Here Comes the Sun 2020

This is my final list for the 2020 draft. It is 125 names deep and this has been a most unusual draft season. It’s my opinion this is an ideal draft for the Edmonton Oilers, owing to a plethora of forwards. Here we go.

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.

I use NHLE as a strong guiding light. I also use scouting reports from trusted sources and publications. I punish poor foot speed liberally. My list list rewards offense heavily, and players with a range of skills usually do well, but there is a fine line between a two-way player and a minor-league future. That’s the biggest difference between my 2013 list and this one: Offense is king.

If you play significant minutes on the No. 3 line during your draft year, that’s a factor. The list does not give high numbers to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game. Why? The checkers of tomorrow are hammering junior goalies into submission. Speed and skill, with astute decision making, is rewarded lavishly.

Goalies are graded (almost exclusively) by save percentage, success over more than one season has terrific value.

Corey Pronman has been an education for years now, his final list is hereScott Wheeler is a unique voice, his final list is out today and here. His use of video and description of each player are welcome now and will be vital on draft day. We’ll talk to him on the Lowdown at 10:40 Edmonton time this morning.

Craig Button’s list has high value for me, I like the fact he has the courage of his convictions. I pay attention to Red Line Report. Steve Kournianos provides mountains of useful information. I value McKeens, Grant McCagg, Tom Hunter, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren, ISS. I miss Simon Boisvert but he does appear in McCagg’s Recrutes with a fantastic top 30.

I do have conversations with scouts in junior hockey and they are very helpful. This year’s list has less outside input, probably related to the vague timeline for the draft.

Hockey Prospect.com is a brilliant reference. Mark Edwards release last year has been very useful for this year’s draft. Highly recommended. If there’s one publication I would suggest purchasing, it would be Edwards.

I have been following the NHL draft since 1971, so can blame politics, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and Phil Russell for this obsession. Each year has a wrinkle, this year’s it’s an enormous crop of fascinating forwards. Very few burners, several miles of ridiculous offensive centers and wingers. Let’s go.

The 125 best players in the 2020 draft

  1. (1) L Alexis Lafreniere, QMJHL. NHL ready, fleet scorer who plays with an edge.
  2. (2) LC Quinton Byfield, OHL. August 2002, 6.04, 215. Big, powerful winger, excellent speed.
  3. (3) LC Tim Stutzle, DEL. Dynamic player, highlight reel offense. Tremendous skater.
  4. (4) LC Marco Rossi, OHL. Good speed, exciting, range of skills. Exceptional talent.
  5. (5) RHD Jamie Drysdale, OHL. Great speed, passing and instincts, instant offense from the blue.
  6. (6) LC Cole Perfetti, OHL. Outstanding talent, not as fast as top forwards, has tremendous skill.
  7. (7) RW Alexander Holtz, SHL. First-shot scorer with a range of skills, he’s an electric player.
  8. (8) LW Lucas Raymond, SHL. Smart player who has ridiculous skill. March 2002. Fine skater.
  9. (9) RW Jack Quinn OHL. Impressive offensive winger was a late breaker. Pure goal scorer.
  10. (10) RW Dawson Mercer, QMJHL. Impressive player who is both scorer and playmaker.
  11. (11) RC Mavrik Bourque, QMJHL. Creative center, great passer, great shot. Plays in tough areas.
  12. (12) LC Connor Zary, WHL. Quick, smart two-way center effective across 200 feet. 
  13. (15) LD Jake Sanderson, USHL. Smart, fast two-way defenseman has complete skill set.
  14. (13) LC Anton Lundell, Liiga. Complete skill set, average speed but improving.
  15. (16) RC Seth Jarvis, WHL.  Jarvis is a fantastic player, undersized and skilled. Big second half.
  16. (14) RW Noel Gunler, SHL. Has a great release and an impressive resume. Attractive option.
  17. (23) G Yaroslav Askarov, VHL. He plays an unusual style. June 2002, has a .923 VHL save percentage.
  18. (18) RC Jacob Perreault, OHL. Skates well, great shot, great numbers, excellent passer.
  19. (20) LC Jan Mysak, OHL. Skilled and is effective in all areas. Major move in second half.
  20. (26) LD Kaiden Guhle, WHL. Big defenseman has good foot speed and full skill set.
  21. (17) LD Jérémie Poirier, QMJHL. Smart offensive defender, puck transporter.
  22. (19) RD Braden Schneider, WHL. Fine skater, physical, smart two-way defenseman.
  23. (22) LW Lukas Reichel, DEL. Mid-season riser. He has skill, speed and plays with abandon.
  24. (25) LW Rodion Amirov, KHL. Scouts love the tools. A fast train in a draft season with slow boats.
  25. (27) LW Dylan Holloway, Big 10. Big power forward. Strong skater, nice range of skills.
  26. (29) LW Ridly Greig, WHL. Smart offensive winger with good instincts, August 2002. Not a burner.
  27. (24) RC Tyson Foerster, OHL. Great offensive weapon, quick release and accurate.
  28. (21) LC Hendrix Lapierre, QMJHL. Skill center projects as a playmaker. Injury a worry.
  29. (28) RHD Justin Barron, QMJHL. Mobile blue can defend. Lacks top-end offensive ability.
  30. (34) LW John-Jason Peterka, DEL. A speedy winger with skill, survived in a men’s league.
  31. (37) LW Martin Chromiak, OHL. One of the most skilled players in the draft.
  32. (44) LW Brendan Brisson, USHL. Undersized speedster spiked late. Big riser.
  33. (33) LD William Wallinder, Superelite. Big (6.04, 195) 2-way defenseman with good speed.
  34. (31) LW Jake Neighbours WHL He’s skilled, gritty and plays a strong two-way game.
  35. (42) RW Zion Nybeck, SuperElite. Undersized playmaker, great passer. Impressive speed.
  36. (30) RC Jean-Luc Foudy, OHL. Speedy center plus skill, mediocre season.
  37. (36) LD Emil Andrae, SuperElite. Fast defenseman with offensive potential. Plus passer.
  38. (38) LC Ty Smilanic, USHL. Lean center, plus skater and pure scorer. Had mono.
  39. (39) LC Vasili Ponomaryov, QMJHL. Great hands and good speed, he’s a little under the radar
  40. (35) RW Ozzy Wiesblatt, WHL. Undersized winger is aggressive, fast and skilled.
  41. (41) RW Sam Colangelo, USHL. Big power winger with skill, scored 28 goals in 44 games.
  42. (32) RW Luke Evangelista, OHL. Skill winger, great passer, plays in all disciplines.
  43. (51) RD Helge Grans, SHL. Solid two-way defenseman with good size and speed.
  44. (45) RW Connor McClennon, WHL. Numbers are solid to excellent. Undersized, range of skills.
  45. (47) RC Jack Finley, WHL. An August 2002 and a big pivot, he plays a fairly complete game.
  46. (52) RW Kasper Simontaival, Liiga. Unusual skating style but he’s quick and has high-end skill.
  47. (49) RC Justin Sourdif, WHL. Two-way winger gained notice at the Hlinka, solid season.
  48. (56) LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. Undersized winger, fills the net with pucks.
  49. (73) RW Pavel Novak, WHL. Speedster with skill, he’s a scorer.
  50. (48) LW Sean Farrell, USHL. A good skater with plus skills, spiked offensively.
  51. (55) LW Daniel Torgersson, SuperElite. He has size and good speed.
  52. (53) LC Thomas Bordeleau, USHL. Owns a great shot and is highly skilled with the puck.
  53. (84) RC Tyler Tullio, OHL. Small playmaking pivot. Good passer, great shot.
  54. (75) RW Ryan Francis, QMJHL. Playmaking winger who plays a smart game.
  55. (64) RC Theodor Niederbach, SuperElite. Skill center is a late breaker this draft.
  56. (63) LW Carter Savoie AJHL. Small, fleet skill winger delivered 99 points in 54 games.
  57. (40) LD Ryan O’Rourke, OHL. Good size (6.02, 181) projects as a top-four defenseman.
  58. (76) LW Brett Berard. Small skill winger with good hands.
  59. (46) RW Daniil Gushchin, USHL. Small, speedy playmaking forward. Good numbers.
  60. (74) LW Oskar Magnusson, SuperElite. Smaller winger good speed and two-way acumen.
  61. (50) RC Jaromir Pytlik, OHL. He’s a fine skater and has two-way skills.
  62. (62) RD William Villeneuve, QMJHL. Tall, thin two-way blue spiked offensively.
  63. (72) LW Owen Pederson, WHL. Pederson scored 28 goals in 61 games.
  64. (68) LC Marat Khusnutdinov, MHL. Small (5.09, 165) two-way center with great wheels.
  65. (54) LW Will Cuylle, OHL. Has a great shot, plus size and skill. Smart winger.
  66. (66) LD Lukas Cormier, QMJHL. Undersized skill defender with good speed and skill.
  67. (69) RD Michael Benning, AJHL. Impressive skills (fine skater, excellent passer).
  68. (79) RW Brandon Coe, OHL. Power forward scored 25 goals in the OHL this season.
  69. (55) LC Roni Hirvonen, Liiga. Undersized two-way playmaker can play center or wing.
  70. (57) LW Luke Tuch, USHL. Alex Tuch’s brother, he plays a similar style with less offense.
  71. (85) RC Tristan Robins, WHL. Impressive numbers, he is very skilled and doesn’t get much attention.
  72. (82) LD Yan Kuznetsov NCAA. He’s 6.03, 201, 18 and regarded as a solid defender.
  73. (60) LC Antonio Stranges, OHL Terrific speed and skill, disappointing season.
  74. (58) RW Alexander Pashin, MHL. Small winger with impressive skill can score and pass.
  75. (59) RW Dylan Peterson, USHL. Big winger with skill and speed, he was shy offensively this season.
  76. (61) RD Topi Niemela, Liiga. Niemela skates well, playing in Liiga. Some chaos.
  77. (71) LD Shakir Mukhamadullin, KHL. He’s 6.04, 178 and raw. Good speed, talent.
  78. (65) LW Roby Jarventie, Mestis. He’s an August 2002 and a nice size and speed combination.
  79. (70) LD Eemil Viro Sm-Liiga. Small, fast offensive defender, no dominant skill.
  80. (77) G Calle Clang, SHL. Good size, a .913 SP and stellar work at the Hlinka.
  81. (87) LW Kyle Crnkovic, WHL. Small (5.07) doubled his point total season over season.
  82. (78) LC Elliot Ekmark, SuperElite. High skill, elusive, great speed, undersized.
  83. (89) RW Wiljami Myllylä, Jr Sm-Liiga. Speed demon, gaudy scoring numbers for days.
  84. (88) LC Theo Rochette, QMJHL. Undersized two-way center, intriguing offense.
  85. (80) RD Luke Prokop, WHL. A giant (6.04, 218) able to close gaps and suppress offense.
  86. (81) LD Tyler Kleven, USHL. A big shutdown defenseman (6.04, 201) with good speed.
  87. (83) G Sam Hlavaj, QMJHL. Boasts a .915 save percentage and stands 6.04, 218.
  88. (67) G Nico Daws, OHL. .924 save percentage represents a big performance spike.
  89. (87) LC Daniel Ljungman, SuperElite. Emerged from nowhere at the Hlinka Gretzky. Great release.
  90. (83) G Joel Blomquist, Jr Liiga. Strong numbers (.929), good glove.
  91. (91) LC Cameron Berg, USHL. Good speed and skill.
  92. (92) G Dylan Garand, WHL. Eye popping SP (.921) for June 2002, but he’s only 6.0.
  93. (93) RC Zayde Wisdom, OHL. Pure scorer, strong season, wheels are the concern.
  94. (NR) LW Emil Heineman, SHL. Older prospect, good size and speed.
  95. (94) LD Daemon Hunt, WHL. Will earn his money as a shutdown defenseman.
  96. (95) LW Pavel Gogolev, OHL. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.
  97. (96) LC Juuso Mäenpää, Jr Liiga. Very small but highly skilled playmaker.
  98. (97) LW Maxim Groshev, KHL. Skilled and determined with the puck on his stick.
  99. (98) RD Kasper Puutio, WHL. Good Hlinka and then a strong late push after being dealt.
  100. (99) LW Cross Hanas, WHL. Speedy winger scored 22 goals in Portland.
  101. (100) LC Evan Vierling OHL. Playmaking center spiked late. Excellent passer.
  102. LW Yevgeni Oksentyuk, OHL. Impressive season for Feb. 2001, under the radar skill W.
  103. RD Alex Cotton, WHL. Big defenseman with a great shot, overager.
  104. LD Anton Johannesson, SuperElite. Small puck mover is a wizard, could be a steal.
  105. RD Billy Constantinou, OHL. Chaos blue made my list last year, worth a late flier.
  106. G Brett Brochu, OHL. Under the radar goalie who delivered a .919 SP as a rookie.
  107. RC Josh Pillar, WHL. Fast player, spiked offensively, could be underrated here.
  108. LW Blake Biondi, USHS. High skill, great speed.
  109. RC Colby Ambrosio, USHL. Speedster, very skilled, I love his resume. Just 5.08, he’s a bullet.
  110. LW James Hardie, OHL. Volume shooter, 34 goals, one dimensional.
  111. RD Thimo Nickl, QMJHL. Strong skater, two-way blue, December 2001.
  112. RD Eamon Powell, USHL. Impressive skater can move the puck effectively
  113. LD Donovan Sebrango, OHL. Two-way defender, excellent skater.
  114. LD Dave Ma, USHL. Tremendous skater and very creative.
  115. LW Rory Kerins, OHL. 30 goals for an April 2002 is worth drafting.
  116. LD Mitch Miller, USHL. Fine skater, has two-way skills.
  117. RW Oliver Suni, OHL. Strong winger with range of skills.
  118. G Devon Levi, CCHL. Impressive .941 SP.
  119. LC Michal Gut, WHL. Skill center, average speed, August 2002.
  120. LW Eric Juhlin, SuperElite. Good shot, solid performance (13 goals in 36 games) at even strength.
  121. RD Ian Moore, USHS. Massachusetts offensive defenseman.
  122. LW Maxim Beryozkin, MHL. Size, speed, skill, shot. Average speed is the worry.
  123. LHD Alexander Nikishin, KHL. Good skater, plus shot, he’s a throwback who hits to hurt.
  124. G Drew Commesso, USHL. Good size, thrived wherever he played in 2019-20. Big step forward.
  125. RD Ethan Edwards, Spruce Grove, AJHL. Impressive speed and skill puck mover.

