The Oilers Right Wing Depth Chart

Jonathan Willis
May 18 2014 02:52PM

83-Hemsky-6

Last season, Edmonton started the year with right wing as its strongest position. Jordan Eberle led a group that included the NHL’s rookie scoring leader, Nail Yakupov, and the always useful Ales Hemsky. Fighting for the fourth-line job were a trio of players with some nice points – training camp standout Jesse Joensuu, enforcer Mike Brown and minor-league scorer Ryan Hamilton (who primarily plays left wing).

It was a pretty good looking group, but it took some hits over the course of the season. Now the Oilers face a summer that will see further changes to the group.

The Givens

14-Eberle-11

There has been no shortage of trade speculation involving Jordan Eberle over the years, and I’ve written some of it myself. The departure of Hemsky and the struggles of Yakupov should put an end to it; right now Eberle is indisputably the best right wing on the team and the only sure thing at the position. He isn’t a perfect player but he is a legitimate first-liner and a very nice piece of this team.

64-Yakupov-8

Nail Yakupov should probably slot in here, too. He has a long way to go as an NHL player, but he’s also capable of plays offensively that only a tiny fraction of NHL players can pull off. His development is a key story for the Edmonton Oilers; it might even be the key story of Dallas Eakins’ tenure as coach. He should slot in on a protected scoring line with some quality help.

Unresolved

57-Perron-7

The Oilers need to add a player who can take on the minutes Ales Hemsky was capable of playing. Ideally, he’s a little bigger and a little tougher and he doesn’t need to have quite as much offensive skill, but the big thing here is that he’s a guy capable of playing tough minutes while providing some scoring. It’s worth mentioning that David Perron could well slide over to fill this slot if the Oilers have more luck in finding a left wing with those qualities.

Joensuu, Jesse

That’s really the only add the Oilers need to make; they have no shortage of internal candidates for the fourth-line role, a group which by my count includes the following:

  • Jesse Joenssuu. The big Finn was brilliant in training camp last season, got hurt, and never returned to form. He has the frame the Oilers want, is willing to go to dirty areas and isn’t scared of the puck but for long portions of last season he didn’t look like an NHL player.
  • Steve Pinizzotto. The pending UFA is as mean as any of the options the Oilers have at their disposal here, he’s an accomplished penalty-killer, and he’s been quite a decent minor-league scorer over his career. At 6’1”, 200 pounds he isn’t as big as other guys and at age 30 he’s an awfully late-bloomer, but he can skate and he can hit and he can play.
  • Tyler Pitlick. A big, fast forward who finally had a breakthrough season in OKC, Pitlick looked pretty good during his NHL recalls. The problem is that he’s been perpetually injured, and this goes back at least as far as his rookie pro season. He might be a very nice player but he can’t be counted on.

51-Lander-2

The Oilers could also employ centres Anton Lander or Mark Arcobello at right wing, or move left wings like Matt Hendricks and Ryan Hamilton to right wing. Additionally, if the team (as I suspect) wants to bump Matt Hendricks down to the fourth line, it’s possible either that Hendricks slides over or that enforcer Luke Gazdic gets some shifts at right wing.

Philip Larsen probably isn’t long for the Oilers organization, and if he is it’s probably at defence, but I think it’s worth noting that he might have played his best hockey last season during a stint at right wing.

So What Happens?

26-Arcobello-1

Jordan Eberle gets the feature role, outside hire (or David Perron) takes on tough minutes behind him, and Nail Yakupov gets the spot on a sheltered scoring line that he needs to succeed.

Unless the Oilers cull the herd significantly, there should be a dogfight for the fourth-line job and Dallas Eakins and his staff will have the luxury of picking the guy who best complements the players at centre and left wing. I’ve started wondering whether Anton Lander’s shifts at right wing late last season were an audition for this job; if so he didn’t show very well. As Lowetide hinted earlier today, this might be Mark Arcobello’s route to a job in the starting-12, though it’s worth remembering that the coaches didn’t have much time for him as a fourth-liner last season.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 a lg dubl dubl
May 19 2014, 08:47AM
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I'm of the mind set that MacT should give up on the draft for a yr or 2, use draft picks as part of trades to obtain players that can help now, not 3-5 yrs from now.

