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Old
01-03-2004, 08:03 AM
  #1
Lowetide
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2004 Draft

Since the WJC championships are on, it's a nice time to look ahead at this summer's draft.

The Oilers could end up picking anywhere from about 7-15 depending on the season's second half; there's some interesting players the could/should be available.

Ovechkin, Olesz (the kid Phaneuf hit this morning, lordy Comrie looks like he got out of this division just in time), Malkin the Russian center and Cam Barker are the projected top 4. Here's Redline's top 10 from USA Today:

1. RW Alexander Ovechkin-An HF 10
2. C Evgeni Malkin-6'3, 205 and goes to the net.
3. C Rostaslav Olesz-Skilled C.
4. D Cam Barker-Compared with the top 3 Dmen from last year.
5. G Marek Schwarz-rlr calls him little big man.
6. RW Jakub Sindel-Super sniper
7. LW Wojtek Walski-Imagine Raffi at 6'3.
8. RW Enver Lisin-Two way forward.
9. D Ladislav Smid-Strong 2 way defender.
10. RW Lauri Tukonen-Terrific skater, explosive.


The guy they don't include in Redline that everyone else is high on is Robbie Schremp, who has some (reported) attitude problems and was left off the USA Team at the WJC based (apparently) on things other than ability.

Also, there's a dman named Wes O'Neill who may not have opted into the draft.

Anyway, I'm no draft expert, and couldn't even give you a good thumbnail sketch of these guys without redline courtesy USA Today.

My question is more along the lines of what type of player you'd like to see the Oilers draft, as opposed to a specific player described above. If you think they should take a goalie, there's tons of them after Schwarz (Devan Dubnyk plays for Kamloops, and there's an American named Al Montoya who plays for Michigan who sounds intrguing), so the name isn't so important as your choice of position and style of player.


Would you prefer:

1. A top flight goalie prospect like Schwarz or Devan Dubnyk?

2. A puck moving defender like Barker or Smid?

3. An impact offensive forward like Sindel or Tukonen?



As I say, you can pick a specific player if you like (speeds, you may want to let us know who they're drafting now), but to me it's an interesting debate as to what area they should address next summer.

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01-03-2004, 08:24 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Would you prefer:

1. A top flight goalie prospect like Schwarz or Devan Dubnyk? YES

2. A puck moving defender like Barker or Smid? YES

3. An impact offensive forward like Sindel or Tukonen? YES
Depending how much faith you have in some of the guys in the system right now-- in particular DesLauriers, Niinimaki, and Pouliot-- it's arguable that the puck-moving defender is the most glaring weakness.

But more than most years I'm in favor of "BPA". If there's a chance for a "home run" type pick, no matter what position he plays, then take him. This isn't exactly the '76 Habs here. We're not so strong at any position that we couldn't use another top prospect. If there's a player the scouting staff believes is a sure-fire impact player, take him-- because it's not like we're exactly loaded with impact players at any position. If we've got a top-10 pick for a change, it's especially important to take the Best Player Available. And if there's a chance to move our extra first-rounder (or maybe more) to move up, then go for it. We might be picking in the territory where a draft position or two could be the difference between a getting a good player or getting a star.

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01-03-2004, 08:42 AM
  #3
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Obviously the top three in Ovechkin, Malkin, and Olesz...

I'd like to see them go for a sniping winger like Sindel that you've described cause we have enough playmakers on the team already. Also, that Tukonen kid sounds intriguing. I think our two biggest needs are a sniping forward, and an offensive defenseman. If we can address the two needs, our team will have a heck of a future.

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01-03-2004, 08:46 AM
  #4
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Although I agree withe Eddie, we should pick the best player available, as the needs of a team usually change quite a bit while a player develops into a capable NHLer. However, I'll list our needs in order anyway:

1) Sniper. We have alot of playmakers, and more on the way. There's a reason why we get 40 shots some games and don't score. We absolutely need a guy to bury the chances this team is capable of generating, or all our skill up front will go to waste.