OILERS MOCK DRAFT!

I added a second round pick via Ottawa, let’s say it’s a deal that involves Jesse Puljuarvi.

No. 20 overall. LC Connor Zary, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). He’s a center, six foot 180, September 2001. Makes smart plays, great passer, offensive spike this season far more than expected. Not fancy, lets the puck do the work with deft passing. Red Line likes his skating, Pronman says he’ll be pro average. That’s good enough for me. I would prefer either Mercer or Bourque but they’ll be gone at 20.

No. 50 overall (assumed acquisition). LD William Wallinder, Modo (SuperElite). Big Swedish defenseman with great wheels, my guess is Edmonton has him high on their list. Offensive potential but I’d phrase him as a two-way type. I’ll bet Wallinder goes 22-40 overall but he could fall if things break right.

No. 82 overall. RC Jack Finley, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). He’s a big center with skill and a good skater, too. Some question about what position he’ll play at the pro level and it’s a bit of a boom or bust but the payoff on the bet is huge.

No. 144 overall. LW Veeti Miettinen, Espoo (Jr Liiga). Undersized scorer with a great shot. Again, fabulous value at this spot.

No. 175 overall. LW Oskar Magnusson, Malmo (SuperElite). Fine prospect brings speed and a great shot. Undersized, always a theme of my mock drafts.

No. 206 overall. LW Kyle Crnkovic, Saskatoon (WHL). The parade of small forwards with skill continues to the bitter end.

PROJECTED PROSPECT DEPTH CHART AND NHLE

Oilers have themselves at a point where drafting best player available has to be abandoned. This draft needs to deliver quality forwards. Fortunately, I see this draft as top heavy in forwards.

The numbers suggest there isn’t much difference year over year: My first round this summer has one goalie, six defensemen and 24 forwards. A year ago it was no goalies, nine defenseman and 22 forwards.

My entire 125 list contains 9 goalies, 32 defensemen and 84 forwards. My list last year contained 6 goalies, 39 defensemen and 80 forwards.

I see my mock as something close to ideal. Two centers, three wingers and a blue. I don’t see this as a fabulous crop for goalies although the kid from the OHL is intriguing.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running on another week of fun sports chat on TSN1260. Hernan Salas from TSN1260 will join us to talk about another outstanding goal by Alphonso Davies this weekend, plus the return of the EPL in the middle of this month. Scott Wheeler from The Athletic will discuss his final top 100 for the 2020 draft just out today. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 pops in at 11 to chat NHL news, MLB’s sputtering carcass and whatever breaks between now and then.

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136 Responses to "Here Comes the Sun 2020"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Thank you for all your hard work on this Al – appreciated.

    Abandoning BPA in the first round and drafting by need – well, from much of what I’ve read and heard over the last few months, this is a year where the two are likely to align – a first round with a great depth of high skilled productive forwards.

    If the Oilers do draft where they are currently slotted, at 20, they should get the BPA and a high skill forward with a history of high end pre-draft production!

  2. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Always love these posts. Such a fabulous reference. Really appreciate your passion for the draft and being willing to do the leg work for those of us who are interested, but more so on a casual level.

    One question: is JP on the prospect chart to show the upper range for NHLe in the system? Just wondering because you mention he gets traded to OTT for the second round pick.

  3. Brantford Boy says:

    One of my favorite posts of the year (if not the favorite)… thanks LT for having the courage of your convictions… liberally using math, other sources and probably a little gut feel too…

    I’ve seen Connor Zary on a few lists now… and you obviously have him rated higher than Seth Jarvis which is a little surprising. I know a few people here are high on Jarvis, and for good reason, just curious why you like Zary over Jarvis. Do you see him as a replacement “type” for the Nuge now that he’s a winger and possibly gone as a UFA?

    Any chance you have a gut feel for when Lukas Reichel goes overall? Think he’d be a great target in a JP trade.

    Thanks again for the post LT! Always enjoyable… cheers!

  4. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    71. (85) RC Tristan Robins, WHL. Impressive numbers, he is very skilled and doesn’t get much attention.

    Is this the young man that a poster here was enthused about last year? Jaxon, perhaps?

  5. rocket says:

    Question for Alan: if, per chance, the goalie Yaroslav Askarov falls to number 20 do the Oilers draft him? Totally realize the Oilers need to stock up on forwards, however is this goalie too good to pass on? thank you

  6. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    90. (95) LW Pavel Gogolev, OHL. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.

    94. (NR) LW Emil Heineman, SHL. Older prospect, good size and speed.

    Guys like these… Worth a depth pick due to extra development time, or more like a draft re-entry for a reason?

  7. ArmchairGM says:

    Excellent list, fantastic resource. Thank you for putting the work in. I know it’s a labour of love, but it’s still a lot of hours spent, so thank you!

  8. ArmchairGM says:

    64. (68) LC Marat Khusnutdinov, MHL. Small (5.09, 165) two-way center with great wheels.

    This guy is going to go high in a re-draft 5 years from now, book it. People look back and wonder how teams missed guys like Kucherov and Pastrnak and Aho so badly; I feel this young man is such a specimen.

    Second round steal. Go get us a pick, Kenny!

  9. €√¥£€^$ says:

    For the first time since I’ve been coming here (11 years) I can finally say that I am very well-informed about the players on this list. I would be extremely happy with this haul; you have 2 of my favourites in this entire Draft in Finley and Miettinen.

    Zary doesn’t really have that”wow” factor, but he is a very solid pick. In many ways he reminds of Nuge, just an extremely dependable, all-situations player.

    Wallinder is also a very safe pick, I would be disappointed if they pick a Dman here, but I expect they will pick a defender in this Draft, but hopefully not until the 5th Round or later.

    Solid list!

  10. €√¥£€^$ says:

    ArmchairGM:
    64. (68) LC Marat Khusnutdinov, MHL. Small (5.09, 165) two-way center with great wheels.

    This guy is going to go high in a re-draft 5 years from now, book it. People look back and wonder how teams missed guys like Kucherov and Pastrnak and Aho so badly; I feel this young man is such a specimen.

    Second round steal. Go get us a pick, Kenny!

    I am very high on this player as well. I doubt he gets out of the 2nd round.

  11. ArmchairGM says:

    Names I like for the Oilers 1st round pick:

    Seth Jarvis
    Dylan Holloway
    Lucas Reichel
    Marat Khusnutdinov (likely available in the 2nd round if Holland can get a pick)

    You can probably tell the player-type I like: guys with skill, great skating, excellent compete level and penchant for driving the net.

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    €√¥£€^$: I am very high on this player as well.I doubt he gets out of the 2nd round.

    Correct, which is why Holland needs to acquire another pick.

  13. Elgin R says:

    Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick. Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft. Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    Teams should draft with a combination of BPA and position. RC and RHD are the hardest players to procure due to the smaller talent pool. Both these positions are lacking in the Oilers system.

    Assuming Bouchard plays in the NHL next year – either from the start or as a mid-year call up – that leaves Berglund and Day in the AHL!

    Josh Currie (good article at The Athletic) and Cooper Marody are the RCs for the Condors and can both be described as tweeners. They are good in the AHL, but so was Anton Lander et al.

    Good wingers are not expensive to aquire (2 x 2nd round for AA, Zack for Bishop).

    Bottom line is draft the best center (preferably RC) or RHD (no LHD required) or winger available at #20 in that order. Holding out hope for Seth Jarvis (WHL – RC) or Braden Schneider (WHL – RHD).

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    71. (85) RC Tristan Robins, WHL. Impressive numbers, he is very skilled and doesn’t get much attention.

    Is this the young man that a poster here was enthused about last year? Jaxon, perhaps?

    Reminds me of Brayden Point. Quite WHL player with minimum fanfare. Turns out to be a steal in 2014 draft. Yes being on the right team like the Lightening will help.

  15. Darth Tu says:

    “(35) RW Ozzy Wiesblatt, WHL. Undersized winger is aggressive, fast and skilled.”

    Aggressive and fast, his name is Ozzy. Surely it’s a shooty-in for his goal song to be Crazy Train?

  16. defmn says:

    “I have been following the NHL draft since 1971, so can blame politics, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and Phil Russell for this obsession.”

    I went to high school with Phil. Got kicked out of English 30 with him and another guy whose name has receded in the memory bank.

    I played hockey with him ever so briefly in Grade 11 phys.ed. There was a rink in the field outside Harry Ainlay. He wasn’t particularly quick on his feet so guys would go wide on him. But only until he caught you once. He hit like a truck.

    Thanks for all your work on the draft. It really is appreciated and looked forward to. On draft day yours is the list I will be comparing the picks to and have for years.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Brantford Boy:

    I’ve seen Connor Zary on a few lists now… and you obviously have him rated higher than Seth Jarvis which is a little surprising.I know a few people here are high on Jarvis, and for good reason, just curious why you like Zary over Jarvis. Do you see him as a replacement “type” for the Nuge now that he’s a winger and possibly gone as a UFA?

    I think Jarvis is more likely to land on the wing than Zary. He is also a transporter (more than say Kailer Yamamoto) and is a smaller player so that has my spider senses up. Jarvis would be a brilliant get though, no question.

  18. Lowetide says:

    defmn:
    “I have been following the NHL draft since 1971, so can blame politics, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and Phil Russell for this obsession.”

    I went to high school with Phil. Got kicked out of English 30 with him and another guy whose name has receded in the memory bank.

    I played hockey with him ever so briefly in Grade 11 phys.ed. There was a rink in the field outside Harry Ainlay. He wasn’t particularly quick on his feet so guys would go wide on him. But only until he caught you once. He hit like a truck.

    Thanks for all your work on the draft. It really is appreciated and looked forward to. On draft day yours is the list I will be comparing the picks to and have for years.

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  19. pts2pndr says:

    Elgin R:
    Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick.Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft.Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    Teams should draft with a combination of BPA and position.RC and RHD are the hardest players to procure due to the smaller talent pool.Both these positions are lacking in the Oilers system.

    Assuming Bouchard plays in the NHL next year – either from the start or as a mid-year call up – that leaves Berglund and Day in the AHL!

    Josh Currie (good article at The Athletic) and Cooper Marody are the RCs for the Condors and can both be described as tweeners.They are good in the AHL, but so was Anton Lander et al.

    Good wingers are not expensive to aquire (2 x 2nd round for AA, Zack for Bishop).

    Bottom line is draft the best center (preferably RC) or RHD (no LHD required) or winger available at #20 in that order.Holding out hope for Seth Jarvis (WHL – RC) or Braden Schneider (WHL – RHD).

    Kesselring in college good size mobile right D also in the system. While I agree that the two positions with greatest difficulty drafting due numbers are right centre and right D I believe that Oiler team priority should be right center, left center, and another forward for the first three picks.

  20. ArmchairGM says:

    Off topic, but I’ve been looking at some stats related to offensive impact of former Hart winners to see how Draisaitl’s season stacks up. This is important due to the wording of the award, which is given to the “player judged most valuable to his team” rather than the top scoring player in the league.

    One easy stat to look at is the player’s offensive involvement, basically taking the players point total and dividing it into the team’s total offense. Like this:

    Draisaitl had 110 points, Edmonton had 223 goals: Draisaitl was involved in 49.3% of Edmonton’s offense.

