New name, same content. My monthly 15 Points to Consider has now become a weekly 15 Prime Cuts. 15 of my thoughts from the week that was in the world of hockey. This week, I take a look at Jiri Hudler, Brendan Gallagher, the mess in Edmonton (once again), Brayden Schenn, and more.
1. Jiri Hudler already has more goals (11) in 38 games than he did all of last season (10 in 73 games). He was an afterthought in the offseason for most Wings fans and poolies, but he's bounced back and is playing a key role for Detroit up front. He's on place for 24 goals and 54 points, and his ice time is just below the 15 minute mark. Could be a trade chip if the Wings are looking to add something at the deadline, as he is still only 27. I’m not really sure what the Wings would need to add – likely a depth blueliner and a big checking winger.
I bet they’d love to trade 2011-12 Zetterberg for the 2007-08 edition, too.
2. I really enjoyed the HBO Winter Classic special this season. It wasn't as good as the Pittsbugh/Washington match up from 2011, but it was another great look behind-the-scenes at the players and off-ice personnel in the league. Hard to hate any of the players after you get a glimpse into their off-ice lives. The Rangers, in particular, really hold true to their reputation as a blue collar team with all of the elements to win.
Best part of the show was Claude Giroux's on ice banter with the opposition.
3. I mentioned a few Minnesota prospects last week, and they had two players play key roles on Sweden's way to winning the Gold at the World Juniors – Jonas Brodin and Johan Larsson. Larsson is a skilled and tenacious winger with 23 points in 31 SEL games. Brodin is a poised and steady defenseman who could make the Wild out of training camp next season. Even though the NHL club is really struggling, things are looking good for the next few seasons.
4. Edmonton is really going to miss Jordan Eberle, however long he may be out. He's been the best player for the team this season, and was well on his way to flirting with 80-85 points (an impressive total considering the lack of talent on that roster).
5. Sticking with the Oilers… it really is time they clean house with management. The team has been spinning tires for about four years, and looks to be on the way to contending for another 1st overall draft pick. The fact that they did nothing last summer to address a crippling weakness on defense (no, signing Andy Sutton and Cam Barker doesn't count) is even more of an oversight now considering Ryan Whitney's lack of progress in rehabbing his injury.
They have also screwed up the Ales Hemsky situation, and they'll probably be forced to trade a really good winger for less than his real value.
6. If you would redraft the 2008 first round, what would your top five be? Mine, in order: Stamkos, Karlsson, Doughty, Eberle, Pietrangelo. Carlson, Hodgson and Myers wouldn't be far behind.