by Lowetide

Among the least predictable careers in recent memory, Anton Lander surely must rank high. Rushed to the NHL for no good reason after coming over from Sweden, he didn’t put the puck in the ocean for (basically) an entire year. Lander scored two NHL goals in 2011-12, and would not score another until 2014-15. Last season, he scored just one goal in 61 games and that might have sealed his fate as an Edmonton Oilers center. (Oblivion)


  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.33 (15th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil (in 49 minutes and 51 seconds)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 47.3
  • Qual Comp: 4th line competition
  • Qual Team: 4th line teammates
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -8.1
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 54 shots/1.9%
  • Boxcars: 61, 1-2-3 .049


vollman centers

RE 16-17: 50GP, 2-5-7 .140


  1. How bad was it? Last season, the NHL employed 378 forwards who played more than 400 minutes. Lander’s 0.33 points-per-60 at 5×5 ranked him No. 375 overall—ahead of only Boyd Gordon, Paul Gaustad and Jacob Josefsen.
  2. And he did it against the soft parade? He played soft opposition, but did have 62.5 percent of his zone starts in the defensive end, according to hockey-reference.
  3. There should have been more offense, though. Yes. Much more. Lander had a reasonable half season under Todd Nelson (38gp, 6-14-20 in 2014-15) and had a hat trick in pre-season. He looked good, but when the regular season began he was snake bitten, could not find the ocean again.
  4. Is it over? It might be. You could make the case that Lander is hanging by a thread on this roster.
  5. Does he have a job right now? Unsure. Edmonton ended up using Matt Hendricks a bunch at center last season, because the back end of the center position fell flat. Bad, bad sign.
  6. Chiarelli hasn’t replaced Lander though. Tough for Lander to be in the opening night lineup as things stand. If you look at the depth chart (McDavid, Nuge, Leon, Letestu) the 5C job is open, and if the club is going to add another pivot I imagine it would be 3C for those times when Draisaitl plays RW.
  7. Lander can’t play 3C? Anton Lander’s NHL offense per 82 games is 4-9-13.
  8. You are being pretty negative here. This is a terrible result for the organization. Lander had talent (and issues, speed being the biggest) but as happens so often with this team, the development did not follow any rational plan and we are here.
  9. He isn’t that bad. Lordy. Anton Lander and his lack of offense had an impact on the Oilers last season, don’t kid yourself. It reminds me of the olden days when the Expos had guys like Tim Raines lapping the field of NL outfielders while Doug Flynn gave it all back at second base.
  10. What in hell does that even mean? Connor McDavid makes the Oilers very good when he is on the ice, but Lander could not deliver much at all in his time on ice. The net benefit of both men’s performance is far lower, because Edmonton gave much of their advantage back when Lander was on the ice.
  11. Lander doesn’t even play that much! In 550 even-strength minutes last season, he posted 1-2-3. In the same amount of time, Tanner Glass went 3-3-6. Tanner Glass!
  12. He was playing in bad luck! I think he was, and there is some evidence. His shooting percentage was 1.9 (54 shots). That is damned near impossible for a forward.
  13. Maybe cut him some slack. I don’t know if he has any slack left. Seriously.
  14. Who did he play with? Iiro Pakarinen (50.8 Corsi for 5×5 percentage in 152 minutes); Lauri Korpikoski (41.6 in 148) and Teddy Purcell (47.8 in 125 minutes).
  15. That Korpikoski number is awful. Honestly, LK was a drag on everyone.
  16. Can Lander save his career? Yes. I think so. He will need to be damned handy from the moment he checks in during training camp, though.
  17. Who is his competition? At center, the top four (McDavid, Nuge, Leon, Letestu) are set. After that, I would put Lander and Matt Hendricks about even. Next would be Jujhar Khaira, Drake Caggiula, Jere Sallinen.
  18. What about overall? I would suggest the likely 14Fs (could be 13) would be McDavid, Eberle, Lucic, Nuge, Draisaitl, Pouliot, Puljujarvi, Maroon, Yakupov, Kassian, Letestu, Pakarinen, Hendricks, Lander.
  19. Lander is 14F? Maybe. Khaira might win the day. Caggiula, Pitlick, Beck, Sallinen, there are lots of options and Lander’s performance has opened the door.
  20. What happens now? We will see. Lander got a bit of a break when Bogdan Yakimov was loaned to the KHL, and the Oilers have not added anyone at center. The problem really comes down to Lander’s performance in training camp I believe. He needs to show very well, and outplay the contenders.
  21. What about PK? Maybe. Letestu, Lander, Korpikoski and Hendricks all played more than 100 minutes on the PK a year ago, Oilers giving up 46 goals on the 4×5. Edmonton may be able to afford using Nuge more in that area, he was the best at Corsi Rel to team a year ago.
  22. Are you seriously preparing me for Lander to be waived? It could happen.
  23. Would you prefer Khaira? At this point, I think the smart play would be to give Lander one more season to see if he can right the ship. Probably just my remembering his performance under Todd Nelson and that pre-season hat trick.
  24. What do you think happens? No idea. Lander is 193 games into his NHL career and is still not established. He has chosen the Marc Pouliot path, it is a road less traveled for good reason.
  25. Why this song? The title fits and this is a wonderful, wonderful song. Heartbreaking lyric, awful awful that anyone would ever have to worry this much about going out at night alone. Finally, as someone who worked Top 40 radio for a decade (the 80s), this song has more hooks than anything I ever played. Fabulous song. Also, the video is filmed at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the scene of multiple heartbreaks.

