Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer 2010 Top 20 Prospects

The Edmonton Oilers current prospect list rivals any in the team's history. The summer 1979, 1980 and 1981 lists would have been other-worldly, but after that I'm confident this group trumps all others. At the top there are three (three!) strong Calder candidates, followed by some big forwards and a few large defenders. The organization is going bigger again, but these are not the Coke Machines your older brother fell asleep watching. These young men are hockey players.

Gone from last summer's list: #3 Riley Nash (traded); #11 Milan Kytnar (stayed in junior and did not dominate at age 20); #13 Philippe Cornet (bumped off a deep list); #15 Jeff Deslauriers (graduated to the NHL); #18 Cody Wild (traded to Boston); #20 Rob Schremp (lost on waivers to the Islanders).

  1. L Taylor Hall: The Oilers first ever #1 overall selection goes to the top of the list. His Desjardins NHLE (17-29-46) is in the range with Steven Stamkos (23-19-42) and John Tavares (25-21-46). I think the Desjardins' numbers for Hall are a reasonable expectation, but would say there's a chance he blows that out of the water if he gets to play with good NHL players and against the soft parade. Extended PP time will also help. My guess is that he'll be a Calder finalist if he can survive the first few weeks and manage to post some offense. This is not a 30th place team when healthy, and should he manage playing time with men like Hemsky, Penner and Gagner he'll deliver some impressive results.
  2. L Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson: Hall's selection could block his way to the NHL for this season, but the long range forecast is very strong. The Oilers are so poor at LW my guess is that MPS also makes the team and in fact if Hall plays center they could be linemates. We should remember though that Tambellini sent Eberle to the minors last season after he signed and the team is very much interested in making certain these kids are ready. His Desjardins NHLE (16-22-38)--considering the league he played in last year--make him the most NHL ready player in the system.
  3. R Jordan Eberle: The third member of the "Calder group", it is sometimes easy to forget how much skill this kid is bringing to the show. That would be a mistake. His NHLE (22-24-46), while not as impressive as Hall's (Eberle was 19, Hall 17) does tell us that Eberle probably has enough offense now to pass men like Nilsson on the depth chart. He is somewhat at the mercy of the organization because if they can't move out bodies (and then decide to keep O'Sullivan, as an example) that will impact his ETA. A wonderful talent, would rank #1 on this list in most seasons.
  4. C Tyler Pitlick: Oilers fans should consider Pitlick a second 1st round draft pick, as most lists had him going in the top 30. A wide range of skills (size, speed, skill, grit, plus shot) elevate him to top 5 status. Stu MacGregor: "Who does he compare with in the NHL? Geez, I'm not good at that ... maybe (David) Backes a bit. He's a very good two-way centreman, a very hard shot. Strong on the puck." He'll play in Medicine Hat next season and I think the Oilers will be very patient with him.
  5. C Chris Vande Velde: 6.02, 210, plays center and routinely rips off 55%+ numbers in the faceoff circle. His offensive ability (NHLE 13-21-34) suggests he may have the ability to play on a skill line in the NHL someday. Vande Velde got a taste of AHL hockey in the spring (2gp 0-1-1 +1) and will probably spend at least one full season in the minors before coming to the NHL.
  6. D Theo Peckham: Sometimes in life opportunity knocks and man I hope this kid answers the door. When healthy and fit, he's a strong, tough defender with a mean streak and a willingness to drop the gloves. Tom Renney has mentioned him in the last week as a player he's excited about seeing at training camp in the fall. Injury and conditioning issues have been a problem, but the Oilers badly need developing defenseman and he is the best of the group.
  7. L Linus Omark: And here we have the other side of the opportunity coin. Omark has terrific skills (NHLE: 20-15-35) and has played in both the SEL and KHL; he's 23 and has been playing a man's game for years. The problem is that he's another small forward, and the Oilers have so many of this player type it may be easy for him to get lost in the shuffle. Omark needs to arrive at training camp and do something extraordinary. I think I'd tell him to do something crazy in pre-season against the Flames. Cheap shot Regehr, something like that. Get noticed early, young man. It'll be key.
  8. C Anton Lander: The more we find out about this player the more we like him. Already a responsible center, it is clear he is a leader and someone the coach counts on based on TOI totals and how he is used in the game (at a very young age). He won't be a factor in the fall race for a roster spot, but someday soon this young man will arrive and when gets here he's going to help win hockey games. NHLE: 9-12-21.
  9. D Martin Marincin: Huge defenseman (6.04, 187 at 18) with good footspeed, positioning and intelligence. The organization loves his size (impressive wingspan) and the fact that he has competed on the international stage so often at a young age. Stu MacGregor: "We might put him in the American Hockey League; we're wondering if he can make that jump. He was the captain of the Slovaks under-18 team, then moved up and played in the (under-20) worlds." If not, he'll likely play in the WHL. Marincin could be a very good NHL defenseman when all is said and done, he certainly has the skill set.
  10. G Devan Dubnyk: He showed well in a late season run with the Oilers (he had a .912SP in his final 10 games with the Oilers). He also had a .915SP in Springfield on a team that apparently played blindfolded in front of him, so I'd say he has made great gains in the last season. It may not be enough, as the organization will have to unload one of their young goalies or risk waivers in the fall.
  11. D Alex Plante: Made big strides this season and is certainly part of the future. His pro debut was the most impressive in the entire system. Injuries and callups forced Plante up the depth chart and he played well, so well in fact the club rewarded him with a call to the show (4gp, +1) last season. He's in a position now to play well in Okla City and be one of the first callups when injuries occur. Alex Plante is not an NHL defenseman yet, but the light has turned on and he's trending well.
  12. D Jeff Petry: His NHLE (82gp, 4-22-26) makes him (once again) the strongest offensive defenseman in the system and his wider range of skills gives us some hope for a more complete defender than someone like Chorney (Petry is 4 inches and 20 pounds bigger than Chorney). Petry's -10 in 8 AHL games to close the season once again gives us pause in regard to rushing college defensemen to the show, and I believe the organization will be very patient with him. A full season in the minors would probably be the best thing for Petry's development.
  13. L Teemu Hartikainen: His NHLE (82gp, 12-14-26) tells us he projects as more of a role player than Vande Velde. He is a little sluggish as a skater but has good size and I think enough offense to impact the AHL and get a long look when his NHL opportunity comes along. His size and strength make him an ideal prospect for the new Oilers, who are going to have skill on 2 lines and size/grit on the 3-4 units.
  14. C Ryan Martindale: Has good size (6.03, 183) and plenty of skill (his Desjardins NHLE is 8-16-24) but scouts worry about his work ethic. When the Oilers took him yesterday I was down on the selection, but after reviewing the draft it looks to me as though the team was getting near the end of the bigger, skilled C's and MacGregor/staff "saw him good." He scored at near a point-per-game clip in a very good league and that has value. An older prospect, he turns 19 in late October.
  15. L Curtis Hamilton: 6.02, 211 and has some skill. Regular poster Smarmy Boss: Hamilton played on the Blades top six for the most part. He's not a coke machine--he can score and he was a touted first rounder. Got injured in the WHL vs Russia game and missed the top prospects game due to that injury. Recovered from a second break just in time for the playoffs and played really well without much in the way of rust. A blatant hit from behind in the Brandon series seperated his shoulder and put an end to a disappointing injury filled season. He is ranked below Martindale only because of injury concerns, I like him much better as a prospect. I think Smarmy's point about being an actual player with size (as opposed to a Coke Machine) rings true and was a big part of the Oilers draft list this season.
  16. G Olivier Roy: An impressive QMJHL season (his .908 SP was 5th among regulars in the Q) added to a solid resume make him the next great hope for an Oiler picked goalie to have an impact in the show. He's done everything right since draft day, including shaking off a slow start to have a strong season. As an aside, I like what the Oilers are doing under MBS with goalies: one pick a year, somewhere in the bowels of the draft pool. They only need to get lucky once, and they may have done it with this fellow.
  17. D Johan Motin: Motin made his pro debut and performed well. His numbers (he's not an offensive defender) are rock solid in the AHL (55gp, 1-5-6 -5 on a terrible team) and he would rank higher if there was any evidence he played against tough competition in the minors. I think he is the type of player who will improve over the next couple of seasons as he adjusts to the length of the season and the physical wear and tear. He is exactly the player-type this organization needs at this time, but something tells me he's a fair distance from Plante in terms of NHL readiness. It'll take some time.
  18. D Taylor Chorney: Among the reasons KP was fired, surely "the poor performance of his NCAA selections" has to be on the list. Although Matt Greene worked out fine, names like Colin McDonald and Taylor Chorney have not developed as was hoped on their draft day. I know he looks like a player (wonderful skater) but there should be real concern about this player as a defenseman. He's not strong enough, he's not going to have a chance to gain the experience needed at this level before getting passed by other defensemen, and he isn't going to have much trade value if he posts another similar season. I'm pulling for the kid, but they need to send him to Okla City and start his minor league career over again. He's still young enough, but for heaven's sake get him some help.
  19. D Jeremie Blain: Honestly, I had no plans to include him on this list, but a few things made me do it. First of all, he was among the better offensive players for his QMJHL team (4th overall in scoring, 2nd in assists), plus he was -22 on a team that was 78 goals in the red overall (I don't know their EV numbers). This may be a case of good old fashioned scouting, seeing a kid turn the corner in his draft year and then putting pedal to the metal. Backing up this train of thought is this item from Hockey's Future: Blain continues to play a lot of minutes for the Titans, top four plus PP and PK. He currently has 3 goals and 27 assists in 49 games. He looks bigger and stronger than in earlier viewings. He battles and competes well. There is more upside here than first thought.
  20. R Toni Rajala. His NHLE (82gp, 11-15-26) is in the "tweener" range and there's a very good chance he'll be much less than we're hoping for based on how good he looked on televison. His season just wasn't that impressive. Maybe he had a tough time adjusting or didn't get the playing time that other prospects received, but the math says he's a long shot.

