Just Out of Reach (Of my two empty arms)

Oilers LOVED their 1988 second rounder Petro Koivunen. He was a center who had a solid first season after his draft year (named to the Finnish team for the Pravda Cup), but he never made it. He did play in Finland, though, and did have some good seasons.

THE ATHLETIC!

Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.

JUST OUT OF REACH OF MY TWO EMPTY ARMS

  • Ralph Krueger on Teemu Hartikainen“He’s trying to figure out what a gritty, strong power forward does and what’s connected to that. What’s important for him is to continue to manage the puck in all three zones.”
  • Craig MacTavish on young players: “In today’s NHL, even marginally, you have to be a threat to score.”

We were talking about drafting, procurement and Anton Lander last night, and it got me thinking about the players from a decade ago we were discussing. Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi, Toni Rajala, Riley Nash, most ended up shy of either offense, foot speed or both. Here are the NHLE’s for the 2010 Top 20 (summer edition). Where do the top skill guys fall off, and how many of the checkers found their way?

  1. Taylor Hall 19-27-46 (17)
  2. Jordan Eberle 22-24-46 (19)
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 16-22-38 (18)
  4. Linus Omark 20-15-35 (22)
  5. Chris VandeVelde 13-21-34 (22)
  6. Teemu Hartikainen 12-14-26 (19)
  7. Toni Rajala 11-15-26 (17)
  8. Ryan Martindale 8-16-24 (17)
  9. Anton Lander 9-12-21 (18)
  10. Tyler Pitlick 10-7-17 (17)
  11. Curtis Hamilton 6-9-15 (17)

The guys who ended up blossoming on skill lines were over 40 points NHLE and teenagers. The checkers who emerged as useful were Paajarvi, VandeVelde and Pitlick—a mixed bag but once again mostly teenagers. Among the group who have had solid NHL careers, only VandeVelde (who was 22) had a significant career. Note: Is still think Linus Omark and Teemu Hartikainen could have had some success.

MASHUP

Now, let’s combine the 2010 list with 10 Oilers forward prospects from yesterday’s NHLE list. We’re looking for men who look like Hall and Eberle (even vaguely) and we’re looking for people who have something in common with Puljujarvi, VandeVelde and Pitlick. And please remember, we’re using different equivalencies for 2010 versus 2018 so it isn’t going to align perfectly. This is NHLE.

  1. Taylor Hall 19-27-46 (17)
  2. Jordan Eberle 22-24-46 (19)
  3. Kailer Yamamoto 13-27-40 (19)
  4. Magnus Paajarvi 16-22-38 (18)
  5. Cooper Marody 11-24-35 (20)
  6. Linus Omark 20-15-35 (22)
  7. Kirill Maksimov 15-19-34 (18)
  8. Cameron Hebig 15-19-34 (20)
  9. Chris VandeVelde 13-21-34 (22)
  10. Ty Rattie 16-16-32 (24)
  11. Tyler Vesel 11-21-32 (23)
  12. Tyler Benson 12-18-30 (19)
  13. Teemu Hartikainen 12-14-26 (19)
  14. Ryan McLeod 10-16-26 (17)
  15. Toni Rajala 11-15-26 (17)
  16. Ryan Martindale 8-16-24 (17)
  17. Ostap Safin 10-12-22 (18)
  18. Graham McPhee 11-11-22 (19)
  19. Nolan Vesey 10-12-22 (22)
  20. Anton Lander 9-12-21 (18)
  21. Tyler Pitlick 10-7-17 (17)
  22. Curtis Hamilton 6-9-15 (17)

The only similar player to Hall-Eberle is Kailer Yamamoto, who is shy of both but remains a promising prospect for a skill line. Cooper Marody is on the edge of that group, along with Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark, two men who had some offensive ability. I’ll mention Kirill Maksimov here too, his shot is going to get him some opportunities if he continues to develop.

The harder part is identifying the Paajarvi, the VandeVelde, the Pitlick. Given three guesses, and that’s what they are, I’ll run with Tyler Benson and Graham McPhee. Ryan McLeod and Ostap Safin are in no man’s land but there’s plenty of time for both to push.

NHL GAMES SINCE 2010

  1. Jordan Eberle 588
  2. Taylor Hall 529
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 387
  4. Chris VandeVelde 278
  5. Anton Lander 215
  6. Tyler Pitlick 138
  7. Linus Omark 79
  8. Teemu Hartikainen 52
  9. Curtis Hamilton 1

Edmonton had a No. 1 overall pick in this group, so success at the top end was assured. Jordan Eberle was a brilliant pick and he delivered, he’s one of the best value picks in team history. Magnus Paajarvi had a meandering career but seems to have found his way as a role player.

VandeVelde was the surprise in this group, honestly there was very little indication he would emerge as a regular. I always thought Pitlick would end up having an NHL career and now that health doesn’t seem to be an issue he’s found his way.

Finally, I always like to state that in my opinion Linus Omark and Teemu Hartikainen could have fit as role players on a team with more stable and mature management. It was not to be.

Question: Who are your candidates for skill positions (Hall-Eberle) and role player positions (Pitlick, VandeVelde, Paajarvi) on the current list?

