AMBULANCE

Darnell Nurse played last night, good news for Oilers fans. The big man (who is really a kid, but you tell him, the guy is 6.04, 205 and has a nasty streak) will likely have a long run in the OHL playoffs and could catch on for the AHL playoffs if there’s more hockey there. The Edmonton Oilers will turn him pro this fall and will do their absolute best to send him to the AHL for one season. I don’t give them a snowball’s chance in hell of making it happen.

LOWETIDE TOP 30, 2015 DRAFT

      1. (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Has anyone produced like this as a 17-year old? Ever????
      2. (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Franchise center caught in a generational draft.
      3. (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) There’s just too much, folks. Big offense.
      4. (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Best of a deep crop of two-way defenders.
      5. (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) Big center, crazy skill. What an outstanding draft.
      6. (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Incredible offense but he can also defend.
      7. (7) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) Another fine two-way teenager. Lordy.
      8. (8) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Exceptional talent, may end up top 5 on final list.
      9. (8) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL). Complete defenseman, someone is going to get a major talent.
      10. (11) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Wonderful play-making center. Size an issue.
      11. (13) L Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton (QMJHL) Exceptional combination: Skill, size, speed, shot.
      12. (14) R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML) Skill winger with size, safe pick.
      13. (10) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) Skill player with a complete skill set.
      14. (12) C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Terrific player, highly skilled. A wizard with the puck.
      15. (15) R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) Impressive scoring winger.
      16. (16) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Range of skills, wonderful two-way player. Love this player-type.
      17. (22) C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL). He’s on the list because of terrific skill, moving up because he may have turned a corner.
      18. (17) L Jake Debrusk, Swift Current (WHL) Two-way winger with speed, posting better-than-expected offense.
      19. (18) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). I think he’s Michal Handzus 2.0.
      20. (19) R Daniel Sprong, Charlettown Islanders (QMJHL) Fine offensive winger, there are a bunch in the first round.
      21. (23) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) Strong winger with skill. Scouts adore him.
      22. (20) D Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (OHL) Puck-moving defender of considerable quality.
      23. (24) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Talented offensive defenseman, right-handed.
      24. (25) D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL) Smart two-way defender. Might be underrated at this number.
      25. (27) R Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL) Impressive range of skills, a fine offensive prospect.
      26. (NR) D Ryan Pilon, Brandon (WHL) Two-way defenseman with significant offensive ability.
      27. (NR) R Brock Boeser, Waterloo (USHL) Scoring winger hanging around bottom of the first round all year.
      28. (28) D Noah Juulsen, Everett Silvertips (WHL) Two-way defender, smart player. A little shy as a skater.
      29. (NR) C Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (OHL) Older player, undersized. Don’t care. Wonderful skills. Not bragging but I had him at No. 52 on my list last season.
      30. (29) L Paul Bittner, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)  Big man with skill, marginal first rounder in a deep draft.

 Oilers should end up with two names on this board, maybe three. If they can walk away with Eichel, Harkins and Roy? Music. I don’t think they’ll trade a pick for an NHL player, Edmonton talks that talk (just ask Matty) but never, ever walks that walk. Braydon Coburn, Corey Schneider, hell it goes all the way back to the turn of the century. On the draft floor, things change. The value of the pick is higher for other teams but also for the Oilers. If Harkins is available at No. 22 (Pens’ pick) and the Oilers walk to the podium, do not be surprised when they make the selection.


Elliotte Friedman wrote about Reilly and the Oilers’ connection to him, so he’s someone to keep in mind along with the goalie Matt O’Connor. We should also remember that Joey Laleggia is a helluva pro prospect and Edmonton needs to sign him as well.

yakimov ferguson14-15 3

Bogdan Yakimov. All Barons’ photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved

One thing about that 2013 draft I keep coming back to: That was the draft MacT knew well. It’s early days of course, in terms of evaluation, this looks like it could be a very good draft. Darnell Nurse was a star at the WJ’s and is having a solid OHL season; Yakimov is turning it on as an AHL rookie (3-3-6 in his last 6GP); Anton Slepyshev posted a good KHL season; Kyle Platzer had a bona fide impact year and Greg Chase recovered from a bizarre start to the year. That’s a lot of good-looking prospects. The 2014 draft seemed to be dictated by that crazy ‘college control’ thing the Oilers employ in order to avoid difficult signing decisions but that first draft MacT had as GM is tracking well.

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108 Responses to "AMBULANCE"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    I’m off-topic first thing in the morning.
    The Golden Bears play UQTR in the CIS Semi-Final today.
    This morning, the Journal says kick-off is at 3:00.
    If you turn on your TV machine then you’ll be disappointed.
    The game starts at 1:00 E-town Daylight Time.
    Time Zones are hard.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    I’m off-topic first thing in the morning.
    The Golden Bears play UQTR in the CIS Semi-Final today.
    This morning, the Journal says kick-off is at 3:00.
    If you turn on your TV machine then you’ll be disappointed.
    The game starts at 1:00 E-town Daylight Time.
    Time Zones are hard.

    I RT’s a couple good tweets about the Bears last night:


    Ryan Batty @ryan_batty · 15h 15 hours ago
    Alberta scored more goals in the second period than shots allowed against. That’s a pretty good period.

    More goals than they other team had shots. Lordy.

    There’s some fancystats you can hang your hat on!

    Matt R. @mattryeg · 15h 15 hours ago
    @ryan_batty @Woodguy55 edmontonian oiler fans been suffering for years with this perennial dynasty right under our noses.

    So true, so true.

    Pure hockey excellence has endured at the UofA for decades.

    That’s a culture to emulate.

  3. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Joey Legs has expressed a desire to sign with the oil on numerous occasions, so we don’t have to worry.

