HOLD OUT FOR FASCHING

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the Edmonton Oilers used their first-round picks on forwards, and searched the globe for defenders and goalies from the ‘distant bell’ portion of the draft. From 2000 through 2009, the Edmonton Oilers used their first round selections on the following:

  • Forwards (10): Alexei Mikhnov, Ales Hemsky, Jesse Niinimaki, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Rob Schremp, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Riley Nash, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi.
  • Defense (1): Alex Plante
  • Goalies (1): Devan Dubnyk

For the decade of the 2000′s, Edmonton chose a forward in round 1 83% of the time. That’s a trend. Since then, and certainly the three No. 1 overalls going to forwards had an impact here, the Oilers are including more defenders:

  • Forwards  (4): Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Leon Draisaitl
  • Defense (2): Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse
  • Goalies (0):

So far in the 2010′s, Edmonton went with a forward just 66% of the time. Now, this is a little misleading—had the Oilers chosen Nichushkin over Nurse they would be right back at 83%—but the two first-round defensemen give Edmonton a good start on their 2015-2025 blue line cluster.

kings4.jpgNow, Stu MacGregor, he had his own ideas. If you’re not going to use the first-round selection on these fellows, might want to get them in the second round and beyond, so he did. Here are the defensemen chosen in round 2+ by Stu in 2010 and 2011:

  • Martin Marincin, No. 46 in 2010
  • Jeremie Blain, No. 91 in 2010
  • Brandon Davidson, No. 162 in 2010
  • David Musil, No. 31 in 2011
  • Dillon Simpson, No. 92 in 2011
  • Martin Gernat, No. 122 in 2011

The 2011 draft is especially interesting, it’s drunk with promising defensemen. Edmonton chose Klefbom in round one, then Musil, Simpson and Gernat, all of whom have value as NHL prospects at this time. I did the September top 20 over at ON on the weekend (I do it every year for the Nation), and the defensemen ranked thusly:

  • No. 2 Darnell Nurse
  • No. 3 Martin Marincin
  • No. 4 Oscar Klefbom
  • No. 8 Dillon Simpson
  • No. 10 Martin Gernat
  • No. 15 David Musil
  • No. 17 William Lagesson
  • No. 19 Brandon Davidson

That’s a lot of defensemen, and there’s simply no way for Edmonton to play all these guys as Oilers. I mean, we could guess that Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin and Justin Schultz could fill the top four for the next decade and be close to correct, right? So, what to do with the other kids who develop?

simpson captureI was thinking about this when pouring over the transactions from last season. Dean Lombardi, that rapscallion, made a deal with Buffalo Sabres at the deadline. It went like this:

  • Los Angeles (Lombardi) trades Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers to the Buffalo Sabres for Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker and the pick that turned into Alex Lintuniemi.

Allow me to break it down for you very quickly.

  • Hudson Fasching is a famous winger with significant size and impressive scoring ability. Corey Pronman: he is a strong forward with solid size, skill, and skating ability. He has good power in his stride, and moves pretty effortlessly around the ice. He has a quality power game, as he wins battles, and can drive the net pretty effectively. Fasching has good puck skills as well, and he can flash some impressive creativity and dangling skills. His defensive skills are decent.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers was drafted as a LW but Pronman has him playing defense. Pronman: Deslauriers is a very toolsy defenseman. He is an agile, mobile skater who can flash high-end speed and be dangerous off the rush. He has good puck skills, and he is a very effective puck mover with smooth distributions and the flashiness in his game to make difficult offensive plays. Deslauriers is a strong player, who even with average size, wins battles and lands some quality hits.
  • Brayden McNabb is a big, tough defenseman who is either NHL-ready or close. Pronman: McNabb is a huge, skilled defenseman. He is between 6’4″ and 6’5″, and he plays a tough brand of hockey, capable of winning one-on-one battles. McNabb is also a good puck mover, with the skill and passing ability to put up points and be a quality player on the power play. He also has a big shot.
  • Jonathan Parker is a 22-year old in the ECHL.
  • Alex Lintuniemi will one day ruin many broadcasting careers. He was the second-round pick given up by the Sabres in this deal. Brock Otten: When he’s playing at his best, Lintuniemi is a solid two-way defender. His best skill is his ability to defend off the rush. He’s only an average skater, but he has excellent positioning and size and does a great job of keeping forwards to the outside. He’s a very big kid (6’3, 225lbs), but he doesn’t necessarily use his size to his full advantage. Adding more of a mean streak would held him in his zone coverage. Offensively, he shows flashes of being a solid puck rusher and offensive catalyst.

