The Truth at 20

by Lowetide
Travis Ewanyk photo by Rob Ferguson

For every prospect in the system save teenage phenoms who make the grade right out of the draft (or shortly thereafter), the age 20 first pro season is a big one. Some players land in the NHL immediately, others take longer and still others don’t make it at all. I always say we need to wait five years after a draft, but there are indicators along the way. Let’s have a look at a ‘decade of 20’ for the Oilers draft picks.


  • New Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should be excited about the progress of Maxim Berezkin
  • 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

FORWARDS, 2011-12 THROUGH 2020-21

  • Magnus Paajarvi (11-12 Oklahoma City Barons) 34gp, 7-18-25 .735 Paajarvi played in the NHL at 19, so this is after that teenage season. Great speed, good defensive instincts, can’t score enough to move up the depth chart, he carved out a short career as a depth player.
  • Tyler Pitlick (11-12 Oklahoma City Barons) 62gp, 7-16-23 .371 He scored pretty well in his WHL season, many of the goals at even strength. The Oilers slow played his AHL rookie year and he got hurt too, those injuries impacting his pro career through today. He made it and the Oilers got a little bit of his career before he left via free agency.
  • Curtis Hamilton (11-12 Oklahoma City Barons)41gp, 5-6-11 .268 A wildly disappointing pro debut based on his final junior season, Hamilton never did get untracked during his entry level deal.
  • Ryan Martindale (12-13 Oklahoma City Barons)41gp, 6-8-14 .341 He showed well in a couple training camps, you could see the size being an advantage and he could pass the puck. He didn’t move the needle enough and was dealt in a minor league trade during his entry deal.
  • Travis Ewanyk (13-14 Oklahoma City Barons) 68gp, 7-5-12 .176 Ewanyk had some nice things but the offense in junior suggested he wasn’t going to bring enough to pro hockey.
  • Kale Kessy (13-14 Oklahoma City Barons) 54gp, 2-4-6 .111 The physical winger was unable to score in pro hockey, again predictable based on his junior numbers.
  • Bogdan Yakimov (14-15 Oklahoma City Barons) 57gp, 12-16-28 .491 He showed real promise but left for the KHL in the middle of his entry deal and hasn’t been heard from since. Speed would probably have caught up to him but it would be nice to see these things play out ala Detroit.
  • Jujhar Khaira (14-15 Oklahoma City Barons) 51gp, 4-6-10 .196 He didn’t play much at all during his first year pro, but increased his production and gained more playing time through his Condors career. He hit the ‘sail on’ portion of his career this summer and I’ll miss watching him play.
  • Mitch Moroz (14-15 Oklahoma City Barons) 66gp, 5-4-9 .136 Big man came off injury at the end of the Memorial Cup and then had some issues in the AHL, among them ice time. Like Ewanyk, he was not a strong NHL candidate based on offense in junior
  • Marco Roy (15-16 Bakersfield Condors) 42gp, 8-12-20 .476 Oilers signed him to an AHL deal, sent him to the fourth line and gave him PK time on the double. He still managed to outscore the players signed to NHL deals as a rookie pro.
  • Greg Chase (15-16 Bakersfield Condors) 19gp, 1-6-7 .368 Skilled forward had a tough time getting into the lineup, as the Condors forward group had real depth (Tyler Pitlick, Anton Slepyshev, AHL vet Matt Ford).
  • Kyle Platzer (15-16 Bakersfield Condors) 48gp, 6-11-17 .354 Platzer was a rather obscure draft pick in 2013, didn’t play a lot for the London Knights in his draft year. Had a good two-way resume but lack of offense has impacted his pro career.
  • Tyler Benson (18-19 Bakersfield Condors) 68gp, 15-51-66 .971 The best scoring season at 20 this century for an Oilers forward prospect, Benson has been unable to parlay that success into an NHL job.
  • Kailer Yamamoto (19-20 Bakersfield Condors) 23gp, 8-8-16 .696 Skilled winger had a major impact on the Oilers 2020-21 season after a later December recall, but it started with some strong even-strength play in the AHL. Among the best forwards I’ve seen play for the Oilers minor league team, he was everywhere.
  • Ryan McLeod (19-20 Bakersfield Condors) 56gp, 5-18-23 .411 Speedster posted more even-strength offense than expected and showed he could use his speed at both ends of the ice. Among centers on this list, only Yakimov delivered more offense at 20.
  • Kirill Maksimov (19-20 Bakersfield Condors) 53gp, 5-8-13 .245 A surprising lack of offense from a dynamic junior, sometimes (Marco Roy, Greg Chase) a player gets lost a little as a rookie pro. Clock is ticking, but he has talent.
  • Raphael Lavoie (20-21 Bakersfield Condors) 19gp, 5-5-10 .526 He got some feature time but it was a whirlwind and I wish he’d played all 68 games. If you add his playoff stats, he went 25gp, 6-8-14, .56 pts-game. He’s one of the players I’m most looking forward to seeing this winter in Bakersfield.
  • Dylan Holloway (21-22 Bakersfield Condors) I believe he can deliver at a point-per-game age 20 in the AHL. He would be the first in exactly one forever, but it’s there if he gets the right linemates, plenty of power-play time and enough games to settle in without being recalled.

