Thrasher (Combine 2018)

Since 2010, 36 of the 65 Oilers draft picks attended the NHL combine (coming up this week). In fact, using only the first three picks of each draft, 22 of 24 picks ’10-’17 were at the combine (Leon Draisaitl was the only attendee in 2014). If you’re wondering about the Oilers in the first 100 selections at the 2018 draft, pay close attention to the combine list when it’s released this week.

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. There’s a 7-day free trial and the cost for an annual subscription is less than one (or two) coffee per month, depending on where you buy your hot liquid. We have a mountain of good reading to come in the next 30 days at The Athletic Edmonton, including draft coverage, prospect updates and reaction to the deals of summer. Join us, for the Oilers coverage, stay for all of the other brilliant writing on the site.

  • New Lowetide: The Second Round (will link)
  • Lowetide: Oilers hire three assistant coaches, receive positive response
  • Lowetide: Pennants!
  • Jonathan Willis: Al Montoya’s likely exit means an end of an era for Peter Chiarelli
  • Scott Wheeler: Five Sleeper Picks
  • Corey Pronman: Pronman mailbag
  • Sunaya Sapurji: Oliver Wahlstrom has been in the spotlight for a long time, but his desire to be ‘special’ burns deep
  • Corey Pronman: 2018 NHL draft board.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018Oilers and the WHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers at the draft: Overagers.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers scouting directors: A history.

CURRENT 50-MAN

 

There are several RFA who are going to be signed and we’ll see about free agency but there’s plenty of room if the cap will allow additions. I’d count on Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Ryan Strome and Drake Caggiula being added from the current crop of free agents.

WAITING

  1. G Nick Ellis RFA. Oilers have a full boat, but could deal Montoya and sign Ellis.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit UFA. It’s a good bet he’s going to make like Lionel Richie and sail on down the line.
  3. LD Darnell Nurse RFA. A bridge deal likely part of the conversation.
  4. RD Matt Benning RFA. A shorter term seems likely, Benning has settled in as a solid defender.
  5. LD Yohann Auvitu UFA. Reportedly heading back to Europe, there’s an NHL player here.
  6. RD Mark Fayne UFA. He’s done with the Oilers, we’ll see if he catches on with another team.
  7. LD Keegan Lowe UFA. I think he might return on a two-way deal.
  8. LD Dillon Simpson UFA. Same spot as Lowe, likely room for only one.
  9. LD Joey Laleggia UFA. He’ll sign with an NHL team that sees him as a defenseman. Maybe Vancouver.
  10. LD Ben Betker RFA. Likely part of a substantial “Leftorium” haircut this summer.
  11. RC Ryan Strome RFA. Several options for this player, including a trade.
  12. RC Kyle Platzer RFA. I don’t think he’s shown enough in his entry deal.
  13. LC Grayson Downing UFA. Quiet free agent signing.
  14. L Mike Cammalleri UFA. I liked his contribution but the Oilers need more speed.
  15. L Drake Caggiula RFA. Likely gets a short-term deal.
  16. L Braden Christoffer RFA. Unlikely to return.
  17. R Anton Slepyshev RFA. KHL rumors (and a trade) suggest he’s headed for the Motherland.
  18. R Iiro Pakarinen RFA. Also the subject of Russia rumors.
  19. R Patrick Russell. RFA. I think there’s a chance he gets another deal.
  20. R Brian Ferlin UFA. Barely got on the ice.

CONDORS FORWARDS 2017-18

I haven’t really bothered with these numbers for forwards in 2017-18, there wasn’t much to trumpet. A nice late run by youngsters like Benson and Vesel offered some encouragement but it’s difficult to find the best prospect (forward) for the full season Condors. I’ll go with Joe Gambardella, but this was a very poor season for development among AHL forwards. All via prospect-stats.com.

CONDORS DEFENSE 2017-18

The defense is where the action was in Bakersfield last season. I’d say Ethan Bear was the best prospect for the Condors, followed by Caleb Jones and Ryan Mantha (all ahead of Gambardella and the goalies). Peter Chiarelli has been working hard on adding forwards (and with good reason), I’m excited to see William Lagesson in the fall.

IDEAL SUMMER

I’ve written a lot over at The Athletic about what the Oilers must do this summer (improve on the wings, shore up backup goaltending and find some good penalty killers) and the phoner with Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan the other day gave us an idea the general manager may be thinking the same way. Adding all of these coaches suggests, at least in part, that the general manager is doubling down on his ’94’s’ and we’ll see most of them (Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev) back in the fall.

If this is a real “keep your powder dry” summer I’d be thrilled. If Peter Chiarelli can hold on to his draft picks, have his majors moves of summer be Mikko Koskinen, find a Brian Gibbons or a Mattias Janmark for the penalty kill, a scoring winger who won’t cost the moon and is under control from the Daniel Sprong/Alex DeBrincat tree, well that’s the best possible result this summer.

Betting on the men born 1992 and later who are already on the roster (Adam Larsson, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, Ryan Strome, Pontus Aberg, Ethan Bear) is a damn sight better than making another June trade that bleeds talent.

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72 Responses to "Thrasher (Combine 2018)"

  1. Scungilli Slushy says:

    “is a damn sight better than making another June trade that bleeds talent.”

    That is for sure.

    There are players out there that can help that don’t involve major deals. Chiarelli needs to understand why his team hasn’t been getting them, at least in a current condition to help.

    Hopefully his mirror doesn’t provide the answer. Or if it does he gets himself promoted.

