A Rational Look at Prospect ETA’s

by Lowetide

I don’t mention it, which is bad manners, but am indebted to readers for following me down rabbit holes and mine shafts of prospect evaluation and progress measurement over many years. I’ve never asked you once if you’re interested, nor poured you a drink, just got right into the weeds. And we’re back.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

THE 2015 SPRING LIST

On April 10, 2015, I posted the following list of players who were either ready, close to ready, or had some travelling to do. Here are the words, with an update on how accurate my predictions were.

NHL READY NOW

D Oscar Klefbom. It seems silly to list him here but there were questions about development time at the beginning of the year and Klefbom did in fact spend time in OKC this season. He won’t see the minors again. Update: This is correct. Klefbom has been in the NHL since and delivered quality play.

C Anton Lander. The new contract signals arrival and if that wasn’t enough watching the games shows his growth as a player. My oh my, what a wonderful thing to see: An actual NHL player developed via the minor league system. Now that the club has done it, the trick is to repeat it. Update: Lander stayed in the NHL, and would last two more years in the organization, Todd Nelson the only coach who saw him as a top-9 solution. Foot speed was the issue.

R Tyler Pitlick. If the young man could stay healthy I’d be willing to bet Pitlick is on the opening night roster in the fall. This week’s games had value despite the standings, as the young winger has shown a range of skills (and scored a goal) to put his name front and center for next year. Update: Oh Pitlick! In 2015-16, he would spend the year (injury riddled) in Bakersfield before finally emerging as an NHL player in 2016-17. He might still be an Oilers winger but yet another injury meant he qualified as a UFA in the summer of 2017. He is now a productive NHL role player.

D Martin Marincin. There are gaps in his game (awareness, strength) but it’s my guess he’ll settle in as a solid top 6 defenseman for many NHL seasons—hopefully with the Oilers. Update: I missed by a little, he is more a No. 8 NHL defenseman. He has played in every NHL season since 2013-14 and continues to have the wingspan of a massive jet airliner.

D Brandon Davidson. I think he’s ready for the 7D role, but that job is likely to be gifted to a veteran like Nikitin or Ference next season. Davidson has impressed me with his mobility, grit and passing. Far better player than I thought he’d be, Davidson has a chance to have a career. Update: It happened just this way, Davidson emerged as the best defenseman Edmonton drafted in 2010. Injuries kept him from staying in the lineup but there was a time when this player looked capable of a career as a top-4 NHL defenseman.

ANY DAY NOW

D Darnell Nurse. I think it makes worlds of sense to place him in Bakersfield, but if Nurse arrives in training camp and is clearly among the six best defensemen? Keep him, even if it mean placing a veteran on waivers—up to and including Niki Nikitin and Andrew Ference. Update: Nurse played nine games in Bakersfield and 69 in Edmonton. Seems I had this covered.

C Leon Draisaitl. I have a feeling the big man is going to make it very difficult to send him back this fall. Leon’s performance this season showed he wasn’t ready but there were exceptional elements to his game. He’s not THAT far way. Update: He played just six games in Bakersfield and has blossomed into one of the best players in the NHL.

A YEAR OR LESS

  • R Andrew Miller. His NHL audition recently suggests we’re looking at an NHL-ready player. Update: Played six NHL games in 2015-16, got himself dealt to the Charlotte Checkers and is currently in the KHL. He played 15 NHL games, all with Edmonton.
  • G Laurent Brossoit. He has showed a lot this winter and spring but caution is always a good idea with goaltenders. Update: I think the Oilers were too careful, Todd McLellan rarely played him and the young man struggled when he did get in. Now a Winnipeg Jets backup and has posted one quality and one suspect season in the prairie city.
  • R Iiro Pakarinen. Brings a unique phyical element married to some skill. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won a job in TC. Update: He did in fact play for the Oilers in 2015-16, and for parts of the two seasons that followed. He was a little shy of grabbing a job and holding it but he found a way into 135 NHL games, one in the playoffs..
  • L Curtis Hamilton. One healthy season has him heading in a good direction and another should get him closer to his goal. Update: He played one NHL game in 2014-15 and that was it. By the time I wrote this, his NHL career was done.
  • D David Musil. Getting his first cup of coffee and looking good as an NHL player. Update: He spent two more years in the minors but the four games in 2014-15 were it.
  • D Jordan Oesterle. He’s in the range with Musil in terms of being NHL-ready. Update: Oesterle continued to play very well in the minor while getting cups of coffee with the Oilers in 2015-16 and 2016-17. He has been an NHL regular with the Chicago Blackhawks and then Arizona Coyotes since.

