OILERS 2016-17: THE RE’S BEGIN

by Lowetide

I am finishing up the RE numbers for 2016-17, and once again the AHL farm team will have a major impact on the proceedings. My estimates have 12 recalls—at least one player from every position—and of course some players will go up and down more than once during the year. As a preamble to this post, here is the complete recall list from a year ago (first recall only):

  1. October 19 Andrew Miller
  2. October 22 Iiro Pakarinen
  3. October 26 Darnell Nurse
  4. October 29 Leon Draisaitl
  5. November 12 Anton Slepyshev
  6. November 26 Jujhar Khaira
  7. December 5 Ryan Hamilton
  8. December 26 Brad Hunt
  9. January 13 Zack Kassian
  10. January 22 Griffin Reinhart
  11. February 10 Laurent Brossoit
  12. February 21 Jordan Oesterle

When I look for candidates for recall, last season’s performances have a major impact—along with age, spike in performance and professional experience. Eric Rodgers gifted us with AHL TOI estimates for Bakersfield along with NHLE here, and below—by position—is the heart of the Condors 2016-17 roster and the Oilers recall pool.

BAKERSFIELD RIGHT WINGERS

bakersfield rw

The look at recalls begins on RW, where a ragtag group of former draft picks will attempt to push through the competition and find the NHL. Added to the usual competition (Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Zack Kassian, Iiro Pakarinen), top pick Jesse Puljujarvi will also be at training camp and will get a very long look. Recent signing Taylor Beck (2.14 points-per-60 according to Prospect-Stats—about equal to Pitlick) and college man Patrick Russell are also in photo—and both could find a way to the NHL in 2016-17.

BAKERSFIELD CENTERS

BAKERSFIELD C

Khaira stepped forward offensively last season, expect he is going to get at least one NHL look in the coming season. Edmonton has Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Letestu and Anton Lander as center options—but I think JJ Khaira has at least a shot to win an opening night job. Yakimov and Platzer need the kind of season Khaira posted in 2015-16.

BAKERSFIELD LEFT WINGERS

bakersfield lw

Clearly the weak spot at the minor league level, LW received a lot of attention this spring, with the additions of Drake Caggiula and Jere Sallinen. Edmonton will run Milan Lucic, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon and Matt Hendricks in 2016-17 (likely), so the need for LW at the NHL level will not be as strong. Men like Anton Lander and Iiro Pakarinen could also fill on the port side. I think Caggiula will be a strong recall candidate by the All-Star break (or before).

BAKERSFIELD DEFENSE

BAKERSFIELD D ROD

Jordan Oesterle posted a strong season in Bakersfield during 2015-16, his recall obscures the strength of it (boxcars are outstanding, but in a little over one half a season). Edmonton has added Adam Larsson to Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Mark Fayne and Darnell Nurse, so some of these names will play in Edmonton during the winter. Mark Fraser was also added and could see playing time.

AVAILABLE JOBS

  • Backup goalie—As we have discussed a few times during the last few days, Brossoit has enough potential to be (imo) a consideration for the job. Jonas Gustavsson could easily be sent down instead of LB.
  • Depth defenseman—The Oilers will be running through defensemen a mile a minute I am sure, and someone has to be the 7D. Obvious candidates above and of course the summer isn’t over yet. Jordan Oesterle has a lot of good arrows.
  • Center—I am not certain Anton Lander wins a job out of TC. You might see Jujhar Khaira grab the 13F job and double as 5C, leaving the 14F job to a winger.
  • Left Wing—Matt Hendricks turned 35 in June, was drafted in 2000 and has outlasted a ton of picks from that year (including No. 1 overall). I think this season may see someone catch the veteran, and if the veteran holds his value all season a deadline trade could be in his future.
  • Right Wing—A fluid position that could see any number of players emerge. For Slepyshev, who impressed Todd McLellan last fall, a summer of running up that hill is probably wise. Pitlick? Stay healthy young man!

One final note: Notice the top NHLE posted last winter via Rodgers numbers listed here? That’s right—Jordan Oesterle.

