UNDER THE RADAR RUSSIAN

In the days after the rapture, we discussed the future at center for the Edmonton Oilers. It’s fairly obvious the 1-2 punch of Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has the potential to be elite for a decade or more and after that Edmonton has several bona fide complementary centers. Anton Lander is too new in his NHL career for us to call him ‘Marty Reasoner’ but he does have the range and the intelligence to eventually fill a two-way and mentor role on this team—he’s already regarded as a leader on Team Sweden. Mark Letestu is going to play the ‘Swiss army knife’ role Dallas Eakins wanted Lander to fill (that’s my opinion) and those four men should take the majority of the at-bats in the coming season.

In actual fact, the top two centers may take close to 40 minutes a night, meaning all others are fourth line or bit players. For that reason, I think we’ll see one or both of the lower centers move to wing at times and play significant roles on special teams.

What about Leon? Well, it looks like he’ll get a chance to show his ability in TC on the wing and honestly that’s a pretty good call from here. I would caution you about ‘three scoring lines’ because I don’t think we’ll see it but we might see ‘two scoring lines and a pretty damn good possession line that chips in goals’ if Leon can join the party on either wing.

HEY BOGDAN!

We’ve been able to track Bogdan Yakimov in two leagues over two seasons now and the results are encouraging. Let’s quickly set the scene with a draft day scouting report.

  • Corey Pronman: Yakimov had a decent season playing in the second-tier Russian pro league, and he was a final cut from the Russian World Junior squad. He is a big center, measuring in at about 6’5″. He may not have the top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone, he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions himself effectively. As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still, he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to progress in that area.

Pronman had him No. 73 overall. I look for two things in prospects, range of skills and unique skills. Well, you can’t coach 6.05, 232 and the Oilers don’t have ten miles of puck protection forwards. Also, Yakimov’s offense is sufficient for him to clear other young players (basically Khaira) who may in time apply for the same NHL job.

RODGERS’ MAGIC TOY

rodgers forwardsEric Rodgers from Tend the Farm did the hard work of estimating time on ice for OKC Barons last year and it shines a very interesting light on the organization’s rookie forwards in 2014-15. Among forwards, Josh Winquist and Bogdan Yakimov look like the only two new hires who we can project as being legit NHL prospects in terms of offense. The other rookie forwards (Jujhar Khaira, the Jones boys, Mitch Moroz) didn’t hit the ground running at the AHL level and would need a major spike in performance over the length of their entry level deals. Yakimov? He’s posting at a solid rate and by my count is No. 3 among C’s (Lander, Williams) in terms of his points-per-60 estimate. It’s also interesting to note how well his team was doing (38-28) when the big Russian was out there.

NHLE’S FOR OKC F PROSPECTS

  1. R Andrew Miller 82GP, 15-20-35
  2. R Iiro Pakarinen 82GP, 16-11-27
  3. R Tyler Pitlick 82GP, 8-16-24
  4. C Bogdan Yakimov 82GP, 10-13-23
  5. L Josh Winquist 82GP, 8-11-19
  6. L Kale Kessy 82GP, 8-8-16
  7. F Kellen Jones 82GP, 4-7-11
  8. C Jujhar Khaira 82GP, 4-5-9
  9. C Connor Jones 82GP, 4-5-9
  10. L Mitch Moroz 82GP, 3-3-6

Yakimov’s offense—while not close to nuclear and several towns away from McDavid, Draisait, et al—suggests there’s talent there and he may be able to establish himself as a role player in the NHL if progress continues. Added to his range of skills and his unique abilities and we’re beginning to make a strong case for the big man.

Matt will be my guest today on Saturday Sports Extra (12:20) and we’ll talk about several Russians, including Yakimov. I have him as the No. 5 player in the system at this time and one of the main reasons is when he was posting crooked numbers.

  • Evens: 57GP, 9-14-23
  • Power Play: 57GP, 3-2-5
  • Overall: 57GP, 12-16-28

That’s some nice work at even strength by Yakimov as an AHL rookie (I’ll post the entire EV scoring list today at 5pm and we can have a discussion about the group) and I think we’re looking at a substantial prospect with a good chance at an NHL future.

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51 Responses to "UNDER THE RADAR RUSSIAN"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    Hopefully he gets two more years of percolating in the Ahl getting top 6 minutes with cups of coffee in the NHL for encouragement. We could really use a giant in the forward corp.

  2. Pajamah says:

    The other part of Yakimov’s potential success that isn’t tangible and necessarily coach able is his countrymen he will likely progress with. Not insinuating that he and Slepyshev are the Russian Sedins, but to get 2-3 years of tearing up the AHL as top 6/NHL bottom 6 can’t hurt.

