OKC 5X5/60 ESTIMATES

Toni Rajala may well be the top forward prospect in the Oilers organization at this time. In his most recent feat of strength, the young Finn amazed AHL audiences with exceptional skill. How good was he? Outstanding.

In December, I tried an old timey system out in an effort to estimate even strength time on ice for the OKC Barons. The results are here. The idea of the project is to estimate even strength time on ice by:

  • counting the EV minutes
  • counting the EV goals
  • dividing those two numbers to establish the length of time between each even strength time on ice goal
  • estimating TOI for specific players by multiplying the above number by the total of EV goals for and against for said player.

The first go round gave interesting results, so I thought it might be worth doing the project again for the Barons’ post-season. Here are the results (781 EV minutes, 77 EV goals, meaning we get 10 minutes of gap for EV goals).

EVEN STRENGTH TOI AND 5X5/60 ESTIMATE, OKC BARONS 2013 PLAYOFFS

  NAME GP, EV G-A-PTS TOTAL G EST TOI ESTOI/ G ES 5X5/60
1 RAJALA 17, 3-11-14 22 220 13 3.81
2 ARCOBELLO 17, 11-6-17 29 290 17 3.52
3 TYRVAINEN 16, 3-3-6 11 110 7 3.28
4 GREEN 17, 3-5-8 16 160 9 3.00
5 LANDER 8, 4-2-6 12 120 15 3.00
6 HARTIKAINEN 17, 7-5-12 25 250 15 2.88
7 EAGER 13, 1-4-5 11 110 8 2.73
8 CHEECHOO 17, 3-8-11 27 270 16 2.44
9 STRETCH 17, 3-3-6 16 160 9 2.25
10 PITLICK 16, 1-3-4 11 110 7 2.19
11 CORNET 17, 2-6-8 23 230 14 2.09
12 HOTHAM 14, 2-5-7 23 230 16 1.82
13 VANDEVELDE 17, 2-2-4 17 170 10 1.41
14 MARINCIN 17, 0-5-5 24 240 14 1.25
15 JONES 17, 1-4-5 27 270 16 1.11
16 DAVIDSON 17, 0-4-4 23 230 14 1.04
17 FEDUN 17, 3-1-4 24 240 14 1.00
18 HOUSE 9, 0-1-1 8 80 9 0.75
19 STAFFORD 17, 0-1-1 26 260 15 0.23
20 HAMILTON 1, 0-0-0 1 10 10 0.00
21 HORDICHUK 3, 0-0-0 1 10 3 0.00
22 PLANTE 2, 0-0-0 3 30 15 0.00

I think it is best to take these one by one.

  1. Toni Rajala: This is a very nice hockey player. At even strength he was ripping it up during the post-season and if this TOI total is correct then he and his linemates were creating enormous offensive opportunities. I have Khaira ahead of him on the prospect list, but he’s close to being the best of the bubbling under forwards. Despite size concerns, he may have an NHL future.
  2. Mark Arcobello: Crazy spring for him, no damn wonder they signed him. The Barons were clocking in at around 3 EV goals per game (!!!!) during the post-season, and the Arcobello-Cornet-Cheechoo line was good for 1 a game. As I mentioned yesterday, far closer to the NHL than he was one year ago.
  3. Antti Tyrvainen: He enjoyed a hot streak during the playoff run, accounting for his being out of position on this list. The 3 and 4 lines estimates appear low to me, but the top two lines were getting a lot of run (especially during the GR series).
  4. Josh Green: Veteran helped out during the playoffs, being used in a lesser offensive role but still delivering offense while playing down the depth chart.
  5. Anton Lander: When he was healthy, Lander delivered on the Nordic Line.
  6. Teemu Hartikainen: After the events of this past week, there’s perhaps a tendency to ‘look for clues’ in regard to his leaving. There’s not much here, suspect the lack of even strength offense in the NHL was more telling.
  7. Ben Eager: Posted solid numbers but you’d expect him to be better than 7th among F’s in the AHL.
  8. Jonathan Cheechoo: Solid but unspectacular offensive total for the veteran.
  9. CJ Stretch: Did well for the spot he was in.
  10. Tyler Pitlick: Miles better than the December look, I don’t think we should get too excited (this is an estimate and we don’t have the actual TOI number) but he played in 16 games and did some good things. That’s progress.
  11. Phil Cornet: Plenty of time with Arco-Cheechoo but he wasn’t pushing the river. I wonder if he returns.
  12. Andrew Hotham: He had a nice playoff run, the most productive (offensively) of the blue at evens.
  13. Chris VandeVelde: He’s an extreme defensive center. I don’t know if there’s room for him.
  14. Martin Marincin: A solid run in the playoffs, but he didn’t get a lot done offensively at evens.
  15. Randy Jones: Veteran was very effective.
  16. Brandon Davidson: Emerged this season, actually after Christmas. A nice story.
  17. Taylor Fedun: Average offense but skated miles. He may get an NHL shot in the fall.

