Ten Points: This draft and the last draft

Jonathan Willis
May 16 2013 09:36AM

Last year, the question was whether the Oilers would choose the best available talent or draft for need (Ryan Murray). It's early, but I thought they made the right decision at the time and I've seen nothing to sway that belief. What will they do this year, and what about some of the other players they picked in 2012? That and more after the jump.

1. I expect we’ll see the Oilers draft a goaltender early. Edmonton always seems to like having a ‘goalie of the future’ type in the pipeline, and while MacTavish may decide that isn’t so important the team doesn’t have a guy in that mold currently. Olivier Roy had an unimpressive AHL debut this year and Tyler Bunz’s professional debut was a couple of notches below “unimpressive” so it’s a clear organizational need. That, plus Bob Stauffer keeps asking high-ranking people in the organization about using a second round pick on a goalie; I’d guess that’s where the pick they got for Andrew Cogliano is going to be spent.

2. I also expect we’ll see the Oilers move down. Craig MacTavish made it pretty obvious the Oilers were looking at this in his year-end press conference:

I think that’s something we’re definitely going to look at, is doing something with that pick at seven. Whether we take seven or not will depend on what the market is out there, but we’d be I think at this point very receptive to moving back and picking up another pick potentially. It’s a very deep draft in my mind; I’ve only been involved in this one but there are tons of players out there that excite me, or possibly pick up somebody that can help us immediately and another pick.

The Oilers have two second-round draft picks but no selections in the third or fourth round (those picks were sent away for Mark Fistric and Jerred Smithson, respectively), so adding another early pick in what is expected to be a deep draft will doubtless appeal (particularly if they’re going to spendo ne of their relatively early picks on a goalie).

3. Draft for need or best player available? There is a vocal contingent of fans that would like to see the Oilers address need at the draft – “need” generally seen as skilled size up the middle and on defence. The argument for is that the Oilers have had difficulty acquiring those players and might need to get them through the draft; the argument against is that if the 6’2” centreman the team drafts is Marc Pouliot and the 5’11” winger the team passes on is Zach Parise, you look extremely stupid a few years down the road. My view: the team must draft the best player, and then if team need dictates they need to have the courage to trade him down the road. Maximize assets at the draft, cold-bloodedly make the best decisions for the team after – even if the best decision involves sending out a fan favourite.

4. 2012 picks: Mitch Moroz. Mitch Moroz did not have the offensive season that was expected of a player drafted where he was, but the organization says he’s fine. Here’s what Stu MacGregor had to say about Moroz on Oilers Now earlier this month:

I think Mitch Moroz is trending fine, there’s probably some people from time to time that worry about some things about Mitch but I don’t, he’s one of the toughest guys in the Western Hockey League. Teams in the NHL are still interested in getting his rights, have interest in him because of his physicality and strength; at this current time it’s always hard for a guy like that to figure out that fine line of when to be the tough guy and when to back off and he’s still trying to figure it out. Mitch has got to step up, he’s only 18, he has got another year of junior, he should have a great year next year with more of a role on that team.

It has been suggested to me that that Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal isn’t winning fans within the Oilers’ organization with his usage of Moroz, and while that may be a fair point but even so this was a terrible offensive year for the player. He had 13 goals and 34 points after managing 16 goals and 25 points a year ago; he had two goals and seven points in 22 playoff games after scoring four and eight in 20 last spring. Even MacGregor’s comments centre on the player’s strengths as a physical presence, rather than his abilities as a hockey player. Based on junior performance, Moroz looks a lot like an energy line player, and if that’s how things turn out it’s a very good bet the Oilers left talent on the board in 2012.

5. 2012 picks: Jujhar Khaira. The second big player the Oilers took a little earlier than consensus rankings would indicate was BCHL product Jujhar Khaira. So far, that pick looks inspired. Khaira had a strong season at Michigan Tech (37GP – 6G – 19A – 25PTS) and one of the best things about him is his age – he has an August 13 birthday, meaning that he’s almost a full year younger than a guy like Nail Yakupov drafted in the same class. Lowetide had him fourth in his most recent top-20 list, and I tend to agree that he’s the best forward prospect in the system.

