Who’s Next?

by Lowetide

A year ago, Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones filled holes on the NHL roster and gave the Edmonton Oilers more quality and depth in important spots. It’s early, but this season Jesse Puljujarvi appears to be winning an NHL job on a top-9 line, and perhaps Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson will also find their way to NHL regular status. After those men, who’s next?

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.

WHO’S NEXT?

Philip Broberg is the next top-10 overall pick on the way, from the 2019 draft. His year over year numbers, possibly impacted by injury, look a little flat (both seasons SHL):

  • 2019-20: 45 games, 1-7-8, 56 shots, 13:59 per game, 13:19 even strength, 24-23 on ice even strength goal differential
  • 2020-21: 31 games, 2-8-10, 77 shots, 17:42 per game, 14:23 even strength, 15-22 on ice even strength goal differential

He has increased his playing time and is facing tougher competition. His TOI on the PP (2:12 a game, 1-5-6, 4.84 points per 60) has increased markedly and he plays 1:07 on the PK. I think he’ll play in the NHL but am less convinced now that it will be in 2021-22. That’s partly due to the backlog of talent on LH defense.

Dmitri Samorukov may be ahead of Broberg on the depth chart for LH defense. He lacks draft pedigree (third round in 2017) but is a little older and his future NHL role is more defined after observing his performance in the KHL.

  • 2020-21: 47 games, 2-6-8, 68 shots, 17:31 per game, 38-14 on ice even strength goal differential

Based on his season in the world’s second best league, Samorukov should be considered a strong candidate for plug-and-play third pairing in 2021-22. What that means for potential competition (Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Kris Russell, Broberg) one can’t be sure. He does have one more year of waiver eligibility on his contract and that could be a factor in where he lands to begin next season.

Ryan McLeod is in a terrific spot for next season because his talent (speedy center) dovetails perfectly with a specific team need. I think he would have had an outside chance of playing in the NHL this season in a normal year.

  • 2020-21 Zug (Swiss): 15 games, 4-7-11, 45.2 faceoff percentage, 12:24 TOI, 4-4-8 EV in 156 minutes (3.08 points per 60).

This is the first real chance we’ve had to observe this young man’s offense in a league that also publishes time on ice. As has been the case all down the line, his offensive output is a little better than might have been implied as he entered pro hockey.

I think names like Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody could emerge as contributors, but will need a little luck. Benson, as an example, would need names like Joakim Nygard and Tyler Ennis to move on in order to get a clear shot at a bottom-six role for next season.

PULJUJARVI’S CONFIDENCE

I don’t expect Jesse Puljujarvi to score two goals every night for the rest of the season, but do believe the young man’s confidence will be high. Important for him to have success in these early months after returning to the NHL. It’s always been this way. Consider this passage about Dave Hunter, a young Oilers (WHA) winger who had a hard time scoring his first goal of the season. Quoting the December 8, 1978 Hockey News:

The rookie left winger, an accomplished checker despite his inexperience, moved into a position beside Gretzky and Flett and made sound contributions on almost every shift. It was clear that Hunter’s two weeks in Dallas (CHL) had restored his confidence. In that regard, his first pro goal helped too. “I was beginning to think I’d never score,” he said after beating Mike Liut with a high shot. “The longer you go, the harder it seems to get.”

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show this morning, TSN 1260 starting at 10. Ryan Holt, Bakersfield Condors play by play broadcaster, will give us an idea about the current roster and the season to come. Frank Seravalli from TSN will update on canceled games and what that might mean to the final standings, plus McDavid-Draisaitl having a major impact on the scoring race. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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DevilsLettuce

Demko was 30 for 37 tonight, that’s not a bad passing percentage. Wonder what the yardage was? Any touchdowns? 7 points?

Tragikomix

He threw pick-six a then they scored only one field goal, so low scoring game overall.

N64

Saturday Battle of Alberta gets more interesting with Flames loss to Jets. Oil could open up 5 pt lead over Flames with 2 more games played

Harpers Hair

Or could be 1 pt ahead with two games in arrears.

Of note, Calgary is giving up only 2.70 GA/GP.

The Oilers are giving up 3.58 GA/GP.

Markstrom is at .920 and .237 GAA.

Koskinen is at .897 and and 3.31

Should be interesting to see if Calgary’s impressive D and tending can counteract the 8th ranked offence in the league.

Special teams are pretty much a wash.

DevilsLettuce

They gave up 4 tonight and got slapped around, but Toronto’s best powerplay ever was also suppose to crush Edmonton.. Which didn’t happen.

Saw Hughes get crushed tonight, Spezza scoring a hat trick on Demko? I thought they were goalie wizards over there and Quinn was a God blessing us mere mortals.

And now we’re suppose to believe Calgary has impressive D and Markstrom is leading them to the glory lands. Isn’t Calgary having player only meetings and fans are wondering if maybe they should dress Markstrom on the 1st line.

You sure seem to love planting your goal posts in the hottest train wrecks you can find.

Edmonton has 42 goals Calgary has 27 goals. McDavid and or Leon have almost more individual points then the entire Calgary Flames team has scored goals. By this math, Calgary very impressive D that just got smashed by the jets better bring their very best suits.

Harpers Hair

Dan O’Toole one of the latest casualties of the Bell (TSN) Media cuts.

The layoffs come after Bell accepted more than $100 million in federal Covid financing to “save jobs”.

Bell waited until a few days after it’s “Let’s Talk” thing, to lower the boom on more than 200 employees across the country and there’s word even more layoffs are coming.

https://awfulannouncing.com/international/dan-otoole-sc-with-jay-and-dan.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

TSN just lost my business….I hope many more will follow.

hunter1909

The fairly free and opportunity filled economy of my childhood has morphed into a rampant capitalism which combined with the absolute degradation of politics/media and…

jp

But no actual Death Marches, yet…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

What you fail to mention is the many millions of pre-covid federal media bailout bucks that Bell brought in before bringing down the boom on their workers.

At this time, Bell Media continues to partake wholeheartedly on the Federal Dole.

It’s a banana republic media landscape out there folks.

Reja

The almighty TSN was just waiting for any excuse to punt Dan he doesn’t fit their phoney as a 3 dollar bill corporate brand.

Pouzar

There are 2 things I know for sure:

Nuge will never score 50 pts and Sammy needs to play on the small ice.

Wait…Tree tings…Nurse sucks.

jp

Wait… are you dissing Sammy?

hunter1909

You know I think the Oilers are heartless but the Calgary Flames are metaphorically lying flat on their backs after tonights loss.

There’s simply never been a better time for the Oilers to step up and put the boot into Calgary.

Boil-in-the-Oil

I guess that “players only” meeting the Flames had, didn’t get the result they were looking for… another loss tonight. Markstrom not getting it done in net and the forwards having problems scoring. YAY!

GO OILERS!!!

Harpers Hair

The Athletic (@TheAthletic) Tweeted:
JUST IN – Colorado Avalanche games have been postponed through Feb. 11 due to COVID-19 protocols. 

A total of 26 NHL games have been postponed so far this season.

https://t.co/x7cnG1FUXS

https://twitter.com/TheAthletic/status/1357519304112021507?s=20

leadfarmer

How’s that Florida goalie whisperer doing?
seems like time to stop whispering and start yelling

Harpers Hair

Hasn’t had much of a chance to whisper.
The Canucks have played 6 in 9 nights.

