From Russia With Love

From 1997 – 2006 The Oilers drafted 13 players that were either Russian or a former Soviet Union, ranging from first to ninth round picks.  The Oilers were rewarded with 214 NHL games mainly from Alex Semenov.  Then from 2007 – 2011 there was nobody drafted from Russia and only Kristians Pelss from Latvia that was selected from the old USSR.

In 2012 & 2013 the Oiler’s then drafted Nail Yakupov, Daniil Zharkov, Anton Slepyshev & Bogdan Yakimov.  The purpose of this is to see how the prospects are tracking versus players that played within the same league and similar ages against 12 NHL prospects that have played in the KHL, AHL & (some) NHL during their 17 – 22 year old seasons.  The prospects that are included are; Vlad Tarasenko, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Artem Anisimov, Vik Tikhonov, Evgeny Grachev, Andrei Loktionov, Alexander Avtsin, Nikita Kucherov, Nikolay Prokhorkin, Nik Kulemin, Alexander Vasyunov & Vladimir Zharkov.

First let’s look at four players that played their draft year in the KHL.

KHL Player Age 17
Tarasenko 0.57
Kuznetsov 0.26
Slepyshev 0.18
Prokorkin 0.13
  • First there is a small section of players that have played in the KHL since the league began.
  • Tarasenko (Dec birthday) is the class of 17 year-old’s.
  • To put this in perspective Cherepanov had .62 Pts/G, Ovechkin .43 & Malkin .35 in the Russian elite league.
  • Kuznetsov & Slepyshev (both May birthdays) had good showings.
  • Prokorkin (September birthday) is a little behind based but is trending in the right direction.

 

KHL Player Age 18
Yakupov 0.82
Kuznestsov 0.72
Tarasenko 0.45
Yakimov 0.36
Slepyshev 0.35
Avtsin 0.3
Anisimov 0.26
Kucherov 0.22
Prokorkin 0.18
V. Zharkov 0.12
  • I only Yakupov in here to show that he is a hell of a good player.  Who had a tough season last year.  I don’t think the Blues or Caps fan bases are wanting to trade either Kuznetsov or Tarasenko without getting a clear top 6 forward or top 4 defenseman in their prime.
  • To put in perspective Ovechkin, Malkin & Cherepanov .73, .61, .61 Pts/G in the Russian elite league.
  • Kuznetsov & Tarasenko are competing for the best Russian prospect and this round goes to Kuznetsov.
  • Tarasenko is trending down after his 18-year-old season.  But this is still a quality season.
  • Yakimov & Slepyshev are showing really well here.  That both well ahead of Anisimov (Russian Elite League) shows that they are developing into quality players.  Likely not elite level offensive players but are trending in the right direction and potential for top 6 NHL players.

 

KHL Player Age 19
Tarasenko 0.87
Kuznestsov 0.82
Prokhorkin 0.71
Kulemin 0.42
Tikhonov 0.28
V. Zharkov 0.23
Slepyshev 0.22
Vasyunov 0.18
D. Zharkov 0.1
  • Tarasenko & Kuznetsov both had quality seasons and are legit top 6 NHL prospects.
  • Cherapanov for reference in the first KHL season had .87 Pts/G through 15 games prior to his untimely passing.  Imagine if the Rangers had this guy right now.
  • Prokhorkin broke out this past season and was signed to a contract with the LA Kings.  He has signed to play another year in the KHL.
  • This is the first appearance by Nik Kulemin on the list.
  • Slepyshev is in a cluster of prospects with Tikhonov, Vlad Zarkov & Vasyunov.  All three prospects were part of their NHL teams plan at this point in time but had question marks surrounding their games.
  • At this point in time I think that we can say that Daniil Zharkov is likely more suspect than prospect.
KHL Player Age 20
Kuznestsov 0.86
Tarasenko 1.03
Kulemin 0.72
Tikhonov – 21 0.6
  • Prospects that have NHL aspirations typically move to North America at age 20 or before.  So this is the last KHL development year that I have included.
  • Kuznetsov & Tarasenko continue to be the cream of the crop.  They rise to the top.
  • Kulemin, Tikhonov (age 21 – played 20 year-old season in North America) & Prokhorkin (19 year-old season) are the three players that we would want to set expectations for Slepyshev in his 20 year-old KHL season.
  • Why Prokhorkin’s 19 year-old season?  Slepy was born in May and Prokhorkin Sept. 17th.  Prokhorkin was a week away from being eligible in the 2011 draft.
AHL Player Age 19
Andrei Loktionov 0.83
Artem Anisimov 0.58
Evgeny Grachev 0.35
Alex Avtsin 0.34

 

  • Loktionov had a strong year as a nineteen year-old.  He played on a Mark Morris coached Manchester Monarchs that had several prospects that became regular NHLers.  Such as; Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Jonathan Bernier, Dwight King, Tom Hickey, Trevor Lewis & Kevin Westgarth.
  • Anisimov’s first year in North America was a success.  This is the type of season you would like to see from Yakimov.  If he can put up .50 – .65 Pts/G in the AHL then he is trending in the right direction.
  • Grachev & Avtsin were two middling prospects who were trending in the right direction at age 19.  There progress started to tail off a little later in the development life-cycle.
AHL Player Age 20
Nikita Kucherov 1.41
Artem Anisimov 1.01
Andrei Loktionov 0.91
Evgeny Grachev 0.52
Vlad Zharkov 0.49
Alex Vasyunov 0.45
Alex Avtsin 0.22
  • Kucherov knocked it out of the park this past year.  Looking at the chart I would assume that if you are above .85 you are on your way to being a legit prospect.
  • Grachev, Zharkov & Vasyunov were middling prospects at this stage.  I think if you want a shot at the NHL you should be at a minimum .45 Pts/G.  Anything less and you are likely not a prospect of note.

