LANDER V LETESTU

by Lowetide

For quite some time, I’ve been receiving emails requesting a post comparing Anton Lander and Mark Letestu. For most of the summer I listed Lander as 3C and Letestu as 4C but in recent weeks have turned it around (I do this, mostly just to try it on, it’s a thing). Maybe that’s a reason behind the recent surge in interest, but today’s post comes from several readers who would like to kick the tires on 3C position for 2015-16.

LETESTU

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.22 (8th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.26 (8th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 12th toughest competition among regulars (fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 12th best competition among regulars (fourth line)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 42.6%
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -16.4
  • Zone Start: 42.7%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 63/11.1%
  • Boxcars: 54GP, 7-6-13

LANDER

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.60 (5th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.52 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 13th toughest competition among regulars (fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 12th best competition among regulars (fourth line)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 48.6
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 5.2
  • Zone Start: 49.4%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 61 shots/9.8%
  • Boxcars: 38, 6-14-20

The numbers favor Lander (they played about the same spot in the batting order) as Lander’s possession and scoring numbers are superior. Letestu’s ZS is definitely a factor and we should probably expect a spike this season (McLellan doesn’t run a tough ZS line, meaning Letestu is extremely likely to play in better situations this coming season).

Letestu is better in the faceoff circle (52.9 to 50.1 %) and he has over 300 games of NHL experience. One item that makes Letestu unique: He’s righthanded. The other thing is that Letestu’s linemates (Jared Boll, Corey Tropp) were less impressive than Anton Lander’s (Matt Fraser, Taylor Hall, Teddy Purcell) and that’s a big damn deal.

I think they’ll both get plenty of work and it’s also possible Letestu moves up the roster to RW at times (he’s done it in the past) to give the roster a different look (Matt Hendricks could slide in to the pivot position). I’m cheering for Lander, we’ve watched him grow here as a player and I’d like to see him hang around for the good times. I think it’s too close to call.

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Pouzar

I watched a lot of Lander in the last 2 years especially in the AHL. He has very underrated offensive skill and IQ. He can run an offensive PP and 5 on 5 he his excellent in the half court offensive set.
Protects the puck really well and knows how to cycle. Makes a lot of sense to me he has an a high % of 2nd assists as he is the guy usually possessing the puck on the boards. He’s not a guy you notice flying through the neutral zone on a 2 on 1. His specialty is possessing the puck and making the smart play in the O-zone. He reminds me a bit of Forsberg in his ability to hold on to the puck and take abuse but always able to do something useful with it to contribute to a scoring chance.

The role and subsequent success he found cruising the crease on our PP was gravy imo(he didn’t do a lot of that in A as the PP normally ran through him and Jason Williams on the point). Couple that with his PK ability, leadership and grit/60 his style is exactly what his team needs and he can be useful at center or wing imo.

oilswell

Centre of attention:
So, to conclude, it should not be Lander vs Letestu, as in one or the other. It should be Lander+Letestu. Like that girl on those tostito’s commercials says “why not both?”

I had the same thought but I figure these two are the two pk centre and probably it works better with them on separate lines. They could pair up the wingers and switch Lander and Letestu out depending on the zone of the draw, game situation, etc. But are they keeping 8d? If so, maybe both these two see the same line more often?

On a somewhat related note, Chiarelli sure seems like a size queen. I’m not comfortable with GMs that get fixated on one dimension of play, although of course he’s absolutely correct the oilers have not been hard enough to play against. Still, if he’s convincing McLellan I’m wondering how they keep Draisaitl off one of the top 6 rw spots so he can work the wall and dish his backhand sauce. That could more or less evaporate a third scoring line and put Purcell in a curious spot.

PhrankLee

Hey LT. Nice article on these two. I personally have Lander in at 3C all year. Plenty of PK and he will get the bulk of the Gordon ZS.

