TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 9: ZIYAT PAIGIN

The Edmonton Oilers have been shopping Russia more often since the Nail Yakupov draft, with some success. Names like Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov have played in the NHL since being drafted in 2013 and young Ziyat Paigin may be the third Russian to play for the Oilers in the years following Yak City Mania. This prospect is a tall Russian, a strong defender and a player who fits with the Chiarelli plan.

RE 17-18: 2GP, 0-0-0

  1. What role will Paigin apply for upon NHL arrival? Initially, third pairing LHD, probably penalty kill and maybe power play (he has a tremendous shot). He may move up the depth chart from there. He’s not going to replace Andrej Sekera or Oscar Klefbom but he brings things the Oilers value. He may end up being the LH Eric Gryba, with more offense.
  2. Will the Oilers slow play Paigin? No, if he performs well I think he’ll compete for an NHL job. He is 22, the time is now.
  3. Does that include this fall? Making the team is extremely unlikely, but once he’s performing in Bakersfield I suspect he’s going to be in the mix if the performance warrants recall. In this subtle way, I think his situation is different than that of Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear.
  4. Does he have a real chance to eventually make the NHL as a regular? Yes, but we need to remember he isn’t a first-round pick and we don’t really know his ceiling. Paigin has had a statistically bizarre career in Russia, we need to find out about him.
  5. What makes him attractive for this roster? Size, pro experience, strength and ability to battle opponents. If we can agree that this organization values defensive defenders and also values strong men with size, then Paigin is in the organizational wheelhouse for the position.
  6. What is a reasonable timeline for full time NHL duty? I see Paigin as slightly ahead of Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear because of age (he is two years older than those two, one year younger than Matt Benning) and pro experience. He will be in tough to get anything more than a couple of weeks in the NHL this season but I think he’s on the radar. I can see him pushing very hard for a job next fall.
  7. What will his role be in Bakersfield? Top 4D minutes at evens and plenty of action on both special teams. He should be able to succeed at the AHL level in all areas.
  8. What one thing will get him to the NHL? The ability to gather up the puck, and pass it out, while also being capable defensively. He is big, strong, has a great wingspan and can pass the puck. All of those things have value to Edmonton. His shot is famous but it takes time to establish that kind of role at the NHL level.
  9. What will keep him from getting an NHL look? Mobility is always the concern for big defensemen. You always hear phrases like skates well for a big man, but how fast for how big? And the initial eye test isn’t valuable either. Need to see him for a season in Bakersfield, check the results.
  10. How many players can he reasonably be expected to pass in one winter? I will guess that Ryan Stanton and Keegan Lowe enter camp as the LHD who will play top 4D. Paigin should have a bit of an early advantage over Caleb Jones for the third pairing. Both newcomers should push beyond the veterans, I’ll pick Paigin to do it first but that’s a guess. It will be fun to track the two prospects, as one has size and the other speed. The game has been emphasizing speed more and more but the Edmonton Oilers like this player a lot.
  11. The Oilers defense roster looks set through 2020, how does anyone make the top 7D? This has come up a few times and there’s always room. This fall, the Oilers top 5D opening night (sans injuries) will probably include Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse. After that, all of the contracts are basically the same ($1M or less) and basically interchangeable. That means there are two open spots, those spots probably going to two of Eric Gryba, Yohann Auvitu or Ryan Stanton. However, if another player impresses, and that might include Paigin, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, but also Keegan Lowe, Dillon Simpson and anyone else who may come along via invite or trade, then we might see Auvitu and or Gryba in the minors. Unless the Oilers bring in Cody Franson during camp, there are two wide open spots for opening night when we enter camp.
  12. Of the LHD on the roster who most closely resembles Paigin? I don’t have an answer. He has the size of Nurse plus a little, a great wingspan (Nurse has that too) but a monster shot from the point. He does not transport the puck like Nurse, but is an outstanding passer and that includes fine passes in the offensive zone and real power-play acumen. So, among Oilers defensemen, he is somewhat unique.

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37 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 9: ZIYAT PAIGIN"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think some have Paigin being at the top of the “fab 4” because of his pro experience – maybe even some NHL game this year.

