IT NEVER RAINS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

by Lowetide

Before the 1994 draft, Glen Sather told his scouts he didn’t need a home run at No. 4 and No. 6, but both prospects chosen needed to be bona fide and play feature roles in the NHL for a long time. At No. 4 the team Jason Bonsignore, and it was not a successful choice. At No. 6 overall, the scouts tapped Ryan Smyth on the shoulder and gifted Oilers fans with the perfect modern Oiler. At the end of the day, procurement remains the life’s blood of an organization and getting it right with those early picks is vital.

Jesse Puljujarvi was chosen No. 4 overall in the 2016 draft, the sixth earliest selection in team history. One of the things we discussed before the beginning of this season was the his offense, because we didn’t have a long resume on his scoring ability. JP looked fabulous at the WJ’s and his Sm-Liiga numbers (50gp, 13-15-28) were lesser but in the range with Patrik Laine (46gp, 16-17-33).

This season started well (Puljujarvi scored his only NHL goal to date in Game 1) but he lost confidence and hasn’t played in the NHL since January 5. What’s he been doing in Bakersfield?

THE VERBAL

The story is here. My feeling is that quoting it in a second language would be wildly unfair, so will only say he sounds frustrated and determined based on what google translate could tell me. For our purposes, I wondered about signs of progress, and if this time in the minors is working. I can tell you that my read was this: Once Anton Lander joined his line things began hopping, but also think it’s fair to give young Puljujarvi credit for his own scoring.

  • January 2017: 9gp, 2-5-7 .778
  • February 2017: 11gp, 5-4-9 .818
  • March 2017: 8gp, 2-5-7 .875
  • Season Total: 28gp, 9-14-23 .821
  • NHLE: 82gp, 14-22-36 .439

Although my perception of his scoring is that JP has increased offense markedly in recent weeks, the numbers by month suggest he has been pretty consistent throughout the piece. Let’s compare his time in the AHL with Mikko Rantanen and his first three full months in the AHL:

  • November 2016: 10gp, 4-10-14 1.40
  • December 2016: 9gp, 5-4-9 1.00
  • February 2017: 12gp, 7-9-16 1.33
  • Season Total: 52gp, 24-36-60 1.15
  • NHLE: 82gp, 20-30-50 .610
  • Actual NHL 2016-17: 66gp, 14-17-31 .470

The problem is, you develop a past. We talked about this back in the summer, about how much offense he might deliver. JP is in the minors, and frustrated, but also learning about the game and what he has to do in order to succeed. He is not scoring at the same rate as Mikko Rantanen a year ago, and the NHL is saying we should assume something less than .500 points-per-game next year unless he plays with Connor McDavid. We may be looking at a two-way winger who does not score goals at the kind of clip we associate with a No. 4 overall selection. That is not a statement of fact. They are not elite numbers, but he is 18 and this has been a difficult road.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

In reading the interview, I was heartened by his determination and how much emotion was conveyed with his words. I will tell you we knew, and I mean early, about the 1994 draft, good and bad. Sometimes talent isn’t enough, and for me those words from Mr. Puljujarvi are the most encouraging thing about his season. Keep pushing young man, you push like hell. We are cheering for you in Edmonton.

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oilswell

Pouzar: I thought evidence is what we do here. I am not the one discounting either route for the record. When this debate first came about the overwhelming sentiment was the AHL route. I offered up what I thought was evidence to the contrary.

Kudos for actually collecting data and conducting analysis for insights.

You may want to look up “survivor bias” on Wikipedia. There is also a list of players you may want to build your interest in: the list of finish players that never made it to North America.

Just friendly advice. Your argument is weaker unless you can defend against the charge that the survivors all look good but there should have been more good Finish NA players if only the right ones would have come over earlier.

Chachi

Whatif: I wonder how many of todays posters are members of the “Tarot Club”?

