Caught a train from Alexandria

The Edmonton Oilers signed Tyler Vesel on Monday, he represents a successful “draft and follow” and I think some proof that analytics can find you useful talent. He was chosen in the sixth round (No. 153 overall) in the 2014 entry draft. Only two players—Kevin Lebanc and Ondrej Kase—have played over 100 NHL games among those drafted after Vesel. He is the third Oilers pick (Leon Draisaitl, William Lagesson) to sign an NHL deal, and probably (Zach Nagelvoort, Liam Coughlin, Keven Bouchard) the last. Was this an astute signing?

THE ATHLETIC!

Great playoff special! Try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here.

NHLE (FORWARDS)

I did not have Tyler Vesel among my Top 20 Prospects during the winter but he has talent (as shown in the NHLE for forwards). For me, everyone from Benson up has a chance to play in the NHL (mostly in a secondary offensive role) and Vesey is in that group. He’ll help a solid group that may include Kailer Yamamoto, Cooper Marody, Cameron Hebig and Tyler Benson.

NEW 50-MAN

The team will have 20 forwards (above) playing pro hockey in Edmonton, Bakersfield and Wichita. The roster as you see it doesn’t represent lines, or a depth chart, but I will say the NHL players are at the top of each position. Here’s my shot at the opening night lineup for Edmonton and Bakersfield (with the understanding there are moves ahead):

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Ty Rattie
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Pontus Aberg
  • Jujhar Khaira—Ryan Strome—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Drake Caggiula—Brad Malone—Zack Kassian
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Andrej Sekera—Kris Russell
  • Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
  • Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen)
  • Joe Gambardella—Cooper Marody—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Tyler Benson—Cameron Hebig—Tyler Vesel
  • ???—Colin Larkin—Mitch Callahan
  • Ryan Stanton—Ethan Bear
  • Caleb Jones—Eric Gryba
  • William Lagesson-Ryan Mantha
  • Al Montoya (Shane Starrett)

MORE ABOUT VESEL

Vesel’s career is similar offensively to Nic Dowd, who is a bigger player and a depth checker in the NHL. I think that’s probably Vesel’s future (if he has one) even considering those early AHL games mentioned above. I’m going to write an item this weekend for The Athletic on draft and follow types, I think analytics may have contributed to this selection.

THE 2014 DRAFT

Vesel is the third signing from the draft, Leon Draisaitl was the first-round selection followed by William Lagesson in the fourth round. To give you an idea about just how much harm trading away picks in 2014 and 2015 has caused the depth chart, here’s how the draft looks with no traded selections.

  • No. 3 overall C Leon Draisaitl
  • No. 33 overall C Ivan Barbashev (part of David Perron trade)
  • No. 63 overall C Dominic Turgeon (part of Ben Scrivens deal)
  • No. 93 overall R Nick Magyar (Mike Brown)
  • No. 123 overall LD Matthew Berkovitz (Viktor Fasth)
  • No. 153 overall RC Tyler Vesel
  • No. 183 overall G Keven Bouchard

That’s a pretty good draft list, except the heart of the order was ripped away because the organization wanted immediate help. We’ve talked about this before but 2015 was even more devastating.

THE SUMMER

In early April I wrote about an ideal summer for the Oilers at The Athletic.

  • Oilers management doesn’t have $8-million in walking around money this summer, so they have to be innovative and make some smaller bets. I count the main issues as a scoring winger for Draisaitl’s line and backup goaltender (we’ll call him 1B). I know the Oilers are going to push hard for a righty blue who can help on the power play, but for me that’s a luxury the club can’t afford.
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Pontus Aberg

The No. 2 right-winger is a bigger need than replacing Kris Russell as No. 2 RD. That’s a fact. I’m watching Aaron Ekblad hammer Connor McDavid shots into twine at the World Hockey Championships so get the idea of a hammer from the point. It’s a very small pool of talent that qualifies for that role and Ethan Bear might fill it a year from now. How much are you willing to spend on Ryan Pulock?

THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A full boat this morning, big brains and big fan starting at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Aaron Ekblad isn’t coming to Edmonton, so should the Oilers pursue a Pulock even if it means another overpay? Or keep their powder dry?
  • Andrew Stoeten, The Athletic Toronto. It has been a devastating 24 hours for the Blue Jays.
  • Eric Koreen, The Athletic Toronto. The Raptors brilliant season met a sudden end and it sounds like head coach Dwane Casey may not return.
  • Murat Ates, The Athletic Winnipeg. Showerhead makes his Lowdown debut! Big brain, good fellow.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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113 Responses to "Caught a train from Alexandria"

  1. smellyglove says:

    Rod Brind’Amour hired as head coach of Hurricanes, Don Waddell named GM

    Brind’Amour has never served as a HC anywhere. Thoughts?

  2. jtblack says:

    “How much are you willing to spend on Ryan Pulock?”

    I will answer that question once one of our analytics ppl can tell me what Pulocks Fancies are 5×5 scoring PP Corsi. QofC …Rel WOWY

    Hes in the 1994 cluster. He had 32 points in his 1st full season. He had 15 & 17 Goal seasons in the AHL (very good for a D man)

  3. N64 says:

    smellyglove: Brind’Amour has never served as a HC anywhere. Thoughts?

    ~ Paul Coffey can help him with the D. ~

  4. Southern Oil says:

    smellyglove:
    Rod Brind’Amour hired as head coach of Hurricanes, Don Waddell named GM

    Brind’Amour has never served as a HC anywhere. Thoughts?

    Oiler fan – been living in Atlanta for the past 17 years. I can say that Don Waddell is on of the reasons why the Thrashers don’t exist anymore. I wouldn’t want to be a Carolina fan this morning. However there’s that famous saying – “those that live in glass houses, ….”

  5. Dustylegnd says:

    smellyglove:
    Rod Brind’Amour hired as head coach of Hurricanes, Don Waddell named GM

    Brind’Amour has never served as a HC anywhere. Thoughts?

    Brind’Amour is legend for his dedication to fitness and the game of hockey as a player

    Brind’Amour went the NCAA route so must have more than a passing interest in education and intellect

    Brind’Amour has spent the last seven years as an NHL assistant coach, and after playing nearly 1500 NHL games I would say his dues have been paid, no he hasn’t ridden the buses of the CHL, but there is more than one route to being a successful NHL coach

    Based on Waddel’s rhetoric it sounds like Brind’Amour is a progressive thinker with a unique understanding of the Carolina market

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    I’m going through withdrawal and entering DTs now. No hockey for one evening is bad enough but 2.

  7. godot10 says:

    Southern Oil: Oiler fan – been living in Atlanta for the past 17 years.I can say that Don Waddell is on of the reasons why the Thrashers don’t exist anymore.I wouldn’t want to be a Carolina fan this morning.However there’s that famous saying – “those that live in glass houses, ….”

    Dudley is the personnel guy in Carolina. He is pretty competent. Waddell is a Tambellini type. As long as he lets qualified personnel people do their jobs, Carolina should be fine

  8. HiddenDarts says:

    flyfish1168:
    I’m going through withdrawal and entering DTs now. No hockey for one evening is bad enough but 2.

    +1000

  9. JimmyV1965 says:

    smellyglove:
    Rod Brind’Amour hired as head coach of Hurricanes, Don Waddell named GM

    Brind’Amour has never served as a HC anywhere. Thoughts?

    For an NHL owner who promised a different way of doing business, this looks like a page ripped out of the Oiler playbook.

  10. Dustylegnd says:

    JimmyV1965: For an NHL owner who promised a different way of doing business, this looks like a page ripped out of the Oiler playbook.

    The difference being this guy seems to be very upfront bout the fact that he is going to be very involved in hockey ops and decision making and doesn’t hide behind a puppet regime reminiscent of the 2 old bustards sitting in the balcony on the “Muppet Show”

  11. Ribs says:

    The Raptors brilliant season met a sudden end and it sounds like head coach Dwane Casey may not return.

