Progressive Rock

Fans who follow the draft pay attention to boxcars, the latest updates on prospects, scouting reports and organizational verbal in the hours after the draft. You read some promising words and suddenly there’s hope. Alas, each season the player puts up similar numbers in the same league and after a time, a new bunch comes along. Then one day you find out your NHL team didn’t sign your hope before the deadline. And for a few days you might think “dammit, now anyone can get him” which is kind of funny and sad at the same time.

What do great prospects do? They progress quickly. I know it’s obvious but sometimes we (I) overlook that simple fact on the way to fooling ourselves into thinking Anton Lander will play 10 years in the NHL as No. 3 center.

The Athletic!

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.

AHL PROGRESS

I wanted to talk about Anton Lander and why AHL players are a different breed. Do you remember the “Farm Workers” post I do every year? Among the endless comments I make is one that says “if you haven’t established yourself as a prospect by age 22 you’re in trouble” and that applies to many players on this list— but not to Lander. He was bona fide at 22 and still missed the cut.

Lander was brought along strangely, kept in the NHL as a penalty killer at 20, and effectively derailed as a prospect. By 22, he was posting strong AHL numbers but couldn’t get back to the NHL. Now, the Oilers handled him badly, but he also had legit issues as a player (speed). When you see his points-per-game at 22 in the AHL, the assumption should be NHL ready, but he played for an addled team and his speed was an issue.

Could he have played in the NHL for a more organized team? I think so, but his skills and production weren’t overwhelming. So, the Oilers went with other options (Eric Belanger, Will Acton, Boyd Gordon) and Lander hammered AHL pitching.

The same kind of fate befell Anton Slepyshev, who earned a recall in his second AHL season but couldn’t establish himself as an NHL winger (it would have a major impact on the organization combined with Jesse Puljujarvi’s struggles).

So, you may ask, if Lander and Slepyshev were over 1.00 points-per-game in the AHL at 22, how on earth did Jujhar Khaira and Tyler Pitlick emerge from the minors as NHL players? Well, I will tell you that neither man is “established” and that’s an important point. Lander played 215 NHL games, Pitlick has played in 185 and Khaira 154. If “established” is three or more full seasons, that’s about 250 NHL games. In real terms, Pitlick and Khaira haven’t yet passed Lander. We’ll see.

MIKE WALTON

In the old timey Farm Workers, I wrote “For Rob Schremp fans, there is exactly one pure offensive player who made it: Mike Walton.” The longer a skill player (Rob Schremp) spends in the AHL, the less likely he’s going to be an NHL top 6F of note. The first-round picks go up in mere seconds, meaning they get earlier and more chances than lower picks. It’s always been this way. Mike Walton was disliked by his coach, Punch Imlach, for reasons. He won a Stanley with my Bruins, so he’s alright for me. Imlach kept Walton in the minors for 2.5 seasons, where he flattened all comers.

BEWARE THE JOB DESCRIPTION

There’s an ongoing conversation in the comments section about players like Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody. The idea goes “these players need to stay in the minors for another year, gain strength, dominate, then come to the NHL.” There’s a lot of good thinking there, but allow me to add some nuance.

First, let’s be clear about specific players and the jobs they are applying for at this time. Kailer Yamamoto is either a skill RW in the NHL or he’s going to play his career in the AHL or Europe. He’s not going to apply for a checking job. He isn’t in the AHL to learn how to lean on people and wear them down. He’s there to dominate offensively. He didn’t get it done in year one, and part of that is a wrist injury. He needs a big season.

Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody delivered strong offensive seasons, and are now “in the window” for NHL jobs. Benson (imo) could apply for a checking job if he washes out as an offensive option, not certain about Marody (his pucks skills are fabulous). Both men will go as far as their foot speed allows.

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148 Responses to "Progressive Rock"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Guelph and Halifax at 5 (mountain) – who’s in?

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sometimes, in my mind, I compare Cooper Marody to Anton Lander – both PPG players at the AHL but slow boots – i then remember that Lander didn’t become PPG until his 22/23 year old season and Marody did it as a 21 year old rookie – and I also remember how he drove the line all year long (I don’t know if Lander did, didn’t watch AHL back then).

    I still worry about the skating and if the offense will translate to the NHL but Marody is a real prospect.

    My goodness Benson’s numbers at his age sparkle, don’t they?

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also, lots of negative verbal regarding Yamamoto’s progression but look at his number for his age compared to the rest. Also recall that the Oilers didn’t do him any favors by delaying his entry to the AHL – as has been his MO, when assigned to a new team/league, it seems to take him a bit of time to gain truncation and that was indeed the case in Bakersfield, however, once he did, he became a very very good AHL player. Playing with Vesel and Esposito, he started to drive offence and create scoring chances shift after shift.

    I don’t think the .667 actually does his game justice and, if it wasn’t for the damn injury, I bet ya he’d have been approaching Benson’s numbers by year end.

    The injuries are a cause for pause, however, I posit, assuming health and management assigning him to the Bake in October and leaving him there, we’ll see him over a PPG come the turn of the calendar.

  4. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sometimes, in my mind, I compare Cooper Marody to Anton Lander – both PPG players at the AHL but slow boots – i then remember that Lander didn’t become PPG until his 22/23 year old season and Marody did it as a 21 year old rookie – and I also remember how he drove the line all year long (I don’t know if Lander did, didn’t watch AHL back then).

    I still worry about the skating and if the offense will translate to the NHL but Marody is a real prospect.

    My goodness Benson’s numbers at his age sparkle, don’t they?

    If the Oil has enough fast wingers that compliments Coopers game it will be ok, as long as Cooper hockey IQ helps him find the soft area as the latecomer on the play. This is what I hoped of Milan. unfortunately, his hands and IQ didn’t allow him. JMHO

  5. OilSlickster says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’ll be there live !!

  6. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Also, lots of negative verbal regarding Yamamoto’s progression but look at his number for his age compared to the rest.Also recall that the Oilers didn’t do him any favors by delaying his entry to the AHL – as has been his MO, when assigned to a new team/league, it seems to take him a bit of time to gain truncation and that was indeed the case in Bakersfield, however, once he did, he became a very very good AHL player.Playing with Vesel and Esposito, he started to drive offence and create scoring chances shift after shift.

    I don’t think the .667 actually does his game justice and, if it wasn’t for the damn injury, I bet ya he’d have been approaching Benson’s numbers by year end.

    The injuries are a cause for pause, however, I posit, assuming health and management assigning him to the Bake in October and leaving him there, we’ll see him over a PPG come the turn of the calendar.

    Benson’s number is impressive but Yamamoto is a better offensive player based on their resumes. The disappointment comes from expectations raised by his own established performance.

  7. Pouzar says:

    OilSlickster:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I’ll be there live !!

    Lucky man…I miss that place.

  8. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – at the start of last season pool was flying in pre-season and Kailer was McDs winger

    – Benson we were hoping could play his first healthy season since Bantam and Maraody was some guy who was going to AHL after college

    – Now some believe Pool is the next Magnus, Kailer was forced into and failed again in NHL again and got injured and some are slotting Benson and Marody into top9 roles next season.

    – Our two best F prospects from last year are recovering from season-ending surgeries which stunts their development

    – What LT said : we just don’t know and don’t fall in love with any of them or assume what they will do stuff they haven’t actually done because that’s what might be projected untill they actually do it for a long time. Development is mostly stories of failures.

  9. OilSlickster says:

    Pouzar,

    I tried leaving once. 3 months later I was back. Couldn’t stay away. Cheering for moose and Safin obviously. But will be rooting for Samorukov!!

  10. godot10 says:

    There are innumerable tweeners who just need to find the right situation to land an NHL career. Lander was one of them who ended up on the wrong team with the wrong coaches. Pitlickfinally ended up on the right team in the end but got injured again.

    Lander and PItlick by any measure had made it in 2016-2017 but for horrible evaluation of them by Chiarelli and McLellan. The PK has sucked since both were dumped. There both would have been cheap depth players who could PK. Lander and PItlick actually provided offense from the 4th line.

    Lander would have had a career but for Eakins, McLellan, and Chiarelli. Lander really needed an opportunity to go to another organization when Eakins buried him.

