#12 PROSPECT: MARK ARCOBELLO

If overcoming obstacles was the sole value of a hockey player, he’d be Gretzky. Mark Arcobello began his pro career by signing an AHL contract—that’s not a strong arrow for a productive NHL future—and spent his early days playing on the lowest rung of the NHL entertainment platform, the ECHL. Since then, he’s climbed a mighty mountain to the NHL—and continues to climb.

PREVIOUSLY NUMBER TWELVE ON THE LIST

  • December 2004: L Brad Winchester (390)
  • December 2005: C Kyle Brodziak (492)
  • December 2006: L Dragan Umicevic (0)
  • December 2007: D Alex Plante (10)
  • December 2008: G Jeff Deslauriers (62)
  • December 2009: G Devan Dubnyk (158)
  • December 2010: D Jeff Petry (181)
  • December 2011: G Olivier Roy (0)
  • December 2012: L Mitchell Moroz (0)

Well, damn there’s some players here. Winchester and Brodziak go all the way back to the beginning of the Prendergast-as-scouting-director era, and then our goalies also show up here. There’s three guys who had NHL careers parked here, interesting.

WHAT THEY SAID WHEN THEY SIGNED HIM

arcobello ferguson

  • Arcobello on St. Louis, Steve Sullivan, Brian Gionta: “The difference with those guys is that they’re so much faster. They aren’t the biggest but they make up for it in speed and skill. So I’ve been working on that. I’m trying to get faster, stronger and become a quicker player.”
  • Stockton coach Matt Thomas: “I think his vision is one of his best assets along with his speed. He knows how to find open guys and hit the holes offensively. Being up top, we figured he’d be able to see a lot and make plays.”
  • Arcobello on pro hockey“It’s different from the college game. It’s faster but there’s more emphasis on control. It takes a little bit of time to get used to, coming straight out of college, when you’re more free to use your skills. Here it’s more system-oriented and there’s demand to stick to the system.”

POINTS BY DISCIPLINE, MARK ARCOBELLO

PLAYER EV PP PK TOTAL
ARCOBELLO 2011-12 AHL 73, 14-22-36 .493 73, 3-4-7 .096 73, 0-0-0 73, 17-26-43 .589
ARCOBELLO 2012-13 AHL 74, 15-27-42 .568 74, 6-19-25 .338 74, 1-0-1 74, 22-46-68 .919
ARCOBELLO 2013-14 NHL 20, 1-9-10 .500 20, 1-1-2 .100 20, 0-0-0 20, 2-10-12 .600

This is a fairly unusual hockey card in a few ways: Arcobello has been consistent at even strength scoring, even into the NHL. We know from watching Oilers kids forever that’s an unusual thing, and of course it’s only 20 games. Still, I’ve never thought he looked out of place this season on a skill line—in fact, he’s been impressive.

His PP numbers spiked in his final AHL season, that was the season when all the NHL kids were in Oklahoma. He proved at that time that playing with skilled players was something he could do, and damned if he isn’t doing it at the NHL level. A very impressive set of boxcars by Arcobello.

 PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING

  • Summer 2011: 29
  • Winter 2011: NR
  • Summer 2012: NR
  • Winter 2012: 25
  • Summer 2013: 17
  • Winter 2013: 12

Solid progression, he appeared at the end of his first pro season and then reappeared last winter during that nice run with Oklahoma City. His NHL performance—although it is just 20 games—moves him smartly up the list.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING NOW

arcobello ferguson 1

  • Craig MacTavish: I liked him last year, I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game. It all boils down to your ability to make plays with the puck. When he played with Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma City this year earlier, his production was excellent. It was actually on par with Nuge. I’m not saying that he’s Nuge, but it was on par with Ryan. So I think that we’ll get him to training camp. When we signed him again to a contract I had a conversation with him and told him that he would get a look at training camp. He hasn’t played in an exhibition game or didn’t last year, so we’ll get a look and the rest will be up to him to prove to the coaching staff that he’s got enough game to warrant a bigger look as training camp goes by. I promised him that opportunity and we’re going to give it to him.

