Nation Network 2013 Mock Draft: Day 2

Photo: Alaney2k/Wikimedia

Yesterday we asked readers network-wide to vote their choices for the first 10 slots in this year’s entry draft. The results are in; which teams landed which players?

The Top 10

1. Colorado Avalanche: Seth Jones. There was a strong push by Nathan MacKinnon in what most readers see as a two horse race; in the end the potential franchise defenceman won out.

2. Florida Panthers: Nathan MacKinnon. Florida adds a dynamic centre who likely would have been the first overall pick last summer.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin. While there are rumours that the Lightning will go off the board a little and take a chance on Valeri Nichushkin, the voters here play it safe, drafting Jonathan Drouin, the final member of the consensus upper-tier in this year’s draft.

4. Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov. No surprise here either; the big centre had a stellar season in Finland and will become a cornerstone piece in Nashville.

5. Carolina Hurricanes: Valeri Nichushkin. Nichushkin was the first player to really elicit a range of reaction – some had him ranked first overall; others outside the top-10 entirely. Ultimately he goes to Carolina with the fifth overall pick.

6. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan. Calgary is expected to take a big centre, and Monahan certainly qualifies. He is an excellent prospect with a wide range of skills and won a three-way race against Lindholm and Nurse.

7. Edmonton Oilers: Elias Lindholm. This was the single-tightest vote on the board, with Lindholm just squeaking past Nurse in voting. Edmonton adds a high-quality centre, but not size, with this pick.

8. Buffalo Sabres: Darnell Nurse. Nurse falls to the eighth spot, narrowly behind Lindholm but ahead of Shinkaruk by a mile. Buffalo adds a massive defenceman who can play the game and brings snarl.

9. New Jersey Devils: Hunter Shinkaruk. New Jersey had a lot of options here and this was by no means unanimous, but Shinkaruk – the smallish WHL winger known for speed and goal-scoring – was the final choice of our readers.

10. Dallas Stars: Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen ranked significantly higher than 10th overall on some charts, and captures the final spot in our top-10, but not easily. He faced significant challenges from a number of players just outside – in particular Nikita Zadorov, Bo Horvat and Max Domi.

Selections 11-20

Unlike yesterday, today there will be no ranking of the players involved; they are presented in alphabetical order. The scouting reports are my own and are intended as summaries of other sources, including TSN, The Hockey News, Hockey Prospectus, Future Considerations as well as others.

Pavel Buchnevich (KHL: 12GP, 1-1-2). Hands and hockey sense stand out as superb, and he certainly has top-six talent in the NHL. His skating gets mixed reviews – Future Considerations loves that part of his game, but Corey Pronman quotes one scout who describes it as only average. The KHL factor is another consideration, as is his lack of bulk. This is a player who could go anywhere in the draft: Corey Pronman has him at 17, while he doesn’t crack the top-100 of The Hockey News.

Andre Burakovsky (SWE2: 43GP, 4-7-11). The 6’1” Burakovsky gets top marks for his vision in the offensive zone and his skating, and he’s seen as a player with a potentially massive offensive upside. His physical game is hit and miss, and his defensive positioning could apparently be improved upon.

Max Domi (OHL: 64GP, 39-48-87). Smallish winger is an “offensive dynamo” and gets pegged by The Hockey News as a power forward despite generally being listed at 5’9” or 5’10” because he plays such a fearless game (he’s also expected to play at 200 pounds or more at the NHL level). His effort level is questioned by some, and Future Considerations says that “self-control and maturity are still a work in progress.”

Adam Erne (QMJHL: 68GP, 28-44-72). The winger is a good skater, he’s strong on the puck, and he has goal-scoring ability. He isn’t seen as a strong offensive player otherwise, and he isn’t a high-end player in any category, but he has a well-rounded skillset. One scout The Hockey News quoted indicated that fitness might be an issue right now, but that he had potential to be even better if he his conditioning improved.

Zachary Fucale (QMJHL: 45-5-3, 0.909 SV%). The less-heralded teammate of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin is still without question the consensus top goalie of the 2013 Draft. He has solid size and is seen as positionally sound and economical rather than flashy. Was a first-team QMJHL all-star.

Frederik Gauthier (QMJHL: 62GP, 22-38-60). A 6’5” centre who skates well for his size, Gautheir gets good grades as a defensive forward and an intelligent player. What he lacks is a willingness to play a tough physical game, and his offence is open to question.

Robert Hagg (SWE Jr.: 28GP, 11-13-24). A 6’2” defenceman who also played 27 games in Sweden’s men’s league (picking up one assist), Hagg is a high-end skater with excellent vision and passing ability, a hard shot and a competent physical game. His own-zone work gets mixed reviews.

Ryan Hartman (OHL: 56GP, 23-37-60). Hartman plays a complete game on right wing: he hits, he scores and he defends. An above average skater, the only things keeping Hartman from going earlier are a combination of a) below average size (5’11”, 180 pounds) for such a physical player and b) questions about how his offensive ceiling is in the NHL.

