EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2016

The strongest Oilers prospect list (using my format) was probably Winter 1980. That list would have included Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Andy Moog and Walt Poddubny, among others. The 2015 list (one year ago), boasted Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse and a few other interesting names. Impossible and unfair to compare across decades, but that 2015 list should be a lot of fun to track over the next 15 years.

This year, there are some quality prospects, and the college men help the depth in important areas. Still, there are clearly issues and work to do in the procurement department.

GOALTENDING (6)

  • Current Prospects: Laurent Brossoit (No. 12) remains the top goalie prospect in the system, and it is likely we will see him in the NHL sometime this season. Nick Ellis (No. 14) is the rising name at this position, and there is at least some evidence that he belongs on the same plane as Brossoit. It makes for a fascinating fight for an NHL job and this should be fun to follow over the next 18 months. Dylan Wells (No. 20) is posting a strong recovery season, and the tough draft year performance may have allowed Edmonton to steal a gem. Miroslav Svoboda (No. 22) plays in an obscure league, but deserves a spotlight for his fantastic save percentage. Zach Nagelvoort (No. 34) is playing well in college, but not enough—and it is anyone’s guess about whether or not he will sign here in the spring. Eetu Laurikainen (No. 41) seems to be near the end of his time with the organization.
  • Is this an area of strength? It is still a problem area, I think that is fair. The club has a good AHL tandem now, and some real competition at that level. Wells looks like a bona fide prospect and Svoboda is stopping all pucks in dimly lit rinks in Bohemia as we speak. The list is better, but needs an impact prospect, a No. 1 goalie of the future. Is that man Wells? The Bohemian?
  • What’s the next step? Talbot has a contract and a good Edmonton resume, but he needs a strong backup to push him. Edmonton does not have that, but the AHL duo are the best minor league pairing for this organization since Dubnyk—Jeff Deslauriers. Getting one of the AHL goalies established in the NHL as a backup is probably the next step. I want to mention here that the Oilers would be wise to cast about looking for even stronger solutions if they are available at reasonable cost. Brossoit is a good prospect, but Chad Johnson is a better option for 2017-18 (as an example).
  • Will everyone be back next season? Talbot, Brossoit and Ellis are locks, signed and under control for 2017-18. Wells and Svoboda will continue to matriculate, and we will find out about Nagelvoort in due time.
  • Will anyone be gone next season? Jonas Gustavsson is extremely likely to be gone by this time next season, and we could say the same for Eetu Laurikainen.

DEFENSE (16)

  • Current Prospects: Matt Benning (No. 4) has been a Godsend, a true blue NHL RHD grabbed from US college hockey. That was a pretty cool signing. Ziyat Paigin (No. 5) is a big, strong and reliable defender with a big shot as offensive kicker, he is a player I would love to see signed this summer. Ethan Bear (No. 6) is having another strong junior season and figures to patrol the Bakersfield blue beginning next season. Caleb Jones (No. 7) might have the highest outer marker of the entire group, with his wheels I expect we could see him get NHL time in 2017-18. Filip Berglund (No. 11), another RHD, is playing in the SHL this season, and that is a terrific sign. Griffin Reinhart (No. 13) had a poor start, and is just now settling into his role with Bakersfield. William Lagesson (No. 16) is having a good year, but should probably be signed this summer—that is a theme here, and not every blue is going to get a contract. Expect a cull. Dillon Simpson (No. 17) made his NHL debut earlier this year, and performed well. He is likely to be an NHL option for the next couple of years. Markus Niemelainen (No. 18) is big and mobile, he has another year of junior after this one.
  • John Marino (No. 21) is posting a successful freshman season in Harvard, David Musil (No. 23) is trying to push his way up the depth chart while also having his skills duplicated up and down the pro system. Matt Cairns (No. 24) is just getting started on his USHL career and Jordan Oesterle (No. 25) was probably closer to an NHL career two years ago—such is the existence of a talented but one dimensional defender in the Leftorium. Ben Betker (No. 31) is big mobile and lefthanded, which is impacting his race up the depth chart. Joey Laleggia (No. 32) is losing the battle for playing time (and deployment) in Bakersfield and would appear to be in his final months in the system. Vincent Desharnais (No. 37) is a more mature prospect than Matt Cairns, but in a way he is just getting started, too. He is a righty, and we wait.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? Yes, I think this is the deepest area among prospects, No. 2 (behind C) if we include young NHLers. At the big league level, the Oilers have Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson and now Matt Benning. I think the group that includes Paigin, Bear and Jones may fetch one, possibly two legit NHL players. After that, we will see. The sheer numbers here—16 of 41 players on this list are defensemen—probably mean we see a solid number of pro players.
  • What’s the Next Step? There could be one or less NHL jobs available next season, and the cull should come for the AHL group. If we project the NHL roster (Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Sekera, Russell, Davidson, Benning) then there is no room at the Inn. Bakersfield is going to be flat out crazy, unless Edmonton chooses to sign no defenders in the offseason. If Edmonton does move an NHL defenseman, logic and reason suggest that player will be a lefty—one of Klefbom or Nurse most likely.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? No. Not one chance in hell. This roster has to cull the Leftorium, there is simply no way to avoid it. Minor league players under contract for next season include Ben Betker and new pro’s Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear. Ziyat Paigin and William Lagesson are probably ready for pro hockey, don’t think there is going to be room.
  • Will Anyone Be Gone Next Season? This is going to be epic. Among NHL defenders, Eric Gryba probably doesn’t return and I bet Peter Chiarelli will be aggressive about moving Mark Fayne. RFAs include Griffin Reinhart, Dillon Simpson, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle and Joey Laleggia. All five men are lefties. Beyond that, I do think Brandon Davidson is an expansion worry and Mark Fraser (UFA) is unlikely to return.