Harpers Hair

Demko .897
Koskinen .897
Holtby .896
Skinner .868

Are you really sure you wan’t to play this game?

leadfarmer

Isn’t the goalie whisperer in Florida now?
and I don’t know why you bring the 4th string goalie into this

Harpers Hair

Any goalie who has played a game counts.

Do you really think Smith will be much of an improvement?

He hasn’t played a game since absolutely shitting the bed in the play in series.

buck yoakam

a little bitter sounding…relax dude, you still have your barbie doll collection

Redbird62

Probably more than Demko wants to play behind the Canucks defense in the next 2 games against the Leafs.

Side

With Demkos almost .700 performance tonight you have to wonder if teams will start taking runs at Holtby.

jp

Demko .897

Koskinen .897

Holtby .896

Skinner .868

Are you really sure you wan’t to play this game?

Sure.

How do the numbers look without the Ottawa games included?

And what is that for the team in non-Ottawa games? 3-8?

OriginalPouzar

Its interesting that the defence is to compare to Koskinen/Skinner when, Demko/Holtby was to be a top duo in the division and Koskinen/Smith (let alone Koskinen/Skinner) the worse – stated as fact.

Harpers Hair

No one said anything of the sort.

Markstrom was always deemed the class of the group…and he is.

Some, like you, were touting Koskinen as an above average starter.

He isn’t…and there is NO backup plan beyond an aging broken down Smith who hasn’t played in almost a year and suffered a serious injury while training.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Touch wood, but the (Great White) North hasn’t had a game suspended yet. Is that a reflection on Canadians’ behaviour vs Americans’? I would guess, yes it is.

Harpers Hair

I’m thinking so too.

The season is quickly going off the rails south of the border and, if it continues, the season may be jeopardy.

leadfarmer

The numbers have been dropping for some time now.
but they really should have started the season in a bubble

Harpers Hair

3 games postponed tonight…4 games postponed tomorrow.

At some point soon, finishing the season will become academic.

OriginalPouzar

Ottawa is not a good hockey team. We know that.

At the same time, there are no “free games” in the NHL and Ottawa can beat any other NHL team on any given night.

Were the two games against Ottawa a fantastic measuring stick for the team and for the likes of Lagesson and Bouchard? No, maybe not. Calgary on Saturday should be a more meaningful measuring stick.

At the same time, the Oilers did what they needed to do – they got two wins and each had some statements and pluses in them. Puljujarvi scored two goals against a real NHL team. Bouchard make his season debut with no big mistakes and a number of plus plays against a real NHL team with some elite talent (Tkachuk, Stuetzle, Chabot).

That same team the Oilers made look like an AHL plus team just beat the Habs, the top team in the division. They also beat the Leafs earlier in the season.

The two wins should not be discounted due to playing Ottawa. The play of Bouchard and Lagesson and Puljujarvi and others should not be discounted due to playing Ottawa.

Elgin R

Just finished watching the Sens best the Habs. It is a free bingo square only if you don’t view it as one.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Players I like plenty, but it’s a stretch to call Stuetzle and Tkachuk elite.

Reja

Can there possibly be a bigger goof than John Garrett no wonder why they have no ground zero fan base.

pts2pndr

In the dictionary next to the word Homer is a picture of John Garrett.😉

wolf8888

Hrudey is VERY close

buck yoakam

hrudey is a mullet

Side

6’4 1A/1B Goalie Demko managed to resist falling into .700 territory tonight.

Hughes however couldn’t resist falling behind Elite #1 D, *checks notes*, J. Chatfield in ice time.

leadfarmer

But most importantly he got a point tonight

CMcD4PM

Tough night for Quinnsy.

Reja

I used to love that show Jack Klugman was fantastic.

CMcD4PM

I’ll give you 24 hours Quinnsy!

Side

Maybe Brogan will get a shot at playing in the NHL this season afterall. Could he be any worse than that D who is playing sheltered minutes, doesn’t PK and is -3 so far tonight?

OriginalPouzar

He is scoring at a PPG pace on the year….. while running at a 33% goal differential (plus getting scored on in his one PK chance)….

So, about the same.

Side

This must be what Elite D showing themselves early looks like.

flyfish1168

I take Makar any day over hughes

Reja

A year from now Bouchard might be in the photo.

nelson88

Quinn Hughes. Early favorite for the green jacket

turns out goaltending was important to the Canucks 2020 run. Whodathunkit

OriginalPouzar

Turns out Chris Tanev and sheltering were keys to the being able to exploit the role of the “new generational puck moving d-man”.

OriginalPouzar

8 minutes of ice at 5 on 5 and -3 – maybe Jack is the better brother.

Reja

If I was Demko I would have not so lightly squeezed Hughes throat in between periods and while he was gasping for breath i would have made it clear that cheating for offence off my back so you can pad your stats and get a bigger contract is not acceptable little man.

leadfarmer

Q. Hughes -3
i think we found the player Justin Faulk was supposed to be

pts2pndr

And there’s a storm brewing at shelter point on fantasy island!😂👏👏👏

Redbird62

Interesting milestone watch coming. McDavid is at 493 Points in 363 games. If he can score 7 points in his next 5 games (368) , he will nip Crosby by 1 game to the 500 point mark. That will be the 8th fastest ever. Trottier is at 362 games so he’s safe in 7th. Everyone that will be ahead of McDavid if he does it, will have played in the 80s expect Lindros, who scored 500 points in 352 games in the 90s. Gretzky did it 234 games (less than 3 seasons), Lemieux in 287.

Leon is a ways back with 444 points in 434 games. If he can keep up a 1.5 ppg or better, Leon could get himself close to the top 50 on the all time list of fewest games to 500 points. Kurri (356)-6th Anderson(404)-21st Coffey (422) 30th, and Messier (47) = 57th are all on the list. Man that team scored in bunches early in their careers.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Brilliant! Thanks for posting this.

I imagine Connor has it eye on it!

Dac189

Sam Bennet got scratched today, what do you guys think about acquiring him as a 3rd center. He’s gotta be better than Turris, right?

What about Jones or Lagesson in a 1 for 1?

jp

That doesn’t sound like a terrible idea to me. 🤷

OriginalPouzar

That wouldn’t work for the Oilers cap wise – Bennett is at $2.55M which he is not value for in the regular season.

Dac189

They could always retain salary or add Chiasson in the mix, so I don’t think that’s that big an issue.
I’m thinking people here are liking Jones/Lagesson too much to trade them??
Idk, it seems like a pretty good bet to me.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dac189
OriginalPouzar

Do you think the flames believe that Willie Lagesson or Caleb Jones are going to move the needle so much for them that they are not only going to give up a serviceable player with a bit of upside left but also retain on him or take on negative value player that just cleared waivers?

To say “they could always” retain or take on Chiasson isn’t really realistic I don’t think.

flyfish1168

The shames are overvaluing bennutt. Looking for a 1st, lol

Dac189

Yeah, my flames friend thought the Oilers would have to give up Puljujarvi and a 2nd

Bank Shot

If Nurse keeps up his play throughout the season, the Oilers could have the best defenceman in Alberta since the Rake left town.

Happy days!

Last edited 7 months ago by Bank Shot
SwedishPoster

I’ll add Broberg’s goal. Nothing special but a smart shot through traffic that bounces on a skate and in.

https://mobile.twitter.com/antonj85/status/1357421221722292225

OriginalPouzar

Broberg did score a goal today – he was plus 1 with two shots in 16 plus of ice in a 4-1 win.

Maksimov wasn’t in the lineup for Zveda Moscow today – presumably that means he’s been re-called to CSKA Moscow in the K.

