Showing posts with label Leon Draisatl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leon Draisatl. Show all posts

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer questions in 'Oilerland'

As mentioned in my last blog, we will take some time today to discuss some questions that are out there in Oilerland. The questions range from great ones to ridiculous ones. I am no expert but will take the time to shoot off my views and perspective to you in the best way I know how, through Oilersjambalaya.

It may be a long time off of the ice for the Oilers but their fans feel it even more. At least the players got their pay cheques and can enjoy some rest but for fans of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club, it has been more of the same and every year they don't make the playoffs it gets more and more difficult to stomach and enjoy supporting.

Oilers fans carry a very broad spectrum of views. You have the fanatical 'were going to win the cup real soon' ones, to the 'this team sucks and will never win the cup' folks. In between you have the bandwagon jumpers and the casual 'ho-hum' we will see how it is going 20 games into the season fan.

Here are some interesting questions being asked about the Edmonton Oilers hockey club.

What is going to happen with picking up 1 more centerman for that pivot position?

There is a small % chance that MacT finds a last minute tryout for a centerman to come to training camp but likely it will be Lander, Arcobello and Draisaitl fighting it out for the final two spots on the club. The only way a decent centerman (one that is a shoe-in to play better then what they already got) comes into camp is if MacT can pull off a trade due to a team's restraints but more likely a third line centre who can occasionally fill in for a 2nd line. No sense bringing in another Boyd Gordon type player we already got him.

Will Ramsey make any difference with the Oilers coaching staff?

I find this question interesting as there are two frames of thought. We can say yes but then there are those who say the assistant coach has very little impact on the game. If that were true then we would have to argue that moving out Smith and Buchberger was not needed. Why? Cause if assistant coaches don't change the outcome of games why bother ever changing them? IMO, assistant coaches are more about team synergy. If the coaching team connects well and is in the same wheelhouse then it's a recipe for success and that is what the Oilers are looking for, the right chemistry. Yes, I think Ramsey brings to the team what Renney had brought and even more.

Can the Oilers make the playoffs this year?

Absolutely they can but will they? I do give them a 50/50 chance of making it happen but it will depend how they get out of the gate. It will require a 75% winning percentage over the first 20 games. So 15 wins and 5 losses? Yup! The consistency early on would be a morale boost and confidence booster and likely would show themselves they can win. Later in the season could prove difficult but if your winning 75% of the games 25% of the way into the season I doubt you fall below the 55% the rest of the way. That would give the Oilers a final record approximately about and 48-32-1-1. That would come to about 97 point season. That my friends is a playoff spot. Do I think it will happen? Nope, I suspect they come out with about 11 wins, 7 losses and 2 overtime losses giving them 24 points in their first 20 games. If they start at that % of winning only I would guess they pick up slightly as the season goes on and end up with a more likely record of 46-36-1-1. That would give them 93 points. That would put them right at the 7-10 place finish in the western conference.

What is the chances that the Oilers will be a lottery team again in 2015 when Conner McDavid is available?

Read last question and answer again. No way on God's green earth does Edmonton select the #1 overall pick this next year unless they traded for it and that will not be happening this year. Could they get lucky and draw his name still. Yes, but maybe a 2% chance it happens which means, nope!

Will and should Draisaitl make the Edmonton Oilers if they don't bring in another centre to compete for the 2nd and 3rd line spot?

Leon Draisaitl will and should make the Edmonton Oilers hockey club this season. Please don't keep giving me the he is too young and the Oilers are wasting his ELC and he needs more time to develop crap. If the Oilers had more high end centres in their organization then I would say yes he would be going back, however even bringing in a centre like Jordon Stall would still have Draisaitl fighting for a 3rd line role with Arcobello and Lander. Guess who wins in that scenario? Yeah, Draisaitl has stayed in North America to train and be ready in camp. He knows has development coaches who will be working on the area's of weakness in his game and has a leg up on most his competition already in his size and skill. As long as he can get 12-14 mins a game he will do fine. He already showed well the the WHC playing for Germany and handled himself like a man (wait, he is a man and is built like a pretty big man).

Can Bogdan Yakimov replace what Anton Lander was originally thought to bring to the Oilers club?

Very good question! As much as I always liked Lander, he may be moved to another team as a depth prospect real soon. This is his last year to make or break the Oilers. Yakimov has a ways to go to still catch up but his size and skill looks to be Bogdan's asset. 1 year development and I think we see Bogdan playing regularly for the Oilers franchise. Say goodbye to Lander and hello Yakimov! Yeah I believe he is the new replacement of hope as the Oilers future 3rd line centre. That is...for now anyway. If Bogdan is too play in that role for the Oilers it will be easy tell in how he competes and fares this season. a bad year development wise would derail that plan altogether. I know some players take more time to development but my 'gut' tells me we will know pretty quick if Yakimov is the real deal.

