Cam Talbot Review

Coming into this off season, the Oilers needed a stud starting goalie, and they think Cam Talbot is their answer. They acquired him in a trade with the New York Rangers, that involved no other players, but it did involve 4 picks. The Oilers traded picks 57, 79 and 184, while the Rangers traded pick number 209, and Talbot.

Talbot was a great backup for the Rangers last year, as he went 21-9-4, with a .926 save percentage, and a 2.21 goals against average. So the Oilers are in for either an expected stud, or a one season wonder with Talbot. Although, Talbot might have been successful just because of the Rangers strong defense. The have great players such as Staal, McDonagh, Girardi, and Boyle. The Oilers have one of the worst defenses in the league, but they did pick up veteran d-man Andrej Sekera in free agency. Edmonton also has Justin Schultz, who is projected to be one of the best offensive defenseman in the league in a few years. The Oilers also have great young defense with Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom.

There is tons of potential for Talbot to be a one season wonder, but we will have to wait and see.

Minnesota Wild Prospects

The Wild don’t have tons of young talent, but let’s take a look on 3 of their top prospects.
1. Alex Tuch.
Tuch is an amazing 2 way forward, and in 37 games this year with Boston College, he had 14 goals and 14 assists for a total of 28 points. In his draft year playing in the USHL, he had 13 goals and 19 assists for a total of 32 points in 27 games. He had a highlight reel shootout goal in the Wild’s development camp, so you know he has the hands. I predict he will be playing in Minnesota in 1-2 years.
2. Mike Reilly
Reilly has a great chance at making the Wild’s roster this year, as he will be competing with Nate Prosser to get the last defensive spot. He is a great shutdown defenseman, who can also play offensively. Reilly is coming out of college, so he might need some time to develop. My prediction is that he will be playing top 4 minutes in 1-3 years.
3. Joel Eriksson Ek.
The Wild got everything they were looking for in Eriksson Ek, a competitive center who uses his size and skill to make plays happen near the net. His skating is good, but could use some room for improvement. He is 6’2 and is a mix between a power forward and sniper, but I’d categorize him as a sniper. My prediction for Eriksson Ek, is that he will be a top 6 forward when Koivu leaves, or if he leaves this year, 2-4 years.

Andrew Hammond – 1 season or elite goalie?

Andrew Hammond made his mark in Senators history last year. After being out 14 points of a playoff spot, he helped the Sens go 20-1-2 and make the Playoffs. But here’s the problem; will Hammond be a one season type of guy? Or will he be an elite goalie?

Hammond is 28 years old, so he isn’t exactly what you’d call a ‘young gun’. He was amazing for the Sens last year, but was bad in the playoffs. The Senators recently traded away Robin Lehner, which was a terrible deal for them. Lehner has a great future, and the last time they did that (with Ben Bishop), it backfired. I think Hammond will be a one season type of guy, and I will bet you a cookie he is. Trading away Lehner will be one of the worst deals they made. It looks like Hammond will only get worse, so leave your feedback.

1 season, or elite goalie?

Taking a look at the NHL’s top prospects

So as many of you know, Connor McDavid went first overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft, followed by Jack Eichel at the #2 spot. I will be breaking down how the top 5 will help their teams in the future.

1. Connor McDavid. The Oilers got the best player in the draft by far in McDavid, and he will help his team in these ways: McDavid is projected to be a franchise player, and if he lives up to his potential, the Oilers are in for a treat. He scored 5 goals in the Oilers prospect scrimmage, also tallying 1 assist. The Oilers desperately need forwards, so this worked out perfect for them. Connor McDavid will bring scoring to a young Oilers squad, and will be one of the elite forwards in the game.

2. Jack Eichel. The Sabers didn’t have any luck as they lost the draft lottery, but Eichel is still a very solid player. He can do it all, skate, deke, pass shoot, and defend. He will most likely play on the second line next year, under newly acquired forward, Ryan O’Reilly. He will top off the offense for the Sabers, and now they can focus on defense/goaltending.