“Tarot Club”? No. “Hair Club For Men”, “S-Club 7” and “Club Z”? Yes.

Pouzar

Whatif:
I have never seen a site where so many claim to be able to predict the future of an eighteen year old prospect.

Yeah that’s what we are doin.

wintoon

I have never seen a site where so many claim to be able to predict the future of an eighteen year old prospect. It always makes me think of a statement that LT often makes with regard to the development of D Men — they do not develop in straight lines.

I wonder how many of todays posters are members of the “Tarot Club”?

russ99

JP seems to be having a tough go, but he is producing and improving.

Plus one of the lessons our top prospects seem to never learn below the NHL level is how to deal with adversity. He’ll be a better pro later for going through it now.

Professor Q

And one must also remember that we don’t have the luxury of unlimited transactions.

That’s also a good reason and maybe incentive to keep JP in B.

Pouzar

Chachi: Yes, but it is all relative. You need to compare him to the other Europeans picked in the first round who are now thriving back in their home lands. Of the 7 that were picked, here’s the list of Euro first round draft picks playing in Europe this season:

So wait and see.

Got it.

Chachi

npanciroli:
JP looks like he’s doing well to me?

Yes, but it is all relative. You need to compare him to the other Europeans picked in the first round who are now thriving back in their home lands. Of the 7 that were picked, here’s the list of 2016 European first round draft picks playing in Europe this season:

PhrankLee

I like trying to get JP into the AHL mind set. And I like the idea of toughening him up down there. His tools scream ‘crafty forecheck wizard who is almost never out of position’.

European hockey does not utilize the dump in very commonly as a offensive strategy.

Meaning instead of hauling ass toward the corner on a dump in, turning the d man and setting up the retrieval you seek a pass, realize (oh yeah!) its being dumped and then haul ass. That split second is all the difference in the NHL.

Anyway I was never really sold on Flemming so I am not surprised with his attempts at pounding a square peg into a round hole, routine.

spoiler

Sharkies tankin… This game tonight is so frickin huge. Puck drop miles away yet and I’m on pins and needles already. I had forgotten what 2006 felt like.

npanciroli

JP looks like he’s doing well to me?

Diablo

VOR:
Bruce,

Actually, as a simple statement of fact, every player is unique. You can identify every “pattern” you wish. You can’t apply those patterns to all individuals because patterns occur within a set or a population and individuals are not sets and not populations. Thus, you cannot be sure that the individual in front of you is not an outlier (ie. by definition not part of the pattern). You can, if you have the math skills determine a probability of an individual being part of a well defined set or population but you can never say with certainty that a pattern x applies to an individual y.

Outstanding post.

Chachi

VOR:
Bruce,

Actually, as a simple statement of fact, every player is unique. You can identify every “pattern” you wish. You can’t apply those patterns to all individuals because patterns occur within a set or a population and individuals are not sets and not populations. Thus, you cannot be sure that the individual in front of you is not an outlier (ie. by definition not part of the pattern). You can, if you have the math skills determine a probability of an individual being part of a well defined set or population but you can never say with certainty that a pattern x applies to an individual y.

It’s recently been pointed out to me that I am wrong about everything, but this post has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. I am really nervous about this, but I think I am going to risk saying this is exactly right.

kgo

VOR:
Bruce,

Actually, as a simple statement of fact, every player is unique. You can identify every “pattern” you wish. You can’t apply those patterns to all individuals because patterns occur within a set or a population and individuals are not sets and not populations. Thus, you cannot be sure that the individual in front of you is not an outlier (ie. by definition not part of the pattern). You can, if you have the math skills determine a probability of an individual being part of a well defined set or population but you can never say with certainty that a pattern x applies to an individual y.

This!

VOR

Bruce,

Actually, as a simple statement of fact, every player is unique. You can identify every “pattern” you wish. You can’t apply those patterns to all individuals because patterns occur within a set or a population and individuals are not sets and not populations. Thus, you cannot be sure that the individual in front of you is not an outlier (ie. by definition not part of the pattern). You can, if you have the math skills determine a probability of an individual being part of a well defined set or population but you can never say with certainty that a pattern x applies to an individual y.