    That is also the only reason I wouldn’t have minded a training camp invite for Tkachev. Sure he seems to have regressed as a junior, but what if he comes in and has another fantastic TC?

    We’ve got enough Canadians, that I’m not worried about this team becoming Washington West. Let’s go!!!!

  3. Jaxon says:

    Yakimov finished his season off well before going down with injury. In his last 13 games he had 6 goals and 6 assists, which translates to an NHLE of 17 goals, 17 assists and 34 points. Small sample size issues aside, that is a remarkable rate and puts him in the conversation as one of the top forward prospects in OKC after maybe Draisaitl and Slepyshev. That stat, along with his unique size, and young age vaults him ahead of Pakarinen, Pitlick and Miller in my books.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Pajamah,

    I don’t get why people automatically try to lump Russians together. Just because they are from the same country doesn’t mean they have guaranteed chemistry. Russia is larger and more ethnically diverse than Canada. You don’t hear people saying play the Canadian guys together, they are guaranteed to have chemistry, they are from the same country. But for some reasons Russians do?

  5. Woogie63 says:

    We need Yakimov, Khaira, Pakarinen, Moroz, Kessy, or Pitlick to play some top nine minutes. For all the good to this year’s roster our top 9 remain very similar… Small to medium in size, that lean to going north… too players you don’t mind playing against.

    I would like more grit spread through out the line up, and not concentrated on the “fourth” line.

  6. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Pajamah,

    I don’t get why people automatically try to lump Russians together.Just because they are from the same country doesn’t mean they have guaranteed chemistry.Russia is larger and more ethnically diverse than Canada.You don’t hear people saying play the Canadian guys together, they are guaranteed to have chemistry, they are from the same country.But for some reasons Russians do?

    I think the Russians are connected in a big way and that’s Edmonton’s apparent inability to incorporate them into the lineup successfully. In this way, I think Pajamah’s point is a strong one.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Didn’t Big Yak’s numbers spike when Lander came up and Yak moved up the roster?

    LT, do you have those splits?

  8. G Money says:

    leadfarmer: I don’t get why people automatically try to lump Russians together. Just because they are from the same country doesn’t mean they have guaranteed chemistry. Russia is larger and more ethnically diverse than Canada. You don’t hear people saying play the Canadian guys together, they are guaranteed to have chemistry, they are from the same country. But for some reasons Russians do?

    It’s not so much that they’re Russians, it’s that they’re Russians together in a foreign land.

    It’s a fairly well established effect I think.

    I’ve travelled all over the world, and when you meet a fellow Canuck, there’s an immediate commonality and bond driven entirely by the fact that everyone around you is not Canadian.

    They might not be people you’d spend a second with when actually in Canada, but for that hour, day, week, etc. you’re friends, just because for the moment you share much more in common than you do with those around you.

    Suspect Russians are no different in that regard.

    It seems to me that the same effect works but in a slightly weaker way for those from similar regions, which would explain why we had Yakimov/Yakupov/Draisaitl hanging out together last summer, or MPS hanging with his two Nordic buddies in OKC several years ago.

  9. sliderule says:

    I was impressed with what the two veterans had to say about big Yak.

    Williams thought that he was the prospect that had shown most growth and potential.

    Hunt after he was resigned in his interview commented at how much Yak was missed in playoffs.His strength in corners and face off success are points he made.Going forward these are skills that oilers will need at a budget price rather than what they have had to pay players like Gordon.

  10. Hammers says:

    As we sit right now we need both Leon and Yak to fit into the top two lines. Yak for goals and Leon for size and possession skills . That’s why I would like both of them to play with McD . We already know what Nuge , Ebs , Hall can do . This year it’s probably Pouliot u till they see how Leon does on the wing. Once the Penticton games are over we should have an idea .

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    leadfarmer:
    Pajamah,

    I don’t get why people automatically try to lump Russians together.Just because they are from the same country doesn’t mean they have guaranteed chemistry.Russia is larger and more ethnically diverse than Canada.You don’t hear people saying play the Canadian guys together, they are guaranteed to have chemistry, they are from the same country.But for some reasons Russians do?

    If the point is about “chemistry” in a general sense… I think G Money makes the counterpoint very well. It doesn’t need to be repeated.

    If the point is about “on-ice chemistry” … I think it has more validity. However, I think we tend to worry (in one direction or another) over these things (esp. in our future projections) far too much.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Didn’t Big Yak’s numbers spike when Lander came up and Yak moved up the roster?

    LT, do you have those splits?

    Via Eric Rodgers, his TOI went from 12:06 to 19:48 after Lander’s recall. His boxcars:

    BEFORE: 27GP, 2-8-10
    AFTER: 30GP, 10-8-18

  13. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Via Eric Rodgers, his TOI went from 12:06 to 19:48 after Lander’s recall. His boxcars:

    BEFORE: 27GP, 2-8-10
    AFTER: 30GP, 10-8-18

    Awesome.