  11. Pouzar says:

    OilSlickster:
    Pouzar,

    I tried leaving once. 3 months later I was back. Couldn’t stay away. Cheering for moose and Safin obviously. But will be rooting for Samorukov!!

    I went to University there in the late 90’s. Saw the Mooseheads first franchise game. It was electric to say the least.

  12. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Benson’s number is impressive but Yamamoto is a better offensive player based on their resumes. The disappointment comes from expectations raised by his own established performance.

    Yamamoto had a goal scoring heater his draft eligible season. Otherwise, his offense is not reflective of where he was drafted.

  13. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Guelph and Halifax at 5 (mountain) – who’s in?

    I’m in Mr. OP. Watched yesterday’s win in the Jasper Park Lodge. Man, we love that place. It’s fun everywhere. Even met a young lady who animates for Wild Krats (she works in the fabulous gallery. And, has amazing paintings there as well – oh, to be talented).

  14. dolenator says:

    Anton Lander did have one good year when used properly and given some support. Anton slepyshev only played 9 games his second season in the ahl so not sure we can give much credit to that. Hebig was at the same rate at the start of the year. Benson aand Morody might not drive lines in the nhl but being the top rookies in the ahl has to mean something.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Great points LT.

    For me a player joining the team is only helpful to the team if they can do something to augment the core.

    The core has to be the focus, or the team won’t get better. Giving a promising high drafted player like Nurse a partner like Russell is exactly what I mean. Russell isn’t a bad player per se, he is a bad fit on the OIlers, there is no where to slot him in where he can play to his strengths. At the same time the GM should not be trying to find a place for a fading older player – he should do the opposite.

    Hopefully Holland doesn’t have stats that value the things that Chiarelli valued. Russell has bizarre numbers, positive numbers in goals, but I don’t see what I think the team needs as he concedes the offensive blue line back, and the OIlers chase pucks in the D zone for extended time.

    For a guy like Marody, because he lacks size and speed, he either drives a scoring light duty third line as a centre (or better) or they need to move on fast, Connor’s time`s a wasting.

    Benson as said has more NHL options if he fails at the prime mandate. I don’t see any other options outside of Yama on the farm at forward that are strong enough to contribute enough. Currie has the will, but if Holland is true to his word, a slower moderately skilled bottom sixer isn’t what he was talking about.

    I think the bottom six needs to be populated with fast aggressive players that can keep the hammer down when the top six is off, by trick or by trade, somehow.

    Part of what makes the Oilers too easy to play is that when Connor is off the bad guys get a breather. What needs to happen is some attack or at least buzzsaw forechecking, tiring the opponent out and keeping the ice tilted the right way. Buzzsaw demands players with pace. Which is why Kassian on his game is a handful.

    I’m sure Koski would enjoy less D zone time as well.

    For the D, having good enough sticks and thinking to keep the offensive blue line, and good enough skating to pressure the attackers and tight gap in the neutral zone back is key. They also need to be able to get pucks in the D zone back or at least challenge hard enough to disrupt the bad guys strategy, which most teams other than the Oilers seem to have.

    Opponents are trying to execute certain plays (outside of defensive breakdowns leaving players in the clear). This is what makes Boston so effective. Lots of teams cycle well, Boston also sets up a lot of quality chances doing it. Teams know what they are going to do and still can`t stop it.

    I think a significant turnover is likely again, and necessary. We`ll see how quickly Holland can or does move.

  16. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10:
    There are innumerable tweeners who just need to find the right situation to land an NHL career.Lander was one of them who ended up on the wrong team with the wrong coaches.Pitlickfinally ended up on the right team in the end but got injured again.

    Lander and PItlick by any measure had made it in 2016-2017 but for horrible evaluation of them by Chiarelli and McLellan.The PK has sucked since both were dumped.There both would have been cheap depth players who could PK.Lander and PItlick actually provided offense from the 4th line.

    Lander would have had a career but for Eakins, McLellan, and Chiarelli. Lander really needed an opportunity to go to another organization when Eakins buried him.

    The Lander I saw was a smart player who chased the play waiving his stick and trying to direct players in the direction the system was based on. As for getting on players,or having an ability to attack the net, not much.

    Thus a tweener. Not strong enough offensively to be a contributing top 6. Why try to set a line up to help him score, that`s backward.

    Not fast enough to help push in the bottom 6 and doesn’t have size. So the option was to keep him to PK and not help enough elsewhere. This to me is why he didn’t stick in the NHL, no one else wanted him bad enough either it seems.

    I did like the player and was pulling for him. Great hair. His draft report suggested exactly what happened. Smart, slow boots, limited offense. They left talent on the board at #40. They made the same mistake with Pajaarvi although he was slotted at #10 where they took him. His draft report said big and fast with limited offense, he’s a bottom 6 right where it should have been expected.

  17. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Yamamoto had a goal scoring heater his draft eligible season.Otherwise, his offense is not reflective of where he was drafted.

    Hey Godot, not trying to jump on you this AM. But, I think most players are streaky scorers outside of the elite, and even most of them are to some extent. Especially taken where he was.

    I don’t see him as a really strong prospect though, he has a big hill to climb because size, and he’s getting hurt. A lot of skill and drive there so I don’t write him off yet.

  18. Reja says:

    godot10:
    There are innumerable tweeners who just need to find the right situation to land an NHL career.Lander was one of them who ended up on the wrong team with the wrong coaches.Pitlickfinally ended up on the right team in the end but got injured again.

    Lander and PItlick by any measure had made it in 2016-2017 but for horrible evaluation of them by Chiarelli and McLellan.The PK has sucked since both were dumped.There both would have been cheap depth players who could PK.Lander and PItlick actually provided offense from the 4th line.

    Lander would have had a career but for Eakins, McLellan, and Chiarelli. Lander really needed an opportunity to go to another organization when Eakins buried him.

    Lander got Railroaded out of the league. Eakins messed with a lot of career’s don’t think you’ll hear one player besides his Jane Fonda workout partner Ference say anything pleasant about Chop Wood Carry Water.

  19. Professor Q says:

    Germany holding their own against the Big Bad USA.

    This is good. Go Draisaitl.

  20. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – at the start of last season pool was flying in pre-season and Kailer was McDs winger

    – Benson we were hoping could play his first healthy season since Bantam and Maraody was some guy who was going to AHL after college

    – Now some believe Pool is the next Magnus, Kailer was forced into and failed again in NHL again and got injured and some are slotting Benson and Marody into top9 roles next season.

    – Our two best F prospects from last year are recovering from season-ending surgeries which stunts their development

    – What LT said : we just don’t know and don’t fall in love with any of them or assume what they will do stuff they haven’t actually done because that’s what might be projected untill they actually do it for a long time. Development is mostly stories of failures.

    Love Benson if used correctly he will be a very valuable player for many years with the Oil. Haven’t been this high on a Oil prospect from the AHL since Comrade Horcoff.

  21. Ben says:

    He didn’t play the full season, but Lander’s ppg totals in the KHL this year would likely have put him in in top-20, along with Irish superstar Linus O’Mark and noted pack-reindeer Teemu Hartikainen.

    Loved the player and think luck played a big part in his lack of NHL production, but slow boots are slow boots.

  22. flyfish1168 says:

    Ben:
    He didn’t play the full season, but Lander’s ppg totals in the KHL this year would likely have put him in in top-20, along with Irish superstar Linus O’Mark and noted pack-reindeer Teemu Hartikainen.

    Loved the player and think luck played a big part in his lack of NHL production, but slow boots are slow boots.

    Being with a bad coach, team and management does wonder to a player too

    Happy he is doing well for himself.

  23. oilersjo says:

    Lander was drafted and one of strong points he was drafted on was leadership skills. On the Oilers the leadership has handed out and not earned. Any other place he has played he has earned a leadership role and his playing rises. To bad he never got the opportunity here. He got sent out to talk to Gene after losses,I guess that was his job.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    oilersjo,

    We had the captain Ethan Moreau already we didn’t need another captain that could not play at the nhl level
    Lander was built for clutch and grab era

  25. bwar says:

    It’s weird to think that Yamamoto had a disappointing year and then seeing the actual numbers, he did pretty well for himself. Benson and Marody were the stars in Bakersfield this year and might get looks at the NHL level in the fall. Next year Yamamoto will need to step up and be that guy in Bakersfield. I think most of us are assuming Yamamoto spends the full season in Bakersfield on the top line, sink or swim time for Yamamoto.

