The Edmonton Oilers 2009 1st rounder Magnus Paajarvi had a hard time running with the gifted kids this season. Is there hope for Magnum?
Magnus Pääjärvi 10-11
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.36 (8th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.45 (6th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 12th best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 3.2 (7th best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 51.6% (5th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 52.4% (4th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 180/8.3% (8th among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 80gp, 15-19-34
- Plus Minus: -13 on a team that was -52.
Magnus Pääjärvi 11-12
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.75 (12th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 2.84 (9th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 11th best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 6.6 (3rd best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 47.7% (11th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 49.9% (6th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 79/2.5% (10th among F’s>75 shots)
- Boxcars: 41, 2-6-8
- Plus Minus: -7 on a team that was -26.
- What do these numbers tell us? Paajarvi did not progress as an offensive player. He didn’t have outstanding linemates but he was also tentative and lacked confidence. These are very poor offensive results, even considering the quality of player lining up with him.
- What the hell happened? The organization lost him, but as Dennis King identified during his rookie year young Svensson isn’t going to be able to run with the big guns unless it’s as a complementary piece of the puzzle.
- Is there any good news? Paajarvi did have a solid CorsiRel and his ZS/finish was a nice number. There’s a player here, just not a feature player offensively.
- How can they be better? Two things. Oilers need to find this kid a mentor, a Pisani winger who can do what ‘Nando did for Stoll and Torres. Teaching these kids about position and reading the play, where to be, all that stuff.
- Are you going to go on another MacT rant? No, but these kids who aren’t touched by God would have an easier time if the coach wasn’t trying to get 6 in the boat every damn year. Lordy.
- What’s the other thing? Well, I think that the club might want to see if Paajarvi can run with a Hall-Eberle or Nuge-Nail. The guy has terrific speed and scored 15 as a rookie, surely he’s a more promising option than Ryan Jones.
- Why did he get left behind? A year ago, as a rookie, MP delivered a decent amount of offense based on role but he went backwards this season. A rough start in his rookie season was met with patience, but this year coach Renney sent him away for seasoning. Renney had some things going on the top 2 lines and didn’t want to worry over Paajarvi and Omark. The result was a worn down Smyth and a lost season for Paajarvi and Omark. I’m generally strong on Renney, and do respect it must be a nightmare to bring 11 forwards who don’t shave along at the same time, but this was a case of opportunity missed imo.
- Is there any hope for him as a top 6 forward? Sure, but he’s going to be the third wheel, the end of the batting order. Hell it isn’t his fault, there will be three #1′s and Eberle in the top 6. If I’m Magnus, those other two spots are the goal. Get in there, son! Somebody has to be Willy Lindstrom!
- Can he make it as a two-way Pisani? I don’t know, those guys take time to develop and Paajarvi has some youth issues. He’s fast and abandons the zone really early, but he’s not the center either so I don’t really know how much Edmonton gets out of having a third defender in those situations. I think he’ll settle down, when he gets it we’ll know because Paajarvi is already a pretty cool player. If he ever gets to be effective, well that’ll be music.
- What would be a good role for him next season? He should be able to play a 4line role if this team can get a strong 3line with all the vets. I wouldn’t mind a 4 man rotation of Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Lander and Petrell.
- Give the 4line to the Finns and Swedes? Sure. They can all pass and take a pass, every damn one of them. And all but Paajarvi have a little jam.
- That’s pretty inexperienced. Sure, and one doubts they start the season but my point is all of those men have some promise. I don’t see Eager or Jones outstepping their current roles, but Paajarvi could. In fact there’s a real good chance.
- Why won’t Paajarvi use his size? Same reason Dustin Penner doesn’t use his size: it’s not part of his makeup. I prefer the Earl Weaver-Whitey Herzog method, which is “well we’re not going to worry about that; why don’t you go out there and do what you are good at, and we’ll worry about the rest.”
- What is his outer marker? 15-20 goals a season and a guy the coach can count on to play tougher minutes.
- Is he a good candidate? He’s got some good arrows–speed, defensive awareness (although not yet effective) and youth.
- Downside? Paajarvi is going to have to do lots of work, grinding all of his natural skills into a useful role player’s skills. That takes time.
- Will he be an Oiler? Great question. Oilers have sent away some good hires over the years (Chimera and Brodziak would look good in the current mix) but this is a top 10 overall. Teams are loathe to give up on them.
- What was the biggest problem this year? Two things. Confidence and the coach never found him a role.
- What should we watch for in the summer? Oilers sending away some of their plumbers, not signing Parros and possibly coach Renney (or the new coach) discussing his role for next season.
- What would be ideal? A Peca-Pisani third line he could pop onto when things were going well.
NHL Prediction for 11-12: 82, 20-20-40 (.488)
Actual 2011: 41, 2-6-8 (.195)