  2. dustrock says:

    I get the desire to keep the powder dry because we can’t afford to bleed anymore.

    But I don’t like the D corpse.

    The D corpse probably overperformed 2 years ago. 103 points and the 2nd round loss, and Chiarelli (correctly) states we don’t have the D players the calibre of Anaheim’s or Nashville’s.

    They’ll be better than last year. But they’ll still be average at best to me.

    I suppose with McDavid and a hot goaltender all things are possible.

  3. jtblack says:

    “but this was a very poor season for development among AHL forwards”

    – A direct result of only making 1 draft pick in the Top 100 in 2014 & 2015. The Oilers nailed their Top picks in both those years (2015 wasn’t that tricky), but the lack of 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounders are what has left the AHL team with few enouraging propsects.

    As the 2016 / 2017 / 2018 swath of 2nd – 5th rounds breaks in, EDM will finally have some real talent on the Farm.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    dustrock:
    I get the desire to keep the powder dry because we can’t afford to bleed anymore.

    But I don’t like the D corpse.

    The D corpse probably overperformed 2 years ago. 103 points and the 2nd round loss, and Chiarelli (correctly) states we don’t have the D players the calibre of Anaheim’s or Nashville’s.

    They’ll be better than last year. But they’ll still be average at best to me.

    I suppose with McDavid and a hot goaltender all things are possible.

    Imma gonna disagree with you there Normie.

    Actual NHL Top 4 Dmen with the track record to prove it: Larsson, Klefbom, Sekera (if healthy)

    Dmen *close* to being an Actual Top 4 Dmen based on last year’s results: Nurse

    Dmen who are good 3rd pairing Dmen and can play up in a pinch: Russell, Benning

    Having possibly 4 Actual Top 4 Dmen is good and real.

    I think they are deeper on D than a lot of teams. Health just needs to hold for the most part.

    I do agree with you that 2-4 overachieved in 16/17

    2-4 5v5 results in 16/17 (842 min)
    CF% 45.5
    FF% 48.5
    SCF% 47.1
    HDCF% 50.2
    GF% 62.5
    SH% 8.06
    SV% .954
    PDO 1035

    While their GF% significantly over acheived their shot metics, their shot metrics weren’t awful except CF%.

    Add to that Nurse’s increase in performance, Benning doing well in the 2nd half and a new Dman coach who has a very good track record with improving his charges’ performance and I think the Dcrops is fine.

    They would do well to get an Actual 2nd Pair RHDman, but they are not in a position where they *have* to do it.

  5. Oilman99 says:

    dustrock:
    I get the desire to keep the powder dry because we can’t afford to bleed anymore.

    But I don’t like the D corpse.

    The D corpse probably overperformed 2 years ago. 103 points and the 2nd round loss, and Chiarelli (correctly) states we don’t have the D players the calibre of Anaheim’s or Nashville’s.

    They’ll be better than last year. But they’ll still be average at best to me.

    I suppose with McDavid and a hot goaltender all things are possible.

    Developing a forward group that plays both ends of the ice (see VGK) and they don’t need elite defence to be successful (ala VGK).

  6. Woogie63 says:

    Keeping our Powder Dry – with good reason.

    1. We have TWO goalies you can trust to deliver .915 SV%

    2. 6, 2, 77, 25, 97, 29, 93, 27 are a very good core group

    3. 4, 83, 44, 16, 18, 91 are at the league average for support players

    The management now needs to develop the conveyor belt from the U20 to the AHL to the NHL

  7. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Oilman99: Developing a forward group that plays both ends of the ice (see VGK) and they don’t need elite defence to be successful (ala VGK).

    Great point. Ideal situations aren’t possible, other teams and the cap aren’t going to give you everything you want.

    So you keep trying to get better in a measured way, short and long term goals in mind.

    And you play to your strengths. No square pegs in round holes. This has been mentioned quite a bit lately, we’ll see what actually happens.

    But this team has strength in all positions now, if not perfect. Coached and GMd well it’s a plyoff team IMO.

    Coached and GMd masterfully with a sprinkle of luck you never know. If Vegas can do it the Oilers or anyone else can.

  8. leadfarmer says:

    I’m wondering what Chia has planned when he said improving the bottom 6. We have a bunch of bottom 6 players. Caggula, Khaira, Kassian, Rattie, Lucic, Aberg. I wonder who he lets go to make room.

    I wonder what the new coaching hires philosophy on the Russell reset are. That would be a pretty quick and easy analysis question. In my opinion it is one of the worst things a player can do unless you have the lead and it’s the 3rd period and you are trying to kill time or slow the pace or if your forwards are going for a line change.

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    A good summer is to be able to move at least one of the nmc contracts. Jmho

  10. Bryan says:

    It comes down to goaltending and I don’t think they are protected enough at that position yet. Slumps and injuries happen. They have sunk a lot of money into the big Finn but who knows how that will go. Talbot shouldn’t play more than 60 games and they are hoping he bounces back as well. The playoffs have reinforced that this is the most vital position so I would cover the bets some more still.

  11. lynn says:

    leadfarmer:
    I’m wondering what Chia has planned when he said improving the bottom 6.We have a bunch of bottom 6 players.Caggula, Khaira, Kassian, Rattie, Lucic, Aberg.I wonder who he lets go to make room.

    I wonder what the new coaching hires philosophy on the Russell reset are.That would be a pretty quick and easy analysis question.In my opinion it is one of the worst things a player can do unless you have the lead and it’s the 3rd period and you are trying to kill time or slow the pace or if your forwards are going for a line change.