DEFENSE 2011-12 THROUGH 2020-21

  • Martin Marincin (12-13 Oklahoma City Barons) 69gp, 7-23-30 .434 Marincin had a massive wingspan and his scoring rate at 20 was exceptional. Unfortunately, he was being zoomed by the lockout, as men like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz were NHL talents on an AHL team. It was a short lived offensive spike.
  • Martin Gernat (13-14 Oklahoma City Barons) 57gp, 4-17-21 .368 Gernat developed quickly in junior and had great wheels and some offensive instincts. He didn’t emerge from the crowd but his skill sustains him to this day in the Czech league.
  • Oscar Klefbom (13-14 Oklahoma City Barons) 48gp, 1-9-10 .208 Klefbom was a fine skater, had a more rugged style and was an excellent skater, but his offense was less than hoped for as an AHL rookie. He didn’t get much power-play time (Brad Hunt), but would add significant offense as he moved along to the NHL. I think Klefbom’s rookie pro season in the AHL is a strong guide for young Philip Broberg in the season to come.
  • David Musil (13-14 Oklahoma City Barons) 61gp, 2-10-12 .197 Musil was famous years before he was drafted but offense wasn’t his calling card. He was an effective defender, but foot speed cost him an NHL career.
  • Darnell Nurse (15-16 Bakersfield Condors) 9gp, 0-2-2 .222 Nurse didn’t get much time to adjust to the AHL before jumping right to the NHL. I think he would have benefitted from 40 games with Bakersfield, but he has long since established himself as a quality NHL defenseman. More offense than first thought, matching the Klefbom story.
  • Ben Betker (15-16 Bakersfield Condors) 14gp, 0-2-2 .143 Betker was a giant on skates (6.06) and the kind of shutdown type the Oilers spend picks on annually. He had reasonable foot speed and did contribute strong defensive play in Bakersfield.
  • Ethan Bear (17-18 Bakersfield Condors) 37gp, 6-12-18 .486 Bear impressed in his rookie pro season, his passing was quality (his pts-game was the best on this list up to this point) and he showed great improvement on the defensive side of the game. One of the true draft home runs for Edmonton in the decade, he was chosen in the fifth round of the 2015 edition.
  • Caleb Jones (17-18 Bakersfield Condors) 58gp, 2-15-17 .293 Jones impresses immediately with his speed and as you watch him more the skill shines through (fine passer). I think coverage has been his main issue, but his mobility is so strong one suspects we’ll be hearing his name a long time.
  • Evan Bouchard (19-20 Bakersfield Condors) 54gp, 7-29-36 .667 Easily the class of the group offensively, he also improved defensively in the second half. Bouchard was -11 five on five goal differential in the first 27 games, +1 in the final 27 contests. I’m anticipating his arrival as an NHL regular more than any other Oilers related change from a year ago. He’s an exceptional talent.
  • Dmitri Samorukov (19-20 Bakersfield Condors) 47gp, 2-8-10 .213 Big, strong and fast, Samorukov struggled defensively in the first half of the season (15-17 in his first 26 games on ice even strength goal differential) while being sheltered. In the second half he finished 13-17 in 21 games, to my eye he was forced up the depth chart due to recalls and injury. He flourished in the KHL last season and we await the next chapter.
  • Mike Kesselring (20-21 Bakersfield Condors) 21gp, 1-2-3 .143 Kesselring is an intriguing prospect, his youth and unusual style of skating obscure the possibilities. He was fairly high event in even strength goal differential (11-13) over his 21 games but also showed impressive skill. He skates well, a difficult claim to make if you’re watching him the first time. He has a chance for sure.
  • Philip Broberg (21-22 Bakersfield Condors) Broberg is somewhat unusual among recent Oilers first-round picks, as a fairly sizeable portion of the nation are actively hoping he fails. That’s silly of course, it isn’t Broberg’s fault he was chosen by Edmonton, but it does speak to the unusual state of Oilers fandom. I think Klefbom’s first season should be a decent guide, I don’t see Broberg getting tons of PP time so the boxcars will be mid-range like Klefbom’s.


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Lowetide August 29, 2021 - 6:47 pm

NEW for The Athletic: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup

fishman August 29, 2021 - 4:43 pm

Oh wow that is an amazing fish! I have fished for sturgeon on the Fraser and it is a terrific experience. Our largest fish was about 6′ 6″. I can’t imagine reeling one that big in! Most of the guides have scanners and tagging kits. If they catch a tagged fish they measure and record it. If fish is untagged they tag it. They have had fish caught up to 30 times! (according to our guide!)