CENTER (7)

  • Current ProspectsDrake Caggiula (No. 3) has NHL speed and a lot of gumption, we will see about the offense. Jujhar Khaira (No. 9) is NHL-ready and waiting for a chance—he may not be on next winter’s list. Aapeli Rasanen (No. 15) is a promising two-way player who is probably several seasons away. Tyler Vesel (No. 19) is a late-breaking college man who is scoring well enough to get contract consideration. Bogdan Yakimov (No. 26) is probably as close to NHL-ready as Khaira, but we may not see him again. Kyle Platzer (No. 27) is a good two-way prospect but isn’t getting a lot of AHL playing time. Jere Sallinen (No. 35) hasn’t shown much in the AHL this season, but has had some KHL success.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? If you include Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this is one of the deepest positions in the entire NHL. Edmonton has no impact prospects bubbling under, but McDavid and Leon are clearly a big part of the future. I think Caggiula and Khaira are pretty good bets for NHL careers, not sure if either man will spend a lot of time on the top two lines. The rest of long shots, although Rasanen may end up being a better bet than the rest.
  • What’s the Next Step? NHL level is taken care of, AHL at-bats being spent this season on Khaira, Anton Lander, Josh Currie, Platzer and Sallinen. Platzer and Tyler Vesel may be playing larger roles in Bakersfield next year, but it is impossible to see from here.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? Leon Draisaitl is RFA, reasonable to expect a bridge. Khaira is RFA, but he will be signed.
  • Will Anyone Be Gone Next Season? Anton Lander is in a bit of a pickle, although you can make a case he should be on the NHL roster right now. Bogdan Yakimov is an RFA, but his decision to play in Russia this year probably means this will end in divorce.

LEFT WING (8)

  • Current Prospects: Tyler Benson (No. 2) is a talented player, he could make it as a top 6F or as a two-way checker, and that is what we are about to find out. Anton Slepyshev (No. 8) can play either wing, I am listing him here because this may be his easiest route at this time. Mitchell Moroz (No. 28) remains a fourth line winger in the AHL but is having a little more offensive success now. Aidan Muir (No. 29) had a strong year going, a breakout season, but is now injured and we will have to see about his signability in the spring. Graham McPhee (No. 30) has a checking resume and some skill, we have miles to go before we really know about him. Joey Benik (No. 38) has scoring skills but no NHL contract (AHL), Braden Christoffer (No. 39) is similar to Moroz but older and with less offense. Evan Campbell (No. 40) appears to have been relegated to part-time duty in his final college season—not a good sign.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? This position could be the weakest in the organization. The trade of Taylor Hall means the NHL team has no LW younger than 28 (Lucic, Maroon) on the everyday roster. Benson is an excellent prospect but no sure thing, Slepyshev is the only other substantial prospect in the system. Caggiula could also be an option and Jujhar Khaira has plenty of experience on LW.
  • What’s the Next Step? Benson continues to develop, Slepyshev should see more NHL time later in the year. LW has to be a position of real interest for Edmonton at the 2017 entry draft.
  • Will Everyone be Back Next Season? Lucic, Maroon and Pouliot are all under contract for next year, although it is not certain all will return.
  • Will Anyone be Gone Next Season? Matt Hendricks seems unlikely to return, as Edmonton has plenty of less expensive options. Never say never though, Todd McLellan clearly values the veteran. Benoit Pouliot is less than 50/50 to return by my estimate.

RIGHT WING (4)

  • Prospects: Jesse Puljujarvi (No. 1) is the youngest player in the NHL, and has an exceptional skill set. We don’t know when he will be a productive NHL regular, but when he arrives look out.  Tyler Pitlick (No. 10) had a breakout season going before his injury, and has a foothold in the NHL for the first time since being drafted in 2010. Greg Chase (No. 33) is getting fairly regular work in the AHL this season, we have yet to see the offense he displayed in junior and the ECHL. Patrick Russell (No. 36) has some speed issues but some offensive promise.
  • Is This an Area of Strength? It was the weakest position one year ago, but the addition of Puljujarvi moves RW ahead of the port side. Tyler Pitlick also helped the position this year and could do the same in the years to come (assuming good health).
  • What’s the Next Step? Edmonton doesn’t have enough depth at this position, NHL, AHL and below. Puljujarvi is a potentially massive addition to the RW depth chart, and he should be ready to pull a heavier load in 2017. Jordan Eberle remains available for top 6F duty, but after those two men there needs to be additional help.
  • Will Everyone by Back Next Season? Edmonton said goodbye to Nail Yakupov before the season, so the rest of the group should be fairly safe. After Eberle and Puljujarvi, I expect the team will make every effort to sign Zack Kassian—possibly long term. Adding Pitlick, also an RFA, makes sense and Iiro Pakarinen needs a contract but could be added for additional depth.
  • Will Anyone be Gone Next Season? Since this time last season, Yakupov and Teddy Purcell are gone and have not been replaced with outside options. Good in a way, as Puljujarvi, Pitlick and even Taylor Beck have played a little. However, the position is not deep at the NHL level, and (JP aside) lacks top end potential.

