Blue Side of Lonesome

by Lowetide

A year ago April, Ethan Bear’s career trajectory was looking good. He made his NHL debut in year two of entry deal, and posted impressive numbers in Bakersfield.

In the offseason, Edmonton signed Joel Persson, a RH blue who could move the puck and had blossomed in the SHL. The team also drafted Evan Bouchard in the top-10 overall, and Bouchard made the opening night lineup over Bear in the fall of 2018.

This past season, Bear had some injury issues but performed well when healthy. Despite his performance (we’ll have a closer look in a sec), he’ll enter this year’s training camp with even more competition. Is this Ethan Bear’s final season in the Oilers organization?

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: 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.

CONDORS BLUE 2018-19

Eric Rodgers has been a gift to our community since the Oklahoma days, and this season he added a valuable piece to his work. This year, Eric estimated special teams minutes, which allows us to drill down on each discipline. Here are the prospect defensemen, with even strength goal differential and estimated minutes.

This is terrific information, even as we realize these are (educated) estimates. Bear shows well but does not stand out in the crowd (Jones and Lagesson are category leaders).

Bear had injury issues but his conditioning was strong. Peter Chiarelli said in preseason “Jones and Bear, their physical conditioning testing was leaps and bounds over what it has been historically, so they’ve really put in the work, and we’ll see where it takes them.”

BEAR YEAR OVER YEAR OFFENSE

Bear improved offensively year over year, and in a full (68-game) schedule he might have exceeded 40 points on the year. Let’s compare him to Caleb Jones:

The numbers are close this season, Jones had the edge on the five-on-four and they were close to equal overall. I think most of us believe Jones is the better prospect and that he’ll arrive in Edmonton this fall (and before Bear). A reminder that prospects don’t develop in a straight line and injuries impact defensemen often. That was the case with Bear a year ago.

When Bear turned pro in the fall of 2017, the RHD depth chart looked like this: Adam Larsson, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Eric Gryba, Mark Fayne.

Entering camp this fall, I’d suggest the RH depth chart is Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Joel Persson, Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear, Logan Day. Kris Russell remains as a safety net, but it sure sounds like Persson (or other) will make the team. It should also be mentioned that Caleb Jones can play RH side, but I’m not sure it makes sense to move the veteran over and then ask rookie Jones to play there.

Ethan Bear’s road to the NHL in 2017 was blocked only by slow shutdown defenders and his own lack of experience. In 2019, many of the players in competition with him have similar skills. I think he may need a little luck, along with good health, to spend significant time in Edmonton. Things will get even more complicated a year from now when he’s waiver eligible. He’s a bubble player.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, starts at 10 on TSN1260. Giulio Caravatta, Color Analyst for the BC Lions radio broadcast on TSN radio will join us to talk about the big trade and the Lions crazy bad season. Eric Fawcett from North Pole Hoops will talk NBA. John Horn, TSN tennis analyst will talk about the phenom that is Bianca Andreescu, plus we’ll chat CFL and maybe some NBA. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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Scungilli Slushy

Unless a player is exceptional offensively, of which there are a handful in the league at anytime, they have to be a positive/contributing/responsible player 5v5, whatever you want to call it. And do more as in special teams.

In a capped league the bus has few seats for passengers, Being able to skate well at an NHL level, which has been essential since the last lockout and obstruction being called-ish, is not an option, if contending and Cups are the goal.

Yes it’s hard work, I think the pay is commensurate. Every player that is trending to tweenish that otherwise shows promise has this problem in the system, it’s not their offense IMO.

They are limited because of mobility and focused effort. If you have a deficiency and want to play in the NHL you better work on it. It’s awesome Sneaky Pete praised Jones and Bear coming into camp fit to appropriate levels, but faint praise at the same time.

Holland’s signings other than the incumbent speak to him feeling the same which I am happy about.

Windows and opportunity knocking are not unlimited. If CMD is training on skating and edges, in figure skates going old school Oiler, what are we to think of the other mooks getting beat wide and to pucks? I’m thinking grow up and get after it. Or go to Europe or Sneaky’s next team for a King’s ransom.

What better in your grill example do you need of what it takes?

Summers as a celebrity of some sort are fun, but in direct competition with more success. I’m hopeful Holland does get it based on his comments. Teaching drive is a wasted effort in my experience. It’s there or it isn’t, it’s a personality trait that may develop over a lifetime, but especially not in a pro athlete’s short window if it’s not there already.

End rant about prospects not getting it. Probably inspired by my ‘prospects’ not getting it 🙂

Seismic Source

Bear is an asset with value and if we start trading assets because we have too many of them that’s a good sign.

Buy Bitcoin. Buy Gold. The crash is near.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar: Jones had succes as 3RD last year paired with Gravel.

Bear got caved the previous season playing 3RD (cannot recall his partner).