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68 Responses to "Just Out of Reach (Of my two empty arms)"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    What these lists tell me is that there are a whole bunch of players tightly packed together and so much depends on opportunity, timing, and luck. Having one stand out skill (like Paajarvi and his speed or Pitlick with his aggressive speed mixed with forechecking) will give you more opportunities to stick.

    I don’t know if there is much of a difference between VandeVelde, Lander, Arcobello, etc aside from finding a role on a team that could use that role at that time.

    For current guys, Maksimov will get his chance if he keeps scoring because that’s a standout and rare skill. A lot of the other guys will need what VandeVelde got. Guys like Benson have a couple ways they can make it, so my money’s on him. McPhee looks like a VandeVelde type, he just needs to keep progressing and for things to break right, but his ceiling is probably still bottom six.

  2. Zow says:

    Skill- k.y. , Maksimov, role players- Benson,Mcleod, just my 2 cents

  3. Melvis says:

    VOR: I think this is the beginning of a great and highly workable idea.

    Actually…the more I think about it.

  4. Westchester Oil says:

    Skill candidates – Yammamoto, Maksimov, McLeod
    Role player candidates – Benson, Marody

  5. Woogie63 says:

    “In today’s NHL…” are dangerous words to hear out of a GMs mouth, he is about to justify something he just screwed up on.

  6. godot10 says:

    Lander, Hartikainen, and Omark are NHL calibre players that needed the right situation.

    Lander is clearly better than several players slotted to play for the Oilers this year (Caggiula, Rattie, Malone, maybe even Kaasian and Aberg. He can play on my 4th line. It will be interesting to see if he comes back to the NHL in 2019 when his KHL contract is up.

  7. Melvis says:

    I’m not quite vibrating yet. Somewhere between vibration (no cheap jokes here please)…and the neck hairs standing up, I’m gonna bullet point an outline for a business plan. I’m thinking about something very scalable. From local bootstrap level, to the sky is the limit.

    AAAA sport consulting currently lacks a very catchy name, but I’ll get there soon. And what I have in mind monetizes within months of inception, therefore imminently investible.

    First up. Baby steps and a sports bar get together with a few dudes here who are way smarter than me.

    This is fun!

  8. Lowetide says:

    Vandelay Industries.

  9. v4ance says:

    godot10,

    Yakupov did well under Kreuger
    Lander thrived under Nelson

    Both were marginalized under McLellan.. If there’s a point where I agree with you on coaching deficiencies, it’s here in the sub-optimal usage of players. Square pegs in round holes and the coach holds the hammer…

  10. Spydyr says:

    Most times I bite my tongue here but sometimes somethings are just too out there not to comment on:

    Jordan Eberle was a brilliant pick and he delivered, he’s one of the best value picks in team history.

    Messier, Kurri, Anderson , Moog and Tikkanen say ,come on man.

  11. Onemanblitz says:

    Lowetide,

    Importer/Exporter?

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide:
    Vandelay Industries.

    I don’t think Melvis is selling latex.

    Probably.

  13. Scungilli Slushy says:

    It seems to me after watching so many prospects wash out in Edmonton, the thing for many teams and the Oilers is that players each need to make a distinct impact in some way.

    Their deficiencies aren’t as germain as doing something the team values to be noticed.

    Kassian isn’t a prospect but his last season shows how precarious NHL employment is. He doesn’t score enough to stick by that, and when he loses his agro there isn’t a lot left that makes him stand out.

    I found with Lander you could see that he had a good head, but he followed the play around a lot without impacting it enough. He has enough skill to score with good players, but not enough to stick in most NHL top sixes. As a bottom six he doesn’t have the size like Paajarvi or his speed that bought MP a career.

    Caggiula is a lesser player but he assets himself in ways that are valued, right or wrong. If Kassian has become zen his NHL days are numbered, or he’ll be a pro try out late signing guy close to league minimum. If he gets some sting back he’ll get a nice contract when he’s up,
    Ike Reaves did, but for less being a lesser threat.

    MacT basically said this in a way. Players have to be distinct in some way to maintain in the best league, so many guys each year coming in that are new shiny bobbles, and good team should always being trying to get better.

    Lucic is here as well. Another passive season and he’s a lock out buyout or salary dump. If he starts fighting again (which is unlikely at his age) and winning that might mitigate his offensive decline. The league has time for heavyweights with some hockey ability still. You have to do something distinctive. Most can’t choose high scoring as an option.

  14. Melvis says:

    I always wanted to be an architect.

  15. Jaxon says:

    Skill: Yamamoto, Maksimov (especially if he takes a step forward this season)
    Versatile, could go both ways: Benson, McLeod
    Role Players: Marody (safe bet as a Swiss Army knife player), Safin (needs a big season), and Vesel (outside chance at short career). EDIT: as mentioned by OP late in this thread, Rasanen has some great tools to become a 4C.

    I think this season is huge for Benson to have a full season injury free after a summer where he could test and then work out all summer. And for McLeod to step out of his brother’s Shadow. I think there is a chance he blossoms this year and next. His offence was very shy this year in my opinion to be picked as high as he was but it was a pretty decent pick if the scouts like him, all things considered.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    v4ance:
    godot10,

    Yakupov did well under Kreuger
    Lander thrived under Nelson

    Both were marginalized under McLellan..If there’s a point where I agree with you on coaching deficiencies, it’s here in the sub-optimal usage of players.Square pegs in round holes and the coach holds the hammer…

    Thanks to Oilers mgmt…

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Melvis:
    I’m not quite vibrating yet. Somewhere between vibration (no cheap jokes here please)…and the neck hairs standing up, I’m gonna bullet point an outline for a business plan. I’m thinking about something very scalable. From local bootstrap level, to the sky is the limit.

