The most talked about players heading into the season have been the Edmonton Oilers’ newest set of toys: Magnus Paajarvi (-Svensson), Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. All were drafted in three separate drafts, but have come together this season to make their debuts.
There have been arguments made that perhaps Hall should spend this season in junior, so they do not use up one year of his three year entry level contract. I thought maybe this would be a good idea as well. What’s the point of using up a year when the Oilers are not going to come close to competing for the playoffs? However, there is nothing left for him to do in junior hockey and he deserves to play in the NHL this season.
I believe the Oilers have managed their farm system very well to have all three of their horses debut together. It should be interesting to see all these guys take on the NHL this upcoming season. Let’s take a look.
Jordan Eberle was drafted 22nd overall in the 2008 draft (Steven Stamkos draft). Since then, he has made a name for himself as being a clutch performer in the World Junior Championships. In 2009, he scored the game tying goal in the semi final versus Russia en route to the gold medal. In 2010, again he scored the game-tying goal versus the US to force overtime in the gold medal game. He was named to the tournament all star team, the tournament’s best forward and the tournament MVP. Last season, he was name the CHL Player of the Year (50 goals, 106 points) and scored 14 points in 11 games with the Springfield Falcons (AHL). He also had a 4-point game versus Norway in the World Championships.
I think Eberle is the most NHL-ready of the trio. He has a nose for the net and a knack for scoring goals. He isn’t the fastest guy out there, but he just has great hockey instinct. 50MC fantastically forecasts a 59 point season for Eberle with 24 goals and 35 assists.
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson was drafted 10th overall in 2009 (Tavares draft). Paajarvi does not have a resume like Eberle’s but was named to the same WJC tournament all star team in 2010. The thing I like about Magnus is that he has played with men already in his career. Last season he played with Timra in the Swedish Elite League and scored 29 points (12 goals) in 49 games. Paajarvi has a lot of hockey sense, but not as much as Eberle. He has skill, speed and flash, but not as much as Hall. I would say he compliments the two quite well. I really liked how he has played in the preseason (even thought I don’t take much stock into the preseason). But he was killing penalties and making plays with Hemsky and Gagner. 50MC fantastically forecasts a 47point season for Magnus with 21 goals and 26 assists.
T-Hizzle was drafted 1st overall in 2010 (Hall draft). Not only is he the most dynamic of the trio, but if the NHL coming into this season. He has tremendous upside; therefore is an absolute asset in fantasy leagues, especially keeper leagues. Remember how I said John Tavares was a must own in all keeper formats? I am going to say the same about Hall. He may not be a monster this year, but next year and for the rest of his career, he will be an NHL stud. He could already be among the fastest skaters in the NHL. Combine that with his ridiculous skill, there is bound to be success. 50MC fantastically forecasts a moderate 55 points for Hall with 26 goals and 29 assists. This may seem tame after everything I just said, but remember that Stamkos only had 46 in his first year and Tavares had 54 in his rookie year.
I would draft all of these guys assuming their downside is roughly 35-40 points; while their upside being 75+ for this season.
Hope this helps, good luck this season.