Oilers Predictions Part 1 – The Forwards

So much has happened with the Oilers this off-season, they finally have a competent management group and coaching staff, they’ve drafted the best prospect in the past 30 years in Connor McDavid, and brought in Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart, Andrej Sekera, Lauri Korpikoski, Mark Letestu and Eric Gryba. Think about that. Crazy.

As I see things this is the Oilers forward depth chart:

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot Connor McDavid Nail Yakipov
Lauri Korpikoski Anton Lander Teddy Purcell
Matt Hendricks Mark Letestu Tyler Pitlick
Rob Klinkhammer Leon Draisaitl Andrew Miller
Luke Gazdic Bogdan Yakimov Iiro Pakarinen

Todd McLellan has a history of using a fighter on the fourth line which is good news for Luke Gazdic and bad news for both Andrew Miller and Iiro Pakarinen. With such a young team as well I think veterans will have the advantage when there is competition for key roles (2nd line RW). With that said here is my prediction for the the line combinations:

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Benoit Pouliot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall Connor McDavid Teddy Purcell
Lauri Korpikoski Anton Lander Nail Yakipov
Matt Hendricks Mark Letestu Luke Gazdic
Press Box: Rob Klinkhammer Tyler Pitlick

I just can’t resist putting Hall and McDavid together, they’re going to have a blast and honestly I only have them on the 2nd line hoping that apposing teams play their toughs against the Nuge line. Teddy Purcell’s experience gets him the opportunity to play on McDavids wing, he’s training hard this summer and if he can keep up with the kids he could earn a good payday next offseason. On the 2nd err… 1st line I have Pouliot, Nuge and Ebs back together. These guys had a lot of success last season and they’ll either be taking the tough at bats giving the McDavid line easy minutes or they’ll be making 2nd pairing D-men look silly.

Seriously. Which of those two lines would you match your number 1 pairing against?

The 3rd line is a bit of a question mark for me, can Lander build on the season he had last year or does he regress without Todd Nelson behind the bench? Can Lauri Korpikoski bounce back after having a dreadful offensive season last year or is he on the down side of his career? Can Yakipov play without Derek Roy? All three of these guys have something to prove, especially Nail Yakipov. Some in the media are already calling him a bust and I admit he has some holes in his game and maybe brings a little too much chaos but when he scores it pure joy and I’ll be cheering for him all season.

Luke Gazdic makes the team so that he can punch faces while Rob Klinkhammer and Tyler Pitlick get to watch from the pressbox. Some may not agree with Draisaitl going to the AHL but I just can’t see him winning an opening night job from the above guys, he’ll be the first call up and may well stick once he gets a chance.

Photo by Sarah Connors

7 thoughts on “Oilers Predictions Part 1 – The Forwards

  1. Sarai

    The Red Wings ranked foruth in player likability, but 97th in affordability and 89th in stadium experience. I’m shocked the player likability is so high even post-Yzerman and Shanahan, but I think that paints a fairly clear picture of what happened to attendance there. For reference, the Pistons are 10th and 11th, and the Tigers are 14th and 13th.How come the Hurricanes are ranked first overall on their title track record?

  2. Evelyn

    Brayden Schenn, Nate Prosser, Benn Ferrio, Dwight King, Marc-Andre Bourdon. Guys that get you shot, +/- and PIM are valuable for their price, keep that in mind

  3. Janey

    Great info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  4. Ken Oblak

    I strongly agree with Dave Lumley who stated on Oilers Now last week that there is no one on the Oilers top six to go into the corners and fetch the puck. He also remarked that they are maily perimeter players and will not make the playoffs with these forwards for another seven years.

  5. joe

    I read here all the time, never posted, but reading a blogger misspell players names 4 separate times in one blog…wow


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