You can see it coming, although the Oilers don’t have 12 burners up front and haven’t acquired six elite outlet passers. The Chiarelli “size” Oilers are being replaced by a quicker, more skilled group in a realignment that will hopefully bring glory to the Edmonton NHL franchise.
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, less than two coffees a month offer here.
- New Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2017 draft and the value of waiting five years
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ AHL factory has produced three NHL defencemen, with more on the way
- Jonathan Willis: Andreas Athanasiou injured, Mike Green elevated in Oilers’ loss to Vegas
- Lowetide: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition might give the Oilers a scoring winger for McDavid cluster.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers salvage a point as newcomers settle in (and produce) with Connor McDavid
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Are Oilers poised for a long playoff run after Ken Holland’s deadline moves?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers trade deadline active, targeted and predictable
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition the most intriguing deadline move for Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Shrewd addition of Tyler Ennis gives the Oilers insurance, options up front
- Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid returns to the Oilers; now the task is to get him linemates
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers bolster blue line by acquiring Mike Green; Is a scoring winger next?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ European prospects offer interesting options for the future
- Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers forward depth chart for the summer
- Lowetide: For Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl, first impressions are long forgotten. Why not for Jesse Puljujarvi?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Stepping out and up, Leon Draisaitl puts himself in the Hart Trophy mix in Connor McDavid’s absence
- Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer
NHLE EURO FORWARDS
The interest surrounding Anton Slepyshev made be well founded, as the Russian winger is playing well in the KHL (54, 18-27-45). That works out to NHLE 54.9 and at 25 the big winger might be ready to have another shot at the NHL. Jesse Puljujarvi is also having an impact season in Europe, as he has posted 21-28-49 in 50 games (NHLE 36.3). Young center Maxim Denezhkin (50, 19-22-41) is playing well in the MHL, his NHLE (12.1) suggests the 19 year old may have a future.
NHLE EURO DEFENSE
RH Filip Berglund is a player I liked in his draft year (had him No. 61) and he’s had some ups and downs in Sweden over his career. His numbers this season (46, 5-13-18 and an NHLE of 19.1) makes his signing likely. LH Philip Broberg (39, 0-6-6 and an NHLE of 7.5) is about what you’d expect from a Swedish defender who doesn’t get power-play time. I’m impressed with his offense, it’s better than expected. Markus Niemelainen is a shutdown blue in the Liiga (51, 0-6-6 NHLE: 4.4) who might also sign.
Raphael Lavoie probably turns pro as a winger and my guess is he gets the Tyler Benson treatment as opposed to the Kirill Maksimov package. His QMJHL season (49, 32-40-72, 34.2 NHLE) suggests he is in the range with Benson in his final junior season (29.5 NHLE).
Tyler Benson made his NHL debut this month, and is now back in the AHL. His season (43, 9-27-36, NHLE 33.4) is slightly off compared to a year ago but the Condors aren’t as good a team this year. Ryan McLeod (52, 5-17-22 NHLE 16.9) is scoring at a higher level than I thought he would in year one pro. Kirill Maksimov (49, 5-8-13 NHLE: 10.6) is shy of what most of us expected. Speaking of struggle, Cooper Marody (30, 5-12-17 NHLE: 22.6) has battled injury and has been unable to push for NHL work this season.
RH Evan Bouchard (50, 7-26-33 NHLE 26.3) is the top prospect in the system and is NHL ready. LH Dmitri Samorukov (43, 2-7-9 NHLE 8.3) is a little under the radar but a quality prospect.
LINES AND PAIRS
Assuming Andreas Athanasiou is healthy enough to play, we should see more than one line shuffling tomorrow night. Zack Kassian draws in and that should bump a few people down the depth chart. Here’s how I think the lines and pairs might look Saturday against Winnipeg.
Andreas Athanasiou—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian. I think Ennis has been the better winger of the two new guys, but the second line needs a spark.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Leon Draisaitl—Tyler Ennis. The closest thing to Yamamoto this side of Yamamoto, this line has been a key element in recent weeks.
Josh Archibald—Riley Sheahan—Alex Chiasson. This trio hasn’t played much together but they’re all veterans and bring something to the trio. Where have you gone Joakim Nygard??
Jujhar Khaira—Gaetan Haas—Patrick Russell. Khaira has played well in a small sample with Haas.
Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear. Ideally both men have their TOI reduced by effective play of other pairs.
Caleb Jones—Mike Green. These two had good results together the other night, I’d like to see them again. Nice rookie/veteran combination,, could benefit Jones in a big way.
William Lagesson—Adam Larsson. Another rookie/veteran combination, I like this pairing because Lagesson can move the puck better than first thought upon arrival.
When everyone is healthy, I think Neal and Kassian may be forced into depth roles. AA-97-Ennis and Nuge-Leon-KY would seem to be the ideal power trios on the skill lines.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’s Friday, time to kick back and enjoy spring along with another giant snowfall. We get rolling at 10 this morning, TSN1260. We’ll invite Steve Lansky to make sense of the trade deadline and the race in the Pacific Division. Murat Ates from The Athletic will join us to preview Saturday night’s game and tell us why he asked Paul Maurice a question in Klingon the other day. Matt Iwanyk, who ironically speaks his own language, will pop in to talk Oilers and Tom Brady’s future. We may also have an NBA guest, depending on how I feel about the 76ers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. We’re mere minutes from the weekend!