One Question, One Response

by Lowetide

Over at The Athletic today, I have an article projecting the training camp list for the Oilers. It’s still fairly straightforward although Ken Holland has overloaded the roster with wingers and that’s going to have to work its way to a conclusion at training camp. One player I think most see as being a lock? Jesse Puljujarvi. Is that a reasonable bet?

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.

JESSE’S CHANCES

I see Puljujarvi’s roster window as being anywhere from third line to pressbox to begin 2020-21. As the season wears on, if he plays a responsible game, there could be an opportunity to move up the depth chart.

Can we answer any questions about him now?

JP is playing on an average Liiga team that will have plenty of time off in December due to a Covid-19 concern. He plays a lot, 18:13 a night, and leads the team with 7 goals on 80 shots in 16 games. None of those numbers are earth shattering, although that’s a solid shot total.

How is Puljujarvi doing in the Liiga? We hear stories that he’s confident and the coach has noticed improvement, but is he keeping pace with his fellow Finnish players who are young and could have an NHL future? Let’s have a look.

Puljujarvi comes in at about the same spot as Emil Bemstrom, a player who posted a solid rookie NHL season at 20. JP has more physical gifts, but Bemstrom’s skills seem to be a better match for the NHL. He isn’t big, but is fast and has a scorer’s touch.

Vesalainen is an interesting player, he’s still building toward an NHL career. He didn’t have a great AHL season in his first year (60 games, 12-28-40) but has had Liiga and KHL seasons that were promising.

Kotkaniemi is a match for JP in that he has played in the NHL and has issues that he’s trying to overcome while having enormous pressure because of his draft number. He is younger and has more track, and will be an interesting player to follow in the next year or so.

I’d say Puljujarvi belongs in this group, and that’s both disappointing (he was a No. 4 overall pick) and encouraging (he is posting crooked numbers at even strength and is a successful even-strength player in a good league).

One final item: Dave Tippett inserted unproven talent into the top end of the roster last season without hesitation. Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones all played significant roles during 2019-20. My personal guess is that JP begins the season on a line with Kyle Turris, but Tippett is his own man and we’ll see about Jesse in the coming weeks.

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Ryan

Hat tip to Jonathan Willis.

There’s a new shift tool for Natural Stat Trick.

Let the games begin.

OriginalPouzar

Matt Bulmel had a goal and assist in a 3-2 win, including the OT winner.

Devan Brosseau with a goal in the Swiss League.

jp

Blumel showing a pulse. You never know.

OriginalPouzar

Apparently Holloway had Covid back in September when he got to Wisconsin – aside from being super tired for a few days (tough to even get off the couch) he was fairly asymptomatic).

defmn

I have been reading quite a few comments here that depth is going to be important in the coming season because of back to back games and additional injuries resulting from that compressed schedule.

I guess that is a distinct possibility but generally speaking and for most regular seasons I consider the top 12 on any team to be the most likely predictor of success. The playoffs often shine a spotlight on depth but the regular season?

I go with the 12 core players.

On the assumption we will see a Canadian division this season and all the speculation about who will land where I decided to take a look at those 12 players for each team and see how I would rank them by their components of 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd centre, 1st pair, 2nd pair, starting goalie.

And I fully expect to be corrected on lines and pairings. To be honest you could tell me just about anything on who the first line is for Ottawa and I wouldn’t know. I stole most of these from CapFriendly’s fantasy depth chart with a couple of changes where I thought I knew enough to make them.

