It Don’t Come Easy

What would an ideal AHL season look like for the Oilers organization? If we look back in April 2020 on this Bakersfield Condors team, what would represent a perfect day?

As you may know, if you’ve slogged your way through one of my ‘Farm Workers’ episodes, it’s my belief that the outer marker for AHL grads (men who have played 120+ games in the minors) is a quality NHL player. Fernando Pisani was a quality NHL player but he wasn’t a superstar. His skill set is the outer marker, the goal. That’s a fine player.

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 Athletic, there is a Puck Drop Special offer here.

  • New Minnia Feng: The 2019-20 Oilers fan guide to emotions and stressful circumstances
  • New Jonathan Willis: How much will the Oilers have to pay to keep pending free agent Zack Kassian?
  • New Lowetide: Sheahan hurt, Oilers in need of a two-way centre; some candidates emerging
  • New Jonathan Willis: Handicapping the chase for the Calder after the first month of the 2019-20 NHL season
  • Jonathan Willis: Unproductive Oilers forwards are in danger of losing their jobs — and soon
  • Lowetide: Analyzing the current state of the Edmonton Oilers goaltending.
  • Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers trade for a veteran NHL defenceman?
  • Lowetide: Oilers first-round pick Philip Broberg increases his role; Condors’ Caleb Jones looks NHL-ready
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I don’t think anyone’s feeling comfortable’: Oilers’ Holland pleased but cautious amid early improvements.
  • Lowetide: Josh Archibald’s injury and limited replacements available puts some pressure on Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 4 reasons why the Oilers passed their first true test of the season
  • Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal are leading a quality Oilers second line
  • Lowetide: Assessing the early season progress of Oilers’ defence and goaltending
  • Jonathan Willis: A rare success during Edmonton’s long rebuild, why Oscar Klefbom is the model for finishing Oilers’ blue line
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s impressive Liiga performance headlines Oilers prospects this week
  • Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers afford to pursue Taylor Hall in free agency?
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

NHLE’S (AHL FORWARDS)

Ken Holland’s plan to ‘over-ripen’ prospects includes a step forward by said prospects during the season. That’s my take anyway. So, one of the things we should be looking for is a spike in production, especially among forwards. So far this season, the forwards are flat or worse:

  1. Joe Gambardella 32.9
  2. Brad Malone 28.8
  3. Kailer Yamamoto 25.6
  4. Josh Currie 25.6
  5. Tyler Benson 25.6
  6. Cooper Marody 21.3
  7. Colby Cave 19.2
  8. Ryan McLeod 12.8
  9. Luke Esposito 8.5

Ideally, you’d like to see someone pushing 40 NHLE at some point this season. Plenty of time to go, but if you’re recalling (say) Yamamoto today, it’s for reasons other than his forcing the issue. Here, let’s look at last season’s forwards:

  1. Cooper Marody 42.3
  2. Tyler Benson 37.3
  3. Joe Gambardella 36.8
  4. Josh Currie 29.7
  5. Kailer Yamamoto 25.6
  6. Cam Hebig 17.4
  7. Nolan Vesey 6.8

The forwards are all down year over year (Yamamoto is running in place) and part of that is the power play. I don’t think the Oilers can recall any forward on merit. A year ago,
Benson became the sixth real forward prospect since 2010 to play as a regular at 20 (Teemu Hartikainen, Tyler Pitlick, Magnus Paajarvi, Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira). This year, Ryan McLeod and Kirill Maksimov will look to join the group.

NHLE (AHL DEFENSE)

  1. Caleb Jones 21.3
  2. Evan Bouchard 17.1
  3. Dmitri Samorukov 4.3
  4. Keegan Lowe 4.3

Points from defensemen is a little less valuable in terms of assessing defensemen, but it does speak to time on ice and success. It’s difficult for a defender to post a high number, anything over 20 is good and implies a two-way player. Expect a spike from both Bouchard and Samorukov in the coming months. Here are last year’s numbers:

  1. Ethan Bear 22.9
  2. Caleb Jones 22.3
  3. Logan Day 20.4
  4. William Lagesson 15.5

As is the case this year (so far), 20+ points is a good indicator of offensive success. Lagesson’s points came at evens, so that’s a fine number, too. Ethan Bear was an AHL regular at 20, one of four since 2010 (Martin Marincin, Martin Gernat, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones) and it looks like Bouchard and Samorukov are joining the party this season.

