OILERS SIGN AUVITU

I watched a lot of New Jersey Devils games last season, call it checking in on Taylor Hall. I noticed a few things about the team, including a distinct lack of puck movers and headman passers. It’s important to have them, and the Devils lacked in this area. One player I did notice was Yohann Auvitu, who played 25 games and showed some ability with the puck.

On another note, all last winter I was looking for defensemen on NHL rosters who weren’t overpaid and might be able to outlet a pass to 97 on the fly. Auvitu made my list, and as you know I’ve mentioned him as a low-cost option. I wrote an item on him (here).

I like Tierney’s work a lot, his graphs are top drawer. I think it shows this signing to be a most reasonable bet, especially considering Edmonton’s need for a productive puck handler on the roster. I’m not certain where any of us might reasonably put him on the depth chart, but we can be fairly certain he’ll be in the mix for 6-7-8-9D at training camp.

AUVITU PLAYER CARD

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.54 (5th among regular defensemen)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 1.19 (one point in 50 minutes)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.8
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: 3.1
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 49.5
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %:  1.1 (20 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 54 shots/3.7%
  • Boxcars: 25gp, 2-2-4
  • (All numbers via Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

This is 25 games, and it’s the same for his AHL time (29 games, estimated 15 minutes a night). Solid, solid bet. The contract is for a very reasonable $700,000 and is for one year. The numbers from Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com tell us he struggled with Ben Lovejoy (Corsi for 5×5: 47.5) and flourished without him (53.4). He did very well with Kyle Quincey. Both of his NHL goals were from well outside prime scoring range, including this one that shows reasonable offensive instincts (to slowly move down the zone to give an attractive passing outlet). I am not saying 50 assists, but he has vision and puck-moving ability. He has a nifty way about him with the puck. Intelligent.

50-MAN LIST

I think the men in black above are locks for the roster, meaning six of seven (plus Sekera) roster spots have been secured. In my opinion, Auvitu, Ryan Stanton and Mark Fayne will be battling for the 7D job in training camp. With the 50-man now at 48, we may have reached the outer marker for summer procurement. It’s about signing Leon and getting players to camp. Maybe room for one college signing but this might be the final addition to the roster.

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66 Responses to "OILERS SIGN AUVITU"

  1. magisterrex says:

    Love the last two value signings!

    This reminds me of when the Oilers used to find quality that others overlooked at a value price.

    Those times have come again!

  2. jtblack says:

    Russell can play left or right. Gives good flexibility. Not great Balance but really close.

    Another great signing by PC

  3. Todd Macallan says:

    I am very much on board with this signing, in large part thanks to info gleaned on this site. Sounds like a similar player to Oesterle, albeit with more big league at bats. I can’t help but feel if Yohann were RH we may finally have seen the balance photo.

    Also, curious with no one having guessed the Foo song for Connor yet. I guessed My Hero last time (low hanging fruit), so my new guess will be Generator, with HM to I Am a River (Pusher).

  4. Lowetide says:

    The McDavid song has now been guessed.

  5. --hudson-- says:

    Auvitu’s first NHL goal was assisted by Taylor Hall and let in by Anders Nilsson.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhJsY7i-_cg

  6. jtblack says:

    With NJ D being soo bad, why did theyou not really sign him? Or did he want to move on?

  7. jtblack says:

    –hudson–,

    Tried to open and wasn’t working. Just me or anyone else?

  8. Primetime says:

    SportsCentre‏Verified account @SportsCentre 23m23 minutes ago
    More
    JUST IN: Tampa Bay Lightning sign F Tyler Johnson to a seven-year, $35 million contract

    We may have Connor, but TBay has the beach? $5 mill AAV? How does Stevie Y seem to get them to sign such value contracts? Or am I wrong?

  9. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    With NJ D being soo bad, why did theyou not really sign him? Or did he want to move on?

    They may have tried, looking at the depth chart it would seem like a no-brainer.

