In his first 10 games as an Edmonton Oiler, Matt Fraser has a pair of goals and four points. Over a full season, that kind of production might earn him a regular spot on the roster and an NHL future. I think we’ve seen enough of Fraser to know the positives and negatives of the player and to recognize there are some issues and strengths. Is there enough there?

Kirk was discussing Fraser’s AHL goal-scoring ability and those boxcars were going to get noticed by every NHL team. Fraser was part of the payment by the Dallas Stars to Boston for Tyler Seguin and Edmonton’s waiver claim came after a period of not getting noticed in a Bruins uniform.

34gp, 5-2-7 47.9 1.01 6.81 49.7

He’s played mostly with Anton Lander among forwards since arrival (these are his complete season numbers, BTN and HA don’t break them down—or at least I can’t find them—by team) and of course these numbers come from far less than a full season’s worth of ice time. Still, I think we can see there’s some offensive promise here and he does offer a specific item of exceptional value—he’s a first-shot scorer—so it’s a matter of giving him 55o at-bats over an entire season to see what he can do.


Well, it’s complicated. The Oilers have several wingers who are in offensive spots in the batting order and not delivering enough offense. If we can agree that Hall—Eberle and Pouliot—Purcell are delivering enough for us to consider them to be ‘incumbents’ for skill spots, then it’s up to Fraser (and young Nail Yakupov) to force their way up the depth chart. I’m not sure either will be able to do it in the season’s final half and I’m absolutely certain Nail will get more chances.

Does Matt Fraser deserve more chances than some of the AHL kids? How would we know? Well, we can never know completely but we have AHL stats for all suspects and can measure things like shots-per-game and shooting percentage to see how everyone looks.


MATT FRASER 2011-12 253/73 3.47 14.62
IIRO PAKARINEN 2014-15 119/37 3.21 14.29
MATT FRASER 2012-13 182/62 2.94 18.12
MATT FRASER 2013-14 122/44 2.77 16.39
ANTON LANDER 2013-14 120/46 2.61 15.00
TYLER PITLICK 2014-15 36/14 2.57 8.33
TYLER PITLICK 2013-14 100/39 2.56 8.00
ROMAN HORAK 2013-14 165/66 2.50 13.94
ANDREW MILLER 2014-15 88/41 2.14 17.05
BOGDAN YAKIMOV 2014-15 78/38 2.05 7.69
CURTIS HAMILTON 2014-15 58/37 1.56 13.79

Fraser is definitely the class of the group but a half season of Iiro Pakarinen shows he’s in the range (or will be if he can sustain for the rest of the season). This also shows that Tyler Pitlick—despite some impressive shot totals—has a history of being a low-event shooter and that’s going to be an issue for him (as we’ve discussed at length). Interesting too to see Lander and Horak and where they rank and Yakimov is perhaps a slight surprise in getting over 2 shots per game (but his shooting % isn’t a positive).

I think the Oilers have a strong candidate to replace Fraser in Iiro Pakarinen and would also like to see Roman Horak again sometime down the line. For me, the rest of this season trying out Fraser/Pakarinen is probably the right thing to do. If we’re talking about Pitlick or Curtis Hamilton, I think a checking role is their only route to the NHL and Andrew Miller needs to shoot more and one suspects he’s riding some luck this season (8% last season).

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24 Responses to "FRASER VALLEY"

  1. VanOil says:

    I could see an Oiler 3d line in a couple years of


    Fraser possibly on the 4th with Lander. He would need a lot of work on his skating.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I could see an Oiler 3d line in a couple years of


    Fraser possibly on the 4th with Lander. He would need a lot of work on his skating.

    Part of the problem for the Oilers re: Fraser is that they have several slow forwards. That’s an issue.

  3. spoiler says:

    Kirk’s the one guy I’d like to hear talk about Hanifin. He’s been watching him since prep school…in fact I think he’s on record as saying he’s the best prep school player he personally has ever seen at any position.

    But that was then and this is now. Luedeke would have some insight into Hanifin’s progression having scouted him at various ages and whether his development dictates the same glowing reviews today. He might be able to enlighten us on Hanifin’s offense, and how much TOI and PPTOI he’s been getting as a freshman defenseman for the Eagles.

    I really liked that shots per game chart, LT. Very informative. If only Pitlick had softer mitts… and a decent run of health.

  4. supernova says:

    It seems like Bogdan and his shots & goals per game have increased over the last month.

    Maybe taking him longer than expected to get his feet wet? Or maybe he is less skilled than anticipated?

    I am not a Fraser fan already. He just leaves me wanting more.
    Doesn’t skate well, doesn’t hit enough, not a good PP option, not a great PK option. Not a center,
    He is slotted in a utility role but seems to have the utility skills. He needs to impact the game in more than one area because he is unlikely to play enough to have enough goals to make a difference between winning regularly and scoring occasionally.

    I hope I am wrong but a 5 game streak without a point should mean waivers.

    Much rather give the opportunity to a minors player or someone that can provide a few “utility” options.

  5. spoiler says:

    Okay, I’ve found a very nice article by Luedeke on Hanifin, although there’s not a lot of Kirk’s scouting in it. For those who wish to read more:

  6. John Chambers says:

    Aside from Boyd Gordon, the Oilers might field a crop of bottom-6 players all making under $1M, which could deliver incredible economy that helps the team pay for help at C or on Defense.

    The bottom-8 forwards next year could look like:
    Klink – Gordon – Horak
    Fraser – Lander – Pakarinen
    Pitlick – Gazdic

    A big thing that could really aid this team is if MacT is able to unload Purcell, Nikitin and or Ference, as well as Hendricks’ contracts.

