Gone Fishing

Potential names for trade are now flying out the door from insiders to the hockey universe, allowing us to contemplate a possible future for the Edmonton Oilers. Based on verbal from multiple sources, men like Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu may be heading out. Coming back? Some names of note, some names we have discussed in the past.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. If you don’t feel it’s worth the $4.49/month, cancel anytime during trial before getting charged. Offer is here.

JOSH LEIVO

We have discussed Leivo in the past, he doesn’t play much but the production is there when opportunities arise. He’s 53gp, 10-11-21 in his career, has been productive 5×5 despite little work each season and could be a hidden gem. I know he doesn’t have blazing speed, but does offer a team inexpensive skill and has to be burning for his chance. I’ve written about him many times, including here.

MIKE HOFFMAN

Frank Seravalli of TSN has the Oilers as a player in the Hoffman sweepstakes, makes complete sense. He’s a volume shooter, is durable and has the boots. The only downside would be the pricetag and it looks like picks and prospects (and inexpensive NHL talent) are important to Ottawa. Bob Stauffer and Elliotte Friedman mentioned Zack Smith on Oilers Now Friday, perhaps we’re looking at a massive deal involving multiple players. Perhaps Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning and prospects could be cobbled together with Edmonton’s first-round pick this or next year being the centerpiece. Note: Smith’s inclusion may be a salary dump, as a penalty-killing option I don’t see him as a positive addition based on numbers.

JORDAN KYROU

The TSN trade board has him at No. 15 and the Blues have interest (reportedly) in Patrick Maroon. He has a great opportunity to win the OHL scoring championship and may be a plug-and-play for next season. If he’s available, Edmonton would be wise to have a long look at the ask.

50-MAN

  • Assuming management remains as is, I don’t think ownership (which might be Gretzky at this point) is going to sign off on a Nuge or Klefbom deal. First-round pick in 2018? Probably the most valuable trade bullet in the chamber.
  • Patrick Maroon out and Mike Hoffman in would be a net gain. If Edmonton gets a second rounder for Maroon and gives up a first for Hoffman, is that something you can live with?
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is an NHL regular now, where does he play next season? My answer is 1R or 2R, but there is a growing concern among fans (you’ve emailed me) that JP isn’t getting playing time with Connor McDavid. I’m going to write about that over at The Athletic this week, seems to me this would be the ideal time to see what chemistry exists between 97 and the young Finn.
  • Milan Lucic is a trigger name for many of you, I thought he was doing mostly good through about game 40. Since then, seems he’s trying too hard and not playing his own game. It’s very important to get him back to being a productive 5×5 player. Some of you are suggesting buyout, have you seen the bitter buyout numbers via CapFriendly? Holy lord.
  • In a way, my job is to find areas of interest on the Oilers roster, bring them to light, offer solutions and then we discuss. I have no solutions for the Oilers defensive situation, the Russell contract backs them into a corner and the NMC’s have them in a spot of bother. If the ownership says no to trading Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse, Peter Chiarelli has left himself no daylight at all. In the more than 12 years I’ve been uncovering things to discuss about this team, no general manager has been as thorough in boxing himself in as Mr. Chiarelli. This is my opinion.

 

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233 Responses to "Gone Fishing"

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  1. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Ya. maybe.

    2nd is a bit too much of a risk I think.

    Depends on the year IMO. Not this year maybe, although if they are smart and liquidate what they should there should be a pick there still or two.

    Next draft If you’re drafting late in the 2nd round the chances of Domi being a better player over time than that draftee is very high.

    This is where smart teams make hay. Like they do on the Oilers. Getting high first round young talents for low cost is a smart bet. Assuming they don;t have big issues which shouldn’t be that hard to suss out, such as addictions or serious injury that might impact.

    It’s time to turn the tables and recover from doing that. It’s out there every year, let it not be OIlers anymore. Such as Slepy. At 23 with his skill set he is worth a bit of time ,and dealt with properly.

    If he thinks his only issue is not being played top 6 all the time that is a different story, that attitude sometimes only changes with a trade. Might be Domi’s issue, but a trade would bring him here and might reset the thinking.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: You have to do that if it’s there, nothing to lose.

    Not that he’s CMDs LW, but talent. The talent level is higher, you take it.

    It sounds like they’re heading into Oiler territory losing patience with kids.

    Although Duclair seems like a big time project.

    I wouldn’t say there is nothing to lose as that 2nd round pick is a valuable asset.