Lowetide August 29, 2021 - 4:48 pm

That’s a monster.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:22 pm

Most of Stauf’s predictions/projections seem quite reasonable to me:

Bob Stauffer
Oilers Projections 2021-22: (82 game sked)

McDavid: 44-84-128
Draisaitl: 41-71-112
RNH: 25-38-63
Barrie: 8-46-54
Hyman: 23-30-53
Nurse: 11-30-41
Puljujarvi: 23-18-41
Yamamoto: 15-24-39
Foegele: 16-15-31
Bouchard: 10-20-30
Kassian: 14-13-27

TheGreatBigMac August 29, 2021 - 3:41 pm

That’s 230 goals, if we add something like the following conservative goal estimates:
Ryan 5, McLeod 5, Archibald 10, Shore/Benson 5, Ceci 5, Keith 5
That’s good for ~ 265 goals or 10th in GF in 18/19 the last 82 game season. Oil were 7th in GF last season and 12th the year before. Seems like status quo except Conner and Leon cool down a bit.

meanashell11 August 29, 2021 - 3:41 pm

I think most of them are too low. They are way off last seasons pace and we expect the team to score more than last season.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 5:27 pm

I’m not sure last year’s pace should necessarily be expected from the likes of McDavid, Drai and Barrie. I mean, for sure, they each could (in particular the first two) but that’s a tough act to follow.

I assume Hyman will score at a 52 point pace, and expect it, but can he play 82 games and, if he can, can he sustain that pace for a full season?

I’m not sure if Stauf is factoring in potential injuries or not but I presume those numbers are based on each such player playing 82 games.

jp August 29, 2021 - 7:25 pm

I’m not sure last year’s pace should necessarily be expected from the likes of McDavid, Drai and Barrie.

That may be fair, but I posted the actual last 82 game scoring for all these guys yesterday. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Hyman, Barrie, Nurse, Yamamoto all scored considerably more than Stauffer is projecting.

McDavid – 82 47-96-143
Draisaitl — 82 49-78-127
Nuge —— 82 31-45-76
Hyman —- 82 31-33-64
Barrie —- 82 9-55-64
Nurse — 82 17-31-48
Yamamoto 82 19-28-47
Kassian — 82 14-20-34
Puljujarvi – 82 17-15-32
Foegele — 82 15-16-31

There’s definitely already regression/injury baked into his numbers. I think they’re very ‘reasonable’, and arguably low for players like McDavid and Draisaitl especially.

And Barrie – he scored 68GP/57PTS and 78GP/59PTS in his last 2 Colorado seasons. Some regression from his 70 point pace last year is possible/likely, but 54 seems really quite low.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 8:17 pm

I don’t disagree with any of this but I do anticipate some regression in scoring rates for McDavid – I very well could be wrong (and I hope I am) but he is coming off one of the best offensive seasons of all time (era-adjusted). Of course, he is almost assuredly one of the best of all-time so it is likely repeatable but I’m not sure that I can/do “expect it”.

Also, I’m not sure what type of impact the Covid-season had on the production? Did the reduce travel help increase it? Did playing the same 6 teams help increase it? Did the protocols help increase it?

Maybe the answer is no to all these, Maybe not. I just don’t know.

On the other hand, they put up those numbers with poor offensive seasons from at least 3 or the other 4 main players in the top 6 with them…..

jp August 29, 2021 - 10:16 pm

I don’t disagree with any of this but I do anticipate some regression in scoring rates for McDavid 

As I said, Stauffer’s numbers already account for significant regression.

Even my last 82 game numbers are shy of McDavid’s last season (which pro rates to 82-48-106-154) since he was playing with the likes of Ennis, AA and Archibald down the stretch in 19-20.

Stauffer projects 128 points for McDavid. His points/82 the last 3 seasons were 122, 124, 154.

Draisaitl is projected at 112. His last 3 seasons were 105, 127 and 123.

He has Barrie at 54 points. Barrie’s last 4 seasons were 69, 62, 46 and 70.

There are all very reasonable, conservative projections that include between 11 and 26 points off of last seasons rates.

In terms of COVID, I suppose there could be some effect. But league wide scoring wasn’t up (median team GF/games was 2.84 vs 3.07 and 2.96 the previous 2 years.

I’m pretty sure the North was not a higher scoring division than the others, though I don’t have numbers to prove that.

I really don’t see any reason to *expect* regression from these guys, while Stauffer’s numbers allow for a fair bit anyway.

TheGreatBigMac August 30, 2021 - 8:29 am

Hunter this is a fun question for next year’s death march! The range of possible values is wide and it’s fun to estimate!

Reja August 29, 2021 - 2:22 pm

I remember they had a deal on the Mushroom burger it was 2 for I and if you could woof down 2 mushroom burgers you were a lump for the rest of the day. They also had good fries and milkshakes as well.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 2:45 pm

Fun story that ties into the guys who own the Burger Baron franchise.

