Is Justin Schultz the best prospect in the NHL?

Jonathan Willis
December 15 2012 11:26AM

According to former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button, the answer is “yes.”

On Friday, Button put out a list of the players he sees as the 30 best drafted prospects in the NHL. The Oilers had three players on the list – Schultz in the top spot, Nail Yakupov at number five, and Oscar Klefbom at number 18.

The fact is that there is a case for Schultz as the best prospect in the league. The 22-year old defenceman is leading the entire AHL in scoring – in a lockout year, no less – as a rookie professional. His 35 points this season are three more than second-place Jordan Eberle, and eight more than the next-nearest skater (diminutive Columbus prospect Cam Atkinson).

Schultz entered this season with high expectations after being the subject of an off-season recruiting war after he opted not to sign with the Anaheim Ducks, the team that drafted him. However high those expectations were, he’s blown them out of the water. Oklahoma coach Todd Nelson calls him the best player in the AHL – and Nelson has Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall skating for him.

Schultz is the only AHL’er in the top-five – likely in no small part because other top AHL’ers are already bona fide NHL players. The KHL, however has three prospects in Button’s upper echelon:

  • Second: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington. The 26th overall pick in 2010, Kuzentsov has evolved into a near point-per-game player in the KHL. Kuznetsov as brilliant for Russia at last year’s World Juniors, managing six goals and 13 points in seven games. He can do it all offensively.
  • Third: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis. Another 2010 first round pick (16th overall), Tarasenko just turned 21 and has eclipsed the point-per-game mark in the KHL through 23 contests so far. Unlike Kuznetsov, Tarasenko has made it clear he plans to make the jump to the NHL immediately.
  • Fifth: Nail Yakupov, Edmonton. It’s hard for me to look at Yakupov’s KHL performance – both in terms of numbers and from having watched a bunch of games – and see him ranked below Tarasenko and Kuznetsov. Yakupov’s commitment to North America – including the fact that he played two years in the OHL in the lead-up to getting drafted – is clear, and he’s putting in a highly comparable KHL performance to the other two despite having just turned 19.

Morgan Rielly, a near point-per-game defenceman with Moose Jaw and the fifth overall pick last year, rounds out the list.

For my money, the top spot on the list is a toss-up between Yakupov and Justin Schultz. Schultz is older, and his results almost defy belief in an extremely tough AHL. In terms of pure offence, Yakupov stacks up fairly against any of the Oilers young guns; he might already be the best shooter in the system (though Jordan Eberle will contest that).

Other Highlights

Brett Ritchie is an interesting choice for the 10th spot. A 2010 draft pick with a 6’4” frame, the winger’s numbers have never been terribly impressive until this year. In 32 OHL games he has scored 27 goals and 50 points.

Dougie Hamilton at 12 is a tough one to take. The OHL’s best defenceman last year, Hamilton isn’t particularly mean but he’s good at everything else; I’m guessing he suffers here because of comparisons to Jay Bouwmeester. He’s a brilliant prospect, and a guy I’d take earlier.

Malcolm Subban goes from being the 24th best prospect (according to NHL scouts) in the 2012 Draft to the 15th spot on Button’s list. I like Subban a lot, and clearly Button does too but I’m leery about putting that kind of value on any young goaltender.

Rielly and Yakupov both get spots in the top-five on Button’s list, and Alex Galchenyuk just falls shot, but the rest of 2012’s top-five is conspicuous by their lack of impact. Ryan Murray is ranked a lowly 26th (I’m assuming injury has something to do with this) and Griffin Reinhart is omitted entirely.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Oilertown
December 15 2012, 09:56PM
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DSF wrote:

You have no idea what Galchenyuk would be doing the KHL.

Thing is, he IS doing it in the OHL.

I've always thought Galchenyuk would have been a better pick.

We'll see when they go head to head, if that ever happens.

Given how the CBA talks are going, Yakupov may never play in the NHL.

And you have no idea what Yakupov would be doing in the OHL so give it up buddy.

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#52 DSF
December 15 2012, 11:23PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This is true, What DSF day's here is correct. Galley is ripping it up.

I personally still would have picked Yakupov over Galchenyuk but I think it's bloody close.

Being an Oiler fan I have an obvious biases towards The team , however the Oilers could use Galchenyuk more then Yakupov as much as it hurts to admit it.