I don’t know that we can take anything away from this and state it as fact, but Rajala’s fine showing (and that of Arcobello) confirms what our eyes saw: the Barons may not have a bunch of high picks posting offense in the AHL, but they do have some kids who’ve come from a long way back hitting big flies with some regularity.

(photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

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42 Responses to "OKC 5X5/60 ESTIMATES"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    From this list, I think Fedun and Arco get a serious look this fall at camp but both are more likely first call-ups. If they impress then, maybe they stick. Rajala and Marincin make more sense to call up in early 2014 for cups of coffee (or sooner if injuries pile up). No idea what happens with Lander.

    The defensive depth is starting to get quite good (though lacking high end talent), while the forwards seem to have almost no depth. Maybe they sign a free agent tweener on a 2-way?

  2. FastOil says:

    Rajala is immensely skilled for sure. LT do you think the Oilers will give him an actual chance (more than a short call up)? If not shouldn’t they trade him to someone who wants him for a player they might actually use?

  3. Lowetide says:

    FastOil:
    Rajala is immensely skilled for sure. LT do you think the Oilers will give him an actual chance (more than a short call up)? If not shouldn’t they trade him to someone who wants him for a player they might actually use?

    I think at this point they’re going to have to give him a full AHL season. If Rajala posts outstanding numbers–and he’s done that so far–then they’ll have to give him a shot. Even if it’s 4line minutes, Rajala has earned the chance imo, or will have earned the chance.

  4. RexLibris says:

    I looked up past #25s in Oiler history.

    Grier, Jackson, Summanen, G. Smith, Adams, De Vries, Grier (Yeah, I mention him twice, so what!), Sutton.

    Then we have Rajala.

    Now granted De Vries was never a big man, but one of these things is not like the others.

    As for what the Oilers do, I think Rajala is their Omark do-over. He may be their last best chance to atone for the Satans and Whitneys that have come and gone through this organization. A real test to see where the management’s thoughts lie on the issue of size/skill.

  5. FastOil says:

    RexLibris:
    I looked up past #25s in Oiler history.

    Grier, Jackson, Summanen, G. Smith, Adams, De Vries, Grier (Yeah, I mention him twice, so what!), Sutton.

    Then we have Rajala.

    Now granted De Vries was never a big man, but one of these things is not like the others.

    As for what the Oilers do, I think Rajala is their Omark do-over. He may be their last best chance to atone for the Satans and Whitneys that have come and gone through this organization. A real test to see where the management’s thoughts lie on the issue of size/skill.

