EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2014

This year’s top 40 list features three gems, a half dozen (or so) seriously promising prospects and a lot of question marks. I’d say this edition of the winter prospects list is the weakest since Taylor Hall was drafted and possibly before. That’s not overly surprising, Edmonton has been graduating their first round picks to the NHL with alarming consistency and it’s uncertain how many of the lower picks will turn out. Here’s a position by position look at what’s in the organization and what might happen during the spring and summer procurement seasons.

BROSSOIT1

GOALTENDING

  • Current prospects: Laurent Brossoit (No. 16) is making great strides and could be a legit NHL option at some point in the future. Patience is important with goalies and it’ll be some time before Edmonton can count on him (if ever). Zach Nagelvoort (No. 24) has a solid resume in college and below and is certainly a prospect of interest. Frans Tuohimaa (No. 30) has had a meandering route since draft day but there are some nice things. Tyler Bunz (No. 35) is about the same as Tuohimaa with more injuries and fewer good arrows. Bubbling beneath are Ty Rimmer and Keven Bouchard.
  • Is this an area of strength? No, this is an area of concern throughout the system.
  • What’s the next step? It appears the Oilers will pursue all avenues, including monster college man Matt O’Connor. I think the draft will see Edmonton use an early pick at the goaltending position and would suggest Callum Booth, Daniel Vlader and Felix Sandstrom are possibles. MacKenzie Blackwood is a personal favorite because of his cool name.
  • Will everyone be back next season? Ben Scrivens is signed and it’s likely he’ll return with a more established NHL partner (think Niemi or Ward). I think Richard Bachman would be a fine tandem partner with Brossoit for the AHL team.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Bunz and Tuohimaa are both RFA’s without contracts for next season and I think both are in a bit of trouble in getting a new contract. Rimmer has shown some nice things but will need to pick up the pace and Bouchard needs to haul ass starting now. As with ALL goalies throughout the earth, take everything with a grain of salt because they could do a 180 in a heartbeat.

nurse petes

DEFENSE

  •  Current Prospects: Darnell Nurse (No. 2) is the best defensive prospect to come down the pipe for Edmonton in many years. He has a wide range of skills and should be a consistent 20+ minutes a night blue when he is mature. Oscar Klefbom (No. 3) won’t bring as much offense but is very mobile and brings the complete kit when it comes to defensive hockey. He does need to mature and counting on him for big minutes this early is folly. Dillon Simpson (No. 8) is adjusting well to the AHL and I do think he’s separating himself from the rest; it’s important to remember these college kids spike early. Martin Gernat (No. 13) is sliding a little but I’m not sure if it’s him or the organization souring on him. He’s a talented player with a lot of tools. Joey Laleggia (No. 14) is an offensive defenseman of significant pedigree and I’m hopeful Edmonton can sign him. William Lagesson (No. 15) has impressed at the WJ’s and in the USHL, there are good arrows but a lot of time before we can project him as an NHL player. Brad Hunt (No. 20) is captain chaos but he brings exceptional offense from the blue line. Brandon Davidson (No. 21), Jordan Oesterle (No. 22), David Musil (No. 23), Ben Betker (No. 26) are all profiled briefly here and have a chance to be NHL players down the line.
  • Is this an area of strength? Yes. These young men can’t impact the NHL team immediately but added to Martin Marincin this is a strong prospect group for one position. It’s so strong we’re likely to see a trade at some point to address another position. Eleven of this year’s 40 (27.5%) are defenders (that’s about right).
  • What’s the next step? I don’t think defense will factor into the equation on draft day, not in a big way. For the Oilers, it is a time for patience and development. There’s no easy answer here, Edmonton has to give Nurse and Klefbom time and put them in positions to succeed. Marincin can probably help but the organization is stubborn on him now so he may not be part of the long term solution. I think Dillon Simpson is a player we should watch closely in the next 12 months.
  • Will everyone be back next season? The NHL roster is really up in the air now with Jeff Petry (UFA) and Justin Schultz (RFA) both free agents during the summer. The veterans signed for next season (Mark Fayne, Niki Nikitin, Andrew Ference) are not strong and it’s an extremely well paid trio. We may see a buyout of Nikitin or Ference (or a trade). Marincin and Davidson are RFA but shouldn’t be expensive to sign (Marincin may be looking for a one-way deal and that might be an issue—remember, Euro kids have shown zero hesitation bolting to Europe). The defense for 2015-16 is a mess, which is good news for Nurse and Klefbom in terms of job search.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Petry and Schultz are candidates and I think Nikitin is a strong candidate. At some point MacT is going to package (I know, 3-for-1) Marincin up with something and get an actual NHL defenseman and at this point I’m in favor of it.