Hopefully this will provoke a little more nuanced conversation but not too much ridicule for my semi-informed guesses indicated by numbers in front of each team. 😉

1st Lines

7. Montreal – Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
6. Ottawa – Tkachuk-White-Dadonov
1a. Toronto – Hyman-Matthews-Nylander
3. Winnipeg – Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler
5. Calgary – Gaudreau-Monahan-Lindholm
1. Edmonton – Nugent-Hopkins-McDavid-Kassian
4. Vancouver – Miller-Pettersson-Boeser

2nd Lines

6. Montreal – Drouin-Suzuki-Anderson
7. Ottawa – Anisimov-Tierney-Brown
1. Toronto – Kerfoot-Tavares-Marner
2. Winnipeg – Laine-Stastny-Ehlers
4. Calgary – Mangiapane-Backlund-Tkachuk
2. Edmonton – Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamomoto
5. Vancouver – Pearson-Horvat-Virtanen

3rd Centre

6. Montreal – Kotkaniemi
7. Ottawa – Stuetzle
4. Toronto – Thornton
3. Winnipeg – Lowry
1. Calgary – Bennett
2. Edmonton – Turris
5. Vancouver – Gaudette

1st Pair

1. Montreal – Chiarot-Weber
7. Ottawa – Chabot-Zaitsev
3. Toronto – Reilly-Brodie
5. Winnipeg – Morrisey-DeMelo
4. Calgary – Giordano-Andersson
6. Edmonton – Nurse-Bear
1a. Vancouver – Hughes-Schmidt

2nd Pair

3a. Montreal – Edmundson-Petry
7. Ottawa – Reilly-Gudbranson
3b. Toronto – Muezzin-Holl
6. Winnipeg – Beaulieu-Pionk
1. Calgary – Hanifin-Tanev
3c. Edmonton – Jones-Larsson
2. Vancouver – Edler-Myers

Starting Goalie

1. Montreal – Price
7. Ottawa – Murray
4. Toronto – Andersen
2. Winnipeg – Hellebuyck
3. Calgary – Markstrom
5. Edmonton – Koskinen
6.Vancouver – Holtby

Harpers Hair

A few things.

Calgary has already said its first line will feature Lindholm at centre with Tkachuk and Magiapane on wing freeing up Gaudreau, Monahan and Dube to play second line and face easier competition.

Thornton will be Toronto’s 4th line centre. Kerfoot #3C

Vancouver won’t play Hughes and Schmidt together. They’re both elite skating puck movers.

Expect with equal ice time:

Edler-Schmidt
Hughes-Myers

Vancouver starter is likely to be Demko but with a pretty even distribution of starts.

Last edited 9 months ago by Harpers Hair
OriginalPouzar

A career .906 splitting with an aging regressing goalie who had a .897 on a contending team last year…. yikes!

Harpers Hair

Koskinen is older than Holtby.

Smith is older than dirt and is under .900 in the last two seasons.

Try again.

OriginalPouzar

Yup, Koskinen is older but he’s not regressing like Holtby has been.

Both Koskinen and Smith had better save percentages than Holtby last year.

Smith was/is terrible and was still better than Holtby – that’s how bad he was.

There is really no way to reasonably argue that Holtby is in the same tier as Koskinen – there is likely a two tier difference heading in to the season.

defmn

Yeah, I saw the same thing about Calgary but decided to go with what they went with because all sorts of plans in the off season last 2 periods when the season starts.

You could be right about Thornton. Kerfoot would be logical but that moves Robertson or Mikheyev into the top 6.

I will take your word on Vancouver’s defence.

So no ranking effort of your own? Move the names as you like. I think it brings the whole ‘who ends up where’ into a little more focus than just listing teams.

Last edited 9 months ago by defmn
ArmchairGM

Keefe has played Kerfoot almost exclusively on Tavares’ left side. He’s not likely to be their 3C.

jp

This is a great idea, thanks for posting it. We should refer back to this for sure.

It’s too late for me to attempt a reply (East coast) but maybe later.

OriginalPouzar

comment image
Allan Walsh

@walsha

The NHL is soft floating the idea with media if no deal with the NHLPA is reached on the Return to Play, it can unilaterally invoke Force Majeure and cancel the 2020-21 season. 1/

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

As I noted in a prior thread, don’t underestimate Donald Fehr’s ability to fuck this thing up.

OriginalPouzar

Jesse Puljujarvi’s Liiga career may be over.

Karpat’s next six home games had already been postponed (Karpat has had 2-3 shutdowns already due to Covid) but it looks like, similar to the Q here in Canada, the league may be shutting down until the new year.

