A Developing Story

by Lowetide

Linus Omark was a pretty good comparable for Robert Nilsson who was a pretty good (and faster) comparable for Rob Schremp. The Edmonton Oilers employed all three at one point this century and didn’t get enough from any of them.

There are teams that view good prospects as a never ending resource and have no issue with trading out a developing piece for a shiny new solution. It’s a bad way to develop talent. The Oilers spent most of the first 20 years of this century representing the guy who meets a girl, falls in love, meets another girl, falls in love, and on it goes.

If an NHL team pays its scouts to uncover talent, watches the management group draft that talent, spends time, money and energy to develop that talent in the AHL, then for goodness sake the parent team’s coaching staff needs to see how things play out. It’s the right thing to do.

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.

Linus Omark photo by Rob Ferguson

I have some genuine hope for the young players who played for the Bakersfield Condors in 2019-20. I had real hope for the young players who played for the Oklahoma City Barons in 2010-11. There were some fine talents on that OKC team. Here are the even strength numbers for the team’s top prospects that season:

  1. LW Liam Reddox (24) 37, 12-12-24 [.649]
  2. RC Mark Arcobello (22) 26, 7-8-15 [.577]
  3. LW Linus Omark (23) 28, 9-6-15 [.536]
  4. LW Teemu Hartikainen (20) 66, 10-22-32 [.485]
  5. RW Colin McDonald (25) 80, 21-13-34 [.425]
  6. RC Ryan O’Marra (23) 53, 2-15-17 [.321]
  7. LC Milan Kytnar (21) 78, 12-11-23 [.295]
  8. RD Jeff Petry (22) 41, 4-7-11 [.268]
  9. LW Phil Cornet (20) 60, 6-10-16 [.267]
  10. LC Chris VandeVelde (23) 67, 9-4-13 [.194]
  11. LD Taylor Chorney (23) 46, 1-6-7 [.152]
  12. RD Alex Plante (21) 73, 2-9-11 [.151]

This group had several issues, including first overall selections passing them each training camp. There are some good hockey players here, but Jeff Petry is the only man who has delivered what we could call a substantial NHL career.

Omark wasn’t close to Taylor Hall in ability, Hartikainen was slow and the team could sign Jesse Joensuu as his replacement, and on it went. Here’s the thing, though: Even if Joensuu was an upgrade in year one, so what? He’s older and has a bad back. Edmonton wasn’t upgrading enough to make that switch worthwhile.

Why not find out what the outer marker is on your own player? I sat in amazement during the 2010’s as the Oilers, time and again, tried to hurry the process. Imperfect players can be useful, even in the NHL.

CONDORS EVEN STRENGTH 2019-20

  1. LW Joe Gambardella (25) 50, 13-11-24 [.480]
  2. RW Kailer Yamamoto (20) 23, 4-6-10 [.435]
  3. LW Tyler Benson (21) 47, 6-13-19 [.404]
  4. RC Cooper Marody (22) 30, 3-8-11 [.367]
  5. RD Evan Bouchard (20) 54, 3-16-19 [.352]
  6. LC Ryan McLeod (20) 56, 5-13-18 [.321]
  7. LD William Lagesson (23) 25, 3-5-8 [.320]
  8. RW Cam Hebig (22) 31, 3-4-7 [.226]
  9. RW Kirill Maksimov (20) 53, 4-7-11 [.208]
  10. LD Dmitri Samorukov (20) 47, 2-7-9 [.191]

The Oilers recent efforts to keep first-round picks out of the NHL have already paid dividends, as two men who played for the Condors have encouraging futures. The key will be getting more, from men like Benson and McLeod, allowing those players to develop, make mistakes and become productive NHL players. They are flawed, just like Omark and Hartikainen, but given time and opportunity, they could be part of the solution.

The day Edmonton signed Jesse Joensuu he was 25. His contract was $950,000 times two years. In those two years, he played in 62 games, scoring 5-4-9 and posting a five on five points per 60 of 0.66 and 0.62 in each season.

In Hartainen’s three cups of coffee, he played in 52 games, going 6-7-13. His five on five 60 per year was 1.07, 1.37 and 0.00 (in 194 minutes, that got him fired from the NHL). His cap hit was $875,000.

What would that look like on today’s team? Let’s use Tyler Benson as the Hartikainen character in the updated play. Both men had strong AHL debuts and both men have skating as a worry (Benson’s speed is better than Hartikainen’s so it isn’t a perfect match). If Ken Holland reached out today and signed Sven Andrighetto (he can’t, Andrighetto has another year on his KHL deal), that would be about the same as the Joensuu/Hartikainen maneuvre. Better players involved in the modern example but the premise is the same.

