Updated NHLE shows some impressive progress

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

When last we checked on Edmonton’s prospects, several were posting strong starts to their seasons but only one forward (Jesse Puljujarvi) was rolling along at a 25+ NHLE and no defensemen were near 25 NHLE. That was three weeks ago. Where are we now?


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.



A few weeks ago, Puljujarvi was scoring at an impressive rate (8 games, 5-2-7) with a strong 32.4 NHLE. Since then, he has scored 1-2-3 in five games and his season totals (13 games, 6-4-10) give him an NHLE of 28.5. He is still enjoying a fine season but is a little shy of 30 points NHLE. That’s my unofficial line in the sand for a skill line and confirms the uncertainty of where JP will play. I’m excited about his return and will be interested to see where he lands. Projection for 2020-21: No. 3 right winger in Edmonton.


Last time we looked at the NHLE for 2020-21, Holloway’s season was still a week away. Since then, he played in two games, scoring in both and giving fans an impressive view of what kind of speed and skill he brings to every shift. The sample is minute, but he clearly has a story to tell offensively.


Bouchard is coming on now, I expect we’ll see a strong finish for the puck mover as we get closer to NHL camps opening. When we last visited he was 3-3-6 in 13 games (13.6). Since then he has hammered the Allsvenskan, scoring 3 times and adding 7 assists in six games. His season totals (19 games, 6-10-16) are outstanding.


Lagesson got off to a great start in the Allsvenskan (10 games, 3-5-8 NHLE 23.6), he played just one game after that point in the month (picking up an assist). Lagesson signed his NHL deal and hasn’t played since. His current numbers are 11 games, 3-6-9, 24.2 NHLE.


Last time we checked McLeod was scoring rapidly in Switzerland (7 games, 2-3-5, NHLE of 27.6). Since then he has a goal in three games and is at 10 games, 3-3-6. That’s an NHLE of 23.2, down slightly from last time but still trending well.


I’m loving his season, just a wonderful step forward for a player who has some unique qualities. When last we chatted about his NHLE is was 22.0 (21, 2-5-7). Since then he has played four games with one assist and remains on track for an impressive season.


Raphael Lavoie is having success in the Allsvenskan. He began well (10, 6-3-9 NHL: 26.6) but has slowed down recently (six games, one goal). He sits 16 games, 7-3-10 at this time. NHLE: 18.5


This is a potentially exciting development as Blumel has matched last year’s point total with 21 Czech league games to play. After starting 0-2-2 in four games, he continues running hot with 1-2-3 in six games. His current totals are 10 games, 1-4-5, 17.8 NHLE. Potentially a massive year over year upswing.


Broberg got off to a fast start (13 games, 1-4-5) but hasn’t added many points in the most recent five games (one assist). He is currently 1-5-6 after 18 games, that’s a 16.3 NHLE. Broberg is not an offensive defenseman, Of more concern is his even strength on ice goal differential, now 9-14 (-5). He began the year strong but recent weeks have seen some faltering. That’s to be expected, especially when taking on more of the defensive load.


Veteran (he is 26) is likely to get a chance in training camp, possibly at No. 7D or maybe more if there are injuries. He began the season 1-1-2 in nine games and is 1-1-2 in the most recent four games (13, 2-2-4). He could be Anton Belov or he could be Jan Hejda, impossible to know until he runs some sorties against NHL players. What we do know for sure is that his time is now: If Lennstrom is going to have an NHL career, the season to come will be vital.


Berezkin played 14 games through early November with a pair of assists. At that time, his NHLE was 9.4 and Berezkin played two more games to place his KHL totals at 16, 0-2-2. He also scored 1-3-4 in four MHL games, and his NHLE is reflected based on those games.


So many interesting story lines among Edmonton’s prospects this year. When we checked in November early, he was in the VHL (12, 2-3-5) and scoring reasonably well. Since then, he has played in five games, going 1-2-3. That makes 17 games, 3-5-8 for the season and a small NHLE bump. These Russian cats are worth following, gents.


