Meet Patrick Russell, from the Danish Russells. The Edmonton Oilers signed yet another free agent this morning (right at 10am) and once again they grabbed a college man.

Although most are (I believe correctly) putting less value on the Russell signing than the Drake Caggiula addition, the real facts are that you never know. Both could flop, or both could go on to productive careers. I am pleased Edmonton is making these bets, as opposed to signing some of their own, lesser draft selections from the past.

Some interesting incoming players, both NHL and AHL contracts. It is easy to lose track of all of these names, so let’s list them and include their NHLE as a guideline.

  1. L Drake Caggiula 44
  2. R Joey Benik 39 (AHL contract)
  3. R Patrick Russell 34
  4. L Jere Sallinen 25
  5. LD Colton Waltz 10 (AHL contract)
  6. G Nick Ellis (.936SP with Providence College)

Peter Chiarelli has been active this spring, adding a legit goalie prospect and four wingers who has offensive potential. Four of these chaps have now been signed to NHL contracts, and that impacts the 50-man list.



  1. G Cam Talbot. No. 1 next season.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit. Projects as NHL backup/AHL starter, signed a two-year deal.
  3. G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent.
  4. G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
  5. D Oscar Klefbom, likely top pairing, needs to stay healthy.
  6. D Andrej Sekera, top 4D, important part of the team.
  7. D Brandon Davidson, top 6D, maybe even top 4D if he continues on current track.
  8. D Mark Fayne, I question Oilers ability to find three better RH this summer.
  9. D Darnell Nurse, probably top 6D next season, ideally in Bakersfield.
  10. D Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Could be dealt.
  11. D Andrew Ference, they will buy him out (if able). LTIR is my guess.
  12. D Joey Laleggia, AHL D matriculating.
  13. D Dillon Simpson, AHL D, matriculating.
  14. D Ben Betker, AHL D, matriculating.
  15. D Caleb Jones, WHL D. Newly signed, definite slide rule.
  16. C Connor McDavid, Giant.
  17. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
  18. C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
  19. C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
  20. C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
  21. C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
  22. C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
  23. C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
  24. L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player. Many fans want him gone.
  25. L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many. Trade rumors.
  26. L Patrick Maroon, big winger has been exceptional since arrival.
  27. L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers should try to offload him this summer.
  28. L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
  29. L Drake Caggiula. A nice addition, let’s not go crazy on projecting him. 
  30. L Jere Sallinen, Newly signed, you can never have too many Finns.
  31. L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
  32. L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
  33. R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger could be in play.
  34. R Nail Yakupov, gone baby, gone.
  35. R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger should push for NHL time.
  36. R Patrick Russell, power forward potential. New signing.
  37. R Greg Chase, minor league winger, matriculating.

Without saying it in so many words, these four signings will impact some of the UFA and RFA Oilers and Condors from a year ago. Folks, some of these men will not return. And here they are.


  1. R Iiro Pakarinen, I think there is a strong chance he returns. RFA
  2. R Zack Kassian, probably part of the future in a top 9F role. RFA.
  3. R Tyler Pitlick. He is in a tough spot at this point. RFA.
  4. L Kale Kessy. Rock, meet hard place. RFA.
  5. D Jordan Oesterle. Suspect he signs. RFA.
  6. D David Musil. Former second-round pick. RFA.
  7. D Adam Clendening. Foot speed will cost him. RFA.
  8. D Eric Gryba, UFA. A chance he signs. UFA.
  9. R Adam Cracknell. I have no idea if he will be back. UFA.
  10. R Rob Klinkhammer. Becoming less likely. UFA.
  11. R Andrew Miller. He may have traded himself. No chance he returns imo. UFA.
  12. D Adam Pardy. He played well, doubt there is room. UFA.
  13. D Nikita Nikitin. Unlikely to return. UFA.
  14. D Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
  15. L Josh Winquist. Becoming less likely. Free agent.
  16. R Josh Currie AHL contract possible. Free agent.
  17. C Marco Roy. AHL contract possible. Free agent.
  18. G Niklas Lundstrom. Signed with Bjorkloven for next year.
  19. L Ryan Hamilton. May receive another deal from the Oilers.

