You should know that Gabriel Desjardins’ NHL equivalencies loves Justin Schultz. L-O-V-E loves.

PAST NHLE FOR BLUE (a sampling)

The first thing you should know about NHL equivalencies is that they are a much better measuring stick for forwards than defenders, So much value for D points comes with PP time, and a rookie defender on an NHL powerplay is a rate item indeed.

Therefore, when looking at these NHLE’s, it is important to remember that PP time is included in the estimates and that valuable opportunity is likely one year away.

Here’s a quick sampling from the Oilers recent past, per 82 gp and using Gabe’s system:

SUMMER 2010 (for 10-11)

  1. Jeff Petry 4-22-26
  2. Taylor Chorney 5-10-15
  3. Jeremie Blain 1-13-14
  4. Brandon Davidson 0-14-14
  5. Kyle Bigos 4-6-10
  6. Alex Plante 2-5-7
  7. Theo Peckham 0-6-6
  8. Johan Motin 1-3-4
  9. Troy Hesketh 1-3-4

Petry’s NHLE is a nice match for what he posted this past season (73, 2-23-25) and gives us an indication (once again) that there is value in Gabe’s studies. It doesn’t mean it’ll be 100% every time and there are variables, but it’s a useful and fun guideline. The other numbers tell us about some nice talent bubbling under and that Taylor Chorney’s offensive gifts–once considered a strong suit–might not be enough to get him an NHL job.


SUMMER 2011 (for 11-12)

  1. Jeff Petry 6-15-21
  2. Martin Marincin 5-16-21
  3. Jeremie Blain 1-20-21
  4. Brandon Davidson 3-14-17
  5. Taylor Chorney 2-11-13
  6. Colten Teubert 2-8-10
  7. Kyle Bigos 2-6-8
  8. Alex Plante 1-7-8
  9. Johan Motin 1-3-4

A nice group, three defensemen over 20 points NHLE, and one of them doing those numbers in the AHL. Oilers chose to pass on Blain, but Marincin and Davidson showed well. It’s pretty obvious which of the group were getting PP time, and that number of course gets reduced as the players turn pro. Petry’s 21 NHLE points come in the AHL, a much tougher place to get PP time.


SUMMER 2012 (for 12-13)

  1. Martin Gernat 4-19-23
  2. Jeremie Blain 4-16-20
  3. Martin Marincin 5-12-17
  4. Brandon Davidson 5-12-17*
  5. Kyle Bigos 4-13-17
  6. Dillon Simpson 2-13-15
  7. David Musil 3-8-11
  8. Oscar Klefbom 4-0-4

Gernat really came out of nowhere and some of these points no doubt came from playing on a powerhouse Oil Kings squad. Still, that’s impressive. Marincin and Blain ran in place but there’s no sin in that, Davidson didn’t improve on his number and he was overage. Young Dillon Simpson was playing in the NCAA as a high school kid (well, high school age) so that number is one to follow.

Klefbom played in the SEL and didn’t get any PP push, my bet is he’ll be a much better offensive player than suggested here but we can probably assume he’ll be well below 30-point range even in his best NHL seasons. Jason Smith-Steve Staios offense with very good defensive play. That’s a quality player.

We’ll know far more about Klefbom’s offense when he arrives in North America. 


Remember I mentioned that Desjardins number loves Justin Schultz? The NHLE for NCAA hockey is 45%, meaning the Gabe’s toy estimates that Schultz will bring just under half of his college offense with him to the NHL. Now, remember also that powerplay minutes are very important for defensemen and rookie blue often don’t get those cherry minutes. I know that the Oilers don’t have a lot of options, but its important to place these numbers in context. That said, the NHLE for Justin Schultz is 82, 15-25-40.

THAT’S how big a free agent signing Justin Schultz was for the Edmonton Oilers.


This is no scoop, there has been a lot of chatter these days about how little Edmonton has done to change this roster over the summer. I think that’s fair, Edmonton needed two top 4D entering summer and they have Justin Schultz. However, it is also important to remember how important this player could be to the cluster.