    Thanks LT.

    There’s a player there.

    Soon McLellen will be overwhelmed with players and be forced to give me my damn unicorns!

  14. Pouzar says:

    Bogdan can play 4th line NHL minutes right now. He is defensive minded to say the least with excellent first passes out of defensive zone. He has great puck protection skills and an underrated offensive game. Knows how to cycle the puck. Obviously the first step is a work in progress but he almost cheats for defense to the point he makes up for any quickness deficiencies. Love this prospect and hope he plays top 6 in Bakersfield this season.

  15. speeds says:

    Woodguy: Awesome.

    Thanks LT.

    There’s a player there.

    Soon McLellen will be overwhelmed with players and be forced to give me my damn unicorns!

    I’m by no means counting on Slepyshev and Yakimov being ready, and contributors, by next season, but I’m curious how much of that top 6/bottom 6 divide has to do with organizational depth, and how that changes if players pan out.

    This also takes me to something I seem to keep coming back to, my concern with turning 1 year of Gordon into 2 years of Korpikoski/Letestu plus a 3rd of Letestu.

  16. Snowman says:

    speeds,

    Gordon doesn’t fit the Maclellan mold. He’s not a fast train and he wasn’t a great forechecker (not that he had the chance very often). He’s extremely good at what he does but Maclellan doesn’t use that role in his player usage so keeping him didn’t make sense.

    If coach doesn’t need him and wouldn’t use him for what he’s good at and he’s not the type of player the coach likes, why keep him?

    His minutes will be split up among Nuge and whoever the 3C will be I imagine. Mcdavid will get the matchups as often as possible and the 4C will hardly touch the ice.

  17. RexLibris says:

    speeds: I’m by no means counting on Slepyshev and Yakimov being ready, and contributors, by next season, but I’m curious how much of that top 6/bottom 6 divide has to do with organizational depth, and how that changes if players pan out.

    This also takes me to something I seem to keep coming back to, my concern with turning 1 year of Gordon into 2 years of Korpikoski/Letestu plus a 3rd of Letestu.

    Korpikoski and Letestu can both be traded with relative ease, although they may have to retain $500,000 of Korpikoski’s cap hit to make him more palatable.

    Gordon, while crucial to the team, would not likely have had any greater trade value than the other two on account of his limited offense.

  18. RexLibris says:

    So the Eaglies have released Tebow.

    Anyone waiting to see if Jim Popp or the Riders try to sign him?

  19. G Money says:

    speeds,
    Snowman,
    RexLibris,

    I understand the reason for the stylistic swap. All three guys are a similar size (6’0 200 for Gordon, a tank-like 5’10” 199 for Letestu, and 6’1″ 205 for Korpikoski). Gordon is a defensive specialist and likely better at that trade than either Letestu or Gordon, but both Letestu and especially Korpikoski are faster and more physical than Commissioner Gordon.

    The career scoring is right in line with that:
    Gordon 0.25 ppg (best 0.41 ppg)
    Korpiko 0.34 ppg (best 0.51 ppg)
    Letestu 0.39 ppg (best 0.59 ppg)

    If you’re not going to have a hard starts line, L/P make more sense than BG.

    I also think when we look at other players that we could have had, there is possibly a measure of career rehab that Chia Pete may be banking on.

    If either (let alone both) can get back closer to their peak levels rather than last years levels, they will provide quite the bottom 6 wallop to complement the offensive power of the top 6.

    But notwithstanding the age advantage (Letestu about 1.5 yrs younger, Korpikoski a little shy of 3 yrs younger), I also share Speeds’ concerns.

    It’s not the players that are so much the issue, its the length of the commitment.

    Thankfully, we’re still talking in terms of ‘a few years’ and not long term commitments.

    But I can still see the contracts causing some minor problems in latter years.

    Hopefully Rex’s point is true – if the players don’t perform or we have better younger replacements waiting in the wings at that point, the players will likely have at least some trade value.

  20. jp says:

    G Money: It’s not so much that they’re Russians, it’s that they’re Russians together in a foreign land.

    It’s a fairly well established effect I think.

    I’ve travelled all over the world, and when you meet a fellow Canuck, there’s an immediate commonality and bond driven entirely by the fact that everyone around you is not Canadian.

    They might not be people you’d spend a second with when actually in Canada, but for that hour, day, week, etc. you’re friends, just because for the moment you share much more in common than you do with those around you.

    Suspect Russians are no different in that regard.

    It seems to me that the same effect works but in a slightly weaker way for those from similar regions, which would explain why we had Yakimov/Yakupov/Draisaitl hanging out together last summer, or MPS hanging with his two Nordic buddies in OKC several years ago.

