The Searchers

by Lowetide

On July 12, 2019 the Edmonton Oilers hired Archie Henderson as director of pro scouting. I’ve been watching the pro signings closely since and would describe the work of the pro scouts as traditional and safe. The signings give the team solid backup in several areas and possible NHL replacement options at all positions. Is there more available? Or is that all there is?

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ARCHIE HENDERSON

Shortly after Henderson signed, Edmonton added free agent Josh Archibald and then later in the summer of 2019 Riley Sheahan. It’s unknown how much input Henderson would have had on the process, but for me the pro scouting director is the guy looking for the next Jordan Oesterle or Rem Murray. Someone from off-off Broadway, if you know what I mean.

Henderson would have scouted the DRW before the acquisitions of Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green, plus the Ottawa Senators before Tyler Ennis was added at the deadline.

Theodor Lennstrom was signed April 29, Henderson and the pro scouts would have seen him. We haven’t seen him yet, but definitely part of the Henderson portfolio.

Adam Cracknell was signed September 10. He is 35 and in my opinion a poor bet and ties up a spot on the 50-man list.

Kyle Turris, Mike Smith, Tyler Ennis and Tyson Barrie were signed early in free agency 2020, Henderson would have had involvement and there are some interesting names in there.

Henderson would have been central to the signing of Anton Forsberg, Alan Quine and Seth Griffith.

So let’s have a look at the AHL-Euro guys and see where the Oilers are shopping for fringe pieces. Any inspired additions in there?

There are some nice pieces here. Forsberg was .908 with the Blackhawks two years ago and .919 with the AHL IceHogs in 2018-19. He seems a suitable No. 3 goalie. He signed a $700,000 deal he gets paid that number no matter where he plays.

Quine is a player I’ve noticed for some time, he’s an aggressive center and has offensive ability. I think he might be an under the radar signing who ends up being a bigger story. Quine got a one-way contract too, that might be a tell for a player like Jujhar Khaira.

JAYCE HAWRYLUK

Vancouver Canucks signed Jayce Hawryluk yesterday, the Florida Panthers cut him looks and Van City got him for $800,000 with $200,000 in the minors. Seth Griffith got a two-year deal for $725,000 with $450,000 as his minor-league salary. He is 27, Hawryluk 24, I like the Vancouver bet more.

There are some nice players out there who are in a similar spot to Hawrlyuk.

  1. LW Anthony Duclair 66 games, 23-17-40. One dimensional but he can score.
  2. LW Dominik Kahun 56 games, 12-19-29. 36-27 goal differential at five on five.
  3. LW Andreas Athanasiou 55 games, 11-15-26. A fascinating and flawed player.
  4. LW Drake Caggiula 40 games, 9-6-15. 22-27 goal differential at five on five.
  5. LD Slater Koekkoek 42 games, 1-9-10. 27-24 goal differential at five on five.
  6. RD Madison Bowey 53 games, 3-14-17. 34-48 goal differential at five on five.

There’s quite the range here, Duclair would play a feature role, Kahun, Athanasiou, Caggiula and Koekkoek would be regulars and Bowey would be an NHL recall.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’re live on air TSN1260 with a pile of stories. Mike Zanier, former Oilers goalie and current radio colour commentator, will join us to discuss the progression of Philip Broberg. Will he be ready fall 2021? We’re also working on an MLB guest as we prepare for Game 1 of the 2020 World Series. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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€√¥£€^$

Forsberg is a great bet, I’ve had my eye on him since May. He is exactly the kind of goalie that sneaks up on you “out of nowhere” and this is around the age it will happen.

Quine is another depth add that I was hoping to see. His best attributes are his speed on the forecheck, his tenacity and he is an effective PKer. He is similar to Archibald, but might have more offense. This is a sneaky good signing.

Griffith was a meh signing, Ive heard his name for years, I think him and Cracknell are simply AHL glue guys.

Auto-correct changed “meh” to “key” and Cracknell to Trackball which then became Crackball…. Be careful out there folks, AI is trying to control the narrative 🤔🤔😁😁

€√¥£€^$

Also, is Duclair a better Athanasiou?

Abbeef

Is goal differential not just plus/minus? I think for this stat to have any significance it must be compared to the teams’ goal differential.

hunter1909

Searchers Comment:

“That’ll be the day!”

flyfish1168

Watching Leon in the Memorial Cup I noticed Madison Bowey, I thought what a player and would be nice to have him on our team. his injury in Washington was gruesome. I wonder if that is still lingering last year. He would be a player I would bet on.

alberta bound edmonton

Speaking of AA, I wonder why he and his agent would pass on a qualifying offer from Holland given the marker. Doesn’t make sense to me. Holland told Benning the team was going in a different direction so I get that he signed elsewhere. But AA? Who wants him?