Another item we are seeing emerge: Left wingers. Nine now on the roster, that probably means we see a LW traded. I mentioned this morning the most obvious candidate is Benoit Pouliot—that is different than saying he is the ideal trade candidate. Peter Chiarelli also talked about trading the pick this afternoon, and about the top nine prospects in the draft. I will cover those items tomorrow morning, including the idea of the general manager framing the issue for his own benefit. The best way to find a market? Create a need.

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  1. Richard S.S. says:

    Glad to get another right shot signed. Whether or not these signings make the Team, the Oiler system has been upgraded as was needed.

  2. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    You are right, LW and LHD are shaping up to be areas of depth. RW and RHD are severely lacking. Reminds me of those crabs in David Attenborough’s BBC documentaries. Happy belated birthday, Sir Attenborough, by the way. 90 years young yesterday and still going strong.

    About your right side: you have to work that side out, too!

  3. Lowetide says:

    General Fanager ‏@generalfanager 8m8 minutes ago

    Patrick Russell (#Oilers)
    2 yrs @ $925,000 cap hit

    $832,500 NHL salary, $92,500 signing bonus, $70,000 AHL salary for both seasons.

  4. Richard S.S. says:

    I just wonder who else he’ll sign. According to earlier comments on another post, Peter Chiarelli has at least one more signing to go. L.T. will be busy still/more/again.

  5. leadfarmer says:

    The key thing with these college prospects is to keep rolling the dice and one day Yahtzee!!! The dice dont care that you missed on the last guys

  6. dustrock says:

    I guess no wasted picks and you get some more mature players. Hard to complain about these.

  7. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Richard S.S.:
    I just wonder who else he’ll sign.According to earlier comments on another post, Peter Chiarelli has at least one more signing to go.L.T. will be busy still/more/again.

    I am hoping for Oksanen.

  8. hags9k says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    From the last thread, thank you for that info! What a reply, I can’t wait to visit there someday.

  9. AsiaOil says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Yeah Oksanen would be good – I like guys who can cover both defense and wing as PB players.

    Hard to see too many of the guys on LT’s Waiting in the Wings list coming back beside Pak, Kass, Gryba and Oesterle. Maybe Pitlick (area of need) Roy (centers always needed) and Musil – but I’d try package Musil as an add-on in a summer trade. I also have time for Cracknell as a PB forward. As for the rest…bu-bye.

  10. square_wheels says:

    Poor Elliot, those 3 goals all have some degree of stink on the 5 players in front of him.

    Of course the collective brain power of HNIC couldn’t discuss that.

    Lowetide – are you ever going to have a live companion audio for some games ???

  11. Lowetide says:

    Poor Elliot, those 3 goals all have some degree of stink on the 5 players in front of him.

    Of course the collective brain power of HNIC couldn’t discuss that.

    Lowetide – are you ever going to have a live companion audio for some games ???

    I have been looking into things, perhaps in time for next season. No idea if they would be in-games or between periods, but we will see.

  12. square_wheels says:


    I’m celebrating Festivus early !!

  13. square_wheels says:

    That Johansen kid is pretty good eh ?!?!

  14. Ari says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Love the post on the NYC recommendations. Fantastic. I have travel points to use up and I know where to go now.

    Thanks LT for this website. I don’t comment much, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

  15. Lowetide says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Love the post on the NYC recommendations.Fantastic.I have travel points to use up and I know where to go now.

    Thanks LT for this website.I don’t comment much, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Thanks, Ari. I enjoy it too. Good people, a little crazy but good people. 🙂

  16. JDï™ says:

    Dear Chevrolet

    Yes, I would choose a power truck over a hand truck every time. Not sure what you’re driving at here though.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:



    No worries at all. We all have something to contribute here. I get so much more out of this place than I put in. Least I can do.