Outside looking in: D Troy Hesketh. He's miles away but did progress as a player in high school and he's going to blue factory Wisconsin some day. He suffered a torn labrum and could miss 5 months. He'll play for Fargo (USHL) in the fall before beginning his NCAA career in 2011 fall.

Outside looking in: L Phil Cornet. His NHLE (10-17-27) is about equal to Rajala but he's about to turn pro and looks like a tweener. His minor league career begins at a time when the Oilers are very interested in building a better AHL club, which may mean a full season in the ECHL for Cornet. No crime in that, but it keeps him out of the top 20 this summer.

Other candidates considered: D Kyle Bigos (a solid year in the NCAA); C Milan Kytnar (has a wider range of skills than some on the top 20); Ryan Stone (UFA and may not be signed, otherwise he'd be on this list); Josef Hrabal, who is still playing in good European leagues. I did consider all of the players chosen yesterday, but it is hard to slot them until we've had a chance to follow their progress. There are always a few surprises by Christmas.

Outstanding list. There may be other NHL teams will richer, deeper prospect lists but they are few, far between and do not exist in the NW division. It is a long way back, but this list tells us the Edmonton Oilers are headed in the right direction.


  1. Always look forward to your prospect ranking LT. I think that with this batch, the key will be to have management and a farm team that understands player development (and maybe winning, to boot)

    Go OKC!

  2. Am I off base in thinking Pitlick seems a lot like Stoll?

  3. That's quite the first 10. And quite the nightcap if Dubnyk can be a 1 or 1A down the road.

  4. Couple thoughts:

    (1) Is Arnott's 33 goals as a rookie the team rookie record? Of course, the unofficial Gretzky rookie mark would be tough to beat, but you've go to think there's some chance for Hall to break that record, if not a good one.

    (2) It's kind of nice that Pitlick was drafted out of college, that allows EDM to stick him in the AHL this year if they want to, though it sounds like he's WHL bound. Because of his birthday he'd have been eligible to play in the AHL in 11/12 anyways, one year in the WHL and then the AHL doesn't seem like that bad an idea, though of course it would be better if he's so good he never sees the AHL.

  5. speeds: Arnott is the record, one beyond Kurri. Here is the points list:

    1. Jari Kurri (80-81) 75gp, 32-43-75
    2. Jason Arnott (93-94) 78gp, 33-35-68
    3. Dave Lumley (79-80) 80gp, 20-38-58
    4. Glenn Anderson (80-81) 58gp, 30-23-53
    5. Sam Gagner (07-08) 79gp, 13-36-49
    6. Andrew Cogliano (07-08) 82gp, 18-27-45
    7. Raimo Summanen (85-86) 73gp, 19-18-37
    8. Miro Satan (95-96) 62gp, 18-17-35
    9. Jaroslav Pouzar (82-83) 74gp, 15-18-33
    10. Mike Grier (96-97) 79gp, 15-17-32

  6. I would have included Johan Motin at the bottom over Hesketh or Blain

  7. Petry's -10 in 8 AHL games to close the season once again gives us pause in regard to rushing college defensemen to the show

    How did the other Falcon D-men do in those 8 games?
    I still see Petry best amongst the D.
    Well, after Peckham, who'll be an Oiler come October.

  8. Where's Cam Abney? He's the next Terry O'Reilly!

    I might have found room for Johan "Loco" Motin on my list - if I had one.

