He was drafted in 2009, with a counter-trey scouting report that suggested a two-way forward who had an idea about how to play without the puck. He arrived in North America to rave reviews about his skating improvement and won an NHL job too soon on a wayward team looking for 12 good men and true for the forward spots. That first season had Lander play over 50 games and (like the rest of the team) show poor possession numbers. His CorsiRel numbers improved in years two and three, and his AHL offensive performance blossomed last season.
Anton Lander is a bubble player for the coming season. There are interesting players on waivers and (more to the point) about to go on waivers who can help Edmonton. Is Lander worth holding on to for one more year, in the hopes of finding traction and emerging as a useful NHL player?
LAST NIGHT’S CORSI’S (5X5 %, VIA HOCKEYSTATS.CA) (source)
- Boyd Gordon 92%
- Jordan Eberle 87%
- Teddy Purcell 80%
- Anton Lander 65%
- Keith Aulie 63%
- Martin Marincin 60%
- Mark Arcobello 56%
- Will Acton 53%
- Oscar Klefbom 50%
- Darnell Nurse 47%
- Brad Hunt 46%
- Justin Schultz 43%
- Leon Draisaitl 38%
- Nail Yakupov 33%
- Matt Hendricks 33%
- Tyler Pitlick 33%
- Jujhar Khaira 27%
- Bogdan Yakimov 22%
Once again, a reminder we have one side of the equation with these numbers. We do no NOT have Zone start and we do NOT have qual comp, although I will say to my eye the Sedins faced (and fed) Leon’s line quite a bit of the night.
A few conclusions:
- Among the group struggling to make the roster, Lander’s Corsi for % 5×5 was the best. He was poor to start the game, improved as it rolled along and won an assist plus a positive Corsi for % for the night. I would waive him today or tomorrow and look for a stronger option—one may currently be available.
- Marincin and Klefbom show up in the same range, but I was far more impressed by eye with Marincin. Sometimes the numbers match the viewing, but in this case I’m going to argue the eyes have it.
- Darnell Nurse is going to make the team. He was the most noticeable defender for Edmonton and battled all night. Nurse had some difficult moments—show me a list of defensemen who have been made to look silly by the Sedins and I’ll show you the entire NHL defense register since the piss cutters joined the league—but he was physical, good with the puck and handy in all situations.
- If the Oilers are going to keep Leon, that 4C (Arco now) is going to have nights when he’s the 2C. That’s a fact.
- Tyler Pitlick is someone I’ve cheered for (like Lander) since arrival and despite a strong camp I’ll say it’s 50/50 he makes it on the roster.
- Will Acton had a good game. I know most of you don’t value him, but if he makes the team I won’t scream.
- Brad Hunt. Brad freaking Hunt. That’s a guy who came to camp and did everything asked.
- I like Leon and Nail together, and as Eakins said earlier in the week Yakupov KNOWS what to do in his zone. Doesn’t mean he’ll execute always, but that duo isn’t the crazy idea once thought it would be.
- The 5×5 Corgi’s were about even last night, impressive for this group of kids on the road. I don’t know who to credit, and people are offing themselves left right and center on twitter because PANIC and OILERS, but the sliderule suggests work has been done, lessons have been learned and structure is coming to our town.
Love your thoughts, please pass along.
DESSERT1111 GAME REPORT
- Scrivens – made an incredicle acrobatic save towards the end of the first period, but all of the 3 goals I was expecting him to save. The 2nd one he looked a bit sleepy on, and the third one he left a small hole that the shooter (vrbata?) picked nicely. Wasn’t his best game.
- Nurse – was very noticeable. Very quick, got all over the ice. Felt like their best D man tonight. I am all for sending him back to junior, but with the current injuries I think he deserves an nhl trial on merit.
- Klefbom – has the physical tools but still seems a bit inconsistent. There was one play in the first period that sticks out — it might have been one of the goals against — where he was trailing the play. I’ve read that he has some issues with hockey sense which makes sense after watching him. Just one game, but I feel like he’d be best served with a little more time to round out his game.
- Hunt – noticeably engaged in the o zone and had a couple nice shots. Didn’t show too much one way or another. Had a good stick in the neutral zone.
- Aulie – had a rather large mistake in the first period where he tried to hold the zone unsuccessfully which led to an odd man rush against. Other than that looked like a capable #7 d man, which honestly was more than I expected to see. If just basing it on this game (which I’m sure the team is not), I feel like a choice between hunt and aulie would come down to a playing style preference. PP specialist or big man?