    Another prospect on that list I find interesting is Cameron Hebig. Undrafted and not at the top of the list when it come to opportunities but his numbers show some promise. Above players like Lander and Slepyshev at 21 and really well off the radar for any conversation involving the NHL. I liked the signing when the Oilers took a chance on him and I’m interested to see where he slots on for Bakersfield next season.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sounds like Scott Darling is going to be bought out. Not sure I am interested in signing him but i was interested in a Lucic for Darling type swap – you know, bad contract for bad contract. Given the 2 years of extra term, the Oilers would need to add a piece of retain slightly but it was the structure of a deal I was in favor of. Having Darling as the 1B would be a big risk as he has clearly not been good lately, however, Lucic would be gone and it would have the potential of working out well if Darling found his game.

    Oh well.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:
  28. Reja says:

    leadfarmer:
    oilersjo,

    We had the captain Ethan Moreau already we didn’t need another captain that could not play at the nhl level
    Lander was built for clutch and grab era

    How many points a year do you think having a strong face-off man at crucial times along with Being a good to real good PKer worth. Add in not scared to go to the net with leadership qualities just thought he never got anywhere close to a fair shake.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Reja: How many points a year do you think having a strong face-offman at crucial times along with Being a good to real good PKer worth. Add in not scared to go to the net with leadership qualitiesjust thought he never got anywhere close to a fair shake.

    Maybe not a fair shake, but it is interesting other teams didn’t identify this helpful player being misused. Same for Slepyshev. Who doesn’t want a young big fast skilled right shot player? Nobody in the NHL apparently.

    I do think the Oilers have a history of turning on prospect forwards. When the glory Oilers running things, it seemed like if players didn’t start scoring a lot and especially hitting they thought they were crap.

    Ignoring normal production levels of developing players or that they had drafted a skill player that hadn’t ever thrown a check which isn’t why they were drafted in the first place.

    An odd double standard given the team played on wasn’t required to do that, and the young scoring came from a HOF haul of drafted players. They must have been shocked they couldn’t just replicate what happened. Hopefully Holland is more observant and realistic.

  30. Munny says:

    LT,

    That is one of the best charts you’ve ever posted. Very easy to see and compare progress for the various prospects over time. I hope we see this chart every Spring. Thank you for compiling it!

  31. Oilman99 says:

    Lowetide: Benson’s number is impressive but Yamamoto is a better offensive player based on their resumes. The disappointment comes from expectations raised by his own established performance.

    Yamamoto has not been able to compete on a regular basis against bigger, faster men due to his fragility. He is a small man with a fine bone structure, his fragility is a major concern. It seemed that every time he was in a scrum in the corner, or along the boards he ended up on the ice in the games he played in the NHL. Seems like he has to get stronger, and or quicker to slip checks if he is going to succeed at a higher level.

  32. buck yoakam says:

    OilSlickster,

    Halifax has been rocking this week and next with some great live music!…Matt mays, The Trews, The Stanfilelds, Sloan, Joel plaskett and many more acts…all outside on Argyl street…We def know how to party!…Go Moose!…

  33. jonrmcleod says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Guelph and Halifax at 5 (mountain) – who’s in?

    I’ll be at the game today. I was given free tickets for all the games this week.

  34. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sounds like Scott Darling is going to be bought out.Not sure I am interested in signing him but i was interested in a Lucic for Darling type swap – you know, bad contract for bad contract. Given the 2 years of extra term, the Oilers would need to add a piece of retain slightly but it was the structure of a deal I was in favor of. Having Darling as the 1B would be a big risk as he has clearly not been good lately, however, Lucic would be gone and it would have the potential of working out well if Darling found his game.

    Oh well.

    Scott Darling has battled alcoholism throughout his adult life. He took an unexplained leave of absence this past Winter, which suggests the issue is still a major factor. So I wouldn’t make the bet as far as roster player goes.

    As far as flipping camp dumps… with two less years and nearly two mill less per year in AAV and the Canes being a team that has poorer revenues… I think the sweetener required would be too dear.

  35. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Leon Draisaitl is good at hockey:

    https://twitter.com/IIHFHockey/status/1130119903845863424

    Get him and Connor a winger that can score and we’re talking Triple Crown numbers

  36. jtblack says:

    Munny:
    LT,

    That is one of the best charts you’ve ever posted.Very easy to see and compare progress for the various prospects over time.I hope we see this chart every Spring.Thank you for compiling it!

    +1

  37. pts2pndr says:

    godot10: Yamamoto had a goal scoring heater his draft eligible season.Otherwise, his offense is not reflective of where he was drafted.

    Apples and oranges while Yamamoto’s numbers are better Benson was recovering from the pubis problem and it is a very problematic injury in that it drastically effects skating. When they are both healthy Benson is the better player in my opinion.

  38. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Maybe not a fair shake, but it is interesting other teams didn’t identify this helpful player being misused. Same for Slepyshev. Who doesn’t want a young big fast skilled right shot player? Nobody in the NHL apparently.

    I do think the Oilers have a history of turning on prospect forwards. When the glory Oilers running things, it seemed like if players didn’t start scoring a lot and especially hitting they thought they were crap.

    Ignoring normal production levels of developing players or that they had drafted a skill player that hadn’t ever thrown a check which isn’t why they were drafted in the first place.

    An odd double standard given the team played on wasn’t required to do that, and the young scoring came from a HOF haul of drafted players. They must have been shocked they couldn’t just replicate what happened. Hopefully Holland is more observant and realistic.

    Every team has Sleppy’s and Lander’s in their system it’s such a fine line making the NHL full-time. Lander and Sleppy we’re homegrown and lander on a non playoff team why didn’t they play him for heaven sake and see exactly what kind of value he has moving forward. Opportunity and being put in a position to succeed is huge half the league could be replaced tomorrow and you wouldn’t see much of a drop-off that’s the way I see it anyhow.

  39. jtblack says:

    Lets say there are 20 players per team. 31 teams.

    620 NHL Jobs.

    If each team has a “core” of 8 (4 F’s, 3 D’s, 1 G).

    So you have your Top 250 NHL Calibre players. Most of whom are on long term contracts. These are the high end, rare breed 1%’ers.

    The other 370 jobs are a constant revolving door. AHL players up and down. NHL role players from team to team PTO players.

    And Every June a fresh crop of 200 draftees is added to the pile; mainly competing for the bottom 370 jobs.

  40. Oil2Oilers says:

    LT the chart showing PPG progression in the AHL is fantastic. If you have used this format before and I missed it I apologize, must have been a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Please consider of using charts in this format for CHL progression as well. Thanks

    Speaking of the CHL I am more interested in watching the Memorial Cup game today than the NHL game.

  41. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: Yamamoto had a goal scoring heater his draft eligible season.Otherwise, his offense is not reflective of where he was drafted.

    Not sure what you’re talking about. He scored 23 goals as a 16 year old, then only 19 as a 17 year old, then 40 at 18 and then on pace for 40 at 19. He even scored 10 goals in 27 at the AHL this year. In fact, he’s been a dominating scorer every year except one. If anything derails his career it’s injuries.

  42. Munny says:

    I hope to Gord that whoever the Oilers draft this summer he can put the puck in the net. Benson and Marody’s numbers look really promising, but neither of them is a goal-scorer. The top team desperately needs players who can finish.

    Yamo is a better hope in this regard, but major league success is a story yet to be written.

    Don’t get me wrong, playmakers are useful, and in the quicker NHL, good passing is paramount. But it all comes to naught if at the end of the passing, the shot can’t beat the goalie. This leads to overpassing, and trying to get perfect, open looks… and we’ve all seen that movie before.

  43. Ben says:

    Oilman99: with a fine bone structure

    An all-time “pretending we know things we don’t know” scouting report on KY.

  44. Side says:

    Oilman99: Yamamoto has not been able to compete on a regular basis against bigger, faster men due to his fragility. He is a small man with a fine bone structure, his fragility is a major concern. It seemed that every time he was in a scrum in the corner, or along the boards he ended up on the ice in the games he played in the NHL. Seems like he has to get stronger, and or quicker to slip checks if he is going to succeed at a higher level.

