d be a little disappointed with Karl Alzner (I suspect Prendergast likes him most of all, he’s been positively silly in his comments) and very disappointed if they dealt the pick at #6.

I’m also hearing Shawn Horcoff trade rumors which is also silly unless someone capable of doing the heavy lifting at center is coming in return. Jarret Stoll, Marc Pouliot, Marty Reasoner, Rob Schremp and Andrew Cogliano is a nice list of careers rolling out, but Stoll’s concussion, Reasoner looking done and the inexperience of the others says Horcoff shouldn’t be going anywhere.

My ideal day would see Lowe pick Voracek or Gagner at #6, grab David Perron or Ryan McDonagh at #15 and then deal the pick at 30 with Matt Greene for a veteran blueliner.

So, for this draft, with much uncertainty, I will say that my ideal draft sees Edmonton choose Seth Jarvis or Mavrik Bourque in the first round, trade for a second and pick Helge Grans or Vasili Ponomaryov and then select Pavel Gogolev in later rounds.

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86 Responses to "Needs at the Draft Table"

  1. dustrock says:

    I’ve been looking for players at #20 but interesting to think Oilers could end up picking at #12 if they lose to the Hawks.

    Do you pick Jarvis at #12? Quinn? Askarov?

    The top 8 looks relatively predictable but after that who knows.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I would take the highest ranking player on this list at No. 12.

    (1) L Alexis Lafreniere
    (2) LC Quinton Byfield
    (3) LC Tim Stutzle
    (4) LC Marco Rossi
    (5) RHD Jamie Drysdale
    (6) LC Cole Perfetti
    (7) RW Alexander Holtz
    (8) LW Lucas Raymond
    (9) RW Jack Quinn OHL
    (10) RW Dawson Mercer
    (11) RC Mavrik Bourque
    (12) LC Connor Zary

  3. leeinvan says:

    They need to take a forward, I guess if they lost to Chicago then perhaps they could take the goalie, although the fact that everyone says he is the best prospect goalie for many years but still drops to 12 tells you what most GM’s think about spending such a high pick on a player who may not be ready for 3-4 years.
    Maybe they lose to Chicago and pick 1st over all, I think if this happened they should seriously think about trading that pick. They could get a top 5 pick plus a boatload of picks or top end prospects., that would help them build (for 3 years) a powerhouse cheaper team.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    When healthy, who do you see as ahead in the depth chart right now for the rest of this season, Benning or Green?

    Given usage, in his two games (and Benning’s decreasing ice time when in the lineup), its clear to me that the coaching staff sees Green ahead.

    I thought the addition of Green was for pure depth but it seems Holland/Tip/Playfair were of a different mind. I look forward to being proven wrong and hope the player does indeed have more to give than I originally thought. His possession numbers through two games shine although I can think of one overt brain-dead defensive play leading directly to a goal against (in his first game).

    Hopefully a solid 15-20 (or more) playoff games gives the information needed as I think a re-sign is on Holland’s off-season agenda.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree, goalie 1B is likely to come from free agency (and probably Smith) but there are some teams out there with 3 goalies and I would like Holland to explore the trade market on this one – Arizona, NYR and PIT come to mind

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Cult had a nice write-up on Kemp the other day, as did Matheson.

    The thing I noted from the Matheson piece was when it mentioned how deep the Oilers are at D at the NHL and AHL level – one would think that may be a reason for Phil to think about signing elsewhere but his quote:

    “They have a great defensive ore on the AHL team. Be awesome to be a part of that. I think I could learn a lot ant to be competing with the would be awesome.”.

    Some quotes about him at the World Juniors and what he took from the tournament where, in Matheson’s words “was extremely good alongside Hugest at the WOrld Junior”.

    Kemp talks about the confidence he took away from the tourney.

    Lets get this guy under contract in the spring!

  7. innercitysmytty says:

    They are not taking a goalie at #1 overall if they lose to the Hawks 🙂

    leeinvan:
    They need to take a forward, I guess if they lost to Chicago then perhaps they could take the goalie, although the fact that everyone says he is the best prospect goalie for many years but still drops to 12 tells you what most GM’s think about spending such a high pick on a player who may not be ready for 3-4 years.
    Maybe they lose to Chicago and pick 1st over all, I think if this happened they should seriously think about trading that pick. They could get a top 5 pick plus a boatload of picks or top end prospects., that would help them build (for 3 years) a powerhouse cheaper team.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    The following is indeed amazing AHL depth:

    William Lagesson-Theodor Lennstrom-Dmitri Samorukov-Markus Niemelainen.

    Of course, I see Lagesson in the NHL and Samorukov is spending the year in the KHL (at least it gives him a place to play in the fall – great idea).

