RE 09-10: Andrew Cogliano

In his first two seasons as an Edmonton Oiler Andrew Cogliano has scored 36 goals. In the last decade, two-season totals from NHL newcomers include Mike Comrie (41), Jarret Stoll (32), Sam Gagner (29), Ales Hemsky (18), Jason Chimera (18), Shawn Horcoff (17).

Cogliano scored 14 even-strength goals in 972 minutes and scored 18 goals on 116 shots. Sustainable? Unlikely, although it’s at least more reasonable than his rookie season (Cogs scored 18 goals on 98 shots as a rookie. source: hockey-reference).

When he came into the league as a rookie I thought Cogliano would be a member of the Keon-Backstrom-Goring family, that group of undersized speedster centers who are demons as checkers. Comparisons to Todd Marchant (“with hands”) seemed reasonable based on the description of skills and how he looked on the ice.

Except Cogliano doesn’t have a lot of the skills we associate with those men. I remember Butch Goring as an LA King but don’t recall if he was an exceptional defensive player when he came into the league. As a rookie, he was -15 on a team that was -89 at EVs (Cogs was +1 on a team that was -14 so they were both better than average) but gained the reputation at some point of being a quality two-way center. Cogliano is a long way from Goring’s reputation, put it that way.

  • Boxcars: 82gp, 18-20-38, 20pims
  • Shots: 116
  • Plus Minus: -6
  • Corsi: -4.4
  • GF/GA ON: 36-37
  • 5×5/60: 1.69
  • 5×4/60: 3.39
  • Quality of Competition: 3rd level
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd level
  • FO %: 37.2% in 702 sorties
  • 09-10 Cap Hit: $.850M(nhlnumbers.com)
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He’s hopeless in the faceoff circle to the point where you’d have to think they’ll ask someone else on his line to take draws. He’s scored 18 goals two seasons in a row to start his career and if he can cash a few more opportunities each season the Oilers could be looking at a consistent 25-goal scorer. His Corsi is poor, even less impressive compared to the other forwards on the roster and he’s not a powerplay monster.
  2. How could the numbers be better? Cogliano’s speed gets him lots of chances and like Todd Marchant before him the kid doesn’t cash like a sniper. I think he’ll be a better scorer than Marchant (who in the three seasons from age 23-25 scored 14, 14 and 14 goals) but can’t offer any math on the subject. It just seems reasonable to me that Cogliano will score 20 goals in a season before Marchant did (Marchant did it at age 29). Marchant was asked to take on a more complete role requiring a wider range of skills; Cogliano may not have those skills, which could mean a more one dimensional (offensive) role for the heart of his career. We’ll see.
  3. What about Gagner? I don’t see any reason they can’t co-exist but the Oilers have already tried to trade one of them so it seems they’re heading to a Horcoff-Comrie conclusion. Cogliano would seem to be the man destined to spend the heart of his career elsewhere.
  4. What about the Kid Line? One thing that might work is a Gagner-O’Sullivan-Cogliano line. POS can play any position and Gagner is far better in the middle (to my eye with thanks from Louise) so it’s a matter of Cogliano accepting a role on the wing.
  5. Will Quinn play him against tougher opposition? I don’t think any of the kids are prepared for heavy lifting and the surprise is Cogliano. Gagner came from junior hockey, Nilsson is a free spirit but Cogliano went to college and we’re used to Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani type coming from the NCAA. Maybe it’s a matter of maturity and he’ll show improvement this coming season.
  6. What Else? The Oilers have traded Andrew Cogliano. I have no idea how that impacts the future.
  7. How Important is Cogliano to this team? Pretty important. He’s either a valuable trading chip or he’s part of the future up front. It would help if he was a little better in the present.

By The Numbers

  • 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.28
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.69
  • 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 2.52
  • 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 3.39

Predictions Past 2008-09

  • Predicted: 80gp, 20-25-45 (.563 per game).
  • Actual: 82gp, 18-20-38 (.463 per game).

Prediction for 2009-10: 82gp, 22-25-47 (.573 per game)

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45 Responses to "RE 09-10: Andrew Cogliano"

  1. oilersinsider says:

    While I like Cogliano, he's the odd man out if he can't play the wing. I'd assume he could but if he comes out and says he'd prefer not to, then I have my concerns.

    My first reaction when he was part of the Heatley trade was, wow what an overpayment, but the more I examine the Oilers, the current roster and where Cogliano fits, the more I wouldn't be upset if they moved him for a piece that fits better.

  2. oilerdago says:

    I think Cogliano has the potential to score over 30 goals a season in his prime with the right kind of linemates.

