Shapes of Things to Come

The Edmonton Oilers are working around the edges of next fall’s AHL roster, and perhaps soon will be making some decisions on the NHL 23 as well. It’s important to keep track of everyone and to find out about the newcomers.

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, check it out here.

  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
  • New Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
  • Lowetide: Will the Oilers rocket to Russia during free agency this summer
  • Lowetide: Will Oilers drafts be less reliant on the WHL under new management?
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanConnor McDavid on a ‘fair season’, working out and picking quarantine teammates
  • Lowetide: Dave Tippett deploys unproven talent expertly in first Oilers season
  • Lowetide, Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Oilers ABC: Picking the best players in franchise history, from Anderson to Zuke
  • Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers need to clear money with a buyout, they have one real option
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
  • Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season
  • Jonathan Willis: Does Filip Berglund’s new SHL contract mean he’s done with the Oilers?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evolution of a star: Why Leon Draisaitl was our Hart pick
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Which former Oiler has the best argument to have his jersey number retired?
  • Lowetide: Which Oilers veterans are in roster peril?
  • Jonathan Willis: How good is Anton Slepyshev and what will an NHL return mean for the Oilers?
  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ challenge could be finding relief with a low cap ceiling

Recent News

Philip Broberg is staying in Sweden for another year, the organization hoping he’ll get plenty of work in all three game disciplines. He’s young but has been cast in defensive roles over the last year, important that his offensive flair has a chance to breathe. One thing we’ll be paying close attention to this fall is those special team numbers in the SHL.

Liam Fowlkes signed an AHL deal last week, he’s a RW who played for Penn State. His NHLE is 20.7, and it was 29.4 in the previous season. I don’t know that he’ll follow in the footsteps of Mark Arcobello and Josh Currie (who signed AHL deals before getting NHL contracts in the seasons that followed) but he’s a skill player and will get a chance in Bakersfield.

Yesterday, the Condors signed two more men from American International College of the ACA (NCAA Div. 1). It’a weak division but AIC has been strong for a couple of seasons. Dave Forbes played there and moved on to the NHL, but that was 1973.

Blake Christenson is a forward, 24, and scored 16-31-47 in 41 games, Janis Jaks is a righty blue, also 24, and posted 33, 6-9-15 in 2019-20.

OILERS AND CONDORS DEPTH CHART

If we take these names and sign the RFA’s (*) assumed, the holes are there but not close to a year ago. Here’s what it might look like:

  • Athanasiou—McDavid—Kassian
  • Nuge—Draisaitl—Yamamoto
  • Nygard—(No. 3 center)—Archibald
  • Neal—Khaira—Anton Slepyshev
  • Extra F: Colby Cave, Patrick Russell
  • Nurse—Bear
  • Klefbom—Larsson
  • Jones—Bouchard
  • Extra D: Kris Russell
  • Koskinen (No. 2 goalie)
  • Traded: Chiasson, Benning

Edmonton could offload Athanasiou and sign or trade for another option on McDavid’s line, perhaps Tyler Ennis. I used Athanasiou because the assets spent indicate to me Ken Holland will sign the big, fast winger in the summer. I have Chiasson and Benning traded, it could be Larsson and Khaira instead. Now let’s see what the Condors might look like at this early stage:

  • Benson—Marody—Lavoie
  • Gambardella—McLeod—Maksimov
  • Kuffner—Malone(UFA)—Hebig
  • Safin—(No. 4 center)—Fowlkes
  • Christenson
  • Samorukov—Day
  • Lagesson—(Second Pairing RH)
  • (Third Pairing)
  • Jaks
  • Skinner—Wells—Rodrigue

Plenty of work today, suspect we’ll see some college signings and guys like Malone added, too.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show with a curveball this morning, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy joins us at 10:20 to talk Oilers season, Ken Holland and special teams. Jon Willis will join us tomorrow. Johnny Avello, director at Draftkings Sportsbook will pop in to give us a state of that industry and what might happen when sports returns. Marshall Ferguson from TSN1150 and CFL.ca will chat about the delayed start to the CFL season and what lies ahead. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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91 Responses to "Shapes of Things to Come"

  1. dustrock says:

    The most important news coming from the DNB interview with Howson is that Scott admits he reads LT’s Athletic stuff 😀

  2. Louis Levasseur says:

    It seems as if Riley Sheahan has gone from a must sign, similar to Archibald, to almost being an after-thought. His game did seem to slip the last 20 games or so. He seems like a dedicated, hard working guy, so I wonder if he was battling an injury.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    It seems as if Riley Sheahan has gone from a must sign, similar to Archibald, to almost being an after-thought. His game did seem to slip the last 20 games or so.He seems like a dedicated, hard working guy, so I wonder if he was battling an injury.

    I threw Khaira in over Sheahan, but the team could trade Khaira and sign Sheahan.

  4. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    The most important news coming from the DNB interview with Howson is that Scott admits he reads LT’s Athletic stuff 😀

    ah-HA! 🙂

  5. oilersjo says:

    Do you think the extra time off will help some of these young players such as Benson. Give them lots of time to work on skating etc.

  6. jp says:

    Thanks for the update LT. There definitely appear to be less holes today, and less important ones, than a year ago. Good to see.

  7. doritogrande says:

    Unless they’ve installed a climate controlled rink in their palatial backyard, nobody’s working on skating these days due to isolation.

  8. SkatinginSand says:

    Not if the rinks are closed.
    edit-What Doritogrande said. I’ve always liked Doritos.

