Six Days on the Road

by Lowetide

Do you remember back six years ago? The weekend Edmonton drafted Connor McDavid and then traded a bunch of picks for Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba? Remember that? If I asked you if the current team is better than that one, what would you say?

THE ATHLETIC!

GOALIES, THEN

  1. Cam Talbot (As Casey Kasem would say ‘a new No. 1’)
  2. Anders Nilsson (A small but astute summer trade)
  3. Ben Scrivens (Backup, suspect for the entire season)
  4. Laurent Brossoit (AHL starter had a good year, needs another)
  5. Eetu Laurikainen (A great damn bet)

Coming in, the Oilers didn’t have much going on and goaltending was a priority. Talbot was expensive but worth the price and Nilsson was a nice get for the rights to Liam Coughlin. Talbot is still in the league, as is Brossoit.

GOALIES, NOW

  1. Mike Smith (Had a strong season, Tippett likes him)
  2. Mikko Koskinen (Size remains in vogue)
  3. Alex Stalock (solid depth if required)
  4. Ilya Konovalov (future NHL goalie? He has the resume)
  5. Stuart Skinner (About where Brossoit was in 2015 summer)
  6. Olivier Rodrigue (He has some great bullet points, include a strong conclusion to junior career)

I prefer the Talbot-Nilsson tandem with Brossoit rising, but Smith-Koskinen are entering year three together and have made the postseason twice. I do like Konovalov and will predict here (just in case I remember to look back in six years) he will have an NHL career.

LH DEFENSE, THEN

  1. Oscar Klefbom (The future and the present)
  2. Andrej Sekera (Oilers needed him badly, he’s an outstanding addition)
  3. Nikita Nikitin (Waiver announcements at 10 this morning)
  4. Andrew Ference (Captain pressbox, looks like)
  5. Griffin Reinhart (I predict he’ll play 49 NHL games in 2015-16)
  6. Darnell Nurse (I predict he’ll play 70 NHL games in 2015-16)
  7. Brad Hunt (He’ll see NHL time)
  8. David Musil (Could get some NHL time)
  9. Jordan Oesterle (Fast and skilled, could surprise)
  10. Dillon Simpson (Probably a full season in Bakersfield)
  11. Martin Gernat (They may try to get him off the roster)
  12. Ben Betker (May need to spend some time in the ECHL if it gets crowded)
  13. Joey Laleggia (Can learn plenty from Hunt and Oesterle in Bakersfield)

The addition of Sekera was key, Chiarelli’s free-agent upgrade working miles better than his trade for Reinhart. My goodness the leftorium was enormous back then, Oesterle wasn’t able to set himself apart but flourished after leaving.

LH DEFENSE, NOW

  1. Darnell Nurse. He’ll play a major role on this year’s team.
  2. Duncan Keith. He should help the second pair in outlets.
  3. Kris Russell. I think he will play more than most believe
  4. Slater Koekkoek. He was not effective for much of the year.
  5. William Lagesson. Had poor rookie season in NHL.
  6. Dmitri Samorukov. Big defender should be NHL ready.
  7. Philip Broberg. Big, fast defenseman Holland bet big on.
  8. Markus Niemelainen. A reasonable comp for David Musil six years ago.
  9. Oscar Klefbom. He may never pass this way again.

Nurse is a significant player and he’s durable, but after that we’re looking at veterans who could break down, two gents who weren’t effective a season ago, and two men (Samorukov and Broberg) who can’t get here quick enough. I prefer the 2015 group.

RH DEFENSE, THEN

  1. Mark Fayne (A big part of next year’s team)
  2. Justin Schultz (He needed, and would be gifted, a change of scenery)
  3. Eric Gryba (Another D-zone blue with NHL experience to help Fayne, Ference)

Tippett was not a fan of Fayne, who was dispatched to the minors and soon out of hockey. Gryba hung around a little longer, but was a 6-7 type during his time in Edmonton.

RH DEFENSE, NOW

  1. Tyson Barrie. He led NHL defensemen in points and is not strong defensively.
  2. Cody Ceci. His five on five GA/60 in the last two seasons (2.27, 2.03) are excellent.
  3. Evan Bouchard. I expect Bouchard will be one of the major stories surrounding the Oilers this season.
  4. Filip Berglund. A wildcard despite considerable SHL experience.
  5. Mike Kesselring. He’s a talented defender with a range of skills.
  6. Phil Kemp. Shutdown blue with calm feet.

