AFTER THE GOLD RUSH

The day after Edmonton drafted Connor McDavid, the organization spent four of five selections on defensemen. It was a deep draft in 2015, so a fourth-round pick like Caleb Jones was probably a third-round quality (or something like that) in a normal season. Still, it takes exactly one forever for later picks to develop and 2015 was just two short summers ago.

Jones has emerged as a bona fide NHL prospect. In a recent article for The Athletic, Corey Pronman wrote “Jones has had a very strong camp and looks like a guy on the cusp of the NHL.” That’s a tremendous indication of this young man’s ability, and we saw his talent on display during training camp.

Before he was sent down last night, we got a good look at Jones, not just his speed (he can wheel) but some calm feet we hadn’t seen in previous autumns. Jones will need some American League time, and the organization has had success with two-way blue. Names like Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson, Oscar Klefbom and Jordan Oesterle have passed through Oklahoma City and Bakersfield in the last seven seasons.

CALEB JONES TALKS CALEB JONES

  • I play a bit like my brother, I think we’re both two-way defencemen. I think I’m a little more of a physical and aggressive player than he is but I’d say in the sense of the entire game we’re pretty alike.”
 Jones was outstanding with the Portland Winterhawks in two junior seasons, and turns pro this fall with a large group of newcomers. Ethan Bear, Ziyat Paigin and Ryan Mantha will all join Jones in Bakersfield, while William Lagesson plays in Europe. From here, it looks like Jones has the edge on NHL ETA.

NHL-READY

One of the underrated portions of Peter Chiarelli’s team building in Edmonton surrounds defense. The group acquired via the draft and free agency since spring of 2015 includes college free agent Matt Benning and several 2016 and 2017 selections like Filip Berglund and Dmitri Samorukov. Defense is now a strength and allows the Oilers to use one or more players as a deadline trade asset to be cashed for the playoff run. Caleb Jones’ progress suggests he may be more than trade bait, this young man might just be a keeper.

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55 Responses to "AFTER THE GOLD RUSH"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jones had a very nice camp – clearly cemented himself as the current cream of the “fab four” as far as readiness and perhaps even ceiling (not necessary offensive ceiling but materiality as a player).

    We knew about his plus skating but it was great to see his hockey sense, his transition game and, importantly, his calmness out there – a bit Matt Benning like in certain respects.

    I hope we don’t see him again due to general health but I very much look forward to him competing for an NHL job next year. I think he’s much closer than Bear who will likely need longer than a year in the AHL – if he ever makes it.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    My level of excitement for d-men prospects is very high – in particular Samorukov, Jones, Lagesson, Bergland, Bear.

    The verbal on Paigin has been much better than what I saw with my eyes – hopefully that’s an adjustment to the North American ice/style/etc.,

    Mantha outperformed my expectations at camp but is still a distant bell in mind, for now.

    Some very nice prospect depth – I hope the Swedes come to North America next year.

  3. Lowetide says:

    OP: It happens a lot, especially with Russian blue. They play a different style (mostly) and have to learn to move opposition forwards outside and away. He’ll get it, with that wingspan he might kill people.

  4. Richard S.S. says:

    Peter Chiarelli needed the 2015 draft to be as huge as it was. Drafting McDavid, making three trades, then still able to draft the talent he did with the remaining picks. That makes 2015 the biggest in Oiler history.

  5. stush18 says:

    I’m not as high on samorukov as others.

    He’s a really toolsy dman, but I saw a lot of misreads and poor passes.

    Hopefully it’s an adjustment thing for him, and he can continue to make better decisions.

  6. Munny says:

    I hope Jones is dominant in the AHL, has completely blown the doors of Bakersfield by December and has forced his way back on to the roster by January. Not the likeliest of scenarios, but better than pre-determining a prospect’s entire season from the vantage of a computer screen’s showing of a few pre-season games.

    Let’s see what the kid can do and go from there. He’s talented and has already taken a step forward. Pronman was right to apply the term “cusp”.

    And it might mean keeping Nuge in the long run.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season!