    Should we be hopeful that either of Lennstrom or Niemelainen sign over in Sweden/Finland, given them a place to play in the fall (on loan) on the understanding they come on back when camp fires up?

  9. Jordan says:

    If the Oilers win the draft lottery, I call Dorion in Ottawa and offer him the pick and Puljujarvi and ask for both firsts and the second and see how he responds.

    I then make the first pick on the BPA, and try to trade the second for a later 1st and another 2nd.

    4 picks in the top 62 would be a dream draft for me. We’d lose value at the top end, but this team doesn’t need to focus on kings and Aces. A draft with a pair of jacks would fill out this roster as a contender for a long time.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Jordan:
    If the Oilers win the draft lottery, I call Dorion in Ottawa and offer him the pick and Puljujarvi and ask for both firsts and the second and see how he responds.

    I then make the first pick on the BPA, and try to trade the second for a later 1st and another 2nd.

    4 picks in the top 62 would be a dream draft for me.We’d lose value at the top end, but this team doesn’t need to focus on kings and Aces.A draft with a pair of jacks would fill out this roster as a contender for a long time.

    Why in the world would you complicate the draft by trading the Laferniere pick. He’s the most sure thing in this draft. Looking at LTs mock draft I would never trade him for Stutzle and dryseal. You get the chance to draft him you better run up and do it. Or enthusiastically zoom call pick him

  11. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    When healthy, who do you see as ahead in the depth chart right now for the rest of this season, Benning or Green?

    I think the team used Benning sparingly because he got concussed, came back and got hurt again. That’s a big concern.

  12. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Trading away Drake Caggiula and his -GF was a smart move, if the return was sub-optimal.

  13. meanashell11 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I know Kemp well, his older brother played hockey with my oldest son. Good family, level headed. But always afraid of the draw of the Rags to these Connecticut kids.

  14. godot10 says:

    leeinvan:
    They need to take a forward, I guess if they lost to Chicago then perhaps they could take the goalie, although the fact that everyone says he is the best prospect goalie for many years but still drops to 12 tells you what most GM’s think about spending such a high pick on a player who may not be ready for 3-4 years.
    Maybe they lose to Chicago and pick 1st over all, I think if this happened they should seriously think about trading that pick. They could get a top 5 pick plus a boatload of picks or top end prospects., that would help them build (for 3 years) a powerhouse cheaper team.

    Every prospect goalie is a suspect. To put this in a nicer way. Every prospect goaltender has a much longer future development process, hence there are much larger error bars around any draft eligible goaltender.

    The exception…Cary Price…proves the rule.

    So its is nuts 99% of the time to draft a goaltender in the first round,

    Are we all now not advocates moneypuck?

  15. dustrock says:

    leadfarmer: Why in the world would you complicate the draft by trading the Laferniere pick.He’s the most sure thing in this draft.Looking at LTs mock draft I would never trade him for Stutzle and dryseal.You get the chance to draft him you better run up and do it.Or enthusiastically zoom call pick him

    In a different NHL, I think you could make an argument for trading Lafreniere + JP or whoever for Ottawa’s 2 picks.

    But getting the best player is usually the most important thing, and because ELCs are so hugely vital in today’s NHL, you can’t pass up the opportunity for Lafreniere to be McDavid’s LW for years to come.

    It would have to be Lafreniere for Ottawa’s picks and maybe Chabot before I’d consider it.

  16. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    When healthy, who do you see as ahead in the depth chart right now for the rest of this season, Benning or Green?

    Given usage, in his two games (and Benning’s decreasing ice time when in the lineup), its clear to me that the coaching staff sees Green ahead.

    I thought the addition of Green was for pure depth but it seems Holland/Tip/Playfair were of a different mind.I look forward to being proven wrong and hope the player does indeed have more to give than I originally thought. His possession numbers through two games shine although I can think of one overt brain-dead defensive play leading directly to a goal against (in his first game).

    Hopefully a solid 15-20 (or more) playoff games gives the information needed as I think a re-sign is on Holland’s off-season agenda.

    They were hoping to test run Klefbom-Green and Jones-Larsson. But injuries and the quick end of the season scuttled that.

    I

  17. godot10 says:

    Jordan:
    If the Oilers win the draft lottery, I call Dorion in Ottawa and offer him the pick and Puljujarvi and ask for both firsts and the second and see how he responds.

    I then make the first pick on the BPA, and try to trade the second for a later 1st and another 2nd.

    4 picks in the top 62 would be a dream draft for me.We’d lose value at the top end, but this team doesn’t need to focus on kings and Aces.A draft with a pair of jacks would fill out this roster as a contender for a long time.

    It is go time for McDavid and Draisaitl. If the OIlers win the lottery, they race to the podium and pick Lafreniere, who is plug-and-play, and ridiculously inexpensive on his entry level contract. And in a position of great need.