    That is, we only have to worry about Oilers management.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  4. The Duke of Hafford says:

    LT, if the Oilers are drafting third would you do this trade, would Philly? Couturier + Phillys first (top 10) and a prospect like Travis Sanheim (gets a right shooting D into the system with some size and offence).

  5. reckless_abandon says:

    My dream: Joe Thornton for the Pittsburg pick and the second. Big Joe would be the perfect centre to guide Leon into the league.

  6. Woodguy says:

    Oilers have pimped Joey Leggs a few times this year and Joey himself said he can’t wait to sign with the Oilers, so hopefully its a slam dunk.

    This is only the 3rd year since he was drafted so there is no pressure to get him signed like CBJ has with Reilly.

  7. Woodguy says:

    I’m going to go get the papers, get the papers.

  8. Woodguy says:

    AMBULANCE

    FIRETRUCK

    /Steve Smith

    (if that’s his real name)

  9. thejonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    UNB is the real CIS hockey dynasty. 🙂

  10. Lois Lowe says:

    Bring AMBALAMPS!

    I kind of wish that Jim Byers could be brought to Edmonton to replace Jack Michaels. Mr. Byers calls an excellent game and it’s a damn shame if he doesn’t go with the team to Bakersfield.

  11. frjohnk says:

    Hard not to like the 2013 draft for the oilers. This could be the draft that gives this team ( in your words LT) the 6’s,7’s, 8’s and 9’s to go with the Jacks, Queens and Kings.

    Nurse could probably go into the Jacks, Queens and Kings slot.

    Sleppy, Platzer, Chase, Roy, Yakimov, and maybe even Houck and Betker are guys that could be the 6’s,7’s,8’s and 9’s.

    Like this draft

  12. Zack says:

    A goal from Noah Hanifin yesterday…

    @shnarped: Sooo @NHanifin did this tonight… #bchockey #nhldraft https://t.co/5XiHdFSJi2

    As well as…

    @mikemorrealeNHL: Jack Eichel 2g, 1a, 9 shots, +3, 15/27 faceoff wins in 6-2 win vs Merrimack in Gm 1 of quarterfinal match on Friday. Game 2 on Sat.

  13. Ca$h-Money! says:

    reckless_abandon:
    My dream: Joe Thornton for the Pittsburg pick and the second. Big Joe would be the perfect centre to guide Leon into the league.

    Holy crap that would be perfect, not only for Leon but for RNH, who I still maintain would be well served to be either a 2nd C or at least a part time 1C for one or two more years. A veteran top pick who can show these kids how to carry a team, rather than a veteran plugger who hasn’t ever had to.

  14. Kmart99 says:

    “I don’t give them a snowball’s chance in hell…”

    Darnell will be very difficult to keep out of this line up. You’re going to be weighing the value of making the Oilers better right away vs. Continuing to develop Nurse properly so he(and the oilers) can be better in the long.

    He wasn’t on the ice for a single EVS GA the entire WJ Tourney..When I think about the amount of minutes he was playing… Just wow. It will likely be clear that he is an upgrade on Ference, Schultz, Marincin, and Nikitin. Yet also clear that keeping him in the AHL for at least half the season will be more beneficial.

    Hope the Oil sign Petry this summer. Really hope. Maybe they value him more than the league and the FA ransom wont be as unreasonable as expected.

    For the last half of 2015-16 Klefbom, Petry, and Nurse are a solid starting point. Marincin/Fayne are solid 6/7 options. Nikitin can maybe be a useful #7. Ference is done. He just is. Great guy, great player, great leader, but father time has simply caught up.

    2015-16 second half d corps
    1st pairing:… ????? ????
    2nd Pairing: Klefbom Petry( puh leeeeeeeeease)
    3rd Pairing: Nurse Fayne

    #7 options: Jultz, Marincin, Nikitin … You pick.
    Jultz is a magnificant skater with an ok shot but offers very little else. Nikitin is still capable of this role, but as we’ve seen so many times this season , he often seems to be playing for the opposition. Marincin would be my pick.

    Maybe, just maybe, Klefbom and Nurse can one day be a bonafied #1-2 on a playoff team, but ever since Petry left, Klef has been drowning in a sea of higher QoC. He was flourishing before Petry left… Now not so much. I like his dreaminess in slightly better circumstances.

  15. Unicorns says:

    Kenny Morrison sounds like a really interesting prospect. Basically the same player as Petry with possibly more PP ability and edge.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Holy crap that would be perfect, not only for Leon but for RNH, who I still maintain would be well served to be either a 2nd C or at least a part time 1C for one or two more years. A veteran top pick who can show these kids how to carry a team, rather than a veteran plugger who hasn’t ever had to.

    I would do that if the D were fixed.

    If the D isn’t fixed then its a waste of those assets.

    I love Joe and would love to see him end his career here showing the kids how to do it, but unless the D is fixed he won’t help as much as you think .

    I also doubt Joe waives to come here, but we are discussing a “dream”

    🙂

  17. Rondo says:

    Woodguy: I would do that if the D were fixed.

    If the D isn’t fixed then its a waste of those assets.

    I love Joe and would love to see him end his career here showing the kids how to do it, but unless the D is fixed he won’t help as much as you think .

    I also doubt Joe waives to come here, but we are discussing a “dream”

    Agree, also don’t know what a 36 yr old centre is worth. Not many centers make it to 36 and older are are considered #1 centers

  18. Kmart99 says:

    reckless_abandon:

    I’d be on board with this idea if the Oil end up drafting one of Marner,Hanifin, or Strome…. But if they end up with McDavid or Eichel…. Then there’s almost no point. McDavid, Thornton, Nuge, Draisaitl. These assets make little sense together unless one of them becomes a PK dynamo that is happy with 10 minutes/night and small contract$. What happens to Lander, Gordon, Yakimov… Just doesn’t add up in my mind.

