Ten Years Gone

by Lowetide
Raphael Lavoie photo by Mark Williams

Does NHLE help us identify NHL players? Does it offer insight to picks who are trending as future skill players in the world’s best league? Were there alarms going off about second-round picks that weren’t going to make it, and distant bells ringing loudly about depth picks who were on a high trajectory and had an NHL chance? Did NHLE inform us of these things?

Yes.

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’s the latest!

2010-12

Pitlick was the early second-round pick, and in this three year run of picks should have been the fourth best forward (behind No. 1 overall picks Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov). He had one strong year (for the Medicine Hat Tigers) and I held out hope for him longer than anyone. He exceeded 2.00 pts-per-60 at five on five just once, in the strong Edmonton season of 2016-17.

Ewanyk and Moroz were never going to score enough in pro, that’s on the organization. Taking them early created hope that simply wasn’t there.

NHLE screamed Tobias Rieder throughout the piece, and as luck would have it he’s the one would didn’t sign in Edmonton. I had Rieder No. 7 and Pitlick No. 10 on the 2012 summer top 20.

2013-16

This mid-decade run was far more promising than the early portion of the decade, and with the progress of young Puljujarvi should help the organization push to whatever heights the ’20s will bring to this northern city. Slepyshev won’t join the party, but Puljujarvi and Benson showed via NHLE they had enough talent to play top-9 minutes in the NHL. JP’s growth has allowed even greater dreams to take flight.

NHLE told us three of these men had enough talent to make the grade. The management fumbled, bumbled and stumbled, but the players stayed true.

2017-19

The Oilers, according to NHLE, were shopping in some better aisles compared to the first portion of the decade. Kailer Yamamoto didn’t have the range of Pitlick, the physical reputation of Moroz or the checking of Ewanyk, but he posted big numbers in his draft year and beyond.

Maksimov also posted strong totals draft plus one, they are less reliable because he was an older player but there’s enough there to keep a light on. McLeod and Lavoie are tracking as NHL players, Lavoie looks like he might be the first-shot scorer Edmonton has needed since Miro Satan was sent away.

It’s possible Edmonton gets three productive forwards out of this group, a helluva thing.

2019-2020

Holloway spiked like a demon in his draft plus one, and his career trajectory looks grand. Best be careful of lofty thoughts, but NHLE is falling all over itself after last season. Savoie is also in a spot that would take him to the NHL, and as a marksman ala Lavoie. The Russians are a set, good but it’s uncertain we’ll ever see either man.

2021 Draft eligible (top forwards)

I had a difficult time with this year’s NHLE’s, there’s a certain rhythm to these numbers and I’m comfortable with the normal after all these years. I decided to tweak numbers I didn’t trust (Guenther played against only WHL Alberta, Eklund played in a stronger than normal SHL) and we are here. I think any of these men could end up being the best player in the group five years from now. Here is the second tier of forwards.

This year, more than ever, I had to structure the rankings in a way that reflected a reasonable result. Example: Xavier Bourgault has the second best NHLE among the top forwards, I have him No. 14. That would be outrageous in a normal year, but without being able to trust the numbers, I’ve placed players in tiers in an effort to reflect something close to normal. I will say that the QMJHL absolutely storms the palace gates here, and if we look back five years from now, a big Quebec league draft has been predicted. Final tier.

This is a group that cleans up much of the rest of the first round. European NHLE is often lower, that is a reflection of playing in his leagues with few minutes per game. The USHL number for NHLE has grown over the years and I’m not sure we have it surrounded.

Bottom line? This was a most difficult year for NHLE but I think we have the early picks in some semblance of order. In terms of value, I would look to the QMJHL. Bolduc, L’Heureux and Bourgault could be exceptional value based on what NHLE, in a most difficult year, is telling us.

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ArmchairGM

“Maksimov also posted strong totals draft plus one, they are less reliable because he was an older player but there’s enough there to keep a light on.”

Maksimov was born June 1, 1999 so unless I’m missing something he’s among the youngest players in his draft year.

Last edited 2 months ago by ArmchairGM
€√¥£€^$

From my perspective Svechkov has the same vibe as Holloway had last season. I expect Svechkov to be gone by pick 15, but we could see a whack-load of Defenders scooped up before the Oilers, including Lambos, Morrow, Ceulmans, and Svozil, so I am saying there’s a chance….

What I really like about him is he is a 2-way savant. We always hear that improving defensively can be taught, but it really moves the clock ahead when a player “gets it” because these players earn a coaches trust and therefore will be given opportunities that more offensive players of the same vintage may not get.

So it is well-established that he is a stud on the defensive side, but he still has tonnes of untapped offense in there. In his young career he has consistently been one of the youngest players on his team, has been consistently progressing, but has been on horrible teams. I expect he will shine next season on a very good KHL team, but being a youngster he may not get much playing time, so that is something to watch.

I think he will be NHL ready by 2023-24, which is the year he becomes a free agent.

If he isn’t available, Cossa is my choice and if he isn’t there, the play should be to use the pick on a top 6 forward or to move down and hopefully pick up a bargain like Stankoven in the 2nd and take a flier on Kalle Vaisanen the 3rd.

leadfarmer
€√¥£€^$

I agree with this. Everything I’ve read (er MOST) says L’Heureux is a 2nd round talent.

jp

Lots of rankings seem to have him in the first, though he’s generally on the cusp (Button is a major outlier and has him ranked 8th! apparently).
https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/419758/zachary-l-heureux

His scoring has been pretty damn impressive over 2 years. I’m not following the draft prospects at all closely before they’re picked, but I can certainly see why ‘math’ (NHLe) likes this guy. Sounds like he plays a rugged game too.