What's your take on these questions? Where do you feel the Oilers are headed heading into this 2014/15 season? Give us your take or perspective even if it's different. It's a slow summer folks, we need something to discuss. If your reading this it means your still hungry for more hockey talk and if your not reading this....yeah exactly, no need to answer cause you didn't read the article anyway.

My next series of blogs we will start to look further into the prospects, 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series. In the meantime keep enjoying your summer and we will touch base soon again.

You can follow me on twitter for more information on prospects and hockey related news at

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Minute 2014 NHL Draft thoughts...

Not going to take much of you Oiler fans time with this post. I have been asked several times who I believe are the top priorities for the Oilers to draft should they be on the board at #3.

I believe the Draft priority will be:
#1. Aaron Ekblad
#2. Sam reinhart
#3. Leon Draisaitl

This would mean, no matter what, they will be drafting on of these three players in just over a hour and fifteen minutes.

There is a possibility of a trade to move into second round with using a prospect and/or a current player along with a later draft pick. It likely hinges on if that team makes a trade or not with another team for a current roster player.

Follow me on twitter at if you do not already. I will be tweeting live during the Draft. Happy to converse and talk during the entire draft.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

MOCK Draft 2014 NHL - who do the Oilers take?

Just finished last night my 2014 NHL Mock Draft. As promised to several of you on twitter and here at, I would post the day before draft day in Philadelphia.

Here are my results……

          # Team Player
1. Florida Panthers Sam Reinhart
2. Buffalo Sabres Sam Bennett
3. Edmonton Oilers  Aaron Ekblad
4. Calgary Flames Michael DalColle
5. New York Islanders Leon Draisaitl
6. Vancouver Canucks Nick Ritchie
7. Carolina Hurricanes Hayden Fleury
8. Toronto Maple Leafs Nikolaj Ehlers
9. Winnipeg Jets Jake Virtanen
10. Anaheim Ducks Brendan Perlini
11. Nashville Predators William Nylander
12. Arizona Coyotes Alex Tuch
13. Washington Capitals Jared McCann
14. Dallas Stars Ivan Barbashev
15. Detroit Red Wings Kasperi Kapanen
16. Columbus Blue Jackets Travis Sanheim
17. Philadelphia Flyers Roland McKeown
18. Minnesota Wild Kevin Fiala
19. Tampa Bay Lightning Julius Honka
20. San Jose Sharks Dylan Larkin
21. St.Louis Blues Anthony DeAngelo
22. Pittsburgh Penquins Nikolay Goldobin
23. Colorado Avalanche Joshua Ho-Sang
24. Anaheim Ducks Conner Bleackley
25. Boston Bruins Adrian Kempe
26. Montreal Canadiens Jakub Vrana
27. Chicago BlackHawks Nick Schmaltz
28. Tampa Bay Lightning Robert Fabbri
29. Los Angeles Kings Nikita Scerbak
30. New Jersey Devils Thatcher Demko

In the meantime you can follow me on twitter on more NHL talk, rumours and mostly prospect info on the NHL Entry Draft

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

'REVS 2014 Top 15 NHL Prospect Rankings' (Final Rankings)

Way back in August of last year I put out my rankings for this coming draft. It's always interesting how half way through a season people like to rip apart a ranking list but have no idea how much more difficult it is to rank players before they even start the new season going into their draft year. I was quite pleased the past 3 seasons with my early pre-season rankings (10 months in advance) out and once again am happy that I was able to still anticipate most the top selections far enough in advance.

Here was my official ranking to start the season back in August 10/13;
1.Sam Reinhart
2.Aaron Ekblad
3.William Nylander
4.Roland McKeown
5.Jake Virtanen
6.Blake Clarke
7.Nick Ritchie
8.Leon Draisatl
9.Michael Dal Colle
10.Jakub Vrana
11.Ivan Barbashev
12.Jared McCann
13.Anton Karlsson
14.Joshua Ho-Sang
15.Sam Bennett 

Honourable mentions:
Oskar Lindblom
Haydn Fleury
Nick Schmaltz

Well, the season of hockey has been completed. Tournaments are done, playoffs are finished. Combine is past us and now players are being interviewed by NHL teams this week. The draft is just over a week away and now we are ready to see whose name is called out by which team a week from this coming Friday.  I have 4 players being moved out of the top 15 with one of them being put in honourable mention while having 1 from my honourable mention last August being moved into the Top 15. 

