OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, WITH A CHASER

Greg Chase is unique among Edmonton Oilers prospects. There are physical players who don’t score and there are scorers who don’t agitate. Chase? 6.0, 205, probably plays his pro hockey on RW, he has good hands, creativity and plays a rugged game. He’s surprised since his draft day, and despite his draft number there were a lot of fans before that day:

  • RED LINE: “A real Red Line favourite who flies under the radar. He’s a fine puck distributor who shows great patience and possesses the touch to constantly find linemates off the cycle. Keeps feet going after making a pass to sustain pressure in offensive zone. Versatile forward has spent time on every line and been effective in every role. Shows up every shift and his play away from the puck is impressive, makes things happen by constantly filling open ice. Refuses to back down in contested areas; first player into the corners. Wide skating stance helps him maintain balance and uses edges well to maximize glide. Hungry player has a great compete level and looks to make a difference every shift. Not as dynamic offensively as other prospects on this list, but plays a well-rounded, consistent game.”

Chase has a chance to show up early and often. In Penticton, the Oilers are going to want a game rooster who plays balls out alongside some of their extreme skill. Opportunity knocks. That rugged player has to have some offensive ability, Chase’s NHLE (82GP, 10-14-24) suggests he is the best combination available. Opportunity knocks.

LAST YEAR’S PRE-SEASON

Opportunity knocked a year ago after he earned the chance with hard work and determination. He’s willing to give no quarter and likely to initiate trouble. That has value, and if he can do it without costing his team too many penalties, he will have a long career.

WILL HE PLAY IN THE NHL THIS SEASON?

I didn’t include him in the ‘callup’ portion of the recent RE series, mostly because there’s so much uncertainty higher up the at-bats were spent hedging bets. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get a look, though—especially if he rips it up in camp as he’s done in the past.

numbers

Chase could easily get the call ahead of any of these men, it’s a completely random call based on Slepyshev’s skill, Yakimov’s size and skill, Platzer’s impressive two-way reputation and Moroz being one year along from Chase.

WHAT WILL HIS BAKERSFIELD NUMBERS LOOK LIKE?

I think Chase gets a lot of playing time down there, and if we project his junior numbers to the AHL, it works out (per 82GP) to 19-27-46, .561. If we project 65 games, that’s 15-21-36 or thereabouts. Of course, we have to project that downward because the Oilers have signed some AHL veterans and they’ll take at-bats away, so I’m going to guess 65GP, 12-17-29 .446 points-per-game. Let’s see how that compares to recent Oilers picks and their point-per-game performances (at 20) over recent seasons:

  1. Tobias Rieder 64GP, 28-20-48 .750
  2. Teemu Hartikainen 66GP, 17-25-42 .636
  3. Bogdan Yakimov 57GP, 12-16-28 .491
  4. Josh Winquist 46GP, 8-11-19 .413
  5. Phil Cornet 60GP, 7-16-23 .383
  6. Tyler Pitlick 62GP, 7-16-23 .371
  7. Anton Lander 14GP, 1-4-5 .357
  8. Curtis Hamilton 41GP, 5-6-11 .268
  9. Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10 .196
  10. Travis Ewanyk 68GP, 7-5-12 .176
  11. Mitch Moroz 66GP, 5-4-9 .136
  12. Kale Kessy 54GP, 2-4-6 .111

Chase is the best ‘gritty’ prospect (in terms of offense) to come down the pipe in many seasons. He might end up being what I’d always hoped Curtis Hamilton would turn into, that throwback Habs winger who could play a two-way game and score enough to play up with the skilled men. My goodness there’s a really good opportunity waiting for Greg Chase.

