THE GOLDEN BEARS!

The Edmonton Oilers will pile another bunch of gifted kids in a giant van and head over to Clare Drake Arena for the annual game against the Golden Bears tonight. This little game has boasted some of the greatest hockey names in recent history, and is generally regarded as the official beginning of training camp. Before we discuss tonight’s lineup, let’s look back on last year’s group who played.

OILERS ROOKIES 2015

  • L1: Cole Sanford 3GP, 0-2-2—Connor McDavid 1GP, 1-1-2—Anton Slepyshev 3GP, 1-0-1.
  • L2: Josh Winquist, 3GP, 4-1-5—Leon Draisaitl, 3GP, 2-3-5—Braden Christoffer, 3GP, 3-1-4.
  • L3: Cole Linaker 2GP, 0-0-0—Alexis Loiseau 2GP, 2-2-4—Rihards Bukarts 3GP, 0-0-0.
  • L4: Connor Rankin 3GP, 2-0-2—Kyle Platzer 3GP, 1-2-3—Greg Chase 2GP, 0-2-2.
  • D1: Darnell Nurse 2GP, 1-0-1—Joey Laleggia 2GP, 1-2-3.
  • D2: Ben Betker 3GP, 0-0-0—Loik Leveille 2GP, 0-1-1.
  • D3: Caleb Jones 2GP, 0-0-0— Ethan Bear 2GP, 0-0-0.
  • G1: Eetu Laurikainen, Jordan Papirny

Edmonton won, McDavid was fire (the most insane play of the night saw Luke Siemens of the Golden Bears get a toe on the puck to save the U. of A. on a breakaway. McDavid had three assists, Leon went 1-3-4 and Anton Slepyshev posted a goal, too. A fine evening was had by all. A lot of the men in this game went on to have good things happen, notably Braden Christoffer. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were the class of the group, and along with Darnell Nurse spent much of the year playing for the Oilers.

TONIGHT’S OILERS LINEUP

  • L1: Joey Benik—3gp, 4-3-7; Drake Caggiula—2gp, 2-1-3; Jesse Puljujarvi—2gp, 2-4-6.
  • L2: Braden Christoffer—3gp, 0-0-0; Kyle Platzer—3gp, 0-3-3; Patrick Russell—3gp, 1-1-2.
  • L3: Jaedon Descheneau—2gp, 2-1-3; Chad Butcher—2gp, 0-1-1; Greg Chase—3gp, 0-0-0.
  • L4: Collin Shirley—3gp, 1-0-1; Lane Bauer—3gp, 0-0-0; Tomas Soustal—2gp, 0-0-0.
  • D1: Caleb Jones—2gp, 0-0-0; Matt Benning—2gp, 0-0-0.
  • D2: Markus Niemelainen—2gp, 1-0-1; Ethan Bear—1gp, 0-0-0
  • D3: Ben Betker—3gp, 0-1-1; Kayle Doetzel—2gp, 0-0-0
  • G1: Nick Ellis—1gp, 1.00, .967; Dylan Wells—1gp, 2.87, .921

The top line is the marquee trio, and one suspects that line could go off in a significant way. The hockey Gods owe Kyle Platzer a goal or two, and that third line should be able to push for some chances. I like all of the pairings here, will be interested to see the outlet passes from the group tonight. Nick Ellis is going all the way tonight (per Marc Majeau).

We should hear about cuts either during or shortly after the game (as is the style) and if we are lucky a training camp roster will appear by magic before my morning post tomorrow (it will not).

THINGS I AM LOOKING FOR

  • Puljujarvi’s speed and skill combined with his size make him a perfect fit for this roster. Watching him play in these early games may be our only chance to see the big Finn in Edmonton this year (I am clearly lying now).
  • Nick Ellis looked very strong in Penticton. This is a different level of competition, it will be interesting to see if he can duplicate it. We are miles from knowing about this player, but each step that brings good arrows is another bullet point on the resume.
  • For a guy on an AHL deal, Joey Benik sure scores a lot. He has a nice shot.
  • The mobility of the defense should be fun to watch.
  • Greg Chase should be able to impact this game in several areas. Will he?
  • If you are at the game and get a chance, spend a few shifts watching Lane Bauer. Speed is an issue, but he is a smart center who makes good plays with or without the puck. If this was 1975, no doubt in my mind he would have been drafted, but the game’s pace has changed enormously in the last five years—let alone the past 40.

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72 Responses to "THE GOLDEN BEARS!"

  1. belcolt91 says:

    Not that I think the backup matters in this game, but you got Nick Ellis backing up himself LT.

  2. Lowetide says:

    belcolt91:
    Not that I think the backup matters in this game, but you got Nick Ellis backing up himself LT.

