EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2015

This year’s list is dominated by Connor McDavid, with Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse adding a stunning kicker to what is absolutely the best prospect list of the century. I called last year’s the weakest since 2010 or before, but this group, the one this December, will be remembered in this city for a long, long time.

brossoit ferguson 14153

GOALTENDING

  • Current Prospects: Laurent Brossoit (No. 6) and Anders Nilsson (No. 7) could be part of the solution if things break right, and it has been a very good season. Eetu Laurikainen (No. 22)—just recalled to the Condors—and Miroslav Svoboda (No. 32) are distant bells, but you never know. Zach Nagelvoort (No. 35), Keven Bouchard (No. 36) and Ty Rimmer (No. 40) are curios in need of a contract not yet earned. We may not be talking about any of the three a year from now.
  • Is this an area of strength? It remains an area of weakness, although I would suggest Peter Chiarelli has improved the quality of the bets. A year ago, Brossoit was flanked by Nagelvoort, Frans Tuohimaa and Tyler Bunz (last year is here).
  • What’s the next step? Edmonton needs to make the call on Cam Talbot and Nilsson. If both are retained, that gives Brossoit another season in the AHL to push, and maybe he does it during the year (or in TC). Another draft pick spent on a goalie is likely in 2016. The surprising recall of Laurikainen suggests they want to get a longer look at him.
  • Will everyone be back next season? Aside from Talbot and Nilsson, Edmonton has to decide on Keven Bouchard and possibly Zach Nagelvoort. Ty Rimmer does not have an NHL contract and is unlikely to get one.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Ben Scrivens was traded this morning, he was the only certain exit. I can see a future with Talbot, Nilsson (NHL) and Brossoit, Laurikainen (AHL) as the batting order.

nurse condors

DEFENSE

  • Current Prospects: Darnell Nurse (No. 3) is spending his rookie NHL season with the team now, likely to graduate from the list this summer. A splendid young player. Griffin Reinhart (No. 5) has played a dozen games with the Oilers this season and could be a callup soon. Brandon Davidson (No. 8) is an overnight sensation after more than five years in the organization. Crazy how good he is. Ethan Bear (No. 9) was a great pick where they got him and he has posted some good boxcars and solid play based on reports. A few years away, but promising. Caleb Jones (No. 13), Ziyat Paigin (No. 15), William Lagesson (No. 16), Joey Laleggia (No. 17), Dillon Simpson (No. 18), John Marino (No. 20), David Musil (No. 21), Jordan Oesterle (No. 23), Ben Betker (No. 31), Brad Hunt (No. 33) and Martin Gernat (No. 38) represent 15 of the 40 men (37.5%) and an enormous piece of the prospect pie. There is a very real chance Peter Chiarelli culls this group in the near future.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? Yes, defense is the second strongest position among prospects, and then only because of McDavid’s addition this past summer. Recent grad Oscar Klefbom adds to the overall strength of the group, and it is reasonable to suggest PC will be able to trade from this area to address weakness in the coming years.
  • What’s the Next Step? The team is spending this season with Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson and Griffin Reinhart playing big league games and getting comfortable. Next step is to see if any of the bubbling under group can push up from the minors. Ziyat Paigin, Dillon Simpson, David Musil and Jordan Oesterle would appear to be the obvious candidates.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? Brad Hunt is UFA, cannot see him here next year (Laleggia, Oesterle and others duplicate his skills) unless he saves the power play in the coming weeks. Martin Gernat, Jordan Oesterle and David Musil are RFA, I expect Edmonton to cut loose Gernat (unless he has a crazy second half), possibly do the same with Oesterle and probably bring back Musil.
  • Will Anyone Be Gone Next Season? At the NHL level, a bunch of decisions including Nikita Nikitin (for sure), Andrew Ference (likely), Mark Fayne and Eric Gryba (maybe) sitting here in limbo. There will also be additions to what is becoming the center of the cluster (Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, Davidson, Reinhart) and the club will have to figure out what to do with Justin Schultz—if they flush him they need to replace him. Great opportunities for Nurse,Reinhart and Davidson this and next season, but the group below that will have an awful time of it. Why? The Oilers have four young blue (and Sekera) ahead of them, the job openings will be scarce for years.