2) Goalie. We already got JDD, and if truly necessary, we can always trade for one (there's alot to choose from and their value is low). However, since JDD is no sure thing, and our current goaltending has not been stellar this year, I think this is a significant weakness, and drafting a goalie could help address that.

3) Offensive defenseman. After our aquisistion of Woywika, and the stellar play of Lynch his first pro season, our future defense is looking good. We seem to be missing a stud offensive defenseman though. If Bergeron develops into Brian Rafalski, this may not be necessary (but let's not bet on that).

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01-03-2004, 10:02 AM
  #5
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a sniper is what we need

others have mentioned this, but im gonna say it again... we dont have a guy that has a REAL shot on this team.... we need a guy that can score 30+ consistantly... hemsky may score 80+ points one year, but at least 50 of those will be assists me thinks.... lots of skill guys, but no real snipers at all to be honest

IMO our defense looks pretty good for the future with woywitka, lynch, semenov, MAB and brewer (who is still pretty young).... as bad as our defense has been this year, i hold the opinion that it will be MUCH better next year and the years after (assuming we can hold on to these guys) as brewer is starting to look like the guy he *should* be, semenov has impressed last year and this as well and the others should come along as well i think .... lynch and MAB will prolly play most of next season with the big club

i would say goaltending is a problem as well, because it is, but tenders come REAL cheap lately, so i think we could trade for a decent one easier than we could for either a sniper or offensive defensemen

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01-03-2004, 10:24 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog
a sniper is what we need

others have mentioned this, but im gonna say it again... we dont have a guy that has a REAL shot on this team.... we need a guy that can score 30+ consistantly... hemsky may score 80+ points one year, but at least 50 of those will be assists me thinks.... lots of skill guys, but no real snipers at all to be honest

IMO our defense looks pretty good for the future with woywitka, lynch, semenov, MAB and brewer (who is still pretty young).... as bad as our defense has been this year, i hold the opinion that it will be MUCH better next year and the years after (assuming we can hold on to these guys) as brewer is starting to look like the guy he *should* be, semenov has impressed last year and this as well and the others should come along as well i think .... lynch and MAB will prolly play most of next season with the big club

i would say goaltending is a problem as well, because it is, but tenders come REAL cheap lately, so i think we could trade for a decent one easier than we could for either a sniper or offensive defensemen
Wow, your post reads alot like mine. I guess great minds think alike .


Last edited by The Rage: 01-03-2004 at 10:30 AM.
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Old
01-03-2004, 10:43 AM
  #7
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Just thought I'd give my opinion on some of these guys:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
1. RW Alexander Ovechkin-An HF 10
2. C Evgeni Malkin-6'3, 205 and goes to the net.
3. C Rostaslav Olesz-Skilled C.
4. D Cam Barker-Compared with the top 3 Dmen from last year.
5. G Marek Schwarz-rlr calls him little big man.
6. RW Jakub Sindel-Super sniper
7. LW Wojtek Walski-Imagine Raffi at 6'3.
8. RW Enver Lisin-Two way forward.
9. D Ladislav Smid-Strong 2 way defender.
10. RW Lauri Tukonen-Terrific skater, explosive.
1 - Ovechkin is no 10 on my list, but he is very, very good. I compare him to a Joe Sakic-type of guy, but he, I don't think at least, is nothing like a Mario Lemieux or an Ilya Kovalchuk. He will be a franchise player, but he won't be the guy who challenges records.

2 - Malkin is an exceptional player. If he doesn't go in the top 3, someone is going to get an absolute steal. I would say he'd go top 3 in most other years too.

3 - Olesz I feel could be potentially be a huge bust. I have watched him for the Czechs and haven't been impressed a whole lot. There were rumours that he just got off a concussion coming into the WJC's, and now he just got another one. 10 bucks says he falls out of the top 10 before the draft.

4 - Barker I have seen play, but it was some time ago and I only remember bits and peices. I don't think I saw him play his best game ever.

5 - Schwartz I've seen 3 times now (all in this years' WJC.. TSN has shown 3 Czech games, which has been pretty darn cool!). This guy is definatly a top-notch keeper prospect. He has great athleticism and good vision through crowds. I do not think he is the best goalkeeper in the draft though, nor do I think he will go even close to the #5 spot.

