Finn Time

The Edmonton Oilers are 3-6-1, have stated publicly there’s going to be a shuffle and every media person with a microphone is repeating “right wing”, “speed” and “shopping” in regard to Peter Chiarelli. Either the game is afoot or the Halloween trickery is more creative this year.

Back in training camp, Jesse Puljujarvi had a clear shot at winning an NHL job—but Kailer Yamamoto beat him out and won the roster spot. For Puljujarvi, it had to be a major disappointment. For Peter Chiarelli, it eased some of the cap worry with a big $2.5 million in cap bonus tucked away in Bakersfield.

We may be approaching the point where the big man returns to the NHL. The auditions on RW at the NHL level have been a mixed bag, as reflected in the current 5×5/60 scoring numbers for the men who have spent some time patrolling the position.

5×5 SCORING, OILERS RW 2017-18

  1. Leon Draisaitl 4.05
  2. Ryan Strome 1.05
  3. Kailer Yamamoto 0.67
  4. Zack Kassian 0.60

Last season Jesse Puljujarvi pulled down 1.45/60 before getting sent out, including 2.86/60 in 84 minutes with Connor McDavid. A team so badly in need of help at a position is a little bit blessed in having a No. 4 overall selection matriculating on the farm. JP has three assists in seven games, with 22 shots on goal. If he is recalled, a good bet he’d get time on the second or third line based on the Connor McDavid-Leon Draiaitl success we’re seeing this season (McDavid is 4-2-6 and Leon 1-5-6 with each other in 73 5×5 minutes).

JESSE PULJUJARVI 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (7th among all forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.66 (one goal in 22 minutes)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 53.2
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: 2.1
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 32.8
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -7.5 (30 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41 shots/2.4%
  • Boxcars: 28gp, 1-7-8
  • (All numbers via Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

I like JP’s size and speed, his abandon and was really surprised by JP’s ability to win puck battles even as a kid. He also ends up on the right (defensive) side of the puck a lot, more than any Oilers prospect winger since Magnus Paajarvi. He has a complete skill set. He may not be a big time scorer but there are all kinds of things he can do that help a team win.

IT’S GO TIME

Recent draft and development history gives us a chance to track Jesse Puljujarvi against somewhat similar talents. Although his transition to the North American game was less impressive than that of William Nylander, Mikko Rantanen and David Pastrnak, young Puljujarvi is in the range and this appears to be right as the time of ascension.

It seems like the rational next step, calling Jesse Puljujarvi to the NHL and making the call on Kailer Yamamoto. Fair? I don’t think it makes sense to run both men on the 23-man roster, not this year. The other option is trade, and that’s possible. We wait.

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50 Responses to "Finn Time"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve switched my mind-set on Puljijarvi – I’ve always been in the camp of erring on the side of caution – keep him down longer than necessary as opposed to calling him up before he’s ready just because the team has a need (is insufficient at the position).

    I’m now thinking (and I could be totally off base) that we might have a rare case where keeping a player in the AHL is actually poor for his development. The reason is the egregious lack of offensive acumen surrounding him. He’s got nobody to play with. His centers have been Brad Malone, Josh Currie and Grayson Downing.

    Its clear (in my mind) that Yamamoto should be back in Spokane prior to the Chiefs’ games next weekend. I mean, the kid looked OK but he got the longest stretch with McDavid of any player and simply did not produce box-cars. I’m done caring about shots, etc., he didn’t produce and, more importantly, McDavid struggled to produce when the two were together.

    Maybe it makes sense to bring up Puljijarvi when Yamamoto is re-assigned. Yes, Jesse only has a couple points but he did have 9 shots last game and Fleming is on record as saying he’s driving offence and the box cars don’t do him justice (paraphrasing). Drai also had two points in 6 games and was -5 prior to his recall. Yes, I know, Leon had a productive camp – point is, lack of offence for a player with pedigree in the AHL does not mean the player is not ready to produce at the NHL level.

    Put Jesse with McDavid and let Leon center a line. Or put him with Nuge and let Strome center the third line. Letestu MUST play 4C – if he’s up the lineup, we are a poor team.

    Go Oilers!

    Go Jesse!

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson with no points but 7 shots through 2.

  3. Bling says:

    We’ve arrived at the problem with the Yamamoto experiment.

    He got a fairly extended look with McDavid, and now the coach has decided he can’t mess around any more and puts Leon on 97’s wing. We are ten games in, and we just don’t know if Sleppy/Kassian/Cags/Strome could succeed in that spot.