This.

Since the Oilers passed on Seguin, they should have opted for the centre instead of another scoring winger.

I expect their stats will be close but the Oilers need a second line centre in the worst way.

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#53 DSF
December 15 2012, 11:24PM
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Oilertown wrote:

And you have no idea what Yakupov would be doing in the OHL so give it up buddy.

No, it's all speculation.

Just like Button, just like you...just like me.

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#54 OilersBrass
December 15 2012, 11:55PM
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DSF wrote:

This.

Since the Oilers passed on Seguin, they should have opted for the centre instead of another scoring winger.

I expect their stats will be close but the Oilers need a second line centre in the worst way.

My thoughts exactly. The Oilers have 2 old centres who don't have much time left in their careers, Galchenyuk is a big kid with a ton of skill and would have been a perfect fit for the team.

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#55 DSF
December 16 2012, 12:27AM
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OilersBrass wrote:

My thoughts exactly. The Oilers have 2 old centres who don't have much time left in their careers, Galchenyuk is a big kid with a ton of skill and would have been a perfect fit for the team.

Yep.

"In their last game before heading to the World Junior Championships, Alex Galchenyuk and Connor Murphy gave Sting fans something to remember them by.

Galchenyuk had a hat trick en route to a five-point night, and Murphy’s eighth of the season earned a free burger for the fans as the Sarnia Sting trounced the Kingston Frontenacs 7-4 Saturday in front of 3,197 at the RBC Centre."

http://www.theobserver.ca/2012/12/15/galchenyuk-shines-in-parting-game

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#56 DSF
December 16 2012, 12:47AM
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And just for fun:

Mitch Moroz - 5G 8A 13P

Matt Finn - 11G 12A 23P

One of these players is a defenseman.

Stu is so magnificent.

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#58 DSF
December 16 2012, 01:11AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

RE: Galchenyuk vs. Yakupov

I like Galchenyuk a lot, but let's try and remember that his numbers this year are just *narrowly* better than Yakupov's last year and not as good as Yakupov's pre-injury numbers last year.

Yakupov's the better player. Not a knock on Galchenyuk - at all - but that's before we even get into the fact that he played all of *8* OHL games last year.

Let's remember he was injured.

Let's also remember the Oilers have the worst centre depth in the league.

Let's also cast an eye toward what Galchenyuk is doing this season.

He's on pace for a 60 goal 133 point season.

Those numbers blow away Yakupov's final season in the OHL.

Yakupov is NOT the better player.

And Galchenyuk is a 6' 2" 205 pound centre.

Sure could use one of those JW.

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Sanaa Montana wrote:

What happens to the NHL rosters is the Union breaks up and all hell breaks lose?

Would the teams who have contracts with players have the first right to them?

DSF is retarded.

NHL is arguing that if the union decertifies or disclaims interest, the contracts should be void. However, because that isn't specifically stated in the contracts, it would be a tough thing to prove in court, according to TSN's legal analyst Eric Macramalla.

So basically, it's either (1) not likely the court will rule in favour of NHL's argument (and the "poor" Oilers will be stuck with Hallsy, Nuge, Ebs, Schultz, and Yak) or (2) if it does, the NHL and the PA will likely not want to deal with the consequences and settle prior, like the NBA did.

Link: http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/183635241.html

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#60 DSF
December 16 2012, 01:17AM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat.

Very, very weak.

The author admits he doesn't have a clue.

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DSF wrote:

Very, very weak.

The author admits he doesn't have a clue.

Something you should try doing.

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#62 Oilertown
December 16 2012, 02:25AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Something you should try doing.

Hahahahahaha Frig that was awesome.

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#63 Johe
December 16 2012, 02:34AM
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DSF wrote:

Let's remember he was injured.

Let's also remember the Oilers have the worst centre depth in the league.

Let's also cast an eye toward what Galchenyuk is doing this season.

He's on pace for a 60 goal 133 point season.

Those numbers blow away Yakupov's final season in the OHL.

Yakupov is NOT the better player.

And Galchenyuk is a 6' 2" 205 pound centre.

Sure could use one of those JW.