    When teams come snooping around the Oilers’ roster, I’m sure they will be inquiring about Khaira–still young, with lots of potential growth at a low salary.

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    I’m wondering what Chia has planned when he said improving the bottom 6.We have a bunch of bottom 6 players.Caggula, Khaira, Kassian, Rattie, Lucic, Aberg.I wonder who he lets go to make room.

    I wonder what the new coaching hires philosophy on the Russell reset are.That would be a pretty quick and easy analysis question.In my opinion it is one of the worst things a player can do unless you have the lead and it’s the 3rd period and you are trying to kill time or slow the pace or if your forwards are going for a line change.

    I think a lot of the problem was really sloppy line changes and no one to pass to. Not that Russell wasn’t also too slow. Hopefully they can get everyone on the same page and playing at a higher tempo.

    Structure is critical. Manny mentioned his PP as having a structure and some set plays, but players were also encouraged to be creative, and to not waste shots on low % chances, but to keep the puck, move it and try to create a quality chance.

    The same should be true 5v5 and to my eye players last season didn’t seem to know what to do and were thinking too much, slowing them down.

    There should be a plan that the players try to execute and follow, and license to free wheel when the opponent breaks down in the D or N zone. In the O zone the idea should be to create chaos and breakdowns with pace and puck movement.

    I do believe that was the plan last season, but injuries and execution compounded with no bail outs from goalers torpedoed the lot and cost the assts their jobs. If it happens again as everyone says even PC will be a stretch to survive.

  13. leadfarmer says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    I like the idea of creating chaos. Defensive systems are really hard to break down once they are established. The problem I have is roster construction. We dont have the players that can pass the puck well enough to make that succeed. If we dump Sekera who else on the defense can pass the puck above average? Klefbom. Thats about it. We are a whack a puck team. Not a slick passing team. The only chaos we will create is among our own forwards.

  14. leadfarmer says:

    You want to play the modern game you have to build your roster around guys that can play that kind of game. Probably best not to sign guys like Lucic and Russell. Need to draft guys that can skate and pass. Otherwise it will be just like the swarm with the Dementor. Have other teams deployed the swarm with success. Absolutely. Was it an absolute disaster when we tried it because we didn’t have the players to employ it effectively. Absolutely.

  15. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    I like the idea of creating chaos.Defensive systems are really hard to break down once they are established.The problem I have is roster construction.We dont have the players that can pass the puck well enough to make that succeed.If we dump Sekera who else on the defense can pass the puck above average?Klefbom.Thats about it.We are a whack a puck team.Not a slick passing team.The only chaos we will create is among our own forwards.

    A lot of that is due to inexperience. Players like Nurse and Benning will get better as the game slows down for them. I think Russell is the only one who you can absolutely say is unable to improve in this area. And he’d look a helluva lot better if the forwards worked on giving him a closer target.

  16. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    I like the idea of creating chaos.Defensive systems are really hard to break down once they are established.The problem I have is roster construction.We dont have the players that can pass the puck well enough to make that succeed.If we dump Sekera who else on the defense can pass the puck above average?Klefbom.Thats about it.We are a whack a puck team.Not a slick passing team.The only chaos we will create is among our own forwards.

    True, I think there is enough skill at forward to do it though.

    Does any team have a group of D that are masters at puck movement? Maybe a few have a couple. I think most of that comes from playing the system. Knowing what area to move it to means no decision, just timing and a good pass. On the tape or to a good area for the player to retrieve.

    The Oilers advantage as I see it is having at least 3 very high IQ forwards that can pass incredibly. If they can execute an O zone plan they have the talent to create on the fly, the key being to be able to keep the puck moving around with possession in the O zone.

    This is where playing the system so there is puck support comes in and the D holding the line and moving the puck back in somewhere useful. I think most of the Oiler D are capable of that, if not being like Karlsson rushing in off the line.

    All teams playing well play their system, the opponent knows what they are trying to do, who succeeds comes down to talent and execution – winning stick and one on one battles. This is where the Knights are really good outside of Fleury winning series for them. Crazy good sticks.

    It seems to my eye board play is moving away from rugby scrums and pushing fests to more often now the use of stops and starts and good sticks with contact, but quick checks to separate player and puck. Lucic mentioned this change in the season and how it was a move away from his heavy board game.

    The Oilers are built to do this, the only Clydesdale left is Lucic.

  17. leadfarmer says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    The problem isnt Nuge Mcdavid line. It’s the other ones. Outside of Drai and JP there isn’t enough speed and skill on the other lines unfortunately

  18. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Forwards escaping the zone and quick transition is what you want though. Them leaving with opposing dmen trying to keep a gap and opposing centers giving chase usually gives you more room. Russell just does not know what to do and skating up what Nurse does should also be the last option

  19. jtblack says:

    Woogie63:
    Keeping our Powder Dry – with good reason.

    1. We have TWO goalies you can trust to deliver .915 SV%

    2. 6, 2, 77, 25, 97, 29, 93, 27 are a very good core group

    3. 4, 83, 44, 16, 18, 91 are at the league average for support players

    The management now needsto develop the conveyor belt from the U20 to the AHL to the NHL

    Can you back up your Opinion with somem numbers?

    You state 27 is part of a very good core(implying he is very good)

    91 is League average? 44? 4?

    Just curious

  20. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    “And he’d look a helluva lot better if the forwards worked on giving him a closer target.”

