If you’re piecing together the “training camp hopeful” list for this fall (guilty as charged) Cooper Marody makes the list without a throw. His scouting report (ISS had him No. 83 in 2015, saying “skilled centre shows high-end creativity” called his skating very good and noted he needed to work on his defensive game) was strong in his draft year and he closed like a demon in his final college season (as a junior). How much will he play?
Great playoff special! Try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here. There’s a 7-day free trial and the cost for an annual subscription is less than one (or two) coffee per month, depending on where you buy your coffee. We have a mountain of good reading to come in the next 30 days at The Athletic Edmonton, including draft coverage, prospect updates and reaction to the deals of summer. Join us, for the Oilers coverage, stay for all of the other brilliant writing on the site.
- New Lowetide: Oilers options at No. 10 overall
- Lowetide: For the Oilers, third-round success means no more walkabout selections
- Lowetide: Building the McDavid cluster.
- Corey Pronman: Top 31 prospects of the last five years (major Oilers content)
- Mitch Brown: A data-driven comparison of Evan Bouchard and Noah Dobson.
- Lowetide: Buying low on Josh Leivo.
- Corey Pronman: How draft boards work
- Corey Pronman: 2018 NHL draft board.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers at the draft: Overagers.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers scouting directors: A history.
CONDORS FORWARDS, FINAL 18 GAMES 2017-18
This is March 1 through the end of the season (18 games, Condors went 9-6-3) and the team was turning over a lot of forwards. I’ve included everyone 23 and under who acted like a prospect and it’s a fun list.
- Cooper Marody played just three games but looked very good in that short span. He had seven shots in the three games and was effective on the power play. There are 68 AHL games in a Condors season, suspect Marody will see 5-10 games in the NHL if he performs well in the minors.
- Tyler Benson is going to get a helluva push by the organization if he can score/check in the AHL. The Oilers haven’t deployed a rookie forward in a feature role at the AHL in ages. According to prospect-stats.com, Jesse Puljujarvi was estimated to have averaged 14:21 5×5 time on ice as a rookie, I bet Tyler Benson gets more time that JP did as a rookie pro under Jay Woodcroft. My guess is Benson could see 18-30 NHL games in the coming season if things go well and I’m damned certain he’ll play with a quality AHL center.
- Tyler Vesel also came in late and had some success. I’m not sure what to make of him, but will guess he doesn’t see the NHL in 2017-18.
- Joe Gambardella finished well and I think he’s got a chance to see the NHL, but only for a few games. He’s an older prospect and (like Vesel, or Drake Caggiula) should be close to big league time the moment he turned pro.
- Kailer Yamamoto (who hasn’t played in the AHL) will be in the mix for an NHL job in training camp. Even if he doesn’t make it out of camp, I expect we’ll see him in the NHL for 40+ games this coming year. As an aside, whenever I talk about Yamamoto playing in the NHL next season the push back from readers is incredible. Please understand I’m not trying to irritate you but am calling it as I see it.
CONDORS DEFENSE, FINAL 18 GAMES 2017-18
- Ethan Bear should see NHL time, he had 18 games in 2017-18 and might get an equal amount this coming season. Could he get into 25-30? I think that might be a stretch but we’ll see.
- William Lagesson will be new to North American pro hockey this winter, but I can see him getting into some NHL games.
- Caleb Jones had a tough rookie season but he has great boots and will be a year older. He should get at least a look during the campaign.
M.Kaut and N.Nordgren didn’t undergo ytd’s #NHLCombine testing. Kaut because of a minor heart issue that is reportedly not supposed to affect his draft status, Nordgren because of some non specified health issues #NHLDraft #2018nhldraft
— Draftin Europe (@draftin_europe) June 3, 2018
There will be dozens of little pieces like this out there over the next while, we won’t know if NHL teams have taken a player off their draft boards until draft weekend. It can work out for a team with some iron though. Cam Fowler was free falling in his draft year, Anaheim stepped up and got a fine player at an excellent spot.
- Arpon Basu: The Canadiens appear interested; they were one of three teams to take Kotkaniemi out for dinner in Buffalo, with the Detroit Red Wings (No. 6 overall pick) and Edmonton Oilers (No. 10) the others. (The Athletic)
Another thing we’ll see in the next couple of weeks occurs here with Mr. Basu’s verbal on Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Montreal badly needs a center, but there are more prominent players available. Moving up in the draft is a blessing, but it also offers some difficulties. One thing we can probably conclude? The Finn will be off the board by No. 10 overall. While I am suggesting good draft reading, there’s a dynamite article from Fluto Shinzawa at The Athletic about using analytics to project players. Michael Schuckers and his work are profiled, he’s a well known contributor and author in the field.
In reading the summer discourse I’m seeing some thoughts popping up that don’t make a lot of sense. I thought it might be an idea to go back to the math of the 2017-18 season and refresh our memories on who accomplished what last winter. I always look at 5×5 scoring per 60, it’s pure and gives us a strong indication about what forwards were doing. It isn’t perfect, because McDavid was zooming some of these cats, and other cats were playing against the soft parade. That said, it gives us a line in the sand. A reminder, my line goes like this:
- 2.00+ A solid-to-quality first line player, or a very productive second line forward.
- 1.75-1.99 A solid to quality second line player, or an overachieving third/fourth liner earning a trip up the depth chart.
- 1.50-1.74 A productive bottom six forward or a top 6 forward in a little danger of losing his role
- 1.30-1.49 Solid role player on a support line or a badly struggling top 6 forward
- Everything else is fringe.
- Connor McDavid 3.17. The best hockey player on planet earth.
- Ty Rattie 2.49. How much can he score alongside 97 over a full season?
- Leon Draisaitl 2.29. A quality player transitioning to No. 2 C and unfettered success.
The Second Drawer
- Pontus Aberg 1.99. There’s a job opening on a good line, can he grab it?
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.96. A productive player who may spike offensively this coming season.
- Mike Cammalleri 1.80. Veteran was productive, may no return.
- Patrick Maroon 1.76. He fit like a glove on McDavid’s line, the only issue was price.
The Middle Drawer
The Fourth Drawer
- Ryan Strome 1.46. Just missed a ‘productive’ season by my metric, he was solid.
- Jujhar Khaira 1.38. Fits the solid role player definition perfectly.
- Milan Lucic 1.30. Fits the badly struggling top 6 forward perfectly.
The Bottom Drawer
- Zack Kassian 1.29. Just missed solid support player, that’s what he is.
- Anton Slepyshev 1.26. He didn’t score enough, that injury cost him.
- Jesse Puljujarvi 1.25. He flourished, then struggled, but what a skill set.
- Mark Letestu 1.16. His productivity was subpar for the role.
- Drake Caggiula 1.16. There isn’t enough offense here.
- Iiro Pakarinen 0.52. Great penalty killer.
- Kailer Yamamoto 0.50. He had myriad chances, similar to Leon in his draft +1.
It’s important to remember these things, because the more distance between the season and the current moment, the more we allow our minds to wander. Milan Lucic could improve a lot and still be a drag on a top line, for instance. Jujhar Khaira was productive but it isn’t reasonable to place him in a feature role. Drake Caggiula should not be a top option for the 97 line on RW.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show with a lot going on. At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Game Four SCF, can the Capitals widen the lead? Also, Phil Kessel’s future.
- Max Bultman, covers the Detroit Tigers for The Athletic. We’ll chat draft and Tigers.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Eskimos have some questions, Oilers at the draft.
- Keegan Matheson, Baseball Toronto. Jays draft and Vladdy Jr’s injury.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!