Bear has not improved in the areas that contributed to the caving.

Not saying I want Jones on his off-side, however, he’s had success at 3RD and Bear has failed at 3RD.

I thought Bear was actually good that year, but dropped off the following year? It was the opposite of what happened with Jones.

OriginalPouzar

ptspndr: The player that can be traded and possibly get the winger we need is Jones. He is at best the fourth best left shot Defensemen . In your scenario why would you not have a natural right shot D, Benning or Persson be the third pairing right D.Bear is a better choice for third pairing right D than Jones given his shot and Lagesson is the superior left shot D due his defensive abilities. Why all the love for Jones? I believe he has value but he will not in my opinion given the left shot options ever be more than a third pairing left side D on this team.

Jones had succes as 3RD last year paired with Gravel.

Bear got caved the previous season playing 3RD (cannot recall his partner).

Bear has not improved in the areas that contributed to the caving.

Not saying I want Jones on his off-side, however, he’s had success at 3RD and Bear has failed at 3RD.

OriginalPouzar

ptspndr: I do not understand why you think that Jones is ahead of Bear. They both have one area they excel, for Jones its skating for Bear its his shot. Given that Bear is a right shot in addition to the above he is in my opinion of more value than a left shot D that could take shooting practice in a hotel lobby and not break a window. Their defensive abilities are close to equal but Bear on the power play fills a team need.

I put Jones ahead because I watched 50 Condors’ games last year (or at least parts thereof) and, well, to my eye Jones is ahead.

I don’t agree at all that they are equal defensively – no, neither is the best “net front guy” but Jones is better on the boards and is better at puck retrieval and is better defending the rush.

Bear got caved in 3rd pairing minutes in the NHL two years ago, largely due to issues related to skating – he’s hardly improved in those areas.

Jones did well in the NHL in the 3rd pairing last year. Got caved when he skipped the second pairing and played top pairing minutes with Larsson.

Bears shot is indeed a weapon. Jones skating is a valuable skill and helps him in many more areas on the ice than Bear’s shot does.

OriginalPouzar

Pescador: I also prefer to slow play the prospects.
“Bouchard in the Bake, first injury call up” is likely this season
There is just too much talent offensive chops there to hold him back.
That being said, I would be happy if he spent the entire season in Bakersfield, with a couple of brief cameos in the show.
Let’s see how Dave Manson can mold that clay.

First injury call-up is Lagesson/Jones/Persson – only room for two of them (maybe even just 1 if they don’t want one sitting in the press box – could have Manning on the roster solely as a press-box guy).

OriginalPouzar

Jimmy: I don’t want to trade RNH ever. I want to be clear about that. The problem with trading him a year from now is that his value will be greatly diminished with only one year left on his contract. It’s the same issue the Rangers are facing with Kreider now. They’ll still get good value from him now, but they would have got more last year. The Oilers better be damn sure they are much improved this year or there’s big risk not trading him.

The point is he may not need to be traded at all.

The premise I was responding to he should be traded because if we miss the playoffs again this year he will need to be re-signed.

Well, he doesn’t need to be resigned next off-season, he doesn’t need to be re-signed until after the following season.

Hence, if we miss the playoffs this coming year but take the step the following year (which is expected/reasonable) then he is now re-signing to be on a playoff team.

Yup, lots of losing but in his head, he was with the team for all the losing and, assuming we make the playoffs in 2020/21 it may behoove him to leave right when things are turning up.

gimme shelter

Whichever defenceman we decide to trade we need fair value. Fair value would be a 20+ goal scoring winger or the potential for 20+ goals.No more 12-15 goal scorers we signed as free agents. If we have to trade 2 defenceman for one forward,so be it.

jp

JimmyV1965: I don’t want to trade RNH ever. I want to be clear about that. The problem with trading him a year from now is that his value will be greatly diminished with only one year left on his contract. It’s the same issue the Rangers are facing with Kreider now. They’ll still get good value from him now, but they would have got more last year. The Oilers better be damn sure they are much improved this year or there’s big risk not trading him.

He might not score 69 points again either.

Yeti

pts2pndr: I do not understand why you think that Jones is ahead of Bear. They both have one area they excel, for Jones its skating for Bear its his shot. Given that Bear is a right shot in addition to the above he is in my opinion of more value than a left shot D that could take shooting practice in a hotel lobby and not break a window. Their defensive abilities are close to equal but Bear on the power play fills a team need.

Not if Persson is legit?

rickithebear

From 05-06 AHL dmen (R) – rover; (D) – dman
non power play poiints (NPPP) Evp + SHP
12-13 was an interesting year Hall, RNH, Eberle likely padded results.