    Coaching. Thats Coaching. The Oilers GAP between D and F was fsr too large on most nights. I am excited to see how the new staff can best utilize the players we have.

  21. Woogie63 says:

    Lowetide: A lot of that is due to inexperience. Players like Nurse and Benning will get better as the game slows down for them. I think Russell is the only one who you can absolutely say is unable to improve in this area. And he’d look a helluva lot better if the forwards worked on giving him a closer target.

    I don’t get this POV on Russell, the truth about passing is the skater creates the pass. If the forward creates the angle or the space, every NHL deman can execute the pass.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    Woogie63,

    I think this team flubs enough 5 foot passes to tell you that’s not true

  23. Woogie63 says:

    jtblack: Can you back up your Opinion with somem numbers?

    You state 27 is part of a very good core(implying he is very good)

    91 is League average?44?4?

    Just curious

    I am not saying every person in the cluster is very good Lucic clearly had a bad year.

    But every team has 1 or 2 of their core underperforming at some point. Our “nine plus Talbot” are as good as a lot of playoff teams.

  24. Richard S.S. says:

    Oliver Ekman-Larson is an exceptional player, a true #1, a game changer, a puck-moving Defenseman. He played with Adam Larsson recently winning a Gold Medal with him in the Worlds. He might be readily available at the right price and young enough to be worth a long term extention. He would certainly solve any oiler defensive issues.

    Before anyone goes ballistic about this, please consider this:
    1) Free Agents of the caliber the Oilers need are not cost effective, not cap-friendly. If they are both cost effective and cap-friendly, then they are not good enough to consider.
    2) At least trades let you control cost effects, cap and caliber of player. If the price is right?
    3) Acquiring an RHD puck-mover for the 2nd pairing might almost cost as much as OEL might. Should you spend a little more to acquire a better caliber player?

  25. dustrock says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think we’re saying the same thing. They have an average D corps. I like the depth overall.

  26. jtblack says:

    Spokane Chiefs:

    GF% with Ty Smith on the ice – 64%
    GF% without him on ice – 46%

    More fuel for LT’s fire.

    Courtesy Canucks Army.

  27. Professor Q says:

    Woogie63: I am not saying every person in the cluster is very good Lucic clearly had a bad year.

    But every team has 1 or 2 of their core underperforming at some point.Our “nine plus Talbot” are as good as a lot of playoff teams.

    Specifically more than a few playoff teams (or near) this year with MVP candidates, all of which underperformed last year.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Why no Cooper Marody in the 17/18 P/60?

    3 game sample size too small?

    1G, 2A in 3 games played (and, in a couple of the games, from accounts, the best Condor on the ice).

    I watched 3 Michigan games after the trade and was pleasantly surprised at his game – more skilled than I anticipated and an “all situations” guy that was trusted by the coach. Yes, he was an older college player but he looked good.

    He has an outside shot at a bottom 6 roster spot but here is hoping that management can acquire a Brodziak and/or PRV and/or Matt Read (or similar) to ensure we slow play this prospect.

    No, Brad Malone is not an NHL option in my mind.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Do we have concern at all about Jones’ tough season as a rookie pro?

    I think this coming season is a big one for him – we need to see some recovery.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t know what Chiarelli will do with the “medium” moves he’s professed.

    We all know my main (and only) priority for this off-season is a legit right shot D for the top 4 but this can only be done in connection with cap disposal from the left side and, if he cannot move Russell (or Sekera) then I stay the course.

    I see 77, 6 and 25 as the core of the D going forward and I’m highly comfortable with that. If the acquisition of a right shot D cannot be made without disposing of one of those three (or the forward core of 97, 29, 93) or the 10th overall, then stay the course.

    Make the acquisition when it can be done without disposing of the core or the 10th.

    Hopefully Benning will take another step forward and become a 2RD allowing Russell to play 3RD.

  31. RonnieB says:

    Richard S.S.,

    Arizona is reportedly negotiating an 8-year deal in excess of $8 AAV for OEL.

    The Oilers could not fit that in without blowing up the team. If they could find a way to fit an $8 million contract into the defense corps, it should be on the Right side ( unless Russell and/or Sekera waives their NMCs ).

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    lynn: When teams come snooping around the Oilers’ roster, I’m sure they will be inquiring about Khaira–still young, with lots of potential growth at a low salary.

    Khaira should be one of the last players that are disposed of by management.

    He is a true value contact – $675K for solid bottom 6 production plus PK.

    His second contract should not be expensive either.

    This team needs to acquire (and graduate) value contracts now and over the next few years not dispose of them.

  33. Wilde says:

    jtblack:
    Spokane Chiefs:

    GF% with Ty Smith on the ice – 64%
    GF% without him on ice – 46%

    More fuel for LT’s fire.

    Courtesy Canucks Army.

    I watched the Chiefs a lot in the 2nd half of the season, and would say that a lot of that is because the Chiefs were a ‘one unit’ team, and Smith was on that one unit. When they had this on the ice they dominated:

    x – Jaret Anderson-Dolan – Yamamoto

    x – Ty Smith

    (the x forward was usually McIndoe, the x defenseman was usually Helgesen)

    When that combination /wasn’t/ on the ice, they were very mediocre. Guys scored, but they got scored on plenty, too.

    Now this is obviously pretty common in junior hockey but it was quite pronounced and especially damning when they were in the playoffs, or just the regular season against the deeper WHL teams.

