Sixes and Sevens and Nines

by Lowetide

Back in 2007, the Oilers had some quality veterans (Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner, Jarret Stoll, Tom Gilbert, Joni Pitkanen, Dwayne Roloson, others) and some interesting young players (Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Ladislav Smid).

None of the young players who were new to the NHL could push the river or offer one unique strength to help “roster future”. Edmonton was caught in its own mediocrity, its best veteran (Hemsky) not having enough support and the best young player (Gagner) not representing an upgrade. They were dead in the water. That gives us an idea about the early moments of the rebuild that produced Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Many years later, the Oilers are in a completely opposite situation. Music!

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.

OILERS TODAY

In 2007 the Oilers had Hemsky and he was a fine player. He needed more than Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner (his 2007-08 linemates) to make things go. At five on five, Horcoff-Hemsky outscored opponents 27-20 that season in 461 minutes. In 2016-17 McDavid-Maroon outscored opponents five on five 44-27 in 735 minutes. Hemsky was brilliant, but he wasn’t McDavid brilliant.

McDavid and Draisaitl have the high end covered in a way no Oilers team has managed since 1991.

Even better, some of the up and coming talent has unique qualities. Raphael Lavoie has 8 goals in 13 games (45 shots) in the Allsvenskan, Evan Bouchard is 4-9-13 in 58 shots in 17 games in the same league.

Scott Wheeler has written wonderfully about three recent Oilers draft picks Evan Bouchard, Raphael Lavoie and Dylan Holloway. Philip Broberg has unique skating skills and may eventually be a quality two-way defenseman playing at the top of the depth chart.

TOP 20 PROSPECTS, SUMMER 2007

  1. Center Sam Gagner. Just drafted and he goes to the top of the chart. Nice range of skills: creative, terrific playmaker, good skater, can take and make a pass and make plays in traffic. I saw him take a terrific hit at the WJC’s and he got right back into the play. Scouts have said he can play well without the puck but we can also guess he’ll need work in that area. Played in the USHL and this was his rookie OHL season. Gagner’s ppg number at 17 (2.23) is exceptional, but we need to temper expectations for the same reasons Schremp’s numbers needed to have some air taken out of them (Schremp’s 17-year old ppg was 1.15 btw). I don’t think the Oilers will move him along as quickly as they did Hemsky, but he’s the most talented forward they’ve drafted since 83.
  2. Left Wing Slava Trukhno. Love this player. He is a quality offensive player, doesn’t shy from traffic and has some hustle, size and grit. That’s an extremely valuable set of skills. I like speeds’ take on him (which was basically that Trukhno represents everything the Oilers DON’T like and they took him anyway).
  3. Center Andrew Cogliano. Has the skills of those throwback centers like Dave Keon and Ralph Backstrom: amazing speed, aggressive on the forecheck and great anticipation. He also delivered a quality offensive season in the NCAA while still playing second fiddle. Cogliano has an outside chance of making the big club imo if he can impress as an “energy” type player. From what I’ve read, the fastest Oiler prospect.
  4. Defenseman Tom Gilbert. Looked very good in his NHL late-season audition and could very well pass some of the kids on D this season. Smart player with good offensive upside and seemed to impress coach MacTavish last year. There’s almost no negatives, the only one I can think of being that it would be nice to put him on the third pairing with a veteran defender (which the Oilers cannot do). Had the best AHL rookie season by an Oiler defense prospect since Doug Lynch, he should get a full 550 at-bats and would have to be considered a candidate for the All-Rookie team in 07-08.
  5. Center Rob Schremp. Has terrific puck skills but the learning curve is as steep as many NHL teams implied by allowing him to slip deep into the first round. I have him this low because his ceiling appears to be much lower than his OHL numbers implied (we HAVE to get ATOI) and because there appears to be at least some indifference about addressing areas of weakness. A clever one dimensional player, I think we’ll know he’s ready when Schremp stops doing circus-like things and gets down to the business of helping his team win. He remains a likely candidate to be traded.
  6. Defenseman Taylor Chorney. Undersized skill defenseman who has some strength issues which we saw at the World Juniors. He seems to have a nice range of skills and no major weaknesses (aside from size) that time and experience won’t improve (reads and coverage without the puck). He really stepped up offensively this season and had a major role for the Americans at the WJC’s. He should be the best defense prospect this team has developed since Tom Poti.
  7. Goalie Devan Dubnyk. Huge goalie played well in Double A and looks to play big minutes in the AHL this fall. I’m not a fan of holding prospects back, but the year in the ECHL may benefit Dubnyk as he got his feet wet as far from the spotlight as is humanly possible. His stats tell us he’s a very consistent goalie and the best news so far is his lack of injury.
  8. Center Ryan O’Marra. I’d rank him much higher save for the injuries. O’Marra is another player with a wide range of skills (versatile, terrific shot, no fear, drives to the net, smart player, excellent speed, he has size) and looks more like a MacTavish-type than pretty much anyone else on this list (I define a MacT player as someone whose skills without the puck are close to or equal to puck skills). He’s one guy who could challenge the top 3 on my list (if healthy).
  9. Defenseman Alex Plante. I’m pretty high on him because he has a nice variety of skills. The downside is coverage, agility and decision making, but the two really good scouting sources (ISS and RLR) both like him. High risk/reward pick, has a chance to be the new Niinimaki.
  10. Defenseman Josef Hrabel. I was going to nick him because of the questions over his Oiler status, but to hell with it. If we’re going to learn anything about stats predicting the future upside of individual players, this guy is the current poster boy. Skilled puck mover who lacks the size NHL teams look for but may find a career anyway.
  11. Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov. I liked him a lot in 2002 (he was drafted 26th spots ahead of Matt Greene) but there’s no real way to see if he’s progressed until training camp in the fall. He’s a physical player who can move the puck and would have to be considered a favorite to make the big club this fall (perhaps over Gilbert who I think is a better prospect).
  12. Left Wing Jean Francois Jacques. It’s like watching your son sing off key at the school Christmas concert: it’s a train wreck but you don’t love him any less. Jacques’ lack of effectiveness at the NHL level is somewhat baffling, as his AHL performance (plus his training camp) implied he was ahead of a few first rounders. I don’t think they can give up on him, but JFJ will need to show a lot this fall.
  13. Center Riley Nash. I like what Redline wrote about him: “A really well schooled, all-around player who can play it any way you want. Big, raw, naturally athletic kid who can skate, shoot and pass. Also likes to get his nose dirty and really carried his club down the stretch.” Redline is easily the hardest marker and those words don’t come easy.
  14. Defenseman Jeff Petry. I should have him higher but have decided to nick anyone who didn’t play in a measurable league. The USHL has produced some fine talent and this guy had a huge year, but let’s see what he can do in college. Impressive skill set and there’s little doubt he’d go much higher if they could do the 2006 draft over again.
  15. Center Kyle Brodziak. Looks to me like he’s the new Rem Murray. Brodziak is the highest ranking “future role player” on my list, but he’s earned it. Good size and strength and he’s coachable. Limited upside but I think he’s a player.
  16. Defenseman Theo Peckham. Just an amazing series of positive comments have Peckham here. Apparently he’s that steady defender who makes the right decisions without the puck with alarming regularity. Good size, uses it well and makes the right play. Love this player type.
  17. Defenseman Cody Wild. I was going to rank him lower but MAN this guy had a good season on a crappy team. It’ll be very interesting to see if he can put up big time numbers when he turns pro. Puck moving defender whose numbers went backwards (point total down from 21 to 14) on a team that went from 105 goals to 76. Providence hockey must be awful.
  18. Defenseman Mathieu Roy. Lacks the footspeed that NHL defenders possess, but otherwise he looks like a player. Lots of passion, loves to hit and stands out among Oilers prospects as a guy who punishes opponents. I’m betting he has an NHL career.
  19. Center Milan Kytnar. Reliable two-way center plays hard every shift. Great hand-eye, anticipates well, coachable. Strong skater with a minus first step, good hands and size. Accurate passer, can shadow his man. Good playmaker who sees the ice well. (Source: ISS).
  20. Defenseman Bryan Young: The new Tom Reid, steady and reliable but center ice is just a rumor. I like Young’s grit and energy.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning on TSN1260, we’re tracking two major stories. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast and BigMouthSports will address the Masters from a television/presentation point of view and talk about the the NHL’s RTP plan and the Canadian division. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will also discuss the Masters and Tiger’s push for glory; plus the NHL’s chances of starting in January. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

