Skill Players in the Second Round

by Lowetide

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s quite rare to find a player who projects as being a contributor to a skill line outside the top 30 overall. Raphael Lavoie was available at No. 38 one year ago and that stroke of good fortune is a solid arrow for the organization. Two first rounders is a helluva haul. And you know what? Edmonton is getting better at drafting forwards in the second round.

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.

NHLE and the skill lines

Over the ten draft seasons 2010-19 we learned together what a scoring forward looks like on draft day. Using NHL equivalencies, beginning in 2010, we can see the gap between the first and second rounds.

  1. Taylor Hall first round 2010: 49.3
  2. Tyler Pitlick second round 2010: 18.0
  3. Curtis Hamilton second round 2010: 15.2
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first round 2011: 38.0
  5. Nail Yakupov first round 2012: 43.5
  6. Mitch Moroz second round 2012: 9.4
  7. Marco Roy second round 2013: 24.0
  8. Leon Draisaitl first round 2014: 40.6
  9. Connor McDavid first round 2015: 67.6
  10. Jesse Puljujarvi first round 2016: 20.8
  11. Tyler Benson second round 2016: 23.1
  12. Kailer Yamamoto first round 2017: 37.7
  13. Ryan McLeod second round 2018: 27.2
  14. Raphael Lavoie second round 2019: 27.4

There is one first-round pick who posted an NHLE below 37.0 (Jesse Puljuarvi) and two second-round picks who posted over 25.0 NHLE (McLeod and Lavoie). Progress? Yes! Seriously. Between 2012 and 2018 Edmonton has discovered something resembling NHLE.

Will Lavoie make it on a skill line?

There are several things that suggest Lavoie is going to score enough to survive on a skill line. First, he’s an extreme volume shooter. Second, he scored 30, 32 and 38 goals in his three full QMJHL seasons. Other reasons are here.

When will he arrive?

He has officially signed with Rogle (SHL) for the 2020-21 season. I think this is a great move for an important player in the organization. Kudos to Ken Holland for finding a place in the sun for a goal-scoring forward who is vital to the organization’s future. He should have some company in the ‘future scorer’ slot in Edmonton’s prospect arsenal after the 2020 draft, but right now he’s stone alone.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kickstart the week on TSN1260 with a lot of chat about a lot of things. Our first guest is Paul Sir from Basketball Alberta will talk Raptors and the NBA playoffs. At 10:40 Gianluca Nesci from The Score will talk about the rising star that is Alphonso Davies. Jason Gregor from TSN1260 pops in at 11 to chat about the NHL playoffs and early games, plus Oilers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

113 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
113 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
LMHF#1

Harpers Hair: Unfortunately the Oilers are paying those two scorers so much they couldn’t afford to do what you’re suggesting.

Incorrect – especially in a time of financial uncertainty.

This team needs to get used to cycling players in and out on 1 and 2 year deals.

Keeping a bunch of bit parts around long term is a waste.

LMHF#1

Fuge Udvar:
LMHF#1,

Is that you Dubas?

The only problem with trying to stock your team with good, cheap, young defenceman is that there are 31 other GMs trying to do the same thing. I get the idea but it is kind of like saying that we should only sign big guys that can skate fast, score goals and defend.

The Oilers already have the cheap and young and pretty good…

LMHF#1

Munny: You mean up there with Toronto?

Pass.

No – not like Toronto.

OriginalPouzar

So, what does this mean?

Ha!

True up that 3rd pairing – Jones/Benning with Bouchard replacing Benning at some point (either due to performance or injury or both).

jp

OriginalPouzar: This season, the Oilers scored more GF/60 and gave up less GA/60 with Connor/Klefbom than with Connor/Nurse.

Good catch.

In the 2 seasons before this one McDavid-Nurse scored almost 1 GF/60 more than McDavid-Klefbom and gave up slightly less GA/60. The effect *was* real (and it’s worth noting that their shot and xG rates were identical this year so I’m not sure McDavid-Klefbom were ‘better’).

For sure though, this year the on ice results did not show that McDavid was better with Nurse vs Klefbom.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
LMHF#1,

The issue is I don’t think this is a curve; this has been the winning strategy for a decade. 1 strong puck mover per pairing alongside a strong slot defender and those two can obviously (and would ideally) overlap. The curve is that the bar for skating quality has been raised since McDavid. That being said, I agree with the premise to make the three puck movers our D corps’ foundation.

