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Old
04-11-2004, 03:09 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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What's in the Cupboard?

This is a good time of year to look at where the organization is in terms of depth at each position. Some of these guys are 'tweeners' in that they may qualify in more than one slot. However, for the purposes of this exercise I've slotted each player just one time.


Goalies (4): JDD, Mike Morrison, Kristian Antilla, Glenn Fisher

Defensive defensemen (10): Semenov, Woywitka, Allen, Greene, Svensk, Smith, Koltsov, Platt, Horacek, Roy.
Offensive Dmen (3): MA Bergeron, Doug Lynch, Tom Gilbert.

Power Forwards (8): Alexei Mikhnov, JF Jacques, Eddie Caron, Colin McDonald, Stortini, Brad Winchester, Rohlfs, Bodie.
Skill Wingers (6): Ales Hemsky, Rita, Salmelainen, Radunske, Umicevic, Henrich.
Ruffians/Agitators (3): Torres, Baum, Micka.

Skill Centermen (4): Niinimaki, Brodziak, Joukov, Brenk.
Two way Centermen (8): Stoll, MA Pouliot, Johansson, Bishai, Cullen, Olsson, Hinz, Hunter.

I haven't included a couple of players (DiCasmirro, McAslan, Murphy) because I don't know enough about them to slot them (probably should have done the same thing with Brenk, but what the hay?)

Anyway, I've included the 4 kids who played a bunch or all of the season with the Oilers (Hemsky, Torres, Bergeron, Semenov) because imo it gives a better picture in terms of depth (or lack of ) in the organization.

So, where are the needs?


EDIT: to include Stortini.


Last edited by Lowetide: 04-11-2004 at 04:27 PM.
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Old
04-11-2004, 03:33 PM
  #2
jadeddog
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i guess ill just repeat my mantra of the past year:

"we need a scoring center, we need a scoring center, we need a scoring center...."

it was true in october and its just as true now

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Old
04-11-2004, 03:36 PM
  #3
dem
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Wouldnt Pouliot go under skill center?

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Old
04-11-2004, 03:42 PM
  #4
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Personally I think our defence is set. Were missing that one sky-blue chip D prospect (Pitkanen, Bouwmeester) but so are alot of other teams. Plus, the prices on those types of prospects...... .Overall I think our defensive prospect supply will perfectly balace out with the revolving door policy of quality vet defencemen once they reach a certain age/salary. The equilibrium will be achieved.

Overall what the system is missing.... is that one Cant-miss finisher. A Sniper-type.
Having so many unknowns in the prospect pool (Alexei Mikhnov, Colin McDonald, Brad Winchester, Jesse Niinimaki, MA Pouliot), almost any one of those could turn into exactly what this teams needs, or we could have Pouliot turn into a great passer, Niinimaki into a defensive specialist passer & Mikhnov into a power-winger/great passer. This, coinciding with Hemsky's desire to constantly pass, Salmo's great moves/lack of finish & Bergeron having the mindset of a sniper (even though he's a 5'10 defenceman)... I guess in the end, in my mind, this team is missing a Zherdev-type prospect. An upper-tier guy who is showing all the signs of having the ability to bury a respectable amount of pucks in his time. (But then again, how many teams could'nt use a guy like this?)

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04-11-2004, 03:42 PM
  #5
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I agree with jaded, we need skilled centers. We have had our share of great players at other positions but it's nearly impossible to trade them for skilled, producing nhl centers.

I'd like to see the Oilers put together a ridiculously large package to go after Malkin or Ovechkin this year but we all know that won't happen.

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04-11-2004, 03:43 PM
  #6
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I guess I will point out the obvious, we need more skill..Out of our 10 "skill" forwards, only 3 of them are a high level prospects (one of course already on the team in Hemsky). Rita is stuck between a rock and a hard place in the minors and is just not having things go his way, while Niinimaki is in europe...IMO we need a highly skilled forward from the Q. Another highly touted offensive dman would be nice as well. We have enough defensive defenceman, two-way centers and power forwards where IMO we did a pretty good job finding some gooders later in the draft.