    But I would agree, that will only come from playing the wing. It would seem that the only way Cogs plays center now is on the 3rd line, which would dial back his scoring opportunities because of the quality of linemates.

    If Quinn can find a way to get Cogs and Gagner going, this could be a fun team to watch this season.

  3. Racki says:

    Cogliano absolutely needs to be on line #2 (if not number one). MacTavish dropped the ball big time on this one. 18 goals playing with plugs. His wheels I think make him a logical choice for the top line, even, once O'Sullivan or Gagner assume the center position (and I'm not saying that this will happen this year.. I mean down the road sometime).

  4. mjsh says:

    I lived in Flin Flon when Goring was a Junior. I watched Goring a number of times. First memory is that he was totaling offence. Second that he was very soft. Rumor was that he went back to Junior "B" as it was called then because he could not handle the tough slugging in Flin Flon. Turned himself into a pretty nice player though.

    I really like Cogs but I do see him as being the odd man out as well. One thing I have to remind myself is that although I like a lot of the young Oil, the fact is that this has not been a playoff team.

  5. misfit says:

    Despite his issues in the faceoff circle, I still like him as a centerman, and don't think he should be moved to the wing.

    There aren't a lot of players who are stellar defensive forwards and penalty killers early on in their careers, so I'm not losing hope on him being a strong two-way player in this league either.

  6. Racki says:

    I'm not sure how you guys figure he's the odd man out. I don't see why he'd have a problem playing the wing, for one. He's one of the few guys on the team with a shooters mentality, but also has playmaking ability. Speed kills, and he has superb amounts to burn. He's also likely going to be a guy that can bring a solid game at both ends of the ice, and I think eventually we see him out on the PK more.

    Gagner will be ahead of him in development eventually, and never look back, but Cogliano is a great player to keep on this team. He became expendible in fans' minds when Tambellini offered him up for Heatley. But you know what, that was Dany Effin Heatley. We had to give up someone of good quality to get him. If no one had mentioned his name in trade rumors, we'd all still be commenting about how invaluable he is.

    Cogliano might not be the #1 future of this team, but he's a complementary player and will be a top six regular here for years to come if I get my wish ;)

  7. misfit says:

    For the record, I'd keep him at center on the 2nd line and move Gagner to the wing.

  8. Gord says:

    What does "By The Numbers" mean???

    # 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.28
    # 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.69

    Because when I look at 07-08, I see Cogliano with 972 minutes even strength (5×5) having 15 goals & 20 assists. Which works out to 2.16 points per 60 minutes.

    In 08-09, he played 887 minutes ES having 14 goals & 15 assists. Which works out to 1.96 points per 60 minutes.

    What am I missing?

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Cogliano and Gagner are both very good if not outstanding young players.

    This Oilers team(MacT coached) missed the playoffs three straight seasons.

    Someone please explain to me why both of them aren't critical to the Oilers ever emerging as a contender.

    Lose Moreau, Pisani, Horcoff(albatross contract), maybe even Penner, but keep the young uber prospects.

    Maybe the thing to do is simply drop the kids down to the 4th line, like the 1990 Oilers had with Graves/Gelinas/Murphy.

  10. Black Gold says:

    If he was on the happy side of 50% at the dot, I wonder how quickly that goring/marchant reputation would come. Even if you left his actual defensive play the way it is.

    If he was 50%+, we'd all be happy our 3C has arrived. I wonder if he's working on anything other than faceoffs this summer. :)

    (On that note, where's he spending his offseason? He's from southern Ontario, right? He kicking it with Sam and the other ex-Knights in London? I guess his hometown isn't rly that close to London..)

  11. Black Gold says:

    What does "By The Numbers" mean???

    # 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.28
    # 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.69

    Because when I look at 07-08, I see Cogliano with 972 minutes even strength (5×5) having 15 goals & 20 assists. Which works out to 2.16 points per 60 minutes.

    In 08-09, he played 887 minutes ES having 14 goals & 15 assists. Which works out to 1.96 points per 60 minutes.

    What am I missing?

    Cogs played 972 even minutes, 160 PP and 48 SH in 08/09. Looks like you took 972 as total ice time and subtracted the PP time.

  12. Lowetide says:

    All of the numbers are taken from desjardins. He uses 5×5 minutes and 5×4 minutes.

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    Gord: I assume LT got his numbers from Behind the Net, which records only 5v5 ice-time. NHL.com's even-strength icetime also includes 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 situations.

  14. Traktor says:

    Racki:

    Love the Luke Curadi avatar. I was hoping we'd grab him in the 7th round this year.

  15. Gord says:

    NHL.com's even-strength icetime also includes 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 situations.