draisaitl capture3

CENTER

  • Current Prospects: Leon Draisaitl (No. 1) is an exceptional prospect despite the lack of offensive production in the NHL this season. The fact he won the speed competition at the skills event tells us he’s a hard damn worker. God he’s a wonderful kid, they are all and they deserve to play on a good team. Someday. Bogdan Yakimov (No. 4) looks like the real deal, especially if his skating improves just a little. As it is, he’s a wide body who can win battles plus has enough skill to do something with the puck. Greg Chase (No. 6) could make his mark at center or wing but brings an intriguing skill/agitator skill set that makes him unique. Jujhar Khaira may also find his career ends up on the wing (and he’s likely a checker) but the size and grit makes him a MacT man for sure. Kyle Platzer (No. 9)has moved up the rankings more than any other player this year and it’s well deserved. He has a complete skill set and the offensive spike this year is very encouraging. Marco Roy (No. 11) has been disappointing but it’s important to remember the season isn’t over yet and he should earn a contract. If the Oilers don’t sign him, Roy may be a spring trade candidate. Evan Campbell (No. 32), Travis Ewanyk (No. 34), Liam Coughlin (No. 38) and Kellen Jones (No. 39) are all included here.
  • Is this an area of strength? No but it’s much better today than in the days leading up to the 2011 draft. Nuge and Draisaitl are monster figures in this team’s future and finally begin the ‘build up the middle’ process. There are some nice options bubbling under too.
  • What’s the next step? I think the Oilers grab a center with their first-round pick again this year. It’ll be either Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel or Dylan Strome (with Pavel Zacha as the fourth option) but they’re going C this year and I’m pretty comfortable in saying it this early. After that, patience and development.
  • Will everyone be back next season? Mark Arcobello got traded as I wrote this and Anton Lander (plus Kellen Lain) will be RFA this summer but bringing all of them back shouldn’t be trouble. Nuge, Leon and Gordon will be back and the kids on the prospect list are miles from being a contract issue.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Marco Roy doesn’t have a contract and the Oilers have been a little more prudent in this area under MacTavish. I’d sign him but it’ll be interesting to see how this works out. He is not ripping it up in his overage season.

pakarinen hamilton ferguson 1415

RIGHT WING

  • Current Prospects: Iiro Pakarinen (No. 5) is an interesting prospect who may end up playing a major role on this team in 2015 and beyond. His early season look-see was terrific and one hopes we see him again soon. Tyler Pitlick (No. 10) has taken forever and lost most of his offense along the way, but is now in the stand and deliver (or not) portion of his career. Jackson Houck (No. 12) is having an uneven season but there’s been enough progress (imo) for the team to sign him. Steve Pinizzotto (No. 27), Tyler Vesel (No. 28) and Andrew Miller (No. 29) are profiled briefly here. John McCarron (No. 33) rounds out the group here.
  • Is this an area of strength? No. Edmonton has some nice skill in the NHL (Jordan Eberle, David Perron, Teddy Purcell, Matt Hendricks) but there isn’t much bubbling under. In fact, you could certainly argue that Edmonton should be looking at this position closely at the draft this summer.
  • What’s the next step? The list is a little misleading because any number of centers could end up being RW’s down the line. Chase and Platzer are strong candidates to move over and there are others. I could see Edmonton spending a third or fourth-round pick on the position.
  • Will everyone be back next season? Unlikely. Tyler Pitlick is  RFA and I’m not certain he returns next fall. David Perron was being actively shopped and that may continue at the deadline and into summer (he has one year left on his deal). I’d say Eberle and Purcell are locks for 2015-16.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Perron but they won’t trade him without getting value so it won’t be a disaster.

slepyshev tweet

LEFT WING

  • Current Prospects: Anton Slepyshev (No. 17) is a promising prospect but we don’t really know what he is at this point. A season in the AHL will give Edmonton some idea about what kind of player they received at the 2013 draft. Mitch Moroz (No. 18) is a player Edmonton held in high regard during the Tambellini regime and he brings many of the things MacT values. He could be an NHL player but it’ll be awhile. Curtis Hamilton (No. 19) is actually having the best season of his pro career and could emerge from the group. The Oilers picking up Matt Fraser today suggests there are more hurdles to come for him. Aidan Muir (No. 25) is mentioned here and Kale Kessy (No. 31), Josh Winquist (No. 36), Daniil Zharkov (No. 37) and Connor Jones are mentioned here.
  • Is this an area of strength: Yes, at the NHL level (Hall, Yakupov, Pouliot, now Fraser, others) and maybe bubbling under too depending on Slepyshev. I would suggest drafting a LW isn’t a priority this summer in Edmonton.
  • What’s the next step? The LW’s are locked and loaded. If Edmonton began next season with the current group life would be fine. This is a quality group at LW, especially if Nelson can unlock Yakupov.
  • Will everyone be back next season? The worry is Nail Yakupov. If the Edmonton Oilers are patient (I mean more than now) there’s a player there. I worry they cut bait and send him away. It could happen at any minute now.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? I have a bad feeling about Nail, have for some time.