    Agreed. And there is also some commonality in the hockey systems/style these guys would have learned growing up.

  21. Snowman says:

    G Money,

    I think for these types of players, useful NHL veterans, if it becomes of problem you can waive them and there’s a pretty reasonable chance they get picked up. And depth types always have some value even with retained contract, it wouldn’t be too tough a pill to swallow. I like the added depth and speed more than I’m concerned about the length of time. Neither is likely to fall of a cliff (they don’t have that far to fall admittedly) due to age. If they can chip in a few more goals each than Gordon it’ll be a good move.

    Bring on the speed. The faster this team is the better in my opinion.

  22. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide: Via Eric Rodgers, his TOI went from 12:06 to 19:48 after Lander’s recall. His boxcars:

    BEFORE: 27GP, 2-8-10
    AFTER: 30GP, 10-8-18

    Time on Ice is lovely.
    If you look at Even GF/GAon each game sheet you can identify his line mates.

    He averaged .80+ EVPPG with these EVPPG players.

    R. hamilton .651 EVPPG
    43gm 13 EVG 15 EVA 28 EVP

    Miller .587 EVPPG
    63gm 18 EVG 19 EVA 37 EVP

    C. Hamilton .381 EVPPG
    63gm 8EVG 16 EVA 24 EVP

    Kelsey .359 EVPPG
    17gm 3EVG 3EVA 6 EVP

    K. Jones .286 EVPPG
    49gm 5 EVG 9 EVA 14EVP

    C. Jones .244 EVPPG
    41gm 4EVG 6 EVA 10 EVP

    Pinozotto .240 EVPPG
    25gm 1EVG 5 EVA 6 EVP

    Not great with

    Moroz .136 EVPPG -15

    Ewanyk .116 EVPPG -25

    Ford .46$ EVPPG
    69gm 11 EVG 21 EVA

    Winquest .292 EVPPG
    46gm 6EVG 8 EVA 14 EVP +7

    Acton .167 EVPPG
    6gm 1EVG 1 EVP

  23. speeds says:

    G Money,

    It continues a pattern that I don’t love from Boston:

    4 years to Kelly
    3 years to Paille
    3 years to Campbell
    2 years to Thornton, although that’s kind of different, but then again we’ll see what happens with Gazdic.

  24. blainer says:

    Pouzar:
    Bogdan can play 4th line NHL minutes right now. He is defensive minded to say the least with excellent first passes out of defensive zone. He has great puck protection skills and an underrated offensive game. Knows how to cycle the puck. Obviously the first step is a work in progress but he almost cheats for defense to the point he makes up for any quickness deficiencies. Love this prospect and hope he plays top 6 in Bakersfield this season.

    I watched a lot of the OKC games also and agree with you especially after the Lander call up. We would all be giddy about the Russian prospects if we hadn’t drafted 3rd overall and 1st overall in the last two years. Did not see that coming at the 2013 draft.

  25. boopronger says:

    Off topic but do people think Sekera is a legit top pairing defenseman?

  26. B S says:

    I think another thing that gets underrated is language barriers. Multiple russians together means that if one of them gets what the coach is talking about he can tell the others and everyone gets on the same page. Sleppy coming in with a knowledgeable russian on the team could really help shorten the learning curve.

    In fact the language barriers don’t even have to be due to foreign languages. One of the things that stuck with me from the post WHC interviews for Hall and Ebs was that they both pointed out how easily they understood McLellan. It implied to me that Eakin’s major failing as a coach may have been that he failed to define a lot of his terminology he was using to explain his systems.

    I’ve run across this a lot professionally in fact. Listening to genetics and molecular biology researchers is nearly impossible in most cases because, despite having several courses in those fields, I can’t follow what they are talking about (and based on conversations with other non-specialists it’s a common problem). Most of this stems from not defining the specialized terms they use in their talks. This doesn’t mean their dumb of course, in fact many of them are brilliant researchers, but it does beg the question of how useful it is if no one else understands how it works.

    Under Eakins lot of the players skated around like chickens with their heads cut off after the first few games, he then blamed them for not having basic hockey understanding (despite not figuring this out in TC), so I’ve suspected that the problem was communications between coach and players and possibly Eakins failing to explain what he meant by various terms he used. Nearly all of these kids would have learned the basic systems in Junior, or even before Major Junior. (if it’s anything like baseball I learned most of my skills and set plays before I was 12 and haven’t seen any MLB plays that contradict them) so it seems unlikely that they would have suddenly forgotten them when they started pro.