The elite prospects scouting report didn’t mention anything negative. Do you know what his weaknesses are that are generally putting him late 1st/early 2nd?

€√¥£€^$

Discipline issues, lacks defensive awareness and effort level at times.

He is a great skater, a phenomenal passer, but has a meh shot.

I am a big fan of Will, the fellow who is Scouching. Check out his takes here:

https://www.scouching.ca/the-blog

Last edited 2 months ago by €√¥£€^$
jp

Cool, thanks. The blog definitely seems like a good read.

On L’Heureux, I’d assumed he must have skating issues based on his good scoring vs. mediocre ranking. But if he’s a great skater, plus physical, skilled, actually puts up points. Sounds like he could be a heck of a player if he matures a bit.

Anyway, we’ll see how the draft goes. I usually only dig deeper into the players once they’re picked by the Oilers. Thanks for the updates.

jp

I don’t get it. He seems to have L’Heureux ranked 17th (by star potential), just his actual NHLe numbers/chance of becoming a star/chance of becoming and NHLer for everyone are super low.

leadfarmer

What’s up with this site LT?
I get database errors all the time in last week

OriginalPouzar

Its been bad for a while now – last 3-4 hours very bad.

Reja

Keith Connolly and a 3rd for Neal and Jones

Funny Bissonness

Ah yes, the classic lose-lose trade.

JimmyV1965

LOL. That made me chuckle.

Funny Bissonness

According to ringtv.com, he’s a boxing manager. Quite a good one, too. He’ll get you 8 figures to fight Canelo.

Last edited 2 months ago by Funny Bissonness
Reja

Duncan Keith and Brett Connolly.

Reja

Connolly scores 20 plus and Keith plays 20 minutes also at the same time mentoring our soft D.

leadfarmer

2 cap dumps for one cap dump and we add?
but why?

Reja

we get the Hawks 3rd that we lost on the Lucic deal.

jp

2 cap dumps for one cap dump and we add?

but why?

Because there are different degrees of cap dumps.

If you think Jones > Neal then this obviously won’t work for you. But this deal would cost the Oilers not quite $2.5M more for Keith/Connolly than they’re already paying Jones/Neal.

In terms of ‘we add’. Could you trade Jones for more than a 3rd? I’d put his value at a 3rd round pick (after the expansion draft), but I highly doubt another team would pay more.

Honestly, this deal is so ‘fair’ for the Oilers I think the Hawks would likely balk at it, even without many/any other options.

innercitysmytty

If you’re doing this deal and buying out Connolly instead of Neal it may not actually be too bad. His buyout leaves you with a hit of about $1.1 million per year instead of $1.9 million. On a net basis in that scenario you’re a wash on all salaries this year and next. But that’s also predicated on thinking that Keith is of greater value than Jones plus the cap space from the buyout on Neal, which I don’t see. You could play Jones on the 3rd pair or move him in another deal and get a pretty good player for the $3.8 million in savings on the Neal buyout.

OriginalPouzar

Connolly has scored 20 once in his career……… he only had 3 last season so maybe he’s got a bunch saved up.

Reja

We almost had him a few years back He would easily score more than what Yamamoto has been producing. I would inquire with Francis about the home town boy Yamo maybe we can dump Mikko somehow at the same time.

OriginalPouzar

Do you honestly believe that switching Yamamoto for Connoly makes the Oilers better right now.

Kailer has outproduced Connolly each of the last two years (the prior, just a few less points but in 2/5 of the games), is younger, quicker, cheaper, better.

innercitysmytty

Yeah that exchange is very poor for the Oilers in both the here and now and long term.

jp

Keith Connolly and a 3rd for Neal and Jones

I actually like it Reja.

You’re paying Keith + Connolly $3.3M over Neal (I guess actually $2.45M when you account for both Neal and Jones’ roster spots).

I’d expect nothing from Connolly, but it’s certainly possible things click for him and he ends up being productive.

Kert

Is Brett Connolly just a more expensive Alex Chiasson? I don’t hate the trade, mostly because I like the 3rd. This probably also says a lot about how much I value Jones. Alternatively, I don’t mind just holding onto Jones and letting Seattle take him. We’re going to lose someone of value, unless we give up more than Jones to get them to take a bad contract.

jp

Yeah, Connolly might not even be that (but with an off chance he could be more). A little funny that Holland checked down to Chiasson after losing out on Connolly, but Chiasson is ahead in points since (though just by 1).

On expansion, it’s true someone is going to be selected regardless. It’s also entirely possible Jones is protected, we’re only 5 days from team lists being submitted, after all he’s among the 3 protected D today.

OriginalPouzar

Is there any chance the Bergevin would move Kotkaniemi for a “meh” return?

Dac189

I can’t see any reason why he would

Reja

Why would he do that.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think they have been enthralled with the player, his pace of development, etc.

While he was rushed to the NHL in his draft plus 1 (and a huge stretch where he was picked), I think they are disappointed that he hasn’t fully arrived – spent time in the minors in 2019/20 after a full year in the NHL the year prior, healthy scratched in the playoffs, etc.

