Ryan Potulny: Like A Rolling Stone

In 100 NCAA games Ryan Potulny scored 68 goals. In 172 AHL games (a little more than 2 full seasons worth of GP) he found twine 74 times. When he turned pro (with the Flyers) Potulny got a chance but couldn’t find a role over a couple of seasons and was shipped to the Oilers. A quality 38-goal season with a subpar AHL team meant he was going to get a long look at TC 2009 fall. They sent him out on September, with 20 forwards still in camp (among them Steve MacIntyre and Kip Brennan) but he found his way back to the show in November and made the most of the opportunity.

  • Boxcars: 64gp, 15-17-32
  • Shots: 152
  • Plus Minus: -21
  • Corsi (Rel): -0.5 (8th among F’s)
  • GF/GA ON: 25-44
  • 5×5/60: 1.60 (3rd among F’s)
  • 5×4/60: 3.33 (6th among F’s)
  • Quality of Competition: 5th toughest among F’s
  • Quality of Teammates: 10th best among F’s
  • FO %: 47.4% in 820 FO’s
  • Offensive Zone Start FO %: 47.1% (8th easiest among F’s)
  • Cap Hit: $595,000 (RFA this summer)
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He had a good season on a terrible team. His plus minus and Corsi are in the red but he played some tougher minutes with drivel helping much of the time. Potulny has always been able to score goals and he did that at the highest available level. He did the one thing scorer’s need to do: shoot the damn puck.
  2. How could these numbers be better? Potulny’s breakout season came on a very poor team and he delivered 15 goals. I don’t know that there’s anything we can point to, except some inconsistency and missed defensive assignments. However, on this team that’s really splitting hairs.
  3. What will his role be next season? I think the Oilers will probably have him in a bottom 6F role to start the season, but he’ll be a ready option if Hall/Seguin or Eberle struggle. He’s a plug and play forward, although one would guess he’ll take fewer faceoffs a year from now.
  4. Will the Oilers overpay him? Probably, but Potulny doesn’t have the kind of pedigree someone like Brule enjoys. If Potulny and his agent play it right, a two-year one-way deal at good dollars might be available and that would probably be a nice place to be for Potulny.
  5. This was a value contract. Hell, yes. He’s a nice player, nothing extreme in any category (save for shooting) but he’s skilled and is young enough to have a career.
  6. Who traded for him? Kevin Lowe, spring of 2008 which of course was previous to the first Tambellini hiring (there have been two, one right after the other. The first hiring was apparently a puppet hiring, but the organization has made it known this is his team now. For real. Starting now).
  7. How Important is he to the organization? He’s fairly important. A value contract who can play multiple roles and might score 20 in a full season. He faded down the stretch but his goal scoring resume goes back to college days.

Predictions Past 2009-10: 66gp, 9-12-21 (.318)
Performance in  2009-10: 64gp, 15-17-32 (.500)

Projected Role in 2010-11: One of the Oilers top 12F’s and an NHL regular

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