TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 2: ANTON SLEPYSHEV

The conversation surrounding Anton Slepyshev last fall was very encouraging. The Russian winger arrived in the city with a nice combination of size, speed and skill—plus he could keep up in camp. As the days became weeks, he kept hanging around and impressing the right people.

  • Todd McLellan: “Yes. When I look at his game, and I watched the video again—the video doesn’t lie. He did a lot of the things we worked on today in the game. He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before. You can see it, he’s been around pro players for awhile.”
  • Todd McLellan: “He has the ability to play a heavy game and use his shot. He’s played with speed guys and with grinders … he’s getting better night after night and he’s really opening the coaches’ eyes.” Source

Slepyshev did not capitalize on the early opportunity, although he did hang around to play in his first NHL games. He was sent out, struggled, and ended up as one of a few average AHL performers on right wing.

BAKERSFIELD RIGHT WINGERS 2015-16

bakersfield rw

Slepyshev’s KHL numbers suggested a more promising player than the one we see here, and a full season in Bakersfield (with a callup) might have him challenging for NHL time in 2017-18.

slepyshev williams1

Photo by Mark Williams

  • Slepyshev on what he needs to do in order to get back to the NHL: “When the Oilers management sent me down to the AHL to play in Bakersfield they clearly let me know what I did well and what I needed to work on. I took what I needed to work on and have been developing those skills in the AHL. In my time in the AHL, I have learned to think faster on the ice and make quicker decisions. I also learned how to play stronger and win battles against the boards. I now understand what a smart decision in this kind of hockey is and I understand what an unwise decision is. I am trying to find the keys to success in this league. I have been working on things that will translate into points. Points are what I really lack.”
  • Source
  • Some Slepyshev highlights
  • A very interesting GIF showing Slepyshev in the AHL courtesy Shen Peng (Jewels From the Crown)

ANTON SLEPYSHEV BAKERSFIELD RE: 57GP, 21-19-40

ANTON SLEPYSHEV NHL RE 15-16: 1GP, 0-0-0

  1. What will his role be in Bakersfield? Slepyshev is 22, so this would be the season to dominate the AHL, if we are looking at an actual NHL player here. He did go 3-4-7 in seven early March games with the Condors, and as he mentions above there are things to work on.
  2. Where do you project him on the depth chart? My opening night RW roster in Bakersfield has Slepyshev as a top line option. Men like Tyler Pitlick, Patrick Russell and Greg Chase should also push for playing time, but Slepyshev would seem to be the most promising offensive option at the position.
  3. What has changed since his draft day? He has progressed in an unusual way, from one poor KHL season to an outstanding one—and then a surprising NHL job on opening night 2015-16, which was followed by a pedestrian AHL season.
  4. What does Slepyshev need to work on? The boxcars need to be better, and as with all young players the two-way game is a work in progress (based on reports).
  5. What one thing will get Slepyshev to the NHL? His scouting reports suggest a big winger with speed and skill. All kinds of ways for a player like that to get to the NHL, but the lack of consistency in the AHL is a concern.
  6. Anything else? New management is not directly connected to him, but McLellan liked him enough to keep Slepyshev on the roster last fall. Edmonton is going to need inexpensive wingers, he could be one.
  7. What will keep him out of the NHL? He needs to progress. Slepyshev is in no danger of getting pushed by a mountain of prospects (Top 20 here) but Jesse Puljujarvi passed him in the moments he was signing his new contract. That isn’t necessarily a smart move by the Oilers—Puljujarvi is a teenager—but that is the Oilers’ style.
  8. What does his coach say? Gerry Fleming: “He’s got good skill assets. He just has to bring it on a consistent basis. There’s times when he was caught just standing around but I think that was just getting used to the league and the way the North American game is compared to the KHL where a lot of guys showcase their talents individually. Here it’s a smaller area to work with so you’ve got to use your teammates and you’ve got to always come to the puck and play on the inside. It just took him a little while to understand but he’s starting to grasp the concept and as a result his play has been better.” Source

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57 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 2: ANTON SLEPYSHEV"

  1. JDï™ says:

    That gif isn’t working for me.

  2. Lowetide says:

    JDï™:
    That gif isn’t working for me.

    I have linked to the story, it is the second gif in the story.

  3. JDï™ says:

    Lowetide,

    Thx. It wasn’t doing anything for me at first, but that was a beauty. Wonderful save by Nilsson too.

  4. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I have linked to the story, it is the second gif in the story.