ETA ARCOBELLO

Mark Arcobello has been manna from heaven for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s solid in the faceoff circle, he’s posting good numbers offensively (his 5×5/60 is very good) and he’s delivering in a wide range of areas. I have no answer about why he isn’t playing (apparently he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow night) and I don’t really understand why he isn’t ahead of Will Acton.

His ranking on this list reflects his potential as an NHL player: Arcobello’s hurdling is amazing, and his ability to overcome bias exceptional, but this player type rarely makes the NHL this late, and it’s Martin St. Louis-rare to see this player type enjoy a long NHL career when arriving at 25. It happens, but not often, and Arcobello’s skills—while impressive—do not include exceptional speed or strength or power that would have us compare him to Martin St. Louis or a lesser version of same. It’s very, very late for a small forward to begin his NHL career.

It’s also clear the Oilers don’t see him as a long term solution, as they are in danger of losing him to free agency (Arcobello has to play 49 of the remaining 57 games or he becomes a UFA).

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61 Responses to "#12 PROSPECT: MARK ARCOBELLO"

  1. Logan91 says:

    Do you think a team would offer him a 1 way contract if he goes to free agency?

  2. OilClog says:

    Acton playing over Arcobello is… Eakins bound and determined to give him the chance that maybe he felt he never got himself. I dunno. But it’s ugly and it stinks.

    Maybe he’s scared he’ll outplay Gags..

    Maybe Keith is a bully in the coaches meetings..

    Whatever it is

    Because Oilers.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Logan91:
    Do you think a team would offer him a 1 way contract if he goes to free agency?

    Yes. He’s only played 20 games, so you’d want to see more of the season but there’s little doubt in my mind that an NHL team would sign him if/when the Oilers set him free.

  4. Lowetide says:

    OilClog:
    Acton playing over Arcobello is… Eakins bound and determined to give him the chance that maybe he felt he never got himself. I dunno. But it’s ugly and it stinks.

    Maybe he’s scared he’ll outplay Gags..

    Maybe Keith is a bully in the coaches meetings..

    Whatever it is

    Because Oilers.

    It’s bias. We all have it, and it’s happening again here. Bruce Boudreau was an insanely good skill player and spend very little time in the NHL (and a long time in the AHL). Arcobello’s career should have a better run because the world is a different place, but imo Arcobello will be fighting against that bias his entire career.

  5. Logan91 says:

    OilClog,

    If Eakins didn’t coach Acton, and his father wasn’t behind the bench does Acton get signed in the first place? I don’t think so. There’s always so much bias in that organization.

    Another example is David Musil, does he get drafted 31st overall if his father wasn’t a part of that organization? No way in hell. He was picked before players like John Gibson, Ty Rattie, Nikita Kucherov, Xavier Ouellet, and Boone Jenner.

  6. Pouzar says:

    Sidebar: Am I the only one who wouldn’t trade Eberle for Evander Kane? Sorry.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Sidebar: Am I the only one who wouldn’t trade Eberle for Evander Kane? Sorry.

    lol. I had a terrible time with that question today when it was texted in to the station. I still don’t have an answer.

  8. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide,

    Well I have one. NO NO JESUS NO. :)

  9. justDOit says:

    Pouzar:
    Sidebar: Am I the only one who wouldn’t trade Eberle for Evander Kane? Sorry.

    Initial response: Kane is too much like Hall lite – I’d rather have the cerebral Eberle.

  10. justDOit says:

    *I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game*

    Reading between the lines, it seems MacT was overruled by Tambi. Which makes me wonder, did the Ducks hire Tambi as an opposite reference point? As in, “If Steve says zig – we ZAG!”