As I see it, the trade breaks down like this: Fasching (famous and emerging PF) for McNabb (big, skilled defenseman far closer to NHL-ready than Fasching) is the heart of the deal. LAK also give up a lesser-McNabb in Deslauriers, and receive a second-round pick for their troubles. Parker is a roster spot on the 50-man list.

gernat ferguson1

Today’s post is really about Martin Gernat. He’s blocked already from NHL employment and it’s probably going to become more difficult as time rolls. One day soon, maybe this year, a team will come calling after Martin Marincin. Edmonton is unlikely to deal him, but on the “check down” list Gernat’s name is going to appear. And when it does, it is vital Craig MacTavish grabs quality, grabs his Hudson Fasching, because the Los Angeles Kings are going to be offering someone from their ‘check down’ list, too.

Edmonton has acquired assets through losing and losing and losing and losing. I feel letting Taylor Fedun go for free was a good thing, that guy has had enough bad breaks there’s no need to punish him further. Godspeed, Taylor Fedun, score on everyone else but stay away from the Oilers (he’ll probably kill us).

However, the next OKC defenseman sent away has to be for real value. Otherwise, what was all of this for? Developing kids for the winners? I don’t believe Craig MacTavish would do that for a minute, but he is unproven in the art of acquiring useful assets in exchange for unproven talent.

And Dean Lombardi is a rapscallion, through and through.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

35 Responses to "HOLD OUT FOR FASCHING"

  1. nycoil says:

    Nice breakdown of that trade. I recall it happening and thinking at the time, “How did Lombardi pull that off and steal McNabb?”

    Is he the closest thing to Billy Beane in hockey these days?

  2. Lowetide says:

    nycoil:
    Nice breakdown of that trade. I recall it happening and thinking at the time, “How did Lombardi pull that off and steal McNabb?”

    Is he the closest thing to Billy Beane in hockey these days?

    I think he’s the smartest GM by quite a distance, although Jim Nill is catching up.

  3. nycoil says:

    Funny you should mention Nill, and I agree with your assessment of him as an astute GM. Dallas is a little thin on D, loaded up front, and MacT and Nill have hooked up before. I could see him rummaging through the Oilers’ D prospect bin and seeking out a near-NHL ready blue chipper, while dangling MacT a “name brand” young C he may secretly not be so high on.

    When the Oilers brought back Craig the same summer Nill went to Dallas, I wished the Oilers had hired the latter, not the former. Now I hope you are right that MacT wouldn’t let an asset go for nothing or too little.

  4. flyfish1168 says:

    Excellent article. I love the idea of having assets that we can exchange for useful assets to shore up areas of need.

  5. wheatnoil says:

    I don’t believe Craig MacTavish would do that for a minute, but he is unproven in the art of acquiring talent in exchange for unproven talent.

    Agreed, but the Perron for Paajarvi + 2nd trade indicates he at least has potential in the area. Now, that may be his high water mark and it hurt when the 2nd turned into Barbashev, but that’s still a trade you make every day of the week.