This draft with our 14th overall I would take someone like Picard. Nedved proved how bad this team needed a sniper and we don't have any top notch snipers in the system. With Philly's pick I depending on who is available I would take either a goaltender or an offensive defenceman. Then with our second rounder I would take the other. IMHO we should stand pat and not move up in the draft unless we can not get Picard. We have some decnt picks and we just need to turn that into some depth where we are thin...

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Old
04-11-2004, 03:56 PM
  #7
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Well...

... I'm not sure if we see it the same way. I look at prospect depth in three-ways:

- ability by position
- development time required
- depth on the big club

So...

GOALIES (4): JDD, Mike Morrison, Kristian Antilla, Glenn Fisher

Oilers now: Conklin & Markannen - both fairly young and showing the ability to platoon the #1 netminding position for several years if need be.

JDD - 1st string tender possiblity
------ best case scenario: 2 years from back-up / 3 years from full-time
------ probable is 3 years to back-up / 4 years to full-time

-- > the rest of those goalie prospects are 'call-up' back-ups at best with varying years of development time required

TIME ANALYSIS:

Short-term (1 to 2 years): While Ty and Jussi, as a tandem, may be able to bridge the gap to when JDD is ready they may NOT - a trade would be a requirement at that point.

Medium-term (3-4 years): IF Ty and Jussi can make it work then JDD will be ready around this time frame. That is a big 'IF'. Note too that at this point there would be, conceivably, no one to cover off JDD.

Long-term (5+ years): Nothing after JDD.

EVALUATION: Depth is incredibly poor at this position. Barring an amazing trade, or some 'Cujo-like' UFA signing, drafting a high-quality netminder in this draft or the next (at the latest) is a MUST as that will cover off the Medium-term and Long-term deficiencies. That leaves us with the short-term problem of having to HOPE that Ty and Jussi can get the job done.

*******************

And that is how I look at our goaltending situation. I remain worried.


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Old
04-11-2004, 03:56 PM
  #8
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If the league ever instituted shootout tie breaks this team would be in big trouble. I'm just wondering how many of our breakaways ended in shots on goal let alone goals.

We need someone who has goal scorers patience, with the moves of Salmo or Hemsky and the finish of... well Nedved I guess.

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04-11-2004, 04:03 PM
  #9
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I think I agree with everything on the list except for the lack of Zack Stortini. I believe he deserves to be somewhere on it. Perhaps in the Powerforward, Agitator, or maybe even start another "enforcer" catagory for him?

It doesnt really matter which catagory I guess, but I think he should at least get mentioned.

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Old
04-11-2004, 04:06 PM
  #10
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Considering what we had before, I'm happy with what we have at center thanks to the drafts from the last two years. If one of Pouliot, Niinimaki, Brodziak, or Joukov pans out to be a high scoring center, the scouting staff has done their job.

I think what the organization needs is a true sniping winger. We have too many playmakers in the system, and no one to bury the puck. Sorta like a one shot scorer like Nedved.

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Old
04-11-2004, 04:21 PM
  #11
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoyen
I think I agree with everything on the list except for the lack of Zack Stortini. I believe he deserves to be somewhere on it. Perhaps in the Powerforward, Agitator, or maybe even start another "enforcer" catagory for him?

It doesnt really matter which catagory I guess, but I think he should at least get mentioned.
Yep, my bad, I had him and then went to move him and then something else happened (probably had to hold the turkey open while it was being stuffed. My life is full of non-stop work)

I'd say PF.

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Old
04-11-2004, 04:25 PM
  #12
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dem
Wouldnt Pouliot go under skill center?
Absolutely, but he's got some other things going on too, so I put him under 2-way center. Either could apply.

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Old
04-11-2004, 06:51 PM
  #13
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Great post Lowtide. I've mirrored your categories with my own opinions ... at the risk of upsetting G2K.

