Reasonable 2020

by Lowetide

What would an ideal 2020-21 season look like for the Oilers organization? I’m sure a Stanley Cup victory would be at the top of the list, and more hardware for the impact players on the team.

What about development? Would strong debut seasons from Raphael Lavoie and Olivier Rodrigue help? An impressive second campaign from Kirill Maksimov? Stuart Skinner settling in? Maybe Markus Niemelainen showing shutdown ability in Bakersfield? All would be valuable. A more interesting question: What is reasonable?

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 SEASON TO COME

Raphael Lavoie had a strong final season in the QMJHL. You can find a couple of comparable players who came in the years immediately before him and get some kind of idea about what he should be delivering in the AHL during 2020-21: 59 games, 12-22-34, .576 points-per-game. Lavoie’s three comparables included one player who blossomed in his first AHL season, one who had a middling campaign and another who delivered a disappointing year. That isn’t a terribly unusual result.

Kirill Maksimov had a dreadful first season for the Bakersfield Condors. Finding three comparables for his first AHL season (age 20) is easy (his numbers were 53, 5-8-13 .245). I picked three from three different seasons who matched (or delivered slightly less at 20). In the year after (age 21) the trio posted the following AHL numbers: 47, 7-11-18 .383 points-per-game.

What does it mean? The names who are aligned with Lavoie have played 10 pro seasons and a total of 89 NHL games (10-18-28). All three have played at least one NHL game, with one seemingly on his way to a quality NHL career. In the entry years for each player (a total of eight seasons, one of the players will enter the final year of his first contract in 2020-21), the three men played a total of 508 AHL games. Based on his comparables, Lavoie is likely to spend a significant portion of his entry contract in the AHL. I think he’s above average, but the comparables suggest a patient approach.

The names aligned with Maksimov have played 16 pro seasons and a total of 157 NHL games (18-27-45). Two of three have played in the NHL but only one has played more than 40 NHL games. None of the three has an NHL job as a regular and two of the three did not play in the NHL last season.

As I’ve mentioned many times in ‘Farm Workers’ series, a player who falls behind at age 20 has some issues and will meander like a river through the Rockies.

Lavoie’s trajectory includes the NHL in his projected bell curve, Maksimov is less certain after being in a similar spot to Lavoie just one year ago. These AHL debut seasons are a big damned deal, Tyler Pitlick chased his for half a decade. We’ll revisit the conversation after the AHL campaign.

GOALIES

Olivier Rodrigue graduates junior hockey as a pretty big deal. His final season featured some impressive runs by the guardien and he ranks well in ‘goalies Edmonton drafted in their final junior season’:

  1. Tyler Bunz 61, 2.57 .921
  2. Olivier Rodrigue 39, 2.32 .918
  3. Jeff Deslauriers 50, 2.87 .916
  4. Devan Dubnyk 54, 2.54 .912
  5. Stuart Skinner 56, 3.07 .905
  6. Dylan Wells 56, 3.62 .892
  7. Keven Bouchard 41, 3.68 .877

It’s unfair to compare across several years, cruel to do it over two decades. Still, it’s a point of interest along the human highway of Oilers prospects. I see these names and think of their careers (Bunz: Concussions) and am reminded that a good draft pick has a number of ways to go sideways and look like a bad one in the guide and record book.

Rodrigue is a terrific prospect, and along with the Russian Konovalov I think the Oilers have the best prospect pool in net they’ve enjoyed in some time. There are members of the organization who still believe in Stuart Skinner too, the numbers aren’t flattering but he will get another big opportunity in Bakersfield. I think Rodrigue will win the No. 1 NHL job if the Condors play this winter.

SLAVA TRUKHNO

We had a fatal event on the blog yesterday so had to turn the clock back a couple of days. Some things were salvaged, so I wanted to throw them on the back of this piece for those who didn’t see it. Here is what I wrote about Slava Trukhno in March 2008:

Slava Trukhno seems to be turning some kind of a corner. It looks like his role on the Springfield Falcons has increased and he is a strong option currently on the powerplay. This follows a rather slow start to his pro career.

