Training Camp Battles

We’re going to see some interesting battles in Oilers camp this fall, and some of the youngsters could break through but get sent to Bakersfield until trades can be made in order to make room.

One of the worries fans rightly have now surrounds making sure quality players don’t fall through the cracks. There are so many good defensemen who are prospects, can Dave Tippett gauge the group in what will be a three-week window?

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, here’s an incredible Offer!

  • New Lowetide: Examining the potential waiver-wire opportunities at hand for the Oilers
  • New Lowetide: Cooper Marody’s utility gives him an edge for an Oilers roster spot in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options for the Oilers over the next seven months.
  • 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.

No. 3 LHD

This will be the marquee battle in camp, with several quality options available. Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse will occupy the top two spots, with options all day for Dave Tippett on the third pair.

Kris Russell and Brandon Manning represent the veterans who are in the conversation, both men known for shutdown skills during their respective careers. Russell played almost 400 minutes against elites last season, a No. 3 assignment probably cuts that total in half and allows Russell to (possibly) mentor some of the young RH blue.

Caleb Jones and William Lagesson are either NHL-ready or close enough for jazz, but there’s no room at the inn. Make no mistake, all indicators (saw him good, even-strength goal differential, coach’s comments) are top dead center. This is a case where the two men may not be applying for the same job (Jones likely second pair, Lagesson third) but their trains arrived at the same time. The kicker? Dmitri Samorukov is coming off an impact junior season and his train could flatten some of the good young quality ahead of him.

SCORING WINGERS

We talked about this briefly yesterday, but this thing is impossible. We have three big pieces to a six-piece puzzle (97, 29 and 93) and the Oilers may have added another in James Neal.

After that we’re in a land where logic and reason can’t help us very much. My RE’s are based on Bill James’ “established level of ability” and I usually run three seasons to get a read and then add or subtract based on age and projected usage. Connor McDavid is fairly easy to project. My RE estimate a year ago (82, 50-70-120 1.46 points-per-game) was pretty close to his actual performance (78, 41-75-116 1.49 points-per-game) and I will tell you my RE projection for him in 2019-20 is 50 goals again.

People are worried about Leon Draisaitl’s regression, but the RE process likes his consistency. He plays the entire season, has scored 29, 25 and 50 goals in his last three years and turns 24 in October. I can estimate his goals between 34 and 40 with some confidence.

What about James Neal? I have him at 16 goals. Nuge? 22. After that? It’s damned near impossible. Zack Kassian and Alex Chiasson are strong candidates to regress, and I don’t believe Markus Granlund is about to score 19 again. Sam Gagner’s RE is 14 and that might be the closest to James Neal any of these cats get in 2019-20.

NO. 3 CENTER

Gaetan Haas has a solid reputation among Oilers’ brass and that’s going to be enough to get him a full audition. If he ends up being a fourth line or worse option, Edmonton’s roster can offer Jujhar Khaira, Kyle Brodziak and Colby Cave as options. I wrote about the waiver wire for The Athletic today, suspect that option could come into play. I’m a believer in Khaira, don’t know if he can cover the ask but he would be my top option.

NO. 2 RHD

This has a chance to be the most provocative story in camp. Coach Tippett has expressed a preference for Kris Russell playing LH side, which is different than saying it’s a sure thing.

Adam Larsson is the No. 1 man, with Matt Benning normally slotted on the third pair. I would like to see Benning move up to the second pair, but suspect this battle will be a three-way race between Joel Persson, Evan Bouchard and Ethan Bear. My RE has Persson winning the competition and opening the season with the Oilers.

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96 Responses to "Training Camp Battles"

  1. Jethro Tull says:

    Wow, LT, you always keep the dog days of summer interesting with the topics you choose. Thanks you!

    This is a real humdinger – very polarizing. Those that think training camp is pointless, those that think it’s the the bee’s knees in preparing for the season and those that are somewhere in the middle.

    But do our arguments really hold sway? Can anyone really ever be talked around?

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-article-won-t-change-your-mind?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Bit of a thread jack, so print it out and read it while ye poop.

    For me, camp is awesome. Like the smell of fall. The promise of Christmas around the corner and the inevitable shifting of dark into light…..and Connor crushing teams.

  2. GP Oiler Fan says:

    What I like to see.
    Broberg the best D man in the tournament.

  3. Durag says:

    Very interesting stuff from Pronman for Oilers fans.

    From his review, we might not have to worry so much about Broberg’s offence being shy.

    He also has Rodrigue as the projected starter for the WJHC and Lavoie making it as the 13th forward.

  4. who says:

    Should be an interesting training camp, and entire year for that matter. I see a lot of roster turnover occurring during the course of the year. There is a very good chance that half the players on the opening night roster are not with the team next fall.
    I think the defense will look very good by the end of the year but I don’t see any impact forwards in the pipeline. The best we can hope for is that some of the rookies can become complimentary players on a scoring line.
    We still have only 3 scoring forwards to start the year. James Neal will be in the top 6 to start the year but calling him a top 6 winger is a real stretch. I thought he looked slow and awkward in the playoffs with Vegas 2 seasons ago. He might score 20 this year, but he really doesn’t bring anything else to the table. Kassian is probably just as good a bet to score 20 and also offers speed, a physical forecheck and vastly superior cycling skills.

  5. GMB3 says:

    Brad Lambert scoring a hat trick at the Hlinka at 15. Wow

  6. godot10 says:

    Nurse Larsson (Max D zone starts)
    Klefbom Persson (Max O zone starts)
    Jones, Benning (Soft minutes)

    Pair a vet with a rookie. Klefbom with Persson. Jones (or Lagesson) with Benning. If Persson struggles, than Jones or Lagesson, one with Klefbom, and one with Benning.

    Russell as the #7D. #7D play a lot. He is getting on in years. He always gets hurt. Ease his load.

    Start as you mean to go on. Force the change on D. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resutls…

  7. GMB3 says:

    Durag:
    Very interesting stuff from Pronman for Oilers fans.

    From his review, we might not have to worry so much about Broberg’s offence being shy.

    He also has Rodrigue as the projected starter for the WJHC and Lavoie making it as the 13th forward.

    Unfortunately Cole Caufield also looks like the real deal

  8. godot10 says:

    GP Oiler Fan:
    What I like to see.
    Broberg the best D man in the tournament.

    He has a track record of killing it against his peer group, which is why Sweden against men is the right choice over the CHL.

    He made a couple of coverage mistakes in the first game against the US. It was the US, I think. Playing against men is the fastest way of fixing this.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Over the years we’ve gone to both extremes – welcomed lots of competition in camp (implying lots of expermimenting to win job) as well as welcomed fairly set lineups and using camp for developing chemistry and getting used to system play.

    It looks like this year, it will be a mix of both – 5 out 7 d-spots are filled and the likes of Jones, Persson and Lagesson are fighting for two spots with Bear and Bouchard somewhat in the mix and Samorukov potentially putting himself in the mix.

    Forwards, well, about 8 or so locks for the team and about 8 gusy fighting for 4-5 spots – many of those guys could play anywhere from the 2nd line to the fourth line (Granlund, Khaira, Gagner) or even first line to the fourth line (Khaira).

    Its going to be a wild camp.

