2014 DRAFT: TOP 20 PROSPECTS (PRE-DRAFT EDITION)

We’re three weeks away from the 2014 NHL entry draft, and it’s a good time to have one final look at the Oilers prospect list. I know it sounds crazy, but the defensive side of the issue has a lot help on the way. Weak areas? Center, Scoring forwards, and goaltending. If that sounds like a different list from the one I’ve been espousing for the Oilers, you’re right. The NHL team is the NHL team, the draft is the procurement of young men who may eventually get there. Eventually is a vague word, but you get the point.

  • Graduating from the winter list: Anton Belov (thought he had a solid but uneven season); Luke Gazdic (effective in his role).

  1. (1) D Darnell Nurse:  His offense faded as the season wore on (after starting 18, 6-14-20 he finished 46, 7-23-30) but a lot of his value is defensive. We’ll have to wait and see what happens at the draft, but he remains the most valuable prospect in the system. SSM tracks minutes, qual comp and other advanced stats, and this fellow rips it up. He may be that very rare complete defenseman Edmonton has been looking for since Pronger. NOT saying he’s Pronger.
  2. (4) D Martin Marincin: The star of this year’s prospect group, he got a cup of coffee and then stayed for the entire meal. Marincin gives Oiler fans hope for the future, because he came in and played well (make no mistake, he was gold) then it’s possible for Klefbom or another to do the same. It’s very important we remember the recipe: draft, two years in junior, more than one AHL season. Rinse, repeat.
  3. (2) D Oscar Klefbom: Impressive 2-way defender who fits the modern game. He spent some time in the NHL this year, and after a horrible first shift looked steadily better. I think the Oilers feel they’ve got a big piece of the cluster here. Corey Pronman: ”NHL GM on newly signed Oscar Klefbom. “Physically mature, great skater. Projects to play against best players and some offense.”
  4. (10) C Greg Chase: Chase was taken in the 7th round of the 2013 draft and had a monster season in the WHL (70, 35-50-85). He’s truculent, a pain in the ass and has skill. Started the season 23, 14-11-25 and finished 47, 21-39-60. A wonderful young player. I’d pay money to know how much pp time he gets, and we’ll have a big look at his ev/pp/pk splits in the coming week. This guy has 22 EV goals—Eberle had 20 in the season after he was drafted.
  5. (6) C Bogdan Yakimov: He began the season like a house on fire (27, 5-5-10) but didn’t play much in the KHL after November (ended 33, 7-5-12). He did well in the MHL and looked very good at the WJ’s. He reminds me of Peter Mahovlich, that’s a compliment. Oilers signed him and he’ll play NA pro this fall, I wouldn’t discount a long look at TC, especially if the team takes Ekblad in Round 1.
  6. (8) D Dillon Simpson: The young man just keeps matriculating towards success. I’m really looking forward to seeing him at training camp in the fall and he’s a complete wild card. Jeff Petry didn’t take a helluva long time to get to the NHL, and Simpson’s a quick study. Began the season 11, 1-5-6 and finished 31, 6-11-17 for UND. Final totals: 42, 7-16-23.
  7. (12) C Mark Arcobello: The young C has done everything in his power to show the Oilers he is worthy of a roster spot. His NHL season (41, 4-14-18) was the best thing about him, but his AHL numbers (15, 10-8-18) are a helluva kicker. Won an NHL contract.
  8. (3) C Marco Roy: Ranked him third in the winter when he was ripping up the Q (8, 2-11-13) but injuries impacted him and Roy followed up the hot start by going 31, 12-10-22. I moved him down a little, but Roy’s development is vital: the Oilers don’t have many high-end skill forwards in the system.
  9. (5) C Jujhar Khaira: He played in a very tight defensive system in Everett, so we have to filter the results. However, his boxcars (59, 16-27-43) are well off the pace of other forwards high on this list. He started the year 12, 3-5-8 and followed with 47, 13-22-35. Khaira was impressive in his AHL debut, scoring a playoff goal for the Barons. Offense will be the concern with this player, but he has some nice things.
  10. (20) R Jackson Houck: He began the year very well (33, 17-11-28) and finished 36, 17-16-33. I have Houck, Chase and Moroz as a trio moving forward, idea being Edmonton is looking for a player who can play with skill while also winning battles and showing physical play. Moroz is bigger than the other two, but Chase and Houck are better hockey players.
  11. (15) R Tyler Pitlick: A good season for Pitlick, he finally made it to the NHL and looked good. Began his AHL season 7, 1-2-3 and was 32, 7-12-19 after, obviously impacted by the injury. Pitlick went 10, 1-0-1 in his NHL debut.
  12. (9) D Martin Gernat: I nicked him this year because of a fairly slow start (8, 0-3-3 and he spent time in the ECHL). He finished 57, 4-17-21 and played a regular shift in the AHL. The progress of Marincin is exciting when viewing Gernat, because they’re similar players. Gernat was a 5th round selection and has some chaos to his game (and Martin doesn’t always apply himself based on what we read) but there does seem to be a player here. A nice season.
  13. (11) L Mitch Moroz: A strong final season in junior got him his pro contract. Began the season 24, 16-8-24 and finished 46, 19-20-39. Enjoyed a strong Memorial Cup, leaves Edmonton with a bang. One thing Moroz will likely benefit from: Unlike Curtis Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick, Moroz is likely to get more playing time out of the box. A slight change in philosophy under the MacT regime should help all these kids as they turn pro.
  14. (13) D Taylor Fedun: Similar story to Arcobello. Everyone who reports from OKC suggests Fedun is the best defenseman on the farm, yet he has played in only four games with Edmonton this season. I don’t think he’ll make it to the NHL as a regular with the Oilers, and he may not be on the summer list. Still, he’s a talented player who could forge an NHL career.
  15. (14) D David Musil: The skating issues continue to be a part of the conversation, but he’s played much better than some expected as an AHL rookie. I think the Oilers look at him more long term—he’s slotted correctly on this list—but he also plays the defensive game well. That’s a unique item in the Oilers system.
  16. (17) L Anton Slepyshev: He looked brilliant at the WJ’s, and is one of the best skill wingers in the system. He’ll spend another year in the KHL, it’s vital he gets major playing time. Despite his skill set, Slepyshev has fallen behind Yakimov in terms of development.
  17. (23) G Laurent Brossoit. Pegging these goaltenders is a tough item, and there are suddenly a ton vying for job in the system. Young man had a strong run in California, and he’ll need to impress in Oklahoma this fall.
  18. (16) R John McCarron: Big power winger with size and some skill in an organization parched for it. McCarron is not attached to the MacTavish regime, but it’s very likely we’ll see him in pro a year from now. Having a Colin McDonald college career.
  19. (26) D Brad Hunt.  Hunt’s small stature makes him a long shot, but he’s impressed in a big way. It’s easy to overlook at his offense (66, 11-39-50) because of his lack of size, or because of his chaos NHL debut, but this is a player with promise.
  20. (22) D Brandon Davidson. Up and down season for the young man, he was called up to the NHL (didn’t play) early on and then struggled for a time. He then settled in and played some fine hockey, once again elevating his status. The problem for all of the depth D prospects in this organization is the sheer number of quality defensive prospects above them.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTHS: Two-way defensemen
  • ORGANIZATIONAL WEAKNESS: NHL ready players, two-way centers, goaltenders, skill wingers
  • BIGGEST JUMP: Jackson Houck, 20 to 10
  • BEST VALUE PICK: Greg Chase
  • MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Martin Marincin
  • PLAYERS WHO WILL GRADUATE BY THIS TIME NEXT SEASON: Martin Marincin, Mark Arcobello, Oscar Klefbom
  • PLAYERS WHO WILL MAKE THEIR NHL DEBUT THIS COMING SEASON: Darnell Nurse, Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira

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78 Responses to "2014 DRAFT: TOP 20 PROSPECTS (PRE-DRAFT EDITION)"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Corey Graham hosts the show today, make sure to tune in!

  2. Hammers says:

    A really nice list and the only position I would switch is Marincin & Nurse . Only due to one making it and the other will/should go back to junior . Injuries and luck still play a huge role ..I’m also hoping to see Pitlick getting his shot at the beginning of the season unless the continuing rumor of Gags + 1 for Umberger +1 .A player like Umberger fits in at once on the 3rd line . Not sure who the +1 players are but that’s rumors .

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I was going to scold you for not waiting until Monday.

  4. mumbai max says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I was going to scold you for not waiting until Monday.

    Monday is the draft list.

    aaah, you thought this WAS the draft list when you saw it….

  5. Caramel Obvious says:

    I think Marincin and Slepyshev should be higher, but for opposite reasons.

    Marincin because he’s a near certainty. I would rather trade Nurse than Marincin.

    At the lower ends, however, what matters is upside. Most of the guys ahead of him have zero chance. None. Slepyshev has many question marks, but he has enough skill to have a punchers chance. He should be no lower than 10. Gernat 11. Everyone below that is irrelevant.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I think Marincin and Slepyshev should be higher, but for opposite reasons.

    Marincin because he’s a near certainty.I would rather trade Nurse than Marincin.

    At the lower ends, however, what matters is upside.Most of the guys ahead of him have zero chance.None.Slepyshev has many question marks, but he has enough skill to have a punchers chance.He should be no lower than 10.Gernat 11.Everyone below that is irrelevant.

    My list basically values:

    1. Range of skills
    2. Most recent season
    3. Potential

    How close a player is to the NHL doesn’t really impact. For me, Tyler Pitlick is very close, but giving him a big push for that doesn’t really feel proper.

  7. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT think you have Chase too high but he is sooooo much better than his draft slot

    On your bleacher report Mock. Think you might have the Europeans a wee bit low in top 10

  8. Rondo says:

    OT: Leon Draisaitl

    Prince Albert Raiders GM Bruno Campese was on Sportsnet 960′s Boomer in the morning Thursday, sharing thoughts on high-end prospect Leon Draisaitl.

    http://www.nicholsonhockey.com/worthreading/2014/6/5/breaking-down-leon-draisaitls-game

  9. WeirsBeard says:

    That list on defense sure looks great. Deep, different types, enough there to trade from strength if need be.

    How many of the forwards have enough bat for the majors? We are looking for Moreaus and Marchants, but still, those guys could score 15-20. If you can’t manage 20 goals in junior, I don’t feel bullish on your chances as a prospect. Does the NHLE tell us who has a chance?

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodlief (RLR) on Calgary radio this morning:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/960/boomer-morning/

    click “who falls to Calgary”

    talks about Draisaitl, Reinhart, Virtanen, etc.