    Maybe he is at the top but I’ve seen many come over with pro experience in the European leagues with, seemingly, no upper hand.

    In fact, the ice-size seems to be more of a detriment than the pro experience being a benefit.

    Either way – this player is an Enigma to me – his play and box-cars seemingly like a rollercoaster.

    He would probably be right with Jones on the depth chart (slightly ahead of Bear) and I’m hoping we do not need to dip that far in to the depth chart and he can marinate all year in Cali.

  2. Thinker says:

    Is “aggressive for a little guy” the equivalent of “skates well for a big man”?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Thinker:
    Is “aggressive for a little guy” the equivalent of “skates well for a big man”?

    I think that’s fair, would rather have a small player with speed than a big man without.

  4. stush18 says:

    Man I really wish they hadn’t signed Lowe.

    I understand you want depth, but I really felt the oilers were good on defense I want these younger four to get playing time and I can’t see Stanton not playing with a two year contract.

    I bet by the end of the year paigan is playing as the seventh d and usurps auvitu and Stanton

  5. stush18 says:

    Also I’m pretty sure we’re going going to carry eight dman this year more than 14 forwards

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    Man I really wish they hadn’t signed Lowe.

    I understand you want depth, but I really felt the oilers were good on defense I want these younger four to get playing time and I can’t see Stanton not playing with a two year contract.

    I bet by the end of the year paigan is playing as the seventh d and usurps auvitu and Stanton

    I don’t think playing time will end up being much of an issue – injuries will happen both at the NHL level and the AHL level. I think Mantha (and Betker) will need to start in Wichita but that’s fine and both will see plenty of NHL time.

    The rookie four are going to take some time – the jump from CHL to AHL is a big one for any non-high pedigree pick. I expect early struggles from Bear, Jones, etc.

  7. Jaxon says:

    Lowetide,

    Have you heard about this? Better backup your SoundCloud files.

    https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/08/10/soundcloud-investors-24-hours/

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Did Fleming give him any PP time in his short stint in Bakersfield last year?

  9. Pink Socks says:

    I loved this draft pick the moment it was made. I have the pleasure of watching quite a few KHL games having a cable box from Russia due to Eastern European wife. I got to watch a number of Paigin’s games over the past three years. When he played in Sochi, the depth chart was not as strong as in Kazan, so he was relied on more. The worst thing that could have possibly happened to him was being traded back to Kazan where he was a 6/7D on most nights. A majority of his games this past season his minutes were almost exclusively in the 8-12 range which is primarily the culprit in his unimpressive box cars. I didn’t get to see him after he was relegated to the VHL, and didn’t watch any of his Bakersfield games. I am still very excited about this player with the hopes that he turns in to a top 4D. It’s always nice to have a complete monster on skates back there with acceptable speed and a shot the breaks bones.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pink Socks,

    Good info, thank you.

  11. Aron_S says:

    I think Bear and Jones both have a very real chance to play some NHL games, but it’s Paigin who I’m most excited about. Something about a 22 year old kid coming over to play AHL games in a brand new country/culture. It’s admirable, plus I think he’s got a tremendous ceiling looking at the numbers he posted two years ago.

  12. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! It is an interesting time. Of course they won’t all make it, but Bear, Jones and Paigin are all being developed so that in 2018 it would be reasonable to assume they should be ready to compete for bottom-pairing D in the NHL: that’s fair timeline I believe

    – You can’t block them if they are ready, but by 2018 you can’t be breaking into a Cup contending team more than one rookie D: so they could be part of a trade package

    – Or, one of the 6 incumbent bona-fide NHL D on our roster: Nurse, Benning, Klef, Sek, Larsson or Russel: could also be moved out by 2018 to allow one of the 3 to play.

    – What a turnaround in our D depth in a few years….

  13. jp says:

    Pink Socks,

    Any thoughts on why he couldn’t move up the Kazan depth chart?

    They had 19, 21 and 22 year old D that all got into 40+ games.

  14. GMB3 says:

    jp:
    Pink Socks,

    Any thoughts on why he couldn’t move up the Kazan depth chart?

    They had 19, 21 and 22 year old D that all got into 40+ games.

    I think injuries played a role, not sure.