    The coaching staff is going to be taxed, that’s for sure.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    As far as prospects getting lost in the shuffle, I’m not so worried with the d-men.

    As we’ve spoken about in the past and as we discussed yesterday, NHL teams generally use 10-12 d-man in a year. Even in the playoff season a few years back, when the team was relatively healthy, I think 11 or 12 d-man suited up for the Oilers.

    There will be ice for each and every one of the “soon to be waiver eligible d-men) during the course of the year.

    ————————

    To start the year we have five incumbents and, listening to Tippett, we can likely surmise Russell on his left side at 3LD.

    Unfortunately that likely takes Lagesson out of the mix and he’ll wait for call-up – Can’t wait for him to get the call (not that I want an injury).

    Jones and Persson battling for 3RD – Will Tippett want Jones on his off-side even though he has predominantly played his off-side as a pro and had success with Gravel on the 3rd pairing?

    Will Tippett/Holland want either of those guys sitting in the pressbox at 7D? Will Tippett sit Russell and play 2 rookies? Will Tippett send one down and keep the likes of Manning to sit in the pressbox (not play)?

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is Jones applying for a 2nd pairing job?

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree with the 34-40 goals for Drai and would anticipate something around 85 points in a full season.

    Thing is, that does indeed represent “regression” – the key is that he wins his ice when playing away from 97 where I”m sure he’ll spend ample time – I think he can do it, even with a revolving level of help on his wings.

    Go Drai.

  13. tileguy says:

    I think the mandate from Katz for the Oilers to make the playoffs will be in full force, I see 97 and 29 playing together all season. There will be no regression for Drai.

  14. bwar says:

    I hope we see a commitment to our younger defensemen this season. It may come at the expense of some points in the standings but we need to know what these men are capable of doing at the NHL level. Time to phase out Kris Russell and the shot blocking era for the Oilers.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    I am a believer in Khaira as well but its a stretch to bet on any of Khaira, Haas, Cave or Bordiziak as a 3C

    – Khaira – I believe in him and I think he can get there in time, however, he hasn’t shown to be a legit 4C in the NHL let alone a 3C. He’s been better as a winger. Tippett has mentioned that he’s talked to JJ a bunch of times this off-season and they are both on board with him giving center another shot. Here is hoping he takes the step but its tough going in to camp counting on it.

    Haas – Well, we don’t know much about him but we know Holland has coveted him for a while and Tippett has expressly mentioned him battling with Khaira for 3C. I’m very skeptical. I’m not even sure he’s an NHL player, let alone a third liner, let alone a 3C. I’ve mentioned this before but, aside from being a better skater, what is there to suggest he’s a better player or option than Marody? He’s produced inferior numbers in an inferior league than Marody and is like 5 plus years older. Sure, European leagues are stingy with assists, but still.

    Marody – As per above, he’s a wild card. Can’t really “count on him” being the 3C but he’s got the skill to play in the middle six if he’s takes the next step and his game translates to the NHL. Its probably a stretch and maybe he needs to start his NHL career on the wing but he should be “in the battle”

    Cave – I know his possession numbers, etc. look good but, to me, he is the definition of a career tweener. If he starts the season in the NHL, in my opinion, that means there has been a failure of the aggregate bottom 6 options to cover their bets from the start. To me, Cave iis a 2nd to 4th call-up option type of guy – he’s the guy you see in the lineup when players are shut down later in the year in a non-playoff season

    Brodziak – subject to a bounce-back in his skating and general ability to keep up with the play, he should be battling for a roster spot, not a 3C spot – this from a guy who wrote a blog about his ability to fill in up the lineup last off-season.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Many don’t like Benning up the lineup by the eye test but the numbers show he’s positive across the board when playing with any of the “legit” top 4 d-man.

    The numbers with Klefbom over the last three years are positive across the board and all of Klef’s numbers go up when playing with Benning.

    I really think Matty B. deserves and has earned a legit stint at 2RD and would like to see:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning

    Nurse/Larsson struggled last year but Larsson struggled across the board – I am counting on a bounce-back year from Larsson, without it, the team is effed to start.

    Recall, the Nurse/Larsson pairing is one-season removed from real success – they were plus 15 and plus 10 playing material top pairing minutes on a team that was negative at evens.

    Joel Persson may win the day at 2RD but I’d like to see him prove to be able to handle 3RD minutes at evens before I move him up the lineup. I’m confident his PP skills from the SHL will translate but not confident he can handle a regular 5 on 5 shift – hopeful though.

  17. Durag says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    It’s all a ploy to drive down the price of signing Brassard. Dutch is playing 3D chess!

  18. GMB3 says:

    tileguy:
    I think the mandate from Katz for the Oilers to make the playoffs will be in full force, I see 97 and 29 playing together all season. There will be no regression for Drai.

    I wouldn’t bet on that. Shot over 20%. Probably still pushes 85-90 points tho

  19. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Many don’t like Benning up the lineup by the eye test but the numbers show he’s positive across the board when playing with any of the “legit” top 4 d-man.

    The numbers with Klefbom over the last three years are positive across the board and all of Klef’s numbers go up when playing with Benning.

    I really think Matty B. deserves and has earned a legit stint at 2RD and would like to see:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning

    Nurse/Larsson struggled last year but Larsson struggled across the board – I am counting on a bounce-back year from Larsson, without it, the team is effed to start.

    Recall, the Nurse/Larsson pairing is one-season removed from real success – they were plus 15 and plus 10 playing material top pairing minutes on a team that was negative at evens.

    Joel Persson may win the day at 2RD but I’d like to see him prove to be able to handle 3RD minutes at evens before I move him up the lineup.I’m confident his PP skills from the SHL will translate but not confident he can handle a regular 5 on 5 shift – hopeful though.

    I think a Klefbom-Benning pairing is the best route for the second pair as well. That could be a sneaky good pairing in my opinion.

  20. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Many don’t like Benning up the lineup by the eye test but the numbers show he’s positive across the board when playing with any of the “legit” top 4 d-man.

    The numbers with Klefbom over the last three years are positive across the board and all of Klef’s numbers go up when playing with Benning.

    I really think Matty B. deserves and has earned a legit stint at 2RD and would like to see:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning

    Nurse/Larsson struggled last year but Larsson struggled across the board – I am counting on a bounce-back year from Larsson, without it, the team is effed to start.

    Recall, the Nurse/Larsson pairing is one-season removed from real success – they were plus 15 and plus 10 playing material top pairing minutes on a team that was negative at evens.

    Joel Persson may win the day at 2RD but I’d like to see him prove to be able to handle 3RD minutes at evens before I move him up the lineup.I’m confident his PP skills from the SHL will translate but not confident he can handle a regular 5 on 5 shift – hopeful though.

    I would probably support Benning starting at 2RD again. I’m hoping it turns out different, but not holding my breath. We absolutely cannot discount his possession and goal share numbers, but we also need to acknowledge his ATOI just under 14 minutes. That was the lowest on the team by a large margin, even less than Jones. That means he either can’t handle expanded minutes or the coaches didn’t trust him.

  21. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Do they avoid Boyle/Sheahan/Brassard in order to give Haas a shot? Who statistically is a poor man’s Arcobello!?

