TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL No. 5: IIRO PAKARINEN

The fancy stats never did take a liking to Iiro Pakarinen, but Todd McLellan valued his speed, size, shot and rambunctious play. For a team desperate for offense from the bottom of the order, Pakarinen’s 16 points in his first 80 Oilers games was enough for him to be an option.

Pakarinen was hurt for most of last season and signed to a deal at least partly due to expansion requirements. Among possible Oilers for 2017-18, Pakarinen’s potential role is very close to a mystery.

IIRO PAKARINEN 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.04 (4th among EDM forwards with >100 minutes)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 45.5
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -3.6
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 46.90
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -2.2 (22 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 15 shots/13.3%
  • Boxcars: 14, 2-2-4
  • (All numbers via Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

RE 16-17: 10GP, 1-1-2 (.200)

  1. What role will Pakarinen apply for? Todd McLellan used him in a specific role during Pakarinen’s healthy season: 9:15 EV per game; 1:09 SH; 0:19 PP. I expect Pakarinen to be applying for that job (4line winger).
  2. Does he have a real chance? I think he’s coming in behind, by that I mean the Oilers are more likely to use Jujhar Khaira and or Brad Malone ahead of him on LW, possibly Ty Rattie ahead of him on RW. Pakarinen can close the gap but I don’t think he’s the favorite for a roster spot going in.
  3. What makes him attractive for this roster? Pakarinen has some sneaky offense, not at a Zack Kassian level but it’s likely he has more than Khaira and he certainly has more than Brad Malone. He can also penalty kill for Todd McLellan.
  4. What will his role be in Bakersfield? Pakarinen has enough offense to play on a skill line in the AHL (he is 48gp, 18-14-32 in Bakersfield).
  5. What one thing will get him to the NHL? Todd McLellan has a history with him and has a comfort level. Pakarinen needs to stay healthy and play the game expected and that should get him NHL time, if not a spot on the opening night roster.
  6. What will keep him from getting an NHL look? He’s kind of at the mercy of Jujhar Khaira on LW and Ty Rattie on RW, as I see it. If the young winger Khaira comes into camp and slams opponents, scores a little and shows some PK acumen, Pakarinen is in some trouble. If Rattie displays the goal-scoring acumen the Oilers believe is there, that’s another avenue suddenly unavailable.
  7. How many players can he reasonably be expected to pass in one winter? On the LW depth chart, I think Pakarinen is just behind Khaira, putting him No. 6. After that comes Joey Laleggia, Braden Christoffer and the AHL-only contracts. On RW, he is behind LD/Strome, Puljujarvi, Slepyshev, Kassian. That puts Pakarinen No. 5 on the list, and Ty Rattie is going to push him for playing time. Brian Ferlin, Patrick Russell and Greg Chase follow on the pro depth chart.
  8. Anyone else? This fall at training camp, Pakarinen is going to have real competition from a player who has matching skills. Mitch Callahan. The former Red Wings prospect is very similar, only difference being Pakarinen has played about 90 more NHL games. It is going to be fascinating to see these two battle for the identical spot in the organization. The Matt Hendricks role has a lot of candidates.

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21 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL No. 5: IIRO PAKARINEN"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think Pak may be fighting for a roster spot and may be lucky to get the 13th forward spot – if everyone is healthy.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    His PK may get him a roster and lineup spot – not alot of experienced PK depth at forward on this team.

  3. jfry says:

    Optioned to Europe by December?

  4. digger50 says:

    I don’t think Iro has enough to make this team as it stands today.

    One thing I do like (and yet dislike) about Iro is he hits everything in sight and then some, perhaps focusing on it too much. I swear if he gets a breakaway he just passes the puck to the goalie and then lays a hit on the goalie.

    My prediction is they lose him on waivers. Somebody else needs some depth and takes a chance on him.

  5. digger50 says:

    Just cause it’s slow tonight…..

    Who would you trade to Vegas to bring back Theodore?

    What about Marchessault?

    Do you build the trade around first round picks or move someone out?

    Both look to fit into a Vegas build but Vegas still seems hungry to gather future potential in the form of first rounders. Certainly they would have interest in our 24y old center, or Russian singer who does not need waivers.

  6. treevojo says:

    digger50:
    Just cause it’s slow tonight…..

    Who would you trade to Vegas to bring back Theodore?

    What about Marchessault?

    Do you build the trade around first round picks or move someone out?