  9. jp says:

    LT posted a few days ago about Oilers and The Second Round, quoting Cullen’s 28% chance of a 2nd rounder playing 100 games.

    DFMEN posted some numbers from more recent drafts and HH posted some links to more recent draft pick values.

    I had a little time last night and had a slightly more thorough look at 2nd rounder success rates in relatively recent drafts. I did it manually and initially looked at 100 and 200 game players from each round of 2016 back to 2007. Eyeballing it seemed that there seemed to be a drop in the number of players making 100/200 GP thresholds in drafts before 2014, so I included the data from 2007-2013 (7 draft years). I also didn’t remove goalies, so there’s a little bias in there. More players from these relatively recent drafts will reach 100/200 games too, so also some bias in the opposite direction.

    Here is the percent of picks, by round (2007-2013), that played 100 NHL and 200 NHL games as of today.

    Percent of picks playing 100+ games
    1st Rd – 77%
    2nd Rd – 40%
    3rd Rd – 29%
    4th Rd – 22%
    5th Rd -17%
    6th Rd – 16%
    7th Rd – 10%

    Percent of picks playing 200+ games
    1st Rd – 67%
    2nd Rd – 29%
    3rd Rd – 20%
    4th Rd – 15%
    5th Rd – 11%
    6th Rd – 10%
    7th Rd – 6%

    This is far from comprehensive but I think is a reasonably accurate update to the draft success numbers.

  10. Louis Levasseur says:

    What do you attribute to Sheahan’s drop in play? Maybe he’s too high in the lineup to bring it consistently. I thought he was starting to show some good skill with the puck mid-season, but then it dissapeared and he was making mistakes.

  11. Harpers Hair says:

    jp:
    LT posted a few days ago about Oilers and The Second Round, quoting Cullen’s 28% chance of a 2nd rounder playing 100 games.

    DFMEN posted some numbers from more recent drafts and HH posted some links to more recent draft pick values.

    I had a little time last night and had a slightly more thorough look at 2nd rounder success rates in relatively recent drafts. I did it manually and initially looked at 100 and 200 game players from each round of 2016 back to 2007. Eyeballing it seemed that there seemed to be a drop in the number of players making 100/200 GP thresholds in drafts before 2014, so I included the data from 2007-2013 (7 draft years). I also didn’t remove goalies, so there’s a little bias in there. More players from these relatively recent drafts will reach 100/200 games too, so also some bias in the opposite direction.

    Here is the percent of picks, by round (2007-2013), that played 100 NHL and 200 NHL games as of today.

    Percent of picks playing 100+ games
    1st Rd – 77%
    2nd Rd – 40%
    3rd Rd – 29%
    4th Rd – 22%
    5th Rd -17%
    6th Rd – 16%
    7th Rd – 10%

    Percent of picks playing 200+ games
    1st Rd – 67%
    2nd Rd – 29%
    3rd Rd – 20%
    4th Rd – 15%
    5th Rd – 11%
    6th Rd – 10%
    7th Rd – 6%

    This is far from comprehensive but I think is a reasonably accurate update to the draft success numbers.

    My general impression when looking back at the numbers is that second round picks are having more success than was true when Cullen provided his numbers.

    There are a few things that I expect are affecting that.

    There are more jobs in the NHL than previously via expansion thus players that might not have otherwise met the threshold do now.

    One would think that would mean player quality has declined but it’s probably not true.

    With advances in scouting, training, sports medicine and nutrition, I believe there is a much larger pool of quality prospects.

    We now hear, over and over, that Junior age players are much better prepared for pro hockey because they have been molded from a much younger age than was previously the case.

    And, of course, with changes to the way the game is now played, smaller players have an enhanced opportunity to become NHL players.

  12. mountain dude says:

    I liked Bear as much as the next guy, but wondering if we’re expecting too much thinking he can repeat this season next year? Same goes for Jones. As LT always says, defense don’t progress in straight lines.
    What does the math tell us about the sustainability of these 2 young D? I’d be hesitant to let Benning go and expect all of Bear, Jones, and Bouchard to be counted on night in and night out.
    Thoughts anyone?

  13. Oil2Oilers says:

    Lowetide: ah-HA! 🙂

    This finally puts to bed any question of LT being a draft and prospect expert. He is a sited source of a NHl development professional that is about to take over running the primary development league.

    Not that this is surprising to any of us around here that have long valued your wisdom, but well done good Sir well done.

  14. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair,

    I thinks it’s the quick change in game style that’s had caused this. The Ricki D have very quickly needed replacement and so did the slower forwards and poorer passers. We will achieve a new equilibrium soon.

  15. defmn says:

    The mostly successful expansion of the game into the United States has created a much larger pool of prospects than there once was so guys from Canada or Sweden that were once first rounders are now competing with a pretty significant development programme that is just starting to hit its stride.

  16. defmn says:

    These numbers pretty much match the ones I ran but didn’t post here although I took 2010 as my starting point. I also looked at the % of players who broke the threshold of 100 games from the 4th round to the 7th dividing them between the CHL and ‘others’.

    It’s a little murky but I think there is something to be said for abandoning the CHL as a league from which to harvest players after the 3rd round since it has been pretty much picked over by then.

  17. New Improved Darkness says:

    It’s official. Iceland is run from some secret volcanic lair by a syphilitic monkey with advanced dactylitis.