6. 2012 picks: Daniil Zharkov. One of the lines in the sand I use for junior prospects is the point-per-game mark. Ideally, a drafted prospect who is going to make it as a scorer should be over the point-per-game mark in his draft year; there are exceptions but most who turn into NHL scorers seem to be at least at that level. There should also be significant year-over-year improvement going into the next season. Zharkov had 36 points in 50 games in his draft year, and improved to 43 points in 59 games this season. He is a goal-scorer (23 and 25 in those two years, respectively) and he does have size on his side, but this is a guy whose NHL potential is predicated on him being a scoring threat. If he can’t score at a well-above average clip in junior, how will he manage it as a professional? As Lowetide points out in the link above, he had a big second half; now he needs a big full season.

7. A [limited] opportunity in net. Right now, the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending prospects are kind of a mess. Olivier Roy was unimpressive in the AHL, Tyler Bunz was bad in the ECHL, and while the Oilers have now signed Frans Tuohimaa his performance in Europe was hardly dominant. The good news for all three is that at this represents an opportunity: if one of these guys can start next season well, he could get clear of the other two in a hurry and maybe play his way into the team’s NHL plans. If I had to pick the guy with the best shot I’d probably choose Tuohimaa, but based on careers there’s no clear gap here. All three are in significant danger of not getting another NHL deal once their entry-level contracts expire; if they can’t prove they’re worth keeping an eye on this season they may not get another chance.

8. Re-signing Mark Fistric. This is old news now, but a couple of weeks back Jim Matheson reported that the Oilers were interested in re-signing Mark Fistric at something close to his current rate (around $1.5 million per season) but that he wanted $2 million per year. He very well might get it, given the premium placed on size/physical game these days, but I’m not convinced the Oilers can afford that if he’s in the six/seven slot on their depth chart. It’s a good bet Fistric isn’t cracking the top-four, and if the Oilers are as bullish on improving their blue line/prospect Oscar Klefbom as they sound Fistric might even start in the seven slot if re-signed. If they’re going to re-sign him, they need to make room on the third pairing for him.

9. Should the Oilers look at Mikhail Grabovski? There has been some talk of the Maple Leafs centre as a buyout candidate after a miserable year, but I tend to agree with Lyle Richardson that it’s more likely Toronto will try to trade him while retaining a portion of his salary. Despite the poor season (Randy Carlyle didn’t help – Grabovski faced brutal opposition and started in his own end a ridiculous amount of the time) I see Grabovski as a very useful player with two problems. The first is that he’s small (5’11”, 183 pounds) and the second is that contract ($5.5 million cap hit for five years). But if Toronto’s willing to hang on to some money, he would be a fine replacement for Shawn Horcoff as a tough minutes centre. I don’t see him coming to Edmonton, but I do think some NHL team might get themselves a very good player at a reduced rate.

10. Do players without Cup rings belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? My answer to that question is Ray Bourque. He was one of the game’s most dominant defencemen for two decades in Boston, winning not only the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year but also five times being named the NHL’s best defenceman. He won the Stanley Cup in Colorado in the final season of his career, but was that really the difference between being in or being out of the Hall of Fame? I can’t see it. If anything, the HHOF places too great an emphasis on Cup wins – depth players that happened to play for a dynasty are in the HHOF now, and because they were never close to being elite talents they really don’t belong there.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 They're $hittie
May 16 2013, 10:15PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THE OILER BRASS EVER MADE WAS PASS ON MALCOLM SUBBAN IN 2012 AT #19, Where BOSTON took him at #21!!!

MALCOLM SUBBAN will be a future VEZINA winner!!