    Lafreniere, McDavid, Puljujarvi/Kassian
    Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Yamamoto.

    Two on ELC’s and Puljujarvi will be cheap for one more year.

  18. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    If Edmonton was to lose to Chicago (heaven forbid) and win the lottery, I’d be on the phone with Dorion in a heartbeat to offer #1 along with Neal and Russel for #3 and #5. That pick is a huge deal for Ottawa. I might even throw in a future pick to get it done.
    Funny how I’m not so quick to unload Koskinen now. IMO he really played in at least the vicinity of that contract.

  19. Brantford Boy says:

    LT: I haven’t spent much time on the top of the draft order as until Friday it wasn’t really necessary where the Oilers were slated to select. I see the other day in your moch you have LW Dylan Holloway going to NYR, followed by “Holloway is a bit of a risky pick (his offense isn’t guaranteed) but NYR have more than one pick in this round.”

    We don’t have more picks in the first round, do you see the risk being to great on this player? He’s Canadian (always high on my list), his size is great, not sure about the foot speed, and obviously the numbers aren’t eye popping in the NCAA (not sure why he even went this route in his playing career).

    Thoughts? I suspect if both Holloway and Jan Mysak were on the board at the same time, you’d select Mysak 9 times out of ten… let’s just round it off to 10.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Brantford Boy:
    LT: I haven’t spent much time on the top of the draft order as until Friday it wasn’t really necessary where the Oilers were slated to select.I see the other day in your moch you have LW Dylan Holloway going to NYR, followed by “Holloway is a bit of a risky pick (his offense isn’t guaranteed) but NYR have more than one pick in this round.”

    We don’t have more picks in the first round, do you see the risk being to great on this player?He’s Canadian (always high on my list), his size is great, not sure about the foot speed, and obviously the numbers aren’t eye popping in the NCAA (not sure why he even went this route in his playing career).

    Thoughts?I suspect if both Holloway and Jan Mysak were on the board at the same time, you’d select Mysak 9 times out of ten… let’s just round it off to 10.

    I think Holloway resembles a player Holland-Wright would like so suspect he’s in play for sure.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR:
    If Edmonton was to lose to Chicago (heaven forbid) and win the lottery, I’d be on the phone with Dorion in a heartbeat to offer #1 along with Neal and Russel for #3 and #5.That pick is a huge deal for Ottawa.I might even throw in a future pick to get it done.
    Funny how I’m not so quick to unload Koskinen now.IMO he really played in at least the vicinity of that contract.

    Melnyk is cheap. Thats a lot of money heading his way

  22. Victoria Oil says:

    dustrock:
    I’ve been looking for players at #20 but interesting to think Oilers could end up picking at #12 if they lose to the Hawks.

    Do you pick Jarvis at #12? Quinn? Askarov?

    The top 8 looks relatively predictable but after that who knows.

    I may be mistaken, but i believe in order for the Oilers to pick 12th, they and all three of the play-in teams with a higher points percentage – Pit, Car, NYI – would all need to lose their first series and none of these four teams could win the lottery.

  23. Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR says:

    leadfarmer: Melnyk is cheap.Thats a lot of money heading his way

    Russel is only for a year. And Ottawa could use him and Neal. I’m pretty confident Doirion is gonna make a senseless attempt at Lafreniere.

  24. defmn says:

    leadfarmer: Melnyk is cheap.Thats a lot of money heading his way

    I know that is the common opinion but I’m not sure it is right.

    I think it is more accurate to say that his team is saddled with a venue and town that is incapable of generating sufficient revenue to break even as a cap team.

    Melnyk doesn’t like losing millions every year. I don’t think that makes him cheap so much as it makes him a throwback in a league where value is primarily derived from equity growth.

  25. dustrock says:

    Victoria Oil: I may be mistaken, but i believe in order for the Oilers to pick 12th, they and all three of the play-in teams with a higher points percentage – Pit, Car, NYI – would all need to lose their first series and none of these four teams could win the lottery.

    Correct, yes. Unlikely but I’ve got nothing but time these days to think of draft scenarios.

    Funny how much difference the crowd noise makes in soccer – Serie A doesn’t have that option and watching these matches is just less exciting.

  26. Harpers Hair says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR: Russel is only for a year.And Ottawa could use him and Neal.I’m pretty confident Doirion is gonna make a senseless attempt at Lafreniere.

    I can’t imagine what the Senators would need them for.

    They are awash in wingers and have their version of Russell in Zaitsev.