Randle McMurphy

1966

Reja

Year of the Fire Horse.

Randle McMurphy

oops…. 1968

maudite

Anyone have thoughts on idea of RFA’s that might be interesting and possibly tradable?

I keep circling back to Nolan Patrick and thinking maybe that is type of gamble you take and see if you can unlock him.

https://phillysportsnetwork.com/2021/07/08/nolan-patrick-flyers-trade/

I don’t love this deal. Pretty sure I wouldn’t do it. But if Patrick is available potentially:

This might be aisle I shop in for younger high ceiling RHC that could be huge deal.

Kailer plus Jones for Patrick plus maybe ghost? (Even whatever way with picks or prospects imagine slight add oilers side like 2nd round pick or maybe even like swap of EDM 1st for Philly 2nd?)

Philly is cap hell and wants to retool
Kailer and Jones are cheap. Kaiser is more established than Patrick but Patrick has higher potential ceiling and is RHC to boot…

Ghost was on block. Had a decent year…but seems quite high on most lists of tradable options for Philly.

Last edited 2 months ago by maudite
winchester

Nope. At this point in time we don’t have the depthfor a “swap” to see if Nolan emerges. In my opinion, keep our main pieces. Jessie has emerged and we need him, Yamo also fills an important role.

However, I do think he is a worthy target, Oil would have to offer something else.

pts2pndr

I would do it for Jones Yamamoto and a fourth moving to a third if certain criteria re games played and points by Patrick. Or Jones and a second without conditions

jp

I’d have a very tough time trading just Yamamoto for Patrick..

Litke 94

I see Matty mentioned Tristan Jarry as an option yesterday, and that name has sprung up a couple of other places as well. I don’t love this option, even if the price is cheap.

According to Money Puck, Jarry didn’t have that great of a year. Normally I would look at goals saved above expected, but I think that number is a bit harsher on him due to GP. He accumulated a minus 11.8 goals saved above expected mark, which is right in line with Holtby, Hogberg, and Miller (Yikes!)- but he did so playing 10-20 more games than those guys.

If you look at GASE/60, it’s a bit more favorable, and his mark of -.324 is comparable to Khudobin (32 GP / -.334) and Ilya Samsonov (19 GP / -.307). Still in the lower third of the league though. In 19/20, his -.009 in this category was closer to middle of the pack of the league, and for comparison, was just .006 behind Koskinen’s mark of -.003.

Jarry wouldn’t be the worst acquisition in the world – especially because he would be cheap – but I am not sure he has shown enough to represent a real upgrade in net.

If looking for a 1A/1B to pair with Smith, Jake Allen would be a great target. I don’t think he can handle a full starter’s load in an 82 game season, but his numbers with half a share of the net have been really solid for 2 years straight – top third of the league in GSAE two years straight. He has a great chance of being claimed by Seattle, so maybe he is available via trade. Cheap contract too.

Vitek Vanaecek put up better numbers than Jarry this year in just 2 less games played, and will also likely be left exposed in the expansion draft. He would represent a pretty big risk seeing as he only has 37 games of NHL experience. But… the price is probably cheaper than it normally would be for a player like this, his cap hit is 700K, he will be a RFA after this season and he’d likely be an improvement over Koskinen based on this year’s numbers. There is potential he could be a legitimate long term solution, at least in a tandem capacity.

I think I would sniff around Washington and see what the price on a guy like Vanecek is. Some think that Washington could expose Justin Schultz and that Seattle will take him instead, so maybe Washington isn’t in a hurry to trade him, but I’d check.

For me, I think Jarry would fall behind all of Vanecek, Allen, and 3-4 free agents in terms of desired targets in net.

Last edited 2 months ago by Litke 94
Litke 94

Also, it doesn’t get said enough, but digging into the numbers on MP shows that Smith had just an insane year. Second in the league (min. 10GP) to Vasilevsky in terms of high danger unblocked shot save %. 4th in terms of WAR behind Helly, Vasilevsky and Fleury. And just up near the top in damn near everything else.

He went from minus 12 GSAE in 19/20 to plus 14 in 20/21. Just a ridiculous renaissance year.

N64

not up to date on either goaler but as long as we are looking at Oil Kings, Jets will not be able to protect Broissoit.

Litke 94

He wouldn’t be a bad option at all. I think I might even prefer him to Jarry.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I like how the draft arrows are trending up lately, both in regards to the process and the results.

It’s interesting to note that the math didn’t favour Holloway but the eye test must have. That suggests that the amateur scouts have some skill at projecting talent.

godot10

Depends on whether the math was arithmetic or calculus. The first and 2nd derivative in Holloway’s numbers were important in his draft year.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

As in his AJHL numbers?

I was thinking of the context of being a freshman in a foreign country breaking into a top league partially explaining his numbers.

So the scouts must have seen some translatable elements to his game that suggested potential for growth. And applied the context of his situation to his numbers when ranking him for the draft.

€√¥£€^$

Holloway has been on the hockey map for more than 5 years, at least in Alberta. So there have been at least a few knowledgeable NHL scouts keeping an eye on him since he was 13 or 14. And all he ever did was stand out with his abilities as the youngest player on every team he played for in that timeframe.

They were paying close attention and they would of course have noted his upward trend in offense in the second half of his freshman year.

I figured that out without leaving my house, so let’s hope the folks on the Oilers staff have extrapolated this with an OHLer or 2 that didn’t play this season, that will be where the hidden gems of this draft are hidden, IMO.

