In the Shadow of Laine: Finn (Part Two)

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Due to the impressive play of Patrik Laine, many have begun to overlook Jesse Puljujärvi in the weeks leading up to the NHL Draft Lottery. While Laine’s Tappara was winning the SM-Liiga crown, Puljujärvi flew off to join the national team at the U-18s. And promptly scored a hat-trick. Against Sweden. In the gold medal game.  Continue reading “In the Shadow of Laine: Finn (Part Two)”

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Finn (Part One)

Laine_goalPatrik Laine’s play has drawn some flattering comparisons to Alexander Ovechkin, the player Laine says he molds his game after. Laine’s countryman, Jesse Puljujarvi, has drawn comparisons to Florida Panthers center and fellow Finn, Aleksander Barkov.

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship brought the spotlight on these two young potential stars and they more than lived up to the hype. The problem with the WJC is that it is not terribly useful in the projection of prospects,  rightfully earning the tongue in cheek title of the “tournament of small sample sizes” from some.

So how have the seasons of these respective players gone? Do they give us a bigger picture? In Part One of this analysis, we take a closer look at Patrik Laine. Continue reading “Finn (Part One)”

The Kid from Nizhnekamsk

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Nail Yakupov. He came across the sea and made a name for himself as a stereotype breaker, a maverick, a brilliant talent who challenged the stoic traditions of the game with his boisterous enthusiasm and outbursts of raw, unrestrained emotion.

He wound up in Edmonton, his first NHL home. Looking back now, after all the excitement and all the mistakes, it would be hard to argue that there could have been a worse match. Philosophically, organizationally, developmentally – in almost every way you look at it, Nail Yakupov’s time as an Oiler was one which reverberates with disappointing dissonance. Continue reading “The Kid from Nizhnekamsk”

The Fayne Controversy

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February 6, 2016

After the butt-whoopings of Saturday and Sunday, and the deflating loss last night, maybe it’s best we take a step back and decide to process something other than how awful the last little while has been for Oilers fans. I’m content to let this stretch be a reminder of how far this team has to go, how badly it needs Darnell Nurse to become a star, and how enormous an impact goaltending has on team performance. But the trade deadline is only 19 days away, and it brings with it myriad questions to be answered, myriad decisions to be made.

Consider the curious case of Mark Fayne. Continue reading “The Fayne Controversy”