We don’t know what we don’t know, but the signing of Jujhar Khaira today (Ryan Rishaug has the details, $650k and then $700k on a two-year, one-way deal) is an interesting prelude to the madness just over the hill.
When it happened, my mind quickly turned over the possibilities. Could the Oilers be signing Khaira as a setup for trade? To make him more attractive to Vegas? Are they simply doing their due diligence?
In the end, it doesn’t matter. Vegas would have an evaluation on this player that reads similarly to the one Edmonton would have on their own man.
- Simon Boisvert: I do think he is NHL-ready. He is very confident now offensively, he reminds me of the Khaira I remember from the BCJHL. This is the year when prospects who have already spent two years in the AHL should be in the NHL—otherwise they become career AHLers. Or tweeners. He is ready for the show. He is their best forward (in Bakersfield), now the question is when will he be called up? Source
That offense Simon talks about is important. Khaira is going to have a career as a 4line role player, but he can help himself by posting some offense. This final AHL season saw him post some good boxcars and that’s a good sign.
BAKERSFIELD FORWARDS EV GF-GA 2016-17
- The prospects at the top (Khaira, Laleggia whose numbers are January 1+, so he is a forward here, Slepyshev) are the players who we will be talking about over the next three years if they are still here.
- Greg Chase and Braden Christoffer show up reasonably well here.
- Jesse Puljujarvi’s number is probably predictable but does suggest he needs a Lander (impact center) even at the AHLlevel.
- The rest of these kids have work to do, aren’t going to make it, or are gone.
- These are Eric Rodgers numbers, I thank him so much for his hard work. You can follow him here.
CURRENT-50 MAN LIST (35)
- G Cam Talbot. No. 1 goalie, will he have a veteran backup in 2017-18?
- G Laurent Brossoit. If he’s in Edmonton this fall, a lock for backup. Right?
- G Nick Ellis. Splendid first year pro, on par with Brossoit if he can sustain it.
- G Shane Starrett. Another college goalie with strong resume. First pro season coming up.
- G Dylan Wells. Slide rule, he’ll spend one more year in junior.
- LD Oscar Klefbom. Can he hit 40 points? 25 minutes a night? Quality.
- RD Adam Larsson. Consistent defenseman, with an edge.
- LD Andrej Sekera. He could be out for five months. A massive loss.
- RD Matt Benning. An absolutely stunning addition right where it was needed.
- LD Darnell Nurse. Trade whispers? Nah.
- RD Mark Fayne. He is in the NHL mix with the Sekera injury.
- LD Ziyat Paigin. Wingspan of a Condor, pro experience, shutdown talent.
- LD Ben Betker. Big man should get a full AHL season.
- RD Ethan Bear. Posted a terrific junior career and should have prominent role in AHL.
- LD Caleb Jones. He arrives in pro hockey with good speed and a range of skills.
- RD Ryan Mantha. Interesting new arrival. Big man, big shot, good speed.
- LD William Lagesson. He’ll spend the year in SHL shutting down Swedish forwards.
- LC Connor McDavid. He’ll have a big June, including his first major award.
- LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Beginning to hear his name in the ether.
- RC Mark Letestu. Great utility, can he score 16 again?
- LC Jujhar Khaira. Newly signed
- LC Joe Gambardella. Strong college career, he could surprise in Bakersfield.
- RC Kyle Platzer. He should get a feature role in Bakersfield if they believe in him at all.
- L Milan Lucic. A stronger 5×5 performance next year is a must.
- L Patrick Maroon. He won the McDavid job, can he keep it and score 30?
- L Drake Caggiula. Looked better late in the year and in postseason.
- L Benoit Pouliot. Expansion Golden Knights might reach out and grab him.
- L Braden Christoffer. AHL energy winger.
- L Tyler Benson. Slide rule, finally got an update on him (below).
- R Jordan Eberle. Trade value may keep him here, that’s not a bad thing.
- R Jesse Puljujarvi. One of the major stories for this coming training camp.
- R Anton Slepyshev. I think he’ll be a regular, can he score 15? 20?
- R Iiro Pakarinen. Most recent signing, he’ll try to win 13 or 14F.
- R Patrick Russell. Scored only 8 times as rookie pro. Needs to fill the net this year.
- R Greg Chase. Final year of entry-level deal ahead, has shown only flashes.
G Eetu Laurikainen. Signed with JYP of Finland’s Sm-Liiga.
- LD Kris Russell. Many people are saying Edmonton has competition for his services.
- LD Griffin Reinhart, RFA. No. 7D if he survives the expansion draft.
- RD Eric Gryba. Possible 7D but it would probably be a late signing again.
- LD Jordan Oesterle. UFA may have extra value with Sekera inj if they see him as third pair.
- LD Mark Fraser. Played third pair in Bakersfield, veteran enforcer/defender.
- LD Dillon Simpson RFA. Some of Eric Rodgers numbers (EV GF-GA) favored him.
LD David Musil RFA.. His KHL rights now belong to CSKA Moscow.
- LC Leon Draisiatl, RFA. How much $, and for how long? Important signing.
LC Anton Lander. Officially signed with Ak Bars of the KHL.
- LC David Desharnais. Scored a huge goal versus San Jose, unlikely to be back.
LC Jere Sallinen. Signed in Sweden (Orebro HK) after unsuccessful season.
- RC Henrik Samuelsson, RFA. Major disappointment after trade. Future unknown.
- RC Zach Pochiro RFA. Remnant of Yakupov deal, unlikely to return.
- L Matt Hendricks. In the olden days, this is where we start talking roving minor league coach.
- L Joey Laleggia. RFA, suddenly an important signing.
- R Zack Kassian. RFA. He has far more speed than anticipated, could score 10-15.
- R Tyler Pitlick. His return may depend on other summer moves by the Oilers.
- R Justin Fontaine. Edmonton will need a quality veteran in the AHL, could be him.