    I admittedly don’t follow the team all that closely, but this sounds like an insane thing to do. No?

    https://www.tsn.ca/casey-named-2018-nbca-coach-of-the-year-1.1080330

  12. 36 percent body fat says:

    Marody to Rattie on that list cost nothing. Yet Benson at the bottom cost a high second round. Chia drafting has actually been good. They need to cut this cord with edmonton oil kings and edmonton born players, as well as alumni children.

    Musil, Reinhart, Benson, Moroz, so many second round picks wasted.

  13. JJS says:

    The big shot from the point continues to be successful at most levels of hockey but it really isn’t as effective in the NHL.

    Players are now fully committed to filling the shooting lane – including the defender standing in front of his mark.

    While I like the idea of having that threat on the ice, it seems the off-wing shooter is the more critical piece.

    My suspicion is a decent blue line shooter and an excellent off-wing shooter is what unlocks McD on the PP.

  14. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    JimmyV1965: For an NHL owner who promised a different way of doing business, this looks like a page ripped out of the Oiler playbook.

    Oilers been doing “different” for a lot of years now…

  15. Westchester Oil says:

    36 percent body fat:
    Marody to Rattie on that list cost nothing.Yet Benson at the bottom cost a high second round.Chia drafting has actually been good.They need to cut this cord with edmonton oil kings and edmonton born players, as well as alumni children.

    Musil, Reinhart, Benson, Moroz,so many second round picks wasted.

    Looking at the list of prospects by NHLE, should we be depressed that Benson, picked in the 2nd round (ahead of Debrincat) two years ago is below 30 NHLE or should we be happy that Maksimov picked in the 5th (4th??) round last year is at 34 NHLE?

  16. Oilman99 says:

    36 percent body fat:
    Marody to Rattie on that list cost nothing.Yet Benson at the bottom cost a high second round.Chia drafting has actually been good.They need to cut this cord with edmonton oil kings and edmonton born players, as well as alumni children.

    Musil, Reinhart, Benson, Moroz,so many second round picks wasted.

    Do not put Benson in this group, the guy has a big upside the other guys didn’t have. We will see the benefits in the next couple of years.

  17. Oilman99 says:

    LT glad to see you with same opinion that I have that it is of utmost importance to find atleast one top six winger,rather than over spending on a big bucks d- man. The defence can cope if they have capable wingers to play with.

  18. Oilman99 says:

    Westchester Oil: Looking at the list of prospects by NHLE, should we be depressed that Benson, picked in the 2nd round (ahead of Debrincat) two years ago is below 30 NHLE or should we be happy that Maksimov picked in the 5th (4th??) round last year is at 34 NHLE?

    Please note that the Oilers weren’t the only team to pass over Debrincat.

  19. ArmchairGM says:

    Westchester Oil: Looking at the list of prospects by NHLE, should we be depressed that Benson, picked in the 2nd round (ahead of Debrincat) two years ago is below 30 NHLE or should we be happy that Maksimov picked in the 5th (4th??) round last year is at 34 NHLE?

    Maksimov has exceeded everybody’s expectations, no question. For that I am very happy.

  20. jtblack says:

    PULOCK:

    21 – 5×5 Points. 12 PP.

    32 Pts ranks 46rh among D men. Only played 68 games. Pro rated over 82 games on pace for 37 points which climbs to Top 30 among D men and compares with 2018 seasons of Manson Myers Parayko Ekblad aschmidt Giorodano Werenski.

    Not sure how much he gave up at 5×5.

    Also is he really avail? its not likenthe Isles are flush at RHD.

  21. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Ribs: I admittedly don’t follow the team all that closely, but this sounds like an insane thing to do. No?

    https://www.tsn.ca/casey-named-2018-nbca-coach-of-the-year-1.1080330

    – It’s actually a really interesting dynamic going on, and how the organization handles the off-season is going to be fascinating for the Raptors. There are some parallels to the Oil

    – Raptors were the best team in the conference, top-5 D and Offence. Great bench. Best season ever. Coach did a great job. Consensus was: “raptors are way better than before, LeBron is a year older, and they are worse”

    – They are I believe the only 1st seed to lose 4-straight in professional sport in 50 years

    – Lots of people say fire Casey. Or they say GM did a bad job with some of the signing. Or they say: Demar and Lowry chocked.

    – The Raptors best case scenario this year was to get blown out in the final.

    – How good could the Raptors be with a different coach? If their best players stepped up this round, or if GM instead of Ibaka or Powell actually brought in useful players

    – Anyway Casey came across with a lot of respect. The NBA is so much more TV friendly I think: in terms of interviews with press, Coach and GM, etc…

    – These are all the same questions we have with the Oil.

    – If next year for instance, Oil won the East and got blown out in 2nd round: there is no doubt the consensus would be that Coach has to be fired. In fact only the semi’s + save Coach IMO next year

    – I bet Casey survives, and as an organization players, coaching & management work to get better. That’s what a good organization does: believes, evaluates, tweaks. Compare on contrast to the OIL. The in-fighting is exhausting internally here…

    – And if Casey does not survive, the most likely candidate, Stackhouse, has worked for the team for a number of years, and is a a merit-based new head-coach who put in his time.

  22. stephen sheps says:

    Ryan Pulock is a player who I suppose is worth looking into, though I am not as high on him as many seem to be. His underlying numbers are strong considering he’s only played one full NHL season, but I’d be interested to see what the Woodmoney machine says about him in terms of QoC. For those interested, his individual numbers are here: https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?season=20172018&stype=2&sit=all&stdoi=std&rate=n&v=p&playerid=8477506

    The problem beyond the fact that he’s unlikely to be available is that he plays for the Islanders. I don’t trust the current management to be able to make a deal with Snow that works to the advantage of the Oilers, let alone even a good hockey trade.

  23. ArmchairGM says:

    jtblack:
    PULOCK:

    21 –5×5 Points.12 PP.

    32 Pts ranks 46rh among D men.Only played 68 games. Pro rated over 82 games on pace for 37 points which climbs to Top 30 among D men and compares with 2018 seasons of Manson Myers Parayko Ekblad aschmidt Giorodano Werenski.

    Not sure how much he gave up at 5×5.

    Also is he really avail?its not likenthe Isles are flush at RHD.

    All his 5v5 “share” numbers (CF%, FF%, SCF% etc) are slightly negative except GF%. His PDO is about average… one interesting item is his OZS%: 47.56. So he wasn’t getting a push offensively.

  24. jtblack says:

    ArmchairGM: All his 5v5 “share” numbers (CF%, FF%, SCF% etc) are slightly negative except GF%. His PDO is about average… one interesting item is his OZS%: 47.56. So he wasn’t getting a push offensively.

    He def seems solid. dont know how he skates, and QofC will matter a bunch.

    He definitely has some offesnive upside.

  25. Rafa Nadal says:

    Why are we suggesting Ryan Pulock? Even if the math shows he’s a decent D man, the fact that he plays for a team managed by Garth Snow means we have to hope and pray that Chiarelli doesn’t pick up the phone to even inquire about this player.

  26. jtblack says:

    Rafa Nadal:
    Why are we suggesting Ryan Pulock? Even if the math shows he’s a decent D man, the fact that he plays for a team managed by Garth Snow means we have to hope and pray that Chiarelli doesn’t pick up the phone to even inquire about this player.

    “Hi Garth How about #10OV, Benning & JP. “

  27. Ribs says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – If next year for instance, Oil won the East and got blown out in 2nd round: there is no doubt the consensus would be that Coach has to be fired. In fact only the semi’s + save Coach IMO next year

    Hmm… I’m not sure I would be advocating a change, myself.

    Interesting stuff. Thanks!

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve been on the “sign Vesel” train for a while now – posted that on this blog numerous times – obliviously I’m happy.

    He remains a distant bell to ever really have an NHL career but you never know. More imminently, he’s got talent and will further propagate the influx of offensive talent, real prospect talent, in to Bakersfield next year.

    Who knows if they will win more games (if they do play the kids, there could be 2-way struggles) but it should be a fun team to follow.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    With respect, I’m not sure how you can make the following statement:

    “The No. 2 right-winger is a bigger need than replacing Kris Russell as No. 2 RD. That’s a fact.”

