RE 17-18 JUJHAR KHAIRA: THIS IS A CALL

Please step this way ladies and gentlemen, we now bring you to the rarest of all things. During the period where the Edmonton Oilers changed out management every summer, dozens of young prospects would try and fail to make it through the system. Forwards were especially prone to derailment, so it was extremely rare to see a forward drafted, developed in the minors and emerge as a bona fide, successful NHL player. This is Jujhar Khaira, one such forward, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. (This is a Call).

JUJHAR KHAIRA 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.66
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 52.10
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -1.78
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 81.70
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: 28.70 (18 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 10 shots/10%
  • Boxcars: 10gp, 1-0-1
  • (All numbers via Puck IQ, and hockey-reference)

RE 17-18: 45GP, 3-2-5 (.111)

  1. You don’t have him playing much. Khaira is waiver eligible now, so my guess is the Oilers keep him up all year. That said, he’s going to need to fight for playing time.
  2. What does he have to recommend him? Big body, aggressive, he gets noticed out there and can play hockey. We’re not talking about an enforcer.
  3. Can he penalty kill? In the AHL last season he was on the ice quite a bit on the PK based on goals against. Patrick Russell (14), Josh Currie (12 PPGA), Ryan Hamilton (11), Jere Sallinen (11), Anton Lander (7) and Khaira (6) were the top six forwards in the category. Also scored a SH goal.
  4. Where are you getting this? Eric Rodgers gifts me with this kind of information every year.
  5. What else can he do? Khaira’s boxcars have been obscured by everything from Kevin Constantine to playing very little in the AHL as a rookie. I think he may have enough offense to make it as a fourth-line player and if he can achieve that maybe there’s a little more fuel. My guess is that he’s going to have enough offense to play in the NHL.
  6. You’re not showing it here. No, I think this season will be a transition year for him, getting acclimated to playing a role as penalty killer and extra man.
  7. Who are his comparables? Tom Pyatt, Lance Bouma, Derek Dorsett. List is here.
  8. How replaceable is he? There are free agents currently available who could fill his role capably, and some who would bring more offense.
  9. Why keep him? Khaira has improved offensively in each season and may fill a role higher up the depth chart. He’s inexpensive. He fills a role on the team that the management and coaching staff value (tough, rugged winger). The question is skill. We’ll find out.
  10. Has Chiarelli used these kinds of players on past teams? Yes, for sure. He ran Shawn Thornton out there a lot (well Claude Julien did) over several seasons. Khaira will be a better hockey player than Thornton was in my opinion.
  11. How much time does Khaira have to prove himself? LW is in a weird spot currently, the only long-term certainty is Milan Lucic and we don’t know how long he’ll play on the top two lines.
  12. You’re kidding right? Not at all. We could see a massive turnover at the position. Unlike RW, where Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto are pushing up the depth chart, LW is wide open beyond Lucic.
  13. What about Tyler Benson? We need to see him healthy for an entire season before counting on him. Khaira isn’t the same kind of prospect but is healthier.
  14. What is Khaira’s outer marker as a scorer? He is probably a 10-15 goal scorer in his prime, 25-30 points. That’s my guess.
  15. That’s good! That’s outer marker. Plus, I thought Marc Pouliot was going be a 2C for 15 years.
  16. Is it possible he gets sent down or traded? Yes. Oilers have to make a decision on him (waiver eligible) so that’s part of the process.
  17. Is it possible for him to play inside the top 9F during his career? Yes. I’ve marked him as a third-line winger at the high end, but am less certain about his offense five years after his draft than anyone in memory. College, Constantine, the Oilers AHL rookie handling, then two years of steady growth at the level. You like to see a player progressing and he has, but the last two seasons are the ones that have convinced me he can have an NHL career.
  18. How was that 2012 draft? Very poor. Nail Yakupov didn’t work out, I’m going to blame the Oilers from ownership down on that one. Mitch Moroz was an early second round pick and didn’t score enough, that second round is a wasteland. Khaira has a chance in the third round and Erik Gustafsson has performed very well for a fourth-round pick.
  19. Could he become an Ethan Moreau type? I think Moreau had more offense to be honest.
  20. Why this song? The call is here, he earned it. A time to reflect on the past and look forward to the final furlong to an NHL career. It has been an unusual run but he’s got a real chance.

FINAL RE 17-18 FORWARDS

  • Final projection comes in at 220 goals, an increase of 12 from 2016-17 (208). The entire difference (plus a little) can be explained by Connor McDavid’s increase (37, from 30 a year ago) and Jussi Jokinen’s replacing Benoit Pouliot (15, from Poo’s 8).
  • That’s superficial but does explain the increase. I think the power play will be as good, believe the penalty kill is going to be a significant problem and that some of these kids are going to break out.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is going to get a gigantic push.
  • We start the Defensemen next week.

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21 Responses to "RE 17-18 JUJHAR KHAIRA: THIS IS A CALL"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure that Khaira will ever show the offence to be more than an a fourth liner.

