Portside, 11-12

The Edmonton Oilers have some fine talent at left wing, old and young. Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi represent the future, and that future will have a mentor and receive guidance from an ideal warrior, Ryan Smyth. Edmonton should be solid plus at the position, in fact we could see a huge jump in GF from LW in 11-12.

EVEN STRENGTH TOI/G & 5X5/PTS 60

  1. Taylor Hall 15:07/1.78
  2. Ryan Smyth 14:45/1.62
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 13:25/1.36 
  4. Ben Eager 10:41/1.36
  5. Darcy Hordichuk 5:06/0.93 

Hall and Smyth should supply most of the EV offense at the position, although the toughest opponents are likely to be Smyth’s (if coach Renney decides to line match this fall). Smyth was cherry picking (by eye) more this past season but I’d have to believe he will be a better matchup for the Oilers at EVs this season. Paajarvi should have no problem holding off Eager at even strength, but I’d guess Eager spends some time in the top 9 this season.

PK TOI/G

  1. Ryan Smyth 0:19
  2. Ben Eager 0:03
  3. Taylor Hall 0:01
  4. Magnus Paajarvi 0:01

Smyth has killed penalties over the years but it hasn’t been a big part of his game since he left Edmonton. I think MP might be a candidate for the role as he matures but that probably isn’t this season, so #94 would seem to be the logical solution. However, the Oilers are going to need someone on LW to serve as a PK man (likely centers Horcoff and Belanger, likely RW? Ryan Jones).

PP TOI/G & 5×4/60

  1. Ryan Smyth 2:57/3.37
  2. Taylor Hall 2:43/3.27
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 1:50/3.45
  4. Darcy Hordichuk 0:28/nil
  5. Ben Eager 0:06/nil

Interesting numbers here. Paajarvi had a better number (let’s not get carried away, but he shows well compared to the number one overall pick and the veteran) and might get another chance sometime this season. I do believe Hall and Smyth will probably get the lion’s share of time on the powerplay this season, but if he’s required on the PK and at EVs Smyth might be forced into a secondary offensive role with the man advantage.

In this way, it’s not Ryan Smyth’s team anymore.

With that as a backdrop, who would you nominate to play on the PK with Horcoff, Belanger and Jones? IS there a candidate beyond Ryan Smyth?

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