    That is 100% an opinion and not a fact – there are valid arguments against it. I am surprised that you would state this opinion as fact.

    To me, the 2RD is the biggest hole on the team. We saw last year that the Oilers were the worst team in the league in transitioning the puck up to the forward. They are so slow to move the puck up, in my opinion, it absolutely cratered the offence more than the top 6 wingers did.

    Of course, if Klefbom, Sekera and Larsson are all healthy (and not bereaved), it will help the transition game but we know that Russell is a black hole there on the right side in the top 4 and having him play top 4 minutes on the right side is a huge issue for this team – it needs to stop and that position needs to be filled with a player than can transition the puck.

  30. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – On a seperate note: LT won’t next years’ farm team be the Oil’s most successful ever?

    – By successful, I mean # of players actually drafted by the Oil (or college signed or trades) that have made it to the AHL, and they are still possible NHL players (i.e. under 22), non-lottery picks

    – It has to be our best showing ever of actual prospects that will be in the AHL: Bear, Jones, Mantha, Lagesson, Samourkov, Benson, Kailer, Safin, Cooper, Vesel, Hebig, add at least one G.

    – That’s min. 12 players who aren’t bums, and not yet suspects, moving through the system.

    – When’s the last time we’ve had 12 guys in the AHL that have been picked/signed by the Oil, and to different degrees have potential paths to the NHL?

    – Not many will make it, but surely LT: have we had more Oil developed prospects in the AHL?

  31. ArmchairGM says:

    jtblack: He def seems solid. dont know how he skates, and QofC will matter a bunch.

    He definitely has some offesnive upside.

    http://sportsforecaster.com/nhl/player/9983

    “does not have great skating ability”

  32. who says:

    Watching OEL with Larsson at WC’s I’d be tempted to offer Klefbom and 2019 1st if there is an agreement on an extension for 7 to 8 million per year. The man can play hockey.
    Would solve the powerplay quarterback issue and I don’t think Klefbom ever gets to that level. I think he’s only 2 years older as well.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – On a seperate note: LT won’t next years’ farm team be the Oil’s most successful ever?

    – By successful, I mean # of players actually drafted by the Oil (or college signed or trades)that have made it to the AHL, and they are still possible NHL players (i.e. under 22), non-lottery picks

    – It has to be our best showing ever of actual prospects that will be in the AHL:Bear, Jones, Mantha, Lagesson,Samourkov, Benson, Kailer, Safin, Cooper, Vesel, Hebig, add at least one G.

    – That’s min. 12 players who aren’t bums, and not yet suspects, moving through the system.

    – When’s the last time we’ve had 12 guys in the AHL that have been picked/signed by the Oil, and to different degrees have potential paths to the NHL?

    – Not many will make it, but surely LT: have we had more Oil developed prospects in the AHL?

    Oilers have had some great teams in this area. 1980-81 Wichita Wind housed Andy Moog, Walt Poddubny, Ken Berry, Jim Crosson, Blair Barnes, Gord Stafford (all 20); Charlie Huddy, Mike Toal, Gord Garbutt, Cal Roadhouse (all 21); Paul Messier, Mike Forbes, Mike Dwyer, Tom Roulston, Brad Knelson (all 22).

    Some good names in there, there are 15 names.

  34. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    … but we know that Russell is a black hole there on the right side in the top 4 and having him play top 4 minutes on the right side is a huge issue for this team…

    I disagree. Having Russell on the right side is less than ideal, and while he was a slight drag on his LD partners he wasn’t a “black hole”.

    In 400+ minutes with Nurse, Russell’s CF%, FF%, SF% and GF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (47.4% and 51.5% range), with 48% OZ starts.

    In 200+ minutes with Klefbom, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.5% and 54% range), with 45% OZ starts (seriously, TMac??). GF% was poor at 36.84% and PDO was a horrible 0.941.

    In 170+ minutes (small sample) with Sekera, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.3% and 50.5% range), with 54% OZ starts. GF% was poor at 27.27% and PDO was a horrible 0.941. FYI, Sekera’s GF% was worse without Russell, so I think he was dragging Russell down, not the other way round.

  35. dustrock says:

    Is Spurgeon a possible target? 2 years left at $5.187m but I feel like he’s a guy who has been undervalued for years and though I doubt Minnesota wants to get rid of him, they’re in a bit of a tight spot and have to sign RFA Dumba.

  36. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide: Oilers have had some great teams in this area. 1980-81 Wichita Wind housed Andy Moog, Walt Poddubny, Ken Berry, Jim Crosson, Blair Barnes, Gord Stafford (all 20); Charlie Huddy, Mike Toal, Gord Garbutt, Cal Roadhouse (all 21); Paul Messier,Mike Forbes, Mike Dwyer, Tom Roulston, Brad Knelson (all 22).

    Some good names in there, there are 15 names.

    – Interesting: anyway, if 15 was the outermarker at the dawn of the Glory days, and we are at a dozen-ish right now, I suspect there haven’t been many years from 1981-2018 where our farm has 12+ guys that are actual Oil-picked, or Oil-developed prospects in the minors, with at least a chance

    – And in the last 10 years: never more than 6-8 non-lottery under 22’s on our farm I suspect (if that)

    – The link to my Raptors bit was that Stackhouse has done a great job with the 416: much of our fabled bench (best in league), spent time in that development league

  37. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    With respect, I’m not sure how you can make the following statement:

    “The No. 2 right-winger is a bigger need than replacing Kris Russell as No. 2 RD. That’s a fact.”

    That is 100% an opinion and not a fact – there are valid arguments against it.I am surprised that you would state this opinion as fact.

    To me, the 2RD is the biggest hole on the team. We saw last year that the Oilers were the worst team in the league in transitioning the puck up to the forward.They are so slow to move the puck up, in my opinion, it absolutely cratered the offence more than the top 6 wingers did.

    Of course, if Klefbom, Sekera and Larsson are all healthy (and not bereaved), it will help the transition game but we know that Russell is a black hole there on the right side in the top 4 and having him play top 4 minutes on the right side is a huge issue for this team – it needs to stop and that position needs to be filled with a player than can transition the puck.

    Hmm. Russell is a below average 2RHD, and you’d want to get the handedness figured out. On the other side of the ledger, we have Pontus Aberg. I’m going to stick with my original wording, although I do acknowledge it was baiting (as I sometimes do in my posts to get a reaction).

  38. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Interesting: anyway, if 15 was the outermarker at the dawn of the Glory days, and we are at a dozen-ish right now, I suspect there haven’t been many years from 1981-2018 where our farm has 12+ guys that are actual Oil-picked, or Oil-developed prospects in the minors, with at least a chance

    – And in the last 10 years: never more than 6-8 non-lottery under 22’s on our farm I suspect (if that)

    – The link to my Raptors bit was that Stackhouse has done a great job with the 416: much of our fabled bench (best in league), spent time in that development league

    The 1991-92 Cape Breton Oilers:

    20: Martin Rucinsky, Steve Rice, Richard Borgo, Louie DeBrusk, Jason Soules, Collin Bauer, Scott Thornton.
    21: Trevor Sim, Francois Leroux, Chris Joseph, Craig Fisher
    22: Brad Werenka, Peter Soberlak, Peter Ing

    That’s 14.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Dudley is the personnel guy in Carolina.He is pretty competent. Waddell is a Tambellini type.As long as he lets qualified personnel people do their jobs,Carolina should be fine

    Wait, haven’t you been absolutely express on how terrible a decision it has been to appoint Woodcroft the head coach of the AHL affiliate because he’s never been a head coach anywhere and should pay his dues as a heady coach in the CHL and ECHL first?

    Here, Carolina should be fine naming a player who has never been a head coach as the head coach of their NHL team………………………..

  40. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide,

    – Something to write about? A lot of us would be curious to know what is a “good” farm, just in terms of internal picks plying their trades.

    – The two teams you mention with 14 and 15. You’d think that in a well run organziation you’d have a min. of 10 drafted players in the AHL, that still have a chance. say 3-4 players per year that are moving up the system, etc. I’m sure for years we have not been anywhere near that…

    – 12, next year, I think is a pretty decent number vs historical norms, but I’m just going off top of head, no real research into it.: thats why they pay you the big bucks to write about!

