Hidden Figures

by Lowetide

Every summer I spend time with the outsiders, minor leaguers and college men who aren’t expected to make the big club in the fall, and in most cases won’t play in the NHL at all. NHL equivalencies are a major help, as forwards need to score at a certain level and defenseman have to bring some potential offensively in order to be considered viable NHLers.

Jujhar Khaira, who has now played in more than 250 NHL games, didn’t get a real look in the world’s best league until his equivalency reached 30. Defensemen usually need to deliver 10+ in order to have enough momentum to make a dent. It’s possible to overlook some great talents, or talents that we’ve taken for granted, and NHLE resets things and reminds us we should be paying attention.

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!

FORWARDS

DYLAN HOLLOWAY (41.6)

Holloway took a major step forward in his sophomore college season and is the top option for the NHL team from the forwards available in the system. He has good size, excellent speed and no fear. Holloway is currently blocked at center and (after the addition of Zach Hyman and Warren Foegele) at left wing. That’s fine, he could be an impact recall from Bakersfield during the season. That’s a feature and a benefit of good NHL teams.

RYAN MCLEOD (39.9)

I watched him quite a bit in Bakersfield this season and he was a more confident player with the puck on his stick. The speed and puck retrieval have always been there (he gobbles up loose pucks so quickly it’ll make your head spin) but his ability to exit and enter with the puck on his stick was a key for the Condors in 2020-21. I don’t know that he’ll be able to do that in the NHL but suspect we’ll see him on the No. 4 line and possibly higher all year in Edmonton 2021-22.

TYLER BENSON (39.9)

He delivered another strong season and is waiver eligible, but Benson will have to earn a spot over names like Devin Shore, Cooper Marody and Kyle Turris (fourth line and extra forwards). Oilers don’t have a bunch of young emerging forwards who can post offense and are under control, so I expect he’ll make it as No. 4 LW (Hyman, Nuge, Foegele) and battle Shore for playing time.

COOPER MARODY (36.8)

Marody is well above the 30-point cutline and moved to right wing for much of the AHL season. Could he make the team in a utility role? His competition (Josh Archibald, Benson, Turris) is less offensively talented than Marody, but foot speed is a problem and he really isn’t a prospect (25 in November) anymore.

KIRILL MAKSIMOV (33.6)

I’m not completely comfortable with using VHL (second Russian pro league) for a player who is 22, especially since he played quite a lot (12:23) in his 16 KHL games without scoring (2-1-3). He did have a strong showing (12-15-27 in 25 games) for his VHL team. Maksimov is a talented player and showed some range in his AHL season (including penalty kill). I don’t know if he’s a future NHL player but his skill set is intriguing.

XAVIER BOURGAULT (32.1)

Scott Wheeler from The Athletic said he has a “deceptive release” and remarked on his creative play inside the offensive zone. He projects him as a top-six NHL forward down the line based on 15 years worth of staring at Oilers draft picks (Jordan Eberle was 82, 15-12-27 in his draft season). He can play center or wing and has two-way skills.

CARTER SAVOIE (30.0)

Another draft pick forward scores in college hockey out of the box. Savoie’s goal-scoring for the Denver Pioneers equates to 19.5 per 82 games in the NHL and makes him one of best scoring prospects in the system. If he spikes again offensively expect him to turn pro (and possibly play some NHL games next spring).

DEFENSEMEN

WILLIAM LAGESSON (25.3)

The big defensive defender had a big run in the Allsvenskan for two different teams before the NHL got back in gear. He’s more of a shutdown defenseman than a two-way man, but his AHL even strength totals rivaled both Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear as they were coming up. Lagesson is the final member of that promising trio who is still in the organization, his role for the coming year (if there is one) completely unknown. He had early success and then struggled in the NHL one year ago.

EVAN BOUCHARD (21.9)

The top prospect in the system, the team is making way for Bouchard to play every night in the NHL in 2021-22. Fantastic passer and highly creative with the puck. Posted 2-3-5 in 14 games with Edmonton last season, that works out to 29 points in a full season. He is not eligible for the Calder Trophy, will make some mistakes this season, but it’s important to play him every night.

PHILIP BROBERG (14.4)

Big, fast two-way defenseman had an uneven season in Sweden and some injury issues. A full Condors season would be best, but I don’t know if he’ll get it. Broberg can play either side and can defend, his career trajectory looking very similar to Oscar Klefbom’s so far. Among Oilers prospects who could emerge as key players sooner than later, Broberg trails only Holloway, Samorkov and goalie Konovalov in my opinion.

DMITRI SAMORUKOV (10.8)

Big, strong bull of a defender with miles of future. Among the men who might be able to have an Adam Larsson-style career, he’s closest to NHL ready. If he comes into camp healthy (he had a shoulder injury in February) he could force his way past Lagesson and earn a starting spot. Best open ice hitter Oilers fans will have seen in many moons.

FORWARDS (THE REST)

  1. Raphael Lavoie (Allsvenskan) 26.0
  2. Jake Chiasson (WHL) 21.5
  3. Maxim Denezhkin (VHL) 21.2
  4. Tyler Tullio (Slovakia) 16.7
  5. Maxim Berezkin (MHL) 16.5
  6. Filip Engaras (Hockey East) 16.1
  7. Ostap Safin (AHL) 10.9
  8. Matvey Petrov (MHL) 10.7
  9. Skyler Brind’Amour (ECAC) 8.8
  10. Patrik Siikanen (Liiga) 7.2
  11. Jeremias Lindewall (Allsvenskan) 4.1
  12. Scott Lachance (NCDC) 2.0

From this list, I think Lavoie has the best chance to play in the NHL. Nice showing by Chiasson, Denezhkin is a fascinating prospect and Tullio has an agitating and aggressive style that the Oilers need badly. Petrov and Lindewall are better than their numbers and we don’t know much about Lachance.

DEFENSE (THE REST)

  1. Filip Berglund (SHL) 12.2
  2. Markus Niemelainen (AHL) 11.4
  3. Matt Cairns (NCHC) 8.0
  4. Max Wenner (WHL) 5.8
  5. Mike Kesselring (AHL) 5.7
  6. Phil Kemp (AHL) 3.3
  7. Luca Münzenberger (DNL U20) 1.2

Berglund could be included in the group above but he’s coming to North America after his least successful season so I’m wary. Best to lower expectations and then be pleasantly surprised.

Niemelainen is going to get chances to play in the NHL as early as this season. His size/speed make him attractive to an Oilers team looking for some suppression on the blue. Kesselring and Kemp are just getting started in pro hockey.

Oh. I found a nice scouting report on Luca from Steve Kournianos The Draft Analyst.