14-15 B hunt (R) 57 gm 11 evg 27 evp, 27 nppp
18-19 Lagesson (D) 67gm 8 evg 24 Evp 2 shp 26 Nppp
12-13 J Schultz (R) 34 gm 9 evg 20 Evp 3 SHP, 23 NPPP
18-19 Day (?) 64 gm 4 evg 23 evp, 23 nppp
12-13 Marincin (D) 69 gm 5 evg 23 evp, 23 nppp
16-17 Oesterle (R) 44 gm 6 evg 20 Evp 1 shp, 21 nppp
13-14 Fedun (D) 65gm 4 evg 19 Evp 1 shp, 20 nppp
15-16 Simpson (D) 57gm 4 evg 19 Evp 1 shp, 20 nppp
18-19 Bear (R) 52gm 5 evg 20 evp, 20 Nppp
14-15 Oesterle (R) 65gm 6 evg 18 Evp 1 shp, 19 nppp
11-12 Chorney (R) 50 gm 5 evg 19 evp, 19 nppp
13-14 Gernat (D) 57gm 4 evg 19 evp, 19 nppp
15-16 Hunt (R) 57 gm 5 evg 19 evp, 19 nppp
12-13 Fedun (D) 70 gm 5 evg 19 evp, 19 nppp
7-8 Kemp ( ?) 73gm 4 evg 19 evp, 19 nppp
15-16 Oesterle ( R) 44 gm 2 evg 16 Evp 2 shp, 18 nppp
15-16 Laleggia (R) 63gm 7 evg 18 evp, 18 nppp
13-14 Hunt (R) 66 gm 2 evg 17 evp, 17 nppp
11-12 Rodney (D) 67gm 3 evg 17 evp, 17 nppp
14-15 Simpson (D) 71gm 3 evg 17 evp, 17 nppp
18-19 Jones (?) 50 gm 3 evg 16 Evp, 16 nppp
16-17 Fayne (D) 39 gm 3 evg 14 evp, 14 nppp
16-17 Musil (D) 47gm 4 evg 14 Evp, 14 nppp
16-17 Reinhart (D) 54gm 7 evg 14 evp, 14 nppp

Other notables
10-11 Tuebert (D) 59gm 4 evg 13 Evp
13-14 Davidson (D) 68 gm 5 evg 13 evp
10-11 Petry (D) 41gm 4 evg 11 Evp
8-9 Peckham (D) 47gm 3 evg 11 evp

I knew Lagesson was the most complete D prospect we had.
But Day surprised me!
An article I read later on one of the papers sites pointed him out.

A clear lesson is
-get strong skating Dmen
– with size
– able to defend HD area
– able to force to perimeter
– with 4 th option attack reads
Gets you NHL success.

Just what Holland stated he likes.

Or find an Orpik, Methot, Fayne who can defend at a superior rate than other d in a 1D-1G structure.

rickithebear

Have been in and out of hospital for last 2 weeks with virus.
Had cancer meds doubled to drive M protien count ( cancer marker) down.
Working aggressively.
Turns out pushed white count below 1.0 and red count below 80.
Have gone off the cancer med to let body bounce back.

Looked at even production from AHL dmen since 05-06 the night before LT’s stay on topic for the major % of his audience that are readers.

Have looked forward to my look at AHL dmen being allowed on LT’s blog per his on topic Comment rules.

We know from my look at past Evp/60 production.
The top 6 off dmen generate at #6 to #9 forward rate.
The rest at a #10 fwd (4th line) to #18 fwd ( 2 Nd line AHL) rate.

I have looked at past top 210 goal production from skaters to see what % were dmen.
I failed to differentiate between Even, PP, SH goals.

It is important to look at evg production, since a lot of top Off dmen are really high % 3-1-1-1 rovers that yeild High Open shot rates in high danger area to their abandon side.

18-19
Top 90 skaters (18 evg) 0 dmen
Top 180 (167 to 201 12 evg)
top 166 skaters (13 evg)5 dmen
Top 201 skaters (12 evg) 7 dmen
Top 272 skaters ( 9 evg) 20 dmen

Dmen are not the major contributors to even goal scoring.
They are not strong open HD area shot penetrators.
The primary goal of any attacking skater.

Holland said it best 4th & 5 th attacking options without sacrificing defence.

pts2pndr

Rich M: Have a difficult time seeing Bouchard ready for 2nd pairing minutes next year – especially if he starts thisyear in the Bake.

20-21
Larsson-Nurse
Klef – Benning/Persson
Jones – Lagesson
Extra: Russell (if still here)

Bouchard in the Bake – first injury call-up.

Bear – traded for a winger.

The player that can be traded and possibly get the winger we need is Jones. He is at best the fourth best left shot Defensemen . In your scenario why would you not have a natural right shot D, Benning or Persson be the third pairing right D. Bear is a better choice for third pairing right D than Jones given his shot and Lagesson is the superior left shot D due his defensive abilities. Why all the love for Jones? I believe he has value but he will not in my opinion given the left shot options ever be more than a third pairing left side D on this team.

