Blue Rush

by Lowetide

I’ve been scoping out the 2019-20 season and possibilities for the Oilers roster since July 12 (article on Tyler Benson is here). One thing that struck me early in the process, even before the buyout of Andrej Sekera: The Oilers badly need some answers about the young blue bubbling under.

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 Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
  • **New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s measured summer leaves Oilers outside playoffs.
  • 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.

NOTES

I think the 2019-20 season will see 10 ‘major players’ on defense during the season. The big three (Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse) will all play well over 20 minutes a night and will have huge impact on the success or failure of the team.

I have a second tier of three defensemen in 2019-20 who will all play between 15 and 19 minutes a night: Kris Russell, Matt Benning and newcomer Joel Persson. I have Persson getting significant power-play time and posting enough offense to be the No. 3 scorer among the blue. I have faded the GP total for both Russell and Persson because there are trade deadline possibilities.

I have a (final) third tier of youngsters, and that includes Caleb Jones, Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear and William Lagesson. Some of these men represent the future and others represent trade pieces and the organization has to figure everything out over the next 12 months or so. Jones has the edge in games, the other three are about equal. It’s going to be a fun follow in 2019-20.

FIRST LINE AND BEYOND

I woke up to a conversation on the blog this morning about Alex Chiasson and whether or not he’s a legit No. 2 right winger. I use five-on-five points-per-60 as a gauge and 492 minutes as a line in the sand. If we use NaturalStatTrick, we get exactly 372 players (31 times 12) and have an actual pool of qualifying forwards. First line forwards include all players in the top 93 (31 times 3) and on it goes. Here are the Oilers from last season:

First Line: Connor McDavid 2.82 (No. 7 overall)

First Line: Leon Draisaitl 2.57 (No. 22 overall)

Second Line: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.75 (No. 159 overall)

Second Line: Drake Caggiula 1.68 (No. 172 overall) (TRADED)

Third Line: Jujhar Khaira 1.38 (No. 247 overall)

Third Line: Zack Kassian 1.32 (No. 261 overall)

Third Line: Alex Chiasson 1.25 (No. 277 overall)

Fourth Line: Ty Rattie 1.16 (No. 299 overall)

Fourth Line: Ryan Strome 1.12 (No. 308 overall) (TRADED)

Fourth Line: James Neal 0.99 (No. 337 overall (ACQUIRED)

Fourth Line: Milan Lucic 0.97 (No. 340 overall)

Fourth Line: Jesse Puljujarvi 0.80 (No. 361 overall)

Fourth Line: Colby Cave 0.75 (No. 362 overall)

Fourth Line: Tobias Rieder 0.75 (No. 362 overall)

Fourth Line: Kyle Brodziak 0.70 (No. 370 overall)

So, Chiasson can play on the No. 2 line but it isn’t efficient. Drake Caggiula would be a far better candidate. It’s the same as Kassian on the top line. Milan Lucic in 2016-17 posted 1.21 per 60, despite getting 50 points. Why? 25 points came on the power play. Lucic scored 1.46 points-per-60 with McDavid that season.

Chiasson had a similar experience to Lucic 2016-17 this past campaign. He was 1.25 per 60 overall, but scored only 13 of 22 goals at even strength. Chiasson scored 1.48 per 60 with McDavid.

Chiasson’s last three seasons at five-on-five per 60: 1.28, 1.27 and 1.25. He is telling us who he has, and the big spike a year ago came on the power play.

No one hates Alex Chiasson, or Zack Kassian, but they are inefficient players on high skill lines.

I hope he fills the net, and then does it again. Impossible to cheer against this young man, and coming off injury it will be good for him to test everything in an actual game.

BODY LANGUAGE, AND YOU

Here’s my advice: When you encounter an article that delves into body language or verbal thrust, be like Dionne Warwick and walk on by. You’re a fan of sports, not interpretation of the physical movements of athletes during scrums. Just because it’s about a person of interest doesn’t make an article worthwhile.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we kickstart the long weekend with great guests and general confusion. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will stop in to talk about the enormous changes in broadcast media this week. Hernan Salas from TSN1260 will tee up the Labor Day Classic with depth chart analysis and keys to the game. Sean Fitzgerald from The Athletic will also pop by to talk about this article and how players ready themselves for training camp and the long season ahead. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!!

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ArmchairGM

Yeti: I’d imagine because there’s still a roster hole at RD and a glut at LD?