    The risk is that this year’s Domi is the real Domi – the 2nd round pick is no sure thing either but valuable nonetheless – year’s away if ever mind you and Domi could potentially fill a top 6 role next season.

    It’s a tough call but maybe worth the risk – assuming Domi signs for $1M or so.

  3. JimmyV1965 says:

    I wonder if the Oil should trade Strome for Domi? I have no idea if it’s fair for either side. Both have expiring contracts.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Domi has more potential at this point than Strome and should be materially cheaper next season.

    At this point, Strome is the better hockey player.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Domi or Leivo?

    Domi has the higher ceiling but more busy risk.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve seen comments from numerous Leaf fans that would rather trade JVR and play Leivo nightly – of course they are factoring in the futures return for JVR and his cap hit on his next contract (likely around $6M).

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Leivo only has 53 NHL games.

    Did the contract he signed last year take away potential future Group VI UFA status if he doesn’t hit 80 by the end of the season?

  8. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I wouldn’t say there is nothing to lose as that 2nd round pick is a valuable asset.

    The risk is that this year’s Domi is the real Domi – the 2nd round pick is no sure thing either but valuable nonetheless – year’s away if ever mind you and Domi could potentially fill a top 6 role next season.

    It’s a tough call but maybe worth the risk – assuming Domi signs for $1M or so.

    A low contract. If there is noting wrong with him it’s not risky. 2nd round picks don’t often make impact players. They might get 200 games or whatever the cutoff is by Cullen or whomever, but not in a key role usually.

    Vor has ideas but they are based on completely changing how you draft and there is no proof it can work until it’s done.

    After the middle of the first round success rates start dropping pretty rapidly. They even drop fast after the top 3-5, then 10 etc. Nobody has a map or they’d do it every draft. Sometimes teams hit a home run. No team I’m aware of has ‘repeatedly’ found great top 6 players and top 4 D out of later the first rounds.

    This is one thing that I have noticed in these discussions. Many of the best D and goalies were first round picks. Even though they are harder to project that is where the best talent lies, top of the first especially.

    If there isn’t a clear pick you wait to later rounds. If you want a high end D or goalie and there is a strong one when you are up use the first.

    The problem with business is people. It’s not like just because you want the best smartest guys and gals ever you can have them, like players. A smart team doesn’t hamper scouts, but it’s not easy putting any group together that is the best in the field.

    Even if you can it’s even harder keeping them together because they get offers. You pay 1M which is really a lot, next team says 1.25M and your owner says this is ridiculous and off they go.

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I wonder if the Oil should trade Strome for Domi? I have no idea if it’s fair for either side. Both have expiring contracts.

    Except the Dogs have no money. like cash to pay bills, like the Sens.

  10. godot10 says:

    This blog is nuts. Everyone condemns Chiarelli for trading high picks for Reinhart. Now everyone wants him to do it again in a good draft.

  11. Johnny Larue says:

    Eagles win congrats LT don’t party to hard

  12. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Congrats LT!!!

  13. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Congrats to the Eagles. Great game. They played their best until the end. Enjoy this one LT

  14. godot10 says:

    Super Bowl LII == The Revenge of the Backup Quarterbacks

    Pederson, Reich, and Foles.

  15. Gayfish says:

    NFL should be embarrassed by the review of that last eagles touchdown. Took 10 minutes to sort out a call that was about as black and white as it gets. How have they let the replay become so ambiguous? It’s not this bad in the CFL.

  16. Old Timer says:

    Gayfish,

    It seems very strange for a hockey fan to be criticizing any other professional sports league about the use of instant replay. This from the land of “goaltender interference”?

  17. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10:
    This blog is nuts.Everyone condemns Chiarelli for trading high picks for Reinhart.Now everyone wants him to do it again in a good draft.

    Domi has a very enticing skill pckg. He’s very fast, has good hands and he’s physical. He has exceptional skills at some parts of the game. Strome doesn’t have exceptional skills at anything, although I’m warming up to him as a 3C.

    Although I’m not advocating a trade for Domi, I think this is nothing like the Reinhart trade at all. By the time the Oilers traded for Reinhart, he was already identified as a failed prospect by many many people. I don’t think that’s the case for Domi. Of course, if anyone trades for the guy they damn well better do their due diligence.

  18. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    If Strome entices Arizona at all I would be all for trying to trade him for Domi.