Here is a list of NHL players drafted out of Russia and including Nail Yakupov for reference.  The criteria was players that played their first season in the NHL having played +35 games.  With the exception of Kuznetsov who played 17 games this past season.

NHL Age PTS/G
Nail Yakupov 18 0.65
Evgeny Kuznetsov 21 0.53
Vlad Tarasenko 20 0.5
Nik Kulemin 22 0.42
Nikita Kucherov 20 0.35
Artem Anisimov 21 0.34
Vik Tikhonov 20 0.26
Vlad Zharkov 21 0.25
Andrei Loktionov 21 0.15
Evgeny Grachev 21 0.15
Vlad Zharkov 22 0.11

 

  • Yakupov is leading the pack as an 18-year old.  His 19 year-old season was a bit of a disappointment but there are lots of reasons why a bounce back is realistic (low IPP, low PDO & I think the Corsi will even out this year).
  • If we use Anisimov as the model for Yakimov he should spend a year plus in the minor leagues.
  • For Slepy to be considered a prospect of note he should come over to North America next year and spend at least one season in the AHL before being considered for the NHL.

 

 

Draisaitl and Yakupov

I was wondering if Draisaitl & Yakupov would make good linemates this year.  So I looked into similar combinations of an 18 year-old & 20 – 22 year-old and what their statistics were like.

Here’s a list of similar comparable’s of 18 year-old players who had a 21 or younger linemates and played at least 35% of their season together.

Category Patrick Kane Jon Toews
Age 18 19
TOI together 659 659
CF% together 52.4 52.4
Total TOI 1086 803
Zone Start 54.5 55.7
Pts/60 2.265 2.241

1st & 2nd easiest zone starts among players that played +20 games.

Category Sam Gagner Andrew Cogliano
Age 18 20
TOI together 374 374
CF% together 46.9 46.9
Total TOI 963 833
Zone Start 52.8 52.8
Pts/60 1.99 2.31

Cogliano & Gagner had the 3rd & 4th easiest zone starts for players that played more than 20 minutes.

Category Tavares Okposo
Age 18 21
TOI together 476 476
CF% together 49.8 49.8
Total TOI 1044 1033
Zone Start 56.9 48.8
Pts/60 1.32 1.51

Tavares had 1st easiest zone start.  Okposo is 6th easiest zone starts for players that played +20 games.

Category Landeskog O’Reilly
Age 18 20
TOI together 1006 1006
CF% together 56.4 56.4
Total TOI 1177 1206
Zone Start 54.8 50
Pts/60 1.63 1.64

Landeskog had 5th easiest zone start.  O’Reilly had 3rd toughest zone start.

Category Nugent-Hopkins Hall
Age 18 20
TOI together 382 382
CF% together 53.4 53.4
Total TOI 860 875
Zone Start 62.5 56.5
Pts/60 1.95 2.13

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the easiest zone start.  Hall had the 3rd easiest zone start.

Category Lindholm Skinner
Age 18 21
TOI together 458 458
CF% together 51 51
Total TOI 674 950
Zone Start 62.3 66.7
Pts/60 1.16 1.96

Skinner had the easiest zone start.  Lindholm had the 3rd easiest zone start among players that played 20+ games.

Category Mikkel Boedker Martin Hanzal
Age 18 21
TOI together 409 409
CF% together 45.8 45.8
Total TOI 911 895
Zone Start 46.6 38.4
Pts/60 1.38 1.34

Hanzal had toughest zone start & Boedker had 4th toughest zone start for players that played +20 games.

So can Yak & Drai succeed together?

I think the answer is yes.  The Oiler’s under Tom Renney did this with Eberle & RNH in Nuge’s rookie year.  In 2011-12 Nuge played 75% with Eberle.  Both players had 60+ offensive zone starts, they both put up 1.9+ pts/60 at evens and their Corsi% together was above 50%.  That year the Oilers depth wasn’t as strong as it is this year.  The Oilers have have 8 established veterans (Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Gordon, Hendricks, Purcell, Pouliot & Perron) and two players in Arcobello & Lander that excelled in the AHL last year.  The Oiler’s could easily pair Draisaitl and Yakupov together and give them heavy zone starts 55 – 65% offensive zone starts and allow them to play the easy opposition and they should be able to survive.

I think that Yakupov will have a significant rebound year.   Last year, according to behindthenet.ca, Yakupov had a horrible year compared to his rookie year despite being put in a better situation.

Nail Yakupov 2012-13 2013-14
CF% 42.4 44.8
Pts/60 2.14 1.45
IPP 83.3 69.2
PDO 1.034 952
Zone Start 51.1 63.9

If we project that Yakupov will improve his Corsi to 48%, Pts/60 to 1.75, IPP to 75%, PDO to stabilize to 1000 & 12 minutes of EV minutes per game.  Nail Yakupov will increase his even strength scoring from .29 ES Pts/G to .43 ES Pts/G, I think all of these numbers are doable.

