Draft and Follow 2021

by Lowetide
Photo by Rob Ferguson

This is Jujhar Khaira. He was a draft and follow, plucked out of the BCHL early (third round) and one of the youngest players in the 2012 draft. He was ranked No. 74 on the North American list in 2012, when adding in the European skaters and both goaltenders lists we’re talking mid-fourth round (early 100’s). Edmonton took him No. 63 overall, early third round.

Scouting director Stu MacGregor used many picks on the British Columbia league, but most were not successful. Khaira has carved out an NHL career. His 1.67 pts-60 at five on five in 2020-21 represents a career high.

There are few things in sports I enjoy more than a draft and follow. I discovered the practice during my years as a baseball fan. A team would take some kid who had barely played ball because he was so young but had potential. A crusty old scout would be quoted in Baseball America saying “well, my car broke down in Barstow and I had to stay over. Found a high school game and this kid is all arms and legs, loosy-goosy, but I clocked him at 89, which was more than he weighed at the time. He’s a kid we like, if he can get a foot on that fastball of his and we can get his entire body heading to the plate at the same time, maybe we have something” and it stuck with me as a chance to cheat the system. Any system.

Long odds, mind, but better to take a player whose photo hasn’t quite developed but is intriguing, than one who is fully developed and unimpressive. And at the end of the draft, that can happen. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the ultimate saw him good. Drafting players who are barely eligible due to age.


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’s the latest!


  • 2010—L Kristians Pelss in the 7th round, No. 181 overall. Born September 9, 1992. Drafted out of Belarus, he played junior with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and played one year of pro in the Oilers system before passing away.
  • 2012—C Jujhar Khaira in the 3rd round, No. 63 overall. Born August 13, 1994. Drafted out of Prince George (BCJHL) after 17-year old season, he attended Michigan Tech for one year and Everett (WHL) for one year then turned pro. Khaira has played 258 NHL games.


  • 2013—F Aidan Muir in the 4th round, No. 113 overall. Born August 21, 1995. Drafted out of Victory Honda Midget (MWEHL) after 17-year old season, he played with Indiana (USHL) and moved to Western Michigan University for three seasons. Has made progress, but suffered from injury. Played just seven games of pro hockey.

Over the years, Edmonton has had successful early picks, although Sam Gagner (first round 2007, born August 1989) and Ales Hemsky (first round 2001, born August 1983) were chosen too high to be considered draft and follow selections.

It isn’t a long list, because Edmonton has been going the other way (overagers, we’ll cover that at a later date) and there hasn’t been a lot of success, but for a team drafting late (Edmonton has several picks past No. 100 overall) a player with more development time might be a good idea.

  • RC Ryan Winterton, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). September 4, 2003. He had a strong WJ’s (7, 2-2-4) but did not play this season. I have him No. 94 on my final list. He’s 6.02 and owns a plus shot.
  • LW Olen Zellwegger, Everett Silvertips (WHL). September 10, 2003. Small (5.09, 165) skill winger who scored 2-11-13 in 11 games in the dub this season. I have him No. 35.
  • LC Lorenzo Canonica, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL). September 3, 2003. A great skater , went 6-10-16 in 24 QMJHL games this season. I have him No. 51.
  • LW Joshua Roy, Sherbrooke Phhoenix (QMJHL). August 6, 2003. I have him No. 36 overall, his QMJHL season (35 games, 22-13-35) will have gotten noticed.
  • LD Graham Sward, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). September 12, 2003. He is 6.02, 180 and a shutdown blue. I have him No. 74 overall.
  • G William Blackburn, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL). September 1, 2003. 5.11, 172 and has a .907 save percentage
  • LC Jakub Brabenec, Brno (Czech). September 11, 2003. Now the Euro list. Skilled center with size, quality at U18s. I have him No. 63 overall.
  • RC Jeremi Tammela, Lukko (U20 SM Sarja) September 12, 2003. Scored 16 goals in 34 games in the regular season and 5-5-10 in eight playoff games.


  1. Jason Spezza, Toronto 3.11
  2. Adam Lowry, Winnipeg 2.04
  3. Derek Ryan, Calgary 1.91
  4. Mason Appleton, Winnipeg 1.77
  5. Andrew Copp, Winnipeg 1.73
  6. Paul Byron, Montreal 1.71
  7. Jujhar Khaira, Edmonton 1.67
  8. Austin Watson, Ottawa 1.65
  9. Alex Kerfoot, Toronto 1.63
  10. Tyler Motte, Toronto 1.61
  11. Sam Bennett, Calgary 1.60
  12. Tyler Ennis, Edmonton 1.54
  13. Pierre Engvall, Toronto 1.54
  14. Joe Thornton, Toronto 1.53
  15. Jimmy Vesey, Toronto 1.41
  16. Josh Leivo, Calgary 1.40
  17. Brett Ritchie, Calgary 1.37
  18. Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa 1.37
  19. Joel Armia, Montreal 1.34
  20. Jake Evans, Montreal 1.33
  21. Chris Tierney, Ottawa 1.30
  22. Alex Chiasson, Edmonton 1.29
  23. Ilya Mikhayev, Toronto 1.29
  24. Corey Perry, Montreal 1.20

I’ve been reading about Khaira as a guy who shouldn’t return, but I think he’s one of the players who should be back. Fine PK man, scored well this season in a depth role. I’d surround him with miles more skill, but Khaira for me has earned another contract. I do not have an explanation for the usage of Tyler Ennis, it is not logical.


A busy morning on the show, we start at 10 sharp, TSN1260. Tennis analyst John Horn will pop in at 10:20 to talk French Open and Frank Seravalli arrives at 11 to talk NHL playoffs and Oilers summer. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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If Rob Blake is such as stellar GM and the Kings analytics department so astute, why would they hire TMac as head coach. His record of bringing along young players is far from stellar. Seems like the exact wrong coach for a team trying to break in all of these young prospects over the next few years. Don’t see any way that’s going to end well.


Nearly a decade in to his tenure and Joe Sakic on the verge of, yet again, not being able to get past the 2nd round – never has as a manager.

Can he survive yet another playoff fail?


Losing in the 2nd round with 4 Norris Candidates, a Vezina candidate goalie, Mackinnon and Landeskog would be a calamity.


Considering the raises coming for Makar, Landeskog, Grubauer coming….. not to mention the likely loss of Saad…..


Post of the fucking century right here!


Harper vs OP battle is honestly what I’m looking forward to this playoffs.

Internet warriors assemble


HH is down in his counting room trying to figure out how to rationalize putting his money where his mouth is and how to spin it so he looks like he planned the loss and it was a stroke of genius given it was only five units.😂😂

Bank Shot

You guys have been misreading HH’s posts. He’s been rooting for Tampa the whole time.