    If the Oil draft Hanifin… (Who will likely not impact the team until Hall and Ebs leave for FA), then sure Thornton would be a great mentor to Draisaitl and even Nuge.

  19. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t know why, but hockey players just don’t seem to age well here like in places such as Detroit.

  20. eastcoastoil says:

    Hey lt,
    Can sleppy play for the barons if his season is done?

  21. Kmart99 says:

    Becoming the #1 Centre here is like becoming the president of the USA, lots of promise, but basically founded on a mess of unfixeable insanity and full of corruption behind the scenes.

  22. slopitch says:

    I very much like the idea of supplementing the draft pipeline with college free agents. O’Connor and Reilly yes please. On a side note, there are quite a few Mike Reilly’s out there.

    I’m with woodguy. If you can’t get a top pairing dman, you wasting 2015-16. No point getting Joe if that’s the case. If I had to bet on number of ahl games Nurse plays, I’d think the over/under would be fair at 12.5.

  23. Clay says:

    That Scott Wheeler article is a good one.

    There is so much talk about Strome getting the benefit of playing with / behind McDavid. And whether or not this effect is or isn’t what it’s made out to be, I see much less made of the benefit Marner receives of playing with two NHL calibre linemates as well.

    From Wheeler’s article:

    “On the flip side, Marner’s use with Max Domi (Arizona, 1st round, 2013) and Christian Dvorak (Arizona, 2nd round, 2014) on a dynamic top line in London results in consistent matching against opposition’s top pairings. This, though, is counterbalanced by the extremely high quality of Marner’s linemates. In fact, the number of Marner’s points Dvorak (48%) and Domi (29%) have contributed on far exceeds any one player’s input into Strome’s production, with DeBrincat (22%) Baptiste (17%) leading the way.”

    What’s my point? That it’s unfair to “penalize” Strome for having McDavid on his team without doing the same for Marner for having Domi and Dvorak on his team.

    This is one of those cases where I think the players are so close, that if a team needs to choose between the two, BPA would be determined by organizational need.

  24. slopitch says:

    Interesting that Arizona has Marners 2 line mates already in the system. If the oilers finish 3rd (buf-arz-edm) and a fluke wins the lottery, I could see Arizona taking marner at 3. The Oilers would still have the choice of Strome or Hanifan at #4. I’m leaning Hanifan right now. Development timeline be damned, I’ve seen 8 years of porous D. Build from the backend out.

  25. Lowetide says:

    eastcoastoil:
    Hey lt,
    Can sleppy play for the barons if his season is done?

    I believe so, yes. I’m never sure of agreements between KHL and NHL and when a contract expires but it would depend on the negotiating window.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    Today was a good day for the Oilers with me running the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Simulator.
    50 tries and the Oilers won the lottery 10 times. 1st time that has happened.

    http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/

  27. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168:
    Today was a good day for the Oilers with me running the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Simulator.
    50 tries and the Oilers won the lottery 10 times. 1st time that has happened.

    http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/

    Dammit! Should have held the actual lottery today.

  28. Acumen says:

    Tracking everything from Europe and I’ve hit the perverse level of the season where every point we accumulate upsets me. After the Petry trade I was all grey clouds for awhile, but if it results in us picking top two I am all for it.

    To hell with pride, after nine years I’ll hope for the franchise center and then for a summer turn around.

    I am hoping, wishing, and actually praying (did it for the first time in about 10 years at a chapel in Rome. Seemed novel. Talked Oilers. Figured the big man could finally call the damned locusts off) that the Oilers do horrendously for just 13 more games, then start a long playoff streak the following year.

    Today is the first I have allowed myself to fantasize McDavid into next year’s lineup and it feels good. The team doesn’t deserve another first but dammit the players and the fans do.

  29. Acumen says:

    I think Hall on an easy minutes line with either of the hot shots in this years draft would be a fine reward for what he has had to put up with to this point in his career.

  30. Clay says:

    So does anyone know why Craig Button has Hanifin at #8, behind both Proporov and Werenski? Is it simply offensive upside?

  31. flyfish1168 says:

    Today is the first I have allowed myself to fantasize McDavid into next year’s lineup and it feels good. The team doesn’t deserve another first but dammit the players and the fans do.

    We had the 1st true great one. We do deserve the next true great one. Wouldn’t it be nice to have Conner play in Wayne’s house.

  32. Clay says:

    Acumen:

    Today is the first I have allowed myself to fantasize McDavid into next year’s lineup and it feels good. The team doesn’t deserve another first but dammit the players and the fans do.

    Imagine McDavid with Hall (assuming his rocket skates return) on his wing for a decade? Faces would be melted.

  33. Woodguy says:

    Clay:
    So does anyone know why Craig Button has Hanifin at #8, behind both Proporov and Werenski?Is it simply offensive upside?

    Button says its due to offence (mentions Bouwmeester as a comp)

    Thing is, that since he said that Hanifin has been on a tear offensively.

    He’s up to 23pts in 34 games.

    As a (just turned) 18 year old freshman in the NCAA, that’s a very, very good number.

    Its closer to pt/m recently.

  34. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy: Button says its due to offence (mentions Bouwmeester as a comp)

    Thing is, that since he said that Hanifin has been on a tear offensively.

    He’s up to 23pts in 34 games.

    As a (just turned) 18 year old freshman in the NCAA, that’s a very, very good number.

    Its closer to pt/m recently.

    wonder what his NHLE is compared to Ekblad’s

  35. RexLibris says:

    Flames sure picked a good for a playoff push.

  36. RexLibris says:

    BTW, happy Pi Day to any and all.

    Today’s sampling includes Pink Grapefruit meringue and Chocolate Salted Caramel pie on a pretzel crust.

    I am the most popular person at work today.