    Bah, it is Wells and I have replaced. Thanks, Belcolt91.

  3. Oilspill says:

    belcolt91,

    Maybe he’s that good.

  4. Protagonist says:

    Oilspill:
    belcolt91,

    Maybe he’s that good.

    “Now in for Goaltender, Nick Ellis,”

    *queue Ellis skating back out to the net wearing a moustache and glasses*

  5. Centre of attention says:

    Let it be known I like the Niemelianen pick a whole hell of a lot more now that I’ve seen him skate a bit than I did draft day. I remember when the Oilers made the pick getting all fussy on twitter becase there were a couple guys I wanted instead. Reading initial reports I was convinced he was just another Lagesson or a marginally faster Musil.

    Now that I’ve gotten to watch Niemelainen a bit as well as read more detailed reports, I see he has some damn good passing to go along with surprisingly fluid skating. IMO he’s a little bit like Leon in that it takes a little bit to get geared up, but once that big frame is out on the highway she’s flying.

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    From this morning’s thread:

    Bohologo: This will no doubt trigger a round of denunciations, but I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the fortunes of Team Europe tonight against The Big Red Leaf. It’s a mixed (hockey) bag of too young and too old, guys from all over with different stories. I suspect they must feel a bit like the Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven.

    The Magnificent Seven is on the big screen at the Capital Theatre on Thursday night.
    That’s at Ft Edmonton Park.
    See you all there!

    Go Bears!

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Since he’s maybe going to star in the Golden Bears game…

    This is where the hype starts, right?

  8. hunter1909 says:

    No wonder the NHL hates the World Cup. The hockey is 1000x freaking better.

  9. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Since he’s maybe going to star in the Golden Bears game…

    This is where the hype starts, right?

    I think that was last week.

  10. SkatinginSand says:

    My goodness, who is the public address announcer at the Air Canada Centre? Last night, CORY Price was Canada’s starting Goalie and tonight, Mark Streit is wearing #7 and starting for Canada. I wonder what happened to Jake Muzzin?

    Is it too much to expect professionalism in the presentation of the product?

  11. Centre of attention says:

    Draisaitl just bumped Toews off the puck. Not an easy feat.

  12. Zeabs93 says:

    Went to the past two NA games against Russia and Sweden, had some pretty terrific seats for both so will give my thoughts on some of the players. Note: I am no expert or anything.

    FORWARDS

    McDavid, what else is there to say? Generational talent, he is everything as advertised. Honestly would not be surprised in the least if he leads the league in scoring this year. That assist on the Matthew’s goal against Russia, wow…Blows by Datsyuk like it’s nothing. There were multiple plays in both games that had the fans gasping. Took a penalty late in the 3rd that probably should have been coincidental minors, fans were really giving it to the ref after that poor call.
    Even the most staunch leafs fans were impressed; I heard this gem midway through the NA/Sweden game:
    Leafs fan: “I’d consider trading Matthews for McDavid straight up, though I don’t know if Lou would do it.” LOL, sure buddy…

    Gaudreau really is a hell of a player. Arguably the best hands on the team, which is saying something considering who the Captain is. Multiple breakaways against Sweden, plus a penalty shot, although to be fair I did notice him cherry picking quite a bit. There were definitely times where he liked to hold on to the puck too much, but overall he’s a wonderful offensive talent. Calgary has a genuine superstar on their hands, wonder what he ends up signing for.

    Nuge had a hell of a first game. Skated a ton and was great at all ends of the ice. Was very good against Sweden too, you could tell Todd really trusted him as the game wore on. He’s my favourite Oiler of all the draft picks (McDavid excluded obviously) and I’m ecstatic they didn’t trade him. Modern day Datsyuk is always what I thought/hoped his upper end would be and his two-way game is starting to resemble it. How old was Datsyuk when he truly broke out in the NHL? In a couple years, when Nuge has his man strength, look out.

    MacKinnon is both insanely fast and insanely skilled. What a beautiful goal against Lundqvist, wow. With Roy out as head coach I think he’s going to have a hell of a year.

    Larkin truly has terrific speed, when he’s got some open ice he’s a real threat. Seriously, how does Detroit keep drafting these gems?!?

    Matthews is a hell of a player, as much as I hate to admit it Toronto has an excellent centerpiece for their rebuild. He was stripping pucks off NHL players like he’s been doing it for years, just a solid solid hockey player all around. A few AUS-TON MATTH-EWS chants by the crowd which I thought was kind of funny. Fans are going to love him, hopefully the media doesn’t run him out of town 😛

    Trochek was one player who I wasn’t really aware of who really impressed me. Some really underrated offensive chops on the kid, made multiple plays in the offensive zone that had the crowd ooing and ahhing. Those Panthers are really going to be a force in a few years when some of their young players mature and get more experience.