Thanks for reading!

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83 Responses to "EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2014"

  1. sliderule says:

    This is a fantastic analysis of oiler prospects .

    Well done.

    Oiler management should read this.

  2. PhrankLee says:

    I also agree that right wing is an area of concern for the future.

  3. VanOil says:

    I think Anders Lee would be a reasonable bet in a goal tending duo with Scrivens next year. He is killing it in the KHL right now (.936%). I also think MacT will not make a reasonable bet in net next year. He will swing for the fences, I hope he/we don’t get burned.

    My draft right now would be McEichel, Adam Musil, Tkachev, Finnish Goalie, Stats skilled player picks…

    Has Simpson been primarily a Right sided Dman for Nelson in OKC? I recall normally seeing him paired with Oesterle but am unsure of what side he has been playing.

  4. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    I think Anders Lee would be a reasonable bet in a goal tending duo with Scrivens next year. He is killing it in the KHL right now (.936%). I also think MacT will not make a reasonable bet in net next year. He will swing for the fences, I hope he/we don’t get burned.

    My draft right now would be McEichel, Adam Musil, Tkachev, Finnish Goalie, Stats skilled player picks…

    Has Simpson been primarily a Right sided Dman for Nelson in OKC? I recall normally seeing him paired with Oesterle but am unsure of what side he has been playing.

    Yes. RH side from what I have seen.

  5. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: Yes. RH side from what I have seen. Oh yeah, great summary as always, thanks.

    Smart kid. Making the show will be easier on that side.

  6. Genjutsu says:

    At the game center ice around 15 rows back. Saw the last two USA games too. Jake the giant slayer is a man amidst boys here . will give some updates on the game and some crude scouting.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Darnell Nurse has been splendid this first period. Just really good.

  8. SK Oiler Fan says:

    This game is perfect for Nurse. If you cant skate you can’t play this game. What a pace. There’s been more entertainment in the first 10 min of this game than all oiler games comvibed

    Lowetide:
    Darnell Nurse has been splendid this first period. Just really good.

  9. BARREN BREGER says:

    MacT on why he made a trade today “After spending time with the team, it was evident to me that Marcobello was like a poison mushroom in a field of lilies, had to do something before my beautiful core was also poisoned”

  10. VanOil says:

    SK Oiler Fan: This game is perfect for Nurse.

    If he goes AHL for 1.5 season we would be unwrapping a mighty gift Xmas 2016. I expect we will unwrap it early.

  11. Suntory Hanzo says:

    VanOil,

    ‘When you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right away’
    -old marriage quote that seems to fit Oiler prospects

  12. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Been a while since I’ve watched a game where the give a shit level was this high. Fun to watch.
    You can see Nurse occasionally gets a little lost positionally in his own end, but his reach and mobility make up for this easily. If only the Oilers had a guy like Chuckles Huddy to teach him positioning.

  13. Genjutsu says:

    After one: Darnell Nurse is Canada’s best defender. Wins every battle active on the rush and is just a nasty nasty piece of work in front of his own net. As dumb as the oilers are at times boy did they ever do the right thing sending him back. He’s not big enough yet to play his name in the NHL. But boy in two years he will be the do fire hose that puts out the flames.

  14. Genjutsu says:

    As an aside if you ever have a chance at all to see the WJC do it

  15. russ99 says:

    I’m probably more upset at what our draft number will be this year as much as anything else.

    This is the season we were supposed to turn the corner, and start picking those mid-round forwards that are given tons of patience, and that can really help a team down the road.

    Now we’re picking in the top-five for sure and likely top 2. Another super-kid rushed to the bigs, another 3-4 years waiting to see if he lived up to the hype.

    I’d so much rather prefer the former and meaningful games down the stretch.

    Oh well, maybe next year…

  16. RexLibris says:

    If I were Eakins I’d be a little pissed right now.

    Boss sends him to dig a trench with a spade, fires him because he’s behind schedule, then buys a backhoe for the new hire.

    Roy is the veteran C that Eakins never had. It doesn’t mean he’ll solve anything, but at least give a guy a chance to fail with the right tools.

    Either way, claim Paajarvi now. He can mentor under Pouliot as a fast-skating big body forward who is defensively responsible. He and Lander together, add Hendricks and you should have a defensively responsible line that can play on the road.

  17. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    If I were Eakins I’d be a little pissed right now.

    Boss sends him to dig a trench with a spade, fires him because he’s behind schedule, then buys a backhoe for the new hire.

    Roy is the veteran C that Eakins never had. It doesn’t mean he’ll solve anything, but at least give a guy a chance to fail with the right tools.

    Either way, claim Paajarvi now. He can mentor under Pouliot as a fast-skating big body forward who is defensively responsible. He and Lander together, add Hendricks and you should have a defensively responsible line that can play on the road.

    This has been my point all along. WHY did he wait so GD long? Why Rex? I do not understand.