  27. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Injury is biggest factor in the Oilers’ hopes for extended playoff run

    https://theathletic.com/1893815/2020/06/28/lowetide-injury-is-biggest-factor-in-the-oilers-hopes-for-extended-playoff-run/

  28. leeinvan says:

    innercitysmytty,

    I suggested if they get the #12 pick they might take the goalie, I suggested they look to trading #1 overall if they got it, to fill at least two top end positions and for a short while cheaper players
    Ottawa would be the team to speak to, they could ask for the #3 overall and a top prospect who is ready to play next season.

  29. Brantford Boy says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, that game 5 scab is still deep… call the bloody time out…

    It’s like reliving Jack Dundee’s (Robin Williams) life regretting a botched play he made in a high school football game. Where QB Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell), who threw the pass that Jack dropped.

    If only he had called a time out…

  30. Reja says:

    dustrock: Correct, yes. Unlikely but I’ve got nothing but time these days to think of draft scenarios.

    Funny how much difference the crowd noise makes in soccer – Serie A doesn’t have that option and watching these matches is just less exciting.

    Out of all the big sports I see Baseball playing out the best with no fans. Hockey is a very emotional sport like North American Football the players feed off the crowd home and away. I guess it’s better then no hockey until they start charging $20 a game to watch on T.V

  31. leadfarmer says:

    defmn: I know that is the common opinion but I’m not sure it is right.

    I think it is more accurate to say that his team is saddled with a venue and town that is incapable of generating sufficient revenue to break even as a cap team.

    Melnyk doesn’t like losing millions every year. I don’t think that makes him cheap so much as it makes him a throwback in a league where value is primarily derived from equity growth.

    Well given that he has tried to get rid of the Ryan contract i can’t imagine a Neal contract gets much interest

  32. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: Well given that he has tried to get rid of the Ryan contract i can’t imagine a Neal contract gets much interest

    He is also carrying the corpse of Marian Gaborik on the cap.

    Don’t think he’ll be looking for dead money.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    I’ve been looking for players at #20 but interesting to think Oilers could end up picking at #12 if they lose to the Hawks.

    Do you pick Jarvis at #12? Quinn? Askarov?

    The top 8 looks relatively predictable but after that who knows.

    If the Oilers lose to the Hawks and all other “favorites” move on, would the Oilers not be drafting 15th as the “highest seed” of the 8-15 group (assuming they don’t win the second lottery)?

  34. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: If the Oilers lose to the Hawks and all other “favorites” move on, would the Oilers not be drafting 15th as the “highest seed” of the 8-15 group (assuming they don’t win the second lottery)?

    Yup speeds confirmed it. If we lose to Chicago we pick one or 15

  35. defmn says:

    leadfarmer: Well given that he has tried to get rid of the Ryan contract i can’t imagine a Neal contract gets much interest

    Agreed. But that is probably true for every franchise.

  36. New Improved Darkness says:

    I no longer spare the time for this that I once used to, but it’s a good first cut.

    ———

    Florida, you’re always on the run now
    Running after sunshine
    You gotta get out somehow
    I think you’ve got to slow down
    Before you start to blow it
    I think you’re headed for a breakdown
    So be careful not to show it

    [Chorus]
    You really don’t remember
    Was it something that he said?
    Is the vector in your flip-flips, Florida?

    Florida, don’t you think you’re fallin’?
    If everybody warns you
    Why isn’t anybody chillin”?
    You don’t have to answer
    Leave them hangin’ on the seashore,
    Oh-oh-oh, calling Florida

    [Chorus]
    Florida (Florida), I think you’ve got your number
    (Florida) I think you like the Libertine
    (Florida) That you’ve been living under
    (Florida) But you really don’t remember
    Was it something that he said?
    How’s the Magic Kingdom stalling, Florida?

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Stuart Skinner got married this weekend?

    He’s what, 22?

    Throwback to the “olden days”.

    Contests Stuart!

  38. Lowetide says:

    New Improved Darkness: Beautiful.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Why in the world would you complicate the draft by trading the Laferniere pick.He’s the most sure thing in this draft.Looking at LTs mock draft I would never trade him for Stutzle and dryseal.You get the chance to draft him you better run up and do it.Or enthusiastically zoom call pick him

    I can’t imagine the 1st overall pick gets traded by any team, including the Oilers if they so happened to own it.

    I know, counting on 18 year old rookies isn’t generally a good idea but add Lafreniere, on his ELC, to McDavid’s left wing and, well, I’m not sure an upgrade at 3C will be required for Cups.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I think the team used Benning sparingly because he got concussed, came back and got hurt again. That’s a big concern.

    Ya, you could be right as his ice time was vastly decreased after he came back – I think he was playing apx 12 min/g in 2020.

    With that said, if his head was the reason Coaches T and P reduced his minutes, I don’t agree with their reasoning.

    I mean, if the head was a concern, he shouldn’t play – either he’s healthy enough to withstand the physicality of the game or he’s not.