    I suspect a large part of Yakimov’s slow start was a similar problem with Nelson, likely resulting more from a poor understanding of english in his case. Assuming Fleming uses similar terminology and systems to Nelson we should see more of the late season Yak. It might also be something to watch for if he struggles early on for McLellan down the road (learning new vocabulary).

  27. Woodguy says:

    speeds: I’m by no means counting on Slepyshev and Yakimov being ready, and contributors, by next season, but I’m curious how much of that top 6/bottom 6 divide has to do with organizational depth, and how that changes if players pan out.

    This also takes me to something I seem to keep coming back to, my concern with turning 1 year of Gordon into 2 years of Korpikoski/Letestu plus a 3rd of Letestu.

    I’m not sure if its philosophy (“There is always a top 6/bottom 6”) and how much is pragmatism (“We enough really good players to have 2 really good lines, let’s play the shit out of them”)

    I wonder if a case can be made that McLellen’s SJS never made the SCF’s because his top players were exhausted by 2nd/3rd round due to playing over 19min/gm?

    Here’s the last 4 SCF teams and their top 9 forwards TOI/gm during regular season. I’m going to count the number of players who averaged over 19min/gm during the regular season:

    CHI – 2015
    Patrick Kane 19:51
    Jonathan Toews 19:33
    Marian Hossa 18:33
    Brandon Saad 17:15
    Patrick Sharp 16:48
    Kris Versteeg 15:50
    Andrew Shaw 14:56
    Brad Richards 14:53
    Antoine Vermette 14:03

    2 – Kane and Toews

    TBY – 2015
    Steven Stamkos 19:22
    Valtteri Filppula 19:01
    Ryan Callahan 17:44
    Ondrej Palat 17:25
    Tyler Johnson 17:14
    Alex Killorn 16:55
    Nikita Kucherov 14:57
    Cedric Paquette 13:36
    Jonathan Drouin 13:14

    2 – Stamkos, Filppula

    LAK – 2014
    Anze Kopitar 20:53
    Jeff Carter 18:57
    Marian Gaborik 17:41
    Mike Richards 16:58
    Justin Williams 16:57
    Jarret Stoll 15:51
    Dustin Brown 15:50
    Dwight King 15:02
    Trevor Lewis 13:15

    1 – Kopitar

    NYR – 2015
    Brad Richards 18:41
    Martin St. Louis 18:29
    Derek Stepan 18:03
    Ryan Callahan 17:56
    Mats Zuccarello 17:08
    Rick Nash 17:01
    Derick Brassard 15:47
    Chris Kreider 15:43
    Carl Hagelin 15:31

    None

    Now lets look at the 2 years that SJS made the WCF with McLellen

    SJS 2010
    Patrick Marleau 21:12
    Dany Heatley 20:13
    Joe Thornton 19:51
    Joe Pavelski 19:28
    Ryane Clowe 17:10
    Manny Malhotra 15:37
    Devin Setoguchi 15:17
    Scott Nichol 13:03
    Jed Ortmeyer 11:30

    4 – Marleau, Heatley, Big Joe, Little Joe

    SJS 2011
    Patrick Marleau 20:47
    Joe Thornton 19:52
    Joe Pavelski 19:39
    Dany Heatley 19:39
    Ryane Clowe 17:57
    Logan Couture 17:49
    Devin Setoguchi 15:12
    Kyle Wellwood 13:40
    Torrey Mitchell 13:20

    4 – Marleau, Big Joe, LIttle Joe, Heatley

    Hmmmmmmmm.

    I wonder if this means anything?

    Its interesting to think about ……..

    Didn’t somebody write something about RNH being more effective at 18 min/gm rather than 20 min/gm?

  28. Woodguy says:

    boopronger:
    Off topic but do people think Sekera is a legit top pairing defenseman?

    Legit #2 for sure. Might be #1, not sure on that.

  29. flyfish1168 says:

    Snowman:
    G Money,

    I think for these types of players, useful NHL veterans, if it becomes of problem you can waive them and there’s a pretty reasonable chance they get picked up. And depth types always have some value even with retained contract, it wouldn’t be too tough a pill to swallow. I like the added depth and speed more than I’m concerned about the length of time. Neither is likely to fall of a cliff (they don’t have that far to fall admittedly) due to age. If they can chip in a few more goals each than Gordon it’ll be a good move.

    Bring on the speed. The faster this team is the better in my opinion.

