OULU SPEEDWAY

Oulu, Finland is a city of about 200,000—it is the biggest city in northern Finland. The average high during July is 21, warmest temp 33—meaning Edmonton should be about right for Jesse Puljujuarvi. He plays his hockey in Oulu, and the town team does well—champions many times, recently in 2014 and 2015. Jesse was born in Älvkarleby, Sweden—a town of 1,650 people. I imagine Jesse’s lack of words and big smile come from growing up in a small town a lot like the ones on the Canadian prairies. The Edmonton Oilers didn’t get this youngster for his verbal, and his actions on the ice speak volumes about his hockey ability.

Many legends begin humbly. As a child, young Henry Aaron would hit counter to Edmond Hoyle, with his left hand (Hank hit right) above his right. Why? Mr. Aaron always said no one told him different, and I expect that is exactly how it happened. The result was a terribly strained trip through the strike zone, and if anyone had given a damn they would have helped the kid. There, in that sad little story, lies the legend of Hank Aaron’s strong wrists, his lightning quick bat, and the best home run man planet Earth ever saw. You can look it up.

Jesse Puljujarvi, a young man from a town smaller than I grew up in (well, damn close), played a game called Bandy as a child. Bandy looks like a combination of hockey, speed skating and backwards cattle herding. If you click that link, I guarantee you will giggle a little, but the game is compelling. I bet a youngster who played bandy a lot would develop great strength in his legs, and probably an insane lung capacity, should the good lord gift him with the frame and genetics.

I was never gifted genetically but any fool can see the beginnings of legends, and we may have one here.

Andrew was kind enough to extend permission on the cover photo, and if you visit his twitter, there are a bunch of photos from Jasper and the Orientation camp activities. If you attended, please chime in with observations and that invite extends for the entire week.

Tonight, I want to look at the top 20 prospects (just published one week ago) and their probable destination for 2016-17. I wrote this article under the heading Destination Unknown a year ago.