  11. slopitch says:

    I like this list LT. I think the top 3 are fairly interchangeable. Nurse is the best athlete but has the farthest to go in terms of hockey sense. Time will tell.

    If Oilers follow the Marchand model with Chase, he has 1 more year of junior, a full year in the AHL and a split year in AHL before reaching the big leagues. Given the fact that the Oilers aren’t half the team the Bruins are, I can see Chase making it as early as Jan 2016.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bylsma fired apparently. Seconds after Rutherford was hired as new Pens GM.

    Oilers ought to take another look at that coaching position.

  13. flyfish1168 says:

    JMHO. I often feel we under estimate European players. Rasmus Ristolainen from his physical stats and hockey futures website I felt he would have been a better fit for the Oilers. Be interesting 5 years after the draft.

    As per Capgeek Ryan Johansen is a RFA this summer. Would be interesting if anyone is willing to offer sheet him or should we explore this option.

  14. OilFire says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bylsma fired apparently. Seconds after Rutherford was hired as new Pens GM.

    Oilers ought to take another look at that coaching position.

    Where’d you hear this? I don’t see it anywhere.

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bylsma fired apparently. Seconds after Rutherford was hired as new Pens GM.

    Oilers ought to take another look at that coaching position.

    WOW

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 2m
    Just an astonishing way of doing business. Letting a guy twist in the wind for 21 days then firing him. Brutal.

  17. Andy P says:

    slopitch:
    I like this list LT. I think the top 3 are fairly interchangeable. Nurse is the best athlete but has the farthest to go in terms of hockey sense.Time will tell.

    If Oilers follow the Marchand model with Chase, he has 1 more year of junior, a full year in the AHL and a split year in AHL before reaching the big leagues.Given the fact that the Oilers aren’t half the team the Bruins are, I can see Chase making it as early as Jan 2016.

    flyfish1168,

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bylsma fired apparently. Seconds after Rutherford was hired as new Pens GM.

    Oilers ought to take another look at that coaching position.

    Bring him in, let him choose his own staff, and the weakest link in the organization becomes a strength.

  18. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bylsma fired apparently. Seconds after Rutherford was hired as new Pens GM.

    Oilers ought to take another look at that coaching position.

    I’m not a fan of Bylsma.

    The CF of that team has never reached its potential.

    They had decent to good Dmen and some elite F’s for a while now.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I’m not a fan of Bylsma.

    The CF of that team has never reached its potential.

    They had decent to good Dmen and some elite F’s for a while now.

    True. I don’t think he’s the best.

    But, he’s probably an upgrade on Eakins. He turned a big corner after Therrien left for the Pens.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I’m not a fan of Bylsma.

    The CF of that team has never reached its potential.

    They had decent to good Dmen and some elite F’s for a while now.

    but zero depth. None at all.

  21. TheOtherJohn says:

    and zero depth ain’t on the coach

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    What I really like about the forward crop here is this.

    these guys are going to be starting their ELCs on time.

    Khaira, Moroz and Yakimov this year (Yakimov could have waited a year).

    Chase, Roy, Slepy, Houck, McCarron (if they sign) the year after.

    You can see a nice steady development path ahead for depth players: Get drafted. 2 more years in junior. Head to OKC and toil away until you prove yourself. By the fifth year, we’ll know.

  23. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure if Bylsma would come or if eakins and Bylsma would have good chemistry to work together.

  24. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: I’m not a fan of Bylsma.The CF of that team has never reached its potential.They had decent to good Dmen and some elite F’s for a while now.

    Steve Simmons just choked on his Cheerios:

    Jim Rutherford: “There’s things that analytics are going to point out to you that your hockey people don’t see.”

  25. godot10 says:

    MacT should call up Jim Rutherford and offer him Yakupov, Lander, and Pitlick for James Neal.

  26. Hayek says:

    Just want to point out Arcobello was 15GP, 10-18-28 in OKC, and not 15GP, 10-8-18 as stated erroneously in your post.

  27. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ron Wilson in Pittsburgh

  28. godot10 says:

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Perron, Gagner, Neal (or Neal, Gagner, Perron)
    Hendricks, Gordon, Arcobello

    One would not have to trade Gagner for peanuts.

    It would depend on what Pittsburgh thinks of Yakupov, but Lander and Pitlick are cheap depth type forwards they desparately need to fill out their roster under the cap.

  29. Caramel Obvious says:

    godot10:
    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Perron, Gagner, Neal (or Neal, Gagner, Perron)
    Hendricks, Gordon, Arcobello

    One would not have to trade Gagner for peanuts.

    It would depend on what Pittsburgh thinks of Yakupov, but Lander and Pitlick are cheap depth type forwards they desparately need to fill out their roster under the cap.

    I would rather trade Gagner for peanuts than Yakupov for Neal.

    I don’t know whether Yakupov will ever be a star. I do know that your lineup isn’t good enough to win.

    The only chance is to hope that guys like Yakupov become stars and get their peak years. Trading for second tier stars that have already peaked is not going to make up the difference between the Oilers and the top of the conference.

    There is no trade for an established star that will help the Oilers unless they get that guy at a discount. Neal isn’t that guy. Byfuglien might be (though, of course, not for Yakupov either).