Pasquale gives up 3 on 33 and takes his second straight loss. Bench his ass.

SwedishPoster

Make that 33 games, 3-8-11 points for Broberg since he scored a goal tonight.

While I agree that he’s unlikely to be NHL ready at the start of next season I would say he’s a guy where it could go very quickly from not NHL ready to quality top 4 D once he puts everything together. NHL teams are also much better at utilizing high end abilities and specific skillsets than the SHL is. So while he’s likely not in the lineup to start next season I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he comes into camp this fall and just rips it up.

As a general rule I do prefer that young swedish D establish themselves as top pairing SHLers before coming over. Don’t think they keep Broberg in the SHL for another year though and him working with Manson in Bako sounds pretty damn great to me.

Last edited 7 months ago by SwedishPoster
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Thanks for the update, always appreciate them.

NHL teams are also much better at utilizing high end abilities and specific skillsets than the SHL is.

Can you explain this a bit more, perhaps with an example of player(s) that this happened with?

SwedishPoster

Erik Karlsson and John Klingberg comes to mind as two older examples, when in the SHL there was a little too much focus on what they didn’t do well and they sort of forgot the specific qualities that made them truly special players. Their NHL teams recognized those talents and let them use them much better.

The SHL is a lot about well rounded players and I honestly don’t mind it at all from a development perspective because players end up very well educated and it adds a two way element to most of the young guys coming through the league but sometimes it holds back the flat out genius in highly skilled players.

A very recent example is Nils Höglander who looks sharper as an NHLer than he was as an SHLer. Still early though and he’s always been able too look great for stretches and then completely invisible and ineffective for stretches so not sure yet if this is just him having a good stretch to start or him being another example of a player used in a smarter way.

This isn’t some general rule but you see it with some players. Usually guys with one or two “edge skills”. My theory is that NHL coaches are more used to working with high end skill while SHL coaches need to have a different approach because all the high end talent leaves for the NHL, KHL etc

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Very interesting take, thank you.

Makes sense to develop well rounded players in general, but perhaps doubly so when the top talents are a perpetual flight risk.

Redbird62

Just watched the Chaisson post practice interview. First impression, he is a very good interview. Carefully answers question without a lot cliches and very honestly. Even more impressive was how he answered the question about being placed on waivers. He basically said it is his own fault for getting placed on waivers because he has not played well enough this season. Well spoken individual and a likeable guy. Motivation won’t be his problem to get back in the lineup and to try and stick. Whether he still has the tools though is the question.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Always liked his interviews. Shows a bit about what coaches/management see in him as a leader with such a young team.

Would be nice to see him regain his form from the last couple years. AC can be a very valuable player on this team.

OriginalPouzar

Listening to Tip today and all the questions about potentially going with 7D again and maybe even going with four right shot D even if there are only 6D in the lineup – he was very guared and non-commital on anything – essentially saying they’ve talked about everything and they are taking it day by day.

He was also very coy about Bear taking some left-side skill drills (getting pucks out on his backhand, etc.) – basically saying he didn’t even know that was happening (not sure I believe that).

——————-

Also, one hearsay quote as it relates to Nurse which made my heart smile. Before the season started Nurse talked about committing to defence to take his game to the next level. That’s great. He extrapolating and talked about winning more battles. Of course, winning more battles is always a good thing but, to me, that wasn’t his issue and his issue was more about defensive positioning and decision making – his puck chasing and going walkabout (and leaving the danger areas to do so) was the biggest issue he needed to improve on.

Anyways, Matty mentioned that Darnell said he realized that when he was younger he would be running around and puck chasing too much. That is music to my ears as its been clear to me that a big part of his pop in the defensive zone this year has been related to better decision making and positioning and not going walk about. I’m happy this is something that he’s conscious about as it probably means its lasting.

Tip went on to talk about another pop in his game relates to “knowing when to go” – when to joint the rush, when to “go with the puck” and doing so with purpose.

Go Darnell – what a great start to the season for him.

jp

The Nurse stuff. Sounds a lot like “experience”.

OriginalPouzar

Per Reid Wilkins, Tip needs to talk to the trainers re: Bear’s status and he hasn’t ruled out 7D for Saturday.

OriginalPouzar

Some recent comments from Tip as it regards Jesse and very very encouraging. When asked about his 2-goal performance, Tip was fairly clear about how well he was playing before last game and how many scoring chances he was involved in and creating for others. Obviously results, actual production, is what matters that most but Tip is good at identifying who is playing well, even without results, and part of that is data driven I’m sure – Tip looks at the numbers, scoring chance creation, etc.

OriginalPouzar

I agree on the projections of Broberg and Samorukov in the near future.

Maybe seem to think that Broberg will be on the team come October and that very well might be so but, in my opinion, Samorukov is closer to being NHL ready.

Don’t get me wrong, even with Sammy likely having the “broadest” skill set among the “big 3 D prospects”, Broberg is indeed the “better prospect” and more likely to be a top 4 d-man in the NHL.

At the same time, Sammy is simply further along in his development and having a better year.

Broberg’s spike in TOI is important and material but he has had an “uneven” season. Its key that he’s playing top 4 minutes with some PP time but he’s struggled at evens for large parts of the season. Great highlights nightly of his rushing the puck but also a stretch of almost 15 games where he was ether even or a minus at 5 on 5.

Great prospect. Will be a a top 4 d-man for the Oilers for a long time. At the same time, he’s still a work in progress and will likely need most, if not all, of next season in the SHL.

Sammy, on the other hand is leading the KHL d-men in 5 on 5 GF% and is just a rock defensively in a tough league. He gets the puck and he gets the puck out. We know how aggressive he is at defending the blue and we know, in the right situation, he can contribute offensively.

Dave Tippet is going to live Dimitri Samorukov.

—————

Ryan McLeod – lots and lots and lots of comments over the last few weeks (and before) about getting him in the lineup and playing 3C. I get it, Turris has been a black hole and that’s a continuation of the black hole at the position for years. At the same time, it would be the perfect example of rushing a prospect.

McLeod was a part time center and part time winter in the bottom 6 in the AHL last year. Good PK time and a bit if PP time but he wasn’t even a full time 3C.

Listening to Woody on Oilers Now the other day and they will be using him as a center in the top 6 this year trying to develop him in to a “top 9 NHL center”. That lines up with exactly what I’ve posited he needs this year.

flyfish1168

I would like to see Brogerg and Sammie get some AHL time to get up to speed with the smaller ice surface.

Redbird62

Samorukov played over 200 games in the OHL including playoffs and 52 more in the AHL with Bakersfield. I don’t think he needs any time for ice surface size adjustment.

OriginalPouzar

That is indeed the plan.

Each of Sammy, Broberg, Kemp, Lavoie, Maksimov are heading to Bakersfield when they are done in Europe this season – at least that’s the current express plan.

With respect to Sammy – he played 4 years in the OHL and one year in the AHL, I do want him to finish this season in the AHL but getting used to the ice surface should be a non-issue for him even with one season away.

flyfish1168

I forgot Sammy was in the AHL last season.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Agree with most, except I think for Broberg next season would be better served in BAK under the expert tutelage of Manson. Give him time to assimilate to the systems, players and staff, and of course the smaller ice surface. Being close at hand only helps management to get extra viewings and for a potential recall/cup of coffee.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
McSorley33

The talk was to get McLeod some NHL action at 4C and prevent JJ from getting killed.

The tasking was 7 mins/ per game. For a game or two.