I Didn't know the oilers had the 19th overall pick in both 2012 and 2011,

I guess we decided to trade away the pick in 2012 and get nothing in return for it with out anyone knowing.

If you are implying the oilers should have taken Subban instead of Klefbom (who was drafted 19th in 2011), they were taken in different draft years.

Get the facts straight.

No credibility!

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#2 Johe
May 16 2013, 09:52PM
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Oh no. DSF's offspring found Oilers Nation.

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#3 Citizen David
May 16 2013, 07:07PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

The only reason the Oilers are thinking of trading down is because, they have their mind set on Curtis Lazar.........who is projected to go around 20 to 25.

This scares the hell out of me! Not sure who they could trade with to get a swap plus a player, prospect, or additional pick. One thing I would be doing is following Detroit around and grabbing intel on who they plan on drafting. They seem to find the gems and we seem to draft guys like Puliot.

Unless the Oilers are guaranteed to land two good players ( and we know how this movie ends) by moving down we should keep the draft and draft based on best player available........based on a combination of skill, toughness, motivation, and attitude.

Emphasis based on motivation.........motivation like Yaks!

For the last time Lazar is not projected to go 20-25. In Bob Mackenzie's final poll of the scouts the only two players who got multiple top ten votes who didn't make his top ten list were Domi and Lazar. Implying Lazar's probably in the 11-15 range. ISS has him at 12. Jim Matheson said there is not a chance he makes it past 14.

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#4 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 16 2013, 10:45PM
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I guess that Texas Stars' D forgot to destroy the Barons or whatever.

I wonder what you call winning in 5 with a goal differential of 19-7?

Any ideas?

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#5 Taylor Gang
May 16 2013, 11:27PM
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Is this Josh Oiler thing a troll? It doesn't seem very insightful

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#6 Mantastic
May 16 2013, 09:40AM
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glad you're doing the 10 points again!

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#7 Will
May 16 2013, 10:01AM
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Very nice read this morning. Statistically high drafted defencemen do not seem to be the dominate NHL superstars they are billed to be. Which is another reason I'm glad we took Nail. Everything about that kid is just great for the team.

Also, I'm not sure who wrote it but someone put up a great article about how often deals involve trading down work out for the team trading down. If the Oilers are going to trade down, I hope they do it for more than just a third round pick, and are able to get an actual player sent back our way to help with size in the top six, or on defence.

Too bad to hear Fistric might be pricing himself out of town as I thin most fans enjoy having a stay at home defender type who can lay some devastating hits without getting too far out of position. I miss Sutton.

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#8 Truth
May 16 2013, 10:53AM
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I don't have any statistics in front of me, but I'm pretty sure goalies take a long time to develop. Some that go high in the draft and do well early often don't turn out, and some that get drafted late or not at all eventually turn out to be real good. To me, drafting a goalie early in the draft would be a mistake. Late second round would not be too disappointing, however.

The Oilers need help on the roster right now. They are not picking 1st overall this year. All of these draft picks should be held out for a few years. Either trade the pick for a current legitimate centerman, heavy skilled winger, top 2 defenceman, or keep the pick and take the best player available.

As I'm sure most know, Corey Pronman, from Hockey Prospectus, is of the opinion that there is a significant drop off in talent from the top 6 players in the draft. Obviously the top three, and then Nichushkin, Barkov, and Lindholm. If the Oilers do not move draft position and everyone takes the best available players, according to Pronman, than the Oilers will get their guy in Monahan. The general consensus is that Nichushkin slides and Monahan gets picked up prior to the Oilers getting to select.

I do not see any issue at all taking Nichushkin. Yes, he is a Russian with a KHL contract, and yes he is a winger. However, Nichushkin is a very large skilled player. One that would fit directly onto the Oilers top two lines. Let him play in the KHL next year, see how he progresses, and bring him over if he is ready or let him stay for the final year if he is not. There is a lot of talk about the cap situation the Oilers are approaching and the possible need to move one of the young guys out. A trade could then be made for help elsewhere in the lineup for extremely significant compensation when Nichushkin is ready to step in on his entry level deal.