    Yeah him and players like Johnny Gaudreau will never make it.

    Fragile bone structures and all….

  45. Oil2Oilers says:

    Munny,

    Agreed, that a finisher is more important than a set up man for the Oilers. That’s why out of the three fine young WHL forwards likely to be available around when the Oilers make there selection my preference would be for Cozens over Dach and Krebs.

  46. CapeBretonOilers says:

    Pouzar,

    which school ? went to SMU graduated in 1994

  47. Reja says:

    Side: Yeah him and players like Johnny Gaudreau will never make it.

    Fragile bone structures and all….

    Every team is drafting gitterbugs did we get the right one with our first?

  48. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sometimes, in my mind, I compare Cooper Marody to Anton Lander – both PPG players at the AHL but slow boots – i then remember that Lander didn’t become PPG until his 22/23 year old season and Marody did it as a 21 year old rookie – and I also remember how he drove the line all year long (I don’t know if Lander did, didn’t watch AHL back then).

    I still worry about the skating and if the offense will translate to the NHL but Marody is a real prospect.

    My goodness Benson’s numbers at his age sparkle, don’t they?

    I think it’s almost a case of Oiler fans having had their hearts broken by so many AHL prospects.

    Prospects bust, but IMO the Oilers development MO has been a real hindrance.

    Remember Toni Rajal? Oilers 4th round draft pick. Came over as a 21 year old and put up 45 points in 46 games (17 goals) and then 16 points in 17 games in the playoffs for OKC. Those are heady numbers! He did not get a sniff in the NHL and later went back to Europe.

    LT alluded to Lander, and sure, he was not a perfect player. But he played 250ish games and the only person who gave him a real opportunity to play his AHL game in the NHL was Todd Nelson. During that small sample, he acquitted himself very, very well. Everyone else told him that he had to be a grinder. Why?

    In yesterday’s thread, I got some pushback for suggesting that the 4th line is not a place to develop players. I stand by that. I point to the Leafs’ record of incorporating players who are 0.8 PPG + in the AHL of nearly 100%, and look at the Oilers record, and go…hmmm.

    In a perfect world, a 4th line development role makes sense. But in real life, coaches want to win. When coaches want to win, they shorten the bench. When games become tight, refs put away their whistles. Developing players languish on 4th lines. 8 and 9 minutes a game is not enough for guys who should be playing upwards of 20. Psychologically, a developing player put in a top 9 role recognizes that they are being invested in and counted upon. They are with players who have emerged from the development tunnel and can give them a helping hand. A developing player put in a 4th line role is given the message, “Survive. Don’t screw up.” They are not told that that isn’t enough to carve out an NHL career.

    Cooper Marody was called up this season and played 3:19, 4:59, 12:12, 3:15, 7:45, 9:58. That is unacceptable. What kind of player is going to look good given that kind of opportunity? What is the point of having successful AHL players if you don’t give them a real chance?

    The coaches too need to recognize the long-view, which can only come with organizational support. Cashing the Rajalas, Landers, Puljujarvis, Bensons and Cooper Marodys is the dividing line between good and great teams. The Oilers haven’t been doing themselves any favours there.

  49. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Oilman99: It seemed that every time he was in a scrum in the corner, or along the boards he ended up on the ice in the games he played in the NHL. Seems like he has to get stronger, and or quicker to slip checks if he is going to succeed at a higher level.

    Agreed. He looked the same way in the AHL. If he ever makes it back to the NHL, his value is likely to be primarily on the PP. Assuming both are healthy, Benson is by far the better prospect IMO, and it isn’t even close.

  50. Reja says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Agreed. He looked the same way in the AHL. If he ever makes it back to the NHL, his value is likely to be primarily on the PP. Assuming both are healthy, Benson is by far the better prospect IMO, and it isn’t even close.

    Yamo drew from what I remember not sure but at least a half- dozen penalties in his short stint with the Oilers because he was man-handled so easily mean while you could tackle kassian or maul Mcdavid without a call. Maybe this becomes a new specialty in today’s NHL regular season.

  51. Pescador says:

    Reja: Every team is drafting gitterbugs did we get the right one with our first?

    He was definitely BGA by the time the Oilers picked

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – at the start of last season pool was flying in pre-season and Kailer was McDs winger

    – Benson we were hoping could play his first healthy season since Bantam and Maraody was some guy who was going to AHL after college

    – Now some believe Pool is the next Magnus, Kailer was forced into and failed again in NHL again and got injured and some are slotting Benson and Marody into top9 roles next season.

    – Our two best F prospects from last year are recovering from season-ending surgeries which stunts their development

    – What LT said : we just don’t know and don’t fall in love with any of them or assume what they will do stuff they haven’t actually done because that’s what might be projected untill they actually do it for a long time. Development is mostly stories of failures.

    I was quite a bit higher on both Benson and Marody (who I did watch at Michigan 5 times last year) than you state.

    With respect to “flying high” on Puljujarvi and Yamamoto, you are right, and its simply another example of how little training camp and exhibition performance by young skilled players means. It has been proven to me all but meaningless in that regard.

    I put my more stock in to what Benson and Marody have done at the AHL level than anything at training camp – it is much more meaningful to me.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Benson’s number is impressive but Yamamoto is a better offensive player based on their resumes. The disappointment comes from expectations raised by his own established performance.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Benson’s number is impressive but Yamamoto is a better offensive player based on their resumes. The disappointment comes from expectations raised by his own established performance.

    Sure, however, as I suggest, a large part of that is on the organization by playing him in the NHL, both in his draft plus 1 and draft plus 2 years. I would posit, and its pure speculation, that, if he was assigned to Bakersfield out of camp last year and left there along with Benson and Marody, his numbers would be right up with those guys (injuries notwithstanding) and I would posit that is what we will see next year, subject to health.

    Further, by playing him in the NHL at this point, I think the organization raised the fanbase’s expectations of his developmental timeline.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    OilSlickster:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I’ll be there live !!

    That’s awesome – I’m excited for you.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    There are innumerable tweeners who just need to find the right situation to land an NHL career.Lander was one of them who ended up on the wrong team with the wrong coaches.Pitlickfinally ended up on the right team in the end but got injured again.

    Lander and PItlick by any measure had made it in 2016-2017 but for horrible evaluation of them by Chiarelli and McLellan.The PK has sucked since both were dumped.There both would have been cheap depth players who could PK.Lander and PItlick actually provided offense from the 4th line.

    Lander would have had a career but for Eakins, McLellan, and Chiarelli. Lander really needed an opportunity to go to another organization when Eakins buried him.

    Pitlick was playing every day for the Oilers in his last season in the organization was he not? Increasing ice time and responsibility with his plus play as well? It seemed like maybe the organization was fine for him – he was on his way to “making it” before yet another injury.

    An injury that led to him being a Group VI UFA – the Oilers didn’t dump him, he was offered a contract by Dallas that he was even shocked to receive. Sure, the Oilers could have signed him before but that doesn’t mean the player wasn’t in their plans.

  57. pts2pndr says:

    JimmyV1965: Not sure what you’re talking about. He scored 23 goals as a 16 year old, then only 19 as a 17 year old, then 40 at 18 and then on pace for 40 at 19. He even scored 10 goals in 27 at the AHL this year. In fact, he’s been a dominating scorer every year except one. If anything derails his career it’s injuries.

    There are four areas of excellence and arguably five required to make the NHL.
    They are skating,Hockey IQ, size, talent and desire. With the exception of desire if one of the other four are not at NHL level one of the other four have to be better than NHL level. I would rate all of Yamamoto’s areas of excellence at NHL level with the exception of size. Four out of five make him a marginal NHL prospect.

  58. Westchester Oil says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    Munny,

    Agreed, that a finisher is more important than a set up man for the Oilers. That’s why out of the three fine young WHL forwards likely to be available around when the Oilers make there selection my preference would be for Cozens over Dach and Krebs.

    Cole Caulfield, anyone?

  59. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Pitlick was playing every day for the Oilers in his last season in the organization was he not?Increasing ice time and responsibility with his plus play as well?It seemed like maybe the organization was fine for him – he was on his way to “making it” before yet another injury.