I don’t think either Nurse or Klefbom are currently eitherstrong puck movers or strong slot defenders. They both have one or two above average or strong qualities while everything else is average or below average. We need to get guys that do one of those above things at an high level AND can skate well enough. I agree that we have three guys in the system that strike me as solid bets to be that foundation.

_____- Bear
Jones-_____
_____-Bouchard

Filling in the blanks with a bunch of strong slot defenders is the play. Plug facsimiles of McNabb, DeMelo, and Merrill into those spots and I think you’ve got yourself the makings of a Vegas-style blueline. It wouldn’t QUITE be at that level right away but, given some development time, and they could be.

Then you’ve got Samorukov in the system already developing in this direction and maybe you can REALLY gear Broberg’s emphasis towards slot defending and he can become what we all hoped Nurse would be- big, strong, elite skating defensive force… that can hopefully pass.

By middle of next season, if we had something like this going and doing ok, I would be ok:

Nurse- Bear
Kelf-Bouchard
Jones-Lars

Followed the next season by Bro dude entering the picture and possibly a replacement for Lars, unless he wants to get ~ 2-3M on his next contract to stay here…

OriginalPouzar

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
jp,

The distinction between puck mover and puck transporter comes to mind. Now, I’m one of Nurse’s biggest proponents and, outside of this dream world scenario, he’s a guy I definitely prioritize keeping. As for his production, he seems to have great synergy with McDavid as Connor’s production improves a lot with Nurse compared to Klefbom. There’s a reason Tippett gave him more TOI w/ McDavid.

This season, the Oilers scored more GF/60 and gave up less GA/60 with Connor/Klefbom than with Connor/Nurse.

jp

SwedishPoster,

Love these updates, please keep them coming!

Cool that Lavoie figured things out for himself.

jp

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
jp,

You’re hitting on something I wrote about on another site earlier in the year. I strongly believe that Nurse is our best Dman. He absolutely is flawed and NEEDS to improve his defensive decision-making but, like Petry before him, I think he should be appreciated for that which he does bring. I’m also not convinced that he’ll always be precisely what he is now.

I wasn’t trying to go here but I do agree with this for sure.

Fuge Udvar

SwedishPoster,

He is like opposite Puljujarvi

SwedishPoster

Was suppose to say “trying to sleep off the jet lag” but the last bit got cut out. Last time I borrow Woodguy’s phone.

SwedishPoster

Lavoie arrived in Ängelholm(where Rögle is playing, beautiful little town by the sea, less than 30000 inhabitants, summertown, not a lot going on during winter tbh, except hockey of course) yesterday and did a short interview before trying to sleep. Apparently I was wrong on Holland’s connections being the reason why he’s there, he himself had been looking at options in europe due to the uncertainty surrounding the AHL and he trains with Eric Gelinas who wears an A for Rögle in summer. Gelinas told Rögle GM Chris Abbott about him and he contacted the Oilers who liked the idea. So it’s pretty much Lavoie taking care of his own development, I like that.
When everything had been sorted out on friday Abbott asked Lavoie when he wanted to come over and he said as soon as possible so he pretty much got on the first flight over, I like that too, and hopes to be on ice with the team today. If his gear arrives, his luggage got stuck in Paris. Probably wanted to take a chance and check out how the restoration of Notre Dame is going.

He mentioned that he’s well aware about it being a tough transition from juniors, spoke about his strengths, shooting, take the puck to the net, physical when needed.

Seems to be a player with his focus in check. Hopefully he can transition well. As I’ve mentioned before, the SHL is a difficult league to play in for skill players, lots of skating, lots of checking, not a lot of time. Former Oiler Roman Horak has said in an interview that it was a much more difficult league to play in than the KHL due to the constant checking, the skill level clearly higher in Russia but the pace way higher in Sweden. Very very interesting to see how he adapts.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

jp,

You’re hitting on something I wrote about on another site earlier in the year. I strongly believe that Nurse is our best Dman. He absolutely is flawed and NEEDS to improve his defensive decision-making but, like Petry before him, I think he should be appreciated for that which he does bring. I’m also not convinced that he’ll always be precisely what he is now.

jp

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual,

Yes, no question we can make a distinction between puck mover and transporter. Though if both of them lead to points (presumably via goal scoring), and for that matter synergy with McDavid, I’m not sure we should value them so differently. (I do agree the distinction fits for Nurse btw).

And he does have some kind of something with McDavid (but I’m not sure it was just Tippett playing them more together). You didn’t quite say it, but implied that Nurse’s scoring numbers are because of more minutes with McDavid (others have said it directly).

