Anton Slepyshev’s first NHL season was 2016-17. Edmonton was having a good season but needed some inexpensive scoring wingers to emerge. Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula hung around that season as candidates, both scoring three goals in the playoffs. Four years later, both are long gone.
Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and other youngsters are trying to make the NHL grade in 2020-21, what is the scoring ‘line in the sand’ for future success?
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: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Why Anton Forsberg could win the Oilers’ backup job in 2020-21
- Lowetide: The 2020-21 Oilers finally deploying elite talent in the right places
- Jonathan Willis: Team Draft vs. Team Trade: Which collection of all-time Oilers is better?
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Oilers prospects off to impressive starts worldwide
- 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: How many ‘peak seasons’ can Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ increased focus on drafting skill is key to future success
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s training camp with Oilers will be so compelling
- 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.
THE LINE IN THE SAND
All numbers five on five per 60 via NST and this is rookie seasons or first full season (some rookies didn’t play enough to register). Your line in the sand may be different than mine, I’m looking for the group of forwards who scored enough in their first NHL look to project as a productive top-nine forward.
- Kailer Yamamoto (2019-20) 3.16
- Connor McDavid (2015-16) 2.73
- Leon Draisaitl (2015-16) 2.17
- Nail Yakupov (2012-13) 2.14
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011-12) 1.96
- Mark Arcobello (2013-14) 1.84
- Jordan Eberle (2010-11) 1.82
- Linus Omark (2010-11) 1.73
- Taylor Hall (2010-11) 1.57
- Jesse Puljujarvi (2016-17) 1.45
- Jujhar Khaira (2017-18) 1.38
- Anton Slepyshev (2016-17) 1.34
- Magnus Paajarvi (2010-11) 1.32
- Joakim Nygard (2019-20) 1.27
- Iiro Pakarinen (2015-16) 1.15
- Drake Caggiula (2016-17) 1.13
- Lennart Petrell (2011-12) 0.84
- Gaetan Haas (2019-20) 0.81
- Anton Lander (2011-12) 0.62
- Tyler Pitlick (2014-15) 0.58
That’s my line in the sand, your mileage may vary. This doesn’t mean Puljujarvi is guaranteed to score 1.75+ points per game for the next decade, nor does it pronounce sentence on Nygard or Haas.
If Puljujarvi can win the No. 3 right wing job and elevate to top-six in time for 2021-22, that would represent one of Holland’s best moves to date and give Edmonton five of six homegrown options on the top two lines. Even with the McDavid head start, that’s some good drafting were it true.
A year from now, we could be looking at Kahun, Yamamoto and Puljujarvi as wingers for most or all of the coming decade on Edmonton’s skill lines. Cap will be an issue but that’s always an issue. Of course, Raphael Lavoie, Dylan Holloway and Carter Savoie may have something to say about the future.
LENNSTROM OVER THE ATLANTIC
I’m not sure we’ll get a training camp roster before the first morning camp actually opens but it’s worth paying attention to the men who are in or out currently. Evan Bouchard and Theodor Lennstrom are either in Edmonton or on their way, while William Lagesson remains overseas and Philip Broberg is bubble bound in Edmonton for the World Juniors. Ethan Bear is unsigned, Oscar Klefbom is injured. The current confirmed or assumed depth chart for training camp on defense looks like this:
- Darnell Nurse-Tyson Barrie
- Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson
- Kris Russell-Evan Bouchard
- Theodor Lennstrom
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re off and running for another week at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Bundle up and stay tuned for Daniel Valente from The Score at 10:20. He’ll talk NFL weekend and the Monday Nighter. Corey Graham from the Corey Graham Show on TSN1260 will give us an update on the World Juniors, and Jason Gregor will pop in at 11 to discuss the Oilers training camp to come. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!