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Friday, March 16, 2012

"Year End, Oiler talk"

Oiler fans are dying for a reason to get excited about more then a future superstar draft pick. Granted, no one is complaining about the great picks the Oilers have brought into the fold, in Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins. While next season we may still not see the playoffs yet here in Edmonton, it must be almost a given that 2013-2014 will see that playoff flame burning bright here in Edmonton while our 'arch nemesis' to the south will be "Burning" with envy. (at least we hope they are).

Instead of going on about a single topic I have decided to answer some questions I continually am asked to talk about in Oiler related news. While some may totally disagree with my views, feel free to comment and do so here at oilersjambalaya. That is the great thing about the internet, we all have a chance to state our views and air our grievances, but if we do so, I say we do it with respect to one another.

Where will the Oilers end up placing?
No way do I see a remote possibility (other then winning the lottery) picking first again this year. On the other hand I am 95% certain they will pick 2 or 3. Unless they pull off a winning streak of sorts, my bet is still on 29th place finish.

Who are the players the Oilers would want to select 1-5 in place of available talent at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft?
It's only my educated guess but by things I have heard in the mainstream media, some back door conversations I would say their order of preference will be....1) Nail Yakupov 2) Mikhail Grigorenko 3) Ryan Murray 4) Morgan Rielly 5) Griffin Reinhart

What do you think are the chances of signing Ryan Suter in Edmonton?
Just have this feeling that Nashville finds a way to keep him and if not, he will end up in another non-hockey hotbed ashe signs for the big bucks, rather then the hockey.. Of course we could dream, that it's Suter's dream to be a Oiler and compete for a Stanley Cup with Hall and the boys.

What are the chances the Oilers will actually be able to sign a top 2 defencemen this off season?
Slim to none. There is just not much out there. On the other hand, it is quite possible that Tamby goes out and brings in another Schultz type player. I would gladly exchange one or 2 top d-men for 4 or 5 guys like Nick.

Do you think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will win the Calder Trophy?
It's interesting how fast time flies when your having fun. Other then watching Ryan play, looking at his stats and listening to the opinions of the commentators around the league, why not take a look back at a article I wrote here at oilersjambalya at the beginning of the year.
My answer is yes, while he may have been out 20 games, the pace he is scoring at for a rookie player on a 30th place team is incredible.
Is it possible for Taylor Hall to score 30 Goals this year?
All you need to do is look how close he is already with still 12 games to go. With close to 30 in the bank, to actually think this is just him getting started is pretty exciting. To me it's a no-brainer. I think he will hit over the 30 goal mark this year.
Will Jordon Eberle be able to finish with a point per game pace come the final game of the year?
As this season comes to a close I am a believer of Eberle and his chase for a 80 point season. In fact I am guessing he could very well be a few points over at year end. Jordon has been playing good, but not great in his own standards. Imagine a even better Eberle?

How likely is it, that Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Eberle all get invited to play for Canada at the World Championships?
Well, since Lowe is running the show, it's highly likely. But even so, what GM or coach would not want these three guys playing together. They are all dying to play some meaningful games and based on how well they have carried this Oiler team themselves, I think they are a lock, all three will get the invite. Nugent-Hopkins faces the stiffest competition but I think he still makes the team.

What % would you give the Oilers chances of landing a Goaltender from outside the organization to play with the big Club?
IMO, 5% chance of landing anyone. This is a rebuild and the Oilers brass, see no reason to chance the plans now. Dubynk once again has a pretty good win loss record on a bad team and is growing, be it, too slow for most Oiler fans. Roy has excelled at the ECHL and will likely get his shot for a couple years in the AHL and more then likely Bunz will get a year of seasoning at the ECHL level next year. The plan from how I see it, those two are to be the future here in Edmonton.

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