    The size/skill thing here is a little different. Rajala is unusually small, which is why he slid so far despite his international exploits. Given so few NHL players are Toni’s size (he’d be 2nd smallest in the league as far as I can tell) and he’s said to be a perimeter player by his coach, how does he play the 4th line against the grunts of the world? Would he kill them or spend the game on his butt with Gagner ;)

    Omark is well brought up. I wonder if cashing Rajala in might be the best option all round. I guess I just can’t see him getting a real shot outside of a skill line and the bus is full unless someone gets hurt. And then back down he would go anyway. I’d hate to see them piss around with him and see nothing for the asset a la Omark, and I can’t see them using him given they want to get “stronger”.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Rajala hasn’t been any value for draft yet, there’s no cashing him now.

  7. Lois Lowe says:

    Rajala’s intriguing, a bit like Jordan Weal from a few drafts back or Jon Gadreau. I think he’s well on his way to earning a cup of coffee and will probably get a chance to make an impression in training camp. I am always cheering for undersized forwards to make the NHL but I don’t think the odds are very good.

  8. cabbiesmacker says:

    It’s obvious to all reading this blog the past few months that you really like Rajala LT. Why then are you insisting on giving the poor kid the MAP kiss of death?

    Ignore him. Forget he plays in the Oiler’s system. Please.

  9. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    It’s obvious to all reading this blog the past few months that you really like Rajala LT. Why then are you insisting on giving the poor kid the MAP kiss of death?

    Ignore him. Forget he plays in the Oiler’s system. Please.

    I’ve used all my energy wishing Paajarvi into an NHL job. I have no more energy left for Rajala, I’m afraid. :-)

  10. fifthcartel says:

    NHL Awards on, it’s going to be interested to see how many votes Yakupov/J.Schultz got for the Calder.

  11. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Rajala hasn’t been any value for draft yet, there’s no cashing him now.

    I was thinking of a trade with a team shy on offense for a player type they might use. He must have created some value given his draft position.vt

  12. FastOil says:

    Vt oops monile

  13. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: I’ve used all my energy wishing Paajarvi into an NHL job. I have no more energy left for Rajala, I’m afraid.

    I was the same way with Hartikainen. Pretty sad when you’re locked in on one player during a game just waiting for him to do something good….game after…game…after

  14. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker: I was the same way with Hartikainen. Pretty sad when you’re locked in on one player during a game just waiting for him to do something good….game after…game…after

    Paajarvi is so FAST! I love watching him. And then he couldn’t do one thing that one fall and then I was hoping Renney would send him down. I think Harski’s a player, he’ll be back.

  15. Ducey says:

    Arcobello and Rajala are not likely to make the show except as injury replacement. I can see MacT thinking they can be brought up in the event they need a fill in for less than 10 games in the top 6.

    Everything we have heard from MacT, including his choice of coach, is that they are going to get bigger, stronger, and more defensive.

    Doesn’t sound like a good fit for Arcobello or Rajala.

  16. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ducey:
    Arcobello and Rajala are not likely to make the show except as injury replacement.I can see MacT thinking they can be brought up in the event they need a fill in for less than 10 games in the top 6.

    Everything we have heard from MacT, including his choice of coach, is that they are going to get bigger, stronger, and more defensive.

    Doesn’t sound like a good fit for Arcobello or Rajala.

    The above is
    i. correct, and
    ii. exactly why I am cheering so hard for Rajala.

    In addition to everything else Rajala has going against him, he clearly doesn’t fit into the organization’s plans. That’s why I think it would be just wonderful if, when the inevitable injuries hit, MacTavish is left with no choice but to call the munchkin up.

    I’ve said before that I’m not sure that Rajala will get into the double digits in NHL games played, but every one he gets (and he’ll get at least a few) will be one that he absolutely forced his way into. I love that.

  17. russ99 says:

    I think the issue here is that you shouldn’t close the door solely due to size.

    if Rajala can push the numbers next year, being a primary offensive threat with opponents focusing on shutting him down, then he deserves a shot in the NHL.

    IMO, I don’t care how big a 4th line player is as long as he can help with secondary scoring. If MacT really fixes the third line once and for all this summer by acquiring a playoff quality shutdown line, then there’s room for the Rajalas and Arcobellos provided they can contribute at the NHL level.