Unfortunately, I find myself being a lot more skeptical in my rating. In the harsh, cold world of precious few NHL jobs, I have pared down my list to the few who I think might realistic make and contribute to the big team. And fringe players who might have a shot. In so doing, I've likely missed a few players...

Goalies (1): JDD. Is developing nicely. Big playoff upset this year. 2-3 years away.
Fringe: Mike Morrison - 25 years old already. Fringe player, minimal impact.

Prognosis: very weak depth. JDD has #1 potential but cupboard is bare behind him. Need: Priority. Must improve goaltending depth (beginning at NHL level imo).

Defense
defensive defensemen (3): Semenov, Woywitka, Greene
Fringe: Kenny Smith, Svensk, Platt.
offensive Dmen (1): (Graduated - MA Bergeron), Doug Lynch.
Fringe: Tom Gilbert.

Prognosis: Most solid positional strength. Four solid prospects close to being NHL ready. Big, strong, physical. Not sure about Lynch's offensive upside in NHL.
Need: Low-Mid. To add at least one more solid offensive, puck moving D-man.

Power Forwards (0): I will define Power Forward as 20 goals and 100 p.i.m. Player with unique blend of scoring and physical play.
Fringe: JF Jacques, Colin McDonald. Both are young, works in progress drafted above their pre-draft ranking by Oilers based upon their potential as future power forwards.

Prognosis: The Oil are drafting bigger players but I don't see any surefire players which will deliver to my criteria for power forward. Closest we have is graduate
Raffi Torres.
Need: Mid-range.

Skill Wingers (6): Ales Hemsky, Salmelainen, Rita, Alexei Mikhnov
Fringe:
Prognosis: Decent potential with Salmo, Rita, and enigmatic Mikhnov. However question remain - can Salmo and Rita raise their game beyond average AHL numbers? Will Mikhnov score at NHL level? Hemsky has elite skills but must rebound in third year with improved decision-making and physical strength.
Need: Priority. This team requires first line talent and finishers. Immediate need in organization.

Skill Centermen (3): MA Pouliot, Niinimaki, Brodziak
Fringe: Joukov
Two way Centermen (8): Cullen.

Prognosis: Oilers must find at least one first or second line centre among these players. Brodziak took biggest step forward. Pouliot is effective when healthy.
Niinimaki's development is seriously hampered by major injury. Brodziak must get seasoning and success in AHL. Pouliot must get stronger and healthy to play against men. Major injuries in Q in all three years of junior.
Need: Priority. Strongest immediate need on the big club.

Depth Forwards: Brad Winchester.
Fringe: Eddie Caron, Rohlfs.
Prognosis: Decent second half for Winchester in AHL debut season. Good size but is the physical strength and toughness there to make the jump? Eddie Caron's minimal success downgrades him from potential powerforward to depth role player.
Need: Low. Oilers are stacked with depth forwards on roster.

Ruffians/Agitators (3): Zack Stortini
Fringe: Baum.

Prognosis: Oilers have seemingly found in Stortini their next tough-guy with character. Likely doesn't have Laraque elite fighting ability but solid team guy and willing to go.
Need: Low

Prospect Graduates:
Hemsky, Torres, Stoll, Bergeron, Semenov

Prognosis: Strong graduating class who in three of five made significant contributions to Big club. Highly regarded Hemsky and Semenov took slight steps back in development but longterm future is bright.


Last edited by Behind Enemy Lines: 04-11-2004 at 06:57 PM.
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Old
04-11-2004, 07:07 PM
  #14
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windowlicker
Personally I think our defence is set. Were missing that one sky-blue chip D prospect (Pitkanen, Bouwmeester) but so are alot of other teams. Plus, the prices on those types of prospects...... .Overall I think our defensive prospect supply will perfectly balace out with the revolving door policy of quality vet defencemen once they reach a certain age/salary. The equilibrium will be achieved.