mcdavid goal det

CENTER

  • Current Prospects: Connor McDavid (No. 1) isn’t a prospect, he is a force of nature. Yeah. The fact Leon Draisaitl (No. 2) emerged the same year as the draft is too perfect and should sustain this organization for a decade (or more). Incredible luck, and a tip of the hat to Craig MacTavish for choosing the German. Bogdan Yakimov (No. 11) may have seen the writing on the depth chart wall, but this move to the KHL is beyond troubling. The Oilers have too many exceptional center options his age to make allowances for Yak 2.0, and the NHL isn’t every man’s dream. Rock, meet hard place. Kyle Platzer (No. 14) is having a good pro debut and may end up playing the Kyle Brodziak role eventually. Andrew Miller (No. 26), Tyler Vesel (No. 28),  Alexis Loiseau (No. 30) and Marco Roy (No. 40) populate the long shot portion of this position.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? Yes! Finally, the Oilers at center look locked and loaded for an extremely long time. The last time Edmonton’s center cluster looked this promising, giants walked among us. Strength may not be a strong enough word.
  • What’s the Next Step? Edmonton is investing (wisely) most of their NHL at-bats on McDavid and Draisaitl this season, but are also getting good mileage out of Platzer in the minors. Miller is in place as a callup option and I like the low-cost bets on Loiseau and Roy. Vesel is an interesting player with a range of skills, smart thing to do is let him finish his college career.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? Anton Lander is having a poor offensive season, he is the most vulnerable at this time. Edmonton needs his defensive acumen and he plays with some edge, so maybe he stays. All others remain in my mind, although the Nuge rumors are out there and may have (crazy) legs. Yakimov is now a wild card, it could go any way.
  • Will Anyone Be Gone Next Season? A position change (RW for Leon) is more likely than a trade out in my opinion. The Oilers have impact youth that is NHL-ready. A wonderful spot to grow from.

slepy capture

LEFT WING

  • Current Prospects: Anton Slepyshev (No. 4) is a promising prospect at an area of need (he can play either wing) and spent significant time in the NHL early in the year. Jujhar Khaira (No. 12) might be the most pleasant surprise among the forwards this year, emerging as a real bottom 6F option at the NHL level. Kale Kessy (No. 24) is in the window where an NHL cup of coffee is possible, and is just ahead of Mitchell Moroz (No. 27), Josh Winquist (No. 29), Braden Christoffer (No. 34) on the pro depth chart. College men Aidan Muir (No. 37) and Evan Campbell (No. 39) round out the group.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? No. In terms of prospects, there are no sure things, although Slepyshev looks like a bona fide player. The bets made by Edmonton at this position before Chiarelli’s arrival have limited potential as offensive contributors.
  • What’s the Next Step? Oilers have to make sure the Russian doesn’t bolt, and I do think we will see activity on the draft floor at the LW position. The continuing development of Khaira is intriguing.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? The NHL depth chart is quality and looks set, with Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot and Matt Hendricks all helping in various ways. Fourth line LW Luke Gazdic might be vulnerable.
  • Will Anyone be Gone Next Season? Gazdic aside, Rob Klinkhammer is UFA and may not return (hard to get a feel for his value, as injury has impacted his season). On the minor league level, Ryan Hamilton (I do not have him listed as one of the best 40 options) is a UFA and Kale Kessy is RFA. I think Kessy might return, depending on the second half of this season.

pakarinen condors

RIGHT WING

  • Prospects: Iiro Pakarinen (No. 10) is a gritty player with some skill, there could be an NHL job for him in Edmonton. Greg Chase (No. 19) is a similar player, although there may be more offensive potential based on his resume. Tyler Pitlick (No. 25) is one of the best AHL forwards in the organization, but whenever he gets a chance injuries impact him.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? Weakest position on the club, there is no player on the list of 40 prospects we can safely project into an NHL career.
  • What’s the Next Step? All three prospects are playing pro and more at-bats are required. We are talking 3line and 4line players but that has value, too. I think Peter Chiarelli reflected the extreme need at this position with today’s trade, as Zack Kassian immediately steps into a substantial opportunity.
  • Will Everyone by Back Next Season? At the NHL level, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov would appear to be part of the future. Below the NHL, Kassian is a major question mark, and fellow RFA’s Pakarinen and Pitlick are also a little up in the air.
  • Will Anyone be Gone Next Season? Teddy Purcell is on track for a 50-point season, so could be signed or dealt at the deadline. I always felt Nail Yakupov was in a bad spot (third winger among the top group) and that may cost him this summer (or earlier).

