Before July 1, Peter Chiarelli talked about Anton Slepyshev and growth, and his actions in free agency spoke volumes. In adding names like Jussi Jokinen, Yohann Auvitu and Ty Rattie, the general manager indicated his belief in men like Slepyshev and Matt Benning.
As we get ready for training camp, one of the major questions surrounds the identity of the lucky young forward who will join Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic in Edmonton’s top 6F. I think Anton Slepyshev is the most logical addition, either as RW on the Lucic-Draisaitl line or as RW with Lucic and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I bet many of you feel Drake Caggiula or Jesse Puljujarvi are a better option, and if Puljujarvi was 20 I might agree (and the Finn could put this all to rest by November, he is the most talented and has the highest potential career curve).
It’s also true that one of those three men could be included in a trade deadline deal ala Brandon Davidson. You know, last time the Oilers made a massive deadline push (I think Chiarelli will empty the chamber at the 2018 deadline) was 2006 and it was fast and furious.
- January 26, 2006: Traded prospect Jani Rita and Cory Cross to Pittsburgh for Dick Tarnstrom.
- January 26, 2006: Traded prospect Tony Salmelainen to Chicago for Jaroslav Spacek.
- March 8, 2006: Traded first-round pick (No. 17 Trevor Lewis) and third-round pick (No. 67 Spencer Michacek) to Minnesota for Dwayne Roloson.
- March 9, 2006: Traded Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and second-round selection (No. 50 Milan Lucic) to Boston for Sergei Samsonov.
That’s a helluva lot of talent sent away for one deadline (three picks, two players) and the Oilers got just one keeper in Roloson out of the deal. In today’s terms, I think the best way of describing the 2018 cost of that SCF deadline would be Edmonton’s first, second and third-round picks, plus Anton Lander (Rita) and Bogdan Yakimov (Salmelainen). The Oilers system isn’t strong enough to send away that much talent but we could see substantial movement if Slepyshev, Puljujarvi and Caggiula don’t fill the required slots in the batting order.
PULJUJARVI IN THE AHL
I wrote an item over at OilersNation on the weekend, using Prospect-Stats.com as a guide to show the top estimated points-per-60 (5×5) in the AHL among forwards 20 years or less. Puljujarvi ranked No. 11, was the highest-ranking 18-year old and third highest teenager (Jake DeBrusk, Timo Meier) in the ranking. That’s probably the most encouraging measure I’ve seen in regard to young JP.
TRAINING CAMP INVITES
Every day that goes by without a free-agent signing gets us closer to useful players coming on as PTO additions. One year ago, the Edmonton Oilers brought in Kris Versteeg, Eric Gryba and Ryan Vesce. This year, I think most of us wonder if Jared Cowen gets an invite (he was in Edmonton taking a physical July 1) and there are other names out there (Dennis Wideman, Daniel Winnik, Cody Franson, Jaromir freaking Jagr) who would have to be of interest. Jarome Iginla is also a possibility. My guess? The defensemen are possible but the Oilers are going to remain true to their word on giving the kids up front a chance to wheel. Kailer Yamamoto is also in the picture, in my opinion.
IF THE KIDS ARE READY, PLAY THEM!
I’ve always believed (and Earl Weaver taught me) that when a young player is ready to compete at a certain level the best thing to do is elevate him to that level immediately. Don’t put him in a position to fail, but rather take the things he does well and place him in ideal circumstances at the higher level. I think the monetary argument is a secondary consideration (honestly) and that player development should be the only real concern. If Jesse Puljujarvi is ready to play in a feature role at the NHL level, then that’s the right play. The numbers above are encouraging, as mentioned the biggest arrow going in the right direction I’ve seen this summer. This rule also applies to Kailer Yamamoto.
If you look directly into the sun during the eclipse without the proper eye protection, I’m driving over to you in my car and kicking you in the nuts. And you won’t be able to stop me because you won’t see jack squat. Seriously.
— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) August 19, 2017
While the fools are looking at the eclipse (seriously, just watch the noon or six o’clock news, you’ll see more), I recommend you put that time to better use and read this brilliant article from GMoney. Context is important, and even more than that in these days of McDavid miracle and wonder.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re back! I swear this time for good. We kick off a big week at 10 this morning, TSN1260. I shan’t be looking into the sun, my guests are scheduled to be:
- Alex Thomas, The Oilers Rig. Should the Oilers bring in a winger on a PTO? Plus BoSox and Patriots.
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. NFL gearing up, Bills sad sacks.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Eskimos make a big and astute trade.
- Jimmy Sullivan, Edmonton Prospects. It was a helluva year.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!