    My initial assessment from watching the Bakersfield games was his awkward stork like skating style and lack of speed. I think we overrate him because of his PP offence in one season.

  15. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t think playing time will end up being much of an issue – injuries will happen both at the NHL level and the AHL level. I think Mantha (and Betker) will need to start in Wichita but that’s fine and both will see plenty of NHL time.

    The rookie four are going to take some time – the jump from CHL to AHL is a big one for any non-high pedigree pick.I expect early struggles from Bear, Jones, etc.

    To me, the lineup should look something like

    Lowe-fayne
    Stanton-Simpson
    Paigan-betker

    Jones-bear
    Mantha

    I would like two of those three to be playing and I might not sure if I forgo forgo

  16. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    I am not impressed by the Keagan Lowe signing. Pure neopotism! They might as well sign Katz’s son Harpo while they’re at it…he would be less harmful than Keagan Lowe. Lowe is just in the way of younger players who actually have potential and need AHL minutes to develop.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18: To me, the lineup should look something like

    Lowe-fayne
    Stanton-Simpson
    Paigan-betker

    Jones-bear
    Mantha

    I would like two of those three to be playing and I might not sure if I forgo forgo

    I have both Mantha and Betker starting the year in the ECHL.

  18. Thinker says:

    Lowetide: I think that’s fair, would rather have a small player with speed than a big man without.

    I think that is a major oversimplification. Would you rather have lucic or cogliano? Plus at least skating is a skill that can be improved.

    If I get some time, I’ll make a regression using small whl players to see how that changes his nhle.

  19. Thinker says:

    Wild Bill Hunter:
    I am not impressed by the Keagan Lowe signing.Pure neopotism!They might as well sign Katz’s son Harpo while they’re at it…he would be less harmful than Keagan Lowe.Lowe is just in the way of younger players who actually have potential and need AHL minutes to develop.

    This is why Keagan asked the Oilers to not draft him. Let him play some games first.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    For those wondering, bonuses will not be an issue with the Yamamoto contract.

    He gets a $92.5K signing bonus each year but has no performance bonuses.

    A proper contract for a 22nd overall.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Thinker: I think that is a major oversimplification. Would you rather have lucic or cogliano? Plus at least skating is a skill that can be improved.

    If I get some time, I’ll make a regression using small whl players to see how that changes his nhle.

    Lucic improved his skating greatly in hi final junior season, I don’t think anyone would call him big and slow at the beginning or middle of his career.

  22. Lowetide says:

    When projecting AHL players, important to remember teams can keep more than seven defensemen.

  23. Jaxon says:

    Lowetide,

    Do you think there is any chance Aaron Irving and/or Clayton Kirichenko get training camp invites and signed to AHL only deals?

  24. Thinker says:

    Lowetide: Lucic improved his skating greatly in hi final junior season, I don’t think anyone would call him big and slow at the beginning or middle of his career.

    He’s big and slow now though, and is still a useful piece. Point is, there are way more variables at play, and to simply take the smaller more skilled player ignores a lot. We have very little idea around positional play at the junior level.

  25. GMB3 says:

    Lowetide: Lucic improved his skating greatly in hi final junior season, I don’t think anyone would call him big and slow at the beginning or middle of his career.

    Boston Lucic could carry the puck quite well. I always thought that’s what made him so effective as a huge man.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Thinker: He’s big and slow now though, and is still a useful piece. Point is, there are way more variables at play, and to simply take the smaller more skilled player ignores a lot. We have very little idea around positional play at the junior level.

    I think his straightaway speed is fine, although he had a terrible time turning last season. I think you have to come up with a different example because Lucic doesn’t fit the original post.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Jaxon:
    Lowetide,

    Do you think there is any chance Aaron Irving and/or Clayton Kirichenko get training camp invites and signed to AHL only deals?

    Sure. Edmonton had three or four guys hanging around a year ago.

  28. Thinker says:

    Lowetide: I think his straightaway speed is fine, although he had a terrible time turning last season. I think you have to come up with a different example because Lucic doesn’t fit the original post.