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar:
I continue to put Ethan Bear behind both Lagesson and Jones – mainly on the premise that the areas where Bear struggled in the NHL two seasons ago, remain deficiencies. Recall that, while Bear, of course, showed his skill in his NHL stint, he played extremely sheltered minutes and got caved – it was clear that he was not ready.

In watching 50 or so Condors games last year (or at least portions thereof), Bear continues to struggle with defending speed on the rush and with speed on puck retrievals and remains poor on the defensive zone board battles. While his goal differential and numbers look quite good overall, I think his deficiencies were masked by how dominant the Condors were – they rarely had to defend, the team was a possession monster in the second half.

I’m not giving up on Bear just a bit blah due to the lack of progression in his deficiencies.His shot is indeed a weapon and he does have very nice offensive skill.

Persson is an absolute wild card as, like Bear, he isn’t proven to be an NHL player. From all accounts, his PP acumen is elite and I think that will translate to the NHL, however, it remains to be seen if he’s able to handle 5 on 5 play.

I do not understand why you think that Jones is ahead of Bear. They both have one area they excel, for Jones its skating for Bear its his shot. Given that Bear is a right shot in addition to the above he is in my opinion of more value than a left shot D that could take shooting practice in a hotel lobby and not break a window. Their defensive abilities are close to equal but Bear on the power play fills a team need.

Pescador

Rich M: Have a difficult time seeing Bouchard ready for 2nd pairing minutes next year – especially if he starts thisyear in the Bake.

20-21
Larsson-Nurse
Klef – Benning/Persson
Jones – Lagesson
Extra: Russell (if still here)

Bouchard in the Bake – first injury call-up.

Bear – traded for a winger.

I also prefer to slow play the prospects.
“Bouchard in the Bake, first injury call up” is likely this season
There is just too much talent & offensive chops there to hold him back.
That being said, I would be happy if he spent the entire season in Bakersfield, with a couple of brief cameos in the show.
Let’s see how Dave Manson can mold that clay.

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar: Even if they miss the playoffs this year, he’s still under contract for another year thereafter.

They could miss this year and then be a legit playoff team the following year – and the years of missing meaningless at that point.

Of course, they could continue to miss forever.

I don’t want to trade RNH ever. I want to be clear about that. The problem with trading him a year from now is that his value will be greatly diminished with only one year left on his contract. It’s the same issue the Rangers are facing with Kreider now. They’ll still get good value from him now, but they would have got more last year. The Oilers better be damn sure they are much improved this year or there’s big risk not trading him.

Reja

Rich M: Have a difficult time seeing Bouchard ready for 2nd pairing minutes next year – especially if he starts thisyear in the Bake.

20-21
Larsson-Nurse
Klef – Benning/Persson
Jones – Lagesson
Extra: Russell (if still here)

Bouchard in the Bake – first injury call-up.

Bear – traded for a winger.

Bouchard will be running the powerplay sooner then most people project a top 5 PP with a 12-15 PK will vault us into the playoffs. Bouchard tight roping the PP quick decisions and accurate passes will soar the PP so much that teams will fear taking a penalty against us which creates more room when it comes to 5 on 5 play.

smellyglove

Nice to see: Pronman: Standout prospects at the World Junior camps

“Broberg was arguably the best defenseman at the camp, making a ton of plays with his skating and skill particularly off the rush…”

Rest of article: https://theathletic.com/1115947/2019/08/05/pronman-standout-prospects-at-the-world-junior-camps/

Rich M

Pescador: Would something like this be plausible for 20/21?:
Klefbom– Larsson
Nurse – Bouchard
Lagesson– Jones
Might be projecting Bouchard a shade his for his age,
Possible swap Jones for Bouchard.
Hopefully the Oilers keeps all of their young homegrown Dmen.
I’m not opposed to flipping Larsson and a lesser prospect or pick for a RHD puckmover next summer

Have a difficult time seeing Bouchard ready for 2nd pairing minutes next year – especially if he starts this year in the Bake.

20-21
Larsson-Nurse
Klef – Benning/Persson
Jones – Lagesson
Extra: Russell (if still here)

Bouchard in the Bake – first injury call-up.

Bear – traded for a winger.

OriginalPouzar

That’s the thing, in addition to his plus defending, aggressive defending, Lagesson is a decent skater and puck mover who isn’t offensive IQ challenged. Hence why I describe him as the “new age” Adam Larsson or Jason Smith.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: I see Lagesson having the potential of a solid 2LD in the Robyn Regher type mode.He may not get there but I think that is his potential.

Yup, Sammy and Broberg have higher overall potential, no certainty that either “makes it” but they have legit top pairing potential.I don’t think Lagesson has that (well, except to the extent that Adam Larsson is a top pairing D).

I think Lagesson’s potential is right up there with Jones’ – no, not offensive potential but the potential to impact the lineup in just as material a way.