Rick Nashkov, anyone?

http://youtu.be/MIufJGCCPjQ

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#9 nuge2nail
May 16 2013, 06:31PM
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horndog77 wrote:

Why trade down? why not trade up and get the centre we need! I think trading the 7th overall plus their late second rounder and a roster player should get them in the top 5. Trading down has not done so well for Edmonton. Centres with size please.

Oiler Domination To Follow

WHY NOT TRADE UP...BARKOV OR MACKINNON= DYNASTY

Trade both 2nd Rounders and the #7 for the #3 or #4 spot and a 4th rounder. I wouldnt start my offer with both, but if it takes both make it happen.

Shortly after I would look at trading Gagner for a legitimate top 3 dman like Bogosian, or keep him and let Center be a position of Strength for this organization.

Center a position of Strength... Wow...Wouldnt that be a complete 360 degree change from the Steady Steve Era. Also the way the ELCS are structured next year we clear an additional 5 mil in cap space, I would suggest spending it on Clowe, and the remaining cap space on 2 Defenseman.

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#10 dougtheslug
May 17 2013, 12:13AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I guess that Texas Stars' D forgot to destroy the Barons or whatever.

I wonder what you call winning in 5 with a goal differential of 19-7?

Any ideas?

I believe the phrase was "...the Texas D-men are killing the Barons...".

Who said that ?

...............crickets.............

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#11 stretch14
May 17 2013, 01:43AM
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DO NOT TRADE DOWN!!!!

This isn't the NFL where you can slide down a few spots and get a 2nd round pick who can be a starter on your team the next season. The chances of that extra pick panning out even 2-3 years down the road out are fairly minimal.

We all know what happened the last time the Oilers traded down and it wasn't pretty.

Take the best player available or trade the pick for a significant roster player, simple as that. Don't try and get all cute on us MacT!

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#12 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 17 2013, 07:18AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I believe the phrase was "...the Texas D-men are killing the Barons...".

Who said that ?

...............crickets.............

~well, OKC did only outscore the Stars 19-7 over the 5 games. if not for the strong d it would have been worse~

i guess the stars needed kyle wellwood to make up that 12 goal spread.

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#13 TonyDanzaPervo
May 16 2013, 09:46AM
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1) I hope not 2) I hope not 3) Yes 4) Boo 5) Meh 6) Meh 7) Good to know 8) 1.5M tops 9) NO FRICKIN' WAY 10) You betcha

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#14 MWA1991
May 16 2013, 09:50AM
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I've been reading this blog since it's enception. And one thing that sticks out in my mind is the articles on draft round versus becoming an actual NHL player. First round blows away the competition in these articles. Especially top 10 players. So I think MacT will do the team a disservice if he does trade down or out of the first round. To me, the only way you trade out of 7 is if you get a roster player in return. Doubtful you'd get a first line playher at that pick but to pick up a big bodied 3rd or 4th line role player, something this team desperatly needs, then light is definitely green.

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#15 Nick
May 16 2013, 09:59AM
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JW,

Suppose Oilers do trade down with their 7th pick. Is this done at the draft because Oilers want to see who is there or can they do it before hand?

I would think they would do it at the draft , I'm sure they have a couple of players they would want at the 7th spot.

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#16 Sliderule
May 16 2013, 10:01AM
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If they trade down I predict it will be along the same lines of Pouliot move.

A second rounder for moving three spots.

This will probably turn out just as bad if they do this move to take Lazar rather than Horvat or Domi.

They won't do it for third or fourth rounder because as Stu the not magnificent said in oil change when advising Tambo on trade "third or fourth doesn't matter"

Pretty much shows how flippantly they value those picks

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#17 Quicksilver ballet
May 16 2013, 10:10AM
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As unfortunate as it may be, this is probably very close to what our losing cultured Oilers will do. Trade down, only to secure an even higher risk product. Grab another goaltender because Roy, Perhonen and Bunz etc etc aren't enough.