  9. Motin is on the list, at #17. I copy/pasted some of it and appear to have lost him in the shuffle. Motin is on the list, though. Certainly a valuable prospect.

    Abney? No.

  10. Looks like Eliabeth Rex will be doing an investigation into this pathetic 2nd half.
    Capello to the Tower?

  11. That top three is about as good as it gets. Wow.

    Only small issue is the lack of top flight defenseman. Hopefully, Petry has a strong year in the AHL this year.

  12. Man, when England is playing soccer is exciting! This "not playing defense" style of theirs really opens up the game!

  13. Perhaps the Oilers are looking to emulate the "Three Lions" model now? Who needs NHL defensemen?

    That list looks great, especially some of the forwards. I am the most excited (beyond the shiny baubles) about Lander/CVV and the depth these guys give the future forwards.

  14. Many have suggested buyouts for Moreau and POS, but a buyout affects the team's salary cap this year as well as next (correct?). It doesn't save any money. Why not just pay the players, send them down (maybe get rid of them on waivers)and pay their salary this year to get it off the books.

    I can see Moreau as a buyout is more respectful than a demotion, but POS could be sent down with no hit on the organization's repuation.

    I think Moreau might be kept around in a 3/4 line role (with some nights off). The biggest challange here is that with the 'C' its difficult to give him that lesser role.

  15. The other thing is to loan O'Sullivan & Nillson to Euro teams.

    Keep them away from the farmhands,
    Get a percentage of their salary paid,
    but, best of all, maybe lose them on waivers.

  16. Alex Plante is a prospect that never seems to disappoint me. He's so big, he looks like Frankenstein's monster, and a little clumsy, yet understands how to get to the right place more often than not which suggests he's a very intelligent player.

  17. Three Lions? More like three hamsters.

    That a team playing in the last 16 of the World Cup of Soccer can have a goal not count that's clearly over the line makes a mockery of that competition.

    Apparently video cameras were rejected by the multi billion pound World Cup due to costs.

  18. Wow. I was not expecting this after all your hard work this weekend. You sir, are heading for divorce!


    Only quibble: I would probably put Plante where Peckham is, Peckham into Marincin's spot and Marincin in Plante's.

    I think you had Plante ahead of Peckham on the last list and nothing has changed since, so I'm not sure why Peckham would get the nod now.

    And Plante is now tracking like his draft pedigree which is better than the other two fellows.

    And looking at this list I think we definitely need to suck another year. I'm not so concerned about goal-tending, but there's an absolute dearth of RWers and it lacks a true top-notch Dman.

  19. Nope, just checked, you had Peckham ahead last list too. My bad. I probably bitched about the same ranking then.


  20. When you can count the MVP of the entire CHL as your third best prospect, you're in good shape!

    If Hall can work out at centre, then the mind boggles a bit. How about Hall flanked by Hemsky and MPS? Jebus. Give it a year or two, and I don't think it would be a reach to think that this could be the best line in hockey, if Hall can win a faceoff.

  21. That is one very fast line.

    Almost Steve Kelly fast.

  22. Put Hall with Hemsky and play softs and prime pp all year.

    Horcoff is an soldier. Give him some good, dependable wingers and play him against the tough assignments and PK.

    I don't think they'll make the playoffs so let's see if we can't get Hall and kids a ton of points and give the fans some excitement.

  23. So, when does the Taylor v Tyler debate finally die? Is it when one them wins the Calder? Or the Stanley Cup?

    One thing for Seguin backers to consider: a big right handed centerman projected as a first rounder (named Tyler oddly enough) fell into our laps in the 2nd round. That pick helps to address the "need" so often cited in defense of a Seguin selection. That gives me pause to think that perhaps destiny was smiling on the Oil org this week. At the end of the day, the Oil DID draft Tyler and Tyler : ) Not only did we get the proven winner but we were able to fill the obvious need as well.

    What would Seguin backer have preferred? Seguin & John McFarland?

  24. BTW, just read this on Pitlick's Draft Bio on

    "Pitlick, who patterns his game after Peter Mueller of the Colorado Avalanche..."


    Can someone in the Oiler org please send our prospect some game tapes of Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, etc. so he can start to pattern himself after a real centerman?

  25. The dearth of RW, coupled with that he has a track record of playing well in contract years, and he's Kenta's kid makes me think 12 stays unless they can trade him.

    The summer of 2012 will have the Oilers in the 5th year of MBS at the helm of amateur procurement.

    If they do what they say and create a development program that actually develops hockey players, the 2012 version of this list, while not as top heavy as this year, should be quite deep with the prospects having to play in AHL for at least a couple of years in order to crack that NHL line up.

    If they can achieve that this organization should be on solid footing for a while.

    Its nice to see things trending up.

  26. Wg - I don't see anything 'trending up' just yet.

    But it has stopped falling I think.

  27. It is pretty hard not to get pumped about the Okla team.It almost makes you want to go and watch them a bit.
    With the prospect of a fresh start here goes Charlie Brown attempting to kick the field goal and Lucy holding.
    Well I am in again.Lets go Oilers!
    For Hunter:Fifa are looking to add goal line officials for the next WC.
    Too many members too much politics.

  28. Exellent work Lowetide, exellent. Your blogs really address/summarize in one place a lot of the questions that swirl around in Oiler fans' heads about which players in the system are where, what they are up to, pogress etc., it's great and much appreciated!

    I feel as if (hope) the pendulum has now started it's path back the other way with this organization.

    Part of me doesn't mind seeing those buyout players playing and ideally increasing their value to get more draft picks via trades. Then let 2011-2012 be the launch season for the new "core".

  29. I'm still pretty excited to see how Eberle does this year. He was hands down the best player in last years pre-season (including all vets including Hemsky) and if not for already having a girth of small young forwards, he would have been on the squad out of camp.

    Going to be a very intriguing pre-season this year to say the least!

  30. Nboiler: No he wasn't at all. He received prime time playtime and he did jackshit with it. Sure he showed some flashes but he wasn't near some of the vet guys. (Comrie, Nilsson, etc)

  31. At the end of the day, the Oil DID draft Tyler and Tyler : )

    They drafted two Tylers! Team Tyler wins after all!

  32. I agree Woodguy. Something tells me Nilsson will still be around come camp.

    In any case one of the terrible trio (Nilsson, Moreau, POS) will probably still be around.

  33. Great list ,LT. It's pretty much exactly what I would have.

    I'm still cheering for Kytnar. I hope he has a great year.

  34. As long as it's only one of 18/12/19 that's around this fall I think we can live with it.

    But it would not shock me if that one wound up in OKC so that they put some of that money to use instead of it being a complete write off.

