The Edmonton Oilers badly needed Colin Fraser. In fact, they needed three of them. However, based on the price I don’t think Oiler fans should look a gift horse in the mouth.
Colin Fraser is a very important player for the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers. Toughness, penalty killing, faceoffs (many ownzone) and mentoring young men who are stepping into their first NHL seasons.
He’s more than the new Brodziak (Fraser has more grit) or the new Marty Reasoner (Fraser is younger) and if he can play the role well (3rd line center, checker, penalty killer) Colin Fraser will be a fan favorite and an extremely valuable part of the team.
•Boxcars: 70gp, 7-12-19
•Plus Minus: +6
•Corsi (Rel): -2.4 (8th among regulars)
•GF-GA ON: 25-20 (at 5×5)
•5×5/60: 2.01 (6th among regulars)
•5×4/60: 0.00 (as you would expect)
•Quality of Competition: 12th F (easiest)
•Quality of Teammates: 9th F (third line calibre)
•FO %: 48.8% in 445 faceoffs
•Cap Hit: $825,000 times 2 seasons
- What do these numbers tell us? He played in nice circumstances and he delivered pretty well offensively. The Hawks were a deep club last season, with Toews, Sharp and Madden ahead of Fraser on the C depth chart. He didn’t take a lot of faceoffs (based on 70gp) and wasn’t counted on like he will be in Edmonton. Still, he seems to have played well in the “you don’t have to score but don’t get scored on either” depth role.
- How could these numbers be better? It’s a Catch-22. You’d like him to post the numbers above while playing tougher competition (as he will this season) but then again you can’t fault him for not having the opportunity. I don’t think there’s much negative about his most recent season.
- Is this a good time for him to be taking on a larger role? Yes, absolutely. He’s 25, has played over 150 NHL games and isn’t being projected into a role he’s unfamiliar with at the big league level. Many bloggers think Steve Tambellini has been over-praised this summer, but the Fraser deal (and other moves) are really solid (if unspectacular) transactions. Colin Fraser is young enough to be here when the times get good; that fact and his skill set being a nice match for the 3-4C role makes this a terrific pickup.
- Will he play against tough competition? Yes, I’d say so. Horcoff and Fraser will likely be the PK centermen and if the club decides to use Gagner in the same role he had last season then Fraser becomes the Marty Reasoner/Jarret Stoll in the batting lineup.
- He should do well. I’d feel much better about it if Fraser had a Pisani-type to help in that role. Maybe Ryan Jones will emerge as that player; but right now I wish the Oilers had kept Pouliot for this reason.
- Wow. Shocker. Well, there are other options out there, and maybe Steve Tambellini is looking for one of them right now. However, good veteran wingers who can help out are being gobbled up (even in this slow summer) so I’m losing hope that the team will round out the roster with more Fraser’s.
- If the Oilers have another poor season, they’ll get a higher draft pick. And I’m on board with that, but do believe that the team should have enought veterans to show the way. The organization will do well to have a mentor for these youngsters and perhaps Fraser will serve that role well. I think he could use some help.
- How important is Colin Fraser to the organization? Very important. Edmonton doesn’t have many players who fit his description (experienced NHL player with a wide range of skills, including grit, PK, FO) and Shawn Horcoff has been getting injured with alarming regularity in recent seasons.
Prediction for 2010-11: 75gp, 8-14-22
He’ll be asked to hold back the water