97 comments
2

You may also like

4.4 7 votes
Article Rating
97 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bohologo

I’m just here for the Exile on Main St. references.

And whiskey talk.

Plus grilling tips.

Not to mention those rare Diane Lane sightings.

BONE207

48 years ago!!! Wasn’t that when I saw my last meaningful hockey game? No wonder I don’t know that song.

Munny

Tumbling Dice was never a Number 1 hit. Best it did on this side of the pond was 7th. Didn’t hit the top of pops in the UK either.

Some trivia… neither Richards nor Wyman played a lick on the track, although Richards did compose the riff. Guitars came compliments of the two Micks. When the album was completed, Jagger hated the mix they used for this track, but the label went and released it as the lead single anyway. It still did pretty good.

yamfry

Kind of depressing to read about past prospects, and realize how excited I was for each of them at that time. So many don’t pan out. Gotta learn that lesson and apply it to todays prospects. Sigh.

Though I guess there can always be diamonds in the rough! (Brodziak, Petry!)

pts2pndr

This to a extent is my fear with our developing young D. While I fully understand the necessity of veteran presence I am hopeful we won’t move quality young players at bargain prices while keeping veterans with no upside and less talent. We need to judiciously move veteran players with value remaining and replacing same with young qualified players in our system. Proper player evaluation and an eye to not only the present will be key. Paying for past performance is in my opinion a fools game particularly when dealing with players approaching performance decline.

Elgin R

Oilers should be OK because Holland always reads the posts on the Lowetide articles.

Of the established veterans, one of Nurse or Klefbom will probably not be with the team for the 2021/22 season. Need to keep Nurse but his salary expectations must reflect the new cap era not the old one. He had his chance to sign long-term and did not, although nobody saw this pandemic coming.

Last edited 14 days ago by Elgin R
pts2pndr

Nurse is absolutely the best one to build around given his ability to play big minutes and durability. I think a number starting with a six for a long term deal is what we will be looking at given the current league economics. There will be a number of moving parts but the picture should be clearer after the 21 abbreviated season.