  19. Jaxon says:

    Maroon & 2nd to STL for Thomas (or Kyrou) and Thorburn
    Letestu & Slepyshev & high 3rd Round pick to TBL for Joseph and Conacher and low 3rd Round pick.

    I don’t want them to trade Slepy, but if they’re not going to give him a decent shot they might as well get something now)

    Buyout Russell for a Cap hit savings of $3.4M next season to allow them to keep Nuge and sign Nurse at around $4.167M x 8.

    Keep the 1st round pick. It may turn into Dahlin, Svechnikov, Boqvist or Zadina.

    Explore trading Caleb Jones. Great prospect, but he’s stuck behind too many LHD that are not going to or should not go anywhere. With Pakarinen to CBJ for a 2nd round pick?

    Trade Auvitu for a pick. Trade Cammalleri for a pick.

    That’s my deadline to July 1st ideas. This puts them right against an $80M cap (with bonuses), so no free agent signings this summer.

    Yikes, that’s a young team, but promising with skill thatcan keep up to McDavid and Draisaitl.

  20. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Sounds like lots of riot punch and fight milk were consumed in Philly tonight. Shoulda just stuck to the rum ham.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Johnny Larue:
    Eagles win congrats LT don’t party to hard

    I’m too old to party too hard. 🙂

  22. Lowetide says:

    Nailer Yakumoto:
    Congrats LT!!!

    Thanks!

  23. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft 10 – Tyler Vesel, late round strategies, and building a cradle of eminence from scratch.

    In 1996, March as it happens, one of my few big money clients Kris Fergus, asked me to do her a favor and go to Fairbault, Minnesota and meet with a friend of hers. At the time I knew next to zilch about Minnesota. I had driven through corners of the state a couple of times without being very impressed.

    Turns out Fairbault, is about fifty miles straight south of St. Paul. The population then would have been about 18,000. It had and has, despite the giant Walmart on the edge of town, a gorgeous downtown. In fact, even in March it was hard not to notice how pretty the countryside is. And the buildings fit, it is a post card town.

    I am in a rental car having flown into Minneapolis. All I have is directions scrawled on a recipe card, that I wrote down while talking to Kris on the phone. So I keep missing the place. I stopped to ask people and everyone was beyond friendly, they just all gave different directions.

    The problem it turns out was that you come up a significant rise and the road is curving and the sign was then and I understand still is “understated”. That is Midwestern for tiny. And you have to turn immediately to get on the private driveway, and then you think you are headed out into the country. And nothing, and I do mean nothing, can prepare you for what is at the end of that drive. The best I can do is to say it is like somebody stuck a chunk of medieval England down in the middle of modern Minnesota.

    I am going to assume you all know where I am. Standing in the parking lot for the old arena at Shattuck St. Mary’s. Maybe for some of you that name doesn’t mean anything. It didn’t to me at the time. As I walked into the less than impressive arena where hockey practice was in session I had no idea that one day legends would begin on that ice. Sid the Kid lived with the coach, shared a bedroom with his son Zach. Jonathon Toews says it is where he learned to play hockey. The list of future pros goes on and on and eventually included the coach’s son, Zach Parise.

    But none of that existed then. Or it did, but only in the highly creative mind of J.P. Parise. Which is who I was there to meet. Though it wasn’t clear to me why Kris wanted us to meet or why Coach Parise was interested in meeting with me.

    I was there, it turned out, because J.P. was shopping for a consultant to help him turn a local high school hockey team into a national hockey academy. I didn’t get the gig, even with the reference from Kris, who was a big time funder of Shattuck St. Mary’s.

    J.P. would tell me years later that it was because I kept telling him I thought all his ideas were brilliant and he thought I was buttering him up. Nope, I just thought they were all brilliant. Today, the Shattuck St. Mary’s hockey program is one of the foremost American cradles of hockey eminence probably rivaled only by the National Team Development Program.

    I ended up getting a useful acquaintance – JP introduced me to a lot of interesting people and not just in the hockey world. He was a tremendous networker and incredibly generous in sharing that network. I can’t say we were ever much more than casual acquaintances – we really didn’t click – but I watched over the next 12 years as the ideas he had explained to me that day in March created an amazing hockey program. And I stayed in touch because that is what networkers do. So I got to see it unfold and evolve.

    What never changed was J.P.’s commitment to the twin pillars of success in hockey and life – discipline and usefulness. He preached it, he lived it. He spent years toiling in obscurity in the AHL and years more building a viable NHL career before finally emerging as a star. He became such a useful player he got selected to represent Canada in 1972.

