Any day now the Edmonton Oilers will sign a college or CHL free agent, and we’ll head over to the Barney Google like a pack of wolves in search of knowledge. We’ll all want to know how much offense he brings, same as we did the day Drake Caggiula was signed. I like to use NHL equivalency, a useful if flawed tool that allows us to put everyone on a straight line. Let’s have a look.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!
- New Lowetide: Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers’ history of 50-goal seasons
- New Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
- Lowetide: How the emergence of William Lagesson in Bakersfield complicates Edmonton’s 2019-20 depth chart.
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
- Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
- Jonathan Willis: Potential GM candidates and why Edmonton needs to consider those with varied experiences
- Lowetide: Identifying Oilers roster needs reveals a familiar list
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
- Lowetide: How many future NHL goal scorers are playing for the Bakersfield Condors this season?
- Lowetide: The career destination for Oilers phenom Jesse Puljujarvi remains unknown.
- Jonathan Willis: Learning from a flawed argument I made about Leon Draisaitl in 2016.
- Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
- Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
NHLE FORWARD PROSPECTS
- RC Cooper Marody 12-30-42
- RW Jesse Puljujarvi 20-20-40
- LW Joe Gambardella 22-15-37
- LW Tyler Benson 8-28-36
- RW Kirill Maksimov 17-17-34
- RC Josh Currie 20-10-30
- RW Patrick Russell 14-16-30
- LC Ryan McLeod 8-19-27
- RW Kailer Yamamoto 15-11-26
- RW Dave Gust 12-11-23
- LW Ostap Safin 5-13-18
- RW Cam Hebig 8-9-17
- LW Evan Polei 8-8-16
- RC Tyler Vesel 4-10-14
- LW Graham McPhee 3-7-10
- RW J.D. Dudek 5-4-9
- LC Skyler Brind’Amour 3-6-9
- RC Aapeli Rasanen 5-2-7
I have everyone but Patrik Siikanen (can’t find an NHLE) listed here. I believe 30+ points represents a possible NHL player, so Edmonton has seven possibles. Unfortunately, Kailer Yamamoto isn’t one of them.
I think the four men listed here are the most likely to spend at least some time in the NHL next season, with Yamamoto, Gambardella and Russell also in the mix. Of course, the Oilers are going to be adding veteran NHL options this summer, so all four could be back in Bakersfield.
NHLE DEFENSE PROSPECTS
- RD Evan Bouchard 8-22-30
- RD Joel Persson 6-24-30
- LD Caleb Jones 5-19-24
- RD Logan Day 2-21-23
- RD Ethan Bear 2-20-22
- LD Dmitri Samorukov 5-15-20
- LD William Lagesson 5-13-18
- RD Vincent Desharnais 4-6-10
- RD Michael Kesselring 3-7-10
- RD Filip Berglund 2-8-10
- RD John Marino 2-7-9
- RD Phil Kemp 3-4-7
- LD Matt Cairns 2-2-4
- LD Markus Niemelainen 1-3-4
Edmonton has seven defensemen in the queue and I will guess that makes a trade inevitable. Although Lagesson’s number isn’t as strong as some others, his performance since January 1 (28, 4-12-16) has an NHLE of 22.7. The Oilers strength in the system is on defense. They can’t play all of these guys, hopefully the new GM will choose wisely.
There are several impressive bets among the defensive prospects. An area of strength for sure. If have of these kids develop, they are going to be some big changes in the coming months.
I would love to see the Oilers have the luxury of playing Andrej Sekera with Evan Bouchard eventually. Or Persson, or Ethan Bear.
MCDAVID ASKING OUT?
This comes up every year the Oilers miss the playoffs (earth to management: make the playoffs!) and it’s ridiculous but out there. Pierre Lebrun said yesterday “my understanding is Connor McDavid is fully invested in turning this franchise around” and then talked about needing to fix the problem.
Here’s my take: Connor McDavid isn’t going to ask out any time soon, and if the owner can get his management team together (and not interfere) this becomes a non-story. The precedent I would draw is Rick Nash, who played nine regular seasons and four playoff games for Columbus.
I don’t see this as a Connor McDavid may want out problem, I see this as an Oilers problem. If ownership and management can’t fix it, you might see a large part of the fan base exit with 97.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running and charge for the weekend. TSN1260, scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We’ll chat Oilers, Leafs and playoffs.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. McDavid and the future.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!