The Edmonton Oilers are probably going to sign a few muzhchíni over the next several weeks and Anton Slepyshev may be the most talented. How good is he? Will he be an NHL player in two years? Let’s compare Slepyshev (20 now) to Teemu Hartikainen (24) after their year as teammates in the KHL.
THE SLEPYSHEV STORY
- Boxcars: 58GP, 15-10-25 in regular season
- Breakdown: 14 goals at even strength, one on the power play
- SOG: 129 (11.6 shooting percentage, 2.22 shots-per-game)
- TOI/game: 12:25
- Points-per-60: 2.08
- NHLE (Regular season): 82GP, 17-11-28
THE HARTIKAINEN STORY
- Boxcars: 60GP, 15-25-40 in regular season
- Breakdown: 11 goals at even strength, four on the power play
- SOG: 146 (10.3 shooting percentage, 2.4 shots-per-game)
- TOI/game: 16:52
- Points-per-60: 2.37
- NHLE (Regular season): 82GP, 16-27-43
I don’t have the EV numbers but we can see Slepyshev as a solid offensive winger in the KHL (a good league). Hartikainen made it to the show but couldn’t stay there, although that may change in the coming years. At this point, I think the young Russian is absolutely worth a contract and honestly he might be the best prospect winger in the system currently (his competition is Pakarinen, Chase until the Oilers draft Mitch Marner this summer). I think the Oilers have to bring him over. Is he an NHL player? He performed well at age 20 in the KHL—he might end up being a solid NHL player in two years.
— ClarksonFree in 2015 (@mlse) March 17, 2015
We can get all up in each other’s faces (the one thing I wish we could change about the internet is the aggression. Jesus) but the real issue here (for the Oilers) is the health of Matt Fraser. That was a major head blow and one suspects he’ll be out for a time. Taylor Hall is almost ready to return but it means the Barons won’t be getting a winger back this week. Tough item for the organization’s plans to have the prospects play well into the spring. As for Kadri, no idea if he gets any time but it’s his good fortune that Fraser isn’t a famous player. The NHL doesn’t value Fraser in the same way they would value, say, Jordan Eberle, so the crime will be judged accordingly. This was a costly win for the Oilers—the Sabres will have a tough time catching Edmonton (this is a race between the tortoise against the comatose tortoise) with just a dozen games left. The Bettman point means the Buffaloes would need to post a 6-6-1 record over their last 13 in order to best an Oilers team that went 3-8-1. The race for 30 is over. Edmonton should have no trouble passing Arizona for No. 28 overall, they’ve doubled the Coyotes point total over the last 10 games. We’re drafting 1st, 3rd or fourth. Marner!
The Connor McDavid sweepstakes as of March 17th. pic.twitter.com/6Wdap4Y2xv
— Gershon Rabinowitz (@GershOnline) March 17, 2015
When I look at that list, Buffalo is the rightful place for No. 1 overall. I think it’ll go Buffalo (McDavid), Arizona (Eichel) and Edmonton (Marner or Hanifin). The Oilers may appear to be the losers in this scenario but it’s important to remember the tremendous talent already on the roster. I’d take Marner No. 3 overall. I doubt that changes from here to the draft.
- Brendan Ross, McKeens: “Marner has been high in my ranks for quite some time mainly due to his elite possession and playmaking game, which elevates every linemate around him. He’s shredding the OHL scoring charts apart and is starting to challenge Noah Hanifin for the draft’s third slot.” Source
There was a time when I wondered about the wisdom behind ranking Marner high (for the Oilers) because he may end up being a RW in the NHL. However, if we agree that BPA is the right way to go then (increasingly) this will come down to Hanifin versus Marner at No. 3 overall. Edmonton has Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl for the center position in the coming years and may have to make room for Marner right side by 2016 fall. I think he’s the third best option in the draft this season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
This morning at 10, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey and Oilers Nation. We’ll look at last night’s game, the draft and this summer.
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We’ll talk about Marner and the NCAA postseason.
- Travis Yost, TSN. Oilers, Senators, March madness and more.
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. March madness, Oilers and Jordan Eberle’s power-play comments.
10-1260, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Talk soon!