CHASING THE SHOW

Greg Chase may be the best forward prospect in the system (I suggested it this morning), but what does that mean? Is he any good? Are we fooling ourselves about this player ? Is he gathering all these points on the power play?

I had a conversation the other day with Bruce McCurdy about late birthdays, you know November December kids like Pitlick and Hamilton. The entire conversation grew out of a few articles posted one after another and Bruce did a really nice job looking at portions of the discussions here. I’m going to mine a similar area for our conversation, and there’s an element or two I’ll borrow from Bruce.

I’m looking at the idea of development specifically in regard to that narrow window there—say October to December kids—and what we might want to see in the future.

OUR GROUP

  • Tyler Pitlick: Born November 1, 1991
  • Curtis Hamilton: Born December 4, 1991
  • Greg Chase: Born January 1, 1995

THEIR PRE-DRAFT EXPERIENCE

  • Tyler Pitlick: 38 NCAA games
  • Curtis Hamilton: 154 WHL games
  • Greg Chase: 134 WHL games

GREG CHASE AND THE NOVEMBER KIDS

 

EVEN STRENGTH

PPG NAME (LEAGUE) GP G A PTS
.806 CURTIS HAMILTON (10-11 WHL) 62 17 33 50
.800 GREG CHASE (13-14 WHL) 70 25 31 56
.732 TYLER PITLICK (10-11 WHL) 56 22 19 41

Hamilton and Chase are basically equal here, Hamilton had an extra year (as Bruce noted) but he was injured in his draft year so the actual edge in games isn’t severe. They all look like good prospects from here, I don’t think there’s anything we could know beyond TOI or a Crosby linemate. Right? Clearly an Oiler fan would be hopeful that Chase is miles better, but that isn’t the case. Anecdotal information has Chase and Pitlick as being more physical players, but that’s a ‘saw him good’ item and the numbers don’t change no matter how much we huff and puff. 

POWER PLAY

Age NAME (LEAGUE) GP G A PTS
.414 GREG CHASE (13-14 WHL) 70 10 19 29
.387 CURTIS HAMILTON (10-11 WHL) 62 6 18 24
.375 TYLER PITLICK (10-11 WHL) 56 5 16 21

Chase is the better player here, but the range isn’t extreme. I’d love to know how much PP TOI each player enjoyed—I have been told by several sources that Chase spent extended periods outside the #1 power play—but that aside we’ll have to be content with giving him a slight edge and nothing more with the man advantage.

Bruce’s conclusion was that Hamilton should have graduated (as he did) and that you could make a case for leaving Pitlick behind:

  • McCurdy: In retrospect the most questionable development decision in my view was the one to turn Pitlick pro after just one year of junior. As a higher-pedigree draft choice it seems unlikely that the club could have given him the full Davidson treatment of “no contract ’til after the season” where B.D. didn’t even take up a spot on the 50-man list. Pitlick’s situation was further complicated by the fact it wasn’t made in a vacuum. Fellow late-’91s Hamilton and Martindale were both of lower draft pedigree; I would nonetheless make the case that they were closer to being pro-ready at that point due to their substantial experience in the junior ranks. Pitlick was (and remains) the best prospect of the three, but arguably — and in hindsight — he and the organization might have been better-served had he returned to the Dub for one more season.

I’m not in full agreement here—the numbers above suggest we’re looking at a pretty nice even-strength junior scorer—but McCurdy’s a wise fellow so I’ll take his wisdom as something to keep in mind as we move forward.

The next logical step—and the one I’ll pursue—is drilling down on their first pro seasons. I suspect we’ll find that Pitlick and Hamilton didn’t play a lot, and we know for sure they were hurt a lot. One thing we can say with authority: Greg Chase, by lucky happenstance, can not turn pro this year. That’s a big deal, and relieves the Oilers of having to make the decision. I’m comfortable in saying that Greg Chase is a bona fide NHL prospect, and that the Oilers should sign him and consider themselves extremely fortunate he was available in the seventh round of the 2013 entry draft. How they handle him when he turns pro is a big deal, this is a quality NHL prospect who came out of the sky in Round 7. I do think Craig MacTavish recognized this as a system weakness when he took over. We’ll have a look anyway, but Tyler Pitlick’s career looked pretty damn good summer 2.11, Curtis Hamilton too.