    Drouin wasn’t very noticeable either game, all I can recall were a few bad passes in the neutral zone that resulted in chances for the opposition. Come to think of it, don’t think he played too much in either game.

    Eichel was solid both games, not overly noticeable but always seemed to make the right play when he had the puck. Very clearly less skilled than McDavid, no ill will meant towards Eichel at all but it really seemed like the media hyped him up to make that draft a two-horse race. He’s going to be an elite player, but he simply isn’t on McDavid’s level. To be honest I thought Matthews looked better than Eichel those two games too. Regardless of who is better, they’re both tremendous players that will make Buffalo and Toronto very happy.

    Scheifele has a deceptively hard shot; he could have easily had a couple goals against Russia. Another solid young Jet, with Laine on the team next year their offense is going to be a real challenge to defend.

    Couturier and Saad were very solid defensively; both also seem to have exceptional leadership skills. Didn’t notice them as much offensively but they certainly caught my eye in their own end and neutral zone.

    Miller wasn’t noticeable at all for me, not much to say about him.

    DEFENSE

    Even from what little I saw of Ekblad it’s clear he’s a stud. So calm with the puck and some pretty solid offensive chops too. As spoiled as it sounds, I wish we would have won that 1st overall pick in the ’13 draft so we could have taken him. I could definitely see multiple Norris’ in his future.

    I thought GhostBear had a pretty poor 1st game, particularly on the powerplay. Missed the net a ton; was just too trigger happy in general. Had McDavid open a number of times but decided to shoot instead, missing the net. Little better against Sweden, but honestly was not very noticeable either game. Was disappointed, as I’ve heard such good things about his game. To be fair to him it’s just a pre season touney so it could very easily just be a poor couple of games.

    Parayko and Jones are both MASSIVE! Way bigger in person than I was expecting. Both of them looked solid against Russia and Sweden, Parayko moreso than Jones. Both of them always seemed to be a part of the action whenever there were some words exchanged between the two teams. Definitely seemed like the players played a couple inches taller whenever one of them were on the ice.

    Ryan Murray had two excellent games. Cool, calm, collected, never seemed to panic. There were even a few times where there were no passing options available, so he simply skated it out of pressure on his own. Pretty interesting to think how the Oilers would be with him on the team instead of Yak… Although all those decisions led to McDavid, so to be honest I’m okay with them.

    Saw Trouba really good in his first game, was noticeable in a good way all night. Little bit less pretty the second game, there were a few plays where he tried going for the big hit instead of just playing the puck, resulting in good chances for Sweden. Overall a solid couple games though. Don’t know how much he’s asking for but if I were the Jets I’d definitely be doing all I could to sign him long term.

    Reilly had a so-so first game and I saw him even worse against Sweden. Made more than a few poor passes and low IQ plays. Living in LeafLand, I see a lot of Reilly so can say fairly confidently that he’s the goods, just a rough couple of games I guess.

    GOALIES

    Murray had that unfortunate stretch in the 2nd against Russia but one thing I noticed about him was how good he was at handling the puck. Same with Gibson, both seemed very comfortable leaving the crease and moving the puck.

    Gibson didn’t have an exceptional game by any means, but he did enough to get the job done. Solid rebound control and good positioning.

    Well those are some of my quick thoughts on Team NA, hope you all enjoyed reading them. If Team NA makes it to the finals I’ll likely see one of those games too so I’ll have more updates/thoughts for everyone. Cheers!

  13. Woogie63 says:

    Sekera playing first pairing on his offside. That give TMac lots of options.

    Sekera-Larrson
    Klefblom-Fayne
    Nurse-Davidson

    Or

    Klefblom-Larsson
    Davidson-Sekera
    Nurse-Fayne

  14. Pouzar says:

    Zeabs93,

    Nice work!

  15. Lowetide says:

    Z: Outstanding! Thanks! Feel the same way about Nuge.

  16. Centre of attention says:

    Rob Kerr ‏@FAN960RKerr 25m25 minutes ago
    Rob Kerr Retweeted NEWS 1130 Sports
    Funny how PTO’s work as he is now coming to #Flames camp.

    NEWS 1130 SportsVerified account
    ‏@NEWS1130Sports
    Been told the #Canucks are 1 of the teams that have offered Lauri Korpikoski a PTO. Korpikoski is playing in the world cup of hockey.

    Can he just play for both teams? Please?!

    *edit*
    Pat SteinbergVerified account ‏@Fan960Steinberg 11m11 minutes ago
    #Flames confirm Luke Adam, Colby Robak, Lauri Korpikoski are all coming to training camp on PTO’s.