I was looking at that just now and obviously playing with McDavid helps pretty much everyone score more. Below is the Oilers D over the last 3 seasons, 5on5 P/60 total, with McDavid and without McDavid (I’m guessing this won’t look too nice once it posts)

Player Minutes %TOIwith P/60Tot P/60With P/60Without
Darnell Nurse 4477 0.38 1.03 1.65 0.65
Caleb Jones 876 0.22 0.89 0.95 0.87
Matthew Benning 2562 0.27 0.87 1.72 0.55
Ethan Bear 1601 0.42 0.79 1.15 0.52
Kris Russell 3336 0.30 0.70 0.84 0.64
Oscar Klefbom 3361 0.34 0.68 1.20 0.41
Adam Larsson 3591 0.34 0.57 0.70 0.50
Andrej Sekera 835 0.27 0.43 0.79 0.30

The without McDavid column is:
Jones (I’m guessing this is because Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto were lighting the world afire)
Nurse
Russell (huh)
Benning
Bear
Larsson
Klefbom (wtf Klef?!)
Sekera

Nurse benefits more than most from minutes with McDavid but he still fares better than most when McDavid isn’t there (the transporting he does seems to be leading to points).

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

jp,

The distinction between puck mover and puck transporter comes to mind. Now, I’m one of Nurse’s biggest proponents and, outside of this dream world scenario, he’s a guy I definitely prioritize keeping. As for his production, he seems to have great synergy with McDavid as Connor’s production improves a lot with Nurse compared to Klefbom. There’s a reason Tippett gave him more TOI w/ McDavid.

jp

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
LMHF#1,

The issue is I don’t think this is a curve; this has been the winning strategy for a decade. 1 strong puck mover per pairing alongside a strong slot defender and those two can obviously (and would ideally) overlap. The curve is that the bar for skating quality has been raised since McDavid. That being said, I agree with the premise to make the three puck movers our D corps’ foundation.

I don’t think either Nurse or Klefbom are currently eitherstrong puck movers or strong slot defenders. They both have one or two above average or strong qualities while everything else is average or below average. We need to get guys that do one of those above things at an high level AND can skate well enough. I agree that we have three guys in the system that strike me as solid bets to be that foundation.

_____- Bear
Jones-_____
_____-Bouchard

Filling in the blanks with a bunch of strong slot defenders is the play. Plug facsimiles of McNabb, DeMelo, and Merrill into those spots and I think you’ve got yourself the makings of a Vegas-style blueline. It wouldn’t QUITE be at that level right away but, given some development time, and they could be.

Then you’ve got Samorukov in the system already developing in this direction and maybe you can REALLY gear Broberg’s emphasis towards slot defending and he can become what we all hoped Nurse would be- big, strong, elite skating defensive force… that can hopefully pass.

I don’t disagree with this particularly.

But one thing I don’t understand is how exactly Nurse puts up so many even strength points when he can’t move the puck?

Munny

LMHF#1: 2. Be ahead of the curve – not on it.

You mean up there with Toronto?

Pass.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

LMHF#1,

The issue is I don’t think this is a curve; this has been the winning strategy for a decade. 1 strong puck mover per pairing alongside a strong slot defender and those two can obviously (and would ideally) overlap. The curve is that the bar for skating quality has been raised since McDavid. That being said, I agree with the premise to make the three puck movers our D corps’ foundation.

I don’t think either Nurse or Klefbom are currently either strong puck movers or strong slot defenders. They both have one or two above average or strong qualities while everything else is average or below average. We need to get guys that do one of those above things at an high level AND can skate well enough. I agree that we have three guys in the system that strike me as solid bets to be that foundation.

_____- Bear
Jones-_____
_____-Bouchard

Filling in the blanks with a bunch of strong slot defenders is the play. Plug facsimiles of McNabb, DeMelo, and Merrill into those spots and I think you’ve got yourself the makings of a Vegas-style blueline. It wouldn’t QUITE be at that level right away but, given some development time, and they could be.

Then you’ve got Samorukov in the system already developing in this direction and maybe you can REALLY gear Broberg’s emphasis towards slot defending and he can become what we all hoped Nurse would be- big, strong, elite skating defensive force… that can hopefully pass.

Fuge Udvar

LMHF#1,

Is that you Dubas?