    AAAAsport consulting currently lacks a very catchy name, but I’ll get there soon. And what I have in mind monetizes within months of inception, therefore imminently investible.

    First up. Baby steps and a sports bar get together with a few dudes here who are way smarter than me.

    This is fun!

    “AAA Sport Consulting” has a great catchy ring to it.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Krill Maksimov looks great by any metric or number that I see as well as by eye.

    How did this kid last until the 5th round?

  19. Georgexs says:

    Some working notes on the draft:

    – typically, between 30% and 40% of each draft class plays in the NHL

    – the probability of a draft pick playing in the NHL is approximately 36% (so nearly 2 of 3 draft picks are obvious failures)

    – of the players who make it to the NHL, half will play for 5 or fewer seasons (so nearly 1 of 6 draft picks are less obvious failures)

    – of the players who make it to the NHL, nearly half will make their debut by their draft + 3

    – players who debut later play fewer seasons than players who debut earlier

    – the median number of seasons played by players who debut in their draft + 3 or earlier is 8

    – for players who debut after their draft + 3, the median seasons played is 4

  20. Woogie63 says:

    On bad teams the coach needs to find roles the player can be successful in…

    On good teams players need to be adaptable to roles that make the team better.

  21. Georgexs says:

    “The harder part is identifying the Paajarvi, the VandeVelde, the Pitlick.”

    I don’t think this is hard. None of these guys have scored at a successful NHL forward level (around 0.4 points per game). As you’d expect from their lack of offense, they have bad Rel GF% numbers. When you identify the Paajarvis, the VandeVeldes, and the Pitlicks on your team, you’re identifying the players you want to replace. (Pitlick may have a chance to be more than what he’s shown so far; i’d say the odds are against him though.)

    The problem with identifying young forwards to play in your bottom 6 is that a lot of those spots will be more capably filled by veterans whose scoring has fallen off from their younger days. The threshold for scoring for top 9F is around 0.4 points per game. Quite a few of the spots on the lower end are filled by forwards who in their prime years in the league were scoring at a higher rate than that. That’s what earned them longer careers: they were more productive, they were more competitive.

    I think your observation that for forwards, you select for offense is dead on.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Georgexs:
    “The harder part is identifying the Paajarvi, the VandeVelde, the Pitlick.”

    I don’t think this is hard. None of these guys have scored at a successful NHL forward level (around 0.4 points per game). As you’d expect from their lack of offense, they have bad Rel GF% numbers. When you identify the Paajarvis, the VandeVeldes, and the Pitlicks on your team, you’re identifying the players you want to replace. (Pitlick may have a chance to be more than what he’s shown so far; i’d say the odds are against him though.)

    The problem with identifying young forwards to play in your bottom 6 is that a lot of those spots will be more capably filled by veterans whose scoring has fallen off from their younger days. The threshold for scoring for top 9F is around 0.4 points per game. Quite a few of the spots on the lower end are filled by forwards who in their prime years in the league were scoring at a higher rate than that. That’s what earned them longer careers: they were more productive, they were more competitive.

    I think your observation that for forwards, you select for offense is dead on.

    It’s hard to select the correct ones because they are all shades of grey.

  23. jp says:

    v4ance:
    godot10,

    Yakupov did well under Kreuger
    Lander thrived under Nelson

    Both were marginalized under McLellan..If there’s a point where I agree with you on coaching deficiencies, it’s here in the sub-optimal usage of players.Square pegs in round holes and the coach holds the hammer…

    I’m firmly in the camp that believes these two could have been (could be) successful NHLers in the right circumstances.

    That said, I think we need to acknowledge that the above two instances where these players looked good were the exception rather than the rule. Both players struggled badly under multiple coaches aside from McLellan.

  24. Munny says:

    McLeod is sandwiched with the Hartikainen/Benson crowd, but is two years ahead at similar production.

    He could easily climb the list (or might not).

    What this basically tells us is check back in two years.

  25. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Krill Maksimov looks great by any metric or number that I see as well as by eye.

    How did this kid last until the 5th round?

    Well, what was his NHLE last year?

  26. Munny says:

    Melvis:
    I always wanted to be an architect.

    Me too. Well, actually, I’ve always wanted to be Antoni Gaudi.

    #sortathesamething

  27. Georgexs says:

    Here’s the share that first round forward picks have among forward counts, forward time on ice, and points scored by forwards.

    Season, % of players, % of time on ice, % of points

    00-01, 24, 33, 39
    05-06, 32, 40, 45
    13-14, 32, 44, 50
    17-18, 36, 47, 54

    The league is emphasizing first rounders more and more. They make up an increasing share of the workforce, time on ice, and offensive production.

    There’s less room for lower round picks. And when they’re trying to break into the league, they’re going to find it harder to avoid matchups against first rounders.

    Here’s one other thing that was interesting from last season’s data, Pts/60 for forwards in all situations broken down by draft round:

    Round, Pts/60

    1, 2.28
    2, 1.75
    3, 1.75
    4, 1.65
    5, 1.58
    6, 1.72
    7, 1.86

    (undrafted), 1.61

    Thoughts?