Overall what the system is missing.... is that one Cant-miss finisher. A Sniper-type.
Having so many unknowns in the prospect pool (Alexei Mikhnov, Colin McDonald, Brad Winchester, Jesse Niinimaki, MA Pouliot), almost any one of those could turn into exactly what this teams needs, or we could have Pouliot turn into a great passer, Niinimaki into a defensive specialist passer & Mikhnov into a power-winger/great passer. This, coinciding with Hemsky's desire to constantly pass, Salmo's great moves/lack of finish & Bergeron having the mindset of a sniper (even though he's a 5'10 defenceman)... I guess in the end, in my mind, this team is missing a Zherdev-type prospect. An upper-tier guy who is showing all the signs of having the ability to bury a respectable amount of pucks in his time. (But then again, how many teams could'nt use a guy like this?)
I agree bang on on the first comment. In terms of prospects, the Oilers are great on the blueline. Not saying that I'd ever put 6 of those guys from that list on an NHL team.. but that maybe 2 or 3 + some guys the Oilers already have could probobly work for a good NHL blueline. Perhaps not spectacular like the Wings or Avs though. One more Bouwmeester-type guy (as you said) would push it up to that level.

On the second thing, I couldn't disagree more. I find the Oilers have a tremendous amount of skilled sniper-type forwards.. sure there are no Marian Gaborik's, but I don't think scoring goals is going to be a problem for that group. You look at these guys, and say the top 3 or 4 of them all have 20 goal ability probobly (Torres, Pouliot, Niinimaki, Hemsky). Heck, Torres already has scored 20.

What I see as being the issue there is that I do not see a guy that I'd put out there with confidence - do you know what I mean? Think of like a Ryan Smyth or a Mike York. A guy you can throw out there and never worry about. I would also say that the top guys are all not very physical outside of Torres, and none of them is what I'd call a 'power forward'. Unless you are hedging your bets with Mikhnov or some other 'outside shots', the Oilers have no big, burly forward with top 6 upside. Torres is the closest they've got, but I think you'd want something if not as able to score as much, at least to be able to put someone in front of the net and muck about better than Torres could.

But overall, the problem lies with the absolute tip-top prospects. Nothing to do with snipers or defensive specialists, it's just a lack of top-tier talent. Aside from Hemsky, there is probobly nobody you could say who has elite talent in there.

One other problem I could see is not so much the personel themselves, but some additional questions about them. It seems every Oilers prospect has a big question mark beside them except for like, 2 or 3 guys (Torres and Stoll come to mind).

With Pouliot you've got injuries, with Mikhnov you question if he can score at the NHL level, with Niinimaki you've got both injuries and questioning if he can score at the NHL level. Hemsky you ask well, does he pass to much, does he not shoot enough, is he too small, can he play in his own zone well enough? This is what I was getting at before - it doesn't seem like there's any guy outside of Stoll and Torres that you really don't question too much. I'd like to see one more higher-end guy enter the system - Tukkonen would be nice - that you could just throw out there and expect him to do what he's supposed to do every night, and not have question marks.

If I had to choose the one prospect outside of the top 5 or so that fits what I believe the Oilers need the most, it'd probobly be Andrew Ladd. Ladd is somewhat similar to a Shane Doan, but he's played with awfully good players at the WHL level, so there is some question as to weather or not he really has the ability to become a good NHL'er or not. But if the Oilers scouts like him, I think he's right up the alley of what the Oilers need, and what Lowe is looking for. The only question would be as to weather or not he falls to the Oilers draft pick.

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Old
04-11-2004, 07:15 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
If I had to choose the one prospect outside of the top 5 or so that fits what I believe the Oilers need the most, it'd probobly be Andrew Ladd. Ladd is somewhat similar to a Shane Doan, but he's played with awfully good players at the WHL level, so there is some question as to weather or not he really has the ability to become a good NHL'er or not. But if the Oilers scouts like him, I think he's right up the alley of what the Oilers need, and what Lowe is looking for. The only question would be as to weather or not he falls to the Oilers draft pick.