I think it’s worth a shot to give them offensive zone starts against easy opposition and see how they do. I think with sheltered minutes Yak & Drai could put up 1.5+ Pts/60. If these two can build chemistry together and play 65+ games (I think there will be games where it might make sense to sit Draisaitl) it could help their secondary scoring while putting them in a situation to succeed.

Oiler’s Defense Prospects

Player 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Brad Hunt n/a 0.63 0.92 0.86 0.89 0.55 0.68 0.51 0.76
Brandon Davidson n/a 0.58 0.72 0.71 0.19 0.19
Martin Marincin 0.17 0.84 0.69 0.43 0.29
Joey Laleggia 1.2 1.41 0.88 0.74 0.68
Jordan Oesterle n/a 0.27 0.2 0.24 0.5
Martin Gernat n/a 0.92 0.56 0.36
Dillon Simpson 0.33 0.42 0.57 0.55
David Musil 0.4 0.45 0.5 0.19
Oscar Klefbom 0.09 0.06 0.27 0.21
Ben Betker 0.09 0.31
Darnell Nurse 0.6 0.78
William Lagesson

Brad Hunt

  • Played in the BCHL for his 18 – 19 year-old seasons.  
  • Played in NCAA for his 20 – 23 year-old seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his 24 – 25 year-old seasons.

Brandon Davidson

  • Played in the WHL for his 18 – 20 seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his 21 – 22 year-old seasons.
  • Drafted as a +1 overager.  
  • Had testicular cancer in 12-13 season.  
  • Played 11 ECHL games in 12-13 and scored 12 points.

Martin Marincin

  • Played in Slovakia league for his 17 year-old season.
  • Played in WHL for his 18 – 19 year-old season.
  • Played in the AHL for his 20 – 21 year old season.  
  • Played 44 games in NHL in 13-14 season

Joey Laleggia

  • Played in BCHL for his 17 – 18 year-old season.
  • Played in NCAA for his 19 – 21 year-old season.

Jordan Oesterle

  • Played in USHL for his 18 year-old season.
  • Played in NCAA for his 19 – 21 year-old season.
  • Played 4 AHL games 2013-14

Martin Gernat

  • Played in WHL for his 18 – 19 year-old season.
  • Played in AHL for his 20 year-old season.
  • Missed 50 games 19 year with injury.

Dillon Simpson

  • Played in NCAA for his 17 – 20 year-old seasons.

David Musil

  • Played in WHL for his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his 20 year-old season.  

Oscar Klefbom

  • Played in Swedish Elite league for his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his 20 year-old season.
  • Only played 11 games in 12-13.
  • Played 17 NHL games in 13-14

Ben Betker

  • Played in WHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.

Darnell Nurse

  • Played in the OHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.

William Lagesson

  • Played in Swedish junior league.

Number of players that have played in the following leagues.

AHL 6
WHL 5
NCAA 4
BCHL 2
USHL 1
OHL 1
Slovak 1
Sweden 1

Oiler’s Forward Prospects – August 2014

List of Edmonton Oiler’s forward prospects.

 

Player 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Marc Arcobello N/A 0.83 0.62 1.03 1.06 0.85 0.59 0.92 1.87
Andrew Miller N/A 0.69 1.41 1 1.25 1.03 1.11 0.65
Kellen Jones 1.12 1.02 1.29 0.58 1 0.63 1.05
Anton Lander 0.21 0.33 0.53 0.35 0.42 1.13
Curtis Hamilton 0.62 1.32 0.27 0.15 0.37
Tyler Pitlick 0.5 1.11 0.37 0.22 0.56
John McCarron 0.45 0.95 0.54 0.58 0.75
Kale Kessy 0.37 0.33 0.72 0.11
Travis Ewanyk 0.38 0.36 0.4 0.18
Evan Campbell 0.12 0.62 1.29 0.33
Daniil Zharkov 0.72 0.73 0.1
Jujhar Khaira 1.46 0.68 0.73
Mitch Moroz 0.38 0.49 0.9
Anton Slepyshev 0.18 0.35 0.22
Tyler Vesel N/A N/A 1.45
Greg Chase 0.71 1.21
Aidan Muir N/A 0.76
Kyle Platzer 0.34 0.55
Bogdan Yakimov N/A 0.36
Marc-Oliver Roy 1.04 0.9
Jackson Houck 0.84 0.89
Liam Coughlin N/A 0.84
Leon Draisaitl 1.64

Mark Arcobello

  • Played in the NCAA for his 18 – 21 year-old seasons.
  • Played in the AHL for his 22 – 25 year-old seasons.
  • In 10-11 Arcobello played 33 ECHL games before moving up to AHL.
  • In 13-14 Arcobello played 41 NHL games

Andrew Miller

  • Played in the USHL for his 18 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in NCAA for his 20 – 23 year old seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his 24 year old season.

Kellen Jones

  • Played in BCHL for his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in NCAA for his 20 – 23 year-old seasons.
  • Jones did not sign an Oilers contract signed an OKC Barons contract.
  • Drafted in his +2 overage season.

Anton Lander

  • Played in the SEL in his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in AHL in his 20 – 22 year-old seasons.
  • His 20 year old season he played 56 games in the NHL.  He averaged .11 Pts/G.
  • Lander has played 94 NHL games and averaged .09 Pts/G.