“A big-bodied vacuum cleaner on defense who’s been eating minutes like mad, Munzenberger is a first-year draft eligible with a late-2002 birthday who is committed to the University of Vermont. He was left off Central Scouting’s initial Watch List but his play for Kolner Junghaie in Germany coupled with his ongoing performance in Edmonton at the World Juniors . He has ideal size (6-foot-, 190 pounds) but has the mobility and agility to cover faster players, especially when holding his line and transitioning into a backskate. Munzenberger’s stride is as wide as they come and although he’s style may not look pretty, he definitely gets from Point A to Point B faster than most teenage defensemen his size. He plays a mean, physical brand of hockey and can be considered a bit of a throwback.” Source

207 comments
4

You may also like

4.1 14 votes
Article Rating
207 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jp

Looks like they’re saying the Pacific Division is shit.

Projecting the Oilers in 2nd, and 4th in the West.

Seems about right.

leadfarmer

So like we said all along. Vegas is tops in the division. Edmonton is second, and then a big pile of meh in Calgary, Vancouver, LA, Seattle, Followed by lotto fodder in Anaheim

jp

Yes, pretty much exactly what we said.

I think you can expand the lotto fodder group though, both Arizona and Anaheim are in the select group with 1:100 odds. And all of Vancouver, Seattle, LA, SJ, Arizona and Anaheim are in the bottom third of the league.

OldschoolAlpines

Second place in the Pacific may very well have a more favourable first round matchup to the division winner.

Randle McMurphy

ILYA KONOVALOV 6’0″ 194lbs

ANTON KHUDOBIN 5’11” 195lbs

defmn

KOSKINEN 6’7″ 202 lbs

defmn

Murray to the Avalanche for one year. $2 M

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn
OriginalPouzar

Between $2M and $2.5M – I think the Oilers could have made that work and it would have been an excellent addition – we know Holland had an offer out there for him.

godot10

Looking at the rosters, and depth charts, the Avalanche are a far more attractive opportunity for Murray establish and extend his career in one place on a good team.

leadfarmer

For only 0.8 Tucker Poolmans

Harpers Hair

Or .45 Cody Cecis.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Nice job keeping your comment Oilers-centric. I am proud of you.

leadfarmer

There’s a reason the world is using Tucker Poolman equivalencies

leadfarmer

It is small
that’s why the world laughs at the Tucker Poolman signing
https://twitter.com/domluszczyszyn/status/1422338592085528577?s=21

Side

And yet you spend all of your time thinking and talking about them. They are your whole world.

Harpers Hair

As our host has pointed out in his latest Athletic article, Bouchard is going to have to play 2RD pretty damn quick.

The Ceci buyout will be twice the Poolman buyout should it come to that.

jp

The Ceci buyout will be twice the Poolman buyout should it come to that.

This is completely incorrect by the way.

A Ceci buyout would be $8.67M.
A Poolman buyout would be $6.83M

Put another way, a Ceci buyout is 1.27 Poolman buyout equivalencies.

jp

The Poolman Point Equivalency is even more impressive.

$2.5M per point scored the previous season.
(that HAS to be some sort of contractual record)

Ceci’s contract comes in at $42.5M PPE
Bouchard is worth $12.5M PPE
Koskinen, Smith and Patrick Russell all at $5M PPE
McDavid tips the scales with a $262.5M PPE

Harpers Hair

Also noted that Joe signed Darren Helm 1X$1M.

Beefing up.

Randle McMurphy

With Veal?

pts2pndr

Older stringy beef!😉

Harpers Hair

Think of Helm as Kassian at less than a third of the price.

Genjutsu

Darren Helm and Kassian have as much in common as Oprah Winfrey and Vanna White.

Harpers Hair

Yes, one is lithe and the other isn’t but one is paid 3 times as much as the other.

Scungilli Slushy

Don’t wait to put mega units on the Avs before the odds get worse!

What could go wrong with a smallish team with the smallest D group in the league that is green, and two injury prone goalies?

jp

They have 2 goalies now?

Hey, that’s mega progress.

Scungilli Slushy

Joe ain’t no foolin’ around!

Fuge Udvar

An NHL team should expect 10 D to play multiple games for them over a season.

Last year the Oilers had: (GP)
Nurse (56)-Barrie (56)
Russel (35)-Larsson (56)
Jones (33)-Bear (43)
Lagesson (19)-Bouchard (14)
Koekoek (18)
Kulikov (10)

This year they are looking at:
Nurse – Barrie
Keith – Ceci
Lagesson – Bouchard
Samorokov – Russel
Broberg/Niemelainen/Berglund

Expect to see Russel on his offside if there are any injuries to a RD. I think they add a cheap RD (<1M) before the season starts. I expect we will see lots of Lagesson, Samorokov and Russell in the 3LD. They were very fortunate with injuries on D last year.

OriginalPouzar

I would say that sometimes/often, even more than 10D are used.

Berglund has a chance for NHL games – judging by SP’s analysis, he could be serviceable as 3RD, at least as a fill-in. I would think that he’s not coming over at this age if he feels he has no shot at NHL games. Of course, he’s almost assured to start in the AHL, and he knows that, but I’m sure his goal is to earn himself a call-up. We’ll see if he’s got the game.

ChupaCabra

Sebastien Bisaillon agrees!

Randle McMurphy

Yeah. But for some f#cked up reason you can’t have 4 RD

Barrie 50
Bear 50
Ceci 40
Bouchard 40

OriginalPouzar

I’d prefer to have Bouchard in for Bear and Foegele in the lineup over the above with no Foegele. Of course, once an injury hits……. then, again, the right side missed a total of, what, 10 games last year? All Bear.

Elgin R

All the woe-is-me about losing Larsson needs to end. He picked his place of employment, we thank him for his service and move on.

Also, listening to Bettman last week on Sirius 91 (NHL Channel) made me think of two players; Larsson and Shea Weber. Bettman outlined that with guidance from the Competition Committee, the NHL will be instructing refs to crack down on cross-checking. Increased penalties similar to what the league did to reduce slashing on the gloves.

Larsson and Weber are masters at not getting called so the jig is up. Weber is out (for how long who knows) and Larsson may turn out to be not quite as useful as he was.

90s fan

The NHL HAS changed. They have cracked down, and are different then 20 years ago. It’s just slow, and non linear. Discussing crackdowns on cross checking is good. There were some devestating cross checks in the playoffs that looked like intent to injure, that needs to go.

I dont think that changes the value of Larsson. Physicality is still present in hockey.

Randle McMurphy

This is exactly right. And the name of the game is I like it like that.

For better or for worse, violence sells.

I’d be curious to know, if the European Leagues had a similar talent pool as the NHL, which league would the general public gravitate towards; Which would be the preferred style?

OriginalPouzar

Maybe maybe not.

If I remember correctly, coming out of the GM meetings during this past season, cross-checking was a hot topic and discussed and the reports coming out was that there was “legal crosschecking” and “illegal crosschecking” and the latter needed to be addressed.

I believe the battles in front of the net were to be permitted more leeway but the dangerous stuff on the boards may be addressed.

JimmyV1965

I agree. Crosschecking in front of the net won’t stop. The infractions 30 from the crease will be called more often, for a couple weeks anyway. Larsson does like to cross check guys behind the net, but Weber is far more egregious. He does it virtually anywhere in the dzone.