    The interesting bold trade idea is to trade the #3 for Couturier. Now obviously the #3 by itself isn’t enough for Couturier. The question is how much do you have to add to the #3 to get Couturier?

  30. commonfan14 says:

    TheOtherJohn: and zero depth ain’t on the coach

    I’ve always thought that sending the franchise back out in the Winter Classic after getting his head caved in should have been what cost him his job. Nevermind the subsequent games>

  31. OilFire says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Ron Wilson in Pittsburgh

    … with the candlestick

  32. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious: I would rather trade Gagner for peanuts than Yakupov for Neal.

    Pittsburgh is only trading Neal for cap reasons. He is the only one without a NTC. So they need multiple cheaper players for Neal. Gagner does not qualify since he earns only $200K less than Neal.

  33. slopitch says:

    godot10,

    I wouldnt move Yakapov for Neal.

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    OilFire: … with the candlestick

    Nice : )

  35. Bar_Qu says:

    Sooo, Pittsburgh is going to the Toronto model?

  36. spud says:

    I’m cheering for Jujhar Khaira–the true underdog. He has so many raw skills. Todd Nelson loved him in OKC during the playoffs. He is a foreckecker and a playmaker. Good on the powerplay, too.

    Jujhar is a very humble guy, too. Takes nothing for granted–he knows he has a lot of work to do.

    A year or two in OKC and the Oilers may have a gem as a third or fourth line centre.

  37. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: but zero depth. None at all.

    Yes and no.

    It seems that Bylsma never recovered from losing Staal.

    PIT’s FF close was shit until Bylsma took over halfway through 08/09, then it was elite every year until 12/13

    That was the same year he lost Staal.

    They went from top 1-5 every year to 15th last year and 15th this year in terms of Fenclose (FF%)

    The last year they had Staal he played mostly with Dupis and Cooke.

    The next year Sutter played mostly with Cooke and Kennedy. Not exactly slouches.

    I’d wager more that Bylsma did something to his systems in response to not doing well in the playoffs for 3 years.

    Wouldn’t be the first coach to re-vamp his system due to losses when the cause of the losses were not the system, but the goalie.

    We saw Eakins do the same thing this year.

    Oilers were competitive FF-wise until Eakins abandoned the swarm.

    It may have given too many open looks but that requires a tweak and not an overhaul.

    Getting a stop once in a while helps too.

    Instead of tweaking what was working and upgrading the goalie, they throw it all out and sacrifice winning the shot attempt ratio in the name of “safe hockey”

    Safe is death and causes you to lose.

    Especially when your goalie is awful.

  38. Woodguy says:

    Here’s some more detail to the PIT FF% thing.

    They were shit in 08/09 during

    08/09 13th 50.1 – Won Cup
    09/10 2nd 53.7
    10/11 5th 55.3
    11/12 1st 55.2
    12/13 15th 49.8
    13/14 15th 50.2

    They dropped from 1st to 15th with almost the same personel except for Staal and I refuse to think a 3C has that much impact.

    It had to be inside of their retrieval, zone exit/entry systems.

    That big of movement in FF% (up or down) is usually accompanied by a coaching change.

    Only other time I saw a team drop even close to that much was Oilers from Renney (48.1) to Kruger (44.5) or any time that Randy Carlyle takes over a team.

    The bottom of the Pen’s roster did get weaker over time, but it wasn’t near as bad as it was this year until this year.

    Bylsma took an average FF team to being an elite FF team and then turned them back into an average FF team while have a top 6 and top 4 that were Cup worthy..

  39. Lowetide says:

    Penguins employed 26 forwards last season. Take out their deadline acquisitions and it’s bad. Zach Sill? Jayson Megna? Joe Vitale? Brian Gibbons?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142PITFAFALL&sort=timeOnIce&viewName=timeOnIce

  40. TheOtherJohn says:

    WG

    08/09 is the first year that Crsoby’s significantly higher salary kicked in. 07/08 he made: $3.7m In 08/09 his salary was $8.7m.

    Malkin was making $3.85m in 08/09 and in 10/11 he was also making $8.7m. That is a shotload of money invested in 2 oplayers and roughly coincides with PIT FF% collapsing.

    This year their combined salary (Crosby/Malkin) constitutes 24% of the salary cap. Leaving way less $$ for 21 other guys on your NHL roster

    Only way to combat that might be to play 2 guys each with NHL minimum salaries with each of Sid and Malkin and spend the $$ on middle of the road players on the other 2 lines

    Expect that is why Toews and Kane sign for less than 8.&m this summer

  41. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Penguins employed 26 forwards last season. Take out their deadline acquisitions and it’s bad. Zach Sill? Jayson Megna? Joe Vitale? Brian Gibbons?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142PITFAFALL&sort=timeOnIce&viewName=timeOnIce

    Did you miss the part where this was their top 9?

    Sidney Crosby
    Chris Kunitz
    Brandon Sutter
    Jussi Jokinen
    Evgeni Malkin
    James Neal
    Craig Adams
    Tanner Glass
    Pascal Dupuis

    I don’t care how many rooks they tried on the 4th.

    That top 9 is better than most.

    I don’t like Shero and thought he made some amazing moves (Neal) but they were outweighed by the many little bad moves (Concrete pylon for 2 2nds)

    That top 9 doesn’t explain a 5% FF close drop.