Sigh. Criticizing the pick of Yakupov is a bit of a reach. Even for you DSF. I really don't think there's any doubt Yakupov was the most explosive offensive player in the draft, and I think once the NHL starts up that will become abundantly clear. Or maybe not. Maybe Galchenyuk WILL be the better player. It's impossible to know for sure, but my money's on Yak. You on the other hand, will take any opportunity to blindly defend someone if it means putting down the Oilers. Sad really. Life must be joyless when someone is so critical.

But since you're so high on numbers, and "on pace," let's take a look at Yak versus Gal. 1 year prior to draft year: Yak- 65gp- 49g 52a 101p. Gal- 68gp- 32g 51a 83p. Draft year: Yak- 42gp 31g 38a 69p. On pace for 50g 61a 111p. Gal- injured- on pace for 0 points- duh. This year- Yakupov playing against men on an average team- 22gp 10g 8a 18p. Arguably their best forward despite not playing top minutes and missing time because of travel to NA and back. Gal- 33gp 27 g 34a 61p. On pace for 55g 72a 127p.

So what do we learn from this? In the previous two years Yakupov was clearly the better player. This year? Impossible to say with certainty, though you still insist on doing that. But one thing we do know- Yakupov's numbers would be very similar to Galchenyuk's if not better- history tells us this. On the other hand, Galchenyuk's numbers if he were in the KHL, cannot be predicted. But we can say with confidence that Yakupov's playing very well and is outdoing what Malkin and Ovechkin did in the K at the same age.

So just admit that Yakupov is awesome and there's no reasonable way you can say Galchenyuk is definitively better. Thank you. :)

Also I really look forward to the WJ's and seeing who fares better between the two. Should give us some idea, though a small one, about how they stack up against one another this year. Who will be more dominant? My money's on Yak, but I could be wrong. Will be fun regardless.

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#64 RomZ
December 16 2012, 02:46AM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Oh, and you have to rank Nail ahead of J Schu. J Schu is three years older and has taken his sweet time to develop. Two years ago no one heard or care much about J Schu but everyone knew Nail would be the sh!t. Now think where Nail will be in three years.

Look at the last dozen Norris trophy winners, outside of Pronger, Niedermeyer, and most recently Karlsson the winners have been late round draft picks ala Chara, Keith, and best of all Lidstorm whos had a stanglehold on the award in this era. Defencemen typically take the longer development route on their way to the show, and most of the 'Studs' have all seen time in the AHL to hone their skills. Comparing a 1st overall pick forward to a 2nd round defencemen in terms of their developmental curve is like comparing apples to oranges.

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#65 Time Travelling Sean
December 16 2012, 06:31AM
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DSF is right about Finn, but he's wrong about Nail. Nail was the BPA and DSF is just crying about position. Also Nail was better in his draft year and pre-draft year, Gally was injured, Nail is playing on an island on a sub .500 team and is almost putting up a PPG against men, while Gally, as a 19 year old, is killing some 17 year old defencemen.

RNH and Gags are a pretty decent 1-2 combo.

Are Koivu and Brodziak really better than those two?

I don't think, looking at previous cup winners, and runner-ups, it's enough depth, but we can sign a center or trade for one if we have to.

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#66 book¡e
December 16 2012, 08:00AM
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I think Fehr may have made a tremendous mistake with the vote for decertification. Many of the players in the league are as unhappy with the NHLPA as they are with the NHL. I don't think they will get enough votes to decertify. That would leave the PA in a much weaker position than they are currently in.

We will see I guess.

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#67 John Chambers
December 16 2012, 08:44AM
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@book¡e

You may very well be correct. I'm of the mind that a much larger (and less vocal) segment of the PA is fairly risk-adverse and pretty eager to just get back to playing hockey.

It would be awesome to see that vote fail because the Corey Potters of the world don't see 5-year contracts as the hill they want to see their careers die on.

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#68 They're $hittie
December 16 2012, 09:25AM
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DSF,

Have you found one professional scout or writer that says galchenyuk is better. Maybe there is but I haven,t heard from them. Galchenyuk was consensus third best player not first. At the number one pick position you take the best player not the best center, even if you feel you need one.

Teams with two good centers do not have four elite wingers. To worry right now while the team is growing, about needing another number two center while the oilers aren't going to push for a cup for a year or two is dumb, especially when our two first centers are 19 and 23.

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#69 DSF
December 16 2012, 09:40AM
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@Johe

Yakupov is currently at a .818 PPG in the KHL.

While that is certainly a nice number, it's hardly "explosive" since it ranks him 29th in the KHL by that metric.