  10. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Nice. Good to have depth that can skate. Basically I see this as the Oesterle replacement and if he can do a little more, great.

    Always bound to be some injuries on the blue and he is nice insurance in case.

    I’d personally request, LT, that you hold off on the balance photo for one more summer.

    My reasons:
    1) the leftorium has been culled in terms or quantity but not yet quality. Larsson and another year of development from Benning might be a good start. Yes, Russell can play right side but I would like one more NHL rightie over Gryba before declaring the D balanced. Petry would have done it. So would current iteration of Schultz but both those two needed to sail on.
    2) Similarly the right wing is not balanced due to extreme inexperience and youth. Kassian is really the only bona-fide RW. When Leon is there he is playing on his backhand, which I get is sublime. Slepy I like but his production isn’t there yet. Jesse is still unproven, etc. They don’t need to add anyone else if they all take a step forward this year. But as of now the imbalance is caused by experience.

    3) leaving a candle on for Nuge. I want to make sure either he is not traded or his replacement is capable before crowning the team balanced, only to lose our quality C depth.

    Just my two cents…one season away. It’s close!

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    Russell can play left or right.Gives good flexibility.Not great Balance but really close.

    Another great signing by PC

    He can play both sides but is much better on the left side – I really hope he plays left side this coming year, as I think he is a passable puck mover on this natural side

  12. Bank Shot says:

    Primetime:
    SportsCentre‏Verified account @SportsCentre23m23 minutes ago
    MoreJUST IN: Tampa Bay Lightning sign F Tyler Johnson to a seven-year, $35 million contract

    We may have Connor, but TBay has the beach?$5 mill AAV?How does Stevie Y seem to get them to sign such value contracts?Or am I wrong?

    Florida state tax probably helps alot.

    The signing of Auvitu seems pretty meh. Hopefully he exceeds all expectations.

  13. Ducey says:

    magisterrex:
    Love the last two value signings!

    This reminds me of when the Oilers used to find quality that others overlooked at a value price.

    Those times have come again!

    Is this is Keith Gretzky, or just a coincidence that he is the mouthpiece on the Oilers’ site on the Jokinen signing?

    I was not crazy about trading Eberle for Strome, but it makes more sense now that we see how much Leon/ Connor will eat up. Trying to trade Eberle once the Leon demand came out would have been tough.

    And people don’t like the Russell signing. I do, as I think he can play anywhere and they did not have to give up assets to get him.

    Other than these two possible issues, the draft and free agency have been marked by fairly astute management.

    Also seems that the Oilers offices are using some fancy stats to inform pro scouting.

  14. Chachi says:

    Primetime:
    SportsCentre‏Verified account @SportsCentre23m23 minutes ago
    MoreJUST IN: Tampa Bay Lightning sign F Tyler Johnson to a seven-year, $35 million contract

    We may have Connor, but TBay has the beach?$5 mill AAV?How does Stevie Y seem to get them to sign such value contracts?Or am I wrong?

    Is 2 years of Dan Girardi at 3 million a season a value contract? Ryan Callahan at 5.8 million?

  15. Ryan says:

    Primetime:
    SportsCentre‏Verified account @SportsCentre23m23 minutes ago
    MoreJUST IN: Tampa Bay Lightning sign F Tyler Johnson to a seven-year, $35 million contract

    We may have Connor, but TBay has the beach?$5 mill AAV?How does Stevie Y seem to get them to sign such value contracts?Or am I wrong?

    No state taxes?

  16. jtblack says:

    Chachi,

    Johnson has 38 & 45 pts last 2 seasons (69 gms). a smallish 50 pt centre locked up til he is 34. not sure that is the best value contract

    EDIT: in response to Primetime’s original post

  17. treevojo says:

    Chachi: Is 2 years of Dan Girardi at 3 million a season a value contract? Ryan Callahan at 5.8 million?

    You are never going to make it in to the “support group” with comments like these.