The Oilers have enough depth in the system to sign college kids and younger UFAs imo, hence using picks this yr and next to get guys like Phaneuf or Umberger (if they want to come here).

Spitballing here:

Phanuef and Kadri for 2015 1st and Petry

Umberger and CBJ 1st for the 3rd pick this yr

Kadri can be the the 2c, Umberger and Gagner can switch when needed on the 3c spot.

Trash away if you want lol, my point still stands enough hoping the draft turns the team into contenders get vets that will. MacT can restock the cupboards with picks in a few yrs from now.

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#52 Serious Gord
May 19 2014, 08:51AM
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Sketchy wrote:

Accountability in the oilers organization is more elusive than flying rainbow colored unicorns. It's so frustrating because I've been an oiler fan my entire life but how can I justify supporting such an incompetent and poorly run team anymore?

Sometimes I wonder if we are not unlike fans of the islanders and the hawks during Wirtz's worst days - tolerating perennial and league leading incompetence to cheer for our team.

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#53 Thumby
May 19 2014, 09:00AM
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RexHolez wrote:

Agreed. I'd like phaneuf over a guy like say letang. So the question becomes what do you give up for him? I wouldn't give the 3ov either but you'd need to give something the leafs need. Does Gagner and Marincin do it?

Please don't trade the one D man that looked decent last year...

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#54 Serious Gord
May 19 2014, 09:38AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I'm of the mind set that MacT should give up on the draft for a yr or 2, use draft picks as part of trades to obtain players that can help now, not 3-5 yrs from now.

The Oilers have enough depth in the system to sign college kids and younger UFAs imo, hence using picks this yr and next to get guys like Phaneuf or Umberger (if they want to come here).

Spitballing here:

Phanuef and Kadri for 2015 1st and Petry

Umberger and CBJ 1st for the 3rd pick this yr

Kadri can be the the 2c, Umberger and Gagner can switch when needed on the 3c spot.

Trash away if you want lol, my point still stands enough hoping the draft turns the team into contenders get vets that will. MacT can restock the cupboards with picks in a few yrs from now.

Kadri is another small centre with nil physical presence - the last thing the oil need.

Phaneuf needs to go to a non-hockey market were he can be an effective # 2 with Toronto paying a big chunk of his salary.

And little chance Toronto would make that trade - who the hell wants Petry?

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#55 madjam
May 19 2014, 09:42AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I'm of the mind set that MacT should give up on the draft for a yr or 2, use draft picks as part of trades to obtain players that can help now, not 3-5 yrs from now.

The Oilers have enough depth in the system to sign college kids and younger UFAs imo, hence using picks this yr and next to get guys like Phaneuf or Umberger (if they want to come here).

Spitballing here:

Phanuef and Kadri for 2015 1st and Petry

Umberger and CBJ 1st for the 3rd pick this yr

Kadri can be the the 2c, Umberger and Gagner can switch when needed on the 3c spot.

Trash away if you want lol, my point still stands enough hoping the draft turns the team into contenders get vets that will. MacT can restock the cupboards with picks in a few yrs from now.

Too many high draft picks can also have it's dilemmas . Florida and Oilers have the most depth developing already , and I believe Buffalo is close at third . Guess who the bottom 3 in the league are ? This year might be a good year for your proposal , but we'll see where we finish for next season before dealing that one away just yet . Right now we look destined for the bottom again at least in conference . I would not be in a rush to rid our team of good veterans , as there are very few of them now .

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#56 a lg dubl dubl
May 19 2014, 10:28AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Kadri is another small centre with nil physical presence - the last thing the oil need.

Phaneuf needs to go to a non-hockey market were he can be an effective # 2 with Toronto paying a big chunk of his salary.

And little chance Toronto would make that trade - who the hell wants Petry?

