Draft Week Post No. 3: The Math of the Draft

by Lowetide

A year ago on this blog, I published a NHL equivalency chart that identified the top forwards in the draft, and suggested that the Oilers badly needed at least one name from that list added to their own depth chart. How did it go? And will one be enough this year?

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

NHL EQUIVALENCIES, FIRST ROUND FORWARDS 2019

These are 15 forwards who made my first round list a year ago and posted over 20 points NHLE. Some of the European forwards (like Vasili Podkolzin) didn’t make the list, but those names were clearly bona fide as well. Oilers drafted one name from the list, Lavoie, and could have had two but drafted Broberg instead. That decision looks better now than it did one year ago.

NHL EQUIVALENCIES, FIRST ROUND FORWARDS 2020

The best plan of action is to draft skill with every pick. In the case of forwards, NHLE is a quick and easy way to look at a large group of players to see who delivered the most offense. Again, some European kids aren’t on this list (notably Lucas Raymond and Rodion Amirov) but are clearly in the conversation.

The Oilers might be able to draft Jarvis from this list (the two Swedish wingers will go before him) but I think Quinn could be more likely. Could Holland trade into the early part of the second round and grab Mysak? LAK got Turcotte, Kaliyev and Fagemo one year ago. That’s the kind of draft Edmonton needs.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. My 2020 draft list is a full boat of forwards who have delivered enough offensively to project as possible top-six players should they continue to develop. If you look at the Oilers current pipeline, there are very few names who qualify:

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi 35. 1
  2. Raphael Lavoie 34.7
  3. Tyler Benson 30.5
  4. Evan Bouchard 26.6

Signing Puljujarvi would give Edmonton three (all but Lavoie) candidates to make the Oilers. Should that happen, should all three emerge this season as NHL players, the pipeline would be Lavoie and McLeod, who looks a little shy offensively. After that, you’re waiting on names like Kirill Maksimov and Maxim Denezhkin. Cupboard’s bare.

Benson is in a very good spot today, I wonder if the trades and signings will have him in the same position when the dust settles. Currently, with Joakim Nygard gone for 4-6 weeks due to another surgery, the LW depth chart (signed) is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, James Neal, Tyler Benson and Joe Gambardella. Things could change, RFA Andreas Athanasiou could be signed and Tyler Ennis might return. Jake DeBrusk would have a major impact on the depth chart.

I believe Benson would be applying for a third or fourth line job in Edmonton for 2020-21, meaning Neal, Gambardella and (when he returns) Joakim Nygard will be his competition. Benson isn’t applying for the same job DeBrusk would fill.

We’ve discussed DeBrusk at length (Frank was on the Lowdown Friday) as a possible option, I think the price would be Klefbom. So, if you’re dealing Klefbom, does that mean OEL is coming here? For the first-round pick and other items? Defense might be OEL-Larsson, Nurse-Bear, Jones-Bouchard. I think Matt Benning will be in a new town.

There’s just $3 million in cap room, but dealing Kris Russell and Matt Benning will free up about $6 million (and their replacements might cost less than $2 million). Money is tight, I wonder if Zack Kassian or Alex Chiasson find new homes.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Monday and we’re now on trade watch so tune in as it happens. At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we face the work week head on. At 10:20, Geoff Ullrich from Draft Kings breaks down a fascinating NFL weekend and at 11:05 Jason Gregor from TSN1260 talks Stanley Cup Final and the wave of trade activity anticipated in the coming NHL offseason. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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godot10

Solly:
godot10,

I have to disagree. Athanasiou is a plus skater but didn’t work well with McD or I think he’d have a contract by now. That’s why Holland risked 2 2nd rounders for him. Kassian can skate and create space but he’s only on the first line due to not having any better options.
McDavid needs a winger who can score when he gets the puck to him. Laine fits that bill in spades.

Athanasiou is a skater and shooter. He fails my key conditions of being able to play a give and go game (so no help creating space for McDavid) and he is a weak defensive player.