    That is some straight up connor mcdavid shenanigans right there. Talk about puck skills in traffic.

    The tools are there, it is up to the player to put the pieces together. So much talent there though, hard to think he doesn’t figure it out.

  5. Rondo says:

    Russians that don’t play in the top 6 in the NHL go back home to play in the KHL.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Rondo:
    Russians that don’t play in the top 6 in the NHL go back home to play in the KHL.

    Yak says hello.

  7. LadiesloveSmid says:

    LT,

    If you had known Eberle would hire a one-timer coach, would you have pegged him for 40 goals in your RE?

  8. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT! This is a money quote from LT: “Slepyshev’s KHL numbers suggested a more promising player than the one we see here”

    – That’s why I’m not high on starting pool-party in the NHL. His box-cars are less impressive, and he’s bound to have growing pains adapting to the NHL.

    – Rather Sheppy underwhelm in NHL with a man’s body, than pool-party struggle while still maturing

  9. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    LT,

    If you had known Eberle would hire a one-time coach, would you have pegged him for 40 goals in your RE?

    No. Reasonable expectations is about the three previous seasons and how the player projects into next season based on age, et cetera.

  10. Woodguy says:

    In terms of RW options on the Oilers, if they are paying attention, then Pakarinen’s job is up for grabs.

    This is all Oiler forwards’ DFF vs. Elite Compeition last year.

    The metric is Relative Dangerous Fenwick For% vs. Elite Comp

    How each player did vs the Elite in terms of Expected Goal Share compared to when they were off the ice.

    Player DFF%RelComp
    Leon Draisaitl 6.3%
    Connor McDavid 6.2%
    Taylor Hall 4.3%
    Milan Lucic 3.2%
    Jordan Eberle 2.4%
    Zack Kassian 2.1%
    Matt Hendricks -0.4%
    Benoit Pouliot -1.5%
    Nail Yakupov -2.4%
    Patrick Maroon -2.8%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -3.2%
    Lauri Korpikoski -3.5%
    Anton Lander -6.0%
    Mark Letestu -6.0%
    Iiro Pakarinen -15.2%

    Pakarinen sticks out like a sore thumb, especially due to his time with Hall, who bests elite comp with AHL Dmen behind him (Pak’s TOI w/ Hall is 106:59)

    Here’s their WOWY:

    Hall overall CF% 51.7 (1247 min)
    Hall with Pakarinen CF% 45.3 (107 min)
    Hall without Pakarinen CF% 52.2 (1140 min)

    If we are judging by last year’s results, this Finn does not win.

    You have no idea how much it hurts me to say that.

  11. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Lowetide: No. Reasonable expectations is about the three previous seasons and how the player projects into next season based on age, et cetera.

    Fell asleep half way through that. I was just joking!

    I’m thinking we consider Slepy as a replacement for Yakupov by this time next year. 3RW with some size, skating ability, and skill to keep up with Drai/RNH

  12. Mr DeBakey says:

    Centre of attention: Yak says hello.

    Yak ain’t Russian.

  13. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy,

    the latest oiler Finns aren’t giving me hope for Jesse

    Pak, Korpse, Petrell, Hartikainen, at least Joensuu wasn’t THAT bad

  14. Lowetide says:

    WG: The more I look at the 3rd and fourth lines, the more I think Hendricks and Pakarinen are vulnerable.

  15. Centre of attention says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    LT,

    If you had known Eberle would hire a one-timer coach, would you have pegged him for 40 goals in your RE?

    I really didn’t think about it either. I have him pegged for 28 goals this season but if he can speed up his release it makes you think for a minute. Combine a quicker release with the Connor McDavid factor and an improved power play (assuming a bit here) , you could be talking closer to 40 goals than 30.

    I’ll be watching 14 closely in preseason to see if I can notice any subtle differences in how he sets up in the offensive zone. A lot of what goes into a one timer is setting yourself up to receive the pass properly so you can connect at the right angle. Pounding the puck with your stick is the “easy” part.

    A big reason why Eberle has issues is because he isn’t set up properly to receive the pass, so he has to drag the puck a bit to get it where he wants it on his stick.

    I wonder if he’s working with Adam Oats, this kind of thing is right up his ally.

  16. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Can Caggiula and Slepy PK? Khaira up maybe?

  17. The Hermit says:

    Centre of attention: connor mcdavid shenanigans

    I think that might catch on.

  18. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: The more I look at the 3rd and fourth lines, the more I think Hendricks and Pakarinen are vulnerable.