PROJECTED BAKERSFIELD RE (SO FAR)

bakersfield re 15-16I’ve had to alter some of the earlier RE’s for Bakersfield, signings continue and cloud the picture. If I had to pick an opening night roster for the Condors right now, it might look like this:

  • G: Brossoit (Laurikainen backup)
  • D1: Reinhart-Davidson
  • D2: Nurse-Musil
  • D3: Hunt-Simpson (or Oesterle)
  • L1: Pakarainen—Draisaitl—Miller
  • L2: Slepyshev—Yakimov—Ford
  • L3: R. Hamilton—McRae—Chase or Platzer
  • L4: Moroz—Khaira—Platzer or Chase

There’s a lot of talent in Bakersfield. Among the players not listed on this projected opening night roster? Joey Laleggia, Alexis Loiseau, Marco Roy, Josh Winquist, Kale Kessy. It’s going to be fun in Bakersfield this winter!

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53 Responses to "OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, WITH A CHASER"

  1. Lowetide says:

    This morning, 10, TSN 1260. On the Lowdown:

    10:05 Steve Lansky, big Mouth Sports. Blue Jays, plus Lemaire hired by the Leafs.
    10:25 Tim Wither, Associated Press. Cleveland Browns
    11:00 Brian King, NonStopSportsPicks. Eskimos win a tough road game.
    11:25 Paul Sir, Basketball Alberta. Canada rocked Cuba.

    10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

  2. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    That’s a heck of a lineup, lots of young blood (to the point that even the few AHL vets remaining seem to be standing in the way).

    Minor point of contention would be Eetu, I imagine he will start in the ECHL with Brossoit/Nillson in tandem. I love how, all of a sudden, we have 3 young goalies with upside. 12 months ago we had 1 (and there was less certainty with LB then compared to now).

  3. Bar_Qu says:

    Considering the sheer number of quality prospects lined up to play for Bakersfield (get your kicks!) it is hard to believe the Oil still feel the need to sign AHL vets above and beyond who they have. Maybe I’m swayed by Supernova’s posts unduly, but it seems like the Condors would be a good team merely with the guys in the system. And I know there is always the ECHL team (who is that btw?) but it just seems to be to make more sense to have your guys develop in the AHL.

    My 2 cents.

    *edit* answered my own question. Norfolk Admirals. Cool name

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    That’s a heck of a lineup, lots of young blood (to the point that even the few AHL vets remaining seem to be standing in the way).

    Minor point of contention would be Eetu, I imagine he will start in the ECHL with Brossoit/Nillson in tandem.I love how, all of a sudden, we have 3 young goalies with upside.12 months ago we had 1 (and there was less certainty with LB then compared to now).

    I don’t think Nilsson clears waivers.

  5. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide,

    Clearing waivers at the start of the year seems to be pretty easy, most other teams want to give their prospects a chance before picking someone up in front of them.

    Case in point, Markstrom last year. Certainly higher profile than Nilsson. I also think Davidson will be fine getting through.

    Fair point though, there is a risk.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Lowetide,

    Clearing waivers at the start of the year seems to be pretty easy, most other teams want to give their prospects a chance before picking someone up in front of them.

    Case in point, Markstrom last year.Certainly higher profile than Nilsson. I also think Davidson will be fine getting through.

    Fair point though, there is a risk.

    True. Someone is going to lose a goalie to Pittsburgh imo

  7. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide,

    Could be. But then they have arguably the best young goalie in the AHL in Matt Murray

    Last Year:
    40GP, 1.58GAA, .941SV%

    That’s miles better than LB, and I’m an LB fan.

    If I’m the penguins I’m taking an established NHL goalie to play backup, or him. A guy like Nilsson isn’t really a better bet than him.

    Joni Ortio will need to clear waivers. Khudobin might lose out to Gibson in Anaheim. I could see them going that route.

  8. Ducey says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Considering the sheer number of quality prospects lined up to play for Bakersfield (get your kicks!) it is hard to believe the Oil still feel the need to sign AHL vets above and beyond who they have. Maybe I’m swayed by Supernova’s posts unduly, but it seems like the Condors would be a good team merely with the guys in the system. And I know there is always the ECHL team (who is that btw?) but it just seems to be to make more sense to have your guys develop in the AHL.

    My 2 cents.

    *edit* answered my own question. Norfolk Admirals. Cool name

    Injuries.