  28. Georgexs says:

    Lowetide: It’s hard to select the correct ones because they are all shades of grey.

    Exactly. Any shade of grey will do if you can’t avoid selecting grey.

    But, all things considered, it’s better to avoid selecting grey.

  29. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Munny: Well, what was his NHLE last year?

    14.2

    Which definitely explains his draft slot.

    To more than double one’s NHLE y-o-y makes one truly an outlier.*

    If McLeod just adds 50% this coming season, we’d be through the roof.

    *Edit: see post below

  30. pts2pndr says:

    Munny:
    McLeod is sandwiched with the Hartikainen/Benson crowd, but is two years ahead at similar production.

    He could easily climb the list (or might not).

    What this basically tells us is check back in two years.

    Mcleod is a far better skater than the other two. If a player has nhl skating he can become a player in the nhl. He may have to become a role player but he can make a career for himslf! Ie Andrew Cogliano

  31. Munny says:

    Munny,

    Now that I look at Safin’s number, he went from 10.7 to 22, so maybe “doubling” isn’t as uncommon as I originally thought and perhaps should be an expectation yoy for draft age players we are hoping will produce some offense.

  32. BONE207 says:

    Georgexs:
    Here’s the share that first round forward picks have among forward counts, forward time on ice, and points scored by forwards.

    Season, % of players, % of time on ice, % of points

    00-01, 24, 33, 39
    05-06, 32, 40, 45
    13-14, 32, 44, 50
    17-18, 36, 47, 54

    The league is emphasizing first rounders more and more. They make up an increasing share of the workforce, time on ice, and offensive production.

    There’s less room for lower round picks. And when they’re trying to break into the league, they’re going to find it harder to avoid matchups against first rounders.

    Here’s one other thing that was interesting from last season’s data, Pts/60 for forwards in all situations broken down by draft round:

    Round, Pts/60

    1, 2.28
    2, 1.75
    3, 1.75
    4, 1.65
    5, 1.58
    6, 1.72
    7, 1.86

    (undrafted), 1.61

    Thoughts?

    Lucic can now be traded for a 2nd rounder

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:

    Lucic is here as well. Another passive season and he’s a lock out buyout or salary dump. If he starts fighting again (which is unlikely at his age) and winning that might mitigate his offensive decline. The league has time for heavyweights with some hockey ability still. You have to do something distinctive. Most can’t choose high scoring as an option.

    Given the high signing bonus nature of Lucic’s contract, it essentially assures he will never be bought out – signing bonuses cannot be bought out for savings so they stay on the cap for their entire hit.

    Any buyout of Lucic has a cap hit between $3.5M to $5.5M for every original year of the deal – lots of $5.5M cap hit years.

    There is not enough cap savings for that contract to ever be bought out.

    He’s also already a salary dump option – the hope is he can increase his value enough so that a team will take on most of his salary without requiring material retention and a material sweetener.

  34. Munny says:

    Georgexs: Thoughts?

    I’d rather see all seasons or four bins of season ranges than four selected seasons.

    Yes. I have trust issues.

    Edit: Still an interesting trend if it holds across all seasons. Might mean teams are getting better with their first round picks.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    For those listing prospects by potential NHL role, I would like to add Rasanen as a potential role player.

    He’s probably a distant bell to ever make the NHL (but so are McPhee, Vessel, etc.) but he’s got 3C written all over him if he does make it.

    He is a swiss-army nice like Marody – couple more years of college though.

  36. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar: but he’s got 3C written all over him if he does make it

    I’d say 4C. The goal in team building should probably involve a more offensive 3line/3C

  37. New Improved Darkness says:

    Edmonton Oilers’ Top 10 Prospects

    One criticism the Edmonton Oilers have drawn throughout the years is their inability to find talent outside of the first round. That’s a notion that’s changed over the past few drafts, namely the three since general manager Peter Chiarelli has come to town.

    First, a note on marginal minutes: Khaira’s sixth minute played equals McDavid’s twenty-sixth minute played.

    Before you say NFW!—think this through, because: YES, WAY.

    It’s true that if you send Connor out for 26 minutes, every minute he plays will be better than every minute Jujhar plays. That’s not the point.

    The point is that when you habitually send Connor out for 26 minutes, the first 25 minutes become a tiny bit less good (four inches slower to the puck, all game long), whereas Jujhar’s sixth minute is probably better than his fifth minute (it does help to get the legs going). Either that’s how the math works, or every coach in the league is dumb as a bag of hammers.

    And so: first-order utilitarianism.

    For each position on the ice, divide up the 60 eventful minutes (more likely, 65 uneventful minutes) to achieve comprehensive marginal equilibrium. Say, for the position of center, this being where the next marginal second played of all four centers has exactly equal utility (you did catch that thing in grade eleven math where the highest point of a parabolic arc is flat didn’t you? You weren’t just sitting there contemplating the unfinished parabolic arc of the twin delta rockets one seat over, were you, not the whole damn class, right down to marginal minute 59? Really, you were? Well, forget it then—your priorities in life were determined long ago, and the rest of this post is not for you—but I’ll throw you a bone instead: the greatest pair of breasts ever to foreshorten a risque miniskirt were tangent to a suitably inclined plane, EVERYWHERE on their surface. MIND BLOWN!)

