PS G3 2016-17: OILERS AT CANUCKS

The exhibition season gets underway for real tonight, as Todd McLellan and his coaching staff begin the process of identifying the best 23-man roster for opening night in October. I have been pegging the chances of each player through summer, but the first days of TC give us perhaps a few new contenders for available jobs.

talbot capture 3

GOALIES

  1. Cam Talbot, 29. He is going to get more work than Ginger Baker in Toad. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. Jonas Gustavsson, 31. Strong start to training camp in Calgary, I think the backup job will be decided in training camp and the Swede could lose it. Chances of Making the Oilers: 60%.
  3. Laurent Brossoit, 23. Also looked good in Calgary, organization believes in him and I think there was some thought in the organization that he was NHL-ready mid-season 15-16. Chances of Making the Oilers: 40%.

klefbom capture 1

LEFT DEFENSE

  1. LD Oscar Klefbom, 23. That 2011 draft gave this team two gems, I would love to see both men play all 82 games. Klefbom has the potential to impact the season in a big way.  Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. LD Andrej Sekera, 30. Strong play at WCOH reminds us of how well he can play. If the Oilers can use him as second pair anchor, that is a very nice top 4D. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  3. LD Brandon Davidson, 24. He played almost 23 minutes the other night, a terrific sign for the Oilers. A massive season for him, can he repeat the brilliance of 2015-16? Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  4. LD Darnell Nurse, 21. Played a ton on Monday, had poor possession stats but grew raves from the press box. That is about what happened last season. Can he improve his possession numbers this season? Chances of Making the Oilers: 90%.
  5. LD Jordan Oesterle, 24. Fast defender with offensive bent made some defensive adjustments in the NHL a year ago. Still miles to go, he could make this team. Chances of Making the Oilers: 35%.
  6. LD Griffin Reinhart, 22. He is a PC acquisition and should get a push at some point during the year. Important to find out about him before the expansion draft—some believe his NHL role is already established. Chances of Making the Oilers: 25%.
  7. LD David Musil, 23. He has one big advantage—because he requires waivers, Edmonton may keep him if the club values him in a big way. Did not receive an early push (Davidson appeared in four games last TC) but we are still in early days. Chances of Making the Oilers: 15%.
  8. LD Mark Fraser, 29. He could see NHL time, unlikely to break camp with the big team. Chances of Making the Oilers: 1%.
  9. LD Dillon Simpson, 23. Remains a long shot for an NHL career, but his steady progress makes Simpson an interesting prospect. No chance.
  10. LD Andrew Ference—LTIR. No chance.
  11. LD Joey Laleggia—A big season in Bakersfield could get him a cup of coffee. No chance.
  12. LD Ben Betker—End of the roster in terms of LD, he is a giant stay-at-home blue. No chance.

larsson-capture-7

RIGHT DEFENSE

  1. RD Adam Larsson, 23. Steady first outing with Klefbom, despite losing his stick on a GA. I think we need 40 games to get a feel for his style and effectiveness. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. RD Mark Fayne, 29. Oilers badly need him to be an effective defender. From the Terry Harper family of blue liners, had a difficult transition to the Todd McLellan Oilers. Chances of Making the Oilers: 90%.
  3. RD Eric Gryba, 28. He is an effective defender, but not a good puck mover. I think he is fine as a 6-7D and would consider his signing a recognition of the need for further defensive depth. Chances of Making the Oilers: 29%.
  4. RD Matt Benning, 23. He has a lot of things going for him and a strong training camp might get him in the conversation. Chances of Making the Oilers: 15%.