    Here’s how you play: Pick the exact number of points you think the Oilers will have at the end of the season.

    The Hunter1909 Official Oilers Death March(TM) last year had well over 300 players. Prizes being sorted as this message gets posted for last season’s winners who will be notified at a later date.

    Contest Entry: Open until puck drop on opening night. Think of a giant guillotine blade – once the first puck drops it’s all over.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    OP: It happens a lot, especially with Russian blue. They play a different style (mostly) and have to learn to move opposition forwards outside and away. He’ll get it, with that wingspan he might kill people.

    I’m hopeful – time will tell and we’ll see how his improvement goes throughout the season.

    I know, early camp can only tell so much.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    I’m not as high on samorukov as others.

    He’s a really toolsy dman, but I saw a lot of misreads and poor passes.

    Hopefully it’s an adjustment thing for him, and he can continue to make better decisions.

    He’s a teenager, misreads and poor passes will happen.

    Miles to go – the raw skill was evident.

  10. The Original JDî says:

    hunter1909: Think of a giant guillotine blade

    Can I think of it like the baseball bat scene in The Untouchables?

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    I hope Jones is dominant in the AHL, has completely blown the doors of Bakersfield by December and has forced his way back on to the roster by January.Not the likeliest of scenarios, but better than pre-determining a prospect’s entire season from the vantage of a computer screen’s showing of a few pre-season games.

    Its not just from watching him in Penticton and camp and exhibition games, its also from the history of defenceman drafted in his range over time.

    I can’t remember the exact stat but i believe there was one first year pro d-man drafted outside the top 100 that played in the NHL last year. That might not be the exact stat but its along those lines.

  12. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: I can’t remember the exact stat but i believe there was one first year pro d-man drafted outside the top 100 that played in the NHL last year. That might not be the exact stat but its along those lines.

    So you’ve made a rule based on one year’s data, and thus the kid should never be back, no matter his play? That all seems a bit heavy-handed.

    Applying the general to the specific will get you into a heap of trouble in Life, not to mention stats.

    And in a less deep draft, he might not even have been outside the top 100, as LT mentions above. These things are not equal entities; assuming they are is bad modeling.

    You see what the individual can do and go from there. Maybe he can make it back this year, maybe not. Let’s see. It’s how it is done.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    You want to keep onto Jones (and to a lesser extent Bear), but if we’re giving up prospects at the deadline, these are the players teams will be inquiring about.

    Do you give up a late 1st round pick or Caleb Jones?

    While you want to build a sustainable contender, you also want to “go for it” if you believe you’re close to contending for the SCF.

    There will not be easy decisions for Chiarelli.

  14. theWaxCollector says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season!

    Put me down for 106 Hunter.

    I’m all for giving Yamfries 7-8 games, but would much rather see it at the end of the season, to rest guys before playoffs.

    Puljujarvi seems like an emotional guy, making him start the year in the box or the AHL might crush any confidence he got last night.

  15. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    theWaxCollector:

    I’m all for giving Yamfries 7-8 games, but would much rather see it at the end of the season, to rest guys before playoffs.

    Puljujarvi seems like an emotional guy, making him start the year in the box or the AHL might crush any confidence he got last night.

    – Great post LT!

    – I don’t see any downside at all to having Kailer play 9 games: its doesn’t effect his 3 years rookie contract. He’s going to score goals. What’s the issue?

    – Wax: Kailer can’t get recalled from Junior

    – I’d give Kailer his 9 games, and give pool-party the Drai “development” and “piss him off”: win-win

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: So you’ve made a rule based on one year’s data, and thus the kid should never be back, no matter his play?That all seems a bit heavy-handed.

    Applying the general to the specific will get you into a heap of trouble in Life, not to mention stats.

    And in a less deep draft, he might not even have been outside the top 100, as LT mentions above. These things are not equal entities; assuming they are is bad modeling.

    You see what the individual can do and go from there. Maybe he can make it back this year, maybe not. Let’s see.It’s how it is done.

