Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cogliano's days are numbered in Edmonton

Andrew Cogliano has the potential to be a future star in this league, but he won't be shining in Edmonton, suggests Oilers Nation blogger Jonathan Willis this week.

It’s a pretty damn good argument about a great draft pick by the Oilers.

Willis says Cogs has a gift when it comes to his offensive skills and speed. Cogs also has some work to do on the defensive side of the game, but he’s still young.

The only thing that is holding Cogliano back from turning into a power player for the Oil, says Willis, is his lousy stats when it comes to face-offs and the centre position is absolutely flooded right now with depth. This is a strong reason why Cogliano isn't a strong fit in Edmonton, suggests Willis.

Willis is very accurate. Shawn Horcoff is going to be around for the next six seasons as Edmonton’s top line or second line centre. And Sam Gagner is going to be a future top line centre within a year or two.

Cogliano, with all of his talent, is not an ideal candidate for a third or fourth line player up the middle.

Putting Cogliano on the right wing position would also cause some challenges for head coach Pat Quinn, but forget about left wing — it’s been reported that Cogs feels too uncomfortable with the position.

And let’s not forget about the other future guys up the middle like Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp if he actually has a good training camp this season, Marc Pouliot, and Ryan Potulny.

Then there’s Anton Lander who the Oilers picked in the second round during the draft this summer. The Swedish centre played for Tirma in the Swedish Elite League where he scored 10 points in 47 games as a teenager with his younger linemate and fellow Oilers first round pick, Magnus Paarjvi-Svensson.

As Willis suggests, Cogliano is a good player for the Oilers only on a short-term basis, but he’s ideal for trade bait and that’s exactly what Steve Tambellini did by using Cogs to lure Dany Heatley from Ottawa.

It’s too bad for such a player that has such promise in the NHL, but it must happen. Staying in Edmonton would only hinder Cogliano’s development.

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