ADDING MARCO ROY

I wanted to throw Marco Roy in the mix, but he plays in the QMJHL and was injured this season—not an ideal comparable. Still, it’s worth posting his numbers for future reference.   He was born Nov 5, 1994.

EVEN STRENGTH

PPG NAME (LEAGUE) GP G A PTS
.806 CURTIS HAMILTON (10-11 WHL) 62 17 33 50
.800 GREG CHASE (13-14 WHL) 70 25 31 56
.732 TYLER PITLICK (10-11 WHL) 56 22 19 41
.615 MARCO ROY (13-14 QMJHL) 39 8 16 24

 

POWER PLAY

Age NAME (LEAGUE) GP G A PTS
.414 GREG CHASE (13-14 WHL) 70 10 19 29
.387 CURTIS HAMILTON (10-11 WHL) 62 6 18 24
.375 TYLER PITLICK (10-11 WHL) 56 5 16 21
.256 MARCO ROY (13-14 QMJHL) 39 5 5 10

 

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30 Responses to "CHASING THE SHOW"

  1. Yak2 says:

    I’ve heard Chase isn’t going to be a player at the NHL. I disagree. With the way he plays, I’d say we have ourselves a Brad Marchand. Agitates, pain in the ass, hits, fights, and has offense.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Yak2:
    I’ve heard Chase isn’t going to be a player at the NHL. I disagree. With the way he plays, I’d say we have ourselves a Brad Marchand. Agitates, pain in the ass, hits, fights, and has offense.

    There’s not much negative I can see. He’s a splendid prospect.

  3. Younger Oil says:

    Really excited for Chase. Same with Khaira and Yakimov. All three of those players have been listed as Centers, but in all likelyhood at least one will have to move to the wing. Do you know which one is most likely to be moved to the wing?

  4. spoiler says:

    I always get messed up with this sort of thing when we start talking about “high” and “low” picks…. in this case aren’t these “early” birthdays, not “late”?

    I have a tough time getting my head around someone being born 6 months before, but being the later birthday.

  5. spoiler says:

    I think a case could be made that due to Hamilton’s junior injury costing him a large chunk of his draft year that he should have been left to develop another year in Saskatoon. Still his draft + 1 year saw him put up some decent point totals. Not amazing, but decent.

    Since he played a full season as a 16 year old, I am wondering if he got his growth spurt early and a lot of his early success came from playing against smaller kids. Seems that as he has aged and his opposition has caught up to his size or surpassed it, that his game has struggled.

    I’m trying to remember, but didn’t Hamilton struggle to score points in his draft + 1 until the Blades traded for Schenn, and then they took off? Seems to me I remember him climbing the scoring table after Schenn got there.

    And what has happened to that mighty Wheat King trio from back then? Rajala might be the best player off that team (I’m being facetious, but only somewhat).

    I mean it’s not like Schenn is covering his draft hole. Is he just a year behind because of the Kings leaving him in the pressbox? In which case he could be a real trade steal. Or is he really not going to hit his original potential?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Hamilton 10-11

    First 32GP: 15-27-42
    Last 31GP: 11-29-40

  7. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Hamilton 10-11First 32GP: 15-27-42Last 31GP: 11-29-40

    Okay, that wasn’t it then. Must’ve been just Schenn I was watching climb the table.

  8. Bank Shot says:

    Isn’t Chase an extremely early birthday rather than a late birthday like Hamilton and Pitlick?

    It’s nice to see Chase putting up solid numbers in junior as we really need some players to come through the Draft in the next couple seasons and most of the others junior numbers have been disappointing.

    All bets are off until they show what they can do at the pro level but at least posting big numbers in juniors shows that there is at least some potential there.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Bank Shot:
    Isn’t Chase an extremely early birthday rather than a late birthday like Hamilton and Pitlick?

    It’s nice to see Chase putting up solid numbers in junior as we really need some players to come through the Draft in the next couple seasons and most of the others junior numbers have been disappointing.

    All bets are off until they show what they can do at the pro level but at least posting big numbers in juniors shows that there is at least some potential there.