    Long season, so many bets. Worked wonders the last 2 season.

  22. Jaxon says:

    I’m still not dismissing Maksimov or Lavoie as possible top 6 wingers on a team so desperate for goal scorers. Neal might be worse than last year. Benson is a playmaker first and foremost. Chiasson got very cold in the last half of last season. Kassian was okay but also a bit of a possession drag on Mcdavid/Draisaitl. Gagner is creative and a vet but doesn’t have the speed and forechecking needed to play with them. Nuge is probably best utilized as a C.

    If you were to make a player in a lab that would fill the biggest needs/holes in their lineup he would turn out to be a player like Maksimov, (big, decent speed, elite shooter/scorer, physical, aggressive, PKer, defensively sound) albeit with a bit more speed.

    Which also almost describes Lavoie. Pastrnak, Perron, and O’Reilly all made it in their draft+1 season and were drafted in a similar place. But they also didn’t have a historical playoff run like Lavoie did. The players who did have historical QMJHL playoff runs almost as good as Lavoies? Crosby, Huberdeau, MacKinnon.

    It may not be wise or advisable but it just might happen. I wouldn’t bet on it but stranger things have happened and I can’t wait for camp to start.

  23. Oil2Oilers says:

    godot10:
    Nurse Larsson (Max D zone starts)
    Klefbom Persson (Max O zone starts)
    Jones, Benning (Soft minutes)

    Pair a vet with a rookie.Klefbom with Persson.Jones (or Lagesson) with Benning.If Persson struggles, than Jones or Lagesson, one with Klefbom, and one with Benning.

    Russell as the #7D.#7D play a lot.He is getting on in years.He always gets hurt.Ease his load.

    Start as you mean to go on.Force the change on D.Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resutls…

    This is also my preferred D pairings. Not only do I fully endorse ‘start as you mean to go on’ , if we as fans must suffer through another development year we better damn sure see some development for a change.

  24. Ryan says:

    godot10:
    Nurse Larsson (Max D zone starts)
    Klefbom Persson (Max O zone starts)
    Jones, Benning (Soft minutes)

    Pair a vet with a rookie.Klefbom with Persson.Jones (or Lagesson) with Benning.If Persson struggles, than Jones or Lagesson, one with Klefbom, and one with Benning.

    Russell as the #7D.#7D play a lot.He is getting on in years.He always gets hurt.Ease his load.

    Start as you mean to go on.Force the change on D.Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resutls…

    Those d pairings are not crazy.

    Interesting way to solve the leftie rightie thing and get some rest for Russell.

  25. Bag of Pucks says:

    We have a lot of sports writing and NFL fans in this community so i just wanted to share a link to one of my favourite annual series’

    https://deadspin.com/c/why-your-team-sucks

    Magary is a legitimately funny guy and the fan posts are so good. Every year, this series gives me 4 or 5 laugh out loud moments.

    K, back to our regularly schedule program…

  26. Bag of Pucks says:

    I would love to see Kris Russell and Matt Benning in a reality show called The Amazing Race to the Pressbox

  27. russ99 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Klefbom – Benning may be great with the puck, but they’re pretty poor without the puck, lots of odd man breaks against.

    I’d assume with a coach who appreciates defense, we’d split the pairs with an offensive and a defensive player.

  28. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Klefbom – Benning may be great with the puck, but they’re pretty poor without the puck, lots of odd man breaks against.

    I’d assume with a coach who appreciates defense, we’d split the pairs with an offensive and a defensive player.

    The evidence accumulated so far says otherwise.

  29. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I would love to see Kris Russell and Matt Benning in a reality show called The Amazing Race to the Pressbox

    He’s a legitimate third pairing guy, could succeed at second pair with the right partner (perhaps Klefbom). Not ideal, but with a ragtag squad it could potentially be the best option.

  30. GMB3 says:

    Jaxon:
    I’m still not dismissing Maksimov or Lavoie as possible top 6 wingers on a team so desperate for goal scorers. Neal might be worse than last year. Benson is a playmaker first and foremost. Chiasson got very cold in the last half of last season. Kassian was okay but also a bit of a possession drag on Mcdavid/Draisaitl. Gagner is creative and a vet but doesn’t have the speed and forechecking needed to play with them. Nuge is probably best utilized as a C.

    If you were to make a player in a lab that would fill the biggest needs/holes in their lineup he would turn out to be a player like Maksimov, (big, decent speed, elite shooter/scorer, physical, aggressive, PKer, defensively sound) albeit with a bit more speed.

    Which also almost describes Lavoie. Pastrnak, Perron, and O’Reilly all made it in their draft+1 season and were drafted in a similar place. But they also didn’t have a historical playoff run like Lavoie did. The players who did have historical QMJHL playoff runs almost as good as Lavoies? Crosby, Huberdeau, MacKinnon.

    It may not be wise or advisable but it just might happen. I wouldn’t bet on it but stranger things have happened and I can’t wait for camp to start.

    From watching Lavoie at the summer showcase, I don’t think he’s even close. I know it’s a small sample size, but he wasn’t an impact player by any means. Some flashes of his tools, but inconsistent.

  31. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Is Jones applying for a 2nd pairing job?

    Not this year, but I am going to hazard a guess & say come 20/21 yes, he will be applying for 2nd pairing.
    Watching the progress of Jones & Benson at the NHL level this season will be fascinating.
    Samorukov & McLeod will be the players at the top of my list to follow in the AHL

  32. Revolved says:

    Regardless of our own desires for the roster, what do you all think the line up will look like the first day of the season? I have no prizes, but I will give a hearty well done to anyone who actually gets it all right. Full points if you can get all 23 guys that make the team. I’d guess:

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
    Neal – Hopkins – Chiasson
    Granlund – Haas – Archibald
    Nygard – Khaira – Gagner
    (Jurco – Brodziak)

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    (Lagesson)

    Koskinen
    Smith

    I do not love this line up, but all of Holland’s signings and the veterans make the team. On Hass’ Elite Prospects page his scouting report says “Haas can lead a team’s shutdown line.” He probably will, I hope he does great.

  33. Pescador says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I would love to see Kris Russell and Matt Benning in a reality show called The Amazing Race to the Pressbox

    Why would the best 3RD on the roster be a prime candidate for the pressbox?
    You’re docking points against Benning because he is not a legit #2RD?

  34. jtblack says:

    Revolved:
    Regardless of our own desires for the roster, what do you all think the line up will look like the first day of the season? I have no prizes, but I will give a hearty well done to anyone who actually gets it all right. Full points if you can get all 23 guys that make the team. I’d guess:

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
    Neal – Hopkins – Chiasson
    Granlund – Haas – Archibald
    Nygard – Khaira – Gagner
    (Jurco – Brodziak)

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    (Lagesson)

    Koskinen
    Smith

    I do not love this line up, but all of Holland’s signings and the veterans make the team. On Hass’ Elite Prospects page his scouting report says “Haas can lead a team’s shutdown line.” He probably will, I hope he does great.

    i agree on not loving the lineup. RNH saddled with 2 slow players. but he’s been used to that.