Right from the getgo, this plan/lack of action plan has loser written all over it. Lets not move up and possibly get someone who'll push out some deadwood and help right away, no, lets let all these existing contracts expire, or the players perish first.

Lets all just hunker down in da corner here, and see what comes our way now. Lets not get off our duffs and actually make our own luck. Ready yourselves for more Lipstick on a pig, coming to an arena near you for the 2013-2014 season.

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#18 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 16 2013, 10:25AM
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That Bourque reference is solid.

Another might be Hawerchuk. He doesn't have the final season ring (lost to Det. in 4) so it maybe makes the decision more stark. But you'd be hard pressed to make a case that he doesn't belong because he lacks a ring.

I remember a co-worker years ago tried to tell me that Griffey Jr. wasn't a truly "great" player because he'd never won the World Series.

I labored for a while trying to explain the problems associated with "individual merit" in a "team sport"... and finally gave up with a sarcastic, "yeah, you're right, he's terrible"

so it goes.

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#19 Quicksilver ballet
May 16 2013, 10:29AM
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From Bob Freemans view, this is what he can see the Oilers doing at the entry draft.

1st pick- a pretty darn good Fireman

2nd pick- Future City Police officer

3rd Pick- Sports Lawyer

4th pick- Future Dominos pizza franchise owner

5th pick- Paramedic

6th selection No fixed address available.

...what a comedy!

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#20 Lochenzo
May 16 2013, 10:38AM
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Trading down is an option if the Oilers don't get what I think they should be targeting, one of those 3 nice two-way centres projected to go between 4-7. If they go runner, runner, runner, the Oil will miss out on them at 7. Then you look at possibly making a deal for that pick.

But if one of them are still available at 7, you must take him. This past year exposed the lack of quality and depth at the centre position. Addressing those holes start at the draft and hopefully they find somebody during free agency.

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#21 madjam
May 16 2013, 10:39AM
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I believe we are now onto phase two of the rebuild . Surrounding the immense youth we already have with a new core of veterans . Use nbr.7 to procure a veteran or two , or one veteran with additional draft picks of quality .

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#22 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
May 16 2013, 11:01AM
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The Pouliot selection is a terrible example of trading down!

The Oilers didn't just miss out on Parise in 2003, they missed out on Kesler, Richards, Perry, Bergeron, Weber, Backes, and more. The difference is all those guys, except Parise, were available after the Pouliot selection. You can blame Oilers abysmal scouting for that, not the decision to trade down.

There's nothing wrong with trading down in the first round in a deep draft, especially if the talent really drops off at 7, as in this year's case.

Doubtful you'll get an impact roster player in return, but a second round selection may pay dividends in a deep draft. It all depends on the scouting.

Have a look for yourselves:
2003 draft
2008 draft

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#23 Jerod
May 16 2013, 11:05AM
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I think they would trade up if there is a player they really want after the first 2 or 3 picks

I think if Lindholm or Nichushkin are available at # 7 Oilers use their pick.

If they are gone they may trade down. They probably take Horvat or Lazar.

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#24 vetinari
May 16 2013, 11:06AM
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I'm not opposed to dropping a few spots in the draft (one or more times) but only if they can replace their first rounder with another first round pick while adding either a high to mid second round pick or an actual NHL roster player.

With no third or fourth round picks, Tambellini really hollowed out our draft strategy and I'm sure MacT will face some pressure to land some picks in those rounds via trade. Heck, we might even see Omark's rights finally move for a mid round pick if there's a player on the board that the Oil likes.

I'm guessing that our focus this year will be on forwards with size, at least one defenceman with puck moving potential, and at least one goalie with some potential.

