RE 11-12: Forwards

I’m projecting the Edmonton Oilers forwards to improve by 33 goals. That’s a lot of GF but it seems to me this is the season that the youngsters improve enough to have a legit impact.

Reasonable expectations seems like a pretty clear goal. Pull back the bias, the performances in short tournaments, the huge moments (good or bad) that might sway the view. It’s difficult with this team, because there are some delightful bits, but I’ve tried to find reasonable in each case.

We have to be able to agree that reasonable expectations are right in the middle, halfway between “I knew he was in a little trouble when the guy with the gun said ‘say what one more Goddam time’ and “they’re going to try Blair MacDonald on a line with that kid Gretzky.”
Most of this stuff is pretty obvious: I take a three year average, account for age, injury and opportunity, then throw in Desjardins number where needed and then stare at the number for a time to see if it fits. That’s it, that’s all.

  1. Taylor Hall 70, 32-28-60
  2. Ales Hemsky 57, 17-37-54
  3. Jordan Eberle 82, 22-30-52
  4. Sam Gagner 70, 15-35-50
  5. Magnus Paajarvi 82, 20-20-40
  6. Linus Omark 70, 13-27-40
  7. Ryan Smyth 70, 18-19-37
  8. Eric Belanger 68, 13-23-36
  9. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 63, 11-23-34
  10. Shawn Horcoff 62, 13-18-31
  11. Ben Eager 69, 8-8-16
  12. Teemu Hartikainen 45, 7-8-15
  13. Darcy Hordichuk 44, 0-3-3
  14. Ryan Jones 64, 5-11-16 
  15. Anton Lander 16, 1-3-4
  16. Gilbert Brule 10, 2-1-3
  17. Curtis Hamilton 10, 1-2-3
  18. Chris VandeVelde 14, 1-1-2
  19. Lennart Petrell 10, 1-1-2

I’ve projected the forwards for 200 goals. That’s a massive increase over last season’s number (167) but there’s a tremendous opportunity for growth in 11-12 (offensively). I still have this team finishing below the league average from last season (229) but this should be the season they catch fire. Call them the 1977 Montreal Expos, with Ryan Smyth playing the role of Tony Perez (and no I’m not saying he’s going to the HHOF).

This should be a fun winter watching the kids.

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