  18. blainer says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Been a while since I’ve watched a game where the give a shit level was this high. Fun to watch.
    You can see Nurse occasionally gets a little lost positionally in his own end, but his reach and mobility make up for this easily. If only the Oilers had a guy like Chuckles Huddy to teach him positioning.

    Was noticing the exact same thing. Seems like he has been playing both RD and LD. He is a bit of a rover out there though ..ala PK Subban. Too bad he is not on the PP.

  19. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: This has been my point all along. WHY did he wait so GD long? Why Rex? I do not understand.

    Because he believes in miracles and fairy tales that he dreams up in his own head?

    If Arco plays like he did in that awesome 5 game stretch, we will be fine down the middle.

    If Draisaitl can bring what he brought in Junior to the NHL, we will be great – he is over 200 lbs so he should be albe to.

    If RNH and Gordon have career years, we could make the playoffs and do some damage with these 4 centres

    Its like someone who includes expected lottery winnings in their annual budget.

    This type of hopeful optimism tends to be replaced with realistic pragmatism with experience. The good thing is that Katz is likely to keep MacT around long enough for him to eventually grow out of it.

  20. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Reinhart seems very similar to RNH, except Nuge seemed like he was the only good player at his juniors.

  21. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I wouldn’t say he makes great decisions with the puck every time so I can see why he’s used as more of a shut down guy. It’s not as if he makes bad decisions, they just don”t create alot.
    His mobility and reach are world class though. I’m positive the Oilers will develop and deploy him properly.

    blainer: Was noticing the exact same thing. Seems like he has been playing both RD and LD. He is a bit of a rover out there though ..ala PK Subban.Too bad he is not on the PP.

  22. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Jpetan would fit in perfectly on a line with Norris. Share the jersey number too!

  23. Lowetide says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    I wouldn’t say he makes great decisions with the puck every time so I can see why he’s used as more of a shut down guy. It’s not as if he makes bad decisions, they just don”t create alot.
    His mobility and reach are world class though. I’m positive the Oilers will develop and deploy him properly.

    Yes, agreed. I don’t think he’ll bring a bunch of offense with him to the NHL (25-30 points a year) but he’ll make a big difference at EVs and PK.

  24. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: This has been my point all along. WHY did he wait so GD long? Why Rex? I do not understand.

    I’m afraid that’s classified, LT.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-viYTjwO-8

  25. RexLibris says:

    book¡je:

    Its like someone who includes royalty revenues in their annual budget.

    fixed

  26. RexLibris says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    Reinhart seems very similar to RNH, except Nuge seemed like he was the only good player at his juniors.

    Yeah, I’ve enjoyed watching Reinhart (albeit my viewing time this year thus far has been measured in minutes). Tremendous passer, I’ve been very happy to see him have a stage to display his skills. The WHL wasn’t the best venue and he is still a year from being able to really showcase in the NHL.

  27. Genjutsu says:

    After two: the 2013 draft went as it should have, every thing on its place. Lazar does not possess elite sense. Nurse is D for a reason. The hurt aspect of his game is tangible though 🙂 only my first time seeing Mcdavid live and today was my second dish of Jake Eichel but so far I like the giant killer better and it’s not close.

  28. Ryan says:

    RexLibris:
    If I were Eakins I’d be a little pissed right now.

    Boss sends him to dig a trench with a spade, fires him because he’s behind schedule, then buys a backhoe for the new hire.

    Roy is the veteran C that Eakins never had. It doesn’t mean he’ll solve anything, but at least give a guy a chance to fail with the right tools.

    Either way, claim Paajarvi now. He can mentor under Pouliot as a fast-skating big body forward who is defensively responsible. He and Lander together, add Hendricks and you should have a defensively responsible line that can play on the road.

    Lol.

    Good point.

    I didn’t follow up on that old thread, but even if Lowetide took my action on that bet, the Oilers still didn’t claim Roy.

    Poor Eakins.

  29. blainer says:

    Switching back to LT’s list… I actually like the idea of drafting a lot of centers. You can always move them to wing and they will most often be more aware defensively..

  30. blainer says:

    RexLibris: I’m afraid that’s classified, LT.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-viYTjwO-8

    Lol… excellent!!

  31. RexLibris says:

    blainer:
    Switching back to LT’s list… I actually like the idea of drafting a lot of centers. You can always move them to wing and they will most often be more aware defensively..

    Yes.

    Draft down the middle.

    Problem is, even when the Oilers try to do this, it backfires. Gagner, Nash, Martindale, Lander.

    *sigh*

  32. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide: This has been my point all along. WHY did he wait so GD long? Why Rex? I do not understand.

    Take one part stubbornness, a pinch of regret, a generous dollop of conceit, and just a hint of humility you should get a slight odour of MacT’s new eau de toilette “Shame” for procrastinating GMs who made the wrong call. London, Paris, Milan, Edmonton. It is the new release from the people who brought you “Desperation.”

