JANUARY CONDORS

Every year since I can remember, things change on minor league teams when the calendar turns. Maybe the coach slow plays the kids until then, or maybe injuries hit around then or the big league team starts recalling help on the double. Either way, the rule is holding true for this season and the Bakersfield Condors.

TOP SCORING CONDORS, JANUARY 2017

  1. Taylor Beck 7, 2-8-10
  2. Anton Lander 3, 4-2-6
  3. Jordan Oesterle 6, 0-6-6
  4. Jesse Puljujarvi 6, 2-3-5
  5. Joey Laleggia 7, 5-0-5
  6. Griffin Reinhart 7, 3-2-5

It is important for Edmonton to constantly develop talent, especially value contracts who can push up to the NHL and fill roles on the big club. Assuming the Oilers lose an NHL roster player in the expansion draft, the current Condors offer Edmonton several strong options for employment next season. How many of them will be value deals?

POTENTIAL VALUE DEALS FROM BAKERSFIELD, 2017-18

  1. L Anton Slepyshev. Making $925,000 and signed through 2017-18 on his entry-level deal, Slepyshev is 21, 3-2-5 at the NHL level. He has good speed and some skill, I think he most closely resembles those inexpensive wingers in Pittsburgh who get a push (Conor Sheary) and become value deals. 
  2. C-L Jujhar Khaira. Making $875,000 and an RFA this summer, Khaira may be on the verge of emerging as an everyday NHL player. He is 3gp, 1-0-1 in the bigs this year and his AHL NHLE (29) suggests he has enough offense to get a shot at full-time NHL work.
  3. G Laurent Brossoit. Making $750,000 and signed through 2017-18. If he can establish himself as a viable backup option (I still think PC trades for a veteran option at the deadline) that would certainly help the cap. His audition in the AHL over four years suggests it is time to fish or cut bait with this player.
  4. C Anton Lander. Making $987,500 this season and arbitration eligible, Lander would be a reasonable option to replace Matt Hendricks at 4L (but not the only one). Has seven points in his last 81 NHL games, so emerging as a value deal may be wishful thinking. Did produce offensively under Todd Nelson for a stretch.
  5. LD Griffin Reinhart. Making $863,333 and an RFA this season, part of the issue with this player (monster cap bonus consideration) will not be a factor next year. I think he is a candidate for the expansion draft, but if he goes through and remains an Oiler there is a strong chance he will be an Oiler next year. His recent spike offensively coincides with increased usage, perhaps indicating he is back to full health.
  6. LD Dillon Simpson. Making $836, 667 this year and is an RFA this summer. The boxcar evidence is not strong, but we saw him good during the 3-game NHL audition earlier this year. I expect he is around No. 10 on the depth chart, but he is pushing for a job and things could break right.
  7. LD Jordan Oesterle. Making $585,000 and arbitration eligible, his foot speed alone makes him an attractive option. I think he might be more valuable to another team (Leftorium).
  8. LD David Musil. Making $600,000 and arbitration is also an option, he has his skills duplication up and down the NHL and AHL roster. That isn’t the same thing as saying he has no value, and there are scenarios that could see him on the Oilers roster come the fall.

Chances are we see at least a couple of college signings ala Benning and Caggiula, and we should not discount Caleb Jones or Ethan Bear arriving at training camp and blowing the doors off. That said, these eight men are options for next season in terms of value deals. Edmonton already has a few on the roster who will hopefully return (Connor McDavid, Patrick Maroon, Brandon Davidson, Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse), but more are needed and that’s for sure.

WILL PC MARTIN GERNAT ANYONE AT THE DEADLINE?

In the last two trade deadlines, Peter Chiarelli has offloaded prospects in the interests of creating room on the 50-man list. Patrick Maroon’s acquisition cost was a draft pick, but Anaheim also had to take a contract back (Gernat). Chiarelli did the same thing when acquiring Eric Gryba (Travis Ewanyk) at the 2015 draft. We could see it again at the deadline, with several candidates available. Plenty of candidates on the 50-man list currently.

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37 Responses to "JANUARY CONDORS"

  1. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Maroon was having a down year, seemingly underperforming in ANA and got him for cheap cheap. Wonder what players have low stock that might fit.

    Plekanec (expensive cap), Spooner, Beleskey, Reilly Smith, Jokinen, Tatar, Sheahan, Craig Smith, Sharp, Klein, Strome.