The only problem with trying to stock your team with good, cheap, young defenceman is that there are 31 other GMs trying to do the same thing. I get the idea but it is kind of like saying that we should only sign big guys that can skate fast, score goals and defend.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Too bad we couldn’t get all the 1OVs in the past decade. I like the style of that MacKinnon guy.

flyfish1168

barry.moore23: I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks that. Of course I hope to be wrong. Just seems like it’s not even close. I guess we maybe could give Florida and Arizona a run, but after that ? Ugh. Man I hope I’m wrong.

dustrock: I remember McLellan saying something like “even if we don’t have the fastest roster, we need to play faster and think faster”and here we are with the same problem.

The teams left in playoffs attack opposition goalie relentlessly. Only time opponents goalie see us attacking them is on the power play. Probably why we suck 5 x 5.

leadfarmer

These lightweights of the avs are having a hell of a time with these Dallas heavies
Just can’t teach 6’3 220 lbs

Harpers Hair

LMHF#1: 1. Those teams don’t have the two best scorers in the world.

2. Be ahead of the curve – not on it.

I know it’s an out there idea – so are all the best ones.

Unfortunately the Oilers are paying those two scorers so much they couldn’t afford to do what you’re suggesting.

LMHF#1

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
LMHF#1,

Worth stating that every team that’s still in the playoffs right now has a healthy amount of non-puck movers, too. In pursuit of playing faster, we shouldn’t neglect the realities of playoff contention.

1. Those teams don’t have the two best scorers in the world.

2. Be ahead of the curve – not on it.

I know it’s an out there idea – so are all the best ones.

Munny

Lowetide: And I think that’s what the NHL has been heading toward since Eddie Shore pushed the Springfield Indians too far.

But bagging popcorn is good for the soul…

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: and even if the NHL season is fully cancelled, as indicated, its too late to get paid in Europe for the season and, of course, the NHL will be coming back.

I just get a laugh at the line of thinking
“Are you crazy we can’t play hockey there’s a pandemic!!!”
“I know we all quit and play hockey in Russia”
“What a great idea”

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

LMHF#1,

Worth stating that every team that’s still in the playoffs right now has a healthy amount of non-puck movers, too. In pursuit of playing faster, we shouldn’t neglect the realities of playoff contention.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: Holy crap man
Why are owners bailing out?
Yes Arizona Florida Columbus are probably in trouble financially
We may not have traditional season but there’s virtually no chance they bail
This is not NCAA

and even if the NHL season is fully cancelled, as indicated, its too late to get paid in Europe for the season and, of course, the NHL will be coming back.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Guaranteed contracts mean nothing if owners are bailing out.

Forgot to ask how did your star D man do? Seems to me you mentioned how good he was under pressure when I mentioned his effectiveness could be mitigated. You still a fan boy or have jumped off that bandwagon to the Avalanche wagon?

LMHF#1

OriginalPouzar: Whoa, so you want to move out 4 out of the 6 top d-men from this past year (well, 7, as Russell has been passed by Jones in the minds of all except Playfair and Tip)?

That’s aggressive.

Russell has been passed by nearly everyone remotely in the conversation.

Moving forward, you double-down on being a team that scores and scores and scores. That means D from the puck-moving school exclusively. And good ones at that – ideally anchored by a true #1 top 15 NHL defenceman. While the rest are young, cheap and good, you spend the extra cash/assets on the forwards you need (no more shoehorning and hoping for McDavid and Draisaitl) to score goals, and an elite goalie.

We’re burning daylight here. And fast. The formula’s been wrong but the good news is that the cupboard isn’t bare and we don’t have asset-burners (MacTavish, Chiarelli) running things.

Reja

Reja:
Av’s should have kept Varlamov they’ll never win with what they have now

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Guaranteed contracts mean nothing if owners are bailing out.

Like most of your posts modicum of truth but vast differences between Canadian and American law.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: Guaranteed contracts mean nothing if owners are bailing out.

Holy crap man
Why are owners bailing out?
Yes Arizona Florida Columbus are probably in trouble financially
We may not have traditional season but there’s virtually no chance they bail
This is not NCAA

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: By the time any such decision is made the European seasons will be closer to completion than the beginning – not sure there will be market for NHL players who opt out of their guaranteed contracts.

Guaranteed contracts mean nothing if owners are bailing out.

leadfarmer

I’m confused
So nhlers are going to opt out of their multi million dollar guaranteed contracts so they can play in KHL or Sweden for a fraction of their salary?
And if they want to come back their new contract will be a discount of their previous?