Randle McMurphy

I like everything Holland is doing (and not doing) so far.

Signs RNH at a reasonable AVV

Waiting out Chicago.

Working on Nurse extension.

Considering moving Caleb Jones pre-expansion.

Low Balling Smith on AVV

Rumored to be in on many necessary options.

Steady hand on the rudder.

defmn

It’s a result based business so I am in wait and see mode. 😉

Randle McMurphy

If I may misquote a grand master;

“NO. Wait not. DO…Or do not. There is no Wait and See. 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
defmn

Excellent advice if you are the one that needs to do something.

Since I don’t, I will. 😉

Harpers Hair

In his Athletic article, Young Willis suggested trading the 2021 1st round pick, Yamamoto and Savoie for your boy Reinhart.

Would you do it?

defmn

I am on record here that I would trade the 1st & Yamomoto for Reinhart if I had to but would prefer to include Bear. I hadn’t thought about Savoie or adding but it is close enough that I probably would depending on access to negotiate a suitable extension with Reinhart.

Randle McMurphy

Wouldn’t you have to know what UFA’s are available to you and at what price?

If you can get a Hyman or a Saad at a lesser AVV than Reinhart and not have to give up any assets, would you still take Reinhart?

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
defmn

Yes. Long term solution gives multiple opportunities to win. Reinhart’s age tips the balance for me. He becomes part of the core.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I am scared of signing Saad and Hyman. If you can sign them for 4 x 4.5M, great. Anything more has a high potential to go sideways quickly.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

That price tag seems steep. Reinhart is an RFA and he will need to be paid. But I would consider the deal. Reinhart is a consistent 25G/55PT player on a dumpster fire team. You have to think he could hit 35/70 playing with McD/Drai.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

xxx-McD-Reinhart
RNH-Drai-xxx
Coleman-Goodrow-JP

That would be pretty hot. Holloway, Benson, Kassian, other UFAs to fill in the missing spots.

Randle McMurphy

Is his comparable RNH.

Similar fancies.

maudite

I am alright with idea of including Yamamoto in the right package.

I like him plenty but 1st plus yam plus is the type of bag you go hunting for long term solution.

Reinhart with agreement to sign might be worth considering. Reinhart that can walk to UFA in fairly short order…not so much interested.

Dac189

I’d consider it if he signed an extension immediately. Otherwise you’re potentially giving up 2.5 top assets for a 1 year rental.

OriginalPouzar

Its Lavoie, not Savoie.

I may do it with Savoie, but not Lavoie.

Its contingent on the Reinhart extension that is reasonable and with term.

Last edited 2 months ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

Neither is a sure thing.

Its what Buffalo wants…not what you want.

pts2pndr

Only if you are willing to pay the ask!

OriginalPouzar

Neither is a sure thing – that is true.

They are different player, different prospects, with different values and I would be more comfortable with Savoie in the trade as opposed to Lavie given the other two pieces. I presume the organization would as well.

Its not just what Buffalo wants – its what Buffalo wants and what their trade partner want and if they can agree to terms.

You are also welcome for pointing out the mistake in your post – changes the analysis of the trade for sure.

€√¥£€^$

For the record, if both preserve their health, I predict Savoie to have better NHL career than Lavoie.

To be clear, I have watched both very closely this season, just as you have.

Last edited 2 months ago by €√¥£€^$
defmn

That is a different valuation though. High 2nd round pick vs 4th rounder. It moves the proposal into a negotiation rather than a ‘yes’ for me and makes the details of a Reinhart contract extension even more important to me.

Harpers Hair

Perhaps in draft pedigree but if you look at LTs NHLe numbers above….

Savoie had a higher number in Draft +1 than Lavoie had in draft +2.

While there are multiple factors at play there I’m not sure there is enough clearance between the two to be a deal breaker.

defmn

Not a deal breaker but Reinhart’s willingness to sign for a longer term at a cap hit that is judged to be reasonable becomes more important in my thought process.

I fear I am one of those for whom NHLe numbers are more ‘interesting to note’ than predictive.

I think they are part of a body of statistical models that generates reasonable expectations if applied to a large enough group in a normal distribution curve within one standard deviation of the mean.

I don’t think you can expect more than that and certainly wouldn’t place it above viewing by professional scouts as an evaluative tool when considering a trade.

Would you?

Harpers Hair

Its quite likely Buffalo won’t care much either was as both seem like B prospects and they’re about to be buried in draft picks.

But, yeah, NHLe tells you something but it’s far from the complete picture IMO.

defmn

Good point about Buffalo and all their picks and prospects. Yeah, I think the two teams should be able to work something out if Holland is willing to offer the first & a roster player. They can argue from there.

OriginalPouzar

Personally, I have Lavoie ahead of Savoie in both ceiling and closeness to the NHL but that’s just from watching about 90% of Savoie’s games and all of Lavoie’s AHL games last season (and random prior games of Lavoie in the Q).

Of course, NHLE…….

JimmyV1965

In a heartbeat

Reja

If we come out of the gate like last year Tippett will be on thin Ice. If he doesn’t take us to at least a second round he will be replaced. Usually a GM gets 1 fire a coach card sometimes 2 unless your Calgary who’s fans are so mediocre and passionless that Treliving can do no wrong probably because his Daddy is so rich.