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Moose

For the past 3 years I’ve been saying “THIS is the year…” Pitlick stays healthy and scores 10-12 goals, plays up and down the lineup, creates havoc on the forecheck and generally turns into a value contract NHLer. Clearly that went well.

It’s crazy to watch him play, see all the tools, the ability to play with good players and yet nothing to show for it. So, I just want to stress that this is NOT the year. It’s NOT. You heard me. This is NOT the year. 😉

theres oil in virginia

Ryan,

This is pretty much how I see it too. The Oilers lost that trade, hands down, but I can see how Chiarelli thought that it was okay to lose the trade when he had Lucic available to help fill the gap left by Hall. (As a side note, Lucic more than fills the gap in some ways, such as heaviness/snarl, and veteran experience, while obviously lacking in offensive talent.) However, it all depends on Larsson and how good he is and becomes. If he struggles, oh boy.

Your post (and others above) also captures the essence of what the lay of the land looks like. There are a lot of big question marks on the roster, and the Oilers just traded away one of their stars. This might work out, but then again it could be a flaming disaster.

Ryan

kinger_OIL:
Lowetide,

– I don’t believe there was a trade better than Hall for Larsson.Of course that’s only my opinion.I’m pretty sure Chia tried the : “How about Ebs + for Larsson?” then got grinded down…

– Of the RH’s that moved, which one should we have got.Demers wasn’t signing, PK too much.

– Going into this season with last year’s Forwards,and no moves for better D was not an option

I too have rationalized the trade based upon the available market and the Oilers pressing need at right d.

However, that rationization is contingent upon Larsson being a legit #2 defensemen.

After Fayne, I have a natural distrust of Jersey dmen and anyone who’s paired with the ageless Andy Greene.

For that matter, I would not extend any great degree of confidence to the Oilers professional scouting staff over the past several years either. I have no clue who’s in charge now.

A recent article at the COH by a former scout paints the picture of Larsson as an off the glass and out type who relied on Greene to transition the puck.

It’s a terrifying thought.

After watching the Oilers over the years, they certain need more dmen who can transition the puck and especially hit some stretch passes. If Larsson doesn’t fit that bill, Lordy.

If the Oilers traded Hall for a number 4 dman… Fun times ahead.

kinger_OIL

Lowetide,

– I don’t believe there was a trade better than Hall for Larsson. Of course that’s only my opinion. I’m pretty sure Chia tried the : “How about Ebs + for Larsson?” then got grinded down…

– Of the RH’s that moved, which one should we have got. Demers wasn’t signing, PK too much.

– Going into this season with last year’s Forwards, and no moves for better D was not an option

theDjdj

Lowetide,

I’ve been meaning to ask but didn’t want to interrupt the flow of comments. A while back you posted about Guy Clark dying and I’ve a request. Ever since I’ve been on a massive Guy Clarke binge. Bit of a crush, really.

I was hoping, as a man of the radio, you’d have some comparable artists I could expand out to. I find most country artists lose their authenticity pandering to that “nashville” sound. I don’t particularly like that pop infused brand. I like storytellers.

I’d also humbly recommend Guy Clark as your RE man.

jonrmcleod

“Steve Smith”: Benning doesn’t read, silly.

Didn’t I see a picture of an Archie comic on the Canucks’ draft table?

Chachi

“Steve Smith”:
Lowetide,

My vote is Neil Young.Yeah, you’ve done him, but you’d have to do eight or nine Neil Young REs before you’d be down Eaglesian levels.

This is the truth.

"Steve Smith"

Lowetide,

My vote is Neil Young. Yeah, you’ve done him, but you’d have to do eight or nine Neil Young REs before you’d be down Eaglesian levels.

"Steve Smith"

Chachi: I don’t think “Scott Fraser” means what you think it means. I get your point, but at least use a player with somewhat similar draft pedigree (Rowbear Nilson perhaps?) who seemed to “get it” and then have his career implode. Fraser was a 9th(!) round pick who was around 26 years old when he had his 20ish game out of body experience.