THE 41-MEN WHO MAKE THE 2016 LIST

I count 50 games as graduation day, so Tyler Pitlick has reached that level and will not be considered a prospect for next year. We could see a bunch of these young players graduate, as Puljujarvi, Caggiula, Benning, Slepyshev, Khaira and Reinhart all within range to do it this year.

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi 24
  2. Tyler Benson
  3. Drake Caggiula 17
  4. Matt Benning 24
  5. Ziyat Paigin
  6. Ethan Bear
  7. Caleb Jones
  8. Anton Slepyshev 26
  9. Jujhar Khaira 15
  10. Tyler Pitlick 58 (graduated)
  11. Filip Berglund
  12. Laurent Brossoit 6
  13. Griffin Reinhart 37
  14. Nick Ellis
  15. Aapeli Rasanen
  16. William Lagesson
  17. Dillon Simpson 3
  18. Markus Niemelainen
  19. Tyler Vesel
  20. Dylan Wells
  21. John Marino
  22. Jaroslav Svoboda
  23. David Musil 4
  24. Matthew Cairns
  25. Jordan Oesterle 23
  26. Bogdan Yakimov 1
  27. Kyle Platzer
  28. Mitchell Moroz
  29. Aidan Muir
  30. Graham McPhee
  31. Ben Betker
  32. Joey Laleggia
  33. Greg Chase
  34. Zach Nagelvoort
  35. Jere Sallinen
  36. Patrick Russell
  37. Vincent Desharnais
  38. Joey Benik
  39. Braden Christoffer
  40. Evan Campbell
  41. Eetu Laurikainen

This is not a strong list overall, Oilers will need to get some good surprises in the group after Jesse Puljujarvi. The best list in memory? A year ago, and here is their update.

GRADUATE UPDATE—LAST YEAR’S LIST

  • No. 1 C Connor McDavid, graduated to the NHL. Now at 80 games (88 points).
  • No. 2 C Leon Draisaitl, graduated to the NHL. Now at 144 games.
  • No. 3 D Darnell Nurse, graduated to the NHL. Now at 96 games.
  • No. 7 G Anders Nilsson, traded at the deadline (pick was Graham McPhee) and now with Buffalo Sabres. 62 NHL games.
  • No. 8 D Brandon Davidson, graduated to the NHL. Now at 68 games.
  • No. 10 R Iiro Pakarinen, graduated to the NHL. Now at 80 games.
  • No. 24 L Kale Kessy, Oilers did not retain him, he is now in the Winnipeg Jets organization.
  • No. 26 C Andrew Miller, he moved on to the Carolina Hurricanes organization. Now at 15 NHL games.
  • No. 29 L Josh Winquist, he moved on to the Islanders organization this past summer.
  • No. 30 C Alexis Loiseau, AHL contract the Oilers set free. Now in ECHL.
  • No. 33 D Brad Hunt, went unsigned and is now in the St. Louis Blues organization. Now at 25 NHL games (four this year with STL).
  • No. 36 G Keven Bouchard, Oilers did not sign him, he went back to junior.
  • No. 38 D Martin Gernat, Oilers dealt him to Anaheim in the Patrick Maroon deal, he now plays in the Czech league.
  • No. 40 G Ty Rimmer. He was not on the 50-man list and was not signed by Bakersfield. Not playing this year.
  • No. 40 C Marco Roy. Former second-round pick, Bakersfield signed him but he moved over to the Vancouver Canucks organization this past summer.

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54 Responses to "EDMONTON OILERS PROSPECTS, WINTER 2016"

  1. mujidog says:

    This type of content is so much fun for us geeks to geek out on. Thanks for your efforts Lowetide!

  2. Woogie63 says:

    I would like to see the AHL team used better to develop 20-22 years so we watch less development in the NHL.

    Pulijajarvi and Caggulia should be requesting to go play in the AHL so they become better long term NHL players.

  3. Pajamah says:

    I know prospects don’t leave the list until they leave the organization or play 50 big boy games, but I think Reinhart is effectively done with this organization. Even if the Leftorium is culled, he has been passed by Nurse, Davidson, Benning, and with much more discerning eyes turned to Laleggia, Paigin, Lagesson etc.