ArmchairGM

This has nothing to do with today’s post, but I find it interesting how Tyson Barrie has a reputation as a “PP specialist”. A few of the talking heads have mentioned it, ‘it makes sense for Edmonton to use him as a fill-in while Klefbom is out’ – and it does, clearly. But what always gets lost in the conversation is that Barrie is actually one of the best in the NHL at 5v5 scoring, too. Here are the top-10 point getters over the past 3 years:

Carlson: 28-72-100 (45.05 IPP)
Josi: 24-75-99 (47.60)
Burns: 19-76-95 (48.97)
Karlsson: 9-74-83 (52.53)
Rielly: 22-61-83 (40.49)
Barrie: 20-58-78 (45.09)
Hedman: 29-48-77 (38.69)
Nurse: 17-60-77 (39.29)
Giordano: 19-57-76 (42.70)
Pietrangelo: 22-53-75 (39.89)
Chabot: 25-50-75 (41.67)

His IPP is competitive with other top defensemen too, so it’s not like he’s getting a bunch of gimmies by playing with some of the leagues top forwards.

If you look at all the defensemen that have played at least 1000 minutes over the past 3 years, Barrie’s 1.23 P/60 ranks 10th, tied with Gustafsson, McAvoy and Dougie Hamilton.

Even with an “off-year” last year in Toronto, Barrie’s 25 5v5 points rank him 12th in the NHL, tied with Pietrangelo, Karlsson and Chabot. (Nurse’s 26 points had him tied for 7th place with Suter, Shattenkirk, Hedman and McAvoy).

Barrie will most certainly have a significant impact on the team at 5v5.

Rant over.

OriginalPouzar

I 100% agree and I’ve been opining on his benefits at 5 on 5 since he signed.

I made a LONG post in reply but its stuck in moderation for some reason

OriginalPouzar

I agree, 100% – I’ve been saying this for a while – in fact, here is a post I made on another platform an hour ago:

Norris seems a bit aggresive but I am excited about what Barrie could bring to the team this year and, frankly, I’m much more excited about his impact at 5 on 5 than on the PP.

To be honest, I’m a bit concerned that he’ll take some time go gel with the PP. Don’t get me wrong, he is a much more dynamic PP player than Klefbom was but what Klefbom learned and excelled at this past year was proper puck distribution. Klef learned and realized that the PP runs through McDavid and Nuge on the half-walls. The PP does not run through the point and the point shot itself is not near a primary option. Klef learned to shoot less on the PP and was a solid distributor to the proper half wall.

I’m sure Barrie will be able to learn to excel at the same and he will open up more options (a) being a right shot opening up different looks and passing lanes , (b) his shot being a weapon that teams will need to respect and (c) his better and quicker puck movement.

The PP is not going to get better, in fact, even with Barrie, its likely to regress given it produced at historic rates. Barrie will likely take some time to realize that his point shot, while high end and a weapon, shouldn’t be the primary or secondary option – its an option that teams will need to defend though.

At 5 on 5 is where I think he will be a massive benefit. Many think he’s terrible defensively but its simply not true. Over his career, he’s played top 4 minutes at 5 on 5 every year essentially – his TOI vs. elites ranged from 28% to apx 33% and, except for the one year the Avs were historically awful and the Babcock months, he’s been a positive goal share guy.

Nope, he’s not a defensive wizard but he’s not a black hole and the think is, once he gets the puck on his stick, he is an elite driver of offence. He has the ability to transition that puck to the forwards with speed, efficiency and accuracy. The boon I see from
Barrie is transitioning the puck to McDavid and Drai with speed and quickness. McDavid is a rush producer – he produces off the rush. Drai isn’t quite as reliant on the rush as McDavid but he’s still a high end rush producer – these guys will now be taking transition passes from one of the league’s best – in his prime.

In addition, Barrie joins the rush smartly – he knows how to time his entry as the late man on the rush and make plays if the puck comes back to him.

I don’t know about Norris but I do think he will have a big impact on the team’s offensive production at evens.

jp

Well, the mood on that other forum (Norris talk) is certainly rather different from the mood here..

OriginalPouzar

Different type of community over there, for sure.

Elgin R

Love the Linda Ronstadt version from the movie FM. So many factors impact if a prospect makes it to the NHL. The Oilers have a couple of D who look like locks (Bouchard, Broberg) and some forwards with good arrows (Lavoie, Holloway). After that it is the ‘distant bells’. If one or two of this group make it (Benson, Mcleod, Savoie etc) the Oilers should be in good shape.

For the next few years it is going to be difficult for prospects to crack the lineup given the current salary structure. Rookies on ELCs were required for a team with high-cap players to balance to the cap. Now with good-established NHL players signing for near $1m or less all around the league (Kahun etc), there is even less of a chance for prospects to crack the NHL lineup. The result will be well-seasoned young pros who are 21 – 23 making the big club – kind of like back in the Original 6 days.

PennersPancakes

My first thoughts about the new Covid Cap were of annoyance since an increasing cap makes McDavid and Drais long term contracts more valuable. Seeing how things have shaken out I think this works out greatly for the Oilers youre right.

If you have McDavid, Drai, Nuge, Yamamoto and flesh out the roster with 8 Kahun/Ennis/Turris candidates thats a sneaky good forward corps.