Scungilli Slushy

It’s a big step that the league is thinking about distinctions of good and bad instances of an infraction.

They might one day even get to calling the infractions in the rule book, like seriously often. Maybe even objectively.

Bulging Twine

Tylers Myers, who already takes a ton of penalties, is gonna be near unplayable if they actually do crack down. Robert Bortuzzo as well.

Elgin R

Hidden Figures was such a great movie. Fits the topic of today – people (players) behind the scenes and under the radar. Here’s hoping some of ours make it into the NHL credits.

OriginalPouzar

Haven’t listened to it yet as its almost 2 hours but, from accounts, Friedman/Marek speculated a bit on the Oilers’ tenders on the new 32 Thoughts pod.

I think Marek said their plan is to go in to the season with Smith/Mikko but Friedman suggested that has to change and thinks that Khudobin is the likeliest target.

OriginalPouzar

My main issue (aside from acquisition cost) is committing to 2022/23 – he’s only $3.3M but, given that’s when Nurse’s extension will kick in, I’m weary of committing to an older tender for that season – that’s when one of Konovalov/Skinner could be legit ready as well.

Dee Dee

Which is still cheaper than Miko’s 4.5 Million coming off the books, so it’s a net plus.

OriginalPouzar

No, I’m concerned about 2022/23 when Nurse’s extension will kick in – Koskinen is $0 for that year.

jp

It would be wonderful if they earn it obviously, but I’m having an extremely difficult time imagining Smith-Konovalov or Smith-Skinner as the goalie tandem opening night 22-23.

OriginalPouzar

Maybe not but if one of those guys had continued and is ready, they should play. Maybe in that case, Smith is moved, or assigned or retired and another tender is brought in? I guess in that case that other tender could be Khudobin.

Either way, I’m not sure I want to pay big assets (which I’m sure it would be given recent market speculation) and commit to the $3.3M.

Nurse’s price went up $1M in the last month and that is a factor.

jp

Maybe not but if one of those guys had continued and is ready, they should play. Maybe in that case, Smith is moved, or assigned or retired and another tender is brought in? I guess in that case that other tender could be Khudobin.

I agree they should have a chance to play if ready, but your premise was not bringing in a $3.3M goalie because that money needs to go to Nurse.

That sounds like Smith together with Konovalov or Skinner. I have a super tough time seeing either of those tandems as palatable to posters here or to the Oilers.

And IMO it’s extremely unlikely either you goalie can/will do enough this year to change that.

TheGreatBigMac

Koski and Konovalov played similar minutes and both had a combined .915 save percentage over their last three KHL years. Of course Koski is older and huge and Konovalov is a bit undersized. But I can see Konovalov trending as a decent NHL backup as a reasonable bet. 1A/B might be a stretch, will have to see how things go in Bakersfield.

OriginalPouzar

This is true but Konovalov starting doing it as a rookie 20 year old (actually, as a 19 year old for 7 games).

At 19, Mikko was in Liiga and, in his early 20s, he was bumbling around the AHL (with poor performance) and ECHL.

jp

Koskinen was .915, .916, .937 in his last 3 KHL years (also .939 and .923 before that). He also had playoff SV%s of .928, .936, .949, .938, .935 (10 or more games every season, 15 or more the last 4).

Konovalov has had .930, .912 and .923 SV%s and was the clear backup this season. (Also .905 and .888 in his short playoff appearances).

There’s a pretty significant gap in theses 2 goalies’ KHL performance before coming to NA IMO.

And I don’t at all doubt Konovalov could be a decent backup, but OPs post the I responded to was (I think) suggesting a Smith-Konovalov combo in 22-23. I think it’s unreasonable to expect enough from Konovalov this season to make that palatable.

Randle McMurphy

From what I’ve been reading, Skinner is more highly valued around the league than many realize. It’s the reason he was protected in the expansion draft. From an outsider perspective Konovalov is more of a dark horse.

I think the Oilers Org is higher on both these goalies than many realize.

If one of Smith/Koskinen goes down early, Skinner is going to see some real playing time imo

OriginalPouzar

From various accounts, the organization does value Skinner quite a bit – as they should – his progression and development has been very very reasonable.

He may very well never be more than a tweener/back-up but, of course, he may turn out to be much much more – many a goalie with similar and even less developmental success at his age have had long NHL careers. He is still so young for a goalie – lots of road ahead.

I’m guessing part of the under-value on Konovalov is more limited “viewings” with him being overseas and not playing as much this past year due to politics.

Same applies to Konovalov as to Skinner – could be tweener, could be much much more.

Rodrigue, as well – he may have the highest ceiling of them all – from what I read/hear, he may have the most raw talent of the three.

Reja

What about Stalock?

OriginalPouzar

Stalock as part of the medium-long term plan?

Harpers Hair

When was the last time Stalock played an NHL game?

Sierra

If the Oilers can acquire a better goalie for only $3M a year they better do it…and they better not be betting on a tandem of 41 year old goalie and raw rookie as the goaltending solution.

leadfarmer

Rumors of 8 year 9 mil per contract for Nurse seem kind of very high, no??

dustrock

If you look at Jones and Werenski I’m no longer sure. $9m/yr for Nurse seems like a lot.

OriginalPouzar

A month ago, in my opinion, what was realistic was to hope it would come in under $8M but anticipate it would come in around $8.25M to $8.5M (for 8 years).

Given the recent long-term signings, the market values Nurse at apx $9M.

He is in the conversation with all those guys – yes Hieskenan and Makar are “higher value” but they signed RFA contract, not UFA contracts.

Nurse has improved every single year since drafted and is still improving – he is just about to start his prime and was in the Norris conversation, for real and on merit – with some top 5 votes (and, i believe, finishing 7th).

There is no reason to think he will not continue this level of play (or better) for a long time – he’s a minute muncher and extremely durable and, given his skating and fitness, should be at a top level for a LONG time.

Nope, I don’t expect him to score goals at 20 goal pace ever again but his pop in goals this year was just a small part of his overall game (and his ability to score more was not just luck/shooting percentage but his learning to time his entry on the rush, etc.) – his offensive production at 5 on 5 has been elite for years now – its not going away.

TheGreatBigMac

Nurse is valuable and a key part of the team, 8 x 9 also hurts. One thing I’m confused about, was the number smaller or bigger for a four year contract. With all the forward contracts it seemed the conversation was go longer for less AAV. But for Nurse it somehow feels like it was the opposite situation.

OriginalPouzar

TheGreatBigMac

Nurse is valuable and a key part of the team, 8 x 9 also hurts. One thing I’m confused about, was the number smaller or bigger for a four year contract. With all the forward contracts it seemed the conversation was go longer for less AAV. But for Nurse it somehow feels like it was the opposite situation.

I’m not sure there was ever an AAV number attached to the 4 years – just some new speculation that Nurse was looking at 4 years (when, previously, it was assumed he’d be locked up for 8 years).

Then, after a few of the new contracts were signed, the verbal changed that Nurse is indeed looking for, or amenable to, 8 years and now the number, not surprisingly, is around $9M.