    An injury that led to him being a Group VI UFA – the Oilers didn’t dump him, he was offered a contract by Dallas that he was even shocked to receive. Sure, the Oilers could have signed him before but that doesn’t mean the player wasn’t in their plans.

    The Oilers didn’t offer him a contract. If they had, he in all likelihood wouldn’t have become a UFA.

  60. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jonrmcleod: I’ll be at the game today. I was given free tickets for all the games this week.

    Hi Jon.

    Good to see you check in.

  61. slopitch says:

    Carolina is too smart to to take on Lucic i think. Way too into data and less so “toughness and intangibles”. Darling was pretty bad the last 2 years but the 3 previous years he was good. That said, if the Canes would do Lucic for Darling (effective July 2nd) u listen. The cap savings are substantial for the oilers and the actual money hit is close after Lucic gets his bonus. Who knows likely a pipe dream.

  62. godot10 says:

    Westchester Oil: Cole Caulfield, anyone?

    Nope. I’m not taking a one dimensional size-challenged sniper at #8OV when there are players with nearly complete fully rounded toolkits available.

    This is not a Debrincat who had two fifty goal seasons in the toughest junior league in the world, who could also make a play with the puck.

    #TeamNOTCaufield

  63. pts2pndr says:

    JimmyV1965: Not sure what you’re talking about. He scored 23 goals as a 16 year old, then only 19 as a 17 year old, then 40 at 18 and then on pace for 40 at 19. He even scored 10 goals in 27 at the AHL this year. In fact, he’s been a dominating scorer every year except one. If anything derails his career it’s injuries.

    Too small to play the boards and not fast enough to cause the D to back off. This is the recipe for injuries.

  64. Oilman99 says:

    Side: Yeah him and players like Johnny Gaudreau will never make it.

    Fragile bone structures and all….

    Gaudreau is smart enough, and quick enough to slip checks, also much more solid on his skates. Never said he wouldn’t make it, but he has to get quicker, and stronger.

  65. Oilman99 says:

    Ben: An all-time “pretending we know things we don’t know” scouting report on KY.

    Just look at the guy in street cloths, its pretty obvious,150 lbs. soaking wet.

  66. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    An injury that led to him being a Group VI UFA – the Oilers didn’t dump him, he was offered a contract by Dallas that he was even shocked to receive. Sure, the Oilers could have signed him before but that doesn’t mean the player wasn’t in their plans

    What led him to being a group 6 UFA was that EDM didn’t offer him a contract.

    He is on record stating that he was just hoping to be offered a NHL contract after EDM didn’t before July 1.

  67. Reja says:

    Nice to see the Sharks getting pounded Jaden Schwartz going full John Druce.

  68. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sure, however, as I suggest, a large part of that is on the organization by playing him in the NHL, both in his draft plus 1 and draft plus 2 years.I would posit, and its pure speculation, that, if he was assigned to Bakersfield out of camp last year and left there along with Benson and Marody, his numbers would be right up with those guys (injuries notwithstanding) and I would posit that is what we will see next year, subject to health.

    Further, by playing him in the NHL at this point, I think the organization raised the fanbase’s expectations of his developmental timeline.

    Chiarelli’s lack of ability to find any viable wingers last summer put Yamamoto, and JP in prime position to fail ‘ lets hope they can both make positive progress this coming season. The Oilers depth chart is a lot deeper if these two guys can show improvement.

  69. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Westchester Oil: Cole Caulfield, anyone?

    If you intend to pick Caufield, you might as well flush KY now. Their is no way you are playing two extremely size challenged forwards at the NHL level unless they are both Johnny Cocky … and I’m not even sure that would work out very well. Remember, it’s goal differential that wins, not goals.

  70. Oilman99 says:

    Reja:
    Nice to see the Sharks getting pounded Jaden Schwartz going full John Druce.

    Not even the referees can win this game for the Sharks. Maybe the Sharks are going to finally end up where they should already be, golfing.

  71. Side says:

    godot10: The Oilers didn’t offer him a contract.If they had, he in all likelihood wouldn’t have become a UFA.

    But yet, you still blame McLellan for the Oilers losing Pitlick even though McLellan used him well in multiple situations.

    Hmm…

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: Yamamoto has not been able to compete on a regular basis against bigger, faster men due to his fragility. He is a small man with a fine bone structure, his fragility is a major concern. It seemed that every time he was in a scrum in the corner, or along the boards he ended up on the ice in the games he played in the NHL. Seems like he has to get stronger, and or quicker to slip checks if he is going to succeed at a higher level.

    Its a good thing that 20 year old professional athletes generally do get stronger as they become men and learn how to train (and eat) properly and get additional resources from their organizations to do just that.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Get him and Connor awinger that can scoreand we’re talking Triple Crown numbers

    Krill Maksimov…………….

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    LT the chart showing PPG progression in the AHL is fantastic. If you have used this format before and I missed it I apologize, must have been a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Please consider of using charts in this format for CHL progression as well. Thanks

    Speaking of the CHL I am more interested in watching the Memorial Cup game today than the NHL game.

    Yup – I love me the NHL playoffs, of course, but I’ve been waiting for the M. Cup all week.

  75. Reja says:

    Side: But yet, you still blame McLellan for the Oilers losing Pitlick even though McLellan used him well in multiple situations.

    Hmm…

    You pick him 31st which is a first rounder nowadays invest and groom him through injuries they find him a cheap niche on the team and then just let him walk they showed zero interest in resigning him before Dallas made a offer made no sense in the Oiler usual way.

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    Side: Yeah him and players like Johnny Gaudreau will never make it.

    Fragile bone structures and all….

    In Oilman99’s defence, when Gaudreau has been brought up as a comparison, he points out his superior quickness/speed/skating/pull-away speed.

  77. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Krill Maksimov…………….

    If he has a good camp does he make it next year?

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Yamo drew from what I remember not sure but at least a half- dozen penalties in his short stint with the Oilers because he was man-handled so easily mean while you could tackle kassian or maul Mcdavid without a call. Maybe this becomes a new specialty in today’s NHL regular season.

    Natural Stat has him at 3 penalties draw, although, as rate/60 he’s behind only Rattie and McDavid (from last year).

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    OriginalPouzar,

    An injury that led to him being a Group VI UFA – the Oilers didn’t dump him, he was offered a contract by Dallas that he was even shocked to receive. Sure, the Oilers could have signed him before but that doesn’t mean the player wasn’t in their plans

    What led him to being a group 6 UFA was that EDM didn’t offer him a contract.

    He is on record stating that he was just hoping to be offered a NHL contract after EDM didn’t before July 1.

    He’s actually on record as saying he was hopeful to get a one-way contract, not just an NHL contract.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: If he has a good camp does he make it next year?

    Oh, god know – not for a couple years likely.

    Not to mention, a good camp would mean zero as far as NHL readiness – we know that for certainty.

  81. Lowetide says:

    Reja: If he has a good camp does he make it next year?

    He’s the kind of player who won’t stay in the minors long (if he flourishes), but he’s also a lower pick. So, it’s probably something we chat about a year from now if he delivers strong AHL numbers.

  82. Side says:

    Reja: You pick him 31st which is a first rounder nowadays invest and groom him through injuries they find him a cheap niche on the team and then just let him walk they showed zero interest in resigning him before Dallas made a offer made no sense in the Oiler usual way.

    I still don’t see what McLellan has to do with this.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    LT the chart showing PPG progression in the AHL is fantastic. If you have used this format before and I missed it I apologize, must have been a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Please consider of using charts in this format for CHL progression as well. Thanks

    Speaking of the CHL I am more interested in watching the Memorial Cup game today than the NHL game.

    Actually I’ve used it for years, but Benson makes it sexy. 🙂

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    Go Guelph!

  85. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar: In Oilman99’s defence, when Gaudreau has been brought up as a comparison, he points out his superior quickness/speed/skating/pull-away speed.

    I don’t dispute that. But everyone gets hit and Gaudreau still gets hit/slashed plenty, yet his “delicate bone structure” still holds up well enough.

