Nilsson V. Parise

I have a very good memory. At the 2003 draft, TSN analyst Pierre Maguire criticized the Islanders and Mike Milbury for not taking Parise ahead of Nilsson, ranting like a rabid dog and making little sense. Among the things Maguire railed about was Nilsson’s lack of size (Nilsson was the same height, 10 pounds lighter on draft day). Eventually Parise fell to Edmonton’s pick and they dealt it to NJD in exchange for the two picks that became Pouliot and Jacques.

Since then I’ve followed Parise V Pouliot and Parise V Nilsson closely and frankly cheered for Nilsson even when he wasn’t an Oiler. Although Kenta’s son isn’t my ideal player-type as a fan there’s something very galling about watching a mid-40s man ripping a 17-year old on the biggest day of his life because an NHL organization liked him better. I keep thinking Maguire will “get it” one day, but each year he slams kids taken earlier than his favorites and although it might make for interesting television (I’ll debate you on that one if you wish) it is most certainly bad form.

Anyway, 05-06 was our first chance to compare Parise and Nilsson and it went like this:

  • Parise 81gp, 14-18-32 .395 V Nilsson 53gp, 6-14-20 .377
  • Parise EV/60: 1.46 V Nilsson EV/60: 1.56
  • Parise PP/60: 3.35 V Nilsson PP/60: 3.37

This season we can take an even more detailed look:

  • Parise 72gp, 30-31-61 .847 V Nilsson 64gp, 10-27-37 .578
  • Parise EV/60: 2.00 V Nilsson EV/60: 2.39
  • Parise PP/60: 4.09 V Nilsson PP/60: 2.52

Nilsson plays the third toughest competition amongst Oiler RW’s according to Desjardins, and he plays with the second best linemates. At 5×5 he’s been on for 35GF and 28GA.

Parise plays about the same level of competition as Nilsson, and he plays with the second best linemates too. It seems as though both coaches are trying to get a second scoring line from youth based on a quick glance at NJD roster makeup (please correct me if I’m wrong, haven’t seen them much). At 5×5 he’s been on for 46GF and 31GA.

Parise spends 20% of his overall icetime on the PP (263 total minutes). He leads the Devils in PP time-on-ice. Nilsson is spending about 16.5% of his overall icetime on the PP (146 minutes). He ranks 7th in terms of Oilers PP TOI performers, which is skewed a bit because Stoll plays the point most often.

Parise is having a very nice plus minus (+21) season, leading Devils forwards in that category. Nilsson also has a nice plus minus (+6) relative to team, leading Oilers players in that category.

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30 Responses to "Nilsson V. Parise"

  1. doritogrande says:

    Nilsson’s +/- makes a lot of sense, but I’m having a lot of trouble explaining to myself why Parise’s is so high when he’s been on the ice for more goals against than goals for at 5×5. Is there something I’m missing here? Is he playing a hell of a lot 4×4 and making something happen?

  2. Bruce says:

    DG, BtN has Parise at +46/-31 5v5, he’s been on for one shortie for and three against, which works out to +13. Must be some 4v4 action there, I seem to recall Parise being involved in some OT goals but I can’t find any stats (NJD do lead the league with 6 OT wins), and of course there’s 4v4 in regulation as well.

  3. doritogrande says:

    Oh, okay I see the typo now. That would explain it.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Shoot. Sorry guys, I’ll fix it.

  5. doritogrande says:

    Pobody’s nerfect, LT.

  6. Lowetide says:

    The biggest surprise is that it wasn’t alcohol related. :-)

  7. Art Vandelay says:

    Not that I’m a fan of TSN’s bald spaz, but I’m not expected to feel sorry for a 17-year-old who’s on the verge of becoming a spoiled millionaire hockey player, am I?

  8. Lowetide says:

    Art: Not at all. However, it’s completely ridiculous to rip these kids for failures real or imagined based on where they are taken in the draft. NHL scouts usually do a good job as a group grabbing all the best talent in the top 30 picks so there must have been some reason to like the guy.

    Pierre had a preference, fine. He could easily express that without getting personal.

    The Islanders actually do a splendid job drafting btw. They just trade them all.

  9. PunjabiOil says:

    A good comparison. At EV strength, Nilsson creates offense at exceptional rates. He seems to be a guy who should be performing better with the man advantage – early results haven’t indicated so, but I’d imagine if he consistently gets to play on the first PP unit, he’ll be scoring at higher rates.

    Parise is a better goalscorer. I don’t expect much more than in the range of 15-20 goals next season for Nilsson. Play making is the bread and butter of his game.

