Oilers #2 Prospect December 2007: Andrew Cogliano

Current Rank: 2
Summer 2007 Rank: 3

Andrew Cogliano’s comps are easy to identify. He’s 20, has very specific skills that are above average and is very recognizable because of his footspeed.

Andrew Cogliano belongs to the Dave Keon, Butch Goring, Ralph Backstrom family of centers who have such a wide variety of skills that their offensive numbers are sure to suffer. Cogliano’s impressive speed, aggressive forecheck, great anticipation and intelligence means he’s already a penalty killer of note for the Oilers.

To give you an indication of his impact already in this area, here is the list of the trusted forwards who have killed penalties for Craig MacTavish since 00-01 and their minutes per game in that capacity (20 games or more, min. 30 seconds per game):

  1. Stoll (03-04) 1:51
  2. Cogliano (07-08) 1:19
  3. Pittis (00-01) 1:01
  4. Thoresen (06-07) 0:55
  5. Pouliot (06-07) 0:45

I understand there have been injuries (Moreau, Pisani), and the Oilers top 4 PK forwards (Reasoner, Horcoff, Brodziak, Stoll) are all over 3 minutes a game.

Although we know the “family” of players that Cogliano belongs to, it isn’t yet clear where he ranks among that group. Some of those guys popped 30 goals a few times and early indications are that Cogliano has some offensive ability (he scored on a breakaway last night, safely clearing the “Marchant” hurdle). He ranks third in rookie scoring despite playing many fewer minutes than the Chicago two (Toews: 18:38, Kane: 18:32, Cogliano: 14:10) and is one of only two rookie forwards to have a SH goal (other one is Dowell, Chicago).

I believe Sam Gagner is a better prospect than Andrew Cogliano, but also believe that Cogliano may be the guy who does more to help his team win hockey games.

There’s a difference. Cogliano has a wide group of skills and his current NHL totals (26gp, 6-9-15) have him on course for more than 45 points. That will put him pretty high on an impressive list.

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8 Responses to "Oilers #2 Prospect December 2007: Andrew Cogliano"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    Given that I was about 6 when that trio of comps played their last game, do you class Horc in there LT or is he somewhere else?

    Also, for a guy with a name like “Butch Goring”, I’m surprised at few PIM he had.

  2. Lowetide says:

    MC: I’d say Horcoff is a better playmaker than all of these guys, so not really a comp. Horcoff is also a bigger man than Keon, Goring, Backstrom or Cogliano.

    Of course, Cogliano may end up having more offense than Keon, Goring or Backstrom and then it’s a different discussion.

  3. jon says:

    There are times this season where you can smile despite an Oilers game being on, just thinking about Horcoff and Cogliano as our #1 and #2 centres for the next few seasons. Probably my two favourite Oilers this season, with no one knocking on the door.

    I must admit, after seeing Cogliano a few times in the pre-season, I thought he’d be heading to the AHL for sure. However, he’s fortunately fallen into the category of players who never play a game in the A, and we all know what that means.

  4. Dennis says:

    There were two interviews I listened to this week that really made me feel a little better about the Oilers going forward.

    The first was with 51 when he talked about missing the net in Col and the game in Denver. He said it was a stupid play on his behalf and overall the team was playing stupid with all the turnovers. It wasn’t spoken with anything less than disgust and urgency. This is a guy that cares. Ryan Smyth was like that, Janne Ninimaa too. And we know that Horcoff and Moreau could also make that claim. Some guys, though? You just have to wonder. Lupul played like he didn’t give a fuck, Comrie did sometimes too and Carter was a guy you had to wonder about. Brodziak seems like a fellow that plays most games like he’s afraid he’ll lose his job. I love fellows that show that intensity.

    The other interview was with 13 where he said he was watching Horcoff very closely because that was a guy who he’d planned to pattern his game after. Cogs will be a better defensive player as soon as he stops his own play where he tries to go through two guys. Learning to dump and chase because you’re faster than just about everyone else on the sheet, that’s gonna make him a guy who increases the time the puck’s in the good end of the ice when he’s in the zone. Plus, he’s got some decent hands and early on shows the knack for being able to pick up points without getting a lot of icetime.

    The Oilers have some nice pieces going forward and Cogs is a guy I’d feel comfortable betting on.

  5. Mustafa Hirji says:

    On clearing the Marchant hurdle, if you remember when Marchant came in (late in 1994 I think—season after we traded MacT for him), Marchant had this string of 10ish games or so where he seemed to be scoring all the time. I remember a few people called him “Goldfinger” because he seemed to always get the puck, go on a breakaway, and get the goal winning us several games with timely scoring. And then, all of a sudden he lost it and became a solid third line player who didn’t seem to be able to score anymore.

    Because of the Marchant experience, and really because of all the rookies who start off strong and then go into a lull in scoring, I’m hesitant to say Cogliano has cleared any hurdle yet.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Mustafa: I think it’s also the role they play though, right? Marchant was on a wing with a skill C (Weight?) for that time and eventually ended up being more valuable in a two-way role.

    If the Oilers handed Angrew Cogliano their two best wingers every night I’m pretty confident his numbers would improve.

    However, he’s already spending time on lines other than #4, and I think he’ll end up playing a similar role to the one Marchant had when he was here.

    Hopefully with more offense.

  7. Mustafa Hirji says:

    By “any hurdle”, I meant offensive hurdle (sorry, was careless with words). i think he’s cleared hurdles on defensive play and I agree that he’ll probably be at least a Marchant. Where I’m not sure of his long term abilities is on offense, and whether his breakway goal means any more than it turned out to mean for Marchant’s early breakaway goals.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Mustafa: Agree absolutely with you. We’re about to find out.

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