    Even if Bouchard or Benson makes the team, they won’t be high impact right away …

    Can’t wait to see the predictions on Hunters Death March

    THIS IS US

  35. Andy Dufresne says:

    Revolved:
    Regardless of our own desires for the roster, what do you all think the line up will look like the first day of the season? I have no prizes, but I will give a hearty well done to anyone who actually gets it all right. Full points if you can get all 23 guys that make the team. I’d guess:

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
    Neal – Hopkins – Chiasson
    Granlund – Haas – Archibald
    Nygard – Khaira – Gagner
    (Jurco – Brodziak)

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    (Lagesson)

    Koskinen
    Smith

    I do not love this line up, but all of Holland’s signings and the veterans make the team. On Hass’ Elite Prospects page his scouting report says “Haas can lead a team’s shutdown line.” He probably will, I hope he does great.

    23 Starters

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
    Neal – Hopkins – Chiasson
    Granlund – Haas – Archibald
    Nygard – Khaira – Gagner
    (Jurco – Marody)

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    (Jones)

    Koskinen
    Smith

    Biggest Difference Maker over last season: Dave TIppett (with honorable mention to Mike Smith)

    Top 3 Most Improved Players Stats Wise: Adam Larsson, James Neal, Mikko Koskinen.

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pescador: Why would the best 3RD on the roster be a prime candidate for the pressbox?
    You’re docking points against Benning because he is not a legit #2RD?

    I don’t see either player as a viable starter on a Cup contender.

  37. Side says:

    Bag of Pucks: I don’t see either player as a viable starter on a Cup contender.

    How come? I ask because I feel like I have seen a bunch of math over the last few weeks to support that Benning is good, and performs adequately in a top 4 assignment.

  38. Side says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    We have a lot of sports writing and NFL fans in this community so i just wanted to share a link to one of my favourite annual series’

    https://deadspin.com/c/why-your-team-sucks

    Magary is a legitimately funny guy and the fan posts are so good. Every year, this series gives me 4 or 5 laugh out loud moments.

    K, back to our regularly schedule program…

    Drew also suffered a brain hemmorhage last year and was a coma. His piece on what the experience was like is very good and very interesting. Worth the read:

    https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/the-night-the-lights-went-out-1834298070

  39. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Is Jones applying for a 2nd pairing job?

    Doesn’t have the resume. In my opinion it should be between him and Lagesson for third pairing LD.
    I still have visions of him being a turnstile along the boards. He skates well but is weak on the boards and could take shooting practice in a hotel lobby and not break any windows.

  40. Bos8 says:

    pts2pndr: Doesn’t have the resume. In my opinion it should be between him and Lagesson for third pairing LD.
    I still have visions of him being a turnstile along the boards. He skates well but is weak on the boards and could take shooting practice in a hotel lobby and not break any windows.

    Exactly right. A flutter by that needs grounding.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    JethroTull:

    This is a real humdinger – very polarizing.Those that think training camp is pointless, those that think it’s the the bee’s knees in preparing for the season and those that are somewhere in the middle.

    To the extent you might be referring to me, I definitely don’t think that camp is pointless, not even a little bit. I think is hugely important for various reasons – guy’s getting “game ready” (we’ve seen so many “hold outs” have really poor starts), learning systems and other coaching mechanics, developing chemistry and finalizing combos and, of course, evaluating potential roster players.

    I simply believe that, unfortunately, its very hard for high pedigree/high talent to “prove” NHL readiness in exhibition – the competition is simply not there, not until the very very end and, even then, its not really there. I fully expect all top drafted (first couple rounds) 18, 19, 20 year old prospects to look great at camp and in exhibition and to put up numbers but we’ve seen that such “eye showing” and production rarely means anything when the season starts.

    I mean, it may be tough to “cut” Benson if he produces 7 points in 5 games, which he might. If he does that, he likely “makes the team” because he has “earned his shot” but it won’t necessarily translate to the regular season.

    The scoring leaders for the Oilers over the last few years are littered with names like Yamamoto, Rattie and Puljujarvi and, as we’ve seen, it simply doesn’t reflect NHL readiness.

    Of course, a great exhibition is a next step for guys like Benson and Marody to check off and I’m not saying its not a huge factor in making the team, just that, its a step and that’s it.

  42. Pescador says:

    Jaxon:
    I’m still not dismissing Maksimov or Lavoie as possible top 6 wingers on a team so desperate for goal scorers. Neal might be worse than last year. Benson is a playmaker first and foremost. Chiasson got very cold in the last half of last season. Kassian was okay but also a bit of a possession drag on Mcdavid/Draisaitl. Gagner is creative and a vet but doesn’t have the speed and forechecking needed to play with them. Nuge is probably best utilized as a C.

    If you were to make a player in a lab that would fill the biggest needs/holes in their lineup he would turn out to be a player like Maksimov, (big, decent speed, elite shooter/scorer, physical, aggressive, PKer, defensively sound) albeit with a bit more speed.

    Which also almost describes Lavoie. Pastrnak, Perron, and O’Reilly all made it in their draft+1 season and were drafted in a similar place. But they also didn’t have a historical playoff run like Lavoie did. The players who did have historical QMJHL playoff runs almost as good as Lavoies? Crosby, Huberdeau, MacKinnon.

    It may not be wise or advisable but it just might happen. I wouldn’t bet on it but stranger things have happened and I can’t wait for camp to start.

    Lavoie – Maksimov is just a lesser version of Puljujarvi – Yamamoto.
    The need for scoring wingers is just as prevelant, I agree but I feel like we already watched this movie & the ending is terrible.
    I don’t know what the Oilers would gain from rushing more young players on to the big club.
    I believe there is more to gain from slow playing prospects.
    Lavoie should play another season in Junior & at least one or two seasons in the A.

  43. Pescador says:

    Bag of Pucks: I don’t see either player as a viable starter on a Cup contender.

    I do not disagree with your evaluation of either player.
    But the Oilers are no where near anything resembling a cup contender.
    I don’t even think this roster is a playoff contender

  44. Bos8 says:

    I would go completely insane if some noob told me. “You’re better than half the team, see you in four years”. Who decides this arbitrary number? Samo and Bouch were the top two Juniors, worked on their game, that’s their reward, “Pie in four years”.

  45. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I see Jones as pushing a top 4 LD out to stay with the Oilers long term. The 3 LD has to be a lower scoring player for cap reasons or an ELC. Same with 3 RD.

    Maybe Jones tops out as third pair, but given Lagesson is a better defender and not undersized I see him as more likely to stick long term, possibly as 7 D.

    Samu is going to be challenging soon enough, there will be leftorium trades, which is good is good trades are made helping elsewhere.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag:
    Very interesting stuff from Pronman for Oilers fans.

    From his review, we might not have to worry so much about Broberg’s offence being shy.

    He also has Rodrigue as the projected starter for the WJHC and Lavoie making it as the 13th forward.

    I only saw Sweden’s last two games and he was indeed one of the best players on the ice both games. His skating was oubvious but I was impressed with his puck moving via pass and vision – he made some really smart plays on the breakout.

    He really is elite against his peer group and I’m fully on board with his (and the team’s) decision for him to play back in Sweden this year. I believe he’s better off playing some lesser minutes against better and bigger and stronger players and, presumably, working his way up the depth chart and increasing his TOI as the season goes on. Lots of high end NHL Swedish d-men have spent their draft plus 1 in the SEL.

