October 9, 2015

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

It’s my belief that draft picks and players procured via non-NHL free agency will form the backbone of Oilers future. Ken Holland doesn’t make many player for player trades, and in Detroit he was very patient with prospects. It’s likely Edmonton’s AHL team will bear more fruit than in the past, and that prospects spend longer in the minors.

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.

October 9, 2015

On this date, the Bakersfield Condors played its first AHL game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins were Detroit’s farm club, so it gives us a good starting point to see how much progress prospects made. I’m looking for number of graduates, length of stay in the AHL before making the NHL, NHL games and picks outside the first round who landed prominent NHL jobs (top two lines and pairings, No. 1 goalie and No. 3 center).

DETROIT

The Red Wings roster delivered 10 names to the NHL, some productive players here. Important to remember the AHL produces support players but the Red Wings were able to use four men in important roles (top two lines and pairings, starting goalie and No. 3 center) and would have had inexpensive solutions to real problems in those years. A player like Bertuzzi is a real find, Jensen too for some of these years. Mantha was a first-round pick, so the AHL was helpful but he was probably ready before recall. He might be a comparable to Evan Bouchard in this way.

EDMONTON

These are the top 10 Oilers from that opening night game in 2015, two men emerged in a vital NHL role (Draiasitl, Nurse). Four of the 10 spent less than a full season in the AHL. No player on that team was chosen outside the first round while also finding a way to play a feature role in the NHL. What’s more, Brossoit, Pitlick, Oesterle and Hunt were plucked for little by other organizations and used productively. Edmonton is an easy team to raid, partly because of the ‘under new management’ sign that is often in place.

THE RESULTS

The Oilers have used their AHL team differently and have been easy prey when it comes to lifting useful pieces for little return. The successes are Draisaitl and Nurse, and they barely played in the AHL. The 50 percent of career elsewhere piece is especially galling.

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Rondo

Pretty funny your not letting my posts to be posted. Lockdown kills more than Covid, so LT your letting people say things about that is dangerous. Either you allow free speech or you don’t. Obviously you don’t

€√¥£€^$

1. This is LT’s site and I have the utmost respect him for maintaining it for as long as he has, it is his right to dictate what he wants discussed here.

2. This is above all else a hockey blog, there are better forums that cater to what you wish to discuss.

3. LT could make this a paid site, but he chooses not to. You can spend as much time here as you like, it is like you are visiting his home. So if you are discussing a subject he doesn’t think appropriate you should be respectful of that. Would you like disrespectful guests in your home?

4. This isn’t about freedom of speech, this isn’t about politics, this isn’t about anything but following the rules as laid out by our generous host.

5. Times are tough for everyone. I sincerely hope you are okay, but this isn’t about you. I would ask that you really try to understand why LT wants to keep this blog on track about Oilers hockey discussion. For me this is an escape from the issues that have dominated our lives for so much of the past 10-11 months.

Please show him some respect, he doesn’t have to maintain this blog, but he chooses to do so. It is not much for him to ask everyone to follow his rules. He is owed at least that.

Thank you.

defmn

I think we all have enough trouble here agreeing on who should play RW on the 4th line without taking on difficult questions concerning religion, politics & public health. 😉

Rondo

defmn I agree

OriginalPouzar

Lavoie with a goal and an assist in the first period this morning as Vasby is up 3-1.

Lagesson playing his old team – scoreless after 1.

Pasquale with the start for Yaroslav.

Maskimov seemed to be gaining ice time in the KHL for CSKA but he’s back in the VHL today playing for Zvezda Moscow.

Further updates will follow after games are over likely as this fan needs to go do his self care for 3 hours at the gym.

Enjoy your Sunday morning all!

godot10

The good news: Konovalev has not signed an extension, and will be walking the streets of Bakersfield next fall.
The bad news: Konovalev has not signed an extension and as a result is getting no playing time.

OriginalPouzar

Anyone else excited for Carter Savoie to start his NCAA career on Dec 2?

I’ll be watching for sure.

I don’t expect him to play any sort of prominent role early but here is hoping he can gain ice time and develop as the season goes on.

Here is hoping Coach Carle and his staff can teach Savoie about dedication, fitness and consistency of effort and results. Carle mentored under Jim Montgomery for four years.

Harpers Hair

No.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers fans on this Oilers-centered blog may feel differently.