    Basically what I’m saying is Smith got zoomed a bit in this area, but a lot of it was him just being really, really good and I don’t think JAD & Yamamoto get as much done without a defenseman of his calibre playing with them. If Helgesen pasted someone to the boards and the puck came loose, one of the three were gonna pick that puck up and it seemed like they got something out of the ensuing rush almost every time.

  34. leadfarmer says:

    RonnieB:
    Richard S.S.,

    Arizona is reportedly negotiating an 8-year deal in excess of $8 AAV for OEL.

    The Oilers could not fit that in without blowing up the team. If they could find a way to fit an $8 million contract into the defense corps, it should be on the Right side ( unless Russell and/or Sekera waives their NMCs ).

    Well you would expect Sekera to be given away for cheap and Nurse or Klefbom would be the part of the package for the player. So a big turnover but not really a blow up.
    OEL Larsson would be a dream scenario,
    Also his cap hit is only 5.5 next year and his raise the following year would likely be covered by cap increase

  35. Wilde says:

    Woogie63:
    Keeping our Powder Dry – with good reason.

    1. We have TWO goalies you can trust to deliver .915 SV%

    2. 6, 2, 77, 25, 97, 29, 93, 27 are a very good core group

    3. 4, 83, 44, 16, 18, 91 are at the league average for support players

    The management now needsto develop the conveyor belt from the U20 to the AHL to the NHL

    The Oilers’ core only looks good compared to playoff teams if you shave the number down to a nucleus of like 3 or 4 guys, honestly.

    EDM:

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    RNH
    Klefbom
    Larsson
    Sekera
    Nurse
    …Lucic?(you have him there, but in my view he had a replacement-level season, I’d rate Strome as a better asset)

    WSH:

    Ovechkin
    Backstrom
    Kuznetsov
    Carlson
    Orlov
    Oshie
    Niskanen
    Djoos
    Eller
    Wilson
    Vrana

    The time it takes to get to the ~30 point forwards on competitive team’s rosters is like 9 names. On Edmonton’s roster it’s like 5. That’s utterly fucking disastrous, not ‘very good’.

    TOR:

    Marner
    Matthews
    Nylander
    Kadri
    JVR
    Reilly
    Gardiner
    Marleau
    Bozak
    Hyman

    PHI:

    Giroux
    Courturier
    Konecny
    Gostisbehere
    Voracek
    Simmonds
    Provorov
    Filppula
    Patrick

    That’s a first round exit team, and their secondary circle blows ours absolutely out of the water.

    Edmonton’s best two players are as good or better than most teams, but the group past that is absolutely one of the worst in the league.

    Most playoff teams, to get to that point, would have to trade a couple 60+ point forwards and a bunch of their high value draft picks with the best chance to become one of those, retroactively.

    Which is what happened here.

    In fact, if one of these teams just willy-nilly traded their middle-of-the-pack forwards to Edmonton for free, that guy would likely be our 4th best forward in terms of last year’s roster.

  36. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: A lot of that is due to inexperience. Players like Nurse and Benning will get better as the game slows down for them. I think Russell is the only one who you can absolutely say is unable to improve in this area. And he’d look a helluva lot better if the forwards worked on giving him a closer target.

    I
    Draisaital came back made the turn with speed a number of times to be completely ignored by Russel who hung on to the puck. The fact is Russel can not make the quick accurate back hand pass that is required. One particular game Drai was so frustrated when he got to the bench I thought he would explode! Russel can make that pass when playing left D. The entire team appeared to be coached to play not to lose rather than play to win! That is why the default when in danger or in doubt off the boards hard and out!

  37. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    The problem isnt Nuge Mcdavid line.It’s the other ones.Outside of Drai and JP there isn’t enough speed and skill on the other lines unfortunately

    Are you overreacting to teams that have success? Vegas isn’t as good as their record it’s Fleury on a historic heater.

    The Pens crapped out, the Bolts. No team has three lines of top six players for long because cap or three top four pairs, little windows of good fortune occasionally it you can’t reliably create or plan for that intentionally .

    Strome, Khaira, JP all have talent and good vision, Strome looks to lack a top gear to me but that may be over thinking. Lucic didn’t have awful underlying numbers across the board.

    They need some help but the bones of three good lines is there now.

    Nuge CMD JP
    Lucic Drai Vanek
    Khaira Strome Yama
    Aberg X Kassian

  38. jtblack says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Nuge CMD JP
    Lucic Drai Vanek
    Khaira Strome Yama
    Aberg X Kassian

    Best Line combos I have seen so far

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jtblack:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Nuge CMD JP
    Lucic Drai Vanek
    Khaira Strome Yama
    Aberg X Kassian

    Best Line combos I have seen so far

    Thanks I like a balance of size speed and skill so players compliment each other, also in level of experience and natural strengths.

    Hopefully this season things start better and lines stay together. I feel McL was blending to force everyone to play the systems. The didn’t and that didn’t change it. Fresh motivating voices and abject failure last season might get everyone on the same page.

    Reigning in young thoroughbreds has always been so.

  40. Richard S.S. says:

    To acquire anyone of the caliber the Oiler’s need will require monies going out for each and every Player acquired. To acquire a Winger to play with Draisaitl, yet not be overwhelmed to play up when needed, requires certain costs to get someone good enough. The costs to acquire a 2nd-Line Winger or a 2nd Pairing D will be significant, but might not be much less than acquiring a true #1 D or a Top-Line winger. It all depends on how motivated to make that trade the other GM is, and why he is.