    Great list, great work this weekend LT. You da man.

  35. I'd be much obliged if one of the CBA experts would explain the pros and cons of buying out a player vs. putting him on waivers. I'm interested in the effect on the Oilers of the various possible outcomes as they pertain to Moreau, O'Sullivan, and Nilsson in particular.

    Given that Katz could afford to bury some players in the minors even if they have one-way contracts, and assuming the three players mentioned have no value to other teams and can't be traded, I'm trying to understand why the Oilers wouldn't just have everyone show up at camp for an open competition for jobs.

    If they can't make the team, and you were just going to buy them out anyway, why not just put them on waivers and assign them to OKC if they clear? And if they don't clear, isn't that better for the Oilers than a buyout?

    I wouldn't make any attempt to recall them if it could possibly be avoided. If they're interested in saving their careers, they'll dominate in the AHL to the point that somebody else might want to trade for them at the deadline. Again, wouldn't that be better than a buyout?

    I'm sure my thinking is flawed in some obvious way, so thanks in advance for enlightening me.

  36. GeneralF,

    Couldn't agree more. Especially with players like POS, Nilsson & Cogliano, nothing would give me greater joy than seeing them fighting for their lives in this year's training camp.

    Playing in the NHL is not a right, it's a privilege.

    I would love to see some of the passengers on last year's team learn that lesson the hard way when they're up against the prospect of beating out Hall, Eberle and MPS for a job. If you don't have the threat of demotion to the minors to motivate underperforming talent, you don't have true competition in your org.

  37. LT,
    Your blog has become a daily must-read. A thousand times thank you, especially for this past week.

  38. GF
    There is a buyout calculator at and you can do the math yourself.I'm far too lazy to figure it out for you but it's a % of salary(based on age) multiplied by twice the length of the remaining term.

    Buyout is the last option,but unfortunately with these 3 amigos the first set of options are unlikely-sending players to the minors happens all the time on the internet,but in real life it doesn't happen that often,especially with your current captain,and the son of one of your scouts currently on staff.

  39. GF - I think if the Oil cannot trade Moreau and they want him gone they will buy him out.

    It would be a hit on the reputation of the team (i.e. how it treats its senior players who have been a dedicated player and in this case Captain) if they sent him down. Buying him out is the more 'noble' course of action.

    With that said, I am not sure 18 is going anywhere. He finished strong, management has frequently spoken highly of him, and we now know that in the dressing room split between Moreau/Souray that management falls on the Moreau side. I think they may see him as a warrior who is willing to sacrifice for the team as opposed to how they view Souray (a guy who plays for the paycheck/himself as opposed to for the team). Tambellini suggested that they need to get back to having the strong work ethic and dedication to the Oilers (the ‘team’) that the team was known for prior to 2007. Moreau may be a link to that (because Smyth is gone).

    I know that a very different interpretation of Moreau exists on the blogoshpere (and I think his post game comments have been arrogant beyond belief), but I think the opinions of coaching and management are harder to read. None of us could understand why Moreau kept getting put on the ice (even after the trade deadline), but maybe its because they actually like him?

    I would not be surprised to see him bought out this week, nor would I be surprised to see him back in a 3/4 line role this season.

  40. The Top 20 Prospects list is just hopes and dreams.... Which is at is should be...

    But looking at your annual list... Looking at the history of Oilers picks... Looking at the actual results...

    Matt Greene (pick #44 in 2002) was the lowest pick to actually be an important / impact NHL player.

    Brodziak was lower but is still on the fringe; Stortini lower but might reach 3rd line player at best.

    Oilers history & league drafting statistics tell us that the Oilers should have drafted Kabanov with the 61st pick...

    The odds of picking a player at #61 who will have an impact in the NHL is almost zero - the upside on Kabanov is extremely high...

    If Kabanov gets his act together, in three years we will be trading good assets to get his level of talent when we try to compete for a Stanley Cup...

    We definitely will not get that for a #61 draft pick...

  41. GF - The percentage is either 1/3 or 2/3 dependiing on the players age (POS and Nilsson are 1/3, Moreau is 2/3)

    As for the obvious flaw, pro sports is still a business and money is not 'no object' in business. Its 'the object'.

    One of these guys makes 10 times as much as a pretty good AHL player. Blowing half of OKC's payroll on one player is owning up to some pretty serious management mistakes.

    Easy for all of us to spend Katz's money, but he did not get rich writing cheques, he got rich cashing them.

  42. GF - The percentage is either 1/3 or 2/3 dependiing on the players age (POS and Nilsson are 1/3, Moreau is 2/3)

    Is that refering to the actual $$ going to the player?

  43. Thanks for all your great work LT throughout the year, around the draft time and with this, the first top 20 list including 2010 draftees. Superb work!!

  44. Gerta,
    Thanks. I know the buyout math; what I'm trying to understand is the logic behind the decision-making.
    I guess I understand buying out Moreau out of respect, but I'm someone who saw Fernando Valenzuela pitch in Edmonton at the end of his career while trying to get back to the bigs, so it's pretty easy for me to think of the minor league system as something of value for not only the parent club but for the player as well, especially at either end of his career.
    Now, if you're buying him out because he's toxic to the young guys, ok.
    But what about the other two?

  45. bookie-pretty sure it's dollars remaining,not cap hit

  46. book;e - its of total dollars (not cap) outstanding on the player's contract. The reduced sum gets spread out over twice the remaining term. All of these guys only have a single year left, so for POS and Nilsson the new salary number would be 1/6 of their current number for two years. Moreau would get 1/3 of his current salary. The cap then gets adjusted accordingly.

    And for all you Kabanov folks: picking a player with absolutely no chance of ever suiting up is a wasted pick - no matter how shiny he is. Anyone else has a higher expected value than zero. Its like betting 5 cents on 40 in roulette. There is no 40, you have just wasted 5 cents.

  47. If the owner is willing to bury Nilsson and O'Sullivan in the minors, I'm all for it. If a team wants those two players they can take them off waivers.

    Otherwise, the Olka City Barons get impact players and the Oilers have two possible callups.

    Plus it pushes the kids to clearly win the job (at the NHL level).

  48. GF

    I don't know what's going to happen-POS made me cringe most games I watched last year(about 75 of them)...but I still think there is a useful NHL player in there somewhere.
    I have liked Nilsson since we acquired him but we've cornered the market on 5'10" 180 lb forwards,and looking at the total number of forwards we have vying for roster spots I just don't know where he fits.

    Maybe we can waive these guys and then lose them on recall waivers(paying half the freight for 10/11)...I'd prefer that to a buyout.