    I agree bring on more speed, that is the way the game is going. If we have to many of these players stuck we can always trade them for picks that becomes more valuable during the draft or trade deadline. Asset management JMHO

  30. leadfarmer says:

    G Money,

    Yes but I may be wrong but Yakupov and Yakimov are ethnic Tartars which don’t really consider themselves Russian per se. Its not quite to the extreme, but it would be more of an Isrealite and a Palestinian meeting each other in a foreign land than two Canadians meeting each other in a foreign land. Years of ethnic oppression tend to do that. Now they may be above that being that they are in a different country trying to get to the same goal but they may like to play with other guys better than with each other. I’m not trying to be difficult I just don’t like the idea of automatically lumping guys together because they are from a certain part of the world. There are plenty of other guys trying to grow together that are far away from their families

  31. RexLibris says:

    G Money: Hopefully Rex’s point is true – if the players don’t perform or we have better younger replacements waiting in the wings at that point, the players will likely have at least some trade value.

    Consider the following scenario:

    Oilers are outside the playoff picture two years from now at the deadline and can trade Korpikoski to a playoff team for a 4th round pick to make room for Yakimov or Slepyshev on a permanent basis.

    That doesn’t sound to me like it is implausible.

    What about moving Letestu around the same time for a 4th or 5th round pick for the same reasons?

    And that is assuming the Oilers are a non-playoff team at that time.

    Neither player is old, married to long-term contracts (4yrs or longer) or a particularly high cap hit, and both are forwards, a position teams have a greater ability to absorb than at defense.

  32. Woodguy says:

    All:

    In my vein of “Did McLellen play his best players too much?” here’s a link to GMoney’s post on playing Nuge less and getting better results:

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/hey-todd-please-play-nuge-less-next-year/

    Nuge went from 21:24 (!) under Eakins to 19:40 under Nelson.

  33. RexLibris says:

    B S,

    As it applies to sport, I usually think of this as the Jacques Chapdelaine effect.

    Brilliant offensive coordinator who was brought in by Danny Maciocia a number of years ago.

    Much of the talk in training camp was about his terminology being a real obstacle to the players.

    He crashed and burned in Edmonton (partially due to Maciocia’s talent procurement practices, granted) in no small part because, despite being a very capable OC, his communication method, and specifically his terminology, was indecipherable to the players.

  34. RexLibris says:

    The comfort factor as it relates to meeting countrymen on the same roster is an interesting topic but I think another way to frame it and avoid getting into messy cultural/ethnic discussions would be thus:

    players who have familiarity with a particular way of being coached and the culture of the sport off the ice may find a level of camaraderie and comfort with each other based on their shared experiences to-date.

    In the same way that Hall or Nugent-Hopkins may be better able to relate to McDavid as a 1st overall pick, and Hall perhaps more so as a result of the hype heading into his draft year, so too might Yakimov and Slepyshev or even Yakupov find common ground in having grown up playing in similar, if not the same, junior development programs in Russia, eating the same food, suffering through the same coaching philosophies that were ascendant at the time, and so on and so forth.

    Add to that the obvious familiarity that comes from a shared language and personal experiences of growing up in the same country, and I think it is fairly obvious why anyone in such a situation would gravitate towards another.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Here’s the regular season TOI/gm of the teams that SJS lost the conference finals to in the two years from the above post:

    CHI 2010
    Jonathan Toews 20:00
    Patrick Kane 19:11
    Marian Hossa 18:43
    Patrick Sharp 18:07
    Dave Bolland 17:21
    Troy Brouwer 16:22
    Kris Versteeg 15:43
    John Madden 15:24
    Andrew Ladd 13:41

    2 – Toews, Kane

    VAN 2011
    Ryan Kesler 20:29
    Henrik Sedin 19:15
    Daniel Sedin 18:33
    Alexandre Burrows 17:01
    Mikael Samuelsson 16:37
    Manny Malhotra 16:09
    Mason Raymond 15:47
    Jannik Hansen 14:42
    Raffi Torres 12:29

    2 – Kesler (*spits*), Hank

    Notice how both team also run a 3rd line with about 16min/gm, whereas after the 3C McLellen’s TOI/gm for the 3rd line looks like about 13.5min/gm

    Given that McLellen runs an uptempo press forecheck, I wonder if he’s running his top players too hard in the regular season?

    I may have found my hobbyhorse with McLellen.

  36. Snowman says:

    Woodguy:

    Nuge went from 21:24 (!) under Eakins to 19:40 under Nelson.

    I wondered about that at the end of last season when Nuge finished so high in the TOI. Interesting article, I must’ve missed it when it was posted. That was a common refrain for Schultz (the he plays too much and is less effective theory) but because Nuge did well anyways it makes you excited for the possibility if he plays a little less he’ll play significantly more productively. God can this season start already…

  37. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Given that McLellen runs an uptempo press forecheck, I wonder if he’s running his top players too hard in the regular season?

    I may have found my hobbyhorse with McLellen.

    Which raises the question, does having three potential Cs in Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid and Draisaitl perhaps present him with another option?

    The hobby horse may be running three lines closer to even TOI, the real battle could be if the option presents itself and he refuses to take it.