Sometimes during a long summer events in early July are forgotten by the end. We’re all human, completely understandable. II’m suggesting to you that Justin Schultz was an outstanding addition. He may not post 40 points as a rookie, but his skill set is a sublime match with the Oilers need. He is absolutely a perfect fit.  And if you don’t believe me, cool. But have a look at Gabriel Desjardins’ magic numbers. Or Thomas Drance earlier this summer or even Jeff Angus in the spring. 

  • StHenriOilBomb

    I would be stoked for Shultz to hit 40 points, but it’s hard to imagine a rookie d-man pulling that off straight out of the NCAA. I’d be happy with 27 points and a solid, mature game. Anything more is a bonus this year.

  • Lowetide

    I’d agree, think reasonable is probably somewhere around Petry’s number this season. The things that could change that are mostly positive (major PP time, working with exceptional outlet passer like Whitney) but it is important not to underestimate the gap between anywhere and the NHL.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Great article LT. I was wondering why you had a picture of Schultz on top, but no mention of him in the article. Then, out of nowhere, BLAM! Just like The Crying Game.

  • StHenriOilBomb

    Great read LT and I, for one, am stoked at seeing what the kid will do thyis new upcoming season.

    With Petry, Schultz and a healthy Whitney, the Oiler are actually decent with offense from the back end.

    With having Smid and the elder Schultz as well with also having a great year each upconing, plus a very good year from Sutton, Peckham, Potter, and/or from up and comers teubert and Fedun, the team’s defensive end is not too bad at that.

    Too many people complaining too soon for needing another top 4D right now but this is the year of trade flexibility and for player moves so as for making that elusive 6-8 playoff spot.

    I love the firepower we now have because of the kids and with veterans Hemsky and Smyth to each have great seasons as well.

    I love that the Oil has Hall (needs a better nickname), Eberle (needs a better nickname,…maybe Sniper) and the Nuge, (love that one) and now Yakupov (aka the Bullet…my personal choice).

    I really think this now comes down to whether or not Whitney can really play like he did prior to that surgery and injury time stuff.

    If he can, and injuries do not become an overewhelming thing again with the team, we are in good shape. If not, and the Oilers are having defense problems with offense, then Tambellini better get the next move right.

    Now, IMO, we should be downsizing with releasing some forward players and or trading them for 2013 picks and prospects to make room for this next season. Players on the trade bubble should be Eager, Petrell, Hordichuk, Belanger, Hemsky, Jones, and then Peckham, Sutton, Khabby, Potter, etc.

  • Cervantes

    Schultzy should be good, but I think it’s important not to underrate Potter. He didn’t get a lot of time later in the season, but I thought he was quietly effective during the first half on the PP. Hopefully that translates without Renney.

  • Cervantes

    Sometime having too many of one thing spells trouble……..as in too many quality prospect forwards that will not get NHL experience.

    Yes perhaps we should be more like Detroit and make the prospects play in the AHL for three years minimum? In my estimation we will not have enough jobs for the youngster coming up…….nice problem to have provided we can turn some of these players into draft picks so we can find quality supporti/role players?

    Time to start trading Mr. Dithers!

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Outside of PRV and maybe Hartikanen we don’t really have any forward prospects that played like they have top 9 NHl potential last year.

  • RexLibris

    Just a question about Dillon Simpson. He is a high-school aged player in college? Is he on scholarship?

    I’m wondering because if he is, for the sake of argument, in school one year ahead of his peers this would imply that he is quite a bright young man. This could translate well to his professional career and offers an upside of dealing with an intelligent and perceptive prospect.

    I agree, he might be one to watch. He might be the last of this group to make it to the party but in the end perhaps the Oilers can develop a player with some similarities to Randy Gregg.

    He wasn’t too bad, if I recall correctly (sarcasm implied).