Ken Holland’s style in Detroit was a ‘grow your own’ approach and no doubt we’ll see it here in the years to come. The farm workers can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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hunter1909

Players like McLeod must prove themselves; not fans being obligated to say mealy mouthed crap so nice things are said for no good reason. Oilers have several returning players like Ethan Bear who arrived with zero fanfare and are now mainstays on the Yamamoto lol

hunter1909

PS: Omark and Yakupov need to write a book of shared experiences.

jp

Nice article LT.

Omari and Hartikainen remain very good KHL players today. Hopefully Holland breaks the cycle of throwing prospects out too early.

Interesting too who ended up making it from 2010-11. 2 guys who didn’t manage 0.2 per game found ways to play 166 and 278 NHL games when all was said in done. Tough to make a call on players too early.

hunter1909

PPS: Add the Swedish prospect Anton Lander – touted for over a year as: “future captain of the Oilers”.

Ben

I have sympathy for the tumbling dice/doom and gloom approach to prospects, but if you want satisfaction you’ll need to hold your wild horses and get off of McLeod. Time is on his side.

OriginalPouzar

Agggh, Robert Nilsson – what was it Nillson, Gagner and Cogs that were going to take the team to contender status.

Agggh, Robert Nilsson, what ever came of Ryan O’Mara – future captain?

OriginalPouzar

Does anyone have some “concern” or “anxiousness” with the change from Keith Gretzky and his group to Tyler Wright and his group vis-a-vis amateur procurement? I liked Gretzky’s work, in aggregate.

I’m fully on board with Archie Henderson and the pro scouting changes.

OriginalPouzar

Kurt Leavins says the potential of Jesse to the Rangers is heating back up.

It would be for Liam Andersson but Holland would demand the Ranger’s first (and throw in a mid prospect).

Kurt has been right on lots lately but I don’t see that happening (not with the 1st rounder – unless that prospect the Oilers are throwing in is Sammy or better).

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

RIP Fred Willard. Those early mockumentaries, like Best in Show, are hilarious.

OriginalPouzar

Omark and Hartikainan – two of the offensive leaders of UfA (with top offensive d-man, Phillip Larssen).

OriginalPouzar

LeBrun is reporting that the Return to Play Committee has been talking through the weekend and quite a bit of progress has been made between the NHL and the NHLPA on the 24-team format.

Talks will continue.

Seems like there is something building here.

Of course, with resumption of play 2 months away still, lots can happen and change.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Kurt Leavins says the potential of Jesse to the Rangers is heating back up.

It would be for Liam Andersson but Holland would demand the Ranger’s first (and throw in a mid prospect).

Kurt has been right on lots lately but I don’t see that happening (not with the 1st rounder – unless that prospect the Oilers are throwing in is Sammy or better).

Interesting. But agreed, it’s difficult to figure a prospect going back that would satisfy. Benson??

I would think Puljujarvi has more value than Andersson though FWIW.

buck yoakam

Ben,

Ha..very good son!

buck yoakam

Rickety Cricket,

did a pilot with Fred at allarcom (which was doing SCTV at the time)_…story about a late night show from the far north called the Chat Channel..we were the Paul Scaffer type band of northern weirdos…used to have a copy of this but alas taped a hockey game over it at some point!

Material Elvis

jp: Interesting. But agreed, it’s difficult to figure a prospect going back that would satisfy. Benson??

I would think Puljujarvi has more value than Andersson though FWIW.

JP > (A)Lias Andersson by a reasonable margin from my limited viewings of LA. The problem with LA (other than attitude) is his skating — very slow boots. He looks like a tweener.

godot10

Chicago and Montreal/Quebec are big hockey TV markets, so even if they don’t really deserve it, they should be in the the playoffs to enhance TV viewership.

Harpers Hair

godot10:
Chicago and Montreal/Quebec are big hockey TV markets, so even if they don’t really deserve it, they should be in the the playoffs to enhance TV viewership.

New York too.

Material Elvis

OriginalPouzar:
Does anyone have some “concern” or “anxiousness” with the change from Keith Gretzky and his group to Tyler Wright and his group vis-a-vis amateur procurement? I liked Gretzky’s work, in aggregate.

I’m fully on board with Archie Henderson and the pro scouting changes.

Wright seems old school and I prefer a more analytical approach to drafting so I am concerned about the change. An aside, in his radio interviews, Wright speaks exactly like Holland. He uses similar words and phrases, same pace, and the accent is also very similar. Young Holland.

Harpers Hair
jp

Material Elvis: JP > (A)Lias Andersson by a reasonable margin from my limited viewings of LA.The problem with LA (other than attitude) is his skating — very slow boots.He looks like a tweener.

I was going to say his boxcars show an Anton Lander type start to his career (66-3-6-9) so maybe that was more apt than I realize.