    [*] My theory about the Apollo program is that what men mainly noticed—at least subconsciously—is how quickly all the liquid oxygen–cooled external frost caked off in giant slabs after the tense—but supremely suave—”we have ignition”. Frigid, smigid. My left foot.

    Under first-order utilitarianism, the minutes are set in stone. Line combinations are not relevant. You have already achieved a maximal first-order sum. In this simple model, there’s nothing left for the coach to do, but throw players over the boards in exactly those marginal proportions.

    But, no, you complain: The Lucic–McDavid experiment failed. Two great tastes and … my kingdom for a viable Reese’s piece.

    We’re in agreement now, right? Non-linear factors are not completely irrelevant. Inspired bench management is not just mindless addition of precisely titrated marginal-efficiency curves.

    Here’s the trick. See if you can do this: try to remember this factoid all the way from October to June, specifically, all the way to June, draft day #2. Trust me, this apparently simple task is harder than it looks.

    What I’m getting at is this: eventually, drafting for need #ItsAThing.

    Now, on the empirical evidence, your coach should do quite a bit of this, and your GM as little as possible. Some GMs manage to do almost none. This is because they previously steered themselves into a sweet spot—their balance picture is not preserved in a wax-sealed jar of formaldehyde, inside an earthquake-proof mini-safe, inside in an environmentally controlled wine cellar—but ours is (one assumes)—and so they enjoy a certain luxury of collected canter that hasn’t been witnessed in Klondike country for donkey’s age.

    So you’re a GM, and your club is definitely not in the sweet spot, and then one day: 5-14-6-1. And your mind goes wild—and you madly check the mathematics—but it’s true: 6/sqrt(5-1)*14 = 42. All day long, and twice on draft day!

    Now here’s your problem—your shocking new remainder modulo 42—where previously your club was weak down the middle, not so much since Bill Daly’s stunned-cow oh-spare-me-the-agony micro head tilt.

    We have ignition.

    Day two: the unpacking video, in which you rent a Suncor truck just to haul away the cardboard. My god—your spanking new booster rocket almost overshadows the shuttle itself.

    No problem. What’s the big deal? Just nonchalantly rivet a few BPAs to the available rivet mounts, and Bob’s you uncle. Prepare to break the sound barrier—flight-path farting party balloon.

    Balance. #ItsAThing

    When future Hart-trophy winners are raining down on the organization like manna from heaven, picks in the mid-thirties necessarily take on a different hue. You’re drafting for need, now #MayGodBeWithYou.

    Thus it’s not—in principle—an entirely a straight-up comparison between the turquoise eyes of Lottery Louise—she’s extra special—and anyone else’s entry-level prospect pipeline.

    Now, if Conner could simply play all 60 minutes, we could maybe weld the lunar lander to the magnificent bastard booster rocket nose cone, and jettison that other chunk of frozen iron (either on the ground, or not far from it) and maybe achieve Mare Serenitatis by that expedient measure alone—shaving your arms (both of them) at the acromioclavicular joint (some cauterization required). Lean, mean, and all David.

    But this isn’t soccer (football) and My Left Foot is not the source of Lowetide’s infamous balance picture, and Conner can’t out-skate the wind in three sustained gusts of five consecutive 4-minute miles.

    Here’s the thing: going opposite-BPA can never (almost never?) make you GM look smart, because hardly any member of the armchair cognoscenti gives a rat’s ass about your small problem with the beanbag-shaped crank bearings (oh, the look Marisa Tomei would knife into your psyche with a get-out-of-town flick of her black-leather miniskirt—but then you didn’t have a snowball’s chance with Marisa, anyway.)

    The problem with balance is that, ultimately—somehow—the GM has to get out in front of the problem, otherwise every ridiculous lunge (Reinhart) further compounds the balance problem. #YouAreHere

    But you can’t not lunge at all, or flight-path farting party balloon.

    Try it yourself. Take an Olympic eight, remove all four rowers from the leftorium (port side) and bolt on a v8 Evinrude as their replacement (port side, amidships).

    You might set a new course record. Or you might achieve flight-path farting party balloon. (Or perhaps both at the same time.)

    Simple, you say—MORE RUDDER!

    And you’re right. But if you cry out—in a loud voice—”BPA! BPA!” what your cox will give is less rudder.

    And then there will be a nasty row at the dock later:

    You: I screamed BPA!
    Cox: And that’s what I gave you!
    You: You gave me less rudder!
    Cox: Well, duh, ya steaming watersport moron! That what’s BPA actually means.

    Frozen watersport: same thing in blue.

  38. Melvis says:

    New Improved Darkness: You weren’t just sitting there contemplating the unfinished parabolic arc of the twin delta rockets one seat over, were you, not the whole damn class, right down to marginal minute 59? Really, you were? Well, forget it then—your priorities in life were determined long ago

    So I was informed by that math teacher. He forgot handedness and some innate ability at juggling two ideas simultaneously, whether sitting to the left or to the right of the fantasy.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Great posts today, really enjoying it.

  40. jtblack says:

    U18 game set to go @ 7. Some great players from WHL on the team.

    2019 draft eligibles.

    Names to watch.