    I don’t think reducing minutes from 15 to 12 is really protecting the player.

    Either way, his reduced minutes and Green’s usage in his two games is a tell to me.

    I didn’t see Green very good, however, his possession metrics were great (small sample). I’m warming to the idea that he may have more to give than I originally thought – I need to see him play though – hopefully he gets 20 games before he signs his next contract.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Trading away Drake Caggiula and his -GF was a smart move, if the return was sub-optimal.

    If I remember correctly, prior to the trade, Caggiula was one of the most criticized Oilers.

    Part of the reason was because he, seemingly, got endless chances on McDavid’s wing and, while he was able to produce on the first line, he was a huge drag defensively.

    When not on the first line, he didn’t produce offensively and was still a drag defensively.

    That’s my recollection and the issue with the trade wasn’t the deletion of Caggiula, shit, many thought it would be addition by subtraction – the issue was the addition of polarizing player that wasn’t needed and who had a bloated contract for term.

    Caggiula traded away for no assets would have been fine with many.

    Caggiula traded for the contract Chiarelli brought back was egregious.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    meanashell11:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I know Kemp well, his older brother played hockey with my oldest son. Good family, level headed. But always afraid of the draw of the Rags to these Connecticut kids.

    Very cool.

    Yup, I’ve been very hesitant to believe he’ll sign with the Oilers and was actually hoping they could sign him this off-season, get him to turn pro a year early, just to ensure they kept his rights.

    I was enthused to read his quote and it gives me some additional hope he will stay in the organization.

    Now you’ve gone ahead and poured expired milk on my feelings.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Every prospect goalie is a suspect. To put this in a nicer way.Every prospect goaltender has a much longer future development process, hence there are much larger error bars around any draft eligible goaltender.

    The exception…Cary Price…proves the rule.

    So its is nuts 99% of the time to draft a goaltender in the first round,

    Are we all now not advocates moneypuck?

    Yup, even Vasilevsky, the one first round tender pick to reach the draft pedigree since Price, spend 2 post draft years in Russia and then split another 2 years between the NHL and AHL.

    Askarov seems likely to have a fine career as an NHL starter but I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round – maybe at 31…..

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: In a different NHL, I think you could make an argument for trading Lafreniere + JP or whoever for Ottawa’s 2 picks.

    But getting the best player is usually the most important thing, and because ELCs are so hugely vital in today’s NHL, you can’t pass up the opportunity for Lafreniere to be McDavid’s LW for years to come.

    It would have to be Lafreniere for Ottawa’s picks and maybe Chabot before I’d consider it.

    They would have to take James Neal back in a Chabot deal – Chabot is $8M starting next year.

    Not sure how they manage Klef, Nurse and Chabot……

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: It is go time for McDavid and Draisaitl.If the OIlers win the lottery, they race to the podium and pick Lafreniere, who is plug-and-play, and ridiculously inexpensive on his entry level contract.And in a position of great need.

    Lafreniere, McDavid, Puljujarvi/Kassian
    Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Yamamoto.

    Two on ELC’s and Puljujarvi will be cheap for one more year.

    He’ll be cheap but not super dooper cheap given his performance bonuses. Unless he gets hurt or materially disappoints, he’ll max out his A-bonuses for $850k (I believe) and likely dives in to the $2M of B bonuses available.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR:
    If Edmonton was to lose to Chicago (heaven forbid) and win the lottery, I’d be on the phone with Dorion in a heartbeat to offer #1 along with Neal and Russel for #3 and #5.That pick is a huge deal for Ottawa.I might even throw in a future pick to get it done.
    Funny how I’m not so quick to unload Koskinen now.IMO he really played in at least the vicinity of that contract.

    I don’t think Dorion would get approval to take on Neal’s real money contract.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Out of all the big sports I see Baseball playing out the best with no fans. Hockey is a very emotional sport like North American Football the players feed off the crowd home and away. I guess it’s better then no hockey until they start charging $20 a game to watch on T.V

    Given the are even more reliant on TV contract revenue in the near term, that’s not going to happen.

  48. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    That’s pretty much my position.

    Manning was such a perplexing pickup, the mind continues to boggle.

  49. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    On the other hand, with Woody and Manson in the Bake we could turn into the new NSH defenseman factory and supply the league with developed players ready for ice time. At a price, of course. Could be a good way to augment procurement.

  50. Pescador says:

    Lowetide:
    New Improved Darkness: Beautiful.

    +1
    Lol, love it

  51. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, even Vasilevsky, the one first round tender pick to reach the draft pedigree since Price, spend 2 post draft years in Russia and then split another 2 years between the NHL and AHL.

    Askarov seems likely to have a fine career as an NHL starter but I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round – maybe at 31…..