NOTE: Some may question Sam Bennett in the ranking and that is fair, but last August you would be hard pressed to find any rankings with him in the top 15. I have moved him from #15 to #6. Blake Clarke was my biggest disappointment and scouts were shocked his season provided a move backwards rather then forward. This year's Nick Ebert? Time will tell. The biggest change for me was putting Nikolaj Ehlers at #4 when he was not on my last August radar. Truth is, he was a player, I just plainly missed and didn't follow or hear of him much before this season coming into Halifax. Many of his points were provided without Jonathan Drouin so his point totals are not misrepresented IMO. William Nylander dropping had more to due to the lack of point production he was able to show this year but in fairness to Nylander he still has great skill but was tossed around several club teams in Sweden.

The lists I put out are based on "Best Player Available" on NHL Draft day. That is the criteria  for my selection in the Draft Rankings

FINAL RANKINGS for REVS 2014 - Top 15 NHL Prospect Rankings:

1. Sam Reinhart
2.Aaron Ekblad
3. Leon Draisaitl
4.Nikolaj Ehlers
5.Michael Dal Colle
6. Sam Bennett
7. Jake Virtanen
8. Nick Ritchie
9. Brendan Perlini
10.Haydn Fleury
11.Kasperi Kapanen
12.Ivan Barbashev
13. William Nylander
14. Rolan McKeown
15. Jared McCann

Honourable Mention:
Joshua Ho-Sang
Kevin Fiala
Alex Tuch

Questions, comments? Disagree, agree? Let me know, always willing to dissect the players bit by bit. After all, isn't that what makes this so fun? 

I will be posting a NHL MOCK Draft next Thursday the night before the Draft. I still think the Oilers will be selecting one of Aaron Ekblad or Leon Draisaitl this NHL Entry Draft and it is very likely they will be playing the 2014/15 season full time with the Oilers past the 9 game mark.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What to make of the 2014 NHL Draft Top 4 Prospects?

The city of Edmonton and Oiler fans everywhere are buzzing about this years NHL Entry Draft coming up at the end of June. Granted there is not much else to be focusing in on with the exception of the hiring of Craig Ramsey yesterday as a assistant coach.

The difference this year is the unpredictability of who the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres will be picking and what will be left for the Edmonton Oilers. From the best information I can gather the Oilers so far have the players ranked in this order if they could select their Top 4 rankings. They will select the highest ranking player they have listed and be happy doing so.

#1. Aaron Ekblad
#2. Sam Reinhart
#3. Leon Draisaitl
#4. Sam Bennett

The only thing that may stand out different for the Oilers from most of the NHL is where they rank Draisaitl. Very few teams rank him in their top 3 and would much sooner have Bennett in that slot. Until recently I was pretty sure needing offence the Panthers would for sure select Reinhart or Bennett but a recently posted article here may tell us different. Ekblad may be a risk but Florida even last year did not go with the high offensive output of Drouin instead selected the big man-child from Finland. It is very likely this could be the situation this year and a franchise defensemen is not such a bad prize to grab.

Buffalo is up next. On their website they specially linked this video to their site evaluating players at the draft. Reading too much into this? I don't think so. There is lots of other opinions and this video could be a tell they want Sam Reinhart. Should he be off the board then it's highly likely a low scoring team like Buffalo will go with Bennett. 

So if the Oilers do have their rankings as listed above by me, it's almost a certainty that Reinhart will be gone in the top 2 picks regardless. That leaves their list as they pick up Ekblad at the #3 spot if Florida takes Reinhart but if Ekblad goes to Florida and Buffalo takes Reinhart, then the Oilers will select Aaron Ekblad.

I am pretty sure when the Oilers walk to the podium June 27th they will be selecting a large, skilled and smart franchise Defensemen in EKBLAD or a potential #2 large bodied, strong, skilled Center in DRAISAITL. Either way, the Oilers will be getting bigger and more skilled in one of their most desperate needs moving forward. It's a good year and Oiler fans have something to be excited about.

NEXT UP? My Year End 'REVS 2014 Top 15 NHL Prospect Rankings'

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's time to decide on "Leon Draisaitl"

Ok, before you slaughter me here, I am interrupting my weekly article here at on the Oilers breakdown by position in light of the upcoming draft. Take a look here  to understand my reasoning on why we should take Leon Draisaitl with the #3 pick. Right now we will not have Sam Reinhart available at the #3 spot regardless of what your hearing, he will be gone. Maybe, just maybe we have Aaron Ekblad available. I believe he is a potential #2 d-man and that is hard to come by but our problem is we can't wait for the 2-3 years it takes for him to grow into being a star a=in the NHL. The fans will have none of it. We also need a #2 center and we need it now. Nothing seems available without giving up a valuable part of this franchise and we need a larger bigger centermen to take on tougher centre's in this league. Could Leon Draisaitl be that man and start this coming season? I believe he is ready and at worst he has one more year to develop if not able to shine in training camp and in 9 exhibition games.

