Draft Post No. 10: Moonlight Mile

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

The Oilers have an actual talent pipeline now, the Bakersfield Condors are sending good men north in the fall to help with the puck harvest. In order to keep that going, more hires are required every year. Did the Oilers graduate enough men 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.

BAKERSFIELD ROOKIES 2017-18 (4)

This was Gerry Fleming’s last season, the rookie defensemen were Ethan Bear (37 games, 6-12-18), Caleb Jones (58 games, 2-15-17) and Ryan Mantha (41 games, 3-7-10). And we’ve been down this road together, and know that when three men arrive in pro hockey together, chances are one makes it. In Edmonton’s case, looks like two. The only forward of note in 2017-18 was college man Joe Gambardella (50 games, 13-6-19), who was 23.

BAKERSFIELD ROOKIES 2018-19 (6)

This was a good season for new forwards in pro, Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson and J-F Houle coaching the team. LW Tyler Benson (68, 15-51-66) had a terrific rookie season, RC Cooper Marody (58, 19-45-64) drove results on the line Benson flourished in 2018-19. W Cameron Hebig (64, 11-18-29) started the campaign like a house on fire but hasn’t scored much since. RW Kailer Yamamoto (27, 10-8-18) was a buzzsaw in the AHL but had some injury issues. RC Tyler Vesel (61, 5-13-18) was a college player arrived in Bakersfield and landed a support role on a (mostly) checking line. G Shane Starrett (42, 2.33 .918) had an outstanding debut.

BAKERSFIELD ROOKIES 2019-20 (5)

RD Evan Bouchard (54 games, 7-29-36) delivered solid offense and improved markedly on the defensive side. He could be a Calder candidate if the Oilers play him. LD Dmitri Samorukov (47 games, 2-8-10) struggled as a rookie pro but survived and has two entry seasons to go in development. LC Ryan McLeod (56 games, 5-18-23) impressed with his foot speed and two-way acumen. RW Kirill Maksimov (53 games, 5-8-13) brought an unusual skill set (great shot, power play) to a difficult season but he has first-shot scorer talent. G Stuart Skinner (41 games, 3.31 .892) played a larger role than expected and struggled. The organization remains convinced of his future.

BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2020-21 (3)

RC Raphael Lavoie would be the feature player up front, he would be expected to emerge at some point in the year as a top-six forward. LD Philip Broberg would be a story as well, although the possibility that he’d be in the SHL no matter makes this an unlikely scenario. G Olivier Rodrigue might spend some time in the ECHL.

DRAFT 2020 IMMEDIATE HELP

One thing the Oilers might do this week is draft players who are 20, who could be fast tracked. There are many.

LW Pavel Gogolev (OHL) 63, 45-51-96. Red Line loves him, says all he does is score goals.

RW Yegor Sokolov (QMJHL) 52, 46-46-92. Big, not a great skater but he can score goals like ringing a bell.

LW Maxim Golod (OHL) 63, 25-53-78. Spiked offensively, he’s a good skater.

LD Peetro Seppälä (Liiga) 41, 2-10-12. He was a regular in the Liiga a year ago and is back with KooKoo again this season. Has size and some skill, easy to get lost in the flood of Finnish blue.

LD Adam Wilsby (Allsvenskan) 41, 3-27-30. He is a fine skater and showed real growth a year ago in the Allsvenskan. He fits the speed/passing/retrieval definition of a modern defenseman.

RW Linus Öberg (SHL) 37, 4-4-8. Good size, great shot, not a great skater.

RD Axel Rindell (Liiga) 47, 6-16-22. He’s a good skater, shoots from anywhere and has played wing.