    Other Hart candidates show much less involvement, in other words they had greater offensive support from their teams.
    Panarin: 95 / 233 = 40.8%
    Eichel: 78 / 193 = 40.4%
    MacKinnon: 93 / 236 = 39.4%

    Past winners:
    2019 – Kucherov: 40.1% *
    2018 – Hall: 38.3%
    2017 – McDavid: 41.2% *
    2016 – Kane: 45.3% *
    2014 – Crosby: 43.0% *
    2013 – Ovechkin: 38.4%
    2012 – Malkin: 39.9% *
    2011 – Perry: 41.7%
    2010 – Sedin: 41.8% *
    2009 – Ovechkin: 41.0%
    2008 – Ovechkin: 47.1% *
    2007 – Crosby: 44.9% *
    2006 – Thornton: 43.9% *
    2004 – St. Louis: 38.4% *
    2003 – Forsberg: 42.2% *
    2001 – Sakic: 43.7%
    1999 – Jagr: 52.5% *
    1996 – Lemieux: 44.5%
    1995 – Lindros: 46.7%
    1994 – Federov: 33.7%
    1993 – Lemieux: 43.5% * (missed 22 games!)
    1992 – Messier: 33.3%
    1991 – Hull: 42.3%
    1990 – Messier: 41.0%
    1989 – Gretzky: 44.7% (Lemieux * at 57.3% got snubbed)
    1988 – Lemieux: 52.7% *
    1987 – Gretzky: 49.2% *
    1986 – Gretzky: 50.5% *
    1985 – Gretzky: 51.9% *
    1984 – Gretzky: 46.0% *
    1983 – Gretzky: 46.2% *
    1982 – Gretzky: 50.8% *
    1981 – Gretzky: 50.0% *
    1980 – Gretzky: 45.5%

    * denotes the player also won the Art Ross.

    My key takeaways:
    – Draisaitl had an impact on the team’s offense like nobody else has had in 20 years.
    – only 3 players in the past 40 years have had greater contribution to team offense: Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr.
    – Lemieux got snubbed bigtime in 89, when he was clearly the most deserving of the Hart.
    – it must be a Pittsburgh thing because Jagr constantly put that team on his back a decade later and only won 1 Hart, despite 5 Art Ross winning seasons, including 4 in a row from 97-98 to 00-01.
    – I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.
    – Messier’s Hart in 92 was based entirely on reputation rather than merit. He finished 6th in the scoring race that year, 24 points behind Art Ross winner Mario Lemieux who played 15 fewer games. Another snub.
    – same with Gretzky’s 89 win.
    – likewise Hall didn’t deserve his 2018 Hart.
    – Fedorov was on a good team but finished 2nd in the scoring race with 10 fewer points than Gretzky. His goal scoring (56 vs Wayne’ 38) and 2-way play (+48 vs Wayne’s -25) probably carried the day.

    All in all, a very Hart-worthy season from Draisaitl. Offensively, at least.

  21. Darth Tu says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    90. (95) LW Pavel Gogolev, OHL. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.

    94. (NR) LW Emil Heineman, SHL. Older prospect, good size and speed.

    Guys like these… Worth a depth pick due to extra development time, or more like a draft re-entry for a reason?

    I’d lean towards worth a depth pick for sure. If they’re showing progress now, then it might be a better bet than taking college bound players in the 5-7th.

  22. ArmchairGM says:

    pts2pndr: Kesselring in college good size mobile right D also in the system. While I agree that the two positions with greatest difficulty drafting due numbers are right centre and right D I believe that Oiler team priority should be right center, left center, and another forward for the first three picks.

    Kemp also. And I agree with forward priorities – we could use a high-end LW in the system too. I wouldn’t distinguish much between LC and LW as the LC can easily move over as Nuge has shown.

  23. who says:

    Elgin R:
    Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick.Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft.Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    Teams should draft with a combination of BPA and position.RC and RHD are the hardest players to procure due to the smaller talent pool.Both these positions are lacking in the Oilers system.

    Assuming Bouchard plays in the NHL next year – either from the start or as a mid-year call up – that leaves Berglund and Day in the AHL!

    Josh Currie (good article at The Athletic) and Cooper Marody are the RCs for the Condors and can both be described as tweeners.They are good in the AHL, but so was Anton Lander et al.

    Good wingers are not expensive to aquire (2 x 2nd round for AA, Zack for Bishop).

    Bottom line is draft the best center (preferably RC) or RHD (no LHD required) or winger available at #20 in that order.Holding out hope for Seth Jarvis (WHL – RC) or Braden Schneider (WHL – RHD).

    Agree with you completely on JP. Trading him for a single 2nd round pick would be a massive downgrade in talent.

  24. dustrock says:

    LT thought you’d be the only other guy rating Miettinen, Wheeler thinks he’ll be the steal of the draft.

    For a guy like Lundell my only worry is that he turns out to be Anton Lander.

    And though I was a Fanton Lander, not at #15-20.

    Any of Zary/Bourque/Jarvis for me at this point.

  25. N64 says:


    (56) LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. Undersized and not a great skater, fills the net with pucks.

    No. 144 overall. LW Veeti Miettinen, Espoo (Jr Liiga). Undersized scorer with a great shot. Good wheels. Again, fabulous value at this spot.

    not a great skater or good wheels????

  26. ArmchairGM says:

    Elgin R: Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick. Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft. Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    who: Agree with you completely on JP. Trading him for a single 2nd round pick would be a massive downgrade in talent.

    What about this:

    Puljujarvi to Ottawa for Abramov + 2020 2nd (NYI)

    The Islanders pick is #52 by points percentage. The Oilers pick (sent to Detroit in the Athanasiou deal) is #51 by points percentage.

    Here’s what Pronman had to say about Abramov last fall:

    9. Vitaly Abramov, Belleville-AHL

    May 8, 1998 | 5-foot-9 | 172 pounds

    Tier: Legit NHL prospect

    Abramov was fine as a rookie pro between Cleveland and Bellville, as a part of the Matt Duchene trade. He’s full of offensive ability. He can dangle and make plays at a top-end level versus men. When he has the puck on his stick, he’s looking to do something creative. He can make plays on the move or once set up inside the zone very well. The pace was a bit of an adjustment for Abramov. He’s not the quickest guy and is undersized, so he couldn’t play the same way he did in the QMJHL. I don’t mind his skating though and I think once he adjusts he’ll be fine. It would be easy to be skeptical of his NHL prospects after not starring his rookie pro season, but he’s so talented and scouts are still believers.

    https://theathletic.com/1155673/2019/08/23/2019-nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-12-ottawa-senators/

  27. ArmchairGM says:

    Darth Tu:
    “(35) RW Ozzy Wiesblatt, WHL. Undersized winger is aggressive, fast and skilled.”

    Aggressive and fast, his name is Ozzy. Surely it’s a shooty-in for his goal song to be Crazy Train?

    Nice. Pronman likes him too, ranking him 32nd in his latest production.

    https://theathletic.com/1769140/2020/05/27/pronmans-2020-nhl-draft-board-top-122-prospects/

    He’s another guy who seems to fit my preferred mold.

  28. €√¥£€^$ says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    90. (95) LW Pavel Gogolev, OHL. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.

    94. (NR) LW Emil Heineman, SHL. Older prospect, good size and speed.

    Guys like these… Worth a depth pick due to extra development time, or more like a draft re-entry for a reason?

    IMO, this is one of those NHL “Hockeymen” biases that a smart team can take advantage of to find real value for their franchise. Especially when it comes to Euros in NA, I think in general it takes longer for them to shine, due to all the adjustments they have to make, from language to culture to the actual on-ice part. I really like Sokolov, I would definitely use a 6th or 7th round pick on him, same as Gologev. I’d even use a 5th round pick on Alex Young in this Draft.

    The 6th and 7th rounds shouldn’t just be throw-aways, every pick should count, but based on choices and actual results, this is where teams IMO really drop the ball. The value is clearly available, the evidence is in the large number of undrafted NHL players currently in the league.

    I really hope our GM is able to get at least 2 more bullets for this Draft. There is so much value here.

  29. who says:

    ArmchairGM:
    What about this:

    Puljujarvi to Ottawa for Abramov + 2020 2nd (NYI)

    The Islanders pick is #52 by points percentage. The Oilers pick (sent to Detroit in the Athanasiou deal) is #51 by points percentage.

    Here’s what Pronman had to say about Abramov last fall:

    9. Vitaly Abramov, Belleville-AHL

    May 8, 1998 | 5-foot-9 | 172 pounds

    Tier: Legit NHL prospect

    Abramov was fine as a rookie pro between Cleveland and Bellville, as a part of the Matt Duchene trade. He’s full of offensive ability. He can dangle and make plays at a top-end level versus men. When he has the puck on his stick, he’s looking to do something creative. He can make plays on the move or once set up inside the zone very well. The pace was a bit of an adjustment for Abramov. He’s not the quickest guy and is undersized, so he couldn’t play the same way he did in the QMJHL. I don’t mind his skating though and I think once he adjusts he’ll be fine. It would be easy to be skeptical of his NHL prospects after not starring his rookie pro season, but he’s so talented and scouts are still believers.

    https://theathletic.com/1155673/2019/08/23/2019-nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-12-ottawa-senators/

    Don’t know the player at all, but small and slow scares me.

  30. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Elgin R:
    Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick.Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft.Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    Teams should draft with a combination of BPA and position.RC and RHD are the hardest players to procure due to the smaller talent pool.Both these positions are lacking in the Oilers system.

    Assuming Bouchard plays in the NHL next year – either from the start or as a mid-year call up – that leaves Berglund and Day in the AHL!

    Josh Currie (good article at The Athletic) and Cooper Marody are the RCs for the Condors and can both be described as tweeners.They are good in the AHL, but so was Anton Lander et al.

    Good wingers are not expensive to aquire (2 x 2nd round for AA, Zack for Bishop).

    Bottom line is draft the best center (preferably RC) or RHD (no LHD required) or winger available at #20 in that order.Holding out hope for Seth Jarvis (WHL – RC) or Braden Schneider (WHL – RHD).

    Josh Currie is not a C prospect for the Oil, he a RW primarily, but also doesn’t have the speed to play C in the NHL. Jarvis will most likely play wing in the NHL.

    The 2 D I hope are taken by Edm, if they draft defensemen would be one of Villenueve or Alex Cotton (an overager). That being said, after Samorukov, there are no other LHD prospects for the Oilers, but they can probably afford to focus on LW’s and RHC in this Draft, which is what I did this year.

  31. jtblack says:

    ArmchairGM,

    how about this snub? 2000-01. Bure scored 59 Goals for FLA. The team scored 200. He had 30% of the Goals! also had 93 points. Definitely HART worthy.

  32. jtblack says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    “the evidence is in the large number of undrafted NHL players currently in the league.”

    what constitutes a large number?

  33. €√¥£€^$ says:

    N64:

    (56) LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. Undersized and not a great skater, fills the net with pucks.


    No. 144 overall. LW Veeti Miettinen, Espoo (Jr Liiga). Undersized scorer with a great shot. Good wheels. Again, fabulous value at this spot.

    not a great skater or good wheels????

    This is one I don’t have clarity on either. Based on viewings he seemed to have decent skating, but I couldn’t tell you if it is NHL average or what it is. I would say he didn’t appear to be slow and has an amazing shot, but he also uses his skating ability to create much of his opportunities.

  34. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Darth Tu:
    “(35) RW Ozzy Wiesblatt, WHL. Undersized winger is aggressive, fast and skilled.”

    Aggressive and fast, his name is Ozzy. Surely it’s a shooty-in for his goal song to be Crazy Train?

    I like him a lot, seems like a bigger, faster more aggressive Yamamoto. He isn’t huge though, and I am concerned about injury due to his extremely physical and aggressive playing style.

    He will be an NHL player, I am quite certain, but I wouldn’t use a 1st Rounder, but I would use a mid to late 2nd Round pick on him, simply due to the injury concerns I’d have.

  35. Munny says:

    Outstanding work, LT; accomplished in difficult times. Well done, and thank you yet again.

  36. dustrock says:

    Wheeler has him at #36 and acknowledged he’s ranking him wildly ahead of everyone else.
    Said he has one of the best releases in the draft. Led the SM-Liiga in scoring by 12 points and his own team by 24 points.

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Elgin R:
    Not with you on trading JP for a 2nd round pick.Need more or keep he as trade bait for the Seattle draft.Also, hope Holland does not trade back as there will be a good player available at 20, although i hope the Oilers draft at #31 after the cup win this fall.

    Teams should draft with a combination of BPA and position.RC and RHD are the hardest players to procure due to the smaller talent pool.Both these positions are lacking in the Oilers system.

    Assuming Bouchard plays in the NHL next year – either from the start or as a mid-year call up – that leaves Berglund and Day in the AHL!

    Josh Currie (good article at The Athletic) and Cooper Marody are the RCs for the Condors and can both be described as tweeners.They are good in the AHL, but so was Anton Lander et al.

    Good wingers are not expensive to aquire (2 x 2nd round for AA, Zack for Bishop).

    Bottom line is draft the best center (preferably RC) or RHD (no LHD required) or winger available at #20 in that order.Holding out hope for Seth Jarvis (WHL – RC) or Braden Schneider (WHL – RHD).

    If Bouchard is in the NHL, there is no RD NHL option behind him as Berglund will be back in the SHL – its imperative if Holland moves on from Benning that a replacement cover is acquired – be it Mike Green or other.

