The Edmonton Oilers have an enviable group of young, skill players that includes Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and now Nail Yakupov. If those four players develop as projected, the Oilers will beat most teams in that department.
With that on mind, Edmonton entered the second half of the draft on Saturday with the objective of adding big players to compliment their core.
“We talked about how do we get these people,” said Oilers GM Steve Tambellini in a Sportsnet report. “Once in a while you may make a trade to get some size that has the skill to play with your top six or nine — once in a while. But more often than not, nine out of 10, you have to draft these people and develop them.
“So that was a major goal of ours coming into this draft and we think we accomplished that.”
They did so by taking guys like Mitchell Moroz with the 32nd overall pick and Daniil Zhakov in the third round. Both are big forwards who might be valuable additions to the Oilers down the road.
Edmonton’s rebuild seems to be coming along nicely, although they still might have trouble competing for a playoff spot next season.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.