Trukhno is one of several Oilers prospects in the AHL trying to build a resume strong enough for a recall to the Edmonton Oilers. It’s extremely unlikely that call will come this season but his improvement lately can’t have gone unnoticed by coaches and management.

In the summer when we were talking about the Falcons possible roster my expectation was that Trukhno was “a longshot to make the big club, but I think he’ll have a better offensive season as a 20-year old in the AHL than any Oiler prospect (at the same age) in recent history.”

That proved to be a little aggressive, since Trukhno is well behind the 1/1 points-per-game line in the sand. He has struggled for playing time for much of the year and despite showing flashes only recently has shown any sustain game over game.

Note: Trukhno would finish 61, 14-21-35 and did not play in the NHL. Lavoie’s reasonable expectation for his first AHL season is very close to Trukhno’s 2007-08 campaign, his first as a pro.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running, TSN1260. Jeff Hamilton from the Winnipeg News will update us on efforts to kickstart the CFL season in Winnipeg. Andrew Stoeten from The Athletic will talk Jays, where they’ll play and a promising season to come.

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JOFA

I thought Al decided to take his first day off in 40 years😊

OriginalPouzar

Back to the ice today.

Less than a week of camp to got – exhibition game is a week today.

Will be interesting to see if there are any changes to the lines and, if not, who is the LW with Drai.

Will also be interesting to see what the bottom pairings of the D look like – it it all Russell/Benning or will Jones get reps with Benning?

OriginalPouzar

First year pro can be quite the adjustment for many many players. After his draft plus 1 season coming out of the CHL, I think the talk about Maksimov was alot closer to what we read/hear/say now about Lavoie coming off his draft plus 1 season in the CHL.

Maksimov had a tough adjustment period – part of that was coaching and usage – almost zero PP time for a player who’s primary asset is a PP shooter. Thankfully Maksi is, from accounts, a super hard worker and, as we know, more than an offensive shooter, a player with 2-way acumen that was an elite PK guy in junior.

I expect Lavoie to adjust to the AHL a little quicker but I’m sure it will be uneven.

OriginalPouzar

Assuming minor league seasons are a go, it will be very interesting to see how the organization rolls out the goalies (and what type of games the goalies earn).

There are three goalies vying for AHL starts – clearly Wells is on the outside looking in right now but that was different a year ago.

Normal course would be for Rodrigue to play most of the year in the ECHL but he could make the jump straight to the AHL – a top prospect out of the Q.

There is even some talk about the Oiler acquiring a tweener 3G that could help support the NHL goalies – further muddying the waters.

Reja

The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

JOFA

Reja:
The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

Lol😄

John Chambers

What does a successful 2021 campaign look like for the Oilers?

Conference Finals or bust!

By next season Edmonton should be able to overtake Vegas and lead the division wire-to-wire for the entire season. Too many impact players in their prime with the supporting cast rounding into form.

defmn

I hope I am not out of line in posting yesterday’s missing post for anybody that could not access it. No formatting but here is the text.

=================================

It’s going to be difficult to run an ‘RE’ series this year but I’ll find a way. The fact we might not see an AHL season makes this less fun. I’m going to construct a Bakersfield Condors depth chart and do the estimates anyway because what the hell else are we going to do?

For @TheAthleticEDM Philip Broberg authored two brilliant goals in a Saturday scrimmage. Years ago that might have sparked an internal conversation that led to an immediate NHL job. It’s Broberg’s good fortune to have arrived in an era of mature management https://t.co/crHanh14sn
— Lowetide () July 20, 2020

I’ve been doing this so long it’s no longer reasonable, but it’s a fun way to track prospects. I’ve missed a few. Here’s something I wrote about Slava Trukhno in March 2008:

Slava Trukhno seems to be turning some kind of a corner. It looks like his role on the Springfield Falcons has increased and he is a strong option currently on the powerplay. This follows a rather slow start to his pro career.