Side

spoiler:
However, this discussion shouldn’t distract us from the fact that…

I STILL WANT RICK’S PORTAL GUN, PEOPLE!!

Ugh, thanks for reminding me that the next season is an eternity away.

Professor Q

spoiler:
However, this discussion shouldn’t distract us from the fact that…

I STILL WANT RICK’S PORTAL GUN, PEOPLE!!

Hey…I think I’ve heard about portals before. My former employer’s rival had something to do with them and cake…

Chachi

Pouzar: Fair enough.
I took issue with it being dismissed out of hand and the condescending way in which it was done.

Fair enough.

Centre of attention

I can’t wait until the Oilers play again tomorrow

Worrying about prospects is such a rebuild thing to do

Wait until Peter starts trading these cats for grey beards with cup rings.

/sarcasm

spoiler

However, this discussion shouldn’t distract us from the fact that…

I STILL WANT RICK’S PORTAL GUN, PEOPLE!!

Chachi

Bruce Wayne: You can go on being wrong about everything. It is who you are.

Thanks!

spoiler

Pouzar,

*shrugs*

We’re all guilty of misunderstandings.

😉

Side

Chachi: I feel even better about my position on this now.

Definitely. You know you’re in a good space when Bruce Wayne disagrees with you. It means you haven’t ventured into the crazy territory where you obsess over whether Chiarelli has worn a tracksuit or not.

Pouzar

spoiler: “we can’t say.”

Fair enough.
I took issue with it being dismissed out of hand and the condescending way in which it was done.

Professor Q

What about the ones who played elsewhere in Europe than Finland?

Side

Bruce Wayne:
There is nothing about what Chachi and Side are saying that makes sense here, common or otherwise.

The suggestion that you cannot identify patterns and that every player is “unique” is, for lack of a better word, non-sense.

And in this particular situation, the Oilers have an awful coach in the AHL who demonstrates his ignorance every time he opens his mouth.So even if bringing the player over early was a good idea in general it is a bad idea int his particular case.

And this is all without considering the contractual implications.

Bringing him over was an awful decision, that has turned out badly.

So what did I say exactly that “doesn’t make sense”?

I’m curious to see some specific examples here.

spoiler

Pouzar: This one goes back months ago. Like I mentioned the overall sentiment then was the AHL was the best route to go. I was in the vast minority when I suggested SM-liiga as an option and was ridiculed by a certain poster for this. I didn’t dismiss the AHL option as much as this certain poster dismissed the SM-liiga outright which I thought was ridiculous and felt the need to defend it. The track record is there. I draw no definitive conclusions on any route but at least I offered up said “evidence” instead of condescension.

Thanks for the heads up, I do appreciate it. I don’t see that same claim being made tonight though.

Myself, since there is no clear evidence of a “better” path (and even if there was it would speak to the general not the specific)…

I’m going to go with the player, his parents, his agent, and his team… all of whom have his future development in their best interest. Could he have stayed there? Sure, wouldn’t upset me. Could he come over? Same thing. Really depends on him and his comfort level.

Gordies Elbow

Chachi: I feel even better about my position on this now.

I feel better about your position, as well.

Unique player, due to size, knee injury, not having the language skills that many in Finland have, learning how to be responsible in a new system.

Having success in the minors, learning and acclimatizing to the north american game.

Seems like a good thing.

Diablo

Also way too early to get worried about Jesse – he’s 18, still growing, in a new country, playing a very different style of hockey against men who are also pretty good at hockey (even at the AHL level).

Its a good thing that he’s going through some adversity now – watching his countryman Laine get all the accolades has to be eating away at him – that kind of motivation is a good thing. He’s going do what the coaches want from him – and it will make him a better player. When he finally arrives he’s going to be a possession monster that’s good to great in his own zone.

