Blue Days

by Lowetide

Defensemen are tougher to figure out than forwards, in my opinion. There’s more ‘saw him good’ when evaluating blue, and that can mean wildly varying opinions. For instance, many fans believe Evan Bouchard is a struggling defender. If that were true, that he is not a good defender, that probably holds all the way back to junior right? So, what if the numbers from junior hockey tell us something else about Bouchard? What then?

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.

DEFENSEMEN EVEN STRENGTH GOAL DIFFERENTIAL

This is everyone’s draft year except Broberg who is draft +1 because I couldn’t find his numbers. Nurse played against the other team’s best (Kyle Dubas tracked it) and came out better than his team by about three percentage points. That’s a good season, but does it indicate future success? Look at Reinhart down at the bottom? A guy like Bear looks good, Broberg too, but Samorukov and Niemelainen could not rise above.

Bouchard? He was demonstrably better than his team based on these numbers from Pick 224. So, is Bouchard poor defensively, or does he look lethargic when retrieving pucks? I’m not sure of the answer but these numbers suggest he was better than his teammates in his draft year in outscoring. What about Bouchard in the AHL, 2019-20?

  • Bouchard 2019-20 Bakersfield on-ice even strength: 41-51 44.57 percent
  • Condors 2019-20 with Bouchard off-ice EV strength: 71-89 44.38 percent

Bouchard performed at about level overall but did improve markedly in the second half of the year. I think he’s better defensively than he’s being given credit for, maybe because he looks lethargic in retreat for the puck.

2020 DEFENSEMEN

I was hoping for more revealing numbers here but Drysdale’s on-off numbers are impressive. He’s regarded as a strong puck mover and smart defender but lacks size. They all look good and their teams do too, save Poirier. He and his team were under water.

OEL

Some rumblings online about OEL coming in a trade, I have many thoughts. First, the cap hit is enormous ($8.2 million) and goes through summer 2027. This fella is 29 now. His contract is longer than 97’s and 29’s.

His PuckIQ page shows strong work against elites for ages, then a dip in performance this past campaign. Over at NST his power-play goals per 60 were above 1.00 for some time but dipped last year. At even strength, his scoring totals were up but mostly second assists. His possession numbers were uneasy and his rel number a little below par. Here are his five on five numbers with his two main partners:

  • OEL-Jason Demers: 679 minutes, 46.80 shot differential, 18-24 goal differential.
  • OEL-Ilya Lyubushkin: 173 minutes, 50.25 shot differential, 12-6 goal differential.

OEL with Adam Larsson would be a strong pairing, you could run Nurse-Bear or Klefbom-Bear on the second pair and have a nice set. Trading Klefbom and Russell gets you there in terms of cap, but this is not a trade that represents a clear win. I don’t think this trade is wise.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning on TSN1260, we get started at 10. Frank Seravalli from TSN pops in with trade rumours and we’ll chat about last night’s heartbreaker for the Islanders. At 11, Sean Woodley from Locked on Raptors will talk to us about a brilliant win for the Raptors last night and a massive Game 7 Friday night. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

We’ll also have the $20,000 Mystery Moment at 10:15, your chance to win cash with that gigantic sports brain of yours. We’re at $600! THAT’S REAL WALKING AROUND MONEY! Text in at 10-1260 with the secret word, then we’ll call you, play a clip from a famous sports moment and ask you for a detailed answer.

128 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
128 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
OriginalPouzar

Sure, not everyone recovers but that is often on the player – in this case, the player was let go fairly young with lots of road ahead to recover. He had different development paths in multiple organizations in multiple leagues and has become a middling player in a good league.

Confidence is a thing and, yes, it matters – of course, a player with zero confidence can, all of a sudden be fully confident after one good game where he gets a couple of goals – one on a goalie mistake and another on a lucky deflection – boom confidence.

Confidence can be gained in an instant.

LMHF#1

OriginalPouzar,

Because the damage was done.

That’s the exact point of what I said.

The idea that everyone recovers is flat wrong. We watched what a destructive organization and bad coaching can do to many many players.

You don’t get that time back. You don’t get those decisions back. It is the exception that someone is able to overcome – not the rule.