  41. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    jtblack:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Nuge CMD JP
    Lucic Drai Vanek
    Khaira Strome Yama
    Aberg X Kassian

    Best Line combos I have seen so far

    Problem is that lines 2&3 both need the shelter that only one can be afforded, Vanek was a negative Rel player this year despite heavy offensive zone usage.

    Only the Sedins and Boeser had higher OZS%, and they were all on the positive side of the ledger.

    player – CF%Rel / / OZS%

    Henrik – +4.87% / / 72.88%

    Daniel – +5.83% / / 72.71%

    Boeser – +0.23% / / 61.56%

    Vanek – -3.33 / / 60.40%

    Now, some players goal metrics outperform their shot metrics somewhat consistently but Vanek’s differentials swing wildly and have only lined up negatively lately.

    If Strome and Khaira can manage playing with a rookie against 2nd comp often enough to afford enough 3rd comp minutes to float the Leon line’s boat, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

  42. rickithebear says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    “is a damn sight better than making another June trade that bleeds talent.”

    System consistent players!

    Hall last 2 years in edm and 1st in NJ, before he openly admitted to listening to the coaches.
    69gm 20g 32a 52p -5 we traded a top 60 fwd.
    Sure would like him instead of a #14 fwd for those 13gm a season.
    We got a top 5 HD dman for a top 60 fwd.
    Every day.

    We traded 2 years of one of the 15 most consistent g and point producing forward in the game.
    77gm 22g 31a 53p -13
    For a forward who has been moved to 3rd center role.
    With a suggested 82gm 14g 35p -4 pace.
    Allowing RNH our 1st comp 66gm 16g 22a 38p – 6 center to play
    LW with Mcdavid for 16gm getting 8g 9a 17p 1.06 ppg.

    With the potential for 3+ more contract years of Strome.

    For me the best cap usage would be able to get superior HD dmen who generate equal even production to our poor HD Off dmen.

    Cole and DeHaan suggested cap numbers from a previous blog be equal to Klefbom’s 4.167m cap hit.
    Freeing Klefbom for Fwd acquisition.

  43. rickithebear says:

    pts2pndr: The entire team appeared to be coached to play not to lose rather than play to win! That is why the default when in danger or in doubt off the boards hard and out!

    Except for the part we’re they were asked to defend the perimeter rather than in front of the net that matters 5 times more for goal differential.

  44. rickithebear says:

    For any given goal thier is 1 goal assigned to a player.
    Thier is 1-3 points assigned to a player.

    We were weak in 4-6 fwd even goal production.
    As well as
    Pp goal production.

    Lucic is a career 13.7% shooter with who averages 149sh in 81gm
    20.4 goals.
    Avg 25.5 Assists.
    I would rake an avg 81gm 20g 46p season from him.

  45. rickithebear says:

    Wife won best sport page for weekly papers this year.
    She is now on post media’s available ticket list.
    Grey cup Baby!

    Go riders!

  46. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    To acquire anyone of the caliber the Oiler’s need will require monies going out for each and every Player acquired.To acquire a Winger to play with Draisaitl, yet not be overwhelmed to play up when needed, requires certain costs to get someone good enough.The costs to acquire a 2nd-Line Winger or a 2nd Pairing D will be significant, but might not be much less than acquiring a true #1 D or a Top-Line winger.It all depends on how motivated to make that trade the other GM is, and why he is.

    When you don’t have room, you improvise. The problem last year is the only plan was the 1994’s. There’s nothing stopping PC from signing some mid-July veterans to push, or Austin Czarnik who could be a helpful player. The Oilers have forgotten about a very important procurement option: The young player who has a quality resume and some pro experience and is looking for a chance.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Congrats to your wife, Ricki! Don’t go Riders!

  48. Lowetide says:

    Igor Eronko

    Verified account

    @IgorEronko
    4m4 minutes ago
    More
    Nail Yakupov parted ways with Igor Larionov

  49. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide:
    Igor Eronko

    Verified account

    @IgorEronko4m4 minutes ago
    More
    Nail Yakupov parted ways with Igor Larionov

    Things are shaking up. I wonder if he’ll maintain good relations with Galchenyuk and the Larionov sisters.

  50. pts2pndr says:

    rickithebear: Except for the part we’re they were asked to defend the perimeter rather than in front of the net that matters 5 times more for goal differential.

    Great poiint ! Too many times goalie alone against opposition forward with no Oil D man in the frame! Really enjoy your insight!

  51. jtblack says:

    Lowetide:
    Igor Eronko

    Verified account

    @IgorEronko4m4 minutes ago
    More
    Nail Yakupov parted ways with Igor Larionov

    Ignorance. what was he doing with Larionov? Agent? skills coach? Tutor?

  52. LoDog says:

    jtblack: Ignorance.what was he doing with Larionov? Agent? skillscoach? Tutor?

    Agent. One that has given him poor advice along the way it would seem. Without Igor I’d take a flyer on yak.

  53. nelson88 says:

    LT.

    You are generally a fine fellow and born in SK(?). Remind me how you are not a Rider fan?

    Didn’t want too much marital harmony so you decided to try and cheer against Ms LT?!

    By the way. Thanks to all for the throwback to the Flinstones at lunch discussion in yesterday’s threat. Great memories as I also grew up in the that era and in god’s true chosen land (SK) that was also must watch lunch t.v.. I have two young boys and no longer reside in Canada so bring them back every summer. Last year we did house boating on the Shushwap and i bought the dvid’s. Boys loved them! the “house boating” episode was a particular hit.

  54. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear,

    Are you suggesting Dehaan signs for 2 mil a year? Cause the way I’m reading that Is Cole and Dehaan for 4 mil.