Nurse is a bit younger than the likes of Hyman, Nuge, etc.

On an 8-year term, I think Nurse will only be 34 at the end and (unlikely to regress too much during the term). This is a contract where the team would like to go 7-8 years, as opposed to a contract like Nuge’s where the tem would like to keep it to 3-5 years.

In this case, the longer term would increase the AAV (similar to young RFA-aged player).

Randle McMurphy

Yeah. Nurse gets the Draisaitl contract. And so he should.

Captains get 12.5m
Assistant Captains get 8.5m 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Randle McMurphy
Todd Macallan

Holding out hope he takes the Leon contract at 8 x $8.5

Scungilli Slushy

That seems fair. Nurse has done really well, but those numbers are being zoomed with all of the Connor time. In every way.

He has to take one for the team as well if he is actually part of the core, at heart. If Drai would have bridged……

“Take one for the team”, 8.5M US dollars. He’ll get by.

Also doesn’t piss Leon off.

OriginalPouzar

Every #1 d-man’s numbers are zoomed by the team’s top forwards though.

Lets not forget about the 490 minutes he played without Connor at 5 on 5 and the 130 PK minutes he played without Connor.

Yes, his numbers aren’t as good in those 490 minutes but those were tough minutes with little help.

Scungilli Slushy

Not all top forwards are the same. Nurse is behind the two best.

But I get your point.

OriginalPouzar

Of course but compare his to, say, Makar who’s top TOI teamates were:

Landeskog
MacKinnon
Rantanen
Toews
Burakovsky

Plus over 4 minutes of PP per game.

I think he was zoomed just as much be elite linemates than Nurse (who had 1:30 of PP time per game).

Scungilli Slushy

For sure, Makar was zoomed more. I like that Nurse isn’t all PP points.

All points count, but scoring in the heart of the game is what wins over time. Half of Makar’s reg season points were PP. 60% PP in the playoffs they got bounced from.

I still want Nurse to admit he gets zoomed and sign for 8.5 or less.

JimmyV1965

It did two weeks ago. The Jones and Werenski deals really screwed that up. The Quinn Hughes extension will be fascinating. What the hell do you pay the kid?

Harpers Hair

Likely a 3 year bridge deal.

Material Elvis

I wonder what they’ll get in return from New Jersey?

pts2pndr

At steam leading minus 24 I wouldn’t think the number would be that high. Likely somewhat like his stature about two thirds of the big boys and possibly less.

Harpers Hair

At least 5 times as much as Evan Bouchard and worth every penny.

OriginalPouzar

Per Greg W. at ESPN, NHL hasn’t been able to secure media rights for the Olympics and hasn’t made any in-roads with the IOC vis-a-vis advertising, etc. but the NHL has secured Covid-insurance and its looking positive for the players to go.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/31943170/nhl-ioc-unable-agree-expanded-media-rights-deal-2022-winter-olympics-sources-say

I can’t wait for this, assuming it happens – when was the last international best on best tournament? (the NHL/NHLPA World Cup so does not count).

Todd Macallan

Can’t wait to see Connor, Nurse and Hyman (in the Kunitz role, or even Zamuner if you want to be a dink about it) for team Canada! Plus of course Leon, and maybe even a wild Munzenberger might appear in a depth role?

OriginalPouzar

I never thought about Munzenberger but, sure, ya, maybe?

I would presume there is no NCAA rule against Olympic participation – actually, aren’t many Olympic sports full of current NCAA participants?

Jesse should have a chance with Finland.

Kailer has no chance.

Klefbom, ugh.

Reja

Klefbom done no Hollywood comeback at least not until his contract runs dry.

OriginalPouzar

I won’t close the door on a 2022/23 return but, of course, in the context of the conversation and the Olympics, as I said, no chance.

TheGreatBigMac

I would love to see it but the NHL should not be going to the 2022 Olympics. The CCP is horrible and it is best for everyone if they aren’t given more of a platform. I know they hosted 2008 but the CCP has gotten worse in recent years. Not saying war is imminent but there is some similarity to 1936 Germany. I would elaborate more but don’t want to be filtered. Sorry for the politics LT but it’s part of the conversation.

Elgin R

It is only a part of the conversation if YOU make it one.

DieHard

It’s a big part. Really big.

OriginalPouzar

In this case, I’m going to be selfish and not care about the politics – I want to see it and hope like hell they go.

I can understand and respect your opinion – as I said, being selfish.

Harpers Hair

The 1936 Berlin Olympics should be an object lesson.

Reja

We are a completely different team this year with the additions of Hollaway, Hyman, Foegele and finally a faceoff man for tight games. Add in a healthy Kassian and we become a team that’s hard on the puck up front. With our mobile D it might be the perfect storm. I’m calling it right now Oilers score the most goals in the league as I believe the conservative Tippet gives the green light to our mobile D to push for the river.

OriginalPouzar

Big, strong bull of a defender with miles of future. Among the men who might be able to have an Adam Larsson-style career, he’s closest to NHL ready. If he comes into camp healthy (he had a shoulder injury in February) he could force his way past Lagesson and earn a starting spot. Best open ice hitter Oilers fans will have seen in many moons.

I’ve been calling Samorukov the “Adam Larsson Replacement” for over a year now. Yes, other side of the ice, but he’s the future for the tough to play against, aggressive defender.

He also has the potential to provide “more” than Larsson did as he has such a broad skill-set – good skater, good pass and transporter of the puck, solid offensive IQ, good shot, etc.

Of course, I can’t project his as “better than Larsson” until we see which of those skills translate to the NHL – presumably, Larsson, as a 4th overall pick, showed some of those skills at the non-NHL level.

Sammy is materially developed. A full year in the AHL (where he really started to pop before his facial injury) and a full year in the KHL playing top 4 minutes, successfully.

If the 3RD wasn’t another youngster, I think Sammy would have a real chance at the opening night 3LD but he likely needs to spend some time in California.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the following a bit in to the season:

Nurse/Barrie
Keith/Bouchard
Samorukov/Ceci

Potentially even:

Nurse/Bouchard
Keith/Ceci
Samorukov/Barrie

OriginalPouzar

I think he has the potential to be more that the rugged stay at home guy – he does everything well (nothing elite except gap defending and rugged defensive zone play but good at everything).

I’m not sure which skills will translate to the NHL level – presumably Adam Larsson had some of those skills when he was younger – to get him drafted 4th overall.

pts2pndr

I agree and he has an ability to make the hard plays look easy.

pts2pndr

He played first pairing for the Russian junior team. I don’t think I had ever seen Russia play a kid playing junior in Canada play top pairing before. Has all the tools to become a top pairing D plus has played both sides as well which shows his versatility.

OriginalPouzar

It seems every d-man in Europe plays both sides.

