The Puck IQ numbers are going to offer us real insight into the Edmonton Oilers (and the rest of the league). I posted Edmonton’s 2016-17 forwards against elites the other day and here are the defenders.
PUCK IQ NUMBERS, OILERS DEFENSE 2016-17
- Brandon Davidson has fabulous numbers here, looking forward to see if he emerges as a substantial top 4D in Montreal. The elements have been there for two years, with injuries being the only real hold up.
- Matt Benning had a splendid rookie season and is a righty to boot. His 31 percent against elites is pretty close to top 4D, that’s his probable role this fall.
- Adam Larsson would be my nominee for best 5×5 defenseman last year. He played big minutes against elites, performed well and was +12 GF in eight hours work.
- Oscar Klefbom brings more offense than his partner and the numbers are very close at 5×5. I would rank him as the Oilers most valuable defenseman in terms of projected future.
- Kris Russell had the highest TOI (actually a tie) as a percentage of overall time, and played well despite playing wrong side. He is not a tremendously popular player with the math people, but I think the fairest ones give him due. That’s a good player card, even if we allow some luck was involved.
- Eric Gryba is solid as a 7D, I’m not certain if the average player in that spot plays 27 percent of his time against elites but it lines up with Nurse (6D) and that makes intuitive sense.
- Darnell Nurse had the same stats as Gryba and that had to be a massive improvement over his rookie season. We hope he takes another step forward this season while also being mindful that young defensemen do not have to develop in a straight line.
- Andrej Sekera skated miles with Russell and appears to have faded just a hair without him. I’d mark him as in the range with his partner and the Swedish duo.
- All of these graphs are going to be open to interpretation, but I honestly believe the Oilers had a good defensive group in 2016-17. Not perfect, needs some help, but the improvement since Chiarelli arrived is clear. Some of that is internal (Klefbom, Davidson, Nurse), but credit where due. Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell were key components a year ago, with Eric Gryba being a solid 7D for two years running.
- Darcy McLeod will be on the Lowdown at 10:20 this morning if you have any questions.
STUART SKINNER SCOUTING REPORT
- Red Line Report: Huge goaltender blocks out the sun, so hard to see any daylight it can be intimidating to shooters. Big goalie plays large by staying on his feet to see through crowds with traffc in front. Keeps gloves up at all times in stance, giving nothing to shoot at up high. Uses large frame to good advantage by wrapping himself around upper portions of goalposts; doesn’t have to come out far to take away angles and can play back further in crease. Calm demeanor prevents wasted movement – rarely over-commits on a play. Wide stance – uses long legs to step back and forth across crease often in a single motion. Great pokechecker disrupts cross-ice passes from outside of crease showcasing long reach. Source
I don’t really know anything about goalies but that’s a solid scouting report that gives us something to think about in regards to Skinner. Big man, can move efficiently. Sounds like a very good bet.
Lots of lively debate about Connor McDavid’s contract (not sure if the announcement comes today or later in the week). I ran a few numbers yesterday, wanted to post them here for posterity.
- Cap in 2007-08 was 50.3 million
- Sidney Crosby signed a contract the summer that began 2008-09 was $8.7 million
- That is 17.2 percent
- His contract was for five years, buying one year of free agency.
I believe this to be correct, please let me know if the ciphering needs some tuning.
- Cap in 2017-18 is 75.M
- McDavid’s rumored hit is $13.25 on a contract he will sign at the exact same spot at 87.
- That is 17.67 percent
- His contract is rumored to be for eight years, buying four years of free agency.
If we’re going to debate these things, very important to get things level before we begin to apply nail to wood. Connor McDavid’s contract, within the context of his only comparable, appears to favor the Oilers by some margin. The extra four years of the deal hold sway.
Got a DM yesterday telling me Bob talked about Yamamoto pushing for playing time this fall. As we have discussed since draft day, the age gap between this young man and Jesse Puljujarvi is spring-to-summer. If we go back to 2010 and run the NHLE’s for Edmonton’s first round picks:
- Connor McDavid 23-40-63
- Taylor Hall 17-29-46
- Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
- Leon Draisaitl 15-25-40
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11-27-38
- Kailer Yamamoto 15-21-36
- Jesse Puljujarvi 9-11-20
Important to note that Puljujarvi is the only man on this list to play pro hockey in his draft year, but the Yamamoto number shines like a diamond. Among No. 1 overall picks and top-five selections, he hangs in with all but McDavid and Hall. Impressive. By the way, Rob Vollman’s NHLE numbers have been tweaked and are here. You will hear people talk about Yamamoto’s size and burning a year of his entry-level deal and I understand it. The play here is to send him back, just as it was with Sam Gagner and Leon Draisaitl and all the others. If we’re honest, it’s possible. David Pastrnak spent 44 games in the NHL year after draft, in case you’re wondering if Peter Chiarelli’s Bruins did it when he was there.
Oilers twitter and various other spots are alive with the sound or Jagr, of Iginla, and now apparently Shane Doan. I wonder. Doan didn’t penalty kill at all last season, that would be one area where the Oilers might be looking for help (Malone may win a job because of it). Among the three veteran RW’s, Doan probably has the best chance of being an Oiler. Suspect all three men are long shots, I remain a devotee of Jaromir Jagr’s artistry and would love to see him spend a year in our town.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, TSN1260 beginning at 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. A nice chat about Puck IQ and Chiarelli’s offensive moves.
- Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. Brian Ferlin plus Edmonton’s two USHL draft picks.
- Marc Dumont, TSN690 Montreal. Habs summer, offer sheet.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!