THE COMPLICATED CASE OF BRIAN FERLIN

When the Edmonton Oilers signed Brian Ferlin, I began to cast about trying to fill in the blanks. Peter Chiarelli signed a plethora of players I consider prospects (under 50 NHL games played, latest Top 20 is here) but at his age (25) I wondered about his back story. As a Boston Bruins draft pick in 2011, I looked for a scouting report around draft day.

  • Don Sweeney, Asst GM Bruins (July 9, 2011): “Well, I think there’s a lot of room for growth on Brian [Ferlin]. He’s got tremendous upside athletically. I think he’ll continue to get more and more comfortable on the ice as he plays more and more hockey. It’s like taking the one thing until they converge, so to speak. I think that’s, as he plays more that athleticism will start to show up. He’s got good speed, he’s got good size, he’s got good skills, he’ll understand now in terms of how to utilize those even better as he plays with better players and moves forward. We’re excited. I think he’s a nice project and a nice piece to have to continue to go to work with and then see where he takes it.” Source

FALL 2016

  • Kirk LuedekeHe’s a big-bodied winger who has some untapped offensive tools (he was Kuraly’s USHL teammate with the Indiana Ice), but needs more time to work that out in the AHL- the B’s can’t really afford to keep him around based on the talent and experience levels of others fighting for the same position on the teamSource

That’s a perfect fit for the Oilers, as the club basically needed to restock up front. Adding Ferlin to names like Ty Rattie and Mitch Callahan (also signed this summer) gives Edmonton some real competition for jobs in Bakersfield. Ferlin’s pro career remains new (as below) while his time to shine is very narrow.

BRIAN FERLIN’S PRO NUMBERS

  • AHL: 78gp, 17-17-34 (69pims)
  • NHL: 7gp, 0-1-1

BRIAN FERLIN’S INJURIES

  • Mark Divver, Providence Journal (April 22, 2017): Ferlin missed all but 23 games in 2015-16 with post-concussion symptoms, then played just two games this season because of a knee injury. His last game was on Dec. 11. Eight weeks after knee surgery on Feb. 24, Ferlin is working out off the ice and is expected to make a complete recovery. It wasn’t just any knee surgery. A piece of cartilage was removed from Ferlin’s knee and replaced with cartilage that was taken from a cadaver. Source

PROSPECT?

My definition of a prospect is a player who has less than 50 games of NHL experience. Ferlin, at 25, is about the same age as Mark Arcobello when he received his first NHL look with the Oilers. It is a very long shot for Ferlin but Peter Chiarelli must have seen enough in him to warrant a two-way contract ($700,000 NHL, $80,000 AHL) for the coming year. His NHLE’s (2015-16: 23 points) are not overwhelming and his scouting report suggests we are dealing with a bottom six forward.

Peter Chiarelli signed several players who meet my definition of prospect in early July (Ty Rattie, Yohann Auvitu, Mitch Callahan, Keegan Lowe, Grayson Downing, Edward Pasquale) and will be considered for the Winter Top 20. Ferlin will too, although his performance in October and November will be the sum of the evaluation. There’s just not much history to go on.

At Christmastime 2016, the Oilers RW prospect depth chart included Jesse Puljuarvi, Tyler Pitlick (graduated to 50 games) and Greg Chase (here). Now, Puljujarvi has been joined by Kailer Yamamoto, Ty Rattie and Mitch Callahan, not to mention graduates like Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and or Ryan Strome may also be in the picture, at least during 2017-18.

As for Brian Ferlin, I’m not sure we can say he’ll be 100 percent this fall. He is coming from a long way back as a prospect and there’s real urgency. Peter Chiarelli liked him enough to sign him and the organization is going to give him full throttle this coming season in Bakersfield. I’ll be fascinated to see what he brings.

 

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46 Responses to "THE COMPLICATED CASE OF BRIAN FERLIN"

  1. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! Love the prospect reports.

    – This is a money quote from our Captain today:

    “I think what you’re seeing now is just a product of some good decisions,” said McDavid. “We hired a great coaching staff, a great head coach, and a great GM, and a great team kind of around that. They’ve made some changes that have been ballsy changes but have definitely worked out.

    “I think what you’re seeing is just a collection of great hockey minds that have put together a pretty good team, but good people as well. I think that’s an important thing.”

