Winchester imo is very much like Dan Lacouture. He has the tools to have an NHL career but will need to play with more urgency. I remember a terrific hit in training camp in fall 2006 (behind the Oiler net, can’t remember who he flattened) but there wasn’t enough of it.
Here are the EV ppg/60 for Oilers rookie forwards in 06-07:
- Brad Winchester 1.19ppg
- Marc Pouliot 1.17ppg
- Patrick Thoresen 1.15ppg
- Zach Stortini 0.31ppg
- JF Jacques 0.00ppg
A couple of notes on these numbers. First, the Oilers were a terrible offensive team and none of these guys were carrying the mail, so one would expect all of them to have improved numbers in the upcoming season(s). Also, Jacques cannot have another season like this one, it is statistically impossible.
Also, it’s completely unfair to compare the 06-07 team to previous clubs, but Ales Hemsky’s ppg/60 at EV as a rookie was 2.26. That Oiler team scored 231 goals, this year’s club scored 195. If we did a simple (and completely unscientific) nicking of Hemsky’s numbers to put it in 06-07 context, we still get 1.91ppg. Mike Comrie had the best rookie PPG/EV number in recent Oilers rookie history (2.52) but we have to give a lot of credit to the fact that Comrie was given Doug Weight’s linemates.
As for Winchester, I think he would have been a nice option at the end of the roster (for a nice price) but this coach has an amazing track record when it comes to which players to punt so there’s not much to argue about over Winchester.