Also, I'm hoping MacT takes a page out of Philly's playbook and trades for the rights for some pending UFA's at the draft and see if he can get them under contract. Likewise, if MacT can move some of our pending UFA's (like Jones, Whitney or Fistric) for picks or other team's UFA rights, I say do it. Fistric for $2M per season is an overpay for a 6/7 blueliner.

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#25 Truth
May 16 2013, 11:14AM
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If they do not sign Fistric who replaces him? There is a glaring need for increased physicality on the back end with Fistric in the lineup. The team is instantly easier to play against without him, sign him at $1.75M for 2 years. Send Potter packing immediately.

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#26 Jerod
May 16 2013, 11:17AM
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#7- Lindholm or Nichushkin if they are gone they trade down for

Trade down - Horvat, Lazar, Nurse and Zadorov

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#28 Rob...
May 16 2013, 11:23AM
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Though funny, that graphic comment is too one-dimensional (yeah, I know it's a 2D chart). Face-off artists, rookies, veterans, guys with bad reputations, certain whiners... referees base too many split-second decisions on things not written in the rule book, regardless their level of ineptitude.

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#29 Leef O'Golin
May 16 2013, 11:23AM
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JW: I don't suppose you thinking of Clark Gillies when you talked about depth players in the HHOF? 'Cause that's the name that instantly popped in my head. Sure, he was really tough and could pocket a few goals, but that could be said about John Ferguson Jr, Rick Tocchet, Mike Grier, Wendel Clark, and Al Secord. That name more than any other turned it to the Hall of Pretty Good.

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#30 John Chambers
May 16 2013, 11:32AM
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Sliderule wrote:

If they trade down I predict it will be along the same lines of Pouliot move.

A second rounder for moving three spots.

This will probably turn out just as bad if they do this move to take Lazar rather than Horvat or Domi.

They won't do it for third or fourth rounder because as Stu the not magnificent said in oil change when advising Tambo on trade "third or fourth doesn't matter"

Pretty much shows how flippantly they value those picks

I dunno.

Trading down to acquire a roster player who will have impact during the upcoming season seems to make sense - like if we flipped picks with Buffalo and got an established Dman as part of the package ...

But if the compensation for trading down is mid-draft picks, then walking away from quality just to obtain quantity is a poor strategy.

Look at CLB - they were rumored to have been offered the Islanders' entire draft (4th, 34th, 64th, etc) in exchange for the 2nd pick. Having lots of draft picks are nice, but not if it costs you a franchise player in return.

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#31 Shredder
May 16 2013, 11:33AM
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If Yakupov was being drafted in 2013 instead of 2012, do you think he'd be #1 overall, or would he slide behind Jones? MacKinnon? Drouin? etc....

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#32 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
May 16 2013, 11:34AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I didn't use the Pouliot selection as an example of trading down, I used it as an example of selecting need (big centreman) over best player available (small, scoring winger).

I (now) know you didn't! It's not your fault I read at a grade two level!

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#33 vetinari
May 16 2013, 11:34AM
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Leef O'Golin wrote:

JW: I don't suppose you thinking of Clark Gillies when you talked about depth players in the HHOF? 'Cause that's the name that instantly popped in my head. Sure, he was really tough and could pocket a few goals, but that could be said about John Ferguson Jr, Rick Tocchet, Mike Grier, Wendel Clark, and Al Secord. That name more than any other turned it to the Hall of Pretty Good.

With HHOF selections, I always thought that there should be one "Player's Choice" selection made by the retired NHLPA members to recognize someone who is retired and may otherwise go unnoticed by the selection committee-- it could be a "tough as nails" player or a fantastic leader or someone who never won a Cup but was an inspiration to his teammates or represented his organization/community "above and beyond" during his career.

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#34 Truth
May 16 2013, 11:39AM
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Shredder wrote:

If Yakupov was being drafted in 2013 instead of 2012, do you think he'd be #1 overall, or would he slide behind Jones? MacKinnon? Drouin? etc....