  37. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Button says its due to offence (mentions Bouwmeester as a comp)

    Thing is, that since he said that Hanifin has been on a tear offensively.

    He’s up to 23pts in 34 games.

    As a (just turned) 18 year old freshman in the NCAA, that’s a very, very good number.

    Its closer to pt/m recently.

    I’m guessing that part of it is that Button, being based in the West, has seen a heckuva lot less of Hanifin than he has Provorov, especially considering Hanifin is on an NCAA sched, which means a lot fewer games in the first place and a late seasonal start.

    In other words, he’s had a lot more opportunities to “see Provorov good”.

    Edit: no knock on Provorov

  38. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: I’m guessing that part of it is that Button, being based in the West, has seen a heckuva lot less of Hanifin than he has Provorov, especially considering Hanifin is on an NCAA sched, which means a lot fewer games in the first place and a late seasonal start.In other words, he’s had a lot more opportunities to “see Provorov good”.

    Plus Button used to be a NHL GM and they never, ever change their mind or admit mistakes.

    😀

  39. stush18 says:

    RexLibris,

    Our math prof made us lemon tarts. Shes not all bad i guess.

  40. fuzzy muppet says:

    Since the 50 man roster limit might be an issue with all the guys they need to get under contract, can we talk about who WON’T be back??

    Here’s my list:
    Fasth
    Fraser
    Joenssu*
    Pinnizotto
    Tyrvainen*
    Larsen*
    Bunz
    Tuohimma*
    Aulie
    Bachmann

    *don’t currently count against the roster limit.

    Not sure about these guys:
    Gazdic
    R. Hamilton
    C. Hamilton
    Pitlick
    Roy

    They need to sign:
    Roy
    Betker
    Houck**
    Slepyshev
    Platzer

    Not a lot of room

    I’m likely missing guys but I’m late for work and can’t dig deeper.

  41. 719 says:

    I am 100% on board with Thorton.

    You got to to think he is on the move after his fallout with Wilson that made the media, who knows what has gone on backstage.

    If Thorton is here, I would make him number one center. IF you draft Eichel or McDavid start them on the wing.

  42. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: Plus Button used to be a NHL GM and they never, ever change their mind or admit mistakes.

    He called himself “an idiot” when asked why he had Leon rated so low for much of last year.
    I almost went of the road when I heard him say that.

  43. 719 says:

    I am also suggesting signing Mike Green as our number 1 D.

  44. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: He called himself “an idiot” when asked why he had Leon rated so low for much of last year.
    I almost went of the road when I heard him say that.

    HA!

    My comment was a playful poke at MacT more than anything.

    I like Button, but I think he picks a couple guys to “go off the board” with every year just to be different.

    That’s ok, being a talking head is his gig now and he’s good at it.

  45. Woodguy says:

    719:
    I am also suggesting signing Mike Green as our number 1 D.

    Green’s been having a good year.

    Mostly becuase they put him back in the “Yandle” spot.

    Easiest comp, easiest zone starts.

    Its where Jultz belongs too.

    Not a guy you can throw to the toughs on a regular basis though I think.

  46. Woodguy says:

    What I’d like to see for the Oiler’s D corps next year:

    Pronger – Lidstrom
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Marincin – Jultz
    Nikitin

    Assuming I have to keep 5 of the current Dmen.

  47. Rondo says:

    Funny how when you like a player like Hanifin people get worried because Craig Button ranked him much lower. But when real active scouts that actually watch the players ranked someone you don’t like high Lawson Crouse you think they are idiots.

  48. VanOil says:

    reckless_abandon:
    My dream: Joe Thornton for the Pittsburg pick and the second. Big Joe would be the perfect centre to guide Leon into the league.

    Good dream. I like Jultz and a 2016 2nd round pick as an offer.

    Between the prospects, the draft and big Joe the Oilers would be sorted at Center for a generation. Sadley with Petry gone I can’t see the defense being any better than awful for years to come.

    My what a draft this is becoming. My hope is Zacha falls to the Pittsburgh pick range, as he does on some lists. I think there are mitigating circumstances for his lack of offence; crossings the pond, injuries, suspensions. A hanzal 2.0 is not a bad thing.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Rondo:
    Funny how when you like a player like Hanifinpeople get worried because Craig Button ranked him much lower.Butwhen real active scouts that actually watch the players ranked someone you don’t like high Lawson Crouseyou think they are idiots.

    Was that directed at me?

  50. Rondo says:

    Woodguy: Was that directed at me?

    No

  51. Jon K says:

    This is such a great draft at the top end. I wish there was some way to pull a Garth Snow and send all the other picks away for another top 10 to try and grab Werenski, Hanifin, Provorov, or Kylington.

    I can’t make up my mind between Hanifin, Werenski, or Provorov. Werenski and Provorov have the edge in offense but Hanifin’s skating and reach are impressive.

  52. Rondo says:

    Jon K,

    Brock Otten OHL prospects

    Sam Bennett > Marner

    Kyle Woodlief Redline Report

    Leon D > Strome

    I wonder is it such a great draft after the top 3?

  53. Jon K says:

    Woodguy: Green’s been having a good year.

    Mostly becuase they put him back in the “Yandle” spot.

    Easiest comp, easiest zone starts.

    Its where Jultz belongs too.

    Not a guy you can throw to the toughs on a regular basis though I think.

    Certainly not a guy to spend $7 million on, with the way this UFA batch looks.

    He’s been criticized in the past for defensive play and fitness issues as well. Both warnings against a long term deal which he will certainly be able to command.

    Of course, MacT or Lowe may like him because he’s a good ole Alberta boy with “Norris Potential”(TM).

  54. 719 says:

    Woodguy: Green’s been having a good year.

    Mostly becuase they put him back in the “Yandle” spot.

    Easiest comp, easiest zone starts.

