One of the predictable outcomes of yesterday’s loss by Canada to Finland? Oilers fans worrying about their No. 1 goalie. Who can blame them? Somewhere along the way, Murphy’s Law bought a house in Glenora and has apparently decided to live happily ever after. Is there a reason for concern at goaler? Should we change the order of the shopping list?
CHIARELLI’S SHOPPING LIST
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers, Justin Faulk)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (Tyson Barrie/Sami Vatanen)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (Small group available. Andrew Shaw? Tommy Wingels? Tyler Bozak?)
- Offload unwanted contract (Lauri Korpikoski)
- Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, James Reimer)—moving up?????
For our purposes moving forward, I have deleted value contracts, re-stocking the Condors and building the system via the draft. Although each of them are important, the additions of Caggiuila, Russell, Sallinen and Ellis addressed them and we can discuss things further around the draft. For the other items on the list, let’s take things one at a time.
TOP PAIRING DEFENSE
The news about Travis Hamonic is settling in now (stupid happiness, highly overrated) and, as in all things, the absence of alternatives clears the mind. We are left with a long list of possibles, but really only two (imo) viable options for No. 1 RHD that may be available. My list, the one I bore you with a few times per week, has over 25 names on it but the only ones I can see playing top pairing (with Klefbom) are these men. Otherwise? Probably Klefbom—Sekera for 2016-17 (suddenly the Handedness Police begin to stir).
If Chiarelli can solve the problem on the top pairing, then the Oilers can contemplate life with a puck mover on the second pairing. I wouldn’t rule out using Mark Fayne on the second pair with Sekera, for me remaining stubborn on this point just makes too much sense. Actual NHL players and all that. Among the options who might be able to slide in from my top 25 list are Michael Stone, David Savard and Damon Severson—but none have that power-play spark.
If Chiarelli went that route, perhaps Ryan Pulock from the Islanders could be added, and play third pairing with Brandon Davidson. That (adding Demers, Savard and Pulock) would effectively replace the entire RH side and mean Mark Fayne would be dealt. I highly doubt we see that kind of activity.
This is my list, you may have a favorite not included and please chime in. Bozak makes some sense, nice numbers there and we know he has enough skill to play 5×4 minutes. Shaw would be my preference, he is unique to the other C’s and can also chime in a little offensively. Riley Nash is a surprisingly effective center based on these numbers and Tommy Wingels would be known to the coach.
OFFLOAD LAURI KORPIKOSKI
I am not sure if offload is the correct word, Korpikoski may just get sent down to Bakersfield. Part of the issue last season had to do with deployment (McLellan was very patient—too patient—with Korpikoski, Darnell Nurse and some others).
BACKUP GOALIE (EV-SP)
- James Reimer .938 (No. 1 overall in the NHL)
- Jhonas Enroth .937
- Chad Johnson .926
- Anders Nilsson .913
It is ridiculous to argue that Talbot’s performance in the WHCs should lead us to contemplate his future as No. 1, but in recent days some have indicated to me that Talbot should have substantial support. I have suggested Enroth as a backup option. Do you agree? I believe he is substantial backup support and have listed him for weeks.
If the Oilers are to aim higher, suspect it would have to be for a 1B to Talbot’s 1A. The available free agent in that area (imo) is James Reimer. After that, we are talking trade and then I am going to have to write articles on Jimmy Howard and Marc-Andre Fleury and that will make me sad.
WHO ON EARTH IS TYLER WONG
This Stats site is so cool I can’t get anything done. Seriously. Estimated points-per-60 is my favorite, here are all of the CHL kids who played a lot AND finished top 10 in estimated points per 60 (this is even strength).
- Conor Garland 4.29 Arizona Coyotes
- Timo Meier 4.19 San Jose Sharks
- Pierre-Luc Dubois 3.95 Draft Eligible
- Evgeni Svechnikov 3.89 Detroit Red Wings
- Vitali Abramov 3.74 Draft Eligible
- Francis Perron 3.67 Ottawa Senators
- Dmytro Timashov 3.57 Toronto Maple Leafs
- J.C. Beaudin 3.51 Colorado Avalanche
- Alex Dostie 3.41 Draft Eligible
- Maxim Lazarev 3.37 Draft Eligible (1996 born)
- Travis Konecny 4.33 Philadelphia Flyers
- Matt Tkachuk 4.33 Draft Eligible
- Kevin Lebanc 4.18 San Jose Sharks
- Mitch Marner 3.99 Toronto Maple Leafs
- Christian Dvorak 3.81 Arizona Coyotes
- Andrew Mangiapane 3.77 Calgary Flames
- Hunter Garlent 3.62 Undrafted free agent (1995 born)
- Alex DeBrincat 3.47 Draft Eligible
- Dylan Strome 3.39 Arizona Coyotes
- Spencer Watson 3.33 Los Angeles Kings
- Jayce Hawryluk 4.46 Florida Panthers
- Brayden Point 3.82 Tampa Bay Lightning
- Noloan Patrick 3.53 2017 eligible
- Brayden Burke 3.45 Draft Eligible
- Dryden Hunt 3.45 Florida Panthers
- Egor Babenko 3.24 Draft Eligible
- Adam Brooks 3.24 Draft Eligible
- John Quenneville 3.18 New Jersey Devils
- Tyler Wong 3.14 Draft Eligible
- Adam Helewka 3.14 San Jose Sharks
Tkachuk has a sparkling number, but Dubois is no slouch either and he isn’t playing with those high-end cats the London Knights grab out of the ether. Who is Tyler Wong? Plenty of digging for me to do for this 2016 draft—seems to me this year includes a lot of distant bells who should be in the conversation, and a lot of questionable sorts people rate.
- Cody Nickolet about Tyler Wong: I think he’s extremely skilled, smart and is the driving motor behind his team offensively, but I’m just not sure I would project him as an NHL player at this time…with that being said, he surely has the skillset to be a very good scorer at the pro level either in the AHL or Europe, should he wish to take that route…with a couple more productive junior seasons and subsequent development, he should have the opportunity to sign some form of contract and take that next step if he desires. Source
- Steve Zipay, Newsday: In the 2014 World Junior Championships, he played with Bogdan Yakimov, property of the Edmonton Oilers, and Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov, with the Colorado Avalanche. Source
Rangers should try to grab Bogdan Yakimov from EDM. He's friends with Buch.
— David Bruce (@Yandlebaum) April 4, 2016
I think we could see a few of the remaining Tambellini/MacT draft picks sent away this summer, with Bogdan Yakimov being one of them. I wrote about him over at ON this week and suspect the big Russian could be dealt over the summer. I believe David Musil is in a similar spot. Chiarelli has traded Justin Schultz, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk, Martin Marincin and Liam Coughlin since his arrival, and it reasonable to expect more trades and Edmonton walking from minor league UFAs and RFAs this summer.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show, and two hours, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Is the goaltending a major concern? Is it reasonable to expect two top 4D?
- Tom Lynn, Veritas Hockey. The player market that is the WHCs, the trend by NHL teams who have passed through the draft at least once.
- Corey Pronman, ESPN. Corey’s list is out, and fascinating. I expected his list to be controversial at No. 4, turns out the controversy starts at No. 1. Terrific top 100 for 2016, we will discuss.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!