For the Oilers, this season will be a lot about making bets. Bets on Joel Persson, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard. Bets on Caleb Jones, Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody. As fans, we fight and argue and argue and fight about specific prospects, and they usually get their 400 at-bats so we can claim victory (or hope everyone forgets about what we said).
We do forget a lot, don’t we? As the current crop of goalies, defensemen and forwards push up from the underground, we forget the long list of names that were lost in the flood. It’s damned hard to deliver a 100-game NHL career, let alone a productive one. Let’s look through recent back pages to see just how hopeless things can get. Here are the Oilers forwards and their scoring numbers at five-on-five since McDavid arrived.
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: Projecting the Oilers 2019-20 Opening Night Lineup
- Lowetide: Revisiting the Oilers’ 2016 draft and the opportunities missed
- Lowetide: Examining the potential waiver-wire opportunities at hand for the Oilers
- 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.
OILERS FORWARDS SINCE 2015 (MINUTES AND 5-ON-5 PER 60)
These are the 10 most productive Oilers forwards at five-on-five scoring since 2015 fall (200 or more minutes). McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Eberle, Maroon, most of the list is predictable.
Surprises? Tyler Pitlick was productive, he was impressive in the playoff season (until injured). Pontus Aberg is another complementary forward who had some traction in a small sample. Perhaps the organization would have been wise to give him more at-bats.
The top 10 is mostly veterans, placeholders like Cammalleri, Purcell and (frankly) Gagner. You would like to see some of the kids high on this list. Let’s look at 11-20.
Nuge heads up the second group, his range of skills and usage (he plays elite competition a lot) give him a value boost. Pouliot was an underrated forward who ended up on the wrong side of the coach, and that was maybe a little true for Rattie as well. Huh. Lots of that on this list.
We see now the beginning of the young group (Yakupov, Khaira, Slepyshev) who Edmonton needed to have more offense. Khaira’s numbers are about the same as Strome’s, an interesting curio. A lot of time was invested in Slepyshev, 1100 minutes and he played with some fine skill forwards. Kassian, Lucic and Chiasson are all enforcer types who scored in the same range during the piece.
Caggiula was a disappointment offensively, which is different than saying he should have been traded to Chicago. He and Slepyshev can never complain they didn’t get their 500 at-bats.
Puljujarvi and Yamamoto were just kids during this time and in JP’s case there were encouraging signs.
We can say that the only bets among forwards who paid off 2015-19 were Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who were selected No. 1 and No. 3 in their draft years.
Failures? Yakupov, Slepyshev, Caggiula, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. I don’t think the failure is all on the player but the results simply weren’t there. I do believe JP and KY still have a chance.
Are Benson, Marody and the next group better bets?
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
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