    There are areas of weakness one can point out about KY objectively, without the need to make up some like “delicate bone structure”. There are a lot more bigger men in the league who get injured far more, interestingly though, no one harps on their weak or delicate bone structures.

  86. Pescador says:

    Oilman99: Just look at the guy in street cloths, its pretty obvious,150 lbs. soaking wet.

    Ah the consummate eye test, never failed anyone
    I find it’s always better to write off a player before enough time has passed by to make an informed decision.
    Especially any Oiler prospect

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow, what an environment- place is electric!

  88. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Krill Maksimov…………….

    Good call but should have a year in the AHL to adjust to pro hockey.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: Good call but should have a year in the AHL to adjust to pro hockey.

    Oh, yes, I wasn’t talking about this year,or even next year.

  90. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oh, god know – not for a couple years likely.

    Not to mention, a good camp would mean zero as far as NHL readiness – we know that for certainty.

    That is your take, many players have a strong camp and carry it on for the year. How a young player does does in camp not guarantee success or failure but it is an indicator.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with a couple bit shots from the point on the PP that each led to some chaos in front.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov,just a wonderful stick defending the blueline on a fast rush against.

    Oooop, Halifax does score later in the shift and Samorukov picks up a minus – wasn’t culpable though.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov is so good defensively and he’s made two real nice plays at the offensive line to knock pucks down.

    Still in the first and he’s made like 4-5 real solid plays in the Guelph zone. So strong on the boards – wait until he fills out that 6’2 frame.

    “Samorukov, he is a wall” – Rob Faulds

  94. Lowetide says:

    OP nailed it. Samorukov has been splendid this period. Exceptional stick against Lavoie on a partial breakaway.

  95. Reja says:

    Side: I still don’t see what McLellan has to do with this.

    Side: I still don’t see what McLellan has to do with this.

    Probably nothing but they had absolutely no interest in resigning him maybe they got tired of his injury history. Why do you think Pete didn’t resign him?

  96. jonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I’ve been checking in more frequently lately. Feeling a bit more hopeful. Not commenting very often though.

  97. Reja says:

    Lowetide:
    OP nailed it. Samorukov has been splendid this period. Exceptional stick against Lavoie on a partial breakaway.

    If Samorukov and Krill knock it out of the park in the NHL and the Big Bad Bruins win the cup what does that say about Keith Gretzky.

  98. Oil2Oilers says:

    Lowetide: Actually I’ve used it for years, but Benson makes it sexy.

    Benson could sell tickets to his summer skating drills in this town!

  99. Glovjuice says:

    Oilman99: Gaudreauis smart enough, and quick enough to slip checks, also much more solid on his skates. Never said he wouldn’t make it, but he has to get quicker, and stronger.

    Yeah, I will say it again. Yamo is nowhere near a fast enough (separation speed – which Gaudreau has a ton of) to cover the 22 overall bet for a VERY VERY small player.

  100. Oil2Oilers says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Wow, what an environment- place is electric!

    I try and take in a Mooseheads game whenever I visit Halifax, made easier with my family’s season tickets. I have gotten to see some wonderful NHL prospects and good hockey in a lively building. But nothing like today Wow. It reminds me of the Hitchcock era Blazers making Kamloops the most exciting place to see a hockey game.

  101. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Samorukov,just a wonderful stick defending the blueline on a fast rush against.

    Oooop, Halifax does score later in the shift and Samorukov picks up a minus – wasn’t culpable though.

    All those years of hoping Teubert Chorney Musil etc would pan out and now we have a whole fruit tree. Holland has to be smiling from Edmonton to Medicine Hat.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was a sensational shorthanded goal by Lavoie. I always have a bit of trepidation re: forwards from the Q but, through 4.5 periods, he’s just as dominant against the other leagues.

    I wonder where he’ll end up getting taken?

  103. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Reja: If Samorukov and Krill knock it out of the park in the NHL and the Big Bad Bruins win the cup what does that say about Keith Gretzky.

    Don’t forget about Bouchardov and McCloudevsky. It says we are probably drafting the Russian kid at #8.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    On the other hand, Safin looks awful out there – horrible in his own zone on that last shift.

  105. Oil2Oilers says:

    So far tonight I have seen Samorukov;

    Be hairy arsed in the Rickibox
    Brave in puck retrieval in the corner
    Use good stick and angles against odd man rushes
    Make smart headman passes and smart plays versus dump ins
    Skate up the ice like Nurse
    Make open big open ice hits
    Damn near kill a player with his slap shot

    On a range of one to Craig McTavish seeing Kelfbom for the first time I am a little l a little past full MacT

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    Damn, I miss five minutes and Sammy with a PP assist on a goal by Durzi – he’s on absolute fire!

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    Has Samorukov left the ice in the third?

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    There is alot of the “good Darnell Nurse” in Samorukov’s game – an effortless skater that can log big minutes and get up and down the ice so fast and with ease.

    I know the famous series with Eerie but was Nurse ever this good defensively in his last year of junior?

  109. Side says:

    Reja:
    Probably nothing but they hadabsolutely no interest in resigning him maybe they got tired of his injury history. Why do you think Petedidn’t resign him?

    “why didn’t Pete…” could easily be the name of a book with many volumes following it.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    My goodness, I don’t even think I’m exaggerating when I say that Samorukov must have played 16-17 minutes in the third period.

    The stat line shows the single assist and -2 but he was fantastic in this game. He didn’t create too much offensively but my goodness was he phenomenal defensively – he is so good on the boards in the defensive zone, aggressive and consistently comes out with the puck.

    What a performance to my eye.

  111. Oil2Oilers says:

    OriginalPouzar: know the famous series with Eerie but was Nurse ever this good defensively in his last year of junior?

    Nurse was bigger band faster and just outright dominant in his last year of Jr. His abilities meant he could get away with going walkabout, Samorukov is much more responsible. He seemed to play the last man back role today and was great at it. The “Wall” commentary from the broadcast was apt.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    I doubt he’d actually say that Holland’s hire was a factor (or that he was essentially pushed out):

    Igor Eronko

    Verified account

    @IgorEronko
    Follow Follow @IgorEronko
    More
    Craig MacTavish on if Holland’s appointment affected his decision to move to the KHL: ‘Not really. I was looking for a change. Doing something different. And I missed coaching’. BTW Michel Therrien had an offer from Lokomotiv, but signed as an assistant with the #Flyers #Oilers

  113. Reja says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Don’t forget about Bouchardov and McCloudevsky. It says we are probably drafting the Russian kid at #8.

    As much as Pete’s reign ended terribly we sure have some nice assets probably the best since Siam was a country.

  114. David says:

    Glovjuice: Yeah, I will say it again. Yamo is nowhere near a fast enough (separation speed – which Gaudreau has a ton of) to cover the 22 overall bet for a VERY VERY small player.

    Skating really is the boogeyman around these parts. I’ve heard just about every Oiler not named McDavid or Hall have their skating criticized at some point. It seems like if a player is not defined by their blazing speed they are slow.

    As for Yamamoto specifically, unless his skating regressed from draft day his skating is not an issue:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2017/06/23/nhl-draft-2017-first-round-picks-scouting-reports/424648001/

    “A real speedster”, “excellent acceleration with a quick first step” – Kyle Woodlief

    https://lastwordonhockey.com/2017/04/22/kailer-yamamoto-scouting-report-2017-nhl-draft-23/

    “tremendous skater. His top end speed is excellent”, “great acceleration and a really quick first step”

    https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/nhl-entry-draft-picks-2017/2017/5/30/15708714/2017-nhl-draft-prospect-profile-kailer-yamamoto-scouting-report-highlight-video-rankings

    “speedy”, “great overall quickness”, “uses his speed”

    http://www.mynhldraft.com/2017/NHL-Draft-Profiles/Kailer-Yamamoto

    “fantastic speed”, “very good skater, can accelerate fast and shows great quickness in his steps”

    https://flamesnation.ca/2017/06/12/nhl-draft-scout-series-whl-and-cale-makar/

    “high end skating ability”

  115. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jtblack:
    Lets say there are 20 players per team. 31 teams.

    620 NHL Jobs.

    If each team has a “core” of 8 (4 F’s, 3 D’s, 1 G).

    So you have your Top 250 NHL Calibre players. Most of whom are on long term contracts.These are the high end, rare breed 1%’ers.

