Jeff Deslauriers At Twenty-Three: What It Means Going Forward


The Oilers’ treatment of prospect Jeff Deslauriers this season has been controversial, to say the least. Some feel that Deslauriers doesn’t have enough of a track record to take up a roster spot, while others worry that so much inactivity could harm his development. I’m inclined to think that both points of view are somewhat correct.

As I did before the season, I feel that Jeff Deslauriers is likely to have an NHL career. And, again as I did before the season, I feel that Deslauriers’ eventual NHL career is unlikely to ever reach dizzying heights. The biggest reason for that feeling is his AHL performance. For simplicity’s sake, let’s take a look at his performance in 2007-08, his best season as a professional:

  • 2007-08: 26-23-5, 2.90 GAA, .912 SV% (23 years of age)

Just for comparisons sake, let’s take a look at current NHL goaltenders that played in the AHL or IHL at 23 and see how Deslauriers’ compares:

Mike Leighton: .926 SV%
Ryan Miller: .925 SV%
Miikka Kiprusoff: .924 SV%
Antero Niittymaki: .924 SV%
Yann Danis: .924 SV%
Marty Turco: .920 SV%
Ilya Bryzgalov: .919 SV%
Kevin Weekes: .919 SV%
Mathieu Garon: .918 SV%
Patrick Lalime: .918 SV%
J-S. Giguere: .917 SV%
Mike Smith: .917 SV%
Curtis McElhinney: .917 SV%
Manny Fernandez: .916 SV%
Jason Labarbera: .915 SV%

Jeff Deslauriers: .912 SV%

Vesa Toskala: .911 SV%
Manny Legace: .911 SV%
Mikael Tellqvist: .910 SV%
Dan Ellis: .909 SV%
Alex Auld: .909 SV%
Steve Valiquette: .907 SV%
Chris Mason: .904 SV%
Pekka Rinne: .904 SV%

Now, a chart like this has inherent problems: different goalies over different years (although most of the ones considered here are relatively close) and with different teams.

On the other hand, we are slanting things in Deslauriers’ favour by using his best professional season when we made this chart. Goaltenders are the most difficult players to project based on the numbers (see Mike Leighton’s position at the top of this list), but I think the implication is obvious: how many of the goaltenders underneath Deslauriers’ position in the chart would be worth risking games or taking up a roster spot to develop? It is a list of journeymen backups, players who are available every year in the free agent pool.

I’m not definitively saying that Jeff Deslauriers won’t surpass them. What I am saying is that the odds are not in his favour.

  • Hippy

    Wow. Something makes me think this Hemsky article is going to snowball into a major story by the end of the day. It is bad timing, but it seems like the guy is just being honest. If their star player isn't on board with the coach, then you have trouble. Maybe we should change it to FMNH: Fire Mac T Now Hemmer.

  • Hippy

    OvenChicken8 wrote:

    Has anyone read the new Dan Barnes article about Hemsky?

    I just did now that you pointed it out. [makes face]

    This is not what the team needs right now. Hemmer probably does feel that way, but I don't know that there's anything to be gained by taking his grievences public. Everyone tore MacT a new one earlier this year for calling out his players publicly; somehow, I'm guessing a double standard is going to be applied here, which is a damn shame.

    Hemsky being right or wrong isn't the issue. The issue is how you handle not getting what you want or need, and I don't think going on the record with this with ten games to play was a well-thought-out plan. Oh well; done is done. As a fly on the wall, it will be interesting to see how Hemmer's line flys tonight.

  • Hippy

    @ Ender the Dragon:
    I have been saying for some time now what is wrong with Hemsky, is he hurt? Well, it appears now we have the answer.

    If one of your few stars is not happy, that cannot be good. I appreciate what MacT wants from his team to win, but with very few offensive stars, I think you gotta let Hemsky go all out on the offense. The Oilers have enough checkers to make up for his defense.

    I do find it interesting that Hemsky expressed his views in the media. Congrat's to him. I suspect MacT and Lowe and Tambo don't appreciate it but you gotta give him credit.

    Hemsky isn't afraid to go into the tough area's and play hard. He gotta rid hime like you ride Roli and Souray.

    Only 10 games to go!

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    And that decision has salvaged the Oilers’ season and will probably save the coach’s job.
    I’m guessing he has no regrets.

    And sticking with Roloson could very well have cost them a playoff spot last year. Roloson has played well but I would not go so far as to say he salvaged the season.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    I see where you're going with JDD but I just don't believe in Huet. Especially with that ridiclous salary. I still a little bitter over Garon, I liked him.