Colorado who?


How can you not misread them when they keep moving!


Geezus, Stone, would have been an amazing winning goal.

Ice Sage

… and it was!
take out the ice, Denver.
get your extra chest protector on, Mr Price!

Material Elvis

What a shot by Stone; channeling his inner Mario there. He sold the shot blocker side and Grubauer took the bait.


Vegas looks gassed.

Ice Sage

Colorado’s altitude advantage, it’s real

Harpers Hair

Occurred to me while watching we’re seeing 7 of the top 10 defensemen in the league in one series. Oh my.

Ice Sage

Surprising but I don’t agree with your list!
I don’t see even 7 of the top 10 remaining in the playoffs.
Makar, Toews, Pietrangelo, Theodore are undeniably brilliant right now. Girard has been dust – too small vs Vegas, getting Quinned / Beared most shifts.
These teams play with such pace and wicked transition that it’s easy to be fooled.
Hedman, McAvoy, Dobson still playing and I’d add Nurse, Fox, Hamilton to make the top 10.
Great hockey regardless

Material Elvis

Other notable D: Slavin, Heiskenen, Josi, Weegar, Chychrun, Ekblad.


Watching the last 10 minutes.

Can’t tell so far.

Makar skated and fell down into the boards though. That was neat.


That must be difficult for you. So many good defenceman on display for other teams and your Canucks didn’t make the playoffs.


Ha. Ha. Your team lost


In four to the Jets, ya.

Vegas mortgaged the future with multiple bets against Father Time, so far those bets are paying off.

Brisebois maneuvered the cap.

Joe’s fault lies in not trying to game the system. Losing Kadri didn’t help either.


Surprised no one here railing against projected Oil draft protected list. To judge by Twitter you’d think they’d released plans to expose CMD.

Twitter helluva drug.


That was one of the weakest goals I have seen in the nhl

Material Elvis

All he had to do is lift his blocker. Why try gloving it across the body?


It will be interesting to see how tough Holland is in negotiations with Nuge and Larsson.

Who risks more by waiting until free agency? Pretty clear to me it is Nuge and Larsson.

I assume both guys want to play for winning teams. There aren’t very many that also have cap space.

Meanwhile, the Oilers may not be much worse off if they take that cap space and sign a few affordable stop gap veterans to shorter term deals.

The forwards I find intriguing:

1 – Mikael Granlund. Not the same player offensively as in his hey-day with the Wild, but put up a respectable 1.59 EV points/60 for a Nashville team where good offensive players go to decline. Granlund is 29 and can sign a 1-2 year deal to parlay into a bigger and better long term deal. A spot with McDavid/Draisaitl helps him immensely. If Nuge goes he gets first dibs on a top 3 PP. Current cap hit 3.75 and that will probably stay around the same.


Granlund started having more success under Hynes by turning into a shooter hunting in the high danger areas as opposed to being a passer, so he could act as a successful trigger man for either Drai or McDavid.

2 – Taylor Hall. It really looks like he wants to play for the Bruins. That being said, their window is closing and the Oilers window is opening. Need someone to skate with McDavid? Hall. Need someone to play set up man for 50 goal man Draisaitl? Hall is your man. If Hall wants to win, win often, and win as long as possible, he’ll come to Edmonton. Something I thought of the other day: whatever his faults, Holland convinced Puljujarvi to return. Surely the Hall-Oilers relationship (particularly with the benefit of time) is less damaged than that one was. Also: everyone loves a redemption story, even HH.

3 – Philip Danault. In 4 of his last 5 seasons, he has put up greater than 1.75 EV points/60 while being excellent defensively. Whatever Nuge thinks he is worth, IMO Danault is worth more. If you want to load up line 1, Danault helps. If you want to get 29/97 some free air, Danault helps. Insurance for injuries? Danault helps, and he helps more than Nuge would. McDavid-Draisaitl-Danault is the best C depth in the NHL. There are a bunch of young wingers on the way. Danault can mentor the Holloways, Lavoies, and Savoies before they are pushed into the top 6.

4 – Dominik Kahun. Yes, I know he is an RFA. What is so fascinating about Kahun is that his EV goal scoring was fine, but his assist totals fell into the toilet. A 15 goal pace with very little (essentially zero) PP time is nothing to sneeze at. An interesting bit of trivia: Kahun, JP, and Nuge all had as many (or more) goals/60 at evens than assists/60 at evens. That means only Kailer Yamamoto had more assists/60 than goals/60 in the top six. Where did the assists go? No idea. But perhaps this is something other than under performance.


Strong list. Danault’s number is going to be very interesting. Points get the money, maybe he isn’t break the bank expensive?


His numbers are really good and consistent despite not playing a prototypical offensive role and playing tough opp.

His playoff performance has increased the number on his next contract, IMO. Suspect he’ll get 6 from someone.


With respect to Larsson, I don’t think there is any real risk to either side here as I think a deal is essentially done, its just a matter of making it official (and when that will happen).

I think Holland is indeed digging in a bit on the Nuge contract – from a few accounts there have been a few offers made to the Nuge camp through the year and terms are NOT getting more player favorable.

If Nuge does get to market, I do think there will be at least a couple of teams offering more than what the Oilers have – in particular, Columbus. I assume “winning” is a big factor for him, but how big (as compared to money, for example), I don’t know.

Kahun is a no-brainer qualify – given the $1M, there is no risk except for arbitration and I can’t imagine that’s a big risk (and opening up a 2nd buyout window would be fantastic – give Holland more time to ascertain the need/desire to buyout out Neal or Mikko.

If they could get Danault for $5M X 4 – that would be amazing – he is a perfect fit.


On Larsson, I do wonder. If you get rid of Kassian’s cap hit and Larsson’s, that’s a decent chunk of change. You’re getting into Dougie Hamilton territory. Isn’t that worth a shot? Personally, I’ve seen enough from Bear/Bouchard to think that both are good second pair candidates next season.

It’s so hard to get elite players. With COVID and the flat cap, now is the time to make a splash and upgrade those top end positions.

I recall reading Nuge had an offer in the 7 mil/y range. If that is true, certainly any recent offers would come across as insulting. Nuge bet on himself this year to replicate his performance of one year ago. Had he done that, he would’ve have commanded a handsome long-term deal. Now, I have my doubts that anyone — outside of a truly desperate franchise — will open up a Brinks truck for him.

Let’s put this another way: How sure are you that Nuge will outperform Granlund in the next three years? They have pretty similar career numbers, and Granlund has spent the last couple in a graveyard for forwards.

Danault is a great buy at 5 million. I suspect his price will go up due to playoff bias.