    By mid season the Oilers will have called up two or three players, and the Condors will have two or three injured players of their own. By late last season, the Barons were bringing in retreads just to fill out the lineup.

    Plus you need a Crash Davis or three to keep the young guys in line and show them how to be pros.

    Joey Legs will develop a lot faster if he has Brad Hunt to learn from.

  9. dustrock says:

    I love how the Kings were able to have all their prospects on the Monarchs dominate and win the AHL. I would love for this lineup to be able to do the same.

  10. GCW_69 says:

    I think the goal is going to be to have both Nurse and Reinhart in the NHL next year, which means they are likely next years’ bottom pairing.

    If that is the plan, then I think you start them together in Bakersfield so when they make the NHL next year they have the advantage of knowing how each other plays and how they work together.

    Thus, I would be going with Nurse – Reinhart as the top pair, with some PK and PP time to round out their minutes. They should be playing 20-23 minutes a night if the plan is for them to be in the NHL next season.

    I would have Davidson anchoring the second pair, with the rest of Hunt, Musil, Osterle, Simpson, and Gernat rotating through the three open spots.

    Joey and Betker would start in Norlfolk so they could get decent minutes.

    It’s a damn shame the Oilers didn’t buy out Ference and open a spot for Davidson with the big club. Would have been better for the Oilers and would have opened more development minutes on the farm.

  11. Hammers says:

    Chase has a chance to hit a home run in front of coaches and GM . His still 2 years away but boy he will play .

  12. Hammers says:

    As for experienced AHL players they wil be needed as I see at least a forward and D going up and before Christmas .

  13. leadfarmer says:

    That is a very crowded roster. Even with callups, promotions, demotions, and injuries. I’m guessing they are trying to find a way to get Gernat of the roster.

  14. Cahoon says:

    GCW_69,

    I think if both Reinhart and Nurse are pencilled in for next year, they won’t be on the same pairing. I think both get some time in the bigs, with Reinhart getting a bit more. I think the plan is to make it so next year you have the Euro pairing (Sekera KBomb) , Reinhart and Fayne getting the toughs, and Nurse getting the Schultz zone starts with him. That defense sounds quite respectable actually, that’s with the experience they get this season. That as our defense this year I think is a buffet for the big west forwards.

  15. Ducey says:

    dustrock:
    I love how the Kings were able to have all their prospects on the Monarchs dominate and win the AHL.I would love for this lineup to be able to do the same.

    I am not sure I understand that comment.

    Manchester had a fair number of AHL vets on their team, including their top scorer and 3 of their D:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0026722015.html

  16. jonrmcleod says:

    “Greg Chase is unique among Edmonton Oilers prospects. There are physical players who don’t score and there are scorers who don’t agitate.”

    If I might quibble a bit with that statement, I think it could be argued that there are two Oilers scorers who do sometimes agitate the opposition.

    First, Yakupov, though I think unintentionally, often gets under the other team’s skin. It seems he could agitate someone simply by the way he eats a sandwich.

    Second, I’ve noticed that Lander is a bit of an agitator. He must have a good trash talking game.

  17. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    “Greg Chase is unique among Edmonton Oilers prospects. There are physical players who don’t score and there are scorers who don’t agitate.”

    If I might quibble a bit with that statement, I think it could be argued that there are two Oilers scorers who do sometimes agitate the opposition.

    First, Yakupov, though I think unintentionally, often gets under the other team’s skin. It seems he could agitate someone simply by the way he eats a sandwich.

    Second, I’ve noticed that Lander is a bit of an agitator. He must have a good trash talking game.

    Neither is a prospect.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Lowetide,

    Could be.But then they have arguably the best young goalie in the AHL in Matt Murray

    Last Year:
    40GP, 1.58GAA, .941SV%

    That’s miles better than LB, and I’m an LB fan.

    If I’m the penguins I’m taking an established NHL goalie to play backup, or him.A guy like Nilsson isn’t really a better bet than him.

    Joni Ortio will need to clear waivers.Khudobin might lose out to Gibson in Anaheim.I could see them going that route.