    Eyjafjallajökull

    That’s 90% indistinguishable from when I mash the keyboard to create a guaranteed unique temporary filename.

    Home row: jafjallajkll
    Top row: eyou
    Bottom row: bzbcx

    [*] “bzbcx” is “bupkis” typed through a security grate with a chopstick lashed to another chopstick with a kelp splint that’s still barely long enough to reach any keys at all. Paul Sheldon might have managed to peck out an electronic plea for help before Misery Chastain broke his ankles if only he had ordered out for sushi sooner than he did. Misery had an actual word processor with a 300 baud modem locked in a Shasta trailer out back, but kept that funny louvered window open—the kind with the 4″-wide parallel glass slats and the funny little crank inside—to clear the air after she smoked a spiff wearing three sweaters and a pair of thick snowmobile mittens; there were several practical obstacles to her screenplay progressing as she had once hoped it would.

  18. Harpers Hair says:

    defmn:
    The mostly successful expansion of the game into the United States has created a much larger pool of prospects than there once was so guys from Canada or Sweden that were once first rounders are now competing with a pretty significant development programme that is just starting to hit its stride.

    Another major factor IMO is the huge leaps the US development model has taken.

    For example, 15 of the first 62 picks in the 2019 draft were from the USHL.

    Some of that success may be cyclical but I expect it is a long term trend.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think that’s 3 college UFAs that Holland has added on AHL contracts – I think this is a great strategy – add some “older” skill/talent to the Condors without taking up any spots on the 50.

  20. Halfwise says:

    I really like your insights into the likely reasons for the numbers and how they’ve changed.

    And your comment above about the CHL being picked over after two or three rounds makes me appreciate the work of people who keep current with the different NHLe factors for each league.

    Thank you DEFMN.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not close enough to know what Skelfeeta’s defensive depth will look like next year but Broberg’s 14 min/game, on a very deep team that often dressed 7 d-men, was a good start.

    We know that at least one d-man won’t be back (Berglund) – that opens up some PP time but, more than anything, I look for Broberg to start playing top 4 5 on 5 minutes by mid-season and PK1 – hopefully some PP2 but one thing at a time.

    I sure hope the World Juniors happen as scheduled because I think he’ll play a starring role for Team Sweden.

  22. New Improved Darkness says:

    Dactylitis

    Dactylitis or sausage digit is inflammation of an entire digit (a finger or toe), and can be painful.

    Things you never saw in your dead-tree Britannica: an official gloss for “sausage digit”.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of course, if a valuable asset return is out there, sure, Holland could and would move Anastathiou but, of course, it seems like a highly unlikely scenario.

    Yes, AA was a bit under-whelming in his 9 games post-deadline but the key phrases there are “9 games” and “post-deadline”.

    Holland gave up some assets for this player, not only for this year’s “run” but for the future, at least the next few years. This isn’t a player unknown to Holland – he knows him well and his 9 games post-deadline will not change his plan vis-a-vis this player.

    I anticipate AA struggled with going from a team that was one of the worst of the generation, essentially playing out the season, and then, boom, plastered in to an intense race with a coach that demands structure and responsibility. Not to mention he was hurt in his first/second game.

    I anticipate a full summer with his head as an Oiler followed by a full training camp with Tip and his staff, learning the systems/structure and what Tip/Gully require on a shift by shift basis will help this player have a better season.

    Not to mention, Tip himself getting to know the player and how to get through to him and how to deploy him – that’s what Tip does best!

  24. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    There is too much talent there to be bailing on AA after only nine games, he is a potential 30 goal scorer. As you suggest, a summer of training under Oiler supervision, and a training camp are all he needs to become a top six player.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Just a fantastic interview by Nugent-Bowman with Scott Howson posted at The Athletic.

    I had posted a tidbit from a Holland interview yesterday that, while Broberg will spend another year at Skelfeeta, they want to see him at camp.

    From the Nugent-Bowman/Howson piece, it seems the player himself, Broberg, really wants to come to camp and see where he is against NHL players.

    Love it.

    ———–

    Another thing from the Howson interview is the player to keep an eye on is Kesserling – I loved reading that as I think this guy is a sleeper to be a really solid broad skill guy in a few years once he’s matured and developed.

  26. Rickety Cricket says:

    Dude, good players show themselves early. This Kesserling is no Brogan Rafferty.

  27. Harpers Hair says:

    Rickety Cricket:
    Dude, good players show themselves early. This Kesserling is no Brogan Rafferty.

    Kesselring played on the same team at Northeastern as Canucks prospect Tyler. Madden.

    The third round pick in the 2018 draft picked up 19 goals and 37 points in 27 games played.

  28. Rickety Cricket says:

    Err you mean LA Kings prospect?

  29. New Improved Darkness says:

    IHME COVID-19 Projections

    Because of how this model is fit to a sigmoid with a flat-top ass-end by decree, don’t trust anything much beyond two or three weeks.

    Without checking every last state, the best fit for Quebec’s present situation is Illinois. Select “Illinois” from the control and take a look. Based on today’s numbers, Quebec is tracking roughly two days behind on quick surmise.

    Quebec has 66% as much population as Illinois (which implemented similar controls) so scale all the numbers to 2/3. Those extra two days will also blunt the peak a bit. Very roughly, we’re looking at 40–50 deaths/day peaking around April 16.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    NHL has extended mandatory team isolation period to April 15.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Kesselring played on the same team at Northeastern as Canucks prospect Tyler. Madden.