    What’s working against Gernat is the fact that he’s not as famous as Paajarvi, being a top 10 draft pick. Mind you, being a giant of a man may compensate for being a low pick who can play. Musil, on the other hand, has draft pedigree and name recognition. He doesn’t have the ceiling that Gernat does and isn’t mobile, but there may be a team that goes for him if he can show well in a few NHL cups of coffee and looks like he might be able to make the step in a year or two as he’s easing out of his ELC.

  6. Bar_Qu says:

    Rapscallion is a word that deserves more use than it gets. Bravo sir for employing it thusly.

  7. Ducey says:

    I have this notion that prospect defensemen are not valued where they should be, whereas prospect “power forwards” are overvalued.

    The most likely scenario is for Petry to be traded at the deadline for a pick and prospect (hopefully a C).

    That would then help ease the glut of defenseman as someone (likely Klefbom) would then move up.

  8. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Looking purely at McNabb’s size, point totals, and name, he looks like a comparable to Nurse.

    I feel like this is one reason why point projections aren’t an adequate way of estimating a player’s value when drafting.

  9. Smokey says:

    I hope the likes of Gernat see two full years in OKC before we see him, or he is traded.

  10. sliderule says:

    The reason Kings can make these trades is because they draft well.

    Do you think the sabres would do the same trade for Muir who the oil picked just ahead of Fasching?

  11. Hammers says:

    This for me is great information only because I only follow the Oilers . I’m more than aware of who I think the best G.M.’s are but when you see or are told of some of the deals going down you sort of go wow . I like what McT has done in his 1 1/2 years and think he has the potential to be one of those top G.M.’s but I also feel moving some of our depth players is another 1 1/2 years away . Personally and I hate saying it but we are not a playoff team today and that doesn’t mean we can’t be but to get there McT will have to move a Petry or Perron type of player not a Gernat Yakimov type . His still in the real value not perceived value type of trades . I think we may see that type of trade by November / December . Our Okl players will have way more value after this season .

  12. papa96 says:

    Thanks LT, interesting post. I was going to correct your spelling in “I was thinking about this when pouring over the transactions from last season” but it occurred to me that maybe you were actually pouring at the time.

  13. John Chambers says:

    Smokey,

    Yeah prospects like Gernat, Musil, or Simpson’s value can only increase the more NHL-ready they become. Best to let them marinade a bit before we consider moving one of these guys to fill a hole in the depth chart.

  14. Lowetide says:

    papa96:
    Thanks LT, interesting post.I was going to correct your spelling in “I was thinking about this when pouring over the transactions from last season” but it occurred to me that maybe you were actually pouring at the time.

    Ha! Yes.

  15. RexLibris says:

    So, basically what you are saying, without actually saying it, is that you expect MacTavish to deal Gernat for Mantha.

    If that sounds about right, pour me one, too, because I’d drink a toast to that.

  16. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    So, basically what you are saying, without actually saying it, is that you expect MacTavish to deal Gernat for Mantha.

    If that sounds about right, pour me one, too, because I’d drink a toast to that.

    I’d like Andreas Athanasiou if we’re going there. :-)

  17. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Andreas Athanasiou

    Hmm…

    Athanasiou has lightning fast speed and is arguably one of the fastest players in all of Major Junior hockey.

    Yep, sounds like an Oiler.

  18. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Hmm…

    Athanasiou has lightning fast speed and is arguably one of the fastest players in all of Major Junior hockey.

    Yep, sounds like an Oiler.

    Pronman Athanasiou is a really gifted player, with elite skating ability and plus hands. He had a good bounceback season, although he can still be a little selfish with the puck.

  19. nycoil says:

    RexLibris:
    So, basically what you are saying, without actually saying it, is that you expect MacTavish to deal Gernat for Mantha.

    If that sounds about right, pour me one, too, because I’d drink a toast to that.

    The real plan is to pump Davidson’s tires to trade him for Nichushkin. That has been the plan all along, and that’s why the Oilers drafted Nurse instead.

  20. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    I read that as well.

    The speed thing stuck out for me. Sounds like Darren Helm with a little more upside (size, scoring and some similar defensive potential).