    The other 370 jobs are a constant revolving door.AHL players up and down.NHL role players from team to teamPTO players.

    And Every June a fresh crop of 200 draftees is added to the pile; mainly competing for the bottom 370 jobs.

    This is exactly where drafting went wrong. They tried to draft role players, I think confusing memories of the great teams with what actually happened.

    Being a good guy and willing to die on the ice for the team still isn’t enough, if the hockey part at an NHL level isn’t there.

    Trying to draft what’s basically free every summer, or extreme outliers like Lucic, or hopefully not a fail in the St Louis / Gaudreau sweepstakes, shows a profound misunderstanding of the game.

    We know this of course, I think Holland does. I hope. Kretzky has been hella better. So far.

  116. Reja says:

    Oil2Oilers: Nurse was bigger band faster and just outright dominant in his last year of Jr. His abilities meant he could get away with going walkabout, Samorukov is much more responsible. He seemed to play the last man back role today and was great at it. The “Wall” commentary from the broadcast was apt.

    I thought Nurse had more chaos good and bad in his game overall.

  117. David says:

    Lowetide,

    What lands a comment in moderation?

  118. Scungilli Slushy says:

    pts2pndr: There are four areas of excellence and arguably five required to make the NHL.
    They are skating,Hockey IQ, size, talent and desire. With the exception of desire if one of the other four are not at NHL level one of the other four have to be better than NHL level. I would rate all of Yamamoto’s areas of excellenceat NHL level with the exception of size. Four out of five make him a marginal NHL prospect.

    I agree except I would list the traits skating, IQ, desire, talent, size.

    The Oilers have in the past missed big time on one aspect and gone for size or what they perceived as talent. Also ignoring being zoomed and drive.

    Samu is an excellent example of a well drafted player. He was inconsistent, a teenager, but had everything else.

    It’s always a crap shoot, but he put it together and now is a potential top 4 x 5 tool guy.

  119. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Reja: If he has a good camp does he make it next year?

    – I don’t think I’m the only one who noticed what you did there. This blog is awesome

  120. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    There is alot of the “good Darnell Nurse” in Samorukov’s game – an effortless skater that can log big minutes and get up and down the ice so fast and with ease.

    I know the famous series with Eerie but was Nurse ever this good defensively in his last year of junior?

    yes, Darnell was. Remember how good he was in the last game for team Canada. He won gold with Canada at the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship and was named one of Canada’s top three players, as well as the player of the match for the gold medal game against Russia.

    Let us not give him the Schultz treatment. He brings a lot of good and will only get better. It foolish to even think of trading him after bringing him along this far. Unless we get 3 very good assets I am not interested in trading him.

  121. flyfish1168 says:

    Glovjuice: Yeah, I will say it again. Yamo is nowhere near a fast enough (separation speed – which Gaudreau has a ton of) to cover the 22 overall bet for a VERY VERY small player.

    Gaudreau edge work is superior at this point. This gives him a huge advantage

  122. pts2pndr says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I agree except I would list the traits skating, IQ, desire, talent, size.

    The Oilers have in the past missed big time on one aspect and gone for size or what they perceived as talent. Also ignoring being zoomed and drive.

    Samu is an excellent example of a well drafted player. He was inconsistent, a teenager, but had everything else.

    It’s always a crap shoot, but he put it together and now is a potential top 4 x 5 tool guy.

    I didn’t put them in order of importance. I would agree with your priority list with the exception being I would have desire first. The reason size is important is that it opens up playing on other than a scoring line while experience is gained. Once the player is established as an NHL player the importance of size is negligible. It would be interesting to know the percentage of drafted players average size or above vs below average size that make the NHL.

  123. Old Timer says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    When loosely comparing Samorukov and Nurse, I get the feeling that they are very similar. One area which is markedly different is that Nurse’s hockey IQ does not seem to be as high as that of Samorukov.

    Many of Nurses playing errors are mental rather than physical. He puts himself out of position on many plays and, offensively, he does not seem to have natural talent. He has the physical tools to get into good offensive areas but lacks the skills/IQ necessary to finish. He seems to be forever firing a shot from the blue line when no Oiler is in front of or anywhere near the net. The result being an easy save for the opposing goalie and a loss of possession by the Oilers.

    Watching Samorukov, he is still very young and inconsistent but we repeatedly see flashes of something special. He seems to be able to walk the line effectively and get shots through traffic to the net. He also seems to have pretty decent defensive anticipation.

    Will be very interested to see how Samorukov develops over the next 2 years. Hope runs eternal.

  124. Glovjuice says:

    flyfish1168: Gaudreau edge work is superior at this point. This gives him a huge advantage

    At this point? Yamo’s edge work is a foot massage to Gaudreau’s tounge in the holiest of holies.

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    pts2pndr: I didn’t put them in order of importance. I would agree with your priority list with the exception being I would have desire first. The reason size is important is that it opens up playing on other than a scoring line while experience is gained. Once the player is established as an NHL player the importance of size is negligible. It would be interesting to know the percentage of drafted players average size or above vs below average size that make the NHL.

    Right.

    I’d say given the average size per position changes slowly, most players that stick are close to NHL average.

    In any sport there is an optimal body type per role. It’s not a rule, but an effect of the demands on the athlete.

    Outliers can excel, but they remain outliers.

    I ask my kids sometimes, would a player in top tier Euro soccer be there if he couldn’t run well?

    No.

    Why are there hockey players in the NHL that are weak skaters?

    No answer, because it makes no sense. When you can’t obstruct at least.

  126. flyfish1168 says:

    Old Timer:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    When loosely comparing Samorukov and Nurse, I get the feeling that they are very similar. One area which is markedly different is that Nurse’s hockey IQ does not seem to be as high as that of Samorukov.

    Many of Nurses playing errors are mental rather than physical. He puts himself out of position on many plays and, offensively, he does not seem to have natural talent. He has the physical tools to get into good offensive areas but lacks the skills/IQ necessary to finish. He seems to be forever firing a shot from the blue line when no Oiler is in front of or anywhere near the net. The result being an easy save for the opposing goalie and a loss of possession by the Oilers.

    Watching Samorukov, he is still very young and inconsistent but we repeatedly see flashes of something special. He seems to be able to walk the line effectively and get shots through traffic to the net. He also seems to have pretty decent defensive anticipation.

    Will be very interested to see how Samorukov develops over the next 2 years. Hope runs eternal.

    Not to be argumentative. But Nurse is playing at the highest league and Samorukov is in juniors. Let us wait till he gets into the NHL and then see if his hockey IQ can translate into the best league in the world. He may be our new shiny toy but let’s not overhype the poor kid

  127. flyfish1168 says:

    Glovjuice: At this point? Yamo’s edge work is a foot massage to Gaudreau’s tounge in the holiest of holies.

    lol. +1

  128. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Old Timer:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    When loosely comparing Samorukov and Nurse, I get the feeling that they are very similar. One area which is markedly different is that Nurse’s hockey IQ does not seem to be as high as that of Samorukov.

    Many of Nurses playing errors are mental rather than physical. He puts himself out of position on many plays and, offensively, he does not seem to have natural talent. He has the physical tools to get into good offensive areas but lacks the skills/IQ necessary to finish. He seems to be forever firing a shot from the blue line when no Oiler is in front of or anywhere near the net. The result being an easy save for the opposing goalie and a loss of possession by the Oilers.

    Watching Samorukov, he is still very young and inconsistent but we repeatedly see flashes of something special. He seems to be able to walk the line effectively and get shots through traffic to the net. He also seems to have pretty decent defensive anticipation.

    Will be very interested to see how Samorukov develops over the next 2 years. Hope runs eternal.

    Good points.

    Nurse has always run around, in junior his physical dominance allowed it.

    Given the team he’s on and typical partner maybe he’s actually doing better than it looks.

    I think if he had a Sekera ‘type’ he’d be looking better. Stability and someone that can actually pass. I think it’s a pretty easy forecheck when you know the options – Nurse skates it out, or it’s Russell off the glass. Poor forward support in the back 40. Terrible team structure many games. You can key on that.

    However at this point he is what he is, which isn’t Pronger. You still don’t move quality before quality gets pushed off our out. If winning matters.