Good question. If I remember correctly last year it was said that if MacKinnon could be drafted he would have went before Yak. I don't know the answer to that question, but it's funny how things change. The same is being said about McDavid right now, and he's two years away. I guess the tale of a big bird in the bush is better than a bird on the edge of it.

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#35 Shredder
May 16 2013, 11:48AM
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Truth wrote:

Good question. If I remember correctly last year it was said that if MacKinnon could be drafted he would have went before Yak. I don't know the answer to that question, but it's funny how things change. The same is being said about McDavid right now, and he's two years away. I guess the tale of a big bird in the bush is better than a bird on the edge of it.

I like that saying, especially now that we know what we have with Yakupov: an edgy, speedy sniper. Drouin is probably the best comparable in this draft given similar numbers and the fact he's a winger...

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#36 Todd
May 16 2013, 12:04PM
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Truth wrote:

Good question. If I remember correctly last year it was said that if MacKinnon could be drafted he would have went before Yak. I don't know the answer to that question, but it's funny how things change. The same is being said about McDavid right now, and he's two years away. I guess the tale of a big bird in the bush is better than a bird on the edge of it.

A big bird in whose bush? On the edge of the bush? You lost me.

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#38 Truth
May 16 2013, 12:22PM
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@Todd

Well as the saying goes, a bird in the hand is better than two birds in the bush. I guess how it would relate here is that even with the supposedly known current draft eligible players it is not certain how they turn out. Players a year or two away are even less certain.

That might not make sense, but to me it does. Ha.

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#39 Will
May 16 2013, 12:36PM
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Shredder wrote:

If Yakupov was being drafted in 2013 instead of 2012, do you think he'd be #1 overall, or would he slide behind Jones? MacKinnon? Drouin? etc....

Jones seems like a much stronger prospect then Murray. Since the Oilers needed and wanted to draft a defenceman 1st overall last year, but couldn't leave Yakupov on the board, if we were drafting first this year and Yak was in this draft, I don't think it would be as much of a reach to take Jones, as it was to have taken Murray. Knowing what we know about Yak now, I'd say he looks better than Mckinnon, and would compete for first overall against Druoin and Jones, depending on which team stepped to the podium first.

I'd like to echo that any down trading has to be for an established player and not just mid round picks.

I don't think Lindholm is what the Oilers need. He's basically another Lander. If Monahan is there, get him, if not then trade down and grab Gautier.

I would also be okay with Nichushkin as a number seven pick likely won't be stepping in to help the team next year, but this kid could step in just at the right time as the Oilers are making a push for cup contention. He could be our Taresenko just as our young D prospects are solid enough to take up top line duty, and maybe we have some solid veterans in by then, maybe a free agent or two. It could be magic. Like a wonderful time bomb about to explode all over the score sheet.

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#40 GVBlackhawk
May 16 2013, 12:40PM
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JW,

I just read your analysis of the Oilers salary cap situation at Cult of Hockey. Regarding RNH, JSchultz, and Yakupov (and Klefbom) you are not accounting for their ELC's. The total cap hit for bonus-eligible players equals a base salary of 900K plus 50% of bonus money. RNH, JSchultz, and Yak all get 2.85M in bonus money so the cap hit on that is 1.425M. The total cap hit for Yak, JSchultz, and RNH is 2.325M each for next season. There is a small cap hit savings for Klefbom, too.

The Oilers will have approximately 4.5M more to spend than your article suggests.

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#41 Quicksilver ballet
May 16 2013, 01:53PM
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Pssst, hey buddy, wanna trade that pocket worn 100 dollar bill, for these 3 brand new 20's?

The Oilers have proven they aren't smart enough to be trading down, this has been a constant for over 20 yrs now. Lowe should be making every effort to move up, not down. Oilers can't afford to let these bozos in charge select another Troy Hesketh type, which is what they do when their homework isn't already done for them.

