The Edmonton Oilers go to market in 2014 summer with some real walking around money and some solid leads. These are not the Glengarry leads, but there’s value for a keen eye and a good salesman. This is the job facing Craig MacTavish this summer.
Oilers free agent success is impossible to predict, because the club has only one of the three magic bullets required to attract the best UFA’s:
- Money (they have it now)
- Success (they haven’t had it in ages)
- Quality of life in Edmonton (hard to compete with ocean view)
- C Mikhail Grabovski—Outstanding potential value to the Oilers.
- C David Legwand—Old, fading—perfect!
- C Dave Bolland—The money pit.
- L Nikolai Kulemin—Another quality option for Edmonton.
- L Thomas Vanek—They signed him once…
- R Ryan Callahan—Expensive and overrated.
- R David Moss—Two-way winger would help that bottom 6F.
- R Daniel Winnik—Subpar season, some concern.
- D Andrei Markov—He’s too old and too slow and too expensive. Perfect.
- D Matt Niskanen—He’s a fine player, will get Fort Knox in free agency.
- D Brooks Orpik—I don’t think he has any interest in Edmonton. Good.
- D Matt Greene—Absolutely could be here in the fall.
- D Ron Hainsey—Effective defenseman.
- D Nikita Nikitin—We’ll know if Howson likes him this summer.
- D Anton Stralman—A modern day fancy stats overnight sensation.
- D Derek Engelland—Matty named him.
- D Mark Fayne—Veteran defender would be helpful.
MACT ON JG SHOW
Jason Gregor had a dynamite interview with Craig MacTavish yesterday afternoon. It is here. Some highlights:
- They’ve had Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett in so far, and they were very impressed with both players. Draisaitl and Reinhart are on their way for visits.
- “The value is in the amalgamation of your analytics and scouting departments—that’s really the sweet spot in terms of evaluation of players.”
- There’s still room for smaller guys, Oilers drafting mandate is to select the player who will have the greatest impact on his team. That includes players under 6.04 who can impact the game positively.
- They fully anticipate signing Jeff Petry.
- Darnell Nurse will have to compete strongly for a position in training camp, as will Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom. They’ll want to add a couple of defensemen to create competition.
- He was coy about trading or signing a defenseman, indicating to me he may have something on the table re: defenseman.
- MacT is hesitant to trade No. 3 overall.
- He is receiving better offers for the pick this season than he did one year ago. He would look for an immediate/long term solution in a trade.
- “We have our own draft value chart based on historic records and evaluation of players drafted at that spot over time.”
- “We are actively involved in the trade market and hope we can do something going into the draft.”
- “The value of draft choices is never greater than at the draft, and their value is never lower than at the trade deadline.”
I love the fact they’re using analytics in the draft, that’s a huge item. Now, we don’t know if they’re weighing them heavily but we do know Dan Haight does some work for them in this area. Michael Parkatti was my guest yesterday, and he is part of that project, badly wanted to ask him some questions about it but have to respect the process. One thing I believe we learned from last season: MacT is willing to listen, as he traded down twice in a deep draft to acquire extra selections.
HOW’S THAT CRAZY TRADE GOING?
- First trade: Edmonton trades 37th overall (Valentin Zykov) to Los Angeles for 57th overall (William Carrier), 88th overall (Anton Slephyshev) and 96th overall (Kyle Platzer).
- Second trade: Oilers trade 57th overall (William Carrier) to St. Louis for 83rd overall (Bogdan Yakimov), 94th overall (Jackson Houck) and 113th overall (Aidain Muir).
Let’s break this down via their boxcars:
- Valentin Zykov 53GP, 23-40-63 (1.19 points per game) (QMJHL)
- William Carrier 66GP, 22-43-65 (.985 points per game) (QMJHL)
- Bogdan Yakimov 33GP, 7-5-12 (.364 points per game) (KHL)
- Anton Slepyshev 36GP, 3-5-8 (.222 points per game) (KHL)
- Jackson Houck 69, 34-27-61 (.884 points per game (WHL)
- Kyle Platzer 66GP, 22-14-36 (.545 points per game) (OHL)
- Aidan Muir 54GP, 14-27-41 (.759 points per game) (USHL)
Fascinating, isn’t it? Zykov and Carrier are the class of the group who played in the CHL, but a strong finish by Jackson Houck has me intrigued. The two Russians will probably be the key to this deal for Edmonton, with Yakimov looking like the gem in the group. Let’s run the NHLE (I’ll use Desjardins this time).
NHLE (per 82gp)
- Valentin Zykov 10-17-27
- Bogdan Yakimov 14-11-25
- William Carrier 8-15-23
- Jackson Houck 12-10-22
- Aidan Muir 6-11-17
- Anton Slepyshev 6-9-15
- Kyle Platzer 8-5-13
One quick item here. Slepyshev played 10:18 a night this season in the KHL, so his numbers have a denver boot. I expect he’d be around Houck’s NHLE if he was getting more icetime. Yakimov played only 9:55, and he may actually be the star in this group. If we assume an average of 15 minutes a night, he would be over 35 points NHLE. That would make this trade exceptional. We’ll get a nice look at Yakimov in North America this season, should be fun.
The final tally is Zykov for Yakimov, Houck, Slepyshev, Muir and Platzer. A year later, I really like the odds of Edmonton getting good value from the trade. Yakimov looks good, and Houck plus Slepyshev also look legit. Muir and Platzer are lagging, and of course we have 20% of the race in the books.
10 this morning, TSN 1260. Radio star Dennis King gets things rolling, then it’s Dustin Nielson to talk draft about 10:25 (he’s going to the draft this year). At 11, Bruce McCurdy will drop by and we’ll talk draft then (2004) and now, and we’ll finish off the guest list today with Paul Almeida from Saturday Sports Extra. We’ll talk World Cup and then tee up Saturday’s show where we’ll look at the draft in a big way.
Next week is a strange one, I’m off for World Cup much of the week. I will have a Friday Lowdown and that will be packed with draft. Next weekend I’ll also be on SSE so we’ll be live during the later stages of the draft when Edmonton is selecting fourth round plus.
See you on the radio!