I have seen Adam Larsson play for the New Jersey Devils, but could not begin to attempt a useful description of him. I am blessed with a plethora of smart people in a wide network of hockey people and one of them is Todd Cordell. I asked the questions, answers below belong to Todd.

  1. Larsson plays the tough minutes based on the published numbers. Is he effective in that role? Yes absolutely. His numbers weren’t very good in terms of CF% but that was as much a team issue as it was with him. Of the four Devils’ blue liners to play more than 1,000 minutes at 5 v 5 last season none allowed fewer shot attempts against per 60 minutes than Larsson despite playing heavy defensive minutes against the league’s top players. The Devils’ shot suppression numbers are always good but his were the best of the bunch. That’s impressive given he started 20% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
  2. Offensively, he looks pedestrian, but it is also true that he does not receive PP time. Is he an effective puck mover? Larsson is actually a very underrated puck mover. For the most part his outlets are accurate and over the last two seasons he is tied with Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Kris Letang, Aaron Ekblad and Matt Niskanen with .31 primary assists per 60 minutes of 5 v 5. With better forwards and a more offensive system to work with I expect he’ll be able to put up some points.
  3. Is he a player—in your opinion—who would be better suited as a second pairing option? I don’t know that I’d say that. As mentioned his shot suppression numbers have been fantastic despite playing in a division where he goes up against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Claude Giroux and co. more than any other players. He can handle tough competition, he can handle big minutes and his offensive game is probably better than he’s given credit for. Maybe softer minutes would allow the offense to shine through a little more but I don’t think he is playing over his head.
  4. Does this player cover the $4.2M bet in your opinion? Absolutely. Top-4 defensemen are tough to get so any time you can lock one in – especially at a young age – you do it. He played almost 23 minutes per game last season and, as I mentioned, he is probably a better puck mover than he is given credit for. $4.2M per is good value for Larsson in my opinion.


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214 Responses to "ADAM LARSSON"

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  1. Jethro Tull says:

    Oilspill: Been to Nashville a lot.Seems they are part of the South. His personality will need a huge readjustment.

    If even half of the stereotypes about the southern US are true, why would PK need to change his attitude?

  2. Oilspill says:

    A day later, I am even more confident that the trade was a reasonably good one. But my definition of a good trade is one that hurts a little or, sometimes, a lot..

    Gone are the days when Sam Polluck could pull the wool over someone’s eyes. We should not be expecting one-sided deals in our favour. We should be expecting to pay top dollar, and perhaps a premium, to make some of the changes that everyone in the universe knows the Oilers need to make.

    Building a team means acquiring the right pieces, not just any pieces. the intangibles are vital: we need players who have both skill and character, and a capacity to play as a member of an effective team. We have now have a RD, 23 year old defenseman who is on an upward curve, with the potential to be a #1 D. How can we argue with that? While Larsson may not be an offensive star, having someone who can move or pass the puck out of the zone effectively, and play strong defense, will facilitate more offense indirectly. Rather than watching Hall’s pirouettes to nowhere, we will have more of a team game that leads to team gains, offensively speaking. Those pirouettes were fun to watch, but they were not integrated into a team strategy.Pirouettes without a team strategy lead to one result: bottom of the standings.

    This team needs more than tinkering around the edges. Chirelli is going to give us more than tinkering–more than Band-Aid fixes. Meaningful change is going to hurt, but there will be new growth afterwards. I think Chirelli is doing what no one before him had the guts or ability to do with this team.

    You are right on. We don’t get better waiting with guys who LEAD us to last place finishes. I knew Hall would be gone and RNH would stay. Hall pouted his way around. EBS is 50/50. Fayne is unmoveable even with 50 salary retention due to contract. That will be a weak area this year unless addressed.

  3. UnjustEnrichment says:

    Of course, Yakupov was the wrong pick to begin with. He did not have the intangibles that the Oilers required from a first-overall pick. Picking him was a massive error in judgment, and that error became compounded in value over time through poor development of the player and the coaching carousel.

    Why are we always going for what is flashy rather than for what has substance? Substance? Ryan Murray. Boring but substantial. Also, by the way, a RH defenseman.

    If trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is the “disaster” that some are making it out to be (I do not agree), then drafting Yakupov was a monumental error–an instance of idiocy of the highest degree. At least we have been able to convert Hall into a very good defenseman. What can we convert Yakupov into? Perhaps a 4th or 5th round pick. Talk about throwing away the opportunity represented by a first overall pick!

  4. Pouzar says:

    The only silver lining out of all this is that Nolan Patrick is 6’3″ and a centre who shoots right. The Oilers should be in the mix to pick him at the 2017 draft given that on any given night they will likely have only one line that is a threat to score.

    I remember Pouliot-Nuge-Ebs being good. That’s a pretty solid Line 2.

  5. Evilas says:

    I expect another big move today.

    We wait…..

  6. stevezie says:


    Almost all of this is wrong.