I think this is exactly it. Broberg is rated higher than Bouchard by Pronman, but he has a longer road to the NHL simply due to the Oilers depth chart.

ArmchairGM

Yeti: To be clear, I think your broader point stands – Samorukov may well turn out to be the more complete player. Wouldn’t it be cool if Samorukov – Bouchard was a regular D pairing playing good minutes by January 2021…

Huh, I was hoping to see that by November 2019! In Bakersfield, of course.

Yeti

Jaxon: Good point.

To be clear, I think your broader point stands – Samorukov may well turn out to be the more complete player. Wouldn’t it be cool if Samorukov – Bouchard was a regular D pairing playing good minutes by January 2021…

frjohnk

Fascinating discussion on 5 on 5 scoring.

I don’t have much time but would like to add that 5 on 5 scoring is also very dependent on who you play with if you come from the Caggiula, JP , Ty Rattie tree.
These types of guys score at close to first line rates with an elite talent like McDavid, but score at 4th line rates elsewhere.

Elite talents like McDavid will score at 1st line rates with pretty much anyone but who they play with will also affect those scoring rates. McDavid with Drai and he will be at the upper end. McDavid with a 4th liner and he will be at the bottom end 1st line rates.

Jaxon

Munny: Be nice if we had primary points data.

ahhh! Your post prompted me to go to prospect-stats.com to dig up that info. It’s gone! It’s all gone! This makes me very sad. Does anyone know if that database has moved elsewhere?

Jaxon

Yeti: I’d imagine because there’s still a roster hole at RD and a glut at LD?

Good point.

Yeti

Jaxon: Seeing that they’re only 4 months apart, other than their draft pedigree why do we have Bouchard challenging for a roster spot and Samorukov starting in the AHL.

I’d imagine because there’s still a roster hole at RD and a glut at LD?

Munny

Lowetide: I’m always willing to learn, although it’s by sundial. Is there a long list of successful offensive players who are poor five-on-five performers?

Georgexs,

I think Georges is on to something.

I’m more Latka Gravas than Vic Ferrari, but if I was to put on my jacket with the Elvis collar for a moment, I think Tim would say that PP scoring and 5 v 5 scoring—in general—require the same talent-sets. That those who are good at doing the one thing are also good at doing the other. And we see in most cases that the best EV scorers are typically a team’s PP options.

I distinctly recall Vic saying things very close to that, if not exactly that… LT you might also.

I think he would then say that when trying to predict the future (a fool’s game if there ever was one lol) the best thing to do is to choose the largest sample possible. Which of course was the philosophy behind us all jumping on the Corsi train back in the day. And it is Georges’s point too.

The problem with scoring—and this also applies to age curves too, as I was expressing to Ryan the other day—is that it is so low, less than 10 percent of the offense directed towards a net, and affected by so many variables, that Variance is a Bitch.

I don’t think anyone disputes that there is nothing more difficult than scoring at 5 v 5—it’s certainly harder than scoring on the PP—but if we solely look at that particular stat and take it as the Gospel, we are building more of that Variance Bitch into our equation. And more of our thoughts about the future will be inaccurate.

*removes Disco jacket, pulls on coveralls and returns to working on the taxicab*

Munny

Jaxon,

Lol. thank gord they don’t play the same position.

I’m not sure some of the compared qualities in your OP where you grant the edge to Samo are true on a certain level (they might be true.)

I actually wanted Samo back in the CHL this year to build off that offensive season. From the games I watched, he looked like he was still figuring it out, and wasn’t fully confident. There was a fair amount of deference offensively to his partner in the MC too.

Playing in the A will make that offensive development more difficult.

Now Bouchard had that shit well-figured out by the end of the year prior. He was only in the C this year because they couldn’t put him anywhere else. Age makes a massive difference in predicting future offense.

I would also add that as a Dman, playing top TOI with the best forwards on a great offensive team brings a lot of automatic points with it, which we have to be careful of.

Not to knock Samo, he was a helluva pick, but we know less about his offense than we know about Bouchard’s. Be nice if we had primary points data. I mean those 25 goals by Bouchard as an 18yo just jumps right out at me. Ain’t nobody zooming that.

Jaxon

JimmyV1965: My apologies. Did you check the game log? I did during Guelph’s playoff run and I thought his heater didn’t start until after the trade. I could be wrong and I’m too lazy to check.

