CHASING SHADOWS

There are always players you wonder about on draft day, and my goodness Greg Chase was one. The young man was a bona fide NHL prospect but had to wait until late in day two before finally getting selected by Edmonton. In his draft+1 season he rocked the WHL, but in year two things started to go a little wonky. He got traded out of Calgary, his numbers flagged (a little, not a crazy amount) and he was not as impressive at Oilers camp (owing, I believe, to an injury in Penticton).

CHIARELLI TYPE

I think Peter Chiarelli would like Greg Chase as a player. If you followed the Bruins over the years, or Oilers procurement over two summers, it is fairly obvious what kind of player has appeal to Edmonton’s general manager. In Penticton last summer, I wrote this about a game Chase played in:

  • Lowetide on the Penticton camp: No. 72, Greg Chase: Had an assist, +1, 3 SOG, 2PIMS. Threw a positively filthy elbow early, and got under the skin of the Canucks because of it. He sent a lovely pass to the slot early that McDavid damn near cashed and he passed more this game than one would have expected based on his own past. He worked hard all night but showed he has more developing to do, especially in terms of positioning. That’s why we’ll see him in the AHL for the next two seasons. There’s a player here, liked his game. Source

Chase is 6.0, 190 but plays a very physical style and is borderline filthy. If you watched him play a game, and the guy next to you mentioned Brad Marchand, my guess is that you would nod in agreement. He is that kind of player—with enough skill to suggest he can play.

GREG CHASE, NORFOLK BOXCARS

  • Boxcars: 43, 18-19-37 .860
  • Even Strength: 43, 15-16-31 .720
  • Power Play: 43, 3-3-6 .140
  • Penalty Kill: 43, 0-0-0 .000

I do not have a giant group of seasons by rookie ECHL forwards to compare this one to, but can say that in terms of points-per-game Chase was not a brilliant freshman. He finished No. 6 in points-per-game among freshman forwards who played 40 or more games and even though that is a pretty good season for a former seventh-round pick—we are examining him as an NHL prospect.

GREG CHASE, BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

  • Boxcars: 19, 1-6-7 .368
  • Even Strength: 19, 1-5-6 .316
  • Power Play: 19, 0-1-1 .052
  • Penalty Kill: 19, 0-0-0 .000

I always like to compare rookies to rookies, so let’s run these Chase numbers against another Condors rookie from last year.

KYLE PLATZER, BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

  • Boxcars: 48, 6-11-17 .354
  • Even Strength: 48, 3-8-11 .229
  • Power Play: 48, 3-2-5 .104
  • Penalty Kill: 48, 0-1-1 .021

These are similar seasons, but I think most of us view Platzer as a slightly more promising prospect. I have Platzer at No. 26 and Chase at No. 27 in the latest Lowetide Top 20, and I think that is fair.

DISCONNECT

Despite being separated by several rounds in the 2013 draft, these two prospects have always seemed similar to me in terms of talent and odds of making the grade: Both long shots, both with a reasonable range of skills. Edmonton chose Platzer for Bakersfield and Chase for Norfolk a year ago, and we would do well to remember that choice as we roll along into the fall.

Peter Chiarelli has added an actual mountain of prospect forwards—50-man and AHL—with Chase possibly playing a lesser role in the coming season due to the oncoming rush of college kids to push him down.

bakersfield projected roster aug 17

Based on his junior career and first season pro—despite his trip to Norfolk—I am not certain there is an obvious reason for his handling. He should be a Chiarelli favorite based on style of play. We wait.

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29 Responses to "CHASING SHADOWS"

  1. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I’m glad Chase got big minutes in Norfolk over 4th line minutes in Bakersfield. Moroz seemingly didn’t have a big chance to ever develop his offence (if it exists). I actually ran into Moroz at the bar the other night (I’m young), as well as a half dozen other Calgary boy NHL prospects/players (Dumba/Klimchuk/Morrisey/Duke/Shinkaruk and under 18 Nolan Patrick). All were very friendly, ashamed to say especially the flames prospect duo.

    Got another opinion on Berglund from another swedish fan source, a bit different than resident SwedishPoster’s.
    “On a healthy team I’d place him at 7th or 8th D but that’s not how a season is played and we already have Johan Alm and Kyle Cumiskey injured leading up to the season start so I reckon he’ll get a good chance to stick. I don’t think he’ll get loaned out to Allsvenskan but rather play J20 in Skellefteå so he can quickly join the team if needed.”

    also linked me to his TOI page that I’ll have to follow during the season ( http://www.shl.se/lag/50e6-50e6DYeWM__skelleftea-aik/qRh-zkCYsIug__filip-berglund/gamelog )

  2. Centre of attention says:

    I absolutely LOVED Chase’s tournament. That elbow he threw was the Mark Messier special, linesmen just blew the whistle and looked towards the faceoff circle, WHAM! Right in the jaw.