  11. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Lowetide,

    Well I have one. NO NO JESUS NO. :)

    Ha. Well one of the reasons I keep Eberle is he’s part of the cluster’s start. That’s a big deal imo, and it can be important. Detroit almost dealt Yzerman many times after 1983, and decided not to do it. When they’d added all those wonderful players, they still had him on after burners, and that added to the strength of the team.

    get good players, keep good players.

  12. Pouzar says:

    justDOit: Initial response: Kane is too much like Hall lite – I’d rather have the cerebral Eberle.

    Me too.
    Even if you discount Kane’s Age 18 rookie season, Kane is at .67 PPG versus Ebs .80

    That aside, I have seen Kane live on 5 different occasions, which amounts to diddly squat i know, but boy I just don’t see the player 95% of internetland does. But I have been wrong before. A lot.

  13. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: Ha. Well one of the reasons I keep Eberle is he’s part of the cluster’s start. That’s a big deal imo, and it can be important. Detroit almost dealt Yzerman many times after 1983, and decided not to do it. When they’d added all those wonderful players, they still had him on after burners, and that added to the strength of the team.

    get good players, keep good players.

    Yeah I am with you on that. Keep the dynamic offensive talent and surround them with professional
    hockey players (i.e. Boyd Gordon). I thought Willis’ article was bang on today.

  14. Pouzar says:

    Del Zotto a HS again. Hmmmm.

  15. Old School G says:

    To agree with prior observations and comments I have read I feel that Arcobello would work as a fine 3/4C for us, he actually plays a pretty gritty game, good on the draw, good enough wheels, toss some bigger bodies that can skate on a line with him there you go. MacT has had to have thought about the technicality of his NTC arrangement with Sam.

    Nuge, Boyd Gordon x2, and Arcobello would be mighty effective.

  16. speeds says:

    LT, how do you marry the MacT quote re: Arco on the 3/4 line with Acton repeatedly dressing ahead of Arco?

  17. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    LT, how do you marry the MacT quote re: Arco on the 3/4 line with Acton repeatedly dressing ahead of Arco?

    The coach chooses the players who play, OR MacT has the same bias as Eakins (which I think states that Arcobello can’t be a 4line player because big).

  18. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    In the movie, Billy Beane trades away the guy the coach plays if the coach won’t play the guy Beane wants playing. Yes, the coach chooses, but if MacT wasn’t fine with it, no reason he couldn’t step in.

  19. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Lowetide,

    In the movie, Billy Beane trades away the guy the coach plays if the coach won’t play the guy Beane wants playing.Yes, the coach chooses, but if MacT wasn’t fine with it, no reason he couldn’t step in.

    Sure, but if you’ve got a rookie coach who believe Acton is a better player (PK, etc) and you buy the bias too, then it’s certainly plausible that they see things differently and the coach wins the day on that issue.

    MacT can impose his will, but you also have to pick the hill you die on, and I can’t imagine it’s Beane-Howe bad at this point.

  20. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    It’s possible they see things differently, but would MacT have hired Eakins if they had such a disparity in how they view 4th line construction? I don’t know, maybe I guess?

  21. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Lowetide,

    It’s possible they see things differently, but would MacT have hired Eakins if they had such a disparity in how they view 4th line construction?I don’t know, maybe I guess?

    The only thing I know about that 4th line is they could have played in 1975,

  22. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: The only thing I know about that 4th line is they could have played in 1975,

    For the Seals.

  23. nycoil says:

    I’m a little surprised MacT even allowed this situation to occur where there is, whatever you want to call it, a perception of family bias created by having father and son Actons with the club. Unless WIll is so damn good that you just have to have him (elite level talent), it’s just not good practice to have that situation in the room. It isn’t. I cannot see this ending well in any way.
    If it wasn’t Arcobello who was pushing the issue, it was going to be someone else. They’ve just created a no-win situation on this one between perceptions and, well unless this club was firing on all cylinders and in playoff position you were bound to get some close scrutiny directed towards certain things. If the early season chaos hadn’t been centred on the goaltending and the “swarm” I think this debate would have been a lot louder than it has been. There is no way you can spin it such that Acton over any number of guys, including Arco, makes any kind of hockey sense. On this item, MacT has definitely let this team down.