1. Good Choice.
2. They Do.
3. He won't, they'd have to move up to get him (IMO).

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Old
04-11-2004, 07:44 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I'd like to see one more higher-end guy enter the system - Tukkonen would be nice - that you could just throw out there and expect him to do what he's supposed to do every night, and not have question marks.

If I had to choose the one prospect outside of the top 5 or so that fits what I believe the Oilers need the most, it'd probobly be Andrew Ladd. Ladd is somewhat similar to a Shane Doan, but he's played with awfully good players at the WHL level, so there is some question as to weather or not he really has the ability to become a good NHL'er or not. But if the Oilers scouts like him, I think he's right up the alley of what the Oilers need, and what Lowe is looking for. The only question would be as to weather or not he falls to the Oilers draft pick.
Exactly. I'd love Lowe to work some magic, use our 14th pick as the centerpiece of a deal to move us into the territory where we can draft someone like Ladd/Tukkonen. (Outside of unforeseen situations, those 2 will be gone by the 14th choice). But I would hold onto our Philly pick, and here's why. Between the 1997 and 2001 draft, the following players were chosen in the 25th-30th overall position:

'97 25th Brendan Morrow
'98 25th Jiri Fischer
26th Mike Van Ryn
27th Scott Gomez
29th Jonathan Cheechoo
'99 26th Martin Havlat
27th Ari Ahonen
'00 26th Brian Sutherby
28th Justin Williams
30th Jeff Taffe
'01 27th Jeff Woywitka

That's not a bad amount of talent. These are usually the spots reserved for teams which finish high in the regular season and/or have a successfull playoff run. Chances are they can take a small gamble on a high risk/high reward selection (something the Oilers have recently done with Mikhnov/Niinimaki at much lower positions), or a player that for some reason has fallen out of favor with the scouts during a particular draft year. If history has shown us anything is that one so & so year in a player's draft year is not the end of the world. I also understand this is not suppose to be the deepest draft in recent history, but I think I'll reserve my judgement on this to 2-3 years down the road.

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Old
04-11-2004, 07:55 PM
  #17
Cerebral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windowlicker
Exactly. I'd love Lowe to work some magic, use our 14th pick as the centerpiece of a deal to move us into the territory where we can draft someone like Ladd/Tukkonen. (Outside of unforeseen situations, those 2 will be gone by the 14th choice). But I would hold onto our Philly pick, and here's why. Between the 1997 and 2001 draft, the following players were chosen in the 25th-30th overall position:

'97 25th Brendan Morrow
'98 25th Jiri Fischer
26th Mike Van Ryn
27th Scott Gomez
29th Jonathan Cheechoo
'99 26th Martin Havlat
27th Ari Ahonen
'00 26th Brian Sutherby
28th Justin Williams
30th Jeff Taffe
'01 27th Jeff Woywitka

That's not a bad amount of talent. These are usually the spots reserved for teams which finish high in the regular season and/or have a successfull playoff run. Chances are they can take a small gamble on a high risk/high reward selection (something the Oilers have recently done with Mikhnov/Niinimaki at much lower positions), or a player that for some reason has fallen out of favor with the scouts during a particular draft year. If history has shown us anything is that one so & so year in a player's draft year is not the end of the world. I also understand this is not suppose to be the deepest draft in recent history, but I think I'll reserve my judgement on this to 2-3 years down the road.
One key thing to keep in mind though: the teams that finish with draft picks in the 25-30 range usually have very strong scouting departments. Teams like Colorado and New Jersey continually select great players in those lower spots and this has a lot to do with their scouting staff in addition to their selection of high-risk players. I do think we can get a very strong player with Philly's pick though.. I'd be tempted to grab a goaltender like Dubnyk if we can snag a decent offensive player by either trading up/using our own pick.