Trukhno is one of several Oilers prospects in the AHL trying to build a resume strong enough for a recall to the Edmonton Oilers. It’s extremely unlikely that call will come this season but his improvement lately can’t have gone unnoticed by coaches and management.

In the summer when we were talking about the Falcons possible roster my expectation was that Trukhno was “a longshot to make the big club, but I think he’ll have a better offensive season as a 20-year old in the AHL than any Oiler prospect (at the same age) in recent history.”

That proved to be a little aggressive, since Trukhno is well behind the 1/1 points-per-game line in the sand. He has struggled for playing time for much of the year and despite showing flashes only recently has shown any sustain game over game.

Note: Trukhno would finish 61, 14-21-35 and did not play in the NHL. I’m better at reasonable now but it’s still a moving target.
THE 2020-21 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

I have a few RE’s published, the numbers may change as the summer fades to fall and we know more but these are the first rushes:

Joe Gambarella: 54 games, 19-20-39 .72 points per game
Ryan Kuffner: 50 games, 14-14-28 .56 points per game

At first, I’m just interested in the games. You can kind of think along with the organization when drilling down on the signed players. For instance, we can have a great conversation about how the goaltending will be divided.

My model has Olivier Rodrigue and Stuart Skinner playing most of the games, with Dylan Wells losing out in the three-way battle for Bakersfield starter. I do not have the Condors or the Oilers signing Shane Starrett.

I have Evan Bouchard playing 20 AHL games before being recalled, and William Lagesson spending the entire year in the NHL. Theodor Lennstrom, Logan Day and Markus Niemelainen are the regulars, we’ll see at least two AHL veterans from the Ryan Stanton-Keegan Lowe tree added on minor league deals over the offseason (if the league is a go).

At center, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod and Brad Malone will play a lot, I haven’t figured out Marody’s GP because there’s a chance he spends significant time in the NHL. Luke Esposito might be No. 4C and Devin Brosseau might slide in on a skill line if there’s a recall or injury. Maybe James Chamblin lands here.

Tyler Benson is the top left wing but I have him playing less than half a season in the AHL. Joe Gambardella (54) and Ryan Kuffner (50) are my skill LW’s, with Chamblin and Blake Christenson on hand.

I’m not sure who gets the cherry RW minutes but will bet on Kirill Maksimov and Raphael Lavoie getting a push. Jakob Stukel, Ostap Safin and Liam Folkes will fight for opportunities.
THE 2020-21 EDMONTON OILERS (30)

At this point we’re several months from any real transactions attempting to address the team’s needs for 2020-21. So, I have the team’s ‘certain’ list and have divided it into five parts:

The Locks (11): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Mikko Koskinen.

Likely Roster Players (9): James Neal, Alex Chiasson, Andreas Athanasiou, Jujhar Khaira, Josh Archibald, Gaetan Haas, Joakim Nygard, Kris Russell, Matt Benning.

Possible Roster Players (5): Riley Sheahan, Tyler Ennis, Patrick Russell, Mike Green, Mike Smith.

Condors (4): Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson, William Lagesson, Cooper Marody.

Jesse Puljujarvi (1): Jesse Puljujarvi.

I suspect Holland will want to free up some money, that might involve buying out James Neal (unlikely) or dealing Kris Russell, possibly Alex Chiasson. One move I would like to signing Jesse Puljujarvi and then running a RW depth chart of Kassian, Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Archibald.

hunter1909

Hunter1909 Death March™

Enter Now! It’s cool! It’s free! It’s easy!

https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

To All returning Players of all levels: Please continue to use your original names for continuity purposes while we develop the site to a higher level. Thank you for your cooperation

OriginalPouzar

Oilers have loaned Lennstrom to Frolunda of the SHL. I expect this is on the expectation that he returns to North America once the AHL/NHL start up.

Great stuff.