    The third round pick in the 2018 draft picked up 19 goals and 37 points in 27 games played.

    Yes, and the point is what in relation to a 19-20 year old rookie pro d-man that the organization plans on having play on college for like 3 more years?

  32. Rickety Cricket says:

    The point is Kesselring sucks. Madden is a way better Canuck Dman.

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, and the point is what in relation to a 19-20 year old rookie pro d-man that the organization plans on having play on college for like 3 more years?

    Not sure why you would call a 20 year old a 19-20 year old…he’s 20.

    If he plays 3 more seasons in the NCAA he will be about the same age as Rafferty.

    Perhaps he will be as good, perhaps not.

    In his 20 year old season at Quinnipac, Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Will be interesting to see if Kesslering can match or exceed that.

  34. pts2pndr says:

    I am not sure how inline skating would translate but I do know that cross overs are far more critical when you are on wheels. Using the combination of that plus drag chutes would I think improve both strength of stride and footwork.

  35. N64 says:

    So hard to compare when “confirmed” and “tested” and “testing” and “as of” mean such different things in each area. Epidemiologists have to identify what each of those means in each place before they can even start comparing.

    e.g. last week “confirmed” in Quebec *excluded* positives backlogged in central testing whereas this week cases are confirmed by the original lab. Meanwhile in Ontario central testing backlog exceed 10K so “as of” involves time travel. Per capita testing, testing backlogs, recent changes in test levels due to supply shortages, and current testing targets all matter as well. High positive test rates suggest mostly reporting symptomatic cases and little surveillance for community transmission.

    Current Alberta context would include:
    * high per capita testing before this week mostly on travelers and contacts, but including hospital testing and respiratory surveillance network
    * currently conserving reagent awaiting resupply, decreasing testing of travelers and increasing surveillance efforts i.e. fewer tests, fewer cases but an increase in reporting community transmission

    UPDATE: Alberta received the reagent order. And should be back to 3000+ tests per week vs. the ~ 2500 last week.

    @NateSilver538
    Charts showing the number of deaths are likely useful on balance, even though deaths may be underreported or misreported. But charts showing the number of detected *cases*? No, not without a *lot* of context, when epidemiologists say reporting varies by 20x across countries.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: Not sure why you would call a 20 year old a 19-20 year old…he’s 20.

    If he plays 3 more seasons in the NCAA he will be about the same age as Rafferty.

    Perhaps he will be as good, perhaps not.

    In his 20 year old season at Quinnipac, Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Will be interesting to see if Kesslering can match or exceed that.

    He could get his masters and start his doctorate and be younger than Bogdan Flaherty. Although he will always be an inch shorter and 8 lbs lighter

  37. pts2pndr says:

    I think we could safely say that with the cap teams are making a greater effort to assure proper development of their drafted players.

  38. Munny says:

    defmn: It’s a little murky but I think there is something to be said for abandoning the CHL as a league from which to harvest players after the 3rd round since it has been pretty much picked over by then.

    This is handy knowledge.

  39. pts2pndr says:

    I believe the Oilers will sign a veteran UFA D d for the seven slot as cover.

  40. Munny says:

    Yup, this is why Germany’s numbers look so good to date.

  41. Harpers Hair says:

    Craig Button
    @CraigJButton
    ·
    2m
    Some top end players in 2019 draft. Give it time. I think #2020NHLDraft is very deep with quality, well into the 2nd round & even into 3rd. Top line forwards,
    Top pair defensemen, 2nd line forwards, scorers & 2nd pair defensemen as well as a #1 Goalie. I define that as quality.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    It seems as if Riley Sheahan has gone from a must sign, similar to Archibald, to almost being an after-thought. His game did seem to slip the last 20 games or so.He seems like a dedicated, hard working guy, so I wonder if he was battling an injury.

    His PK was rock solid until the end but, yes, I would agree that his 5 on 5 play did indeed slip a bit.

    I’m not sure it was a function of injury but more a function of playing above his pay-grade and established abilities catching up with him (and even causing him to be a bit “run down”).

    Sheahan is a rock solid NHL 4C but, for almost the entire season, he was asked to play 3C – he did an admirable job punching above his established abilities.

    As far as next season, taking aside the external acquisition of at 3C, I see two of Haas, Sheahan, Khaira filling the 4C and extra center slots.

    Khaira is younger and signed and should be back. Out of the two unsigned UFAs, well, I’m not so sure that Haas is an NHL player and, while faster than Sheahan, he doesn’t PK (at least hasn’t at the NHL level).

  43. jp says:

    defmn:
    These numbers pretty much match the ones I ran but didn’t post here although I took 2010 as my starting point. I also looked at the % of players who broke the threshold of 100 games from the 4th round to the 7th dividing them between the CHL and ‘others’.

    It’s a little murky but I think there is something to be said for abandoning the CHL as a league from which to harvest players after the 3rd round since it has been pretty much picked over by then.

    Munny: This is handy knowledge.

    I’d agree there’s something to this as well. I also noticed more of the late round successes (home runs) were coming from Europe.

  44. jp says:

    Lowetide: ah-HA!

    That is pretty cool.

  45. PennersPancakes says:

    With the Canucks not having picks in the first two rounds for this draft (do they qualify as making the playoffs and meeting the conditions?) whats the general idea for Benning?

    What plays are expected, if any, for him to get picks back in the draft?

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach T says Nygard and Green are healthy and ready to go if/when the season resumes (as per Nugent Bowman).

