NHL executives rarely go public on disagreements, even years later. Fortunately, we are gifted with brain power, so when Todd McLellan kept excluding Reinhart from his starting lineup, and Peter Chiarelli kept talking about his being ready, it didn’t take a rocket surgeon to call Houston.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, check it out here.
- New Lowetide: Charting Theodor Lennstrom’s future with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Projecting the Oilers’ black aces and how much they’ll play
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ lineup for their play-in series versus the Blackhawks
- Lowetide: Could the Oilers draft a defenceman in the first round?
- Lowetide: Why the Oilers should extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as soon as possible
- Lowetide: Oilers farmhand Josh Currie’s small window of opportunity
- Jonathan Willis: Misguided priorities helped turn the Oilers’ 2010 rebuild into a debacle
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘It’s what’s best for the league’: Oilers accept challenge of play-in series
- Lowetide: Oilers greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Six bold (and not so bold) predictions as the Oilers prepare for the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers facing a bonus penalty for 2020-21 but the news isn’t all bad
- Jonathan Willis: Multiple choice: What might an Oilers trade at the 2020 NHL Draft look like?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers return to play guide: How the NHL’s 24-team format impacts Edmonton
- Lowetide: Mike Green’s playoff role and possible future with the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers’ most likely recalls from Bakersfield for the playoff run
Reinhart scored the overtime winner but it was Laurent Brossoit and Jujhar Khaira who got the recall a few days later.
REINHART, CHIARELLI AND MCLELLAN
Peter Chiarelli: “We’ve got 8 or 9 D who are challenging. I believe he is (ready), yeah. What I saw from him in the Memorial Cup. I know his year last year wasn’t great and there’s reasons behind that and that really is—not excuses—but there are reasons that explain it. But what I saw in the Memorial Cup is that you’ve got a player here who can dominate, that can lug the puck, and that can make plays. And for a bigger sized man, he can move well, and I would expect him to be in the top 4 at some point.” (To Bob McKenzie, summer 2015)
Todd McLellan: “Griffin has to improve his game in every area to be a National Hockey Leaguer. He has to get stronger, his (defensive) reads. He has to get down into the American League and understand that because he’s got work to do to get back here. That was the message delivered to him and he accepted it, well.” Source (via Jim Matheson, October 2016)
RED LINE AND THE 2011 DRAFT
Red Line Report has been hammering home quality scouting reports since forever. A good report should have you agreeing five years after the draft, and all of those words from the original report should have color and shade and nuance. Here’s Red Line from 2011.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, No. 1 overall. Nugent-Hopkins has the highest offensive upside and is the most potent playmaker of the bunch. He’ll struggle to handle the physicality of the NHL over a grueling 82-game season since his current walking around weight is a slightly built 163 pounds. But he is gritty and willing to battle in traffic and stand up for himself, so he’ll eventually get there.
Oscar Klefbom, No. 19 overall. He’s the most overlooked of the top prospects. He already makes pro style passes — crisp and with touch — and excels at breaking the trap with tremendous stretch passes through the neutral zone, showing great vision. All this comes wrapped in a 6-3, 196-pound package, Klefbom has really stepped up the physical aspect of his game over the last 12 months.
David Musil, No. 31 overall. David has excellent size and strength and plays a rugged brand of hockey. He’s got good hockey sense in all three zones. Maintains great gap control, always squares up to the puckhandler. Good laterally, but first step and straightaway speed are average. Is not good as either a PP quarterback or trigger-man— has weak shot, makes poor decisions in puck distribution.
Samu Perhonen, No. 62 overall. He has the excellent size and athleticism NHL scouts crave, looks every bit the part of today’s modern butterfly goalie. But he plays way too hyper a style for our liking with a lot of wasted movement. He overcommits on everything near his crease. He also lacks any sense of anticipation for developing plays. We suspect he’ll be taken fairly high on his very projectable size/athleticism combination, but he’ll require years of refining and technique work with a good goalie coach to realize his potential.
Travis Ewanyk, No. 74 overall. The quintessential power checking centre. Plays with a mean, nasty, chippy edge. Understands the defensive side of game and positions himself between the puck and his check – very solid technically. Strong skater with excellent balance and power in his stride. Responsible in all his assignments. Key penalty killer. Not offensively creative.
Dillon Simpson, No. 92 overall. Stay at home defencemen with savvy and size. Sluggish skater with a short stride, but shows good gap control and lateral mobility. Tentative to do anything offensively and always has one foot back on defence. Doesn’t see the ice well and hurries to get the puck off his stick. Makes sharp defensive reads and is rarely out of position.
Tobias Rieder, No. 114 overall. Undersized, but exceptionally smart playmaker. Has decent speed, lacks the explosive first step burst. Super soft hands and slick with the puck in tight. Sees the ice very well and can saucer touch passes through traffic off either side of the blade. Average shot. Anticipates developing plays, stepping in to intercept passes and start quick counterattacks in transition.
That’s an accurate description of every player listed here, Red Line anticipated some of the future issues facing each player. RLR had Nuge No. 1, Klefbom No. 11, Musil No. 17, Perhonen No. 6 goalie, Ewanyk No. 64, Simpson No. 74, Rieder No. 58. Put another way, Red Line liked Edmonton’s 2011 draft picks earlier than the Oilers picked them.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first five years: 313, 77-145-222 [.709]
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins next four years: 291, 92-129-221 [.759]
Puck IQ doesn’t go all the way back to Nuge’s rookie year, but by 2014-15 (age 21) he was facing more tough competition than other centers. In the period beginning 2016-17 (four years), he is averaging 73, 23-32-55 (compared to Hall’s 2015+ numbers mentioned yesterday, 66 games, 20-38-58). RLR’s point about size certainly had an impact. Grade: B.
- Oscar Klefbom first five years: 107, 7-28-35 [.327]
- Oscar Klefbom next four years: 271, 27-94-121 [.446]
Klefbom was either Edmonton’s best defenseman or trending that way since 2016. He’s a complete player and when he’s less than 100 percent the Oilers suffer no matter who replaces him. A home run pick where he was chosen. Offensively, his numbers over the last four seasons (average is 68, 7-24-31) are impressive. Defensively, he has faced elite competition successfully for many years. Grade: A.
- Tobias Rieder first five years: 154, 27-31-58 [.377]
- Tobias Rieder next four years: 280, 32-48-80 [.286]
Rieder’s first few years saw him facing elite competition while also delivering more offense than one might expect from a complementary player in this role. The most recent seasons have seen him fade offensively and struggle at times in his two-way role. He remains a tremendous fourth-round pick, Edmonton’s best since Shawn Horcoff (with Erik Gustafsson and Caleb Jones as recent challengers). Grade: A.
The 2011 draft was Edmonton’s second best of the decade (2015) and shines like a diamond. I would rank 2011 as the Oilers best draft since 1993 (Jason Arnott, Miro Satan, David Vyborny).
He has signed back in the SHL. It does impact the Oilers, who just dropped in to see what condition the conditional pick was in. So Edmonton’s conditional pick is now zero.