Will Nielmeaninan follow to Liiga?

defmn

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
14m
The Edmonton Oilers have loaned defenceman Theodor Lennstrom to Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season

Gene Principe
@GenePrincipe
·
27m
If he’s on loan shouldn’t his name be Lennd-strom..don’t worry I’ll show myself to the Theodor..

godot10

Reja:
The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

What’s a phone book! -).

It is a distributed ledger.

Somebody put the damn thing on a blockchain.

The next generation “phone book” is coming, where you control your data, not Facebook or Google.

dustrock

Reja:
The new phone books here!! The new phone books here!!

I don’t need you! I don’t need anything!

I don’t need anything…except this blog.

barry.moore23

Reja,

Reja,

Loved the obscure AC/DC reference the other day : drop your linen 🙂 🙂

dustrock

So players can watch other games from the restaurants but don’t get to watch from the stands.

I get that, but it would be funny to see the Oilers in the stands booing the Flames

GordieHoweHatTrick

defmn: I suspect Holland will want to free up some money, that might involve buying out James Neal (unlikely) or dealing Kris Russell, possibly Alex Chiasson. One move I would like to signing Jesse Puljujarvi and then running a RW depth chart of Kassian, Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Archibald.

Thanks DEFMN/LT!

If the Oilers can pull off that line-up for RW for next year it would be Fab. I would like to see Chiasson and KRusty moved if possible to make room (i.e., Lagesson and if JP comes back to town) and cap space. A buyout of Neal should wait one more year. If the JP situation cannot be resolved with a return to Oil Country, maybe he could be packaged for an upgrade at 3C?? Haas or Marody could rise to the occasion for 3C but that could be a stretch. If JP does not come back, keep Chiasson for 3RW to help support a slightly weakened 3C position held by Haas/Marody/Sheehan. OR with cap space of trading Chia and KRusty, sign a 3C (as per LT Athletic suggestion).

dustrock

https://theathletic.com/1940508/2020/07/21/qa-marco-sturm-on-leon-draisaitls-evolution-and-his-impact-on-german-hockey/

Gotta love Drai:

How have you seen his game grow in the last couple years since you joined the Kings?

Huge. I remember him in his second year in the league and after that we had our first world championship (together). He was in Russia and he was a really good player. He wasn’t as dominant – and he was pissed about it. Deep inside, he wanted to be the best player. He wanted to dominate. I remember that summer, he was not happy about that world championship.

Four months later, we had an Olympic qualification tournament in August. For us, Team Germany, that was the biggest tournament because we wanted to go to the Olympics. In those four months, he made huge strides. At this tournament, he actually dominated. I was like, “Holy shit, it’s only been four months from Russia to the qualification round.” That shows how fast it went with him.

OriginalPouzar

No Corey Crawford yet again today.

Even if he shows up at some point this week, he hasn’t touched a puck yet (to my knowledge) – this is a massive thing – the Hawks NEED top tending to win this series (in my mind).

Reja

defmn:
Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
14m
The Edmonton Oilers have loaned defenceman Theodor Lennstrom to Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season

Gene Principe
@GenePrincipe
·
27m
If he’s on loan shouldn’t his name be Lennd-strom..don’t worry I’ll show myself to the Theodor..

I can’t listen to Drew if he’s on colour would rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s weird because I think he does not to bad of a job in between periods kinda reminds me of Howie Meeker. I love Gene and I think the players do as well I don’t get how some people dislike him.

Reja

OriginalPouzar:
No Corey Crawford yet again today.

Even if he shows up at some point this week, he hasn’t touched a puck yet (to my knowledge) – this is a massive thing – the Hawks NEED top tending to win this series (in my mind).

Maybe he’s nursing a golf injury whatever the case is I’m glad he’s MIA a sizzling hot Crawford could steal the series.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers website is congratulating Leon on being a Hart finalist!

Woogie63

We should expect the conveyor belt to continue with affordable contracts attached to impactful players.