 DESTINATION UNKNOWN 2016

  1. (1) C Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (45, 16-32-48). Destination 2016-17: NHL from the start of course, he qualifies for this list on a technicality. Much to be decided in training camp, although wingers likely to be Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle. If healthy, does 90 points sound likely?
  2. (NR) R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (50, 13-15-28). Destination 2016-17: I think he plays most or all of the season in the NHL. The small worry is the cap, as Puljujarvi (when he signs) will need to fit under a cap that includes several additions. Could he score 20 goals as an NHL rookie?
  3. (15) LD Ziyat Paigin, Kazan Ak Bars and Sochi HC (45, 9-19-28). Destination 2016-17: Sounds like Russia for one more year, his contract was purchased (probably) by Kazak Ak Bars—a place he struggled early a year ago. Among the things we might watch for? A return to the KHL All-Star game, an honor he earned this past season.
  4. (NR) L Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants (30, 9-19-28). Destination 2016-17: A healthy season in the WHL is the expectation. Benson has shown he can play at that level, and this year he could dominate. Vancouver has been a bit of a tire fire in recent seasons, we might see a trade at some point if things go south.
  5. (NR) L Drake Cagguila, North Dakota (39, 25-26-51). Destination 2016-17: At least half a season in the AHL, but there is a good chance he sees NHL time. The great thing about Caggiula is that his signing addressed a major need—prospects who can score at a rate that might allow them to contribute at the NHL when recalled—and along with Puljujarvi he is an exciting option on the wing this year.  
  6. (9) RD Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds (69, 19-46-65). Destination 2016-17: Another impact year with Seattle. Bear got his contract and now he can set his sights on finishing off his junior career with another strong campaign. He did everything right in 2015-16, and I wonder if both Bear and Jones spend time in Bakersfield after their 2016-17 junior seasons end.
  7. (13) LD Caleb Jones, Portland Winterhawks (72, 10-45-55). Destination 2016-17: Another year in the WHL, building on a very strong year. Genuinely excited to see his progress, Jones true ability was obscured by the scouting reports. He has a chance to enter pro hockey in 2017 as a bona fide NHL prospect if he can repeat the offense. As you may recall, he was given high marks for his speed, size and coverage before draft day.
  8. (12) C Jujhar Khaira, Edmonton Oilers (15, 0-2-2) and Bakersfield Condors (49, 10-17-27). Destination 2016-17: AHL/NHL shuttle, as many as 40 games in the big league. Khaira was inserted into the lineup last season and did not look out of place—that has been a rare item over the last many years. I like his size and speed, scoring will be the issue but there is a player here.
  9. (NR) RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (43, 19-22-41) (SuperElite). Destination 2016-17: Berglund will play in either the SuperElite (he is eligible again this year) or the SHL. The Skelleftea SHL team finished first last season and went to the finals, looks like a veteran group. Either way, he spiked a year ago and will want to build on that performance.
  10. (5) LD Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oilers (29, 0-1-1) and Bakersfield Condors (30, 2-8-10)Destination 2016-17: Bakersfield unless he is traded. Reinhart has two big issues: The Leftorium and his bonus number. Edmonton has to account for McDavid, Draisaitl and (when he is signed) Puljujarvi and their hits. If he came to camp and was brilliant, maybe it makes a difference—but I can’t make the math work and the Oilers love Darnell Nurse. A very tough spot for him.
  11. (NR) RC Aapeli Rasanen, Tappara U20 (50, 19-19-38) (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Destination 2016-17: Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL for the coming year. He had a splendid year—including a quality U18 WJ performance—and should thrive in the USHL this year. Encouraged by this player’s resume.
  12. (6) G Laurent Brossoit, Edmonton Oilers (5, 3.61 .873) and Bakersfield Condors (31, 2.66 .920). Destination 2016-17: NHL for half the season. His camp has to be encouraged by the UFA selection of Jonas Gustavsson, and I think he will spend a lot of time in the NHL this year.
  13. (23) LD Jordan Oesterle, Edmonton Oilers (17, 0-5-5) and Bakersfield Condors (44, 4-21-25). Destination 2016-17: NHL for as many as 50 games. Oesterle has an excellent chance at this point. Edmonton does not have their third pairing set (Nurse-Davidson?) and there are injuries to men like Klefbom and Davidson that may come into play this fall. Mobile, puck mover, he could spend a lot of time in Edmonton this winter.
  14. (NR) LD Markus Niemelainen, Saginaw Spirit (65, 1-26-27). Destination 2016-17: A strong year in the OHL, perhaps a spike in offense. His numbers don’t pop out at you, but this is a player who posted 26 assists on a team with a popgun offense. In his draft year, Niemelainen ranked No. 2 among Saginaw D in points.
  15. (4) R Anton Slepyshev, Edmonton Oilers (11, 0-1-1) and Bakersfield Condors (49, 13-8-21). Destination 2016-17: Bakersfield, with a cup of coffee possible. I still like Slepyshev as a prospect, he has size and speed—but the points did not compile. He will need to have a strong year, and my guess is that the first W recalls go to Caggiula and or Puljujarvi.
  16. (NR) L Graham McPhee, U.S. National Development Team (20, 5-0-5). Destination 2016-17: Boston College as a freshman. He is an interesting prospect, two-way winger with skill. New college recruits often see little action, that will be his first test.
  17. (18) LD Dillon Simpson, Bakersfield Condors (57, 4-16-20). Destination 2016-17: AHL for a third season, maybe a cup of coffee. He was drafted in 2011, but this will be the final year of his entry-level deal. Made progress at every step, but the Leftorium is daunting.
  18. (NR) LD Matthew Cairns, Georgetown Raiders (46, 9-24-33) (OJHL). Destination 2016-17: Starring for Muskegon of the USHL. Cairns is off to Cornell, but not until the fall of 2017. Big defender (6.02, 202) is a two-way type and an excellent athlete. (Muskegon confirm).
  19. (17) LD Joey Laleggia, Bakersfield Condors (63, 8-19-27). Destination 2016-17: PP QB and racking up points in Bakersfield. Laleggia needs to make hay, and with Brad Hunt no longer in the organization and Oesterle possibly on the NHL shuttle, there could be a major opportunity for him to shine. Edmonton needs a PP QB, so the time is now.
  20. (20) RD John Marino, Tri-City Storm (56, 5-25-30). Destination 2016-17: Freshman year at Harvard. Marino leaves the USHL after a promising one year stay. It is difficult to know about these USA high school kids, but once they post crooked numbers in the USHL you can be reasonably sure of at least some offense.
  21. (25) R Tyler Pitlick, Bakersfield Condors (37, 7-14-21). Destination 2016-17: Bakersfield with an NHL recall possible. Too many players have passed Pitlick on the depth chart for him to enter the year as a priority, but he has some things that make him worth considering. Some guys look like NHL players and never get there (Jani Rita was one, Marc Pouliot another) for an extended period. Pitlick is such a player, and I do believe a lot of what is required for him to make it is luck.
  22. (16) LD William Lagesson, UMass-Amherst (27, 2-5-7). Destination 2016-17: Another year in shutdown role at UMass-Amherst. He was worth watching the WJs for, strong defender with substantial defensive skills. Edmonton has kids like this by the mittful, no idea how they get all of them to pro without clogging the system. He might be one of the better ones, though, speed, size and defensive acumen never go out of style.
  23. (NR) R Patrick Russell, St. Cloud State (41, 20-21-41). Destination 2016-17: Scoring role in Bakersfield, early or late. I don’t know enough about his footspeed to guarantee 20 goals, but he has good hands and some other elements that should give us some hope about him. Intriguing player, could pass some draft picks during the next 12 months.
  24. (11) C Bogdan Yakimov, Bakersfield Condors (36, 5-10-15) and Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik (11, 3-1-4). Destination 2016-17: Impossible to project. The Oilers have traditionally been an unforgiving bunch when players bolt mid-season, but it is also true he is a giant and plays center. If Yakimov is in North America, I bet he plays most or all of his time in California.
  25. (14) RC Kyle Platzer, Bakersfield Condors (48, 6-11-17). Destination 2016-17: Everyday bat in the AHL lineup. Two-way C entered pro hockey after a strong final season in junior, and then didn’t play a whole bunch based on estimates (13+ minutes according to Prospect-Stats). He needs to play, that is absolutely a fact.
  26. (19) R Greg Chase, Bakersfield Condors (19, 1-6-7) and Norfolk Admirals (43, 18-19-37). Destination 2016-17: AHL regular. Chase was forced down to the ECHL in year one, and the Condors should have several college kids and AHL vets to give plenty of competition. He is better than some of these guys based on junior numbers, but is giving up a couple of years on a guy like Patrick Russell. He needs a good year.
  27. (NR) L Jere Sallinen, Jokerit (50, 8-11-19). Destination 2016-17: Bakersfield all year. NHLE is 10-15-25, so I don’t see him catching Caggiula or Puljujarvi for the offensive chance—and Khaira plus others have the jump on him for the checking jobs. However, I probably said the same damn thing about Lennart Petrell.
  28. (NR) G Nick Ellis, Providence (36, 1.80 .936). Destination 2016-17: AHL starter or backup. Impossible to know, but Ellis had great college numbers and I think he could end up grabbing the starting role at some point in the AHL season. He would need Brossoit to get the recall, play better than Gustavsson and be better than Laurikainen. That isn’t a difficult game plan.
  29. (21) D David Musil, Bakersfield Condors (67, 3-11-14). Destination 2016-17: NHL 7D, AHL top pairing, or sail on Dukla Jihlava. It would be cool to know what Todd McLellan thinks of him. The fine work by ricki and WG shows that there is more than one way to evaluate D, and maybe this chap has some of that high danger magic. Such a big hill for all of these lefties to climb.
  30. (32) G Miroslav Svoboda, Havirov (8, 4.51 .867) and HC Sumperk (21, 3.05 .924). Destination 2016-17: Another season with HC Sumperk. It is the most difficult thing to follow as a fan—a distant bell goalie in a bus league that includes the Brno to Vitkovice run. We hope and we wait.
  31. (40) C Marco Roy, Bakersfield Condors (42, 8-12-20). Destination 2016-17: No contract yet. Along with men like Josh Winquist and Alexis Loiseau, Roy will have to wait until the dust clears to find a landing spot.
  32. (NR) G Dylan Wells, Peterborough Petes (27, 4.59 .871) (OHL). Destination 2016-17: A massive recovery season with the Petes. I have paid attention to over 40 drafts, it is extremely rare—especially in modern times—to have such a drastic disconnect between scouting reports and performance. Something fractured his season, let’s hope it is fixed.
  33. (35) G Zach Nagelvoort, Michigan (11, 2.99 .893). Destination 2016-17: Starting goalie, Michigan. Nagelvoort was the starter during periods of time in his three seasons with the Wolverines. Steve Racine is done with his college career and Nagelvoort should be the starter. He has struggled for the last two seasons.
  34. (NR) RD Vincent DeSharnais, Providence College (19, 1-1-2) (Hockey East). Destination 2016-17: Regular, Providence College. Steve Kournianos was on the Lowdown last week and gave me the impression Desharnais would have a tough time moving up the depth chart. Providence has a strong recruitment crop coming in, so we will see if this young man can increase playing time. This will be his sophomore campaign.
  35. (NR) W Joey Benik, St. Cloud State (41, 23-25-48). Destination 2016-17: Battling for playing time in Bakersfield and Norfolk. He is 5.10, 175 and a pretty solid college scorer.
  36. (27) L Mitch Moroz, Bakersfield Condors (40, 5-5-10). Destination 2016-17: AHL regular, unless the Oilers keep adding competition. The Oilers signed Taylor Beck this afternoon to a two-way deal, and he can play either wing. He is a big man, not overly physical but could cost Moroz playing time he badly needs.
  37. (22) G Eetu Laurikainen, Bakersfield Condors (18, 3.42 .907). Destination 2016-17: AHL backup. He struggled at times with AHL-level opposition, so this year could see him in Bakersfield, Norfolk or Finland.
  38. (28) F Tyler Vesel, Nebraska-Omaha (35, 6-12-18). Destination 2016-17: More playing time in  junior college season. He went backwards last season, but could see a push in playing time this year. I think he is probably the best of the depth 2014 Oilers picks, but that may not mean he gets a pro contract.
  39. (31) D Ben Betker, Bakersfield Condors (14, 0-2-2) and Norfolk Admirals (49, 3-14-17). Destination 2016-17: I expect he will once again play between Norfolk and Bakersfield, perhaps with more AHL time than a year ago.
  40. (39) L Evan Campbell, U Mass-Lowell (28, 5-7-12). Destination 2016-17: Final year of college, no idea if he will play a bigger role.
  41. (34) L Braden Christoffer, Bakersfield Condors (33, 1-4-5) and Norfolk Admirals (24, 13-5-18). Destination 2016-17: AHL-ECHL shuttle. The jump to the AHL was too much, but he found the range in the ECHL. I think he will see action in both cities this year.
  42. (37) L Aidan Muir, Western Michigan (35, 2-6-8). Destination 2016-17: More success in junior season. As a freshman, Muir posted 15 points, went the wrong way in year two. He is still big and strong, perhaps he can recover.
  43. (NR) LD Colton Waltz, Brandon Wheat Kings (34, 2-14-16) and Saskatoon Blades (31, 3-11-14). Destination 2016-17: Norfolk. Waltz is on an AHL deal and is at the back of the Leftorium bus. Lordy.