TWEENERS

The truth is that ‘tweeners’ are the biggest AHL category and point totals can fool you. Rob Schremp was a tweener, he scored 53 points in 69 AHL games at age 20 ( not quite Benson levels). Anton Lander was a tweener, Ty Rattie was a tweener.

Maybe Kailer Yamamoto will be a tweener. I don’t think he will, but this blog thought Marc Pouliot, Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark would make it. There’s luck, good and bad, in making it from the tweener division. Part of luck is injury. Ask Pouliot.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday morning gets started at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will drop by from the Royal Winter Fair. We’ll chat World Series, Oilers start, Leafs worries and the Tkachuk goal. Matthew Iwanyk will discuss the Eskimos-Roughriders game, Tiger’s recent success and what it might mean for 2020, and Ravens-Patrioits. Reid Fowler from Draft Kings will preview the NFL weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Rock On. Rock On. Jimmy Dean.

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229 Responses to "It Don’t Come Easy"

« Older Comments
  1. Kraz says:

    Pescador,

    The riots were the cherry on top of watching Kessler and their fans cry watching the Bruins raise Stanley in their own city.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lagesson gives the Condors the lead from Benson and Bouchard.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hmmmmm, seems Bouchard now has a higher PPG that Juolevi this year….. what could it mean?

  4. Glass says:

    Bouchard has been doing fine in producing points, but he really needs work defensively. He’ll get there, we just gotta be patient.

  5. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Colorado loses to Dallas and the Oilers stay atop the Western Conference.

    Uh, no.

    NSH .692
    COL .692
    VAN .692
    STL .679
    EDM .679

    Oiler are tied for fourth.

  6. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hmmmmm, seems Bouchard now has a higher PPG that Juolevi this year….. what could it mean?

    It means he’s an offensive D who needs sheltering but isn’t very good at offence
    His closet comparable is Hughes and they aren’t in the same conversation..

  7. Someone says:

    Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

    NSH .692
    COL .692
    VAN .692
    STL .679
    EDM.679

    Oiler are tied for fourth.

    Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

  8. Harpers Hair says:

    Someone: Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

    Teams also don’t get docked for points they haven’t lost yet.
    When the Oilers lose to the Penguins tomorrow, and they will, this will become clear to you.

  9. Ice Sage says:

    Cheers DSF, you are a predictable beauty!
    Go Canucks hahahah !

  10. Nit64 says:

    Someone: Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

    Hey folks. Stop feeding the clever fellow who knows better than to troll

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

    NSH .692
    COL .692
    VAN .692
    STL .679
    EDM.679

    Oiler are tied for fourth.

    You appear to have Hockey confused with Baseball. In Baseball they use percentages to calculate division leaders. In Ice Hockey they tally up the total number of points collected.

  12. Munny says:

    Nit64: Hey folks. Stop feeding the clever fellow who knows better than to troll

    I don’t know, man… I haven’t seen anyone play an imbecile so straight up since Basil Fawlty. Takes a brave and courageous man to play the idiot so thoroughly and consistently… and simply so an entire community can have some laughs and be entertained. Commendable really.

    I think we should express the laughter he brings us and thank him for every asinine comment. It’s the least we can do in return.

  13. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

    NSH .692
    COL .692
    VAN .692
    STL .679
    EDM.679

    Oiler are tied for fourth.

    This joke’s a little generic, however. The old confuse-the-sport trick is way too done. Your comments are usually more outrageously stupid than this. I will put it down to the late hour. Can’t be “on” all the time.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    Munny,

    Whatever you do, don’t mention the war

  15. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    It’s okay… (he’s from Barcelona).