    Btw: Yakupov wuz robbed, 5th? Gimme a break. I wonder if Oilers players in the future will run into a similar eastern, big market bias when it comes to awards.

  18. melancholyculkin says:

    I appreciate what you’ve tried to do LT, but you’ve got 11 players over 2.00 5X5/60 and 5 >= 3.00 5×5/60. That seems…. fishy. Did the Barons really score that many goals?

  19. Lowetide says:

    melancholyculkin:
    I appreciate what you’ve tried to do LT, but you’ve got 11 players over 2.00 5X5/60 and 5 >= 3.00 5×5/60. That seems…. fishy. Did the Barons really score that many goals?

    Yes. They were EV giants. Small sample size and all, but they absolutely scored 49 EV goals in 17 games. And THAT is impressive.

  20. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Lowetide: Yes. They were EV giants. Small sample size and all, but they absolutely scored 49 EV goals in 17 games. And THAT is impressive.

    There must be an NHL team that could use a coach that can coax that king of EV scoring out of his team.

  21. justDOit says:

    FastOil: The size/skill thing here is a little different. Rajala is unusually small…

    Hockeydb lists him at 5′ 10″. Not sure where you’re getting your stats, or whose is correct (probably neither), but I can think of a lot of NHL players shorter than that. Below is a list I copied from: http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nhl/shortest-players-in-the-nhl.aspx.

    1 Nathan Gerbe Buffalo Sabres C 173 5′ 5″
    2 Mats Zuccarello New York Rangers LW 174 5′ 7″
    3 David Desharnais Montreal Canadiens C 177 5′ 7″
    4 Steven Whitney Anaheim Ducks RW 167 5′ 7″
    5 Cam Atkinson Columbus Blue Jackets RW 173 5′ 7″
    6 Chris Bourque Boston Bruins LW 170 5′ 7″
    7 Stephen Gionta New Jersey Devils RW 180 5′ 7″
    8 Brian Gionta Montreal Canadiens RW 174 5′ 7″
    9 Joey Diamond New York Islanders LW 175 5′ 8″
    10 Francis Bouillon Montreal Canadiens D 198 5′ 8″
    11 Steve Sullivan New Jersey Devils LW 161 5′ 8″
    12 Kevin Gagne Anaheim Ducks D 176 5′ 8″
    13 Cory Conacher Ottawa Senators C 180 5′ 8″
    14 Keith Aucoin New York Islanders C 171 5′ 8″
    15 Chris Conner Phoenix Coyotes RW 180 5′ 8″
    16 Brendan Gallagher Montreal Canadiens RW 174 5′ 8″
    17 Brandon Kozun Los Angeles Kings RW 180 5′ 8″

  22. fifthcartel says:

    Friedman on the Hotstove said Edmonton has talked to Carolina about moving up.

  23. Gerta Rauss says:

    fifthcartel:
    Friedman on the Hotstove said Edmonton has talked to Carolina about moving up.

    He also said that Calgary offered 6,22 and 28 for #1 from Colorado and they declined.

  24. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Friedman on the Hotstove said Edmonton has talked to Carolina about moving up.

    For Barkov or the Russian, or maybe Monahan?

  25. Gerta Rauss says:

    It sounded like 1 thru 4 were reluctant to move their picks(understandable) and that the team willing to deal is Carolina at 5 “if the offer is good enough”. It’s not going to be cheap especially if Barkov falls to 5.

  26. fifthcartel says:

    My guess would be to get a chance at Barkov, and secure at least getting Monahan. I wonder what they would have to give up? Ana’s 2nd?

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    fifthcartel,

    I think Calgary is going to be sniffing around if Barkov falls to 5-I think we’ve got to start with next years #1-and that’s just to get us into the conversation-it’ll cost more than that.

  28. melancholyculkin says:

    Lowetide,

    Does the AHL happen to break shots down by EV, PP, and PK? I suspect using shots as a proxy for TOI would yield a better estimate.