Curtis Hamilton

  • Played in the WHL in his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.
  • Played in the AHL in his 19 – 21 year-old seasons.
  • Injury issues

Tyler Pitlick

  • Played in NCAA in his 17 year-old season.
  • Played in WHL in his 18 year-old season.
  • Played in AHL in his 19 – 21 year-old season.
  • Has missed 80+ games to injury since turning pro.

John McCarron

  • Played in USHL for his 7 – 18 year-old seasons.
  • Played in NCAA for his 19 – 21 NCAA.
  • Was +2 overage draft

Kale Kessy

  • Played in WHL for his 17 – 19 year old seasons.
  • Played in AHL for his  20 year old season.

Travis Ewanyk

  • Played in the WHL for his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.
  • Played in the AHL for his 20 year-old season.

Evan Campbell

  • Played in the BCHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.
  • Played in the NCAA for his 19 year-old season.

Daniil Zharkov

  • Played in the OHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.
  • Played in the KHL for his 19 year-old season.

Jujhar Khaira

  • Played in the BCHL for his 17 year-old-season.
  • Played in the NCAA for his 18 year-old season.
  • Played in the WHL for his 19 year-old season.

Mitch Moroz

  • Played in the WHL for his 17-19 year-old seasons.

Anton Slepyshev

  • Played in KHL for his 17 – 19 year-old seasons.

Tyler Vesel

  • Played in USHL for his 19 year-old season.
  • Vesel was drafted as a second year overager.

Greg Chase

  • Played in the WHL for his 17-18 year-old seasons.

Aidan Muir

  • Played in the USHL for his 18 year-old season.

Kyle Platzer

  • Played in the OHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.

Bogdan Yakimov

  • Played in the KHL for his 18 year-old season.

Marc-Oliver Roy

  • Played in the QMJHL for his 17 – 18 year-old seasons.
  • Missed 25 games to injury in his 18 year-old season.

Jackson Houck

  • Played in the WHL for his 17 – 18 year-old season.

Liam Coughlin

  • Played in the BCHL for his 18 year-old season.
  • Drafted as a +1 overager.

Leon Draisaitl

  • Played in the WHL for his 17 year-old season.

League Breakdown.  % Prospects that have played in AHL, WHL, OHL, QMJHL, USHL, BCHL, SEL & KHL.  There are several players that will have played in multiple leagues.  For example Andrew Miller has played in the USHL, NCAA & AHL.

League # Players
WHL 9
AHL 7
NCAA 7
BCHL 4
USHL 4
KHL 3
OHL 2
QMJHL 1
SWE 1

The Oiler’s draft and develop forwards from WHL & NCAA.  They have a strong presense in the BCHL, KHL & USHL.  Outside of first round picks the Oilers stay away from OHL & QMJHL and the last player drafted out of Finland or Sweden was 2009 when they drafted Paajarvi, Lander & Rajala.

RJ Umberger

This morning Aaron Portline mentioned that RJ Umberger has asked for a trade from the Blue Jackets
Series of Tweets;

Dispatch: R.J. Umberger has requested he be traded this summer, and will try to grant his wishes, sources say

Umberger’s contract – $4.5M w a $4.6M cap hit thru 2016-17 – not easy. But his no-trade becomes “limited” on June 15

To know R.J. Umberger (even a little bit) is to know that the late-season healthy scratches wounded him deeply. All indications are …

…Umberger and Richards kept their relationship professional/respectful, but if the coach is staying long term – he is – it’s a tough spot.

Let’s take a look at the player.  

His advanced stats for the past three seasons:

Stat 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12
Pts/60 1.179 1.092 1.558
PDO 1.002 1.029 0.998
FF% 0.467 0.434 0.474
ZoneStart 45.6 47.8 48.6
CorsiRelQoc 1.118 0.935 1.075

Jonathan Willis from his Oilers Nation Article;

The 31-year-old still has some offensive game, has been playing tough minutes, and at 6’2”, 214 pounds adds some size to a lineup. In a perfect world, he’d be an above-average third-line winger who can also cover centre in a pinch, but his $4.6 million cap hit makes that difficult.

 From The Hockey News;

Image

I think the Oilers should be interested;

  • He would cost little to nothing.
  • Although not overly physical he adds much needed size 6’2 220.
  • His offensive numbers have went down but he has been deployed in more of a tough-zone, tough minute role.
  • He has perhaps one of the best names in hockey.
  • Umberger has ties to Howson so I would assume that the Oilers should have a good knowledge about the player.
  • He can play up and down the lineup from 1st – 3rd.
  • He can play all three forward positions.
  • The Oilers should be able to fit his salary under the cap easily.

If the Oilers can get this player without giving up Gagner, which is possible because I don’t see CBJ’s need for Gagner, then the Oilers could deploy Umberger, Perron & Gordon, or an upgrade, in a tough line matchup that could score against the opposition.

A Projected Lineup with Umberger:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Perron-Gordon-Umberger

Gagner(Trade)-Arcobello/3rd Overall-Yakupov (Soft minutes)

Gazdic/Lander-Trevor Lewis (like player)-Hendricks (Zone Starts)

Fantastic Four

For the North America Forward’s there is a first tier of four prospects that have a multiple skill set, high-end scoring or size or two-way ability.  All of these players should be drafted within the top 5 of the NHL draft this June and perhaps all four will be drafted within the top 5.

Image

This was the weirdest Fantastic Four photo I could find.  I have no idea why they were fighting a ripped Hitler, but I guess the flip side is why wouldn’t they fight Hitler.  Anyways here my list of the top four North American forward prospects.