Bo Horvat (OHL: 67GP, 32-28-60). Horvat’s trending upward since the NHL Numbers consensus rankings because he can do it all. He’s tough, plays a 200-foot game, scores goals and skates, too. The only question is how high is ceiling is offensively.

Morgan Klimchuk (WHL: 72GP, 36-40-76). A good offensive player who puts as much effort in on the backcheck as he does while scoring. Klimchuk is a good skater, can pass and shoot with equal ability and thinks the game well at both ends of the ice. On the downside, the left wing isn’t overly big and doesn’t add much physically.

Curtis Lazar (WHL: 72GP, 38-23-61). Lazar gets high marks for character and defensive play; he’s also seen as good skater and a safe pick. The question is how much offence he will generate in the NHL, because despite strong goal-scoring numbers he is seen by some as a player who lacks the creativity to be a top-six forward in the NHL. Read more at Oilers Nation.

Artturi Lehkonen (FIN: 45GP, 14-16-30). Lehkonen is not only a pure goal-scorer with fantastic numbers, but scouts rave about his hockey sense. He plays either wing, has good vision but is primarily a shooter, and despite being undersized (roughly 5’10”, 155 pounds) he has plenty of grit to his game. Corey Pronman notes he suffered from concussion problems this season.

Anthony Mantha (QMJHL: 67GP, 50-39-89). The 6’4” winger skates well and is a one-shot scorer, but he doesn’t play the physical game scouts would like to see. He’s also at the old end of the draft curve (he missed being eligible for the 2012 Draft by less than a weak) and outside of his shot he’s not seen as overly creative offensively by the consensus.

Samuel Morin (QMJHL: 46GP, 4-12-16). Morin is listed at either 6’6” or 6’7”, depending on the source, and aside from the fact that he’s massive the most remarkable thing about him is that he can skate. His offensive upside gets mixed reviews – the point totals suggest he’ll strictly be a stay-at-home guy in the NHL – and so does his hockey sense, with some praising is defensive game and others questioning his positioning. Plays a physical brand of hockey.

Josh Morrissey (WHL: 70GP, 15-32-47). Size is the issue here – the WHL defenceman is listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds. Otherwise there is a lot to like: he’s smart, he’s an excellent skater, his offensive tools are good and he relishes playing a physical game.

Mirco Muller (WHL: 63GP, 6-25-31). Jumping between scouting reports, I started feeling whiplash – there simply is no consensus on this guy’s ultimate ceiling and there is significant disagreement over how good he is now; some love him, some don’t like him at all. What is known is that he’s a 6’4” defender with at least solid puck skills, good skating, smarts, and the need to bulk up. Some project him as high-end complete defenceman, others say he’ll be steady in his own end but nothing special.

Ryan Pulock (WHL: 61GP, 14-31-45). Nobody doubts his elite shot, and Pulock has a strong puck-moving abilities, too. The trouble is his size and skating both fall into the average range, and there are mixed reports on his defensive play, which seems to be solid but unexceptional.

Kerby Rychel (OHL: 68GP, 40-47-87). A power winger with decent size, good bloodlines (his father is former NHL’er Warren Rychel), a strong physical game and outstanding scoring totals, Rychel is somehow not in the upper tier of the 2013 Draft Class. A big part of the reason is skating: it’s often criticized and seen as only average-ish. Beyond that, he’s more of a meat-and-potatoes generator of offence than overly creative, which has some wondering how high his ceiling is in the NHL.

Shea Theodore (WHL: 71GP, 19-31-50). A 6’2” defenceman who patterns his game after players like Erik Karlsson and Mike Green, Theodore’s skating, passing and shot give him the potential to be an impact NHL defenceman. He is, however, likely some distance away from realizing that potential – he lacks physical strength and his defensive game is a work in progress.

Alexander Wennberg (SWE2: 46GP, 14-18-32). 6’1” forward can play either wing or centre; he skates well, has good offensive tools and hockey sense that makes him both a threat to score and a good defensive forward. He needs to add bulk to his frame.

Nikita Zadorov (OHL: 63GP, 6-19-25). Another big defenceman (6’4”, 200 pounds according to the NHL site; most media outlets list him at 6’5”, 230 pounds), Zadorov is seen as a bit of a project. He’s a dominant physical player and extremely strong, and he fares well enough in other areas – he skates well given his size, makes a reasonable first pass – to be of real interest. The trouble is that while he has a lot of tools they haven’t come together yet; he’s raw defensively and lacks high-end offensive upside. If it all comes together, though, he could be an elite shutdown defender.

Valentin Zykov (QMJHL: 67GP, 40-35-75). A power winger with significant bulk for his age (he’s generally listed at either 6’ or 6’1” but 205+ pounds), Zykov is known for a willingness to go to the net with the puck, win battles along the boards, and backcheck defensively. Given that his skating gets middling marks, he’s essentially the reverse of the traditional Russian stereotype.

Voting

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If the Oilers are gonna deal with Philly I would want Brayden Schenn over Couturier due to skating skills…as of today…not in yrs to come. I believe Schenn has more grit and talent than Couturier…Schenn scores more too in the area Gagner does.

    Trading Gagner plus the 7th for Couturier and the 11th today won’t change how next season goes…as Gagner did score more than 20 pts to Couturier.