    I haven’t made any sort of rule but I’m not blind to the fact that its quite rare for a prospect like Jones to be an NHL player in this first season. Combine that with me watching every game he’s played from prospect camp through main camp and his re-assignment and I’ve come to my reasonable expectation.

    Sure, he could blow the doors off of Bakersfield, get a call-up and never look back, however I feel that is unlikely.

    As I stated above, he is clearly the closest to NHL ready of the “fab four” at this point and I look forward to watching his development this year.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    PunjabiOil:
    You want to keep onto Jones (and to a lesser extent Bear), but if we’re giving up prospects at the deadline, these are the players teams will be inquiring about.

    Do you give up a late 1st round pick or Caleb Jones?

    While you want to build a sustainable contender, you also want to “go for it” if you believe you’re close to contending for the SCF.

    There will not be easy decisions for Chiarelli.

    You give up the draft pick and re-plenish in the Nugent Hopkins trade.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    PunjabiOil,

    As an aside, thanks for the Tryamkin article – gold!

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Great post LT!

    – I don’t see any downside at all to having Kailer play 9 games: its doesn’t effect his 3 years rookie contract. He’s going to score goals.What’s the issue?

    – Wax: Kailer can’t get recalled from Junior

    – I’d give Kailer his 9 games, and give pool-party the Drai “development” and “piss him off”: win-win

    1) unless they re-assign Slep, it would mean that either Khaira or Pakarinan is exposed to waivers – I can’t imagine they would expose JJ at this point (even though he was exposed in the expansion draft) and the coach does like and trust Pak

    2) if his contract doesn’t slide, we are at 49 until he is re-assigned – could be limiting.

    EDIT: I see you are demoting JP, making point 1 moot – fair enough but I’m not ready to make the decision to do that – there are 3 games to go and Kailer needs to perform in those games first.

  20. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s a teenager, misreads and poor passes will happen.

    Miles to go – the raw skill was evident.

    Sure like I said, he’s a toolsy dman.

    But nurse is a toolsy dman. He has trouble reading plays, and making passes. This was evident when he was drafted. He was never a strong puckmover.

    I hope samorukov proves me normal.

  21. Lowetide says:

    PunjabiOil:
    You want to keep onto Jones (and to a lesser extent Bear), but if we’re giving up prospects at the deadline, these are the players teams will be inquiring about.

    Do you give up a late 1st round pick or Caleb Jones?

    While you want to build a sustainable contender, you also want to “go for it” if you believe you’re close to contending for the SCF.

    There will not be easy decisions for Chiarelli.

    Agreed. Jones could fetch a homestead and it might not be worth it. Scouts would know the value of a first rounder by then, that will be an interesting thing to track.

  22. nelson88 says:

    Hunter.

    Put me down for 108.

    Thanks

  23. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar

    EDIT: I see you are demoting JP, making point 1 moot – fair enough but I’m not ready to make the decision to do that – there are 3 games to go and Kailer needs to perform in those games first.

    – Yeah: I’m indifferent to pool vs. Kailer at this stage. Same age, both have strengths and weaknesses as any 18/19 year old with talent

    – With my proposal you have your cake and eat it: worst case Kailer sucks and goes back to Junior

    – Best case: pool goes all Drai after stewing down there for a month, Kailer scores some goals, sees what he’s missing and realizes what its going to take to be top-6 next year: win-win

    – Seems like a good strategy, with only speculation on ideal development but what do I know?

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    You very well could be right and maybe that is the best path going forward, however, I’m still hoping that Puljijarvi, with some new found confidence, has a great end to the preseason (preferably on the 3rd line and maybe the PP) and simply forces a roster spot.

    Hey, maybe they both “earn a spot” and its Slepy (waiver exempt still) that gets sent down for a brief stint.

  25. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Hey, maybe they both “earn a spot” and its Slepy (waiver exempt still) that gets sent down for a brief stint.

    – That works too!