Laine on the other hand is going top out as a one trick pony (a pretty good trick though) – right now he’s having everything handed to him on a silver platter. But he’s lost in his own end, and needs Scheifele and Ehlers to get him the puck. I like Jets fans a lot – but Matthews is hands down better.

Speaking of Scheifele – nobody thought he’d be the best player to come out of the 2011 draft. In fact, the Jets got roasted for selecting him over Couturier. I think it will go the same way for Jesse too – steady progression, rather than bursting on the scene like a supernova, then fizzling out the way Landeskog and RNH have.

spoiler

Pouzar: As already stated, 18 of the top 20 All Time “Finnish born” NHL scorers.

I’m guessing also that the Finnish League is much like other leagues in that its worst 20 players will all have stayed there for a year too. And that the vast majority of players that stay for the year fail to make the NHL.

Now, that’s not evidence staying there is bad either. About all we can say about which is the better path is, “we can’t say.”

Cassandra

Chachi: I feel even better about my position on this now.

You can go on being wrong about everything. It is who you are.

Pouzar

Chachi: I feel even better about my position on this now.

A position. Based on ‘Common Sense’.

Yeah yeah.

Cassandra

And of course, Puljujarvi hasn’t been “ruined” by this season. You can’t “ruin” a player in a year. But that was never the claim. You also can’t know the future, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the best decision you can based upon the information you have, and the information we have, both empirical and theoretical, indicates that it was better to leave Puljujarvi in Finland. Against this is the idea that the Oilers (and the NHL) know better how to develop players by teaching them to play the “right way” and other such nonsense.

Pouzar

spoiler:
Pouzar,

I thought the discussion tonight was begun by the following post:

Which means you ARE discounting other routes, no?

This one goes back months ago. Like I mentioned the overall sentiment then was the AHL was the best route to go. I was in the vast minority when I suggested SM-liiga as an option and was ridiculed by a certain poster for this. I didn’t dismiss the AHL option as much as this certain poster dismissed the SM-liiga outright which I thought was ridiculous and felt the need to defend it. The track record is there. I draw no definitive conclusions on any route but at least I offered up said “evidence” instead of condescension.

Chachi

Bruce Wayne:
There is nothing about what Chachi and Side are saying that makes sense here, common or otherwise.

The suggestion that you cannot identify patterns and that every player is “unique” is, for lack of a better word, non-sense.

And in this particular situation, the Oilers have an awful coach in the AHL who demonstrates his ignorance every time he opens his mouth.So even if bringing the player over early was a good idea in general it is a bad idea int his particular case.

And this is all without considering the contractual implications.

Bringing him over was an awful decision, that has turned out badly.

I feel even better about my position on this now.

Cassandra

There is nothing about what Chachi and Side are saying that makes sense here, common or otherwise.

The suggestion that you cannot identify patterns and that every player is “unique” is, for lack of a better word, non-sense.

And in this particular situation, the Oilers have an awful coach in the AHL who demonstrates his ignorance every time he opens his mouth. So even if bringing the player over early was a good idea in general it is a bad idea int his particular case.

And this is all without considering the contractual implications.

Bringing him over was an awful decision, that has turned out badly.

spoiler

Pouzar: I thought evidence is what we do here.

Fo’shizz… whatever that means. Seriously, have no idea what it means.

But it might be evidence of a different time or world, as opposed to a better development path.

We wouldn’t know whether “this path is better” is true without some form of control group, and even then, we couldn’t control for individual talent so would need to study a large population of prospects to wash out the anomalies.

Really we need Rick’s portal gun and then some way of recording the results in all the different parallel universes.

Side

Pouzar: I don’t have those answers. But it will take a heckuva run to beat that list of players.

The list you gave is pretty convincing. But I wonder if those 18 performed the way they did because of the Finnish developmental system, or because they are just players who would have had a successful career in any country that plays hockey.