When I was a kid I lived in Rocky for a time. Was hanging out with my cousin who was helping build the go-kart track. After a couple days the foreman came up to me and asked my name. Once I’d told him I asked why he was interested, and he said “because now you’re on the payroll.”

We’d finished the job and were lined up with everyone to get paid, cash money of course. For some strange reason my cousin said we’d get ours later. Well, later never came, and I was out over $50. As a ten year old (roughly), that was a substantial sum of money.

So intent was I on extracting my revenge, I borrowed $5 from my aunt in order to go karting. This loan required a written contract promising to weed in the garden for some number of hours (I think four). Once I was strapped in the first thing I did was floor it and go straight into the barricades we’d spent the last week building. Smash! Broke one. Straight into the next. After a few of these the attendant ran out to see what was going on, so I put in a couple laps for fun. As my time wound down, I made sure to hit another couple with authority on my way out.

Years later I realized my beef was with Scott, the shady contractor who ripped off a ten year old, and not the owners of the Burger Baron franchise and Rocky’s go kart track.

Once that clicked, I realized how much I’d been missing the onion rings and sleazy burgers at Burger Baron and have been a number of times since. We occasionally stop by the local one by our farm, not because they’re particularly great (Nothing like Woodshed or The Next Act, for instance), but because I have that association from way back when. Also, hard to beat their onion rings or milkshakes this far from the city. They make a decent pizza too.

Harpers Hair August 29, 2021 - 3:05 pm

Great story…thanks.

Pescador August 29, 2021 - 4:14 pm

Sleazy, or greasy?

Harpers Hair August 29, 2021 - 3:13 pm

More burger tales.

We were up in Courtenay yesterday and noticed a Fatburger had opened.

Vancouver Island for some reason has limited choices in popular chain restaurants (no Olive Garden or Red Lobster for example).

Anyway really enjoyed their loaded burger although it could have used a little more seasoning.

Victoria Oil August 29, 2021 - 3:52 pm

No Harvey’s, No Swiss Chalets and No Nando’s in Victoria. Life is rough.

My favourite old Edmonton burger place was A-1 Burgers 🍔. They were awesome.

Harpers Hair August 29, 2021 - 4:27 pm

There was a Swiss Chalet in Nanaimo years ago but it closed.

I guess we have to be content with White Spot and Milestones.

Lowetide August 29, 2021 - 5:49 pm

There was a fish place on Dewdney Trunk Road called big Ollies, the parking lot was like an acre and it was still packed. You’d line up in four different lines and then eat in your car if all the benches were full. It was the best fish n’ chips I’ve ever had, my Dad used to put so much vinegar on his we thought he’d die.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 8:25 pm

Going to a chain restaurant on the Island is like watching cable TV at Cannes. Try some of the independent local establishments, I’m sure you’ll be well rewarded for your effort.

If you haven’t been, Gladstone Brewery is a treat.

Here’s a decent list of quality locales for toothsome fare:

Harpers Hair August 29, 2021 - 8:52 pm

I’ve been there many times…in fact they are a client.

So many great local, independent seafood restaurants on the Island.

Some dude decided he would open a string of Joey’s Only Seafood restaurants on the Island including one in Campbell River Harbour where they were offering previously frozen, farmed Atlantic salmon on the menu.

Needless to say, it did not end well.🤓

rogue August 29, 2021 - 4:01 pm

There is still one in Leduc. Best milkshakes, among other things.

GordieHoweHatTrick August 29, 2021 - 11:22 am

I am super keen to see the young “fringe” guys play: Holloway, Broberg, Sammy.

HOWEVER, given the chaos of the last 20 months and the fact that there is decent established pro coverage for their positions, I would much rather see them get a few training camp games, and regardless of their display in those outings, go to Bake for most of the season before any thought of coffee cups at the NHL level.

Give them some time to settle in to some routine under the tutelage of the excellent Bake coaching staff and some time to work on their game at that level. These are key pieces of the future. We don’t need to slow cook them to char, but there is no reason they need to be rushed this year. If they can make some contributions later this year = great. But they will be really needed to push in to the line up next year. Make sure they are absolutely ready for that.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 11:55 am

D-men and especially Goaltenders are different creatures than forwards. Some young forward players are ready right out of the gate and this is Holloway who will be eating Yamo’s lunch. How about RNH, Leon and Holloway on line 1 with Hyman, Connor and Jesse on the other line 1. With the improvements on the bottom 6 and a mobile D like we haven’t seen in these parts since the mini skirt. If Tippett gives the green light to our D who’s going to stop us from being the highest scoring team in the league.

defmn August 29, 2021 - 12:44 pm

My hope is that Tippett takes peaks at potential during TC. That he gets an idea of what might be with certain line ups so that if Broberg or Samorukov, Holloway etc. arrive after Christmas that he has an idea about how to shuffle the deck.