  129. Lowetide says:

    David:
    Lowetide,

    What lands a comment in moderation?

    Too many links. It’s up now.

  130. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Glovjuice: At this point? Yamo’s edge work is a foot massage to Gaudreau’s tounge in the holiest of holies.

    While I can’t claim knowledge of this on a personal level, I believe your analogy describes the gist of it perfectly. Highest regards.

  131. JimmyV1965 says:

    What do you guys think about the above trade rumour?

  132. norm_klassen says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Wings fans seem to think mantha is a God. Worh RNH plus 8 overall like do all other teams think Oilers prospects/players = shit

  133. HT Joe says:

    JimmyV1965:
    What do you guys think about the above trade rumour?

    Madness… Mantha is a RW… we already have McDavid’s RW (Drai). If we trade RNH for Mantha, then Draisatl has to anchor the second line (which he hasn’t done yet for a significant number of games really well), and Mantha becomes our defacto #1 RH… he hasn’t cracked 50 points in a season (not like RNH… Mantha REALLY hasn’t cracked 50 points yet).

    Keep RNH

  134. Pescador says:

    flyfish1168: Not to be argumentative. But Nurse is playing at the highest league and Samorukov is in juniors. Let us wait till he gets into the NHL and then see if his hockey IQ can translate into the best league in the world. He may be our new shiny toy but let’s not overhype the poor kid

    Excellent post

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Right.

    I’d say given the average size per position changes slowly, most players that stick are close to NHL average.

    In any sport there is an optimal body type per role. It’s not a rule, but an effect of the demands on the athlete.

    Outliers can excel, but they remain outliers.

    I ask my kids sometimes, would a player in top tier Euro soccer be there if he couldn’t run well?

    No.

    Why are there hockey players in the NHL that are weak skaters?

    No answer, because it makes no sense. When you can’t obstruct at least.

    Isn’t the answer simple – because they have other skills that make them effective at the highest level?

    Dave Andreychuk was a poor skater. Luc Robitaille was a poor skater. Larry Murphy was a poor skater.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168: Not to be argumentative. But Nurse is playing at the highest league and Samorukov is in juniors. Let us wait till he gets into the NHL and then see if his hockey IQ can translate into the best league in the world. He may be our new shiny toy but let’s not overhype the poor kid

    I think its fine to give in to the hype around Samorukov – he is spiking and showing that he has a full tool box and all the skills to become a true #1D.

    At the same time, I think we all do acknowledge, at least most of us, that he is far from a sure thing to become that D-man, in fact, its not likely that he does reach that ultimate potential and, in fact, its not even a sure thing that he becomes an every day NHL player – there is a huge gap between the CHL and NHL and there are countless examples of players that excel in junior that simply never make it.

    Of course, most of us can’t remember a prospect in the organization that has this range of skills and has his arrows pointing directly up – there is reason for excitement while also acknowledging there are “miles to go”.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    As awesome as Samorukov looks, Safin looks equally as poor.

    Hardly played and I only noticed him twice, both negative plays, falling over trying to get the puck out in the first and on a shift getting caved in the 2nd.

    I really hope its a function of essentially not playing all year.

    Do we think the Oilers will send him back to the Q for an over-age season? Does Halifax have a say in that, in particular given he’s an import?

    Maybe he’s bound for the ECHL to start next season? Is that a horrid thing?

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: Too many links. It’s up now.

    My guess was that he shit talked Marc Pouliot.

  139. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Ken Holland’s Oilers could go the high octane procurement route but will need a driver

    https://theathletic.com/984564/2019/05/20/ken-hollands-oilers-could-go-the-high-octane-procurement-route-but-will-need-a-driver/

  140. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: My guess was that he shit talked Marc Pouliot.

    That’s a ban!

  141. gimme shelter says:

    The last I heard of Slepyshev he was still on the oilers negotiation list and playing in the K.
    With the lack of cheap RW UFA’s why not bring him back for a look.
    Also sign Brandon Pirri. I said it so now it will never happen.

  142. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Maybe he’s bound for the ECHL to start next season?Is that a horrid thing?

    It’s pretty bad, but it seems most reasonable.

    IMO he’d need to have built on his almost PPG 17-18 to expect a smooth transition to the AHL. Instead he had a serious injury and regressed badly in the games he did play.

    Hopefully he can get back on track, but I’m not sure how you start him anywhere other than the ECHL based on his on ice performance this season.

  143. jp says:

    gimme shelter:
    The last I heard of Slepyshev he was still on the oilers negotiation list and playing in the K.
    With the lack of cheap RW UFA’s why not bring him back for a look.
    Also sign Brandon Pirri. I said itso now it will never happen.

    You could look at Sleppy, but he just turned 25 and had an awfully mediocre KHL season (less than 0.5 PPG). I don’t think he’s an answer.

  144. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    He could stay, and Edmonton could sweet talk Halifax into keeping him, but I guess they’re in no obligation. Being, they could trade him to another team, or one of their other import draftees comes over, or they trade for another overager.

    I don’t think it’s the end of the world that he stays in the Q, though. Halifax might want him to because he didn’t play all of last year, and if others stay they might want another run for the Q Championship and Memorial Cup.

    If he’s forced out to the ECHL (has he signed, yet?), then that wouldn’t necessarily be bad either. It would just suck as he never really gelled with Halifax in time. Aside from the current AHL and ECHL goalies, have we ever had anyone with hopeful NHL potential start in the ECHL and move up the ranks?

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    gimme shelter:
    The last I heard of Slepyshev he was still on the oilers negotiation list and playing in the K.
    With the lack of cheap RW UFA’s why not bring him back for a look.
    Also sign Brandon Pirri. I said itso now it will never happen.

    They qualified Slepy last off-season so still retain his RFA rights. Of course, Slepy himself would need to agree to come back by signing a contract and would likely only do so if he got a one-way deal to assure himself the compensation – one-way vs. two-way means nothing to anyone except the player and Katz.

    Brandon Pirri is a no-brainer sign on the cheap for the Oilers (assuming he is wililng to sign here). I’d actually like to obtain his rights prior to free agency when the Oilers acquire Cody Eakin. Pirri has good scoring rates, his metrics are solid and his relative metrics are positive. He would be a no risk cheap bet that could very well be a solid value contract. It could not work out at all but, given the cost, no risk.

  146. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q:
    OriginalPouzar,

    He could stay, and Edmonton could sweet talk Halifax into keeping him, but I guess they’re in no obligation. Being, they could trade him to another team, or one of their other import draftees comes over, or they trade for another overager.

    I don’t think it’s the end of the world that he stays in the Q, though. Halifax might want him to because he didn’t play all of last year, and if others stay they might want another run for the Q Championship and Memorial Cup.

    If he’s forced out to the ECHL (has he signed, yet?), then that wouldn’t necessarily be bad either. It would just suck as he never really gelled with Halifax in time. Aside from the current AHL and ECHL goalies, have we ever had anyone with hopeful NHL potential start in the ECHL and move up the ranks?

    Yes, Safin is signed to his 3 year ELC.

    Currie and Arcobello both started in the ECHL and made their way up the AHL and then the NHL (for at least a stint). They aren’t quite the same as Safin though as they weren’t considered real NHL prospects when they were in the ECHL but kind of came out of nowhere. Safin was (is) considered a real prospect and he would be in the ECHL with the hope/expectation of working his way to the AHL quickly.

  147. russ99 says:

    The jump up from the AHL to the NHL is a big one, that’s why I hold a lot of value in the “cup of coffee” method, give a young player a taste of the NHL, and then send them back down with obvious things to work on, so they’re prepared for full time NHL duty.

    Here’s the tally for this year:

    Caleb Jones 17 games, Gambardella 15 games, Yamamoto 17 games, Bouchard 7 games, Marody 6 games and Patrick Russell 6 games.

    Last year Bear got 18 games and Keegan Lowe 2 games

    I’d hold back Bouchard for obvious reasons, and Yamamoto due to his injury.

    The rest are your pool of players who can make the NHL jump early-to-mid next season.

    Benson lost a lot of development time due to injury, and hasn’t made his NHL debut yet. As good as his AHL numbers are, another 25-30 AHL games wouldn’t hurt

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