Player League DOB GP PTS PTS/G
Reinhart, Sam WHL 6-Nov-95 6’1 185 60 105 1.75
Bennett, Samuel OHL 20-Jun-96 6′ 165 57 91 1.596491
Draisaitl, Leon WHL 27-Oct-95 6’1 210 64 105 1.640625
Dal Colle, Michael OHL 20-Jun-96 6’2 172 67 95 1.41791

1. Sam Reinhart

  • Craig Button from TSN, “Sam ‘beats up’ opponents with his mind. He has an outstanding “Ice-Q” and he understands what to do, where to be and how to be highly productive, both individually and for his team.”
  • WHL Player of the Year.
  • Bill Placzek from draftsite.com, “Critics may try to dissect his skating, his physical strength and size, but he is an all-around impact player with vision, excellent playmaking skills, and some grit. Great hockey IQ and diagnoses things so well in the attack zone. Is quietly developing a strong 200 foot game and has a quick stick, good lateral quickness and good diagnostic skills. Good on the wall. A strong set-up man who understands the attack zone but also can score. Goods hands, agility, offensive skills, and exceptional on-ice vision. Not super quick but reads and reacts in all zones. Displays a quick stick, and good on the wall. Not the biggest guy, but unafraid to hold his own against most opponents.”
  • Unamed WHL scout from Sportsnet, “He has just tremendous hockey sense. He does some little things that you might have seen [years back] but don’t really anymore. What sticks out for me is the way he can use his skates to make plays—I saw him make a move, letting the puck go back to his skates like he was over-skating it and then kick it up to his stick. He just bamboozled this defencman.  When I was playing, there were a few guys who did stuff like that but it’s a bit of a lost art. Maybe people had questions because he had a rough time at world juniors but he wasn’t really put in a position to succeed there and a lot of guys, older players, struggled on [the Canadian under-20s]. When he came back, though, he raised his game.”
  • From Last Word on Sports;  “Reinhart has excellent hockey sense and vision.  He seems to know where the puck is going before it gets there and finds the openings in the defence. He has excellent stickhandling and puck protection skills, which when coupled with his good vision and passing make him an excellent playmaker.  Reinhart is one of those special types of centres who has the ability to make his linemates better.”
  • Player Comparable’s; Eric Staal Pts/G 1.49, Tyler Seguin Pts/G 1.68, Joffrey Lupul 1.47, Scottie Upshall 1.36, Tyler Seguin 1.68, Taylor Hall 1.86
  • Because he’s a late birthday I wanted to see how does Reinhart compared to other late season draft picks in their pre-draft season.  Hall Pts/G 1.43, Staal 1.11, Reinhart 1.18 , Draisaitl .91.  Reinhart is in the Eric Staal range.
  • My Thoughts; “I think it’s safe to say that Reinhart at this stage is not in the Taylor Hall range.  But he’s a very strong prospect with a low bust-rate.  He might be the safest pick in the draft.  Not sure he will be a franchise player, but he should be a legit number one center with the ability to shutdown the opposition’s best lines.  I like reading about other coaches and one of the things successful teams do is draft smart players.  Every scouting report mentions Reinhart’s hockey sense and his smarts for the game.  If he falls to the Oiler’s at 3rd I would think him and Nuge would make an excellent 1-2 punch for the next dozen years or so.”

2. Sam Bennett

  • Brock Otten; “His offensive instincts are terrific and he’s great at finding holes in the defense, which will allow him to score his share of goals at the next level. But he’s also a terrific playmaker who can assume that bull in a china shop mentality to make plays. His work along the boards and on the forecheck is also excellent. As a penalty killer and defensive player, his game is growing leaps and bounds, which suggests that he profiles as an above average two-way player moving forward.”  
  • Craig Button from TSN (tsn.ca); “Three things stand out about Bennett: His versatility, an edge to his play and his ability to ‘step up’ when it counts. Combine this with his skill-level and it makes Sam a top-end prospect.”
  • From WCMF Radio; “He is one of those players that, every time he has the puck, you get to the edge of your seat because you know something is going to happen with it” Gill said.  “He is the type of player that every coach loves because he can play the game any way you want.”
  • Last Word On Sports; ” A hard-worker, Bennett is fearless, and always involved in the corners, in front of the net and at the middle of the after the whistle scrums. He shows this work-ethic in the defensive zone where he is willing to use his body along the boards, to block shots, to support his defensemen in their own zone.”
  • Unamed Scout from Sportsnet; “I’ve seen him not quite a dozen times but I’d have a hard time if you asked me what his worst game was. Completely consistent in effort, win or lose, last game of a road trip, three-in-three [three games in three nights], none of it matters. If you’re looking at one of the top-three picks, you’ll focus on him and Reinhart and a couple of others, but of all those guys he’s the most consistent of them.”
  • Player Point Comparison:  Tyler Seguin Pts/G 1.68, Matt Duchene 1.39, Mike Richards 1.47, Ryan Strome 1.63 & Logan Couture 1.44.
  • My notes; I’d say given the age difference he’s on pace with Seguin & Strome and ahead of the pace for the other players.  I flip flop between Bennett and Reinhart depending upon the day.  The main words for his scouting report reads, compete & edge.  He’s a slightly different player than Reinhart.  He “may” need a year or two in the OHL before he makes the jump to the NHL.  Worst case scenario, with no major injuries and proper development, I see a good second line center that can play the toughs.  Best case scenario, he could turn out to be a legit first line center.  His numbers (remember June birthday) 1.59 could be comparable to Taylor Hall’s (November birthday) pre-draft season of 1.54.  I don’t have anyone else that I think is possibly on the same level as Hall during their draft year.