    If they do that they’ll be able to afford the likes of Sekara, Vermette, and Niemi, as well as make a deal with a cash-strapped team for another D.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Kirk Luedeke will be my guest Monday morning at 10:25

  8. Unicorns says:

    Why have any slow players? Despite the 06 run really the Oilers don’t seem to have a strategy for the roster.

    What do the Oilers need up front? I say 2 top 6 physical style skilled wingers to support the talent. They have a lot coming in – they need a few particular players and some out. Like role players with good wheels and backbone (not fighting but balls) that don’t treat the puck like a grenade – players that wear an NHL jersey that can play the mysterious game of hockey.

    I am also not a long term fan of extreme zone starts. It’s a reg season strategy that sabotages the post season.

    A coach can lean things in his favour but can also burn players out and shelter players to the point they suffer.

    Every player needs to be able to play to be good. A team only needs good players. Sheltering is to gain a slight advantage not to replace ability.

  9. Lloyd B. says:

    Is anyone else noticing that RNH seems to be off on his own tonight. Rarely see him sitting with the other guys or joking around with them. I get he’s new to this and probably does not know a lot of these guys. I don’t know what it means if anything. It just seems odd.

  10. spoiler says:

    Kirk Luedeke will be my guest Monday morning at 10:25

    Sweet! Wow. You made that happen fast, lol.

  11. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Sweet!Wow.You made that happen fast, lol.

    Luedeke is smart and one of the nicest people on the planet. 🙂

  12. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Luedeke is smart and one of the nicest people on the planet.

    I used to love reading him. I blame Woodlief that bastard for the present shortage of reading material lol. I really should get on Twitter for guys out there like him. I find I’m often looking up the Goalie Guild’s tweets on my laptop too. Was never a netminder myself, but I find his stuff is often an eye-opening look into goalie voodoo.

  13. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:


    Great article
    Thanks Mckenzie’s September also quoted a scout comparing him to Niedermayer

    I would love for him to be on the Oilers

  14. jp says:

    I have no idea if Fraser is going to stick, but that sustained shot volume AND high shooting % is pretty impressive. Looks like he’ll pop some goal wherever he is if given the TOI.

  15. rickithebear says:

    Johnny hockey named to all star game.

    20-21 yr seasons since 99-00.
    Hall’s rank in points #20
    Gaudreau #120

    Top 100 PPG
    #9 Hall .97

    The top 25 not to be in a Allstar game.
    Hall EDM
    N. Backstrom WSH

  16. spoiler says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:

    Great article
    Thanks Mckenzie’s September also quoted a scout comparing him to Niedermayer

    I would love for him to be on the Oilers

    Yup, Kirk really did a nice job on that write-up.

    Now if only we can get someone to do one on Marner, Strome, Zacha. lol…

    Kylington, we never see much on him.

    Mikko Rantanen’s another guy that’s kind of hidden from view and will be hard to rank.

    Damn Europeans and their whole other continent. Although, it’s easier to dig up FEL highlights than it is NCAA.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Nagelvoort 17 save shutout tonight. Good on him. Seasonal SP goes from .904 to .908.

  18. oliveoilers says:

    Johnny hockey named to all star game.

    20-21 yr seasons since 99-00.
    Hall’s rank in points #20
    Gaudreau #120

    Top 100 PPG
    #9 Hall .97

    The top 25 not to be in a Allstar game.
    Hall EDM
    N. BackstromWSH

    I have no idea what Hall or Backstrom has done to get the gears from the NHL. Sideburns?

  19. Lowetide says:

    Chase another goal, 4 goals in his last three games.

  20. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    The NHL is dumb with respect to the ASG. Once upon a time they were fun. Ruined now.

    But the each team must have one player rule is dumb. That’s why Backstrom for example is not an all star this year.

    Hall would have been one last year for sure. Not this year though, but I bet it grinds his gears a few other people are. That’s fine by me.

    Rather he rest his knees and stays hungry.

  21. spoiler says:

    Good to see Chase settling in. Decent weekend for the org’s WHLers so far.

  22. OilLeak says: has Matt Fraser at 1.7 P/60, although that number is probably inflated due to the small sample and I don’t expect it to last. Fraser has a nice shot, but skates far too slow at this level to do anything with it.

    I pass on Fraser.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LD: 1-1-2
    Betker with another assist tonight.

  24. PerryK says:

    I just finished watching the PVR’ed game between Victoria and Kamloops.

    Specifically, I was looking at Chase. He didn’t seem to receive a lot of ice time (short shifts for his line compared to Austin Carroll’s line).

    It was absolutely amazing that Chase generated almost a scoring chance per shift! Very impressive! Also noticed that although he was supposed to be playing RW, he was back-checking like a C. Only caused a problem once when he wasn’t at his designated clearing spot on the wing. However, he broke up a lot of sorties by Kamloops.

    Couldn’t help but notice the overage Dman Travis Brown. He is large, mobile, and undrafted! Oilers may wish to have a peek! Also noticeable was Matthew Phillips who is a 1998 birth date playing his first WHL game. Listed at 5’7″, he looks a lot smaller that that even. However the kid is very slick and very tough. Took the puck to the net with authority, and every one that tried to hit him missed! Also defended very well in his own zone. He scored his first goal that night ( a real beaut) and now after 2 games he has 3 points playing on a very limited minutes 4th line. He may grow into a Theo Fleury in a few years.

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