The current depth chart is miles better than six years ago, and if Bouchard is given room to blossom this position could be a strength in no time. It probably requires Barrie to be dealt next summer, though.

CENTER, THEN

  1. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Nuge is gonna shine)
  2. C Connor McDavid (THE franchise)
  3. C Mark Letestu (A key addition should help depth)
  4. C Anton Lander (Important player for 15-16)
  5. C Boyd Gordon (veteran could be trade bait by deadline if things break right)
  6. C Leon Draisaitl (Man amongst boys in Memorial Cup)
  7. C Bogdan Yakimov (Big C still developing, factor down the line)
  8. C Jujhar Khaira (Solid checker, offense may keep him from NHL career)
  9. C Kyle Platzer (New pro has two-way skills)

A monster group and still the heart of the team six years later, we discuss McDavid, Draisaitl and the Nuge all the time. Khaira is also in the NHL at this time.

CENTER, NOW

  1. Connor McDavid. The best player in the game, he’s beyond human.
  2. Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl combines brains, power and precision to form something diabolical.
  3. Derek Ryan. His numbers are impressive and he has a great deal of utility.
  4. Ryan McLeod. His speed is a weapon, and I was impressed with his quickness to loose pucks.
  5. Devin Shore. A strong penalty killer, Shore is death valley in five on five possession.
  6. Dylan Holloway. Injured, will miss several months.
  7. Tim Soderlund. He is an AHL option.

The current list is the better one, owing to the fact 97 and 29 are in their prime and elite talents. Ryan was an astute addition and McLeod could be a solid add.

LEFT WING, THEN

  1. Taylor Hall (Rumor of a new C coming in may help spike numbers)
  2. Benoit Pouliot (Important player for next season)
  3. Lauri Korpikoski (Productive veteran is a good addition)
  4. Matt Hendricks (Had a wonderful year, can he do it again?)
  5. Luke Gazdic (How much will he play?)
  6. Ryan Hamilton (he’ll be the veteran hand in the  minors helping to guide the kids)
  7. Anton Slepyshev (Can’t wait to see him in TC)
  8. Mitch Moroz (Should see way more action in Bakersfield in 2015-16)
  9. Kale Kessy (Lost season to injury, another chance in 2015-16)
  10. Braden Christoffer. Energy winger a WHL signing.

Hall was such an exceptional player in Edmonton, but the rest of this list was either on the verge of a substantial downbeat or not strong in the first place. There were danger signs at this position.

LEFT WING NOW

  1. Zach Hyman. An addition tailor made for McDavid, I’m guessing he posts 60+ points and helps in goal differential.
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He has some serious regressing to do this coming season.
  3. Warren Foegele. His five on five pts-60 last season (1.60) suggesta he is well suited to an outscoring third line.
  4. Brendan Perlini. He is a wild card entering camp. Perlini is big, fast and can score goals.
  5. Tyler Benson. Benson can bring skill to the bottom-six forwards and he’s a smart player with and without the puck.
  6. Raphael Lavoie. Pure scorer who has a real opportunity waiting if he can score in the AHL.
  7. Ostap Safin. Often injured but he has talent and a PF’s size.

This group has better depth and Hyman can deliver enough to give the current left-wing group the edge. I’m still intrigued by Benson, if he gets a chance to show his skill I think Tippett will value him. I’ll call this a tie.

RIGHT WING, THEN

  1. R Jordan Eberle (Top RW primed for a big year)
  2. R Nail Yakupov  (He’s still here, people!)
  3. R Teddy Purcell (Speed only real issue)
  4. R Rob Klinkhammer (4line RW, crash and bang)
  5. R Tyler Pitlick (health is always the issue)
  6. R Iiro Pakarinen (Has a chance to make the team)
  7. R Andrew Miller (A strong option for NHL time in 2015-16)
  8. R Greg Chase (His game should flourish in pro’s)

Turns out, perennial 20+ goal scoring wingers do have exceptional value, as Eberle has been showing since leaving Edmonton. As is the case on left wing, the lack of depth at the position is obvious, then and now.