If this can push forward prospects back a year or two that just means they will be better players during their ELC providing even more value!

Elgin R

Big shoutout to LT and Ryan for the new website layout. Change is difficult for most people, but it is hard to even remember what the old one looked like (advanced age can be a wonderful thing sometimes). Especially value the EDIT feature. Thanks again.

Kert

The old one being the blogspot one or the wordpress one?

ArmchairGM

Not sure why my earlier comment is “Awaiting for approval”? There are no links at all…

Side

Were you trying to start a conversatiom about penis pills and/or two political leaders whose last names start with T?

If you weren’t, I got nothin.

ArmchairGM

I’m not the least bit interested in either. It was about Tyson Barrie – I think it’s visible now.

defmn

It was worth waiting for. 😉

pts2pndr

👏 👏 👏 😂

Brantford Boy

I recall routing really hard for Theo Peckham back then… don’t quote me, but I’m pretty certain I read an article recently about Brian Burke calling Ladislav Smid back home when the Pronger trade wen’t down. Smid was at a bar or something and started yelling “I just got traded for Chris Pronger”… Burke just subtly said, “there was more parts” wished him well, and hung up. Funny story.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, I heard Burke tell that story on Oilers Now a couple weeks ago.

Love Laddy!

slopitch

I don’t think the Oilers will move him along as quickly as they did Hemsky

Sigh.

I see Holloway as a hybrid btw Cogliano and Smyth. Lets see how he writes his own story. Worth noting that Cogliano played his Draft+1 and Draft+2 in the NCAA. Went from 0.74 to 1.31 PPG then straight into the NHL scoring 45 pts as a rookie. Holloway scored 0.49 in his draft year. Good reminder about how important development is but we should be hoping for about 0.8 PPG (anything above is gravy!).

pts2pndr

I got on the Holloway bandwagon early. I believe Oiler fans are going to be even more pleased with this pick than they now are with the Broberg pick.I can see him being a 25 goal scoring 60 pt plus power forward playing on a line with McDavid. On a redraft in four years time he would be a top four pick. Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story. There will always be outliers.

Harpers Hair

This is noteworthy.

The New York Times (@nytimes) Tweeted:
The Miami Marlins named Kim Ng as general manager. After 30 years in the game, she is the first woman in baseball to hold the title. https://t.co/I2hbJKBQk6

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1327302631518326784?s=20

OriginalPouzar

That’s more than noteworthy – that’s historic!

LMHF#1

07-08 was sad because it was a lost opportunity.

That D group had such firepower. I loved watching Pitkanen play. It’s a shame he never had a Sather for a coach. Would have been an absolute star. Still the best I’ve ever seen at the zone clear flip – and one of the best at winning the puck.

Souray got hurt and that was a big blow.

MacTavish kept playing RoloCrap even though Garon was clearly the superior goalie. It cost them big time.

Would Nylander have flourished with Hemsky? We’ll never know. The group running things was so ham-fisted at the time we basically sat around wondering what the yearly summer embarrassment would be…get laughed out of the room by Chara? Chase Hossa again? Fail to trade for Heatley? The constant dark comedy got so old…

Ethan Moreau was barely functional and only had one decent season left in him.

Fernando had gone down the toilet.

Brodziak emerged – which of course meant they were one step closer to giving him away so that MacTavish could play Liam Reddox to his heart’s content.

Curtis Glencross was a revelation – who they then of course would give away.

And the Dustin Penner disaster had officially begun. I never thought he was as bad as some did – but the waste of resources was the height of insanity.

The kids were on the way – and with decent guidance would have been something. Instead they had a coach with no clue. And of course – they wouldn’t play Schremp despite him ripping along at a PPG in the AHL.

I’m still bitter about that season in some ways. They were damn close and needed just an ounce of competence to convert resources into what they needed. That was what they were lacking and it hurt some very good hockey players in the process.

Elgin R

That is what happens when you hire friends. I have my own business and hired a friend, he had good credentials but not at the level of the open position. I thought he could bring a new perspective and grow and exceed in the role. Right on the first count, wrong on the second. Hire people who have already excelled at the position you are trying to fill. Oilers are finally doing that and it shows.

OriginalPouzar

Holloway expected to be on the top line for Wisconsin tonight with Caufield.

pts2pndr

Thanks! Really appreciate your updates!👌

ArmchairGM

As a center?

OriginalPouzar

I assume but can’t confirm – I can only find so much info.

Spent the last hour trying to figure out how to watch tonight’s game without buying both a US VPN and a NBC Sports subscription.

So far I have failed.

Tomorrow’s game seems to be on the NHL Network which I should have access to with my GameCenter membership – I think.

Dac189

onhockey.tv says it will have a stream for the Wisconsin game. I do recommend turning on an adblocker before going to the site though

Sierra

Edmonton was caught in its own mediocrity, its best veteran (Hemsky) not having enough support and the best young player (Gagner) not representing an upgrade. They were dead in the water. That gives us an idea about the early moments of the rebuild that produced Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

truer words were never spoken.

sad but true.

Ryan

Georgexs

…. from the previous thread.

One thing that I am very curious about especially with respect to Oilers players is the impact of TOI/G on various parameters including GF%.