    True. Maybe I’m just trying to get used to actual depth!!! Nilsson’s KHL numbers remain intriguing, how much would EDM save on the cap by sending Scrivens down and keeping Nilsson? About 300k I’d expect.

  19. Melman says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I don’t think Lander is the Swedish version of Tikkanen – but boy they could use a little more of that in the lineup. How giddy would we be if Chase went all Brandon Saad and ripped the cover off the ball from out of nowhere

  20. bsmart says:

    Lowetide: True. Maybe I’m just trying to get used to actual depth!!! Nilsson’s KHL numbers remain intriguing, how much would EDM save on the cap by sending Scrivens down and keeping Nilsson? About 300k I’d expect.

    However I remember someone stating that the backup off this team was .938 save percentage. This maybe puts his .941 into context (league/team/quality of shots faced).

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    Ducey: I am not sure I understand that comment.

    Manchester had a fair number of AHL vets on their team, including their top scorer and 3 of their D:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0026722015.html

    Blast from the past in the Assistant Coach position I see.

    Oh Chris Hajt…what a sad damn era for prospects that was.

  22. SwedishPoster says:

    One thing I noticed when I was in Florida this winter and saw the Panthers and Tampa games was Landers stealth agitation skills. A lot of small chops with the stick, lower back crosschecks, mouthing players off in scrums. Another thing he did was talking to the refs between periods. And not in the usual whiny frustrated way you see from players, but calmly and with a lot if smiles between them, clearly having a great relationship with them. Lander’s a ninja agitator!

  23. Colieo87 says:

    Hey LT, would you ever debate the notion of dellow not only using stats, mathematics and probability that he was the genius to pull land Connor Mcdavid. With th exception of leaving variables of the head coach fiasco out.

  24. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: True. Maybe I’m just trying to get used to actual depth!!! Nilsson’s KHL numbers remain intriguing, how much would EDM save on the cap by sending Scrivens down and keeping Nilsson? About 300k I’d expect.

    Scrivens makes $2.3 M
    Nilsson makes $1M

    If they send down Nilsson their total salary cost is $2.375 M as $75K of Nilsson’s salary counts against the cap

    If they send down Scrivens their total salary cost is $1.375 M for Scrivens ($2.3 M – 925K) and $1 M for Nilsson for a total of $2.375 M

    So they would not save anything by sending down Scrivens

  25. judgedrude says:

    If Reinhart is better than N.N., why not have him start in the minors and Reinhart with the Oil? If Reinhart doesn’t make bonuses, that would even be cap savings since his base is less than the “cap burying maximum”.

  26. GCW_69 says:

    Cahoon:
    GCW_69,

    I think if both Reinhart and Nurse are pencilled in for next year, they won’t be on the same pairing. I think both get some time in the bigs, with Reinhart getting a bit more. I think the plan is to make it so next year you have the Euro pairing (Sekera KBomb) , Reinhart and Fayne getting the toughs, and Nurse getting the Schultz zone starts with him. That defense sounds quite respectable actually, that’s with the experience they get this season. That as our defense this year I think is a buffet for the big west forwards.

    I would rather them play together on third pairing minutes and competition than ask one of them to play top four minutes.

    I get the desire to play each with a veteran, but I think it asks too much of one of them. I am also pretty confident that Nurse can handle the third pairing minutes, even paired with Reinhart. If Reinhart struggles, you can always shared the load with your number 7 guy.

    Plus, Reinhart’s future is on the right side, I think. Might as well break him in there.

  27. Snowman says:

    We’ve talked about this lots lately, more specifically with Nurse but it applies to everyone.

    When you have enough depth, you just play people where they deserve based on performance until they prove they can’t handle it. That goes for everyone. If you have enough depth, play the best player.

    In every position this year, there is enough depth for this rule to apply. Just play the best damn player. If its unclear between a rookie and a vet, pick the vet.

    If you have to make a change its next man up. Don’t overthink this. There’s enough depth. Play the best player.