Get your ass over to Canada Jesse……..

Harpers Hair

He will probably be back there in a couple of seasons.

OriginalPouzar

Of course, him being one of the best players in the league last year means nothing but Valimaki succeeding in the league shows that he’s a legit top pairing guy in the NHL – understood!

Harpers Hair

A defenseman outscoring a forward in the same league should tell you something.

But carry on.

OriginalPouzar

Production in the league is meaningful when it suits your narrative and to be discounted with in doesn’t suit your narrative – that is clearly evident.

Harpers Hair

What is clearly evident that you, as usual, are polishing a turd..

OriginalPouzar

Feel free to explain how you reconcile discounting performance in the league for and Oiler prospect while putting massive stock in performance in the league for a non-Oiler prospect?

Redbird62

Interesting comments from Holland today on his overseas players as reported by Mark Spector on sportsnet.ca this afternoon:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/oilers-notebook-whats-new-edmontons-players-overseas/

More pertinent to yesterday’s thread, but is it telling that Holland specifically mentions Bouchard among players to get back for camp, in a sentence where he says in a short camp, no point in bringing back players who have no chance to make the team. For today’s topic, Spector does comment himself on how Jesse has cooled off in Liiga lately, however, Spector does not provide quotes on Jesse from Holland in the article.

Last edited 9 months ago by Redbird62
defmn

Some good stuff in there. Thanks for posting the link.

OP owes a thank you card to Howson. 😉

OriginalPouzar

Holland consistantly mentions Bouchard when talking about the young D prospects and the future as well as next year’s team.

The Barrie signing filled a clear hole – adding a legit NHL RD was imperative after Benning moved on. Without an add, the team had 3 RD options for the season including Bouchard – leading to a potentially disastrous situation if injuries hit hard.

The Barrie signing, to me, is no indication on the organizations’s thoughts on Bouchard – I can’t imagine him not being a big part of Holland’s plan going forward.

OriginalPouzar

Button has been saying that Holloway is a lock for the World Junior roster and I believe Wheeler had him on his projected roster a little bit ago.

Pronman’s projected roster was posted today and Holloway is in the strong consideration group (essentially on the roster).

https://theathletic.com/2231901/2020/12/01/canadas-world-juniors-roster-corey-pronman-projects-the-lineup/

Of note, Zary is in the same group as Holloway and both Jack Quinn and Seth Jarvis are in the long shot groups.

Kinger_Oil.redux

‘- The prudent approach in terms of setting up Pool is to look at him as a 22 year old Euro scoring at OK but not elite levels on a top line in a lesser league, trying to make it in the NHL

’- Anything other than that is setting up for disappointment: he might have skills but has not scored at an elite level ever.

defmn

I think every team starts every season with questions.

The Oilers problem has been too many seasons where the 40 game mark would arrive and the questions had increased rather than answers had been found.

I don’t see that happening this year. The team has a way to go, of course, but it is finally pointed in the right direction imo.

OriginalPouzar

I agree with LT’s range for JP on opening night.

I anticipate the Coach T. has JP pencilled in to the opening night roster heading in to training camp, likely as 3RW, however, with a healthy roster, one of Archie, Chiasson or Neal doesn’t make the opening night lineup (and Nygard may not even be on the team).

I don’t imagine Neal isn’t on the opening night lineup card and I think Jesse could be in the conversation with Archie and Chiasson for that other healthy scratch if he has a poor camp.

Eh Team

Assuming the NHL starts mid-January or February, there isn’t going to be time for much of a training camp. 10 days, maybe? And there is little point in exhibition games since there will be no fans in the stands and no money to be made. So hard to play yourself out of a job in that period

OriginalPouzar

I think you are right on apx 10 days of camp – i think they could potentially have 1-2 exhibition games but maybe not.

Of course, we, as fans, are presuming that Jesse is pencilled in to an opening night roster spot, likely as 3RW, although, when you think about it, why would Jesse be pencilled in above any of Neal, Archie or Chiasson – proven NHL players – likely with lower ceilings this year but lower floors as well.

defmn

Did you not mean higher floors?