I would be curious to compare players like 29 and 97 to someone like Brayden Point in terms of the range of their TOI/G.

I believe that it fluctuates quite a bit more on teams with poor forward depth like the Oilers compared to teams like Tampa and even Toronto that have a lot of depth.

Both 29 and 97 often see massive spikes in TOI/G when the Oilers are chasing and the game is still close.

Given that Tippett would dial back Leon’s icetime when the Oilers had a lead or the game was out of reach, I feel that his league leading average 22:36, among forward skaters, doesn’t quite capture the magnitude of the minutes he plays or what effect those have on his stats like GF%.

Ideally, it would be cool to have player stats such as average, median, max, min, and range in TOI/G for players.

Here was my reply to GeorgeXS

You’re just the person for this job.

I was always wondering about the relationship between TOI/g and GF% for Leon and McDavid.

Both players saw massive spikes in TOI during certain games.

I think usually if the Oilers had a significant lead, he would cut their minutes… or a significant deficit… but if the games was within reach, they would see some huge spikes.
Leon played more minutes some games than most number one d.

That has to be a factor in his GF%.

OriginalPouzar

Damn that list from 2007 looks, well, not so good. Interesting that a couple of the most prominant careers came from players in the back half, Petry and Brodziak.

Interesting note on Gagner being a good skater, should be good away from puck (with some work) and not likely to be brought along as fast. Not a great skaters (never improved really), not great away from the puck (better in his veteran years) and the org did bring him along too quickly.

Truhkno being 2nd on the list says alot, doesn’t it.

Of note, Turkhno has played in the AHL, ECHL, Swiss League, Allsvenskan, SHL, Slovakian League, Norwegian League, Asian League and last year he split his time between the Latvian League and the Polish League…..

Over under on him signing with, say, Tel Aviv?

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM

Konovalov will sign for under $900k.

Absolutely, he’ll be subject to the ELC restrictions.

Here is hoping he signs on May 1 when his KHL contract expires – some AHL games at the end of this year could give some information on his potential readiness to be the backup for 2021/22.

OmJo

Pierre LeBrun

@PierreVLeBrun

More talk on Governors call about the potential for a Canadian division and 3 U.S. divisions. Also the idea of teams playing 2-3 games in a row vs same team to limit travel and exposure. Sorta like baseball-style schedule. But again, nothing written in stone. Just ideas right now

4:47 PM · Nov 12, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

I really like this idea, even post-COVID, of teams playing each other multiple times in a row. Would bring some more excitement to rivalries.

leadfarmer

I really like this idea and suprised the league hasnt done it yet. Why travel at 2 am to get to the next city when you can play the same opponent 3 times and then go to next city or go home

jp

My guess is in a regular year it would be tougher to fill arenas with multiple games vs the same opponent.

ArmchairGM

Should help Western teams with their insane travel schedule, too.

pts2pndr

It would definitely build some dislike and intensity!

theDjdj

It seemingly ticks a lot of boxes. Players travel less. Teams have less tired players. League has exciting rivalries and mini series they can advertise to. This seems a good opportunity to seriously consider scheduling.

OriginalPouzar

I agree there are many pluses with that type of scheduling format but i don’t think its 100% equatable to baseball given they play double the amount of games.

It would be tough to make it work with cross-conference games where, I believe, they simply play home and away against each and, with the other intra-conference division, it would basically mean play the series and not see them again that season.

I think these issues could be worked through and, yes, in the short term, given finances, it does make alot of sense.

jojonoshow

Does anyone know if I can stream this game anywhere? Sportsurge doesn’t seem to have anything…

OriginalPouzar

Bouch with a bomb for a PP goal in a 6-2 win:

https://twitter.com/antonj85/status/1327324422643081216

5 shots on goal in just over 20 minutes of ice.

defmn

I don’t know if that shot beats an NHL goalie but the way he was able to get it off even though the pass was not flat is a skill that I think causes rebounds and chaos in the defence – which also tends to lead to goals.

Not sure if you saw McCurdy’s blurb today. Seems to think Bouch still needs a little more awareness in his defensive game but is NHL ready with the puck on his stick.

OriginalPouzar

I saw McCurdy’s piece but haven’t ready it yet – my non-LT blog reading occurs between 7:30-8pm nightly – yes, I am that regimented.

Not a surprising tidbit from Bruce – I believe, at this point, his “away from the puck game” will best develop in the NHL and with Coaches T and P able to coach him and provide the appropriate lessons when mistakes are made.

Solly

Something our D have never been able to do…get shots on net!
I remember seeing Benning having most of the dangerous shots from the point last year. No offense to Benny, but that means we sorely need a guy that can create offense from the back end.
Bouchard may seem “lazy”…but his strengths are exactly what we need. Someone to get the puck on net or continue the play…and from what I’ve heard/seen that is all this kid does. We have McD & Drai to establish the o-zone but no one to help when the play is established. Bouchard can do that very well.
I’d love to see Bouch in the lineup this year but I think he’ll only come to the bigs due to injuries.
Love seeing all these kids playing hockey and scoring some pretty nice goals tho! I miss hockey… 🙁

With our current group of D, I think I would prefer to see Nurse and Bear split up to help maximize our players this year…

Nurse-Barrie/Jones-Larsson/Lagesson-Bear

Barrie beside Nurse works to both guys strengths and starts resembling a good 1st D pairing. Jones moves the biscuit/takes the shots while learning shut down D from Larsson who plays for a new contract and goes back to being mean and nasty. Bear handles the offense/puck all the time while Lagesson clears room for him and handles the shut-down role.
(I hope Lagesson outplays Russell in Training Camp sooooooo bad because we need to see what this kid is…for longer than 3 games.)