    This is the sort of thing that should have been sorted out in training camp.

  4. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! By luck,rather than design this might work out:

    – Kailer “earned” his 9 games because of a 60% sh% in the preseason

    – Pool was actually not bad, and posted pretty decent box cars in pre-season

    – Kailer goes back and lights it, and has the experience of the games/training with the Oil, and is in a much better position next year to come in and be ready

    – Pool be all Drai, and comes back after his stint in AHL

    – Had Kailer not had silly sh%, I bet Pool would have made it, but over the next 2 seasons this could prove to be optimal

    – Certainly no other winger took advantage of the opportunity while Pool re-tooled. He’s not going to be worse than the actual performance of the incumbents

  5. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I kind of agree.

    I would have thought the oilers management would have tried to find a skill centre for the AHL team.

  6. stush18 says:

    On the plus side, Safin, maksimov, benson are playing at or better than pt/gm paces.

    Safin really impresses me, first year playing major junior and doing this is impressive.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Great post LT!By luck,rather than design this might work out:

    – Kailer “earned” his 9 games because of a 60% sh%in the preseason

    – Pool was actually not bad, and posted pretty decent box cars in pre-season

    – Kailer goes back and lights it, and has the experience of the games/training with the Oil, and is in a much better position next year to come in and be ready

    – Pool be all Drai, and comes back after his stint in AHL

    – Had Kailer not had silly sh%, I bet Pool would have made it, but over the next 2 seasons this could prove to be optimal

    – Certainly no other winger took advantage of the opportunity while Pool re-tooled.He’s not going to be worse than the actual performance of the incumbents

    I like it – maybe, just maybe……..

    I really like the prospect depth we are accumulating at wing – Puljijarvi, Yamamoto, Benson (listed as center but playing wing at least early in his return), Maksimov, Safin.

    Those last two excite me very much, just a ways away – both probably in junior next year (too young for AHL and, unless they go off at camp….).

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I kind of agree.

    I would have thought the oilers management would have tried to find a skill centre for the AHL team.

    There is a guy with 18 points in 26 games for Kazan in the KHL:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=107124

    Well, actually, if I’m Anton, I head to the KHL as well unless an NHL team was willing to give me a one-way contract.

    Personally, I would have given Anton a one-way but its Daryl’s money I’m talking about spending – I couldn’t care less about any player getting a one-way vs. a two-way – only the player and guy signing the cheques really are effected.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    On the plus side, Safin, maksimov, benson are playing at or better than pt/gm paces.

    Safin really impresses me, first year playing major junior and doing this is impressive.

    2G/2A today for Safin – 20 points in 17 games puts him 7th in the Q in scoring.

    Great early returns and, at rookie camp, I noticed him as the more material 2-way player than Maksimov – seemed to be an effort thing but I noticed him more on the walls and on the backcheck – nobody gets noticed for defensive zone coverage at that tournament.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson is still a real and a material prospect.

    I know many have given up on him and he’s an after though and, fair enough, however I’m looking forward and not back.

    Yes, lost development time is real but he’s playing now and I look forward to a great and healthy season and watching him in Buffalo (to the extent I can in Hong Kong) and then looking forward to him fighting for a roster spot as he turns pro next fall.

  11. Silver Streak says:

    I assume the Oil will practice tomorrow….1RW and D pairings will be much clearer after that….Hopefully Dr. Dri is back at 2C….We need someone to report on Sekera…I think I read somewhere that last week he was skating in full equipment…..would be soooo good to hear he took part in a little scrimmage..( just a tiny one ) His eventual return will be immense.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yes, Sekera skated, at least once, in full equipment.

    I don’t think the organization is going to be volunteering any info on Sekera’s time line until he’s close to at least practicing with the team. That could be a couple weeks or a couple of months.

    His return would indeed be immense – he will very likely take some time to get his game back, maybe quite a while, but he will still be a very good NHL d-man and will replace someone in the lineup that is clearly not as good (i.e. Gryba).

  13. unca miltie says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Pretty sure he had a one way contract the last two years..so he made good money in the ahl

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure where we sit on the 50 contract situation. We must be around 48. I think it in our interest to trade for GR versus picking him up or Kailer back down to junior. JMHO

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    unca miltie:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Pretty sure he had a one way contract the last two years..so he made good money in the ahl

    Yes, you are correct – not sure if Oiler management cut bait with the player or the other way around. I think it was somewhat mutual which, as of now, looks like a mistake from the organization’s point of view.

  16. sliderule says:

    Chia is getting a lot of criticism here lately.