    If there was to be a trade…I would then look at now trading Hartikainen, Gernat plus the 7th for Schenn and the 11th (use that for Horvat).

    Not sure though that I would even trade cause Horvat will be there at #7 if the Oil dont get Monahan and/or dont want Lindholm. The Oil have great future defencxe prospects…they need centre (two centres chosen in this draft yr plus a top goalie prospect as well)

    Philly wants big and tough back…and it’s defence they want to have more so now.

  • aloudoun

    Myers has a NTC until 2016-17 and has already been paid 18 million of his 38.5 million contract…

    Having said that its not a terrible deal. I just dont see why Calgary would trade a center when we are in desperate need of them.

    Swap Hodgson with Vanek and you have a deal 😉

  • BurningSensation

    To BurningSensation and DSF….

    I must agrre the points mad for couturier are very strong versus gagner..after the offnce aspect issue.

    Myself?….I would want Couturier for centre now more than gagner.

    But Philly wont go for Gagner and #7 for Couturier and #11 alone. Martin Gernat might have to be also thrown into the pot at least from the Oilers.

    Based on your two different opinions of the kid from Philly…Couturier is absolutely the guy they would definitely keep with his size vs the Penguins, Rangers, NYI, Washington, Boston, Tampa Bay, etc.

    My choice personally… trading with Philly goes for Brayden Schenn. His numbers are very decent as well (vs Couturier/Gagner). I believe he will be better offensively than Couturier as he has better speed to move along with Yakupov and say…Stalberg/or Horton (if picked up thru UFA)

    • BurningSensation

      Virtually every rumour in the last two years coming out of Alberta has been that either Schenn-the-better or Couturier were going to be traded here.

      I just don’t see it.

      To your suggestion DSF that adding a Gernat (or Maricin) will do the trick, I respectfully suggest it wouldn’t. Sam Pollock used to say that the team that got the best player won the trade – and adding on ‘filler’ in an attempt to sweeten the offer won’t do it. In the NHL you can’t trade a dollar for four quarters and think you came out even – you didn’t.

      However, if Klefbom were part of the deal you might have something – but this goes back to my contention that if Edmonton wants to make a move they must part with one of their top 6 guys.

      Philly is going to dump/move/buyout Briere, and that clears up much of the logjam they have at center (Giroux, Couturier, Schenn, and Briere fighting over the top 3 slots). Unless they get back a stud D-man or a top 4 pick in the draft, I don’t see them moving either Schenn or Couturier.

  • piscera.infada

    @BurningSensation
    Again, these are hilarious points of argument. Sweet you tube video, have you seen the one where Gagner ties Gretz’s record with an 8 point night?

    Nice to here he get no powerplay time, it sounds like his coach really trusts him in offensive situations.

    He’s four years younger and has “room to grow”. Man, good thing “room to grow” is such an important stat people look at when determining how good a player currently is. Also nice to hear 24 years old is the mark where you have no more room to grow. That is it for the kid, he’s peaked.

    @DSF
    I don’t know or care where you’re getting info, but he was fourth on the team in tough competition, so who was ahead of him, no centres? And those are a bunch of hypotheticals all so you can prove that maybe one player is possibly better in an area than the other? That is rock solid.

    Finally if you are both trying to tell me that Couturier is a better two way centre than Gagner, you are wasting your breath because that’s WHY I WANT HIM ON THE OILERS! Being great defensively is super duper, and I agree that he is, but he’s not as skilled which is where / why the trade would/ could benefit both teams. We take an offensive dip on a player that all Philly media says needs to play with skill in order to put up points, and they need more skill, not on their third checking line mind you. Stop looking at this as a one for one trade, it is not. Each player has something the other CURRENTLY doesn’t, but something that each team has in spades and needs to switch up to be more balanced. If it’s crazy, fine it’s crazy, sounds like Gags isn’t going anywhere anyway. Moreover, I don’t even like Gags as a player, but I think I’m being pretty realistic with what he brings to the table here. He is by no means a terrible player. In fact he’s a very good player, just not on a team CURRENTLY built the way the Oilers are.

    • BurningSensation

      Leaving aside all the other stuff for a moment (because so far none of the hard stats you asked for have been refuted, or even addressed), there is nothing that Gagner brings to the table that Philly needs.

      Giroux is their offensive superstar and a lock as their #1 center. Couturier and Schenn bring both offense (Schenn) and defense (especially Couturier). So why would the Flyers want a slow, one-way defensive liability who gets outscored by the bucket at even strength like Gagner?

      Then there is their contract situation (Gagner is a fail vs Couturier and his ELC), the fact that Couturier matches up well against the divisions top big pivots as a sophmore (anyt coach to put Gagner out against Malkin in the D-zone would lose his job), and I can see exactly zero reason why Philly would have anything to do with Gagner.

      Gagner is on the track to become the next Scott Gomez (minus the decent ppg seasons), so maybe Sather wants him.

      • BurningSensation

        27 point record high is not “bringing offence”. You are right though, why would Philly want Gagner, I don’t think they’d let Couturier go for just Gagner. But Gagner and Monahan, or Nichuskinen? Well that’s a different story now isn’t it.