    TY Jonathan – that is probably the answer.

    If accurate, that means overtime does not exist when we are evaluating the players…

  16. Oilmaniac says:

    And does anyone remember, still, those three overtime goals in a row by mister 'overtime-godliano'…

    Thats clutch baby, or about as clutch as a player on a non-playoff team can be…

    Thats a cool record id remember if I was him (set in the rookie season to boot)

  17. Oilmaniac says:

    kinda poor quality… but it harkens back to the glory 'weeks' of the oilers most recent kid line…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnKwNvoF0d0

  18. dave says:

    There was a post a while back that discussed using the players in their best roles and not trying to force them into new roles. And I think watching a MacT team for so long it didn't seem so obvious. 1st line pwr vs pwr, 2nd soft or lesser comp., 3rd checking line. 4th crash and bang.

    We've also had alot of discussion regarding lines being made up pairs.

    Horc-Hemmer-(Penner)
    Gagne-POS-(who cares jaques?)
    Cogs-Nilson (Pouliot/pisani)
    Vet C – Moreau and?

    I mean who should we hold the C spot on the roster for Cogs or Pou). It's Cogs hands down for me.

  19. Gord says:

    does anyone remember, still, those three overtime goals in a row by mister 'overtime-godliano'…

    I remember…. But overtime goals do not count when the players are evaluated since they are not 5×5…

    What I really like about Cogliano is that he had 5 game winning goals in 2007-08 and 4 game winning goals in 2008-09…

    Penner had 4 GWG in 2007-08 and 5 in 2008-09…

    Between the two of them, they totaled 9 GWG a year… Meanwhile Horcoff & Hemsky totaled 4 in each of those years.

    Ironically, it was Penner & Cogliano we were trading…

  20. Steve says:

    Ironically, it was Penner & Cogliano we were trading…

    Even accepting your premise that some players have a significantly greater proclivity for "clutch" performance than others, the game winning goal stat is not a good measure of it. Game winning goals include tie-breakers scored in overtime or the dying minutes of the third, yes, but they also include

    * the goal scored at 2:13 of the first period in what turns out to be an 8-0 blowout;
    * the goal scored to put a team up 4-1, before the other team scores two more to make it interesting;

    The game winning goal stat is essentially useless, and your suggestion that Cogliano and Penner are more valuable players than Horcoff and Hemsky because of it is, ah, dubious.

  21. Gord says:

    Steve,

    The 1st period blowout GWG's also pertain to Horcoff – look at the facts & weep…

    I am just pointing out that Cogliano & Penner are extremely valuable parts of the team – the fact that their overtime contributions are not included skews the information we are analyzing…

    Since you do not like game winning goals, let us look at PP goals.

    Horcoff & Hemsky totaled 7:58 per game in powerplay time last season – scored 12 goals.

    Penner & Cogliano totaled 4:54 per game in powerplay time – scored 9 goals. A slightly better average per minute played…

    And considering Penner is a major screen in front of the net (as David Staples / Edm J highlighted to readers) & does not receive credit for that attribute…

    Back to the thing that nags me – when O'Sullivan with his NHL career 7.5 shooting percentage is somehow considered a better scorer than Cogliano with his 16.8% – the numbers are skewed big time.

    And that is why I started analyzing the facts…

  22. Tuomas says:

    This is a bit OT, but thought that you might be interested. Toni Rajala has suffered a knee injury in game against Switzerland (Finnish U-20 squad is currently playing 5-country tournament in Slovakia). It's not clear how severe injury is, but atleast Rajala can't play in remaining games in tournament. Prior to injury he had scored one goal (it was first game of tournament).

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Sounds about right for the Oilers, a prospect getting career threatening injury right after the draft.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Does this avatar make my ass look fat?

  25. Matt N says:

    It's not the avatar.

  26. misfit says:

    It's the fat.

  27. rickibear says:

    gord: GWG are so much more importent than the other goals before them.

    uh mmmmmh nevermind!

    you are correct that Shooting% is a good marker.

    give me these lines:

    penner-gagner-hemsky; Mids; 14 TOI
    Nilsson-horcoff-Pisani; PvP; 13 TOI
    Moreau-cogs-O'sull; Soft; 12 TOI(all are north south guys with one on one tendencies.)
    Jacques-Pouliot-storts 6 TOI

  28. Peter says:

    Steve Yzerman couldn't play defence either. If he has a head, and some determination, he can become a better 2-way player.

    I think he will be a good 30 goal, 60 point, 2-way forward that plays in every situation once he's in his prime around 25 or 26. I'd compare him to Matt Lombardi but with better hands. He's quite a competitor, and I think if the Oilers give up on him because he's the 'odd-man out' then this team is going nowhere.