So, for example only,

Foegele – McDavid – Hyman

Holloway – Draisaitl – Yamamoto

Benson – Nuge – Puljujarvi

McLeod – Ryan – Archibald

At least one game. Just to see.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 1:09 pm

These young players need to be given a chance. You place them in a position to succeed and you might pop on a few with the cheap labour as well. The way they handled Bouchard, Benson and Marody was bush league but none of these players was a Holland pick. If Benson, Marody etc aren’t in your plans set them free and they’ll have the opportunity elsewhere to carve out a NHL career.

pts2pndr August 29, 2021 - 2:34 pm

I like your lineup but I would put Nuge back as second line left wing and move Halloway down with Ryan and JP which would leave Benson Ryan and Archibald for the fourth line. My basic reasoning being that I would love to see what Nuge Draisaitl and Yamamoto would do over an entire season. I think it is unfair to play Holloway so far up the lineup with his limited experience. I think he would be better suited to break in with an experience center playing wing and learning the not so subtle differences between NHL and college hockey! Your way has merits as well. It is a fun time to be an Oiler fan!😊

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 1:39 pm

Holloway and Yamamoto aren’t applying for the same jobs. Not even close. What the two have to do with one another is beyond me.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 2:32 pm

Did Yamamoto switch to a D-man this off-season. You do realize a lot of hall a famers and capable Centre man started out on the wing I could list them all but I’ll run out of Data.

jp August 29, 2021 - 3:17 pm

Yamamoto doesn’t play center either 🙂

Reja August 29, 2021 - 3:37 pm

I know so if Holloway ends up in the top 6 as a winger and Yamo is bumped down or traded away. This is what I think happens and it’ll be with Francis. Holloway will be essentially taking his lunch money which means job.

jp August 29, 2021 - 4:07 pm

I see Yamamoto and Holloway as barely connected.

If Holloway and others bump Yamamoto out of the top 6 that’s fine. He can be an excellent 3rd line player too.

If you think Yamamoto needs to go from the lineup or team then fine, but IMO Holloway has little to no impact on that decision.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 4:30 pm

It’s all about numbers poor Leon give him 2 capable wingers that work the corners and go to the paint and have Ryan Smith hands that Holloway is blessed with. think we’re in for a special year and 50 goals will happen for the burly centre man

jp August 29, 2021 - 4:40 pm

Hope you’re right about 50. It could definitely happen (again).

But Yamamoto doesn’t have to be Leon’s winger OR be traded, there are other options.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 5:24 pm

I agree with JP on this.

I see Yamamoto and Holloway connected only with respect to Holloway playing left wing moves Hyman (likely) over to the right side and Yamamoto down the lineup (likely), that is, if it doesn’t move Nuge to 3C.

If there are two more legit top 6 right wings then, 100%, I would love Yamamoto at 3RW – that’s the type of depth that wins championships.

I don’t see any need to trade Yamamoto in that scenario except it does open up the ability to trade him for real value, if they decide – if/once someone like Lavoie or Savoie (or Makskimov or Tulio, etc.) solidify themselves as a legit NHL 3rd liner or middle-six player, that opens up the ability to trade for value.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 6:35 pm

Leon’s peaking he needs to play with wingers that don’t have stone hands work the corners and goes to the paint. Yamo and Kahun need not apply because there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Dylan Holloway.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 7:17 pm

I would stop well short of opining that Yamamoto has stone hands despite his lack of finish in the 2nd half of last season.

I would also suggest that Kailer, while not a phenom on the boards, does not fear board battles and is quite adept at forcing the opposition to make plays quicker and creating turnovers – this is a great skill for a linemate of an elite offensive player.

Also, even in Yamamoto’s down year production wise last year, he and Leon were still massive outscorers together to the tune of 66% and Leon was closer to 60% without Kailer. I feel Kailer has a very very good 2-way/defensive game and that really helps Drai when they are together – Drai consistently outscores more with Kailer than without.

100%, I think Holloway is going to be the player you reference above, he was that at the college level, that’s for sure. The timeline for that type of impact at the NHL level, nobody knows for sure. It could be this coming season, for sure, but I think it might be reasonable to expect it to take a bit of time – we’ll find out fairly soon.

jp August 29, 2021 - 7:42 pm

Leon’s peaking he needs to play with wingers that don’t have stone hands work the corners and goes to the paint. Yamo and Kahun need not apply because there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Dylan Holloway.

Well Leon does need two wingers I think 😉

Beyond that, along the same lines as what OP posted. Since Yamamoto was called up Draisaitl has played more than 2/3 of his 5v5 ice time with him.

Draisaitl is 2nd in the league in overall and 5v5 scoring in that time (behind only McDavid).

His boxcars with Yamamoto as his main winger have been 87-52-81-133.

Draisaitl-Yamamoto together have outscored the opposition 59-27 (69%GF)
(and 47-24 – 66%GF without McDavid).

It’s not like Yamamoto is sewering Draisaitl’s career here.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 8:29 pm

Again, not connected. One is a LW/C the other is a RW.