We have a pulse! Last time we visited he was six games into his KHL season with zero points. In the last three games, he is 1-1-2. If this guy can post a strong KHL season, music! He has scoring talent.


Berglund has had some injury issues, he has played just three games with no points since our last look. His season (11 games, 1-2-3) so far isn’t far away from previous campaigns. I’ve always liked Berglund and he is playing a more prominent role (four additional minutes per game). There might be an NHL player here.


He is having a better year and that’s encouraging. When we last left him, Niemelainen (11 games, 0-3-3) and he hasn’t played since. Injury likely, his boxcars are less than half of Niemelainen’s story.


Big forward playing in the Allsvenskan, he scored a goal in early November and nothing since (10 games, 1-0-1). A long way to go, he’s just getting started.


Tyler Benson is playing in the Swiss second league, has played seven games and scored 1-4-5. Patrik Siikanen has played five Liiga games with no crooked boxcars. Tomas Mazura is playing in Sarja U 20 (Finland) and is 3, 1-2-3 with nothing shaking since early November.

Ilya Konovalov isn’t playing much but when he does good things happen. In 9 KHL games this season, his save percentage is .927. Olivier Rodrigue is in the Austrian league and has played six games with a .912 save percentage. Both goalies are matriculating well.


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Harpers Hair

Quinton Byfield was already a big man, listed at 6-feet-4 and 215 pounds in his draft-eligible year with Sudbury in the OHL. 
Since then, the Kings prospect has put on an additional 10 pounds while training during hockey’s pause  https://abs-0.twimg.com/emoji/v2/svg/2935.svg


So…I put on 10+ pounds & got a tan from the fridge light back in April. I don’t even need a pause…🤣

Harpers Hair

Byfield is putting on muscle and will soon be two Nuges

Last edited 2 months ago by Harpers Hair

I’d be more concerned about him being two Hughes’ myself.


He will skate over Quinn Hughes like he isn’t even there!😂



The good thing about Holloway is he’s got positive arrows despite another year of big changes. Getting moved to center and taking top duties is a pretty big change.

Being the best player on the ice through the two games is a damn good arrow – now, if only he could move up to 1C – he played 2C through those two games and I believe there is a big skill difference on Wisconsin between the two lines on the wing.


Speaking of the World Juniors, I’m expecting Alberta to put in additional restrictive measures early next week and its reasonably likely to be somewhat of a lock-down. I wonder what type of impact that might have on the current camp but moreso on the tournament as whole. I mean, I anticipate that the Europeans aren’t far from making their way in to Canada with the need to quarantine, etc. prior to exhibition games prior to the Dec 25 scheduled start.


Not just the province. I posted a couple of days ago that Operation Alert had been re-implemented by the feds. The post got caught in the moderation file and I just checked and see it is still there.

For those who don’t remember that was the activation of the military by Ottawa when things were really bad in early April. Nothing much happened as numbers started to go down and the operation was cancelled but on Thursday it was re-activated. All Canadian military are now on alert and organizing for deployment.

Whether or not that happens has not yet been determined but the order to prepare has been sent.


Just tried again to post about this as I did two days ago and got the same message that it could not be approved. I have no idea why but something keeps getting stuck in moderation.

It’s not the province I am worried about. The feds are getting restless.


Do you use the T word in the post?


Nope. It is very peculiar since the only thing I can think of was that I used the name for the federal operation they re-activated on Thursday. It is the same military response they implemented in April that never really got underway when numbers started dropping. Every time I use it I get a message that is unlike anything I have seen before on this board claiming it cannot be posted.

Good thing I am not the paranoid type. 😉


Nope. Just tried to answer you and got blocked again. I now have four messages that can’t be posted.

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn

Thanks. I was unaware that the ‘m’ word was in the filter.