    For those of you who don’t know, game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series was hopelessly out of reach due to terrible officiating when JP took a run at the ref, whose name I forget. It looked for sure like he was going to actually attack him. JP gets tossed from the game. As he is leaving the ice he says something to the official. We will never know what because JP took the secret to his grave, but the ref clearly blanches,and from that moment on the ice and the officiating tilts in Canada’s favor.

    Now everybody who ever met JP would tell you he played with his head ruling his heart, his teammates all sensed even at the time that JP was faking having gone off the deep end. The official on the other hand was scared, maybe even terrified. JP built a career on being useful, whatever it took. He felt “the ref needed a change of attitude so he induced one”, was how he put it years later.

    The point of the story is that JP Parise deliberately set out to create a program that would turn out good people and great hockey players (and yes they have a program for young women as well – a JP innovation) by teaching them discipline and usefulness. He was sure he could create future pros. So when in 2014 I realized the Oilers had drafted Tyler Vesel in the sixth round I was excited. He was in the last class scouted and recruited by JP before his retirement and of him JP said, “he is a Swiss Army Knife of a player.” You would be correct in assuming that was extremely high praise.

    Tyler wasn’t just another role player at Shattuck. He is one of the best players, statistically, they have ever had.

    I am going to wrap this up and then do another post about Vesel and picking late. But I thought it was important to note that J.P.’s program has continued since his retirement and then his untimely death. They just go on turning out good people and great hockey players. Though now they play in a very new state of the art facility, the J.P Parise Arena. And Oliver Wahlstrom who may well be the Oiler’s first pick this June is yet another graduate of Shattuck St. Mary’s (though truth be told his statistics there are nowhere near as impressive as Tyler Vesel’s.)

  24. VOR says:

    So Tyler Vesel,

    I think I may have been the only poster on this blog who was happy when they drafted him. It wasn’t just the Shattuck St. Mary’s thing. He had the highest NHLE of any player left in the draft, was a plus skater, and a great 200 foot player. Not to mention he was above average in the face off circle and a great penalty killer.

    So six points that should be front and center for every late round pick:

    -dominated a cradle of eminence
    -considerably better than teammates
    -outstanding skater
    -math loves him (highest available NHLE and NHLP)
    -many ways to make the NHL
    -complete 200 foot player

    Tyler Vesel was a six.

    It turns out there were better players available based on subsequent events but it didn’t show up in their on ice performance in their draft year. Three certain examples are Ondrej Kase, Kevin Lebanc and Sammy Blais who are already playing in the NHL. I’d argue Dylan Sikura and Jake Evans (who could well be this year’s big name college free agents are tracking ahead as well).

    What does this tell us? I am not sure but it certainly says there is more to late round draft success than just the numbers.

    Based on NHLE and NHLP Tyler Vesel belonged in the top 100 in 2014, miles ahead of the three kids who already have NHL careers of some promise and was in a different time zone than Sikura and Evans who have been far more dominant college players. So the numbers weren’t immediately predictive.

    It probably suggests that Vesel might yet surprise on the upside. He will probably, based on form, spend two years in the AHL before emerging as a useful and disciplined NHL player somewhere. He is still and you see it in his college game, a Swiss Army Knife. Just being a legitimate prospect at this point (draft +4) means he has covered the bet for a sixth rounder.

    He also proves high ceiling offensive players still occasionally slip through the cracks and appear in the late rounds.

    The Oilers need to keep picking Vesels and truthfully Maksimov and Safin give one hope that they get this. This is not because Vesel is a can’t miss NHL player. It is because the set of all Vesels contains the subset of all Zetterbergs and all Datysuks.

    I was actually amazed on draft day when Oilers fans immediately trashed the pick. Up until then I thought there was a consensus that we wanted to swing for the fences and take the best scorer left in the draft. Vesel was that guy. We still don’t know if he will ever be anything or even sign with the Oilers. But the strategy was rock solid and needs to be replicated over and over again.

  25. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    VOR,

    Awesome story, and thanks for sharing. Obviously a legendary school.

    That said, Tyler Vesel’s numbers there look good to me, but not stand-out level.

    The stand-outs have tended to be over 100 pts in 55~60 games and they’ve had a high hit rate for making the NHL and having an impact.

    Names like Stepan, Toews, Stafford, Okposo (92 pts but not over 100, and was playing on the same team as Toews. Another player, Michael Gergen (106 pts), drafted in the 2nd round by the Penguins in 2005 never made it to the Show so I suspect he and Okposo were being zoomed by Toews).