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#42 FastOil
May 16 2013, 01:53PM
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Jon has written about this I am sure at some point. If they trade down it shows they do not understand the value of players or what the value of the draft is.

Every player drafted should be with the hope that they become a top half of the roster player, the later the round, the longer the shot. Bottom end players that can't score points are too easy to get to draft them, it wastes a pick.

I also feel drafting a player that the org doesn't really value and won't give a chance to wastes a pick, unless they are cashed in for something, which they should do with Rajala while he's hot. I like him but they don't want another small forward, so trade him and Arcobello for Petrangelo asap~.

This year the talent drop off is after the Oiler pick it seems. 2 later first round picks is not the same as the 7th OV this year. One great player is better than two average players. It makes no sense to move down, especially when the draft finally has multiple quality centres with decent size at the top of the order.

It would only make sense to move it for a younger high end NHL player. The cap issues are the wild card this summer.

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#43 bumboclate
May 16 2013, 02:01PM
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JW

I think that trading down is not a good idea. I understand there is a minor drop in talent from 4-6 position in the draft. But there are still really good players in the 6-10 spot. Oilers can get their power forward, Big 6"5'dman, or solid 2 way Center. Plz MacT just sit and take the best player!

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#44 Gordie Wayne
May 16 2013, 02:57PM
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Out of curiosity (and basically because I always think wasting a high pick on a goalie is not worth it) I compiled a list of the top 20 goalies in terms of WINS in the last 20 years and put the round they were chosen and overall pick that they were chosen at:

Brodeur (1,20) Osgood (3,54) Belfour Undrafted Joseph Undrafted Hasek (10,207) Luongo (1,4) Nabokov (9,219) Khabibulin (9,204) Roy (3,51) Kiprusoff (5,116) Kolzig (1,19) Vokoun (9,226) Theodore (2,44) Lundqvist (7,205) Turco (5,124) Miller (5,138) Giguere (1,13) Fleury (1,1) Burke (2,24) Potvin (2,31)

8 out of 20 were taken in first 2 rounds, the other 12 range from 3rd round to undrafted.

Food for thought...

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#45 2004Z06
May 16 2013, 03:16PM
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Package the pick with a prospect or player to Phoenix for Yandle.

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#46 John Chambers
May 16 2013, 03:17PM
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Jake Trouba - if the Oilers had to pick 1st again, would they have taken this guy?

The Galchenyuk / Yakupov debate would've been a lot more interesting as well.

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#47 Sidd
May 16 2013, 03:26PM
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Yandle is a second pairing D man. He does not play against the best lines.

OEL is a first pairing.

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#48 Wax Man Riley
May 16 2013, 03:31PM
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Truth wrote:

Good question. If I remember correctly last year it was said that if MacKinnon could be drafted he would have went before Yak. I don't know the answer to that question, but it's funny how things change. The same is being said about McDavid right now, and he's two years away. I guess the tale of a big bird in the bush is better than a bird on the edge of it.

I remember when the Oilers drafted RNH, some fans were saying "Missed it by a year. This Yakupov kid is going to be the best player of all".

Once we had Yak, some wee saying "Ohhh MacKinnon.... missed it by a year."

The grass is always greener.

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#49 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 16 2013, 03:41PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Jake Trouba - if the Oilers had to pick 1st again, would they have taken this guy?

The Galchenyuk / Yakupov debate would've been a lot more interesting as well.

No.

He'd oust the Reinhart pick if anything. but probably the D would all be moving around a lot... they way they usually do... drafting D is voodoo.

The Yak/Gal will probably be a long one. I expect they both have exceptional careers, barring injury or freakish loss of skill. may be 10 years before we know.

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#50 madjam
May 16 2013, 04:08PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Jake Trouba - if the Oilers had to pick 1st again, would they have taken this guy?

The Galchenyuk / Yakupov debate would've been a lot more interesting as well.

I see i'm not the only Trouba fan . Winnipeg got a good one there . No knock on Yakupov by the way .

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