  18. JDî says:

    treevojo: You are never going to make it in to the “support group” with comments like these.

    Easy… He’s a supporter!

  19. Scungilli Slushy says:

    One thing about these contracts we’re seeing is that while we can look at fancies there is an aspect of fitting the human into the team and the system. There is also a limit on available players, based on their choices and contract demands.

    What I am noticing is that Chiarelli is really amping up the pressure on the NHL players. Yes there is a lack of proven vets on RW, but wingers can switch sides more easily than defence and be successful, many scorers play on their off wing.

    Everyone better show up ready to play at camp.

  20. digger50 says:

    I think that’s all Folks. And the team looks to be shaping up pretty good. They didn’t addd on the top end, but certainly beefed up the middle and the depth.

    Not much to bloviate on.

    So what the heck are we gonna do the rest of the summer ?

  21. limit says:

    I like the team! Pitt-Oilers 2018 Stanley finals here we go!!

  22. Primetime says:

    Chachi: Is 2 years of Dan Girardi at 3 million a season a value contract? Ryan Callahan at 5.8 million?

    Good point.

    He seems to stick to his guns with the star players (Stamkos, Kucherov, Johnson, Drouin) but caves on ones he shouldn’t (Girardi, Callahan). Chia seems to be the opposite…first one to the Cup wins!!

  23. JDî says:

    OV2.

  24. Ryan says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    One thing about these contracts we’re seeing is that while we can look at fancies there is an aspect of fitting the human into the team and the system. There is also a limit on available players, based on their choices and contract demands.

    What I am noticing is that Chiarelli is really amping up the pressure on the NHL players. Yes there is a lack of proven vets on RW, but wingers can switch sides more easily than defence and be successful, many scorers play on their off wing.

    Everyone better show up ready to play at camp.

    Hashtag internal competition for roster spots.

  25. Wolfie says:

    Don’t mess with the Yohann….

  26. barmstrong says:

    digger50:

    So what the heck are we gonna do the rest of the summer ?

    Refamiliarize ourselves with the Foo Fighters catalogue☺

  27. barmstrong says:

    Wolfie:
    Don’t mess with the Yohann….

    Why is he bionic?

  28. JDî says:

    barmstrong: Refamiliarize ourselves with the Foo Fighters catalogue

    Still trying to work Stacked Actors into the RE. One of my favfoorite songs!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj91k4Omyfo

  29. treevojo says:

    barmstrong: Why is he bionic?

    No it’s obviously cause he has the biggest….

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=poOZKQwgs0g

  30. Diablo says:

    Great signing today – Auvito is a low cost, high reward bet. Last season his fancies matched the eye test and he gives the team another NHL caliber D.

    Curious as to why he decided not to resign with NJ. Perhaps the player feels that he would get better exposure playing for a contender, than a basement dweller. If so, that bodes well for the future, as players will sign in Edmonton for less than market value in an effort to increase the value of their next contract while playing in the limelight.

    Credit where it is due – LT and the blogging community identified Auvito as a player of interest. Without a doubt the guys who advise Chia peruse the Oilers blogging community, and at least at some level, their decisions are coloured by the fine work that goes on here.

    Really excited to see how he performs in an Oiler’s uniform.

  31. barmstrong says:

    treevojo,

    Haha. I’m a sucker for a bad Adam Sandler movie…

    https://youtu.be/pa71JfWvY0M

  32. JDî says:

    barmstrong: bad Adam Sandler movie…

    There are other kinds?

  33. treevojo says:

    barmstrong:
    treevojo,

    Haha.I’m a sucker for a bad Adam Sandler movie…

    https://youtu.be/pa71JfWvY0M

    I am still amazed by the number of people who have not seen “the wedding singer”.

    For my money it is Adam Sandler’s best movie.

  34. Professor Q says:

    treevojo: I am still amazed by the number of people who have not seen “the wedding singer”.

    For my money it is Adam Sandler’s best movie.