OriginalPouzar

Willis’ first “trade suggestion” of Debrusk and Olsen for a 1st, Samourkov and Khaira is mind-boggling to me. Its just so far out of the realm of a reasonable return for DeBrusk – at least in my opinion.

I wouldn’t trade the 1st or Sammy straight up for DeBrusk.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to add DeBrusk to the Oilers’ roster but cost has to be in line with recent performance and taking in to account he is due a qualifying offer of apx $4.5M in one year.

He very well could be a one-year until UFA rental if he doesn’t bounce back in a material way an earn a $4.5M qualifying offer.

I do think he could bounce-back to 25 to 30 goals on the Oilers but, of course, there is no certainty on that, in particular given recent play and some questions about his game away from the puck.

Would love DeBrusk but on a “buy low” type deal.

Randle McMurphy

Is there a Willis trade suggestion that you like straight up, just as Willis proposes it; No amendments /caveats?

OriginalPouzar

The Kassian deal – that would be unreal (a clean disposition plus an asset back).

The Tierny deal interests me.

The Kuemper deal intrigues me but they’d need an extension agreed to.

winchester

The Graves deal was interesting to me.

Rich M

Agreed OP. There should have been another option in the answers: What drapes are you smoking?

OriginalPouzar

It seems we often see a drop off in NHLE once a junior player turns pro. High NHLE in their draft year and post-draft year in junior and then reality sets in when the player turns pro and plays in the AHL.

This, to me, is one of the reasons why I never put too much stock in NHLE as a baseline for potential NHL scoring.

OriginalPouzar

I have a bit of concern about the “negotiation” with Mike Smith.

So, Holland has made an offer and Smith is expected to counter.

Now, I understand a raise from the $1.5M base from last season – he earned it with his play but, for me, this is a raise to $2M base plus the performance bonuses (apx $1M potential give or take). I guess, maybe, I could get comfortable with $2.25M or $2.5M base but I sure hope this base raise isn’t “material”.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, I am 100% fine with $2M base plus bonuses – that only lowers the cap space this year at $2M (potential ability to lower next year’s cap) but I’m afraid of what Smith is negotiating.

I cannot get on board with a base much higher than $2M and I think the player/agent is trying.

TheGreatBigMac

Maybe he wants term like Spector wrote a while back 1.75M x 2. Seems unlikely but you never know.

OriginalPouzar

Ya, I responded to the other thread where there was an indication he was looking for term.

ANything over 1 year must be under $2M, in my opinion.

defmn

Is there another team out there willing to invest $3 M in a 39 year old goalie regardless of how well he played last season?

I don’t know. I can’t think of any and if there are would they be attractive to Smith as destinations?

OriginalPouzar

Saravelli was asked (on ON Radio) who the first “big name” to be traded would be – his answer, Connor Garland.

I do know (from the insiders, I think Frank) that the team asked the agent to submit a some offers, they did, and didn’t receive a response – or at least a timely respose.

I like this target if the player would sign $4.5M for term (give or take).

What would the acquisition cost be for this player? What about a bigger deal with Kuemper involved?

Harpers Hair

Arizona is in a place where they can take on bad contracts with little cash remaining but high cap hits.

I would imagine they are most interested in draft picks since they have so few.

Their likely ask for Garland likely would be a 1st round pick.

OriginalPouzar

I would pay the 19th overall for Garland provided the contract is agreed to.

Brantford Boy

Great post today and yesterday’s over at the Athletic LT. I was hoping to hear your and Wheeler’s thoughts on these players on your show but Psyche’s question broke the phone, so thanks for these articles on your thoughts. I’d be thrilled to draft L’Heureux. Great song too, one of my all time favorites.

leadfarmer

I don’t know if it’s just me but I’m getting a lot of database errors from this site in last week

Bill

Same here, been an adventure getting to the post this morning.

defmn

Me too. Too many logging in?

Harpers Hair

Chiarelli’s Fault.

Harpers Hair

It’s weird….I get the same error on my iPad but not on my iPhone.

Melman

Phew, thought it was just me. I keep getting a blank page that says: Database Error

OriginalPouzar

Yes, its been very very hit and miss for a while now – for me.

winchester

So far I have not felt strongly about any of the obvious suggestions for 3C.

Id suggest Nicolas Roy from Vegas or Tyler Jost from Avalanche.

Roy being a big 6’4 handful righty getting established and showing upside.

Jost an offensive player who had to learn defensive game, has some grit and just now getting established enough for offence to emerge.

Young to grow with team for reasonable dollars.

Jost more available than Roy but either could be had.

pts2pndr

You’re a high caliber poster but we need to aim higher than Jost!😉

winchester

I don’t see Jost as the potential big fish. I see him as a minnow who should be ready to grow quickly.

The big fish is another deal or another player. I’m hoping To find an under the radar 3C . Can we find Cirelli before he becomes Cirelli?

Roy is a massive player who could impact 3C

Ideas?

jp

So Zach Hyman.

Seems like he’ll hit the market. I see him getting a lot of flack as an option, but I think he’s a pretty darn good player. If reports are true he’s one of the Oilers top targets, I think that’s a good assessment by Ken Holland.

He’s had great on ice results and underlying numbers. His injuries have obscured quality scoring in a complementary role. He can clearly play with skill. He can take draws and is actually OK at it considering the majority have come on the PK. He’s a primary PK option (not clear though if he’s good at it). He’s got some size and doesn’t mind the dirty work.

