Leon Draisaitl wasn’t ready, and the band played on. Approaching 20, there’s still no hurry, but one assumes the young German doesn’t feel that way. That’s a good thing.
RE 14-15: 66GP, 12-22-34 .515
ACTUAL 14-15: 37GP, 2-7-9 .243
- Leon Draisaitl wasn’t ready? No. He’s a wonderful prospect and there are some good things in those numbers but he wasn’t ready for the NHL.
- What do you like about those numbers? 37.
- Games? Why? The young man never gave up, he just kept trying to get better. He didn’t flag or waiver he just kept on pushing. That’s a tell. Leon Draisaitl scored 2 assists the night he was sent down. He has character, he’s not going anywhere.
- Unless they trade him! I can’t see it, honestly. Oilers still need that big pivot up the middle and Leon has that and can use his size effectively. Chiarelli likes him.
- What did he say? PC: “I really like the player. Big, strong, heavy on the puck. He makes plays from both sides of his stick, and protects the puck. I love that about him. His speed is good and getting to speed is an area he’ll find.” Source.
- What do they do with him? Develop him. Leon can learn on the farm and if he’s good enough to make the team at center or the wing then Edmonton should keep him.
- Getting McDavid means Leon is going to play a lesser role. There’s a prominent role for Leon on the Oilers, although it may be on the wing and may not involve as much PP time. Connor McDavid, should he end up in Edmonton, is going to impact a lot of players’ playing time.
- What can Leon do that makes him unique in this lineup? Chiarelli covered a lot of it, but the thing about Draisaitl is that he’s a sublime passer. He sees the play but he can also execute the play. It’s a big damn deal because execution is required if a prospect is going to be gifted a skill role with other outstanding players.
- Where might he fit? If he’s an LW, I’d think he would play on a 3line with maybe Lander/Roy and Yakupov. I think Yak could finish a lot of those cherry passes from Draisaitl.
- What about center? That’s a tougher answer, because that means McDavid is probably on the wing and Leon’s wingers might be Hall/Yakupov or Pouliot/Eberle. I don’t see McDavid/Purcell. Either way, if he makes the team Leon Draisaitl is going to be walking in high cotton.
- Who was he effective with this past season? He played best with Yakupov and Purcell, they were his most common linemates.
- Well, giddyup! Run that trio! Unlikely they would get the same ZS push this season, suspect the new coach will need more production from the group that is given 78% ZS’s.
- When does Leon finish his junior career? Kelowna won last night and advance to the finals, so he’s got some track left to go. Who knows, maybe he’ll join McDavid and Marco Roy at the Memorial Cup.
- All he needs is better speed and Leon will be golden. He’s fast on the straightaways, suspect when people talk about his speed they’re talking first step and overall quickness. Big men rarely get full credit for their speed because it doesn’t look fast, but Leon can go. I like Chiarelli’s words, ‘getting to speed is an area he’ll find’ because it’s more descriptive than ‘first-step quickness’ will ever be. He’s an 18-wheeler, gearing up takes a stretch of highway.
- What if the new coach hates him? Impossible.
- No, his speed will be a big issue. You seriously have no idea what you’re talking about here. A coach is going to see what Leon can do, and his size, and figure out a way to maximize that player. Chiarelli spoke to Todd McLellan yesterday at the WHC’s (source: Terry Jones’ twitter) and a guy like McLellan will see value there, at EVs and absolutely on the power play.
- Ideally, who would Leon play with? Anyone who shoots three times or more in one game, on average.
- How many Oilers did that? Hall did, or damn close. Yakupov had 191 shots in 81 games.
- What about OKC? Iiro Pakarinen, 3.2.
- Can Leon Draisaitl carve out his own role with such elite competition at center? Yes, in fact I think this might work out very well. McDavid will (in short order) become the elite offensive player, Nuge is likely to fill a two-way role and Leon may center the soft parade line and become one of the best 3C’s in recent memory. Edmonton needs to give him quality linemates but he’s a substantial talent.
- WAIT A MINUTE! THREE SCORING LINES? Literally no way to avoid it now. The trick for Edmonton will be finding six wingers who can cash, that’s what the Penguins have been unable to do for some time.
- How do the Oilers get them? Draft, college and Euro free-agent signings. Hell, Pakarinen could be one of them, it’s not out of the question.
- Ideally, and I guess realistically, who do you see as being the top six wingers in two or three years? Hall—Timo Meier, Pouliot—Eberle and Slepyshev—Yakupov.
- Does Leon make the team opening night? I think they’ll come in with a plan to send him out but the German wil have worked like a warrior all summer and make it impossible.
- Why this song? It’s an obscure gem and a beautiful song. It’s about things not working out and longing for it to be as it was. The line ‘Guess I saw it comin’ day by day, but couldn’t stand the failure’ is especially fitting. I think Leon was probably afraid of getting sent out every day he was here during the first half of the season, and his performance during those days, in that light, was impressive. The pressure drop was likely severe but Leon managed it and kept reaching for a better day.
- You skipped over Nikitin. Artistic license. Niki tomorrow.