    I haven’t!

  35. Bank Shot says:

    Diablo:

    Curious as to why he decided not to resign with NJ. Perhaps the player feels that he would get better exposure playing for a contender, than a basement dweller. If so, that bodes well for the future, as players will sign in Edmonton for less than market value in an effort to increase the value of their next contract while playing in the limelight.

    My guess is that the Oilers are the first org to offer him a contract. 27 year old tweeners don’t turn down contracts.

  36. JDî says:

    One of these days, the aREtist must be Max Webster.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3RJnmTwjck

  37. Thinker says:

    Waterboy is easily the best Sandler movie. The sound he makes during a tackle. When he looks at the one guy, says “No!” and then just cranks him.

  38. Chachi says:

    treevojo: You are never going to make it in to the “support group” with comments like these.

    HA!

  39. treevojo says:

    Professor Q: I haven’t!

    I bet you will now.

  40. Chachi says:

    JDî: Easy… He’s a supporter!


    HAHAHA!

  41. treevojo says:

    Thinker:
    Waterboy is easily the best Sandler movie. The sound he makes during a tackle. When he looks at the one guy, says “No!” and then just cranks him.

    To each their own.

    I just find wedding singer to be the least forced humour of all of them.

    The one liners in that movie I still find myself quoting from time to time.

  42. Johnny says:

    LT, big time props on identifying this player before 99% of the population had heard of him

    And didn’t rub it anyone’s faces….you know, in a Willis type way.

    First class LT.

  43. Chachi says:

    treevojo: I am still amazed by the number of people who have not seen “the wedding singer”.

    For my money it is Adam Sandler’s best movie.

    Great movie. Happy Gilmore is pretty great too.

  44. Bad Seed says:

    JDî,

    LT doesn’t like Rush, no way he does Max Webster.

    I think he should do a Rush re in honour of GMoney.

  45. treevojo says:

    Chachi: Great movie. Happy Gilmore is pretty great too.

    Very close second for me.

    Maybe I’ve watched it too many times.

    Seems wedding singer flew under the radar for many.

    Maybe that’s why I have it at #1.

  46. Bad Seed says:

    Punch Drunk Love is a pretty good Sandler movie and certainly doesn’t fit with all his others.

  47. JDî says:

    Bad Seed:
    JDî,

    LT doesn’t like Rush, no way he does Max Webster.

    I think he should do a Rush re in honour of GMoney.

    Not even remotely similar bands.

    Also, when did GMo pass?

  48. JDî says:

    Bad Seed:
    Punch Drunk Love is a pretty good Sandler movie and certainly doesn’t fit with all his others.

    You mean in the $5 discount bin at Walmart?

  49. barmstrong says:

    JDî: You mean in the $5 discount bin at Walmart?

    Cruel ☺

    Love the Waterboy. Love the Wedding Singer. But you know how when you’re at home on a Saturday afternoon, and your wife gets flipping through the channels, and lands on the Womans Network, and Just Go With It is on? Sucks me in every time.

  50. Chachi says:

    barmstrong: Cruel

    Love the Waterboy.Love the Wedding Singer.But you know how when you’re at home on a Saturday afternoon, and your wife gets flipping through the channels, and lands on the Womans Network, and Just Go With It is on?Sucks me in every time.

    I believe this exact thing has happened to me several times.

  51. Pescador says:

    Wonder if the Oilers run
    Swede. Swede.
    Darryl. Russ.
    New Guy. Benny.
    or.
    Sweden.
    Reset. Bennie & the Jets.
    Nurrs. Ahh Vito! so nice to see you!
    Or is he Sub-Grub in terms of talent?
    Does he have the juiced booties, or the lead loafers?

  52. Pescador says:

    barmstrong: Cruel

    Love the Waterboy.Love the Wedding Singer.But you know how when you’re at home on a Saturday afternoon, and your wife gets flipping through the channels, and lands on the Womans Network, and Just Go With It is on?Sucks me in every time.