KEN HOLLAND

Ken Holland will speak to the media at 11 this morning, we’ll carry the avail. He will no doubt have news on the RFA’s who are being qualified (Ethan Bear for sure) and perhaps give us an overview of his draft and free agency thoughts. It would be fab if he had a trade to talk about, but Holland has the patience of Job in these matters and no press conference will dictate his timeline.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we kick-start a massive week of activity. Dom Cosentino from The Score will talk Week 4 NFL (and what a weekend it was!) and the Covid-19 concerns that could become a crisis. Guy Flaming from The Pipeline Show will pop in at 10:40 to talk about the 2020 NHL draft, best interviews among draft eligibles and who he impressed him at Rogers while watching last year. Ken Holland’s avail will be followed immediately by Jason Gregor and a review of what the general manager passed along. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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leadfarmer

Before the pandemic the Oil opened discussions with Nuge at 6.25 and he was asking for 8. Probably to compensate for the emotional trauma of not being with his horses

Litke 94

Todd Cordell is on Twitter this morning talking about how Edmonton might be the best spot for Taylor Hall on a 2 year deal, just in terms of re-establishing his value and popping his numbers for a massive contract 2 years from now. He counters that while some say Colorado is a good spot, it may be tough in terms of ceiling consid4ering he would likely have to play with Kadri.

He’s probably not wrong. There is no better LW opportunity in the league. I just think if you are signing Hall, you pretty much have to offload Neal or Russell to make it work. I just don’t know how you could fix your bottom 6, add a G, and find some sort of Klefbom cover.

Other posters have suggested that your solutions just become Jones for 2nd pair LD, Dell as your G target, and then go super cheap on bottom 6. Hmm.

hunter1909

Re Oilers:

Either they have their operation together at this point, with fans expecting a contending team for the next 5+ years or else they’re totally doomed.

Choking vs the Hawks must be their last chance to stink lol

JOFA

Let’s hope Kenny doesn’t wet his pants over a 2nd round pick offered for Puljujarvi at the draft table. If he doesn’t want to sign, keep his ass in Europe for another year.

hunter1909

@ Lowetide:

Was considering adding, sometime next season either a Message Board, or possibly a live chatroom during games, but wonder whether or not you had any objections to Death March™ making such forward moves.

Thank you for your cooperation so far.

*the Death March team*

JOFA

Litke 94:
Todd Cordell is on Twitter this morning talking about how Edmonton might be the best spot for Taylor Hall on a 2 year deal, just in terms of re-establishing his value and popping his numbers for a massive contract 2 years from now. He counters that while some say Colorado is a good spot, it may be tough in terms of ceiling consid4ering he would likely have to play with Kadri.

He’s probably not wrong. There is no better LW opportunity in the league. I just think if you are signing Hall, you pretty much have to offload Neal or Russell to make it work. I just don’t know how you could fix your bottom 6, add a G, and find some sort of Klefbom cover.

Other posters have suggested that your solutions just become Jones for 2nd pair LD, Dell as your G target, and then go super cheap on bottom 6. Hmm.

No thanks.

hunter1909

JOFA: a 2nd round pick offered for Puljujarvi at the draft table.

A 4th overall pick traded away for a 2nd round draft pick. And people wonder why there are no nice things for the Oilers.

digger50

The one consistent thing we have heard from Holland and wright is that they are open to trading down. Comments like “trying to establish value” “ ready for anything” “it has worked out in the past”

I think if the Goalie falls to them at 14, That’s when a team may want to jump up and grab the goalie and a trade down offer is presented.

defmn

Pierre LeBrun
@PierreVLeBrun
·
16m
Wild and Sharks are expected to announce a Ryan Donato trade within the hour; San Jose getting Donato for a third-round pick in ’21.
Both teams also still working on a separate Devan Dubnyk deal which if completed would be announced later today.

Pescador

Lowetide:
Lead: Halfway is $7,125,000. I wonder if that’s the landing spot.

$7.1428571429 × 7 = $50Mil
I’m cool with that

JOFA

digger50:
The one consistent thing we have heard from Holland and wright is that they are open to trading down. Comments like “trying to establish value” “ ready for anything” “it has worked out in the past”

I think if the Goalie falls to them at 14, That’s when a team may want to jump up and grab the goalie and a trade down offer is presented.

Yes. Thats the narrative. No trading back please.

LadiesloveSmid

Would Hall play on PP1 in Edmonton? I don’t know that his production would surge there.

He wants to win, would imagine Colorado makes sense if he’s doing 1-2 years.