    ——————————————-

    For sure Rodrigue should be the favorite to be the starter going in to the season – hopefully he keeps that spot.

    ————————————–

    All preliminary lists I’ve seen have Lavoie on the team but generally near the bottom of the roster. Hopefully he has a great start to the year and can maybe get some higher end minutes.

  47. jp says:

    russ99:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Klefbom – Benning may be great with the puck, but they’re pretty poor without the puck, lots of odd man breaks against.

    I’d assume with a coach who appreciates defense, we’d split the pairs with an offensive and a defensive player.

    I posted a few days ago that in minutes as a pair Klefbom-Benning allowed fewer GA/60 than any regular Oilers D did overall (IIRC). The exception was Benning who allowed less than Klefbom-Benning, but that would include lots of 3rd pair minutes.

    I wonder if Staples mistakes on scoring chances might reflect what you’re seeing with Benning? There’s literally nothing tangible I can find that supports your POV.

    I’m open to having my mind changed on Benning but it will take more than “I (you) remember them giving up lots of odd man rushes”. Help me out here.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    who:
    Should be an interesting training camp, and entire year for that matter. I see a lot of roster turnover occurring during the course of the year. There is a very good chance that half the players on the opening night roster are not with the team next fall.
    I think the defense will look very good by the end of the year but I don’t see any impact forwards in the pipeline. The best we can hope for is that some of the rookies can become complimentary players on a scoring line.
    We still have only 3 scoring forwards to start the year. James Neal will be in the top 6 to start the year but calling him a top 6 winger is a real stretch. I thought he looked slow and awkward in the playoffs with Vegas 2 seasons ago. He might score 20 this year, but he really doesn’t bring anything else to the table. Kassian is probably just as good a bet to score 20 and also offers speed, a physical forecheck and vastly superior cycling skills.

    What do you consider “impact forward” and were you speaking about just this season or in general – I believe its the latter given your use of “in the pipeline”.

    If Maksimov ends up becoming an NHL player and finds a spot on McDavid or Drai’s wing using his shot to score 30 in a few years – is that not an impact player even if he’s a secondary player on the line?

    If Benson pops a bit and puts up 65 points as 2LW in a few years, is that not an “impact player” even though he’s “riding the coattails of Drai (presumably)?

    I don’t seem an “impact forwards” popping this year, however, if Marody is able to win a 3C job on merit and play 14 5 on 5 minutes a game with Granlund and Archibal – pop 35 points and provide positive minutes – that would definitely be impactful to the roster and the team.

    If Benson can earn 2LW on merit and put up 45-50 points with Nuge (or Drai) – that impacts the team in a very material way.

  49. Bos8 says:

    Each pairing needs a covering D, as in Larsson, Lagesson etc. These are specific types to fill specific needs. As for coaching that’s what Manson’s finishing school is for. When the guy is ready send him up.

  50. jp says:

    Revolved,

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Gagner-Nuge-Neal
    Granlund-3C signing-Chiasson
    Nygard-Khaira-Archibald
    Jurco-Cave

    Nurse-Larsson
    Klefbom-Benning
    Russell-Persson
    Manning

    Koskinen
    Smith

    I’ll change my mind next time I type the lineup though!

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot:
    Nurse Larsson (Max D zone starts)
    Klefbom Persson (Max O zone starts)
    Jones, Benning (Soft minutes)

    Pair a vet with a rookie.Klefbom with Persson.Jones (or Lagesson) with Benning.If Persson struggles, than Jones or Lagesson, one with Klefbom, and one with Benning.

    Russell as the #7D.#7D play a lot.He is getting on in years.He always gets hurt.Ease his load.

    Start as you mean to go on.Force the change on D.Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resutls…

    We’ve had this conversation but we can continue.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you about Russel starting at 7D and, yes, the 7th d-man will play many games. With that said, I just don’t see Tippett doing it on October 2. Not unless Russell is majorly behind the two rookies.

    I’m also VERY weary of “pencilling” Persson in to 2RD. I’m excited to see this player and have fairly high hopes. I’m confident his PP skills will translate but he needs to prove to be able to handle 3rd pairing even strength shifts before being contemplated for tougher minutes. He may not be an NHL players.

    Given Benning’s success, year over year, with the incumbent top 4 d-men, I can’t see why he wouldn’t be pencilled in to 2RD – he’s had much success there and he’s had much success with the likes of Klefbom (who plays well with Benning).

    Its got to be the plan, in my opinion.

  52. pts2pndr says:

    Pescador: Lavoie – Maksimov is just a lesser version of Puljujarvi – Yamamoto.
    The need for scoring wingers is just as prevelant, I agree but I feel like we already watched this movie & the ending is terrible.
    I don’t know what the Oilers would gain from rushing more young players on to the big club.
    I believe there is more to gain from slow playing prospects.
    Lavoie should play another season in Junior & at least one or two seasons in the A.

    Maksimov and Lavoie both have NHL size and neither have a language barrier/culture shock problem. We can hope that both Maksimov and Lavoie will be handled more along the Holland method and not thrown into the deep end of the pool to see if they can swim. Each player is different with different needs. There is no one size fits all development method. There is no fixed time limit as in baking time for a cake. Each individual has to be put in a position where they can succeed.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot: He has a track record of killing it against his peer group, which is why Sweden against men is the right choice over the CHL.

    He made a couple of coverage mistakes in the first game against the US.It was the US, I think.Playing against men is the fastest way of fixing this.

    Yup – agree with this.

    I’m very comfortable with him playing for Skellefteå this year – he dominated the Hilnka last year the Showcase this year – time to play pro.

    Minutes will be lower for sure but Howson mentioned they’ve spoken with Skellefteå and the opportunity will be there for him to play solid minutes. It will be up the player to grab the opportunity and work his way up the depth chart.

    He’ll have some struggles but I’m hoping for top 4 minutes by year end.

    Worked just fine for OEL, Karlsson, Klingberg and many others.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    I think the mandate from Katz for the Oilers to make the playoffs will be in full force, I see 97 and 29 playing together all season. There will be no regression for Drai.

    I’m not sure the mandate will have anything to do with this.

    Tippett is going to try and win every night in any event and will deploy his 23 man roster in a manner that he feels gives the team the best chance to win each and every night. If that’s Drai/McDavid together in his mind, he’ll play them together. If he feels they have a better chance of winning on a given night with them apart, he’ll play them apart.

    Not sure Katz’s desire to make the playoffs has any effect at this point.

    If anything, Katz’s “mandate” would have had more of an effect on Holland but Holland was true to his verbal all summer long – he will not make moves the harm the ability to build in the near term for immediate improvement this year

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    bwar:
    I hope we see a commitment to our younger defensemen this season.It may come at the expense of some points in the standings but we need to know what these men are capable of doing at the NHL level.Time to phase out Kris Russell and the shot blocking era for the Oilers.

    Tippett will ice the team that gives himself the best chance to win (in his mind) every night – I’m sure.

    That may well have the likes of Jones, Persson, Lagesson and/or Bouchard playing over Russell on any given night, however, I don’t think he’ll deploy them that way in the name of commitment to the youngsters.

