In summer, the collective math of the NHL can be digested in full. We’ll know just how close Connor McDavid gets to 100 points, we’ll know if Jesse Puljujarvi gets to 20 goals. If he gets to 20 goals at 19, in less than a full season, music! We’ll watch Patrick Maroon in the playoffs and wonder about a return via free agency, but the numbers, the boxcars, they will tell much of the story. As strange as this season has been for the Edmonton Oilers, there are things coming into view.
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- New Lowetide: Paul Coffey’s role in Edmonton
- New Tyler Dellow: What’s wrong with the McDavid power play
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers mid-season review: The Defence
- Lowetide: What does the Nuge injury mean to the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers mid-season review: The Forwards
- Lowetide: Tweeners and Iiro Pakarinen.
- Lowetide: Back in Bakersfield: Laurent Brossoit.
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli needs some answers from this week’s meetings
- Corey Pronman: Top 50 NHL prospects (Oilers alert)
- Lowetide: Hard target search 2018 deadline
I’m not much for strutting like a peacock or pouring my ego out all over the internet, but will tell you the three new pieces listed here are the bomb. I’m proud as a peacock to be writing with these gentlemen and that’s a fact.
THE CURRENT OILERS
- This is the current roster, with projected numbers if all things remain equal.
- Edmonton would have five 20-goal men (Connor McDavid, Nuge, Patrick Maroon, Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi).
- I’ve highlighted the players who will be lost in free agency (in black) and have my trade candidates in yellow (your mileage may vary). These are not my choices for trade, but rather the ones most likely to be dealt by Peter Chiarelli.
- The defense and goaltending are likely to remain intact, but all three forward positions will undergo an overhaul.
PROJECTED NEW ROSTER
- I moved the players most likely to be traded by Peter Chiarelli this summer (Nuge, Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Strome) in my opinion. Plus a draft pick.
- There’s better speed up front, more skill too. There’s depth at center, still some wobble on the wings and I think there’s way better penalty-killing talent (Pageau, Paajarvi).
- Tyson Barrie will help the power play, so will Mike Hoffman.
- J-G Pageau would be a terrific option, can’t claim credit for it (Jason Strudwick has been talking about it for awhile).
- I would not trade Nuge or Klefbom. Seriously.
- I did a very loose cap cipher and think this roster can come in under $80 million.
- The two risks PC would be making: Skill RW (still unproven) and the two veteran LD (Sekera, Russell) won’t falter.
JESSE PULJUJARVI EMERGING
In a season filled with frustration, if you’re looking for one true thing this is it. JP scoring at a 20-goal pace offers hope that another quality offensive player will be added to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It’s a mammoth happening and Puljujarvi plays a position of weakness making it double barreled. It’s a big moment in team building.
The @TSNHockey 2018 NHL Draft Mid-Season Top 31 Rankings Show airs on @TSN_Sports and TSN.ca on Friday. @TSNHockey Top 75 Mid-Season Draft Rankings will be released simultaneously on TSN.ca, one composite list featuring all skaters and goalies.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 21, 2018
Central Scouting releases its list today, you can expect a steady pour of draft updates from here on in. The Central list is used as a guide but in recent seasons also represents the industry thinking so we’ll have a few surprises today I’m sure. I will tell you Ty Smith and Oliver Wahlstrom are the most intriguing names for me in the first round for Edmonton.
THE NEXT HEBIG
- Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: Nikita Korostelev – Winger – Peterborough Petes
The former Leafs draft pick has had a pretty good season for Peterborough after failing to earn a pro contract this offseason. The size (6’1, 200lbs) and skill package is going to be alluring for NHL scouts. Korostelev has a great shot with an extremely quick and powerful release. And his skill with the puck is unquestioned. He creates a lot of time and space for himself in the offensive zone, especially coming off the wall or if he can get a step on a defender coming down the wing. One on one, he can be tough to stop. But his skating just has not improved over the course of his OHL career, as he lacks separation ability, relying on his hands to create that space. And not enough of his goals are scored in the middle of the ice. A guy with his size should dominate down low, but it just hasn’t been the case consistently over the course of his OHL career. There are certainly flashes, but that’s been the criticism since his minor midget days. I think he plays pro somewhere next year and if a coach can truly motivate him to change the way he plays, he could be an asset to an organization.
- OHL Prospects
Speed is an issue and if we’re talking draft then this is probably a non-starter. However, with his skill set Korostelev should eventually thrive and could work his way up the ladder. Low risk bet (he can be signed to an entry-level deal today) just like Cameron Hebig.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, TSN1260, beginning at 10. I won’t brag about the Eagles win, but will mention it a time or two.
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Trade deadline, Coffey in Edmonton, glory in Vegas.
- Andy McNamara, TSN. Andy will make me feel good about the Eagles win and then deliver a death blow with the truth about New England.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Back from vacation and ready to talk Super Bowl and Oilers.
- Ken Boehlke, Sin Bin Vegas. Those Golden Knights have set the hockey world on its collective keister.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!