    – I am not at all advocating Kailer playing more than 9 games either, and I think pool could have a Mikko Rantanen-lite type season (and I liked his 9 game sucked demoted template vs. pool’s)

  26. whale says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe they IR Sleppy. Keep Yams for a few real games to see what’s up and to also see how JP goes.

  27. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. Jones could fetch a homestead and it might not be worth it. Scouts would know the value of a first rounder by then, that will be an interesting thing to track.

    Even in a deep draft i would rather keep jones.

    The pick is further away development wise and jones is tracking like a first round dman

  28. VanIsleOil says:

    hunter1909,

    Hunter,

    Can you put me down for 100 points.
    Thanks

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    whale:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe they IR Sleppy. Keep Yams for a few real games to see what’s up and to also see how JP goes.

    Sure, if he’s actually not able to play for the first week plus of the regular season (which might be the case anyways).

    If he’s good to go, I’d be remiss to do that to Anton to make room for another player for a few games.

  30. OilSafety says:

    Hunter

    Thanks for doing this again. Put me down for 107 please.

    GO OILERS

  31. jp says:

    hunter1909,

    Put me down for a vintage 99 if you would.

    There will be internal growth, but Sekera alone should put us past last years injuries to key players (just 27 games missed by the top 6 F, top 4 D and starting G).

  32. stush18 says:

    jp:
    hunter1909,

    Put me down for a vintage 99 if you would.

    There will be internal growth, but Sekera alone should put us past last years injuries to key players (just 27 games missed by the top 6 F, top 4 D and starting G).

    Great you jinxed it.

    Everyone, it was JPs fault.

  33. alberta bound edmonton says:

    Hunter. Put me in for 117!points. Thanks

  34. alberta bound edmonton says:

    Ok try again hunter. 117 points. Thank you

  35. Professor Q says:

    theWaxCollector: Put me down for 106 Hunter.

    I’m all for giving Yamfries 7-8 games, but would much rather see it at the end of the season, to rest guys before playoffs.

    Puljujarvi seems like an emotional guy, making him start the year in the box or the AHL might crush any confidence he got last night.

    I think Spokane would have to have ended their season and the playoffs to be on for that to occur, non? Can’t call up from CHL unless for emergency.

  36. Zelepukin says:

    Hunter, put me down for 108.

  37. season not played says:

    Biggest thing for me is not necessarily who he has drafted but how he has drafted.

    Same amount of RD as LD instead of that endless parade of left shooting d men. Taking Musil the pick after Klefbom still baffles me.

    Combined with FA he has set the goaltending up to be a succession plan.

    I’m guessing not a lot of people notice these type of things but aside from 2015 when he took 4 D Conner and and overage long shot in net he drafts at least one player from each position, but in the last two years combined 2C 3LW 3RW.

    Now that is just flat out smart. It’s how I would do it.

    Not enough credit to Chiarelli for the way he has built up this organization.

    Yah I know, blah blah McDavid, blah blah…..

  38. Washingtron says:

    Anyone else having a problem accessing the site from the US on an iPhone? If I hit any link then “America’s Cardroom” hijacks the window and takes me to their site. Just a heads up LT, if it’s one of your sponsors they’re pretty aggressive.

  39. Washingtron says:

    hunter1909,

    Put me in for 104 Hunter, thanks!

  40. The Original JDî says:

    Washingtron,

    I get that on my Windoze phone, but I just hit the little x in the top left corner and it goes away.

  41. LookingforKovi says:

    Hunter,
    98 points for me please.

  42. Frank the dog says:

    Washingtron,

    I do on my Android. Except it doesn’t cover the whole screen so I just touch part of the original screen and the popup goes away.

  43. bod says:

    Hunter: 99 points please…. and Three playoff rounds.

  44. Washingtron says:

    It used to just be a window but now the window doesn’t pop up, it just hides like a sneak and if I click something i’m whisked away. I’ll mess around on my end. Thanks guys!

  45. stush18 says:

    season not played:
    Biggest thing for me is not necessarily who he has drafted but how he has drafted.