That’s fair – my point was intentionally flippant, and Draisaitl is clearly not Scott Fraser. But the parallel holds at least to the extent of getting super excited about small samples.

Pouzar:
So we rip our own and want to trade them because “perceived value”.

Got it.

Who’s ripping who? I’m saying we shouldn’t be signing Draisaitl to a $6 million contract extension. And I’m saying that we should be trading people that other teams would be excited about, rather than players who have diminished value because they’ve been the best player on a terrible team (and are therefore the cause of the team being terrible) and who we’re assured by anonymous shitheads are locker room cancers.

Pouzar:
Hope Benning doesn’t read this blog.

Benning doesn’t read, silly.

franksterra

you done Credence yet LT?

with all the Eagles love we need a Lebowskian counter.

plus they just stands on their own merit

BONE207

Lowetide: I don’t hate Peter Chiarelli, he was the architect of the Bruins 2011 Stanley—that makes him bona fide! That said, we all have opinions and I have mine, express them and stand by them. The Hall for Larsson trade was a bad deal, which does NOT mean Chiarelli will be fired into the sun.

It DOES mean that he is bleeding talent to fix this roster in a way that some of us—me, others—find shocking. I have expressed that, and do believe that another dreadful season will have PC in a position of weakness.

Because of that, I worry about what lengths he may go to in order to ensure success. What might he give up for a goalie in November if the season goes south? A lot, I bet. Pretty sure.

Of course you don’t hate him. Hall was like a son to me as well. At this point, all the players we hope we can count on just have to produce. I don’t see this as being any different than other players on other teams. I think TMac has to use his lines better than last year and get a damn PP. If the dressing room has the right guys to pull together, I think we could see some growth.

YKOil

With Lowetide on this. PC is much, much better than the old guard but if he keeps up like this there i no Cup in McDavid’s future. At least not with the Oilers.

BONE207

I’m with Soup…

Eagles for the RE for this summer.

Hall is gone…Get Over It
Oilers are in it for …The Long Run
For now let’s enjoy…A Peaceful Easy Feeling
Lucic has left…Hotel California
While summer is here let’s enjoy a…Tequila Sunrise
When the fall arrives, those looking to play with CMD better get used to…Life in The Fast Lane
This team hopefully has…No More Cloudy Days
Hopefully the fans don’t become…Victims of Love for the 11th time.

BONE207

Ok LT…
Since I listen to your show and read your blog ever since the McDavid event, that rant about the $4 billion & what you would do with it, I’m convinced you want Chia Pete out. Why do you hate the man? Maybe he has done lots of good and with a little luck (non-Oiler kind) we’ll have some incredible results. I know I’m your age and this yelling at the clouds is bad for blood pressure. Healthy skepticism aside, all I can do is wait for hopefully an exciting season. We have CMD and after that, I’ll sit in the roller coaster again at least until a playoff decision has been finalized. Let’s see how long we ride…

Water Fire

Benning is Burke’s Mini Me and we’re trapped between them!!

Pouzar

So we rip our own and want to trade them because “perceived value”.

Got it.

Hope Benning doesn’t read this blog.

OilFire

Romulus Apotheosis:
Talking nonsense about Draisaitl… curs! The lot of ya.

Are you cussing at me?
If you’re gonna cuss with somebody, you’re not gonna cuss with me, you little cuss!

Oh, “curs.” Carry on then.

Richard S.S.

“Steve Smith”,

Most of my life I was so busy I barely had time to sleep and never got everything done I wanted to. Now my job gives me as many days off as I work – 12 Hr shifts do that – and now I cannot do everything I want to do, so I hang here.

Chachi

“Steve Smith”: …and that’s why Scott Fraser has a promising future with the Edmonton Oilers.

Look, I like Draisaitl, and think he probably has an impressive NHL career ahead of him.But you’re getting way, way ahead of things (though not quite as ahead of things as those who had him as our second most untouchable asset after McDavid).

I don’t think “Scott Fraser” means what you think it means. I get your point, but at least use a player with somewhat similar draft pedigree (Rowbear Nilson perhaps?) who seemed to “get it” and then have his career implode. Fraser was a 9th(!) round pick who was around 26 years old when he had his 20ish game out of body experience.