Don’t get me wrong, I sure hope he can have that versatility in the NHL but the NHL, and the smaller ice with bigger and faster players, is an entire different ball-game than the KHL (and other European leagues).

pts2pndr

I was thinking the ability is indicative of greater adaptability due to a higher skill level, hockey IQ or both. For a player to play the other side for a short period due a major penalty or in game injury is an added team asset.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, i agree, it is/would be a huge asset – if that ability translates to the NHL which, anecdotally, is does not much more often than it does.

jm363561

“I’ve been calling Samorukov “The Adam Larsson Replacement” for over a year now”. Any regular reader would know this a hundred times over – he is this year’s Lagesson.

OriginalPouzar

and????

jp

And, does this sound like someone familiar?

OriginalPouzar

I don’t get it?

jp

Someone who regularly has a contrarian view.

OriginalPouzar

I watched him quite a bit in Bakersfield this season and he was a more confident player with the puck on his stick. The speed and puck retrieval have always been there (he gobbles up loose pucks so quickly it’ll make your head spin) but his ability to exit and enter with the puck on his stick was a key for the Condors in 2020-21. I don’t know that he’ll be able to do that in the NHL but suspect we’ll see him on the No. 4 line and possibly higher all year in Edmonton 2021-22.

His speed, puck retrieval and zone entires are an intoxicating skill set – add some 2-way acumen and improving PK to that and he’s a lock for a 4C in the NHL, right now, today.

If McLeod can either “get stronger” or find a “trust in his body” he can take the next step to be a strong 3C in the NHL. If he can learn to not fear contact and battle and learn to engage, I think his offensive game will come from that and we can be a true NHL 3C, maybe even a high end one. We haven’t seen that from him yet and his non-willingness to engage physically with any consistency was there in junior, was there in the AHL and is there in the NHL. Come on Ryan, you can do this – you are a big kid – trust yourself.

Ryan

In fairness to Mcleod, he played last year with the bottomless six during the regular season.

Mostly Chiasson and Neal…Then Shore and Archibald.

Mcleod’s one assist at 5v5 was credited as a primary assist.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ryan
OriginalPouzar

Hopefully but I’m not 100% sold – the aspect of his game that I think he needs to improve on (willingness to battle or, at the very least, not avoid contact at all costs) has been an issue since before he was drafted.

He didn’t really improve in this area from year 1 to year 2 in the Bake as he didn’t need to engage – that line was so dominant in year two, they had the puck the entire time.

I’m not sure he can take the step to 3C without finding a bit more confidence in himself – you are right though, that could/should come from more experience and comfort.

jm363561

See the above comment re Samorukov. I know it is the off season but this is like a broken record.

OriginalPouzar

and your contribution to the conversation????

OriginalPouzar

Holloway took a major step forward in his sophomore college season and is the top option for the NHL team from the forwards available in the system. He has good size, excellent speed and no fear. Holloway is currently blocked at center and (after the addition of Zach Hyman and Warren Foegele) at left wing. That’s fine, he could be an impact recall from Bakersfield during the season. That’s a feature and a benefit of good NHL teams.

I’d be very surprised if he didn’t play NHL games this season – it may not be until 2022 although it may be. Craig Button is very bullish on him right now, today and so am I given my many viewings of him in college last season. The jump from amateur to the pro hockey is massive – most at his age need some additional development time but not all and he does have a mature body and skill-set.

As far as being blocked in the top 6 wing, yup, although, at the same time, if he’s ready for the top 6 and forms chemistry, boom, Nuge at 3C and unicorns.

He is blocked at bottom six center by McLeod and Ryan but he just may prove to be the most ready for the 3C minutes – probably not until 2022 but his likely ability to play wing and center and up and down the lineup will provide the coach options.

Elgin R

That would be a shame if Holland traded KY. Find a way to move Kassian instead. I loved the Kassinator against the Sharks but that was a long time ago. KY has upside and the questions is: Is Kassian done? Maybe.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, 100%, I don’t see Holland hesitating if Holloway is ready.

At the same time, that shouldn’t, in my opinion, force a trade of Kailer. I would LOVE to have Kailer at 3RW is Holloway and Nuge force Hyman to the right side.

Kassian would be the optimal disposition (subject to spike in his play) but Archie as well – in that situation:

Hyman/McDavid/Jesse
Nuge/Drai/Foegele
Holloway/Ryan/Yamamoto

Hyman can also be the one to move to RW – Yamamoto stays at 2RW and Foegle moves to 3RW.

Or Nuge to 3C.

SO MANY OPTIONS once Holloway arrives.

OriginalPouzar

Earlier in the off-season, i had accepted the fact that Luke Glandenning was going to be an Oiler – right shot faceoff and PK guy whom which Holland had a history with. I was “OK” with it but not enthused by the thought.

Holland was able to acquire Derek Ryan for that role and, in my opinion, that’s a step up from Luke Glandenning and I’m pleased with that outcome.

Primetime

He picked up Ryan only after Glendenning had already signed in Dallas.
Many have stated that Jim Nill was the real brains behind Detroit, but Holland would have gotten roasted if he had signed Glendenning first.

OriginalPouzar

We don’t know if Glandening was an actual target of Holland’s or, if he was, if he was a preference over Ryan.

Either way, I’m happy with Ryan at his nominal cap hit.

flea

The more I look at the team, I think Holland planned to move Bear even if Larsson signed and make way for Bouchard.

Trading Bear was more about freeing Bouchard than Bear, in my opinion. Ceci is the Larsson replacement, maybe not who we expected but I’m willing to see how it works out. He got a return for Bear and that’s more than we can say for a lot of our past GMs.

defmn

The more I look at the team, I think Holland planned to move Bear even if Larsson signed

I’ve been saying that all summer.

leadfarmer

Yes, Bouchard is a replacement for Bear
Ceci is a replacement for Larsson

defmn

And Barrie was always coming back as soon as the term & cap hit became doable.

Reja

Yes that’s why they didn’t offer 4 years at 4.5 million for Larsson. Barrie was in the Bush with the contract ready to be signed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Reja
Faustkarz

sounds like an overpay

Ryan

This.

Also I think Bear got Eberle’d from those errant breakout passes that kept getting picked off during the playoffs.

cowboy bill

I just want to say they need another veteran defenseman (Ryan Murray) to solidify the D in front Smiddy & Kosky.

defmn

KRussell & Samorukov disagree. 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by defmn
Elgin R

Wild Bill: hold my beer (A Ship Full of IPA)

OriginalPouzar

Ryan Murray would be the one addition that I would be on board with (assuming short term contract) as he is a legit NHL D (that can play 2LD) that moves the needle over Russell/Lagesson.

If they are going to sign a Koekkoek or Benn type player, I’d prefer to just stand pat and keep a clear path for Samorukov if he earns it.

I’m find “blocking him” with Murray as he’s legit, but I don’t want him blocked by a “replacement level veteran” that Tip/Playfair will likely default to.

Elgin R

Murray made $4.6m last year and presumably will have to accept a salary reduction. But how much? Even if he would sign a $3m x 3 can the Oilers even afford that?

According to Cap Friendly the team is already $1.55m into Klefbom’s LTIR so a total of $2.62 left. Still have to sign Yamamoto and then only 13 forwards signed.