RIGHT WING, NOW

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi. He took a big step forward, is there another?
  2. Kailer Yamamoto. He’s a solid young winger, but needs to deliver more offense.
  3. Josh Archibald. Utility forward can do everything, and that includes goals on depth lines.
  4. Zack Kassian. He has scored just three goals in his last 35 games.
  5. Kyle Turris. Turris might land in the old Sam Gagner bottom-six role.
  6. Cooper Marody. He has skill and can play center.
  7. Kirill Maksimov. A little under the radar after two pro seasons where his offense hasn’t spiked.
  8. Tyler Tullio. He’ll be a fan favourite, starting Saturday night against the Flames rookies.
  9. Seth Griffith. Veteran still has terrific puck skills and will drive a line in Bakersfield.

Puljujarvi and Yamamoto are at a point in their careers where pushing for 20-goal seasons should be a manageable hurdle, and if they do, then this version is better. Eberle was money, though, he was certain.

Are the Oilers better six years later? Yes, mostly due to McDavid and Draisaitl being in their prime. I can’t argue with the management in terms of elevating only the best youths, but that group (Bouchard, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, McLeod) have to deliver.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun Friday begins at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck will help us sift through the Jays runs and the Oilers season to come. He’ll also give his opinion about the recent TNT broadcast announcements for hockey this winter. Matthew Iwanyk from TSN1260 will chime in on the Elks and CFL weekend, plus the Oilers. We’ll have everything hockey as it happens, including reports from the rink for anything major. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!!!!

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OriginalPouzar

Nugent-Bowman with a piece at The Athletic on his interview with Marody:

https://theathletic.com/2832838/2021/09/18/cooper-marody-qa-after-ahl-breakout-oilers-prospect-is-ready-to-do-anything-to-get-a-spot-in-the-nhl/

His primary emphasis this offseason: “strength, speed and skating”.

The famous quite from his interview with Gregor after his first AHL season is now ancient history, in my opinion.

Harpers Hair

An update on Burger Baron: The Movie.

Omar Mouallem (@OmarMouallem) Tweeted:
I present to you The Last Baron, the improbable story of a rogue burger chain that became the immigrant dream, and quite possibly the greatest hamburger story ever told. Available now, free on CBC Gem. https://t.co/kXWKVHTme0 https://t.co/KAdYg19rlr

https://twitter.com/OmarMouallem/status/1438870110752571398?s=20

Ryan

The problem with hockey, as a fan, is that it’s way too predictably disappointing.

For years, I would (despite knowing better) buy into the ethos of training camp that “guys are competing for jobs.”

I’d cheer like hell for a Bogdan Yakimov to come out of nowhere and turn into the big pivot the Oilers were desperate for… or a Slepyshev to turn into a top six player.

Even now, I’m cheering that Perlini trained his ass off during the summer, commits himself to two-way play and grabs a bottom six job and scores 17 or 18 goals…

Hockey would be way more fun if there were stories like this, but unfortunately they almost never happen.

I wonder how much is about players being type cast vs their ability immutable to change.

Last edited 28 days ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

Not sure why you believe this never happens.

There are many examples of “out of nowhere” players making an impact in the NHL.

Alex DeBrincat, Nils Hoglander and a passel of Lightning later round picks are prime examples.

Perhaps it’s a function of some team’s management being too structured in their thinking?

tsunami

So now apparently being drafted in the middle of the 2nd round is “out of nowhere”… good grief

Tragikomix

Good grief!

jtblack

Are the Oilers better six years later? Yes, mostly due to McDavid and Draisaitl being in their prime.”

i feel this way. Which is scary

geowal

Lt I’m a little floored that you consider LW now and then a tie. To each their own, but in my mind there is no doubting how much better the current version is. Hall is hall but the improvement in 2-4 depth to me vastly exceeds the extent Hall > Hyman

geowal

Leave it to you to have numbers and reasons. I guess I’m quite optimistic about the newcomers on that side. And severely punishing the presence of Korpikoski

Last edited 28 days ago by geowal
jm363561

Very unfair to down vote OP as there seems to be a problem with the site and his old opinions are being continuously regurgitated, continuously regurgitated, continuously regurgita……

As for the whole Russian translator thing, Harper’s getting more Bizarre by the day.

Only 26 more sleeps until some real hockey to read about.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

My cat stepped on the keyboard earlier.

winchester

Oh yes, this 2021/22 team would mop the floor with the 2016/17 team.