Development matters. Always has.

OriginalPouzar

LMHF#1:
People’s willingness to blow by the fact that Dallas Eakins and an idiot linesman are the reason Yakupov isn’t currently starring on Connor McDavid’s wing in order to suit their narrative is a never-ending annoyance.

You don’t just course-correct when career development goes sideways. It’s not automatic and when a player that thrives on confidence and joy for the game has that completely undermined it is no surprise that they don’t recover.

But why couldn’t Nail recover under multiple other coaches in multiple other NHL organizations and the KHL?

OriginalPouzar

Not great:

Complete Hockey News
@CompleteHkyNews
The Finnish government has placed Jokerit on a mandatory 2-week quarantine after their game against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk Wednesday, effectively postponing their next five games.

Seven members of Nizhnekamsk tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in Riga yesterday.

LMHF#1

People’s willingness to blow by the fact that Dallas Eakins and an idiot linesman are the reason Yakupov isn’t currently starring on Connor McDavid’s wing in order to suit their narrative is a never-ending annoyance.

You don’t just course-correct when career development goes sideways. It’s not automatic and when a player that thrives on confidence and joy for the game has that completely undermined it is no surprise that they don’t recover.

tapper

Quinn Hughes is Torey Krug 2.0. PP specialist.

Nice piece, but doesn’t win championships without a (much) strong(er) supporting cast.

jp

Scungilli Slushy: Perhaps you don’t recall the Oilers glorious success with Russian players?

A few survived the BoB, most didn’t.

61 Russian players have played 500 NHL games (or 250 as a goalie).

8 of them have played for the Oilers (Boris Mironov the only one to spend the heart of his career with the team).

I’m not sure I see any reason to think Russian Oiler’s have been notably unsuccessful.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar:
I think I’m reading a bunch of revisionist history on the Yak pick – it was insanity to draft him because of where he was from? Should the Oilers have avoided Drai?I can’t recall them having success with a drafting from Cologne, or anywhere in Germany.

Sure, Riley is the winner of the top of that draft but, in reality, that was a Murray vs. Yak decision.

Perhaps you don’t recall the Oilers glorious success with Russian players?

A few survived the BoB, most didn’t.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Fuge Udvar:
So.. Which is it..

It’s the same intellectual inconsistency that he brings literally every single day. Stop bothering.

Fuge Udvar

Harpers Hair: No one’s opinion is gospel…especially yours.

And appealing to authority is very weak sauce.

Harpers Hair: Corey Pronman disagrees with you.

But what does a guy who gets paid to asses prospects for a living know?

So.. Which is it..

jp

Ryan: I agree with others here that with the old *infallible eye test*, he certainly doesn’t look at all like he used to 3-4years ago.

Almost reminds me a bit of Doughty.

Remember when Drew Doughty was still Drew Doughty?

I’m not sure what Doughty is now, but he’s a vestige of his former self.

I wasn’t meaning to suggest Holland should actually do it, just that our GM *could* leave the worst of that problem to someone else (I also don’t think he would do that sort of thing carelessly, to be fully clear).

OriginalPouzar

I was going to ask what the wild would want back for Dubnyk if they retained a bit but I wonder if they would trade him for Rusty – I’m not sure Addisson or Gordeev are ready and they likely move on from Brodin – they need D.

I could see Russell and/or Hamonic there.

Munny

One or both of Lowe or MacT must have wanted Yak.

Munny

OriginalPouzar:
Would Bouchard make Vancouver’s top U-22, er, U-25 list?

Maybe as Brogan Rafferty’s squire.

…Golf caddy, valet, driver, whatever you call that guy from the Skip the Dishes ads…

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: You switched lanes again. I was not talking about prospect pools. As I said doing so is a fools errand and means absolutely nothing. Value of a prospect pool is purely subjective. Why I was talking about was a draft ranking list.

Draft ranking lists are swell
But there are several other ways to aquire NHL players

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
Would Bouchard make Vancouver’s top U-22, er, U-25 list?

