Harvest Moon 2020

by Lowetide

There’s been a rabbit in my backyard every year since I moved to this house, and that’s 22 years. Sometimes there are four or five. My neighbour loves when they show up. The rabbits know they’re welcome here, it’s one of their spots in this area. I’m cool with it. Ziggy can see them from the deck and barks, but on the grass she can smell them but rarely sees them. It’s an unusual relationship but it works for all involved.

I have talked to a rabbit (either 22 different ones or one rabbit 22 times) about the NHL draft every year I’ve lived here. This year, we spoke Tuesday afternoon, I expressed some trepidation about how things might go with the Detroit wheels in charge.

The rabbit, as it has done 22 times (or 22 rabbits once), listened quietly from its comfortable spot by the fence. The rabbit doesn’t say much, but like all good friends gives me the gift of his time and listens intently. Every year, without fail, the rabbit guides me to the lesson of the draft year.

This year’s lesson: Get over myself. I control nothing, just like that rabbit. I’m worried about the town team making a bad pick, this rabbit has to be aware of every damn dog or coyote in Christendom, or a kid on a bicycle or a CAR!

The rabbit was telling me to enjoy the good times, chew on some grass and find a warm spot near the fence, because there isn’t one damn thing I can do about the Oilers 2020 draft. That’s one smart rabbit.

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.

LOWETIDE’S PROJECTED PICKS

No. 14 overall: RC Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 

No. 76 overall: LW Daniel Gushchin, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). 

No. 135 overall: RW Zayde Wisdom, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL).

No. 169 overall: G Devon Levi, Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL).

No. 200 overall: LD Peetro Seppälä (Liiga) 

HARVEST MOON 2020

No. 14 overall: LC Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin (Big-10). NHLE: 13.3. There is an AJHL NHLE but I never use it, Holloway’s 16-year old season in that league had an equivalency of 20.4 using outlawed math. I think Edmonton drafted a complementary left winger for the McDavid line or a solid checking center for the No. 3 line. His NHLE says checker, but his splits in Wisconsin suggest he was spiking as the season ended: 5-4-9 in his last 10 games, with 31 shots on goal. I’ll guess he will do both throughout his Oilers career, kind of a hybrid. Red Line says he grinds and wins battles. Let’s revisit in five years.

No. 100 overall: LW Carter Savoie, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) NHLE: 22.6. Don’t run with that NHLE for AJHL, besides his boxcars (54 games, 53-46-99) tell us he will have success in college and beyond offensively. His scouting report reminds me of a combination of Mike Comrie (enormous offensive gifts) and Rob Schremp (also gifted offensively, but Red Line called out his lack of effort in a very pointed manner ala Schremp in 2004). One thing he has Comrie and Schremp did not: Speed. Red Line calls it a “game-breaking top-gear” and that’s something that will get him many chances. January 2002, 5.09, 192.

No. 126 overall: RW Tyler Tullio, Oshawa Generals (OHL). NHLE: 28.2 I think there will be a temptation for Oilers fans to downplay this selection. He’s not a big player (5.09, 161) but he’s an April 2002 who scored more than a point per game in the world’s best junior league. I had him ahead of Savoie on my list on merit. He has great edges, makes subtle passes and sees plays developing early. He doesn’t have a great shot but he’s an intelligent skill forward. Red Line compares him in style with Paul Byron, an interesting wrinkle. If you think teams can’t get NHL players at pick No. 126, I’d remind you that Ethan Bear went No. 124 in 2015.

No. 138 overall: LW Maxim Berezkin, Lokomotiv (KHL). NHLE: 15.6. He’s 6.02, 201, shoots right and is an October 2001. He is a plus passer, has a great wrist shot and at least one scouting report I’ve read suggests he displays some elements of a defensive game. Speed is the issue, so I imagine a Russian Teemu Hartikainen in my mind’s eye. Just as Hartikainen was a great bet where he was chosen, so too is Berezkin. I like this pick.