  33. Suntory Hanzo says:

    RexLibris,

    Honest trailers is a great series. Here is the Top Gun one:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UxFq16IG_k0

  34. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Domi. My oh my!

  35. kooler says:

    Missed the days events….so why a trade and not a waiver pick up? Arco is a good utility C and does well in the AHL in case we wanted to bring Lander up. He would be a good extra in a trade situation.

    Is Derek Roy that much better than Jason Williams?

    Don’t understand the logic yet.

  36. RexLibris says:

    oliveoilers: Take one part stubbornness, a pinch of regret, a generous dollop of conceit, and just a hint of humility you should get a slight odour of MacT’s new eau de toilette “Shame” for procrastinating GMs who made the wrong call.London, Paris, Milan, Edmonton.It is the new release from the people who brought you “Desperation.”

    Studies show that 60% of the time, it works every time!

    http://www.sex-panther.com/

  37. Lowetide says:

    kooler:
    Missed the days events….so why a trade and not a waiver pick up?Arco is a good utility C and does well in the AHL in case we wanted to bring Lander up.He would be a good extra in a trade situation.

    Is Derek Roy that much better than Jason Williams?

    Don’t understand the logic yet.

    The only reasons to pick him up via trade over waivers:

    1. Edmonton can now trade him at the deadline
    2. They dealt a contract for a contract

    It suggests another shoe to drop imo.

  38. Ryan says:

    oliveoilers: Take one part stubbornness, a pinch of regret, a generous dollop of conceit, and just a hint of humility you should get a slight odour of MacT’s new eau de toilette “Shame” for procrastinating GMs who made the wrong call.London, Paris, Milan, Edmonton.It is the new release from the people who brought you “Desperation.”

    That’s gold.

  39. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: The only reasons to pick him up via trade over waivers:

    1. Edmonton can now trade him at the deadline
    2. They dealt a contract for a contract

    It suggests another shoe to drop imo.

    The famed 3 for 1.

    Yakupov, marincin, our 2nd rounder for Yandle? 🙂

  40. RexLibris says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    RexLibris,

    Honest trailers is a great series. Here is the Top Gun one:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UxFq16IG_k0

    I’ve, uh, watched a *few* of those.

    Then, of course, there is this, from one of my favourite animated series (alongside Duckman and some other choice selections): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMsSY8SZ4jk

  41. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Hated the Marco Roy pick always.

  42. Hammers says:

    Boy there is sure a variety of opinions on your list other than the obvious . We still need players down the middle goalie , defence men , centres . Unless that area is traded for my expectations would be they must be drafted . Actually hoping that we trade for at least a goalie.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: The famed 3 for 1.

    Yakupov, marincin, our 2ndrounder for Yandle? :)

    I think something like that yes. Oilers have to clean out some of their youth and Yak+Marincin may not be part of the plan. I think this could get ugly.

  44. geowal says:

    “Will everyone be back next season? Unlikely. Tyler Pitlick is RFA and I’m not certain he returns next fall. David Perron was being actively shopped and that may continue at the deadline and into summer (he has one year left on his deal). I’d say Eberle and Purcell are locks for 2015-16.”

    Shit, I’d hoped Purcell wasn’t coming back, I’ve seen him useless

  45. Ryan says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Hated the Marco Roy pick always.

    If that’s the only pick you hated, you’re doing pretty good.

    What about Moroz, Musil, Hesketh, Abney, Bigos, Ewanyk, Perhonen, and coughlin?

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: I think something like that yes. Oilers have to clean out some of their youth and Yak+Marincin may not be part of the plan. I think this could get ugly.

    Perhaps another post with Daniel Day Lewis in a prominent role is in the works..?

    The Gagner trade was arguably the biggest move of the summer, although I don’t think it reached “There will be blood” proportions.

    I think the org is at the point where a major deal is required, I just hope they wait until summer. Nothing good is going to come from a trade in January imo

  47. RexLibris says:

    I just noticed that WoI has adjusted their in-game charts to include adjustments for score effects, home advantage and rink-count bias.

    If I’m late to that party, I apologize, but I found this really interesting.

    Kings outcorsi the Flames 31.8 to 22.4.

    Flames lead 2-0.

    Because we all know advanced analytics are bogus.

  48. oliveoilers says:

    RexLibris: Studies show that 60% of the time, it works every time!

    http://www.sex-panther.com/

    I have my order in! Three cases!

  49. oliveoilers says:

    RexLibris:
    I just noticed that WoI has adjusted their in-game charts to include adjustments for score effects, home advantage and rink-count bias.

    If I’m late to that party, I apologize, but I found this really interesting.

    Kings outcorsi the Flames 31.8 to 22.4.

    Flames lead 2-0.

    Because we all know advanced analytics are bogus.

