Ken Holland’s whiteboard has some great strengths, some glaring weaknesses, and several things in between. Some of the useful players are overpriced and some of the bargains have flags like footspeed or injury issues. How many roster players cover their cap bet?
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 OFFER IS HERE!
- New Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
- New Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers goalie prospect Stuart Skinner stars as the Condors stay alive in the AHL playoffs.
- Lowetide: How the U18’s increased the draft pool and gifted the Edmonton Oilers with multiple options at the 2019 draft
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- Jonathan Willis: Which Condors made a good first impression on Oilers GM Ken Holland?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- Eric Duhatschek: Why any talk of Ken Holland being yesterday’s man should be put to rest.
- Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
- Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Bakersfield production line: Elevating Jones and how long will success take?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
- Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
- Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
- New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick
COVERING THE BET
We may not agree on all of these, but for me the eight contracts listed here have a very good chance of covering the bet in 2019-20. A few of the names may come up in trade talk. Holland has some quality assets on good contracts on defense, and a truly diabolical depth chart at center. Eight men, a little over $41 million, or half the cap. The centers scored 121 goals for Edmonton a year ago. Music!
I decided not to include the two locks for RFA signing as covering the bet, since we don’t know the actual dollar amount. I placed them here instead. Sekera covers the bet if healthy, but we can’t be sure about 82. Kassian makes a lot for a No. 4 winger, is a bargain scoring 15 goals with plenty of time on the top line.
There’s $21 million here and some of these men will contribute positively to the team. Koskinen is a good goalie, I have no problem with him returning. The contract is too much. Kris Russell and Sam Gagner should also be able to contribute. I think Brodziak and Manning may be in Bakersfield for much of next season.
2019 TOUCH LIST
I’m going to post five names per league every day this week, today is the OHL. The following players are outside the Central Scouting Top 150 NA list, the top 10 NA goalie list, the top 75 Euro list and the top 10 Euro goalie list. They may not be drafted but there’s something about them worth mentioning.
LC Petr Cajka posted 63, 20-18-38 this season. He is a December 2000, good speed, creative and plays a solid two-way game. Kournianos had him in the first round back in July of 2018.
LD Nathan Staios went 64, 9-20-29 for Windsor Spitfires. Steve’s son is smaller (5.09, 174) but plays like his Dad an is a good defensive player. He has terrific speed and can move the puck, but doesn’t boast the kind of boxcars one expects from a puck mover. A tweener who can skate and has bloodlines, might be worth a later selection.
LD Mitchell Brewer posted 67, 4-14-18. He’s a big defender (6.02, 201) with good speed and mobility, projects as a shutdown defender. If this were 1975 he’d be among the first 60 selections, but lack of offense has him on the outside. I like the players who can defend.
LW Daniel D’Amico is a January 2001 who scored 67, 21-25-46 this season in the OHL. A skill forward who is just 5.09, 179, he is a good skater. If he doesn’t get drafted, he might be a perfect free-agent signing.
LC Tag Bertuzzi was hurt this season, playing only 30 games (4-5-9). He is a load, but with great touch passing and some offensive creativity. Losing an entire season hurt his draft number but he might be a worthy draft and follow.
What a turnaround. Last year, the top forward prospect in the AHL under 23 was Kyle Platzer (44, 8-7-15). This year, Tyler Benson (66 points), Cooper Marody (64), Cam Hebig (29), Evan Polei (20) and Kailer Yamamoto (18) all cleared Platzer’s totals. Also quality: Points-per-game totals for Condors forwards.
- Cooper Marody 1.10
- Tyler Benson 0.97
- Joe Gambardella 0.96
- Patrick Russell 0.78
- Josh Currie 0.77
- Kailer Yamamoto 0.67
The defense is even more impressive, I’d guess we’ll see three or four of these men play in the NHL in the next couple of seasons. We don’t know if they’ll catch on as regulars but there is quality here. Evan Bouchard finished No. 3 in team scoring (3-5-8) despite playing in just eight games. It’s impossible to handicap the defense and who will arrive in Edmonton in order, but I’d say Caleb Jones has the edge as the team breaks for summer. Based on what Mike Zanier told me, Joel Persson is going to have his say as well. After that, Bear, Lagesson and Bouchard could see action. Logan Day and Keegan Lowe are good defensemen, both young enough to find their way.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the Lowdown, we get started at 10. Jonathan Willis will join us from The Athletic at 10:20, we’ll talk Condors, Sekera and Holland. Jon Abbott from TSN 1040 in Vancouver will join us to talk World Hockey Championships, he’ll be live from Slovakia. At 11:05, Scott Wheeler from The Athletic will join us to talk about his final 2019 draft list. You can send you questions to 10-1260 via text or @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!