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85 Responses to "OULU SPEEDWAY"

  1. Professor Q says:

    Who is Taylor Beck?

  2. Professor Q says:

    Also, Bandy seems like Field Hockey-Ice Hockey-Football (Soccer).

  3. Andy Dufresne says:

    Finally a list that holds my attention all the way down to 15…..that’s a big improvement.

    Besides Connor and JP the guy who really holds the most excitement for me is Tyler Benson.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Finally a list that holds my attention all the way down to 15…..that’s a big improvement.

    My favorite list is probably winter 2010
    http://lowetide.ca/2010/12/18/2010-winter-top-20/

  5. square_wheels says:

    Professor Q,

    Former Guelph Storm, put up great Jr numbers, 70th overall pick in 2010. Looks like a big RW that’s had decent AHL numbers and a cup of coffee playing with Nashville.

    Looks like a Maroon or a Penner bet, not a great skater but a nose for the net.

  6. Andy Dufresne says:

    Bandy….that is so cool…..soccer on skates…..Lucic wouldn’t make it out of the first period. Betcha those finnish kids are lining up for their turn to play goalie. NOT!

  7. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: My favorite list is probably winter 2010
    http://lowetide.ca/2010/12/18/2010-winter-top-20/

    Wow. That is a great list!……not to be a bummer but it crushes my spirit to look at it now.

    Edit: on the bright side…I wouldn’t take ALL the players on the 2010 list for Number 1 on the 2016 list….the dreaded 30 for 1

  8. Andy Dufresne says:

    Puljujuarvi born in SWEDEN!!! WTF!

  9. Younger Oil says:

    Lowetide: My favorite list is probably winter 2010
    http://lowetide.ca/2010/12/18/2010-winter-top-20/

    Very interesting that there are 5 NHL players from 11-18!

  10. Lowetide says:

    Andy Dufresne: Wow. That is a great list!……but it crushes my spirit to look at it now.

    Bad teams draft and develop—for other teams!

  11. square_wheels says:

    Hey LT thanks for enduring Sheps, Seed and I nerd out on music last night.

    That Hank Aaron factoid is amazing, batted with his hands flipped. Lordy the power he must have generated when he went to a traditional swing.

    The thing about Jesse P we don’t talk enough about is his frame, this is a HUGE kid. Filled in this is a guy that’s going to be as large as Lucic !

    Finn’s are some of my favourite folks, they’ve been sending kids to us through an international high school exchange program for years. We’ve had kids from nearly every continent, 16 different countries and countless more we’ve supervised or taken on tours throughout Canada. If there is a country that raises small town prairie folk any closer than Finland I haven’t encountered it. Blue collar, outdoorsy, hard on the outside, soft on the inside types that are immensely independent and proud people.

    This kid is a superstar in the making, let’s not fuck this one up.