    Josh Currie may not be in the organization next year – he’s a UFA – I want him back as a fan-favorite in Bakersfield but the player himself may want to move on.

  38. Lowetide says:

    N64:

    (56) LW Veeti Miettinen, Jr Liiga. Undersized and not a great skater, fills the net with pucks.


    No. 144 overall. LW Veeti Miettinen, Espoo (Jr Liiga). Undersized scorer with a great shot. Good wheels. Again, fabulous value at this spot.

    not a great skater or good wheels????

    My bad. His skating needs to improve.

  39. ArmchairGM says:

    who: Don’t know the player at all, but small and slow scares me.

    I don’t think “not the quickest” necessarily means slow though. He seems to handle the AHL pace just fine, putting up 51, 18-23-41 +18 as a 21-year-old this season. He was 24th in that league for EV P1/GP. His performance by this metric puts him on similar ground to Tyler Benson.

  40. ArmchairGM says:

    jtblack:
    ArmchairGM,

    how about this snub? 2000-01.Bure scored 59 Goals for FLA. The team scored 200.He had 30% of the Goals!also had 93 points. Definitely HART worthy.

    No doubt it was Sakic’s “turn”.

    😉

  41. ArmchairGM says:

    dustrock:
    Wheeler has him at #36 and acknowledged he’s ranking him wildly ahead of everyone else.
    Said he has one of the best releases in the draft. Led the SM-Liiga in scoring by 12 points and his own team by 24 points.

    Who?

  42. ArmchairGM says:

    who: Don’t know the player at all, but small and slow scares me.

    Here’s Pronman’s previous report (summer 2018) when Abramov was coming out of junior and was a member of CBJ’s system:

    3. Vitaly Abramov, LW, Victoriaville-QMJHL

    For the third straight season, Abramov was a top player in the QMJHL, although he didn’t have a great world juniors. The former QMJHL MVP has a ton of skill. He makes highly skilled dekes at a fast pace and does so consistently. Abramov is also a quality goal-scorer, who can score from mid-range and isn’t afraid to get to the dirty areas. He’s also a top-level playmaker who makes unique plays. His warts are that he’s small, not a real speedster, which isn’t ideal at his height. He has a decent work ethic and energy level, but his game off the puck will be a major question as he turns pro.

    https://theathletic.com/433908/2018/08/09/nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-25-columbus-blue-jackets/

  43. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s a solid looking Mock Draft. There’ll be no complaints from me if most or all of those players are Oilers property after the draft.

    And thank you for all the work you put into the prospect rankings LT. It’s a wonderful resource you put together every year!

  44. jp says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Off topic, but I’ve been looking at some stats related to offensive impact of former Hart winners to see how Draisaitl’s season stacks up. This is important due to the wording of the award, which is given to the “player judged most valuable to his team” rather than the top scoring player in the league.

    One easy stat to look at is the player’s offensive involvement, basically taking the players point total and dividing it into the team’s total offense. Like this:

    Draisaitl had 110 points, Edmonton had 223 goals: Draisaitl was involved in 49.3% of Edmonton’s offense.

    Other Hart candidates show much less involvement, in other words they had greater offensive support from their teams.
    Panarin: 95 / 233 = 40.8%
    Eichel: 78 / 193 = 40.4%
    MacKinnon: 93 / 236 = 39.4%

    Past winners:
    2019 – Kucherov: 40.1% *
    2018 – Hall: 38.3%
    2017 – McDavid: 41.2% *
    2016 – Kane: 45.3% *
    2014 – Crosby: 43.0% *
    2013 – Ovechkin: 38.4%
    2012 – Malkin: 39.9% *
    2011 – Perry: 41.7%
    2010 – Sedin: 41.8% *
    2009 – Ovechkin: 41.0%
    2008 – Ovechkin: 47.1% *
    2007 – Crosby: 44.9% *
    2006 – Thornton: 43.9% *
    2004 – St. Louis: 38.4% *
    2003 – Forsberg: 42.2% *
    2001 – Sakic: 43.7%
    1999 – Jagr: 52.5% *
    1996 – Lemieux: 44.5%
    1995 – Lindros: 46.7%
    1994 – Federov: 33.7%
    1993 – Lemieux: 43.5% * (missed 22 games!)
    1992 – Messier: 33.3%
    1991 – Hull: 42.3%
    1990 – Messier: 41.0%
    1989 – Gretzky: 44.7% (Lemieux * at 57.3% got snubbed)
    1988 – Lemieux: 52.7% *
    1987 – Gretzky: 49.2% *
    1986 – Gretzky: 50.5% *
    1985 – Gretzky: 51.9% *
    1984 – Gretzky: 46.0% *
    1983 – Gretzky: 46.2% *
    1982 – Gretzky: 50.8% *
    1981 – Gretzky: 50.0% *
    1980 – Gretzky: 45.5%

    * denotes the player also won the Art Ross.

    My key takeaways:
    – Draisaitl had an impact on the team’s offense like nobody else has had in 20 years.
    – only 3 players in the past 40 years have had greater contribution to team offense: Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr.
    – Lemieux got snubbed bigtime in 89, when he was clearly the most deserving of the Hart.
    – it must be a Pittsburgh thing because Jagr constantly put that team on his back a decade later and only won 1 Hart, despite 5 Art Ross winning seasons, including 4 in a row from 97-98 to 00-01.
    – I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.
    – Messier’s Hart in 92 was based entirely on reputation rather than merit. He finished 6th in the scoring race that year, 24 points behind Art Ross winner Mario Lemieux who played 15 fewer games. Another snub.
    – same with Gretzky’s 89 win.
    – likewise Hall didn’t deserve his 2018 Hart.
    – Fedorov was on a good team but finished 2nd in the scoring race with 10 fewer points than Gretzky. His goal scoring (56 vs Wayne’ 38) and 2-way play (+48 vs Wayne’s -25) probably carried the day.

    All in all, a very Hart-worthy season from Draisaitl. Offensively, at least.

    That’s freaking remarkable. Great context on Draisaitl and his season. Thanks for this.

  45. so polar says:

    ArmchairGM,

    “– I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.”
    hahahaahha. that is perhaps the least worrisome thing in history. if Draisatl can emulate the Jagr to mcdavid’s Lemieux, or the malkin to mcdavid’s sid, we’re laughing for a decade.

  46. stephen sheps says:

    *****SPAM ALERT*****

    Some pretty awful things have been happening in the world lately. With LT’s blessing, I’m posting a link here to the first non-music blog post I’ve written on my old blog since late 2016. As a sport sociologist, I felt compelled to actually do something, but this is really the only thing I know how to do.

    https://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com/2020/06/what-have-i-done-to-help.html

    Feel free to leave comments for me here, or if you’d prefer, send me a DM on twitter (@ShepsStephen) or an email (stephensheps (at) gmail (dot) com) if you want to chat somewhere that won’t derail what I’m sure is a typically energetic conversation about the draft.

    Thanks in advance.

    *****END SPAM*****

  47. jtblack says:

    “No. 82 overall. RC Jack Finley, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). He’s a big center with skill and a good skater, too. Some question about what position he’ll play at the pro level and it’s a bit of a boom or bust but the payoff on the bet is huge. ”

    LT, is a good comparable for Finley, Adam Lowry?

    Lowry was a 3rd round pick, 6.5″, 18 G 45 Pts in his draft year (2011) ….

    Finley had 19 G 57 Pts .. maybe a bit more offense to his game . and Finley is a SEP birthday, very very late .. just makes the cutoff …

  48. pts2pndr says:

    ArmchairGM: Nice. Pronman likes him too, ranking him 32nd in his latest production.

    https://theathletic.com/1769140/2020/05/27/pronmans-2020-nhl-draft-board-top-122-prospects/

    He’s another guy who seems to fit my preferred mold.

    Leprechaun approved! Small hockey players are magically delicious! There’s gold at the end of the rainbow. If they don’t turn out you can employ them as a mascot.

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    so polar:
    ArmchairGM,

    “– I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.”
    hahahaahha. that is perhaps the least worrisome thing in history. if Draisatl can emulate the Jagr to mcdavid’s Lemieux, or the malkin to mcdavid’s sid, we’re laughing for a decade.

    Very true. I just meant in the context of winning the Hart. Draisaitl has had an amazing season and I’d like to see that recognized around the league.

  50. jtblack says:

    ArmchairGM: Very true. I just meant in the context of winning the Hart. Draisaitl has had an amazing season and I’d like to see that recognized around the league.

    I think it was LeadFarmer and a few others shouting from the Rooftops how good Draisatl was doing early on …. And I kind of through out the “McDavid is zooming him” …

    But it became clear and is clear, that Draisatl is a force on his own and is one hell of a player. I do hope he wins the HART …

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Anton Stralman wonders “Is it worth it”.

    https://theathletic.com/1848374/2020/06 … play-plan/

    “I think you should be concerned,” Stralman said. “There are so many ways to look at this thing. I know everybody wants hockey back, but safety has to come first. And it’s a little bit worrisome, I can’t deny that. Even though most players are young and healthy, I’m sure there are players like me that have underlying health issues. I don’t know how my body will react if I get this virus.”

    “It would be terrible if we fly into hub cities and start playing, and maybe one of the workers in the building gets it. It’s not just the 50 guys on the team, there’s a lot of people that need to be there to make this work. If some of those people get sick and potentially die from that, who is responsible? And is this something I want to be part of? It’s about the safety, not just for me but everyone involved. That raises a lot of questions on if we should do this thing. And if we do, would there be a price to pay for it?

    “I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

    ————————————–

    If things keep progressing, I’m confidant that, overall, the players association will vote to return to play but there will be many that don’t think the economic bump (and the money it will make/save them) will think its worthwhile.

    I’ll be vary curious to see if there are any players on the 24 returning teams that refuse to come back and play.

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    LT, thanks for the shout out on the show today – many will disagree with the “he knows his stuff”…..

  53. so polar says:

    LT’s worst fallers:
    40->57, Ryan O’Rourke
    21->28, Hendrix Lapierre
    67->88, Nico Daws
    32->42, Luke Evangelista
    46->59, Daniil Gushchin
    58->74, Alex Pashin
    59->75, Dylan Peterson
    55->69, Roni Hirvonen
    61->76, Topi Niemela
    17->21, Jeremie Poirier
    57->70, Luke Tuch

    LT’s highest risers
    84->53, Tyler Tullio
    73->49, Pavel Novak
    75->54, Ryan Francis
    44->32, Brendan Brisson
    23->17, Yaroslav Askarov
    76->58, Brett Bedard
    26->20, Kaiden Guhle
    74->60, Oskar Magnusson

  54. jp says:

    pts2pndr: Leprechaun approved! Small hockey players are magically delicious! There’s gold at the end of the rainbow. If they don’t turn out you can employ them as a mascot.

    And the coke machines they draft can be employed as rink security, I guess?

    I assume this is size bias speaking, maybe I’ve misinterpreted. It’s funny, I agree that teams need balance and they aren’t likely to succeed with too many tiny players (as they aren’t likely to succeed if filled with large, not so quick players).

    What’s funny is who’s being called small. These are 18 year old kids. Zary was called small yesterday. Weisblatt is being called a Leprechaun today.

    Both players are actually above the average weight for draft prospects. Elite prospects lists 63 “top prospects” for the 2020 draft. Weisblatt is tied for 22nd heaviest, Zary for 25th heaviest among those 63 players. https://www.eliteprospects.com/draft-center/2020?view=stats&sort=tp

    Both are currently below average size for NHL players. Well so are most 18 year olds, even the ones who become those average sized NHL players.

    But carry on.

  55. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll be vary curious to see if there are any players on the 24 returning teams that refuse to come back and play.

    I’d be very surprised if EVERY player on those 24 teams decides to return. Guys like Dubnyk have other reasons for being hesitant. I do think the large majority of players will return to the fold but it’s absolutely possible (even likely) that some important players will be missing from some teams.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    rocket:
    Question for Alan: if, per chance, the goalie Yaroslav Askarov falls to number 20 do the Oilers draft him?Totally realize the Oilers need to stock up on forwards, however is this goalie too good to pass on?thank you

    I am not LT but I would be shocked if Holland/Wright take Askarov if he is there – given Holland’s general drafting and acquisition of goalies over the years. Generally, unless he has a top end elite goalie, Holland tends not to want to spend big money on goalies and has no issue with older goalies.

    In this draft, with a depth of offensive skilled forwards, I’d be surprised if he used his draft currency on a goalie.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Correct, which is why Holland needs to acquire another pick.

    We can take comfort in the knowledge of knowing, with certainty, that Holland wants to acquire another pick or multiple picks – he has said exactly that and that he “owes his scouts picks”.

    Whether he is able to consummate a pick acquisition is another story – Holland will always grind for value it seems.

  58. Elgin R says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    On the left side the Oilers have Broberg, Lagesson and the newly-signed Themstom. Lagesson is NHL ready as a 3rd pairing and Broberg is another 2 years away but should arrive in time to replace Klefbom.