    Games like that are why analytics is finding it hard to gain traction with the unwashed masses. It’s not so much that they don’t get it or never will, but more of a case of time to study. Honestly, with a full time job, three kids, an acreage and three horses, I’m on here way too much. But, modesty aside, I was/am considered academically astute and find math not the most difficult subject in the world and I have a grounding in reason and logic. Now, you take people who are even more busy than I am (I’m very lucky) who only get to skim through and pick out the buzz phrases and score lines and you have Advanced Analytics Suck Ass Because Of The Calgary Flames/2013-14 Avalanche/2013-14 Leafs Are Winning narrative.

  50. flyfish1168 says:

    oliveoilers,

    I have always felt if you win the middle portions of the ice you can win the game. Keep everything to the outside and also win the neural zone entry and exit you have control of the shot quality. You can’t win in the NHL with shots from the periphery 30 and 40 feet out .NHL goalies are to good. get into the Kill zone area and your stats are better at scoring. I believe the more important stat is the amount of shots in front of the net within 15 feet and better yet with some net presence. corsi and fenwick can give you a false positive feeling JMHO

  51. oliveoilers says:

    flyfish1168:
    oliveoilers,

    I have always felt if you win the middle portions of the ice you can win the game. Keep everything to the outside and also win the neural zone entry and exit you have control of the shot quality. You can’t win in the NHL with shots from the periphery 30 and 40 feet out .NHL goalies are to good. get into the Kill zone area and your stats are better at scoring. I believe the more important stat is the amount of shots in front of the net within 15 feet and better yet with some net presence. corsi and fenwick can give you a false positive feeling JMHO

    Agreed, but as any goalie will tell you, they’ll save most of the shots they can get set for. The net presence you mention helps put them off. But the killer for them is the old east-west transition on a broken play. It’s my belief that there are three kinds of goalie:

    1. The positional goalie – plays the angles and the set plays and knows the book on shooters, however finds it hard to adapt if his game is even a fraction off.

    2. The reactionary goalie – it’s all in the reflexes, baby. Looks spectacular, may have poor personal numbers despite being on winning team.

    3. The elite goalie – a mixture of the above two. Usually a little older, reads the plays, but when things go wrong can make a WTF save look routine.

    Bad goalie stats can kill the rest of them, as we may be seeing now.

  52. leadfarmer says:

    After another solid outing, devan dubnyk has now the 8th best save percentage in the whole league. Le sigh.

  53. hunter1909 says:

    Re Fraser: I like the poster who talked about how MacT thinks all he needs to do is acquire various castoffs from “winning” teams and magically everything will turn out peachy.

    Sums the entire situation up rather nicely.

  54. kooler says:

    DD has the starting job in Arizona. Good for him.

  55. hunter1909 says:

    flyfish1168:
    oliveoilers,

    I have always felt if you win the middle portions of the ice you can win the game. Keep everything to the outside and also win the neural zone entry and exit you have control of the shot quality. You can’t win in the NHL with shots from the periphery 30 and 40 feet out .NHL goalies are to good. get into the Kill zone area and your stats are better at scoring. I believe the more important stat is the amount of shots in front of the net within 15 feet and better yet with some net presence. corsi and fenwick can give you a false positive feeling JMHO

    I always reckoned 1 Phil Esposito shot from 14 feet out is worth many times more than a Horcoffian blast coming in from the blue line.

    But like every new thing, the first maniacs who eat the cornflakes know better than us “unwashed”.

  56. G Money says:

    flyfish1168,

    oliveoilers,

    Suggest you guys read Chris Boyles “shot quality project” work and some of the follow up articles he’s done specifically on how that relates to goaltending. He’s done a really nice job laying out what consists of easy and not so easy saves.

    That said, very little of that contradicts the value of Corsi or Fenwick. A nice easy way to look at it is to go over to war-on-ice and look at their adjusted vs unadjusted sv%. What that does is it adjusts goalie sv% based on shot distance. In theory, goalies that face a lot of close shots will have their sv% adjusted up, while those that face lots of easy muffins will have it adjusted down.

    In actual fact, the chart lines up extremely well along the ‘equal’ line, whether you look across the league or at individual goalies, including the Oiler goalies. There is movement, but its a minor thing. What that tells you is what most of the work to date has also shown – that shot quality is dominated by shot volume when you look across any body of a goalie’s work.

    There is data being collected and work being done that will help us understand shot quality and goalie performance better, but a lot of it is still digging into depths that shift the numbers by small percentage points, not big ones.

  57. Dark Asia says:

    leadfarmer:
    After another solid outing, devan dubnyk has now the 8th best save percentage in the whole league.Le sigh.

    Le sigh indeed.

    One of MacT’s first brilliant moves as GM was to clearly state in the press that he had little confidence in his #1 goalie after having a good season behind a terrible team. Ran him out of town as soon as possible. The kid is a solid if unspectacular goalie that jackboot and designer spectacles ruined – but I’m glad he went to a good org that believes in him and rebooted his career.