SUMMER 2020 LIST

I think the estimates were close for the most part, Curtis Hamilton’s NHL career was done and David Musil got passed by too many defenseman to get another shot. Other than that, the predictions are in the range. Now, let’s try the current group.

NHL READY NOW

RD Evan Bouchard. His on-ice splits in the first and second half (First 27 AHL games: 18-29, Final 27 AHL games: 23-22) are proof of progress in the minors. It’s especially impressive considering the Condors were a trainwreck in the second half. He’s NHL ready.

LW Tyler Benson. I’m less convinced he’ll play on a scoring line but it’s clear now Benson has an NHL future that can start anytime. He wins battles, his passing is exceptional and he’s always been capable as a two-way forward. The concern I have surrounds how he’ll score goals. Per 82 games in the AHL, he is averaging 197 shots and 16 goals (8 percent). Magnus Paajarvi didn’t have a long NHL career, partly because he didn’t score enough. Per 82 games in the AHL he averaged 201 shots and 19 goals (9.45 percent).

LD William Lagesson. He really is a good NHL defensive prospect but it’s hard to get anyone’s attention with the current LH depth chart in Edmonton. How ready is he? In 92 AHL games, Lagesson’s on-ice even strength goal differential is 82-58, +24. In the same two year period, Ethan Bear (43-29, +14 playing just 2018-19) and Caleb Jones (59-46, +13 in a year and 14 games 2019-20) flourished and found NHL employment. Lagesson is NHL-ready and NHL-calibre.

RC Cooper Marody. This is all about injury. If Marody is healthy then we’re going to see him play some NHL hockey based on his outstanding rookie season in the AHL 2018-19 (58 games, 19-45-64 and an on-ice even strength goal differential of 60-36).

RW Jesse Puljujarvi. I can’t imagine any push back on this claim. NHLE from his Liiga season (35.1) lands him No. 202 among NHL forwards (30 or more games) in 2019-20 points-per-game. That’s a third-line winger. He’s beyond ready for that role.

A YEAR OR LESS

LC Ryan McLeod. I mentioned it all during the spring, McLeod’s rookie AHL season was very impressive. His on ice even strength goal differential (27-27) was slightly superior to other rookie forwards on the team (Kirill Maksimov 26-30; Jakob Stukel 14-16) and his estimated NHLE (all of this via our friend Eric Rodgers) was 15.83. That number is also superior to Maksimov (12.85) and Stukel (10.71). Note: This could flip a year from now. What won’t flip is that McLeod is a center, and he does have some things to recommend him at the position. In just under 80 preseason minutes over two seasons, McLeod’s five on five offense (0-3-3, 2.26 points per 60) and shot differential (52 percent) are rock solid. His faceoff percentage (46 percent) is lagging, and he’ll need more time, but man this looks like a good second round pick. Like Benson, I now believe McLeod will have an NHL career. His speed is the most compelling bullet point on the resume.

G Ilya Konovalov. I’m convinced of this guy. Honestly. In the last two seasons in the KHL, a very good league, he has stopped 92.1 percent of the shots headed his way. That’s 167 goals against in 2120 shots. He just turned 22, I don’t think Ken Holland is wondering what to do. Konovalov is free to sign in Edmonton 2021 offseason.

LD Theodor Lennstrom. A solid resume but he may not receive a recall even when he’s ready. Based on success and experience it’s difficult for me to imagine he’s less NHL-ready than Joel Persson but there are minor league games in Lennstrom’s future.

THE REST

The organization badly needs these young prospects to play and the Covid-19 impact will decide how much and how long we see leagues operate across the hockey world. I think the club’s loaning of Dmitri Samorukov to the KHL reflects the uncertainty of North American hockey.

The goaltending depth chart is in a real state of flux. Konovalov and Olivier Rodrigue are the top prospects but the organization clearly still believes in Stuart Skinner. For me, goalies are a lot like pitchers in a baseball farm system: Whether it’s a kid with a 95 MPH fastball or a youngster who can paint the edges of the plate with his pitches, staying healthy and remaining in the league (AHL) increases chances of success. Skinner’s numbers aren’t grand, but Laurent Brossoit and others had some struggles before settling in. I think it’s safe to say that Skinner’s first two pro seasons have him on a career path that will see him finish shy of the NHL. Either way, the only goaltender I can project into the queue is the Russian at this time.

Defense also has a vague quality to it. Philip Broberg is currently impressing at training camp and is the highest ranked blue outside of Bouchard among prospects. However, I think he’s likely more than a year away and getting excited over small sample sizes is unwise. Thrilled at his speed, see you at 2021-22 training camp. Samorukov and Filip Berglund are more than a year away.

