OILERS NO. 5 PROSPECT (winter 2016): ZIYAT PAIGIN

by Lowetide

Among prospect defensemen in the Oilers system, Ziyat Paigin ranks high due to defensive ability, some offensive tools and real progress over the past several years. It also helps that he is an actual giant. There is no guarantee he will make the NHL, or that we will ever see him in North America—but he clearly has big league potential.

PREVIOUSLY NO. 5 ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2006: L Jean-Francois Jacques (166 NHL games)
  • December 2007: C Rob Schremp (114 NHL games)
  • December 2008: D Alex Plante (10 NHL games)
  • December 2009: D Theo Peckham (160 NHL games)
  • December 2010: D Theo Peckham (160 NHL games)
  • December 2011: D Martin Marincin (162 NHL games)
  • December 2012: L Teemu Hartikainen (52 NHL games)
  • December 2013: C Jujhar Khaira (15 NHL games)
  • December 2014: W Iiro Pakarinen (80 NHL games)
  • December 2015: D Griffin Reinhart (37 NHL games)

Over the last decade or so, by the time we get to No. 5 it looks like hopefuls and also-rans—which makes sense, the first-round picks who are here are later picks. I like Martin Marincin from this list and Khaira, Pakarinen plus Reinhart still have a chance to make it.

OILERS DRAFTING RUSSIANS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

  1. L Igor Vyazmikin, 252nd overall in 1987 (4 NHL games)
  2. D Vladimir Zubkov, 208nd overall in 1988
  3. C Anatoli Semenov, 120th overall in 1989 (362 NHL games, he was a real player)
  4. C Sergei Yashin, 141st overall in 1989
  5. G Evgeny Belosheiken, 232nd overall in 1991
  6. L Alexander Kerch, 60th overall in 1993 (5 NHL games)
  7. F Oleg Maltsev, 241st overall in 1993
  8. D Ilya Byakin, 267th overall in 1993 (57 NHL games, talented)
  9. R Dimitrius Shulga, 162nd in 1994
  10. D Sergei Yerkovich, 68th overall in 1997
  11. G Alex Fomitchev, 231st overall in 1997
  12. L Oleg Smirnov, 144th overall in 1998
  13. R Maxim Spiridonov, 241st overall in 1998
  14. D Alexei Semenov, 36th overall in 1999 (211 NHL games)
  15. L Alexei Mikhnov, 17th overall in 2000 (2 NHL games, first-round pick)
  16. D Alexander Ljubimov, 83rd overall in 2000
  17. F Evgeny Muratov, 274th overall in 2000
  18. D Ivan Koltsov, 106th overall in 2002
  19. F Mikhail Youkov, 72nd overall in 2003
  20. D Roman Tesliuk, 44th overall in 2004
  21. L Slava Trukhno, 120th overall in 2005
  22. F Alex Bumagin, 170th overall in 2006
  23. R Nail Yakupov, 1st overall in 2012 (265 NHL games, No. 1 overall)
  24. L Daniil Zharkov, 91st overall in 2012
  25. C Bogdan Yakimov, 83rd overall in 2013 (1 NHL game)
  26. L Anton Slepyshev, 88th overall in 2013 (18 NHL games)
  27. D Ziyat Paigin, 209th overall in 2015

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • Alessandro Seren Rosso: Paigin is a very interesting prospect with great size (6’6”, 210 lbs.), good mobility, and an interesting overall package. Source
  • The Black Book: His play at the tournament has confimed his upside as well as the need for further development. He is still a bit of a project, on some games he shows flashes of good puck moving ability for such a tall defenseman, in others he struggles with easy plays.He may still be able to improve on some things training with pro, like on the accuracy of his
    powerful slap shot, but his game needs to evolve rather than a finishing touch.
  • ISS: “Like this player. Stay at home d-men that keeps his game simple and boxes out well. PK work was strong all tournament, willing to block shots. Big bodied physical defender with a long reach and good skating ability. Knows his limitations and doesn’t try to do too much. Strong performance at WJC helped move him into our rankings for 2015 NHL draft”.
  • Craig Button ranked him No. 86 in the 2015 draft.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS

  • Summer 2015: No. 21
  • Winter 2015: No. 15
  • Summer 2016: No. 3
  • Winter 2016: No. 5

https://twitter.com/3Hayden2/status/741712241888792576

2015-16

  • Swedish Poster: He sticks out right away with how tall and lanky. Looked real skinny though part of it might be Sochi’s gear they were wearing an all black gear and every player looked pretty slim. However despite his size he’s surprisingly agile, I had a similar reaction as I had when getting my first real viewing of Nurse where you marvel over how agile he is at that size, he’s not nearly as explosive as Nurse but a real smooth skater.
  • More Swedish Poster: He showed off some serious hands as well, something I didn’t expect at all considering his junior numbers. Could ofc be Andy Sutton moments as well and not a regular thing but he pulled off the Mats Sundin style extralong dangle with his giant reach. He also has a solid shot. A couple of dodgy moments when trying too much with the first pass but generally moved the puck well.
  • Final Swedish Poster: Defensively he was in good position and showed off a good stick. Crazy reach. Not very physical, still very much a teenage body, has that uncoordinated flimsiness you see in lanky teenage boys, but he seems unafraid at least.
  • Paigin was traded during the early days of 2015-16 and flourished in Sochi. In 37 games during 2015-16, he scored nine goals and 27 points, while getting 85 shots and averaging 17:45 minutes per game. A major step forward. This was an insane season and absolutely put him on the map as an NHL prospect.

2016-17

This season has been frustrating, as a knee injury has derailed his season beyond four games early in the year. He is apparently close to returning and Oilers fans will be monitoring his progress over the rest of the year.

  • Pink Socks, early in season when the player was healthy—Watched all of the Ak-Bars game this morning minus the last 10 minutes or so, Paigin was wearing a full face shield which he does not normally wear so without understanding the announcers in the pregame talking about him, I’m assuming it was injury that kept him out the past two games. That being said, guy QB’s a powerplay like a champ. Both (Kazan) goals on the PP, both times Paigin was on the ice, he got one assist on a 5 on 3 (Note: later taken away, or not rewarded). Guys don’t want to block his shot. Probably a combination of how heavy the shot is, and also the fact that it is Yakupov-esque in its accuracy. He set up a teammate on a beauty of a steal at the O blue, keeping it in the zone and gave him a mini-break but couldn’t cash. Threw a few big hits and looked more than competent in D zone. Really active stick breaking up passes, defended reasonably well on one 2 on 1. He skates surprisingly strong. In the few games I have caught last year and this one from the new season, he looks bonafide to my eye.
  • Rick Carriere: “Very impressed with his size and mobility. He shoots the puck hard and brings some offence from the back end. You’re always looking for that. You can teach the defensive stuff, but you’d like to have guys who can think the game offensively and make plays with the puck on their stick, not turn it over or give up possession easily. It sounds like he’s that type of player. He’s a good puck-possession guy and he brings some mobility and a good shot.” Source
  • Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider (on the Lowdown): I love the guy. I hope he gets out of his contract or his contract ends at some point (it is apparently up at the end of this season). Once he gets to Bakersfield, this is a guy who might only need one year in the AHL before he is ready to take on a third-pairing role in Edmonton. I love the guy. I am not saying he is going to win the Norris Trophy. This is a guy who could be a very good physical presence, perhaps second power-play unit, good shot,

THE FUTURE

I have Paigin this high for two reasons: He is a giant defenseman with a range of skills, and because there is clear evidence that he has developed over the past two or three seasons. Both are very positive tells for his future.

Paigin turns 22 in February (he is four days younger than Darnell Nurse, who was drafted two years earlier). Peter Chiarelli was the GM on Paigin’s draft day, so he would certainly know the player and be familiar with his skill set.

His NHLE for the 2015-16 season (82GP, 16-32-48) was so strong that even letting some of the air out of his tires gets us to a very good place. The comments from Boisvert above make sense to me—sign him next summer, send him to the AHL and we might see this player in the fall of 2018 in an NHL uniform.

He is 6.06 and can shoot the puck from the blue line effectively, he is mobile, can defend and has improved consistently over the last few seasons. That is a very good resume.

THE 2015 DRAFT

  • Connor McDavid, No. 1 overall. Making our dreams come true. Graduated.
  • D Caleb Jones, No. 117 overall. Impressive young player has improved greatly since the draft. Good wheels, impressive offense. Inside the Top 20.
  • D Ethan Bear, No. 124 overall. He is progressing in all areas and has a nice range of skills. Bear’s progress since draft day has been impressive. Inside the Top 20.
  • D John Marino, No. 154 overall. Mobile offensive defender posting some crooked numbers early in NCAA career. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
  • G Miroslav Svoboda, No. 208 overall. Stopping everything in a faraway Czech league. What does that mean? A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
  • D Ziyat Paigin, No. 209 overall. A transfer to Sochi unlocked this player in 2015-16, and an untimely injury this season cannot dampen enthusiasm. No. 5 prospect, Winter 2016.
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PhrankLee

jake70,

Precisely.

jake70

PhrankLee:

I will take mediocre all day compared to where we have been.