    Its where Jultz belongs too.

    Not a guy you can throw to the toughs on a regular basis though I think.

    Thanks, looks like I have been barking up the wrong tree. Honestly, I have been looking at his numbers and what has been posted by the media (I know I know).

  55. frjohnk says:

    *WARNING, NERD ALERT*
    I have been crunching numbers in the last week or so looking at what each team gives up in regards to shots and where these shots are from. I have been trying to find a measure of defensive quality by a team by using shots in a context of where a team allows them from. Basically I am looking for a stat I can label as ‘team defence”.

    I ran some numbers from war on ice looking at high, medium and low danger shots. The high and medium danger area used to be called “home plate” but it has now changed to also include the area above the dots. So the high and medium danger area looks more like an arrow. So I will refer to the high and medium danger shots as from the “arrow”. The low danger shots are from the “perimeter.”

    I took all the data from all 3 areas and calculated that the
    -the save percentage from the arrow is 87%
    -the save percentage from the perimeter is 96.6%.
    -I also found that 55% of all shots are from the arrow.
    -League average shots per team per game from the arrow is 16.48
    -League average perimeter shots per team per game is 13.38

    I calculated what each team was allowing in regards to shots from the perimeter and the arrow areas. Below is a snap shot.

    Not all team defences are built or play the same when we look at:

    Best 5 teams Best 5 teams Best 5 teams
    shots against Arrow shots against Perimeter shots against
    MIN 26.98 MIN 14.25 NYI 10.98
    L.A 27.20 NSH 14.64 T.B 11.37
    CAR 27.38 NYR 14.95 CAR 11.95
    T.B 27.64 FLA 15.07 L.A 12.02
    STL 27.66 L.A 15.18 STL 12.06
    Worst 5 teams Worst 5 teams Worst 5 teams
    OTT 32.64 CBJ 17.67 NYR 14.40
    CBJ 32.77 ARI 17.86 FLA 14.90
    TOR 32.97 COL 18.98 CBJ 15.10
    COL 33.18 TOR 19.10 BUF 15.55
    BUF 35.45 BUF 19.90 OTT 16.01

    EDM 29.92 EDM 17.21 EDM 12.71
    Average 29.85 Average 16.47 Average 13.38

    From there I calculated what would be the expected goals that a team would allow with league average save % of 87% of shots from the arrow area and a league average perimeter save % of 96.6%. The number I came up with was a number I call “expected goals against” or “team defence”.
    Before I jumped the gun and called this stat “team defence”, I wanted to know how this expected goals stat measured up with what teams allowed for scoring chances. So I ran the correlation between “expected goals” and scoring chances and found that the correlation was 0.857. Which is a very strong positive correlation. Just for reference the correlation between just plain shots against and scoring chances against was 0.689.

    So below you will find Expected GAA ( or team defence), Actual GAA and the difference. The following stats are placed with the best expected GAA at the top ( or best team defence)
    Expect GAA Actual GAA Difference

    MIN 2.311 2.424 -0.114
    L.A 2.407 2.369 0.037
    NSH 2.414 2.221 0.193
    DET 2.432 2.369 0.063
    CAR 2.435 2.531 -0.096
    NYR 2.461 2.281 0.180
    STL 2.462 2.415 0.047
    WSH2.479 2.470 0.009
    FLA 2.496 2.591 -0.095
    ANA 2.508 2.574 -0.066
    T.B 2.524 2.493 0.032
    PHI 2.533 2.687 -0.154
    WPG2.563 2.358 0.205
    CGY 2.608 2.439 0.168
    PIT 2.614 2.303 0.311
    NYI 2.615 2.676 -0.061
    BOS 2.616 2.415 0.200
    MTL 2.617 2.076 0.541
    S.J 2.625 2.582 0.043
    CHI 2.626 2.182 0.444
    VAN 2.647 2.515 0.132
    EDM2.695 3.179 -0.484
    N.J 2.729 2.318 0.411
    OTT 2.738 2.547 0.191
    DAL 2.743 3.152 -0.409
    ARI 2.838 3.134 -0.296
    CBJ 2.841 2.969 -0.128
    COL 2.979 2.591 0.388
    TOR 2.982 2.940 0.042
    BUF 3.147 3.227 -0.080

    Now if we look at the “difference” and rank it from best to worst, we get this.
    MTL 0.541
    CHI 0.444
    N.J 0.411
    COL 0.388
    PIT 0.311
    WPG0.205
    BOS 0.200
    NSH 0.193
    OTT 0.191
    NYR 0.180
    CGY 0.168
    VAN 0.132
    DET 0.063
    STL 0.047
    S.J 0.043
    TOR 0.042
    L.A 0.037
    T.B 0.032
    WSH0.009
    NYI -0.061
    ANA -0.066
    BUF -0.080
    FLA -0.095
    CAR -0.096
    MIN -0.114
    CBJ -0.128
    PHI -0.154
    ARI -0.296
    DAL -0.409
    EDM-0.484

    What the “Difference” means that at 0, that team is getting league average goaltending when accounting for shots from the areas I have described up at the top. Anything above 0 and the team has gotten above league average goaltending, anything with a minus and the team has gotten below average league goaltending.

    Some notes:
    Minnesota has had great team defence all year, but until Dubnyk came, they had one of the worst team goaltending stats in the league. Now team defence and goaltending are both near the top. This is a team to watch in the playoffs. Could be an upset.

    Carolina has great team defence, ranking 5th, but with crappy goaltending ranking 25th, it puts them at GAA ranking of 17. On another note, they are 29th in the league in shooting % and are actually a pretty good team when looking at score adjusted fenwick. They are my pick right now to make a huge jump in the standings next year if the goaltending can rebound.