Except Gryba, Grubbs would still be standing. You couldn’t mop the floor with him, but you could go around him.

winchester

I have heard some excitement and Im sure Oilers are happy with the Bourgault.
NHLE 32 Even Maximov NHLE of 34

Holloway NHLE of 41 is out right now

But don’t forget:

Marody is NHLE of 37
Benson NHLE of 40
Macloud NHLE of 40

This is huge amount of talent sitting here. Lets not waste it.

And….

Connor Brown 22y AHL had NHLE of 32
Josh Lievo at 22y in AHL had NHLE of 33
Zack Hyman at 23y in AHL had NHLE of 22

Randle McMurphy

Round 1, pick 8. PLAYER: Philip Broberg. POSITION: D. …
Round 2, pick 38. PLAYER: Raphael Lavoie. POSITION: C. …..
Round 3, pick 85. PLAYER: Ilya Konovalov. POSITION: G

Remember how excited we were when Lavoie was still there at 38.

This is looking very good!

Harpers Hair

Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) Tweeted:

Asked Podkolzin if he was nervous about transition not only to NHL, but to new city and language. Before Russian translator could interpret for him, Vasily: “No, I am not nervous.”

https://twitter.com/imacSportsnet/status/1438934693450170369?s=20

Reja

Wow isn’t that something. Do you think he’ll score 20 goals this year?

Last edited 29 days ago by Reja
jp

Do you think he’ll score 20 goals this year?

I think Bouchard is going to outscore him, points wise at least.

jp
Bohologo

non sequitur
noun
non se·​qui·​tur | \ ˌnän-ˈse-kwə-tər

Definition of non sequitur
1 : an inference that does not follow from the premises specifically: a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent.
2 : a statement (such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said: We were talking about the new restaurant when she threw in some non sequitur about her dog.

In this context, the Oilers are the new restaurant, and you keep talking about your dog. Which is nice for you, but not terribly relevant. I suspect you realize this, but you and your mutt are making this restaurant a less pleasant place to eat, which you may not realize.

Last edited 29 days ago by Bohologo
Harpers Hair

Sequiter:

Podkholzin is a 6’4” 210 power forward coming soon to your new restaurant.

leadfarmer

Also known as Vancouver’s last prospect

Harpers Hair

You may want to consider Jack Rathbone, just the latest product of the Harvard D factory, Danila Klimovitch, a 6’2” Podkholzin clone and a couple of later round picks, Jett Woo and Jonah Gadjovich who are coming along nicely before jumping to silly conclusions.

leadfarmer

Ratbones was already on their roster. I like the player but another small D on a d Corp that almost universally needs sheltering is a tough ask.
Yes everyone is amazed at Woo who scored all of 5 points in the Ahl. WHAT A Prospect
Gadjovic just spent his 3rd season in the Ahl and we know what you say about those guys!!! (“Why waste your time when you can sign a Petan” just to jog your memory)

Harpers Hair

Rathbone has played 8 NHL games…he’s a prospect.

Psssttt..Gadjovich scored 15 goals in 19 games in the AHL.

Tyler Benson scored 10 goals in 36 games.

One of these is not like the other.

pts2pndr

What was that D man you were so high on brogan something or other? You are a joke but not the funny kind! You have zero credibility.

Fiveinatrailer

Rat ones?! Is our new restaurant the old Foody Goody by westmount mall…?

(it was closed for serving dog meat iirc)

pts2pndr

He’s a chef! What a talent!

Side

Holy shit, Podkolzin must be some kind of prodigy off the ice as well.

The genius and innovation behind Vasily’s decision to start learning the language of the country he will be working in is unheard of.

Are other players doing this?! Do other teams know of this yet?!

This is going to shake up the league once other players start following the path carved out by Vasily! A true pioneer and trailblazer in the sport.

Thank you for sharing!

leadfarmer

Yawn

Randle McMurphy

In other news, when asked if he was nervous about an offer sheet, Jim Benning replied “Yes. Very!”

Side

Benning also seems pretty nervous about trying to get Hughes and Pettersson signed before camp especially since he feels they need it for their development.

godot10

I think Podkolzin will be a solid all-around middle six NHL player, and I don’t think it will take him that long. He doesn’t have to score to make an impact, unlike most Russian hockey players.

Harpers Hair

Yep.

He’s already pencilled in as a winger with Bo Horvat and Conor Garland.

All 3 have exceptional 2 way games.

Side

Vasily is going to blow Bo and Conor’s minds when he speaks English to them.