You’re grasping at straws to create a weak narrative.

They could literally end up on the same line in short order.

hunter1909 August 29, 2021 - 11:03 am

I have always wondered with awe how Gretzky never gets mentioned as the greatest goal scorer of all time.

It’s not like he scored 92 goals, or held back goal scoring because his assists ratio was even more stratospheric as before.

I saw him score in 1983 one from the blue line like no one else. More than one. Gretzky is hands down the greatest goal scorer of all time, and holds the record accordingly.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 12:02 pm


oilersjo August 29, 2021 - 12:12 pm

Mike Bossy If not for injury he would be right there

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 1:38 pm

That’s the thing.

You could say the same about Mario. Who knows what his stats would look like if not for his injuries.

Ovechkin, for my money, is the greatest goal scorer of all time when you consider the difference in scoring rates and average save percentage between Gretzky’s day and the modern era.

Having said that, until Ovi scores his 895th goal, Gretzky is the champ.

pts2pndr August 29, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Ovechkin is a one trick poney! The only time he could even be mentioned in the same sentence as the great one is as a goal scorer. Gretzky was an innovator and I believe made the game better which can’t be said for Ovi but they are or were fun to watch and worth the price of admission!

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 3:02 pm

I’m not equivocating Ovi to Gretz in any facet other than his ability to put the biscuit in the basket.

Put Ovi in the 80s and he’d score 100+ five or six years in a row.

pts2pndr August 29, 2021 - 4:34 pm

You have forgotten the most important fact which is much of Ovechkins career was played in a watered down league with more teams which would make quality of comp pretty much equal. Gretzky had more balance on one leg than most players including Ovi on two. Ovi got lots of hype playing in a major market and Is definitely worthy of his accomplishments. It is however in my opinion incorrect to state that Ovi would have scored at the rates you say in Gretzky’s era. Playing fewer teams more often makes a huge difference in how defences are set against certain teams and players.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 8:38 pm

Have a closer look at era-adjusted stats.

Ovi would have dominated goal scoring in the 80s. The goalies were… lacking. To say the least.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 5:16 pm

I have take issue with Ovi being a one-trick pony – in the first half of his career, he scored goals in every which way including some of the most spectacular goals in recent memory. Not to mention being an absolutely physical load, etc.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:55 pm

I agree – what Ovie has done is mind-boggling to me.

I don’t think he catches Gretz but the longevity he has shown as an elite goal scorer is off the charts.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 3:46 pm

The one thing that’s never brought up is Overtime. How many goals has Ovechkin scored in OT? how many would Bossy have scored in OT? I believe OT was brought in 1983-84 even Gretzky and the rest of the gang missed out on career points.

saddleblazer August 29, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Ovechkin has scored 24 OT goals, which is the NHL record.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 4:39 pm

Thank you. If he catches Gretzky he’ll be well over 30 OT goals. But then you factor in the lockout time that the players missed games also the games missed by Covid. If Ovechkin stays healthy it’s going to be close even if he loses another step he’ll still score on the one-timer on the PP.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 12:02 pm

I love watching game 6 one of the most satisfying wins ever especially when they show Holland all bummed out at the end. You can see Holland’s wheels turning in his head trying to comprehend how the great Detroit Red Wings got beat by a 8th place team with a journeyman Goalie.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 12:51 pm

Gretzky was very unselfish player but when the opponents cheated on the pass he adjusted his game to shoot. He was also deadly on breakaways and had a decent slap shot. I see Mcdavid do the same thing of shooting first if it’s not Leon with him. If Bossy didn’t have the back problems he would of been close to all time number and he had the purest shot in history.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 1:34 pm

Bossy was before my time, how did the Hulls compare?

oilersjo August 29, 2021 - 2:01 pm

No comparison. Bossy was like Ovi just a goal scoring machine. He could put the puck through the eye of a needle.

meanashell11 August 29, 2021 - 2:11 pm

Kurri was not too bad either.

flyfish1168 August 29, 2021 - 2:39 pm

Jarri was so defence 1st that it held him back from being in the prime shooting area more often.

rogue August 29, 2021 - 7:10 pm

Kurri and Bossy had super quick releases. Not much difference. Kurri was better defensively, no question.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 2:35 pm

Bossy had the best snapshot in history and it’s not even close. Fuk I hated the Islanders still do.

LMHF#1 August 29, 2021 - 3:31 pm

Anyone saying otherwise is just looking for a reason.

When he decided he needed to score – he scored.

Most accurate slapper ever.

And he had to carry teams on his own after 1988. Imagine if he hadn’t. The man never scored less than 51 with the Oilers in a full season. 40 in 64 his last Oilers year, then fires up the playoff points record in all of 19 games.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 5:19 pm

The point above by Reja about OT goals is a good one.

The move to 4 on 4 OT, and then 3 on 3 OT were very material moves – a 5 on 5 OT goal in the regular season was very rare.