    Krebs Dach Byram Williams Mutala Cozens Robertson

  41. jtblack says:

    Both Goalies from WHL also.

    Taylor Gauthier was highest drafted goalie into the WHL @ #10; since Carey Price was chosen 7th back in the old days (2002?)

  42. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    For those listing prospects by potential NHL role, I would like to add Rasanen as a potential role player.

    He’s probably a distant bell to ever make the NHL (but so are McPhee, Vessel, etc.) but he’s got 3C written all over him if he does make it.

    He is a swiss-army nice like Marody – couple more years of college though.

    He’s basically a less touted Lander isn’t he? Or does he have more speed? (Also, not meaning that as a slag some might take it as).

  43. Georgexs says:

    Munny,

    Done.

    Here’s the share that first round forward picks have among forward counts, forward time on ice, and points scored by forwards.

    Season, % of players, % of time on ice, % of points

    00-01, 24, 33, 39
    01-02, 25, 33, 39
    02-03, 27, 35, 40
    03-04, 27, 37, 41
    05-06, 32, 40, 45
    06-07, 31, 41, 46
    07-08, 32, 42, 49
    08-09, 31, 42, 48
    09-10, 30, 41, 47
    10-11, 30, 42, 48
    11-12, 31, 42, 47
    12-13, 33, 43, 49
    13-14, 32, 44, 50
    14-15, 34, 44, 50
    15-16, 34, 45, 51
    16-17, 35, 47, 54
    17-18, 36, 47, 54

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: He’s basically a less touted Lander isn’t he? Or does he have more speed? (Also, not meaning that as a slag some might take it as).

    From what I saw of him (which was really just at the world juniors and one Boston College game), he’s quicker than Lander.

    I couldn’t purport to tell you how he compares to Lander but I do know that he played a huge role for Finland at the World Juniors last year – trusted by his coach in all situations (first PP, first PK, down a goal, defending a lead), he was the next front presence on the PP and seemed to head there at evens as well.

    He’s unlikely to “make it” but I think he earns a contract and time will tell.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wilde: I’d say 4C. The goal in team building should probably involve a more offensive 3line/3C

    Sure, that’s probably fair.

  46. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: From what I saw of him (which was really just at the world juniors and one Boston College game), he’s quicker than Lander.

    I couldn’t purport to tell you how he compares to Lander but I do know that he played a huge role for Finland at the World Juniors last year – trusted by his coach in all situations (first PP, first PK, down a goal, defending a lead), he was the next front presence on the PP and seemed to head there at evens as well.

    He’s unlikely to “make it” but I think he earns a contract and time will tell.

    Well it’s good if he’s a bit quicker.

    Good arrows so far, and yes hopefully he keeps improving and earns a contract.

  47. pts2pndr says:

    Munny:
    Munny,

    Now that I look at Safin’s number, he went from 10.7 to 22, so maybe “doubling” isn’t as uncommon as I originally thought and perhaps should be an expectation yoy for draft age players we are hoping will produce some offense.

    I have high hopes for Safin! He the has size to be a power forward, excellent skating and a hard accurate shot! This year was his introduction to life in North America and he seemed to adjust very well. If he continues to progress I can see very good things for this young man and the Oilers!

  48. Wilde says:

    ***************PAGING POSTER JAXON***********************************

    Jaxon, I’m digging through old posts trying to find your consolidation of draft rankings. If you’re in here can you shoot me the link?

  49. Georgexs says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    I dig your posts. There’s always some substantial something there to take in.

    I’d like to make one small comment on:

    “But, no, you complain: The Lucic–McDavid experiment failed. Two great tastes and … my kingdom for a viable Reese’s piece.”

    Let’s switch on the street lights at the corner you made the turn,

    Here’s CMD’s 5v5 G+/- per 50 over the past two seasons with some of the forwards he’s played with:

    Player, TOI, G+/- per 60

    RNH, 214, 2.24
    JP, 341, 1.94
    Ebs, 403, 1.19
    Lucic, 871, 1.10
    Drai, 1171, 1.07
    Maroon, 1259, 0.91
    Rattie, 159, 0.38
    Caggiula, 214, 0.28

    CMD scored more and gave up more with Drai. In the big picture, however, if the CMD-Lucic experiment was a failure, so was the CMD-Drai experiment.

    (As an aside, if Rattie gets the nod over JP as CMD’s RW, then truly, truly WTF?!)

    To add some perspective, here are the results over the past two seasons for some other notable pairs:

    Players, TOI with, G+/- per 60

    Scheifele-Wheeler, 1443, 0.42
    Backstrom-Ovechkin, 1356, 0.93
    Bergeron-Marchand, 1581, 0.83
    Stamkos-Kucherov, 916, 1.44

    Going further back, the Sedins managed to outscore at a rate of 2.18 per 60 over 1868 minutes during the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons. Holy cow!