  49. He finished strong

    I don't think so
    A little puck luck maybe

    thecaptainethanmoreau is done

    It would be fun if Branko Radivojevic was signed and made Captain

  50. If the owner is willing to bury Nilsson and O'Sullivan in the minors, I'm all for it. If a team wants those two players they can take them off waivers.

    This is a dream that I could get behind. That said, it seems like wishful thinking and a bit of a prayer.

    If it DID happen, you'd think the added competition combined with a move down the depth chart in terms of who POS et al are forced to play against could mean Edmonton might be able to salvage a player or two from the rubble.

    PS - Looks like two games in two days for the World Cup that proves those guys need to allow a bit of video review in their game.

  51. My take is this:

    18 will be not be here. That is a for sure.

    19 won't be here, that is 90%.

    12 is on the bubble, but will be gone if a trade happens.

    One main reason that 14 wasn't brought to finish off the season in the NHL (besides contract status) was to avoid exposing him to a toxic room.

    18 and 19 are considered poison by management.

    44 too, but he's his own issue.

    Regardless of dollars, 18 is gone and probably 19 for "culture" reasons.

    12 is not considered a detriment to the culture, just lazy. (Even though he was one of the few Oilers( with a positive RelColrsi)

  52. picking a player with absolutely no chance of ever suiting up is a wasted pick

    They only have no chance of ever suiting up if management decides that is the case... i.e. Schremp / Mikhnov...

    I remember drunks / drug addicts / players just out of jail / discards from around the league playing for the Oilers - yes, those Oilers that kept winning Stanley Cups...

    In 2010, the cut off line is sucking up to management - talent and "desire to be the best" rates 2nd & 3rd in that order...

    Which is why we picked Martindale whose upside is a polite, would love him to meet my daughter, 3rd line player...

    And left one of the top offensive players in the draft for the NYI's...

  53. Nilsson and O'Sullivan are 1/3rd remaining salary buyouts, which make them extremely attractve to buyout. Nilsson even moreso because his contract is backloaded.

    On a two year net basis, buying out both Nilsson and O'Sullivan will pay Fraser's salary and cost no cap dollars...i.e. you can pay for the salary of a bottom 6 player for two years with cap dollars that have already been spent.

    Money for nothing (no new cap dollars) and your chicks (Colin Fraser) for free.

  54. Honestly? After all the evidence in the league and the issues the Oilers have had with Russian players, you think it's worth the risk?

    You know, you may be right but the possibility of ever seeing him in Oilers silks is a slim bet. I've thought that for these young players being drafted to the NHL doesn't add up to more than a shiny bullet point for their KHL resume and subsequent paycheque.

    Don't get me wrong. I believe there truly are Russians who want nothing more than to play in the NHL and try for a Stanley Cup Ring, but those guys are probably skilled enough and rated high enough that it's the challenge they're thirsting for.

    And those guys are a lot easier to spot and probably don't go through agents and meddling parents to make it known.

  55. Great stuff all weekend LT, wondering why there is so much clearance between the last 2 2nd rd picks, Pitlick and Lander. Lander seemed to have a strong year playing in quality league and appears to have lived up to his draft spot and maybe exceeded a bit. They appear to be similar players but appears you like Pitlick quite a bit more.

  56. Don't get me wrong. I believe there truly are Russians who want nothing more than to play in the NHL and try for a Stanley Cup Ring, but those guys are probably skilled enough and rated high enough that it's the challenge they're thirsting for.

    And those guys are a lot easier to spot and probably don't go through agents and meddling parents to make it known.

    Hear hear.

    Besides, its not like every other team passed on him twice for no reason. Kabanov will likely never play in the NHL and that is why he is a wasted pick.

    Quit bellyachin'

  57. goldenchild: It's mostly a matter of offense, but Pitlick imo has a chance to be a complete C with size. THAT makes him a very good prospect.

  58. the possibility of ever seeing him in Oilers silks is a slim bet.

    I've thought that for these young players being drafted to the NHL doesn't add up to more than a shiny bullet point for their KHL resume and subsequent paycheque.

    The possibility of any player drafted in the 3rd round being an impact NHL player is "a slim bet".

    LT clearly wrote in his notes on Martindale - "scouts worry about his work ethic" plus "An older prospect, he turns 19 in late October".

    Think 3rd line player at best... At best...

    Kevin Forbes at Hockey's Future wrote a week ago...

    "He's a well-rounded offensively-skilled player. One of the better stickhandlers and one of the better skaters in the draft. His offensive upside is high, as far as the next level goes.

    He's a first line kind of player skill wise. If you look at pure offensive players, he's one of the best in the draft.

    On a side note, as far as the KHL resume goes, Kabanov burned that bridge - he is not going back.

    With four players already drafted by the Oilers - the #61 pick is when one rolls the die; since the odds are extremely high that the pick is useless anyway, that is when one hopes a Datsyk or Zetterberg appears.

  59. So with Monday's deadline for NHL teams to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agent - who do folks expect to stay/go? Matheson was reporting possibly Potulny being dealt to Minnesota?

    Is this list right? (From Cap Geek)

    F Gagner, Sam - $1.6m
    F O'Marra, Ryan $1.2m
    F Cogliano, Andrew - $1.1m
    F Lerg, Bryan - $0.9m
    F Pouliot, M. - $0.8m
    F Brule, Gilbert - $0.8m
    F Trukhno, Vyacheslav $0.8m
    F Fraser, Colin $0.7m
    G Dubnyk, Devan $0.7m
    D Hrabal, Josef $0.7m
    G Drouin-Deslauriers, J.- $0.6m
    F Paukovich, Geoff - $0.6m
    D Peckham, Theo - $0.6m
    F Potulny, Ryan - $0.6m
    F Jacques, J. - $0.5m
    F Reddox, Liam - $0.5m

  60. Ryan Martindale (apparently somewhat of a head-case himself?!) officially became my most hated Oiler as soon as the Isles grabbed Kabanov.

    I am immature.

  61. Hockey's Future link is here:

  62. The Oilers will probably attempt to work out longer term deals with Gagner and Brule. These are the players I would qualify:

    F Gagner, Sam - $1.6m
    F Cogliano, Andrew - $1.1m
    F Pouliot, M. - $0.8m
    F Brule, Gilbert - $0.8m
    F Fraser, Colin $0.7m
    G Dubnyk, Devan $0.7m
    G Drouin-Deslauriers, J.- $0.6m
    D Peckham, Theo - $0.6m
    F Potulny, Ryan - $0.6m
    F Jacques, J. - $0.5m
    F Reddox, Liam - $0.5m

  63. After trading for Dan Hamhuis' rights, the Philadelphia Flyers then traded away Hamhuis' rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins because they likely thought they couldn't get the defenseman signed. But interestingly enough, GM Paul Holmgren tells USA Today's Kevin Allen that he may still try to chase Hamhuis if he is available after July 1.