For some perspective, Victor Hedman, a defenseman playing for Barys Astana, is .826 PPG.

Now, I don't doubt for a minute that Yakupov will be a very, very good player but I think, given the Oilers organizational lack of depth at centre, they should have taken Galchenyuk.

If, in two or three years we are arguing over 5 or 6 points a season between the two, it won't matter much unless their respective teams are successful or not.

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#70 DSF
December 16 2012, 09:55AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

DSF,

Have you found one professional scout or writer that says galchenyuk is better. Maybe there is but I haven,t heard from them. Galchenyuk was consensus third best player not first. At the number one pick position you take the best player not the best center, even if you feel you need one.

Teams with two good centers do not have four elite wingers. To worry right now while the team is growing, about needing another number two center while the oilers aren't going to push for a cup for a year or two is dumb, especially when our two first centers are 19 and 23.

No I haven't. So what?

Had he not been injured for an entire season, that might be different.

And, I think it's close enough, like the Taylor/Tyler debate, where you take the centre.

I think it's a little premature saying the Oilers have 4 elite wingers when one of them hasn't even played in the league yet and, other than Eberle, are not even close to that.

My definition of an elite forward in the NHL is one who consistently scores at least 1 PPG in the NHL.

Eberle is right there, Hall might get there soon and Hemsky has never achieved that.

If you're not interested in winning for a year or two, it doesn't matter but the weakness at centre will have to be addressed if the Oilers hope to win anything.

Can you imagine what the team would look like if Hopkins got injured?

Ugly.

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#71 DSF
December 16 2012, 10:02AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

DSF is right about Finn, but he's wrong about Nail. Nail was the BPA and DSF is just crying about position. Also Nail was better in his draft year and pre-draft year, Gally was injured, Nail is playing on an island on a sub .500 team and is almost putting up a PPG against men, while Gally, as a 19 year old, is killing some 17 year old defencemen.

RNH and Gags are a pretty decent 1-2 combo.

Are Koivu and Brodziak really better than those two?

I don't think, looking at previous cup winners, and runner-ups, it's enough depth, but we can sign a center or trade for one if we have to.

Minnesota's centre depth is a little better than you think.

Mikko Koivu

Mikael Granlund

Matt Cullen

Kyle Brodziak

P.M. Bouchard

Zenon Konopka

Chad Rau

Charlie Coyle

Zack Phillips

Tyler Graovac

I think they'll be okay.

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#72 Gazmort
December 16 2012, 10:10AM
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@DSF

"Good grief"

It's also not quite as good as you think.

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#73 Sanaa Montana
December 16 2012, 11:11AM
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@DSF

Most thinkers write badly because they tell us not only their thoughts but also the thinking of the thoughts.

Think about what you are assuming. 1+1+1 isnt 1.

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#74 GVBlackhawk
December 16 2012, 11:33AM
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DSF wrote:

Let's remember he was injured.

Let's also remember the Oilers have the worst centre depth in the league.

Let's also cast an eye toward what Galchenyuk is doing this season.

He's on pace for a 60 goal 133 point season.

Those numbers blow away Yakupov's final season in the OHL.

Yakupov is NOT the better player.

And Galchenyuk is a 6' 2" 205 pound centre.

Sure could use one of those JW.

Galchenyuk is not that big. Maybe one inch taller than Yakupov. Google the draft day pictures of them standing side-by-side and you will see for yourself. Good skills but only average size.

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#75 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 12:45PM
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Galchenyuk is 6'2 look it up on almost every hockey site for players bio's.

I get a lot of you don't like DSF and that’s fine, but look at this objectively.

His point is simple and if you think about it without being a fan of the Oilers he has a valid if not convincing argument as to why the Oilers need Galchenyuk.

He's not telling you that Yakupov is bad, I believe Yakupov will be the better player, but and a big but, the Oilers NEED Galchenuk more then they need Yakupov.

Think injury and RNH, The defacto #1 center is Shawn Horcoff.

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#76 DSF
December 16 2012, 12:47PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Galchenyuk is not that big. Maybe one inch taller than Yakupov. Google the draft day pictures of them standing side-by-side and you will see for yourself. Good skills but only average size.

He's listed on the OHL website at 6'2" 205.

Yakupov is listed on the Oilers website as 5"11" 185.