GONE BABY GONE

Graduating from one year ago (with last year’s winter ranking) are:

  • D Oscar Klefbom (No. 3) exceeded 50 NHL games and graduated
  • R Jackson Houck (No. 12) was not signed by the Oilers, playing in WHL at 20
  • L Curtis Hamilton (No. 19) was not re-signed by the Oilers, playing in Czech
  • R Steve Pinizzotto (No. 27) is playing for Munich in the German DEL
  • G Frans Tuohimaa (No. 30) was not re-signed by the Oilers, playing well in the SHL
  • R John McCarron (No. 33) was not signed by the Oilers, playing in the ECHL
  • C Travis Ewanyk (No. 34) was traded to Ottawa, and is playing in the AHL
  • G Tyler Bunz (No. 35) was not re-signed by the Oilers, currently sitting out (I think it might be due to concussions and he could re-appear, but that is a guess)
  • L Daniil Zharkov (No. 37) came to Bakersfield camp and was injured.
  • C Liam Coughlin (No. 38) was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for G Anders Nilsson, a trade that looks brilliant from here. Coughlin is playing pretty well for Vermont (NCAA).
  • F Kellen Jones (No. 39) was not re-signed by the Oilers, although he has played one game for the Bakersfield Condors this year. ECHL the rest of the time.
  • C Connor Jones (No. 40) was not re-signed by the Oilers, he has played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL this season.

PLAYERS WHO MAY GRADUATE BY THE SUMMER LIST

I use 50 games as the line in the sand for prospect graduation, but if McDavid ends up with 45 games due to injury, he won’t be included on the summer list.

  1. Connor McDavid (13 games)
  2. Leon Draisaitl (64 games—already graduated)
  3. Darnell Nurse (30 games)
  4. Anton Slepyshev (11 games)
  5. Griffin Reinhart (20 games)
  6. Laurent Brossoit (1 game)
  7. Anders Nilsson (44 games)
  8. Brandon Davidson (35 games)
  9. Ethan Bear
  10. Iiro Pakarinen (46 games)
  11. Bogdan Yakimov (1 game)
  12. Jujhar Khaira (9 games)
  13. Caleb Jones
  14. Kyle Platzer
  15. Ziyat Paigin
  16. William Lagesson
  17. Joey Laleggia
  18. Dillon Simpson
  19. Greg Chase
  20. John Marino
  21. David Musil (4 games)
  22. Eetu Laurikainen
  23. Jordan Oesterle (6 games)
  24. Kale Kessy
  25. Tyler Pitlick (27 games)
  26. Andrew Miller (15 games)
  27. Mitchell Moroz
  28. Tyler Vesel
  29. Josh Winquist
  30. Alexis Loiseau
  31. Ben Betker
  32. Miroslav Svodoba
  33. Brad Hunt (14 games)
  34. Braden Christoffer
  35. Zach Nagelvoort
  36. Keven Bouchard
  37. Aidan Muir
  38. Martin Gernat
  39. Evan Campbell
  40. Ty Rimmer, Marco Roy

This is the best list I have seen in the dozen (or so) years of compilation. As it turned out, it was easy: Draft Connor McDavid!

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61 Responses to "EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2015"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    the club will have to figure out what to do with Justin Schultz—if they flush him they need to replace him.

    PHILIP LARSEN- Larsen has average size, but other than that, he shows a rather all-around arsenal of skills. He is blessed with good speed, technical skills and very good hockey sense, which is his greatest quality. Really a smart player, that sees openings that many other players are unable to. He plays mature and appears to be relaxed and confident on the ice. Perhaps more noticeable offensively than defensively, but rather solid in his own end, despite having to work with the physical aspect of the game.
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=6006

    NIKITA ZAITSEV – Zaitsev plays a smart two-way game. He is a fine passer and has a good shot from the point. Could improve his physical game and add some bulk.
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=34773

    Both are in their mid-20s now. The scouting reports were written when they were teenagers.

    * * * *

    About Kassian.
    I always thought he should’ve been treated the same for hitting Gagner in the head with his stick as McSorely was for hitting Brashear – Suspended for rest of season, charged with assault , 18-months probation.

    “I didn’t mean to hit him in the head with my stick”
    The guy is an asshole.

  2. kinger_OIL says:

    – Awesome write-up LT!

    – As for the D: I don’t see how we are league average D next year with:
    Sekera-Nurse
    Klef-Davidson
    Reinhart-Gryba

    – You need at least 7 D, and ideally Nurse is your 4D, Davidson 5, and Reinhart a 6 in 2016

    – I like Bear, and if your rankings are “most talent”, sure, but Bear is 3-5 years behind Simpson and Musil in terms of possibly being ready for the NHL.

  3. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Awesome write-up LT!

    – As for the D: I don’t see how we are league average D next year with:
    Sekera-Nurse
    Klef-Davidson
    Reinhart-Gryba

    – You need at least 7 D, and ideally Nurse is your 4D, Davidson 5, and Reinhart a 6 in 2016

    – I like Bear, and if your rankings are “most talent”, sure, but Bear is 3-5 years behind Simpson and Musil in terms of possibly being ready for the NHL.