Last year year;

We graduated-
1. Bear
2. Jones
3. Yamamoto

We rented-
1. Sheanan
2. Ennis
3. Nygard
4. Archibald
5. Haas
6. Persson
7. Smith
————————-
2020-21
Graduate
1. Bouchard
2. Benson
3. Puljajarvi

Rent
A goalie
A center

OriginalPouzar

Report of Avangard Omsk with 20 positive cases.

This is not good – KHL training camps getting started soon as their season starts Sept 1.

Not a great arrow for hockey in Europe in general this fall.

Hopefully just a blip and things will stay on course for the league and all European leagues.

dustrock

Drai, Mackinnon, Panarin.

Harpers Hair

@LT

In your Athletic piece this morning you identified Anton Khudobin as a potential backup goaltender.

Looks like he will be staying in Dallas.

https://theathletic.com/1936560/2020/07/18/stars-goalie-anton-khudobin-remains-competitive-wants-to-stay-in-dallas/?source=user_shared_article

defmn

GordieHoweHatTrick: Thanks DEFMN/LT!

A buyout of Neal should wait one more year.

One of the more interesting story lines of these coming games will be Neal. Do we get the Neal who was a PP monster in the 1st part of the season or the post injury Neal?

If he is back to playing the way he was at the start of the season I think they keep him one more year, play him on the PP and the fourth line. If he is the post injury Neal I think they have to bite the bullet and buy him out.

OriginalPouzar

No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

Things are getting serious.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

Things are getting serious.

“No Bouchard… or Broberg”?

John Chambers

defmn: One of the more interesting story lines of these coming games will be Neal. Do we get the Neal who was a PP monster in the 1st part of the season or the post injury Neal?

If he is back to playing the way he was at the start of the season I think they keep him one more year, play him on the PP and the fourth line. If he is the post injury Neal I think they have to bite the bullet and buy him out.

Neal is like Koskinen. He shouldn’t play more than 50 games / season and never in a B2B.

I bet he comes out flying against the Hawks, but will be spent by the Conference semi-finals.

Load management is a thing.

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
No Bouchard, “6th line” (Marody, Benson, McLeod) or Bouchard on the ice for main scrimmage today and only the two main goalies (as per Nugent Bowman)

Some special teams work today (as per Reid Wilkins).

Things are getting serious.

Sounds like all those guys skated before main practice.

Hopefully Bouch works his way back up to the “main group” given he is 4RD.

Here is hoping they don’t “need” him to play but I’d like him to put himself in the conversation as the RD injury replacement over Jones or Russell moving over.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
@LT

In your Athletic piece this morning you identified Anton Khudobin as a potential backup goaltender.

Looks like he will be staying in Dallas.

https://theathletic.com/1936560/2020/07/18/stars-goalie-anton-khudobin-remains-competitive-wants-to-stay-in-dallas/?source=user_shared_article

Lots of vets to choose from. Influx of Russian G is making a battle for the few backup spots
Or make a trade for Georgiev

Bohologo

I recently canceled my Economist subscription after many years. Although I do miss the world’s best photo captions, I always read the obituary first because the writing was invariably excellent. Surprisingly, the Globe & Mail this morning ran a detailed obituary on Chi Pig, it’s really worth the time to read:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/article-ferocious-snfu-singer-chi-pig-led-the-hardcore-punk-scene/

OriginalPouzar

jp: “No Bouchard… or Broberg”?

The reports are that Bouchard skating prior to the main group – no reports that Broberg didn’t skate with the main group.

Durag

defmn,

John Chambers,

Neal is my pick for the Pisani of this year’s playoffs. I think we get beast mode, 1st quarter of the season Neal.

Reja

Durag:
defmn,

John Chambers,

Neal is my pick for the Pisani of this year’s playoffs. I think we get beast mode, 1st quarter of the season Neal.

I really like the Neal Khaira and chase line this will be a fun line to watch Tippett knows what he’s doing.

hunter1909

@ Strong Black Coffey – your appeal to have your Death March™ prediction amended seems to have got lost in the Lowetide shuffle.