Similar to watching some of our D in January – ala – Evan Bouchard.

Interestingly. – Ryan McLeod is older than Evan Bouchard.

OriginalPouzar

Evan Bouchard excelled as a top 4 d-man in the AHL last year (and an all-star) and is now establishing himself as a bottom pair NHL d-man.

Ryan McLeod was a part time 3rd line winger part time 3rd line center last season in the AHL. The organization is looking for him to be a full time top 6 center in the AHL this year as a development step to establishing himself as a bottom 6 center next season.

The success of each player at the AHL level last year is not equitable and, of course, Bouchard is a top touted prospect, drafted in the top 10, an assistant captain of Canada at the World Juniors and an award winner in the OHL.

I don’t believe their development paths are comparable.

I am 100% on board with the organization’s development path for McLeod. A hole in the NHL does not mean next man up is the right play.

OriginalPouzar

Per Gregor:

RNH-McDavid-JP
Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto 
Neal-Turris-Kassian
Archibald-Haas-Shore 

Nurse-Barrie
Lagesson-Larsson
Russell-Bouchard
Smith is with main group.
Bear on ice. #Oilers

Also have seen Bear-Bouchard with Bouchard on left side. 

With nine D-men they rotate in, but first few sets had same pairs as last game with Koekkoek the extra

cowboy bill

I have no problem with .
Nurse-Barrie
Lagesson-Bear
Koekoek-Bouchard
Jones-Larsson

Larsson being the seventh D & Jones chomping at the bit at #8 .

Munny

Wow, Wild Bill goes from struggling to break into the line-up to an everyday 2nd pairing Dman just like that….

something something established levels of ability something something

Munny

If Cooper Marody needs luck to make the team it is not the kind of luck any of us would wish upon our favourite hockey organization. It would mean the roster had been devastated.

And, since he is not an NHL level player, we would feel even less lucky watching him play.

That’s a whole lotta bad luck to be hoping for, LT.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I can’t quite grasp the affinity for Marody. He just doesn’t look like an NHL player to me. In all honesty, I had more time for Lander who could PK and had some grit.

Maybe my patience level for guys who only put up points in the AHL and can’t skate has diminished from the DoD era.

OriginalPouzar

Marody’s rookie season in the AHL was absolutely fantastic. Yes, he was a year older, a 21-year old rookie but he was absolutely elite at the AHL level. He was more than just a point producer, he was an absolute driver of offence and a great puck transporter and zone entry player.

He was attacked and injured in the playoffs that year and has never been healthy since.

There was a very reasonable chance that he would never have made it as an NHL player even if he wasn’t hurt but the book wasn’t closed on that possibility. Players do improve their skating (although he didn’t seem all that interested).

His “chance” is almost over, however, if he is 100% healthy he could put his name back on the radar if he can find the game from his rookie season and build on it.

It seems unlikely but it was healthy that really cratered his chances.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yeah, I get it.

I saw it unfold.

Marody just doesn’t seem to enlist me into the Cooper Marching and Chowder Society the way that Lander did.

Not sure if that’s the prospects are running in place, or growth on my part from a fan’s perspective.

Harpers Hair
GordieHoweHatTrick

Given the influx of LHD coming down the pipe it is imperative to get a very good sample size and read on Willy and Jones this year. I suspect we will see quite a bit of rotation of all D this year, which is actually a bit of a blessing of the current curse (Covid/taxi situation). We can expect some wobble and regression to the meat and back and forth but Tip and KH (and perhaps us in the peanut gallery) should have a pretty good read for the future of the D.

I can’t imagine all of Bear, Bouch and Barrie next year as it would be very nice to have at least 1 “shut down” RD type. I am not confident at the moment that would be Larsson either. I supposed it is possible to keep the 3 Bs if there is sufficient balance on the port side. There is some apparent chemistry with Bouch and Laggs and while I think Bouch can move up into the top 4 D pretty quickly I am not sure Laggs is much higher than a 5/6. If it weren’t for all of them being so green you could imagine Sammy and Bouch or Sammy and Bear making a good tandem next year as well. Jones could also squeeze into a 2nd pairing.

It is nice to have so many options and this will allow them time to overripen Bro. The critical thing for this year is to be sure you keep the right guys for next year, so good to get the green guys many at bats for the next 40 games. Possibly a trade or two at the deadline if those assessments can be made earlier.

OriginalPouzar

I still lean towards re-signing of Tyson Barrie not being in the best interests of the team.

To the extent he plays well enough to warrant a re-signing, he’s likely going to want/request/demand a typical UFA type contract which will be big money for term – like $6M X 5 or something along those lines. This will be for his regressing 30s.

Anticipating Bouchard to continue his development this year and continue to progress (and he has done nothing but that since drafted), that’s not a commitment I think the tea should make. Not when Bouch himself will be two years from a re-sign, Yamamoto needs to be re-signed this year, Nurse will be a year away from a re-sign, the potential Nuge contract (or replacement), etc.

McSorley33

I want to keep RNH. Full stop.

But I don’t get RNH the ‘Left Winger’ .

He is a great guy on the PP. Love him on the PK.

But he is playing with freakin McDavid and has 4 points. With 0 first assists.

That is almost impossible.

It has to be 5.5 or 6 million tops

John Chambers

Man, I think you are undervaluing baby Nuge.

His puck-handling on the pp is Jimmy Key. He pk’s. He makes smart plays with the puck every damn time he touches it.

You cannot replace this player for 6 or 7M. You just can’t.

If you pay him $7M x 7 you’re getting the skills, the leadership, the versatility. Meanwhile Dylan Holloway will be on his ELC then bridge contract, so you’re playing $10M tops for your top-2 LW’s. That is how w championship team is structured.

Unless you can definitely sign Taylor Hall or Gabe Landeskog, you can’t replace RNH’s value for less than $8M.

Munny

Barzal just got $7M this year.

He’s also under-sized, also more known for his passing and puckhandling than his shooting, and has a better season than RNH, and a couple of equivalent seasons yet doesn’t play with 29 or 97… and is younger.

Claiming RNH can’t be replaced for less than $8M is simply an assertion… and that’s going to need some evidence. And if true, why would he himself accept a dollar less? RNH is NOT getting $8M next season from Holland.

And why would signing those two particular guys come in at less than $8M but Nuge can’t be replaced for $8M? Sorry, but your post makes no sense.

Last edited 7 months ago by Munny
John Chambers

@ Munny

I use Hall and Landeskog as comparables because they’ll all be UFA this summer and are similar ages.

My guess is that Hall’s deal will be $9M x 6.
Ill say Landeskog signs for $7 or $7.5 for seven years.
Nuge’s market value is very close to Landeskog’s.

Barzal is not a relevant comparable because he was RFA. His next deal is a $9M or $10M ticket.

As an Oilers fan who would you rather have between Hall, Landy, or Nuge?

Nuge is such an important and versatile member of the team that if you can get him ~$7M you take it all day long.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Agree largely with your position. Another thing about Barzal is he doesn’t have the track record that Nuge does. Nuge is a complete player, Barzal (while very, very good) is more one dimensional. Holland values resumes.

About who I’d rather have between those three… I think I’d rather have Landeskog. Seemed like a better fit here in their draft year and still seems that way. He’s versatile, skilled, rugged and a leader. And I love me some Nuge. That said I don’t see Landeskog signing here as likely so I’d look try to bring back Nuge. $7M x 8 is my max though. Any more and we’d be better off shopping elsewhere, from an asset / cap allocation standpoint.

pts2pndr

That cap was prior to flat cap. Nuge at 6.5 – 7 for no longer than 6 years is what the team can afford. No more no trade no move clauses except for franchise elite players.