    Yes, my rankings don’t give any value at all to NHL-readiness. I give special consideration for offense skill, range of skills and progress over the last six months or so. This season, I punished skating issues more than in the past.

  4. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide: Yes, my rankings don’t give any value at all to NHL-readiness. I give special consideration for offense skill, range of skills and progress over the last six months or so. This season, I punished skating issues more than in the past.

    I think your decision to do so is right. We are seeing the NHL become a skater’s league more than ever.

    Fayne is exhibit A but the role of traditional “shut down” D has evolved to requiring good skating.

    We have discussed Musil a lot but as he has developed the NHL game may have passed him by.

  5. Gerta Rauss says:

    Chiarelli audio-covers a lot of ground on various topics

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53347

  6. Psyche says:

    Excellent article, as always, LT. Thank you for putting this all together. I’ll have a closer look tomorrow after enjoying one more evening of holiday fun tonight in the Queen City.

  7. Gerta Rauss says:

    Mclellan audio from today

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53351

    If I heard the questioning correctly, it sounds like Lander may be joining the PP for face offs and a net presence.

  8. Centre of attention says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Mclellan audio from today

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53351

    If I heard the questioning correctly, it sounds like Lander may be joining the PP for face offs and a net presence.

    I heard that too.

    If its true, Lander might cash in a rebound and ignite his own scoring as well as the power play.

    A fair amount of the success the Nelson powerplay was enjoying was due to Lander winning faceoffs and going to the net.

    Good arrows people, good arrows.

  9. Genjutsu says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I think your decision to do so is right. We are seeing the NHL become a skater’s league more than ever.

    Fayne is exhibit A but the role of traditional “shut down” D has evolved to requiring good skating.

    We have discussed Musil a lot but as he has developed the NHL game may have passed him by.

    I’ll second that.

    The game is faster now than it was just a few years ago and getting faster every year.

    Speed kills more than ever in today’s NHL.

  10. Lois Lowe says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I don’t want to read too much in to ChiaPete’s facial expressions, but he does not seem to enjoy Rishaug one bit.

  11. Bad Seed says:

    RIP Lemmy

  12. RT26 says:

    I wonder if we need to trade one of the splendid young D-men for Hamonic or try for Brodin. If you considered trading either Nurse or Davidson+ for Hamonic, you could run

    Sekera. Hamonic
    Klefbom. Fayne
    Davidson. Gryba
    Reinhart

    Also, I wonder if we could pry Ryan Ellis out of Nashville for an offensive player or prospect. I do think we might want to invest some of our young talent for stability on the blue line and more productive zone exits

  13. Woodguy says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Mclellan audio from today

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53351

    If I heard the questioning correctly, it sounds like Lander may be joining the PP for face offs and a net presence.

    Here were the PP groups as per Stauffer:

    1) Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell-Lander-Hunt

    2) Pouliot-RNH-Eberle-Letestu-Schultz/Sekera spelling off

  14. Doug McLachlan says:

    So what was the Lowetide consensus on bidding for Rundblad?

  15. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    So what was the Lowetide consensus on bidding for Rundblad?

    I will have an item for tomorrows post, believe the overall opinion was a no.

  16. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide: I will have an item for tomorrows post, believe the overall opinion was a no.

    But with Willis voting yes its a draw, right?

  17. judgedrude says:

    Mr DeBakey: if McDavid ends up with 45 games due to injury, he won’t be included on the summer list

    But what if he only plays 39 games and doesn’t burn a year off his RFA status?

  18. square_wheels says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Mr Larsen is having a nice season as well. Sometimes the game slows down for certain players in their mid 20’s and they become full value with that confidence.

    His tools are all there, could be a Rafalski 2.0 ?

    I certainly have moved on from Schultz, I can’t see Chia offering him a contract.

  19. MrEd says:

    Now we have Purcell, Yak, Ebs and Kassian down the right side. It’ll be interesting how these players (and their agents) dictate Chia’s hand.
    Obviously I’m really hopeful that Kass finds his place here. i think we need what he brings.
    A good bet on Chia’s part IMO.
    Is Purcy a playoff player? Almost a Point per Game history says ‘yes’.

    Iiro gives the team coverage.

  20. square_wheels says:

    MrEd,

    If Kassian performs, a big IF, one of Ebs or Yak could be in trouble ?

    My worry is somehow Yak hasn’t shown Chia enough, but with another year and then RFA he’s cheap enough to leave room for a short term Purcell contract.

    Eberle better close the year lights out (if he’s not injured) , but even then, I strongly sense he’s the odd man out.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan: But with Willis voting yes its a draw, right?

    I haven’t read Jon’s piece because I don’t want to be influenced, but I promise you my opinion.