  50. Jaxon says:

    I’ve compiled most of the Canadian Junior and USHL forwards that have been in the Oilers system (or camp invites) since 2005 draft. This is their Projected (Age/Era/TOI Adjusted) 5v5 Primary Points from their draft season:

    YEAR Name Projected 5v5 P1 Pts
    2015 Connor McDavid 44
    2007 Sam Gagner 32
    2010 Taylor Hall 30
    2011 Ryan Strome 28
    2014 Leon Draisaitl 26
    2008 Jordan Eberle 25
    2018 Tristen Nielsen (last 39 GP) 25
    2005 Gilbert Brule 25
    2017 Kailer Yamamoto 24
    2005 Benoit Pouliot 23
    2012 Nail Yakupov 23
    2011 Ty Rattie 22
    2009 Taylor Beck 21
    2016 Tyler Benson 21
    2005 Ryan O’Marra 20
    2015 Tyler Soy 20
    2014 Rihards Bukarts 20
    2013 Greg Chase 19
    2018 Pavel Gogolev 19
    2011 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 19
    2014 Vladimir Tkachev 19
    2011 Tobias Rieder 19
    2012 Mitchell Moroz 18
    2012 Daniil Zharkov 18
    2009 Zack Kassian 18
    2017 Kirill Maksimov 17
    2013 Jackson Houck 17
    2013 Kyle Platzer 17
    2009 Mitchell Callahan 16
    2010 Curtis Hamilton 16
    2013 Marc-Olivier Roy 15
    2011 Mitch Holmberg 15
    2018 Ryan McLeod 15
    2007 C.J. Stretch 15
    2017 Trey Fix-Wolansky 14
    2006 Milan Lucic 13
    2002 Kyle Brodziak 13
    2014 Chad Butcher 13
    2011 Travis Ewanyk 12
    2015 Cameron Hebig 11
    2011 Joshua Winquist 11

    PS – added Tristen Nielsen and Pavel Gogolev as I think they should be training camp invites or signed to ELCs.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Scun

    Sorry I meant a lock out type buy out, no cap hit, just Daryl’s money.

  52. Georgexs says:

    Wilde:
    Forensic analysis, part six:

    https://petropraxis.blogspot.com/2018/08/sometimes-sayings-are-just-said-part_6.html

    On the second NSH highlight, Khaira is the net front man. Strome is the one circling behind the net. He ends up being the first forward back on the back check. The play did happen with under five minutes left in a 4-0 game. Hard to know where players’ heads are at by that point. Maybe gearing up for post-game Fortnite.

    What Drai did there was interesting, though. He has a lot of time because his defender was off balance. Instead of feeding the puck down low to Strome, who’s skating alone, he mechanically throws it along the board to the point. I think that’s what the system tells him to do. Because I’ve seen the Oilers under McLellan do that once or twice.

    Excellent work, as always. I like that you’re focused on the impact that a forward has on chances against. There’s a lot to learn there, I imagine.

  53. Jaxon says:

    Wilde:
    ***************PAGING POSTER JAXON***********************************

    Jaxon, I’m digging through old posts trying to find your consolidation of draft rankings. If you’re in here can you shoot me the link?

    Here ya go:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TRJiAg105InJRP_1TzoyxuzTdd78oVlWAJDJaadJIbg/edit?usp=sharing

  54. Wilde says:

    Georgexs: On the second NSH highlight, Khaira is the net front man. Strome is the one circling behind the net. He ends up being the first forward back on the back check. The play did happen with under five minutes left in a 4-0 game. Hard to know where players’ heads are at by that point. Maybe gearing up for post-game Fortnite.

    What Drai did there was interesting, though. He has a lot of time because his defender was off balance. Instead of feeding the puck down low to Strome, who’s skating alone, he mechanically throws it along the board to the point. I think that’s what the system tells him to do. Because I’ve seen the Oilers under McLellan do that once or twice.

    Excellent work, as always. I like that you’re focused on the impact that a forward has on chances against. There’s a lot to learn there, I imagine.

    1) Yes and yes, 16 & 18 have mixed me up more than a few times but I usually catch it; will fix

    2) I meant to mention that his defender almost blew a tire, yeah, and the discrepancy between the opportunity he was given and what he did with it. Those are rare moments, unforced errors happening right in front of you in the NHL.

    The point pass thing is something I feel very strongly about.

    John Tortorella hates D-to-D passes and has them manually tracked by his analytics crew, stating that he liked 85% of his teams puck-movement in transition to be north-south.

    I would replicate this practice with unforced point passes and shots. It’s bad for pace, it’s bad for possession, it’s bad for shot quality. I don’t have as robust support for this argument as I would like considering how strongly I’m stating it, but I plan on going long on this concept sometime soon.

    I believe these two things may have some truth to them:

    – A lot of the lack of offense this team produces without McDavid is tied up in point shot volume and a lack of making plays from behind the net

    – A lot of the lack of offensive output from our defensemen isn’t personnel related, it’s because they will just shoot from the literal blueline instead of closing distance, and retreat from pinches too early

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Sorry I meant a lock out type buy out, no cap hit, just Daryl’s money.

    Oh, compliance buyout – totally different (assuming Katz is willing to eat that cost).

    As an aside, they don’t need a lockout to negotiate compliance buyouts – they can negotiate and enter in to a new CBA without labor stoppage that includes Compliance Buyouts – its just never happened because, you know, always labor stoppage.

  56. jm363561 says:

    Georgexs:
    New Improved Darkness,

    I dig your posts. There’s always some substantial something there to take in.

    I’d like to make one small comment on:

    “But, no, you complain: The Lucic–McDavid experiment failed. Two great tastes and … my kingdom for a viable Reese’s piece.”