Dougie Hamilton would be great but management won’t be able to get a sense of if Edmonton is even a remote possibility until near the end of July. It seems highly unlikely that he would sign in Edmonton with anything short that a big over-pay and I don’t think management can plan on a hope and a prayer that seems unrealistic (and risk losing Larsson and then being more effed).


Why would Dougie Hamilton want to come to the Oilers? He asked out of Calgary so why do you think he’d come back to Alberta?


Another young draft pick: Sidney Crosby is an August birthday. What an amazing impact his first NHL year at that age. Crazy.


Wow Carolina went down without a whimper


“Tampa seems to have found another gear in the playoffs”
I believe that extra gear is 20 million in hidden cap space


True that.


we can assume Bettman didn’t look into this too hard.


I think Cirelli is gonna be the cost for Tampa to dump Johnson


Jakub Brabenec- he is a dark horse prospect. Big, strong, fast physical specimen. He would be a bit of a project, but he has all the physicals and is a teen playing in a men’s league.

If he is still around in the 4th round, he’d be a great get…


Jujhar Khaira should not be back next season, except in a 13F role.

His 5v5 P/60 looks great at first glance, but in reality it’s being inflated by an absurdly high IPP. His IPP ranks 2nd among Oilers forwards, only behind McDavid. This is not sustainable.

His on-ice stats:
47.11 GF%
43.35 SF%
45.2 FF%
44.41 CF%
40.21 xGF%
101.27 PDO

Not exactly someone you want on your roster. Same goes with Devin Shore.


Khaira is entering the prime of his career. He brings physicality. He is a good enough skater. He is great at PK’ing. And he will be really cheap to sign.

That has value contract written all over it.

Get the best two years of his career for under $1.5 million per season.


Agreed. The solution isn’t to flush JJ, just to push him down the lineup.


Yup, also agreed.


I have a lot of time for Khaira and want him back for all those reasons.

I will add that he passes the eye test as well. He carries the puck, passes, and receives passes with confidence. Also, he has never had very good linemates, and has still managed to be fairly productive.

Sign the man!

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

So you use a bunch of team stats to assess an individual player without considering context. Okie dokie. JJ’s IPP is high because he’s almost always the best player on his line…. by far. Like godot10 says, sign him cheap for 2 years, get a real 3C, and play JJ on the 4th line.


This posted is also very active on twitter and his opinions such as:

Not willing to accept McKinnon, Toews and a 1st for Drai and a 6th.

Caleb Jones >> Seth Jones


Must be reading the JFresh player cards.

The JFresh model had Seth Jones with the worst WAR among all D in the league.

Smells…. wrong.


A 47% GF% in the Oilers bottom six is huge.

I will take this player, who adds more than a bit of offence (as far as physical play, PK, etc.) at his fairly nominal cap hit.

He will be better when the Oilers surround him with better players in the bottom six and he doesn’t have to fill in as 3C ahead of the likes of Haas, Turris, etc.


Lets not allow HH to use 30 NHL teams to form an argument on superiority over our 1 NHL team.
HH made three primary predictions this season: 1) Oilers would miss the playoffs. 2) Canucks would make the playoffs. 3) Flames would finish second in the North division.

When HH uses LA as an example of superiority, you respond Canucks.
When HH uses Colorado as an example of superiority, you respond Canucks.
When HH uses Tampa Bag as an example of superiority, you respond Canucks.


It is amazing how many of “those sure fire Kings prospects” also meet his criteria for “toiling” in the AhL


I believe the approved phrase is “meandering”.


‘Middling’ is also approved.

I wonder how many of these sure-fire Kings forward prospects are scoring less than middling Oilers D Evan Bouchard did in the AHL?


Better yet, I wonder how Brogan and the rest of his Canuck prospects are doing.

Harpers Hair

It’s now been labeled Evaning.


The point is that you can’t win an argument against someone who is allowed to use 30 teams to identify why your team sucks.
Instead, respond with a response of why his Canucks were worse this season.


Doesn’t matter
this site is for trolling and now counter trolling

Harpers Hair

None of those things are true.

I had Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg making the playoffs with Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver vying for the final playoff spot.

Edmonton exceeded expectations and Calgary underperformed their talent level.

Vancouver’s season was just a calamity with early injuries and poor play
sinking their chances. Then losing their best player mid season and suffering a team-wide Covid outbreak finished them off.

I don’t mind intelligent criticism but there is no need to make shit up to make yourself feel better.


The flames didn’t underperform their talent level, their talent level is weak – they don’t have elite talent and are last among Canadian teams with respect thereto

OK, maybe tied with Ottawa for last – the Tkachuks saw off, although I think Brady is much better and Monohan is a “meh” 1st liner – Gaudereu has elite talent but Stutzle likely passes him in the near future. Lindholm is good, far from elite.

The flames elite d-man is rolling down the cliff.

You made bold predictions such as Valimaki for the Calder – your assessment of the flames was simply way way off but that’s par from the course when everything is assessed to try and find the anti-Oiler negative.


You spent the entire season telling us why the Canucks and Flames were better than the Oilers. Didn’t work out so well for you, like most of your statements.

Last edited 13 days ago by Yegfoundation

I remember in April when the flames were poised for a huge run up the standings….


I’ll always be sad about Kristiāns Pelšs. A true tragedy. It’s the draft and follow that just should have worked out against all odds. Son of a poet, put into hockey and sports to help overcoming stunting as a child. Impressed in Latvia, got picked in the draft and had some gentle upward arrows in his first pro season… and then one fateful night where something went terribly wrong.


Very sad. Never know why.


Kassian for Zucker
The 1st round pick (or Samorukov) for Stamkos.
Re-sign Nugent-Hopkins
Re-sign Larsson.
Buyout Neal.


Zucker McDavid Stamkos
Nugent-Hopkins Draisaitl Yamamoto
Benson McLeod Puljujarvi
Shore Khaira Archibald

Nurse Bear
Klefbom Bouchard
Jones Larsson



I definitely think Holland should be shopping in Tampa Bay this summer, but I think the Stamkos / Point / Cirelli / Sergachev suggestions are unrealistic. I’ve seen where Tampa fans have suggested Killorn for 3rd + Stalock (after expansion), that’s the type of deal Holland should be exploring IMO.


That would be a good deal imo, will cost us more.


Killorn would be a no brainer at that price in my opinion. Would likely do well on McDavid’s wing opposite Puljujarvi. I’d assume the ask is at least a 2nd and a sweetener though.

He does have a M-NTC too.

Last edited 14 days ago by Oddspell

Its modelled after the Schmidt trade last summer, I believe.


Nice ideas but Stamkos is always injured and Pens fans don’t seem excited about the Kassian idea, so guessing that is also a long shot.


Thankfully Burkie is a much easier sell for truculence than the Penguins fanbase.


