Five Teams to Invest In (For the Future)

Jeff Angus

2010-09-25

Taylor Hall - The National Post

Three weeks ago I listed off the five best teams to draft multiple players from for the 2010-11 season (Five Teams to Invest In). This column will take a longer-term approach to the same issue. Below are the five teams to invest in over the next five years. My ranking system isn't perfect, but I have tried to identify five of the most important factors when it comes to evaluating both a team's offensive ability and potential.

 

1. St. Louis Blues


Coaching/management philosophy:  9/10

Davis Payne is a tremendous coach. He will have this young Blues team playing an aggressive offensive system, and they have the right players to play it.

 

Quality of prospects: 7/10

St. Louis has a trio of barely-graduated forward prospects on the roster – David Perron, Patrik Berglund, and TJ Oshie. Erik Johnson is one of the best young defensemen in the game. Not counting those four, the Blues still have an impressive collection of talent. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has star upside, and there are four forward prospects with scoring upside – Vladimir Tarasenko, Philip McRae, Brett Sonne, and Jaden Schwartz.

 

Quality of scoring depth: 9/10

The Blues may lack a high-end superstar, but they are nine or ten deep in potential top six forwards. On the back end, Johnson will welcome some offensive help from Pietrangelo. Carlo Colaiacovo is a solid puck-mover who gets underrated because of his injury issues.

 

NHL ready prospects: 8/10

Pietrangelo is ready. None of the four forwards I listed are ready, and even if they were, there aren't any open roster spots available. The Blues are deep, young, and talented.

 

Player age: 10/10

Andy McDonald is the only core forward over the age of 30.

 

Overall: 8.6/10

Armed with an elite goaltender, St. Louis is going to emerge as a new force in the Western Conference.

 

2. Edmonton Oilers


Coaching/management philosophy:  6/10

Tom Renney preaches patient, defensive hockey. However, he understands that offense is essential to win in the NHL. He won't bottleneck Edmonton's young talent.

 

Quality of prospects: 10/10

Taylor Hall is the best prospect in the world, and Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle are not far behind. After those three, there still are a number of quality prospects (Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Linus Omark, Toni Rajala, Teemu Hartikainen, Jeff Petry, and so on).

 

Quality of scoring depth: 7/10

The Oilers have a few solid veterans to help complement their young talent. On defense, the core players are relatively young (Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney). However, there are no standout defensive prospects on the horizon.

 

NHL ready prospects: 10/10

Paajarvi, having spent the past three seasons in the SEL, i