  22. MrEd says:

    Down the middle we have McDavid, RNH, Dry, (cause he’s that cool), Lander and Letestu. That’s a really, really nice list.
    Disapointed that Yak2 bolted. But i respect his decision.
    If i’m the man I’m not touching the top 3.

  23. MrEd says:

    Hendricks is the only coverage down the middle mind you. But good coverage from lines 2-4 he is IMO.

  24. MrEd says:

    The Left side has Hall, Pouliot, Hendricks, and Korpokoski.
    A little weak IMO. Can Slepyshev, JJ, MM, and KK provide the coverage?
    Look for an add.

  25. OTO says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Gerta Rauss,

    I don’t want to read too much in to ChiaPete’s facial expressions, but he does not seem to enjoy Rishaug one bit.

    who does enjoy rishaug? Katz should ban him and remenda both from even setting foot inside rexall

  26. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    MrEd:
    Now we have Purcell, Yak, Ebs and Kassian down the right side.It’ll be interesting how these players (and their agents) dictate Chia’s hand.
    Obviously I’m really hopeful that Kass finds his place here.i think we need what he brings.
    A good bet on Chia’s part IMO.
    Is Purcy a playoff player?Almost a Point per Game history says ‘yes’.

    Iiro gives the team coverage.

    We do? Last I heard, Kassian was going to Bakersfield. He has to earn a call-up and we have to see how that plays out. Chia himself said so today.

  27. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I haven’t read Jon’s piece because I don’t want to be influenced, but I promise you my opinion.

    No one asked me, but that’s never stopped me before.

    Another 6/7/8 Dman (with another year on the contract no less) doesn’t push the needle forward.

    This team is over run in 6/7/8 Dmen and Chia’s biggest task is clearing them out to make room for a couple of Actual Top 4 NHL Dmen in the summer, or at the very least one, and the bottom of the depth chart will still be cover off well.

  28. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Will be going to the game in Glendale Jan 12. Section 120 if any of you are going and would like to say hello at some point.

  29. böök¡je says:

    Lowetide: I haven’t read Jon’s piece because I don’t want to be influenced, but I promise you my opinion.

    Put a glass in the freezer for 2 minutes to chill it. Get yourself a nice cool beer. Make a perfect pour and then sit in your comfy spot on the chair or couch and relax while slowly drinking that beer.

  30. stevezie says:

    A couple years ago I looked at our promising young defence, headlined by Marincin, Schulz and Klefbom with Nurse coming and said it was our only position of excess and we should trade one of the young D for a C. I picked Klefbom, because of his concussion issues.

    I was wrong. Marincin can barely make the Leafs (22 games, 13:03 and 0 points), Schultz is Schultz and I wanted to trade Klef. Some scout. I was wrong.

    However my idea wasn’t so bad. Had we movedSchultz of Ryan O’Reilly once upon a time, we wouldn’t have McDavid!

    Anyway it’s nice that this team finally has any strength anywhere at all. Haven’t been able to say that since ’08.

  31. MrEd says:

    Kassian is an NHL player with tools. Hope is a good thing.

  32. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Bad Seed,

    Thanks for noting that. Hadn’t heard. Sad news.

  33. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    MrEd

    I am glad you are hopeful about his prospects.

  34. Centre of attention says:

    The kings are taking the canucks out to the woodshed, hopefully its a regulation loss. LA can run away with first in the division but I hope the wheels fall off in Vancouver. Their injuries will catch up soon enough. Markstrom looks inconsistent.

  35. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    “Kassian will report to the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. There, he will try to get back to game shape, which he admitted himself he is not.”

    -not currently a National Hockey League player

    “The GM did his research and conducted his interviews. The two parties exchanged conversation throughout the Christmas break. Chiarelli wouldn’t pull the trigger on the trade until he was satisfied with the information gathered”

    -Chia did his research so he likely got Hall’s blessing before making this move.

    “Kassian doesn’t shy away from what happened three months ago. He seems at peace with it. That being said, you can only look back so much if forward is the direction you intend to move. Before forward progress could be made, Kassian needed to get his life in order. Everything else comes after.

    ‘I’m totally fine with what has happened and it’s kind of the past is in the past,” he said. “I can hold my head high and I can be proud of myself for what I’ve went through and the person I became throughout this process. It’s life changing. I’m trying to change my life around. I’m not fixed, by any means, but I’m working forward and I’ve got a good foundation to build off of. First is being healthy and mentally sound and getting my life on track. Secondly, hockey comes. My life is going well and my off-ice issues are taken care of. The hockey comes natural.'”

    -Saying he is “not fixed by any means” is good, but he contradicts himself elsewhere: “my off-ice issues are taken care of.” He also really shouldn’t be “totally fine with what has happened.”