    It was Virtanen too, definitely sent a message of “Don’t touch Connor” because this happened immediately after Virtanens infamous hit on Connor.

    Plus as a bonus, Chase can score. Chase has a fantastic wrist shot, he should assert himself and be the designated shooter on his line. I saw him once or twice here at Rexall when he played for the Hitmen, the guy can shoot the biscuit.

    *edit*
    Chase can also play some center. Might save his career.

  3. JDï™ says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Nolan Patrick

    There’s a name I hope we’re not talking about come December.

    Does he live up to the 6’3″, 195 lb billing in person?

  4. fifthcartel says:

    Maybe one day the Oilers will play their prospects significantly in Bakersfield. I know this post isn’t about that, but I think you could probably have both Platzer and Chase getting regular minutes if a Matt Ford or Andrew Miller aren’t getting huge minutes.

  5. LadiesloveSmid says:

    JDï™: There’s a name I hope we’re not talking about come December.

    Does he live up to the 6’3″, 195 lb billing in person?

    I’m about 6’2.5 and seemed to be around the same eye-level. Hard to gage his weight at the bar but I wouldn’t doubt the billing

  6. oilerman1000 says:

    Lowetide,

    When was the last time an Oilers AHL team played this many prospects in one season? I’ve been following this blog and team for years now and don’t ever recall seeing this many legitimate prospects on a single roster. What a refreshing thing to see.

    The Lowe, Tambellini and McTavish years were riddled with AHL vets seeing opportune playing time. I never understood it. One plausible explanation was pressure from ownership to make the franchise profitable. Under that mandate Management’s solution was to bring in the best players to win and drive attendance. I would suggest the objective was never what was best for the Oilers long term (player development) but rather financially driven. Perhaps it has changed with new management in place.

    Regardless of what has happened in the past this new focus on player development will pay dividends for years to come. Imagine being able to plug and play third and four line players on value contracts that can contribute as needed on the second line from time to time? Music.

  7. Westchester Oil says:

    LT – speaking of Chase in Norfolk, do you know the approximate NHLE for the ECHL? I believe the AHL is somewhere around 0.44.

    Also, anybody else pissed off that the Leafs got Enroth for just $750K? Makes the Gustavsson signing look even worse. Wonder what happened with Enroth – i assume he was looking for too much term/money and nobody bit.

    I’m looking forward to the day when we can sign free agents for value contracts in late July or August rather than overpaying on July 1st.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Westchester Oil:
    LT – speaking of Chase in Norfolk, do you know the approximate NHLE for the ECHL? I believe the AHL is somewhere around 0.44.

    Also, anybody else pissed off that the Leafs got Enroth for just $750K?Makes the Gustavsson signing look even worse. Wonder what happened with Enroth – i assume he was looking for too much term/money and nobody bit.

    I’m looking forward to the day when we can sign free agents for value contracts in late July or Augustrather than overpaying on July 1st.

    Chase’s 37 points in 43 ECHL games gives him and NHLE of 15.5 points based on Christian Roatis’ toy (82 games). So, that is what? 22 percent? Somewhere in there.

  9. RedArmy says:

    Lowtide, if Chia added Hudler and Quincy would you lean towards the playoffs?

  10. Lowetide says:

    RedArmy:
    Lowtide, if Chia added Hudler and Quincy would you lean towards the playoffs?

    Hudler would be a terrific add, but Quincey isn’t really what they need. If they could get Hudler and a RH D who can play a two-way game, that would help immensely. And sign Enroth. 🙂

  11. Pouzar says:

    A RH shot with skill who is an agitator. Keep him around as long as humanly possible. Reminds me of Marchand.

  12. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: Hudler would be a terrific add, but Quincey isn’t really what they need. If they could get Hudler and a RH D who can play a two-way game, that would help immensely. And sign Enroth.

    Jason Demers at 4.5 million and Enroth at 750K would put this team over the top, right? (-;

  13. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention: Jason Demers at 4.5 million and Enroth at 750K would put this team over the top, right? (-;

    Haha. I don’t think Demers fits what the Oilers need, they got a better Demers in Larsson. Now need a RHD who can play top 4D (or 6) and shot a cannon on PP.

  14. Centre of attention says:

    Slightly off topic, but it is concerning the RW depth chart! So I’m in the ballpark I guess, haha. Anyways here’s sweet read by Willis over at the Nation. http://oilersnation.com/2016/8/22/an-opportunity-for-zack-kassian-to-show-his-quality

    Some people are really betting low on Zack. I don’t blame them….but there is a player there. Somewhere. 1.82 points per hours at even strength WITHOUT the Sedins screams potential. 1.82 is with David Booth and Brad Richardson types. With the Sedins? 2.3 points-per 60 even strength.