    We’ll have to see as things develop, I suppose, but it is something to keep in mind.

  38. v4ance says:

    I worked at a major ATP event overseas where one year, we put a few Americans together in adjoining rooms. They hit it off and partied and got along famously even all the coaches and hangers on.

    The next year, we had a bunch of Spaniards and we tried the same thing. All the entourages and players acted glacially to each other and went to extremes to avoid each other. Even so far as one group requesting earliest morning practices and the other requesting latest evening practices so they wouldn’t encounter each other on site.

    Since tennis is a very individualistic sport, I expected the latter situation to be the norm but it’s totally random. Sometimes countrymen being put together in a foreign land works. Sometimes it doesn’t. It totally depends on the people and personalities involved.

  39. Woogie63 says:

    v4ance:
    I worked at a major ATP event overseas where one year, we put a few Americans together in adjoining rooms.They hit it off and partied and got along famously even all the coaches and hangers on.

    The next year, we had a bunch of Spaniards and we tried the same thing.All the entourages and players acted glacially to each other and went to extremes to avoid each other.Even so far as one group requesting earliest morning practices and the other requesting latest evening practices so they wouldn’t encounter each other on site.

    Spanish requesting early morning practice???? They would just be coming in from the prior night 🙂

    Since tennis is a very individualistic sport, I expected the latter situation to be the norm but it’s totally random.Sometimes countrymen being put together in a foreign land works.Sometimes it doesn’t.It totally depends on the people and personalities involved.

  40. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Given that McLellen runs an uptempo press forecheck, I wonder if he’s running his top players too hard in the regular season?
    I may have found my hobbyhorse with McLellen.

    It will be *really* interesting to track this in the upcoming year. You may really be on to something.

    When I was looking at TOI/gm for the Nuge article, a name that popped up with regularity was Sidney Crosby.

    Here’s his TOI the last five seasons:

    21:45
    18:37
    21:17
    22:03
    19:57

    I bring Crosby up because a. Pit could be considered a playoff underperformer (goaltending notwithstanding, they also don’t score as much in post-season as you’d expect them to), b. the fact that Crosby does sometimes seem a bit worn down by playoff time.

    Similar question I’d have for NYI, who looked really good during the regular season and (defensive injuries aside), lost this year in the first round primarily because they couldn’t score at EV or on the PP. This was Tavares’ ice time over the last five seasons:

    19:21
    20:40
    20:43
    21:16
    20:35

    It might be a fair hypothesis to test: given the incredibly high intensity of the modern NHL game, maybe it’s no longer possible to run a forward much more than 19 mins a night and expect them to be in good shape come playoff time.

  41. godot10 says:

    B S:

    I suspect a large part of Yakimov’s slow start was a similar problem with Nelson, likely resulting more from a poor understanding of english in his case. Assuming Fleming uses similar terminology and systems to Nelson we should see more of the late season Yak. It might also be something to watch for if he struggles early on for McLellan down the road (learning new vocabulary).

    MacT and Eakins caused the slow development of Yakimov last year by not cutting him soon enough, and with the early recall in October. That meant Yakimov wasn’t acclimatized at all to the environment in OKC, coaches or teammates, till well into the OKC season.

    It is silly to eff around with prospects in training camp who you know are going to need time in the AHL. And that is what MacT and Eakins did in last years training camp which was amateur hour from management and coaching.

  42. Woodguy says:

    G Money: It will be *really* interesting to track this in the upcoming year.You may really be on to something.

    When I was looking at TOI/gm for the Nuge article, a name that popped up with regularity was Sidney Crosby.

    Here’s his TOI the last five seasons:

    21:45
    18:37
    21:17
    22:03
    19:57

    I bring Crosby up because a. Pit could be considered a playoff underperformer (goaltending notwithstanding, they also don’t score as much in post-season as you’d expect them to), b. the fact that Crosby does sometimes seem a bit worn down by playoff time.

    Similar question I’d have for NYI, who looked really good during the regular season and (defensive injuries aside), lost this year in the first round primarily because they couldn’t score at EV or on the PP.This was Tavares’ ice time over the last five seasons:

    19:21
    20:40
    20:43
    21:16
    20:35

    It might be a fair hypothesis to test: given the incredibly high intensity of the modern NHL game, maybe it’s no longer possible to run a forward much more than 19 mins a night and expect them to be in good shape come playoff time.

    Very interesting.

    Might make for a good post or project.

    McLellen talking about shoe horning DrySaddle into the “top 6” has me concerned he isn’t seeing the forest for the trees and may overlook a possible great match up line with Saddle-Lander-X.

    Lander was 1C for SWE at the WC this year and killed Crosby until Hall and Eberle were moved to Crosby’s line.