The price is obviously the question, but I feel like a lot here are undervaluing what he actually brings. He can play with skill, and eats a bunch of minutes with generally quality results.

godot10

The team and the fans of the team that buys the Underpants Central wonderkind best learn how the execute the Hymanlich Manouver in two years or so. #exposurebias

Saad has been effective for three different organizations, and mostly healthy.

jp

Hyman has been better than Saad in recent seasons by almost any objective metric. Injuries are a concern for Hyman though, for sure.

The team and the fans of the team that buys the Underpants Central wonderkind best learn how the execute the Hymanlich Manouver in two years or so. #exposurebias

I have no idea how this is relevant to the current discussion.

OriginalPouzar

I simply can’t get on board with paying Hyman anything above $4M for term – he simply cannot approach Nuge’s AAV, in my opinion – not at his age, with his injury history, his style of play, etc.

Hyman is a good player, he is not a great player – I think he will receive the “worst” term contract of this free agency season.

I’m afraid Holland will dig in on this player.

I’d prefer to trade for Berttuzi (although, of course, that costs assets in addition to the cap hit).

jp

With due respect OP, you’re not really on board with giving any UFA enough money/term that they could reasonably be expected to sign with the team.

The injuries are a concern for Hyman, as they are for a number of other FAs. In terms of age, I don’t really think that’s a fair criticism. He turned 29 last month. Saad and Landeskog turn 29 this fall. Hall and Coleman turn 30 this year. Most of them are in the same range.

And yes, he’s a good, not great player, but I posted because I think he’s a lot better than many are giving credit for.

I know you give literally zero slack for games missed to injury. And it’s true that between injury and shortened seasons Hyman has a career high 41 points. The past 2 seasons he’s scored at a 82-31-30-61 rate though. 82-28-27-55 over 3 years. He’s scored more actual points over 2 and 3 seasons than Saad for instance (also in 1 or 4 year windows actually).

His on ice numbers are exceptional too, among the top 2 on the Leafs in most categories over 3 seasons (ie, very bit as good as his linemates).

IMO he’s a sneaky good player. I’ll be happy if Holland signs him, assuming the AAV is (a shade) less than Nuge’s and the term is less than 6 years.

Harpers Hair

Word that the Oilers have offered Mike Smith a “multi-year” contract.

https://www.thefourthperiod.com/pagnotta/jones-camp-helping-to-facilitate-trade

leadfarmer

By multi year you mean two?

Harpers Hair

That would be my guess too..but who knows.

defmn

At lower than expected dollars. It sounds like this could be Holland’s move this summer giving term in return for lower cap. I think we may see it with Larsson as well.

With Smith I suspect it is a way to bury most of it in the 2nd year in the AHL if the end arrives for Smith before the contract expires.

JOFA

Surprised? Kenny’s MO. There’s a long history 😄

#kennysnotagrinder

Last edited 2 months ago by JOFA
Harpers Hair

As defmn says, it will depend on the dollars attached.

As the article states, the Smith camp is balking at the money in the deal.

JOFA

It doesn’t change the fact that Kenny has a history of handing out term. This report is exactly in line with how Kenny operates. Care to differ?

defmn

UFA’s get more term than the team wants or more money than the team wants or a player that the team didn’t really want but ended up with because they wouldn’t pay more term or money than they wanted.

This is a law of nature. It cannot be compromised other than by waiting until the week before TC and hoping the last guy available takes your offer.

Every GM does this. Some more than others but every GM does this.

In a flat cap world for at least the next couple of years it makes sense to sacrifice on term in order to save cap dollars if you are in winning mode.

Nobody likes it. Many live in denial that it is the case in the face of repeated evidence of its veracity.

Claiming that Holland is guilty of this after decades as a GM is like claiming that water is wet.

Every GM does it because he is not shopping at Wal-Mart which offers numerous versions of exactly the same product at exactly the same price and will have more next week if they are sold out this week.

UFA shopping is a seller’s market.

I am not sure why this needs to be explained but apparently it does.

Dac189

Something along the lines of 1.5*2 sounds really good to me. Worst case scenario you bury him for 400k cap hit. Low risk high reward.
You can add a games played bonus too.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dac189
defmn

Pretty much what I was thinking with a handshake deal that if he is sent to Bakersfield in year two he gets to go home and they will send him his cheques anyway.

Even with the year he had last year I can’t think there is a long line of GM’s waiting to pounce if Holland doesn’t sign him.

JOFA

I’m not sure it works that way

defmn

I am. My memory isn’t good enough to remember names but there have been players assigned to their farm team who only go long enough to say they were there but with no expectation that they stick around or play. The team just bank deposits their salary for them.

EDIT: Maybe Neal would be interested in a role as a goalie coach down there for all we know. He has to be at a point where he knows his playing days are ending.

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn
pts2pndr

I like the idea of sending him down when he no longer effective and have him work with you goalies in how to move the puck effectively as he does. That would still be great value for the possible lost cap.

OriginalPouzar

My goodness, term for Mike Smith?

If Holland agrees to that, in my opinion, that base salary cannot be raised above the $1.5M from this past season.

Mike either needs to take 1 year at a base raise (up to $2.25M) or, if he digs in for 2-years, at a $1.5M base.