    If WPG is a seller at the deadline, Mathieu Perreault’s contract runs out at the end of the season. Would be an amazing pick up.

  2. ashley says:

    I’m not sure what it looked like on the broadcast last night, but watching live, I would not say Brossoit had a great night. He looked shaky and was not seeing the puck well. He was surprised a few times when it hit him and was slow to cover up. He was fortunate to have the rebounds land right at his pads.

    Maybe nerves. Likely nerves. But if this team makes the playoffs and they want to try to make a push, it would be very risky going to the dance with Talbot-Brossoit.

    We will need Anders Nilsson or someone like him.

  3. GMB3 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Maroon was having a down year, seemingly underperforming in ANA and got him for cheap cheap. Wonder what players have low stock that might fit.

    Plekanec (expensive cap), Spooner, Beleskey, Reilly Smith, Jokinen, Tatar, Sheahan, Craig Smith, Sharp, Klein, Strome.

    If WPG is a seller at the deadline, Mathieu Perreault’s contract runs out at the end of the season. Would be an amazing pick up.

    Strome, Sharp, Tatar. Any of those three would be nice I think.

  4. Georges says:

    Jonathan Willis asked “Is Patrick Maroon for Real?” on nhlnumbers.com a couple of days ago:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2017/1/20/is-patrick-maroon-for-real

    He focused on Maroon’s spike in shooting percentage and came to the conclusion that, even if Maroon can be expected to fall back, he’ll still be a good bet to score 20 goals, 25 if he has some luck.

    Had Willis looked at Maroon’s Corsi numbers, he would have seen a much more interesting player than someone who’s just riding a hot shooting streak.

    Big Rig has the best 5v5 CF% of all Oilers forwards. He does about the same with or without CMD, but CMD does worse without him. Practically every Oilers skater does better on CF% with Maroon than without him. Most do better on GF% with him as well.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1547&withagainst=true&season=2016-17&sit=5v5

    Maroon is also the Oilers best forward on 5v5 CF% when the team is trailing. He’s 6th overall in the league. A lot of Oilers have great push back when they fall behind, but Maroon is leading the charge.

    As far as Willis’s take on Maroon’s shooting percentage, he should’ve narrowed his set of comparable players to the ones who do their scoring from in close. Those guys are going to have a higher shooting percentage than the typical forward. Maroon is in that group and he’s scored this year with and without McDavid.

    Is Patrick Maroon for real? Yep.

  5. Offside says:

    Georges,

    Imagine a world where the best thing to happen to a players career was to get traded to the Edmonton Oilers. Big Rig is the real deal and I wouldn’t be surprised if we resign him at a discount rate

  6. Lowetide says:

    Georges:
    Jonathan Willis asked “Is Patrick Maroon for Real?” on nhlnumbers.com a couple of days ago:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2017/1/20/is-patrick-maroon-for-real

    He focused on Maroon’s spike in shooting percentage and came to the conclusion that, even if Maroon can be expected to fall back, he’ll still be a good bet to score 20 goals, 25 if he has some luck.

    Had Willis looked at Maroon’s Corsi numbers, he would have seen a much more interesting player than someone who’s just riding a hot shooting streak.

    Big Rig has the best 5v5 CF% of all Oilers forwards. He does about the same with or without CMD, but CMD does worse without him. Practically every Oilers skater does better on CF% with Maroon than without him. Most do better on GF% with him as well.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1547&withagainst=true&season=2016-17&sit=5v5

    Maroon is also the Oilers best forward on 5v5 CF% when the team is trailing. He’s 6th overall in the league. A lot of Oilers have great push back when they fall behind, but Maroon is leading the charge.

    As far as Willis’s take on Maroon’s shooting percentage, he should’ve narrowed his set of comparable players to the ones who do their scoring from in close. Those guys are going to have a higher shooting percentage than the typical forward. Maroon is in that group and he’s scored this year with and without McDavid.

    Is Patrick Maroon for real? Yep.

    I agree with most of your points, but Jon’s article is spot on. When we discuss WOWY, sample size is important (Maroon has played with and without enough for this not to be an issue imo) and of course quality of competition applies. I think Maroon is a fine player, but in a game of who’s zooming who I choose 97.