    Everyone has work to do to help him. Most of all, he has to help himself.

    Source:
    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=794764

  36. Samson Loveblast says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    MrEd

    I am glad you are hopeful about his prospects.

    I don’t think Kassian will have a problem getting up to the big club when he’s up to speed, there will be opportunities particularly if the under performing continues. The challenge will be when he makes it and once he gets comfortable.

  37. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Samson Loveblast: I don’t think Kassian will have a problem getting up to the big club when he’s up to speed, there will be opportunities particularly if the under performing continues. The challenge will be when he makes it and once he gets comfortable.

    My point to Mr. ED was that it is premature to assume he joins the depth chart at the NHL level. Not that he won’t get a chance. I do think he will get a chance in Edmonton at some point.

    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He has a long road ahead to revive and maintain his career.

  38. Water Fire says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    He is an NHL player already. It won’t take much to get back given his extremely rare package which is why he isn’t finished. If he starts out getting more than .5 PPG given what the Oilers have he’ll be on a plane pronto.

    I agree that Eberle or Yak are now likely soon playing to stay with the team. If Slepy gets it on track maybe both because size and skill.

  39. Centre of attention says:

    Tell me about the last time you saw this move, its almost Eberle-like:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1qudbtB-MA

    Kassian has decent hands, lets hope he can get them back and operating.

  40. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Water Fire:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    He is an NHL player already. It won’t take much to get back given his extremely rare package which is why he isn’t finished. If he starts out getting more than .5 PPG given what the Oilers have he’ll be on a plane pronto.

    I agree that Eberle or Yak are now likely soon playing to stay with the team. If Slepy gets it on track maybe both because size and skill.

    Again. That isn’t what I said.

    If he is all that you say he is then he would have been claimed on waivers.

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    Rondo:
    http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/12/former-canuck-zack-kassian-traded-to-oilers/

    I think it’s safe to say at this point that Kassian is not, and never will be, a player who protects other players with revenge hits or fights.

    Yes, he will drop the gloves and throw down, but he doesn’t do it as often as you think. Aside from his second year in in the OHL (63 points in 61 games, 13 fights), he usually averages less than five fights or less in a season.

    As for hits, he really doesn’t land many big ones, at least not in the way you’d imagine a 6″3 220 pound player might.

    As many fans in Vancouver witnessed, even his protection of the puck wasn’t what you’d expect from a player of his size.

    It’s not just Edmonton that has these expectations, though, as even Montreal bought into the power forward hype train, wondering if “the Canadiens found the power forward they have been looking for” when they traded for him at the 2016 draft.

    Interesting to know. I guess the bar should be set low and show some patience for him to develop.

  42. Really? says:

    I have been watching Hendricks very closely for some time. Last year I was very impressed by the effort and character he brought to the team. This year I am still impressed with the character but the effort and the results seem to be lacking.

    He certainly looks like he is trying but he doesn’t seem to get results. Often times he is a little bit soft on the puck in his own zone, he does not make smart plays like you would expect of a veteran and his hustle is sometimes a little short.

    He may not be a good player for the Oilers next year. It almost looks as if he has really begun to age.

  43. Kmart99 says:

    Really?,

    He just looks like he’s lost half a step by my eye. The effort is still there, and he’s never been lightning fast, but he was able to get around and now this season he seems to be losing more and more races.

  44. Lois Lowe says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Taking a hockey player’s exact turn of phrase is disingenuous.

    We can all tell what he’s saying. He’s got work to do, (we assume) he wants to do that work, if he does he becomes a valuable asset. If not, he’s a contract for contract transaction. It’s a buy low/sell low move, but both players have an upside. I think Scrivens could be excellent behind Price.He’s a guy who alleviates pressure on a number one and embraces his role no matter what.

    The Oilers risk nothing by the move. Scrivens wasn’t in the plans.

  45. Oddspell says:

    Centre of attention,

    Honestly, I think it looks fancier than it is. He bobbles it and is frantically trying to recover. His backhand finish is real nice though. If he can play like that then he’d look real good next to McDavid.

  46. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lois Lowe,

    I disagree that I am being disingenuous.

    All I am saying here is that it is not advisable to assume this is all going to work out, which was what Mr. ED’s post suggrsted.

    I get it, everyone wants this to work out. So do i. But I am pumping the brakes.

    You are misinterpreting and misrepresenting me. Disingenuous? No. Not at all. I don’t appreciate that statement.