No four letter words. I like it

Harpers Hair

Did you mention the capital city of Canada?

I did a couple of days ago and post was blocked.


I guess it was the ‘m’ word all this time. My original response was to you when you brought up Horgan thinking about closing the province. I heard something from somebody that seemed germane regarding news from our overlords in Ottawa. I thought maybe it was Operation Alert which was the code name for the action but apparently it was just the ‘m’ word.

Harpers Hair

The University of Michigan juggernaught rolls on.

They swept Wisconsin this weekend and are now 4-0 this season, outscoring the opposition 18-4.

Good chance we will be calling the 2021 draft the Michigan draft.

Harpers Hair

Keeping an eye on Kent Johnson from Port Moody who scored 41 goals and 101 points last season for the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Just turned 18 and has 7 points in 4 games with Michigan.

Wouldnt at all be surprised if Michigan ends up with 4 players in the top 10 of the draft.


I am as well. Watched a bunch of his games live, the last couple years. Very talented and very good hockey IQ.

Harpers Hair

Of note.

Michigan defenseman Owen Power who is still just 17 and is projected #1 overall in the draft has 4 points in 4 games.

One wonders what kind of player the 6’5” 210 defenseman will be once he finishes growing.

I would imagine Steve Yzerman is licking his chops.


I think caution needs to be employed when discussing NHLe from the KHL (and maybe other European Leagues as well) this season due to the impact of COVID.  Roughly 28 games into the season, most teams have had 30-35 or more players suit up for multiple games.  Maybe in a typical season, the idea that the KHL is X % of the NHL and the world’s second best league is reasonable, but with the number of players in and out of each team’s line up watering things down considerably, its pretty hard to gauge the full impact.

If you need any further proof of the average quality of this season in the KHL, see Markus Granlund sitting 7th in league scoring with 10-14-24 in 20 games after getting 15 points in 20 games with the Condors last year when he couldn’t stay with the Oilers.  Most of the guys in the top 10 are having career seasons by a considerable margin, like Hartikainen, Danforth, O’Neil, Da Costa who tried and failed to hold NHL jobs. Heck, Ryan Spooner has 21 points in 18 games and Klinkhammer has 15 points in 16 games.  Even Pavel Datsyuk at the age of 42 has bounced back considerably scoring at a rate above his best year in the KHL from 2 seasons ago.  It is great that they have the opportunity to play and for young guys like Samorukov and Maksimov getting more opportunity to develop, but I wouldn’t waste time with the NHLe this season. Reading Staples games reports gives much better insight as to how their game is improving.


Damn, was looking forward to getting a look at Engeras tonight but the BC/New Hampshire game has been postponed due to a Covid positive.

Speaking of Oilers prospects and watching them play, NorthEastern and Michael Kesserling starts up next Friday (Nov 27) and Denver and Carter Savoie on December 2.

Yes, I will be focussing on Kesserling and not caring about Aidan McDonough unless his play demands it.

I anticipate that Savoie will probably take some time to acclimate to college hockey and see significant ice.


For anyone interested, the intra-squad games this weekend will be streamed. Of course, Holloway isn’t available until NEXT Sunday:


This is a solid indication that perhaps the games against the U-Sport teams may be streamed as well – that will be fun!


2021/22 Opening Night Condors:


Sammy may be in the NHL.

Jaks, Stanton, Lennstrom, Kaldis potentially in the picture.

Harpers Hair

If I could suggest a way for individuals to block certain posters on their feed.
I think 90% of us would happily skip the daily OP and HH circlejerk


You just have to look for the damp spots on the rug, and skirt around the outside.


Without question.

Self awareness…it amazes me how professional adults can be so lacking.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I theorize that they are the same person.


Curious, Is the NHL Owners using the framework of any of the other professional sports players contract as a starting point or is it going to be that different?


Samorukov’s NHLe is certainly nice but I’m more enthused with the fact that he’s not only solidly in the top 4 of a good team but often playing top pairing (often on the right side as well) and is among the league leaders in goal differential (if not leading, I haven’t checked this week).


