Fallow Ground

by Lowetide

Future NHL skill forwards don’t spend much time in the AHL, unless they have some specific malady (Edward Purcell: foot speed) to overcome in the eyes of the high foreheads, or they’re 18 and the NHL coach isn’t sure about his overall game (Jesse Puljujarvi). (Photo by Rob Ferguson)

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Note: I wrote at length on the subject of farm development in a November article for The Athletic. It is here.

Future NHL two-way forwards and checkers also begin life as skilled forwards, in junior hockey. Example: Daniel Cleary. He scored 115 points for the Belleville Bulls at age 16 (1995-96) but he was unable to establish himself as an NHL player with his first team (Chicago Blackhawks). By the time Cleary became a productive NHLer, he was a hard-working winger, a man who accepted a role, worked hard to play in a tight-checking system, and used his God given talent to score 20 goals a season in aid of his team. That is a very useful player, but he had to adjust and become something other than the kid who ran circles around other teenagers at age 16.

The NHL is populated by men who were dominant at 16 in their various junior leagues, owning the puck for shifts at a time. But at 22 or 25, in the NHL, the player database (save a precious few) is filled with men who pressure and cut off lanes and force opposition from possession—without ever having the puck and controlling it as they did long ago. Learning that trade, and then learning to post some offense while being so disciplined, is the key to NHL success for AHL players.

Did we know the useful NHL players back in 2015-16 OKC were named Jujhar Khaira and Tyler Pitlick? No, we did not, but we knew they were trending in a good direction. Here are forward prospects (my definition is arbitrary) who scored .5-per-game or more, beginning in 2010.

2010-11 Oklahoma City Barons

  1. Linus Omark 28gp, 14-17-31 1.11
  2. Liam Reddox 37gp, 18-15-33 .892
  3. Mark Arcobello 26gp, 11-11-22 .846
  4. Colin McDonald 80gp, 42-16-58 .725
  5. Teemu Hartikainen 66gp, 17-25-42 .636

Remember: Skill doesn’t spend much time in the AHL, because if the offense is that good the NHL beckons. One dimensional players like Linus Omark have only one way to make it. Great bat, no glove.

Omark was a flat out ridiculous prospect whose biggest crime was arriving at the same time as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. He (like Paajarvi) got lost in the flood. Reddox played 100 games as a checker, Arcobello was a dandy center who worked like a bugger and willed himself into a utility role, McDonald took forever to find his way but carved out a reasonable NHL career (148 games). Teemu Hartikainen needed better boots, I liked him.

2011-12 Oklahoma City Barons

  1. Linus Omark 18gp, 6-10-16 .889
  2. Magnus Paajarvi 34gp, 7-18-25 .735
  3. Teemu Hartikainen 51gp, 14-18-32 .627
  4. Mark Arcobello 73gp, 17-26-43 .589
  5. Phil Cornet 67gp, 24-13-37 .552

Same group as a year before, the Oilers had hell popping up above with the parade of No. 1 overalls arriving every fall. Cornet was a tweener but the young man could score at the AHL level. Paajarvi lost his bat along the way, or that’s the story we tell each other. Truth is, MPS spent a helluva lot of his rookie season with Sam Gagner and Linus Omark, and those two guys created offense at both ends. The next year he played with a flagging Eric Belanger and he’s still looking for an exit ramp back to offense.

2012-13 Oklahoma City Barons

  1. Toni Rajala 46gp, 17-28-45 .978
  2. Mark Arcobello 74gp, 22-46-68 .919
  3. Teemu Hartikainen 47gp, 14-23-37 .787
  4. Phil Cornet 46gp, 15-18-33 .717
  5. Magnus Paajarvi 36gp, 4-16-20 .526

Rajala was really small and MacT sent him away 10 minutes after taking over. I don’t know if he was a player, but lordy the Oilers made decisions quickly in these years on their skilled men. The rest of the list remains the same (this was the lockout year).

