Craig Button’s final list is out today and if you’re an Oilers fan it would be a good idea to have a look. Over the last three drafts, Button’s list does a very good job of tracking Edmonton’s picks. What does that mean? Well, chances are the player chose No. 8 overall will be close to that number on Button’s list. It’s a fascinating trend, not because of the first rounders, but because it doesn’t stop there.
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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
- New Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
- New Lowetide: Hard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a third-line grinder launched the star-filled Oilers to their first Stanley Cup and a hockey dynasty.
- Lowetide: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?
- Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
- Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
- Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- 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?
- 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.
BUTTON AND THE OILERS
Edmonton selects No. 8, 38 and 85 this June. Probably a good idea to pay attention to the names in range that remain on the board when the Oilers pick in Vancouver. If Edmonton grabs the numbers from Button’s March list, Oilers will walk away with Alex Turcotte (No. 8), Phillip Tomasino (No. 38) and Layton Ahac (No. 85). Helluva take.
In year one, JP’s closest comp was Mikko Rantanen. Both men spent their draft years in the Sm-Liiga, and both men showed enough offensive ability to be considered solid contributors in a men’s league. Rantanen was 18 years, 239 days on his draft day, Puljujarvi was 18 years, 48 days on his draft day. Puljujarvi went 4-5-9 in 10 playoff games.
Year two has a couple of reasonable comparable, I think William Nylander is the closest to Puljujarvi’s totals in draft +1. No NHL games for Toronto’s prospect, that’s something to keep in mind moving forward.
Year three sees the other three men stepping forward and Puljujarvi reaching an offensive plateau. Puljujarvi wasn’t productive enough to stay in the range with Pastrnak as a young NHL player.
Year four and Jesse is a stone alone. Not the good kind, the Bill Wyman kind.
When people discuss Puljujarvi’s shortcomings, all kinds of things come into play. A word cloud might include “instincts”, “immature”, “communication issues” and “problems learning” and they may all hit the nail on the head. However, when we talk about results, the numbers, I feel we can speak in more concrete terms.
One of the first questions I ask about a young player is the following: Is there any spot in the lineup where he has shown signs of success? In the case of JP, the answer is yes.
JP with 97 2016-17 5-on-5: 0-4-4 in 84:01 (2.86)
JP with 97 2017-18 5-on-5: 5-3-8 in 256:57 (1.87)
JP with 97 2018-19 5-on-5: 1-1-2 in 66:46 (1.80)
That works out to 6-8-14 (2.06 5-on-5 per 60 in 407:44) and that’s a productive player. Now, is JP the most productive RW for 97? I doubt the player feels that way and two coaches have had different ideas. Ty Rattie went 6-9-15 in 402:55 (2.23), that’s a stronger number and I do think McDavid had good chem with Rattie.
If I’m Ken Holland, and can convince Puljujarvi to return, I’d bring up the idea of running the big Finn with McDavid for at least 250 minutes 5-on-5 next season. At the very least, he’d have increased trade value next summer. That’s what Sam Pollock would do. Sometimes a manager and coach have to put away ‘making a young player earn the opportunity’ to get the most from a valuable asset. I wrote about Puljujarvi in April for The Athletic here.
I mentioned this a few days ago, but Pronman’s pick for Edmonton seems to have some momentum as the actual selection. No idea where this is coming from, but no one mentioned his name before Ken Holland arrived at Fort Edmonton.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re back this morning with another edition of the Lowdown at 10 on TSN1260. Julian Edlow will join us from Draft Kings at 10:20 to talk Raptors, and Frank Seravalli from TSN hits the airwaves at 11:05 to talk SCF, free agency and just how close to the Blues came to being blown up in the middle of the 2018-19 season. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!