    – Not sure if “good people” is anything to read into…

  2. Oddspell says:

    Joshua Marshall‏ @JMarshyBosco93

    .@68Jagr to the @NHLFlames is close. #Flames sounds like a 1 year deal worth $3.7M

    Well that’s just downright spooky.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ferlin is still looking like a pretty distant bell to me but should provide some nice quality AHL depth if he can stay healthy.

    Sounds like he missed almost two full years of prime development so maybe we can expect a bit of development still even at the ride age of 25?

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oddspell: Joshua Marshall

    I’ve looked at this guy’s profile – he’s got less than 1000 followers – he’s not Speedy Turtle.

  5. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Johnny-Monny-Jagr is solid.

    The net positives that Calgary is taking out of this summer and the losses EDM is taking is unnerving.

    Treliving is a smart guy

  6. Ribs says:

    It wasn’t just any knee surgery. A piece of cartilage was removed from Ferlin’s knee and replaced with cartilage that was taken from a cadaver.

    Oh great, now Chiarelli is signing guys that are dead inside.

    I don’t think I could take it if Jagr signed with Calgary. Please don’t let this rumour have any legs.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Johnny-Monny-Jagr is solid.

    The net positives that Calgary is taking out of this summer and the losses EDM is taking is unnerving.

    Treliving is a smart guy

    If a team has Jagr on its first line RW, the team is lacking at RW.

    Jagr saw a pretty steep decline in his production last year he was still productive but not nearly as much as prior years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another decline. Maybe its just me but I don’t see a bounce-back at 46.

  8. LadiesloveSmid says:

    OriginalPouzar: If a team has Jagr on its first line RW, the team is lacking at RW.

    Jagr saw a pretty steep decline in his production last yearhe was still productive but not nearly as much as prior years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another decline.Maybe its just me but I don’t see a bounce-back at 46.

    Edmonton has Puljujarvi or Strome as their 1RW. Jagr is still dominant 5v5. Averaged 58P per 82 over the last 4 seasons. If they’re going to see if Draisaitl can carry a line at centre, then Jagr would probably be the best winger on the oilers post Eberle trade.

  9. Ribs says:

    OriginalPouzar: Jagr saw a pretty steep decline in his production last year he was still productive but not nearly as much as prior years.

    Didn’t help that Huberdeau and Barkov both missed a significant amount of games.

  10. Oddspell says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ve looked at this guy’s profile – he’s got less than 1000 followers – he’s not Speedy Turtle.

    I read on Reddit that he was the first to call Foo to CGY.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Edmonton has Puljujarvi or Strome as their 1RW. Jagr is still dominant 5v5. Averaged 58P per 82 over the last 4 seasons. If they’re going to see if Draisaitl can carry a line at centre, then Jagr would probably be the best winger on the oilers post Eberle trade.

    I never said that Edmonton was solid on the right wing – in fact, its pretty clear that we are weak on the RW, or potentially weak.

    My point was in rebuttal to Jagr being on the 1st line of any team being a good thing for that team.

    I don’t believe that Jagr is a good 1st line winger any more – he had a 20 point decline in production last year and, given he turns 46 during the season, I don’t believe its unreasonable to think that further regression is absolutely possible this year.

    Sure, I’d take him on the Oilers because we also have RW issues but I wouldn’t be penciling him as the first line winger but more a piece of the RW puzzle and experience/mentorship for the youth.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ribs: Didn’t help that Huberdeau and Barkov both missed a significant amount of games.

    Also didn’t help that he turned 45 during the regular season.

    Sure, linemates are a factor but I don’t think one can disregard his age in a steep production decline and posit that it might continue.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oddspell: I read on Reddit that he was the first to call Foo to CGY.

    Sure, fair enough but CGY was one of 3-4 teams said to be the “finalists” for Foo for a few weeks leading up to his decision. That wasn’t really going out on a limb – I was thinking he was going to calgary as well.

  14. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Ribs: Didn’t help that Huberdeau and Barkov both missed a significant amount of games.

    I think Woodguy posted how poor Barkov’s number were away from Jagr. That top line will have a huge year in Calgary imo. If Mike Smith holds up, that team should be 1st in the Pacific.

  15. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    If Calgary does sign Jagr, I’m thinking the Calgary management team is most definately trolling the Oilers faithful… No doubt in my mind that they use this site to do it…

  16. Ribs says:

    OriginalPouzar: Also didn’t help that he turned 45 during the regular season.