    A month after Hamilton, I’d say they’re the same birthday. But you are the second person to mention it, so it could be me. :-)

  10. Barcs says:

    Lowetide:
    Hamilton 10-11

    First 32GP: 15-27-42
    Last 31GP: 11-29-40

    This surprised me quite a bit. I live in Saskatoon and saw the Blades play quite a bit that year. I always believed a good chunk of Hamilton’s +1 year offense was due to Brayden Schenn being acquired. Schenn dominaed the Dub that year, scoring basically 2 pts/game. Hamilton was usually stapled to his wing.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Barcs: This surprised me quite a bit. I live in Saskatoon and saw the Blades play quite a bit that year. I always believed a good chunk of Hamilton’s +1 year offense was due to Brayden Schenn being acquired. Schenn dominaed the Dub that year, scoring basically 2 pts/game. Hamilton was usually stapled to his wing.

    Well, we can recount if you wish. When did Schenn come over?

  12. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Well, we can recount if you wish. When did Schenn come over?

    Last 25 games or so.

    Edit: 27 apparently

  13. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Last 25 games or so.

    Edit: 27 apparently

    Last 27 games for Hamilton in 10-11: 11-25-36 1.33
    Other 35 games: 15-31-46 1.31

    62, 26-56-82 1.32

  14. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Last 27 games for Hamilton in 10-11: 11-25-36 1.33Other 35 games: 15-31-46 1.3162, 26-56-82 1.32

    Yeah, could tell from the half season splits there wasn’t anything in it.

  15. Barcs says:

    Lowetide,

    Interesting, thank you. Another point for analytics over the eye test, I suppose!

  16. Lowetide says:

    Barcs:
    Lowetide,

    Interesting, thank you. Another point for analytics over the eye test, I suppose!

    Well, I’m just running his last 27, maybe they don’t match? I don’t think there’s anything to it, though. The one thing you two have pointed out that has terrific importance: Hamilton was on the ice A LOT.

    And that’s TOI, the missing link. It’s quite possible Hamilton was playing significantly more per game in 10-11 than Chase this past season. Quite possible.

  17. OilClog says:

    With so many situations about to blow up around the league, Top 6 C’s actually seem to be availible.

    I’m going to dream. Spezza and Big Buff, we don’t draft until the 2nd round.

    Yak plays with Spezza and Perron.

    Dear Gord please

  18. haters says:

    I respectfully disagree LT, I strongly believe Marco Roy to be our best “elite” forward prospect. Although chase certainly made a case for himself this year.
    Advanced stats just don’t factor in the shear luck of someone having puck luck for a year ei Yak, chase, Pisani 06playoffs ect ect

  19. Lowetide says:

    haters:
    I respectfully disagree LT, I strongly believe Marco Roy to be our best “elite” forward prospect. Although chase certainly made a case for himself this year.Advanced stats just don’t factor in the shear luck of someone having puck luck for a year ei Yak, chase, Pisani 06playoffs ect ect

    I think Roy is an outstanding prospect, but his injury puts him behind. Hopefully he’ll get it back.

  20. Glock9 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/jiri-sekac/

    who?

    exactly.

    ROM — Thanx for the Jimmy Forrest !!! Suweeet tune !!! AWESOME Horn !!!

  21. spoiler says:

    OilClog: I’m going to dream. Spezza and Big Buff, we don’t draft until the 2nd round.

    IIRC, Spezza has a list of ten teams to which he can’t be traded. I suspect the bottom teams in the standings dominate that list, but you never know. Ottawa reputedly wants a top 6 player, blue chip prospect and a 1st for him, so the price is pretty dear for one guaranteed year. Presumably if you are on that list though, you stand a decent chance of extending, if you ante up something close to what a UFA offer would.

    I think the most likely trade target is Brayden Schenn. Philly desperately needs the cap space, he remains the only significant RFA unsigned by them, and they are going to go with Couturier in his role. I’m pretty sure he’s available for the right deal. He doesn’t have anywhere near Gagner’s offensive numbers, but maybe he can play a more all round game.

    I would be happy with Kadri too, but I think the rumours are a bit over-hyped. I’d bet Toronto is just gauging his value, doing a little fishing, and not really shopping him.

    Either Stastny or Grabovski would be nice of course, and cost no assets, but I don’t have a lot of hope we will have a shot at either.

    I fear it is either keep Gagner for another year or a trade. MacT doesn’t strike me as a man of inactivity. He’s Tambellini’s Opposite George. And while we haven’t seen anything truly bold, we have seen a lot of dealing. I think Schenn will be here before July 1st. Likely Gagner won’t be.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Glock9: ROM — Thanx for the Jimmy Forrest !!!Suweeet tune !!!AWESOME Horn !!!

    thanks for listening! I like to think that one or two of the 8 people that read my posts bother to listen to the music!

    ps. Jazz is obsessed with puns for song and album titles. That’s probably one of the reasons I enjoy Gene so much. I’m used to the abusive punnery.