I was going to criticize his offense (or did already?) but the more I look there are encouraging signs. He’s really struggled in the NHL/AHL this past 2 seasons but he scored well on returning to Sweden this year. His draft +1 scoring in the SHL and AHL were quality for his age. Did well at the WJrs and made the WCh team (won the Gold) as well. That was 17-18.

Puljujarvi > Andersson is correct, pretty sure, but I’d be pretty damn happy with 1st (23rd) + Andersson for Puljujarvi + Benson/Samorukov or something like that. Interesting rumour for sure.

hunter1909

jp: Puljujarvi > Andersson is correct, pretty sure, but I’d be pretty damn happy with 1st (23rd) + Andersson for Puljujarvi + Benson/Samorukov or something like that.

The Chiarelli “can’t miss” approach when you toss your better players into the hat in return for lesser players then spin it to make everything sound positive.

Sadly for you, Ken Holland likes to win trades not “come out even” so your scenario isn’t happening.

Material Elvis

I watched the Oilers v Flames goalie fight game last night. The RNH/Drai/Yamo line put the boots to Calgary, which is always fun to watch. Yamo is a real catalyst on that line with this forechecking and anticipation. I thought that McDavid’s line could really use a similar player type and was wondering if Joe Gambardella would fit the bill? He doesn’t have the skill/hands to make the high end plays, but I think he could be disruptive and effective with Connor until they can find a more skilled version. Am I out to lunch with this line of thought?

Glovjuice

Ryan McLeod, notwithstanding a high end third line C arriving via trade, with be the Oilers 3C for 5-7 years starting in 21-22. He has it.

Harpers Hair
Glovjuice

Rickety Cricket:
RIP Fred Willard. Those early mockumentaries, like Best in Show, are hilarious.

Best in show is my pick for funniest movie ever.

jp

hunter1909: The Chiarelli “can’t miss” approach when you toss your better players into the hat in return for lesser players then spin it to make everything sound positive.

Sadly for you, Ken Holland likes to win trades not “come out even” so your scenario isn’t happening.

Heh. I’d have thought that pick #23 was the most valuable asset of the group. If Holland can convince the Rangers otherwise then good for him.

In terms of me being disappointed, this is among the best returns for Puljujarvi I’ve seen proposed, much less ones that have been reported as likely. What are you expecting Holland to get for Jesse?

buck yoakam

Glovjuice,

oh ya…and the folks that are serious into dog shows hated it!….I loved that and waiting for guffman

jp

hunter1909,

I’d also have sworn you’d have Jesse writing the forward to that Omark/Yakuov book you mentioned.

hunter1909

jp: What are you expecting Holland to get for Jesse?

I expect Holland to come out ahead in most of his deals.

jp

hunter1909: I expect Holland to come out ahead in most of his deals.

I’d have thought it clear I believe Holland would come out ahead on a Puljujarvi + ‘mid prospect’ for a 1st + Andersson trade. You seem to disagree.

Gerta Rauss

Rickety Cricket:
RIP Fred Willard. Those early mockumentaries, like Best in Show, are hilarious.

—Lindberg Air Force Base, Seattle , Washington—

Jeanine: Lieutenant Hookstrat….
Lt Hookstratten: Ahh…Hookstratten..and you are Spinal TARP?
Jeanine: I’m Jeanine Pettibone, and this is Spinal TAP.
Lt Hookstratten: Spinal TAP, my mistake, I’m Lieutenant Bob Hookstratten.
Welcome to the Lindberg Air Force base. This is your gentlemen’s
first visit to a military facility?
Derek: Yeah…
Lt Hookstratten:I would like to get the playing on about 1900 hours, if that
is satisfactory?
Derek: When will that be?
Lt Hookstratten: I make it now it is about 1830 hours.
Derek: So that’s what? about 50 hours?
David: 120 hours?
Lt Hookstratten: That’s actually about 30 minutes, about a half hour,
give or take just a few minutes. I don’t want to rush you.
The idea is that we get it on and we get it over with and
I have just one request, would you play a couple of slow numbers
so I can dance.

— Spinal Tap performs Sex Farm —

LoL
RIP Fred

hunter1909

jp: I’d have thought it clear I believe Holland would come out ahead on a Puljujarvi + ‘mid prospect’ for a 1st + Andersson trade. You seem to disagree.

You’re probably right. What you don’t factor for is the less than balanced opinions put forth by posters like myself. People with little reason to be reasonable.

defmn

hunter1909: You’re probably right. What you don’t factor for is the less than balanced opinions put forth by posters like myself. People with little reason to be reasonable.

Which, of course, raises the question of what reason would people have for having little reason to be reasonable? 😉

Halfwise

defmn: Which, of course, raises the question of what reason would people have for having little reason to be reasonable??

Your question seems more than reasonable!

I like your reasoning.

jp

hunter1909: You’re probably right. What you don’t factor for is the less than balanced opinions put forth by posters like myself. People with little reason to be reasonable.

