The Oilers are a team of the future. So they have to plan for the future. You look at their top 6 and you see 6 guys. under 26. So the top 6 is set for the next 15 years but their bottom 6 is full of older support players. Whats their plan going forward?
The only bottom 6 players that will still be there in a couple years is Lander and maybe Joensuu. Lander will be the longterm 4th line center and Joensuu if he stays will be the 4th line LWer. Maybe 3rd line LWer if he continues to develop. That leaves 4 spots left to be filled. Does Edmonton have any prospects good enough to eventually make the big club? I don't know.
Do you remember the disaster called the 2013 NHL draft? And how MacTavish traded away their 2nd round picks for a bunch of 3rd and 4th round picks? Their are only 3 players after Nurse that I think have enough skill to POSSIBLY make the NHL eventually that they drafted this year. Marc- Olivier Roy, Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepshev.
Roy was the Oilers pick with the 52nd overall pick. Or was it 53rd? Who cares, it was their pick in the 50's that they didn't trade. He's a decent player that put up decent numbers in the Q last year but I think his team made him look better than he actually is as he was playing for one of the better teams in the league after Halifax on the Armada. But I still think he could be a good 4th liner in 5-6 years. But then there's Lander. Well scratch him.
Anton Slepshev was ranked in the 1st round in the past 2 season. You want to know why he fell to the Oilers in the 3rd round in his 3rd year of eligibility? He's never going to leave Russia. Nuff said.
Bogdan Yakimov. Hmmm. When I first saw his name I said, "Why'd they draft Yakupov's cousin?" Hey, they're from the same town. This guy is another guy that I thought would never leave Russia but then I watched a couple of his interviews.
First off he was actually at the draft which is a big deal. And also he said that after his contract in the KHL is over he's coming to North America. Sweet! He would be a perfect 3rd line center as he's big (6'5''), good defensively and has decent offense. After his contract ends in 2 years he can come to NA, play in the AHL for a year and then Boyd's contract will be over and Yakimov can be on the 3rd line. I know he won't be on the same line as Yakupov but that would of been too confusing anyway.
So now we have 3 of 6 pieces of the Oilers future bottom 6. Who else do we have in the farm that we could use before we go out and start trading? Do you remember Zharkov from the 2012 draft. He put up good numbers last year in the OHL and projects to be a good 3rd liner. Let him finish his time in junior and give him a year or 2 in the AHL and he'll be ready in 2-3 years.
Now 2 others...... Paajarvi hasn't been signed by St Louis yet has he? They only have 7 million of cap space left and after they sign Pieterangelo they won't have enough cap room to sign Paajarvi. Offer sheet him for 1.7 million and the Oilers would only have to give up a 3rd rounder. I like that.
Now a 4th liner. Who's that college guy from Yale or Harvard or whatever that they signed that was ripping up the NCAA. Mason, Martin, Munroe? I don't know, put him on the 4th line, he looks decent and the 4th line barely ever plays anyway.
So that makes the Oilers front end for the 2015-16 season.....
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Perron - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - Yakimov (no not Yakupov) - Zharkov
Joensuu - Lander - NCAA guy
Seems pretty good. Scary team to play against. 4 whole lines of offensive power.