Kassian is awful with McDavid, mainly because of inconsistenet effort and reliability, and because he is a weak defensive player. And he mostly reacts too slow to unfolding plays.

Solly

godot10,

I have to disagree. Athanasiou is a plus skater but didn’t work well with McD or I think he’d have a contract by now. That’s why Holland risked 2 2nd rounders for him. Kassian can skate and create space but he’s only on the first line due to not having any better options.
McDavid needs a winger who can score when he gets the puck to him. Laine fits that bill in spades.

Victoria Oil

Ice Sage:
Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning.Class org, long build, got good players and kept them.
I’ll hang on to see McD and Drai get their Stamkos moments… the cup looks good in E-town.

And they did it with only 3 minutes of their captain.

They are clearly the gold standard that we need to aim for.

On another note, happy 48th anniversary of Canada’s victory from the ’72 series, one of my most memorable days from my childhood.

who

Harpers Hair: 13.

Just in the Central Division.

I guess we have different definitions of true #1.

OriginalPouzar

godot10: Nope.What McDavid needs is two all-arouind wingers who are plus skaters.Who can guarentee the puck exits the Oilers zone and ends up on McDavid’s stick.Who can make a give-and-go pass.Who are excellent backcheckers, because they will have to do McDavid’s. (It has been five long years and McDavid is poor at checking.)If you wanna be McDavid’s winger you have to be plus defensively.

They just have to be decent shooters.

McDavid needs wingers who can create space for him and who can get him the puck in space and in flight.

Didn’t Maroon all but prove that being a plus skater is not a pre-requisite to succeed with McDavid?

I’m not so sure he had a good shot either – I don’t really recall him shooting from distance.

I believe that some of what you described is important – mostly, the ability to get the puck to McDavid with time and space and, essentially, to think the offensive game at a “smart” level. Think of Benson’s pass to Archie for his lone NHL point – that kind of pass is what will be dynamite with McDavid in the offensive zone.

Being good on the boards is the next main element.

I don’t think “backchecking” is important as I don’t think that’s a part of being a good defensive player.but more positioning and recognition in the defensive zone.

godot10

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
Clearly, Yzerman was the problem in Tampa.

Or Moses to Brisebois’s Joshua.

godot10

Harpers Hair: No you didn’t.

Marc Staal is now a Red Wing.

He’s better than Klefbom.

Ten years ago.

godot10

Solly:
I think most will agree McDavid needs a winger that is a pure shooter…badly.

Nope. What McDavid needs is two all-arouind wingers who are plus skaters. Who can guarentee the puck exits the Oilers zone and ends up on McDavid’s stick. Who can make a give-and-go pass. Who are excellent backcheckers, because they will have to do McDavid’s. (It has been five long years and McDavid is poor at checking.) If you wanna be McDavid’s winger you have to be plus defensively.

They just have to be decent shooters.

McDavid needs wingers who can create space for him and who can get him the puck in space and in flight.

Material Elvis

So Bowen Byram is already a #1D in the NHL without ever playing a game.

Gotta be the whisky talking.

Harpers Hair

who: I’m not arguing with you.
And your Dad could beat up my Dad, if that’s what you want to hear.
But how many of the dmen you just listed are true #1’s?

13.

Just in the Central Division.

BONE207

leadfarmer: Guessing it was a large house cat

So you’re saying he was in the whiskey again. It would explain some of his wildly erratic posts lately

Material Elvis

Harpers Hair: No you didn’t.

Marc Staal is now a Red Wing.

He’s better than Klefbom.

???? Maybe seven years ago…..

Material Elvis

RonnieB: Laine is only signed for 1 more year. His next contract will start with an 11. Not a fit financially here.

An 11?!! Who’s going to pay him 11M per year? Dubas already blew his wad and Chiarelli isn’t a GM anymore.