2013-14 Oklahoma City Barons

  1. Mark Arcobello 15gp, 10-18-28 1.87
  2. Anton Lander 46gp, 18-34-52 1.13
  3. Linus Omark 29gp, 14-15-29 1.00
  4. Roman Horak 53gp, 21-27-48 .906
  5. Andrew Miller 52gp, 8-26-34 .654
  6. Tyler Pitlick 39gp, 8-14-22 .564

Anton Lander had a bit of Hartikainen’s issue (slow boots) but he was a fine AHL center. I liked Roman Horak but he bolted before you could say Podolsk Vityaz. Tyler Pitlick finally overcame injury and began to push toward the NHL job that would eventually arrive.

2014-15 Oklahoma City Barons

  1. Anton Lander 29gp, 9-22-31 1.07
  2. Andrew Miller 63gp, 27-33-60 .952
  3. Iiro Pakarinen 39gp, 17-11-28 .718
  4. Curtis Hamilton 63gp, 12-20-32 .508

Lander would have had a more substantial career if Todd Nelson had stayed, pretty sure we can agree on that one. Andrew Miller probably would have been better off staying in the organization but made the move to Charlotte. Iiro Pakarinen was a product of European scouting and he’s hanging in, maybe he has another 200 games in him. Curtis Hamilton played one NHL game and damned near got thrown out of the game in his first shift. Incredible.

2015-16 Bakersfield Condors

  1. Tyler Pitlick 37gp, 7-13-21 .568
  2. Jujhar Khaira 49gp, 10-17-27 .551

I don’t know that any of us saw it at the time, but these two gents look like the winners of the ‘forwards of Bakersfield’ sweepstakes. Both had issues offensively early days, and that might be a reflection of the team’s slow playing entry-level playing time. These two are what NHL teams need from their AHL clubs.

2016-17 Bakersfield Condors

  1. Anton Slepyshev 9gp, 3-7-10 1.11
  2. Jujhar Khaira 27gp, 8-12-20 .741
  3. Jesse Puljujarv 39gp, 12-16-28 .718
  4. Joey Laleggia 67gp, 20-18-38 .567

Jesse Puljujarvi is a teenager, so his numbers have to be viewed through a different lens. He’s going to have a long career. Slepyshev looks less likely to join him than I thought he would, maybe he’s the new Omark, although for me the big Russian winger has more range. Laleggia is from the one dimensional tree and doesn’t provide enough offense to get a real look.

2017-18 Bakersfield Condors

  1. Ty Rattie 43gp, 16-14-30 .698
  2. Joey Laleggia 43gp, 7-19-26 .605
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi 10gp, 1-4-5 .500

The problem with this year’s list is that Rattie and Laleggia are one dimensional (Omark class) without being dynamic enough to force a NHL audition. Puljujarvi is unique to this list, he’s not coming back to Bakersfield and hopefully he’ll score 25-30 a year in the NHL until 2040. He might end up being a two-way player but there’s absolutely no way to compare him to any other forward (lockout excluded) on this list who has played 49 AHL games.

Among this year’s prospects in Bakersfield, Patrick Russell (42, 8-8-16, .381) is probably closest to qualifying for the two-way prospect list.

The next Khaira?

I think it’s probably Tyler Benson. The other three junior forwards (below) are in the range offensively where they should project as legit skill prospects in the AHL and beyond. Yamamoto finally caught fire and he’s going to run his totals close to 2.00/game (is my guess), that will put him in Alex DeBrincat territory. The two guys at 18 are showing well, especially Maksimov who is absolutely emerging this year (I’ll be talking to Brock Otten from OHL Prospects about him today at 2:20). Safin has cooled off, mostly because his skill linemates have disappeared. It’s a nice group of four, if you’re the Oilers eight would be better.