Like Selanne. Did he become Selanne because he played those extra years in Finland before the NHL? Or would he have had similar success throughout his career if he went to NA instead?

I know it’s more questions we can’t really answer but, I’m confident JP won’t be tanked just because he’s in the AHL and not in Finland. I guess we’ll see.

Diablo

Receptor Antagonist: I’m not necessarily disagreeing with any of your points, most importantly that Tavares is a pipe dream, but one very important point you brought up is in fact false, and pretty significant.

Tavares is currently only about 26.5 years of age and doesn’t turn 27 until September. That is a hugely significant difference to what you stated.

I mean its possible to get Tavares – the situation in Brooklyn is not great – that team as currently constructed is not getting JT to a cup final. Add to that the financial issues and being constantly rumoured to move to another suburb of NY, and you’d think he might be getting fed up. All of this after signing a team friendly deal.

I think its very likely that he will test market as a UFA.

spoiler

Pouzar,

I thought the discussion tonight was begun by the following post:

Pouzar: So my “send him to Finland” doesn’t look so bad now does it.
There is a track record of Swedes/Finns of playing at home in their draft plus 1 season and there is a reason. It works.

Which means you are discounting other routes, no?

Pouzar

spoiler: While this is evidence of something, it is not proof that other paths are invalid or would not have worked for these 18 people.

I thought evidence is what we do here. I am not the one discounting either route for the record. When this debate first came about the overwhelming sentiment was the AHL route. I offered up what I thought was evidence to the contrary.

godot10

Go. Go Magnus Go! Go. Magnus be good! -).

Paajarvi no longer gets lost on the perimeter. He has finally discovered where the net is.

HT Joe

HT Joe: His goal combined the power of Moses AND Jesus?Holy smokes… I gotta see this goal.

That was a pretty fine goal. More sleight-of-hand than true miracle, but still a heckuva goal.

digger50

Just caught up on this thread.

Many comments on wanting to manage what they can see. The hockey.

You manage the person and the skill will come along in due time. There are few comparables, as everyone will be different.

HT Joe

Professor Q:
I know it’s going to be unpopular, but I don’t get the hive buzz around Crosby’s goal tonight.
Apparently he split the red sea and brought Lazarus back.

His goal combined the power of Moses AND Jesus? Holy smokes… I gotta see this goal.

Diablo

Receptor Antagonist: I’m not necessarily disagreeing with any of your points, most importantly that Tavares is a pipe dream, but one very important point you brought up is in fact false, and pretty significant.

Tavares is currently only about 26.5 years of age and doesn’t turn 27 until September. That is a hugely significant difference to what you stated.

Was talking about Oshie – sorry should have put that in separate posts to avoid the confusion

Chachi

spoiler: While this is evidence of something, it is not proof that other paths are invalid or would not have worked for these 18 people.

Yup.

Don’t mind me

ristojalo: My apologies, first time poster and haven’t figured out how to quote properly.

You probably did it right, this site is “quirky “, and not just the posters!

Pouzar

digger50: I was also in favour of sending him to Finland. Sorry. I have not read to Finnish article but it seemed to me that JP,limitations and adjustments were not about on ice play.

What cannot be measured or forecast was maturity and culture shock. Tough to build that into an NHLE. But certainly Oilers would have seen this early.

I thought exposure to North American hockey then a return to Finland would serve him best as a teenager. Hard to gain confidence when your not even sure how to order a cheeseburger. Would have liked to seen his family over a bit more, if that was possible.

Oil have got him mentors, language coach, etc. Done everything they could (I think) but it must still be hard.

Personally I think the player is 50 point player on the second line and 65 on the first. But he’ll need two years to get there.

I did this same exercise for All Time leading “Swedish born” NHL scorers.

I stopped at Forsberg.

Culture shock is a thing for 18 yr olds.