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[…] friend of the site Allan Mitchell wrote on Saturday, the Oilers would be fully justified in making such a decision. Lander failed to build on his […]


“Next would be Jujhar Khaira, Drake Caggiula, Jere Sallinen.”

Does anyone know if these three spent much time on the PK? or their F/O %’s???

Lander’s value seems exclusively on the PK or defensive zone draws.

Often last year it seemed Lander really wasn’t trying to create offense. His confidence was shot.

It would be very Oilers to toss Lander overboard and put a rookie like Caggiula or Sallinen into a critical role like penalty kill and faceoffs.

And none of McDavid, Nuge or Drai are particularly good at winning faceoffs at present.


I wonder if this is a spot Lander could get back to. He was good there two years ago.

I agree that the net front guy takes too much abuse but it’s not as bad as it was in Simpsons era. D men could do anything to anyone near the crease back in the day.

Lucic I imagine would take less than most out of fear of reprisals; however I’m not sure that this is the best spot for him and, as you pointed out, his career numbers seem to back that up.



Mr DeBakey,

Difference could be 5v3 TOI. has this from last year:


NOTE: SHA combines data from both teams, so Maroon is both ANA and EDM.

Oilers need to replace Korpse in that he was the guy mucking up the front of the net and getting the rebound points.

If my memory is correct, that is where TheTestu played as well.

Many assume Lucic would be that guy, but his points/60 5v4 don’t suggest that he’s that guy:

15/16 2.83
14/15 3.27
13/14 3.90

Its a tough spot to play because you are constantly abused by the Dmen. Playing there shortened Craig Simpson’s career considerably due to back injuries from being cross checked all the time.

I can see why a coach would put a “lesser 5v5 player” in that spot like Korpse or TheTestu as you don’t want your 5v5 drivers being beat to shit on the 5v4.


I agree with you on Sekera.

For all the shit some local media (particularly Gregor) give Sekera for hitting shin pads, his 4.24 was 32nd in the NHL among Dmen who played at least 50 minutes.

His Individual Fenwick/60 was 20.93, which was good for 12th in the NHL (these are all unblocked shots/60)

His Individual Shot Rate/60 14.34 and was good for 17th in the NHL.

I’ve mentioned these numbers to Gregor when he was shit talking Sekera’s ability on the PP and calling for him to be removed from it, but I don’t know if this new information has made a difference in his opinion.


Hall has 2 straight years of really mediocre PP results (14-15 was really bad at 2.36 PPP/60) but he was fine before that. Not sure what’s going on but the trend has been generally downward since 12-13 season. I was pondering Hall comps the last week and this popped out at me today – James Neal is a pretty darn close match. Few more ES goals and few less ES points – and PP production is a mirror.

Hall – 2015-16
ESP/60 0.97
ESG/60 2.47
PPP/60 2.75
PPG/60 1.12
Corsi rel/on/off 12.4 5.68 -6.73

Neal – 2015-16
ESP/60 1.26
ESG/60 1.97
PPP/60 2.71
Corsi rel/on/off 7.2 10.35 3.20

NAS has a ton of really nice forwards and I’d really like to pluck for one for an extra LDH (e.g. GR for Smith who is my favorite ES monster).


