I asked some pretty smart observers of the good ship Oil about the chances of Adam Clendening being claimed, and to a person they had the same response: No. As it turns out, we were all scouting the wrong guy!
- Adam Clendening on Peter Chiarelli: “When he called me this morning, that was something he said. He’s kept track. He liked what I had to offer at school, getting drafted, and it’s definitely nice to know you have a fan in your GM.” Source
I believe the waiver wire is an underused tool for NHL teams and am happy the Oilers pursued it today. I also believe there are probably 150 fringe NHL players just like Clendening looking for an opportunity like the one he got today. You can bet the farm he will work his tail off for Chiarelli and the Oilers over the rest of the season.
Will he make it? Tough to say. Edmonton doesn’t use the transaction often (or at least the previous GMs did not), but we have seen Matt Fraser, Luke Gazdic and Niko Hoivenen (bet you forgot!) in recent history. Earlier in the century, men like Ryan Jones and Steve MacIntyre arrived via the waiver wire.
Using the NHL equivalencies that fit the time (Vollman mostly) I came up with the following:
- Age 18 (NCAA) 39, 5-21-26 (NHLE per 82GP: 18)
- Age 19 (NCAA) 38, 4-29-33 (NHLE per 82GP: 23)
- Age 20 (AHL) 73, 9-37-46 (NHLE per 82GP: 23)
- Age 21 (AHL) 74, 12-47-59 (NHLE per 82GP: 29)
That takes us to 2014-15, where got was dealt to Vancouver in January and then began his vagabond days, landing with the Oilers today. CAN he fill a role with the Oilers? Maybe. He is a second-round selection from 2011 (the Oilers also picked up Iiro Pakarinen from the same draft year) and the resume looks reasonably encouraging.
HIS NHL CAREER
VERY small sample size, he is 30 games and 468 minutes into his NHL career, that is pretty much no time at all. He has a 50.8 percent Corsi and a 51.0 Fenwick and has played with people I would think we can agree are third pairing and fourth-line types.
WHO WILL IT IMPACT?
The Oilers will need to make room for him, and the Brad Hunt demotion may have been in order to get Brandon Davidson back off IR and onto the roster. When Klefbom comes back, suggest we will see a trade—and that may happen sooner if the club has decided Griffin Reinhart is NHL-ready. I should also mention the possibility of Darnell Nurse being sent out, although that appears to be a distant bell.
Clendening may not help, but looking at these numbers I would suggest giving him 32 games to show what he can do is a reasonable idea.
WHO IS GETTING TRADED?
Three men may have enough value to both warrant a trade and be expendable. I will suggest Mark Fayne has the most value, that Justin Schultz fits the Clendening skill set most closely, and that Eric Gryba could also be in play. We wait.