Of course he would
He would be neck and neck with Rafferty with a slightly higher
upside

pts2pndr

Lowetide: Spec wrote an article on this. The scouts weren’t on board with Yakupov at all. Fans wanted Yakupov though.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oilers-got-wrong-yakupov-start/

I thought the word at the time was that Yakupov was an owner decision and given it’s his hockey team and he pays the freight it is his right.

pts2pndr

nathen99:
Realistically Holland will sign 1b goalie sign are rfas as our moderatorlikes to say powder kept dry like to lose chiassons contract though afraid all shall be disappointed if thinking big moves ahead

Good call and I think given the uncertainties it is in my opinion the prudent thing to do.

OriginalPouzar

Would Bouchard make Vancouver’s top U-22, er, U-25 list?

unca miltie

Just got a chance to stop by the site tonight. I have said this before but would like to repeat. When I was in Bakersfield last November I was very disappointed with Bouchard. His effort on retrievals’ was poor. Lethargic would work. That game Sammy impressed me much more.

In late January I went to a game in Ontario.( The Manning game) Bouchard was a far different player. The intensity level was way up and my “saw him good” fits very well with the numbers that said his second half was much better than his first half. IMO the kid is a player and will do will with the Oilers.

nathen99

Why many posters give harper any notice at all I find it all very amusing!

OriginalPouzar

I think I’m reading a bunch of revisionist history on the Yak pick – it was insanity to draft him because of where he was from? Should the Oilers have avoided Drai? I can’t recall them having success with a drafting from Cologne, or anywhere in Germany.

Sure, Riley is the winner of the top of that draft but, in reality, that was a Murray vs. Yak decision.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: I don’t think LT has ever done a deep dive into the prospect pool of all 31 teams.

If he ever does, I would be more than happy to read it.

You switched lanes again. I was not talking about prospect pools. As I said doing so is a fools errand and means absolutely nothing. Value of a prospect pool is purely subjective. Why I was talking about was a draft ranking list.

Todd Macallan

jp: Yes, 22 is an odd cutoff but fine.

My issue is that in the same ranking series, clearly defining the age cutoff as 22, he includes Rafferty and McEwan for the Canucks but doesn’t include the younger McDavid, Draisaitl, Bear and Jones. The same set of rankings but different cutoffs.

I guess he made a mistake, or forgot.

I didn’t check to see if other teams ranked between Edmonton and Vancouver also had players over 22 included.

Yeah it certainly seems like an oversight or else Old Man Brogan appears to have at least 2 cheerleaders out there!

jp

Todd Macallan: THIS. Pronman makes a living evaluating young talent and for some reason unknown to all but him chose an arbitrary age cut off of 22. Makes sense he as had to cut of the age somewhere so why not 22.

Here is a link that doesn’t fit this poster’s narrative of the day posted 1 year ago by the same author where the age was instead chosen to be 23:
https://theathletic.com/1220133/2019/09/19/pronman-ranking-nhl-teams-by-their-23-and-under-core-2019-20-edition/?article_source=search&search_query=23%20and%20under%20core

Yes, 22 is an odd cutoff but fine.

My issue is that in the same ranking series, clearly defining the age cutoff as 22, he includes Rafferty and McEwan for the Canucks but doesn’t include the younger McDavid, Draisaitl, Bear and Jones. The same set of rankings but different cutoffs.

I guess he made a mistake, or forgot.

I didn’t check to see if other teams ranked between Edmonton and Vancouver also had players over 22 included.

Todd Macallan

Todd Macallan: THIS. Pronman makes a living evaluating young talent and for some reason unknown to all but him chose an arbitrary age cut off of 22. Makes sense he as had to cut of the age somewhere so why not 22.

Here is a link that doesn’t fit this poster’s narrative of the day posted 1 year ago by the same author where the age was instead chosen to be 23:
https://theathletic.com/1220133/2019/09/19/pronman-ranking-nhl-teams-by-their-23-and-under-core-2019-20-edition/?article_source=search&search_query=23%20and%20under%20core

No edit button, by “this poster” I was referring to our resident Canucklehead and certainly not jp, who I am full agreement with.

nathen99

Realistically Holland will sign 1b goalie sign are rfas as our moderator likes to say powder kept dry like to lose chiassons contract though afraid all shall be disappointed if thinking big moves ahead

leadfarmer

Todd Macallan: THIS. Pronman makes a living evaluating young talent and for some reason unknown to all but him chose an arbitrary age cut off of 22. Makes sense he as had to cut of the age somewhere so why not 22.