        A proven 40+ point guy on your second scoring line is better than any ‘potential’ ceiling. Philly has a very simple problem in that they don’t score enough, i.e. they are lacking skill guys. They have the two way guys in spades. Especially if they picked up another one like Monahan.

        So why wouldn’t you want a team with two scoring lines, move Schenn to the shut down role on the third line since Brier is gone.

        You are also right that Gagner will cost more, but he’s essentially replacing the offence Brier lost. The guy dipped, whereas Gagner has only gotten stronger in ppg, especially after this season. I’m not sending Gagner out to shut down the Malkins and Crosby’s, I’m sending him out there to chew up the Suters and the Callahans.

        You can throw all the opinion at me you want, but the one thing you can’t argue with is Gagner’s consistent point totals, something Philly lacks outside of Giroux. If I want defence I’ll hire a defenceman. But if I want someone to put it in the back of the net, then Gagner’s six year point totals paints a pretty solid picture.

        Finally, just like all Philly media points to Couturier needing to play with skill to contribute offensively, so to does Gagner have to play with 2 – way minded guys to be better offensively. You think his defensive numbers might have something to do with playing on a line with Yak and Hemsky? A rookie and one of the worst two way wingers on the Oilers? hmmm.

        And why do you think Gagner is slow? He’s quick as hell.

        My point is that you have this opinion and view of Gagner that just isn’t true.

        • BurningSensation

          “A proven 40+ point guy on your second scoring line is better than any ‘potential’ ceiling”

          Seriously? You’d rather have a guy who can’t win face-offs, has the ice tilt the wrong way, mediocre offense (cuz 40 points is pretty ‘meh’, and 5 years of 40 points is VERY ‘meh’), and gets destroyed by talented opponents, than a high end prospect like Mikhail Grigerenko?

          As a Flames fan I PRAY that the Oilers sign Gagner long-long-long term and give him a NMC. That would be AWESOME!

          • Wax Man Riley

            They have the same face off percentage! And 6 years of 40 + points is not by any means meh. Now that you say you’re a flames fan it’s alllll making sense. You could use some 40+ point guys. PS, Gagner got more points than anyone on your team last year including Iginla. And lo and behold, he would have been 3rd in scoring on the entire Flyers team, with a better plus minus than any of the top line guys, and a better plus minus than Couturier, who faced only marginally more difficult competition than Gagner did.

            Your ideas of what counts in hockey are some of the worst Ive seen posted on this site.

            And as I Flames fan, I know you love signing your players long term all with no movement clauses, but Oilers management is a bit smarter than that. And that is so, so sad because our management has been HOOORRRIble for years.

            Your opinions and hockey sense, like the team you cheer for, are irrelevant and completely not worth talking about. Good luck at the draft, you’ll need every bit of it not to go off the board and pick another Jankowski.

          • Wax Man Riley

            “but Oilers management is a bit smarter than that”

            Yeah, it was really stupid of Flames management to hire Scott Howson as a pro scout the instant he was fired by Columbus for an inability to evaluate pro talent! What a laughable organization…

            Oh wait, that was the Oilers…

          • BurningSensation

            if by ‘they’ you mean Grigerenko and Gagner (the example I used) you would simply be wrong.

            And every team can use more ’40 pt guys’, but no team needs a 40 pt guy who costs his team 50 with his non-existent defense.

            For every hour Gagner spends on the ice – including all his offense (8pt game!) he costs the Oilers a full goal differential.

            Do the Oilers even re-sign Gagner? Can any team afford a guy who can’t keep the puck out of his own end? If Mac T is smart (remains to be seen) the answer is ‘no’.

  • BurningSensation

    Gagner could fetch a 2nd round pick but MacT has to sign him first. If the Oilers overpay then there’s no way to trade him and Horcoff’s contract begins to look good.

    Sam wants term and money and if that happens kiss any chance of being a playoff team anytime soon.

      • BurningSensation

        Gagner wouldn’t play on my team period.

        How tell me what you think Gagner will bring in way of trade? One for one.

        For the past three years I’ve frequently written that the Oiler core veterans be traded, or not be re-signed. Only now do some of the ON begin to get it.

        Keeping Smyth for another season is an embarrassment to this city. When other NHL players call you a “joke” it’s way past time to call it a day.

        Do you ever get tired of cheering for players
        that don’t break a sweat? Rooting for the Oilers the past 20 years is like cheering for ones handicapped child.

        • Truth

          I will guarantee you that the majority of NHL players get called a “joke” by other NHL players on a daily basis. I will also guarantee they get called a lot worse. Nice call with the handicapped comment. Come on.

          • BurningSensation

            Ex NHL players don’t say things like that to guys still playing in the league, especially guys that have played as long as Smyth.

            If you think that happens on a daily basis then you and I are never going to agree anything hockey.

            Why would you take offensive to the handicapped comment. This hockey team has been terrible for most of the past twenty years.

            What irks me to no end is they decided to play the last two games of the year and picked up four meaningless points that only moved us from selecting a top centre at this years draft.