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OriginalPouzar

Although I would like to have either of those players (Hoffman or Max P.) in our top 6, I still don’t think the trade makes sense from the Oilers points of view. The acquisition cost will be material and, frankly, as I’ve stated, I think the cap space (and possible acquisition assets) are better suited to fill the 1/2RD hole.

I think that we can fill the top 6 winger spots internally (in time) and, also, we require those spots to be filled by cheap contracts – ELC or 2nd contracts that are value contracts – that is our current cap structure.

We have a gap until any prospects are ready to continue (subject to our 1st round pick and/or Yamamoto) and here is hoping that management can find a short term stop gap (similar to Vanek this past year).

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
Kypreos reported that the price for Pacioretty is a first-rounder, a second-rounder, a warm roster body, and a top prospect.

That is asinine and I’m confident that Chiarelli won’t pay that type of price for a scoring winger.

I still think that the greater need for this team is a 1/2 RD and I’d like to keep any available cap space to upgrade at that area and the top 6 winger spot should be filled with a short term stop gap solution until it can be filled longer term with an internal option that will include value contracts for a few years.We need value contracts in the top 6, not higher priced aging veterans.

It’s likely just the starting offer, if Kypreos isn’t just full of shyte, that is.

Not likely though. Before he started scoring again a bit ago the price was reportedly quite lower than that.

But one would hope no one would be tricked into an aging scoring winger for that price, especially after the Subban and Drouin trades setting precedent.

Would Hoffman be a better version of Pacioretty? Would the experience and Captaincy of Max offer a better fit with McDavid, despite the age difference?

Are the Oilers even in the conversations? Winnipeg has been rumoured to be in on both as well, and they have more drive and reason to do it this season than Edmonton does.

flyfish1168

OriginalPouzar:
Kypreos reported that the price for Pacioretty is a first-rounder, a second-rounder, a warm roster body, and a top prospect.

That is asinine and I’m confident that Chiarelli won’t pay that type of price for a scoring winger.

I still think that the greater need for this team is a 1/2 RD and I’d like to keep any available cap space to upgrade at that area and the top 6 winger spot should be filled with a short term stop gap solution until it can be filled longer term with an internal option that will include value contracts for a few years.We need value contracts in the top 6, not higher priced aging veterans.

I hope Bergevin isn’t serious. 4 for 1 lmao

OriginalPouzar

Kypreos reported that the price for Pacioretty is a first-rounder, a second-rounder, a warm roster body, and a top prospect.

That is asinine and I’m confident that Chiarelli won’t pay that type of price for a scoring winger.

I still think that the greater need for this team is a 1/2 RD and I’d like to keep any available cap space to upgrade at that area and the top 6 winger spot should be filled with a short term stop gap solution until it can be filled longer term with an internal option that will include value contracts for a few years. We need value contracts in the top 6, not higher priced aging veterans.

OriginalPouzar

GMB3: Agreed. He’s great on the backcheck and often shows the effort to try and break up a play but his defensive positioning isn’t the best

He can often look lost in our own zone when we are hemmed in – just like Connor, Leon, Anton, Drake, etc.

He is, though, 19 years old and he does have defensive awareness and the willingness to perform a 200 foot game – no doubt in my mind that he will be a very solid to great 200 foot player when developed, a player the coach will trust to defend a lead in the dying minutes.

OriginalPouzar

maudite:
On a blog that has a pretty solid base principal in ensuring that statistics are as validated as they can manage to make them (sample size being major key):

Why is anyone talking about home and road splits of special teams?

PK sucks.More damning for coaches is it sucks more at home I guess but it isn’t a large enough sample to sensibly split the already small sample in half again and try to construct narratives to explain.Plain and simple the PK suck something fierce.

I don’t think I’ve read a single post that professes that the PK does not suck – some have expressed confusion regarding why there is the split or simply noted the fact or tried to figure out an explanation but, as far as professing that the PK doesn’t suck, I don’t think that has happened.