You recently mentioned CCCP teams and their passing. Here is a great article on that very subject with animations! Not mine, I assure you.
Very fascinating, though.

http://hockey-graphs.com/2015/09/15/tracking-the-red-armys-passing/

russ99

John Chambers:
I don’t think this is a contest so much as Letestu is an upper-echelon 4th line C who is there to merely ‘push’ Anton Lander

Letestu’s career best offensive seasons were .85 and .887 ppg seasons in the AHL when he was 23 and 24. His offense at the NHL level has been standard for a 3rd line C, and good to very good as a 4th line C. He is 30 years old, an established NHL’er, but on a slow decline.

Lander has already posted +1 ppg in consecutive seasons in the ‘A’ at ages 22 and 23, and is on the upswing for his NHL career. He appeared in all facets to be a capable NHL centre and I’d bet my arm will deliver 10 goals and 30 points over a full season. He’s set to grow with the young cluster and should be given the ice time to mature.

I seriously doubt our bottom six forwards are going to be chosen for their offense.

Some Oilers fans are in for a bit of a surprise as to how defensively focused our new head coach is when it comes to game day decisions.

Bank Shot

wheatnoil:
As for Lander, I’m a big fan of the guy, but I remain cautious on his offensive ability. Acknowledging his AHL success over the last two years, it’s worth noting that this last year was his first NHL year with basically any offense. He did it while running an IPP of 84%. That’s absurdly high… Crosby numbers. Lander does not have a history of producing IPPs above league average, let alone that high. That’s highly likely to regress to the mean.

His pp production was ridiculous. His second assist rate was super high.

Lots of numbers to support that he caught lighting in a bottle last season.

If we were suggesting trading for Lander based on his last season the analytics would be telling us to pass.

Kmart99

Lander’s numbers definitely seemed way above the norm for him but so did his play. If his game grades at CoH were the same as they were in previous years, but his PDO and other numbers jumped up I’d be concerned. IIRC Lander’s grades at CoH were up for pretty much his entire tenure under Nelson.

Realistically, I think LT’s RE for Lander is very fair and likely very close to the mark. The biggest factor will his PP usage IMO.

I don’t think the dip in his EVP/60 will be as massive as one might expect when talking regression to the meat.

Connor

Lowetide,

Thanks

jp

Yeti: You miss the essential point. The rugged game of Jared Boll creates better corsi not for his own line but for other lines. He’s literally taking one for the team. To put it more eloquently, Boll and Tropp are like two external fuel tanks that fall away once they have launched a shuttle into the stratosphere.

Oh my. That’s quite good.

Let’s hope those fuel tanks don’t pass through the Oligoshpere for more than a few fleeting moments.

Yeti

RexLibris: Is that the same Jared Boll whom some in the Edmonton media said the Oilers would do well to acquire on account of his toughness and the way he plays the game?

You miss the essential point. The rugged game of Jared Boll creates better corsi not for his own line but for other lines. He’s literally taking one for the team. To put it more eloquently, Boll and Tropp are like two external fuel tanks that fall away once they have launched a shuttle into the stratosphere.

RexLibris

wheatnoil:
Woodguy,

G Money,

There’s an argument to made that Jared Boll was the worst regular forward in the NHL last year, using a combination of possession metrics and points. Tropp wasn’t far behind. Together, they may constitute one of the worst duos in the NHL, and they were Letestu’s most common linemates.

If Letestu, by some miracle, ends up on McDavid’s wing, he may the single greatest season to season qualcomp jump in the modern NHL!

Is that the same Jared Boll whom some in the Edmonton media said the Oilers would do well to acquire on account of his toughness and the way he plays the game?

wheatnoil

As for Lander, I’m a big fan of the guy, but I remain cautious on his offensive ability. Acknowledging his AHL success over the last two years, it’s worth noting that this last year was his first NHL year with basically any offense. He did it while running an IPP of 84%. That’s absurdly high… Crosby numbers. Lander does not have a history of producing IPPs above league average, let alone that high. That’s highly likely to regress to the mean.

wheatnoil

Woodguy,

G Money,

There’s an argument to made that Jared Boll was the worst regular forward in the NHL last year, using a combination of possession metrics and points. Tropp wasn’t far behind. Together, they may constitute one of the worst duos in the NHL, and they were Letestu’s most common linemates.