McSorley33

Well, I agree on both the PK and PP.

I don’t think we can pay that much though….

But we need more from Nuge at 5 x 5..

Especially if he is playing McDavid.

Last edited 7 months ago by McSorley33
JimmyV1965

The thing is RNH is not a LW. He happens to be playing LW on a team with the best two Cs in the league. If he signs with another team, it will be as a C. McDavid and Drai will get injured at some point and that gives us the option of sliding in RNH as a temporary replacement. His work on the PP and the PK also delivers tremendous value. I certainly don’t think he should get $8 mill, but this team needs to do whatever it takes to sign him, short of an egregious amount of term and money. If RNH wants $8 mill, we’re probably better off signing two wingers for a similar amount. 

John Chambers

At $8M or more I think you’re choosing between RNH and Nurse and I’d take Nurse.

With Russell, Barrie, Larsson, and $2.6M in dead money coming off the books though it’s crazy not to retain a core player.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I can’t tell if this is plagued more by recency bias or a small sample size.

McSorley33

Ah..we had this similar issue with some regarding Kyle Turris at 3C.

Not enough time to judge.

20% of the season is gone though.

Dead Horse Thrashing time:

To deprive the team of a C to play 3C – you better have a compelling argument for moving him to left wing. So far, it ( RNH to wing) seems less than compelling.

We will give it more time. Say 1/3 of the season mark?

In the meantime, our 3C position seems unsettled, to say the least. I suspect 3C is too big a step up for Haas.

Last edited 7 months ago by McSorley33
godot10

#TomorrowsNewsToday

Nurse Barrie
Russell Bouchard
Lagesson Bear
Larsson

dustrock

I thought it was Cassandra who had foresight

Elgin R

Cassandra and only Cassandra. The rest of us just guess!

J-Bo

From what Stauffer etc… have been indicating, I think we have a real possibility of:

Nurse – Barrie
Bear – Larsson
Russel – Bouchard

That is where my money is.

OriginalPouzar

Bear did some drills on the left side today but I would be very surprised if they put any of the 4 right shot D on the left side for Saturday. Bear is in his second full NHL season and is having a bit more of an inconsistent season than last year – making his job much harder is likely not a great idea.

I think if all 4 right shot D play on Saturday, they will go with 7.

Numenius

I’d love that D lineup.

Oilpower

Hey LT has there been a comparison between Larkin and Holloway.They seem pretty close matches.

dustrock

ah ha ha that freeze frame of Haas is

comment image

Mesmer

The writer of the piece says that Ottawa had “stopped playing.” which is far from the truth. If they had stopped playing I don’t think Haas tries to score. They were dealing with the aftermath of a cheap Tkachuk hit – Haas could join the scrum or try to run up the score in retaliation.

While trying to score with seconds on the clock is unnecessary, so is trying to run someone through the boards with only seconds left to play when the game is long since decided..

I liked the Haas attempt

flyfish1168

I believe Ryan Mcleod is the true 4th line center and be on the big club roster. Turris should be waived and put out to pasture.

OriginalPouzar

This post could ring very true for the 2021/22 season given McLeod is being given the opportunity to develop as a top 6 center in the AHL this year. He has never been a full time center in the AHL or a top 6 player in the AHL. One step at a time.

A hole in the NHL lineup does not mean that a prospect should be plugged in as next man up before its time.

hunter1909

LAST WEEK! (ALMOST) 

Hunter’s 1909’s 2020-21 Death March™ is back for another season

You can register and vote here:

https://www.oilersdeathmarch.com

Regular Season Deadline coming



ArmchairGM

I’ve noticed some references to Barrie and Nurse outperforming expectations offensively, but that isn’t the case so far.

  • Barrie is 1.25 P/60 at 5v5 this year. In the previous 3 seasons he averaged 1.23 P/60 – 9th in the NHL, tied with McAvoy and Hamilton.
  • Nurse is 1.04 P/60 at 5v5 this year. In the previous 3 seasons he averaged 1.03 P/60 – 29th in the NHL, sandwiched between Ekblad (1.05) and Werenski (1.01).
Elgin R

Thank you looking that info up as a group of us (on ZOOM) were having that exact discussion a couple of days ago. They do not appear to be ‘exceeding expectations’, but are doing just fine especially if you factor in Cap Hit.

Redbird62

Overall, Barrie is on an 82 game pace of 61 points, which is comparable to his 2 best season in Colorado. It did take him a few games to get going though, since 7 of his 9 points are in the last 4 games. Yes 2 were against Ottawa, but he got 3 points in 2 games against Toronto as well. Is he now averaging what is expected of him, or will he continue to rise?

Nurse however is also on an 82 game pace of 61 points, which is 20 points clear of his best offensive season so far. And overall he is only playing 40 seconds more per game than last year and 18 seconds more than the season he scored 41 points. He is also on a 21 goal pace, all at 5 on 5. All of this a small sample size, so hopefully he keeps it up. The discrepancy with the Naturalstattrick data is he has one assist on an empty net goal, and one assist on a goal with the Oilers having an extra attacker so only 1 true 5 on 5 assist, but overall his total offensive game is exceeding expectations.

ArmchairGM

Nurse is getting twice as much 1PP TOI/GP as he got last year. That likely accounts for some of the bump in overall scoring… and is unlikely to continue with Barrie playing well and Bouchard on deck. So some regression from him overall pace should be expected.

Redbird62

He is getting 1:34 per game on the PP vs 1:04 last year. So far 77 defenseman are getting more PP time on ice per game than Nurse. More importantly though, he got about 12 minutes with the number one unit for a few games and took advantage getting his 3 points (~15 points/60) which is already 1/3 of the way to his best season in that regard. I agree he will get less time with the number 1 unit if Barrie keeps going, in part so he stays fresher for the PK, but he’d likely get paired with Bouchard on the second unit, as Tippett almost always has 2 D on that one. Lowetide’s reasonable expectations for Nurse over 82 games was 31 points. It is not credible to argue he has thus far not exceeded the expectations of most people on this forum.

McSorley33

Darnell Nurse has, arguably, been one of the most beaten down players on this forum.

Last year, the Nurse fan club fit in a very small janitors closet.

I get what you are saying…but even our coach is talking about Nurse’s progression now.

It looks like Nurse is living in a very nice neighbourhood, judging by his P/60

leadfarmer

Just because you don’t want to give him the Trouba contract doesn’t mean you don’t like the player

ArmchairGM

Nurse’s progression seems to be more related to his defensive play and decision making though, not necessarily his scoring pace. He’s been an elite 5v5 scorer for 3 years now.

5v5 points
2017-18: 24 (20th in the league)
2018-19: 27 (15th)
2019-20: 26 (7th)
2020-21: 4 (12th)

pts2pndr

As one of the founding members of the Nurse fan club. It is still my belief he is the D best suited to build a championship D group around.

fishman

Totally agree! How many times have we said young players and especially D don’t develop in a straight line. Darnell finally hitting his stride and becoming that solid, solid D with a pretty complete toolbox (head man passing aside) He is our best D and if/when Klef returns he may still be!!!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Did you see the passes he was making last game? In fact all season he’s been sending some lasers down range.

Ben

It’s probably premature to cast JP as a set pair with 97 (despite outstanding results), but it begs a question: is RNH worth $7M, or even $6M, as a complimentary winger? I love him, but I’m not convinced you couldn’t plug a purer shooter in there and get superior results.