    Or did it…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDygXrvL5As

    I agree that he shouldn’t be pencilled in as a first line guy any more. Jagr just recently said that he would love to feast on softer competition!

  17. Chachi says:

    LadiesloveSmid: If Mike Smith holds up, that team should be 1st in the Pacific.

    https://youtu.be/SdUcm1cBMcE

  18. jfry says:

    re: jagr on the first line.

    there’s a difference between saying, “he’s not an ideal first line winger” and “he’s not a first line winger”

    marroon isn’t an ideal first line winger, but he was a first line winger last year. would one prefer a different player…sure. but every team and every line would.

    jagr would be a very interesting (and reliable) portion of a “unicorn” and think he should be viewed as such. typecasting him as a first line winger doesn’t advance the conversation.

    would having jagr in our top 9 make us a better team? can jagr still play line 1 sometimes in that cause? i think the answer is yes. just like it is for leon, lucic, marroon, etc.

    jagr signing in calgary makes them better, regardless of his deployment.

    _________________

    the source of this rumour is panned on calgary puck. he’s the one who called who was saying wideman to the oil earlier, but called foo. .02

  19. Lowetide says:

    Jagr to Calgary is a tough one for sure.

  20. stush18 says:

    Lowetide:
    Jagr to Calgary is a tough one for sure.

    Can you buy a jagr jersey if it’s a flames jersey?

  21. Westchester Oil says:

    I posted about this previously – I don’t understand why a 25 year old like Ferlin with limited upside and some injury history is taking one of our 50 spots, when we have the cap room to add a badly needed winger on a 1 yr contract, like, say Jaromir Jagr.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Westchester Oil:
    I posted about this previously – I don’t understand why a 25 year old like Ferlin with limited upside and some injury history is taking one of our 50 spots, when we have the cap room to add a badly needed winger on a 1 yr contract, like, say Jaromir Jagr.

    I think the answer is that the Oilers were never going to sign Jagr.

  23. Nuclear leak says:

    Iginla to Edmonton would be fantastic if Jagr is indeed the enemy now.

    Drai feeding Iginla backhands in the slot on saddledome ice would be Mount Glory if only for a season.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    Except Iginla isn’t a productive offensive player any longer.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    The flames has apx $7M of cap space with a roster of 17 skaters – four short of what is normally carried.

    They need to sign Sam Bennett put 3 other players on the roster.

    I don’t know if they can really afford to pay Jagr the rumored $3.4M and fill out their roster.

  26. OmJo says:

    Nuclear leak,

    I think if I could choose, I would go with Jagr. Seems like Iggy hasn’t aged as well as Jagr has.

  27. Lewis Grant says:

    Peter Chiarelli signed several players who meet my definition of prospect in early July (…Mitch Callahan, Keegan Lowe, Grayson Downing, Edward Pasquale) and will be considered for the Winter Top 20.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but can someone explain how this isn’t one of Chiarelli’s dumbest moves (I’ll exempt Rattie and Auvitu from that judgment)?

    If there are tons of 25-year-old future NHLers available every summer just for money, wouldn’t other GMs already be doing this?

    Why did we need to fill up the 50-man list with a bunch of career AHLers?

    Especially when they will only take time away from our real prospects in Bakersfield – or push them down to the ECHL? Does Ryan Mantha really need to start in the ECHL?

    Enlighten me, please.

  28. OmJo says:

    Lowetide: I think the answer is that the Oilers were never going to sign Jagr.

    Which is a shame, IMO. The kind of veteran presence Jagr would bring to a fairly young and inexperienced RW positions would have been valuable this season. Plus I think he’d of been the best mentor McDavid could possibly have on the ice for a year.

  29. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: The flames has apx $7M of cap space with a roster of 17 skaters

    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/flames
    They have 19 signed.
    They probably bridge Bennett for around $2m, bring up Jankowski, 1 of their young D ( Kylington, Rasmusson).

    So around 3.5M in cap room to sign Jagr in this case. But they would be right at the limit.

  30. OmJo says:

    Lewis Grant,

    Only thing I can think of is it provides the team with prospect depth. That way if we do get hit with injuries we won’t be rushing guys like Bear and Jones into the NHL right away. So avoid what happened in 15-16.