Agreed, which is why I see Lagesson as a 3rd pair. Skating and more offensive potential is going to be the currency in the league moving forward for the foreseeable future as obstruction and hitting related to concern with concussions remains.

Points get paid, being a reliable quality role player with less offense for whatever reason that is cap friendly means a long NHL career if that’s the goal of the player. Holland has always valued those players, hopefully he won’t overpay them anymore for being good team guys or hot playoff runs that don’t continue overall.

OriginalPouzar

ScungilliSlushy: Lagesson projects as a high end 3LD to me. Samurokov Bro and Jones I think have higher ceilings in the NHL. Not certainly but it seems more offensive.

I have no idea how it shakes out, but they may be competing for a top 2 role. Too many points for 3rd pair pay.

Perhaps Lagesson is 7 D until one of the others establishes in the top for and them he nails down a 3rd pair spot on a D Corp that is established for a bit. On the left at least.

I see Lagesson having the potential of a solid 2LD in the Robyn Regher type mode. He may not get there but I think that is his potential.

Yup, Sammy and Broberg have higher overall potential, no certainty that either “makes it” but they have legit top pairing potential. I don’t think Lagesson has that (well, except to the extent that Adam Larsson is a top pairing D).

I think Lagesson’s potential is right up there with Jones’ – no, not offensive potential but the potential to impact the lineup in just as material a way.

Sunnyboy

With Tip, and his stated preferences for handedness, running the bench, it will be interesting to see how he and Playfair structure the D. If KR4 is the 3LD, the 3RD spot is wide open. Jones should most assuredly not be slotted here. Jones may look fine in TC playing against tweeners and suspects as he does in the AHL, but this spot should go to a right shot when the season opens. KR4 will be better than Jones @ RD, so maybe Jones will be LD, what will be the call?

Somebody seems to often be hurt and misses some time, throwing pebbles into the steering box with chaotic results, hopefully not Klef and KR4 again at the same time.

If KR4 is the 3LD then TC should help decide 3RD. We have seen Phil Larson, Belov, Nikitin etc. I put Persson with them until he skates here and shows his compete under pressure.

Scungilli Slushy

Dr. Taboggan:
JimmyV1965,

RNH is not a worth more than 6×6. If he wants more make a trade.

To be clear I love the player. Fun to watch, great edge work BUT he has never produced well 5v5, not a good PKer, and has failed to improve at faceoffs. He scored 69 points last season with tons of PP time and playing significant minutes with McDavid. The point total last season is very deceiving.

I don’t think it matters anyway because I would be shocked is RNH has any desire to sign an extension in Edmonton.

If I were GM I’d be looking to trade Nuge for a guy like Nolan Patrick (if he’s healthy) at some point.

He’s ‘struggling ‘ now at 20, but grabbing a highly talented right shot centre would be a big add to the Oilers.

If Drai ends up at C they need a guy that can play that role and give the coach options in the top 6.

There is nobody in the system currently, unless Marody surprises.

I love the Nuge, but the team doesn’t have a top 6 RC and depth the other shot.

Oil2Oilers

Reja: I was surprised when Sekera was bought out Holland has a whole slew of D chomping at the bit he needs to test drive at least four find who the keepers are and then make smart trades. Itsa nice position to be in either one of Nurse Kelfbom or Larsson will be traded as well by this time next year for a skilled shooting winger in my opinion.Pete did leave Holland a fine D pipeline.

Agreed, I also thought Reg would have made a great mentor this year. Still it is a good problem to have.

Scungilli Slushy

Durag:
I didn’t realize Lagesson logged such a huge PK load for Bakersfield. His boxcars are 67 8-19-27, so assuming he didn’t tally a ton of SH points, he had a better EV PPG than Jones, and maybe Bear.

We might be overlooking the best D prospect of the bunch.

Lagesson projects as a high end 3LD to me. Samurokov Bro and Jones I think have higher ceilings in the NHL. Not certainly but it seems more offensive.

I have no idea how it shakes out, but they may be competing for a top 2 role. Too many points for 3rd pair pay.

Perhaps Lagesson is 7 D until one of the others establishes in the top for and them he nails down a 3rd pair spot on a D Corp that is established for a bit. On the left at least.

Reja

Oil2Oilers:
D prospects with Multi year pro experience;

Persson, Jones, Bear, Berglund

Is expecting 1/4 to have a impactful (100+ games) NHL career realistic?

Emerging pro D prospects;

Bouchard, Lagesson, Samorukov, Broberg

Is expecting 1/4 to have impactful NHL career realistic?

The first group are all pretty close to the NHL is it possible that 2/4 emerge? Possibly not with the Oilers.

The second group has two lottery picks and two prospects progressing very well, is it possible 2/4 emerge?