I remember people complaining about Hall being not durable. I cant imagine picking up
Id be cool with Palat though


The Los Angeles Kings could be a big player in the off-season trade market, per TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. Dreger reported the team is hoping to acquire two top six forwards through trade or free agency this off-season.


Harpers Hair

It’s almost as if I had heard that somewhere before. 🙂

With all those high end prospects, 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft, $20 million in cap space and pretty much zero in the way of expiring contracts needing attention, they are uniquely positioned to wheel and deal in the offseason.

I expect the fireworks will kick off before the draft.


No one argued they won’t spend the cap on new players. The question is whether that will make them decent. The answer is ‘probably not’.

Also, how many different teams can be uniquely positioned?

Or are all teams uniquely positioned in their own way?


Seems similar but worse to the situation the Oilers find themselves in this season.
Similar fear for both teams. Overpaying declining UFAs.
Expecting the young guys to step up.

Harpers Hair


They have a superb analytics department to vet those free agents.

Several of their young guys have already stepped up and there’s a flood more where they came from.

And they have so many prospects they can use in trade to cap strapped in need of expansion protected assets.

Other than that…exactly the same.


Seems similar but worse to the situation the Oilers find themselves in this season.

It doesn’t look very similar to me.

Yes, both teams need to avoid bad contracts, but the Oilers are actually already a good team.

They don’t need their prospects to step up to become decent.

On a full season pace, the Oilers were a 105 point team. The Kings were a 72 point team. The gap in where they’re starting from is massive.

The Kings are basically the HOPE Oilers, while the Oilers are a quality team trying to take the next step.


but the Oilers are actually already a good team. They don’t need their prospects to step up to become decent. On a full season pace, the Oilers were a 105 point team.

And yet the overwhelming thought on this board is that the Oilers aren’t contenders and should not be trading futures for more immediate help.


And yet the overwhelming thought on this board is that the Oilers aren’t contenders and should not be trading futures for more immediate help.

I don’t know if that’s quite true.

I can’t speak for others, but I’ve pushed back against the NEED to trade the 1st or top prospects for help. Also the need to do it RIGHT NOW.

I’m not at all opposed to moving high picks or top prospects immediately if the right deal is there, but I also don’t feel like there’s urgency to do it this summer vs at the deadline or next summer.

I kind of think the team is still growing, and that they’ll be in a better position to start trading futures once Bouchard and McLeod and Holloway and Broberg/Samorukov are established as NHLers and actually beginning to contribute (I mean like a year or so from now).

With some cap to spend, the Oilers should be able to take another step going into next season even without moving futures, and well, you still have those futures to contribute to the growth or to move in trades at a later point. You probably have a better idea what your needs are then than now as well.

That’s my POV anyway.


Those guys will be established NHLers in one year? That’s a risky bet.


No not fully established. But Bouchard and McLeod at least should have a full year under their belts.

And as I said, it’s not specifically about waiting for them to be ready. The main thing for me is there’s no major urgency that you have to spend those assets this off season.

Continuing to build the foundation and pipeline will be useful down the road.

If there’s a good deal out there that makes sense, absolutely you do it and spend the assets. But I don’t think there’s a need for Holland to enter the summer saying ‘I’m going to trade the 1st (say) for an NHL player this off season’.


With some cap to spend, the Oilers should be able to take another step going into next season even without moving futures

As Dreger states, the LA kings are shopping for the same commodities that the Oilers are in free agency, and they aren’t the only ones. The Kraken will be competing, so will the Flames. It’s great to have cap space, but they aren’t the only ones. At some point a trade or two will need to be made. Relying on winning free agency is risky, and tough.

Harpers Hair

They answer is almost certainly yes.

Let’s do a deeper dive here.


Anze Kopitar 50P 56GP

Quinton Byfield 6 NHL GP (still 18!)

Gabriel Vilardi 23P 54 NHL GP

Jaret Anderson-Dolan 43 NHL GP

Alex Turcotte #5 overall pick 2019 32 AHL GP

Tyler Madden 1.37 PPG at NE NCAA

Rasmus Kupari 23P 32GP AHL

Lias Andersson 89 GP NHL (likely a winger)

Akil Thomas 26P 40 AHL GP

Every one of those players is blue chip or projects to have an NHL career.

Of note, other than Kopitar, all of those players are 22 or under and some have already made the NHL roster.

By way of comparison, the Oilers top C prospect is Cooper Marody who is almost 25.

Now, obviously some of those centres will be shifted to the wing so their depth at those positions will only increase but, for the sake of argument, let’s look at what the Kings winger depth could look like.

Dustin Brown (1 more season)

New Guy

New Guy

Adrian Kempe 24 .5PPG in 312GP on a poor team

Alex Iafollo 30P 55GP

Arthur Kaliyev

Samuel Ferragamo

Vladimir Tkachev

The above includes only players who project as top 6 forwards and remember some of those C prospects will end up playing on the wing.

Let’s also bear in mind that the Kings have the 8th overall pick coming up and have the capital to trade up if they choose to do so but, if not, they will be adding another high end prospect. Of course, they also have 2 picks in each of the second and third rounds to add to the horde.

Their D is still a bit of of a work in progress but Drew Doughty at 1RD, while vastly overpaid, remains a credible RD anchor and Mikey Anderson and Tobias Bjornfot have shown well. They also signed Helge Grans to his ELC yesterday.

I expect they may pull a player like Ryan Graves out of Colorado before the expansion draft in return for an exempt assets (there will be other options.)

And, yes, the Kings are uniquely positioned in that they have the best prospect pool in the league (by a fair margin) that they can use as trade or draft capital, $20 million in cap space with no pressing concerns and an adroit analytics department.

Even Peter Chiarelli couldn’t fuck this up.


Let’s do a deeper dive here.

I have no idea what you’re hoping to achieve by taking a deep dive into the AHL.


Even Peter Chiarelli couldn’t fuck this up.

You know this isn’t true.

Material Elvis

I see a lot of mediocrity in that list. Lias Andersson? Puhlease. He projects to be a 4C at best; his numbers are similar or worse than Khaira and his skating is awful. The other guys you listed haven’t proven a thing at the NHL level. Byfield is their best prospect and his offense might be shy. Turcotte’s numbers at all levels since his draft year are underwhelming. Wake me up when they’ve done something at the NHL level (other than show up and play games).


I like how for some of the players, you include the amount of points they have while for others you do not. Almost like you’re choosing to include only numbers that support your point.