    Flames “win”!

  17. SVR says:

    Looking at Drai’ s boxcars from last years rookie camp gives me hope that the Oilers will do the right thing and send JP to the minors after traing camp is over. They did it with Drai last year after an impressive showing.. Maybe a change in philosophy in management. We can hope anyways

  18. stevezie says:

    Sekera got hosed on that call.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Collin Shirley with a goal from a turnover, nice goal. 1-1/.

  20. JDï™ says:

    stevezie:
    Sekera got hosed on that call.

    The rules clearly state: You must control your stick when you get slew-footed down.

  21. Centre of attention says:

    stevezie:
    Sekera got hosed on that call.

    Agreed. So hosed. Nasty slew foot by Joe.

  22. JDï™ says:

    Just tuned in at the slew foot by the duck call guy.

    Is that Carey Crawford in net?

  23. Klima's_Bucket says:

    I’ve never been to Clare Drake Arena, but do those corners look funky or have I had too much to drink?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Soustal and Christoffer score along with Shirley, 3-2 Oilers kids as they outshoot the U 25-5. Lordy.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    I’ve never been to Clare Drake Arena, but do those corners look funky or have I had too much to drink?

    Yep. Unusual rink, no doubt.

  26. B S says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    To fit in the building the rink is 4 feet shorter than standard if I recall. tightens the angles on the corners and gives less room behind the net.

  27. B S says:

    Watching Kevin Lowe thanking some Tier 1 fans now.

  28. Centre of attention says:

    Puljujarvi snipes one from pretty high in the zone on the powerplay. Arena says Russel gets a piece down in front.

  29. LMHF#1 says:

    Playing in Clare Drake was a lot of fun. You could make some really interesting bounces happen. Tough as a defender doing puck retrieval though.

    OT – LT, what do you think of Gary Sanchez for ROTY? Just hit his 19th Homer of the year despite appearing once before August. Guns down runners from his knees too. The guy is absolutely amazing.

  30. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    Playing in Clare Drake was a lot of fun. You could make some really interesting bounces happen. Tough as a defender doing puck retrieval though.

    OT – LT, what do you think of Gary Sanchez for ROTY? Just hit his 19th Homer of the year despite appearing once before August. Guns down runners from his knees too. The guy is absolutely amazing.

    He has been amazing. I have been watching the Yankees a little because they are such a good story. I think they are building something very good there.

  31. Kitchener says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    I’ve never been to Clare Drake Arena, but do those corners look funky or have I had too much to drink?

    I used to play there and fell down in the corners all the time. Clearly bad design.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Caggiula scores from Puljujarvi 5-2 Oil, that is his second assist.

  33. SumOil says:

    Stauffer just said last spot fight is between reinhart oesterle Fayne and gryba I think

    He has nurse in top 6 smh

  34. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: He has been amazing. I have been watching the Yankees a little because they are such a good story. I think they are building something very good there.

    Their last dynasty was built via the draft/dev model. As a Red Sox I couldn’t even dislike any of those guys. Sanchez is a freak.

  35. Klima's_Bucket says:

    SumOil,

    Remember when Nurse was sent back in 2014 after a couple of games.
    Nurse was extremely displeased.
    I can’t imagine he’d be excited to be sent down to Bakersfield after a full season in the NHL.

  36. dustrock says:

    LT I read Niemelainen is having a good game.

    I wonder how long we’ll see Caligula at center.

  37. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT I read Niemelainen is having a good game.

    I wonder how long we’ll see Caligula at center.

    Niemelainen is playing well for sure. Nice speed and range, thinks the game well. Benning is quieter tonight to my eye, Bear has been terrific (man I like his passing) and Jones remains a revelation. He is SO good at passing, amazing considering his scouting report.

  38. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Who is #80 tonight in white?
    I can’t tell if he’s making me thirsty or if it’s the pretzels.

  39. hankster says:

    hunter1909:
    No wonder the NHL hates the World Cup. The hockey is 1000x freaking better.

    I was at the NA vs Sweden game, 20 rows from ice level for $75. where and when would we get this kind of crazy value. It proves there’s just many leaf fans here…not hockey fans.
    My observation is similar to Zeabs93 above. Gaudreu stood out, he was very impressive in controlling the entry, pace with tremendous hockey sense. Doesn’t force the play…he might be worth the $8.5 M asking price.

    The hockey is so fast with tape to tape passes. Such a pleasure to watch.

    #97 needs to work on his breakaway moves and shot. Goalies know his favourite move.

  40. SumOil says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Why are feelings more important than development and winning ? Does Nurse provide more value than Fayne ?

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: He has been amazing. I have been watching the Yankees a little because they are such a good story. I think they are building something very good there.