  10. Dennis says:

    12 is certainly a guy worth getting excited about at evens. The kid has great vision and skill and it’s been on display for awhile now.

    But when we talk about how we can pump his numbers on the PP, the only way we can get everyone in the same first unit boat is if one of the kids or Hemsky’s placed back on the point. Not sure if MacT’s willing to do this though we saw him try it with Skyora-Stoll there at the start of the ’07 season.

    Maybe, though, that was more a by-product of the fact that the Oilers didn’t really have a Dman worth putting on the PP point.

    In any case, 12-13 plus 77 have been getting some things down on the 2nd unit too so can someone break down the PP/60 from the first unit to the second? Is that even possible?

  11. Lowetide says:

    I hope they sign Nilsson to a nice three year deal at good dollars before giving him any kind of PP time. He’s been a quality player this season but PP numbers only increase his price.

    I can’t honestly imagine his season going any better than it has in 07-08. He had an open shot at an NHL job and went yard.

  12. Dennis says:

    Yeah, it’s Cam’s idea, but he threw out a 4 yr/8 mill deal and I’d be all over that at this point. I think 12 would have a serious shot at outperforming that contract. But you wonder if Nilsson would take that? On the one hand it sets him up for life, obviously, but on the other hand maybe he fully believes that there are far great counting stats days ahead of him and he’s willing to gamble security for it.

    There won’t be enough money for everyone but with the collegiate atmosphere, I think Lowe has a good chance to sign up a lot of these guys at an early time in their careers. YOu’ve got all these young guys spending their first year together and tasting some success and human beings are primarily creatures of habit; more especially when all teams have the same amount of money to spend;)

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    The problem with a 4 year deal is that Nilsson it takes Nilsson to unrestricted free agency.

    Thus, a 3 or 5 year deal seems better.

    Hard to predict what Nilsson will get. A guy like Horton in Florida put up 47 in 71 (Nilsson is 37 in 64) and only got a 1 year 1.1M deal. Of course he cashed in after next season.

    I think Nilsson will get 1.5M on a short term deal. Around 2.25M on long term deal. Of course their is always the chance the young player doesn’t live up to his promise – so you have to consider it when negotiating the terms of the contracts.

  14. Bank Shot says:

    You have to wonder if any of these Oilers’ agents have instructed them to wait around in the offseaon for an RFA offer to roll in.

    What with Buffalo threatening to return the favour and all.

    It’s strange why Lowe would make himself an obvious target like that given the plethora of RFAs he’ll need to sign in the next 2-3 seasons.

  15. Eric says:

    When there is an ongoing acquisition of a business, it is very common for there to be a freeze on big moves, including hiring and firing. Given the sheer number of acquisitions that Katz has done in building his pharmacy empire, we can pretty safely assume that he has a standard set of requirements for the target and I would guess that no hiring/firing is one of them. I think that is at least part of the reason we didn’t see Lowe make any moves at the deadline and it probably also has something to do with the lack of activity trying to sign the RFAs. I would also guess that Katz has a pretty keen understanding of how you build a winning organization while managing the budget. Let’s hope he holds KLowe’s feet to the budget fire to ensure that he gets good value on the RFAs when he gets busy signing them.

  16. Bruce says:

    I’d imagine if he consistently gets to play on the first PP unit, he’ll be scoring at higher rates.

    Just in the last three games:

    vs. SJ: Hemsky (Nilsson, Gagner) PP
    vs. PHX: Nilsson (Hemsky, Gilbert) PP

    It’s strange why Lowe would make himself an obvious target like that given the plethora of RFAs he’ll need to sign in the next 2-3 seasons.

    Agreed, BS. This summer scares the shit out of me. Not just the three key RFA defencemen, but some of the younger, “cheaper” guys up front who would yield lower compensation in terms of picks.

  17. Lowetide says:

    I think Lowe had a nice deadline, as Glencross has certainly given his line a boost.

  18. breakerdog says:

    “You have to wonder if any of these Oilers’ agents have instructed them to wait around in the offseaon for an RFA offer to roll in.”

    Over $1,171,882 to $2,343,765…….Second-round choice

    Over $2,343,765 to $3,515,647…….First-round and third-round choice

    Over $3,515,647 to $4,687,530…….First-round, second-round and third-round choice

    Over $4,687,530 to $5,859,412…….Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice.

    Stoll for a 1st and 3rd sounds pretty good to me right now. Any offer lower than 3M per year is matchable.