Yup, re-checked the game log tonight. November 25th is when he started heating up. As mentioned, it’s great to have 2 players on such a great trajectory. It has been fun watching Jones and Bear continue along somewhat parallel careers and they didn’t do quite as well as Bouchard and Samorukov at the same age. And we’ve also got Broberg on the way. Things are looking up on D.

Side

Wilde: That’s still not contradictory. If it was, and I was saying Montreal’s roster was good, that wouldn’t be internally coherent because the point would be lost by condemning the lesser output of a team with lesser inputs!

Should I be giving you less credit than I do?

What a pretentious post. Lol

JimmyV1965

Jaxon: I said: “Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp.”

Which is pretty much the same amount of ink and exuberance you gave it.

unbelievable tear = truly staggering
11gp at 1.91 pts/gp = 21pts in 11 playoff games.

It is up there in the history books as a great 11 playoff games. I think we agree on much of this. Bouchard is an amazing talent. I’m just not so sure we know yet who will be the better NHLer. At this point I think Samorukov may have more physicality, speed, and defensive accumen to build a career on and it may take him farther than Bouchard’s pure offensive talent. We wait.

I’m not actually disagreeing with your argument. I guess I should have said more strongly that Bouchard might have been complacent during the regular season because he didn’t have anything left to prove in the CHL.

Georgexs

OriginalPouzar: My point was that, given there is really zero expectation of producing offence on the PK and scoring isn’t a primary or even secondary goal, those that PK will have their numbers artificially reduced, even if its just a few minutes per game. Someone like Archibald, even more so than Drai, given lower overall minutes so PK being a higher percentage, will have his numbers skewed when comparing to a guy like Chiasson.

This seems reasonable. I don’t know much about penalty killers. I should have a look.

JimmyV1965

Jaxon: Before. Samurokov scored 11pts in the 7 games before Merkley was traded from November 25th to December 14th, Merkley was traded December 15th. It seemed like after because many reporters spoke about how he lit it up after Merkley left, but he was on a tear before he left.

My apologies. Did you check the game log? I did during Guelph’s playoff run and I thought his heater didn’t start until after the trade. I could be wrong and I’m too lazy to check.

Georgexs

Ryan: My point is that if you look at year-over-year production to predict offensive production in the subsequent season without accounting for confounding variables such as player aging, you’ll likely see a stronger correlation for p/g than points/60 5v5 in part perhaps due to larger sample size, but as well due to the issue that 5v4 offense doesn’t decline with age.

I see. Interesting.

defmn

Jaxon: I said: “Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp.”

Which is pretty much the same amount of ink and exuberance you gave it.

unbelievable tear = truly staggering
11gp at 1.91 pts/gp = 21pts in 11 playoff games.

It is up there in the history books as a great 11 playoff games. I think we agree on much of this. Bouchard is an amazing talent. I’m just not so sure we know yet who will be the better NHLer. At this point I think Samorukov may have more physicality, speed, and defensive accumen to build a career on and it may take him farther than Bouchard’s pure offensive talent. We wait.

I think we can agree that having the two of them on their current trajectory is nothing but good news for the Oilers future.

Georgexs

Ryan: The fisttwo statements were a reference to David Staples of the cult of Hockey’s proclivity to writing articles entitled “Shots Fired!” In reference to dissenting opinions such as https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/shots-fired-oilers-insider-says-not-a-chance-that-connor-mcdavid-is-pushing-to-get-out-of-edmonton

As for 5v5 offense, if you can control for player age and eliminate ‘fluke’ years, I suspect the predictive value would be very strong.

1. Oh, OK.

2. I suspect the predictive value would still be very short of very strong. Lots of randomness in hockey and lots of players who are about the same player. And, anyway, those two conditions in your if statement are doozies.

Jaxon

JimmyV1965: Although you mentioned Bouchard’s play in the post season, I think it should be highlighted.

He had 21 pts in 11 playoff games with the Knights, which is truly staggering

I said: “Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp.”

Which is pretty much the same amount of ink and exuberance you gave it.

unbelievable tear = truly staggering
11gp at 1.91 pts/gp = 21pts in 11 playoff games.