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Is Reinhart waiver eligible next year? Vegas picks 30 players for their 23 man roster so I assume some of their picks will be prospects

  8. leadfarmer says:

    ashley,

    Brossoit got shelled last night and played very well and didn’t let anything through until the game was out of reach by which point he made some fine saves. Picking his game apart last night is like debating all the reasons a guy wouldn’t want to go on a date with ScarJo

    I’ve been worried about this prospect for a long time as he’s looked like a purely positional goalie with little athleticism and poor side to side mobility but he looked a lot more mobile last night.

  9. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Is Reinhart waiver eligible next year?Vegas picks 30 players for their 23 man roster so I assume some of their picks will be prospects

    Yes. He is leaving his entry-level deal and will be waiver eligible in the fall.

  10. JDï™ says:

    ashley,

    I rewatched some of the game today, and agree that LB didn’t look as great as the score indicated. He had more than a few fortunate moments, and of course the Oilers were fortunate to find the back of the net often and early. He looked better in the latter parts of the game, which would indicate that nerves played a role.

    One more Johnson save and a lucky fLames bounce, and the game could have been quite different early on. But it wasn’t! NEAAAAHHH NEAAAAHHH NEAHHHH!!!!! makes sticking foot into something gesture

  11. Georges says:

    Lowetide: I agree with most of your points, but Jon’s article is spot on. When we discuss WOWY, sample size is important (Maroon has played with and without enough for this not to be an issue imo) and of course quality of competition applies. I think Maroon is a fine player, but in a game of who’s zooming who I choose 97.

    Maroon was an interesting player before he got on 97’s line because of how consistently he played the game at the other end of the ice no matter who he was playing with. Then he scored in bunches with CMD and everyone noticed. The scoring has slowed down though (no points in his last 4 games). TMac’s clock’s probably ticking for him a little bit as far as first line goes. But I think Maroon had half his goals (9) without an assist from CMD which suggests he might have been a 20 goal scorer on his own. Why would you peg him to be a 20 goal scorer with a full season of CMD? I know he’ll never get a full season with CMD, but 20 goal scorer on CMD’s line and second unit PP just doesn’t ring true.

    Willis’s comparison set of players included a lot of guys whose games don’t resemble Maroon’s. You want to choose a representative sample if you want to make projections for a player. He’s a close to the net guy. Like I said, those guys are probably going to have higher shooting percentages.

    But my point here is that in assessing whether Maroon is real or not, the discussion shouldn’t begin and end with his shooting percentage. His Corsi is fabulous.

  12. spoiler says:

    NAS leading by one. with 1. 48 to go. MIN has been coming on tho’

  13. spoiler says:

    ENetter fr NAS, they’ve locked it up. Preds used the same stop-play strat that had success against us.

  14. Woogie63 says:

    Maroon and Russell should be considered players we would resign at a home town discount.

    Russell wants to stay in Alberta, but with Nurse, Davidson, Benning and Reinhart developing a 2 x $2.75m deal is my best offer.

    Maroon is benefiting from playing with McDavid, the league knows it, 2 x$3M gets that player signed

  15. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Have you heard this version ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK9pr2KU5js

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woogie63:
    Maroon and Russell should be considered players we would resign at a home town discount.

    Russell wants to stay in Alberta, but with Nurse, Davidson, Benning and Reinhart developing a 2 x $2.75m deal is my best offer.

    Maroon is benefiting from playing with McDavid, the league knows it, 2 x$3M gets that player signed

    Unless he falls off the face of the earth, Maroon is getting more than 2 x $3. My best guess would be 4x$4.

  17. Southern Oil says:

    My Falcons are going to the Super Bowl!!! This is a real good omen for the Oilers. I don’t have any stats to back this up but f it. I’m pumped!

  18. stush18 says:

    Man hard to believe slepyshev is only 21. We forget how young these guys are sometimes.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have you heard this version ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK9pr2KU5js

    Very nice. I was just listening to Thunder Road from Hammersmith Palais 1975, so that was a nice bookend

  20. Lowetide says:

    Southern Oil:
    My Falcons are going to the Super Bowl!!! This is a real good omen for the Oilers.I don’t have any stats to back this up but f it.I’m pumped!

    Haha. Just beat the damned Patriots!

  21. Southern Oil says:

    Lowetide: Haha. Just beat the damned Patriots!

    I hate Brady / Belichick – Julio & Matt have it covered!

  22. Professor Q says:

    Southern Oil: I hate Brady / Belichick – Julio & Matt have it covered!

    As a Browns fan, I’ll say you’re welcome for half your team (why do the Browns supply all the Championship teams their players?!). 😉

    Go Falcons. Beat the damned Patriots.