If accurate, that's a pretty big difference.

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#77 DSF
December 16 2012, 12:49PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Galchenyuk is 6'2 look it up on almost every hockey site for players bio's.

I get a lot of you don't like DSF and that’s fine, but look at this objectively.

His point is simple and if you think about it without being a fan of the Oilers he has a valid if not convincing argument as to why the Oilers need Galchenyuk.

He's not telling you that Yakupov is bad, I believe Yakupov will be the better player, but and a big but, the Oilers NEED Galchenuk more then they need Yakupov.

Think injury and RNH, The defacto #1 center is Shawn Horcoff.

Exactly.

When you also consider Galchenyuk would likely have been drafted higher had he not been injured, it's much, much closer than at first glance.

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#78 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 12:55PM
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book¡e wrote:

I think Fehr may have made a tremendous mistake with the vote for decertification. Many of the players in the league are as unhappy with the NHLPA as they are with the NHL. I don't think they will get enough votes to decertify. That would leave the PA in a much weaker position than they are currently in.

We will see I guess.

They may get the votes, correct me if I am wrong here, but you don't need all 750 members, you need the 30 team reps to vote?

What worries me is if the league fails in the courts and this thing goes off the rails and the players do decertifies.

You could see in the next 3 years at least ten teams go under; only the extreme rich will be able to compete with each other.

This is why I believe this can’t work for anyone especially the players in the long run.

If I was an average player I would be scared right now.

NHL will become a two tier league for 3 years until the rich take over.

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#79 Word
December 16 2012, 01:03PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Galchenyuk is 6'2 look it up on almost every hockey site for players bio's.

I get a lot of you don't like DSF and that’s fine, but look at this objectively.

His point is simple and if you think about it without being a fan of the Oilers he has a valid if not convincing argument as to why the Oilers need Galchenyuk.

He's not telling you that Yakupov is bad, I believe Yakupov will be the better player, but and a big but, the Oilers NEED Galchenuk more then they need Yakupov.

Think injury and RNH, The defacto #1 center is Shawn Horcoff.

Gagner?

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#80 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 01:08PM
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@Word

Gagner cant go head to head with the other teams # 1's he would get eaten up or the Oilers would have been doing that already.

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#81 They're $hittie
December 16 2012, 02:29PM
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@DSF

You take BPA, if Galchenyuk was as good as Yakupov than he would have been ranked number based on being a center. That said he wasnt even though he had the center factor.

Any team that loses there top line center would cringe not just the oilers.

And sorry I meant three elite wingers. And yak and hall will be elite.

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#82 They're $hittie
December 16 2012, 02:30PM
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@Walter Sobchak

at the number one spot you draft the best value, not organizational depth.

Also all this crap that he was hurt, yes it cost him draft spot maybe, but it also cost him a key year of growth and development that he cant get back.

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#83 GeorgeOrwell
December 16 2012, 02:48PM
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They were measured at the 2012 draft combine as:

Alex Galchenyuk: 6’0.5″ 194 lbs

Nail Yakupov – 5’11.25″ 185 lbs

So, Galchenyuk has ~1 inch and ~10 lbs on Yakupov.

http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/06/19/nhl-draft-combine-2012-official-heights-and-weights/

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#84 GVBlackhawk
December 16 2012, 03:09PM
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GeorgeOrwell wrote:

They were measured at the 2012 draft combine as:

Alex Galchenyuk: 6’0.5″ 194 lbs

Nail Yakupov – 5’11.25″ 185 lbs

So, Galchenyuk has ~1 inch and ~10 lbs on Yakupov.

http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/06/19/nhl-draft-combine-2012-official-heights-and-weights/

But...but...the OHL website says different.

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#85 GVBlackhawk
December 16 2012, 03:14PM
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DSF wrote:

He's listed on the OHL website at 6'2" 205.

Yakupov is listed on the Oilers website as 5"11" 185.

If accurate, that's a pretty big difference.

Definitely not accurate. There is plenty of photographic evidence to show the difference in size. It is not substantial. If this site allowed photo posts I would put one up. Gally is not a monster center. I'm not saying he won't be effective in the NHL but he is not 'big, gritty center' that you and others are always clamoring for.

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#86 GVBlackhawk
December 16 2012, 03:41PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Galchenyuk is 6'2 look it up on almost every hockey site for players bio's.