    Khaira will push big time for 4L.

    Pakarinen is finnish and has the same agent as Puljujarvi. I think he stays. I don’t think he fails as hard as Korpikoski does he?

  19. Centre of attention says:

    Mr DeBakey: Yak ain’t Russian.

    I guess he’s naturalized as a good ol’ Canadian boy from Nezerkhamsk (I apologize if I messed up the name of his town)

    He definitely doesn’t want to go back to Russia that’s for sure.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: The more I look at the 3rd and fourth lines, the more I think Hendricks and Pakarinen are vulnerable.

    They better be.

  21. Woodguy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Woodguy,

    the latest oiler Finns aren’t giving me hope for Jesse

    Pak, Korpse, Petrell, Hartikainen, at least Joensuu wasn’t THAT bad

    At least they were trying!

  22. Centre of attention says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Can Caggiula and Slepy PK? Khaira up maybe?

    Cagguila has a bit of two-way reputation to his game. I don’t know about Slepy on the PK though.

    Khaira has some nice tools, I think he forces the Oilers to trade Hendricks at the deadline.

  23. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention: I really didn’t think about it either. I have him pegged for 28 goals this season but if he can speed up his release it makes you think for a minute. Combine a quicker release with the Connor McDavid factor and an improved power play (assuming a bit here) , you could be talking closer to 40 goals than 30.

    I’ll be watching 14 closely in preseason to see if I can notice any subtle differences in how he sets up in the offensive zone. A lot of what goes into a one timer is setting yourself up to receive the pass properly so you can connect at the right angle. Pounding the puck with your stick is the “easy” part.

    A big reason why Eberle has issues is because he isn’t set up properly to receive the pass, so he has to drag the puck a bit to get it where he wants it on his stick.

    I wonder if he’s working with Adam Oats, this kind of thing is right up his ally.

    My crystal ball is usually cloudy but in this case it reported in bright flashing lights that Eberle scores 0.39 goals per game.

    I do not know how many games he plays however.

  24. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention: Cagguila has a bit of two-way reputation to his game. I don’t know about Slepy on the PK though.

    Khaira has some nice tools, I think he forces the Oilers to trade Hendricks at the deadline.

    Hendricks probably eats a lot of popcorn this year.

    McLellan already gave him a bit of a eulogy at the end of last year in how “he’s an example to everyone on how hard work can get you a NHL job and beat out players “better” than you”, followed up by the killer “at his age though……”

  25. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy: Hendricks probably eats a lot of popcorn this year.

    McLellan already gave him a bit of a eulogy at the end of last year in how “he’s an example to everyone on how hard work can get you a NHL job and beat out players “better” than you”, followed up by the killer “at his age though……”

    Yeah he’s a warrior though and he won’t go down without a fight. I think that might be literally what happens.

    Either he gets hurt playing his style of game at his age, or he gets traded because someone else does it better and for a cheaper price.

  26. geowal says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    LT,

    If you had known Eberle would hire a one-timer coach, would you have pegged him for 40 goals in your RE?

    Is this hypothetical, or has he actually hired a one-timer coach?

  27. LadiesloveSmid says:

    geowal: Is this hypothetical, or has he actually hired a one-timer coach?

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/756624625363103745

  28. Centre of attention says:

    Teddy Purcell for example hired Adam Oats early last season, apparently shaving a couple inches off his stick made all the difference because his game really picked up after that.

  29. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Centre of attention,

    Did the shaved stick do that trick, or was it because he got to ride the Taylor Hall train?

  30. Mr DeBakey says:

    Centre of attention: I guess he’s naturalized as a good ol’ Canadian boy from Nezerkhamsk (I apologize if I messed up the name of his town)

    He definitely doesn’t want to go back to Russia that’s for sure.

    Personal life
    Nail Yakupov is an ethnic Volga Tatar[25] and a Muslim.[26][27] He is the first Tatar ever to be selected first overall at the NHL Entry Draft.[28] With his draft selection, Yakupov surpassed Nazem Kadri as being the highest drafted Muslim player in NHL history.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nail_Yakupov

  31. AsiaOil says:

    Eberle working on his one-timer = good

    Eberle in the gym trying to get stronger than a teenager = good

    Eberle skating as hard on the back check as into the offensive zone = good

    Do all of the above and I’ll be happy with the results next season irrespective of his points total.