  18. DavyNavy88 says:



    Oh, and for fun, been working on a modified version of the NHLe pro-rating. I’ve heard people complain about it, how there’s no way to use it properly, and I did admit it has flaws.

    So, I figured I’d see what I could do to address them..

    When we look at a minor-league / junior league player like Drake Caggiula or Patrik Russell, there’s a formula called the NHLe calculated that’s supposed to pro-rate their performance.

    However, there’s three things it doesn’t factor. The first, quality of line mates. The second is the ice time the player gets. The third is how high up the depth chart they play. All three of these sort of weld themselves together.

    Now, looking at the Oilers, our 1C logged 19 minutes, our 2C logged 18 minutes, and our 3C logged 16 minutes. Top-6 wingers were around 18 minutes, and bottom-6 wingers were around 14 minutes.

    So, for both Drake and Patrik, they were top-line guys in the NCAA. The NHLe pro-rating is 1 NCAA point is .41 NHL points..

    Patrik: 17 points in 41 games (NHL converted), or 34 points a season (getting top-6 ice time).

    Drake: 21 points in 39 games (NHL converted), or 44 points a season (getting top-6 ice time).

    Now, we’re all figuring we see them on a 3rd line if they’re in the NHL. Our 3C gets 84% of the ice time our 1C does, and our bottom-6 wingers get 78% of the ice time the top-6 wingers get.

    So now:

    Patrik is 27 points in 82 games as a 3rd line winger based on TOI NHLe. This would still put him ahead of Pakarinen and Kassian based on their numbers last season, and would be in an acceptable range for a 3rd line winger.

    Drake is 37 points in 82 games as a 3rd line center based on TOI NHLe. Seeing as how Letestu managed 25 points in that role for the Oilers last season, this would also be an upgrade.

    Now, this still doesn’t account for quality of linemates and zone deployment, but we can guess it would be Pouliot-Caggiula-Russell as a potential 3rd line, so that would be enough skill we can consider this a wash. Zone deployments, also hard to tell, but this is my best shot. Junior hockey doesn’t track many of these stats..

    So there you have it Stats-fans, 27 points for Russell and 37 for Caggiula if we use them as 3rd liners next year.


  19. jimmers2 says:


    Wow- what a great idea! I’d so love to have a good and informative hockey broadcast, mixed in with some steak and cocktail recipes and all served up with LT’s radio voice. Wouldn’T even need to announce the scores, I’d be hooked.

  20. G Money says:

    Note: in case you have some deja vu about the post above, Tyler V asked me on Twitter what I thought about the idea of adjusting NHLe for TOI and line usage.

    I have some concerns but of course that cursed Twitter limit makes it impossible to respond. So I asked him to repost the question on the current thread, and I’ll make some comments shortly!

    (i.e. what he just said)

  21. square_wheels says:


    My only request would be post game slideshows of Australian hurdler’s and Scarlett smoking like she just did something vigorous.

  22. Ryan says:

    G Money:
    Note: in case you have some deja vu about the post above, Tyler V asked me on Twitter what I thought about the idea of adjusting NHLe for TOI and line usage.

    I have some concerns but of course that cursed Twitter limit makes it impossible to respond. So I asked him to repost the question on the current thread, and I’ll make some comments shortly!

    (i.e. what he just said)

    Tyler Vesel?

  23. stush18 says:


    Good work! Makes sense, more so than nhle alone I think.

  24. G Money says:


    Ha ha, no, different Tyler. Check my Twitter timeline and you’ll see the whole sordid conversation.

  25. DavyNavy88 says:


    Guess I should be more clear, just reposting what my good friend Micah Kowalchuk posted on an Oilers group on facebook. Thought it was a pretty well thought analysis and asked to share with our stats friendly group here! 🙂

  26. jimmers2 says:


    “Scarlett smoking like she just did something vigorous….”