I thought Lander would be the perfect #3 center after Todd helped him produce in the NHL. Now it looks like the perfect 13th forward, plays multiple positions, responsible defensively, leadership capabilities and cheap contract.


Mr DeBakey,

Not really sure why BTNs numbers are different – they don’t show PP ice-time – so who knows how they were derived. Not like it’s complicated 🙂

Bottom line as you said – Letestu and Sekera were not the problem – but they seem to get most of the heat (undeservedly) for the PP being less than great.


LadiesloveSmid: throw him into the Gordon minutes, his strength is at limiting shots and on the PP (one of 2 current RH men if JP isnt on the team)

give the Ozonestarts to Drai/McD/Pulju/Maroon

Ebs, Kassian, Pak, Puljujarvi, Letestu.

5 by my count.

Mr DeBakey

AsiaOil: I calculated the numbers straight off using PP minutes and PP points and got different figures than BTN – not sure what’s up.

I put up those numbers.
Saw yours were different.
Then quickly attributed them to BTN with an edit.

Point being, they’re [yours & BTN’s] are better than 3.5/60.



I think he’s a fine 4c. Faceoffs,pk, a little scoring… just not sure we can afford a 4th line that expensive.

Lander cheaper and can do all the above. Just needs MClelland to show confidence in him. JMHO



I think he’s a fine 4c. Faceoffs, pk, a little scoring… just not sure we can afford a 4th line that expensive.


Mr DeBakey,

I calculated the numbers straight off using PP minutes and PP points and got different figures than BTN – not sure what’s up.

For me my “Medoza line is 3.5 PPP/60 – anything less than that and you start questioning performance and/or deployment.

Mr DeBakey

OilClog: Letestu on the Powerplay for any amount of time when 97,93, and 29 are available is barf.

Rank * NAME * P/60
75 * MARKLETESTU * 3.92
76 * MATTDUCHENE * 3.91
77 * HENRIKSEDIN * 3.90
78 * BRANDONPIRRI * 3.89
79 * ANDERSLEE * 3.88
80 * TOMMYWINGELS * 3.86
83 * JEFFCARTER * 3.83
84 * NICKBJUGSTAD * 3.80
87 * LOGANCOUTURE * 3.78

Only McDavid & Pouliot better on the Oilers last season.
Numbers from Behind the Net.


If one considers the PP to be “problematic – one should look at players other than the often criticized Letestu and Sekera.

PPP / 60
6.33 – CMD
4.58 – RNH
4.47 – Sekera
4.39 – Letestu
4.18 – Pouliot
3.63 – Ebs
3.40 – Drai
3.37 – Yak
3.12 – Hall

As for Lander – nothing wrong with another go for him as 4th line C – this time without anchors like Korpse. He’s cheap and can be useful but not with a handicap as a large as Korpse was last year. As G Money pointed out – Yak was about the only guy who could drag Korpse to respectability last year.


Letestu on the Powerplay for any amount of time when 97,93, and 29 are available is barf.

Letestu is a 4C being paid to be higher up the ladder, cut loose and move on Chia.


Lander did well with Nelson but not with Mclellan. Anton lost his confidence. He is younger and much cheaper then Letestu. Lander was dynamite on the PP with Nelson team. But we have enough options we don’t need either one. No one will convince me that Letestu is that much better a player than Lander to be worth it. JMHO

Centre of attention

Letestu had an interesting season, but certainly has value

His power play numbers surprised me. Over the last few years, Testube has scored at a pretty decent clip for a 4th liner on the power play. I would suggest moving Letestu to the second unit though with Draisaitl, to try and get a double threat going just in case you want to double shift McDavid (you will).



throw him into the Gordon minutes, his strength is at limiting shots and on the PP (one of 2 current RH men if JP isnt on the team)

give the Ozonestarts to Drai/McD/Pulju/Maroon


flyfish1168: Only because he is a PC signing. He wasoh my god awful too. JMHO

Was just checking his stats

Double agent strikes again! Youd think Yahoo would get rid of Nikitins picture on Letestu’s page.

If he plays just 4th line and PK minutes, he should be fine. But he surprisingly puts up decent PP numbers. He doesn’t drive much of the play in the PP, but he manages to get a touch on the puck before it goes in.