    Cashman did what he needed to do – and then the guys who were bubbling under came up and delivered. If they’d gotten better pitching they’d be right in it still – but most fans can wait because they can see what’s 2 years out.

  42. Centre of attention says:

    Stauffer: “I could see the Oilers signing both Versteeg and Gryba to NHL contracts. People say what would happen to Yakupov. We’ll see here.”

    Subtle lol.

  43. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention:
    Stauffer: “I could see the Oilers signing both Versteeg and Gryba to NHL contracts. People say what would happen to Yakupov. We’ll see here.”

    Subtle lol.

    If Versteeg shows he’s 100%, like he says he is, he is in.

    I think Gryba and Fayne are the 6-7 D-men with Oesterle and Reinhart in BAK.

  44. Ryan says:

    Pouzar: If Versteeg shows he’s 100%, like he says he is, he is in.

    I think Gryba and Fayne are the 6-7 D-men with Oesterle and Reinhart in BAK.

    Want to make a wager that you’re likely to lose?

  45. Pouzar says:

    Ryan: Want to make a wager that you’re likely to lose?

    How bout 2? 🙂

  46. Klima's_Bucket says:

    SumOil,

    I don’t think feelings are, but Oilers management has made a lot of stupid decisions over the past several years that make me nervous about how they reach their conclusions.

  47. Ryan says:

    Pouzar: How bout 2?

    Any thoughts on Pool Party?

  48. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar: If Versteeg shows he’s 100%, like he says he is, he is in.

    I think Gryba and Fayne are the 6-7 D-men with Oesterle and Reinhart in BAK.

    Man if they grab Gryba on a league minimum deal I don’t mind him being 7D. IMO Fayne is with Sekera unless the team trades for Trouba or some craziness like that.

    I could see them starting Nurse in the minors, both McLellan and Chiarelli have hinted that is what they would like to do in a perfect world and bringing Gryba to camp does a good job of bumping Nurse off third pair.

    I don’t think it’s worth keeping Nurse in the NHL at the start of the year just to be #7D so I think we see this:

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba
    Oesterle

    Best to get Nurse top pair minutes in the AHL. Probably with Reinhart playing on his right side.

    I seriously doubt Nurse stays there in the minors for long, but looking at actual verbal from the team (Stauffer’s personal opinion aside) and how the contracts are all lining up, I can see Nurse going down to start the year. Musil is getting waived for sure. If he gets picked up oh well. I doubt he does though.

  49. Pouzar says:

    Ryan: Any thoughts on Pool Party?

    Love him. Crazy combo of skill and size. Could easy play Center imo.
    Thx CLB!

  50. kinger_OIL says:

    hankster,

    – Great comments, and I can’t compete with Zeabs93 either with his awesome stuff.

    My few observations (and biasis):

    – I remember someone (was it Bruce) being snarky when I said this isn’t NHL hockey in terms of hitting. It wasn’t thankfully NHL hockey, clearly an exibition series, and there is sadly no chance that the space available to players in this tourney is what happens in NHL.

    – I won’t go on about this, but man is hockey with fast transition, and a lot of passing and taking the puck end to end way better than dumping it from the red line, boards, contact, scrimmage, control, maybe lucky throw it into the middle for a quick scrum. They called a lot of penalties.

    – Conner does has a second speed to be sure. 2 breakaways in the first period: are you kidding me? He needs to work on his finish, and I didn’t see him shoot from outside perimiter. I hate our coach Todd for putting McD on the ice in the offensive zone on the wing, and not giving him the faceoff to deal with. To me that’s looking at the stats and making a decision based on something other than the fact that Conner is best being in the middle.

    – Gaudreau was very present. On the D, Parayko was very visible, and I get how size matters to scouts. Christ is Seth Jones effiective in this kind of format

    – I can’t explain the first two minutes: it was like the Swedes were hung over and not liking playing so early, but they did not like being down, and were clearly better afterwards, save overitime, which was also awesome to watch!

    – Nuge was not in an offensive role, and he did a fine job shutting down in a non-physical game.

    – Anyway it was fast, the most entertaining hockey I have seen since forever: how many games are 3-2 after one period? It’s maybe hopeful that the NHL tries to figure out how to encourage this type of hockey (ok not all-star teams, but still)

    – I can’t infer anything out of this game about McD and Nuge that is practical to the NHL version other than when in open ice, they are both fast, and can make nice plays. There was maybe a dozen dump and chase or place and chase the entire game. Contrast with 70%+ of NHL hockey.

    – Fans were awesome, full house at 3:00, and as much as I hate the Leafs and the AC arena when I have to go there to see them, this was a really fun game and arena to be at. Matthews cleary has a lot of talent, and if the Leafs can give him support, it will be great for them.

