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Should the oilers take Valibik at 14?

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05-30-2004, 07:51 PM
  #1
mamettt
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Should the oilers take Valibik at 14?

So we know Stafford/Picard won't be there at 14 barring a miracle, and I'm not sure if K.lowe and crew would consider taking Radulov (who may not even be available there. So at 14 the oilers could, maybe, pick up one of the two very solid goaltenders (montoya/Schawrz), go after a safe pick like chipchura/bolland, go after a boomm or bust pick like Lisin, or look to defense.

At 14, the best defensmen still available will probably include Thelen, Green, O'neill, Mezaros, Frannson and Valibik. You can never have enough good NHL defensmen, especially given that the forwards at 14 don't really impress much. Also Smith will probably be gone soon, leaving another spot that needs to be filled. Out of these, and remember I'm not sure if all will be available at 14, Green, Oneill, Frannson, and Valibik sound the best to me. Meszaros is a project and Thelen can't play defense. I doubt Frannson will be around at 14, he coudl be, but out of the four there Valibik is certainly the most interesting and I guy I'd really look at.

Why? Certainly the size is great. As I've said many many times, the oilers need to get bigger, stronger, tougher, meaner, and more phyiscal if they want to make it past the 1nd round of the playoffs. It's just a fact. But Valibik backs his size up with strong defensive play. He's a smart player in his own zone, makes big, bone crunching hits, and has a solid first pass. He could be a physical force on our blueline for a long time. He also as a very good attitude and work ethic. As we've seen with Zdeno Chara and Adam Foote, a big defensive defensmen can eat up tons of minutes and mean the world to a franchise perceieved as being "Soft".

The downside to Valibik? He has little offensive upside. However the position is called defensemen for a reason, and if he can bring it every night in his own zone, I'll leave the PP to Bergeron, Brewer and others. Valibik's skating needs work, no doubt, but he made huge strides during the year and, given his size and strength, I think will be something that improves over time. His package is just too good to give up on over concerns about speed. Let's remember, that's what they said about Chara as well. At 14 it may be a little early to take him, but if all the forwards Lowe likes are gone, I could see him trading down two or three spots and getting the big guy, a choice I'd have no problem with at all.


Last edited by mamettt: 05-30-2004 at 08:20 PM.
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05-30-2004, 07:57 PM
  #2
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If the Oilers decided to pick one of those defensman there, I'd prefer Thelon, although Valabik is a solid pick too. I think though that the Oilers coaching staff would be able to get the defense out of Thelon but not able to get the offense from Valabik, making Thelon a more interesting prospect from an Oilers point of view. That's just my opinion though of course, and could end up the other way around completely.

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05-30-2004, 08:12 PM
  #3
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from the way the draft talent appears to me, it seems likely the BPA at each of EDM's picks in the first round will be a D, less likely to be either a F or G but certainly still possible.

Then again, in a draft deep in D (2002) at EDM's draft spot, they went off the board with Niinimaki, so who knows?

If teh BPA happens to be a D both times, I'd like them to pick 2 D in the first round. Here's a question though:

suppose EDM drafts a goalie at 14, thinking he's the BPA by far at that spot - can't pass him up. Then they get ready to draft at PHI's pick, and their BPA again is a G.

What do you do? Draft the G? Take a F or D lower on your list? Trade down?

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05-30-2004, 08:46 PM
  #4
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Good thread.

If we list the worst case scenario for the Oilers come draft day, like this:

1. Ovechkin
2. Malkin
3. Barker
4. Olesz
5. Ladd
6. Tukonen
7. Schremp
8. Smid
9. Picard
10. Stafford
11. Schwarz
12. Radulov
13. Lisin

Is that our worst case scenario?

If so, that leaves:

G-Montoya, Dubnyk
D-Meszaros, Thelen, Valabik, Green
F-Chipchura, Wolski, Korpikoski, Sindel

There's still good players left, but who is the bpa? The three that fit best into KP's bpa definition imo are Green, Chipchura and Korpikoski.