          • BurningSensation

            Your a Flames fan ! You traded two corner stones for a “trunk full of dong” And the third one is retiring for the same return. This is Oilersnation and there’s a reason no one shops FlamesNation as its embarrassing so STFU !

          • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

            As an Oilers fan I get a kick out of folks who have their own Nation but don’t have the support. The Nation sites would be a lot cooler if folks supported your own team there. Maybe the Oilers fan would help out your embarrassment of support as it truly does suck … There you have it dude.

          • DSF

            Darrell my new friend, I’ve had season tickets off and on to the Oilers dating back to the 70’s.

            Try being objective in your thoughts, if you never played the game and say you bleed oil that’s fine. Everyone understands that but don’t come here and make statements that are completely false.

            Darrell how many games did you see live last year?

          • BurningSensation

            The Oilers have been ‘rebuilding’ since they dealt Pronger in 2006, and you finished an entire point ahead of Calgary this year. 7 years of futility and Oilers fans still haven’t spit the bus load of dongs out.

          • Wax Man Riley

            Too bad it took so long to catch on as it was worth it 🙂 We have Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yak, Schultz etc for troubles and your starting with dong Just like we did – Lol

          • DSF

            The Oilers had 3 first round picks in the 2007 draft and whiffed on all 3.

            If they had made intelligent selections they would be in far, far better shape than they are today.

            Imagine if the Oilers had drafted Voracek or Couture, Shattenkirk and Pacioretty instead of Gagner, Plante and Nash.

            The Flames have 3 first round picks coming up and, if they nail the draft, will catch up to the Oilers much more quickly.

          • DSF

            Another one of the ON faithful who’d rather bash Calgary or anyone else before demanding that Edmonton begin putting a product on the ice that will compete every night.

            It’s like comparing who’s girlfriend is uglier and fatter…

          • DSF

            Allot of work remains over the next couple of years. With 8 or 9 changes to the roster we could be a contender…

            The culture needs to change and that’s the reason I’ve and others have been adamant about phasing out the core vets along with Gagner.

            Hall three years into the bigs still isn’t near responsible enough with the puck. Tough to learn what it takes from the likes of Smyth, Hemsky, Horcoff and Whitney etc.

            Hopefully MacT will surround these kids with quality NHLer’s before the window begins to close. It doesn’t stay open forever 🙂

          • Citizen David

            I get it, you’re a rival fan who hates and undervalues Gagner. But really, your case is weak.

            They have the same face off percentage

            Couturier:43.94%
            Gagner: 43.86%

            Not that face-off percentages make a big difference. if a player takes 20 face-offs in a game and wins 52% (a good percentage) thats 10.4 wins. If another player takes 20 face-offs and wins 42% (bad) that’s 8.4 wins. Fairly marginal stuff.

            Sam Gagner was -6 on a team with goals for/against of -9
            Sean Couturier was -8 on a team with goals for/against of -8

            For the record Gagner was +5 last season when his team was -27

            Gagner pro rates points to 65
            Couturier pro rates points to 27

            I know Gagner is older than Couturier. I am in fact a big fan of Couturier but it is fairly obvious that he most likely will just be a third line center. Gagner is a good second line center. He’s not the fastest but if you think he’s slow then you aren’t watching or aren’t intelligent. Couturier, by the way has always been known for skating not being one of his strong suits.

            It’s just my opinion but I think Gagners days of 40 point seasons are behind him and he will hover in the 55-60 range. I also know that players don’t peak at 24 and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes satisfactory at defence.

          • DSF

            Sam Gagner was playing weak competition and was outshot and outscored.

            He started more than 50% of his shifts in the Ozone and still got outshot and outscored.

            Couturier played the toughest competition and outshot them.

            Couturier started only 36 percent of his shifts in the Ozone.

            If Couturier was able to play the soft parade, start most of his shifts in the Ozone and got the PP time Gagner does he would outscore him AND the opposition.

            And Couturier is THREE AND A HALF YEARS YOUNGER than Gagner.

          • Citizen David

            Gagner’s second year in the league (the same age) he had 41 points in 76 games and was -1. It was reported on here that Gagner faced 5th hardest competion and Couturier 4th. Is that inaccurate?

          • BurningSensation

            You are missing all of the key stuff for evaluating players as points and FO% are only going to tell part of the story.

            In the 2013 season Gagner’s +/-60On was -1.02, off was -.37. Gagner is costing the Oilers by being on the ice, despite his ’40 pts’. He is getting strong linemates, faces weaker competition, gets cozy zone starts and is getting his head kicked in. The Oilers have even tried hiding him on the wing (where his defensive deficiencies are less glaring), but the stats show Gagner is actually getting worse, not better. A team with a screaming need for a scoring center has determined that whatever Gagner is, he isn’t a good scoring center. If he can’t be a #1 or #2, and he can’t do the checking job of being a #3 or #4, you have run out of spots to put Mr 40pts.

            In contrast, Couturier has weak linemates, gets tough zone starts, faces tougher competition, and is driving the play. Couturier has in particular showed that he has the skill-set to check the elite (again, see my previous posting for the link to his complete advanced stat line – including how the elite players like Malkin fare against him)

            Factor in that he is younger, cheaper, bigger, and I see no reason why Gagner is even in the conversation as a trade asset for Couturier.