    New Jersey, Ottawa and Colorado have terrible team defence, ranking 23rd, 24th and 28th respectively , with great goaltending that ranks NJ 3rd, Col 4th and Ott 6th, we end up with a goals against average where NJ ranks 9th ,Ott ranks 16th and Col ranks 21st.

    Montreal and Chicago have comparable team defence ranked 18th and 20st respectively ( basically league average) and comparable GAA ranked 1st and 2nd respectively, everybody believes Carey price is the best ( which is true) but rarely do we see much love for Chicagos goalies, but Chicagos goalies are doing a helluva job. This exercise would suggest that Chicago’s Dmen are highly overated from a defensive stand point while their goaltenders are under rated.

    To put this into perspective, Chicagos team defence is just a smidgeon better than the Oilers ( with Petry) as Edmontons team defence is ranked 22nd. (To think that there are 8 worse teams than Edmonton when it comes to tire fire makes me shudder, buts its true.) But because of crappy goaltending, oilers are at the bottom when it comes to GAA.

    Moral of the story: If Edmonton replaces Petry properly, the team defence could be closer to league average than a bottom feeder. Still in that case, the biggest need is a number 1 goalie.

  56. Jon K says:

    Rondo,

    Are you kidding?

  57. 719 says:

    Woodguy:
    What I’d like to see for the Oiler’s D corps next year:

    Pronger – Lidstrom
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Marincin – Jultz
    Nikitin

    Assuming I have to keep 5 of the current Dmen.

    What?? Lidstrom is Left Hand shot you can’t put him on the right side!! *sarcasm alert*

  58. Rondo says:

    Jon K,

    No, however I’m only talking about the first pick after the top 3.

  59. 719 says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    I agree with most of your list, R. Hamilton has been signed for next year so he will be on the 50 man list.

    Andrew Miller may or may not be back.

    Brad Hunt may not be back either, we have a lot of D in the AHL right now with more on the way.

  60. Clay says:

    Woodguy:
    What I’d like to see for the Oiler’s D corps next year:

    Pronger – Lidstrom
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Marincin – Jultz
    Nikitin

    Assuming I have to keep 5 of the current Dmen.

    I’m assuming you meant Pronger – Lidstrom in their prime, but the sad thing is that either of them right now (after a few years of retirement) would be clearly #1 on the Oilers blue.

  61. Jon K says:

    Rondo,

    Well, I guess we won’t know for a half decade or so but I honestly can’t recall another draft that appeared this strong at the top end. There appear to be 5 guys who could be legitimate first overalls in other years and about fifteen guys that would be “top ten” picks.

    Edit: and of course, a “next one” slated to be first overall followed by another legitimate franchise forward.

  62. 719 says:

    frjohnk,

    Amazing work, you should have your own blog.

  63. Hammers says:

    I have seen McKenzies list , Buttons list & LT’s and some of the biggest differences I see is related to the “D” prospects . Being old school more than analytics I like the way Werenki plays where as Button picks Provorov and LT Hanifin . Also read in an Eastern paper that Hanifin would be like Ekblad . My feeling is if we don’t get either of the two studs a “D” should be chosen and we should do the same as McT did with Nurse . Is there anyone out there who can break those 3 down as to PK , PP , TOI , 5 on 5 etc . . For me its a “D” pick or a trade for a “D” . Any answers appreciated .

  64. Rondo says:

    Jon K,

    I agree that the top 3 could be #1’s in other years . If you combine last years draft with this years. Reinhart Bennett Ekblad and Leon D would probably be ahead of Strome and Marner and definitely Povorov.

  65. Jon K says:

    Rondo,

    Well my opinion is simply that of a prospect hobbyist, but I think it’s hard to slot last year’s top end into this one.

    Ekblad is probably comparable to Hanifin, and Strome to Draisaitl. I think Marner is probably about equal to Bennett as well but they’re very different players to compare (centre vs winger, two-way vs offensive dynamo). It’s kind of like trying to compare Toews and Kane.

    Once you get past those though I don’t think the depth of last year’s draft comes close to this year. I don’t see similarly valued prospects to Werenski, Provorov, Meier, etc.

  66. kooler says:

    Hypothetical question…whoever gets Mcdavid and he decides to pull a Lindros….what is his trade value?

  67. leadfarmer says:

    Now we just have to stay the course for the next 7 games against non-playoff opponents. Can’t believe I’m in favor of another tank, but this is definitely the year you want to.

  68. striker says:

    A caller on LT’s show suggested offer sheeting Dougie Hamilton. What do you guys think of that idea? Is it feasible? What would it take?

  69. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: Green’s been having a good year.

    Mostly becuase they put him back in the “Yandle” spot.

    Easiest comp, easiest zone starts.

    Its where Jultz belongs too.

    Not a guy you can throw to the toughs on a regular basis though I think.

    Trade schultz use that money to sign Green. Play Green like you would schultz. I would like that .Green doesn’t mind the tough stuff and in only 29. JMHO

  70. VanOil says:

    frjohnk,

    Flipping brilliant. Passes the smell test.

  71. ashley says:

    2013. What a draft indeed. But not just for the oilers. Too soon to say much as everyone below nurse hasn’t had their chance yet to prove.

    Look at that top 7 though. That’s a lot of depth vs yak’s draft.

    Flames luck out with Monahan falling to them when he probably should have gone third. Some hindsight. They did it again in 2014 with Bennett falling to them when he should have gone 1 or 2. Now they seem to be having a magical season that defies all math.

    Can we get them to send some of that karma North?

    LT made the call in 2013 on several blog posts on Monahan. I think he even called him the sleeper of a deep top end draft. Time will tell, but already looking like money in the bank.

  72. spoiler says:

    striker:
    A caller on LT’s show suggested offer sheeting Dougie Hamilton.What do you guys think of that idea? Is it feasible? What would it take?

    Was his name “Mike”?