  51. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention: Man if they grab Gryba on a league minimum deal I don’t mind him being 7D. IMO Fayne is with Sekera unless the team trades for Trouba or some craziness like that.

    I could see them starting Nurse in the minors, both McLellan and Chiarelli have hinted that is what they would like to do in a perfect world and bringing Gryba to camp does a good job of bumping Nurse off third pair.

    I don’t think it’s worth keeping Nurse in the NHL at the start of the year just to be #7D so I think we see this:

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba
    Oesterle

    Best to get Nurse top pair minutes in the AHL. Probably with Reinhart playing on his right side.

    I seriously doubt Nurse stays there in the minors for long, but looking at actual verbal from the team (Stauffer’s personal opinion aside) and how the contracts are all lining up, I can see Nurse going down to start the year. Musil is getting waived for sure. If he gets picked up oh well. I doubt he does though.

    Agree with all that.

  52. Woogie63 says:

    Top scorers on Karpat last year…. before we start playing Jesse on the second line in the NHL.

    Sebastian Aho, 18 years old 45 GP,45 PTS
    Judson Ikonen 20 years old, 55 GP, 39PTS
    Mika Niemeyer 27 years old, 57 GP,38 PTS
    Miro Aaltonen 22 years old, 58 GP, 35 PTS
    Mika Pyorala 34 years old, 49 GP, 32 PTS
    JP 17 years old, 50 GP, 28 PTS

  53. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar: Agree with all that.

    I just did a double take and that’s actually a decent top 6 wouldn’t you agree? Huh. Davidson makes that third pair look so good.

    If Fayne starts getting walked consistently again like he did before getting sent down, I think Davidson moves up with Sekera and they either revisit a trade with Fayne or just waive him again.

    I mean maybe if you can swallow the fact Fayne’s a bit over paid for third pair duties you could try this:

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Davidson
    Oesterle-Fayne
    Gryba

    I prefer the first line up though. If Fayne can’t keep up with Sekera this year I just don’t see him fitting in long term on third pair. Just an opinion.

    *edit* So glad they signed Benning. More please.

  54. frjohnk says:

    I’ll probably get punted to Siberia for writing this, but I don’t think Fayne is a lock to make the starting 6.

    He was 10th last year in Oiler Dmen EV TOI averaging 15:02
    He was 7th last year in Oiler Dmen SH TOI averaging 1:38
    He was 14th last year in Oiler Dmen PP TOI averaging 0:01

    Even after injuries to Klefbom.Gryba and Davidson and the trade of Shultz, Fayne was surpassed in overall ice time per game by AHL callups Reinhart and Osterle and waiver pickups Pardy and Clendenning.

    I think there is a decent chance he will be surpassed by some of the young ones ( Nurse, Osterle, Reinhart) and we end up seeing him in the press box, possibly in the minors or even traded.

  55. frjohnk says:

    Woogie63: before we start playing Jesse on the second line in the NHL.

    Oilers scratch they are gonna wanna itch is McDavid with JP.

    And it will happen sooner than you think.

  56. Centre of attention says:

    frjohnk:
    I’ll probably get punted to Siberia for writing this, but I don’t think Fayne isa lock to make the starting 6.

    He was 10th last year in Oiler Dmen EV TOI averaging 15:02
    He was 7th last year in Oiler Dmen SH TOI averaging 1:38
    He was 14th last year in Oiler Dmen PP TOI averaging 0:01

    Even after injuries to Klefbom.Gryba and Davidson and the trade of Shultz,Fayne was surpassed in overall ice time per game by AHL callups Reinhart and Osterle and waiver pickups Pardy and Clendenning.

    I think there is a decent chance he will be surpassed by some of the young ones ( Nurse, Osterle, Reinhart) and we end up seeing him in the press box, possibly in the minors or even traded.

    Thank you for further reinforcing my point about Fayne. Great post.

    I don’t mind Fayne if he can keep up with Sekera but if he starts to slip I’m sure the coach has him on a short leash.

  57. Water Fire says:

    I don’t think Oesterle is a better NHL D than Nurse on third pair.

    The way Nurse goes AHL is if Reinhart beats him or another RHD is acquired and he can’t outplay Davidson. I don’t think Fayne or Gryba push him out, they are too limited.

  58. Centre of attention says:

    Water Fire:
    I don’t think Oesterle is a better NHL D than Nurse on third pair.

    The way Nurse goes AHL is if Reinhart beats him or another RHD is acquired and he can’t outplay Davidson. I don’t think Fayne or Gryba push him out, they are too limited.

