I had a heckuva time figuring out the top player at the 2011 draft. Math helped but there was a pile of prospects who landed in about the same spot. So, you look for position scarcity, skating, range of skills–and that’s where the Nuge emerged as a strong contender. Below is my scouting report for readers June 3, 2011, three weeks before the draft.
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.
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- Lowetide: Danger, heartbreak ahead for Oilers, Ethan Bear in contract situation
- Lowetide: Tyler Tullio is the latest Oilers draft pick to make an impression
- Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Left-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s 2020 Oilers offseason report card
- Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Why Anton Forsberg could win the Oilers’ backup job in 2020-21
- Lowetide: The 2020-21 Oilers finally deploying elite talent in the right places
- Jonathan Willis: Team Draft vs. Team Trade: Which collection of all-time Oilers is better?
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Oilers prospects off to impressive starts worldwide
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
- Lowetide: Projected training camp roster for the 2020-21 Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Will the Oilers repeat their power play magic in 2021?
- Lowetide: How many ‘peak seasons’ can Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ increased focus on drafting skill is key to future success
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s training camp with Oilers will be so compelling
- 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
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
Draft profile: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent Hopkins interviewed with the Edmonton Oilers this week and “feels comfortable” with the team.
- RNH: “Edmonton was the first team to interview me (on Wednesday), and it went really well. I got a good feeling from them and I’m starting to feel more comfortable around them now because I’ve had a couple of interviews with them, so it’s been going pretty well. I’m looking forward to draft day.”
His comparables (in style) range from Matt Duchene through Niklas Backstrom. ISS says he’s an instinctive and dynamic playmaker with legendary vision and set up skills. He’s listed as 6.00, 170 and pretty much everyone agrees the Oilers would be wise to leave him in junior for another year.
I think it’s a crapshoot. Ten years from now, the best player in this draft might be RNH, or Larsson, or Landeskog, or Huberdeau or Couturier. Hell, it COULD be Mika Zibanejad.
The back story tells so well and the skill set sounds like a dream. I’m not certain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the best player available, but I don’t know that he isn’t either. If MBS likes another better, so be it. However, these long days from the entry draft everything points to Nugent-Hopkins joining the Oilers later this month.
These years later I think Nikita Kucherov (Ross, Hart, Lindsay) is likely the overwhelming choice for best player in the draft. Others who have won individual awards include Gabriel Landeskog (Calder), Johnny Gaudreau (Byng), Jonathan Huberdeau (Calder), Sean Couturier (Selke) and John Gibson (Jennings).
Players who haven’t won awards but deserve to be considered among the best from 2011 are Mark Scheifele, Nuge, Mika Zibanejad and Dougie Hamilton.
It’s official, the stylish defender is gone for the entire 2020-21 season. It’s a hard knock but there was an expectation the news would involve a long-term absence. Klefbom has played in 80 percent of Edmonton’s games over the last three seasons, but he has also played hurt in many of those games. Best case scenario he gets healthy over the next eight months and comes back better.
It’s never good to have a player delayed by Covid-19, but Haas plays a position where the Oilers have strength. If Mikko Koskinen were in the same situation, that would be alarming. It sounds like Haas will be just a little behind and may be able to make it for opening night. As with all of these players, we hope for the best with this player.
Looks like Holland is making his signing a priority, makes sense as Bear played big minutes a year ago and will be counted on again this year. Edmonton’s RH depth chart looks strong to me, with Bear, Barrie and Larsson as the starters and Evan Bouchard waiting in the wings. Bear (two-way), Barrie (offensive) and Larsson (shutdown) offer the full range of skills.
On the left side, Nurse (two-way), Jones (two-way) and Russell (shutdown) don’t offer the same range, and Lagesson (two-way) is more of the same. I’m encouraged about rumours involving Slater Koekkoek, he would be a strong addition to the group.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show this morning, it’s always a blast Christmas week because people are in good cheer (and probably not really working). At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we hit the ground running with Paul Sir from The Basketball Show and Basketball Alberta. Another NBA season gets underway today and we’ll preview the Raptors and their main competition. At 11, Chris Peters, who knows everything about junior hockey, will join us to talk about the World Juniors and what to expect from Team USA. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!