The Oilers lost another decisive game to Winnipeg tonight 7-2 in the Rookie tournament lending an answer to the question "Who Does the Oiler's Really have for Prospects?" Their defense are suppose to be some of the best non NHL players in any franchise and yet main stream media is picking them apart after the two losses in this meaningless tournament.
The truth is that although this tournament will not tell anyone who will be able to make the transition to the NHL with certainty it does give some clues to the state of the prospects the Oilers have. The Oilers Defense has looked rocky out there and it is unlikely any will crack the line up this year playing the way they have in these games. However with the depth the Oilers have on offense and the goalies they are playing, how much can you really tell about the defense? If there is no one to outlet pass to or to back check, how much like the NHL are these games truly like for prospects like Klefbom, Nurse and Marincin who are hopefuls to make the team in the next two years.
MacT this year decided to gamble the first pick with a defense man in Nurse on a team that is rich in defensive prospects. Taking a player that some scouts argue was not the best player in his position at that pick. Then he squandered his early second and others to grab 10 late picks rather than picking high in what some scouts called a deep talent draft. Grabbing players that even on paper seem unlikely to ever crack the Oilers roster.
The main stream media will tell you that the Oilers defense is the problem but the Oilers let their best young forward prospect, Rajala, break his contract rather than let him play in Europe, only to turn around and sign an older player with almost identical size and style of play in Omark. Then this year instead of trading up or using their high second round pick, they opted to pick players that probably won't make the AHL in 2 years.
Now they play Calgary who had 3 first round picks this year and did surprisingly well despite being terribly out shot. Then to no surprise we were beat tonight by Winnipeg who did so on the backs of players like Petan and Comrie, both players that we could have picked or traded up to and grabbed with ease. Is it any surprise that a team that took 8 late picks and a gamble defense man is losing to teams that went after strong highly ranked players available early. Teams that left the draft with less players than Edmonton did but apparently left with offensive talent that although being out shot tonight, can dominate our superior defense.
All a fan can do now is hope that we have injuries to players like Belov, Potter, Larson or Greb so our up and coming rookies have ice time in OKC. We have 6 quality rookies that need to be developed and that does not include Nurse who will do another year of junior. Maybe MacT will be able to unload one and be able to address our holes in our bottom 6.
Maybe MacT can pull of a Detroit move and find a Zetterberg or Datsyuk in round 4 or 5. Maybe he is the best GM we will ever have and only time will tell. However, at this point, he looks like he will be as good a GM as he was a coach. Only this time his best friend and President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe, won't fire this GM for ruining the team. The only hope we have is getting the attention of Katz and getting him to notice the problem is at the top of his club and replacing the coach every year isn't solving the issue. However no one really knows if Katz even watches the games, all we know is he is good at making a lot of money off his team. Probably better than any other owner in the history of the league.