We assume (hope) mediocre is a stop along the way.

PhrankLee

There’s a big difference between being stuck in a rut and being caught in a tail spin.

I believe the Oilers are merely suffering the former.

They took advantage of the early schedule and are, in mid November, tied for first in the Pacific.

This represents an actual chance. And this time it’s up to the players. The squad this year is more mature and experienced. Plus they have an actual backbone. Some resiliency not seen in other squads this decade.

That is more than I expected. These are still good days, my friends.

I will take mediocre all day compared to where we have been.

russ99

Centre of attention: I was more taking a shot at the guys who were saying that after the Oilers added size (Lucic, Maroon, Nurse, Kassian) they would be able to “stick up for them selves” and “not get pushed around anymore” and “compete with the big California teams”

If the Anaheim game is any measure, all of that talk I just mentioned is nonsense. Kessler & company were still running around and there was precious little we did about it. Kassian tried but picked up the extra two, negating the fact he drew Josh Manson into the box with him.

Besides that, I agree with what you’re saying. The refs are garbage too, and I mentioned that in the post following the one you quoted.

We have the horses but utilization is everything.

Spreading out the bigs to three scoring lines, moving the puck around the outside, getting our best chances off the rush, not commanding the tough areas of ice with any authority, getting butterfingery in pressure.

It can be done with this group, but McLellan has to adapt and the players have to work.

Chachi

GMB3:
Matt Tkachuk scored a beauty against Arizona.

He sure did. He also keeps up with the play pretty well for a player who was supposedly a terrible skater.

GMB3

Matt Tkachuk scored a beauty against Arizona.

Professor Q

Lowetide,

Ha, no, not quite. Wordplay for “bars all”, meaning you don’t think that Barzal’s absence bars all chances for Bear’s potential improvement (meaning he can still step it up this year!).

P. S. Just finished listening to the Lowdown of Wednesday.

Professor Q

Lowetide: Bear (as an example) is in the range at EVs from last year, I consider that a step up on his current team (they do not have Barzal, or didn’t). He is off a little at evens, but again Barzal. I think Bear could be credited with stepping forward (considering Barzal not being there).

If he had stepped forward without Barzal? That would have been imposing.

And yet you don’t think that Barzal potential future improvement this year and next, right?

jfry

Lowetide,

what would offensively imposing look like to you in draft +2?

i feel like bear covered it in draft +1. not so much this year. and our russian friend definitely covered it last year (as you mentioned).

HT Joe

Scungilli: Nobody here much cares about the Flames or the Canucks or the Jets or the Devils or the Jackets or the Blues. Really. We want the Oilers to win and get fair calls. There is enough to worry about with the Oilers, we don’t need the rest of the league as well.

I used to care only about the Oilers and I didn’t care how the Oilers got the job done, I just wanted to see the W’s stack up for the team, and the boxscores to add up for my favourite players. But after following Lowetide’s website for close to a decade, it’s been virtually impossible to not start to really care about players (and by extension, root for their new teams from time-to-time).

Lowetide has been introducing draft-eligable or college free agent hockey players to me now for years… few of which have made the grade, but many of whom I have cheered for for years. After reading the various draft reports, Lowetide’s write-ups, and of course the reasonable expectations series, I often find myself having more invested in some players than I would expect. Lowetide’s stories and write-ups have made it more painful when Oiler prospects do fail or are prematurely cut loose by the team; however, the deeper investment on individual players also has made it much more exciting when they beat the odds to become NHL regulars, and has also made the games more exciting and personal for me. Thank you Lowetide!

While the Oiler’s will likely always be the team I cheer for, I find myself cheering for more and more ex-Oiler players and prospects as time goes on. I still have a soft spot for Gagner and Cogliano (I really thought they and Penner were a big part of the solution), and despite myself, I bought a Habs toque once Petry was traded (I had followed him for years, and was really thrilled when it seemed that he was going to be a strong player – that trade was crushing to me as a fan).

But of all of the ex-Oilers, it’s Hall that I follow the most closely. The Devils looked like such a terrible team on paper, and yet they are currently on pace to make the playoffs. While I’m grateful to have watched Hall as an Oiler for a few years, I often think of how lucky Hall would have been if the Oilers had drafted Seguin… Hall would have already experienced dozens of playoff games, would have at least 1 Stanley Cup ring, and may not have been ostracized by Hockey Canada. The Oilers decision to draft him has certainly hurt Hall’s career, which is likely a major reason I find myself rooting so strongly for him and his new team to make the playoffs next spring.

