What should we expect from the new arrivals in Bakersfield this winter? I’m not talking about what one is hoping for, or what we could create as an outer marker, but rather, reasonable. It’s a more difficult discussion than one might think on first blush. Photo by Rob Ferguson.
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: Connor McDavid and optimal line chemistry: The Oilers need to abandon enforcer fixation and add a skill winger
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s biggest hurdles: Bad timing and the indifference of the Oilers.
- 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
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ opening night lineup, line combinations and more.
- 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
- 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: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
I see reasonable (“RE”) expectations as finding a math ‘line in the sand’ that we can all agree is baby bear’s porridge. It’s like buying a 60-watt bulb and a 100-watt bulb. You can be confident that the number reflects reasonable.
Now, and this is always contentious, it does not mean I hate your favourite player, or that I’m off the grid in love with the future of the player you know in your heart is cross-eyed and brainless.
If a player I estimate at 20 goals in 68 games scores 20 in 40? Music! It’s a great story. That’s the premise. Finding the portion of the estimate that is plumb. Not a half bubble off, just plumb.
2011-12 OKC RE (AND RESULTS)
Below is a post-season sample of previous AHL ‘reasonable expectation’ projections (in this case from 2011-12):
Jeff Petry: His RE was 50 games in the NHL, rest in OKC. Petry kicked the daylights out of it, spending 73 games in the NHL and 2 with the Barons. He’s now an NHL player, and on the verge of a big raise and high expectations.
Taylor Fedun: RE for him was “playing a regular shift and surviving” and he was unable to survive without injury. Fedun was a big story early in training camp and into the pre-season, and who knows what might have been? After his horrible injury, we can cheer for him but counting on a return would be foolish.
Mark Arcobello: I put his RE line in the sand at: “I’ll say 20 goals” and he was certainly on pace (73, 17-26-43) and he led the club at even strength scoring (14-22-36). A little surprising he didn’t get a cup of coffee in the NHL.
Chris VandeVelde: My RE for him was “an ability to deliver more offense” and he did, although it is unlikely he’ll ever have enough of a bat to play as an NHL regular. VV’s even strength totals (68, 5-13-18) were the worst among regular centers on the team. Having said that, VV is a player coach Nelson relied on and there is still a small window (Belanger looks on the outs, Lander is unready) of opportunity. I think he slightly improved his NHL chances this season.
Teemu Hartikainen. Hartikainen was on pace for 20+ goals despite injury and callup, and he closed well enough to have earned strong consideration for the NHL next year. Jim Byers (OKC pbp man) told me yesterday the Big Finn was Paajarvi’s equal based on performance.
Magnus Paajarvi. Lost in the NHL shuffle and losing confidence, he embraced the demotion and played his best hockey in the final 10 games of the playoffs (10, 2-8-10). Very dangerous because of speed and with good passing skills, Paajarvi’s shot and release will need work if he’s going to play on a scoring line in the NHL.
2019-20 BAKERSFIELD RE
Shane Starrett. He was a major part of the Condors success last season, it’s reasonable to expect him to build on that and (at some point) make his NHL debut. Dylan Wells and Stuart Skinner have the same RE: Emerge as a legit starting AHL goaltending option. It’s unlikely both will emerge (and extremely unlikely Ken Holland will pull a Steve Tambellini and believe it).
Evan Bouchard scored eight points in eight AHL playoff games, but didn’t play big minutes. Reasonable should be top 4D minutes in Bakersfield, a feature role on the power play and a point-per-game during the regular season. I also think NHL time is a reasonable expectation.
Dmitri Samorukov had a breakout season in the OHL, so finding reasonable is difficult. I’m going to say that establishing himself as a solid AHL regular, with a positive even-strength goal differential, is reasonable.
William Lagesson had an outstanding AHL debut season, so I’ll suggest an even better goal differential at even strength than he delivered a year ago. Plus NHL time. I’m not sure how many games to list, because the competition is going to be strong.
Ethan Bear needs to stay healthy and deliver the same level of quality, although Bouchard (or Persson) may impact his power-play boxcars. I’m going to suggest expecting some NHL time is reasonable.
Cooper Marody rocked the casbah in year one, I think reasonable expectations should include 25+ NHL games and over a point-per-game in the AHL.
Tyler Benson should increase his point total and demonstrably improve his goal total in Bakersfield. I’ll say 25 AHL goals over an entire season, and 25 NHL games, too.
Kailer Yamamoto might be the most interesting player in this group. He scored 10 goals in 27 games a year ago, I think 25 goals based on a 68-game season in reasonable. No NHL games expected, if he earns them that’s a positive arrow.
Ryan McLeod has terrific speed and two-way acumen, so his emerging as an AHL regular is reasonable. Offensively, 25+ points over 68 games seems reasonable (assuming he gets a regular shift).
Kirill Maksimov is a terrific goal-scorer and Jay Woodcroft’s ability to unlock rookies was a key to Benson, Marody and their seasons. He’s a scorer, but overestimating goal scorers is the easiest mistake in reasonable expectations. I’ll say 20 goals in 68 games for Maksimov. That’s a handsome rookie total and 25 percent more than Benson, who was projected to score 14 by NHLE metrics (he scored 15).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we finally get our in-studio chat with Steve Lansky. We’ll talk media, major stories and family. Jason Gregor will also pop in just after 11 to chat Eskimos and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!