Peter Chiarelli is long gone but there’s still a chance he can help the Edmonton Oilers. Some of his ‘futures’ deals may come to pass, and one of them could help this winter. Cooper Marody was acquired for a third-round pick at the 2018 deadline and he might arrive in time for 2019 opening night.
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 Lowetide: How much can Connor Brown help the Oilers?
- New Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov is off to the Memorial Cup and is the Oilers’ fastest rising prospect
- New Jonathan Willis: Craig MacTavish leaves the Oilers, signalling the first major front office change under Ken Holland
- Lowetide: What kind of coach should Ken Holland hire for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
- Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- 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 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.
Edmonton can ice a formidable group of centers on any given evening, but the desire for a No. 3 center who can contribute for less than $6 million is understandable. If Holland’s Oilers want to run a depth chart of McDavid, Nuge/Draisaitl, RHC, Colby Cave, the position can come in somewhere between $20-23 million in the coming season. If it’s 97-29-93-Cave? $28 million.
Marody becomes important. If he can deliver at the position, Edmonton’s shopping list is reduced. If he could add some chores, like PP, then he’ll add depth and balance to the roster.
Marody got hurt in the early games of the postseason, going 0-0-0 in four games. When he went down, the offense from his line (Benson, Currie) sputtered.
When I do my Winter Top 20 for The Athletic, I have a segment on a comparable. Marody, who was my No. 6 prospect (here) in December eluded me. I would like to take another lash at a Marody comparable, or rather a few recent AHL players who performed in a similar fashion at the same age:
- Cooper Marody Age: 21.736 Points-per-game: 1.10
- Andrew Mangiapane Age: 21.449 Points-per-game: 1.18 (2017-18)
- Nikita Scherbak Age: 21.712 Points-per-game: 1.15 (2017-18)
- Mike Amadeo Age: 21.342 Points-per-game: 1.09 (2017-18)
In the year after they spent age 21 in the AHL, Mangiapane (44, 8-5-13), Scherbak (8, 1-0-1) and Amadeo (43, 6-7-13) all had some NHL time. On average, they delivered 32, 5-4-9 in the NHL at age 22. That might be a reasonable estimate for Marody in 2019-20.
Interesting list. Woodcroft would be a stunner, Gulutzan makes sense from a hit the ground running point of view, Nelson is the popular choice, I think it’s Tippett.
50-MAN LIST (LONG FORM)
1 G Mikko Koskinen. $4.5 million for three seasons beginning 2019-20. His .913 EV strength save percentage ranks No. 35 among goalies with 25+ NHL games. His .906 SP ranks No. 38 in the same pool. He is the starter for next season as of now. Sounds like Holland will add a substantial partner.
2 G Shane Starrett. RFA, his cap was $817,500 this season. I believe they’ll sign him and he’ll be No. 3 (AHL starter and first recall) on the depth chart. Starrett’s performance down the stretch was a key to the Condors best season.
3 G Dylan Wells. $745,000 this season, the first year of his entry deal. Two more years left at that amount. He was .907 in 11 AHL games, clearly ahead of Skinner through the regular season.
4 G Stuart Skinner. $784,166 this season, the first year of his entry deal. He was .879 in six AHL games. His best run in the season came in the playoffs, organization values him highly.
5 LD Oscar Klefbom. $4.167 million through summer 2023. A wonderful contract, his value increases with each additional deal signed throughout the league. His serpentine carries through the neutral zone remind me of Serge Savard, pray to the lord you believe in he doesn’t get Savard’s injury troubles.
6 LD Darnell Nurse. $3.2 million next season, then RFA. Nurse is a year away from being expensive, especially if he builds on his offense from this year (82, 10-31-41). He struggled with Russell on second pair, I believe he is the keeper in the group. Needs a partner.
7 LD Andrej Sekera. $5.5 million through 2021 summer. His return has been encouraging. Long road back but he was solid in 24 games. The offense wasn’t there (0-4-4) but I’d love to see him mentor the kids on that third pair. His cap number makes him vulnerable on this roster.
8 LD Brandon Manning. $2.25 million next year. I think they’d buy him out but burying him gets them halfway there.
9 LD Caleb Jones. $720,000 next season. He’s close to NHL-ready if not already there. That fact gives Holland options.
10 LD William Lagesson. $741,666 next season then RFA. A fascinating season. Lagesson was something stronger than a distant bell before the season started, but now he projects as a possible 2019-20 recall. The Oilers might have a player here.
11 LD Keegan Lowe. $675,000 next season. Lowe is the “AHL veteran” in this group but he’s a solid player at that level. Unlikely recall with all of the other lefties blossoming.
12 LD Dmitri Samorukov. His entry level deal starts this fall ($855,833). His OHL season was so strong he has achieved league-wide fame, to the point he was a popular ask at the trade deadline. I wrote about him for The Athletic, link above.
13 RD Adam Larsson. $4.166 million for two more seasons. Larsson had a tough season but remains the best RHD on the roster by some margin. I think Holland will value him highly, while also possibly being tempted to deal him. I feel better about Larsson returning now than before the GM hiring.
14 LD Kris Russell. $4 million for two more seasons. Russell’s value comes on the defensive side, with all kinds of disagreement about how much he helps. Plays off side, that impacts his effectiveness. He would be my trade preference.