JOFA

Pescador: $7.1428571429 × 7 = $50Mil
I’m cool with that

Nuge is my favorite player. He doesn’t “deserve” a penny more than 6.5 million IMO. It’s debatable if he should even receive a raise. If we’re being honest, anything that starts with a 7 is too much.

striker

NYR might walk on Ryan Strome.

Strome 3C? Too rich?

leadfarmer

Lowetide:
Lead: Halfway is $7,125,000. I wonder if that’s the landing spot.

That number is fine with me.
If the wild could get a hold of him they would easily offer him more

Eh Team

JOFA: Nuge is my favorite player. He doesn’t “deserve” a penny more than 6.5 million IMO. It’s debatable if he should even receive a raise. If we’re being honest, anything that starts with a 7 is too much.

We are worried about .5 million on Nuge’s deal when the following players have cap hits: Neal 5.75, Russell 4.0 Kassian 3.2 and Chiasson 2.1. Nuge is the only difference maker in the bunch.

leadfarmer

leadfarmer: That number is fine with me.
If the wild could get a hold of him they would easily offer him more

money range for nuge
6mil per – You’re nuts, Hes not signing that
6.5 mil per – Very good deal for the team
7mil per – Solid deal for all parties
7.5mil per – a little too rich but he could play center elsewhere and get that money
8 mil per – You’re not even negotiating

digger50

Sunil at The Superfan has a good math article up fucused on Oilers poor even strength play. It’s awful.
Bottom of the league, and this with our two superstars pulling it up.
Holland absolutely must get a goaltender. And he must to get some roster upgrades, this can’t go on any longer. Ugh. Fingers crossed for this week. Please no more signings of Haas or Russel or Nygard types.

leadfarmer

Jack Johnson bought out. Shocking I know

leadfarmer

leadfarmer:
Jack Johnson bought out.Shocking I know

I was really hoping to witness a Johnson – Matheson pairing.

digger50

striker:
NYR might walk on Ryan Strome.

Strome 3C?Too rich?

Swap him out for AA

See if we can build a third line

Ennis / Benson. Strome. Jessie

godot10

striker:
NYR might walk on Ryan Strome.

Strome 3C?Too rich?

Is Panarin coming with him? Why pay Strome for Panarin’s production? The real Strome is probably the Oilers Strome, a 30 point low event centre who doesn’t PK. That ain’t worth much.

digger50

Do we really have to go through the listing approval process every time?

JOFA

Eh Team: We are worried about .5 million on Nuge’s deal when the following players have cap hits: Neal 5.75, Russell 4.0 Kassian 3.2 and Chiasson 2.1. Nuge is the only difference maker in the bunch.

And that’s why “we are worried about .5 million” on Nuge’s next contract. That…and the flat cap. Some people like to buy their coffee at Timmie’s, others like to buy at Starbucks. Now you know where I buy my cofee😉

LadiesloveSmid

I’m worried that Jack Johnson is now a UFA & Holland is a poor evaluator of NHL talent

JOFA

godot10: Is Panarin coming with him?Why pay Strome for Panarin’s production?The real Strome is probably the Oilers Strome, a 30 point low event centre who doesn’t PK.That ain’t worth much.

This!

JOFA

digger50:
Sunil at The Superfan has a good math article up fucused on Oilers poor even strength play. It’s awful.
Bottom of the league, and this with our two superstars pulling it up.Holland absolutely must get a goaltender. And he must to get some roster upgrades, this can’t go on any longer. Ugh. Fingers crossed for this week. Please no more signings of Haas or Russel or Nygard types.

digger50:
Sunil at The Superfan has a good math article up fucused on Oilers poor even strength play. It’s awful.
Bottom of the league, and this with our two superstars pulling it up.Holland absolutely must get a goaltender. And he must to get some roster upgrades, this can’t go on any longer. Ugh. Fingers crossed for this week. Please no more signings of Haas or Russel or Nygard types.

Agreed. What we saw against Chicago wasn’t an anomaly. Kenny needs to be patient and build the team. Less is more.