  23. Deadman Waiting says:

    Interesting discussion, but I have nothing of my own to add. Actually, I’m thinking of starting my own late-night radio show: OT at oh four hundred, inspired by Momus Reves’ TED talk The Museum of Four in the Morning.

    Momus isn’t his real first name. “Momus” is a contraction of “mononymous” of my own devising, because somewhere in between Madonna and Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell there’s a happy medium. Anaïs just goes “hey, tin tin, I want some, too!” in the heated competition for the ministrations of the happy medium. There’s Tintin and then there’s Tin Tin. Tintin is the one with the considerate, tickle-me-not muff-diver brow-lick.

    Rather than split hairs, I decided to just call them all “Momus” to supplant the vanity vacancy: Momus Madonna, Momus Prince, Momus Cher, Momus Voltaire, Momus Pelé, but not Momus Leonardo or Momus Archimedes—it is possible to clear the bar as a meme for the ages. Not even a thousand long years from now is anyone going to say “to hell with Leonardo” or “screw Archimedes” with a straight face.

    In a previous episode of OT at oh four, I mentioned that I had sought out Baby Is Three after watching The Green Mile. I was interested in the encomium from David Crosby and Phil Lesh, some of which I quoted. Later that day I actually read the story. It was not as on point as I was lead to expect. The sixties, man. I’m beginning to get it.

    Then I read the notes at the end of the book, containing some commentary and writings from Theodore Sturgeon’s estate concerning his most famous piece.

    Back when I was in grade six or thereabouts, the class snook and his overgrown understudy starting passing a note around during a very dull Hawley–Smoot collective asphyxiation containing intimate speculation about the state of my puberty and subsequent prospects. One by one, the entire row of classmates to my right slid off their chairs and began rolling in the aisles, but not without quick sidelong glances in my direction to confirm the crumpled note’s incisive insight.

    The teacher of that class was also my home room teacher. He had precisely the physique not of Tin Tin, but of Mr Tik Tok: a height-challenged fellow with a studiously dignified waddle—mysteriously rotund without actually being flabby—sporting a prominent bottle-brush below the nose to draw attention away from the dun-coloured wispy tussocks now barely concealing his grooved pate. I can’t actually recall if he wore shit-kickers in school, but he stomped around on his heals like Robin Williams impersonating Tik Tok impersonating John Wayne. At the first sign of any excitement, John Wayne gave way to Yosemite Sam.

    In any case, on this particular day John Robin Wayne Tik Tok Yosemite Sam actually noticed an entire row of my classmates convulsing in their desks at my expense. He demanded the note. I took odds on whether he laughed out loud when he read it. He managed not to, but I suspected he was more amused than annoyed. Even he was bored by himself. One has to give credit where credit was due. I had no particular enmity against him. Later he provided me with the perfect mental image for the ablutophiliac captain of the Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B, who wasn’t actually such a bad chap, really.

    He kept the class snook and his overgrown understudy after class, and assigned a secret punishment. I didn’t realize this until after class a few days later, when undergrown and overgrown became extremely animated after the bell rang in climbing up on some desks and unpinning a tiny spec of paper from the highest place on the wall they could reach. They had been told to cross out my name and substitute their own names and pin the paper up in the classroom for several days. Of course, no one noticed, but they were nevertheless relieved to finally take it down.

    Undergrown was already far advanced in the art of posting planetary demolition notices in out-of-order bathroom stalls inhabited with living tigers. It was a punishment after his own heart. He jeered at me for weeks afterward, because he knew full well that I knew full well that Captain Tik Tok of the Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B was more than a shitkicker short of a brick.

    It was not long after this that undergrown began to seek me out during breaks to harass me while I was quietly going about my business. I wrote about that episode in an aimless post a fair while back. Undergrowth did not become my mental model for Amon Goeth, but he did become my mental model for the German soldiers who enjoyed Goeth’s company while paying very little attention to his day job. I hope undergrowth turned out better than that. He was a clever chap with potential. At the end of the school year, when I last saw him, there was as yet no evidence that his sociopathic mindset was merely an adolescent phase. He was never more of a prick than necessary to sate his curiosity. He was busy learning about other people in the way boys learn about ants and spiders. This is milder than sadism, but also a bad sign: some manage to outgrow actual sadism.

