From A Distance

by Lowetide
Photo by Rob Ferguson

When we talk about young players arriving in the future, there’s a tendency to pile them all together. For instance, the current Oilers depth chart invites us to place Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg and Markus Niemelainen in a “bin” for conversation. We can talk about their individual skill sets, imply one is more talented offensively, discuss Samorukov’s impressive even strength goal differential in the KHL, but it’s all different shades of grey.

The math of hockey is such that we don’t really know if any of these players can make a difference in the NHL as defenders until they arrive. Once we have a chance to observe them, collect information and tabulate the numbers, we can make statements based in fact. If one of those blue ticketed for the streets of Bakersfield can contribute to NHL outscoring, and sustain it? While remaining healthy? Music!

Defense is a damnable position. That’s why the good defensemen are so valuable.

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!

BRANDON DAVIDSON

Do you know about Brandon Davidson? He was a deep pick in the 2010 draft, and became an instant favourite because he missed a year of youth hockey early on. The Oilers kept him in junior age 20, so Davidson arrived in pro hockey at 21. One of the things Oilers fans have been gifted with over the years is Eric Rodgers wonderful work. I value all of it, and for defensemen pay special attention to even strength on ice goal differential.

In 2014-15, Rodgers’ numbers offered strong clues about Davidson’s ability and confirmed Klefbom’s brilliance in nine impressive AHL games.

CONDORS 2014-15 BLUE

As it turned out, Bakersfield sent Klefbom, Davidson, Hunt, Marincin and Oesterle to the NHL, that’s a monster graduating class.

Davidson’s +10 goal differential at even strength (in 55 games) signaled he was perhaps more capable than his draft pedigree (sixth round). Puck IQ tracks him early as a quality player versus elites beginning in 2015-16 and his trajectory could have been exceptional save injuries at the hands of men like Matt Tkachuk and Dustin Byfuglien. There was a time when Davidson looked like a real top-four defenseman who could win the possession battle against elites. It didn’t last long, but it was there. Rodgers’ numbers foretold Davidson’s success.

CONDORS 2015-16 BLUE

Hunt had a fine season on offense and defense, parlayed it into a fringe role in the NHL that has seen him play 177 games in the world’s best league since. There was more bad than good from this season. Nikitin good lord, Oesterle, Musil and Reinhart were all taking on water.

Best player in this group (Nurse) spent nine games in Bakersfield before getting called to Edmonton. Both Laleggia and Simpson had good seasons, Simpson caught three NHL games the following year but Laleggia has yet to play a game in the bigs. He is 29. Fantastic skater, great playmaker.

CONDORS 2016-17 BLUE

Simpson has his best season in Bakersfield, Reinhart too but he should have been in the NHL by this time (five years after he was drafted No. 4 overall). I haven’t mentioned Musil much, he arrived in pro hockey during a time when his player-type (physical, shutdown defender) wasn’t in vogue. I wonder how far he would get if Musil was 20 years old this fall. Seems there’s been another change in the weather.

The Achilles for this group was foot speed, and the only one who has enjoyed an NHL career (252 games) is the speedy Oesterle, signed by MacT as a free agent.

CONDORS 2017-18 BLUE

Lowe had a fine year, but by this time he was an AHL veteran assigned to develop his defensive partner. Mantha had an eye injury, ended his playing career, absolute shame as he had real talent.

Bear struggled defensively, but flourished offensively and showed he was a genuine NHL talent from the word go. Jones had a tough year that involved injury and ineffective play. He would improve a great deal in his sophomore season. I know things happen in a hurry and who has time to observe a minor league hockey team, but two legit NHL defensemen (Bear and Jones) arrived in Bakersfield and began a pro journey that could last 500 or 1,000 games for both men. That’s worth noting. That’s the goal. Not possible every year but getting two NHL defensemen out of the farm system in one year is a massive boost.

