In 2011, along with the usual slow boats and relatives, the Edmonton Oilers pursued genuine skill. Almost a decade later, three of the nine picks made by the team remain active NHL players. In 2020, Edmonton used all of its picks on skill. Can we expect 604 games (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), 434 games (Tobias Rieder) and 378 games (Oscar Klefbom) from three 2020 picks when we arrive in 2029?
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: The Oilers and the Calder Trophy: 5 rookies, 1 strong contender
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The results
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: Goals against
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The Goals
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers defensive prospects are impressive overseas, but what comes next?
- Lowetide: Oilers pick up an intriguing addition in free agent Dominik Kahun
- Lowetide: How close is Ryan McLeod to an Oilers roster spot?
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft oversees a spike in Oilers prospect development
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ organizational depth chart: Where does Edmonton stand today?
- Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov’s KHL impact and what it means to the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers extend Kris Russell, solve expansion issue
- Lowetide: Can Kyle Turris centre an outscoring No. 3 line in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Tyson Barrie’s skills and how Oilers coach Dave Tippett will deploy him
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers unlock James Neal’s scoring potential at five on five?
- Lowetide: Why is Ilya Konovalov no longer starting in the KHL?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (WHL) 69 games, 31-75-106 (1.54)
- Oscar Klefbom (SHL) 23 games, 1-1-2
- David Musil (WHL) 62 games, 6-19-25
- Travis Ewanyk (WHL) 72 games, 16-11-27 (.38)
- Dillon Simpson (NCAA) 30 games, 2-8-10
- Tobias Rieder (OHL) 65 games, 23-26-49 (.75)
- Martin Gernat (Czech Jr) 28 games, 3-15-18
Oilers drafted Travis Ewanyk at No. 74 overall and everyone gets mad at Ewanyk. That’s on the scouting department for those playing along at home. This is a nice draft for Edmonton, one of the best this century. Of course, two first round selections helped.
- LC Dylan Holloway 35 games, 8-9-17 (NCAA)
- LW Carter Savoie 54 games, 53-46-99 (AJHL)
- RW Tyler Tullio 62 games, 27-39-66 (OHL)
- LW Maxim Berezhkin 51 games, 25-29-54 (MHL)
- RW Filip Engarad 25 games, 8-7-15 (NCAA)
- LW Jeremias Lindewall 39 games, 11-17-28 (SuperElite Jr)
I don’t know enough about Holloway, beyond he didn’t score like Luke Kunin. Holloway did score well at the end of the Big-10 season (5-4-9 in last 10 games), that’s not a ringer but it’s a leaner. I’ve mentioned this before but Holloway was in the AJHL a year ago and it’s interesting to compare his numbers then to Savoie this year:
- Savoie at 17 years & 250 days old Oct. 1, 2019: 54 games, 53-46-99 (1.83 pts-game)
- Holloway at 17 years & 18 days old Oct. 1, 2018: 53 games, 40-48-88 (1.66 pts-game)
They’re close offensively based on math. Savoie’s NHLE is 22.5 and Holloway is 20.4. You never know with tier-2 prospects, Tyson Jost hasn’t spiked offensively yet and he was drafted in 2016. I’m impatient for the NCAA season to begin, last I heard Holloway would be in action November 13 weekend.
THE GALES OF NOVEMBER REMEMBERED
In the darkest days of this blog, Gordon Lightfoot’s classic “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” offered words and phrases to fit the mood. I know “gales of November” and “Lake Huron rolls, Superior Sings” are not hockey phrases any more than the Donner party represents a failed Oilers season, but the despair and the simple words that describe 29 tortured deaths somehow met the moment with clarity. The unfortunate inspiration for Lightfoot’s classic sunk 45 years ago today (my thanks to Bruce McCurdy for the reminder) and the song still rings as true as that whale of a guitar riff that guides the epic piece to its depths and rises again.
The wildest homage to Lightfoot’s classic is this: It. was. a. hit. single! No. 1! Right in the middle of the peak of Top 40 radio, where songs were three minutes long and played hourly, Lightfoot stormed the control room with majesty that docked only after 6 minutes and 32 emotional seconds. It remains without equal as a musical chronicle in (basically) real time: A year after the tragedy, Lightfoot’s song owned the radio.
It avoids maudlin, limits poetic license, eludes description—beyond achieving greatness. Inspiration from the headlines that immortalizes those lost souls forever. It might be the finest song ever written by a Canadian. I cannot think of its equal.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning we hit the ground running with lots of good news, TSN1260. Bob Weeks, Senior Reporter and Golf Analyst for TSN, joins us at 10:20 to talk about the Masters. At 11, Kaitlyn McGrath at The Athletic talks about the Blue Jays and a possibly huge offseason. We’ll also chat NBA and some interesting comments from Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings about the year to come in the NHL. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’s going to be a great day!