    Both look to fit into a Vegas build but Vegas still seems hungry to gather future potential in the form of first rounders. Certainly they would have interest in our 24y old center, or Russian singer who does not need waivers.

    Think we could trade this Russian singer for one of the two?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tVj0ZTS4WF4

  7. Bank Shot says:

    How many games does a 13th forward play?

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with either Pakarinen or Khaira playing 50+ games.

    Perhaps Khaira can take a leap forward in development this year ala Brodziak and seize a spot and never look back. But…I’d probably like to see another forward brought in that can bolster the group.

    Letestu is a 4th line guy, Caggiula, Slepyshev, and Puljujarvi haven’t proven they can play up the lineup.

    Another Vet presence would be appreciated. Another Jokinen type signing please.

  8. Georges says:

    LT and godot,

    I’ve been thinking about your comments from yesterday’s thread.

    LT:

    I’m just dropping in to make sure we all still agree that 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring, which on some level, is partly a product of being on the ice for power plays.

    godot:

    All widgets are not of equal value. Widgets produced on Tuesday are more valuable, and more indicative the current performance level.

    I’ve been going through last year’s data to try to understand this.

    Am I right in interpreting your comments in this sort of way:

    – 5v5 scoring has to be earned; PP scoring is given to you if you’re given PP time
    – 5v5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more accurate measure of offensive ability
    – 5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers

    Am I close? Am I missing something?

    I’d like to respond but I don’t want to respond to a false or incomplete version of your positions.

    Thank you both in advance.

  9. PuckProjections says:

    Im sorry Lowetide but i gotta disagree with you on this one. Atleast partially. I really do not believe that JP is ready for a full time NHL role yet and as such i cannot say it would be even remotely close to a good idea to have him in the lineup over Pakarinen. Pakarinen atleast plays a solid and respectable defensive game with some offensive potential. The added bonus is that it allows us to afford more minutes to Zach Kassian who SHOULD be a 3RW getting 3RW minutes, plus special teams of course.

  10. Lowetide says:

    PuckProjections:
    Im sorry Lowetide but i gotta disagree with you on this one. Atleast partially. I really do not believe that JP is ready for a full time NHL role yet and as such i cannot say it would be even remotely close to a good idea to have him in the lineup over Pakarinen. Pakarinen atleast plays a solid and respectable defensive game with some offensive potential. The added bonus is that it allows us to afford more minutes to Zach Kassian who SHOULD be a 3RW getting 3RW minutes, plus special teams of course.

    Never be sorry for expressing an opinion. Be sorry for cutting me off in traffic. 🙂

  11. Lowetide says:

    Georges:
    Am I right in interpreting your comments in this sort of way:

    – 5v5 scoring has to be earned; PP scoring is given to you if you’re given PP time
    – 5v5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more accurate measure of offensive ability
    – 5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers

    Am I close? Am I missing something?

    I’d like to respond but I don’t want to respond to a false or incomplete version of your positions.

    Thank you both in advance.

    – 5v5 scoring has to be earned; PP scoring is given to you if you’re given PP time.

    All opportunities are earned. A player can post big numbers on the power play and that can obscure scoring problems at 5×5. You’d like players to earn playing time in both disciplines and of course if a player doesn’t produce then movement down the depth chart is inevitable.

    – 5v5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more accurate measure of offensive ability.

    5×5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more VALUABLE asset to a team.

    – 5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers

    When I post the RE’s, I include both metrics and for good reason. Both are important. We should pay tremendous attention to 5×5 in all areas because it’s such an enormous part of the overall game.

    Finally, generally speaking, I’d rather have an effective 5×5 player who lacked natural 5×4 ability than the other way around. Saying that, most of the men who can consistently score 2.00/60 at 5×5 are also very good on the power play given the opportunity.

  12. Jaxon says:

    If Malone and Pakarinen get on the ice together it will be exciting hockey for the fans. They both hit a lot. Pakarinen had 30 hits in his 125 minutes last season for 14.4 hits/60. Malone didn’t get any NHL time last season but the season before he had 124 hits in 544.32 minutes for 13.7 hits/60. If they grabbed Ryan White, they would have one of the hardest hitting 4th lines in the NHL. White had 16.2 hits/60.

  13. Nuclear leak says:

    No more Pak.

    Because it’s slow and there’s a crazy rumour floating.. Nuge, Nurse and what? for Ovi.