    Carter Hart was 2nd round 48th overall pick but from what I remember he could of easily went in the first round. He would be my number 1A tomorrow they’re out there you never know maybe will pop on the Russian within 2 years.

  52. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: He is also carrying the corpse of Marian Gaborik on the cap.

    Don’t think he’ll be looking for dead money.

    You don’t think that Gaborak, Callahan, Zaitsev, Anisimov being on the Sens roster indicates the Sens ARE willing to take on bad contracts?

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    OriginalPouzar,

    On the other hand, with Woody and Manson in the Bake we could turn into the new NSH defenseman factory and supply the league with developed players ready for ice time. At a price, of course. Could be a good way to augment procurement.

    Dave Manson may be the most under-rated member of the Oilers’ organization.

    Damn, i wish Berglund was coming over this season – well, maybe not given the SHL was almost assuredly start well before the AHL but, taking that away…..

  54. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: I can’t imagine what the Senators would need them for.

    They are awash in wingers and have their version of Russell in Zaitsev.

    They have 9 players (4F, 4D and 1G) under contract for next season currently. Only 2 of those are wingers, and they only have 2 other wingers under control who played even 30 NHL games last year. Awash in minor league wingers?

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Carter Hart was 2nd round 48th overall pick but from what I remember he could of easily went in the firstround.He would be my number 1A tomorrow they’re out there you never know maybe will pop on the Russian within 2 years.

    Carter Hart is a stud and there is a solid reason to not pick a goalie in the first round (at least not in first half or in a round deep on higher end talent like this was is).

  56. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: They have 9 players (4F, 4D and 1G) under contract for next season currently. Only 2 of those are wingers, and they only have 2 other wingers under control who played even 30 NHL games last year. Awash in minor league wingers?

    Good grief.

    Do you really believe they are going to jettison every player in their system?

    Ryan
    Tierney
    Brown
    Duclair
    Tkachuk
    Peca
    Hawryluk
    Balcers
    Fomenton
    Batherson

    And two top five picks.

    They need Neal like a fish needs a bicycle

  57. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: You don’t think that Gaborak, Callahan, Zaitsev, Anisimov being on the Sens roster indicates the Sens ARE willing to take on bad contracts?

    Don’t you think they already have that position covered?

    Want to send them James Neal?

    Send them a first round pick and Jones for their trouble.

  58. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Good grief.

    Do you really believe they are going to jettison every player in their system?

    Ryan
    Tierney
    Brown
    Duclair
    Tkachuk
    Peca
    Hawryluk
    Balcers
    Fomenton
    Batherson

    And two top five picks.

    They need Neal like a fish needs a bicycle

    I didn’t say they ‘need’ Neal. Obviously they don’t need him.

    But Tkachuck, Ryan, Brown and Duclair are the only current NHL wingers they have under control. Tierney and Peca are centers. The others are NHL prospects or suspects.

  59. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Don’t you think they already have that position covered?

    Want to send them James Neal?

    Send them a first round pick and Jones for their trouble.

    Lafreniere?

  60. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: I didn’t say they ‘need’ Neal. Obviously they don’t need him.

    But Tkachuck, Ryan, Brown and Duclair are the only current NHL wingers they have under control. Tierney and Peca are centers. The others are NHL prospects or suspects.

    Nonsense.
    They are awash in wingers.
    Tkachuk is hardly a prospect and Formenton and Batherson are the goods.

  61. N64 says:

    Infected Lightning and Yotes not necessarily home free by start

    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball/nba/nba-utah-jazz-covid-19-symptoms-1.5630776?cmp=rss

  62. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: I can’t imagine what the Senators would need them for.

    They are awash in wingers and have their version of Russell in Zaitsev.

    Your imagination for anything Oilers is non existent, that is comprehendible. Old adage if you can’t say anything positive say nothing at all! Don’t be afraid to show you have class!

  63. Harpers Hair says:

    pts2pndr: Your imagination for anything Oilers is non existent, that is comprehendible. Old adage if you can’t say anything positive say nothing at all!Don’t be afraid to show you have class!

    Old adage.

    It is better to not say anything if the alternative is to speak and let others know that what you say is vapid.

  64. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Brantford Boy:
    LT: I haven’t spent much time on the top of the draft order as until Friday it wasn’t really necessary where the Oilers were slated to select.I see the other day in your moch you have LW Dylan Holloway going to NYR, followed by “Holloway is a bit of a risky pick (his offense isn’t guaranteed) but NYR have more than one pick in this round.”

    We don’t have more picks in the first round, do you see the risk being to great on this player?He’s Canadian (always high on my list), his size is great, not sure about the foot speed, and obviously the numbers aren’t eye popping in the NCAA (not sure why he even went this route in his playing career).