    There will be plenty of ice and games to see each of them if they’ve earned it.

    NHL teams use 10 plus d-men in a year.

    If one or two of the kids pass Russ, they’ll play ahead of Russ.

  56. Reja says:

    Pescador: Lavoie – Maksimov is just a lesser version of Puljujarvi – Yamamoto.
    The need for scoring wingers is just as prevelant, I agree but I feel like we already watched this movie & the ending is terrible.
    I don’t know what the Oilers would gain from rushing more young players on to the big club.
    I believe there is more to gain from slow playing prospects.
    Lavoie should play another season in Junior & at least one or two seasons in the A.

    The league has changed every team has a few kids in the lineup. The reason because they’re cheap why do you think these 22-23 are signing these huge contracts.

  57. Reja says:

    Andy Dufresne: 23 Starters

    Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
    Neal – Hopkins – Chiasson
    Granlund – Haas – Archibald
    Nygard – Khaira – Gagner
    (Jurco – Marody)

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning
    Russell – Persson
    (Jones)

    Koskinen
    Smith

    Biggest Difference Maker over last season:Dave TIppett (with honorable mention to Mike Smith)

    Top 3 Most Improved Players Stats Wise:Adam Larsson, James Neal, Mikko Koskinen.

    I’m bullish on all three as well Neal gets a heavy push 20-30 goals Larsson returns to his old self. I’m most bullish on my main man Kosh first shot Talbot is long gone psychologically it’s huge when your behind the eight ball 3 minutes into every second game. Kosh and Smith will not let this happen especially with Tippett’s system. Kosh will also get mentored by Smith and be able to concentrate more on his job now that he doesn’t have to babysit Jesse.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    I’m still not dismissing Maksimov or Lavoie as possible top 6 wingers on a team so desperate for goal scorers. Neal might be worse than last year. Benson is a playmaker first and foremost. Chiasson got very cold in the last half of last season. Kassian was okay but also a bit of a possession drag on Mcdavid/Draisaitl. Gagner is creative and a vet but doesn’t have the speed and forechecking needed to play with them. Nuge is probably best utilized as a C.

    If you were to make a player in a lab that would fill the biggest needs/holes in their lineup he would turn out to be a player like Maksimov, (big, decent speed, elite shooter/scorer, physical, aggressive, PKer, defensively sound) albeit with a bit more speed.

    Which also almost describes Lavoie. Pastrnak, Perron, and O’Reilly all made it in their draft+1 season and were drafted in a similar place. But they also didn’t have a historical playoff run like Lavoie did. The players who did have historical QMJHL playoff runs almost as good as Lavoies? Crosby, Huberdeau, MacKinnon.

    It may not be wise or advisable but it just might happen. I wouldn’t bet on it but stranger things have happened and I can’t wait for camp to start.

    Lavoie isn’t even a lock for the Canadian World Junior team – he was high skill be is extremely inconsistent from shift to shift – he only is really noticeable a couple of shifts a game (from a couple games I watched at the Showcase and about 5 Halifax games – all the same). I think he’s at least two full seasons away from the NHL unless he really improves in the Q this season.

    Maksimov is a darkhorse/longshot and would be miles ahead of Lavoie in my opinion – he offensive game, his defensive game, his physical game, his work ethic, etc. – all miles ahead of Lavoie.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Klefbom – Benning may be great with the puck, but they’re pretty poor without the puck, lots of odd man breaks against.

    I’d assume with a coach who appreciates defense, we’d split the pairs with an offensive and a defensive player.

    As had been pointed out to you many times, including in direct response the the substance of the above, to the extent they are “poor without the puck” and give up “lots of odd man breaks against”, for which we’ve seen no evidence, they must be sensational offensively because their offence dwarfs what they give up – both in terms of possession, shot share, goals percentage, expected goals percentage, high danger shot share, etc.

    They score more than they give up (and the back-up metrics for it show the play going more towards the opposition net.

    The team wins the ice when they are paired together – I think a coach would appreciate that, no?

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB: From watching Lavoie at the summer showcase, I don’t think he’s even close. I know it’s a small sample size, but he wasn’t an impact player by any means. Some flashes of his tools, but inconsistent.

    His performance at the showcase, that I saw (which is in line with what you saw) also reflects his game in the Q (that I saw – about 5 games).

    A couple high skill, get you off your seat, plays per game but not noticeable or impacting the play from shift to shift.

    He’s nowhere close to ready for the NHL.

  61. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I don’t think most teams do much different than they ever have. Good teams find good players minor and pro.

    The real change comes from the league, CBAs and litigation. The cap has driven a lot , and that blatant obstruction is being called morish, and law suits around brain injury has caused the most difference.

    Little to do with young players being so much better. The other changes have driven what a successful prospect looks like.

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Tippet getting the asylum under control will make the biggest difference this season, driven by Holland bringing more suitable players to what is actually needed.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bos8:
    I would go completely insane if some noob told me.“You’re better than half the team, see you in four years”.Who decides this arbitrary number?Samo and Bouch were the top two Juniors, worked on their game, that’s their reward, “Pie in four years”.

    Yes, they were two of the tops in juniors where Persson, Jones, Lagesson were having very strong years in pro leagues.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: The league has changed every team has a few kids in the lineup. The reason because they’re cheap why do you think these 22-23 are signing these huge contracts.

    Yes, the Oilers are going to cheap youngsters on the ELCs or cheap second contract to contribute – value contracts.

    They have not had that since the implementation of the cap and its even more important now with them being so top heavy in cap.

    At the same time, the players have to be ready and, from everything I’ve seen (and others seems to have seen) a guy like Lavoie is nowhere near ready. Makismov may prove to be ready but its a bit of a wildcard.

    Guys like Benson, Jones, Lagesson on their ELCs should help this year – Bouchard and maybe Sammy next year (maybe even later this year).

    If Benson produces 45 points as 2LW – that’s a value contract even if he isn’t setting himself up for $8.5M on his second contract.

    Putting Lavoie in the lineup, even for 9 games, would be akin to what they did with Yamamoto in his draft plus 1 and just hinders the ability to have the player develop during his ELC and provide that value contract.

    Shit, Lavoie doesn’t even have an NHL contract and likely won’t be inked until the spring.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure Jesse taking shots on Koskinen before or after most practices hurt Koskinen – seems like, if anything, it would have helped his adjustment that took all year (and actually got worse at the year went on in some respects – his angles were worse than his glove hand down the stretch).

  66. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    My sense, gleaned by eye and reading reports, is that Koskinen flagged toward the end of the season more due to fatigue than being ill prepared.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    From accounts, he’s am extremely hard worker, I don’t suggest he was ever ill-prepared – not very good, but not ill-prepared. I’m not actually concerned about his “glove hand”, I think that’s over-blown – I’m concerned about his positioning and angles – he often looks non-square to the shooter and pucks squeak in from bad angle and in weird spots. One would think it was the ice size but he got worse as the year wore on, I found. Maybe fatigue played a role in that but it was more than that.

    I do expect him to be better this coming season – more consistent.

  68. Pescador says:

    Reja: The league has changed every team has a few kids in the lineup. The reason because they’re cheap why do you think these 22-23 are signing these huge contracts.