    Not to say the raw prospects will pass him, but he is in a spot where he will never pass the NHL talent, and is hanging on by a thread over lots of prospects

    I won’t bemoan the price, but dear gord, the Oilers need to trade a middling prospect for two high priced bullets in 2018

  4. Lowetide says:

    Pajamah:
    I know prospects don’t leave the list until they leave the organization or play 50 big boy games, but I think Reinhart is effectively done with this organization. Even if the Leftorium is culled, he has been passed by Nurse, Davidson, Benning, and with much more discerning eyes turned to Laleggia, Paigin, Lagesson etc.

    Not to say the raw prospects will pass him, but he is in a spot where he will never pass the NHL talent, and is hanging on by a thread over lots of prospects

    I won’t bemoan the price, but dear gord, the Oilers need to trade a middling prospect for two high priced bullets in 2018

    I respectfully disagree. Peter Chiarelli is still the GM, suspect Reinhart is more secure than most every player in Bakersfield right now. Human nature, imo.

  5. dustrock says:

    I do like some of the players in the last couple of years drafts. Puljujarvi should be the last Oilers draft pick to play in the bigs from Day 1. For the next decade.

    So it will be extremely interesting to see who they start picking in the mid-to-later 1st rounds in the next 3 years.

    Honestly would have been nice to make some outlier super skill picks to try to develop in junior/AHL for when we have to make Sophie’s Choice Mark XXXII with keeping some of RNH, Eberle, Draisaitl, etc.

  6. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: I respectfully disagree. Peter Chiarelli is still the GM, suspect Reinhart is more secure than most every player in Bakersfield right now. Human nature, imo.

    Agreed 100%.

    But who does he beat out for playing time out of Sekera/Klefbom/Nurse/Davidson? You’d think we have to make a decision on getting rid of one of those guys even without Reinhart.

    On the right side I expect Larsson and Benning are there to stay. Gryba on RHD is better than Reinhart. Then we have Bear et al coming up in the next few years.

    Just not sure how Reinhart beats any of the above-noted players. He’d have to take a miraculous step forward.

  7. Woogie63 says:

    Pajamah:
    I know prospects don’t leave the list until they leave the organization or play 50 big boy games, but I think Reinhart is effectively done with this organization. Even if the Leftorium is culled, he has been passed by Nurse, Davidson, Benning, and with much more discerning eyes turned to Laleggia, Paigin, Lagesson etc.

    Not to say the raw prospects will pass him, but he is in a spot where he will never pass the NHL talent, and is hanging on by a thread over lots of prospects

    I won’t bemoan the price, but dear gord, the Oilers need to trade a middling prospect for two high priced bullets in 2018

    Way too early to declare this. Reinhart has all the tools and we know that development is not a straight line.

    Dubynk and Sam say hello

  8. Pajamah says:

    Lowetide,

    Fair enough.

    Do you think he passes NHL talent, or maintains somewhat of a head start over current prospects?

    The more I read, the more lefty-righty seems to be the desired template, and I’m just not sure Reinhart has the chops to pass one or two of Davidson, Klefbomb, Sekera, Nurse. I will say though, if the cull happens, he may step in as a 7-8D man.

    Do you put his chance of success on GM bias (being a Chiarelli acquisition) or do you believe his talents are good enough/not replicated, to the extent that he earns his NHL time?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Pajamah:
    Lowetide,

    Fair enough.

    Do you think he passes NHL talent, or maintains somewhat of a head start over current prospects?

    The more I read, the more lefty-righty seems to be the desired template, and I’m just not sure Reinhart has the chops to pass one or two of Davidson, Klefbomb, Sekera, Nurse. I will say though, if the cull happens, he may step in as a 7-8D man.

    Do you put his chance of success on GM bias (being a Chiarelli acquisition) or do you believe his talents are good enough/not replicated, to the extent that he earns his NHL time?

    I think the Oilers might make a trade to make room for him if GR develops into a capable player. Chiarelli absolutely likes the style of play Reinhart provides. Rugged, strong, can move the puck. And remember that ridiculous cap bonus he carries goes away starting next season. Makes him a more attractive NHL option.

  10. Diablo says:

    Pajamah:

    I know prospects don’t leave the list until they leave the organization or play 50 big boy games, but I think Reinhart is effectively done with this organization. Even if the Leftorium is culled, he has been passed by Nurse, Davidson, Benning, and with much more discerning eyes turned to Laleggia, Paigin, Lagesson etc.

    Not to say the raw prospects will pass him, but he is in a spot where he will never pass the NHL talent, and is hanging on by a thread over lots of prospects

    I won’t bemoan the price, but dear gord, the Oilers need to trade a middling prospect for two high priced bullets in 2018

    It would be nice if our GM could win every possible deal, but even Sather never accomplished that.
    And when you’re starting with a deck that’s half empty trying to fix a team that had been out of the playoffs for 9 straight years, its not realistic to expect that either. Yes, the Reinhart and Hall-Larsson deals, when taken on their own, were undisputed losses. But no one was going to cut Chia a break, knowing the crappy bargaining position he was in. Boston even went out of their way screw Chia over.