    Let’s switch on the street lights at the corner you made the turn,

    Here’s CMD’s 5v5 G+/- per 50 over the past two seasons with some of the forwards he’s played with:

    Player, TOI, G+/- per 60

    RNH, 214, 2.24
    JP, 341, 1.94
    Ebs, 403, 1.19
    Lucic, 871, 1.10
    Drai, 1171, 1.07
    Maroon, 1259, 0.91
    Rattie, 159, 0.38
    Caggiula, 214, 0.28

    CMD scored more and gave up more with Drai. In the big picture, however, if the CMD-Lucic experiment was a failure, so was the CMD-Drai experiment.

    (As an aside, if Rattie gets the nod over JP as CMD’s RW, then truly, truly WTF?!)

    To add some perspective, here are the results over the past two seasons for some other notable pairs:

    Players, TOI with, G+/- per 60

    Scheifele-Wheeler, 1443, 0.42
    Backstrom-Ovechkin, 1356, 0.93
    Bergeron-Marchand, 1581, 0.83
    Stamkos-Kucherov, 916, 1.44

    Going further back, the Sedins managed to outscore at a rate of 2.18 per 60 over 1868 minutes during the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons. Holy cow!

    Holy Cow indeed.

    RNH – McD – JP could be a jet fuelled line (which would likely result in JP’s next contract being, at least, 8 x $8.5m.) Rattie must have been given a huge boost when with both McD and RNH. QED he must have been truly awful when RNH was not on the line to end up with 0.37 being his consolidated number.

    (The numbers above give me an impression that is different from other McD-line-mate related stats that have been posted (don’t ask me which). Looking at the other notable pairs they also send an unexpected message, e.g. Scheifele- Wheeler 0.42?)

  57. Wilde says:

    Jaxon,

    thankyou

  58. Georgexs says:

    jm363561: Holy Cow indeed.

    RNH – McD – JP could be a jet fuelled line (which would likely result in JP’s next contract being, at least, 8 x $8.5m.) Rattie must have been given a huge boost when with both McD and RNH. QED he must have been truly awful when RNH was not on the line to end up with 0.37 being his consolidated number.

    (The numbers above give me an impression that is different from other McD-line-mate related stats that have been posted (don’t ask me which). Looking at the other notable pairs they also send an unexpected message, e.g. Scheifele- Wheeler 0.42?)

    Ricki says it’s better to use G+/- per 60 rather than GF%. I thought I’d try it out.

  59. Georgexs says:

    Wilde,

    “The point pass thing is something I feel very strongly about.”

    Me. Too.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lets not forget how badly McDavid and Rattie got caved when Nuge wasn’t with them.

    Yes, it was only 30 minutes of ES play but their CF% was just above 30% and their FF% just above 28% and they scored zero goals while giving up 5.

    Is Rattie an NHL player?

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Question for SwedishPoster (or anyone else that knows) regarding Berglund.

    I was always under the impression that the plan was for him to sign with the Oilers and come over to North America after this season, however, having a conversation with Shane Sander last night, I realized that he’s actually signed for two more season in Skelleftea. So:

    1) Do we know if there is an “out clause” in his contract?

    2) Do we know if he actually wants to play in the NHL and/or intends to come over to North America – I mean, he’s been with Skelleftea for years and he was born there – I’m sure there is loyalty and maybe he just wants to stay at home?

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Oilers No. 13 prospect Ostap Safin

    https://theathletic.com/458921/2018/08/07/ostap-safin-is-the-oilers-best-hope-for-a-future-power-forward/

    Sweet – can’t wait to read this.

    Had a great conversation Shane Sander, SuperNova and BeerLeagueHeros last night re: prospects and we talked quite a bit about Safin and if he’s best suited for the AHL or back to SJ for next year and if he could maybe get traded off of SJ to a contender with some more offensive help.

    I will say this, from his Instagram, he sure is putting in the work – on the video games…..

  63. ArmchairGM says:

    jm363561: RNH – McD – JP could be a jet fuelled line

    Been trumpeting this for ages, glad others are getting on board!

  64. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lets not forget how badly McDavid and Rattie got caved when Nuge wasn’t with them.

    Yes, it was only 30 minutes of ES play but their CF% was just above 30% and their FF% just above 28% and they scored zero goals while giving up 5.

    Is Rattie an NHL player?

    Those numbers were compiled over just 2 games. My question: who was their LW in those games??

  65. Lowetide says:

    ArmchairGM: Those numbers were compiled over just 2 games. My question: who was their LW in those games??

    The two men played with several partners according to Corsica. With Leon, in 25 minutes, it was 36.96 Corsi for 5×5. In just over one minutes with Caggiula, the tandem was 30.62 Corsi for 5×5.

    http://corsica.hockey/line-stats/

  66. Washingtron says:

    It seems to me all the D to D passing is dictated by the lack of strong breakout passers. It may also have to do with breakout strategies pushing the forwards too far away, but those too I would argue were predicated on poor breakout pass performance. I think Nurse has improved in that area, or at least skated it out for a hand off to the forward, and hopefully Sekera is back as he was our only real breakout passer for a while. Here’s hoping Bouchard gets here ripe and ready and fast so that we can have our Montana-Rice combo for once

    Who were the best outlet/breakout/stretch passers on our team in the last ten years ya figure?

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