Material Elvis

Harpers Hair: Dought is still better than any Oiler D.

Can Fowler is still better than any Oiler D…so is Hampus Lindholm.

OEL is easily better than Klefbom or Nurse

San Jose, while aging, still has Karlsson, Burns and Vlasic.

At the moment, Arizona has OEL and Chychrun

Calgary has Gio, who is aging but also has Hanafin, Andersson and Valimaki who are all 23 or under.

Important to remember that Hughes is only 20…can you imagine how good he’ll be when he’s 25?

Vegas has both Theodore and Nate Schmidt.

Of course, to be a real contender, the Oilers have to eventually meet or beat the teams in the Central Division.

Dallas…Heiskanen, Klingburg

Colorado…Makar, Johnson and soon Byram

St. Louis…Parayko, Pietrangelo?

Nashville…Josi, Ellis

Minnesota….Suter and Spurgeon

Winnipeg…Morrisey

It’s a murderer’s row.

It’s like taking a knife to a gun fight.

Hughes isn’t as good overall as Edler. Maybe he gets there one day but it’s no guarantee.

who

Harpers Hair: Dought is still better than any Oiler D.

Can Fowler is still better than any Oiler D…so is Hampus Lindholm.

OEL is easily better than Klefbom or Nurse

San Jose, while aging, still has Karlsson, Burns and Vlasic.

At the moment, Arizona has OEL and Chychrun

Calgary has Gio, who is aging but also has Hanafin, Andersson and Valimaki who are all 23 or under.

Important to remember that Hughes is only 20…can you imagine how good he’ll be when he’s 25?

Vegas has both Theodore and Nate Schmidt.

Of course, to be a real contender, the Oilers have to eventually meet or beat the teams in the Central Division.

Dallas…Heiskanen, Klingburg

Colorado…Makar, Johnson and soon Byram

St. Louis…Parayko, Pietrangelo?

Nashville…Josi, Ellis

Minnesota….Suter and Spurgeon

Winnipeg…Morrisey

It’s a murderer’s row.

It’s like taking a knife to a gun fight.

I’m not arguing with you.
And your Dad could beat up my Dad, if that’s what you want to hear.
But how many of the dmen you just listed are true #1’s?

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Clearly, Yzerman was the problem in Tampa.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: No you didn’t.

Marc Staal is now a Red Wing.

He’s better than Klefbom.

I looked at one division, the Atlantic and Klefbom would be the 1LD on the Habs and the Wing, even after they acquired a soon to be 34 year old Marc Staal.

Harpers Hair

who: Well that brings up an interesting question. How many true #1’s are there?
LA. Doughty. Is he still elite or is he in decline?
Anaheim.Do they have one?
SJ. Karlsson. See Doughty above.
Arizona. OEL. See Doughty above.
Calgary. Gio. See Doughty above.
Vegas. Theodore.
Vancouver. Hughes. Definitely a #1 with the puck on his stick and in the ozone. Was exposed in his own end in the playoffs a little. He may struggle to defend down low against bigger forwards.
That’s the Oilers division. I suspect the other divisions would have a similar sampling.

Dought is still better than any Oiler D.

Can Fowler is still better than any Oiler D…so is Hampus Lindholm.

OEL is easily better than Klefbom or Nurse

San Jose, while aging, still has Karlsson, Burns and Vlasic.

At the moment, Arizona has OEL and Chychrun

Calgary has Gio, who is aging but also has Hanafin, Andersson and Valimaki who are all 23 or under.

Important to remember that Hughes is only 20…can you imagine how good he’ll be when he’s 25?

Vegas has both Theodore and Nate Schmidt.

Of course, to be a real contender, the Oilers have to eventually meet or beat the teams in the Central Division.

Dallas…Heiskanen, Klingburg

Colorado…Makar, Johnson and soon Byram

St. Louis…Parayko, Pietrangelo?

Nashville…Josi, Ellis

Minnesota….Suter and Spurgeon

Winnipeg…Morrisey

It’s a murderer’s row.

