There are a few reasons Geoff Paukovich could be a factor in this fall’s training camp. He has size (6.04, 215) and his big league salary ($603, 333) means he can be called up at minimal cost to the cap. Paukovich is a flawed player, but the Oilers have all kinds of extra’s from Waterworld at the end of their roster.
If JF Jacques gets hurt, or Steve MacIntyre continues to act like a house on the side of the road, if Ryan Stone thinks he’s a scorer, then things open up for the other physical players on the roster. There aren’t many and Paukovich has already gained a reputation for thuggery.
- Seriously? Yes. Paukovich turned heads when he drilled Kyle Greentree last fall and did a similar thing in college to Robbie Bina. Hockey fights tells us he had three of them last season and several scouting reports mention that he has a mean streak.
- He’s not close to being good enough. That didn’t stop Steve MacIntyre. Paukovich was well thought of going into his draft year and the Oilers moved Jason Chimera for him. He hasn’t shown any offensive ability at all and Jonathan’s quality of competition suggests he played subpar opposition. His plus minus (-11) was 5th best among regular forwards.
- You’re not making a very strong case for him. Clearly this would be a role player’s job, a 13F or 14F. I see no evidence that he’d be worse than MacIntyre.
- But MacIntyre can fight! But he can’t play. Not at all. Paukovich’s career progression shows he is more hockey player than MacIntyre and he can play the agitator role. If Quinn wants physical, Paukovich is in the picture.
- What is his outer marker as a comp? I have suggested Dan Lacouture in the past, but that seems a stretch. Lacouture scored 23 AHL goals at age 22, Paukovich scored 5 at the same age. So, less than Dan Lacouture. Do you remember Nathan Perrott? He played for Quinn, I believe.
- This is depressing. Yes. Yes it is. The Edmonton Oilers need to trade a small skill forward for someone with Fear Factor who can play hockey.
- Did he at least play better under Daum? Yes. At even strength under the new coach, he went 17gp, 3-1-4 -3 and he scored a shorthanded goal with Daum as coach too.