The forwards who didn’t make the list include some promising youngsters (Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Maksimov) but it’s hard to project them as flying through the AHL in a year or less. The two players I did wonder about are Ryan Kuffner and Joe Gambardella. The fact neither man received a camp invite is perhaps a tell.

We’ll have a look at this list in five years and I thank you for reading.

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Munny

Ryan: Or forgot to mention…

I re-iterate, when did I forget to do so?

Your desire to have this information included does not imply fault on my behalf. I didn’t include it because it didn’t fit the format nor did it change the evaluation.

But thank you for the putdown. Twice. Dink.

Reja

OriginalPouzar: 2 of the 3 Norris trophy candidates for this season spent time in the AHL and are on the list Bouchard is being compared to…..

Anyone that mentions Larry Murphy was a mean SOB could not possibly say it with a straight face.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: If you can’t beat Matt Benning out of a job….

If you can’t beat Jordie Benn, Oscar Fantenberg and Ashton Sauntner out of a job – at 24 years old…..

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965: Of course I will be happy if Bouchard doesn’t suit up in the playoffs. That means our defence has somehow managed to stay healthy. I’m sure Bouchard would be playing if he was on the Hawks. And there’s no way Boqvist would be playing if he was in Edmonton. Bouchard was much better than Boqvist when they both played their final junior season in London. But I’m sure you will keep pounding your weak narrative. Meh.

This is correct – putting Boquist ahead of Bouchard is like putting Dobson ahead of Bouchard due to no AHL games. Dobson was a healthy scratch for most of the year and, when he did play, was the most sheltered d-man in the NHL (I believe – looking at the numbers, I can’t imagine a d-man more sheltered).

Games played this early is largely a function of management and organizational depth at the position.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Went back and looked at that but it certainly doesn’t support his conclusion in his tweet that those (old) numbers would engender a conversation about a Norris candidate.

The bottom line is, in the contemporary NHL, the best defensemen spend zero time in the AHL and generally are star quality almost out of the box.

There are certainly outliers from time to time (Giordano comes to mind) but Bouchard would have to climb an enormous mountain to be even a top ten defenseman in the league never mind being a Norris candidate.

2 of the 3 Norris trophy candidates for this season spent time in the AHL and are on the list Bouchard is being compared to…..

jp

defmn: Not a subscriber so I didn’t read it but I thought it would be of interest to those who come here on a day when the site is having problems.

BTW – thank you to our host for what I am sure has been a long day trying to figure out what went wrong here.

It definitely was of interest, I’d read Willis’ article earlier in the day (largely due to LT being down). I thought it was a solid piece of work though it seems like there were some (one?) dissenters. 🙂

Agreed on the 2nd point too, must have been a tough day for LT. A lot of folks missed this blog when it was down and that’s a testament. Thank you LT.

ArmchairGM

Ryan:
hunter1909,

Well, he’s sort of using a rubric that’s applied more for forwards than defensemen.

Even then, it matters less when you arrive in the NHL, but how you’ve developed.

Which two of the four would you select:Nuge , Landeskog, Scheifele or Kucherov?

Depends on what I needed, I guess. Scheifele and Nugent-Hopkins are the only centers listed, while Kucherov and Nugent-Hopkins are the best wingers here.

Ryan

hunter1909,

Well, he’s sort of using a rubric that’s applied more for forwards than defensemen.

Even then, it matters less when you arrive in the NHL, but how you’ve developed.

Which two of the four would you select: Nuge , Landeskog, Scheifele or Kucherov?

Ryan

Munny: When did I forget that?

Or forgot to mention…

One would expect a guy drafted as a winger to struggle in his draft plus one year when deployed as a defenseman in the NHL.

Burns took a fairly inimitable path to playing d in the NHL.

Looks like you get about as much sleep as Original Pouzar.l

Are you at the gym already?

Munny

Ryan:
Munny,

You forget.

Burns played RW not Defense in the OHL prior to being drafted.

Lemaire converted him to a defenseman.

When did I forget that?

Ryan

Munny,

You forget.

Burns played RW not Defense in the OHL prior to being drafted.

Lemaire converted him to a defenseman.

Munny

JimmyV1965: This team spent a decade rushing young kids to the NHL with disastrous results and HH comes up with the bold theory that good dmen reveal themselves early. While this may be true for maybe a handful of dmen, the vast majority of all players need development time somewhere outside the NHL. The Oilers finally appear to be doing this, thank goodness, but for some people this is a sign of failure.

Not a word out of place.

When HH has been drinking—which isn’t rare—he’s just looking for personal entertainment value. For him that means being a contrarian to what everyone else is saying, frequently contradicting positions he himself has advocated in the past.

