Welcome to this week’s edition of the Oilers Panel.
This week the contributors discuss the two prospects Oiler fans everywhere should get to know, the never-ending rumour of a Buffalo swap bringing Tyler Myers to Edmonton and if next year is the year the Oilers break up the group of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.
Upon the graduation of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle the Oilers had a secondary group of prospects that is just making it’s way into the NHL. That secondary group includes Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Darnell Nurse and Tyler Pitlick. A third group will make it’s way onto the main roster in 2-3 seasons time at the very least and not to be outdone has some impressive names that may not be familiar to Oiler fans everywhere.
Dillon Simpson, son of former Oiler Craig Simpson, is a budding defenseman the Oilers recently signed from the University of North Dakota that they drafted 92nd overall in 2011. Simpson 6’2 200lbs could become a formidable shutdown defenseman in the NHL in due time. Simpson led the entire NCAA with 109 blocked shots this season.
Gregory Chase of the WHL Calgary Hitmen is proving to be more than just a 7th round selection as the 2013 selection is turning heads in junior. Chase is being pegged as a bottom six forward at the NHL level that can excel in a checking role, but is showing that he has some offensive flare suggesting he may be more than that.
Laurent Brossoit was acquired from the Calgary Flames organization along with Roman Horak for Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy. Many believe Brossoit, 21, who had a 2.14GAA and a .923SV% with the ECHL Bakersfield Condors is the Oilers future franchise goalie, let alone the best player in that trade. As the old adage goes “Whoever gets the best player in the trade wins the trade.” and Brossoit is testing his ceiling.
Mitch Moroz is a budding power-forward playing for the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings and the Oilers are hoping they can develop him into a top six forward to add some much needed size to the group.
Another player that could bring some size to the Oilers is Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres, those rumours are just not dying. Is there any fire to go along with that smoke of the 6’8 defenseman making his way to Edmonton?
Finally after years of struggling and a rebuild that has gone sideways, not to mention the recent comments of new Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall, if the Oilers falter next season is it time to blow up the core? Does that mean trading Hall, Nugent-Hopkins or Eberle?
Without further adieu…
Q: Name 2 prospects in the Oilers organization fans should know.
Shane Sander: Dillon Simpson, Greg Chase. Simpson has just finished a strong career with North Dakota that lost out in the Frozen 4. Simpson has shown a strong hockey sense and if you google “Dillon Simpson Shot Blocking” you’ll find like 22M results or something ridiculous. Simpson’s going to turn pro for next season and will be in Oklahoma. Look for the son of a former Oiler in Craig Simpson to gain some popularity and maybe even come up for a cup of coffee next season in Edmonton. Chase on the other hand projects as a bottom six forward at the NHL level and is already proving to be a steal in last year’s 7th round and has shown he’s more than an agitator scoring 35 goals and 85 points with the Calgary Hitmen this season.
Carl Maloney: Laurent Brossoit and Greg Chase. The Oilers have lacked a legitimate goaltending prospect for a long time, and they have one in Brossoit. He has flown under the radar and doesn’t have the hype of a first round draft pick but he is solid in all areas and has been a winner wherever he has gone. Chase is an absolute steal in the 7th round and has flourished in the WHL this season, leading the Hitmen in scoring. He plays a two way, gritty game and loves to get under opponents skin. He projects as a bottom six forward for the Oilers and will be a fan favourite.
Katherine Hill: Dillon Simpson and Mitch Moroz. Both have been locked up by the Oilers and will be great once they make it to the NHL level. Moroz is no stranger to the Edmonton hockey market after playing for the Oil Kings. Simpson was the Captain of his University team and gained valuable leadership experience in that role.
Q: Is Tyler Myers to Edmonton logical?
Shane Sander: No. With Darnell Nurse, Justin Schultz, Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin already here why bother? Myers had another terrible year and has a horrible contract that can really throw a wrench into the Oilers long-term cap space if he doesn’t pan out. Those Nail Yakupov for Tyler Myers rumours are out there but I believe Aaron Ekblad or the depth the Oilers have in the organization especially with Brandon Davidson, Dillon Simpson, Martin Gernat, David Musil and Taylor Fedun battling for the third-pairing spots down the line. Yes there is the intrigue of having a 6’8 defenseman, but what about a career -16 defenseman with signed long-term with a $5.5M cap hit that has been regressing over the last four seasons? The last thing Edmonton needs is a struggling defenseman.
Carl Maloney: Not necessarily logical and not the best fit, but an option the Oilers would have to consider. At this point the Oilers have to consider any option for legitimate NHL defenseman. Myers has struggled in his last few seasons and not progressed as hoped since a stellar rookie campaign. He’s still young and has a tantalizing combination of size and skating ability. The Oilers would have to determine whether a change of scenery would jumpstart his development again. With a 5.5M cap hit though, it’s a risky venture.
Katherine Hill: Probably not. Size is great, but he probably isn’t the answer to the Oilers’ defensive struggles.
Marcy Dimichele: He’s a name, but not the right name. Myers has struggled mightily since winning the Calder, and if he comes to Edmonton he will be seen as a savior for the Oilers defensive troubles and he’s just not the guy to be that.
Q: If the Oilers miss the playoffs next year, is it time to blow up the core group of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and move one of them?
Shane Sander: No. Hall, RNH and Eberle are not the problem, neither is David Perron who was brought in to solve the problem of Magnus Paajarvi. The problem is the rest of the roster. The goaltending was finally shored up when the season was already lost. The defense is under a youth movement that will continue through to next season. The secondary scoring is non-existent outside of the top 4 players. Tyler Pitlick will be up next season but won’t be a difference maker and neither will most of the other guys in the bottom six. Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov might be the guys to go, but breaking up Hall, RNH and Eberle is not an answer to the Oilers problems.
Carl Maloney: No. I also believe those three aren’t the problem, rather the only real positive with the team. There has been much talk of trading one of them, namely Eberle, to get help on the back end. Certainly a sound idea if the deal is one that MacTavish can’t say no to, but to get rid of them to blow it up and go in a different direction is the wrong approach. While their trade value isn’t as high see what you can get for players like Gagner and Yakupov first and bring in some supporting role players up front and see where you’re at first. Moving any of those three is a last resort, and despite what is going on in Edmonton, they aren’t there yet.
— David Staples (@dstaples) November 27, 2013
Katherine Hill: I think that Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are untouchable, but I would not be surprised if Eberle moves on at some point in the next couple of years. He has been great for the team, and the Kid Line is better with him, but I think he could also be a valuable trade asset.
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