  42. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    WG

    08/09 is the first year that Crsoby’s significantly higher salary kicked in. 07/08 he made: $3.7m In 08/09 his salary was $8.7m.

    Malkin was making $3.85m in 08/09 and in 10/11 he was also making $8.7m. That is a shotload of money invested in 2 oplayers and roughly coincides with PIT FF% collapsing.

    This year their combined salary (Crosby/Malkin) constitutes 24% of the salary cap. Leaving way less $$ for 21 other guys on your NHL roster

    Only way to combat that might be to play 2 guys each with NHL minimum salaries with each of Sid and Malkin and spend the $$ on middle of the road players on the other 2 lines

    Expect that is why Toews and Kane sign for less than 8.&m this summer

    If you are going to argue that salary hurt the roster, then compare rosters, don’t just muse about it.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Did you miss the part where this was their top 9?

    Sidney Crosby
    Chris Kunitz
    Brandon Sutter
    Jussi Jokinen
    Evgeni Malkin
    James Neal
    Craig Adams
    Tanner Glass
    Pascal Dupuis

    I don’t care how many rooks they tried on the 4th.

    That top 9 is better than most.

    I don’t like Shero and thought he made some amazing moves (Neal) but they were outweighed by the many little bad moves (Concrete pylon for 2 2nds)

    That top 9 doesn’t explain a 5% FF close drop.

    Hmmm. Sounds as though we’re not going to get very far here, so wish you the best.

  44. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. Sounds as though we’re not going to get very far here, so wish you the best.

    Sorry for being a dick.

    Trying out a multitude of players for the bottom 3 spots doesn’t drop the FF% 5% when your top 9 is good.

    I should look at the Dman changes too.

    Bylsma owns a big part of the drop.

    Was dynamite from mid 08/09 season until 12/13.

    Something changed more than the roster, so the best guess is tactics.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Sorry for being a dick.

    Trying out a multitude of players for the bottom 3 spots doesn’t drop the FF% 5% when your top 9is good.

    I should look at the Dman changes too.

    Bylsma owns a big part of the drop.

    Was dynamite from mid 08/09 season until 12/13.

    Something changed more than the roster, so the best guess is tactics.

    No worries, we’re friends. My point is this: when you have a shitty lower portion of the roster, it impacts everything. This goofy Megna fellow did play about 100 minutes with some actual players though: Sutter, Jokinen, Glass, 72 minutes with Malkin. That was my point. I think your point is well made, but they have to help the depth imo.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1842&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

  46. blackadder says:

    It’s strange how good the Penguins numbers were best during the two years when Crosby missed over eighty games, and fall when he returns to mostly full time duty. not saying this is related to issues with Crosby, but I wonder if they alter their style of play (or, failed to alter it) to match his skills) when he returned.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Top 8 Dmen 11/12 when they finished 1st in FF%

    Paul Martin 55.3%
    Brooks Orpik 52.3%
    Matt Niskanen 56.9%
    Zbynek Michalek 52.1%
    Kris Letang 54.3%
    Deryk Engelland 52%
    Ben Lovejoy 55%
    Simon Despres 57.8%

    Top 8 Dmen when they finished 15th in FF% 12/13

    Brooks Orpik 44.6%
    Kris Letang 54%
    Paul Martin 50.1%
    Matt Niskanen 50.9%
    Deryk Engelland 47.8%
    Simon Despres 52.6%
    Mark Eaton 43.8%
    Douglas Murray 45.1% (mostly SJS)

    As bad as Doug Murray was his last 2 seasons, I doubt he’s the reason.

    Orpik falls off a cliff, Martin too but still ends up respectable.

    Did Orpik, Engllend, Eaton and Murray tank PIT FF%?

    I remember being really sad that Z.Michalek went for a 3rd and 2 nothings.

    It was known that summer that PIT had to drop salary and they liked their D alot and would lose one.

    ZM had a 5 year deal with 3 years left at $4MM. Lots for a guy who doesn’t bring offence, but still a good Dman (although OEL’s number have tanked with him….hmmmmm)

    I remember v4.0 not doing a bloody thing to get him

    I’ll do the F’s next, but its a bit of work. Might not show up until tomorrow.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: No worries, we’re friends. My point is this: when you have a shitty lower portion of the roster, it impacts everything. This goofy Megna fellow did play about 100 minutes with some actual players though: Sutter, Jokinen, Glass, 72 minutes with Malkin. That was my point. I think your point is well made, but they have to help the depth imo.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1842&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    Thank you for accepting my apology.

    I still think that you are focusing on the fringe when the change in FF% is so large the fringe doesn’t cover it.

    I’ll try to do the F’s in the next day or two so we can have a look.

    I think the D were telling.

    2 2nds for 14 regular season games and 15 playoff games of Concrete Pylon Murray and gets GM of the year the same year.

    You can write that.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Extra skater doesn’t show partial seasons for 12/13 but shows:

    Murray shows as 44.9%CF all season with SJS and PIT and 42.7%CF with PIT in the playoffs.

    Awesome.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Thank you for accepting my apology.

    I still think that you are focusing on the fringe when the change in FF% is so large the fringe doesn’t cover it.

    I’ll try to do the F’s in the next day or two so we can have a look.

    I think the D were telling.

    2 2nds for 14 regular season games and 15 playoff games of Concrete Pylon Murray and gets GM of the year the same year.

    You can write that.