I’m a former debate champ (not that that actually means much) so I understand the value of being able to argue both sides of a coin. But at some point you have to be real, be yourself, give your honest opinion. Because if you don’t, who are you?

Wish he would see that.

JimmyV1965

Munny:
Norris winners this decade:

1. Lidstrom — drafted as an overager, so didn’t reveal himself early.And took another two years after that to make the NHL squad

2. Karlsson — drafted at 18, spent 12 games in the A, struggled his first season, did okay his 2nd, but wasn’t Karlsson till his 3rd year out of the draft.Give you this one.

3. Subban —drafted at 18, spent two more years in Junior, then a full season in the A, so did not reveal himself early

4. Keith — drafted as an overager, played part season in NCAA, quit, went to WHL, then played two full seasons in the A.Did not reveal himself early

5. Doughty — drafted at 18, although drafted top 3 to a lot of criticism and naysayers. Dropped straight into Kings line-up and struggled mightily but did well in his 2nd year.Revealed himself early

6. Burns —drafted at 18, and dropped straight into the line up by the Wild, but struggled badly.Sent back to the A for his 2nd season, but wouldn’t get offensively unwrapped till his 3rd year after that. Had another couple of lacklustre years and his drafting team eventually traded him.Did not reveal himself early.

7. Hedman — drafted at 18 and dropped straight into the line up, in part because he was 6’6″ and 230 lbs.Didn’t find his offensive stride till his 5th year.Debatable on whether this is revealing yourself early.

8. Giordano – our most recent Norris winner went completely undrafted.and wasn’t an NHL regular till he was 26.Definitely did not reveal himself early.

______

Looks like “revealing yourself early” is actually an impediment to being a Norris winner.Point is there are many paths, even in this day and age, for an 18 year old defenseman to rise to the top of the NHL heap.

And HH’s Reveal Theory looks like a heap of baloney, as we all probably suspected.

The primary reason for the youth movement, whether it be F or D, is The Cap. Not “reveal yourself early”.

This team spent a decade rushing young kids to the NHL with disastrous results and HH comes up with the bold theory that good dmen reveal themselves early. While this may be true for maybe a handful of dmen, the vast majority of all players need development time somewhere outside the NHL. The Oilers finally appear to be doing this, thank goodness, but for some people this is a sign of failure.

Munny

Norris winners this decade:

1. Lidstrom — drafted as an overager, so didn’t reveal himself early. And it took another two years after that before he would play a single game in the NHL.

2. Karlsson — drafted at 18, spent 12 games in the A, struggled his first season, did okay his 2nd, but wasn’t Karlsson till his 3rd year out of the draft. Give you this one.

3. Subban — drafted at 18, spent two more years in Junior, then a full season in the A, so did not reveal himself early

4. Keith — drafted as an overager, played part season in NCAA, quit, went to WHL, then played two full seasons in the A. Did not reveal himself early

5. Doughty — drafted at 18, although drafted top 3 to a lot of criticism and naysayers. Dropped straight into Kings line-up and struggled mightily but did well in his 2nd year. Revealed himself early

6. Burns — drafted at 18, and played one game in the A and then used occasionally in the line up by the Wild, but struggled badly. Sent back to the A for 72 games in his 2nd season, but wouldn’t get offensively unwrapped till his 3rd year after that. Had another couple of lacklustre years and his drafting team eventually traded him. Did not reveal himself early.

7. Hedman — drafted at 18 and dropped straight into the line up, in part because he was 6’6″ and 230 lbs. Didn’t find his offensive stride till his 5th year. Debatable on whether this is revealing yourself early.

8. Giordano – our most recent Norris winner went completely undrafted.and wasn’t an NHL regular till he was 26. Definitely did not reveal himself early.

______

Looks like “revealing yourself early” is actually an impediment to being a Norris winner. Point is there are many paths, even in this day and age, for an 18 year old defenseman to rise to the top of the NHL heap.

And HH’s Reveal Theory looks like a heap of baloney, as we all probably suspected.

The primary reason for the youth movement, whether it be F or D, is The Cap. Not “reveal yourself early”.

JimmyV1965

Harpers Hair: If you can’t beat Matt Benning out of a job….

Not sure if it’s worth responding, but why not. Matt Benning would also be playing ahead of Adam Bosqvist if he was in Edmonton. Evan Bouchard was a much better player than Bosqvist last year in London and Bosqvist has done absolutely nothing this year to move ahead of him. The Hawks are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, giving up the most shots against and the most high danger chances, because they have dmen like Bosqvist in the lineup.

Munny

Harpers Hair:
Interesting that Willis used only comparables from 2005 to 2011 without explaining why.