Here is a link that doesn’t fit this poster’s narrative of the day posted 1 year ago by the same author where the age was instead chosen to be 23:
https://theathletic.com/1220133/2019/09/19/pronman-ranking-nhl-teams-by-their-23-and-under-core-2019-20-edition/?article_source=search&search_query=23%20and%20under%20core

It was a very odd age cutoff
Especially that Matthews made it by a week
But he’s an interesting read but not a good evaluator of talent

Todd Macallan

jp:
What is Pronman smoking?

25 year old Rafferty (and 24 year old McEwan) are included on a 22 and under list of prospects?

McDavid and Draisaitl (and Bear and Jones) aren’t included even though they’re younger than either Rafferty or McEwan?

lol

THIS. Pronman makes a living evaluating young talent and for some reason unknown to all but him chose an arbitrary age cut off of 22. Makes sense he as had to cut of the age somewhere so why not 22.

Here is a link that doesn’t fit this poster’s narrative of the day posted 1 year ago by the same author where the age was instead chosen to be 23:
https://theathletic.com/1220133/2019/09/19/pronman-ranking-nhl-teams-by-their-23-and-under-core-2019-20-edition/?article_source=search&search_query=23%20and%20under%20core

Victoria Oil

Penny’s brother scores on a breakaway with 7 seconds left in the 2nd period. 1-0 Dallas.

jp

jp,

Sounds **totally** legit.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: I’m not alone.

Pronman has Rafferty as the fifth best prospect in Vancouvers third overall young player pool.

https://theathletic.com/2035883/2020/09/10/2020-nhl-organizational-rankings-no-3-vancouver-canucks/?source=user_shared_article

But they are there because of two players that are no longer prospects

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: He gets paid to write. How many people has he got on his staff to do all this great work? If he was as good as you seem to make others believe he would be getting payed as a director of scouting for an NHL team. Being controversial gets him more than being correct. I would take LT’s list over Pronman’s list all day long.

I don’t think LT has ever done a deep dive into the prospect pool of all 31 teams.

If he ever does, I would be more than happy to read it.

jp

Harpers Hair: I’m not alone.

Pronman has Rafferty as the fifth best prospect in Vancouvers third overall young player pool.

https://theathletic.com/2035883/2020/09/10/2020-nhl-organizational-rankings-no-3-vancouver-canucks/?source=user_shared_article

Harpers Hair: Oilers are 27th.

Out of 31.

What is Pronman smoking?

25 year old Rafferty (and 24 year old McEwan) are included on a 22 and under list of prospects?

McDavid and Draisaitl (and Bear and Jones) aren’t included even though they’re younger than either Rafferty or McEwan?

lol

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Oilers are 27th.

Out of 31.

And you take pleasure in telling me. Your kindness is overwhelming. Rankings are just that and hold little or no value except to a troll like you!

Scungilli Slushy

The rub with the Oiler’s lack of forward depth is that they have had two lottery picks fail.

It was pure intense stupidity to draft Yak. Because the team had no success with kids from that area and Yak was even further out not being from Russia prop.

That was a very thin cohort as evidenced by the success of that draft year. Murray also didn’t pan out who the scouts wanted.

JP was the consensus 3rd and an obvious choice when picked. Captain Kirk passed. I would wager Pete did no due diligence on him.

And here we are.

If both picks had produced quality if not impact players, as they should have, things are very different.

Holland is and has said he’s trying to stabilize things first.

I agree with those that think all possible pushing the pedal a bit is a good idea.

If a team is lucky enough to get elite players it’s not time to sit back

Bruce’s analysis is so interesting. What to do depends on what you have.

NYI has no elite talent and can’t get it bcs money. So draft and hold is a good plan.

That will work for Edmonton but you are burning prime years from exceptional talent.

The Oilers need a RSC. Or two. But they don’t need a top 6 one, those C positions are locked up.

Moving that draft pick to wing would be a plan.