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    City of Toronto bans all public events until June 30.

  48. Justthestatsman says:

    Wait a minute… I thought it was 25 lbs lighter?

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    At the point, I look forward to officially cancelling the rest of the 2019/20 season and playoff and getting on with an off-season with the plan (hope) to start the season on time.

    Lets the players association and the board of governors figure out the cap situation for 2020/20 and the escrow, etc., set dates for QOs, the draft (electronic) the start of free agency and training camps.

    Lets focus on 2020/21 and getting the off-season going with a view to great new season.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    mountain dude:
    I liked Bear as much as the next guy, but wondering if we’re expecting too much thinking he can repeatthis season next year?Same goes for Jones.As LT always says, defense don’t progress in straight lines.
    What does the math tell us about the sustainability of these 2 young D?I’d be hesitant to let Benning go and expect all of Bear, Jones, and Bouchard to be counted on night in and night out.
    Thoughts anyone?

    There are some that opine that Benning should be traded to open up a spot for Bouchard while there are others (more I think) that opine that, if Benning or Larsson are traded (to recoup a 2nd and/or a scoring forward) then a veteran depth D of some ilk needs to be brought in – that is to ensure that Bouchard is pencilled in as 4RD.

    Not the Bouchard isn’t likely ready but that, if he truly is, he will earn/win that spot in short order and there is no need to open up a spot for him – depth, competition and injury cover are indeed important.

    It is indeed reasonable to wonder if Bear will repeat, regress or improve. He very well could go through a sophomore slump but there also reasons to think he could be better – natural progression at his age (22 not even close to the prime for a d-man), won’t be his first time experiencing the full rigors of an NHL season, he may have some help in the top 4 (that is, he played top 4 minutes right off the bat and many as 1RD with a rookie/AHL player as 2RD, etc.).

  51. Harpers Hair says:

    PennersPancakes:
    With the Canucks not having picks in the first two rounds for this draft (do they qualify as making the playoffs and meeting the conditions?) whats the general idea for Benning?

    What plays are expected, if any, for him to get picks back in the draft?

    Haven’t heard a thing about that but I expect they might move Jake Virtanen and/or Troy Stetcher..

    Both are arbitration eligible RFAs who might catch a draft pick although certainly not a first.

    Benning seems focused on NCAA free agents and has already signed Marc Michaelis and says he’s close on another.

    It appears Nikita Tryamkin will return from the KHL and of course they got JT Miller and Tyler Toffoli for those picks…two forwards who help right away.

  52. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: There are some that opine that Benning should be traded to open up a spot for Bouchard while there are others (more I think) that opine that, if Benning or Larsson are traded (to recoup a 2nd and/or a scoring forward) then a veteran depth D of some ilk needs to be brought in – that is to ensure that Bouchard is pencilled in as 4RD.

    Not the Bouchard isn’t likely ready but that, if he truly is, he will earn/win that spot in short order and there is no need to open up a spot for him – depth, competition and injury cover are indeed important.

    It is indeed reasonable to wonder if Bear will repeat, regress or improve. He very well could go through a sophomore slump but there also reasons to think he could be better – natural progression at his age (22 not even close to the prime for a d-man), won’t be his first time experiencing the full rigors of an NHL season, he may have some help in the top 4 (that is, he played top 4 minutes right off the bat and many as 1RD with a rookie/AHL player as 2RD, etc.).

    My guess is one of Benning/Russell gets traded and whoever is left is the veteran cover for Bouchard and Jones.
    My money is on Benning being traded because he has no trade protection and a lower salary.
    If both players are moved, then I could see Holland signing a veteran, like Green.

  53. N64 says:

    “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.” – Dr. F

    Best thing both parties could do in April is to work on a very flexible framework for the next CBA. Prior to May they’ll not be able to forecast well, but the elements they’ll need to work out for the next CBA might help them be more flexible about next year.

  54. New Improved Darkness says:

    My mind is elsewhere, so after it percolated up, I gave it all of five fifteen minutes.

    ———

    We don’t need no ventilation
    We don’t need no breath control
    No dark SARS chasm in the classroom
    Teachers weave them kids a gown
    Hey, teachers, weave them kids a gown
    All in all it’s just another crick in the stall
    All in all we’re just another crick in the stall

    [Outro]

    “Throng, do it again! Throng, do it again!”
    “If you don’t come to meet, you can’t have any canoodling
    How can you have any canoodling if you don’t come to meet?”
    “Adieu, you two behind the bike shed—tanned & chill—Galahadis!”
    *Children smooching*
    *Phone beeping sound*

    PSA walks on by.

    ———

    Meanwhile, not in Neverland:

    If you see me walking down the street
    And I start to cry each time we meet
    Walk on by, walk on by

    Make believe
    That you don’t see the tears
    Just let me breath
    In private ’cause each time I see you
    I break down and cry
    And walk on by (don’t stop)
    And walk on by (don’t stop)
    And walk on by

  55. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Not sure why you would call a 20 year old a 19-20 year old…he’s 20.

    If he plays 3 more seasons in the NCAA he will be about the same age as Rafferty.

    Perhaps he will be as good, perhaps not.

    In his 20 year old season at Quinnipac, Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Will be interesting to see if Kesslering can match or exceed that.

    Rafferty is 24 yr 10 mo old right now. He turned 21 4 months before he played a college hockey game. At age 20 Rafferty played in the USHL and scored 28 points.