In my opinion.

doctoreye

Not to beat a dead horse,the 1st pick should be traded for a player who can be useful to the team NOW! A youngster will not be available tp the team for a number of years,if ever.Use the pick for DeBrusk or Manson or Kuemper,or to fill a current need.

Funny Bissonness

I wouldn’t trade the 1st round pick for any of those guys.

1st for Kuemper? He’s legit but he’s got one year left on his contract, he’s 31, and he’s only played more than 30 games in a season twice in his career.

If we give Boston a 1st round pick for a dude coming off a 5 goal season, and help Boston free up the cap to sign Hall, people will make fun of us. I like Debrusk but that’s a bad idea.

Manson just isn’t worth a 1st.

Bare cupboards aren’t good. We would be left with a 4th, two 6ths, and a 7th. I’ll take Cossa all day long.

Randle McMurphy

Here’s some guys who The Bob Father ranks in our range:

Jesper Wallstedt (G) — 10th
Sebastian Cossa (G) — 14th
Corson Ceulemans (RD) — 18th
Aatu Raty (C) — 20th
Matthew Coronato (W) — 21st
Isak Rosén (W) — 23rd

I’m guessing that if both goalies are gone, Holland takes RD Corson Ceulemans.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Funny Bissonness

Kurt Leavins thinks our 1LW targets are Hyman, Hall, Killorn, and Tatar. In that order. Assuming he’s right, I’m pleased to see that Tatar is our plan D. I don’t think he’d be a disaster, but he wouldn’t be my go to guy.

I’m also happy to see Hall is target number 2. Considering we’ll probably get priced out of Hyman, don’t have a tonne of assets tampa would want for Killorn (that we’re also willing to part with), I like our odds of the Hall reunion.

defmn

Kurt Leavins thinks our 1LW targets are Hyman, Hall, Killorn, and Tatar.

A list of names that would be similar to any other team in the league looking for a top six LW.

Nothing to see there.

OriginalPouzar

Lots of other options not listed – Steen, Landeskog, Foligno, Saad, Coleman

Randle McMurphy

Sits in parking lot muttering to himself….. “if you’re going to beat a horse, isn’t it better that it’s dead?”

Jethro Tull

Schrodinger’s Horse?

Randle McMurphy

You spin me right round baby , right round.

Halfwise

You shouldn’t beat your head against a dead horse.

Also, don’t count your chickens until they cross the road.

Woogie63

Kassian is different than other Oiler forwards. He is a third liner than can play higher in the batting order for short stretches. When he hits you it hurts. Puljarjarvi and Yamamoto’s forecheck is relentless, Kassian’s is punishing. These type of guys are on winning teams.

He is $1.5M over paid that overpay is 1.8% of the team budget. Edmonton, careful on your next move. I don’t see a replacement for $2.0M in the UFA pool.

godot10

Kassian is different than other Oiler forwards. He is basically useless 80 games a year.

Kassian has a punishing forecheck like one or two games a year. He is as weak on the board in the D zone as Yamamoto.

3.2 million / 81.5 million == 3.9%

Woogie63

Are you expecting the 3RW to play for free. I know this person will be playing with Connor and Leon but we should plan to spend at least $1.8M on a top 9 winger, no.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Define “can play higher in the batting order”? Kassian was consistently a drag on the top lines.

He is AWFUL on the boards in the D zone and he infrequently is engaged physically.

There are plenty of UFA replacements for a player that does not score, does not backcheck, and takes shitty penalties.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I missed godot’s post. What godot said. Kassian is not good.

jp

Kassian was consistently a drag on the top lines.

I’m not expecting Kassian back in the top 6 anytime soon.

But his oft cited ‘drag’ on top lines is very greatly exaggerated.

OriginalPouzar

When was the last time Kassian was punishing on the forecheck?

Kert

2013, against Gagner.

Kraz

Not to beat a dead horse but for me the question of is Keith still a top 4 dman is pretty simple. It comes down to how many teams would be a top 4 dman on? He would play top 4 for bad teams like Chicago, Vancouver, New Jersey etc. Top teams like Tampa, Islanders, Vegas, Toronto, Carolina, Colorado he would most likely be on the bottom pairing, which are the teams the Oilers want to be competing with. A good comparable for him would be Andy Greene who is also 38 playing 3rd pairing for the Islanders.

Overall I would be fine with acquiring Keith as a #5 dman who can play second pairing in a pinch, which is a testament to the player as most are long gone before age 38.

But just by looking at the contending teams in the NHL the Oilers media who are penciling in Keith as a top 4 dman are out to lunch.

Scungilli Slushy

I think Keith is better than a lot of D on the Jets and I would wager if he went to MOntreal he’d take Edmunson’s spot.

He’s not perfect but he can skate which is critical for a D in today’s game.

It’s which side of the coin is up? Is he done, or is it that any defenseman looks useless on a bad team with no centres or a decent partner.

Something we might have seen once or twice in Edmonton. Except now we have the Cs and D depth..

JOFA

Russell can skate too. Keith will be an expensive 3rd pairing addition.

Scungilli Slushy

Except he has no speed which is why he gives up the blue line. Or he feels too small to gap normally, get pushed past.

But I get you’re point.

Kraz

I have the Jets and Canadiens as a tier below teams like Colorado, Vegas, Tampa, Islanders. In order for the Oilers to take step into the upper echelon, 2LD is a position they need to improve and I think Keith currently with his high cap hit doesn’t do that.