There is also that Connor and Leon eat a ton of cap. It might be better to make some moves and balance the roster, get the photo, and recoup picks and talent later.

Like Tampa. The failed lottery picks have to change the plan from organic to calculated risk.

Hopefully Holland isn’t as bad as what we’ve seen with that.

OriginalPouzar

flea: You don’t think the best player in a generation toiling in a perpetually losing team is an issue for the league?

You don’t think the NHLPA would put pressure on Connor to move to a more competitive team?

The NHL is a business, the bubble playoffs prove it. And the best player in the league has value. Good businesses maximize their assets.

I was encouraged by the Oilers play this year, I like Tippett and I like what Holland has done.

But if a top 10 D comes available – the Oilers should try to get him.

They aren’t strung by contracts as badly as other teams. And possibly it is an opportunity to ditch a problem contract as well.

Of course the league would prefer he have success – the asset is controlled by Daryl Katz, not the NHL or the Board of Governors as a whole. Yes, the NHL is a business and Daryl Katz controls and makes money off that asset – the league cannot “force him” to do anything with it or around it.

Nope, the NHLPA won’t put pressure on McDavid to demand a trade or something like that – that’s silly to suggest in my opinion.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Corey Pronman disagrees with you.

But what does a guy who gets paid to asses prospects for a living know?

He gets paid to write. How many people has he got on his staff to do all this great work? If he was as good as you seem to make others believe he would be getting payed as a director of scouting for an NHL team. Being controversial gets him more than being correct. I would take LT’s list over Pronman’s list all day long.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
I didn’t realize the Pronman’s opinion on prospects is gospel.

I guess there is no disagreeing with any decision made by Dave Tippett – he gets paid to coach and was once named the best in the league.

I guess there is no disagreeing with any decision made by Ken Holland – he gets paid to manage and is in the Hall of Fame for it.

No one’s opinion is gospel…especially yours.

And appealing to authority is very weak sauce.

OriginalPouzar

I also can am very confidant I watched Even Bouchard play much much more than Pronman did in the 2019/20 – can’t say that for Broberg mind you.

flea

OriginalPouzar: Gonzo?6 more years of term on that contract.

No, I don’t put any stock in to any theory that the league will somehow “force” a trade.

Not making a very very risky acquisition that has the potential to crater the “consistent contender” plan is not akin to “waiting” too long, in my opinion.

You don’t think the best player in a generation toiling in a perpetually losing team is an issue for the league?

You don’t think the NHLPA would put pressure on Connor to move to a more competitive team?

The NHL is a business, the bubble playoffs prove it. And the best player in the league has value. Good businesses maximize their assets.

I was encouraged by the Oilers play this year, I like Tippett and I like what Holland has done.

But if a top 10 D comes available – the Oilers should try to get him.

They aren’t strung by contracts as badly as other teams. And possibly it is an opportunity to ditch a problem contract as well.

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: So Vancouver’s pool of young stars is really not very good. It’s nice to see you have so many people that agree with you, normally you’re a majority of one!

Oilers are 27th.

Out of 31.

OriginalPouzar

I didn’t realize the Pronman’s opinion on prospects is gospel.

I guess there is no disagreeing with any decision made by Dave Tippett – he gets paid to coach and was once named the best in the league.

I guess there is no disagreeing with any decision made by Ken Holland – he gets paid to manage and is in the Hall of Fame for it.

Scungilli Slushy

Harpers Hair: I’m not alone.

Pronman has Rafferty as the fifth best prospect in Vancouvers third overall young player pool.

https://theathletic.com/2035883/2020/09/10/2020-nhl-organizational-rankings-no-3-vancouver-canucks/?source=user_shared_article

That’s fantastic!

But nobody here cares.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: I’m not alone.

Pronman has Rafferty as the fifth best prospect in Vancouvers third overall young player pool.

https://theathletic.com/2035883/2020/09/10/2020-nhl-organizational-rankings-no-3-vancouver-canucks/?source=user_shared_article

So Vancouver’s pool of young stars is really not very good. It’s nice to see you have so many people that agree with you, normally you’re a majority of one!

pts2pndr

London Jon: Here we go again

HH mantra I’m not happy until you’re not happy!💁