    The league has changed & the Oil should have a couple of kids on cheap contracts. Kids like Benson,Jones & Marody all of whom have spent time in the AHL.
    Which is my point on not rushing Lavoie or Maksimov.
    I don’t think you’re arguing my original point

  69. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lavoie isn’t even a lock for the Canadian World Junior team – he was high skill be is extremely inconsistent from shift to shift – he only is really noticeable a couple of shifts a game (from a couple games I watched at the Showcase and about 5 Halifax games – all the same). I think he’s at least two full seasons away from the NHL unless he really improves in the Q this season.

    Maksimov is a darkhorse/longshot and would be miles ahead of Lavoie in my opinion – he offensive game, his defensive game, his physical game, his work ethic, etc. – all miles ahead of Lavoie.

    Lavoie and somewhat McLeod or I believe that certain player who’s game translates better to the NHL I guess will find out in 2-3 years.

  70. Glovjuice says:

    OP has contributed 30 % of the posts on LT’s blog today so far. This must be a record.

  71. Reja says:

    Pescador: The league has changed & the Oil should have a couple of kids on cheap contracts. Kids like Benson,Jones & Marody all of whom have spent time in the AHL.
    Which is my point on not rushing Lavoie or Maksimov.
    I don’t think you’re arguing my original point

    I get you but it’s been so long since we hit on later picks we shouldn’t be gun shy if we hit a couple of mini jackpots for a change. We are so overdue and I think it’s time we get flooded with cheap NHLers say what you want about Pete he left the farm system in the best shape it’s ever been. Kudos to riverboat Pete.

  72. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Nilsson is an interesting comparable to follow, stats/pedigree/age/career wise.

    He has taken a couple years to hit his stride but seems to have carved out a bit role, if not as the headliner.

  73. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    From accounts, he’s am extremely hard worker, I don’t suggest he was ever ill-prepared – not very good, but not ill-prepared.I’m not actually concerned about his “glove hand”, I think that’s over-blown – I’m concerned about his positioning and angles – he often looks non-square to the shooter and pucks squeak in from bad angle and in weird spots.One would think it was the ice size but he got worse as the year wore on, I found.Maybe fatigue played a role in that but it was more than that.

    I do expect him to be better this coming season – more consistent.

    Smith will help Kosh with the pressure of the NHL he’s not shy to speak his peace. My favourite position is goaltending and I love flexible goaltenders Tretiak Plamateer Hasek etc I’ve never seen a goalie more flexible for his size than Kosh. If Smith and Kosh can feed of each other it’s Playoff time.

  74. greenshifter says:

    Glovjuice,

    +100%

  75. Pescador says:

    Reja: I get you but it’s been so long since we hit on later picks we shouldn’tbe gun shy if we hit a couple of mini jackpots for a change. We are so overdue and I think it’s time we get flooded with cheap NHLers say what you want about Pete he left the farm system in the best shape it’s ever been. Kudos to riverboat Pete.

    I don’t think anyone is afraid to play the young players just because they are young.
    I don’t give a shit what the age of a player is as long as he is getting the job done.
    Far too many times in recent years rookies have been injected into the line up (for lack of a better option) and it’s been to the detriment of both the team and the prospect

  76. Reja says:

    Pescador: I don’t think anyone is afraid to play the young players just because they are young.
    I don’t give a shit what the age of a player is as long as he is getting the job done.
    Far too many times in recent years rookies have been injected into the line up (for lack of a better option) and it’s been to the detriment of both the team and the prospect

    If the Oilers don’t acquire a 3C then it’s down to Hass and Marody but I think they sign Brassard on the cheap or get one in a Jesse plus trade. I been calling it since Bakersfield season ended Benson will make the club and it would not surprise me one bit if Bouchard makes it as well.

  77. judgedrude says:

    Glovjuice:
    OP has contributed 30 % of the posts on LT’s blog today so far. This must be a record.

    An OP% of 30?

    Also, NHLE is supposed to be equivalent scoring. If Marody has a 40+ expected scoring rate as LT suggests, shouldn’t he be a lock, or do we have too many 40 point scorers? The alternative is that NHLE numbers are inflated and need to be adjusted.

  78. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m also VERY weary of “pencilling” Persson in to 2RD.

    If you’re tired of it, why not just stop?

  79. ArmchairGM says:

    pts2pndr: There is no one size fits all development method.

    There is no one size fits all, but the common theme is that all of these kids need development. There are various methods of development, but sticking an 18-year-old in the NHL is not an option except for the very elite. None of our prospects are considered “very elite”. Also, it’s generally accepted (by that I mean Holland thinks) that going directly from junior league to the NHL at any age only makes sense for exceptional players, and usually only happens for players of pedigree.

    It’s an unlikely route for Maksimov or Lavoie.

  80. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: A couple high skill, get you off your seat, plays per game but not noticeable or impacting the play from shift to shift.

    He’s nowhere close to ready for the NHL.

    This pretty much exactly describes Maksimov in his draft year too. He’s put a lot of work into the defensive side of the game and his consistency and still has some distance to go before playing effective minutes in the NHL. I’d be very happy if Lavoie made the team after just one more year in the Q plus one year in the A. Ideally Maksimov lands in the NHL in 20-21 and Lavoie in 21-22.

  81. jp says:

    Glovjuice:
    OP has contributed 30 % of the posts on LT’s blog today so far. This must be a record.

    His relative numbers are up but it’s driven by a dip from other posters. OP/60 is unchanged. Seems that GJ/60 is down lately, potentially even slumping.

  82. jp says:

    judgedrude: An OP% of 30?

    Also, NHLE is supposed to be equivalent scoring. If Marodyhas a 40+ expected scoring rate as LT suggests, shouldn’t he be a lock, or do we have too many 40 point scorers? The alternative is that NHLE numbers are inflated and need to be adjusted.

    Too many 40 point scorers! Haha

    I don’t think NHLE numbers are inflated per se, but they definitely aren’t terribly predictable for individual players in individual situations.

    They’re based on players who’ve successfully made the jump from one league to another (so in that sense they are inflated because they only include the successes). The other issue is that there’s a huge range of outcomes (basically the error bars are large) so NHLE is a good guide about a players skill level but not so good as a predictor of what will happen this season.

    NHLE does suggest Marody is a very good prospect but it’s not a good enough predictor (IMO) to think he’s a lock for anything.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Haven’t verified but Lehto interview on MTV Sports (via google translate): is it possible he’ll play for the Oilers next season? “Better not to speculate on it”

    ————

    So you are saying there is a chance?

  84. ArmchairGM says:

    hunter1909: If Marody’s anything more than a 4th line 2-3 season bust that’s how low the bar is currently set.

    McD + Hall + Eberle aside I’ve never seen a bona fide scorer emerge from this team ever.

    AHL prospects owned by the Oilers Sather used to not worry over because he had Gretzky+Kurri, Coffey+Fuhr, Anderson + Messier to do the heavy (400 goal seasons) lifting; with a Murderer’s row of pre-dead puck goons like Semenko+McSorely riding shotgun. Good times.

    I’m counting on Ken Holland to enter the great poker game called NHL General Managers, make some calls then fleece the next 2 or 3 GM’s he deals with – these GM’s having the expectation they’re about to screw the Oilers like the Isles did recently etc.

