The Edmonton-Yale connection isn’t a completely natural one—the 39-hour drive is a bit of an issue—but for the Edmonton Oilers the connection is working just fine. Mark Arcobello’s success may be followed by another Yale product, Andrew Miller. His NHL debut was impressive and he may be part of the future in Edmonton.
RE 14-15: 1GP, 0-0-0
ACTUAL 14-15: 9GP, 1-5-6 .667
- What do the numbers tell us? First, very small sample size so a major flag.
- Yep. So what do they say? He had a nice run during those nine games. Tough ZS but his possession number was good considering and he was productive at even strength. Let’s not get excited but a solid audition.
- Who did he play with? Anton Lander and Taylor Hall were his most common linemates.
- He had five EV points and a 1.47/60? Yes. One of his points was a penalty shot goal, that probably contributed to a lower total.
- He’s 5.10 and a buck-80, and is 26. This guy isn’t going to make it. Well, I’m not so sure. Miller has good speed, he can play a two-way game and for me his showing this spring in the NHL makes things interesting.
- Is he a skill winger? I’d say yes, but he has an extra gear in that there’s some responsibility in his play.
- So, more Fernando Pisani than Ryan Jones? No, I’d say he’s not really comparable to Jones at all and doesn’t have the range of Pisani. Miller’s a small, skilled winger who can make plays at speed. He’s also experienced enough to be on the right side of the puck, but I don’t know if he’s a brilliant player without the puck. Pisani was such a player, and honestly Mark Arcobello had a lot of those same qualities.
- So Miller might be that player type? Maybe, we don’t know him well enough and he’s 5.10 so he may never get that opportunity. I’d be very hesitant to suggest that Miller has it in his arsenal, we didn’t see that in the scouting reports.
- What did the scouting reports say? Corey Pronman: The 24 year old center is a classic small, skilled college player. Miller displays above-average qualities in terms of his speed, puck skills and overall offensive instincts. In his Senior season especially he showed the ability to consistently create scoring chances and keep the play flowing in the right direction.
- Who are the skill wingers in front of him in the organization? Jordan Eberle, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov, I’d say he’s a little ahead of Iiro Pakarinen so we’ll put him No. 4 among skill wingers.
- So he makes the team in the fall? Oh, no, no certainty of that happening. Eberle, Purcell, Yakupov are the incumbents, and the NHL checkers like Rob Klinkhammer and Tyler Pitlick would be ahead of him. Plus, Miller is an RFA, Edmonton may not retain him.
- Will they? Hell yes. Miller had a very nice season, stepped way up on the depth chart.
- Where did you have him on the winter top 20 prospects list? I had him No. 29 but he’ll be higher on the summer list.
- How in Jesus can a guy be No. 29 on a top 20? Shut up.
- I think you’re trying to build up a pretty marginal prospect here. That could very well be, but Miller spiked offensively last season and even though it’s late for him age-wise there might be a player here. It behooves the Oilers to let this unfold and frankly you could absolutely make a case for Miller being one of the 14 best forwards for next year.
- Okay, make the case. At center, I’ll take four players north. Nuge, McDavid, Lander and Gordon. My LW’s are Hall, Pouliot, Draisaitl, Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen. On RW, there’s Eberle, Purcell, Yakupov, Klinkhammer, leaving No. 14 to Miller or Pitlick.
- What about Gazdic and Fraser? Sure, they’re in the mix, along with Slepyshev and of course this could get blown out of the water with trade and signings. Still, Miller has placed himself into the conversation and I hope he keeps going.
- College guys seem to like Edmonton. I spoke to Tom Lynn on the Lowdown in the winter, he told me the number one thing college kids are looking for in signing with an NHL team is opportunity. Lynn said a team (like Edmonton) that gives opportunities (and NHL minutes) to college free agents after signing them gets noticed and the agent (ahem, adviser) uses that when discussing destinations. Bottom line: Andrew Miller’s success bodes well for Edmonton in the next free-agent negotiations.
- Who have the Oilers signed via college free-agency in recent seasons?
- March 8, 2011: Oilers sign Taylor Fedun from Princeton. (11 NHL games).
- March 19, 2011: Oilers sign Tanner House from Maine.
- March 31, 2011: Oilers sign Hunter Tremblay from University of New Brunswick.
- April 4, 2011: Oilers sign Mark Arcobello from Stockton (via Yale). (119 NHL games).
- July 1, 2012: Oilers sign Justin Schultz from Wisconsin. (203 NHL games)
- April 17, 2013: Oilers sign Andrew Miller from Yale. (9 NHL games)
- April 1, 2014: Oilers sign Jordan Oesterle from Western Michigan. (6 NHL games)
- Why this song? No specific connection between song and player, just like this one a lot and it’s a sunny day plus it goes on forever. Some fabulous items in there, great great album.