If Letestu, by some miracle, ends up on McDavid’s wing, he may see the single greatest season to season qualcomp jump in the modern NHL!

Centre of attention

So, to conclude, it should not be Lander vs Letestu, as in one or the other. It should be Lander+Letestu. Like that girl on those tostito’s commercials says “why not both?”

G Money

Woodguy,
G Money,

Note that the difference between the two sets of numbers is that mine is score adjusted (I implemented Micah Blake McCurdy’s formulas, which I like a whole lot better than the original formulation).

Not surprisingly, given Arizona spent a lot of time behind the 8-ball, the numbers deflate when you score adjust them.

G Money

jp: Wow!

I didn’t do the math, but that looks like 50% w/out those two. Can you confirm?

Excellent thought. That could be one of the more useful ways to use this data – to look at a forward away from his most common linemates.

If you exclude just that one line with both Boll and Tropp, it jumps to about 44%, which is a hell of a jump, but not all the way to 50%.

HOWEVER!

If you exclude all lines with Boll, it jumps to 45%.

If you exclude all lines with Tropp, it jumps to 47.5%.

If you exclude all lines with Tropp or Boll or both … 49.3%.

So yeah – to say those guys are dragging him down is a bit of an understatement.

Woodguy

jp: Wow!

I didn’t do the math, but that looks like 50% w/out those two. Can you confirm?

Last year he was 50.3% without those two.

You can run it via SuperWOWY at puckalytics.com

34.5% when all 3 were together.

Yeeeesh.

252 min away from both 50.3%
272 min together with at least one of them 34.5%

Woodguy

Chia was musing about an unicorn 3rd line in his interview with McKenzie.

I would wager a fair sum that its McLellen pushing it due to Lander.

Chia mentioned “match ups” as the reason why they’d look at it.

A few of us here are pushing it for the exact same reason.

TM: “Pete, with Eriksson and Forsberg on his wings Lander outscored Crosby 2-0 in the first period of our game against Sweden in the summer. Imagine the match ups we could get for a Yakupov-Lander-Draisaitl line when they already have to worry about RNH and McDavid. They’d get a steady diet of 3rd pair and 4C’s and might be our leading 5v5 goal scorers”

PC: “There’s not a lot of experience or defensive acumen on that line”

TM: “Lander’s can carry the water, but based on who they’d get both at home and on the road I don’t think we’d have to worry too much about the goals against if we keep Schultz off the ice when they are on it”

PC: “Hmmmmmmmm”

RexLibris

Where was this when we beat the Canucks in Penticton: http://imgur.com/gallery/0nuXQ41

Woogie63

These two are going to allow Draisaitl to spend some time in the AHL.

Draisaitl, NHL ready now,

Gains the line and button hooks to hold the half wall.
Those passes.
Great back hand passes
Pretty good hands for a big man

Draisaitl, Work on in AHL,

Being more comfortable on the offensive cycle.
Shoot more often.
Build chemistry with Slepyshev?

jp

G Money:

BollLetestuTropp5010532.30%

Wow!

I didn’t do the math, but that looks like 50% w/out those two. Can you confirm?

rickithebear

Lander and yak together have each averaged .59 EVP/60

jp

LadiesloveSmid:
John Chambers,

I’d probably call Letestu’s best season 27P in 46 NHL GP. 0.55PPG. 5v5 P/60 of 1.98

Agreed. He had NHL seasons of:
64GP 27Pts
62GP 25Pts
46GP 27Pts
82GP 34Pts
That’s consistent, solid 3rd line production before an off year in 14-15.

I like Lander, and hope he continues to grow, but there’s not much to choose between them at this point.

jp

Lowetide: You’d have to throw in a 5th round pick

Never mind then.

Anyone ever hear of this Eichel guy? Wonder if the Sabres would take Yakupov and Schultz for him? 😉
http://www.si.com/nhl/2015/09/15/jack-eichel-buffalo-sabres-impresses

Mr DeBakey

stevezie: I like Letestu, but remain confused on the Korpikoski front. He seems like a fine depth player, but no better than many who could have been found for less money and term on the free agent front.