    Well it could be, and it could be you understand it and I don’t (This would be my bet). It looks to me as though the Penguins are spending most of their F money on six guys and because of it have third and fourth lines that are ghastly until the deadline when they work like hell to form a team.

  51. TheOtherJohn says:

    Was not asking you to muse anything.

    The best player in the NHL went from a $3.7m a great value contract & went to $8.7m. The following year Malkin went from $3.87m (another great value contract) to $8.7m. With those changes Pittsburgh had $10m less money for the balance of their roster. I repeat they currently consume 24% of the cap, there is a consequence to those contracts

    That would affect my business. I suspect it would affect anyones business More so in a hard cap world like the NHL where you cannot exceed the cap.Everybody else has to fit within the cap.

    In the NBA if you want to pay the luxury tax, your roster can be whatever you want. Brooklyn’s luxury tax bill this year was $87m not for salary— for luxury tax.

    To the extent you believe Did & Malkin’s salary doesn’t effect the Pens roster, we agree to disagree

    So if your suggestion is the Penguins escalating payroll … To resign
    Sid, Malkin, Fleury, Martin, etc does not effect the balance of their roster. I think you are wrong

    When you posted the Pens collapsing FF%, I looked for a common sense explanation for why those numbers might have collapsed. Sorry if you did not think it was helpful.

    Believe?? Pens have more money tied up in 2 players than any other team. That has a consequence in a hard cap world

  52. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Top 8 Dmen 11/12 when they finished 1st in FF%
    Paul Martin 55.3%
    Brooks Orpik 52.3%
    Matt Niskanen 56.9%
    Zbynek Michalek 52.1%
    Kris Letang 54.3%
    Deryk Engelland 52%
    Ben Lovejoy 55%
    Simon Despres 57.8%
    Top 8 Dmen when they finished 15th in FF% 12/13
    Brooks Orpik 44.6%
    Kris Letang 54%
    Paul Martin 50.1%
    Matt Niskanen 50.9%
    Deryk Engelland 47.8%
    Simon Despres 52.6%
    Mark Eaton 43.8%
    Douglas Murray 45.1% (mostly SJS)

    That drop is very even across the board, except for Letang holding steady. Such an even drop, across pretty much the entire defense, leaves me to believe WG is onto something here.

    Here are some thoughts from a Pens blogger:

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/3/18/5522310/bylsma-and-match-ups

    So from Staal to Sutter. They’ve also lost a lot of man games to injury this year. That also affects matchups and deployments and depth.

    Looking at WG’s list, I’m guessing that when Letang was in the line-up he was bringing up the FF of everyone on the ice with him. Which means they really sucked when he wasn’t there (good goaltending?). Don’t know if there is a way to check this, but it looks like that from those numbers.

  53. Glock9 says:

    Lowetide: Well it could be, and it could be you understand it and I don’t (This would be my bet). It looks to me as though the Penguins are spending most of their F money on six guys and because of it have third and fourth lines that are ghastly until the deadline when they work like hell to form a team.

    LT & WG —– Good banter you 2 – Awesome read !!!! Thanx !

  54. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    It has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing.

    It has everything to do with “Ok, if you think that, show me proof”

    Too many people on this board don’t do the work anymore to back up their assertions.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Here’s the Pens forwards sorted by total 5v5 TOI.

    I posted the top 12, but for 11/12 showed 13 because Crosby was hurt and only played 22 games.

    11/12

    Evgeni Malkin 56.6
    James Neal 56.5
    Chris Kunitz 57.8
    Pascal Dupuis 53.4
    Matt Cooke 52.7
    Jordan Staal 54.6
    Steve Sullivan 55.1
    Tyler Kennedy 57.7
    Joe Vitale 49.9
    Craig Adams 49.7
    Arron Asham 49.3
    Richard Park 51.1
    Sidney Crosby 57.7

    12/13
    Pascal Dupuis 52.4
    Chris Kunitz 54.8
    Brandon Sutter 42.6
    Matt Cooke 44.1
    Sidney Crosby 56.7
    James Neal 54.2
    Tyler Kennedy 49.3
    Evgeni Malkin 56.5
    Tanner Glass 42.4
    Craig Adams 42.9
    Joe Vitale 40.9
    Beau Bennett 47.4

    So really interesting stuff here.

    Maybe Staal to Sutter does explain a bunch of it?

  56. Woodguy says:

    I find Joe Vitale interesting in this exercise.

    2 most common F and D mates in 11/12: 49.9%
    Adams, Cooke
    Niskanen, Engelland

    12/13 40.9%
    Adams, Glass
    Orpik, Engelland

    Here’s his CF% with Orpik in 12/13 was 32.7%!!

    Which leads me to Orpik’s WOWY in 12/13:

    MARTIN, PAUL -7
    SUTTER, BRANDON -5.6
    DUPUIS, PASCAL -6.5
    COOKE, MATT -8.5
    KUNITZ, CHRIS -8
    CROSBY, SIDNEY -8.5
    KENNEDY, TYLER -0.8
    NEAL, JAMES -13.9
    GLASS, TANNER -2.9
    MALKIN, EVGENI -5.4
    ADAMS, CRAIG -7.3
    LETANG, KRIS -14.9
    VITALE, JOE -14

    Holy Hell!!

    I don’t think I’ve seen a WOWY this bad

    Orpik lead all PIT Dmen in 5v5 ice time that year too.