    That concerns me because I think some of his bad decisions like Reinhart etc have been influenced by the hanger on previous management .

    If you think of the hangers on as almost like sons of the owner it will give you an idea of the influence they have had.

    If Chia get canned you have got to bet that one of them will step in to takeover the Connor era.

    I don’t know about you guys but that scares me.

  17. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Can we stop picking on Letestu? It’s not his fault that the team has nobody who isn’t a plug or chler on RW.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168:
    Not sure where we sit on the 50 contract situation. We must be around 48. I think it in our interest to trade for GR versus picking him up or Kailer back down to junior. JMHO

    We are at 49 with Yamamoto so we’ll be at 48 once he gets re-assigned to Spokane.

    I think its in our interests to pass on the player. He shoots left and plays the left side – he would not be ahead of Klef, Nurse, Sekera (could be back in November), Russell. Sure, he could replace Auvitu but I’d rather Simpson who has shown the ability to play the right side without much of a drop off (which is a bit unusual and a skill on its own).

    I agree though, if PC does want the player, I’d rather a trade for a Christoffer (or someone of that ilk) as we don’t have the contract room under the limit to risk on this type of magic bean.

  19. Jaxon says:

    The Oilers are 31st in goals for with 22, and the Condors are 29th in goals for with 14. Ouch. The entire system is in a drought.

  20. fishman says:

    Jaxon,

    Wow that puts things in perspective! I think there is offensive potential in some of our recent draft picks. Is it systems, coaching, personnel??? Or damn poor luck? Even in a 3-2 league you need some offence. Hardest thing to do in hockey.

  21. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Chia is getting a lot of criticism here lately.

    That concerns me because I think some of his bad decisions like Reinhart etc have been influenced by the hanger on previous management .

    If you think of the hangers on as almost like sons of the owner it will give you an idea of the influence they have had.

    If Chia get canned you have got to bet that one of them will step in to takeover the Connor era.

    I don’t know about you guys but that scares me.

    I kind of agree with this, but Chiarelli probably needed to be more aggressive in clearing the decks. It could cost him.

  22. digger50 says:

    sliderule:
    Chia is getting a lot of criticism here lately.

    That concerns me because I think some of his bad decisions like Reinhart etc have been influenced by the hanger on previous management .

    If you think of the hangers on as almost like sons of the owner it will give you an idea of the influence they have had.

    If Chia get canned you have got to bet that one of them will step in to takeover the Connor era.

    I don’t know about you guys but that scares me.

    Could it be possable that part of Chia’s mandate was to mentor the home grown talent? To groom some internal candidate as a successor?

    That is a Halloween thought.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    The Oilers are 31st in goals for with 22, and the Condors are 29th in goals for with 14. Ouch. The entire system is in a drought.

    Aside from JP and Yamamoto, the Oilers top professional prospects are on D and in goal.

    The above statement is only looking at one aspect of the depth.

    The Oilers prospect depth is actually quite good in certain areas and growing – there are some forward prospects with high ceilings but they are a few years away from pro.

  24. anjinsan says:

    He boxed himself in. Chiarelli did this. It began at the very beginning in the ’15 draft, trying to force things.

    Now, Puljujarvi is the only gamble. Yamamoto needs to be developed exactly as Gaudreu and St. Louis.

    The only other option is future draft picks for what/who? All GMs know Chiarelli is desperate, and, knowing Chiarelli, a Snow/Shero is in the works. I’m just really sad because it could have been so different.

  25. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: We are at 49 with Yamamoto so we’ll be at 48 once he gets re-assigned to Spokane.

    I think its in our interests to pass on the player.He shoots left and plays the left side – he would not be ahead of Klef, Nurse, Sekera (could be back in November), Russell. Sure, he could replace Auvitu but I’d rather Simpson who has shown the ability to play the right side without much of a drop off (which is a bit unusual and a skill on its own).

    I agree though, if PC does want the player, I’d rather a trade for a Christoffer (or someone of that ilk) as we don’t have the contract room under the limit to risk on this type of magic bean.

    Only reason to get him is he is better than our current 6 and 7th dmen now. We know how management may not be able to help themselves by keeping their hands off GR. My preference is to aim higher if we trade for someone , like you said best to pass.

  26. VOR says:

    sliderule:
    Chia is getting a lot of criticism here lately.

    That concerns me because I think some of his bad decisions like Reinhart etc have been influenced by the hanger on previous management .

    If you think of the hangers on as almost like sons of the owner it will give you an idea of the influence they have had.