Not only has the role of defensemen changed since then but he also doesn’t account for the defensemen who have thrived in that environment.

So, let’s take a look at the defensemen who were drafted in the top ten in the last 10 years and see how many games they played in the AHL.

2019
Bowen Byram…zero and will likely be an NHL player next season.
Moritz Seider 49
Philip Broberg zero

2018
Rasmus Dahlin zero
Quinn Hughes zero
Adam Boqvist zero
Evan Bouchard 54

2017
Miro Heiskanen zero
Cale Makar zero

2016
Olli Juolevi 63
Mikael Sergachev zero

2015
Noah Hanifin zero
Ivan Provorov zero
Zack Werenski zero

2014
Aaron Ekblad zero
Haydyn Fleury 100

2013
Seth Jones zero
Darnell Nurse 13
Rasmus Ristolainen 34

2012
Ryan Murray 1
Morgan Reilly 14
Hampus Lindholm 44
Matt Dumba 23
Derek Pouliot 162
Jacob Trouba zero

2011
Adam Larsson 66
Dougie Hamilton zero
Jonas Brodin 9

2010
Erik Gudbranson 2
Dylan McIrath hundreds (bust)

2009
Victor Hedman zero
OEL 35
Jared Cowen 3

So, here are the players (2019 aside) who have played zero games in the AHL before starting their NHL careers.

Dahlin
Hughes
Boqvist
Heiskanen
Makar
Sergachev
Hanifin
Provorov
Werenski
Ekblad
Fleury
Jones
Trouba
Hamilton
Hedman

That’s 15 who I would posit ALL are more likely to be “Norris candidates” ahead of Bouchard.

Think I’ll file Jon’s story under “yeah, right”.

You’ve listed 33 players, and only one of them has actually won a Norris. Shouldn’t you be listing players who have actually won the Norris Trophy to make your point?

The player who has won the most Norris Trophies in recent memory took 3 years after his 18th birthday to play a game in the NHL. Oh look, and he played for Holland.

hunter1909

For what little its worth Bouchard looked like he was extremely talented at carrying the puck when I last saw him way back when what seems like a long time ago. Outstanding skill level, Bouchard can slow a game down to suit his speed. This is what will set him apart in the NHL.

As for comparing to this and that other defenceman, he might or not might be as good but he’s sure as hell going to improve the Oilers defence.

€√¥£€^$

Munny: lol.

That year the League leader had 409 penalty minutes, and that was Larry’s biggest year.

He fought 11 times in 16 seasons during an era when fighting was much more common.

The mirage is you trying to use stats from a different era, completely out of context.

Larry Murphy was never a mean SOB and in fact had the opposite reputation.Skill guy who was solid in his own end, boasted an excellent shot, good skater, decent size, but not BIG.

Brogan Harper-Rathbone: Making shit up since 2007; he’s the Donny O’Rangeman of this blog.

hunter1909

Why does everyone feel like they’re obligated to compare every single bloody defensive prospect with Norris Trophy candidates, generally all based on nothing more than a bunch of half baked stats which then degenerate the blog into another argument lol

Munny

Harpers Hair: Those 95 PIM he accrued in his second season must be a mirage then.

lol.

That year the League leader had 409 penalty minutes, and that 95 was Larry’s biggest year.

He fought 11 times in 16 seasons during an era when fighting was much more common.

The mirage is you trying to use stats from a different era, completely out of context.

Larry Murphy was never a mean SOB and in fact had the opposite reputation. Skill guy who was solid in his own end, boasted an excellent shot, good skater, decent size, but not BIG.

Harpers Hair

JimmyV1965: Of course I will be happy if Bouchard doesn’t suit up in the playoffs. That means our defence has somehow managed to stay healthy. I’m sure Bouchard would be playing if he was on the Hawks. And there’s no way Boqvist would be playing if he was in Edmonton. Bouchard was much better than Boqvist when they both played their final junior season in London. But I’m sure you will keep pounding your weak narrative. Meh.

If you can’t beat Matt Benning out of a job….

Harpers Hair

Munny: Pretty sure there’s a good chance we will still be seeing Remenda between periods.

Guess I’ll be going for a leak then.

Munny

Lowetide: Jon did in fact cover this area in the comments section.

That seems a strange place to cover something so fundamental to his argument.

Munny

Harpers Hair: No Garrett, no Principe, no Remenda are just a few of the things we can be thankful for.

Pretty sure there’s a good chance we will still be seeing Remenda between periods.

Munny

defmn: Cuthbert will do West games (Oilers)
Hughson will do East games (Leafs)

As I predicted back when Cuthbert was signed… to some pushback.

