Beginning next week, Todd McLellan will get a good look at the talent available to him this season. One area I suspect he’ll be paying close attention to? Shooters. The Oilers aren’t overwhelmed with shooting forwards (or blue) and that’s going to change (San Jose shoots a lot, 260 more times than Edmonton or about three more SOG per game). The first stop along the way? Rookie camp.
PROJECTED ROOKIE CAMP ROSTER (NOT OFFICIAL)
- G Laurent Brossoit—Never bet on a goalie, but he has nice arrows.
- G Eetu Laurikainen—Can’t wait to see how good he is.
- G Keven Bouchard—Junior goalie will get a look in Penticton
- G Jordan Papirny—Confirmation of attendance on Guy Flaming’s Pipeline Show
- D Darnell Nurse—Someone’s worst nightmare, and he’s an Oiler!!!
- D Ben Betker—Big, strong, pretty fast. Raw, interesting blue
- D Joey Laleggia—I bet he rocks Penticton
- D Caleb Jones—Turned heads at Orientation camp. Very mobile.
- D Ethan Bear—The beginning of a big year for 2015 pick.
- D Kevin Davis—Mobile defender, NHL.com lists him as TC invite
- D Colton Waltz—Tough defender. NHL.com lists him as TC invite
- D Loik Leveille—There’s a chance they sign him. NHL.com list
- C Connor McDavid—We’ll remember this fall for a long, long time.
- C Leon Draisaitl—Leon AND McDavid at rookie camp is unfair.
- C Kyle Platzer—I think he may see time on the wing. Watch for this guy.
- C Alexis Loiseau—Penticton will be a great opportunity for him to show well
- C Marco Roy—He played well at rookie camp during normal times a year ago.
- C Tyler Soy—Skill F, NHL.com lists him as TC invite
- C Cole Linaker—C from the WHL, NHL.com lists him as TC invite
- L Anton Slepyshev—The best winger on the team if Leon stays at pivot
- L Kale Kessy—May be in Penticton due to lost 2014-15 season
- L Connor Rankin—Rugged winger can score.
- L Braden Christoffer—Tough, undersized and skilled.
- R Greg Chase—Enormous opportunity for this young man. I bet he’s ready right now.
- F Rihards Bukarts—Little ball of something else. NHL.com lists him as TC invite
- R Cole Sanford—Outstanding scorer, on the NHL.com list.
SHOTS-PER-GAME (WHERE AVAILABLE)
- D Joey Laleggia—139 shots in 37 NCAA games (3.76)
- C Connor McDavid—21 shots in 7 WJC games (3.00)
- C Alexis Loiseau—198 shots in 68 QMJHL games (2.91)
- D Loik Leveille—189 shots in 68 QMJHL games (2.78)
- C Marco Roy—158 shots in 59 QMJHL games (2.68)
- R Rihards Bukarts—145 shots in 62 Russian Jr games (2.34)
- L Anton Slepyshev—129 shots in 58 KHL games (2.22)
- C Kyle Platzer—8 shots in 4 AHL games (2.00)
- D Darnell Nurse—14 shots in eight AHL games, including playoffs (1.75)
- R Greg Chase—14 shots in nine AHL games, including playoffs (1.56)
- C Leon Draisaitl—49 shots in 37 NHL games (1.32)
- D Caleb Jones—26 shots in 25 USHL games (1.04)
Clearly there’s some major issues here in terms of sample size and league quality, but I think we can probably agree that Joey Laleggia is going to get noticed—and might get a power-play push in Bakersfield (or in the ECHL, should it come to it).
McDavid’s number comes from the World Juniors and of course that’s not going to be a terribly accurate view. I included it because the one area that gets mentioned a lot is McDavid’s shooting (and quality of shot). Slepyshev’s number sure looks good based on the quality of the league he played in.
Anyone else stand out?
OILERS SHOTS-PER-60 LEADERS 2014-15
- Iiro Pakarinen 11.85 (34 in 172 minutes)
- Taylor Hall 9.31 (158 in 1019 minutes)
- Nail Yakupov 9.16 (191 shots in 1251 minutes)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 7.23 (189 in 1569 minutes)
- Jordan Eberle 7.12 (183 in 1542 minutes)
- Benoit Pouliot 6.53 (105 in 964 minutes)
- Anton Lander 6.42 (61 in 570 minutes)
- Leon Draisaitl 6.26 (49 in 470 minutes)
- Teddy Purcell 6.22 (146 in 1407 minutes)
- Nikita Nikitin 5.82 (80 in 825 minutes)
- Justin Schultz 4.00 (122 in 1832 minutes)
The Pakarinen number is insane but let’s remember he played in only 17 games and had a 2.9 shooting percentage. I don’t recall but maybe he was shooting from the moon. Hall is where we should have expected but it’s interesting to see Yakupov also posting over 9 shots per 60 minutes. Nuge and Eberle follow and that’s mostly the end of the big-time players. Nikitin ranks No. 1 among blue, maybe we’ll see him on the PP more next year. One item that may become an issue but I love as a fan: LOOK at all the great passers!! Nuge, McDavid are sublime, Hall, Eberle are fabulous too and the Russian’s passing ability is underrated too. Add in Pouliot, Lander and Purcell and it’s getting ridiculous—PLUS I haven’t mentioned Leon. Lordy. If the Oilers keep all these guys they’re going to look like the old Russian teams of my youth (they were famous for passing even though everyone in the building knew they would shoot. Those Russian teams passed more pucks into empty nets than I’ve seen before or since).
BARONS SHOTS-PER-GAME LEADERS 2014-15
- Anton Lander 3.31
- Brad Hunt 3.23
- Iiro Pakarinen 3.21
- Andrew Miller 2.37
- Bogdan Yakimov 2.16
Lander shows well again, and Pakarinen is in there like a dirty shirt too. I think we should keep an eye on him this fall, might be a more prominent player than we think right now.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Today we’re busy and it’s going to be fun! 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Tom Brady beats the NFL and I’ll try to get Dennis to talk about the Blue Jays.
- Michael Fornabaio, Soundin’ Off and Connecticut Post. We’ll talk about Griffin Reinhart, Anders Nilsson and their seasons in the Islanders system.
- Sunil Agnihotri, Copper and Blue, The SuperFan. We’ll talk about the subject above—all those passers, who is going to shoot the damn puck?
- Rob Soria, Vavel USA. We’ll talk about the US Open and wonderful performances from both Milos and Genie yesterday.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!