Lias Anderson for example you note 89GP as some sort of indication of success.
He’s a 7th overall pick about to enter the 5th year of his NHL career.
He’s played 7, 42, 17, 23 games in his first four years.
He’s 89GP 6-9-15 -24

Maybe he puts it together but as of now it looks like a bust for a 7th overall.
Actually he was already traded for just a 60th overall so I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Then you ignore Holloway and McLeod as Oilers C prospects to claim Marody is our best guy (McLeod was literally just promoted to play C over Marody…) Choosing to avoid mentioning that Edmonton spent 2/3 of their last top picks on defensemen.

In fact, you chose to avoid mentioning LAs D prospects all together. I wonder why.

And you ignore that Oilers are already set at C with McDrai. What Edmonton actually needs is wingers, a goalie and their many D prospects to grow up a bit.


Tyler Madden just had 5 points in 14 games in the “watered down” AHL as a 21 year old (he turns 22 in November).

Tyler Benson was almost a PPG in a non-watered down AHL as a 20 year old.

Every piece of info is “spun”.


Really who cares. There is room in the Pacific for a rising Kings team. Calgary and Canucks San Jose are all in decline. Vegas is still the best. Oilers are well positioned after a great regular season but poor playoff. So Vegas, Oilers and LA take the first three spots and the riff raff fight for posibly a 4TH unless the central has a 5th team thats better.


Doughty isn’t as impressed as you are.

Drew Doughty won’t be satisfied with the Los Angeles Kings front office if it doesn’t bolster the rebuilding club in the near future.
The defenseman expressed a sense of urgency and cited the Kings’ aging core when asked if it’s time for the team to add more experience.”



Ha!! team flush with forward prospects to acquire forwards!!
Two forwards may be enough to get them into the playoffs behind Vegas and Edmonton but thats about it


Eichel is the obvious go to. Which is fine, will soak up a fair amount of Cap for them and keep the UFA market soft(er).


Yeah Eichel and declining Kopitar Doughty and Quick will eat almost half of the cap

Harpers Hair

Kopitar – $10 million. 50 points.

Kassian + Neal – $9.2 million. 15 points

Tough choice.


Kopitar + Doughty + Quick – 27 million. 84 points. 0.898
McDavid + Draisaitl + Nurse + Smith – 29 million. 235 points. 0.923

Last edited 14 days ago by Dac189

woops. I forgot to add

Tough choice.

Ice Sage

Hey! No fair!!!1 you stole HH’s goalposts!!!

Harpers Hair

Sam Reinhart is a more likely target.

He has already said he wants to play on the West Coast.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Drai McDavid Kass
Hyman RNH JP
Benson/Neal Haula Yamo
McLeod/Neal Khaira Archie

Nurse Dumba
Kulikov Larsson
Russell/Sammy Bouchard


Hyman and Haula are UFA signings
Bear and Rodrique/Konavalov for Dumba
Klefbom and Koss (50% retained) for Kuemper

I think the numbers work. Try real hard to not buyout Neal this year. Turris contract actually structured for a buyout. We get $1.4 million of cap relief this year and only a $700,000 cost next season.

Last edited 14 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
unca miltie

LY. have you ever been to Barstow? small coincidence but I have been there a couple times. It is on the road to Bakersfield from Palm Springs, a drive I made to see the Condors a couple years ago. FYI, I went to the game that Colby Cave fought Popisil from the Heat.
I suspect a few ball players have come from Barstow.

Material Elvis

I’ve passed through there a couple of times. Pulled into a gas station and the temperature gauge on my car was 50.0 degrees C. Inside the gas station, they were selling Reese peanut butter cups that weighed 0.5 pounds each (two per package) — gotta love the US.

Wonder Llama

I don’t go near there anymore. That’s bat country.


Awesome! 🤣👍🏽👍🏽


I am not completely sure that analytic properly access a player like JJK. In JJK game that very hard to measure.

1.Forecheck with a HARD body check in the process,
2.How tiring it is for a dman to box out a big body,
3.The value of a half a minute offensive zone cycle,
4.A big body to clog up the neutral zone.

This are real contribution to the team.


The explanation on Ellis is he is much too small. They had to replace him with a coke machine like Kahun to balance the lineup. It’s the only logical answer. In all seriousness, I think Holland’s stature has him a bit biased in acquiring smaller players. Having 4 forwards and 2 defensemen under 5’10” in the regular lineup is a bit much in today’s NHL. Granted nobody has told Archie he’s not 6’4″ and Ellis and Russell weren’t in as much as the others.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Ennis had terrible numbers on major mistakes leading to grade A chances against. Very high event and it’s not surprising he wasn’t playing much. He was the Jones equivalent at forward. One would expect our host to consider both side of the ledger. NHL coaches certainly do.

Last edited 14 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Spot on. That was what I was coming down here to add until noticing you already had. Shoutout to Staples, McCurdy et al for their longitudinal study of contributions to/mistakes against.


Any chance you could link to it?

His underlying ‘against’ numbers from Natural Stat Trick aren’t bad, and he actually led the forwards in goals against rates (fewest).

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

You would have to ask McCurdy. It’s his data. He pops by occasionally.


McCurdy and Staples provide access to all their data.

Even single contribution to a grade A chance against (mistake) or chance for (positive play) is time-stamped and available.


Yeah, no worries.

I assume(d) they have an article with the full season numbers at Cult of Hockey that could be easily linked to. I can have a look there.

Material Elvis

Then how do you explain the elevated minutes that Devin Shore got? He was awful on the defensive side of the puck.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Poor results at center but not bad at LW. He’s an OK 4th line winger.

John Chambers

I don’t think playing McDavid and Draisaitl together is a problem. As Cassandra notes, many competitive teams load up their top lines.
The challenge since 2016-17, is that our second line, even when it was anchored by Nuge and Eberle, wasn’t good enough. Still isn’t.
Ryan Nugent Hopkins cannot succeed as a centre. He doesn’t make enough plays to drive offence and the middle six becomes a wasteland without a top talent anchoring it.
For four years it has been evident that McDavid and Draisaitl need to drive their own lines, mainly because the rest of the team is so deficient in their absence.
But perhaps where Ken Holland needs to focus is on finding a 2C who can push Nuge to 2L and outscore or neutralize the opponents second line.
Sam Reinhart might be that guy.


The 2nd line must outscore the opponent’s second line. If all they do is neutralize then the Oilers remain a one-line team.



We can’t find enough wingers…but the search for a 2C will be easy apparently.


Tippett likes Khaira a lot. He will be back.


So…. getting creative with an Edmonton / Arizona trade

Edmonton gets:

Kuemper ($4.5 m / 1 year)
Karlsson ($1.4 m / 1 year)
and retains
Koskinen ($2.0 m / 1 year)
Neal ($1.0 m / 2 years)

Arizona gets:

Koskinen ($2.5 m 1 year)
Neal (4.75 m / 2 years)
Lagesson ($725k / 1 year)
2nd round pick 2022
one of Safin / Maksimov


Arizona gets a good early-draft pick, a decent mid-tier prospect, Lagesson (Arizona has poor defensive depth), and Koskinen/Neal

Edmonton gets Kuemper and a depth LW but actually take on MORE Cap in year 1 ($1.65 million in year 1) before saving $2.35 m in year 2 (more if Larsson is sent to the minors).