            The best thing the Oilers could do is flip Gagner for ANYTHING.

            What they will do however is re-sign him to a 4-5 year deal for North of $4.5M a season, making him untradeable, and locking in the mediocrity for another generation.

          • BurningSensation

            BurningSensation, thanks for posting here today. FWIW I’ve agreed with pretty much everything you’ve written.

            Having Gagner signed at 4.5M per season for 5 years is the type of scenario that keeps me awake at night. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote earlier that he was an overpay last season. Sam’s value is no better then a 2nd round draft.

            Last season he’s playing for the biggest contract of his career and he flat-out stunk most nights. We 18-20M more in his pocket every Oiler fan will despise him by the time his contract expires.

            The funny part is guys like Citizen David still won’t get-it!

          • Citizen David

            Sam Gagner would fetch a mid first rounder and a good prospect IF he was traded for non-NHL talent. Want to know why I suspect this?

            Turris fetched David Rundblad (first rounder) and a second round draft pick

            Andrew Cogliano fetched a second round draft pick

            Cody Hodgson fetched Zack Kassian. Both former first rounders.

            Lots of Gagner hate going on. I would be the first to trade Gagner while his trade value is at its peak. I would take Couturier over Gagner 7 days a week. But to say Gagner would only fetch a second round pick at best is laughable. Gagner is in the same category of the aforementioned players.

  • BurningSensation

    To Burning Sensation…I agree that Philly would not trade Schenn or Couturier for Gagner plus the 7th… but I like Schenn better in order for a deal to be discussed.

    If there was a trade deal like this, I like both or either kids to be with the Oilers, but in my opinion, Schenn or Couturier do not warrant a trade involving Hall, RNH, Ebs, Yakupov or J. Schultz…period.

    I would look at MPS or Harty to be more in line with say Gernat…in a package… but these two young Oilers also do not offer Philly any real upgrade either.

    Philly has the centres in depth…with Talbot too…so the Oilers may have to involve Klefbom (which wont be even considered either by the Oil.

    Tough prospective type deal to package and consumate here IMO.

    • BurningSensation

      Here’s the rub, Philly won’t trade a guy like Couturier (or B.Schenn) without thinking at some level that they are winning the deal. Unless one of the big six is involved there just isn’t a reason for Philly to think that moving out Couturier (or Schenn) has made them any better.

      For the Oilers, just about any deal that sends away Gagner will make them better (addition by subtraction, Gagner simply bleeds possession when he is on the ice), but I think they need to set their sites on more realistic returns for him, like a 2nd rnd pick.

      • Truth

        Would Philly be losing the deal?

        Couturier – Draft Year = 1.66 ppg, 1st year NHL = 0.35 ppg, 2nd year NHL = 0.32 ppg.

        Gagner – Draft year = 2.23 ppg, 1st year NHL = 0.62 ppg, 2nd year NHL = 0.53 ppg.

        The idea that Gagner would get a 2nd round pick in return is laughable. Douglas Murray was traded for two 2nd round draft picks prior to the deadline this year, for comparison.

        If the Oilers ever acquired Couturier it would be perfect for them because they would have (hopefully) replaced Horcoff with a future better player. If they acquire Couturier by trading Gagner they have caused a bigger problem by trading a prototypical 2nd line center for a prototypical 3rd line center and would be worse off.

        If the argument is that Couturier is bigger and therefore more effective I’m not buying it. Couturier has had considerably less penalty minutes in Junior and the NHL and is absolutely not a physical player.

        • BurningSensation

          If the ONLY thing you looked at was their ppg production you might have a case, but there is way more going on than just how many goals and assists they produce.

          Couturier has demonstrated (at a precociously young age) that he can responsibly defend the elite (see the post earlier re: Couturier v Malkin).

          Gagner has demonstrated that despite getting candy ice-time, excellent linemates and favourable zone starts that he simply can’t do the job.

          Couturier was by far the best player on his junior team and was a possible candidate to go 1st overall until he got sick in his draft year (mono if I recall correctly). Gagner’s stats were floated by an excellent Knights team (with among others, Patrick Kane).

          If you were a GM and someone offered you a soft, not-fast, skill pivot who couldn’t win draws or post high-end offense, and who bled out possessions, would you be interested at any price?

          Gagner is pure poison. His stats make him look like a decent player, but the underlying stats show that he definitely isn’t.

  • BurningSensation

    Sam Gagner is the Oiler’s version of the Raptors AndrEA Bargnani. His offensive stats say he should be a player, but he costs you more with his rebounding and defense than he brings to the table. The stats are pretty clear, if the Raptors were to simply staple Bargnani to the bench the team improves.

    In Gagner’s case, the numbers are equally clear, even with his 8 point games, Gagner is a net liability on the ice. The Oilers could sign a ‘pure’ defensive center like Boyd Gordon, release Gagner outright and be further ahead. It’s clear Gagner is not helping the Oilers win games (given how few they have won with him around), so obviously Oiler fans would like to trade him for a young productive defensively responsible pivot who was at one time considered to be a top candidate to go first overall in his draft year.