    If Chia get canned you have got to bet that one of them will step in to takeover the Connor era.

    I don’t know about you guys but that scares me.

    I am quite neutral about Peter Chiarelli. He hasn’t had enough time at the helm and his results have been too mixed for me to want to bet whether he is the right guy for the Oilers GM job or not. Some of the problems that he had in Boston are clearly still problems (bleeding value and over paying) but he has done many good things as well (culture change, Maroon, Talbot, Benning, Kassian, restocking the prospect shelves).

    That said, the guy at the top of the pyramid doesn’t get a free pass because his subordinates are idiots. As the boss either you raise the level of their game or you get rid of them. Good leaders don’t ever blame their subordinates (not suggesting Chiarelli has ever done – just pointing out that you are doing if for him).

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    Pens going to be in a bad mood when the get into town.

  28. go_oil says:

    Rough October. I was watching the game last night up until 2-0 – went to a concert for the night and came back to 2-5. Yikes.

    I think this team can rebound and squeeze into the playoffs. I like the underlying shot numbers and I think the goal percentage will rebound. Wishful thinking?

    Chemistry’s a bitch though. I think they are just slow to finding it this year. As much as I think they miss Pouliot on the penalty-kill and Eberle’s goal scoring I think they miss Sekera most… but the replacements have been disappointing (Jokinen, Strome)

    As much as I like the chemistry of the top 2 lines, they need to figure out how to breathe some life into the snakebitten bottom 2 lines. I think they should recall the Finn and send down Yamamoto. I think they should run the four centres for more balance throughout the line-up: McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Letestu.

    Maroon-McDavid-Strome
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Slepyshev
    Jokinen-Nugent-Hopkins-Puljujarvi
    Cagguilia-Letestu-Kassian

    Run Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl as PP1 and Lucic-Nugent-Hopkins-Strome as PP2.

    I think they get out of this funk without any trades. They need the bottom six players to get some dirty goals and they need to play better defence and gut out some wins.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a claim on Reinhart and waive Auvitu – or perhaps a trade.

    And whoever has Cagguilia’s voodoo doll – we will pay your ransom.

  29. Lloyd B. says:

    flyfish1168:
    Pens going to be in a bad mood when the get into town.

    And in a terrible mood when they leave.

  30. OmJo says:

    I’m all for calling up JP. He has nobody to play with in Bakersfield to help him develop offensively anyway. Yamamoto will dominate in Spokane. Next year’s training camp should be fun.

    Sad how we’re 3 years under the New Regime and I still have to utter those two words, ‘next season’, but such is life.

    But if you do call up JP for the love of God don’t play him on the 4th or 3rd line. Either put him in Stromes spot (it’s still early but I doubt Strome is a long term solution to this club going off what Kypreos said) or put him as 1RW, shift Draisaitl down to 2RW (yes, I think Nuge is better defensively and would be better in the 2C position on a line with Draisaitl… Judge me) and Strome to 3C.

  31. OmJo says:

    flyfish1168:
    Pens going to be in a bad mood when the get into town.

    We should be in a bad mood, too. A worse mood.

    And craving some roast penguin.

  32. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: There is a guy with 18 points in 26 games for Kazan in the KHL:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=107124

    Well, actually, if I’m Anton, I head to the KHL as well unless an NHL team was willing to give me a one-way contract.

    Personally, I would have given Anton a one-way but its Daryl’s money I’m talking about spending – I couldn’t care less about any player getting a one-way vs. a two-way – only the player and guy signing the cheques really are effected.

    Lander went to the KHL to play in the Olympics in Korea…a once in a lifetime experience. The NHL will be almost certainly be going to the Chinese Olympics in 4 years.

  33. OmJo says:

    I wonder if the Avalanche will trade us Yakupov for a conditional 2nd/3rd and say… Ben Betker?

    He’s slowed down a bit in Colorado. They benched him against St. Louis and the coach called him out afterwards.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Lander went to the KHL to play in the Olympics in Korea…a once in a lifetime experience.The NHL will be almost certainly be going to the Chinese Olympics in 4 years.

    Oh, they will 100% be in China – no doubt about that.

    Good point on Lander and the Olympics – does he make Sweden’s team? They’ve probably got a solid pool of players to pick from in the SEL – I would think Lander makes it though – no way he put any by Benny Scrivens though.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    I wonder if the Avalanche will trade us Yakupov for a conditional 2nd/3rd and say… Ben Betker?

    He’s slowed down a bit in Colorado. They benched him against St. Louis and the coach called him out afterwards.