I get a lot of you don't like DSF and that’s fine, but look at this objectively.

His point is simple and if you think about it without being a fan of the Oilers he has a valid if not convincing argument as to why the Oilers need Galchenyuk.

He's not telling you that Yakupov is bad, I believe Yakupov will be the better player, but and a big but, the Oilers NEED Galchenuk more then they need Yakupov.

Think injury and RNH, The defacto #1 center is Shawn Horcoff.

Liking or not liking DSF has nothing to do with the argument. When the Oilers are in the position to win in the future, if Gagner is not doing the job then they can address the issue through trade or free agency. The opportunity to get a Yakupov is something you don't pass up.

My final point: I think the Oilers need to address their defensive situation before worrying about the 2C position.

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#87 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 04:13PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

But...but...the OHL website says different.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=130582

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Galchenyuk

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/alex_galchenyuk/

http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8476851

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=74611

http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.cgi?7220

He's not 6'0 feet tall. he's between 6'1 and 6'2 and yes size is important.

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#88 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 04:29PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Liking or not liking DSF has nothing to do with the argument. When the Oilers are in the position to win in the future, if Gagner is not doing the job then they can address the issue through trade or free agency. The opportunity to get a Yakupov is something you don't pass up.

My final point: I think the Oilers need to address their defensive situation before worrying about the 2C position.

How many top flight centers have you seen traded as opposed to top flight defensemen? How many times’ on oilersnation have you seen the argument about the fact you can’t trade for these players as opposed to defensemen?

You have to draft center’s you trade for defensemen.

The Oilers depth at center IS worse than there defensive situation, that’s a reality. If a defensemen goes down we can bring in at least a couple of options, if RNH goes down like last year, well, we become a 29th place team really quickly.

Again to clarify, I am all about taking BPA, I am so glad they choose Yakupov, I would still choose Yakupov.

The argument is a solid one by DSF in the fact we have poor center depth and strength, it is a concern and a weakness, Galchenyuk will be a very good player an elite player and he could very well be close to Yakupov’s in points in the NHL which is why I said the Oilers could be ahead of the curve and accelerate the rebuild by drafting him.

The Oilers still require a center and defensemen which one will cost more to trade for?

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#89 DSF
December 16 2012, 04:39PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

at the number one spot you draft the best value, not organizational depth.

Also all this crap that he was hurt, yes it cost him draft spot maybe, but it also cost him a key year of growth and development that he cant get back.

None of this is true.

If it's even close, you take the centre...every time.

And this will be very close.

Missing a season didn't cost him "a year of growth and development", it only delayed it by a year....big deal.

His performance in the OHL this season indicates very clearly that he's just fine.

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#90 DSF
December 16 2012, 04:42PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Definitely not accurate. There is plenty of photographic evidence to show the difference in size. It is not substantial. If this site allowed photo posts I would put one up. Gally is not a monster center. I'm not saying he won't be effective in the NHL but he is not 'big, gritty center' that you and others are always clamoring for.

You know teenagers keep growing, right?

If he's 6'2" and 205 at the age of 18, it's not inconceivable he could end up 6'4" 220.

That's plenty big.

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#91 Oilertown
December 16 2012, 04:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

How many top flight centers have you seen traded as opposed to top flight defensemen? How many times’ on oilersnation have you seen the argument about the fact you can’t trade for these players as opposed to defensemen?

You have to draft center’s you trade for defensemen.

The Oilers depth at center IS worse than there defensive situation, that’s a reality. If a defensemen goes down we can bring in at least a couple of options, if RNH goes down like last year, well, we become a 29th place team really quickly.

Again to clarify, I am all about taking BPA, I am so glad they choose Yakupov, I would still choose Yakupov.

The argument is a solid one by DSF in the fact we have poor center depth and strength, it is a concern and a weakness, Galchenyuk will be a very good player an elite player and he could very well be close to Yakupov’s in points in the NHL which is why I said the Oilers could be ahead of the curve and accelerate the rebuild by drafting him.

The Oilers still require a center and defensemen which one will cost more to trade for?

Yak is gonna have 20+ points on Gally in there primes if not I will eat my phone that I am typing this on.

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#92 Time Travelling Sean
December 16 2012, 04:54PM
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Centers are important, but they're not king to wingers. Would you rather have Evander Kane or Wellwood? Alex Steen or Backes? Clutterbuck or Broadziak?