If ever the Oilers are in bad shape around trade deadline, cashing in RNH and Larsson could yield major assets (and $10M in room) going into an offseason where cap space will be precious and salary expectations will remain modest.

Elgin R

Trade RNH? If he wants to move on then that is his right. Is signing him for $6m – $7m per really an issue. What better player can you get that will PP, PK, play wing or center 5v5 for less? I don’t think you can. #keepRNHforever

dustrock

I agree that Nuge is hard to figure out. His stats with the DRY line last year were mind-blowing. His stats with McDavid seem to be fine, except the WOWY suggest they are both fine without the other player.

He remains a PP wiz. I am not sure whether he is worth $7m on a 5v5 level either offensively or defensively. If he was a defensive assistance for McDavid, you’d think their 5v5 goals would reflect that. I actually think Puljujarvi has had a more positive impact with 97 at 5v5 than Nuge has.

He is a sort of middling talent, jack of all trades, to be sure, but master of none.

jp

I agree with you to an extent on Nuge, and whether he’s plus value if he’s asking for $7M.

But we’re very early in the season. Nuge-McDavid (without Draisaitl) are getting out scored but I expect the goals to eventually catch up to their shot and xGoal rates (56%SF and 62.5%xGF).

It’s not all Nuge, but McDavid hasn’t ‘pushed the river’ like that since 16-17 and 17-18. IMO they’ve played really well together, they just haven’t seen the results yet.

Redbird62

Deleted

Last edited 7 months ago by Redbird62
pts2pndr

RNH is also insurance should one of your top two centres go down. If you put Nuge with Draisaitl and Yamamoto his offensive stats would go up. It may be why the organization is resistant to doing it at this time. I agree that with ten million extra cap space you should be able to find two bodies that can do what he does for the team.

jp

If you put Nuge with Draisaitl and Yamamoto his offensive stats would go up. 

Not to single you out, but I hate that everyone is so damn sure the DRY line would replicate what they did last season if put back together.

They ran super hot relative to the underlying numbers. Good players and combinations can do that to an extent, but (IMO) there’s virtually no way they could repeat those results going forward (not to say they still wouldn’t be a very good line).

And FWIW, in the 3 seasons before the current one, McDavid and Nuge played 650 minutes together. Nuge scored 2.31 points/60 in those minutes, which would have ranked him tied for 23rd among all forwards.

Nuge can and has scored very well with McDavid, and I think they’ve been very good together this year even though the results don’t particularly show it.

pts2pndr

You will note I did say should go up! Not will go up or get to where they were. I find it strange that Nuge can be moved away from Connor but not be put back with Draisaitl. Of note they also haven’t put Yamamoto with Connor and Nuge as a line. My feeling is that Tippett will find the right person to play on Connors left wing and I am not sure the correct fit is RNH. Why wouldn’t rational people question breaking up what was the best line in the NHL for a six week period and refusing to reunite these three? I trust in coach Tippett and believe he will be successful. That player could very well be Holloway, we wait.

OriginalPouzar

What do you mean that “Nuge can be moved away from McDavid”?

There have been many suggestions in this forum to put Nuge back with Drai and, more recently, many suggestions to move Nuge to 3C because, well, Turris.

I believe its the coach the refuses to move Nuge away from McDavid, to play with Drai or to play center. I further speculate that there may be more to that than Tip thinking they are just a great pair that belong together.

pts2pndr

Maybe I muddied the waters and if so it was unintentional. We are on the same wave length on Nuge. When I looked back was not that they moved Nuge away from Connor it was merely a double shifting of Connor which is smart coaching.

jp

No, you said ‘would go up’! It’s still says so above 🙂

But yeah, I agree it’s strange that Nuge-Drai-Yamamoto hasn’t seen the light of day again since they terrorized the league. While I don’t think they’d have quite the same spectacular results they did last season I do think they’d remain an excellent line. The chemistry was real.

I don’t have super strong feelings either way about Nuge-McDavid vs Nuge-Draisaitl. I argued in the off season that McDavid could still be successful without Nuge (expecting the DRY line to be re-united). At the same time I think Nuge-McDavid have had really good results together, even though it doesn’t so much show in the stats line.

I don’t disagree either that Nuge may not be the ideal fit for McDavid’s wing. Or at least that there are other player who could be equally successful in that spot. It would be amazing if that player is already in the system.

OriginalPouzar

2021 Kahun/Drai/Yamamoto

have a better GF% than

2019/20 Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto

The 2019/20 trio also has a higher PDO….

jp

Hmmm.

jp

OK, I looked and you’re right but you’re wrong.

Drai-Yamamoto with Kahun are 50% SF and 87.5% GF. PDO 1081

With Nuge they were 53.3% SF and 77.8% GF. PDO 1100

If you look, the gap between the shot and goal numbers is clearly wider with Kahun this year than with Nuge last year, suggesting this years results are luckier even that last years (despite PDO).

I think the discrepancy in PDO is because it can get wonky in small samples (with a disproportionate effect on SH% usually; I remember seeing the same in team PP/PK results where SH goals for/against can have a big effect on shorthanded SH% and thus PDO, but much less effect in reality).

So I think that line with Nuge was actually better, even though the Kahun version has a better goal differential.

I like the current version of the Drai line, but I do think the version with Nuge was better. Of course the McDavid line with Nuge on it is better too, so there’s the conundrum.

Elgin R

So much depends on the Kraken draft, what Holland does and if Klefbom plays for the Oilers ever again. Given the number of promising prospects in the Leftorium, does Holland go 7-3-1 and expose Jones and Lagesson? If he does, that opens up at least one spot on LD assuming that Klefbom retires and KRusty is used as 7D.

Klefbom: Draft+3 – 48 AHL games / Draft+4 – 9 AHL games then NHL
Nurse: Draft+3 – 9 AHL games then NHL

The issue is that neither Broberg or Samarukov have played D on the small ice (not including tournaments) so both will need some AHL time. Is half an AHL season sufficient? An if so, what does the team do while they wait?

What I do like about the new dmen is that they are all big (Jones: 6′-1″ / Lagesson: 6′-2″ / Samorukov, Bouchard, Broberg: 6’3″). No Parayko in this bunch but decent size to go along with good skating (in some cases excellent skating – Broberg).

pts2pndr

K Russel was signed to give the team a D to expose. I personally don’t see any way that the team will protect Four D. They may also move one Left D prior to the expansion draft.

OriginalPouzar

Russell was re-signed to ensure they had a d-man to meet the minimum exposure requirements. Each team has to expose at least one d-man that has played 40 games the past season (or 70 over the last two) and is signed for 2021/22

That doesn’t mean that d-men that don’t meet those requirements aren’t available.

If the Oilers only protect 3, lets say Nurse, Bear, Klefbom then each of Jones, Lagesson and Russell are available.

You may be right that they only protect 3 but its not b/c of the Russell re-sign.

Bouchard is exempt given its his second year pro

pts2pndr

To clarify when they re-signed Russel for the extra year they were looking at protecting Jones as one of the three.Klefbom may not fit the draft criteria required. I have always been of the thought they would only protect three. They will in my opinion move one of Jones Lagesson and or Klefbom prior to the expansion draft.

ArmchairGM

Samorukov played 47 games in Bakersfield in 2019-20.

Elgin R

Right you are. Ok Sammy is ‘next man up’.

PokeCheck

He also played his entire junior career in the CHL.

