The Calder

Lowetide
July 12 2010 08:19AM

The Edmonton Oilers are extremely likely to have a strong rookie-of-the-year candidate in 2010-11. They have three outstanding prospects (Magnus Pääjärvi, Jordan Eberle, Chipper Jones) and enough job openings to make one believe anything is possible.

Some coaches/managers dole out minutes to rookies with a thimble, others are more generous. They key is being "NHL ready" which is something Oilers rookie forwards have rarely been over the last decade. Ales Hemsky came to the show early because the organization felt he could learn more in the NHL than playing another season in the Q. Sam Gagner arrived in TC fall 2007 fresh from an international tournament and weeks ahead of many others in terms of conditioning.

Craig MacTavish didn't have a lot of "big minutes" rookies during his Edmonton coaching career. Here are his forwards, with their total time-on-ice in rookie seasons.

  1. Sam Gagner (07-08) 1238:31
  2. Andrew Cogliano (07-08) 1112:17
  3. Kyle Brodziak (07-08) 1033:24
  4. Jarret Stoll (03-04) 945:18
  5. Patrick Thoresen (06-07) 776:33
  6. Ales Hemsky (02-03) 712:12
  7. Jason Chimera (02-03) 710:06
  8. Marc Pouliot (06-07) 600:12
  9. Dom Pittis (00-01) 506:13
  10. Liam Reddox (08-09) 481:39
  11. Brad Winchester (06-07) 476:18
  12. Mike Comrie (00-01) 466:54
  13. Shawn Horcoff (00-01) 452:12
  14. Fernando Pisani (02-03) 375:18
  15. Jean Francois Jacques (06-07) 292:44
  16. Zach Stortini (06-07) 207:27
  17. Brian Swanson (00-01) 174:38
  18. Mike Bishai (03-04) 128:18
  19. Tony Salmlelainen (03-04) 125:27
  20. Michel Riesen (00-01) 118:53
  21. Jani Rita (02-03) 114:26
  22. Steve MacIntyre (08-09) 86:07

There were maybe 5 rookies who got big time playing time (the top 4 and Comrie when he signed) in their rookie seasons. Hemsky was given 153 minutes on the powerplay, a large portion of his rookie season. He was spotted too, meaning his chances of being a strong Calder candidate were dashed by not getting enough at-bats (even with only 712 minutes of ice-time, Hemsky finished 2nd in the NHL in rookie assists, 2002-03).

Of note here are the three rookies who played more than 1,000 minutes in 2007-08. Gagner, Cogliano and Brodziak got a lot of playing time in their first season, although only Gagner got big PP minutes (Cogliano got quite a few too, with Brodziak getting PK time).

Tom Renney handled rookies in a similar way in his time as head coach. In his 4 (well most of 4) seasons with the Rangers, Renney doled out the rookie minutes to forwards thusly:

  1. Brandon Dubinsky (07-08) 1188:59
  2. Dominic Moore (05-06) 1022:28
  3. Petr Prucha (05-06) 931:02
  4. Nigel Dawes (07-08) 792:04
  5. Lauri Korpikoski (08-09) 742:09
  6. Ryan Callahan (07-08) 643:29
  7. Ryan Hollweg (05-06) 376:40

Last season, NHL coaches gave 9 rookie forwards 1000+ minutes of time on ice. The Colorado Avalanche had three of them (Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, TJ Galiardi) and would probably be the template for this season's Oilers crop up front. Duchene received an enormous amount of PP time and the other two were given extened auditions on the PK. I'm not certain if there's a penalty-killer among the Oilers kids but we'll see.

Finally, which of these kids is most likely to be the frontrunner on his own team? Desjardins NHL equivalenvies give us an educated look at the problem. Desjardins NHLE's have impressive predictive power, but these three young players are very close in terms of potential offense:

  1. Jordan Eberle 22-24-46
  2. Taylor Hall 17-29-46
  3. Magnus Pääjärvi 16-22-38

None of them have shown themselves as "complete" players, offering a wide range of skills and giving the coach a trustworthy option in all areas. If I had to guess which of the three emerges as the strongest Calder candidate, it would be Taylor Hall. First overall means he'll get all kinds of opportunity, his Desjardins NHLE is as impressive as Stamkos at the same age, left-wing is wide open on the Oilers and what better way to signal a new beginning than to see your first overall pick win the Calder the following season. It has "Gilbert Perreault" style appeal, a young organization going in the right direction. Finally, and perhaps most important, he is a "shooter" and that might give him a slight edge on the PP role that might be open for one rookie; however, the other two are no slouches in this department.

The truth is any of these three could win the Calder trophy in 2010-11.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 RossCreekNation
July 12 2010, 05:34PM
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I think only 1 of Pääjärvi or Eberle will start here. I'm gonna say I think Magnus will see the toughest minutes of the 3. Eberle will join the team in Dec. Hall will have most pts. None will see Calder.