  12. stush18 says:

    I’m sorry LT but I just can’t get behind you ranking Reinhart that low.

    I can understand moving the younger dmen ahead, because their offense looks better despite not playing pro yet and getting pp time.

    I could listen to an argument as to why the young d have better potentials and chances at careers. At least for paigan and bear and berglund, as they will likely get pp time.

    And I can understand caggiulia and benson. They will become your mythical Pisani.

    But you cannot look me in the eye and say you think JJ will have a better career than Reinhart. No way in Maidstone that happens, and I think JJ has 15-15 potential.

    There has been nothing to suggest, by math or eye test, that can defend it.

    Right now it looks like you are holding his trade against him, or perhaps stacking him lower because rates better than nurse math wise.

    And please don’t say JJ has a “range of skills”. That’s vague, hard to judge objectively, and gives the list less merit. The only thing he could do better is skate better than Reinhart.

  13. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    I’m sorry LT but I just can’t get behind you ranking Reinhart that low.

    I can understand moving the younger dmen ahead, because their offense looks better despite not playing pro yet and getting pp time.

    I could listen to an argument as to why the young d have better potentials and chances at careers. At least for paigan and bear and beryl hand, as they will likely get pp time.

    And I can understand caggiulia and benson. They will become your mythical Pisani.

    But you cannot look me in the eye and say you think JJ will have a better career than Reinhart. No way in Maidstone that happens, and I think JJ has 15-15 potential.

    There has been nothing to suggest, by math or eye test, that can defend it.

    Right now it looks like you are holding his trade against him, or perhaps stacking him lower because rates better than nurse math wise.

    And please don’t say JJ has a “range of skills”. That’s vague, hard to judge objectively, and gives the list less merit. The only thing he could do better is skate better than Reinhart.

    You don’t have to be sorry, and you do not have to agree with me. We will re-visit in December and I sincerely hope Reinhart is No. 2!

  14. Hockey Buddha says:

    Bandy looks like a riot. I’d love to play. Great game for kids too. Lots of players, kilometres and kilometres of ice and skating.

  15. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: Bad teams draft and develop—for other teams!

    Boy if that doesn’t describe the Oilers modus operandi for the past 15 years, I don’t know what does.

  16. square_wheels says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Very common for Finn’s to be ethnic Swedes. Being an Ethnic Swede in Finnland is about the equivalent to being French Canadian in Alberta. It’s essentially the language their educated in and speak at home, with some families also including an obsession with the Swedish Royal family.

  17. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: You don’t have to be sorry, and you do not have to agree with me. We will re-visit in December and I sincerely hope Reinhart is No. 2!

    Well lets bandy that around for a while. I project Reinhart will be in your top 3 by December.

  18. Todd Macallan says:

    LT, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe Matthew Cairns plans to go the John Marino route and play in the USHL (w/ the Lumberjacks of Muskegon) next year before going to Cornell in 2017.

  19. Sugar Reijo says:

    Professor Q:
    Who is Taylor Beck?

    Interesting highlight package…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=7dsCwmWB_LI

  20. Lowetide says:

    Todd Macallan:
    LT, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe Matthew Cairns plans to go the John Marino route and play in the USHL (w/ the Lumberjacks of Muskegon) next year before going to Cornell in 2017.

    Did not know that, but thanks and have changed. 🙂

  21. Andy Dufresne says:

    At the risk of going down the rabbit hole that is Sandanavia Netherlands Nordic mystery tour… I thought Finns and Swedes were not so friendly rivals/adversaries kinda like Norway and Sweden wherein 10,000 Swedes got chased through the weeds by One Norweigen.

    square_wheels:
    Andy Dufresne,

    Very common for Finn’s to be ethnic Swedes. Being an Ethnic Swede in Finnland is about the equivalent to being French Canadian in Alberta.It’s essentially the language their educated in and speak at home, with some families also including an obsession with the Swedish Royal family.

  22. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: You don’t have to be sorry, and you do not have to agree with me. We will re-visit in December and I sincerely hope Reinhart is No. 2!

    Nice try. Reinhart will be off the list by Dec. 😜

    But seriously. Could you provide an explanation? JJ doesn’t drive much offense historically, and math suggests he is lucky to become a third line player. I mean there are lots of player who can skate and have size. The oilers just seem to be realizing this.

    I don’t want to sound like an ass, but it really appears you hold Reinhart in low regard compared to other players, and i cannot find a math or eye test that agrees with your ranking.(imo)

  23. Jethro Tull says:

    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/panthers

    The Panthers will have to make a few moves. $3M to sign 4 players and they just gave Smith $5M x 5.

  24. Younger Oil says:

    Sugar Reijo: Interesting highlight package…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=7dsCwmWB_LI

    Almost seems like Maroon-Lite on the right side.

    Has some skill, but can also go and get some greasy goals.

    I wonder how he is in the D zone. If he’s half decent I could definitely see him snagging a spot as the 13F or even bottom 6.

  25. Younger Oil says:

    Jethro Tull:
    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/panthers

    The Panthers will have to make a few moves.$3M to sign 4 players and they just gave Smith $5M x 5.

    I may be missing something, why do they need to sign 4 players?

    Their current NHL roster on that link is 25, and they’re under the cap.

    They don’t need 50 contracts.

  26. Lowetide says:

    stush18: Nice try. Reinhart will be off the list by Dec. 😜

    But seriously. Could you provide an explanation? JJ doesn’t drive much offense historically, and math suggests he is lucky to become a third line player. I mean there are lots of player who can skate and have size. The oilers just seem to be realizing this.

    I don’t want to sound like an ass, but it really appears you hold Reinhart in low regard compared to other players, and i cannot find a math or eye test that agrees with your ranking.(imo)

    No problem, glad to. That said, this is going to be wordy and boring. When I produced my list, I wrote right at the top, the following:

    Now on to this year’s list. A few rules that may answer some questions for you:

    This list likes offense.
    This list also likes prospects who can make the NHL in more than one way.
    This list punishes lack of speed.

    http://lowetide.ca/2016/06/26/top-20-prospects-summer-2016/

    1. Offense. Both Khaira and Reinhart get nicked because of offense. If Khaira was a better offensive player, he would rank much higher. GR may have more to give—he played on the PP during junior—but his numbers in the NHL and AHL were not stellar. Khaira, on the other hand, did in fact spike in his second AHL season. Nothing major, but encouraging.