McSorley33

digger50:
Sunil at The Superfan has a good math article up fucused on Oilers poor even strength play. It’s awful.
Bottom of the league, and this with our two superstars pulling it up.Holland absolutely must get a goaltender. And he must to get some roster upgrades, this can’t go on any longer. Ugh. Fingers crossed for this week. Please no more signings of Haas or Russel or Nygard types.

It is almost like we have one of the worst forward cores in the NHL – outside of Detroit.

In a very deep draft – where their may be a run on D again.

Imagine passing up on say at Jack Quinn for a goalie.

We have a small gift picking at 14 in deep draft year – when/ how else would we acquire a forward
( cost controlled/ expansion exempt) of this *caliber*?

Cap constrained. 2 – 2nd rounders already sent away.

Still waiting for a legitimate answer how Kenny fills those spots if he takes a goalie.

OriginalPouzar

Holland media avail at 11.

Let me guess, he’ll mention that he needs to get a goalie…… Smith is an option but he will look to the market first.

Will he provide any sort of tangible update on Klefbom and, if so, if he’s looking to replace with a legit established top 4 guy? If so, short term stop gap or a material player to keep going forward?

Will he provide any update on if he will qualify AA and/or Benning and if there have been any traction to contract talks with them?

Any update to Bear or Nuge contract negotiations?

Any update to Puljujarvi signing – Rishaug speculating there could be clarity this week.

OriginalPouzar

Darren Dreger
@DarrenDreger
· 6m
Oscar Klefbom is receiving treatment in Sweden. Surgery will likely be the end result, but no timeline on when that might happen. Sounds like a lengthy recovery process, in any event.

OilersDynasty

godot10,

Not saying I dont disagree with you points wise but he did average 2 mins on the PK this year, along with 1.5 mins in 2018-2019. Now whether he was effective or not I haven’t looked at.

OriginalPouzar

I’m not sure I agree with the statement the Samorukov struggled in his rookie pro season as I think its a bit harsh. Absolutely he struggled to adapt to the pro game early which, really, was expected – rookie pro D from the CHL generally take some time to gain traction in the pro game.

After a tough start, in my opinion, Sammy really started to settle in and was playing some solid hockey for the Condors. He learned to pick his spots better defending the blue line and the gap and started to get used to the speed of the game and playing against men.

He then lost time with that facial issue and, when he returned, the entire team was gutted and a tire fire and the rest of the year was a struggle.

I will go with an “uneven season”.

JOFA

Any update to Puljujarvi signing – Rishaug speculating there could be clarity this week.

Clarity meaning traded at the draft.

leadfarmer

Dubnyk for a 5th rounder in 2 years to San Jose

Woogie63

Washington, STB, TBL lessons –

1. Keep building on your base – “blow this team up has not ended well”
2. Big Physical hockey is a thing in the play-offs
3. Very good goaltending with great defense is the combination
4. One great line and three strong lines are required

Shane

Anyone know if the presser going to be aired on Oilers TV?

Shane

Shane:
Anyone know if the presser going to be aired on Oilers TV?

Edit:

Never mind, I didn’t see it on the website but see that it’s on the YouTube channel.

JOFA

Al is going to love this. I didn’t like him tipping his hand on dman. Everything else has been good up to this point.

dustrock

I wonder if the Oilers forward corpse is really that poor or if the poor D corpse is making the forwards worse.

Litke 94

“Nuge is a really important player on this team. My goal is to have Nuge here for a really long time.”

You’re damn right, Ken. You’re damn right.

Reja

JOFA:
Let’s hope Kenny doesn’t wet his pants over a 2nd round pick offered for Puljujarvi at the draft table. If he doesn’t want to sign, keep his ass in Europe for another year.

Jesse will be traded at the draft if not him and his brilliant agent will take his Talents to the KHL for at least a couple of years.

Eh Team

dustrock: I wonder if the Oilers forward corpse is really that poor or if the poor D corpse is making the forwards worse.

Or the 3rd and 4th lines are caving the D men.

Reja

JOFA:
Any update to Puljujarvi signing – Rishaug speculating there could be clarity this week.

Clarity meaning traded at the draft.