    That’s actually a good question for the group: Who conquers their inner demons first this year: Yak or Zack? Yak’s obviously got the bee’s that chase him, and Zack just needs to put down the bottle and hop on the treadmill.

    IMO it’s anyone’s game.

  15. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Justin Fontaine’s a UFA, scored 1.91 5v5 P/60 the past 2 seasons. Poor shot for numbers but seemingly strong suppression metrics. Bonnyville boy wouldn’t be a terrible pick-up, wonder how is speed is

    If they signed Nakladal and Boyes/Hudler or even Fontaine/Fleischmann there’s depth

  16. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention: Some people are really betting low on Zack. I don’t blame them….but there is a player there.

    I am not one of them. Agreed.

    He had to have been in dogshit shape last year. Let’s see what he does this year.

  17. godot10 says:

    oilerman1000:
    Lowetide,

    When was the last time an Oilers AHL team played this many prospects in one season?I’ve beenfollowing this blog and team for years now and don’t ever recall seeing this many legitimate prospects on a single roster.What a refreshing thing to see.

    Nelson’s 2nd year in Bakersfield.

    Hartikainen, Paajarvi, Pitlick, Arcobello, Lander, Hamilton, Tyrvainen, Omark (for awhile), Vandevelde, Cornet, House, Tremblay…all on ELC’s. Green and Keller and Tristan Grant (the resident goon) were the only vets. Ryan O’Marra was there for part of the season.

    And the 3rd year after the Austin’s left.

    Rajala, Hartikainen, Lander, Cornet, Vandevelde,,Martindale, House, Hamilton, Pelss. Green and Cheechoo were the only vets for the 2nd half of the season…and Hordichuk and Eager went sent down for some games also.

    MacT screwed things up the following year. Apart from the first year in OKC, Tambellini had a roster full of ELC’s for the 2nd and 3rd years.

  18. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Pouzar: I am not one of them. Agreed.

    He had to have been in dogshit shape last year. Let’s see what he does this year.

    I liked him as an option last summer. Good goal rates, good speed/hands, and stuck up for teammates on several occasions. I thought he could be stuck with McDavid last year

  19. Lloyd B. says:

    JDï™,

    I was working in Brandon two winters ago and attended a number of WK games. Was watching for Provorov and the Quenville boys in particular but Patrick kept getting my attention. Pilon too. Not sure why he abandoned the dream.

    That would have been Patricks 16 year old season. Make no mistake, I am a seen him good guy. And I saw him great ! Posted so at the time, This kid is the goods. As far as my eyes can tell anyway.

    Good thing there is no GStringWoodMoney to prove me wrong.

  20. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: Haha. I don’t think Demers fits what the Oilers need, they got a better Demers in Larsson. Now need a RHD who can play top 4D (or 6) and shot a cannon on PP.

    I hear about this mythical Nakladal creature every now and then…any information?

    I seriously think they revisit Wideman with salary retained after the world cup. He would survive against 3rd pair competition, and can definitely help on the power play.

    I still wouldn’t do it though. That thing with the refs, that right there is bad voodoo. No thanks.

    Maybe there is some guy out there we aren’t talking about?

    PS: Chiarelli was a player-agent for a time, working with the same agency as Wideman’s. This is something Bob Stauffer mentioned waaaay back. I’ll try and find the podcast but it’ll take forever.

    PS again: I will keep banging this drum, GM John Chayka is quoted as saying he would consider moving out a piece after this summers additions. *Hammers drum* Michael Stone! *More drumming* Micheal Stone! Somebody grab the candles I’ve got a rhythm going!

  21. Lowetide says:

    Re: Kassian. It depends on where he plays on the depth chart. If he gets McDavid, man he is going to post big numbers? Nuge? Should be pretty good. Leon? I think he could contribute some offense there, too.

  22. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Centre of attention: Somebody grab the candles

    Did we ever figure out the whole scented/unscented thing?

  23. Lowetide says:

    Klima's_Bucket: Did we ever figure out the whole scented/unscented thing?

    Scented sometimes angries my sinuses.

  24. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide:
    Re: Kassian. It depends on where he plays on the depth chart. If he gets McDavid, man he is going to post big numbers? Nuge? Should be pretty good. Leon? I think he could contribute some offense there, too.

    Well, I think it’s fair to say Zack plays in the top 9 for the majority of the year. And those are our top 3 centers, so I think he has a chance to post a respectable even strength per-60 number. Probably in the 1.7 range.