Key for Edmonton is getting a viable 1a to play with Smith, which is a need, and avoiding buy-outs.

Dee Dee

Why would Arizona ever make that Deal? You’d have to give them so much more to take two boat anchors and a tweener


We need a goaltender badly if you have to package up Bear a draft pick and Mikko at half price so be it. We aren’t winning diddly squat with Mike and Mikko.


With the extra year of Neal I’m not sure that they do that without a little more – but I like the outside the box approach.


“well, my car broke down in Barstow and I had to stay over. Found a high school game and this kid is all arms and legs, loosy-goosy, but I clocked him at 89, which was more than he weighed at the time. He’s a kid we like, if he can get a foot on that fastball of his and we can get his entire body heading to the plate at the same time, maybe we have something”

Dammit LT, I can smell the mustard on this guys hot dog. And on the fastball. I think I like reading your prose as much as I like watching the prose of an imperfectly played hockey game. Thank you


We have 2 NHL MVP that play centre.

Universally recognized C’s are more valuable than wingers, no?

Crazy thought. Let’s play each NHL MVP on our team at their natural position.

Find skilled wingers for them and they will be impossible to stop.


I don’t think anyone here has a problem with JJ being our 4C / PK guy.

Love the player. Need to see full season consistency, though.

We need these homegrown guys to stay and play.


Jeremias Lindewall approves this blogpost.
He’s so far from a finished product, showed just ok in his draft year other than right at the end, but you can really see the allure with that skating, skill, size combo. (Though to be fair by getting into a reasonable amount of pro games already he’s at the same time ahead of the curve, but that’s in his draft+1)

This years draft and follow out of Sweden? I’d look at Oliver Johansson, playing for Timrå, same youth club and same first pro club as Henrik Zetterberg, same size as well, not the same type of player but an interesting combo of skill, skating and ambition. Maybe Holland gets his 7th round homerun out of Njurunda yet again with this kid?

Last edited 14 days ago by SwedishPoster

What do you think of Jonas Johansson?

It’s probable that Colorado will sign him, but who knows?

I had mentioned him here before Colorado traded for him under the premise of shopping for a giant nearly developed goalie from a tire fire organization (Buffalo).


He’s a UFA right?

He’s got an awfully short track of quality play in North America. I’d be pretty surprised if Sakic (or anyone) signed him as more than their #3.

Maybe he really has put it together though.

Harpers Hair

Pretty much a no brainer for Sakic to re-sign him.

.913 in 8 games down the stretch.

A perfect #3 at a low price point and an opportunity depending on the health of Fracouz.

buck yoakam

thanks so much SP…you always provide us with such great insight and information we might never read!…what a fabulous contributor!..so unlike the crusty old troll we see here a little too often..


Anyone see DNBs newest?

Interesting tidbit that the Oilers are likely to protect Benson in the expansion draft.

If so, Benson is clearly in Holland’s plans.


Elgin R

The Oilers are going to lose a good player in the expansion draft which is as it should be, so that any expansion team is not just cannon fodder as it was back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. What do the Oilers need most to improve their roster and what do they appear to have a surplus of? The team needs wingers and has good depth at LD. Therefore, protecting Benson and exposing Jones is the correct move. Also, I would protect Klefbom – I think KH is just blowing smoke in case he has to expose Klefbom if Larsson is signed before the Kraken draft.



Just thought it was noteworthy since there’s been lots of speculation they might protect 4 D. And also that Holland might not think much of Benson since he didn’t draft him and didn’t give him a call up this season.


Protecting Benson? That’s when you know the Oilers are a bad team hahaha😃


Yeah we’ll see I guess.

Harpers Hair

I expect Seattle will follow the Vegas example and select a few unsigned RFA’s like Benson and then let them walk.

That saves cap dollars for higher impact players.

Elgin R

Maybe they select the future Norris winner Brokedown Rafferty and let him walk to continue his career in the ECHL.


Agreed on Khaira.

You’d hope he gets pushed to 4C by an outside addition (or growth from McLeod), but his scoring through his career has been fine for a bottom 6 guy.

His offense became a focus because of poor results last season with Sheahan, but that was more the anomaly than his good number this year.

Through his career his 5v5/60 has been 1.38, 1.38, 0.80, 1.67.

With his size, physicality and PK work, a 4C scoring at 1.30 P/60 is A-OK in my books.


JJ’s a better bet than Haas, that’s for sure.

I’m okay with keeping him on as competition for McLeod presuming we get a bonafide 3C (J. Larsson, Haula, Bozak, etc kind of player) in the off season.


Yes, I think it would be ideal to have Khaira/McLeod as 4C/5C as the starting point.

Last edited 14 days ago by jp

Hey LT do you think Cirelli would make a good 2C. If so, do you think it’s possible to get him out of Tampa? At what price? First plus?

Elgin R

Tampa is currently $5m over the cap with 12F, 5D and 2G signed. They are in a world of hurt and must divest one (or more) good players. The key is to not help these guys out but make them suffer the pain!

  • Brayden Point would be interesting, but only with a low acquisition cost as he would most probably just be a 1-year rental ($9m QO after next season).
  • Cirelli is the right age for the Oilers, is a good player but also small and has a high QO ($7.2m after the 2022-2023 season).
  • Alex Killorn has two more years at $4.5m and would then be 34 years old prior to the start of the 2023-2024 season – so probably just a 2-year member of the Oilers.

Is 1-year of Point or 2-years of Cirelli or Killorn worth the 2021 1st rounder? Hopefully KH does not think so. Offer the 2022 2nd round pick and see if Tampa bites.

Last edited 14 days ago by Elgin R

Point is worth the 1st easily, but Cirelli isn’t. If they could steal Point out of TB (not happening) that’s a long term solution to 2C for sure, as they’ll have the flexibility needed to re-sign him with a simple Nuge trade.

I think Palat and Killorn should be the targets though. As long as we’re not talking about the 1st round pick, but a 3rd max (see: Schmidt trade to Vancouver).


Would love Cirelli. He’s young, can play very good defence and has offensive upside. The cap is high at $4.8 but he’s signed for three years and the asset cost would be reasonable.


LT has an article on whether Draisatl and McDavid should play together. We tend to assume they shouldn’t but it is an interesting question.

There is an opportunity right now to watch teams faced with just this question.

Boston, TB, and Colorado all play their best two players together. In the case of Boston and Colorado they play their best three players, and TB adds Palat who is excellent.