    2. The list rewards players who can make it to the NHL in more than one way. Both Khaira and Reinhart are rewarded in this case—GR could be a shutdown D, but I do think there is a chance that he emerges as a two-way guy who could post 25-30 points. I believe the same to be true about Khaira, who admittedly had a strange route to the NHL, including the many defensive gifts of Kevin Constantine.

    3. Lack of speed is a big one. So, with Reinhart, or Musil, or Patrick Russell or Bogan Yakimov—they all get nicked a little due to speed.

    That is my explanation. I think more could be expected of Reinhart in year two pro, and I do think his speed is an issue. It isnt a deal breaker, or he would be in Musil territory. I do think Musil has that one thing keeping him from a productive NHL career, and it is a damn shame.

    Hope that helps.

  27. Andy Dufresne says:

    Florida Panthers

    SALARY CAP $73,000,000
    PROJECTED CAP HIT $69,283,333
    PROJECTED CAP SPACE $3,716,667
    CURRENT CAP SPACE $3,716,667
    CURRENT LTIR RELIEF $0
    ESTIMATED SALARY EXPENDITURE $71,840,233
    CARRYOVER BONUS OVERAGES $1,420,000
    POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE BONUSES $4,749,500
    RETAINED SALARY REMAINING 3

    So LT, Using this example from CapFriendly, is this saying that Florida suffered a $1.42 million penalty, making thier 2016 Estimated Salary Expenditure $71,840 instead of $69,283 and that they have $4,749 mil in potential performance bonuses for 2016.

    Because really, if the Estimated Salary Expenditure is $71,480 mil and the future bonus risk is $4,749 mil and they still have player(s) to sign……then they either are forced to move a contract(s) or they have made a conscious decision that they can live with 1 or 2 mil of wasted cap space on bonus overages.

    Yes? No?

    Jethro Tull:
    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/panthers

    The Panthers will have to make a few moves.$3M to sign 4 players and they just gave Smith $5M x 5.

  28. Andy Dufresne says:

    Caution flag. Beck was moved form Nashville to Toronto to NYI to Colorado all in one year. Making the NHL this year would akin to what Devan Dubnyk did.

    Younger Oil: Almost seems like Maroon-Lite on the right side.

    Has some skill, but can also go and get some greasy goals.

    I wonder how he is in the D zone. If he’s half decent I could definitely see him snagging a spot as the 13F or even bottom 6.

  29. square_wheels says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Nah. The Finns and Swedes have a rivalry that’s like us and the Yanks.

    All the Finns I know like Swedish woman as much as…..well, as much as everyone.

    The Swedes in Finnland can be a touch more elitist is the impression I have (based on countless conversations exploring this with them). Just like us Northern Albertans who grew up with 9 to 15 letter last names (that had as many as 6 vowels in them), they too have had their fair share of the more aristocratic and influential Nordic cultures scoff at their clunky language and heathen backwoods culture.

    The Finns embrace it as a nation though, it’s their common bond – them against their snooty neighbours and their hated true enemy the Russians.

    One last thing about the Finn’s (unlike the Germans) – you complete your mandatory military service or face a lifetime of your resume being at the bottom of the pile. A good friends father has a reasonably sized company based in Espoo and if he see’s a male application with no military service, but instead social service (unless you’re truly disabled) he won’t hire you. I’m told this is very common for any privately held company, can’t speak for their global corporations such as H&M.

  30. Snowman says:

    God bandy looks like it would be a blast! I wish we had it here

  31. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: No problem, glad to. That said, this is going to be wordy and boring. When I produced my list, I wrote right at the top, the following:

    Now on to this year’s list. A few rules that may answer some questions for you:

    This list likes offense. This list also likes prospects who can make the NHL in more than one way. This list punishes lack of speed.

    http://lowetide.ca/2016/06/26/top-20-prospects-summer-2016/

    1. Offense. Both Khaira and Reinhart get nicked because of offense. If Khaira was a better offensive player, he would rank much higher. GR may have more to give—he played on the PP during junior—but his numbers in the NHL and AHL were not stellar. Khaira, on the other hand, did in fact spike in his second AHL season. Nothing major, but encouraging.

    2. The list rewards players who can make it to the NHL in more than one way. Both Khaira and Reinhart are rewarded in this case—GR could be a shutdown D, but I do think there is a chance that he emerges as a two-way guy who could post 25-30 points. I believe the same to be true about Khaira, who admittedly had a strange route to the NHL, including the many defensive gifts of Kevin Constantine.

    3. Lack of speed is a big one. So, with Reinhart, or Musil, or Patrick Russell or Bogan Yakimov—they all get nicked a little due to speed.

    That is my explanation. I think more could be expected of Reinhart in year two pro, and I do think his speed is an issue. It isnt a deal breaker, or he would be in Musil territory. I do think Musil has that one thing keeping him from a productive NHL career, and it is a damn shame.

    Hope that helps.

    Yes and I agree with some points.

    Seems like Reinhart is getting marked a little hard for his lack of skating, and lack of offense.

    I suppose my list would probably carry more weight towards pro players, because the junior dmen are getting pp time do not have a history of offense (yet)

    Personally I would go

    Mcdavid
    Pool party
    Reinhart

    Everyone else drops because they are unlikely to have longer careers, or have small sample sizes of offense. Where did paigan come from? Can he repeat? Which berglund shows up next year? Can bear produce more at even strength? Can Jones replicate his numbers? Is JJ trending up despite a history of zero offense? Can benson overcome his injuries?

    Maybe I’m more conservative, but Reinhart seems the most likely to play the third most games out if this prospect group (so far).

    Until we have a history of these players handling tougher comp, I think they should drop.

  32. Lowetide says:

    stush18: Yes and I agree with some points.

    Seems like Reinhart is getting marked a little hard for his lack of skating, and lack of offense.

