Matvey Petrov is the latest in a growing number of Russian prospects chosen from that nation’s junior leagues. None of the prospects is truly famous, although Maxim Berezkin (2020 pick) may be one day, but it appears general manager Ken Holland has a very specific and vocal resource and the Russian pipeline is up and running.
Call it ‘opposite Yakupov’ as none of the choices has cost even a fourth-round selection, but there is something building in the Motherland.
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’s the latest!
- New Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway headlines new arrivals for Bakersfield Condors in 2021-22
- Lowetide: Will the Ethan Bear trade be the latest shortsighted move that haunts the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should expect more trades and a deep playoff run this season
- Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
- Lowetide: What are reasonable expectations for the 2021-22 Oilers?
- Lowetide: What are the Oilers’ ‘perfect lines’ for next season?
- Lowetide: The Oilers and value contracts. Three now, two later
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse to a massive 8-year contract extension
- Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
- DNB: Rating the Oilers’ offseason
- Lowetide: What are Oilers’ ideal defence pairings for 2021-22?
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason, 4.0
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
- Lowetide: Warren Foegele acquisition possible key to improving the Oilers third line
- DNB: Ethan Bear on being traded, his time with the Oilers
- DNB: Ethan Bear out, Cody Ceci in, Tyson Barrie stays
- DNB: ‘Ultimate competitor’ Zach Hyman signs with Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
- DNB: Oilers draft day notebook
- Jonathan Willis: Zach Hyman, by the numbers
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
THE NEW RUSSIANS
I ranked Petrov No. 70 in the 2021 draft, based on his goal-scoring ability and size (6.02, 178). It was a most unusual draft, but my list valued players who could deliver offense. Petrov played in the MHL, a quality junior league and his numbers were impressive. If we compare all the young Russians drafted by Edmonton since Holland’s arrival, it gives us an idea about Petrov.
EP Rinkside said of Petrov “his game is entirely based around his offensive ability with a great release on his shot, plus good vision and puck-moving ability” and offense is why he was on my list. He’s a young man, and could develop other skills, but I applaud the choice because at No. 180 getting a goal-scorer is success.
Berezkin is going to be the star in this group, I believe. He played 31 KHL games and survived and was more than one point per game in the MHL. He turns 20 in October. Holland probably brings him over 10 years from now, in a way the toughest job of an Oilers fan/observer is remember these damn obscure guys two years after they’ve been chosen. Even the names are familiar and confusing. If I’d typed Maxim Petrov above, it would be a perfect set.
Anyway, if one of these gents cashes it’s a win. Berezkin is 6.04, 216 and has great hands. That’s something to build on.
The Rolling Stones peak lineup included Mick Taylor and he left during the recording of Goat’s Head Soup, that was almost 50 years ago. So, the death of Charlie Watts yesterday at age 80 doesn’t snap the parade of elite music Taylor’s exit did those years ago, but Watts was there, aware, for all of it.
What’s more, even though he didn’t have 10-minute drum solos, Watts guided us through every note of the greatest rock and roll band in history. He and Merry Clayton gave us the scream and the gut punch of Gimme Shelter, although it was years later I realized the song was 4:35 of me anticipating Merry by keeping time with Watts. He drove that song, the rhythm section became a runaway train while remaining as tight, well, as a drum.
Watts was his own man, had his own style, and was more than content to let the front men set themselves on fire while he kept time. He was once asked if, after 25 years, he still enjoyed playing with the Stones. “It’s what I do,” said Watts. “I don’t think about it, really. It’s best not to.”
When the Stones hit their stride, best reflected in the sound on this 1968 video, Watts is all over that sound. Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Tumbling Dice, Rocks Off, Miss You, on it goes. Watts wasn’t the quiet Beatle (George Harrison), nor was he the normal Stone (they didn’t have one).
He was a great musician who had great talent and attention to detail. He was the heart and soul of the best rock and roll band that ever plugged in. I miss him already.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a terrific show planned for you. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will drop in at 10:20 to discuss the anticipation of seeing Connor McDavid live at Rexall, and the impact Rod Gilbert had on the Rangers. Hailey Salvian from The Athletic Calgary will join us to talk about the Women’s World Hockey Championships and the big game between Canada and the USA tomorrow night. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will be by at 11 to talk about NFL win totals, I’ll ask him about every team but the Eagles. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!