    Well they are NHL players. They can all skate…

  29. Lowetide says:

    Thinker: Well they are NHL players. They can all skate…

    Sure, but you took my statement and then applied names. I am objecting to your framing of my original statement. Either way, it’s midnight. 🙂

  30. Pink Socks says:

    jp:
    Pink Socks,

    Any thoughts on why he couldn’t move up the Kazan depth chart?

    They had 19, 21 and 22 year old D that all got into 40+ games.

    As GMB3 mentioned, Paigin had some injury woes this season that did not help his progress. In regards to the depth chart, the top 4 in Kazan are all well established late 20s D that none of the younger players were going to leap past. Kazan always (from what I watched) dressed 7D, so the 3rd pairing minutes were shared by 3 young D. This skewed the games played with players like Paigin out with injury, and the minutes the young 20s players received were all actually quite low. So the 40ish games for the younger players is a bit misleading in that they received relatively small ice times. Had Paigin been healthy all year, Kazan would have dressed him all 60 games, but most likely still within the 8-12 minute ice time.

  31. Westchester Oil says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    For those wondering, bonuses will not be an issue with the Yamamoto contract.

    He gets a $92.5K signing bonus each year but has no performance bonuses.

    A proper contract for a 22nd overall.

    According to CapFriendly. Yammer’s $925k contract details are unconfirmed. Highly unlikely that he won’t get some performance bonuses, IMO.

  32. trencan says:

    Pink Socks: As GMB3 mentioned, Paigin had some injury woes this season that did not help his progress. In regards to the depth chart, the top 4 in Kazan are all well established late 20s D that none of the younger players were going to leap past. Kazan always (from what I watched) dressed 7D, so the 3rd pairing minutes were shared by 3 young D. This skewed the games played with players like Paigin out with injury, and the minutes the young 20s players received were all actually quite low. So the 40ish games for the younger players is a bit misleading in that they received relatively small ice times. Had Paigin been healthy all year, Kazan would have dressed him all 60 games, but most likely still within the 8-12 minute ice time.

    Well injury is one part of the story. The other part was problem in contract negotiations. The contract offered to Ziyat by Kazan was not accepted by the player because of the length and other conditions so he was excluded from the team. He was ready to play in KHL playoff but Kazan decided to play him in VHL. In VHL he played a lot of time because of injuries of other defencemen, they often played with 5 players in D. He didnt play PP, but was often on ice during PK.

    Interview with Ziyat in russain is here: http://www.sport-express.ru/hockey/nhl/reviews/ziyat-paygin-bilyaletdinov-schital-chto-ya-ne-gotov-1240764/

  33. jp says:

    Pink Socks,

    trencan,

    Interesting. And the contract situation is a helpful bit of context. Thanks!

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Westchester Oil: According to CapFriendly. Yammer’s $925k contract details are unconfirmed. Highly unlikely that he won’t get some performance bonuses, IMO.

    Oh, I did not realize it was unofficial – sorry about that.

    I see Eberle’s ELC has about $300K in performance bonuses/season so I guess we can expect some nominal PBs for Yammy.

  35. Patrick C says:

    Would add to what some above have mentioned about Paigin’s KHL career, that playing for Vyacheslav Butsayev at HK Sochi was very different from playing for Zinetula Bilyaletdinov at Ak Bars. While Bilyaletdinov is not as defensive-minded a coach as is often claimed, he does play a very strict system, while Butsayev tended to turn his guys loose to a far greater extent. So Paigin was given a heck of a lot more freedom to rampage around and get involved in the offence in Sochi than he was in Kazan.

  36. Pink Socks says:

    trencan: Well injury is one part of the story. The other part was problem in contract negotiations. The contract offered to Ziyat by Kazan was not accepted by the player because of the length and other conditions so he was excluded from the team. He was ready to play in KHL playoff but Kazan decided to play him in VHL.In VHL he playeda lot of time because of injuries of other defencemen, they often played with 5 players in D. He didnt play PP, butwas often on ice during PK.

    Interview with Ziyat in russain is here: http://www.sport-express.ru/hockey/nhl/reviews/ziyat-paygin-bilyaletdinov-schital-chto-ya-ne-gotov-1240764/

    Great stuff thanks for posting the interview

  37. jasoncox1960 says:

    Jaxon,

    I think LA kings signed Kirichenko to Ato?

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