  29. fifthcartel says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I’m not sure if it takes that much. Didn’t Toronto trade up from #7 – #5 with the Schenn pick and only cost a 2nd and 3rd round pick? But I guess Calgary bidding against us would drive it up, especially with their lower 1st rounders.

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    fifthcartel,

    What year did Toronto move up..? I don’t recall that recently.

    I know that history shows that moving up a couple spots should cost something like a second rounder(ish), but I think with the quality in the top of this draft it’s going to cost dearly to move up this year(and Calgary bidding us up)

    Rex mentioned something interesting a couple weeks ago-Carolina may be looking for a top 6 forward instead of draft pick(s)-maybe something around 7 + Hemsky and spare parts is something Carolina is looking for-something that Calgary may not be able to offer.

  31. fifthcartel says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    In 2008 Toronto traded #7, a 2nd and 3rd, to NYI for the #5 pick to select Luke Schenn. I think it sounds like Carolina wants to pick a D, and figures they can move down a spot or two and still pick one of Nurse or whoever.

  32. Gerta Rauss says:

    fifthcartel,

    Agreed-it will come down to our offer versus Calgary’s offer-Buffalo at 8 and the rest below them may offer nice packages to Carolina, but I don’t think they’ll want to drop more than 2 spots.

    I go hard after that pick if Barkov is there at 5-other than that I’m content with whoever slides to 7.

  33. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Is it just my eyes, or is Tyler Seguin not even in the same universe of creating chances as Hall. I can’t believe there is or has been any debate between the quality of these players.

    Hall all the way.

  34. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Of course, I knew that would happen as soon as I would post that.

    When I has seasons tickets back in 92-94 anytime my buddy would trashtalk an Oiler (Usually Klima) he would score.

  35. Gerta Rauss says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    God will get you for that…:)…bad mouthing Seguin and he sets up the OT winner…:)

    Beauty series.

  36. RickDeckard says:

    Intent to blow and quick whistles are terrible. Boston did not deserve to win.

  37. RexLibris says:

    Of course Carolina is looking to sell now. They have the market cornered on a valubale, and unique asset, the only available draft pick within the top five.

    Comparing Toronto moving up to draft Schenn isn’t necessarily the best comparison here, as I suspect Rutherford is fielding a lot of calls.

    My hope would be that MacTavish is offering them enough shiny “win-now” pieces like Hemsky that Rutherford will bite.

    Beating the Flames to Barkov would be exquisite.

  38. Captain Happy says:

    RexLibris:
    Of course Carolina is looking to sell now. They have the market cornered on a valubale, and unique asset, the only available draft pick within the top five.

    Comparing Toronto moving up to draft Schenn isn’t necessarily the best comparison here, as I suspect Rutherford is fielding a lot of calls.

    My hope would be that MacTavish is offering them enough shiny “win-now” pieces like Hemsky that Rutherford will bite.

    Beating the Flames to Barkov would be exquisite.

    Hemsky is an injury riddled 40 point player with a $5M cap hit.

    He has almost zero value.

  39. Bar_Qu says:

    Rajala is Edmonton’s Cory Conacher.

    Well, maybe not quite, but the comparison is valid.

    Seeing Rajala force his way into 4 Line minutes and skate around the other team’s thugs/knuckledraggers would be glorious. Having a big guy, speedy guy and a centre on a 4 Line (all who can make and take a pass, to borrow a phrase) would be a real treat. I think the difference in the SCF series will be the complete team of CHI versus the slightly less complete of Boston. But it will take 7 games of absolute slug-fests to prove that having 23 guys who can play more than 10 a night is the way to go.

    Go Hawks. Go Rajala!

  40. jp says:

    justDOit: Hockeydb lists him at 5′ 10″. Not sure where you’re getting your stats, or whose is correct (probably neither), but I can think of a lot of NHL players shorter than that. Below is a list I copied from: http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nhl/shortest-players-in-the-nhl.aspx.