    Now that I think about it, it’s going to be fun when the tone of the room changes once Holland has the team contending(playoffs not Cup) by Christmas.

    You don’t think Drai is a “bona fide scorer”?

  85. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: What do you consider “impact forward” and were you speaking about just this season or in general – I believe its the latter given your use of “in the pipeline”.

    If Maksimov ends up becoming an NHL player and finds a spot on McDavid or Drai’s wing using his shot to score 30 in a few years – is that not an impact player even if he’s a secondary player on the line?

    If Benson pops a bit and puts up 65 points as 2LW in a few years, is that not an “impact player” even though he’s “riding the coattails of Drai (presumably)?

    I don’t seem an “impact forwards” popping this year, however, if Marody is able to win a 3C job on merit and play 14 5 on 5 minutes a game with Granlund and Archibal – pop 35 points and provide positive minutes – that would definitely be impactful to the roster and the team.

    If Benson can earn 2LW on merit and put up 45-50 points with Nuge (or Drai) – that impacts the team in a very material way.

    I’m looking for someone who can drive play, carry the puck through the neutral zone , and control the puck in the ozone.
    I don’t think any of the Oilers prospect forwards will do this at the NHL level. Maybe some will, but it’s not obvious to me.
    I think you are being pretty optimistic about Maksimov. It’s probably about 50/50 he even becomes an NHL player, let alone 30 goal scorer
    Benson looks like he will make it, maybe even as a top 6 forward, but he doesn’t seem to have the legs to really become an impact player.

  86. Glovjuice says:

    judgedrude: An OP% of 30?

    Also, NHLE is supposed to be equivalent scoring. If Marodyhas a 40+ expected scoring rate as LT suggests, shouldn’t he be a lock, or do we have too many 40 point scorers? The alternative is that NHLE numbers are inflated and need to be adjusted.

    NHLE fails when the player in question possesses a close to fatal flaw for NHL success.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice:
    OP has contributed 30 % of the posts on LT’s blog today so far. This must be a record.

    and?

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: If the Oilers don’tacquire a 3C then it’s down to Hass and Marody but I think they sign Brassard on the cheap or get one in a Jesse plus trade. I been calling it since Bakersfield season ended Benson will make the club and it would not surprise me one bit if Bouchard makes it as well.

    As per coach, Khaira is in the converation for 3C as well – its a stretch given he hasn’t even been able to handle 4C to this point but, well, so are Haas and Marody.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: If you’re tired of it, why not just stop?

    Apparently that was an incorrect use of the word “weary”.

    I am very hesitant to pencil Persson in to the top 4 given we aren’t even sure he is an NHL player at even strength.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: This pretty much exactly describes Maksimov in his draft year too. He’s put a lot of work into the defensive side of the game and his consistency and still has some distance to go before playing effective minutes in the NHL. I’d be very happy if Lavoie made the team after just one more year in the Q plus one year in the A. Ideally Maksimov lands in the NHL in 20-21 and Lavoie in 21-22.

    Will have to agree with this entire post.

    Maksimov did indeed take massive steps this past season. Even as his goal scoring rates went down in the 2nd half of the season – he accepted a slightly different role after the trade deadline, more of a 2-way, responsible, higher PK minutes game – and excelled.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: I’m looking for someone who can drive play, carry the puck through the neutral zone , and control the puck in the ozone.
    I don’t think any of the Oilers prospect forwards will do this at the NHL level. Maybe some will, but it’s not obvious to me.
    I think you are being pretty optimistic about Maksimov. It’s probably about 50/50 he even becomes an NHL player, let alone 30 goal scorer
    Benson looks like he will make it, maybe even as a top 6 forward, but he doesn’t seem to have the legs to really become an impact player.

    I don’t disagree about the potential impact of our forwards, however, we have two elite forwards that can do what you describe and we simply need to fill them with secondary players that can impact the game in a positive way.

    You are right, Maksimov may very well not be an NHL player and I’ve acknowledged that – at the same time, if he does “make it” to the NHL, he has a skill that the Oilers haven’t had for a long time – an elite shot with an elite release and its something that could lead to 30G.

    It may not happen with Krill, it may not happen with Benson, it may not happen with Lavoie, it may not happen with McLeod, etc., etc., but my guess is a couple will end up legit secondary offensive producers on a line with a driver – we have two high end drivers for the next 6-7 years.

  92. ArmchairGM says:

    who: I’m looking for someone who can drive play, carry the puck through the neutral zone , and control the puck in the ozone.
    I don’t think any of the Oilers prospect forwards will do this at the NHL level. Maybe some will, but it’s not obvious to me.

    This is precisely why I was hoping that they would get an impact forward with the #8 pick last June. Too bad Cozens didn’t last until then…

  93. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Apparently that was an incorrect use of the word “weary”.

    I am very hesitant to pencil Persson in to the top 4 given we aren’t even sure he is an NHL player at even strength.

    “Wary” is the word you’re looking for, I believe. 😉

  94. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: As per coach, Khaira is in the converation for 3C as well – its a stretch given he hasn’t even been able to handle 4C to this point but, well, so are Haas and Marody.

    Your comment on Khaira is not well thought out in my opinion. The coaches used Khaira in many different roles and even up the lineup on the wing. He was never given more than five or six games at a time at centre. It just so happens his size, skating etc were more valuable to the team other places.

  95. Genjutsu says:

    OriginalPouzar: To the extent you might be referring to me, I definitely don’t think that camp is pointless, not even a little bit. I think is hugely important for various reasons – guy’s getting “game ready” (we’ve seen so many “hold outs” have really poor starts), learning systems and other coaching mechanics, developing chemistry and finalizing combos and, of course, evaluating potential roster players.

    I simply believe that, unfortunately, its very hard for high pedigree/high talent to “prove” NHL readiness in exhibition – the competition is simply not there, not until the very very end and, even then, its not really there.I fully expect all top drafted (first couple rounds) 18, 19, 20 year old prospects to look great at camp and in exhibition and to put up numbers but we’ve seen that such “eye showing” and production rarely means anything when the season starts.

    I mean, it may be tough to “cut” Benson if he produces 7 points in 5 games, which he might.If he does that, he likely “makes the team” because he has “earned his shot” but it won’t necessarily translate to the regular season.

    The scoring leaders for the Oilers over the last few years are littered with names like Yamamoto, Rattie and Puljujarvi and, as we’ve seen, it simply doesn’t reflect NHL readiness.

    Of course, a great exhibition is a next step for guys like Benson and Marody to check off and I’m not saying its not a huge factor in making the team, just that, its a step and that’s it.

    I would posit that scoring in the last few games of pre season would be a better indicator than overall scoring as those points would come playing against NHLers mostly.

  96. Chris says:

    The forward lines would look a lot better if Benson is ready. Benson-Nuge-Neal would hopefully be faster than having a Chiasson on the line. If you can add Boyle or Brassard on a short term deal it would also improve the 3rd line. Some combination of Chiasson Brassard/Boyle and Archibald/Granlund on the 3rd line would be pretty respectable. While a fourth line of whichever of Granlund/ Archibald isn’t on the 3rd line Khaira and Gagner would be able to add some offense.

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