I don’t understand, the NHLe write up on Bouchard didn’t mention that of Valimaki, Hughes, Makar, Rafferty, Hedman, Harvey or Orr – i mean how are we supposed to evaluate the player while he meanders his way…….?

Harpers Hair

Quinn Hughes NHLe is 63.9

Valimaki’s is 39.

There ya go.

Last edited 2 months ago by Harpers Hair



Now that we have perspective, our tits can be suitably calmed.

Last edited 2 months ago by Yeti
Harpers Hair

Someone should grab their shine box 🙂




Nice to see Holloway with an NHLe that more closely resembles his skill-set and potential but, to me, it still undervalues just how good how was last weekend – the best player on the ice over the course of two games and his two goals were a small piece of his value. What a great start to the season.


Beauty snipe by Broberg – shelf (and seemed like a pretty quick release to me):


Broberg ended up playing 20:30, tops among Skelefteea defenders – he had a couple shots on goal and was even in a 4-3 loss.

Elgin R

Good arrows for many of the prospects. Is Benson the new Ty Rattie? Tear it up in midget and never be an established NHL player? He had one good year in the AHL but needs to get going in the Swiss League.


Has the hands, not the boots. I think Benson will have a pro career but I’d be shocked if he had 3 full NHL seasons in the next 5 years.


Lets not discount the acclimation time for guys like Benson – new ice size, new style of game, new continent, new language, new culture, covid, everything….

Europeans generally require time to settle in once the come west, I would imagine similar for the North Americans going east.


Benson doesn’t seem to be in the lineup for the GCK Lions today – not sure if he’s banged up or getting ready to head back to Canada or what.


Beauty snipe by Broberg – shelf (and seemed like a pretty quick release to me):


Elgin R

Handled the bouncing puck well. Did not wait and dust it off – just put it in the top corner. That type of shot will work in the NHL.


Broberg with an even strength goal as Skelefteea is tied at 3 in the third.

Puljujarvi with the OT winner today – his only point in a 5-4 win. Was plus 1 in over 20 minutes of ice.

Niemelainen misses his, I believe, 5th straight game.

Samurokov continues to dominate goal share among the league leaders – plus 1 in a 5-1 win in 17 plus minutes of ice – couple shots, couple blocks.

Pasquale stops 18 of 19 in a 3-1 win – not great for Konovalov getting a start….

Berezkin over 60 S/60 as he played 57 second with a shot on net….

Rasanen didn’t post any box cars but played almost 19 minutes and was 50% on the draw in a 2-1 win.

Nygard with a PP goal late in the 2nd to put Farjestad up 2-1. Of note, the Cult profiled a few of his recent games – he’s apparently all over the ice and getting PK reps.


Who has 2 Maxims on their roster anyway? No wonder I was confused. Kids still playing is good strategy for the oilers. I hope they all make it to the show


You’re not saying that we’ve maxed out on Russian prospects, are you?

Harpers Hair

Scouts assess the progress of 10 top prospects playing in Europe.



Wheeler’s article about the Oilers guys playing overseas was interesting. Seems like Europe had been pretty hands off with pandemic restrictions but now they’re bringing more in. Combine that with maybe some homesickness after they settle into their new locations, uncertainty about the NHL season, not shocked there’s a dip in scoring right now.

Beyond just the regular Ebs and flow of scoring.


The good thing about Holloway is he’s got positive arrows despite another year of big changes. Getting moved to center and taking top duties is a pretty big change.


Our old friend Joel Persson is the second highest scoring defenseman in the SHL.

Silver Streak

Broberg is not an offensive defenseman. ???

Well he`s not Matt Greene either……

Silver Streak

Wasnt Scotty Bowman quoted as saying the best defence is when we have the puck and they dont…Thats what this kid does…At his peak, I see him as a mixture between Scott Neidermeyer and Jay Boumeister…if he develops a cannon point shot he could be more.