OriginalPouzar

I sure did – whoops, and thanks..

Eh Team

Because JP is a long term solution. Neal and Chiasson are in the last season in Edmonton.

defmn

We hope JP is a long term solution – or at least tradeable for a useful piece.

OriginalPouzar

A potential long term solution.

I anticipate that Tippett is focussed on this coming season and will not be making lineup decisions based on who may be on the team in future years.

James Neal may or may not be in his last season in Edmonton. Unless he reverts back to his play with Flames, I don’t see Holland buying him out.

digger50

Holland has managed to have loads of depth options right now for bottom of the roster. Top of the roster was a little barren. Not much coming and you could argue an incomplete top 6. This was why the Kahun signing was such a big move in my opinion. Young(ish) with lots of potential. I was very pleased with this acquisition.

Looking at potential top 6 depth, we have Lavoie coming along, and we have Holloway and the rest of the 2020 draft a few years out. Back to young Jessie P – it would be such a win if he could step into a solid top 6 role this season – or at least have him ready for that role. Such a gap there.

I do wonder what Holland is thinking right now. Im sure hes watching AA. He still fits the mold as more of a top of the roster contributor. Im sure hes still watching the free agent market. Is there anyone else he could grab that may be suppressed or has hidden upside?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Wholeheartedly agree that if Jesse can step into a top-6 role that solves all sorts of roster issues. Even if he’s a reliable contributor as 3RW that goes a long way towards balancing the roster.

As far as who’s currently available that might be a good value and fit on the team?

I’m thinking someone like Brassard could be had for $1M or even a bit less. He’d be an exceptional 4C. I’d still like to see Haula but doubt he’d be affordable.

What I wonder about looking forward is, what happens if the bottom falls out for Mike Smith this year (either injury or performance related)? How confident are we running Forsberg? Who’s potentially available in a mid-season trade? Could Mackenzie Blackwood be had for a reasonable price? If I’m dreaming aloud I’d be pushing hard for Juuse Saros, but…

Last edited 9 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
ArmchairGM

Mikael Granlund.

defmn

I can’t see the Oilers able to outbid teams like LA or NJ for anybody who will be signed for more than $1.2 M and I’m pretty sure that will include Granlund.

dustrock

https://theathletic.com/2230862/2020/12/01/nhl-canada-division-predictions-polling/

Only 3 of 15 execs/scouts of US teams asked by The Athletic to rank the Canadian division teams had the Oilers at #2 in the division. Nobody picked them first and generally they were ranked between 3-5 in the division.

Comments about not trusting depth and goaltending.

PennersPancakes

That article made me laugh. Yes they’re NHL professionals but still a decent amount of comments just seem uninformed.I understand their distrust in Smith but the disrespect to Koskinen. Koskinens regular season performance (917) mirrors Markstroms (917) but one is apparently suspect and the other a god send.

Oh and last season Wonder Boy Andersen put up a .909 and if you go back a year he had .917 just like Koskinens current season.

The concerns about depth make me skeptical if they have kept up with Oilers additions.Full seasons of Yamamoto and Ennis as well as adding Kahun, Turris, Pulju, while dropping Sheahan, P.Russell.

Only significant Oiler out is Klefbom who getting replaced by Barrie which in my mind is more of a wash. I know as Oilers fans we are biased but if you compare opening day rosters from last year to this year the change is insane!

dustrock

Yeah, I mean recency bias but Koskinen was not changing minds in the playoffs.

It is insane to think Calgary and Toronto are better teams than the Oilers full stop?

I was shocked at how many people were picking Montreal in the top 2.

Darth Tu

Not going to lie.

I sent out a predicted Canadian division last week and went like this:

Edmonton
Montreal
Toronto
Winnipeg
Calgary
Vancouver
Ottawa

I maybe sprinkled a little bias in among my math if I’m totally honest.

I did have a proviso note saying anyone from 2-6 could probably flip spots, a Canadian division would likely be quite a close affair. I look at Calgary and go meh.