#vindication

JimmyV1965

Harpers Hair: Will you be just as pleased if Bouchard is eating popcorn?

Of course I will be happy if Bouchard doesn’t suit up in the playoffs. That means our defence has somehow managed to stay healthy. I’m sure Bouchard would be playing if he was on the Hawks. And there’s no way Boqvist would be playing if he was in Edmonton. Bouchard was much better than Boqvist when they both played their final junior season in London. But I’m sure you will keep pounding your weak narrative. Meh.

Harpers Hair

godot10: Larry Murphy wasn’t a mean SOB.He was a slow footed elite passer with an above average shot who could play the point really well.Fans in several cities hated him because he wasn’t a mean SOB.

Those 95 PIM he accrued in his second season must be a mirage then.

godot10

Harpers Hair: Larry Murphy was a big, mean SOB who didn’t play a game in the AHL and scored 76 points in his NHL rookie season.

Bouchard would need to get bigger, faster, meaner to even be in the same conversation.

Larry Murphy wasn’t a mean SOB. He was a slow footed elite passer with an above average shot who could play the point really well. Fans in several cities hated him because he wasn’t a mean SOB.

And I said that was the “high end comparable”, not the probable comparable.

Harpers Hair

godot10:
Larry Murphy didn’t win the Norris Trophy.That is the high end comparable for Evan Bouchard.

Murphy has mulitple Stanley Cups, a Canada Cup. and was run out of cities by braindead hockey mobs.

Bouchard is about as likely to win a Norris Trophy as Justin Schultz.There will always be better all around more toolsy defensemen.

Larry Murphy was a big, mean SOB who didn’t play a game in the AHL and scored 76 points in his NHL rookie season.

Bouchard would need to get bigger, faster, meaner to even be in the same conversation.

Harpers Hair

Suntory Hanzo:
Harpers Hair,

Agreed.Being an Oiler fan on the coast, i noticed once Hughston went national, he is still totally Canucks bias.Comes with the history I guess.

As long as there isn’t any John Garrett.What a nightmare..

No Garrett, no Principe, no Remenda are just a few of the things we can be thankful for.

godot10

Larry Murphy didn’t win the Norris Trophy. That is the high end comparable for Evan Bouchard.

Murphy has mulitple Stanley Cups, a Canada Cup. and was run out of cities by braindead hockey mobs.

Bouchard is about as likely to win a Norris Trophy as Justin Schultz. There will always be better all around more toolsy defensemen.

Harpers Hair

JimmyV1965: I will be quite pleased to see Boqvist on the first pair in the playoffs.

Will you be just as pleased if Bouchard is eating popcorn?

Suntory Hanzo

Harpers Hair,

Agreed. Being an Oiler fan on the coast, i noticed once Hughston went national, he is still totally Canucks bias. Comes with the history I guess.

As long as there isn’t any John Garrett. What a nightmare..

JimmyV1965

Harpers Hair:
Interesting that Willis used only comparables from 2005 to 2011 without explaining why.

Not only has the role of defensemen changed since then but he also doesn’t account for the defensemen who have thrived in that environment.

So, let’s take a look at the defensemen who were drafted in the top ten in the last 10 years and see how many games they played in the AHL.

2019
Bowen Byram…zero and will likely be an NHL player next season.
Moritz Seider 49
Philip Broberg zero

2018
Rasmus Dahlin zero
Quinn Hughes zero
Adam Boqvist zero
Evan Bouchard 54

2017
Miro Heiskanen zero
Cale Makar zero

2016
Olli Juolevi 63
Mikael Sergachev zero

2015
Noah Hanifin zero
Ivan Provorov zero
Zack Werenski zero

2014
Aaron Ekblad zero
Haydyn Fleury 100

2013
Seth Jones zero
Darnell Nurse 13
Rasmus Ristolainen 34

2012
Ryan Murray 1
Morgan Reilly 14
Hampus Lindholm 44
Matt Dumba 23
Derek Pouliot 162
Jacob Trouba zero

2011
Adam Larsson 66
Dougie Hamilton zero
Jonas Brodin 9

2010
Erik Gudbranson 2
Dylan McIrath hundreds (bust)

2009
Victor Hedman zero
OEL 35
Jared Cowen 3

So, here are the players (2019 aside) who have played zero games in the AHL before starting their NHL careers.

Dahlin
Hughes
Boqvist
Heiskanen
Makar
Sergachev
Hanifin
Provorov
Werenski
Ekblad
Fleury
Jones
Trouba
Hamilton
Hedman

That’s 15 who I would posit ALL are more likely to be “Norris candidates” ahead of Bouchard.

Think I’ll file Jon’s story under “yeah, right”.