Can you imagine?!

leadfarmer

Kind of disappointing for a guy that was billed as a top 10 prospect

Harpers Hair

Yeah…it’s almost as bad as selecting a defenseman 10th overall 4 years ago and at the age of 22 he might be a bottom pairing D.

pts2pndr

Better get that family recipe for crow located!

OriginalPouzar

Neal heading to Blues camp on a PTO.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers News and Updates
@oilersaccess
·
4h
Rookie Camp lines from yesterday:

Lavoie-Hamblin-Bourgault
Petrov-Rybinski-Tullio
Safin-Englot-Chiasson
Brosseau-Soderlund-Kambeitz
Burns

Broberg-Berglund
Samorukov-Kemp
Niemelainen-Kesselring
Kaldis-Kubicek

Konovalov
Rodrigue
Kruger

Maksimov has not arrived to camp yet.

OriginalPouzar

I remember now – Maksimov had to be “re-vaccinated” as Canada and the NHL don’t recognize Sputnik or whatever the Russian vaccine is called.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers News and Updates
@oilersaccess
Lines at Rookie Camp today:

Lavoie-Hamblin-Bourgault
Petrov-Rybinski-Tullio
Safin-Brosseau-Kambeitz
Burns-Englot-Soderlund

Niemelainen-Kesselring
Broberg-Berglund
Samorukov-Kemp
Kaldis-Kubicek

Rodrigue
Konovalov

Jake Chiasson left after sustaining an upper-body injury.

dessert1111

Defense looks a lot stronger than forwards, but the legit D prospects are also a lot older on average than the legit F prospects

Jethro Tull

I recognize Sieg Sieg Sputnik.

David

I would like to see at least the attempt to have Bourgault be a center since allegedly he is a C/RW.

OriginalPouzar

From listening to the player himself, he played song almost exclusively last season and feels he’s best on the wing. These were his (paraphrased) words shortly after the draft.

ArmchairGM

Maybe he’ll follow Marody’s steps into the music industry.

flyfish1168

Wish Hollaway would be here. All the best Dylan

Reja

Bummer for me he was the most interesting new player coming in.

jp

Zack Kassian. He has scored just three goals in his last 35 games.

Zack Kassian – last 82 games: 14-20-34

Kert

What is your prediction for Kassian next season? Not what he’s potentially capable of, but your reasonable expectations, with all the maybes added together?

ArmchairGM

60 games, 10 goals and 15 assists.

jp

Good question. I’d say something in range of his last 82 games number.

How about 75 13-17-30. That’s betting on about half his season played with McDavid.

godot10

The telling metric for Kassian is scoring with less than four months left on his contract vs. scoring with more than four months left on his contract.

jp

Did you work out the numbers to accompany this new metric?

OriginalPouzar

Konovalov back on the ice today after leaving early yesterday with a minor injury – good news.

Jake Chiasson has left with an apparent shoulder injury though (ugh) – per McCurdy.

Gerta Rauss

Jake Chiasson has left with an apparent shoulder injury though (ugh) – per McCurdy

Of course he has- the Oilers perform the shoulder surgeries at the rink now- you can order a Bobby Nic burger and a torn labrum repair from the food court

Last edited 29 days ago by Gerta Rauss
Side

Is the torn labrum repair included with the Bobby Nic burger or does it cost extra?

Randle McMurphy

Fun Fact:

The Bobby Nic burger is actually made from torn labrum tissue.

Gerta Rauss

And I think the labrum surgery is less expensive

Side

I would hope so for that price.

Harpers Hair
defmn

*It seems the Journal/Sun no longer have copy editors.

Not for a long time now.

Ozoil

Did Berglund respond in english though? Before the translator could assist?

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

If Yammo is not there for the start of camp, and if you squint really hard, is there any chance at all that you see Hyman move to RW (he shoots right) and Benson gets a shot in the top 6 to start camp?

Benson-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Nuge-Draisaitl-Hyman

I know it’s far-fetched, but if this camp is a referendum on Benson it’s not really fair to line him up on an “energy” line or a checking line. Give him a real chance with some talent and enough of a look to actually see if his offensive game is NHL caliber.

defmn

I think that a competent organization would arrange its TC opportunities for its prospects based upon input from its AHL coaching staff.

Where Benson lines up initially probably reflects Woodcroft’s recommendation to some degree and then it will be up to him to hold the spot or move up.