mcdavid-capture12

CENTER

  1. C Connor McDavid, 19. Cannot wait to see him play live again, the young man is worth the price of admission all by his lonesome. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 23. It does my heart good to see people acknowledge his considerable gifts after his strong play at WCOH. He is a fine player. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  3. C-R Leon Draisaitl, 20. He could play a utility (C-R) role but the team sets up currently with Leon as the soft minutes pivot. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  4. C Mark Letestu, 31. Underrated 4C, mostly because he had to play too high on the depth chart one year ago. Call it Horcoff syndrome. I think he could still get PP minutes this year, at least until JP is established. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  5. C Anton Lander, 25. Early in camp, it is clear Edmonton is looking for a substantial option at center, Lander is in a spot of bother as camp opens. He is a player with range, needs to show it at camp—something most incumbents are not required to do. Chances of Making the Oilers: 55%.
  6. C Jujhar Khaira, 22. Looked impressive in his first game, showing good speed and some offensive ability. I think he is close. Chances of Making the Oilers: 30%.
  7. C-L Drake Caggiula, 22. He got a big push in game 1 of the pre-season and I think there is an increased chance he makes the big team. Chances of Making the Oilers: 30%.
  8. F Jere Sallinen, 25. He played well in the Calgary game, showing some range and offensive acumen. Remains a long shot at this point in time. Chances of Making the Oilers: 2%.
  9. RC Ryan Vesce, 34. He was a rather late add and I don’t think he makes the team, but Vesce checks off a lot of boxes: RHC, good in the dot, excellent shot, terrific power-play resume. Chances of Making the Oilers: 1%.
  10. RC Kyle Platzer—He has showed well again this TC. No chance.
  11. LC Josh Currie—The fact he is still in camp is a good arrow. No chance.

lucic-capture-2

LEFT WING

  1. L Milan Lucic, 28. His first game as an Oiler was uneventful, but you can see the impact he can have on the offensive game. Much attention paid to his style, plenty of substance with this player. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. L Benoit Pouliot, 29. He didn’t play opening night of pre-season, so one expects he will get the call tonight. An important player on this team, very effective. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  3. L Patrick Maroon, 28. Faster and quicker this camp, he has a chance to carve out a nice spot on this roster during 2016-17. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  4. L Matt Hendricks, 35. Role players who survive in the NHL until 35 are damned hard workers who have sacrificed. Hendricks is such a player. Chances of Making the Oilers: 85%.
  5. R Anton Slepyshev, 22. Showed well in the Calgary game (scoring a goal) and the coach says good things about him. After that, it is up to him and the increasingly difficult depth chart. Chances of Making the Oilers: 11%.
  6. R Taylor Beck, 25. Productive in game one, he has good offensive instincts but we don’t know much about his checking game yet. Chances of Making the Oilers: 7%.
  7. L Mitch Moroz—Turned some heads opening night, first good sign in some time. Hope he keeps it up. No chance.
  8. L Braden Christoffer—Got into a fight in Calgary, rugged winger headed for the minors. No chance.
  9. L Ryan Hamilton—He is still in camp, a good sign for any AHLer at this point.
  10. L Tyler Benson—Healthy enough for full practice, could he play tonight? Seems a stretch.

pakarinen-capture

RIGHT WING

  1. R Jordan Eberle, 26. Seems destined to play on the McDavid line, where he could score 35 goals in my opinion. He had an injury last year, still scored 25. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. R Zack Kassian, 25. A sure starter opening night, the only question is what line he plays on. He can make plays with the puck, it will be interesting to see where he lands. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  3. R Nail Yakupov, 22. He had reasonable possession numbers in Calgary (considering the opponent and situation), I hope he gets a push on a strong line this week. Chances of Making the Oilers: 90%.
  4. R Kris Versteeg, 30. He was terrific in his first game, and that accounts for the spike in his chances. He can play a utility forward role, and is willing to do it. An extremely valuable addition via PTO, Edmonton did not get this in the before time (pre-McDavid). Chances of Making the Oilers: 70%.
  5. R Iiro Pakarinen, 24. Utility forward for the Oilers a year ago, his chances of making the team took a hit with the addition of Versteeg. Chances of Making the Oilers: 50%.
  6. R Jesse Puljujarvi, 18. He is big (6.04, 203), fast and skilled—and impressed at rookie camp while not getting much done in G1 of the pre-season. Probably wise to get him out there soon with a chance to redeem himself. Chances of Making the Oilers: 60%.
  7. R Tyler Pitlick, 24. Impressive opener slightly increases his chances of making the team, that pass to Versteeg was pretty damn sweet. Chances of Making the Oilers: 10%.
  8. R Patrick Russell, 23. A real long shot—new pro, speed a concern—but he has size and is physical. No chance.
  9. R Greg Chase—A quiet rookie camp and a quiet opening night. He seems to be less sure of himself at this camp, needs to get that swagger back—and to stop taking penalties. No chance.