    I think he has the hockey IQ to get there but I’ve seen some stone hands on the guy at times.

    He’s a bubble guy right now but he’s big, can skate and is aggressive – if he can learn to effectively PK, he can be an every day NHL player.

    Lets hope he gets there – it would be great if we could have JJ be an integral part of the 4th line at $875K – $1.3M for the next 6-7 years.

  2. Barcs says:

    JJ is fine for what he is, but I do question the methodology behind his selection in the 3rd round.

    Even at draft day, his outer marker was a big checking 3rd line forward with mediocre offense. That’s best case, whereas it is far more likely for a 3rd rounder not to make it at all.

    Why spend a 3rd rounder on that when you could pick a prospect with bigger upside? One who, if he makes it, could maybe play on your 2nd line? Or better yet, trade it for an established player that may be undervalued by his team? (I’m thinking of Nathan Beaulieu types here).

    As LT mentioned above, there are more experienced players that could fill JJ’s role available every year in FA for cheap.

    I know that most every NHL team does it, but it just seems so inefficient to me.

  3. Bag of Pucks says:

    I can’t find it in me to blame the Oil for Yakupov, other than selecting him in the first place.

    Gmoney described it as bees. I just thought he was listening to too many voices from his Dad to his agent to himself. Part of becoming a professional is being coachable and at least having a lick of hockey sense. Nail showed very little of either imo.

    We’ll see if the Avalanche can unlock him. Last chance texaco indeed.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I can’t find it in me to blame the Oil for Yakupov, other than selecting him in the first place.

    Gmoney described it as bees. I just thought he was listening to too many voices from his Dad to his agent to himself. Part of becoming a professional is being coachable and at least having a lick of hockey sense. Nail showed very little of either imo.

    We’ll see if the Avalanche can unlock him. Last chance texaco indeed.

    They gifted Horcoff to Hall and Eberle why not find a veteran C for Nail?

  5. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: They gifted Horcoff to Hall and Eberle why not find a veteran C for Nail?

    I agree the short stint with Roy was encouraging but near the end with Nelson and TMac, he was getting both soft opps and zone starts and given his pedigree, should’ve been able to make some hay with that but instead he just bled shots against.

    Year on year, his S% declined to the point where I felt he must’ve been one of those players that could blast it by junior goalies but couldn’t pick the corners in the pros. And not once did he demonstrate a clue from the red line back.

    Yes, a vet C may have helped, but there were aspects of Nail’s game within his control that he simply couldn’t improve on.

    With him, I always come back to his willingness to be coached. I remember a quote from him once along the lines of too much coaching and just tuning everything out and playing simple. Of course, that didn’t work, because in the pros you’re not more talented than everyone. You have to play within the system and within a 5 man unit.

    If Yakupov can ever figure that out, he’ll have a career. More likely he’ll become that stereotypical Russian player with superlative skill but an inability to embrace the NHL style. And yes, I appreciate he’s Tartar not Russian, but you know what I mean…

  6. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’m not sure that Khaira will ever show the offence to be more than an a fourth liner.

    I think he has the hockey IQ to get there but I’ve seen some stone hands on the guy at times.

    He’s a bubble guy right now but he’s big, can skate and is aggressive – if he can learn to effectively PK, he can be an every day NHL player.

    Lets hope he gets there – it would be great if we could have JJ be an integral part of the 4th line at $875K – $1.3M for the next 6-7 years.

    Questions for anyone familiar with Khaira’s game in Bakersfield: How is he on draws? And how is his defensive game at C?

    I remember some thought in years past he could develop into something of a shutdown 3/4C. Any evidence of that being a possibility?

  7. McNuge93 says:

    Bag of Pucks<

    If Yakupov can ever figure that out, he’ll have a career. More likely he’ll become that stereotypical Russian player with superlative skill but an inability to embrace the NHL style. And yes, I appreciate he’s Tartar not Russian, but you know what I mean…

    I’m not sure he even has superlative skill. He’s not particularly fast or agile and he seemed to fan on one-timers frequently. It was a pretty poor draft year for forwards

  8. digger50 says:

    Let’s say the REs come in close.

    We swapped out a 60 point player to get better on defence. We swap Out a 50 point player for a 40 point player in Strome. Fair enough, we are still way ahead due to our emerging stars.

    Where I’m going is I fear we swap out a 45 point player (Nuge) and again lose skill and offence. Or/and Marroon we lose offence again but gain cap space.

    Comes a point we cannot afford to lose more skill. It can’t be Connor, Leon and then everyone else. I hope Peter is very careful managing remaining assets.

    Second point- We have had lots of discussion about the need for inexpensive help. So far we may have some coming along but still a lot of risk. If we want to buy down our risk of young forwards then this again leads us back to signing a free agent who will have potential To put up 40 points. Surely Oilers are sitting on a deal just waiting for Leon to sign so they can pull the trigger?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Digger: Oilers can’t keep losing these trades, but we also have to be aware of Larsson’s impact on the roster.

