So, to start.. yesterday MacTavish inked big Russian D-man Anton Belov to a 1-year deal (reportedly a cap hit of $1.525M with bonuses). This supposedly was the best we could do as far as length, on an entry level deal… and once it expires, he should be an unrestricted free agent. It’s a fairly low risk move. The Oilers have full expectations this guy can jump into the lineup next year. He sounds fairly raw in his defensive game, which may be a concern. But it sounds like he’s a good puck carrier, and fairly physical. In the KHL this year, he had 9 goals and 17 assists in 46 games for Omsk. He also played in the World Hockey Championships and is being considered for the Russian Olympic team. He also was 3rd on his team with a +19 plus minus rating. He is 6’4″, 216 lbs, according to Elite Prospects. The scouting report on him had this to say:
A large defenseman, Belov is still an excellent skater. He can control the offensive game with his passing skills and hard shot. Could improve his defensive game.
The Oilers are also in the mix for a goaltending phenom out of Finland, Antti Raanta. Raanta played 45 games this year for Assat Pori in which he put up a 21-10-11 record, with a remarkable, league leading GAA of 1.85 and SV% of 0.943. He tweeted just a short bit ago that he’s made his decision. Edmonton, Minnesota and another team were said to be in the mix.. and Michael Russo, beat writer for the Wild, feels that the Wild are out of consideration now. Come on Edmonton!
On to the playoff predictions…
Round 2 saw Racki getting 4 out of 4 series winners correctly ( 11 for 12, bitches!), Steve-O, Hemmerlady and Metal&Oil each got 3 out of 4 winners correct, and Trogdor fumbled blindly for 2 out of 4 correct. Series lengths, different story. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d count how many wins each player was off by. Maybe next year… that’s my Steve Tambellini motto.
Post your round 3 predictions in the comments!