Holland might make a move during the season involving a D for a forward (maybe Larsson due to contract expiring) because Bouchard is deemed NHL-ready by then. I personally would like to see him stay in the AHL for another full year to develop a bit more but I’m glad I dont make those decisions. He’s going to be a top-4 Dman..just hope it takes less than 3 years to get there.

Also, seeing the Oilers as a landing spot for players again is just so dang nice! Barrie and Kahun for cheap is proof we are doing things right…go get em Kenny!

OriginalPouzar

Just over an hour until Wisconsin’s first game. I’m all set up to watch and couldn’t be more excited.

jojonoshow

How will you watch OP?

OriginalPouzar

I bit the bullet and paid for access.

Last edited 14 days ago by OriginalPouzar
jojonoshow

I’m trying to find a way, but keep us up to date regardless!

OriginalPouzar

Burnside with an update at The Athletic on the return to play discussions – nothing really that hasn’t been reported by others (Friedman, LeBrun, etc.) but the one thing I noted is that there is a belief that they need apx 60 games in order to fulfil the obligations under the US TV deal.

I’ve been opining for a while that the ensuring that contract vests its last year in order to get the new one signed, sealed and providing an influx of $$$ for 2021/22 is the main reason there is almost no chance of a cancelled season.

With that said, I’ve been wondering why Bettman is so focussed on January 1 and starting early – frankly, I would have thought that less games would be better given the owners are likely operating at a loss without fans – the later the better (less games and a larger chance of more game with fans).

Now I see why that focus is on January 1, to ensure enough games for the US TV deal to complete.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr

This to a extent is my fear with our developing young D. While I fully understand the necessity of veteran presence I am hopeful we won’t move quality young players at bargain prices while keeping veterans with no upside and less talent.

We need to judiciously move veteran players with value remaining and replacing same with young qualified players in our system. Proper player evaluation and an eye to not only the present will be key. Paying for past performance is in my opinion a fools game particularly when dealing with players approaching performance decline.

We’ve been watching these d-man develop over the last number of years, waiting for the day to come when they were developed enough to allow for the useage of the depth at the position to improve at another position.

That day hasn’t quite come yet (Jones isn’t proven enough and Sammy and Broberg still need a bit more time) but its coming and I think it arrives after this season.

To the extent Jones takes the next step as anticipated and all of Puljujarvi, Kahun, etc. don’t bust out, the expansion draft may even force that move as we’ve talked about.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr

Nurse is absolutely the best one to build around given his ability to play big minutes and durability. I think a number starting with a six for a long term deal is what we will be looking at given the current league economics. There will be a number of moving parts but the picture should be clearer after the 21 abbreviated season.

While they have different skill-sets, both are extremely valuable to the team, personally, do think that Klefbom, when healthy, is the “better d-man”. I know the numbers may not bear that out but I think, when he’s not pressing to be “the puck-mover” he is a very good own-zone d-man.

With that said, I do agree that Nurse is likely the more valuable d-man to the organization right now – durability is an asset and minute munching is an asset. He is part of the leadership group identified by management and, to me, that means he will be here.

That contract is likely to be an issue – as far as your thoughts on it – personally, I think something starting with a 6 was reasonable pre-Covid – I’m not so sure any more.

He needs to take one small step in the defensive zone for me to be comfortable with that – he needs to learn to identify the danger area and stay there and not go walk-about and puck chase – if he could cut that down and improve in the area, he’d be a hell of an asset.

pts2pndr

I think he will get there. He has always been able to rely on his high end talent to get the job done. As he gets further experience his thought process will catch up to his athletic prowess. I have seen this before in highly physically talented athletes. It is a matter of time and experience.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM

This has nothing to do with today’s post, but I find it interesting how Tyson Barrie has a reputation as a “PP specialist”. A few of the talking heads have mentioned it, ‘it makes sense for Edmonton to use him as a fill-in while Klefbom is out’ – and it does, clearly. But what always gets lost in the conversation is that Barrie is actually one of the best in the NHL at 5v5 scoring, too. Here are the top-10 point getters over the past 3 years:’

I agree, 100% – I’ve been saying this for a while – in fact, here is a post I made on another platform an hour ago:

Norris seems a bit aggresive but I am excited about what Barrie could bring to the team this year and, frankly, I’m much more excited about his impact at 5 on 5 than on the PP.

To be honest, I’m a bit concerned that he’ll take some time go gel with the PP. Don’t get me wrong, he is a much more dynamic PP player than Klefbom was but what Klefbom learned and excelled at this past year was proper puck distribution. Klef learned and realized that the PP runs through McDavid and Nuge on the half-walls. The PP does not run through the point and the point shot itself is not near a primary option. Klef learned to shoot less on the PP and was a solid distributor to the proper half wall.

I’m sure Barrie will be able to learn to excel at the same and he will open up more options (a) being a right shot opening up different looks and passing lanes , (b) his shot being a weapon that teams will need to respect and (c) his better and quicker puck movement.