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05-30-2004, 08:51 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
from the way the draft talent appears to me, it seems likely the BPA at each of EDM's picks in the first round will be a D, less likely to be either a F or G but certainly still possible.

Then again, in a draft deep in D (2002) at EDM's draft spot, they went off the board with Niinimaki, so who knows?

If teh BPA happens to be a D both times, I'd like them to pick 2 D in the first round. Here's a question though:

suppose EDM drafts a goalie at 14, thinking he's the BPA by far at that spot - can't pass him up. Then they get ready to draft at PHI's pick, and their BPA again is a G.

What do you do? Draft the G? Take a F or D lower on your list? Trade down?
Depends how high that F or D is on the list. If the G is again their BPA on the list by FAR, then IMO I would trade down.

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05-30-2004, 08:56 PM
  #6
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Chipchura sounds like a guy that KP is usually interested in - however... not as a first rounder - the Oilers have went more with higher end (if lower % of making it) with guys like Mikhnov, Niinimaki, Pouliot. Somebody should set up a poll of your list though (because that's pretty much the right list IMO) to see who everybody thinks is the BPA.

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05-30-2004, 08:56 PM
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In that case LT, I would be thrilled to nab Wolski with that pick... he's just one of those guys who can be a game breaker.

He doesn't have a bad work ethic, he just doesn't initiate physical play, nothing wrong with that, but it seems to be the big knock on him.

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05-30-2004, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dawgbone
In that case LT, I would be thrilled to nab Wolski with that pick... he's just one of those guys who can be a game breaker.

He doesn't have a bad work ethic, he just doesn't initiate physical play, nothing wrong with that, but it seems to be the big knock on him.
From what I hear Wolski also can't play a lick of defense. But I guess defence can be taught more than offence. Out of that list I would personally take Montoya.

That would solidify our goaltending situation for many years to come.

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05-30-2004, 10:54 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamettt
Out of these, and remember I'm not sure if all will be available at 14, Green, Oneill, Frannson, and Valibik sound the best to me. Meszaros is a project and Thelen can't play defense. I doubt Frannson will be around at 14, he coudl be, but out of the four there Valibik is certainly the most interesting and I guy I'd really look at.
I don't see Fransson going in the top 15 at all. He could be around for Philly's pick. Out of those six, I'd definitely like Thelen the best, and he's almost a lock to be the 2nd d-man taken in the draft. But if you're going to take a d-man at 14, I'll throw another name in the mix: Ladislav Smid, who I'd probably prefer to guys like O'Neill and Valabik (and probably Fransson).

That said, I don't know if it's worth taking any of these guys at 14 (with the exception of Thelen). If none of Picard, Schremp, Stafford, or Wolski, for example, are available at 14, then it might be time to consider trading down.

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05-31-2004, 12:10 AM
  #10
speeds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Good thread.

If we list the worst case scenario for the Oilers come draft day, like this:

1. Ovechkin
2. Malkin
3. Barker
4. Olesz
5. Ladd
6. Tukonen
7. Schremp
8. Smid
9. Picard
10. Stafford
11. Schwarz
12. Radulov
13. Lisin

Is that our worst case scenario?

If so, that leaves:

G-Montoya, Dubnyk
D-Meszaros, Thelen, Valabik, Green
F-Chipchura, Wolski, Korpikoski, Sindel

There's still good players left, but who is the bpa? The three that fit best into KP's bpa definition imo are Green, Chipchura and Korpikoski.
It seems like, from the mocks I've read here, Thalen would likely be in that consensus 13 with Lisin slipping out.

To me though, the answer to "who is BPA" is easy there (at teh moment anyways, always changing )- Meszaros is in my top 7. He doesn't seem like the kind of player EDM drafts though, and I could see him going before 14 anyways. Even if he does, it just means someone else slips.