Harpers Hair

Some might…others will see a young prospect doing what tens of thousands have done before and hoping he turns into something before they get “excited”.

€√¥£€^$

HH you are truly a wet blanket on a cold cloudy night.

I am quite excited to watch the player and see how his game translates to the next level. As well, I am excited for him, his family, his coaches, his friends and everyone else who supported him along the way.

It’s been an awful year, it’s nice to look forward to something new.

On this blog you remind me of the Grinch or Scrooge or even Oscar from Sesame Street, lol.

But °Wet Blanket° also fits, that would be a great new handle for you. It would be an absolutely perfect name for you if you were haunting a Flames blog.

maudite

Next time you change your username can you please consider “the edmonton eeyore”

Last edited 4 months ago by maudite
OriginalPouzar

Its approaching December and there is extremely limited North American hockey – no NHL, No AHL, no ECHL, no WHL, no OHL, stop and start QMJHL. USHL and college hockey have started but Ivy League cancelled, Hockey East postponed, etc.

Yup, I think some Oiler fans might be excited that a new and talented prospect is starting his college career in a few days.

If nothing else, they should be permitted to post about it on an Oilers blog without derision.

wolf8888

Thanks for this OP and of course you are correct. We have virtually no other hockey, he is purported to be a very high skill player and I also am interested to see him play and to follow him. I am very interested to see if his coaches can get him focussed on fitness how that will effect his level of effectiveness. HH will be watching it rain instead…..exciting!

OriginalPouzar

I would also accept the trade to acquire Patrick Maroon, though we didn’t get much on the way out after resurrecting his career. That’s how low the bar has been set with this team.

The acquisition of Maroon can only be described as a great trade – not only was the acquisition cost low (3rd round pick) but ANA retained 25% of his yearly cap his and salary.

I don’t have any issues with the trade out either. The Oilers had a poor season and were sellers at the deadline. Maroon himself had a “meh” season and was dealing with back injuries at the time of the trade – he wasn’t going to re-sign with the Oilers for a discount and was a regressing and injured pending UFA – Chiarelli got a 3rd round pick and was clear he was going to flip the pick for a warm body which he did – Cooper Marody.

Now, Kale Kesey likely ruined a potential NHL player but Chiarelli did well on the sale, in my opinion.

maudite

I really think the process involved in Mantha’s development is worthy of an Asterix for credit to Holland. I found the player intriguing in his draft year and honestly his path is near perfect looking in hindsight.

Like textbook support, reward and refine without rushing any point for short term goals.

It was one of the things in my head that stood out as encouraging regarding the hiring of Holland post dynasty red wing heading into lean years.

Last edited 4 months ago by maudite
BornInAGretzkyJersey

That development path also included Mantha being publicly called out by Jim Devellano for being “very disappointing” after his first pro season. The Red Wings expected a lot more from Mantha, much sooner than he produced.

Credit to Holland and to Mantha for keeping a level head and driving toward a shared goal. It would be nice to see that kind of production from JP.

maudite

Yup. I like it because of that fact included. Its dynamically different than here has been. Any ego clash or negative followed by firing assets to sun over some adult calming things down and making parts do their job for mutual gain.

Jp returning isn’t oiler like lol.

Last edited 4 months ago by maudite
maudite

One further even his handling of European assets last year was class act and brilliant for recruiting brochure. In case like joel persson.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Agreed on both accounts.

It’s an odd feeling to know there’s an adult at the helm again.

OriginalPouzar

That’s part of Holland being as respected as he is.

When he signs someone and indicates they will be given the opportunity to compete, they are given the opportunity. Each of Nygard, Haas, Granlund, Jurco, Persson, etc. – they all got their NHL chances. When Persson didn’t work out, Holland “let him lose” to try another org for, essentially, no return.

That is the type of manager other GMs want to deal with and the type of GM players want to play for.

OriginalPouzar

Shane

And Kassian should(should!?) be a plus player in the bottom six….right?!!

*nervously blinks 3.2 million times*

When this team has the winger skill in the top 6 and Kassian is not in the conversation as a primary option and can add value to the bottom 6 (which he can if he can commit to battle on the boards in the defensive zone), this team will be contending.

Lavoie, Holloway, Benson, Puljujarvi – hopefully one of them can become a legit top 6 winger over the next 1-3 years – cheap value contracts in the top 6, hopefully.