Dee Dee August 29, 2021 - 5:38 pm

I watched Gretzky score from his office (behind the net) by lobbing the puck over the net and bouncing it off the back of the Goalies head.

Watched him score another when the Oil took a penalty and the other team pulled their Goalie and a player on the other team was taunting Gretz cause he couldn’t touch the puck or the play would be whistled dead. Wayne lifted his opponents stick and pulled it in front of the puck and then dropped it back down on the ice, then hit the players stick to knock in the goal.

Any time anything happened on the ice and Sather missed it he would ask Gretzky for a play by play and Wayne could tell him exactly the sequence of what happened, even if he was just sitting on the bench.

92 Goals in a season was unreal, 50 goals in 39 games was unreal too. 51 consecutive game scoring streak from the start of a season scoring 61-92-153 points might never be broken by any player in a full 82 game season.

His shooting percentage in 1982 when he scored the 92 goal record was 24.86. His highest % was 26.69%.

He scored more than a few by bouncing pucks off of Semenko and he didn’t get credit for those either.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 6:29 pm

For the folks who didn’t witness how great he was and how good he made others. I just remembered Dave Lumley scoring in 12 straight games and how Gretzky force fed him and how we high-fived each other when Dave popped one in. There’s hundreds of memories and anyone who never seen him live you definitely missed out.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 8:43 pm

That’s a wonderful recap of some of 99s Greatness. Thank you.

My favourite goal of his was when he was in his office and scooped up the puck on the blade of his stick and lacrossed the puck into the net. First time I’d ever seen that done. Pretty sure he was with LA when he managed that feat.

Scungilli Slushy August 29, 2021 - 7:20 pm

I don’t see how anyone would say they’d rather have someone than prime Gretzky to count on if the chips were down to get a goal, just as today the players chose Connor, and he’s not the highest goal scorer.

Season,Goals,Comparison, points lead

79/80 51-5 less than Gare – 137 tied Dionne
80/81 55-13 less than Bossy – 164 Dionne 135
81/82 92-28 more than Bossy – 212 Bossy 147
82/83 71-5 more than McDonald – 196 Stastny 124
83/84 87-31 more than Goulet – 205 Coffey 126
84/85 73-2 more than Kurri, 15 more than Bossy – 208 Kurri 135
85/86 52-16 less than Kurri (215 point season +71) – 215 Lemieux 141
86/87 62-4 more than Kerr – 183 Kurri 108
87/88 40 in 64 games – Lemieux 168 Gretzky 149 in 13 less games
88/89 54-31 less than Lemieux – Lemiuex 199 WG 168

Total Points
89/90 142 Messier 129
90/91 163 Hull 131

86/87 Wayne’s goals fell off. 91-92 his scoring dominance began fading. In terms of pure goal scoring ability, sustained over a career, I wouldn’t say Wayne is the best.

He has the most goals yes, for now. I think he may have had the most dominant seasons over peers in goal scoring in a season, and in total points no one has ever dominated peers like this.

I see the gap between the top player and peers in a season as the most legitimate measure of a player’s dominance.

The other thing that stands out is how the other top players revolve, only Wayne is there so consistently. Lemeiux was a beast but couldn’t do what Wayne did, for whatever reasons.

A light look at it but hopefully interesting.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 10:58 am

I wouldn’t mind adding Jesse Puljujarvi’s 18-year old AHL season in to the mix as, to me, its wildly under-talked about.

12 goals and 28 points in 39 AHL games as an 18-year old and, I believe, the youngest player in North American professional hockey – that is a massive stat line.


Kailer Yamamoto’s numbers are a good example of how sometimes the offensive numbers don’t tell the entire story. His production, while OK, was not eye-popping, however, from watching most of those games, Yamamoto was an absolute elite AHL player – he was a scoring chance creation machine – creating chances almost shift after shift. Lets not forget, he was playing in the “middle six” and, if I remember correctly, with the likes of Malone and Joe G. – very good AHL players but not “dymamic offensive forces” – Yamamoto was the best player on the ice nightly.


With respect to Lavoie, like Yamamoto, he was also playing mainly with AHL veterns that, while very good AHL players, are not overly dynamic offensively – he was playing with Cracknell and, if I remember correctly, Malone.


Maksimov’s offence was very disappointing in his rookie pro season but he was playing in the bottom six with almost no PP time and his shot from the Ovie-spot, is his best offensive weapon – we pretty much never saw it deployed. At the same time, he did show that he could be an elite two-way player and was used regularly on the PK as a 20 year old (and by a coaching staff that defaults to veterans for special teams).

I look for Maksimov to have a “pop” season back in the AHL and compete with Lavoie for 1LW and PP1.