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05-31-2004, 12:55 AM
  #11
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Basing my opinion entirely upon scouting reports and word of mouth, I would not take Valabik at 14. The general consensus is that his decision making is just, well, slow. Smarts is not something you can teach, and I know you can't teach size either, but still. Im picturing something a lot like Cory Cross.

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05-31-2004, 01:13 AM
  #12
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If the Oilers are deciding between Thelen and O'Neill (should they decide to take a Dman with the 14th pick), my money would be on Thelen.

While I like O'Neill, IMO he wasn't as impressive in the latter half of the 2003-04 season as he was in the first half (which may explain why his stock has fallen somewhat). I have two concerns with O'Neill: his overall consistency and his physical game. You never know which you'll get on a given night. One night he'll be playing out of his mind and hitting everyone NOT in the Irish colors and the next night he'll simply be vitually non-existent.

I like Thelen better because he seems to be the complete package. He's a terrific skater (not that O'Neill is bad), great with the puck, and can lay the brutal hits. He plays both ends of the ice really well.

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05-31-2004, 01:33 AM
  #13
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If Thelen is available at 14, the Oilers should jump all over him. He fits a key need for this hockey team and adds good size and physical game. Great package which they simply should not pass on.

Valabik is an intriguing project but imo the Oilers have too many other priority needs which must be addressed. Besides the Oil are currently invested in one big-man project in Semenov and I think between Woywitka, Lynch, and Greene we are well covered in the tough, physical defense prospects.

If not Thelen, then aim for offensive players. I've read online Phoenix has interest in Montoya. While I likely wouldn't take a goalie at 14, I would certainly consider one with the Philly pick. Course my preference remains to move up for a quality player like Barker or Tukonen.

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05-31-2004, 01:42 AM
  #14
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The Oilers won't take a defenseman with the 14th pick. I think they'd definately take Montoya if he was there...but he won't, LA will nab him if he gets that far down (11th). I can see them going for a defenseman at 44th (2nd round). I'm really high on Lepisto, he was just terrific at the WJC and might still be there at 44. I think the Oilers will take the "filling holes" route this year rather than the "best player available" route. Looking at the depth charts it's clear that defense is the strenght of the organisation with Lynch, Woywitka and Greene on the horizon and Bergeron and Semenov already on the big club. I think a guy like Korpikoski or Wolski could fill a hole at forward. Really Rita and Salmo are the only legitimate threats to crack the line-up and we have some guys who are marginal at best (Chimera and Pisani).

I think the Oilers will make a hard push for Tukonen or Stafford. Both are RW with good scoring potential. Columbus might be willing to part with the no.4 pick (much like Tampa did with Pitkanen for Fedotenko and 2-2nd rounders). Stafford would be cheaper, likely falling in the 8-12 spot at the draft, and a team like Anaheim could swap picks with the Oil (9 for 14) with either a player or a pick going the Ducks way. Wouldn't it be neat if the Oilers could land Tukonen and say Nokelainen or Korpikoski at the 25th overall spot? 2/3 of the Finns top line from the W U-18 that dominated this year.

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05-31-2004, 02:17 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky4PM
The Oilers won't take a defenseman with the 14th pick. I think they'd definately take Montoya if he was there...but he won't, LA will nab him if he gets that far down (11th).
Maybe. Maybe not. But with Thelen being a possible franchise dman, he'll be tough to pass up if he falls. What he did as a 17 year old is just amazing. Before a relatively mediocre playoffs for him, he was rated just below Barker in terms of best dmen in the draft. With a good showing, he might have taken that spot away from Cam Barker.

With Lowe's comments in the paper a while back in the discussion with Deslauriers, it doesn't look like he values using a high pick on a goaltender. So it would surprise me to see Lowe opt that route.