  32. kinger_OIL says:

    Centre of attention:
    Teddy Purcell for example hired Adam Oats early last season, apparently shaving a couple inches off his stick made all the difference because his game really picked up after that.

    – I remember the Great One had an off-season where he decided to “bulk-up”

    – Everyone was so excited about this, even as a kid I was a skeptic: it was later in his career, nothing came of it.

    – I know its slow season but come on, Ebs is who he is: he’s not goint to learn a one-timer and become Brett Hall. He should play a lot with McD: that’s all the improvement he needs. (and back-check!)

  33. dustrock says:

    Woodguy:
    In terms of RW options on the Oilers, if they are paying attention, then Pakarinen’s job is up for grabs.

    This is all Oiler forwards’ DFF vs. Elite Compeition last year.

    The metric is Relative Dangerous Fenwick For% vs. Elite Comp

    How each player did vs the Elite in terms of Expected Goal Share compared to when they were off the ice.

    PlayerDFF%RelComp
    Leon Draisaitl6.3%
    Connor McDavid6.2%
    Taylor Hall4.3%
    Milan Lucic3.2%
    Jordan Eberle2.4%
    Zack Kassian2.1%
    Matt Hendricks-0.4%
    Benoit Pouliot-1.5%
    Nail Yakupov-2.4%
    Patrick Maroon-2.8%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-3.2%
    Lauri Korpikoski-3.5%
    Anton Lander-6.0%
    Mark Letestu-6.0%
    Iiro Pakarinen-15.2%

    Pakarinen sticks out like a sore thumb, especially due to his time with Hall, who bests elite comp with AHL Dmen behind him (Pak’s TOI w/ Hall is 106:59)

    Here’s their WOWY:

    Hall overall CF%51.7 (1247 min)
    Hall with Pakarinen CF% 45.3 (107 min)
    Hall without Pakarinen CF% 52.2 (1140 min)

    If we are judging by last year’s results, this Finn does not win.

    You have no idea how much it hurts me to say that.

    So Dr Drai Hmmm…

  34. Water Fire says:

    Would Gagner been better than EBERLE on RW given the same chances?

    I think a good chance ATBE given how much better he was in junior.

    GAGNER.

    Think about that.

  35. Woodguy says:

    dustrock: So Dr Drai Hmmm…

    Yeah.

    That young man knows how to hockey.

  36. Woodguy says:

    Water Fire:
    Would Gagner been better than EBERLE on RW given the same chances?

    I think a good chance ATBE given how much better he was in junior.

    GAGNER.

    Think about that.

    I can forgive Padre John yelling EBERLE at me because he says his phone does it.

    DON’T YOU START!!

  37. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Water Fire:
    Would Gagner been better than EBERLE on RW given the same chances?

    I think a good chance ATBE given how much better he was in junior.

    GAGNER.

    Think about that.

    a couple of the guys at copper&blue back in the day claimed Eberle and Gagner weren’t far off as players, and that they would have much rathered Evander Kane with his contract over Eberle and his. Drove me up the wall, and that’s one of 3 arguments in my life that I’ve looked better on 4 years later

  38. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy,

    How does Luke Schenn run by Woodmoney?

    Seemed to be a player in 2013 and maybe 2015. Good P/60 numbers the past 2 seasons, but seemingly brutal possession metrics this past season. I’m a bit confused if he’s been consistently getting easy minutes or what

    Who’s better between him and Gryba?

  39. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy,

    Is the line in the sand 0%? Is Draisaitls 6.3% excellent, average or poor when compared to other players that are not Oilers?

    I know you and G have explained this in the many articles/posts you have written in the past few weeks but I didn’t bookmark them. I should have.

  40. Centre of attention says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Centre of attention,

    Did the shaved stick do that trick, or was it because he got to ride the Taylor Hall train?

    Probably a bit of both tbh.

  41. Clay says:

    AsiaOil:
    Eberle working on his one-timer = good

    Eberle in the gym trying to get stronger than a teenager = good

    Eberle skating as hard on the back check as into the offensive zone = good

    Do all of the above and I’ll be happy with the results next season irrespective of his points total.

    The idea that Eberle is weak or avoids the gym is untrue.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxYAxQambe0 (Video is 3 years old).

    He’s a small man playing a tough game, and has proven quite durable imho.

    Why you heff to be med?

  42. Woogie63 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great post LT!This is a money quote from LT: “Slepyshev’s KHL numbers suggested a more promising player than the one we see here”

    – That’s why I’m not high on starting pool-party in the NHL.His box-cars are less impressive, and he’s bound to have growing pains adapting to the NHL.