CONDORS 2018-19 BLUE

Bear and Jones are more established in year two, the coaching staff (Jay Woodcroft, Dave Manson, J-F Houle) making a difference and doing the fine work of preparing young men for an NHL career. Lagesson arrives and plays very well, his impressive goal differential despite being chosen from the depths of the draft recalling Davidson from four years previously. The NHL results for Lagesson have not, as yet, matched Davidson.

The Oilers current group (Samorukov, Broberg, Niemelainen, Kesselring, Kemp) will draw comparisons to this Jones, Bear and Lagesson trio if things go well next season in California.

CONDORS 2019-20 BLUE

This was a tough season to evaluate, an injury to goaltender Shane Starrett meant the club wasn’t dealing with the same kind of dynamic as in previous seasons. Lagesson played well, Jones struggled but was recalled to Edmonton where he played strong hockey for the Oilers down the stretch.

Samorukov had a tough time early in the year, then settled in, perhaps foreshadowing his KHL campaign in 2020-21. Bouchard struggled badly in the first 27 games of the season (18-29 even strength goals) but rebounded in a prominent role (23-22) in the final 27 games. That story, the Bouchard recovery, was an underreported story from Edmonton’s farm system in 2019-20.

CONDORS 2020-21 BLUE

Another strange year, the Condors lacked the dynamic prospects (Samorukov, Broberg) that should have been there. One of the things I’m most looking forward to in 2021-22 is seeing the progress of a large group of young blue who will be developing under Manson in the AHL.

Niemelainen is the defenseman I was most impressed with in Bakersfield last season, he is big and mobile with more puck-moving ability than once thought. Kemp and Kesselring got playing time and showed flashes, but we’ll need to see them over an entire season before making any major statements on their trajectory. Samorukov and Broberg are slated to play in Bakersfield during 2021-22, that’s going to be a big story.

I just wanted to say thanks to Eric Rodgers. This is a lot of work over a lot of years, I appreciate it and I know you do, too. If you’re on twitter, maybe drop him a tweet of thanks if you get a chance.

Oilers rookie invites are trickling in, Rybinski is an interesting player who is a couple of years older than the other two men. As I mentioned many times this summer, Edmonton has massive room on the 50-man and will be looking for talent who can be added to the group. You never know.

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Scungilli Slushy

Interesting to me that the potential camp invites are all regular sized guys except the lad from the Q, and Kruger is a tad under for goalies these days.

I don’t miss the days of yore and coke machines and child sized players.

Its hard enough to make it without those obstacles.

ChupaCabra

This was a super blog post, LT. Thanks – nice to remember these names, some of which had drifted into far memory!

Buddy

Loved Davidson. He never seemed the same after the slewfoot. Must have been weird for him being in the Flames organization, but I guess that means he had no hard feelings.

Reja

Asshole Tkachuk. Gio just about ended Connor’s career. The saint Iginla did a nice little slew foot on Souray that started his rapid down slide.

Tye

Man… do I ever like that forward depth chart.
One of the best I’ve seen in 10+ years.

TheGreatBigMac

Would you trade Yamamoto, Koski, and a first for Dreidger?

Last edited 2 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
leadfarmer

Why would you pay that much?

TheGreatBigMac

Details, maybe we offer less. I think Seattle would surely go for it at this price.

I would be tempted. Goaltending solidified with forward reinforcements coming.

Diablo

Seems pretty shaky, not solid, Dreidger had one good year playing 1B on a good team with no expectations, in a market with fair-weather fans.

That’s a awful overpay for a goalie who is likely not much better than Koskinen.

leadfarmer

Vanacek went back for a 2nd in distant future. Now Driedger is probably better but a 1st and Yamamoto is a lot lot more value even if you attach a cap dump goaler

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think I would.

I would love the goalie but he is not without risk given such a small sample size (and we’ve seen many a goalie start their NHL career hot and never regain that level of play).

The negative value of Koskinen requires a big increase in acquisition cost and I think a 1st plus Kailer is just too much.