Water Fire

Terry Jacks and the Poppy Family. Seasons in the Sun for the Glory Days

Gret99zky

RE music:

The Tenors

Romulus Apotheosis

You’re all getting pepper in your morning porridge.

Talking nonsense about Draisaitl… curs! The lot of ya.

Water Fire

Centre of attention: Draisaitl has a fine shot, he just needs to use it more. He has a bad case of “Eberle syndrome”.

Try telling Jumbo Joe pass first guys get shut down easy.

*edit* https://www.nhl.com/video/draisaitl-extends-oilers-lead/c-40847903?tag=playerId&tagValue=8477934Check out that disgusting wrist shot.

Jumbo had 3 to 1 assists to goals. One of the D they played in playoffs was asked the plan to shut him down and he said everyone knows he’s looking for Pavelski ……. Crosby was close to 1:1. I felt sorry for him getting so close and not able to do much in the final to achieve his goal.

Drai and Eberle are accurate shooters but lack velocity like Crosby who has a deadly release and heat or Kessel for example. If guys can beat goalies clean often it puts goalies off a bit. It opens everything up for them. I hope Mc David works on his, Crosby did. Nuge too, he would be a different player if he was more dangerous to score himself.

Centre of attention

russ99: Not necessarily. Instead of a soft minutes 3rd line you run a dump it in and keep it there line of Maroon, Letestu/Hendricks and Kassian.

Would be a huge Corsi driver line and wear out the D for the skill guys, and wouldn’t be a slouch on D either.

Yakupov is really the sticky wicket. We really should have moved him, but we could do worse as a replacement when injury inevitably strikes. I just don’t see him getting muchbetter in a McLellan system.

I don’t think Letestu and “corsi driver” belong in the same sentence.

We need a substantial third line, and Letestu has not been the answer to date.

"Steve Smith"

Richard S.S.:
“Steve Smith”,

Scott who?

It’s almost like you’re trying to support my argument.

"Steve Smith"

stevezie,

Yeah – as I’ve said elsewhere, I had Drai and Nurse as the two assets I’d most like to see traded, not because I don’t like either player, but because I thought both of high ratios of perceived value to actual value.*

*I mean actual value if they remain on the hockey team and are not involved in transactions. I recognize that, in a marketplace, perceived value *is* actual value, so you snarky economists can hold off on your snarky economics.

russ99

Centre of attention: Yeah thinking about it now, it wouldn’t work unless we get a third line center. I got ahead of myself a bit putting Draisaitl on McDavids wing.

One of Nuge or Drai need to be third line center or else bad things happen when the top 6 is off the ice.

Exactly.

Not necessarily. Instead of a soft minutes 3rd line you run a dump it in and keep it there line of Maroon, Letestu/Hendricks and Kassian.

Would be a huge Corsi driver line and wear out the D for the skill guys, and wouldn’t be a slouch on D either.

Yakupov is really the sticky wicket. We really should have moved him, but we could do worse as a replacement when injury inevitably strikes. I just don’t see him getting much better in a McLellan system.

stevezie

“Steve Smith”,

I agree.

Management is definitely among the convinced, because after Hall Drai surely had the most trade value (a 214 lb centre who scored fifty points in his nineteen year old season?)

That they traded Hall at a discount tells me a) they don’t like Hall personally, and/or b) They straight-up liked Drai better.

The second seems more likely (and defensible) to me. So… wow. They have more faith than i do.

Richard S.S.

“Steve Smith”,

Scott who?

Lowetide,

An Offer Sheet is waiting, of that I am sure. Is he a huge trade asset, oh, my god, yes. I would not be surprised by either.