    I suppose my list would probably carry more weight towards pro players, because the junior dmen are getting pp time do not have a history of offense (yet)

    Personally I would go

    Mcdavid
    Pool party
    Reinhart

    Everyone else drops because they are unlikely to have longer careers, or have small sample sizes of offense. Where did paigan come from? Can he repeat? Which berglund shows up next year? Can bear produce more at even strength? Can Jones replicate his numbers? Is JJ trending up despite a history of zero offense? Can benson overcome his injuries?

    Maybe I’m more conservative, but Reinhart seems the most likely to play the third most games out if this prospect group (so far).

    Until we have a history of these players handling tougher comp, I think they should drop.

    I had Reinhart No. 4 last summer. He did not have a strong year, others did have strong years. I expect he will come in and push this season. Knows the surroundings, et cetera. I do think he will get a chance, that cap bonus burns off as time goes on.

  33. YKOil says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Panthers will be fine. That have a full-roster and some spending cash. Even next year, when Huber needs cash, they are fine as Luongo will probably be gone, they can always dump Jokinen and Jagr has to retire sometime.

    Panthers have won the off-season hands down. Loaded team and not a bad contract on the books (okay, Jokinen’s contract is rich, but that will be gone soon enough).

    Very well run team.

  34. Greenberg says:

    LT: #17 Winquist: was someone trolling you he had signed elsewhere, or am I mis-reading again?

  35. Lowetide says:

    Greenberg:
    LT: #17 Winquist: was someone trolling you he had signed elsewhere, or am I mis-reading again?

    No, there are two reports I have received that he is signing, but I don’t want to jump the gun. Fairly certain we will hear soon, and nothing has changed from initial reports.

  36. PaperKurtRussell says:

    One of the many great things about my Finnish heritage, was discovering my grandmother’s music collection back in the day (cassettes and 8 tracks). The one sound that stayed with me was the Oulu Hotshots and their classic hit Säkkijärven Polka! These guys know how to party. Can’t believe I found a link on the web, but here you go for anyone interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANoUg1WAFFY&list=PL-QIdOA6HpHg8zw1-PFLSzmPTW-GMppf6&index=1

    Can’t wait to have a Finn superstar back in Oil Country. Been a while.

    PKR

  37. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide,

    Would Cap Friendly site already show him with that team? They show Beck with the Oilers already. Which comes first, a trade, an offer sheet or both?

  38. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Lowetide,

    Would Cap Friendly site already show him with that team?They show Beck with the Oilers already.Which comes first, a trade, an offer sheet or both?

    I do not understand your question. If you are asking me to guess what the Oilers do first, I think it is a trade. If it is Barrie, it may be soon (arb).

  39. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Have you seen Pronman’s top 30 prospects of the last five years?

    Jesse P ranks #6

  40. Pescador says:

    Sugar Reijo: Interesting highlight package…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=7dsCwmWB_LI

    This is obviously the Video that Beck’s agent sent to the Oilers brass. Howson went ape shit over it so Incognito Pete signed him just to shut him up. Deece release, nice sandpaper, RW.
    I swear when I watch him play in that video, I can hear- wait for it….
    Music!

  41. Centre of attention says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have youseen Pronman’s top 30 prospects of the last five years?

    Jesse P ranks #6

    I mean when you tie Gretz and Lindros for their respective world junior scoring numbers, you’re bound to be up there.

  42. Pouzar says:

    Brooke Henderson!

    This is awesome stuff.

  43. square_wheels says:

    Does anyone think Philly would dump Streit in a package with another player ?

    A healthy Streit is a capable PP D and is a LH that plays RHD. Cheaper than Wideman as well.

  44. kinger_OIL says:

    PaperKurtRussell,

    – Thanks for this! I worked in Gottenberg and Stockholm had many Finnish friends: this is a hoot!

  45. Woogie63 says:

    Yikes LB at #12, the Monster as our back-up. I hope Talbot stays healthy and provides steady goaltending.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have youseen Pronman’s top 30 prospects of the last five years?

    Jesse P ranks #6

    He is going to be a dandy, I am sure.

  47. Yegswede says:

    Bandy is the best! At least to play, it is not as exciting to watch.

  48. thehop says:

    If anyone wants to experience amazing Scandinavian sports, I recommend Salibandy as well. Floor hockey with a wiffleball and stick that look like Happy Gilmores world famous putter.

    When I lived in Australia it was the only way I could play a sport that felt like hockey and it was an amazing way to meet people from Sweden, Finland, Norway etc.

    It’s starting to pick up here in Canada, there are pick up games around Etown if anyone is truly interested.

    Easily the most intense cardio workout I have ever done as well. Especially if your bench is short and Uli from Finland decides to two hand Hank from Norway in the corner for boxing him out.

    Good times

  49. square_wheels says:

    Rondo,

    Link handy ?

  50. JOFA says:

    Winquist signed by NYI is my understanding. Good St. Albert boy;)

  51. flyfish1168 says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have youseen Pronman’s top 30 prospects of the last five years?

    Jesse P ranks #6

    I’m curious to see who is all on it. Are you able to provide the list? Was not able to find it with Google and I didn’t want to as the wife. lol

  52. trueoil says:

    First time poster. Finnish born.
    About Jesse: he is not an ethnic Swede, he is an ethnic Finn who was born in Sweden to Finnish parents (quite common, as many Finns moved there for work purposes). He moved to Tornio, Finland, (pop. 22000) at the age of four with his family and later to Oulu. He did not grow up in a tiny Swedish town. He has dual Finnish-Swedish citizenship but considers himself a Finn.

    I could write all night about Swedish-Finnish issues but suffice to say there are many buried grievances, at least on the Finnish side, going back hundreds of years. Finland was part of Sweden for 700 years and Swedish was the official language. Swedish-Finns were the ruling class, much like the English in New France. They looked on Finnish speakers with disdain.
    Some grievances are fresher (WW2) but that’s a primer for you.

    Tervetuloa JESSE! (look it up)

  53. Richard S.S. says:

    flyfish1168,

    I don’t know who has access, but try here:Top 30 Draft Prospects of the Past Five Years (ESPN Insider Paywall). Sorry that’s all I know.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Welcome, True Oil!