It is up there in the history books as a great 11 playoff games. I think we agree on much of this. Bouchard is an amazing talent. I’m just not so sure we know yet who will be the better NHLer. At this point I think Samorukov may have more physicality, speed, and defensive accumen to build a career on and it may take him farther than Bouchard’s pure offensive talent. We wait.

hags9k

defmn: Jim Matheson
‏ @NHLbyMatty
Aug 21

Finnish League sources say Puljujarvi would likely get about 200,000 Euros ($221,000 US, $294,000 Cdn) to play in his hometown of Oulu. That’s long way from $1 mil US here.

Man. If it is conflict in the dressing room keeping him away that’s ridiculous.

They could put Pierre McGuire, Roseanne, a live cougar, Satan himself in the dressing room for 700K I will make it work.

Jaxon

JimmyV1965: Samorukov went on his tear after Merkley left, not before.

Before. Samurokov scored 11pts in the 7 games before Merkley was traded from November 25th to December 14th, Merkley was traded December 15th. It seemed like after because many reporters spoke about how he lit it up after Merkley left, but he was on a tear before he left.

Georgexs

Wilde: That’s still not contradictory. If it was, and I was saying Montreal’s roster was good, that wouldn’t be internally coherent because the point would be lost by condemning the lesser output of a team with lesser inputs!

Should I be giving you less credit than I do?

Well, you could’ve said in your original post, hey, look at how bad MTL’s roster was at the start of the season. Worse than ours. But weird: worse inputs, much better outputs; maybe inputs don’t equal outputs. I would’ve nodded, strong post. But you didn’t say any of that.

Well that’s nice and not nice all at once. It’s the Internet. Everyone sucks.

JimmyV1965

Jaxon:
I would like to point out that Samorukov and Bouchard were born only 4 months apart. They are the same height and weight. Samorukov is a better skater. Samorukov is a more physical player. Samorukov led his team to the semi-finals of the Memorial Cup. He was +36 during the regular season and +18 in the playoffs. In his last 36 regular-season games since November 25th, he had 10G, 29A, 39pts and was +36. His surge from November 25th to December 15th probably gave Guelph the confidence to trade Merkley. Averaging +1 per game is pretty awesome. It’s not quite at Bouchard’s offensive production but it is elite. And Samorukov’s defensive game is elite.

Bouchard’s defensive game, physical game, and skating are not at Samorukov’s level. Seeing that they’re only 4 months apart, other than their draft pedigree why do we have Bouchard challenging for a roster spot and Samorukov starting in the AHL. Samorukov has been stuck behind some quality blueliners and jumped up and stole top spot this season.

Bouchard has a longer history of offensive production but if we’re going based on merit of current play and projectible skills, I think Samorukov has the edge.

Samorukov’s 1.08 pts/gp in his last 36 games puts him 4th in the OHL for under 20 D. Bouchard had 1.18 pts/gp, Bode Wilde and Ryan Merkley both had 1.13pts/gp, and Adam Boqvist had 1.11 pts/gp, so Samorukov isn’t far off the pace and he followed the regular season up by scoring 1.17 pts/gp in the playoffs. Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp. Samorukov had 67 pts in his last 60 games including playoffs.

I’m not saying Samorukov should be making the team or even challenging for a roster spot, I’m just saying that neither should Bouchard if that’s the case. But I wouldn’t be shocked if Samorukov and Bouchard are both forcing the issue in the new year. Jones has speed and some offensive production but he didn’t show it as early as Samorukov and Jones doesn’t have the physical element that Samorukov brings. Lagesson brings physicality and a defensive game but he hasn’t shown much for offensive chops at any level. Bear might easilt get pushed out of the equation if Bouchard develops quickly and Pearsson or Benning show well at 2RD.

Nice post. Makes you think. And I largely agree with the premise. Just a couple quibbles.

Samorukov went on his tear after Merkley left, not before. Merkley was traded for reasons other than his performance on the ice. He was traded because mngt thought his absence would make the overall team better. He wasn’t traded because of anything Samorukov did.

Although you mentioned Bouchard’s play in the post season, I think it should be highlighted. He had 21 pts in 11 playoff games with the Knights, which is truly staggering, and another 8 pts in 8 games with the Condors in very limited minutes. The day the Oilers sent down Bouchard, I wrote a post on this blog telling people not to expect huge numbers in London because Bouchard had nothing left to prove there.

Ryan

Georgexs: Yeah, Chiasson’s career numbers aren’t consistent with consistent top 6 forward. But this isn’t about Chiasson. It’s about: “It has been my experience that five-on-five scoring has the most value.” I’m pointing out that math (which I know you also value) doesn’t line up with this particular experience.