    I guess it’s in reference to Rajala being 163 lbs. He might have put some weight on, but he’s listed as that everywhere I’ve seen. Lots of guys less than 5’10″ in the NHL, but not too many under 163 lbs.
    http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=4710
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=118372
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Rajala

    fifthcartel:
    Friedman on the Hotstove said Edmonton has talked to Carolina about moving up.

    If it got them Barkov that would really be something!

  41. FastOil says:

    justDOit: Hockeydb lists him at 5′ 10″. Not sure where you’re getting your stats, or whose is correct (probably neither), but I can think of a lot of NHL players shorter than that. Below is a list I copied from: http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nhl/shortest-players-in-the-nhl.aspx.

    1Nathan Gerbe Buffalo SabresC 1735′ 5″
    2Mats ZuccarelloNew York RangersLW1745′ 7″
    3David DesharnaisMontreal Canadiens C1775′ 7″
    4Steven WhitneyAnaheim DucksRW1675′ 7″
    5Cam Atkinson Columbus Blue JacketsRW1735′ 7″
    6Chris Bourque Boston BruinsLW1705′ 7″
    7Stephen GiontaNew Jersey DevilsRW1805′ 7″
    8Brian Gionta Montreal CanadiensRW1745′ 7″
    9Joey Diamond New York IslandersLW1755′ 8″
    10Francis BouillonMontreal CanadiensD1985′ 8″
    11Steve Sullivan New Jersey DevilsLW1615′ 8″
    12Kevin Gagne Anaheim DucksD1765′ 8″
    13Cory ConacherOttawa SenatorsC1805′ 8″
    14Keith Aucoin New York IslandersC1715′ 8″
    15Chris Conner Phoenix CoyotesRW1805′ 8″
    16Brendan GallagherMontreal CanadiensRW1745′ 8″
    17Brandon KozunLos Angeles KingsRW1805′ 8″

    It’s not height as much as a height/weight ratio. If you are 5′ 8″ and 180 you are pretty solid build wise and probably pretty strong. If you are 5’10″ and 165 you are the size of a 15 YO which is why your list of the smallest players has only 2 near that ratio. If Rajala was 5’3″ and 165 he’d be a tank (but legs too short to be fast!) My numbers came from a piece at Pension Plan Puppets that had 2 at 170 or under in the entire NHL, a third of one percent.

    While we know skill trumps all, at some point the GM’s and coaches aren’t just stat ignorant fools. It’s only 2 guys because that is just too small to be effective and deal with the physicality of the game. It is why the number over 170 is quite a bit bigger but still small relatively to the population of the league. More again at 180. We find the average around 205 for forwards.

    I wish all the best for Rajala et al. The thing is this franchise needs to stop pissing around and wasting time and find some NHL hockey players. Arcobello, Rajala, Miller are all really talented. The reality is that genetics says they aren’t going to be NHL hockey players. So why bother? Why tie up the contracts in a cap league that rewards frugality and value? The new coach said the NHL is still fear based.

    LT I think a really interesting piece might be on what the role of a farm team should be? To win the Calder at all costs or groom the NHL calibre drafted players firstly, augmenting with career AHL’ers etc and try to win while focusing on the best prospects for the benefit of the parent team.

    The big issue for drafted players is how things unfold – injuries, roster jam ups, etc.. Should Pitlick etc purposefully be given a bigger role to get the at bats and TOI in and hope he develops? How hard do you make him earn it vs. how much time do you give him so he can be on the ice enough to learn? Or do you try to make him earn it with lesser line mates and TOI and play more talented players with nearly zero chance of a career or benefit to the Oilers?

    I’d love to read your and everyone’s take.

  42. Ducey says:

    Here is a recent article on Rajala with some quotes from the player, his coach and the GM.

    All agree he needs to add strength to make the NHL.

    http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-barons-young-toni-rajala-relying-on-speed-instead-of-size/article/3767201/?page=1

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