OriginalPouzar

Others have responded to Sammy’s resume on North American ice.

As far as AHL time, both of them will get material AHL time this season – the plan is to bring both of them over as soon as they are done in Europe. Ken Holland specifically got the Condors’ schedule back-loaded so that there are more games for these guys to play when they come over (Lavoie, Kemp, Maksiov in addition).

With that said, even though Broberg is one of the shinier darlings of the prospect group, the kid is still fairly raw and I don’t think that management should, or will, plan on him impacting the NHL lineup for 2021/22 – at least not in 2021.

Sammy, on the other hand – that’s a player that might be on the opening night roster.

So much unknown on both sides of the defence:

Left side: Will either of Laggesson or Jones be lost to expansion, will Klefbom by available to play, is Samorukov (or maybe Broberg) an option in October

Right side: Barrie and Larrson both UFAs, will either be back, will Bouch be ready for top 4

Maybe both Barrie and Larsson are let go and we are looking at Hamilton, Bear, Bouchard on the right side…..

Redbird62

Samorukov might not get a lot of AHL games in this season. The KHL playoffs could end as late as April 30. Given that CSKA has the second best record, they might play well into mid April (semis) or right to the end. Bakersfield is scheduled to play 5 games in the last 2 weeks of April and 6 in the first 2 weeks of May. Add in travel time plus whatever the AHL Covid protocols are for players coming from overseas, it’s possible he might not see more than just a few games if any unless Bakersfield makes the playoffs.

pts2pndr

Lots of uncertainties in our new reality! It sure makes it difficult for managers. Holland’s decision to get as many of his prospects as possible playing in Europe was in my opinion a stroke of genius!

Redbird62

I agree these were great moves on Holland and his team’s part. If they don’t get to play any AHL games this season its not a big deal at all. They are all better off getting a full season overseas and if they get playoff games in Europe even better. The AHL is going to be somewhat watered down anyway.

Redbird62

The chances of Skellatea going deep in the SHL playoffs are less since they are middle of the pack as a playoff team right now, but the SHL playoffs could also go to the end of April, limiting Broberg’s availability for many AHL games at the end of the season.

Bling

Interesting to compare the paths of the brothers McLeod. Michael McLeod currently plays for the Devils, and was also drafted in the second round.

Michael McLeod
Age 22, 20-21, NHL, 3G 1A 9 GP
Age 21, 19-20, NHL, 2A 12 GP
Age 21, 19-20, AHL, 8G 15A 47GP, NHLE = 20
Age 20, 18-19, NHL, 3A 21 GP
Age 20, 18-19, AHL, 6G 27A 55GP, NHLE = 24
Age 19, 17-18, OHL, 16G 28A 38GP

Ryan McLeod
Age 21, 20-21, Swiss-A, 4G 7A 15 GP, NHLE = 28
Age 20, 19-20, AHL, 5G 18A 56GP, NHLE = 16
Age 19, 18-19, OHL, 19G 43A 63 GP

Michael was a better scorer as a 20 year old, but Ryan has narrowed that gap (and then some) at age 21.

Based on Michael’s progression, you would think Ryan will be ready for big league duty at the beginning of next season. This is, of course, assuming he carries forward his excellent play from the Swiss league into the AHL.

Elgin R

The issue with McLeod is the same as it always is with young centers in a man’s league – Face-Off Win %. If he can improve in this area there is a reasonable expectation that he could help the Oilers. Big and fast with some scoring ability would sure look good in the bottom 6.

ArmchairGM

Michael’s faceoff ability doesn’t appear to be any better than Ryan’s, as he’s 43.6% through 9 games this year. Of course, the competition isn’t stiff in Jersey: Zacha (46.5%), Zajac (41.8%) and Hughes (34.8%) are their other faceoff men.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

From my understanding, the knock on Ryan is that he lacks consistency and tends to be a perimeter player. This seems to prevent him from taking on a bigger role on the farm and thus developing into a more complete player.

The difference between full time 1C in the AHL and 4C in the NHL isn’t that large. As of last season he’s not even a full time centre (although Woody says playing him on wing was to increase ice time… sounds very diplomatic to me) let alone first line.

Hoping he can continue to improve. He’s a talented player, would look good in our bottom six.

OriginalPouzar

Another stated reason for him to play on the wing last years (was trying to get him more engaged along the board and in battle) – that was from Woody’s mouth last year.

Just this week Woody confirmed that the plan is to use him as a top 6 center with the goal of developing him in to a top 9 NHL center.

I would think that he a Marody are the top 2 centers. For now, the winger depth is Benson and ????? Presumably Joe G. and the likes of Hamlin, Stukel and, maybe, Cracknell. Perhaps Griffith shift to the wing. Once Smith is activated, someone like P. Russell might be heading to the Bake as well.

Can’t wait to get Maksimov and Lavoie over.

Last edited 7 months ago by OriginalPouzar
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yeah, there is certainly a dearth of depth on the farm to start the season. Will be interesting to see how the guys from Europe impact the team, being in mid-season form. That will be a serious injection of quality to the depth chart.

Personally speaking, I’m really liking the work Woody and Co. are doing in BAK. The shift to development in the last few seasons is really paying off. As a result I have no qualms about slow playing guys like McLeod and Lavoie under their capable stewardship. When they’re ready, we’ll know.

OriginalPouzar

There were some criticisms of deployment last season.

Take McLeod himself and him being used on the wing where a “non prospect” like Colby Cave was put in the center position. As we’ve just discussed, we now know a bit more on why he played as much wing as center.

One other criticism was the deployment of a guy like Maksimov and why he go essentially no PP time on the year given one of his best attributes is that shot of his and in the Ovie spot on the PP. Of course, he was a raw rookie pro that needed to work on things such as core strength etc. (again, from the coaching staff and Scott Howson, prior to him starting as AHL president).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I think that sort of stuff comes down to the things we don’t see from afar. Things like consistency, doing what the coaching staffs ask, conditioning, etc.

I have full confidence in the ability of the BAK staff to prepare the guys to succeed at the AHL level and graduate if the players are receptive and put in the work. So I’m willing to trust that their eye for detail and work ethic is accurate and reflected in deployment.

Chemistry is also another factor. Maksi and McLeod played together a lot; neither was the gold standard of consistency. Their deployment was probably affected by both factors.

pts2pndr

I fully agree with you on the coaching staff in Bakersfield. I would rank them as possibly the best the organization has ever had.

jp

I think Griffith is a RW primarily. Assume he’ll be a top 6 winger. Malone at 3C. Gambardella isn’t a bad bet at 2LW, he was really good in 18-19 and not useless last season. Cracknell should be a quality player at that level (was around a point per game before heading to the KHL).

It will be nice to have Lavoie and Maksimov, but I don’t think the Bakersfield forwards are so bad. They’re just lacking in NHL prospects as many of the guys are older.

DevilsLettuce

I’m going to be telling my friends children’s friends cousins children about the beauty of Bouchard’s 100 ft tape to tape passes.

His fore arms are as big as Quinn Hughes whole mass is. Wristers from the heavens.

dustrock

He’s also just a big body – you could see post-game that he’s gained his man strength over the last couple of years and unlike guys like Bear, Barrie and Russell, he can’t be easily pushed away net-front.

OriginalPouzar

Every camp we hear/read about players coming in to camp in great shape and the best shape of their lives. After the Lucic fiascos (plural), its clear that should be taken with a grain of salt.