    Is that not the text book definition of tampering?

  64. And left one of the top offensive players in the draft for the NYI's...

    My goodness, now they have Schremp and Kabanov. If they could get Mikhnov (I think it would quite easy), imagine their powerplay...

    Now imagine their defence, poor checking, inability to compete, and the discord in their dressing room.

    Imagine the fun we could have with Kabanov:
    - bring him to rookie camp, give him some exercises and advice which he is unlikely to follow;
    - maybe sign him if he doesn't go to the KHL;
    - he makes it clear he is not and AHL guy so you keep him on the NHL team;
    - starts with bang and puts up some points which gets everyone excited (and expands his ego) and Gord curses Oilers;
    - Coach is happy but notices the team seems to get scored on a lot so asks him if he can maybe try checking someone.
    - Things go sour shortly theafter. Kabanov supporters blame coach;
    - Kabanov eventually returns to Russia leaving stories of his potential.

    Anyway, the Oilers have had enough drama around here since Pronger gate and they need to develop a culture of toughness, tenacity and two way play. Kabanov might be able to fit with a strong veteran team, but not here.

  65. Just curious, have there been reliable sources/signals that 18 is seen as poison by management. Certainly many of us hold this view, but I don't remember management suggesting it.

  66. Gord - the Islanders are paying DiPietro $4.5MM/year until 2021 and Yashin $4.75MM next season and $2.2MM for 4 more years after that.

    Kabanov is their kind of move. They are the last resort.

    I ride our management constantly for being bad decision makers, but at least they aren't the Islanders.

    If the Isles are smart, they will make Kabanov play in Bridgeport for the whole year as an ass-kicking seems to be what is prescribed.

    Maybe he will end up owning a go-kart track.

    Martindale is a much better choice for anyone's daughter than Kabanov.

    We bet on 17. Lets hope it comes up because in the 3rd round its a long shot.

  67. If the Isles are smart, they will make Kabanov play in Bridgeport for the whole year as an ass-kicking seems to be what is prescribed.

    Maybe he will end up owning a go-kart track.

    @ Deano,

    I am all for leaving Kabanov in the minors for two years - maybe three. I wouldn't even offer him a contract until midway through the second year - and that is only if his attitude was completely straightened out...

    And if he ends up owning a go-kart track... He will just be in a large group of almost every draft pick we chose after the 2nd round... ;-)

  68. I would have been fine with Kabanov at 61, but don't really understand the anger over the guy EDM took. They're both risky picks which is what you'd expect at that number.

  69. Thanks, all, for your answers. Bear with me, I'm a slow learner. Here's what I'm getting at:

    POS in the AHL, career:
    119GP 65-67-132 +12, 1.11 PPG

    Nilsson in the AHL, career:
    103GP 28-70-98 -1, 0.95 PPG

    A stint in OKC might be just the thing to motivate these guys to rehabilitate their careers, attract interest from other teams as at least part of a trade later, and provide some mojo for the Barons in their first season.

    I still need help to understand why the Oilers might consider it preferable to just pay them to go away.

    I'll admit that I can't help but wonder, too, what effect it might have on Nilsson to be around Taylor Hall for a while, a guy with talent AND the willingness to walk through walls to win.

    One other question: Would it be correct to say that if POS is bought out, there'll be no fruit at all from the Pitkanen tree?

  70. General: O'Sullivan and Nilsson are a little exposed right now because they were the errors of previous management (we saw this yesterday with Riley Nash).

    It's a tough situation to be in, because even though the team might value a player (and certainly Robert Nilsson is valued by his DAD who is an Oilers scout) the team must find a way to work the kinds and the big men into the lineup.

    These aren't awful players, they are just inconsistent (Nilsson) and indifferent (O'Sullivan) and impatient to win (Moreau).

    If someone like Omark is NHL ready, do you send him to the minors and keep Nilsson? Or do you move on?

    Personally I'd buy out Moreau (if I couldn't deal him) and then see what happens in tc with some of these small forwards. Injuries sometimes solve these problems, and of course I would prefer dealing at least two wingers before TC.

  71. LT - my anger is not directed at Martindale; it comes from the Oilers depth chart. At centre (age - name)...

    31 - Horcoff
    25 - Fraser
    25 - Pouliot
    25 - Potulny
    25 - Stone
    20 - Gagner

    Those are present roster players - even if we ditch Pouliot, Potulny, Stone - we have in the pipeline (in order of your rankings)...

    Tyler Pitlick, Chris Vande Velde, plus Anton Lander...

    Looking at what scouts wrote about Martindale, looking at what you wrote, looking at our depth chart; Martindale's upside is 3rd line at best; probably a 4th liner if he ever cracks the roster.

    And when given a choice of Martindale or a 1% chance of a Datsyuk or Zetterberg... Go for the home run - especially since we already had four draft picks...

  72. Bookie,

    "Reliable sources" contend that 18 won't be back.

  73. Do we really need another bum like Comrade Horkov?

    I keed, I keed.

    I like the idea of a 5% chance of a solid 3/4 liner than 1% chance of a (imo) riskier bet turning out to be some sort of miracle.

    But then, I'm a dad of many years, and that changes the way a guy thinks, I think.

    Stock market or GUARANTEED low rate of return?

    Now you're talking my language.


  74. To add...

    If there was a goalie the scouts really liked and chose at #61 - I probably would not be as upset...

  75. //I still need help to understand why the Oilers might consider it preferable to just pay them to go away.//

    Because it makes Colin Fraser free for the next two years. No additional salary costs. No additional cap costs. Netted out over the next two years.

  76. GF - It ight be better to cut and paste this somewhere else so you can reformat it.

    Option 1 - Send them to the AHL.

    12 - Cap Hit $0 AHL Salary $2.5MM
    19 - Cap Hit $0 AHL Salary $2.3875MM

    Total cap hit 0, Total cost $4.8875MM real dollars.

    Option 2 - Buy them out

    12 - 2010/11 Cap Hit -$83,333 2011/12 Cap Hit $416,667 2010/11 and 2011/12 Buyout $416,667 (x2)
    19 - 2010/11 Cap Hit $935,417 2011/12 Cap Hit $397,417 Buyout $397,917 (x2)

    Total Cap Hit 2010/11 $852,084 Cap Hit 2011/12 $814,084 2010/11 and 2011/2012 Buyout $814,084(x2)

    Option 2 is roughly $3.2MM real dollars cheaper but costs about $825K in cap space for 2 years. You also do not get 2 AHL players with Option 2

  77. General

    Nilsson and O'Sullivan can be bought out for 1/3 of their contracts spread over two years because of their age.