    And Crosby was so far off the charts at 162pts in 57 games in 2002-03. It was clear he was special. Zach Parise was also amazing at 178pts in 67 games. Of course the Oilers infamously traded down from drafting him

    Vesel is in the range of a lot of guys who never made the NHL plus one Erik Haula at ~80pts and most recently, Clayton Keller.

    And then, yes, Wahlstrom, whose numbers there do not stand out.

    Granted all the guys who made it to the NHL above were drafted well before the 6th round and Wahlstrom is going to go top 10, most likely, so grabbing Vesel late is a nice pick.

    It seems unlikely that he makes it to the NHL based on his numbers there, because there are only 2 examples of forwards producing in the same range who made it (Keller and Haula) , but it makes more sense in round 6 than a lot of other possible strategies.

    Of course that’s just offense and a “Swiss Army Knife” description suggests versatility. I hope Vesel can grind out at least a cup of coffee in the show, but he turns 24 in April so time is not on his side. That said, versatile bottom 6 forward? That’s possible.

    I guess the question raised for me is not so much is Vesel better than we think ; instead it Is: is Wahlstrom overrated then? Mind you, I have not seen him play much outside of highlights.

  26. VOR says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    VOR,

    Awesome story, and thanks for sharing. Obviously a legendary school.

    That said, Tyler Vesel’s numbers there look good to me, but not stand-out level.

    The stand-outs have tended to be over 100 pts in 55~60 games and they’ve had a high hit rate for making the NHL and having an impact.

    Names like Stepan, Toews, Stafford, Okposo (92 pts but not over 100, and was playing on the same team as Toews. Another player, Michael Gergen (106 pts), drafted in the 2nd round by the Penguins in 2005 never made it to the Show so I suspect he and Okposo were being zoomed by Toews).

    And Crosby was so far off the charts at 162pts in 57 games in 2002-03. It was clear he was special. Zach Parise was also amazing at 178pts in 67 games. Of course the Oilers infamously traded down from drafting him

    Vesel is in the range of a lot of guys who never made the NHL plus one Erik Haula at ~80pts and most recently, Clayton Keller.

    And then, yes, Wahlstrom, whose numbers there do not stand out.

    Granted all the guys who made it to the NHL above were drafted well before the 6th round and Wahlstrom is going to go top 10, most likely, so grabbing Vesel late is a nice pick.

    It seems unlikely that he makes it to the NHL based on his numbers there, because there are only 2 examples of forwards producing in the same range who made it (Keller and Haula) , but it makes more sense in round 6 than a lot of other possible strategies.

    Of course that’s just offense and a “Swiss Army Knife” description suggests versatility. I hope Vesel can grind out at least a cup of coffee in the show, but he turns 24 in April so time is not on his side. That said, versatile bottom 6 forward? That’s possible.

    I guess the question raised for me is not so much is Vesel better than we think ; instead it Is: is Wahlstrom overrated then? Mind you, I have not seen him play much outside of highlights.

    I get what you mean about Wahlstrom. It does give pause.

    That said, Vesel had 108 points in 54 games as a midget. Then he played on a mediocre team the next year where he was one of the best players on the team and then the following year was the best player on a blah team. The loss of JP Parise left a hole that hurt Vesel’s development. But he was the best player on the Omaha Lancer’s the year he was drafted, in fact, arguably he was the best two way player in the USHL with 1.45 pts per game to boot. His un-adjusted NHLE (he missed some games) was 30.2 and his imputed NHLP was 64. In other words, when he was drafted he was the best offensive player left. Which is the strategy I think the Oilers should follow in all picks from the 5th round on.

    I am not sure how strongly predictive the numbers are or how good a player Vesel might be. I just know you have to pick a strategy and stick to it long enough to know if it works. I believe on ice results prior to draft are the best tool we have for making rational drafting decisions. Vesel fits the model.

  27. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    VOR: I get what you mean about Wahlstrom. It does give pause.

    That said, Vesel had 108 points in 54 games as a midget. Then he played on a mediocre team the next year where he was one of the best players on the team and then the following year was the best player on a blah team. The loss of JP Parise left a hole that hurt Vesel’s development. But he was the best player on the Omaha Lancer’s the year he was drafted, in fact, arguably he was the best two way player in the USHL with 1.45 pts per game to boot. His un-adjusted NHLE (he missed some games) was 30.2 and his imputed NHLP was 64. In other words, when he was drafted he was the best offensive player left. Which is the strategy I think the Oilers should follow in all picks from the 5th round on.