    – Rather Sheppy underwhelm in NHL with a man’s body, than pool-party struggle while still maturing

    This

  43. AsiaOil says:

    Clay: Video is 3 years old).

    That’s the problem…..

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    AsiaOil: That’s the problem…..

    don’t let the fact your criticism was proven to be bullshit dissuade you from your ongoing mission.

  45. hunter1909 says:

    Russian prospect huh?

    Prediction: AHL player never scores 20 as an Oiler.

    Injury prone, Never figures out how to play NHL offense.

    Eventually packaged in a trade for more futures.

    Prediction Yaks: IF he stays for another full season he scores 30. He wants to score more goals than Taylor Hall.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    Everyone knows Lowe+MacT hate Russians, right?

  47. Soup Fascist says:

    Clay,

    Random question. The trainer in the Ebs workout video is Doug Crashley. Any idea if he is son / relative of former NHLer Bart Crashley?

    No ties to either guy but I remember Bart Crashley fondly just because he had – IMO – the best hockey handle ever.

    That is until Gunnar Klinkhammer makes the show in 20 years or so.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Soup Fascist: No ties to either guy but I remember Bart Crashley fondly just because he had – IMO – the best hockey handle ever.

    This made me randomly think re how post Bobby Orr, NHL defencemen started showing up with more poetic sounding names than Tim Horton, or Bob Baun. As if having a Bobby Orr shift name(using astronomical terminology) might somehow help them duplicate Orr’s crazy sublime skill set.

    Paul Coffey is a good example, lol.

  49. Soup Fascist says:

    hunter1909: This made me randomly think re how post Bobby Orr, NHL defencemen started showing up with more poetic sounding names than Tim Horton. As if having a Bobby Orr shift name(using astronomical terminology) might somehow help them duplicate Orr’s crazy sublime skill set.

    Paul Coffey is a good example, lol.

    So, Tim Horton begat Paul Coffey.

    I guess the Oilers should have drafted Jake Bean – assuming he could handle the daily grind of the NHL.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    Soup Fascist: I guess the Oilers should have drafted Jake Bean – assuming he could handle the daily grind of the NHL.

    If I were Donald Trump I’d be saying MacT and Lowe are in reality Dutch immigrants. With possible connections to Hermann Goering.

  51. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: don’t let the fact your criticism was proven to be bullshit dissuade you from your ongoing mission.

    LIKE

  52. Woodguy says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Woodguy,

    Is the line in the sand 0%?Is Draisaitls 6.3% excellent,average or poor when compared to other players that are not Oilers?

    I know you and G have explained this in the many articles/posts you have written in the past few weeks but I didn’t bookmark them.I should have.

    The % I posted are relative to the team against the same comp.

    I’d say 3+ is very good
    0-3 is good
    0–3 is not good
    -3 and less is poor

    That’s subjective, but I think its close to right, its more of a sliding thing and my 4 buckets are pretty arbitrary here.

    That said you need to take into account QoT and ZS etc and we don’t have those yet.

  53. Woodguy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Woodguy,

    How does Luke Schenn run by Woodmoney?

    Seemed to be a player in 2013 and maybe 2015. Good P/60 numbers the past 2 seasons, but seemingly brutal possession metrics this past season. I’m a bit confused if he’s been consistently getting easy minutes or what

    Who’s better between him and Gryba?

    Not good.

    Schenn is -4% or worse DFFrelcomp vs Elite and Muddle and +0.5 vs dregs

    Using only WoodMoneyDFF Rel to judge both players Gryba puts Schenn in the shade.

  54. Big Dan says:

    I like slep’s attitude. Sounds very intelligent and moldable, taking criticism and advice to heart.

    A nice contrast to “I don’t care what the coach says. I’m going to play rob schremp hockey”.

    He is also not in a rush (aka khl flight risk), knowing he has some things to work on.

    I think there’s a future here as a 15 goal 35 point guy who can play on any line.

  55. Cult of Hockey: Oilers prospect Anton Slepyshev’s first North American season was a learning experience | Edmonton Journal says:

    […] did his coaches have to say? Might as well start with Todd McLellan, who saw him in September and […]

  56. Cult of Hockey: Oilers prospect Anton Slepyshev's first North American season was a learning experience - Latest News/Reports Worldwide Updated Daily says:

    […] did his coaches have to say? Might as well start with Todd McLellan, who saw him in September and […]

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