Todd Nelson Already Considering Barons Lines & Pairs

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.

How ironic a couple of months can make a moment. When Ralph Krueger was named the new coach of the Edmonton Oilers, there was Todd Nelson in the shadows. Many suspected that he’d be the first candidate after two very healthy minor league seasons with the Oilers seedlings. But fate landed him back in OKC at least for several more years. Then the lockout comes. Nelson, still the Barons coach, stumbles into the chance of a lifetime in the form of a couple of kids named Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, and Schultz. Three of the most glamorous Oilers prospects, all playing on the farm in Oklahoma. You’re welcome, Todd Nelson.

And last night, Dan Tencer mentioned a conversation he had with Coach Nelson. The conversation included hints of defensive combos, top end lines, and even power play options. Here are the tweets:

 

 

There’s nothing surprising about this proposed lineup (except that it’s awesome), but it’s exciting to know that Todd Nelson is taking his “new guys” seriously. No, we’ll wait and see or I’ll decide after training camp. Instead, it’s here is where we are going, no questions asked. He’s never met a highly touted prospect that he didn’t like.

I’ve long loved the idea of Teemu Hartikainen on a line with Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins. Paajarvi, although an acceptable option and who likely will get time with those two, just might be better served on a second line that needs speedy wheels.

Martin Marincin and Just Schultz sounds like a dynamo of a pair. Likely placing Colten Teubert and Alex Plante *smash bros* together or even a Pats reunion of Teubert and Davidson. The possibilities are really interesting to consider.

And that power play. Wow, just wow. The Barons ran the diamond 1-3-1 power play in the playoff run last season. And with Teemu in front of the net, Paajarvi behind it, and the three NHL guys at the top of the diamond – the scoring potential is spine tingling.

As training camp begins on September 28th, look for these lines (and pairs) to be heavily featured in practice settings as well. Nelson is no dummy. He’s likely already managed to finagle “his guys” into place, and it’s only September 19th. That’s what happens when you get a chance to do something special. And a special season it will be.