Oiler fans take note: The latest rankings from International Scouting Services have come out and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the new top dog. The Red Deer Rebels centre supplants Swedish blueliner Adam Larsson atop the high-profile list of draft-eligible prospects.
This is significant because as ISS #1, RNH is in the exact same position as Taylor Hall was this time last year. Meanwhile, the Oilers are still the Oilers.
Prospectophiles may be interested in this pictorial feature of "Hoppy" in action last weekend posted by yours truly over at the Cult of Hockey. He's a fun player to watch. Includes bonus coverage of Oiler draftee Martin Marincin.
The Oilers trimmed their roster again today, assigning five more players to Oklahoma City including Teemu Hartikainen, Johan Motin, Jake Taylor, Brad Moran, and Gregory Stewart. The latter two have to clear waivers before they can report. The Oilers also released Jared Aulin and invited him to OKC camp on a tryout basis.
It's not often we see a coach for a European national team get a shot at the NHL, but after stepping down as head coach of the Swiss national team after the 2010 Olympics, Ralph Krueger will now be the associate coach of the Edmonton Oilers, working with Tom Renney. Renney is also a familiar name in international hockey circles, as he has been part of Canada's coaching staff for 10 World Championships and the 1994 Olympics. Renney was the associate coach to Pat Quinn last year in Edmonton.
In Krueger's tenure as head coach, Switzerland failed to make the playoffs (final 8) only 5 times at 15 major tournaments, despite taking rosters that were almost entirely from Switzerland's National League A. The Swiss' best showing was 4th in the 1998 IIHF World Championships. The Swiss' consistent showing under Krueger have helped Switzerland improve their world ranking to 7th, ahead of Krueger's national side from his playing days, Germany, as well as Slovakia. His son, Justin, was a forward for Germany at this past year's IIHF World Championships as well.
Edmonton Oilers goalie prospect Olivier Roy is a hot commodity in the QMJHL. Yesterday he was traded from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles - where he holds the franchise record for wins - to the Lewiston Maineiacs for two second-round picks and an exchange of thirds. This transaction was evidently the future considerations in the midseason deal that sent Jacob Legace to the Cape, a trade that turned out very badly for the Screaming Eagles.
Today Lewiston flipped Roy to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for a substantially better package of picks, including two first-rounders (today's #5 overall, and 2012's), a 2nd, 3rd, and 5th rounder. Lewiston then traded many of these assets to acquire the first overall pick in today's draft (Dillon Fournier)
Of course Roy remains an Oiler property throughout this flurry of activity, but it's nothing but good news to Oiler fans that our 19-year-old goalie could command such a high return for a single year of service. I also found the mournful reaction of Cape Breton fans enlightening.
The amount of trade activty around QMJHL draft day is nothing short of staggering.
the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League have entered into a working agreement for the duration of 2009-10 season, Thunder head coach Matt Thomas announced today in conjunction with the Sharks....This agreement will serve as a supplement to the Thunder's continued working affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL and the Springfield Falcons of the AHL.