    He’s been benched more than once I believe and he slowed down from essentially very little – out of his 3 goals, one was an empty net and the other he didn’t score but was the last Avs player to touch the puck.

    He’s only really scored once on a goalie – it was a nice one-timer though.

  36. Lloyd B. says:

    Another crazy baseball game.

    The regular season is too long and drawn out but the playoffs and World Series are always worth the price of admission.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Another crazy baseball game.

    The regular season is too long and drawn out but the playoffs and World Series are always worth the price of admission.

    This is a game and a series for the ages.

  38. geowal says:

    Lowetide: This is a game and a series for the ages.

    Pulling Astros all the way but happy to see that double play…need to go to bed! Close it out ‘stros!

  39. Munny says:

    Just an incredible World Series we are witnessing.

  40. Munny says:

    geowal,

    Uh oh.

  41. geowal says:

    Munny:
    geowal,

    Uh oh.

    Man….I take that back…

  42. hags9k says:

    What a ball game. man.

  43. Lloyd B. says:

    I hope it doesn’t turn into a pitchers duel now.

  44. Munny says:

    Wow.

  45. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jaxon:
    The Oilers are 31st in goals for with 22, and the Condors are 29th in goals for with 14. Ouch. The entire system is in a drought.

    How can a team with Connor McDavid and Leon draisattle be last in scoring. Very disturbing.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: How can a team with Connor McDavid and Leon draisattle be last in scoring. Very disturbing.

    Unlike the NBA where a couple of superstars can lead a team to victories essentially all by themselves, in the NHL, a couple of superstars without a good supporting case will be a middling team.

    I believe the supporting case is better than they’ve shown but they need to actually play better for that to be a thing.

  47. Pouzar says:

    “Our top pairing is 6 and 77, and they’ve been on for a lot of goals against. We may have to look at shaking things up. Last year when one wasn’t going so good, the other could pull him out of it. Right now, they’re both wallowing, and maybe they need different partners.”
    –TMc

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    “Our top pairing is 6 and 77, and they’ve been on for a lot of goals against. We may have to look at shaking things up. Last year when one wasn’t going so good, the other could pull him out of it. Right now, they’re both wallowing, and maybe they need different partners.”
    –TMc

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klef/Benning
    Russell/Gryba

    Only problem is that 3rd pairing got caved against the Caps but, presumably, Kris Russell can anchor a 3rd pairing from the left side.

  49. rickithebear says:

    I have started using EVGA/60 asan indicator of a dpairs performance.
    if they achieved enough TOI as a pair.
    EVGA/60 better captures the open/closed affect.
    not as good as open/closed Expected GA/60.

    our best EVGA/60 Dpairs.

    Davidson bening sub 1.00
    Sekera – Russel Sub 1.30
    Russell – Larson Sub 1.60

    XXX- Larsson
    Sekera-Russel
    XXX- Benning

    this is 3 top 60 HD Dmen and the Best 0% shot dman in the game.
    Just keep them away from Nurse and Klefbom.
    Which I have been saying for last couple/Few? years.

  50. rickithebear says:

    JimmyV1965: How can a team with Connor McDavid and Leon draisattle be last in scoring. Very disturbing.

    What was it lowe said.

    oh yeah!

    we were so used to losing our Forwards to the richer teams.
    we felt we needed to take the best forward talent available.

    A few years later we knew you build from the net out.
    and down the middle.

    So?
    18-19
    Mcdavid C 8 @ 12.5M
    Draisatl C 7 @ 8.5M
    RNH 6M C 3 @ 6M
    .84 PPG @ 18 yr facing 2nd comp 10th best in modern era.

    Lucic LW 5yr @ 6M
    Kassian RW 2yr @ 1.95M
    yamamotto LW,RW 2/3 @ 1.155M
    Khaira LW,C 1yr @ .675M

    Strome RFA
    Slepyshev RFA
    Caggulia RFA
    Pakarinen RFA

    1RD Larsson 3yr @ 4.167M
    2LD Sekera 3yr @ 5.5M
    2 RD Russell 3 yr @ 4M
    3LD Klefbom 5yr @ 4.167M
    6/7D Gryba 1yr @ .9M
    3RD Benning RFA
    ? Nurse RFA

    Talbot 1yr @ 4.167M
    Broissoit RFA

    Best WOWY pairs

    Maroon – Mcdavid -XXX
    XXX- Draisatl-Slepyshev
    Lucic- XXX- Puljujarvi
    Caggulia-XXX- Kassian

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