One of the most popular series we do at this site is the Top 25 Under 25, a popularity due in no small part to the struggles of the Oilers in the present. If the present is awful (and this year might be different!), at least the future is bright. But how bright is it, really? What I mean is, does the young core the Oilers have assembled look much better than the young core present on other teams?
Over the next week, I plan to look at that very question by taking a brief look at the 10 best players under 25 in organizations around the league. The task would be daunting if I didn't have help, but fortunately, after Ben started the trend, many other SBN sites have followed the Copper and Blue in developing their own Top 25 Under 25. Ten different sites have done so in the last few months, and so I'll be using all of those lists plus six "wildcard" lists from other teams with a strong young core and lazy blogging community. We'll look at a group of four each day, and then have the final match on Monday, with the groups being drawn randomly except for the top four seeds. Today, we begin with your top-seeded Edmonton Oilers, the New Jersey Devils (In Lou We Trust), the Carolina Hurricanes (Shutdown Line), and New York Rangers (Lazy Blogging Community).
I've highlighted the player that I think is the best in the group in each instance, and as you can see, I quite like the Oilers here. Each of the other three teams win one slot according to me, but I'd say that the Rangers and Hurricanes are well clear of New Jersey (when you've acquired your third-best guy for a mid-round pick, that kind of screams that there's a problem).
A good start for the Oilers, I think, but over the next three days, we'll decide on their competition in the Finals (assuming they win today's vote, which I suppose they might not) where things will certainly be much, much tougher.