Leon Draisaitl got the call early on October 29, and by early evening he was in Edmonton playing for the Oilers. Montreal was in town, and in front of 16,839, the Habs built a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period. You’ve seen these games before—down early, growing pains, mistakes, it could easily have been 5-0 by the end of the second. The club played a smarter second, and late in the period Leon Draisaitl scored on an unusual play (it was reviewed, of course) to make it 3-1 after two periods. The Oilers gave fans a ripping third period, scoring twice to tie it—and then Leon cashed a dandy Nuge pass to win the game. Sweet, sweet music. Leon scored twice in that game, Taylor Hall assisting both times. It was a fabulous beginning. (No Time).
LEON DRAISAITL 2015-16
- 5×5 points per 60: 2.20 (3rd among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.09 (9th among regular forwards)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 51.8 (first among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 5th toughest competition among regulars (2line)
- Qual Team: best competition among regulars (1line)
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 12.0 (3rd among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 133 shots/14.3%
- Boxcars: 72, 19-32-51
RE 16-17: 75GP, 15-25-40 .533
- You have him going the wrong way. I think this could be a challenging year for Draisaitl, depending on where he lands. His last three seasons are marked by wild swings in performance and deployment, so the margin for error is vast.
- Leon is going to miss Hall. Yes, the trick is figuring out how much. The WOWYs are pretty damning.
- What is the tale of the tape? With Hall, 2.32 points-per-60 at 5×5, and his Corsi for 5×5 percentage 51.6.
- Impressive. Let’s be clear: 34 points in 880 minutes with Hall, that is very, very good—Hall scored 36 points with Leon. The slump in the second half hurt both men.
- What about 5×5 without Hall? In about 160 minutes 5×5, he was 1.13 points-per-60, Corsi for 5×5 percentage 53.3. A lot of the possession spike no doubt had to do with lesser competition.
- That isn’t a good point total. No sir, it is not. I nicked him in his RE because of it, and of course the beginning of his career has been unusual—so this is a tough player to project.
- Any major concerns aside from Hall exit? Well, he faded badly. Leon had a strong run before the AS break (40, 12-25-37) but the post AS break (32, 7-7-14) was not good at all. Leon and Hall faded (Hall was 32, 8-9-17 in the second half).
- Who else did he play well with? All the skill guys. Nuge (4.2), Purcell (2.71), all but Eberle and they played together when 14 came back iirc (it took awhile for the RW). Played well with Maroon and Kassian, not so with Nail but they only played 79 minutes together.
- Who are his current comparables? Using his first two seasons and a tightened age range, the most comparable players are Nathan Horton, David Pastrnak, Jakub Voracek, Brendan Gallagher and Michael Frolik. (Source)
- Very good list. I think he will be an excellent player, would have loved to see him run with Hall and Nuge again in 2016-17.
- Is he going to be a center? I think so, yes.
- Will McDavid, Nuge and Leon spend a decade together? Tough to say. That is an impressive trio—you would have a difficult time naming many who will be better in the next 10 years—but there will come a time when they are all getting paid and the drag on the cap will be massive.
- What kind of player will he be? Leon is going to be a load, on offense (so very skilled, insane passes) and physically (he already wins battles and has some strength to add as he matures), plus he is a determined back checker. Absolutely thrilled with his growth as a player this season.
- Does McLellan like him? Yes, but he is aware of growing pains. McLellan: ”Leon was tremendous at times at centre and other times he got worn out. That was part of being 21 years old in a men’s league.” Source
- Is Leon a lock to stay for a long time? I think he is—if he continues to develop. This will be a difficult year, because there will be expectations and he doesn’t have Hall port side.
- Do you have any idea who PC and McLellan view as the foundation? Pretty sure we have it surrounded.
- Please list the group. Cam Talbot, Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle, Jesse Puljujarvi.
- You forgot Davidson. I am not certain the Oilers value him as an inner circle player at this point. I think he should be a lock for the top 4D, but will be interested to see if the club sees him the same way as the numbers see him. He is not big, merely very effective. I do think there is a chance the Oilers trade him to a team that knows what he is—Davidson is vulnerable as an Oiler at this time. I believe that to be true.
- You listed Reinhart. Yes, I think he is probably a lock to be an Oiler for the next five seasons—especially after the bonus burns off in 2016-17.
- This is the kind of asshattery you engage in all the time. No proof! The past informs us about the future. We will talk about it more in the GR RE.
- Can Leon hit 60 points? I think he could have with Hall driving the line. The last Oilers center to score 60 points (Horcoff and Stoll, 2005-06) came over a decade ago, and the next one is Connor McDavid. Can Leon (or Nuge) join him? That is probably one of the keys to making the playoffs.
- What is best about Leon? His passing is incredible, just fabulous. He is a creative player, and one who can be effective on the forehand and backhand. Smart, great at puck protection. He is also an aggressive player, and has good size.
- What are his weaknesses? His speed has improved but can be an issue—especially last season when he appeared to wilt in the second half. I also think he failed to adjust once NHL teams figured out his tendencies—he will need to adjust, himself.
- Should the Oilers have traded Leon instead of Hall? I believe that would have been the better way, dealing Leon and Darnell and a pick in order to get a complete defender. The Oilers held on to the McDavid cluster, and that is textbook in team building. In this case, it is my opinion that the textbook is wrong.
- Why this song? As always with the Oilers, there is no time left for him to develop—he will be a stone alone many nights this season. Ideally, he centers a third line with Pouliot or Maroon, and an offensive option on RW. He could also fill the 2R role as needed. When injuries hit, he will be forced up the depth chart and that will be a challenge for the young center. No time, no time, no time, no time.