  55. Jethro Tull says:

    YKOil,

    Forgot about Bobby Loo.

  56. striatic says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    One of the many great things about my Finnish heritage, was discovering my grandmother’s music collection back in the day (cassettes and 8 tracks).The one sound that stayed with me was the Oulu Hotshots and their classic hit Säkkijärven Polka!These guys know how to party.Can’t believe I found a link on the web, but here you go for anyone interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANoUg1WAFFY&list=PL-QIdOA6HpHg8zw1-PFLSzmPTW-GMppf6&index=1

    Can’t wait to have a Finn superstar back in Oil Country.Been a while.

    PKR

    This should be nominated for Puljujarvi’s goal celebration song. Catchy!

  57. godot10 says:

    square_wheels:
    Does anyone think Philly would dump Streit in a package with another player ?

    A healthy Streit is a capable PP D and is a LH that plays RHD. Cheaper than Wideman as well.

    Yep…I really like Streit as a stop gap measure if nothing more permanent comes through. Only one year left on the contract.

  58. semi legendary rot lobster says:

    lobsters prefer swimming generalizations 2 sweeping generalizations but honestly they both suck shrimp farts

  59. Lowetide says:

    Please, please, PLEASE refrain from being an asshole. Thanks, the management.

  60. rickithebear says:

    EVP/60 last 3 years:
    1. Mcdavid 2.69 EVP/60
    68. Lucic 1.92
    68. Eberle 1.92; Neal; Ryan
    75. Pouliot 1.90; Voracek; Iginla
    81. Draisatl 1.88; Stastny
    97. Maroon 1.82; Ladd
    141. Kassian 1.70 S. bennett; Soderbergh; Monohan
    171. RNH 1.62; Mich granlund; Stempniak
    Lucic-Mcdavid – Kassian
    Pouliot- Draisatl-Eberle
    Maroon – RNH- JP

  61. Aron_S says:

    Hey LT,

    I feel like we haven’t heard much from you on the subject of Wisniewski being available to bring about more of the required balance at a reasonable rate.

    Do you think there’s a world in which he’s a fit? Or is the injury history too much to overcome?

    Edit to add: One more, thoughts on Gagner? Can you go home again if you’re Sam? Or is the history with the Oilers (and Kassian) too much to overcome. Reminds me of the second tour of duty by Comrie that turned out to be much ado about nothing, but I’d love to have another cheap RHC in the fold.

  62. Doug McLachlan says:

    Aron_S,

    I too was curious about both the Wiz and Gagner.

    Not sure Chia’s vision would include Samwise but I seem to recall reading something, might have been by Woodguy, showing some very nice possession numbers.

  63. Philosophil says:

    Lowetide:
    Please, please, PLEASE refrain from being an asshole. Thanks, the management.

    Not sure the context of that comment here at LT Acres, but i am totally posting the exact words on my office door at work. Might see a grievance or two, but it sets the tone nicely. So much more effective than Dilbert

  64. Stelio Kontos says:

    Familiarizing myself with Finnish mythology to try and find a nickname. If anyone needs one it’s puljujarvi. Norse mythology is wicked cool, and since the two are related, it is pretty interesting. Makes sense since we’ve already got McJesus. Problem is all Finnish seems hard to say. Not like Loki or Odin, etc.

    So far I got-
    Ukko – basically Thor, but seems to be an old man
    Jumala – Seems to be like the christian god, or just generic word for god.
    Tursas – Giant. Son of the Devil.

    And my personal favourite so far
    Piru – Demon. Back checks and skates like a demon, and has a wicked release. Pirujarvi – Our Demon Finn!!!

  65. Gay Leno says:

    In my opinion it may be worth it to overhaul your prospect rankings in a minor way, just so as to include players who have broken the 50 games barrier. I believe players like Darnell Nurse, and Leon Draisaitl among others should still be considered prospects. Although we have received glimpses of what they may become, we are still realistically at least another couple of seasons from having a decent grasp of who they are as players. If we don’t have a strong idea of what they are as NHL players, they are still prospects in my mind, just a little more advanced.

    I am curious what Tyler Benson has done to earn such a high ranking among the prospects, 4 seems just a touch high to me. I also don’t understand the rankings of Berglund and Rasanen. Both seem higher than the should be, I personally didn’t regard Rasanen as much of a prospect, and particularly not better than many players below him.

  66. dustrock says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Aron_S,

    I too was curious about both the Wiz and Gagner.

    Not sure Chia’s vision would include Samwise but I seem to recall reading something, might have been by Woodguy, showing some very nice possession numbers.

    Doug McLachlan:
    Aron_S,

    I too was curious about both the Wiz and Gagner.

    Not sure Chia’s vision would include Samwise but I seem to recall reading something, might have been by Woodguy, showing some very nice possession numbers.

    Every summer, people talk about bringing back some good ol’ boys. For a long time it was Dustin Penner. Sigh. Now we’re bringing back Gagner?

    Barf.

  67. Ducey says:

    dustrock:
    Every summer,people talk about bringing back some good ol’ boys.For a long time it was Dustin Penner.Sigh.Now we’re bringing back Gagner?

    Barf.

    16 pts in 53 games last year. Taylor Beck might be better at this point.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Aron_S:
    Hey LT,

    I feel like we haven’t heard much from you on the subject of Wisniewski being available to bring about more of the required balance at a reasonable rate.

    Do you think there’s a world in which he’s a fit? Or is the injury history too much to overcome?

    Edit to add: One more, thoughts on Gagner? Can you go home again if you’re Sam? Or is the history with the Oilers (and Kassian) too much to overcome. Reminds me of the second tour of duty by Comrie that turned out to be much ado about nothing, but I’d love to have another cheap RHC in the fold.

    I think Wisniewski is probably a decent bet if most other options have been exhausted. I would prefer signing him to trading Nuge, as a for instance. that said, I think PC is in for a penny, in for a pound now.

    I think the Oilers would like to add another forward, but need to deal Nail or other to do it. Doubt it is Sam.

