Earlier today, Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post had an excellent quote from Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan:
- “You know, we’ve talked about it: It’s turned into a top-nine league. I don’t know that we had a pure top nine. Maybe we had a top eight or a top seven-and-a-half or however you want to value that, but I think we were a little short on the top nine. I think you need two-way guys, guys who can play both ways. Ideally for us, I think we need some offense out of it.” Source
This is a really insightful passage. As you know, I have been rambling on forever about adding a Pisani—and the Capitals GM feels his team needs that guy, too. The top-nine league is something we have discussed at length—but we usually chat about adding another offensive player to the mix.
Edmonton’s department of youth is low on two-way talents. I would rate RNH as a bona fide two-way center, and Connor McDavid is such a smart player (and fast) it is a good bet he will be a 200-foot center for a long time. After that? Hall has become more responsible (I will credit Dallas Eakins with getting that ball rolling), Benoit Pouliot is a fine forechecker while Patrick Maroon may be able to hack a few ties. Leon Draisaitl? Suspect he will get there.
- Hall—Nuge—Loui Eriksson
- Maroon—Draisaitl—Kris Versteeg
If only it didn’t cost so much! The solution? Some of those draft picks (Tobias Rieder, Magnus Paajarvi, Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton) needed to be signed and or find their way to productive NHL jobs. Washington is looking to add one or two complementary bodies, I think Edmonton has too few two-way types (Nuge, Pouliot) to contend. We wait.
Matt Tkachuk hammers Provorov to the ice, then scoots up ice with Marner to exploit breach, wires home a shot on 2-on-1. 4-0 Knights. Clinic
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) May 24, 2016
My friend Bruce McCurdy has a nice writeup on last night’s freakout by the Knights and a lot of good insight into Matt Tkachuk and Olli Juolevi. Bruce will join me tomorrow to discuss, the Knights likely to make the Q look foolish in Central Alberta this evening.
Note: People are getting their opinions in a knot about Matt Tkachuk and the possibility of his being drafted by the Oilers. First, we are miles from knowing. Second, I do think Dubois has more range as a two-way player and should be the pick, but there are lots of things we do not know. If you listen to Peter Chiarelli’s words, I think it is reasonable to suggest Edmonton might prefer to trade down (with something for Arizona), grab No. 7 and Connor Murphy and use the pick on Sergachev or Juolevi. I believe it could happen just that way.
BAKERSFIELD FORENSIC FILES
Eric Rodgers is at it again! Although the Barons moved from OKC, he ran his estimates long distance and published them here. Fabulous work, please click through and read. I am going to borrow liberally but there is a mountain of information in that link. I will have more tomorrow, but wanted to publish some year over year comparisons (I talked about last year’s numbers here). These are estimated points per 60 in all disciplines.
- L Josh Winquist: Spiked from 1.98 to 3.35 this year.
- R Tyler Pitlick: Down slightly from 2.27 to 2.13 this year.
- C Jujhar Khaira: Up from 1.06 to 2.05 this year.
- C Bogdan Yakimov: Down from 1.87 to 1.58 this year.
- L Mitch Moroz: Up from 0.93 to 0.99 this year.
- L Kale Kessy: Down from 1.56 to 0.96 this year.
- D Jordan Oesterle: Up from 1.30 to 1.61 this year.
- D Dillon Simpson: Up from 0.88 to 1.30 this year.
- D David Musil: Up from 0.66 to 0.69 this year.
- Sign Josh Winquist!
- JJ Khaira looks pretty good year over year.
- Tyler Pitlick should keep trying for that NHL career.
- Bogdan Yakimov needs more lumber.
- Jordan Oesterle improved year over year, might have an NHL career.
- Dillon Simpson keeps improving, has since he left the AJHL.
- David Musil’s offense is not substantial.