  73. ashley says:

    Jon K:
    This is such a great draft at the top end. I wish there was some way to pull a Garth Snow and send all the other picks away for another top 10 to try and grab Werenski, Hanifin, Provorov, or Kylington.

    I can’t make up my mind between Hanifin, Werenski, or Provorov. Werenski and Provorov have the edge in offense but Hanifin’s skating and reach is impressive.

    Unlikely to get a top 10 pick unless it’s in a package for Hall. If the oilers are thinking reset, then this would be the time to trade Hall (near peak value) and this would be the draft to be bold.

    Not sure it’s the right call though. Hall likely to end up the best player in the trade. But of what value is that if he ends up outside he new cluster?

  74. hags9k says:

    frjohnk,

    That is an amazing post. Well done sir. It’s been a pretty pervasive meme that not even JC himself could look like a good goalie in front of this team, and the Dubnyk resurrection has clouded the issue.

    I am onboard with your findings, get a goalie!

    Fantastic work man.

  75. Ca$h-Money! says:

    hags9k,

    Agreed, kudos to Frjohnk.

    On the goalie front my vote is for Neuvirth, I think he is likely to be the best value available on the market, assuming a trade for a quality player (my pick is either Anderson) isn’t available.

  76. Gordies Elbow says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    For the 50 man list, I was looking at this yesterday. I have 37 currently under contract.

    This is with RFA’s resigned:
    Schultz, Yakupov, Lander, Marincin, Pitlick, and Davidson,

    I expect that Edmonton is going to sign D. Roy to a deal, so I’ve included him. I’m including a placeholder for a goaltender, as well.

    Players coming off contract?
    Fasth, Bachman, C.Hamilton,Joenssu, Pinnizotto, Tyrvainen, Larsen, Miller, Tuohimaa, Lain, Hunt, Fraser, Aulie, Bunz

    I could see Edmonton going after a couple of college free agents, specifically C.J. Motte or Matt O’Connor, and someone like Oleg Yevenko (Russian Andy Sutton, plays for UMass)

    That puts them around 40-41 contracts.

    If they sign the group you mentioned (Betker, Houck, Slepyshev, Platzer), we’re around 44-45 contracts. Add a contract for the #1 pick in the 2015 draft, and we’re still OK.

  77. Marc says:

    Thornton has a high cap hit ($6.75Mx2) and a NTC, so moving him will be tricky. He’d be perfect for a team like EDM or CAL, to shelter their young centres whilst they get experience. But he’s 36 and has never won a Cup. It’s hard to see him being willing to go to either in their current state.

    A contender in the East might be a better bet, but would any of them be able to free up enough cap space and willing to give up enough to make it worth San Jose’s while? MTL maybe if Desharnais or Eller plus picks or prospects went back the other way. WAS if they use all of Green’s cap space on Thornton. FLA maybe?

    The best fit might be TOR. Kessel for Thorton and Hertl – who says no? Thornton probably won’t compete for the Cup there, but it’s his hometown team, so he might waive his NTC.

  78. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: HA!

    My comment was a playful poke at MacT more than anything.

    I like Button, but I think he picks a couple guys to “go off the board” with every year just to be different.

    That’s ok, being a talking head is his gig now and he’s good at it.

    Yeah I like him….he was pretty stiff and bland when he first started but I like the passion he brings now. Entertaining listen.

  79. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Marc:
    Thornton has a high cap hit ($6.75Mx2) and a NTC, so moving him will be tricky. He’d be perfect for a team like EDM or CAL, to shelter their young centres whilst they get experience. But he’s 36 and has never won a Cup.It’s hard to see him being willing to go to either in their current state.

    A contender in the East might be a better bet, but would any of them be able to free up enough cap space and willing to give up enough to make it worth San Jose’s while? MTL maybe if Desharnais or Eller plus picks or prospects went back the other way. WAS if they use all of Green’s cap space on Thornton. FLA maybe?

    The best fit might be TOR.Kessel for Thorton and Hertl – who says no?Thornton probably won’t compete for the Cup there, but it’s his hometown team, so he might waive his NTC.

    Reports from San Jose today that Thornton and Doug Wilson are in a face off that Wilson is likely to lose.

    Thornton has all the cards with his NMC and apparently is also very popular with his team mates while Wilson isn’t.

  80. frjohnk says:

    719,

    hags9k,

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Thanks.

    It was a lot of work and I still am not sure which goalie could be the best fit ( UFA).

    But it has given me another idea for at the end of the year. Which is about 3 times the work as I will separate team defence stats and goalie stats with 5 on 5, PP, PK etc.

    I think then I would rank the UFAs and possible best trade targets.

  81. Gerta Rauss says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    I agree with that-at some point the ownership in SJ is going to look at the management group and decide that is the next piece that needs to be replaced

  82. jake70 says:

    Eichel is on TSN now, vs Merrimack. fyi

  83. Diesel says:

    frjohnk,

    A fun, insightful and slightly comforting post. Thanks.

  84. Acumen says:

    Frjohnk (don’t know how to link you directly)

    Amazing post. Moral of the story is ‘acquire Raanta yesterday’ then, yes?

  85. speeds says:

    Not a bad play by Eichel!

  86. speeds says:

    striker:
    A caller on LT’s show suggested offer sheeting Dougie Hamilton.What do you guys think of that idea? Is it feasible? What would it take?

    We don’t know exactly what the compensation brackets look like for next year, but last year it would have cost a 1st, 2nd and 3rd to sign someone to a 5 year deal between $5,046,585 to $6,728,781.

    I think you’d need to be in the upper end of that range for BOS to consider not matching, their cap situation isn’t great but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t deal someone else to match and retain Hamilton. You never know though, by age he fits very well with the rest of EDM’s group, and the compensation is fine if Hamilton becomes the player you might project him to be, and EDM doesn’t finish near the bottom of the league again/win the expanded draft lottery next year.

