Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Kailer Yamamoto are looking for the same kind of opportunity afforded Anton Slepyshev in 2016-17. Slepyshev scored 4-6-10 in 41 games (455:52, 1.32 points-per-60, all at five-on-five) playing mostly with Drake Caggiula, Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl. That’s the kind of landing spot Benson, Marody and Yamamoto are hoping for this fall.
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 Jonathan Willis: Can Mikko Koskinen be a quality starter for Oilers in 2019-20?
- New Lowetide: The 2019-20 Oilers and value contracts: A period of transition
- New Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- New Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi signs one-year deal in Finland, dashing hopes he would return to the Oilers
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft joins Claude Julien and Todd Nelson as key coaches in Oilers prospect development
- Lowetide: Is Riley Sheahan an ideal fit for the Oilers as their No. 3 centre?
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers end summer still shy on first-shot scoring wingers
- 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
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Dave Tippett on rounding out his coaching staff, fixing Oilers’ special teams and using Connor McDavid
- 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
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
Eric Rodgers has done great things for Oilers fans over the years and his work most recently offers us great insight into minor league performance. His ability to estimate even-strength TOI is a Godsend. It gives us an educated guess about scoring levels with the added advantage of looking at things on a level playing field.
Back in 2015-16, Rodgers estimated Anton Slepyshev’s total icetime per game was 13:26 in 49 games. He scored 4-0-4 on the power play, about the same as Josh Currie in 2018-19. Currie is estimated to have spent 1:07 on the PP, and I’m going to use that number on Slepyshev’s 2015-16 season as an estimate. If I’m right, Slepyshev would have scored 9-8-17 in those 49 games, and 1.69 even strength points-per-60. That’s a shy number for a skilled man, but dovetails nicely with Slepyshev’s NHL even-strength points per 60:
2015-16: 1.69 (estimate)
2016-17: 1.33 (actual)
2017-18: 1.24 (actual)
Slepyshev kept 80 percent of his five-on-five offence if my numbers are right. AHL to NHL equivalencies run around 45 percent overall but that includes power-play numbers.
If we use 80 percent of Slepyshev’s 1.69 as a line in the sand, how many of Benson, Marody and Yamamoto rank above that number for their 2018-19 work?
Cooper Marody: 15-30-45 in an estimated 1,039 minutes. That means Marody posted a 2.60 points-per-60 (estimated) at even strength.
Tyler Benson: 13-29-42 in an estimated 1,143 minutes. That means Benson posted a 2.20 points-per-60 (estimated) at even strength.
Kailer Yamamoto: 4-8-12 in an estimated 390 minutes. That means Yamamoto posted a 1.84 points-per-60 (estimated) at even strength.
Marody 80 percent: 2.08 per 60.
Benson 80 percent: 1.76 per 60.
Yamamoto 80 percent: 1.47 per 60.
Marody is a stronger offensive prospect than Slepyshev by some measure, and Benson’s numbers are also well clear of the Russian. Kailer Yamamoto is ‘in the range’ and will have to establish himself at a higher level (and with a healthy wrist he should spike).
Khaira’s even strength estimate for 2015-16 was 1.84 per 60 and the following year (2016-17) 1.64. His even-strength per 60 numbers in the NHL are 1.44 (2017-18) and 1.45 (2018-19). He retained 83 percent of his even strength offense.
What does it all mean?
Coach Tippett might look past Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson this fall. The organization’s mission statement is about slow playing the talent now, these men would be overcooked by this time next year.
I don’t think the club can afford it. Marody’s competition at RW is Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson, Sam Gagner and Josh Archibald. His competition at No. 3 center is Gaetan Haas, Jujhar Khaira and Colby Cave.
Benson’s competition at left-wing includes Leon Draisaitl, James Neal, Markus Granlund, Joakim Nygard and Khaira. It’s more substantial than the RW side, but Neal can play either wing and there’s room for an offensive winger.
I think one of these two men (Marody, Benson) will emerge this season, maybe both. The two youngsters might not be long term answers but their time appears to be now.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Today on the show (10 this morning, TSN1260) we’ll be joined by Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll talk Jesse Puljujarvi and trade value, plus the roster and playoff chances. Kris Abbott from OddsShark will pop in to talk all the footballs plus U.S. Open tennis. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Rock on! Jimmy Dean. Jimmy Dean.