Yamamoto @ $2m x 2 for a total of LTIR of $3.55m leaving $0.62m of the LTIR room.

Sending Turris to the AHL frees up $1.25m, resulting in $1.87m of walking around money to have a couple of league-minimum contracts (Benson, Holloway?).

Love the player, just don’t see how the accounting works.

pts2pndr

And the Keith deal bites again!

YYCOil

Cody Ceci has signed to play with the Oilers 328 regular season NHL games.

Is his roles

1.Build time so Bouchard can grow into the NHL
2.Play with Samurokov and then Broberg so they become pros.

2023

Nurse-Bouchard
Samurokov-Barrie
Broberg-Ceci

cowboy bill

You forgot Duncan Keith .

Tarkus

YYCOil is projecting what the Oilers D will look like to start the ’23-’24 season.

Presumably, unless Keith discovers the fountain of youth, he will be retired by then.

jm363561

He will have been replaced by Nick Lidstrom.

TheGreatBigMac

Keith and Ceci’s job is to kick as much butt as possible and win a cup! If they help the younger guys get up to speed great.

OriginalPouzar

Best case scenario – Keith helps the Oilers win a cup in 2021/22 with his on-ice play and leadership (while Samorukov plays the last 50 games and playoff) and then decides to retire opening up $9.5M of cap space with a 2nd pairing ready Sammy!

John Chambers

With Price on the shelf and Weber on LTIR I doubt the Habs are competitive in the toughest division in the league.

Perhaps a Koskinen for Jake Allen deal near the deadline gets us a solid, cost-controlled tandem for this year’s playoffs.

Elgin R

Habs are in tough in the Atlantic and I do not see them making the playoffs. Allen would be a nice upgrade from Mikko, but at what cost?

flea

Wait for the Deadline

fistycuff

Saying Munzenberger makes me hungry for a bbq.

Brewha Ha

Lol. Buns n burgers…

Elgin R

If he makes the Oilers, OEG should replace the over-priced Bobby Nicks burger with a value-priced Munzen Burger (ELC pricing if you will). So 1/2 the cost, or less, of a ‘Bobby Nicks’.

Tarkus

Mít sauerkraut und bratwurst, ja?

Pescador

Ja!

Bismarck

Munzenberger’s nickname should be “The Scientist” (derived from Bunsen burner). His goal song (to the extent we think he’ll need one will be Coldplay:

“Come up to check you, you’ll be so sorry
You don’t know how lucky you are (that I didn’t follow through)
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I take you apart…”

jtblack

Including 2014, here are the Oilers 2nd round picks.

BENSON
MCLEOD
LAVIOE

That covers 8 drafts. See the problem?

I feel like Oilers GM’s have been too generous parting with these valuable picks; which handicaps the scouts.

It is great to have late picks (past #100); but the Math tells us Rounds 1,2 & 3 are where Impact Players are chosen.

2022 & 2023 are supposed to be strong drafts. Currently Edm has their 1st & 2nd in each.

Keep ’em!

Ryan

Is the 2022 2nd round pick encumbered in the Keith trade?

Elgin R

Yes, if the Oiler’s make the finals this year and Keith is top-4 TOI in the playoffs then the 3rd upgrades to a 2nd.

Harpers Hair

Yes.

Faustkarz

misleading? untradeable due to conditions yes. encumbered well, appreciate your guarantee the oilers are making the finals.

nothing.like.ending.a.point.with.a.period.for.assertion.

Scungilli Slushy

1sts and 2nds are the juice. Trade all the rest if you must, keep those. Sweeten deals with leading AHL scorers, competent D and G with remaining potential, that you aren’t going to use, like smart teams do, instead of letting the asset fizzle out!

You will be wrong on some, but nobody is right all the time, retain the value you can get.

Primetime

A little unfair to list only those 3 and not what was received in return for the second rounders. I agree with the idea that most eventual NHL players will be found in the first 2-3 rounds, and that is the goal.
So in addition to those 3, the Oilers got for their second rounders:

Perron
Talbot
Reinhart
Chiarelli (Damn you Gary)
Athanasiou

All are NHL players, and the first 2 made significant contributions to the Oilers. Say what you want about Holland giving up two 2nd rounders for AA, but he is an NHL player and had as good, if not a better chance, than a drafted player in that spot to make and improve the team. It did not work out, much like most draft picks

Last edited 1 month ago by Primetime
maudite

-Rushing development curves
-Reaching picks in 2nd round
-Tossing in top 100 picks like they were candy on mediocre deals in some self constructed impatience to “turn the corner”

Are the paper cuts that have plagued the management of this team for too long.

I’m glad that with a lot of luck and in spite of it they are finally on the outskirts of the desert with the promise land in sight.

Buffalo definitely should have not followed our rebuild formula.

dustrock

Any word on Tullio and Bourgault from the Red/White game on the weekend?

Tarkus

Not much to report, judging by the game summaries.

Brantford Boy

LT:

“Samorukov; Best open ice hitter Oilers fans will have seen in many moons.”

“Munzenberger; He plays a mean, physical brand of hockey and can be considered a bit of a throwback.”

Yes please! I love these player types. Sign me up for big open ice hitters, and throwback defenseman all day!

Elgin R

Oh how I hope Sammy is watching tapes of Kronwall. Getting ‘Samorukoved’ is a little too cumbersome so another adjective will have to be found that fits.

Tarkus

“Sammy-slammed”

Elgin R

That made me laugh. All in on the ‘Sammy-Slam’ unless a better one is put forth.

buck yoakam

samurai’d

Tarkus

Oooh…this is good too.

Scungilli Slushy

Nice. Or Samu-ride.

ArmchairGM

Dima-lished.

Sambo’d

Scungilli Slushy

Might have to ‘read the room’ on that one.

ArmchairGM

What do you mean, and which phrase are you referring to?

Tarkus

This term.

Would never have heard of it, had it not been for the music of Frank Zappa.

Scungilli Slushy

Tarkus got it

ArmchairGM

Just stop with that crap. Samorukov isn’t an African-American, he’s a Russian. Sambo is a Russian martial art, and a very effective one at that.

I think it’s a perfect fit for Samorukov’s style of play.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambo_(martial_art)

pts2pndr

Sammored!

Bismarck

When one is taken apart by Sammy, one has been “Sammy-ridden”.

pts2pndr

Sammytized!

Pescador

I got Sammored on Friday,
It still hurts

MushedPeas

For me Kirk Maltby will always be king of the open ice hit, and I will never understand how he was able to deploy it so effectively so often (is nobody, anywhere, looking out for this guy?).

Post dynasty could buy a nosebleed ticket for $18 and have your pick of seats in a half empty Gold section, and Maltby was one of the players I came to see. Lots of character guys from those squads. We made a drinking game of Buchy trying the one-hand move to the outside (bottoms up).

Reja

I was pissed when they traded Maltby never thought he would last 17 years. He had a deceptive shot and was tough as nails cheered for him his whole career. He wasn’t dirty or stupid knew exactly when and who to lay out with a big hit. Here’s hoping Foegele has some Maltby in him.