    Agree on Nurse vs Oesterle, but they grabbed Gryba and Gryba is probably making 3rd pair with Davidson right? (assuming Fayne is with Sekera)

    I would rather have Oesterle sit lots as 7D and get Nurse big minutes in the AHL, at least to start.

  59. stush18 says:

    Centre of attention: Man if they grab Gryba on a league minimum deal I don’t mind him being 7D. IMO Fayne is with Sekera unless the team trades for Trouba or some craziness like that.

    I could see them starting Nurse in the minors, both McLellan and Chiarelli have hinted that is what they would like to do in a perfect world and bringing Gryba to camp does a good job of bumping Nurse off third pair.

    I don’t think it’s worth keeping Nurse in the NHL at the start of the year just to be #7D so I think we see this:

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba
    Oesterle

    Best to get Nurse top pair minutes in the AHL. Probably with Reinhart playing on his right side.

    I seriously doubt Nurse stays there in the minors for long, but looking at actual verbal from the team (Stauffer’s personal opinion aside) and how the contracts are all lining up, I can see Nurse going down to start the year. Musil is getting waived for sure. If he gets picked up oh well. I doubt he does though.

    I think they would keep musil up if all this happens.

    Oesterle would be better served playing full time rather than getting seventh minutes. I would argue musil is what he is, and calm feet haven’t been his problem, it’s speeding them up. Practising with faster players in the NHL would help him get to speed

    Klef-Larsson
    Sekera-fayne
    Davidson-gryba
    Musil

    Oesterle-reinhart
    Nurse-Benning
    Laleggia-simpson

  60. Centre of attention says:

    stush18,

    I don’t think they are that desperately attached to Musil. Perhaps they explore trade options. Stauffer hinted at a swap with Chicago involving McNeil. IDK how that one would work.

    IMO Oesterle’s time is now in the NHL. He’s an older prospect and is better used occasionally up here than spinning his wheels in the AHL. Oesterle doesn’t need much more AHL development, just NHL reps.

  61. stush18 says:

    Centre of attention:
    stush18,

    I don’t think they are that desperately attached to Musil. Perhaps they explore trade options. Stauffer hinted at a swap with Chicago involving McNeil. IDK how that one would work.

    IMO Oesterle’s time is now in the NHL. He’s an older prospect and is better used occasionally up here than spinning his wheels in the AHL. Oesterle doesn’t need much more AHL development, just NHL reps.

    I’d like a musil for sproul swap. Doubt it happens tho. McNeil would be a good add, he fits the mold really well. Landed likely gets moved then too but oh well

  62. Centre of attention says:

    stush18: I’d like a musil for sproul swap. Doubt it happens tho. McNeil would be a good add, he fits the mold really well. Landed likely gets moved then too but oh well

    I wonder what Buffalo thinks of a guy like Musil…

  63. Gordies Elbow says:

    RIP Bob McGill, glad he played for the original Oil Kings, and had such a great scouting career. Sad to see him go, he will be missed.

  64. OilClog says:

    Woogie63:
    Top scorers on Karpat last year…. before we start playing Jesse on the second line in the NHL.

    Sebastian Aho, 18 years old 45 GP,45 PTS
    Judson Ikonen 20 years old, 55 GP, 39PTS
    Mika Niemeyer 27 years old, 57 GP,38 PTS
    Miro Aaltonen 22 years old, 58 GP, 35 PTS
    Mika Pyorala 34 years old, 49 GP, 32 PTS
    JP 17 years old, 50 GP, 28 PTS

    JP lead Karpat in playoff goals, while being third in scoring and missing 4 games.

    JP matched what only Gretz, Lindros, and Jagr had done as 17yr olds at the world jrs

    JP had 6 points in two games during the penticton wind up while McDavid did not a season ago.

    McDavid, Nuge, Drai.. why any talk of moving him to the middle? Those guys need wingers!

  65. Bank Shot says:

    OilClog: JP lead Karpat in playoff goals, while being third in scoring and missing 4 games.

    JP matched what only Gretz, Lindros, and Jagr had done as 17yr olds at the world jrs

    JP had 6 points in two games during the penticton wind up while McDavid did not a season ago.

    McDavid, Nuge, Drai.. why any talk of moving him to the middle? Those guys need wingers!

    I really hope Oilers management can keep it in their pants for one season.

    They will be so much better set up for the next three seasons if Puljujarvi gets a year of soak time in the AHL.

  66. Oilspill says:

    I see the main battle on D is Fayne vs Gryba. If Gryba beats out Fayne I rather doubt the team offers league minimum.

  67. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: I’ll probably get punted to Siberia for writing this, but I don’t think Fayne is a lock to make the starting 6.

    You shouldn’t. It’s aligns perfectly with the Stauffer comments from last night’s game.