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04-11-2004, 08:08 PM
  #18
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I agree with both of you. i would trade up for a chance at Tukonen/Ladd/Picard using NHL ready players (don't trade the farm), like Isbister, Horcoff, Chimera, if not package up a Dman like Smith and our 1st get say Florida's first along with a young offensive dman like Krajcek. But use our Philly pick for a goalie like Dubnyk then Sersen in the second (maybe Hensick). If Dubnyk is not around in the late first, a Dman like Green, or a high end ricky sniper like Lisin, Radulov, or Sindel. then in the second pick Ellis in the second if that was the case.

GXL

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04-11-2004, 08:11 PM
  #19
windowlicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerebral
One key thing to keep in mind though: the teams that finish with draft picks in the 25-30 range usually have very strong scouting departments. Teams like Colorado and New Jersey continually select great players in those lower spots and this has a lot to do with their scouting staff in addition to their selection of high-risk players. I do think we can get a very strong player with Philly's pick though.. I'd be tempted to grab a goaltender like Dubnyk if we can snag a decent offensive player by either trading up/using our own pick.
I would loovee to find a databse of comparable scouting budgets. I subscribe to the idea that drafts are still a 'crapshoot'. I still refuse to believe that the Sens knew something everyone else did'nt in '99 when they took Havlat, or Detroit taking Datsyuk at 171 in '98, or Zetterberg at 210 overall in '99.
If Hudler goes on to a very productive career, Detroit's scouting budget had nothing to do with him playing for them. He was passed up 30 times in the 1st round, and again 27 times in the 2nd round. Everyone knew he was a producer, but also everyone knew he was about as big as an elf. Detroit was willing to take the risk because they have enough depth and no pick will either make or brake them.

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04-11-2004, 08:56 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windowlicker
I would loovee to find a databse of comparable scouting budgets. I subscribe to the idea that drafts are still a 'crapshoot'. I still refuse to believe that the Sens knew something everyone else did'nt in '99 when they took Havlat, or Detroit taking Datsyuk at 171 in '98, or Zetterberg at 210 overall in '99.
If Hudler goes on to a very productive career, Detroit's scouting budget had nothing to do with him playing for them. He was passed up 30 times in the 1st round, and again 27 times in the 2nd round. Everyone knew he was a producer, but also everyone knew he was about as big as an elf. Detroit was willing to take the risk because they have enough depth and no pick will either make or brake them.
The draft is a very big crapshoot. However, you have to wonder how a team like New Jersey manages to nab high end players year after year without fail. It could be that they're just lucky but I believe there has to be more to it than that.

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04-11-2004, 09:15 PM
  #21
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JDD - In my opinion he will make the NHL as a pretty damn good back-up.
Mike Morrison - back up potential. The NHL might be in his future.
Kristian Antilla- Euro or AHL goalie. He won't make the big club.
Glenn Fisher - AHl back-up or starter. career AHL'er.

Semenov - a 2nd or 3rd defenseman in the NHL.
Woywitka - a 2nd pairing Dman in the NHL
Allen - fringe defenseman. 5th or 6th defenseman at best.
Greene - could be a top 2 or a bottom 2 depending. Will make the NHL for sure.
Svensk - AHL'er. won't make the NHL.
Smith - Good AHL'er. NHL looks dim.
Koltsov - Will stay in Europe.

MA Bergeron - 5th ot 6th pairing. PP quarterback. Will be dispensabe when the more complete defenseman make the club.

Doug Lynch - Could very well be our next PP quaterback.
Alexei Mikhnov - 2nd line LW. Brad Isbister part II.
JF Jacques - bottom 6 forward. I see him being a bigger Moreau.
Eddie Caron - May not make the NHL at all. Has talent but he didnt play for a year.
Colin McDonald - That Bill Guerin comparison is BS. He's ore like Mike LeClerc.
Stortini - It will be time to Part ways with Laraque when he makes the Oilers.
Brad Winchester - bottom 6 role player. will make the NHl. not an impact player.