GMB3

Munny: Not at all.I see him misread plays here and there, over commit, make some puck management booboos.He has the mindset to be a great two way player, and he has made some amazing defensive plays this year.But he has also made some rookie errors, These will disapparate with time.

Agreed. He’s great on the backcheck and often shows the effort to try and break up a play but his defensive positioning isn’t the best

maudite

On a blog that has a pretty solid base principal in ensuring that statistics are as validated as they can manage to make them (sample size being major key):

Why is anyone talking about home and road splits of special teams?

PK sucks. More damning for coaches is it sucks more at home I guess but it isn’t a large enough sample to sensibly split the already small sample in half again and try to construct narratives to explain. Plain and simple the PK suck something fierce.

OriginalPouzar

Hebig finishes with a goal and two assists – goal was the OT winner.

2 assists for Benson.

Stuart Skinner stops 36 of 39 in a 5-3 win.

JD_Wry

Scungilli Slushy: what evil Lou will…

Yeah – y’take carah dat ting?

Scungilli Slushy

Wilde: It’s a mix of them having the depth at forward, and Babcock clowning on his young forwards since the beginning of time

Boots. I don’t know a lot about Leivo, but LT mentioned that he’s not fast.

Some players can get points but might not do anything else. Like Yak. It isn’t fair to the team unless they are an elite scorer. Yak and Leivo are not.

Perhaps Lou takes Slepy whose sideburns now need their own postal code. And Babcock who can deal with Russians turns him into a 25 goal scoring fast big forecheck posession monster.

And Chia hates a floater so declines to re up Leivo and Tampa makes him a 30 goal two way scorer.

Confused

Scungilli Slushy,

Perhaps he can convince him he needs a vet Letestu as 4C cover 🙂

Scungilli Slushy

Confused:
HNIC has stated Leivo has asked for a trade ……

Perhaps PC should investigate, cautiously

If Snow owns PCs soul I acn’t imagine what evil Lou will rain down on him.

leadfarmer

Marc McNeil traded today in a depth move. He was once a popular prospect. Thankfully he got drafted before us so we had to settle for Klefbom

Wilde

Bling:
Yes please to Leivo.

1.77 EV points/60.

I wonder how he would do in a top 6 role. Leafs have jerked him around, IMO. Not in a malicious sense; they just have too much forward depth.

He deserves a shot at some real ice-time.

If Chia can bring him in for a pick and get Kyrou out of St. Louis for Maroon, all is forgiven! ?

It’s a mix of them having the depth at forward, and Babcock clowning on his young forwards since the beginning of time

leadfarmer

I can’t imagine Leivo being expensive. Cmon Chia

Bling

Yes please to Leivo.

1.77 EV points/60.

I wonder how he would do in a top 6 role. Leafs have jerked him around, IMO. Not in a malicious sense; they just have too much forward depth.

He deserves a shot at some real ice-time.

If Chia can bring him in for a pick and get Kyrou out of St. Louis for Maroon, all is forgiven! 🙂

Jaxon

BornInAGretzkyJersey: I’m talking about learning how to play against 30 year old 6’3, 220 pound centers and d-men as opposed to 19 year old 6’1, 170 pound centers and d-men.

Its a different world.

Absolutely agree.

Agreed. I’d also add that the AHL and NHL are substantially faster, so if a small player was able to skate himself out of harms way in junior, that may not hold in the AHL or NHL. They may have to find new ways to find room without getting murdered out there. And if they can’t skate their way out or find room somehow then they have to learn to take the hits or roll off them while still making the plays they used to make with ease in junior.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
Maksimov finishes with two assists.

To the Maks!

Confused

Assuming we can go back into Unicorn mode

Leivo RNH Strome

Might make an interesting 3rd line

Wilde

Leivo would be a great 4LW on this team.

OriginalPouzar

Maksimov finishes with two assists.

Confused

Toronto are at 50 contracts perhaps a pick they could flip while creating an opening may not be out of the question.