The Oilers can graduate a lot of defensemen to the NHL over the next 3 seasons, choosing wisely will have a big impact on weather we will ever see playoff hockey again during the McDavid era.

I was surprised when Sekera was bought out Holland has a whole slew of D chomping at the bit he needs to test drive at least four find who the keepers are and then make smart trades. Its a nice position to be in either one of Nurse Kelfbom or Larsson will be traded as well by this time next year for a skilled shooting winger in my opinion. Pete did leave Holland a fine D pipeline.

Scungilli Slushy

Brantford Boy:
Is this Ethan Bear’s final season in the Oilers organization? Yes.
Sadly, for the all the reasons you outlined above LT, the blueline depth.I also believe Bear will be the sweetener in the JP trade, just a hunch and absolutely nothing to back this up.Seems the odd man out and unless its a PTO will get us the scoring top 9 winger or 3C.

I’m thinking most of Chiarelli’s average skaters are gone unless they make big strides and tear the cover off.

I don’t think Chiasson would have been re-upped with better options and the Neal trade was also probably not Holland’s ideal move but was a step in the right direction with a better contract and that he can score and cap issues made options slim.

Oil2Oilers

D prospects with Multi year pro experience;

Persson, Jones, Bear, Berglund

Is expecting 1/4 to have a impactful (100+ games) NHL career realistic?

Emerging pro D prospects;

Bouchard, Lagesson, Samorukov, Broberg

Is expecting 1/4 to have impactful NHL career realistic?

The first group are all pretty close to the NHL is it possible that 2/4 emerge? Possibly not with the Oilers.

The second group has two lottery picks and two prospects progressing very well, is it possible 2/4 emerge?

The Oilers can graduate a lot of defensemen to the NHL over the next 3 seasons, choosing wisely will have a big impact on weather we will ever see playoff hockey again during the McDavid era.

OriginalPouzar

Pescador: A. I would not move Nurse or Klefbom over to play in their off hand side.
B. I would not trade either player for any of the next 4-5 seasons as both are entering their prime.
C. 3LD is perfect for a young cost controlled dman just getting his feet wet.
Unless you were suggesting that Lagesson will be fixture at 2LD 4 years from now?

No, I’m not projecting him at 2LD this coming season but in the near-medium term. I don’t know if that’s a year from now or 3 years from now.

If Lagesson does develop in to a legit 2LD in the next few years while on a cheap 2nd contract and we have 3 legit top 4 left D (not even including Sammy and Jones and Broberg down the line) then, I don’t agree that we can’t trade one of the incumbents for value. An evaluation would need to be made at the time but the difference between say Nurse and Lagesson at 2LD at a savings of $4M-$5M plus the trade return for Nurse, well, I don’t say not 2 years in advance.

Reja

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Reja,

You sure have been banging that drum, but it makes no sense from a CBJ point of view.

They just lost three of their top talents from last season with no material replacements. Anderson is now one of their best two or three forwards.

Why on earth would their GM, who passed on JPfor free when his value was arguably it’s highest, suddenly give away a top player with a good contract for a maybe and a project?

Sounds like the jackets are rebuilding throw in a high draft choice a Goalie prospect something along those lines were one top 6 forward away from making some hay.

OriginalPouzar

Jimmy: Throughout his career, RNH has averaged 58 pts per 82 games. It’s a fair contract. There are maybe 30 players in this league who are legit stars. Every other player in this league has warts to their game. They’ve got strengths. They’ve got weaknesses.

I don’t have an issue trading RNH.I’ve mentioned it here countless times before. But I think we should trade him because it looks like he’ll be playing with garbage wingers yet again on a team that won’t make the playoffs yet again. I would trade him only because there’s a good chance he doesn’t resign. I don’t trade him because he’s a bad player, or his contract isn’t good.

Even if they miss the playoffs this year, he’s still under contract for another year thereafter.

They could miss this year and then be a legit playoff team the following year – and the years of missing meaningless at that point.

Of course, they could continue to miss forever.

OriginalPouzar

Jordan:
So… here’s my weekly trade proposal: Larsson and Jesse to buffalo for Risto and 2020 1st.Risto has an extra year on his deal and would look really nice beside Klefbom on the 2nd pair.It clearly hurts our 1st pairing, but I don’t think anyone expects our D to be a strength this year anyways, so… why not see who can take that on with Nurse?

We would gain a more mobile/skilled D…but we would lose that defensive zone toughness from Larsson.I think Larsson’s a better all-around D-man, but he’s building a strong injury history and I see this as an opportunity to get an extra 1st and a player that help transition the puck up to CMD

I worry a bit about Risto’s defensive game…and with some of our more skilled D coming up in the system, we might miss that skill-set on the backend.I think a lot of that can be replaced with Nurse, Benning and Lagesson

I like the idea of turning a potential injury prone asset into 2 possible assets and offloading Pool.That’s my logic – it’s not a slam dunk, but it looks like reasonable value.