3. Dylan Strome. Strome was McDavid’s OHL teammate in Erie, and was challenging him for his #1 role for the center position. He is a dynamic offensive player, who can shoot, pass, and skate. He will no doubt challenge Vermette and Hanzal for the #1 center roll, and will gain that roll in maybe 2-3 years. So to recap: Strome is a great offensive player, will no doubt get the #1 center roll one day, and will definitely be in the race for the Calder trophy.

4. Mitch Marner. I haven’t watched tons of Marner highlights, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Marner looks like an amazing forward, who can shoot. His skating looks amazing, but his passing needs work. He is a guy you could for sure put on the power play, but the penalty kill, no so much. He is only 5’11, and isn’t amazing defensively. That’s my opinion on him.

5. Noah Hanifin. Hanifin is no doubt the best d-man in the draft. He is an amazing offensive defenseman, who still gets back defensively. You could throw him on the second – maybe even first- line power play in his rookie year. The Faulk-Hanifin duo will be killer in 1-3 years, and will make the ‘Canes one of the leagues best in a few years.

Pacific Division power rankings

These are my power rankings for the Pacific Division for the 2015-2016 season

7. Arizona Coyotes 

The Coyotes made a big offseason move, by signing long-time Coyote Antoine Vermette (was traded to Chicago at the trade deadline.), but I don’t think that will impact the ‘Yotes too much. They did draft Dylan Strome at third overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft, but he will need some time to develop. They don’t have very much defense after trading away Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers. The Coyotes will be a great team in a few years, with Strome, Domi, and Duclair, but for now, I rank them #7 on my power rankings.

6. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers look like a very good, young team, but I don’t think that will put them any higher than #6 in the rankings for now. Yes, they have Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, ect., but they need more time to develop, especially McDavid. They traded for G Cam Talbot, and acquired veteran D-Man Andrej Sekera, but other than that, they don’t have any good veterans on their team. In a few years I might rank them #1, but for now, they are #6 in my rankings.

5. Vancouver Canucks

Many of you could argue that the Oilers will be better than the ‘Nucks next year, but here’s why I disagree. The Canucks have some great young players, in Horvat, and some great veteran players in the Sedin twins. However, trading away Lack and Kassian doesn’t make them any better. Ryan Miller is getting old and isn’t playing like he used to, so I don’t see why trading away Lack would solve anything. Did I mention that they don’t really have a great bottom 6? So to summarize, they have average offense, average defense, and average goaltending. Average won’t get you a playoff spot. That is why I rank them #5 in my rankings.

4. San Jose Sharks

San Jose quite possibly made the worst move this offseason trading Antti Niemi for a 7th round draft pick, so that leaves them with Alex Stalock, and Martin Jones. They have a star in Couture, Hertl, and Pavelski, but Marleau and Thornton are getting old. They did pick up D-Man Paul Martin in free agency so that will help out their back end a lot, already having Burns and Vlasic. Even though Thornton and Marleau can still produce at elite rates, they won’t be able to keep up with the energy and speed of their young guns (except for maybe speedster Marleau). They have good offense, good defense, and bad goaltending. If Jones can step it up, I’d say that they San Jose Sharks have a chance at a playoff spot.

3. Los Angles Kings 

Even though the Kings lost Jones, Williams, and Voynov, they got enforcer, and scorer, Milan Lucic. They have one of the best defenseman in the world in Drew Doughty, and great Slovenian scorer, Anze Kopitar. Not to mention one of the best goalies in the game, Jonathan Quick. They won’t have a great year, with their torn blue line, but will have a bounce back year after missing the playoffs last year. They won’t be amazing in maybe 5 years, due to no amazing prospects, like Connor McDavid, or Mitch Marner.

2. Calgary Flames 

As we saw last year, the Calgary Flames went through a one year rebuild. They have stellar offense, led by Gaudreau, Monahan, and Hudler, and pretty good defense, led by Hamilton and Giordano. A weak spot in the Flames game is their goaltending. They have to get a solid starter in either Hiller or Ramo; they can’t just keep rotating them. The Flames offense will only get better, as they have a young start in Sam Bennett. For defense, they have a veteran leader in Giordano and Wideman, and a young gun in Hamilton. I have a feeling they will rank #10 in the league next year.

1. Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have one of the best – if not, the best – 1-2 punch down the middle, with Getzlaf and Kesler. They have a solid scorer in Corey Perry. They are strong on defense with Lindholm and Fowler, and goaltending with Gibson and Andersen. They have one of the fastest players in the world, with Andrew Cogliano, and amazing depth from line one to line four. The Ducks also acquired Carl Hagelin, again, one of the fastest players in the world. Imagine Hagelin and Cogliano against a third line defenseman… they’d embarrass him!

That’s my power rankings for the Pacific Division.

Edmonton Oilers deals/draft picks this offseason

The Edmonton Oilers have made a handful of trades, including trading for G Cam Talbot, D Griffin Reinhart, and D Eric Gryba. The free agent signings include D Andrej Sekera, and C Mark Letestu.

Talbot’s record this past year was 21-9-4, had a GAA of 2.21, and had save percentage of .926.

Letestu’s stats include 7 goals 6 assists for a total of 13 points in 54 games played. He -9 rating.

Reinhart’s stats include 0 goals and 1 assist for a total of 1 point in 8 games played. He was a +1 rating.

Gryba’s stats this past season are 0 goals 12 points in 75 games played. +11

Sekera’s stats from the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angles Kings were 3 goals, 20 assists for a total of 23 points in 73 games played. He was a -3 rating.

It looks like Connor McDavid will play on the second line with Taylor Hall, and Nail Yakupov. Darnell Nurse will not play this year according to the Edmonton Oilers app.

The Oilers have made lots of moves this offseason, and I rank them number 20 in my power rankings for next year. I think the biggest move this offseason was either acquiring Cam Talbot from the Rangers, or picking up Andrej Sekera in free agency. Talbot looks like a solid starter, as we saw that from when Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist went down with injury in March of 2015. Sekera brings veteran leadership to a young Edmonton blue line. He is expected to play on the first line with Mark Fayne. Talbot is expected to start over veteran Ben Scrivens.

Here are the projected lines for next year:

Pouliot-Nugent Hopkins-Eberle

Hall-McDavid-Yakupov

Korpikoski-Lander-Purcell

Hendricks-Letestu-Klinkhammer

Defense:

Sekera-Fayne

Klefbom-Schultz

Ference-Gryba

I agree with these lines but I think Gryba should go on second line, Fayne goes on third line, and Schultz goes on first line.

My prediction for Edmonton next year is that they will finish above Arizona, but the Canucks will barely out do them, and will beat them by 6 points. Look out for these players: Sekera, Talbot, Hall, McDavid, Schultz. I expect them all to have great years. Darnell Nurse will be up there in the top 6 soon, but for now, Fayne has his spot. I think Nurse will be one of the elite defenseman in the game in in 3-4 years, maybe top 15 in the league. He will be ready by next year or 2 years from now is my prediction. McDavid will have about 50 points in his rookie year, but will be a close run for the Calder because of Strome, Eichel, and Hanifin to have terrific years (that was a prediction if you couldn’t tell). Nugent Hopkins will be traded when McDavid is ready to be a #1 center, for a pick, and 2 dedicated third liners. Bottom line here, is that the Oilers have tons of great prospects and a few good veteran players, and I predict they will be an elite team in 3-4 years.

Edmontons goalies

So as some of you might know, Viktor Fasth has signed with the KHL. That leaves Bachman, Scrivens, and Talbot. Cam Talbot is a very good goalie, but hasn’t had the chance to prove himself as a legit NHL starter because he’s always been a backup to Henrik Lundqvist. Ben Scrivens is the most underrated goalie in the league in my opinion. He has never had a chance with a team who has good defense, like Chicago, NYR, Montreal. If he did, I’d think he’d be a legit starter. Bachman can be a good backup if Talbot or Scrivens go down. Back to Fasth. I think its good for Fasth because he will get a chance to shine due to the fact he never did in Anaheim or Edmonton. So Edmonton has pretty solid goaltending, even with Fasth gone.