Vancouver are banking on Demko or the ghost of Holtby (and Rafferty).

Winnipeg could be the surprise team of the bunch.

Montreal I have second, but again, that’s down to Weber staying healthy and the young forwards continuing what they did in the playoffs (sample size alert).

Heck, Ottawa are likely to at least be competitive. They’re not getting pounded in every game.

Elgin R

I am with you on this except for Montreal. Who is going to score? They have a good defence and great goaltending but not much of a top 6.

Edmonton
Toronto
Winnipeg
Montreal
Calgary
Vancouver
Ottawa

OriginalPouzar

Montreal has 2-3 second lines….. no first line, of course.

PennersPancakes

Yeah Koskinen didnt play well in the play in but depends how much value you put in a 4 game sample after a 3-4 month break.

I think people having opinions of Toronto/Calgary being better are defend-able. Not that I agree with them. I mean end of the day Toronto also lost the play in and while Calgary won theirs against an absolutely decimated Jets team they went 2-4 against Dallas in the first round.

Montreal that high feels wrong but it does seem like a lot of their moves made them better today while saying screw it in 3 years.

dustrock

Ottawa probably should be the bottom but definitely can see an argument for any of the other teams to be from #1-6. What do you need in a shortened season? Probably depth for injury replacement and goaltending luck.

Darth Tu

Goalie luck is probably the number one thing. And who can win games in bunches? Mike Smith 😉

My bias is strong.

OriginalPouzar

The thing with Calgary getting a boost from the experts because of Markstrom is that Talbot had better numbers than Markstrom this past season. Of course, big caveat is games played, however, Talbot took over as the 1A for most of 2020 and tending was not the flames issue. Maybe it becomes a bit better or more consistent with Markstrom but i don’t think an improvement in tending is what the flames needed.

JimmyV1965

Almost all of us here are biased for the Oilers, but it’s completely reasonable to see them as one of the most improved teams in Canada. 

The division will be close no doubt and the Oilers could finish near the bottom, but I find it highly unlikely. We keep hearing criticism of the Smith signing, but a much bigger mistake would be signing guys like Holtby, Crawford, Greiss and Talbot to multi-year deals at $3.5 mill plus. If Smith shits the bed, we can move on and find another solution. The Canucks are in big trouble if Holtby fails because they have invested $4 mill over two years. They can’t move on from him. 

The Flames signed Markstrom, which solidifies their goaltending, but goaltending has not actually hurt them the last couple years. Despite running with Talbot last year and Smith the year before, both those guys performed well for them. Going forward, Markstrom is the much better option, but he’s just more likely to help them maintain the status quo.  He’s not making them better because Talbot was actually good for the Flames last year. Markstrom is protecting the Flames from cratering, but he’s not likely making them better.  

I think the Canadians could be one of the worst teams in the division. Running with Suzuki and Kotkaniemi at centre will be a disaster. Neither of them is elite and both are extremely young. The Habs have a bunch of solid wingers, but not much else. Their defence could be one of the worst in the Canadian division and they don’t have single player who can drive play. 

The Leafs are the Leafs. They still have some exceptional scoring forwards, but they basically added a bunch of old guys at forward who won’t improve the team in any significant way. The Leafs will be a contender. Much like the Oil, they could finish first or fifth. I like the Vesey signing because he can maybe add 12 goals for basically peanuts. The Brodie signing improves their defence though. Barrie was not a good fit in Toronto because they needed shutdown guys, not another PP guy. Brodie makes much more sense for the Leafs and Barrie makes much more sense for the Oil. That Barrie for Kadri trade was just awful. 

Who knows with the Canucks. They have left themselves exposed in a massive way in net. They lost some valuable pieces, but their core is young and elite, unlike the Canadiens. Despite losing players, they could be better simply because of improvement with their young stars. 

Who knows with the Jets as well. They have some real studs at forward, exceptional goaltending, but some real question marks on defence. 