  28. Braden28 says:

    Melman,

    Saad’s draft +1 he scored 34 goals in 44 games.
    Chase’s draft +1 he scores 35 goals in 70 games.

    I would be thrilled if Chase was anything close to Saad, but I seriously doubt Chase will be able to post numbers like Saad.

  29. stush18 says:

    Braden28:
    Melman,

    Saad’s draft +1 he scored 34 goals in 44 games.
    Chase’s draft +1 he scores 35 goals in 70 games.

    I would be thrilled if Chase was anything close to Saad, but I seriously doubt Chase will be able to post numbers like Saad.

    I keep hoping chase turns into a Gallagher. In two years

    Hall-mcdavid-Gallagher(chase)
    Poo-nuge-ebs
    Yak2-lander-Drai

    Typing this out, I just realized I left out yakupov, slepy, platzer, miller, Ford pakarinen.

    Now not all will turn into top nine players, but still, that’s ridiculous.

    Finally starting to see the depth we’ve always wanted!

  30. dustrock says:

    Ducey: I am not sure I understand that comment.Manchester had a fair number of AHL vets on their team, including their top scorer and 3 of their D:http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0026722015.html

    I’m not saying the AHL team can’t have AHL vets, in fact I think every team would have to have vets on it. Just saying like Draisaitl helping win the WHL and going to the Mem Cup finals, those experiences are invaluable.

    IIRC, the Monarchs team with Muzzin et al was also quite successful, wasn’t it?

  31. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Braden28:
    Melman,

    Saad’s draft +1 he scored 34 goals in 44 games.
    Chase’s draft +1 he scores 35 goals in 70 games.

    I would be thrilled if Chase was anything close to Saad, but I seriously doubt Chase will be able to post numbers like Saad.

    If I recall correctly Saad was ranked in the top 10 early in his draft year but fell quite a bit. My understanding is he had mono, but I could be wrong.

  32. Braden28 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: If I recall correctly Saad was ranked in the top 10 early in his draft year but fell quite a bit.My understanding is he had mono, but I could be wrong.

    I remember him being ranked high as well, and dropping like a rock. My bad memory is also telling me that his in season injury was unknown until after the draft. I thought I heard shoulder, but mono could be right too!?

    Either way, he has always had 1st round skill, and I’m not sure the same can be said about Chase. Love the attitude that both play with though, that should play in Chase’s favour for years.

  33. Truth says:

    Notable:

    Calgary Hitmen
    ‏@WHLHitmen
    Greg Chase was a healthy scratch in Saskatoon on Tue. related to on-ice discipline. He has since requested a trade and has returned home.
    4:00 PM – 5 Nov 2014

    No question that kids will be kids. Interesting that the team thought enough of the situation to publicly call him out on it.

    Regardless, I’m all for the Oilers employing an Esa or Claude.

  34. monsterbater4 says:

    Braden28,

    Don’t forget Saad was the 30th overall pick right? and chase was somewhere in the 200’s. I think for Chase to play a single NHL game would classify as coming out of nowhere.

    I also think that given the pedigree of Saad (ie where he was drafted, pre-draft ranking) and the fact he came in playing with Toews, you can’t say he came out of nowhere.

  35. LoDog says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: If I recall correctly Saad was ranked in the top 10 early in his draft year but fell quite a bit.My understanding is he had mono, but I could be wrong.

    Definitely had injuries have not seen anything about mono.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=640435

    He was certainly a first round talent so that would an awfully high bar to set for Chase to get to. Could def see a 15 goal agitator though.

  36. Melman says:

    Braden28:
    Melman,

    Saad’s draft +1 he scored 34 goals in 44 games.
    Chase’s draft +1 he scores 35 goals in 70 games.

    I would be thrilled if Chase was anything close to Saad, but I seriously doubt Chase will be able to post numbers like Saad.

    For sure, but if he can get 1/2 way there offensively with a burr in his saddle on arrival that is an element that’s been missing and will complement the roster nicely

    Edit: I looked at Saad’s draft position too quickly, saw 43rd overall and it registered as 4th round. 5:00 can’t come fast enough today!