Kadri, I agree isn't the ideal 2c I'd like for the Oilers, I'd prefer Stastny but I suspect he'd want 7.5 per at least to sign here if he doesn't resign with the Avs. Kadri is a bit better points wise than Gagner, and in the same ball park as Gags $$ wise.

Phaneuf, no matter what the market is, under the right coach could do better than he did under Carlyle. Is Eakins that coach, maybe maybe not but imo he's more apt to learning different styles than Carlyle.

Like I said I was just spitballing in my last post....boy did I get trashed lol! :/ :)-

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#57 RexHolez
May 19 2014, 10:43AM
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Thumby wrote:

Please don't trade the one D man that looked decent last year...

Marincin is a good D but I'd rather trade him then Klefbom because Klefbom brings a diffrent type of game that we don't have much of.

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#58 nuge2nail
May 19 2014, 10:50AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Kadri, I agree isn't the ideal 2c I'd like for the Oilers, I'd prefer Stastny but I suspect he'd want 7.5 per at least to sign here if he doesn't resign with the Avs. Kadri is a bit better points wise than Gagner, and in the same ball park as Gags $$ wise.

Phaneuf, no matter what the market is, under the right coach could do better than he did under Carlyle. Is Eakins that coach, maybe maybe not but imo he's more apt to learning different styles than Carlyle.

Like I said I was just spitballing in my last post....boy did I get trashed lol! :/ :)-

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think your comment got trashed because Umberger sucks and your trading our 3rd overall away for him.

Ekblad for Umberger....

Yeah I don't think so.

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#59 nuge2nail
May 19 2014, 11:02AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

This is going to be our bottom 6 this year imo.

Downie Umberger Moss

Hendricks Gordan Pitlick

I don't think MacT will be able to pick up a top 2C or a top 2D this off season.

He will spend our 28+ Mil in cap space on 3rd and 4th liners, overpaying each signing to make it happen.

Our bottom 6 will no longer be the issue but the team will still suck.

Oiler fans will come to a realization that the real issue the past 7 years has not been the bottom six but the top 6 and defense.

We will draft McDavid or Eichal and finally end the longest rebuild in history when the new stadium is opening.

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#60 RexHolez
May 19 2014, 11:21AM
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@nuge2nail

"Oiler fans will come to a realization that the real issue the past 7 years has not been the bottom six but the top 6 and defense."

I think oil fans came to that realization years ago.

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#61 Rama Lama
May 19 2014, 11:28AM
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I'm watching with glee all the writers & posters getting all lathered up predicting who plays where.

We all know that every player except Hall and Eberle have regressed under Eakins. He as continuously played players out of their roles and position, juggling incessantly trying to find some chemistry for the failing of his "systems", or lack of systems!

We have some talent but until it is deployed by a sensible coach putting players in positions to succeed, I'm not writing anyone off. There have been too many players sent to other team that have been very successful..........and now we want them back.

It's time to admit that coaching is still our number one problem.

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#62 Tapdog
May 19 2014, 12:21PM
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Racki wrote:

The way I see it, I think we could get a lot more out of the Petrys, Marincins, Kelfboms, ... even Gilberts... if there were proper players for them to play with.

To me, we had a guy like Visnovsky who was a great defensman for Grebs or Gilbert to play with, so we go and trade him for Ryan Whitney. OOOooook. I think MacTavish is smarter than that though. I think if you land a guy like Phaneuf, you will finally see what Justin Schultz, or even Jeff Petry can be. For too long, these young guys have been expected to carry the defensive load when really they should be more sheltered. Most other young, big name D-men have had the benefit of playing with safe d-men to help them transition to the NHL game. The trend during the Tambellini era was to sink-or-swim most of our prospects. That to me is the same strategy the CBJ had years ago. It doesn't work, and worse yet, to me it destroys these players.

If we have to sacrifice a guy like Marincin to bring in a long term blue line presence though, so be it.

Phaneuf I believe shoots left but plays the right side? making Petry or Shultz an improper match.