I hope its because the Oilers see Korpikoski being a stylistic fit in the bottom 6 – size, speed, forecheck, blah blah etc. I had similar hopes when they signed Nikitin. How many frowns in dashed?

As for the topic at hand, the answer is Draisatl after New Year pushing Letestu into a swiss army knife pressbox role.

Centre of attention

Pouzar,

I think Lander is here to stay. Good utility forwards are always handy to have around. Better here then somewhere else, playing as center or not.

hoser313

I would guess Lander will look better with Yak and that should be a factor.

Hopefully Lander is quicker off the draw in TC this year.

LadiesloveSmid

John Chambers,

I’d probably call Letestu’s best season 27P in 46 NHL GP. 0.55PPG. 5v5 P/60 of 1.98

Pouzar

Centre of attention:
I think Lander can work the boards pretty damn good, he has a “good stick” and would look damn fine as a winger. Once Yakimov is up in Edmonton he can slot into 4C, making Letestu the 3C and Lander 3L with Purcell/Yak/______ shifting into RW depending on performance.

Add Leon and Miller into the mix if you want and there is an actual dog fight for 3rd line spots in general.

With all these forwards, who needs defense!? #fivescoringlines

This.
Lander is good at hockey. He can play wherever. Too many centers is awesomeness.

Centre of attention

I think Lander can work the boards pretty damn good, he has a “good stick” and would look damn fine as a winger. Once Yakimov is up in Edmonton he can slot into 4C, making Letestu the 3C and Lander 3L with Purcell/Yak/______ shifting into RW depending on performance.

Add Leon and Miller into the mix if you want and there is an actual dog fight for 3rd line spots in general.

With all these forwards, who needs defense!? #fivescoringlines

Connor

Hey Lowetide,

How does McLellan deploy his lines? If he doesn’t do it by zone is it by line matchups?

G Money

A detailed look at Letestu and his linemates. This is score-adjusted 5v5 Corsi. To say that Boll and Tropp pulled his numbers down is just a wee bit understated! He actually did quite well in limited minutes with more Skille (heh heh, sorry, I had to).

These numbers are new (to my knowledge I’m the only one generating CF% for forward line combos) so I’m not entirely sure how to interpret them, but I’d hazard a guess that the way this reads, Letestu is not a driver of possession, but he’s not the problem either.

Anisimov Letestu Skille 28 14 66.20%
Atkinson Calvert Letestu 9 6 60.00%
Anisimov Letestu Tropp 9 6 59.90%
Hartnell Letestu Skille 7 5 59.60%
Calvert Dano Letestu 22 16 58.20%
Anderson Calvert Letestu 9 7 57.00%
Letestu Skille Wennberg 8 6 56.90%
Calvert Letestu Morin 48 43 53.10%
Boll Calvert Letestu 23 26 46.70%
Calvert Letestu Skille 26 30 46.50%
Anisimov Foligno Letestu 5 7 41.60%
Boll Craig Letestu 11 18 38.80%
Letestu Skille Tropp 7 12 38.40%
Dano Hartnell Letestu 5 11 33.30%
Boll Letestu Tropp 50 105 32.30%
Foligno Hartnell Letestu 4 8 31.70%
Calvert Letestu Wennberg 3 8 28.00%
Dano Letestu Tropp 5 13 27.00%
Hartnell Johansen Letestu 3 8 26.90%
Boll Letestu Morin 2 8 22.10%
Foligno Letestu Tropp 3 20 11.80%
Letestu Morin Tropp 1 9 11.40%

stevezie

marty62: or they will be on that bus to California damn quick.

This wouldn’t be the worst thing. We know who is going down. Guys like Slepy are going to earn their spots with a strong showing in Bakersfield anyway.

John Chambers

I don’t think this is a contest so much as Letestu is an upper-echelon 4th line C who is there to merely ‘push’ Anton Lander

Letestu’s career best offensive seasons were .85 and .887 ppg seasons in the AHL when he was 23 and 24. His offense at the NHL level has been standard for a 3rd line C, and good to very good as a 4th line C. He is 30 years old, an established NHL’er, but on a slow decline.