JimmyV1965

Keith would be 2LD on our team though. And I’m not sure there are any better options in free agency, certainly not for two years. There could be some really interesting options in a trade with Settle following the expansion draft.

Kraz

And what does that say about our team? The goal is to get better than last year. I also think there will be lots of trade options between the flat cap and expansion draft. And that second year for Keith worries me. If he doesn’t work out at 2LD then you are in the same spot except with way less cap space

RocklandRascal

My list if available is
Cossa
L’Heureux
Lysell.

If no.are available then trade first round pick to Boston for Jake Dubrusk.

godot10

A 1st round pick is a lot for one year of DeBrusk. DeBrusk is like Athanasiou, unqualifiable.

Scungilli Slushy

For me first round picks have to be for what the org sees as a special player, under control.

DeBrusk to me shows no sign of anything but a player that might be special. He isn’t now. What the Bruins aren’t happy with is exactly what the Oilers shouldn’t want.

Holloway will eat his lunch in a year or less. More size, speed, drive, as much talent and likes both ends of the ice.

jp

Athanasiou was qualifiable at the time of the trade.

Definite concern for DeBrusk though, and I agree a 1st is steep.

defmn

DeBrusk isn’t enough for the first but I agree on trading the pick. Just have to find the right dance partner.

buck yoakam

lets get a goalie with that pick!…either costa is available or we trade away for an existing #1 Keumper?…the desert dogs would love a first!

godot10

Driedger is a UFA. Ullmark is a UFA. They are better options than any that can be obtained in a trade.

Harpers Hair

Tampa?

This is from a Vancouver perspective buy breaks down the options pretty well.

https://www.nucksmisconduct.com/platform/amp/2021/7/8/22568429/vancouver-canucks-expansion-draft-trade-targets-tampa-bay-lightning

jp

Cirelli may be the only guy there that could be worth a 1st and seems plausible for Edmonton.

Elgin R

That would be a cap dump for Boston and they should add not the oilers.

DeBrusk for a 4th as he is just a 3rd line rental.

OriginalPouzar

godot10

 Reply to RocklandRascal

 July 11, 2021 9:44 am

A 1st round pick is a lot for one year of DeBrusk. DeBrusk is like Athanasiou, unqualifiable.

There is a decent chance DeBrusk rebounds to 25-30 goals on the Oilers but, of course, given his recent level of play, that definitely cannot be counted on and, as you suggest, one cannot count on him being issued a qualifying offer next June.

The acquisition price for DeBrusk would need to be very low given the risk.

Randle McMurphy

Historically, the delta between OHL NHLE and QMJHL NHLE has always seemed larger than the projections.

Has history born this out?

I think the myriad of changes that occurred this past year affected everyone’s ability to project futures. I would be concerned that this is amplified in the QMJHL more so than in the OHL.

Will this result in a flight to safety (OHL) or will it result in greater risk taking??

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Age seems so critical in all of this analysis. Not just years, but months.

Have we got the age component NHLE / Drafting in general, completely surrounded?

What calculations go into assessing high school prospects of even AJHL?

Why did the Calgary Flames draft Mark Jankowski? Tyler Benson was granted exceptional status. Have we learned anything about projecting futures at such a young age?

Randle McMurphy

But there was no one in the drive thru when I pulled up.

Ok Ok….I’ll drive around the building again.

Randle McMurphy

“European NHLE is often lower, that is a reflection of playing in his leagues with few minutes per game. The USHL number for NHLE has grown over the years and I’m not sure we have it surrounded.”

What does the math or equation look like that can accurately calculate one league over another? What is taken into consideration in this calculation?

Is there a group of defined experts in this field?

Primetime

The talking heads keep saying as soon as you trade a Kassian, you’re looking for another Kadsian. Could L’Heureux be that guy? Not a fighter per se, but agitator with skill?

meanashell11

There were also times when he took matters into his own hands as the NHL refuses to properly address ass clowns like Thachuk . Sooner or later that guy will hurt someone and it will be nasty and cheap. I am glad Kass went 13th century on him. Should do it some more.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

You mean the way he slewfooted Brandon Davidson and basically ruined his career?

meanashell11

That is one good example. His check to the head of Bear is another.

Elgin R

Or ‘I didn’t mean to kick Mark in the ankle and try to cut his leg – just happened it was a hockey play’.

OriginalPouzar

Primetime

 July 11, 2021 9:12 am

The talking heads keep saying as soon as you trade a Kassian, you’re looking for another Kadsian. Could L’Heureux be that guy? Not a fighter per se, but agitator with skill?

Oilers have needed “a Kassian” since March 2020.

If the OIlers “trade Kassian” it takes nothing away from the team they had in August 2020, regular season 2021 and playoffs 2021 (but for one game).

They would indeed be missing, and looking for, the player they had in Kassian in the calendar year 2019…… he hasn’t been on the team for too long now.

Harpers Hair

Can’t recall where I saw it but one draft analyst cautioned that Guenther had a shooting percentage above 25% and he cautioned that he might be less than he appears.

godot10

Guenther turned Jake Neighbours from a 2nd round pick into a 1st round pick.

Guenther is a very safe pick. He has a high floor. 2nd line RW.

jp

Guenther had a shooting percentage above 25% and he cautioned that he might be less than he appears.

He had the 2nd highest NHLE of those listed in draft -1 as well. Guess that backs up his results this season pretty well.