This team can't afford to finish worse then 20th next season without huge backlash (you can take that to the bank) and Leon may be the best option. If you read the above article you would probably agree Sam Bennett will not be the option. I personally believe he is Gagner2 in the making and on a team needing more and picking at #3 has other needs.

I predict Leon Draisaitl will be a Edmonton Oiler come the day of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Like it or not, he is probably our best option. Got a comment , leave it in the comments section and we can discuss this more.

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

REVS Top 15 2014 NHL Prospects #9. Michael Dal Colle

 REVS 2014 NHL Draft Prospects (August 10/13)
1.Sam Reinhart
2.Aaron Ekblad
3.William Nylander
4.Roland McKeown
5.Jake Virtanen
6.Blake Clarke
7.Nick Ritchie
8.Leon Draisatl
9.Michael Dal Colle
10.Jakub Vrana
11.Ivan Barbashev
12.Jared McCann
13.Anton Karlsson
14.Joshua Ho-Sang
15.Sam Bennett 

Honourable mentions:
Oskar Lindblom
Haydn Fleury
Nick Schmaltz

RECAP update of players we have looked at
(stats official as of February 12/14)
Sam Reinhart
6'1, 183 lbs
Kootney Ice- Games 44 Goals 29 Assists 49 Points 78
Canada U20- Games 7 Goals 2 Assists 3 Points 5

Aaron Ekblad
6'4, 216 lbs
Barrie Colts- Games 42 Goals 19 Assists 23 Points 42
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 2 Assists 2 Points 4
Canada U20- Games 7 Goals 1 Assists 1 Points 2

William Nylander
5'10, 170 lbs
MODO J20- Games 1 Goals 0 Assists 0 Points 0
MODO- Games 11 Goals 0 Assists 2 Points 2
 Rögle- Games 18 Goals 4 Assists 4 Points 8
Södertälje Games 12 Goals 9 Assists 6 Points 15
Sweden U18- Games 4 Goals 4 Assists 2 Points 6

Roland McKeown
6'1, 195 lbs
Kingston Frontenacs- Games 50 Goals 8 Assists 27 Points 35
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 0 Assists 1 Points 1

Jake Virtanen
6'1, 210 lbs
Kingston Frontenacs- Games 56 Goals 35 Assists 19 Points 54
Canada U18- Games 5 Goals 0 Assists 1 Points 1

Blake Clarke
6'1, 190 lbs
CHL- Games 40 Goals 2 Assists 7 Points 9

Nick Ritchie
6'3, 236 lbs
CHL-Peterborough Petes - Games 46 Goals 29 Assists 27 Points 56

Leon Drasatl
6'1, 198 lbs
Prince Albert Raiders - Games 47 Goals 22 Assists 45 Points 67

The player I listed in August at #9.
Michael Dal Colle
6'2, 180 lbs
Oshawa Generals - Games 54 Goals 33 Assists 45 Points 78

Dal Colle played for the gold medal-winning Team Canada U18 team in the 2013 before returning to Oshawa for his second OHL season. Playing like a a bull in a china shop he uses his natural talents well. Scouts say he has a  imposing frame and already shows great balance and strength on his skates. While 6'2 in height, his weight would be a concern for me to play at the next level and be imposing still. He does play a strong  two-way game, battles hard and shows soft hands around the net.
Many consider Michael to have High-end offensive tools to go with a great drive. Some have said he plays a style like Ryan Getzlaf but IMO it is more style then skill. Dal Colle likes to be creating his chances off the cycle and use his taller frame to an advantage. Getting to open spots on the ice well, he also utilizes coming off the wall and driving to the net with aggression. If he adds more size and strength to his frame, he's going to become a force. Michael tells a writer "I'm always looking to get faster, quicker," he said. "That was my weakness growing up. I was always a little bit sluggish. I still need to get bigger. I'm only 180 pounds, so if I want to be a successful at the next level I need to put on some muscle mass."
Michael is a left hander center and is considered a top 5-6 player for sure. If the Oilers were to select him he is more of a 2 year project likely. Another year in jr hockey followed by 1 season in the AHL should be just what the dr ordered. It's unlikely he is selected in a Top 3 pick and that is where they are sitting to pick at worst if a lower ranked team were to win the lottery draft in 2014. Good player but would fall in the second group of good players in this June's draft.

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