Lander has already posted +1 ppg in consecutive seasons in the ‘A’ at ages 22 and 23, and is on the upswing for his NHL career. He appeared in all facets to be a capable NHL centre and I’d bet my arm will deliver 10 goals and 30 points over a full season. He’s set to grow with the young cluster and should be given the ice time to mature.

striatic

v4ance: I don’t mind Letestu or Lander on McDavid’s wing across from Hall. Both would be able to sub in as the center and both can play a competent 2 way game.

Playing Letestu or Lander there makes some sense although Letestu perhaps more so [natural righty, veteran]. That line could use someone good at winning face offs and back checking has never been McDavid’s of Hall’s strong suit despite Hall looking better at it last season.

Hall, McDavid, Eberle always struck me as odd given that RNH has been the 2-way lynchpin for those two.

Didn’t Letestu play on Crosby’s wing for a bit? how did that go?

marty62

After listening to our new coaches interview, we wont have to speculate long. Sounds like hes going to cut to the meat early and often. Seems like he wants to get an idea what he has, then build what he can, and try and get it to gel as quickly as possible. I think we may see some last minute moves by Chia. Sort of like Coach going, hey Chia, we need a ….. this one wont do…… going to be a crazy training camp. Downside of this it the dark horses like Slepyshev better show up early and often or they will be on that bus to California damn quick. One thing im almost positive of, Leon is getting every chance to fill a spot in that top 6. I woud bet he is on one of the wings and Purcell or Poo are moving down the depth chart…. guessing Purcelll

stevezie

RexLibris,

I like Letestu, but remain confused on the Korpikoski front. He seems like a fine depth player, but no better than many who could have been found for less money and term on the free agent front.

Management must really believe in him. Cheering for the Oilers has taught me to fear that.

Salty Fanboy

I’m a fan of Lander’s. Not rooted in analytics, but just the style and attitude and smarts of the player. If he continues his growth and development path that I at least see, I think he becomes a very vital piece of a deep playoff team. Exactly the kind of player you need anchoring your bottom six player group and being a swing player between top six offence (when needed) and bottom six possession and defensive responsibility. Lander still isn’t fully formed as an NHL pro, Letestu is and squaring them up now I give the advantage to Lander. I expect that gap to widen with no disrespect to Letestu.

I think the more interesting debate is the challenge of Lander and Draisaitl for 3C in the not too distant future. I think Draisaitl’s skills warrant a 2C, potentially 1C role in the NHL when he is more seasoned. I think that is where the Oilers had him pegged until this whole McDavid debacle – :-). I don’t see that the Oilers can make that room for him as they have McDavid and RNH ahead of him and they are textbook, elite players for 1C & 2C positions on a high performing team. It isn’t a big deal right now with Draisaitl still a pup and shunting him to wing, but its a looming issue. Lander fits – role and price tag – for the long term at 3C. Draisaitl – no – on this squad and in this cap world. His God given skills put him higher up the responsibility and wage scale ladder at the pro level. You would have to convince him to degrade his full value economically to fit in this group and I don’t see that materializing.

RexLibris

As the season nears I’m becoming a touch nervous about the Letestu and Korpikoski additions.

I think it is mainly due to having been burned so many times by free-agent additions.

It seems the team has had an uncanny knack for taking decent depth players and sinking them beneath the weight of ten-thousand pounds as soon as they put on that jersey.

Gordon was the last good one (that I can think of) and you could see even he was struggling.

v4ance

I don’t mind Letestu or Lander on McDavid’s wing across from Hall. Both would be able to sub in as the center and both can play a competent 2 way game.

It’s basically a way for TMac to reward one of the two #3C competitors with more icetime, if they show they deserve it.

RexLibris

For quite some time, I’ve been receiving emails requesting a post comparing Anton Lander and Mark Letestu.

This sounds like an invitation to “compare a shark and a tasmanian devil with rabies” emails.

LT readers: spam away!

😉