No. 169 overall: RC Filip Engaras, New Hampshire (Hockey-East). NHLE: 19.3 He’s an interesting prospect but there are plenty of gaps in the scouting report. 6.0, 190, another righty shooter and he’s 21 (May 1999).

No. 200 overall: LW Jeremias Lindewall, MoDo Jrs (Swe). NHLE: 11.8. He’s 6.02, 183 and a January 2002. He has played in four games this season and is 4-4-8, that’s a very nice start.

Using my list, the one that values skill heavily, Tyler Wright lands a first-round pick, two seconds and a fourth. Honestly, that’s a rock solid draft, far better than anticipated based on recent work with the Detroit Red Wings. We’ll see, but there isn’t a name on this draft list that can be considered a wasted pick. I don’t know what to say. I don’t give letter grades, but this draft was exactly what the pipeline needed at the 2020 draft.

I haven’t thought much about where these men will land on the prospect list or where to put them on the depth chart. The earliest any player needs to be signed is 2022, and I expect both Holloway and Tullio turn pro at that time.

JESSE!

Oilers fans have a hard time giving credit to general managers they’re angry with (which is always), but I believe Ken Holland’s handling of a difficult situation regarding Jesse Puljujarvi should be universally acknowledged. There will be some uncomfortable moments, and coach Dave Tippett is going to have to insist on buy-in from the team’s leadership, but the benefit to both sides could be enormous. The Oilers without Puljujarvi finished in second, and maybe he comes here and helps. Even if there are middling results, this is the best path forward from an asset point of view.

Mikko Koivu would be a very good linemate, in my opinion. I know it’s old school, but a veteran to guide Puljujarvi and keep communication open may be vital to success. Could an Joakim Nygard-Mikko Koivu-Jesse Puljujarvi No. 3 line go?

CUTTING LOOSE AA AND BENNING

I would have bought out Neal to sign Athanasiou, but would have moved on from Benning in the next few months (Evan Bouchard is NHL-ready).

It’s fair to mark Holland’s deadline harshly, it did not work out. I believe some allowance has to be made for the change in cap ceiling that came after the deadline, but there was risk and it didn’t work out.

For me, the bigger picture is what will he do with the $5 million saved from this? There’s plenty of opportunity in free agency and trade in the coming days.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning on TSN 1260, we have a mountain of things to discuss and breaking news is imminent. Steve Kournianos from The Draft Anaylst reviews the Oilers draft (he had Holloway No. 14 and Tullio No. 40). Frank Seravalli from TSN pops in with the latest rumours of trades and free agency. It’s going to be lit! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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GordieHoweHatTrick

I would be OK if KH approximated Bruce’s possible overall game plan…

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/might-edmonton-oilers-do-their-2020-free-agent-shopping-in-a-few-different-aisles

Kahun, Koekoek (only if Klef is off for the year)

The salary for MAF is large, and his performance has trailed off a bit…but to move on from the issues with the Neal contract and get a “good” VET goalie to combo with Koski for 2 years is quite tempting…he is “fun”, and well respected to boot!

Getting one more Vet ~ 6-7 RHD in the 1-1.5Mx1 would be prudent as well…

OriginalPouzar

jp: It seems obvious but he’s played on 3 teams in 2 seasons, then no QO. There are red flags but I don’t know why.

He’s older but was on a standard ELC with max performance bonuses it seems. I don’t know how many of them he hit. And at his age does he have arbitration rights? Can’t find it from CapFriendly but that would explain the no QO part at least.

He had a signing age of 23 so needed 2 years of pro to vest arb rights – he is arb eligible (or was if qualified).

hunter1909

Munny:
hunter1909,

But what about actors and other celebs, Hunter?Can they learn to live productive lives?I mean besides remonstrating us on how to live our own…

Not everyone is as useful as a hockey player, y’know.

Traditionally, both actors and celebs generally learn how to live or exist in some way or other once they’re washed up; or else dropping dead before their time from various methods; there might be ailing parents that the former celeb can care for etc. Uber, Pizza Delivery options abound – just like in real life.