    I am not sure how strongly predictive the numbers are or how good a player Vesel might be. I just know you have to pick a strategy and stick to it long enough to know if it works. I believe on ice results prior to draft are the best tool we have for making rational drafting decisions. Vesel fits the model.

    Thanks for the response. I agree with you that taking Vesel there in the 6th round seems like a very sound strategy. I did not do the same exercise for the Midget level years, but instead looked at Draft-1 or Draft-2 years, which is one notch higher.

    If the Oilers used that type of strategy in late rounds every time, I think we could be reasonably happy even if things don’t always pan out.

    All that said, Vesel’s Draf-2 and Draft -1 production was in the range of 2 NHLers and a lot of guys who never even saw a cup of coffee. Of course, the strength of the team does matter, but guys like Toews, Parise, Stafford, (and of course Crosby) not only had the numbers but they made the team better. Which begs the question on Wahlstrom because his numbers are worse than Vesel’s and not close to being the best on the team. Based on numbers alone, he does not look worthy of a top 10 pick.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Finally – Game Day.

    No Larrson tonight but Talbot should be back between the pipes.

    I have no idea what we’ll see for lines against TBL – should be a fun game.

  29. maudite says:

    Lowetide: I’m too old to party too hard.

    Give yourself some credit! Maybe you’ve started to “benjamin button” You’re only as old as you feel the next day after…only one way to find that out!

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was indeed a heck of a football game last night.

    Foles played every bit as good as Brady (although he had great pass protection and a running game which had to be respected).

    Without a vested interest in the teams, I was pulling for the underdog Eagles quite hard. I’ve got nothing against Brady, I do like him, however I wanted a great game more than anythign and I got it.

    How cool was it that Foles caught the TD pass whereas Brady dropped his opportunity for a catch with 20 yards of daylight ahead of him?

    1 punt?

    A function of amazing third down conversation rates and some ballsy 4th down gambles on both sides near mid field.

  31. Pouzar says:

    VOR:
    So Tyler Vesel,

    I think I may have been the only poster on this blog who was happy when they drafted him. It wasn’t just the Shattuck St. Mary’s thing. He had the highest NHLE of any player left in the draft, was a plus skater, and a great 200 foot player. Not to mention he was above average in the face off circle and a great penalty killer.

    So six points that should be front and center for every late round pick:

    -dominated a cradle of eminence
    -considerably better than teammates
    -outstanding skater
    -math loves him (highest available NHLE and NHLP)
    -many ways to make the NHL
    -complete 200 foot player

    Tyler Vesel was a six.

    It turns out there were better players available based on subsequent events but it didn’t show up in their on ice performance in their draft year. Three certain examples are Ondrej Kase, Kevin Lebanc and Sammy Blais who are already playing in the NHL. I’d argue Dylan Sikura and Jake Evans (who could well be this year’s big name college free agents are tracking ahead as well).

    What does this tell us? I am not sure but it certainly says there is more to late round draft success than just the numbers.

    Based on NHLE and NHLP Tyler Vesel belonged in the top 100 in 2014, miles ahead of the three kids who already have NHL careers of some promise and was in a different time zone than Sikura and Evans who have been far more dominant college players. So the numbers weren’t immediately predictive.

    It probably suggests that Vesel might yet surprise on the upside. He will probably, based on form, spend two years in the AHL before emerging as a useful and disciplined NHL player somewhere. He is still and you see it in his college game, a Swiss Army Knife. Just being a legitimate prospect at this point (draft +4) means he has covered the bet for a sixth rounder.

    He also proves high ceiling offensive players still occasionally slip through the cracks and appear in the late rounds.

    The Oilers need to keep picking Vesels and truthfully Maksimov and Safin give one hope that they get this. This is not because Vesel is a can’t miss NHL player. It is because the set of all Vesels contains the subset of all Zetterbergs and all Datysuks.

    I was actually amazed on draft day when Oilers fans immediately trashed the pick. Up until then I thought there was a consensus that we wanted to swing for the fences and take the best scorer left in the draft. Vesel was that guy. We still don’t know if he will ever be anything or even sign with the Oilers. But the strategy was rock solid and needs to be replicated over and over again.

    https://twitter.com/conkanen/status/959644013799329792

    I haven’t forgotten.

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