    There is no one of significance on the right side. This statement must be tempered by the ‘Bear’ factor. I did not see him as a great prospect and all of a sudden he grabs a top 4 job and runs with it. In reality, Bear is the Oilers #1 right D, so maybe someone else jumps up.

    Holland must keep the pipeline full at positions other than LW as these can be acquired.

  59. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am not LT but I would be shocked if Holland/Wright take Askarov if he is there – given Holland’s general drafting and acquisition of goalies over the years. Generally, unless he has a top end elite goalie, Holland tends not to want to spend big money on goalies and has no issue with older goalies.

    In this draft, with a depth of offensive skilled forwards, I’d be surprised if he used his draft currency on a goalie.

    At 20 though? I mean, if we’re talking a Vasilevskiy-level goalie at 20, wouldn’t you do that every time?

  60. Ribs says:

    Is there video available on the Youtubes if I want to see highlights for the players on the list?

    Hockey needs to come back quick. I’ve just listened to 2+ hours of sandwich and zombies talk on TSN1260 and it’s only Monday. lol

  61. JimmyV1965 says:

    jp: I’d be very surprised if EVERY player on those 24 teams decides to return. Guys like Dubnyk have other reasons for being hesitant. I do think the large majority of players will return to the fold but it’s absolutely possible (even likely) that some important players will be missing from some teams.

    I agree. I would be stunned if every eligible player returned. And for those with underlying health conditions, maybe the league should strongly suggest they stay home. I don’t think you can force them to stay home, but it’s definitely not worth the risk.

  62. jp says:

    stephen sheps,

    Thanks for sharing Stephen, and for actually doing something. I don’t have anything to add but this is an important topic.

  63. Darth Tu says:

    ArmchairGM: Nice. Pronman likes him too, ranking him 32nd in his latest production.

    https://theathletic.com/1769140/2020/05/27/pronmans-2020-nhl-draft-board-top-122-prospects/

    He’s another guy who seems to fit my preferred mold.

    I like him. I get the worry about injury due to size thing. I wouldn’t take him around 20-24 if that’s where the Oilers land up picking in the first round, so we’d be relying on getting a second round pick to have a shot. IF, and it’s a big if, we do somehow wind up with a second round pick, even then it’s a case of seeing which forwards have fallen out of the first. You know for sure that even in a year where there’s a good forward crop some teams are going to reach early and high for defenders.

    Basically I want us to come out of this with forwards (C or Ws, I don’t care which) from our first couple of picks 1st and 3rd, or 1st and 2nd round, that are a) shooters, b) can skate well c) can think the game.

    Looking at LT’s list of forwards clustered around that 20 slot, we see:

    RC Jacob Perreault, OHL. Skates well, great shot, great numbers, excellent passer.
    LC Jan Mysak, OHL. Skilled and is effective in all areas. Major move in second half.
    LW Lukas Reichel, DEL. Mid-season riser. He has skill, speed and plays with abandon.
    LW Rodion Amirov, KHL. Scouts love the tools. A fast train in a draft season with slow boats.
    LW Dylan Holloway, Big 10. Big power forward. Strong skater, nice range of skills.
    LW Ridly Greig, WHL. Smart offensive winger with good instincts, August 2002. Not a burner.
    RC Tyson Foerster, OHL. Great offensive weapon, quick release and accurate.

    from this alone, Greig is probably the only one that I’d be a bit meh on – and that’s purely based on the “not a burner” remark. He still put up 60 points in 56 games so he’s no slouch clearly, but small and slow scares me a little. The same as big and slow scares me as well. The league is getting faster all the time.

  64. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am not LT but I would be shocked if Holland/Wright take Askarov if he is there – given Holland’s general drafting and acquisition of goalies over the years.

    ArmchairGM: At 20 though? I mean, if we’re talking a Vasilevskiy-level goalie at 20, wouldn’t you do that every time?

    I think it’s quite unlikely Holland picks Askarov (I suppose in part because he’s unlikely to be available). But I do agree if Holland sees him as the BPA, and he’s there, he might well take him.

    The Oilers “need” forwards but they’re also going to need a starter in a couple of years. 1G is kinda important…

    FWIW Holland has drafted a goalie in the 1st round before (Tom McCollum #30 in 2008) as well as a couple in the 2nd round over the years (Aren Miller in 1996 and Jimmy Howard in 2003). Never say never.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Off topic, but I’ve been looking at some stats related to offensive impact of former Hart winners to see how Draisaitl’s season stacks up. This is important due to the wording of the award, which is given to the “player judged most valuable to his team” rather than the top scoring player in the league.

    One easy stat to look at is the player’s offensive involvement, basically taking the players point total and dividing it into the team’s total offense. Like this:

    Draisaitl had 110 points, Edmonton had 223 goals: Draisaitl was involved in 49.3% of Edmonton’s offense.

    Other Hart candidates show much less involvement, in other words they had greater offensive support from their teams.
    Panarin: 95 / 233 = 40.8%
    Eichel: 78 / 193 = 40.4%
    MacKinnon: 93 / 236 = 39.4%

    Past winners:
    2019 – Kucherov: 40.1% *
    2018 – Hall: 38.3%
    2017 – McDavid: 41.2% *
    2016 – Kane: 45.3% *
    2014 – Crosby: 43.0% *
    2013 – Ovechkin: 38.4%
    2012 – Malkin: 39.9% *
    2011 – Perry: 41.7%
    2010 – Sedin: 41.8% *
    2009 – Ovechkin: 41.0%
    2008 – Ovechkin: 47.1% *
    2007 – Crosby: 44.9% *
    2006 – Thornton: 43.9% *
    2004 – St. Louis: 38.4% *
    2003 – Forsberg: 42.2% *
    2001 – Sakic: 43.7%
    1999 – Jagr: 52.5% *
    1996 – Lemieux: 44.5%
    1995 – Lindros: 46.7%
    1994 – Federov: 33.7%
    1993 – Lemieux: 43.5% * (missed 22 games!)
    1992 – Messier: 33.3%
    1991 – Hull: 42.3%
    1990 – Messier: 41.0%
    1989 – Gretzky: 44.7% (Lemieux * at 57.3% got snubbed)
    1988 – Lemieux: 52.7% *
    1987 – Gretzky: 49.2% *
    1986 – Gretzky: 50.5% *
    1985 – Gretzky: 51.9% *
    1984 – Gretzky: 46.0% *
    1983 – Gretzky: 46.2% *
    1982 – Gretzky: 50.8% *
    1981 – Gretzky: 50.0% *
    1980 – Gretzky: 45.5%

    * denotes the player also won the Art Ross.

    My key takeaways:
    – Draisaitl had an impact on the team’s offense like nobody else has had in 20 years.
    – only 3 players in the past 40 years have had greater contribution to team offense: Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr.
    – Lemieux got snubbed bigtime in 89, when he was clearly the most deserving of the Hart.
    – it must be a Pittsburgh thing because Jagr constantly put that team on his back a decade later and only won 1 Hart, despite 5 Art Ross winning seasons, including 4 in a row from 97-98 to 00-01.
    – I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.
    – Messier’s Hart in 92 was based entirely on reputation rather than merit. He finished 6th in the scoring race that year, 24 points behind Art Ross winner Mario Lemieux who played 15 fewer games. Another snub.
    – same with Gretzky’s 89 win.
    – likewise Hall didn’t deserve his 2018 Hart.
    – Fedorov was on a good team but finished 2nd in the scoring race with 10 fewer points than Gretzky. His goal scoring (56 vs Wayne’ 38) and 2-way play (+48 vs Wayne’s -25) probably carried the day.

    All in all, a very Hart-worthy season from Draisaitl. Offensively, at least.

    Great work and thank you.

  66. Reja says:

    so polar:
    ArmchairGM,

    “– I’m worried that Draisaitl might fall into the Lemieux/ Jagr mold.”
    hahahaahha. that is perhaps the least worrisome thing in history. if Draisatl can emulate the Jagr to mcdavid’s Lemieux, or the malkin to mcdavid’s sid, we’re laughing for a decade.

    When Mcdavid was out with injury and Leon showed he was up to the challenge and cranked up is game the league took notice. I can’t see how they would vote for anyone else but Leon for MVP

  67. stephen sheps says:

    jp,

    Thanks for taking the time to read it!

  68. €√¥£€^$ says:

    jtblack:
    €√¥£€^$,

    “the evidence is in the large number of undrafted NHL players currently in the league.”

    what constitutes a large number?

    Oh jeez, now you’re gonna call me on this.

    The number is approximately 100, mostly Euros and NCAA grads. I didn’t count call-ups. Edmonton has 3 in P Russell, Nygard and Hass, as an example. I started to manually count, but gave up. The number is in the range of 12 – 15%, so over 100 players. I thought it was above 25%, but that was probably old data that I had in my head from a few years ago.

    So not the “large number” I thought it was. Do you know what the number actually is?

  69. rocket says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Agree with you – thx for replying. Also, having two russian goalies in the system is probably not a good idea

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: Josh Currie is not a C prospect for the Oil, he a RW primarily, but also doesn’t have the speed to play C in the NHL.Jarvis will most likely play wing in the NHL.

    The 2 D I hope are taken by Edm, if they draft defensemen would be one of Villenueve or Alex Cotton (an overager).That being said, after Samorukov, there are no other LHD prospects for the Oilers, but they can probably afford to focus on LW’s and RHC in this Draft, which is what I did this year.

    Wait, Keegan Lowe isn’t a real prospect? Just kidding. With that said, although I do agree there is a gap after Sammy with respect to “real NHL prospects”, don’t forget about Niemelainen and Lennstrom (oh, and of course, Broberg – a real NHL propspect, just a few years away):

    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Jones
    Russell
    Laggeson
    Sammy
    Broberg
    Niemelainen
    Lennstrom

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Very true. I just meant in the context of winning the Hart. Draisaitl has had an amazing season and I’d like to see that recognized around the league.

    Not to criticize The Athletic but the guy from the Puck Soup podcast were really pumping up Panarin and made statements like “Draisaitl who hasn’t seen his defensive zone since November…..”.

    I think Drai as an elite offensive driver without needing McDavid is starting to be recognized but there is still a league wide misconception on his overall game.

    His plus/minus or goal differential is looked at and its assumed he’s a poor defensive player when, in actuality, he can be an absolute beast of a 2-way player and dominant defensively. He is the team’s best face-off man and might actually be their best PK guy but is only used sparingly due to keeping minutes down (and the PK being so good this year).

    That defensive slump in December (which was really bad) has hurt his recognition.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: I’d be very surprised if EVERY player on those 24 teams decides to return. Guys like Dubnyk have other reasons for being hesitant. I do think the large majority of players will return to the fold but it’s absolutely possible (even likely) that some important players will be missing from some teams.

    Oh, I agree for sure and Dubnyk is absolutely top of mind when I think of the potential players refusing to come back – he would be a major story as I’ve heard goaltending can be important in the playoffs.

    For players with legit personal healthy reasons, I don’t think the league or any team would take (public) issue. Perhaps the same for players with legit family reasons.

    I do wonder about a player without a legit health or family reason that refuses to come back – will be interesting to see what they league might do, if anything.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: At 20 though? I mean, if we’re talking a Vasilevskiy-level goalie at 20, wouldn’t you do that every time?

    Well, sure, but how do we know he’ll be a Vasilevskiy? There is no assurance.

    How do we know that he’s not a DiPietro, P. Leclaire, M. Denis, L. Irving – all highly touted first rounders?

    I believe a pick at 20 this year gets a skilled forward that is normally a top 10 (or thereabouts) pick – at least that’s what I’ve heard and read about the forward depth of the draft.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ribs:
    Is there video available on the Youtubes if I want to see highlights for the players on the list?

    Hockey needs to come back quick. I’ve just listened to 2+ hours of sandwich and zombies talk on TSN1260 and it’s only Monday. lol

    I feel for Dusty and Eric – 4 hours requires ALOT of filler these days.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I agree. I would be stunned if every eligible player returned. And for those with underlying health conditions, maybe the league should strongly suggest they stay home. I don’t think you can force them to stay home, but it’s definitely not worth the risk.

    I think they’d be urging more coaches to stay home than players if they did that – older demographic and, well, many have not kept up their fitness regime from their younger days.

  76. leadfarmer says:

    If we have a chance to draft Askarov at around 20 you have to do it.

  77. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not to criticize The Athletic but the guy from the Puck Soup podcast were really pumping up Panarin and made statements like “Draisaitl who hasn’t seen his defensive zone since November…..”.

    I think Drai as an elite offensive driver without needing McDavid is starting to be recognized but there is still a league wide misconception on his overall game.

    His plus/minus or goal differential is looked at and its assumed he’s a poor defensive player when, in actuality, he can be an absolute beast of a 2-way player and dominant defensively. He is the team’s best face-off man and might actually be their best PK guy but is only used sparingly due to keeping minutes down (and the PK being so good this year).

    That defensive slump in December (which was really bad) has hurt his recognition.