It’s like taking a knife to a gun fight.

RonnieB

Solly:
I think most will agree McDavid needs a winger that is a pure shooter…badly.

He doesn’t have to be overly fast or good at passing/playmaking, but when he gets fed a gross saucy from McD, the puck is in the back of the net 90% (or higher) of the time. These players are hard to find and even harder to keep. Enter Winnipeg…
We have an abundance of D-men and Laine is available for trade. He played with Pool in WJs and they lit it up together. There’s a fit there…

If I were Holland I would be trading (Insert any Oiler D-man name here) + 1st rounder for Laine. My preference would be Larsson, but it would probably need to be Klef/Nurse.

Is the 1st rounder too much (too little) to get Laine? Not sure about that, but as much as we love our Oilers, our “top” dmen aren’t exactly top of the crop. So I think the 1st pushes the needle for Wpg. Maybe we can get a couple picks back depending who the dman traded is, but why not aim for Laine? We don’t need to be aiming at other team’s secondary players (Ehlers) during this once-in-a-lifetime offseason! Laine is the guy to aim for…he’s the modern day Brett Hull…lazy but can SHOOT the puck. And who knows, maybe Laine gets Pool going again and then we have two VERY good lines in a very short period of time.
Yes, all very wishful thinking, I know…
But when was the last time you heard about this many players available? And this many talented players because of cap constraints? It’s been a while.

I am a firm believer that one good/smart trade for our Oilers and we can get a lot better almost instantly. Wpg wants what we have (in abundance)….and has made it public that what we sorely lack (top winger)…is available right now via trade. Go get Laine.

P.S. I dont like trading the 1st as I think the top 20 this year will yield very good players. So I ask, what trade gets Laine from Wpg or is there a better target available this offseason for our needs?

Laine is only signed for 1 more year. His next contract will start with an 11. Not a fit financially here.

flyfish1168

Harpers Hair: A geriatric Shea Weber and Jeff Petry would steal his lunch money.

If all you have left is a D from an historically bad team, that ain’t much.

For sure they would be top pairings on the canuckleheads for the next 10 yrs even at there age.

Ice Sage

Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Class org, long build, got good players and kept them.
I’ll hang on to see McD and Drai get their Stamkos moments… the cup looks good in E-town.

leadfarmer

BONE207: He was right about that couger being awesome…

Guessing it was a large house cat

BONE207

leadfarmer: Staal is a 3rd pairing D at the twilight of his career
Are you right about anything?

He was right about that couger being awesome…🤣

flyfish1168

doctoreye:
I like Nurse to Leafs for Nylander,and Larsen to Jets for Ehlers.Time to help McDavid come into his own.Both teams need defencemen,and Nurse could return home!

Sounds good but no way we fit that with our CAP situation

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: No you didn’t.

Marc Staal is now a Red Wing.

He’s better than Klefbom.

Staal is a 3rd pairing D at the twilight of his career
Are you right about anything?

BONE207

Victoria Oil: Anybody know what Dallas’s Corsi has been in the playoffs so far? I’d put the over/under at 45%, maybe less. Never seen a team go so far in the playoffs with possession numbers this bad.

Well Dallas is at 43% tonight. Can’t find a site that shows the stats just for the playoffs.

Victoria Oil

OriginalPouzar: 46.7% coming in to tonight.

Thanks OP.

who

Harpers Hair: Yep.

I think the potential is there for Broberg.

But lots of things can go awry on the way to Grandma’s house.

In the meantime, the teams the Oilers would have to surpass to be serious contenders, all have a legit #1D.