    Like working out PDO regressions?

  27. G Money says:

    OK, apologies in advance, on the topic of NHLe, I’m about to launch one of those ‘wall of text’ things that Ryan loves so much.

    If you want to geek out a bit, I promise to unmystify NHLe’s as best I can, while keeping it as unmathy as possible.

    Regarding the idea of adjusting the NHLe for usage – there are issues with doing that, and the issues stem from a misunderstanding of what an NHLe is and therefore what it tells you.

    Micah’s comment above posits “three things it doesn’t factor. The first, quality of line mates. The second is the ice time the player gets. The third is how high up the depth chart they play. All three of these sort of weld themselves together.

    This is incorrect. In fact, it basically does factor those, and everything else that goes into generating points, and welds them together on both the pre-NHL and the NHL side as part of the outcome!

    First, here’s what an NHLe is: it’s a multiple regression that predicts NHL points based on pre-NHL league, goals, and assists. (THAT WAS MAX MATH!)

    What this means is that it simply estimates the statistical relationship for a large group of players between pre and post NHL points.

    The first thing to understand here is that this is a statistical ‘mapping’ if you will. Saying the NHLe is e.g. 0.43 does not mean that the player should be expected to put up 0.43 pts per!

    That number is sort of comparable to saying the average Canadian household with two parents ages 30 to 40 has 1.8 kids. That’s a statistical summary measure. Barring some extremely unfortunate and rare circumstances, you won’t actually find any households with 1.8 kids!

    Looking at a specific household where you know the parents are in the age range 30 to 40, you could be looking at a household with 1 kids, or 8 kids, or anything in between. The 1.8 only helps you in the sense you know you’re probably gonna get a low number. But you have no idea.

    In the same way, the statistical mapping means you’ll very rarely find a player who maps to the exact NHLe.

    Rather, you’re looking at a rather large range of points above and below that NHLe as perfectly within bounds. And all those things that go into points generation – skill, TOI, linemates, usage – are all baked in on both sides of the statistical mapping.

    The NHLe points you to a ‘reasonable’ midpoint number, but otherwise, you’re Forrest Gump. (in fact, the NHLe is almost never a nice round number – it’s always got a decimal point, just like those meddling kids)

    So why is it unreasonable to try to factor TOI, usage, etc. in after the fact? Because all those ancillary factors are already baked in – but you have no idea how much (i.e. what the numerical proportion is) they’re baked in for any given player.

    So whatever adjustment factor you use … might give you a more accurate number. Or a more wildly inaccurate number. You just don’t know.

    To carry the analogy, suppose that the household you’re looking at has two mothers. In your experience, the two-mother families you know have fewer kids than the one-mom one-dad family you know.

    So you decide to revise your prediction from 1.8 kids to 0.9 kids.

    On the face of it, this might be reasonable. But you might find that household has one kid. Or two. Or five.

    You haven’t actually moved the needle in a predictive way for this particular household. The ‘1.8 kids’ already included these households – and you have no idea in what proportion that was, so you really have no idea what your adjustment factor should be.

    My suggestion instead would be this: since the NHLe is just giving you a ‘reasonable’ midpoint number, with some wide range around it being within expectation, the simplest ‘adjustment’ might be to say:
    – I think that this specific team that this specific player is going to is likely to use this player farther down [up] the depth chart than an ‘average’ team will
    – Therefore, my expectation is that this player is more likely to under [over] perform his NHLe

    Beyond that, using specific numerical adjustments is multiplying a statistical estimation that embeds a number of factors by randomly chosen estimations of those factors! It produces a result that has significant digits but no meaning in those digits!

    (I hope some of that made sense)

  28. Mr DeBakey says:

    NHLE is an average.

    half the guys will beat his league’s NHLE, half won’t.