Bruce McCurdy

LT: What a great concept for a post! And what a great find, Bakersfield vs. Grand Rapids, Game #1.

10 NHLers each, but Edmonton’s results inflated by Draisaitl & Nurse being stashed in the AHL for a fortnight because they didn’t need waivers while the Oilers figured out the rest of their roster. Those two aside, the results are damning, as your method shows.

PS: Apologies for the quietude on my part of late, I read the blog on my ancient iPad, but it doesn’t allow me to comment.

Bruce McCurdy

Hear, hear. This last fortnight a former co-worker of my son **died** of COVID, while one of my wife’s best friends + her husband both tested positive. She’s been sick for 11 days now, while he’s been in the hospital at least twice. Both high-risk, and we are very concerned for their welfare.

I get there are lots of conspiracy theories out there on all sorts of subjects, but to put it politely they are poorly-informed and they have ZERO place on this hockey blog.

OriginalPouzar

I must have missed some deleted posts – generally skip through that type of stuff anyways.

Sorry to hear about your family friends Bruce. Well wishes and recovery for all.

A good friend of my parents (and my brother’s best friend’s dad) died of Covid last week (yes, he was 80 with Parkinsons but still) and the wife is hanging on in ICU on a respirator…..

jp

Bruce and OP, very sorry to hear. Condolences.

OriginalPouzar

hags9k

What if James Neal comes to camp on a mission and plays some of his best hockey?

What a great problem that would create.

I have been posting about this a bit lately as well and its given his plus play down the stretch and, mainly, in the play-in. Of course, we know not to put too much stock in to a 4-game sample size but it did show us that Neal does have an ability to be a material player at evens when healthy and fresh.

I do see a chance for him up the lineup if he is skating well early and there are struggles in the top 6 (either Kassian or Kahun). I wouldn’t think it would be a season long type of move but, if Neal is fresh, I think he could spend some games and short stints up there if required.

Load management will be a thing – if the roster is healthy, with the depth, there is the ability to give the likes of Neal and Chiasson nights off (to keep them fresh) and to give guys like Haas and Nygard (who i think will continue to have issues with the physical rigours of the North American game) night’s off to keep them healthy.

leadfarmer

I’m absolutely shocked and appalled that LT allows this kind of nonsense on his website.

leadfarmer

Your nonsense is old
youve been spewing this drivel for 9 months
Some of us deal with Covid patients every day and not stupid YouTube crap

leadfarmer

Seriously take your garbage elsewhere.
all your BS has been disproven time and time again
even Sweden couldn’t handle being Sweden anymore

Reja

While your in your basement have a snickers bar.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

If the one result of Holland’s tenure is that we cease to be a feeder organization for the league then his impact will have been a success.

How difficult is it to explain what it’s like to constantly bleed talent with little in the way of return.

Think about it: some of the last trades we “won” were those that saw David Perron join and leave the team. That was basically a competent set of trades. I would also accept the trade to acquire Patrick Maroon, though we didn’t get much on the way out after resurrecting his career. That’s how low the bar has been set with this team.

If we don’t lose players of the likes of: Hedja, Satan, Arnott, Dubnyk, Cogliano, Brodziak, Gagner, Hall, Souray, Petry, Jultz, et al, due to inability to pay for contract extensions or provide a stable work environment it’ll be too soon.

pts2pndr

Zack Kassian was also a win. Human nature is such that we remember the losses longer and stronger than the wins. Our UFA signings have also not been stellar.

godot10

Kassian was NOT a win.

pts2pndr

How do you figure. A goal tender that couldn’t play in the NHL for a serviceable winger and former first round pick. I understand that you have a great deal of dislike for the man but you are way over board. The man has done a marvellous job of turning his life around. You may not like his last contract but that is on the person that signed him NOT on the player. I will take my last statement back if you can name one player that turned down a contract because it was too much money or gave money back.

Crazy Pedestrian

The trade for Scrivens definitely was.

however, the recent signing is very likely not…

pts2pndr

I don’t disagree with the fact it may not be a value deal. Much like the Larsson deal, management felt that what they offered was market value for what he would produce. In addition the team was struggling to find wingers for the top two lines. The COVID reset also puts the contract in a poorer light. No manager has Nostradamus foresight.

Reja

Arnott needed to get out of town fast.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

A sobering reminder of the cost of a weak organization.

