We’re into the season where we all go 10 rounds arguing whether Darnell Nurse or Griffin Reinhart will start in the AHL, which tells me two things. First, we’re in a better spot than the period where we were arguing Marc Pouliot and Rob Schremp. Second, we need something else to talk about. Things SHOULD be happening (I mean real news, not John Scott signing in the desert, they should change his name to Bon Scott, maybe someone will go to the games) and hell maybe they will. In the meantime, a few things I’ve been thinking about today.
LEON’S NEXT NHL GAME
When we’re talking about Leon as an opening night option—and I get it, he’s a fun player to watch—there are specific and critical things to keep in mind. Speeds is the guy who uncovered this, so over to him:
- Speeds: Teams are only allowed to exceed the cap via performance bonuses by a maximum of 7.5% of the Upper Limit, which for the 2015/16 salary cap of 71.4M works out to a 5.355M maximum. The combined bonuses for Nurse (0.85M), Reinhart (2.35M), Draisaitl (2.475M), Klefbom (0.35M), and McDavid, not signed yet, but assuming a max deal (2.85M) total 8.875M. So what does that mean? In a nutshell, should the Oilers start the year with all five of those players on the roster, the team will have an effective salary cap of 67.88M in order to preserve the required room for bonuses. Source
It’s a big deal but easily managed by keeping Leon ($2.475M) and Reinhart ($2.35M) on the farm until the bonus danger passes. I don’t think Todd McLellan necessarily goes in with this in mind but between Peter Chiarelli and McLellan the decisions will be made based on performance in training camp, roster composition and of course cap worries. One other thing from Speeds in regard to Draisaitl:
- There is a consideration for Draisaitl that does not exist for Reinhart. If Edmonton leaves either Reinhart or Draisaitl in the AHL all year, an ELC year would be burned. However, with Draisaitl, a year in the AHL vs. a year in the NHL results in him being a UFA in 2023 instead of 2022; Reinhart’s UFA status is not impacted by whether or not he plays in the NHL. When you combine that with Draisaitl having an effective cap hit of 3.4M (again, assuming the bonus overage is already maxed out), is it that hard to argue that Edmonton would be better off to sign a UFA W for 2.5M, save some cap space, save a year towards UFA status for Draisaitl, and let him play a full year as the #1C in the AHL?
I’m just wild about Leon but this is a major consideration. I know we’ve been down this road before but it merits further discussion.
If you haven't yet read Sheldon Souray's adieu, you need to carve out a few minutes . . . . https://t.co/DdvHqaFtYH
— Joanne Ireland (@jirelandEJ) July 10, 2015
Impressive and classy. Sheldon Souray’s time in Edmonton was miserable and his reward was Hershey and the minor leagues. The hockey Gods turned things around though, and Souray re-emerged as an NHL player while the Oilers remained minor league all the way. The days gone down have a lot of skeletons but that period was truly ridiculous.
OILERS AND THEIR DRAFT TRENDS SINCE 2008
- WHL: 16 players (26 %) including Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl and Ethan Bear
- USA: 10 players (16 %) including Pitlick, Simpson, Nagelvoort plus Caleb Jones and John Marino
- OHL: 8 players (13 %) including McDavid, Hall, Yakupov and Nurse
- Sweden: 6 players (10 %) including Paajarvi, Lander, Klefbom and Lagesson
- QMJHL: 5 players (8 %) including Marco Roy and Keven Bouchard
- BCJHL: 5 players (8 %) including Bigos, Khaira and Coughlin
- Finland: 4 players (7 %) including Hartikainen and Rajala
- Russia: 3 players (5 %) Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev and now Ziyat Paigin
- Slovakia: 2 players (3 %) Martin Marincin and Martin Gernat
- Belarus: 1 player (2 %) Kristians Pelss
- Czech Republic: 1 player (2 %) Miroslav Svoboda is the first Czech league player since Josef Hrabal (“the pencil!”) in 2003
A few notes:
- The NHL as a whole (including Edmonton) drafts out of the WHL at about 17% (this year’s numbers aren’t included). The Oilers love the dub in a big way, using a quarter of their total picks on players from the league.
- The NHL drafts out of USA leagues and colleges at 24%, meaning Edmonton is underusing this area compared to the rest of the NHL. It would be interesting to see if Canadian teams are more or less likely to draft from America.
- The NHL uses the OHL at 20% and it’s the best junior league in the world. You’d really have to work to convince me that it’s wise to under draft out of the Ontario league. Seriously.
- The NHL uses Russia at about 3% but that is increasing. Good to see Edmonton is ahead of the curve here.
OILERS SCOUTS 2014-15
- Bob Green: Director of Player Personnel
Stu MacGregor: Head Amateur Scout
- Bill Dandy: QMJHL
Brad Davis: OHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O Kent Hawley: OHL, QMJHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O
- Bob Brown: WHL (and BCJHL based on media comments)
- Jim Crosson: WHL
- Scott Harlow: NCAA and American junior leagues (east coast)
- Frank Musil: Europe
- Pelle Eklund: Europe
- Robert Nordmark: Europe
- Joseph Cucci: Year three, don’t know his area but it might be New England
- Dave Heitz: Year three, goalie scout
- Matti Virmanen: Appears to be in pro scouting now
- Sylvain Rodrigue: Year two, goalies.
Expect some additions to the OHL group and I really hope they do something about the goalie scouting. It’s impossible to know what a good goalie scout looks like but the track record doesn’t scream ‘Svoboda is the new Henrik Lundqvist’ and that’s for sure.
2015 DRAFT AND THE AREA SCOUTS
- Connor McDavid (Green and all the fired guys)
- Caleb Jones (Green, Harlow, Cucci)
- Ethan Bear (Green, Brown, Crosson)
- John Marino (Green, Harlow, Cucci)
- Miroslav Svoboda (Green, Musil, Eklund, Nordmark)
- Ziyat Paigin (Green, Musil, Eklund, Nordmark)