The Oil have added substantial depth. A lot of things have to go wrong for the top nine not to improve. Between Turris, Kahun, JP and Ennis, there are some solid options for the top six and middle six. While it’s unlikely they all make significant contributions, it’s also unlikely that we don’t find a couple very good complementary pieces. Our defence isn’t spectacular, but it’s no worse than any other team in the division and the depth is very strong. Goaltending will be the critical question, but at least we haven’t invested cap money in questionable options.  

Elgin R

The Flames are heading to be the new Wild – stuck in the middle with no clear way out. They need a #1C like a lot of teams, their best dman is 37-years old and their #1 goalie will be 36-years old at the end of his contract. Once the Turtle leaves in 3 years who is left?

Harpers Hair

The Flames new #1C is Elias Lindholm…he’s the goods.

Their best D is aging but they have TWO top pairing D to take the reins….Valimaki and Andersson. Hanifin ain’t no slouch either.

They now have a top 5 goaltender rather than a never ending carousel. Crying over 5 years from now is silly and Koskinen is two years older than Markstrom.

Backlund is a superior #3C.

Their winger depth is superior to the Oilers with Tkachuk, Gaudreau, Magiapane, Dube, Leivo and Gawdin.

Chucky ain’t going anywhere.

Ryan

You yourself said that Markstrom benefited heavily from being coached by Ian Clark. As far as I’m aware, he’s still in Vancouver.

I’m looking forward to that 6x$6m contract on a soon-to-be 31-year-old-goalie turning into a cap albatross.

I wouldn’t quite call Lindholm the goods. He’s 25 which means in all probability, his best offensive season is already in the books. He had a career high 16% s% at 5v5 last season. He’s been under 10% most years.

I’ll take the under on the shooting % for him next season, as well.

There are a lot of centres in the league better than Lindholm… Starting with 29 and 97…

Harpers Hair

Yep..Markstrom has been tutored by Clark for the last four years. I’d say it’s a pretty good bet he won’t forget everything he learned when he hops a flight over the Rockies.

The thread was about the upcoming season. Markstrom’s contract 3-4-5 years is irrelevant to that question. It certainly is not an albatross now.

Of course, Lindholm is not of the quality of 29 and 97 but after all it’s a team sport and once again the Oilers go into yet another season with huge questions on the wing.

Lindholm is a natural centre who’s been playing wing in Calgary but the team has already named him #1C and I expect he will surprise you.

Lindholm’s shooting percentage in two years in Calgary is 14.84 and and 17.2 much higher than when he was on a defensively oriented team in Carolina.

I agree it will likely regress somewhat but so will Draisaitl’s (19.7), Yammamoto’s (25), Neal’s (17) and Kassian’s (15.2) among others.

On the flip side, Gaudreau’s shooting percentage is due a huge reversion to the mean from last season’s 8.6 to his career average of 12.1.

Likewise for Monahan who had the lowest shooting percentage of his career.

OriginalPouzar

Valimaki is a top pairing d-man but Bouchard is a prospect meandering in his development?

They both played in the CHL in their draft plus 1.

They both played in the AHL in their draft plus 2 – yup Valimaki started in the NHL, failed and was demoted until the very end of the year.

Seems like ALOT is being put in to a few months in the Finnish League (and nothing in to a few months in the Allsvenskan).

More evidence of pure bias and narratives.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think Valimaki is the goods but there is nothing in his development path that exceeds Bouchard’s except for actual failure in the NHL in his draft plus 2.

Harpers Hair

You seems to have an issue with the facts.

Valimaki was called up after an AHL stint….Bouchard wasn’t although the Oilers D was sub par while Calgary had a veteran laden D.

In his brief time in the AHL scored .75 PPG.

Valkimaki is absolutely killing Liga while Bouchard is playing in vastly inferior league and ain’t killing anything.

Valimaki is exactly one year older than Bouchard but despite missing an entire season to an ACL injury is far outpacing your boy.

Imagine where Bouchard would be if he missed all of last season due to injury….nowhere.

OriginalPouzar

You call me out for incorrect facts while posting incorrect facts.