PROJECTED ROSTER FOR TONIGHT (MY GUESS)

  • Pouliot—RNH—Puljujarvi
  • Maroon—Caggiula—Yakupov
  • Pitlick—Khaira—Slepyshev
  • Versteeg—Lander—Pakarinen
  • Nurse—Davidson
  • Reinhart—Gryba
  • Musil—Simpson
  • Brossoit, Gustavsson

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show on the way, with a hockey focus. 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. A look at tonight’s game, some of the early battles, and Bruce’s top five NHL players of all-time.
  • J.D. Burke, Canucks Army. Vancouver isn’t getting a lot of respect this fall, but any team with the piss-cutter Sedins should be feared.
  • Don Landry, CFL.ca. Where is this blasted season heading? Eskimos crossover could be beneficial!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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637 Responses to "PS G3 2016-17: OILERS AT CANUCKS"

« Older Comments
  1. Rebilled says:

    I really think they missed Kassian in this game.

    Players I remember getting injured in pre-season:

    1. Hopefully not Maroon
    2. Eberle
    3. Gagner
    4. I must be missing 6 others.

  2. LadiesloveSmid says:

    at least we got LT 600 comments

    pray to gord for Maroon

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    It’s fun watching the AHL kids on the big screen, it’s usually grainy youtube footage and such.

    A couple of nice performances, I think Cagguila made a strong case for employment even before the Maroon injury.

  4. Little Poteet says:

    Well goodnight everyone. I’ll go to sleep dreaming of that horrawful powerplay

  5. Centre of attention says:

    Rebilled:
    I really think they missed Kassian in this game.

    Players I remember getting injured in pre-season:

    1. Hopefully not Maroon
    2. Eberle
    3. Gagner
    4. I must be missing 6 others.

    The Oilers were still in preseason mode when Hall got hurt in November 2014, if that counts at all. 🙂

  6. Shizuka says:

    Lowetide:
    Reinhart continues to look poor.

    Yup — slow heavy feet, out of position, and I am continually stunned at how such a big kid can’t properly box out other players, even those who are much smaller than he is. Ridiculous for a 6’4″ 215 lb. frame.

  7. stubblejumper says:

    Shizuka: Yup — slow heavy feet, out of position, and I am continually stunned at how such a big kid can’t properly box out other players, even those who are much smaller than he is. Ridiculous for a 6’4″ 215 lb. frame.

    Looks like he’d rather of had a root canal than be on the ice…

  8. Pescador says:

    Shizuka: Yup — slow heavy feet, out of position, and I am continually stunned at how such a big kid can’t properly box out other players, even those who are much smaller than he is. Ridiculous for a 6’4″ 215 lb. frame.

    I’ve always felt Griffin’s ceiling was a 3rd pairing defensive dman, it does not bode well for the trade.
    Clearly he understands the situation he is in (bubble) & its appears to be hurting his confidence.
    I also believe his game would look so much better if he could figure out how to unleash that mean streak every shift. Makes him harder to like as a player.
    Is that fair?

  9. oilgreg says:

    I’ll jump in with 86 points. Thanks!

  10. unca miltie says:

    Hunter, one year,93 points will be the number. maybe it is this year. Only saw part of the game, once again Pitlick looks like a player.

  11. HT Joe says:

    Hunter… can you please put me down for 74 points (5 more points than my prediction last year).

    If I go into specific reasons, it will just seem like I’m picking on players during the pre-season… so I’ll just leave it at I’m expecting no significant improvement in standings because Oilers.

    (I would love to be wrong, but at least this year if the bottom falls out, I’ll be also following NJ with great interest as well)

  12. McSorley33 says:

    Ducey:
    Not sure you can take a lot from this game. Very early. The only guy on EDM who looks like he is clearly overmatched is Leggs. Small, iffy edges, some poor decisions.

    …………………………..

    GR was a human turnstile to every AHL forward out there….

  13. stush18 says:

    Shizuka: Yup — slow heavy feet, out of position, and I am continually stunned at how such a big kid can’t properly box out other players, even those who are much smaller than he is. Ridiculous for a 6’4″ 215 lb. frame.

    I might be biased but I think playing with laleggia and Simpson hurt him more.

    Let me put it this way. I was less impressed with nurses passing, and would call there defense even. And by even, I mean meh. And nurse got to play strong side with davidson.