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I will continue to believe that he (Schultz) is a regular rookie like everyone else until he shows that he is a legit top 4 dman(if at all) Until there is a string of games that he has where he dominates,I will not jump on the schultz bandwagon. I was very excited when he chose to come here, but he will have to earn his spot, same as the Yak. I think that cautious optimism is the way to go with schultz. He will have moments where we (as fans) want to jump down his throat, just remember hes not Matt Carle yet. Just give him time. If in the long run, he turn out to be better than Matt Carle then i will be pleasantly surprised.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Lets not go over hyping Schultz just because we haven’t had an amazing d prospect for awhile. (Petry doesn’t count because he didn’t have this amount of pressure on him) Give the guy some time and some space and don’t bug him! We are not the toronto of the west!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    The issues with D for the upcoming season are “less” of importance than the goalie situation. A couple of shutdown guys in Smid and N. Schultz along with Whitney and J Schultz for some offense is a reasonable top 4. Depth is available but depth with experience when the injuries arrive will be an issue. I anticipate the staff looking to use 1 forward on the first PP unit as D.

    That said, until Dubnyk stops that one we needed and makes the “next safe” and reduces the momentum killer goals, points will be left on the table. I don’t see him as a full-time starter anytime soon. I am in the minority that suggest Khabibulin can still stop the puck and will bounce back.

    A different dzone coverage would help from what I have seen. Too much running around and not enough work and dside coverage. Would not be surprised if Ralph and the staff make adjustments.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Very surprised with Bigos numbers. I think once Peckham and Plante are flushed leaving Tuebert the only rock hard defensive prospects the Oilers will sign Bigos after this year and he will start oboviously in the minors.

    LT what are your thoughts are Bigos, cause his numbers surprise me here I was thinking more of a 2-4-6 kinda player? Also what about the NHLE of the overaged defenders we recently drafted. Lagglia or however you spell his name could be the second coming of Bergeron?

    • Lowetide

      Bigos is an interesting player. Huge defender, we know the Oilers will love that aspect of his game. He does have a big shot too. I’d say the chances of him turning pro are 100% and would say that a bet that he gets an NHL cup of coffee would be a good one.

      After that? Who knows? But he’s tracking well, better than his draft number imo.

      Laleggia’s NHLE is 82, 9-21-30. Impressive, he’s a one dimensional player but that dimension might get him to the NHL.

    • Lowetide

      Lol. Got a phonecall from a buddy saying the same thing today. Said I had committed a “crime against Oiler fans.” Whew. We’re a pretty intense bunch!

  • @James Gronau

    If they play Khaby more then 20 games I will puke. IMHO our backup goalie situation is the biggest achilies tendon on this team.

    If I were the GM he would have been put on waivers hoping another team would pick him up at half of his salary. I would much prefer Dannis or any tender in the NHL as our backup. Other than his run in October of last year he has been horrid since being here.

  • @James Gronau

    If they play Khaby more then 20 games I will puke. IMHO our backup goalie situation is the biggest achilies tendon on this team.

    If I were the GM he would have been put on waivers hoping another team would pick him up at half of his salary. I would much prefer Dannis or any tender in the NHL as our backup. Other than his run in October of last year he has been horrid since being here.

  • I’ve read your stuff for years Lowetide and it almost seems as if the Oilers have finally broken you.

    I always thought that you did a great job of separating the excitment of tomorrow’s team with the reality of today’s.

    No doubt that tommorrow’s team got a hell of a lot more talented this summer and yet I don’t see much difference between today’s team and the one that just finished 29th.

    I struggle to see how this all jumbles together to equal significant improvement.

    At any rate, I do hope Schultz kicks the jambs out this year, as a rookie defender, on a bad hockey team, while getting thrust into a top 4 role, in a hockey mad city.

    • Lowetide

      Rick, these guys are special. Absolutely outstanding young players. I’m on the other side of 50, and this team makes me feel like I’m 20 again.

      Broken? I’d say the opposite.