My point is that if you look at year-over-year production to predict offensive production in the subsequent season without accounting for confounding variables such as player aging, you’ll likely see a stronger correlation for p/g than points/60 5v5 in part perhaps due to larger sample size, but as well due to the issue that 5v4 offense doesn’t decline with age.

Georgexs

Lowetide: I’m always willing to learn, although it’s by sundial. Is there a long list of successful offensive players who are poor five-on-five performers?

Awesome! That’s a very good question. Please give some time to respond.

Georgexs

jp: Which/what is the best single predictor you’re aware of?

Any chance you could post the correlations?

Sure. Maybe this weekend.

Georgexs

Lowetide: It has been my experience that five-on-five scoring has the most value. Chiasson’s 13 even strength goals are outstanding, best of his career. Even with that, he isn’t really a top six forward. That’s my opinion. We’ll see.

Yeah, Chiasson’s career numbers aren’t consistent with consistent top 6 forward. But this isn’t about Chiasson. It’s about: “It has been my experience that five-on-five scoring has the most value.” I’m pointing out that math (which I know you also value) doesn’t line up with this particular experience.

defmn

Jaxon:
I would like to point out that Samorukov and Bouchard were born only 4 months apart. They are the same height and weight. Samorukov is a better skater. Samorukov is a more physical player. Samorukov led his team to the semi-finals of the Memorial Cup. He was +36 during the regular season and +18 in the playoffs. In his last 36 regular-season games since November 25th, he had 10G, 29A, 39pts and was +36. His surge from November 25th to December 15th probably gave Guelph the confidence to trade Merkley. Averaging +1 per game is pretty awesome. It’s not quite at Bouchard’s offensive production but it is elite. And Samorukov’s defensive game is elite.

Bouchard’s defensive game, physical game, and skating are not at Samorukov’s level. Seeing that they’re only 4 months apart, other than their draft pedigree why do we have Bouchard challenging for a roster spot and Samorukov starting in the AHL. Samorukov has been stuck behind some quality blueliners and jumped up and stole top spot this season.

Bouchard has a longer history of offensive production but if we’re going based on merit of current play and projectible skills, I think Samorukov has the edge.

Samorukov’s 1.08 pts/gp in his last 36 games puts him 4th in the OHL for under 20 D. Bouchard had 1.18 pts/gp, Bode Wilde and Ryan Merkley both had 1.13pts/gp, and Adam Boqvist had 1.11 pts/gp, so Samorukov isn’t far off the pace and he followed the regular season up by scoring 1.17 pts/gp in the playoffs. Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp. Samorukov had 67 pts in his last 60 games including playoffs.

I’m not saying Samorukov should be making the team or even challenging for a roster spot, I’m just saying that neither should Bouchard if that’s the case. But I wouldn’t be shocked if Samorukov and Bouchard are both forcing the issue in the new year. Jones has speed and some offensive production but he didn’t show it as early as Samorukov and Jones doesn’t have the physical element that Samorukov brings. Lagesson brings physicality and a defensive game but he hasn’t shown much for offensive chops at any level. Bear might easilt get pushed out of the equation if Bouchard develops quickly and Pearsson or Benning show well at 2RD.

Totally agree with all of this. Samorukov sounds to have a full range of skills. Those guys don’t come along that often and can materially change the way a team looks when they are on the ice.

He is the guy I am most looking forward to watching at the rookie game on the 10th.

jp

defmn: Just what Eronko is reporting. Edmonton and 2 other teams have expressed interest. Seems late in the season for this kind of rumour but Eronko does have connections.

Yeah that would be very odd timing for a European signing.

I’m not sure he has a KHL deal for this season though – he’s not listed as on a team for this season on Elite Prospects nor on the Salavat Yulaev Ufa roster (where he played last season). Maybe he’s a UFA looking for a deal?

FWIW his teammates last year (all on the same team!) included:
Linus Omark
Teemu Hartikainen
Vladimir Tkachev
Philip Larsen
Alexei Semenov

OriginalPouzar

Jaxon:
Lagesson brings physicality and a defensive game but he hasn’t shown much for offensive chops at any level.

Lagesson led the Condors D in even strength points.