    However, at this juncture, it’s like complaining about the choice of wallpaper on a house missing a roof.

  24. Bar_Qu says:

    nycoil,

    You know the N in NHL stands for nepotism, right?

    Good on the kid for winning a job & maybe a big(get) second contract. I say take this league fur all you can young man and enjoy the ride.

  25. Old School G says:

    NYCOIL,
    However, at this juncture, it’s like complaining about the choice of wallpaper on a house missing a roof.

    ***********************

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you are right

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Labarbera in net. Playing well, but had a brutal give away that led to a goal on a Stars’ PP.

    Of Note: Grebs isn’t playing… how long until MacT and him come to terms on an unconditional waiver/buy out? Before x-mas?

  27. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Labarbera in net. Playing well, but had a brutal give away that led to a goal on a Stars’ PP.

    Of Note: Grebs isn’t playing… how long until MacT and him come to terms on an unconditional waiver/buy out? Before x-mas?

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/11/27/oilers-recall-grebeshkov

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: http://oilersnation.com/2013/11/27/oilers-recall-grebeshkov

    So, you’re saying I should pay attention to everything the Oilers do all day, instead of just most of the day?

    :)

    Was Kessy recalled?

    ;)

  29. VanOil says:

    Have only caught the second period of the Barrons game. Is Gernat playing wing or D? Great last shift but I could not tell his position.

  30. OilLeak says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    OKC is getting owned in this game, except when Lander and Omark are on the ice. This is a team full of ECHLers and nobodies.

  31. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Kane for Eberle is definitely a hockey trade I’d consider. A bit problematic given Kane is a LW. But for me, Eberle represents a lot of what ails the Oil. Tons of skill and ability to create offence, but does he actually hit anyone? Lots of flash, non-existent bash. I’d take 70 percent of the offensive totals for a player that engages. I’m not sure Kane truly fits this, but I think he really arrives in 3 more years with 15 lbs more heft, speed and finish. He has an edge to boot. However, his attitude and off ice persona is concerning. Maybe maturity remedies some of those perceptions (See Perron for that story line).

    I like Eberle but he seems most expendable as I don’t see much more upside to what he brings – offence. Don’t see him getting dirty out there (ever) and we need a good dose of that. Kane may have more dimensions to bring yet. These are the types of hockey trades I’m personally anticipating.

  32. OilLeak says:

    I’ll never understand why the OIlers couldn’t ice a 4th line with Lander and Omark instead of Gazdic and Acton, I know the 4th line isn’t the most pressing problem, but those mins shouldn’t be given away either.

  33. OilLeak says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    The team doesn’t hit enough, right, that’s the problem, lets trade goal scoring for Grit, that has worked out so well thus far.

  34. VanOil says:

    T.O. gets out shot 17-0 in the third and don’t lose. When are the horseshoes going to fall out of there ass.

  35. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    OilLeak,

    Well Kane isn’t a third tier offensive threat. He brings a lot. But is pure offence our issue to becoming a contending team? It’s fair that its controversial but for me, this is the kind of change we’ll need.

  36. OilLeak says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    No Kane is a great and is arguably the better than eberle, but your comment about taking 70% offense for someone who engages isn’t going to win you hockey games.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    It’s beyond funny, beyond sad, now it’s just absurd:

    “Since joining Charlotte on Oct. 26, exactly one month ago, DiPietro went 0-4-0 with a 5.18 goals-against average and .846 save percentage.”

    http://gocheckers.com/articles/418-checkers-release-rick-dipietro.html

  38. DeadmanWaking says:

    Acton is the poster boy for drinking the coaching Kool-Aid. He’s a constant reminder to all the other players that the coach ultimately gets what the coach wants. He already knows Eakins’ system, so he’s one less player to soak up the coach’s special attention. He’s probably grateful for every minute he ever plays at the NHL level. And he’s cheap, too.

