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Edmonton Oilers Younger Stars are proving some prospect rankings unsuitable: 9 Issues

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When you imagine any variety of NHL prospect rankings out the final whereas, the Edmonton Oilers are affected by an acute lack of prospect depth.

On one hand, that’s comprehensible on condition that the Oilers are a Stanley Cup competitor who’s spending belongings to edge nearer to that purpose.

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But when the show we now have been handled to in Penticton the previous couple days is any indication, these rankings promote the Oilers a bit quick.

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That and extra on this version of…

9 Issues

9. Howie Draper has been named the primary Head Coach of the PWHL’s New York franchise. Draper was coach of the College of Alberta Pandas for 26 years. My solely disappointment with this league to date is the shortage of a Western Canadian franchise. Hope that occurs within the subsequent couple years.

8. Sooner or later this Fall we are going to study who the following two Edmonton Oilers Corridor of Fame inductees are. I proceed to hope that Invoice Hunter makes the grade sooner reasonably than later. As a “builder” of the franchise, who apart from Glen Sather (who’s already in) was extra essential to the membership than “Wild” Invoice? He was the membership’s founder and the man who named them the “Oilers” within the first place.

7. All experiences I’ve seen and heard to date are that Connor Brown appears absolutely recovered from his ACL tear. If that’s the case and given the standard of linemates he’s prone to have alongside, right here is my prediction for Brown in 2023-24: 18-26-44. That might be higher than both Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi produced in that slot throughout their alternatives within the Prime-6. We will see.

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6. As soon as pre-season video games start, I count on many eyes to be on how the Edmonton Oilers adapt their defensive zone play this season. But when I had been Jay Woodcroft I’d not change a lot in regards to the techniques. Man-to-man is a great strategy to capitalize on the well-above common pace that the Oilers have down the center. Zone defence tends to make any membership extra stationary. Why would you do this to a lineup just like the Oilers? I’d argue that what Edmonton wants isn’t a greater system however higher execution.

5. Beau Akey is anticipated to spend yet another 12 months in main junior with the Barrie Colts. However the right-shot D-man positive didn’t seem like an 18-year-old on Friday evening in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets younger stars. He’s a terrific skater, in each side that I may see. He additionally possesses a superb shot and mature instincts. Because the 6’0 Akey grows into his body, I feel he has the possibility to show into an actual participant. Anybody who can transfer like that does. Arrows up. Wanting like a sensible choice at 56th general. Extra on Oilers Rookie camp in a minute…

4. My Cult of Hockey colleague Bruce McCurdy wrote our preliminary piece on PTO signing Adam Erne. Erne had hopes of touchdown a contract this summer time however when that gentle began to dim, he accepted the Oilers alternative. Erne brings a stable body and a heavy, grinding recreation to the desk. That isn’t one thing the membership has an abundance of. Erne entered the league in Tampa however spent the previous few in Detroit. Onerous-pressed to make the membership out of camp until there are accidents, he might be a superb depth “tweener”.

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3. It’s straightforward to be bullish on Leon Draisaitl. He’s a dominant expertise. But when his profession excessive 128-point season in 2022-23 and his third 50-goal season weren’t spectacular sufficient on their very own, keep in mind: Draisaitl spent a lot of the 2022 low season recovering from that nasty harm sustained through the playoffs. This Summer time Leon could have been in a position to focus virtually 100% on conditioning and abilities coaching. I can’t assist however suppose that shall be a big benefit for him, in terms of each pace however particularly endurance.

2. I hold listening to and studying individuals predict that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is headed for a regression in 2023-24 from his 104-point season. Boy, I don’t find out about that. The Nuge will nonetheless be taking part in on a line with both Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid each evening. And Ryan will nonetheless be a mainstay on that 1st Unit Energy Play. He’s 100% wholesome and never but on the age that you’d count on him to lose a step. What number of fewer alternatives to register factors is he prone to have this season than final?

1.Rookie Camp continued Saturday with the second of three Younger Stars video games in Penticton. It was a “Battle of Alberta”, with the Flames versus the Oilers in a matchup that on this tourney may simply have been in title solely. So many of those children are model new to their franchises. How may they presumably summon up the aggressive hate that finest illustrates the long-time rivalry between the franchises. Sure, the prospects delivered a spirited, aggressive, back-and-forth show that was solely settled in time beyond regulation. Sadly for the Oilers, it was a Calgary energy play purpose in time beyond regulation that settled the 4-3 choice.

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The Oilers rookies transformed on 3 of their 7 alternatives on the person benefit. The purpose scorers had been Brady Stonehouse, Carl Berglund and Matvey Petrov, the latter arguably Edmonton’s finest participant on the evening. Petrov’s purpose was a bar-down one-timer and he additionally earned a beautiful help on the Berglund marker, exhibiting wonderful consciousness and imaginative and prescient of the zone. Petrov has had an eye-opening tourney to date, as he prepares for his first 12 months of professional hockey.

2021 First Spherical choose Xavier Bourgault had an help, as his quickness and palms had been vividly on show. Carter Savoie was noticeable and was in on quite a few probabilities, exhibiting off his offensive creativity. And D-man Beau Akey, who I discussed earlier on this article, additionally continued to impress with each his edge work and (final evening) his defensive consciousness in a pair key conditions.

A good bit has been written in regards to the group’s prospect depth being close to the underside of the NHL proper now. However the exhibiting over the primary two video games of the weekend suggests there’s extra there than you’ve been led to imagine. Sure, these are younger and not-yet professional’s in opposition to comparable competitors.

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However with the mother or father membership stacked and deep, these children have a number of time to mature and matriculate at each the minor-pro and main junior ranges over the following 12 months.

The Oilers end up the Younger Stars match Monday in opposition to the younger Canucks.

Now on Threads @kleavins. Additionally, discover me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and Mastodon at [email protected]

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