What's buzzing:

Buzzing The Net

For Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers eye Europe, not WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, as fallback — report

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

View photo

.

Draisaitl had a 100-point season for Prince Albert during his draft year (Matt Slocum, Associated Press)

Evidently, P.A. is not part of Plan B for Leon Draisaitl. The Edmonton Oilers, according to a report from Global TV Edmonton's Dean Millard, have not so indirectly tossed another log on the fire that is the debate over what is best for a 19-year-old with sky-high potential, as indications are that the NHL's No. 3 overall choice will not be back with the Prince Albert Raiders under any circumstances.

Normally, for a draft pick from the Canadian Hockey League, it's either make the big club or return to junior until his age-20 season. It is hardly unheard of, though, for an import who came over when he was 17 to play two seasons in the CHL and then sign to play for pay in a men's league in Europe. Nail Yakupov did the same in 2012-13 after being drafted by the Oilers (not without complications), and it appears Draisaitl, who had 105 points in just 64 games, could do the same if the NHL learning curve proves too steep.

Here's Millard:

The juxtaposition in the circumstances of Draisaitl and the Oilers' other 19-year-old first-rounder, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds captain Darnell Nurse, are fairly obvious. Nurse, thanks to the CHL-NHL agreement, can only play in the big league or in the OHL. North American players typically also have a contractual commitment that extends from the time they sign until they turn 20. That, along with import restrictions in the myriad European leagues, to say nothing of the attendant culture shock, is why we do not see a born-and-raised Canadian skip his final year of junior to sign in the Swedish Elite League.

It doesn't seem fair, but distinctions are distinctions. There is always something to learn from another year of junior, though.

In Draisaitl's case, the general consensus is that the Cologne, Germany, native mostly needs to work on his skating and speeding up his decision making. Playing against experienced pros surely poses more challenge on those fronts than another year in the WHL.

It might seem like thin gruel, but should this come to pass, at least Prince Albert isn't kept on the hook the way other major junior teams when their erstwhile star is given every opportunity to stay in the NHL at age 18 or 19. The Raiders have one incumbent import, 19-year-old defenceman Tomas Andrlik. The Eastern Division club also selected forward Simon Stransky, a late-birthday 16-year-old, in July. This alleviates a potential logjam.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

View Comments (0)
  • Keys locks out Riske to end busy day for Americans

    Keys locks out Riske to end busy day for Americans

    By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eighth-seeded Madison Keys was forced to stay up late before overcoming fellow American Alison Riske to close out Monday's play at Arthur Ashe Stadium on a busy opening day for the home contingent at the U.S. … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • Keys outlasts fellow American Riske in late night at US Open

    Keys outlasts fellow American Riske in late night at US Open

    Keys and fellow American Alison Riske didn't envision it going quite so late. The eighth-seeded Keys rallied from down a set and a break to win 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in 2 hours, 26 minutes. Keys, meanwhile, is definitely not a morning person. … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Moyes pulls out stops to find goalie before window shuts

    Moyes pulls out stops to find goalie before window shuts

    (Reuters) - Manager David Moyes is racing to recruit a goalkeeper before the summer transfer window closes on Wednesday after first-choice shot-stopper Vito Mannone was ruled out for at least three months with an elbow injury. Sunderland had been … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • South Africa in complete command in Pretoria

    South Africa in complete command in Pretoria

    By Mark Gleeson PRETORIA, Aug 29 (Reuters) – South Africa slid to 105 for six on the third day of the second and final test against New Zealand on Monday but were still firmly in command at Centurion, holding a 372-run lead. New Zealand's bowlers … More »

    Reuters - 23 minutes ago
  • Allardyce open to selecting foreign-born players for England

    Allardyce open to selecting foreign-born players for England

    England manager Sam Allardyce is keen to the leave the door open for foreign-born players to enter the national team set-up and has told British media he would have no problem picking a player who qualified only through residency. Allardyce had … More »

    Reuters - 24 minutes ago