    The problem with Yak isn’t that he doesn’t fit the Oilers, it’s that he doesn’t seem to fit the NHL. The problem is his tangibles.

    At the time be looked like the clear BPA. I agree that trading down looked like the move to make at the time, but the idea that you’re better off with a “substantial” second pairing defenceman than an elite goal scorer is silly. Yak didn’t turn into the one, but the problem there is Yak, not the idea the a first line winger is more rare and valuable than a decent rhD (what is Ryan Murray’s elite skill, again?)

    And you defend the Hall trade because of what you think Larson could be. You’re comparing Larson’s potential to Hall’s present day reality. This is silly.

    NJ should have at least had to balance the difference in present tense contributions with picks or salary. There’s a reason the rest of the league is laughing at this deal.

  7. Sugar Reijo says:

    Woke up this morning with a diamond-splitter headache thinking, ‘Did all that really happen?’

    What makes it worse for me is Hall’s reaction. As has been said countless times he made these last years bearable.

    Weird that both of McDavid’s roommates from last year are now gone. I know there will be those who question what effect severing those emotional ties will have on McDavid going forward in terms of loyalty. Just as you can bet there will be those who wonder if maybe the team’s being aware of those ties lends credence to there being a lot more going on behind the scenes than we know. My own suspicion is Chia knows McDavid is not the type to suffer what Hall did in his time here. McDavid’s only loyalty will be to winning. I guess whether you believe this deal gets us closer to that is the difference between its being painful but palatable or more salt in a decade-long festering wound. Either way, that Hall’s the one to pay the price for so many years of organizational ineptitude makes it hurt no matter what. Bottom line it’s a brutal, brutal business.

  8. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: I remember Pouliot-Nuge-Ebs being good. That’s a pretty solid Line 2.

    And what happens the nights that one or more of those guys is injured? Are the guys who didn’t step up and perform last year going to magically get better?

  9. stevezie says:


    meh, the team is slightly better than you say. We probably sign Lucic and Demers, and are probably okay big picture, which will lead fools to think the trade worked.

    They’ll be missing the point. We lost the trade in which we dealt our most valuable tradeable asset. It was a loss. Losing is for losers. It was a wasted opportunity. I think Larson and a 1st would be a loss. Larson and nothing? Are you insane???

    The Oilers aren’t rich enough to go around losing trades!!!! What the hell are you doing???

    This was a pyrrhic loss!!!! The defences for it are insane, biased, myopic and insane.

  10. stevezie says:

    My exclamation points probably lead y’all to think I’m raging. I’m really not.

    I’ve become less passionate over the last few years because where does all my knowledge and insight get me? I can’t influence the team, yet i am expected to treat their successes and failures as my own? Why?

    If anything i am amused by the buffoonery and baffled by the defence.

  11. wrosychuk says:


    All this is fair. The point you made is that management didn’t drive down Yak’s value YoY; they did, even if it was low to begin with.

    I speculated that Yak could have been a part of a package to acquire Larsson and it’s possible that he COULD have been part of a package to acquire Larsson. It’s not a statement of fact, but a hypothetical based on needs.

    And finally, it’s my opinion that Larsson could have been acquired for less 12 months ago, because I believe the asking price would not have been Taylor Hall.

    However the ultimate point was that we have a talent evaluation team that has a proven track-record of undervaluing historical Oiler’s assets (not acquired by Chia and crew) and overvaluing other teams assets. I can understand paying a slight premium for like-kind assets, but the biggest deals that have transpired are not like-kind assets.

  12. Sugar Reijo says:


    You’re comparing Larson’s potential to Hall’s present day reality. This is silly.

    Is it not reflective though of the market? When you look at, say, Johansen for Jones…or even the rumored ask of Hall/Larkin for Shattenkirk… + no doubt that everybody knew they had Chia over a barrel… I’m really not surprised that he thought his best option was having to place a bet on who would grow into a top pairing guy as opposed to a ready-made #1-2.

    What’s clear is Chia will forever be judged on how this bet turns out. Gords help him if Larsson doesn’t grow into a reasonable facsimile of a really good two-way defenceman. I’m encouraged by what Ken Daneyko’s had to say since the trade but we shall see.

  13. As The Dust Settles - Oilers Summer Shopping List • The Oilers Rig says:

    […] 1.) A top pairing RHD to play with Oscar Klefbom/Andrej Sekera – This item was addressed when the Oilers traded for Adam Larsson earlier in the week. Larsson, who averaged 22:30 TOI per game in 2015-16, is likely to skate along side Oscar Klefbom this coming season. I touched on Larsson and his ability here, while Lowetide has an excellent post on the new defender here. […]

  14. Are The Oilers Done On Defense? • The Oilers Rig says:

    […] might not even be a number two. Todd Cordell, who is a very smart hockey guy, loves the player and Lowetide got a scouting report from him that paints the newest Oiler in a good […]

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