Risto on the 2nd pairing would be OK but he’s shown to be a huge leak with top pairing minutes over the years. His common forwards have been Reinhart, Eichel, O’Riley and he has a 42% GF% last year and was -42. He produces less than Nurse at 5 on 5. He’s produced on the PP over the years with over 3 min/game 5 on 4 but the Oilers were 9th in the NHL on the PP and Bouchard will arrive in the next year (and who knows about Persson this year).

What is this injury history with Larsson?

He’s played 82, 79, 63 and 82 games the last four years and, in the 19 games missed two years ago, only 4-5 were with the back – the rest were bereavement.

OriginalPouzar

bwar:
This is a huge season for young Oiler’s defensemen.Loads of players will need new contracts next season so it seems unlikely they will all stick around. Nurse, Benning, Persson, Day, Lagesson, Jones Bear will all need new contracts a year from now.They are all RFA’s so the Oilers can keep them all if they desire but earning that next contract has to be a major incentive this season.To me a player like Russell is a total road block on the path to figuring out who’s good enough to step up to the next level.I’d much rather have two guaranteed roster spots this season for a mix of rookies.It might make a few games of the season real ugly but I feel like we absolutely need to cash in some hope for some answers this season.

Teams generally use 10-12 d-men per season.

There will be plenty of ice and opportunity for all the youngsters who earn the opportunity.

OriginalPouzar

russ:
JimmyV1965,

My gut feeling is this will increase next summer, unless the players go with the lower level cap escalator to reduce escrow next summer.

If I were the Oilers GM, I’d start talking about an extension now, if this waits until next summer, the price could easily go up and who knows if RNH is looking to move to greener pastures. Players take UFA very seriously.

Of course they could talk now but Nuge has two years left so he can’t even sign until July 2020 and its more likely that he doesn’t sign until 2021 – non-elite players rarely sign a year in advance. There are exceptions, of course.

jp

godot10:
Benning is in a show me season.He needs a new contract next summer.Bear’s fate is sort of dependent on whether Benning fails to break the top 4 again.Benning would be an expensive 3rd pairing D next season.And if that is his ceiling, why would a cap strapped team pay him when they have a $1 million option in Bear.Bear over Benning as #3RD next year saves $1-2 million dollars on the cap.

Given the younger guys coming behind him I agree the Oilers are likely to move on from Benning if he can’t take on an increased role.

That said, is he going to get a raise on his next deal if he remains a 3rd pair guy? He was the 138th paid defenseman last season (should be a bit lower on the list this year once everyone else is signed). That’s #5D money, so he’s paid appropriately considering his positive on ice results. I don’t think it’s fair to call him an expensive 3rd pair D.

If Persson and Bear stumble he could well be back in the same role. And I don’t think anyone should be surprised if Persson goes the way of Phil Larsen and Anton Belov. Or if Bear doesn’t progress again this season. Hopefully we’re swimming in “real” NHL D this time next year, but it’s equally likely a few of the prospects show themselves to be suspects.

Munny

The chart above with the top 7 defensemen in terms of TOI is an exemplar of how difficult it is to compare Dmen using counting numbers.

For example Dmen have less effect on GF than they do GA… Keegan Lowe leads the team in GF, but I don’t think anyone thinks he’s an offensive star. Probably plays with some pretty good forwards. So how much weight do we actually place on goal differential?

Games played confuses the issue too. If we break down Lagesson’s and Bear’s numbers to per games played, there’s about 3 percent difference between the two GFs and the two GAs… much closer than the counting numbers look above.

This 3 percent difference can be overwhelmed by usage, by QUALTEAM and/or QUALCOMP, or even injury recovery/lost reps. With an additional year of age and experience, we’d hope that Lagesson would have a clearer lead in fact. But again, maybe he had more uphill rowing to do. We don’t know.

I look at those counting numbers and doubt there’s any definitive conclusion that can be reached.

The most important numbers to my eye–and this depends somewhat on how much one trusts the coach–are the TOIs. To go back to Lagesson and Bear… the coach obviously trusts one with more defensive duties and the other with more offensive. And Bear gets the slight nod from the coach at EVs despite being about 16 months younger than Billy Lag.

Jones has the edge on both, but again it is just an edge, not a dominating win. He and Bear are interesting comparisons, however, due to the similarity in birthdates.

So there’s lots of mystery up on that there chart, IMO.

OriginalPouzar

russ:
Psyche,

Modified NMC still means NMC, no Bakersfield without his approval.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a modified NMC.

He’s got a modified NTC but a normal NMC.

Just being technical.

Psyche

OriginalPouzar,

Thank you for the clarification OP.

Pescador

OriginalPouzar: Definitely not overlooked by me – he’s going to be a 2LD fixture and a fan favorite!