    But look at the rest of the moves and tell me we aren’t in a better place
    – Kassian for Scrivens
    – Maroon for a 4th
    – Talbot for middling picks
    – Gryba for Marincin (technically a loss, but that’s on the previous regime for poisoning the water with this player – Chia managed to turn him into RHD depth, which has value, and Marincin really didn’t have a future here with Sekera, Klef, Davidson and Nurse ahead of him)
    – signed Letestu, Sekera, Lucic: its hard to get value in free agency, particularly for a franchise that the good free agents have avoided like the plague for decades
    – Signed Russel to a 1 year deal
    – signed Benning and Caggiula

    In one year he turned over half the roster. We have a winning team now, one that I’m proud to say I cheer for. Not everything Chia did worked out, but why focus on the negatives, when there is so much that is positive about this team now. I give full credit to the coaching staff as well; they managed to fix the PP without much practice time. They’ve scored the most 1st period goals in the league. The PK has been excellent as well. Maybe I don’t necessarily agree with everything the coaching staff has done, but they’ve done a good job overall.

    The game should get easier for Chia now – he’s dealing from a position of greater strength. He has contracts coming off the book in the coming years – Fayne, Ference, Hendo, He has his top 3 D locked up for under 15 million. There are no cap crippling contracts. And there is some depth in on our farm team again. Keys to keeping this team competitive:

    1. continue to draft well and develop those young players properly
    2. do not sign bad contracts, or extend stop-gaps like Russell long-term
    3. Find cheap vet wingers who will take a discount to play with McDavid and Draisaitl; no more Pouliots and as much as I love them, do not overpay to keep the likes of Kassian or Maroon (something Chia had a problem with in Boston)
    4. Keep the core of McDavid, RNH, Draisaitl, Lucic +/- Eberle intact.
    5. quietly petition the league to reign in the refs and get the game called according to the rule book, and not based on their mood that day or their biases.

    Its damn hard to get out of Shawshank smelling like a rose, but his to-do list is much simpler than the day he arrived.

  11. Frank the dog says:

    I’m still boiling about those refs last night. Game management is just a smoke screen for game rigging. We beat the refs and those stinking yotes and their dirty refs.

  12. Professor Q says:

    Woogie63: Way too early to declare this.Reinhart has all the tools and we know that development is not a straight line.

    Dubynk and Sam say hello

    Dont forget Cogs and a few others…

  13. who says:

    Diablo: It would be nice if our GM could win every possible deal, but even Sather never accomplished that.
    And when you’re starting with a deck that’s half empty trying to fix a team that had been out of the playoffs for 9 straight years, its not realistic to expect that either. Yes, the Reinhart and Hall-Larsson deals, when taken on their own, were undisputed losses. But no one was going to cut Chia a break, knowing the crappy bargaining position he was in. Boston even went out of their way screw Chia over.

    But look at the rest of the moves and tell me we aren’t in a better place
    – Kassian for Scrivens
    – Maroon for a 4th
    – Talbot for middling picks
    – Gryba for Marincin (technically a loss, but that’s on the previous regime for poisoning the water with this player – Chia managed to turn him into RHD depth, which has value, and Marincin really didn’t have a future here with Sekera, Klef, Davidson and Nurse ahead of him)
    – signed Letestu, Sekera, Lucic: its hard to get value in free agency, particularly for a franchise that the good free agents have avoided like the plague for decades
    – Signed Russel to a 1 year deal
    – signed Benning and Caggiula

    In one year he turned over half the roster. We have a winning team now, one that I’m proud to say I cheer for. Not everything Chia did worked out, but why focus on the negatives, when there is so much that is positive about this team now. I give full credit to the coaching staff as well; they managed to fix the PP without much practice time. They’ve scored the most 1st period goals in the league. The PK has been excellent as well. Maybe I don’t necessarily agree with everything the coaching staff has done, but they’ve done a good job overall.

    The game should get easier for Chia now – he’s dealing from a position of greater strength. He has contracts coming off the book in the coming years – Fayne, Ference, Hendo, He has his top 3 D locked up for under 15 million. There are no cap crippling contracts. And there is some depth in on our farm team again. Keys to keeping this team competitive:

    1. continue to draft well and develop those young players properly
    2. do not sign bad contracts, or extend stop-gaps like Russell long-term
    3. Find cheap vet wingers who will take a discount to play with McDavid and Draisaitl; no more Pouliots and as much as I love them, do not overpay to keep the likes of Kassian or Maroon (something Chia had a problem with in Boston)
    4. Keep the core of McDavid, RNH, Draisaitl, Lucic +/- Eberle intact.
    5. quietly petition the league to reign in the refs and get the game called according to the rule book, and not based on their mood that day or their biases.

    Its damn hard to get out of Shawshank smelling like a rose, but his to-do list is much simpler than the day he arrived.

    I agree with most of this, especially your list of to dos. I do think the Lucic contract is a potential cap crippler though.

  14. hags9k says:

    I had a couple of Bohemians in the ice shack today. Go Svoboda!!

  15. Gordies Elbow says:

    Diablo,

    This is an excellent post, thanks for posting it.

    Chiarelli has a hard job, and perfection is unattainable. That said, last night we saw a new dimension to the game that he’s added.

    They’re a multidimensional team, and can beat with skill, speed, strength, or grit.

    Anyone working on a “grittensity” metric? 🙂

  16. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Jagr just passed Messier.