I will be quite pleased to see Boqvist on the first pair in the playoffs.

godot10

defmn:
This should provoke a little discussion. 😉

Jonathan Willis
@JonathanWillis
·
21m
The season Evan Bouchard just had for the Oilers farm team is exactly the kind of season that future Norris candidates have.

Jon going #TheFullMacT

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: Jon did in fact cover this area in the comments section.

Went back and looked at that but it certainly doesn’t support his conclusion in his tweet that those (old) numbers would engender a conversation about a Norris candidate.

The bottom line is, in the contemporary NHL, the best defensemen spend zero time in the AHL and generally are star quality almost out of the box.

There are certainly outliers from time to time (Giordano comes to mind) but Bouchard would have to climb an enormous mountain to be even a top ten defenseman in the league never mind being a Norris candidate.

Harpers Hair

defmn:
Good news imo.

steve simmons
@simmonssteve
·
12h
I was told no Sportsnet announcement till Tuesday
I was wrong.
Cuthbert will do West games (Oilers)
Hughson will do East games (Leafs)
Wish it was the other way around

Craig Simpson does colour in the East.

Louis DeBrusk in the West.

Toronto fans have their knickers in a twist because Hughson lives in Vancouver and won’t be enough of a homer for them.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, Cuthbert and DeBrusk in the West.

Hughson and Simpson in the east.

Oiler fans rejoice!

defmn

Good news imo.

steve simmons
@simmonssteve
·
12h
I was told no Sportsnet announcement till Tuesday
I was wrong.
Cuthbert will do West games (Oilers)
Hughson will do East games (Leafs)
Wish it was the other way around

defmn

Harpers Hair: Opened it in Chrome in an Incognito window and it has a totally new (and much Improved) look.

Are you seeing the same?

Definitely a different look but I assumed it was due to the formatting not taking.

defmn

jp:

The comparables from his Athletic article today are more than a little impressive, gotta say.

Not a subscriber so I didn’t read it but I thought it would be of interest to those who come here on a day when the site is having problems.

BTW – thank you to our host for what I am sure has been a long day trying to figure out what went wrong here.

jp

I posted something similar to this a while back. Updated here.

Oilers players and how they scored in their past 82 NHL games. They’ve got some depth.

Connor McDavid —– 82 42 84 126
Leon Draisaitl ——— 82 51 74 125
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 82 30 44 74

Andreas Athanasiou- 82 24 22 46
Zack Kassian ——– 82 22 22 44
James Neal ——— 82 23 20 43

Tyler Ennis ——– 82 19 22 41
Alex Chiasson —– 82 15 18 33
Kailer Yamamoto — 53 12 19 31 (48 PTS/82)

Josh Archibald —– 82 15 12 27
Riley Sheahan —— 82 9 10 19
Jesse Puljujarvi —– 82 8 10 18

Jujhar Khaira ——- 82 7 8 15
Gaetan Haas ——- 58 5 5 10 (14)
Joakim Nygard —– 33 3 6 9 (22)
Patrick Russell —– 45 0 5 5 (9)
Tyler Benson ——- 7 0 1 1

Oskar Klefbom —– 82 6 38 44
Darnell Nurse —— 82 7 32 39
Ethan Bear ——— 82 6 17 23
Matt Benning ——- 82 5 13 18
Kris Russell ——– 82 1 15 16
Caleb Jones ——– 60 5 10 15 (21)
Adam Larsson —— 82 3 10 13
Evan Bouchard —— 7 1 0 1
William Lagesson —- 8 0 0 0

Mike Smith ——— 45 23-14-6 2.79 .904
Mikko Koskinen —– 45 20-16-5 2.86 .913

Harpers Hair

Interesting that Willis used only comparables from 2005 to 2011 without explaining why.

Not only has the role of defensemen changed since then but he also doesn’t account for the defensemen who have thrived in that environment.

So, let’s take a look at the defensemen who were drafted in the top ten in the last 10 years and see how many games they played in the AHL.

2019
Bowen Byram…zero and will likely be an NHL player next season.
Moritz Seider 49
Philip Broberg zero

2018
Rasmus Dahlin zero
Quinn Hughes zero
Adam Boqvist zero
Evan Bouchard 54

2017
Miro Heiskanen zero
Cale Makar zero

2016
Olli Juolevi 63
Mikael Sergachev zero

2015
Noah Hanifin zero
Ivan Provorov zero
Zack Werenski zero

2014
Aaron Ekblad zero
Haydyn Fleury 100

2013
Seth Jones zero
Darnell Nurse 13
Rasmus Ristolainen 34

2012
Ryan Murray 1
Morgan Reilly 14
Hampus Lindholm 44
Matt Dumba 23
Derek Pouliot 162
Jacob Trouba zero

2011
Adam Larsson 66
Dougie Hamilton zero
Jonas Brodin 9

2010
Erik Gudbranson 2
Dylan McIrath hundreds (bust)

2009
Victor Hedman zero
OEL 35
Jared Cowen 3

So, here are the players (2019 aside) who have played zero games in the AHL before starting their NHL careers.