    Kesselring turned 20 on January 13th. He’s 20 yrs 2.5 mo old. He played in the USHL last season, aged 18/19 and scored 34 points. He’s now played a full year of college hockey, and has 4+ years to catch up to Rafferty. We’ll see, but he appears ahead of Rafferty at this point by boxcars/league.

  56. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Rafferty is 24 yr 10 mo old right now. He turned 21 4 months before he played a college hockey game. At age 20 Rafferty played in the USHL and scored 28 points.

    Kesselring turned 20 on January 13th. He’s 20 yrs 2.5 mo old. He played in the USHL last season, aged 18/19 and scored 34 points. He’s now played a full year of college hockey, and has 4+ years to catch up to Rafferty. We’ll see, but he appears ahead of Rafferty at this point by boxcars/league.

    Pretty much what I said.

    Some players make a jump to the next level…many don’t.

  57. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Pretty much what I said.

    Haha, solid.

  58. Harpers Hair says:

    N64:
    “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.” – Dr. F

    Best thing both parties could do in April is to work on a very flexible framework for the next CBA. Prior to May they’ll not be able to forecast well, but the elements they’ll need to work out for the next CBA might help them be more flexible about next year.

    That seems to be what’s occurring.

    In a Pierre LeBrun piece at the Athletic today, an un-named but prominent players agent weighed in on how this might play out.

    https://theathletic.com/1712134/2020/03/31/lebrun-how-the-nhl-and-nhlpa-could-approach-labour-talks-from-a-long-term-view/

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Another major factor IMO is the huge leaps the US development model has taken.

    For example, 15 of the first 62 picks in the 2019 draft were from the USHL.

    Some of that success may be cyclical but I expect it is a long term trend.

    I agree with this – the magnitude of the USHL/USDP and it being a feeder to the college has seen a massive uptick in higher end talent – at least anecdotally to me.

    While the top end players generally don’t spend too many post-draft years in college, the ability to hold off on signing for 3-4 years post-draft, while they play college, leading to later-aged ELCs is likely a factor with the 2nd/3rd tier players.

    Lets not forget, a CHL drafted player needs to be signed within 2 years or his rights lost (either back in the draft or a UFA depending on age).

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rickety Cricket:
    Dude, good players show themselves early. This Kesserling is no Brogan Rafferty.

    You mean the Rafferty who is a soon to be 25 year old player with 2 NHL games that is making Sketcher and Tanev expendable and who, in his 19/20 year old season was playing for
    Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL and then in the USHL the next year while Kesserling is playing college hockey at that age?

  61. N64 says:

    Yes. They were sending up good smoke signals before the plague. The uncertainty next year will require a lot of short term give and take and it’s easier to bury cost and framework in a larger package that has upsides not just downsides.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Not sure why you would call a 20 year old a 19-20 year old…he’s 20.

    If he plays 3 more seasons in the NCAA he will be about the same age as Rafferty.

    Perhaps he will be as good, perhaps not.

    In his 20 year old season at Quinnipac, Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Will be interesting to see if Kesslering can match or exceed that.

    19/20 was used because Kesserling was 19 for most of this past season – he was 19 and playing college hockey.

    When Rafferty was 19 he was playing for Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL.

    When Rafferty was 20, he was not playing for Qunnipac, he was playing for the Bloomington Thunder of the USHL.

    Rafferty didn’t start playing college until he was 21. Kesserling was playing college at 19, he turned 20 this year.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: My guess is one of Benning/Russell gets traded and whoever is left is the veteran cover for Bouchard and Jones.
    My money is on Benning being traded because he has no trade protection and a lower salary.
    If both players are moved, then I could see Holland signing a veteran,like Green.

    I think most are proceeding on the assumption that Kris Russell is not on the roster next year. I know I am.

    This may be an assumption that is proven wrong in particular in light of what is happening but I am proceeding with the assumption.

    In that regard, a trade of Benning would be in addition to Rusty being disposed of.

    If Rusty does stay and then I agree he can be the veteran cover but hopefully he can be disposed of and cheaper cover brought in.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Pretty much what I said.

    Some players make a jump to the next level…many don’t.

    I’m sorry but that isn’t what you said at all and now you are refusing to acknowledge the incorrect information that you posted.

    You posted what Rafferty did as a 21 year old as if he was 20 and asked if Kesserling will get there this year. It would actually be the 2021/22 season for Kesserling that would equate.

    Kesserling was 19 this past season – at 19 Rafferty wasn’t even in college, shit, he wasn’t even in the USHL.

  65. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: It is indeed reasonable to wonder if Bear will repeat, regress or improve. He very well could go through a sophomore slump but there also reasons to think he could be better – natural progression at his age (22 not even close to the prime for a d-man),

    OP said:

    “It is indeed reasonable to wonder if Bear will repeat, regress or improve. He very well could go through a sophomore slump but there also reasons to think he could be better – natural progression at his age (22 not even close to the prime for a d-man),”

    Since 22 is not even close to prime for a D man, you would think 24 going on 25 would be right in the Goldilocks zone.

    How old is Brogan Rafferty again?

    Is he on an ELC?…why yes he is for one more season.

    Imagine that?

    In fact…Ethan Bear, who by your standards is not in his prime, needs to get paid next season.

  66. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m sorry but that isn’t what you said at all and now you are refusing to acknowledge the incorrect information that you posted.

    You posted what Rafferty did as a 21 year old as if he was 20 and asked if Kesserling will get there this year. It would actually be the 2021/22 season for Kesserling that would equate.