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05-31-2004, 02:36 AM
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I think if Oilers are looking to add some goalie depth, that they shoould not wait until one of their later picks, I tend think that Shwartz and Montoya are the "franchise" goalies, with the rest just being solid. now everyone makes the same argument "young goalies are a dime a dozen, and at a a very low premium" but my argument is that even though good young tenders are everywhere, the "franchise" goalies are still a diamond in the ruff, if we are thinking goalie, then go for one of Shwartz or Montoya, and hit the home run.

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05-31-2004, 07:59 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
suppose EDM drafts a goalie at 14, thinking he's the BPA by far at that spot - can't pass him up. Then they get ready to draft at PHI's pick, and their BPA again is a G.

What do you do? Draft the G? Take a F or D lower on your list? Trade down?
Trade down. I have faith in this scouting department, much more so than during the Slats-Fraser Dark Ages of Oilers Scouting.

That said, I'd be comfortable taking a G with that second pick as well. Aside from the added depth, it might create some friendly competition between the two goalies selected, no? (Side note: Has any team taken goalies with its first two picks? I just might look it up...)

I certainly would not take a lower-ranked F or D, as you could--like Lowe says he wanted to do (and did) last year--trade down and still get the guy you want.

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05-31-2004, 08:15 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Tarkus
Trade down. I have faith in this scouting department, much more so than during the Slats-Fraser Dark Ages of Oilers Scouting.

That said, I'd be comfortable taking a G with that second pick as well. Aside from the added depth, it might create some friendly competition between the two goalies selected, no? (Side note: Has any team taken goalies with its first two picks? I just might look it up...)

I certainly would not take a lower-ranked F or D, as you could--like Lowe says he wanted to do (and did) last year--trade down and still get the guy you want.
I'm very sure the Washington Capitals took Olaf Kolzig and Byron Dafoe with their first two picks. Both have had long and reasonably successful NHL careers.

Regarding dropping down, I have never liked this idea. I personally believe it is better to move up to where the blue chip prospects lurk than to hedge one's bet by moving down. Looking back the past several years of Lowe's intent to move up in the draft, it would be amazing to imagine in an Oiler jersey one of the likes of Bowmeester, Pitkanen, Gaborik, or even Lupul. What a difference this team could be with one such blue-chipper in our line-up.

Edit: THN Draft Preview includes very interesting statistical analysis about 'Superstars drafted by Round.'

It reports for the draft years 1979 through 1995 that the First Round netted 13.3% chance of selecting a superstar (and 29% chance of selecting a non-NHLer).

Second round results slip to 3.2% chance of selecting a superstar (while percentage change of selecting a non-NHLer jumped to 57.2%). Third round these results dropped to 1.6% for selecting a superstar while non-NHLer percentage jumps to 72.3%.


Last edited by Behind Enemy Lines: 05-31-2004 at 08:31 PM.
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05-31-2004, 08:54 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Behind Enemy Lines
I'm very sure the Washington Capitals took Olaf Kolzig and Byron Dafoe with their first two picks. Both have had long and reasonably successful NHL careers.
You are correct! They were the Caps' first two picks in the '89 draft. I couldn't find any other similar 1-2 goalie selections by the same team.

Or how about New Jersey's 1990 draft? They selected three goalies who turned out okay--Martin Brodeur, Mike Dunham, and Corey Schwab...

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05-31-2004, 11:10 PM
  #20
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Of the guys likely to be around at #14 - Thelen is the only one who really interests me much. But big dmen who can skate and score are very much at a premium - so I doubt he will be there.

Use the #14 and a guy like Rita to trade up - or even better - trade down for the 2 late first round picks that Washington has. I think we could have great success with 3 late first rounders and a mid second round pick in this draft. Look at what we did in 2002 getting JDD, Stoll and Greene in the second round. While this draft has poor top end talent outside of Ovechkin and Malkin - it's pretty solid in terms of second round material.

I would far rather have a package of guys like Dubnyk, Wheeler and Fransson than just someone like Wolski or Chipchura.

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