The PP is not going to get better, in fact, even with Barrie, its likely to regress given it produced at historic rates. Barrie will likely take some time to realize that his point shot, while high end and a weapon, shouldn’t be the primary or secondary option – its an option that teams will need to defend though.

At 5 on 5 is where I think he will be a massive benefit. Many think he’s terrible defensively but its simply not true. Over his career, he’s played top 4 minutes at 5 on 5 every year essentially – his TOI vs. elites ranged from 28% to apx 33% and, except for the one year the Avs were historically awful and the Babcock months, he’s been a positive goal share guy.

Nope, he’s not a defensive wizard but he’s not a black hole and the think is, once he gets the puck on his stick, he is an elite driver of offence. He has the ability to transition that puck to the forwards with speed, efficiency and accuracy. The boon I see from Barrie is transitioning the puck to McDavid and Drai with speed and quickness. McDavid is a rush producer – he produces off the rush. Drai isn’t quite as reliant on the rush as McDavid but he’s still a high end rush producer – these guys will now be taking transition passes from one of the league’s best – in his prime.

In addition, Barrie joins the rush smartly – he knows how to time his entry as the late man on the rush and make plays if the puck comes back to him.

I don’t know about Norris but I do think he will have a big impact on the team’s offensive production at evens.

OriginalPouzar

slopitch

I see Holloway as a hybrid btw Cogliano and Smyth. Lets see how he writes his own story. Worth noting that Cogliano played his Draft+1 and Draft+2 in the NCAA. Went from 0.74 to 1.31 PPG then straight into the NHL scoring 45 pts as a rookie. Holloway scored 0.49 in his draft year. Good reminder about how important development is but we should be hoping for about 0.8 PPG (anything above is gravy!).

I’m hopeful for a little Blake Wheeler in there as well…..

OriginalPouzar

Speaking of Brodziak, I just realized that the draft pick the Oilers traded to the Wild with him was used on Darcey Kuemper…..

OriginalPouzar

Well, I paid money for services which are working but I still don’t have access to the game – working on it but may be SOL.

Anyways, it seems Holloway is NOT on the top line with Caufield but he is centering the 2nd line.

OriginalPouzar

Check that – I’m in!

OriginalPouzar

Liked that short shift by Holloway – took the breakout pass with speed at the left side defensive circle, transitioned through the neutral zone and with a clean zone entry, a bit of a delay down low below the goal line and a chip to his teammate at the other side of the net – the two battle below the goal line and get the puck chipped out front for a good shot on net.

From the 3 shifts I’ve seen, very aggressive on the forecheck.

OriginalPouzar

Next shift even better – again, the first guy in on the forecheck on the dump.

Some choppy offensive zone time but Holloway finds the soft spot in the slot and gets the pass for a HD shot from the mid slot – didn’t bury but earned the scoring chance.

OriginalPouzar

and his next shift, in the dying seconds of the first, also with a plus play – takes the puck with speed in the defensive zone again, this time on the right side, transitions at top speed, clean zone entry and this time cuts to the middle – shot partially blocked but he’s playing well.

OK, OK, i’ll stop with shift by shift updates.

defmn

Does he drive his line as the centre?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Shift by shift updates are fine by me. I think we are all anxious to learn what the
Oil have with this kid.

Georgexs

Ryan,

– For forwards TOI/GP is strongly (~ .85 past couple of years) correlated to Pts/GP. This could be interpreted as forwards who get more ice time get more points, but I think it’s more likely that forwards who get more points (in the minds of HCs) get more ice time.

– The correlation between 5v5 TOI/GP and 5v5 P60 is weaker, around .59. Smaller sample, lower scoring rates.

– The correlation between 5v5 TOI/GP and 5v5 GF% is weaker still (in the .30 to .45 range over the past 13 years). This is because ice time and defensive play (GA60) aren’t strongly correlated (in the .14 to .26 range over the past 13 years). Forwards are much more variable in the rates they produce goals than the rates they give up goals. This is in keeping with Holland’s quote a few weeks ago, something something any NHL player can play defense but fewer players can produce offense. I’m glad he knows this by the way.

– Drai played way more minutes than Point, so just by his bigger numbers, I’d guess he had more variance in his TOI/GP than Point. He might be giving up more goals late in long shifts. Maybe. A little too far down the rabbit hole for me to go. But if he is getting scored on more in the tail end of long shifts and the Oilers and Tippett don’t know this and continue to play him for long shifts… I’d reconsider my Christmas list.

– For forwards, there’s a reasonable relationship between 5v5 ice time and 5v5 scoring, but the relationship between 5v5 ice time and winning at 5v5 is quite weak. And this is largely because ice time is a poor predictor of GA60.

Last edited 14 days ago by Georgexs
OriginalPouzar

Of note, Holloway not on PK (at least he not on the first PK for the Badgers).

OriginalPouzar

Holloway snipes one home from the slot on the PP!!!!!!

OriginalPouzar

Holloway blocks a shot from the point in the defensive zone – aggressively muscles past the defenders as they race for the puck in the neutral zone and wins the race and creates and offensive zone possession shift.

OriginalPouzar

Holloway with yet another noticeably plus shift – that’s like 6-7 shifts in a row.