- Schultz – had an active stick and was very mobile. I thought he had a good game.
- Marincin – had a somewhat subtle game by eye but I thought was effective. Looks like an NHL player, can’t see how he doesn’t make the team.
- Gordon – quite obviously a solid player but lacked the hands in the o zone to play with high end skill in his game IMO.
- Purcell – had a couple good sequences but seemed like he was half sleeping the game.
- Eberle – watching him stick handle in the slot/ goal mouth area is worth the price of admission. Phenomenal talent. Made some really nice plays advancing the puck in the o zone. I don’t think he does as well when asked to carry his line like tonight though.
- Draisaitl – had one sublime pass to yakupov that shows his talent. Seemed quite tentative most the night. I think it’s a foregone conclusion he is on the team, so I won’t harp on that point, but it’s going to be a process and patience looks like it’ll be needed. Not close to a finished product at this point.
- Yakupov – I was very pleasantly surprised with his game. Along with nurse, the oiler who was most involved all over the ice, forechecking and back checking like mad. Is clearly a unique player. Was very entertaining to watch. Maturing before our eyes.
- Lander – looked better as the game wore on — his assist was a nice display of his offensive talent we’ve heard about but rarely seen at the nhl level — but man he looked brutal the first half the game, the worst oiler by a mile. He was listless on the torecheck, finishing his check but like it was a game of patty-cake. I am NOT one of those people who tries to decipher body language but buddy looked like he’s suffering from some sort of confidence issue or depression or injury. Not the way I expected him to engage in puck battles when fighting for a roster spot to say the least. If this game means anything and if he is healthy, he’s sent down tomorrow on merit. A head scratcher. Looked a step behind reading the play most the night, reacting rather than reading.
- Acton – I am not an Acton fan, but I came away with the impression that he is not as overwhelmed at this level as I previously thought. He didn’t bring a game-changing element, but he knew where he needed to be and didn’t hurt the team. If the Oilers want to keep a 5C on the roster and base it on this game, Acton deserves the spot. Still think he is best suited as an injury 4C callup. Looks better than last year.
- Arcobello – the Oilers best all around C tonight. He always seems to know where he needs to be, and in the D zone he directs his teammates vocally and with his hands. Had some friendly chats with lander on the way to the bench which was interesting considering they could be seen as applying for the same job. If buddy was 6’2 215 he’d be the godsend 2C for the team. Plays 2 or 3C on merit IMO. Took draws when on a line with Acton and lander (and won them) which I thought was telling. Didn’t look as small as I thought he would but is obviously undersized.
- Yakimov – not very noticeable. Based on tonight, needs farm time.
- Khaira – a bit more noticeable than yak2 — he was pretty strong on the forecheck — but also wouldn’t be hurt with farm time from this minute sample size. Looked like a decent bet to be a bottom 6 pivot in a year or two though, quite strong on the puck.
- Hendricks – looked like an unskilled fourth line NHL player, so what I was expecting. Worked hard on the torecheck.
- Pitlick – I am torn on this guy. He seems to have more upside than he displays, but he’s got wheels and is good at pressuring the puck. Seemed a bit tired at times tonight and lacked the explosive speed in a couple of circumstances where I was expecting him to turn it on, but overal Ora good showing. I’d be worried to waive him.
VAN GOLF GAME REPORT
Was at the game tonight and noticed the following:
- > yak was great. Very involved and was prowling. For first time in forever he didn’t look like he was forcing it. Can’t wait to hear what Eakins has to say in his post presser about yak.
- > DrySaddle was okay, but when your remember he is only 18, he was fantastic. Lots of simple smarts and effective use of his size.
- > Shultz was a tire fire. Seemed like he was always looking for the stretch pass rather than the shorter safer one. Non existent in offensive zone.
- > nurse literally skated double that of any player. Always pinching and then busting his ass getting back.
- > oiler transition game markedly inferior to the nucks ( expected based roster make-up)
- > yak2 and purcell really quiet.
- > without scrivens it would have been 4 nothing after one.
I’ll have a post up after 10 should any waivery news occur, one player Edmonton might take a look at today is Peter Regin. VOR mentioned him many times over the years and he came available yesterday as the ‘Hawks did some good work on their roster and future (the Leddy trade netted them a very good young player). Regin is a former failed prospect, Marty Reasoner division, but has some good Corgi’s dating back years. He might be a nice 5C behind Nuge, Leon, Gordon, Arco. As this article suggests, Regin has complementary skills and is responsible without the puck. A reasonable option.