  68. G Money says:

    Man, the verbal on Fayne has gotten way out of hand. He did have a tough middle to the season, but was fine early and fine late. You can actually see the cliff in his numbers just before he got benched and sent to the minors: http://i.imgur.com/0qW3bmF.png

    He was also Sekera’s most effective partner against top rank competition.

    The WoodMoney’s suggest he did get taken to the woodshed by top comp, but did just fine against middle and lower comp.

    And Fayne was notably better against better players than Gryba, who could only handle Gritensity level comp (though he did quite well at that, especially when partnered by Davidson).

    Fayne also takes penalties (or rather, his penalty differential runs) at a rate about 40% lower than Gryba.

    So next year, seems to me the most likely bet is that we’ll see Sekera-Fayne as the second pairing, and they should be quite effective in that role.

    Gryba needs a lot more sheltering, and if he’s our 2nd pairing RHD, we’re pretty much fucked.

  69. frjohnk says:

    G Money:
    Man, the verbal on Fayne has gotten way out of hand.He did have a tough middle to the season, but was fine early and fine late.You can actually see the cliff in his numbers just before he got benched and sent to the minors: http://i.imgur.com/0qW3bmF.png

    He was also Sekera’s most effective partner against top rank competition.

    The WoodMoney’s suggest he did get taken to the woodshed by top comp, but did just fine against middle and lower comp.

    And Fayne was *much* better against better players than Gryba, who could only handle Gritensity level comp (and he did quite well, especially when partnered by Davidson).

    Fayne also takes penalties at a rate about 40% lower than Gryba.

    So next year, seems to me the most likely bet is that we’ll see Sekera-Fayne as the second pairing, and they should be quite effective in that role.

    And if Gryba is our 2nd pairing RHD, we’re pretty much fucked.

    It’s not that I think Fayne is a bad hockey player. But I don’t think McLellan and Chia value him much. Last years demotion to the minors and his low ice time even with all those injuries are the tea leaves I’m reading.

    But I’ve been prone to losing my eyesight for days after a bad batch of shine. 🙂

  70. G Money says:

    frjohnk,

    That may very well be. That he was sent to the minors is a pretty big tell.

    Conversely, both Oesterle and Nurse saw more average ice time per game than did Sekera or Klefbom. And in that metric, Reinhart was fifth on the team.

    Meanwhile, it was Fayne and Sekera that saw top rank competition – they weren’t sheltered at all, while everyone else saw much less of the top rank competition.

    So the question becomes – if TMc & co didn’t actually trust Fayne, why was he the guy out against the Thornton and Crosby’s of the world moreso than any other defender not named Andrej or Oscar?

    So I’m not sure you can use TOI as a proxy for anything much with this team, other than a reflection of the high injury rate and that most likely led to a lot of “let’s see what we got” ice time for youngsters late in the season when the season was done anyway.

  71. SOS says:

    Quickly wanted to chime in on standouts from the game at Clare Drake last night.

    Standouts for me were Puljujärvi, Caggiula, Betker, Butcher, and Bear.
    -Puljujärvi has fantastic vision and was the half-wall quarterback on the PP. Back-checked well, although I did feel as though the Bears gave him a lot of space, which he won’t get when he starts playing in pre-season. Had good chemistry with Caggiula as well, both would look for the other on the ice
    -Caggiula was great on the dot, saw the ice well, and was connecting on passes all night. I think he’ll need some time in the A to adjust to the size and skill of the pro game.
    -Betker moves fantastic for a big man, very mobile and rarely out of position. Shot from the point was so-so (he struggled to get point shots through when given the opportunity) but defended extremely well.
    -Butcher is about the same size as Caggiula, wasn’t overly physical but made a number of creative plays in the offensive zone and was responsible defensively.
    -Bear played a solid game as well, timed his o-zone pinching very well, and had a great outlet pass that connected regularly. Still very raw skills though (and much like Jones) will need a while to develop.

    I saw Ellis bad, he was very passive in the net (looked a bit tired maybe?) but has great flexibility and size. Again, raw skills are there, and I think he’ll be a player in a couple years (maybe even next fall).

    Everyone else played well but nobody stood out in my eyes. I did take some notes but left them at the rink as the $5 beers were going down a bit too easily 🙂 Also would recommend taking in a game or two at Clare Drake if you haven’t…a great atmosphere, cheap beers, and nostalgia as a former U of A student make it a fun night out.

  72. hags9k says:

    Bank Shot,

    Most people are very careful with their shiny new rookie cards. They carefully remove them from the packaging and gently shelter them in hard plastic sleeves.

    The Oilers rip them out and shove them into their back spokes with a clothespin to see if it can make the BMX sound like a dirt bike.

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