OriginalPouzar

Georgexs: Maybe it matters. Haven’t checked. Some scorers kill penalties. I think GF60 is less than half on PK compared to 5v5. But the minutes per game are a small fraction as well. Coaches tell you things about players by how they dole out minutes. They’re not always right but they do give information. That’s why I include all minutes.

My point was that, given there is really zero expectation of producing offence on the PK and scoring isn’t a primary or even secondary goal, those that PK will have their numbers artificially reduced, even if its just a few minutes per game. Someone like Archibald, even more so than Drai, given lower overall minutes so PK being a higher percentage, will have his numbers skewed when comparing to a guy like Chiasson.

Jaxon

I would like to point out that Samorukov and Bouchard were born only 4 months apart. They are the same height and weight. Samorukov is a better skater. Samorukov is a more physical player. Samorukov led his team to the semi-finals of the Memorial Cup. He was +36 during the regular season and +18 in the playoffs. In his last 36 regular-season games since November 25th, he had 10G, 29A, 39pts and was +36. His surge from November 25th to December 15th probably gave Guelph the confidence to trade Merkley. Averaging +1 per game is pretty awesome. It’s not quite at Bouchard’s offensive production but it is elite. And Samorukov’s defensive game is elite.

Bouchard’s defensive game, physical game, and skating are not at Samorukov’s level. Seeing that they’re only 4 months apart, other than their draft pedigree why do we have Bouchard challenging for a roster spot and Samorukov starting in the AHL. Samorukov has been stuck behind some quality blueliners and jumped up and stole top spot this season.

Bouchard has a longer history of offensive production but if we’re going based on merit of current play and projectible skills, I think Samorukov has the edge.

Samorukov’s 1.08 pts/gp in his last 36 games puts him 4th in the OHL for under 20 D. Bouchard had 1.18 pts/gp, Bode Wilde and Ryan Merkley both had 1.13pts/gp, and Adam Boqvist had 1.11 pts/gp, so Samorukov isn’t far off the pace and he followed the regular season up by scoring 1.17 pts/gp in the playoffs. Although to be fair, Bouchard went on an unbelievable tear for 11GP at 1.91 pts/gp. Samorukov had 67 pts in his last 60 games including playoffs.

I’m not saying Samorukov should be making the team or even challenging for a roster spot, I’m just saying that neither should Bouchard if that’s the case. But I wouldn’t be shocked if Samorukov and Bouchard are both forcing the issue in the new year. Jones has speed and some offensive production but he didn’t show it as early as Samorukov and Jones doesn’t have the physical element that Samorukov brings. Lagesson brings physicality and a defensive game but he hasn’t shown much for offensive chops at any level. Bear might easilt get pushed out of the equation if Bouchard develops quickly and Pearsson or Benning show well at 2RD.

Ryan

Georgexs: I don’t know what your first two statements mean so I’ll skip those.

Sure, producing offense at 5v5 is difficult. But knowing what the player did this season tells you very little about how they’ll do next season. That’s the point. It’s hard to tell who a player IS by his 5v5 offense. You can’t bank on him being that player next season. You get closer to the bank by going with other numbers. Still not that close to the bank but closer.

I’ll put up some stuff on aging at some point.

The fist two statements were a reference to David Staples of the cult of Hockey’s proclivity to writing articles entitled “Shots Fired!” In reference to dissenting opinions such as https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/shots-fired-oilers-insider-says-not-a-chance-that-connor-mcdavid-is-pushing-to-get-out-of-edmonton

As for 5v5 offense, if you can control for player age and eliminate ‘fluke’ years, I suspect the predictive value would be very strong.

Georgexs

Ryan: Shot fired. Haha ala Staples.

I suspect your analysis relies on running correlation coefficients without accounting for confounding variables.

I’m a believer. Producing at 5v5 is the hardest aspect of the game. Players get zoomed by teammates all over the place, but it’s still the hardest aspect of the game.

5v5 offense is also the most susceptible to aging curves from my reading.

Did you adjust your analysis for player age?

I’ve seen analysis that suggest that PP offense doesn’t decline much per age, but EV goals really drop with age.

I don’t know what your first two statements mean so I’ll skip those.

Sure, producing offense at 5v5 is difficult. But knowing what the player did this season tells you very little about how they’ll do next season. That’s the point. It’s hard to tell who a player IS by his 5v5 offense. You can’t bank on him being that player next season. You get closer to the bank by going with other numbers. Still not that close to the bank but closer.

I’ll put up some stuff on aging at some point.