I’ve been guessing either Carolina or Columbus if Kenny doesn’t get near what he’s asking he’ll let Jesse rot in Europe for years.

OriginalPouzar

Holland Presser Highlights:

– Gregor asks if he is expecting to make the pick – Don’t see us moving up. Expecting that we’re going to pick it

– Rishaug asks about Klef and how it effects going forward: No real update. Been in communication with his agent since came out of bubble. Played last year with an aggravated shoulder. He is waiting to see if his shoulder will get to the point if he doesn’t need surgery. There is some unknown waiting on Klef to make his decision. It does effect our decision making a little bit. Based on the info, kind of proceeding like we won’t have him or won’t have him for a while.

– Rishaug asks if he’ll have to back-fill – Holland says big loss – PP1, big and important minutes, etc. On the long term, lot of real good d-men. Mentions Bouchard, Sammy and Broberg going forward. For this coming season, it would be a big loss not to have Klef. Have some veteran guys on LD – Nurse and Russell and Jones has developed. Will explore free agency on the weekend and talk to Klef’s agent and make some decisions

– Reid Wilkins – was there discussion about Klef and surgery earlier in August? Holland – its not that simple (i.e. just get it done). If it was that easy a decision, Klef would have made it. He’s played with some pain and he needs to determine. It’s not a simple decision. Klef needs to made the decision based on the info he’s getting. In past years, there has been an off-season to get better and he comes back and plays but each year the body is a year old, body is battered up a little more – Klef needs to decide how to proceed. From team’s perspective, would like to have an answer but need to respect that he’s a person that needs to make an important decision for him in his life.

– Reid Wilkins – is there skill set or position prioritized – Holland: If I had to handicap it today, I don’t see us drafting a d-man given all the d-men we have. We have our list and have had lots of meetings with our scouts. If we have a d-man high on our list and he slides to 14, we’ll start to make some decisions but I see us not drafting a d-man. We’re looking for upside potential, where can they cap out – skating, hockey sense, competitiveness.

– What’s the trade chatter like: Holland – Probably talked to 25 teams. Usually don’t speak much with teams from own division, usually not a fit. Will talk to more mangers today and tomorrow morning. We are in an unknown. Historically the draft weekend, whatever trades you have start coming out leading up. Trades likely now through Thursday, then signings in the first few days of free agency and then more trades after – that’s how he sees it. On trades, we are dollar in and dollar out.

– Expects a flat cap for the foreseeable future.

– Where will free agent market go (short term vs. long term, backloaded) – Holland: Its supply and demand. Think lots of players will do short term deals but do think there will be long term deals. Those in demand on Friday are going to be able to use that leverage to get some length to their contracts. Those contracts will be Friday/Saturday – there is no interview period now. Players will take a little bit of time to talk to teams. Free agency may be a bit slower. If you want to land a player in demand you have to do a few things: Give longer term than you want or give higher cap that you want.

– Strategy to develop players in this uncertain world? Holland: One of the things we’ve already done is placed 10-15 in Europe. If we draft a European he may already be playing. If he’s a North American, we’ll asses once we make the pick talking to the player and his agent and decide on the fly.

– Spector – Are tender and 3C still priorities – Holland: “I would say so”

– Spector – Do you conduct yourself differently knowing that McDavid/Drai in primes and getting older every year – Holland: Doesn’t consider 23 “older”. Tampa just one. Mentioned how many years Stamkos has been in the league. Stated goals – need “multiple chances”. Need to be in the playoffs almost every year. Build a program and stick with it, stick with it, stick with it. We were in good shape in March and then things changed.

– The goal for 2020/21 is to build a team that is good enough on opening day with enough depth build in to play its way in to the playoffs. Going to try and makes some moves to make the playoffs. Can’t guarantee anything. Can’t build a team you just know is going to win the Cup – play your way in to the tournament and stick with and stick with it. Learn and make tweaks to your team. Some of the change has to be internal and players that come through the system (Yamamoto and Jones last year). Can some of these guys push their way on to the team this year? I don’t think of it that we have to win the cup this year but that we have to play our way in to the playoffs and then start to win series. Understand we got young and incredibly talented people. Some of the best young players in the game. Thought we made real progress this past season. Want to make more progress. Part of that is internal. Part is experience is being in those games and those series.