  69. Lowetide says:

    New post from a new blogger, Heather on Hockey. Interesting opinion
    http://heatheronhockey.blogspot.ca/2016/07/peter-chiarelli-very-definition-of-bold.html

  70. Evilas says:

    Lowetide,

    A good read and I agree

  71. BONVIE says:

    Beck seems like a solid signing to fill out our roster. He looks like he has decent speed. This is what they need a bunch of guys that can skate and are willing to work hard every shift and use their speed on the forecheck and back-check. We need depth on forward to be able to sit guys if they don’t want to work. Pirri seems like a good pick up as well.

  72. semi legendary rot lobster says:

    Lowetide,

    oh oh by invoking terrifying shrimp fart imagery rot has enraged lowetide

    angry tides easily can smunch unwary lobster into sushi in blink of eye

    thankfully lobsters cannot blink otherwise rot would have to become hermit thereby enraging crabs

  73. OF17 says:

    BONVIE:
    Beck seems like a solid signing to fill out our roster. He looks like he has decent speed. This is what they need a bunch of guys that can skate and are willing to work hard every shift and use their speed on the forecheck and back-check. We need depth on forward to be able to sit guys if they don’t want to work. Pirri seems like a good pick up as well.

    Yeah, Beck seems like a good pickup. One of those AHL vets that actually has a legit shot of filling an NHL role. Could see him taking a 12-14F slot in camp or could see him being surprisingly good injury replacement on RW.

    What should we expect from him, approximately Pakarinen? Seems about right. In which case that’s a valuable person to have in your organization.

  74. Frank the dog says:

    semi legendary rot lobster:
    Lowetide,

    oh oh by invoking terrifying shrimp fart imagery rot has enraged lowetide

    angry tides easily can smunch unwary lobster into sushi in blink of eye

    thankfully lobsters cannot blink otherwise rot would have to become hermit thereby enraging crabs

    This is a hockey blog. Your so-called comments are juvenile and asinine. People will ignore you on this blog until you go away, or until LT does a mercy Jill and blocks you. Just because people have pseudonyms and because others joke about their pseudonym, doesn’t mean one has to exhibit the intellect of said pseudonym.

  75. Little Poteet says:

    Frank the dog: This is a hockey blog. Your so-called comments are juvenile and asinine. People will ignore you on this blog until you go away, or until LT does a mercy Jill and blocks you. Just because people have pseudonyms and because others joke about their pseudonym, doesn’t mean one has to exhibit the intellect of said pseudonym.

    I don’t mind the lobster ‘s quirkiness, as long as it remains clever. It’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the comments here, same as fog of warts. And it’s no more out of place here than investing talk, politics or anything else non hockey that gets discussed here

  76. spoiler says:

    Frank the dog: This is a hockey blog. Your so-called comments are juvenile and asinine. People will ignore you on this blog until you go away, or until LT does a mercy Jill and blocks you. Just because people have pseudonyms and because others joke about their pseudonym, doesn’t mean one has to exhibit the intellect of said pseudonym.

    Someone is “crabby” today, lol.

    Have you seen any comment from LT that indicates he shares this stance?

    I find the poster amusing, and creating, and then staying in character is a lot more difficult than you think. And what was juvenile or asinine about warning against sweeping generalizations?

  77. Sugar Reijo says:

    Most entertaining OIler interview I’ve seen since Smytty retired.

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/749679039267217408

    Love the reporter setting him up for the standard “tough not being on the ice with the guys” response, and Puljujarvi going, “No. It’s okay.”

    You’re gonna have to learn your clichés, Jess. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down: “We gotta play it one day at a time.”

  78. Ice Sage says:

    Frank the dog: This is a hockey blog. Your so-called comments are juvenile and asinine. People will ignore you on this blog until you go away, or until LT does a mercy Jill and blocks you. Just because people have pseudonyms and because others joke about their pseudonym, doesn’t mean one has to exhibit the intellect of said pseudonym.

    Harsh. Inclusivity and variety liven things up for me. I agree there should be some Oiler / hockey angle behind these crustacean comments. Maybe lobster no like oil slicks then scuttle away to Erie Otter site?

  79. Jethro Tull says:

    Why does efferybody heff to be mad? Relax, take chill pill.

  80. rickithebear says:

    We got lucic cause Mact won the lottery!
    Thanks MacT!

  81. semi legendary rot lobster says:

    Frank the dog,

    r u sure you are not a cat

    human folklore sez cat and monday do not get along

    cats do like lasagna though

    and like the shark fears the mighty penguin rot fears seafood lasagna

  82. Jaxon says:

    I wish we had Bandy here. From reading about it last night, it became popular in Europe as a winter sport for soccer players, hence all the similar rules. It is basically, hockey but with field hockey sticks and ball, played on a iced soccer field with soccer rules. What an amazing cardio workout and so much room and great teamwork and passing. no wonder Finland makes such great goalies. If a goalie starts out playing in those nets with that equipment, hockey must seem easy.

    It would be great to see a professional Bandy league here playing in CFL stadiums across the country in the winter. A little income for those stadiums in the winter months.

    Maybe Canada could come up with full contact Bandy. Although the smoothness of the game without contact is very entertaining. Maybe a few less players on the ice? Hockey sticks? A little more body contact? Slightly smaller nets and a puck? Meet somewhere in the middle?

  83. Frank the dog says:

    spoiler: Someone is “crabby” today, lol.

    Have you seen any comment from LT that indicates he shares this stance?

    Crabby is correct. Crabby dog.

    Lobster @9:51pm: lobsters prefer swimming generalizations 2 sweeping generalizations but honestly they both suck shrimp farts

    Lowetide immediately after lobster @9:55pm: Please, please, PLEASE refrain from being an asshole. Thanks, the management.

    I took that as LT’s response to Lobster’s comments. I appreciate the live and let rot approach here, so np. I’ve had my coffee since.

  84. magneto says:

    square_wheels:
    Does anyone think Philly would dump Streit in a package with another player ?

    A healthy Streit is a capable PP D and is a LH that plays RHD. Cheaper than Wideman as well.

    I don’t think trading for Streit makes more sense then signing Wisnewski for just money. I doubt Wiz will get more than a year, probably the Campbell deal to get himself back from that big injury.
    1 year 2 mil for the 3rd pair and PP.

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