3. Leon Draisaitl

  • Craig Button from TSN; “Leon is a big centre who is smart, can make plays and can impact the game in multiple ways. He’s the type of centre who is coveted by many NHL clubs because of his combination of size and skill.”
  • The Scouting Report, “With pro size, Draisaitl plays brings a consistently high compete level and has excellent hands and offensive talent. More of a playmaker than a scorer, Draisaitl has shown that he can be an offensive catalyst night in, night out, and should wind up having a good opportunity to make the jump to the NHL next year.”
  • WHL Scout from Sportsnet, ““His effort wasn’t there for me. One thing that troubles me is the speed of the game that he plays at—he likes to slow things down, a control game, which is fine if you can do it. But that’s the one speed he likes to play at and he’s going to have to skate faster and make quicker decisions when he gets to the next level. In terms of his commitment, willingness to go into traffic and take a hit to make a play, he’s not there for me yet.”
  • Last Word On Sports; “Leon Draisaitl is a big centre with excellent reach and stickhandling ability. He protects the puck very well, especially in the cycle game.  He also has the vision and the passing skill to finds an open teammate with a quick and accurate pass. Draisaitl also has a strong and accurate wrist shot, with a very good release, leading to goal scoring ability. Draisaitl is not afraid to take the puck to the net, and has the soft hands to finish when he gets there. What is most impressive though is his ability to read the play, and be in the right spot at the right time. Draisaitl has very impressive hockey sense.”
  • Player Point Comparison; Eric Staal Pts/G 1.49, Tyler Seguin Pts/G 1.68, , Gabriel Landeskog 1.25, Ryan Johansen 1.46 (+1 Draft Year), Brayden Schenn 1.26, Nazem Kadri 1.39
  • Draisaitl year before draft Pts/G .91, Landeskog .75, Johansen .97 (Draft Year), Schenn 1.08, Staal 1.11,  Nazem Kadri .96
  • For the statistical comparison, he is within range for all of these players and all these players became top six NHL players.  His scouting report reads that he is responsible in both ends.  I wonder if he will need to take a couple of years development before he’s able to play a top six role.
  • My notes; “There’s some very good players in the point comparable’s.  I think that Draisaitl will be a legit NHL player, he’s got good junior numbers and.  Whether he becomes a top line player or a second line player is the question.  He has good size (not necessarily height) and protects the puck well.  At this point I think he’s ahead of Brayden Schenn & Ryan Johansen again that’s at this stage.  I am worried that people are expecting the second coming of Kopitar, Malkin or Thornton.  Malkin & Kopitar were playing in men’s leagues when they were drafted and Thornton put up 1.73 Pts/G as a July born.  He’s a cut below them at least at this stage.”

 4. Michael Dal Colle

  • Craig Button from TSN; “Michael is just beginning to ‘touch’ his physical maturity. His combination of size, skill and power will only be enhanced as he continues to grow on and off the ice.”
  • Brock Otten from OHLProspect.blogspot.com; “Similar to Bennett, Dal Colle has been on a roll all season long. With or without Scott Laughton, Dal Colle has been able to use his big body to create offense in Oshawa. His skating is noticeably improved over last year and it’s made him quicker to the net and to loose pucks, which has resulted in his line generally dominating time of possession. I’m not sure I see him being a true power forward in the NHL, more like a Bobby Ryan, but he still holds a ton of value and (like Bennett) should be a definite top 10 selection in 2014.”
  • Last Word On Sports; “The first thing you notice about Michael Dal Colle if you watch him for a full game is his stickhandling ability. It might be the best of any player in this draft. His soft hands are absolutely elite and he can do things with the puck that others only dream of doing. I would grade this as an A+ skill for him. Dal Colle has shown an excellent ability to play the cycle game protecting the puck down low, and making quick, smart passes. When given openings he cane drive the net and show off those soft hands in close, and they give him the ability to beat defenders and goaltenders one-on-one. He’s also a power winger who is strong on his skates and also isn’t afraid to bulldoze through a defender if necessary. Willing to take a hit to make a play, he’s also unfraid to dish them out. Dal Colle can only improve as he adds more strength. He also has a strong and accurate wrist shot.”
  • Mitch Kasprick; Michael Dal Colle’s great hands, great vision and compete level should make him a “Top 10″ first round draft pick.  He’s a very solid hockey player already and is trending upwards and could be rated even higher come draft time.  Dal Colle looks like he has the potential to be “Top 6″ NHL forward capable of playing in all situations.  A player to watch closely.
  • Pts/G (1.42) Comparable’s; Bobby Ryan 1.44, Rick Nash 1.33, Jakub Voracek 1.46, Joffrey Lupul 1.47, Scottie Upshall 1.36
  • My notes; Here’s a guy that I think could be drafted earlier than expected.  He has good size, he’s a late birthday (June 20th), good point totals.  His point totals are similar to Ryan (2nd overall), Nash (1st), Voracek (7th), and Lupul (7th) not too bad and this is considered a “bad” draft year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Calgary drafts him with the 4th overall.  He’s a power forward but not in the Rick Tocchett, Cam Neely sense more, just a big guy with good hands.  Keep reading about his hands and skill level.  He’s a really good player, if he was a center I could see the Oilers considering him.”