    Remember, Zack put up 1.82 playing with David Booth and Brad Richardson.

    15 goals, 15 assists 30 points is reasonable for a full seasons worth of play with some combination of our top 3 centers. (75 games)

    What was your Zack RE: again? 7 goals? You old bat! That’s WAY too low, haha! (-; I’m only partly joking, I know you are hedging the bet that Puljujarvi and Yak steal some of the offensive minutes.

  25. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide: Scented sometimes angries my sinuses.

    I’m not sure how to help you, have you tried lighting a candle?

  26. dessert1111 says:

    I think Beck and Slepyshev play either wing, so you can shift one of them to LW to get Chase in the top 9 and bump Moroz down to fight Christoffer for playing time.

    Plus there is bound to be at least one injury to a forward in the NHL or AHL which will bump guys up.

    I watched Chase play for Victoria a bunch in junior and I can see why he would lose roster battles. He disappears, positioning is inconsistent defensively, an early zone flyer. Also had some antics that got him into trouble with refs that were entirely unnecessary/immature, like throwing a mouthguard on the ice to make a statement after getting a penalty. He was really good at finding open ice and scoring, tho, and agitating when he wasn’t getting the penalties. Those skills are useful. There are just a lot of things that could stop him from ‘making it’, and in this case I find it very difficult to blame management for not elevating him faster. He had a lot to work on in his last junior season.

  27. haters says:

    Centre of attention: Well, I think it’s fair to say Zack plays in the top 9 for the majority of the year. And those are our top 3 centers, so I think he has a chance to post a respectable even strength per-60 number. Probably in the 1.7 range.

    Remember, Zack put up 1.82 playing with David Booth and Brad Richardson.

    15 goals, 15 assists 30 points is reasonable for a full seasons worth of play with some combination of our top 3 centers. (75 games)

    What was your Zack RE: again? 7 goals? You old bat! That’s WAY too low, haha! (-;I’m only partly joking, I know you are hedging the bet that Puljujarvi and Yak steal some of the offensive minutes.

    How worried are you about Zac’s history with refs ? Especially last years ratio?

  28. SwedishPoster says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I’m glad Chase got big minutes in Norfolk over 4th line minutes in Bakersfield. Moroz seemingly didn’t have a big chance to ever develop his offence (if it exists). I actually ran into Moroz at the bar the other night (I’m young), as well as a half dozen other Calgary boy NHL prospects/players (Dumba/Klimchuk/Morrisey/Duke/Shinkaruk and under 18 Nolan Patrick). All were very friendly, ashamed to say especially the flames prospect duo.

    Got another opinion on Berglund from another swedish fan source, a bit different than resident SwedishPoster’s.
    “On a healthy team I’d place him at 7th or 8th D but that’s not how a season is played and we already have Johan Alm and Kyle Cumiskey injured leading up to the season start so I reckon he’ll get a good chance to stick. I don’t think he’ll get loaned out to Allsvenskan but rather play J20 in Skellefteå so he can quickly join the team if needed.”

    also linked me to his TOI page that I’ll have to follow during the season ( http://www.shl.se/lag/50e6-50e6DYeWM__skelleftea-aik/qRh-zkCYsIug__filip-berglund/gamelog )

    I agree with where your friend place Berglund on the depth chart, he’s somewhere around 7-8 unless he forces the coach’s hand.
    I have a hard time seeing him play more than 5-10 games with the U20 team though , he mightu get a few games there if he’s close to making the first team and just waits for an opening or needs some extra games because he’s played very low minutes in the SHL but I doubt he plays the majority of the season in juniors. If they don’t think he’s ready for the SHL I’m pretty sure they’ll loan him to allsvenskan.

  29. Centre of attention says:

    haters: How worried are you about Zac’s history with refs ? Especially last years ratio?

    That’s actually what I’m mostly worried about with Kassian. He looks like he worked hard on his conditioning, which was step number one, now he needs to refine his “sh*t disturbing” game. He needs to go into scrums with his hands at his side and that big toothless grin, getting the other guy to face wash him and draw a penalty instead of the other way around.

    Pouliot is better at getting away with what he does than Zack, believe it or not. Zack has a nasty habit of blacking out in moments of pure rage and stupidity which give him a reputation. Pouliot is sneaky enough he actually gets away with lots of shenanigans, while drawing quite a few penalties by frustrated opponents in turn.

    Pretty much, Pouliot is what Kassian wants to be *ideally*. Big, fast, score, scrum, rinse, repeat.
    Pou also has a nicer two-way element to his game as well, though McLellan has started using Zack on the PK in an effort to teach D zone awareness. We’ll see how that goes. If Kassian can be even 75% the player Pouliot is now, that would be ideal.

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