    Brian Burke once said a smart thing: "we draft the best player available, not to fill a certain position." Though this becames less true as you move down the draft, they picked Bobby Ryan in 2005, not because they needed a forward, but because they thought he was the best player after Crosby. They look pretty smart now. I think it's the same thing once you get into the NHL. You keep your best kids regardless of position. He's the best building block we have at forward that's currently in the NHL aside from Gagner and of course Hemsky.

    Try moving him to wing. Sure. Keep him as one of our top 3 centres with Gagner and Horcoff. I'm tired of labelling 1C, 2C, 3C. Horcoff can be our '3C' in an offensive role, eating up the 'tough minutes' and the other 2 can play the 'softer minutes'. I maintain that match-ups are more for playoff hockey, when you play the same opponent for up to 7 games. Over the course of a season, playing different opponents, match-ups are a lot less significant.

  29. Peter says:

    Please tell me who the 3C was on Buffalo in '06 out of Briere, Drury, Connolly, Roy. You could say Drury, but he played on the 2nd line. We can do that with Horcoff. How bout Brind'amour in Carolina? Staal-Brind'amour-Weight-Cullen. Brind'amour was the 2nd line centre, but effectively the 3C. Kesler will be 2nd line centre in Vancouver this year, but effectively the 3C.

    Can we end this obsession with the 3C? Cogliano and Nilsson don't fit in the top 6? Can player x adapt to role y? You build systems around players, not force players into systems. Getting Quinn, a more offensive coach, hopefully reflects the current make-up of the roster – a team that should play a more run-and-gun type of game that wasn't allowed to under MacTavish.

  30. Lowetide says:

    "Clutch" goals? Are we actually going to do this again? Can someone find one of Vic's posts that kill this idea and paste it?

    Thanks.

  31. HBomb says:

    rickibear: I'd swap O'Sullivan and Nilsson, but your lineup idea intrigues me.

    Peter: thank you for saying that bit. We get caught up in "traditional" definitions too much sometimes.

  32. Lord Bob says:

    Gagner came from junior hockey, Nilsson is a free spirit but Cogliano went to college and we're used to Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani type coming from the NCAA.

    Horcoff was every bit as bad as this when he got started (except for the faceoffs) and Pisani came from the AHL. There's your difference.

  33. Oilmaniac says:

    yeah wow…

    Really dug that bit of opinion Peter.. at the same time tho.. would you say the oilers need another centre (avoiding the term of a 3C) for the 'tough' jobs of PK and Def-FO's to help out horcoff..?

    It harkens back to last years off-season fantasy of the oilers young guns being good enough to run three offensive lines, with sluggers n rooks on the fourth.. at least from the predictions of Quinns coaching behavoir, they might just get another kick at that can…

  34. Alice says:

    Cogs has hands, or at least seems to be able to Sustain an Unsustainable SH%. Instead of moaning about this high number, let's run with it until it burns out. As someone said, why not 1LW? This is not a slag on Penner either, it's a way to find productive room for a valuable piece.

    And here's a thought to go with that: POS has a brutal SH%, but [obviously] puts tons of stuff to the net. Get him opposite the 'Bus in the Crease' Penner.

    Cogs-Horc-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-POS

  35. Oilmaniac says:

    Id switch POS n Nils too…
    Those actually look like fairly balanced lines Ricki.. i wonder how POS will show in training camp and the beginning of the season.. where will the chemistry form…

    Nils n Cogs have good chemistry n speed, morrow w the job of baby sitting… alas, this also requires penner to show well.. so many question marks…

  36. Gord says:

    He's the best building block we have at forward that's currently in the NHL aside from Gagner and of course Hemsky.

    I completely agree Peter…

    Even strength goals in 2008-09:
    Hemsky 19
    Cogliano 14
    Moreau 13
    Penner 12
    Cole 11
    Gagner 10

    Cogliano was in 10th in ES TOI per game among Oiler forwards – just ahead of Penner.

    In 2007-08 (as a rookie), Cogliano scored 15 ES goals – tied with the team leader Horcoff (who missed a lot of games due to injury).

    Yet Cogliano was in 11th place in ES TOI per game among forwards.

    Cogliano is a gem – he has wheels and a wickedly accurate shot. Only 20 years old, just getting started – within two years he will be averaging 30 goals a year for a long time if ever given the opportunity on a top line.

    Yet Katz wanted to cripple the Oilers salary cap by trading him for Heatley.

    And even Lowetide says "the kid doesn't cash like a sniper"…

  37. Black Gold says:

    Cogliano is a gem – he has wheels and a wickedly accurate shot. Only 20 years old..