    They literally stopped the game to interview Jagr at centre ice.
    This was his response.
    “I thought I was going to get a beautiful assist, but it just hit my ass.” – Jagr

  17. Gordies Elbow says:

    JDï™,

    Well, that link escalated quickly.

  18. JDï™ says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Jagr just passed Messier.

    And he’s done it in about 90 fewer games. Still trailing Mess in PIMs though – by a lot.

  19. square_wheels says:

    Professor Q,

    Miro Satan !
    Arnott….kinda
    The Murphy and the Klima (in your best Esa voice)

    Shit, we need a list of players shipped out before their prime years.

  20. flyfish1168 says:

    Just heard buttons comments. I wonder how he has a job or even has any respect.

  21. Professor Q says:

    square_wheels,

    Would Chimera and Cleary count?

  22. Professor Q says:

    flyfish1168:
    Just heard buttons comments. I wonder how he has a job or even has any respect.

    Almost won a Cup? Like Pierre…

  23. kinger_OIL says:

    – I’m glad LT for this summary, becasue I wanted to comment that the lists are amazing

    – Having played a fair bit of hockey, the one thing that even I’m guilty of is glossing over the 38th ranked guy for instance. I just thought I would add the following: “every single one of the guys on this list were dominant players at some point in their life, and are all truely elite”

    – It’s hard for most to comprehend just how talented on an absolute basis every single one of these prospects really is. And its such a harsh business that so few of them actually make it to be playing amongst the 700 or so NHL’ers in the league.

    – I love hockey but its sad how much energy and lives of the kids trying to get to the dream are squandered chasing a virtually impossible dream.

    – That’s all I’ve got, trying to humanize on some level the “accounting” that LT does so well when evaluating these young men.

  24. square_wheels says:

    Professor Q,

    Yes ! I just reviewed all of the trades the Oilers made over the past 20 years.

    Lordy that’s a lot of talent washed away.

  25. JDï™ says:

    square_wheels: all of the trades the Oilers made over the past 20 years.

    Don’t hold out on that URL:

    http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_team/Edmonton_Oilers/1

  26. square_wheels says:

    JDï™,

    Sorry about that ! I’m too busy grazing this baking spread, getting fat one square at a time.

  27. Diablo says:

    square_wheels:
    Professor Q,

    Miro Satan !
    Arnott….kinda
    The Murphy and the Klima(in your best Esa voice)

    Shit, we need a list of players shipped out before their prime years.

    I’d say we got most of Klima’s best years.
    Murphy had a few good seasons in Chicago but never lived up to the big contract that he signed.

    Arnott’s personal life was threatening to destroy his career when he got traded – Sather did him a solid by moving him to NJ where he was able to turn things around surrounded by their vets at the time. We got Guerin back in the deal – he was a fantastic player and had terrific chemistry with Weight.

    Cogs and Gagner had to go somewhere else, eat their humble pie, and learn how to carve out a niche in the NHL Same with Cleary and Gelinas before them.

    Satan – yep, that one got away.
    Graves – that one that hurt badly
    Dubnyk – MacT owns that one
    Petry – another blunder by MacT

    Chia needs to target these kinds of former 1st round talents on the bottom feeder teams, for whom the shine has worn off. Ryan Strome sticks out as an obvious target.

  28. omega4 says:

    Diablo: Chia needs to target these kinds of former 1st round talents on the bottom feeder teams, for whom the shine has worn off. Ryan Strome sticks out as an obvious target.

    That kind of describes Reinhart, doesn’t it?

  29. square_wheels says:

    Diablo,

    Kassian is a great example of what I’d like to see in my bottom 6.

    I was half-ass joking about The Murphy and The Klima, I have this wonderful memory of Esa describing how much he enjoyed playing with them.

    The Esa……after we find the Pisani, I want an Esa.

  30. Diablo says:

    omega4,

    Not sure he ever had a shine.
    But I agree he may eventually turn out – its too early to say for sure.

  31. square_wheels says:

    Wait. Jultz is wearing #4 in Pittsburg ?

    Is that a joke ?

  32. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hi all,
    Finally back on this side of the pond after two months working in Japan.

    I did say I was looking into booking a playoff trip that way after the Oilers were still top of the Division at American Thanksgiving. 😉

    Happy for Zack Kassian, human being. I truly hope he can keep this up. Demons are so hard to overcome and he was clearly on his ninth life as far as NHL careers go and he has started to go from hanging on, barely, to showing confidence. Godspeed to that young man. I was not a fan of bringing in someone so troubled who needed dire help, but am happy to be wrong at this point one year later and to say I am.

    I was a little saddened to see some new posters gloating in the game recap thread about the “numbers guys” or the old guard fans not being around while the team is winning and therefore it is somehow okay to piss on each other.

    I consider myself something of a hybrid–I take the time to read and understand and greatly appreciate the work so many do here, and their hard work helps me understand the game much more than I did before.

    It is also possible to dislike the Reinhart trade due to the price paid, dislike the Larsson trade due to the price paid, miss Hall and Hemsky and Weight and every other star who bled copper and blue over the years who was traded away and still believe this team was better and was going to be better.