It’s all good Hunter. We agree with our expectations for Ken Holland at least.

Bruce McCurdy

I fricken loved Best in Show.

hilarious

slopitch

Snowbird crashes in Kamloops. Stunning. Seems like the pilot might be ok though.

OriginalPouzar

hunter1909:
Players like McLeod must prove themselves; not fans being obligated to say mealy mouthed crap so nice things are said for no good reason. Oilers have several returning players like Ethan Bear who arrived with zero fanfare and are now mainstays on the Yamamoto lol

I have read this post now 6 times and still have no idea what its trying to say…..

A solid first year pro for McLeod – didn’t play center full time but did PK all year long and provided solid offence in a bottom six role with little PP time. His speed (and size) were evident every game that he played (well, that I watched).

If clear he needs more AHL time and, for me, the goal for McLeod next season is to be a full time center and a top 6 center for most of the year – I anticipate he’ll play 2C for most of the year – what “skill level of wingers” will be available is unknown at this point.

Munny

Let me get this straight…

Woodguy got a photo credit?

Mama Mamyia, I’m floored… Was it photoshopped woodshopped?

(lol. Congrats, Darcy).

Munny

Gerta Rauss: RIP Fred

Up in heaven dancing to the sweet sounds of Four Jacks and One Jill.

jp

OriginalPouzar:

If clear he needs more AHL time and, for me, the goal for McLeod next season is to be a full time center and a top 6 center for most of the year – I anticipate he’ll play 2C for most of the year – what “skill level of wingers” will be available is unknown at this point.

Just curious, do you think he’ll play ahead of one of Marody or Malone?

defmn

Lowetide:
He was so good on Fernwood Tonight. His character was Jerry Hubbard and he was the sidekick on a late night talk show. One snippet: “World War Two. You know, it’s funny, back then it was legal to kill a German, but boy if you kill one now all hell breaks loose.”

He and Martin Mull were outrageous together.

Dee Dee

My issue with Drafts is that there is a lot of Voodoo involved.

Did the player simply dominate his boy peers with superior Strength/Speed/Skills that will not translate to playing against grown men who are vastly more mature?

Are they coachable? Or did they just use their natural skills and in fact they don’t even want to change.

The biggest factor is luck, and avoiding injury. No one ever looks at injuries when evaluating past draft picks and “busts”.

ReDrafts are Double Voodoo. You get the Voodoo from the original draft compared to all the factors I mentioned (plus more) and then evaluate the Draftor based on whether or not their pick got hurt.

Jordan

If it were me, I wouldn’t be trading much in the way of future to the Rags. With the elite players they have, getting Jesse will likely be a really key piece on their first or second line. If it was me, I’d be looking to move some other pieces who are unlikely to sign here, but might have more interest in playing in New York.

I’d be looking at:

To Edmonton:
B Prospect + 1st Roudner

To New York Rangers:
Rights to Jesse Puljujdarvi; one of Anton Slepishev or Bogdan Yakimov; and one of Ostap Safin or Marcus Niemelainen

That 3rd line on the Rangers… it looks like the Oilers 3rd but worse…

Harpers Hair

defmn: He and Martin Mull were outrageous together.

Mull is a genius…still shows up in cameos from time to time.

Also an accomplished recording artist responsible for the legendary album Sex and Violins featuring “I Haven’t the Vegas Idea”.

Harpers Hair

Jordan:
If it were me, I wouldn’t be trading much in the way of future to the Rags.With the elite players they have, getting Jesse will likely be a really key piece on their first or second line.If it was me, I’d be looking to move some other pieces who are unlikely to sign here, but might have more interest in playing in New York.

I’d be looking at:

To Edmonton:
B Prospect + 1st Roudner

To New York Rangers:
Rights to Jesse Puljujdarvi; one of Anton Slepishev or Bogdan Yakimov; and one of Ostap Safin or Marcus Niemelainen

That 3rd line on the Rangers… it looks like the Oilers 3rd but worse…

So, in other words..a bunch of meh for a first round pick.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: Lias Anderson is an interesting prospect but JP has a better chance at a career imo. I don’t know if the gap is close to a first-round pick and am intrigued by the names regarded as mid prospects. Samorukov?

Ya, Sammy was the prospect that came to my mind – as I said, don’t see that Rangers giving up their 1st unless the prospect added to Jesse is Sammy level or better.

Not sure what type of trade value a guy like Sammy has across the league – I would reckon his potential value on the Oilers (potential) is greater than his trade value.

OriginalPouzar

Material Elvis: JP > (A)Lias Andersson by a reasonable margin from my limited viewings of LA.The problem with LA (other than attitude) is his skating — very slow boots.He looks like a tweener.

I would agree with that – the addition of the NYR first rounder turns the deal though and I query what level of prospect would be required to close – Sammy or better I would anticipate.