    Pitkanen at 4M …or a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I think I sign him. There have been rumors of him wanting 5M per year. If he gets a taker then drive
    him to the airport and take the picks.

  19. Eric says:

    LT: I’m in full agreement that it looks like it was a very good trade. However I don’t think that was really a major move since he shaved salary with Glencross.

  20. Bruce says:

    I think Lowe had a nice deadline, as Glencross has certainly given his line a boost.

    Agreed, LT. While Tarnstrom has delivered as promised with CBJ (15 GP, 2-7-9, 6 PPP but -4), he was gonzo at the end of the year; meanwhile GlenX has come in and created an instant chemical bond with Brodziak and Stortini on an outstanding fourth unit. I only wish there was 10% of that chemistry on the nominal “first” line.

    Alas, GlenX too could be gonzo at the end of the season as a UFA (unless we make the playoffs and win at least a round, which would allow him to reach GP thresholds). Presumably he’s impressing more than just the locals with his fine performance as a mature rookie (55 GP, 11-10-21, +7 on two struggling clubs). I’d love to see the Oil get him under contract for even a year which I think would put the “R” back in his FA status in future. Two years would be better. He’s probably earned a raise, esp. with his bargaining power, maybe $750 K per? Glencurtis is definitely worth a one-way deal.

    Footnote: Like Andy McDonald, Chris Kunitz, and Dustin Penner, GlenX was yet another undrafted college player signed by Anaheim, where he got his first cup o’ coffee but couldn’t stick.

  21. Jfry says:

    It’s strange why Lowe would make himself an obvious target like that given the plethora of RFAs he’ll need to sign in the next 2-3 seasons.

    let’s say that we have two RFAs poached and we get 1st round picks…then we have our own 1st round pick in the next draft as well…that seems to be a lot of potential 1st round chips in a Tavares sweepstakes.

    i don’t mind that lowe hasn’t done anything about the RFAs…if RFAs don’t get offers from other teams, then they become a whole lot cheaper for us to sign. i think the “gamble” is worth it especially on someone like stoll, who the org might not know what to do with.

  22. Bruce says:

    Jfry? Is that you, Joffrey? It’s not the first time you’ve come up a little short.

    ;~)

  23. PunjabiOil says:


    let’s say that we have two RFAs poached and we get 1st round picks…

    Would you trade a 1st round pick for Nilsson? Gilbert? Joni Pitkanen?

    I wouldn’t unless they’re lottery draft picks.


    then we have our own 1st round pick in the next draft as well…

    The own 1st round pick will be there regardless. The only thing to look for is MARGINAL 1st round picks


    that seems to be a lot of potential 1st round chips in a Tavares

    I don’t see a bottom 10 team throwing an RFA offersheet for our guys.

    I can see a team like Detroit/NJ throwing RFA offersheets, which forces you to match.

  24. Black Dog says:

    I think the whole fear of RFA offer sheets may be a little overblown. Anaheim has cap issues so no worries there. Buffalo has to worry about Ryan Miller, Pominville and so on in the next year or so. Going after Pitkanen for revenge doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I would say.

    As for other teams, maybe it will happen but there are plenty of RFAs all over the league. To think that there will be some free for all around the Oilers – I doubt it.

  25. Lowetide says:

    The offer sheet route would have gotten a huge boost if the Oilers had improved season over season on LW with Penner in the lineup.

    Lose Ryan Smyth, bring in Frank Mahovlich, that kind of thing.

    However, when you lose Ryan Smyth and bring in Peter Laframboise it’s doubtful there will be followers.

  26. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I feel the same way, Pat.

    You saw a lot of teams locking in guys before their first three years were up but count me among the guys who didn’t necessarily think the Boogeyman was around every corner.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Adam Foote is hurt.

  28. Bruce says:

    Peter Laframboise? Great name, LT. Nasty crack, too.

    I’d put Big Dustin somewhere in between the Big M and Big Pete, personally. Hopefully a lot closer to the former than the latter, eventually.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Yeah I admit to aiming for cruel. I do like Penner btw, he has long stretches of being ineffective but clearly can help a team. In some ways he reminds me of Big Frank’s brother Pete.

    It took Pete a long time to hit his stride but when he did the guy was ridiculous for a time.

  30. Bruce says:

    LT: Agreed, the “Little” M is a much better comp for Penner than that other Pete. I think Laframboise is French for “tits on a bull”.

    Fwiw, I thought Penner may have played his best game as an Oiler against Colorado. (So far.) The big palooka really had his feet moving and was a monster along the boards. Better still, he was really clicking with Hemsky, something which I have criticized both guys until now.

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