OriginalPouzar

In his last year in Guelph, Samorukov was an absolute beast at defending the blue line – consistently stepping up at the blue line to close the gap and stoping the rush or the transition pass.

When Sammy turned pro and started his career as a Condor, he was just as aggressive as he was in his junior days but, of course, with pro coaching and scouting, etc., things were a bit different. Sammy was “too aggressive” and was predictable and pucks would be chipped by him and he would get beat trying to defend the blue line.

That was a main reason why Sammy struggled in his first while as a pro. As his rookie season went on, Sammy adjusted (presumably with the help of the coaching staff) and really started to play good hockey and was moved to the top 4. He then got hurt (facial injury) and the season derailed.

I only saw a handful of games of him in the KHL so can’t speak to how his game was but the stats (in the top 4) are wonderful.

He will play NHL games this season – he may have a similar adjustment period to what was needed in the AHL but he’s going to be a beauty.

Bruce McCurdy

At least they got value for Maltby —> Dan McGillis —> Janne Niinimaa —> Raffi Torres —> Gilbert Brule

Elgin R

NHLe is useful to compare players from leagues other than the NHL. However, usage must be considered when looking at these figures. The majority of the forwards (Benson, Maroday, et al) played #1 line and PP in their respective leagues to get their points and that is not happening with the Oilers – at least in the near future.

After Holloway (McLeod is an NHLer now), Benson probably has the best shot due his work on the PK this last year. That assignment deserves a shout-out to Benson and Woody for recognizing what is required for him to play in the NHL. Benson makes the team if he kills it at camp.

Marody is so interesting as a person (the song for Colby’s wife was sublime) and a player. He is another in a long list of tweeners and now is competing against Turris who is fighting for his NHL life. Going to be interesting but I am betting on Turris getting the nod out of camp due to Tippet’s love of vets.

Condor’s #1 line to start the season:
Holloway – Marody – Lavoie

Savoie and Tullio should spend at least another full year in college hockey. They are young and short so will need all their ‘man-strength’ to complete in the NHL. Also, they both need to get faster and work on play without the puck. Good arrows but that is all.

MushedPeas

Correct me if wrong, but doesn’t Marody need to clear waivers? Can see him being picked up even if only for another’s team’s minor league concern.

meanashell11

If picked up on waivers, they can’t send him down without clearing waivers. So they can’t pick him just to play in the A.

Elgin R

We really need some input from OP here to clarify.

Yes, Marody would need to clear. But I believe that if a player is claimed on waivers he must pass through waivers again to go to the minors of his new team. Marody could collect quite a few sweaters this coming year.

Primetime

Benson probably has the best shot due his work on the PK this last year. That assignment deserves a shout-out to Benson and Woody for recognizing what is required for him to play in the NHL. 

This was definitely a nice bit of coaching by Woodcroft to keep Benson focused on a new skill and not moping on not being with the big team.
That being said, I don’t think there is any way he is called upon to PK in the NHL. The current roster already has enough more qualified/adept candidates. Benson needs to put up points to make/stick on the roster, and will have to do it with bottom six minutes/linemates. His best chance is to make the 4th line and then get an audition with skill if there is an injury/slump in the top 6

jp

Agreed. IIRC OP has said he didn’t actually PK much in Bakersfield anyway, like definitely not a regular.

Having all those PK options there helps Benson thiugh, I think. There are enough that his main competition (Shore) won’t be needed in the lineup for PK work, so it should be a fair fight based on 5v5 play.

OriginalPouzar

Elgin R

After Holloway (McLeod is an NHLer now), Benson probably has the best shot due his work on the PK this last year. That assignment deserves a shout-out to Benson and Woody for recognizing what is required for him to play in the NHL. Benson makes the team if he kills it at camp.

Yes, Benson did get some PK time in the AHL but he was a depth PK at best. The coaches continued to reply on the likes of Esposito, Joe G., McLeod, Cracknell, Malone, etc. He was never a primary PK guy, never faced PP1, etc.

Good on the coaches and Benson to get him some reps on the PK but I don’t imagine he plays any time on the PK in the NHL this season. I do think Benson has a place on this roster but I don’t think he PK time in the AHL this past season is really going to be a factor:

Archie
Hyman
Nuge
Foegele
Shore
Yamamoto
Drai
McLeod

I don’t see Benson getting any PK time over any of those guys, at least not in the first few months of the season

Savoie and Tullio should spend at least another full year in college hockey.

Small correction: Tullio will be back in the OHL, not junior but, yes, he’ll play his final junior season and, depending on when he’s done, likely sign and join the Condors at the end of the year.

Savoie will be back in Denver, as we know. If he takes another step for the Pioneers (i.e. up to the 1st line and producing more at 5 on 5, continued progression in his defensive zone game – keeping his feet moving and not playing too high, etc.) he may look to turn pro at the end of the season – potentially signing and joining the Condors or even the Oilers.

That would burn the first year of his ELC.

Savoie could end up going back to school for a 3rd year or he could be in the NHL in April, or somewhere in between – it’ll be a fun year watching him in Denver, that I know.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar
OriginalPouzar

Elgin R

 Reply to MushedPeas

 August 2, 2021 9:59 am

We really need some input from OP here to clarify.

Yes, Marody would need to clear. But I believe that if a player is claimed on waivers he must pass through waivers again to go to the minors of his new team. Marody could collect quite a few sweaters this coming year.

Yes, this is correct, if a player is claimed on waivers, they need to stay on the NHL roster or be put on waivers again in order to be assigned.

Primetime

I believe there is some clause that depending on how long he spends up with the new claiming team, the original team (Oilers) can reclaim and place directly in the AHL without requiring waivers again (as long as a third team doesn’t put in a claim)

Faustkarz

I believe this is the correct answer, the original waiving team gets first dibs on waivers pending some time span obviously

leadfarmer

Really hope Mcleods offense continues to develop as we really need a 3C that can outscore the competition and Turris and Ryan are too far gone. His speed really opens up a lot of space for his linemates

MushedPeas

I imagine he’s still acclimating. At each level he’s found a way to elevate his game, given time.

Elgin R

Totally agree. McLeod’s production has gone up year-over-year when in the same situation then dips when changing teams or leagues. Production then recovers and the upward trajectory continues. He reminds me so much of Cogliano – great wheels, tenacious on the puck and high-end 3rd line finishing. If Mcleod can improve again, as is his history, then the 3C position is his until the inevitable of moving RNH to 3C in a few years.

JimmyV1965

IMO McLeod’s lack of tenacity is the one thing that could derail his NHL career.

Sierra

Where and when have you seen McLeod tenacious on the puck?

Faustkarz

If so, I ways always a cog fan, obviously a victim of the oilers at the time but if mcloed id 80-100% the talent cogliano was I think mcleod is growing his game in a better system/roster to reach full potential.

not to drag it on and mindful players are responsible for their own growth (to an extent), as much as fans rag and tear a team down; a large human element is that the oilers have really hurt (to be fair, have helped give job) some players careers long term and it sucks

Silver Streak

McLeod brings several key things to the 3C position, size, speed, defensive-conscious,
he seems to lack confidence in shooting, rather pass it off to a winger, he is a bit soft in the paint, If he overcomes his weaknesses our 3C position is his. I am a big fan.