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – It has to be our best showing ever of actual prospects that will be in the AHL:Bear, Jones, Mantha, Lagesson,Samourkov, Benson, Kailer, Safin, Cooper, Vesel, Hebig, add at least one G.

    Not to nitpick but Samorukov will be back in Guelph next year.

    Safin, while eligible to play in the AHL as a teenager (and his contract would slide) may or may not be in the AHL. I really have no idea if the organization plans on having him turn pro or spend another season in the Q.

  42. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wait, haven’t you been absolutely express on how terrible a decision it has been to appoint Woodcroft the head coach of the AHL affiliate because he’s never been a head coach anywhere and should pay his dues as a heady coach in the CHL and ECHL first?

    Here, Carolina should be fine naming a player who has never been a head coach as the head coach of their NHL team………………………..

    Glad I’m not the only one who saw that too.. lol

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: I disagree. Having Russell on the right side is less than ideal, and while he was a slight drag on his LD partners he wasn’t a “black hole”.

    In 400+ minutes with Nurse, Russell’s CF%, FF%, SF% and GF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (47.4% and 51.5% range), with 48% OZ starts.

    In 200+ minutes with Klefbom, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.5% and 54% range), with 45% OZ starts (seriously, TMac??). GF% was poor at 36.84% and PDO was a horrible 0.941.

    In 170+ minutes (small sample) with Sekera, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.3% and 50.5% range), with 54% OZ starts. GF% was poor at 27.27% and PDO was a horrible 0.941. FYI, Sekera’s GF% was worse without Russell, so I think he was dragging Russell down, not the other way round.

    With my eyes, I see him not able to transition the puck to the forwards – I see him as a black hole in that regard. The biggest issue with the team is inability to transition the puck to the forwards and having Kris play top 4 minutes on the right side is a material part of that.

    I like Kris and, contract aside, there is a role for him on this team, however the right side in the top 4 is not it, in my opinion.

  44. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wait, haven’t you been absolutely express on how terrible a decision it has been to appoint Woodcroft the head coach of the AHL affiliate because he’s never been a head coach anywhere and should pay his dues as a heady coach in the CHL and ECHL first?

    Here, Carolina should be fine naming a player who has never been a head coach as the head coach of their NHL team………………………..

    I was responding to a question that was explicitly about Waddell and the GM posiition only. I have said nothing at all about their coaching choice.

  45. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar: With my eyes, I see him not able to transition the puck to the forwards – I see him as a black hole in that regard. The biggest issue with the team is inability to transition the puck to the forwards and having Kris play top 4 minutes on the right side is a material part of that.

    I like Kris and, contract aside, there is a role for him on this team, however the right side in the top 4 is not it, in my opinion.

    +1. Benning, Bear, Russell. None are worthy of 2RHD on a playoff team.

    They are all #3’s or less

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Vlasic added to the Team Canada roster – that won’t be good for Nuse’s ice time.

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not to nitpick but Samorukov will be back in Guelph next year.

    Safin, while eligible to play in the AHL as a teenager (and his contract would slide) may or may not be in the AHL.I really have no idea if the organization plans on having him turn pro or spend another season in the Q.

    – Again, I’m not sure if the number is 10 or 12, but certainly a lot higher. My point wasn’t to be exactly right on each name. Go ahead and nitpick away, that was not the point.

    10+ drafted/developed/signed under 22’s that have paths to NHL that aren’t old/busted vets:
    1) Bear
    2) Jones
    3) Mantha
    4) Lagesson
    5) Vesel
    6) Marody
    7) Benson
    8) Kailer (unless he goes right to NHL, but probably plays games in AHL)
    9) Hebig
    10) Larkin (not sure if he’s a real prospect)
    11) At least on goalie (Skinner?)
    12) Safin
    13) Samorukov
    14) Polei

    – You just ticked me off by the nit-pick comment. So there is 14 guys, I’m sure I forgot some. Thanks for making me do that.

    – Guys like Platzer/Russel after their 2-3 year stint, they move to the suspects list

    – Pretty confident that this is the most amount of prospects (including/excluding/forgetting) we’ve had in a long time in the AHL. That was the point: wanted to know if my gut was right.

    LT has a 14 and 15 from 20 and 30 years ago…

  48. stevebergeron97 says:

    Just curious how far Merkley will fall this year? I can’t stop watching highlights of him running a PP. I know everyone is concerned with his “character” issues off the ice, and his play in the defensive zone. How can you pass up an elite offensive talent like that?

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: With my eyes, I see him not able to transition the puck to the forwards – I see him as a black hole in that regard. The biggest issue with the team is inability to transition the puck to the forwards and having Kris play top 4 minutes on the right side is a material part of that.

    I like Kris and, contract aside, there is a role for him on this team, however the right side in the top 4 is not it, in my opinion.

    I didn’t say 2RD was his ideal role, I don’t think so at all. Just that he’s NOT a black hole there (major defensive liability), and his replacement isn’t the most pressing need on the roster this summer. That’s all.

  50. Wilde says:

    ArmchairGM: I disagree. Having Russell on the right side is less than ideal, and while he was a slight drag on his LD partners he wasn’t a “black hole”.

    In 400+ minutes with Nurse, Russell’s CF%, FF%, SF% and GF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (47.4% and 51.5% range), with 48% OZ starts.

    In 200+ minutes with Klefbom, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.5% and 54% range), with 45% OZ starts (seriously, TMac??). GF% was poor at 36.84% and PDO was a horrible 0.941.

    In 170+ minutes (small sample) with Sekera, Russell’s CF%, FF%, and SF% all were within spitting distance of breakeven (48.3% and 50.5% range), with 54% OZ starts. GF% was poor at 27.27% and PDO was a horrible 0.941. FYI, Sekera’s GF% was worse without Russell, so I think he was dragging Russell down, not the other way round.

    Without commenting on Russell, I’d like to note that 3% Corsi spreads are absolutely not spitting distance, that’s a significant number.

    Now to comment on the D corps, I’m of the opinion(and have been since midway through the season) that the forward group is the area I’d expend the most resources, both at the NHL and AHL level, for a number of reasons:

    – The forward group, especially wingers, is bottom of the league

    – The D group is closer to average

    – It costs infinitely more for a top 4 RHD than it does for a winger for Drai and insurance for Yammer

    I would rather run this:

    Nuge – McDavid – Sprong

    Zykov – Draisaitl – Pulujarvi

    Lucic – Khaira – Strome

    Aberg – Rodrigues – Rattie

    Klefbom – Larsson

    Nurse – Benning

    Sekera – Russell

    And draft Joel Farabee than expend the #10, Pulju, or Klefbom.

    You pray for health here, but I think this works.

  51. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I appreciated OP’s correction, as I usually do, and don’t think it took away from your point or was overly nitpicky.

    Bit of an overreaction, we’re all Oilers nerds here, and the details matter

  52. Cassandra says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    That is a lot of prospects, but it isn’t a lot of actual prospects.

    The only one on that list who is in the top 100 of prospects is Yamamoto.

    So how many of those 14 or 15 count depends upon how loose a definition of prospect you employ.

    By your telling it seems like the Oilers have a good farm system, but the lack of high end prospects means that by most outside accounts the Oilers have one of the worst.

  53. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde: Without commenting on Russell, I’d like to note that 3% Corsi spreads are absolutely not spitting distance, that’s a significant number.

    FYI Corsi is not negative by 3% on any of those scenarios:

    Nurse: 48.21%
    Klefbom: 49.19%
    Sekera: 50.51%

  54. Cassandra says:

    Which is another way of saying that none of these guys really matter.

    The Oilers need Puljujarvi to turn into Marian Hossa or at least Jeri Lehtinen, and they need Yamamoto to turn into Brayden Point.

  55. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Cassandra:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    That is a lot of prospects, but it isn’t a lot of actual prospects.

    The only one on that list who is in the top 100 of prospects is Yamamoto.