Ribs

Kraz:
Friedman is reporting Columbus is trading Ryan Murray to New Jersey for a 5th round pick….Wow

The Oilers got more in return for Yakupov! Yes! :p

Ribs

Oh no, he’s talking to the rabbits again. Kids, get in the car.

jp

JimmyV1965: Interesting to note he never scored 1PPG in junior. The most goals he scored in junior was 27, although he matched that in the NHL last year. Really like the player, but Montréal is a pressure cooker and that’s a massive contract.

Why hasn’t REJA piped in yet?? He’s been hard after Anderson for years now. I’m curious if he thinks the man is worth anything close to $5.5M.

But yeah that’s a tough contract to live up to anywhere. And Montreal is not kind.

jp

Victoria Oil: Yeah, maybe Stephenson was blocked in Washington, but half a season is not much of a sample size and I thought Vegas wanted to clear some space to take a run at a big name like Pietrangelo.

Yeah it’s not much track (well, 61 games including the playoffs). But he seems to have been a pretty quality player for them (among their top 6 in 5v5 TOI and top 4 PK in those 61 games).

They’re betting he continues doing what he did (and I think the deal is definitely not a bad one if he does). There’s clearly risk too since he didn’t really show any of that in Washington aside from the good PK work.

It is a surprising move but I won’t claim to speak for the Vegas Golden Knights 🙂
Having dug a little I can understand why they did it though.

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar:
Josh Anderson at $5.5M X 7.

I had read speculation regarding an unreasonable contract demand – I guess Claude G. didn’t think it was unreasonable.

I think MTL overpaid in acquisition costs and took a massive contract risk.

Anderson has had one season where that contract looks even close to reasonable.

I don’t get it.

Interesting to note he never scored 1PPG in junior. The most goals he scored in junior was 27, although he matched that in the NHL last year. Really like the player, but Montréal is a pressure cooker and that’s a massive contract.

Victoria Oil

jp: Just had a look and he was 41-8-14-22 after arriving in Vegas in December. He also lead the entire team in goal differential. Seems he’s also an absurdly good penalty killer (relative SA and GA have been better than his team every year, often by a lot)

He only scored 20-2-3-5 in the playoffs but he actually lead all Vegas forwards in 5v5 TOI/game.

It’s starting to make some sense for sure.

Yeah, maybe Stephenson was blocked in Washington, but half a season is not much of a sample size and I thought Vegas wanted to clear some space to take a run at a big name like Pietrangelo.

Munny

hunter1909,

But what about actors and other celebs, Hunter? Can they learn to live productive lives? I mean besides remonstrating us on how to live our own…

Not everyone is as useful as a hockey player, y’know.

😉

hunter1909

Munny: Yes, this does occur when one of the parties doesn’t stand to lose hundreds of millions.

Not a lot anyone can do when fans aren’t walking through the gate. No worries, because NHL players were once renowned for their used car selling, construction work and farming skills. Even Gordie Howe was forced to greet the fans in April at The Hudson Bay Store basement, to avoid having to go to a real job lol

jp

Victoria Oil:
I just saw that VGK signed Chandler Stephenson to a 4 x $2.75 mln contract. He had 26 points in 65 games. That’s not quite Josh Anderson bad, but that’s a bit rich for a team with serious cap problems, no? Or maybe I’m missing something?

Just had a look and he was 41-8-14-22 after arriving in Vegas in December. He also lead the entire team in goal differential. Seems he’s also an absurdly good penalty killer (relative SA and GA have been better than his team every year, often by a lot)

He only scored 20-2-3-5 in the playoffs but he actually lead all Vegas forwards in 5v5 TOI/game.

It’s starting to make some sense for sure.

JimmyV1965

leadfarmer:
Personally outside of hockey I haven’t watched a single sporting event
Enjoying the weather before get stuck inside again for the winter
I’m sure there’s a lot of people doing the same

You missed a great game last night between Dodgers and Padres.

jp

digger50: Yup

Kahun should be the target.

It seems obvious but he’s played on 3 teams in 2 seasons, then no QO. There are red flags but I don’t know why.