OriginalPouzar

I’m starting to really get on board with using the NCAA as a major development league.

While there is much less NHL team control over the player it can provide a longer runway for development in a player’s early 20s without his ELC being grinded. It also gives the NHL team a longer runway to decide if they want to sign the player (as compared to a CHL drafted player).

Kemp was given a full 3 years post draft – improved his game and earned an ELC.

The have 3 years of runway with Kesserling and, what, 4 for Savoie.

Holloway is different, the high end NCAA players will leave college early and turn pro – Holloway probably plays this season of college and one more and then signs – he could sign after this year, we’ll see.

Harpers Hair

It’s even more than than that.

With the limited number of games (normally two a week), the players have much more time to practise and, of course, their travel schedule is much less onerous since they tend to play in a very confined geographical area.

The USHL/BCJHL to NCAA pipeline is getting stronger every year.

Harpers Hair

Worth noting that 7 of the top 15 in the 2021 draft as listed in that Sportsnet article posted earlier are either currently in the NCAA or are committed to NCAA teams for the following season including Corson Ceulemans who is from the AJHL Okotoks team.

OriginalPouzar

For sure, I was going to mention that practice time and, in particular, the coaching.

Not to say its any better than the Woody, Manson and the rest of the staff in Bakersfield but I think the coaching in the NCAA has improved over the years and, for example, I’m fully confident in Granato’s ability to get Holloway NHL ready.

Not to mention facilities, I’m just speculating here but I’m guessing NorthEastern (Kesserling), Wisconsin (Holloway) and Denver (Savoie) have top end training facilities.

Harpers Hair

It’s also an alternative to the CHL where players, particularly the WHL spend massive amounts of time traveling.

The bus ride from Victoria to Brandon is quite a hike, even with stops along the way.

pts2pndr

The development angle is excellent. The downside is having a drafted player sign with another team. There should be some legal means available wether a letter of intent or some such that protects the teams rights without violating the players amateur status while in college.

OriginalPouzar

I believe this “loophole” is over-stated.

Players drafted out of the CHL can also refuse to sign and, in fact, the NHL organizations only have 2 years to get them under contract.

Of course, aside from an over-age season in junior, they don’t have a place to play and continue to develop like the college players do but CHL players can take the same route.

They either go back in the draft or, if over the 20 year age threshold, become UFAs if unsigned within two year. If they are old enough, they are free to sign with any organization, an AHL deal, in Europe or whatever.

godot10

One should not limit oneself. Draft talented players first and foremost, whereever they may play.

OriginalPouzar

Of course, I never stated or implied anything other than that.

Was simply noting that the NCAA is becoming a prominent place to develop prospects are there are some pros to it over the AHL, in my opinion – not that those pros should alter draft positions of separated players.

Reja

I was 50-50 on the Holloway pick now I’m all in if this kid keeps developing like he has in the last little while look out. Doc could be taking saucer passes from Leon sooner than we think.

OriginalPouzar

I was as well and its because I simply wasn’t educated on the player prior to him being drafted. Since draft day I did a bunch of reading/watching – Wheelers’ piece was a huge eye-opener. I then watched both his games and Wisconsin in full and saw exactly what was written and spoken about him but it was magnified – he was outstanding that weekend.

I am not fully on the Holloway train and the anti-Zary bus!

OriginalPouzar

Samorukov with another plus day at evens, his goal differential remains right at the top of the entire KHL. Plus 1 with a shot in over 18 minutes of ice.

Broberg was even with 3 shots on net and a couple hits in just under 18 minutes of ice.

Theodore Lenstrom with a PP goal in a 3-2 loss. Staples has watched quite a few of his games and has him rated very high and as a legit NHL depth option for this season. He is 26 years old

Harpers Hair

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/Cam Robinson/
@Hockey_Robinson
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55m

According to SKA coach, Valeri Bragin, Vasily Podkolzin and Yaroslav Askarov are sick.

The two players have been out of the lineup the last two games and were both set to enter Russia’s WJC camp this week.

godot10

Because he might infect other people. It takes ten days from the first symptom (if all symptoms are gone) or 10-14 days from a positive test (an abundance of caution) to insure a person who was infected does not infect others.

defmn

When the league was finally successful in instituting the cap I cheered. Edmonton had been raided by richer teams for years decimating the skill and reducing the Oilers to a farm team for contenders.