    Thoughts?I suspect if both Holloway and Jan Mysak were on the board at the same time, you’d select Mysak 9 times out of ten… let’s just round it off to 10.

    Holloway can flat out fly, his footspeed is not a question mark.

    He still had to adjust playing vs men, whereas his 5 older, drafted rookie teammates that played with the USNDT had that experience by way of the many games they play annually vs NCAA clubs in early Fall.

    Holloway started to get more opportunities towards the end of the season and scored 4 of his 8 goals in his last 10 games. If Holloway is available, he is my #1 target. If there is an NCAA season, I am very confident that he will easily double his scoring rate. Adjustment and opportunities/linemats really impacted him, as talent-laden as Wisconsin is, they are still a very young team (8 teenagers played important minutes in almost every single game).

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Don’t you think they already have that position covered?

    Want to send them James Neal?

    Send them a first round pick and Jones for their trouble.

    What an odd post considering the Neal dump is in connection with trading the 1st overall pick……

  66. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Nonsense.
    They are awash in wingers.
    Tkachuk is hardly a prospect and Formenton and Batherson are the goods.

    I didn’t say Tkachuck was a prospect.

    The Sens have 4 NHL wingers under control. The rest are prospects who’ve failed to stick so far. Any evidence that Formenton is better than Benson?

    This was about Lafreniere in any case. The Sens have shown willing to take on bad contracts, saying they would never take on another for the #1 pick, from essentially their back yard, is absurd.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: Holloway can flat out fly, his footspeed is not a question mark.

    He still had to adjust playing vs men, whereas his older rookie teammates that played with the USNDT had that experience by way of the many games they play vs NCAA clubs in early Fall.

    Holloway started to get more opportunities towards the end of the season and scored 4 of his 8 goals in his last 10 games.If Holloway is available, he is my #1 target.If there is an NCAA season, I am very confident that he will easily double his scoring rate.Adjustment and opportunities/linemats really impacted him, as talent-laden as Wisconsin is, they are still a very young team, as well.

    Its players like Holloway and Mysak that could move up lists if their respective leagues start prior to the draft (although that seems unlikely).

  68. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: I didn’t say Tkachuck was a prospect.

    The Sens have 4 NHL wingers under control. The rest are prospects who’ve failed to stick so far. Any evidence that Formenton is better than Benson?

    This was about Lafreniere in any case. The Sens have shown willing to take on bad contracts, saying they would never take on another for the #1 pick, from essentially their back yard, is absurd.

    Formenton scored 27G and 53P in Belleville.

    Benson scored 9G and 36P in Bakersfield.

    Benson is almost two years older.

    One of these is not like the other.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    He’s not two years old, he’s a 18 months older and one draft year ahead.

    Their 20 year AHL rookie seasons were very comparable.

    Benson took a step back offensively in year two with a gutted team.

    Formenton is the better prospect now – he’s close to where Benson was a year ago.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also, if I can get the guide on when age matters (Benson vs. Formenton) and when it doesn’t (Bouchard vs. Rafferty), that would be helpful.

  71. N64 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Also, if I can get the guide on when age matters (Benson vs. Formenton) and when it doesn’t (Bouchard vs. Rafferty), that would be helpful.

    Easy. Depends on which NHL team drafted them

  72. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    He’s not two years old, he’s a 18 months older and one draft year ahead.

    Their 20 year AHL rookie seasons were very comparable.

    Benson took a step back offensively in year two with a gutted team.

    Formenton is the better prospect now – he’s close to where Benson was a year ago.

    He’s already better than Benson ever was.

    Formenton scored 27 goals as an AHL rookie.

    Benson scored 15.

    Scoring goals is the toughest job in hockey.

  73. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Also, if I can get the guide on when age matters (Benson vs. Formenton) and when it doesn’t (Bouchard vs. Rafferty), that would be helpful.

    No need for a guide.

    Both Bouchard and Rafferty project as second pairing D.

    Age doesn’t matter much in the long run.

    Guaranteed that Benson will never score 27 goals in the AHL or NHL.

    His career high is 15 and it won’t get better from here.

    He is what he is.

  74. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Formenton scored 27G and 53P in Belleville.

    Benson scored 9G and 36P in Bakersfield.

    Benson is almost two years older.

    One of these is not like the other.

    Benson and Formenton are peripheral to the original point… But the difference is 1.5 years (1 year if you’re rounding). Their points/game were very similar this season. Benson scored much better last year than Formenton this year. Neither is currently an NHL player.

    If you include Formentin AND Batherson on next years Sens roster, AND they sign their RFAs, AND everyone is healthy, the Sens have 6 of their 8 winger spots filled. Awash with wingers indeed.

