Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Timeline Of The Oilers Rebuild Hinges On Paajarvi-Svensson's and Eberle's Upsides

Taylor Hall looks to be "the guy" going forward. Pedigree, an on ice leader, and a phenomenal talent. That said the Oilers will need to see just how good guys like Eberle and MPS will be before deciding on what to do longer term. I for one think that this season should hopefully land us back into the high lottery if it is played out properly by Tambellini. This will mean that we might get another Hall-esque talent which would be a Godsend to this organization.

Guys like Gagner, Brule, Smid, Petry (albeit too early to tell with him), and Gilbert are all solid young talents, but none of them will in all likelihood ever be considered elite players. Maybe Petry or even a guy like Linus Omark could have a fast learning curve and really take off as players. However it's not a very high percentage bet and definitely not something to bank on when looking at the future.

So we are left with MPS and Eberle. What are their upsides? Can MPS become a top tier first line winger? Will Eberle's hockey IQ and skills overcome a lack of top notched speed? We might not get our answer for at least a few years, however we should see glimpses of what these guys are capable of next season and for years to come.

Do we bank on them becoming top line talents or at least one of them becoming a top line talent with the other becoming a superb second line player to complete 2/3's of a top notched second line with Sam Gagner in the future? If both end up looking like second line talents then maybe the rebuild extends into the '11-12 season.

Elite talent is needed and unless we get that from at least one of MPS or Eberle we will most likely have to acquire it via the draft for two more seasons. If these two players look like the real McCoy then maybe getting a top C or D prospect next year as well as some other top picks in the later rounds to bolster our prospect depth will be enough to build around. Then Tambellini can start to look at acquiring other pieces to fill out the team. If they don't look like they'll be future stars then we're looking at two more rough seasons before trying to fill the teams holes via free agency after seeing what holes this team fill from within.

In essence these two players are the barometers of the state of the Oilers rebuild unless we see incredible progression from Gagner, Omark, Marincin, or Petry. These are the two most significant players for the Oilers not named Taylor Hall going forward in my opinion.

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