Lowetide: Letestu will hang on to the 4C job, pretty sure.

Only because he is a PC signing. He was oh my god awful too. JMHO


Kiltymcbagpipes: Start him on a line with Puljujarvi……….in Bakersfield.

There’s an equal and opposite mistake to gifting ice time – it’s called Lowe’s Third Law of player development.


Start him on a line with Puljujarvi……….in Bakersfield.


I had never seen this video. It’s haunting in a define way.

Lander sure looked great playing for Sweden too, as long as we’re trying to find a reason to believe.


I’d bet you’re writing Sail on Swashbuckler by the new year.


Hey, you guys should remember me as the guy who stood as few against many shorting Lander’s offense last season.

Forget that. I’m like the Rodney Dangerfield of this blog. Meaning that I get no respect here.


Hey, you guys should remember me as the guy who stood as few against many shorting Lander’s offense last season.


BornInAGretzkyJersey: I bet he’s gone by the deadline to recoup a pick/prospect

That’s what good teams do though, I think. That beats having to waive him because of a poor start, and having an established team pick him up for nothing.


I’m crossing my fingers he lights the world on fire this year at TC and through the season. I want him to succeed. He played so well under Nelson and in the 2014 World Championships that you just know there’s a player in there.

That said, I bet he’s gone by the deadline to recoup a pick/prospect and make room for the kids who are pushing up from the farm.


Lander is perfect for our 4C. Play McDavid Nuge And Drai 18 min a night and give Lander mostly PK and some defensive minutes. Whoever of the 3 is not winning face offs gets to play with Letestu good chunk of time. I think Lander has a job. There is enough equally poor players like Pakarainen and I think Hendricks is on his last leg. Don’t really see anyone ready from the AHL to take a center job either.


//Lander is 14F? Maybe. Khaira might win the day. Caggiula, Pitlick, Beck, Sallinen, there are lots of options and Lander’s performance has opened the door.//

Most of those other guys have to be playing games, not sitting in the pressbox. It would be the height of stupidity to keep Khaira as the 13th or 14th forward, even if he is the 13th or 14th best forward.

Even if Khaira is the 13th best forward, he should be in Bakersfield waiting for a phone call if there is an injury, not sitting in the pressbox.

Lander’s season, like many others, was cratered by Korpikoski, and the fact that Pakarinen could not really score either.


Lander and Paajarvi, two forever linked prospects, seem to have the same issue. When they sense they’re over their head, they completely abandon the offensive assertiveness that would make them good middle 6 forwards if they applied it consistently. Unfortunately again for both of them, they lose that confidence rather easily, resulting in times where they look ready to make the next step (Lander under Nelson) and times where you wonder how they played so many NHL games at all (Lander under, well, everyone else).

That’s the key with Lander. Can he get the mental side of his game under control enough to consistently take risks and push the envelope offensively, or will he fall back into his “safe” extremely defensive mindset that will ultimately be the end of his NHL career?

If he can fix that mental side of his game, he could be an ideal 3C for years to come. That Nelson stretch is an extreme aberration, but it still happened. I’m not betting on him to put it together, but Lander could be very nice piece if he can.

Johnny Larue

I heard somewhere that Lander was working on his skating this summer ala Leon last summer let’s hope for similar results. Also I never seen anyone with as much bad luck as Lander last year he would have glorious chances and somehow the puck stayed out of the net and you would wonder how did that not go in as it goes off the nob or shaft of the stick


The Big Owe is a great tie in to Lander. It’s as if a large piece of concrete has fallen on his scoring.

I’m still cheering for him, but I’m also cheering for increased competition in TC that will separate the Oil from the sand.

Also – that is one artist I did not anticipate hearing in the RE series. That song has more hooks than a ’90s Devils’ system!

Mr DeBakey

while Doug Flynn gave it all back at second base.

It was him & Chris Speir, right? Solid middle infield, bat optional, rally killers. I think I have that right.

Connor McDavid makes the Oilers very good when he is on the ice

McDavid’s roommate was good too, until that snake McDavid stabbed him in the back and got him traded to Joisey.

* * *
I’ll bet Lander is the Oilers 14F come October
[A small wager]
Face-offs & PK will be the ticket.
But even if he is decent this year, I doubt he returns next – Kaira and Caggiula needing spots.