Its not ideal but, at this point, ride out the rest of Mikko’s contract and, if goaltending looks to be a real issue for an otherwise contending team, it can be addressed mid-season.

For all of Mikko’s struggles, the Oilers have 3 tenders than can win any NHL game. While the tending may not be enough to make a long playoff fun (although we don’t know that for sure), I don’t see it cratering a playoff spot and, as i said, it can be upgraded as they approach the spring – ala 2006.

defmn

I agree that it would take something like that to interest Seattle but to me that is more of an “I know what it will cost but I don’t want to do it if I don’t have to so I will wait and see how things go with Stalock, Koskinen & Smith first but I have that trade in my back pocket if the season is going south” sort of thing for Holland imo.

I alluded to the fact that I suspect Holland has had some such talks with GM’s around the league just in case but I think we start with what we have.

That gives him a few more glimpses of Driedger as well as a chance to see if Skinner or Konovalov are going to amount to something worth considering.

One of the advantages of the strong forward group combined with a fairly weak division is that I think Holland can take that time without risking missing the playoffs.

jp

I’d add that I think Yamamoto plus a 1st should buy a better/more certain goalie than Dreidger.

defmn

Not if you want to dump Koskinen’s salary as part of the deal, I don’t think.

That was the original proposal from The Great Big Mac.

I agree that Driedger is a gamble given his lack of NHL experience but I’m not sure who else would be a target right now. I read rumours that Georgiev is available for the right price but those same guys say he has been a lot of trouble in the dressing room as well as tied up in a possible Eichel trade with Buffalo.

Do you have somebody in mind who might be available that would warrant making a move?

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn
jp

I guess I just agree that’s not a deal you do this summer.

I suppose if Dreidger continues to prove himself through the year and the Oilers find themselves with a pressing issue in net it starts to make more sense.

It still seems rich to me. And if it were a mid-season or deadline deal the cost of dumping Koskinen should be much reduced.

I think my valuation of Yamamoto is higher than many as well, including you.

In terms of better targets for that package that are available now, there ma not be any. Still, I’d hope if Dreidger is the target that the price tag would be a bit lower than that.

defmn

Yeah, I don’t know about how you value Yamamoto but I think he could be a very good 3RW or reasonable 2RW as long as his cap hit allows him to be the 3rd guy on the line. That is a fairly valuable player.

I think the difference might be more around Driedger’s value.

I think he could well be a cost controlled starter just hitting his prime.

As is gospel around here goalies are voodoo so I could be way off but something needs to be done at some point this season imo and I don’t think we have an internal solution.

jp

Yeah agree Dreidger absolutely *could* be that. Maybe I’m undervaluing based on his limited track record (it also only took 3 x $3.5M to sign him, so the market values him as maybe a starter as well it seems).

I guess I’m looking more at the risk side of things rather than the potential upside.

I’d value Yamamoto probably a shade higher than you, but nothing radical.

Likely your urgency about the G position vs. mine is the main gap.

theDonkeyJohnson

Would Yamamoto fetch a 2nd & 3rd round picks in a trade? Just don’t see the requirement for a small bodied player in the lineup. Sure, he clicked with RNH and Draisaitl but it time to add size.

Tye

We literally did add size. A fair bit of it…. all of it poised to play in key positions.

OriginalPouzar

With respect, I think Yamamoto’s value is MUCH higher than a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

A 2nd round pick has like a 50% chance being an every day NHL player (give or take).

With respect (again), i think that question either severely underrates what Yamamoto already is (let alone future value) or severely operates 2nd/3rd round draft picks.

Bill

No bloody way. I’m not a big fan of Yamamoto but there’d have to be a better return out there for him. If he flops this season, well that’s a different story I suppose.

TheGreatBigMac

A young potential #1 goalie under contract for 3 years at $3.5M is a good return for Yamamoto. There are risks on both sides Kailer could be a tops 6 or bottom 6 wing, he’s shown both. Driedger could be a #1 or a backup. defman’s idea to wait is reasonable, prices will change with performance. Hopefully there are decent options available if needed.

Part of what makes this deal attractive is that it works capwise for both sides and would be a solution to the goalie issue for three years unlike Georgiev, Greiss, or some other options. Also if you think Driedger was somehow zoomed by a solid Florida team, why are Bobrovsky’s numbers low.

Last edited 2 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
defmn

Agree with all of this. Driedger was my 2nd pick for goalie pick-up this past summer behind Ullmark.

Unfortunately that analytics savvy 😉 team in Seattle beat us to him. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

JimmyV1965

Now is not a good time to trade Yamamoto. The kid has tremendous upside and adds value to the team even if he isn’t scoring.

bmclav

What if Holloway blows the doors off at camp and forces his way in. Would be something else

Hyman-McD-Pulju
Nuge-Drai-Yamo
Foegs-Holloway-Kass
Mcleod-Ryan-Archi

Nurse-Barrie
Keith-Ceci
Koko-Bouche

the more I look at that forward group the more it doesn’t really matter that the defence appears average. I wouldnt be surprised to see 4 goals for a game next year . 4-3 hockey. Could be problematic in playoffs unless they can crack the code with this offence first style

Last edited 2 months ago by bmclav
Reja

Let’s hope Tippett ices the best team possible and doesn’t pull another Bouchard on someone.

OriginalPouzar

Really tough to say that icing at right shot D of the following isn’t icing the best team:

1) Barrie – leading scorer in the NHL
2) Larsson – perfect 2RD playing the toughest minutes on the team
3) Ethan Bear – top RD the previous season

In fact, Tip struggling to find ways for Bouch in to the lineup last year was him icing the best team (in his opinion) – if he was looking towards the future and development he would have been playing Bouchard over his analysis of his top right show d-men.

Holloway very well could be a top 12 forward option in October. Of course, he very well might now vis-a-vis winning every night. He’s played zero pro games and will make mistakes. He’ll learn and get better but mistakes cost game, learning can cost games.

There is also the potential that, sure, maybe Holloway provides a bump over, say, Shore, at 4LW but is the “bump” enough to potentially slow down Holloway’s development and potentially lower his ceiling which could both be better served with top 6 minutes, full special team, in the AHL?

Reja

Right now not counting salary would you trade Evan for either Adam,Tyson are Ethan one for one deal. If your answer is no then why the hell was our best D-man sitting in a Hotel room while Bear and company couldn’t handle the sustained pressure of the injury riddled Jets.

OriginalPouzar

No, of course i would not trade Bouchard for any of those three.

At the same time that doesn’t mean that Bouchard is “better” than any one of them today (or, for the purposes of this conversation, last year).

Future value matters.

Reja

So you agree that Bouchard shouldn’t of had any substantial ice time last year for no other reason than that’s the the way the cookie crumbles. How do you know we don’t win a couple of OT games with Bouchard and take the series against the weak ass Jets. Yes 1 good are off his game bad De-Man can be the difference between winning and losing in a 7 game series.

OriginalPouzar

No, I’ve never said that I don’t think Bouchard should have had more games last year – in fact, I’ve criticized Tippett for not finding a way to get him in some more games. I’m very high on Bouchard, and I think the org is as well – I understand Tip dressing in what was, in his opinion, the best lineup nightly. Your opinion on that disagrees with Tip/Playfair and that’s fine.

At the same time, when you profess to not seeing any reasons why he wasn’t playing over the 3 every day d-men on the right side, the reasons are very clear and oubvious, even if you (or anyone) may not agree with them.

I don’t know what, if anything, would have changed if Bouchard was playing but I also don’t know they wouldn’t have won if they would have played Lagesson or Savoie or Kemp.

I’ll continue to think that Bear over Bouchard in the playoffs last year wasn’t the reason the Oilers didn’t win the series and were swept. Its impossible to know though.

Bank Shot

I don’t think you can lower a prospect’s ceiling by playing them in the NHL.

Guys like Thornton, Seguin, Kesler, O’Reilly, Burrows, etc, etc ended up just fine despite starting with 4th line minutes.

I think there is a good arguement to be made that the guys that got thrown in the deep end and were ruined were never going to make it anyways.

Last edited 2 months ago by Bank Shot
OriginalPouzar

I’ll disagree on that, with respect.

I can’t say that early entries to the NHL didn’t have an effect on the ceilings of the likes of Gagner, Yakupov, etc.

At the same time, Hemsky started on the fourth line (and some press box) and I’m sure that didn’t hurt his ceiling.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Holloway on the fourth line this coming fall would be a massive mistake, I don’t know, however, for me, as a raw rookie pro at 20, I would prefer him playing 20-22 minutes a night in the top 6 and full special teams in the Bake – as he gets used to the pro game, playing against men, etc.

Bank Shot

I can’t say that early entries to the NHL didn’t have an effect on the ceilings of the likes of Gagner, Yakupov, etc.

Can’t say that it did either. Gagner was small and slow, and still is. He had pro level coaching since he was a child. I think he was just really close to his potential already on draft day. Yakupov just couldn’t think the game. Death knell at the NHL level.

Every European prospect that can play at the highest level over there does. They don’t seem to have a problem developing players.

OriginalPouzar

The additions Holland made this off-season make the top 9 so much deeper – skilled, fast, tough to play against, etc.

It will indeed to an uphill battle for Holloway to make the team out of camp as a 20 year old rookie pro but, of course, if he blows the doors off (as you say), which he may with his size/speed/aggression/athleticism/IQ/, it creates even more versatility for Tippett and, more than anything, provides for something more substantial at 3C.

I would think that it would allow for Nuge to drop to 3C (as opposed to Holloway taking that spot) but, yes, Holloway (a natural center) could definitely be in the conversation for 3C.

An upgrade or McLeod’s offence and physicality at 3C would be great – not saying McLeod can’t get there but he wasn’t as of May (and, of course, Ryan would be best suited at 4C).

The ONLY issue, and its not really an issue, is that it would be tougher for McLeod to “get there” if he’s playing the wing but, again, that depth through 4 lines is special.

Reja

We can’t afford another start like last year it took way to much effort by Leon, Connor and Nurse to get us back into a secure playoff spot. With the new talented additions plus a relaxed Nuge up front we as a team are going to score in bunches.

OriginalPouzar

While I agree that a poor start needs to be avoided – I’m not sure what anything in my post had to do with risking a poor start.

I don’t think potentially assigning Dylan Holloway and using Perlini or Shore or Benson or someone as as a middle six or bottom 6 forward is going to the be the difference between a good/great and poor start.

Also, yes, the big guns worked hard to recover from that poor start but, lets not forget, this team had all but solidified a playoff spot well before the end of the season – weeks.

Reja

Dylan has been playing around men for 2 years what exactly does he need to learn in Bakersfield. Take a look around the league every team is deploying young guns that are cheaper, better and hungrier. You obviously believe in marinating forwards which is a whole different realm than D men and goalies. How’s that marinating thing working for the soon to be gone Marody and Benson who never even came close to getting a honest go. How much extra money did the Habs make because the Coach and GM had the balls to play the Caulfield kid.

Last edited 2 months ago by Reja
OriginalPouzar

Come on man, you don’t think there is a massive difference between the NCAA and pro hockey, in particular the NHL, let alone the AHL?

So many players that are/were good to great prospects talk about having to learn to be a pro and hockey becoming their full time job, etc.

I’m sure Holloway being around the Condors for a month last year was a great experience and should help him.

No, I don’t believe in marinating prospects past their time, I was adamant that Benson shouldn’t have been sent down to the AHL in January but kept on the taxi squad as he was ready and would be needed, for example. I have long criticized Tippett for not giving him real reps in camp/exhibition with legit NHL skill.

I also know that very few outside the elite jump straight to the NHL (or do so without real ups and downs).

I have never once closed the door on Holloway breaking camp with the team – its up to him to earn that spot at camp but I’m sure the coaches and the GM don’t want to keep him and then send him down during the year but they would prefer to have him excell at the AHL level and get called up brimming with confidence.

Reja

Yeah that Adam Fox sure looks out of place just think how good he would have been marinating for 2-3 more years. I could name Dozens of players jumping from the NCAA straight to the NHL. Leon and Connor are tired of doing all the heavy lifting they need help you could see it on their faces in Winnipeg. Adding Hyman, Foegele and Hollaway who all roll up their sleeves and don’t need cue cards when it’s time to get physical is a team changing event.

OriginalPouzar

1) Fox was 21, turning 22 well before the end of the season in which he made his NHL debut. Holloway is 19 right now, turning 20 a couple of weeks before camp.

2) Of course, you can name dozens – there are always exceptions – although I would think you’d have a tough time naming even a dozen just turned 20 year olds straight to the NHL in recent times. Of course Holloway can be an exception – we’ll find out.

3) Yes, McDavid and Drai need more help, and Holland, without question, has added material help up front. If Holloway can provide material help, and he very well may right away, then, by all means, he should be on the team. The “issue” here is you seem to have absolute surety that he can be an impact NHL player two weeks after his 20th birthday. He very well could be but that remains to be seen and its probably more likely than not that he spends some time in the 2nd best league in North American like most.

JimmyV1965

I’ll be stunned if Holloway starts in the NHL, even if he blows the doors off at camp.

OriginalPouzar

Bouchard struggled badly in the first 27 games of the season (18-29 even strength goals) but rebounded in a prominent role (23-22) in the final 27 games. That story, the Bouchard recovery, was an underreported story from Edmonton’s farm system in 2019-20.

I agree with this 100%. The numbers for Jones and Bear in their rookie AHL seasons show just how big the jump from CHL to AHL is and the progression that Bouchard showed in that rookie season is impressive.

In the 2nd half of the season, he was right around a point per game and was even goal differential playing top 4 minutes at 5 on 5 on a team that was ravaged by call-ups and injuries and was a tire-fire, getting absolutely killed. Even at 5 on 5 playing top 4 as an AHL rookie (plus P/G) – that was, and is, substantial.

OriginalPouzar

Thinking about the D prospects, not that it means anything or anyone really cares, here are my “lists” at this point:

Readiness for NHL:

Bouchard
Lagesson
Samorukov
Berglund
Broberg
Niemelainen
Kesselring
Kemp

Likelihood to have legit NHL careers:

Bouchard
Broberg
Samorukov
Kesselring
Lagesson
Berglund
Niemelainen
Kemp

NHL Ceilings

Bouchard
Samorukov
Broberg
Kesselring
Lagesson
Niemelainen
Berglund
Kemp

OriginalPouzar

Great blog LT, as always.

Looking at Klefbom and thinking about how, at this point, Broberg is tracking very similar to how Klefbom was at the same age.

That 2014/15 season for Klef was his 21 year old season and his 2nd in North America after draft plus 1 and plus 2 in the SHL.

This season will be Broberg’s 20 year old season and 1st in North America after draft plus 1 and plus 2 in the AHL.

In his 20 year old, 1st North American season, Klef played 48 games in the AHL (10 points) and 17 in the NHL.

Do we anticipate something similar for Broberg?

Would we be happy with something similar for Broberg with, potentially, less NHL games due to depth at the LD position?

31saves

I think I’d be pretty happy to see broberg have a cup of coffee in the NHL, but also not sure I’d expect it, nor would I be down on him if he doesn’t make it up this year.

I think the organization places a lot of value on him, but we have the top 2 LD spots spoken for, with Russel, 4K and lagesson NHL options. That’s a lot of people to push through, not to mention Sammy might be seen as more NHL ready since he has AHL and KHL experience.

OriginalPouzar

I agree 100% – I’m not expecting Broberg to play any NHL games this year given that depth chart (and, of course, he’ll be 20).

A full year in the AHL plus playoffs, etc., should be epic for his development.

Broberg is going to dominate the smaller North American ice where his speed is more translatable.

Harpers Hair
defmn

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Harpers Hair

Another version with a more elegant link.

https://youtu.be/kbJcQYVtZMo

Harpers Hair

And another this time from Germany.

https://youtu.be/a23945btJYw

Elgin R

The D prospect pool looks fine on the left side but pretty light on the right. Would have liked to see Corson Ceulemans (RD) drafted in 2021, though RC is a unicorn for this team so I understand the Bourgault pick.

The team will need one of Berglund, Kemp or Kesselring to develop into a legit RD before the Barrie contract expires or he is traded. Berglund is getting a little long in the tooth as a prospect (24 years old) but Oilers control for 1 more year.

oilersjo

Mr. Manson has his work cut out for him. Wish him well and all the boys he is grooming. it looks like Samorukov plays like Manson did with out maybe a bit less of the crazy.

Foege Foegele Torpe

Question for the group;
Does anyone one here feel like doing a deep dive on the draft +1-2 similarities/differences between
Samorukov & Alexander Romanov?
I’m not lazy, I just wouldn’t know where to start or what information would be most relevant.
Heartfelt thanks to anyone who has the skills for this

OriginalPouzar

This would certainly be interesting (I’m clearly not the man for this job but there are a number on here that would be excellent at it I’m sure).

I would think it would be a tough comparison given Romanov spent Draft plus 1 and 2 in the KHL and Sammy spent them in the OHL.

Reja

Manson deserves more accolades the man is a Defence Whisperer. Looking forward to Sammy crushing Tkachuk and magpie. We haven’t had a talented D body checker in years.

OriginalPouzar

Once Sammy gets comfortable in the NHL and gets his timing right, opposition forwards will fear trying to cross the blueline, in particular taking an outlet pass in the neutral zone – Sammy will make zone entires hell!

Randle McMurphy

A Niklas Kronwall added to this depth chart would be AMAZING!

Brantford Boy

I really enjoyed this post through memory lane today LT… thank you and a big thanks to Eric Rodgers for compiling the numbers… cheers!

Harpers Hair

Fun fact about Brad Hunt (who has actually played 191 NHL games).

The last time he was recalled from the AHL he was leading the league in scoring not just for D but overall.

meanashell11

Math, it’s a thing!

Foege Foegele Torpe

Agreed.
One passage in particular stood out to me:
As it turned out, Bakersfield sent Klefbom, Davidson, Hunt, Marincin and Oesterle to the NHL, that’s a monster graduating class.”
I think this is Un-intentionally mis leading.
For me the real reason so many of these D played in the NHL is because of unprecedented injuries suffered, perhaps even more of a red flag was the lack of actual NHL defensemen on the roster depth chart.
That being said, I felt excited for every single one of these men to make their debuts.
I loved their story’s, I yelled to the moon each time one of them scored their 1st NHL goal

OriginalPouzar

Its amazing to me that Osterle remains a legit 6/7D in the NHL – playing 2/3 (give or take) of the games for the Yotes yearly – great for him.

I can’t recall the circumstance of his exit from Edmonton to Chicago – was he an unqualified RFA or earned UFA status?

OriginalPouzar

Looking back, Osterle was a Group VI UFA (not enough games played) and CHI offered him a two year one-way contract which I’m sure was very enticing to him at the time.

Sounds alot like Pitlick and Dallas (Pitlick stated after the fact that he was just hoping for a one-way contract offer and then get 3 years of that).

With the above depth chart and Osterle being almost exclusively a minor league player at the time, can’t criticize the decision too much – he remains a 6/7 guy through his prime today.

P.S. – That damn Sekera injury changed everything (stupid Getzlaf – although the play itself seemed fine to me).