    Same amount of RD as LD instead of that endless parade of left shooting d men. Taking Musil the pick after Klefbom still baffles me.

    Combined with FA he has set the goaltending up to be a succession plan.

    I’m guessing not a lot of people notice these type of things but aside from 2015 when he took 4 D Conner and and overage long shot in net he drafts at least one player from each position, but in the last two years combined 2C 3LW 3RW.

    Now that is just flat out smart. It’s how I would do it.

    Not enough credit to Chiarelli for the way he has built up this organization.

    Yah I know, blah blah McDavid, blah blah…..

    It’s easy to look back and criticize, but drafting two high ranked dmen after drafting a centre isn’t an awful idea.

    None of the picks except jenner and Gibson in that range turned out, but drafting Jenner after 5/6 of your first six picks the year before we’re forwards seems to be stacking your organization a little too heavy, even for the oilers. And the oilers had drouin-deslairiers and dubnyk in the oginzation, so drafting another goalie in Gibson wouldn’t have made sense at the time either.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I have no issue with their first three picks from that draft

  46. Lowetide says:

    Washingtron:
    Anyone else having a problem accessing the site from the US on an iPhone?If I hit any link then “America’s Cardroom” hijacks the window and takes me to their site.Just a heads up LT, if it’s one of your sponsors they’re pretty aggressive.

    I will check it out.

  47. Thinker says:

    Washingtron:
    Anyone else having a problem accessing the site from the US on an iPhone?If I hit any link then “America’s Cardroom” hijacks the window and takes me to their site.Just a heads up LT, if it’s one of your sponsors they’re pretty aggressive.

    I’ve had a real easy time getting to bet365.com.

  48. digger50 says:

    Finally a minute to post some thoughts.

    Blah blah blah

    Generally support Peters work but there is room to criticize, same as all GM’s and that’s part of the job.

    I’m not high on Strome, but I went and rewatched the first two periods and did not see what coach was talking about in regards to him needing a message.

    In August I had JP ending up with Connor.

    Probably best right winger right now is Zack Kassian and he is underutilized.

    Jj Khaira has cemented himself in the Matt Hendricks role and thatbfourth line looks set, but Zack could play up. For example, if JP did play with Connor, then Leon needs a winger. Zack would do great, but so would Sleppy or Caggula so let them have second line.

    Then Nuge needs a winger. Needs someone to win board battles, cycle, has some speed and some crash. He has a thinker and a playmaker on the left, Needs his Maroon equivalent on the right. So I would have Zack playing with Nuge.

    Jokinen looks great but will likely falter at some point. There is a reason he was bought out. Still, if we can get his best and sub him out at times that might be the plan.

    Kassian right wing spot on the fourth line goes to Pakarinen. Need a penalty killer.

    I’m taking best fit here and notice Strome is not in there. He is not a better center than Nuge, not better fit on those wings, not a better penalty killer. He really needs to win that job on Connors wing.

    I certainly do not want to see Nuge moved and Strome in that spot, that is a step waaayyy back.

    What just may happen here is the youngsters sieze the day, Strome is not here next year and Eberle was effectively traded for nothing. The target on the Islanders should have been Hamonic. I fear this will get clearer as the year progresses.

  49. who says:

    digger50:
    Finally a minute to post some thoughts.

    Blah blah blah

    Generally support Peters work but there is room to criticize, same as all GM’s and that’s part of the job.

    I’m not high on Strome, but I went and rewatched the first two periods and did not see what coach was talking about in regards to him needing a message.

    In August I had JP ending up with Connor.

    Probably best right winger right now is Zack Kassian and he is underutilized.

    Jj Khaira has cemented himself in the Matt Hendricks role and thatbfourth line looks set, but Zack could play up. For example, if JP did play with Connor, then Leon needs a winger. Zack would do great, but so would Sleppy or Caggula so let them have second line.

    Then Nuge needs a winger. Needs someone to win board battles, cycle, has some speed and some crash. He has a thinker and a playmaker on the left, Needs his Maroon equivalent on the right. So I would have Zack playing with Nuge.