    Assuming most of these players are on one-year contracts, of course.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Peter Chiarelli signed several players who meet my definition of prospect in early July (…Mitch Callahan, Keegan Lowe, Grayson Downing, Edward Pasquale) and will be considered for the Winter Top 20.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but can someone explain how this isn’t one of Chiarelli’s dumbest moves (I’ll exempt Rattie and Auvitu from that judgment)?

    If there are tons of 25-year-old future NHLers available every summer just for money, wouldn’t other GMs already be doing this?

    Why did we need to fill up the 50-man list with a bunch of career AHLers?

    Especially when they will only take time away from our real prospects in Bakersfield – or push them down to the ECHL?Does Ryan Mantha really need to start in the ECHL?

    Enlighten me, please.

    There are still two spots left on the 50-man list. It isn’t full.

  32. Lewis Grant says:

    OmJo: Only thing I can think of is it provides the team with prospect depth. That way if we do get hit with injuries we won’t be rushing guys like Bear and Jones into the NHL right away. So avoid what happened in 15-16.

    Well, OK, that has some plausibility.

    But maybe it’s better to have newbies play a few NHL games to get a sense of what they need to imporve on, and then go back down to improve it? Up and down a few times until they can stick? Studies are showing that interleaving is an effective way way to learn.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-interleaving-effect-mixing-it-up-boosts-learning/

  33. Lewis Grant says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, there is still a little flexibility. But if we want to sign a couple of guys before/after training camp, or make trades for multiple players, it ties our hands. There are only three times a year that trades happen, and this could make it tough for us.

    Or maybe Chiarelli is about to deliver the fabled three-for-one?

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/flames
    They have 19 signed.
    They probably bridge Bennett for around $2m, bring up Jankowski, 1 of their young D ( Kylington, Rasmusson).

    So around 3.5M in cap room to sign Jagr in this case.But they would be right at the limit.

    Yes, 19 including the two goalies – as I said, 17 skaters.

    Yes, they could probably fit Jagr in, barely, and have no room for maneuvering.

    I say go for it – I’m sure their former 4th overall pick that’s negotiating a contract and is part of their future would love a Jagr taking $3M plus right now.

  35. dustrock says:

    Oh look, Chiarelli wastes a roster spot on a flame out that he drafted 6 years ago.

  36. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Stuck in a hurricane in Hong Kong today so finally catching up on all the posts while on vacation.

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    When your 20 year old captain, fresh off a hardware for the ages season, is quoted saying stuff like this I’d expect a blog of hockey fanatics to take notice, but instead… crickets because of Russell and Drai contracts, sigh maybe Connor just doesn’t know what a good GM and a non-mediocre coach look like?

    For the last few months I’ve kept my eye on the Oilers twitter feed, fascinating stuff as you watch all of these guys chirp each other during their offseason training. Eric Gryba, the 7th dman has been one of the most vocal and fun loving of the bunch. Even before he signed there was an instagram vid of Drai back in Germany wearing nothing but Oiler garb as he was lifting. After he signs he then says how he never wanted to play anywhere else (what were Johnny Hockey’s latest comments that he needed to clarify?) Our Vezina calibre goalie spent his entire summer with his young family in Edmonton after cutting his teeth in NYC earlier in his career. These are all good things.

    I know it’s unmeasurable from a statistical sense but there is something very good (dare I say special?) happening with this team. I’m not ready to levy my season prediction yet but I’ve got a good feeling.

  37. The Hermit says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: “I think what you’re seeing now is just a product of some good decisions,” said McDavid. “We hired a great coaching staff, a great head coach, and a great GM, and a great team kind of around that. They’ve made some changes that have been ballsy changes but have definitely worked out.
    “I think what you’re seeing is just a collection of great hockey minds that have put together a pretty good team, but good people as well. I think that’s an important thing.”

    Ballsy=Hallsy?

    🔥

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    Oh look, Chiarelli wastes a roster spot on a flame out that he drafted 6 years ago.

    Its not a roster spot – its a spot on the 50 contract.

    Our GM needs to be cognizant of the 50 contract rule but, after 3 slides, we’re at 48 so, if there was a material player he wants to sign, he can do it.

  39. Ryan says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    Stuck in a hurricane in Hong Kong today so finally catching up on all the posts while on vacation.

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    When your 20 year old captain, fresh off a hardware for the ages season, is quoted saying stuff like this I’d expect a blog of hockey fanatics to take notice, but instead… crickets because of Russell and Drai contracts, sigh maybe Connor just doesn’t know what a good GM and a non-mediocre coach look like?