Well that brings up an interesting question. How many true #1’s are there?
LA. Doughty. Is he still elite or is he in decline?
Anaheim. Do they have one?
SJ. Karlsson. See Doughty above.
Arizona. OEL. See Doughty above.
Calgary. Gio. See Doughty above.
Vegas. Theodore.
Vancouver. Hughes. Definitely a #1 with the puck on his stick and in the ozone. Was exposed in his own end in the playoffs a little. He may struggle to defend down low against bigger forwards.
That’s the Oilers division. I suspect the other divisions would have a similar sampling.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
and I only looked at one division – came up with two locks.

No you didn’t.

Marc Staal is now a Red Wing.

He’s better than Klefbom.

Solly

I think most will agree McDavid needs a winger that is a pure shooter…badly.

He doesn’t have to be overly fast or good at passing/playmaking, but when he gets fed a gross saucy from McD, the puck is in the back of the net 90% (or higher) of the time. These players are hard to find and even harder to keep. Enter Winnipeg…
We have an abundance of D-men and Laine is available for trade. He played with Pool in WJs and they lit it up together. There’s a fit there…

If I were Holland I would be trading (Insert any Oiler D-man name here) + 1st rounder for Laine. My preference would be Larsson, but it would probably need to be Klef/Nurse.

Is the 1st rounder too much (too little) to get Laine? Not sure about that, but as much as we love our Oilers, our “top” dmen aren’t exactly top of the crop. So I think the 1st pushes the needle for Wpg. Maybe we can get a couple picks back depending who the dman traded is, but why not aim for Laine? We don’t need to be aiming at other team’s secondary players (Ehlers) during this once-in-a-lifetime offseason! Laine is the guy to aim for…he’s the modern day Brett Hull…lazy but can SHOOT the puck. And who knows, maybe Laine gets Pool going again and then we have two VERY good lines in a very short period of time.
Yes, all very wishful thinking, I know…
But when was the last time you heard about this many players available? And this many talented players because of cap constraints? It’s been a while.

I am a firm believer that one good/smart trade for our Oilers and we can get a lot better almost instantly. Wpg wants what we have (in abundance)….and has made it public that what we sorely lack (top winger)…is available right now via trade. Go get Laine.

P.S. I dont like trading the 1st as I think the top 20 this year will yield very good players. So I ask, what trade gets Laine from Wpg or is there a better target available this offseason for our needs?

OriginalPouzar

Victoria Oil: Anybody know what Dallas’s Corsi has been in the playoffs so far? I’d put the over/under at 45%, maybe less. Never seen a team go so far in the playoffs with possession numbers this bad.

46.7% coming in to tonight.

OriginalPouzar

and I only looked at one division – came up with two locks.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: A geriatric Shea Weber and Jeff Petry would steal his lunch money.

If all you have left is a D from an historically bad team, that ain’t much.

Klefbom would undoubtably be 1LD on the Habs.

OriginalPouzar

who: That was me.
I like Haas. Spends too much time on his ass, and I don’t know how much offense he will provide, but he’s a very good skater and is very responsible defensively. He always seems to be on the right side of the puck.
He’s the perfect center for a guy like AA, who seems to be able to create offense on his own, but will never be mistaken for a checking winger.
Then you add another big, fast winger like JP. He’s also solid defensively, and it might free him up offensively. Especially if he becomes the go to guy on the line.
Instead of blowing your brains out looking for the perfect 3rd line center, why not just put a defensive conscience between 2 big, skilled wingers?

I agree on Haas – I’ve also questioned if he can produce enough offence to be 3C, and reference “can he provide 30 points”, but have been shown that production shouldn’t be a requirement for a 3C. I do think that, with a year in the NHL behind him, he will be more comfortable with the size and speed of the players (and the game) and may be able to produce a bit more (and, presumably, he’s worked on strength).

As far as being on his ass – ya, that happens alot, however, if he’s drawing PPs……..

I have no idea if he’ll work well with AA and JP but I wouldn’t mind seeing Haas given a chance at 3C – he’s got various of the other skills we want to see – quick, tenacious, causes turnovers, draws PIMs, very good defensively and PK (presumably on the PK as he was a plus PK in Europe, from accounts and the team will need to replace Sheahan’s minutes – Haas and Kailer).