    That’s not good coaching.

    Mind you, with the injuries he may have not had a choice, but man that’s awful.

    A quick look at 13/14 Orpik WOWY shows the same, but to a lesser degree. Orpik was worth about -4% CF to his team mates.

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Did you miss the part where this was their top 9?

    Sidney Crosby
    Chris Kunitz
    Brandon Sutter
    Jussi Jokinen
    Evgeni Malkin
    James Neal
    Craig Adams
    Tanner Glass
    Pascal Dupuis

    I don’t care how many rooks they tried on the 4th.

    That top 9 is better than most.

    I don’t like Shero and thought he made some amazing moves (Neal) but they were outweighed by the many little bad moves (Concrete pylon for 2 2nds)

    That top 9 doesn’t explain a 5% FF close drop.

    Missed this Yesterday.

    I think the Pens are a worthy team for a adv. stats dissection… so much to look at.

    So, that’s a word of encouragement.

    But, first I just wanted to check in on something:

    Are we sure Craig Adams and Tanner Glass are good top 9 options on a team that isn’t hamstrung by cap problems?

    I don’t think we can pin the deal on those two… but when you combine them with a rotten 4th line, injury leading to the spot duty of players like Gibbons up stream and some serious cliff-diving by Orpik…

    I think you can make the case that roster construction helped Bylsma find trouble.

    Of course… I’m very interested in the idea that coaches tinker too much when their roster starts stubbing its toe. I’d like to see WG’s idea further explored.

  58. Woodguy says:

    I think I concede this to LT and put a big chunk of this on the roster. Especially Sutter and Orpik.

    That said Sutter was 3rd in F 5v5 TOI and Orpik was 1st in D 5v5 TOI in 12/13.

    Maybe the injuries forced Dan’s hand, but man you have to see this at some point and adjust as well.

    Still more reasons that GM OF THE YEAR was correctly fired though.

  59. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Missed this Yesterday.

    I think the Pens are a worthy team for a adv. stats dissection… so much to look at.

    So, that’s a word of encouragement.

    But, first I just wanted to check in on something:

    Are we sure Craig Adams and Tanner Glass are good top 9 options on a team that isn’t hamstrung by cap problems?

    I don’t think we can pin the deal on those two… but when you combine them with a rotten 4th line, injury leading to the spot duty of players like Gibbons up stream and some serious cliff-diving by Orpik…

    I think you can make the case that roster construction helped Bylsma find trouble.

    Of course… I’m very interested in the idea that coaches tinker too much when their roster starts stubbing its toe. I’d like to see WG’s idea further explored.

    Adams has fine numbers until 12/13 and he was never in the top 9 in terms of total 5v5 TOI

    My assertion remains that it wasn’t the fringes of the roster that caused the massive drop in CF%

    Right now the downgrade from Staal to Sutter and Orpik going off a cliff lead the way.

    Those aren’t the fringes, but right in the heart of the team and a coach has to recognize that.

    GM needs to recognize it too.

  60. Woodguy says:

    I’d dissect more of this, but gotta run to meet my sister for breakfast, will add later.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Adams has fine numbers until 12/13 and he was never in the top 9 in terms of total 5v5 TOI

    My assertion remains that it wasn’t the fringes of the roster that caused the massive drop in CF%

    Right now the downgrade from Staal to Sutter and Orpik going off a cliff lead the way.

    Those aren’t the fringes, but right in the heart of the team and a coach has to recognize that.

    GM needs to recognize it too.

    Well, you put Adams and Glass in the heart of the top 9 in your original comment. that’s what I’m taking up.

    Adams certainly got worse. But, it’s unclear he was ever terribly good

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67&ds=1&f3=CRAIGADAMS&f1=2013_s+2013_p+2012_s+2012_p+2011_s+2011_p+2010_s+2010_p+2009_s+2009_p+2008_s+2008_p+2007_s

    That doesn’t look like a great value contract/player card. Looks like a aged guy declining from already poor performance.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    the other day Arctic Ice posted this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/arcticicehockey/status/474968208794214400

    with this link:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=200814&sit=5v5&pos=skaters&minutes=2000&teamid=0&type=corsi&sort=PCT&sortdir=DESC

    Glass and Adams have been at the bottom of the league for the past 6 years (accumulative).

    ———-
    That’s on the coach too… he’s icing them after all. But, I don’t know that he had better options.

    ———
    All your other points look fine to me from here.

    Have a nice breakfast! Try the Veal.

  63. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    I think I concede this to LT and put a big chunk of this on the roster.Especially Sutter and Orpik.

    That said Sutter was 3rd in F 5v5 TOI and Orpik was 1st in D 5v5 TOI in 12/13.

    Maybe the injuries forced Dan’s hand, but man you have to see this at some point and adjust as well.

    Still more reasons that GM OF THE YEAR was correctly fired though.

    So, presumably, shitty forwards can affect the stats for the whole glut of d-men, because they will at some point be playing with all of them, but they won’t bring down the stats of the top forwards, because they won’t see (even strength anyway) time with them. So, bi-modal distribution for forwards, but not for d-men.

  64. Caramel Obvious says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, presumably, shitty forwards can affect the stats for the whole glut of d-men, because they will at some point be playing with all of them, but they won’t bring down the stats of the top forwards, because they won’t see (even strength anyway) time with them.So, bi-modal distribution for forwards, but not for d-men.

