In last night’s Philadelphia-Montreal game, Joel Farabee scored a goal from the slot. He ducked his head as he did it, and my mind instantly snapped back to Ken Linseman, who used to shoot the puck in much the same way. From there, I got thinking about agitators who are skilled, and quickly to the current roster/prospect group. Aside from Zack Kassian, who are the Oilers agitators?
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.
- New Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 Prospects, Summer 2020
- New Jonathan Willis: Unqualified RFAs could be top offseason targets for the Oilers
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Legendary Oilers PA announcer Mark Lewis discusses his temporary comeback
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s bet on Andreas Athanasiou and how Oilers will proceed
- Lowetide: Lessons learned from the ghosts of Oilers’ draft weekends past
- Lowetide: Oilers’ William Lagesson may benefit from extraordinary circumstances
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We’ll learn and grow from it’: Connor McDavid’s tune different compared to last year
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Who stays? Who goes? The most likely players to stay with and leave the Oilers
- Lowetide: A rational approach for the Oilers at the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What’s holding back the Oilers? Superstars’ defence and team’s depth under focus
- Jonathan Willis: After a play-in round exit, the Oilers need an offseason of change
- Lowetide: Oilers 2020 picks finalized, it’s go time for Jesse Puljujarvi
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Edmonton again? How Oilers would benefit from No. 1 pick and Alexis Lafrenière
- Lowetide: Oilers’ guilty pleasure, the draft lottery, could offer a quick fix
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s urgent summer as Oilers general manager begins
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The Oilers have some disappointing lessons to learn — even in season of progress
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Replacing Tyler Ennis: Ranking the best left wing and backfill Oilers options
- Lowetide: Oilers’ Andreas Athanasiou gets a push against ‘Hawks. Is it enough?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Bang for your buck: Ranking the Oilers based on contract expectations
- Jonathan Willis: Is Philip Broberg on track to be a top-pairing defenceman?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options over the next five months
Zack Kassian, Darnell Nurse, Jujhar Khaira, Alex Chiasson and Adam Larsson are (in my opinion) the most likely Oilers to poke the bear on the other side. In the AHL, among prospects, I always see Dmitri Samorukov riding right up to the line. What about the draft? Anyone there? Well, yes!
LW Ridly Greig was compared to Brad Marchand by RLR, RW Zayde Wisdom in the OHL is said to drive opponents to distraction. LW Jake Neighbours has that gear, I wish the Oilers would consider drafting an OK this year. I have been told RW Ozzy Weisblatt has some of those elements.
Question: Would you trade No. 14 for No. 20 and a pick in the third round, in hopes of getting two forwards? One of whom, earlier or later, is an agitator?
HARVEST MOON 2017
As I was preparing the top 20 this week, it struck me how much fortunes can change. Consider the ebb and flow of the 2017 draft in just three years. Here is the original verbal.
No. 22 overall: R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). One of the best skill players in the draft, boxcars throughout his WHL career show impressive skill and a great deal of progress. Size is going to be an issue for him as he enters pro hockey in 2018 or 2019 fall, but outstanding speed and skill should take him a long way if Yamamoto can stay healthy. I had him just outside the top 10 overall and consider this pick to be the latest in a string (Leon, 97, JP, Yamamoto) of brilliant/lucky selections.
No. 78 overall: G Stuart Skinner, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). In listening to Bob Green in his media avail, it’s pretty clear the club had targeted this goalie and were willing to give up an extra pick to get him. He posted a .905SP in the regular season and .916SP in the playoffs. Skinner had a great .920SP a year ago, and this may be a case of (like Dylan Wells) getting better value due to a goalie’s performance in his draft year. The last time we saw this kind of verbal on an Oilers goalie draft pick was Devan Dubnyk. The numbers don’t imply that kind of player but we’ll see how things turn out.
No. 84 overall: LD Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph Storm (OHL). A big mobile defender who struggled to find consistency this year, he is regarded as a solid two-way prospect. Samorukov turned a corner mid-year and appears to be a more substantial player than his numbers imply. Brock Otten spent some time with me today discussing him and believes he has second-round talent.
No. 115 overall: R Ostap Safin, Sparta Praha (Czech). I’m a fan of this selection and had him in my second round (No. 52) for the 2017 draft. One of three picks today that I think fans can be genuinely pleased over. Corey Pronman: At 6-foot-5, he has very good feet for a big man, with an easy first few steps. He handles the puck fine, can make the occasional creative play or distribution, possesses an accurate wrist shot and is able to finish chances well. However, he’s not going to be a primary playmaker on his line as a pro. His physical play is inconsistent.
No. 146 overall: L Kirill Maksimov, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Name is also spelled Maximov so don’t be fooled in that regard. Like Safin, this is a player who should be considered as a legit offensive prospect. An “honorable mention” on Bob McKenzie’s list, the industry seems to think he is among the 100 best prospects in this draft. Size, speed, skill. The only LW chosen on the day, perhaps giving us a clue about Tyler Benson’s health. Maksimov scored 19 goals in his final 33 games this season, perhaps he spiked in a timely fashion.
No. 177 overall: C Skyler Brind’Amour, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). The only center taken this weekend by Edmonton, he has a nice range of skills. In a draft that keeps me reminding me of last year, I would say his skills are comparable to Aapeli Rasanen. Steve Kournianos: Skyler is a strong-skating forward who is competent in all three zones. Brind’amour is a cerebral player who hustles, competes and displays occasional periods of dominance. He doesn’t have breakaway speed but is difficult to slow down once he reaches top speed.”
No. 208 overall: RHD Phil Kemp, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). When in doubt about a draft, never a bad idea to take kids out of this program and Peter Chiarelli does it frequently. He is a young (1999) man with a defensive skill set, 6.03 and 201. Good skater, defense first, blocks a lot of shots. I’ve learned from Caleb Jones not to trust boxcars from the USHL, numbers are dependent on usage and this fellow could have some offense we don’t know about at this time.
Pierre Lebrun has an item up that talks about free agent goalies and Edmonton. Two possible targets mentioned by Pierre, both outstanding options. The Oilers would need to move some money to make it happen.
He won’t be coming to the Oilers, but I would inquire anyway. Edmonton’s top-six already features Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto. A third scoring line would come into view. I don’t see it happening but would endorse.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a great show planned for you. At 10:20 Julien Edlow from Draft Kings will talk NBA playoffs. At 11 Frank Seravalli from TSN comes to visit and talks NHL playoffs and free agency. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!