It’s going to be a tough fall in the Capital, as Oiler fans won’t see No. 94 patrolling left wing at Rexall anymore. The young guns are here and creating memories,but that kid from Banff won a lot of hearts in this town. He’ll be tough to replace.
One of the league’s best even-strength scorers and a young man who scares the BeJesus out of opposition defensemen the second his skates cut ice. Hall has added ‘health’ to his resume in recent seasons, and after missing 38 games in his first two years, missed only 10 in the last two. Per 82gp, Hall is averaging 31 goals and 75 points. He is one of the most valuable young players in the NHL.
A career year at 26 and offers Edmonton a unique player-type. The Oilers haven’t enjoyed an agitator this good in miles, and you can’t tell me that his antics had no impact on the other guy. Even if you could, the 28 goals and 57 points was an absolute pleasure to watch. Can play the other wing if it comes to it.
This gives Edmonton THREE very good 5×5/60 wingmen on the portside. Here’s how they ranked last season (source:BTN) among LW’s:
- No. 2 overall Taylor Hall 2.91
- No. 24 overall David Perron 1.96
- No. 33 overall Benoit Pouliot 1.79
Note: Perron and Pouliot are listed at other positions at BTN
HOW MANY EVEN-STRENGTH GOALS?
Taylor Hall scored 20 even-strength goals a year ago, Perron posted 19, both with Edmonton. Hall’s number ranked in a tie for 25th league-wide in 2013-14. Over in Manhattan, Pouliot had 8 even-strength goals and 20 assists.
47 EV goals from the top three LW’s on the roster is impressive, Edmonton had Ryan Smyth in the 3line role last season (he also played center) and scored 44. A lot of projection depends on role, linemates, and time on ice, but expecting 47 even-strength goals from this trio seems reasonable next season. Fair?
HOW MANY POWER-PLAY GOALS?
Perron led the team with 8 PP goals one year ago, Hall one behind. Pouliot? 7! Can we expect 22 PP goals from this trio in 2014-15? Last season’s PP TOI for the trio:
- Hall 3:10 per game
- Perron 2:49 per game
- Pouliot 1:56 per game
Ryan Smyth received 2:33 per night with the man advantage, so maybe this group will get enough time to score 22 PP goals next season.
No one in this group spends much time on the PK, or at least no one did last season.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
If the Oilers can get 70 goals (47 even, 22 or 23 PP) from this trio, the offense for these Edmonton Oilers has a very nice power base. The worry? Edmonton’s fourth line LW a year ago, Luke Gazdic, scored 2 goals in 385 minutes. That’s not going to help the GF.
Up next? The RW’s.