    We’re now far enough up the wall for an actual confession: Baby Is Three was directly influenced by Dianetics. Sturgeon was deep into Dianetics for a year or two. The character of the psychiatrist is engaged in “auditing” with the purpose of causing the protagonist to experience a Freudian release. This famous story is thinly veiled psychobabble (which was, apparently, catnip to stoned musicians of a certain time and place). Dianetics is with us yet in the guise of Co-counselling and Re-evaluation Counseling, which is all about unloading your shit in the safe arms of total strangers. How that found fertile ground in the sixties I’ll never know.

    On the matter of atonement, I recently read Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Philip K. Dick’s Ubik. Stanislaw Lem raved about Ubik in several essays from a book of his collected criticism (and hardly anything else at all from Western Bloc SF which he waited so long to obtain and read). These were both at work in my subconscious when I substituted Tracy Flick for Ralph Krueger in my recent Rorschach yarn. Dallas was entirely Dallas. Pointy beard was only 50% MacTavish. Tracy was 0% Ralph Krueger. Dick feels no compunction about pulling this kind of stunt: indulging in parallel constructions that are half man, half cockroach.

    Ubik bugged me a bit at the outset as some of the traditional SF tropes were pretty thick. But then Dick finds his stride midway through. Somehow the subconscious force of his dark vision manages to permeate and exalt his writing in some squishy way the reader can never quite pin down.

    It’s quite a shock to be dumped out of these two works (onto the side of a New Jersey turnpike) into a “real” world where the great disturbing puzzle of reality is the unaccountable longevity of the Oilers’ assistant coaching staff.

  24. supernova says:

    Lowetide,

    I tend to agree with Bruce and what he has to say but there is another factor in junior or developing players.

    Size

    People grow at different rates, I really feel like the Oilers Developmemt system pushes the guys that are 6’1 or bigger down a quicker path.

    The issue with this is they have been the biggest all through out their hockey journey to this point.

    The biggest, strongest. Fastest 18 & 19 year olds who don’t have a good base can quickly meet their match at the next level. They typically have a hard time with consistency, because in junior every other shift could have been against guys 4 or 5 inches shorter, and weighted 30 or 40 pounds less.

    It’s a Mans game in Pro hockey and AHL veterans will let them know the young punks this when the play them, they will show them a thing or two right away.

    Hockey IQ is extremely important especially in draft picks. If you are an average player at hockey IQ and are bigger and them pushed to the AHL early you get an expected result.

    Hamilton- bigger, stronger and faster but average hockey IQ then he plays against men earlier than he should

    Pitlick- same thing

    Teuburt- biggest beast around but when it comes to a mans game he suddenly becomes average and then less

    Plante- same thing but also horrible foot speed and injuries.

  25. VanOil says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    This is the most rational and thorough expose of the dialectic of thought producing the Oilers assistant coaching staff I have ever read. Thank you.

  26. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Thanks for the mention, LT. It is/was a thorny problem, one made trickier by the presence of other players of similar bent (large forwards, late birthdays) of lower draft pedigree than Pitlick. It would have been tricky to say, “Hey Tyler, we know you’re a higher draft pick and all, but we want you to go back to junior while these dudes turn pro!” Definitely outside-the-box thinking, not necessarily one of Steve Tambellini’s strengths (though I will credit him for Krueger).

    Pitlick’s issue was one of constant change, new league, new team, new coach, new QualComp year after year. His one year in the Hat was largely spent on the second line while Linden Vey-Emerson Etem-Wacey Hamilton were the first unit by-and-large. (Pitlick did get some PP time with them.) Whereas by that same year, veteran juniors C.Hamilton & Martindale were definitively on their teams’ first lines (with B. Schenn and T. Toffoli respectively) and piled up impressive stats and top-flight minutes in the process.

    My take is that Pitlick would have benefitted from a year of being The Man, or at least part of the top line. Of the three, he’s the one who suffered the most by having a Nov 01 birthday as opposed to a Jan 01 one like Chase has.

  27. gcw_rocks says:

    On Pitlick, furthering the case to have kept him in junior was that he had a pretty significant injury that season, and missed a good chunk of games and likely played a bunch more while not 100 percent. He also wasn’t on the top line.

    On Chase, you probably need a wider set of comparables for it to mean anything. Two is just way too narrow.

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