Marc

Abbeef:
Is goal differential not just plus/minus?I think for this stat to have any significance it must be compared to the teams’ goal differential.

Plus/minus gived players a minus for short handed goals against and empty net goals against, but doesn’t give them a plus for power play goals for. It unfairly penalises players who are their teams’ top option to score by counting only the goals against them and not what they produce.

5v5 goal differential avoids this problem and offers a fairer assessment of what’s happening when that player is on the ice than plus/minus.

jp

LT, you forgot to include Granlund and Hoffman.

(I kid, I kid)

I do also wonder about Kovalchuk, and maybe Kulikov or Hainsey though.

Not exactly the young bets you’re talking about..

OriginalPouzar

Shane Starrett signs an AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre.

NHL deal to AHL deal – injuries are a bitch.

Elgin R

Replacement level players are readily available and are not the issue. Henderson needs to find value to improve the top 9 (and of course then Holland has to get them). Current Oilers LW has only one proven top 6 player in RNH. Ennis has shown well in Oiler colours and should be considered a very good 3rd line LW. Going into the season with Nygard as the potential #1 LW is not the best case scenario, though with the tight cap situation that may be what the Oilers have to settle for.

Woogie63

Archie we need a young left winger that can play +17 minutes a night and contribute 5 v 5

kanatacus

alberta bound edmonton:
Speaking of AA, I wonder why he and his agent would pass on a qualifying offer from Holland given the marker. Doesn’t make sense to me.

Holland didn’t offer him a qualifying offer. His offer was presumably much lower and not palpable to AA. AA likely wants the same as last year or more.

alberta bound edmonton:
But AA? Who wants him?

For about $1 million, I suspect lots of teams would want him. But, as I eluded to above, for $3 million… nobody. That’s why he’s unsigned.

106 and 106

LW Dominik Kahun 56 games, 12-19-29. 36-27 goal differential at five on five. <— GET HIM! That would make this offseason a WIN, but numbers, blah blah blah.

Can't we just not play the fourth line and have the cap drop every game like Dubas is planning on doing?

106 and 106

OriginalPouzar,

Shane really dropped off too, OP –> 14 3.63 0.874

Hope he bounces back, mainly because he has an awesome name.

Jaxon

I like the idea of trading both Chiasson and Russell with money retained and a late-round draft pick going with them if needed and going after a few free agents.

I’d be keen on surrounding Draisaitl with some former teammates in Kahun and Bowey (Nurse also played with Bowey on Junior Team Canada). It’s interesting that Kahun outscored Draisaitl all through their younger years when they played together. It might be what unlocks more skill in Kahun. Who knows? Ben Hutton would be a good, cheap replacement for Russell on the left side. He played 18:15 per game last season. Russell only played 16:46 (about the same as Koekkoek’s 16:45). Bowey played 17:54 per game. Del Zotto is another player who played 18:42 per game but I’ve never heard good things about his defensive game. I’d really like to see Athanasiou back as well. I don’t think he ever settled in and got a real shot to show what he is capable of.

Harpers Hair
106 and 106

Harpers Hair,

Pre-draft #26
Post-draft #24

Leafs look excellent at #4 – what a pipeline.

Klima's_Bucket

Lowetide at the Athletic posits we’re going to hear a bunch of Barrie to McDavid.

Which means Barrie is going to be Nurse’s partner since we know McDavid is anchored to Nurse.

Harpers Hair

106 and 106:
Harpers Hair,

Pre-draft #26
Post-draft #24

Leafs look excellent at #4 – what a pipeline.

As Pronman noted, the Leafs only rank that high because Matthews is included in his rankings.

Once he falls off, things don’t look nearly as rosy.

Shane

106 and 106:
OriginalPouzar,

Shane really dropped off too, OP –> 143.630.874

Hope he bounces back, mainly because he has an awesome name.

Agreed!

OriginalPouzar

Pasquale in the net, yet again, for Yaroslav – damn!

LadiesloveSmid

OriginalPouzar:
Pasquale in the net, yet again, for Yaroslav – damn!

Think they are riding the hot(ter) goalie.

OriginalPouzar

One-way contracts for guys like Forsberg and Quine is one way that the Oilers and Katz are able to flex their “financial muscle” these days.

Katz continues to be willing to spend – unfortunately the team is capped out but showing the continued ability to sign players destined for the AHL to one-way deals is not something all owners would be willing to do at this point (and, some owners, at any point).