15 RD Matt Benning. $1.9 million this and next season. I like his game (51.5 DFF in 207 minutes against elites) and would endorse his playing with Nurse on the second pair. It’s more likely he is traded this summer.
16 RD Joel Persson. $1 million this year and then RFA. A bit of an unknown and with Chiarelli gone he is a free-agent orphan. He has skill and smart people in Sweden believe he can make the jump.
17 RD Ethan Bear. $720,000 in his final entry year. Bear has a nice range of skills and finished his AHL season healthy and playing effectively. He is close to NHL-ready and could be trade bait.
18 RD Evan Bouchard. $925,000 entry deal kicks in this fall. My bet is he is in the NHL before New Year’s Day. He is going to open up all kinds of offense with those stretch passes.
19 RD Ryan Mantha. $870,000. Career up in the air. His eye injury hasn’t been updated.
20 LC Connor McDavid. $12.5 million through 2026. 41-75-116 this season and he missed four games. We’re probably in the range of peak Mcdavid, can he hit 125 points? 130? What could he accomplish with Leon on one wing and Brendan Gallagher (14.18 shots per 60 at 5-on-5) on the other?
21 LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. $6 million the next two seasons. His 2018-19 season (28-41-69) is his career best by some distance. Spent 34 percent of his season against elites. I love him as a player but he does not push the river.
22 RC Cooper Marody. $925,000 for two years. His scoring totals (58, 19-45-64) place him near the top of AHL hopefuls. Can also play wing. He has a clean shot at a roster spot at this time.
23 RC Kyle Brodziak. $1.15 million next season. I think there’s a good chance he’ll lose his NHL job and play in Bakersfield. PK work sunk him.
24 LC Colby Cave. $675,000 next season. There’s a chance Cave will take Brodziak’s place on the No. 4 line.
25 RC Josh Currie. $687,500 next season. He showed well, likely a recall option in 2019-20.
26 RC Tyler Vesel. RFA. His NHL deal was $735,000. Uncertain he will return, AHL totals (61, 5-13-18) pedestrian compared to other Condors.
27 RC Cameron Hebig. $759,166 next season. He started hot, then faded. Overall (64, 11-18-29) .
28 LC Colin Larkin. RFA, his NHL deal was $690K. I don’t think he’ll be qualified.
29 LC Ryan McLeod. Just signed his entry deal, $925,000 AAV. McLeod is that rare player who looks better in pro than in junior. He damn near made the Oilers last fall, going 0-3-3 in four games. After a pedestrian junior campaign, he impressed (5, 0-3-3) for the Bakersfield Condors in the playoffs. I believe he is a future checking center, not sure if No. 3 or No. 4. He’s a burner.
30 L Leon Draisaitl. $8.5 million through 2025 summer. A season for the ages, 50-55-105. The man doubled his goal total, and he was pretty damn good at 25 goals. You remember that 50-goal season, youngsters. Someday, maybe in 2050, Leon will be at Rogers talking about it and you’ll remember that moment with him.
31 LW Milan Lucic. $6 million through 2023 summer. Edmonton would love to get out from under this deal. His possession numbers have some positives, if he returns the new coach may find uses.
32 LW Tobias Rieder. $2 million, is now RFA. His return always, always felt like a good idea. In your life did you ever see something promising turn out so badly? I hope he scores 20 in 2019-20.
33 LW Jujhar Khaira. RFA. $675,000 last season. He shows up in good possession places and his offense is better than people credit him. Solid 4L and PK option.
34 LW Tyler Benson. $808,333 for two more years. The most impressive AHL season at 20 by an Oilers forward prospect since Dan Cleary. A lock to make the 2019-20 Oilers despite what everyone is saying.
35 LW Joe Gambardella. RFA, $725,000 in ‘18-19. I liked his NHL time, although there wasn’t enough offense. Gambardella’s forechecking is quality, I think he might be a PK option.
36 LW Nolan Vesey. $817,500 in 2019-20. He didn’t get a lot done.
37 LW Ostap Safin. $770,833 entry deal starts in the fall. Safin didn’t play much this season, you could make the case he lost a development year. Big season ahead.
38 RW Sam Gagner. $3.15 million in 2019-20. Gagner scored 1.74/60 at 5-on-5 while playing for the Oilers. Is that enough for the money? My current theory has them offloading him, I’d keep him around.
39 RW Zack Kassian. $1.95 million in 2018-19. Great season. Utility wingers who are fourth liners but can slide up to the No. 1 line are damned rare.
40 RW Jesse Puljujarvi. RFA, $925,000 last year. This young man has great potential but it doesn’t look like he has a mentor or inside champion. Holland can do the world a favour by placing him in a position to succeed.
41 RW Ty Rattie. RFA. Made $800,000 this year. It’s uncertain where he’ll land, Edmonton could walk him but he’s inexpensive and can provide offense.
42 RW Kailer Yamamoto. $894,166 for two more years. He didn’t taken a step forward this season. Injuries contributed, but next season will be a big one. Bet on his spending extended time in Bakersfield.
43 RW Kirill Maksimov. $770,833 entry deal starts in the fall. 40 goals in 63 OHL games is an impressive total. One of the more intriguing prospects turning pro this fall.