Left Wing is the fluid position among the Oiler forward group for 12-13. Edmonton’s top 3 center’s and (four) RW’s are already known to us. Left wing? There’s an opening.
EVEN STRENGTH TOI/GM AND 5X5/60
- Taylor Hall 15:06/2.07
- Ryan Smyth 14:26/1.93
- Teemu Hartikainen 12:59/1.36
- Magnus Paajarvi 11:56/0.75
- Ben Eager 8:29/1.46
- Darcy Hordichuk 4:20/.096
I love that Taylor Hall is an Oiler. Seriously. He’s the payoff for all those lost men we cheered for despite their draft number, their wide body strides, their pubis thing, their feet of clay. Here’s hoping Hall can stay healthy, because it doesn’t look like anything else will stop him.
Smyth had an amazing start and his overall number in this discipline ranked him 120th overall for forwards over 40gp, which is well inside the average top 6F for NHL teams
SH TOI GAME
- Ryan Smyth 2:09
PP TOI GAME AND 5X4/60
- Taylor Hall 3:03/5.95
- Ryan Smyth 2:28/2.39
- Magnus Paajarvi 1:01/2.84
Hall’s number is 18th best in the league among forwards playing 40 or more games. Smyth’s number is not strong and of course one of the reasons he wore down was the TOI per game.
- Taylor Hall, plays well with Hemsky, Gagner, Nuge, things go better with Hall.
- Ryan Smyth, plays well with Hemsky and Gagner but has crazy good chem with Ryan Jones. I mean it’s eerie.
- Teemu Hartikainen and the Nuge looked nice in a small sample size.
- Magnus Paajarvi played well with Horcoff, Hemsky and Omark in a small sample.
- Ben Eager has a large group of people who shouldn’t play with him.
- Darcy Hordichukand Magnus Paajarvi spent 3.5 beautiful minutes together.
CORSI QUAL COMP
Hall is a man. Lordy. Ryan Smyth also has a good number, which should be better if they spot him a little better this coming season.
Taylor Hall is easily the class of the group, and after that there’s a gap to the 2nd best available. Woodguy/PDO suggested in the last thread that the solution is moving Eberle to LW, which is brilliant if that option is available. The forwards might look like this:
- Horcoff-Smyth-Jones (remember the Smyth-Jones wowy)
That’s mostly DBO’s lineup with help from PDO and then I’m riffing on the 3/4 lines. I think the top 2 lines look fabulous here, would prefer Daniel Winnik for the 3rd line RW slot and that 4line still looks too much like last year.
But there are good things there.
If the Oilers do run Eberle-Hemsky-Yakupov on RW, then LW becomes a problem. Taylor Hall at the front is top drawer–once he’s back from injury–but after that the club has Ryan Smyth, Magnus Paajarvi, Teemu Hartikainen, Lennart Petrell, Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk.
I hope that one of Teemu Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi pushes through and wins the day. I suspect the organization will give Hartikainen a push–remember his power move on the first NHL goal he scored–and that Paajarvi forces the issue.
One of those young men could do the Oilers a massive favor–step into camp and work hard to earn it, like Kyle Brodziak did that amazing fall when there were four job openings and a dozen candidates.
There’s one or two available jobs this fall (if the Oilers are quiet from here). Which player wins the opportunity among the prospects, suspects, also rans and older men? My guess is (the Eberle option aside) Edmonton runs Hall, Hartikainen, Smyth, Eager, Hordichuk to start the season.