TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 10: KEEGAN LOWE

At some point this winter, the Edmonton Oilers are going to have injuries on defense. If he’s playing well in Bakersfield, Keegan Lowe will be considered for recall. Should that happen, it will result in cries of nepotism, a flood of memories and a fascinating NHL audition.

RE 17-18: 7GP, 0-1-1

  1. What role will Lowe apply for upon NHL arrival? He will apply for the extra defender role and draw in as required. There’s a window here before the next young group (Paigin, Jones, Bear) arrives where men like Lowe and Dillon Simpson may see NHL time.
  2. Could he emerge as an NHL regular? The Gryba 7D role seems secure for the next two years but you never know and that’s the job Lowe would be applying for with the Oilers.
  3. Does he have a chance at the opening night roster this fall? I have Lowe as the No. 11 defenseman entering camp. He comes into the picture only after some injuries in my opinion.
  4. Does he have a real chance to eventually make the NHL as a regular? He is probably in a similar situation to the one enjoyed by Dillon Simpson. Both men may find an NHL career in a “Alexei Semenov” kind of way and it could last 10 games or 100. They’re going to need a little help and may get it. I’ve always felt there are probably 50-100 AHL players (or so) who are interchangeable with the fringe NHL players, and that can be the difference between Larry Mavety and Scott Ferguson.
  5. What makes him attractive for this roster? Can play defense, move the puck, has enough mobility to make all the plays. Plays with an edge, as one would expect from Kevin Lowe’s son.
  6. What is a reasonable timeline for full time NHL duty? He’ll be in the mix for recall most seasons over the next five years or so, depending on the organization he plays in. If he gets lucky maybe he emerges as an Eric Gryba 7D type who plays 40-60 games a season.
  7. What will his role be in Bakersfield? Top 4D minutes and plenty of them. I think Lowe, at least to begin the year, will have a feature role on the team.
  8. What one thing will get him to the NHL? Lowe lacks any one dominant skill and much of his overall value comes in playing the defensive side of the game. If I had to pick one thing that will get him noticed, it’s that agitating edge he brings.
  9. What will keep him from getting an NHL look? He is not a unique player and there are other players in the system who are about equal with him. I mention Dillon Simpson as being similar, and that’s about where I put him in the depth chart. Todd McLellan may have to choose to call one over another this winter, difficult to know how to measure that decision.
  10. How many players can he reasonably be expected to pass in one winter? He enters training camp as one of the top 4D in Bakersfield, along with Ryan Stanton, Dillon Simpson and Mark Fayne. I don’t think he’ll pass any defensemen, but may benefit from injuries, slumps and trades.
  11. Will there be a push back? Oilers fans push back on all kinds of things, but if Lowe earns next man up, doubt you’ll hear a lot of chatter. I don’t know where he ranks on the depth chart, so it might be a surprise if he gets the call over Ryan Stanton (as an example) but even then that’s a judgement call. I don’t think the coach will bring him up if Lowe isn’t the best option. Edmonton has drafted a lot of Oil Kings, but the Oilers coaches don’t seem to have been pressured to play them at the NHL level.
  12. What one thing would McLellan value in a recall? Speed and the ability to stand up at the blue line, while being mobile enough to race back and win the battle at the end boards. That’s the reason Mark Fayne is in the minors and Kris Russell has a four-year deal, in my opinion.

 

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21 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 10: KEEGAN LOWE"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    The cries of nepotism have already started.

    Just because they signed Keegan Lowe doesn’t mean that is anything to do with Kevin Lowe. I don’t know that it doesn’t but I sure don’t know that it does either.

    Lowe could play some games for the NHL team this year but I sure hope that doesn’t happen:

    Gryba is #7 on the depth chart.

    After Gryba, I see Simpson, Fyane, Stanton, Auvitu as 8-11.

    Lowe would probably be 12 right ahead of Paigin and Jones.