I can only imagine the conversation between players and their wives
Player “honey they want us to go back into the bubble”
Wifey “What!! No way, you are not doing that again”

Week later
Player “ok honey pack the kids were moving to Russia”
Wifey “like Moscow or St. Petersburg”
Player “no some town I can’t pronounce”
Wifey “screw that!! Off to the bubble you go

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: I’d rather upheaval than another Joe Hall.

You’re really, really old aren’t you?

OriginalPouzar

What does Columbus want back for Merzlikins and Anderson?

Reja

Av’s should have kept Varlamov they’ll never win with what they have know.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: How short would regular season be for that to happen?
24 games?

By the time any such decision is made the European seasons will be closer to completion than the beginning – not sure there will be market for NHL players who opt out of their guaranteed contracts.

jp

pts2pndr: I like what you came up with for a roster. Part of my reasoning for not moving McLeod or even Samorukov this year is that we will have a much better idea of how to proceed on anumber of personnel issues after an abbreviated season. We still may not have a 20/21 abbreviated season but rather a reset with a normal oct start for the 21/22 season. Rushing into decisions with the current uncertainty re the pandemic/second wave doesn’t seem prudent.

Yes that’s a different consideration in all this. Fair to be more cautions than normal.

And I’m not at all set on moving McLeod or Samorukov by the way (I didn’t bring them into the Faksa conversation). I’d definitely prefer not to. But these guys are far from assured of being quality NHL players at this point. Addressing glaring current roster issues by trading some of these prospects may be necessary.

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: I think that’s completely reasonable. NHL teams own the arenas, so individual players and agents will have to deal with one of the owners, and with no CBA owners won’t be forced to share revenue. It will create a big gap between have and have nots BUT players will have complete freedom.

And I think that’s what the NHL has been heading toward since Eddie Shore pushed the Springfield Indians too far.

More than a few NHL teams do not own their arenas.

Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Arizona come immediately to mind.

Without games being played, the owners of these arenas will be in a very difficult situation since they won’t be able to service the debt they’ve incurred if the owners are unable to meet their obligations.

This has the potential to totally disrupt the business model of the league.

Bettman has a huge workload ahead in the next 6-12 months.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: I can definitely see the players union signing off on that! NOT

The difference between the current return to play and the return to play for the 2020/21 season is that, without the latter, the players don’t get paid……..

Of course, “bubbles” will, as you say, be a very hard sell to the players but I think they would be shorter term bubbles with breaks in between. 3 week bubbles followed by a week back home with the family, for example.

Not ideal, obviously, but not THAT much worse than a long road trip plus the players get 4, 5, 6, “bye weeks” which we know they love.

Whatever happens, if something happens, its going to be effed up.

godot10

pts2pndr: I can definitely see the players union signing off on that! NOT

The new CBA means the owners are financing most of the Covid hit for the first couple of years, with the players getting 80% of their contracts with 10% of that 80% deferred.

So the players are getting just over 70% of their contracts in real dollars to play.

The players will play. Phone and video sex with their “bunnies” will have to suffice. But with monster gaming screens, “is it real or is it memorex?”

OriginalPouzar

Todd Macallan:
Oilers website post their first draft profile today, none other than Seth Jarvis. Hopefully some foreshadowing there regarding their list.

He was on Oilers Now with Stauff late last week – probably parlaying off that conversation.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: Either move and or don’t qualify AA and it would still take some astute juggling.

A 3C is a need but so is someone that can produce on left wing in the top 6 (and, preferably right wing as well to bump Kassian down) and AA is one season removed from four years at 1.8 P/60 or greater (at least one well over 2.0).

It there is value in a trade, sure, but Holland can not let AA walk. $3M is fine for one year. An arbitration award higher is not fine but Holland, the hall of fame GM, has to find a way to get this player signed to $3M or lower without the arb risk.

OriginalPouzar

Munny: Which bodes well for any arbitration case.

His QO would actually be $2,2, as the salary is more than $1 mill AAV.(Ref: https://www.capfriendly.com/qualifying-offer-calculator)

I think a raise is in order, but it won’t be crazy and should derail any possibility of arb hearings.

Yes, a weakened offensive production year does bode well for an arbitration award but that premise would apply to AA as well. Based off of last year only, no way he gets $3M or more – based off of his body of work in the NHL, he very well may. Same would apply to Faksa I assume.

Past years’ statistics are admissible in to evidence.

Financial/cap situation of the team is not.

godot10

pts2pndr: I can definitely see the players union signing off on that! NOT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lqdErI9uss