    Def wasn’t a strong enough game to warrant staying with the big club though.

    Pitlick, slepyshev and cagguila are really impressing. Pouliot looked bad, hope it’s still the sickness/injury

  14. McSorley33 says:

    Of course it is only pre season

    Of course it is just one game.

    Nevertheless, that was quite the night for GR.

    Wow.

    Just needs a few weeks to fix his agility.

  15. Frank the dog says:

    When will CMD get his scoring touch?

  16. ewarsaba says:

    I’m going with 80 points. All of you guessing 100+ points are nuts.

  17. oilinthepeg says:

    Hi, Hunter.
    Thanks for doing this!
    Put me down for 86.

    Cheers!

  18. Oiln5 says:

    Caggiula making things interesting. Depth is nice, but guys like Lander becoming irrelevant again.

    I’m down for 92 points.

  19. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’ll say 92 pts. The team earned 19 pts in the last 19 games last year, after the trade deadline when they got rid of schultz. They did this despite all the injuries they suffered at the end of the year. I figure they have to be 10 pts better than that this year. One really bold prediction: they win the first four games of the season.

  20. Frank the dog says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’ll say 92 pts. The team earned 19 pts in the last 19 games last year, after the trade deadline when they got rid of schultz. They did this despite all the injuries they suffered at the end of the year.I figure they have to be 10 pts better than that this year.One really bold prediction: they win the first four games of the season.

    And lose the next 10.

  21. Rocknrolla says:

    Hunter you are a beaut! I will go for 92 pts, and making the playoffs! Also will suggest $20 entry fee donation to LT for the stakes if anyone didn’t mention yet…

  22. Ryan says:

    Rebilled:
    I really think they missed Kassian in this game.

    Players I remember getting injured in pre-season:

    1. Hopefully not Maroon
    2. Eberle
    3. Gagner
    4. I must be missing 6 others.

    Who was it that once said, “it’s always some Canuck with a name like Cracknell injuring an Oiler in the preseason?”

  23. Frank the dog says:

    How badly is Maroon injured? Was that considered a “clean” hit? Will the offender be suspended for the hit?

  24. DBO says:

    Hunter out me down for 89 pts

    If we have to sacrifice to the injury gods, be thankful it’s maroon. He is solid, but not one of our high end so I hope he’s not injured long term, but we have depth.

    Caggula will make squad as a LW/C depth now. And now Versteeg means even more to this team since he provided the depth to handle that kind of injury. And gives Yak a spot without being forced to me him for peanuts.

    So Caggula or Puljarvi? Cause it comes down to one for the opening night roster. Hoping the college kid since it gives us more depth at centre along with lander as our extra forwards. Let Puljarvi play big mins in the AHL and The Drake stay up to learn the big boy game. Not as much harm for him to spend time in the press box.

  25. Shane says:

    Hunter I’ll take 99 points please.

  26. hungoverman says:

    Hi Hunter, Please put me down for 82 points. Thanks for the contest. And thanks LT as always!!!
    Going low as I still don’t see the light at the end of the rainbow.

  27. jp says:

    Put me down for 98 Hunter, if you could.

  28. Donye West says:

    hunter1909,

    Put me down for 78 points!

  29. Genjutsu says:

    I’ll take 97 points Hunter, thanks for doing this again.

  30. The Trade Guy says:

    I don’t really get worked up about who does what in preseason. Over the years I’ve learned that preseason is really boring. Even more boring then most of the regular season.

    I watched the second period and it was really boring and sloppy. I hate games with bad passing and all the lanes are clogged up and guys play on the perimeter.

  31. StixMalone says:

    I’m in for 91 points….

  32. npanciroli says:

    92 points me for if I still can.

  33. Oddspell says:

    If possible, I’ll go with 93 points.

  34. Oilspill says:

    Shizuka,Re Reinhardt

    I watched him closEly. The issue isn’t he can’t physically do it. He over thinks and that time puts him behind in terms of initiatiating or reacting.

  35. smellyglove says:

    Hunter: put me down for 82 points

  36. Kraz says:

    I’ll go with 98 points hunter

  37. Canucks 9 to 5: One game really doesn’t mean anything | The Province says:

    […] On the other side of the street, top-notch Oilers blog Lowetide looks at the entire Oilers depth chart going into tonight’s game. […]

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