A. I would not move Nurse or Klefbom over to play in their off hand side.
B. I would not trade either player for any of the next 4-5 seasons as both are entering their prime.
C. 3LD is perfect for a young cost controlled dman just getting his feet wet.
Unless you were suggesting that Lagesson will be fixture at 2LD 4 years from now?

OriginalPouzar

Psyche:
Reja,

I agree. In a trade (before next off-season) the Oilers would likely have to retain salary or take back a contract.

Does anyone know if Russell’s contract allows the Oilers to waive him to Bakersfield? If so, is there savings in cap hit?

Yes, he can be assigned to the AHL (if he clears waivers) as he does not have a NMC, only a modified NTC.

If assigned to the AHL, the cap relief will be $1.075M.

Oooop, check that, he does have a NMC to go along with his limited NTC so, no, he can’t be assigned to the AHL without his consent.

OriginalPouzar

Durag:
I didn’t realize Lagesson logged such a huge PK load for Bakersfield. His boxcars are 67 8-19-27, so assuming he didn’t tally a ton of SH points, he had a better EV PPG than Jones, and maybe Bear.

We might be overlooking the best D prospect of the bunch.

Definitely not overlooked by me – he’s going to be a 2LD fixture and a fan favorite!

ArmchairGM

JimmyV1965: The Sabres don’t trade Ristolainen unless they get a top six forward. They don’t need another RHD or an unproven prospect.

As such I don’t see a fit between the two teams.

bwar

JimmyV1965: The Sabres don’t trade Ristolainen unless they get a top six forward. They don’t need another RHD or an unproven prospect.

Trading Risto for a 7th probably immediately makes them a better hockey team.

Pescador

Rich M: Judging from the math and from what Sekera said after his conditioning stint, I would agree with this.The next two seasons are going to see some interesting changes (for the good) with the Oiler blue line – and some tough decisions.

Time for the kids to force the issue.

Would something like this be plausible for 20/21?:
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Bouchard
Lagesson – Jones
Might be projecting Bouchard a shade his for his age,
Possible swap Jones for Bouchard.
Hopefully the Oilers keeps all of their young homegrown Dmen.
I’m not opposed to flipping Larsson and a lesser prospect or pick for a RHD puckmover next summer

defmn

JimmyV1965:

I don’t have an issue trading RNH.I’ve mentioned it here countless times before. But I think we should trade him because it looks like he’ll be playing with garbage wingers yet again on a team that won’t make the playoffs yet again. I would trade him only because there’s a good chance he doesn’t resign. I don’t trade him because he’s a bad player, or his contract isn’t good.

This is how I see it as well. Because the leakage on value in trades has been so bad on this team for so long I think there is reluctance by some to discuss trading any good player.

It is possible for trades involving good players to improve or benefit this team, however, even if that has been more theory than practice in the last few years.

JimmyV1965

Jordan:
So… here’s my weekly trade proposal: Larsson and Jesse to buffalo for Risto and 2020 1st.Risto has an extra year on his deal and would look really nice beside Klefbom on the 2nd pair.It clearly hurts our 1st pairing, but I don’t think anyone expects our D to be a strength this year anyways, so… why not see who can take that on with Nurse?

We would gain a more mobile/skilled D…but we would lose that defensive zone toughness from Larsson.I think Larsson’s a better all-around D-man, but he’s building a strong injury history and I see this as an opportunity to get an extra 1st and a player that help transition the puck up to CMD

I worry a bit about Risto’s defensive game…and with some of our more skilled D coming up in the system, we might miss that skill-set on the backend.I think a lot of that can be replaced with Nurse, Benning and Lagesson

I like the idea of turning a potential injury prone asset into 2 possible assets and offloading Pool.That’s my logic – it’s not a slam dunk, but it looks like reasonable value.

The Sabres don’t trade Ristolainen unless they get a top six forward. They don’t need another RHD or an unproven prospect.

JimmyV1965

Dr. Taboggan:
JimmyV1965,

RNH is not a worth more than 6×6. If he wants more make a trade.

To be clear I love the player. Fun to watch, great edge work BUT he has never produced well 5v5, not a good PKer, and has failed to improve at faceoffs. He scored 69 points last season with tons of PP time and playing significant minutes with McDavid. The point total last season is very deceiving.

I don’t think it matters anyway because I would be shocked is RNH has any desire to sign an extension in Edmonton.

Throughout his career, RNH has averaged 58 pts per 82 games. It’s a fair contract. There are maybe 30 players in this league who are legit stars. Every other player in this league has warts to their game. They’ve got strengths. They’ve got weaknesses.

I don’t have an issue trading RNH. I’ve mentioned it here countless times before. But I think we should trade him because it looks like he’ll be playing with garbage wingers yet again on a team that won’t make the playoffs yet again. I would trade him only because there’s a good chance he doesn’t resign. I don’t trade him because he’s a bad player, or his contract isn’t good.