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#63 Tapdog
May 19 2014, 12:24PM
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blainer wrote:

I would like perron and Yak to stay on the wing they are comfortable with. Put Yak on the right side and keep him there .. Eakins is just making it harder for him to adjust to the pro game when switching him on the wings. I like Perron in the 2nd left wing spot. I do like the idea of a sheltered scoring line with Yak.. that means Gordon and Hendricks and Arco move to the fourth line which to me is more of a 3B line. There are that many holes to fill its scary. Do NOT dress Gazdic much.. please..we need offence.

Now why would the Oilers do this.... play them where they best play... Don't you know they are smarter than your average management group... They are always reinventing the wheel here.... and we wonder why the suckage continues..

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#64 Zarny
May 19 2014, 12:41PM
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No position epitomizes the Oilers' poor decision making during the rebuild like RW.

Hemsky was injury prone and never had the work ethic or drive to be a real leader but he's a legit top 6 F and was in his prime when Hall was selected. As a 21 y/o, Eberle put up 76 pt in 78 games.

And yet instead of trading the 2012 1st overall pick or addressing one of the massive holes at C or D the Oilers chose to add another RW with Yakupov.

When you only ice 6 players at a time no position is irrelevant; but W is lowest on the totem pole. Nobody builds up the side. Nobody successful at least.

Which is why the Oilers should look at moving Yakupov and/or Eberle. Both are beauts but both are also replaceable.

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#65 Oilers
May 19 2014, 01:10PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

This is going to be our bottom 6 this year imo.

Downie Umberger Moss

Hendricks Gordan Pitlick

I don't think MacT will be able to pick up a top 2C or a top 2D this off season.

He will spend our 28+ Mil in cap space on 3rd and 4th liners, overpaying each signing to make it happen.

Our bottom 6 will no longer be the issue but the team will still suck.

Oiler fans will come to a realization that the real issue the past 7 years has not been the bottom six but the top 6 and defense.

We will draft McDavid or Eichal and finally end the longest rebuild in history when the new stadium is opening.

This is so true.

All those people Trashing this. Do you want to put some money on it?

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#66 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
May 19 2014, 01:10PM
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Price is out, Habs are screwed. Hehe.

I think whoever wins the western conference final wins the cup. Can't see NYR beating the Hawks or Kings.

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#67 The artist formerly known as Harry
May 19 2014, 01:33PM
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Zarny wrote:

No position epitomizes the Oilers' poor decision making during the rebuild like RW.

Hemsky was injury prone and never had the work ethic or drive to be a real leader but he's a legit top 6 F and was in his prime when Hall was selected. As a 21 y/o, Eberle put up 76 pt in 78 games.

And yet instead of trading the 2012 1st overall pick or addressing one of the massive holes at C or D the Oilers chose to add another RW with Yakupov.

When you only ice 6 players at a time no position is irrelevant; but W is lowest on the totem pole. Nobody builds up the side. Nobody successful at least.

Which is why the Oilers should look at moving Yakupov and/or Eberle. Both are beauts but both are also replaceable.

I agree. Im not trying to dump on Yakupov but that pick was single handedly the worst choice of the last 4 years.

Just imagine at the time what that pick would have returned in a trade. Yak was the undisputed #1 at the time. Edm could have traded down, still got a top 15 pick and some much needed usefull depth players.

I cant help but think that the same might hold true for the 3rd overall at this years draft.

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#68 RexHolez
May 19 2014, 01:51PM
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@The artist formerly known as Harry

I do wonder what kind of defenceman we could have got with that #1 yak pick? Kept hemsky and had a true stud on the back end?? That's probably what a successful team would have done

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#69 RT26
May 19 2014, 02:08PM
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JW,

I really like Yakupov, but would he and our #1 pick get us Letang?

If we could grab him and another Phaneuf/ Coburn type from a trade, we would have a much deeper and more realistic defensive corps.

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#70 a lg dubl dubl
May 19 2014, 02:19PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think your comment got trashed because Umberger sucks and your trading our 3rd overall away for him.

Ekblad for Umberger....

Yeah I don't think so.

Yea that's what I thought to but it was also for their pick in the draft, 16th according to TSN.

Umberger and Haydn Fluery or who ever for Ekblad.