With that said, the one player that was mentioned in this regard, multiple times, by the coach and others was Bouchard. Apparently he is in phenomenal shape and this is indeed a development step for a player his age – these guys generally need to learn from off-season training as amateur teenagers to professional men.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’d attribute the in-great-shape narrative to the coaching staff as much as the actual players condition and career arc.

Lucic was on the back-nine, whereas Bear and Bouchard are just teeing up their NHL careers.

jp

Agree we’ve heard this before and been disappointed. But have we heard it from Holland and Tippett and been let down? They were sure right about Bear last season. Maybe there were others I’m forgetting about?

John Chambers

Agreed LT that Samorukov is the next one.

The Oilers should plan to lose a LD (probably Jones) in the expansion draft. Between that loss, a Russell demotion and letting go Koekkoek, there should be spots for Samo and Willy Lags next season.

dustrock

I agree. The young LD will be useful for Seattle and Koekkoek is likely a stop-gap.

If Klefbom has to retire, then you’re missing one of your top 2 LHD and one wonders if Holland might want to acquire a more veteran presence.

Also depends on the futures of Larsson and Barrie (who will want to cash in hard). I would expect Bear and Bouchard on top 2 pairs next year with some other veteran presence in there if Larsson/Barrie are gone.

Harpers Hair

Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) Tweeted:
I would advise fans to track points percentage rather than overall points in the standings. In case some teams don’t play 56 games.
Points percentage leaders:
Florida, .917
Car, .857
TB, .813
Mtl, .800
Boston, .800
Dallas, .786
Vegas, .786
Toronto, .750
StL, .750
Wash, .750

https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1357347110551654401?s=20

Elgin R

This could get messy. What happens if a Canadian-division team losses one of their stars to injury in game 56 (Connor 2018) and some US-based team only plays 48 games? Are teams that play less games better rested? Of course they are and that is an advantage.

dustrock

Well, it has been messy and it will continue to be messy. When do they postpone games and when do they have to play short-handed, like Washington had to?

The NHL is the organization that announces the COVID-affected players, not the individual teams, and I think that’s for transparency.

I can’t believe teams would purposely have their players get infected to act as a sort-of load management ahead of the playoffs.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think the more-rested will be an issue given both of the first two rounds of the playoffs are within the division. Even if they play a few less games in the regular season than another division, they will have played 2 full playoff rounds before they meet a non-division team in the conference finals. I think any rest-advantage will be gone by then.

McNuge93

I thought that top 4 in each division make the playoffs. Why show overall NHL points % leaders, as it isnt really relevant. Aren’t the first 2 rounds interdivision play as well?

pts2pndr

If it is used it will be inter division not league wide. Don’t see it effecting the North Division but I’m not an expert. Too soon to tell and with so few games played must have been a slow news day because this is for the most part completely irrelevant at this time.

Harpers Hair

No Canadian team has had major issues but they could and games could be cancelled resulting in an imbalance of games played.

If that were to happen points percentage would be used to determine the final standings.

ArmchairGM

Vancouver, .462

Harpers Hair

Calgary .500

They have not played Ottawa yet so their record doesn’t include the rewards of collecting those points.

ArmchairGM

Vancouver without OTT games, .300

Harpers Hair

Oilers without OTT games .400
Flames without OTT games .500

I had the Flames taking third in the division…on track.

Harpers Hair

Winnipeg’s acquisition of PLD could change this as the Jets will have the best centre depth in the division.

Elgin R

Really! Activate anti-troll mode.

Scheifele (.864 pts/g), Stastny (35 years old) and PLD (never more than 61 pts in a season). 3 centers for the top 2 lines.

Sounds like another team I have heard of.

McDavid (Art Ross, Hart, Lindsay winner), Draisaitl (Art Ross, Hart, Lindsay winner) and RNH (.735 pts/g).

Mike drop!

Harpers Hair

You might want to pick that mike (sic) back up again Sparky.

First of all, Nuge hasn’t played centre for a very long time.

As for the rest, the Oilers 3rd and 4th line centres have THREE points among them.

The Jets 3rd and 4th line centres , Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp have scored EIGHTEEN points.

With addition of PLD, Statsny (6 points) will move down to the 3rd line facilitating one of their other C’s to move to wing.

That’s what depth looks like.

teamblue

Copp has been playing on the 2nd line wing. Before talking trash, make sure you know what you’re talking about first.

leadfarmer

But they also have only played the leafs and Canadians twice so there’s that

OriginalPouzar

As we had yesterday, and as I’m sure we’ll have over the next few days, much conversation will be had about the D deployment on Saturday, vis-a-vis Bouchard (and Lagesson and Jones), in particular if Bear is ready to play.

Just listened to Holland on Oilers Now yesterday and he said he would expect Bouchard to play on Saturday.

jp

I can’t imagine Bouchard comes out if Bear is still on the shelf. But does the Holland quote just mean Bear won’t be ready?

If Bear is ready, I’m very interested to see if/how Tippett fits 4 RD in the lineup.

OriginalPouzar

I took Holland’s quote to mean that Bouch is likely to play no matter what.

Bob also did mention about Bear being held out so far as “highly precautionary”.

If Bear is out on Saturday (which seems unlikely) its a no-brainer that Bouchard is playing. The “issue” is if there are 4 healthy right shot D and, no, I don’t imagine that Larsson will be scratched – he’s important on the PK.

jp

Yes, likely true. I was just thinking it would be very easy for Holland to say Bouchard will be playing if he knew they were going to hold Bear out for another game.

Agreed on Larsson, I done see him getting healthy scratched. I was looking at his numbers last night, PK aside he’s 47% SF on the year and is -3 at 5v5, but the damage all came in the first 2 games. He’s been 50%GF in his past 10 games.

As I said, it will be interesting to see how Tippett (and Holland) handles this. Bouchard deserves to play, but the other 3 RD do as well IMO.

DevilsLettuce

Lagesson and Bouchard shook hands and agreed to steal everyone’s lunch.

Bling

I think Tipp is onto something with the 7D deployment.

The 7D is a better, more important (PK duty) player than the 12F. Also, a 7D is generally playing more.

If a D gets dinged up in-game, having 7D is way more useful than having a 12F if a forward gets dinged up.

Elgin R

Any of the Oiler’s dmen are more useful than Turris!

CMcD4PM

If waiving players helps with taxi squad flexibility, why not waive Turris and pray that someone wants him? Win-win?

OriginalPouzar

I’m thinking the organization hasn’t quite given up on the player after 12 games like most of this fan community has.

I don’t think they would want the player claimed and probably think its a risk.

As we see by today’s practice lines, Turris is back at 3C. My guess is Tippett is hoping that last game’s deployment sends a message to Kyle and his game starts to improve.

With that said, I don’t think it will take long for Tip to bump Haas’ minutes up if Turris is making defensive mistakes or weak defensive plays early.

Klam

Ding ding ding….winner winner chicken dinner Elgin.

Klam

And with three C’s ready to get more playing time you could easily plug and play 97,29, or 93 on any shift with the 4th line.

OriginalPouzar

The issue is the optimal is to decrease minutes for those three.

Remember what happened last December after two months of playing too many minutes caught up to McDavid and, in particular, Drai?

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think its something that Tip will prefer to use very often.

He did express that one of the reasons it was do-able last game is because of the 3 days off after so the forwards can take on some extra minutes.

As it turned out, the Oil were in control of the game fairly early and it was easier for Tip to keep the minutes down overall but, in a more contested game, its probably tough to get the 2 extra forwards in the game without too many minutes for the higher end guys (who are being taxed given game nature to start with).