    It just isn’t realistic. At all.

  • BurningSensation

    Lets make a deal : Oilers deal Horcoff , Hemsky , Gagner , Petry and their 7th pick to Buffalo for their 8th and 16th pick and get Vanek and Myers . Edmonton then drafts Ristolainen at 8th and turns 16th pick and bottom 6 players into a viable cenrterman to replace Gagner . Secondly they deal Fistric and Potter or Peckham to Wahington for Jeff Schultz .

    Leaves new sizeable young skilled defence to include Myers , Smid , Ristolainen , Klefbom and the 3 Schultz’s . Vanek will add a lot of value to top six .

  • DSF

    To BurningSensation… I do agree that Schenn or Couturier have a bigger ceiling upside than Gagner does now…in the future… but it is just that…the future.

    Now, Gagner wins slightly…very slightly. I do also think that the Oilers should look at trading him in a package after re-signing him or use him with trade rights for going after a 2013 second rounder but the pick wont be very high like 30 to 35 range….probably 40 to 50 range.

    What about Gagner plus a prospect or a 2nd rounder being in a type deal package to Toronto for Gardiner or Reilly/plus a Toronto 3rd rounder?

    • BurningSensation

      Yeah, see that is where we disagree. There is no reason (at all) to think that Gagner is in any way a ‘good’ player. Despite being a primarily offensive player his points max out in the 40’s, and despite his offense he gives up WAY more than he brings, and that doesn’t appear to be getting any better (if anything it has actually gotten worse year over year).

      I can’t predict what the TO GM will do, but I wouldn’t trade ANY actually ‘good’ player for Gagner. Both Gardiner and Reilly are ‘good’ (and potentially great’) so if I were the Leafs boss I would just laugh at your offer.

      I’m deadly serious when I suggest that Gagner’s return in a straight up deal is likely a 2nd rounder. We know what he is now, and it isn’t woth a 1st rnd pick – even a low end one.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Of all the rumours I’ve read about…..here’s one that seems more probable then some of the others…..

    Scenario…..If Monahan is available at 7 the Oilers take him…..if not..then they move the pick to Columbus in exchange for the 14 and 19 picks…(Oilers may have to add in a little sweetener whatever that may be)

    Columbus’s new GM (European guy)…..gets to take either Lindholm or Ristolainen….

    In this scenario we likely end up with a duo like Lazar and Rychel, or Lazar and Morrisey.

    So you have to ask yourself….who do you like more…..Lindholm…..or Lazar/Rychel….?

    PS. If we got really lucky we might even end up with something like Zadorov/Lazar….but it’s not likely

    So…..Lindholm.?……Nurse?…….or Lazar/Rychel is the question being posed.

    • BurningSensation

      Lindholm’s NHLE was the same as Barkov’s (40pts), and was well clear of Monahan’s 33.

      If the Oilers pass on Lindholm so they can trade down and select a 3rd line checking center in Lazar, as a Flames fan I will celebrate.

      • Truculence

        As I’ve stated many times before, comapring NHLE numbers amongst kids who in most cases are not carrying the mail in their respective leagues is a huge folly. We simply don’t have advanced stats to elucidate matters, and in their abscence NHLE is just a bad measure. For example, in reference to your aforementioned remonstrations that gagner sucks, if both Cotourier and Gagner were playing in the minors last year and put up the exact same number as they did in the NHL, you would apparently hail Gagner as the next Zetterberg and Coutourier as a “checking line center” based solely on their NHLE.

        Also, fyi, a lot of scouts think Lazar could be the next Mike Richards. Lindholm, he of a whopping 3 ES goals, could turn out to be nothing more than a good two-way second or third-line winger.

        That’s why scouts get paid the big bucks; they try to project who will or will not meet their ceilings.

        • BurningSensation

          Outside of your first paragraph, I don’t really disagree with anything you said.

          However, to make your case that using NHLE is ‘folly’ I think it would be reasonable to expect you to have an historical example of said folly – i.e. is there a good case of someone posting a high-end NHLE in a Euro league who came over and sucked a trunkful of dong?

          That said, it should be well understood that all sorts of factors will come into play along with a players NHLE;

          – quality of team
          – quality of linemates
          – ice-time (this is HUGE)
          – quality of competition

          etc.

          Few of which can be adequately measured in foreign leagues (or even the CHL)

          But that just means that NHLE isn’t the drop-dead argument solver some people pretend it to be, and that it needs to be qualified with other traditional scouting tools (like watching the kid play).

          • Truculence

            I didn’t say NHLE was completely useless, only that without context (which scouts should have through multiple viewings) it is almost useless, especially given the fact that, at this point, most of these kids are playing behind older kids or men and may not be that instrumental to their teams’ success. On the other hand, they might be. Hence, the need for advanced stats.

          • BurningSensation

            Again, nothing I dsagree with. NHEL is useful in context, and in the case of Lindholm vs. Monahan the context suggests that;

            Lindholm performed very well in a legit pro-league against men

            At WJC competition he was excellent (Monahan didn’t make the cut for Canada)

            He has legit NHL speed (high end) and well above average hockey sense. Monahan may match him on the hockey sense, but his wheels are sub-par for an elite prospect.