    Kesserling was 19 this past season – at 19 Rafferty wasn’t even in college, shit, he wasn’t even in the USHL.

    Not at all what I said.

    You seem to think age is the only way to judge a prospect…well it isn’t.

    How well a player will perform against similar competition trumps that every time.

    In his first NCAA season…Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Kesselring scored 5 points in 35 games.

    I would imagine if Rafferty had gone to college a year sooner he would have easily surpassed those numbers.

    So let’s give Mikey a break and see how he performs in his second NCAA season.

    If he surpasses 24 points, I would think you’re on to something.

  67. duct tape and foil says:

    Harperʻs hair in on 20/77 posts today. LT needs to buy him an extra beer for doing his job generating traffic so well today.

  68. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think most are proceeding on the assumption that Kris Russell is not on the roster next year. I know I am.

    This may be an assumption that is proven wrong in particular in light of what is happening but I am proceeding with the assumption.

    In that regard, a trade of Benning would be in addition to Rusty being disposed of.

    If Rusty does stay and then I agree he can be the veteran cover but hopefully he can be disposed of and cheaper cover brought in.

    You know what happens when you assume, don’t you?
    Think I’ll just watch and see how it plays out.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lots of talk recently about next year’s cap and how much it might potentially drop and compliance buyouts – of course all speculation but that’s all we can do right now.

    LeBrun is the man on this stuff and I encourage all to read his piece today:

    https://theathletic.com/1712134/2020/03/31/lebrun-how-the-nhl-and-nhlpa-could-approach-labour-talks-from-a-long-term-view/?source=twittered

    I think there will be a highly negotiated nuanced “solution” – LeBrun paraphrased the thought of one anonymous agent which is includes setting next year’s cap in the context of a new CBA.

    The potential to set the cap at $81.5M or maybe even higher but not just for next year but the next 6 years with escrow set at say 10%. That would give time for the owners to get back the $500M they are owned from this season (half the projected $1B loss in revenue) with the players not giving a whack of money back and without a huge cut to the cap that simply doesn’t work.

    Interesting stuff.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ooop, I see HH posted the LeBrun piece link earlier – missed that, sorry.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: OP said:

    “It is indeed reasonable to wonder if Bear will repeat, regress or improve. He very well could go through a sophomore slump but there also reasons to think he could be better – natural progression at his age (22 not even close to the prime for a d-man),”

    Since 22 is not even close to prime for a D man, you would think 24 going on 25 would be right in the Goldilocks zone.

    How old is Brogan Rafferty again?

    Is he on an ELC?…why yes he is for one more season.

    Imagine that?

    In fact…Ethan Bear, who by your standards is not in his prime, needs to get paid next season.

    Ethan Bear is an established NHL top 4 right shot d-man at 22 years of age.

    Brogan Rafferty is a 25 year old AHL d-man.

    What are we comparing here?

  72. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lots of talk recently about next year’s cap and how much it might potentially drop and compliance buyouts – of course all speculation but that’s all we can do right now.

    LeBrun is the man on this stuff and I encourage all to read his piece today:

    https://theathletic.com/1712134/2020/03/31/lebrun-how-the-nhl-and-nhlpa-could-approach-labour-talks-from-a-long-term-view/?source=twittered

    I think there will be a highly negotiated nuanced “solution” – LeBrun paraphrased the thought of one anonymous agent which is includes setting next year’s cap in the context of a new CBA.

    The potential to set the cap at $81.5M or maybe even higher but not just for next year but the next 6 years with escrow set at say 10%. That would give time for the owners to get back the $500M they are owned from this season (half the projected $1B loss in revenue) with the players not giving a whack of money back and without a huge cut to the cap that simply doesn’t work.

    Interesting stuff.

    Not far off from what I suggested yesterday might happen when our host speculated about a $60 mil cap. Spread the dip over time while keeping the cap at a steady number until everybody has been made whole.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Not at all what I said.

    You seem to think age is the only way to judge a prospect…well it isn’t.

    How well a player will perform against similar competition trumps that every time.

    In his first NCAA season…Rafferty scored 24 points in 40 games.

    Kesselring scored 5 points in 35 games.

    I would imagine if Rafferty had gone to college a year sooner he would have easily surpassed those numbers.

    So let’s give Mikey a break and see how he performs in his second NCAA season.

    If he surpasses 24 points, I would think you’re on to something.

    Nope, age isn’t everything when discussing prospects be it is indeed a massive factor.

    Not understanding that is how one can come to the conclusion that Raffery is more valuable than Bouchard – not even Rafferty’s mom would agree with that.

    What Rafferty did in college at 21 has zero beneficial comparison value to what Kesaerling did in college at 19.

  74. SkatinginSand says:

    For high level athletes, the closer a skill is without being the same, the more the negative effects. It does not hurt an NHL player to play volleyball or lacrosse, but inline skating, being close to ice skating but with subtle differences, is considered to actually cause negative muscle memory.

  75. SkatinginSand says:

    With a population roughly 10x larger than Canada’s and youth programs showing up in non-traditional markets, (e.g.Mathews from Arizona) the U.S is going to continue to be a major player in player development. In addition, the National Development Program is pumping out prospects at an amazing rate. Canada has no comparable program and any attempt to establish one would be a non-starter because of the effect on major junior hockey.

  76. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Nope, age isn’t everything when discussing prospects be it is indeed a massive factor.