  23. Southern Oil says:

    Professor Q: As a Browns fan, I’ll say you’re welcome for half your team (why do the Browns supply all the Championship teams their players?!).

    Go Falcons. Beat the damned Patriots.

    We appreciate your kindness! Great trade that one.

  24. OilClog says:

    Hahahah 2×3 gets maroon signed?! Come on man

  25. gogliano says:

    stush18:
    Man hard to believe slepyshev is only 21. We forget how young these guys are sometimes.

    Russians. Dude looks 27.

  26. Diablo says:

    This season seems similar to 2006 with respect to all the young guys (and vets) they have on value contracts in the lineup. I really think that this is the season to go for it.

    In 2006 we gave up a first to get a #1 goalie. In 2017, we should give up a conditional 1st for Shattenkirk. I like Davidson, but if he has to be added to get that offensive blue line catalyst, and we’re likely to lose him to LV anyways, then we should do the deal.

    Also think that if Pouliot doesn’t get selected in the expansion draft, that he needs to be bought out. He’s improved but he’s not providing enough value for that contract. Guys like Slepyshev and Puljujarvi are coming up, and cheap vet wingers are available every year.

  27. Younger Oil says:

    If we are able to retain the UFA’s we want (specifically Maroon and Kassian), there is actually going to be very little roster turnover from external sources for next season, if we want to keep our prospects. Barring a trade, of course.

    Out: Hendricks, Lander, Gryba, Davidson (in expansion, probably)
    In: Pitlick, Puljujarvi, Nurse, Reinhart

    Maroon-McDavid-Drai
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Lucic-Caggiula-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Pitlick-Slepyshev

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Benning
    Nurse-Russell
    Reinhart

    Talbot
    Brossoit

    Obviously would prefer to keep Davidson over Russell, but someone needs to be lost in the expansion draft. Ideally it would probably be Pouliot (to be replaced with Slepyshev), but that seems unlikely. Also would prefer an upgrade to Caggiula for #3C.

    With the expansion draft, teams are much more likely to use the waiver wire early in the season, and I don’t see anyone on that roster making it through.

    It’s going to be weird seeing a team with potentially so little turnover, if it works out with the cap.

  28. Gino says:

    Monday morning thoughts. Did you know Todd MclEllen coached the AHL Houston Aeros (Wild farm team) in the 04-05 season and on the team were Brent Burns and current Coyote goalie Mike Smith. Judging by how MclEllen played the crap out of his starter’s in the past we must assume Talbot plays a minimum of 70-75 games in the regular season. Am I the only one who misses the flames coming off the oil derrick as the team enters the ice.

  29. Diablo says:

    To further my point from earlier – we’ve talked about a “commitment to winning” on this blog and “balance” – everyone agrees that the most glaring issue preventing balance on this team is:

    #1 – RH offensive D-man
    #2 – a 3C
    #3 – a backup goalie

    Sekera – Shattenkirk
    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba

    That D has a chance to make serious noise in the playoffs.

    This team is playing very well right now – we’re firmly in the top 3rd of the league heading into the ASG. When was the last time the Oilers held this place in the standings with a goal differential that suggests that this is not smoke and mirrors (like the Avalanche of a couple of years ago). Our secondary scoring is finally sorting itself out: Pouliot – RNH – Eberle are rounding into form, and Lucic is starting to figure out how to make an impact playing 3rd line minutes. We talk about winning while McDavid and Draisaitl (and a bunch of other young guys) are on their ELCs – if that’s the case, then now is the time to go for it.

    There is a solution on the market for this first issue – Shattenkirk. If the price is a conditional first round pick and Davidson, then I’m fine with paying it. If he leaves after the season is over for Trump-land, then so be it. We will still have a very good D-core remaining, unlike 2006 – after Pronger and Spacek left, the D was gutted. If we give up a 1st round pick because we won 2-3 rounds (or dare to dream, went to the Finals), then this team will have tasted success for the first time in a decade, the young guys will get important playoff experience, and the Oilers will become a high-end destination for vets playing at a discount, looking to hitch their wagon to a ‘contender’.

    As for the 2nd issue – I’m open to suggestions. Hanzal? Maybe its the stink of Arizona, but I’m not sold on him. The third issue is also possible to fix.

  30. russ99 says:

    IMO, Simpson could be let loose due to the numbers game with the leftorium. Another factor is keeping Reinhart because we need to get something back from him, akin to how the Hawks handled Cam Barker.