    If they play badly in the AHL the org is playing $5M instead of 1/3 of that amount. If they play well then they'll be subject to re-entry waivers if the team calls them back up. If they get claimed, then the Oilers are stuck paying half their salary to play for someone else.

    There is no upside to sending them down instead of buying them out.

  78. Gord,

    I don't disagree that at 61 you should be trying to hit a home run and ignoring the down side. The thing is I think you are over valuing the upside of Kabanov and missing the point about Martindale.

    Kabanov has first line skills. He tested great at the combine. He goes to the hard areas and he likes to mix it up. He'll take and give a hit. So you'd say game, set and match.

    There are however issues surrounding Kabanov that really make it unlikely he will ever see the NHL. He is at best an 8D (probably more like 8F).

    For example, where does Kabanov play next year? He isn't welcome in Russia. Moncton doesn't want him back. Since he is seen as having been drafted from the Q he isn't eligible to play AHL hockey. So really the only place for him to learn the game is at the NHL level.

    Problem is he doesn't play defence, at all. Won't come below his own blue line. He's worse than Petr Klima. And nobody was ever able to break Klima of the habit of haunting cente ice looking for the breakaway.

    Most importantly, with all that goal sucking Kabanov was only very slightly better offensively than Martindale who played in a tougher league in terms of defence and actually played hard at both ends of the ice. Guys who have to poach in order to get goals aggravate the bleep out of their team mates, not to mention they inflate their stats. Without that inflation there is nothing in Kabanov's resume that says he is in anyway better than Martindale.

    When Martindale is in the mood he is a very promising power forward who can pass in traffic. He can take over and dominate games. Most net bangers can't thread a puck through traffic like Martindale. In other words he has kind of a unique upside.

  79. How is an unproven 18 year old second rounder D-man ahead of Petry, who was drafted in a similar spot, but has continuously tracked well since then? For someone who has constantly given Riley Nash a lot of credit for being a versatile, effective college player, you don't seem very interested in giving Petry the same kind of credit. Is his track record in the AHL alarming? Not really. It's A) a small sample size, B) a rookie pro being thrown into the fire on the league's worst team, C) mostly done to give him a taste of pro hockey. He should be somewhere in the Vande Velde/Peckham/Omark/Lander group of players who have shown promise despite being drafted outside the first round.

  80. Gord,

    You are simultaneously discounting Martingale and accounting for the extreme upside of Kabanov.

    No shades of gray?

  81. Paper Designer: Petry's progress has been inconsistent. He had a very poor year (08-09) in college before rebounding nicely.

    We'll get a great look at him this season and it is always possible I'm out to lunch in ranking Petry below the new kid.

  82. You are simultaneously discounting Martingale and accounting for the extreme upside of Kabanov.

    @ Woodguy

    linnaeus described my position on Kabanov properly (according to Hockey's Future ratings).

    Kabanov is an 8D - first line talent with a good chance of dropping three ratings.

    Everything written about Martindale suggests a 6B or a 5.5A... Third line centre at best; probably a 4th liner...

    With the talent and depth the Oilers have at centre, Martindale's potential drops.

    I believe that given a choice of the two, the Oilers should have picked the 8D...

  83. They only have no chance of ever suiting up if management decides that is the case... i.e. Schremp, Mikhnov

    Whoa, whoa whoa - ease up on the history-rewriting there. Forst, Schremp did get a couple of shots at playing for the Oilers, and he didn't particularly impress. But more than that, when he needed to establish himself in the AHL as the Oilers' top call-up, he scored seven goals in 69 games. If he'd played the way his boosters in the Oilogosphere seemed convinced that he could, he'd have gotten a much longer look with the Oilers. Management handled Schremp just fine.

    One other question: Would it be correct to say that if POS is bought out, there'll be no fruit at all from the Pitkanen tree?

    I think it was a straight linear progression: Pitkanen became Cole became O'Sullivan. So yes, I think that's correct.

    There is no upside to sending them down instead of buying them out.

    Well, if we buy them out we lose 2/3 of their cap hit. If we send them down (and leave them there), we lose 100% of it; that looks like one upside. Of course, it's easy for us to spend Katz's money.

  84. Gord: Hockey's Future ratings aren't really helpful in a conversation like this one.

    Also, you're way ahead of yourself here. When did we decide Martindale would peak at 3C?

  85. where does Kabanov play next year? He isn't welcome in Russia. Moncton doesn't want him back. Since he is seen as having been drafted from the Q he isn't eligible to play AHL hockey.

    @ linnaeus

    Am I to believe that Kabanov can not be traded to another team in the QMJHL?

    Because I am fairly sure there are teams willing to gamble on a talented head case. As Spokane did with Kyle Beach - who ended up with 52 goals in 68 games this season. (2nd in GPG to Jordan Eberle)

  86. Marc:

    Do you handle Moreau differently because he costs 2/3 to buy out?

    If you knew you'd lose him on re-entry waivers, that route would be cheaper than a buyout and wouldn't leave dead cap space in 11/12.

  87. When did we decide Martindale would peak at 3C?

    @ Lowetide

    You have him rated behind Tyler Pitlick, Chris Vande Velde, plus Anton Lander...

    What lines do you see those three centres playing on? Then tell us why Martindale will be playing on a line higher than those three.

    FTR - I see Lander's upside as a very good 3rd line centre...

  88. Gord: This is Stu MacGregor talking after yesterday's draft:

    "He was their top line centerman, he played with Toffoli. He was a very solid, big guy. He has to improve his game in some areas, but he has size and skill. His overall commitment needs to be there every night. He's a big kid that has a lot of talent."

    So he was a 1line C last year in junior and he could end up being a top center in pro (a long shot). If he continues to develop and the Oilers have no room for him, they'll trade him for something they need.

    I can't imagine this guy being a checking C. He'll make it on skill or not at all.

  89. //I think it was a straight linear progression: Pitkanen became Cole became O'Sullivan. So yes, I think that's correct.//

    Well, there was the second rounder, but that was used for Kotalik, so Carolina has Pitkanen, and the Oilers would have ... nothing. This is just like how I felt when MAB ran over Roloson, or when Conklin did the unthinkable, or when our #30 and #36 picks from 2007 were turned into the #46 in 2010.

    I must have Carolina on my mind...

  90. Well, there was the second rounder, but that was used for Kotalik

    I forgot about the second rounder; but didn't the Oilers keep L.A.'s second rounder (or whoever's it was that they got from L.A.) and trade their own second rounder for Kotalik?