    Not understanding that is how one can come to the conclusion that Raffery is more valuable than Bouchard – not even Rafferty’s mom would agree with that.

    What Rafferty did in college at 21 has zero beneficial comparison value to what Kesaerling did in college at 19.

    20.

    Get over it.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lots of good Oiler content in the NHLPA Player Poll released this morning:

    https://www.nhlpa.com/player-poll/2019-20

    Best Forward: McDavid 68% (Crosby 2nd at 14%)

    One Player to Win One Game: Still Crosby at 44% (McDavid 2nd at 30%)

    Any Past or Present Player they’d Pay to see: McDavid, a current player, finishes 3rd at 8% – crazy recognition for a current player. Gretz first.

    Rogers’ Place with the best visitor’s dressing room – 38%

    Rogers’ Place with the 2nd Best ice (2nd to the Bell Center)

  78. pts2pndr says:

    You did mean to use past tense on Toffoli who is UFA. He was a rental and while an initial good investment he will go to the highest bidder July 1st. Also comparing a small right shot forward to a good skating 6.4 right shot D with offensive potential by using points is comparing apples to oranges. Keselring was a 6th round draft choice not a third round draft choice you were comparing him to. You are better than that.

  79. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Thanks for posting the link, it was an interesting diversion for a few minutes.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: 20.

    Get over it.

    Yup, he turned 20 in January – for most of the season he was 19.

    Hence why I initially referenced it his 19/20 year old season.

    Of course, you speak of what Rafferty did “as a 20 year old in college” when he didn’t even play a college game until he was 21.

    At least my information is accurate and not made up.

  81. defmn says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lots of good Oiler content in the NHLPA Player Poll released this morning:

    https://www.nhlpa.com/player-poll/2019-20

    Best Forward: McDavid 68% (Crosby 2nd at 14%)

    One Player to Win One Game: Still Crosby at 44% (McDavid 2nd at 30%)

    Any Past or Present Player they’d Pay to see: McDavid, a current player, finishes 3rd at 8% – crazy recognition for a current player.Gretz first.

    Rogers’ Place with the best visitor’s dressing room – 38%

    Rogers’ Place with the 2nd Best ice (2nd to the Bell Center)

    My thanks as well. Always fun to read. I think you missed Bobby or Mario, though. Connor 4th.

  82. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Memorable players/teams that I saw live that were special memories:

    1) Lafleur (when he was with the Nordiques, and I was at uni in Quebec City
    2) The Whole Canada Cup Team at Copps Coliseum (and the KLM line for USSR), when in high-school in Hamilton
    3) Bure (man was he electric with the puck)
    4) Jagr
    5) Tiger WIllimas when he scored a goal and rode his hockey stick
    6) The U23 team coached by McL: vs Sweden: best hockey game I’ve ever seen
    7) Those Oiler Dynasty teams

    – Players /Teams I wished I saw live:

    1) Habs dynasty Teams (any/all of them)
    2) Bobby Orr
    3) Gordie Howe

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Just getting to LT’s piece at The Athletic from earlier today – Drai at 1.55 P/G – my goodness.

  84. unca miltie says:

    I saw Lafleur live in the forum in the 70’s. I am not a habs fan but he was incredible. quite surprised at how physical he was. saw Jagr as a rookie, saw and met Mr. Hockey.
    Thrills all.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    In addition to Drai at 1.55 PG, we have McDavid actually beating a 1.49 P/G projection and Nuge over 0.9 P/G after an absolutely horrendous offensive start to the season playing injured.

    These guys…

  86. Munny says:

    I had to look it up… but I could have sworn there was a German officer named Kesselring on Hogan’s Heroes.

    It took a lot of scrolling but near the bottom of the cast list for the entire series, there he be, Field Marshal Kesselring, 1 episode. One.

    Now how the fuck can I remember such a minor character from a long forgotten TV show I watched eons ago as a kid, but I can’t remember stuff I looked up last week?

    In this case, I think it was the “Field Marshal” that did it. Pretty sure it was the first time I had ever heard the term. Probably sent me scrambling for an encyclopedia. *doesthatoutrankageneral?*

  87. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Kesselring is now 6’6″ as per his comments at Development Camp.

  88. €√¥£€^$ says:

    I met Guy LaFleur in Afghanistan is 2005, he was with a contingent of Canadian celebs (Rick Mercer, Catriona Le May.Doan and Daniel Igali). He must’ve been in his early 50’s (54- just checked) and he looked younger than his age, very fit and the size of his biceps absolutely shocked me. I thought he was a skinny guy.

    Then the next morning he played ball hockey with us and he playfully “took out” the biggest guy on the court, through the makeshift boards we had set up. The man was a physical specimen.

    But I have to admit, Catriona was the visitor I enjoyed seeing there the most by far. I was at a very small camp, so I wasn’t a stalker or anything, lol. She & the camp Dr, a lovely lady as well, hung out together including running laps around the camp every night (I think they stayed 3 nights). Their visit was definitely the highlight of that Tour for me.

  89. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    In addition to Drai at 1.55 PG, we have McDavid actually beating a 1.49 P/G projection and Nuge over 0.9 P/G after an absolutely horrendous offensive start to the season playing injured.

    These guys…

    Draisaitl’s 23 GWP is my favorite stat that points to Hart trophy. 37 wins. He had a GWP on over 62% of the teams wins. The next most was Pastrnak’s 20GWP of 44 wins or 45%.

  90. jp says:

    That’s incredible, wow.

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