  55. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Problem is that lines 2&3 both need the shelter that only one can be afforded, Vanek was a negative Rel player this year despite heavy offensive zone usage.

    Only the Sedins and Boeser had higher OZS%, and they were all on the positive side of the ledger.

    player – CF%Rel / / OZS%

    Henrik – +4.87% / / 72.88%

    Daniel – +5.83% / / 72.71%

    Boeser – +0.23%/ / 61.56%

    Vanek – -3.33 / / 60.40%

    Now, some players goal metrics outperform their shot metrics somewhat consistently but Vanek’s differentials swing wildly and have only lined up negatively lately.

    If Strome and Khaira can manage playing with a rookie against 2nd comp often enough to afford enough 3rd comp minutes to float the Leon line’s boat, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

    Are you trying to win the cup or get the future top 2 centres reps to play toughs next season?

    Leon has the drive, but not dragging players around that can’t score, he tries to do too much.

    Lucic knows how to play and Vanek can convert. It can be anybody not just Vanek, but someone who knows what they are doing and can still help, not just float around waiting for setups.

    Actually I can’t stand that from any player except the very best scorers and even that irks me. Too easy to shut down one trick ponies in the playoffs when coaches can key in on specifics against opponents – hi Mr Stamkos!

    Young centres experienced wingers
    Slower centre faster wingers
    Young wingers experienced centres
    Young D experienced partner

  56. rickithebear says:

    leadfarmer:
    rickithebear,

    Are you suggesting Dehaan signs for 2 mil a year?Cause the way I’m reading that Is Cole and Dehaan for 4 mil.

    LT: posted that estimated ufa salary chart.

    Cole went from Pit -> Ott -> CBJ
    Do not know what the league thinks of him.
    CBJ media suggested he settled the def side of the team.

    DeHaan has shown HD ability and 0% Corsi skill.

    Off from dmen without sacrificing goal dif defence.
    Those are the only real Off dmen I want.

  57. Lowetide says:

    nelson88:
    LT.

    You are generally a fine fellow and born in SK(?). Remind me how you are not a Rider fan?

    Didn’t want too much marital harmony so you decided to try and cheer against Ms LT?!

    By the way. Thanks to all for the throwback to the Flinstones at lunch discussion in yesterday’s threat. Great memories as I also grew up in the that era and in god’s true chosen land (SK) that was also must watch lunch t.v..I have two young boys and no longer reside in Canada so bring them back every summer. Last year we did house boating on the Shushwap and i bought the dvid’s. Boys loved them! the “house boating” episode was a particular hit.

    When I was a kid, the Riders were king and the Eskimos were the underdog. I am by nature prone to cheer for the down and out, suspect it was my Jehovah’s Witness upbringing where we have to help the downtrodden and must speak out against tyranny! Honestly, it’s exhausting.

    As for Mrs. Lowetide, there were times when I would have converted, and I did change religions. She didn’t even ask for that! Silly girl. 🙂

  58. nelson88 says:

    From what I know of your personality it makes sense you would cheer for the underdog.

    however; pains me to admit it but would be a very small window where the Esks weren’t king of the hill for most of my formative years. Wilkinson, moon, kelley, etc.

  59. Lowetide says:

    nelson88:
    From what I know of your personality it makes sense you would cheer for the underdog.

    however; pains me to admit it but would be a very small window where the Esks weren’t king of the hill for most of my formative years. Wilkinson, moon, kelley, etc.

    I came in when Ray Jauch coached them, they won six games I think. Bruce Lemmerman was the quarterback, top receiver George McGowan (I think this is correct) and Dave Cutler was already there,, too. |Don Warrington might have been on that team, he was a favorite.

  60. Richard S.S. says:

    With the NHL entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a freeze on all Hockey announcements that do not relate to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is imposed once again. So how will this apply this year? Information leaks too readily, with so many different ways available it’s hard to keep the lid on. I don’t expect much to happen with the Playoffs in progress. It’s after that I expect the Surprises to happen.

  61. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Does the fact that the QMJHL won the Memorial Cup increase their NHL translation factors by Vollman?

    https://twitter.com/robvollmanNHL/status/984181939857862656

  62. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear,

    Blue Jackets will sign Cole unless we give him a better offer. Guessing term.
    DeHaan is going to get paid this offseason. Decent chance he gets Klef money maybe more.

  63. deardylan says:

    When I see LeBron I always imagine McDavid in the Playoffs dominating. Feel it coming next season!

    When you are the KING you inspire everyone else on the team bringing them up with you!

    James just said before the playoffs he changed his mindset that he was going to squeeze everything out of his teams orange…get absolutely every drop of juice that his team could give.

    Now it is the 8th Consecutive times he reached the NBA finals and this time with a team who bungled their trade, lost their 2nd best player last year, lost 2nd best player this year to concussion.

    Excuses- no. Squeeze the orange.

    Making orange juice to reach NBA finals again. Some kids will remember him as their Gretzky, wont they?

    Watch THE block. Can this really happen? They just said entire TSN whole back office team just flipped out at that moment.

    Tonight–LB’s Defence, The Assists, The Goals, TOC! #BBGretzky

    Watch what we have in McDavid in 2018-202?.

    Squeeze that Oilers Orange McD and bring whoever your coaches, team mates and bloggers are to BELIEVE and RECEIVE that cup!

  64. Scungilli Slushy says:

    rickithebear: Go riders!

    WRONG!

  65. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Are you trying to win the cup or get the future top 2 centres reps to play toughs next season?

