Ken Holland invested two second-round picks at the deadline in Andreas Athanasiou. I believe, in a real way, AA could be the replacement for Jesse Puljujarvi. What kind of player is Athanasiou?
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 Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
- Jonathan Willis: The 2020 NHL broadcast rankings: The best and worst markets to watch the games
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
- 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-Bowman: Connor 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
Athanasiou is a fast train, who is also skilled with size (6.02, 188). Per 82 games in the NHL, he has scored 23-19-42. He scored 30 goals in 2018-19, I tried to find a dominant five on five line but he was all over the place. He played 128 minutes with Luke Glendening and Darren Helm, going 44 percent shot differential and 5-7 goals. Spent 96 minutes with Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek, but shot differential (45 percent) and goals (3-5) were nothing special.
He scored 21 goals at five on five in a season where his most common center was Luke Glendening. What do we do with that? Does he need a righty center? Did we not get enough sample in those 9 games?
I wrote about Athanasiou and all of the Oilers free agents today at The Athletic. I look at the big winger as being a key item in observing Ken Holland’s team building over the summer. If AA is in fact (as I believe) the new JP, then trading Puljujarvi for picks gets the team back to something resembling a full arsenal of draft picks.
I think AA’s contract, dealing Puljujarvi for picks, and Ethan Bear’s deal will be the major internal roster stories of the club this summer.
CONDORS EVEN STRENGTH ON ICE GOAL DIFFERENTIAL (BLUE)
First, the overall numbers:
- Jake Kulevich 44 games, 26-21 (+5)
- William Lagesson 25 games, 25-23 (+2)
- Joel Persson 27 games, 24-26 (-2)
- Caleb Jones 14 games, 11-16 (-5)
- Dmitri Samorukov 47 games, 28-34 (-6)
- Keegan Lowe 56 games, 39-48 (-9)
- Evan Bouchard 54 games, 41-51 (-10)
- Brandon Manning 21 games, 9-24 (-15)
- Logan Day 48 games, 25-41 (-16)
Now, let’s run those numbers again from December 29 through the end of the season:
- Jake Kulevich 27 games, 15-12 (+3)
- Keegan Lowe 28 games, 25-23 (+2)
- Evan Bouchard 26 games, 22-22 (0)
- Joel Persson 15 games, 14-16 (-2)
- Dmitri Samorukov 21 games, 13-17 (-4)
- Logan Day 26 games, 13-21 (-8)
Evan Bouchard’s second half was a revelation and I do think the number one takeaway. I don’t know that Ken Holland will move out players to clear the way for him, but Bouchard is going to push his way to the NHL and right soon.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show starts at 10, TSN1260. We’ll be joined by Hailey Salvian from The Athletic to talk more COVID-19 positive tests among Senators players and staff, plus the 2020 draft (Ottawa has two very high picks). John Horn, our tennis insider, will talk Wimbledon canceled and where we go from here. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Talk soon!