Essential Draft Reading

Essential Draft Reading

Tom Poti

Couple of notes on former OilerTom Poti who retired today.

  • Poti retired today.  He is 15th in scoring for an Oilers defenseman.
  • 3rd round (59th overall), 1996 NHL Entry
  • 1998-99 All Rookie Team
  • One of only 17 defenseman to score 100 in Copper and Blue.
  • Traded to NY Rangers by Edmonton with Rem Murray for Mike York and NY Rangers’ 4th round choice (Ivan Koltsov) in 2002 Entry Draft, March 19, 2002.
  • 2003 All-Star
  • Ranks 138th All Time for Points by a Defensman.
  • Only 2 points behind Hall of Famer – Rod Langway
  • GP 824 – G 69 – A 258 – PTS 327

Here’s the list of Edmonton Oilers defenseman to score 100.  The next one to crack the 100 point mark will likely be Justin Schultz.

Player Active GP G A PTS
Paul Coffey* 7 532 209 460 669
Kevin Lowe 15 1037 74 309 383
Charlie Huddy 11 694 81 287 368
Steve Smith 7 385 46 172 218
Randy Gregg 8 453 40 148 188
Janne Niinimaa 6 399 34 154 188
Lee Fogolin 8 586 36 125 161
Boris Mironov 6 320 42 118 160
Tom Gilbert 6 384 33 125 158
Risto Siltanen 3 206 38 113 151
Steve Staios 8 573 35 111 146
Jason Smith 8 542 31 82 113
Craig Muni 7 493 24 87 111
Dave Manson 3 219 33 75 108
Tom Poti 4 285 27 78 105
Roman Hamrlik 3 196 22 81 103
Eric Brewer 4 315 29 71 100

Mitch Moroz

What are the chances of Mitch Moroz being a player for the Edmonton Oilers?

 

I wanted to get a list of comparable players to Mitch Moroz that went on to play in the NHL.  To see if there is a realistic shot of him making the show as anything more than an enforcer.

Here is the list of 11 players that I had compared him too.  The list was a range of players who are physical, agitating, two-way players that take a regular shift.

Player 17 / Pts/G 18 Pts/G 19 Pts/G
Marcus Foligno 0.461538462 0.582089552 1.255319
Dale Weise 0.339622642 0.641791045 0.943396
Chris Neill 0.446153846 0.93220339 1.090909
Zack Smith 0.109375 0.436619718 0.972222
Max Lapierre 0.597222222 0.910447761 0.753623
Bryan Bickell 0.610169492 0.818181818 1.219512
Paul Gaustad 0.25 0.585714286 1.111111
Derek Dorsett 0.31372549 0.705882353 1.04918
Troy Brouwer 0.355932203 0.680555556 0.661972
Dwight King 0.709677419 0.958333333 0.9375
Average 0.419341678 0.725181881 0.999475
Mitch Moroz 0.378787879 0.492753623 0.9

So Moroz could be a valuable hockey player, then great!  Maybe I should slow down, I am taking the most successful data.  Essentially saying don’t write the player off.Outside of Moroz’s 18 year old season he is within the range of the majority of these players.  What should we expect from Moroz in his first professional season?  Looking at the list there are some very useful hockey players.  Most of them aren’t top 6 material, but they are players that NHL teams value.

People are upset about the pick for two reasons.  The likelihood of Moroz turning out might not be the greatest (more on the later) and the pick that he was chosen with.

Of all the players listed above only two (Lapierre & Bickell) were second round picks.  The players above ranged from 41st (Bickell) to 214 (Brouwer) and the average was 128.5.  If Moroz was a 3rd or 4th round pick.  He would be tracking well, but he was chosen early second.  There were better players on the board.  Which is true.  There were also better players on the board when the Hawks picked Bickell.  Personally, I like Nik Kerdiles over Moroz in this type of role.  My pick would have been Matt Finn though.  The thing is you can’t change the pick, otherwise I’m sure all 20 other teams would have selected Messier before the Oilers.

From 2000 – 09 I started looking through players that fit a similar type that were drafted in the 2nd round.  Here’s the list:

Player Draft Year Pts/G Pts/G +1  Pts/G +2
Chris Thorburn 0.818181818 0.865671642 1.109375
Ryan Stone 0.833333333 1.16 1.414286
BJ Crombeen 0.73015873 0.806451613 0.777778
Blake Comeau 0.464788732 0.723076923 1.233333
Dane Byers 0.333333333 0.307692308 0.676056
Nick Palmieri 0.803571429 0.92 1.065574
Patrice Cormier 0.803921569 0.944444444 1
Phil McRae 0.696969697 1.016949153 0.980769
Kyle Clifford 0.466666667 0.982758621
Milan Lucic 0.306451613 0.971428571
Average 0.625737692 0.869847327 1.032146

What are his chances?

The average chance of a second round pick playing 200+ games in the NHL is roughly 25 – 30%.  I don’t see any clear data that suggests that Moroz has less than a 25% chance of breaking the 200+ game barrier.

Good teams (LA, Boston, NYR, St.L & NJ) make these types of picks early in the draft.  Teams draft for organizational needs.  Mitch Moroz’s his second year is a cause for concern, but from a positive standpoint I think his final junior year was within range.  I think we can all agree that Moroz likely isn’t going to magically turn into Milan Lucic.

