Peter Chiarelli has already had an unusual summer in free agency. He bought in bulk July 1, found a couple of gems a week later in Jussi Jokinen and Yohann Auvitu and is looking for savings down every aisle late in the process.
Been told UFA Cody Franson is down to Edmonton or Chicago. Vancouver never called.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) September 5, 2017
I’ve written on the subject at length (most recently here) and a one-year deal would give the Oilers some cover and offer up another actual NHL defenseman for the group. I don’t see a lot of negatives and Edmonton has more cap room (potentially) than Chicago.
CODY FRANSON 2016-17
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.89 (No.1 among regular Sabres defensemen)
- PP points per 60: 1.22 (No. 5 among regular Sabres defensemen)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 50.8
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %: +1.8
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: 50.5
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: 3.2 (31 percent of TOI v. elites)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 93 shots/3.2%
- Boxcars: 68, 3-16-19
- (All numbers via Puck IQ, Natural Stat Trick and hockey-reference)
I’d run Klefbom-Larsson, Russell-Benning and Nurse-Franson, your mileage may vary. I like the idea of Yohann Auvitu or Eric Gryba as No. 7D and it allows the new kids on the block a full season of development. Men like Keegan Lowe and Dillon Simpson would probably see less NHL time. We wait.
ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2017
There are no lottery selections this time and frankly the number of prospect forwards who are tied to the Oilers is alarming. Benson, Safin, Gambardella, Yamamoto and Maksimov count five and only four of these men are likely to play. On the other hand, there are six defensive prospects and three goalies worth watching. The three best prospects for my money: Kailer Yamamoto, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear.
ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2015
Three best prospects in this group? Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse, with Anton Slepyshev a nice kicker at the end. Jones and Bear have been at this tournament a time or two. This tournament had some surprises, including Braden Christoffer getting a pro contract and Loik Leveille turning heads. Tyler Soy also showed well.
ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2010
Three best here? Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry. I do like Magnus Paajarvi and Martin Marincin, plus Brandon Davidson turned out well. Which team had the best goalies? I’ll go with 2017.
Bob Green on Yamamoto: "We think he's going to fight for a job. I would never bet against a kid with as much ability as him."
— OilersNow (@OilersNow) September 5, 2017
I’ve written on this subject several times, Yamamoto forces his way into the conversation because his strength is the collective weakness of the gathered group of youngsters: Offense. Kailer Yamamoto is younger and smaller, but his skills will fit in at a high level on this Oilers club.
NHLE FOR OILERS PROSPECTS, 2016-17
Yamamoto is in the top range and is five years younger than Joe Gambardella. If Yamamoto tears through the Young Stars Tournament and hangs with an actual NHL skill forward in the early days of the preseason, we’re going to have ourselves an open competition. If Yamamoto wins it, where that puts Puljujarvi God only knows.
This is the current 50-man, if Edmonton signed Cody Franson and Yamamoto made the team it would mean entering the season at 50 contracts. I suspect we might see a minor deal offloading one of the players who is in a bubble position. That might be anyone from Iiro Pakarinen to Dillon Simpson. We could also see a LHD cashed, Oilers have to do something there anyway (although the glory days of the Leftorium appear to be a thing of the past).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the show, beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Alex Thomas, The Oilers Rig. Cody Franson, Kailer Yamamoto, Red Sox clocks and Patriots season.
- Guy Flaming, The Pipeline Show. A ton of WHL kids heading to Oilers rookie camp. Who are these guys?
- Amanda Nunes. She will fight Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 from the Rogers Place arena on Saturday. She has no fear.
- Matthew Cauz, TSN. We’ll chat CFL and the crazy week that was.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!