    So how many of those 14 or 15 count depends upon how loose a definition of prospect you employ.

    By your telling it seems like the Oilers have a good farm system, but the lack of high end prospects means that by most outside accounts the Oilers have one of the worst.

    – Man am I in a foul mood. First OP ticked me off (which was for sure my fault, and Wilde was right to call me out), then this.

    – Of course it’s a loose definition. But so is a silly top-100 prospects list to hyang your hat on.

    – We get lottery-picks who play in the NHL, that aren’t prospects. We don’t pick outside of the lottery

    – Next year is the first time we have a AHL team that has a lot of Oil drafted/selected players. And that very few of them will make it. And that compared to the last many years, this is the first time we have AHL team with many of our own prospects. And this is the most successful farm team we’ve had in years by that measure.

    – We clearly don’t have a good farm system historically.

    – Did I say we had a good farm system? I merely said its the first time in a long time we’ve had one with actual prospects.

    – Getting some non-first round picks to move to the NHL, that would be the hope when you have 12-15 of them in the AHL.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    14) Polei

    Whoa – no need to be ticked off.

    I thought maybe you thought Samorukov was eligible for the AHL next year so I was just providing information – information is good.

    I think you are inferring something from my post that was not implied.

  57. ohhell says:

    Cassandra,

    I believe Kinger’s point was that the farm system appears to be turning around, not that the Oiler’s have “a good farm system”. My gut is aligned with Kinger on this one.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: I didn’t say 2RD was his ideal role, I don’t think so at all. Just that he’s NOT a black hole there (major defensive liability), and his replacement isn’t the most pressing need on the roster this summer. That’s all.

    I’m not saying that he’s a major liability either but he’s a black hole for the transition game – the ability to move the puck up the ice quickly and efficiently. I believe the inability to do this, as a group, as a team, was a major factor in the disappointing season last year and, for the good that Russell does, he is very poor in this area when playing 2RD.

    In my opinion, it should be the priority for the team this off-season.

    You can disagree and that’s fine – that’s my opinion though.

    I would love to grab a top 6 winger as well but we don’t have cap space for it and the top 6 winger positions should be able to be filled within the next few years with cheap internal options (helped by having elite centers to play with).

  59. Jaxon says:

    As I see it, there is a full line that might be ready to push/challenge for a spot.

    Benson – Marody – Yamamoto
    Jones – Bear

    Nice to see.

  60. Wonder Llama says:

    IMO the first thing in training camp the coaching staff should find out who among Sekera, Nurse, or Klefbom is most comfortable and effective playing on the right side.

    Russell can play 3LD. I’d anticipate:

    Klefbom – Llarsson
    Nurse – Sekera
    Russel – Benning

    I just don’t think there is cap room to do much back there. Maybe pick up some cheap depth. If PC can trade Klefbom for the equivalent RHD with as nice a contract, fine. I’ve llittle to no faith in that scenario, though.

    We wait for Bear, Jones, et al.

  61. --hudson-- says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Thank you for this series of posts! It made me think of conversion rates in a sales funnel…

    You would think there should be more drafted players by a club on their AHL team than their NHL team. Some players drop out of the funnel, not making the cut from amateur hockey to the farm team. Then players who are adequate in the AHL will further drop out of the funnel, not making the cut from the AHL to the NHL. However the Oilers, probably for over a decade, have had more drafted players on the NHL team.

    As LT often points out, the impact players tend to skip from amateur to the NHL so this clouds the numbers. The average NHL career may also be longer than the average AHL career, players who have their ELC expire may move on to other pro leagues to make bigger $. It would be interesting to go through all of the teams with an AHL affiliate and see how they compare (even without getting into the quality of the prospects).

    Maybe later in the summer I will take a run at this.

  62. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: Whoa – no need to be ticked off.

    I thought maybe you thought Samorukov was eligible for the AHL next year so I was just providing information – information is good.

    I think you are inferring something from my post that was not implied.

    – yeah yeah! my bad…

    – Samorukov played a few games at end of season in AHL, so I added him to the list: I wasn’t making definitive proclamations on who the potential 12+ were, I just put down off top of head names of non-lottery pick players who could be on AHL team, and come up with 12+

  63. flea says:

    Hey LT,

    If this isn’t allowed feel free to remove it.

    A friend of mine and his wife were both killed in a motorcycle collision on the weekend. They have left behind two young children ages 3 & 6. He was a big Oilers fan, and it’s really a tragic situation. The kids are moving in with family, but they are trying to raise money to help out. If you can help out at all, here is the GoFundMe.

    https://www.gofundme.com/arielleampliam

  64. Munny says:

    flea,

    Jesus H.

    Will send something their way.

    Heaps of condolences.

  65. Munny says:

    Pretty ominous song choice, LT.

    I’m guessing that’s more about the draft hole than Vesel.

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

    So it seems the Oilers and Flames have indeed decided not to do Penticton this year, allegedly because they thought the tournament should rotate into Red Deer.

    This ignores that Penticton is almost halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, and that many Albertans vacation in Penticton, which has a nice resort feel to it that is less pronounced in Red Deer.

    Penticton will now consist of the Canucks, U of A, UBC and the Jets, who evidently would rather go to the Okanagan than the rival tournament put on by Calgary and Edmonton.

    Rumours about this were swirling a few months back. But what a shame. I really think this is a myopic mistake by the Alberta organizations that fails to consider what their fans really want.

    I flew up from Tucson to Penticton for Young Stars 2 years ago and loved it. Was considering flying from Tokyo this year or next as well. But I won’t be doing that now. But I am just a 2nd tier fan.

    PS. My source is an organizer of the tournament.

  67. Munny says:

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

    Having also travelled to Penticton for the YS Tournament, this is indeed disappointing. Does the European start play into the decision at all, maybe?

  68. VOR says:

    flea:
    Hey LT,

    If this isn’t allowed feel free to remove it.

    A friend of mine and his wife were both killed in a motorcycle collision on the weekend. They have left behind two young children ages 3 & 6. He was a big Oilers fan, and it’s really a tragic situation. The kids are moving in with family, but they are trying to raise money to help out. If you can help out at all, here is the GoFundMe.

    https://www.gofundme.com/arielleampliam

    Flea,

    That is gut wrenchingly tragic. Your friends sound like great people. My condolences.

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

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

    Having also travelled to Penticton for the YS Tournament, this is indeed disappointing. Does the European start play into the decision at all, maybe?

    If it does, it did not influence Winnipeg.

  70. pts2pndr says:

    Cassandra,

    Cassandra:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    That is a lot of prospects, but it isn’t a lot of actual prospects.

    The only one on that list who is in the top 100 of prospects is Yamamoto.

    So how many of those 14 or 15 count depends upon how loose a definition of prospect you employ.

    By your telling it seems like the Oilers have a good farm system, but the lack of high end prospects means that by most outside accounts the Oilers have one of the worst.

    The main stream media has had an anti-oiler bias for a lengthy period of time. This is the same group of people that raved over a certain Marlie coach when MacT brought him in as head coach. I am so angry with their bias that I regularily mute them! If they are your informed source it might be prudent to remember many of them are legends in their own mind!

  71. Rocknrolla says:

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

    JUST BRUTAL!

    My brother and I have done this as a boys trip the last 4 years in a row…such a great time, and very reasonable price wise. Another great OEG decision!

    So are they doing it in red deer with just Calgary and Edmonton?

  72. Wilde says:

    pts2pndr,

    How have you determined that the top 100 prospects list referenced is both A) from the mainstream media and B) anti-Oiler? Are you familiar with the article or the author?

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

    Rocknrolla: JUST BRUTAL!

    My brother and I have done this as a boys trip the last 4 years in a row…such a great time, and very reasonable price wise.Another great OEG decision!

    So are they doing it in red deer with just Calgary and Edmonton?

    Dunno if they are going to do one or not this year. Calgary going to China and Oilers to Europe, as Munny pointed out.

    But the Alberta teams, especially Calgary, have been trying to have the tournament location rotate into Alberta for years.

  74. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    Pretty ominous song choice, LT.