    Correlation does not equal causation and just because Hall’s team is a middling team does not mean it is because of Hall. He went to what I thought was going to be a lottery team this year. injury aside he has given Jersey a star forward at last. And we got Larsson, whom I have been a fan of and wanted for many years, just at a more reasonable cost a few years back when he was in DeBoer’s dog house.

    Anyway, this place is a site where all have been welcomed, whatever the colour of your skin or what math or hockey gods you worship. For the sake of our gracious host and our fans let’s try to keep it that way?

    Peace!
    GB

  33. Ryan says:

    What do you guys think of the Kassian disallowed goal last night?

    I watched it again and Hendricks didn’t really make much if any contact with Mike Smith. Smith jumped back like he’d been shot with a bullet. Kassian was at a good distance before the goal went in

    Between that play and the dive against Pouliot, I’ve lost a lot of respect for a Mike Smith.

    Wasn’t it just last year that Lucic as a king ran over Talbot leading to iirc a game winning goal. Goalie bowled over is a good goal last year but trivial possible contact us no goal this season?

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan: What do you guys think of the Kassian disallowed goal last night?

    After the delay and the decision, Remenda said that the review wasn’t about the contact with the goalie, it was whether the puck even crossed the line. Kassian raised his arms but the light never went on, and the ref waived it off immediately.

    Apparently there was no evidence the puck even went in the net, although the 1 replay they played(briefly) looked like Smith reacted like the puck was over the line

    *with regards to the Hendricks “contact”, it looked to me that the Arizona D glove hand made contact with Smith, not Hendricks

  35. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    I’ve never really understood why some try hard to force a dichotomy between numbers guys aka stats nerds aka math crowd vs. grittensity/non-analytics/old school fans at this blog or whatever. I’ve always just seen this as a place for intelligent discourse with or without numbers.

    I’ve never really spent much time reflecting which category I fall under either.

    I guess if I were to be honest, I’m more in the opinionated and lazy category. I have an opinion on most Oilers issues (I’m generally mostly always right too :/) and I rarely hold it back but I don’t put a great deal of work towards advancing ideas or discussions.

    Some guys spend oodles of time digging around spreadsheets…others creating programs to create pretty graphs… others explaining the nuances of different coaching systems… others offering humorous links to funny gifs… some are like broken records stuck perseverating over the recent past, but mostly we all have a good time here.

    Twitter eventually robs us of many of the posters over time.

    Happy holidays Lowetidians!

  36. Ryan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Thanks, I missed that.

    Sports net has a few reply angles. The top one looks like the puck is in Mike’s glove while he’s well behind the goal line.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/kassian-scores-nice-wraparound-gets-disallowed/

  37. Diablo says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Completely agree with this, the shots taken on some of the contributors to this site were uncalled for. But it works both ways – the math guys have been, on occasion, over-confident to the point of arrogant in their belief of their ability to parse the game through their own statistical analysis. Friedman’s recent 30 thoughts had a nice feature about Sai Okabayashi, who had a really interesting quote:

    “Possession, scoring chances, zone entries and exits. What’s important is how (they) define those metrics. The score, the time in the game. That’s more the magic. Hockey is not where we want it to be. We’re still searching for the ‘silver bullet’ player-metric.”

    I think some of the backlash last night was a response to this. I played competitive hockey into my 30’s – size matters, guys who can’t stay healthy are a drag on the team, blocking a shot freaking hurts and takes guts to do, standing up for your teammates on the ice improves the morale in the dressing room, which in turn improves the confidence of the players back on the ice. We cannot adequately measure the impact of these and many other confounding variables, yet but they do contribute in some way to a winning hockey team.

    who,

    We ‘may’ regret Lucic’s contract down the road, but the guy has been relatively healthy his whole career, is a professional about taking care of his body, and unlike a guy like Hall, doesn’t rely on speed to impact the game. He’s cut down his fighting to further reduce the wear and tear on his body. And his production has been very consistent his whole career.

    I think a guy like Hartnell is a reasonable comparison – there were many who thought his numbers would decline and his body would break down after he hit 30, but he’s continuing to be productive at the age of 34.

    Boston signed Marchand for more term, and he’s the same age as Lucic and also plays an abrasive style. I don’t hear Bruins fans complaining about his deal.

    I’ve seen comments on here stating that no one would trade a 7th round pick for Lucic – that’s complete BS. The trolls were saying the same thing about Kessel in Toronto (also signed to the age of 35). Lucic is a legitimate top 6 winger on every team in the league. We were fortunate to get a player like that for nothing but money – in fact, for less money than other teams had offered.

    Look at the alternative – we could have signed a 32 year old Ladd to a 7 year deal instead.

  38. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan,

    Yeah, the whole thing was a clusterf**k from a broadcast standpoint. They said is was a coach’s challenge at one point(it wasn’t) and Remenda said it was Gryba initially(not Hendricks) then they carried on for a few minutes looking at the (supposed) goalie interference.

    It certainly appeared the puck was in Smith’s glove, and his glove was behind the line, but you can’t see the puck.