Now you know...

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#102 madjam
July 12 2010, 05:39PM
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How soon should we start booking Ft. Edmonton facilities/ venues for Stanley Parade and partying afterwards with the players, etc .? Nice venue to top off a Sinsational season . Any ideas for type of activities , bands and concerts you might like to see ? Any volunteers ?

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#103 Nate Full of Hate
July 12 2010, 05:44PM
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Colorado should try to get Simon Gagne or Lee Stempniak.

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#104 Nate Full of Hate
July 12 2010, 05:46PM
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Nickleback or Beiber fever baby!

Tambi hoisting the Cup out the top of his Aveo sunroof...

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#105 OILERSORDEATH
July 12 2010, 05:59PM
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What do you huys think of the Oil possibly going after A.Frolov? Why the hell not? Maybe throw out an offer around 4-1/2 ish?

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#106 Ender
July 12 2010, 06:03PM
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Wierd. While I kind of expected the three-headed monster in goal to start the season (it's getting to be routine), I was thinking that they'd lock in JDD before Dubnyk. I don't know know whether this signing will give more leverage to JDD now or the Oilers.

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#107 Nate Full of Hate
July 12 2010, 06:05PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

What do you huys think of the Oil possibly going after A.Frolov? Why the hell not? Maybe throw out an offer around 4-1/2 ish?

No sense adding an additional LW or "top 6" forward unless it's a #1 center..

Unless your plan is to have Eberle in OKC???

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#108 madjam
July 12 2010, 06:06PM
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Nate Full of Hate wrote:

Nickleback or Beiber fever baby!

Tambi hoisting the Cup out the top of his Aveo sunroof...

Now your getting the spirit ! How about some free trips given away to attendees as well ? Crazy ? No . Was asked to be part of small group that was planning on using Ft. Edmonton for a business venture similiar to what i suggested . Between a rather small admittance fee and economic boom to the city , etc . it's just to bad the deal fell thru before final plans got put in play .

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#109 David S
July 12 2010, 06:43PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Oh Nate. I didn't steal it from you, it is an idea that's been out there for a long time. I mentioned it here:

http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-2010-top-20-prospects.html

but the truth is that someone probably posted it months ago. You and I mulled it over, agreed and then began posting about it.

Right? I mean, we're all influenced by each other, can we agree? And there are a lot of smart folks on the internet.

It has been my experience in life that the guy/girl who came up with the original idea is rarely the one posting about it BEING their idea on the internet. They're original thinkers, and have moved on.

As should we. :-)

http://www.allamericanblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/OrsonWellesClap.gif

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#110 Matt Henderson
July 12 2010, 06:50PM
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Ender wrote:

Wierd. While I kind of expected the three-headed monster in goal to start the season (it's getting to be routine), I was thinking that they'd lock in JDD before Dubnyk. I don't know know whether this signing will give more leverage to JDD now or the Oilers.

Maybe JDD is sticking to his Arbitration guns and the team had no choice but to get DD finished first.

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#111 Matt Henderson
July 12 2010, 06:53PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

Hmmm, i don't know if i agree with you. His defence is lacking. Sure, he put up a fight, but even with all that jam and moxie, the opposition still got the goal. -1.

You cant blame the cat that the bear took the Garbage. That cat had no teammates to work with. Who was gonna stop the Bear? The laughing baby in background? That lady could have thrown that baby at the bear and it still would have taken the garbage.

This is an individual award, not a team award.

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#112 Oil_Loc8or
July 12 2010, 07:20PM
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@Matt Henderson

Maybe some people on the staff think JDD isn't as good. The only reason the Oilers never sent JDD to free agency is they are waiting until Khabby's legal issues are decided and surgery recover.This is kind of what I was talking about yesterday.

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#113 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 12 2010, 07:25PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

What do you huys think of the Oil possibly going after A.Frolov? Why the hell not? Maybe throw out an offer around 4-1/2 ish?

I'd say defense or a 2 way PK'ing forward is a far more pressing need then another scoring winger.

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#114 Oil_Loc8or
July 12 2010, 07:31PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

What's wrong with going after proven scoring talent ? All this talk about PK is good we need another PK'ing forward but most of our talented forwards are unproven.

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#115 Nate Full of Hate
July 12 2010, 07:33PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'd say defense or a 2 way PK'ing forward is a far more pressing need then another scoring winger.

Best comment you've ever come up with!

The training wheels will be off in no time, so proud...

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#116 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 12 2010, 07:37PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

What's wrong with going after proven scoring talent ? All this talk about PK is good we need another PK'ing forward but most of our talented forwards are unproven.

And we have 2 proven PK/defensive forwards.

Add all the scoring forwards you want, but we're going to get killed in our own end this year with out some upgrades.

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