Vegas Carolina don’t, but here it might only be because it is not quite clear who their best players are, because they have more depth. The Islanders only have one start player, but they fit the Vegas and Carolina mold.

It is almost as if, contrary to the prevailing wisdom here, the less depth you have the more you should play your best players together.

Anyway, I think that you should plan on playing Draisatl and McDavid together, and then put your resources into a second line that can play built around RNH and Puljujarvi. That means adding the best winger you can find and re-signing RNH to play center. You can’t enter free agency having to “win” free agency by signing the two best forwards. That never happens. They need to sign this year’s Craig Smith to 3X3. That was a great signing.


McDavid can’t do it alone.

We’ve needed to surround him with better talent since the beginning.

But we should be surrounding both he and Leon with better talent so we can have two outscoring lines that lay waste to the competition.

Having both together makes it that much easier to shut down the Oilers, which is what happened to TOR when Tavares went down and Matthews/Marner were unable to score.


This is a logical proposition. However, see above re: logic + Oilers…and RNH is also now viewed only as a winger on this team (see McLeod @2 in “must win” games).

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I’ve been going on about acquiring Smith for McDavid line for years. Especially after he had a down one a couple of years ago. Pretty bloody obvious he’s an ES killer and always has been.


Someone brought up the Reinhart trade below. It really is an incredible trade.

Playing major minutes for the Islanders right now are Pulock, Pelech, and Mayfield. All three were teammates of Reinhart in Bridgewater the season before the trade. All three of them had passed Reinhart in the eyes of both Islanders management and independent observers, and yet Chiarelli not only chose Reinhart out of the four, but actively targeted him (since none of the other three would ever have required a first and second round pick to acquire).

It was a stunning trade, since Reinhart was already a reclamation project at best, at the time of the trade. I said it that summer when they traded Marincin, that there was no evidence that he was better than Marincin, and in fact quite a bit of evidence that he was worse.


This is still the dumbest Trade Pete ever made. And the one that frustrated me the most

Set the franchise back 3 years.

Ppl used to “justify” the trade by saying Edm would have selected J.E.E. @#16. Well he is a helluva player now; so that Fox won’t hunt.


JEE + Carlo would have gone a long way to setting up this franchise for long term contention. Even if there was (far) better available at 16.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

No we needed defense. Just take best available. Chabot plus Carlo were best available and would have been pretty damn fine. Plus Bear, Jones and Marino 🙂


On the other hand, every mistake Chiarelli made brought us closer to him being fired.
If you look at it through that lens, the Koskinen signing was worth every penny.


Islander bloggers were dumbfounded by the trade. Anyone with even a remote connection to the team knew he was a failed prospect.


Bob Green still works for the Oilers.


Yeah, I went over to lighthouse hockey after the trade. They were chortling.

Last edited 14 days ago by Ryan

The infatuation with the WHL and in particular the Oil Kings is legendary.
( Green loved

The rank love for Tyler Benson was seen 18 months prior to the draft.

Debrincat could have scored 150 points that year – the Oilers were taking Benson.

Fast forward to today and you can practically smell the rank love for – wait for it- an Oil King player.

Just a reminder, Bob Green is still employed with the Oilers.

Last edited 14 days ago by McSorley33

Looking back on the trade… how did it require two picks? Like, was that Edmonton’s opening offer and then Snow (was he still GM then?) had to mute the phone while he laughed and figured out how he could possibly respond in a way expressing some plausible hardship on his part?


Probably asked PC for a 3rd pick just to see what he would say….


Shit man.

Bob Green or no, the Oilers haven’t picked a single WHL player in the last 3 drafts.

They haven’t picked an Oil King since Mitch Moroz in 2012.

Pretty sure the infatuation is over.


Good point. That is a long time for the Oilers…

Maybe Barzal and Debrincat made them change their course…

Still, I have a nervous feeling this year…..

Maybe you are right, I am worrying for nothing.


I mean, they very well could pick Cossa (if available). I just don’t think it would be fair to call that WHL or EOK bias at this point.

But yeah, there definitely has been a change in approach there. Damn good to see.

On DeBrincat, I’ve never felt that was a fair criticism of the Oilers since 6 more teams passed over him after they did. He lasted until 39th. The concerns about his size+boots were real and widespread.


Tippett & Co. Have put together B2B Great Regular seasons for the 1st time since 2004 – 06 range ??

That represents Good Arrows. If KH can add some quality this summer; along with Bouchard and maybe Holloway; another excellent regular season should be ahead.

So here’s to hoping KH can do the right things this summer!!

Bruce McCurdy

Last time Oilers made the post season 2x in a row was 1999-2001. That was the end of a 5 in a row run.
in the 2 decades since they’ve made the playoffs 5 times Total, & that includes 2019-20 where they made the last 24 but not the final 16.


Dismal record for sure. Thats why 2 Good Seasons in a row is progress. *assuming* they make the Playoffs next season; that is 3 Good Reg Seasons in a row. Much Progress.

They are in a weak division next year.

So major opportunity sits in front of KH this coming summer / season

Last edited 14 days ago by jtblack
Dee Dee

I remember a certain Kevin Lowe blowing up the team because he wasn’t happy with the Oilers merely making the playoffs every year and wanted to build a perennial Cup Winner. Look where that got the team.

Bank Shot

That’s not what happened. The Oilers kept trying to compete for the playoffs after 2006 and signed guys like Khabibulin and Souray. The chase for Heatley, etc.

Then they finished last while trying to be competitive. At that point they decided to “blow up” the team.

Elgin R

Many people are talking about not having RNH or Khaira return – madness I say! PK has been at or near the top of the league for the last two seasons and both these players have provided large contributions to that success.

Specifically, Khaira plays a big-man’s game, he skates well, hits, fights as required and contributes on the score board well enough for a 4th liner. JJ as a 4th line center shows good depth and proper usage. Definitely sign the man.


One of the main reasons for the Oilers increase up the standings over the last two seasons was Holland and Tippett “fixing the PK”.

It was atrocious for years prior to their arrival and a main goal of Holland in his first off-season as Oiler GM was to get PK guys. That, along with the systems put in place by Playfair and Tippett sent the PK to the top of the league and we know that this team is good due to combined special teams mostly.

There is zero reason not to qualify Khaira in my opinion – for value for $1.3MM.


I do not have an explanation for the usage of Tyler Ennis, it is not logical.

I am surprised that logic remains an expectation with this organization.

Logic would have the Oilers with one of the best analytics departments in the game, supported by the thoughtful, inteligent men and women who love this team and want them to get their heads out of their collective asses so that Leon and Connor can lead a team that dominates the league.

Logic would have had someone in place to question the decisions about contracts for a lot of the players brought in to the team.