Or another route the Oil could take if they did my trade for Umberger is see if the Pens want the 16th for Despres or Harrington.

This armchair GMing is fun! HA

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#71 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 19 2014, 02:37PM
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Oiler fans remain hopeful, but it's really starting to look like they'll still be a non playoff team when they open the new building for the 2016/2017 season. Over 10 yrs on the outside looking in. It's becoming clear playoffs within the next 2 seasons is highly unlikely with this many holes in the lineup. Have to believe Taylor Hall will be long gone by then.

We're screwed hockey fans.

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#72 Serious Gord
May 19 2014, 03:15PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Kadri, I agree isn't the ideal 2c I'd like for the Oilers, I'd prefer Stastny but I suspect he'd want 7.5 per at least to sign here if he doesn't resign with the Avs. Kadri is a bit better points wise than Gagner, and in the same ball park as Gags $$ wise.

Phaneuf, no matter what the market is, under the right coach could do better than he did under Carlyle. Is Eakins that coach, maybe maybe not but imo he's more apt to learning different styles than Carlyle.

Like I said I was just spitballing in my last post....boy did I get trashed lol! :/ :)-

Welcome to the "we got more trash than Oscar" club.

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#73 Yaz
May 19 2014, 03:19PM
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Blue wrote:

Gagner + Ference + a second (2015) for Phaneuf?

Keep away, this guy is a real headcase and team killer. Calgary could not get him out of town fast enough and now the Leafs have seen the same issues , we shouldn't even consider him for free let alone trade for him

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#74 Serious Gord
May 19 2014, 03:21PM
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Tapdog wrote:

Phaneuf I believe shoots left but plays the right side? making Petry or Shultz an improper match.

Apparently phaneuf shooting left and playing right is a very big issue according to john Shannon et al. He likes playing on the right side but he is less strong defensively there and apparently has been exposed on numerous occasions.

Priority one is to get him to move to the left side.

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#75 Rama Lama
May 19 2014, 04:03PM
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People, people,..........I feel compelled to state only a fool would trade away all your picks for immediate help!

Not even Tamby is that stupid.............sorry that was over the top. Tamby might do this except he never could identify talent properly.

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#76 nuge2nail
May 19 2014, 04:04PM
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RexHolez wrote:

"Oiler fans will come to a realization that the real issue the past 7 years has not been the bottom six but the top 6 and defense."

I think oil fans came to that realization years ago.

Oiler Domination To Follow

At the end of the lockout season the bottom six were blamed for the poor finish. By management, fans and media.

Seems like the blame was warranted at the time.

Since than Petry regressed, Shultz regressed, N Shultz regressed and Smid sucked.

Dubnyk ended his career , and Gagner sucked as well.

Come to think of it everyone regressed under Eakins.

Now its pretty clear the defense is to blame, but I'm not sold on the coaching either.

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#77 nuge2nail
May 19 2014, 04:36PM
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Oilers wrote:

This is so true.

All those people Trashing this. Do you want to put some money on it?

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think I get majority of my trashes for the above line.

When I suggest spending the cap on 2C or 2D(Statsny, Markhov, Legwand, Niskanen) I get trashed.

When I suggest spending the cap on 3rd Liners(Downie, Moss, Stempniak) I get trashed.

When I suggest spending the cap on players available via trade(Phaneuf, Umberger) I get trashed.

It seems any suggestion to make a move or trade gets trashed by Oilersnation- bunch of fans on here that prefer Tambellinis style of management I guess.

Oh and when I suggested we use the picks we get for Hemsky to acquire Viktor Fasth days before it happened, I got trashed.

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#78 Casey
May 20 2014, 04:10PM
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Are you guys joking? Oilers need depth at every position!! Defensive depth this year, Grebeshkov,Larsen,Fraser Forward depth this year,Acton,Hamilton,Lander,Pitlick. Our depth is consisted of AHL players or Prospects with a good potential that we are rushing into the league. Good team's depth are made up of AHL players that deserve to play in the NHL or players who have destroyed junior and are progressing well in the AHL

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