For a team badly in need of some swagger, Taylor Hall has it in spades. Outstanding talent, plays on winning teams pretty much all the time, interviews well; on top of all that, he passes on the World Junior camp because he wants to be ready for Oilers training camp. He’s a little arrogant, and that’s alright with me.
I wonder if the Oilers are going to give Hall the ‘Punch Imlach to Gilbert Perreault’ speech. From the book Heaven and Hell in the NHL:
- Imlach: With Perreault I just told him, “Look kid, take the puck and go with it. I mean, you’re going to make all kinds of mistakes but eventually, if you’re smart enough you’re not going to make them again. You’re going to develop, and build your game up.”
I mention this because Perreault was a first overall pick and results were needed from the young center. The Sabres were an expansion team trying to create excitement in a new city, and Perreault was the centerpiece. Hall’s situation is different in many ways (not the least of which is that Hall is 18 and Gil Perreault was 20 as a rookie) but Taylor Hall’s game performances are going to be dissected shift-by-shift, minute-by minute. Early success is going to be an important item.
•Boxcars: 57gp, 40-66-106 (1.86) (all numbers OHL)
•Plus Minus: +46
•Cap Hit: $3,750,000 if he hits everything (900k base)
CAREER HONORS & AWARDS
Canadian Major Junior – Rookie of the Year 2007-08
Memorial Cup – Ed Chynoweth Award (Leading Scorer) 2009-10
Memorial Cup – Stafford Memorial Trophy (MVP) 2009-10, 2008-09
Memorial Cup – All-Star Team 2009-10 (Forward), 2008-09 (Forward)
Canadian Major Junior – All-Rookie Team 2007-08 (Forward)
OHL – Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Leading Scorer) 2009-10
OHL – Emms Family Award (Rookie of the Year) 2007-08
OHL – Plus/Minus Award 2007-08
OHL – Wayne Gretzky Trophy (Playoff MVP) 2008-09
OHL – First All-Star Team 2009-10 (Left wing), 2008-09 (Left wing)
OHL – All-Rookie Team 2007-08 (Left wing)
- What do these numbers tell us? Taylor Hall was the best available amateur and the Oilers plucked him first overall. Consider it payment for wandering in the desert all those years.
- How could they be better? You got me, I don’t know. Maybe if he’d missed the World Juniors? Hell, they’re wonderful numbers.
- And yet Sam Gagner had better numbers. Yes, and Gagner had Pat Kane and a lot of icetime. Taylor Hall scored 14-32-46 on the PP and 4-1-5 shorthanded. Doing simple math, that makes his EV number last season 57gp, 22-33-55. Gagner’s draft year numbers were as follows: 20-50-70 on the PP, 1-0-1 shorthanded and that made his EV number 53gp, 14-33-47. We don’t have the time on ice, but I think we can safely say the gap offensively isn’t as it appears just looking at the boxcars.
- No matter. Hall is a more dynamic player anyway. Yes, but lets not discount Gagner. He was a lottery pick too, and in fact might be a nice chem match for Hall as things roll along.
- Do you have his shot totals? Only for the World Juniors, he shot the puck 21 times in 6 games, which would work out to about 290 shots in 82 games.
- Your offensive projections (below) are pretty low. Are you going to tell us we’ve drafted ‘Schremp with a motor’ #1 overall and Hall will be less than hoped? No, there’s no real way to know if Hall will have an impact career or just an average or poor one. We know he isn’t Crosby and we know he isn’t Gretzky; but he might be Stamkos or Simon Gagne. We know the resume looks very good currently.
- What are his Desjardins NHLE’s? This past season, Gabriel’s magic wand suggested the OHL totals would translate to 82gp, 17-29-46.
- Your projections for him are lower. It’s irritating. Why are your projections lower? Is it because you’re a dink? No, that’s not it. My reasonable expectations series is designed to give a line in the sand that looks fine against said player’s previous seasons. If my RE number is lined up against Mr. Desjardins number for last season, these are two seasons that look like they could have come from the same player.
- So you don’t really think he’ll match that number. Yes, that’s exactly what I think. That’s the number I believe he’ll end up with as a rookie. If Taylor Hall scores more than my projection, then I’m going to believe he exceeded expectations. This is an addled club he’s joining, plus powerplay time isn’t promised to him and there are other talented rookies (older, with more experience) knocking on the door. Also, Regehr hasn’t hit him yet. We don’t know if he’ll respond like Hemsky or a lesser man. We don’t know these things yet, we can bet on the kid (that hit in the Memorial Cup was stunning) having the big nuts but we won’t know until Calgary ugly does his thing.
- But you said he was important. What about the Perreault thing? I think the Oilers will give him a push, but if he’s ‘scoring like Thornton’ as a rookie Tom Renney will have no choice but to sit him for awhile and then start the process again.
- You’re wrong. Hope so. And if he gets lots of PP time with Hemsky, Taylor Hall could go supernova. It is however not reasonable to expect it.
Prediction for 2010-11: 74gp, 20-20-40 (.541)
Strong Calder Candidate