If Moroz is going to make it, I think it’s going to be in the mold of Comeau, Clifford or Thorburn.  A nasty type player that can play a regular shift.  He could be a useful player.

How long will Moroz take?

For people wondering when Moroz will get there and take Gazdic’s role.  It’s likely going to take some time, 5 players that I consider good comps were Marcus Foligno, Chris Neil, Chris Thorburn, Derek Dorsett & BJ Crombeen.

 

Player AHL Pts/G 1st AHL Pts/G 2nd
Marcus Foligno 0.65 0.818181818
Chris Neil 0.37254902 0.461538462
Chris Thorburn 0.379310345 0.397260274
Derek Dorsett 0.28125
BJ Crombeen 0.230769231
Average 0.382775719 0.558993518

Dorsett made the NHL full time after one season apprentice in the AHL.  Foligno was a season and a half.  Neil was a full two seasons in the minors.  Thorburn and Crombeen needed three years in the minors before becoming full-time players.  The weird part is Crombeen played his 2nd season in the ECHL & Finland, not sure why, which is why he’s not on the second season list.

Of the players that have played 100 or more games, every player, with the exception of BJ Crombeen, that has played their first 100 games with the team that drafted them.  Players value this type of player.

Moroz Expectations

Moroz is going to have a lot of competition for the physical bottom six role with the Oilers.  Going on the level of successful players on the lists above.  The expectation for Moroz for next season would be 25+ points in 2014-15 with the OKC Barons, if Moroz has 25 or more points next season this should be considered the normal adjusting period.  The second season should indicated whether we have a prospect.  In his second season we should expect to see an increased point totals in the range 45+, in order for us to consider Moroz a quality prospect.

Jeremie Blain

The Oilers are getting close to the June 1st deadline to sign their draft picks.  The big question is should the Oilers sign Jeremie Blain, Drew Czerwonka & Brandon Davidson.

Jeremie Blain:

Let’s take a look at the success rate for a 4th round pick and what should expect for Jeremie Blain.   What are the odds of Jeremie Blain being an impact defender?   Here’s a look at the success rate of 4th round players.

From 2001 to 2005 there were 150 players drafted. So far 22 will likely play 200+ which is around a 15% (14.6% to be exact) success rate. Among those players are; Ryan Callahan, Keith Yandle, Christian Erhoff, Nik Hjalmarsson, Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey & Tyler Kennedy. You also have several role players such as; Torrey Mitchell, Ray Emery, Ryan Jones & Jordin Tootoo.  I’d say between 7-10% of players drafted in the 4th round become average to above average players.

How does Blain compare to other defenseman drafted in the late 3rd & 4th round drafted out of the CHL?
Jermie Blain – 6’2 195 lbs – .86 PPG
Morgan Ellis – 6’2 195 – .86 PPG
Austin Madaisky – 6’2 200 – .71 PPG
Julian Melchiori – 6’4 210 – .51 PPG
Stephen Silas – 6′ 205 – .48 PPG
Brandon Archibald – 6’4 212 – .24 PPG
Alex Theriau – 6’1 185 – .24 PPG

As far as peers the only player that Blain compares to is Morgan Ellis, who according to Hockey’s Future is the 3rd rated defenseman prospect in Montreal’s system, behind two first round picks Tinordi & Beaulieu.

Last year there were 4 2010 1st round D-men picks playing in the CHL. Blain has outscored them all except Brandon Gormley.
10. Dylan McIlrath – .44
13. Brandon Gormley – .91
22. Jared Tinordi – .33
23. Mark Pysk – .67
46. Martin Marincin – .69

In fact, other than Gormley the only other CHL defenseman that is outscoring Blain is – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc.

Blain plays with a bit of grit and has decent size.  The scouting reports say that he has excellent vision, hockey sense and has good offensive ability. One area of need for the Edmonton Oilers defense prospects is the PP QB, Blain might be candidate for this list. He does have injury concerns, and needs to improve on his skating, but nothing that would shy me away from an ELC.

Jeremie Blain has done his part to earn an NHL contract, now the Oilers need to see if he can continue his development and if he will be one of the 15% to become an NHL regular.

Jesse Wallin (Potential Sutter Coaching Staff)

If Sutter is coach of the Edmonton Oilers, could Jesse Wallin (HC of Red Deer Rebels) be one of his assistant coaches?  Wallin has several connections to Sutter & the Oilers.

Jesse Wallin

  • Jesse Wallin was the Junior HC of RNH.
  • Wallin was under Brent Sutter in his final years of coaching the Rebels  Typically, the HC gets to choose an assistant of his choice, it would make sense that
  • He is well respected enough by Hockey Canada (with whom the Oilers have connections too) to be the HC of the U18 Canadian team.

What is Wallin’s background?  He was a former Detroit Red Wings 1st round pick that played 49 games and retired due to concussion problems.  After taking two seasons off he apprenticed as an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels (Wallin’s Junior team) under Brent Sutter for three seasons, until taking the reigns in 2008-2009.

Although Wallin has 7 years coaching experience, due to retiring at a young age (25), is a young coach that would be an excellent choice to communicate to the young, developing defense squad.  Although, there is not a huge prospect base coming through Red Deer the last 4 years.  He has had a hand in developing RNH, Alex Petrovic, Matt Dumba and Darcy Kuemper.

Due to his ties with Sutter, I think that Wallin would be considered for Sutter’s staff in the event that Sutter is the candidate.

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