GDB -06: Trouba and the Jets

The twenty Oilers who will play tonight in Winnipeg skated in Leduc this morning at 9:30 a.m., before flying to Winnipeg to face Jacob Trouba and the Jets. Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin will be in the lineup, and all of them are hoping to have the same impact in the NHL this year that Trouba had last year.

Trouba had an outstanding rookie campaign. He averaged 22:26/game, scored 10 goals and 29 points in 65 games and he had respectable iCorsi/60 of 12.4, which was 10th best amongst D-men who played 1000 minutes.

It is preseason, so I went looking for different stats that we usually don’t discuss. In case you’re wondering the best iCorsi/60 of any Oilers D-man was 8.3 by Jeff Petry, which ranked 67th.

The Oilers are hoping one of their young trio of defenders can emerge and be a regular top-four D-man this season.

Today Marincin seems to be ahead of Klefbom and Nurse, but it is unclear who will be the best of the three long-term.

Marincin put on 15 pounds this off-season and he looks much bigger and stronger on the ice. He looks poised for a breakout season. Klefbom seems destined for some time in the AHL, but I’m a big fan of his game and Nurse’s, although I believe Nurse needs to calm his game down a bit, and most likely will do that in junior. Whether he goes down at the start of the season or sometime in November remains to be seen.

LINEUP

Yak-RNH-Eberle
Pouliot-Draisaitl-Tkachev
C.Hamilton-Yakimov-Miller
Kessy-Ewanyk-Pitlick

Those worried about Eberle can breathe. I never understood the angst with him not dressing on Sunday. The Oilers wanted to reward Greg Chase for working so hard in the off-season. Eberle is healthy and ready to go. And before you worry, Hall is just a healthy scratch. We will most likely see the Hall-RNH-Eberle trio during the final week of preseason.

It is interesting to see Pitlick paired with Ewanyk and Kessy, while Tkachev plays with Draisaitl and Pouliot. The only wing spot open on the Oilers is on the 4th line, so maybe Eakins wants Pitlick to get used to playing with defensive players who are energetic. Pitlick is a bubble guy, and I’d like to see him play with NHL players at some point. I’m guessing his slot in the lineup is based on the type of role/style they expect him to play this year, but also that this will be Tkachev’s last game to show what he has. Pitlick will get two or three more exhibition games to earn a spot.

Marincin-Nurse
Aulie-Schultz
Gernat-Klefbom

Klefbom and Nurse will play the right side. Klefbom looked fine on the right side last game, but it was also the first preseason game. It will be interesting to see who they handle their opposite side. Many players struggle with it.

Brossoit

Rimmer

COMPETITION

Kane-Scheifele-Wheeler
Galiardi-Lowry-Halischuk 

Ehlers-Petan-Kosmachuk 

Tangradi-Cormier-Peluso

Kane came into camp in great shape and Paul Maurice has been raving about him since. Kane and Schiefele need to have a good season if the Jets hope to compete for a playoff spot. They need consistency from their second line.

The rest of the Jets forwards are a mix of bubble guys and young picks, similar to the Oilers.

Morrissey-Trouba
Pardy-Clitsome 
Melchiori-O’Neill

I’m a huge fan of Trouba and enjoy watching him. I’m curious to see how Draisaitl’s junior teammates, Morrissey looks. Fans in Prince Albert must be praying one of them returns to junior this year.

Hutchinson

Taylor

No Pavelec tonight sadly, because that would increase the chances of the Oilers scoring, but the Jets didn’t re-sign Al Montoya in the summer due to Hutchinson. It is a bit risky considering he started last season in the ECHL and only started three NHL games. 

Hutchinson played 28 games in the ECHL, 24 in the AHL and 3 in the NHL, and he is their backup behind a shaky starter. Incredibly risky decision by the Jets.

TONIGHT….

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The inexperience in both lineups leads to goal-filled game. The Oilers lose 5-4, but at least the game was entertaining.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:  Many wonder who is in the above picture. It is Winnipeg resident Crystal Cunard. Now you know.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Pitlick scores. This a selfish prediction, because I want the battle for the only wing position available to be somewhat enticing.

  • PlayDirty

    Schultz played a very good game at both ends and Nuge pushed the pace tonight. Pitlick was outstanding as a 4th line energy guy and Curtis Hamilton showed us something for the first time in like forever. Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin are going to be very good players for this team. Rimmer reminds of Roloson he likes to battle. Anyone else notice Big bad Bog has 4 goals in 5 games? Fun watching these kids evolve right in front of our eyes.