Ales Hemsky - Will not be as good as Kovalev but will put up 60+points yearly
Rita - 2nd line winger. Energy player on a line with Torres.
Salmelainen - Bottom 6 role player. Unfortunately he wil be disposed of when the bigger players take his spot in the roster.
Umicevic/Joukov - Could be the Oilers version of Dats and Zets...or not. so don't hold your breath.
Henrich - talented but will not be in the Oilers top 6. He'll be traded or be a role player.

Torres - Will play on a line with Rita centered by Stoll. An energy line if you will.
Niinimaki - I don't think he'll make it to NA. He's too raw and i think he was a waste of a good pick.
Brodziak - A huge steal for the Oilers. Will be a good 3rd line center. Bran Rolston Part II
Stoll - 3rd line centerman. future captain.
MA Pouliot -nothing more than a second liner. He's nothing special.
Johansson - Steal. Could turn into a really solid scorer.
Bishai - Career AHL'er. Will get some call ups.

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04-11-2004, 10:13 PM
  #22
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Guy,

Remember, Getzlaf and Parise both slipped way down in the draft compared to where we thought they'd go. We can never know for sure

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04-11-2004, 10:19 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outKast
JDD - In my opinion he will make the NHL as a pretty damn good back-up.
Mike Morrison - back up potential. The NHL might be in his future.
Kristian Antilla- Euro or AHL goalie. He won't make the big club.
Glenn Fisher - AHl back-up or starter. career AHL'er.

Semenov - a 2nd or 3rd defenseman in the NHL.
Woywitka - a 2nd pairing Dman in the NHL
Allen - fringe defenseman. 5th or 6th defenseman at best.
Greene - could be a top 2 or a bottom 2 depending. Will make the NHL for sure.
Svensk - AHL'er. won't make the NHL.
Smith - Good AHL'er. NHL looks dim.
Koltsov - Will stay in Europe.

MA Bergeron - 5th ot 6th pairing. PP quarterback. Will be dispensabe when the more complete defenseman make the club.

Doug Lynch - Could very well be our next PP quaterback.
Alexei Mikhnov - 2nd line LW. Brad Isbister part II.
JF Jacques - bottom 6 forward. I see him being a bigger Moreau.
Eddie Caron - May not make the NHL at all. Has talent but he didnt play for a year.
Colin McDonald - That Bill Guerin comparison is BS. He's ore like Mike LeClerc.
Stortini - It will be time to Part ways with Laraque when he makes the Oilers.
Brad Winchester - bottom 6 role player. will make the NHl. not an impact player.

Ales Hemsky - Will not be as good as Kovalev but will put up 60+points yearly
Rita - 2nd line winger. Energy player on a line with Torres.
Salmelainen - Bottom 6 role player. Unfortunately he wil be disposed of when the bigger players take his spot in the roster.
Umicevic/Joukov - Could be the Oilers version of Dats and Zets...or not. so don't hold your breath.
Henrich - talented but will not be in the Oilers top 6. He'll be traded or be a role player.

Torres - Will play on a line with Rita centered by Stoll. An energy line if you will.
Niinimaki - I don't think he'll make it to NA. He's too raw and i think he was a waste of a good pick.
Brodziak - A huge steal for the Oilers. Will be a good 3rd line center. Bran Rolston Part II
Stoll - 3rd line centerman. future captain.
MA Pouliot -nothing more than a second liner. He's nothing special.
Johansson - Steal. Could turn into a really solid scorer.
Bishai - Career AHL'er. Will get some call ups.
I'm extremely confused by some of your ratings. You say Johansson could turn into a solid scorer yet he's likely not even going to be playing in the Swedish Elite League next year due to lack of production. I don't really ever see Lynch being a true powerplay quarterback, he just doesn't seem like that kind of player. He could end up playing some big minutes on our powerplay but I don't ever see him becoming a Lidstrom type guy back there. Why is Pouliot nothing special? Likewise, why don't you think Niinimaki will ever make it over to NA? He is raw but the Oilers knew that when they drafted him.. I've been encouraged by a lot of the news I've read about Jesse of late (except the post by someone saying he probably won't come over next year). Just curious, have you seen a lot of these guys play before?

