Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers have given us a flurry of recent pro signings, and on a lazy (and cool) Sunday afternoon I looked at one of them: Jere Sallinen. Before we get to the player, I would like to touch on Edmonton’s recent pro signings from Europe. Scouts Frank Musil and Matti Virmanen (along with Alexander Naurov) appear to be the Euro scouts, with Virmanen listed on the pro side.
RECENT EURO SIGNINGS
- August 6, 2010. Signed G Martin Gerber.
- June 19, 2011. Signed Lennart Petrell and Antti Tyrvainen.
- July 4, 2011. Signed G Yann Danis.
- September 15, 2011. Invited D Kirill Tulupov.
- May 30, 2013. Signed D Anton Belov.
- July 5, 2013. Signed F Jesse Joensuu.
- July 18, 2013. Signed D Denis Grebeshkov.
- June 15, 2014. Signed F Iiro Pakarinen.
- May 12, 2015. Signed G Eetu Laurikainen.
- March 13, 2016. Signed L Jere Sallinen.
If there was a dispersal draft of these players, each pick would be a tough choice—but not in the good way. I will say that Iiro Pakarinen looks like a solid get, and maybe that is a sign things are improving. MacT invtested heavily here, I count young Sallinen as the first Chiarelli decision (Laurikainen came during the period of transition).
— »Jokerit Livefeed« (@JokeritLivefeed) March 14, 2016
I have asked around in regard to Sallinen since he was signed by Edmonton and have some information to pass along.
- Sallinen is 25.
- It is a one-year entry level deal.
- There is a youtube of him hitting a player and taking a penalty.
- He is 6.01, 196 according to team website.
- His NHLE from 2015-16 is 82, 10-15-25.
- He played 14:54 a night during the regular season.
- He took almost 300 faceoffs.
- Someone familiar with him told me ”plays straight north/south, not much for hands, energetic, not afraid.” That does fit with Chiarelli’s mission statement.
- 82 hits and 23 blocks in 50 games.
OILERS PRO DEPTH CHART (LW)
- L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player, expert river pusher.
- L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many. Trade rumors.
- L Patrick Maroon, big winger has been exceptional since arrival.
- L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers should try to offload him this summer.
- L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
- L Drake Caggiula. A nice addition, let’s not go crazy on projecting him.
- L Jere Sallinen, Newly signed, going to wheel back and have another look.
- L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
- L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
I have Sallinen on the 2line in Bakersfield currently, but of course there are miles to go. Among the players who Edmonton could sign to push him down the depth chart? Internally, Josh Winquist, Luke Gazdic and Kale Kessy and of course there are all kinds of external options. Joey Benik is also a factor.
OILERS PRO DEPTH CHART (C)
- C Connor McDavid, Giant.
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
- C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
- C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
- C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
- C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
- C Jere Sallinen.
- C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
He could be useful in a checking role (played third and fourth line for Jokerit according to reports) and maybe that will be his role in Bakersfield. Despite his NHLE and his scouting report being a match for Chiarelli teams, I think this is more of a Klinkhammer or Pitlick level replacement—and not an NHL option. The Oilers updated 50-man list is here.
I think Jim Matheson had an interesting take at the time of the Sallinen signing:
- The Oilers’ signing of Finnish winger Jere Sallinen, Minnesota’s sixth-round pick in 2009, is a head-scratcher because he has no history of scoring and he’s 183 pounds, but the book on him is he competes hard. “I think he had back problems for a couple of years after Minnesota drafted him, which set him back,” said one long-time NHL amateur scout. Ex-Oiler Jesse Joensuu plays on the same Jokerit KHL team as Sallinen, who is the seventh highest-point producer among forwards there. Source
Iiro Pakarinen is a player I like, but the truth is most of the signings from across the pond have been porridge. That’s a fact. Sallinen was a checking line forward on a KHL team last season, so the opening of his Oilers story begins in a humble manner. Best to go into the season with those expectations.