    I’m guessing that’s more about the draft hole than Vesel.

    I’m astounded anyone found it. Seriously.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Flea, no worries. Very sad story, good that people are helping.

  76. LMHF#1 says:

    Interesting seeing the Brindamour talk earlier today.

    The Yankees didn’t bring back Joe Girardi after being one game from the WS. Aaron Boone had never been a manager before. Both decisions looking rather good so far. And the logic letting Girardi go was sound.

    I can only imagine the howls around here if the Oilers did something similar. Instead stagnancy and mediocrity gets defended to the death by the org, commentators and many posters as well.

  77. McSorley33 says:

    Oilman99,

    Please note the Oilers have been one of the worst teams in the NHL.

    Random chance or gross mismanagement?

    Some McDavid fellow had some really, really interesting things to say about Alex.

    But, Oiler management knows better, right?

  78. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I am on your page….good post.

    Our D transition was/is a nightmare……

    A puck moving RD unlocks Connor and Drai….

  79. LMHF#1 says:

    McSorley33:
    Oilman99,

    Please note the Oilers have been one of the worst teams in the NHL.

    Random chance or gross mismanagement?

    Some McDavid fellow had some really, really interesting things to say about Alex.

    But, Oiler management knows better, right?

    Another firing offence racked up with no accountability.

    If McDavid said anything other than “I hate him – don’t pick him.” The pick was obvious. With an endorsement not taking him was utter madness and is only getting worse.

  80. Scungilli Slushy says:

    McSorley33:
    Oilman99,

    Please note the Oilers have been one of the worst teams in the NHL.

    Random chance or gross mismanagement?

    Some McDavid fellow had some really, really interesting things to say about Alex.

    But, Oiler management knows better, right?

    I didn’t see this, when?

  81. VOR says:

    stevebergeron97:
    Just curious how far Merkley will fall this year? I can’t stop watching highlights of him running a PP. I know everyone is concerned with his “character” issues off the ice, and his play in the defensive zone. How can you pass up an elite offensive talent like that?

    Most mock drafts, prospect rankings, and talking heads have him going from 20-31. The highest I have read is 11 and the lowest is 42. If I recall correctly the 11 is from Bob MacKenzie.

    The kid is carrying serious baggage. And a lot of that baggage is unsourced gossip.

    What we know is this:

    -Ryan Merkley is a truly extraordinary skater. He and Dahlen share an ability to float across the ice at incredible speeds.

    -Ryan Merkley is virtually impossible to forecheck. He can skate the puck out but is an incredible passer. This is not a kid who has ever heard of off the glass and out. (Actually this is one of many things he has “fought” with his coaches about. They think he forces offence rather than making the simple play). In any case he can execute the home run, breakaway-creating pass with ease.

    -Ryan Merkley can quarterback a power play like nobody else in this draft, probably in a number of drafts. He dances down the blue line like Nick Lidstrom changing angles at astonishing speed. He possesses a plus shot, or rather a bunch of them, slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot, change of pace knuckler, he has a range of weapons and tricky releases for all of them. But mostly he sees the open man before the man comes open and can thread a pass through the eye of a needle.

    There is a consensus among scouts I’ve talked with (and a number have said this publicly) that he thinks the game better than anybody but Dahlen and possibly than Dahlen.

    The comparable used is usually Ryan Ellis. And then the scouts pause and say, “except Merley is a better skater”. Then they add. “He also thinks the game better.”

    High praise indeed.

    So a top ten pick at least.

    If it wasn’t for the defence thing. How high Merkley will go will depend which narrative you choose to believe best explains his atrocious defensive performance.

    Option 1. As well as he thinks the game on offence he has just never learned how to play defence. His coach says Merkley is working hard on it and getting better.

    Option 2. Merkley thinks the game on defence every bit as well as on offence but just doesn’t give a shit about even trying to play defence. In fact, the kid has a shitty work ethic all over the ice, it is just worst when he doesn’t have the puck.

    If you believe the first option Merkley is probably a top ten pick. If you believe the second he is likely a mid second round project.

    Then we get to the baggage part of the equation. We know the kid has a very thin skin. He gets hooked and slashed a lot. Shades of Connor McDavid for some of the same reasons. But he is undisciplined and retaliates and those retaliatory penalties are getting more obvious and more vicious. It culminated in a two handed hatchet job that was an very obvious attempt to injure.

    Next we have scouts, normally as tight lipped a group as you will ever meet, saying in public that the kid comes across as temperamental and very high maintenance.

    Then there is the unsourced shit, like that he has come to blows with two different teammates, that in fact his teammates very actively dislike him. Plus there are stories of him refusing to talk to or even listen to his coach. And I could go on and on.

    The thing is there is no over arching narrative that explains the on and off ice behaviour.

    Hockey culture has a well earned reputation for being tough on outliers. And Ryan Merkley is temperamental, thin skinned, super smart, and incredibly gifted. And whatever else we can say it seems certain Ryan Merkley is the silent stoic heroic figure hockey culture idolizes.

    I am betting he falls far further than the end of the first round. Yes it only takes 1 team to be prepared to take a chance. I am just guessing that none does.

  82. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    So it seems the Oilers and Flames have indeed decided not to do Penticton this year, allegedly because they thought the tournament should rotate into Red Deer.

    This ignores that Penticton is almost halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, and that many Albertans vacation in Penticton, which has a nice resort feel to it that is less pronounced in Red Deer.

    Penticton will now consist of the Canucks, U of A, UBC and the Jets, who evidently would rather go to the Okanagan than the rival tournament put on by Calgary and Edmonton.

    Rumours about this were swirling a few months back. But what a shame. I really think this is a myopic mistake by the Alberta organizations that fails to consider what their fans really want.

    I flew up from Tucson to Penticton for Young Stars 2 years ago and loved it. Was considering flying from Tokyo this year or next as well. But I won’t be doing that now. But I am just a 2nd tier fan.

    PS. My source is an organizer of the tournament.

    Just pulling at straws here, but do you think that the whole Trans-Mountain pipeline issue has influenced their decision in any way?

  83. jtblack says:

    flea,

    Sorry to hear Flea.

  84. who says:

    Wonder Llama:
    IMO the first thing in training camp the coaching staff should find out who among Sekera, Nurse, or Klefbom is most comfortable and effective playing on the right side.

    Russell can play 3LD. I’d anticipate:

    Klefbom – Llarsson
    Nurse – Sekera
    Russel – Benning

    I just don’t think there is cap room to do much back there. Maybe pick up some cheap depth. If PC can trade Klefbom for the equivalent RHD with as nice a contract, fine. I’ve llittle to no faith in that scenario, though.

    We wait for Bear, Jones, et al.

    I agree. On everything above.

  85. JimmyV1965 says:

    McSorley33:
    Oilman99,

    Please note the Oilers have been one of the worst teams in the NHL.

    Random chance or gross mismanagement?

    Some McDavid fellow had some really, really interesting things to say about Alex.

    But, Oiler management knows better, right?

    Alex who? And what did McDavid say)

  86. rickithebear says:

    Adam Larson playing 1 sr comp min took NJD to a cup final.
    Adam Larson playing 1st comp min got oilers to playoffs since 05-06
    When Spacek was our HD anchor.

    In 16-17 Sekera – Russel were the 2nd best 2nd comp d pair in hockey.

    This year we learned a coach running a perimeter pressure system can fuck up
    The def affect of top 5 HD dman and a top 10 HD dpair.

    Nurse a bottom 5 HD dman his whole career is showing what he is when he staples to HD area.
    Like WJC and current WHC.

    XXX – Larson
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – xxx
    Benning

    I want to make playoffs again.

  87. Wilde says:

    VOR,

    I’m torn.

    I’m pro-Merkley, and I view any team with him on their no-draft as defeatists of their own developmental system.

    But… I feel that weak way about the Oilers group.

  88. Jethro Tull says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    So it seems the Oilers and Flames have indeed decided not to do Penticton this year, allegedly because they thought the tournament should rotate into Red Deer.

    This ignores that Penticton is almost halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, and that many Albertans vacation in Penticton, which has a nice resort feel to it that is less pronounced in Red Deer.