    This. All day long. Repeat and Remember.

  65. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, presumably, shitty forwards can affect the stats for the whole glut of d-men, because they will at some point be playing with all of them, but they won’t bring down the stats of the top forwards, because they won’t see (even strength anyway) time with them.So, bi-modal distribution for forwards, but not for d-men.

    That makes sense.

    You can say that about shitty Dmen too, because they play with all the forwards.

    Orpik, by far, was the shittiest Dman for PIT in 12/13

    We see he affects his line mates almost -8% CF across the board.

    His most common F was Crosby.

    Together 50.2
    Crosby apart 54.4
    Orpik apart 44.0

    Here’s Sutter’s WOWY in 12/13

    KENNEDY, TYLER -4.9
    ORPIK, BROOKS -6.5
    MARTIN, PAUL -9.1
    NISKANEN, MATT -10.4
    LETANG, KRIS -10.8
    ENGELLAND, DERYK -5
    DESPRES, SIMON -13.4
    EATON, MARK +1.4
    DUPUIS, PASCAL -12.1
    GLASS, TANNER -5.9
    NEAL, JAMES -2.7
    BENNETT, BEAU +1.1
    MURRAY, DOUGLAS -15.9
    MORROW, BRENDEN -15.3
    KUNITZ, CHRIS -17.7

    Sample sizes get pretty small near the bottom (60 min or so)

    Let’s see if players moved to tougher comp and/or worse ZS with Sutter that year:

    Sutter had the toughest ZS on the team (16/16 forwards) at 37% OZS

    Sutter had the 2nd toughest CorQC (2/16) as per BTN

    So Sutter was given PIT’s version of the Maholtra treatment.

    Changes how to evaluate what we see a bit.

    The year before Staal has the toughest CorQC and toughest ZS for a C on PIT.

    Looks like Byslma tried to shoe horn Sutter into that role, but Sutter drown.

  66. TheOtherJohn says:

    The trade of Staal to Carolina was a salary dump. Thought at 2012 draft when it occurred that , all things considered , that Sutter would not be too big a drop in talent. To extent Sutter is not an adequate substitution for Staal. that should not be a surprise he was a 2OV, admittedly in error ahead of Toews a very good centre on a decent value contract. His 5×5 close FF is 52.0 and his FF rel is+5.4. Consistently in the top 3 on Canes……. With Semin above him in both 5×5 close FF & FF rel, Canes only got 80 Pts combined out of JStaal & Semin

    Shero got Sutter, Derrick Pouliot & Brian DuMoulin for their #3 centre after he refused 10 year contract with Pens. Pouliot & Dumolin look like they will have NHL careers. Faced with losing asset that’s pretty good return

  67. TheOtherJohn says:

    Don’t think he’d score a lot but man would Staal look good as our 2C

  68. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Well, you put Adams and Glass in the heart of the top 9 in your original comment. that’s what I’m taking up.

    Adams certainly got worse. But, it’s unclear he was ever terribly good

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67&ds=1&f3=CRAIGADAMS&f1=2013_s+2013_p+2012_s+2012_p+2011_s+2011_p+2010_s+2010_p+2009_s+2009_p+2008_s+2008_p+2007_s

    That doesn’t look like a great value contract/player card. Looks like a aged guy declining from already poor performance.

    I sorted the forward group incorrectly in my first post.

    Adams was never in the top 9.

  69. G Money says:

    So … should we have a pool on how much MacT is going to offer Orpik this summer?

  70. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    So … should we have a pool on how much MacT is going to offer Orpik this summer?

    I think that pool is full.

    I have $4MM x 3 years.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I think that pool is full.

    I have $4MM x 3 years.

    wow… that’s really low. it would still be terrible… but my visions of terrible are far worse apparently… I was thinking more like

    5M x 4

  72. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: wow… that’s really low. it would still be terrible… but my visions of terrible are far worse apparently… I was thinking more like

    5M x 4

    Orpik playing 1 game for the Oilers is a disaster.

    Figuring out which money and term are worse is just window dressing.

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Orpik playing 1 game for the Oilers is a disaster.

    Figuring out which money and term are worse is just window dressing.

    get ready for

    Orpik-Petry
    Marincin-Greene
    Ference-Schultz
    Engelland

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: get ready for

    Orpik-Petry
    Marincin-Greene
    Ference-Schultz
    Engelland

    crap. wait. that should read

    Orpik-Schultz
    Marincin-Greene
    Ference-Engelland

    I forget we traded Petry.

  75. TheOtherJohn says:

    Trading Petry? Sure, no problem Petry, Gagner & 3OV for Jordan Staal and Carolina’s 7O

  76. One-Timer says:

    Woodguy:
    I’ll do the F’s next, but its a bit of work.Might not show up until tomorrow.

    There’s one roster change that makes the biggest difference: losing a 6’4″ 220lb C who was scoring basically 50pts per season and getting better.

    With Staal as their 3rd line C, the Pens were the most stacked team in the league down the middle, and without doing the numbers I would say having an elite or near-elite C on the ice over 50min per game is going to do wonders for the Fenwick.

    But then you can’t keep him anymore because you already have the two best C’s in the biz.

    That was going to hurt no matter what. The only question left is if Bylsma made things worse in compensating after Staal left.

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