In other words your predictions all got lost. Now you need to repost them.

0-0-0 can be amended now. Thank you for your cooperation from the Death March team.

OriginalPouzar

As per Nugent-Bowman, 2nd half of practice starts with special teams and Chiasson is the guy on PP1 – we saw that earlier in camp as well when the PP stayed late after practice – it was Chiasson (not Neal) with Kailer watching and subbing in for a few reps. That seemed less formal, this is formal PP work.

Interesting.

While Neal did personally produce at higher rates on the PP than Chiasson did, the PP overall did produce at higher rates with Chiasson on the ice than Nealer.

OriginalPouzar

Also per Nugent-Bowman, PP2 is Nurse, Bear, Yamamoto, AA and Ennis.

Haas getting work on PK2 with Khaira – that’s interesting but likely a result of Nuge being on the ice for PP1 and the prior drill.

On that note, I do look for Haas to be more involved in the PK next season – I was listening to his agent on Oilers Now a month or so ago and he was indeed a top PK in Europe – I’m sure Tippett and Playfair didn’t want to put too much on his plate in his rookie North American/NHL season, but next year….

OriginalPouzar

As per Terry Jones, the Eskimos will be making their announcement re: name change in about an hour.

OriginalPouzar

Allright, now Nealer is on with PP1 – back to normal – Chiasson and Neal both getting reps with PP1.

jp

OriginalPouzar: The reports are that Bouchard skating prior to the main group – no reports that Broberg didn’t skate with the main group.

You said Bouchard twice so figured you’d mixed them up.

But Broberg in, Bouchard out definitely is noteworthy. Huh.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Allright, now Nealer is on with PP1 – back to normal – Chiasson and Neal both getting reps with PP1.

That makes sense. Tippett has said (I believe) he likes to switch it up to give teams different looks.

Reja

jp: That makes sense. Tippett has said (I believe) he likes to switch it up to give teams different looks.

Yes both do a excellent job chase is Dynamite at screening the goalie and Neal is very dangerous when he receives the pass down low. It’s the best PP we’ve ever had in our history and I think it’ll be even more potent when Bouchard is straddling the line.

godot10

So how soon do you think we see

Nurse, Bear
Klefbom, Broberg
Jones, Larsson

as the pairings in an actual NHL game.

OriginalPouzar

If he does “join” what sort of game shape will he be in?

https://www.nhl.com/blackhawks/news/blog-bowman-hopeful-crawford-can-return-for-postseason/c-317554934

On Tuesday, Senior Vice President/General Manager spoke optimistically about Crawford’s ability to join the team in time to travel to Edmonton for the Qualifying Round and the playoffs.

“We are hopeful on that,” he said. “We’ll be able to give you a better idea when we get closer to the weekend, but that’s something that we’re still shooting for. I don’t have any definitive comments right now, but we’re still hoping that’s the case.”

“At this point, nothing’s been ruled out. We’ve still got a fair amount of time before Aug. 1 and the first game, so we’re not thinking that far ahead right now,” Bowman said. “We’re really kind of here day-to-day and like we said out the outset, right now Corey’s not here, so we’re focused on the other four goalies. If and when Corey is ready, we’ll have that conversation.”

OriginalPouzar

Also, no Toews on the ice today for the Hawks…….. I’m guessing its a minor issue.

OriginalPouzar

When asked about Leon nominated for both the Hart and the Lindsay, McDavid says he should win both but he doesn’t have much faith in the media and their voting for the Hart.

He was just joking around with the media on the zoom call – pretty funny.

Edit: here is the quote:

“I think the players will get it right, I don’t have the same faith in the media,” McDavid on the voting for Leon Draisaitl for Lindsay and Hart awards. #Oilers #NHL

OriginalPouzar

Bouch skating with the other group was solely because they needed an extra d-man for PK drills and Bouch wouldn’t be doing that – that was the only reason, says Tip.

defmn

Edmonton Football Team. 😉