    “At 5-on-5, the Oilers were outscored 157-141 this season (the Blackhawks, for comparison, were even at 147-147). Edmonton is 22nd in expected goals-for percentage (48.35) and 27th in Corsi percentage (47.87).

    https://theathletic.com/1847403/2020/06/01/a-pro-scout-breaks-down-the-proposed-blackhawks-oilers-qualifying-round-matchup/

    Does having historic PP success win you most valuable player?

  78. who says:

    ArmchairGM: Here’s Pronman’s previous report (summer 2018) when Abramov was coming out of junior and was a member of CBJ’s system:

    3. Vitaly Abramov, LW, Victoriaville-QMJHL

    For the third straight season, Abramov was a top player in the QMJHL, although he didn’t have a great world juniors. The former QMJHL MVP has a ton of skill. He makes highly skilled dekes at a fast pace and does so consistently. Abramov is also a quality goal-scorer, who can score from mid-range and isn’t afraid to get to the dirty areas. He’s also a top-level playmaker who makes unique plays. His warts are that he’s small, not a real speedster, which isn’t ideal at his height. He has a decent work ethic and energy level, but his game off the puck will be a major question as he turns pro.

    https://theathletic.com/433908/2018/08/09/nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-25-columbus-blue-jackets/

    Well that scouting report doesn’t make me feel any better about him. They summarize by calling him small and slow.
    Still not interested.

  79. godot10 says:

    leadfarmer:
    If we have a chance to draft Askarov at around 20 you have to do it.

    A goaltender should be drafted in the top 5 OR not until late in the 2nd round.

    Either a draft age goaltender is a sure thing or they are a suspect with varying degrees of potential.

    Askarov is a high potential suspect if he is not drafted in the top ten. If he falls to you late in the second round, preferably in the 3rd round, he is a worthwhile pick.

    The Oilers should draft low risk prospects. They have McDavid, Draisaitl, and a lot of D. There are enough high potential lower risk prospects not to roll the dice in this draft.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: “At 5-on-5, the Oilers were outscored 157-141 this season (the Blackhawks, for comparison, were even at 147-147). Edmonton is 22nd in expected goals-for percentage (48.35) and 27th in Corsi percentage (47.87).

    https://theathletic.com/1847403/2020/06/01/a-pro-scout-breaks-down-the-proposed-blackhawks-oilers-qualifying-round-matchup/

    Does having historic PP success win you most valuable player?

    I read the piece earlier today.

    Does winning the scoring race by 13 points win you most valuable player?

    Given that PP success has led to team success then, yup, I think the criteria of the Hart Trophy is met.

    You realize that, in your effort to criticize the Oilers’ players and the team, you often contradict yourself – how many hours ago were you talking about how reliant the Oilers were on the PP? Now you try and discount individual contributions to the main area of team success in a conversation about “importance to the team”.

    Not to mention, Leon’s offensive contributions had little to do with the point so your comment is, well, from left field.

  81. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I read the piece earlier today.

    Does winning the scoring race by 13 points win you most valuable player?

    Given that PP success has led to team success then, yup, I think the criteria of the Hart Trophy is met.

    You realize that, in your effort to criticize the Oilers’ players and the team, you often contradict yourself – how many hours ago were you talking about how reliant the Oilers were on the PP?Now you try and discount individual contributions to the main area of team success in a conversation about “importance to the team”.

    Not to mention, Leon’s offensive contributions had little to do with the point so your comment is, well, from left field.

    The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

  82. pts2pndr says:

    jp: And the coke machines they draft can be employed as rink security, I guess?

    I assume this is size bias speaking, maybe I’ve misinterpreted. It’s funny, I agree that teams need balance and they aren’t likely to succeed with too many tiny players (as they aren’t likely to succeed if filled with large, not so quick players).

    What’s funny is who’s being called small. These are 18 year old kids. Zary was called small yesterday. Weisblatt is being called a Leprechaun today.

    Both players are actually above the average weight for draft prospects. Elite prospects lists 63 “top prospects” for the 2020 draft. Weisblatt is tied for 22nd heaviest, Zary for 25th heaviest among those 63 players. https://www.eliteprospects.com/draft-center/2020?view=stats&sort=tp

    Both are currently below average size for NHL players. Well so are most 18 year olds, even the ones who become those average sized NHL players.

    But carry on.

    I would far sooner see a smaller player with skill over a bigger player with questionable skating and hands of stone any time!

  83. defmn says:

    pts2pndr: I would far sooner see a smaller player with skill over a bigger player with questionable skating and hands of stone any time!

    I doubt anybody here would disagree with that.

  84. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not to criticize The Athletic but the guy from the Puck Soup podcast were really pumping up Panarin and made statements like “Draisaitl who hasn’t seen his defensive zone since November…..”.

    I think Drai as an elite offensive driver without needing McDavid is starting to be recognized but there is still a league wide misconception on his overall game.

    His plus/minus or goal differential is looked at and its assumed he’s a poor defensive player when, in actuality, he can be an absolute beast of a 2-way player and dominant defensively. He is the team’s best face-off man and might actually be their best PK guy but is only used sparingly due to keeping minutes down (and the PK being so good this year).

    That defensive slump in December (which was really bad) has hurt his recognition.

    I seem to remember that your not a gambling man but I am if you would like to go $100 to Lowetide or a charity it’ll make it more interesting. I’ll take Leon wins MVP and he does it pretty easily if you don’t want to wager no problem. If you do wager and when you lose unlike HH when he lost the Mcdavid, Mackinnon scoring race I know you’ll honour our bet.

  85. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

    You wouldn’t vote for Joe Colborne?
    Shocking!!

  86. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: A goaltender should be drafted in the top 5 OR not until late in the 2nd round.

    Either a draft age goaltender is a sure thing or they are a suspect with varying degrees of potential.

    Askarov is a high potential suspect if he is not drafted in the top ten.If he falls to you late in the second round, preferably in the 3rd round, he is a worthwhile pick.

    The Oilers should draft low risk prospects.They have McDavid, Draisaitl, and a lot of D.There are enough high potential lower risk prospects not to roll the dice in this draft.

    You definitely don’t draft a goalie top 5.
    There’s just too many things that can go wrong and most teams would not draft a goalie until mid to late 1st round.
    Wait for 3rd round?? There’s no way he’s going to be around anywhere close to that?
    So you would pass on drafting Hart, Samsonov hoping on a 3rd round Flyer.
    And Askarov is supposed to be the best G prospect in years

  87. northerndancer says:

    stephen sheps:
    *****SPAM ALERT*****

    Some pretty awful things have been happening in the world lately. With LT’s blessing, I’m posting a link here to the first non-music blog post I’ve written on my old blog since late 2016. As a sport sociologist, I felt compelled to actually do something, but this is really the only thing I know how to do.

    https://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com/2020/06/what-have-i-done-to-help.html

    Feel free to leave comments for me here, or if you’d prefer, send me a DM on twitter (@ShepsStephen)or an email (stephensheps (at) gmail (dot) com) if you want to chat somewhere that won’t derail what I’m sure is a typically energetic conversation about the draft.

    Thanks in advance.

    *****END SPAM*****

    Thanks for this contribution Stephen and to LT for the space to post it. I have read your piece and want to thank you for several things. For the skills and dedication work and patience to research and write and to teach, to engage. For the clear and compelling analysis you put forth in this article. For the invitation it poses to me, and more significantly, to leaders of groups of influential athletes. The names on this blog that LT is proposing to take the next steps. And the names on the jerseys of the team we cheer for.

  88. geowal says:

    Every once in a while I wander over to the sports channels and see what’s on. Just catching game 5 of the 1984 Stanley cup final (which I’ve never seen before). Fun game.

  89. meanashell11 says:

    Harpers Hair: “At 5-on-5, the Oilers were outscored 157-141 this season (the Blackhawks, for comparison, were even at 147-147). Edmonton is 22nd in expected goals-for percentage (48.35) and 27th in Corsi percentage (47.87).

    https://theathletic.com/1847403/2020/06/01/a-pro-scout-breaks-down-the-proposed-blackhawks-oilers-qualifying-round-matchup/

    Does having historic PP success win you most valuable player?

    Name a Nucks player in the running…..

    F u

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

    I know who votes on the award, thank you very much. That’s great for Kurz – of course, there are other members who have mentioned that Drai is their run away #1 you.

    Its so odd that you contribute all of the Oilers success to the PP and then use Drai’s PP points, the primary reason for that PP and the team’s success as a way to say he isn’t as valuable to his team. Its almost as if you are making the point of how valuable to the team he was.

    Yes, his plus/minus will be an issue for those voting members that don’t actually watch the Oilers play as its clearly not representative of his play as his team’s best faceoff guy, a top PK guy, etc.

    I know where your vote is going – oh, wait, it matters as much as mine.

  91. meanashell11 says:

    Harpers Hair: The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

    Yeah, plus minus is a respected stat. GFYS

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: I seem to remember that your not a gambling man but I am if you would like to go $100 to Lowetide or a charity it’ll make it more interesting. I’ll take Leon wins MVP and he does it pretty easily if you don’t want to wager no problem. If you do wager and when you lose unlike HH when he lost the Mcdavid, Mackinnon scoring raceI know you’ll honour our bet.

    I think he will win the Hart so, no, I don’t think I’ll take that bet.

  93. pts2pndr says:

    defmn: I doubt anybody here would disagree with that.

    My main three ingredients for a prospect are skating, hockey IQ and passion for the game.

  94. jp says:

    godot10: A goaltender should be drafted in the top 5 OR not until late in the 2nd round.

    Either a draft age goaltender is a sure thing or they are a suspect with varying degrees of potential.

    Askarov is a high potential suspect if he is not drafted in the top ten.If he falls to you late in the second round, preferably in the 3rd round, he is a worthwhile pick.

    The Oilers should draft low risk prospects.They have McDavid, Draisaitl, and a lot of D.There are enough high potential lower risk prospects not to roll the dice in this draft.

    Don’t draft Askarov. I have no issue with that POV.

    Draft top 5 or not until late 2nd. Huh.

    The complete list of goalies drafted in the top 5 in the past 30 years:
    2005 5th Price
    2003 1st Fleury
    2002 2nd Lehtonen
    2000 1st DiPietro

    DiPietro was a bust. And was Lehtonen worth the #2 pick? Drafting a goalie top 5 is far from fool proof.

    Then you’ve got:
    2006 6th Montoya
    1999 6th Finley
    1994 7th Storr

    But drafting a goalie 6 or 7 is fundamentally different from drafting #5…

    Then there are 50 slots where it’s a bad idea to draft a G. Then it’s OK…

    Honestly this is a weird one Godot.

  95. Georges says:

    Harpers Hair: The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

    The Hart is a beauty pageant. Given that it goes to players who don’t win the Cup, it’s important that you vote. Every vote counts. Is Artemi going to get it before play resumes? I sure hope so. It would give Drai lots of room to air his grievances.

  96. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: “At 5-on-5, the Oilers were outscored 157-141 this season (the Blackhawks, for comparison, were even at 147-147). Edmonton is 22nd in expected goals-for percentage (48.35) and 27th in Corsi percentage (47.87).

    https://theathletic.com/1847403/2020/06/01/a-pro-scout-breaks-down-the-proposed-blackhawks-oilers-qualifying-round-matchup/

    Does having historic PP success win you most valuable player?

    Yeah with that much talent down low the Oilers should be focusing on bombs from the point.
    Get outta here.
    The reason the Oilers pp is so good is because Klefbom knows not to waste the puck with point shots when he’s got the two best players in the game down low
    Here’s the interesting thing about Klefbom
    He took 159 shots on goal during the season which is good for 19th in the league
    But when you take a look at defensemen that played 100 minimum power play Klefbom drops to 8.8 shots per 60 min which is 43rd in the league
    So he is intentionally not shooting the puck as much on the pp as he does normally
    Guess who takes the most shots
    Burns 18.9/60
    Doughty 18.4/60
    Josi 18.3/60

    And where are their powerplays ranked you may ask?
    Sharks 23rd
    Preds 25th
    Kings 26th

    So we can live without a bomb from the point
    Because Weber’s bomb from point only gets the Canadians a 22nd ranked pp

  97. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: I do wonder about a player without a legit health or family reason that refuses to come back – will be interesting to see what they league might do, if anything.

    Have they not said very clearly already it’s up to the player? No one will be forced?

    It’s absolutely possible teammates, coaches, GMs will take offence. This could be an issue for fringe players in particular, getting another deal and that sort of thing. Pretty sure the NHL will NOT sanction any punitive action for an individual making a personal decision to stay home though.

  98. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wait, Keegan Lowe isn’t a real prospect?Just kidding. With that said, although I do agree there is a gap after Sammy with respect to “real NHL prospects”, don’t forget about Niemelainen and Lennstrom (oh, and of course, Broberg – a real NHL propspect, just a few years away):

    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Jones
    Russell
    Laggeson
    Sammy
    Broberg
    Niemelainen
    Lennstrom

    Hi OP, My apologies for my lack of clarity, I see the leftorium ranked like this for NEXT season:

    Klef
    Nurse
    Jones
    (Russell) – Traded
    Lagesson
    Lennstrom
    Niemelainen
    Broberg
    Samorukov

  99. jp says:

    pts2pndr: I would far sooner see a smaller player with skill over a bigger player with questionable skating and hands of stone any time!