    That’s how I’ve always looked at it.

    I’m positive I’m correct.

  29. Jaxon says:

    G Money,

    Agreed. To put it another way. All of the players stats that were used to come up with the % of points retained when going from one league to another played on different lines with different TOI, etc. Mostly they would be on top lines in lower leagues and move to lower lines in the NHL, just as Caggiula and Russell most likely will (if they even make the team). But, again, not necessarily.

    Micah’s post assumes that the stats used to come up with retained pts % had some bias towards players that end up playing in the top 6. In fact, it is probably the opposite. A few McDavids, Eichels, Domis, etc jump right into a top 6 TOI role, but many more are fringe bottom 6 players in their first NHL season.

    My guess would be that most college players who make the jump directly to the NHL were elite in college and end up in bottom 6 roles in the NHL. So, if anything I would expect undrafted older college free agents to underperform their NHLe numbers. They may jump in and will be what they will be after an adjustment period with little growth due to physically maturing (Arcobello, Miller), unlike high college draft picks who may come in, get a top 6 role and keep improving over the next few years like Eichel and Hanafin.

  30. G Money says:


    Yes, I think your interpretation is a good one, and provides more clarity than my explanation. Thanks!

  31. G Money says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Ha ha, you my friend, are partially correct. Overall, looking across all players, if the regression is valid, about half should overperform, and half should underperform.

    However, the regression provides a line rather than a simple average, and so at any given point (or rather, reasonably small segment) on that line, there can be some systematic variation that means that there will be a bias that pushes that little group towards over or underperformance.

    [The NHLe provided as a number is just a simplified version of the line that drops the intercept. I hope the recent version from Roatis, which I haven’t looked at yet, uses the line rather than just the number … but I’m not holding my breath]

    For example! The reason I did my own NHLe for elite players last year is that I believe that the typical high-NHLe players at the extreme right end of the line tend to outperform the line overall.

    Or to put it another way, I think the actual relationship between pre and post NHL performance is not a straight line, its actually curved a bit at both ends, what they call an inverse s curve, or inverse sigmoid function. (In other words, just as I expect the stars to outperform the line, I expect the coke machines at the far left to systematically underperform the line).

    And sure enough, when I ran my own regression using only top drafted players, I got a significantly higher NHLe than did the full sample regressions. (Of course, mine had wider error bars due to the smaller sample size. No free lunch)

  32. DavyNavy88 says:

    G Money,

    Good response to that G!

    I’ll be sure to let him know what you said.

  33. G Money says:


    Cool … say Hi while you’re at it. Micah and I were colleagues at BLH (I still write for BLH), until he parted ways a week or so ago.

    Also, one way for Micah to tackle the issue of ‘how much is the right amount to adjust’ would be to backtest it. See if he can come up with a rule that systematically predicts/allocates previous draft picks to lines (making sure not to use knowledge that wouldn’t have been available a priori), then try out adjustment factors and see if he can find one (or more likely, a range or a formula) that works reasonably consistently to improve prediction over the NHLe.

  34. OF17 says:

    Even in Paris, the Fort Mac fires are big news. Was listening to French news radio this morning, and it was one of the biggest recurring stories. Even brought a Canadian guest on to talk about it. Never thought Fort McMurray would be front-page news in Paris. It’s too bad it had to be for something so bad.

  35. Oil2Oilers says:

    All these College signings seems like the GM will get a big check mark beside the ‘restock the system’ item on LTs summer check list.

    Admittedly, for me, this was a much lower priority item than the 2 RHD and a backup goalie. But it is still good seeing progress being made. Despite not winning one of the Finish Giants in the draft.

  36. Oiler NCAA Prospects and Competition – Part 1 • The Oilers Rig says:

    […] still managed to put up 1.0 points / game and did so in a 6’1”, 205 lb right-shooting frame. His foot speed might be an issue but he certainly has offence and […]

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