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
Hebig with a 2nd period assist.

Hebig adds a second assist.

OriginalPouzar

I’ve been suggesting Leivo over the last week or so but I’m not sure there is a fit – they don’t really need Maroon, they could use some more depth on D I believe.

OriginalPouzar

Hebig with a 2nd period assist.

Confused

HNIC has stated Leivo has asked for a trade ……

Perhaps PC should investigate, cautiously

Wilde

leadfarmer: If he’s ready then he’s ready.But i don’t want him pencilled in for a top 6 spot.But if he’s close but not quite there I would let him percolate in the AHL until he is ready.

He’s not a dynamic skater like Barzal.Barzal can skate his way out of trouble.So throw that comparison out the window

Kailer Yamamoto is an excellent skater.

*fires confetti*

leadfarmer

Bling: Benson will be on the AHL squad, Heibig as well.

Jordan Eberle was the last 20 year old to come out of the WHL and play 1st line RW for the Oilers, and he didn’t do so badly.

If a guy is ready, he’s ready. If Yamamoto is at 2 PPG at the end of this season, that puts him in Matthew Barzal territory.

If he’s ready then he’s ready. But i don’t want him pencilled in for a top 6 spot. But if he’s close but not quite there I would let him percolate in the AHL until he is ready.

He’s not a dynamic skater like Barzal. Barzal can skate his way out of trouble. So throw that comparison out the window

leadfarmer

GMB3:
Is anyone else worried that Sekera doesn’t return to form? Major knee surgery, wrong side of 30, a lot of his game revolved around his skating ability.

None at all. This was a lost season for him as expected. He needs the offseason to recover. I’m glad they are limiting his minutes. I would even sit him on the second of back 2 back games in this lost season

Bling

leadfarmer: The big reason to play Yamamoto in the AHL next year isnt just for his development but for the development of other prospects.It is very important for these prospects including the defensive prospects to get used to playing with skill.If we start the season with Yamamoto pencilled in as a top 6 winger in the NHL we are in trouble.

Benson will be on the AHL squad, Heibig as well.

Jordan Eberle was the last 20 year old to come out of the WHL and play 1st line RW for the Oilers, and he didn’t do so badly.

If a guy is ready, he’s ready. If Yamamoto is at 2 PPG at the end of this season, that puts him in Matthew Barzal territory.

Scungilli Slushy

The thing is the core is mostly in place. The top 6 is mostly there. There are 4 good D when healthy. A seemingly capable goalie.

This is where teams make big mistakes based on disappointing seasons.

Tampa missed the playoffs last season. They could have said the team is weak because they couldn’t live without Stamkos.They could have blamed it on Cooper.

The Oilers need a better 2 pair D than Benning as he has played so far.

They need better help from the bottom 6. Especially with PK.

Do they look to add a possible 25 goal winger when their 5v5 scoring is solid, or find low cost players that can help where the issues really lay?

If a reasonable deal comes up for a better right side D comes up I’d take it. If it doesn’t I’d look for better players in role positions. Khaira and JP are NHL players now.

Strome is decent in the correct usage putting the trade aside. He needs to be paid for what he does not what his draft position was.

McLellan might not use a full roster but he should have 4 lines and 3 pairs he can use in most games.

I would upgrade (ha, phone autocorrected zombies) 4C and find penalty killers. Find vets that can skate still and do the job required.

And let them play. Ask for a commitment to system play and let them run. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

And be willing to change assistants that can’t get a proper response from the roster. What worked before might not work now with this group.

The key is adapting. The league changes constantly over seasons. Rosters change.

Professor Q

Pescador: Ok Mr smarty pants, and just how do you propose we get these so called ‘good’ players?
Trade? Free agency?
You’ve just got it all figured out, don’t you

I’m not sure if this is T.I.C. or serious.