  14. digger50 says:

    treevojo,

    Too funny

  15. digger50 says:

    As an idea Lt I would enjoy seeing a running list of the RE’s, or even updated every five players or so. Nice to be able to compare the REs at a glance without going back to search out what the RE was for a particular player. Just a thought.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Digger: Great idea and done. I’ll have it in tomorrow morning’s post.

  17. russ99 says:

    digger50:
    Just cause it’s slow tonight…..

    Who would you trade to Vegas to bring back Theodore?

    What about Marchessault?

    Do you build the trade around first round picks or move someone out?

    Both look to fit into a Vegas build but Vegas still seems hungry to gather future potential in the form of first rounders. Certainly they would have interest in our 24y old center, or Russian singer who does not need waivers.

    We’re going to be at the cap next year and still have a thin group of forwards in the system, especially skilled forwards, and we’ll need capable players on entry level deals to step up at the NHL level during our (hopefully) 10+ year run at the Cup.

    Doubt our first is movable for a few years, unless we’re getting a mid second in return as well.

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

    Lowetide,

    Ok so I disagree with two statements

    LT says: “5×5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more VALUABLE asset to a team.”

    LT then says: “5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers.”

    I agree with the first statement as an individual statistic but I don’t think it accurately jives with the second statement.

    A team that runs hot on the powerplay can overcome mediocre play or allow a team to execute ‘saw off play” 5v5.

    We saw this last year during Columbus’ winning streak where that PP was humming along at at something close to 36% I believe. The swagger, confidence and intimidation that accompany a lethal 5v4 have a very real effect on how a team plays any one specific game.

    As an example: in the playoffs when Letestu scored that late 2nd period PP goal in game 5 against the Sharks it completely shifted the momentum of the game at 5v5 (along with the McDavid hit at center ice) in the 3rd. Small sample yes but combine it with the Columbus info from above and we start to get an insight.

    Potting advantageous PP goals allows you to do a bunch of things. It can get you back into a game, it can help you run up the score, it allows you to run 4 lines, to conserve the TOI for your offensive superstars, ditto for your dmen and maybe even the workload for your goalie.

    My point being 5v4 play have a huge effect on game management that over the course of a season can have an effect on how you manage your bench.

    Excellent play at 5v4 and most importantly scoring at 5v4 can allow you to play a different way 5v5 that doesn’t necessarily prioritize offense. Poor play at 5v4 (as we witnessed for several seasons) can suck the life/momentum out of a team and crater an otherwise strong 5v5 performance.

    As an individual statistic I agree that 5v5 scoring allows for a more holistic view of a players offensive ceiling or output. But in a team game, I think the focus on that statistic needs to be used carefully because I think it can be misleading when a successfully executed 5v4 at a specific point in a game can dramatically shift the tactics deployed.

    In the end all goals count equally. A 5v4 goal scored late in the 2nd period that allows a team to sit back for 20 minutes to nurse home a win is just as important as a 5v5 goal scored late in the 3rd to put a team on top. The difference is in the style of play in that time gap however can be hugely important in a year where guys play close to a hundred games and thousands of minutes.

  19. Lowetide says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Lowetide,

    Ok so I disagree with two statements

    LT says: “5×5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more VALUABLE asset to a team.”

    LT then says: “5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers.”

    I didn’t say the second thing. That was the item I was quoting.

  20. McNuge93 says:

    What I like about the bottom six (plus 13th and 14th) is there is a good mix of experience and youth. And a number of guys like Caggs, Sleppy and JJ who have just had a half season or so of NHL experience. Adds of Malone and Rattie are guys halfway between AHL NHL. Lots of room for growth and lots of competition for spots.

  21. magneto says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Lowetide,

    Ok so I disagree with two statements

    LT says: “5×5 scoring is more difficult, therefore a more VALUABLE asset to a team.”

    LT then says: “5v5 has a bigger influence on the outcome of the game, therefore what happens during 5v5 is more important than what happens during PP and we should pay more attention to 5v5 numbers.”

    We saw this last year during Columbus’ winning streak where that PP was humming along at at something close to 36% I believe. The swagger, confidence and intimidation that accompany a lethal 5v4 have a very real effect on how a team plays any one specific game.

    CBJ 6th in regular season 5v5 Goals For
    23rd in regular season PP Goals

    Which one was more valuable to their season?

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