    I don’t want to see any of the “fab four” in the NHL this season unless they are truly showing they deserve a shot and Lowe is additional cover for that – that’s really all I see of Lowe at this point.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    You know what, I’m pretty down on Keegan Lowe but, frankly, I’ve never seen him play (maybe back in junior but definitely not as a pro).

    How does he compare to Dillon Simpson because, frankly, from what I’ve seen, I don’t think Simpson playing some games on the 3rd pairing is the end of the world (the issue would be if its a top 4 that’s hurt and we have our 3rd pairing playing 2nd pairing).

  3. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Gryba is #7 on the depth chart.

    I count it:

    1. Klefbom
    2. Larsson
    3. Russell
    4. Benning
    5. Nurse
    6. Gryba
    7. Auvitu
    8. Stanton
    9. Fayne
    10. Simpson
    11. Lowe

    OP: I think we agree, No. 11 now, No. 12 when Sekera returns.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I count it:

    1. Klefbom
    2. Larsson
    3. Russell
    4. Benning
    5. Nurse
    6. Gryba
    7. Auvitu
    8. Stanton
    9. Fayne
    10. Simpson
    11. Lowe

    OP: I think we agree, No. 11 now, No. 12 when Sekera returns.

    My depth chart is the same except I’m including Sekera as number 3 – he is already hurt and everyone after him is bumped up a slot.

  5. jp says:

    I’m not a local and don’t know this player from his OK days.

    He clearly plays with an edge and also has limitations in his game, but what are they? Or is he relatively well rounded but with a low ceiling like Simpson and Ferguson? (nice reference)

    Maybe the draft day scouting report would help here!

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Interesting tidbit of info I just read – he fought Vinny L. twice in his debut.

  7. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe that partly answers my next question. Is he agitating/annoying or agitating/tough/intimidating?

    Just thinking that he might be a partial replacement/improvement for Mark Fraser. A lot of youth and not so much toughness on that Bakersfield blue without him.

  8. Lowetide says:

    jp:
    I’m not a local and don’t know this player from his OK days.

    He clearly plays with an edge and also has limitations in his game, but what are they? Or is he relatively well rounded but with a low ceiling like Simpson and Ferguson? (nice reference)

    Maybe the draft day scouting report would help here!

    He’s more of a defensive defender. He isn’t going to skate the puck to daylight and isn’t an expert passer. He improved after his draft in a big way as an Oil King and cut down on coverage errors. I can’t comment on his AHL play since I haven’t seen him there.

  9. Lowetide says:

    jp:
    I’m not a local and don’t know this player from his OK days.

    He clearly plays with an edge and also has limitations in his game, but what are they? Or is he relatively well rounded but with a low ceiling like Simpson and Ferguson? (nice reference)

    Maybe the draft day scouting report would help here!

    Kirk Luedeke: . He’s not the most skilled player, but is smart and has grown up around the game. He’s a hard worker and does the little things well, playing a sound positional game and using an active stick to take away passing lanes and forcing turnovers. He’s an unselfish player who is always willing to take one for the team. You can see the evidence of this in the prolific fight videos of his on YouTube.

    http://bruins2011draftwatch.blogspot.ca/search/label/Keegan%20Lowe

  10. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! It’s a bush league signing, a tell of the stench that still lingers in the OBC

    – I have no doubt this was a Lowe/MacT push. But Chia gave them a bone: win the war

    – So many other #12 D that could be acquired: he was chosen because of his last name full stop.

    – As long as he doesn’t get an inappropriate call-up I can live with this terrible nepotism

    – I know I go back to this too often but the reason we are here now with McD is because of the utter incompetence of the clowns, who couldn’t build around 3 other 1st picks.

    – That they still hang on is a blemish on this organization. I can’t think of other teams in pro sports that keep poor performers like the Oil.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nothing but conjecture.

  12. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks a bunch, definitely have a better idea about the player now.

