I talked to Frank Seravalli yesterday on the Lowdown and he said (basically) this summer is going to be wild on trades! While we discuss big names (Nuge, Eberle) in Edmonton, even more impact players could be available in other cities. Stand back! We don’t know how big this is going to get!
For the Oilers, the dizzying pace of 2015 and 2016 should be followed by smaller (but equally important) moves. Let’s review Chiarelli’s needs list each summer and how he addressed them.
CHIARELLI LIST 2015
- Draft McDavid (check)
- Find a quality goalie option (his answer was Cam Talbot)
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue (Andrej Sekera)
- Sign a more offensive two-way F (Lauri Korpikoski)
- Ignore MacT re: Marincin (dealt for No. 107 overall)
Chiarelli made other moves, mostly surrounding attempts to shore up the defense (Griffin Reinhart, Eric Gryba), but this group of five moves represented what I thought was the needs list. One of the things this shows? Difficult to address five things in a summer and have success in all five moves. McDavid was a no-brainer, but Talbot and Sekera were both astute and very productive transactions.
CHIARELLI LIST 2016
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (his answer was Larsson)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (Kris Russell)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (Jesse Puljujarvi)
- Backup goalie (Jonas Gustavsson)
- Rob the Bruins of something (Matt Benning)
Chiarelli pulled the trigger on a painful trade June 29, 2016 and covered off the first item in doing it. Russell’s hiring came very late (and we may see that again this summer) and arrived partly because Griffin Reinhart was unable to grab and NHL job. Puljujarvi isn’t a RHC but does set up a righty inside the top 6F for years to come. The backup goalie choice is akin to the Korpikoski item one year previous: It was a clunker.
CHIARELLI LIST 2017
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen.
- Find a forward who can help the offense.
- Offload Benoit Pouliot.
At this point the most likely items are (in order) Kris Russell, Ryan Strome and buyout, but I think Chiarelli will be a little more dynamic. One thing that we should watch out for? Some of these Benning-Caggiula moves. Spencer Foo might address the No. 2 need here and not require assets out to do it. I believe this year’s transactions are going to be far more subtle than the Talbot and Larsson deals. That doesn’t mean the club won’t trade a Steve Austin, only that it won’t be as shocking as one year ago.
Only a week away, here is the current list of drafted players whom their respective teams must sign by June 1, or lose their signing rights. pic.twitter.com/T65ePEqhbK
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 25, 2017
This is a good list to keep track of, sometimes a good player emerges and signed with your team. Last season’s list included Ryan Mantha, who has since been signed by the Oilers. Jaedon Descheneau was also on the list. Here goes (just the notables).
- No. 98 L Samuel Dove-McFalls, Philadelphia Flyers. Big winger had a productive junior career for Saint John Sea Dogs. I bet he signs before the deadline.
- No. 116 RC Glenn Gawdin, St. Louis Blues. Solid two-way forward whose offense progressed during his junior career (but did not spike). Bet the Oilers like him.
- No. 125 R Saku Maenalanen, Nashville Predators. Bigger winger (6.03, 205) who plays in a pro league and puts up good boxcars (34gp, 11-10-21, Sm-Liiga). He is 22, has a rep for being good in possession and along the wall.
- No. 131 RC Matt Bradley, Montreal Canadiens. Blossomed offensively in the years after the draft. Has a gritty style despite size (5.11, 187) and I suspect he’ll get a pro contract somewhere in the next 12 months.
- No. 144 RD Carl Neill, Vancouver Canucks. He has good to great boxcars through his junior career and is 6.01, 201. Reasons for not signing him might include foot speed and too much chaos in coverage, and I have read those things about him.
- No. 152 overall RC Giorgio Estephan, Buffalo Sabres. Skill center who scored 89 points with Lethbridge last year. He could be on Edmonton’s list (or Bakersfield’s).
- No. 155 overall LD Stephen Desrocher, Toronto Maple Leafs. Two-way defender with size (6.04, 198), unlikely to bring much offense with him.
- No. 164 overall R Roy Radke, Chicago Blackhawks. 6.02 power winger scored well (19, 23) in his final seasons in the OHL.
- No. 180 L Bokondji Imama, Tampa Bay Lightning. Spiked this season (41 goals) and my bet is the Lightning (who have an eye for innovative offense) sign him.
- No. 185 R Nikita Korostelev, Toronto Maple Leafs. A creative winger who has average size (6.01, 201) and good speed. He’s good enough to sign based on scouting report and resume, wonder if his playoff run with the Petes helped his cause.
- No. 203 overall G Janne Juvonen, Nashville Predators. When a goalie gets picked by the Predators, pay attention. Number in Sm-Liiga good not great.
- No. 203 overall, C-L Matteo Gennaro, Winnipeg Jets. Weird to see a former classmate of one of my kids on this list, even weirder to see him unsigned. Massive spike this past season (69gp, 43-37-80) but his resume suggests a pretty solid two-way player.
- No. 208 overall G Miroslav Svoboda, Edmonton Oilers. I have enjoyed tracking his numbers, he is so dominant in his Czech league. It’s probably like Kramer vs. kids at karate but it was a nice dream.
- No. 210 overall LD Tate Olson, Vancouver Canucks. Big defender started his draft year as a highly rated player, then plummeted. I thought it was an astute pick by the Canucks and Olson did in fact post two good draft+1 seasons. I think an organization like Vancouver might be addled enough to let actual value slip through their fingers. It will be interesting to follow Olson’s career path from here.
According to this article, the Oilers are interested in Russian forward Sergei Andronov. I think that’s it, or he may come from the same town as Anton Slepyshev. Google translate has a sense of humor, that I can state as actual fact. Andronov is 6.02, 212 and plays center or wing (while being lefthanded). He went 51gp, 6-4-10 in the KHL last year (NHLE: 12) and would be a reasonable replacement for Jere Sallinen (AHL center) based on what we know. He is a good skater and has some skill.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we drive toward the weekend with two hours of Lowdown on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Ottawa Senators did a nation proud but it’s Sid versus the Volcano in the SCF.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Should the Oilers slow play this summer, keeping the Steve Austins and waiting for deadline madness?
- Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers offseason: Which way should they go?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!