Maybe its just the biased fan in me, it probably is, but I’m starting to really like the bet on Forsberg. Holland mentioned from the start he will be getting a “3rd goalie” and he got one, one that will clear waivers but has also had some moderate NHL success and should be able to fill in to some adequate extent if Smith struggles or gets injured.

As long as Mikko doesn’t see regression in his game and is able to perform at the same level with a bit more action, tending should be just fine.

The puck-moving on the back-end, as a group, should be much improved – as long as those defenders and “get the puck” off the opposition, they should be able to “defend more” with better transition.

defmn

Jaxon:
I like the idea of trading both Chiasson and Russell with money retained and a late-round draft pick going with them if needed and going after a few free agents.

I think it is an excellent plan from the Oilers point of view but I can’t think of why any other team in the league would do that. There are maybe 5 teams left with money & roster spots to fill with players making more than $1 M.

I say maybe because I suspect some of them have been told by their owners to keep salaries below the cap this year.

So my problem is trying to figure out why any of those teams would take Russell & Chaisson (NMC for Russell aside) rather than just sign those superior UFA guys themselves for less money?

I suspect Holland has run into that same question & resistance from his counterparts and that we are now shopping for guys who will sign for under a million to create competition for our 4th line or he is waiting for the trading portion of the off season to get going.

I can see a few possibilities for cash in – cash out trades but I don’t see anybody out there looking to pick up Chiasson or Russell for draft picks as long as the current list of UFA’s looks like it does and half the clubs are wondering how to move their less than ideal contracts so they can go bargain shopping as well.

Doug McLachlan

€√¥£€^$,

Don’t disagree.

There is a balance, especially with your AHL squad on the true prospects and the minor-league Pros who will help get the true prospects to the show.

It’s great to uncover the hidden gems, if you can, but that is a bonus and not the work of your minor league affiliate which is to make NHLers from the identified talent that comes in through the supply line.

OriginalPouzar

Bowey, Caggiula, Koekkoek and, potentially, Andreas A. should come in at an amount the Oilers can afford with their current cap space but I don’t think either Duclair nor Kahun are options unless the Oilers can divest of a contract (Chiasson would be perfect for a Kahun signing).

Klefbom’s LTIR cushion is simply not available in the off-season. I mean, it technically is, however, if the Oilers are over the cap on day 1 and need to use off-season LTIR in order to become cap compliant it leaves $0 of cap space going in to the season. That is not a manageable situation.

The Oilers needs to sign Lagesson and Bear – that will cost, lets say, $2M (and that’s grinding Bear) so that will put them apx $1.3M over the cap.

The minimum roster on opening day is 20 players so the Oilers can send down 3 players – Yamamoto at $900K and two players that will be buried at apx $1.1M so, lets round it for a total of $3M. Neal and Chiasson, for example, can be waived and, assuming not claimed, used to get the roster down to 20.

If they send down those 3 players they are $2M under the cap. They the put Klef on LTIR and create and cap overage cushion of apx $2M.

I guess they would only send down two of those players in order to get closer to the cap and create an cap overage cushion of $3M.

I think my math is right.

Anything over a $1M signing or so creates issues i believe.

jp

Harpers Hair:
Corey Pronman’s updated post draft organization rankings.

https://theathletic.com/2135405/2020/10/20/nhl-org-rankings-2-0-pronmans-post-draft-rating-of-every-teams-young-talent/?source=user_shared_article

Lol, Pronman STILL has multiple Canucks on their list who are older than McDavid, Draisaitl etc.

Doug McLachlan

OriginalPouzar,

Not sure that Lagesson will be on the main roster, especially if Broberg continues to impress.

I am still holding out hope for a creative acquisition of a goaltender out of Arizona. The ideal candidate would be Kuemper for Russell but the $ savings for Arizona isn’t as impressive given that Kuemper has a bonus too.

Squint and turn your head just so and this team actually looks like this team has potential.

Doug

Doug McLachlan

LT, not sure if someone else noted it but Leavins mentioned Bowey as an option, with ties to Holland from his Detroit days, over at The Cult of Hockey.

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/edmonton-oilers-g-m-ken-holland-may-not-be-done-just-yet-after-all-9-things

GordieHoweHatTrick

jp: Lol, Pronman STILL has multiple Canucks on their list who are older than McDavid, Draisaitl etc.

Yeah that article is pathetic/pointless

LMHF#1

As the FA period drags on with quality players unsigned, the opportunity for 1-year, relatively cheap deals on very good players and the opportunity to peak rather than trundle along becomes greater.

Goal should be to trade Neal, Chiasson and Russell, then spend the $12M.