    Penticton will now consist of the Canucks, U of A, UBC and the Jets, who evidently would rather go to the Okanagan than the rival tournament put on by Calgary and Edmonton.

    Rumours about this were swirling a few months back. But what a shame. I really think this is a myopic mistake by the Alberta organizations that fails to consider what their fans really want.

    I flew up from Tucson to Penticton for Young Stars 2 years ago and loved it. Was considering flying from Tokyo this year or next as well. But I won’t be doing that now. But I am just a 2nd tier fan.

    PS. My source is an organizer of the tournament.

    And your source for what all Flames and Oilers fans want?

  89. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Debrincat, they were linemates in Erie

  90. Lowetide says:

    I quoted a Matty tweet from January on the Lowdown today. Seems some scouts felt the quality of player deployed at the tournament wasn’t strong enough. If your first rounder isn’t getting anything out of the tournament (as an example), why bother? Don’t think I buy that, but Matty’s tweet suggested it was the feeling of several hockey men.

  91. LMHF#1 says:

    VOR,

    I like this kid – the stories would likely increase the odds of me taking him with that stat line.

    Always trying to bring the different ones down. And one of my favorite Oilers was Joni Pitkanen.

  92. rickithebear says:

    3% corsi compared to the reduction of CA by coaches ZS FO decisions which can be +/- 12-13 corsi against.
    13/50 = 26%
    Have seen as high as 13/44 = 29.5%

    That does not include the CA affect of a coaches ZS bench decision to send a player on with or without pocession.

    3% corsi variance of what corsi count
    40 corsi x .03 = 1.2 corsi
    45 corsi = 1.35 corsi
    50 corsi = 1.5corsi
    55corsi = 1.65 corsi
    60 corsi = 1.8 corsi
    3% corsi % spread over standard 40-60 corsi range can have on error factor of +/- 20%

  93. rickithebear says:

    CA corrected for
    A. forward turnover affect,
    B. Forward non NZ trap.
    C. ZS FO affect
    D. ZS bench affect.

    Leaves vary little CA dictated by dmen.

    But please someone explain to me how Russell’s CA is dictated by him.

    I am fucking giddy with anticipation for reasons presented with the play mechanics I have left to explain this.

    Let the circus begin!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=slMub4NtrSk

  94. rickithebear says:

    Yes LT
    I did get the Gary Carter perm!

  95. smellyglove says:

    Tyler Vesel:

    2016-2017: NCAA (NCHC) Sportsmanship Award
    2017-2018: NCAA (NCHC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year

    Looks like he earned that Sportsmanship Award: 150 NCAA games and only 15 penalty minutes!

  96. flea says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I have two little girls under 5, one of my biggest fears is having something happen to me when they are still so young.

  97. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR: Most mock drafts, prospect rankings, and talking heads have him going from 20-31. The highest I have read is 11 and the lowest is 42. If I recall correctly the 11 is from Bob MacKenzie.

    The kid is carrying serious baggage. And a lot of that baggage is unsourced gossip.

    What we know is this:

    -Ryan Merkley is a truly extraordinary skater. He and Dahlen share an ability to float across the ice at incredible speeds.

    -Ryan Merkley is virtually impossible to forecheck. He can skate the puck out but is an incredible passer. This is not a kid who has ever heard of off the glass and out. (Actually this is one of many things he has “fought” with his coaches about. They think he forces offence rather than making the simple play). In any case he can execute the home run, breakaway-creating pass with ease.

    -Ryan Merkley can quarterback a power play like nobody else in this draft,probably in a number of drafts. He dances down the blue line like Nick Lidstrom changing angles at astonishing speed. He possesses a plus shot, or rather a bunch of them, slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot, change of pace knuckler, he has a range of weapons and tricky releases for all of them. But mostly he sees the open man before the man comes open and can thread a pass through the eye of a needle.

    There is a consensus among scouts I’ve talked with (and a number have said this publicly) that he thinks the game better than anybody but Dahlen and possibly than Dahlen.

    The comparable used is usually Ryan Ellis. And then the scouts pause and say, “except Merley is a better skater”. Then they add. “He also thinks the game better.”

    High praise indeed.

    So a top ten pick at least.

    If it wasn’t for the defence thing. How high Merkley will go will depend which narrative you choose to believe best explains his atrocious defensive performance.

    Option 1. As well as he thinks the game on offence he has just never learned how to play defence. His coach says Merkley is working hard on it and getting better.

    Option 2. Merkley thinks the game on defence every bit as well as on offence but just doesn’t give a shit about even trying to play defence. In fact, the kid has a shitty work ethic all over the ice, it is just worst when he doesn’t have the puck.

    If you believe the first option Merkley is probably a top ten pick. If you believe the second he is likely a mid second round project.

    Then we get to the baggage part of the equation. We know the kid has a very thin skin. He gets hooked and slashed a lot. Shades of Connor McDavid for some of the same reasons. But he is undisciplined and retaliates and those retaliatory penalties are getting more obvious and more vicious. It culminated in a two handed hatchet job that was an very obvious attempt to injure.

    Next we have scouts, normally as tight lipped a group as you will ever meet, saying in public that the kid comes across as temperamental and very high maintenance.

    Then there is the unsourced shit, like that he has come to blows with two different teammates, that in fact his teammates very actively dislike him. Plus there are stories of him refusing to talk to or even listen to his coach. And I could go on and on.

    The thing is there is no over arching narrative that explains the on and off ice behaviour.

    Hockey culture has a well earned reputation for being tough on outliers. And Ryan Merkley is temperamental, thin skinned, super smart, and incredibly gifted. And whatever else we can say it seems certain Ryan Merkley is the silent stoic heroic figure hockey culture idolizes.

    I am betting he falls far further than the end of the first round. Yes it only takes 1 team to be prepared to take a chance. I am just guessing that none does.

    Nice comment. If due diligence is done, as in looking at his family background and it’s not full of red flags like O’Sullivan’s was you take the first reasonable shot.

    Most high end players are ‘out there’, that is what makes them different, and why McDavid is such a gift because he’s so well adjusted.

    Although I worry about him because he is so intense. They really need to get things in order, people like that need to move forward always or can become bitter.

  98. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear:
    Adam Larson playing 1 sr comp min took NJD to a cup final.
    Adam Larson playing 1st comp min got oilers to playoffs since 05-06
    When Spacek was our HD anchor.

    In 16-17 Sekera – Russel were the 2nd best 2nd comp d pair in hockey.

    This year we learned a coach running a perimeter pressure system can fuck up
    The def affect oftop 5 HD dman and a top 10 HD dpair.

    Nurse a bottom 5 HD dman his whole career is showing what he is when he staples to HD area.
    Like WJC and current WHC.

    XXX – Larson
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – xxx
    Benning

    I want to make playoffs again.

    Having Russell as your second pairing D means you are not making playoffs again. Only reason it worked last year cause Sekera was able to polish that turd. Game has only moved away from Russell’s strengths and hopefully Sekera can regain his form.
    Russell is a third pairing D that can fill in higher in the batting order for periods of time. We are not strong enough at forward to compensate for a poor 2nd pairing D

  99. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’ve advocated for some extreme trade ideas this year and before, based on the draft.

    The reason is that top players are rare. I would happily trade 3 good players for one top player.

    Good players are obtainable, top players aren’t once established very easily.

    This year we have the top two draft picks residing with teams under new or newish ownership in weak markets under financial pressure as I see it. The Oilers haven’t been under financial pressure like this for a long time.

    I would give up a lot, making a deal that is helpful to them by filling their roster with good players in a hurry advancing their cause quickly helping their cash position, while receiving a potentially elite but at least good player in return.

    This draft has two cracking players in it. Maybe more but two are pretty certain.