    If you have a lot of guns, its best to shoot them all.

  43. Hammers says:

    Time on ice can go both ways dependent on the individual . For some wingers getting time on two lines works where as centres for me should be less than20 minutes but unfortunately it’s the centres that get the extra ice , not the wingers . Getting some extra time on another line seems beneficial to the best wingers . So I believe anyway .

  44. Snowman says:

    Woodguy,

    Shoehorning Drai into the top 6 and running three scoring lines are not mutually exclusive. You’ve got a top nine of CMD, Nuge, Drai, Hall, Ebs, Pou, Yak, Purcell, Lander. Even if the third line is Pou-Lander-Purcell they’d still chew up third pairs and other third lines.

    Edit: It sort of seems like we’ve got a good third line regardless of the other two. Unavoidable unicorns.

  45. "Steve Smith" says:

    godot10,

    I don’t see what that has to do with Cody Franson.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Snowman:
    Woodguy,

    Shoehorning Drai into the top 6 and running three scoring lines are not mutually exclusive. You’ve got a top nine of CMD, Nuge, Drai, Hall, Ebs, Pou, Yak, Purcell, Lander. Even if the third line is Pou-Lander-Purcell they’d still chew up third pairs and other third lines.

    Edit: It sort of seems like we’ve got a good third line regardless of the other two. Unavoidable unicorns.

    I’m praying for unavoidable unicorns.

  47. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy:
    Here’s the regular season TOI/gm of the teams that SJS lost the conference finals to in the two years from the above post:

    CHI 2010
    Jonathan Toews20:00
    Patrick Kane19:11
    Marian Hossa18:43
    Patrick Sharp18:07
    Dave Bolland17:21
    Troy Brouwer16:22
    Kris Versteeg15:43
    John Madden15:24
    Andrew Ladd13:41

    2 – Toews, Kane

    VAN 2011
    Ryan Kesler20:29
    Henrik Sedin19:15
    Daniel Sedin18:33
    Alexandre Burrows17:01
    Mikael Samuelsson16:37
    Manny Malhotra16:09
    Mason Raymond15:47
    Jannik Hansen14:42
    Raffi Torres12:29

    2 – Kesler (*spits*), Hank

    Notice how both team also run a 3rd line with about 16min/gm, whereas after the 3C McLellen’s TOI/gm for the 3rd line looks like about 13.5min/gm

    Given that McLellen runs an uptempo press forecheck, I wonder if he’s running his top players too hard in the regular season?

    I may have found my hobbyhorse with McLellen.

    Look at the shitty bottom 3 guys Mclellen had in his top nine.

    Nichol, Setogouchi, Ortemeyer, Wellwoon, Mitchell.

    It’s no wonder he didn’t play his third line all that much.

    All of the other teams compared had better bottom three forwards,

  48. Lowetide says:

    Bank Shot: Look at the shitty bottom 3 guys Mclellen had in his top nine.

    Nichol, Setogouchi, Ortemeyer, Wellwoon, Mitchell.

    It’s no wonder he didn’t play his third line all that much.

    All of the other teams compared had better bottom three forwards,

    Agreed. It’s important for Edmonton to give their coach very good options for at least three lines. A year ago they left the station with two centers and not much, so we’ll see if Peter Chiarelli can improve on that (Hint: He already has)

  49. Hammers says:

    His 3rd line could easily be Lander , Leon and Yak . He has choices .

  50. inheritance says:

    Woodguy: I wonder if a case can be made that McLellen’s SJS never made the SCF’s because his top players were exhausted by 2nd/3rd round due to playing over 19min/gm?

    I think there’s definitely a strong argument for this case. In the NBA, teams have started to rest their star players in the regular season. Most notably Greg Popovich of the Spurs; he has been fined for flying his aging stars players home early from road trips and missing out entire games to give them rest.

    I believe that you aren’t really looking at the differences between the effectiveness of a player at 18 mins/game vs the same player at 22 mins/game. You’re looking more at the health and giving your stars more rest over the course of a long season and pushing those minutes in key times – the playoffs.

    That’s one of the issues with Dallas Eakin’s fitness is everything. Giving RNH 28 minutes a night at times. It’s short sighted. I have read articles in the NBA where they have examined the total number of minutes played over the entire year vs the mins/game played by a player. It had shown that more injuries occur when players play too many minutes.

    A well known NBA professional gambler – who’s heavy into the analytics, Haralobos Volgaris, has been critical of the Chicago Bulls of late for pushing way too many minutes on their star players. Especially in blow out games.

    For the Oilers it’s a balance in terms of player personnel, ice time, and rest. They need to find the right players at the right price to allow them to play the right amount of time per game. If you have too many Nikitin type players on the team, you’ll never find this balance.

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