    His 7.5 minutes a night represents roughly 2.5% of ice time granted to skaters. It’s such a small margin where we presently sit. He’s 50% in the dot and he’s not hemorrhaging chances.

    The argument is not whether he could be replaced with a superior low-maintenance player, but whether the minutes we’re giving Acton would be better invested in a player like Lander. Lander is probably better off getting his 20 minutes a night in OKC in a featured role.

    I doubt Arco’s development benefits in any major way from those minutes in that role. It could even mess him up constantly switching between skill and cement.

    I’m sure MacT has a difference maker penciled into this role in the not too distant future, if he can fit such a player into existing roster constraints.

    Meanwhile, there’s a full court press to find out whether Gagner covers his contract at 2C, which has implications all through the roster.

    I never get the urgency of replacing a 5 you know with a 7 you don’t while the auction has not yet arrived at a known trump suit.

  39. Logan91 says:

    VanOil:
    T.O. gets out shot 17-0 in the third and don’t lose. When are the horseshoes going to fall out of there ass.

    Haha, I was just thinking the same thing. If it weren’t for amazing goaltending Toronto would be right at the bottom of the league with the Oil.

  40. OilLeak says:

    Omark gets on the ice, Barons score. Tie game 1-1, the rest of this game isn’t close.

    Barons are starting to resemble their parent team.

  41. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    OilLeak,

    I owe an apology as I wasn’t clear. This wouldn’t apply to the team in general, but specifically to this type of trade. Having said that, there are many examples of fine grinding teams that weren’t offensive juggernauts that played winning hockey. NJ is the poster child for this. But so too the ’06 Oilers versus this version of the Oilers. Offence is only one ingredient of the alchemy to win.

  42. OilLeak says:

    Texas scores up 2-1 on OKC.

  43. OilLeak says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    This team needs to tighten up defensively, I agree, but the Oilers aren’t exactly lighting it up in the GF category either(20th) and trading Eberle for less offense would be a mistake unless the trade involves a young top pairing defender.

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    OilLeak:
    Texas scores up 2-1 on OKC.

    My feed is like 8 minutes behind or something. I just saw the Fedun goal!

    what are you watching?

  45. OilLeak says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    on hockeystreams are you watching live? There’s 1 min left in the game

  46. Lois Lowe says:

    For fans of The Wire, the referee in tonight’s OKC game is J.M. McNulty.

  47. OilLeak says:

    Well that was an ugly game by the Barons, labarbera kept them in it, but OKC’s roster is not built to score goals.

    Final shot tally is 41-25 Texas

  48. Ice Sage says:

    Khaira trending more Gadzic than Lucic in this Subway series – game too fast for him tonite

  49. kooler says:

    Calgary ahead 2 over Chicago in the 3rd…12in left.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Nurse with a goal tonight, 24, 8-18-26 +5. He’s on pace for 25-ish goals and 75-ish points. Nice.

  51. kooler says:

    3 min later all tied. To be like Chicago.

  52. kooler says:

    Khaira doesn’t look like he has the wheels but quietly getting touches and driving. Moroz looks good, can’t wait for him to be NHL ready. Leier looks like he plays the whole ice…trade a young D for a solid prospects.

  53. Clay says:

    Well you know CGY is in full rebuild mode now, as they are very creative in finding ways to lose. Every Oilers fan recognized that third period collapse – difference is that it’s happy fun times when the Flaimes do it.

  54. Hammers says:

    Said it before and now again . Gags at RW with RNH & Hall . Arco /Ebs /Yak 3rd Gordon Hemsky & Perron 4th for me is Lander Smyth & Joensuu . Eakins loves Acton but his not in the teams future so get a grip and play the guys who maybe here next year . Pitlick & Gazdic extras . Send Jones & Acton down once Pitlick is fit . I would also send Potter down and try Klefbom .

  55. LP says:

    Hey LT, just wanted to say thank you for all that you do.