LT: “Still a teenager, still finding out about him.”

It will be so interesting to see what Broberg becomes. He appears likely in the Nurse mold (IMO) where he’ll contribute offense while not really looking the part.

At the same time I think there are also examples of Broberg being a dominant, game-controlling blueliner (Hlinka’s for instance). I don’t recall that ever being reported about Nurse, though that’s tougher to do playing for Team Canada..

Broberg will show show us what he is, in time.

Last edited 2 months ago by jp
Silver Streak

The Nurse comparison is valid only in the skating….both have wheels and know how to break out with the puck…Nurse brings physicality to the game….but has problems making a clean flat pass …..that is a Broberg strength. I don’t foresee him being a Matt Greene ever.


I think its important to allow the player the time to develop and I anticipate that Ken Holland will do just that. Its heartening to see that the organization has existing depth on the blueline along with “real propsects” developing and at various stages of “readiness” to allow the organization to the time to develop their high end prospects.

When drafted, I think the general consensus was years from the AHL – maybe 2 more in Sweden and then a full AHL season as a reasonable projection.

All of a sudden a plus performance at a summer camp and a hot start to the SHL season and the 2020/21 roster is being talked about as an option and, if not to start the year, when he comes over in April.

I am very hopeful that he comes over in April when Skelefteea is done as I think some AHL games would be perfect for him – some time on the North American ice and playing the North American game will help him going in to the summer.

I fully expect him to be a Condor, not an Oilers, in the fall of 2021.


Well I don’t foresee him being Matt Greene either. No one made that comparison but you though.

Is clean passing one of Broberg’s strengths? I’ve barely watched him play at all so I really don’t know.

What I have seen is decision making (offensive and defensive) as well as puck distribution mentioned as question marks for Broberg. Right or wrong, Broberg’s weaknesses strike me as similar to the issues that are still there with Nurse. With of course the skating and size also being obvious similarities.

Anyway, Broberg is young, he’ll write his own story.

Also, Nurse is not at all Matt Greene either, right?


I think many are seeing offensive instincts and puck movement for Broberg take steps forwards this season as compared to last.

Also, lets not forget, he is going this in one of the league’s best professional leagues, Darnell was still in major junior at this age and stage of development.

I’m not saying that Broberg is or is going to be better or even that he is better as a 19 year old than Darnell was, Nurse has certain skills that Broberg simply never will, however, he is showing progress in certain of the Darnell-like deficiencies and improving in these areas in a man’s league playing against top comp.

Last edited 2 months ago by OriginalPouzar

It’s super weird that I’m seeming to argue against Broberg in this series of posts. It definitely wasn’t my intention.

My initial comment on this was intending to say that he may be a similar player to Nurse in that he puts up points based on his physical tools while never ‘looking’ like an offensive D. Recall that I seem to value Nurse a fair bit more than most here.

If I’d taken Nurse out of the comparison and projected Broberg as “a guy who’ll play 23 or 24 minutes a night on the first pair, while breaking even and scoring 30-40 points”… I guess there would have been no complaints?

Broberg and Nurse both have very impressive physical tools which give them a pretty damn high floor IMO. The Nurse comparison wasn’t intended to be an insult.

I then tried to say (in my first post above) that Broberg has also shown flashes of being a more dynamic player than Nurse. And has been a dominant all around D in some small sample size tournaments (such as the Hlinka and the U18, the latter of which he earned a Gold Medal, was the #2 scoring D, an all star and named best defenseman).

I’ve argued numerous times in the past that nothing in his scoring numbers indicates he’s shy offensively, even though some evaluators have questioned his creativeness and decision making.

I think Broberg is a superb prospect. He’s tracking great. And I agree with everything you said in your last post.

I also still think the comparison to Nurse is valid, based on noted weaknesses in Broberg’s scouting reports.