  47. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    “I’m totally fine with what has happened and it’s kind of the past is in the past,” he said. “I can hold my head high and I can be proud of myself for what I’ve went through and the person I became throughout this process. It’s life changing. ”

    I’d imagine that he experienced a tremendous amount of shame with everything he’s been through since the car accident happening under public scrutiny. I read his comment that you posted more as a guy who’s dealt with the shame of this experience in a positive light more than a guy who thinks what he’s done was fine.

  48. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Ryan:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    “I’m totally fine with what has happened and it’s kind of the past is in the past,” he said. “I can hold my head high and I can be proud of myself for what I’ve went through and the person I became throughout this process. It’s life changing. ”

    I’d imagine that he experienced a tremendous amount of shame with everything he’s been through since the car accident happening under public scrutiny.I read his comment that you posted more as a guy who’s dealt with the shame of this experience in a positive light more than a guy who thinks what he’s done was fine.

    You could be right I hope you are right. Had I been the reporter, I would have asked him to clarify what seems a terribly ambiguous statement to me.

  49. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Last I will say on this matter. I’m not trying to be deceitful or lie r be disingenuous.

    All I am saying is that the discourse here has swung over the course of today into: “there’s no risk and only potential reward/ he already is an NHL player.” And I disagree. He was an NHL player. Might he be again? Yes. Can he regain his form? Maybe. Stronger men have failed at the hands of substance abuse.

    Nothing is guaranteed here. And addiction and the demons that come with it are very tough to overcome.

    I wish him well and he knows it is up to him now to make the most of his last chance. I have always said I wish him well, going back long before he came here. Go check my posts if you don’t believe that. I just wanted him to not become a distraction to THIS team.

    If he spends some weeks in Bakersfield and they have the right support for him when they give him a look later this season I have no issue with that. I never said he wouldn’t get a chance in Edmonton. I think they will take their time with it, though. Or so I hope.

    I’m just saying the odds aren’t great he keeps it together long-term. You can’t pen him into your lineup long-term or begin to look at moving Eberle or Yak because of this as a handful of people have mulled. Let’s not jump the gun here.

  50. Lowetide says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Last I will say on this matter. I’m not trying to be deceitful or lie r be disingenuous.

    All I am saying is that the discourse here has swung over the course of today into: “there’s no risk and only potential reward/ he already is an NHL player.” And I disagree. He was an NHL player. Might he be again? Yes. Can he regain his form? Maybe. Stronger men have failed at the hands of substance abuse.

    Nothing is guaranteed here. And addiction and the demons that come with it are very tough to overcome.

    I wish him well and he knows it is up to himnow to make the most of his last chance. I have always said I wish him well, going back long before he came here. Go check my posts if you don’t believe that. I just wanted him to not become a distraction to THIS team.

    If he spends some weeks in Bakersfield and they have the right support for him when they give him a look later this season I have no issue with that. I never said he wouldn’t get a chance in Edmonton. I think they will take their time with it, though. Or so I hope.

    I’m just saying the odds aren’t great he keeps it together long-term. You can’t pen him into your lineup long-term or begin to look at moving Eberle or Yak because of this as a handful of people have mulled. Let’s not jump the gun here.

    Agreed, The problem is, and I am not in any way mocking or delighting in this, the problem could return tonight, six weeks from now or two years from now, but the odds of it returning for anyone are enormous. I hope he plays a decade here and wins five Stanleys (trying to be reasonable). 🙂

  51. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy: No one asked me, but that’s never stopped me before.

    Another 6/7/8 Dman (with another year on the contract no less) doesn’t push the needle forward.

    This team is over run in 6/7/8 Dmen and Chia’s biggest task is clearing them out to make room for a couple of Actual Top 4 NHL Dmen in the summer, or at the very least one, and the bottom of the depth chart will still be cover off well.

    But bringing in Rundblad to me becomes a decision to cut bait on Schultz. Even if Rundblad = Schultz, the move could save 3 mil in space for next season and acknowledge Schultz for what he is.

    Gryba and Nikitin are off the books too. Ference can’t keep going on like this (or buy out). That’s 4x 6/7/8 D-men gone right there without exerting too much effort, and again, clearing a bunch of cap space.

    Fayne is the hardest player to deal with, IMO. Can’t trade, multi-year, bigger contract. That’s where Chiarelli will be most challenged.

    Sekera-Klefbom
    Nurse-Davidson
    Reinhart-Rundlbad
    AHL grad/Fayne

    Not a bad start. Especially if you can take Davidson + xx and turn it into a more reliable/veteran top 4 D.

    Should also add, I think it was McCurdy who pointed out that if we had Rundblad next year, demoting to AHL means that nearly all of his salary can be buried. I don’t see his 1.05 mil contact as an anchor in any way. Much lower risk than Kassian.