6 - Sindel I haven't seen play yet.

7 - Wojtech I also feel is one of those guys that I have not been seeing him play the right games. The times I've seen him he has been very underwhelming. I saw him play in the OHL team against the Russian Select squad and thought he was terrible against a very, very bad Russian team. I know he's not as bad as I've seen him, but judging from what I've seen, he doesn't belong in the top 10.

8 - Lisin - is the only other guy here I haven't seen play

9 - Smid seemed to just quietly go about his job. His team around him wasn't great defensivly, so I didn't see a great show of his skills, but he looks okay.

10 - Tukonen is really great! He is very strong, and goes to the net with real authority. Good puck moving skills. He'll be a very good player.

Others that should be mentioned:

Al Montoya - The best goaltender in the WJC's. I thought he was twice the goalie that Schwartz was in the games I've seen. EXCEPTIONAL puck mover. Very much like Marty Turco.

Dubynk - I have seen him play a number of times now, and I love the package, but I don't like the execution. I don't see him going higher than the other two goalies I mentioned this thread.

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01-03-2004, 10:43 AM
  #8
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yeah i guess i can go with that

the problem is that most other teams are in the same boat as us.... so snipers are HARD to come by, and the fact that snipers are rare-birds at the best of times makes then even HARDER to obtain..... blowing the rest of the season for a shot at a top-5 pick is looking better and better to me..... but that would only be if we dont end up with another bosignore *shudder*

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01-03-2004, 10:49 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog
yeah i guess i can go with that

the problem is that most other teams are in the same boat as us.... so snipers are HARD to come by, and the fact that snipers are rare-birds at the best of times makes then even HARDER to obtain..... blowing the rest of the season for a shot at a top-5 pick is looking better and better to me..... but that would only be if we dont end up with another bosignore *shudder*
I would say top-end defensemen are even harder to find than top-end snipers.

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01-03-2004, 11:27 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog
a sniper is what we need

others have mentioned this, but im gonna say it again... we dont have a guy that has a REAL shot on this team.... we need a guy that can score 30+ consistantly... hemsky may score 80+ points one year, but at least 50 of those will be assists me thinks.... lots of skill guys, but no real snipers at all to be honest

IMO our defense looks pretty good for the future with woywitka, lynch, semenov, MAB and brewer (who is still pretty young).... as bad as our defense has been this year, i hold the opinion that it will be MUCH better next year and the years after (assuming we can hold on to these guys) as brewer is starting to look like the guy he *should* be, semenov has impressed last year and this as well and the others should come along as well i think .... lynch and MAB will prolly play most of next season with the big club

i would say goaltending is a problem as well, because it is, but tenders come REAL cheap lately, so i think we could trade for a decent one easier than we could for either a sniper or offensive defensemen
I agree with most of what you said here Jadedog except for the line about good goaltenders coming cheap and our defense being bad. I think our goaltending has been 90% of the problem actually. I'd like to see the Oilers get a guy like Tukonen who has great speed, grit and goes hard to the net, in hopes of snagging a Glen Anderson type player. Then with their second first round pick, they should go for a goaltender. Look at what Calgary is doing right now and it 95% on the merits of thier goaltenders .941 save percentage. I'm a firm believer that goal is the most important position on the ice, but often even good goaltenders go later in the first round after all the good scorers are long gone. As for an offensive defenseman, I wish Poti was still here. He's scoring big goals and lighting it up for the NYR this year. Heck, if I was KLowe, I would have grabbed Andy Delmore off of waivers yesterday which I'm sure would have given Charlie Huddy a few extra hours of work each week, but if he was used in the right situations, he could be quite effective IMO. My thinking though is that they only have to wait a year or two for Bergeron to develop and he'll fit the bill. You have to keep in mind that MAB is still young and has played just over one third of an NHL season. He's going to get a lot better, and this stint back in the minors to get his confidence back is only going to do him good.