OriginalPouzar

GMB3:
Is anyone else worried that Sekera doesn’t return to form? Major knee surgery, wrong side of 30, a lot of his game revolved around his skating ability.

I’m not overly concerned – not any more than I was 3-4-5 months ago.

His current mobility issues were expected.

From accounts, it takes a good year to be 100% so I’m expecting him to have a great off-season of training and be ready for camp, 100%.

I think there is a small risk that you are right but its 2018 and the medical world now works wonders – I’m sure he got the top end surgeon and has access to all the top end rehab equipment, personnel, etc.

OriginalPouzar

Maksimov with an assist on the go-ahead goal in the 2nd.

GMB3

Is anyone else worried that Sekera doesn’t return to form? Major knee surgery, wrong side of 30, a lot of his game revolved around his skating ability.

Munny

who: Interesting to read that you think JP has defensive issues.
To my eye he has been one of the Oilers most defensively responsible forwards.
I wonder what you are seeing that I am not. Or are you just assuming he is bad defensively because he is young.

Not at all. I see him misread plays here and there, over commit, make some puck management booboos. He has the mindset to be a great two way player, and he has made some amazing defensive plays this year. But he has also made some rookie errors, These will disapparate with time.

OriginalPouzar

Ooof, Dylan Wells give up 4 goals on 8 shots in the first ten minutes and is pulled.

who

leadfarmer:
who,

Not saying I’m advocating the move.Our salary cap disaster prevents us from doing this same as our lack of prospects.If you are the Sens management though I don’t see why they trade him for a lesser prospect.Like I said early in the season our contracts and lack of prospects pushes our window back 4 years.Time to rebuild the rebuild.Get rid of players that will not help you in 4 years.Trade Russell, Lucic, Latestube, Strome, even Maroon

Agreed
Only I think the timeline for contention is shorter. Maybe two years. After next season the possibility of a Russell, or even Sekera, trade exists. That would coincide with when some of the current prospects are ready to contribute at the NHL level.
That is best case scenario unless they start trading pieces like Nuge or Klefbom. And I don’t like the odds of these trades improving the team.

Pescador

Professor Q: Dynasty Red Wings.

The true trick it seems is getting good players with good chemistry with each other.

Ok Mr smarty pants, and just how do you propose we get these so called ‘good’ players?
Trade? Free agency?
You’ve just got it all figured out, don’t you

prefonmich

godot10,

Hoffman for either of our two potential skilled prospects who may or may not make an offensive impact in the next 5 years may not be the best move BUT Rick Nash is not coming here for cheap to play with Mcdavid just like Lucic didn’t come at a discount. Maybe we will get another Ty Rattle to rock our world. That is more likely.
Trade our assets for draft picks and draft well is the best bet and only course of action. Hope some of the bets this year play better next year. Chia already traded our most valuable assets for pennies on the dollar.

Professor Q

godot10: No it isn’t.Orr’s Boston Bruins.The seventies Canadiens.The dynasty Islanders.The dynasty Oilers.The Blackhawks in the last decade.All dominated by left shot D,

Dynasty Red Wings.

The true trick it seems is getting good players with good chemistry with each other.

godot10

jtblack: I know a few teams have not had the LEFT-RIGHT Balance on D and been successful (Bruce mentioned the ’87 Oilers) ..but this is the Exception; not the rule.

No it isn’t. Orr’s Boston Bruins. The seventies Canadiens. The dynasty Islanders. The dynasty Oilers. The Blackhawks in the last decade. All dominated by left shot D,

Scungilli Slushy

godot10: 2 years of and expensive Hoffman for 14 years (many inexpensive) of Benson and the 2018 2nd.That type of trade for Hoffman is a trade a contender (with a deep prospect pool) makes, not a bottom ten team in the NHL with a skimpy prospect pool.

There will be free agent wingers out there who won’t cost the Oilers two high end prospects.Rick Nash might be willing to sign for two years for a chance to play with McDavid.