    Back to the far more relevant big picture: Lafreniere is the undisputed #1OV and from the Senators back yard. Everyone wants him, the Sens I’m sure even more so. They’ve also shown (by doing it numerous times) they’ll take on a bad contract. Lafreniere is a damn good reason for the Sens to ‘need’ Neal. (of course, that would be a terrible move for the Oilers, but the Senators winger depth is about the last reason it wouldn’t happen)

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: He’s already better than Benson ever was.

    Formenton scored 27 goals as an AHL rookie.

    Benson scored 15.

    Scoring goals is the toughest job in hockey.

    I guess Neal is better than Boeser right now – scored more goals. I mean Boeser and more P/G than Neal like Benson had more P/G in his rookie year than Formenton but that doesn’t matter – total goals is the only stat that matters.

  76. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Scoring goals is the toughest job in hockey.

    It is kinda funny that the Senators couldn’t possibly find a place for Neal who’d have finished 2nd in goals/game and 4th in points/game among Sens forwards (half of whom were sent away at the deadline). Not even for a #1OV.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: No need for a guide.

    Both Bouchard and Rafferty project as second pairing D.

    Age doesn’t matter much in the long run.

    Guaranteed that Benson will never score 27 goals in the AHL or NHL.

    His career high is 15 and it won’t get better from here.

    He is what he is.

    No, I think I’m going to need a guide because, it appears that age matters when an Oilers prospect is older but not when an Oilers prospect is younger. If that’s not the only factor, and it seems pretty clear it is, I’ll need a guide.

    Benson has basically outproduced Formenton at ever comparable level, including rookie 20 year old AHL season.

    Benson took a step back this year (in a year Formenton hasn’t played yet) so I’m giving him the edge but his rookie season wasn’t any better than Benson’s.

  78. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: No, I think I’m going to need a guide because, it appears that age matters when an Oilers prospect is older but not when an Oilers prospect is younger. If that’s not the only factor, and it seems pretty clear it is, I’ll need a guide.

    Benson has basically outproduced Formenton at ever comparable level, including rookie 20 year old AHL season.

    Benson took a step back this year (in a year Formenton hasn’t played yet) so I’m giving him the edge but his rookie season wasn’t any better than Benson’s.

    Go for it.

    Formenton will play in the NHL next season.

    Benson won’t.

  79. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I guess Neal is better than Boeser right now – scored more goals.I mean Boeser and more P/G than Neal like Benson had more P/G in his rookie year than Formenton but that doesn’t matter – total goals is the only stat that matters.

    Please bring back the goal posts when you’re done with them.

  80. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: No need for a guide.

    Both Bouchard and Rafferty project as second pairing D.

    Age doesn’t matter much in the long run.

    Guaranteed that Benson will never score 27 goals in the AHL or NHL.

    His career high is 15 and it won’t get better from here.

    He is what he is.

    I’m surprised you don’t wager on that! Could it be your word isn’t as good or big as your ego. You bait people but you are all bluster! I’m sorry that I actually thought you had class.

  81. PREDICKTER says:

    Good old Alan Harper has to show up and derail the comments again. Nice. Why don’t you go back in the garage and service yourself.

  82. oilersfan says:

    N64,

    Just because he can’t smell perfectly doesn’t mean he can’t play

  83. N64 says:

    oilersfan:
    N64,

    Just because he can’t smell perfectly doesn’t mean he can’t play

    Note how long ago he had it and some of the nerve stuff from more than a month post infection . Imagine if Matthews play is diminished first round . Small part of the return to play but interesting especially for more cases before the bubbles

  84. Lewis Grant says:

    Harpers Hair: Guaranteed that Benson will never score 27 goals in the AHL or NHL.
    His career high is 15 and it won’t get better from here.
    He is what he is.

    •Speaking of DSF’s beloved Dys, Henrik Sedin only once scored more than 22 goals in the NHL.
    •One year he scored 29.
    •He won the Hart trophy that year.
    •Joe Thornton also won the Hart trophy by scoring 29 goals. (He never hit 30 with the Sharks.)
    •Goal scorers can’t score without playmakers around them. (Ask Alexandre Burrows or Jonathan Cheechoo.)
    •Just because Benson is a playmaker doesn’t mean he has no NHL future.

  85. maudite says:

    Are you honestly calling out someone questioning your non-existent trolling line for “moving goal posts?”

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read on here in a long time.

    Harpers Hair: Please bring back the goal posts when you’re done with them.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    A new week – the last of July.

    Could/should be a very big week, big next few days, for the NHL.

    Should get an announcement on the hub cities (subject to overall vote) early in the week and then the actual Return to Play document along with MOU for an extension of the CBA for vote at some point (voting could take 72 hours).

    I’m excited for the week of news (well, speculation and, hopefully, news).

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