I remember telling anybody who would listen that the cap was going to change everything because success on the ice was finally going to be determined the way it should be – by decisions made in the GM’s office – not by the size of the owner’s cheque book.

For one summer it was true as the new rules brought Pronger & Peca to Edmonton. But, unfortunately, my prediction turned out to be true in a way I hadn’t considered.

The Oilers success was determined by the decisions made in the GM’s office but the results looked amazingly similar to the results determined by the size of the EIG’s cheque book.

Harpers Hair

You have to wonder how things would have worked out if Sather hadn’t pulled the plug.

defmn

If the theme of today’s blog is premature weaning I would suggest Lowe’s promotion to G.M. would be the poster child for this franchise.

I have no idea if Lowe was suited to that position by temperament or talent but I do think he was robbed of any chance he had of succeeding in that role by being thrust into it before he was ready – and with little in the way of staff support.

A pity considering it has tarnished his legacy as a player & what I thought was a pretty decent HC – another promotion that came too soon imo.

Shane

I could be misremembering, just going off of memory here but didn’t Lowe go from captain to assistant coach to head coach to assistant GM to GM in subsequent years??

defmn

I don’t remember if he was the captain or not but I think the assistant coach to head coach to GM over 3 seasons is correct.

Way too fast.

Trying to move too fast was pretty much the signature move for the years of despair.

godot10

You missed the Stanley Cup with the Rangers.in the middle.

defmn

Didn’t he play one season with the Oilers after coming back from NYR though?

Reja

It was always a retired Oiler that Sather would hand over the Reins to. By my in depth calculations Lowe was 3rd in line.

godot10

Lowe was a fine GM when he had no money. A bad one when he did (except for the first year he had money, and the cap forced the bargain sale of Pronger by St. Louis, since St. Louis was capped out). Ditto for Peca and the dirt poor Islanders who had to dump his contract.

OriginalPouzar

Lowe’s work as a GM of the Oilers is vastly under-rated. The team faired well in the early 2000s and his work in the year leading up to the 2006 cup run was epic.

The off-season acquisitions of Pronger and Peca speak for themselves and changed the dynamic of the team.

His work in the months leading up to the trade deadline was epic, acquiring the likes of Tarnstrom, Spachek, Rololson and Samsanov.

I am in the vast minority but even his disposition of Pronger brought back a big asset haul given the forced nature of the trade:

1st round pick
1st round pick
2nd round pick
young offensive winger who just came off a close to 30 goal season
recently drafted 10th overall d-man

That is a HAUL. Sure, Smid and Lupul didn’t turn out as hoped but damn that’s some asset value on the day of the trade.

Don’t get me wrong, Lowe also made some moves on the negative side of the spectrum but he almost brought this team a cup.

godot10

At the end, Sather spent more money on the hanger-ons in the front office than on the ice. Barry Fraser was scouting from Mexico.

OriginalPouzar

Of course, because its the Oilers, the cap came in almost concurrently with the ownership change-over and the deep pockets of Katz…..

Harpers Hair

An early look at the 2021 draft.

Of note…3 of the top 10 are Wolverines and another, Luke Hughes, is also committed to Michigan.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/sportsnets-2021-nhl-draft-prospect-rankings-first-edition/sn-amp/

Tarkus

I want Holland to take the guy at #3…if only so they can become the Edvinsson Oilers.

hags9k

What if James Neal comes to camp on a mission and plays some of his best hockey?
What a great problem that would create.

Reja

A rested Neal can still do the hardest thing in hockey which is score. With a condensed schedule and a deep line up Tippetts going to be doing a lot of card matching with the entire line up.

John Chambers

Like Koskinen, I think managing Neal’s workload is the key to his success. Playing assertively in a 4th line role, with the ability to plug into the top-6 if he’s feeling it will put him to good use.

If he platoons bottom-6 LW with Nygard and Ennis, playing 60% of the games, I think he performs better than if you try to ride him every game or in a feature role.

Shane

If James Neal can come in and play some of his best hockey, even just for stretches, it would be an absolute boon to this roster.
Dropping Kassian to the bottom six and having Neal with Nuge-McDavid, again, even just for stretches would be fantastic.

This shortened season will be easily influenced by heaters, Neal is quite capable of that as we’ve seen. Have to ride the hot hands.

And Kassian should(should!?) be a plus player in the bottom six….right?!!
*nervously blinks 3.2 million times*