            All the context points to Lindholm IMO, and the NHLE backs it up.

            Sure he could just as easily be a swift checking winger as a top end center, but his ceiling is definitely higher, and I would take him before Monahan.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Have a look at @71 and @78 for the two opposing points of view that lie at the heart of the debate for the oilers at this years draft….

  • BurningSensation

    Truth

    The argument is Gagner isn’t very good. Trot out all the statistics you like but if the Oilers felt Gagner was a keeper they wouldn’t have signed him to a one year contract last summer and he wouldn’t be without a contract now.

    The Oilers have for many years over-valued most of their assets and still Gagner and the Oilers haven’t come to terms. To be honest Gagner was a overpay last year.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Couturier will be better than Gagner for all of the reasons stated. Not much debating that. The only thing Gagner will do more of is score points… so that is something.

    BUT….

    Baertschi = Gagner …. if the Flames are REEEALLLLY lucky.

    • Truculence

      Baertchi actually realizes that his team also has a goal net and thus backchecks. He also plays with more grit, despite his size, than Gagner. Skills-wise they may be twins.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Here’s the other higher probability scenario……posted by an ON member in another article…..

    Coppernblue wrote something about Sekera+16th for the 7th.

    EDM gets a top 4 LH guy in Sekera and can potentially take a D man that could slip like Pulock, Zadorov, Ristolainen, if they drop, and Morrisey or Bowey if not. Also a player like Erne or Lazar’d be good fits

      • Wax Man Riley

        Just checked out Sekera and he is two years removed from a decent year. That’s a big gamble for who goes at 7 IMO. We need someone that has immediate impact if we move down … We can agree It’s gonna be fun 🙂

  • DSF

    Wow…the Couturier vs Gagner war is going strong today eh….lol.

    Anyways, if there was a draft pick now for Gagner or Couturier…based on today’s facts for each player…Couturier would be chosen more often than not…and I agree.

    But, Gagner does have value in that he scores 40 plus pts in average. I would want and need a 2nd line centre to put up at least 65 plus in an 82 game season…consistently…plus play well defensively enough.

    However, Couturier is not way ahead of Gagner in stats just yet. He only has had one full 48 game season.

    That being said, I believe the Oil would have to make a two player (Gagner & say…Gernat or Hartikainen) plus the #7 type deal for Philly to even start to want to deal their #11 and Couturier….at the least.

    Without trading Ganer anyways, the Oilers can choose a Couturier type centre player at #7 wgo have more grit, good faceoff skills, and better skating too….though they are not as big as he is. Those two can be either one of Monahan or Horvat

  • Word to the Bird

    Man nothing pisses me off more than when people say “should have drafted him over this guy” what kind of argument is that? Sure in some cases it is the scouting staff but come on! If people were really so clever they wouldn’t have waited to pick up Weber or Subban in the second round, Benn in the fifth round, or Datsyuk in the seventh round. Other than the top 5-10 picks, the draft is an absolute crap shoot.

    • DSF

      Some teams have a great track record in drafting actual NHL players and others don’t.

      The teams that do, are very successful while the teams that don’t, finish 30th, 30th, 29th and 24th.

      It’s not a coincidence.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Yeah….I’m always a little puzzled when some GM is a genius for taking a Datsyuk type in the 7th round……because what this really means is that that same GM and 29 others PASSED on the guy for SIX rounds……..IDIOTS!!!

  • Citizen David

    Just a heads up to those who don’t know, this article was posted nationwide so it’s not like us Flames fans are hitching a free ride on your wagon.

    On the Gagner debate: I agree that he’s about as useful as a poopy flavoured lollipop, he puts up points but bleeds them back and then some (not unlike our recently departed superstar…)

    But to suggest that he has little to no trade value is silly. I mean WE all know that he’s hot garbage, but have you guys seen the idiocy pulled off by NHL gms recently?

    Someone will get distracted by his marginally shiny boxcars and give up a decent return for him. And we’ll laugh…(or cry as Flames fans)

  • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

    Putting all the Gagner vs. Couturier stats talk aside for a second, can we not agree that there is no way Philly will add another contract that is sure to exceed 3.5 mil/year?

    Even with buying out Briere and putting Pronger on LTIR, they are in no position to send an ELC out the door in exchange for the kind of money that Samwise and his agent are seeking.

    If MacT does sign Gags at a reasonable cap hit/term, then I think a deal involving Gags and Schenn ($3.1 and one year remaining) would be far more plausible than one involving Couturier.

    I assume that’s what MacT was talking about when saying signing Gagner was a priority. A reasonable cap hit and term make him an asset (even if his defensive stats are suspect, he contributes points and competes), if he gets done at 5 x 5 mil/year, then he’s a liability (*cough* Ales Hemsky *cough*), that would be immovable for anything but a bag of pucks and would certainly mean there wouldn’t be room for all of RNH, Schultz Jr., Yak, stud D-man they want to acquire, and this year’s first rounder in the long term.