    I suppose the signing could be nepotism, but as a deep depth defender (12th!) he doesn’t look a bit out of place. Change his name and no one would blink at his addition.

  13. dustrock says:

    We had calls of nepotism when he arrived on the team and why wouldn’t there be?

    Talk about a replacement level player, I doubt he’ll ever be even that.

    Good for Keegan to get where he has through grit and his last name, but I’d be shocked if he plays 10 NHL games in his career.

  14. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    Don’t forget Bob Green the High Priest of the Cult of Ex Oil KIngs is still director of player personnel so that is added into the Lowe family portrait push. I wish Chiarelli start would chanting “Griffin Reinhart…Griffin Reinhart…” every time Green opens his pie hole.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Are we not talking about a player that will be #12 on the depth chart.

    He is a legit top 4 AHL d-man and that will be his role including helping to mentor the rookie NA pros.

    This team was super healthy last year and still used 12 d-men in the NHL.

    We needed to add another d-man to generally play in the AHL or increase the risk of needing to rush one of the rookies before the right time.

    The fact the last name is Lowe should be meaningless and there is no factual basis to back up an opinion that his father is the reason he was signed.

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

    There is no evidence that Keegan was signed because of nepotism.

    I do believe that he signed here because it was where he could get a job. Remember he asked not to be drafted by this team. He must have thought it was the best opportunity.

    The problem with the Oilers is you develop a past.
    It’s unfair to Keegan but absolutely fair to ask why the organization chose to sign him when there were other potential names for #12D out there.

    Is there evidence it was nepotism? No. But it’s understandable for fans to question it given the history. They’ve brought this on themselves.

  17. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    There is no evidence that Keegan was signed because of nepotism.

    Is there evidence it was nepotism? No. But it’s understandable for fans to question it given the history. They’ve brought this on themselves.

    – Of course we can’t find evidence of nepotism, we have no acess. That of all the top-4 D they could have chosen though, they picked a Lowe: for sure it is not a coincidence.

    – Anyway it’s only a depth signing, but a “tell” of the OBC still hanging around IMO

    – If they cared as an organization about this, they could have picked someone else

    – I suppose there is nothing wrong for a family run business to do something that is nice for one of their employees: and for Low to have his son in the same organization must be a great source of pride: any Dad would love that.

  18. season not played says:

    Personally, I would have signed a right shooter for this spot in the rotation.

    Simpson Fayne
    Stanton X

    But yah, I might be a little fixated on perfect left right balance.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    There is no evidence that Keegan was signed because of nepotism.

    I do believe that he signed here because it was where he could get a job. Remember he asked not to be drafted by this team. He must have thought it was the best opportunity.

    The problem with the Oilers is you develop a past.
    It’s unfair to Keegan but absolutely fair to ask why the organization chose to sign him when there were other potential names for #12D out there.

    Is there evidence it was nepotism? No. But it’s understandable for fans to question it given the history. They’ve brought this on themselves.

    May I ask who these other 12th on the depth chart/top 4 AHL d-men that we should have signed are?

    Seems a guy with some pedigree (3rd round draft) with 250 games of AHL experience and a cup of tea in the NHL is very well suited for what we signed this guy for.

    If his last name was anything other than Lowe, there would absolutely no issue with the player himself.

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

    OriginalPouzar:

    If his last name was anything other than Lowe, there would absolutely no issue with the player himself.

    So what you are saying is that we agree.

  21. Mike Modano's Dog says:

    Hi there,

    Long time reader, first time poster (in a long while, if not – ever.) I really enjoy all your thoughtful comments and Lowetide’s wisdom and interesting facts and anecdotes about the sport and team we all love!

    I just wanted to add that we pretty much all agree that he is around #12 (when Sekera returns) on the depth chart. As long as that is how he is used there won’t be an issue. It is only if he is used above that that there may be a problem. I think that is the question. How will he be used?

    Will he be treated as any other player, or will other players’ chances be limited by his last name and preferential treatment? Time will tell.

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