AsiaOil

Didn’t people see the numbers G and WG put up yesterday. Reinhart was better than Nurse, and I’d bet if you only looked at the post-recall period – he would be substantially better. This guy really is LT’s new Smid. Oesterle has some great skills but many are forgetting (or overlooking) how badly he got manhandled in the defensive zone the last 5 games of the season. Teams figured out that you could attack him and he would offer zero resistance. Too weak to break a cycle to save his life. That said – he has some superb zone exit numbers and is a great skater – if he can become strong enough to simply hold his own against average sized guys he’ll be great. But that day is not likely to arrive this training camp.

Options are pretty simply. You keep Nurse as he’s draft exempt and trade one of GR/Davey/Sekera at the trade deadline depending on how the season rolls out. Dmen trade for a premium at that time. Exceptions to this are if a team offers a big overpay for Nurse (eye-glow and exempt status) or if Klef has further problems.

"Steve Smith"

Lowetide: another year will come soon and we will have more of the pages fill with words.

Man I love words.

"Steve Smith"

Richard S.S.: It’s impossible to be amazing as Leon was early, without a light coming on, the “I got it” moment occurring.

…and that’s why Scott Fraser has a promising future with the Edmonton Oilers.

Look, I like Draisaitl, and think he probably has an impressive NHL career ahead of him. But you’re getting way, way ahead of things (though not quite as ahead of things as those who had him as our second most untouchable asset after McDavid).

"Steve Smith"

HeatTreaterJoe: *EDIT* Whatever happened to Roy?

Marco? Olivier? Mathieu? Patrick? Orbison? Koopa?

JimmyV1965

Someone I really respect told me that Nurse needs to stay up in the bigs because he’s so skilled he can get away with mistakes in the minors and still recover. He needs to be in the NHL so he can learn not to make those mistakes.

Richard S.S.

According to people on this site, Leon got hurt. An Oiler Fan I trust said he got hung out to dry then. He concealed it and kept playing – like crap, for far longer than he should. You should remember when McDavid and the Nuge got hurt. It almost became the Mark Letestu Show as the #1 Center.

It’s impossible to be amazing as Leon was early, without a light coming on, the “I got it” moment occurring. I fully expect an Offer Sheet will come in it’s time if the Oilers don’t meet his price, and his Agent knows it. He’s well on his way to being better than Nuge. Anyone that disagrees is in for a surprise. He just might be better than Hall. That’s why I hate the Cap, any Cap.

Water Fire

Centre of attention:
Oesterle has speed to burn and his brain is starting to catch up to his feet.

The kid looked cool as a cucumber playing top 4 in the NHL (on his offside, with another rookie!) and will probably get better as time goes on. He swam upstream against the mushy middle according to the WoodMoney™ metric as well. All positive arrows.

At what point does one of Davidson / Oesterle make Sekera redundant? If we can find a taker, the future cap situation dictates we should find a suitor in two years or so. I am not trying to run Sekera out of town, just musing about the future is all.

Oesterle played so well last season he would have stuck IMO – IF – he was 10-15 lbs heavier. He doesn’t have to be a basher but he needs a little more strength and mass to play NHL forwards and not get manhandled. Built up more like Krug or Barrie who are both 2-3 inches shorter and 10 lbs heavier.

Oesterle is listed as 6′ just over 180, he can put on 10 lbs no problem, likely more. If he does I say he’s in the league somewhere soon with his speed skill and brains.

JimmyV1965

Centre of attention: Yeah thinking about it now, it wouldn’t work unless we get a third line center. I got ahead of myself a bit putting Draisaitl on McDavids wing.

One of Nuge or Drai need to be third line center or else bad things happen when the top 6 is off the ice.

Exactly.

C is an area of strength. I’m pretty happy with McDavid and RNH and then Drai as the young apprentice. Would be an absolute beauty if we could land a legit 3C and start Drai on the wing.

Water Fire

square_wheels:
stush18,

His foot speed will be an issue at the NHL, but not because he can’t survive with it (lots do fine). His issue will be convincing an NHL club to provide him an opportunity to play with a decent skating vet. If we had a Brian Campbell or a younger Dan Boyle on the right side he might stand a chance. I love his ability to defend, suspect he’d be a darling of the Rickibox.

Musil’s issue is being a tad slow and a rounder. He’s a good overall player with no particular strength.

