The most interesting situation on the Edmonton Oilers roster for the coming season might be Anton Slepyshev’s future. His combination of size, speed and skill could be on a collision course with opportunity, the result being a quality scoring winger for an organization badly in need of one this very minute. (Breakout)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV 2016-17
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.34 (7th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 0.00
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 46.0
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -4.1
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: 44.4
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -10.3 (24 percent of TOI v. elites)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 55 shots/7.3%
- Boxcars: 41gp, 4-6-10
- (All numbers via Puck IQ, Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)
RE 17-18: 70GP, 12-13-25 (.357)
- This is a terrible prediction. It’s a reasonable one based on his possible usage during the season.
- How good was his 2016-17 season? Combined with his playoffs, it was a very important 12 months. Anton Slepyshev is on the verge of becoming an NHL regular. I projected him to play one game in August 2016, he ended up (including postseason) playing 53. Flew up the depth chart.
- And yet you believe 12 goals in reasonable. If I were more certain of his getting a full season on the 2line, then the goal-scoring total would reflect that belief. We’re not there with this player.
- He’ll play on a line with Leon! I’m sure he will, but Slepyshev may also play fourth line, sit in the pressbox and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility he spends some more time in Bakersfield.
- I don’t understand why you are hesitant on Slepyshev. If you look at history, then it’s easy to see not every handy option fills the current need. Matt Benning’s arrival last season—right on time—was extremely unusual. Surely you see this is true. Slepyshev would be a grand solution and a player who was chosen in the third round who made it (rare as an Edith Piaf bootleg), but he’s not there yet. At least one more step to go, and that will be this season.
- He looked damn good in the spring. Yes he did, scored three playoff goals and played very well in a feature role in the biggest games this franchise has seen in a decade. I think he played well enough to get the first shot among the young RWers in a tougher minutes role.
- As in 2line with Lucic and Draisaitl? Yes. I think he is more capable of filling that role than Drake Caggiula, and older, bigger and more established than Jesse Puljujarvi. For those reasons, I think he’ll get some 2line time with Milan Lucic and Leon Draisait.
- But he won’t stay there? I don’t think he’ll start there, as my model has McDavid and Leon playing together a lot. Meaning he’ll be in the mix for 2RW on a line with RNH.
- To hell with your model! Even if Leon plays center on a 2line, there’s still some reasonable doubt about Slepyshev taking the job. Jussi Jokinen, Drake Caggiula, even Jesse Puljujarvi could arrive in a hurry. This isn’t a slam dunk for Slepyshev.
- You are underestimating him! I think this is reasonable. If you look at RW depth chart, it’s Leon/Strome, Slepyshev, Puljujarvi and Kassian. Jokinen and Caggiula could join in as well.
- Wide open opportunity. For everyone. That’s the issue.
- Let’s go back to what he is as a player. What does he bring? Slepyshev has a nice range of skills, this gives him a real edge. He has size, skill and speed, plus he boasts a heavy shot. I’m not convinced he’ll be a 20-goal man annually but there are elements in his game that suggest he has a chance to become one.
- So you agree he can get there but don’t believe it will happen this season? I’m saying he could score 20 goals this season but that’s not a reasonable thing to project. We are trying to find reasonable.
- You’ll look silly when he scores 20. I would suggest Slepyshev would look brilliant if he scored 20 goals, as it would mean he passed reasonable in mid-season and solidified his status as an emerging NHL winger.
- What does he need to work on? If Slepyshev is going to be one of the six wingers working with McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins, he’s going to need to shoot more.
- What were his shot numbers in 16-17? He delivered 7.37 shots per 60 at 5×5, same as Patrick Maroon. Edmonton needs wingers who are going to shoot the puck a lot.
- Is that a good number? For a rookie, it’s pretty good. Nail Yakupov was 5.56/60 as a rookie, Jordan Eberle 7.75, Taylor Hall 9.24 as a freshman.
- What about rookies this season in the same range as Slepyshev? Slepy was 7.37, Matt Tkachuk was 7.42, Ondrej Kase 7.50.
- Where is he on your depth chart? If Leon is at center, my RW depth chart is Strome, Slepyshev, Puljujarvi, Kassian, Pakarinen, Rattie, Russell, Chase. It’s also possible Jussi Jokinen slides in somewhere, and Drake Caggiula is hovering.
- One more thing: You keep estimating he has a 90 percent chance of making the team. Why? I think there’s a chance we see a signing, PTO or even trade before training camp. Slepyshev can be sent down, and I do think the Oilers are committed to Puljujarvi on a higher level than Slepyshev.
- Wrong! Well that’s the bet here. We’ll see. Either way I see him playing in the NHL most or all of the season.
- Who are his comparables? There are some very interesting rookies (age 22) in his general area. Hockey-reference comparables are here.
- Who looks like a good match? There are some fine players here. I’ll list Ryan Callahan, Chris Neil, Joel Armia, Val Filppula. There are also players who didn’t emerge as actual NHL players, so that gets back to reasonable and what we should be projecting for this player.
- Why this song? Lots of Foo Fighters songs are perfect fits, this is a nice one for the emerging Slepyshev. It also fits as a reminder of the inconsistency of youth.
CURRENT RE 2016-17