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01-03-2004, 11:30 AM
  #11
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Instead of the Oilers taking the bpa, I'd like to see them take the best offensive player available and just have the kid work on getting a quicker release, better backhand, sneaking shots through defender's legs off the rush (a-la Gabby), finding open ice, etc...

I'm still not happy with the fact that the Oilers sent Jani Rita to the Kelly Buchberger Hockey Skool but I'll turn cartwheels if I turn out to be wrong for the first time in my life again.

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01-03-2004, 11:42 AM
  #12
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I find it odd that Central Scouting has Cam Barker ranked third in the WHL alone and yet Redline has him fourth overall! Even Prendergast said he'd be a top 15 pick...?

Kyle Chipchura and Andrew Ladd are ranked ahead of Barker with Central Scouting. Jeff Schultz and Mike Green aren't all that far behind Barker either.

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01-03-2004, 11:43 AM
  #13
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yep, I would like to see the Oilers take a Dman who is a beauty of a puck mover. When the Comrie thing was real early and nobody had a clue what was gonna happen, I had it in the back of my mind that a guy like Hamhuis would be PERFECT to round out the future of our blueline. There are lots of teams that lack true snipers, but really, when was the last time we had a true sniper? Bill Guerin was one for a couple seasons with us I guess. But besides him you'd have to go back to the early 90's. IMO you go with BPA between either a sniper or a defensman.

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01-03-2004, 11:43 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I'm still not happy with the fact that the Oilers sent Jani Rita to the Kelly Buchberger Hockey Skool but I'll turn cartwheels if I turn out to be wrong for the first time in my life again.
What is the KBBHS? Explain please..... ??

I'm like you... I thought I was wrong one time, but as it turned out I was

mistaken.

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01-03-2004, 11:51 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winn
What is the KBBHS? Explain please..... ??

I'm like you... I thought I was wrong one time, but as it turned out I was

mistaken.
J/K about the Bucky hockey school, that was an exaggeration. I'm just referring to the fact that he is in the minors to work on his defensive zone coverage, physical play, etc when he is such an offensively gifted player. I'd like to see a guy like that just given the green light to go out and score as many goals as he can with just passing grades in the defensive zone.

Guaranteed when he gets here he'll be judged by fans and coaches alike on whether or not he can score.

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01-03-2004, 12:14 PM
  #16
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we badly need a sniper in the system i don't think we really have a true sniper so i hope they take two with their first round picks, unless a can't miss prospect pops up. Though i hope Lowe can trade up this year.

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01-03-2004, 01:11 PM
  #17
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I still think that there are two distinct ways you can win the cup. One is with stars surrounded by average players and the other is with above average all the way through the lineup but no stars. I think of these as the Colorado and New Jersey models. Which has been most successful is a different answer from which one you would like to watch every night. There is so much unfulfilled potential in the Oiler system right now it is hard to know where we are in the most trouble since all of our answers are 22 or younger.

I say we need a shot from the point that actually scares somebody but does Semenov line up there? Not often. D-men usually take the longest to develop of any position.

We need a winger that can score from the top of the circle in full stride. Scoring seems to be the closest to 'got it or you don't'.

We need goaltending in a big way in a short time frame. Too short for the draft to do it for us.

I vote for the sniper in the belief that this team is only 2 to 3 years away from starting their climb. Sniper with our pick and goalie with Philly's first.

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01-03-2004, 01:58 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyF
I find it odd that Central Scouting has Cam Barker ranked third in the WHL alone and yet Redline has him fourth overall! Even Prendergast said he'd be a top 15 pick...?
nothing odd there at all, different scouts will have different rankings.

For example, Redline had Hemsky out of the first round in 2001, much lower than anyone else. They had him ranked 39 overall, with the one line comment " big talent, little balls".

for interest's sake, they had Lynch at 28 "good combination of toughness and versatility", and Woywitka at 13 "best size/skills/toughness combo of any d-man."

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01-03-2004, 02:08 PM
  #19
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One of the things that can change the conversation is the phrase "best player available".