    I spent $700 on a second tv just for this problem alone

  53. JDî says:

    barmstrong: and your wife gets flipping through the channels

    Ya lost me…

  54. Pescador says:

    JDî,

    Before I bought a second t.v. I used to hide the remote on her.
    And of course I would let her search for at least 5 mins before I would “help”
    Still makes me chuckle

  55. Evilas says:

    Pescador,

    The following are comments taken from NJD HF boards by those who were familiar with him from SM-Liga after he was signed last year:

    Offensive minded dman with good skating ability, great hands and okay shot. Was named the best dman in Liiga (Finnish elite league) this season and was outstanding especially in the playoffs. His skating ability really showed up because of the bigger ice here in Europe.

    Auvitu needs to work on his defensive game if he wants to make the NHL. He is not extremely physical and often makes simple mistakes, although he has gotten better through the years. He came to Finland back in 2008 so he has come a long way since then.

    I think he needs first of all a good summer training and then time to get used to smaller rink and North American style of hockey. He should light up the AHL no doubt, but the big question for him is if he can work out his defensive game. I’d say he has good potential to become 25-40 pt player at the NHL level if everything clicks for him. Player comparison think of Marek Zidlicky.

    Thought I’d offer my two cents about Auvitu, who I’ve watched very closely for the past two years.

    He’s taken freaking gigantic steps during his stay at HIFK. The potential has always been there, but he’s grown to a ridiculously good defenceman. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G skater, seen as one of the best in the FEL. His stride and first step are so effortless and explosive. Uses this trait when defending his own zone, too, beating forwards easily. I think he had the Corsi% of any player in the Finnish league (while being top or near the top in other relevant stats), generating shot attempts like crazy. Has a blast of a shot too, which he often gets through the traffic.

    He is so poised out there, thriving under pressure and getting better in the playoffs. Was absolutely lights out this spring, scoring at almost a PPG rate in the FEL playoffs. For example, he had 4 goals and 7 points in 6 games against JYP in the semifinals. Led all the defencemen in playoff scoring, and was 6th overall with 7 goals and 13 points in 18 games.

    Should he get a fair chance, I’m sure you wont be disappointed. Absolutely gorgeous player with all the traits to aim for the top. He’s a bit of a slow starter, but gets progressively, or should I say exponentially better, as the season goes.

    Keep in mind though, he’s no Rafalski. It would be hard to match pretty much the best defenceman ever in FEL, but oh well. Like it has been pointed out here, you’ve had a pretty good eye for 26yo defencemen playing for HIFK.

    He really made something happen every shift and was often the speartip of the attack, like is seen in some of the highlights from this spring on the post by thethinglonger. Its still obvious that it cannot be foreseen how his skills translate to the smaller rink and more physical environment, but I bet he can atleast be a serviceable 3rd pairing defenceman and play the point in the 2nd PP unit. He seemed to thrive best when playing powerplay in an umbrella formation as the lone guy at the blue line, but I don’t know how Hynes and Co. organize the PP in NJ.

    Pair him with someone who can stay behind when he is rushing up attacking, and he’ll deliver, for sure. The way he played this spring is more than enough for fair minutes in The Big Show, but I understand that coaches might be wary of playing a player who is a relative unknown and arriveas from a smaller league. Him pairing up with someone like Adam Larsson is a pipe dream, but someone similarly equipped should be good. He and Swede Daniel Grillfors formed one of the best, if not the best, defensive partnerships in the Finnish league for the last two years, so maybe trying him out with a Swede isn’t that bad of an idea.

    Comments regarding the 2016 World’s:
    France had 5 regular defensemen injured.
    We played with 2 centers in defense, and 3 borderlines NT defensemen.
    So you can imagine Auvitu played A LOT.
    28+ minutes each game, PK, PP (often 2 full minutes, we didn’t really have someone else…)

  56. JDî says:

    Pescador: Before I bought a second t.v. I used to hide the remote on her.