  87. fifthcartel says:

    The Oilers probably hope someone else offer sheets Hamilton so Lucic shakes free.

  88. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    The Oilers probably hope someone else offer sheets Hamilton so Lucic shakes free.

    Because Oilers. It fits every moment.

  89. LadiesloveSmid says:

    What are the Ricki numbers like on Dylan McIlrath? I think he’ll need to clear waivers next year, maybe develop into a better, right shot Aulie who knows. Some (LT?) poster(s) liked him at the 2010 draft

  90. speeds says:

    Just thinking out loud here, but on paper, a top 3 lines anchored with the following pairs:

    Hall-Eichel-???
    ???-RNH-Eberle
    ???-Draisaitl-Yakupov

    might look pretty decent in 2 years, if EDM were to end up picking 2nd. Pouliot would likely have one of those ??? W spots.

  91. Marc says:

    striker:
    A caller on LT’s show suggested offer sheeting Dougie Hamilton.What do you guys think of that idea? Is it feasible? What would it take?

    Boston would match any offer I think. It might cost them a chance to resign Soderberg, but they’d do that rather then let him walk.

    Offer sheets only have a chance of succeeding where they’re given to players whose team would like them back at the right price, but not at any price, as they have higher priority players to that they need the space to sign. Penner is a good example.

    A guy like Tyler Toffoli or Martin Jones is the kind of guy you might get if you sign them for more than LA really wants to pay.

  92. Woodguy says:

    speeds:
    Just thinking out loud here, but on paper, a top 3 lines anchored with the following pairs:

    Hall-Eichel-???
    ???-RNH-Eberle
    ???-Draisaitl-Yakupov

    might look pretty decent in 2 years, if EDM were to end up picking 2nd.Pouliot would likely have one of those ??? W spots.

    3 scoring lines!!

    Unicorns!!

    Rainbows with pots of gold!!

    Unpossible!!

  93. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk,

    That’s a great post.

    Want to put it on my blog as a guest post?

    It deserves it’s own spot.

    Well done.

  94. Marc says:

    It’s worth noting at this point that one of the many reasons why Matty’s Martin Jones for the Pittsburgh pick proposal is insane is that by simply signing Jones to a 2x$3.3M offer sheet the Oilers could almost certainly get Jones for a 2016 second round pick. There’s no way LA would match and have $10.3M committed to their goalies for the next two season.

    There is absolutely no reason to give up a first round pick for Jones.

  95. speeds says:

    Marc,

    There’s a few variables in play there.

    (1) you can’t be sure they won’t trade him elsewhere before an offer sheet is a possibility

    (2) even if you decide to offer sheet him, you might be looking at the difference between a 25ish pick and a 38ish pick. The difference in value might not be as much as one might initially imagine (maybe it would though, factoring in expected strength of each draft?), and by trading for him you may be able to sign him for less money than it would take via OS.

  96. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    What are the Ricki numbers like on Dylan McIlrath? I think he’ll need to clear waivers next year, maybe develop into a better, right shot Aulie who knows. Some (LT?) poster(s) liked him at the 2010 draft

    I liked him but not as much as the Rangers. Those stay-at-home types are going down in value every season, suspect if McIlrath was in the 2015 draft he’d be third round.

    http://lowetide.ca/2010/06/19/draft-week-2010-post-2-final-top-30/

  97. Lowetide says:

    Fr John J: That is outstanding. We can run it on both WG and my blogs if you wish, very insightful.

  98. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Well, if you are offering to post it then no need to put in on my blog.

    The difference is similar to the difference between a huge billboard vs. a business card face down on a shelf.

  99. godot10 says:

    Would you trust Button on drafting/ranking D?

    Had Dumba ranked as the #1 D in that draft. No notable drafted D in Calgary or Dallas other than Derian Hatcher.

  100. Barcs says:

    frjohnk,

    Thank you very much for that post and all of the hard work and research behind it.

    Riveting stuff.

  101. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    Well, if you are offering to post it then no need to put in on my blog.

    The difference is similar to the difference between a huge billboard vs. a business card face down on a shelf.

    Haha, not true. Your blog is well read, people have mentioned it. They’ve ALSO mentioned you should post more! 🙂

  102. godot10 says:

    Joe Thornton would be pretty useless on a team without a defence that can get the puck up the ice. The Oilers have what, only two good passers on D, Klefbom and Marincin. Joe Thornton would look really old on the OIlers since he would be playing in the Oilers zone most of the time, and not in the attacking zone.

    Fix the defence first. That is where the problem is.

    #JustSayNoah

  103. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Too kind sir.

    Thank you.

  104. striker says:

    frjohnk,

    Agree with everyone else. Great post frjohnk.

    Yost was on the TSN analytics podcast and mentioned WPG and DAL as an example of two very similar teams, the difference being goaltender performance.

    That statement seems to line up perfectly with your results here. Awesome stuff.

  105. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Fantastic work frjohnk. Absolutely clear reasoning & supportable conclusions. You also have my express permission to second the term “arrow” for the expanded home plate. 😉

    As for the correlation between arrow shots & scoring chances, that stands to reason since WOI uses the arrow to help define what are scoring chances in the first place.

  106. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Fantastic work frjohnk. Absolutely clear reasoning & supportable conclusions. You also have my express permission to second the term “arrow” for the expanded home plate.

    As for the correlation between arrow shots & scoring chances, that stands to reason since WOI uses the arrow to help define what are scoring chances in the first place.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Funny thing as I wrote that post, I had a feeling you would say something about the arrow because of previous discussions. Was not sure if I was going to have to put “TM. All Rights Reserved by Bruce McCurdy” after the term ‘arrow”. 🙂

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