IMO the issue with guys like this is that there are a lot of unspectacular good players to be had. If you have no offense and are a ‘defensive defenseman’ which means you can’t skate or are puck optional or both, something has to stand out.

It’s almost always violence, and possibly RHS. The big knock against Reinhart was aggression more than speed. Musil needs to get dirty and fierce and he’ll get his shot. If he can beat a few guys down even better for him.

kinger_OIL

Lowetide: I think Reinhart stays to be honest. The bet on him being ready is done, but there is no reason to believe he cannot play in the NHL.

– Most teams wouldn’t have a problem with Griff on bottom pair next year: his numbers are there, and its fill or kill time.

– Don’t disagree with your projections on D as of now, but all of Griff AND Davidson AND NURSE AND Osterle as your #4-7 D as it stands right now is hoping a lot on them, and hoping a lot that Klef is fine, and Larsson will be at least as effective here as he was in NJ.

– This is not a playoff team right now: I wonder if most here would agree?

Centre of attention

Water Fire: It’s too bad Draisaitl doesn’t have a better shot given his strength. It would make him a really dangerous player, especially PP. Pass first guys get shut down a lot more easily. Maybe he’ll work on it, maybe his weird stick won’t allow it.

Draisaitl has a fine shot, he just needs to use it more. He has a bad case of “Eberle syndrome”.

Try telling Jumbo Joe pass first guys get shut down easy.

*edit* https://www.nhl.com/video/draisaitl-extends-oilers-lead/c-40847903?tag=playerId&tagValue=8477934 Check out that disgusting wrist shot.

Water Fire

mit167:
I could see McD and Drai on the PP together.

I could see a PP1 of

Lucic McD Drai
Sekera Davidson / Yak

and a PP2 of

Pou RNH Ebs
Klef Larson

Not horrible

It’s too bad Draisaitl doesn’t have a better shot given his strength. It would make him a really dangerous player, especially PP. Pass first guys get shut down a lot more easily. Maybe he’ll work on it, maybe his weird stick won’t allow it.

Centre of attention

square_wheels:
Centre of attention,

I’d prefer Maroon or Pou on that line and Lucic with RNH and Ebs. Lucic is a great give and go winger, someone needs to keep up to RNH and we know Ebs will be late man ready to bury.

Speaking of Ebs, curious if this off season he goes into a decent camp to get into the best shape of his life. He needs to maintain that late season production. Ideally he spends no time dusting pucks off and all his time one-timing.

Yeah thinking about it now, it wouldn’t work unless we get a third line center. I got ahead of myself a bit putting Draisaitl on McDavids wing.

One of Nuge or Drai need to be third line center or else bad things happen when the top 6 is off the ice.

Pouzar:
Man, I thought Center was a position of strength here.
This is depressing.

Exactly.

Water Fire

striatic:
George McPhee named GM of Las Vegas. Oilers drafted his son Graham.

Chia is a skeemer, a brilliant move, and the lad isn’t too bad a prospect. Might be important, might not.

square_wheels

Centre of attention,

I’d prefer Maroon or Pou on that line and Lucic with RNH and Ebs. Lucic is a great give and go winger, someone needs to keep up to RNH and we know Ebs will be late man ready to bury.

Speaking of Ebs, curious if this off season he goes into a decent camp to get into the best shape of his life. He needs to maintain that late season production. Ideally he spends no time dusting pucks off and all his time one-timing.

mit167

I could see McD and Drai on the PP together.

I could see a PP1 of

Lucic McD Drai
Sekera Davidson / Yak

and a PP2 of

Pou RNH Ebs
Klef Larson

Not horrible

HT Joe

This is not a snark at anyone in particular, and this only really demonstrates what the Oilers organization has done to me as a fan…

Whenever somebody suggests that the Oilers should try Drai on McDavid’s wing (or even RNH’s wing), all I hear is “Put Yak with Letestu and then complain when he’s not producing”

AGGGHH!

Sorry everyone… moving along now.

/End Rant

*EDIT* Whatever happened to Roy?