Hoffman and Haula + a D or two on one-year deals would be rather outstanding. Kovalchuk should be a target.

It’d be worth the picks required to be sent out to not retain salary.

Go for it. Especially with the crappy goalie situation.

Kinger_Oil.redux

OriginalPouzar,

– I have a friend who is asking how much money given Klefs status could we reasonably afford to get another winger

– This friend of mine he now kind of gets the whole LTIR thing but he wants to know what is a realistic price point for another forward given the constraints of Klef?

– If you let me know how much you think the Oil could spend on day 1 and why I will relay this to my friend.

defmn

LMHF#1:
As the FA period drags on with quality players unsigned, the opportunity for 1-year, relatively cheap deals on very good players and the opportunity to peak rather than trundle along becomes greater.

Goal should be to trade Neal, Chiasson and Russell, then spend the $12M.

Hoffman and Haula + a D or two on one-year deals would be rather outstanding. Kovalchuk should be a target.

It’d be worth the picks required to be sent out to not retain salary.

Go for it. Especially with the crappy goalie situation.

Why would anybody trade for Neal rather than just sign Hoffman for less money?

Why would anybody trade for Russell when they could just sign Hamonic for less money & figure out the lefty/righty side thing?

Why would anybody trade for Chiasson when they can just sign Granlund or Soderberg or Galchenyuk for about the same money?

I’m all for going for it but there are at least 15 teams out there with a similar wish list and as far as I can tell nobody is interested in helping out.

Tampa has much better players they cannot afford to sign and much better players they cannot give away. I don’t see anybody coming to help us out.

Trade is possible. The ‘dumping player contract’ season isn’t happening.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Ah never mind. My friend just read your post above where you figure we have room for a $1mm player only.

– But if Lagesson isn’t on NHL roster my friend thought maybe that gets added as well.

– We will see.

Harpers Hair

jp: Lol, Pronman STILL has multiple Canucks on their list who are older than McDavid, Draisaitl etc.

That is demonstrably false.

The only player on the Canucks list who is older than McDavid and Draisaitl is Brogan Rafferty.

These are all younger.

Pettersson
Hughes
Podkholzin
Hoglander
Juolevi
Woo
Rathbone
DiPietro

MacEwan is the same age as Draisaitl.

Multiple Canucks…heh.

DocFan

Isn’t Rafferty worth a McDavid and Draisaitl? He should be counted twice.

Also, re signings – I think Holland is going to pursue a bunch of PTO signings who can then be signed on day 1 of the season once Klef goes on LTIR.

You may see this happen throughout the league for teams looking to be careful with whatever little money they have left.

pts2pndr

defmn: Why would anybody trade for Neal rather than just sign Hoffman for less money?

Why would anybody trade for Russell when they could just sign Hamonic for less money & figure out the lefty/righty side thing?

Why would anybody trade for Chiasson when they can just sign Granlund or Soderberg or Galchenyuk for about the same money?

I’m all for going for it but there are at least 15 teams out there with a similar wish list and as far as I can tell nobody is interested in helping out.

Tampa has much better players they cannot afford to sign and much better players they cannot give away. I don’t see anybody coming to help us out.

Trade is possible. The ‘dumping player contract’ season isn’t happening.

Russel should be easier to move to teams who have owner imposed budgets as his cap belies the fact actual dollars owed are far smaller. At this point teams in that situation are still asking for a sweetener but as we get closer to the season this may change. Throwing draft choices or retaining on contracts at this point in my opinion would be unwise. There is going to be movement it is just the case of a couple of pieces to move first. If the cap stays flat for next year and we get only an abbreviated season this year with no fans in the stands things will get very interesting.

Elgin R

GordieHoweHatTrick: Yeah that article is pathetic/pointless

It satisfies the requirement for a least one ‘Leafs’ talking point per day. I thought this was limited to Sportsnet, but the disease is now affecting The Athletic. TML @ #4? Really! Their #5 ranked player was a first round draft pick (#17) three years ago and has played 11 NHL games. Be better Pronman.

OriginalPouzar

Not only has Lindewall been called up to AIK from the J20, it looks like he’s on the top line for Modo today.

OriginalPouzar

106 and 106:
OriginalPouzar,

Shane really dropped off too, OP –> 143.630.874

Hope he bounces back, mainly because he has an awesome name.

Oh, yes, he had a tough season on the ice but I believe that was largely due to injuries and re-injuries (and the depleted team as the season went on).

Good luck to Starrett.

OriginalPouzar

LadiesloveSmid: Think they are riding the hot(ter) goalie.