Dahlin
Hughes
Boqvist
Heiskanen
Makar
Sergachev
Hanifin
Provorov
Werenski
Ekblad
Fleury
Jones
Trouba
Hamilton
Hedman

That’s 15 who I would posit ALL are more likely to be “Norris candidates” ahead of Bouchard.

Think I’ll file Jon’s story under “yeah, right”.

jp

defmn:
This should provoke a little discussion. 😉

Jonathan Willis
@JonathanWillis
·
21m
The season Evan Bouchard just had for the Oilers farm team is exactly the kind of season that future Norris candidates have.

🙂

The comparables from his Athletic article today are more than a little impressive, gotta say.

ArmchairGM

defmn:
This should provoke a little discussion.

Jonathan Willis
@JonathanWillis
·
21m
The season Evan Bouchard just had for the Oilers farm team is exactly the kind of season that future Norris candidates have.

Proof that Willis reads this blog.

Harpers Hair

defmn: If anybody here wants to read today’s blog before it gets straightened out I can access it by clicking on whatever link you use to open this page and right clicking on ‘open link in new private window’ or whatever your browser calls it. I am on Firefox.

Opened it in Chrome in an Incognito window and it has a totally new (and much Improved) look.

Are you seeing the same?

OriginalPouzar

defmn: If anybody here wants to read today’s blog before it gets straightened out I can access it by clicking on whatever link you use to open this page and right clicking on ‘open link in new private window’ or whatever your browser calls it. I am on Firefox.

Thank you for this – was able to read it be opening it in an incognito window via LT’s twitter link – so weird.

Its going to be a great convo tomorrow – about both the Condors and the big club roster.

I expect the “James Neal Buyout” conversation to dominate.

New Improved Darkness

Early pandemic, I made a comment that it would prove interesting to watch the race between New York and Florida, two states with similar populations, one hit hard immediately and making aggressive noises about doing all the right things, and another not hit so hard and not making noises about doing all the right things.

48 hours later I looked like a complete idiot, because Florida’s curve turned around and took a prompt nose-dive.

Fortunately for my eventual pride, I had bet on the jockey and not the horse.

Today on worldometers.info Florida passed Massachusetts on total cases per million. Mass was a tough rung to notch, because they were right behind the too-hot-to-handle Tri-State basket of deplorables in the early going.

Today Florida has 360,000 total cases (317,000 active) and 10,300 showing on the daily tachometer (their recent red-line at 15,000 was staggering to behold).

Today New York has 434,000 total cases (157,00 active) and 700 showing on the daily tachometer.

Bicycle has a dwindling 5000-mile lead, cranking along at 14 mph. Car closing fast at 206 mph. There are vague rumours this car is equipped with a working brake pedal. There are also credible rumours that the brake lines were refilled with leftover fondant from Cake By The Ocean.

Oversprung spring brake fade. It’s a thing.

Florida will likely never catch New York on death count, for various reasons. Treatment has improved, and the most vulnerable populations are better isolated and protected now. But as for the case count: dammit, DeSantis, you came through. Better late than never, and honestly, it’s not even that late.

Right as we speak 200,000 non-adulting party animals are busy infecting their homies of all ages. Then the death rate begins to climb as surely as a cat in search of a hot tin roof.

Production began on 12 March 1958. By March 19, Taylor had contracted a virus which kept her off the shoot. On March 21, she canceled plans to fly with her husband Mike Todd to New York, where he was to be honored the following day by the New York Friars’ Club. The plane crashed, and all passengers, including Todd, were killed. Beset with grief, Taylor remained off the film until 14 April 1958, at which time she returned to the set in a much thinner and weaker condition.

But don’t believe me, I’ve been wrong before.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, a handful of unwise outings in Kelowna managed to double the BC daily rate over the last five days.

A mere six-pack of additional unwise doublings, BC will be well on its way to becoming Florida North. We’ll get one of those for free when we reopen schools. But Florida presently plans to reopen schools in August instead of September, so that one’s almost certainly a mulligan.

defmn

This should provoke a little discussion. 😉

Jonathan Willis
@JonathanWillis
·
21m
The season Evan Bouchard just had for the Oilers farm team is exactly the kind of season that future Norris candidates have.