Harpers Hair

who: Wasn’t talking about prospects but if you want to include them that’s fine.
I doubt Bouchard becomes a true #1, but I think Broberg has potential.Too soon to tell.

Yep.

I think the potential is there for Broberg.

But lots of things can go awry on the way to Grandma’s house.

In the meantime, the teams the Oilers would have to surpass to be serious contenders, all have a legit #1D.

Victoria Oil

BONE207:
Tampa might not allow 10 shots on net tonight. Only a massive collapse would let Dallas back in the game. Can they celebrate outside the bubble tonight.? Maybe the beer & romantic scenery will be better…

Anybody know what Dallas’s Corsi has been in the playoffs so far? I’d put the over/under at 45%, maybe less. Never seen a team go so far in the playoffs with possession numbers this bad.

BONE207

Tampa might not allow 10 shots on net tonight. Only a massive collapse would let Dallas back in the game. Can they celebrate outside the bubble tonight.? Maybe the beer & romantic scenery will be better…🤣

who

Harpers Hair: Actually, Nurse, Bouchard and Broberg were all top 10 picks.

And, yet, here we are.

Wasn’t talking about prospects but if you want to include them that’s fine.
I doubt Bouchard becomes a true #1, but I think Broberg has potential. Too soon to tell.

Harpers Hair

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
Harpers Hair,

Nope. I was just taking an opportunity to contest the narrative that Klefbom is our best Dman as I believe that’s false.

Fair enough.

But that speaks volumes.

Harpers Hair

who: Well in fairness, they’ve only spent one top 10 on a dman.

Actually, Nurse, Bouchard and Broberg were all top 10 picks.

And, yet, here we are.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Harpers Hair,

Nope. I was just taking an opportunity to contest the narrative that Klefbom is our best Dman as I believe that’s false.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Top paring – not #1D – not the same.

Detroit and Montreal in the Atlantic.

A geriatric Shea Weber and Jeff Petry would steal his lunch money.

If all you have left is a D from an historically bad team, that ain’t much.

Harpers Hair

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Nurse is better.

Would you rank Nurse as one of the top 31 D in the league?

I wouldn’t .

who

Harpers Hair: It’s quite sad actually.
After a decade of high draft choices….

Well in fairness, they’ve only spent one top 10 on a dman.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: It’s quite sad actually.
After a decade of high draft choices….

Not as sad as being in league for 50 years without a single cup

who

digger50: Same question then but setting the bar even lower.

How do you build a third line? And you don’t have to use the party already available.

Haas was mentioned above. I’m not a fan and although I hear he has some good metrics, I don’t see it.
Far too often the Oil are penned in their own end and I look to see who is on the ice and there is HAAS. Some biasedtgere of course.

That was me.
I like Haas. Spends too much time on his ass, and I don’t know how much offense he will provide, but he’s a very good skater and is very responsible defensively. He always seems to be on the right side of the puck.
He’s the perfect center for a guy like AA, who seems to be able to create offense on his own, but will never be mistaken for a checking winger.
Then you add another big, fast winger like JP. He’s also solid defensively, and it might free him up offensively. Especially if he becomes the go to guy on the line.
Instead of blowing your brains out looking for the perfect 3rd line center, why not just put a defensive conscience between 2 big, skilled wingers?

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: Please provide a list of teams where Klefbom would be a #1D.

I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

Top paring – not #1D – not the same.

Detroit and Montreal in the Atlantic.

JOFA

OriginalPouzar: I think, if you read through McKenzie’s thread, which is where the social media chatter started, its almost a certainty that he will not be moved. At least that’s what I took from it.

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/1310638799660232709

Refer to my comment after.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Harpers Hair: Considering he’s Edmonton best defenseman, it applies.

If it makes you feel better, on which team would he be a#2D?

Pretty short list.

Nurse is better.