  52. Stelio Kontos says:

    Lowetide: Agreed, The problem is, and I am not in any way mocking or delighting in this, the problem could return tonight, six weeks from now or two years from now, but the odds of it returning for anyone are enormous. I hope he plays a decade here and wins five Stanleys (trying to be reasonable).

    Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but I don’t know if kassian is really a risk to fall back into substance abuse. He was put in the program because he got into a DUI accident. Not smart, but it isn’t exactly the sign of an alcohol addiction. The two can go together, but it is equally possible if not more likely he had too much to drink one day, and neglectfully drove home (likely the two girls who were with him drove that decision). I read his admittance into the program as due to the crash, and it was possibly a ploy for leniency.

    I am much more worried about the fact that kassian is a mediocre hockey player (trending down) who is an absolute jerk, and has the common sense of a peanut. I don’t have much hope. There is an opportunity though, as Pouliot can only play on 1 line, and we are 1 winger short of chemistry right now.

  53. ruotsalainen says:

    Sad news to hear of Lemmy passing yesterday.

    Although not their best song, “The Ace of Spades” was I imagine the introduction to Motörhead for many. Also very fitting the talk on this blog, through LT of course, is about Jacks, Kings, Sevens and Eights.

    Luckily we have finally found our Ace of Spaces.

    Also, a connection in there with regards to substance abuse. Many a great interview with Lemmy out there, but he was trying to think healthier these last few years. He had stopped the Jack’n’Coke and replaced it with the much healthier vodka and orange juice.

    RIP Lemmy, I am glad to say I got the chance to see you and your band play live.

    LOUD.

  54. G Money says:

    I’m in Mumbai, but I haven’t seen Max anywhere.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Stelio Kontos,

    He was put in the program because he got into a DUI accident

    No.

    He was already in the substance abuse program when the accident happened.

    That’s why Bergevin washed his hands of him.

    He was supposed to be working his program, staying clean etc. and told everyone he was.

    Then gets caught out at 5am due to an accident, not sober, during training camp.

  56. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    I’m in Mumbai, but I haven’t seen Max anywhere.

    You’re not trying hard enough.

  57. Really? says:

    Kmart99,

    You may be right regarding losing a step. The thing that sticks out are some of the poor decisions he has made in trying to protect or clear the puck. In addition, he seems to be flailing around rather than playing hard hockey. Again, that could be due to the loss of a step.

    Bottom line is that he is not as effective, by my eye, as he was last year.

  58. PhrankLee says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": -Saying he is “not fixed by any means” is good, but he contradicts himself elsewhere: “my off-ice issues are taken care of.” He also really shouldn’t be “totally fine with what has happened.”

    Saying he is not fixed is part of the recovery process. He has to change his life. That’s not easy for anyone.

    To give some insight to the subject he is tasked with changing his thinking and very being.

    When people ask “why do you drink so much?” The answer is “Because I’m an alcoholic. ”

    The answer in the future to the question: “Why don’t you drink at all?”

    “Because I’m an alcoholic.” That’s a big, big change.

    His using/drinking are not the problem. They are merely symptoms of a much deeper issues.

    Change takes time, yes. But it takes much more. Most importantly the willingness to change and self-honesty. Humility is a tough thing to have. Humility for a millionaire athlete is not natural. It has to be worked on.

    I hope he blows the doors off it.

    If not, no fuss.

    And Scrivens gets the start in Florida!! That’s terrific.

  59. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Stelio Kontos,

    Woodguy already mentioned this, but your understanding of the case is way off. He wasn’t even at the wheel. There was no DUI for him. So at least there’s that.

    He was already in stage 1 of the NHL substance abuse program, which is kept quiet. After this incident he was put into stage 2, which led to his suspension and Bergevin cutting bait on his brand new acquisition before he even suited up for a regular season game.

    He already screwed up big time when the threat of suspension and job loss was over him. He has had 2 strikes.

  60. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money:
    I’m in Mumbai, but I haven’t seen Max anywhere.

    Did you check the Thunderdome?

  61. theres oil in virginia says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": -Saying he is “not fixed by any means” is good, but he contradicts himself elsewhere: “my off-ice issues are taken care of.” He also really shouldn’t be “totally fine with what has happened.”

    I don’t think he’s necessarily contradicting himself here. Remember who we’re dealing with, I don’t think nuance is something he’s ever going to master. I think that when he says that he’s not “fixed”, he’s implying that he understands that there is no permanent “cure” to his issues, and that he’s going to have to continue to be conscious of his issues and take steps to prevent himself from falling back into old behaviors.

    I hope he understands the situation he’s in, but I think you’ll have to wait a long time before this guy ever puts forth his whole situation eloquently. “A man has got to know his limitations.”

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