He’s older but was on a standard ELC with max performance bonuses it seems. I don’t know how many of them he hit. And at his age does he have arbitration rights? Can’t find it from CapFriendly but that would explain the no QO part at least.

Munny

Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Even without a force majeure clause, depending on the circumstances, parties may seek to invalidate contracts or delay performance under the common law based on COVID-19.

Yes, this does occur when one of the parties doesn’t stand to lose hundreds of millions.

Munny

godot10: He forgot to mention the mushrooms in his backyard.

And the hooka smoking caterpillar…

pts2pndr

Reja: We shall see if it’s going to happen it’ll happen soon. Bye Bye Jesse.

Why would they trade or move him now when his value is at its lowest. Now that he is under contract for two years his value is almost sure to increase. New GM and new coach gives a more mature JP a chance to prove he is a legitimate NHL player and quite possibly a top six winger. He was a top four draft choice for a reason and is on a very team friendly contract.

jp

leadfarmer:
Boston not willing to go more than 6 x 6.5 per for Krug
Umm that sounds more than fair.No?

Yup.

Offense gets paid though. Makes it tough with those Krug, Barrie, Hughes types.

Victoria Oil

I just saw that VGK signed Chandler Stephenson to a 4 x $2.75 mln contract. He had 26 points in 65 games. That’s not quite Josh Anderson bad, but that’s a bit rich for a team with serious cap problems, no? Or maybe I’m missing something?

digger50

jp: He and Kahun played together on the:
2016, 17, 18 and 19 World Championships
2013 and 14 U20 World Juniors
2012 and 13 U18 World Juniors
2012U17 World Juniors

They actually played together on the Mannheim U16 and U18 teams growing up as well.
In 2009-10 they were 1+2 in team scoring (3rd+5th in the U16 league), with Kahun outscoring Leon.
In 10-11 they were 1+2 in the U16 league (almost 70 points clear of 3rd).
(Kahun 30-69-137-206, Draisaitl 29-97-95-192, 3rd on their team Michaelis 30-30-42-72)
In 11-12 they were 1+2 in U18 league scoring, with Kahun again ahead of Leon (by 1 point).

I guess they were line mates for quite some time. Kahun is only about 4 months older than Leon. I’m kinda interested now.

Yup

Kahun should be the target.

godot10

geowal:
Lt, that may be the strangest opening to a blog post I’ve seen yet – not that I’m complaining, it was a good read. I just didn’t expect to be reading about talking to rabbits this evening, haha.

He forgot to mention the mushrooms in his backyard.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Is Leon good buddies with all German hockey players?

He and Kahun played together on the:
2016, 17, 18 and 19 World Championships
2013 and 14 U20 World Juniors
2012 and 13 U18 World Juniors
2012 U17 World Juniors

They actually played together on the Mannheim U16 and U18 teams growing up as well.
In 2009-10 they were 1+2 in team scoring (3rd+5th in the U16 league), with Kahun outscoring Leon.
In 10-11 they were 1+2 in the U16 league (almost 70 points clear of 3rd).
(Kahun 30-69-137-206, Draisaitl 29-97-95-192, 3rd on their team Michaelis 30-30-42-72)
In 11-12 they were 1+2 in U18 league scoring, with Kahun again ahead of Leon (by 1 point).

I guess they were line mates for quite some time. Kahun is only about 4 months older than Leon. I’m kinda interested now.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Is Leon good buddies with all German hockey players?

Quite possibly. He would almost certainly know all the national team players pretty well, no?

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: What does that have to do with a response to a post about asking the league about penalties for not hitting the cap floor? There is maybe one team that looks to be in any sort of danger of not hitting the cap floor – revenue sharing has nothing to do with the existing cap hits of teams.

Man, you can be obtuse.

Teams that can’t afford to hit the cap floor because they don’t have any revenue and are absent revenue sharing to boot are in serious financial trouble.

Who is going to pay their bills?

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: There are several teams that rely on revenue sharing for survival.

Whether or not they are spending to the floor is irrelevant to them since there is precious little revenue to share.