– Spector – Trade vs. Free Agency for goalie – Holland: Probably free agency. It appears that there will be alot of goalie movement between now and this time next week. Some teams have signed goalies. Some teams are looking to trade goalies. Looks like there will be some on the free agent market. We will get a goalie and likely a #3 as well – likely through free agency.

Rob T. – How much of an impact is the flat cap: Holland – Its huge but there are 20 teams like us. Its going to have a huge impact on us but also on many teams we are competing with. Referenced teams may have budget issues in addition to cap. We are tight but there are lots of teams like us.

Rob T. asked about Nuge – Holland – Nuge is a really important player. My goal is to have Nuge here for a long time. Find a solution on an extension. May take this week, may go in to the season and we have to deal with it down the road. Have had conversations with his agent but there are so many unknowns (such as how long will cap be flat) but its a priority. So versatile – can play anywhere, good defensively, etc.

– Jim M. – What will you do with AA and Benning – Holland: I know what I’m doing. We have until Wed. I’ve talked to both their agent but I know what I’m doing.

– Jim M. – Already have a $4.5M goalie so what caliber of goalie? Holland: I’m open to either way (backup vs. improving on Mikko). I’m looking at both scenarios. Koski had a .917 – he played good. Told Mike Smith’s agent that we need to look at open market but Mike wants to play again. We have had many internal conversations about the position. Its an important position. Koskinen played very well through us through 71 games. I want to get in to Friday and look at the market place before a decision is made. Can go in any decision.

– How different will draft be given its virtual – won’t have everyone together in a room and can wander the floor, creating talk, etc. Will be different not having everyone in one location.

– Is there still optimism with Puljujarvi – Holland: Had a zoom call last week. Had a number of conversation with Lehto through July and August and picked up the convo in early Sept. Plan to talk today or tomorrow. Zoom calls are Holland and Tip walking Jesse and Lehto through where they see Jesse on the team. Its a new manager, a new coach, a new opportunity. Its really relationship building. Last year was a good year for him. Top 5 in scoring in the Finish league, played on the national team. Know his goal is to get back to the NHL. Talks are about where he fits and and what’s his role. Its pro hockey and we aren’t in a position to make guarantees. If he comes back, well, we need more good players and he’s a good players. He’s young at 22 and there is an opportunity here. We’ll talk today/tomorrow. From our perspective, we’ve had positive conversation. Lehto seems to indicate to me they’ve been positive.

– Gregor – do you expect to keep 3rd rounder? Holland: probably looking at using the pick this year but we’ll wait to make the decision until draft time.

– Gregor – was he serious on OEL? As far as rumours on players that belong to other teams, I cannot comment. I will say “its rumoyr season” “lots of rumours are just people making up and playing GM at home”.

– Matty – how did AA play after the trade. Holland: Hoped he’d have a bigger impact. Got injured early. In the regular season, he didn’t have as big an impact as he was hoping. Thought he played very well in games 3 and 4 against Chicago. Had some rush chances. He was starting to come. Certainly I was hoping he would contribute more offensively.

Lewis Grant

leadfarmer: Before the pandemic the Oil opened discussions with Nuge at 6.25 and he was asking for 8.

So a compromise is $7.14MX7=$50M.

But that’s before the pandemic depressed the entire UFA salary structure. Shouldn’t it be noticeably lower than that now?

How about $6.25MX8=$50M? He still gets his $50M.

Bohologo

OriginalPouzar,

Thank you for this summary!

leadfarmer

Lewis Grant: So a compromise is $7.14MX7=$50M.

But that’s before the pandemic depressed the entire UFA salary structure.Shouldn’t it be noticeably lower than that now?

How about $6.25MX8=$50M?He still gets his $50M.

I dont think the pandemic is affecting the salaries that much.
That would be an absolute sweetheart deal for the team

dustrock

OriginalPouzar,

Thanks OP.