Rob Vollman published new NHL equivalency numbers the other day, that means it is a good time to review the prospects and see which of them might be able to score enough to emerge on an NHL skill line someday.
NHLE FORWARDS 2016-17
- An asterisk (*) means I’m not using Vollman’s NHLE but have borrowed Christian Roatis’ ciphering via NHLNumbers.
- The teenagers (2016 draft) are in green and represent the group that has the best chance to spike.
- Benson’s number is more impressive than Puljujarvi’s, but JP is playing in a man’s league and is two months younger than Benson. Rasanen and McPhee don’t show up in a spot where we can project them as NHL players, let alone being able to chip in offensively. Draft+2 should give us a better idea about these four men, although Benson’s injury is a major concern.
- Gambardella and Vesel are 23, Laleggia 24. Men who are five or six years older than Puljujarvi should be expected to deliver more offense, and Laleggia’s numbers above (the 43 games after Boxing Day) suggest he might be the most promising scorer among the older group.
- Not many noticed but Jujhar Khaira (22) blossomed offensively and may be that rare player developed in the AHL who can be a 30-point NHL player. He is big, strong, rugged and mean, so 10-15 goal offense may mean a decade in the show.
- I’m not using the Vollman accelerator because Mikko Rantanen took almost exactly 47 percent of his AHL offense to the show. JP accelerated would be NHLE 31.2, just in case you wanted to know.
- When Nail Yakupov was having his struggles as a young player, an NHL pro scout told me the Oilers badly needed to find a responsible center for Nail. A mentor was required because Yak’s overall game was so raw and his natural tendencies involved stickhandling his way into trouble. Edmonton never really did get that done (Derek Roy helped offensively but it remained a possession nightmare) for Nail, perhaps the Oilers have an ideal situation up the middle now.
- JP played well with McDavid (2.86 scoring 5×5/60, 53.8 percent 5×5 Corsi for) and Leon (1.68 scoring 5×5/60, 52.1 percent 5×5 Corsi for). Zero points and 47.7 with Nuge.
- If Puljujarvi finds a place alongside McDavid, my RE for Puljujarvi would be about 50 points. I sincerely believe 97 makes that much of a difference.
NHLE DEFENSE 2016-17
- Oesterle isn’t signed but I think the Oilers should try very hard. Just coming into his own and the chaos might be worth it.
- Bear and Jones (plus Mantha) give Edmonton four defensemen whose NHLE exceeds 20 points.
- The youngsters (in green) are all matriculating but don’t show especially well. Berglund is somewhat similar to Puljujarvi, in that he played in a pro league but didn’t get to play big minutes. In fact, Berglund’s TOI is about half of normal, so if he plays regularly next season we should see a more handsome number.
- Five of the 14 names here are righties. The Leftorium is weakening!
- As always, important to remember much of the value for defensemen (most of them) is tied to defense. When we talk about Ziyat Paigin, we rarely mention the defensive side but that’s a big part of his effectiveness. We will see it this coming season.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
How many of these names will be able to help next season? Or, perhaps a better question would be how many of these names will be able to survive in the NHL next season. Borrowing from my recent Farm Workers post:
- Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira and Griffin Reinhart. Joey Laleggia should be mentioned here, Oilers have some interesting prospects now. Laurent Brossoit has made it, although it’s uncertain at what level. Source
So that’s Puljujarvi, Khaira and Reinhart and one of those may be in Vegas opening night. I think this is a sign of progress, as Edmonton won’t have a strong rookie on their roster to begin the season. I say this now, but if Spencer Foo signs, that may change things.
Drake Caggiula’s NHLE one year ago (44 points) is slightly higher than Joe Gambardella’s and I’m not certain the young man from Staten Island has a clear path to the NHL (as was the case with Caggiula). He would certainly be among the first candidates for recall based on his NHLE and his short audition in Bakersfield (6gp, 1-2-3, I saw two of those games and he was like a duck to water). At this point, I’ll definitely have him in the RE for fall, just a matter of what else the Oilers do this summer. One thing to look for: Massive upgrade at center for the Condors.
Spencer Foo would be a great fit for these Edmonton Oilers. He went 38gp, 26-36-62 (NHLE: 30.8) last season, with 147 shots in 37 games (site doesn’t include game No. 38). That means Foo averaged four shots a game last season in college. Edmonton Eskimos fan. Volume shooter. Giddyup.
This blog has gathered contacts (and friends) from all walks of life over the years. It’s one of the real pleasures of dropping by, I hope you have connected with some of the fine posters here and enjoyed your stay.
One of the things these contacts allow me to do is DM questions about specific hockey moments. Sometimes I will get an email saying “look, you don’t know me but I worked for an NHL team and your post on May 10 is wrong and here’s why” and sometimes I reach out.
Not long ago, the Oilers were connected with Czech RHD Jan Rutta. Edmonton (along with Calgary and various other NHL teams) are interested in signing the 26-year old offensive defender. I reached out to multiple sources and got back things like “he played well at the World Hockey Championships” but little else. Whatever he may be, Rutta remains something of a mystery. Maybe this little item will inspire someone to email me about him.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re back! 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Scott Burnside. Predators are through, Penguins can cash their ticket tonight!
- Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Oilers summer: Screaming targets.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Expansion draft scenarios including trade possibilities.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!