  39. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    p.s. Khaira looked very good vs Tucson I hear. Looking forward to seeing the next Condors visit.

  40. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    frjohnk,

    Thank you!! Good to have a few days “off” for the holidays.
    Hope all is well with you.

  41. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Diablo,

    That is a fair point re both waya and you are right about that.

  42. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    PunjabiOil,

    I have always liked Pouliot, full well knowing his warts and knowing he would likely wear out his welcome here. I hope things improve for him. Would be a shame to eat salary on him in a trade and we would be down one more top 9 winger. The wings on this team have become something of a weakness.

    That said, strong words from a journalist. I mean, that is borderline angry rant from Rishaug and I am sure he won’t win too many friends in the lockerroom when it comes to reporting and access with this rant, which also is a bit odd (like I have a lot of respect for something but I don’t care what that thing I reapect says–reminds me of the MacT and Schultz story. I only say I like numbers to appease you all when it jives with my seen him good/bad but if it does not match I know better).

    ” I have a lot of respect for what you can learn from advanced statistics and certain things you can see and figure out about a player. Don’t care one ounce about a single advanced stat with Benoit Pouliot. Don’t care. Watch him play, doesn’t work hard enough, not smart enough, makes terrible defensive decisions, isn’t committed enough, the list goes on and on and on. Could care less what the numbers say. It is painfully obvious what is going on with this player right now.

  43. Professor Q says:

    omega4: That kind of describes Reinhart, doesn’t it?

    Which one? 😉

    Haha, imagine if we ended up with a few Stromes and Reinharts aside McDavid?

  44. Professor Q says:

    Chachi:
    In other news, proof that Lou Lamoriello is a dirt bag.
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl-team-wrongfully-withheld-documents-in-brain-injury-case-1.636989

    Wow.

    Lou’s response, too.

    “Ah, it must have been stuck to another document. Lawyer missed it.”

    He’s always been mafia-esque. This continues that trend.

  45. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ryan: I’ve never really understood why some try hard to force a dichotomy between numbers guys aka stats nerds aka math crowd vs. grittensity/non-analytics/old school fans at this blog or whatever. I’ve always just seen this as a place for intelligent discourse with or without numbers.

    Well said.

  46. Chachi says:

    Professor Q: Wow.

    Lou’s response, too.

    “Ah, it must have been stuck to another document. Lawyer missed it.”

    He’s always been mafia-esque. This continues that trend.

    I have always been uncomfortable with associating people with Italian heritage with the Mafia, but in Lou’s case it really appears to be an accurate description of the way he does business.

  47. frjohnk says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Things are very good for my family and me.

    On Rishaug and Pouliot, if Rishaug were to see the advanced stats of Pouliot this year, they would measure up to his eye test.

    Points per 60 of 1.19.
    Last year he was at 2.05
    Year before 1.93.

    Corsi is lower this year and what he contributing to individual corsi, shots and scoring chances are all down from last couple of years with the Oilers.

    I agree that something is not right in his game. I dont think he will make it to the the end of his contract in Edmonton.

  48. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    frjohnk,

    Glad to hear. And no doubt Pouliot has struggled this year but he has shown he is capable of more the past two years. Some players just seem to get the benefit of the doubt while others do not.

  49. Diablo says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Have no idea what Rishaug/Oilers management are thinking re Pouliot

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/benoit-pouliot-deep-in-doghouse-of-edmonton-oilers-can-he-get-out

    They think he’s been terrible – I don’t disagree.

    All season long the puck has died on his stick. He’s been outplayed by the likes of Pitlick, Slepyshev, Kassian, and Jesse – all of whom have received far less opportunity/TOI over the course of this season, and he almost makes as much as all those guys combined.

    This idea of “pump and dump” just has no substance – the other 29 GMs are not idiots – they’ve all got stats guys now who they consult with, and they’re not going to be fooled by a spike in his numbers as a result of playing with McDavid. Maybe a few years ago that might have happened, but the playing field has levelled in that regard. At the same time playing him with McDavid means that they would have to give him more minutes at the expense of Lucic or Maroon’s TOI – in no way has Pouliot earned that, and it runs contrary to trying to win hockey games.

    I think what Rishaug is trying to express here was said more eloquently by in the quote by Sai Okabayashi that I discussed before:

    “Possession, scoring chances, zone entries and exits. What’s important is how (they) define those metrics. The score, the time in the game. That’s more the magic. Hockey is not where we want it to be. We’re still searching for the ‘silver bullet’ player-metric.”

    There’s more to evaluating a players performance than just pts/60 – Pouliot has stood out this season for his disinterested play. We’ve become so accustomed to ineffective coaching and management, that its become a knee-jerk reaction to blame these problems on them. But this one is on the player – Edmonton is going to be his last stop in the NHL if he doesn’t pull his game together.

  50. frjohnk says:

    It’s not good on various levels that Pouliot is not playing well.

    Nuge has done well with only 2 left wingers, everybody knows the numbers with Hall, but the other winger is Pouliot.

    Away from Hall and Pouliot 42.4 GF% and 44.1CF%.

    “small sample size” with Maroon CF% of 56% so “fingers crossed”

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