  37. gd says:

    Is Andrew Shaw not the better comparable for Chase? Top 9 agitating forward on two cup winners for an overager, 5th round pick seems like a reasonable goal for Chase to achieve in the next five years.

  38. LMHF#1 says:

    Based on the experiences of those who’ve encountered him, I’d say Chase either grows up and makes it, or gets routinely punched out by vets.

    On his own team.

  39. Younger Oil says:

    For me, I think Chase’s ceiling is a less dirty but more agitating Raffi Torres, and that would be a great thing for this team.

  40. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Greg is my 2nd favorite Chase, next to Cornelius. Really hoping things go his way, the planets align, and he can avoid injury during his development phase.

  41. cadooo says:

    Do we really need Sean Avery 2.0?

    During the WHL playoffs Chase was kicked out of a game. His response was to through his mouth guard at the center ice ref as he was being taken off.

    Keep this guy as far away from McDavid as possible. He’ll be toxic in the dressing room.

  42. Ducey says:

    cadooo:
    Do we really need Sean Avery 2.0?

    During the WHL playoffs Chase was kicked out of a game. His response was to through his mouth guard at the center ice ref as he was being taken off.

    Keep this guy as far away from McDavid as possible. He’ll be toxic in the dressing room.

    Throwing a mouth guard at a ref = toxic in the dressing room?

  43. jonrmcleod says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel,

    Greg is also my second favorite Chase–after Chase Edmunds of the third season of 24.

  44. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Why do you hate Chevy?

  45. PaperDesigner says:

    cadooo:
    Do we really need Sean Avery 2.0?

    During the WHL playoffs Chase was kicked out of a game. His response was to through his mouth guard at the center ice ref as he was being taken off.

    Keep this guy as far away from McDavid as possible. He’ll be toxic in the dressing room.

    I think it’s a little much to accuse a 20 year old kid of being the equivalent of one of the NHL’s most notorious jerks based on one incident. Sean Avery had a long history of selfish behaviour. Unless you’re privy to a lot more information than you’re letting on, I think you’re being dramatically unfair to the player.

  46. Lowetide says:

    PaperDesigner: I think it’s a little much to accuse a 20 year old kid of being the equivalent of one of the NHL’s most notorious jerks based on one incident. Sean Avery had a long history of selfish behaviour. Unless you’re privy to a lot more information than you’re letting on, I think you’re being dramatically unfair to the player.

    This. I’m sure Greg Chase has some growing up to do, but anyone who was every 20 knows that’s absolutely universal.

  47. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    PaperDesigner,

    Yup.

    Hyperbole level: Internet

  48. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    PaperDesigner: Sean Avery had a long history of selfish behaviour.

    Off the top of my head;

    He was known for making fun of then teammate Dustin Brown’s speech impediment, and calling his wife ugly.

    And as a member of the Wings, he was told by Yzerman, “Look – you can’t speak to Mr. Sakic like that” during a game.

    Then we have the infamous comments about Ms. Cuthbert.

    I would not have minded one bit if Brodeur had given him the stick to the nards when he pulled that ‘goalie distraction’ thing.

    Equating Avery to Chase is absurd.

  49. "Steve Smith" says:

    Colieo87:
    Hey LT,would you ever debate the notion of dellow not only using stats,mathematics and probability that he was the genius to pull land Connor Mcdavid.With th exception of leaving variables of the head coach fiasco out.

    What?

  50. Lowetide says:

    I hope everyone understands that if claims are made without sources, they will be deleted. Thanks.

  51. BlueNoteNorth says:

    Ducey:
    Lowetide,

    So they would not save anything by sending down Scrivens

    Further to that, if the total cap hit of the 2 is the same regardless of which is NHL/AHL, then there may well be a great battle for the back-up job.

  52. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    I hope everyone understands that if claims are made without sources, they will be deleted. Thanks.

    What’s a source when it’s not NHL/WHL w/e and it’s not media?

    Also wished the kid well. No illicit allegations. Nothing illegal.

    How is information supposed to be shared?

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