After years of hating the Devils and their boring games, I now think of them as my second team (if that’s permitted as a sports fanatic). If we can discuss the successes and challenges of other hockey teams (while obviously keeping the overall focus on the Oilers), I don’t see how that doesn’t improve everyone’s enjoyment and understanding of the game.

MrEd

GMB3,

Add Gryba.

#Swagger.

I want a battle tomorrow. Pick partners win or lose.

Clay

JDï™:
A compilation of all the slashes Johnny took vs the Wild: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0cI1B_0MY&t=7s

I don’t think McDavid has seen that level of hackery in a game yet, has he?

To be fair, most of those whacks hit non-hobbits in the shin pads.

GMB3

we are at a disadvantage by not making the other teams star players lives hell. One thing I’ve liked about Larsson. Not afraid to use his stick out there.

GMB3

People who are saying Lucic/Maroon/Nurse/kassian need to fight more? You realize no one is going to fight Ryan Kesler for taking down McDavid in the face off circle right? They can’t fight every time something happens to him.

Most players don’t relish fighting. Look at all the evidence that’s come out in recent years about brain injuries and fighting.

When Kesler tried to light up McDavid at the Anaheim blue line, Maroon and Nurse both had words with him. I’m willing to bet if he lands that hit someone scraps him. And then it’s too late, he could already be hurt.

MrEd

To all the people that complain about refereeing: Get involved bitches.

MrEd

Rooting for Z.
There is value to the Leftorium contract wise. Especially if Oscar performs.

Centre of attention

Tom Gulitti ‏@TomGulittiNHL 6m6 minutes ago
I think it was Ovechkin’s right arm/wrist that was hurting as he left. Looked like left at first.

“And another one bites the dust…”

*edit* He returned to the bench.

Centre of attention

Frank the dog: That’s entirely on the refs.

I was more taking a shot at the guys who were saying that after the Oilers added size (Lucic, Maroon, Nurse, Kassian) they would be able to “stick up for them selves” and “not get pushed around anymore” and “compete with the big California teams”

If the Anaheim game is any measure, all of that talk I just mentioned is nonsense. Kessler & company were still running around and there was precious little we did about it. Kassian tried but picked up the extra two, negating the fact he drew Josh Manson into the box with him.

Besides that, I agree with what you’re saying. The refs are garbage too, and I mentioned that in the post following the one you quoted.

jfry

i know he’s a left shot. was just a little surprised that the leftorium wasn’t mentioned. it’s a pretty big talking point, and seems like a pretty big deal for any prospect. if musil (or any lefty prospect, reinhardt, etc) makes the top twenty, it’ll be highlighted multiple times (as the hill to climb on the left side), i’d guess. was just a little surprised it wasn’t for our russian friend. and i think it’s a very important talking point for a prospect like bear because the hill isn’t “a thing” on the right.

i also consider these older Russians to be a little more cooked when they come over, so hoping a transition will look more like Petry out of college (or Benning so far), as opposed to someone in the Leftorium who we assume could spend the whole entry contract in the A.

Frank the dog

Centre of attention: McDavid is too fast to take that kind of slashing, he takes different kinds of abuse though and its equal to if not more severe than what Johnny takes.

McDavid gets mugged after faceoffs so often, for example just last night Kessler hooked McDavids skate and pulled it above his head after a face off, the Linesman/Ref were right there and nothing lol.

People like to stick knee’s out on Connor, I would need two hands and both feet to count the number of times McDavid has slipped past what could have been a major knee-on-knee collision.

Everyone keeps telling me this team is hard to play against and that they don’t get pushed around any more, but from what I see, nothing has changed.

That’s entirely on the refs.

Scungilli Slushy

Centre of attention: 3-4 uncalled penalties is still unacceptable. That is 1 player on the Flames. If they are ignoring whats happening to Gaudreau, imagine what Bennett is dealing with? Monahan?

I hate the Flames passionately, but I equally hate seeing young talent be needlessly injured in the league, no matter what team. The young, fast, exciting players are bringing a new brand of hockey and that new brand needs to be allowed to flourish without retribution. The new generation of stars is the future of the game, its time for the officials to start treating them that way rather than leaving them to the wolves.

