Spring Arrives in the Hinterland

We’re at the point in the draft cycle where hockey men use hyperbole to describe the future. Ken Hitchcock has Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as a cross between a young Joe Sakic and a young Pavel Datsyk; Sean Couturier`s last name should be ‘Staal’ according to the comparables; and Adam Larsson is better than Lidstrom at this age. Apparently.

What does it all mean? Hell if I know. As a fan, I like to look at the numbers and try to apply common sense to them. For instance, Adam Larsson is still a kid but is playing in a man’s league. So, despite the impressive numbers of RNH and others, we need to pay special heed to what the big Swedish defender is doing now that the playoffs have arrived.

How is he doing? Well. His boxcars are 6gp, 0-2-2 -2 but as with all boxcars it’s a black and white photo in dire need of color. Here’s the back story on his playoff:

  • Game 1: 24:24 TOI even, 1 shot on goal and 2 hits in a win
  • Game 2: 23:19 TOI -1, 2 shots on goal and 1 hit in a loss
  • Game 3: 22:45 TOI even, 1 shot and 3 hits in another loss
  • Game 4: 24:37 TOI even, 2 shots in a win
  • Game 5: 21:47 TO! 1 assist, 3 shots on goal 2 pims and 3 hits in a win
  • Game 6: 22:14 TOI -1, 1 assist, 3 shots and 2 pims and 1 hit in a loss
  • Game 7: today

He’s averaging 23:11TOI during the post-season after averaging 18:44 during the regular season. Here are the Skelleftea blue with their playoff time-on-ice per game:

  1. Adam Larsson 23:11
  2. Tim Erixon 22:11
  3. David Rundblad 20:20
  4. Fredrik Lindgren 20:04
  5. Niclas Burstrom 18:18
  6. Ivan Majesky 15:18

Based on their experience and skill sets, I’d suggest that Rundblad and either Erixon or Lindgren are getting the powerplay minutes, leaving Larsson to evens and PK. We talked about Larsson and his scouting reports here and we know that the Oilers have a laundry list of needs rolling out over the next several years.

As we get closer to the draft–and with the understanding that some of these CHL forwards are kicking out the jams and making big impressions–it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue against Jim Matheson’s logic (stated most recently here). Last night, the Edmonton Oilers "hockey winter" reached a climax as the Avalanche drove the Oildrop further down the elevator shaft.

Spring arrives today, and with it the promise of renewal and growth. Staring at the numbers and sifting through the things our good friend math can tell us, Adam Larsson is extremely likely to be the best player available on draft day. Full stop.

  • The Farmer

    Just looking at the last few drafts, if they had a do over, do you think Erik Johnson goes as high, or Victor Hedman, the list goes on, I am not saying these players wont develop into superstars, but there is less of a chance. Erik Johnson has already been traded this early in his career. Why not let other organizations grow these elite D and then we can trade for them from our wealth of elite offensive talent when we know just how good the D is going to be.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    So Larsson’s team won game 7 by a score of 3-2, and are on to the next round of their playoffs. Larsson again had the greatest TOI on his team with 24:47, and he had 2 shots, 0 points, even +/-, and 2 PIM.

  • The RNH campaigners will be out in full force the next few weeks..

    It’s too bad Edmonton can’t afford to draft and develop this kid, he’s gonna be a beauty..

    If Tambi wasn’t able to land Taylor&Tyler, or Brayden Schenn…

    Don’t expect the Oilers to magically land another top 10 pick..

    This is a 6 year plan not a race for 8th.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Build your team from the net out. Dubnyk looks like a solid option going forward. Add Larsson (who at 18 is playing the most minutes on his team in the playoffs. If that isn’t a tell on how solid he is and the confidence his coach has in him. Not to mention that he eats up Even and PK minutes something we desperately need), a healthy Whitney and another solid vet and suddenly you have a decent defense. As you pointed out LT, Hall at centre makes a lot of sense, and it allows us to draft BPA with our 2nd 1st rd pick. Add Lander to that centre core, and you can move one of Cogs or Gagner to address other needs. The cupboard is pretty much full with prospects, so hopefully this summer we see some young potential pieces moved to solidify our NHL depth, and not our AHL depth.

    I know they wouldn’t be world beaters tight now, but if this is our defense going forward, I feel pretty good about our chances to compete.




    PP – Whitney-Larsson 1st pair. Gilbert-Petry 2nd pair
    PK – Whitney-Larsson 1st pair. Smid-Peckham 2nd pair.

    Draft Larsson, add a vet or two up front, and let Dubnyk play 55 games and we will compete for a playoff spot.