    If Burke did it why not again? Maybe they should hire him to negotiate it.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Guy Flaming

    Verified account

    @TPS_Guy
    19s19 seconds ago
    More
    A 32-save shutout for Stuart Skinner as the Swift Current Broncos take Game 4 by a 1-0 score and lead the WHL Final 3 games to 1. Game 5 is on Friday in Everett

  101. Wilde says:

    Lowetide,

    5th shutout of the playoffs for Skinner

  102. Wilde says:

    Not the most impressive show of goaltending tonight though, because Alex Lyon has 78 saves on 79 shots so far in a quadruple overtime AHL game.

    e: 88 in 89, 5th OT ahead.

  103. --hudson-- says:

    Wilde:
    Not the most impressive show of goaltending tonight though, because Alex Lyon has 78 saves on 79 shots so far in a quadruple overtime AHL game.

    e: 88 in 89, 5th OT ahead.

    Mike Krushelnyski’s kid with the OT winner for the Phantoms.

  104. Ribs says:

    Hard not to get excited about Skinner’s run here. Really hoping there is something to it! I’d really like to remember this Oilers season as the one where McDavid won his second scoring title and Skinner started his ascension to franchise goalie (and forget everything else).

  105. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Wilde,

    I always enjoy your posts!

    I like Matt Peca as a 4C target, quite a play maker, lots of speed and great on the dot. Might mesh well with shooters on his wings.

    I am not onboard with JJ as a C, especially not 3C.

    I would be onboard to move Strome for Pageau, wonder if Ottawa would do this trade…

    I think, as mentioned in this thread the glaring weakness of this roster is the lack of puck moving D. I would be onboard with moving Nurse, despite his toolkit. Nurse for Hanifin perhaps?
    – Heard rumblings of the team not happy with Hanifin and also wanting to add toughness…thoughts?

    Then Russell + Benning + 3rd for Tanev + Goldobin yeah?
    Doubtful, I know Tanev is valued, not sure how Goldobin is viewed by Van.

    3rd RHD 1 of Folin or Pateryn 4 RHD 1 of Sproul/Redmond/Wiseman

  106. SwedishPoster says:

    VOR,

    Merkley sounds like one of those rare cases where it’s beneficial to rush him to the pros. Surround him with grown ups and guys who are actually more talented than him, guys he might respect. These guys usually needs to be challenged to develop their play. Having him dominating juniors could potentially stall him.

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

    Jethro Tull: And your source for what all Flames and Oilers fans want?

    Don’t hurt yourself stretching that far.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    Stuart Skinner with a 33 save shutout as the Broncos win 1-0 and take a 3-1 series lead – WOW!

    Oooops – guess I’m late to this party – that’s what happens when you wake up at 2:30am so need to go to bed before 10.

  109. sliderule says:

    VOR,

    Merkley is a fine skater but eye test scouting reports are over the top in assessment

    Both Dobson and Smith tested better in on ice testing at top prospect game .

    Dobson and Smith even outperformed the forwards in several areas

  110. VOR says:

    sliderule:
    VOR,

    Merkley is a fine skater but eye test scouting reports are over the top in assessment

    Both Dobson and Smith tested better in on ice testing at top prospect game .

    Dobson and Smith even outperformed the forwards in several areas

    I am in a potential conflict with a clients’ interests.

    I will say this “skating” is a complex skill consisting of many component skills. For hockey what matters is your ability to deploy those skills on an as needed basis during game play. To me an elite skater is one who possesses all the component skills and performs them all at an elite level in all game states. The eye test is much better at detecting that than any artificial non-game test.

    Smith and Dobson are in my view and by this definition elite skaters. I have seen them good. Others have seen them good and they tested very well.

    However, there is elite and then there is exceptional.

    There are two guys in this draft who numerous sources struggle to describe their skating as seen in real time. They default to terms like otherworldly and ridiculous comparisons like Orr and Coffey. Ryan Merkley is one of them, Rasmus Dahlen is the other.

    If it was 1 or 2 people saying these kids have “wow” level skating I would go with the test results. But as you point out yourself it isn’t. And all those comments are based on in game observations.

    Until such time as their is reliable software for measuring and analyzing skating during game play (and believe me it is coming) we are left deciding which we trust more, the one-off tests with zero significance statistically or the extremely unreliable eye tests out sourced to crowds or experts.

    Interestingly more and more teams are putting prospects through extensive batteries of skating tests/drills designed to measure all the components of skating skill. Why the combine doesn’t is beyond me. Yes, these tests are still just a proxy of the real thing (and possibly a poor one at that) but they would surely be better than the current state of affairs.

  111. Jethro Tull says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Don’t hurt yourself stretching that far.

    No, i think it’s a fair question. A “a myopic mistake by the Alberta organizations that fails to consider what their fans really want.”

    You cited your source in the touney’s organizers, but what do Flames and Oilers fans really want? Do you know? Was there a poll? Some will want to stay in the Okanagan, but that’s just not practical for a lot of hockey starved fans who can’t afford the time or money to go see their prospects play.

    Red Deer is a smart choice. The Jets absolutely have the right to stay in the Penticton tourney. Equally, they have the right to go to one in the Sahara desert if they so chose. Their prerogative.

    You’re an international jet-setter – travel is no object for you. But I just might be able to go watch a game in Central Alberta whilst keeping costs down. You don’t like it. That’s cool. But judging by your reaction, I don’t think I’m the one stretching anything.

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

    Jethro Tull: No, i think it’s a fair question.A “a myopic mistake by the Alberta organizations that fails to consider what their fans really want.”

    You cited your source in the touney’s organizers, but what do Flames and Oilers fans really want? Do you know?Was there a poll? Some will want to stay in the Okanagan,but that’s just not practical for a lot of hockey starved fans who can’t afford the time or money to go see their prospects play.

    Red Deer is a smart choice.The Jets absolutely have the right to stay in the Penticton tourney.Equally, they have the right to go to one in the Sahara desert if they so chose.Their prerogative.

    You’re an international jet-setter – travel is no object for you.But I just might be able to go watch a game in Central Alberta whilst keeping costs down.You don’t like it.That’s cool.But judging by your reaction, I don’t think I’m the one stretching anything.

    A few things: no Red Deer announcement yet. So one possibility is no Young Stars at all. Is that better than Penticton?

    If they have a watered down ‘Young Stars’ where it is Flames vs Oil every year, is that also what you want? In a McDavid year, maybe, but fans miss out on the likes of Laine, Ehlers, Morrissey, Petterson, Boeser etc.

    It was a very well run tournament and tickets are very affordable. It’s a nice drive out there, so you wouldn’t have to ay for a flight, but not day-trippable like Red Deer or somewhere like that would be for a Flames or Oilers fan based in Edmlnton or Calgary, so you have a point there.

    The Jets can do whatever they want. Never said otherwise. So, too can the Oilers and Flames. They don’t need anyone’s input.

    If they want to have a 2 game mini camp between their prospects that’s up to them to do, but there has been a ‘why do the Canucks get to have it in BC’ bitterness over what is a well run event that has been gaining a lot of traction and fans over 8 years. It’s becoming something a lot of folks circle on their calendar in September. So that’s where the blindness to what they have created comes in.

    You prefer Red Deer–fine. But a 2-team mini camp is just another ho-hum thing–they have rookie camp for that already, remember? Why do they need another? To pocket more money for themselves?

    If you would rather have that, no problem.

    A simple– some fans, including me prefer a mini camp in Red Deer or no tournament participation at all would bave probably sufficed. Instead it’s trying to make me look like a privileged jet-setter out of touch with reality. I don’t judge you, Jethro, and did not think you were the type to do the same. I make next to nothing, but I find ways to incorporate travel into what I do. Many folks do the same. In Penticton I stayed with a friend. I spent 250 dollars on flights and 150 bucks on a tournament pass. I photographed and wrote for Bruce, so I could write off my costs as a business expense at least.

    But you’d rather paint me with a different brush because it is easier. It’s lazy. You’d rather say I am rich and not taking into account what hockey starved poor folks can pay.

    What is rookie camp for then? The Young Stars was a separate event, with a very different purpose.

    I am hockey starved, too. That’s not a privilege reserved for people in Alberta.

    But make it personal, why don’t you, while my only ire was directed at the franchises.

    So I should have added “many” in front of “fans.” Evidently I should have said “rich jet-setter fans.”

    Sheesh.

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