    Leon has the drive, but not dragging players around that can’t score, he tries to do too much.

    Lucic knows how to play and Vanek can convert. It can be anybody not just Vanek, but someone who knows what they are doing and can still help, not just float around waiting for setups.

    Actually I can’t stand that from any player except the very best scorers and even that irks me. Too easy to shut down one trick ponies in the playoffs when coaches can key in on specifics against opponents – hi Mr Stamkos!

    Young centres experienced wingers
    Slower centre faster wingers
    Young wingers experienced centres
    Young D experienced partner

    I want Leon to get those reps against 2nd comp without sheltering, and if you put Vanek on his wing with Lucic in that situation it’s setting him up to fail.

    The line could succeed, but only with shelter, and then if you do that are you really answering any questions about Leon as a centre?

    So, I’d say the dichotomy is not between trying to win the cup(lol) and giving Leon reps, but moreso giving Leon the important minutes versus sheltered minutes.. I would personally suggest Puljuarvi and a veteran LW, or Aberg as LW and a veteran RW with a better two-way resume than Vanek.

    This is what we know:

    – Leon will fail versus 2nd comp if he’s given the Caggiulas of the world

    – Leon will succeed variably versus 3rd comp with pretty much anything, to an extent

    This is what we don’t know, and what I would like to find out:

    – Can Leon push >50% goals with with a talented kid and a responsible veteran

    This is important because of how little cap space there is and how many young wingers will come up in the future, can we put them through the Leon academy, one per season, without sacrificing the goal of winning hockey games?

    You don’t win the cup next year, but you can find some things out and maybe make the playoffs along the way. Playing two veterans where we already know who they are and what Leon will be with them doesn’t do that.

  66. Wilde says:

    I’ll probably write something about this later if/when he’s re-signed, and I’m not trolling here, but I think there’s still more there with Ryan Strome.

  67. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde: I want Leon to get those reps against 2nd comp without sheltering, and if you put Vanek on his wing with Lucic in that situation it’s setting him up to fail.

    The line could succeed, but only with shelter, and then if you do that are you really answering any questions about Leon as a centre?

    So, I’d say the dichotomy is not between trying to win the cup(lol) and giving Leon reps, but moreso giving Leon the important minutes versus sheltered minutes.. I would personally suggest Puljuarvi and a veteran LW, or Aberg as LW and a veteran RW with a better two-way resume than Vanek.

    This is what we know:

    – Leon will fail versus 2nd comp if he’s given the Caggiulas of the world

    – Leon will succeed variably versus 3rd comp with pretty much anything, to an extent

    This is what we don’t know, and what I would like to find out:

    – Can Leon push >50% goals with with a talented kid and a responsible veteran

    This is important because of how little cap space there is and how many young wingers will come up in the future, can we put them through the Leon academy, one per season, without sacrificing the goal of winning hockey games?

    You don’t win the cup next year, but you can find some things out and maybe make the playoffs along the way. Playing two veterans who we already know what they are and what Leon will be with them doesn’t do that.

    Your numbers are good.

    I think Leon and Connor will step forward with the correct support. They are clearly talented and driven enough, and old enough, it’s not their first rodeo. They do need help they haven’t been given so far on a consistent basis.

    All is good with them. They are ready now to do it, although not alone.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Does the fact that the QMJHL won the Memorial Cup increase their NHL translation factors by Vollman?

    https://twitter.com/robvollmanNHL/status/984181939857862656

    No, Vollman’s measure over several regular seasons but no playoff. If more Q kids graduate though, that will impact.

  69. Professor Q says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Does the fact that the QMJHL won the Memorial Cup increase their NHL translation factors by Vollman?

    https://twitter.com/robvollmanNHL/status/984181939857862656

    Québec teams (including Maritime) have won quite a few times in the past few years so I wouldn’t think so, or at least not drastically.

  70. OmJo says:

    In terms of goals/game, Yakupov (0.16) would have been:

    1. McDavid (0.50)
    2. Nugent-Hopkins (0.39)
    3. Rattie (0.36) – is there a player here?
    4. Draisaitl (0.32)
    —–
    5. Caggiula (0.19)
    6. Puljujarvi (0.18)
    7. Khaira (0.16)
    8. Ryan Strome (0.16)
    9. Yakupov (0.15)

    Duchene was traded November 5. Assuming they played together every game up until that point, Yakupov was 4-3-7, +4 in 13 games. Not great, by any means, but a goals/game of 0.31 averaging around 12 minutes a game is actually very good. Of course this means he went 5-4-9, -2 in the following 45 games. What the hell happened?

    His 0.86 G/60 would put him tied for 5th on the 2017-18 Oilers with Cagguila (and Maroon). This is while playing on the 4th line, post-Duchene.

    Sigh.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wilde,

    This is what we know:

    “– Leon will fail versus 2nd comp if he’s given the Caggiulas of the world”

    ————————————–

    I’m not quite sure its as black and white as the above statement and, what I would say is what we know is “Leon lost the goal share battle last season versus 2nd comp when given the Caggulias of the world”.

    We also know that he was able to produce offensively at a high level with the Caggulias of the world.

    What we don’t know is if he’d be able to win the goal share battle this coming season with the Caggulias of the world.

    Leon is still a young man, still developing, still pre-prime.

    One can reasonably expect him to be better this coming year.

    This isn’t to say I don’t want to see Leon with better wingers than the Caggulias of the world – just responding to the implication that what was last year would repeat itself this year.

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