Hoffman is a good player but he’s 29 next season and is not ripping up the score sheet. Nuge has more goals and costs basically the same and is under contract. Giving up future would be a bad idea/

If you you are talking a guy who is high end and under 25 maybe.

Deals that seem to work out are for less costly undervalued players. For the Oilers at least.

KYPD unless it’s a no brainer like Chia offers up. The team won’t likely be better off.

leadfarmer

Bling: I did not agree with having Yamamoto start the year with the club.

However, he will be 20 at the beginning of next season. The Jets are known for slow playing their talent, and Kyle Connor still got into 20 games in his age 20 season. He became a full-time player this year and is tearing it up. Pastrnak on the Bruins was a full-time NHLer at age 20. The Leafs are very patient with their prospects, and Marner made it at 19.

Suffice it to say that legit offensive talents — and I think Yamamoto is one — generally play in the NHL at age 20.

The only real problem that Yamamoto has is his size, and playing in the AHL will not help that.

The big reason to play Yamamoto in the AHL next year isnt just for his development but for the development of other prospects. It is very important for these prospects including the defensive prospects to get used to playing with skill. If we start the season with Yamamoto pencilled in as a top 6 winger in the NHL we are in trouble.

godot10

PunjabiOil:
Benson hasn’t spiked offensively in his 19 year old season.

Wonder if Ottawa does Benson + 2018 2nd for Hoffman.

2 years of and expensive Hoffman for 14 years (many inexpensive) of Benson and the 2018 2nd. That type of trade for Hoffman is a trade a contender (with a deep prospect pool) makes, not a bottom ten team in the NHL with a skimpy prospect pool.

There will be free agent wingers out there who won’t cost the Oilers two high end prospects. Rick Nash might be willing to sign for two years for a chance to play with McDavid.

leadfarmer

PunjabiOil: Not necessarily saying we should dump him – but it fills a team need.

If you think you could get a 2nd round pick for Maroon – the swap effectively becomes Benson for Hoffman.

That’s not how math works. It becomes Benson + Maroon for Hoffman

Bling

thehop:
***My bet is that he won’t see the AHL***

If Yamamoto doesn’t spend a minute in the minors, it only indicates to me that this management group is no different than the tire fire that preceded it.

Losers put 18/19 year olds in top 6 positions right off the bat. Pulujarvi is no different. He hasn’t shit the bed this year, thank god, but I’ll never understand why a GM would bank on these types of players playing a significant role as rookie or 2nd year pro’s.

I did not agree with having Yamamoto start the year with the club.

However, he will be 20 at the beginning of next season. The Jets are known for slow playing their talent, and Kyle Connor still got into 20 games in his age 20 season. He became a full-time player this year and is tearing it up. Pastrnak on the Bruins was a full-time NHLer at age 20. The Leafs are very patient with their prospects, and Marner made it at 19.

Suffice it to say that legit offensive talents — and I think Yamamoto is one — generally play in the NHL at age 20.

The only real problem that Yamamoto has is his size, and playing in the AHL will not help that.

leadfarmer

who,

Not saying I’m advocating the move. Our salary cap disaster prevents us from doing this same as our lack of prospects. If you are the Sens management though I don’t see why they trade him for a lesser prospect. Like I said early in the season our contracts and lack of prospects pushes our window back 4 years. Time to rebuild the rebuild. Get rid of players that will not help you in 4 years. Trade Russell, Lucic, Latestube, Strome, even Maroon

PunjabiOil

Professor Q: Shyte, I had those numbers mixed up somehow. My mistake, freely admitted, no pom-poms required.

Regardless, I personally think they’re both doing well and I don’t think that “Benson’s numbers haven’t ‘spiked’ thus we should dump him” is a beneficial mindset.

Not necessarily saying we should dump him – but it fills a team need.

If you think you could get a 2nd round pick for Maroon – the swap effectively becomes Benson for Hoffman.