Stanley Cup teams don't just have center depth, they have depth all around.

We have good winger depth and good defensive depth, and we have an elite 1st line center. You don't need two of them to be successful, just look at Detroit.

It's not optimal, but it isn't the end of our hopes, because we took a better player in Yak, then Gally. Also junior numbers are a good indicator but Niederreiter put up good points in junior as well.

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#93 Oilertown
December 16 2012, 04:56PM
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And the Oil need a bottom pairing Defenseman Schultz Smid Petry and Schultz SR will be fine for top 4 what they need is a 2nd line center with size. Who's to say they won't be able to draft or trade for one using Gagner Hemsky ++ in the future.

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#94 Oilertown
December 16 2012, 04:59PM
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But as Shawn has said a 50-60 point Gagner will be just fine he don't need to be elite.

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#95 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 05:10PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Centers are important, but they're not king to wingers. Would you rather have Evander Kane or Wellwood? Alex Steen or Backes? Clutterbuck or Broadziak?

Stanley Cup teams don't just have center depth, they have depth all around.

We have good winger depth and good defensive depth, and we have an elite 1st line center. You don't need two of them to be successful, just look at Detroit.

It's not optimal, but it isn't the end of our hopes, because we took a better player in Yak, then Gally. Also junior numbers are a good indicator but Niederreiter put up good points in junior as well.

This does not help the debate.

Ok, I'll play

Malkin or Kane

Crosby or Kane

see I can do that too.

Why don’t you ask Iginla how important a really good center is?

Stanley cup teams? Just look how strong Pitt was, or L.A is then tell me if it's not important to have really good structure at center, not only is it important it's vital.

I will totally agree with you on the wingers as well, you need strength everywhere but speed and strength on your top two lines is havoc for another team to defend, the Oilers have some of that.

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#96 Walter Sobchak
December 16 2012, 05:13PM
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Oilertown wrote:

Yak is gonna have 20+ points on Gally in there primes if not I will eat my phone that I am typing this on.

Will BBQ sauce help?

Seriously Yakupov will have a better supporting cast for at least the first couple years, then it should get close, but by 20+ points, I say no.

Again, I think Yakupov is going to be better, especially when the Oilers get another legit 1-B center.

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#97 Time Travelling Sean
December 16 2012, 05:38PM
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I just used those comparisons because they play on the same team, and on the same line. Noted lines change.

New Jersey, although they didn't win the cup, got there, and with Zajac, whose good but not great, as their number 1.

Brown, a winger, was a second favourite, I think, to Quick for the Smythe.

Centers are important, but they can't win games by themselves, either can wingers, I don't think one is more important than the other.

Don't mean to nitpick but Pittsburgh is still really good.

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#98 Oilertown
December 16 2012, 06:05PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Will BBQ sauce help?

Seriously Yakupov will have a better supporting cast for at least the first couple years, then it should get close, but by 20+ points, I say no.

Again, I think Yakupov is going to be better, especially when the Oilers get another legit 1-B center.

I dunno Wes I just see Gally as a 60-80 point player in his prime and see Yak as a 80-100. Just my opinion.

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#99 DSF
December 16 2012, 06:15PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Centers are important, but they're not king to wingers. Would you rather have Evander Kane or Wellwood? Alex Steen or Backes? Clutterbuck or Broadziak?

Stanley Cup teams don't just have center depth, they have depth all around.

We have good winger depth and good defensive depth, and we have an elite 1st line center. You don't need two of them to be successful, just look at Detroit.

It's not optimal, but it isn't the end of our hopes, because we took a better player in Yak, then Gally. Also junior numbers are a good indicator but Niederreiter put up good points in junior as well.

Yeah, those Datsyuk and Zetterburg guys are garbage.

Good grief.

Stanley Cup winning teams ALL (the 2006 Canes excepted) have great centre depth.

Every hear of Crosby and Malkin and formerly Staal.

How about Kopitar, Richards, Carter and Stoll?

How about Bergeron and Krecji?

How about Toews, Sharp and Bolland?

You look up the rest.

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#100 DSF
December 16 2012, 06:51PM
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Oilertown wrote:

I dunno Wes I just see Gally as a 60-80 point player in his prime and see Yak as a 80-100. Just my opinion.

Based on nothing.

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