    The Leprechaun comment suggested otherwise to me, but cool, agreed.

  100. €√¥£€^$ says:

    meanashell11: Yeah, plus minus is a respected stat. GFYS

    Gelsenkirchen Frozen Yellow Strudel?

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Have they not said very clearly already it’s up to the player? No one will be forced?

    It’s absolutely possible teammates, coaches, GMs will take offence. This could be an issue for fringe players in particular, getting another deal and that sort of thing. Pretty sure the NHL will NOT sanction any punitive action for an individual making a personal decision to stay home though.

    Phase 2 is completely voluntary.

    Parameters around phase 3 (training camps) and phase 4 (travel to hugs, 2 exhibition games, real games) havt not.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: Hi OP, My apologies for my lack of clarity, I see the leftorium ranked like this for NEXT season:

    Klef
    Nurse
    Jones
    (Russell) – Traded
    Lagesson
    Lennstrom
    Niemelainen
    Broberg
    Samorukov

    I agree with your ranking for next season except Samorukov is definitely ahead of Broberg for next year (in my opinion) and potentially ahead of Niemalainen.

  103. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Elgin R:
    €√¥£€^$,

    On the left side the Oilers have Broberg, Lagesson and the newly-signed Themstom.Lagesson is NHL ready as a 3rd pairing and Broberg is another 2 years away but should arrive in time to replace Klefbom.

    There is no one of significance on the right side.This statement must be tempered by the ‘Bear’ factor.I did not see him as a great prospect and all of a sudden he grabs a top 4 job and runs with it.In reality, Bear is the Oilers #1 right D, so maybe someone else jumps up.

    Holland must keep the pipeline full at positions other than LW as these can be acquired.

    Well there is Bouchard, right?
    Berglund could be a better than 3rd pair Dman right now.
    Kemp will be a good 3rd pair D, I expect a similiar style to Lagesson, but a better skater when he arrives
    Kesselring is still very raw, but already he is better than Desharnais and should improve a lot over the next 3 yrs. He finished the season much improved from the beginning of the NCAA season.

  104. Georges says:

    “I added a second round pick via Ottawa, let’s say it’s a deal that involves Jesse Puljuarvi.”

    Hmm, THAT is the endgame with JP? Let’s say it’s not.

    With absolutely nothing to back it up, I’d estimate the second coming of JP to have a floor of 0.4 Pts/GP.

    Holland’s not going to give him away for a measly second. At least, I hope not. That would just make me sad. It would make me wonder if anyone in the business of hockey knows anything.

    The options are:

    1. JP doesn’t play in the NHL until he’s old and crotchety.

    2. JP gets traded for a first round pick or someone with more than reasonable potential to be a top 6 forward.

    3. JP returns to play for the Oilers.

    The more time passes, the more I like 3. Now that TMac and Hitch and PC are gone, the team that’s in the best position to take a flyer on JP’s potential is the team that currently holds his rights. JP could also choose to never play in the NHL again.

  105. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree with your ranking for next season except Samorukov is definitely ahead of Broberg for next year (in my opinion) and potentially ahead of Niemalainen.

    My viewpoint is they already have pro seasons under their belts, and Samorukov struggled a bit as a rookie pro and lost time to injury, while Broberg is a higher pick and will likely get preferential opportunity ahead of Samo.

    Broberg is a Holland pick so this may play a part as well.

  106. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Georges:
    “I added a second round pick via Ottawa, let’s say it’s a deal that involves Jesse Puljuarvi.”

    Hmm, THAT is the endgame with JP? Let’s say it’s not.

    With absolutely nothing to back it up, I’d estimate the second coming of JP to have a floor of 0.4 Pts/GP.

    Holland’s not going to give him away for a measly second. At least, I hope not. That would just make me sad. It would make me wonder if anyone in the business of hockey knows anything.

    The options are:

    1. JP doesn’t play in the NHL until he’s old and crotchety.

    2. JP gets traded for a first round pick or someone with more than reasonable potential to be a top 6 forward.

    3. JP returns to play for the Oilers.

    The more time passes, the more I like 3. Now that TMac and Hitch and PC are gone, the team that’s in the best position to take a flyer on JP’s potential is the team that currently holds his rights. JP could also choose to never play in the NHL again.

    Other than JP’s perception/attitude and his Agent, the environment is ripe for JP to have NHL success next season. I hope he receives and heeds level-headed advice, I really want to see how he responds to Tippett.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: Well there is Bouchard, right?
    Berglund could be a better than 3rd pair Dman right now.
    Kemp will be a good 3rd pair D, I expect a similiar style to Lagesson, but a better skater when he arrives
    Kesselring is still very raw, but already he is better than Desharnais and should improve a lot over the next 3 yrs.He finished the season much improved from the beginning of the NCAA season.

    I agree with your assessment of Berglund, Kemp and Kesserling but, at the same time, there is no guarantee that any of them will be NHL players.

    From what I’ve read (and a bit of what I’ve seen), yes, Berglund could very well be an NHL d-man right now but we don’t know that to actually be the case and we won’t for another full year.

    I think Kemp is earning himself a pro contract but he’s far from a sure-NHLer and Kesserling is years away.

    Adding some more talent to the RD pipeline would be great

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: My viewpoint is they already have pro seasons under their belts, and Samorukov struggled a bit as a rookie pro and lost time to injury, while Broberg is a higher pick and will likely get preferential opportunity ahead of Samo.

    Broberg is a Holland pick so this may play a part as well.

    I would agree that, overall, Broberg is a higher rated prospect than Sammy but I thought your list was for next season and Broberg will be playing over in Sweden next season (unless something changes).

    For sure Sammy struggled early as a rookie pro, which was expected, but he also showed some fine development and was really starting to find his game with his face injury occurred – when he returned, the team was gutted and dumpster fire. First year pro d-men from the CHL typically struggle in their first year pro – I anticipate we are going to see a monster spike in Sammy’s development in year 2.

  109. godot10 says:

    jp: Don’t draft Askarov. I have no issue with that POV.

    Draft top 5 or not until late 2nd. Huh.

    The complete list of goalies drafted in the top 5 in the past 30 years:
    2005 5th Price
    2003 1st Fleury
    2002 2nd Lehtonen
    2000 1st DiPietro

    DiPietro was a bust. And was Lehtonen worth the #2 pick? Drafting a goalie top 5 is far from fool proof.

    Then you’ve got:
    2006 6th Montoya
    1999 6th Finley
    1994 7th Storr

    But drafting a goalie 6 or 7 is fundamentally different from drafting #5…

    Then there are 50 slots where it’s a bad idea to draft a G. Then it’s OK…

    Honestly this is a weird one Godot.

    It was my way of saying it is a bad idea to draft a goaltender until late in the 2nd round at the earliest, because almost all 18-year old goaltenders are suspects.

    If a goaltender isn’t a suspect, then he must be a sure thing and amongst the very top in his draft class. Since 99.9% of 18-year old goaltenders are suspects of varying degrees, one really shouldn’t be drafting them till the 3rd round.

  110. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think they’d be urging more coaches to stay home than players if they did that – older demographic and, well, many have not kept up their fitness regime from their younger days.

    True

  111. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: The Hart Trophy is voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

    Kevin Kurz is one of them and I wonder how many of his colleagues will come to the same conclusions.

    I would think many of them will take a close look at two way play before they cast their ballot.

    Of note, of the top 20 scorers in the NHL at the break, only three had a negative plus/minus.

    Ovechkin -12
    McDavid -6
    Draisaitl -7

    I have no idea how that will weigh on voters minds but I am certain more than a few will consider it and vote for someone else.

    Artemi Panarın played for a very poor team but managed to post a +36.

    He only scored 24 PP points to Draisaitl’s 44.

    I know who I would vote for.

    Of course if he was an Oiler, Panarin would be automatically disqualified because they weren’t a playoff team. Being Russian probably seals his fate though. Like I said a week ago, Drai deserves it. McKinnon wins it.

    PS. I have no idea who you would vote for. Sadly, I know who you wouldn’t vote for.

  112. JimmyV1965 says:

    Georges:
    “I added a second round pick via Ottawa, let’s say it’s a deal that involves Jesse Puljuarvi.”

    Hmm, THAT is the endgame with JP? Let’s say it’s not.

    With absolutely nothing to back it up, I’d estimate the second coming of JP to have a floor of 0.4 Pts/GP.

    Holland’s not going to give him away for a measly second. At least, I hope not. That would just make me sad. It would make me wonder if anyone in the business of hockey knows anything.

    The options are:

    1. JP doesn’t play in the NHL until he’s old and crotchety.

    2. JP gets traded for a first round pick or someone with more than reasonable potential to be a top 6 forward.

    3. JP returns to play for the Oilers.

    The more time passes, the more I like 3. Now that TMac and Hitch and PC are gone, the team that’s in the best position to take a flyer on JP’s potential is the team that currently holds his rights. JP could also choose to never play in the NHL again.

    If JP refuses to play for the Oilers, the GM’s hands are tied. He will have to basically accept the best offer. If JP spends another year in Finland, his value will be sewered IMO, even if he has another good year.

  113. Klima's_Bucket says:

    stephen sheps,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this.
    Keep up the good work!

  114. €√¥£€^$ says:

    stephen sheps:
    *****SPAM ALERT*****

    Some pretty awful things have been happening in the world lately. With LT’s blessing, I’m posting a link here to the first non-music blog post I’ve written on my old blog since late 2016. As a sport sociologist, I felt compelled to actually do something, but this is really the only thing I know how to do.

    https://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com/2020/06/what-have-i-done-to-help.html

    Feel free to leave comments for me here, or if you’d prefer, send me a DM on twitter (@ShepsStephen)or an email (stephensheps (at) gmail (dot) com) if you want to chat somewhere that won’t derail what I’m sure is a typically energetic conversation about the draft.

    Thanks in advance.

    *****END SPAM*****

    Thanks for sharing!

    As a very shy person I was never good at speaking up for myself, but whenever I witnessed injustice as a child I would spring into action. That never went away.

    I have been extremely privileged in my life and it would be better for our society if people spoke up every single time. We are making progress as a society in breaking down the barriers with the “Me Too” movement, for mental health stigmas and gender/sexuality type issues, but this racial inequity/injustice has been devoid of effort by the leadership in society at every level forever….

    Change can’t happen in a vacuum, otherwise it will be short-lived or isolated, which has happened all over, I am sure. But the leaders at the top need to link with lower level leadership to present a united front. Hopefully we see that happen in our lifetime.

  115. €√¥£€^$ says:

    jtblack:
    “No. 82 overall. RC Jack Finley, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). He’s a big center with skill and a good skater, too. Some question about what position he’ll play at the pro level and it’s a bit of a boom or bust but the payoff on the bet is huge. ”

    LT, is a good comparable for Finley, Adam Lowry?

    Lowry was a 3rd round pick, 6.5″, 18 G 45 Pts in his draft year (2011) ….

    Finley had 19 G 57 Pts .. maybe a bit more offense to his game . and Finley is a SEP birthday, very very late .. just makes the cutoff …

    I think Lowry is a better skater, and more of a crash and banger, more in a Kassian mould (without the crazy), whereas Finley is better positionally, thinks the games very well and has better offensive instincts.

    Finley is also better defensively.

    So Lowry is a clear bottom 6, where Finley could very well be a 2nd line C. Couturier-lite, if you will.

    Finley has normally been placed in a 2-way role and throughout his minor league career often took on the opponent’s best players.

    I have no doubt that he will be an NHL Centre.

  116. Georges says:

    JimmyV1965: If JP refuses to play for the Oilers, the GM’s hands are tied. He will have to basically accept the best offer.If JP spends another year in Finland, his value will be sewered IMO, even if he has another good year.

    “He will have to basically accept the best offer.”

    Sure, if that offer is a first round pick or someone young who’s shown he can score in the league.

    If that offer doesn’t come, then Holland doesn’t have to do anything. It’s JP the world is passing by, not Holland. Holland can whistle while he works. He’ll lose no sleep over JP’s sewering value across the league, in fact, that perception will help Holland more than hurt him. JP and his agent aren’t going to win by refusing to play for the Oilers.

    Holland can’t trade JP for a 2nd rounder. That pick is practically worthless and certainly not worth JP straight up. JP is more valuable than that. If every other team refuses to believe that, then the only team that’s left is the Oilers. That’s basically the case Holland is making. JP, we tried to find you a new home, but no one thinks you’re worth more than a 2nd round pick and we think you’re worth much more. Do you want to play for a team that doesn’t really want you or for a team that does? The fact that he wasn’t moved in year 1 of his protest should help that reality sink in for player and agent. No other team values JP the way the Oilers do.

  117. Georges says:

    It’s like this, JP.

