I mentioned in yesterday morning’s post that Jesse Puljujarvi is 145 days older than Kailer Yamomoto, and that we should consider them as being from the same draft year. As we sit here this morning, drinking coffee and contemplating life, my assumption is that Jesse Puljujarvi is going to get a clear shot as a top 6F on this hockey club. I will tell you that, in my opinion, he’s going to need a little luck.
Trading Jordan Eberle cleared the decks for someone, but I’m not sure it’s Puljujarvi (although management may see it that way). Kailer Yamamoto is a more substantial offensive talent, pretty sure. Kailer Yamomoto is just 145 days younger and can think the game, skate like the wind and has fantastic skills.
Then there’s Anton Slepyshev. Although he doesn’t have the draft pedigree, Slepyshev did show flashes last season and he owns what is probably the best shot among the young forwards. Drake Caggiula found the range late in the season and played well with 97. Ryan Strome may also find some time on RW and perhaps he finds chem with one of the centers.
I know this blog’s author gets stubborn on things, but this Puljujarvi push seems too early to me. I will tell you the kid Yamomoto’s resume is a better match for 2RW and that’s a fact. Jesse Puljujarvi is going to play this season in the NHL and he’ll enter training camp (imo) as 2RW, but the competition is real and substantial despite inexperience.
I don’t think Todd McLellan will invest Connor McDavid for the Finn. JP was 2.86 5×5/60 scoring with McDavid and had a 53.8 Corsi for 5×5 percentage. Without him the offense went away (0.59 5×5/60 scoring) but the possession (53 percent) remained. A season on a soft minutes 3line is probably best, with Yamamoto in the WHL and Radim Vrbata signed and sealed for 2017-18.
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (7th among all forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 2.66 (one goal in 22 minutes)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 53.2
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %: 2.1
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: 32.8
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -7.5 (30 percent of TOI v. elites)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 41 shots/2.4%
- Boxcars: 28gp, 1-7-8
- (All numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)
- Special thanks to GMoney and Woodguy for sharing the DFF’s
JP had a good possession number but not against elites. I’d guess he’s going to be a good two-way winger. He may end up being a substantial offensive player but I can’t see it from here. Can you?
PROJECTED LINEUP 2017-18
- This is my list, I do think Strome will play ‘Mirror Man’ with Draisaitl this coming season. When 97-29 are together, Leon taking faceoffs gives the line several advantages (chem, faceoffs) but I expect the club wins Stanley with both men at center.
- This morning’s item is about JP and the young wingers, but we shouldn’t discount Benoit Pouliot. He should have a far better year.
- I would love to see Tyler Pitlick signed today. Jordan Oesterle, too.
- Andrej Sekera’s injury was a real kick in the nuts.
FREE AGENCY 2017
My lists below have taken a major haircut because the dual contracts of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are going to impact July. The McDavid contract sounds like it is farther along but the Draisaitl negotiation (Ryan Rishaug is the best source on this) seems to have some issues. Peter Chiarelli can’t go shopping until that 29 deal is complete. Here are my revised lists.
- R Radim Vrbata FREE AGENT (81gp, 20-35-55). Scorer.
- R Drew Stafford FREE AGENT (58gp, 8-13-21). Chiarelli type.
- R Jordan Weal FREE AGENT (23gp, 8-4-12). Not a lock for Philly?
- R Jarome Iginla FREE AGENT (80gp, 14-13-27). He can still shoot the puck.
- R Tyler Pitlick FREE AGENT (31gp, 8-3-11). Finally emerged, could return.
- R P-A Parenteau FREE AGENT (67gp, 13-15-28). Can still score.
- LC Dominic Moore FREE AGENT (82gp, 11-14-25). PK and FO option.
- R Alex Chiasson FREE AGENT (81gp, 12-12-24). Has some value.
- LC Mikhail Grigorenko FREE AGENT (75gp, 10-13-23). Good faceoff man.
- C-L Brandon Pirri FREE AGENT (60gp, 8-10-18). Low-cost scorer.
- R Stepane Da Costa FREE AGENT (24gp, 9-11-20 KHL). Skill forward.
- RD Cody Franson FREE AGENT (68GP, 3-16-19). Out of the blue and into the black.
- RD Michael Stone FREE AGENT (64gp, 3-12-15). May be some interest.
- LD Yohann Auvitu FREE AGENT (25gp, 2-2-4). He looks like a player.
- RD Christian Folin FREE AGENT (51gp, 2-6-8). New free agent arrival.
- LD Jordan Oesterle FREE AGENT (2gp, 0-0-0). I like him as a 7D option.
- LD Patrick Wiercioch FREE AGENT (57gp, 4-8-12). Spent a year in hell.
- RD Dennis Wideman FREE AGENT (57gp, 5-13-18). Going to the end of the line.
- RD Adam Clendening FREE AGENT (31gp, 2-9-11). Still hanging around.
Far different list than in previous days but there is value here. I doubt most of these names go in the early days of free agency, so if Peter Chiarelli can get LD signed in the next few days maybe things come together. I like Auvitu as a value defender and several of the forwards.
- Peter Gzowski, The Game of our Lives: Number 27 is Dave Semenko. It is easy to regard Semenko as a goon. He is 6.04, weighs 215 pounds and has fierce, dark eyes and a powerful jaw. He keeps his hair long and at training camp wore a headband that added to his Ukrainian gypsy air. On the ice, he is the team’s enforcer; and there are those who claim he is, or could be, the heavyweight champion of the NHL. Off the ice, though he has a quiet offhand wit that is difficult to capture in print. One morning in training camp, he sat looking out over the ice, talking of what he’d done that summer, which turned out to be nothing (he is married and has a young son) and then he said: “do you know what I used to think about? Making a perfect pass. I’d think about coming out from our end, and just as I came out, sending it right across to the other side, and hitting my other winger in full stride just as he hit the other line. I’d dream about that play.”
I remember watching Semenko jump over the boards after a whistle when the game had reached a dangerous area. Opponent running around, Oilers engaging, blood in the water. Semenko would calm the waters between faceoffs, stretch a little, and the game would resume with order established and roles understood. I’ve never seen that before or since. RIP Dave Semenko.
— paintedlego (@paintedlego) June 29, 2017
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A sad busy day on the show, I’m always glad to have Bruce McCurdy along for mornings like this one. We’ll talk Clare Drake, Dave Semenko and some Oilers, too. I’ll be joined by Jared Book of Bluebird Banter and Habs Eyes on the Prize at 10:40, then Don Landry of CFL.ca at 11:05. New commish! Week Two. At 11:25, Frank Seravalli will discuss the Leon Draisaitl situation and free agency. All gets rolling at 10, TSN1260. Best way to reach me is 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.