As a coach, Craig MacTavish could find offense from young forwards. It wasn’t always the first-round picks, in fact early picks seemed to have a more difficult path than the workers. It might have had something to do with MacT’s own hockey experience, although that’s a guess and the main point is he found players that could help him from the farm system.
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, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options for the Oilers over the next seven months.
- New Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto has the talent to win a job with the Oilers on merit, if he’s healthy.
- Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi still has upside and the Oilers’ patient approach is the right one
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Dave Tippett on rounding out his coaching staff, fixing Oilers’ special teams and using Connor McDavid
- Lowetide: Handicapping the Oilers’ young defencemen and their chances of replacing Andrej Sekera
- Lowetide: Is Kirill Maksimov progressing as the Edmonton Oilers’ next great hope for a true homegrown sniper?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers ease pressure on crowded defensive pipeline by trading John Marino to the Penguins
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
- Lowetide: Joel Persson is ideally situated to win an opening night roster spot with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2019-20 Oilers might look like without trade missteps.
- Lowetide: Finding the best candidates for the final two spots on the Oilers skill lines in 2019-20.
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ opening night lineup, line combinations and more.
- Lowetide: Does the James Neal acquisition impact Oilers’ prospects in 2019-20?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ acquisition of James Neal could add badly needed scoring to the top two lines.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
- Jonathan Willis: Ken Holland ends an ugly situation for the Oilers by trading Milan Lucic for James Neal
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Potential free-agent options for the Oilers in 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers defencemen can make an outlet pass?
- Lowetide: Looking ahead to Oilers training camp: 35 players for 23 jobs
- Jonathan Willis: Josh Archibald won’t fix the Oilers’ biggest problems, but he’ll help with some key issues.
- Lowetide: Will the 2019-20 Bakersfield Condors be the Oilers’ best minor-league team ever?
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
MACT’S ROOKIE FORWARDS (EV/60)
Mike Comrie 2000-01 (2.52)
Andrew Cogliano 2007-08 (2.37)
Ales Hemsky 2002-03 (2.26)
Shawn Horcoff 2000-01 (2.24)
Fernando Pisani 2002-03 (2.13)
Kyle Brodziak 2007-08 (2.08)
Sam Gagner 2007-08 (1.97)
Jason Chimera 2002-03 (1.90)
Jarrett Stoll 2003-04 (1.39)
Mike Comrie had a strong run after (finally) signing with the Oilers, and MacT used him in a feature spot. Andrew Cogliano got a similar push and made the most of it seven years later. Ales Hemsky was the most gifted offensive rookie during MacT’s time as coach, he delivered those numbers as a teenager. Sam Gagner also posted impressive rookie numbers under MacT as a rookie.
For me, one of the things MacTavish did to make his teams better was finding goals from secondary sources. Fernando Pisani, Jason Chimera and Kyle Brodziak had no draft pedigree, but they succeeded as rookies offensively. Even Jarrett Stoll, who struggled a little with scoring as a rookie, grew into a quality contributor.
DAVE TIPPETT’S ROOKIE ARIZONA FORWARDS (EV/60)
Anthony Duclair (2015-16) 2.05
Max Domi (2015-16) 2.03
Christian Dvorak (2016-17) 1.62
Brendan Perlini (2016-17) 1.29
Jordan Martinook (2015-16) 1.27
Paul Bissonnette (2009-10) 1.25
Tobias Rieder (2014-15) 0.94
Lawson Crouse (2016-17) 0.88
Tippett had good success, but the Coyotes didn’t run kids heavily until 2015-16. Biggest surprises for me: The offense he got from Bissonnette and Duclair, as rookies. Oilers rookie forwards who may thrive under Tippett? I think Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Kailer Yamamoto, Josh Currie and Joe Gambardella are in very good spots.
OILERS ROOKIE FORWARDS SINCE MACT (EV/60)
Connor McDavid 2015-16 (3.00)
Nail Yakupov 2012-13 (2.18)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2011-12 (1.93)
Taylor Hall 2010-11 (1..85)
Jordan Eberle 2010-11 (1.82)
Mark Arcobello 2013-14 (1.79)
Linus Omark 2010-11 (1.76)
Josh Currie 2018-19 (1.65)
Jesse Puljujarvi 2016-17 (1.44)
Magnus Paajarvi 2010-11 (1.39)
Leon Draisaitl 2014-15 (1.05)
Teemu Hartikainen 2010-11 (1.01)
Lee Fogolin was the heart and soul of the glory Oilers, I get emotional thinking about his handing off the “C” and the way he conducted himself on and off the ice. John Short was on the Lowdown a couple of years ago, and was comparing current Oilers to the Stanley team. He said the obvious (McDavid, Gretzky plus Messier, Draisaitl) but then placed Adam Larsson in the Fogolin slot. It’s an important position and one not easily filled. I hope Larsson enjoys a major rebound season.
Saved this for the end, because I don’t want to write it. Jesse Puljujarvi is 21 and seeking a new situation, hoping for a better place. I hope he finds it. I think he would have been better off with Chiarelli as the Oilers GM at this time, PC would have seen the situation from the beginning. Ken Holland sees an asset, has no plans to deal it for 10 cents on the dollar and we are here—and may well be in the same spot a year from now. This isn’t ‘eat your vegetables’ but the hammer is decidedly on one side.
If Ken Holland didn’t respond when the agent went public, and didn’t respond when the player did, then the die is cast. Jesse Puljujarvi will spend the winter in Europe, and he might spend two. Ken Holland has zero reason (barring a trade that is suitable) to end the standoff.
This isn’t going to end any time soon, but I do hope Jesse finds that better place someday.