The other consideration will be Tippett’s preference for types of lines. Does he want 3 offensive lines or a pure shutdown 3rd line etc.

It’s going to be an intriguing camp to see how the coaching staff views their strengths in terms of style of play for the team. Unfortunate that Holloway won’t have a chance to impact the process.

jp

The other consideration will be Tippett’s preference for types of lines. Does he want 3 offensive lines or a pure shutdown 3rd line etc.

I’m not sure Tippett could make a pure shutdown line with the players available to him if he tried.

defmn

Foegele-Ryan-Archibald is probably closest.

jp

Yeah that was the best I could come up with too.

Problem is they can all score a bit 🙂

Bank Shot

Why? Should Foegele get a chance with McDavid as well? Marody? Perlini? Sceviour?

McDavid probably only plays 4 games in preseason and needs to get some game action with Hyman.

Everyone wants Oilers prospects to succeed, but they need to stand on their own merits. If a player can’t look good playing with average players will we really miss them if they leave?

pts2pndr

Given that there are numerous roster changes time to experiment will be very limited. Hyman was brought in with a purpose and wii most assuredly be given first chance on the left side with Connor and unless there is zero chemistry that is where he will play to start the season. Getting as close as possible to what will be the opening night roster quickly is critical in that there are offensive and defensive structure, to assure is in place and everyone on the same page. The luxury of experimentation is probably not in the cards due to time constraints. The only forward line that might be in place from last year is Nuge,Draisaitl and Yamamoto if Yamamoto is signed. Possibly one defensive pairing of Nurse and Barrie. Even the power play and PK will have adjustments.

Randle McMurphy

Have you met Dave Tippett?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Wow.Great post LT. This exercise was much closer than I wanted it to be.

It is amazing what god-tier centres can do for the competitiveness of a team.

Also, I really miss Klef and Sek.

Litke 94

I do agree on the LD being better. I really liked Sekera, and Klef was excellent. Those two were great to watch and I would love to have a 2016 version of them on this squad.

On LW, I don’t agree on the tie. I loved Hall, but after that I didn’t really like Pouliot, Korpikoski was bad enough I completely scrubbed him from my brain, Hendricks was a warrior but not much more. That group had almost nothing bubbling under, either.

Today’s LW? Hyman should be great, Nuge is real and fabulous, Foegele seems like a demon forechecker, and we have two possible future players to monitor closely in Benson and Lavoie.

If put in front of me, I take the 2021 LW all day, every day.

Last edited 29 days ago by Litke 94
yamfry

I agree, I like the depth of the current LWs much better.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I think this sentiment applies to the wingers in general. Eberle and Hall are probably the best wingers between the two teams. Still, the current group of wingers has much stronger depth, age/potential, and positional flexibility.

I think overall, the current team has way better depth at the NHL level and in the AHL. Especially on D.

OriginalPouzar

While I do think Hyman will start with McDavid and Nuge will start with Drai, I’m not convinced the Hyman is better or more important or higher on the depth chart than Nuge. Both will effect all game states and it will be intriguing to see who outperforms who. I expect a big bounce-back season for Nuge at evens.

Perlini ahead of Benson on the depth chart – interesting.

Given where he played last year, I see Perlini sliding through waivers if exposed but Benson potentially being claimed as he is a bit younger.

Perlini is a former Tippett player and scored goals while playing for Tip – he is big and fast and can shoot. At the same time, something is missing from his game that has led to his career taking the winding road it has. Is it effort and “give a shit”? Is it 2-way “hockey sense”? Is it a matter of becoming more mature as a player?

Benson should be given a real opportunity at camp and I think he earns a roster spot on merit.

OriginalPouzar

Here is hoping that, during the season, McLeod can take that step and pass Ryan on the center depth chart on merit. I truly thing Ryan will be a better 3C than we have had in a long time (I’ll take him at the position over the likes of Haas, Turris from last year, Khaira, Haas, Sheahan, etc.).

At the same time, he’s approaching 35 and, at this point, is likely best served with fewer 5 on 5 minutes and the PK.

Haven’t hear much from/about McLeod since the end of the season – here is hoping he’s worked to get stronger and turn in to a man because trusting his size and strength would allow him to be more willing to engage in contact and battle and I think his overall and offensive game would take the needed step with some solid wingers like Foegele and _____.

