The NHL is getting close to something that will resemble a plan, with hints dropping like giant raindrops all yesterday afternoon. It looks like we’ll start the engines January 13 for 56-games and there is a Canadian division. The rosters will be 26 deep with a four man taxi squad. Plenty to chat about today.
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.
- New Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Oilers prospects off to impressive starts worldwide
- Lowetide: Which late-value or tryout players should the Oilers invite to camp?
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
- Lowetide: Projected training camp roster for the 2020-21 Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Will the Oilers repeat their power play magic in 2021?
- Lowetide: Why Dmitri Samorukov is an Oilers prospect with a big future
- Lowetide: Why hasn’t Ken Holland pursued college free agents for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Increase in skill wingers adds mystery to Oilers preseason
- Lowetide: How many ‘peak seasons’ can Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ increased focus on drafting skill is key to future success
- Lowetide: A short history of Oilers’ impact prospects at the world juniors
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s training camp with Oilers will be so compelling
- Lowetide: Oilers first-round pick Dylan Holloway’s fast start has fans buzzing
- Jonathan Willis: A brief history of Oilers teams with goalie problems, and how they overcame them
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers are better with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl apart at 5-on-5
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The results
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: Goals against
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The Goals
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
POSSIBLE ROSTER 2020-21
Frank Seravalli tweeted out several interesting items yesterday, including roster sizes. Looks like they will increase from 23 to 26, with four taxi squad members. Nothing is final, but here’s a guess at how things might look.
Stuart Skinner or Philip Broberg might draw in over Madison Bowey and maybe Cooper Marody surprises. Ryan McLeod is also a player of interest, Adam Cracknell has a contract. I also think we might see a trade, winger headed out for maybe a center or a defenseman and cap room. I’m using Bowey as a proxy for whoever it is Edmonton may bring in. I bet there’s one small addition, but could be wrong.
Five goals and six points in four games and his release is a thing of beauty. He can beat a goalie clean and his release is terrific. It’s too early to ask how in the hell did he remain on the board until No. 100, but I had him No. 56 and Scott Wheeler, Craig Button and Red Line all had him going earlier than me.
One player I’m hopeful we see in North America in time for the 2021-22 season is Ilya Konovalov. It’s been years since we have seen this kind of consistency in a goalie prospect. His save percentage this year is .924, and in four years in the KHL (world’s second best league) he’s running at .922.
Konovalov’s .924 SP in the KHL this season ranks No. 9, and he’s backing up Edward Pasquale who is at .936 and No. 3 in the league. Mikko Koskinen was .937 (No. 5) in his final KHL season and he was .922 (same as Konovalov) in his final four seasons in the KHL.
I have Konovalov as the top goalie prospect in the system, others have Olivier Rodrigue or Stuart Skinner as the No. 1 goalie prospect. No matter. Sign all of them and give each a chance. I’m impressed with the current group of goalie prospects, the best since the days of Devan Dubnyk versus Jeff Deslauriers.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning we hit the ground running with a great guest list, TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey helps preview the Oilers 2020-21 season by offering opinions on the offseason movies, how to fill in for Klefbom’s absence and McDavid’s optimal wingers. Laura Armstrong from The Toronto Star will join us to talk about the Lou Marsh Award and how difficult the vote was this year. Joe Osborne from OddsShark talks NFL at 11, we’ll chat about the Ravens with Lamar Jackson back, and what to look for this weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!