Can the Edmonton Oilers get back to postseason action? They have some guy named Hall and possibly the most famous Canadian junior player ever in Jordan Eberle. Svensson from Sweden is a great fast winger and the Bulin wall will be standing tall.
Ah, then we come to the rest of the team. That's a very depressing subject. Lets not go there just yet.
Really the question we must ask is can three great young players and an aging goalie lead Edmonton to the promised land?
Can anyone else in Edmonton contribute anything substantial?
Will the Edmonton brass do something to get more talent to play alongside Hall, Eberle and Svensson?
PRO-Taylor Hall is pure talent, the same can also be said for Jordan Eberle and Magnus Svensson. Hall scored 106 points in 57 games on the best team in Canada, the Windsor Spitfires. Eberle scored 106 in 57 games this year with a horrible Regina Pats squad. That just shows how good both players are.
Svensson is an amazingly quick player with lightning fast hands. How Edmonton ended up with 3 absolutely amazing players in 3 years, I really don't know.
Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Ryan Whitney are all very talented players as well. Gilbert Brule is a nice young players and Nikolai "Bulin Wall" Khabibulin will stand tall this year.
CON-You can't win anything when you only have 10 talented players on your team. The rest of the team in all honesty is not good.
Last year the Oilers had Penner, Brule, Whitney and "Horrible" Horcoff. They finished last in the league and I could not bear to watch them. I don't think with their current roster they can make the playoffs.
I understand Mike Comrie played for the Oilers but he was injured. Hopefully he resigns with the team.
PRO-Magnus Svensson is so fast it is not even funny. He can beat anyone in a race to the puck. I would compare him to Paul Kariya or Mike Modano in his skating. So fast that his jersey ripples in the wind.
Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are also very fast. This is not a strong point for the rest of the team so having this kind of speed will be a welcome addition.
CON-Dustin Penner is tied with 3 defenseman for tallest skater on the Oilers. Devan Dubynk is listed as 6'6. Other than Penner, Taylor Hall (6'1), Svesson (6'1), and Hemsky (6'1) make up the bulk of Edmonton's talent listed above six feet.
That can be either good or bad though. The way Edmonton got pummeled last year made it bad. However Montreal makes it work with their speedy style of play. Oilers need to take that page out of Montreal's notebook so to speak.
CON-Ethan Moreau, who I never want to see dress in an Oilers jersey again, is the oldest skating Oiler at 34. Khabibulin is 37 but can still play at a very high level.
The average Oiler age has to be around 26. This can be bad because there is not very much experience flowing around the locker room. They have no savvy veteran leadership to help the young guys.
I think Edmonton needs an older leader who can still score goals and put up points. Not Recchi-old but someone in their early to mid-thirties. I really think that would help Edmonton.
I know this is obvious but a top flight scorer or playmaker would really benefit Hall and Eberle. I don't think Edmonton will sign anyone but they should. Edmonton does have the cap room.
PRO-Anyway getting back to the age thing. Edmonton had some good young prospects that will get huge minutes next year. They could either rise to the occasion like a seasoned vet or crumble. My bet is on rise to the occasion.
PRO-I just had to put him in here in his own category. So much upside and still growing potential, it's clear why Edmonton made him the No. 1 overall pick this weekend.
CON-Horcoff will make $6.5 million this coming season and he doesn't deserve $3 million. He had a couple decent seasons but some stupid GM signed him long term. He needs to have a huge bounce back year or things will fly.
Come on Horcoff, please score 50 points. That's all I want.
PRO-Pat Quinn is a good coach. Give him a team to work with and he will do just fine. Well no, better than fine.
CON-Kevin Lowe needs to learn how to sign a free agent. Just cause it says "free" does not mean you don't have to offer the players good amounts of money. Don't worry though Mr. GM, you have lots of cap space.
PRO-The fans in Edmonton-Edmonton Oiler fans are absolutely amazing and deserve a Stanley Cup for enduring this long run of disappointment. Other than when they made it all the way to the finals in 2006.
PRO-Other prospects not previously mentioned, they are still quite good. Chorney, Tyler Pitlick, and Curtis Hamilton all have tremendous upside. This also includes Roy and Petry.
CON-Expectations. The Oilers are now expected to do so well because of the young talent they've gathered over the last few years. This places unneeded pressure on the players and sets them up for potential failure. I still think they will do well though.
PRO-Eberle has been a HERO for Team Canada many a time at the World Juniors (remember any game played against Russia), he managed to get Canada back in the Final this year versus the US, and is tied for all-time goals at the World Juniors for Canada.
He has already played at a World Championships where he scored four points against some of the NHL's very best. He is my new favorite player (just barely surpassing Mike Modano and Sid the Kid) and he will be great for Edmonton until the CBA lets him leave.
Edmonton has to become a legit contender in the next 2-3 years or Eberle, Hall and the rest of the talent will leave.
Amazing player, absolute best player ever drafted 22nd overall.
Will they take that Trophy from Chicago and relocate it to Edmonton next year. I really don't think so. If they make the playoffs though anything can happen.
I believe they will make the playoffs or at least be very close. The conference is tough but I believe they play in the easiest division, and that they will come second in that division and 4th in the West.
That is my final prediction. You can take it or leave it. It will be a hard year but still a very good year. I also think Eberle will win rookie of the year with Hall the runner-up. Tyler Seguin of the Bruins could be third.