Randle McMurphy

I’d quibble that 2021 Darnell Nurse is worth two 2015 Darnell Nurse’s, and as you point out, 2021 McDavid is worth 1.9 2015 McDavid’s (1.9 only because there could never be two McDavid’s), and 2015 Draisaitl wasn’t Hart, Art Ross, Lindsay, Draisaitl. Otherwise, your assessment seems reasonable. I guess it may not be a slam dunk after all.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, until/unless I’m proven wrong, I will remain optimisic that Ceci will be a solid 2-way 2nd pairing guy. LT mentions his GA/60 the last few years and, while I can’t speak to his role in TO, much of that time in Pit last year was in the 2nd pairing while covering for the roaming Matheson – an increase role though the year and the playoffs.

Ceci also has some really solid GA/60 seasons in Ottawa and, of course, last year, was sneaky productive at 5 on 5 – tied for 16th or 17th in 5 on 5 points, ahead of guys like Giordano, Hedman and various other top d-men.

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I’m not going to sleep on Berglund totally. Gretzky did say he’ll need some time to get used to North American and the ice and game but once a right side injury hits, if he’s settled in he could be a recall option if there has also been an injury on the left side (as the other option is Russell/Koekkoek on their offside). Berlund is big, can skate, has some 2-way ability, pedigree and experience as a top 4 in a good league for developing d-men.

jp
Randle McMurphy

In my best Seinfeld Uncle Leo voice.. “LANSKY’s Here!”

OriginalPouzar

Man, Sekera and Klefbom – two really high end 2nd pairing or lower end top pairing d-men (your mileage may vary) the Oilers lost due to injury.

Sekera was so damn good in 2017 shining K. Russell on his off-side – he was arguably the Oilers best d-man until the Getzlaf hit changed the trajectory of his career (and of the Oilers in some ways).

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I’m not going to get in to acquisition cost, tying up draft pick currency or cap hit but I do believe that Duncan Keith will help the Oilers win games as the opening night 2LD, with everyone he can bring, on and off the ice, more than a revolving door of what Lagesson, Russell, Jones, Kulikov provided last year at the position.

With the Koekkoek re-sign, short of a couple injuries, there doesn’t seem to be a way for Samorukov to make this team but, from accounts, he has changed in to “a man” since he left for Russia for 2020/21 and he was fire on the first day of rookie camp.

Sammy should play NHL games this season.

yamfry

Yikes, it’s damning that you (LT) say that LD was better six years ago and LW is a tie today. I read that LD six years ago and was retching at the same time. I guess I am not accounting for how good Sekera was in the first couple of years, plus Klefbom at his peak.

As for LW now, surely the increased depth compares more favourably than six years ago, which was Hall and a bunch of not much.

So much cognitive bias going on! I’m probably underrating the crap out of the 2015-16 players due to knowing how terrible the team turned out to be, and overrating the crap out of today’s team because I want them to be good so badly!

Randle McMurphy

I remember working on the rigs, when a day out on the road could seem like a year.

Dave Dudley. Who knew. I might of guessed Tennessee Ernie Ford.

buck yoakam

one of the best versions ever of that song was done by Taj Mahal on his album giant step…(flying burrito brothers also)

OriginalPouzar

Of the three prospect goalies, Rodrigue may have the highest ceiling of them all – he has the pedigree as the highest drafted and his final season in the Q really was very very good – he was the best goalie in the league after the world juniors. Its too bad that his first pro season was pandemic effected – a full season in the ECHL with a cup of coffee in the AHL would have been preferable to the Austria start and then playing games in the AHL prematurely.

Of course, Konovalov and Skinner are both well ahead, in particular Konovalov potentially – he could be NHL ready this season. He may not become more than a tweener or he could become much more – such a wildcard but he has pedigree and experience – he could be arriving.

OriginalPouzar

Oh, i remember that day – wife and I headed to Canmore for the weekend and, of course, stayed in to watch day 1 on Friday night.

I remember when Bettman annouced “we have a trade” and then said the New York Islanders trade to the Edmonton Oilers……. I said out loud, “not Reinhart” and, well, we know how that went. I wasn’t happy and I knew nothing of Barzal and the others.

I was on the top of Ha Ling Peak with Gryba was acquired.

Randle McMurphy

I would immediately say yes. No questions asked. Slam dunk.

Now I’ll go back, red the article, and see if you tricked me 🙂

Last edited 29 days ago by Randle McMurphy