Logic also would have been dead wrong on Mike Smith, so… it’s not everything.

But playing at GMing a team on seen em’ good and gut instinct is a risky proposition. Probably not as risky as keeping Chiarelli or Tambellini, but I believe most of us armchair GMs could have performed better than either of those men.

Here’s hoping Ken & Co have enough guesses that turn out correct that Stanley comes to town in the next 3 years.

Last edited 14 days ago by Jordan
Elgin R

but I believe most of us armchair GMs could have performed better than either of those men.’

Not a large hill to climb – I think one of the only people in the entire world who would not have performed better would have been Mike Milbury.

Just not making the Reinhart trade would have placed Chia-Pet in a better light. Oh well, what’s done is done – so we move on and hope that Old Dutch does not make any more egregious errors.

Bruce McCurdy

“If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle.” — Rita Mae Brown, on the Oilers


Its a bit of a narrative to me to posit that Tyler Ennis was miscast and that was largely due to the Oilers not having an analytics team in line with much of the rest of the league, the smarter organizations.

I mean, all of these smarter organizations, all 30 of them, passed on claiming Tyler Ennis off waivers twice this past season.

Not a single NHL organization, even those most dedicated to analytics-based decisions, decided this player was worth taken on for zero acquisition cost and at a nominal cap hit.

Randle McMurphy

Add in Armia’s shorties and he would pop nearer to the top of the list I beleive.

Khaira and Armia on the PK sounds pretty good.

Coleman and Armia in free agency.

Then trade for Sam Reinhart as your 2C and you’re cookin with gas.

Last edited 14 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Oilers seem to like First Round pedigree, which Armia has.

And Armia can bunk with JP ( after we ship Mikko out of town )

Last edited 14 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Draisaitl McDavid Kassian
Coleman Reinhart Puljujarvi
Armia McLeod Yamamoto
Shore Khaira Archibald


How much are we paying Coleman though?

Some of the numbers folks are throwing around strike me as crazy for a guy who managed to score 0.5 points per game for the first time at age 29 (and playing for the lightning).

Elgin R

Coleman is a 3rd liner at this point in his career. Oilers do not need anymore 3rd liners. The team needs top 6 players to push some of the current guys down.


Coleman would be a great add. He has avg 19 goals per 82 games and I’m not sure if he has ever played in the top six. I think he was in the top six in New Jersey with very meh centres. He won’t get paid like Hyman will.


I agree. Something under $4M and less than 4 years makes a lot of sense for Edmonton – and for Coleman.


The one snag is Coleman is American. Hopefully he doesn’t have an issue playing in Canada.

Scungilli Slushy

He’s a late bloomer for sure.

Tampa who are analytics darlings traded a first and Nolan Foot who was a first round pick for him.

He must have something they like.

He produces as well as Hyman and is less injury prone and will cost less, if he ends up 3LW at 3.5M and can do what the Oilers need (be a physical two way player) I can live with that for 3-4 years.

I feel they seriously need some hard nosed players with enough size that can score to take the next step.

They remain too vanilla and the skill they brought in don’t shoot well enough to cash their chances 5v5.


He’s a nice player, no question about that. I’m just concerned about the value on a 3-4 year deal at $3.5-$4M (and a few posters here have suggested numbers over $4M IIRC).

One of the things the Lightning liked about him was his $1.8M contract. Definite value there, but that’s going to double by the sounds of it. And he turns 30 in November.

Where did you get the impression he produces as well as Hyman by the way? That’s not true.

Anyway, I agree he’d be a great add and brings some things to the team that are lacking. Just seems like a contract that could age pretty badly, even over a 4 year term.


On the original post, while Sam Reinhart is a name that I’ve put out there as the “type of player” I’d be amenable to moving the first-round pick for, it would be more for his play as 2RW and center fill in as opposed to 2C.

I simply cannot get on board with any plan that has Drai/McDavid on the same line starting games. I am fully aware of their numbers together but also fully believe they need to be 1C and 2C going forward.

As far as Blake Coleman, I like the player and would love to have him – premise being a middle six winger as opposed to a top 6 winger.

My fear with a guy like Coleman is that he will be miscast as a legit top 6 winger and expected to produce as such. I believe he’s mainly played as a middle six/3rd line guy and been sheltered via the great top 6 depth in Tampa.

Is he a legit top 6 winger? Is Hyman?

Harpers Hair

Consider that JT Miller also played as a middle 6 winger in Tampa because of that same depth.


Stamkos was his most common linemate that year.


Where did you get the impression he produces as well as Hyman by the way? That’s not true.

That’s an interesting question, I suppose it could be framed either way. This year, Hyman produced 0.84 G/60 and 2.14 P/60 while Coleman was at 0.80 G/60 and 2.04 P/60. Basically a wash until you consider one very important thing: linemates. Hyman’s most common linemates were Marner and Matthews while Coleman’s most common linemates were Goodrow & Gourde.

This is reflected in Hyman’s 60.53 IPP vs Coleman’s 74.19 IPP. Gourde (75.56 IPP) and Coleman are driving that line (Goodrow is at 50.00), while Hyman is a complimentary player on the Leafs top line behind Marner (83.33 IPP) and Matthews (81.48 IPP). Not that being a very good complimentary player is a bad thing, but at $5M+ you’d expect a guy to be able to push the river a bit, no?

The story is largely the same last year too. The thing I find interesting is that Oilers fans almost universally agree that McDavid needs a physical player to dig pucks out of corners etc., yet Hyman posted just 4.32 hits/60 over the past 2 years while Coleman posted 10.96. Hyman also receives a lot more punishment, accumulating 8.26 hits against/60 vs 4.54 for Coleman over the same time period. For reference, Tyler Ennis recorded 7.85 hits/60 this year. Hyman isn’t an overly physical player – not at all what I expected.


Yeah that’s totally fair if you look only at this season.

Coleman’s 3 previous seasons were 1.35, 1.47, 1.68 though. Hyman was over 1.80 all 3 years.

Hyman is 100% a complementary player to his linemates, but I still think he’s a better offensive player than Coleman.

I’d take Hyman at $5Mx4 over Coleman at $3.75Mx4. I think that would be a better investment (not that those numbers are actually realistic).


I can’t see any reason why Khaira shouldn’t be back or won’t be back. A fine 4C/PK guy that can skate and play aggressively. Had a solid season after a tough start. Injuries derailed the season a bit but he is a valuable bottom 6 piece.

To be qualified at $1.3MM – a no-brainer.

Sure, maybe an “arbitration risk” but, really, is there a risk of a high reward? I don’t think so.

Filing for arbitration could/would have a benefit as well – opening up a second buyout window which would give management some extra time to asses if Neal/Mikko need/should be bought out.