Wilde

Georgexs: “… horrific rosters…”

This one.

That’s still not contradictory. If it was, and I was saying Montreal’s roster was good, that wouldn’t be internally coherent because the point would be lost by condemning the lesser output of a team with lesser inputs!

Should I be giving you less credit than I do?

Ryan

Georgexs: Maybe it matters. Haven’t checked. Some scorers kill penalties. I think GF60 is less than half on PK compared to 5v5. But the minutes per game are a small fraction as well. Coaches tell you things about players by how they dole out minutes. They’re not always right but they do give information. That’s why I include all minutes.

This I agree with in principle and it’s particularly useful for dmen, Dmen are difficult to otherwise evaluate by stats. If there’s one stat better for dmen than Toi/g, I’d like to hear it,

OP and I debated a Justin Faulk in the past. His position at the time was that Faulk was a sieve, but the Toi/g with a stacked dcorps suggested he had value.

Even Tim Barnes acknowledged the coaches intelligence in deploying Toi.

Georgexs

OriginalPouzar: Wouldn’t one need to back out the SH minutes – not for Chiasson/Lucic, etc. but for Nuge, Drai, Khaira, Kass, etc.

Maybe it matters. Haven’t checked. Some scorers kill penalties. I think GF60 is less than half on PK compared to 5v5. But the minutes per game are a small fraction as well. Coaches tell you things about players by how they dole out minutes. They’re not always right but they do give information. That’s why I include all minutes.

Georgexs

Wilde:
Georgexs,

What point do you think I was making?

“… horrific rosters…”

This one.

jp

Ryan: Iirc, he likes points per game. Could be wrong.?!?

I’m a disciple and firm believer in Lowetide’s “toughest discipline” producing offense at 5v5.

He’s been using that so I guess you’re right. I’m curious what the gaps (and predictive powers) are.

I agree with it in theory too, but if there’s something that works better I’ll listen.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: It was also counter to his entire career. Lucic did most of his work at even strength before his first year in Edmonton, and then divided the offense 25/25 points. Crazy.

That’s what I was getting at when i said it wasn’t repeatable. Lucic had never been a PP producer. All of his metrics, traditional and advanced, more than double previous career highs on the PP. It was a clear one-off PP heater that masked the cliff he had fallen off at evens – to fourth line rates.

Ryan

Lowetide: It has been my experience that five-on-five scoring has the most value. Chiasson’s 13 even strength goals are outstanding, best of his career. Even with that, he isn’t really a top six forward. That’s my opinion. We’ll see.

I 1000% agree with this opinion.

Also, If there’s a better bet than Chaser to regress the meat, I’d love to hear it.

Wilde

Georgexs,

Wilde: illustration of how much more there was to the offensive droughts under McLellan/Hitchcock than just personnel

Wilde: more

Wilde: than

Wilde: personnel

What point do you think I was making?

Ryan

jp: Which/what is the best single predictor you’re aware of?

Any chance you could post the correlations?

Iirc, he likes points per game. Could be wrong.?!?

I’m a disciple and firm believer in Lowetide’s “toughest discipline” producing offense at 5v5.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: It has been my experience that five-on-five scoring has the most value. Chiasson’s 13 even strength goals are outstanding, best of his career. Even with that, he isn’t really a top six forward. That’s my opinion. We’ll see.

Lucic in year 1 of his current contract is the perfect example of decent overall protection that had a minute chance of being repeated.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide:
New for The Athletic: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey

https://theathletic.com/1174562/2019/08/30/estimating-reasonable-expectations-for-the-2019-20-edmonton-oilers-a-difficult-journey/

Going to be a great read and series, as always. With so much flux on, not only who makes the roster, but where they play (up and down), its got to be a very tough year for the series.

jp

Georgexs: 5v5 P60 isn’t a great predictor of future offense. It was in Lucic’s case, but, in general, it’s really not. Of 5v5 P60, All Situations P60, P/GP, and Total Points, the relationship to future performance is weakest for 5v5 P60. The relationship is generally weak for all these metrics but weakest for 5v5 P60.

Which/what is the best single predictor you’re aware of?

Any chance you could post the correlations?

Reja

OriginalPouzar: Yup, I put the chances we see him in an Oiler uniform this year at about 1% but closer to 35% for next season.

Jesse traded this year 49% traded next offseason 48% return this year 0.5% return next year with Oilers 2.5%