  21. rickithebear says:

    Brayden Mcnabb: is willie mitchell’s replacement on LAK D.
    EVGA
    Mitchell
    2nd comp
    1.61 EVGA/60
    Mcnabb
    2nd/3rd comp
    1.64 EVGA/60

  22. Dale says:

    The Oilers already have a Hudson Fasching: Jujhar Khaira.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Dale:
    The Oilers already have a Hudson Fasching: Jujhar Khaira.

    Sure, but you trade for a Hudson Fasching because you’re dealing strength to address weakness. There’s no reason Khaira, a center, and Fashing, a winger, can’t make the same team.

  24. godot10 says:

    I don’t see the surplus on the blueline that some do, considering the fact that Ference is done as top 4D, and Jeff Petry is as good as gone.

    In two years,

    Marincin, Fayne
    Klefbom, Schultz
    Nurse, Gernat
    Musil

    or

    Marincin, Fayne
    Nurse, Schultz
    Klefbom, Gernat
    Musil

    The last year of Ference is bought out if he isn’t traded, and Gernat takes Nikitin’s spot.

    Everyone else on the list is a suspect. Simpson hasn’t played an AHL game.

    Where the Oilers will have a surplus is at forward, in two years, when Draisaitl and Yakupov should be hitting their stride. And Khaira, Moroz, Yakimov, Chase should be at the brink.

  25. VanOil says:

    nycoil,

    godot10,

    John Chambers,

    I agree with John that these prospects increase in value as they get closer to the NHL, as long as they indeed getting closer.

    I agree with Godot that one of Musil or Simpson better have verifiable NHL footspeed before you trade Gernat.

    Following NYCOIL’s Dallas as a depth chart fit as a trading partner; Radek Faksa is a player that had a rough draft +1 season but is a C with size and skill.

    But Andreas Athanasiou sounds like an Oiler prospect of old. Plus I am developing a theory that the GTA minor hockey league is the best development system in the world.

  26. dangilitis says:

    LT, not trying to be contrary, but your ultimate conclusion was not the one I thought you were building up to during this post (I guess I should have read the title :))

    “As I see it, the trade breaks down like this: Fasching (famous and emerging PF) for McNabb (big, skilled defenseman far closer to NHL-ready than Fasching) is the heart of the deal. LAK also give up a lesser-McNabb in Deslauriers, and receive a second-round pick for their troubles. Parker is a roster spot on the 50-man list.”

    So you want us to “hold out” for a Fasching, because he fills a role in our organization. I agree we need to fill holes and have balance in our prospects. But turning a surplus of promising defensemen into U20 power forwards, IMO, is a dangerous game. Throughout the article, you seem in favour of what LA did, but your ultimate conclusion is we should end up like Buffalo?

    I also agree that you don’t waste assets like Taylor Fedun, and, if possible, turn them into prospects to address areas of weakness. I agree with that sentiment as well.

    But Buffalo, who got Fasching, lost the trade, right? Because they took a player who was closer to NHL ready and turned it into a prospect requiring more development. Whenever we talk about prospects we are rolling the dice, and the further away they are from making the bigs, the more inherent risk in taking the player. So the team trading away the player who is closer to NHL ready should be rewarded a bit because they are showing their cards more (e.g. that player is going to help the team he’s going to sooner, and that team likely knows what that player’s role/potential is). In this case, I don’t see a clear difference in the potential provided by McNabb vs Fasching, other than the fact that they play different positions, and McNabb is 23 and is near ready for the NHL.