  91. Thanks, Deano.

    //There is no upside to sending them down instead of buying them out.//

    Well, no *fiscal* upside.

    Cap space.

    Potential upsides:
    They'd likely be impact players in OKC.
    It's possible they could be traded for assets at a later time.

    Other than $3.2M of Mr. Katz' cash, which of course is a lot for a couple of AHLers and which I agree is easy for *us* to spend, is there any other real downside?

  92. GF - If you're the guy that does it you get fired.

  93. As a longtime Plante booster, I'm just thrilled to see that he's tracking well thus far, after a whole pile of doubt in these parts this time last year. Based on his offensive numbers (49 GP, 2-7-9), I'm getting the impression he wasn't used a huge amount on the power play, which is where he made his hay in junior, but I'm hopeful that'll come with time, as he firms up his defensive game and earns the time. How many PP guys are there ahead of him in Springfield at this point?

  94. Gord,

    I'm with Lowetide on this. The upside for Martindale is also the first line. That is what I meant about you undervaluing him. Plus, on a point per game basis there isn't actually much difference between the two players. One is a flashy goal suck with great hands and the other is a slow developing power forward who looks to pass first.

    As for the trade from Moncton, that is up to Moncton. Who were none too impressed with Kabanov. They also have no incentive to make that trade. I assume the Islanders will try to find some way of encouraging it but whether they will succeed or not is anybody's guess. The question is whether there is a Q team who wants the risk?

    By the way the comparison to Beach is just silly. Beach had anger management issues that made him hard to coach but this is hockey and there is always a place for a psycho with good hands. Space cadet goal sucks, not so much. Though I will give him this, Kabanov is a genuinely funny interview and a charming kid.

    The Islanders are one of the few teams in the NHL who could and would give him serious NHL ice time if it came to that. You think we are small and timid? You should see them play. Kabanov isn't small and he isn't timid but his defence is so bad you can't see it being anything but a disaster for everyone involved.

  95. Deano - Point taken. :-) The whole line of reasoning is predicated on Katz' willingness to bury salary in the minors. As I recall it was suggested in the MSM a while back that he was quite willing to do that. If not, all bets are off.

  96. GF -Look at each player individually, adding the salary of a suitable replacement for the 2 seasons to buy them out.

    You will see that it saves money to buy out POS and replace him. As Woodguy said elsewhere, Nilsson is not as clear.

    If you do the same for Moreau, who makes less and costs more to buy out, it does not make sense on a cost basis. You don't buy out Moreau to save money. It would have to be for other reasons.

    If Moreau gets bought out it will be a very strong statement.

  97. Common thread for poor runs for Petry; they're always on terrible teams. Wasn't he voted best 1-1 defender during his worst year, though?

    I have a suspicion that he had a poor year in the "Shawn Horcoff is -29" sense; probably an off year, but made a lot worse by the fact that his team was terrible and had no other option but to keep putting him out against the team's best players.

    Also, in hindsight, was it a mistake to keep Nilsson over Schremp? Both inconsistent skill players, but Schremp scored better on a lower cap hit. If they had waived Nilsson, he would have either A) helped a farm team that needed it badly or B) been picked up on waivers and cleared the team of a couple million dollars of salary.

  98. I don't think the Oilers had much choice on Schremp. He was horrible for Springfield in 08-09, I mean awful. Good for him, when he got the chance Schremp took full advantage. But I don't blame the oilers for moving him along.

  99. I'm with Lowetide on this. The upside for Martindale is also the first line.

    I guess the definition of a first line player needs clarification.

    But just looking at top goal scorers from players drafted in the third round or later – the goals they scored in their NHL career;

    From 2001, Patrick Sharp scored 126 goals; Tomas Plekanec scored 103 goals.

    From 2002, Peter Prucha scored 78 goals.

    From 2003, Lee Stepniak scored 96 goals; Joe Pavelski scored 83 goals.

    From 2004, Johan Franzen scored 93 goals; followed by Ryan Callahan at 53 goals.

    From 2005, Patrick Hornqvist leads with 32 goals.

    From 2006, Cal Clutterbuck leads with 24 goals…

    Out of the 1,000+ players drafted over those six years, which ones are 1st line players?

    I count a maximum of two... Which is one fifth of 1%...

    And on talent alone, I'll stick with last weeks scouting report on Kabanov that stated "One of the better stickhandlers and one of the better skaters in the draft. His offensive upside is high, as far as the next level goes. He's a first line kind of player skill wise.

    If you look at pure offensive players, he's one of the best in the draft."

    On a side note, Martindale's goal scoring dropped over the past year; his +/- was atrocious at +2 while six of his team mates were +20 or higher...

    A slight improvement over the previous season when he was at -7...

    Everything, absolutely everything points to 3rd line player at best...

  100. Gord: I don't think we're going to agree on this issue.

  101. You do realize gord that all the statistics indicating that Martindale is unlikely to make it based on his draft position also suggest that Kabanov is similairly unlikely to have a career?

    The fellow can't seem to keep himself onside with an agent, a team or a country. That suggests to me that we'll find out that Kabanov is now a DJ in Moscow's premier metal radio station a few years down the line, much like the infamous gokart operation.

  102. Speeds:

    Financially there are certainly reasons why you might send Moreau down ie. possibility he might reclaimed on re-entry waivers, no cap hit in 2011/12 and the fact that unlike the two young guys, his buyout number only saves a a few hundred thousand off his full salary.

    If they don't do it it would be for non-financial reasons ie. respect for his long service to the team or fear of what his personality might do to the OKC dressing room.

  103. If anyone is still going to read this thread, Scott Cullen over at TSN tackles the 'value of draft pick' issue last year:

  104. @ Chris

    I do not troll - I presented my position with logic, links to information, etc...

    As LT said, we are going to have to agree to disagree; I am in the obvious minority on this. Which is perfectly fine with me... ;-)

    @ Backhand

    TY for the relevant link.

  105. Looked at Point production of the Chl players from first three rounds who played 08/09 and 09/10.

    looked at there 08/09 year.

    22 forwards fit.
    Two levels exist with a clear seperation.
    11 were 1.42PPG - .80PPG
    11 were .58PPG - .3PPG
    There were 6 Forwards 6'2" in the first three rounds.
    3 in the upper level.
    3 in the lower level.

    6/22 Connolly (.92) #6 TBL
    8/22 Martindale (.89) #61 EDM
    10/22 Hamilton (.83) #48 EDM (inj)

    14/22 Howden (.48) #25 FLD
    15/22 Watson (.46) #18 NSH
    20/22 D. Smith (.41) #34 CBJ

    I am hoping for rebound years for our CHL big guys.

  106. Pouliot NOT qualified today with the Oilers. LT, the dream is dead.