    If you’re as good as you think you are and I trade you for a second round pick, then people will call me an idiot and, you know what, they’ll be right. But if you’re not quite as good as you think you are and I trade you for a second round pick, the team that gets you won’t have that much invested in you; they won’t be patient if you struggle. Why would they? They didn’t pay a big price to get you.

    But the Oilers did. This team paid a big, big price to get you, JP. I know there were problems. But, me and the HC, we had nothing to do with any of that. We want to see you reach your potential. We really believe you can be an impact player. That’s why we’re not giving you away for cheap. Nothing could make us happier, for you to come back, light it up, show the league what you can do, then write your own ticket. That would make everyone happy.

  118. jp says:

    godot10: It was my way of saying it is a bad idea to draft a goaltender until late in the 2nd round at the earliest, because almost all 18-year old goaltenders are suspects.

    If a goaltender isn’t a suspect, then he must be a sure thing and amongst the very top in his draft class.Since 99.9% of 18-year old goaltenders are suspects of varying degrees, one really shouldn’t be drafting them till the 3rd round.

    Alright, that’s far more fair.

  119. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Phase 2 is completely voluntary.

    Parameters around phase 3 (training camps) and phase 4 (travel to hugs, 2 exhibition games, real games) havt not.

    Do you really think the league might force the players to return? Or in any way officially penalize them for not returning (beyond loss of whatever compensation is decided on)? I just don’t see it happening…

  120. Georges says:

    Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini got the Coyotes Nick Scmaltz.

    – Strome was a “failed” high first round pick; Perlini was another first round pick that had developed into an OK forward; Perlini and Strome both started 18-19 slow

    – Schmaltz was a first rounder who had established himself at top 6 scoring levels; his start to 18-19 was in line with his career averages

    – Perlini had an unremarkable stint in CHI before being traded to DET; Strome has become a top-3 forward; maybe ARI didn’t have to deal Perlini or maybe they knew something about his likely trajectory and were OK throwing him in there

    – Schmaltz has continued to score at a top-6 borderline top-3 pace for ARI

    That’s what you have to pry loose if you’re going to deal JP. The other party has to believe enough in JP’s upside to make that offer.

  121. jp says:

    Georges:
    “I added a second round pick via Ottawa, let’s say it’s a deal that involves Jesse Puljuarvi.”

    Hmm, THAT is the endgame with JP? Let’s say it’s not.

    With absolutely nothing to back it up, I’d estimate the second coming of JP to have a floor of 0.4 Pts/GP.

    Holland’s not going to give him away for a measly second. At least, I hope not. That would just make me sad. It would make me wonder if anyone in the business of hockey knows anything.

    The options are:

    1. JP doesn’t play in the NHL until he’s old and crotchety.

    2. JP gets traded for a first round pick or someone with more than reasonable potential to be a top 6 forward.

    3. JP returns to play for the Oilers.

    The more time passes, the more I like 3. Now that TMac and Hitch and PC are gone, the team that’s in the best position to take a flyer on JP’s potential is the team that currently holds his rights. JP could also choose to never play in the NHL again.

    I agree with your conclusion here, that Puljujarvi returning to the Oilers is likely the best outcome. And in general I’ve been (I think) among the more optimistic supporters regarding Puljujarvi’s future.

    A 0.4 PPG floor seems rather aggressive though. And having nothing to back it up seems a little unusual for you.

    So, the player scored 0.19 PPG in his last stint in the NHL. 0.27 for his NHL career.

    This season in Finland produced an NHLE of 35 points, which would be 0.43 PPG. (I don’t deny 0.4 is possible, maybe even likely btw).

    His AHL career sits at 0.7 PPG with I believe works out to just south of 0.35 PPG NHLE.

    His BEST NHL season to date produced 0.31 PPG.

    I have zero doubt he might score 0.4 or 0.5 or even 0.6 PPG in a return. I just have a hard time agreeing that’s the floor. There’s risk involved with Puljujarvi, just as there’s very significant upside.

    I guess a question for you (I didn’t start out thinking to ask…) is what have players who’ve score 0.27 PPG in the NHL before turning 21 done at the NHL level going forward?

  122. jp says:

    Georges,

    I can’t answer my own question fully, but I did go to HockeyReference and look for NHL players who fit the following criteria:

    Forwards, from the modern era (post 1967 expansion)
    Age 20 or younger
    100+ NHL games
    Up to first 3 seasons

    Sorting for Pts/Game puts Puljujarvi near the bottom of the list of 190 players. All the players within +/- 0.10 PPG of Puljujarvi’s 0.27 career PPG are:

    Stanislav Chistov 0.36
    Pavel Zacha 0.36
    Tyson Jost 0.35
    Magnus Paajarvi 0.35
    Filip Chytil 0.34
    Sean Couturier 0.34
    Troy Mallette 0.34
    Andrew McBain 0.34
    Everett Sanipass 0.34
    Alexander Burmistrov 0.32
    Rob Niedermayer 0.32
    Dainius Zubrus 0.32
    Luc Dufour 0.31
    Ryan Johansen 0.31
    Taylor Pyatt 0.30
    Dave Chyzowski 0.29
    Mike Marson 0.29
    Grant Mulvey 0.29
    Herb Raglan 0.29
    Jesse Puljujarvi 0.27
    James Sheppard 0.27
    Curtis Lazar 0.24
    Jason Wiemer 0.22
    Shane Doan 0.21
    Brent Burns 0.20 (not sure he played F for all this time)
    Manny Malhotra 0.19
    Tom Wilson 0.18 (this is actually the last name/lowest total on the list)

    There’s lots of useful, and a few exceptional, players on this list. But I’m not sure it’s a list that would prompt me to pay a 1st rounder for Puljujarvi (though I may also be over-valuing a pick in the 20s, as it seems we’ve likely doing for 2nd round picks).

  123. jp says:

    Georges,

    Without actually crunching the numbers I *think* only 5 of the 25 forwards listed above scored 0.4+ PPG for the rest of their careers (excluding Burns who didn’t remain a forward).

    A few of them are young and might still get there but the odds for Puljujarvi scoring at even 0.4 PPG going forward don’t look overly strong.

  124. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Georges,

    Bravo.

  125. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Georges,

    VOR advocated for a JP for Strome trade early.

    It would appear he was right.

  126. JimmyV1965 says:

    Georges: “He will have to basically accept the best offer.”

    Sure, if that offer is a first round pick or someone young who’s shown he can score in the league.

    If that offer doesn’t come, then Holland doesn’t have to do anything. It’s JP the world is passing by, not Holland. Holland can whistle while he works. He’ll lose no sleep over JP’s sewering value across the league, in fact, that perception will help Holland more than hurt him. JP and his agent aren’t going to win by refusing to play for the Oilers.

    Holland can’t trade JP for a 2nd rounder. That pick is practically worthless and certainly not worth JP straight up. JP is more valuable than that. If every other team refuses to believe that, then the only team that’s left is the Oilers. That’s basically the case Holland is making. JP, we tried to find you a new home, but no one thinks you’re worth more than a 2nd round pick and we think you’re worth much more. Do you want to play for a team that doesn’t really want you or for a team that does? The fact that he wasn’t moved in year 1 of his protest should help that reality sink in for player and agent. No other team values JP the way the Oilers do.

    That’s the problem. No team places the same value on JP as the Oilers. If they are only willing to give up a second round pick this year, that value will diminish even more next year. If a second rounder is the maximum return this year, it will be third rounder next year. Holland is better off taking the second round pick. The best solution for the Oilers is JP returning, but that is out of the team’s hands. The next best solution is trading for another former highly touted prospect who has diminished value to his team. IMO the least desirable option is JP spending another year in Europe. I’d rather have the second round pick. Although I agree with your evaluation of second round picks, it really doesn’t matter. It’s still better than a third round pick.

  127. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    Not sure if you work for a union or not, but I work for one of the largest ones in Alberta industrial construction/maintenance, which is federalized with one of the largest throughout North America.

    Individual members are absolutely penalized for rocking the boat, especially those whom have low social/professional standing or personal clout.

    If you, say, speak out about safety violations or (gasp) hypocrisy withing the rules or application thereof (related to safety, camp conditions, labour code or union rule violations, or otherwise), you are very likely vilified and subsequently laid-off at first opportunity… only to go back to the dispatch board to try again. If/when there’s work available.

    Referees/Job Stewards are not typically ensconced based on competence or character, but on inside knowledge of being reliable/sympathetic to a core set of values not intrinsic or shared with the bulwark of the membership — and rather most typically favourable to the leadership classes of both the client and union.

    All one really learns over time is that if you want to have a career, you need to mind your own business, consistently produce quality work, and network with your own kind. Leave the thinking to the big fish.

    I’m not so sure it’s any different when the salary figures are seven-plus compared to five or six. In fact, it may be worse; especially so when the stakes are public.

    In short, if you think that players are shielded by the NHLPA to any kind of backlash or repercussions for not reporting to play due to Covid-related fears by way of having a union, I think you’re bound to be disappointed.

  128. who says:

    Georges: “He will have to basically accept the best offer.”

    Sure, if that offer is a first round pick or someone young who’s shown he can score in the league.

    If that offer doesn’t come, then Holland doesn’t have to do anything. It’s JP the world is passing by, not Holland. Holland can whistle while he works. He’ll lose no sleep over JP’s sewering value across the league, in fact, that perception will help Holland more than hurt him. JP and his agent aren’t going to win by refusing to play for the Oilers.

    Holland can’t trade JP for a 2nd rounder. That pick is practically worthless and certainly not worth JP straight up. JP is more valuable than that. If every other team refuses to believe that, then the only team that’s left is the Oilers. That’s basically the case Holland is making. JP, we tried to find you a new home, but no one thinks you’re worth more than a 2nd round pick and we think you’re worth much more. Do you want to play for a team that doesn’t really want you or for a team that does? The fact that he wasn’t moved in year 1 of his protest should help that reality sink in for player and agent. No other team values JP the way the Oilers do.

    Not a word out of place in this post. My thoughts exactly.

  129. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Thanks for the perspective.

    My opinion on this is mostly based on the NHLs words so far (which as OP pointed out don’t technically cover later phases), the reaction of other leagues (the NBA I think said something similar about not forcing players to return, though I could be mistaken) and the climate around returning to work at my own workplace (in the US) which has stressed that people will not be forced to return if they don’t feel comfortable.

    I fully agree that these things, and the presence of unions, are not guaranteeing anyone legal protection from punitive measures if they refuse to return to work.

    I would just be extremely surprised if the NHL officially did such at this point considering the optics public nature of doing it during a pandemic. And beyond that, they don’t currently force players to play or honor their contracts currently if they don’t want to. Now seems like about the worst time to start.

    Maybe I’m off base. But I just don’t see it happening.

  130. stephen sheps says:

    To all who read, commented and emailed me yesterday about that thing I wrote, thanks for taking the time to read it and think about some of the ideas.

    It’s not much, but all of us can help in our own ways.

    Thanks again

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Do you really think the league might force the players to return? Or in any way officially penalize them for not returning (beyond loss of whatever compensation is decided on)? I just don’t see it happening…

    The entire NHLPA will return on the actual return to play plan that is negotiated by their representatives.

    I anticipate that it will pass and the vast majority of players on the 24 teams will return.

    As I as posted, I anticipate there will be at least a handful of players that refuse to return – some may have direct health issues. Some may have family health issues. Some may have other family reasons. Some may have other reasons.

    I don’t know what the NHL and the teams may do but I think there could be a differentiation between the four categories I listed (and sub-categories within).

  132. deardylan says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog post Sheps. Like how you zoomed out to map the bigger system which guides our reality tunnels. Should the system also be on trial?

  133. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    I definitely don’t disagree with your points (especially regarding optics) but mostly in theory.

    In theory hockey is for everyone. Unless the coach doesn’t like you then it’s open season to denigrate you in front of your teammates and limit your opportunity for ice time… Akim Ailu says hello and I’m sure there have been countless others. The only reason Peters was sacked was because of the optics. Not because of platitudes and promises or union representation. It was a bad look for the league and would have a direct impact on revenue.

    I don’t see the Wild or NHL taking putative action against Dubnyk if he doesn’t play, but what a pickle that would be for the team. I can envision mixed reactions within the locker room and organization which would lead to an awkward work environment at the very least. Again, just in theory. Not in the room so it’s tough to speculate.

  134. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    I fully agree there’s likely to be some sort of informal peer pressure or issues otherwise for players who decide not to play without clear health/family related reasons. There may even be team sanctioned penalties by some owners/managers. I just don’t think the league will mandate that sort of thing or officially endorse it.

  135. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: The entire NHLPA will return on the actual return to play plan that is negotiated by their representatives.

    I anticipate that it will pass and the vast majority of players on the 24 teams will return.

    As I as posted, I anticipate there will be at least a handful of players that refuse to return – some may have direct health issues.Some may have family health issues.Some may have other family reasons. Some may have other reasons.

    I don’t know what the NHL and the teams may do but I think there could be a differentiation between the four categories I listed (and sub-categories within).

    That’s fair. I still don’t think anyone will be “forced” to return to play if they don’t want to (whatever their reason) but sure, there could be some form of distinction.

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