Ryan

We’re all hoping.

He had 1 assist in 14 games. It’s an inauspicious start.

Visually, he looks like he has skill. He can take and make a pass.

I’m optimistic, but he’ll need good linemates to get going at the NHL level.

MushedPeas

Could be lining up w old buddy Benson?

Elgin R

Foegele – McLeod – Kassian Big, fast 3rd line which should get the better of the comp.

cowboy bill

It will be difficult for Tip to resist putting together a super line of
Leon-Connor-Zack Hyman .

Elgin R

Here’s hoping that Tippet can suppress the blender tendencies this year as much as possible. I think that he will do it less if there are at least 2 really good lines and the Oilers are not chasing in a game.

Hyman – 97 – JP
RNH – 29 – KY
Foegele – McLeod – Kassian
Shore – Ryan – Archie

jp

Hyman – 97 – JP

RNH – 29 – KY

Foegele – McLeod – Kassian

Shore – Ryan – Archie

My opening night lineup. Total guess of course:

Hyman-McDavid-Kassian
Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Foegele-Ryan-Puljujarvi
Benson-McLeod-Archibald

Faustkarz

seems most likely, and respect to Holland, people placed on paper where they should be on paper (Kassian vs JP to balance lines of course lol)

defmn

Rather than lines I think Tippett has indicated in the past he likes to identify pairs for the forward lines and move the 3rd person around situationaly – either within games or to get guys going etc.

Hyman – McDavid
Foegele – Draisaitl
Nuge – Pujujarvi

These pairs might make some sense although Draisaitl & Yamamoto might well recover some chemistry.

If you then sprinkle in Kassian, Holloway, McLeod while leaving the fourth line for PK and defensive assignments it also makes some sense for balance with the option to load up lines if you need a goal late in a game.

Hyman – McDavid – Kassian
Foegele – Draisaitl – Yamomoto
Nuge – McLeod – Puljujarvi
Shore – Ryan – Archie
Benson – ???

Size, speed, forechecking, defensive awareness & finish in reasonable degrees on the top 3 lines with shot suppression on the fourth.

Tippett is going to have some options with the forwards this fall. Let’s hope he gets it right.

Jaxon

I suspect Holloway will force himself onto the lineup as either 3C or 2L. With Nugent-Hopkins playing 3C or 2L. Or maybe Benson makes it, too.

Hyman – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Holloway – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Benson – Nugent-Hopkins – Kassian
Foegele – Ryan/McLeod – Archibald/Marody

defmn

My understanding was that Carolina was having trouble signing Foegele because he wanted more opportunity to play and that was affecting the signing negotiations.

I very much doubt Holland acquired him and signed him at $2.75 M for three years to play on the fourth line.

Jaxon

You may be right. I don’t know. He’s a great 3rd line player. I’m not sure he’s a good 2nd line player. And when it comes down to playing 3rd or 4th line there isn’t a huge difference.

Over the last 3 seasons, he is about 250th in TOI/GP in the NHL (3rd line), and 225th in Pts/60 (3rd line).

Trade and sign players usually get a bit more than what they’re worth as it would be brutal to trade for a player and not be able to sign him.

I can’t remember what stat it was that someone posted on here, but it definitely made Foegele look better than I thought prior to that. Maybe he’s better than I think.

Does this look better?
Hyman – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
FoegeleHolloway – Kassian
Benson – Ryan/McLeod – Archibald/Marody

defmn

McCurdy has an interesting take on Foegele.

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/digging-into-edmonton-oilers-new-forward-line-a-thought-experiment

——————————————-

I’m not starting the season with Holloway so that doesn’t work for me. I don’t see McLeod or Ryan as legit 3C’s on a contending team so when I try to find one I end up with Nuge while giving him PP1 and maybe PK2 time as well.

It has taken me a long time to come around to the idea of Nuge as a 3C – a lot of that had to do with him re-signing which is now accomplished but what pushed me the final little bit was that I agree with our host and others that Puljujarvi needs to be the driver of his own line in order to flourish to his full potential. All of a sudden I have 2/3 of a very good 3rd line appears given that McDavid – Hyman and Draisaitl – Yamo are both able to hold their own with a complementary 3rd player on their line.

I think/hope Holloway makes things even more interesting by around Christmas but I start him in Bakersfield even if it is only for 20-30 games.

Faustkarz

on a team w Drai and McD, the 4th line is very insignificant

cowboy bill

There are so many interesting line combos though. How about
Feogele-Nuge-Jesse for a second line , behind the super line . Then Yamo-MacLeod-Kassian third and Shore- Ryan – Arch fourth .

Scungilli Slushy

I think he was focusing on the defensive game so much he didn’t push for offense. Might be his NHL MO. To me that is where the coaches show their stuff. The kid has skill, great speed and size, find a way to get him using it.

OriginalPouzar

On McLeod – to me, his ability to be a legit 3C in the NHL will come down to his willingness to engage and not avoid contact, physicality and battle – that has been his achilles heal dating back to junior and it remains.

No, he does not need to be “a banger”, and he never will be, but he does have to learn to trust his size and strength and get to the tough areas and battle. If he does this, his confidence will increase and his offence will come.

If he can’t do this, I think he can be an elite 4th line energy center with high PK – a valuable player, for sure, but not the 3C of the future.

Of course, Holloway and Nuge are both options for 3C of the future depending on how everyone ends up slotting.

With both Foegele and Hyman being able to play both sides on the wing and up and down the lineup (Hyman for sure on the 1st to 3rd lines, Foegele maybe in the top 6) and Nuge’s ability to play wing in the top 6 or center on the 3rd line (or 2nd during load-up shifts), there are going to be many many options for Coach T. for line deployment.

OriginalPouzar

defmn

 

It has taken me a long time to come around to the idea of Nuge as a 3C – a lot of that had to do with him re-signing which is now accomplished but what pushed me the final little bit was that I agree with our host and others that Puljujarvi needs to be the driver of his own line in order to flourish to his full potential.

I agree on Jesse’s abilities vis-a-vis driving his own line and opined on that during last season – when the coaches do load up McDavid/Drai, I have been of the opinion that it should not be Jesse on that line as he’s needed to “drive the 2nd line”.

Once Holloway “arrives” we may have the ability to have McDavid, Drai and Jesse drive three separate lines.

My only real issue with Jesse “down the lineup” is having to read all the opinions and narratives about him being demoted, etc. – negative about either the player or the coach related thereto. Of course, his Finish lawyer friend that lives in New York will set off a twitter barrage any time Jesse is not with Connor or Leon (I respect here and her opinions but she is so “protective” of Jesse, online).

Faustkarz

I think you can look down so many ex-players cards/stats and the first years are such a right off. Offshoot, man Arnott had a hell of a rookie year