On the day he was drafted, I was encouraged by Matej Blumel but had some concerns: “He’s an interesting pick, but a little shy of being an inspired one. He’s a shooter, works hard and has some range of abilities. I’m unsure that his offense is special and that will be the thing we track with Blumel.”
Blumel belonged to that group of players who are almost Saturday night, meaning talent is there, and there’s no question about draft worthiness, but things need to break right. In baseball, his name is John VanderWal, but it’s also Archi Cianfrocco and it’s also Tyrone Kingwood. Sometimes they play 1,000 games, sometimes 500, sometimes they never make it. It’s a grey area.
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!
- New Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers’ plans for the Kraken draft
- Lowetide: The Oilers must decide now what to do about the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl dilemma
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 2
- Lowetide: What is Kailer Yamamoto’s future fit on the Oilers’ depth chart?
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
- DNB: What a perfect offseason could look like for the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers need to add four wingers to their top nine this summer
- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
- DNB: Oilers could look quite different next season after departure of several players
- Lowetide: It won’t be easy, but the Oilers need to re-sign Darnell Nurse soon
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
- New DNB: Connor McDavid shows his frustration as another year of his prime is lost: ‘We’re a group that expects more’
- New Jonathan Willis: The NHL gifted the Oilers Connor McDavid; six years later, they have yet to adequately support him
- Jakub Pour, Age 21 (Czech league): 48 games, 12-4-16 (.333 pts-game)
- Matej Blumel, Age 20 (Czech league) 49 games, 17-15-32 (.65 pts-game)
They are not the same player-type, Pour is taller and thin (6.03, 198 compared to Blumel’s 6.0, 198) and has been more consistent than Blumel. Edmonton’s prospect may need another season in the Czech league but warrants a contract. Edmonton needs scoring wingers. The Oilers should sign him.
Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts (it is here, please click and read as I am breaking my rule about waiting 24 hours) including a passage about Ryan Nugent Hopkins: “Edmonton and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are grinding to find common ground.”
So that’s something. It all comes down to dollars and what the Oilers can make work. For instance, last year’s five LW’s cost a total of $14.425 million. That was divided between the Nuge ($6 million), Dominik Kahun ($975,000), Tyler Ennis ($1 million), James Neal ($5.75 million) and Devin Shore ($700,000).
You want better value for your money. If the team buys out James Neal, that means his cost is reduced to $1,916,667 (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) and saves a bundle. If Holland can get Nuge in at $5.75 million, sign Blake Coleman for $3.9 million, then Shore’s contract ($850,000) and Benson’s (we’ll say $800,000) allows the team to add an inexpensive extra (say Kahun at $1.1 million) or shoot the moon (effectively cutting off Benson’s playing time, suspect any savings would be spent at center).
All in with Kahun or similar, the Nuge-Coleman-Kahun-Benson-Shore five-layer cake would cost $14,316,667. Almost the same price, but there’s more quality and potential, plus I may have overestimated the Coleman contract. Something to think about (may have underestimated it, too).
The PK men would be Wennberg (2:35 a night), Archibald (2:10 a night), Nuge (1:54) and McLeod (1:05). Jujhar Khaira and Shore would likely be extra forwards and I imagine split time with McLeod and Benson, respectively. Dylan Holloway could arrive early and land in the middle of this depth chart.
OILERS POSSIBLE DEPTH CHART
This assumes that Caleb Jones goes to the Seattle Kraken, and that the Oilers add a couple of veterans on the blue line (William Lagesson to Bakersfield or lost on waivers). McCabe is a bit of an injury worry but well clear of the competition. This also assumes Klefbom is doing the Lido Shuffle (I’ll be sad). A little over $2 million remains.
Corey Pronman’s 2021 final list is out and it’s a gem. It is here. I first discovered Corey back in the Hockey Prospectus days and he’s been uncovering names for the draft by the dozen every year. He was the only guy on Anton Slepyshev as an example, and he’s worked hard to hone his skills since. Highly recommend.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, final show of the week for the Lowdown (TSN1260 will be carrying the early Euro games for the following two days). At 10:20, Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will discuss Ken Holland’s summer. At 11, Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk about the Jays bullpen and how to turn a profit from it. At 11:25, Frank Seravalli from DFO Rundown will talk NHL playoffs and what he’s hearing about the Oilers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!