Aggressively down the right side and crashes towards the net before dropping in to the trailer just off the slot for a puck on net – they then have 15 second of o-zone time.

Holloway has been one of the Badgers best forward through 2 periods (almost) – if not the best.

Lordy Lordy Lorde

He has been super impressive.

OriginalPouzar

defmn

 Reply to  OriginalPouzar

 November 13, 2020 5:50 pm

Does he drive his line as the centre?

He has been noticeable in a good way 6-7 shifts in a row – through two periods, the answer to that question is yet – he is first in on like every puck and probably has 5 carried in zone entires.

OriginalPouzar
wolf8888

That’s great OP. Thanks a lot for sharing!

OriginalPouzar

His first shift of the 3rd, holloway speeds through the neutral zone and takes a pass at the blue (which he had to battle a defender for), and takes the puck to the net on a mini-break created by his speed – can’t bury but damn – he’s the best player on the ice tonight.

OriginalPouzar

Wheeler seeing Holloway the same as me:

Scott Wheeler

@scottcwheeler
·
6m

If Dylan Holloway looks like this for the rest of the college hockey season, and the college hockey season can survive, watch out. Looks like a force tonight. Was consistently more impressive on wing last season, so it’s nice to see him imposing himself at C. #Oilers

defmn

That’s some pretty encouraging verbal right there.

defmn

Followup in the same twitter thread about Holloway.

Scott Wheeler
@scottcwheeler
·
40m
Too fast, too strong, too physical.

OriginalPouzar

He really was – dominant speed through the neutral zone and in to the offensive zone all night – both with and without the puck. Used his body to win battles, not only on the boards but more impressively in puck-chase battles in mid-ice.

defmn

Nice start to the season. Always better than struggling out of the gate.

OriginalPouzar

Yet another plus shift.

Holloway with the defensive zone start while protecting the lead in the last 10 minutes (of a break in play too so Granato had all options) – although he did lose the draw.

Anyways, the Badgers will a long dump and Holloway comes from WAY back to be the first to the puck and make a solid pass for a Grade C chance.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr

I think he will get there. He has always been able to rely on his high end talent to get the job done. As he gets further experience his thought process will catch up to his athletic prowess. I have seen this before in highly physically talented athletes. It is a matter of time and experience.

Can’t disagree on your point re: relying on physical attributes and needing to learn the nuances of the game when playing among the world’s elite.

At the same time, I’m no longer 100% convinced that Nurse will take that defensive step I’m talking about. I mean, he’s going to be 26 at the very beginning of the season and has played 350 games – if anything, he seemed to regress in this area over the course of last year – I’m just going by memory, and maybe I’ve got recency bias from the play-in, but walkabout and poor defensive decisions/reads seemed to be common place.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Nurse hater, I’m just not sure this particular area will get where it needs to be for him to take his game to a legit 1st pairing level.

Harpers Hair
Last edited 13 days ago by Harpers Hair
godot10

Average NHL salary is $3.5 million or so. 20% escrow and 10% deferral is 28% or about $1 million. So the salary goes to $2.5 million with a few hundred thousand coming sometime in the future. I think Bettman can probably get them to defer another $500K-$1million, so salaries match actual cash flow this year. $1.5-$2 million in salary with $$800K-$1.3 million deferred is still a pretty good deal. i.e. Cut cash salary received this year in half.with 30% deferral being paid sometime in the future.
i.e. $1,75 million now, and $1 million coming in a few years for the average player.

OriginalPouzar

The Star is late:

OriginalPouzar

 November 12, 2020 4:22 pm

Seravelli pointing out one interesting potential that came out of the NHLPA Executive call today – as oppossed to a pro-rating of salaries down for this season, the players are expecting the ask to be for an additional deferral to aid with owner cash flow for this season.

We know the players are already deferring 10% of this year’s comp (which is mandated to paid in 2-3 years) – this would be an additional deferral. A better result for the players (as they do eventually get their “full comp” for this season) and the owners are, essentially, paying the players in full for this year (minus the 18% escrow which they are already owned) but delaying out certain of the payments.

If this goes through, its another big give by the owners – paying the player in full even though they are “working less”.

Last edited 13 days ago by OriginalPouzar
godot10

In asking for a deferral instead of a prorata deduction, the players are not taking money from the owners, but from future players. It is a 50-50 split regardless between players and owners. The more current players take now, the less future players get until the pandemic hole in revenue is filled and the owners get back to an even 50% of revenues.

Bettman doesn’t care whether current players sacrifice (a pro rata deduction) or future players pay (a larger deferral of current salary).

Bettman just want to get current salary expenses to match current revenue more closely.

Harpers Hair

Quoting yourself is very sad.
Didn’t your mother love you?

€√¥£€^$

Awesome summary on Holloway OP!

The Oil Knight is good follow, he has a summary with video of every shift here:

https://theoilknight.ca/2020/11/13/dylan-holloway-game-1-report/

defmn

“Evander Kane vibe” sounds good to me.

Thanks for the link.

OriginalPouzar

Lundestrom and Boquist recalled from Timra (Alsvenskan) by the Devils and Ducks – two of the seven teams that didn’t return this summer and have requested extended camps.

I anticipate this is those teams thinking about players reporting to camps 2nd week of December…… just speculating.