Totally are – Pasquale is on fire. I’m just being selfish and want the Oilers top goalie prospect (arguably, with Rodrigue in the conversation) playing.

OriginalPouzar

Doug McLachlan:
OriginalPouzar,

Not sure that Lagesson will be on the main roster, especially if Broberg continues to impress.

I am still holding out hope for a creative acquisition of a goaltender out of Arizona.The ideal candidate would be Kuemper for Russell but the $ savings for Arizona isn’t as impressive given that Kuemper has a bonus too.

Squint and turn your head just so and this team actually looks like this team has potential.

Doug

I’m loving me some Broberg and his arrows over the last six months (well, really, since his draft – his 18 year old season in Skelefteea was solid). I’m looking forward to him continuing his progression and development and being an all-star at the World Juniors.

I have posted about the potential for may him not heading back to Sweden after the World Juniors (if he continues) and, ya, maybe there is the possibility of the AHL or even maybe the NHL.

With that said, I do think that Broberg being on the Oilers opening night roster is still a very low possibility and I think Lagesson will almost assuredly be there.

We are talking about a 19 year old d-man and I don’t see Kenny rushing him at all – even if he continues to show great, I see Kenny erring on the side of caution – maybe he stays for the AHL and is a potential call-up option.

I still see the likeliest scenario is Borberg heading back to Sweden after the World Juniors and coming back over when their season is done in March.

———–

As far as the goalie, sure Rusty for Kuemper (or Rantta) would be excellent. At this point, with Smith ad Forsberg signed, I don’t imagine another goalie is acquired.

Tragikomix

Doug McLachlan:
OriginalPouzar,

Not sure that Lagesson will be on the main roster, especially if Broberg continues to impress.

I am still holding out hope for a creative acquisition of a goaltender out of Arizona.The ideal candidate would be Kuemper for Russell but the $ savings for Arizona isn’t as impressive given that Kuemper has a bonus too.

Squint and turn your head just so and this team actually looks like this team has potential.

Doug

Kuemper doesnt have bonus according to Capfriendly. His salary is 3,5m + 5,5m.

defmn

pts2pndr: Russel should be easier to move to teams who have owner imposed budgets as his cap belies the fact actual dollars owed are far smaller. At this point teams in that situation are still asking for a sweetener but as we get closer to the season this may change. Throwing draft choices or retaining on contracts at this point in my opinion would be unwise. There is going to be movement it is just the case of a couple of pieces to move first. If the cap stays flat for next year and we get only an abbreviated season this year with no fans in the stands things will get very interesting.

Russell can – and probably has – rejected any trade idea to any of those teams. As is his right under a contract he negotiated in good faith.

I am pretty confident that there is no team on his trade list – should we know what it is – that doesn’t have access to better options than Russell from the UFA’s or other teams looking to move cap.

Harpers Hair

KHL (@khl_eng) Tweeted:
27-year-old forward Nail Yakupov (1-6–7 in 15 GP for Amur) got traded to Avangard. https://t.co/2M6tcrPuKP

I don’t think it’s too early to call him “Suitcase”

pts2pndr

Elgin R: It satisfies the requirement for a least one ‘Leafs’ talking point per day.I thought this was limited to Sportsnet, but the disease is now affecting The Athletic.TML @ #4?Really!Their #5 ranked player was a first round draft pick (#17) three years ago and has played 11 NHL games.Be better Pronman.

The article was meh which is exactly how I rated it. I rated it as such based on I felt it was a regurgitation of a previous article with a minor update of little merit.

pts2pndr

defmn: Russell can – and probably has – rejected any trade idea to any of those teams. As is his right under a contract he negotiated in good faith.

I am pretty confident that there is no team on his trade list – should we know what it is – that doesn’t have access to better options than Russell from the UFA’s or other teams looking to move cap.

This is definitely a possibility! My hope was he might want to move so as to improve his chances of another contract.

jp

Harpers Hair: That is demonstrably false.

The only player on the Canucks list who is older than McDavid and Draisaitl is Brogan Rafferty.

These are all younger.

Pettersson
Hughes
Podkholzin
Hoglander
Juolevi
Woo
Rathbone
DiPietro

MacEwan is the same age as Draisaitl.

Multiple Canucks…heh.

Well. You really caught me there.

Rafferty is older than McDavid and Draisaitl. McEwan is only older than McDavid.

More to the point, Rafferty and McEwan are both 2 years too old for Pronman’s list, based on his own criteria. But I guess that’s neither here nor there.

And yes, the Canucks also have a number of underperforming prospects on their list who actually are eligible to be on it.

maudite

If I never see the name bohemian rapfarty again in an oiler blogs thread:

It will be too soon.