The reason I say that is because it is different within each organization. Here's a quote from the Detroit Red Wings page in this past summer's HN Draft Prewview Issue

The Red Wings emphasize skill and smarts. If a kid can do good things with the puck, he has a good chance to excel, even if he lacks size, because of their puck possession style.



The 2002 HN Draft Preview said this about the Oilers under Lowe:

Under Lowe, they seem to relish grit more than anything else.

imo, the bpa by Oiler definition is miles from what the Red Wings might be looking for. It's the difference between Jarret Stoll and Jiri Hudler, it's the difference between Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Zach Parise.


Guy, McKeen's has Barker in the top 5 as well. I don't think he'll be there at 15 this summer.

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01-03-2004, 02:12 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
nothing odd there at all, different scouts will have different rankings.

For example, Redline had Hemsky out of the first round in 2001, much lower than anyone else. They had him ranked 39 overall, with the one line comment " big talent, little balls".

for interest's sake, they had Lynch at 28 "good combination of toughness and versatility", and Woywitka at 13 "best size/skills/toughness combo of any d-man."
Redline didn't like Pouliot (#40), either. Had McDonald (#57) and Joukov (#62) fairly high, though.

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01-03-2004, 02:30 PM
  #21
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After watching Al Montoya, I'd be willing to put my money on him. I am a big Cam Barker fan as well too though.

I don't think we are going to be able to pick one of those "snipers" unless we get a top ten pick.

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01-03-2004, 02:51 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilerrick
After watching Al Montoya, I'd be willing to put my money on him. I am a big Cam Barker fan as well too though.

I don't think we are going to be able to pick one of those "snipers" unless we get a top ten pick.
I noticed that as well... he handles the puck rather well.

I wasn't too impressed with Schwartz in the 3 games I watched, but Montoya looked good today, and it sounds like he has been rather impressive for Michigan the past 2 seasons.

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01-03-2004, 03:02 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
The Red Wings emphasize skill and smarts. If a kid can do good things with the puck, he has a good chance to excel, even if he lacks size, because of their puck possession style.

The 2002 HN Draft Preview said this about the Oilers under Lowe:

Under Lowe, they seem to relish grit more than anything else.

imo, the bpa by Oiler definition is miles from what the Red Wings might be looking for. It's the difference between Jarret Stoll and Jiri Hudler, it's the difference between Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Zach Parise.
The Wing drafting strategy is the kind I'd like the Oilers to use. They value secondary things too highly. In my mind, skill >>> size.

The Wing's drafting is success is unfair... Datsyuk at #171, Zetterberg at #210 and Derek Meech (now playing at the WJC) at #229. Even Hudler at #58 seems like a bit of a steal considering the opportunities he generated for the Czechs whenever he stepped on the ice in the 5-2 game.

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01-03-2004, 03:51 PM
  #24
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LT, to answer your original question, I would definitely prefer drafting a forward int eh first round unless the guy at the top of your list ( a D or G0 is enough ahead of the forward that you really can't pass him up). It's just too hard for a small market team to land offensive skill except thru the draft, IMO, whereas you can trade for D and G help much cheaper vs. skilled forwards, IMO.

I haven't read much about the draft eligible guys yet this year, but from the bits I've seen of Tukonen, he'd be my early first guess, assuming his character seems good ( EDM seems to really value character in drafting nowadays, whether it's to a fault or not I don't know)

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01-03-2004, 04:14 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
LT, to answer your original question, I would definitely prefer drafting a forward int eh first round unless the guy at the top of your list ( a D or G0 is enough ahead of the forward that you really can't pass him up). It's just too hard for a small market team to land offensive skill except thru the draft, IMO, whereas you can trade for D and G help much cheaper vs. skilled forwards, IMO.

I haven't read much about the draft eligible guys yet this year, but from the bits I've seen of Tukonen, he'd be my early first guess, assuming his character seems good ( EDM seems to really value character in drafting nowadays, whether it's to a fault or not I don't know)
It's tougher to trade for real high quality defensmen then it is for scorers. I'd like to see more Dmen picked then we have.

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