Red Line Report ranked Evan Bouchard No. 5 one year ago, projecting him as a “smart, skilled, top-pairing defenseman” when all is said and done. Red Line, who (like me) enjoy naming comparables, suggesting a “young Andrei Markov” to the delight of many.
One thing about projections and defensemen: Best to take it one step at a time. If you project Bouchard to a third-pairing NHL defenseman in the next 12 months, chances are you’ll be close to the mark. Top pair D? He may never get there. Many reading this today don’t really believe Oscar Klefbom is a top pair defender, Adam Larsson too. Evan Bouchard is a star junior player graduating to pro hockey. He’ll tell us what he is, as time goes by.
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: What would Glen Sather do with these Oilers?
- New Jonathan Willis: Some creative solutions to address the Oilers’ goalie problem
- Lowetide: The Milan Lucic saga rolls into Year 4 for Oilers with no easy answers
- Jonathan Willis: Who stays and who goes? An early projection of which players will remain on the Oilers’ roster in 2019-20
- Lowetide: How high can these Condors fly?
- Lowetide: Ron Hextall’s patient approach as GM would be shock to Oilers’ system
- Jonathan Willis: Michael Futa’s success at the NHL Draft makes him a credible GM candidate for the Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers possible summer trade pieces, and which longtime players might be saying goodbye.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick.
- Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson mostly says the right things, but stalls on making changes to the Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The pressure’s squarely on Bob Nicholson to make right GM hire for Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Few passing grades remain in season full of failure.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers, the republic of Finland and the 2019 draft.
- Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
PUCK IQ’S DFF
- This is 5-on-5 time on ice and DFF percentage via Puck IQ.
- DFF is a weighted shot metric using shot distance location and type of shot to give each shot a “danger” value. It’s the real thing. Combined with the binning of competition, we’re inside the blue room and looking intelligently down three different aisles. This is the new testament.
- In order for Bouchard or Jones to pass Benning, you’d need to see them perform at higher levels in all three slots, especially the elite competition.
- As you can see, Bouchard’s minutes are so small we can’t tell one damn thing.
- Jones played around 100 minutes in each discipline, and he’s not far away. I think the Oilers could count on him as a third pairing option as soon as 2019-20.
BOUCHARD BY THE NUMBERS
- A ridiculous talent at the junior level, Bouchard’s 5-on-5 numbers alone are impressive. If he spends next season in the AHL, I would think the Condors’ record for points by a rookie defenseman (Logan Day, 34) is in jeopardy.
- It’s also possible, if Bouchard plays all 68 AHL games, the overall point record by a defenseman (Brad Hunt, 41) could fall.
BOUCHARD VERSUS PERSSON VERSUS BEAR
My guess is that all three men will spend time in the NHL and AHL this coming season. None of the three will be vulnerable to waivers this coming season. Logic and reason dictates Persson and Bear would start training camp ahead of Bouchard, I’m not at all sure they’ll hold him off past Christmas.
Coverage issues and reaction time are going to be issues for all three men, and one imagines Bear has the edge out of the gate.
- This might come down to AHL vs. SHL and quality of league. Rob Vollman’s NHLE shows the SHL (.596) as being a better league than the AHL (.486) and William Lagesson’s performance in both leagues suggests both leagues are quality.
- Entering camp, I would handicap it Persson, Bear, Bouchard for an NHL job. Thoughts?
I hope you get a chance to read today’s item for The Athletic. I had a look at Glen Sather’s team building work in the late 1970’s and early 1990’s, and laid that template over the new hire. Slats is a fascinating figure in Oilers history, perhaps his track record can light the way to a new tomorrow.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we head toward the weekend with a strong guest list. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. What would Glen do if he was named Oilers GM today? Plus Canadian teams in the playoffs.
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. We need Frank to make sense of a wild first round of NHL playoffs.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!