  31. kinger_OIL says:

    Diablo,

    – If by “conditional 1st”, you mean conditional to signing Shattenkirk to a multi-year contract, sure. No way Blues do that IMO, they aren’t sellers

    – Lets say though you do get a 4rth D, and Davidson leaves: you are protecting then Sek, Klef, Larsson, new guy.

    – The team that trades for Davidson likely protects him: that’s a tough trade to find partner

    – If we protect 4 D, which forwards can’t we protect?

    – I’m in the camp that there won’t be meaningful trades this season because of the Vegas draft

  32. russ99 says:

    Diablo,

    IMO, we don’t need a RH offensive d-man as much as a right shot on the powerplay.

    That can just as easily be a RW that will fill a hole we’ve had since camp and also not cost a first rounder that we need for ELC forwards during McDavid’s post-ELC contract.

  33. Jethro Tull says:

    russ99:
    Diablo,

    IMO, we don’t need a RH offensive d-man as much as a right shot on the powerplay.

    That can just as easily be a RW that will fill a hole we’ve had since camp and also not cost a first rounder that we need for ELC forwards during McDavid’s post-ELC contract.

    Remember when we played Yak in that position? Yah, didn’t turn out well.

  34. Diablo says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Diablo,

    – If by “conditional 1st”, you mean conditional to signing Shattenkirk to amulti-year contract, sure.No way Blues do that IMO, they aren’t sellers

    – Lets say though you do get a 4rth D, and Davidson leaves: you are protecting then Sek, Klef, Larsson, new guy.

    – The team that trades for Davidson likely protects him: that’s a tough trade to find partner

    – If we protect 4 D, which forwards can’t we protect?

    – I’m in the camp that there won’t be meaningful trades this season because of the Vegas draft

    I’m under the assumption here that Shattenkirk will test the market, and that the Oilers will oblige him in this, so that they don’t have to protect him in the expansion draft. So by conditional first I mean – and I’ve stated it before – we win 2-3 playoff rounds, they get our first.

    I’d prefer to winning in the playoffs this year, to drafting a player in the 20’s from a weak draft crop.

    Plus, I’m not so sure that Shattenkirk won’t eventually resign with Edmonton once he becomes a UFA – a winning environment can change people’s minds. I’ve seen nothing on the interwebs to suggest that he has a ‘Mrs. Pronger’ situation – people are speculating that because he’s from the US East Coast, that that’s his preferred destination. When the Oilers and Coyotes talked to him this summer, I think he passed because both of those franchises have been perennial losers.

    Of course, we can’t know what we can’t know, but the mantra around here has been ‘get good players, keep good players’ – this is what the top franchises like Detroit have done for years. Well first you have to start by getting good players – once you have them, you can figure out how to make it all work in order to keep them all.

    russ99:
    Diablo,

    IMO, we don’t need a RH offensive d-man as much as a right shot on the powerplay.

    That can just as easily be a RW that will fill a hole we’ve had since camp and also not cost a first rounder that we need for ELC forwards during McDavid’s post-ELC contract.

    So who do you suggest?
    Iginla? He’d come cheap, but he’s a worse bet than Shattenkirk, if we’re talking about making this team better. If their scouts felt that Iggy could do the job, he’d be an Oiler by now.
    Jagr – likes to work from the same spot as McDavid, so he’s out.
    Who else? I just don’t see a RH shooter on the market that’s available to fill that hole.

    You know, back in November when the team was slumping – I was beating the drum hard that this is a playoff team and we shouldn’t make excuses for them. Now I’m changing my tune – this team has a shot to go all the way, and we shouldn’t be making excuses for the management team not to get them the pieces that they need in order to do so. I’d like to win during McDavid’s ELC, not after it.

    I don’t want to hold on to another lottery ticket. If there’s a chance to fill a big hole on this team, and win 2-3 playoff rounds (or more), then I want Chia to make it happen.

    Edit – in 12 years, Sid Crosby has won 2 cups – its very hard to do, but I think you have to make the most of EVERY year that we have McDavid.

  35. doritogrande says:

    Might be too late to the party for people to see this, but regarding Perreault from Winnipeg, he signed a new contract in the offseason that’ll kick in for next year.

    If not traded, the Jets are going to lose him in the expansion draft. He’s been of the most guaranteed lost assets on all the Vegas mock drafts thusfar.

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