    EDM Oilers – the place where goalies are destroyed.

  58. VanOil says:

    Locked in an Epic Tank battle Carolina and Edmonton today tried to dress it up a little for the league to save face. Carolina added Jordan Staal at Center, the Oilers added Derek Roy.

    The Oilers are clearly out classing Carolina in this phase of the tank battle.

  59. hunter1909 says:

    Dark Asia: EDM Oilers – the place where goalies are destroyed.

    Kind of telling how Keegan Lowe got “mercifully” drafted away from Dad’s “winning’ organization.

    Me? I’d have that little shite on the ice every goddamned night, enduring an endless rain of booing.

    Rob Schremps cousin

  60. hunter1909 says:

    VanOil:
    Locked in an Epic Tank battle Carolina and Edmonton today tried to dress it up a little for the league to save face. Carolina added Jordan Staal at Center, the Oilers added Derek Roy.

    The Oilers are clearly out classing Carolina in this phase of the tank battle.

    I have to admit my panzer battle knowledge ends at 1943. But this team trumps Guderian, Rommel, Zhukov, Patton…anyone.

  61. Gret99zky says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 43m43 minutes ago
    I’m hearing Leon Draisaitl’s junior rights have been traded from Prince Albert to Kelowna. Up to parties to announce it.#oilers.

    ICYMI. (I know you didn’t LT.)

  62. VanOil says:

    hunter1909: Subscribe

    The Oilers seem to have studied and perfected the tactics of the Iraqi tank troops versus the American Air Force in the 1st Gulf War.

  63. G Money says:

    Gret99zky,

    Does … this … mean …

    The …

    OILERS ?!?!??!?!

    Are about to make …

    TWO good decisions?

    in

    a

    row?!?!?!

  64. godot10 says:

    RexLibris:
    I
    Roy is the veteran C that Eakins never had. It doesn’t mean he’ll solve anything, but at least give a guy a chance to fail with the right tools.

    Eakins had Sam Gagner. Did eff all with him.

    Eakins had Anton Lander. Did eff all with him.

    Eakins recommended Will Acton (free agent) over Joe Colborne (who Calgary obtained for a late draft prick).

    Eakins didn’t look at any Oilers video…thus, didn’t take any time to evaluate Horcoff before MacT traded him. He also didn’t look at any Oilers video, and assumed that Hall could play centre.

  65. "Steve Smith" says:

    godot10,

    Eakins hacked Sony. Eakins erupted Mount St. Helens. Eakins introduced John and Yoko.

    Eakins is the anti-Weir.

  66. G Money says:

    godot10: for a late draft prick

    Heh. Heh heh. “Draft prick”. Is that like when you trade a pick for Daniel Carcillo?

  67. rich says:

    G Money,

    Don’t worry. Lander and Marincin are staying in OKC.

  68. Big Dan says:

    Draisaitl’s rights traded from Prince Albert before getting sent down?

    That’s good. We wouldn’t want him spend 40 games with a poorly coached, poorly run re. Snort!

  69. gogliano says:

    Gret99zky:
    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty43m43 minutes ago
    I’m hearing Leon Draisaitl’s junior rights have been traded from Prince Albert to Kelowna. Up to parties to announce it.#oilers.

    ICYMI.(I know you didn’t LT.)

    Roy then this. Just when I thought I was out.

    Kelowna already has a strong team so Drais would be looking at a deep playoff run with the Rockets. The move would also preserve a year of RFA status. Hard to see any reason to keep him up with the big club.

  70. hunter1909 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Eakins made the team wear Republican Guard jackets.

  71. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    re: Draisaitl. Finally. It was long overdue. See you next year, Leon. Until then, auf wiedersehen

    This still means the OIlers are short at C unless they really are comfortable running
    RNH-Roy-Lander-Gordon

    And who’s their backup in case of injury? It does seem like, as LT says, another shoe is to drop.

    Maybe it’s Vermette as well as Yandle? Marincin, Yak, prospect, picks for those two? Rather it be Hanzal but no way they trade him to Edmonton without a much bigger/better piece going their way.

  72. hunter1909 says:

    gogliano: Kelowna already has a strong team so Drais would be looking at a deep playoff run with the Rockets. The move would also preserve a year of RFA status. Hard to see any reason to keep him up with the big club.

    How the hell else are they going to ruin him?

  73. hunter1909 says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: Yak

    They really need to get his Russian arse out of town in a hurry – before he blossoms into a legitimate NHL goal scorer.

  74. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    hunter1909,

    I don’t want to see him gone, except for maybe the fact I’d like to see him get a chance on a real team and see what he can turn into. The Oilers seem determined to not let him blossom.

    The tea leaves suggest he’s not really in their plans.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: This has been my point all along. WHY did he wait so GD long? Why Rex? I do not understand.

    Because the Anisimov trade was in the bag but kept falling apart due to injuries and protracted contract talks.