  16. meanashell11 says:

    Basil: Always reminds me of somebody machine-gunning a seal.
    Major Gowen: The heat?
    Basil: No, no. My wife’s laugh.

  17. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: Teams also don’t get docked for points they haven’t lost yet.
    When the Oilers lose to the Penguins tomorrow, and they will, this will become clear to you.

    Bouchard with 2 assists 6 points in 10. Nucks lose there toughness with Ferland out. Might have to stop the engraving on the Calder trophy.

  18. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: Maybe we should use the 8 points in 8 games in the AHL as a teenager as conclusive?

    Yes! Of course we should.

  19. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Condors start with the Day, Jones, Curie, Esposito, Malone PP after a TV timeout.

    Two noble prizes to her name and now on an AHL PP. That’s impressive.

  20. JimmyV1965 says:

    Maybe a little refresher on the history of Olli Juolevi is in order. There was a lot of consternation in Canucks land in his Draft +1 because he was outscored on the London Knights by Evan Bouchard, who was nearly two years younger, as well as Victor Mete, who was drafted in the fourth round in the same draft. Juolevi went back to Finland in Draft +2 because his role on the team was taken over on the Knights by a much younger Bouchard.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brind’Amour finishes with a goal and an assist and 12 for 16 in the faceoffs. His assist was SH so he’s killing penalties.

    I missed the OT last night but Malone won it for the Condors from Day and McLeod.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glass:
    Bouchard has been doing fine in producing points, but he really needs work defensively. He’ll get there, we just gotta be patient.

    From my eye, its not “defensively” necessarily but decision making and mistakes in the offensive zone.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Uh, no.

    NSH .692
    COL .692
    VAN .692
    STL .679
    EDM.679

    Oiler are tied for fourth.

    Oilers – 19 points

    NSH – 18 points

    Colorado – 18 points

    St. Louis – 18 points

    Yes, i understand “points percentage” but that’s simply not how the day to day standings work in the NHL so, again, cherry picking to fit a narrative.

    As of this moment, the Oilers are on top of the Western Conference Standings by the rules of the NHL.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: It means he’s an offensive D who needs sheltering but isn’t very good at offence
    His closet comparable is Hughes and they aren’t in the same conversation..

    The conversation was prospects – Quinn Hughes is in the NHL and not a prospect.

    You posted the PPG of of 5 players in the AHL this year to determine which organization has better prospects.

    You included Juolevi with a higher PPG as Bouchard as determinative of being better.

    You said that age doesn’t matter as good NHL players show themselves early (a wild statement considering the advanced age of the 3 of the 5 Cancuck “prospects”) shown.

    Bouchard now has a higher PPG than Juolevi (and younger) but instead of acknowledging that, by your criteria, Bouchard is the better prospect, you bring up Quinn Hughes who has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with this conversation.

    So, you listed Francis Perron – should I bring up Leon Draisailt as a comparison given the same draft year.

    Wild stuff yet again.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Should be a great game today – Crosby, Malkin, McDavid, Drai – that’s some star power. I’ll take the 22 and just turned 24 year old.

    Judging by practice yesterday, should see the same lineup that played well in Columbus – hopefully Sheahan is good to go, he was a full participant.

    Judging by practice, Smith looks to be the starter. Sure, I’m fine with either. It is interesting to me that Koskinen has played a bit better in my opinion (by eye and numbers) but Smith has a few more starts. Maybe they are really really wanting Koski to get that rest.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    – Pre-game tennis (Shap and Nadal in the SF)

    – Oiler game – national broadcast in the US

    – NHL Saturday ice-surfing

    – Condors Game

    That’s a beauty day!

  27. giddy says:

    Wrong thread!!

  28. Jurco Nutmeg says:

    Gags needs some PP love. Every game there’s a chance a RH stick would’ve buried.

  29. CallighenMan says:

    McNuge93: Yes, that was a bad signing by the Canucks and they are going to regret it. He has done nothing since about midway last year. Hurricanes had a great playoff but he didn’t.

    but, but HH said it was a brilliant signing … you *must* be wrong!! LOL. what an asshat HH is

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