Lowetide August 29, 2021 - 11:02 am

Maksimov will need some luck, if only because there are other candidates. One of the reasons I run this annually is to see the players who got lost for whatever reason. Gernat, Roy, even Puljujarvi was lost.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:54 pm

Agreed, 100% but I think there is a top 6 LW spot open for his taking and, if he is every going to “make it”, his time is now to take that next step. I believe Lavoie is his main competition right now for premium ice in the AHL (and I see both of them as LW’s going forward).

The one thing Maksimov has over Lavoie at this point, is the ability to “impact the game” in various states (i.e. PK, targeted defensive situations, etc.).

hunter1909 August 29, 2021 - 10:36 am

Was watching the Ken Holland 2006 Red Wings lose to the Hemsky goal from Samsonov … you finally see that Hemsky really had it in him to be quite a special player

Maybe Hemsky should have had a player or two like Samsonov to pass him the puck and think the game like he did.

Instead Hemsky got terrible press for wanting to gtfo from the lunchpail wonders after practices asap lol

Silver Streak August 29, 2021 - 9:12 am

I would like some Intel on our all Star coaching staff down in the Bake….I seem to recall our Goalie coach is gone but wonder if we have the others tied down…quality people doing magical things with our pipeline.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 9:39 am

Do you mean JF Houle? He was an assistant coach. The goaltending coaches have remained in place.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:50 pm

I could be mistaken but I believe, just like Tip, Woody is going in to his last year of his contract – I presume Manson’s contract aligns but really don’t know on that.

Reja August 29, 2021 - 3:25 pm

Do not let Manson go pay the man we got burned with Huddy taking off and being a fine coach. Manson has got everything out of the D-men he’s coached. I wonder how many D-men have gone through him and have played substantial games and minutes if not with us but other teams. I wish they could have acquired his son who l really like.

BornInAGretzkyJersey August 29, 2021 - 8:47 pm

I remember when we were looking for the “D-whisperer” in Trent Yawney, when in reality we already had Manson on the payroll. As you say, pay the man and keep him around.

DBO August 29, 2021 - 9:09 am

Maybe i’m too hopeful, but I expect Samorukov to impress and make the team and impact ala Bear. Lagesson waived down and Samorukov being a regular and eventually on the 2nd line ahead of Keith. With Keith paired with Bouchard in a sheltered 3rd D pair with a ton of offensive zone starts.

I feel like this is the only way our D corps doesn’t get exposed, but 2nd pairing minutes in a more defensive role would suit him right now.

Nurse-Barrie – against everyone
Samorukov-Ceci – Defensive zone starts
Keith-Bouchard – O zone and Mcdavid push

geowal August 29, 2021 - 11:50 am

I just can’t see them taking another rookie D for at least 25 games until Bouchard is settled in. If at all this season.
2 of Russell, Koekkoek, and Lagesson will be there to start. But I hope to see some of these guys rotating in due to injury and/or their impressive AHL performance

Reja August 29, 2021 - 2:37 pm

By the end of the year Bouchard will be our 2nd best D-man. Book it!

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:49 pm

This could very well be the case.

I have high expectations for Bouchard and I don’t think it will take him long at this point.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:48 pm

I am very hopeful for Sammy as well but, even if he passes Lagesson right away, he seems somewhat blocked for the opening night roster by both Russell and Koekkoek available.

I would be surprised if Holland waives Koekkoek and keeps Sammy to start the season – this could happen mid-year (although a call-up is probably more likely as injury fill-in) but I’d be surprised they break camp that way.

Sending down Sammy to start and then bringing him up would be more in line with Holland’s noted preference of not wanting to yo yo young players and, when they are on team, the preference is for good.

I’m more optimistic with the Keith/Ceci opening night 2nd pairing, based on Ceci’s 2nd half of last season – playing well in a 2nd pairing (and PK1) role with a partner known for “roaming”.

geowal August 29, 2021 - 5:40 pm


McNuge93 August 29, 2021 - 8:50 am

Cant imagine there are actually fans hoping Broberg fails. The pick was actually prescient given Klefbom’s injury troubles. We badly need one or both of Sammy and Broberg to take the Klef/Keith 2LD spot within a couple of years. Sammy is probably more like Klef; big, strong, decent defensively, good all round. Broberg has the much higher upside potential on the offensive side. Hoping both stay in Bakersfield this year and flourish.

Lowetide August 29, 2021 - 9:00 am

Agree on spending time in the AHL. Manson has helped several defenders improve during his time in Bakersfield, a full year with these two could set up Edmonton for years.

OriginalPouzar August 29, 2021 - 2:44 pm

Yes, I agree on spending time in Bakersfield as well, in particular with Broberg who is “new” to North American pro hockey and I think will excel with some Manson tutelage and on his new ice surface.

Sammy as well but I think he’s a little further progressed having played an AHL season and a subsequent KHL season and, of course, being two years older. Depending on where we are with injuries, I can see Sammy getting at least a cup of coffee (maybe both).

As far as MN93’s comparisons, I like that Klef/Sammy comparison and would throw out a Nurse/Broberg comparison (in some respects).

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