    I enjoyed listening to Lowdown with Lowtide tonight. (only the first hours of yesterday and today though). I love the optimism and agree with the vast majority of what you say.

    I never did hear you speak in regards to the NHL TV broadcasting rights thingy. How does this affect TSN 1260? I didn’t see a blog post on this. Was curious to hear what your take of all this is.

    Anyways. I’m sure in the end it will all work out.

    PS: Leafs, Flames, Wild, Avalanche and Wild all lost tonight. All that was missing was Edmonton shutting out Vancouver. Go Oilers.

  56. delooper says:

    Old School G:
    NYCOIL,
    However, at this juncture, it’s like complaining about the choice of wallpaper on a house missing a roof.

    ***********************

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you are right

    Just be thankful the toilet works.

  57. geeker99 says:

    Hey Lowtide, I’m wandering if you could do an article on the concussion lawsuit? I hate to be a “debbie downer” , but would love to hear your opinion along with some of the hockey die-hards on this site. I know its game day today but have been talking about it quite a bit with my friends. love your site bud, keep on keeping on

  58. godot10 says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    Acton is the poster boy for drinking the coaching Kool-Aid. He’s a constant reminder to all the other players that the coach ultimately gets what the coach wants.He already knows Eakins’ system, so he’s one less player to soak up the coach’s special attention.He’s probably grateful for every minute he ever plays at the NHL level.And he’s cheap, too.

    His 7.5 minutes a night represents roughly 2.5% of ice time granted to skaters. It’s such a small margin where we presently sit. He’s 50% in the dot and he’s not hemorrhaging chances.

    The argument is not whether he could be replaced with a superior low-maintenance player, but whether the minutes we’re giving Acton would be better invested in a player like Lander. Lander is probably better off getting his 20 minutes a night in OKC in a featured role.

    I doubt Arco’s development benefits in any major way from those minutes in that role. It could even mess him up constantly switching between skill and cement.

    I’m sure MacT has a difference maker penciled into this role in the not too distant future, if he can fit such a player into existing roster constraints.

    Meanwhile, there’s a full court press to find out whether Gagner covers his contract at 2C, which has implications all through the roster.

    I never get the urgency of replacing a 5 you know with a 7 you don’t while the auction has not yet arrived at a known trump suit.

    Playing or not playing Arco determines whether he will be a RFA or UFA.

    Not playing him over Acton means that he will be a UFA. Marc Arcobello is better than Colin Fraser, and LA has the big wingers to play him with on the 4th line, and the revenue to offer him a one-way contract they don’t have to care is in the NHL or in the AHL.

    Heck, Vancouver could use Arcobello. Again a rich team that can offer him a one-way contract.

  59. godot10 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Kane for Eberle is definitely a hockey trade I’d consider. A bit problematic given Kane is a LW. But for me, Eberle represents a lot of what ails the Oil. Tons of skill and ability to create offence, but does he actually hit anyone? Lots of flash, non-existent bash. I’d take 70 percent of the offensive totals for a player that engages. I’m not sure Kane truly fits this, but I think he really arrives in 3 more years with 15 lbs more heft, speed and finish. He has an edge to boot. However, his attitude and off ice persona is concerning. Maybe maturity remedies some of those perceptions (See Perron for that story line).

    I like Eberle but he seems most expendable as I don’t see much more upside to what he brings – offence. Don’t see him getting dirty out there (ever) and we need a good dose of that. Kane may have more dimensions to bring yet. These are the types of hockey trades I’m personally anticipating.

    I suppose you would trade Guy LaFleur and Mike Bossy too.

    Every player has strengths and weaknesses. Play Eberle to his strengths. Get other players to deliver what he is weak at.

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Interesting comp for Arco vs. Acton can be seen in Fenwick For %.

    Hint: look way, way up and way, way down.

  61. maudite says:

    Every Martin St Louis type story involves one thing:

    Obtuse management on one or more teams not looking past the player’s size and sending him off. There is no legitmate reason this guy is not on the ice. Zero.

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