    I thought he turned 22 last june..?
    I agree though, he is a talent.

  38. kris says:

    I'd be a little more sympathetic to a stat like 'goals scored when the score was within a two goal difference and the net wasn't empty' than game winning goals as a measure of "clutchness."

    I mean, the goal to tie the game at 2-2 early in the third is just as "clutch" as the 2nd period goal that wins a 3-2 game.

    But even that stat wouldn't tell you much. I think you're better off just assuming that some goals are scored in blowouts, some goals are empty netters, some goals are scored against tired teams suffering from the flu, etc. It's just that, in the long run, all players and teams are effected equally by these factors and so we don't need to worry about weeding them out when comparing players or teams.

    Of course, this is just too obvious.

  39. kris says:

    Peter,

    Not sure who you're arguing with.

    When people say we need a 3C, I think they mean we need one more C who can play tough opposition and take some own zone faceoffs -and faceoffs on the PK- without getting killed in GoalDiff./60. How you number the lines 1,2,3 is irrelevant. No one will disagree.

    Moreover, I think everybody agrees that the C we need to add can be a guy who scores a lot and is a bit weak defensively; it's just that he has to be a good bet to outscore reasonably tough opposition, even while starting a lot of shifts from his own end.

    So far, Cog.s, Gagner, and Pouliot aren't quite that guy and I don't think they're good bets to become that guy this year. Certainly there are, or at least were, free agents out there who are better bets to play behind Horcoff.

  40. Gord says:

    I thought he turned 22 last june..?

    You are correct (he was 21 last season) – that is what sometimes happens when I am multi-tasking…

    A good read is posted on the front page of Dobber Hockey under the heading of "The Wait Continues for the Coyote Kids".

    Basically, if you give the talented kids responsibilities & opportunities – the cream of the crop will rise to the top.

    If you hold back the ice time, the team always end up worse because of it…

    And when I see that Cogliano's ES ice time forward linemates (in order of minutes played) were:

    1) Moreau
    2) Nilsson
    3) Pouliot
    4) Gagner
    5) Pisani

    Considering Cogliano played less than 73 ES minutes with Hemsky & more ES minutes throughout the whole season with Schremp than with Horcoff.

    I am impressed with Cogliano's 14 ES goals this past season. And I suspect his wheels are one of the reasons his linemates get opportunities & goals.

  41. Oilmaniac says:

    Kris:
    "Moreover, I think everybody agrees that the C we need to add can be a guy who scores a lot and is a bit weak defensively; it's just that he has to be a good bet to outscore reasonably tough opposition, even while starting a lot of shifts from his own end. "

    I dont agree with that… the C needed is alot more like the 3C label suggests… tough to play against, Pk'r, FO artist… not a semi-soft min killer… that is EXACTLY what we have in cogs/gagner so why the F would we want to add another… everything else about an 'out scorer' is too simplistic a characteristic that we as fans would like to add to all oilers…

  42. Oilmaniac says:

    would just like to add… cogs/gagner are that player, may not be 'there' yet but they are far closer to that than filling the tough minute C hole on this team.

  43. Jonathan Willis says:

    A goal is a goal is a goal is a goal.

    Unless it's an empty-net or shootout goal.

  44. kris says:

    Oilmaniac:

    I'm not sure that -or how- we disagree, exactly. I want another C who can outplay tough competition and PK, all while starting in his own end. I don't care if he does it by scoring a lot or by not getting scored on. You see to prefer the latter. I'll give you this: the latter is probably easier to find via trade or free agency.

    BTW, I don't think Gagner or Cogs are "killing the softs" just yet. Their ES +/- per 60 #'s don't justify that. Moreover each of them is young enough for us to expect more growing pains.

    The good thing is that we have three young C's with some talent -Gagner, Cogs, and
    Pouliot- and we only really need one of them to develop into a player who can take tougher minutes and play to even, behind Horc. That helps our odds, I suppose.

  45. Oilmaniac says:

    Hey Kris,

    Just didnt like this line,

    "Moreover, I think everybody agrees that the C we need to add can be a guy who scores a lot and is a bit weak defensively"

    and yes, we disagreed with my preference being for someone whom may not score much but is strong defensively…

    haha… I blame MacT for molding my psyche, stunting my growth as a young man, stiffling offence, and not understanding my love of donairs – but i digress…

    I just really want a player like glencross (or in all seriousness, a 'torres' that will bring it like glencross does – damn enigma).. Work like a dog, make'm hurt without intent to injury, and have the ability to score a few big goals.. anyways.. just keeping the pipe dream alive…

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