What does that have to do with a response to a post about asking the league about penalties for not hitting the cap floor? There is maybe one team that looks to be in any sort of danger of not hitting the cap floor – revenue sharing has nothing to do with the existing cap hits of teams.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: When you’re talking about buyout on a contract just signed that tells you how good the contract is

Definitely agree – I was just responding to the NTC posts to point out there part of the structure of the contract isn’t bad.

I may have been the first on here to question the contract after it was signed (and posted a number of times over the last month or so that I heard he had unreasonable contract demands so always caveated my desire to acquire him).

geowal

Lt, that may be the strangest opening to a blog post I’ve seen yet – not that I’m complaining, it was a good read. I just didn’t expect to be reading about talking to rabbits this evening, haha.

OriginalPouzar

Is Leon good buddies with all German hockey players?

OriginalPouzar

Eh Team: That’s why I think the season will be short (say 40 games), then playoffs

If very well may be 40 games but the league is going to try and get as many regular season games as possible – they have an agreement with the NHLPA for the players to receive 100% comp even for the season as long as one game is played – no pro-rating of salaries for Covid based game reductions.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: There are only 6 teams that aren’t already at the cap floor and none of them have a roster of more than 14 players.

Those six teams include the Rangers and the RedWings – neither of which will have any issue spending ample money this season.

Another is the Avs who I read in this thread will be winning the cup for the next few years.

This advise does not ring true.

There are several teams that rely on revenue sharing for survival.

Whether or not they are spending to the floor is irrelevant to them since there is precious little revenue to share.

OriginalPouzar

GB&Q:
jeez, forgot about Raanta in ARIZ, too. he’s probably available?

He’s similar to Rusty in that he’s been pre-paid for the year – $2M signing bonus paid, only $2M left to be paid on his contract – a main reason why Kuemper may be available.

leadfarmer

Boston not willing to go more than 6 x 6.5 per for Krug
Umm that sounds more than fair. No?

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair:
Hearing on several fronts that more than a few owners are just going to ride out the free agency period and just sign a minimum of players to get through the next season while contracts expire to clear the decks for the following season.

Apparently a few owners have contacted the league to see what the penalties are for not spending to the cap floor.

Makes some sense since some owners don’t think it’s worth playing at all next season if there is no ticket revenue.

The new US TV deal and the split of Seattle expansion money will provide a lift to the following season.

There are only 6 teams that aren’t already at the cap floor and none of them have a roster of more than 14 players.

Those six teams include the Rangers and the RedWings – neither of which will have any issue spending ample money this season.

Another is the Avs who I read in this thread will be winning the cup for the next few years.

This advise does not ring true.

Victoria Oil

GordieHoweHatTrick: It depends on the player. I don’t think Josh Anderson is worth that much (particularly with the established flat cap for the next few years). I understand they want to beef up their wings…good for them. I’ve been wrong many times before…it won’t bother me if I am wrong again.

I’m feeling a bit better about the 4 x 3.2 million contract for Kassian, although it was still an overpay.

Bergen has had a poor off-season with his acquisitions of Jake Allen and now Anderson.

JOFA

Kenny needs to stay patient. No big game hunting. There will be deals to be had.

Halfwise

The pro sports business model doesn’t fit a world where people are supposed to stay 6 feet apart. Even golf has a hard time with distancing.

Maybe we change our beliefs about social distancing. Somebody better tell Ontario and the OHL.

Personally I think the world needs all the TV entertainment we can get, entirely free of politics from the players or announcers. Governments should be supporters of, not obstacles to, this cultural cornerstone.

If an athlete chooses not to play, that’s fine. And no player with symptoms should play. If someone chooses not to watch, that’s fine. Everyone else, carry on.

Life goes on, and COVID is far from the only risk. Let’s move towards normal. Right now it feels to me that normal is further away than ever.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: Ya, but no signing bonuses and, like all the long term deals, its mid-loaded (less in the first few years due to high escrow) and the salary is low the last couple years – buyout won’t be atrocious.

When you’re talking about buyout on a contract just signed that tells you how good the contract is

flyfish1168

digger50:
Oilers must get Leon’s buddy Kahun from the Sabres. Awesome if they can scoop him on day one.