    The crickets are a consequence of the commentators at this blog generally being fueled by disquietude and angst. In other words, many of us have jobs that require analysis, reflection and problem solving. When there are less problems to solve, we don’t have much to say.

    The Oilers had a 103 points last season, made the playoffs, nearly made it to the conference finals and this is the quietest summer I have ever seen this blog.

    Coincidence?

  40. stush18 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    It’s the sign of a very close team, that’s for sure.

    We ignore the human element and relationships of hockey too much imo

  41. pocession charge says:

    Ryan,

    I think OriginalPouzar has said all there is to say.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    pocession charge:
    Ryan,

    I think OriginalPouzar has said all there is to say.

    Sounds about right.

  43. russ99 says:

    Meh. I’d rather take my chances with up and coming young players like Strome, Slepyshev and Caggiula than a 45 year old RW who will be behind the red line when Connor is well past the blue line.

  44. McNuge93 says:

    russ99:
    Meh. I’d rather take my chances with up and coming young players like Strome, Slepyshev and Caggiula than a 45 year old RW who will be behind the red line when Connor is well past the blue line.

    I agree, let’s go with what we have and reassess at the trade deadline. I’d only add now if there was a Versteeg like deal that could be done for a usefull experienced player. Not $ 3 million for some over the hill guy trying to extend his career as long as possible. If Jagr signs with Flames he is really desperate. And I’m not trashing the city or the team. I mean he would prefer an Eastern contender or warm weather of Florida and Calgary would be way down on his original list. It shows there was little or no interest in him.

  45. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    Stuck in a hurricane in Hong Kong today so finally catching up on all the posts while on vacation.

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I know it’s unmeasurable from a statistical sense but there is something very good (dare I say special?) happening with this team. I’m not ready to levy my season prediction yet but I’ve got a good feeling.

    – Part of the radio silence though IMO, is that it doens’t fit the narrative of some who feel:

    a) Chia is a poor trader who bleeds value
    b) McL is a mediocre systems based coach who hasn’t won a cup
    c) Trading Hall for Larsson wasn’t a win for the team: they got better because of other things only

    – This is McD’s team now, and he’s happy with the “good people” he’s playing with.

    – As for Russel: it’s funny, he was paid what $3.1MM last year, he played well, and whether he is good in 3 or 4 years on a slight raise (he’d have got that term on lots of teams, IMO), that’s the cost of hiring hiring UFA’s, untill your internal system can stock the team: i.e Klef, Nurse, Benning, maybe Bear Jones in the future.

    – The relative under or over performance of Russel relative to his position as the #4-5 D on this team, at 5% of the salary is not the difference maker.

    – Some though like to get caught in the weeds…

    – I’ve been saving this point for awhile but I can’t help it anymore, 15 minutes before LT reposts.

    – There are a number of possible scenarios 1 makes that make this team Cup this year, all possible:

    1) McD goes really super-nova
    2) Drai firmly establishes himself as an elite C
    3) Lucic scores more on 5×5
    4) RNH 55 points, PP#2 wizard, and Dave Keon
    5) Nurse steps up and establishes himself as top-4
    6) Klef Larsson take another step and become an even better pairing
    7) When Sek comes back, you have a surplus of top-4 D, on merit
    8) pool-party uses his cannon shot and becomes RW for McD or Drai, and pots 20+
    9) Strome establishes himself as a 50 point 3C, who works well on PP on the wing
    10) team just bonds an believes, and after tasting playoffs they just move to next level, which is what McD said yesterday “all teams lose in playoffs before winning Cup”

    – There are so many opportunities for this team to move great. Should 1 or 2 of above actually happen: watch out.

    – Instead we focus on the wrong things IMO as to what moves the team

  46. GriffCity says:

    As much as I’d love to see Jagr in an Oilers jersey, it’s not a great fit. At 3.7 Million the Flamers can have him. He has still got some offence but thats about it. He does not backcheck or play D anymore, and he may very well lose another step ala Ryan Smyth a few years back and if that happens he will be more detrimental than advantageous playing against a fast Oilers top 6 (minus Lucic). While im at it, the flames can keep Hamonic too, he had abad year last year and he may rebound OR he may continue to slide and im not crazy about him. Mike SMith in net, his best days are behind him too and I can’t wait for the Oilers to light him up and watch his temper tantrums. Flames suck.

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