  76. Yeti says:

    G Money: TWO good decisions?

    in

    a

    row?!?!?!

    This heralds events of biblical proportions… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0

  77. oliveoilers says:

    G Money:
    Gret99zky,

    Does … this … mean …

    The …

    OILERS ?!?!??!?!

    Are about to make …

    TWO good decisions?

    in

    a

    row?!?!?!

    I know…I’m scared too….

  78. rich says:

    Am wondering if the changes that were made yesterday were ordered from some place other than MacT.

    Seriously, it really took this long for you to figure out that Arcobello couldn’t handle a role above 4C and that Draisaitl – good as he may become – is not ready to learn how to play C in the NHL at age 19?

    Now we wait on the defense…

  79. Captain Smarmy says:

    I don’t see anything about Draisaitl being sent down. PA trading his rights isn’t a tell about anything. They’ve already traded Josh Morrissey and they would certainly trade Draisaitl. This is just Kelowna giving a lot less on the hope he gets sent down. Hope that might be merited.

    Plus I think the trade deadline is sometime in January for WHL (I could be wrong I forget these things) so you may as well get something now.

    That said, the Oilers may be more likely to send him down later in the year because of who has his rights. Hell Stu might even get the chance to see him now. 😉

  80. Pouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 36m36 minutes ago
    RE: Draisaitl. RT @FriedgeHNIC: checked with the league, he will count against the 50 even in junior

  81. rich says:

    Pouzar,

    Good info to know and good context on future moves.

  82. VOR says:

    As a goalie for over forty years (6 to 55, and yes I did think of playing one more year so I could say I played for fifty years) and an amateur/professional statistician with an avid interest in shot quality I think I may be able to inform the discussion about shot quality:

    -deflections are a bitch
    -anyone shooter you face has strengths and weaknesses (well other than Mike Bossy)
    -the more shots you take the more likely I let in a weak goal
    -every goaltender has strengths and weaknesses (yes, even Patrick Roy)
    -most goals (not highest percentage just the most) go in from the point or somewhere adjacent to it
    -having somebody sticking their ass in your face while you are trying to stop a point shot makes that shot much more difficult to stop and is mentally exhausting to boot
    -pick a spot on the ice, say left faceoff circle, though any spot will do, now imagine a world class shot from there, if a world class shooter is unleashing that shot I am more likely to stop it than if it comes from Luke Gazdic, ask Billy Smith about Kevin McClelland
    -conversely great shooters executing their favorite shot (Ovie off the point at the top of the faceoff circle firing that lethal wrist shot) are more dangerous than Luke Gazdic with the same shot from the same place on average. This is because Luke won’t catch all of the puck most nights so when he does one game in two hundred the goalie won’t be expecting it, but if you want goals in bunches take Ovie.
    -there are variations in the shot location and technique that produces the best results. Over time they can change considerably. Right now crashing the crease works best but goalies keep getting bigger, stronger and faster and eventually it will be about puck movement (the bigger you are the harder it is to stop your momentum if you guess wrong or set up wrong)
    -slight changes in expected location of origination make giant differences to outcome. As a goalie playing the point shot I am trying to stay square to the likely origin of the shot. If the shooter moves a foot to the right or left at the last moment I am well screwed, particularly if I am being screened and can’t see the shooter (Nick Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom)
    -movement on the puck, and yes pucks do strange things, can change an easy shot into a ridiculously hard one, some shooters, the nasty ones, figure out how to make the puck behave erratically (J.C. Tremblay)
    -some nights goalies are in the zone and it wouldn’t matter what you fired at them they would stop it
    -some nights a shooter or an entire team will be feeling it and the poor goalie, any goalie, will get shellacked even if they do everything right. God help you if you are having an off night when the entire opposing team is clicking (see Patrick Roy’s exit from Montreal)
    -Ken Dryden’s definition still applies (a good goalie stops all the shots you would expect him to stop, a great goalie does that and stops some they shouldn’t as well)
    -all this can be turned into an algorithm with enormous predictive value but it is dominated by one variable (total shots on net)
    -simply put then, reduce the shots you give up and you reduce the goals scored against your team
    -while reducing shots takes your entire team including your goalie (rebound control, ability to move the puck) it falls disproportionately on the forwards…if the puck is at the other end of the ice you can lean on your stick and go to sleep, ala Ken Dryden, and if your team’s Centers are all Essa Tikkanen waiting to bounce on outlet passes and turn them into breakaways well you can afford to let in some softies.

    So to summarize, total shots on net is such a powerful predictor of goals scored that it washes out the effect of other variables which is not to say those variables don’t matter just that they aren’t predictive in a broad sense. Chris Boyles math is saying exactly this.

  83. season not played says:

    Great breakdown of the Oilers prospects LT. Easy to see why Hockey’s Future has their system ranked near the bottom of the league. Not a lot of legitimate help on the way.

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