  10. dustrock says:

    Come on, we’re talking about a guy who was at Stamkos scoring levels in junior and looked like he had barely played hockey in the bigs. Oilers absolutely can take some of the blame for Yakupov but I’d say 75% of it is the player. Funny how Hall, Eberle and RNH all developed. Not anti-Russian in any way, although my Baba was, just think Yakupov had a hard enough shot in a weak draft year to look good in junior.

    Anyway, Khaira, go get ’em. TBH, I find it hard to get really excited about whether or not he will become a steady 4th line player, but would be a good story.

    Regarding the song, I think the first FF album is their best by an order of magnitude. People who were too old or too young won’t get it (except those silverbacks will think about Jimi, Janis, Jim, et al, and nod sadly, but Kurt Cobain’s death was a strange, sad moment for people my age. I still remember Courtney Love reading it’s better to burn out than to fade away, f*** you Kurt” and realizing how suicide can be a selfish act to those who care for you.

    Putting on the first album of Nirvana’s drummer, who knew what to expect. But “This is a Call” helped soothe the pain and was a revelation for Dave Grohl’s talent.

    Videos like “Big Me,” with the outright humor and positivity, was also a balm.

    Grunge sure seems angsty and melodramatic at age 40, but I sure had lots of feelings back then, and relied on music to help me understand and sort through the feelings.

    I’ve found the last 15 years of Foo Fighters to be mostly forgettable rock, but the first couple of albums came at an important time for me.

    It was also a good lesson that you can move on with help from others, but you need to be willing to do so.

    Anyway, too maudlin for a long weekend Saturday night.

    Yamamotorhead with 1G1A,including a nice backhand finish, in the final game today.

  11. Stud Muffin says:

    I think it’s unreasonable to suggest no one but Lucic will play all 82.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Stud Muffin:
    I think it’s unreasonable to suggest no one but Lucic will play all 82.

    Lol. He is very durable.

  13. stevebergeron97 says:

    Anyone see the world junior game tonight??
    Looks like Yamamoto had another great game.
    1 G – 1 A – 2 SOG – +2 on the night. Link to the
    highlights below.

    https://youtu.be/EYZNROhm78c

  14. tapper says:

    I like this player. He’s got great wheels, great size, good IQ, and enough nasty to become a poor-man’s Kesler.

  15. Thinker says:

    Hoping he can be Gaustad. Probably doesn’t have the offense though.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    “This is a call to all my past resignations”

    I think Jarjar has developed fairly steadily that he doesn’t quite deserve this song

    Unless he’s got pretty fingernails

  17. Lewis Grant says:

    Perhaps this is an unfair observation, as I imagine even LT would admit that, just as most players will play more games than expected, a small number of players will play far fewer games than expected (you can’t predict major injuries).

    But here we have 12 forwards scoring double-digit goals. I don’t think any team in hockey last year had 12 forwards who scored double-digit goals. Not Washington, the Rangers, Columbus, Nashville.

    Looking at each player individually, the REs have seemed low to me. But in light of the fact that no team had 12 players in double digits, the REs might actually look overly optimistic. I doubt we’ll have better offensive depth than the Capitals had last year.

  18. jtblack says:

    : Oilers can’t keep losing these trades- ?

    but are we losing these trades?

  19. digger50 says:

    jtblack:
    : Oilers can’t keep losing these trades- ?

    but are we losing these trades?

    Can of worms

    But, speaking here just about offence and the RE series. We have been losing offensive skill and we have only a little in the pipeline, thus my point was just about careful asset management, we need to maintain or improve secondary scoring. It has been an issue and may become an even larger issue.

    The sky is not falling, but it is on the horizon.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Perhaps this is an unfair observation, as I imagine even LT would admit that, just as most players will play more games than expected, a small number of players will play far fewer games than expected (you can’t predict major injuries).

    But here we have 12 forwards scoring double-digit goals.I don’t think any team in hockey last year had 12 forwards who scored double-digit goals.Not Washington, the Rangers, Columbus, Nashville.

    Looking at each player individually, the REs have seemed low to me.But in light of the fact that no team had 12 players in double digits, the REs might actually look overly optimistic.I doubt we’ll have better offensive depth than the Capitals had last year.

    Absolutely. The lack of a real favorite on RW for any of the spots made the RE very difficult. I divided up playing time in about six directions, and some of these players I have projected to score more than 10 goals may not play enough to get half that number.

  21. kgo says:

    digger50: Can of worms

    But, speaking here just about offence and the RE series. We have been losing offensive skill and we have only a little in the pipeline, thus my point was just about careful asset management, we need to maintainor improve secondary scoring. It has been an issue and may become an even larger issue.

    The sky is not falling, but it is on the horizon.

    You can’t analyze offense in a vacuum, this isn’t batting vs pitching. When you improve the overall team, and you improve the defense, the offense vicariously improves. Don’t worry about who will score “Eberle’s” 20 goals. Sekera’s absence will have more effect than Eberle’s

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