    I bought a second remote, and then she hid that on herself.

  57. Evilas says:

    More on Auvitu, and you know what they say, ” the more on, the better”….. No wait, that’s just me 😁

    http://thehockeywriters.com/frenchy-can-play-meet-yohann-auvitu/

    https://www.todaysslapshot.com/nhl-east/new-jersey-devils/devils-poised-breakout-yohann-auvitu/

    https://www.allaboutthejersey.com/2016/10/21/13357242/yohann-auvitu-a-bright-spot-in-the-devils-slow-start

    Here is a great week he had in Albany with some video highlights, scroll to the bottom for the videos and a blurb about his play:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.allaboutthejersey.com/platform/amp/2017/1/31/14447204/new-jersey-devils-prospect-update-1-31-17

    By all accounts he had an outstanding training camp, but perhaps because the Devil’s don’t offer much regarding an offensive mindset up and the NJD coach being risk-averse, this was the wrong team for him. That being said, now that he has gotten his feet wet in NA, perhaps he will be better prepared for sustained success….he will be very interesting to follow…

    A NJ writer’s take on YA’s season:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/pucksandpitchforks.com/2017/04/24/yohann-auvitu-deserves-another-shot-make-new-jersey-devils/amp/

    It’s has to be tough coming from Europe, even as worldly guy, never having been in North America and probably not knowing anyone in the Devil’s organization. And playing well, and then getting sent to the AHL…I can’t fathom, but I am sure it’s frustrating, exasperating, perplexing and a bunch of other words that end in “Ing”..

    When trying to suss out a cheap bubbling under RHD aquisition pre-Larsson last offseason, I kept circling back to Damon Severson. Part of the opportunity I thought was that I was reading that John Hynes seemed to really be busting his balls. I took it as he might make a quiet trade request, because he wasn’t seemingly being given much opportunity or shown much respect IMO.

    Similarly, this is how I have read the Auvitu handling by Hynes. We will see what coaches with good imaginations can do with him.

    *Note- this is also why I have been anticipating a trade of Fayne back to the swamp, where I am positive he would be welcomed by Hynes with open arms…

  58. striatic says:

    treevojo: To each their own.

    I just find wedding singer to be the least forced humour of all of them.

    The one liners in that movie I still find myself quoting from time to time.

    Carrie Fisher and a pre-hollywood-staple Judd Apatow did uncredited work on The Wedding Singer script.

  59. Pescador says:

    Evilas,
    Thank you,
    Awesome stuff Evil Kinevil.
    I don’t care what the rest of the posters say about you,
    You’re alright by me!

  60. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    barmstrong,

    Chachi,

    treevojo,

    Bad Seed,

    Bad Seed,

    Came to this convo wayyyy too late but my $0.02

    Best Sandler: Billy Madison, Bulletproof, Happy Gilmour, Wedding Singer and Waterboy.

  61. jake70 says:

    barmstrong: Refamiliarize ourselves with the Foo Fighters catalogue

    I would have to “familiarize” first. Ahh the 90s, where great music went to die. (jake, prepare for incomming!!…. 😉 )

  62. kgo says:

    Waterboy? Seriously? All of you who voted, go refresh your memory, put yourself through 2 hours of waterboy, then come back and edit your post.

  63. deankb says:

    Thinker,

    And by Waterboy, you mean Happy Gilmore right? Cause I like the other two mentioned, but Happy is easily his best movie

  64. misfit says:

    Waterboy and Happy Gilmore are great, but Treevojo had it right. Wedding Singer is #1 with a bullet.

  65. Oilers8833 says:

    Yeah Waterboy is good but watching it now drops it down a few notches for me its

    1) Happy Gilmore
    2) Wedding Singer
    3) Billy Madison
    4) Click (more so because of Kate Beckinsale)
    5) Big Daddy……..where is all the love for this movie

    Oh yeah and like the Auvitu signing as well.

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