Valimaki broke camp with the flames in 2018/19, he struggled, got hurt and then get sent to the AHL for 20 games before a late season recall.

Liiga is not really a far superior league to Allsvenskan – you are vastly discounting Allsvneksan – Sweden is a MUCH deeper hockey nation than Finland.

Valimaki’s post-draft trajectory essentially mirrors Bouchard’s except:

– without the d-man of the year award in draft plus 1

– instead of spending the entire year in the AHL in draft plus 2, he struggled and meandered at the NHL until send down – oh, and no AHL all-star award

tsunami

Donald, is that you ?

pts2pndr

I notice your biased post without fail mentions where Edmonton may not be as strong but never mentions where Edmonton is far stronger than most teams. You give other posters a bad time when they do selective comparisons but you are the master at half truths and complete bull shit. Still having trouble buying a friend I see!

Ryan

We keep hearing criticism of the Smith signing, but a much bigger mistake would be signing guys like Holtby, Crawford, Greiss and Talbot to multi-year deals at $3.5 mill plus. If Smith shits the bed, we can move on and find another solution.

There’s often goalies sailing through waivers at the beginning of the season.

Domingue was one I recall last year though he had a rough time in Jersey.

Woogie63

This nine players did not participate in a meaningful way in the NHL last year, I think these are the best bets to impact their team in a “Yamamoto kinda way” in 2021.

Barrie-Boulet
Norris
Batherson
Puljajarvi
Bean
Bouchard
Lafreniere
Byfield 
Stuetzle

Darth Tu

Rafferty

Harpers Hair

Valimaki…PPG in Liga.

Outscoring Jesse significantly.

Woogie63

Agreed, I missed Valimaki he is going to be very good add for the Flames

OriginalPouzar

Wait, Valimaki spent his draft plus 1 back in junior and, while he started his draft plus 2 in the NHL, he struggled and was demoted to the AHL – he was recalled near the end of the season and was still far from a legit NHL player.

He was not an established NHL player after his draft plus 2 – isn’t that very telling for CHL drafted d-men who turned pro in draft plus 2?

I think I read that somewhere.

LadiesloveSmid

Rafferty won’t be Yamamoto-esque, closer to Bobby Orr or Joe Colborne

digger50

The big advantage that Tippet will have over the casual observer, is that he should be able to read the room. Im sure the room will welcome Jessie, but he was and still may be a bit of a square peg, so Im sure the coaching staff will also be watching off ice chemistry and it will play a part in selecting linemates.

This is the one thing that cannot be predicted, but if those problems are solved, the hockey will fall into place.

Harpers Hair

John Shannon (@JShannonhl) Tweeted:
Hearing the plans of WHL to start up in early January may change. Meetings today might push start date back closer to February.

https://twitter.com/JShannonhl/status/1333798730777038850?s=20

Jeff Chapman

21-97-98

let’s do this thing

LadiesloveSmid

Didn’t they retire Ference’s number?

Darth Tu

In decade of darkness, you don’t retire number. Number retires you.

Jeff Chapman

yes

Reja

Ference was a snitch for Mr. goody two shoes Eakins.

pts2pndr

Because Eakins lacked experience he made Coaches pet (Andrew Ference), captain which like most things Eakins touched did not end well!

OriginalPouzar

I see Kahun with Drai based on:

1) a clear preference from Tippett to have Nuge with McDavid (and I think there is a chance there is a preference from McDavid for the same)

2) prior chemistry developing between Kahun and Malkin who plays a more comparable game to Drai than McDavid

I don’t see Jesse up the lineup on opening night but am hopeful he has a good camp to solidify a lineup sport firstly and then earns his way up to the top 6 by showing part of that draft day pedigree. Jesse has more “top 6 skill” than Kassian and if Jesse can supplant Kassian on merit, that means this team is better.

Reja

The gifting days of Jesse are over Tippett will make him earn his spot on the bottom of the roster to begin with.

OriginalPouzar

Does he have to “earn it” more than Archibald, Haas, Nygard, P. Russell, Chiasson, Khaira, Ennis?