    So why would the Oilers, who are in the need help now phase (as they perpetually are), spend all this time finally drafting and developing defensive prospects the correct but more drawn out way, only to flip them just before they make the jump for a handful of Khairas (e.g. magic beans)? I agree it’s better than losing them to San Jose, but the Oilers should avoid finding themselves in that position in the first place. I think it would be better off if MacTavish behaved like Lombardi E.g. Pumping the tires on some of these prospects to make a trade before we are in a position where we know if they could make the jump and how they’ll slot in, and before we’re bent over a barrel because teams know we have no room for them on the roster. Fasching’s course is less clear, he’s hardly cleared puberty and I don’t see why a young team would covet a player like him at this stage over the ability to decide on who the best prospects will be. The team who gets these prospects should pay to find out which ones are the best, rather than us doing the leg work and then sending them away in exchange for long-term projects.

    Why can’t the Oilers do the 2 for 1 to upgrade to a more established player, rather than put more strain on the development system? E.g. Lander or Arcobello + Gernat for #3C? Petry + Simpson + Draft Pick for a better D-man? Am I kidding myself to think that these kinds of trades are possible? Even a trade of players at equivalent stages of development would be preferable.

    Hold out for Fasching? How about flip early for Toffoli? (bad example, but rhymes)

  27. RexLibris says:

    My final in the Flames RE series, looking at prospects and recapping the numbers so far as well as where the Flames may finish.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2014/9/1/starlight

    Thanks for your patience here, LT. It was a great exercise and I’ve garnered a new level of respect for the effort and accuracy you manage every year.

  28. Lowetide says:

    dangilitis

    I think Buffalo did well in that trade, allowing them to move a player and a pick for two prospects who better fit their needs. Now, Edmonton is NOT in that position currently, but trading a Gernat for something of value will come sooner than later.

    It’s like the Penner trade. People ripped me for months when I said the remaining contract (I believe it was a year and a half) of Penner was fully paid by the pick that got them Klefbom and the prospect Teubert.

    I stand by what what was written at the time, as I do with what I wrote today.


    If you’ve read this far you are entitled to my opinion. I do not feel a complete rebuild was required and would have preferred they keep Penner or deal him for more immediate help. With that as a caveat, I’m satisfied with the return. Understanding that the organization has decided to rebuild with Taylor Hall as the “franchise” then the organization must acquire both picks and prospects in that general age group. When Hall explodes as a player, the team can cash picks and prospects in an effort to add depth to the batting order, but it isn’t going to happen this or next season. I remain convinced the team could have added some elements in the summer and contended for a playoff spot.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/03/iacta-alea-est.html

  29. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    In the end wasn’t it Penner for Teubert (who was a reasonably thought-of prospect at the time), Klefbom and Zharkov?

    All in all, that is a pretty good haul for someone whose overall career went the way it did.

    Ask ourselves this: did the Oilers do better, as well as, or worse in trading Dustin Penner than the Flames did in trading Iginla two years later?

    Have to wait and see how Klimchuk develops, but Agostino and Hanowski aren’t really moving the dial right now.

  30. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Lowetide,

    In the end wasn’t it Penner for Teubert (who was a reasonably thought-of prospect at the time), Klefbom and Zharkov?

    All in all, that is a pretty good haul for someone whose overall career went the way it did.

    Ask ourselves this: did the Oilers do better, as well as, or worse in trading Dustin Penner than the Flames did in trading Iginla two years later?

    Have to wait and see how Klimchuk develops, but Agostino and Hanowski aren’t really moving the dial right now.

    Yeah, I wish you’d been around that night to help me. :-) It was quite an evening, I deleted some awful things people said and finally had to shut down the thread.

  31. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I wish you’d been around that night to help me. It was quite an evening, I deleted some awful things people said and finally had to shut down the thread.

    I was bullish on Teubert, mostly because of draft pedigree and initial scouting reports I’d read. He appeared to scratch the proverbial itch that the sputtering development of Alex Plante had left untended.

    The 1st and 3rd were a very nice move, in my opinion. Seems boilerplate now, but given where the Oilers had come from (Erik Cole for Patrick O’Sullivan, etc) it was a breath of fresh air. Oh, those days when we cheered an improvement to mediocrity!