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04-11-2004, 11:29 PM
  #24
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You're the one that mentioned Lynch and Lidstom in the smae sentence not me. For that you should be flamed. Secondly, I have watch lots of games on the score and 2 or 3 on CTV sportnet. All those games i saw that clearly, he can run a power play effectively with his boming shot.

Johansson is a talented player and a 9th rounder. I think that if and when he makes the NHL he will be very effective. Maybre i'm just really high on him.

Poulliot i've seen play at the Prospects game and team Canada 2 years ago when he amassed all those assists. He's no Ales Hemsky and he doesn't have top end talent. It's questionablew if he even makes the second line. He relies on vision and hockey smarts to get the job done but saying that, he's far from a natural scorer. We passed on Parise and Getzlaf and chose this guy. The first on the Oilers list was Steve Bernier. He was chosen, so they moved down to get Poulliot. in my opinion Bernier, Parise > Poulliot.

Niinimaki is raw. He should have been taken in the second round. There were to many better players to choose from. Not worth the risk. Screw the Forsberg comparissons. That's an insult to the best player in hockey. His game is not as complete. I like his wheels but even Sean Bergeneim is better than him. It's like NJ when they drafted Foster. No one expected that, all the sudden, where's Foster now?

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04-12-2004, 01:14 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outKast
You're the one that mentioned Lynch and Lidstom in the smae sentence not me. For that you should be flamed. Secondly, I have watch lots of games on the score and 2 or 3 on CTV sportnet. All those games i saw that clearly, he can run a power play effectively with his boming shot.
I wasn't comparing them in terms of skill.. I was simply saying that I'm not entirely sold on Lynch being a go-to powerplay quarterback in the NHL like Lidstrom or Blake. He seems to be more of a two-way type defenceman that could find his way onto the powerplay - I don't think he'll be too much better than Brewer or Staios in that respect though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outKast
Johansson is a talented player and a 9th rounder. I think that if and when he makes the NHL he will be very effective. Maybre i'm just really high on him.
Johansson had a very good WJC's.. besides that, he struggled all year in the top Swedish league and it looks like he'll be dropping down to the lower league next season. I'm iffy as to if he'll ever make his way over to NA.. I don't think he'll ever be a scorer at the NHL level though like you stated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outKast
Poulliot i've seen play at the Prospects game and team Canada 2 years ago when he amassed all those assists. He's no Ales Hemsky and he doesn't have top end talent. It's questionablew if he even makes the second line. He relies on vision and hockey smarts to get the job done but saying that, he's far from a natural scorer. We passed on Parise and Getzlaf and chose this guy. The first on the Oilers list was Steve Bernier. He was chosen, so they moved down to get Poulliot. in my opinion Bernier, Parise > Poulliot.
I personally think he has top end potential.. he's averaging nearly 2 points/game in the QMJHL playoffs which is very good (especially on a team where the primary offensive option is Boy Wonder). I won't get into the whole Parise/Pouliot debate again because that = but I definitely have higher hopes for him than you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outKast
Niinimaki is raw. He should have been taken in the second round. There were to many better players to choose from. Not worth the risk. Screw the Forsberg comparissons. That's an insult to the best player in hockey. His game is not as complete. I like his wheels but even Sean Bergeneim is better than him. It's like NJ when they drafted Foster. No one expected that, all the sudden, where's Foster now?
I think it's a little quick to write off Niinimaki. He hasn't even played in North America yet.. how can you say he is raw when it is doubtful you've seen him play more than 3 or so games a couple years back (I'm guessing you weren't watching the first few Ilves Tampere games). I don't think he'll be Peter Forsberg but there is definitely potential for him to be a solid 2-way centerman if he can recover from his injury. You don't hear much about Foster because he has been injured nearly every season - it is not really a valid comparison as Foster showed a lot of potential prior to his injuries.

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