Reja

If he continues to play on the perimeter it won’t be long before he’s on the taxi squad. If he decides with that big frame to drive the net cause some havoc in front he’ll find it won’t be long before he moves up the food chain.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t recall him being this perimeter player you suggest and recall him scoring most of his goals right in front of the net.

Redbird62

His hits per 60 over his three seasons was 4.29 which was in the 2nd quartile. And that’s more than double Leon’s over the same time period though Leon does use his physical stature to help maintain possession exceptionally well. Jesse didn’t shy away from contact. He was also middle of the pack or better for the Oiler forwards over those 3 seasons on Naturalstattrick for per 60 iSCF, iHDF, rebounds created, hits taken and shots blocked. None of that suggests a perimeter player and not how I remember him playing either. A lot went wrong for Jesse, particularly the 3rd season, some due to him, some to injury and some due to the coaching staff, but willingness to engage on the ice was not one of them. No question he will have to get back up to speed on the differences between European and NA hockey after an NHL season away (or 20+ months in real time). He is no doubt still a reclamation project, and hopefully he and Tippett can make it work. My guess is the odds of him being a top 6 forward for at least a few seasons in the NHL is still slightly over 50/50 so I would bet, but not guarantee, he will get there and hopefully as an Oiler.

pts2pndr

This is professional hockey and best league in the world and not amateur. Players get put in positions to succeed and if they are not capable they get moved either down the lineup or off the team. Production is expected. Lack of production results in change.

pts2pndr

That is not how anyone with any degree of leadership ability would do it. Tippett has shown that he is a leader and a players coach. It is Tippett’s job to get JP a fit on the team. It is my guess that JP will be put in the third line right wing role to start to give him time to readjust to the NHL.

OriginalPouzar

Not to give Mark Spector props, in particular when it comes to his take on Puljujarvi, but, on Oilers Now today he mentioned a comment from Holland prior to the 2019/20 season and when Holland was initially trying to get Puljujarvi to stay – Holland said he wished he could get Jesse on the team, put him with an experienced and skilled center on the 3rd line and leave him there for most of the season – through the ups and downs – have that center mentor him, talk to him on the bench, etc.

Turris could be that guy if that is what Holland is still looking for.

Redbird62

Other than not being as experienced isn’t that exactly what 25 yr old Strome was to Jesse at the start of the 18/19 season until Chiarelli’s brain cramp to trade Strome? Over 1.25 seasons, they played 300 minutes together and had positive possession metrics, a 55% goal share and a respectable ~2.00 gf/60 which is all commendable for a 3rd line. The line hadn’t scored at all at the start of the 18/19 season, but they were playing well and not giving up many chances. For whatever reason, overall Jesse has not played well with Nugent-Hopkins. He also did not mesh well with Leon, but until this past year, Leon had not done that well without Connor and was probably not ready to mentor a 20 year old. And of course, it has been discussed before, Jesse has actually done well when lining up with Connor. I am cautiously optimistic especially since whoever the center he may line up with, Lucic won’t be the other winger – far and away his most frequent linemate over the 3 seasons (Khaira the next most frequent winger but Jesse spent more time on the ice with Lucic than any other forward period heavily weighted to the his last 2 seasons when Lucic was dreadful).

ArmchairGM

I don’t see any evidence that supports your 2nd point. They didn’t have good “share” numbers and Malkin’s scoring rates were a lot lower with Kahun than without. They were 0-3 goals in their final 4 games together (1-6 in their last 6) and were under 50% corsi in 3 of the 4.

What are you seeing that I’m not?

OriginalPouzar

I got the Kahun/Malkin chemistry from listening to one of the Pit beat-writers that came on an Oilers podcast shortly after the signing.

I can’t remember exactly who it was though.

He also stated that Malkin wasn’t happy when Kahun was traded (and that was something that I had read for a second source as well).

I admit, heresay on this.

pts2pndr

I believe your thinking is spot on and consistent with what a good coach would do!