  • PlayDirty

    Pretty good game. Jets had the jump for the first half – we gotta figure how how to start the game better. The Jets had a pretty good NHL line out with the extra attacker and we had rookies for the most part – we held our ground. Rimmer too.

    To me, Nuge was the best player on the ice. Nurse and Klefbom should be stand outs on the back end. Tkachev’s name came up a lot and always seemed to be around the puck. I think Draisaitl’s doing enough – he’ll get it quickly. There’s something appealing with Ewanyuk(?).

    We’ll see I guess.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I know it’s only preseason but it’s nice to see Eberle back checking… If this is a sign the core is buying into team defence the Oilers this year will me much improved.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    How much longer till the spotlight shifts from Draisaitl to Bogdan Yakimov. Bogdan has clearly been better since day 1. A year older a few inches taller, and bringing offense now while he picks up the pieces of the North American game.

    It’s staring them right in the face. Arcobello/Gagner 2013 scenario all over again.

    • Dan 1919

      Agreed, I said the same thing right after the rookie camp. Draisaitl had a decent game or two showing great playmaking ability and nothing against him, but at this point Yakimov is just plain better.

      I also think Nurse’s play has been understated. To me he’s at the point where he actually makes the team better, nevermind just developing well.

      Very interested to see who makes the final cut. Not sure how the maximum allowable guys on a team and all the logistics work out, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes them a week or two into the regular season to solidify the final roster.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Darnell was a no doubt top 3 blueliner at last years camp. He’s clearly gaining nothing by going back to play the kids version of the game in the OHL. Arcobello could do a heck of a lot more than Gagner could. Managements decisions carried the team to a 28th place finish. The losing culture begins and ends there.

        We shall soon see if tanking is on their agenda yet again in the coming weeks.

  • Do what Weight did?

    So, without seeing the game, here’s what I gather from the comments on this blog:

    1. Nuge was solid, but still needs to improve faceoffs

    2. Schultz was either the worst D or one of the best. I guess that one depends on which bias is being confirmed.

    3. Big Yak > Dr. dre… So far at least. Seems like BYak’s demotion to the A was a forgone conclusion, would love to know where Dallas and Craig are in that decision making process

    4. Tkachev just refuses to stop producing. How can there be a question about signing him? It’s tough to find preseason stats on the nets, but I bet he’s put up more pts in 2 games than Omark and Schremp put together

    5. The young D – Marincin, Nurse and Klefbomb – seem to be doing what they’re supposed to. Trouble for Aulie., and maybe a D who’s on a 1 year deal could find himself expendable. What happens if your Goat gets shipped off?

    • Anton CP

      Paajavi had a hat-trick during pre-season too.

      Anyhow, about Tkachev, I think at this point that managements do have a huge interest in signing him.

      Nuge seems to be much more aggressive so far, also a good showing on face-off circle.

      Oilers should have Yakimov on the starting day roster, he is very big and good on face-off too. This is what Oilers need in the past. At least that he should be able to settle into 3rd line C nicely.

  • bazmagoo

    I just keep on thinking to myself – when was the last time the Oilers had difficult decisions to make during training camp? It’s been a long time boys, enjoy it for what it is – baby steps in the right direction.

  • Spoils

    wow Nugey pulled some serious moves. he could have had a couple more assists with a little luck. he just absolutely and completely ditched a few players with spin moves and often. one ended with a puck on the doorstep that a non-rusty ebs might have finished. toss taylor hall on that line and the oil win the game by 3 goals.

    also nobody is talking about Nail – he created excitement a few times right out of thin air too. seems to be skating much better. nothing to show for it.

    tkachev’s apples were very impressive. especially the saucer pass on the 2-1 for Yakimov.

    too bad about the PP (0 chances in 3 tries in the third).

    fun game from the 2nd on.

  • Spoils

    3 games into preseason and some promising signs are developing . Have you noticed our offence has scored only six goals , but our defence is first in league with only 4 against ! If this trend continues we should be in good shape come this season .

    • oilerjed

      I wish I could say I agree but in the Commie Nucks nation the OIL broadcast is being intercepted and people being beaten in the streets as examples of illegal streaming.

      Seriously when will the madness stop with blackouts!!!???

      Furthermore where is the postgame wrapup? Im out of Ed Journal articles for the next 30 days and Ill be damned if Im paying for anyting that doesnt show me boobs.

  • OttawaOilFan

    Wasn’t able to watch the game as I worked last night and in ONT, so makes it tough to catch games here @ a decent hour. Did get a chance to listen to the game a little bit via Oilers app. Even though we didn’t get a PP goal, I think the big question is … did we allow any 2-0/2-1 shorties? The would be a relief if we didn’t! 🙂