I want to strangle something Homer Simpson style every time I see that kind of crap go uncalled on McDavid. I think every hockey fan deserves to see their stars play hockey, and shrugging your shoulders when these young guys are constantly going down to the same stupid preventable shit is not helping at all.

Nobody here much cares about the Flames or the Canucks or the Jets or the Devils or the Jackets or the Blues. Really. We want the Oilers to win and get fair calls. There is enough to worry about with the Oilers, we don’t need the rest of the league as well.

JD_Wry

jfry,

Shoots left.

LadiesloveSmid

jfry,

big ol’ lefty

wish they had a right shot equivalent of Sekera, like maybe Petry

jfry

no mention of left of right shot which seems a big talking point lately with our defenseman.

LadiesloveSmid

Centre of attention,

totally with you, I’d be pissed with 2 uncalled slashes on an oiler in any circumstance. Just not getting the 21 slashes narrative

hope the league and refs look into it and McDavids/Gaudreaus of the world get their infractions called when theyre due

Extend Russell

It was the best of times, it’s was the blurst of times?!??
Damn infernal monkeys !!

kinger_OIL

– I’m not sure what a guy picked #209th being ranked a teams #5 prospect a year later means, except that it’s probably no good. I mean good for him for developing but wow.

– So Taylor Hall out for 10-15 games is basically par for the course in his career. Save last year, he has not been able to stay healthy for a season. That matters. His P/60 high, but 82 games. Imagine this year on our team with an injured Hall, no Larsson and no Lucic: yikes….

Centre of attention

LadiesloveSmid: flames fans count 21 when there are really 3-4 that could be called, guy one hand taps his shinpads and they count it. NHL needs to better protect their stars from that kind of garbage, but give me a break.

3-4 uncalled penalties is still unacceptable. That is 1 player on the Flames. If they are ignoring whats happening to Gaudreau, imagine what Bennett is dealing with? Monahan?

I hate the Flames passionately, but I equally hate seeing young talent be needlessly injured in the league, no matter what team. The young, fast, exciting players are bringing a new brand of hockey and that new brand needs to be allowed to flourish without retribution. The new generation of stars is the future of the game, its time for the officials to start treating them that way rather than leaving them to the wolves.

I want to strangle something Homer Simpson style every time I see that kind of crap go uncalled on McDavid. I think every hockey fan deserves to see their stars play hockey, and shrugging your shoulders when these young guys are constantly going down to the same stupid preventable shit is not helping at all.

HiddenDarts

Not a lot to say in terms of Ziyat, but just wanted to give a shout out to Woodguy for his solid performance with Stauffer today.

Really well done radio.

LadiesloveSmid

JDï™,

Eric Staal slash, what looks to be on the flames PP (?), is vicious

JD_Wry

LadiesloveSmid: flames fans count 21

Yes, a lot of those didn’t look like much, although depending on where they hit exactly it sometimes doesn’t take much either.

But what all the love taps effectively do, is create a screen for the few vicious slashes. And I think any time a defending player’s stick gets into the gloves, it should be a penalty anyway.

LadiesloveSmid

JDï™: https://streamable.com/v9sr

flames fans count 21 when there are really 3-4 that could be called, guy one hand taps his shinpads and they count it. NHL needs to better protect their stars from that kind of garbage, but give me a break.

JD_Wry

Centre of attention,

https://streamable.com/v9sr

Time for McDavid to enlist Dino Ciccarelli as a personal coach.

stush18

Gotta find a lot similar between paigan and tryamkin from Vancouver.

One thing I would bet on is if he doesn’t resign in Russia and comes over, expect him to play in the NHL right away. Most of these guys won’t bother.

Centre of attention

JDï™:
A compilation of all the slashes Johnny took vs the Wild: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0cI1B_0MY&t=7s

I don’t think McDavid has seen that level of hackery in a game yet, has he?

McDavid is too fast to take that kind of slashing, he takes different kinds of abuse though and its equal to if not more severe than what Johnny takes.

McDavid gets mugged after faceoffs so often, for example just last night Kessler hooked McDavids skate and pulled it above his head after a face off, the Linesman/Ref were right there and nothing lol.

People like to stick knee’s out on Connor, I would need two hands and both feet to count the number of times McDavid has slipped past what could have been a major knee-on-knee collision.

Everyone keeps telling me this team is hard to play against and that they don’t get pushed around any more, but from what I see, nothing has changed.

JD_Wry

A compilation of all the slashes Johnny took vs the Wild: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0cI1B_0MY&t=7s

I don’t think McDavid has seen that level of hackery in a game yet, has he?