    Jokinen looks great but will likely falter at some point. There is a reason he was bought out. Still, if we can get his best and sub him out at times that might be the plan.

    Kassian right wing spot on the fourth line goes to Pakarinen. Need a penalty killer.

    I’m taking best fit here and notice Strome is not in there. He is not a better center than Nuge, not better fit on those wings, not a better penalty killer.He really needs to win that job on Connors wing.

    I certainly do not want to see Nuge moved and Strome in that spot, that is a step waaayyy back.

    What just may happen here is the youngsters sieze the day, Strome is not here next year and Eberle was effectively traded for nothing. The target on the Islanders should have been Hamonic. I fear this will get clearer as the year progresses.

    Agree with this but I don’t think Hamonic was ever available for Eberle. I think Strome will play on one of the top three lines this year. Next year, who knows. He may get traded

  50. season not played says:

    stush18: It’s easy to look back and criticize, but drafting two high ranked dmen after drafting a centre isn’t an awful idea.

    Right.

    You want to draft another D there, absolutely, great idea.

    I offer up to you scott Mayfield, adam clendening and joel edmundson. all at least as good as musil.

  51. digger50 says:

    who: Agree with this but I don’t think Hamonic was ever available for Eberle.I think Strome will play on one of the top three lines this year. Next year, who knows. He may get traded

    Illanders wanted Eberle. Hamonic was available. You would think a deal could be worked. It will have looked different, but it could have gotten done. And if not, don’t go for it, keep your trade chip for another target.

    Think of this roster with no Strome on it, but Hamonic on defence.

    Quite a difference.

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50:
    Finally a minute to post some thoughts.

    Blah blah blah

    Generally support Peters work but there is room to criticize, same as all GM’s and that’s part of the job.

    I’m not high on Strome, but I went and rewatched the first two periods and did not see what coach was talking about in regards to him needing a message.

    In August I had JP ending up with Connor.

    Probably best right winger right now is Zack Kassian and he is underutilized.

    Jj Khaira has cemented himself in the Matt Hendricks role and thatbfourth line looks set, but Zack could play up. For example, if JP did play with Connor, then Leon needs a winger. Zack would do great, but so would Sleppy or Caggula so let them have second line.

    Then Nuge needs a winger. Needs someone to win board battles, cycle, has some speed and some crash. He has a thinker and a playmaker on the left, Needs his Maroon equivalent on the right. So I would have Zack playing with Nuge.

    Jokinen looks great but will likely falter at some point. There is a reason he was bought out. Still, if we can get his best and sub him out at times that might be the plan.

    Kassian right wing spot on the fourth line goes to Pakarinen. Need a penalty killer.

    I’m taking best fit here and notice Strome is not in there. He is not a better center than Nuge, not better fit on those wings, not a better penalty killer.He really needs to win that job on Connors wing.

    I certainly do not want to see Nuge moved and Strome in that spot, that is a step waaayyy back.

    What just may happen here is the youngsters sieze the day, Strome is not here next year and Eberle was effectively traded for nothing. The target on the Islanders should have been Hamonic. I fear this will get clearer as the year progresses.

    Yes, there is a reason that Jokinen faltered and I believe it’s because he was battling injury while playing on a team that was underachieving while battling injury as a team and was somewhatvin shambles.

    I will look at the glass half full and say he’s rejuvenated this year.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach has indicated that we should have two solid lineups tonight and I’m pretty excited to see how our bubble players perform. Hope Jesse has a great 60 min game and I hope it’s on the Nuge line.

    Go Jesse.

    Go Khaira.

    Go Kailer.

    Shit, go Brad Malone and Tie Rattie.

    Go Stanton!

  54. Yeti says:

    OriginalPouzar: Go Stanton!

    Does anyone else happen to think that Stanton Moore is the world’s most groovalicious drummer by some margin? Asking for a sasquatch friend…

  55. PigeonCamera says:

    Please mark me down for 105 points Hunter. I’m feeling good about the gang this year. Also, McDavid.

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