Tobias Rieder is a good friend of Leon’s didn’t work out very well.

Kahun does appear to be a better player.

Eh Team

Material Elvis: Can’t blame them. They’re going to lose big money playing in empty arenas. Might be best off to cancel the season and plan for a 21-22 season as regularly scheduled.

That’s why I think the season will be short (say 40 games), then playoffs

Reja

OriginalPouzar: Yes, one of the top free agents out of Europe – big guy, good skater, skill, pedigree, only 22 and signed to a contract with a very reasonable chance to be a sold to big value contract.

We shall see if it’s going to happen it’ll happen soon. Bye Bye Jesse.

Lewis Grant

Harpers Hair: The Habs bought 6 UFA years.

What do you think a 26 year old power forward who is big and fast is worth?

One who has averaged 60 games, 17 goals, and 11 assists per season?

Let’s see now. David Clarkson averaged 71 games, 18 goals, and 12 assists per season in the five years before he got $5.25M X 7.

The Leafs wanted to buy him out within a year of signing that contract. They just finished paying him this past year.

Some GMs never learn. (Let’s hope ours isn’t one of them tomorrow.)

Eh Team

Material Elvis: You mean a big, fast power forward who played only 26 games last year and scored 4(!!) points? He scored 29, 30, and 47 points previously. He’s a third line player with an injury history. That is an albatross contract.

Should have just paid Domi.

Eh Team

Material Elvis: You mean a big, fast power forward who played only 26 games last year and scored 4(!!) points? He scored 29, 30, and 47 points previously. He’s a third line player with an injury history. That is an albatross contract.

Should have just paid Domi.

godot10

The spice must flow, even if it is only flowing at 40%.

Stopping the flow, and fighting over 100% of nothing is a losing proposition for all the stakeholders.

Yes, there are individual (hockey) players who can choose to sit everything out, but forging ahead is the best of bad options.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Munny: It is a thing.But it is not a thing in the NHL-NBC contract.Because apparently you have to be an utter idiot to be a lawyer for the League.If it had been a thing, there very likely would have been no playoffs this year.

Even without a force majeure clause, depending on the circumstances, parties may seek to invalidate contracts or delay performance under the common law based on COVID-19.

godot10

Harpers Hair: Hall wants to win.

Columbus ain’t it..no matter how cool the city is.

Columbus is as well contructed as pretty much any team in the league if Hall goes there.

It would have depth throughout the roster.

Colorado has sexier forwards, but Columbus is far better in goal and on defense.

OriginalPouzar

Material Elvis: You mean a big, fast power forward who played only 26 games last year and scored 4(!!) points?He scored 29, 30, and 47 points previously.He’s a third line player with an injury history.That is an albatross contract.

One could just easily make that argument for AA citing a “26 year old 30 goal scorer”.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: The Habs bought 6 UFA years.

What do you think a 26 year old power forward who is big and fast is worth?

That’s one description of the player.

Of course, one could also thing about the fact that he’s 26 and has to over 30 points in his career once, has a history of injury, is coming off a major injury and a season that, while injury riddled he had 4 points in 26 games and was a negative goal differential player on a decent team.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer:
Haha
Anderson got a NTC
As if the contract wasn’t a NTC already

Ya, but no signing bonuses and, like all the long term deals, its mid-loaded (less in the first few years due to high escrow) and the salary is low the last couple years – buyout won’t be atrocious.

OriginalPouzar

Material Elvis: I suppose not, at least on the hockey side of things. Panarin can barely speak English and he’s doing alright. Socially, you don’t think it makes a difference??

He seemed to get along quite well with Strome…..

Ya, maybe it makes it a bit harder to “fit in” but i don’t think language is the reason he’s playing pick-up hockey with kids while the team is off in Mexico…… I think the fact he’s just a different due from a remote Northern Finnish town is the reason for that. Not everyone needs to fit in though – I mean, Dougie Hamilton is known as an odd-ball, not hanging out with the guys often – pretty good guy to have on the team.