    Most of what I read that day were reviews from outside sources (PuckDaddy, etc) and I recall specifically one Calgary critic panning the trade saying that the Oilers had traded away a great player (the same player who had been panned by the Calgary media a few weeks earlier for being soft, defensively lax, and generally underwhelming) for “magic beans”.

    I made a mental note of that comment because I suspected that Calgary would be in a similar situation pretty soon afterwards.

    I don’t mean to make this into a provincial rivalry issue, because regardless of where those comments had originated, they were shortsighted and disingenuous.

    To be honest, I rarely read the comments sections on trade articles. The Penner episode was probably my last experience and turned me off.

  32. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I wish you’d been around that night to help me. It was quite an evening, I deleted some awful things people said and finally had to shut down the thread.

    I don’t remember all of the vitriol.

    All I can recall were people pining for voynov instead of Tuebert (which makes sense).

    Dustin Penner was an elite multi-tool hockey player for 1 half season leading up to the Olympics that year. :)

    I don’t know what the pancakes in LA did to him after that. :)

  33. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide,

    I definitely respect your opinion. I guess what I am trying to say is that dealing prospects to find balance is good practice, and that anytime you can get value for a player you ultimately feel won’t fit in the roster, 1>0. But you are limited when the player is nearing the end of a contract and an astute GM from another team can identify that your team will be cutting bait with the player soon, and exploit that. If the Oilers can identify which prospects will succeed early and decide who will fill in both short term/long term, then you should make the play before this information is easily attainable to an opposing GM, to maximize trade potential. And while I agree that the Oilers will not be contending soon, the thought of getting prospects in late teens (without top 3 draft pedigree) in return, at this stage, would be a little hard to stomach.

    For the record, I liked the Penner trade. That to me was an example of identifying that the team needed to re-stock the cupboard, e.g. thinking long-term and acknowledging no shot of winning short-term. Penner’s value was near maximal, and I would like to think the team realized that the potential for a far better return that season rather than the year after, when Penner would have been in the dying months of a final year of the offer sheet contract, where every GM in the league would have deemed him a rental and offered pennies on the dollar. Plus, I liked the fact that at the end of the day, his return in draft pick equivalents was greater than the draft picks lost in acquiring him via offer sheet.

  34. Lowetide says:

    dangilitis:
    Lowetide,

    I definitely respect your opinion. I guess what I am trying to say is that dealing prospects to find balance is good practice, and that anytime you can get value for a player you ultimately feel won’t fit in the roster, 1>0. But you are limited when the player is nearing the end of a contract and an astute GM from another team can identify that your team will be cutting bait with the player soon, and exploit that. If the Oilers can identify which prospects will succeed early and decide who will fill in both short term/long term, then you should make the play before this information is easily attainable to an opposing GM, to maximize trade potential. And while I agree that the Oilers will not be contending soon, the thought of getting prospects in late teens (without top 3 draft pedigree) in return, at this stage, would be a little hard to stomach.

    For the record, I liked the Penner trade. That to me was an example of identifying that the team needed to re-stock the cupboard, e.g. thinking long-term and acknowledging no shot of winning short-term. Penner’s value was near maximal, and I would like to think the team realized that the potential for a far better return that season rather than the year after, when Penner would have been in the dying months of a final year of the offer sheet contract, where every GM in the league would have deemed him a rental and offered pennies on the dollar. Plus, I liked the fact that at the end of the day, his return in draft pick equivalents was greater than the draft picks lost in acquiring him via offer sheet.

    Yep Agreed on all counts. Pollock was a genius at it, and they had kids arriving 5 at a time.

  35. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I wish you’d been around that night to help me. It was quite an evening, I deleted some awful things people said and finally had to shut down the thread.

    I think I commented that night that they should have either kept both Hemsky and Penner, or traded them both. I love Hemsky but that was the deadline to move him.

    And I seem to recall Dennis in full flight.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca