Please Pardon Me

by Lowetide

The first time I saw Shawn Horcoff, he was on the proper side of his mark as the puck went screaming through the slot in a front of the Edmonton net during a preseason game in the fall of 2000. He and his opponent glided into the corner, the puck a safe distance from danger. Horcoff was 22, just graduated from Michigan State Spartans and looking for an NHL job with Edmonton.

A fourth-round pick, who did have a monster final season in the NCAA, Horcoff was impressive but facing an uphill battle. I felt he would eventually make the NHL roster, and he did, in time for the Oilers thirtieth game of the season.

If I asked you to name one Oilers prospect, who has never played an NHL game, as your pick for the next NHL debut among the men in Edmonton’s pipeline, who would it be?

For me, it’s Philip Broberg.

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!

  • New Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
  • Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?
  • Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
  • Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
  • Lowetide: Dylan Holloway headlines new arrivals for Bakersfield Condors in 2021-22
  • Lowetide: Will the Ethan Bear trade be the latest shortsighted move that haunts the Oilers?
  • Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should expect more trades and a deep playoff run this season
  • Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
  • Lowetide: What are reasonable expectations for the 2021-22 Oilers?
  • Lowetide: What are the Oilers’ ‘perfect lines’ for next season?
  • Lowetide: The Oilers and value contracts. Three now, two later
  • Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse to a massive 8-year contract extension
  • Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
  • Lowetide: What are Oilers’ ideal defence pairings for 2021-22?
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
  • Lowetide: Warren Foegele acquisition possible key to improving the Oilers third line
  • DNB: Ethan Bear on being traded, his time with the Oilers
  • DNB: Ethan Bear out, Cody Ceci in, Tyson Barrie stays
  • DNB: ‘Ultimate competitor’ Zach Hyman signs with Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
  • DNB: Oilers draft day notebook

JUNK VERSUS STUFF

I’ve always had the view, and there’s all kinds of proof, that new general managers don’t value the previous administration’s assessment of talent. This is especially true with draft picks, you may recall Magnus Paajarvi, Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala being shuffled along by new general manager Craig MacTavish. Or Peter Chiarelli’s sending away Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, among others.

Ken Holland traded Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones this summer, and we’ll see how things progress in the days to come. One way of looking at it is through this George Carlin skit (it starts at 6:45), where he says “did you ever notice their stuff is shxx and your shxx is stuff?” and I think that’s how most general managers look at things they inherit.

It’s human nature. Daryl Katz didn’t hire Ken Holland so he could stay the course, there was urgency. Obviously. Anyway, I think that’s how this stuff happens and it’s not a shot at current management every new admin has the same basic view of the past.

Philip Broberg was a Ken Holland pick. I think he beats Dmitri Samorukov, Markus Niemelainen, Filip Berglund, Dylan Holloway, Ilya Konovalov, Raphael Lavoie and others to the NHL. How about you?

PRE-SEASON SCORING

One of my failed ideas (I have so many) over the years involved rookie scoring during the pre-season offering some clues about future success. Here are the leading rookie scorers from the fall of 2007:

  1. Andrew Cogliano 5gp, 4-3-7 +3 (18-27-45)
  2. Kyle Brodziak 5gp, 3-2-5 +1 (14-17-31)
  3. Slava Trukhno 3gp, 1-2-3 E
  4. Sam Gagner 4gp, 2-0-2 +1 (13-36-49)
  5. Tom Gilbert 4gp, 2-0-2 +1 (13-20-33)
  6. Tim Sestito 2gp, 1-0-1 E
  7. Rob Schremp 3gp, 0-1-1 +1 (0-0-0)
  8. Troy Bodie 2gp, 0-1-1 +2
  9. Jonas Almtorp 3gp, 0-0-0 E
  10. Ryan O’Marra 2gp, 0-0-0 -2

Gagner had a summer tournament against a bunch of Russians and arrived at camp in mid-season form, and MacT would not stop talking about Cogliano and Brodziak. Gilbert was miles ahead of everybody but he was just that much better than all of the other young blue. Fall 2010 was also an interesting time for preseason scoring:

  1. Magnus Paajarvi 3, 3-1-4 (15-19-34)
  2. Chris VandeVelde 3, 2-2-4 (0-2-2)
  3. Alex Plante 2, 0-4-4 (0-0-0)
  4. Jordan Eberle 4, 2-1-3 (18-25-43)
  5. Linus Omark, 3, 1-2-3 (5-22-27)
  6. Taylor Hall 3, 1-2-3 (22-20-42)
  7. Colin McDonald 2, 1-0-1
  8. Jeff Petry 2, 1-0-1 (1-4-5)
  9. Teemu Hartikainen 2, 0-1-1 (3-2-5)
  10. Shawn Belle 2, 0-1-1 (0-0-0)
  11. Ryan O’Marra 4, 0-1-1 (1-4-5)
  12. Devan Dubnyk 3, 2.61 .920 (35, 2.71 .916)

There was so much going on in the fall of 2010 that talented players were falling through the cracks. Linus Omark had a strong NHL debut but fell off the following year, as did Magnus Paajarvi. Meanwhile, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Jeff Petry and Devan Dubnyk made this one of the great rookie crops in Oilers history.

THIS YEAR’S PRESEASON

All the men on this list will get some pre-season time, but their jobs don’t depend on performance. This is the heart of the order, and any rookie/fringe veteran will have to work in order to grab the few minutes that remain available. Those men can emerge as prominent players, but only due to injury or poor play from one of the above. I expect we’re going to see Kris Russell a lot this year.

Here we have the group who will be playing several games so the coach can have a look. I’d bet on Stalock and Skinner playing more than one complete game, plus Koekkoek, Lagesson and Samorukov getting plenty of game action. Shore, Turris, Benson, Perlini, McLeod plus Yamamoto and Marody if they sign will get long auditions this fall. Yamamoto will have the team made the moment he signs, but his second half struggle a year ago may put his spot on the depth chart in play for the coming season.

Holloway will get plenty of action, I’m hopeful Konovalov will too, but he’ll be running against size bias so will have to knock it out of the park to impress. Broberg is my pick as the pleasant surprise of training camp, he did it at the Hlinka, then the bubble and even at the WJ’s until injuries made things difficult. Broberg likes the Rogers ice, and the competition at LHD isn’t exactly Robinson-Lapointe-Langway, so he’s the top name on my list to emerge from the prospect group.

Lavoie, Maksimov and Safin are a little older than guys like Bourgault and Chiasson, so should have more impact. Watch Bourgault, he has a range of skills along with being a first-rate scorer. He won’t make the team but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play more than expected entering camp. I’ll also mention Niemelainen as a player who impressed me in Bakersfield last season and may stand out early in camp.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Lowdown this morning at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky will join us to talk about the Jays, Women’s World Hockey Championships and the difficult moments in producing a hockey game for television. We’ll also chat with Cheryl Pounder about the big win for Canada over the USA last night at the Women’s WHC, and with Dan Ralph from The Canadian Press about Week 4 of the CFL season. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

132 comments
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132 comments

Indy August 27, 2021 - 11:06 pm

I am struggling with the moves this year. I do not see improvement per se, but still blowin in the wind, Goalering is our downfall…..
man…. Family finally is now out 100% on seasons, from 1979 (thanks mom and dad).
Bendelson and DanO could not take it anymore..man o man,
I do not like it fellas, pain..

Indy August 27, 2021 - 11:11 pm

…and ladies, may bad…

Bulging Twine August 27, 2021 - 9:06 pm

Great analogy with the Carlin quote

godot10 August 27, 2021 - 7:26 pm

So we are dissing Bill Nyrop today.

David August 27, 2021 - 5:21 pm

Maybe Lowetide writes for the Hockey News as well. I’m currently looking at THN’s fantasy pool guide and they have Broberg as a “good candidate for the 2021-2022 roster”. Samorukov (who autocorrects to sainty job), is not. I found it a surprising take to have Broberg as likely to be on the roster this season, and then I open Lowetide and he’s saying Broberg will arrive next.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 5:50 pm

Broberg is Holland’s price pic they’ll pimp his tires every chance they can.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 6:53 pm

Yes, I agree that current management is very high on Broberg, as they should be. Of course, they will do what’s right for the player and the team no matter which GM drafted him. Recall, they didn’t even bring him to camp in January and he was already in Edmonton.

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 12:28 pm

I think new GM’s will often move on from predecessor’s draft picks because their idea of what skills/attributes players need to build a winning team are different, not because they didn’t draft them. The new GM’s view is likely more, “I might not have drafted that player in the first place”, not “I didn’t draft that player, therefore he is less valuable”.

In Holland’s case, the Oilers still have McDavid, Draisaitl, Hopkins, Nurse, Puljujarvi, Bouchard, Yamamoto, and McLeod as players that were drafted pre-Holland that are all likely to have prominent roles on this year’s team, and several others drafted pre-Holland who still have a chance to be in the mix (Samorukov, Benson, Skinner, Safin, Niemelainen and maybe a few others). In 2 seasons and 3 off seasons, so far Holland has moved on from only 2 predecessor’s meaningful draft choices based on solely his decision: Bear and Jones (and there is speculation that both may have wanted a change of scenery anyway). Of the other 3 NHL caliber players the Oilers have drafted pre-Holland that left, Khaira was offered a contract after not being qualified, but Khaira decided to go elsewhere, Marino was never going to sign, and Holland also tried to convince Slepyshev to return to the Oilers.

He didn’t send Bear and Jones away because he didn’t draft them, he traded them because he valued what he got in return more. He along with Tippett gave both ample opportunities to prove their value. He may yet eventually trade some of the prior draft choices, but it won’t just be because he didn’t draft them.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 12:21 pm

We have spoken at length about Mikko vs. Stalock as the 1B goalie this season.

I have stated my opinion that I think that Mikko could very well bounce back to 2019/20 numbers/play and also that Stalock could very well perform just as well (his 2019/20 season was better than Mikko’s 2021 season).

I have also stated that, “if puck stopping is equal”, a material factor could/should be the fact that Stalock is a plus puck-handler – not at the Smith level but much better than Mikko and that could be beneficial for the team (a) as they’ve proven to play better in front of Smith (shot metrics and wins) and (b) I would presume that not having to change the puck retrieval and zone exit strategy based on which goalie is in net would help.

Not to mention a few hundred grand cap savings with Stalock on the roster over Mikko.

At the same time, do we think that Stalock will be given a real chance? I hope so but, just like Benson, I’m not positive he will.

For some reason, I’m just not sure they’d waive and assign Mikko – just a feeling.

Of course, if one of those two is in the AHL, they can’t take starts from Skinner/Konovalov – a loan to another AHL team would be great, not sure if that’s realistic. 3 goalies on the 23 man roster could be a thing but FAR from ideal. My hope is the allowance to keep a 3rd goalie with the team, not on the roster but that can practice, due to Covid reasons – a one-goalie taxi squad almost.

——-

Do we think that Skinner is that far ahead of Konovalov? I think the org has him ahead right now which makes sense based on his success in the AHL last year and Ilya has never played in North America. I do see them as somewhat even prospects – Konovalov could very well pass Skinner once he gets some North American experience – he’s somewhat of an unknown.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 1:39 pm

I defended Mikko going into is 2nd year and start of his 3 year contract I thought Smith would be the perfect mentor on teaching him how to carry himself as a NHL Goalie plus puck handling skills and any other tricks of the trade. Coming from the KHL where players shoot from different angels due to the ice surface I thought it would take a year to figure it out and Mikko did play alright in year 1 of 3. Last year was a disaster his body language and his ability to make saves went in the tank his rebound control was bad and he managed to make routine saves look difficult.

Anyhow I will cheer for him to regain his confidence and the team’s confidence as well in front of him. In saying that I sure hope they give Stalock a honest chance and if he beats out Mikko so be it. Tippett needs to dress the best possible team we can’t afford a 3-6-1 start because our Goalies can’t stop a beachball

Bank Shot August 27, 2021 - 4:23 pm

I’m strongly in favor of the Oilers carrying three goalies this season at least until we see what they will get out of Koskinen this year. If his play is decent then waive Stalock after 2-3 months.

Smith is likely near the end of his watch and seems to have an injury annually. Oilers can’t afford to be in a position where Stalock is claimed on waivers, Koskinen still has no mojo and the potential back ups have 1 NHL game between them.

After a couple of months or so, a few teams will have fallen hopelessly out of the playoff race and it will be easier to trade for a goalie that is needed immediately.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 4:59 pm

Yeah, I mentioned this awhile back as well.

What seems to be more important. A fourteenth forward or a 3rd goalie with 2 question marks in front of him?

I vote for prudence and the prudent move, imo, is to start the season with Stalock protected from a waiver call by keeping all three.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:27 pm

I don’t disagree but this team is already waiving Lagesson (likely) and at least one of Benson/Perlini if with 14F/7D – it would suck to reduce the roster of skaters by another one.

Of course, they could waive Mikko as there is no risk of losing him and it still permits them access to 3 goalies.

Given where we are with Covid right now, I can forsee allowing an extra goalie to stay with the team that doesn’t effect the roster limit or cap (unless activated) and, potentially, without the need for waivers to keep them off the roster to avoid the fiasco from last season.

That would be ideal (although listening to J. Gage the other day, he said he HATED 3 goalies – with that said, there were accounts of benefits last season due to allowing goalies full practice off and still being able to have 2 goalies as needed).

jp August 27, 2021 - 5:41 pm

and at least one of Benson/Perlini if with 14F/7D – it would suck to reduce the roster of skaters by another one

Recall there is room for 2 of Benson/Perlini/Turris/Marody among the 14F as of today. Keeping another goalie would likely necessitate one of Benson/Perlini be waived though.

David August 27, 2021 - 5:26 pm

My personal take (which probably means nothing to anyone else) is that Konovalov has a decent shot at becoming a Jussi Markkanen quality goalie, maybe slightly better, Rodrigue is a long shot at becoming that, and I don’t think Skinner will ever get there.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:49 pm

I think Rodrigue has the highest ceiling of them all – with the most natural athleticism and skill. His last season in the Q was VERY good – the best goalie in the league after the World Juniors.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 12:14 pm

Maksimov is a guy I’m going to have my eye one. Here is hoping he battles Lavoie for top line duty in Bakersfield and the shooter on PP1.

Don’t get me wrong, Lavoie is the higher rated and higher ceiling prospect but I have a feeling that Maksimov could have a “pop year” in the AHL and lets not forget, Maksimov has a more mature and “well-rounded game” than Lavoie. He’s more physical, he is a very good PK guy and a very good 2-way player. His shot is different but just as good as Lavoie’s as well.

I hope both these guys play the left side (Lavoie did last year) and are 1/2 LW (with Holloway as center and Benson in the NHL).

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 12:07 pm

I have absolutely no doubt that Broberg is going to look great at camp in September/October, just like he did in the pre-bubble playoffs camp. He will have all the “talking heads” talking and it will lead to many fans thinking that he should make the team out of camp.

Of course, as we all know, young higher end prospects (i.e. skilled) that are big and fast almost always shine at training camps and often in early pre-season. See Broberg last July. See Puljujuarvi as an 18-year old. See McLeod in his draft plus 1 (many wanted him to be 3C as an 18/19 year old), etc., etc., etc.

The speed with size will dazzle but we know this will mean almost nothing with respect to NHL readiness. Its been proven time and time again.

Of course, this does not mean that he isn’t NHL ready, he can’t prove that except in actual NHL games. He can potentially earn himself an extra look at camp or may even an NHL game but, at the same time, he just turned 20, he’s yet to play a pro game in the NHL, the team will be breaking in another first time full NHLer on defence in Bouchard and the team has Koekkoek, Russell and Samorukov for the 3/4 LD spots.

I can’t wait to see Broberg at camp and in a couple exhibition games – I think his game will pop on the North American ice – he’s shown well in international play in North American and that speed/acceleration will be much more material on a smaller ice surface – that big ice is the prime negator of speed and skill.

Broberg is going to develop quickly in real time.

There is a chance at a few NHL games this season but I don’t see it in October (or in 2021).

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 12:37 pm

And as others have pointed out before, players like Broberg (and Holloway) can be sent down without having to clear waivers, so unless there are injuries or in the coaches’ view, he is so far above their other options on defense, he will almost certainly get sent to the minors to start the season. Holland’s preference to not risk damaging players’ confidence by having them on the big club then sent down due to performance will also be a factor.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 1:23 pm

Do you think Marody and Benson would have less confidence if they were given games in the bigs never mind a real paycheque and then they were sent back to Bakersfield to work on certain aspects of their game. It always comes down to a numbers game. If I was a player I would take door B

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:57 pm

Both Marody and Benson have been given games in the NHL (with an NHL paycheque) and then returned to Bakersfield.

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 3:27 pm

Do you think Jesse would have had more confidence if he hadn’t bounced up and down between the Oilers and the Condors 3 times over his ELC?

Reja August 27, 2021 - 4:12 pm

Every players different I don’t by into this marinate nonsense some players need to do time in the AHL others don’t. Would Debrincat or Larkin or I can name hundreds of players that were ready for the NHL at a early age. We’ll soon find out if Holloway is ready for top 6-9 in a couple of months.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 4:20 pm

You say that every player is different but you always seem to equate the success of Caufield and Larkin with Holloway.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 4:49 pm

You don’t believe Holloway should make the team no matter how well he shows in camp.All I know is we sure could of used him and Bouchard in the playoffs against a weak Jet team. Play Holloway on the wing for a couple of years and possibly move him to Centre. You are going to see shortly that Holloway will be eating Jesse’s and Yamo’s lunch.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:30 pm

Reja

 Reply to OriginalPouzar

 August 27, 2021 4:49 pm

You don’t believe Holloway should make the team no matter how well he shows in camp.

I never once said that nor implied it.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 6:04 pm

Every time I mention Holloway making the team and injecting some live into the top 6-9 you shoot me down. Holloway has a legit shot at garnering votes tor the Calder and all I can say let’s see who comes closer on the Holloway watch.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 6:57 pm

No, I shoot down you stating, as a fact, that he’s ready, not only for the NHL, not only the top 6 but to make a material impact in the top 6 and would have been the difference in the series against Winnipeg if healthy.

He could be NHL ready, he could be top 6 ready – we don’t know. What we do know is that he might not be and decades worth of examples show its probably more likely that some development time in the AHL could be beneficial. There are many exceptions, 100%, he could be one, 100% but I will stop short of projecting that (and I see him as more NHL ready than most coming out of college at 20 based on watching him and knowing his physical and mental maturity).

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 4:35 pm

Of course many players go straight to the NHL and succeed. I am willing to entertain the possibility that either of Hollloway or Broberg could be ready to stay in the NHL and prove it to Tippett/Holland etal at camp. I just don’t think it is likely, particularly given the depth the Oilers now have compared to a few years ago. I would happy to be wrong.

At least for Holloway, you don’t seem to think there is any chance at all he actually needs additional non-NHL development, and that if Tippett/Holland decide he is not ready, and believe it is only because they are making a huge blunder.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:29 pm

That’s the thing – I don’t think anyone is closing the door on Holloway earning an opportunity during camp/exhibition to play in game 1. On the other hand, it seems Reja is opining that Holloway isn’t just on the team but making a big impact in the top 6 – it seems like a bit of a stretch.

This is more evident by the “knowledge” that Holloway would have made a huge difference in the Jets series.

Reja August 27, 2021 - 6:25 pm

Did Caulfield make a difference for the Habs. Without him they probably don’t get past the Leafs. You make it sound like it’s such a stretch that yes the Oilers would have gotten by a beat up Jet team with a fresh Holloway (if he didn’t injure thumb) and the talented Bouchard.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 7:09 pm

Yes, Caufield made a difference but, again, Holloway is not Caufield and he is not Larkin.

Holloway could have made a difference, sure, but I’m going to stop short of stating it as a surety or a fact.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:56 pm

Oh, I think you are right – I’m just getting ready for the calls for Broberg on the team for game 1.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:50 am

I am looking forward to seeing how Niemelainen looks in camp. I know nothing about him other than what I read here on this blog but it sounds like he has started to attract attention through his play in Bakersfield and that, of course, makes the succession on LD an interesting question.

Has he progressed to the point, for example, that he is considered a legitimate prospect for the NHL as a 3LD? And if he has does that make Samorukov a trade chip? I have been a huge fan of the way Sam plays the game but with Nurse signed forever and Broberg arriving soon there are only so many spots available and maybe Sam is the guy with the greater trade value at a certain point if Niemelainen looks like he can handle the job about the time the club needs the spot filled.

Regardless of that I have thought for some time that Samorukov might be the guy they ship out as part of a package for a goalie. Hope not but it is something I will be paying attention to once TC is up and running.

Darth Tu August 27, 2021 - 11:07 am

I think Niemelainen looked good last year for the Condors, I also think he’ll probably play the full year in the AHL this season – injuries pending for the men in front of him. Samorukov is likely ahead of him, however I think he also spends at least a chunk of time to start the season in the AHL – needs to get used to the smaller ice size, he was good in the KHL last year though.

Broberg, I’m starting to wonder if he doesn’t actually end up in the team as a right D at some point, he’s certainly spent a bit of time playing his offside so far at various levels. Let’s say Ceci goes down injured and Koekkoek fails to work as an option on the right as injury cover. There’s a path there for Broberg to be 3RD with Bouch moving up to 2RD. For the reasons LT gives above I feel like Broberg might jump over Berglund as a right side D callup option. I’m probably unfairly discounting Kris Russell in this scenario, but at the very least I think Bro might move above Berglund as the next man up.

€√¥£€^$ August 27, 2021 - 12:14 pm

You probably know this, but just a reminder Sammy played 200+ games with Guelph over 3 seasons and 50+ games with Bakersfield so small ice won’t be an issue. He has played a lot on the right side, so he has that same versatility that Broberg offers.

Lots of options on D this season, what the hell, eh? So not Oilers….

Darth Tu August 27, 2021 - 1:15 pm

Oh yeah, I’m sure he’ll transition back just fine! But wondered if he’d need a bit of time to retransition to the smaller ice. Broberg seemed to take to it like a fish to water in the bubble camp after coming over from Sweden.

Hopefully they both do well in Bakersfield and we have a real headache whatever happens.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:52 pm

At this point, I would imagine that Russell or Koekkoek on their off-side is the first injury cover for a right shot d-man. Here is hoping that Berglund can put himself in the conversation.

Both Broberg and Sammy have indeed played alot of right side over in Europe but that seems to be very common on that side of the pond and, given how much harder it is to do in the NHL (faster players, smaller ice – simply less time) it doesn’t translate for most.

Of course there are exceptions but putting a raw NHL rookie on their off-side to starts doesn’t seem like it would be setting them up for success.

Look at Caleb Jones – he played a ton of right side even in the AHL and we saw him MUCH worse at the NHL level when they tried that.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 12:06 pm

It would be unfortunate to use Sammy as a trade chip before we get to see what he can do, but as you say there are only so many spots. If his floor really is on the second pairing, and Niemelainen is suited to the 3LD role going forward, it might make the most sense to move along the valuable asset from an area of strength to address an area of weakness.

On the other hand, having a 1LD and two top-4 options would help to even out the ice time and provide injury cover, or stronger matchup options depending on the situation or opponent. Nice problem to have.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 12:09 pm

That sums up what I was trying to convey very nicely.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 12:21 pm

Yay, reading skills 😉

defmn August 27, 2021 - 4:52 pm

😉

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 12:49 pm

It has been rumoured that Samorukov has been an ask from at least one other GM in trade talks and that Holland turned it down. At some price, any player is available, but it seems Holland still values him as a prospect.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 12:51 pm

I have wondered if he was the ask from Phoenix for Kuemper along with the 1st.

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 9:44 pm

It was also reported that when Holland made inquiries for Korpisalo in exchange for Koskinen, Columbus’ ask to part with Korpisalo and take on Koskinen and his contract was a first and Samorukov. Holland apparently rejected that as too big an ask, but no way to confirm a) if that was true and b) even if it was, how much was Samorukov’s value vs. the value of the first.

jp August 27, 2021 - 10:09 pm

Columbus’ ask to part with Korpisalo and take on Koskinen and his contract was a first and Samorukov

My goodness, what a crushingly awful trade that would have been.

I’ve heard this mentioned before, do you know the source of the report?

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 10:22 pm

I think it was Seravelli on the DFO Rundown!

jp August 27, 2021 - 10:26 pm

Thanks.

Is the exclamation mark part of the name? Or is that your add?

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 10:27 pm

My add.

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 10:28 pm

That’s my recollection as well back at the beginning of August.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:37 pm

Yup. I think he is in danger of being moved because there is interest but I don’t think that Holland undervalues him.

jp August 27, 2021 - 1:12 pm

At some price, any player is available, but it seems Holland still values him as a prospect.

Along these lines, while Holland did trade Bear and Jones this summer, he’s actually held onto most of the former regimes prospects (Benson, Marody, Samorukov, Bouchard, McLeod, Lavoie, Lagesson, may be forgetting some).

Can’t keep all of them, but I’d argue Holland has done far less clearing of house than we’ve been accustomed to.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 28, 2021 - 7:37 am

Sammy was also reportedly requested at the trade deadline when Gretz the Younger was briefly at the helm.

judgedrude August 27, 2021 - 1:17 pm

I’m thinking he looks tall, but not Chara tall given that Bear and Jones are gone.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:49 pm

I was thoroughly impressed by Niemelainen as a Condor as the scouting reports on him from Europe (including recent reports from Bruce and Dave who watched games last season) were not good – essentially a black hole with the puck on his stick.

This was not the case as a Condor as he was a decent puck mover – nothing special but he could make a play in transition. His size and skating help him over alot of ground.

He’s put himself on the map but, to me, he remains a distant bell for the NHL and not a real option this season.

In my way, in my mind, does his appearance as a real prospect, make Samorukov expendable – he’s 2-3 tiers higher than Neimelainen as a prospect and for potential

defmn August 27, 2021 - 4:54 pm

Missed the point as usual.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:36 pm

Didn’t miss anything. I presume there aren’t more than a handful of regular posters that have seen Nimelainen play at all in the last 3 years.

I look forward to the day you are able to (a) have a substantive discussion with me in response to my posts or (b) actually ignore them completely (as you profess you will do) as opposed to having to respond with a personal shot at least once per day (usually more).

defmn August 27, 2021 - 5:49 pm

I look forward to the day when you complete a reading comprehension course.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:56 pm

Two Posts: Two personal shots.

I too look forward to watching Niemelainen at camp.

I believe I know more about him that just what I read at this blog (as I’ve read about him from various other sources and watched him play in the AHL).

I was pleasantly surprised by his play.

I don’t believe his good half season in the AHL (it was good, not great, and he missed most of the second half injured) has changed the thought on succession plans as I believe he will remain a distant bell to fill a 3LD role at the NHL level.

In that regard, I don’t think he makes Sammy more of a trade chip as I don’t think he is likely to fill an NHL hole in in the next few years.

godot10 August 27, 2021 - 8:05 pm

Please be Teppo Numminen.

Harpers Hair August 27, 2021 - 10:43 am

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
A development in the Jack Eichel situation: hearing he is now going to be represented by Pat Brisson.

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1431283701464408065?s=20

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:58 am

Jack is getting impatient.

Harpers Hair August 27, 2021 - 11:30 am

Brisson has his hands full.

Also represents Pettersson and Hughes in Vancouver.

Side August 27, 2021 - 12:34 pm

Brisson represents a lot of players from a lot of different teams. Here’s a list since you are unaware:

https://puckpedia.com/agent/pat-brisson

Side August 27, 2021 - 3:19 pm

Yes I think you are right. That would make the most sense. Hopefully Brisson can rescue these poor souls.

Ice Sage August 27, 2021 - 2:53 pm

Good move Mr. Eichel, the chippy tone of his previous entourage wasn’t getting it done nor getting him any sympathy. Hope Brisson knows some good surgeons

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:28 am

I saw George Carlin at the Jube the last time he was in Edmonton in January of 2008 just before we left the city. My favourite comedian of all time.

That man defined ‘wicked sense of humour’.

dustrock August 27, 2021 - 10:49 am

Yeah, I think he might be the greatest ever.

Harpers Hair August 27, 2021 - 11:33 am

I’m often reminded that Carlin told us “the average person is dumb so half of the population is dumber than that”.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 12:31 pm

Way, way off topic. My apologies to our host & if he thinks appropriate to remove I will understand.

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that,” is the actual quote but I would posit that the premiere example of a wicked sense of humour concerning our species greatest conceit was Hobbes’ pronouncement on the equality of mind.

Hobbes is interested in creating a metaphysical template for democracy – a regime buttressed by the noble lie of equality & freedom.

He drones on about physical strength and its minor discrepancies amongst men – is any one man stronger than 3 or 4 others – and caps it off with what I would propose is the greatest rhetorical misdirection to be found in the philosophic tradition where he makes his argument for equality of intelligence.

In a massive run-on sentence comprised of double negatives, conflicting corollaries, inaccurate analogies & doubtful assertions he concludes with the centre piece of the justification that gave genesis to democracy as a legitimate form of rule.

“For there is not ordinarily a greater signe of the equall distribution of anything, than that every man is contented with his share”

The irony is delicious.

But Carlin’s line is pretty good too. 😉

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 2:08 pm

You just made my day with this mini lecture on Hobbes.

Jethro Tull August 27, 2021 - 4:09 pm

“Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!”

Calvin.

godot10 August 27, 2021 - 8:03 pm

Happiness is anxiety deficit disorder.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 4:51 pm

Thank you. Probably the most misunderstood of those in the philosophy canon.

His rhetoric is so powerful we don’t even recognize it as such and think it is just what any normal person would believe but his philosophical views trace straight to Plato.

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 5:24 pm

Couldn’t agree more. You’ve manifestly read Leon Craig’s The Platonian Leviathan. I suspected as much earlier from your remarks, which is why I said you made my day.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 5:27 pm

Leon was my advisor when I did my Masters degree so many, many decades ago.

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 7:00 pm

Mine too! We might even know each other.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 7:19 pm

Leon was such a brilliant teacher. Clarity of thought, precision in his speech.

I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to the great thinkers of the western tradition.

Not to mention that he saved me from going to law school. 😉

Are you still in Edmonton?

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 9:27 pm

No, I’ve lived in exile in Flames world for 20 plus years. Got my MA in 1993, was at BC 93-98.

Just to bring this back to hockey, since I’ve learned from Socrates that too much talking about philosophy on public forums makes people want to poison you, my last year in Boston was Thornton and Samsonov’s rookie year. I was a big Bruins fan at the time, something I’ve never revealed on here before.

I’m drawing a blank on who you might be. I’m hard pressed to think which of Prof. Craig’s students were real Oilers fans back in the day. He always emphasized the crucial importance of sports (“gymnastics” in Plato’s terminology) in disciplining one’s soul, and if being an Oilers fan doesn’t endure one to face any hardship in life, then nothing does.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:27 pm

Were you at Leon’s retirement party?

And, of course, you would know Heidi.

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 11:04 pm

Yes. And yes, very well.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 11:34 pm

Say hi to Heidi for me the next time you see her. I prefer to remain anonymous on the net but she can tell you who I am if you ask her who her neighbour was when she lived in Argyll. Heidi and I go back a long ways. Are you her friend that lives in Mount Royal?

Or you might remember me from the retirement party for a speech on gratitude.

Too bad we never had this conversation earlier. My wife and I just moved from Calgary a few months ago.

Buddy August 27, 2021 - 11:51 pm

Seems like you’ve got me narrowed down. That’s vexing that you just moved away. We could have gone to an Oilers Flames game and talked about the end of Western civilization.

defmn August 27, 2021 - 11:55 pm

I tried to avoid the Saddledome since I can’t remember the last time I had a tetanus shot. 😉

Harpers Hair August 27, 2021 - 10:50 am

Curious…where did you move to after Edmonton?

defmn August 27, 2021 - 10:55 am

East coast.

Harpers Hair August 27, 2021 - 11:30 am

Thought so😉

dustrock August 27, 2021 - 10:18 am

Haven’t really thought this through but I bet Tom Gilbert would look good in today’s NHL

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 12:00 pm

All I remember of Gilbert was his penchant for losing position and bad turnovers, which led to me coining him the best player on the other team.

LMHF#1 August 27, 2021 - 4:01 pm

Nah – Gilbert had a couple really nice seasons. Plus he was acquired for the man who choked away multiple playoff victories for a young and entertaining hockey team.

kelvjn August 27, 2021 - 4:58 pm

Its a little harsh re:Salo. He wasn’t the same since the Belarus slap shot to the head, but he kept the underdog oilers(who loses players to UFA every year) competitive many years and had the games close against a Stars team that was rich enough to hire a full line of former 40 goals scorers to be their grumpy old men mugging line.

LMHF#1 August 27, 2021 - 5:09 pm

The team Salo was playing behind was nowhere near as bad as people tend to think upon reflection. There were years they should have won those opening series and Salo didn’t get his part done. Post-Belarus was one thing – but he’d actually shown his weaknesses prior. Specifically the 99-00 and 00-01 teams were let down by him.

Was he a bad goalie generally – no. But he couldn’t step up in the playoffs and gave away multiple games.

godot10 August 27, 2021 - 7:53 pm

……

kelvjn August 27, 2021 - 9:21 pm

The 99~01 Oilers weren’t bad but in 99~00 they were matched against the defending champion who made it all the way to SCF, and in 00~01 lost their way in OT againsta fading Stars team with Salo posting a 0.920 SV.

Those Stars always had a 1A and 1B line staring Modano and Nieuwendyke respectively who saw off the Oilers 1st line by water skiing behind Weight (or was it the other way around? It’s been too long). They also had Sydor, Zubov and Hatcher, and actual NHLer (>500 games) to round out their 3rd pair. And then there was Belfour.

The good old time cheering for the underdog.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:43 pm

11 points in 36 games for Nuermberg last season.

anonymous August 27, 2021 - 10:11 am

Would love to hear George Carlin’s take on the Pharmaceutical Industrial complex of today….too bad he’d be cancelled.

leadfarmer August 27, 2021 - 10:23 am

Come back after your morning dose of Ivermectin

anonymous August 27, 2021 - 10:31 am

Done, along with a double dose of Soma!

Fuhrious August 27, 2021 - 11:00 am

I’ve seen news stories about the horse medicine thing (they *keep* taking it despite frequently pooping their pants!), but never heard of Soma, what is that?

defmn August 27, 2021 - 11:14 am

From Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’.

Ice Sage August 27, 2021 - 2:56 pm

Washed down with some Soylent Green…

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 11:59 am

Nobody, and I mean nobody, could cancel George Carlin.

anonymous August 27, 2021 - 12:32 pm

Ha…he’d be on bitchite ranting about the 48 congressman who own 2 million(at least) in phizer stock(conspiracy fact) that nobody ever talks about…probably because no one ever asks the question.

PennersPancakes August 27, 2021 - 10:11 am

We talk about needing around 10 defenseman a season so that means Broberg and/or Samorukov should get games. I personally dont mind either as long as they make sense with their partner.

I think its important that one of them get the rookie yips out of the way this year. Bouchard has all the poise in the world, a few games last season, and spent all season with the big team last year so I think by game 25 he will be one of Tippets least worries. Having Broberg or Samorukov ready as a regular day 1 next season is imperative so when they call up the other next season its not all day 1 fresh rookies. The game is getting younger but you still need to get some reps in.

It does line up well to go something along the lines of Nurse Keith Russell -> Nurse Keith Broberg -> Nurse Broberg Samorukov

YYCOil August 27, 2021 - 10:01 am

Changing the leader in business and sport is really quite the same pressures.

It has been my experience weak mangers want to change everything and strong managers want to extract the maximum from the assets of the organization. Within the very narrow pool of 200 hockey men there appears to be more weak managers

PennersPancakes August 27, 2021 - 10:06 am

Agreed. Change just for the sake of change is a not a good sign everywhere I’ve worked.

Dee Dee August 27, 2021 - 10:44 am

See: Edmonton Oilers 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019

Dee Dee August 27, 2021 - 10:40 am

The difference between business and sport is that sport only allows 1 winner whereas business can have multiple winners.

You can be the 6th successful sneaker company but finish 2nd in sport and you are a loser.

So last season in the NHL there were 30 Losers and 1 Winner.

jp August 27, 2021 - 12:21 pm

So the Oilers ARE a successful sneaker company…

YYCOil August 27, 2021 - 2:40 pm

In business if you lose two consecutive quarters you are looking for work.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 9:35 am

I’d almost wager the broader range of skills sees Samorukov make the roster first (over Broberg).

Is this the year Safin pops? He’s a wildcard. Unlikely, but possible. Would love to see him and Maksimov take a big step forward with Lavoie in BAK this year. Even if only one makes the cut in EDM (in a year or so), all three taking a leap would up the ante competition wise.

leadfarmer August 27, 2021 - 10:24 am

It what world does Sammy have a broader range of skills

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 27, 2021 - 11:55 am

By accounts Sammy is the one with five tools — albeit none as spectacular as Broberg’s skating. I’m high on Broberg, but he lacks the physical dimension Sammy has had since before being drafted.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:41 pm

100% Samorukov has a broader range of skills, in my opinion. He does everything well – good size, good skater, great defender, good shot, good puck moving ability, good offensive IQ, etc.

He doesn’t do anything at the elite level (like Broberg and skating and Bouchard and puck moving/shooting) except for his defending but he does a bit of everything.

jp August 27, 2021 - 3:00 pm

Which of these things do you feel Broberg is lacking?

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 3:46 pm

Not answering for OP, but I think Broberg has all those tools, but needs more experience to be able perform them in the North American game at the NHL level. As LT has said his career has followed a similar trajectory as Klefbom’s who also spent 2 seasons post draft in the SHL, then a little more than half a season in the AHL in draft plus 3 before he was ready for the NHL.

jp August 27, 2021 - 5:21 pm

Yeah I’m not arguing Broberg should move straight to the Oilers roster. I think he should, and most probably will see significant time in Bakersfield. I do agree with LT though, that Broberg is a guy who could quickly pass a bunch of others and progress very quickly if he shows well.

And more to the original point, I’m not convinced Samorukov had a broader range of skills or is that far ahead of Broberg right now.

On the Klefbom comparison, I agree it’s a good one, but Klefbom did miss most of a year of that SHL development to a shoulder injury 🙁 In draft +1 and +2 Klefbom played 44 SHL games to 89 for Broberg. Broberg was also the higher pick, so one could argue he should be more prepared for an NHL job than Klefbom was when he arrived.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 4:16 pm

I haven’t seen Broberg play as much as Samorukov but from what I’ve seen, heard and read, his offensive instincts and vision, his transition passing (not transporting by carry) and shot may be at a lower level (than what I’ve seen from Samorukov), I know that he’s less physical and isn’t as good in the defensive zone nor defending the zone entry.

Don’t get me wrong, Broberg’s skating is elite and I think its going make a big difference at the NHL level but I’ve seen Sammy do ALOT of things well that Broberg isn’t necessarily known for.

jp August 27, 2021 - 5:37 pm

Fair enough. It seems like we haven’t seen enough of Broberg to really know his game (highlights aside). I’m not convinced on the quality of all these offensive tools for Samorukov though. He’ll be a defensive Dman at the NHL level, no?

He’s really never posted offense aside from the 2nd half of his final OHL season. I’m not trying to be negative about the player, but I feel you’re likely overstating the ‘offensive instincts, vision, transition passing, shot’ parts of his game. Even this year Broberg outscored Samorukov (admittedly in a lesser league, though also at a younger age).

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 5:47 pm

I do think its likely that he is a defensive d-man, well, a defence first d-man but more of a 2-way guy – an Adam Larsson type but with the ability to move the puck quicker/better.

jp August 27, 2021 - 6:12 pm

Yeah, he’s certainly not devoid of skill. Hopefully he can take that defensive game, and some of his offensive skillset, with him to the NHL.

On Broberg, it seems like so much of our view on him is based on a few references in a few scouting reports. I really think we’re underrating him, though obviously don’t know for sure.

I was looking at his stats from this season earlier today and noticed he had 97 shots in his 44 games (lead the Skelleftea D corps and was 4th on the team). That doesn’t really speak to his vision or passing, but that’s an impressive total. And I think it’s a good arrow.

It reminded me actually of Darnell Nurse. After his rookie season there was a lot of talk about how poor he was offensively, and analysis was presented that guys who post 69-3-7-10 boxcars don’t become offensive contributors. I noted at the time that he also had 120 shots (2nd among D, 7th on the Oilers), and that no-offense defensemen don’t get 120 shots on goal. Anyway, Nurse turned out OK. And as far as I can tell (skating, size, reported lack of offensive instinct) Nurse is the player-type comparable for Broberg.

We’ll see.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 7:02 pm

I’m not sure I’m under-rating Broberg – its more about liking Samorukov’s over-all skillset (based on more viewings than Broberg).

Yes, most of my thoughts on Broberg are based on the reports you mention but I have seen it backed up with video and the words of Dave and Bruce.

I do think that Broberg is going to be very good in the NHL. As I’ve opined, i think his game will be much more suited to the North American ice where his speed/acceleration will be more prominent and playing with higher skilled and better coached players will help his skill show.

jp August 27, 2021 - 7:46 pm

I’m not sure I’m under-rating Broberg

Perhaps not. Though you did just say that Samorukov is probably better than Broberg in basically every facet of the game aside from skating.

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 9:33 pm

I think you mean coached differently, not better coached. The Swedish development system and its coaching is incredibly good for developing highly skilled players and those coaches do a great job at having Sweden’s national teams out perform their population on the international stage. Some of those players coming over just need some guidance to adapt to the NHL/North American game, not that they are better coached.

Bulging Twine August 27, 2021 - 9:12 pm

Good digging on the shots, thanks

Redbird62 August 27, 2021 - 9:13 pm

I think you underestimate how hard it is to play in the NHL versus other leagues and also underestimate Larsson’s abilities. Lots of players look good in other leagues, but then when the time and space vanishes at the NHL level (and its not even close in any other league due to the average skill level, and for players coming from Europe, add in the smaller ice surface), they start to struggle to adapt or have to play a simpler game.

Larsson has played 603 NHL games, entering when he was 18. He started with the intention of becoming a puck moving defenseman but evolved into the shut down player he is now. Even focusing on shutting down players and more often being out with the Oilers bottom 6, in 2019/20, while he didn’t pass as much as other D on the OIlers, per Gregor’s column, his pass completion percentages on outlet passes and stretch passes were each second best on the team almost tied with Klefbom in both. He also led the D in zone exit success rate. When he is dumping the puck out, he is playing the game his coaches want him to play under the circumstances he is tasked with facing.

Samorukov may end up being a solid pro, but Adam Larsson barring more injuries, will play 1,000 games in the NHL. Larsson’s not a superstar, but he is a high caliber NHL defenseman and Samorukov would be fortunate to play at his level in any facet of the game.

OriginalPouzar August 27, 2021 - 2:39 pm

Agreed.

I have been talking about Sammy’s borader range of skills (over Broberg and Bouch) for a while and that he is much closer to NHL ready than Broberg (as of now). Not that all those skills will translate, but you never know.

I also posted about Maksimov this morning and, to me, he remains a real prospect and Safin a suspect. Safin had some nice moments in the AHL last season but was still not able to impact the game with any sort of consistency.

Maksimov has a broader range of skills as a advanced 2-way player and plus PK guy – his shot is almost the most elite skill either has.

I look for Maskimov to compete with Laovie for 1LW and PP1. https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/38376308fe49f4e3645df40f7c54b759?s=56&d=blank&r=g

godot10 August 27, 2021 - 7:33 pm

Samorukov does not have a broader range of skills than Broberg. And I like Samorukov.

Victoria Oil August 27, 2021 - 8:52 am

I see Holloway, Lavoie, Broberg and Konovalov as the distant bells with a chance to make an impact this year.

Bulging Twine August 27, 2021 - 9:08 pm

Big year for Lavoie. Will he make that jump in progress in his second (ish) AHL season like so many seem to do.

Coffeys_Messy_eh August 27, 2021 - 8:47 am

LT working blue today!

Comments are closed.